Reason Morning Links: Primary Day, Scandal in Connecticut, "Temporary Taxes"


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  1. re: temporary taxes

    You have to love statists. They have no shame.

    Term-limited taxes = “temporary taxes”

    Term-limited tax cuts (like the Bush tax custs) = TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!

    1. How about some “temporary spending cuts” instead of those “temporary taxes”?

      1. Oui!

  2. To all incumbents: “Buh-bye! Good riddance!”

    1. i’ll believe it when I see it…yes there have been a couple of them, but you would think Texas would have nominated someone other than Perry(like medina) but instead they went with good ol rick who has been in there for who knows who long…

  3. States turning to “temporary taxes” to fill budget gaps.

    Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

  4. This is unbelievable.

    “QUESTION: Did the recently passed Arizona immigration law come up? And, if so, did they bring it up or did you bring it up?

    ASSISTANT SECRETARY POSNER: We brought it up early and often. It was mentioned in the first session, and as a troubling trend in our society and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination, and that these are issues very much being debated in our own society.”

    Regardless of what you think about the Arizona law, this is outrageous. The Chinese run gulags, have forced abortions and routinely deport North Koreans to certain death. We may have something to explain about the Arizona law, but it certainly isn’t to those assholes.

    1. The Chinese pay the US governments bills and he who pays the bills makes the rules. Don’t worry I am sure that Posner performed the proper kowtow while humbly apologizing to his superiors. Isn’t everyone happy that we have “free trade” with a communist dictatorship.

      1. That is just how the Obama administration rolls. We could have a balanced budget and they still would be doing this shit. It is always blame America first with these people.

        1. America is a mean country and I see no reason that we should not apologize to the Chinese for our countless sins.

    2. We may have something to explain about the Arizona law, but it certainly isn’t to those assholes.

      I understand what you’re saying, because the Chinese don’t get to lecture anyone about human rights.

      But at the same time, if there’s a mote in your eye it doesn’t matter who you’re standing next to. If you’re a wife beater and Hitler comes up to you and says, “You know, it sucks that you beat your wife,” he’s right. You can comfort yourself with the knowledge that he’s a worse person than you are, but he’s still right.

      1. But a state government enforcing a federal law is a interior cat fight. It is not like the Arizona Law does anything that the feds are not already doing. It just has the state do it.

        Further, it doesn’t do anything that every other country in the world does. In fact, US immigration law is much laxer than most countries. It is a hell of a lot laxer than Mexico or Europe. It is not even a mot. It is not even a mot. It is a joke. And if you think that the US has anything to explain about it to the rest of the world, why are you not demanding that the rest of the world explain and justify their immigration laws?

      2. In short, if the US is a “human rights violator” for the Arizona law, what is Mexico, where you go to jail for being there illegally?

        1. These are good points.

          Frankly, I think the Arizona dispute only rises to the level of a human rights issue because of the due process problems it will create during its implementation. As you point out, the overall question of immigration policy itself, and the federalism concerns here, are technical questions and not really human rights matters of the first order.

          I was just questioning your general point that if someone walks up to a government official and says, “Justify law X” that governmental official only has to answer if he morally approves of the person asking the question.

          1. It is not like the Arizona Law does anything that the feds are not already doing.

            Again, this is a myth. Tell me, John, is it a Class 1 Misdemeanor, according to federal law, to be here illegally?

            Because according to Arizona law, it is.

            So, nice try.

            1. Well TAO, it’s probably not going to be a Class 1 Misdemeanor, since I don’t think such a thing exists in Federal Law, but I’m pretty sure it’s a violation of 8 U.S.C. 1325(a), which provides for up to 6 months imprisonment and a fine. The sentence for a Type 1 misdemeanor in Arizona is a jail sentence of no longer than 6 months. Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-707. (Add the “section” symbol yourselves…)

              Seems they’re fairly synonymous, though I don’t know if violating the federal statute comes with additional penalties like (future) disenfranchisement, inability to own a firearm, etc…

              I don’t like the law, but that’s because I cringe from laws where the practical effect is to have to carry my passport around inside my own country. I’m old enough to remember that being one of the principal propaganda points against the Soviet Union, that they had to have internal passports to go anywhere. Now if the cops decide to run a suspect’s immigration status while they’re booking hir at the County Jail, I’m fine with that.

