Posts Tagged ‘Judge Brett Kavanaugh’

Gilbert and Edmund – The Only Thing Necessary

September 28th, 2018 Comments off

Millions don’t realize that there has been darkness spreading for years, but it is always darkest before the dawn.

What is wrong is that we don’t ask what is right.”

   G.K. Chesterton.


The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

   Edmund Burke. 


CNN Money is mute this morning on the topic of the Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s emotional allegations or Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s spirited, legal, and fact-base denial. But CNBC, MarketWatch and Bloomberg – all left of center Business News sites – have one or more prominent stories about the topic that lit up TV screens and streaming hand-held devices yesterday. Right-of-center Fox Business likewise had a prominent article about the riveting event.

MHProNews periodically rolls out a tag line “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing.” (C) It is featured in all of our industry-leading emailed headline news. It is likely that few if any will sound off on this topic in manufactured home trade media today, yet it drew the attention of the nation for days in the run up, was riveted to screens large and small yesterday, and will continue to be a factor for days – if not years – to come.



Business news site Bloomberg’s home page as of about 4:10 AM ET, 9.28.2018. Bloomberg, and numerous other business sites believe this is relevant news for their readers. MHProNews concurs.


Why it Matters to Factory Builders

What happens on the nation’s high court matters to every American, and that includes businesses and investors. SCOTUS – the Supreme Court of the United States – will hear cases that impact business law, property rights, civil, constitutional rights, and more. Will SCOTUS be an Activist Court – a kind of super legislature that is unelected – or will it be a deliberative body dedicated to applying the Constitution and the rule of law? 

Investors often say that they crave certainty. The more certainty there is in America’s legal system, the better it is for business and consumers alike.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh has had an impeccable legal and personal reputation for decades. He is precisely the kind of person that should be on the Supreme Court, per several attorneys MHProNews has heard from.  But there are no doubt millions of views and voices on either side of this hot issue.  ICYMI, her testimony and his are on the videos in the post last night, found at the link below. Both are compelling viewing.

Civil and Property Rights, SOCTUS, and Ford v Kavanaugh at Spirited Hearing


Revealing Tactics – Why It Matters

As several Republican Senators noted yesterday, Dr. Ford in a sense was a victim of having her testimony hijacked against her will.  Her testimony was raw and emotion-packed. She apparently believes what she said. But all four of the people, including her own friend, who were named by Dr. Ford deny the gathering or incident took place.

As a legal standard, that’s more than enough to ‘rule,’ in Judge Kavanaugh’s favor.

One can and should have great sympathy and empathy for what Dr. Ford described.  But her own testimony was laced with contradictions. She can’t recall things from a few weeks ago. She claimed not to know that the Senate Judiciary Committee offered to come to her to hear her testimony. She claimed not to know that they offered to hear her in private. Did her attorneys not tell her? Did Dr. Ford not hear that on the news for days?

Dr. Ford claimed not to know who paid for her lie detector test. She’s a Ph.D, and yet she said that she did not know how to get her message to the White House? She knew to write her congressional representative and one of her U.S. Senators, Diane Feinstein (D-CA). She claimed fear of flying, but admitted to numerous trips by airplane. Those are all among the points from her own testimony.

Judge Kavanaugh is not required to prove his innocence, he is presumed innocent as a matter of law, until proven guilty, or a guilty plea is entered.

Both Ford and Kavanaugh’s families have reportedly had their lives turned upside down by the media and political circus of the last two weeks. But if her story was leaked to the media, as she claims, the GOP did not have her letter. Only Democrats did. Dr. Ford told a few friends about her letter, so perhaps a friend of hers may also have leaked the story to the media against what she said were her wishes.

But certainly, the Democrats on the committee used this as a delaying tactic, with which they hoped to derail Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Is it anything goes? Does one allow Uncorroborated testimony, or perhaps two more cases that even the New York Times found weak, to become a smear campaign?

Who has done what and why has been revealing. So this was absolutely a historic moment for the nation.

Dr. Ford was compelling, but also appeared frazzled. By contrast, Judge Kavanaugh had a calendar from the summer in question that all but made it clear that what she claimed could not have happened with him. Judge Kavanaugh said his family prays for her, and holds no ill will. But all four of those Dr. Ford cited as being there deny her recollection. Common sense leans in the favor of Judge Kavanaugh.

