Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Irony of the Second Amendment and Roe v. Wade

I teach a firearms manufacturer case in Torts. The question arises of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 and why Congress cannot enact meaningful gun control. I tell the students that two single issues control many voters. For example, pro-life or pro-choice – that is the single most important issue for many voters. So too with gun control. Single issue voters. The irony is that in two days the Supreme Court put abortion and gun control before the voters’ eyes in the November midterm elections. It’s easy to support gun control in the large, mostly Blue states and cities. However, hunters and others in the less populated states are vehemently opposed to gun control. For example, both Governor Howard Dean of Vermont and Senator Bernie Sanders were late in supporting gun control. Every state has two senators. I remember being in Louisiana once when the powerful Democratic Senator J. Bennett Johnston was running for reelection. His ads emphasized he was a life member of the NRA. The statistics tell us George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000 by 537 votes in Florida. However, Florida would have been irrelevant if Al Gore carried either Tennessee or West Virginia. West Virginia had been a reliably Blue state, but Gore lost it because of his opposition to coal. Tennessee was Al Gore’s home state, but he lost it because he favored gun control. John Kerrey was not going to make that mistake in 2004. He distributed photos of him as a duck hunter with a rifle in his hand. Colorado suffered two horrific mass shootings, the first at Columbine High School and the second in Aurora in a Century 16 movie theater showing The Dark Knight Rises. Senator John Morse, Senate Majority leader, jammed a strict gun control measure through the state senate, holding 7 hearings in one day. Colorado voters recalled him and Senator Angela Giron, who represented the blue collar, heavily Hispanic, city of Pueblo. They were replaced with conservative Republicans. Gun control does not sell in Red counties. Abortion is different, but still single issue. I remember placards in the University of Michigan Union in 1972: COEDS Weekend in New York Hotel Airfare Abortion $199 I think it was $199 – not $299. I sometimes regret not “liberating” one of the placards. States, one by one, were dropping their anti-abortion statutes. The body politic was deciding the issue - abortion with restrictions. The Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade changed everything. My initial impression is that it was just an extension of the Warren Court. Chief Justice Earl Warren had retired, but most of the Roe v. Wade Justices sat on the Warren Court. Then came the dedication of the new law building at Ohio Northern University, where I taught from 1972-1975. Justice Blackman, who penned Roe v. Wade, was a Methodist, as was ONU. The Methodist connection got him to give the dedication speech of the new building. The Law School Associate Dean, a devout Catholic, led about a dozen protestors, silently and peacefully, demonstrating as the Justice spoke. Epiphany: Roe v. Wade is different! Professor Ruth Bader Ginsberg was right. She liked the result, but not the opinion. She felt the Court could have tossed the Texas statute without deciding the broader issue of abortion. She feared the poor reasoning of Roe v. wade opened it to reversal. Roe v. Wade cut off the public debate and accommodation over abortion. Pro-choicers relied on Roe v. Wade while pro-lifers organized, organized, and organized. Repealing Roe v. Wade became their mantra. Roe v. Wade provided a false sense of security to pro choice voters. The pro-life voters could organize and protest all they wanted, but the Supreme Court protected the woman’s right to choose. Elections and Senate confirmation hearings have consequences. The Democrats tried to protect Roe v. Wade by fighting the nomination of conservative judges to the Supreme Court. The Kavanaugh hearings became a comedy of the absurd. They attacked him over almost non-existent proof of a possible drunken act of misbehavior in high school, of which no actual proof existed. Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh have no love for the left after the savage confirmation attacks on them. The pro-choicers should blame the state legislative changes on President Obama whose 2020 midterm election gave Republicans of control of most state legislatures and state houses– control, which they have not lost. I feared that if Roe v. Wade were reversed, the effect could be catastrophic for Republicans at the ballot box. Presidents Reagan and both President Bush’s shared that fear. They never pushed hard on pro-choice. I’m not so sure this year. The election of Glenn Younkin as Governor of Virginia showed the “suburban moms,“ previously referred to as “soccer moms,” are concerned about education. They also feel the pain at the pump and inflation. Democrats plan to run in the November elections on January 6, Roe v. Wade, gun control and ballot harvesting. Economic issues often trump social issues at the ballot box. So too with gun control this year. The statute just enacted contains preventative measures, but none of the actual restrictions sought by the Democrats. It undoubtedly passes the constitutional test. The Supreme Court did not ban abortion; it left the decision to the states and the body politic. However, the momentum today, unlike five decades ago, is for states to ban or strictly regulate abortion. We will see extreme statutes, from no abortions under any circumstance to abortions any time prior to birth, live birth abortions. The developing consensus has yet to coalesce. Justice Thomas felt the Court’s other social legislation decisions should be revisited: 1) Griswold v. Connecticut and the right to privacy, 2) Obergefell v. Hodges and gay marriage and 3) Lawrence v. Texas on gay rights. He may theoretically be right, but Roe v. Wade is different – it involves the life of a second human. Both Justice Alito’s majority opinion and Justice Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion refused to go there. Even Judge Robert Bork in his contentious confirmation hearing said he would not overturn Griswold v. Connecticut. Chief justice Roberts, as expected, tried to split the difference by upholding the Mississippi statute but refusing to overturn Roe v. Wade. He had waffled on ObamaCare, having first decided according to his fellow justices to rule the statute unconstitutional, but then cleverly upheld it under the taxation power of Congress. President Joe Biden has been, as might be expected, all over the issue during his career. He said after the Roe v. Wade decision was issued in 1973: “I don’t like the decision. I think it went too far. A woman shouldn’t have the sole right to say what should happen to her body.” He voted in 1992 for a Constitutional Amendment that would allow states to overturn Roe v. Wade, and then voted against it. He consistently supported the Hyde Amendment which is a ban on using federal funds for abortions. He has also said that as a devout catholic he personally opposed abortion, but would not impose his religious beliefs on others. Then we have Senator Biden on tape in 2006. He said: “I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think igt’s always a tragedy. , and I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions. And there ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus as to do that.” He is not conflicted for he has few convictions. Americans are convicted. They can resolve the issue in state elections. That’s what the Supreme Court held in overturning Roe v. Wade.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Where Would You Place President Biden on This List of Titanic Historical Failures

