Patterico's Pontifications

7/15/2010

Senator Specter’s Votes

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Senator Arlen Specter voted “No” on Elena Kagan’s Solicitor General nomination last year when he was a Republican, and even as a Democrat he expressed doubt about supporting her Supreme Court nomination as recently as last month. However, yesterday, Specter announced he now supports Kagan.

Jake Tapper wonders if there is an Obama Administration job offer on the table?

Allahpundit suggests this is proof Obama bribed the wrong Pennsylvania Senate candidate. It could also show Obama was a good judge of whose vote was easier to sway.

– DRJ

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Specter’s announcement (linked above) is especially annoying given the crocodile tears he cries over a lack of candid responses by Supreme Court candidates:

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan did little to undo the impression that nominating hearings are little more than a charade in which cautious non-answers take the place of substantive exchanges.

In this, she was following the practice of high court nominees since Judge Robert Bork.

. . . .

. . . Kagan did little to move the nomination hearings from the stylized “farce” (her own word) they have become into a discussion of substantive issues that reveal something of the nominee’s judicial philosophy and predilections.

It may be understandable that she said little after White House coaching and the continuing success of stonewalling nominees. But it is regrettable.

MOVING INTO SAM KINISON MODE: Gee, I wonder why it is that Supreme Court nominees never say anything substantive anymore. Could it be that the last one to do so was Robert Bork, who confidently articulated his positions and backed them up with logic and rigor — only to see [expletive deleted]HOLES LIKE ARLEN SPECTER TWIST HIS WORDS BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION UNTIL THE NOMINEE’S STATEMENTS BECAME A [expletive deleted]ING CARICATURE OF HIS ACTUAL [expletive deleted]ING POSITIONS!!!

BP Caps Leaking Macondo Well

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 12:59 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

BP announced it successfully stopped the oil leak, which is good news. You can watch a live ROV feeds here. I’m also curious about the status of the bottom kill. However they did it, I’m sure there are lots of happy engineers in Houston and even more happy Gulf Coast residents.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports BP may conclude as early as next week its all-cash sale of assets to Apache, including half of BP’s interest in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay.

– DRJ

Gloom, Doom and Socialism

Filed under: Economics,Education,Obama — DRJ @ 12:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The financial news is gloomy as the sluggish economic recovery shows signs of faltering. As columnist Irwin Steltzer noted over a year ago, the Obama Administration is making America more like Europe everyday:

“In the end, Americans will live in smaller houses, drive cars more like those to which Europeans are accustomed, and will rely on European-style healthcare. In short, we will be more like you, which is after all the social democratic model to which Obama wants to convert America.

The president also intends to change the way our children are educated. He says he wants teachers to be compensated on a merit basis, and parents free to select schools they deem best for their children. But his allies in the teachers’ union won’t go along with this, and in the one test of his rhetoric so far he has allowed Democrats in Congress to kill a programme that provided funds to allow a few thousand poor, mostly black children to escape the horrors of the Washington DC school system and instead attend swanky private schools of the sort in which he has enrolled his daughters.

There is no doubt about one thing: the president intends to increase the number of students financially able to attend college. America will, in the end, have more degree-wielding students and fewer horny-handed sons of toil. That will produce another result the president has in mind as he rebuilds the American house on his rock: the earnings premium paid to highly educated workers will decline as the number of men and women competing for those jobs increases, and the relative wages of the fewer blue-collar – by then, green-collar – workers will increase.

This greater equality of income distribution is, for Obama, the summum bonum. He is redesigning the tax system to narrow the after-tax gap between “the rich” – family incomes above $250,000 (£170,000) a year – and lower earners, even if the economic cost of such a move (reduced risk-taking) is quite high. Equality, not economic efficiency, is his goal. Which is why he favours raising the rate at which capital gains are taxed even if the result is a fall, rather than an increase, in the Treasury’s net receipts.”

For someone who isn’t a socialist, he sure acts like one.

– DRJ

Congress Passes Financial Reform

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 11:57 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Congress passed financial reform legislation today but very few people know what’s in it:

“Even so, 38 percent of Americans have never heard of the overhaul and 33 percent have heard of it but know almost nothing about the legislation, according to an Ipsos Public Affairs online poll. Another 18 percent said they know “a little bit” about the measure.

The Ipsos poll found 3 percent are very familiar with the legislation, and 8 percent are somewhat familiar.”

Passing legislation Americans don’t understand or know about? That’s par for the 111th Congressional course.

– DRJ


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