October 27, 2008

"Obama Bombshell Redistribution of Wealth Audio Uncovered."

Someone emailed me the link to this video, which went up on YouTube yesterday and already has over 400,000 views:



If this alarmed you, chances are, you are not a law professor. Let me tell you that, in this radio interview from 2001, Obama is making the most conventional observation about the limits of constitutional law litigation: The courts will recognize rights to formal equality, but they hesitate to enforce those rights with remedies that become too expensive or require too much judicial supervision and they resist identifying rights to economic equality. Such matters are better handled by legislatures, and courts tend to defer to legislatures for this reason.

Obama was not showing disrespect for constitutional law in any of this. More radical law professors would criticize the courts for not engaging in more expansive interpretations of the Equal Protection Clause and for failing to provide much more expensive, invasive remedies. He did not do that. He accepted the limits the courts had recognized and advised against the unfruitful pursuit of economic justice in the judicial forum. It's a political matter. That is a moderate view of law.

Now, there remains the question of how much he would want the legislative branch to do in the name of economic justice, and obviously, the phrase "redistribution of the wealth" gets people going. But that's the same old question we've been talking about for months.

***

By the way, Obama does make some legal mistakes in that short clip. He talks about "the Founding Fathers" imposing limitations on what the states can do to people, but he's referring to limitations that come from the post-Civil War amendments, not the founding era. And he cites the Constitution as the source of his right to be free to "sit at a lunch counter," when it took statutory law to ban race discrimination in privately owned restaurants. I'm not suggesting that was a show of ignorance. He was trying to say a lot at once, and his main point was about separation of powers -- what courts can do and what must be left to legislatures. I'm sure he would have readily corrected those glitches if asked.

ADDED: You can listen to the full hour of the show here. I haven't had time to listen yet, but I assume the full context is more favorable to Obama than the clip above, which is intended to be as inflammatory as possible.

AND: There are 2 posts up on Volokh Conspiracy about this radio clip. First, Orin Kerr says:
When Obama says that he's "not optimistic" about using the courts for major economic reform, and when he points out the practical and institutional problems of doing so, it's not entirely clear whether he is (a) gently telling the caller why the courts won't and shouldn't do such things; (b) noting the difficulties of using the courts to engage in economic reform but not intending to express a normative view; or (c) suggesting that he would have wanted the Warren Court to have tried to take on such a project.

My best sense is that Obama was intending (a), as his point seems to be that the 60s reformers were too court-focused. But at the very least, it's not at all clear that Obama had (c) in mind.
Second, David Bernstein says:
... Obama gives a very impressive performance as a constitutional scholar. Even though he was holding down other jobs while teaching at Chicago, he clearly had thought a lot about constitutional history, and how social change is or is not brought about through the courts.
That's a bit overstated. Obama was saying something entirely conventional that I think the average good Harvard law student would articulate.
... Being realistic about the practical effect of Brown is heresy in some circles, but Obama is correct.
"The Hollow Hope" -- which Bernstein refers to -- was published in 1991. Obama was speaking in 2001. I think it was a very standard observation. (Or so it appears to me from Madison, Wisconsin.)
Based on this interview, it seems unlikely that Obama opposes constitutionalizing the redistributive agenda because he's an originalist, or otherwise endorses the Constitution as a "charter of negative liberties," though he explicitly recognizes that this is how the Constitution has been interpreted since the Founding.
He may not oppose it but he doesn't seem to be for it either. Hmm. It's like the opposite of John Kerry's I was for it before I was against it style. Obama approach is to be not for it and not against it. Clever, no? Never commit. This is how many careful lawprofs behave in pre-tenure mode.

Bernstein makes a big assertion:
[T]here is no doubt from the interview that he supports "redistributive change," a phrase he uses at approximately the 41.20 mark in a context that makes it clear that he is endorsing the redistribution of wealth by the government through the political process.
But we don't know how much, so we're back to where we were before we listened to this clip. Obama favors some degree of progressive taxation and some programs to benefit people in lower income groups and so forth ... as do the great majority of Americans, including John McCain.

MORE: Drudge is linking to the video clip with the headline "2001 OBAMA: TRAGEDY THAT 'REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH' NOT PURSUED BY SUPREME COURT." No, no, no, no. That is absolutely misstated. Shame on Drudge! Obama said:
One of the... tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think, there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.
He's saying that civil rights activists made a tragic mistake by fighting for their cause in the judicial forum. It's part of his separation-of-powers point. Changes that involve complex economic choices need to be made in the political sphere. He never says he wishes the courts would have done more. He acknowledges the limitations of law and courts.

Let's play fair people. Words have meaning. Read carefully and don't distort.

210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
TheCrankyProfessor said...

So why does Obama get to correct his glitches? Don't politicians have to stand by every word that exits their taped/filmed/overheard by aides mouths?

1970_baby said...

I get it now. He's a lawyer, you are a lawyer. Its intellectual snobbery.

Obama has a bigger vocabulary than McCain, and he seduced you with it. Disappointing, to say the least.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann said:'

"If this alarmed you, chances are, you are not a law professor. Let me tell you that, in this radio interview from 2001, Obama is making the most conventional observation about the limits of constitutional law litigation bla bla bla"

You are way too funny Ann. Stop it you are killing me!

Simon said...

That video is four minutes cut from this forty minute program. It doesn't even include the question he was asked!

Simon said...

"By the way, Obama does make some legal mistakes in that short clip."

And if Sarah Palin had made those mistakes, how do you think that would be reported?

Paavo said...

I don't hear Barack saying the Court shouldn't pursue distribution of wealth - he's only saying the Warren Court didn't do that. He sounds a little defeated in the clip - a little wistful that the kind of "redistributive change" he wants will most likely have to take place in the policital sphere - not in the judicial sphere.

But hey, he gets to appoint the justices, so who knows?

MadisonMan said...

Wow, who put those graphics in!

paavo, I don't get wistfulness at all. I get a professor gently setting the caller straight.

SteveR said...
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Bob said...

Always the lawyers sticking together. The old Eagles song extolling "Kill all the lawyers" seems better advice as I get older.

Yeah, an image this video was cut and edited. Now where did I see this not too long ago? Oh right, Palin and Couric - got it.

SteveR said...

I'm glad you feel ok with it. Even if I were to give him an undeserved benefit of the doubt, I can't feel academically soothed with a Congress and Senate, totally unleashed and probably not scared of him at all. Throw in a couple new Supreme Court justices similarly impressed with their intelligence and its going to be a lot of fun.

Buford Gooch said...

It isn't whether the courts or the legislature should pursue redistribution of wealth. The thing shown here is that Obama is absolutely in favor of it.

CraigE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Victoria excerpted this:
--emphasis mine--

"The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society... and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that..."


Ann, that's pure Marxist drivel, not constitutional law. Obama is a socialist, as evidence here by his own words. This is quite consistent with his automatic repsonse to Joe the Plumber about "spreading the wealth".

My concern, however, is that you and millions of others want socialism.

Simon said...

It seems to me that most of the controversy rests on a misreading of what he says. He says that the Warren Court didn't break free of the constraints of the Constitution, and I think that those who are up in arms - this guy, for example - are suffering from confirmation bias. We don't think Obama respects the Constitution and its limits, so when you hear something like that clip, it's deathly tempting to assume that he is criticizing the court for not doing so, rather than merely observing that it didn't. But in the context of the forty odd minutes of discussion that goes before that brief take-out, as much as I'd love Obama to have outed himself, I just don't think this clip does that. I think he's just observing that the court didn't go beyond the Constitution's mandate in the civil rights arena. That's a debatable point, but I think it's all he's saying.

Zeb Quinn said...

If he was just being a law professor or an erstwhile constitutional scholar, then he outs himself as a none-too-bright one. He clearly believes that one branch or the other of the federal government could venture into areas of wealth redistribution amongst the citizenry if it wanted to, and that it's just a crying shame that it hasn't seen fit to do it.

Paul said...

"It isn't whether the courts or the legislature should pursue redistribution of wealth. The thing shown here is that Obama is absolutely in favor of it."

Of course he's in favor of it! He's a Marxist. America is about to elect a Marxist President (!!!) and people are either naive, willfully stupid, or ok with it.

Unbelievable.

Paavo said...

I don't know, madisonman. I remember the gentle corrections of a law professor, and this doesn't sound at all like that. Indeed, the caller wasn't making a statement which could be corrected. She instead asks whether redistribution of wealth could be accomplished judicially or whether it had to be accomplished legislatively. So Barack wasn't correcting her; he just answered her question by noting that he was not optimistic that we can bring about major redistributive change through the courts. Barack certainly doesn't foreclose the possibility though; after all, he concludes that a rationale could be pretty easily constructed to that end. And when he appoints the judges, maybe we will see the marriage of that rationale to a case.

It'd be nice to get the whole interview, though. I wonder whether the answers really go with the questions.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

None so blind as those who will not see. Enjoy spreading the wealth Ann and being a cash cow for Obama's social engineering wet dreams.

D. B. Light said...

Ann,

You are missing the point here. Obama's commentary may be unexceptional to a constitutional lawyer, but it has to be understood in the context of his other, more recent, remarks that he wants to bring about "fundamental change" and thinks that "spreading the wealth around" is a good thing. This interview simply suggests what kind of fundamental change he might want to effect.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well I just got back from a grand vacation with no tv, no radio, no newspapers and no campaign ads and feel completely refreshed. It's amazing the new perspective you can get when you tune out the bullshit from the media. Kind of like a colonic for the senses.

The bright side of all this redistribution stuff is that since I'm not rich I won't have to worry about Obama and Barney coming after me but rather will get a nice tax cut funded by the likes of Babs Streisand and Alec Baldwin. Then that wealth will trickle down to the massess and ZPS will move out of his parents house, get Obamainspired and start a successful startup becoming rich himself and I get get some of his money too.

What was it Longshanks said? Somthing about finding the good in every situation?

Skyler said...

"Of course he's in favor of it! He's a Marxist. America is about to elect a Marxist President (!!!) and people are either naive, willfully stupid, or ok with it."

Amen.

CraigE said...
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UWS guy said...

haha. Rush is masterbating to this audio on his show right now.

Did you all know Obama is an unpatriotic black Marxist? They called king that. Turned out well didn't it.

David Walser said...

Ann, like many of your other commenters, I didn't find the clip interesting or objectionable because of Obama's views of the proper role of the courts in matters of economic justice. What I found interesting and objectionable was comments on the desirability of redistribution of wealth. He thought it was a tragedy that the civil rights movement did not do more in this area.