President Putin may be crazy, and a narcissist, but he is definitely a bully. The proper response to a bully is not appeasement, os which President Biden is an abject success. This list is not based on mass murderers, evil dictators, disastrous generals and admirals. The entries are those who failed their countries and peoples, through actions and inactions, having run a successful people into the ground, or lost empires. The list is alphabetical, but if you ranked them, where would you place President Obama after only 14 months in office? Prime Minister Anthony Eden President James Buchanan President Jimmy Carter Neville Chamberlain Commodus Lord Mayor of London During the Great London Fire Robert Mugabe Nero Santa Ana Tsar Nicholas II Lord North Kaiser Wilhelm II Mehmet Talaat, Ismail Enver and Ahmed Cemal, The Three Pashas

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

President Putin is Not Worried

President Putin is not worried. He may have underestimated the Ukrainian resistance, but Russia’s numbers will prevail. Soon they will cut off the escape and reinforcement routes to the west of Ukraine. He may have a pyrrhic victory, but not in his eyes. He is sending a message to Moldova, the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and even Poland. They will be obliterated if they resist when he comes calling for them to rejoin Mother Russia. Poland would resist even harder than Ukraine. The Poles hate the Russians. The Warsaw Museum of the Polish Uprising damns the Russians as much as the Nazis. Putin could leave the Poles to last. President Putin is not fazed by NATO, which is sworn under Article V to protect its members. He views NATO as a paper tiger, with its mainstay the United States led by a diffident, ineffectual old man. He’s seen that before with Konstantin Chernenko and Leonid Brezhnev. He knows President Biden leads from the rear – far to the rear. He’s not worried. He knows Secretary of State Antony Blinken was the deputy secretary who advised President Obama not to send arms to the Ukrainians during the Russian seizure of Crimea. He’s not worried. He has the EU and NATO members over a barrel – barrrels of oil and gas. They don’t have a choice in his eyes. He’s not worried. President Biden is owned by the green faction of the ruling party. He won’t increase U.S. production. President Putin is waging war on Ukraine, but President Biden is waging war on America’s domestic fossil fuel industry. President Putin is waging war on Ukraine, but President Biden is waging economic war on his own people. He’s not worried about NATO. He knows the once formidable German Wehrmacht is but a shadow of its former self. The German Army is down to 62,766 soldiers. President Biden will go to Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, begging for oil. That’s the President of the United States! Begging! The EU and NATO have a second option; it’s called coal. Power plants can easily convert from gas to coal, or vice versa. The United States has the coal. He knows President Biden doesn’t have the will. President Putin’s not worried. He knows democracies lack patience and staying power. The initial blitzkrieg and ground attack in Ukraine may have stalled, but he has a backup. Ask Grozny or Aleppo. Kyiv has a choice: submission or bombing into oblivion. It’s their choice – not his. He may be destroying the great cities of Ukraine, but that’s their decision. He may be killing tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and children, but that’s the price to pay for restoring a great Russia. He’s willing to not only crush Ukraine, but break it into pieces. He’s killing young Russian conscripts in Ukraine, but Russia will never know the extent of the casualties. The Russian Army can easily replace the casualties. The Ukrainian Army cannot. The Russian Army is recruiting Syrians and Chechens for the fight. His top brass may have underperformed in Ukraine. No problem; he will purge them when it’s over. He’s raining bombs and rockets on Ukraine, but the West is seizing the yachts of his loyal oligarchs; they can afford the loss. He’s not scared of sanctions. He planned for it. Economic war against Russia? No problem; China is Russia’s next door neighbor. They won’t touch his hidden wealth buried behind multiple tranches (President Biden’s word). His people have suffered economic privations before. They can handle it. He’s now inviting Ukrainian refugees to come to Russia. They love him. He’s delusional or duplicitous. The peoples, especially Poles and Ukrainians, previously brutalized by the tsars and commissars have no love for Mother Russia. Delusional or not, President Putin is not worried, perhaps frustrated, but not worried.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Thoughts on Ukraine, Putin, Biden,and Russia

