William J. Quirk

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Impractical Solutions
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Impractical Solutions

Mark Levin, in his best-selling book The Liberty Amendments, is absolutely right about two things: First, the Courts, president, and Congress are not playing the roles assigned to them by the Constitution.  The Court is deciding the country’s social

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Too Big to Jail

“Even if you don’t have the authorities—and frankly I didn’t have the authorities for anything—if you take charge people will follow.”  So said Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., former CEO of Goldman Sachs, to the Washington Post on

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Gay Marriage: The Last Chance

“A Cinderella moment,” gushed a gay-rights advocate when the Supreme Court announced its two landmark decisions in June.  California’s Proposition 8—an amendment to its constitution—went down (Hollingsworth v. Perry), as did the federal Defense of Marriage Act (

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Gay Marriage, Before the Ruling

Justice [Antonin] Scalia: [W]hen did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage?  1791?  1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted? . . . Has it always been unconstitutional? . . . You say it is now unconstitutional.

[Theodore

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The Baby Boomer’ Last Act

Not many people would argue with Paul Begala’s view that the baby boomers are “the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation in American history.”  Since coming to power, the boomers (Americans born between 1946 and 1964) have destroyed

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A Debt-Free Country?

There “does not exist an engine so corruptive,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1821, “of the government and so demoralizing of the nation as a public debt.  It will bring on us more ruin at home than all the enemies from

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Fiscal Miffed

The House of Representatives, at 10:57 p.m. on January 1, passed the Fiscal Cliff bill, with Republicans voting 2 to 1 against it.  Speaker Boehner’s negotiations with President Obama had been a disaster.  The President’s only concession was his definition

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How Conservatives Could Win

Republicans, after their comprehensive defeat on November 6, have been going through an identity crisis.  Defeated Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown said, “We need to be a larger tent party.”  A Republican aide adds, “We need candidates who are capable of

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The 400 Club

Imagine a club where you have to earn $137 million per year to join, and which limits membership to 400 people.  That, we’d all agree, is an exclusive club.  Mitt Romney, for example, probably thinks he is rich, but he

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The Last Word

What would the country be like if Congress added to every law it passed a section that said “No court of the United States or any state shall have power to review or interpret this act”?  Such a proviso, popularly

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Back From the Brink

On July 11 President Obama said that thanks to his “swift and aggressive action . . . we’ve been able to pull our financial system and our economy back from the brink.”  Six days later, Larry Summers repeated the analogy:

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Crisis and Denial

At CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference), U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-FL) cited the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act as the cause of the financial crisis.  He has a point: As long as Glass-Steagall was in place, we had

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Birthright Citizenship

The Romans took citizenship very seriously.  Only citizens had the right to vote, marry, make legal contracts, and have a trial and appeal the decision of the lower court.  Americans, on the other hand, are in the process of getting

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Why Is the Supreme Court So Slow?

Why does it take so long to get a decision from the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of President Obama’s healthcare law, or Arizona’s SB 170, or California’s Proposition 8 limiting “gay marriage”?  Currently, those three cases are meandering their

Back to Hamilton
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Back to Hamilton

The credit bubble, which exploded in September 2008, exposed the fact that the U.S. economy has been devastated by globalism.  Unemployment numbers—effectively close to 20 percent, about 25 million out of a workforce of 120 million—are near Depression levels.  The

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You Call This a Financial Reform Law?

The special inspector general for TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) reported on July 21 that the bank bailout that has been going on since September 2008 has cost $3.7 trillion in actual expenditures and guarantees to the banks.  Not

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Failure on Many Levels

Goldman Sachs buys and sells securities for customers and also trades for its own book.  It’s the world’s biggest derivatives dealer.  CEO Lloyd Blankfein told a British magazine in late 2009 that they were “doing God’s work.”  Now we know

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How Do You Make $100 Million Per Day?

How do you make $100 million per day?  Goldman Sachs did it—and still does it.  It even brags about it.  Goldman’s net revenues for 2009 were over $45 billion.  Most of this—$34.37 billion—came from trading.  During the second and third

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Too Big to Fail: The Underlying Cause

“We need radical change,” Lord Turner, chairman of England’s Financial Services Authority, said recently.  “And parts of the financial services industries need to reflect deeply on their role in the economy, and to recommit to a focus on their essential

The Duopolists
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The Duopolists

The two major parties, as Judge Richard Posner writes, “exert virtually complete control over American government.”  They are what economists call a duopoly.  Does the duopoly do a reasonable job of presenting candidates the people want?  Is there any hope

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What Now?

According to The New Yorker (September 27), “America did not plunge into an economic abyss” because of the government’s “bold stroke” guaranteeing money-market funds and flipping Goldman Sachs into a bank holding company.  “The reprieve bought enough time for the

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What Now?

