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May 08, 2009

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Besides seconding the nomination of Publius - an obvious move, but someone has to do it - I'm going to take advantage of the openness of this thread to repost a comment I made over at Slacktivist a couple of days ago, in a thread that mentioned in passing the death of Jack Kemp (ex AFL QB, Congressman, VP candidate, etc.). Apologies to those who saw (and ignored) this already:

Has anyone besides me observed that Jack Kemp graduated from the same school - Occidental College, Los Angeles - that Barack Obama attended for his first two years of college?

Admittedly they were decades apart - 1950s vs. 1980s (I was there in the 1960s, which is how I'm aware of this) - and much may have changed, but not, I think, some of its characteristic ethos. Oxy had been founded by Presbyterians back in the 19th century, but by the latter half of the 20th century it was, as we used to call it, "a small Christian college for very small Christians."

What this tended to produce was graduates who felt that they ought to be aware of global/social problems and probably do *something* about them, but were all over the place as to exactly what to do. Some plunged into serious activism - Oxy was big in Crossroads Africa, a precursor of the Peace Corps - but many of us just drifted into regular American academic or governmental or corporate life armed only with a vague underlying sense of "social responsibility" that didn't necessarily involve major personal sacrifices.

What it did NOT tend to produce, IIRC, was cast-iron ideologues, individuals with a rigorous intellectual sense of How Things Ought To Be that brooked no inconsistency. Thus it came/comes as no surprise to me that although Jack Kemp emerged decades later as a right-winger, he was (as others have noted) much more sympathetic to immigrants and the poor than others of his ilk, nor that Obama - who left Oxy in search of an environment more conducive to actually doing something - is much more a pragmatist than a "socialist." (As if!)

I would spin this speculation further, but I'm not quite sure how to weave into the argument the only other Oxy grad most people know today: Terry Gilliam, the Monty Python cartoonist.

Make of this what you will.

one of your most astute posts ever, clearly. :)

I think i was pretty much disqualified from the federal bench about after, oh, 3 hours of blogging. it's too bad. i've always wanted to hold out my thumb, Roman-Emperor Style, to render a verdict.

Open thread -- just when I'm going to town for the day and won't be on the internets for hours....

Well, just to get my licks in:

1. Gary, welcome back!

2. Go Maine! Except, no one's getting married any time soon except the usual suspects.

The new law would normally take effect 90 days (mid-Sept.) after the legislative session ends (mid-June). But a formal notice of intent to gather signatures for a "people's veto" has been filed.

"They" need to get 55,087 signatures (10% of the # who voted in last gubernatorial election) -- and they have 90 days from the end of the session to do it. If they do it, the law can't take effect until after a referendum vote affirms it.

The problem is, assuming they get enough validated signatures (highly likely is my guess), mid-Sept. is too late for the Nov. ballot and we'd have to wait til next June.

The Bishop's spokesman says they intend to have the signatures by early August.

So, we have a long way to go -- and the real circus is just beginning, as today's letters to the editor illustrate:

http://kennebecjournal.mainetoday.com/view/

Maybe the fact that so many of them are barely coherent should make me optimistic: would anyone wavering in the middle want to land on the side of those letter-writers? I wonder what people's reaction would be to the realization that if "separation of church and state" means the state should get out of the marriage business [or what they heck else do they think they're talking about], *they* would lose all their benefits too....

my only issue with publius is that he/she clearly knows something about the law, thus proving that he (i'll just go with 'he') is an Ivory Tower Academic.

we need fewer of those people on the court.

therefore, i nominate Joe The Plumber.

But, but... anonymous sources tell me confidentially that publius puts Dijon mustard on his hamburgers. We can't have any more of that now, can we?

i've always wanted to hold out my thumb, Roman-Emperor Style, to render a verdict.

Just remember that contrary to movie myth, thumbs up means the guy dies. :) (Actually, whether or not that's true it unclear, but I like saying it anyway.)

"I would spin this speculation further, but I'm not quite sure how to weave into the argument the only other Oxy grad most people know today: Terry Gilliam, the Monty Python cartoonist."

Clearly this explains, or at least informs, Terry Gilliam's quest to make a film about Don Quixote, as well as his film about a homeless character, no?

Not to mention his fight to save humanity from the oppression of giant feet coming down on their heads.

I was thinking of you when I read about Maine, JanieM!

Is there anybody else who watched the news yesterday regarding the veiled threats made by Congressional Republicans against Holder re: torture investigations (i.e. let take a looksee at the Clinton admin.'s rendition policy and see who we can prosecute from the Clinton DOJ) and the leaked CIA documents that Fox News lite ABC News made a big splash with yesterday, and come to the conclusion that the torture apologists have run out of ammunition and are now down to nothing but bare knuckled political blackmail? They don't have anything left to say except "if you go after us we're going to take you down with us".

FWIW, I want any Dems as well as GOPers who have dirty hands re: torture policy to get what they have coming. As far as I'm concerned this blackmail is an empty threat. If they want all the cards face up on the table, then so be it. But it does seem to me that this is something of a turning point in the struggle over investigations, an indicator that the torture rationalizations and denials are starting to lose traction, so now the deniers are being forced to play their last pair of aces.

For the record:

Publius is a "he."

Publius has zero taste in music.

Publius is approximately 1/2 an inch shorter than I, and it angers him to no end.

Publius would make a fine Supreme Court Justice. He has my vote (I know, I don't get one, but still)...

I'm going to reprint a comment I made at TiO on the effectiveness of the Obama plan to end tax "incentives" for sending US jobs overseas (with some additional editing), just because I know all of you are dying to read about this on a Friday. To wit:

The administration has proposed: (i) reforming/repealing the check the box (CTB) regulations; (ii) changing the way in which US corporations calculate their foreign tax credit (FTC); and (iii) disallowing deductions for expenses that are incurred to generate foreign profits. All this is, supposedly, to deter US companies from shipping jobs overseas. This will not work.

With respect to the CTB regs, reform of these rules will either be ineffective, because the same result can be acheived in a different manner, or result in US multinationals paying more in foreign taxes. Either way, it's not going to generate addtional revenue for the United States or create jobs here. While US multinationals use these rules to shift income to tax havens, the vast majority of this planning is done to decrease non-US income taxes. If this technique is barred, then the result will be more taxes paid to, e.g., Germany, France, etc. Not a prescription for US job creation or revenue growth (the revenue estimate of ~80 billion is absurd and appears to assume that the current structures will remain in place as is, rather than being modified or abandoned).

With respect to the FTC, this change will just mean that US companies never repatriate earnings (or will repatriate much less often than they do now). The current rules allow US companies to take an indirect FTC when a dividend is paid to them from their foreign subsidiaries. The dividend is included in the US companies income, and grossed up for the amount of foreign taxes paid, and the US company can take a FTC for the foreign income taxes paid by the foreign sub. Because of this, currently US companies generally only repatriate earnings from subsidiaries in high-tax jurisdictions such that the repatriation does not result in any additional US tax, but at least the money "comes home" and is theoretically available to "create jobs" in the US. Obama proposes to change this rule to spread the credit out across all of a US company's foreign subs and their respective earnings and taxes. Thus, there will be no (or very little) chance to repatriate high-taxed earnings and US companies won't do it because they will incur additional US tax. Plus, any such rule will be impossible to administer.

Finally, with respect to deductions, while this sounds sensible, what it is in effect doing is saying you can't deduct employee X's salary to the extent that employee assists overseas operations, even though the employee is located in the United States and employed by a US company. Hardly a US job incentive (though this proposal is more defensible when it comes to things like interest expenses).

So, in sum, these changes will either be ineffective or counterproductive to the supposed goals. This might have something to do with the fact that, apparently, the administration declined to ask the Treasury's international tax experts the best way to accomplish said goals, and instead looked elsewhere for advice (it looks like they copied a few ideas from a Wrangel bill that was introduced in 2007 and then threw in the CTB proposal).

Justice Stevens corresponds with Dave Barry on the anti flatulence qualities of a product named Beano. FWIW

As far as I'm concerned this blackmail is an empty threat. If they want all the cards face up on the table, then so be it.

