Forget boycotts and protests: the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police knew what he was doing when he warned Quentin Tarantino about a “surprise” at the hands of police who would wait until seizing the “right time and place” to “try to hurt” the filmmaker (who has lately criticized police shootings). Asked to clarify, Fraternal Order of Police executive director Jim Pasco said he wasn’t talking about physical violence, but didn’t rule out the other ways police can use the powers of their office to hurt people. I’ve got a post at Cato wondering where this sort of talk will lead. Meanwhile, Scott Shackford at Reason suspects that Pasco’s we-know-where-you-live hinting will end in an anticlimax, like bringing out an inflatable rat or something.
- Mess surrounding ex-Willkie partner could drag down giant credit card settlement after exposure of “burn this” emails to adverse lawyer [Alison Frankel, WSJ Moneybeat, New York Post]
- “The war against homeschooling is…not a fight to make sure children are safer/better educated” [Bethany Mandel, Acculturated, reacting to ProPublica/Slate piece raising alarms about how, e.g., 48 states don’t make parents go through background checks before being allowed to homeschool their kids] ProPublica also complains that parents with criminal records are allowed to homeschool; did they run this by the “Ban the Box” advocacy groups?
- President Jimmy Carter’s deregulatory record looks even better in retrospect [Cato podcast with Peter Van Doren, Caleb Brown]
- Ugly tactic: protesters rally at home of Judge Bunning in Kim Davis case [River City News, Kentucky; links to some other instances]
- “Obama celebrates Labor Day by making it more expensive to hire employees”; executive order requires federal contractors to provide paid sick leave [W$J, Sean Higgins/Washington Examiner (“offering paid leave is already the norm among the vast majority of federal contractors”)]
- “FBI, DEA and others will now have to get a warrant to use stingrays” [ArsTechnica]
- After the prosecutorial abuses: “John Doe Reform Bill Moves to Assembly” [Right Wisconsin]
- Prohibition triple threat: Sen. Marco Rubio would “crack down on marijuana if elected President,” cites “damage” alcohol is doing America and is foe of online gambling too;
- An ever-so-sympathetic take on invading/disrupting other people’s political events, and don’t even ask what the press coverage would be like if Tea Partiers were doing this to anyone;
- Hey, I didn’t meet with a lobbyist! It was a…strategic consultant, yeah, that’s it [Crain’s New York last year]
- Ideology matters: Democrats still more likely than Republicans to support rural subsidies even though they now represent few rural areas [David Henderson]
- Wisconsin John Doe investigator: “No one is going to know what you and I talk about today.” Uh-huh [Right Wisconsin]
- Jack Shafer on Trump’s appeal [Politico] “Trump Lawyer Bragged: I ‘Destroyed’ a Beauty Queen’s Life” [Tim Mak/The Daily Beast, earlier, more]
- Harry Reid raises $1 million from trial lawyers after flying to fundraiser on one of their private jets [Politico]
When police begin to behave as an armed force unaccountable to civilian authority, it presents something of a moment of truth for many conservatives and Republicans who must decide which comes first for them, being pro-police or pro-rule-of-law.
Turning its back on elected and appointed civilian authority, New York’s paid constabulary has unilaterally reduced its writing of traffic tickets and minor summonses by 94 percent [New York Post] The job action hits New York City government in the pocketbook by stopping the lucrative flow of tickets, a tactic that has also been observed in other cities’ police labor disputes [Glenn Reynolds] It comes at a time when the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is angling for higher pay from the city [NYDN on an earlier stage in the tensions], and, even more remarkably, when unions have been pushing a bill that would further insulate cops accused of wrongdoing from city disciplinary authority [E.J. McMahon, New York Post] “It amounts to a public act of extortion by the police,” contends the New York Times in an editorial [via Scott Greenfield, who also comments].
