Wednesday, May 18, 2005

How to Cook a Lobster

How do you cook a lobster? You place the live lobster in a pot of cold water because it recognizes cold water and won’t try to climb out of the pot. Then you slowly, incrementally, turn up the heat. The lobster blithely boils to death because over time it never noticed the threat building up around it. In the Federalist #1 Alexander Hamilton, one of the writers and signers of the Constitution, warned that “...a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidding appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government.”

Many of the rights that are considered fundamental in the United States today were not granted through the Constitution at all, but rather have been intuited, in effect, created out of thin air. Because our society does not teach it’s own history (specifically civics and the Constitution), we’ve done exactly what the Founders feared the country would do - we have given away our liberty. Americans have traded true liberty for the mere appearance of liberty. Few would argue that the most cherished of American liberties is the Right to Privacy. Maybe you know this, maybe you don’t, but the ‘Right to Privacy’ was not included in the Constitution in 1787, nor was it provided for in the Bill of Rights, nor was it added with an Amendment. What we recognize as the Right to Privacy was created a mere 40 years ago. In fact, there is no “Right to Privacy” and if you spend the slightest amount of time considering it, it becomes clear why.

In 1965, the Supreme Court heard Griswold v. Connecticut, a case concerning the state prohibition on the sale of contraceptives. The case was a put-up job by Planned Parenthood, wherein Executive Director Griswold of Planned Parenthood of Ct orchestrated a scenario to get herself arrested and convicted for violating the Connecticut law. It was she who brought the suit, not the married couple the contraceptives were provided to. Thus all the endearing concern for the sanctity and privacy of marriage was a smokescreen for Justice Douglas’ personal opinions. Finding that “specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees,” Justice Douglas created a “Right to Privacy.” In dissent, Justice Black observed Douglas’ fast-and-loose word games and concluded: “I like my privacy as well as the next one, but I am nevertheless compelled to admit that government has a right to invade it unless prohibited by some specific constitutional provision.”

This wasn’t the first attempt, four years earlier, Planned Parenthood tried to win this argument. In Poe v. Ullman (1961) Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of a selection of people who might be harmed by Connecticut’s contraceptive prohibition. As there was no actual legal dispute to litigate the case was dismissed. However, Justice Harlan, taking the opportunity of the case, wrote a dissent which included a reference to an implied protection from an “unjustifiable invasion of privacy.” Such language is not within the Constitution, but it did provide Justice Douglas a starting point for his “penumbras” and “emanations.”

Poe and Griswold then become the foundation for yet another contraceptive case: Eisenstadt v Baird (1972). Justice Brennan relied primarily on the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment but also referenced the Griswold decision in deciding this case. Again engaging the smokescreen of the sanctity of marriage, Brennan focused on “the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted government intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.” Curious language: “to bear or beget a child.” Poe, Griswold, and Eisenstadt all involved contraceptives, the means to avoid pregnancy, so why did Brennan include “to bear” when the case was only about ‘begetting?’ Incrementalism.

By 1973 Roe v. Wade had already come before the court twice and with this new right in their pocket the liberal majority on the bench was ready to move forward. Texas law held abortion a crime unless provided “by medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother.” ‘Roe’ just plain didn’t want to have a child and it’s only a baby step from the right to decide “to beget a child” to the right to decide “to bear a child.” Despite pages of semantic hand-wringing on the part of Justice Blackmun, including the stunning admission that “the Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy,” the document created to defend “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was replaced by the personal feelings of a handful of unelected judges. As Bob Woodward describes in The Brethren “[Justice] Powell came quickly to the conclusion that the Constitution did not provide meaningful guidance. The right to privacy was tenuous; at best it was implied. If there was no way to find an answer in the Constitution, Power felt he would just have to vote his ‘gut’...” Like vaudeville magicians, the Justices, with nothing up their sleeves, were able to pull “a woman’s right to choose” out of the hat.

In 1986, Justice Blackmun again wanted to expand the right to privacy, this time to include homosexual sodomy. He failed and Bowers v. Hardwick became a powerful precedent for judicial restraint. In dissent, Justice Stevens wrote: “the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice.” Writing for the majority, Justice White noted that “the court is most vulnerable and comes nearest to illegitimacy when it deals with judge-made constitutional law having little or no recognizable roots in the language or design of the Constitution...it would be difficult, except by fiat, to limit the claimed right to homosexual conduct while leaving exposed to prosecution adultery, incest, and other sexual crimes even though they are committed in the home.”

