Posts Tagged ‘Antonin Scalia’

Texas vs. California Update for March 31, 2016

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Lots of Texas vs. California linky goodness, much of it via Jack Dean at Pension Tsunami, who’s been emailing me links of significant interest.

  • Texas continues to grow:

    As last week’s US Census Bureau population estimates indicated, the story of population growth between 2014 and 2015 was largely about Texas, as it has been for the decade starting 2010 (See: “Texas Keeps Getting Bigger” The New Metropolitan Area Estimates). The same is largely true with respect to population trends in the nation’s largest counties, with The Lone Star state dominating both in the population growth and domestic migration among 135 counties with more than 500,000 population.


    Houston, which is the fastest growing major metropolitan area (over 1 million population) in the nation includes the two fastest growing large counties. Fort Bend County added 4.29 percent to its population between 2014 and 2015 and now has 716,000 residents. Montgomery County grew 3.57 percent to 538,000. In addition to these two suburban Houston counties, Harris County, the core County ranked 16th in growth, adding 2.03 percent to its population and exceeding 4.5 million population.

    Dallas-Fort Worth, the second fastest-growing major metropolitan area has two counties among the top 20. The third fastest-growing county is Denton (located north of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport), which added 3.42 percent to its population over the past year and now has 781,000 residents. Collin County, to the north of Dallas County, grew 3.17 percent and now stands at 914,000 residents. Its current growth rate would put Collin County over 1 million population by the 2020 census.

    Travis County, with its county seat of Austin, grew 2.22 percent to 1,177,000 and ranked 12th. Bexar County, centered on San Antonio grew 2.01 percent and ranks 17th.

    Overall, Texas had four of the five fastest growing large counties, and seven of the top twenty. California had none. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • The Austin metropolitan area passes 2 million people.
  • The California Policy Center has a devestating roundup of what’s wrong with California’s economy. To wit:
    • “A now has by far the nation’s highest state income tax rate. We are 34% higher than 2nd place Oregon, and a heck of a lot higher than all the rest”

    • “CA has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.5% (does not include local sales taxes).”
    • “California in 2015 ranked 14th highest in per capita property taxes (including commercial) – the only major tax where we are not in the worst ten states. But the 2014 average CA single-family residence (SFR) property tax is the 8th highest state in the nation. Indeed, the median CA homeowner property tax bill is 93% higher than the average for the other 49 states.”
    • “California has a nasty anti-small business $800 minimum corporate income tax, even if no profit is earned, and even for many nonprofits. Next highest state is Rhode Island at $500 (only for “C” corporations). 3rd is Delaware at $175. Most states are at zero.”
    • “California’s 2015 ‘business tax climate’ ranks 3rd worst in the nation – behind New York and anchor-clanker New Jersey. In addition, CA has a lock on the worst rank in the Small Business Tax Index – a whopping 8.3% worse than 2nd worst state.”
    • “The American Tort Reform Foundation in 2015 again ranks CA the ‘worst state judicial hellhole’ in U.S. – the most anti-business.”
    • “CA public school teachers the 3rd highest paid in the nation. CA students rank 48th in math achievement, 49th in reading.”
    • “California’s real poverty rate (the new census bureau standard adjusted for COL) is easily the worst in the nation at 23.4%. We are 57.3% higher than the average for the other 49 states.”
    • “Of 100 U.S. real estate markets, in 2013 CA contained by far the least affordable middle class housing market (San Francisco). PLUS the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th.”

    It’s like a whole bunch of Texas vs. California roundup statistics all in one big green ball of fail. Read the whole thing. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • “California’s 50% [minimum wage] increase would eliminate nearly 700,000 jobs—which means higher unemployment for the poor and least skilled in particular.”
  • Why did Carl’s Jr. flee California? Taxes, regulations and lawsuits.

    CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder told the Wall Street Journal in 2013, “California is not interested in having businesses grow.”

    The article points out that many factors, including local building regulations, make one community less desirable than another for businesses.

