December 3, 2007

Catch of the Day the Week Maybe the Month: Hugh Hewitt in Nov. 2003, on Goodridge and How Romney Should React

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:54 pm

I don’t know how you can overestimate the damning significance of this.

Amy Contrada at Mass Resistance, who blogs there as “AMann,” has found an item that goes immediately to the front of the “can’t make this stuff up” file (I am reproducing the full Hewitt column for fair use and discussion purposes; note that the Goodridge same-sex marriage ruling was on November 18, 2003; bolds are mine):

Just Say “No”: Calling Governor Romney and the elected representatives of Massachusetts
by Hugh Hewitt
The Weekly Standard
11/20/2003

“JOHN MARSHALL has made his decision,” Andrew Jackson is said to have remarked in the aftermath of a Supreme Court decision he disliked, “now let him enforce it.”

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would be well advised to ponder that line long and hard over the Thanksgiving holidays.

It is an interesting time for the Massachusetts Supreme Court to have seized control of the elected branches in its state, given the connection between Thanksgiving and the Bay State. Unlike its neighbor to the north, the Look-at-Me State of Vermont, Massachusetts actually has a place in the collective national consciousness and Americans of all regions are interested in its history. Now, in the aftermath of Tuesday’s radical diktat from four justices to Massachusetts’ elected representatives, Americans are interested in the state’s future as well.

Romney should seriously consider indifference. The governor noted that the ruling declaring same-sex marriage a mandate of the Massachusetts constitution is contrary to the sweep of recorded history, but it is more than that. The ruling is also absurd in its reasoning and breathtaking in its arrogance.

The state that was birthed in the Mayflower Compact, sparked a revolution against unrepresentative government, embraced abolitionism out of religious zeal, and championed learning and debate has been presented with a lengthy bit of cultural posturing dressed up as a court decision. Like Captain Picard at the controls of the Entreprise, the four justices have waved their collective hand and declared “Make it so.”

The legislators and the governor have been given 180 days to change 387 years of Massachusetts history. That history begins around the time of the Compact, with its signatories’ promise of “all due submission and obedience” to the “just & equall Lawes, ordinances, Acts, constitutions, & offices,” flowing from a “Civill body politick.” Of course the nature of that “body politick” has evolved in the four centuries since its launch, but nowhere along the way did it embrace the concept of four philosopher kings delivering commands.

The decision is illegitimate, and the appropriate response will be to ignore it. Some law professors will shudder (though two well know in the blogosphere, Eugene Volokh and Glenn Reynolds did not when the subject was kicked around on my program Tuesday; Volokh in fact thinks such inter-branch confrontations are useful in the life of constitutional republics). Editorial writers will shout. Senator Kennedy may even brand Romney a Neanderthal, as he did Justices Brown, Owen, and Judge Kuhl earlier this month.

But the storm will pass and the people of Massachusetts will applaud. They didn’t sign up for a banana republic run by pretenders in robes, and no one in the state’s illustrious history ever sacrificed life or limb–from Boston Harbor to Concord, Antietam or the battlefields of Europe and Asia–for the proposition that four judges get to change everything when they decide to conjure up a reason for doing so.

Romney and the legislature ought to stand back and say no. In fact, if the court threatens with penalties, they ought to threaten back. An outrageous overreach is only as strong as the passivity with which it is greeted.

This isn’t primarily about gay marriage, and it isn’t primarily about Massachusetts. It is primarily about self-government and limiting courts to their constitutional duties. And Massachusetts, again, has a central role to play.

The central point that Mass Resistance, John Haskins, Robert Paine, Gregg Jackson, and so many others have been making since Mitt Romney decided to seek the presidency is that Mr. Romney had a “central role to play,” and that he utterly failed.

He did not just abdicate his role. He unconstitutionally, and without requisite legislative authority, implemented same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, causing exactly what Hugh Hewitt so loathed to occur, namely “four judges (changing) everything when they decide to conjure up a reason for doing so.” Regardless of how you feel about the desirability or undesirability of same-sex marriage, if constitutions are to mean anything, this is not arguable.