Such a short memory! Only ten years later in 1996 the court heard Romer v. Evans. At issue was a Colorado referendum preventing “sexual orientation” from being equated with race and religion in civil rights laws, which was passed by a 53% majority of the people. The court ignored it’s own precedent and decided the referendum was unconstitutional. Writing in dissent, Justice Scalia pointed out that “cultural debate” is specifically the purview of the people “to be resolved by democratic means.” Scalia went on to note that in 1986 Bowers upheld a state’s right to criminalize homosexual conduct and therefore it must be constitutional for a state to prohibit “bestowing special protections upon homosexual conduct.” In 2000, “Cultural debate” and “democratic means” were trumped again when Stenberg v. Carhart struck down a law passed by the elected officials in Nebraska which banned partial-birth abortions. Justice Breyer found that “the law lacks any exception ‘for the preservation of the...health of the mother.’ [and] ‘imposes undue burden on a woman’s ability’ to choose.”

Lawrence v. Texas was (June 2003) was a homosexual sodomy case very similar to the 1986 Bowers case. In deciding it, Justice Kennedy simply ignored the past and the law. Kennedy decided that “liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions into a dwelling or other private places.” But he didn’t stop there, Kennedy found that liberty “presumes autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate contact.” Justice Scalia provided rational legal dissent and prophetic vision when he observed that “if, as the Court asserts, the promotion of majoritarian sexual morality is not even a legitimate state interest, [no law against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity] can survive.”

So it was that a bare five months later the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts turned American culture on it’s head and found that “barred access to the protections, benefits, and obligations of a civil marriage, a person who enters into an intimate, exclusive union with another of the same sex is arbitrarily deprived of membership in one of our community’s most rewarding and cherished institutions.” Ignoring the Massachusetts Constitution, the Constitution of the United States, and the tradition of this country, this court turned instead to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Canada for precedent and remedy.

Do we have a right to privacy? Well, no, not really. The husband who beats his wife does so in the privacy of his own home. Incest usually occurs within the privacy of the bedroom. Illicit drug use almost invariably occurs within “a zone of privacy.” Yet, no responsible person argues that such behavior is protected by some inviolable right to privacy. Laws are created by people to insure the good behavior, comity, and peace of society. “We the people” reserved the right and power to institute those laws by electing representatives who we would hold accountable to our will. When judges cease to rely on the Constitution and decide case law on their personal feelings, they cease to be judges and become legislators supplanting their will for the will of “we the people.” Activist judges subvert the very Constitution they swore to uphold and by which they derive their authority. That is the height of hypocrisy and the beginning of judicial tyranny.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Liberals v. Constitution

The current circus in the United States Senate over the confirmation of Presidential nominees to various posts and specifically to judicial positions is cast in many lights. The reasons vary from week to week and often depend on which audience is being addressed. The bottom-line reason is quite simple and something the Senate Democrats dare not admit: not one element of the progressive liberal party platform of the Democrats would stand if the Constitution were the guiding principle of governance in this country.

On May 9, 2001, George W. Bush said, “every judge I appoint will be a person who clearly understands the role of a judge is to interpret the law, not to legislate from the bench.” To leave no doubt about what he meant, Bush went on: “To paraphrase the third occupant of this house, James Madison, the courts exist to exercise not the will of men, but the judgement of law. My judicial nominees will know the difference.” A judge that recognizes the difference between “the will of men” and “the judgement of law” threatens every plank of the Democratic agenda. Such a person, serving for life, unassailable by political machinations and character assassinations, not beholden to campaign financing, can not easily be swayed. Such a judge would decide cases by what the Constitution actually says and not what they would like it to say.

Judicial activism is the heart of this issue. Judges who determine cases based not on what the Constitution says, but rather what they feel in their hearts, have usurped the role and authority of the Executive and Legislative branches imposing their personal beliefs upon the rest of the country in direct contravention of the guiding principle of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” I could discuss “the Separation of Church and State,” a which does not exist within the Constitution (it is found in a personal letter mailed twelve years after ratification of the Constitution and written by a man who was not even involved in the Constitutional debates - he was in France), but I won’t just now. A review of the “right to privacy” or the “right to abortion,” neither of which are granted within the Constitution, quickly exposes the element of political bias inherent in judicial activism. But those are hot-button issues, so let’s take something more innocuous, such as interstate commerce.

Article I, section 8, of the Constitution grants the federal government the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States” - known in common parlance as the commerce clause. That seems fairly straightforward and reasonable. Under the Articles of Confederation, each individual state was completely autonomous and even printed their own money. That made interstate issues very murky and complicated. By ceding some of this authority to a centralized federal government many of those issues were ameliorated. From 1787 through 1936, the Supreme Court upheld the primacy of the people and states to govern commerce within their own boundaries, as specifically written in the Constitution.

Gibbons v. Ogden established in 1824 that Congress’ power was to regulate interstate commerce but not “commerce, which is completely internal, which is carried on between man and man in a State, or between different parts of the same State, and which does not extend to or affect other States.” Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton R. Co. found that “a pension plan thus imposed [by the 1934 Railroad Retirement Act] is in no proper sense a regulation of the activity of interstate transportation. It is an attempt for social ends to impose by sheer fiat non-contractual incidents upon the relation of employer and employee, not as a rule or regulation of commerce and transportation between the States, but as a means of assuring a particular class of employees against old age dependency.” In the1934 case Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, the Court commented that “if the commerce clause were construed to reach all enterprises and transactions which could be said to have an indirect effect upon interstate commerce, the federal authority would embrace practically all the activities of the people.” The balance of power was further clarified in 1936 when the Court decided Carter v. Carter Coal Company. The Court was crystal clear: “Much stress is put upon the evils which come from the struggle between employers and employees over the matter of wages, working conditions, the right to collective bargaining, etc., and the resulting strikes....and it is insisted that interstate commerce is greatly affected thereby. But...the conclusive answer is that the evils are all local evils over which the federal government has no legislative control.”

The imbalance of power between the branches of government and between the federal and state governments began in 1937 when the Supreme Court used National Labor Relations Board v Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation to give the commerce clause real claws. The judges found that “intrastate activities that ‘have such a close and substantial relation to interstate commerce that their control is essential or appropriate to protect that commerce from burdens and obstructions’ are within Congress’ power to regulate (emphasis added).” Note that this decision is a complete 180 from Gibbons v. Ogden and Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, as well as, being in direct contravention of the terms of the Constitution. This was a stretch that, by judicial fiat, appropriated states’ rights and granted them to Congress.

The commerce claws were sharpened in 1942. An Ohio dairy farmer, Roscoe Filburn, grew wheat which he used to re-seed to grow more wheat, feed his livestock, make flour, and (if the harvest allowed) sell. Under the 1938 federal Agricultural Adjustment Act, Filburn was fined for exceeding his farm’s marketing quota and he chose to sue rather than pay. The Supreme Court’s reasoning in Wickard v. Filburn went like this: “It can hardly be denied that a factor of such volume and variability as home-consumed wheat would have a substantial influence on price and market conditions. But if we assume that it is never marketed, it supplies a need of the man who grew it which would otherwise be reflected by purchases in the open market. Home-grown wheat in this sense competes with wheat in commerce. The stimulation of commerce is a use of the regulatory function quite as definitely as prohibitions or restrictions thereon.” Thus, any farmer or businessman who consumes his own produce or stock affects the market and is in the purview of Congress to regulate. Apart from being absurd on it’s face, this decision again violated the Constitution and ignored Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States. The Court should have struck down the federal statute setting quotas on farmers citing Gibbons v Ogden.

The Supreme Court took the opportunity of Maryland v. Wirtz in 1968 to use commerce to ratify the Fair Labor Standards Act (which should have been struck down via Carter v. Carter Coal Company) by claiming “labor conditions in schools and hospitals can affect commerce” and ignoring Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton R. Co. Continuing the trend, Perez v. United States in 1971 makes the crime of loan sharking a federal crime even when it occurs at the neighborhood level. Justice Potter Steward dissented noting “a man can be convicted without any proof of interstate movement...the Framers of the Constitution never intended that the National Government might define as a crime and prosecute such wholly local activity through the enactment of federal criminal laws.”

