Morning Briefing for July 6, 2011

RedState Morning Briefing

For July 6, 2011
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1. I Think the Casey Anthony Verdict is a Good Thing

I have prided myself on not talking about this trial. But I think it is a wonderful verdict.

I don’t know whether the woman killed her daughter or not. I have not kept up. But the media certainly thinks she did. And a lot of spectators think she did.

Here’s the thing though — our justice system runs largely in the background of American conscience and as long as it does not come off the wheels, the public pays it little attention. Then something like this happens and it is a good reminder that neither judges nor juries nor government prosecutors are perfect and flawless.We live in a world where when the court says something is blue, we are all expected to bow to the judge and proclaim the something blue. When the court says something is constitutional, we are expected to do the same.

In the years between Plessy vs. Ferguson and Brown vs. Board of Education, nothing substantive affecting those decisions were placed in the constitution. And yet, the Court in Brown had to admit that the Court in Plessy was wrong. What had been constitutional was no longer constitutional.

Courts and people make mistakes. The greatest danger our society faces is the one we’ve already curled up in the fetal position and refused to make eye contact with — the oligarchy of the Judiciary.

The Casey Anthony trial is a state court case in Florida. But it was watched nationally by millions of people. I’ll refrain from commenting on those people. But this afternoon, millions of people decided 12 jurors in Florida got it wrong and many of them think the government screwed up the case along the way.

It may be bad for the victim, but this reminder that courts should not and were never intended to be sacrosanct chambers of perfection is a very good thing.

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2. The Casey Anthony Verdict is Not an Endorsement of Our Criminal Justice System

When the Casey Anthony verdict was announced I expected celebration from her defense team. I was more taken aback by the celebratory tone taken by pundits like Geraldo Rivera and Judge Andrew Napolitano. Their position is the same one that many liberals, anti-death penalty activists and libertarians are promoting now: this proves the system works.

But it doesn’t.

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3. Bobby Jindal’s steadily-advancing re-election.

55 has two major meanings, in fact:

  • First off, it’s ‘merely’ Governor Bobby Jindal’s approval rating in Louisiana last year – and unchanged, six months before the election*.
  • Second, it’s the number of signatures on the latest recall petition against Jindal – a petition that expires next week.

If you look at the above Politico article from December, you might suspect that the Politico author might just be the slightest bit disappointed in the second bullet point… although it’s highly unlikely that the author’s name would have been on the petition, even if she did live in Louisiana. Which is kind of the point.

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4. The Greek Debt Swap: Is it a Default, or isn’t it?

While you were watching imported Chinese fireworks yesterday, the Europeans were shooting off some home-grown ones.

The euro has been trading down for most of the last 24 hours, as S&P and Fitch announced that they would consider the French-led rollover plan for Greek debt a “selective” default.

What’s really going on is that a negotiation is taking place over what should be the credit rating of Greece as an issuer, and of its particular debt issues. (Wouldn’t it be nice if you could negotiate with ratings agencies over your credit rating, next time you have to borrow money?)

Greece has to “roll over” its existing debt (meaning, reissue it as it matures) without getting slaughtered on the interest rate or even failing to find lenders at all. And of course, they’re running a budget deficit that’s in the high single digits (ours is even higher, at about 11%), so they need to keep issuing brand new debt on top of the rolls.

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5. Teamsters’ Push For Shorter Hours May Leave Drivers Very Short On Pay

It is axiomatic—a given, if you will—that unions do not like workers to work overtime. Sure, they’ll do it, but if unions had their druthers, the work week would be limited to 40 hours—in some cases unions prefer 35 hours. The reasoning is simple, the fewer hours worked, the more employees an employer must employ and, in a workplace where unions can require dues, the union makes more money.

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6. Corporate Welfare Gets New Life in the House

Ronald Reagan once said that, “The closest thing to eternity is a government program.” Case in point: The Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, which has made most every conservative list of programs to eliminate over the last few decades.

The House Financial Services Committee—controlled by Republicans—recently passed legislation (H.R. 2072) to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, which is nothing more than corporate welfare to corporations that export. It was passed without a recorded vote so we don’t know who would have opposed the legislation, but the voice vote does tell us that a sufficient number of conservatives did not mobilize against the legislation in committee.

In short, the Ex-Im Bank subsidizes lending (direct loans, loan guarantees, export credit insurance etc.) for American corporations that export and foreign corporations that purchase U.S. exports. H.R. 2072, authored by Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA), would extend the program for four years and increase the Bank’s exposure cap by 60 percent from $100 billion to $160 billion.

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