From Around the Blogroll A sad Saturday in America

From The Wall Street Journal:

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton Step Forward in Tumultuous Political Season

Regular order returning for Democrats as regular order for Republicans is completely upended

By Gerald F. Seib | February 21, 2016 5:00 a.m. ET

Regular order began returning for Democrats Saturday. Republicans still aren’t sure whether their version of regular order even exists any longer.

The one thing that was settled as voters spoke in two states—Democrats in Nevada and Republicans in South Carolina—is that there now is no doubt about the identity of the front-runners in the 2016 presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton has re-established herself, as she was always supposed to, as the Democratic favorite. And whether Republican party leaders like it or not, Donald Trump now is indisputably the favorite to win the GOP nomination.

On the Republican side, Mr. Trump continues to remake both the Republican party and what a winning coalition within it looks like. As in Iowa and New Hampshire, he enjoyed significant strength among blue-collar, non-college-educated voters in South Carolina. They used to be a GOP afterthought, but increasingly seem to be its core.

Meanwhile, there is little consolidation in the anti-Trump lanes, and still too many of them to suit party establishment figures eager to stop Mr. Trump. This is at least a three-man race going forward, with Mr. Trump joined by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida. Technically, for now, it is actually a five-man race, with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson hanging around.

Only former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took South Carolina’s results as a signal to quit the race. Mr. Kasich should gird himself, though, for he is about to come under enormous pressure to do the same, to allow the anti-Trump vote to consolidate.

There’s more at the link, but I am extremely disappointed by the results: the most liberal ‘Republican’ and the less liberal Democrat1 won their contests, setting up the two most repugnant people in America as the major parties’ frontrunners. We could be looking at a general election contest in November in which the Democratic nominee supports the more conservative health care plan, as Mrs Clinton says that she supports the current Obysmalcare system, while Mr Trump, though he isn’t providing specifics, would replace Obaminablecare with something that covers everyone, and he has previously supported single-payer. Mr Trump claims that he is now pro-life, something that he’d have to say to have any chance in a Republican primary, but when he wasn’t running for office, he was “pro-choice in every respect,” including late-term and partial-birth abortions.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are fundamentally dishonest people, and it would be to the shame of both parties were they to win the nominations.

And now, on to the blogroll!

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  1. To say that Hillary Clinton is ‘less liberal’ than Bernie Sanders is sort of like saying that Josef Stalin was less radical than Leon Trotskii: it’s technically true, but like the Hobson’s choice that the kids would offer on the playground when I was in elementary school: if you were standing up to your neck in (insert slang term for feces here) and someone threw a bucket of (insert slang term for urine here) at your head, would you duck?

Rule 5 Blogging: If it ain’t rainin’, it ain’t trainin’!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as putting pictures of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Daryl Hannah in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

The post title comes from my older daughter, who said that was the attitude of her drill sergeants. Today’s pictures are from the 165th Brigade, 1-61 Infantry Regiment, Delta Company Dragons. Two weeks ago, in the rain, they faced off against rival platoons in a pugil stick competition.

Cheering their fellow soldiers on in the rain

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: If it ain’t rainin’, it ain’t trainin’!’ »

Big Brother is watching you!

We have previously noted the federal government’s requirement for computerized health records, in a common format, which can be easily transferred from one health care provider to another. Supposedly, this will improve health care, but, in reality, this is just a way that the government will be able to track and search your medical records.

Now the government wants Apple to provide a “back door” to break encryption on the iPhone.

Apple opposes judge’s order to hack San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

By Evan Perez and Tim Hume, CNN | Updated 5:24 AM ET, Thursday, February 18, 2016

(CNN)Apple is opposing a judge’s order to help the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters, calling the directive “an overreach by the U.S. government.”

A public letter, signed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and published Tuesday, warns that complying with the order would entail building “a backdoor to the iPhone” — “something we consider too dangerous to create.”

Naturally, Donald Trump thinks that Apple should hack Syed Farook’s phone, making him indistinguishable from any other liberal Democrat.

“The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals,” the letter said.

Such a move would be an “unprecedented step,” threatening the security of Apple’s customers, it said.

“No reasonable person would find that acceptable.”

The letter called for a public discussion on the order, saying the company was “challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country.”

“We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications,” the letter said.

For the government, and law enforcement, the implications as far as people’s privacy are concerned are meaningless. That’s why police departments, which are supposed to exist to protect the rights of innocent people, are so very supportive of taking away people’s Second Amendment rights.

