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Requiescat in pace
His Friends Called Him Nino
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  • Nevis07

    He’ll be damn near impossible to replace on the court, even if the Republicans get their way. Scalia saw so clearly through so much of what was argued in the court and seemed to always get to the heart of each case. In my opinion, he was truly and insightful justice.

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  • WigWag

    Personality-wise (though not intellectually), Scalia was the Donald Trump of the Supreme Court. He was loud; he had an enormous ego; he was remarkably self-assured and he was dismissive and even nasty to his critics.

    He should be remembered as “The Nino.”

    • Anthony
      • WigWag

        Thanks so much, Anthony; I had already seen it. As usual, I found Murray’s case compelling. My take on the Trump campaign is that Trump has declared war on an increasingly moribund Pax Americana that still works beautifully for elite Americans and is enriching workers in other countries who pick and choose only the parts of that ruled based international order that work for them. This system no longer works for working Americans; in fact it’s killing them. If Murray is to be believed (and I do believe him), the system that the United States polices for the world is on the verge of creating a white underclass that is every bit as dysfunctional, impoverished and sadly irredeemable as the black underclass that already exists.

        This would be a disaster for our country and the only two candidates who get it are Trump and Sanders. All the other candidates in both parties (including Cruz) are establishment oriented who will not repair what ails us. My problem with Sanders is two-fold; his demonizing of billionaire and Wall Street might make his supporters feel good but it misses the point; the real problem is that it is cost free and even advantageous to ship our few remaining industrial jobs to Mexico, Asia and other places. Wall Street, and particularly hedge funds, encourage this trend but they’re not the main villains. The other problem I have with Sanders is that he appeals to a gentry liberal set who’s workshop at the twin alters of multiculturalism and political correctness makes it impossible to have an honest debate about our problems. Illegal Mexican workers drive down wages of struggling American workers. Labor Unions know it; Barbara Jordan knew it when she ran her famous immigration hearings and working Americans know it. Sanders can’t admit it because it’s not politically correct to criticize undocumented workers.

        The other difference between Trump and the other candidates in both political parties is that he’s brave while they’re cowards. He stood up in front of a debate audience of GOP stalwarts in a room packed with Trump-haters by the RNC and called the Iraq War a mistake (it was) He said the Bush Administration lied about wmd (it did) and he said the Bush Administration’s negligence was so egregious that at least bringing up impeachment wasn’t crazy (it wasn’t). Instead of doing the safe thing in South Carolina and sitting on his lead, he pointed out the obvious fact that those planes crashed into the World Trade Center on the watch of Jeb’s brother.

        By making these statements Trump had everything to lose and nothing to gain. Agree with him or disagree with him, he told the truth as he saw it. How many politicians do that? If Clinton or Sanders had half the courage of Trump, they would challenge Democratic bromides in the same way. They would admit that it was at least possible that undocumented workers had taken the jobs of many Americans and put downward pressure on the wages of millions more. Or Clinton and Sanders could admit that with the Muslim world seething with hatred towards Americs, a debate about Muslim immigration is one that’s not beyond the pale to at least discuss. Clinton and Sanders will never do this because, unlike Trump, they’re cowards or, to put it more succinctly, they’re politicians.

        The narrative in the popular press is that we haven’t seen a candidate as divisive of Trump since George Wallace; that’s a crock. Trump could unite Republicans and Democrats. He speaks frankly; most people like that. He says what he thinks; most people should find that refreshing. He opposes illegal immigration; anyone who cares about working class people should be good with that. He doesn’t take contributions from billionaires; does anyone in either political party want to see billionaires have more influence? He’s running a national campaign while spending a fraction of what other candidates are spending. Wouldn’t you think that people who want to take the money out of politics (especially Democrats) would love that? He wants to protect social security and Medicare even though the rest of the GOP candidates (with the possible exception of aka such) hate entitlements. GOP elites hate Trump’s position on entitlements, but the vast majority of ordinary Republican and Democratic voters want social security and Medicare protected at all costs.

        Trump is more interested in protecting the interests of ordinary people than any other candidate in either Party. Sure he’s an arrogant blowhard, but at least with him, what you see is what you get. Trump should be viewed as a uniter not a divider. The only people who should find him so out of bounds that he’s beyond consideration are America’s self-centered, narcissistic, selfish elite. Of course they’re the people who are destroying our country.