This is why there is a legal process in the first place. Sincere but questionable or false allegations can could happen to anyone – male or female. Someone can makes a claim or allegation, that however compelling, has no factual or evidentiary basis other than the claimant’s testimony. That’s why MHProNews follows evidence, documents, and common sense.

Americans by the millions feel great sympathy for Dr. Ford. We do too. Whatever she endured some 36 years ago, she has made a career for herself. She is likely to end up with one or more book deals, perhaps a even a movie. Her GoFundMe page – per media reports – had raised over $500,000 by yesterday afternoon.

By contrast, Judge Kavanaugh before last week had been FBI background checked 6 different times. Prior to the last two weeks of his life, there was no hint of scandal in an exemplary life of service. Should his life, and that of his family, be ruined by an uncorroborated allegation?

On Fox News after the hearings, Geraldo Rivera, and attorney who is “pro-choice” and pro-Democratic made an interesting observation. He said this Kavanaugh controversy could be boiled down to Roe vs. Wade. If Kavanaugh was “pro-choice” instead of “pro-life,” would he ever have been questioned in this way be a Democrats? Would Dr. Ford have been called at all?

In fairness, hearings were held. Millions of dollars have been spent. Millions more will be fund-raised. Votes will be cast in the 2018 midterms, and certainly this will be an issue in 2020 and for years to come. It is a historic, perhaps a watershed moment.  

The presumption of innocence is a bedrock principle of American Justice. The claimed witnesses, that calendar, among other evidence, all favored Judge Kavanaugh. The lie detector test suggests that Dr. Ford is convinced of her own belief. But lie detector tests are often inadmissible, because they are unreliable.

 Dr. Ford is now, and may remain, famous. She’s apparently suffered, but she may benefit, even if it wasn’t her intention.  Numerous decisions can be expected in the coming years that will come before the Supreme Court. 

There are legal minds in the manufactured housing and affordable housing fields that believe that issues like NIMBY vs. YIMBY, enhanced preemption, and more will land before SCOTUS. Who sits on the bench with those other eight justices matters.  But no less important, is the fact that certain senators saw fit to try to manipulate the nation by misusing emotion. Dr. Ford was arguably a prop, a pawn, a convenient tactic because all others had already failed. Process and laws exist for a reason.

Justice would be served if Judge Brett becomes Justice Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court of the U.S. “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ##  (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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“Fear Mongering,” and Manufactured Housing Advancement

July 11th, 2018 Comments off



It’s going to get worse, before it gets better.”

–         Jim Reitzner, Asset Development Group (ADG).!


It’s about the rule of law.


It’s about laws that make good sense and were properly passed by the representatives of the people.

And the rule of law is going to be front and center with respect to the nation, and manufactured housing (MH) in the months ahead.

Who says?

Several MH industry, and national, voices.  Some examples.


Kurt Kelley. Credit: MHProNews.

The role of judges in the US is to rule on what laws apply and what they mean.  Only when laws are ambiguous should the meaning of the law be determined by sources outside the written law itself,” said manufactured housing industry attorney, Kurt Kelley to MHProNews. “And when there is ambiguity, that source must only be from writings contemporaneous with the written law.  Seeking any other outside sources results in random results or results which are the product of a judge’s biases.  The concept of a “Living Constitution” is an prescription for results that reflect whatever biases a judge has.  Predictability in the law is a prerequisite to predictable liberties and thriving commerce.

Once again staying true to his campaign promises, President Trump just nominated Brett Kavanaugh as his pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. It’s an excellent choice — though the coming wave of fear-mongering may hide that fact for a while,” the New York Post Editorial Board writes.

Judge Kavanaugh, 53, is widely seen as one of the top legal minds of his generation — so much so that now-Justice Elena Kagan recruited him to teach at Harvard Law, where students across the spectrum rave about him,” per that NY Post editorial.

Judge Kavanaugh understands the proper role of the judiciary and will faithfully honor the Constitution. That’s why I will lift heaven and Earth to see that he is confirmed,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) writes in the Washington Examiner. “He will be a strong, principled voice on the Supreme Court.”



Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

The rule of law, and the supremacy of law over the arbitrary whims of individuals who happen to wield government power, was a profound concern for the founders who debated and developed the Constitution of the United States. For over two centuries, legal scholars have pointed to the primacy of the “rule of law” in the system of limited government and defined powers established by the Constitution, stating, for example: “The rule of law may be the most significant and influential accomplishment of Western constitutional thinking. The very meaning and structure of our Constitution embody this principle. Nowhere expressed yet evident throughout the Constitution, this bedrock concept is the first principle on which the American legal and political system was built.”

–   Mark Weiss, J.D., President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).


The Battle Over the Rule of Law

Needless to say, there are a range of voices that disagree.

That tension was dramatically showcased just minutes after the announcement of Judge Kavanaugh, when anti-Trump protesters were prepared to protest any nominee he would name.


Reports indicated that anti-Trump protestors had signs made up for each of the most likely nominees for replacing retiring Justice Anthony “Tony” Kennedy. These are not spontaneous protests, they are carefully organized and are well funded.

Some of those protesters at the Supreme Court on Monday are reportedly politically aligned with forces that have ties to the MH Action, leftist protest group.

Behind So-Called “MH Resident Activists,” MHAction’s Kevin Borden, Anti- HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Manufactured Housing Industry Protests

Knowing that protests in front of the Supreme Court Building would draw cameras and headlines, it is part of the stage-crafted use of mainstream media. It raises a range of questions that will be explored in the days ahead.  The same points are true for the MH Action group, only on a far smaller scale.

Suffice it to say for now,

  • that however qualified Judge Kavanaugh may be,
  • and however important his being confirmed is for all business,
  • including the manufactured home industry’s,
  • return to a rule of law — it will be strongly opposed.

Those opponents will be examined by MHProNews in the coming days.


Dependability, Certainty in Law Are Essential for Business, for Workers, and Commerce

Industry attorneys Weiss, Kelley plus those cited above all argue for a dependable rule of law, that is the bedrock of the authentically American system.  Certainty is one of the most common terms used by investors in manufactured housing.   Warren Buffett phrases it differently, at times – such as his point about an industry or business having a durable competitive advantage – but the point is similar.

How Warren Buffett Built Berkshire Hathaway Investment Empire, Infographic

Why are hundreds of billions of dollars pouring back into the United States? Yes, tax reform is an important part of the motivation.

But another key part is ‘Regulatory Reform,’ which President Donald J. Trump has himself touted repeatedly. Dependable, common sense regulations can harm or advance business, and thus harms or advances job creation too.

Regulatory reform is also a theme which MHARR and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) have both been successfully arguing for in Washington.

While NFIB, which sources there have told the Daily Business News reportedly has a similar number of manufactured housing business members as MHI, and whose total numbers dwarf all of manufactured housing employment combined, MHARR is laser focused on regulations that have specifically harmed manufactured housing.

Weiss argues for enforcement of laws that could create millions of new manufactured home owners in the coming years.

The thrust of Weiss’ thesis is enforcement of existing laws, especially at HUD, which is the prime federal regulator of manufactured homes.



Left, Right, Center?

The problem with activist judges is that they undermine the rule of law. They also undercut the proper role of the legislative branch, which alone is given authority in the Constitution to make new laws.

Fear-mongering” is exactly what is already taking place, mostly by the political left, but also from some in the “never Trump” camp. For the left, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has been a useful tool to get or defend positions which on their face are found no where in the Constitution.

When now Justice Clarence Thomas was undergoing his confirmation hearings, he went thought a barrage of attacks which he called “a high-tech lynching.”

Volunteer, family man, praised legal mind, and literarily an altar boy in his youth, Brett Kavanaugh could well face his own high-tech lynching.

It’s the price some are paying to drain the swamp of what Weiss called the “deep state” efforts in Washington that have harmed our industry for well over a decade.

The Importance for Businesses and Investors in Manufactured Housing for Selecting the Next Supreme Court Justice

Kelley’s prior comments on this topic are linked above, while Weiss’ new commentary are found at the link below.


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Footnote 1: The expression by Jim Reitzner is a generic statement periodically used by that manufactured home industry professional that seems to fit this topic; but bit should not be construed as a direct quote by him given for this column.

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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for

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Dog Whistles, as Epic Battle for Business Effecting Manufactured Housing, Others Looms

July 10th, 2018 Comments off


As Campus Reform humorously pointed out, the battle over the next nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States began almost immediately after the announcement that Justice Anthony “Tony” Kennedy would retire.


