In a 6-2 ruling, the Supreme Court decided Tuesday that Michigan voters have the right to change their state constitution to prohibit public colleges and universities from taking race into account in admissions decisions. The justices said that a lower federal court was wrong to set aside the change as discriminatory.
Justice Anthony Kennedy said voters chose to eliminate racial preferences because they deemed them unwise. Kennedy said nothing in the Constitution or the court’s prior cases gives judges the authority to undermine the election results.
Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented…
…The six justices who voted to reverse the Sixth Circuit and let the Michigan amendment stand split 3-2-1 on the grounds for doing so. The result is a clear outcome but a doctrinal muddle. We thought it would be amusing and enlightening to go through the four main opinions in descending order of clarity…
Never one to mince words, Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia issued a scathing dissent Tuesday, claiming that the majority ruling in a recent search-and-seizure case “serves up a freedom-destroying cocktail consisting of two parts patent falsity.”…
…“As Justice Harlan observed over a century ago, ‘[o]ur Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,’” Scalia concluded, quoting the dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson. “The people of Michigan wish the same for their governing charter. It would be shameful for us to stand in their way.”
And then, the Parthian shot: “And doubly shameful to equate ‘the majority’ behind [the constitutional amendment] with ‘the majority’ responsible for Jim Crow,” he added in a final footnote, citing the first two pages of Sotomayor’s dissent…
Fox News host Greg Gutfeld commemorated Earth Day on his show “The Five” with an appropriate dose of mockery, declaring that after 44 years, the true takeaway from the holiday is “how anti-poor the green movement is.”
Gutfeld noted that although none of 1970′s environmental doomsday prophecies have come to pass, the debate over proper environmental protection policies rages unabated.
“The only problem with this is that the hysteria is actually worse than the calamity,” he claimed, “because we are drawing danger to something that’s less dangerous than other things.”
“For example, we are condemning coal when billions of people around the world would die for coal,” he continued. “They would love to have a carbon footprint. Instead they are burning dung and they’re burning twigs inside their houses, killing 4 million people.”
“The big story here is really how anti-poor the green movement is,” he asserted. “There are 3 billion people who need heat. They need coal. And instead we’re lecturing them on fossil fuels and the evil of coal, and that’s just ridiculous.”
…McDowell County, the poorest in West Virginia, has been emblematic of entrenched American poverty for more than a half-century. John F. Kennedy campaigned here in 1960 and was so appalled that he promised to send help if elected president. His first executive order created the modern food stamp program, whose first recipients were McDowell County residents. When President Lyndon B. Johnson declared “unconditional war on poverty” in 1964, it was the squalor of Appalachia he had in mind. The federal programs that followed — Medicare, Medicaid, free school lunches and others — lifted tens of thousands above a subsistence standard of living.
But a half-century later, with the poverty rate again on the rise, hardship seems merely to have taken on a new face in McDowell County. The economy is declining along with the coal industry, towns are hollowed out as people flee, and communities are scarred by family dissolution, prescription drug abuse and a high rate of imprisonment…
Update: In this clip from “FrackNation,” we discuss how cheap, abundant, reliable energy makes life outstanding. #EnergyMatters. And irrational environmentalist policies have serious consequences.
So instead of celebrating “Earth Day” on April 22, let’s celebrate “Energy Day.” Let’s celebrate human achievement and the cleanest, safest, most prosperous human environment in history.
…The average fuel economy for the for 30 of the Club’s measurable vehicles was only 27.4 mpg, far below the 54.5 mpg the Club publicly supports. Only two members of the Club’s Board of Directors own cars meeting the 54.5 mpg threshold that environmental activists push for. The Alliance used insurance and vehicle registration data to find out exactly what top environmental activists were driving.
Two of the Club’s directors buck environmental protection for riding in style, by owning luxury Jaguars which have an average fuel economy of 18 mpg — much lower than the U.S. average fuel economy of 24.8 mpg in 2013…
New York Times columnist David Brooks said Sunday that he believes President Obama’s foreign policy isn’t “tough enough” and that he has a “manhood problem” when it comes to dealing with leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Mr. Brooks expanded on Sen. Bob Corker’s earlier comments on “Fox News Sunday” that Mr. Obama is “creating an air of permissiveness” with regards to Russia.
“Basically since Yalta we’ve had an assumption that borders are basically going to be borders and once that comes into question, if in Ukraine or in Crimea or anywhere else, then all over the world all bets are off,” he said on “Meet the Press” Sunday.
“And let’s face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a — I’ll say it crudely — but a manhood problem in the Middle East,” he continued. “Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad or somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair, but certainly in the Middle East there is an assumption that he’s not tough enough.”
NBC’s Chuck Todd agreed, arguing that “it is sort of the rhetoric, internally” among lawmakers that the president’s “rhetoric isn’t tough enough.”
