Friday, May 29, 2009

Karl's Weekend Reading

First, a simplified analysis tool for reviewing Obama's policies, then two articles on the Sotomayor nomination:

Bret Stephens at the WSJ writes, Obama and the Underpants Gnomes. In reference to a South Park episode where gnomes steal underwear, stockpile it with plans to resell it. The Gnomes follow a three-phase process: 1) steal underwear, 2) ??, 3) profit. Bret compares this incomplete model that relies on blind faith to several Obama initiatives:

Closing Guantanamo -
Phase One: Order Guantanamo closed. Phase Two: ? Phase Three: Close Gitmo!

Middle East Peace -
Phase One: Talk to Iran, Syria, whoever. Phase Two: ? Phase Three: Peace!

North Korea Nukes -
Phase One: Propose a "structure." . . .

Energy Policy -
Phase One: Inaugurate the era of "green" energy. Phase Two: Overturn the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Phase Three: Carbon neutrality!

Deficit -
Phase One: Approve $3.5 trillion in government stimulus, and then await the mythical Keynesian multiplier.

Detroit -
Phase One: Set a national mileage standard for passenger cars of 39 miles per gallon and force auto makers to make the kind of cars that drove them to bankruptcy in the first place.

Kimberley Strassel makes a 'compelling' case for looking beyond Sonia Sotomayer for an example of an American that overcomes significant obstacles on their way to the highest court in the land in her WSJ article, The Sotomayor Rules:

[Obama says] it is Judge Sotomayor's biography that uniquely qualifies her to sit on the nation's highest bench -- that gives her the "empathy" to rule wisely. Judge Sotomayor agrees: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn't lived that life," she said in 2001.

If so, perhaps we can expect her to join in opinions with the wise and richly experienced Clarence Thomas. That would be the same Justice Thomas who lost his father, and was raised by his mother in a rural Georgia town, in a shack without running water, until he was sent to his grandfather. The same Justice Thomas who had to work every day after school, though he was not allowed to study at the Savannah Public Library because he was black. The same Justice Thomas who became the first in his family to go to college and receive a law degree from Yale.

By the president's measure, the nation couldn't find a more empathetic referee than Justice Thomas.

Charles Krauthammer, Townhall, Sotomayor: Criticize, then Confirm:

He [Frank Ricci of Ricci v. DeStefano] placed sixth on the lieutenant's exam, which qualified him for promotion. Except that the exams were thrown out by the city, and all promotions denied, because no blacks had scored high enough to be promoted.
Sotomayor was a member of the three-member circuit court panel that upheld the dismissal of his case, thus denying Ricci his promotion.
Since the 2008 election, people have been asking what conservatism stands for. Well, if nothing else, it stands unequivocally against justice as empathy -- and unequivocally for the principle of blind justice.

Empathy is a vital virtue to be exercised in private life -- through charity, respect and lovingkindness -- and in the legislative life of a society where the consequences of any law matter greatly, which is why income taxes are progressive and safety nets built for the poor and disadvantaged.
When the hearings begin, Republicans should call Frank Ricci as their first witness. Democrats want justice rooted in empathy? Let Ricci tell his story and let the American people judge whether his promotion should have been denied because of his skin color in a procedure Sotomayor joined in calling "facially race-neutral."

Cartoons from American Thinker.

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