Think California has the highest gas prices in America? Think again. Chicago: the one party town wears that crown.
What are the consequences of living in the last of the one-party machine towns, a town that has hosted the Daley family as well as being the hometown of Barack Obama and the cronies he put in power (including Bill Daley, his Chief of Staff)? Politicians who have no problem imposing the highest gas prices in America on their citizens.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Chicago-area gas prices have been running about 50 cents per gallon more than the national average. Fifty cents doesn’t sound like much until you consider a two-car family might buy 1,400 gallons of gas a year, which siphons some $700 more from their pockets than other Americans.
The clipping of the wallet causes damage throughout the economy, as consumers have that much less money to spend on retail purchases, save for their future, invest in their children.
The main cause of the high prices? Taxes and regulations-the Democrats solution to all our problems. There is a “mind-boggling array of tax levies that get tacked on gasoline’s retail price.”
There are excise taxes (both federal and state — and actually the Illinois state tax is in-line with other states); but also taxes that are charged to fill the underground storage tank fund and environmental impact fees. But together these last two only amount to a penny a gallon.
The killer is the sales tax. Illinois is only one of seven states to charge a sales tax on gas. What makes it worse is that these taxes are not a fixed number of cents per gallon but fluctuate as a percentage of the sale. This is a recipe for compounding the damage to the consumers; as oil prices rise, so does the amount taken from Illinois drivers — at a faster rate than for others across America. The state sales tax is 6.25 percent, so the take per gallon rises as the total bill at the gas station rises.
Illinois is also unusual in that it allows counties and municipalities to also get in the action.
In Chicago, city, county and Regional Transportation Authority (for our government-run trains and buses) sales tax add a few more percent. Thank you, Democrats.
But wait..there’s more.
When you buy gas in Chicago, you pay a couple more flat taxes. The city of Chicago and Cook County not only levy sales taxes but also flat taxes of 5 cents and 6 cents, respectively. Illinois is the only state to allow all these different taxes to be levied in concert, Sykuta said.
Worsening the problem is that some sales taxes are applied on top of flat taxes, charging motorists tax on tax, which only accelerates the total cost.
“One reason for higher prices is because of the multiple layers of taxes in Chicago,” said John Felmy, chief economist at the American Petroleum Institute.
The grand total? Taxes add an average of 69 cents to every gallon of gas in Illinois, and far more in high tax areas such as Chicago. That places Illinois up with the highest gas-taxing states in the nation, along with Connecticut, 70.3 cents, and New York, 69.1 cents, according to an analysis by petroleum institute. The national average is about 50 cents.
Taxing taxes — a Democratic dream.
But wait …there are even more costs, courtesy of politicians. Chicago is required by the Environmental Protection Agency, as are most cities, to use pricier reformulated gasoline in the summer. Chicago formulated a toxic brew so unaffordable that the rest of Illinois gets to use a cheaper blend.
This boutique blend is pricier. What adds to the costs, is that the cocktail of summer gas must include a heavy dose of corn-based ethanol. Only a few refineries make this unique blend, adding more to the costs. No wonder Obama supported the ethanol industry: Illinois is the second-largest producer of corn. So this government-imposed rule was yet another sop to the ethanol industry. Since there are so few refineries in America (thanks to rules and regulations, and the NIMBY problem) an outage in any of the very few refineries that produce Chicago gasoline can cause prices to spike even when crude oil pricing is stable.
Chicago is a microcosm of what Democratic policies lead to: sky-high prices and the ever-present risk of government caused-shortages.
Obama sees benefits in high energy prices (he and his minions have repeatedly said so) –especially those that transfer money from motorists into the hands of Democratic politicians.
America, welcome to the world of Cook (“Crook”) County politics.
Remember how the media used to sneer that the jib growth being reported represented “McJobs” -low paying unskilled part time work that didn’t include benefits or provide for advancement? That seems to have changed thi week with the media’s celebration of the new jobs report. As is noted by Wesley J. Smith at NRO:
The good news is that the economy added about 268,000 new jobs. The bad news is that 25 percent (62,000) were from McDonald’s. That’s honorable and respectable work, of course. But consider this: Had the Obama administration not granted McD’s a waiver from having to abide by the law, it might not have added all those workers.