You point out that, other than his comments on the role of the court, all we are left with is the question of whether he's a socialist or not. That's not a minor question. Nor do I think the media have served the public well in this area. The only reason we are discussing whether Obama is a socialist is because "Joe the Plumber" asked Obama a question about taxes and Obama responded that he'd like to "spread the wealth around." Since then, the Obama campaign has tried to claim that Obama didn't mean what he said. This audio clip is strong evidence that what Obama said to Joe was what Kinsley defined as a gaffe -- when a politician inadvertently says the truth. On economic policy, Obama may prove to be the most liberal (socialist) of any president in our history.

Joe said...

I do think Obama made a valid observation that the civil rights movement erred in depending too much on the courts. I suspect he's seeing this only from a legal perspective, versus a winning the hearts and minds perspective. I think the same criticism could be applied to the gay rights movement--they overplayed their hand with the courts and there was a backlash.

Lem said...

Obama’s redistribution of wealth is this albatross, an [expletive deleted] on his back, his elephant in the room that he sometimes (a slip of the tong I’m sure) will acknowledge is there.

But we are not supposed to know nor see nor hear anything about it.

Redistribution of wealth, redistribution of wealth, redistribution of wealth, redistribution of wealth, redistribution of wealth.

For somebody who doesn’t mean it it’s sure not too far from his mind.

Spread the wealth around..
Spread the wealth around..
Spread the wealth around..

(they'r coming to take me away haha)

Quayle said...

What is just about using the absolute powers of the government to take from one that has more and give to one that has less?

Consider: one woman gets up at 5:30 every morning, goes to work generating assets that produce more goods for less costs, comes home at 8:00 PM, and is rewarded with money for her smarts and hard work.

One man gets up at 10 AM every morning and plays X-box for the rest of the day.

What is just - or even fair, as Joe Biden says their policies are - about using the power of the government to take from the woman and give to the man?

Methadras said...

I'm just listening to this audio tape at face value. I don't like it one bit and you don't need to be a lawyer to not like it either. Ann, you are tripping over your own dick to defend Mr. Barely and his words. Not a problem, but don't disclaim that this is somehow the pervue of lawyers to construe what is being said because he is a lawyer too. It doesn't wash. His sentiments are there, they are reflected in his sentiments now and the sentiments he was taught from his associations with other radicals. Put your real thinking cap on, not your lawyerly one. It might help in clarifying some of the rose colored issues you seem to be struggling with.

Joe said...

The only reason we are discussing whether Obama is a socialist is because "Joe the Plumber" asked Obama a question about taxes and Obama responded that he'd like to "spread the wealth around."

That may be why Althouse and others have finally discussed the issue, but many of those of us who have listened to Obama's speeches for a while have long heard his Marxist rhetoric just as clearly as his last statement. Even recently, he's used the rephrasing of Marx "equal pay for equal work."

OldGrouchy said...

So, Obama's own words fail to convict him of being a Socialist because the jury has yet to admit to the truth of Obama's own words. I recall a time not too long ago when someone said: "Words, just words!"

I guess we'll have to wait until after Obama's inauguration to see how much of a Socialist he is in fact! Gee, will he mandate distribution of wealth soon thereafter or will he be content to wait for Barney Frank's likely legislative acts?

Of course, what happens if Obama's not elected? Will he still mandate that same "change" his history suggests he wants?

bleeper said...

What impresses me about this clip is the how much his voice is affected by cigarette smoking. He is clearly a heavy smoker.

A communist drug addict - yep, he's the president we need and deserve.

Joan said...

Bill Dyer (aka Beldar) agrees with Ann and Simon on this -- what Obama is saying in this clip is par for the course for a typical liberal ConLaw professor. However, as many have noted, his use of the word "tragedy" to describe the Court's inability to affect redistribution of wealth is telling.

This clip barely registers on the interesting scale... in stark comparison to, say, the tape of Obama at that dinner for Khalidi that the LA Times is suppressing. Now that's sure to contain something we haven't heard before. Let's hear it!

Methadras said...

Joe said...

I do think Obama made a valid observation that the civil rights movement erred in depending too much on the courts.


What he neglected to mention was the utter dismal failure that the civil rights movement has been. We are still dealing with the actualities of that movement and the total destruction of essentially black culture and the destruction of the black family. That's what the civil rights movement was intended to protect. It hasn't. The courts are simply complicit in that failure. We have more complaints from the left on civil rights now then there have ever been. Not just from blacks, but any minority that can get their message out.

All good things come into their own time, not by judicial or legislative fiat, but by the need of societies to want them. Societal time would have alleviated these issues because people would have seen value in them and eventually adopted them, but in their own time. But now we know that Mr. Barely's wealth distribution model is what he really has in his heart and what he wants to do now as President. Calling him a socialist seems underwhelming at this point now.

PJ said...

Now, there remains the question of how much he would want the legislative branch to do in the name of economic justice, and obviously, the phrase "redistribution of the wealth" gets people going. But that's the same old question we've been talking about for months.

I agree with everything the Professor said above this -- the basic legal analysis was unremarkable. And I'm sure there are people who are attacking the basic legal analysis, and I agree they're wrong.

But the quoted passage is just artlessly evasive. This boils down to, "Obama is right about topic A. There remains the issue of topic B, but topic B is old." This formulation simply ignores the possibility that Obama has said something of value here that may legitimately add to the analysis of topic B. Perhaps the Professor thinks it's obvious that he hasn't, but lots of people seem to disagree, and plainly topic B is where the action is with this video.

Ann Althouse said...

"However, as many have noted, his use of the word "tragedy" to describe the Court's inability to affect redistribution of wealth is telling."

No, the tragedy he identifies is civil rights proponents getting court-focused when they should have worked in the political sphere.

Lem said...

We are focusing on the – state vrs federal – legislative vrs judicial questions of jurisdiction and whatever.

When it all comes down to a fundamental shift in the way we go about organizing our lives.

Here I thought that a nanny state and civil rights were incompatible.

Oh, I forgot, the One will make it all work out, find the money and leave us alone ;)

Trick or treat?

Windbag said...

Rest in peace, cruel neutrality.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Obama favors some degree of progressive taxation and some programs to benefit people in lower income groups and so forth ... as do the great majority of Americans, including John McCain.

There is a huge difference between a progressive tax system that benefits the citizens of the country by providing services, infrastructure, military etc.....to the system that Obama proposes which is to take from the working classes with the clear idea of just GIVING the money to other classes who may not be working in the name of equalizing. If that were the case and we should all be equal, I suggest we cut off the feet of Obama who is much too tall and equalize his height. I don't see any rush for Obama to equalize his own wealth and spread much of that around. Oh....right....that's just for the lumpen proletariat not the party bosses.

Social programs that benefit society as a whole are generally seen as a good use of money and not resented by the tax paying population. Limited unemployment insurance to help people who are temporarily out of work. Food stamps to help fill in the budget again for those who are temporarily in poor circumstances. HOWEVER, using a progressive tax system to reward the non working and creating a PERMANENT subsidizing of the non working poor by penalizing those who have created businesses and who work their asses off.....is MARXISM and communism pure and simple.

You hear one thing because you have a cushy job with great benefits and probably never come into contact with those outside of academia other than the waiters in your cute coffee shops. We out here in the field hear something entirely different and is scares the crap out of me.

PJ said...

the tragedy he identifies is civil rights proponents getting court-focused when they should have worked in the political sphere.

because then they could have achieved . . .

Lem said...

It could also be that just because we have not tried it how do we know it’s poison?

MadisonMan said...

Let's play fair people.

Not likely.

Simon said...

CraigE said...
"What type of individual could be confirmed as a federal judge if Obama wins? If McCain wins?"

Given that we know the general views of each of the candidates - Obama could be said to look to Brennan as a model while McCain could be said to look to Rehnquist as a model - your choice of words is shown to be apt: what type of individual could be confirmed. We can assume a Democratic Senate, and possibly a heavily Democratic Senate as a baseline. If this is so, Obama's preferences will be amplified and McCain's constrained. Obama wants to appoint liberals and the Senate will pose no obstacle to his doing so. By contrast, even if McCain wanted to appoint conservatives, the Senate poses a severe limitation on his ability to do so, unless McCain can really generate public pressure in their favor, or otherwise outmaneuver the Senate. (He could say, for example, "here's my nominee. You will confirm her, or the next person will be even less to your liking, and if you reject them, the nominee after that will be even less to your liking than that, and so on down the line until we reach Janice Rogers Brown.") Thus, expect Brennanites from Obama, and a moderate from McCain.

For me, it's good news and bad news. As much as I love the idea of putting Diane Sykes on the Supreme Court, I just think she's too good to get confirmed in this political environment. But she's young, and there's time. The good news is that I could see McCain picking someone who would otherwise not be able to get confirmed as a compromise. There are people who are wrong about Roe, but who are otherwise very good; if a nominee who isn't absolutely reliable as a supporter of Roe is off the table, suddenly that's a non-issue and we can consider people who might be very good on other issues as viable nominees. Our Hostess, for example, although I'm sure she wouldn't want it (which is too bad, in my view).

OldGrouchy said...

Dear Prof: You're ignoring the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Act! These both were landmark federal legislative acts, both determined to be necessary in order to improve on, and/or implement, the judicial rulings done prior. If you recall, and that might be difficult because of your extreme youth, LBJ was thought to have accomplished the 1964 Civil rights Act after JFK couldn't get that job done.

So, stow that business of "political sphere" being ineffective. It was very effective.

Paavo said...

You are slightly wrong, Ann. Barack does say it's a "tragedy" that the civil rights movement didn't become more politically organized. Consequently, according to Barack, this "tragedy" meant that there were not "coalitions of power . . . to bring about redistributive change".

So Barack draws a straight line from his concept of a tragedy to the failure to achieve "redistributive change".

You may quibble over where he wanted "redistributive change" to occur (i.e., legislatively or judicially), but it's clear that he did want this change to occur, in any event.

Zeb Quinn said...

My best sense is that Obama was intending (a), as his point seems to be that the 60s reformers were too court-focused. But at the very least, it's not at all clear that Obama had (c) in mind.

Oh puh-leeeze. It's either (b) or (c), or a combination thereof, but it's definitely not (a). That's just you rationalizing.

ron st.amant said...

The ODS has grown so strong its adherents are turning rather nasty on their host blogstress.

LarsPorsena said...

I think it was Derek Bok who said...

"lawyers don't make anything, they only divide up what others make."

This should be displayed on a banner above every polling place.

VariableSpin said...

Ann seems to be clinging (perhaps bitterly) to the notion that Barack Obama is really a centrist despite all the evidence to the contrary. She hears the things she wants to hear and ignores the rest.

This is yet another stone on the radical leftist side of Obama's ideology scale. For me at least, you could set a Mack truck on the dangling centrist side of that scale and it wouldn't even budge. For Ann and many others, apparently, being thoughtful and articulate is enough to balance things out. Guess it just goes to show that the cult of personality takes all kinds.

BTW: Read Jeff Goldstein for a takedown of Kerr's argument.

Paavo said...

Ann - you wrote that Barack was making a separation of powers argument. Where did you hear that?

I hear Barack loud and clear on whether we should have "redistribution of wealth" or "redistributive change". But I certainly don't hear him making an argument that "redistributive change" through the judiciary is constrained by the constitution's separation of powers.

The only limit I hear is that judicial "redistributive change" may not be popularly accepted. But, of course, that was 7 years ago when he wasn't appointing judges.

Who knows now?

CraigE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

the tragedy he identifies is civil rights proponents getting court-focused when they should have worked in the political sphere

My understanding is that the NAACP was focused on court battles while MLK was focused on putting pressure on the other two branches of governmen, both locally and nationally to change democratically.

The legalistic NAACP was often aggrieved by MLK's mass movement approach.

Sadly, even before MLK's assassination, more radical organizations were peeling off his support on the margins. When civil disobedience turned into civil war, MLK's appeal for democratic change was horribly subverted.

Rich B said...

This clip is very helpful for McCain/Palin, despite what law professors say.

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

Mark Levin:

Cass Sunstein and others, like Bruce Ackerman, have been touting this positive law stuff for years. They advocate institutionalizing the liberal agenda through the courts, particularly the 14th Amendment. Equal rights would be expanded to include "economic justice," i.e., the equal (or more equal) provision of wealth, education, etc., among the citizenry. The agenda would not be subject to electoral results or congressional influence because it would be imposed from the judiciary. This is an extremely radical proposition, completely at odds with the Constitution itself and the Framers' intent. And Sunstein and Obama know that the public would be appalled with their views if honestly presented to them. So, Sunstein denies it — even characterizing it as conservative, and Obama's spokesman calls the 2001 interview a distraction. It is neither.

Simon said...

OldGrouchy said...
"Dear Prof: You're ignoring the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Act!"

No she isn't. She notes that whereas Obama "cites the Constitution as the source of his right to be free to 'sit at a lunch counter,' when it took statutory law to ban race discrimination in privately owned restaurants" (emphasis deleted).

JAL said...

" ... one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, {This is a clause} um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused {clause close} I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change."

Did I misunderstand his English? (It's only my primary language.)

Ann is looking at the question about how he talks about the constitution -- the issue is WHAT he was talking about.

Barack Obama want to redistribute the wealth in America by means of the United States federal government -- through the courts, the legislature, by executive order -- he doesn't care how -- he just wants to be "fair."

You know, this is not a playgorund, and this is not first grade.

(And as for what is "fair," he, as the community organizer in chief --would get to define it.)

It is worthy of an article by someone -- but I think a serious case can be made that "fair" does not equal "just."

Of course Barack Obama won't define "fair" because he isn't talking to the press anymore.

And nobody would think to ask him anyway.

Paul said...

I don't remember who said "the real lessons in life are learned in the marketplace and on the battlefield".

There is no place farther from the aforementioned than the posh, isolated halls of academia. For all the "knowledge" therein the amount of real world wisdom is scarce to nonexistent. The dirt farmer or the proprietor of the lawn mower shop has more real world wisdom than the academic.

bryantboren said...

"He's saying that civil rights activists made a tragic mistake by fighting for their cause in the judicial forum. It's part of his separation-of-powers point."

True, it is part of his separation-of-powers point, but it is much more than that. By using the word "tragedy," Obama is passing judgment on the movement's failure to use political rather than judicial means, not merely observing it. And his personal judgment is that the failure was "tragic," not merely wrong or misguided.

I agree that words have meaning. "Tragedy" is not a legal term. It is a value-laden, political term. Maybe more context would change my view, but I'd be surprised (and since Sen Obama is likely to be our next president, I'd welcome that surprise). "Tragedy" is a powerful word.

Lem said...

We better get on with it..

If we start having children we might get more of the spread.

Terry said...

Obama told Joe the plumber that he wanted to "spread the wealth around". Obama is a very good speaker, he said what meant and meant what he said.

After listening to the entire 2001 interview, I have to wonder why, if Obama was not concerned about spreading the wealth around, but rather as our host explains that the civil rights movement's tragedy was that it over relied on the courts, then why did he express it in terms of redistribution of wealth?

It seems to this non-lawyer that the idea of spreading the wealth around it central to Obama's view of social justice.

OldGrouchy said...

Dear Simon: Please note Althouse's own words; "No, the tragedy he identifies is civil rights proponents getting court-focused when they should have worked in the political sphere."

And, while LBJ used massive sympathy in getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed, it also took strong support from civil rights activists. They were not sitting back waiting for the courts to work wonders in all regards; their march continued forward, going beyond Selma!

While your heart is in the Right Place, facts are stubborn things! But, cheers and do continue as you were!

Althouse said what she said and in effect adopted The One's view on that subject! Note that's not necessary the same as adopting all of The One's views; that's open to interpretation.

Pat said...

"But that's the same old question we've been talking about for months."

And the question is, "How committed a socialist is Barack Obama?"

ZeroVoice said...

I think it might be a bit uncharitable to say that Obama was mistaken in saying that the "founding fathers" put constraints on what states can "do to you" into the federal Constitution, "at least as its been interpreted." The impairment of contracts clause and the dormant commerce clause, for example, restrain states from doing things to individuals.

Anyway, the real problem I see here is that there is no commonly recognized term to refer collectively to the drafters/adopters of the original Constitution and its amendments. I suppose "framers" could mean that, but I don't hear it that way.

Schorsch said...

I understand how a progressive tax code combined with social programs isn't necessarily "redistributing wealth." How about his plan to make many tax cuts "refundable," such that those with no tax liability can get a check from the government? Giving those on the bottom cold, hard cash sounds like a redistribution.

Lem said...

Show me the money!!!

ricpic said...

Obama only wants to scrap the constitution by political, not judicial means. How moderate of him.

Lem said...

"But that's the same old question we've been talking about for months."

And the question is, "How committed a socialist is Barack Obama?"


I would wellcome a groundhog day...

oh..nevermind

Too many jims said...

Zeb Quinn said...
Oh puh-leeeze. It's either (b) or (c), or a combination thereof, but it's definitely not (a). That's just you rationalizing.



Crazy liberal Orin Kerr rationalizing for Barack Obama. (And, yes Simon, I do recognize that at least one of the people on that list has voted for Obama so it is possible that McCain has lost Kerr too.)

bleeper said...

Redistribution, reparations, socialism, communism. Thank goodness those words are meaningless in academia.

Lem said...

What makes people think that we would fare any better?

command economy? price controls?

cucuccucucucucu

I gota get back to work.

Leto said...

Can't agree with you on this one, Prof. If the context were a constitutional law class or a civil rights law class, I might bite, but that is not the case. He is speaking to his political and economic beliefs, the ones about which the MSM is unwilling to inquire. If we hadn't had this economic meltdown, I'd be more comfortable with Obama, but who knows what he will proposed once in office. With a super majority in the house and a filibuster-proof Senate. . . I guess we'll find out soon enough.

ricpic said...

Obama feels constrained in his pursuit of social frickin' justice by that damnable nuisance, the constitution. Well, the constitution will just have to go.

And so it came to pass that liberty, sacred liberty, died.

Jake said...

Maybe someone can define "social justice" for the troglodytes in the crowd.

Lem said...

Some of you may remember this.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZg8a0nqjTE

bleeper said...

Social justice is what community organizers strive for. Taking money from those who work and giving it to those who don't, who in turn, funnel it to drug cartels. No justice, no crack.

Sometimes as I work and make things, I reflect on all the things I have made in my life - from concrete high rise structures to houses to computer chips. More wooden objects than I can count. I have run machines of great complexity and can use hand tools. I maintain my own tools. Then I think about professors and lawyers who have never made anything, ever. Never held in their hands something they produced. Sure, they make money, and take other's money, but fundamentally, they produce nothing of value. That is a divide that cannot be bridged. The physical world is a mystery to them - how did it get here, who made it and how did they do that? Makes it all the more easy to take it away from a producer and give it to a zit. Rock on, but just remember, we don't have to make things.

Doug Winship said...

Ann,
I just don't get this spin at all.
Very few are upset with these words as they relate to exact legalese. (Although I am alarmed, in our current activist judicial environment, of discussion of how one (The One) could come up with justifications for judicial imposition of redistribution; this from a man who may very well be making nominations!)
The problem is his utter casual certitude of the need to redistribute wealth. And to those who contend he is just referring to conventional social programs, let me remind you that the period he is referring to is essentially the Great Society Era, where "conventional social programs" were at their peak. And he defines this era as one where wealth was "tragically" not redistributed.
A law professor might not be alarmed by his words as legalese, but that doesn't mean that a law professor should not be alarmed like any real American (snark, sorry!)

Pogo said...

If you have read any of Cass Sunstein's work, you'd recognize this type of talk.

He touted FDR's Second Bill of Rights, a completely socialist proposal, based on extant communist principles:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.


Liberal academic lawyers know this stuff well. It's Marxist, through and through.

Joan said...

He never says he wishes the courts would have done more.

Not explicitly, no. But listen to what he did say: I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn't structured that way.

It's clear from both his word choice ("not optimistic") and his tone of voice that he wishes the Courts would or could do more. At least to me.

p.s. Corrected link to Bill Dyer's analysis. Sorry about the error above.

Original George said...

What I'm hearing hearing is that most people (or lay people, generally) are not intelligent enough to understand Sen. Obama.

That's not a winning contention.

Sen. Obama, in brief, said, "One of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was [that it] became court-focused [and lost] track of political and community organizing activities that put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change" presumably via the legislative and executive/administrative branches of government.

Two grafs above that paraphrase he mentioned "redistribution of wealth." He been thinking about his trickle up theory of economic growth/social engineering for a long time.

He meant what he meant.

TMink said...

Senator Obama said: "I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution . . ."

Those are the words of a frustrated Socialist (big S.) Words have meaning, and that is the meaning.

Any wonder why the stock market continues to be like it is? Capitalists do not look favorably on Socialists. And if we listen to his words, and we are honest, we have to state that Senator Obama is a Socialist.

Trey

TMink said...

Bleeper wrote: "No justice, no crack."

That about sums it up, excellent job. Bend over backwards to make the pwoblem someone else's (usually white male) fault and the addict the victim.

Current liberal social theory in a nutshell. (Nutshell, that is funny!)

Trey

bleeper said...

Acorns are nuts.

Wade said...

Ann, you are dead right, but missing the point at the same time, as well as the Volokh commentators. It is clear from the comments that Obama is quite saddened that you can't achieve "redistributive change" through the courts.

When you say, we don't know to what extent he supports redistributions...that's the concern...

It is not about what he accurately describes as the status quo, but what he wishes could be done in place of it.

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

As Steve Doocy from Fox News would say this is HUGE.

We have our October Surprise fellow republicans and it isn't pretty.

This is a game changer.

Obama is going down. Please pass this video along to all friends and family who may be thinking of voting for Obama. We need to be on top of this ASAP.

garage mahal said...

Smart and/or educated people = must be socialists.

Lying plumbers who owe back taxes in Ohio = real American patriots.

madawaskan said...

I had a global econ professor-

He started every class by writing on the chalkboard-

Life is not fair!

This is something you have to learn through experience.....

Some people live sheltered lives and they get to have things like trying to blow up enlisted soldiers at Fort Dix excused away by Obama ...

Bill Ayers is a college professor at the University of Chicago-

Note that Obama doesn't say, and knows not to-

Bill Ayers is a dishwasher at the neighborhood restaurant....

Back to the question of "fair" it's a little ironic that now certain members of society are getting upset over the fairness of "soundbites" that battle is over but perhaps even more foreboding is Obama and his like and their concern for -

FAIRNESS-

Does fairness squelch competition?

You bet.

Is "fairness" a player in a free market economy? Probably not.

BUT and this is a big BUT-

Who gets to determine what is fair and not fair?

Well our intellectual superiors that's who and that's very few according to them.

Absolute power to determine the laws that govern society, the economy-sounds Marxist but even worse. In theory Marxism looks really pretty on paper in reality Marxism goes array because with power like that in the hands of the few;

absolute power absolutely corrupts-it's a disaster every time.

Obama isn't going to transcend that-no matter how pretty he looks in theory or how sure you are that he is taken out of context.

[Have I told you lately that the New York Giants are the World Champions-we're going to ride the boogie.-Ghad!]

Methadras said...

Bernstein makes a big assertion:

[T]here is no doubt from the interview that he supports "redistributive change," a phrase he uses at approximately the 41.20 mark in a context that makes it clear that he is endorsing the redistribution of wealth by the government through the political process.

But we don't know how much, so we're back to where we were before we listened to this clip.


Ann, not only did I ask you not to trip over your own dick, but you went ahead and did it anyway. How was the fall? Do your knees hurt now? Because your assertion that you don't know how much Mr. Barely wants to redistribute is not only an admission on your part that #1 he is a wealth redistributionist in the socialist style, but #2 your ignorance on how much of what he wants to redistribute as a function of starting from scratch on the redistributionist argument says that you really don't understand, from a realistic point of view, what redistribution really is or means.

So is there now a threshold under your argument of when you become a wealth redistributionist? If so what is it, hmmm? I'd like to know? Mr. Barely has already changed it to $200k. What is yours? You see Ann, your inability to see things from an unlawyerly perspective is shaping your opinion in a very wrong way. In that if someone is now an admitted wealth redistributionist, you are willing to be their lawyerly shield in asking by how much. Once a wealth redistributionist always a wealth redistributionist. The amount is irrelevant because once you start down that road, then how long before the threshold increases? You aren't willing to commit, but are willing to defend, but in your defense of this putrid, repugnant, and offensive economics policy you are willing to carry this mans water regardless of the facts.

I always knew your cruel neutrality was a farce and I've said as much, but I think living in the leftist haven you have for so long has jaundiced your opinion on what this empty suit of a man is willing to do to take your hard spent life force in exchange for monetary gain and give it away to those that wouldn't dare to be asked to contribute in any way that would alleviate yours and our contribution to their laxity.

If people like you are so eager to defend wealth transfers to those that frankly don't deserve it, then what else are you willing to put up with, hmmm?

Darcy said...

It's very depressing reading this stuff. But I just want to thank those who have continued to try to make people think about Obama's actual words (and actions).

I feel like I'm living in a science fiction movie. Resistance is futile. Seriously.

former law student said...

And he cites the Constitution as the source of his right to be free to "sit at a lunch counter," when it took statutory law to ban race discrimination in privately owned restaurants.

But it did take the Supreme Court to declare that the Commerce Clause empowered the federal government to make Ollie's Barbecue serve colored people, even though Ollie's had a purely intrastate business.

Regarding redistributive change: did the courts' decisions regarding civil rights put an extra dime in a black man's pockets? Did they help him get a good job, enter a trade, join a union? (While the CIO unions were colorblind, the old AFL unions effectively kept blacks out.)

Simon said...

Pogo said...
"The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation"

Think about where such a right is going, also. How would this "right" be attained? It wouldn't be enough to merely have a law requiring businesses to hire workers who apply (as horrifying and unworkable as that is by itself), because a prerequisite of hiring is a vacancy. The only way to put such a right into practice is to have state control of production, distribution and exchange, to ensure that if someone needs a job it can be created. You can go right down the list; to sully the bill of rights by association with this, a charter for the wholesale control of the economy (and thence the people) by the state, is a poor reflection on FDR.

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

The more I hear about Obama the more scared I get.

On the outside chance that he wins I have purchased a years supply of canned goods, guns and ammo and lube.

Better to be safe than sorry.

My panic room is full and I ready.

mariner said...

I think Obama's "legal mistakes" are a wee bit larger than you admit. Obama was a CONSTITUTIONAL LAW professor, fer cryin' out loud!

For him to mistake post-Civil-War amendments for founding-era provisions seems a pretty big deal to me.

EnigmatiCore said...

Ann,

"He's saying that civil rights activists made a tragic mistake by fighting for their cause in the judicial forum."

Only partly.

The real reason it is a front-pager is that he is admitting that the "cause" of "civil rights activists" is now about wealth redistribution.

While you are considering the merits of the constitutional law aspects of the whole thing, there are going to be people who will say (correctly) "Wait a second-- maybe those people who have been calling him a socialist are right."

After all, only a fellow traveler would consider it a tragedy that a mistake was made by those who pursued wealth redistribution by going through the courts rather than the legislature. I would not have called it a tragedy, but a very fortunate break for America.

Methadras said...

TMink said...

But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society.


It didn't have to because the Johnson Administration with Democrat majorities gave us the Great Society. I would say at least a 10 trillion dollar piss away that has had negligible results while eroding government trust and promoting unmerican practices. Is Mr. Barely upset that he as a lawyer didn't get the chance or the benefit to argue his case for wealth redistribution? I don't see why since a whole host of other whitey's did it for him out of their sheer sense of societal guilt.

Pogo said...

For schlubs like me to stupid to understand the Constitution withour assistance, I always understood the Bill of Rights a negative rights, preventing the government from encroaching on the individual.

What Obaman socialists demand are positive rights, using state coercion to effect some change. The changes always seem to be 'for the good' and yet in every nation where thy have been installed, they only help the State and not the people.

Socialsim favors the State, the government, and not the mere individuals who comprise it.

Obama will be our first outright socialist president and the liberals are quite happy about it.

Methadras said...

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

The more I hear about Obama the more scared I get.

On the outside chance that he wins I have purchased a years supply of canned goods, guns and ammo and lube.

Better to be safe than sorry.

My panic room is full and I ready.


Oh, will you just shut up, you stupid fuck. That wasn't a request, nor rhetorical.

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

If, God forbid, he wins I see a mass exodus of American patriots from the pro American part of the country to other countries.

I would recommend having airline tickets already purchased to possible new countries.

My recommendations would be Australia, Italy, Sweden, Britain or Israel..

BJM said...

Lem, dude. Decaf!

Quayle says:Consider: one woman gets up at 5:30 every morning, goes to work generating assets that produce more goods for less costs, comes home at 8:00 PM, and is rewarded with money for her smarts and hard work.

One man gets up at 10 AM every morning and plays X-box for the rest of the day.

What is just - or even fair, as Joe Biden says their policies are - about using the power of the government to take from the woman and give to the man?


The rich c*nt had it coming. Isn't that the new meme?

I am so disgusted that I really do not give a rats ass which candidate wins at this point, because women are the real losers.

veni vidi vici said...

Limbaugh beclowned himself gratuitously in his discussion (and to my ears misunderstanding of) the "negative rights" idea of the constitution (I look at it as a doc that shows the limited right of action that the states and citizens have granted the federal government, which I believe is similar if not semantically identical in concept), as though calling the constitution's clauses "negative rights" was condemnatory, and contrasting it against his (Rush's) theory that the constitution is something given by god. It was embarrassing to listen to.

Coupled with his statement that "the redistribution is not the issue", i.e. it's a red-herring; the real issue is Obama thinks the constitution is negative thus he's un-American, he made an ass of himself in the 10 minutes he was on in the car today.

Clearly, reading the comments in this thread (and this is one of the higher-value threads here of late, contentwise), Limbaugh failed on both points.

He's a lay-person who didn't go to college. At least he's got that as a flimsy excuse. Personally, I'm not as bothered by what Ann properly points out is fairly pedestrian observations about the constitution. On the other hand, to miss Obama's larger point and obvious comfort-level (and studied facility with) the redistributivist philosophy would require willfulness, charity or both.

Zeb Quinn said...

Hokay, I'll bite. If Obama doesn't want the Court to spread the wealth around, and really means for the Congress to do it, which Article I Section 8 power is the constitutional scholar pegging that to?

Simon said...

former law student said...
"But it did take the Supreme Court to declare that the Commerce Clause empowered the federal government to make Ollie's Barbecue serve colored people, even though Ollie's had a purely intrastate business."

FWIW, while I would not overrule it now, and concede that it was within the compass of doctrine as it then stood, I think McClung was almost certainly wrongly-decided. Heart of Atlanta Motel, fine, but McClung is just too much of a stretch for me. While I recognize that the world has changed around the Constitution in ways that fundamentally change its scope, I must still take the view that a construction of the commerce clause that would give Congress the very plenary power rejected by the framers is almost certainly erroneous. (Raich gives me heartache for the same reason.) There have to be judicially-enforcable limits on what the federal government can do, and those limits must be delineated by judicially-managable standards and rules. If they aren't, the Constitution is lost, and the Constitution shouldn't be construed as its own suicide note.

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

I'm serous Methadros this is earth shattering.

I have already withdrawn all my money out of the bank.

My female family members have their bags ready to leave. There is no way in hell they are going to be wearing Burkas.

And no I won't shut up-that was rude and mean.
You sound like you need a big hug. Also, don't swear it elevates your blood pressure.

Big Hugs Methadone.

BJM said...

Pogo, nail. head. hammer.