    For example, it takes 60 days in Texas, 63 in Shanghai, and 125 in Novosibirsk, Russia for one of CKE’s restaurants to get a building permit after signing a lease. But in Los Angeles, Ca. it takes a whopping 285 days.

    Puzder added, “I can open up a restaurant faster on Karl Marx Prospect in Siberia than on Carl Karcher Boulevard in California.” The street in California is ironically named for the restaurant chain’s founder.

    California’s labor regulations may also play a role in a company’s desire to seek alternative locations. In that same interview with WSJ, Puzder said his company had spent $20 million in the state over the past eight years on damages and attorney fees related to class-action lawsuits.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • Justice Scalia’s death dooms the Friedrichs vs. California Teacher’s Association lawsuit.
  • “If a Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research’s estimate is accurate, public pension debt in California is even worse than feared. Preliminary calculations from a forthcoming SIEPR study peg the unfunded retirement tab for state and local government employees at more than $1.2 trillion.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Texas unemployment rates drops to 4.4%.
  • San Bernardino’s bondholders get screwed so the bankrupt city can continue sending money to CalPERS. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California’s colleges are so money-hungry they’re screwing in-state students out of admissions so they can charge more to out-of-state applicants, including those who wouldn’t normally be able to get in. Sort of like the UT admissions scandal, but less politically connected and more widespread and money-grubbing… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • But there’s one type of student California admissions isn’t keeping out: antisemites. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Even the supposed beneficiaries of California’s high speed rail fantasy have become disillusioned with it.
  • A hot relocation to Texas rumor just in: “Plano – new home of Toyota Motor’s North American headquarters – has been mentioned as a possible relocation site for a Wichita-based subsidiary of conglomerate Cargill.”
  • LinkSwarm for February 29, 2016

    Monday, February 29th, 2016

    Happy Leap Day, everyone! Enjoy a yuge LinkSwarm, and if you’re in Texas or another Super Tuesday state, take time to dig out your voter registration card for tomorrow.

  • The Case for Cruz: The Math. “In the states where Cruz is ahead of Rubio in the upcoming Super Tuesday, he is either beating Trump or within striking distance. In the states where Rubio is ahead of Cruz in the upcoming Super Tuesday, Trump has a huge lead. Rubio doesn’t lead in a single state.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Sixteen Reasons Why Ted Cruz Is The Better Anti-Trump Than Rubio.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The Millennial Case For Ted Cruz. “Polls show that Hillary beats Trump in a general election. On the other hand, Cruz beats Hillary in a general election.” (Hat tip: Conservatives for Ted Cruz.)
  • Cruz releases nine years of tax returns, calls on Trump to do the same.
  • Analysis of Ted Cruz’s positions on defense.
  • How Ted Cruz’s ads are so Hollywood slick.
  • Cruz has rebuilt his stump speech around the Scalia vacancy.
  • Lefty Robert Reich’s attacks on Ted Cruz provides yet more reasons to vote for Cruz.
  • Our cultural elites just can’t figure out why those ignorant gun- and religion-clinging redneck freaks of JesusLand keep flocking to Trump when he says he love them. It’s an insoluble mystery…
  • 40 reasons not to vote for Donald Trump.
  • Trump University was a scam. “Many people believe that higher education is a de facto scam. Trump University, Donald Trump’s real-estate institution, was a de jure one.”
  • Hillary heckled.
  • DNC vice chair steps down to support Bernie Sanders. An understandable move, given the DNC is so far in the tank for Hillary under Debbie Wasserman Schultz that supporting Sanders is probably looked on as akin to treason… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Mark Steyn lays out some grim election analysis: “No one loses as expensively as Republicans.”
  • 720,000 taxpayers have their tax form information stolen from the IRS. Our country is in the very best of hands!
  • Public employee unions are the establishment. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Left-wing protesters shut down lecture on welfare reform at London School of Economics. Here’s the book protester’s don’t want people to read: Adam Perkins’ The Welfare Trait: How State Benefits Affect Personality.
  • Muslim immigrants will cost Sweden fourteen times more than their defense budget. Good thing Germany and Russia are such historically peaceful neighbors…
  • Merkel must have a political death wish: “German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday defended her open-door policy for migrants, rejecting any limit on the number of refugees allowed into her country despite divisions within her government.”
  • Stratfor analyses China’s new military facilities on Woody Island. “While the media’s response to China’s actions on Woody Island suggests that they represent a watershed moment in the militarization of the South China Sea, in reality they are neither surprising nor particularly meaningful.”
  • How disasterous Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro could be removed from power.
  • The truth about the MiG-29. Longish but interesting piece. Turn out the Soviet super fighter was very good at basic fighter aircraft maneuvers, but had poor avionics that severely limited the pilot’s situational awareness.
  • Mass transit doesn’t actually save any energy. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Male feminism is a sort of disease.”
  • Joe Straus’ primary opponent Jeff Judson has a couple of major financial backers, including Alice Walton.
  • Beloved, innocent man shot down by Seattle police. And by “innocent” I mean “a convicted rapist with a gun, crack and heroin.”
  • “Turn down the fucking music.” “The more and more you attempt to compensate for the fact people have no social skills, making the music so loud conversation is impossible, the more and more intelligent and competent people you will drive away.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Soldier of Fortune magazine to cease publication.
  • Man makes video designed to show that SERPA holsters are safe, proves the opposite. (Hat tip: Tam via Dwight.)
  • Tweet 1: The bus is turning around. Tweet 2. The bus is on fire. Tweet 3. The bus exploded. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • The OSS World War II escape knife.
  • LinkSwarm for February 17, 2016

    Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

    Early voting started in Texas Monday, which means I’m way behind on covering state and local races. Oh well, maybe later this week…

  • Hillary Clinton didn’t do as badly as expected in New Hampshire. She did worse.

    Sanders’s margin of victory — 60 percent to 39 percent — was the largest ever by a Democrat who wasn’t a sitting president. It was a come-from-behind win: Eight months ago, Sanders was at 9 percent and Clinton held a 46-point advantage. And Sanders overperformed the polls. Only 1 of the last 15 polls had him above 60 percent; the Real Clear Politics average in New Hampshire had him at 54.5 percent going into the vote.

    Then there are the crosstabs. The exit polling for Clinton was brutal. Sanders won men by 35 points; he won women by 11. He won voters under the age of 30 by 67 points. People expect that of Sanders and his children’s crusade. Clinton took home senior citizens, 54 percent to 45 percent. People expect that of Clinton’s boomers. But in the big band of middle-aged Democrats, ages 45 to 64 (who made up 42 percent of the electorate), Sanders beat Clinton 54 percent to 45 percent. He beat her among Democrats with a high school diploma or less; he beat her among Democrats with postgraduate degrees. Among people who’d voted in a Democratic primary before, Sanders won by 16 points; among first-time voters, he won by 57. He won self-identified “moderate” voters by 20 points.

    Clinton made gun control a substantial part of her pitch in New Hampshire. Sanders won voters who own guns by 40 points. But he won voters who don’t own guns by 14. He even won voters who said that terrorism was their number one concern.

    The biggest problem for Clinton, however, came in the candidate-perception categories. The second-most important quality voters said they wanted in a candidate was someone who “cares.” Sanders won these voters by 65 points. The most important quality people said they wanted was “honesty.” Sanders took those people home 92 to 6. Look at that again. When asked “Is Clinton honest and trustworthy?” 53 percent of all voters — not just Sanders voters, but everyone casting a Democratic ballot — said “no.”