I won’t go into the Apple story further; plenty of other people have done that. What I want to note is just more of the same Big Brotherism from the Keystone State:

Goodbye registration stickers; hello license plate readers

By Jackie Cain | Published 6:40 PM EST February 10, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. —You can say goodbye to those license plate registration stickers soon. Pennsylvania authorities have a new way to make sure your car is on the road legally.

PennDOT invited police and lawmakers to see a demonstration of an automated license plate reader (ALPR) on Wednesday in Harrisburg.

A reader scans thousands of license plates and runs the numbers through PennDOT’s database, allowing law enforcement to see if a driver has an expired registration or no insurance. It can also detect whether a vehicle is reported stolen.

“We call this catching criminals that are hiding in plain sight,” said Sean Petty, of public safety communications consultant Mission Critical Partners. “You can have hundreds of vehicles pass you in the course of a shift that you would never otherwise check in your computer, whereas this device is constantly checking every vehicle going past your car.”

While the new system is supposed to save PennDOT about $3 million a year in buying and mailing out the yearly registration stickers, the obvious question becomes: how are local police departments going to pay for the new technology:

Pennsylvania police chief skeptical of PennDOT’s plan to eliminate registration stickers

Officials question how state plans to finance ambitious transition to Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) technology

By Michael Tanenbaum | PhillyVoice Staff | February 17, 2016

Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that it will begin phasing out registration stickers at the start of 2017 in order to implement Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) technology in law enforcement agencies statewide. At least one police chief in Pennsylvania says, however, that he has no idea how Pennsylvania plans to adequately fund the transition and train officers to use the new database.

Beaver Falls Police Chief Charles Jones told Government Technology that his department was never briefed on the impending change and that he only heard about it through the news.

“I saw it on the news and I’m the chief of police at a fairly (large) sized police department in Beaver County,” Jones said. “And I have to watch the news to find out this information?”

Under the proposed plan, PennDOT will issue its final registration stickers on Dec. 30, 2016. Customers will still be required to have their vehicles registered and inspected, but as of Jan. 1, 2017, they will no longer need to display a registration sticker. At that point, customers who renew their registrations online will be able to print and save a copy of an official registration card.

From the vantage point of police departments, this ambitious goal carries significant technology and training costs. PennDOT says the elimination of registration stickers will recoup savings of $3 million in the first year by cutting more than $2 million in annual mailing costs and $1 million in annual product costs.

Dave Piuri, president of the Beaver Valley Fraternal Order of Police, says the math doesn’t quite add up.

“The last estimate I heard is that it would cost $18,000 for one of (the automated scanners),” Piuri said. “The idea that we could even get one of those readers into every police department’s hands, let alone in every police cruiser, is not realistic.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics 2008 ‘Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies,’ Pennsylvania had 1,117 agencies employing 27,413 sworn police officers. For each agency to receive one machine at the estimated price quoted by Piuri, the cost would exceed $20 million. At the time of its announcement, PennDOT did not address financing for the project beyond its reference to the annual savings noted above.

Jones said he was concerned by the state’s lack of communication about funding, adding that there are a lot of questions that have yet to be answered for police departments.

How will local police departments pay for the new devices? No one will admit it, of course, but I will tell you how: they will be paid for by generating thousands upon thousands more traffic tickets! And it won’t be long before PennDOT cross-references these things with whether your vehicle inspection is up-to-date, or you are behind on your child-support payments or have a concealed weapons permit — don’t think that New York and New Jersey wouldn’t love to track that item on out-of-state vehicles! — or whatever other thing the Geheime Staatspolizei believe they want to talk to you about. And if the computer can scan your plates and check to see if you are legal, it can also document where your vehicle was at any time it was near a police car.

We will be told, of course, that this is a good thing, that it will catch bad guys who have let their registrations lapse — and you had better remember, because you won’t have that sticker on your plate to remind you! — but it’s just another way that Stasi can keep track of your movements.

The Комитeт госудaрственной безопaсности will deny that anything troubling or invasive of privacy will occur due to these tracking devices being forced upon police departments; no one would expect anything else. But it is difficult to see how a free people can remain free when the government is asking for ways to track your movements and break into your iPhones.
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Cross-posted on RedState.

Democrisy! It’s not just for politicians anymore! The New York Times is as hypocritical as the Democrats for whom they shill.

Thanks to William Teach of The Pirate’s Cove, I found this editorial in The New York Times:

The Supreme Court After Justice Scalia

By The Editorial Board | February 14, 2016

When Antonin Scalia was named by President Ronald Reagan to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court in 1986, the Senate considered the nomination for 85 days, then voted to confirm him. The tally was 98-0.

That unanimity was by no means a measure of widespread agreement with Justice Scalia’s judicial philosophy. Rather it was the Senate’s customary acknowledgment — at least until recently — that the president had fulfilled his constitutional duty and selected a clearly qualified person for the post.

Thirty years later, and within hours of the news that Justice Scalia had died, Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, rejected that practice outright. It would not matter if President Obama nominated the ghost of Ronald Reagan himself, they appeared to suggest — there will be no confirmation hearings until Mr. Obama has packed his bags and moved out of the White House. Mr. Obama promptly replied that he planned to send a nomination to Congress shortly.

Like so many others on the left, the editors are simply aghast that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled that whomever President Obama nominates will simply not receive a confirmation vote. The Republicans do not have the power to stop the President from nominating a candidate, but they certainly have the power to either reject such a nominee, or decline to even vote on him.

The latter course is exactly what the Democrats did under then Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), when Mr Daschle simply declined to bring up certain nominees whom he believed would not meet a sixty-vote threshold, a nominee who his members could not filibuster. Oddly enough, when I searched, I was unable to find any editorials from the Times denouncing Mr Daschle’s practice on that.1

The editors concluded:

The question now is whether this Senate will weigh any of these candidates on the merits, or whether as its leaders suggest, it will use every trick in the book to deny Mr. Obama his choice. The latest Republican talking point is that for 80 years it has been “standard practice” not to confirm any Supreme Court nominee in an election year. Besides being untrue — Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed by a Democratic Senate in 1988 — the claim actually insults Justice Scalia, whose originalist, text-based approach to the Constitution would surely have found room for one of a president’s explicit constitutional obligations.

Senators are free to vote yes or no on any nominee. But not to vote at all is an enormous insult and grave disservice to millions of Americans awaiting justice.

The hypocrisy from the left is astounding. We have previously noted that President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Kerry and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton all voted against allowing a floor vote on the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court when they were senators in 2006. We have pointed out how Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated, in 2007, that the Senate should not confirm any more of President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees, regardless of whom they might be, except under extraordinary circumstances. Senator Schumer voted against allowing a vote on Senator Alito. And it has been noted that Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who has said it would be a “dereliction of duty” for the Senate not to vote on whomever the President nominates, also voted against allowing a vote on Judge Alito’s nomination.

But it isn’t just the Democrats in Congress and the Administration who are being hypocritical; the editors of the Times are as well! The New York Times editorial, January 26, 2006, on the confirmation of Samuel Alito concluded:

Senate Democrats, who presented a united front against the nomination of Judge Alito in the Judiciary Committee, seem unwilling to risk the public criticism that might come with a filibuster — particularly since there is very little chance it would work. Judge Alito’s supporters would almost certainly be able to muster the 60 senators necessary to put the nomination to a final vote.

A filibuster is a radical tool. It’s easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.

The editors called for the rejection of a clearly qualified jurist, and approved the use of a filibuster to stop a confirmation vote. They also said it was a matter of principle:

It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public’s attention to the import of this nomination.

Conservatives, of course, are not allowed to have principles, at least not according to the editors of the Times. The editors now believe that:

Senators are free to vote yes or no on any nominee. But not to vote at all is an enormous insult and grave disservice to millions of Americans awaiting justice.

But they were perfectly willing to sanction the denial of a vote on the confirmation of Justice Alito.

I call it Democrisy. The left are perfectly willing to say that President Obama’s forthcoming nominee should receive a vote, but were dead set against a vote when Judge Alito had been nominated.

It doesn’t matter from whom you hear on the left, saying that a nominee should have a vote: they are all hypocritical scumbags.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. The possibility exists that there was such an editorial, and I simply did not find it.

The Federal Reserve and the working class

It was only last week that we noted how Janet Yellen, Chairman of the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors, was talking about the possibility of ‘negative’ interest rates due to several weeks of turbulence in the financial markets:

“A lot has happened since” the December Fed meeting, Ms. Yellen acknowledged. Weeks of financial market turbulence have Fed officials reassessing whether their projections for steady growth and job gains and gradually rising inflation will hold up in the months ahead. The Fed’s next policy meeting is March 15-16.

“We will meet in March, and our committee will carefully deliberate about what impact these developments have had,” Ms. Yellen said.

For now, officials are sticking to their view that the expansion will continue and interest rates will rise, but Ms. Yellen emphasized on Thursday that she wants to keep her options open. “It’s premature to make a judgment,” she said, adding repeatedly that policy isn’t on a pre-determined course.

