August 18, 2008

If Clarence Thomas wasn't ready to be a Supreme Court Justice, is Obama ready to be President?

The Wall Street Journal notes Obama's statement that he would not name nominated Clarence Thomas...
"I don't think that he, I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution."
... and compares the records of the 2 men at the time they presented themselves as ready:
By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General's office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's second most prominent court....

Meanwhile, as he bids to be America's Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama isn't yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a "community organizer" and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas's judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama's Presidential résumé by any measure. And when it comes to rising from difficult circumstances, Justice Thomas's rural Georgian upbringing makes Mr. Obama's story look like easy street.
The WSJ goes on to diagnose Obama's "political habits of mind" and to knock him for "instinctively revert[ing] to the leftwing cliché that the Court's black conservative isn't up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are."

I just heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio reading this editorial and making much of that charge of racism.

70 comments:

Methadras said...

Mr. Barely said...

"I don't think that he, I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution."


How could he possibly know the strength or weakness of a jurist or legal thinker when he isn't one himself? In what capacity has Mr. Barely put his law degree into action? Also, his profound disagreement with Justice Thomas' interpretation of the Constitution is in strict adherence to his mentors like Sol Alinski and Frank Marshal Davis, two devout socialist/communist wealth redistributionists. Yeah, Mr. Barely, you don't agree with Justice Thomas' interpretation of the Constitution because it didn't nor does it jive with your real ideological vision for America now does it? Besides, how old was Mr. Barely, when Clarence Thomas was being grilled in the Senate to become a Justice?

This man shows his ignorance on a daily basis and you followers of his have the nerve to call people nuts for not thinking otherwise. He may have a modicum of smarts, but he isn't very bright now is he?

Invisible Man said...

Conservatives screamed about Harriet Miers and Alberto Gonzalez as unqualified for SCOTUS and you can make the case (easily for Abu G) that both were more qualified than Clarence Thomas at the time. Anyway, its hard to argue that Clarence isn't the least qualified of the current Justices by a good margin, and many of you thing he's teh greatest.

former law student said...

Obama was a top student at Harvard and EIC of the Law Review; Thomas was an average student at Yale.
Obama taught ConLaw at one of the top ten law schools; holding the same position as renowned appellate judges Posner and Easterbrook. Thomas taught what, where?
Obama was a legislator for 12 years before seeking higher office; Thomas was on the bench for one year. Obama was raised by a single mom, Thomas had a strong male figure consistently in his life. Recall that Obama's bio reflects the absence of his father; Thomas's bio reflects the presence of his grandfather.

Thomas would seem better suited to be a bureaucrat than a lifelong interpreter of the Constitution. Perhaps he and Obama could trade jobs after Obama's second term.

Host with the Most said...

Invisible Man,

Thomas is ON the court. It's all old news.

The question is now: will you vote for someone who is - it the entire history of the United States - the least qualified major party candidate running for President of the United States?

I have zero respect for those who think Thomas was/is a lightweight but plan themselves to vote for Obama.

rhhardin said...

The subtlety required is in cleaning up the legal messes and avoiding doing anything to make it worse, while keeping an eye on what the Constitution is supposed to guarantee.

I myself would start by covering everything with freedom of speech and removing it from the reach of Congress.

What is metaphor for if not getting around the text.

Host with the Most said...

Obama taught ConLaw at one of the top ten law schools; holding the same position as renowned appellate judges Posner and Easterbrook

And that yielded what, exactly?

Middle Class Guy said...

How come no one questions Ruth Bader Ginsburg's readiness or qualifications to be on the Supreme Court?

rhhardin said...

News flash : The Ohio court holds that strip clubs that want to serve liquor can't have topless dancers.

It's a penumbra thing.

vbspurs said...

It's far more impressive to be the first African-American President than to be the second African-American Supreme Court Justice.

Obama just didn't know how to wiggle that into his response.

titushwhat said...

I just wish Thomas wasn't so physically ugly.

He has got to be one of the ugliest people in public life and that says quite a bit considering how many public officials are ugly.

Ugly is very difficult to look at.

Rush Limbaugh is another one that is not an attractive man.

Other than that I love both of them to death.

titushwhat said...

Hopefully Clarence Thomas will get Obama back somehow in the near future.

UWS guy said...

Obama's problem was his pandering to his base during a venue that was meant for both McCain and Obama to reach out to a community (evangelicals) who are at best, luke-warm to both of them.

McCain tailored his responses to his audience, Obama reverted to Liberal form.

Bagging on Clarence Thomas doesn't endear Obama to me (a cross-over voter). I need to hear more praise of conservatives from obama (like his words re: reagan.)

UWS guy said...

It would be ironic for Thomas to vote against obama were to go to the supreme court again (florida 2000) Titus!

Is that the payback?

heh.

XWL said...

So those saying Thomas wasn't qualified enough, and qualifications and experience are the prime determinate of who should be placed in nomination when Stevens, Ginsburg or Breyer retire, will be pleased as punch when McCain nominates Judge Janice Rogers Brown (with over a decade as a federal judge, and nearly a decade at the state level) or Judge Alex Kozinski (who has been at the 9th Circuit since 1985).

(somehow, I doubt that)

I have no problem with Ginsburg, she was a known quantity, and has performed as expected, plus she has a consistent philosophy based on a particular interpretation of the constitution. Same with Scalia, Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and even Stevens. Breyer, Souter, and Kennedy, not so much (in my opinion, and same goes for O'Connor, she was a terrible justice).

Seems the primary motivation in who gets picked for the court is youth and ideology, given that presidents want to leave their mark on that body for decades to come. We lucked out that Alito and Roberts are both youthful, and though they may be painted as ideologues by their opponents, even their opponents should be able to admit that their ideology comes from a place of intellectual honesty and consistency.

(which is why Obama's opposition to Roberts is unforgiveably dishonest)

titushwhat said...

Did Mccain vote for any of the supreme court justices he said he didn't like?

That would be funny if the election was decided by the supreme court again and Thomas vote denied Obama the presidency.

Also, Thomas's white wife is one ugly mofo. Her hair is absolutely unforgiveable.

MadisonMan said...

If Clarence Thomas wasn't ready to be a Supreme Court Justice, is Obama ready to be President?

If the first part of an if-then clause is false, then can the then part of the statement be answered truthfully? I recall discussing this in philosophy class in College, but don't remember the answer.

Clarence Thomas was obviously ready to be a SC justice. Didn't he step right in and be one after confirmation? I don't think he was the most qualified nominee at the time. I am reminded of the Judge's line in Night Court -- someone was at the bottom of the list, but he was on the list.

Simon said...

Invisible Man said...
"Conservatives screamed about Harriet Miers and Alberto Gonzalez as unqualified for SCOTUS and you can make the case ... that both were more qualified than Clarence Thomas at the time."

You can't make that case for Miers, and in any event, the opposition to them wasn't primarily about experience. In the case of Miers, it was that she was a legal and intellectual lightweight - not a million miles from Obama, really - and an unknown quantity, and in the case of Gonzales, that he was a known and disliked quantity. In both cases, there was also a huge sense of anger that the President just didn't seem to have any clue what he was doing, that he seemed to think that this was just another patronage appointment.

XWL, I think Souter belongs in the more principled and less pragmatic group.

LutherM said...

The editorial briefly recapitulates the meager experience and qualifications of Barack Obama. The boy IS bright, but, I fear, is a phony.
It is one thing to say that you disagree with Mr. Justice Thomas. It's something entirely different to accuse him of being unqualified. There are more than a few liberals who hold that view.
Perhaps accusing judges of lacking qualifications is permissible, even close to being obligatory for junior non-tenured teachers at the University of Chicago Law School. Perhaps this gets the teacher noticed for something other than being the beneficiary of Affirmative Action.
If Barack Obama were to say that Richard Posner is better qualified than Thomas, I would agree with him.
But to call Clarence Thomas of being UNQUALIFIED is wrong.

Simon said...

titushwhat said...
"Did Mccain vote for any of the supreme court justices he said he didn't like?"

Yes, he did. But that's not necessarily a contradiction. Many reasonable people believe - although, to tell the truth, I'm dubious - that the differing institutional roles of the Senate and the President requires that Senators should be deferential to the President’s choices, exercising their advice and consent role in something akin to abuse of discretion review. According to this school of thought, only when a Presidential pick is far beyond the pale should they be voted down; Lieberman, for example, has explicitly endorsed this attitude, and the Senate Republican caucus has implicitly advanced it. How much deference is due will of course vary, but the basic premise is very widely held.

If one takes that position, and McCain has given every reason to think that he does, it follows that one would routinely vote to confirm someone that you would not yourself have nominated. Thus, McCain’s statement only becomes contradictory of his votes to confirm those justices if one assumes an ancillary and disputed proposition: that a Senator should not vote to confirm someone they would not have nominated.

former law student said...

Obama's opposition to Roberts is unforgiveably dishonest

Huh? Roberts has long positioned himself as a corporate tool, as in the old Forbes magazine slogan. Obama's been a man of the people since his first community organizing job. Only rightwing ideologues can believe the aims of peasants and plutocrats are identical.

Crimso said...

"Did Mccain vote for any of the supreme court justices he said he didn't like?"

He voted to confirm all of them, except Stevens (McCain wasn't in the Senate then). Flip-flop? No, it's more likely that McCain believes it's the President's perogative to nominate, and that it's the Senate's responsibility to see to it that the person is qualified. One suspects that Obama holds the opinion that the role of the Senate in this process is to exercise a veto over anyone not ideologically in step with the majority party.