        • Anthony

          Nothing to add or disagree with, splendid compilation ( one thought though: you may be on to something – last sentence 1st paragraph – and I had not thought of it that way [systemic policing and domestic class effect]). Thanks WigWag for instructive overview – Joel Kotkin echoes much of your perspective here (though he’s a little more sympathetic to Bernie):

          • WigWag

            Thanks for sending me to Kotkin. I thought his article was remarkably insightful.

          • Anthony

            A pleasure.

        • FriendlyGoat

          You have faith that Trump, as president, would ridicule a GOP Congress and its priorities in the same manner he ridicules GOP opponents. I don’t. We shouldn’t imagine he is substantially different from the party he has chosen to run in.

          • WigWag

            He’s substantially different than the rest of the GOP. On a debate stage in the single reddest state in the country (where Dubya’s approval rating exceeds 80 percent) he calls Bush a moron who blundered and lied us into Iraq. That sounds pretty different to me. He calls for Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies; a position universally opposed by Republicans. He insists that he will never cut entitlements while his GOP opponents drool at the prospect of cutting entitlements. He hates the Common Core and he doesn’t hate unions. If you don’t think that’s substantially different from the rest of the GOP, you’re just not paying attention.

            Besides, if you’re a Democrat and you support working people what other choice do you have but to switch your allegiance to Trump?

            Hillary Clinton won’t make the lives of working people better. You and I both know she supports trade agreements that are killing American workers. We both also know that she’s owned lock, stock and barrel by her hedge fund honeys.

            Sanders may not be owned by Wall Street, but his diagnosis is wrong and so are his solutions. Wall Street and billionaires are not what’s killing American workers, it’s manufacturers incentived to leave America by free trade deals that Hillary Clinton and the GOP love. The middle class is being carved up like a melting ice cream cake by escalating health care and college costs. The villains there are doctors who make way too much money and college professors who earn to much and work to little. It’s not the billionaires killing the middle class; it’s the M.D.s and tge malevolent professoriat who is doing that.

            To make matters worse, Sanders and Clinton both support legalizing low-skilled undocumented immigrants who have driven down middle and working class wages by their willingness to work for peanuts. And they’re both too politically correct to wonder whether allowing immigration from a Muslim world that detests America is really a good idea.

            If he’s elected Trump might be awful. But we already know that all of the Democrats and Republicans running against him will be worse.

            I hate to break it to you FG, but if you want to help working and middle class people finally recover from their decades long stumble, you need to give up on Clinton and Sanders and jump aboard the Starship Trump.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Like I tried to suggest the first time, I think there is a difference between “Trump past” (somewhat liberal), “Trump present” (tacking right to suit the climate of wherever he happens to be) and “Trump future” (as a GOP president, if that happens.)

            I simply do not believe he would fail his party on huuuuge tax cuts, wingnut judge appointments, or in refusing to sign ANYTHING coming from the GOP Congress, including entitlement cuts or horrible revisions to labor law. There is nothing about him that gives me any confidence in a “moderated” GOP agenda.

          • Jim__L

            Trump loves applause, and not from 10%ers. I would make a bet on the man’s need to feed his ego every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

            It could well be that the applause he craves is not your applause, FG. On the other hand, I think he’s more likely than any candidate out there to raise high-end tax rates, because it would p*ss off all the right people and get applause from the rest… maybe even you.

            That said, I’m not that inclined to support an American Mussolini myself. The only problem is I’m not any more inclined to support an American Evita or an American Trotsky.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, there is no question that Trump is the best of typical Republicans, because he is a tad atypical. He is even compared with Sanders in the sense that they are both speaking some comfort to frustrated citizens—–albeit different subsets of tired-out people.

            Indeed it’s comforting to me that Trump can now point out that the
            “Well, Bush Kept Us Safe” crowd is upside down and backwards—-and get away with it. But for policy, I’d stick with Sanders or Clinton (in that order).

          • Jim__L

            Sanders and Clinton policies have led every country that tried them into a death spiral. Eurosocialist states are sliding into oblivion. They will be gone within my lifetime. That is, unless their cultures radically change course and return to the cultures that made Europe great in the first place.

