Politics: November 2005 Archives

New tool in the War on terror

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Junk food!

The World reports that Iranians are getting huge off domestic knock-offs of American fast-food chains. Oh well, if we can't stop them from getting nukes (which we can't), we might as well export our girth. Maybe we'll make them too fat and lazy to get off their rears to blow up the world.

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Bill Donohue and Alito

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I've mentioned before that Bill Donohue gives me headaches. Well, sometimes he makes up for it.

From Lifesitenews.com:

WASHINGTON, November 2, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On the October 31 edition of the CNN show, "Larry King Live," CBS reporter Mike Wallace commented that the mother of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito said her son is "definitely against abortion." To which Wallace said: "He's a nice Catholic boy and he doesn't believe in abortions."

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded to Wallace's remarks saying, "We at the Catholic League like nice Catholic boys who don't believe in abortion. For that matter, we even like not-so-nice non-Catholic girls who don't want to kill the kids. What we don't like are condescending octogenarians who don't know when to get out of the ring. Or when to shut up."


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More on Catholics and the High Court

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Slate's Will Saletan has a piece in Slate exploring the angle and talks it up in this NPR segment.

From the Slate piece:

Not to worry. Two years ago, Republicans found a new way to play victim. They were trying to get Bill Pryor, the attorney general of Alabama, confirmed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Pryor had called Roe v. Wade an "abomination" that had led to "slaughter." Such rhetoric, according to Democrats, suggested that Pryor was incapable of subordinating his moral convictions to constitutional law. A well-connected conservative lobby, the Committee for Justice, fired back with ads depicting a warning on a courthouse door: "Catholics need not apply." The ads accused senators of attacking Pryor's " 'deeply held' Catholic beliefs."

Saletan conveniently omits the fact that the Democrats did admit that they opposed Pryor for his "deeply held beliefs." It probably speaks more to liberal relativist ignorance of the idea of a judge ruling according to law over personal belief than to anti-Catholicism, but the use of those words opened the Democrats up to those accusations.

Later:

If Alito is confirmed, Catholics will hold five of the court's seats, and the Protestant contingent will have dwindled from eight to two. The notion that bigotry is keeping Catholics off the court is becoming numerically preposterous.

No it's not. Not if some Democrats actually carry a bias against believing Catholics. Democrats need to argue about the Constitution and not about beliefs, or they deserve any "religious test" criticism they receive. The problem is that they lose any constitutional debate, especially where Roe v. Wade is concerned.

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More on Catholics and the High Court

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Slate's Will Saletan has a piece in Slate exploring the angle and talks it up in this NPR segment.

From the Slate piece:

Not to worry. Two years ago, Republicans found a new way to play victim. They were trying to get Bill Pryor, the attorney general of Alabama, confirmed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Pryor had called Roe v. Wade an "abomination" that had led to "slaughter." Such rhetoric, according to Democrats, suggested that Pryor was incapable of subordinating his moral convictions to constitutional law. A well-connected conservative lobby, the Committee for Justice, fired back with ads depicting a warning on a courthouse door: "Catholics need not apply." The ads accused senators of attacking Pryor's " 'deeply held' Catholic beliefs."

Saletan conveniently omits the fact that the Democrats did admit that they opposed Pryor for his "deeply held beliefs." It probably speaks more to liberal relativist ignorance of the idea of a judge ruling according to law over personal belief than to anti-Catholicism, but the use of those words opened the Democrats up to those accusations.

Later:

If Alito is confirmed, Catholics will hold five of the court's seats, and the Protestant contingent will have dwindled from eight to two. The notion that bigotry is keeping Catholics off the court is becoming numerically preposterous.

No it's not. Not if some Democrats actually carry a bias against believing Catholics. Democrats need to argue about the Constitution and not about beliefs, or they deserve any "religious test" criticism they receive. The problem is that they lose any constitutional debate, especially where Roe v. Wade is concerned.

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The Catholic majority

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Father Neuhaus writes about the potential Catholic majority on the Supreme Court and natural law.

I recently read a piece (unfortunately I cannot remember by whom it was written) that conjectured that the large Catholic presence on the Supreme Court may have precisely to do with the Catholic embrace of natural law, which gives these judges a better conceptual framework to "think with the mind of the founders" (to twist a phrase Catholics may find familiar). The founders certainly had natural law in mind when they wrote and amended the Constitution, and modernists who do not even believe that such a law exists - let alone that it can be known - are much more prone to get important things wrong like Roe V. Wade. Wouldn't it be fascinating to see a discussion of natural law in a confirmation hearing? That'll be the day...

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Kelo and Urban Renewal

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City Journal (fast becoming one of my favorite journals) has an excellent though somewhat depressing piece by Nicole Gelinas about the use of eminent domain in failed urban renewal projects.

