Brett Stephens at Wired describes the threat coming from the "digital ID." A unified digital ID has benefits (for identifying refugees and for delivery of services for which taxpayers pay) but also has easily-imaginable drawbacks (oppression by governments, hackers, and Black Mirror-style "social credit systems"). Just so happens that some of the things that would protect us from these drawbacks -- i.e., the Fourth Amendment protections of the probable cause warrant -- have been under attack for decades now as part of the "war on terror." Why, it was almost like that was the whole idea.
U.S. District Court judge blocks our Administration's attempts to deport Temporary Protected Status (or TPS) immigrants from four nations -- and cites our President's own statements as evidence that he tried to end TPS status out of racism. I can't say I'm hopeful for this case going to our Supreme Court -- though I also can't say I'm any less hopeful now that the quite-overrated Anthony Kennedy has been replaced with Anthony Kennedy the Thirty Years Younger. They totally ignored his racist statements when evaluating the Muslim travel ban, even as they dug deep to prove an "animus against religion" during Masterpiece Cakeshop.
Our Supreme Court mulls whether trucking corporations can call truckers "independent contractors" and not regular employees so they can push them into arbitration more easily, and for once at least two right-wing Justices seem skeptical that "independent contractors" aren't employees. Shame on CNBC, though, for letting one source go on for several paragraphs about how supporting these truckers would result in higher prices for the consumer, because that is what, class? A rhetorical hostage situation, that's what -- don't do right by these truckers, or the low prices get it! (Also, too, when a guy says prices could go up "10, 15, 20 percent," he sounds like he's making it up, and that's not a good look.)
Briahna Gray at The Intercept reminds us that we tend to demand a "presumption of innocence" for "privileged men" like Brett Kavanaugh, but we don't demand that presumption for others who deserve it -- like Laquan McDonald, shot to death by Chicago police before being charged with a crime, and the Central Park Five, ultimately found innocent of a 1989 rape and murder despite our President's best efforts. I guess if I were more (or less?) spiritually-advanced, I'd find it amusing that right-wingers have gotten all "presumption of innocence" about Mr. Kavanaugh, when he's not even on trial! And if you "just know" Mr. McDonald or the Central Park Five or (fill in dead black person's name) "did something to deserve it," then you're not doing this law-and-order thing right.
Paul Krugman reminds us that the New York Times report on our President's apparent lifelong tax avoidance may do America a great service: it may explode the myth folks earn their "great wealth" "more or less honestly." I've been saying the relationship between work and wealth has been rather strained for a while, but the relationship between law-and-order and wealth also appears to be strained, if we attend our President's example -- or the example described by the Panama Papers, which showed that "(t)he truly wealthy end up paying a much lower effective tax rate than the merely rich, not because of loopholes in tax law, but because they break the law." I guess we now understand fully why our President admires Mr. Putin so much.
Finally, I'll leave it to someone else to expose all the cherry-picking Sen. Collins did in her speech supporting now-Justice Kavanaugh, but FactCheck points out that her statement that D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Merrick Garland voted the same way as Judge Kavanaugh 93 percent of the time is rather misleading. Appellate courts have much, much less power to refuse to hear an appeal, and they're more tightly bound by Supreme Court precedent and circuit court precedent, which means, in one observer's words, "a lot of cases are just slam dunks" and the "vast majority" of appellate court opinions are unanimous. More telling, we learn, is that Justice Kavanaugh not only wrote the most dissents while on the D.C. Court, but also wrote the most separate opinions, which, as we know, can express subtle disagreements with rulings even when they're not actually dissents.