Archive for July 24th, 2009

Official Statement by Governor Charlie Crist regarding the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Crist’s campaign:

Statement by Governor Charlie Crist regarding the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court.

“As Governor, I have had the honor of appointing dozens of judges, in both the appellate and trial courts.  Selecting a judge, particularly to a supreme court, is one of the weightiest and most important decisions any elected executive can make.”

“While I have not had the opportunity to meet personally with Judge Sotomayor–a crucial step in the selection process–I have reviewed and reflected upon her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and come to the conclusion that I cannot support her appointment to the United States Supreme Court.  Judge Sotomayor is worthy of respect for her many accomplishments and her remarkable story of success.  However, I have strong concerns that Judge Sotomayor would not strictly and objectively construe the constitution and lacks respect for the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.  For these reasons, I cannot support her appointment to the highest court in the land.”

Editorial: Jerry Moran gives conservatives seven reasons to support Todd Tiahrt

Friday, July 24th, 2009

On Thursday, First District Congressman Jerry Moran lost considerable ground in his race against Fourth District Congressman Todd Tiahrt for the Republican nomination to the US Senate.

Sixty to seventy percent of Kansas Republican voters are conservative, and Moran must perform well among these voters if he hopes to replace Senator Sam Brownback in the Senate.  Moran made that much more difficult yesterday by announcing the endorsement of seven Johnson County mayors:

Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach, Lenexa Mayor Mike Boehm, Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn, Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland, Shawnee Mayor Jeff Meyers, Prairie Village Mayor Ron Shaffer and Mission Mayor Laura McConwell offered a joint statement endorsing Moran’s candidacy.

The Moran campaign’s press release added, “This endorsement gives Moran a strong boost in a key battleground county.”

No, it does the opposite.  This endorsement causes Republicans to pause and to wonder whether Jerry Moran will support reform, or will instead support more of the same “big-government Republicanism” that, since 2005, has led the GOP into an unnecessarily small minority in Congress.

Most of these mayors are quite liberal, and the rest lack the courage to support a freedom-based agenda, one that results in less government and lower taxes, rather than more.   (more…)

Washington Post editorial on Federal Reserve Transparency Act: Transparency at the central bank is a bad thing

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Post:

Which brings us to the proposed Federal Reserve Transparency Act, sponsored by anti-Fed crusader Ron Paul (R-Tex.) in the House and socialist Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Senate. In the name of open government, it would subject the Fed’s decisions to a full-blown audit by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. Though the bill has attracted 276 co-sponsors in the House and 17 in the Senate, it is wrongheaded in the extreme. By opening up the Fed’s most sensitive interest rate and credit policies to public second-guessing, the bill would create a risk — real and perceived — of monetary policy bent to suit congressional overseers. This would destroy financial markets’ faith in the Fed and, by extension, the value of the U.S. dollar, just as surely as a political “audit” of the Supreme Court’s deliberations would undercut public faith in the justice system.

Erick Erickson on NRA’s decision to track Sotomayor confirmation vote: Mitch McConnell Scores Huge

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Erickson:

It is worth pointing out that Senator Mitch McConnell has been most excellent on the issue of Sotomayor. And I, given my frequent criticisms of him, want to this out there.

This morning, the NRA is announcing that it is going to score the Sotomayor nomination. This is a great thing. And I have no doubt that while outside groups have applied much pressure, Mitch McConnell leading so effectively on this front was a deciding factor. No group wants to come out and be left hanging by a failure of leadership.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland: Ten Myths about Subprime Mortgages

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Source:

Yuliya Demyanyk

On close inspection many of the most popular explanations for the subprime crisis turn out to be myths. Empirical research shows that the causes of the subprime mortgage crisis and its magnitude were more complicated than mortgage interest rate resets, declining underwriting standards, or declining home values. Nor were its causes unlike other crises of the past. The subprime crisis was building for years before showing any signs and was fed by lending, securitization, leveraging, and housing booms.

Subprime mortgages have been getting a lot of attention in the United States since 2000, when the number of subprime loans being originated and refinanced shot up rapidly. The attention intensified in 2007, when defaults on subprime loans began to skyrocket. Researchers, policymakers, and the public have tried to identify the factors that explained these defaults.

Unfortunately, many of the most popular explanations that have emerged for the subprime crisis are, to a large extent, myths. On close inspection, these explanations are not supported by empirical research.