Kyiv may fall while President Biden helicopters to Delaware to vacation for the weekend. Kyiv may be too close to the Russian borders to successfully resist a massive attack. President Biden has well learned the lesson from President Obama of leading from behind. However, President Biden claims to have supplied Ukraine with some defensive weapons, which is more than President Obama’s giving the Ukrainians MREs (Meals Rady to Eat). President Obama wasn’t concerned by Russia’s seizure of Crimea because Russia was simply a “regional power.” How ironic the Ukrainians are using Molotov Cocktails against the Russians! An overconfident Stalin invaded Finland in November 1939. The Finns whipped the Red Army. The Russians finally forced Finland to the negotiating table months later. A replay may be happening in Ukraine. Theories abound to explain President Putin’s seizure of land from Georgia and Ukraine: Restore Russia’s (USSR) glory and empire Embarrassment on the fall of the Soviet Union when he was a lowly KGB agent in East Germany President Putin is crazy History (Conquerors and attackers) shows the need to secure Russia’s borders. How about the Napoleonic Complex? No one should be surprised by President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Putin and Hitler both told the world what they wanted to do, but the world was not listening, not believing, or not caring. John Fitzgerald Kennedy published his senior thesis at Harvard in 1940, “Why England Slept.” Why the E.U. slept while Russia built? President Putin also told the world his desire to rebuild the security zone around Russia and eliminate NATO as a threat. President Biden strongly affirmed Article V and the commitment to the defense of every NATO member. Does President Putin believe President Biden or the rest of NATO? Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s two major priorities for the United States military are 1) wokeness, and 2) climate change. Where does NATO fit into his priorities? Sanctions, sanctions, sanctions, but no restriction on Russia’s export of oil and gas. Western Europe is dependent on Russia for energy. 41% of the European Union’s gas supply comes from Russia as does the largest amount of its coal and gas. Russia is a low-cost supplier of these fuels. The Russian oil and gas, as well as coal, continue to flow. David used a slingshot against Goliath. Brandon is using sanctions against tanks. Candidate Biden tweeted two years ago “I’m going to stand up to him, he’s a bully.” He also said “Imagine what can happen to Ukraine” if President Trump is reelected. Just imagine! The media portrayed the summit between Presidents Biden and Putin last June as a meeting of adults. President Trump warned Western Europe against buying Russian oil and gas. The best way to destroy Russia’s energy club over Western Europe and crash its rubble is to open America’s energy tap, to return America to the energy independence of 14 months ago. President Biden had America pay Russia $4.7 billion last year for 69,800,000 barrels of oil. Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh said earlier in the week that the sanction levied against Russia are not intended to disrupt the Russian energy imports: “Our sanctions are not designed to disrupt in any way in the current flow of energy from Russia to the world.” Weak sanctions against a “bully’ invading a neighboring country by a befuddled Administration. President was asked about the effectiveness of his new sanctions. He snarky replied: “Let’s see in a month.” Ukraine may be history in one month. President Putin is waging war against Ukraine. President Biden is waging war against American fossil fuels, but supports Russia’s fossil fuel production. President Biden said: “I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump.” Everything except increase American production The United States offered to Fly Ukraine President Zelensky and others out of Ukraine after the second day of the Russian invasion. President Zelensky replied “I need ammunition, not a ride.” President Zelensky, a lapsed comedian, is showing leadership to the Ukrainian people and the world. President Biden, the “adult” in the room, is reaffirming his ineffectual leadership. Why does President Putin sit at the end of a long table with the others 30-40’ at the other end? Is he paranoid? John Kerry’s worried the war will set back his campaign against climate change: “I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.” Secretary of State John Kerry did great damage to America. He periodically proves the wisdom of the American people in not electing him President. He would probably have been worse than Brandon. The reputation of President Garter rises every day of the Trump Presidency. The media never misses a chance to slam President Trump or quote him out of context. He said of President Putin’s recognition of the two eastern provinces and moving troops into them “This is genius.” He also said Putin made “a genius move” by moving troops into them. Note carefully that he also emphasized more than once that Putin never would have attacked Ukraine if he were still President. Vladimir Putin only acted against Ukraine under Presidents Obama and Biden. President Biden threatened Russia with crippling sanctions before the invasion to deter the invasion. He repeatedly told the American people and the world that the sanctions would deter Putin from invasion. He said Thursday: “No-one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening.” The President warned Saturday that “no sanction that is immediate.” Vice President Harris is not communicating with President Biden. She said Sunday “The purpose of these sanctions has always been and continues to be deterrence.”

