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The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for July 16th, 2009

Dr. Lott: Did Sotomayor Lie??

Posted by iusbvision on July 16, 2009

Dr. John Lott via FNC:

Did Judge Sonia Sotomayor twist the truth when she met with Senators before her confirmation hearings began? Does anyone on the Judiciary Committee have the guts to call her on it? 

“Is there anything the Senate or Congress can do if a nominee says one thing seated at that table and does something exactly the opposite once they [are on the Supreme Court]?” Senator Arlen Specter asked Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday.  When Sotomayor promises her “fidelity” to the rule of law the Senators simply have to trust that she is telling them the truth.  Unfortunately, there is significant evidence that Sotomayor has been less than honest in private meetings with the Senators.

This past Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported on a series of interviews it had done with Senators about their private meetings with Sotomayor. Incredibly, every one of Sotomayor’s private statements to the Senators, as reported by The Journal, were not only false, but she should also have known that they were false when she made them. Each inaccurate statement to the Senators involved speeches the judge had given numerous times and that she had clearly reviewed before meeting with the members of the Judiciary Committee.

For instance, shortly after Sotomayor’s nomination, her now infamous Berkeley law school speech began to receive public scrutiny. Understandably, many Senators asked her about her statement that: “a wise Latina woman with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white man.”

Sotomayor apparently told Republican Senators in private meetings that those words were “inadvertent” and “inartful,” — implying that her statement was an accident. President Obama himself tried to explain this statement as just a one-time utterance that she would have worded differently if she had the chance to do it all over again. 

But after these private meetings with Senators it was revealed that Sotomayor had used the equivalent phrases during at least seven different speeches over a period of a decade. It is one thing for Obama to explain this as an accidental, single occurrence; it is something quite different for Sotomayor, especially now that we know that she repeatedly made such statements.

But have her statements to Democrats been any more accurate than those to Republicans?

— Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) claims: “[Sotomayor] just said, [Latina identity] is something that informs my experience, but I’m always going to look to judicial precedent, I’m always going to follow the rule of law.'”  

Yet, Sotomayor’s Berkeley Law School speech where she makes the “wise Latina woman” claim contradicts this claim. Consider the rest of the paragraph from the speech as it relates to this now-famous phrase:

“Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that ‘a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.'”

The Rule of Law states that it is the law, not the judge’s personal history, that should determine the verdict.  Yet, Sotomayor disagrees with Justice O’Connor’s statement and believes that women and men or Latinos and whites will come to different conclusions, and that Latina women generally come to better conclusions than white men.

— Sen. Charles Schumer (D., NY.) notes that, in the same speech at Berkeley, she acknowledged that white men can make the right decisions, such as in Brown v. Board of Education — the 1954 Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in public schools.  Indeed, Schumer claims that Sotomayor is the one who pointed this out to him in private conversations

But that does not change anything since she never alleged that white men could never reach the right decision.  Her claim in the Berkeley speech was that Latina women “would more often than not reach a better conclusion.”  In the various versions of her statement she was saying simply that most women or Latinos or Latina women would make better decisions than men or white men or whites.  The same paragraph  from Sotomayor’s Berkeley speech where she says that white men can make the right decision also warns: “Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case.”

— Schumer makes a second argument in favor of Sotomayor’s nomination, that her judicial record shows no evidence of unfairness or tilting the scales in favor of minority groups. — This claim of “no evidence” is easy to disprove. Sotomayor would not only tilt the scales in favor of minority groups, she would tilt them much farther than any of the liberal justices currently on the Supreme Court.  Take the recently decided Ricci v. DeStefano case where the Supreme Court reversed Sotomayor’s Circuit Court decision.  As Stuart Taylor at The National Journal put it:

“[The Supreme Court] was unanimous in rejecting the Sotomayor panel’s specific holding. Her holding was that New Haven’s decision to spurn the test results must be upheld based solely on the fact that highly disproportionate numbers of blacks had done badly on the exam and might file a “disparate-impact” lawsuit — regardless of whether the exam was valid or the lawsuit could succeed…

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 39-page dissent for the four more liberal justices unmistakably rejected the Sotomayor-endorsed position that disparate racial results alone justified New Haven’s decision to dump the promotional exam without inquiring into whether it was fair and job-related.”

Democrats seem desperate to defend Sotomayor. In fact, some of her supporters have even been urging reporters to investigate New Haven firefighter Frank Ricci, the lead firefighter in the lawsuit.  Ricci, a man with learning and reading disabilities, went to great lengths and expense to study for the test — spending his own money to pay someone to read books on to tapes for him so that he could study them.

There are also Sotomayor’s self serving statements regarding her membership in an all-female club.  Whatever one thinks of all-female or all-male clubs, the club certainly would have been viewed as discriminatory if she used her standards in the New Haven case.

If Gillibrand, Schumer, and various Republican Senators are quoting Sotomayor accurately, she should have much bigger trouble on her hands than her extreme racial and gender statements — she may have been dishonest with the Senators.  To mislead Senators when there is a written record disproving her claims is a dangerous game.  For a lifetime appointment, they can only take her at her word when she promises what she will do in the future.  If she has lied to them in person, what can they trust? 

The Senators have one more chance to raise these issues on Thursday. Accusing a Supreme Court nominee of being disingenous is an explosive claim. Could the Senators be reluctant to call Sotomayor on her false statements? Is it possible that Republicans are just too mild mannered? Let’s hope not because these are issues that should be raised. 