Does the ticketing strike endanger the city public? The answer could be embarrassing for the police unions either way: either it does, in which case the police have put public safety at risk as a bargaining chip, or it does not, which would tend to support Reynolds’ comment that much of “‘law enforcement’ is really just a system designed to squeeze money out of the citizenry.” [Conor Friedersdorf, who argues that conservatives in particular should spot what’s wrong with “an armed, organized army rebelling against civilian control”]
In the past Republicans have tended to give police unions a pass for political reasons, but that may be changing [Lucy Morrow Caldwell, National Review; David Brooks, New York Times; Eleanor Clift, Daily Beast; Coyote] James Taranto at the WSJ recalls how some Wisconsin police refused to enforce the law against occupiers intent on taking down Gov. Scott Walker. Amity Shlaes, whose books include a biography of Calvin Coolidge, recalls Coolidge’s role as governor of Massachusetts in breaking the Boston police strike, which made him a national hero.
Earlier on unions’ role in impeding oversight of excessive-force claims. In 1992, protesting NYPD officers “blocked Brooklyn Bridge, tramped on cars, and assaulted reporters” [New York Times via @nickconfessore] while in 2011 some of their ranks attacked cameramen trying to cover ticket-fixing arraignments. Also from Memory Lane: the time Mayor Bloomberg, in one of his most irresponsible moments, urged police to strike to force policy changes.
A different view: Talking Points Memo hears from a self-described progressive cop in suburban New York. [edited shortly after posting to add new introduction] More: NPR (blue flu, “depolicing”, “rulebook protest”).
- More Than You Wanted To Know: favorable review of new Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl Schneider book on failure of mandatory disclosure regimes [George Leef, Cato Regulation, PDF, related earlier here and here]
- Colorful allegations: “Tampa lawyers can be questioned about DUI setup claims” [Tampa Bay Times]
- Intimidation the new norm: FCC head blockaded at his D.C. home to pressure him into OKing net regulation scheme [Washington Post; related, Sen. Mary Landrieu because of her support for Keystone pipeline; earlier here, here, here, here (Boehner, Wal-Mart, etc.), here (businesspeople), here (SEIU and bankers), here (Boston teamsters), here (Google), etc.]
- Speaking of net neutrality debate, Jack Shafer (“You can’t build a better Internet out of red tape”) and Richard Epstein;
- “FAA’s Slow Pace Grounds U.S. Drone Makers” [Friends of Chamber]
- OECD deal could smother tax shelter competition, which might be good for rulers, if not necessarily for the ruled [Alberto Mingardi]
- “$100/month Upper East Side tenant loses suit to raze high-rise neighbor” and the best bit comes in the last sentence [NY Daily News]
If done by anyone other than unionists, this would by now be a trending national story:
The Teamsters picketers were already mad. By the time Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’s car pulled up to the Steel & Rye restaurant in the picturesque New England town of Milton just outside Boston, one of them ran up to her car and screamed, “We’re gonna bash that pretty face in, you f*cking wh*re!”
“She was scared,” said a Top Chef crewmember who witnessed the incident.
Bravo had incurred the wrath of Charlestown-based Teamsters Local 25 by using its own production assistants as drivers, reports the Boston Herald:
The picketers lobbed sexist, racist and homophobic slurs at the rest of the cast and crew for most of the day, the website reported, and when production wrapped, the “Top Chef” crew found that tires were slashed on 14 of their cars. Milton police confirmed that the union members were “threatening, heckling and harassing” but said no arrests were made.
The Herald quotes a spokeswoman for Local 25, Melissa Hurley, sounding completely unapologetic: “As far as we’re concerned, nothing happened.” Or to put it differently: Teamsters Will Be Teamsters.
More, including the violent history that makes this incident anything but “isolated,” from the Boston Globe. I’ve posted on the curious exemption of unions from the law of harassment, stalking, hostile environment, intimidation, etc. here, here (more on Philadelphia Quaker meetinghouse arson), and in various other posts, as well as in my book The Excuse Factory.
