June 26, 2013

Today’s DOMA and Prop 8 Supreme Court Decisions Were Brought to You By … (Update: Full 2007 Post Added)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:00 pm

(moved to the top late in the evening on June 26 for greater visibility)

Today’s DOMA and Prop 8 Supreme Court Decisions Were Brought to You By…

Mitt Romney.

Capsule, from the first comment at the original November 2007 post:

Tom demonstrates that it was not the MSJC who imposed “gay marriage” on Massachusetts citizens (even though the court acted unconstitutionally as well) but was Mitt Romney himself who in ordering the Justices of the Peace and Town Clerks to perform same sex marriage ceremonies violated his oath to uphold the constitution and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth.

What Mitt Romney did and didn’t do in Massachusetts at crunch time in the wake of the Goodridge decision set the stage for what happened during the next nine years, up to and including today’s Supreme Court decisions.

Far more than any other individual in America, Mitt Romney is responsible for bringing same-sex “marriage” to America through undemocratic means — and it’s not arguable.

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UPDATE, 11 p.m.: I decided to completely review the original November 21, 2007 post, re-verify all links, and re-post it below. With those minor changes, removal of some introductory material and concluding material at the original and other tiny tweaks, that original post follows the jump.
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NYT Scrubs Obama Panel Adviser’s ‘A War on Coal Is Exactly What’s Needed’ Quote From Print Edition Report on Obama’s Climate Speech

First, they buried the lede, then they excised it completely.

An initial report yesterday at the New York Times on President Obama’s speech on “climate change” at Georgetown University by Mark Landler and John M. Broder — a report which was still up at least as late as 6 p.m. Tuesday evening, according to this story pull posted at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (go to the bottom of the article at the link), quoted “a member of a presidential science panel that has helped advise the White House on climate change” expressing his desire for a “war on coal” — in Paragraphs 17 and 18 (HT Ed Driscoll at PJ Media; bolds are mine):

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AP’s Crutsinger Writes Up Artificially Influenced 2.1% Increase in New Home Sales as ‘A Solid Gain’

Continuing the business press’s slavish devotion to seasonally adjusted figures in government reports to the exclusion of looking at what actually happened, Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, began his Tuesday dispatch on May’s new-home sales report from the Census Bureau as follows: “Sales of new homes rose in May to the fastest pace in five years, a solid gain that added to signs of a steadily improving housing market.”

Except for two “little” things: Fewer homes were actually sold in May than were sold in April, and May’s reported increase in seasonally adjusted annualized sales only came about because of a tax break which ended in April 2010:

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OUCH — 1Q13 GDP, Third Estimate: An Annualized 1.8%, Down From 2.4% in May, and Way Down From the 3.0% Original April Prediction (Update: The Farm Inventories Mystery)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:00 am

I vaguely remember someone saying that the initial 2.5% reading two months ago was too good to be true:

… the consumption element seems far too high, especially with the March slowdown in retail sales.

Here’s part of the report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013 (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 0.4 percent.

The downward revision to the percent change in real GDP primarily reflected downward revisions to personal consumption expenditures, to exports, and to nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by a downward revision to imports.

And don’t forget that initial expectations in April were for a reading of 3.0%. Oops.

Predictions today were for no change. Oops, again.

I also thought that the farm inventory buildup number was ridiculous, and that it would come down. Well, it didn’t, instead going from an initial 0.78 points of GDP in April to 0.83 points today. So about 45% of the first quarter’s GDP growth occurred because we produced — but didn’t sell — a lot more food. Really?

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UPDATE: The farm inventories mystery deepens (please, try to stay awake :–>) –

FarmInvsPerGDPreport1Q

Farm inventories in current dollars only increased by $1.9 billion, or $7.6 billion annualized (after multiplying by four).

The increase in farm inventories reported today in current dollars (already annualized) was $23.2 billion, or over triple the reported inventory change.

The following footnote found at BEA’s tables (can’t link, because the tables are interactive) is useful, but still unsatisfactory:

Inventories are as of the end of the quarter. The quarter-to-quarter change in inventories calculated from current-dollar inventories in this table is not the current-dollar change in private inventories component of GDP. The former is the difference between two inventory stocks, each valued at its respective end-of-quarter prices. The latter is the change in the physical volume of inventories valued at average prices of the quarter. In addition, changes calculated from this table are at quarterly rates, whereas, the change in private inventories is stated at annual rates.

