■ Pun Salad returns to regular order with Proverbs 20:9, asking (I'm pretty sure) a rhetorical question:
9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
I am clean and without sin”?
■ @kevinNR asks another (also rhetorical?) question: Is Trey Trainor too Catholic for the FEC? Trainor has been nominated by President Trump to the Federal Elections Commission. He is a devout Catholic, thinks that Catholicism is the best religion. And some people don't like that. Or claim they don't.
But please. The real issue with Trainor is…
Trainor has been described as a “principled libertarian” by retiring FEC commissioner Lee Goodman, whose term Trainor will complete if he is confirmed. He describes himself as someone who simply wants to see the law implemented. “At the end of the day, the First Amendment says what it says, and there’s a reason it’s the First Amendment: The right of political speech of citizens is of utmost importance if we want to continue to have a functioning republic.” The real debate, he says, is not so much over the content of federal election law but the question of where — and to whom — that law applies. Questions about donations to candidates, campaign committees, and political parties are largely well-settled, but there are live issues involving organizations that have broader missions and that are controlled neither by candidates or political parties.
People—you know, or you can guess, who—don't like that Trainor thinks the First Amendment applies to political speech. The religious test is a smokescreen; if Trainor were opposed to Citizens United, it wouldn't even come up.
■ Don Boudreaux has thoughts about Donald Trump's reaction to the NFL, and the National Anthem:
This past January 20th Trump took an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Apparently he didn’t read the document that he solemnly swore to uphold. Nowhere in the Constitution, or in any of the vast accretion of Anglo-American common law upon which that document rests, is there the faintest hint that an individual’s freedom to earn a living requires that individual to pay homage to – or even to refrain from showing disrespect toward – flags and other symbols of the state. Indeed, the spirit of both the American Declaration and the Constitution is that individuals are and ought to be free from any pressure applied by government to express or to not express themselves in whatever peaceful ways they choose and for whatever reasons they have.
I'm not a fan of overpaid athletes (or other entertainers) using their podium for blathering about Amerikkka. But I'm even less of a fan of Trump's disrespect of free speech.
■ Good news from Robby Soave at Reason: Betsy DeVos Withdraws 'Dear Colleague' Letter That Weaponized Title IX Against Due Process.
The previous guidance chipped away at due process in several ways. It lowered the burden of proof to a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, which meant that accused students could be found responsible for sexual misconduct if administrators were only 51 percent convinced of the charges; it discouraged allowing the accused and accuser to cross-examine each other, reasoning that this could prove traumatizing for survivors of rape; and it stipulated that accusers should have the right to appeal contrary rulings, allowing accused students to be re-tried even after they had been judged innocent.
As we (tirelessly) remind our readers: Pun Salad was there at the announcement of the Obama Administration's "Dear Colleague" letter.
■ Our state's senior senator tweeted her sorrow at DeVos's action:
I could not resist tweeting in reply:
Sexual assault is a crime, should be treated as one, w/due process for the accused. Deeming accusers "victims" despicably begs the question.— Paul Sand (@punsalad) September 25, 2017
Like Donald Trump, Jeanne Shaheen also took that oath about the Constitution. It would be nice if she bought into that presumption-of-innocence thing that most people think the Constitution demands.
■ And blogger Ken Wrightman gives his views on the proper attitude of principled conservatives: I May Not Agree With Everything Trump Says, But It’s My Duty As An American To Repeat All Of His Talking Points Basically Verbatim.
As a conservative voter, there are parts of Trump’s agenda that I agree with and other actions he’s taken that I find troubling or simply bizarre. However, as a patriotic American it’s my duty to memorize Trump’s talking points, ignore my own misgivings, and defend the president by quoting him essentially verbatim.
For the humor-impaired: