Wednesday Highilghts

Good morning.

  1. A person who thinks the President is not such a Constitutional law expert after all.
  2. Ohhh. rhetoric with guns. Speaking of which … remember the kerfuffle raised (here in comments not-in-the-least) about an appointed government official of another state advocating violence. Here we have an elected (not appointed) official making a direct threat … being ignored by the rest of the offended-only-if-from-the-right liberals.
  3. That pesky muliplier.
  4. Pen and sword … is the pen mighter because it can sign checks … or does the checkbook fit in the sword category?
  5. A really good piece on the Wisconsin thing, which unsurprisingly indicts the media for their astoundingly poor coverage.
  6. More Wisconsin coverage here.
  7. More rank stupidity in the government.
  8. I think those are backronyms.
  9. Against the “diversity rational” for affirimative action.
  10. Talking liberal/conservatives and academia.
  11. The Pentacoltal Christian couple in-the-news regarding homosexuality and foster children in the UK (photo).
  12. Mr Krugman, professional idiot? Hello? The country is larger than the Boston/New York/Philadelphia/DC metro area … use your economic “smarts” to consider the economic feasibility of rail and say … any given medium to small city in the MidWest, South or West. Pretend you realize that rail feasibility hinges on population density just a little bit.
  13. Looking at the choices of “experts” on CNN panels. And “they” say FOXNews is biased. Pot meet kettle.

9 responses to “Wednesday Highilghts

  1. The Pentacoltal Christian couple in-the-news regarding homosexuality and foster children in the UK (photo).

    Funny how the right wants to focus on everything except the fact that most major denominations of Christianity are homophobic. You claim persecution, you rail against secular government and societies, and yet… here you are, teaching that being gay is wrong. Why should anybody respect you?

  2. A person who thinks the President is not such a Constitutional law expert after all.

    Actually the media’s found a few other examples of Presidents who decided not to defend a law because they felt it was unconstitutional. President Ford declined to defend a campaign finance law. Reagan declined to defend the independent counsel law. There was one that Bush I also declined to defend but I forgot what it was. What was interesting about all those examples was that while the President felt the law was unconstitutional, it later survived challenge and the courts deemed them constitutional.

    So the issue is whether a President is following his oath to defend the Constitution if he feels a law is unconstitutional, his AG doesn’t defend it in court but his administration still follows the law unless and until the courts actually decide the law is in fact unconstitutional. I think the answer is clearly yes for the following reasons:

    1. The Constitution does not give the President the power to declare laws unconstitutional. While that power is only implied to be given to the SC, that’s the way we’ve been operating for 200+ years now.

    2. The Founders almost certainly would have been troubled by an Executive that could uniformly void laws by declaring them unconstitutional. The previous President demonstrated the danger in this. Not only did his administration decide that some laws were unconstitutional so they wouldn’t follow them, they decided that this decision in itself could be kept secret so the American people themselves and Congress may not even know some of the laws they believed were ‘on the books’ had in fact been secretly taken off the books!

    Clearly treating suspect laws with respect until a court actually agrees with the legal opinion of the President that the law is unconstitutional is more respectful of the Constitution’s seperation of powers. While the President is under oath to defend the Constitution, clearly the President has an inherent conflict of interest where laws he will be more sympathetic to claims of unconstitutionality will be ones he dislikes politically. This ties in with another respected Constitutional doctrine that calls for the branches of gov’t to be seperate. (For example, while the Constitution doesn’t explicitly state it, it is understood that no person can have a job in more than one branch at the same time. A person can’t be President AND sit on the SC or be a Senator and a President).

    3. If the President feels law A is unconstitutional, then why should it be defended in court by the President? If the President feels the law is unconstitutional then defending the Constitution means arguing against the law, not for it! Likewise if teh President feels that law A is unconstitutional AND you hold that his oath means he should not enforce the law then what difference does it make if he defends it in court? Simply pretending to believe a law is Constitutional doesn’t magically make it so.

  3. Mr Krugman, professional idiot? Hello? The country is larger than the Boston/New York/Philadelphia/DC metro area … use your economic “smarts” to consider the economic feasibility of rail and say … any given medium to small city in the MidWest, South or West. Pretend you realize that rail feasibility hinges on population density just a little bit.

    This is an apt criticism of Imaginary Paul Krugman who wrote a post calling for all planes and airports to be scrapped in favor of an extensive worldwide network of high speed rail. I’m not sure why, though, you cross post this to your Real Life Blog rather than your Imaginary one.

  4. Boonton,
    I see, Mr Krugman’s comments are to be taken in a vacuum, not a context in which liberals are touting the benefits of high speed rail in semi rural areas. You desire that I read his essay not in the putative “Real Life” but in the “Words in a Vacuum” world. Gotcha.

    You will notice he followed up with a poor economics lesson on the relative benefits of modes of transportation, neglecting density yet again.

  5. Well actually Krugman’s post was about aesthetics, what is more enjoyable taking a plane or a train. Not about the economics of where train lines are best placed. This was in follow up to George Will’s claim that trains represent ‘collectivism’ rather than individualism presumably since they are supposedly intended to usurp the place of cars. Krugman pointed out that at last as far as high speed rail is concerned it usurps the place of planes more than cars.

    At no point did Krugman ever say that all transportation should be switched over to trains. As far as density, well you’re wrong. What matters in terms of high speed rail is the same thing that matters in terms of planes, how many people are at point A and at point B and how many of those people want to travel between those two points. The density between those points doesn’t really matter.

    You’re thinking probably of city versus suburbs. There density matters not for high speed rail but regular public transportation…..which is why Manhattan has a subway system but not Sussex County NJ.

  6. And in reality all systems complement each other. High speed rail and planes do not usurp cars but make car travel possible. If NYC had no mass transit navigating through it with a car would likely be impossible. Air travel is worse, not better, because of the lack of train options for trips in the 150-600 mile range.

  7. Boonton,

    As far as density, well you’re wrong. What matters in terms of high speed rail is the same thing that matters in terms of planes, how many people are at point A and at point B and how many of those people want to travel between those two points. The density between those points doesn’t really matter.

    Oh, please. Be serious. Unlike planes, trains have many many stops between their terminal points, which contribute highly to their economic feasibility. Southwest Airlines gets into this act somewhat by bouncing flights across the country. But consider your Boston, New York, PA, DC routes. How likely would those commuter rails be profitable if they only stopped at those four points and not at the 50 or more stops in between. A Twin Cities/Madison/Milwaukee/Chicago/Indy route because there is such a low population density between is economically unfeasible.

    You knew that.

  8. Stops are actually an advantage for a train. It’s realtively cheap for a train to stop at a small stop and start up again while a plane works best from a pure A to B shot. But you can also have pure train shots between points A and B if there just isn’t much between them and mixing and matching with some express trains and some ‘local’ ones isn’t that hard really.

    More problematic for your argument, though, is that the Midwest and west were basically built by train lines. You already have a layout sensible for rail because rail determined the location of many small to large cities to begin with. You’re probably right that most areas don’t have a good density for a commuter style system such as northern NJ.

    Your objection to Krugman, though rests on both a straw man and an either or fallacy. No one is proposing replacing roads or planes with trains, we can and should have a mix of all of them. Likewise Krugman is not asserting to simply lay down rail everywhere and anywhere without any regard to density, population, traffic etc.

  9. It occurs to me re: DOMA…..what Obama’s critics are basically arguing for is compelling speech which would seem to violate the first amendment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>