What Now? by • November 1, 2009 • Printer-friendly

William J. QuirkAccording to The New Yorker (September 27), “America did not plunge into an economic abyss” because of the government’s “bold stroke” guaranteeing money-market funds and flipping Goldman Sachs into …

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The Gamblers’ Club

On July 15 Goldman Sachs reported that its second-quarter profits were the highest in 140 years.  It netted $3.4 billion on $13.4 billion in revenue (78 percent of which came from trading and principal investments and 11 percent from investment

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Bailing Out the Bucket Shops

Since September 2008 an awful lot of Americans have lost 40 to 50 percent of their net worth.  According to Bloomberg News, the federal government, during the same period, has committed $11.3 trillion in loans, guarantees, and investments to bail

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Just One More Thing

Alexander Hamilton said debt is a blessing: It oils the wheels of business and enhances national power.  Jefferson said debt is a curse: It binds future generations without their consent, striking at the very heart of the Republic—the consent of

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Pick Yourself Up

In his Inaugural Address, President Obama declared: “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”  The President was paraphrasing Fred Astaire from the 1936 movie Swingtime.  Fred and Ginger

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Federal Police Again

In the May issue, I asked, “Do We Want a Federal Police Force?” (Views).  I pointed out that Congress is passing too many laws that duplicate traditional state criminal laws.  The problem with this redundancy is that federal

Do We Want a Federal Police Force?
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Do We Want a Federal Police Force?

Probably the last thing that would have occurred to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer on his way to meet “Kristen” in Room 870 of D.C.’s Mayflower Hotel was that both he and the Emperor’s Club VIP were under FBI surveillance

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Forgotten Strippers

In 1994, the Republicans, for the first time in 40 years, took control of both Houses of Congress.  In 2000, after some controversy, the GOP secured the presidency.  Now, they have lost both houses and look to be well on

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Republicans and DoMA

Republicans, including President George W. Bush, may have some explaining to do if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Suppose a lot of people were counting on you to accomplish something and there were

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DOMA

President Bush, in his State of the Union Address, repeated a campaign promise: “Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges.  For the good of families, children, and society,

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What’s Next for the Imperial Judiciary?

“How much power Congress has to block Supreme Court consideration of the constitutionality of its laws is an open question.”  This, the Washington Post said in a September 23, 2004, editorial, is “somewhat surprising.”  The Post shouldn’t be so astonished,

Who Will Judge the Judges?
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Who Will Judge the Judges?

Abraham Lincoln, in his 1860 Cooper Union speech, asked, “What is the frame of government under which we live?”  The answer must be, he said, the Constitution of the United States.  The answer today, as Chronicles’ reviewer of Quirk’s

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H.R. 3313 and the Imperial Judiciary

On July 19, three days before H.R. 3313 was debated, the ACLU issued notice of an “Urgent Briefing” entitled: “How the Marriage Protection Act (H.R. 3313) Will Harm Civil Rights, and Violate the U.S. Constitution.”  The flyer explained: “The bill

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Getting Off the Docket

Is President Bush kidding his conservative base on the “gay marriage” issue?  There is no question, if we stay on the road we are on, that the Supreme Court will decide whether Massachusetts can impose its law on the other

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The Fourth Choice

If you are looking for a reason to vote for Ralph Nader, the way both parties are handling the “gay marriage” issue should give you lots of data.  John Kerry, when asked his opinion of “gay marriage,” looks like a

Judicial Tyranny and Constitutional Change
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Judicial Tyranny and Constitutional Change

What one man in America can decide that prisoners in South Carolina need croquet fields and backgammon tournaments and order the state to provide them? What one man can decide that Kansas City schools need Olympic-size swimming pools, a planetarium,

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The Earth Belongs to the Living

The President and Congress have both promised us a balanced budget in the year 2002. The debt, at that time, will be somewhere between six and seven trillion dollars, which, assuming a seven percent interest rate, will cost close to

A 28th Amendment
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A 28th Amendment

How different this country would be if we had a 28th Amendment which read: “An amendment approved by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this Constitution.” Three-fourths of

Legal Insanity
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Legal Insanity

“Knowing that religion does not furnish grosser bigots than law, I expect little from old judges.”
—Thomas Jefferson

A society governed by the judiciary—rather than by the will of the majority—displays odd characteristics. On July 29, 1994, a seven-year-old girl

Angels to Govern Us
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Angels to Govern Us

“If men were angels,” James Madison wrote, “no government would be necessary.” Or, “if angels were to govern men, no controls on government would be necessary.” Madison believed that men are about as good as they can ever be, and

The Homeless Majority
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The Homeless Majority

The middle-class revolt of 1992 is an angry rebellion against America’s 25-year experiment with nondemocratic government. Around the mid-1960’s, both political parties abandoned the average American, but for different reasons. The Democrats, taken with the high morality of the counterculture,