Author Archives: Michael Froomkin

It Has to be Asked

I’ve thought all along that the real Trump scandal would be financial rather than electoral — Kushner or someone going to the Russians for bailout money to rescue bad investments such as the 666 5th Ave. buildingFlynn’s role would be as a go-between, or enabler.

But here’s the thing: for weeks, months even, all of Trump’s actions have been consistent with what one might expect if Trump had in fact colluded with the Russians himself in some way that implicates his legitimacy in office and was now (somewhat incompetently) trying to keep the lid on the scandal.

It has to be asked: It’s not just that Trump Is Obsessed With the Russia Investigation, but isn’t Trump acting awfully guilty?

Posted in The Scandals | Leave a comment

Bow Ties are In Again

“This year’s draft broke the record for the most freshmen chosen, but the real record might have been for the most bow ties worn by draftees.” – NYT, Bow Ties and Statement Sneakers at the N.B.A. Draft

As someone who, when wearing a tie, has worn only bow ties since college (funerals and juries excepted), I’m happy to hear it. Over the years I’ve been asked if the bow tie meant I was a follower of Elijah Muhammed (yes, really, a first year student asked me that about 20 years ago), or a conservative (I blame George Will and Tucker Carlson for the tarnishment). I’m much happier to be associated with the fashion-forward NBA.

Posted in Basketball, Kultcha | Leave a comment

Monster Mashup

I’m guessing that most of the readers of this blog won’t care, and some others won’t agree, but I think it’s a shame that this piece of mashup brilliance by the Kleptones has only had fewer than 62000 views on YouTube since being uploaded exactly seven years ago. Even if the ending is abrupt.

Wikipedea on the Kleptones:

The Kleptones are a one-man English electronic music group fronted by music producer and DJ Eric Kleptone. They are best known for their Internet-exclusive mashup albums. Typically, Eric Kleptone mixes rock/R&B instrumentals with rap and hip-hop vocals in a style that is “fun… and often surprising”.[1] Both his name and the group’s name are parodies of the famous guitarist, Eric Clapton, and a play on the fact that he is a “klepto of tones” (that is, he “steals” others’ music).

Update: OK, I see 125K views on Vimeo, which is a little better, but still way short of what it deserves.

Posted in Kultcha | Leave a comment

Iron Man to Challenge Paul Ryan

Randy Brice

Paul Ryan is more unpopular nationally than Donald Trump: a recent Pew Research study found only 29% of Americans approve of Ryan’s performance. Yet what matters most to a Congressman is how he is viewed in his district. I haven’t been able to find a recent local poll; historically Ryan has been more popular at home than nationally, but the weakness of the national number has led some to ask Is Paul Ryan actually vulnerable in 2018?.

Enter Randy Brice, the Democratic challenger, with a first-rate declaration of candidacy video:

Good stuff.

Posted in 2018 Election | Leave a comment

Horrible

19 kids are shot every day in the United States.

I start from the view that the 2nd Amendment should be interpreted liberally, just like the 1st, 4th, 5th, or any amendment in the Bill of Rights should be. On the other hand, the 2nd Amendment is unique in that it has an explanatory, and thus perhaps limiting clause (“A well-regulated millitia…”), and I am also committed to the view that the Constitution is short enough that we should labor mightily to avoid surplussage. But on the gripping hand, the Supreme Court has made it clear that it cares not about the latter.

Certainly if I were advising a candidate for office today, I would not suggest making gun control a big issue beyond banning assault weapons or the like, as I doubt much narrower limits would stand up in court.

If we want meaningful gun control it would require a constitutional amendment. And I’m not sure I want to open the floodgates to undermining any part of the Bill of Rights, because who knows what would be next.

All that said, shooting 19 kids/day seems a very high price to pay for our liberties, even in a country of 320+ million people.

It puts me in mind of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” — although this deadly lottery is rigged: “9 out of 10 children who get shot in the United States are between the ages of 12 and 17”; 8 out of 10 are boys; and, more than half of the child gun victims are nonwhite.

Incidentally, of those 19 kids shot per day about 3.5/day die from their wounds. 3.5 per day.

Posted in Law: Constitutional Law | 5 Comments

Trump Lawyer Ethics Update

Further to my post noting that Trump’s personal lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz appeared to be giving legal advice in a jurisdiction where he was not admitted to practice, I now learn that the Campaign for Accountability has filed a bar complaint against Kasowitz in DC; someone else filed a similar complaint in New York, where Kasowitz is admitted.

The Above the Law blog says “it’s unlikely this ends with Marc Kasowitz getting in ethical trouble” but I don’t see why not.  I can see why this wouldn’t necessarily be a big violation, all things considered, so I would be shocked to see a major sanction like a suspension, but I’d also be somewhat surprised if there wasn’t at least a wrist slap somewhere.

Posted in Law: Ethics, Trump | 2 Comments