The November 2003 version of Hugh Hewitt agreed. Hewitt ’03 would have been appalled at what Mitt Romney did and didn’t do in response to Goodridge (see detailed links below). Hewitt ’03 would have looked at what actually happened during Mitt Romney’s last 2-1/2 years relative to Goodridge and hammered at the utter mendacity of this Romney statement to Robert Bluey of Human Events in December 2006:

I’ve fought same-sex marriage in Massachusetts in every way I could within the bounds of the law.

The 2007 version of Hugh Hewitt has changed his tune “a bit” (original design by Weapons of Mass Discussion):

Why?

What could have happened between then and now to cause this?

Carrie Sheffield almost has it right in her review of Hewitt’s early-2007 book about Romney’s religion at Amazon’s detailed link for that book:

….. political reporters will bristle further at Hewitt’s extraordinary suggestion that, now that he’s written the definitive work on Romney’s faith, any future questions about ….. (that faith) ….. amount to rehashed prejudice.

I think it’s more than that — It appears that Hugh Hewitt ’07 would prefer that his book end all questions of any kind about his favored candidate.

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UPDATE: I heard Hannity talking with Newt today, and one of them said that Huckabee is up 15 and Romney down 5 in Iowa in the past month.

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The reasons why Hewitt ’03 was right, and Hewitt ’07′s cheerleading for Mitt Romney requires justifications I can’t make, and I believe Hewitt can’t make, are explored in depth in the “Romney, the Courts, and the Constitutions” series:

(Click “More” if you are on the home page)

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Old Media’s Recession Bandwagon Hits Yet Another Speed Bump

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 10:35 am

Oh, how Old Media wants a recession. Too bad the economy isn’t cooperating.

The latest Institute for Supply Management (ISM) report on the Manufacturing Sector, covering about 15% of the non-government economy, was just released this morning, and led as follows:

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the 10th consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 73rd consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

True, the reading of 50.8% was barely above the 50% cutoff point for expansion. But it’s barely lower than the 50.9% turned in last month, and still came in slightly ahead of expectations, which averaged 50.4%, according to the Associated Press, and 50.7%, according to Bloomberg.

This makes three out of three fourth quarter ISM reports showing continued growth — two in manufacturing, plus October’s non-manufacturing report that came in at 55.8%, up from 54.8% in September. If Wednesday’s ISM report on non-manufacturing for November comes in at 55.9% or higher, it will means that the economy as a whole, as ISM measures it, is not only growing, but growing faster. Recession, reschmession.

The reports ahead of ISM’s release today tell you all you need to know about where Old Media wants you to think the economy is going. Here are Bloomberg’s first and third paragraphs:

Manufacturing in the U.S. probably grew in November at the slowest pace in 10 months as the housing slump spread, economists said before a report today.

….. Export gains by themselves won’t be enough to shield factories from the emerging slowdown in consumer spending and business investment, economists said. Credit restrictions have also limited access to financing and may lead to further declines in orders and production.

All of this was over an expected 0.2% drop in the index (from 50.9% to 50.7%), which only ended up being 0.1%. I say the “economists” Bloomberg consulted need to switch their TVs permanently away from Old Media’s “news” channels.

AP’s unbylined report telegraphed similar gloom:

Wall Street economists expect a November report on the nation’s manufacturing sector to show growth slowed — and possibly stalled — as the housing slump worsened.

….. Some economists say November’s index will fall below 50, its first move into such territory since January.

You could almost hear AP’s reporter saying “darn!” (or something stronger) just after the actual result was released.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (120307)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:48 am

Way back in May, I pointed out my belief that another income-tax cut will be needed to keep the economy chugging, and asked:

Who will be the first GOP candidate to recognize the opportunity to build on Bush’s economic success, instead of merely basking in its glow, by making further cuts a part of his platform?

