The Supreme Court has released a number of opinions, and it’s been a tough week for conservatives. Most of the focus has been on the big political fights – federal subsidy for state “Obamacare” exchanges was upheld and marriage equity is the law of the land in all fifty states. It was the latter that gave us the most blistering dissent from Justice Scalia:
“A system of government that makes the people subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy,” he wrote in one of the more coherent statements in his dissent.
But another ruling, striking down part of the Federal “Three Strikes” law, illustrates judicial activism even more clearly. All of this begs the question as to where Scalia’s logic was in the “Citizens United” ruling in 2012 that declared corporations to be people, too. There is judicial activism, yes, but it’s more about filling in the gaps left by years of a completely dysfunctional Congress. Someone has to be the adults – even one branch of government has to endure Scalia’s sometimes childish ranting.
This is not an ordinary election year in many ways. For one, it’s not really an election year – the actual voting doesn’t happen until 2016. It’s also going to be the first Presidential election without Obama since 2004 as the White House becomes open.
But more importantly, everyone seems to understand that the economy and the politics of this nation are both changing. Stuff is seriously up for grabs. A desperate cry for attention might make all the difference.
Enter into this a bid for more Congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve, an idea backed by no less than 30 Senators, 3 of which are clearly running for President. It seems like a good idea all around – what can be wrong with more oversight? That depends on what’s being overlooked now, of course, and what can be done with existing law.
Plus, of course, we have the omnipresent Fed itself. Does it need to be reigned in?
Around the world, two stories have been consistent since 2008 – the developed world is struggling with a depression while the developing world largely charges ahead. The two worlds have never been so far apart as the careen towards similarity. But in this hemisphere, three stories have come to show where it all comes together – how “wealthy” is what a nation feels more than how it is.
Forget how Japan and Europe are wallowing in desperation for a while – on this side of the big ponds things are happening. It may be slower than anyone wants, but change is happening. The reactions to that change show that my favorite saying is still true – that while people are people, cultures are cultures. Wealth, or at least the feeling of wealth, is a state of mind.