Babble: The 'Debates' and the SCOTUS
Life is too short to spend it on phony debates when you can see the highlights in videos and read the text of the remarks. The word peddlers are each picking their claims as to who won. The more critical observers suggest that I was right not to bother.
Apparently Julian Castro thought transwomen have a right to an abortion. (Perhaps after taxpayers pay for them to have a uterus transplant):
HOLT: Secretary Castro, this one is for you. All of you on stage support a woman’s right to an abortion. You all support some version of a government health care option. Would your plan cover abortion, Mr. Secretary?
CASTRO: Yes, it would. I don’t believe only in reproductive freedom, I believe in reproductive justice.
And, you know, what that means is that just because a woman -- or let’s also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female, is poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise that right to choose. And so I absolutely would cover the right to have an abortion.
Apparently Julian Castro said he supports MEN who identify as WOMEN having abortions. We need to shut this debate down for an immediate biology lesson. 😝
The “debates” were largely a recitation of pap and bromides aimed at the farthest left of their base. Iowahawk nailed it again:
Because every f [&*^&]ing person in government started out as a 5th grade poster contest winner
Seriously, who watches these things? Give them all Magic Markers and crayons and have a 90-minute poster contest.
Bizarrely, a number of the nominee contestants (I call them that because the whole thing looked like an “America Has Talent” show) started answering in Spanish, and honestly, I think they were aiming their message not at lawful residents but at illegals. It occurs to me that if the illegals left the dumps from which they came for a better life here, and paid attention to the debates in which the would-be nominees all advocated for socialism, they might return home on their own. They have experience with the results of such poppycock.
All the leading candidates at the second debate raised their hand in support of free health care for illegal immigrants, leading the NY Post to run a photo of them over the heading “Who wants to lose the election?”
Kamala Harris was the most aggressive, attacking the putative front-runner Joe Biden as a racist, noting his opposition to busing and relating a narrative about how she was bused to school. It appears that both were fudging -- Biden on his anti-busing stance and Harris on her educational experience.
Last night @KamalaHarris claimed she was in the "second Integrated class" at the Berkeley school she attended. But yearbook pictures show the school had been integrated -- before she was born.
Harris presents a misleading picture of Berkeley and, implicitly, of her family’s status. A friend who graduated from college there around the time Harris depicts tells me:
Berkeley was not segregated or racist during that era. It was one of the most liberal places in the country.
I’d like to learn a lot more about [Harris’] busing. I accept that she took a bus to elementary school, but I don’t think they were busing kids to various neighborhoods for racial reasons in Berkeley in 1971. Makes no sense at all to me.
Her mom and dad were PhDs, and she went to India during summers to stay with her mom’s family (see Wikipedia). She makes it sound like they were poverty-stricken... or something.
Actually, Harris herself presented evidence that she did not live in a segregated neighborhood, such that she needed to be bused to attend school with whites. During the debate, she told of a would-be friend whose parents wouldn’t let her play with Harris due to race.
It’s important to remember that plenty of busing occurred, and still does, for reasons having nothing to do with race. [snip] Has the mainstream media looked into Harris’ claim about being bused to achieve integration? I doubt it. I’ll be interested to see whether the mainstream media does so now that she has beaten up Joe Biden with the claim.
And Biden’s response that he only opposed busing demanded by the Department of Education was not supported by the historical record.
However, Biden opposed busing in the mid-1970s. The Department of Education was not created until 1979.
Moreover, as Politico recently noted, Biden opposed busing broadly, not in a narrow sense:
Buckling to political pressure from his white constituents who wanted to keep things the way they were, Biden established himself as a leading Democratic opponent of busing in the Senate…
Biden supported a measure sponsored by Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), a former Klansman who had held the floor for more than 14 hours in a filibuster against the 1964 civil rights bill, that prohibited the use of federal funds to transport students beyond the school closest to their homes and that passed into law in 1976. And in 1977, Biden co-sponsored a measure that further restricted the federal government from desegregating city and suburban schools with redistricting measures like school clustering and pairing. This measure won the approval of a majority of his Senate colleagues, and President Jimmy Carter later signed the provision into law, significantly narrowing legislative avenues for reform.
Biden also cited his record on other civil rights issues. However, his position on busing is a matter of record.
AP and others falsely claimed that the segregationists whom Biden earlier asserted he’d “crossed the aisle” to work with had been Republicans and Friday corrected the record to show they were, in fact, Democrats. If the media were honest, they’d acknowledge that the Harris-Biden tussle merely highlighted what they’ve kept hidden: The Democratic party was segregationist, not the party of Lincoln.
While many viewers thought her combative attack on Biden won her points, apparently it didn’t with black voters:
So…. Democracy Corps data shows Biden’s favorability with African American voters went up a net 18% after last nights debate, while Mayor Pete’s went down 10%. Stan Greenberg chalked a lot of it up to defensiveness over the perception that the Obama-Biden legacy was under attack.”