The law Smith refers to is ObamaCare. While McDonald’s as a restuarant idea began in 1940s California, the corporation was founded in a suburb of Chicago and is currently headquartered in Oakbrook, Illinois. Its executives have seen how crony capitalism is played the Chicago way.
HOW DARE YOU DEFEND YOURSELF
By DON BABWIN
CHICAGO – The Chicago City Council on Friday approved what city officials say is the strictest handgun ordinance in the nation, but not before lashing out at the Supreme Court ruling they contend makes the city more dangerous because it will put more guns in people’s hands.
The new ordinance bans gun shops in Chicago and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or in their garages, with a handgun. It becomes law in 10 days, Corporation Counsel Mara Georges said.
The vote comes just four days after the high court ruled Americans have the right to have handguns anywhere for self-defense — a ruling that makes the city’s 28-year-old ban on such weapons unenforceable.
“I wish that we weren’t in the position where we’re struggling to figure out a way in which we can limit the guns on our streets and still meet the test that our Supreme Court has set for us,” said Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, minutes before the council voted 45-0 to approve the ordinance.
It was swift action for a council that typically takes far longer to pass ordinances, but Mayor Richard Daley — who promised the city would not “roll over” if the court ruled against the city’s handgun ban — clearly wanted to give police a law they could begin enforcing as quickly as possible.
“You have to get the tools to the police,” Daley said.
And even though the ban remains in effect until it is struck down by an appellate court, Georges said it was important to pass a new law to clear up confusion Chicagoans might have about what kind of weapons they can legally own and how they can use them.
Some residents applauded the vote.
“There’s just too much killing going on (and) we need protection,” said Mary Fitts, a retiree who came from her home on the South Side to watch the vote. “You can’t even sit on your front porch.”
Others, like Senesceria Craig, wondered how much good it would do. “They’re not going to abide by it,” she said of criminals, pointing out that her 20-year-old daughter was shot and killed with a handgun in 1992, 10 years after the city’s ban went into effect.
But gun rights supporters quickly criticized Daley and the City Council and promised lawsuits.
“The city wants to put as many hurdles and as much red tape in the way of someone who just wants to exercise their constitutional right to have a gun,” said Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association in Illinois.
Vandermyde would not say when lawsuits might be filed. But he said the ordinance would be attacked on a number of fronts — including requiring prospective gun owners to pay $15 for each firearm registered, $100 every three years for a Chicago Firearms Permit, not to mention the cost of the required training — saying they all add up to discrimination against the poor.
“How are some people in some of the poorer neighborhoods who merely want to have firearms for self-defense supposed to afford to get through all this red tape?” he asked.
David Lawson, one of the plaintiffs in the case decided by the Supreme Court this week, agreed. He wondered if a challenge could be raised over the issue of training, saying it’s unfair to require training but prohibit that training from taking place in the city.
Daley and Georges said they expect lawsuits but that they were confident they could withstand legal challenges.
The ordinance also:
• Limits the number of handguns residents can register to one per month and prohibits residents from having more than one handgun in operating order at any given time.
• Requires residents in homes with children to keep handguns in lock boxes or equipped with trigger locks and requires residents convicted of a gun offense to register with the police department, much as sex offenders are now required to do.
• Prohibits people from owning a gun if they were convicted of a violent crime, domestic violence or two or more convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Requires prospective gun owners to be fingerprinted, take a four-hour class and one-hour training at a gun range.
• Calls for the police department to maintain a registry of every registered handgun owner in the city, with the names and addresses to be made available to police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders.
Those who have handguns, illegal under the ban, would have 90 days from the day the ordinance is enacted to register those weapons.
Residents convicted of violating the ordinance face a fine of up to $5,000 and be locked up for as long as 90 days for a first offense, and a fine of up to $10,000 and as long as six months behind bars for subsequent convictions.
(CBS/AP) A Supreme Court ruling finding that Americans have the right to bear arms anywhere they live almost certainly means the end of Chicago’s decades-old handgun ban, but it may not make handgun ownership there much easier if the city’s powerful mayor has his way.
Shortly after the high court voted 5-4 Monday along ideological lines – with five conservative-moderate justices in favor of gun rights and four liberals opposed – Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said officials were already at work rewriting the city ordinance to adhere to the court ruling while protecting Chicago residents from gun violence.
“We will never give in to those who use guns to harm others,” Daley said in comments aimed at his constituents. “Your fight is my fight and we’re in this together.”
And in other cities and states, officials said they were confident their gun control laws would withstand legal challenges.
“We do think it’ll probably give us some bigger legal bills, but I suspect that we will be able to continue to do exactly what we’ve been doing – have reasonable regulations as to who can buy and where you can carry,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ardent gun control advocate, said of Monday’s ruling.
The decision didn’t explicitly strike down nearly 30-year-old handgun bans in Chicago and its suburb of Oak Park. Instead, it ordered a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling. But it left little doubt that the statutes eventually would fall.
In the majority decision, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the Second Amendment right “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”
But the decision also signaled that some limitations on the Constitution’s “right to keep and bear arms” could survive legal challenges. Alito noted that while fully binding on states and cities, the Second Amendment “limits (but by no means eliminates) their ability to devise solutions to social problems that suit local needs and values.”
Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, each wrote a dissent. Stevens said that unlike a ruling two years ago overturning a Washington, D.C., handgun ban, Monday’s decision “could prove far more destructive – quite literally – to our nation’s communities and to our constitutional structure.”
Gun rights supporters had challenged the Chicago and Oak Park laws – the last two remaining outright bans in the country, according to The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence – almost immediately after the high court struck down a ban on handguns and a trigger lock requirement for other guns in Washington, a federal city with a unique legal standing. That ruling applied only to federal laws.
Lower federal courts upheld the Illinois cities’ bans, noting that judges on those benches were bound by Supreme Court precedent and that it would be up to the high court justices to ultimately rule on the true reach of the Second Amendment.
Monday’s ruling was a victory for gun rights supporters, but they also said they expected state and local governments to draft laws to impede gun ownership.
Attorney David Sigale, who represented one of the plaintiffs associated with Monday’s decision, said he has been advising prospective handgun owners to hold off buying them.
“In light of Mayor Daley’s threat … that there could be a whole new mess of regulations on the books, which I’m sure will only go to further hinder and burden the Constitutional rights given today, I think it would be prudent to wait and see what those developments are before everyone rushes out and avails themselves of this new right,” Sigale said.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, said he expects the same from other municipalities as well, saying the NRA “will continue to work at every level to insure that defiant city councils and cynical politicians do not transform this constitutional victory into a practical defeat through Byzantine regulations and restrictions.”
In Massachusetts, Attorney General Martha Coakley said the ruling would not pose a problem because the state controls, but doesn’t ban, guns. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is pushing a bill that would make it illegal to buy more than one gun per month.
“The provision in the governor’s bill relative to a one-gun-a-month limit is not analogous since it does not ban the ownership of firearms, but just regulates the amount,” said Patrick’s spokesman, Kyle Sullivan.
Daley didn’t specify what measures he intends to push, but he said he planned to move quickly to get them in front of the City Council, saying that it is possible a special session will be called to address the issue.
He said he’s considering creating a registry of the names and addresses of everyone in the city who legally owns a handgun, which would be made available to police officers, firefighters and other “first responders” before they arrive at the scene of emergencies.
The mayor also said Chicago might follow the District of Columbia’s lead in requiring prospective gun owners to take training courses that include several hours of classroom learning about gun safety and passing a 20-question test.
Daley has suggested that owners may be required to buy insurance for those guns.
By Jay Cost
Mike Allen broke this astounding bit of news yesterday:
Phil Schiliro, the White House congressional liaison, has told the Senate to aim to take up an energy bill the week of July 12, after the July 4 break (and after the scheduled final passage of Wall Street reform). Kagan confirmation will follow, ahead of the summer break, scheduled to begin Aug. 9. The plan is to conference the new Senate bill with the already-passed House bill IN A LAME-DUCK SESSION AFTER THE ELECTION, so House members don’t have to take another tough vote ahead of midterms.
