Justice Dept. internal watchdog to investigate FBI’s Clinton inquiry
The inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general, likely to keep open the wounds of the bitter 2016 presidential race, will focus on whether “policies or procedures were not followed” by the FBI and Justice Department.
Of particular focus will be the letter sent by Comey to Congress just 11 days before the Nov. 8 election that disclosed that his agents were reviewing newly discovered emails possibly pertinent to the then-closed investigation on Clinton’s handling of classified material while serving as secretary of State.
At first I was heartened by this news, but if the review is limited only to whether “policies and procedures were not followed” there will be no investigation into the Hatch Act implications of Comey’s election-week disclosure.
California law school grads suing schools; neither party has a good point
Attorney Michael C. Sullivan, representing California schools in a spate of fraud suits brought by students over shady job-placement numbers:
“What I find most ironic is that those individuals advertised themselves to law schools as great critical thinkers,” Sullivan said of the law-grads-turned-litigants. “Now they say they never considered the possibility that employment might include part-time jobs.”
Mr. Sullivan’s statement is ludicrous. The students pay, so the schools market. His clients, if the allegations prove true, marketed themselves as producers of very employable law graduates. It is perfectly reasonable to assume that when a law school shares post-graduation employment rates, the law school is referring to legal employment.
My incredulity at Mr. Sullivan’s absurd position does not mean that I’m ignorant of the fact that many students didn’t try very hard to get a job, or didn’t like the jobs they got, or should have known the market for legal jobs is, to put it mildly, in dire straits, and has been for some time now.
In fact, I have little sympathy for people swindled by Mr. Sullivan’s clients’ number games. Just search “legal job market” or “should I go to law school?”.
I knew when I signed up for law school in 2009 that things were not going well for recent graduates, and that they were not expected to recover before I graduated. I went anyway because I want to be an attorney. Never do something that requires years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars without doing your research.
Due diligence is too strong a phrase for it: it’s common sense.
‘Escape from Tomorrow’, filmed in Disney World without permission, debuts at Sundance
Steven Zeitchik of the LA Times:
To make the movie, [Randy] Moore wouldn’t print out script pages or shot sequences for the 25 days he was filming on Disney turf, instead keeping all the info on iPhones. This way, when actors and crew were looking down between takes, passersby just thought they were glancing at their messages.
The films plot, such as it is, sounds as intriguing as its method of creation.
If it does get a distribution deal, Disney will most likely brings its formidable legal resources to bear upon it, and they’ll most likely succeed.
But I predict that the company will trigger a Streisand effect, perhaps as much to the filmmaker’s detriment as anyone else’s (to the extent that he hopes to recoup his investment), that will drive people to seek out and, in the era of digital file sharing, inevitably find the film.
Federal Trade Commission to data brokers: Show us your data
Jessica Guynn of the LA Times:
The FTC wants to know what the brokers do with the information. It also wants to know if the data brokers let consumers review and correct their personal information or opt out from having their personal information sold.
I can guess that they sell it as “background check” data to both reputable and shady services of that kind, and almost certainly none of them allow correction or opt-out.
It’s one thing to consent to tracking efforts by Amazon, Google, and Facebook, whose labyrinthine Terms of Service are at least publicly-available. It’s another thing to be tracked without consent, without even agreeing to a TOS we didn’t really read, by companies who profit by selling that information to still other companies.
We need legislation on this, as in most other areas of consumer privacy, and especially on the internet, mandating opt-in only participation in data collection like this.
Marriage rights tide turns decisively against US bigots
I hope this is the beginning of an acceleration in the death of “traditional” marriage in the United States of America. Fear, ignorance, and religion are all equally insufficient and shameful excuses to deny universal marriage rights for one more moment.