              1. Is that illegal entry or illegally “being here”? Because Arizona penalizes the latter, whereas your federal code only penalizes the former. And Arizona does indeed make it a crime not to have your “papers”.

                1. Assuming most of the people who will be affected by the AZ law, also entered illegally within the SoL for illegal entry, and didn’t do things like overstay their lawful admission, still standing by the supposition that the actions have largely the same penalty. I’m not an immigration lawyer, and don’t know if there’s a penalty beyond deportation for being a merely deportable alien.

                  God, but the immigration statutes make the IRC look concise and well-reasoned.

      3. “If you’re a wife beater and Hitler comes up to you and says, “You know, it sucks that you beat your wife,” he’s right.”

        Funny story – that happened to me. It’s why I stopped.


        1. I feel wrong for laughing at this. Well done, BakedPenguin.

          1. Likewise. Classic. Props to Fluffy for that aphorism.

  5. major civil rights groups filed a lawsuit challenging the measure’s constitutionality

    When the measure is found to be constitutional, the ACLU, the NAACP, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund darn well better accept our ruling.

    1. I just want to know if the ACLU, NAACP etal took time to read the law before filing any lawsuits. 😉

      1. RACIST!! 😉

    2. You must be the bizarro world supremes, who don’t start thinking about every case by making sure there’s no chance that their decision would materially diminish the power of the federal government.

  6. “””Undaunted, Kennedy said again on Monday that the “judgment of the world’s nations” deserved to be considered when U.S. judges decided what was cruel and unusual punishment.”””

    I do disagree with the practice of US courts using foreign law to justify their rulings. The judgment of the worlds nations is not a good precedent since most of the worlds nations have very different practices then the US. Ratified US treaties is the only legitimate place where outside legal practice should effect US laws as per the constitution.

    If life sentences in this case is cruel and unusual punishment then find the justification in US law not in foreign law.

    1. “””Undaunted, Kennedy said again on Monday that the “judgment of the world’s nations” deserved to be considered when U.S. judges decided what was cruel and unusual punishment.”””

      There are other nations that condone stoning women to death for committing adultery.

      I guess that is not cruel and unusual punishment, right?

    2. Worse: Kennedy doesn’t actually believe that. What he means is “judgment of the world’s nations that I agree with.” However long his list is, I can come up with one just as long or longer, except my list will be of countries with atrocious human rights records.

    3. To be fair, the prohibition against the use of cruel and unusual punishments requires the exercise of subjective judgment, because “cruel” and “unusual” aren’t really quantifiable. The “Congress shall make no law” amendments are much more straightforward.

      But since the justices aren’t willing to actually write in their opinions, “The Constitution in this instance allows us to exercise our unfettered judgment and express our preferences” they have to try to dress up their opinion with lots of objective-looking material. Appealing to worldwide opinion takes up space in the opinion.

      1. “To be fair, the prohibition against the use of cruel and unusual punishments requires the exercise of subjective judgment, because “cruel” and “unusual” aren’t really quantifiable.”

        I have to agree with this. There can’t be a constant deference to the legislature on this stuff, the 8th would be pointless if that were the case.

        I guess Thomas’ reply would be “any sentence that seemed ok at the Framing.”

        1. I guess Thomas’ reply would be “any sentence that seemed ok at the Framing.”

          That would be the right answer.

      2. I think that if Kennedy needed to look for support outside of Federal law he could have looked at how States treat this subject and if a majority of them had similar limits on sentencing then he would have more justification then looking at what foreign governments did.

        1. I think that if Kennedy needed to look for support outside of Federal law he could have looked at how States treat this subject and if a majority of them had similar limits on sentencing then he would have more justification then looking at what foreign governments did.

          Why not use Iran’s interpretation of cruel and unusual punishment?

    4. Looking at foreign law is an established practice that goes back to the founding itself. The constitution did not emerge from the ether, it was built on centuries of legal tradition from another continent.

      1. Really, Tony? So which other nation’s law (England excepted, seeing as how America was a part of England at the time) is instituted in the Constitution?

        It is laughable to call English common law “foreign” in this context.