John Lott is an economist and author of “Freedomnomics“. 

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Dan Hannan: Every single action taken by the government since the financial crisis has served to make things worse.

Posted by iusbvision on July 16, 2009

Dan Hannan:

There are so many superb conservative organisations in the US that, whenever I come here, I feel like a defector from the old Soviet bloc confronted with teeming supermarket shelves. One outfit which deserves a special place of honour, though, is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The mission statement says it all:

The mission of the American Legislative Exchange Council is to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty among America’s state legislators.

You will immediately perceive that this, mutatis mutandis, is what British localism is all about. We, too, fight for the dispersal of power, and for the Jeffersonian ideal that decisions should be taken as closely as possible to the people they affect. The Plan is, in one sense, an application of the ALEC doctrine to British conditions. The only politician whose features adorn my office is Thomas Jefferson: I have a bust of the great man on my desk, given to me on a previous visit to ALEC.I am blogging from Atlanta, Georgia, where ALEC is celebrating its 36th annual conference. There are hundreds of state legislators here, swapping ideas on everything from welfare reform to tax cuts.

Yet again, I am struck by the advantages of dispersed jurisdiction: the freedom to innovate, to copy what works elsewhere; the benefits of competition and pluralism. I’m reading a book called Rich States, Poor States which explains, with pitiless statistical evidence, why states with high taxes are deserted, first by wealthy individuals and employers, then by the population at large. Twelve hundred people a day are moving from high-tax to low-tax states. Still, the very fact of tax competition keeps overall tax levels down in a way unknown in Britain.

One of the co-authors of the book, the father of supply-side economics, Art Laffer, just gave a brilliant disquisition in which he demonstrated why every single action taken by the government since the financial crisis has served to make things worse. (Regular readers will know that the same is true in Britain.) He did so by restating the most basic economic truths: what Kipling called “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”. If you take money from people who work and give it to people who don’t, you disincentivise work. If you tax the rich and reward the poor, you get fewer rich people and more poor people. If your tax rates are higher than your competitors, people prefer to do business elsewhere. Laffer has a brilliant knack of making economics seem simple – or, as he would say, of showing how simple it truly is, once you cut through the jargon and cant in which professional economists have bandaged it.

I am addressing ALEC tomorrow, following a quick visit to the local Republicans this evening. But what I’m really hoping to do in Georgia is to meet one of the greatest living politicians in the US, Newt Gingrich. Even now, I’m not sure people grasp the magnitude of his Contract with America, which ended forty years of one-party rule in Congress and introduced Americans to the idea that elected representatives might, after all, keep their promises. An unremarked but baleful consequence of the Obama stimulus package has been the reversal of the single most successful part of the Contract: welfare reform. America will soon be crying out for another Gingrich; Britain already is.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Mortgage Crisis, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Democrats Lied About Choice: New Health Care Bill Targets Most New Private Health Insurance Policies. UPDATED!

Posted by iusbvision on July 16, 2009

UPDATE VII – Senator Rick Santorum on how the Obamacare bill is designed to dump you into the public option – LINK. They say that the public option is dead, but a fork hasn’t been stuck in the bill yet.

UPDATE VI – Congressman Ellison also states that the public option is just a path for government take over – LINK.

UPDATE V – Heritage Foundation confirms – LINK.

UPDATE IV – BUSTED: Obama says that his public option plan will eliminate employer based health insurance.

UPDATE III – Barney Frank: The public plan is designed to lead a total government takeover of health care

UPDATE II: Obama and other activists in their own words; the public option deception – Michael Barone comments on this video HERE.

UPDATE: Dr. Betsy McCaughey, Founder of Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths –
They promised that you would have health insurance choice, they promised that the so called “public option” would never be used to crowd out private insurers. It was all lies.

It’s Not An Option By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Congress: It didn’t take long to run into an “uh-oh” moment when reading the House’s “health care for all Americans” bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states:

“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

From the beginning, opponents of the public option plan have warned that if the government gets into the business of offering subsidized health insurance coverage, the private insurance market will wither. Drawn by a public option that will be 30% to 40% cheaper than their current premiums because taxpayers will be funding it, employers will gladly scrap their private plans and go with Washington’s coverage.

The nonpartisan Lewin Group estimated in April that 120 million or more Americans could lose their group coverage at work and end up in such a program. That would leave private carriers with 50 million or fewer customers. This could cause the market to, as Lewin Vice President John Sheils put it, “fizzle out altogether.”

What wasn’t known until now is that the bill itself will kill the market for private individual coverage by not letting any new policies be written after the public option becomes law.

The legislation is also likely to finish off health savings accounts, a goal that Democrats have had for years. They want to crush that alternative because nothing gives individuals more control over their medical care, and the government less, than HSAs.

With HSAs out of the way, a key obstacle to the left’s expansion of the welfare state will be removed.

The public option won’t be an option for many, but rather a mandate for buying government care. A free people should be outraged at this advance of soft tyranny.

Washington does not have the constitutional or moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate. It shouldn’t be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans’ lives.

It took just 16 pages of reading to find this naked attempt by the political powers to increase their reach. It’s scary to think how many more breaches of liberty we’ll come across in the final 1,002.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Corporatism, Energy & Taxes, Government Gone Wild, Health Law, Journalism Is Dead, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »