Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple
◆ John McCain puts a dagger in the heart of “repeal and replace.” Won’t support bill of his close friend, Lindsey Graham (New York Times)
Comment: There is still a thin path, but it is only a sliver since several Republicans are likely “no” votes.
Even if the Senate passes something, it might not make it through the House.
If this bill fails, as expected, then Congress will move onto tax reform and tax cuts.
Comment: Strange is running behind former Alabama state judge, Roy Moore, who redefines the word “controversial.”
Besides the usual kind words for “Big Luther,” Trump underscored two points.
- Strange had given him crucial support on legislation without making demands (Trump emphasized the Senator’s loyalty to him, Trump, and not to Mitch McConnell).
- Strange is sure to win in the General Election; Moore is far less certain to win, though Trump said he would back him in the general.
◆ Handling Sexual Assault Investigations on Campus: Sec. of Ed. Betsy DeVos Reverses Obama-Era Policy (New York Times)
The nub of the matter: Under Obama, standards of proof were lowered significantly. DeVos is allowing colleges to raise the standard, once again, to “clear and convincing evidence.”
DeVos on Friday scrapped a key part of government policy on campus sexual assault, saying she was giving colleges more freedom to balance the rights of accused students with the need to crack down on serious misconduct.
The move, which involved rescinding two sets of guidelines several years old, was part of one of the fiercest battles in higher education today…
The most controversial portion of the Obama-era guidelines had demanded colleges use the lowest standard of proof, “preponderance of the evidence,” in deciding whether a student is responsible for sexual assault, a verdict that can lead to discipline and even expulsion. On Friday, the Education Department said colleges were free to abandon that standard and raise it to a higher standard known as “clear and convincing evidence.” –New York Times
The Obama Administration lowered the standard unilaterally, without the normal discussion associated with regulatory changes. They simply sent colleges a “dear colleagues” letter of advice that effectively told them what they had to do to keep their federal funds.
FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, hailed DeVos’ decision: “Dear Colleague: It’s over! Education Department rescinds controversial 2011 letter”
Comment: It is fitting that the Obama Administration skirted all procedural restrictions to impose its policy. That’s exactly what Campus Kangaroo Courts do.
Second, since colleges can now set their own standards of proof, expect the battle to shift there. Administrators are in total control of these campus investigations, so the wrongly-accused students’ main hope will be federal courts.
Comment: The scale of the emergency is staggering.
Every three weeks, the number of Americans who die from drug overdoses equals the deaths in the Twin Towers.