A White House aide has the official word: “President Obama reiterated his call for comprehensive energy and climate legislation to break our dependence on oil and fossil fuels. In the coming weeks he will be reaching out to Senators on both sides of the aisle to chart a path forward. A number of proposals have been put forward from Members on both sides of the aisle. We’re open to good ideas from all sources, and will be working with Senators on a comprehensive proposal. The tragedy in the Gulf underscores the need to move quickly, and the President is committed to finding the votes for comprehensive energy legislation this year.”
The 51st Congress (1889-91) was tagged as the Billion Dollar Congress, a profligate Republican-run legislature that raided the Treasury in an effort to pay off all its supporters. The 111th should go down in history as the Trillion Dollar Congress. An enormous energy package passed during a lame duck session would be a fitting epilogue for the Trillion Dollar Congress, which has been consistently out of step with the public mood.
The only reason to pass such a major piece of legislation during a lame duck session is because the proposal is unpopular. If Democrats could sell the bill to their constituents, they would pass it before the November elections then campaign on it. Party leaders must also expect that the political will for this bill will not exist in the 112th Congress after the voters have spoken in November. In other words, the new representatives coming in are not going to vote for it – so Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama had better get the representatives who were just fired to support it before they’re forced into early retirement.
This strategy has the same odor that stank up the final stages of health care reform. After the voters of Massachusetts elected Scott Brown to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat, the President refused to take the hint. Instead, he employed budgetary reconciliation – a technically legal legislative parlor trick that, had the shoe been on the other foot, would have provoked howls of outrage from the left and especially from our holier-than-thou President – to jam through a bill that the public had expressed sustained and significant opposition to.
For somebody who seems detached from the details of policy and largely uninterested in legislative wrangling, Barack Obama sure does come across sometimes like a political bully. But this is not bullying some obstinate backbench legislator. Instead, this is bullying the American people. With health care reform, he basically told the country that he didn’t care what it thought. The fact that people opposed the bill was proof they didn’t know what they were talking about. Now, apparently, the evolving strategy on energy is the same. Don’t like cap-and-trade? That’s your problem, not his. Plan to vote out Democrats in favor of the idea? Like he cares. He’ll pass it anyway.
The President had better tread carefully here. There are political issues that divide the parties, then there are “valence” issues that cut across party lines. Bill Clinton’s sexual indiscretions became a valence issue in 2000, sufficient to prompt Al Gore to nominate Joe Lieberman for the vice-presidency. It didn’t matter what party you belonged to, what Clinton had done was wrong and gross. Ditto Republican chicanery with Jack Abramoff. It didn’t matter what your politics were, you thought that had to stop. The Foley scandal went hand-in-glove with Abramoff. It crystalized the sense back in 2006 that there was something deeply dysfunctional about the Republican caucus.
Passing health care reform over howls of popular protest then jamming energy reform through a lame duck Congress might solidify the impression that this President is a bully who doesn’t care what the people think. That would hand the Republicans a great valence issue for 2012. Nobody likes a bully, after all. And just as the Democrats worked hard to connect Abramoff and Foley to enhance the impression of a broken GOP, Republicans will try to make these connections for the voters, too.
Instead of passing unpopular bills through questionable methods over the opposition of the people, maybe the President should get behind proposals that can actually sustain popular support. There’s a difference between bullying and leading, after all.
By Neal Boortz
What must it feel like to be the “go-to” guy when it comes to redistributing other people’s wealth? For an answer to that question, we would have to ask Kenneth Feinberg. Prezbo has tapped Feinberg .. better known as our pay czar .. to be in charge of the $20 billion escrow account from BP. As the Wall Street Journal says, “Ken Feinberg isn’t God. But forgive us if we get confused from time to time.”
So yesterday Obama met with BP executives at the White House … for 20 whole minutes! It’s day 57 of the spill, and the BP execs get 20 minutes. But what was agreed upon in the meeting should have you far more outraged. While Obama has zero legal authority to seize $20 billion in funds from BP, he resorted to the next best thing: intimidation. Unfortunately our federal government has managed to find a way to do what it wants, despite any limitations placed on it by the Constitution or our laws of the land. Some pundits have gone as far as to say that Obama has managed to create his own sense of a legal system. So BP saw the writing on the wall and agreed to the $20 billion fund. This fund, as Obama stated, would be run by an “independent party.” That “independent party” just happens to be an Obama appointed czar. Who signs his checks? The government. Only an ObamaZombie will buy this “independent” nonsense. Feinberg is there to please Obama first .. to address a sense of fairness second.
