Federal Judge Spikes Trump’s Hatred For Dreamers

A federal judge for the District of Columbia on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to not only continue processing existing applicants to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but also to resume accepting new applications.   

This is but one more example of how the checks and balances of the United States government are stopping Donald Trump.  Rules and laws, can and will, stymie this administration and put brakes on the Trump voters insanity at the ballot box.

U.S. District Judge John Bates was withering in his 60-page ruling, calling the administration’s attempts to end the program, known as DACA, “arbitrary,” “capricious,” “virtually unexplained” and “unlawful.”

Bates gave the Department of Homeland Security 90 days to offer better arguments for scrapping the program.

Having concluded that DACA’s rescission violated the APA, the question of remedy remains. As an initial matter, the Court will reject the government’s invitation to confine its grant of relief strictly to the plaintiffs in this action. See Defs.’ Reply at 44–45. As plaintiffs point out, the D.C. Circuit has previously rejected an agency’s suggestion that “the named plaintiffs alone should be protected by [an] injunction,” explaining that “[w]hen a reviewing court determines that agency regulations are unlawful, the ordinary result is that the rules are vacated—not that their application to the individual petitioners is proscribed.” Harmon v. Thornburgh, 878 F.2d 484, 495 n.21 (D.C. Cir. 1989). Moreover, as the Fifth Circuit noted in Texas, the immigration context counsels strongly in favor of nationwide relief: “the Constitution requires ‘an uniform Rule of Naturalization,’” 809 F.3d at 187 (quoting U.S. Const. art. I, § 8), “Congress has instructed that ‘the immigration laws of the United States should be enforced vigorously and uniformly,’” id. at 187–88 (quoting Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99–603, § 115(1), 100 Stat. 3359, 3384), “and the Supreme Court has described immigration policy as ‘a comprehensive and unified system,’” id. at 188 (quoting Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. 387, 401 (2012)). Thus, the Court concludes that nationwide relief is appropriate here.


Erosion Of Public Service Workers Hurting National Economy

I was somewhat surprised that this story was on the front page and above the fold of The New York Times.  I say that because it should not come as any surprise that state and local governments have been powerful economic movers in this nation for decades.  People should know this fact as much as April showers bring May flowers.   That people need to be told the toll that slashing needed public sector jobs has on the national economy–as well as on those who value the services those workers provide–tells us much about the nation we now live in.

My family has been proud public sector workers for decades.

My dad came home from WWII and felt he did not “deserve” to participate in the GI Bill and instead started working for Waushara County where he was employed for decades.  My mom called the head of the local UW-affiliated Agriculture Experimental Station (Hancock,WI) and got my brother an appointment for an interview.  Over the years we laughed that her call was essential since my brother had the largest bedroom and with his job and exit from home meant I then had the larger space. He worked at the job mom got for him from about age 19 to his retirement.  My brother-in-law was a postmaster for many years.  I would be employed with the Wisconsin State Assembly–but I got the job on my own!

All the jobs my family held were for the service of others.  All made a contribution in one way or another for the local community or the state at large.  We all were paid a living salary and that money trickled back to the local barber, grocer, and movie theater.    Those who are stirred to envy by conservative politicians, so to gin up the red meat against public service workers, have now created a real problem all over the nation.

The anxiety and seething anger that followed the disappearance of middle-income jobs in factory towns has helped reshape the American political map and topple longstanding policies on tariffs and immigration.

But globalization and automation aren’t the only forces responsible for the loss of those reliable paychecks. So is the steady erosion of the public sector.

For generations of Americans, working for a state or local government — as a teacher, firefighter, bus driver or nurse — provided a comfortable nook in the middle class. No less than automobile assembly lines and steel plants, the public sector ensured that even workers without a college education could afford a home, a minivan, movie nights and a family vacation.

In recent years, though, the ranks of state and local employees have languished even as the populations they serve have grown. They now account for the smallest share of the American civilian work force since 1967.

The 19.5 million workers who remain are finding themselves financially downgraded. Teachers who have been protesting low wages and sparse resources in OklahomaWest Virginia and Kentucky — and those in Arizona who say they plan to walk out on Thursday — are just one thread in that larger skein.

Decorah, Iowa Eagles Facing Horrible News

The male eagle of the beloved Decorah eagles nest has been missing for several days.  

“He’s out of the area; we don’t know if he’s alive or not,” said John Howe, executive director of the Raptor Resource Project.

Last week’s winter storm might have been a factor. “The weather came, we had the storm, we had mom and dad taking care of the three young, and then we were missing dad the next day after the storms subsided.”

Once staff noticed, they began searching the hatchery area. More than 20 people went out to look, along with the Decorah Fire Department. They used their drone to search in challenging areas.

Some observers happened to spot an unidentified male eagle in the area, who was even flying with the mom. Unfortunately, it’s not Dad Decorah.

Mom has fed the eaglets to bursting multiple times every day since Dad disappeared. Between the hatchery and the stream, she is more than capable of keeping them fed.

Here is a photo from the nest during the massive spring storm last week as both parents worked to protect the young.

What About The Price Of Oil Per Barrel?

The price of oil per barrel is one of those odd things I note daily in the paper.   Some check box scores….I follow the price of oil on the world market.  (It is $68 as I write this post.)  And the pressure on prices, will of coarse, have an impact on many different levels.

First, oil prices are rising, in part, because demand is so strong, not just because OPEC is keeping barrels off the market. Oil at $100 would essentially amount to a doubling of the price from the past few years, which would quickly put an end to high demand growth rates.

A corollary to this is that $100 oil would likely impact economic growth. The economic recovery from the financial crisis in 2008 is almost a decade old at this point, much longer than the average upswing. History suggests that we are due for a recession at some point in the not-so-distant future. A spike in fuel prices around the world could help bring that on.

“Oil prices are high because the dollar is low,” Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis Gestion, told CNBC on Thursday. Taking too much oil off to the market for too long could send prices “artificially” high he said. “That is a big concern…Because oil prices don’t generate crises; the abrupt and unexpected rise of oil prices creates crises,” Lacalle said.

Second, $100 oil would set off yet another round of frenzied drilling, likely resulting in an even stronger wave of new shale supply. Several years of triple-digit oil prices led to a near doubling of shale production in the U.S., a volume that helped crash the market in 2014. A spike in oil prices could result in history repeating itself.

How Far Can Presidents Go With Firing Executive Branch Officials?

This case before the Supreme Court has received little national coverage, but it carries much weight.

The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in an arcane dispute over administrative judges that poses a potentially far-reaching question about the president’s power: Can such executive branch officials have independent authority to act or must they be subject to control and removal by the president?

The justices sounded split on how to rule and wary of issuing a broad pronouncement.

Although the case involves only judges at the Securities and Exchange Commission, President Trump’s lawyers urged the court to rule that executive officers must be subject to removal by the president, leading some to see their real target as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Mueller, who is probing possible coordination in the 2016 election between Russia and Trump’s campaign, was appointed under Justice Department regulations that gave him independent authority to bring criminal charges and which say he may be fired by Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein only for “good cause.”