Speaker O’Neal cleared of nepotism allegations

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Kansas Liberty ($):Ethics commission refuses to reimburse Van Meteren

The embattled Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission decided Wednesday not to take action on a damages request made by the attorneys of a man fined $7500 by the commission for violating a provision of thecampaign finance act that prohibits a person from speaking about a complaint once it has been filed with the ethics commission.

The commission claimed Kris Van Meteren, a political consultant, violated a confidentiality statute in the campaign finance act when he spoke with two reporters, including a Kansas Liberty reporter, about…

Investor’s Business Daily on GM’s new men’s fragrance: Something’s Smelly At GM

Friday, July 24th, 2009

IBD:

It got little attention, but GM’s decision to launch its new fragrance line in honor of Cadillac’s 100th anniversary may go down as one of the most absurd moves by a troubled corporation ever. No doubt they kept a team of highly paid MBAs busy for months with the project, while the car end of their business was imploding faster than a black hole.

Is this what we get for our money – the $51 billion we taxpayers have ponied up to bail GM out of its self-inflicted woes?

“Cadillac, the new fragrance for men,” doesn’t seem like much to start the “New” General Motors Corp. on. Likewise, it’s never good to see that, amid all the cutbacks, GM’s lobbying budget remains virtually untouched. We guess the new “Government Motors” needs the political clout.

Princeton economist Alan Blinder: The Economy Has Hit Bottom

Friday, July 24th, 2009

WSJ:

How’s the economy, you ask? I have the proverbial good news and bad news, but in this case, they’re exactly the same: The U.S. economy appears to be hitting bottom.

First, the good news. Right now, it looks like second-quarter GDP growth will come in only slightly negative, and third-quarter growth will finally turn positive. Compared to the catastrophic decline we recently experienced-with GDP dropping at roughly a 6% annual rate in the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year-that would be a gigantic improvement.

Furthermore, there is a reasonable chance-not a certainty, mind you, but a reasonable chance-that the second half of 2009 will surprise us on the upside. (Can anyone remember what an upside surprise feels like?) Three-percent growth is eminently doable. Four percent is even possible. Surprised? How, with all our economic travails, could we possibly mount such a boom? The answer is that this seemingly high growth scenario isn’t a boom at all. Rather, it follows directly from the arithmetic of hitting bottom.

KC Star: ACLU wants to know if KC plans to use public money to back religious program

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Star:

The head of a civil rights organization wants to know whether Kansas City plans to spend public money to support a religious program.

At issue is a $5,000 grant to help cover expenses for the “Life Changers Conference” last week at Bartle Hall. A City Council committee Wednesday voted unanimously to recommend allocating a grant from the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund.

But Dan Winter, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri, noted the event’s agenda included five explicitly labeled worship services among other sessions ranging from health topics to financial matters. Winter said his office had received a complaint from a citizen that the proposed city subsidy would violate the separation of church and state.

The health care rationing chart that Democrats don’t want you to see.

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Redstate:

I know that it’s a over-complicated visual mess – but then, so is the health care rationing plan that it represents. Which is why the Democrats don’t want people to get too good a look at it:

Democrats are preventing Republican House Members from sending their constituents a mailing that is critical of the majority’s health care reform plan, blocking the mailing by alleging that it is inaccurate.

House Republicans are crying foul and claiming that the Democrats are using their majority to prevent GOP Members from communicating with their constituents.

The dispute centers on a chart created by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Republican staff of the Joint Economic Committee to illustrate the organization of the Democratic health care plan.

At first glance, Brady’s chart resembles a board game: a colorful collection of shapes and images with a web of lines connecting them.

But a closer look at the image reveals a complicated menagerie of government offices and programs that Republicans say will be created if the leading Democratic health care plan becomes law.

“Must Read” — Bobby Jindal’s Bipartisan Health-Care Reform

Friday, July 24th, 2009

redstate:

Consider this your must read of the day.

The left in Washington has concluded that honesty will not yield its desired policy result. So it resorts to a fundamentally dishonest approach to reform. I say this because the marketing of the Democrats’ plans as presented in the House of Representatives and endorsed heartily by President Obama rests on three falsehoods.

Bobby Jindal, more than probably anyone else in elected politics right now including Barack Obama and his Secretary of Health, is probably the most qualified person to talk about healthcare reform.

Floyd Norris: A Retreat From Global Banking

Friday, July 24th, 2009

NY Times:

The era of financial globalization may be coming to an end.

Virtually universal revulsion at the errors and excesses of the financial giants, and the global recession that resulted, has not led to any real consensus what to do about it, at either national or international levels.

Instead, countries are looking out for themselves, or simply quarreling. Recriminations are in fashion, whether against regulators who allowed bailed-out bankers to get big pay packages or against financial institutions that were unpopular in some countries long before the financial crisis.

