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The Good Greatsby Owns the Packers

But he’s prepared to buy low and sell high:

I should make clear, just because I’m prevented from owning another team doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be willing to sell my share back to the Packers in the event someone wants to give me a majority in an NFL team for Christmas. (Note: Please don’t buy me the Miami Dolphins. Or the Seattle Seahawks. Or the Chicago Bears as long as Jay Cutler is the quarterback. I’ve asked around and nobody is sure whether the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars still exist, but if they do, I’m not interested. Cincinnati Bengals need not apply.)

Note that he does not mention the Vikings, which is rather a glaring omission for a Cheesehead. Or he completely dismisses the notion that anyone would want to own the Vikings; the sagacity of which I cannot dispute.

Vaclav Havel, RIP

All due respect to Christopher Hitchens, but this man had more skin in the game, and more success.

“When the internal crisis of the totalitarian system grows so deep that it becomes clear to everyone,” he declared, “and when more and more people learn to speak their own language and reject the hollow, mendacious language of the powers that be, it means that freedom is remarkably close, if not directly within reach.”

So to me, the question is not whether Havel is as important as Hitchens, but whether he’s as important as Solzhenitsyn.

RAND SINBERG CHIMES IN

Don’t expect the media to make a big deal of it. He was the wrong kind of dissenter, being too American for Europe. The fact that he never won a Peace Prize, while Yasser Arafat and Barack Obama did, says something very fundamental about the corruption and uselessness of that once-honorable achievement.

Indeed.

Newt Reminds Us That There are Three Branches of Government

Methinks Newt is tired of being outflanked on the right: (h/t: Memeorandum)

Then, in what amounted to a 35-minute seminar on constitutional history, Gingrich argued that the judicial branch has grown far more powerful than the nation’s founders ever intended and said it would be well within the president’s authority as commander in chief to ignore a Supreme Court ruling that he believed was incorrectly decided.

He cited four examples in presidential history, including Abraham Lincoln, whose administration, Gingrich said, refused to enforce the Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court on slavery and then actively flouted it by emancipating the slaves with an executive order.

Given the sort of things judges feel empowered to do these days, it’s hard to find this as radical as many of the commenters do. Protein Wisdom:

In short, the Judge has now institutionalized the idea that a proper education is tied to how much money is spent on it — this, despite years of evidence showing that per capita spending on education doesn’t correlate to better educational performance.

And she has also decided that the power to tell the state that it isn’t spending enough rests not with the voters or their representatives in the legislature, but rather with her.

Especially because Gingrich is basically right: Lincoln ignored the Dred Scott decision, as Andrew Jackson ignored Worcester v. Georgia (the Cherokee case). Judicial authority requires executive obedience to be meaningful.

The balance among the three branches requires care. Without the capacity of the judiciary to put the breaks on the political branches, unliked minorities can be made scapegoats, and the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution become subject to plebiscitical passion. But without some discreet capacity to ignore the judiciary, the tiniest of minorities (the legal profession and judges) can run roughshod over the rest of us, and the bedrock liberty of the American Revolution — taxation by representation — becomes subject to elitist whim.

The question of how much a state decides to spend on any public institution — even one so essential as schools — is a political question, and so belongs to the political branches. The courts have no business in it, and should be ignored if they pretend otherwise.

GLENN REYNOLDS CHIMES IN:

FDR could get away with this because he was much more popular than the Supreme Court. No politician or official today is more popular than the Supreme Court. I doubt a President Gingrich will be either.

Probably, but I don’t think Gingrich is as far out of the mainstream as he sounds. I think the popularity of the Supreme Court, especially on the right, is grossly overstated. Decisions like Kelo demonstrate that the Court is not to be trusted to protect individual liberties over the power of the state. It’s less scandal-ridden than the political branches, but that’s hardly a high bar to clear. Only the Left still holds the court in high regard, and then only when they win.

Ace Cuts Ron Paul Into Tiny Little Pieces, Then Jumps on Them

Anyone, it seems, can take a ride on the Not-Mitt Roller Coaster.

It’s all pretty devestating, but here’s the twist of the knife:

And no one seems to care about this, but as Ben Domench was noting yesterday on Twitter, Ron Paul’s posture as a “small government conservative” is a lie. While he makes sure he votes against every appropriations bill, he nonetheless inserts billions in earmarks for his home district, and calls himself principled for doing so.

In other words, while he talks a good game about limiting federal spending, he has immunized himself from the political consequences of taking a hardline stance on the federal government’s sugar-daddyism, by making sure all of his local special interests get paid.

Including in areas of obvious federal concern, like connecting bike trails in the greater Galveston metropolitan area.

Hey, Jefferson rode a Huffy. It’s in The Constitution, man.

I don’t know how no one considered that someone who attracts obnoxious, faux-conservative mob-fodder followers could be an obnoxiously racist, fake conservative.