Simon said...

It's useful to remind ourselves what Senator Obama said to justify his vote against Roberts' nomination. Obama said that "[t]here is absolutely no doubt in my mind Judge Roberts is qualified to sit on the highest court in the land. Moreover, he seems to have the comportment and the temperament that makes for a good judge. He is humble, he is personally decent, and he appears to be respectful of different points of view. It is absolutely clear to me that Judge Roberts truly loves the law." Nevertheless, Obama concluded, "with considerable reticence" he had decided to vote against Roberts, hoping that "this reticence on my part proves unjustified and that Judge Roberts will show himself to not only be an outstanding legal thinker but also someone who upholds the Court's historic role as a check on the majoritarian impulses of the executive branch and the legislative branch. I hope that he will recognize who the weak are and who the strong are in our society."

Here is how Obama blathered his way from the first quote to the second:

"The problem I face ... is that while adherence to legal precedent and rules of statutory or constitutional construction will dispose of 95 percent of the cases that come before a court, so that both a Scalia and a Ginsburg will arrive at the same place most of the time on those 95 percent of the cases--what matters on the Supreme Court is those 5 percent of cases that are truly difficult. In those cases, adherence to precedent and rules of construction and interpretation will only get you through the 25th mile of the marathon. That last mile can only be determined on the basis of one's deepest values, one's core concerns, one's broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one's empathy.

In those 5 percent of hard cases, the constitutional text will not be directly on point. The language of the statute will not be perfectly clear. Legal process alone will not lead you to a rule of decision. In those circumstances, your decisions about whether affirmative action is an appropriate response to the history of discrimination in this country or whether a general right of privacy encompasses a more specific right of women to control their reproductive decisions or whether the commerce clause empowers Congress to speak on those issues of broad national concern that may be only tangentially related to what is easily defined as interstate commerce, whether a person who is disabled has the right to be accommodated so they can work alongside those who are nondisabled--in those difficult cases, the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge's heart.

. . . .

... [Having] examined Judge Roberts' record and history of public service, it is my personal estimation that he has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak. In his work in the White House and the Solicitor General's Office, he seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination in our political process. In these same positions, he seemed dismissive of the concerns that it is harder to make it in this world and in this economy when you are a woman rather than a man.

I want to take Judge Roberts at his word that he doesn't like bullies and he sees the law and the Court as a means of evening the playing field between the strong and the weak. But given the gravity of the position to which he will undoubtedly ascend and the gravity of the decisions in which he will undoubtedly participate during his tenure on the Court, I ultimately have to give more weight to his deeds and the overarching political philosophy that he appears to have shared with those in power than to the assuring words that he provided me in our meeting.
"

151 Cong. Rec. S10366 (Sept. 22, 2005).

Spread Eagle said...

Thomas is every bit as qualified as was Thurgood Marshall, arguably more. Marshall was the quintessential case of being the right color in the right place at the right time, with not much else to commend him. Kinda reminds me of Obama that way when I think about it, except Marshall unlike Obama did have an extensive resume.

jimbino said...

Clarence Thomas is an English Major, as ignorant of Science and Math as all but one of his Brethren/Cistern and for that reason disqualified to sit on a SCOTUS of any era.

Simon said...

And here's Obama on Justice Alito's nomination:

"There are some who believe that the President, having won the election, should have complete authority to appoint his nominee and the Senate should only examine whether the Justice is intellectually capable and an all-around good guy; that once you get beyond intellect and personal character, there should be no further question as to whether the judge should be confirmed.

I disagree with this view. I believe firmly that the Constitution calls for ... an examination of a judge's philosophy, ideology, and record. When I examine the philosophy, ideology, and record of Samuel Alito, I am deeply troubled.

I have no doubt Judge Alito has the training and qualifications necessary to serve. As has been already stated, he has received the highest rating from the ABA. He is an intelligent man and an accomplished jurist. There is no indication that he is not a man of fine character.

But when you look at his record, when it comes to his understanding of the Constitution, I found that in almost every case he consistently sides on behalf of the powerful against the powerless; on behalf of a strong government or corporation against upholding Americans' individual rights and liberties.

If there is a case involving an employer and employee and the Supreme Court has not given clear direction, Judge Alito will rule in favor of the employer. If there is a claim between prosecutors and defendants, if the Supreme Court has not provided a clear rule of decision, then he will rule in favor of the State. He has rejected countless claims of employer discrimination, even refusing to give some plaintiffs a hearing for their case. He has refused to hold corporations accountable numerous times for dumping toxic chemicals into water supplies, even against the decisions of the EPA. He has overturned a jury verdict that found a company liable for being a monopoly when it had over 90 percent of the market share in that industry at the time.

It is not just his decisions in individual cases that give me pause, though; it is that decisions like these are the rule for Samuel Alito rather than the exception. When it comes to how checks and balances in our system are supposed to operate, the balance of power between the executive branch, Congress, and the judiciary, Judge Alito consistently sides with the notion that a President should not be constrained by either congressional acts or the check of the judiciary. He believes in the overarching power of the President to engage in whatever policies the President deems to be appropriate.

As a consequence of this, I am extraordinarily worried about how Judge Alito might approach the numerous issues that are going to arise as a consequence of the challenges we face with terrorism. There are issues such as wiretapping, monitoring of e-mails, other privacy concerns that we have seen surface over the last several months.

The Supreme Court may be called to judge as to whether the President can label an individual U.S. citizen an enemy combatant and thereby lock them up without the benefit of trial or due process. There may be consideration with respect to how the President can prosecute the war in Iraq and issues related to torture. In all of these cases, we believe the President deserves our respect as Commander in Chief, but we also want to make sure the President is bound by the law, that he remains accountable to the people who put him there, that we respect the office and not just the man, and that that office is bounded and constrained by our Constitution and our laws. I don't have confidence that Judge Alito shares that vision of our Constitution.

In sum, I have seen an extraordinarily consistent attitude on the part of Judge Alito that does not, I believe, uphold the traditional role of the Supreme Court as a bastion of equality and justice for U.S. citizens. Should he be confirmed, I hope he proves me wrong. I hope he shows the independence that I think is absolutely necessary in order for us to protect and preserve our liberties and our freedoms as citizens. But at this juncture, based on a careful review of his record, I do not have that confidence, and for that reason I will vote no and urge my colleagues to vote no on this confirmation.
"

152 Cong. Rec. S190-1 (2006).

XWL said...

Former Law Student above in defense of Obama, "Obama's been a man of the people since his first community organizing job. Only rightwing ideologues can believe the aims of peasants and plutocrats are identical.

Yeah, that's what this country needs a Marxist ideologue in the White House (which is how FLS is making Obama sound in how he defends him, whether or not Obama is objectively a Marxist or just marxist-lite, is for voters to decide).

Maybe an Obama led four year disaster of Carter-like proportions is what this country needs to once again discredit big government and nanny-statism at the federal level. A failed Obama might be the only way to bring about another Reagan Revolution (assuming there's another Reagan in the GOP ranks who could rise to prominence in time for the 2012 election)

former law student said...

Thomas is every bit as qualified as was Thurgood Marshall, arguably more. Marshall was the quintessential case of being the right color in the right place at the right time, with not much else to commend him.

it am clear spreadeagle live in Bizarro World.

Here in the US, Thurgood Marshall was spectacularly qualified. Thomas didn't come within 1000 miles of Marshall's legal experience. What Thomas had going for him was the extremely rare combination of black and Republican. Just a tiny snippet from wikipedia:

Marshall won his very first U.S. Supreme Court case, Chambers v. Florida, 309 U.S. 227 (1940), at the age of 32. That same year, he was appointed Chief Counsel for the NAACP. He argued many other cases before the Supreme Court, most of them successfully, including Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944); Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948); Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 (1950); and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637 (1950). His most famous case as a lawyer was Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), the case in which the Supreme Court ruled that "separate but equal" public education was unconstitutional because it could never be truly equal. In total, Marshall won 29 out of the 32 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.

former law student said...

Yeah, that's what this country needs a Marxist ideologue in the White House (which is how FLS is making Obama sound in how he defends him, whether or not Obama is objectively a Marxist or just marxist-lite, is for voters to decide).

Yeah, well I've had a pang of anti-corporatism ever since I read this in the NYT this morning. The idea that I've been shouldering corporations' tax burdens for years put me off my feed:

An investigation by the Government Accountability Office found that almost two-thirds of companies in the United States usually pay no corporate income taxes. Big companies, those with more than $50 million in sales or $250 million in assets, are less likely to avoid Uncle Sam altogether. Still, about a quarter of them report no tax liability either.

The G.A.O., which looked at tax returns from 1998 through 2005, does not tell us exactly how so many corporations managed to avoid the taxman. It simply notes that they were able to record sufficient expenses — salaries, interest and “other deductions” — to cancel out their taxable income.

We find it hard to believe that some two-thirds of American companies fail to turn a profit.

Wurly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

FLS: IANAL caveat in my case, butI honestly do not understand how arguing cases before the supreme court and winning them, qualifies one to be a judge--I would think judicial experience would be more important than advocacy.

Spread Eagle said...

Thurgood Marshall was spectacularly qualified.

Howard University Law School? Lincoln University undergrad? As if.

There were undoubtedly a veritable multitude of others far more qualified. But they specifically wanted to get a black guy on there. So, as I said, right color, right place, right time. And even then they had to groom him for several years. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just sayin ...

Larry J said...

"Did Mccain vote for any of the supreme court justices he said he didn't like?"

He voted to confirm all of them, except Stevens (McCain wasn't in the Senate then). Flip-flop? No, it's more likely that McCain believes it's the President's perogative to nominate, and that it's the Senate's responsibility to see to it that the person is qualified. One suspects that Obama holds the opinion that the role of the Senate in this process is to exercise a veto over anyone not ideologically in step with the majority party.


As an example of this mindset on the part of some senators, I remember a brief exchange from Ginsberg's confirmation hearings. One very old Republican senator (Strom Thruman, IIRC) asked her if a the fact that a company didn't have any minority employees was proof positive that the company was discriminating on the basis of race. Ginsberg smuggly answered that it did. The senator then pointed out that her legal office at the time did not employ any racial minorities. You could see the panic on Ginsberg's face until the senator said to the effect that he supported the president's (Clinton) right to nominate who he choose. He didn't oppose the confirmation even though he could've killed it.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama was raised by a single mom, Thomas had a strong male figure consistently in his life. Recall that Obama's bio reflects the absence of his father; Thomas's bio reflects the presence of his grandfather.

Wow! Liberalism has taken a new turn. Next, kids from two parent families will be considered the new white people.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama was raised by a single mom, Thomas had a strong male figure consistently in his life. Recall that Obama's bio reflects the absence of his father; Thomas's bio reflects the presence of his grandfather.

Obama had a father figure - Remember Reverend Wright? But, we all know how that turned out.

Joan said...

Off topic, but I can't let it slide -- FLS, that corporations-not-paying-taxes story has been thoroughly debunked. The NYT itself issued a correction on it, perhaps you didn't see it: An article on Wednesday about a Government Accountability Office study reporting on the percentage of corporations that paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005 gave an incorrect figure for the estimated tax liability of the 1.3 million companies covered by the study. It is not $875 billion. The correct amount cannot be calculated because it would be based on the companies’ paying the standard rate of 35 percent on their net income, a figure that is not available. (The incorrect figure of $875 billion was based on the companies’ paying the standard rate on their $2.5 trillion in gross sales.)

ricpic said...

Clarence Thomas and Ernest Borgnine were separated at birth and their ugly strength makes them both more attractive to women than you are, Titus. But that's no problema to you since you have Jesus.

Sloanasaurus said...

We find it hard to believe that some two-thirds of American companies fail to turn a profit.

Wow! Some liberals sure are dumb.

Most small C-Corps pay out their earnings in salaries, therefore netting the corporation zero earnings. Of course the government still taxes the salaries. The NY Times article failed to mention that (wonder why?)

TMink said...

"If Clarence Thomas wasn't ready to be a Supreme Court Justice, is Obama ready to be President?"

Of course not!

and sloan wrote: "Next, kids from two parent families will be considered the new white people." Well, kids that grow up with two parents are statistically more likely to be white. They are also much more likely to grow up to be a producer and maker who contribute to society than a high school drop out who is a dependent and a taker who lives off the producers.

Of course, they will be called an oreo by the race pimps that depend on ignorant people for their livelihood.

Trey

TitusThatsEntertainment said...

Ugly people are difficult to look at.

When passing an ugly person I tend to look down or look the other way.

It hurts.

Actually, women love me Ricpic. I have some really hot real girl girlfriends. Could it be you were referring to yourself? I think that may be it.

And Clarence Thomas is butt ugly. His face is just a squished up mess of nasty.

TitusThatsEntertainment said...

The guy washing my buliding windows is totally hot.

He is right outside my juliet balcony now. He is wearing a tank top, he is all inked up, nice little yellow hard hat, something around his waist so he doesn't fall, and he is on some machine moving around the building.

I am totally horny now.

I am tempted to to ask him if he want a blow job. Oh and he speaks Arabic-hot.

John Lynch said...

FLS,
The NYT article you read has been the subject of much hilarity and contempt by economists and business people.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/08/021245.php

and

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2008/08/they-went-to-j.html


They (NYT) have since issued a correction to their article.

former law student said...

Tony Rezko and other slumlords who twist public programs for their own benefit

Those goddamned capitalists! Never trust them, never. Still, what are you going to do? The fiasco of CHA housing (Robert Taylor Homes, Stateway Gardens, Cabrini-Green) demonstrates that public housing doesn't work. The Rezko fiasco demonstrates that public-private partnerships don't work. How are we to house the poor effectively? Can private enterprise make a profit decently housing the poor?

joan, none of your links go back to the New York Times. Today they printed that two-thirds of corporations receive government services without paying taxes. One quarter of the biggest companies pay no federal taxes. The articles you cite refute claims that are no longer being made.