“From Yalta to health care,” Mr. Brooks interjected, receiving laughs.
Nearly a dozen states have quietly signed onto a plan to effectively ditch the Electoral College and instead, award the White House to the candidate that wins the popular vote.
The National Popular Vote agreement would take effect if states that represent 270 electoral votes all commit. New York has most recently joined the efforts, bringing the number of states to 10 plus the District of Columbia. Altogether, they represent 165 electoral votes.
Without the Electoral College, FoxNews.com digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt said we would have had a whole different trajectory of presidents. If presidents are selected through the popular vote, he said that campaigns will focus on maximizing turnout in urban centers. He said the “plan is to subvert the will of the Constitution and the founders.” [emphasis CAJ]
“This is disempowering to rural America and empowering to urban America,” he said, explaining that it amounts to a “hack” of the Constitution by people who don’t believe in the Electoral College.
Since there is not enough support in Congress to change the Constitution and officially end the Electoral College, this plan would allow popular vote advocates to work around it.
Stirewalt pointed out that this plan is part of a larger trend on the part of “frustrated” liberals who haven’t been able to bring about the changes they want…
Citizens Committee on Benghazi claims the US government allowed arms to flow to al-Qaeda-linked militants who opposed Muammar Gaddafi
Their rise to power, the group says, led to the Benghazi attack in 2012
The group claims the strongman Gaddafi offered to abdicate his presidency, but the US refused to broker his peaceful exit
The commission, part of the center-right Accuracy In Media group, concluded that the Benghazi attack was a failed kidnapping plot
US Ambassador Chris Stevens was to be captured and traded for ‘blind sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman, who hatched the 1993 WTC bombing plot
David Martosko The Daily Mail [UK]
22 April 2014
The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.
‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.
She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.
‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..
‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’
The weapons were intended for Gaddafi but allowed by the U.S. to flow to his Islamist opposition…
…Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, another commission member, told reporters Tuesday that those weapons are now ‘all in Syria.’
‘Gaddafi wasn’t a good guy, but he was being marginalized,’ Kubic recalled. ‘Gaddafi actually offered to abdicate’ shortly after the beginning of a 2011 rebellion.
‘But the U.S. ignored his calls for a truce,’ the commission wrote, ultimately backing the horse that would later help kill a U.S. ambassador.
Kubic said that the effort at truce talks fell apart when the White House declined to let the Pentagon pursue it seriously.
‘We had a leader who had won the Nobel Peace Prize,’ Kubic said, ‘but who was unwilling to give peace a chance for 72 hours.’
In March 2011, Kubic said, U.S. Army Africa Commander General Carter [sic] [Gen. Carter Ham] told NBC News that the U.S. military was not actively targeting Muammar Gaddafi. That, Kubic revealed, was a signal to the Libyan dictator that there was a chance for a deal…
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 23 that it mattered little why the Benghazi diplomatic compound was attacked: ‘What difference, at this point, does it make?’
NEVADA — As the Bundy Ranch stand-off between Americans and functionaries of the State unfolded last week, we all saw the reports of armed supporters from several surrounding areas heading to the ranch.
…Nevada Republican Assemblywoman Michele Fiore previously told Breitbart News on Friday about the practices she has heard the Bureau of Land Management has engaged in when confiscating livestock from ranchers.
“I have literally gotten e-mails from ranchers across Nevada telling me that the BLM does the same practices when they are herding horses. The foals are getting killed. Horses are getting killed. It’s really horrible and cruel. I don’t know any other term than cruel,” she said. The GOP Assemblywoman called BLM’s actions a “felony” and in a recent tweet below, she said:
…“These animals shouldn’t be killed either by the government, or by the rancher who plans to send the cows off to slaughter. The best thing anyone can do to stop the suffering of animals is to go vegan,” PETA’s Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said in a written statement to Breitbart News…
After the recent Bundy Ranch episode by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Texans are becoming more concerned about the BLM’s focus on 90,000 acres along a 116 mile stretch of the Texas/Oklahoma boundary. The BLM is reviewing the possible federal takeover and ownership of privately-held lands which have been deeded property for generations of Texas landowners…
…In an effort to take a stand against the control, more than 50 leaders from nine Western states met for the first time over the weekend to talk about their common goal of reacquiring the resource-rich land from the federal government. Utah state representative Ken Ivory (R-West Jordan) organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands, and he joined Glenn on radio this morning to discuss what he hopes to accomplish…
…The rural West is fed-up. We are tired of being treated like the nation’s petting zoo, tourist destination, and ecological petri dish by eastern elites, left coast Cannabis consumers, agitated animal rights activists, and the assorted high priests of the High Church of Environmentalism…