But moving right along … in order to pay for this fund, BP has indeed decided to suspend paying dividends to its shareholders for the rest of the year. Those dividends keep a lot of British pensioners afloat. But on top of the $20 billion fund, BP will also set aside $100 million to compensate oil field workers for lost wages. Why is this? Well by the rules of government logic, it is inevitably BP’s fault that the Obama administration has called for a six month moratorium on drilling. This moratorium affects thousands of workers .. workers who will now be compensated by the government, out of a BP account.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting in any way that BP should escape liability for the damages it caused. I am saying that we have a legal system to address those liabilities. BP had initiated and was handling a claims process on its own. As I said yesterday, Obama could not stand by and watch a huge corporation actually address its responsibilities in this manner. Government had to be a player. The narrative of the evil corporation doing right only under the watchful eye of an omnipotent government must not be lost here.
Let’s watch over the coming months and see how many improper payments are maid to fraudsters with BP’s money. Should be interesting.
By: Michelle Malkin
After three months of zipped lips and feigned ignorance, the Obama White House is finally taking real heat over Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak’s consistent claims that the administration offered him a job to drop his Senate bid. Now it’s time to redirect the spotlight where it belongs: on the top counsel behind the Washington stonewall, Bob “The Silencer” Bauer.
On Sunday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs glibly asserted that “lawyers in the White House and others have looked into conversations that were had with Congressman Sestak. And nothing inappropriate happened.” With whom were these conversations had? Gibbs won’t say. Neither will Attorney General Eric Holder, who dismissed “hypotheticals” when questioned about Sestak’s allegations last week on Capitol Hill by GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of California. Holder is simply taking his cue from the commander-in-chief’s personal lawyer and Democratic Party legal boss.
You see, on March 10, Issa also sent a letter to Bauer, the White House counsel to the president, requesting specifics: Did White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel contact Sestak? Did White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina (whom another Democrat, U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff, has accused of offering a cabinet position in exchange for his withdrawal)? How about the White House Office of Political Affairs? Any other individuals? What position(s) was/were offered in exchange for Sestak’s withdrawal? And what, if any, steps did Bauer take to investigate possible criminal activity?
Bauer’s answers? Zip. Nada. Zilch. While the veteran attorney ducked under a table with the president, Gibbs stalled publicly as long as he could — deferring inquiries about the allegations one week by claiming he had been “on the road” and had “not had a chance to delve into this,” and then admitting the next week that he had “not made any progress on that,” refusing the week after that to deny or admit the scheme, and then urging reporters to drop it because “whatever happened is in the past.”
But the laws governing such public corruption are still on the books. And unlike Gibbs, the U.S. code governing bribery, graft and conflicts of interest is rather straightforward: “Whoever solicits or receives … any … thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”
Bauer is intimately familiar with electoral law, Barack Obama, ethics violations and government job-trading allegations. And he’s an old hand at keeping critics and inquisitors at bay.
A partner at the prestigious law firm Perkins Coie, Bauer served as counsel to the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Obama for America. He also served as legal counsel to the George Soros-funded 527 organization America Coming Together during the 2004 campaign. That get-out-the-vote outfit, helmed by Patrick Gaspard (the former Service Employees International Union heavy turned Obama domestic policy chief), employed convicted felons as canvassers and committed campaign finance violations that led to a $775,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission under Bauer’s watch.
As I’ve reported previously, it was Bauer who lobbied the Justice Department unsuccessfully in 2008 to pursue a criminal probe of American Issues Project (AIP), an independent group that sought to run an ad spotlighting Obama’s ties to Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. It was Bauer who attempted to sic the Justice Department on AIP funder Harold Simmons and who sought his prosecution for funding the ad. And it was Bauer who tried to bully television stations across the country to compel them to pull the spot. All on Obama’s behalf.
