Sunday, July 27, 2008
Mamma Mia!, I heard promos for the show (the "in" thing, after Cats closed) enough, and pass by the theater repeatedly. So, I was ready to see the movie, though some local critics didn't like it too much. Though it had a few lulls, and the finale didn't quite do it (drawn out), overall the movie was fun. This is so even if watching women around the age of Meryl Streep (her trio seemed a bit too old for the roles, but they were fine) bouncing around might not seem your cup of tea. A plus for those with a soft spot for romance and mom/daughter issues. Time to buy the soundrack! Lots o'songs.
And Also: I referenced the al-Marri ruling recently, but should have added links to my two extended posts on his case. Unfortunately, only four judges took my side, the swing in the en banc hearing just saying he required a better chance at the habeas hearing. This overturned the more sensible original panel ruling.
Friday, July 25, 2008
The "dare not call it impeachment" hearing today had the Republicans damning the Democrats for not canonizing Bush instead of investigating his wrongdoing and raising the "i" word. The second party had a witness wondering why everyone is so upset and another who thought impeachment is only for those who abuse their office for utter personal gain. If this is what we are up against, even thin gruel from the Dems will be better -- that is, actually sorta sane. With Dems against impeachment, the Republicans couldn't show a shred of a spine? Not be such knee-jerk assholes? Guess not.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
And Also: After blowing a three run lead in the ninth (Santana, eight innings), the Mets win by three vs. the Phillies. This up/down, losers!/winners deal will continue, I bet. Still, yesterday was particularly bad. Army Wives was good this week -- the new actress playing CJ's younger daughter had a few good scenes. Very touching conclusion in the bar.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
New books on the side panel. Saw a good documentary, Trumbo, concerning a blacklisted screenwriter ... movies like Roman Holiday were written with a "front." Based on a play by his son, it shows his skills as a writer, including his humor (one bit on masturbation had the audience in tears). Major stars provide good readings. One criticism might be that it didn't really examine his political background pre-blacklist -- the point that it is private is fine, surely, but it is known. Also, why wasn't his other daughter interviewed?
Saturday, July 19, 2008
And Also: I cite U.S. v. Stevens below, a federal appellate ruling refusing to uphold federal law banning depicting of animal cruelty when put in interstate commerce for profit. The majority recognized "animals are sentient creatures worthy of human kindness and human care" while the dissent cited a House finding that of the "widespread belief that animals, as living things, are entitled to certain minimal standards of treatment by humans." Still, especially the material that was historical, this doesn't justify such a speech ban.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
And Also: The de facto "bill of attainder" label of "enemy combatant" can lead to even citizens to be seized from U.S. soil as long as some vague habeas ruling is available. So said the swing vote in the latest Fourth Circuit ruling on al-Marri. We are not talking combat. We are not talking P.O.W. camp. No, we are talking solitary in some hole somewhere for executive allegations. Try the judicial process ... given his status (long term legal residential alien), al-Marri probably can be charged with treason too.
Great game? Well, if you forget who won. The AL. Again. Except for a tie, where this was headed (15th, last AL pitcher started on Sunday), they won every time for over a decade. NL ahead. Top pitcher on the Reds couldn't get another out. Ahead again. Wagner couldn't get one out (Mets just swept Rockies ... insult to injury). Uggla couldn't field or hit in the clutch. And, the AL got the sacrifice by about a step. I care who won. And, given this might help the Red Sox ... not too pleased. NL got into one too many late game jams.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It is troubling that alleged rapists and the like have their pictures plastered in the news while the accusers are kept private. The concern for the rights of those accused of heinous offenses (or even convicted, see the child rape ruling) is underlined by the Central Park jogger (to be local) and JonBenet Ramsey being surely victimized by people later deemed innocent by prosecutors.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
And Also: Naomi Watts' early effort, Ellie Parker, concerning the struggles of an actress trying to get a break (as was the case for NW, when the film began being made), is a good rental. A bit episodic, but something different, and overall, she is quite good in it.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
And Also: Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl" is now among repeatedly played songs on a Top 40 station I favor. Its subject matter has a bit of bite and it's catchy too. Made me actually to go out to buy the whole CD (One of the Boys), admittedly because it was on sale at Target (given CDs can be close to $20, $8.99 is a great buy). Pretty good ... gender matters turns out to be a favorite theme. BTW, ordered a book Wednesday night from Amazon, got it Friday!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
And Also: American and the Courts on C-SPAN last Saturday replayed Scalia's appearance with Brian Lamb in promotion of his new book on legal writing and such. He had to defend Bush v. Gore again -- he can't just say it was a tough case, but justices have to rule how they deem fit. He has to say we should forget about it, claim a key part was 7-2 (Breyer joined Stevens in full and Ginsburg dissented too ... um ...), claim we know it would go Bush's way anyway (nope), etc. Still, looks pretty good for a guy over 70.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
And Also: Interesting baseball weekend, especially with the Mets stressing you out during their three of four vs. the Phillies. Not that I care, but there was also a great tennis game. And, Army Wives had a very good episode, with several good subplots. A bit iffy as a whole so far this season, but that episode was basically good from start to finish.
Friday, July 04, 2008
And Also: Happy Fourth of July. This country is all about not settling, demanding our rights to life, liberty and happiness are truly upheld. So, continual muckraking and the like on my part is as good as firecrackers and barbecues to honor this holiday, no? BTW, NYT announced Jesse Helms died. Who knew he was still alive? He is labelled a "conservative." Does the term no favors though it probably does him some (one can think of other labels).
See Glenn Greenwald on how Obama (dis)respects the 4th Amendment. And, other "oh come on" moves, including the response to Clark's comments on McCain. Compare. Even if some think the fact they are "true" doesn't matter too much or claims that they are attacks sorta makes them attacks. [moved from 4th of July post]