C.S. Lewis puts it best:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under the robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

When I was listening to Rush and Hannity today this was topic number one.

madawaskan said...

Don't worry Titus Obama and his theories will be boring mediocrity/media-o-cracy like Carter....nothing as exciting as you're invisioning.

Some 2000'ish version of olive drab appliances, rust shag carpeting and macrame plant hangers-

Fun!

[Have I told you lately that the New York Giants are the World Champions-We are going to ride the boogie.]

TosaGuy said...

People will chew on this information and go back and forth on it based upon their point of view, etc. HOWEVER, the salient point is that why is information being made available only a week before the election and by some blogger/youtuber at that?? This interview was on a public radio station that has an archives. It doesn't take an experienced journalist to dig this up, it takes sending the intern to the station to go find any interview done by Sen Obama.

We should have had this discussion many months ago.

Simon said...

Zeb Quinn said...
"Hokay, I'll bite. If Obama doesn't want the Court to spread the wealth around, and really means for the Congress to do it, which Article I Section 8 power is the constitutional scholar pegging that to?"

Congress can regulate interstate commerce and make laws necessary and proper for doing so. Regulation can encompass making commerce easier. Commerce is easier if businesses have more transactions. If more people have the means to buy goods in interstate commerce, businesses will have more transactions. If people have more money, they will have greater means with which to participate in interstate commerce. Beacuse giving people money is likely to promote their participating in interstate commerce, spreading the wealth is a power incidental to the regulation of interstate commerce.

That kind of house that jack built argument (as Rehnquist put it) is wrong, but it's what they'll use. Just read the government's brief in the Lopez case - a case that is on the chopping block if the liberals gain one more net vote.

Methadras said...

Pogo said...

Socialsim favors the State, the government, and not the mere individuals who comprise it.


And do you know why? Because a state favor socialism primary premise is to dissolve the foundational institution of property ownership and property rights. A socialist like Mr. Barely is absolutely correct in his wealth redistribution economics model in that regard. This is the aim of every socialist, which is divest your property holding and reconstitute them and redistribute them in any way they see fit. Without the ability to own private property and by private property I mean the attainment of property through the labors of ones own powers by which labor converts to goods or services and is attained or held lawfully without fear from government intervention.

Mr. Barely seeks to be the first shot off the bow to begin the process of divesting Americans from their hard earned wealth and property and giving it to others who haven't met the test of doing the same. That is a socialist and that is Barack Obama.

OldGrouchy said...

Dear VVV: Take this to the bank, presuming you have your own account at said institution: Rush was correct IMHO!

Also, you are bound to be one of The One's chosen ones; your social elitism is well displayed. What will you say when The One's SCOTUS allows those dissenting for his views to be locked up? That's the drill in Socialist regimes; see Hugo's and Fidel's examples!

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

I also purchased raw food for a year for the rare clumbers.

My safe room is totally fabulous.

I had a renowned interior designer come in and he did wonders.

Were talking lots of pastels, track lighting, the cutest little gas masks and fabulous designer dynamite sticks.

Unfortunately, there is no light because it is in the ground so I had him make the cutest little fake windows with pictures of the sun shining in on my mauve curtains.

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

What's the design of everyone else's safe room?

I hope you all thought outside the box and didn't go with the typical 50's style safe room. They were so drab and uninteresting.

I say give it some color. Go places you haven't gone before in your safe room. Be daring. You are going to need to live there for 4 to possibly 8 years so it should really shout, "YOU".

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

The Safe Room lavatories have come a long way.

Mine is fresh and sassy. It says hi, good morning, how are you, you are under a communist dictator currently.

But that doesn't mean you can't have fun and shower in a fantastic multi-head shower that pulsates your entire commie body.

Live it up. My safe room says, yea, the world is ending but live it up. Have a party. Go out with a bang. Or at least bang someone before you go out.

Another idea I have been hearing about is an underground path where we can visit our fellow shut ins with safe rooms.

The underground paths are very hush hush. I probably said too much.

MadisonMan said...

But I just want to thank those who have continued to try to make people think about Obama's actual words

But isn't a complaint about Obama is that he's just spouting words and that there is no substance?

Perhaps you can educate me as to which of Obama's words I should pay attention to, and which ones I can ignore. That would be very helpful, thanks.

garage mahal said...

Obama will be our first outright socialist president and the liberals are quite happy about it.

I think most people know that raising rates from 36% back to %39 on people making 250k+ where Clinton had them doesn't in itself constitute socialism. No matter how much wingnuts stamp their feet and yell fire in a crowded theater.

That said, let's all come together and put our differences aside in the spirit of harmony. Me and you Pogo. I'll even play the part of Stevie Wonder if this helps.

Invisible Man said...

This thread would make a great study in paranoid derangement. I'm surprised that someone hasn't proferred the suggestion that Obama will start commandeering babies to make deserts out of. It's hard to believe that many of you are crazy enough to believe this b.s that your selling. Group think is a scary, scary thing.

madawaskan said...

Titus-

Mauve is so eighties...

Obama is the seventies in fact he sounds a little like Ali McGraw in Love Story-

Being a college professor means never having to say your sorry.

*Sniff*

btw Al Gore thinks that was written about him.

I'm out.

[Have I told you lately that the New York Giants are the World Champions. We are going to ride the boogie.]

BJM said...

TitusWhat's the design of everyone else's safe room?

An understated steel blue motif styled by Mssrs. Glock and Mossberg.

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

Also, nothing says the end of times better than acqua. You heard it here first.

ElcubanitoKC said...

garage mahal said...
Smart and/or educated people = must be socialists.
[...]
1:39 PM


It is very refreshing to see that you do not not qualify as a socialist although you are obviously voting for one.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Thank you Ann, Simon and others for breaking this down for me. I listened last night and again this morning and heard nothing damaging, but because I am not an expert on law, I thought I might be missing something. (Note that I was willing to be convinced that Obama outed himself as the "socialist" so many on the right paint him as...not that even if he did I would switch my vote.)

Paul said...

MM

"But isn't a complaint about Obama is that he's just spouting words and that there is no substance?

Perhaps you can educate me as to which of Obama's words I should pay attention to, and which ones I can ignore. That would be very helpful, thanks."

Sure. Take your first impulse as a guide to what you believe about Obama. Then, since you're a magical thinking liberal douche, reverse it 180 degrees and you'll be dead to rights.

Titushasabigmeetingtoday said...

OK, it has been great but I have to go to a very high level, strategic meeting, with key opinion leaders and decision makers with my Fortune 100 organization.

This may be the last time we meet though if Obama becomes president. I am pretty sure he will ruin our company and send us all to education camps.

I am going to attend this meeting like it is the last day I ever see these wonderful people.

Sad, it is, sad I tell you.

law lover said...

bob thinks the Eagles song containing the words "first we kill all the lawyers " is good advice. Unfortunately this phrase from Shakespeare is too often taken out of context.
Anarchists were discussing various ways to overthrow the government and someone said "first we kill all the lawyers"- perhaps because someone trained in the law and who regularly protects the rights of citizens would be number one on an anarchists "hit list" and I don't mean his or her favorite songs.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Dear Professor Althouse, although I am not a constitutional scholar, nor do I pretend to be one, my layman's impression of this snipet, put into the context of his previously known statements, coincides with most of the commenters here. I think he, mostly during the Q&A section of the interview, makes the case for legislative involvement in wealth redistribution. This may be an incorrect perception according to you, but I just think said impression, when shared by many others, should not be dismissed off-hand.

Randall Henry said...

we must not have listened to the same clip. he is disappointed that the courts weren't more radical/progressive. that they didn't pursue economic justice. he wants to change the courts by winning the elections; but the still play a role after political organizing.

Quayle said...

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;


And what if your products are not competitive in the now international market place.

Do you go to war to make sure that your national-local workers are OK?

This is Cass espousing his (and all our) Zion aspirations through coercive political power means.

And when politicians start promising Zion, brothers and sisters hold on to your wallet!

Hoosier Daddy said...

garage mahal said I think most people know that raising rates from 36% back to %39 on people making 250k+ where Clinton had them doesn't in itself constitute socialism.

And I would agree if the increased taxes are to be used to rebuild and maintain the national infrastructure, or reduce the debt. If on the other hand he's raising taxes on folks making $250K so he can redistribute that money to people making less than I think that is socialism in part.

That is the part I think a lot of people are missing. It's now how much they're taking, its how the take is being spent. If there was a rock solid promise to raise taxes to reduce the debt I would enthusiastically support it. If its to make sure some inner city kid or country bumpkin can go to college then fuck em. Get a job like I did.

madawaskan said...

Oh shizzle-rushed that-

Being a college professor means never having to say ^you're^ sorry.

The Seventies sucked!

Now I'm really outta here.


[Have I told you lately that the New York Giants are the World Champions. We are going to ride the boogie.]

dualdiagnosis said...

Who Obama is and what Obama wants government to do are on the record.

His associates, the people he chose to spend time with and the cornerstone of his political ideology are right there, out in the open for all to see.

Some, like Ann, find cute ways of waving all of these off.

For some the distracting is on purpose, they know how damaging electorally these things are. For the rest, my guess is that they truly believe that Obama is just like themselves, the less background and evidence that can be set in concete the easier it is to buy into the hopemonger stuff.

AllenS said...

I too am not a constitutional law professor, but I understand Obama clearly. Let me explain exactly what he means: once elected president, Obama is going to give Mort forty acres and a mule. Wait until he awakes today and finds out that!

AJ Lynch said...

What AllenS said.

dualdiagnosis said...

Shorter Obamao-

Social Justice=spreading the wealth around

That is a valid and not very novel viewpoint, why are there supporters who angrily deny that this is what Obamao wants?

Alex said...

I noticed Althouse got rid of her "I take a vow of cruel neutrality". That was a already a freaking joke for weeks now.

blake said...

Madison Man sez...Perhaps you can educate me as to which of Obama's words I should pay attention to, and which ones I can ignore. That would be very helpful, thanks.

Oh, that's easy: Just look at his record and see what he's done before.

Oh. Right.

Never mind.

dbp said...

Ann said, "One of the... tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think, there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.
He's saying that civil rights activists made a tragic mistake by fighting for their cause in the judicial forum. It's part of his separation-of-powers point. Changes that involve complex economic choices need to be made in the political sphere. He never says he wishes the courts would have done more. He acknowledges the limitations of law and courts."

Yes, you are absolutly correct, but it is equally clear that Obama is for "redistributive change". Meaning, not the normal level of redistribution we already have (or had at the time of his interview), but a change in that level. I think it fair to presume that the change he has in mind is to more redistribution.

I think this is and should be very frightening to anyone who has bothered to accumulate a bit of wealth.

Kylos said...

