The Sun sets on every empire, by and by.
Here are three stories that, each in their own way, all point in the same general direction.
First, meet the Honorable Judge Wade McCree
Disgraced former Wayne County Circuit Judge Wade McCree, who had an affair with a woman while presiding over her child custody case, got some good news from a federal appeals court this week: He can’t be sued by the child’s father. That’s what the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in a 24-page decision Monday, stating that while McCree’s actions were “often reprehensible,” he is immune from lawsuits under the long-held doctrine of judicial immunity.
[…]the child’s father, Robert King, […] is fighting for the right to sue McCree, alleging he denied him access to a fair and impartial judge: McCree was having an affair with his child’s mother, sexted her from the bench and gave her thousands of dollars.
The courts, meanwhile, have long held that judges can’t be sued by litigants.
Before long, such parties are going to stop trying to sue and pursue legal methods of recourse, favoring instead to avail themselves of recompense beyond the parameters of the law.
In a similar vein, let’s check in on the congressional representative of the District of Columbia, who has an interesting take on the relationship between the government and the governed:
Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, angrily sputtered during a congressional hearing Friday that the White House should not be held up to scrutiny, saying that there was no right to know what it was doing behind closed doors. “You don’t have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government, my friend. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government,” Norton said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.
In a way, she is absolutely correct – an individual or a group has no rights beyond what they are willing to continually re-establish force or the threat thereof. An opposition party without the spine to do anything more than issue subpoenas that have no consequence when ignored has no rights.
Onward to the growing worthlessness of America’s Widdle Class, as noted by the New York Times Business Desk:
The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.
For households at the median level of net worth, much of the damage has occurred since the start of the last recession in 2007. Until then, net worth had been rising for the typical household, although at a slower pace than for households in higher wealth brackets. But much of the gain for many typical households came from the rising value of their homes. Exclude that housing wealth and the picture is worse: Median net worth began to decline even earlier.
I really don’t even need to add much to that one, since it illustrates how full of shit the pundits of the past decade were when they insisted that the numbers weren’t cooked six different ways, and that everything was sunshine and honeydew. For all those pining for the “good old days” of 2006 when everyone’s home was “worth” a million dollars or more, well, it was all a lie, a carefully orchestrated falsehood to get you plebes in the habit of purchase a shitload of depreciable goods to stop 2008 from occurring in 2003.
You bought us an extra half-decade at considerably higher cost in terms of time, treasure and torment. One would think we’ve all learned a lesson from this, but of course we haven’t:
The flip is back. Despite a sluggish housing market and tight credit, hordes of short-term investors are once again raking in the profits, after scooping up, sprucing up and reselling properties. But this time, these sales aren’t so quick, and investors are doing a lot more work to earn their cash. Unlike the quick-turnaround sales made during the housing bubble, which most experts blame for inflating it, today’s flips require more than just a fresh coat of paint and new landscaping to justify a much higher price.
Well, let’s just end this on a high note:
The study from Brussels think-tank Bruegel found 51 percent of jobs in Germany at the moment could be computerized and left to robots in the next two decades.
Keep pushing that $20 minimum wage, folks.