The trend descended to the ridiculous in United States v. Lopez (1995) where the commerce clause was incurred to regulate firearms in school zones. It should be noted that the attempt failed and Justice Rehnquist found “the possession of a gun in a local school zone is in no sense an economic activity.” However, in dissent Justice Breyer outlined an exhaustive review of the facts that prove violence in schools has reached epidemic status and notes that “having found that guns in schools significantly undermine the quality of education in our Nation’s classrooms, Congress could also have found, given the effect of education upon interstate and foreign commerce, that gun-related violence in and around schools is a commercial, as well as a human, problem.” And if you thought it couldn’t go lower, in 2000 United States v. Morrison asked the Supreme Court to find that gender-based violence is covered by the commerce clause! Rehnquist said “gender-motivated crimes of violence are not, in any sense of the phrase, economic activity,” if it were, he added, all crimes would have to be considered federal crimes.

What kind of mind interprets a clause granting sovereignty over interstate trade as a mandate to prosecute sexual harassment? Where does this thinking come from? If judicial activism is at the heart of the liberal agenda, then incrementalism must be the heart of judicial activism. A word inserted in a ruling creates a right derived from that ruling years down the line. That right begets another. Those rights require the imposition of laws to protect them. Insidiously, step-by-step, the agenda is accomplished. What began as regulation governing trade across state lines grew to encompass labor laws, unions, minimum wage rights, farm production quotas, street crimes, even sex crimes. All of these issues are, by the letter and intent of the Constitution, the purview of the “We the People” via the representatives we elect to our state governments, not Congress, and certainly not unelected judges. It is the old rubric about absolute power. Unable to attain these goals at the ballot box, exercising control legitimately, the liberal agenda is accomplished through the court system. Which is why the Senate Democrats oppose President Bush’s nominees. Should they be confirmed, cases would be decided by what the Constitution actually says, not by what the liberal agenda wants.

Next week the more radical face of judicial activism and the question - is it really good for America?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

To Thwart a Presidential Nomination

The issue of judicial confirmation process currently plaguing the United States Senate is quite probably one of the most important legal issues taking place in our lifetime, if not the most important. As contentious as it is, as partisan as it seems, it is quite simply a critical constitutional crisis. The argument strikes at the heart of our system of government. It undermines the “separation of powers” clause of the Constitution and holds the potential for a legislative coup d’etat. It is under-reported and mis-reported because the issues involved require an understanding of our Constitution and political system that is severely lacking in the average citizen. This is because American History has been de-emphasized to the point that it is no longer seriously taught in our schools.

The Constitution of the United States provides that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for.” The Democrats in the Senate would like to equate “advice and consent” with “checks and balances,” but that is simply not the case. The concept of “checks and balances” refers to maintaining the sovereignty of the individual branches of government. The two most commonly cited “checks and balances” involve war and law. In the former example, the President has the sole authority (or used to, before Congress expanded it’s authority) to declare war, but Congress, which “holds the purse-strings,” decides whether or not to pay for it. The latter example goes like this: the legislative branch (Congress) enacts laws, the judicial branch (Supreme Court) interprets them, and the executive branch (President) enforces them, such that no one branch has the power to dominate the people.

That example is at the crux of this whole issue. The judicial branch has exceeded it’s authority. Judges have appropriated the power of the legislative branch and are using it to enact law. Judges are appointed in most cases, not elected. They do not speak with the voice of the people. When they legislate they do so not from an unbiased reliance on precedence and legality, but rather on their personal opinion, which is completely biased. Liberals prefer this approach because the hot-button issues they espouse do not win at the ballot box. Abortion-on-demand, partial-birth abortion, felon voting-rights, same-sex marriage, welfare for illegal aliens, miranda rights for foreign terrorists, and a raft of other issues are time-and-again defeated by voters only to be approved by activist judges. Conservatives oppose judicial activism for the very same reason. Conservatives would welcome any of those issues to be put to a democratic vote, but liberals recoil from that.