AJ Lynch said...

To add to Simon's pooint, there are thousands of s-corp returns where the company made plenty of profit but paid no fed tax. Why?

Because the S-corp profit is allocated to the shareholders and they pay taxes on their 1040 (personal) returns.

The NYT is dishonest in writing this idiotorial. Obviously the idiotors were embarrased last week and had to retract their stupifyingly ignorant idiotorial on this topic but they won't let it go.

John Lynch said...

Dastardly of GM and others to lose millions fo dollars in order to avoid paying federal taxes. We should drive them out of business. Oh . . .wait . . .

TitusThatsEntertainment said...

I am a capitalist who works for a Fortune 100 company that makes big bucks and I make lots of money and I love it.

former law student said...

how [does] arguing cases before the supreme court and winning them, qualifies one to be a judge--I would think judicial experience would be more important than advocacy.

Ah OK.

Appellate cases, especially Supreme Court cases, are won on the strength of the legal reasoning in their briefs, not the oral argument itself. Particularly for Supreme Court briefs, the advocate must chart a path where the law SHOULD go. This requires legal scholarship and logical skills of a high order. To write such briefs, you must think like a Supreme Court Justice. Therefore the transition to actual Supreme Court Justice would be easy. Similarly, Chief Justice Roberts did well arguing in front of the Supreme Court (as Deputy Solicitor General arguing for the government) winning 25 out of 39 cases.

spreadeagle -- unfortunately Thurgood had to attend "historically black" schools to get his education. Through the 30s and well into the 40s, the idea that black men were equal to whites was dangerous and radical, held mostly by Communists. No historically white schools were controlled by Communists at that time.

PatCA said...

Obama is such a tepid soul that I'm sure he voiced his opposition to Thomas as a sort of Sister Soulja moment.

It wasn't.

John Lynch said...

Additionally FLS, US corporate tax rate is already second only to Japan. Further, when state and local corporate taxes are added in, our tax burden on corporations is greater than anywhere in the world.

Wonder what effect that has in deciding where to form a business?

AJ Lynch said...

John Lynch said:

"Dastardly of THE NEW YORK TIMES and others to lose millions of dollars in order to avoid paying federal taxes. We should drive them out of business. Oh . . .wait . . ."

I changed your comment slightly. Heh.

Wurly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wurly said...

So FLS, you're admitting that Obama's "man of people" efforts have come to squat - which you euphemistically dscribe as the "Rezko fiasco."

Moreover, his church had a message denouncing "middle classness," which probably stunted the economic and social development of at least some members, while allowing its leader to retire to a 10,000 sq. ft. McMansion in a gated Chicago community.

Still, Obama did help his friends and political contributors get rich and advanced his own political interests. What a man of the people.

Martin said...

http://mhollick.typepad.com/homodox_a_blog/2008/08/experience-in-political-life.html

Ann Althouse said...

"Recall that Obama's bio reflects the absence of his father; Thomas's bio reflects the presence of his grandfather."

Obama's memoir reflects the presence of his grandfather too.

former law student said...

US corporate tax rate is already second only to Japan. Further, when state and local corporate taxes are added in, our tax burden on corporations is greater than anywhere in the world.

The corporate tax rate is nominal, akin to the list price of manufactured goods. How do our effective tax rates compare, when all the tax preferences and credits are included?

There are certainly offshore tax havens for corporations. But if you benefit from the advantages of doing business in the US, you should pay your share of the costs.

his church had a message denouncing "middle classness," which probably stunted the economic and social development of at least some members

The message there: Don't think that your economic success makes you superior in God's eyes to the other members of the congregation.

former law student said...

Obama's "man of people" efforts have come to squat - which you euphemistically dscribe as the "Rezko fiasco."

I don't see that Rezko's failures as a landlord had anything to do with Obama. I know that after he became an attorney, Obama's firm represented a community group that went into partnership with Rezmar to provide housing with government funds. The housing deteriorated during Rezmar management, and was taken over by another outfit.

blake said...

The tax thing is all a sucker play.

All money has one source--people--and can only be taxed from one source (people).

Corporate taxes are a stupid pretense and, along with the huge regulatory schemes, give corporations the motivation to interfere with politics. Don't want your government owned by corporations? Stop trying to give your government control over corproations.

blake said...

Thomas is far and away my favorite judge.

Even if I don't agree with him, I at least don't have to figure out what tortured mental process he went through to get to his conclusion ([kaff]...Scalia).

veni vidi vici said...

"How are we to house the poor effectively?"

Ask your buddies in the Democratic Convention organizing committee, and their cohorts in the Denver PD. I heard somewhere they're constructing a new form of "warehouse" for any undesirables caught in the vicinity of the convention center during the next few weeks.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/16/national/main4355401.shtml

Roger J. said...