More significantly, Bauer has served as Obama’s personal attorney, navigating the corrupted waters of former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pay-for-play scandals in Illinois. Bauer accompanied Obama to an interview with federal investigators in Chicago. And he’s got his hands full fighting Blago’s motion to subpoena Obama in the Senate-seat-for-sale trial — a subpoena that included references to a secret phone call between Obama and Blagojevich; an allegation that Emanuel floated his own suggested replacement for Obama’s seat; an allegation that Obama told a “certain labor union official” that he would support (now-White House senior adviser) Valerie Jarrett to fill his old seat; and a bombshell allegation that Obama might have lied about conversations with convicted briber and fraudster Tony Rezko.
With not one, not two, but three Democrats (Sestak, Romanoff and Blagojevich) all implicating the agent of Hope and Change in dirty backroom schemes, “Trust Us” ain’t gonna cut it. Neither will “Shut Up and Go Away.” What did Bob “The Silencer” Bauer know, when did he know it, and how long does the Most Transparent Administration Ever plan to play dodgeball with the public?
Examiner Columnist Michelle Malkin, author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies,” is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Who_s-behind-the-White-House_Sestak-firewall-94920694.html#ixzz0p5AZdlHJ
by John Shu
President Obama, Senator Reid, and Speaker Pelosi showed their ability to ruthlessly ram through their legislative agenda with a combination of procedural tricks, sleight-of-hand, and painful arm-twisting, all of which could happen again. They also hope to have a Supreme Court which will rubber-stamp their legislative agenda and thus guarantee its long-term survival. If one agrees with Santayana’s “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” then it is instructive to examine the way that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt viciously attacked and tried to control the Supreme Court in order to secure his New Deal agenda.
In 1935 the Court struck down as unconstitutional certain parts of FDR’s New Deal. The essence of the Court’s common-sense reasoning was that Congress, the legislative branch, may not avoid its lawmaking responsibilities and punt them to the President, the executive branch. Moreover, the Court in Humphrey’s Executor v. United States, 295 U.S. 602 (1935) further irked FDR because the Court held that FDR had to follow the law and could not arbitrarily fire a Federal Trade Commission commissioner, Mr. William Humphrey, a Republican whom FDR believed did not support the New Deal with sufficient enthusiasm.
FDR did not like that, because his New Deal depended on creating a massive federal regulatory bureaucracy within his executive branch control. So, on February 5, 1937, FDR announced his infamous “Court-Packing Plan,” directly attacked the Supreme Court, and planned to stuff the Court with his loyalist lackeys. FDR followed up with a March 9, 1937 Fireside Chat where he said that America needed his Court-Packing Plan and “must take action to save the Constitution from the Court, and the Court from itself.”
On March 29, 1937, the Supreme Court bowed to FDR’s unprecedented political attacks and decided three cases in favor of the New Deal. By 1941 the Supreme Court’s “Four Horsemen,” Justices Butler, McReynolds, Sutherland and Van Devanter, were gone, leaving no one who dared speak truth to power: that Congress cannot shirk its constitutional responsibilities and that the president must follow the law. Thus, the New Deal Juggernaut rolled full-steam ahead with no one left to protect the American people from the huge federal regulatory bureaucracy that still pervades every aspect of American life and even spawned a new area of law, Administrative Law.
Today there are and will be many legal challenges to the Obama-Pelosi agenda, including health-care, financial regulation, cap-and-trade, immigration, and whatever else lurks in their legislative pipeline.
When it comes to Supreme Court confirmation fights, however, the media often focuses on the nominee’s controversial personal problems, if any, and on hot-button social issues like abortion.
This time, let’s try something different. I expect President Obama to announce his Supreme Court nominee within the next week or so. Let’s raise the level of discussion and carefully analyze the nominee’s views on, for example, issues such as limits on executive branch authority and Commerce Clause power. Let’s also be mindful of history’s lessons. FDR’s hunger for rubber-stamp justices hurt America. President Obama may nominate whomever he likes, but we must not allow the Democrat Senate to bully us into accepting a rubber-stamp justice, or, even worse, a justice who self-rationalizes manipulating or ignoring the Constitution in order to impose preferred political or policy preferences from the bench.