While the manufactured home industry veteran did not mention SCOTUS or the vacancy, in what reads like an anticipatory statement, Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said in a new article that it is time for a return to the rule of law, as it applies to manufactured housing. See that, linked here.

If certainty is an important issue for business and investing – and investors routinely tell MHProNews that it is – then dependability from the courts is a crucial issue for manufactured housing, and all others too.

Much of what has occurred in transforming American business and the legal landscape in recent decades has come from political and legal changes that flowed from Washington, D.C.

So like it or not, these issues matter to MHVille.


Increased Certainty for Business?

It is against a backdrop of certainty for business – rather than red herring issues like abortion, which even if someday it would be overturned, it would simply go back to the states – that this Daily Business News post examines the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  He stated last night that “A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written, and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”

That is the essence of what certainty is. That a law means what it says, and thus provides certainty for business and all others. The rest are details and commentary.

Showing off their sometimes-subtle whit, right wing Breitbart – which provided some of the pull quotes used here – shared a video from left wing MSNBC to show their readers what Judge Kavanaugh had to say in his 8 minutes of initial fame. Our video will be from CSPAN.



Kavanaugh was a Bush Administration appointee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on May 30, 2006, per federal records.

Kavanaugh said, “The framers established that the Constitution is designed to secure the blessings of liberty. Justice Kennedy devoted his career to securing liberty. I am deeply honored to be nominated to fill his seat on the Supreme Court.”

The D.C. judge later added some of the most important talking points that will doubtlessly come up during his confirmation process, “My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written, and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent. For the past 11 years, I’ve taught hundreds of students, primarily at Harvard Law School. I teach that the Constitution’s separation of powers protects individual liberty, and I remain grateful to the dean who hired me, Justice Elena Kagan. As a judge, I hire four law clerks each year. I look for the best. My law clerks come from diverse backgrounds and points of view. I am proud that a majority of my law clerks have been women.”


The View from the Oval Office

In a release to the Daily Business News, the White House press room said last night that Kavanaugh was “the best of the best.”



Campus Reform and Democratic Push Back

Millions will be spent by both major parties and their backers, primarily in battle ground states where Democrats have senators up for re-election this November in ‘red states’ that President Donald J. Trump won in 2016.


As MHProNews previously reported, several potential issues are expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming years that will impact manufactured housing. So this business of certainty and following the law and Constitution matters.

The Importance for Businesses and Investors in Manufactured Housing for Selecting the Next Supreme Court Justice


The link to MH Industry attorney Kurt Kelley’s exclusive commentary to MHProNews on the importance of the vacant seat is above.

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Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

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Several issues that face manufactured housing are likely to end up at Supreme Court of the United States Certainty matters. See linked download, here.


CFPB ruled Unconstitutional, What’s Next?

October 11th, 2016 Comments off

Credit: Wikipedia, CFPB, HubPages.

In a huge story of interest for the MH industry, a federal appeals court declared that the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) structure is unconstitutional.

The 110-page ruling, handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the nation’s second most powerful court, stated that the organization’s structure is unconstitutional because too much power is vested with it’s sole director, but that it can continue operating under the President’s supervision.

The ruling comes as part of an ongoing court battle between PHH, a non-bank mortgage lender and the CFPB.

PHH sued CFPB Director Richard Cordray after the agency issued an order against the lender for $109 million over an alleged kickback scheme around reinsurance payments. The CFPB accused PHH of referring customers to mortgage insurers who, in turn, bought reinsurance from one of PHH’s units.


Credit: National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

As a part of the legal action, PHH argued that the single-director structure of the agency and its funding outside of congressional appropriations were unconstitutional.

In the 2-1 ruling, the court found that the arrangement “represents a gross departure from settled historical practice of having multi-member commissions at independent agencies to keep them in check.

Executive power vested in the President can be conferred onto heads of lower administrative agencies, but that in doing so there have to be limits to that power,” the ruling said.

Agency directors may serve at the pleasure of the President, or in the case of independent commissions like the National Labor Relations Board or the Securities and Exchange Commission, directors are limited by the voting power of their fellow board members.


Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Credit: National Law Journal.