  • Bernie Sanders has more than ten times the number of staffers on the ground in South Carolina than Clinton does.
  • Lefty at The Nation: “Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote.”
  • The topic is the Clintons, so it’s time for another glimpse of Good Maureen Dowd: “It turned out that female voters seem to be looking at Hillary as a candidate rather than as a historical imperative. And she’s coming up drastically short on trustworthiness.”
  • Ted Cruz is very electable. “Cruz is electable because he’s the real thing.” (Hat tip: Conservatives 4 Ted Cruz.)
  • People who were actually paying attention during the Gang of 8 fight scoff at Marco Rubio’s assertion Cruz favored amnesty. (Hat tip: Conservatives 4 Ted Cruz.)
  • Only top Obama Administration officials with high security clearances knew about Hillary’s secret email server. And LinkedIn.
  • The NRA is saying gun-indifferent Sanders beat hoplophobe Hillary. Hmmm…
  • Remember how the Obama Administration swore up and down ObamaCare wouldn’t go to illegal aliens? Guess what?
  • I think this is quite an effective Donald Trump ad, targeting how black Americans have been hurt by illegal alien crime. Rick Perry did quite well with an ad highlighting an illegal alien who murdered a Houston police officer in his race against Bill White in 2010. Too bad too many gutless Republicans have been hesitant about running such ads for fear of being branded racists, xenophobes, etc. by the media.
  • Muslim immigrants are killing Sweden.
  • Germany to take in a half million more Islamic “refugees” in 2016. It’s like Merkel wants to destroy her own party… (Hat tip: JihadWatch.)
  • Police in the UK arrest man for criticizing Syrian “refugees” in a Facebook post. (Hat tip: JihadWatch.)
  • Boom! Headshot! (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Current law prohibits transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S., and the military won’t do so until the law is changed, no matter what Obama may want.
  • “Scalia was not only finest writer ever to sit on the Court, he was one of the best rhetoricians in history.”
  • Dear naive young voters: socialism sucks in real life.
  • Behold the ideal government worker under socialism! Every bureaucrat his own Wally….
  • A look at China’s new stealth fighters.
  • China is also deploying missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea.
  • Huge explosion at a military barracks in Turkey. Just occurred before I posted this, so details are scant.
  • The ACLU continues its long retreat from defending free speech. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Talk like Reagan.
  • Venezuela’s socialist government appears to have authorized the military to form an oil company.
  • Notes on the collapse of a tech startup. More than a grain of truth here. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • The Coen Brothers aren’t fans of cramming diversity for the sake of diversity into individual movies. “Not in the least!” Ethan answered. “It’s important to tell the story you’re telling in the right way, which might involve black people or people of whatever heritage or ethnicity—or it might not.”
  • Science fiction writer has book rejected by Harper Voyager because robot characters dared to voice non-PC thoughts.
  • Because driving I-35 just didn’t suck enough already, enjoy being attacked by thrown rocks.
  • Scalia: Conservatives Morn, Liberals Celebrate

    Sunday, February 14th, 2016

    The reactions to the unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia are still coming in. Conservatives (and some liberals) hailed him as a great justice, a keen mind, and one of the court’s finest writers. Other liberals…

    Eh. Let’s get to the sweet before the bitter.

  • Texas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz:

    Today our Nation mourns the loss of one of the greatest Justices in history – Justice Antonin Scalia. A champion of our liberties and a stalwart defender of the Constitution, he will go down as one of the few Justices who single-handedly changed the course of legal history.

    As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism. And he authored some of the most important decisions ever, including District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized our fundamental right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. He was an unrelenting defender of religious liberty, free speech, federalism, the constitutional separation of powers, and private property rights. All liberty-loving Americans should be in mourning.

    Justice Scalia’s three decades on the Court was one of President Reagan’s most consequential legacies. Our prayers are with his beloved wife Maureen, their nine children, and their precious grandchildren.”

  • Former Texas Attorney General and current Texas Governor Greg Abbott:

    Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution. His fierce loyalty to the Constitution set an unmatched example, not just for judges and lawyers, but for all Americans. We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Instapundit and law professor Glenn Reynolds: “As we remember Justice Scalia’s time, let us remember that every age’s smug certainties come to an end eventually and that the dissents of Supreme Court Justices often turn out to be prophetic.”
  • Powerline’s John Hinderaker: “Scalia was a towering intellect and a great justice.”
  • Ross Douthat:

    He was important because of his intellectual influence. There were and are many legal theories and schools of constitutional interpretation within the world of American conservatism. But Scalia’s combination of brilliance, eloquence and good timing — he was appointed to the court in 1986, a handful of years after the Federalist Society was founded, and with it the conservative legal movement as we know it — ensured that his ideas, originalism in constitutional law and textualism in statutory interpretation, would set the agenda for a serious judicial conservatism and define the worldview that any “living Constitution” liberal needed to wrestle with in order to justify his own position.

