Featured Articles — October 31, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

Obama, Edwards attack; Clinton bombs debate — Roger Simon
We now know something that we did not know before: When Hillary Clinton has a bad night, she really has a bad night.

What If the Iowa Polls Don’t Change? — Dick Morris
What if the current polls in Iowa are the final result? What if Romney wins in Iowa and then comes in first again in New Hampshire? What if Giuliani stumbles badly in Iowa and finishes fourth? What if Huckabee surges and finishes second in Iowa? What if Fred Thompson makes an unimpressive third-place finish there?

The Global Poverty Gap — Robert Samuelson
It’s nature versus nurture. One of the big debates of our times involves the causes of economic growth. Why is North America richer than South America? Why is Africa poor and Europe wealthy?

Surveillance Sanity — Benjamin Civiletti, Dick Thornburgh, and William Webster
Companies that help protect the U.S. against attack deserve immunity from frivolous lawsuits.

The Kingdom — Wall Street Journal Editorial
Saudi Arabia’s monarch complains Britain isn’t taking terrorism seriously. He’s one to talk.

Speaking Ruth to Power — Orin Kerr
What business does Justice Ginsburg have trying “to propel legislative change”?

The Region: Rules of the game, Palestinian-style — Barry Rubin
No speeches, no foreign aid, and no international plans or meetings have altered these basic tenets

Are the Poor Getting Poorer? — Walter E. Williams
People who want more government income redistribution programs often sell their agenda with the lament, “The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer,” but how about some evidence and you decide? I think the rich are getting richer, and so are the poor.

Fundamentally Freund: No sweeter revenge — Michael Freund
Poland now has the basic infrastructure necessary in order to sustain Jewish life.

Guess who Europe’s subsidizing? — Manfred Gerstenfeld
European governments continue to support NGOs out to undermine Israeli policies.

Save the Date: Kay Baylee Hutchinson coming to Nixon Library on November 19!

One of the most respected members of the U.S. Senate — and an expert in foreign policy, national security and tax policy — her new book, Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers, examines the lives of American women who have battled trememdous odds to achieve success in areas once reserved exclusively for men — including military service, science, medicine and politics.

WHAT:
Lecture and book signing

WHERE:
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

WHEN:
Tuesday, November 19, 2007 at 10:30 AM

BUY TICKETS:
Member Price: $6.00
Non-Member Price: $8.00

This Day in History — Nixon Expands Social Security and Medicare Benefits for Seniors

On October 30, 1969 Richard Nixon signed landmark social security and Medicare legislation increasing much needed benefits to widowed seniors who now receive 100 percent of their deceased spouses Social Security benefits, and extended medical coverage to 1.5 million beneficiaries. The following is Nixon’s radio address broadcast the same day the legislation was passed:

Good afternoon:

A President signs many bills, but one that I signed today gave me special satisfaction because of the enormous impact it can have on the lives of millions of individual Americans.

I refer to the legislation known as H.R. 1–and especially to its provisions for helping, older Americans. Many of these provisions grew out of recommendations which I have been urging the Congress to act on for several years.

Let’s look at some of the things H.R. 1 will do:

First, nearly 4 million widows and widowers will get larger social security benefits–the full 100 percent of what was payable to the individual’s late husband or wife. This will mean more than $1 billion in additional income for these deserving people in the next fiscal year.

Second, over a million and a half older Americans who are now working can earn more income without having their benefits reduced.

Until today, if you were receiving social security, every dollar you earned above $1,680 cost you 50 cents in benefits–and every dollar you earned above $2,880 cost you a full dollar. But under the new provision-which I have advocated for years–you can earn up to $2,100 without losing a cent of social security, and every dollar you earn above that $2,100–no matter how many–will cost you only 50 cents in benefits. This will encourage more older Americans to work–helping them and helping the country. (Continue Reading)

On that same note, as baby boomers are reaching retirement age, extending these same benefits adequately is an ongoing subject of debate especially with America’s dwindling population replacement levels.

John Fout of thestreet.com wants to see sparks fly on Social Security and Medicare solvency tonight at the Democratic debate:

After the Sept. 26 Democratic debate in New Hampshire, I criticized moderator Tim Russert for the way he addressed entitlements. Not only did he obscure the issue for the public, he also tried to force the candidates to accept a solution: raise taxes. Russert and Clinton’s challengers need to improve their discussion on entitlements tonight.

Social Security and Medicare share a strain from aging baby boomers, but there’s an immediate crisis in Medicare. The trustees for Medicare say it will run out of money in 2019 — just 12 short years from now.

Featured Articles — October 30, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

New President, Old Cycle — Washington Post Editorial
Can Argentina’s Cristina Fern¿ndez de Kirchner avoid another economic bust?

UK must stay on good terms with Saudi Arabia — UK Telegraph Editorial
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia chides this country for ignoring Riyadh’s warnings about the 2005 terrorist bombings in London.

Count Rangula — Cal Thomas
Just in time for Halloween comes House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel — henceforth known as Count Rangula — with a bill that would suck more blood from the American taxpayers.

Hail comrade Chavez! — Michael Petrou
The Venezuelan president is fast establishing a totalitarian regime. How can he be stopped?

Welcoming the tyrant — Peter Tatchell
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia should be arrested for human rights abuses, not feted at Buckingham Palace.

Amazonian Swindle — Bret Stephens
Daryl Hannah goes to Ecuador and gets in over her head.

The AMT Must Go — Charles Rangel
Stop the middle-class tax raid.