Consider the fate of New Haven, Connecticut, the most willing victim of the urban-renewal era. Mayor Richard Lee, a Democrat who took office in 1953, had pledged to create “a slumless city, the first in the nation.” During his 16-year tenure, as Yale University’s “Model City” history project relates, Lee procured more urban-renewal funds per capita than any other American mayor—more than $1 billion in today’s dollars, and nearly four times as much as runner-up Newark. In 1958, the Saturday Evening Post hailed Lee for embarking upon “saving a dead city.”

[...]

But bulldozers and central planning didn’t save New Haven. Between 1950 and 1980, the city’s population declined by 30 percent—and poverty increased. “In 1970, as urban renewal ended, the census ranked New Haven as the 38th-poorest city in America,” local journalist Paul Bass and Yale prof Douglas Rae wrote in a New York Times op-ed in July. “Ten years later, it was ranked seventh, with 23.2 percent of its population living below the poverty line. Today, more than a quarter of its families live in subsidized housing.” Rae thinks that without urban renewal, New Haven’s poverty rate would be lower today: “They destroyed a lot of economic and social vitality,” he told me. Even Mayor Lee saw that top-down planning had failed; by the end of his final term, he observed: “If New Haven is a model city, God help America’s cities.” Unfortunately, cities all over the country had replicated New Haven’s experience.


She also destroys the ill logic of those who claim the money invested in urban renewal projects will reap finacncial benefits:
The taxpayers sure won’t get much in return. They will pour about $200 million in public subsidies into the stadium portion of Ratner’s project up front. In return, the city and state could receive an annual net surplus from that part of the project of about $7.8 million over 30 years... But if New York simply deposited that $200 million in a savings account and left Prospect Heights alone, it could receive about $8 million a year in interest—and at no risk, as it could withdraw the $200 million at any time.

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I got it!

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I figured out why Democrats oppose a ban on human cloning!

They want to clone Sandra Day O'Connor so Bush can nominate the clone to the Supreme Court and they can vote for the only "conservative" they've ever liked!

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Dahlia

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Can NPR stop pretending that Dahlia Lithwick is an analyst? Every time she opens her mouth the piece should be labeled "Liberal spin."

Discussing two of Judge Alito's rulings: that a Christmas display was constitutional "even though" it contained "overtly Christian symbols" and a decision to let Christians evangelize ("proselytize," she says) at a public school, she said Alito "has clearly been a fan of allowing greater entanglement between Church and state."

Entanglement. This is how these people really think.

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I like Alito

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Despite being pro-life and believing that most Americans are moderately pro-life, I carry no illusions about abortion disappearing. Most Americans in most states simply do not have the stomach to restrict abortion meaningfully. Yet the constitution gives them the right to, and those states or even localitites with enough citizens who do have the stomach ought to be allowed. The current position of the Supreme Court restricts that freedom.

Anybody who can read can see there is no basis in the constitution for abortion (or, for that matter, restricting the exercise of religion, and for many other Democrat agenda items). Those who favor abortion have only ever won when liberal judges all over the country abuse their office by ignoring or misinterpreting the constitution to enforce what they think is right).

Now, in some circumstances, what they think is right may very well be right, but there are processes in place in the Constitution to change the law. Violating those processes takes the process out of the hands of democratically elected delegates and places it into the hands of the unelected.

I live in one of the bluest counties in a very blue state. If Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, there would be little chance of any change in the abortion laws where I live. But thanks to the unjust and unconstitutional rulings of the Supreme Court over the past 32 years, we do not even have the chance to enact sensible limitations on the procedure.

Rich Lowry of the National Review was on NPR the other day, and he made the winning point that everytime the Republican party has taken this issue to the people, they've won political battles. It takes neither a genius nor a right-wing hack to understand that judicial usurpation of the democratic process is unjust. When we elect people, we like those votes to mean something, and when judges misinterpret the Constitution to strike down good laws passed democratically, anybody can sense that is wrong, and only the agenda-driven can stomach it. The same goes for judgements against religion in the public square, and judgements that mandate the redefinition of marriage.

I'm happy with Alito because I think he is a sensible man who will interpret the constitution rightly, and thereby allow the democratic process to flourish.

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The Catholic Majority

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If Judge Alito is confirmed to the Supreme Court, a majority of the justices will be Catholic: Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy (boo), Roberts and Alito. Benedict (not the Pope) blogs the "Top Ten Changes a Catholic Majority Would Make to the Supreme Court."

Here's my favorite:

8) The bones of Chief Justice Marshall will be disinterred and placed in a glass coffin in the center of the Supreme Court bench;

Go read the whole thing.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from November 2005.

Politics: October 2005 is the previous archive.

Politics: December 2005 is the next archive.

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