Ann,
maybe I'm reading too much into this, but when he speaks of the Constitution only restricting through "negative" rights what the goverment is allowed to do, it sounds to me that he fundamentally disagrees with this and would like to see "positive" rights, i.e. what the government "does for you." Therefore, it is not the the threat of change through litigation that concerns me as you suggest us non-lawyer types are concerned about, it is the idea that Obama believes in constitutional and legislative changes where the government is less concerned about what what it can't do to you than what it can do for you.

When the next JFK (as Teddy et al are wont to describe him) contradicts one of JFK's most famous statements, "Ask not...", it's easy to understand why people are concerned about the increasingly socialistic tendencies of the Democratic party. And, yes, McCain and the Repub's don't seem to be doing much better these days.

One of the more frustrating experiences I had recently was when I walked into a Post Office (now there's a rare experience) and saw a poster promoting government services with the message, "Ask not what your country can do for you..
Actually, go ahead and ask."

The transformation of a national ideology from one that promotes reliance on self, religion and community to one that promotes dependence on government is one that will lead to the enslavement of this nation to its government.

Oligonicella said...

mariner --

I think Obama's "legal mistakes" are a wee bit larger than you admit. Obama was a CONSTITUTIONAL LAW professor, fer cryin' out loud!

For him to mistake post-Civil-War amendments for founding-era provisions seems a pretty big deal to me.


I also think it's a big deal, but for a different reason. I don't think Obama made a mistake at all. I think he simply spewed out academic spew because he thought it would snow the listener and had no idea what the Internet would become. I personally believe he knew damned good and well he was spouting essentially gobbledygook to snow the audience. I also believe that is his view of people in general -- They're not as bright as me, so snow them with misinformation.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We should have had this discussion many months ago.

We have had. It just wasn't as interesting to the media as the secret parentage of Palin's child, her funny accent, or her weird hairdo and glasses. Therefore, there is no coverage of inconsequential things like "are we about to elect a communist/socialist president who is hell bent on redistributing income and social engineering us to oblivion"

Much more important things to discuss...move along...nothing to see here.

dualdiagnosis said...

Thanks Ann for posting this, some supporters may have chosen to ignore it.

mccullough said...

Obama sounds like most liberal con law profs here, which is why neither he nor any of them should be POTUS.

Obama doesn't say that the equal protection clause doesn't require a progressive income tax or a flat tax or an exact tax. He doesn't say that Golberg v. Kelly is liberal judicial activism at its worst.

Obama thinks you can make a rational theoretical argument that the Constitution requires redistribution and he sounds sympathetic to the argument, which just shows how liberal he is. I'm sure he's also sympathetic to the argument that the 13th Amendment requires abortion to be legal throughout the U.S.

All it shows is that Obama should be a law school professor and not POTUS. He can while away his days with his theories without subjecting the whole country to them.

Obama wants to make the U.S. like France and Sweden. But Sarkozy is trying to get the French to actually work again because their real GDP has been stagannt for the last 15 years and Sweden is so far down the shitter now that it's on its 3rd generation of citizens witout a work ethic.

Trooper York said...

Hey madawaskan, I can't help it if you don't have a long snapper. I always thought that the Steelers did best work with their head between someone else's legs.

What's up with that anyway?

Kylos said...

As a correction, when I said "that he fundamentally disagrees with this," I intended to say that he disagrees with focussing on negative rights only and would like to see more attention to granting positive rights, rather than that Obama wants to do away with limitations on government through negative rights.

Original George said...

Iceland's stock market is off 88 percent.

I think we should redistribute some of our wealth by buying that country and making it the 51st state.

Price can't go much lower.

Think of it as our eastern Hawaii.

Superior strategic location, stable democracy, prime source of fish and aluminum exports. Plus, we get Bjork, elves.

I also have it on good confidence that Professor Lidenbrock of Hamburg needs financing for a journey into Sneffels Crater, an expedition of unparalled consequence which possibly may usher in a new era of exploration and discovery and new trade routes to the Orient, all of which will capture the fancy of the nation, if not the civilized world, in these trying times. Volunteers apply in confidence: cnemo@saknussem.net.

Clyde said...

Obama obviously felt that it wasn't likely that his objectives ("economic justice," i.e., "spreading the wealth around") could be accomplished via the courts. That left two other branches of government, however. Can it be a coincidence that he quickly leapt from activist lawyer to state legislator and then part-time Senator and now is attmpting to make the leap to Chief Executive? Given who his friends are and what he told Joe the Plumber, his objectives do not seem to have changed since 2001. If he's elected president, however, his ability to influence the accomplishment of those objectives will be greatly enhanced. If you think that people should earn their own damn money rather than leeching off yours, that is a very bad thing.

blake said...

I think the thing that a lot of the outraged (OUTRAGED!) wingnuts are missing is that the moonbats understand completely what was said and simply don't find it objectionable.

Yes, from a left-wing perspective of course it's a tragedy that wealth isn't distributed more evenly, and of course it's a tragedy that the civil rights movement wasn't sufficiently twisted in that direction. (Though, like modern feminism, it most certainly acts in service of socialism over its own basic goals.)

Truth is, conservatives lost this battle back in 1913. (Once again due to Republican weakness in the face of Democrat propaganda.)

So, the problem is when garage mahal says (when he's not busy smearing Joe The Plumber) that a 36%-39% jump for the rich isn't socialism, those who think in terms of this being a binary situation are at a loss.

Socialism is a gradient. 39% is socialism, of course, but so was 36%. So is any percentage. (Though you could at least make an argument a flat percentage wouldn't be.)

That is, in part, the whole problem. This sort of taxation is the very essence of a slippery slope. What made it in as a "7% of 500K/year" went to over 90% a couple decades later for much less money. Now it's, what, 30+% for around 400K (though if we adjust for inflation, that'd be more like $4M in 1913 dollars).

We're not really arguing for socialism versus non-socialism, we're just arguing for how much socialism we'll take.

Obama's just gonna push it a little farther.

And when he knocks it up to 39%, there garage mahal will be saying, "Hey, 39% to 42% isn't socialism". "Hey, 42% to 48% isn't socialism".
"Hey, 49% to 72% isn't socialism".

And for that matter, the other part of the problem is that so will McCain. He might cut taxes, but unless he slashes spending along with it, he'll force de facto rate increases down the line.

I don't think we've had a President since FDR who actually reduced the size of government. Even Reagan bloated it in some areas while reducing it in others.

Pogo said...

Socialism is a terribly seductive system. Those who have lived under it fear it, but it appeals to the West as it seems to hold the answer to many refractory problems.

But it is not now and has never been a solution, instead it is just a cancer itself, a tenacious one, one that is extremely difficult to dislodge once it gains a foothold, not because it is successful economically or in terms of quality of life, but because it crushes opposition and alternatives.

Revel called it the Totalitarian Temptation. Johnson called it the Western Death wish.

I agree, and it's face is Obama.

Henry said...

There are two things I don't like about Obama's spread the wealth plans.

The first, as I've stated in previous posts, is that I don't deserve the tax break he's trying to give me. The country is broke. I'm not. I should be paying taxes.

The second is that despite the fact that I will end up paying next to nothing in income tax, I will still have to spend a few days of my life filling out forms and mailing them to the IRS.

Why not just eliminate income tax completely for the bottom four quintiles? Think of the great efficiencies if 80% of current taxpayers no longer had withholding, no longer file forms, and no longer confused the IRS with their messed-up returns.

Only people with tax attorneys should file taxes.

The problem with my proposal is that such a simple system would remove the government's ability to incentivize people to do things like take on debt and have kids.

AJ Lynch said...

Blake you are right about the recent presidents I bet. However, the states have gone nuts getting bigger and bigger in recent years. That makes the "big government issue" even more ginormous.

garage mahal said...

Obama's just gonna push it a little farther.

He's going to let the Bush tax cuts expire and put the rates back where Clinton had them. So you can look at it like Bush redistributed the income after taking over for Clinton, or Obama is doing the redistributing now. Either way I think most people right now are totally down with the idea. Why wouldn't they be?

madawaskan said...

Trooper-

Damn I had to look back and see that.

Well our medical staff never should have let that kid try to get up and walk off the field by himself unsupported. Cripes I have never seen a knee buckle sideways like that.

What the hell is their main job?

Unbelievable.

I don't have to tell you that once upon a time the Giants were the World Champions...

[We are going to ride the booger.]

Rich B said...

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 reduced rates to 15% and 28% along with a broadening of the tax base. Those rates were adequate to fund the government, especially after the end of the Cold War. Bush I and Clinton raised the top to 39% and Bush II knocked in down by 10%.

The appetite for money to fund giveaways is insatiatable and the desire to get rid of useless programs is negligible (unless you are a Dem and the military is in question). The Dems also believe that some people have too much money and must be relieved of it at gunpoint - try declining to "contribute" and see what happens.

It really pisses me off when Dems complain about how the Bush admin has taken our freedoms away when my biggest loss of freedom is having to work as a slave for the government.

Henry said...

I'm only being slightly tongue-in-cheek. It has struck me that the removal of personal income tax from the consciousnous of most voters only enlarges the hazard of property and sales taxes.

The bottom 80% will end up like Britain's 19th century landed gentry: Taxed only on property they can't afford.

So property taxes will have to go away. At that point we will have almost have made it to the 21st ideal, the move from income tax to consumption tax.

Meanwhile the nobility will happily evaporate.

vnjagvet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mccullough said...

Garage,

Obama is restoring Clinton tax rates at 1993 income levels. He doesn't index the income levels for inflation, so his rates kick in at lower real income levels than Clinton's.

Also, Obama wants to add Social Security taxes back in at $250,000 (actually his initial proposal was to take off the income level ceiling, like it is for the Medicare Part A tax). This is another 4 to 5% beyond what Bill Clinton did.

Also, Obama wants to "refund" social security taxes to those who make under a certain amount while still allowing them to collect social security. Social Security benefits are already progressive so this kicks it up into a much higher gear.

Bill Clinton did not propose giving even lower-income workers something for nothing, which is what Obama wants.

And Obama wants the working "rich" to pay for it, not the rich who make their money through passive income such as investments or royalties (as Obama does. He does not pay the FICA tax on the roylaties from his 2 trite books).

So Obama wants those who make good money from working hard pay it to those who don't make much working while leaving the very wealthy still very wealthy.

EDH said...

I also believe that is his view of people in general -- They're not as bright as me, so snow them with misinformation.

Would explain why Obama thought Biden would be a good running mate.

vnjagvet said...

I am retired, and therefore am unlikely to be adversely affected by increased taxes from either candidate.