They’d have a point, if the survey is true. If Biden wasn’t a racist when he twice served as Obama’s vice-president, how come his actions decades ago make him a racist today?
As for the kill shot, the fact that all the major nominees endorsed national health insurance -- for some, even if it meant doing away with private insurance -- and free health care for illegal aliens will make for great campaign ads -- for Trump.
My friend Lynn Chu explains why:
What ambitious, talented doctor wants to be a mid-salaried government bureaucrat? Quality will drop precipitously, with all profit sucked out of medical care (Bernie considers profit to be greed!), and injected into the government nomenklatura. There is unlikely to be any savings, because money is always wasted in sleepy bureaucracies. They simply bloat without any accountability, and then, self-deal. America is already suffering -- but luckily so far able to carry -- the huge costs of its existing socialism. It is this which we need to reform. But the Democrats continue to pretend that it is capitalism -- the private sector -- that is broken. No, it is they who are broken. Their long term "collusion" with Marxism throughout the 20th century has rotted all their brains. In the 1940s FDR was advised by actual practicing common law lawyers. Now all we have are pea brains who specialize in a few subclauses of some (increasingly) ill-conceived statute.
What centralization and command and control does is destroy the price system. Nothing can be properly priced, because there is no precise, accurate, and correct free market, when the decision to pay, is in the hands of an unrelated third party, and all the consequences are visited on someone else's head.
It’s an argument you might want to make when discussing this with your college kids home for the summer.
And then there was the Supreme Court, which decided a number of long percolating cases this week. In the first, the justices exercised tardy judicial restraint, noting that patently partisan redistricting plans were a political, not a legal, question, and therefore declined to intercede in the challenge to them. This leaves state governments and Congress to set any redistricting rules not related to racial discrimination in charge, not judges.
In the second case, Justice John Roberts joined with the four liberal judges on the court, respecting whether the president could reinstate a citizenship question in the upcoming census. Frankly, his act looks to me like nothing other than a poke in Trump’s eye, for it defies rational analysis.
Scotus blog is the best place to review the genesis, implications, and debate on this case. There are also numerous follow-on blogs if you want more depth. As to the genesis -- after oral argument and briefing, the estranged daughter of a deceased Republican redistricting strategist found on his hard drives arguments that the question would aid whites and Republicans and the opponents used these to contend that the rationale of the government -- to better enforce federal voting rights -- was pretextual. In his comment, Roberts was blind to two facts: Presidents pick cabinet officers who share and advance their views, and cabinet officers are bombarded by position papers and arguments from all sides when making policy decisions. Just as state legislatures can advance partisan redistricting plans, cabinet secretaries can make decisions that promote partisan advantage.
Roberts wrote, that Ross “was determined to reinstate a citizenship question from the time he entered office; instructed his staff to make it happen; waited while Commerce officials explored whether another agency would request census-based citizenship data; subsequently contacted the attorney general himself to ask if DoJ would make the request; and adopted the Voting Rights Act rationale late in the process.”
Roberts acknowledged that courts should be “deferential” when reviewing an agency’s action, but he countered -- citing Judge Henry Friendly, for whom he clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit -- that “we are not required to exhibit a naiveté from which ordinary citizens are free.” And here, when “the evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation the Secretary gave for his decision,” judicial review calls for “something better than the explanation offered for the action taken in this case.” “In these unusual circumstances,” Roberts concluded, the district court was therefore correct to send the case back to the Department of Commerce for it to provide a better explanation.
Justice Clarence Thomas filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. In his view, the Supreme Court’s “only role in this case is to decide whether the Secretary complied with the law and gave a reasoned explanation for his decision.” Because the “Court correctly answers these questions in the affirmative,” Thomas argued, that “ought to end our inquiry.”
So, in sum, Roberts decided in one case that the court should stay out of political questions even when the evidence shows redistricting was done on a clearly partisan basis, but should stick its nose into another where the Constitution, statute, and long practice states it should not get involved.
What's next on the case? It goes back to the Commerce Department to explain to the district court why his decision to include the citizenship question was a lawful exercise of his responsibilities. Roberts' actions in this case smell like a government by men, not laws, and the dissenters, in more artful language, seem to agree, as Ken Klukowski writes:
Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, noted that APA requirements are not overly demanding to clear the bar that a decision not be “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.” Thomas noted that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross carried his burden of explaining a reasoned decision. These dissenting justices argued that the APA does not authorize federal courts to be more intrusive in their review. Therefore, courts should not entertain theories of additional political motives not disclosed to the courts, or claim authority to overturn agency actions if judges decide the facially valid explanation found in the administrative record is pretextual.
The President has asked to delay the census, if possible, to get this issue resolved before the census is taken.
As they shut down for the summer recess, the Court agreed to hear next term whether Trump’s decision to overturn by executive order Obama’s executive order on DACA can stand.