To return to the Constitutional issue, Michael J. Gerhardt, a liberal legal scholar, wrote: “by requiring only a simple majority of the Senate to approve a nominee, the Constitution sets a low threshold for confirmation relative to virtually all other significant legislative action...” Notice, Mr. Gerhardt compares “voting yea or nay” to deliberating legislation that may become “the law of the land.” If that isn’t disturbing enough, Mr. Gerhardt goes on to say: “as a practical matter, the requirement of a bare majority of the Senate for confirmation means that smaller factions cannot thwart a presidential nomination in the absence of special Senate procedures...” Now, contrast Mr. Gerhardt’s opinion with the point of view of Alexander Hamilton (someone who actually participated in writing the Constitution) writing in the Federalist No. 66: “it will be the Office of the President to nominate, and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint. There will, of course, be no exertion of choice on the part of the Senate. They may defeat one choice of the Executive, and oblige him to make another; but they cannot themselves choose - they can only ratify or reject the choice he may have made.”

Hamilton’s idea of “advice and consent” is radically different and diametrically opposed to that of Gerhardt and the Senate Democrats. From the first inauguration of George Washington to the first inauguration of George W. Bush the traditional idea of “advice and consent” has been upheld. Surely, there have been shenannigans on both sides to torpedo this or that nomination, but never - I repeat, never - has the filibuster been used to “thwart a presidential nomination.” Democrats all across the spectrum of radio and tv talk shows are talking about the blocking of Clinton nominations and the “Frist filibuster,” but that’s the typical smokescreen. It is a fact that every Clinton nomination that got out of committee received his or her “up-or-down vote.” Some nominations were not allowed to get out of committee, that is also true, but that is not a violation of tradition or law and could not have been accomplished without the cooperation of some Democrat Senators.

Consider for a moment Gerhardt’s language - “in the absence of special Senate procedures.” There is nothing special about a filibuster. The filibuster has a long history. A filibuster also has a very specific set of triggers. Not one of those triggers involves nomination confirmations. The Senate Democrats could not perpetually stall these nominations in committee, nor could they defeat them, so they came to the floor where a simple “up-or-down vote” would see these judges confirmed. Only by invoking “special Senate procedures,” in other words, using the filibuster where it is not provided for, can the minority party stop these nominations. By filibustering, the minority is violating both the spirit and the letter of the law and the Constitution - something they swore an oath not to do.

As noted earlier, many Senate Democrats are making disingenuous claims about the importance of “checks and balances,” suggesting that their ‘minority rights’ would be infringed were they not allowed to “thwart” the will of the majority. This is an audacious canard. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a provision, or even the suggestion of a provision, for “balancing” political parties. The governing authority in this country is the one that wins the election. It is only through an egregiously failing education system that these Senators can make this claim and expect not to be laughed off the stage. What is at stake here is the Constitutional concept of “separation of powers.” The President nominates, the Senate confirms. What the Democratic minority is trying to accomplish is a theft of the President’s power wherein the President can only nominate Senate-approved candidates. As if that weren’t enough power, the Democrats’ goal is to further co-opt the judicial branch, by allowing for nomination and confirmation of only those candidates for judgeships who meet a very narrow criteria, specifically, those judges who will be activist or not oppose judicial activism. Judicial activism allows the liberal minority to extent to the judiciary the legislative power that was lost in the Congress. This would have the effect of converting this country from a republic to an oligarchy.

“Legislation from the bench” is neither conducive nor equal to “government by the people, for the people, and of the people” which is the hallmark of the United States. My next letter, should it merit printing, will address that element of the Senate Minority’s New World Order.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cleaner Environment Causes Global Warming

I just have to laugh. Using data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Lung Association has recently released it’s annual State of the Air report that states flatly that our air is cleaner. Citing improvements in emissions controls on coal-burning power plants and reduced vehicle emissions, the report has shown decreases in air pollution for over six years with this year as the best on record. Compounding the good news of the State of the Air report are studies of the report itself, it’s source information, and the way the data was processed. Improvements in air quality are understated because of tabulation discrepancies.

The good news just keeps rolling in. Reports like State of the Air are becoming commonplace. Best-selling novelist Michael Crichton (who has never been criticized for not doing his background research) writes State of Fear which is a broadside to the environmentalist and global-warming movements. Yet, in the face of actual improvements in the environment and cleaner air, the environmentalists take a dive off the deep end. “Clear skies end global dimming: Earth’s air is cleaner, but this may worsen the greenhouse effect” is an article by Quirin Scheirmeier at news@nature.com. The article opens with “our planet’s air has cleared up in the past decade or two, allowing more sunshine to reach the ground.” It goes on to explain how atmospheric pollution has been reduced making “the sky more transparent” and allowing harmful solar radiations to reach ground level.