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Questions About President Biden, Ukraine and Russia

Robert Gates famously said of Joe Biden: ”I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past forty years.” Afghanistan validated Secretary Gates’ assessment of President Biden. Can we realistically believe the current national security team of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, and even Susan Rice, will do any better with Ukraine? Or Taiwan? Or the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania? Or Poland? If you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, why do you bring sanctions to an army invasion? What is a sanction anyway? What is meant by a tier of sanctions? What is a tranche of sanctions? Will the United States stop importing oil from Russia? Will President Biden open up the domestic energy industry? How much will Americans pay for a gallon of gas? It's up to $5 in California. Since the Trump Administration has known for months President Putin’s plans, why has the response been so inept? Is the eastern Ukraine a repeat of the Sudetenland? What effect, if any, did President Biden’s strong rhetoric have on President Putin? Is President Putin worried about anything President Biden says? Will cutting off Russia from Western finance matter to Russia, which can access China? Will relocating 1,000 troops, F-35’s and Apache helicopters to the Baltic nations reassure them? Will NATO hang strong together? Have Joe and Hunter got all their money out of Ukraine?

Sunday, February 20, 2022

President Biden's Use of Ukraine to Divert Attention From His failures

President Biden has been outspoken, seemingly indignant, in recent weeks that Russia will invade Ukraine, any day now, perhaps as I write this blog. The President is running a futile, full court diplomatic press on President Putin and Ukraine The conquest of Ukraine will be a modern, bloody tragedy – a country conquered by a neighboring bully. Mr. President: What are you doing to deter Russia? No American soldiers will be in Ukraine Mr. President; What are you doing about Inflation? It’s rising because of Putin and Ukraine Mr. President: What are you doing about the high price of gas? As you know, Hunter Biden has connections in Ukraine. That will help us in America. Mr. President: What are you doing about my $5/gallon gas in California? Move to Ukraine Mr. President: What are you doing about the empty shelves in the stores? It’s the Russian threat to Ukraine. Mr. President: Why did you leave Americans and American supporters behind in Afghanistan? We’re telling Americans to leave Ukraine on their own. No Americans soldiers will enter Ukraine to save Americans. Mr. President: President Trump left you with a vaccine and Operation Fast Track to defeat Covid. Why have more Americans died from Covid during your Administration than President Trump’s “You stupid son of a bitch.” The question is Putin’s aggression of Ukraine. Mr. President: Did you have a constructive meeting with President Putin? “If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.” Mr. President: Why are you shutting down American oil, but asking President Putin to increase production? It’s about Ukraine – not oil Mr. President: How could you go from Energy Independence under President Trump, but now see oil reaching $100/barrel? I just told you; it’s Ukraine Mr. President: What are you doing about the rising crime rate in the United States? It’s peaceful in the Ukraine. Mr.President: What about the Durham probe? What does Durham have to do with Ukraine/ Mr. President: President Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly, but carried a big stick in diplomacy. Why are you yelling about Ukraine? I left my big sticks behind in Afghanistan. I have no sticks left to spare – only sanctions. Mr. President: What about Build Back Better? We’ll going to Build Back Ukraine Better. Mr.President: What Are You and President Putin Going to Talk About? We'll meet in Munich and go from there. Mr. President: Where is Ukraine? It’s in Russia. Way to go Brandon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Memo to President Biden on One Year in Office: It's the Economy, Stupid

Memo to President Biden After One year in Office: It’s the Economy, Stupid You have completed one unsuccessful year in office Inflation is at a 40 year high. The official inflation rate is 7%, but it’s higher in the supermarkets, not including the empty shelves. It’s the economy, stupid The inflation is not transitory inflation It’s the economy, stupid Foreign policy should not be based upon an inflated opinion of oneself It’s not Build Back Better It’s the economy stupid You are out-competing President Carter as the worse President in modern American history His loss was the economy, stupid. It’s not “Bring Back Better.” You’re quickly bringing America back to the Carter Days It’s the economy, stupid Carter lost Iran. You lost Afghanistan It’s the economy, stupid How's that Over the Horizon Policy working out? It's the economy, stupid How could a Russian “minor incursion” be OK? It’s the economy, stupid Will Ukraine be this generation’s Munich? It’s the economy, stupid It’s not the filibuster or Voting Rights It’s the economy, stupid It’s not calling a despicable riot an insurrection It’s the economy, stupid It’s not Democratic Socialism, an oxymoron It’s the economy, stupid President Trump left you with energy independence You raised the price of gas 50% Gas is the economy, stupid The supply chain is broken It’s the economy, stupid Energy independence is not based on unsuccessfully asking Russia and OPEC to raise production It’s the economy, stupid Cognizant Presidents at this low point throw advisors off the bus, but your puppet masters won’t fire themselves How has surrounding yourself with progressive zealots worker out? It’s the economy, stupid Did you notice the Washington Post awarded your 4 Pinocchios for your latest lie? It’s the economy, stupid Does casting blame on others improve the economy? It’s the economy, stupid How are Antono Blinken, Jake Sullivan, and Susan Rice working out? It’s the economy, stupidHow's the Southern Border working out? It's the economy, stupid You said in your inaugural address that you will unify the country Calling Americans racist, Bull Conner and Jefferson Davis is divisive American strength is not based on a woke military It’s the economy stupid Have you really overperformed in office? It’s the economy, stupid Frequently referring to Vice President Harris as President Harris does not make her President – at least not yet It’s the economy stupid Your youthful Secretary of Transportation says rising energy costs will drive Americans to alternative energy Remember the old joke: The surgeon meets the family after surgery. He says to the family that the operation was a success. The family is relieved. Then he continues: “But the patient died.” The operation was a success, but the patient died. It’s the economy, stupid How did your 200 page paper on defeating Covid work out? It’s the economy, stupid? You said three weeks ago: “There is no Federal Solution. This get solved at the state level.” It’s the economy and Covid, stupid.” Even the mainstream media is no longer covering for you They know it’s the economy stupid Americans are hurting It’s the economy, stupid Remember President Obama: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up” Remember President Clinton and James Carville: “It’s the economy stupid.” Way to Go, Brandon