That explanation tells me why there can be a difference. It doesn’t explain why the difference is so large.

I have a call into the Bureau of Economic Analysis for an explanation. If I get one, I’ll update. Until then, I have to believe that the big farm inventories gain in the first quarter is going to be largely offset in the second, which doesn’t bode well at all for reported overall second quarter GDP growth.

UPDATE 2: Also, the April 0.25-point contribution to GDP growth for all other inventories moved to a 0.26-point decrease in June.

So farm inventories, which are about 10% of all inventories, somehow had triple the influence in the opposite direction of the other 90% of inventories. I certainly think we need to know what’s going on behind the curtain.

Ilya Shapiro at Bloomberg: ‘Jim Crow Is Dead. Long Live the Constitution.’

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:33 am

Exactly (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):

In striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Supreme Court has restored a measure of constitutional order.

To be clear, neither minority voting rights nor the ability of the federal government to enforce those rights were at stake in Shelby County v. Holder. Both of those were, are and will be secure regardless of this case and its consequences.

Instead, the court was considering whether the “exceptional conditions” and “unique circumstances” of the Jim Crow South still exist such that an “uncommon exercise of congressional power” is still constitutionally justified — to quote the 1966 ruling that approved Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act as an emergency measure.

… it should be no surprise that the chief justice, again writing for the court, began his opinion by noting that “the conditions that originally justified these measures no longer characterize voting in the covered jurisdictions.”

Roberts was making a statement of fact — a fact which the permanent racial grievance bar and so-called “civil rights” leaders refuse to acknowledge.

Continuing:

the ban on racial discrimination in voting that applies nationwide — that is the heart of the Voting Rights Act, and it remains untouched. Section 2 provides for both federal prosecution and private lawsuits, and has proved more than sufficient to remedy disenfranchisement.

Sections 4 and 5, meanwhile, were to be temporary tools that supplemented Section 2. They succeeded, overcoming “widespread and persistent discrimination in voting” and thus eliminating the circumstances that originally justified it.

In other words, three generations of federal intrusion on state sovereignty have been more than enough to kill Jim Crow.

… That’s why the court acted as it did, recognizing that the nation had changed and that “extraordinary measures” could no longer be justified in a nation where widespread racial disenfranchisement is, thankfully, consigned to history books.

… We can finally move on to a healthier stage of race relations, particularly with respect to how the American people govern themselves.

We can, but we probably won’t, based on the hysterical reactions to the ruling, including that of our supposedly “post-racial” president, and the fact that four justices childishly dissented against the world as it is.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062613)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Movie aims to spark religious discernment for women

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From San Bernardino, California:

Jun 22, 2013 / 02:01 pm

A new film sprung from the recently launched Imagine Sisters movement in the U.S. hopes to portray the beauty and joy of religious life and inspire young women to consider religious vocations.

“Light of Love,” which will be released in September and available free of charge, aims to to further spread the message that one sister can change the world, according to the film’s director.

Dan Rogers, who is also a seminarian with the San Bernardino diocese in southern Calif., says the movie offers women what the 2006 movie, “Fishers of Men,” offered men – vocational information and support.

“I saw ‘Fishers of Men’ when I was in high school and I loved it,” Rogers told CNA June 18. “But we quickly realized there was nothing like ‘Fishers of Men’ for women.”

Rogers recalled that after the movie for seminarians was released, producers tried to create a following and support system for men who were discerning.

But “Light of Love,” he noted, is different.

“We kind of reversed that,” Rogers said. “Instead of watching a movie and then starting the support system, we have a movie that if someone watches it and enjoys it, all of the resources are already in place.”

Those resources include a presence of the Imagine Sisters movement on six social media sites – facebook, pinterest, Vine, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

The film will include interviews and glimpses into the lives of five sisters from five different orders: the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart in Los Angeles; the Franciscan Sisters of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother in Steubenville, Ohio; the Franciscan Sisters of the Martyr St. George in Alton, Ill.; the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara in Washington, D.C.; and the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco in New Jersey.

Go here for the rest of the story.