    This intellectual importance was compounded by the way he strained to be consistent, to rule based on principle rather than on his partisan biases — which made him stand out in an age when justices often seem as purely partisan as any other office holder. Of course there were plenty of cases (“Bush v. Gore!” a liberal might interject here) in which those biases probably did shape the way he ruled. But from flag burning to the rights of the accused to wartime detention, Scalia had a long record of putting originalist principle above a partisan conservatism. And this, too, set an example for his fellow conservatives: The fact that today the court’s right-leaning bloc has far more interesting internal disagreements than the often lock-step-voting liberal wing is itself a testament to the premium its leading intellectual light placed on philosophical rigor and integrity.

  • Even honest liberals who disagree with Scalia’s politics praised the keenness of his mind and prose:

  • Jeet Heer in The New Republic from last year: “Antonin Scalia Is the Supreme Court’s Greatest Writer.”
  • Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker:

    In his most significant decision for the court’s majority, District of Columbia v. Heller, in 2008, Scalia transformed the understanding of the Second Amendment. Reversing a century of interpretation of the right to bear arms, he announced that individuals have a constitutional right to possess handguns for personal protection. The Heller decision was so influential that even President Obama, whose politics differ deeply from Scalia’s, has embraced the view that the Second Amendment gives individuals a constitutional right to bear arms.

  • And noted liberal legal scholar Alan Derschowitz priased Scalia: “Love him or hate him, every American should appreciate his contribution to U.S. law. The word unique is often overused, but they broke the mold when they created Justice Scalia. There will never be another like him. I will miss him both personally and professionally.”
  • Meanwhile, other liberals have reacted with unbridled joy:

    (Hat tip: Breitbart.)

  • Scroll through these Salon comments to see numerous liberals openly calling for Clarence Thomas’ death.
  • Twitchy has more examples of liberals openly wishing for Clarence Thomas’ death.
  • A reminder, yet again, that conservatives regard liberals as wrong, but many liberals regard conservatives as not just wrong but evil, and feel no absolutely no remorse in openly celebrating the death of a great man for the crime of daring to hold non-liberal thoughts.

    Antonin Scalia, RIP

    Saturday, February 13th, 2016

    Dead at 79 on a vacation trip to Texas.

    Literally between a post-bike ride shower and heading off to dinner, so possibly more later or tomorrow.

    Some liberals on my Facebook timeline are openly celebrating…

    Second Day of ObamaCare Arguments Roundup

    Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

    The second day of ObamaCare testimony, and things are looking up for fans of limited, constitutional government. here’s a passel of links culled from Instapundit, TPPF, NRO and elsewhere:

  • Reading excerpts from today’s arguments, the justices sound extremely skeptical that the Commerce Claus power extends to enforcing an individual mandate.
  • When the ultra-lefty Mother Jones calls it “Obamacare’s Supreme Court Disaster,” you know things didn’t go well for liberals.
  • Solicitor General Donald Verrelli’s performance seems to have been particularly poor. (Bonus tidbit: Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, one of the initiators of the lawsuit to overturn ObamaCare, was in the courtroom audience.)
  • The Volokh’s Conspiracy’s Ilya Somin chimes in: “Scalia makes the key points that 1) a state must be both “necessary” and “proper” to be authorized by the Necessary and Proper Clause, and (2) a statute cannot be proper if the legal rationale for it would justify nearly unlimited federal power.”
  • John Hinderaker wonders if ObamaCare is going down.
  • NRO’s live blog.
  • Ace offers up a selection of quotes.
  • The actual text of the 11th Circuit’s ruling in Florida vs. HHS.