FLS--I do thank you for your response to my question--so in your view the only qualification for being a supreme court justice is to have argued and won cases before the supreme court. At least thats the way I read your argument. Do I have that right?

former law student said...

so in your view the only qualification

No. Why would you think that? You asked a question and I answered it.

Bill said...

FLS: One quarter of the biggest companies pay no federal taxes.

For what it's worth: "The actual report reflects that, of the 1.26 million U.S. corporations with no 2005 tax liability, just 3,565 were large," says [Tax Foundation economist Josh Barro]. "That's 0.28%, which is 90 times less than the [25 percent] figure reported by the AP. Policymakers and the public should not be deceived by this story that misrepresents the GAO report."
The Tax Foundation - AP Makes Serious Error in Story on Corporate Income Tax

I don't know who Josh Barro or the Tax Foundation are, but there's a link to the GAO report, if you're interested.

Cedarford said...

former law student said...

1.Obama was a top student at Harvard and EIC of the Law Review.

2.Obama taught ConLaw at one of the top ten law schools; holding the same position as renowned appellate judges Posner and Easterbrook.

3. Obama was a legislator for 12 years before seeking higher office.

4. Obama was raised by a single mom..

5. Thomas had a strong male figure consistently in his life. Recall that Obama's bio reflects the absence of his father; Thomas's bio reflects the presence of his grandfather.

1A - Obama was in the top half of HLS. He was not summa.

He appears to be the only Law Review Editor at Harvard or at the other top tier schools that never submitted an article of his own before or after he was selected on the compromise basis he was in no philosophical camp with and paper trail and was "student others got along with".

2A - Again, his selection as Senior Lecturer, and his wife to a string of lucrative part-time executive posts (after she dropped her law license in 1993), reflects the influence of the Daley machine and his immensely wealthy and powerful patrons of Crown, Pritzker, and Klutznik Families who control the U of Chicago Board of Trustees. The Ayers Connection also helped.

He is NOTHING like Posner, Easterbrook or any other Senior Lecturer at a top law school. Except for Obama, Senior Lecturers are people that have have distinguished themselves in law. By extensive publication and legal scholarship. By being senior, distinguished judges of seminal merit. A long-time distinguished lawyer who is partner at a top law firm or a major figure in a top legal organization. By being a recognized national or international expert in a specialized area of law hired in to bring what a school believes is critical knowledge to faculty and students. (Areas like labor negotiations, maritime, military, treaty law..) And visiting full professors from other universities that wish to work part-time and not be asked to do full duties expected of in-house professors.

Senior lecturer is a position recognizing the distinguished appointees have other important activities and limited time.

Obama is unique. He fits none of the categories.

He was no different than tens of thousands of other young elite law school graduates that wish to remain in academia. The best, and the luckiest, get offers to come in as low-paid part-time junior lecturers...then if that works out, an offer for a limited time as adjunct prof or offered the chance at the tenure track.

Otherwise, they are asked to decamp from campus and "move on to new, exciting opportunities". Those who fail to publish solid work as adjuncts or fail to publish to merit tenure are also asked to move on.

Obama was not. Because unlike all the other graduate hotshots told to publish or perish , he had the "pull" to avoid it. And never publish, become an expert in a field of specialized law, or distinguish himself in court. AND the clout to keep his wife as well as him in well-compensated part-time employment at U of Chicago as she abandoned law to become a "diversity maven".

3A. Obama was a part-time emissary of the Daley machine and "Black Chicago". Only in his last year in the state senate did he get a Big Daddy that allowed him to bring forth bills.
When his silver oratory allowed him to be cast as "The One" "The True Black Messiah" in the eyes of rapt Democrat liberals - he did get some special treatment other junior Senators don't. Leadership allowed him to get his name in play on bills other senior Dems had been kicking around for years before Obamessiah showed up, mainly to pad what they knew was a thin resume` to help cultivate The One for bigger things down the road.
But he never did any subcommittee work, and after 18 months, Obama thought with his many gifts, he was ready to be President.

(Obama has a very healthy ego, which he pampers like Edwards does his silky hair)

4A. Obama was not raised by a single Mom. He was, for most his youth, raised or supported by a wealthy Indonesian oil executive, or by a Hawaii bank excecutive "racist granny" and her husband.
Even when "noble single mom" showed up back in Hawaii for a year to get another degree, and mootch some illegal welfare and food stamps on the side - Obama stayed under his granparents roof.

5A - Thomas had his gran dad as a male figure. Obama "shopped".

First he had Mr Soetero. Then he had his grandad for some things and a Black Communist poet named Marshall who supplemented the white grand dad side - not with financial support or guidance - but teaching Obama what a Leftist black thinks it means to be part-black.

