Just in Case Brent Doesn’t do his Thing 4/4/16

This group actually survives because of Morning Report.  Here is an Open Thread, just in case Brent doesn’t make it in to work for us this morning.


Propulsion at significant fractions of the speed of light:



Supremes uphold one-man one-vote based on population.



The Economist weighs in against a merger of the German and London Exchanges.



A good compilation of links on the Kurds.


The Kurds still revere GWB for liberating them, but it seems we are back into the morass of petty local reasons why other groups want them marginalized.  Meanwhile, they are the only dependable force against ISIS on the ground.  There’s a lot of stuff there a new Administration might want to consider.





27 Responses

  1. I’m curious to know if anyone here has concerns over 3D priming, and if so, what are those concerns?




    • George, I would not jump out ahead of this and treat it as a problem. I would wait until at least there was a ten year history of use of 3d printers to try to get a fix on whether there were any problems arising that should be addressed by legislation. There surely will have been some litigation by then, and if patterns of abuse or misuse arise that is how we will find out about it, rather than by guessing in advance.

      The alternative is to treat the machinery as dangerous from the gitgo and license its users. Are these devices as inherently dangerous to as many people as motor vehicles on crowded highways? Is it even close?


    • The arguments on the dangers remind me of what the auto industry used to argue about the dangers of letting people work on their own cars.


  2. The rising number of emerging market Billionaires – entrepreneurial crastion or income inequality? Probably the former, according to this article:



  3. The SCOTUS case makes for interesting reading. They ruled narrowly and simply said that Texas can’t be forced by the litigants to change from their current system but specifically declined to rule on whether or not Texas could make the change voluntarily.


    The cite for Thaddeus Stevens was interesting:

    “In December 1865, Thaddeus Stevens, a leader of the Radical Republicans, introduced a constitutional amendment that would have allocated House seats to States “according to their respective legal voters”; in addition, the proposed amendment mandated that “[a] true census of the legal voters shall be taken at the same time with the regular census.” Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 10 (1866). Supporters of apportionment based on voter population employed the same voter-equality reasoning that appellants now echo.”


    • JNC, I think leaving the door open on the one-man one-vote case was the right way to reach the decision, regardless of whether this Court would rule differently in a future case brought because a state had actually implemented one-registered-voter-one vote. It is when a Court jumps out and rules on an issue that is not before it because it is an issue that was not tried below that I accuse it of activism.

      I would eventually rule for one-person one-vote were that case squarely before me because the federal government serves people, not voters, and representatives represent the whole legal population of the state, not just the voters. The number of school children who get USDA lunches is not dependent on how many adults voted, for example. The number of Medicaid recipients in nursing homes, who may not be voters, is not dependent on how many adults voted.

      If we had national ID cards I would exclude persons who were at any level below green card.

      But if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.


      • I tend to agree with the logic that if the apportionment of the Representatives themselves is done on the basis of the entire population vs eligible voters then the redistricting within the state should be done on that same basis as well.


        • “…if the apportionment of the Representatives themselves is done on the basis of the entire population vs eligible voters then the redistricting within the state should be done on that same basis as well.”

          Yep. Can apportionment be done on any other basis under the Constitution? I cannot think of how.


        • as noted in the quote, Stevens was going to change that via amendment, presumably to reduce the power of the former Confederate states.


  4. FYI Brent – Looks like felons are now a protected class. No new legislation needed.

    “The Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to make it easier for people with criminals record to find housing.

    In its new guidance, HUD is warning landlords that blanket bans on accepting new tenants with criminal records might violate the Fair Housing Act, opening them up to lawsuits and penalties for discrimination.

    People with criminal records are not a protected category under the Fair Housing Act, which prevents housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, but this new guidance creates a framework to offer them protection under existing anti-discrimination measures.

    Because the criminal justice system punishes disproportionate numbers of black and Hispanic individuals, such blanket policies amount to “de facto discrimination,” according to a release from HUD’s general council.”



    • There will be two kinds of lawsuits over this, and they will come to differing results in different courthouses on different facts, IMHO.

      First, there will be a frontal attack on the regulation based on its having no authority under the statute, that will succeed.

      Second, there will be a stealth attack where a prospective tenant can show that a remote arrest was used as a pretext to discriminate on the basis of race or religion. That will also succeed.

      Then HUD will fashion a new regulation that gives a landlord more leeway, but a new round of suits will follow.

      This is probably going to be an income generator for a new generation of real property and civil rights lawyers for a decade.


      • Of course, there’s also the irony of one part of the government (HUD) accusing another part of the government (DoJ) of systemic racism due to the “disproportionate” number of prosecutions and convictions.


        • Does that go for sex offenders as well?


        • McWing:

          Does that go for sex offenders as well?

          The popular idea that “discrimination” is, by its nature, unjust and condemnable, will be the death of our culture. Individuals must be allowed to make judgments about other people, and act on them. Even if those judgments are wrong or stupid.


    • I get around most issues by charging about $2,000 a month for a condo unit


    • I suppose the way around it is the credit score… Not a lot of felons walking around with 750 FICOs..


  5. Interesting conclusion on Trump:

    “But all of these things are minor compared to what Trump needs to get out of the hole. To get all the way out, he needs one thing. And he already set the table for that one thing to happen.

    Trump needs Megyn Kelly to interview him.”



  6. Looks like California’s going full Mencken.

    “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”



    • Sounds like the CFPB: How can we get lenders to take more risk while at the same time fine their company out of existence if they don’t conform with our (unpublished) rules…

      I love how Cordray decided some judge’s penalty wasn’t enough and hiked it tenfold…


    • “Housing officials are urging the Justice Department to provide assurances to banks, which have become increasingly cautious, that they will not face legal or financial recriminations if they make loans to riskier borrowers who meet government standards but later default.”

      Fool me once…


      • jnc:

        Fool me once…

        Exactly. Trouble is any such assurances won’t be worth the paper they aren’t printed on.


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