Bankers Bet Jobs on a Roaring V-Shaped Recovery: David Reilly

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Bloomberg:

July 24 (Bloomberg) — The country’s biggest banks are doubling down on a bet that the economy will improve in the latter half of the year. If they’re wrong, and borrowers don’t pull out of a tailspin, bankers and their investors will take a beating.

That’s because banks will have to rebuild diminishing reserves that they set aside for soured loans, which results in charges that lower profit.

Signs that big banks are hoping to draw the equivalent of an inside straight on an economic rebound emerged in second- quarter results. Figures from the country’s seven largest commercial banks by assets, including banks like Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp., show they went easy on increasing loan-loss reserves in the quarter.

Redstate on Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO): If Public Option is so Superfantastic, Surely the President and Congress Won’t Mind Replacing Their Current Health Care With It

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Redstate:

Blunt said:

Mr. Speaker, if the Energy and Commerce Committee had continued to work today, I would have introduced an amendment to require all federal elected officials, including the President and Vice President, to set aside our health care benefits and enroll in their new idea of a government-run health care system. If the majority is really so confident that their plan will provide the very best health care for the people we represent, we ought to demonstrate that confidence by enrolling ourselves.

I, for one, don’t believe a government-run health care plan will be the best for the people we represent, but a government competitor will soon be all that is left.

A government competitor, Mr. Speaker, would be like an elephant in a room full of mice. The fast mice get out of the room as quick as they can, the slow mice get crushed, and only the elephant is left.

That’s a great proposal. Naturally, it won’t make it anywhere in this “One Set Of Rules For Me, Another For Thee” Congress, but the fact they keep shooting down such proposals should make clear to the American people just how little elected Democrats think of the “options” they present their constituents in such vital areas as health care.

Bruce Bartlett on unemployment: This is a terrible time to raise the minimum wage.

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Forbes:

Even though the nation is suffering a crisis of unemployment, with the national unemployment rate at 9.5% , the federal government has nevertheless mandated that it will go higher because, starting today, the minimum wage rises from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour.

Redstate: Sotomayor Reverses Herself on Use of Foreign Law — She went a full 360 degrees back to her original position.

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Redstate:

She told the Senate while the cameras were on that she would not use foreign laws as interpretive tools. Now she says she absolutely would.

If Senate Republicans vote for her, they will be establishing as a baseline for future nominees that using foreign law to interpret the American constitution and our body of laws is perfectly acceptable. They will also establish that it is perfectly acceptable for Obama’s nominees to say one thing in public, then retract that statement in private when no one is lookin

Erick Erickson on Jimmy Carter: Does Anyone Really Care That History’s Greatest Monster is No Longer a Southern Baptist?

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Redstate.

Larry Summers On the Moon: Troy Senik

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Senik:

Nearly 40 years to the day that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on the Moon, the United States celebrated late last week with another exercise in weightlessness: a speech to the Peterson Institute for International Economics by National Economic Council Chairman Lawrence Summers.

Summers, an eminence grise in Democratic circles and a key architect of Clinton-era economic policies, has often been one of the few sources of comfort to those of us who fear the Democratic Party’s hybrid of ignorance and contempt for markets. But in his address to the Washington-based think tank, Summers revealed that he has internalized the economic logic of the Obama Administration: that a more centrally-planned marketplace can escape the rules of economic gravity.

Miami Herald: Gov. Charlie Crist says he opposes Sonia Sotomayor

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Herald:

Gov. Charlie Crist, whose embrace of President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan cost him support among some conservative Republicans, echoed their objections to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor in a statement Tuesday.

Crist had brushed off questions about Sotomayor’s nomination for weeks, drawing criticism from his opponents in the U.S. Senate race. Sen. Mel Martinez, the Republican whose retirement in 2010 opened the door for Crist, said last week that he supports Sotomayor.

AP: Swine flu could strike up to 40 percent in 2 years

Friday, July 24th, 2009

AP:

ATLANTA – U.S. health officials say swine flu could strike up to 40 percent of Americans over the next two years and as many as several hundred thousand could die if a vaccine campaign and other measures aren’t successful.

Those estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mean about twice the number of people who usually get sick in a normal flu season would be struck by swine flu. Officials said those projections would drop if a new vaccine is ready and widely available, as U.S. officials expect.

The U.S. may have as many as 160 million doses of swine flu vaccineavailable sometime in October, and U.S. tests of the new vaccine are to start shortly, federal officials said this week.