  7. Primary day. Woo hoo. Just finished going thru the profile of judges to figure out which ones to kick off the bench (default is voting against sitting judges, but that has to be balanced with voting against prosecutors and voting against any candidates supported by the FOP and anyone saying that you have to “balance the right of the individual…”).

    1. So you’ll be staying home then?

      1. Nah, I had other things to vote for. Like Rand Paul. His Dad’s the only reason Im even registered to a party, so might as well abuse the power they foolishly gave me.

        Plus, my city* council spot is open and it will be whoever wins the R primary, so I got a chance to vote for that.

        *not my real city, the bigger city I also live in. My real city council race is non-partisan.

        1. I live in PA, the motivation to vote today is approaching nil. I’ll vote in the general for the straight libertarian ticket, probably.

          All the challengers are hammering incumbents on all the goodies that will be cut if they are reelected. I see no anti-incumbent sentiment that will increase liberty. The battle cry here is jobs and medicare/aid. The jobs thing I can understand, but it seems to be more about “outsourcing”, than tax/regulation cuts to attract businesses. When I hear “outsourcing”, I think protective tariffs and more regulation.

          If I believed in a just god, I would tremble for my country. Meet the new boss same as the old boss…etc,etc

          1. Here is is jobs (duh) and whether or not to toll the 3 current Ohio river bridges to pay for the 4th (and 5th) that they want to build. [insert SLD here] The 4th bridge is probably a good idea, but I think it would pay for itself with a toll. If people wanted to inconvenience themselves and use the other 3 for free, let them.

            In all 3 of the “major” races (mayor, city council, US rep) there seems to be a candidate with somewhat libertarianish leanings. Thats not counting Rand in the Senate race.

            State senate and state house, on the other hand, are miserable races. No one is running against my house guy, he is in an untouchable incumbent and an idiot. The state senate incumbent is mediocre too. She has an opponent who might be okay, but he is going to get about 1% of the vote.

            1. Obamacare is huge here, because of proposed cuts to medicare, not because it is a huge overreaching program. With regard to jobs, candidates are vying to be the biggest porkbarreler(I’m looking at you Specter). Also, there is a lot of talk of “stealing jobs” and “outsourcing”. No pledges to make PA a business friendly atmosphere.

              There is some talk of “cleaning up” the state houses, but this is standard fare, and nothing is ever done. PA’s state legislature is an onus on tax payers, and corrupt to boot.

              All the obligatory promises to lower taxes whilst also increasing entitlements and benefits are present, nothing new there.

              I am not hopeful about the election. I think things will change only to remain exactly as they are. We will just have different crooks.

  8. Looks like an example of “bad cases make bad law”. Roberts seemed to have a reasonable position – it was C&U in this particular case, but it shouldnt be applied to all situations.

    Bad case for using to set precedent.

    1. I agree. Thomas made a good point. Under this ruling a 17 year old can go to jail for life for killing someone but not for raping an 8 year old and leaving her for dead. That doesn’t make any sense.

      This was a straight up C&U Punishment case. The little bastard did a bunch of home invasions and needed to go away for a while. But, life without parole was so out of line as to be unconstitutional.

  9. Wouldn’t striking down the will of the Arizona legislature and voters be judicial activism? I thought liberals were against that now.

  10. Previewing a campaign event tomorrow, Myers wrote that “Dick has a long record of standing up for veterans. Tomorrow, veterans will be standing up with Dick.”

    I think they are missing an indefinite article in that quote.

  11. “On the eve of the busiest primary night of the year so far, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday that Obama was following the races, but “not that closely.”

    Stay cool, Barry. Stay cool.

    1. Really, why would he care? It’s not about him…or is it?

      1. His candidates are probably going to lose, so they are distancing themselves from them. He did a lot to try to help Spector.


    2. Not that RACIST!!

  12. LOL, the problem with temporary taxes is that they tend to become permanent!


    1. Yes, that is LOL funny. Hoolarious.

  13. This could be the end of Arlen Spector’s political career today.

    1. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

        1. “I think that win, lose or draw in November, Nancy’s stock has gone up because of the way she has pulled us together and gotten tough stuff done that we’re going to be campaigning on”

          Sorry; that stock is crashing big time.