The CFPB is the first of its kind and an historical anomaly,” Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote for the majority. Former President George W. Bush appointed Kavanaugh.

In short, when measured in terms of unilateral power, the Director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire U.S. Government, other than the President. Indeed, within his jurisdiction, the Director of the CFPB can be considered even more powerful than the President.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, the ongoing battle surrounding the CFPB has been well documented, with our recent coverage around exactly what the CFPB does, and for whom.

richard cordray cfpb head 7-11

Richard Cordray.

As a result of the ruling, the court opted to strike the clause in the Dodd-Frank Act that said the CFPB Director could be removed “for cause,” essentially allowing the President to dismiss the head of the agency at will.

PHH argued that the agency should be shut down, but the court opted for a more narrow remedy, which allows the agency to operate by allowing the President to remove the director at will.

To remedy the constitutional flaw, we follow the Supreme Court’s precedents…and simply sever the statute’s unconstitutional for-cause provision from the remainder of the statute,” said Kavanaugh.

Here, that targeted remedy will not affect the ongoing operations of the CFPB. With the for-cause provision severed, the President now will have the power to remove the director at will, and to supervise and direct the director.

CourtRulesCFPBStructureUnconstitutionalcreditkarenhendersoncredittruthaboutgunscom-posted to DailyBusinessNews

Judge Karen Henderson. Credit: The National Law Journal.

In the dissenting opinion, Judge Karen Henderson, an appointee of Former President George H.W. Bush argued that PHH was “on firm legal ground in several of its specific complaints regarding the imposition of the CFPB’s $109 million fine,” but that the court should not have considered the constitutionality question at all.

Doing so rejects one of the most fundamental tenets of judicial decision making,” wrote Henderson. “Namely that courts should not rule on constitutionality questions unless they absolutely have to.

PHH can obtain full relief without our addressing the bureau’s challenged structure,” Henderson said. I do not believe that it is ‘indispensably necessary’ to resolve the for cause removal issue here.

Supporters of the CFPB blasted the decision, and want to see it appealed.


Karl Frisch. Credit: Stephanie Miller Show. criticized Kavanaugh for handing down what he described as a partisan ruling.

What this shows more than anything is that Judge Kavanaugh is in lockstep with conservative lawmakers and the Wall Street interests that have been trying to destroy the CFPB,” Frisch said.

The Hill reports that the ruling is viewed by CFPB supporters as a blow to consumers, pointing out that the agency led enforcement actions against Wells Fargo after that bank was found to have potentially created millions of fake accounts for customers.


Lisa Donner. Credit: Twitter.

Compromising the CFPB’s independence would be a huge gift to Wall Street greed and a loss for consumers. We are hopeful that this erroneous decision will be overturned, said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform.

The Hill also reports that the ruling marks a big win for the financial services industry and is certain to fuel new calls for replacing the director with a bipartisan commission.

We still assert a five-person, bipartisan board would preserve the Bureau as a strong, stable and effective regulator that would give the banking system certainty and consistency, regardless of a President Trump or Clinton,” said Richard Hunt, President and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association.


Richard Hunt. Credit: CBA.

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) argues that with the CFPB’s structure in question, it should not be doing anything. 


Dan Berger. Credit: NAFCU.

NAFCU urges an immediate moratorium at the CFPB on any rulemaking not already implemented,” said Dan Berger, NAFCU President and CEO. “The bureau should also consider ceasing and desisting all rule-makings until the legality is resolved.

Brian Wise, President of the U.S. Consumer Coalition, feels that Congress needs to take action.

Congress must pass comprehensive Dodd-Frank reform that includes an overhaul of the CFPB, including a change in the leadership structure,” said Wise, “Bringing the agency under the traditional congressional appropriations process, and subjecting it to the same anti-discrimination standards as other federal agencies and private corporations.

In addition to the question surrounding the constitutionality of the CFPB, the court’s ruling also addressed other issues related to the case.


Brian Wise. Credit: Freedom Fest.

According to National Mortgage News, the court ruled that the CFPB could not retroactively apply a new interpretation to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, known as RESPA, which was substantially different from previous interpretations made by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.)

Additionally, the court said the CFPB has to apply the statute of limitations, which would reduce liability for PHH — and have a huge impact on other fines that the bureau imposes on others.

The Daily Business News will continue to follow this story closely. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.