Since the dawn of rational thought, man’s had one crackpot theory after another: flat earth, geo-centrism (the earth as the center of the universe), Global-cooling with an ensuing ice age, global warming with an ensuing ice age, and now the inherent dangers of “clear skies!” Talk about grasping at straws. I just have to keep laughing and wonder when will environmentalists get the message? Not that I think they should stop their efforts at cleaning up messes - far from it. I would just like them to recognize it’s not the crisis they’ve worked themselves into a frenzy over and stop trying to pick the pockets of people all over the world to pay for their hobby. Please, keep working but silence those among you with a political agenda.

Integrity

Again, Chuck Gregory is a local fellow who tries to discredit me in our local paper.

Last week Chuck referred to “the figures of the Bureau of Labor Statistics” and gave the internet address: http://www.laborresearch.org/charts.php?id=8. Now, I probably spend more time surfing the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/) site than the average bear, so I was quick to notice his website isn’t that of the Bureau. Of course, you can imagine my shock and surprise to learn that “laborresearch.org” is actually the Labor Research Association, self-styled as “a New York City-based non-profit research and advocacy organization that provides research and educational services for trade unions.” Labor Research has taken information from the Bureau and re-packaged it for dissemination (and mis-information?) by labor unions. Why did Chuck use labor union data when he could have gone directly to the source and used Bureau of Labor Statistics information?

Chuck selected the highest point of real wages, which I should add occurs during the presidency of Republican Richard Nixon. Chuck was correct: real income dropped drastically over the ensuing years, however, that is a gross over-simplification and deserves a closer look. Through the Ford years (‘74 - ‘77) real income continued to drop as a voracious Democrat Congress gobbled up ever-increasing Gross Domestic Product and we lost $21 of wages. Democrat Jimmy Carter (‘77 - ‘81), in cahoots with a Democrat Congress, caused real wages to fall a shocking $33! The Republican Reagan Revolution (‘81 - ‘89) acted as a tourniquet to the still-Democrat Congress and the real wage hemorrhage slowed to only $10 lost. Under Bush I, the Democrat Congress still managed to bleed us another $10. When Bill Clinton (‘92 - ‘00) took the presidency, the Internet Tech Bubble was ballooning and despite the Democrat Congress, real income began an ebb-and-flow, up-and-down rally of $8 over 6 years. When Bill Clinton got the second Republican Revolution and Newt Gringrich brought the Contract With America to Congress, despite the Internet Tech Bubble collapse, we got a steady increase of $10 over 3 years. Which brings us to the first term of George W. Bush, who worked with the Republican Congress (which Chuck and the labor unions would like us to believe has been the worst ever} to bring real income steadily up each year, topping out at $4 above Bill Clinton’s (or Newt Gingrich’s, depending on one’s level of intellectual honesty) best. I will grant that 2004 shows a $1 drop from 2003, but that’s a far cry from the 20% that Chuck wants you to think Bush cost you. An admittedly simplistic, but fair, analysis shows that between 1973 and 2004, Democrat leadership has cost American workers $68, while Republican leadership recovered $14. Why is it that Chuck completely misrepresented this information?

Chuck Gregory wants us to believe certain things which he deeply believes in. He can’t prove his beliefs with facts and figures, so he disingenuously tries to hoodwink us with bogus documentation. When called on it, he lashes out with ad hominem slurs like neo-con and political hate speech like raising the specter of Nazism. I think that’s wrong. I think it’s really a question of integrity. Would a person of integrity try to pass off a labor union’s analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data as actually being from the Bureau? I know I wouldn’t, would you? Would a person of integrity sink to name-calling and bashing? Chuck’s proclivity to rely on dubious or fallacious sources should put everything he says into question as should his lack of comity. I don’t blame Chuck for this, he is what he is. What I can’t understand is why Springfield is so silent. Where are you, Springfield? Is this man’s opinion truly representative of you all? Here is a man who takes every chance to compare people who disagree with him to Nazis, while claiming to be tolerant. Here is a man who denigrates people who go to church or work at WalMart as idiots in your newspaper, while staking out the moral high ground. Is there no one else who takes exception to this?