Saturday, January 31, 2009
Mark Green made a good point on Rachel Maddow yesterday -- when thinking about Obama's no lobbyist policy, including his waivers to it, we should remember not all lobbyists are equal. How about a non-profit lobbyist for some voting rights organization? When you come down to it, "lobby" inherently isn't a bad word, and realistically too many are "tainted" to have some absolute rule. This doesn't justify any waiver -- that would be nihilistic -- but it might suggest Obama's early rule could have bitten off more than it could chew.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
And Also: Elections mean more than executive orders ... Justice Ginsburg in effect wins the war in the Ledbetter case. "As in 1991, the Legislature may act to correct this Court’s parsimonious reading of Title VII." Yes.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
And Also: Balkinization has comments once more, if not for all posts. [Update: See here. Seems silly not to even supply a thread there for discussion. The hosts never seriously addressed the issue (e.g., a post to warn, have a debate) and now it's "fine. no candy for you!" As to it being "successful," well, depends on what you want on a blog. Handled badly all around.]
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Balkinization blog turned off the comments recently. Some will blame a resident knee-jerk neo-con type, but the childish antics of those who respond was probably as or more problematic. Free debate will include miscreants; calling them names is not going to help too much. At some point, the ranting of people allegedly sensible is worse. You expect something from them. Also: Frozen River appears to deserve its Oscar attention, even if it sounds damn depressing (if topical). Arlen is such a tool. Here's a creative use of resources.
Monday, January 26, 2009
And Also: Back to earth, we remember that the Obama Administration will leave something to be desired. See, Israel and Afghanistan. And, dubious exceptions to lobbyist rules. On Afghanistan, I never was in the camp with various other Dems in thinking, "hey, here we can play being tough!" Putting aside the limits of the situation, war making there also is a problem.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
And Also: Sorry, temporarily didn't say "spoiler," though not too bad. Also, saw the Hallmark t.v. movie, Loving Leah, about a modern day levirate marriage of convenience that goes in some(what) unexpected directions. Lauren Ambrose leads a well done production that honors religious faith, in all its many forms. It was definitely better than LCH, and much cheaper to boot.
See a comment here on how one top choice, Cuomo, was a problem for reasons such as fears of nepotism and removing another key elected state-wide Democrat. Likewise, the need to support an upstate politician, the other option in the House delegation a senior member in her 70s. Or here, supplying some bona fides. Here we see she is unpopular upon the delegation, the article making them sound like some high school clique. Let's see how she does.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Good pose shown here. I second the idea the Kirsten Scott Thomas deserved an Oscar nod, and the excessive votes for The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire (even shoving aside Bruce Springsteen!) were lame. Rachel McAdams of The Lucky Ones also c(sh)ould have got a nod. Picks were overall probably fair enough. More in February. And, Conan O'Brien had some fun with Obama's "end of childish things" comment in his inaugural. The referenced biblical quote was also addressed in Converting Kate. And, yeah: grow up people!
As Greenwald notes today, along with both Keith and Rachel last night, we are getting scare tactics involving someone released by Bush from Gitmo. Oh no! (1) The nature of Gitmo makes it harder to keep us safe in various ways, including probably serving as yeast for terrorism. (2) You cannot keep all the bad guys away. The alternative is keeping loads of innocent people in or those treated horribly etc. Which is counterproductive too. And, simply unjust.
Friday, January 23, 2009
And Also: Obama quietly, a day after Roe's anniversary, ended Bush's "Mexico City Policy" of denying federal funds to international groups that perform or provide information about abortions. This is basic to free speech and privacy rights, but really, it is a controversial policy matter that shouldn't even be up to an executive's say-so. Here's something from the new OLC boss on Roe, including the importance of asking the right questions.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
And Also: The Jets' QB wasn't selected on merits to go to the Pro Bowl, though like the All Star Game, that is partially based on celebrity / past glory. So, it is nice really -- especially with his late season problems -- that Kerry Collins will go in his place. Today would be a symbolic day to do it, see below, but Obama should honor Roe's anniversary soon enough.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Watching Keith tonight, I'd add two things. He had Melissa Harris-Lacewell, professor/social commentator, who was recently on Maddow as well. Both times she was dressed to the nines -- she's in town and noted it was "ridiculously cold outside. ... A cold, bright, brand new day." Second, Ken Burns suggested we are starting a new age. Don't know, but darn, we are living history. History is not just in books.
