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The [Tuesday] Papers

"[V]eteran NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams broke the news that President Trump would nominate Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, roughly eight minutes before the much-hyped TV rollout," Politico's Morning Media newsletter reports.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: A scoop isn't reporting something that is going to be announced minutes or hours before it happens, it's reporting something we otherwise would not know if not for the reporter's work. Williams essentially got the scoop on a press release going out to the world by having a "source" throw him a bone he could chew on in public for eight minutes.

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But the real media malfeasance surrounding Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee (so far) is the way journalists have played along with the narrative mostly (but not wholly) created by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). See Stare Decisis, The Supreme Court, And Roe.

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Meanwhile, Politico's Playbook flagged this passage from the Times' profile of Kavanaugh:

"[P]eople who have worked with Judge Kavanaugh say he has little use for Washington pomp. 'Whatever the opposite of a Georgetown cocktail party person is, that's what Judge Kavanaugh is,' said Justin Walker, a law professor at the University of Louisville who worked as a law clerk for both Judge Kavanaugh and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. 'He'd much rather have a beer and watch a hockey game.'"

Spare me the "he's just a regular guy" routine. Unless he takes his judicial cues from the vagaries of the NHL, that's an irrelevant piece of information.

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Supreme Court judges are human, too! They have favorite, um, sports and stuff! They eat and poop, too!

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"I never see him prouder," Professor Walker added, "than when I see him talk about coaching girls' basketball."

No way!

(And who is Professor Walker? A former Kavanaugh clerk who was surely prepped with that line. I wonder if the reporter asked what Kavanaugh's worst quality was . . . )

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"Years later, Justice Kennedy still spoke with admiration verging on awe of the young Brett Kavanaugh's work ethic, Professor Walker said, recounting the justice's words: 'Brett was always there the first thing in the morning before I came in and last thing at night when I was leaving. I'd say, Brett, you're working too hard. You've got to go home. But he would never listen to me.'"

My worst quality is that I work too hard!

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"In a dissent in January from a decision upholding the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he issued a ringing endorsement of executive power.

"To prevent tyranny and protect individual liberty, the framers of the Constitution separated the legislative, executive and judicial powers of the new national government," Judge Kavanaugh wrote. "To further safeguard liberty, the framers insisted upon accountability for the exercise of executive power. The framers lodged full responsibility for the executive power in a president of the United States, who is elected by and accountable to the people."

Okay, we all know that, but how does it relate to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which he apparently finds to be . . . illegitimate?

(It turns out Kavanaugh's dissent is basically about what he sees as the ability of the CFPB director to exercise unchecked executive power.)

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"Judge Kavanaugh's first nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stalled in the Senate, but he was confirmed after Mr. Bush renominated him in 2006."

Why did his first nomination stall? The Times doesn't tell us.

It turns out, according to the Washington Post, that Democrats found him to be "too partisan."

Good to know!

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"In his opinions, Judge Kavanaugh has often been skeptical of government regulations, notably in the area of environmental law, and he has argued in favor of greater judicial power in reviewing the actions of administrative agencies on major questions."

More important to know than his hockey-watching, but much further down in the story, oh well!

Here's the thing: the New York Times does some great investigative work and its cultural coverage - including sports - is often admirably well-written, blind spots and all. But its news coverage often leaves me wondering if they have too few or too many editors.

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"He has also been open to using the First Amendment to strike down government regulations. Dissenting from the full District of Columbia Circuit's decision not to rehear a three-judge panel's decision upholding the Obama administration's 'net neutrality' regulations, he said the government can no more tell internet service providers what content to carry than it can tell bookstores what books they can sell.

"The net neutrality rule is unlawful," he wrote, "because the rule impermissibly infringes on the internet service providers' editorial discretion."

That's just silly. It's like allowing phone companies to determine the speed and quality of your calls based on what you talk about. C'mon.

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"Last year, he dissented from a decision allowing an undocumented teenager in federal custody to obtain an abortion, writing that the majority's reasoning was 'based on a constitutional principle as novel as it is wrong: a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in U.S. government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand.' He said he would have given the government more time to find a sponsor for the teenager."

I sure hope there was more nuance than that in his dissent; the legal status of someone seeking a medical procedure should be irrelevant, and what's the difference if the kid has a sponsor other than hoping an adult would talk her out of the abortion? That's beyond your scope, Justice Kavanaugh.

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"In 2015, he dissented from the court's decision not to rehear a three-judge panel's decision upholding an accommodation offered by the Obama administration to religious groups with objections to providing contraception coverage to their female workers.

"He agreed that 'the government has a compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception for the employees of these religious organizations.' But he said the government had other ways of achieving that goal."

What's interesting is what Kavanaugh finds that the government has an interest in - and what it doesn't, according to him. There's your roadmap.

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Akhil Reed Amar writes the inevitable Times Op-Ed "A Liberal's Case For Brett Kavanaugh."

Amar is an esteemed legal scholar, but he's far from infallible. For example, in this 2016 interview he calls Hillary Clinton "lowborn." She was not; she grew up solidly middle class - if not upper middle class. Just sayin'.

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From Seeking Alpha's newsletter:

"As an ideological conservative he's expected to push the court to the right on a number of issues, including business regulation. Kavanaugh has been critical of the expanding powers of federal agencies, including on measures like labor rights, credit-card fees and 'payday' loans."