But I don't trust giving unfettered discretion to the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and their colleagues to construct a tax scheme that will "redistribute" anything. And I don't see BHO as a barrier to their collective wisdom.

Whatever BHO's real intentions on tax policy, I think it is fair to say that they are less beneficial to the entrepreneurial sector of our economy than McCain's will be. Simply put, everything he has ever written, how he has voted, much of what he has said, and those with whom he has allied himself have one message: Use taxes to promote what the government believes as fair.

Can anyone on this thread come up with any system using this tax policy as a general principle which has succeeded over the long term?

I'll check back to see if I get any answers.

BJM said...

garage; are you purposely being obtuse or do you really not understand who has been targeted?

Individuals or couples earning over $250K in salary and/or passive income will pay more, and keep in mind that in some parts of the country, such as the SF Bay area, $250,000 annual income barely qualifies a couple to buy a house in a crappy neighborhood.

However, it's the millions of small businesses who file the business income under Subchapter S at individual rates that will be hurt when the tax increase reduces their capital by the same amount. The point of structuring "S" corps was to allow small business to preserve capital, to fund themselves.

This pool of money is mainly held by the middle class. Obama's tax policy gurus have deliberately targeted small business, if they have not then they need to find another profession, but I digress.

While a 3% increase doesn't sound onerous on the face of it; let's look a little deeper. Say that 3% amounts to a $15,000 tax increase for the Way Good Rug Cleaning Service and they planned to buy another panel van in 2009 and add two new employees with the $15,000 they no longer have. They either go into debt and most small business cannot find an affordable loan in this financial climate, so they pass.

The local truck dealership,the rug cleaning equipment-supply wholesaler and a sign painter lose a sale and two entry level jobs are lost as are sales taxes, regulatory fees and local business taxes; everyone loses.

Multiply the chilling effect by millions of businesses in the supply chain and you begin to understand why it is an incredibly boneheaded move in a credit crunch and will be a job killer.

BTW- 43% of Hispanic small businesses make a million a year, so it isn't the "rich" that be hurt, the rich will simply hire more accountants to mine the inevitable loopholes left for political donors.

The businesses that create most of the entry level jobs will have less capital to buy inventory, services, expand, hire and in a market downturn; survive. Guess who owns a large percentage of small businesses and start-ups nowadays: women.

Greg Cotharn said...

Progressive taxation is intended to raise money for government services. Cutting checks to nontaxpayers - as Obama recommends in his tax plan - does not equate to progressive taxation.

Freeman Hunt said...

However, it's the millions of small businesses who file the business income under Subchapter S at individual rates that will be hurt when the tax increase reduces their capital by the same amount. The point of structuring "S" corps was to allow small business to preserve capital, to fund themselves.

Yes! I own a very small part of such a company. The 250,000+ rate won't hit me, but it will hit the main shareholders, and that will reduce the amount of money that stays in the company to expand the workforce and company benefits. Someone will absolutely lose a job or at least one new job will not be created in this company if the individual income tax rate is increased.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So you can look at it like Bush redistributed the income after taking over for Clinton, or Obama is doing the redistributing now. Either way I think most people right now are totally down with the idea. Why wouldn't they be?

It's amazing how completely dense some people can be. The tax rate isn't the main issue. If it takes XX% to fund government, so be it. Funding government means providing services for the common good. Infrastructure (roads, transportation) Provide for the common defense (military, police, fire departments) and other such things. Even TEMPORARY help in difficult times for unemployment and food stamps.

What people object to....at least those who are thinking people....is the direct taking of one person's wealth for the express purpose of GIVING it to another.

Like somebody already said. I obtained an education, got my credentials and licenses (which I am just now going to have to pay $2550 to renew for the next year) go to work every day for 8 to 10 hours a day. The government wants to take more more more more of my income and just GIVE it someone who doesn't work as much or as hard or as smart.

I have no problem with food stamps or unemployment. I've collected both. I DO have a problem with making a gift of my income to some one who has made a lifestyle of collecting government aid. I also have a huge problem with GIVING money to people who work less. Where is the incentive for me to work harder or for those who are getting a ride on my back to work hard either.

Of course, this concept, of fairness, personal property and accountability, is completely foreign to liberals like Garage. We might as well be speaking foreign languages.

madawaskan said...

What Blake said-this isn't a game changer anyone who was for Obama before based on his resume and their good feelings isn't going to be persuaded now by anything.

And, the young folks here who think this is The October Surprise well listen here little fellas it usually comes later, and is against the Republican.

Basically we are going to have Kennedy [yes, Kennedy pretty Conservative on most of the issues just no the ones that will get noticed in Switzerland meaning pretty damn Conservative particularly economically], Roberts, Scalia , Alito and Thomas acting as the fire wall.

Hopefully we can get them all to agree not to fly on some Cessna together so that we don't end up with some gawd awful tune like -The Night the Republic Died that and get the Knights of Columbus to guard them.

OK I'm just joking-

Sorta.

[Have I told you lately that last year the New York Giants were the World Champions? We're going to ride the boogie.]

Pogo said...

The bulwark of a free society is the right to property. It precedes and supports the right to free speech and all other rights.

Lacking this right, you have nothing but whatever the State decides to give you, which it can take away on a whim.

Socialism destroys the right to property, and therby destroys freedom. Slowly or quickly, it completes the job.

And that is where we are headed, and the liberals and Obama don't give a flying fuck, because that is the direction they've been headed in since the 1930s, but helped push through by 1968.

Goddamned baby boomers, they've wrecked everything they've touched.

TMink said...

garage mahal wrote: "Smart and/or educated people = must be socialists."

Nah, I am the first two and not the last.

Trey

The Drill SGT said...

When I read it, I think of a one word answer:

reparations

what other context can one combine
radical+civil rights+redistribution

john said...

Trey said -

Nah, I am the first two and not the last.

Are you saying you are both smart or educated?

bleeper said...

I was born in 1950. I am an individual who believes in property rights. Do not lump me in with communists, law professors or other parasites.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Words DO have meaning but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

WTF said...

I don't even know where to begin. As a lawyer I find Professor Althouse's analysis of that clip to be just down right embarassing and he calling shame to Drudge's headline.

The clip needs to be analyzed as a whole not simply the excerpt she posts. Obama begins by speaking of the successes and failures of the Warren court. He sets out what they did right (granting rights to previously dispossessed people) but then continues to talk about what they did not do in terms of wealth redistribution and economic distribution, i.e. their failures. That is where Drudge gets his headlines because Obama then continues to go speak into the tragedy of the failures of the civil rights movement in conjunction with the failures of the Warren court. This is the type of common sense deconstruction that trial attorney's like myself have to do on a regular basis.

Further, Althouse is correct that the concepts mentioned by Obama are common in the law school setting because Law Preofessors have the benefit of dealing only with theory and never in reality. But as a whole in the legal profession, these concepts are exactly what they sound like, extremely radical. Obama is talking in legislating from the bench and having an activist court. However,I will give him credit with this, he is smart enough to couch it in terms that don't make it readily apparent.

blake said...

what other context can one combine
radical+civil rights+redistribution


Communism appropriated the civil rights movement early on. (See Paul Robeson.) In leftist terms, it's either "us" or "them", and (theoretically) unimportant what your race, color, gender or creed is. (As for what actually happens, there's plenty of history on that.)

blake said...

garage--

I happened to cut way back around the time the Bush tax cuts happened, and they were great for me. I was, by some standards, "poor", and found that I got all my tax money back.

The idea that those tax cuts were solely for the rich is ludicrous. I could not have paid less tax.

garage mahal said...

Of course, this concept, of fairness, personal property and accountability, is completely foreign to liberals like Garage. We might as well be speaking foreign languages.

Odd you would mention fairness and accountability when I'm being asked to foot a 1 trillion bailout to your heroes at AIG and Bear Stearns because they made a ton of stupid investments. Your Soul Sister runs the biggest welfare state we have in the Union, spends 150k of donor money for outfits and you preach to us responsibility? You're too fucking funny for words.

Simon said...

garage mahal said...
"I'm being asked to foot a 1 trillion bailout ... [of] AIG and Bear Stearns because they made a ton of stupid investments."

When last I looked, most conservatives - those who haven't gone native in D.C. - opposed the bailout. I thought it was the President and the Congressional Democratic Party who were asking you to foot the bill?

mccullough said...

Garage,

Hopefully, we'll get the AIG and the bank money back. Think of it as an investment. If Obama were merely asking us to loan or take an interest in those who aren't smart and don't work hard, then I might fall for his plan.

That's not his plan. His plan is to give them money without any strings attached. Some day the banks will be on their own again, but the mooches will still be with us.

I agree with that a lot of Alaskans are lazy welfare recipients but I don't see why we should extend that to the lower 48 as well.

BJM said...

Freeman Hunt; exactly.

For those of you who still don't understand how raising the personal rates will impact you or the economy I have one word: McDonalds.

Yes, McDonalds is one of the many thousands of franchise operations that file as "S" corporations.

Don't think it doesn't reach down to you; businesses don't pay taxes, customers pay in increased prices and less service.

If Obama is dishonest about this "kitchen table" issue, what else isn't he telling you?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

when I'm being asked to foot a 1 trillion bailout to your heroes at AIG and Bear Stearns because they made a ton of stupid investments.

Well, you should take this up with your party. The Dems were the ones who crammed this crap sandwich down the throats of the Republicans and over the screaming NO DON'T DO IT of conservatives. In fact the entire debacle was put in place by the Democrat liberal social community organizing agenda of ACORN (hmmmmm where have we heard this before) Barney Frank who was fucking some body in the Freddie or Fannie organization (too much work to keep up on who Barney is fucking) and Dodd (never saw a bribe or special rate loan he couldn't turn down.

Once again. Speaking a foreign language. Garage....you and your party are just cammed over and won't admit it.

Christy said...

Titus, love, let's go to Ireland! In the meantime, my panic room is all white and silvery steel. I love the way the ventilation system makes the white sheers billow about. Be sure to install a surveillance camera disguised as one of those track lights. I like the way you've been channeling Robin Williams in "Good Morning Vietnam" today.

Ann, Perception is reality. Don't you understand meta-narratives? If everyone but constitutional lawyers think it's a bombshell, it is a bombshell.

I'll leave that high tone discussion to those of you who've spent a lifetime studying it. Me, I'm a simple systems type girl who has spent a lifetime pouring over the Federal Register for regulations generated by current laws. I've spent my time setting up systems, protocols, checklists, so the workers with other skill sets can comply efficiently with regulatory law and keep our corporation's designated inmate out of trouble.