            The trick here is in implementation… Italy elected someone like Trump eighty years or so ago, and he didn’t have nearly the luck that, say, the Duke of Wellington had in rolling back the ghastly excesses of the radical French. Personally, I suspect that America has a more similar potential to early Victorian England than to an Italy whose glory days were 1500 years behind it. America’s greatness is still within living memory, although most of our institutions need to be burned down to the roots to let them regrow properly.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Best I can tell, ISIL, as a self-proclaimed Caliphate, has a very similar idea about burning down secular institutions both figuratively and literally—-in their case for the latter. ISIL, at this moment would like to completely transform Europe to its own idea of “roots”, for instance.

            You probably claim to have better reasons than they do for wanting to “regrow” something “properly”, but I think the motivations amount to about the same thing. Wherever an advancement of secular human rights becomes too troublesome for both religions and concentrated economic power, why not just burn down the progress and regrow a good crop of ignorance and powerlessness at the low end?

          • Anthony
          • FriendlyGoat

            Super. What’s the word for this? “Bias confirmation”? Where we get to read things we already thought, but which are written better and by people of greater intellect and stature?


          • Anthony

            I thought you would appreciate having your position reinforced by someone seriously examining the topic, not that you needed said reinforcement (and, you’re quite welcome – but watch those “cognitive” descriptors).

        • Jim__L

          ” Instead of doing the safe thing in South Carolina and sitting on his
          lead, he pointed out the obvious fact that those planes crashed into the
          World Trade Center on the watch of Jeb’s brother.”

          The not-so-obvious fact is that Clinton cronies had far more to do with allowing the WTC attacks to happen than Bush did.

          The simple fact is that Hillary Clinton, like Ehud Olmert, belongs in court. An example needs to be made, even of Prime Ministers, or people with Cabinet-level positions — even if they are running for President.

          • WigWag

            The fact that Clinton Administration officials were responsible for failures of commission and omission leading up to 9/11 should be glaringly obvious to anyone with an inclination to objectivity. But none of this excuses the failures of the Bush Administration (especially Condi Rice) to pay attention to intelligence which made clear an attack was being contemplated. It is also fairly apparent that the incoming Bush Administration ignored the warnings of the outgoing Clinton Administrstion about Al Qaeda’s intention.

            The Bush Administration was a dismal failure on so many levels that it’s hard to enumerate them all. George W. Bush was a failure as a leader, a strategist, a thinker and, to use his word, a “decider.”

            The failed Bush Administration was followed by the Obama Administration which has also been mind-numbingly incompetent. That’s why we’re in the pickle we’re in; we’ve had two failed presidencies in a row. That’s 15 (soon to be 16) years of failure delivered to us by presidents of two different political parties. We would have been a lot better off had Bush been impeached and Obama thrown into a cell in Guantanamo.

            But it’s not just that Bush and Obama failed personally, it’s that their political philosophies espoused by their Parties has failed miserably.

            It’s time to give up propping up a international system that benefits American elites and third world workers but is destroying the American middle and working classes.

            Two candidates get this; Trump and Sanders. Sanders is just another typical politician who has never accomplished anything in his life. He doesn’t even understand that attacking Wall Street billionaires is little more than catnip for his gentry-liberal supporters (most of whom are arrogant, intolerent hypocrites).

            Clinton, Bush, Rubio, Kasich and Cruz are just peddling old wine in new bottles.

            Trump may end up as another miserable failure, but he at least offers the hope that there is a way out of the problems that confront our country.

            The way I see it, the other candidates in both political parties are little more than charlatans masquerading as leaders.

          • Jim__L

            … And Clinton’s failures slide right by once again, unexamined — even though it strengthens your argument, counting TWENTY-FOUR years of ghastly foreign policy failures. And why should Obama be thrown in Guantanamo? It’s not like the electorate didn’t know what kind of squishy peacenik they were getting when they elected him. (For that matter, Bush reacted more or less how people expected him to as well.)

            Come on, WigWag, hold Hillary accountable for a change! Hillary’s “the rules don’t apply to me” attitude has to be STOPPED. She needs to have her day in court, the sooner the better.

  • Anthony

    For better and for worse, Antonin Scalia helped to shape the course of modern American law. “Even among his critics, he is sure to be missed.”