And Also: To toss a bit more, Obama has asked for a suspension of the pending Gitmo hearings and a halt to pending Bush orders to review them. See here for the change to the "war on science," and what it has wrought. Well, "normal is now relative."
Perhaps understanding them too well, Bush commutes the sentence of two lawless border agents / heroes of the Right (and a certain senator from California). Oh, it's just the poor babies' long sentence. Nah, that won't cut it either. Meanwhile, another blogger is appointed by Obama, and guess who is new to TPM! All sorta connected.
Monday, January 19, 2009
We compromised with The Palmer Raids and got McCarthyism, and we compromised with McCarthyism and got Watergate, and we compromised with Watergate and the junior members of the Ford Administration realized how little was ultimately at risk, and grew up to be Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
-- Keith Olbermann (more at link)
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Update: With a bit of help from the refs, Arizona (dominant, weak, strong when needed; bad kicking by Philly) and Pittsburgh (stupid penalty helped them late) won. Quirky fact: 23 points scored three times in playoffs. Go Cards! (aka the underdogs)
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Was the remarkable plane landing a miracle? It is true that luck and such factored in, including the nice weather and the particularly skilled pilot. Still, as Rachel Maddow noted in a great introduction last night, so was infrastructure and preparedness. Also, I read in my paper today that a flight attendant noted that other planes might not have had the rafts needed to deal with the icy waters. Certain things are, in some fashion, "acts of God." But, humans have a lot to do with things all the same. Lest we forget.
Friday, January 16, 2009
And Also: I have in various cases seen our local bird population in action, not limited to the "flying rat" pigeon variety. But, it also has kamikaze sentiments, if the suggested cause of yesterday's forced (and remarkably successful) water landing is accurate. See also, that scene in the third Indiana Jones movie.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I don't just eat the stuff; I read about it! The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee was a bit less enjoyable (the fortune cookie and world's best Chinese stuff bored me after awhile) than Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey through China by Jen Lin-Liu (see reviews here). But, both were good reads. Still, like when you get take-out, all books about food are not created equal. Like only one place around here makes good (vegetarian) dumplings!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Though not perfect (it is the NY Post), this opinion piece is on point on the problems with the use of clergy at the Obama inauguration -- no, not Rick Warren as such. Another in a line of "Apprendi" cases has an interesting split, Roberts and Alito divided, and Souter alone among the four dissenters. And, the dangers to privacy arising from computer databases was raised by the Supremes back in the 1970s. But, five justices were less concerned today. In fact, it might be even worse. Souter right in both cases.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Look up "nice" in the dictionary and you might find a picture of Bonnie Hunt, previously, a fairly regular guest on David Letterman. By chance, I found out she has a daytime talk show. She has that "Ellen" (straight though) vibe that makes her a good fit for such a role. Nice mix of funny and sweet. Good luck!
And Also: The Times of Harvey Milk is a 1980s Academy Award winning documentary that actually provides some less detail overall than the current movie. It does have some aftermath material, including extras on the DVD. For instance, a panel discussion on Dan White, noting it wasn't a "Twinkie Defense," but a matter of depression and in the heat of the moment. Also, the doc has an interesting tidbit about Milk's support of a certain voting machine that is a help to Asian immigrants. Things change, things stay the same. Sean Penn's performance matches up well, especially the voice, with the original.
Monday, January 12, 2009
And Also: Some sneered about how much the Burris sideshow is concerning people as compared to other more important things. Suddenly, political gossip and the like, after thousands of years, is supposed to not be popular? Oh shut up. Anyways, the sworn testimony matters, and they pointed themselves in a corner. Still, Burris comes off as a boob, more concerned with himself than the good of the state/party. Charming replacement for Obama. BTW, the discretion to not seat the guy includes choosing to seat him. And, sorry, I still think they could have (rightly) delayed it until a new governor was in power. Bet Burris might have been re-appointed too. But, they hung everything on a triviality, and Burris is a crafty schmuck.