All that is why I look, not at how Obama thinks the Constitution can be interpreted, but at how well he complies with existing laws and regulations. I am deeply perturbed with the way his campaign proactively disengaged the safety systems set up to prevent fraudulent use of credit cards. This wasn't an oversight. This wasn't failure to act. This was an act committed to disengage a system. They turned off the safety system so they could pull in illegal campaign donations. His great accomplishment to date is his outstandingly run campaign. I don't see any way around it. Either he authorized the turning off of the verification system or he really isn't running his campaign. This is what I call a bombshell.

Beldar said...

Prof. A wrote: "He's saying that civil rights activists made a tragic mistake by fighting for their cause in the judicial forum."

Prof. A. is correct that Drudge is wrong, but -- with due and genuine respect -- so is she.

Fairly read, the "tragedy" described by Barack Obama is that redistribution of wealth wasn't achieved. The reason it wasn't achieved is because even very progressive courts like the Warren Court aren't well equipped to do that.

But Prof. Althouse just projected the "tragedy" onto the litigation choices made by civil rights activists. I'm quite certain Sen. Obama and Prof. Althouse and I would all agree that it was a GOOD THING, not a tragedy, for Thurgood Marshall et al. to bring cases like Brown v. Board of Education.

The big-picture take-away from this interview is:

Courts didn't accomplish redistribution of wealth. That's a tragedy. The way to do that is not by going to court, but by building coalitions of power through the other branches of government.

Which is exactly what he's trying to do, and close to doing, now.

That's why this interview is so damned scary.

holdfast said...

My best Cliff's Notes reading of this is as follow: It is too bad that the post-WW II civil rights movement was so overly courts-focussed, since even the Warren court, which everyone thinks was so radical but really wasn't, could only, at best, secure negative liberties for blacks, and that is clearly not enough. Without economic redistribution, the civil right project is not really complete, but this is not something that the court was able to take on in a big way because of the pesky constitution and 200 years of legal precedent. Going forward, we need to be less court-centric as we pursue "economic justice" for blacks.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sweden is so far down the shitter now that it's on its 3rd generation of citizens witout a work ethic.

Sweden has been down the shitter since Gustaf II Adolphus took a dirt nap in 1632.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So you can look at it like Bush redistributed the income after taking over for Clinton, or Obama is doing the redistributing now.

Garage, I think the fact that you consider Bush allowing people to keep more of their own money as re-distribution is quite telling. Seems to me the difference between conservatives and liberals is the former believes that the money we earn is ours, not the governments to ‘distribute’ to us.

Odd you would mention fairness and accountability when I'm being asked to foot a 1 trillion bailout to your heroes at AIG and Bear Stearns because they made a ton of stupid investments.

Lets take that a step further and talk about the trillions spent on welfare and public housing because people who made stupid life decisions. Oh but lets not mention the stupid investments of Fred/Fan that loaned out money to dumb asses who couldn’t afford to pay it back. The difference between you and me is that I oppose bailing out dumb assess whether they’re corporations or individuals.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Courts didn't accomplish redistribution of wealth. That's a tragedy. The way to do that is not by going to court, but by building coalitions of power through the other branches of government.

Welcome to Zimbabwe:

"A closer look at the candidates for the hunger prize reveals nothing new about their economic profile – Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho have reformed the least. All of these countries have a history peppered with socialist-style utopian villages that failed to produce everlasting wealth.

Instead of focusing on commercial farming, sub-Saharan African countries at the time nationalized state farms, disrespected property rights of poor peasants and controlled farm proceeds through marketing boards. Subsistence farmers had little incentive to expand production. "

And Ethiopia

"The socialist Ethiopian government reflects a similar story of intervention. The UN at the time supported Ethiopia's state-led agricultural program against commercial agriculture and often referred to it as “forward-looking” and “progressive.

East Africa has also had its share of self-imposed crises. Two million people in Kenya face acute famine and Ethiopia has yet to shed off its retrogressive Marxist-style agriculture practices it adopted in the 70s.Aid was simply seen as paying up for the misplaced guilt of slavery and colonialism"

By all means, let us redistribute the wealth and become a third world marxist nation. Squash those small businesses. How dare they suceed when others don't.(blacks in urban areas...Obama already said he wasn't interested in the suburbs. That they bored him). Yes, it must be that those who work hard and make something of themselves are cheating and stealing the equalness of others.

Waaaaahhhh life isn't fair. Let's take the stuff you have and give it to someone else.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I really wish one of the resident lefties here would simply man up and tell us heartless conservatives how much tax is appropriate?

After income tax, FICA, Medicare/ SSN, property taxes, State income tax, county tax and state sales taxes, seriously, how much more?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

seriously, how much more?


Seriously, there isn't any limit. "Wadda want us to do? slit our wrists?"

Feed the monster.

AJ Lynch said...

Hoosier:

You know the latest Dem idea is to take another 5% and put it into social security annuity account. Their rationale is we are now scared on the stock market so we will be happy to give it to the govt!

They must not be able to add to 100 because they are already taking 14%-15% for Medicare & Fica when you include the employers share. After rent. food, car, car insurance, the average Joe has nothing left.

Why would anyone let the feds take another 5% for safekeeping?

F15C said...

How much more?

Ask Denmark where high wage earners are leaving in droves due to a 63% marginal rate for anyone making $100K per year or more.

They are bleeding productivity and innovation and bloating up on societal parasites.

My friend just left there for Australia and thinks Denmark has no more than 5 to 10 years before complete collapse - and that was before the financial crisis.

Seven Machos said...

Bullshit, Althouse. I really did think that you were better than the inverse of you! a law professor!, which is, of course, you wouldn't understand unless you are a fancy law professor.

The freedom to explore ideas that we grant professors is greater than the freedom we grant politicians. Don't give us this sorry apologia about how law professors are afforded certain leeways. Obama is not a law professor.

In politics, you pay for what you say, forever. Any fool knows that. Why tie yourself in knots trying to prove otherwise?

P.S. It's weird, too, that you would write so much about this. What happened to the joyous brevity I am used to?

AJ Lynch said...

Seven said:

"Obama is not a law professor".

Never looked at that way but 7 is right. Surely there is a big big difference between a tenured full-time law professor and a part-time instructor padding his resume.

JAL said...

Re McCain -- I do not think it will be the same with him (socialism).

I think I remember him saying in one of the debates he would cut spending. I think he was asked what -- I don't remember his answer, but I think it put Obama in a catch up position. (Did he say "everything?" no, that was my imagination.)

Thanks to all with the discussion of how Obama's plan will harm businesses. Enough with the straw man of the greedy Wall Streeter.

We are a country with huge businesses, but the streets of America are filled with people who had a dream and made something happen for themselves and their families in small businesses.

To harm those people to benefit others not willing to do the sweat equity is wrong.

Obama's plans remind me of a pyramid scheme -- it works until you run out of marks.

JAL said...

As for reparations, google it with Obama.

Obama sees reparations as part of his socialism aimed at "spreading to wealth" to all the lesser souls, whereby blacks would benefit.

I am mystified at how much money Obama thinks he can suck out of the great white cow to pay for all the things he wants to do.

Have any of the libs here done the math? (Or is that a remedial subject?)

JAL said...

The interviewer describes Obama as a "Senior lecturer."

Not a law prof, but close enough for (his) government work.

mark said...

I think most people know that raising rates from 36% back to %39 on people making 250k+ where Clinton had them doesn't in itself constitute socialism. No matter how much wingnuts stamp their feet and yell fire in a crowded theater.

No, it doesn't. But who says he stops at 250K+? He voted for raising taxes on much much smaller incomes. The actual votes are a much better indicator than what a politician says on the stump.

And by the way, when you add
+ the social security taxes beyond the income cap
+ capital gains/dividends taxes going from 15% up to who knows where
+ windfall profit taxes
+ phased out deductions/credits,
and a host of the taxes and surcharges Reid and Pelosi are salivating about.. yeah, that smells like socialism with a "human face". Think Sweden.

kengoodsmith said...

Just keep hearing what you want to hear. Your credibility is suffering though.

vnjagvet said...

Keep in mind that BHO made these statements just after W took office. He is in essence urging a greater redistribution of the wealth than was extant during the Clinton administration. But he says now he wants to return to that system.

I don't know about you guys, but I don't believe him.

dualdiagnosis said...

Here's the deal, liberals think that if a politician has his policies all written down and that he announces what he is going to do, then that's it, case closed. Conservatives seem to have a holistic view, they believe that character and past behavior should be part of the mix.

So, when Obamao says "you will get a tax cut if you make less than 250k!", for Dems no discussion is needed because that's it, he says it, that's the way it will go down.

Forget that his track record says that this kind of rhetoric has been made and broken by him before, forget that any proposal by Obamao has to go through a process- there are few examples of campaign rhetoric being translated exactly the way it was promised.

All that is being put up for discussion, and for evidence that the odds are against what Obama is saying to get elected and what will likely be the end result.

He can promise till the cows come home that he will only tax the "rich", his philosophical underpinnings, his background, his associations and his legislative record (such as it is) belie what will most likely occur.

Pogo said...

Moribund but incapable of dying, socialism is neither able to cure itself nor to breathe its last.

Its precepts, though never successful in any nation employing its counterproductive rules, nevertheless induces irrational rapture amongst listeners.

Easily fooled and easily led, the West wants desperately to believe that perpetual motion machines exist, that you can get something for nothing, that there is a free lunch.

The Founders were right.

Nichevo said...

Turning off the AWS and other safes by the Obama credit card division is like dogging down any other safety valve. The results will be spectacular.

Viz., Chernobyl.

TMink said...

"Are you saying you are both smart or educated?"

Smart and educated enough to know it is AND. 8)

Trey

peter hoh said...

On my way to church tonight, I caught a little of the Glenn Beck show. He was all over this tape, making a lot of the points that Althouse refuted in her post.

My favorite moment: when Obama, in answering a caller's question, said something about his dual role as legislator and law professor. Beck stopped the tape and got rather agitated over the "huge" difference between being a law professor and a senior lecturer. "He's unhinged," shouted Beck, sounding rather unhinged.

peter hoh said...

Simon, is it fair to say that you and Althouse are in basic agreement about this tape? I.e. that it's no big deal.

Seven Machos said...

Peter Hoh -- The right today sounds like nothing so much to me as the left in about 2002. Too often, my side makes these inane points and it's like, what the fuck? What does that even matter? The kind of professor Obama was is a case in point.

If we Republicans could just get and remain substantive, even today, about policy differences, instead of going off into the thicket of meaningless detail, we'd win.

All of that said, Althouse is egregiously wrong. We give law professors the freedom to say dumb shit because they have no real power. For politicians, we do the opposite. We give them very little freedom to speak because they do have real power.

That's the way it goes.

Anyway, if McCain could just stick to redistribution for 10 days, he'd win.

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