January 30, 2007
Immediately upon his arrival at the court, Justice Thomas was savaged by court-watchers as Antonin Scalia’s dutiful apprentice, blindly following his mentor’s lead. It’s a grossly inaccurate portrayal, imbued with politically incorrect innuendo, as documents and notes from Justice Thomas’s very first days on the court conclusively show. Far from being a Scalia lackey, the rookie jurist made clear to the other justices that he was willing to be the solo dissenter, sending a strong signal that he would not moderate his opinions for the sake of comity. By his second week on the bench, he was staking out bold positions in the private conferences where justices vote on cases. If either justice changed his mind to side with the other that year, it was Justice Scalia joining Justice Thomas, not the other way around.
Consider a criminal case argued during Justice Thomas’s first week. It concerned a thief’s effort to get out of a Louisiana mental institution and the state’s desire to keep him there. Eight justices voted to side with the thief. Justice Thomas dissented, arguing that although it “may make eminent sense as a policy matter” to let the criminal out of the mental institution, nothing in the Constitution required “the states to conform to the policy preferences of federal judges.”
After he sent his dissenting opinion to the other justices, as is custom, Justices Rehnquist, Scalia and Kennedy changed their votes. The case ended up 5-4.
The false notion, likely based in the Left’s racist views, that Thomas is unintelligent will likely never go away. He’s long been my favorite Supreme Court Justice, he and I sharing a stronger respect for originalism than Scalia. Hopefully articles like this will at least start the process of opening people’s minds to him.
Crossposted at Gazizza.net.
Hat Tip: Jimmy Akin
January 28, 2007
This morning I read the following article in the News Journal about Senator Biden’s little talking problem.
That reminded me of comments talk radio host, Mark Levin, made about Biden on Friday in response to a caller’s question. Click the speaker below to listen.
People who don’t know what they’re talking about tend to talk too much. That is obviously the case with Biden!
The Mark Levin Show is nationally syndicated on over 90 stations. Starting on February 12th, Mark’s show will be broadcast on WILM in Wilmington weeknights from 10-12. Live streaming audio can be heard from 6-8 pm on Mark Levin’s official website.
January 24, 2007
John Kerry will reportedly announce that he will not seek another chance at the Presidency in 2008, realizing his chances were about the same as mine.
While this is undoubtedly good news for the country and his wife’s bank account, this silver lining does have a cloud: he’s running for re-election to the Senate.
I always felt that the Democrats weren’t serious about winning in 200; otherwise, how could have nominated him?
January 23, 2007
I noted yesterday that the News-Journal described a pro-lifer who wrote an editorial for their Op-Ed page as “anti-abortion rights” although they would never describe a pro-choicer as “pro-death” or “anti-child.” I talked to the author of the editorial last night and he told me an interesting story about the byline.
He submitted the piece last week and got a call from the News Journal confirming that it was indeed him who submitted it and saying they would run it on Monday, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. She asked how he wanted himself described and he said “a lawyer in Wilmington.” She asked if they could describe him as a Catholic lawyer, and he didn’t like it was it wasn’t written as a sectarian piece and he thought that description would limit its impact. The News Journal then asked if “pro-life lawyer” would be acceptable. He decided it would be, since it was a fair description.
We know what they ended up printing. So dedicated to their ideology is the News-Journal that they’ll go back on agreements to promote it. Shameful.
January 11, 2007
New Castle County Council voted Tuesday night to repeal a law that puts a 5 percent cap on how much property taxes can be raised each year.
The 10-3 vote in favor of lifting the cap means County Executive Chris Coons now can put together a budget for the next fiscal year that could include a larger tax increase to balance the budget.
County officials are downplaying fears of a large tax increase, but would they really have taken this step if they weren’t willing and planning to do so?
January 9, 2007
“Elvis is still alive” – Spoken on the House floor by Rep. Stephen Cohen (D-Tenn.)