And what they don't realize is that if Democrats are implicated and taken down with Bush Administration MBFs, all their whining about witch hunts and criminalization of policy differences goes out the window as Obama can just point to the fact that Democrat X is also suffering the consequences.

Publius is approximately 1/2 an inch shorter than I

I'll leave it to Gary to correct your grammar, and simply point out that online, everyone is tall and handsome.

Publius is approximately 1/2 an inch shorter than I, and it angers him to no end.

Discussing your genitalia in a public forum is in very poor taste.

"Publius would make a fine Supreme Court Justice."

I can't support anyone for a judgeship who doesn't bother to punctuate. How could they rule without careful attention to punctuation?

This is actually a completely serious question on my part: so far as I know, analyzing the precise meaning of laws is analyzing the precise meaning of sentences, and the precise meaning of sentences requires precise analysis of punctional choices. I seriously do not understand how one can engage in practice of law without caring about precision of writing.

But IANAL, so perhaps someone can explain this to me.

"Pseudonymous bloggers are sorely underrepresented on the Supreme Court"

I'd also like to know how von knows this. Can he prove Clarence Thomas hasn't signed on with Michelle Malkin?

eric - there are many objectionable parts of your comment. But the bit about that i'm shorter than you cannot stand. this aggression will not stand.

i'm 51% certain that i'm taller than you. it's just that i slump when i'm drinking.

IOW, Publius, when drinking, will not stand.

there is only one pseudonymous blogger -- the so-called "Justice John Paul Stevens" -- on the current Court.

At least Stevens went with a fairly low-key pseudonym (although it does sound a bit piratical to me). Much better than the rather schoolboy-ish "Bushrod Washington" and " Pierce Butler" and the completely over-the-top "Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar".

Well, I suppose this is a faintly amusing way of letting us know you really, really don't want there to be another woman on the Supreme Court, Von.

Faintly.

In other news, as this is an open thread, Obama is yet again fulfilling my cynicism about him: he's de-gayed the civil rights section of the White House website. Promises are pie-crust. The most lethal change, however, is to the section on HIV/AIDS - a a change that suggests Obama knows exactly what anti-condom work Rick Warren's been doing in Africa and calling it "AIDS work", and furthermore, Obama doesn't care:

His list of policies to deal with HIV/AIDS would have, to say the least, caused great concern among the Religious Right, the suburban set, and the political establishment who think they know what's politically feasible and what's not. The policies were ones that would work, not ones that are popular or easy, but that's all the more reason for the president to keep his support for those policies public. It helps shift the discussion when the popular president of the US supports a policy. (Bilerico)

"Well, I suppose this is a faintly amusing way of letting us know you really, really don't want there to be another woman on the Supreme Court, Von."

That must be it.

Jes: Latina is the word for a Latin American woman. I'd say that von's snark harbors no secret anti-woman tendencies.

Latina is the word for a Latin American woman.

Gosh, I had no notion! Really?

I'd say that von's snark harbors no secret anti-woman tendencies.

And with a name like Adam, you'd doubtless be an expert in spotting those. Thanks so much for the education.

over at bphd we were agreeing earlier today that hilzoy ought to be the next scotus appointment.

sorry, publius. maybe after the next retirement.

Jes has secret anti-man tendencies. I know, because I'm a man. I notice these sort of things.

over at bphd we were agreeing earlier today that hilzoy ought to be the next scotus appointment.

That would be very cool, though I prefer this candidate.

Funny you should mention publius.

I was going to nominate hilzoy.

This court could use a brilliant, articulate, progressive, good humored PhD professor of bioethics. It could use another woman... and it could especially use someone who can do the YouTubes!

You know, just to balance Scalia.

...or what kid bitzer said @ 1:14...

He should nominate a felon. Seriously.

As far as I'm concerned this blackmail is an empty threat. If they want all the cards face up on the table, then so be it.

I too see punishment of any Democrats- or Independents, Socialists, Libertarians, etc.- who were involved as a feature, not a bug. The problem is that we don't really matter in this calculus. They torture defenders are hoping to intimidate enough (or the right) complicit Democrats to get some real leverage. If there aren't enough who are complicit with this particular wrongdoing, they're going to spread out into every other area they can think of. There's a real danger that they'll manage to find enough skeletons in enough closets to have a real effect.