- Worst article of the week? Cheering on tort lawsuits as a way to trip up legalized pot [John Walters and Tom Riley, Weekly Standard]
- Remember not long ago when they used to tout VA health care as a success story and model to be imposed on other health providers? [James Taranto, recalling Paul Krugman, Ezra Klein and many others; more thoughts from Coyote and Roger Pilon]
- Muscle and intimidation: union + allies surge onto Oak Brook, Ill. McDonald’s headquarters property, closing key management building [Bloomberg; related earlier here, here, here, etc.] Yesterday I got into a Twitter conversation with Tim Noah (defending the protesters’ action) and William Freeland (siding with my own view), culminating in this rather startling comment from a Center for American Progress/ThinkProgress reporter: “This entire convo backs up the point the private property law itself functions as gov’t cronyism for the wealthy.” Wow!
- Long, impassioned Ta-Nehisi Coates case for reparations [Atlantic, sidebar, Jonathan Blanks, my 2008 thoughts which eventually grew into a chapter in Schools for Misrule]
- “Insurers Demand $2 Million for Negligent Squirrel-Torching” [Holland Twp., Mich.; Lowering the Bar]
- R.I.P. left-wing historian Gabriel Kolko, whose project of de-mythologizing the Progressive Era won him a large libertarian fan base; initially contemptuous of that fan base, he came eventually to mellow with age and discern elements of common ground [Jesse Walker]
- Hard lesson for Congress to learn: “Hawaiians simply aren’t American Indians in the constitutional sense” [Ilya Shapiro, Cato, background]
- A federal fishing raid, the Pew Charitable Trusts and a biased Business Week account [Nils Stolpe on Gloucester, Mass. fisheries, via Stoll]
- Intimidating the judiciary? “Group Opposing Citizens United Pushes ‘Occupy the Courts’ Protest” Jan. 20 [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal] Mob rallies at Michigan governor’s private home [Meegan Holland, MLive] “Occupy” forces Gingrich to cancel event [Daily Caller] Earlier here, here, here, etc.
- “Paper Airplane? Late for School? Shouting Too Loud? You’re Under Arrest!” [Free-Range Kids, Texas]
- Spielberg in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” paid homage to earlier movie sequences without sweating permissions. Oh, for those days [Joho] “Cultural gems that should be in the public domain today” [Atlantic Wire, Tabarrok]
- UPS settlement exaggerates benefits to class members [Ted Frank; related, CCAF] “Federal Judges Have Harsh Words, Rulings for Class Action Plaintiffs’ Lawyers” [Lammi/WLF]
- “Justice Breyer Calls Recusal Controversy a ‘Non-Issue’” [ABA Journal]
- “Add Plaintiff-Lawyer Fees To The Cost Of Most Mergers” [Daniel Fisher, Forbes on Cornerstone Research report]
- Sure, let’s subvert sound mortgage accounting in the name of energy efficiency. What could go wrong? [Mark Calabria, Kevin Funnell]
- California: fireworks shows are “development” and coastal commission can ban ’em [Laer Pearce, Daily Caller]
- Trial lawyers’ lobbyist: I got Cuomo to bash Chevron in Ecuador case [John Schwartz, NYT]
- Politics of intimidation: “jobs bill” advocates occupy office of Sen. Minority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) [ABC News] Union protesters invade Sotheby’s during big auction [NYObserver] “Occupy Denver protesters try to storm conference of conservative bloggers” [Denver Post] “What’s the matter with Oakland?” [Megan McArdle] Post-’08 downturn, not wealth of the few, at root of economic woes [Steve Chapman] “Bohm-Bawerk forget to include [Ms. Katchpole] in his commentaries on sundry theories of interest.” [Tyler Cowen]
- New breakthroughs in abundant energy aren’t welcome to some [NYT “Room for Debate”] Is GOP wrong to make EPA an issue? [Michael Barone]
- After extracting $450,000 settlement, employee admits falsifying whistleblower evidence in oil filter antitrust case; class action suits continue [Bloomberg, Abby Schachter/NYPost via PoL]
- Least surprising Washington-DC-datelined story of year: “Medical malpractice reform efforts stalled” [Politico]