“We are… looking very carefully at global financial market and economic developments that create risk to the economy,” she said. “We are evaluating them, recognizing that these factors may well influence the balance of risks or the trajectory of the economy, and thereby might affect the appropriate stance of monetary policy.”

Stock prices sank as Ms. Yellen spoke. In what looks like a perverse feedback loop, she worries that market conditions could pinch the economy, and her lack of confidence sends markets lower still.

Negative rates are getting increased attention following moves in that direction by the Bank of Japan, European Central Bank and other central banks in Europe trying to stimulate stronger economic growth and higher inflation.

Our position was that the Fed should just leave things alone, and let the market work things out, and that the government simply cannot control the economy, no matter what Dr Yellen believes. The Wall Street Journal is also beating the drums concerning the recent losses in the stock market:

Risk Grows of Markets Sparking Recession

While many economic indicators aren’t flashing concern, the global financial turmoil could cause a slowdown

By Greg Ip | Updated Feb. 11, 2016 8:41 p.m. ET

From The Wall Street Journal. Click to enlarge.

Is the U.S. headed for recession? The markets suggest so.

With Thursday’s selloff, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down 14.5% from its all-time high last May. Yields on risky bonds continue to climb, while investors have sought safety in U.S. Treasurys, sending those yields lower. And oil has hit a nearly 12½-year low.

Yet the economic data show no recession. Job growth in January was healthy, and employers are having trouble filling vacancies.

This dichotomy is neatly captured by two indexes compiled by Cornerstone Macro. One, using financial indicators such as the stock market and corporate bond yields, puts the probability the U.S. is now in recession at 50%. The other, which adds in macroeconomic data such as loan delinquencies and inflation-adjusted income, puts the probability at just 28%.

Of course markets often wrongly predict recessions. But in some circumstances they can help bring them about. Economic turning points are unpredictable because they are caused by changes in psychology, not just mechanical factors such as interest rates and wages and salaries. Markets influence that psychology by signaling to businesses whether they should invest or hire. Fear of recession can thus be self-fulfilling.

There’s more at the link, along with another article from the Journal entitled Economists, CEOs: Recession Risk Rising. Yet, the very first graph in that article notes that “the latest report on initial jobless claims, a leading indicator of labor-market distress, suggests a diminishing chance.”

Dow Jones Industrial Average, January 2, 2016 - February 12, 2016. Click to enlarge.

Dow Jones Industrial Average, January 2, 2016 – February 12, 2016. Click to enlarge.

What we are seeing here is a real divergence between what the economic elites think will happen, and what people are actually doing. The stock market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has fallen 1,451.19 points, or 8.33%, so far this year, and the decline is only that small because of a very good day on Friday; using the close on Thursday, the index had fallen 1,764.85, or 10.13% year to date. No wonder the economic elites are panicked!1

But I’m not one of the elites: I am a solidly working class American, in a working class family. Yes, my 401(k) has lost — on paper, of course: it’s only a real loss if I sell — $2,288.42 this year. However, the losses this year are, at least according to the conventional wisdom, driven primarily by the collapse in oil prices; if I have lost money in the stock market, what have I gained due to the fall in the price of oil?

Oil Price IndexRather a lot, it turns out. I live in northeastern Pennsylvania, and I use home heating oil to run the boiler which heats my humble abode. During the winter of 2013-2014, I spent $3,068.26 for 866.2 gallons of heating oil, at an average cost of $3.550 per gallon. The price was slightly over a dollar lower last winter, when I spent $2,248.03 for 893.7 gallons of heating oil, at an average price of $2.515 per gallon; last winter was exceptionally cold in the northeast, leading to higher oil consumption. This year, I added a wood stove to defray heating oil costs, which makes my expenditures somewhat lemons and oranges — closer than apples and oranges, both being citrus fruits! — and have spent $525.36 on 330.5 gallons of heating oil, an average of $1.590 per gallon (my last purchase was at $1.440 per gallon) plus $245 on firewood; I have enough heating oil and firewood on hand to last the rest of the winter heating season.

Thus, heating my home this winter will cost me $770.36, which is $1,477.67 less than last winter, and a whopping $2297.90 less than two winters ago, which just happens to be $9.48 more than I’ve lost in my 401(k) so far this year.

Alas! I have not kept records of how much I’ve spent on gasoline, but the drop in the price of gasoline has been dramatic; I know that we’ve saved a lot on gasoline, as have the vast majority of working class families. While the drop in oil prices, leading to the dramatic decrease in the stock market, is a major concern to the economic elites, things haven’t been nearly as bad for working class families, and that’s a fact we need to remember. There is going to be pressure among political elite from the upper class to ‘do something’ about the fall in stock market values, but ‘doing something’ will more probably have a greater negative effect on working Americans.