Funny you should mention publius.

I was going to nominate hilzoy.

I admit to a bit of myopia and legal parochialism, here, in that I only envisioned lawyers as potential Supreme Court nominees. Of course, there is no reason why a judge need be a lawyer in every case (even if we might prefer that judges be lawyers for any number of reasons).

Well, I suppose this is a faintly amusing way of letting us know you really, really don't want there to be another woman on the Supreme Court, Von.

You completely misread me: I'm fine with having another woman on the Supreme Court, so long as she is smokin' hot.

What? What'd I say?

I'm fine with having another woman on the Supreme Court, so long as she is smokin' hot.

Oh well: Anita Hill it is then. She knows how to deal with sexual harassment.

I'm fine with having another woman on the Supreme Court, so long as she is smokin' hot.

You left out the link, von. I hate you for making me fix that for you.

"You could never be a member of any club that would have you as a member" apologies to Groucho

I gotta say, I clicked through to the article and I was all "Sonia Sotomayor, Diane Wood and Elena Kagan? That they're being considered is news?"

I kind of stayed up all night writing about how Sonia Sotomayor was not an "affirmative action" student at Princeton. Yes, I suspect being Latina was a plus in her admissions profile. But she applied at a time when women were held to a restrictive quota, and she didn't benefit from the substantial boost given to athletes and/or alumni children.

And at graduation she got the Pyne Prize, Princeton's highest undergrad honor. I want Jeffrey Rosen to come here so we can "discuss" whether graduating summa from Harvard makes a difference, once you're absolutely determined to be stupid.

Stumbled across a wonderful dog blog -- Three Woofs and a Woo.

Heart-warming and funny, a dog lover's delight.

And with a name like Adam, you'd doubtless be an expert in spotting those. Thanks so much for the education.

Well, *I* hereby declare that von does not harbor any secret anti-woman tendencies. Let it be so.

Doctor Science: If you're P78 -- and holy crap, I'm P98! we might've crossed paths at the last Reunions -- were you there for the inception of the Nude Olympics?

Julia: Well, *I* hereby declare that von does not harbor any secret anti-woman tendencies. Let it be so.

Great, so we'll hear no more about his pro-life tendencies or "quotas" for the future. Magic.

Let's dig up and reanimate the obvious candidate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duns_Scotus>John Duns SCOTUS.

//Publius could totally spice things up.//

The supreme court is supposed to be apolitical. Publius is ONLY political.

Yes, but does he have a cartoon? You've got to have a cartoon, Publius:

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7507/92/1600/FeddieSCOTUS.0.jpg

Everyone knows that. :)

Anarch:

I was on campus, but not at Holder.

The supreme court is supposed to be apolitical.

So you supported efforts by liberals to prevent GWB from stacking the Supreme Court with avowed conservatives.

Anyone see the new Star Trek?

A co-worker could not get enough of it and saw it twice.

Not a Trekkie at all, but this one looks good and open to wide appeal.

P.S. To my fellow Losties, I hope Wednesday's season finale proves more riveting and less cheesy than the last couple episodes, which have been quite disappointing.

Anyone see the new Star Trek?

1. This uses a script that had worked stopped on it during the writers strike.

2. There are bits that don't quite hold together, the moment you start thinking about them (see #1).

3. There is the usual Trek technobabble.

4. I had a grand ol' time. Will probably see it again.

"There are bits that don't quite hold together, the moment you start thinking about them (see #1)."

This has become the problem with Lost. So I try and not think about it and just enjoy the ride. Lost also made the "mistake" of introducing too many characters people care about; no way to devote enough time and care to them all.

I give Star Trek credit for the way it has always reinvented itself. As an X-Files fan, I really enjoyed the first movie -- but simply was not moved to spend my hard-earned money on the second.

P.S. My 10-year-old mentioned, from the Star Trek previews, he thinks it's pretty cool how the communications director can translate any language. He didn't mention that she's kind of hot, too, but I think he's starting to notice that stuff.

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