Well, dogs are good, anyway…
1. Stop making dogs defend Mike Bloomberg!…Is there anything too trivial that people won’t use to attack politicians? A CBS News video began circulating online yesterday afternoon showing Michael Bloomberg shaking hands with a man in Burlington, Vermont, then taking his dog’s upper jaw in his hand and “shaking” the dog’s snout He then scratched the dog’s ears. The social media mob called him a dog abuser.
Morons. That’s a move that most dogs enjoy, as well as someone grasping their whole muzzle. It shows Bloomberg is comfortable with and knowledgeable about dogs. I used to do both moves with our 165 pound English Mastiff, and our Jack Russells.
2. I know this is of interest to almost nobody who isn’t a lawyer, but trust me, it’s a big deal. The District of Columbia has long been the only U.S. jurisdiction that allows law firms to have non-lawyer partners, a structure prevented everywhere else by the general prohibition on lawyers sharing their fees with non-lawyers. When D.C. adopted its revolutionary approach, it assumed that the states would soon follow, with the American Bar Association’s assent. Because that hasn’t happened, a state-licensed lawyer with a D.C. license participating in a legal firm in D.C. could technically be found to be violating that state’s ethics rules , though the District has negotiated a truce in that potential controversy.
Meanwhile, those special law firms with non-lawyer members are proliferating like legal rabbits. Now a Jan. 23 press release tells the world that the District of Columbia Bar is taking comments regarding proposed changes to its ethics rules that could allow external ownership of law firms, as well as blended businesses in which lawyers and non-lawyers provide both legal and nonlegal services, like accounting. Or massages–who knows? Right now, law firms by definition can only practice law.
Stay tuned. Or rather I’ll stay tuned, since many of my legal ethics clients are those special D.C. firms, and I’ll keep you posted whether you like it or not.
3. Clearly, the coarsening of U.S. popular culture has proceeded much further than Ann Althouse has realized. I see that quirky law and culture blogger Ann Althouse is chiding ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel for a cheap joke line he used 8 years ago at the White House correspondent’s dinner, “Mitt or get off the pot” that has now spawned a social media hashtag. She writes,
A joke that was notably bad 8 years ago — when the upcoming election was just about whether to keep that nice man Obama or not — has been revived in the context of impeaching that horrible man Trump because we — some of us — are just too distraught to wait a few months for the election. Maybe Kimmel revived his bad joke last night and got Twitter going down this excrement-laden path.
In a culture where commercials like this one are common…
…and Kimmel rival Stephen Colbert called the President of the U.S. a “cock-holster” on national TV two years ago with nary a blink from NBC, Ann has a lot of catching up to do.
4. And on the subject of being behind the times...U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti Saris ruled in 2018 that Massachusetts “may not constitutionally prohibit the secret audio recording of government officials, including law enforcement officials, performing their duties in public spaces, subject to reasonable time, manner, and place restrictions.” This overturned a 1968 Massachusetts wiretap law as it applied to citizens before the cellphone era, where virtually anyone has the capability of recording a conversation or event on the spot.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, Boston’s top prosecutor, is calling for a reversal, claiming the state’s 1968 prohibition should be restored, and law enforcement and government officials should know when they’re being recorded.
At a hearing before the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month, free speech groups said that such recordings are protected by the First Amendment, and that the lower court’s ruling should be upheld. State Attorney General Maura Healey is representing Rollins (Pop Quiz: can you guess which party Healy and Rollins belong too? Clue #1: “It’s Massachusetts. Clue #2: they are trying to reduce the Constitutional rights of Americans), and her office’s appellate brief cites hypothetical scenarios where secret recordings of public officials might harm average citizens.
Yup, there’s that dangerous First Amendment again..
5. I don’t recall any party ever using this kind of rallying cry against a President, do you? Candidate for Georgia’s 2020 Senate nomination Jon Ossoff has a new video in which he says, “We need to send a message this year, that if you indulge in this kind of politics [that is, supporting President Trump] you’re not just going to get beaten. You’re going to get beaten so bad you’ll never be able to run or show your face again in public….Because we have had ENOUGH! ABSOLUTELY ENOUGH of what we are getting from Donald Trump and his fellow-travelers right now.”
Even though many believe Hillary’s denigration of all Trump supporters as deplorables lost her the election, many Democrats seem to think that intimidating, insulting and threatening Americans who question their intrinsic wisdom is the path to victory.
Conservative writer Megan Fox calls Ossoff’s shrill message a call to physically attack Trump supporters. This is confirmation bias ,though you can hardly blame her since Democrats ARE physically attacking Trump supporters, and I agree that his statement is sufficiently ambiguous that the Trump Deranged could take it that way. I’m pretty sure, though, that Ossof was referring to Republican politicians…which is bad enough.
Someone should tell him, though, that “fellow travelers” usually means Communist sympathizers—you know, like Bernie Sanders.
6. And a final note regarding competence. Joe Biden said , “So, the idea we’re gonna cut the defense budget significantly, we can cut it some, but we don’t need standing armies, we need to be smarter than we’re dealing now into how we handle this.”
Does any serious person really believe that the United States doesn’t need a standing army?