Then of course, he found Father Figure Wright for 20 years. AND Ayers, and tacked on his black senior politician "daddies" and his fabulously wealthy liberal Jewish "sugar daddies & sugar mommas." His longtime political, financial, and U of Chicago patrons of the billionaire Crown, Pritzker, and Klutznik Families. Plus "connected to everything and everyone that counts" uber-lawyer Abner Mikva.

Not to be outdone, Obama also helped Michelle get her own set of sugar daddies and mommas that kept her in plum patronage spots at Daley Central and U of Chicago - notably Pritzker protege` Valerie Jarrett - now vice chair of U of Chicago Board of Trustees and the lady who signed off on tripling Mishelle's pay (to 319,000) after Barack waggled his tongue into oratorical superstardom.

And of course, Tony Rezko. Who Obama said was "like a father to me" in better days..

=================

Clarence Thomas, on the other hand, while he may not be as smart as Obama - has a much cleaner, straightforward, more honest biography - and a far greater record of acomplishment by the time he was Obamas age.

Elliott A said...

Would an elite law school lecturer in Conlaw blame the administrative branch for funding cuts at NASA? I never went to law school and know that Congress authorizes spending, not the President or the agency in question. He cut NASA's funding, not the administration. Sheesh...

John Lynch said...

FLS,

Source for comparative tax rates: http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/23470.html

Corporate decisions are made based on comparative advantage. What advantage (your term: "benefit") accrues to a business choosing to incorporate in the U.S. compared to anywhere else in the world? Access to US markets does not require presence, in terms of corporate locality, in the U.S.

Indian firms incur a 9% corporate tax to provide services here in the US. The same services provided by a US company are taxed at ~39%.

However, an earlier comment from Blake is correct, at the end of the day, all taxes are taxes on the people. After all, people are the consumers of the end products.

This neglects the effect of investors putting in capital to cause an investment to perform, say windmills actually being cost effective. If the investment is put into development of a product, the product is eventually sold (at a profit) the return to investors is less in the US than elsewhere.

Where should such a company be formed? Where would investors choose to invest?

Corporations are only a gathering of people, organized to perform services which are valued enough to be paid for, and which may incur profit in doing so, which accrues to the owners of the corporation: again people.

The concept of Corporations as evil is weak and incomplete thinking.

Apologies to Althouse as this hijack into economics is surely not the subject of the thread, nor of her interesting blog.

PatCA said...

How to house the poor?

First, withdraw all government subsidies for women who have children out of wedlock (welfare reform). Then withdraw all subsidies and free food for substance abusers. Drug addicts do not reform when they are enabled. Instead, mandate treatment first. HUD seems to be finding success with that method.

Then let the poor get a job and find their own housing, because they won't be poor anymore.

The Exalted said...

reflexive bleating from the conservative fringe that any criticism of republican minorities is driven by racism -- come a long way in 10 years!

Seven Machos said...

Isn't the point here that it's ridiculous for Obama to call out Thomas for lack of experience when Obama has a serious problem with lack of experience?

It's an amateur move, too, drawing attention to one of your serious weaknesses like that.

TMink said...

Pat in CA wrote: "Drug addicts do not reform when they are enabled."

Wise words, as was the rest of your post. Here is a quote I bet you will enjoy.

"Those who would help the poor should make them uncomfortable in their poverty." - Ben Franklin

Wise man.

Trey

former law student said...

cedarford -- Obama graduated in the top ten percent of his HLS class, not the top half. Where did you get your misinformation from?

If you're arguing that Obama used his persuasive political skills to become HLR EIC I cannot contradict you.

Harvard Law School recognizes the achievement of attaining and maintaining high grades through graduation honors. Students who graduate with a general average of 7.20 and above are honored with the distinction of graduating summa cum laude. The top 10% of the class, excluding summa, are honored with the distinction of graduating magna cum laude. Finally, the next 30% of the class, after magna are honored with the distinction of graduating cum laude.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/ocs/employers/HLS_Grading_System.htm

Although not a published scholar, Obama was of tenure-track quality in the University of Chicago's estimation. Junior faculty wait to be appointed to produce the two published articles needed for tenure. Do you have any basis in reality for your assertion that Obama was placed by some sort of rich Jew conspiracy? Or that Obama was part of the Daley machine? Obama's a classic lakefront liberal, a goo-goo type traditionally anathema to the machine. The machine can accommodate such types, like Senator Douglas, or Abner Mikva, but never embraces them. This is almost as remarkable an assertion as that Obama saw Tony Rezko -- a man only six years older -- as a father figure.

I did not realize that Obama was close to his mother's second husband, or, four years later, to the man who had dubbed her Stanley.

PatCA said...

Trey,
Thanks, and for the Franklin quote as well. I guess the poor have indeed always been with us.