Hat Tip: The Corner
January 6, 2007
Lost among all the hype over Barack Obama is the reality that his candidacy for President, if it were to fully materialize, would only serve to reinforce Hillary Clinton’s grip on the Democratic nomination.With Virginia Governor Mark Warner dropping out last October and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh’s withdrawal before Christmas, Ms. Clinton’s vulnerability on her right has all but disappeared. While the Obama boomlet certainly speaks to the desire among the press and many in the Democratic Party for someone other than Senator Clinton, what an Obama run would do is suck a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm away from Hillary Clinton’s No. 1 threat to the nomination — John Edwards.There are five names that continually poll above five percent among Democratic voters: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Al Gore, John Edwards and John Kerry. Though Mr. Kerry still enjoys a high level of name ID from the ’04 campaign, whatever slim hope he had of a repeat was destroyed by his pre-election gaffe on the troops in Iraq. Assuming Mr. Gore is a “no go,” that leaves the trio of Clinton, Obama and Edwards.While Mr. Edwards ranks between second and fourth place in national polls, he leads in the most recent Iowa polls and is poised to do well in the early contests in Nevada and South Carolina. His announcement from New Orleans and all his activities since 2004 make it clear he intends to run a strongly progressive campaign aimed at capturing support among the newly energized left of the Democratic Party. The problem is this is exactly the same constituency an Obama run would invigorate. Which means in the end Mr. Obama would simply split the progressive, “anybody-but-Clinton” vote between him and Mr. Edwards, further strengthening Mrs. Clinton’s odds of capturing the nomination.For Mrs. Clinton, this scenario would have the added benefit of allowing the perception to form throughout the primary campaign that she was the “centrist” or “moderate” choice of Democratic voters — a perception that would serve her well as she transitions to the general election campaign in the spring of ’08.
It is ironic that some of the strongest promoters of an Obama candidacy are motivated by a dislike of Senator Clinton, but are unwittingly helping her secure control of the Democratic Party by pushing the young and untested Mr. Obama.
I can’t shake the feeling that Obama is nothing more than 2008’s Howard Dean: someone who came out of nowhere to look unstoppable and then crashes and burns. Now, he won’t have the self-destructive tendencies of Dean (Yea-ahh!) , but he’s still largely unknown at this point. When people start looking at the fact he’s been rated as to the left of Hillary Clinton, I think hios star will fade a bit.
While I’m here, I’ll go on record as saying the nominees in 2008 will be Hillary and McCain. And I will be pulling my hair out.
Source of above quote: OpinionJournal.com’s Political Diary (email subscription only)
January 4, 2007
Most of the working poor earn more than the minimum wage, and most of the 0.6 percent (479,000 in 2005) of America’s wage workers earning the minimum wage are not poor. Only one in five workers earning the federal minimum lives in families with earnings below the poverty line. Sixty percent work part time, and their average household income is well over $40,000. (The average and median household incomes are $63,344 and $46,326, respectively.)
Forty percent of American workers are salaried. Of the 75.6 million paid by the hour, 1.9 million earn the federal minimum or less, and of these, more than half are under 25 and more than a quarter are between ages 16 and 19. Many are students or other part-time workers. Sixty percent of those earning the federal minimum or less work in restaurants and bars and earn tips — often untaxed, perhaps — in addition to wages. Two-thirds of those earning the federal minimum today will, a year from now, have been promoted and be earning 10 percent more. Raising the minimum wage predictably makes work more attractive relative to school for some teenagers and raises the dropout rate. Two scholars report that in states that allow people to leave school before 18, a 10 percent increase in the state minimum wage caused teenage school enrollment to drop 2 percent.
The problem is that demand for almost everything is elastic: When the price of something goes up, demand for it goes down. Obviously were the minimum wage to jump to, say, $15 an hour, that would cause significant unemployment among persons just reaching for the bottom rung of the ladder of upward mobility. But suppose those scholars are correct who say that when the minimum wage is low and is increased slowly — proposed legislation would take it to $7.25 in three steps — the negative impact on employment is negligible. Still, because there are large differences among states’ costs of living and the nature of their economies, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) sensibly suggests that each state be allowed to set a lower minimum.
But the minimum wage should be the same everywhere: $0. Labor is a commodity; governments make messes when they decree commodities’ prices. Washington, which has its hands full delivering the mail and defending the shores, should let the market do well what Washington does poorly. But that is a good idea whose time will never come again.
Not content to let Washington be the only economically illiterate goverment around, it seems that the state’s government is considering raising the minimum wage to higher than the national minimum should the feds raise the minimum wage.