Articles Posted in Commentary and Opinion

On June 29,2023, the Supreme Court delivered its decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. The Court held that Harvard College’s admissions system does not comply with the principles of the equal protection clause embodied in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.  The decision, by a vote of 6–2, reversed the lower court ruling. In writing the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts held that affirmative action in college admissions is unconstitutional. The Court did not decide whether race-based affirmative action can continue in U.S. military academies,[9] which the solicitor general urged the Court to continue to allow in the government’s amicus brief. The the court also did not rule out race entirely in admission programs, adding, “nothing prohibits universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected the applicant’s life, so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability that the particular applicant can contribute to the university.”


It was only a short time after the Supreme Court announced that it had delivered its decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College that emails and other media containing messages reacting to the decision started appearing. Thinking that readers of this blog might be interested in becoming aware of, and reading,  some of these messages, we started our own searching on the web. Some of our searches were general, some more specific.  As the search results mounted up into the hundreds, it became clear that time and space made it impossible to tabulate all, or even most, of our search results on this blog. We have therefore resorted to presenting you a relatively short, manageable list that hopefully you will find helpful and enlightening.

In an earlier posting, CBO Projections: The 2023 Budget, we provided Congressional Budget Office (CBO) documents which discuss, from a budgetary perspective, their analysis and projections of what the federal budget and economy would look like over the next 20 years, if current laws generally remain unchanged. In this posting we focus primarily on material provided by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide more general dimension to this discussion. The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 formed the then named General Accounting Office to investigate all matters related to the  use of public funds. The Act also required GAO to report its findings to Congress and recommend ways to increase economy and efficiency in government spending. It is an independent, non-partisan agency that works for Congress.

Both the GAO and the CBO are partners in supporting Congress in its effort to ensure accountability to the American people.  While both can be involved in the development and analysis of federal and defense budgets, sometimes collaborating in these initiatives, the GAO is also responsible for monitoring expenditures, including excessive spending, and issuing legal decisions on matters such as those related to disputes involving the awarding of government contracts, and has the power to investigate activities of the executive branch, although its enforcement powers are considered negligible.

Regarding The State of the Economy of the United States: As Viewed by GAO and CBO, there are indications from the various federal agencies reporting on these matters that  over the long term the nation’s fiscal health may be in peril if current fiscal policies remain unchanged..

Report June 28, 2023:


The U.S. faces a challenging fiscal outlook in the coming years, according to CBO’s projections. Measured as a percentage of GDP, large and sustained deficits lead to high and rising federal debt that exceeds any previously recorded level.

Established in 1974, The Congressional Budget Office is a federal agency within the legislative branch of the United States government.  It is charged with providing  members of Congress  objective  analysis of budgeting and economic issues to support the congressional budget process. Each year, CBO economists and budget analysts produce dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates for proposed legislation.

For the past several months I have been receiving  directly from CBO links to  which I now plan to begin posting  selectively on this blog in the interest of information sharing.  If there appears to be sufficient interest among readers of this blog over a period of time, I plan to continue posting selections I receive from CBO

June 29,2023 – Report:

Since Open AI released ChatGPT for public use on November 30, 2022, its rate of adoption by the public has been explosive and appears to be increasing at a near exponential rate.  Within two months after its public release, it had acquired an estimated 100 million users and surpassed one billion page visits by the end of February, 2023 — an increase unprecedented and creating strong incentives for other generative AI systems to join the fray.

In its official announcement of the release to the public of ChatGPT, Open AI stated very clearly that the system would sometimes generate errors of fact and other types of mistakes in a random manner difficult to predict. It also warned potential users of the urgency of checking ChatGPT responses to user queries against other sources for verification. Most other Generative AI systems have issued similar warnings.

The cumulative impact of the public release of ChatGPT, followed by the public release of other generative AI chat systems, is yet to be determined. However, it will be disruptive— at least in the near term — and may require significant changes to the workplace. Some of these changes might very well involve introducing what I would call error management systems to help manage the deluge of items generated by ChatGPT and other systems in a more organized manner.

Being a retired law librarian of a certain age, I am now often asked to reflect upon my 50 years serving in various capacities as a law librarian. I have noticed that most questions asked can be grouped into discrete categories. For example, people want to know what lessons I have learned along the way as a law librarian, what I found most rewarding being a law librarian, what changes in law librarianship I have observed since I started approximately 50 years ago, and who have been my mentors or people who have greatly influenced me along the way. In this posting, I offer responses to these questions based on my current views.

What are some of the lessons you have learned as a professional in your field and in life?

I have come to appreciate the importance of understanding that change as it relates to all aspects of work and life is constant. And in order to be truly successful and to avoid stagnation, we must learn to become highly adaptable and flexible. Of utmost importance is the need to maintain enduring and useful connections with others.

This posting relates to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) correspondence dated August 25, 2022, in which the CBO answers several questions from Congressmen Kevin Brady and Jason Smith about increased enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service.

It includes a brief summary of the correspondence, a direct link to the letter addressed to Congressmen Brady and Smith, and a CBO Report providing  additional background material.



The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) HR 5376 was signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 16, 2022, after a tortuous route through the legislative process.

HR 5376 grew out of the Build Back Better Act (BBB) which passed the House on September 27, 2021,  but failed to pass in the Senate. The provisions of BBB did, however, become the vehicle for helping move President Biden’s legislative initiatives forward.

Public transportation is the backbone of most large cities including New York City. Ideally subways enable people to move quickly and safely to their respective places for work, school, or other destinations important to them. How are New York City subways measuring up to this ideal in terms of public safety over time?

While researching this question, we noticed an article [subscription required]“Transportation Security for New York City Straphangers” by Samuel Estreicher and Zachray Garrett on (July 7, 2022) which for us is a well researched article that makes a significant contribution toward framing this issue.  Therefore, although we cannot reproduce or reprint the article, we will attempt to summarize and highlight its basic points.

Estreicher and Garrett propose two measures to help cope subway crime which they say “is up 54% since last year and 39% since last month [May]”. These measures are:

On this July 4, after a wonderful celebration of food, fun and fireworks, I thought perhaps it would be appropriate to write a post commemorating the beginnings of both the naming of the United States and the observance  of July 4 as a celebration of the birth of American independence:

On September 9, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted “United States” as a new name for what had been called the “United Colonies.” The name United States of America has remained since then as a symbol of freedom and independence.

Benjamin Franklin popularized the concept of a political union in his famous “Join, Or Die” cartoon in 1754. A generation later, the concept of unity became a reality. Thomas Jefferson is credited as being the first person to come up with the name, which he used while drafting the Declaration of Independence. In June 1776, Jefferson’s draft version of the Declaration started with the following sentence: “A Declaration of the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled.”  The final version of the Declaration starts with the date July 4, 1776 and the following statement: “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.” Since that date, July 4 continues to be celebrated as the birth of American independence . It has been observed as a federal holiday (Independence day) since 1941.

Contact Information