We have said previously, during the 2009 ‘stimulus plan’ debates, that the best thing that the government can do in times of economic difficulties is nothing at all, and that’s the case again. If the well-to-do have lost money in the stock market, well that’s just too bad, but investing money in stocks is an inherently risky activity. The government should not take actions to try to save the investments of the investor class that will simply make things more difficult for the working class.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. We noted last week how Ford stock has dropped for reasons based on investors’ perceptions rather than any problems with the company itself.

Rule 5 Blogging: The Яussians are coming, the Яussians are coming!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Milla Jovovich in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

This week, we are featuring soldiers from Ukraine, because, once again, the Russians are coming. The West is, of course, very concerned, and has issued very strongly worded condemnations.

Keeping track of the Russians

Keeping track of the Russians

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: The Яussians are coming, the Яussians are coming!’ »

From Around the Blogroll

From The Wall Street Journal:

GOP Hopefuls Take Gloves Off at South Carolina Debate

Donald Trump criticizes George W. Bush for not doing more to stop the Sept. 11 attacks

By Patrick O’Connor, Beth Reinhard and Janet Hook | Updated Feb. 13, 2016 11:59 p.m. ET

GREENVILLE, S. C.— Donald Trump, facing his toughest scrutiny to date, made his biggest gamble yet in a campaign defined by his convention-busting tactics: trying to win the Republican nomination by attacking the last GOP president.

During a heated exchange with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Mr. Trump blamed Mr. Bush’s brother for not stopping the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign… that’s not keeping us safe,” said Mr. Trump, who also accused the Bush administration of lying about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to justify the war.

The exchange, which drew boos from the audience, prompted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to defend the former president by saying he was grateful Mr. Bush was in the White House at the time of the attacks and not 2000 Democratic nominee Al Gore.

The ninth Republican presidential debate Saturday in Greenville, S.C., was the most personal, with the candidates frequently shouting over each other and calling each other liars. Mr. Bush locked horns with Ohio Gov. John Kasich over the latter’s decision to expand Medicaid in his state.

There’s more at the link. Donald Trump went full-bore “birther” against Ted Cruz in the past, and faulted Senator John McCain (R-AZ) for getting shot down and captured in Vietnam, though Mr Trump managed to avoid the draft and military service himself; now he’s about to go full Democrat on the September 11th attacks.

And now, on to the blogroll!

RIP Antonin Scalia

The greatest voice on the Supreme Court has been silenced:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies at 79

By Robert Barnes | The Washington Post

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the intellectual cornerstone of the court’s modern conservative wing, whose elegant and acidic opinions inspired a movement of legal thinkers and ignited liberal critics, died Feb. 13 on a ranch near Marfa, Tex. He was 79.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

In a statement Saturday, Chief Justice John G. Roberts said: “On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family.”

In the first official notice of Justice Scalia’s death, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said: “Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. 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.”

Justice Scalia, the first Italian American to serve on the court, was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and quickly became the kind of champion to the conservative legal world that his benefactor was in the political realm.

An outspoken opponent of abortion, affirmative action and what he termed the “so-called homosexual agenda,” Justice Scalia’s intellectual rigor, flamboyant style and eagerness to debate his detractors energized conservative law students, professors and intellectuals who felt outnumbered by liberals in their chosen professions.

“He has by the force and clarity of his opinions become a defining figure in American constitutional law,” Northwestern University law professor Steven Calabresi said at a Federalist Society dinner honoring Justice Scalia at the 20-year mark of his service on the Supreme Court. He took his seat Sept. 26, 1986.

Justice Scalia was the most prominent advocate of a manner of constitutional interpretation called “originalism,” the idea that judges should look to the meaning of the words of the Constitution at the time they were written.

He mocked the notion of a “living” Constitution, one that evolved with changing times, as simply an excuse for judges to impose their own ideological views.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that the Senate would not hold any confirmation vote on any replacement for Associate Justice Scalia that President Obama might nominate:

The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.

Absotively, posilutely right. Now we’ll see if Senator McConnell has the cojones to keep his word. Given that President Obama, when he was a senator, supported the (failed) filibuster to prevent a vote on the confirmation vote for Samuel Alito in 2006, he cannot claim that a refusal to vote on a nominee of his is wrong without being a complete hypocrite. Of course, he is a complete hypocrite, so he will make such a claim.