I’m not writing to take an opinion on the issues of sanctuary cities or illegal immigration, but have to say I’m pleased a gang of Republican-appointed federal judges were willing to rule against a president from their own party.
Philly.com reports from the Associated Press that this afternoon,
â€œA federal appeals court in Chicago has ruled that President Donald Trump’s administration cannot withhold public safety grants from cities that don’t cooperate with its immigration enforcement policies, agreeing with a temporary injunction imposed earlier this year by a lower court judge.â€
The decision by three judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the administration tried to exceed its authority by establishing a new condition for cities to qualify for public safety money. Instead, Congress earmarked the money without that condition.
Judge Ilana Rovner wrote, in an opinion joined by Judge William Bauer,
â€œThe Attorney General in this case used the sword of federal funding to conscript state and local authorities to aid in federal civil immigration enforcement. … But the power of the purse rests with Congress, which authorized the federal funds at issue and did not impose any immigration enforcement condition on the receipt of such funds.â€
According to Politico, judges here in Philadelphia and also Los Angeles â€œblocked attempts to add the immigration-related conditions to new federal grants.â€
â€œSanctuary citiesâ€ are those that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agents by letting them know when immigrants in the country illegally are about to be released from police detention.
Last July, the Trump team decided cities receiving public safety grants — that can be used to buy public-safety equipment, including police cars — must agree to inform federal agents.
Then, Chicago and several cities sued, and a lower court judge imposed a temporary injunction on the administration’s requirement.
This afternoon, all three judges agreed, so that nationwide injunction will stay in force. But one judge said the ruling should apply to Chicago only. That detail won’t matter.
Judge Daniel Manion wrote,
â€œOther jurisdictions that do not want to comply with the Notice and Access conditions were not parties to this suit, and there is no need to protect them in order to protect Chicago. … A nationwide preliminary injunction … should only be issued where it is absolutely necessary, and it is far from absolutely necessary here.â€
A pleased Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the judge who wrote the decision.
â€œJudge Rovner says in her opinion that Chicago does not interfere with the federal government’s lawful enforcement of immigration laws and pursuit of its civil immigration activities, and presence in such localities will not immunize anyone to the reach of the federal government,â€ Emanuel said.
But he did mention the fight isn’t over, since the money hasn’t yet come.
Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley disagreed, writing in a statement,
â€œWe will continue to fight to carry out the Department’s commitment to the rule of law, protecting public safety, and keeping criminal aliens off the streets to further perpetrate crimes.â€
Several cities established policies to protect immigrants since Trump won the 2016 election.
Politico noted, â€œRovner was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, Bauer by President Gerald Ford and Manion by President Ronald Reagan, all Republicans.â€
Three cheers to all three, since the judiciary should be separate from politics, just like they ruled the Executive branch should be separate from the Legislative.
These folks did the right thing, at least this time, since Iâ€™m not familiar with their other rulings.
Give Alex Holley an A (and a raise)
ShareRocket numbers came out on Monday. They’re the equivalent of Nielsen ratings for TV shows, but for social media instead. Take them for what they’re worth, along with the thought of companies trying to use social media to make money. The Fox Television Stations Group (which still doesn’t bother to list its stations, as I’ve mentioned here and several other places) is very big on it. Too big. Other things lose out. (See Murdoch, Rupert. Facebook‘s Mark Zuckerberg knows much better.)
According to ShareRocket, in the first quarter of this year, Philadelphia’s â€œWTXF (Fox 29) generated more than 7.3 million total Engagements,â€ meaning the number of times people responded to the station’s, or their employees’ posts — on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — by liking, commenting, etc., during the first quarter.
â€œThe station also benefited from having the No. 1 individual in the market, anchor Alex Holley. Holley generated more than 960,000 Engagements in the quarter across all platforms.â€
Doing simple math — 960,000 divided by 7.3 million — Good Day Philadelphia anchor Holley is completely responsible for 13.15 percent of Fox 29’s performance in the quarter, all on her own. This doesn’t count anything the station wrote about her or her stories. These are posts she wrote and published by herself, on her own accounts. Good for her!
On the other hand, that means everybody else at Fox 29, including the group of people paid to write news and social media (way too much social media, if you ask me), only did 86.85 percent of the station’s first quarter performance. As I’ve written before, web producers
â€œtry to find articles from out of the area that will get clicked. What usually happens is that one station â€” whether it happened in their area or not â€” writes it and offers to share it with the other stations, which may choose to accept it or not. If they accept it, then they can tease it on social media or not.â€
So there’s lots of help Alex doesn’t get.
By the way, ShareRocket reports,
â€œThe market saw a very large increase in Engagement in general from quarter to quarter, likely driven by the Philadelphia Eaglesâ€™ Super Bowl win. All six stations Share Rocket tracks in the market saw significant bumps in total Engagement, and four of those stations saw increases of +40% or more.â€
But Fox 29 wasn’t one of the four stations out of six that saw increases of 40 percent or more. Fox 29 was in the bottom half. It only went up 22 percent from quarter to quarter! In other words, it lagged and underperformed, and its share of the market dropped from 33.48 percent, down to 30.77 percent.
Imagine where they’d be without Alex!
There’s a new face on President Trumpâ€™s legal team dealing with the ongoing special counsel probe, and it’s a familiar one. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani told The Washington Post he joined the club.
Giuliani said to the paper,
â€œIâ€™m doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country and because I have high regard for the president and for Bob Mueller.â€
Along with the longtime Trump ally, the president will also be defended by a couple who run a Florida-based law firm, Jane Serene Raskin and Marty Raskin. Plus everyone else on his legal team. The new three are all former federal prosecutors.
Speaking of former federal prosecutors, Chris Christie hasn’t been New Jersey governor since January but his official portrait is making news because it’s going to â€œcost a stunning $85,000,â€ according to the New York Post. (Get your jokes out of the way now. The Post did. Its article’s headline is â€œArtist gets big, fat paycheck for Chris Christieâ€™s official portrait.â€)
NorthJersey.com reports the $85,000 will be â€œmore than what his three predecessors … paid to have their images hang in commemoration of their political serviceâ€ — combined!
It priced the portrait â€œthe highest for a governor since Democrat Jim Florio paid $58,000 for his. Christie’s three immediate predecessors â€” Jon Corzine, Richard Codey and Jim McGreevey, all Democrats â€” paid a combined $74,500.â€
That makes the Christie image cost $10,500 more than Corzine, Codey and McGreevey’s altogether.
There is one difference: Christie did take up two terms. The last New Jersey governor to do that was Christine Whitman ($48,000), who served from 1994 to 2001. Even Florio was a one-termer, serving 1990 to 1994. FYI, his two predecessors were both two-termers, Tom Kean and Brendan Byrne.
The website showed the governors’ official portraits:
According to NorthJersey.com,
â€œSince he took office, Christie has spoken about the official picture that likely will long outlive him and the many internet memes he’s touched off. And in his public life, Christie had earned a reputation for having a taste for luxury when others paid the bill.â€
Then the paper went on to describe those luxuries.
Who will pay? â€œA taxpayer-funded transition account of $250,000 that is granted to former governors to pay for staff and office space, as well as services such as the painting,â€ NorthJersey.com says.
The artist is Australian Paul Newton. The portrait will be oil-on-canvas.
Too bad it won’t hang in the Statehouse when it’s finished by the fall. That’s under a multi-year renovation.
It won’t cost us anything to remember what NorthJersey.com described as
“the picture of him on that beach closed to everyone else, in that chair with his family and friends while the public was shut out of state parks on a holiday weekend during a government shutdown.”
Let’s hope Phil Murphy has a more compact ego!
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