  • Fred

    Yes ladies and gentlemen, we are well and truly f**ked. Even if there isn’t a 5-4 liberal majority going into the election there will be once President Hillary is in office, and she will be in office; as Penn Gillette wittily put it, “Clinton [will win] because there is no God and there is a Donald Trump.” By the end of her second term the liberal majority will be 6-3, possibly 7-2. When their decisions authorize rule by executive order, the Republican congressional majority, assuming it survives, will be irrelevant. There will be nothing between the “progressives” and their disastrous policies. This country has been declining since the late 1960s, but I figured we still had a century give or take until the final Rome/Soviet style collapse. Now I’m convinced that I’ll probably live to see it (I’m 54) and my 19 year old son certainly will.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Never trust Penn Gillette as your counselor. He and Teller may have a talented and popular act, but Gillette has been a political jerk for a long time. He is not predicting anything. He is doing the same thing you are doing here—- overstating the actual situation, and overstating the consequences of having liberals in control of anything.

      It’s entirely possible that the decline of the country is rooted in little more than citizens having allowed corporations, instead of people, to purchase too much of public policy. If you are bothered by the systemic risks of TBTF institutions, armies of lobbyists on K street writing most of the bills in Congress, prescription drug ads for 4 and 5 digit courses of treatment that no one believes in and no one can get off of TV, a whole generation of people saturated in e-porn, employees training consultants to move their jobs to India and the prospect of AI and robots killing millions of middle-class jobs—-you might want ask where these and many other negative trends are coming from. You may tend to think Ruth Bader Ginsburg ruined your country, but she didn’t.

      • Fred

        Ordinarily, I hardly consider Penn Gillette a political oracle. Naturally, I disagree with his atheism (though I can understand how the prospect of President Hillary with a liberal SCOTUS could cause a crisis of faith), and I disagree with his libertarianism nearly as much. But in this case, he’s right. Clinton will be the nominee. Sanders doesn’t have a snowflake’s chance in hell. The superdelegates and Dem establishment know running an avowed socialist in America is a loser even in the current lunatic political climate, and they won’t allow it. And even assuming Trump doesn’t win the nomination or run as a third party candidate, the media and the Democrats will hang him around the Republican candidate’s neck like the albatross in Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

        And it is impossible to overstate the disaster of a liberal president with a liberal SCOTUS. As Jim_L pointed out in the other thread on the supreme court, the kind of government Sanders and Clinton want has failed spectacularly everywhere it’s been tried, including here in the 1970s. When I said the liberal SCOTUS would authorize rule by EO, I didn’t mean they would do so specifically and explicitly. What I meant (and I stand by it) is that they will find a way to rule constitutional any EO Clinton wants to use to make an end run around a Republican legislature. For liberals the constitution is a “living document,” which translates to “means not what it says but what I need it to mean for my favored policies.” I have no doubt whatsoever that a liberal court would find “emanations and penumbras” that allow a Democrat president to use EOs against a Republican congress. That means Clinton will have no limitations on implementing the catastrophic government mentioned above.

        Finally, it’s not economic disaster that worries me, although that will happen. We survived the Great Depression, and we would survive the coming “progressive” economic catastrophe if our culture and national character had not been hollowed out by decades of liberal policy, attitudes, and propaganda. What we will not survive is the indifference to life resulting from the normalization of abortion and euthanasia; the destruction of the family by easy divorce, perverse incentives of government dole, and redefinition of marriage out of all meaning; the drug abuse and addiction that will follow legalization; the population collapse from more and more people viewing children as a burden to avoid or a “clump of cells” to vacuum from the womb; the dismantling of our military strength and the naivete of liberal foreign policy; and perhaps most of all, the denial of reality itself the most obvious and ridiculous manifestation of which is the idolatry of “Caitlyn” Jenner and the absurd movement to allow men who claim to be women to use female restroom facilities. A hollow civilization cannot stand, and what cannot stand will not.

        • FriendlyGoat

          I’m glad we agree that the coverage of “Caitlyn” Jenner is overdone, but I can assure you that conservatives in government are not going to do anything whatsoever about it. We know this because for perhaps 50 years we have been marching our children past every conceivable cultural embarrassment on the tabloid covers at store checkouts and not a single conservative in the country has ever criticized that lovely corporate model. Neither are any conservatives campaigning on hoping to make divorce more difficult.

          Conservatives ARE campaigning on passing another round of enormous high-end tax cuts, deregulating business practices, completing the assassination of collective bargaining, curbing voters rights, gerrymandering the voting districts and retaining a Supreme Court which will rule for corporations over people in “business cases”. Those are the biggies.

          I believe them. That’s why I am against them. People who support the real GOP agenda on the basis of “the social issues”, are, to put it mildly, being used.

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