        2. Clearly logic doesn’t apply to the workings of Congress. This might actually be true. After all, Skeletor, I mean Pelosi, did manage to pluck the votes for ObamaCare out of thin air. Face it, she’s in charge until Darth Vader throws her down a shaft to her death.

          1. I’ve got this one.

            Wait a minute, my heart medicine needs to kick in before I can wrestle the old bitch.

          2. Oh crap, that was my Viagra. Someone call 911!

    2. I would normally jump for joy if anyone removed Arlen Spector from the Senate.

      These however are not normal times. I worked for Joe Sestak in the early eighties and he embodies everything I despise about progressives with a fondness for social engineering. He falls in love with his own ideas and will not listen to those who are more informed on a subject than he. I’m probably gonna be rootiong for the GOPer for that seat in November.

      And I hates me some 21st century Republicans so very, very much.

      1. Since our entire political class is craven, I have no illusions about Sestak, especially since he is challenging from the left. I don’t think he will in November anyway. And Spector is such a boil on the ass of America, his leaving can’t be that bad.

        1. For the love of God, LANCE THE FUCKER!

      2. Specter is just the kind of moderate Democrat that is becoming extinct. Not much of a Republican, notwithstanding Dubya’s praises, but decent as a Democrat if you care for the type at all.

        1. The moderation of moderates died with TARP. Their own undoing by their reckless extremism. With that one action they lost all bearings.

          The center did not hold, and now to their scattered bodies go.

      3. Sestak was a Naval officer in the early 80s.

        1. J Sub D was in the Navy in the early 80s IIRC.

          1. Then he served with him, or under him, correct? Or is there a different terminology for officers?

        2. Sleestak?

          1. That was my thought, I would vote straight sleestak.

          2. It could be argued that our government is “The Land of the Lost (Principles)”, Pro’L Dib.

            Time for the sandtrout cycle to commence.

    3. If Spectre loses tonight, I will be celebrating big game. The guy has always been a lowlife regardless of which party he was in.

  14. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

    Or you might wind up in a tank of boiling acid, nibbling the dead skin off my toes, for all eternity.

    1. Is that in Scottish law?

      1. Sorry Arlen, you di’int prove your case.

  15. We need empaths on the Supreme Court, not appeals court judges.

  16. Reached for comment, Blumenthal said, “It wasn’t my graduate fellowship in England. You asked me, I didn’t ask you! And I did what I had to do to finish my studies, but somebody wouldn’t let me finish my studies! Then I come back to the States, and I see all those maggots at the airport, protesting me, spitting, calling me privileged and all kinds of vile crap. Who are they to protest me, huh? Who are they? Unless they’ve been me and been there and know what the hell they’re yelling about!”

    1. Jesse,

      You need him on the Wall.

    2. In a rare interview, Col. Samuel Trautman said, “God didn’t make Blumenthal. I made him.”

      Actually since Blumenthal was in the Marine Corps Reserve, maybe a quote from Full Metal Jacket would be better, but damned if I can come up with one.

      1. Oxford, home of the phony tough and the crazy brave.

      2. Son, all I’ve ever asked of my marines is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God.

      3. “Blumenthal!”
        “Sir, yes, sir!”
        “4212. Basic Military Journalism. You gotta be shittin’ me, Blumenthal. You think you’re Mickey Spillane? You think you’re some kind of a fuckin’ writer?”

      4. You seen much combat?

        Well, I’ve seen a little on TV…

    3. Blumenthal headquarters this morning?

    4. Thank you. I guess that’s why you get PAID for writing.

  17. Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal caught lying about service in Vietnam.

    Fuck that lying coward. Anyone who votes for Richard Blumenthal is a fucking amoral idiot. That includes his immediate family.

  18. What is lost in the Arizona debate on immigration is the correlation with today’s vote on a temporary (Permanent) sales tax vote. I believe one of the purposes of this immigration bill is distract votes from the sales tax vote & to help Brewer in a PR sense (She was/is still not well regarded prior in this state).

    Our accidental governor has been pushing this sales tax increase for over a year & a half. Most of this money will disappear into the black hole of unionized public education. Unfortunately, our state’s stupid voters will pass this piece of shit proposition. The “It’s for the children argument” is beyond played out.