But he's a Catholic who's really into his community!

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Just sayin' -

"[Kavanaugh] also has authored more than 800 opinions appellate court decisions, creating a long record of legal reasoning and positions that is sure to be scoured by Democrats looking to derail his nomination," the Sun-Times says in an editorial.

Everyone else says 300 opinions.

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Flores Folly
"A federal judge has turned down President Donald Trump's request to alter a decades-old legal settlement to allow long-term detention of children who entered the U.S. illegally with their parents," Politico reports.

"Los Angeles-based U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee dismissed as 'tortured' the Trump administration's legal argument to get out from under the so-called Flores consent decree agreed to back in 1997, dictating that children in immigration detention not be held more than 20 days.

"'Defendants seek to light a match to the Flores Agreement and ask this Court to upend the parties' agreement by judicial fiat,' wrote Gee, an appointee of President Barack Obama. 'It is apparent that Defendants' Application is a cynical attempt . . . to shift responsibility to the Judiciary for over 20 years of Congressional inaction and ill-considered Executive action that have led to the current stalemate.'"

Beachwood readers first encountered Flores on June 5th, and again on the 7th and reiterated on the 21st.

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Kill The Electoral College
From Axios:

"Remember that a shift of fewer than 80,000 votes in three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) would have made Hillary Clinton president."

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Your TV Is Watching You
"The growing concern over online data and user privacy has been focused on tech giants like Facebook and devices like smartphones. But people's data is also increasingly being vacuumed right out of their living rooms via their televisions, sometimes without their knowledge," the New York Times reports.

"In recent years, data companies have harnessed new technology to immediately identify what people are watching on internet-connected TVs, then using that information to send targeted advertisements to other devices in their homes. Marketers, forever hungry to get their products in front of the people most likely to buy them, have eagerly embraced such practices. But the companies watching what people watch have also faced scrutiny from regulators and privacy advocates over how transparent they are being with users."

The Times notes that "Last year, Vizio paid $2.2 million to settle claims by the Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey that it was collecting and selling viewing data from millions of smart TVs without the knowledge or consent of set owners. "

From the Beachwood vault . . .

* November 2015: Own A Vizio Smart TV? It's Watching You.

* February 2017: Vizio To Pay $2.2 Million To Settle Charges It Secretly Collected Viewing Histories On 11 Million Users.

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Seemingly related: Illinois Man: Bose Headphones Are Spying On Me! (He May Be Right).

A quick check on Google finds many news organizations covering the man's initial filing of a lawsuit, but none of them reporting on a resolution to said suit. Assignment Desk, activate!

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New on the Beachwood . . .

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Ghostface Killah, Aly & AJ, Pixies, Radiohead, Smif N Wessun, Tesla, Weezer, Anthony Green, and Carbon Leaf.

pixies.png

Hey, that's not Kim Deal!

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As States Legalize Sports Betting, Will Sports Media Go All In?
"When I was a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, I saw firsthand how traditional media outlets were slow to adapt to the Internet, much to their detriment.

"Now, with sports gambling, editors and reporters will ideally adjust appropriately, attracting more readers and subscribers by providing information that's useful to bettors.

"A potentially disastrous outcome would be if already cash-strapped media outlets are reluctant to change, and are slow to meet readers' needs."

vsin-sports-betting-musburger.jpg

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Stare Decisis, The Supreme Court, And Roe
"[T]he reality is that everyone believes in stare decisis to some extent, and also that everyone believes it has exceptions . . . the Supreme Court sometimes overrules precedent and changes the law (a proposition so banal that, frankly, I did not think I would ever need to demonstrate its truth)."

b2c56a3c-6b3c-4451-866f-16537546c23d.jpg

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More from the Beachwood music desk . . .

Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Janelle Monae, Jezi, Miki Howard, Iron Years, Snarky Puppy, and Jacob Collier.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 7.14.43 AM.png

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The Previous Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Big Brave, Poster Children, The Body, Lingua Ignota, Neil Young, Yanni, Lightweights, Dial Drive, The Ways of Tom, No Solution, The Bama Lamas, Jeremy Enigk, Jory Avner, and Bryan Adams.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 7.19.22 AM.png

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The Previous Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: XEUTHANIZEDX, The Kreutzer Sonata, The Wailers, Code Orange, Strange Foliage, Chris Duarte, Dusk, Joshua Hedley, Mount Eerie, Camp Cope, Johnny Moon and the Astronauts, The Posies, and The Sword.

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 7.24.40 AM.png

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ChicagoGram

🥒Rick #homedecor

A post shared by Whit Krystof (@whitkrystof) on

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ChicagoTube

1965 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 7 Chicago at Detroit 4-15-1965.

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BeachBook

The Male Founder Of The Feminist T-Shirt Brand You Love Has A Dark Past.

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California's Gone Without Higher Ed Affirmative Action Since 1996. Black Enrollment At Top UCs Never Recovered.

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My Favorite Recipe.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Refined.



Permalink

Posted on July 10, 2018


MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Exclusive! Rahm's New TV Gig.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - NHL: CTE Not Our Fault.

BOOKS - Stan Lee, Flawed Hero.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: I Am Iron Man.


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