We have an answer.

Rudy Giuliani, in an excellent Wall Street Journal subscription-only column (NO! This is not an endorsement), has officially moved to the fiscal-policy front of the GOP presidential candidate pack by saying:

Amid fears of an economic slowdown, now is the time to cut taxes, not raise them.

I think the fears of an “economic slowdown” are way overblown. But a slowdown in the growth of federal revenues to 4%-5% or so a year predicted here (near end of post) instead of the 44% achieved in the past four fiscal years is, I believe, already occurring. The Bush tax cuts, especially those in 2003, fired up the economy and led to the revenue gusher. Another significant cut would do the same, as multiple cuts have done in Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Australia, the US in the 1980s, and elsewhere.

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Ministers in Dayton, Ohio, are all upset because grocery giant Kroger is closing a store:

A coalition of ministers and civil rights leaders are calling for a city-wide boycott of Kroger beginning on Sunday, with a nationwide effort to follow.

Kroger announced last month plans to close its store at 900 Gettysburg Avenue in January, claiming it was not profitable.

hey are calling on pastors to spread the boycott message from pulpits across the city on Sunday. Local representatives of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the NAACP say they have contacted their national offices asking for participation in the boycott.

Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin, whose best idea for dealing with Dayton’s ongoing decay appears to be unlawfully firing city workers who live outside of the city, has a Rhine whine:

“Big companies have no sensitivity to the city. (Kroger) told me, the mayor of Dayton, we just built you a store in Englewood,” McLin said. “They’re just looking at dollars and cents.”

Her Honor the Mayor, and the outraged ministers, are apparently uninterested in addressing the city’s horrid business climate, including a ridiculous earnings tax of 2.25% (FYI for non-Ohioans — the tax is imposed on non-resident workers as well as residents; the city, in this 2001 document, brags about how “75 percent of the earnings tax revenues are paid by non-city of Dayton residents who work here”). They clearly think that Kroger is some kind of public utility, not a business.

Here’s an idea the everyone should consider — How about a shuttle to the nearest Wal-Mart, which is less than 4 miles away from the closing Kroger store? They can “get back” at Kroger, and shoppers will probably save money too.

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Terry Easton believes that the Fed may have quietly defused the mortgage “crisis”:

The most important tweak was barely covered by the financial press and not at all by the major national newspapers.

….. On August 17, the Fed published a change to its regulations “clarifying” the overnight borrowing of funds from the Fed by the nation’s major banks, the so-called “repo” or repurchase agreements. The Fed now allows for “a broad range of collateral”.

The Fed specifically said: “The Reserve Banks accept performing mortgages. This could include sub-prime mortgages.”

I think Easton misreads the change by contending that “doggy” loans can be included. “Performing” above means, in essence, loans on which borrowers are current with their payments.

Nevertheless, this appears to be a clever way for the Fed to put more liquidity in the system, and Easton raises a valid point.

Positivity: Five-year-old Rockford girl is a piano prodigy

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

This story goes back to June, but should not be missed. In addition to the story below, here is Emily Bear’s web site and a YouTube vid. I can tell that she’s been practicing a lot since a different vid from roughly six months earlier was produced.
From Rockford, IL:

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 | 7:35 PM

It is the kind of activity you find a five-and-a half-year-old doing when she is not doing other things but Emily Bear is hardly typical for her age. Among the other things she does is play the piano.

Emily was two years old when she simply sat down at a piano and started playing rhythm patterns she had overheard.

“It was easy for me when I first started playing because it had so many good pieces that I liked that popped in my head the first day,” Bear said. “I played one the next day and I played it perfectly.”

The youngster is also an all-around athlete. She was a figure skating contestant who took second place in national competition this year at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She also plays tennis and basketball.

“She always sounded like the teacher versus the student,” mother Andrea said. “She never sounded like a kid.”

Go here for the rest of the story.