    These whored-out politicians will be back to steal more money from us in a few years. Our local/state sales taxes currently come to 8.5%. This bill will make it 10.5%. Our state is becoming fucking California before my very eyes.

    As usual, the voters will wake up when it is too late & then wonder what the hell happened?

    Try fucking paying attention!

  19. Supreme Court prohibits life without parole for juveniles convicted of crimes other than murder.

    There are so many ways to get around this, I don’t know why Florida even took this up to the Supreme Court. Prison is notorious for shortening the life span of an individual with a setences greater than a decade. Sentencing a 16 year old to 35 to life ensures he’ll be 51 when he gets out, and won’t be able to participate in any crime requiring phyical violence. Furthermore, he would have between five and ten years to live, especially if he was fed a constant supply of cigarettes during his incarceration.

  20. I despise Blumenthal. Now that Spitzer got ridden out of town on a whore, Blumenthal is the AG I hate the most. [Spitzer will always be an AG in my book.]

    I would love to see Blumenthal caught with kiddie porn on his computer or something. That would be so awesome.

    1. The State AG positions attracts the most craven and worst sorts of politicians. I have never seen one of them that was worth shooting. The are usually the worst example of the greedy careerist politician.

      1. Florida’s AG is Bill McCollum. Former 6 term “pro term-limits” congressman McCollum.

        One of the few votes I’ve ever made for a non-libertarian politician (after becoming a libertarian) was to vote McCollum out of office. We got Bill Nelson in the process, and he sucks, but it was still worth it.

        1. They all want to be governor. And they will throw anyone in jail or civilly sue anyone that gets between them and a camera. It is just a sorry position. Most states would be better off making it a career position or having it be appointed by the Governor. Anything but election.

          1. Paula Dow is the Attorney General of New Jersey. I’ve never heard a peep out of her; in fact, I actually had to google who the NJ AG was. When I saw the list of NJ AGs, I actually didn’t know who any of them were, and none of them in recent times went on to be Governor. The NJ AG is appointed.

            Compare that to Delaware, my neighbor across the river, which has an elected AG. Who’s the current DE AG? Beau Biden, Joe’s kid. I didn’t even have to check, and I don’t even live or work in the goddam state.

            Appointment FTW

            1. Elected AGs do what the voters want. Voters don’t want AGs to act in a libertarian way.

              Liberals should generally prefer elected AGs but appointed judges, and conservatives the reverse. Not sure about libertarians.

        2. Bill Nelson, now that is one strange looking human being. I’m not sure if his eyes say , nuclear red button pusher, or soulless husk; they are just the most mega creepy eyeballs to witness from the relatively safe vantage point of a TV set. I could only imagine how nausea inducing his physical presence must be.

          1. crap, I accidentally edited out the third plausible option, he has molester eyes.

            1. I LOL’ed. His skull is pretty oddly shaped as well. Maybe something happened to him when he was in space.

      2. Since you’ve lived in Texas at some point, John, what do you think then of Senator John Cornyn, who was Texas A.G. from 1999-2002? I’ve not been impressed with him, finding him a mediocre Republican, far more interested in pandering to social conservatives than in limiting government.

        1. I thought he was an asshole. As much as I like Texas, the Texas Republican party sucks ass. They are really big on the usual DUI totalitarianism and other teetotaler laws. I have no use for Rick Perry either.

          1. If one more jackass who doesn’t live here throws out Rick Perry’s name as a presidential candidate in 2012, I’m going to hit them with a 2×4. Rick Perry’s only saving grace is that he could be worse.

            What saves Texas is the 120 legislative session. If not for that, our politicians would be much worse.

            1. Stupid joke handles from yesterday.

            2. Absolutely agree. How in hell Kay Bailey got curbstomped so badly by Perry, I’ll never know. Governor Hair is a ridiculous laughingstock unfortunately, having lived in Houston while White was the mayor, I don’t think Bill White will be any better.

              1. KBH got curbstomped because she was worse. Her Senate record was nothing she should have touted. Also, she seemed to think she was running against TXDOT as much as Perry.

  21. Driving to IN (short hop across the river, see my bridge comments above) this evening to celebrate their new law allowing liquor sales on election day BEFORE the polls close. In KY, we still have to wait.

  22. Senator Arlen Specter is expected to lose.

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