Inconvenient Tax Truths — Peter Du Pont
Charlie Rangel and other liberal leaders want to raise tax rates even if it means lower tax revenues.

Political “Solutions” — Thomas Sowell
It is remarkable how many political “solutions” today are dealing with problems created by previous political “solutions.” Three examples that come to mind immediately are the housing market crisis, the wildfires in southern California, and the water shortages in the west.

Pelosi-Rangel Really Is ‘Mother of all Tax Hikes’ — John Boehner
American families are feeling the crunch of spiking energy costs, runaway college tuition, ever-burdensome home mortgages and steadily rising prices for consumer goods.

Nixon Appointee Dies at 79

Nixon appointed judge and Connecticut Governor Thomas J. Meskill has died in a Florida hospital at the age of 79. Christopher Keating from Courant.com has the story about a man described as enormously courageous during his tenure in the Federal Judiciary.

After being named a federal judge by President Richard M. Nixon in one of his final acts in office, Meskill remained out of the spotlight and purposely avoided getting involved in politics while seated on the bench.

But in a rare joint appearance, Meskill spoke publicly in 1997 during a taping for Connecticut Public Television with then-Gov. John G. Rowland and former Gov. William A. O’Neill in a roundtable discussion about their toughest decisions and greatest accomplishments.

Meskill said his toughest decision was deciding not to run for re-election in 1975. Many believed that he did not run because of the public outcry over his failure to remain in the state during a major ice storm in December 1973, but Meskill rejected that widely held belief. Instead, he said the real reason he stepped down as governor was that he no longer wanted his five children – aged 2 to 13 – to be living in the governor’s mansion at 990 Prospect Avenue in Hartford’s West End.

“It’s a very unreal life for very young children to be brought to school by a state trooper,” Meskill said at the time. “I didn’t want to continue that lifestyle for them.” Continue Reading.

This Day in History — The Supreme Court Orders School Integration

schoolintegration10.jpgOn October 29, 1969, The United States Supreme Court ordered that all school segregation must be done at once, overturning the enforcing doctrine established in 1954 of conducting the order in “all deliberate speed.”

Before this issue came before the court in Alexander vs. Holmes Board County of Education, President Nixon had ordered a delay on lower court orders until each of the 33 districts in question had a plan to implement desegregation. Chief Justice Earl Warren disagreed, declaring that eliminating the obstacles to this delayed principle superseded a deliberative solution.

The issue of federal oversight of school districts continues to be an issue in the United States. In Arkansas Pulaski School District (Ak) is seeking to remove itself from the restriction of court approval in its decision making. Arguing that the district has reached unitary status (full integration), the plaintiffs also want to be free of school desegregation legal bills.

A judge who oversaw the first several years of the case ordered such a merger, but that ruling was overturned by the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis, which said merging the three districts would be too drastic a solution. Instead, boundaries of the Little Rock and Pulaski County districts were adjusted, moving some schools from the Pulaski County district to the Little Rock district, while the court kept oversight of all operations in all three districts that affected integration.

In February, Wilson declared the 26,600-student Little Rock district unitary, freeing the state’s largest school system from court monitoring. But that ruling was appealed by a group of black parents called the Joshua Intervenors who are a party to the suit. Settlement talks between the intervenors and district officials are underway in an effort to get the appeal dropped.

The North Little Rock School District asked the court in September to declare unitary status for the 9,800-student district. That request is pending.

Also controversial to this case is the premise of unitary status. It seems the goal among positivists is to attain a balanced racial composition reflecting the district’s jurisdiction, in June, however, the Robert’s court ruled 5-4, against the constitutionality of reassigning students to achieve this template, affectively declaring that race can’t be used for the goal of campus diversity.

Featured Articles — October 29, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

A Two-Way or a Five-Way? — William Kristol
Some alternative scenarios

‘Fairness’ Is Foul — Wall Street Journal Editorial
Liberals vs. the First Amendment.

How America must handle the falling dollar — Lawrence Summers
The falling dollar generates anxiety almost everywhere. Americans and those dependent on American growth worry about the proverbial “hard landing” as inflation and interest rates rise with a weakening dollar, causing asset prices and output to fall. Europeans and others with currencies that float freely against the dollar worry that their currencies will bear a disproportionate share of the dollar’s decline and appreciate too far, leading to competitiveness problems. The falling dollar risks rising inflation, asset bubbles and the loss of macroeconomic control in countries that have tied their currencies to the dollar’s sagging mast.

Wealth and Nations — Alvaro Vargas Llosa
Is global capitalism making the poor even poorer, or is it in fact rescuing millions of people out of their misery?

Losing Russia — Dmitri Simes
Faced with threats from al Qaeda and Iran and increasing instability in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States does not need new enemies. Yet its relationship with Russia is worsening by the day. The rhetoric on both sides is heating up, security agreements are in jeopardy, and Washington and Moscow increasingly look at each other through the old Cold War prism.

What Became of the Realist? — Rich Lowry
A close observer traces the rise and fall of Condi Rice’s star.

What the New Atheists Don’t See — Theodore Dalrymple
To regret religion is to regret Western civilization.

My Proud Record — Mike Huckabee
I cut taxes and fees over 90 times as governor.

Torturing Mukasey — Wall Street Journal Editorial
The judge becomes a pawn in the politics of interrogation.

Saying Yes to France — Ronald Asmus
Today’s Security Challenges Cry Out for Its Return to Full NATO Participation