On Saturday eight convicted killers, due to die this month, got a reprieve The state will not get to have what looked like an incipient capital punishment marathon. Opponents are happy and victims' families are not. The decision was all because of the means of inflicting the death penalty. The Arkansas attorney general will appeal the preliminary injunction of Judge Kristine G. Baker of the Federal District Court in Little Rock.The state last had an execution in 2005.

Faulting the means of execution

Judge Baker in a long opinion said, "“The threat of irreparable harm to the plaintiffs is significant: If midazolam does not adequately anesthetize plaintiffs, or if their executions are ‘botched,’ they will suffer severe pain before they die,” Midazolam is a sedative that has resulted in botched executions in the past.

SCOTUS has said the drug qualifies as OK to use in inflicting the death penalty. Since an appeal is certain and given the composition of the court now, the outlook for the condemned does not look good.

A Trumpland round-up

trump reversed stated positions on NATO, China, Russia, the Export-Import bank and Janet Yellin. As of this writing, he had not ousted Steve Bannon. Sean Spicer did not know or forgot that gas killed 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.

Inundated with spite he spent the rest of the week apologizing. Trump acted as if he had little to do with the release of a monstrous bomb which was transported in a slow-moving cargo plane to a place where it was pushed out and killed ISIS operatives at the site of some impenetrable and remote caves in Afghanistan. He says he is giving his military a free hand.

Those pesky tax returns?

The chances of getting Trump's Tax returns look dismal. Congress can block any effort of the Democrats and only three GOP representatives have indicated any willingness to take action. Returns could be subpoenaed but guess who controls that power. There are demonstrations around the country that have thus far elicited no interest in Congress.

The peskiness of the issue is receding, perhaps because there is a general sense that it is part of an entire state of being that is either unacceptable or not, depending on how you evaluate the president and his performance.

The best way to get the returns would be to flip the house in 2018. The best way to ensure that would probably be a protracted struggle around healthcare that hobbled the entire Trump agenda and marked him as a failed president.