Thursday, February 28, 2013
its opponents claim that targeting some states and not others goes beyond Congress’s powers to remedy discriminationAnd, then we get an article. This deals with (with cause) the broadest claim. The narrower one is that they can but there has to be a suitable fit, which allegedly no longer requires (allows) the preclearance provision as written. Not sure if this always comes through.
Grandpa Scalia probably had this in mind. This is Black History Month and she would have been 100 earlier this month, but huh, her statute is unveiled the day of the VRA argument. Huh. This book suggests she is a role model for the VAWA too. Or, just everyone.
It took a horrible tragedy to make guns a national concern, sharing time with budget theater. The whole thing is theater and hearing liberal leaning talk shows talk about how it is doesn't help too much -- it still dominates the conversation, like filibustering nominees runs out the clock. So, less time for voting rights, criminal justice or something not ... theater.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Scalia attributed the repeated renewal of Section 5 to a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.” He said, “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.”Grandpa Scalia is back in "fine" form, striking the perhaps uninitiated as really unhinged. It does, I guess, address the rejoinder that representatives of these states by their votes (or amici, including NYC) adequately (even if done by messy politics) replied to Kennedy's concern about "trusteeship" like Alabama is akin to Micronesia or something at the moment.
Big day on voting rights with the Shelby case being heard. LOTS written, but for the pessimistic, we have a bit of Roberts history and sympathetic but very wary (he warned them back in 2006) Rick Hasen. Various defenses here and here. Preclearance at risk, not the voting rights law as a whole. It's important, but not quite as apocalyptic as some suggest.
After watching a somewhat similar German film, I re-watched this one, and was again impressed. The scene in the restaurant with the mom and her father is muy powerful. One of those "price of admission" sort of things. The leads all were very good, including Martha Plimpton as the son's girlfriend. In both films, love was a powerful (and dangerous) force.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The vote was 58-41, with four Republicans joining the Democrats in backing the contentious choice. Hagel’s only GOP support came from former colleagues Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Dick Shelby of Alabama as well as Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Rand Paul of Kentucky.Republicans continue to depress me, but hey, how about a Paul/Judd (KY) coalition?
The union/corporation double standard alone underlines that the Roberts Court support of free speech has limits as does today's 5-4 rejection of standing to even argue the reach the legitimacy of a surveillance law that harms reporters, advocacy groups and lawyers among others. Breyer's dissent is one big "oh come on, we know, let's not pretend."
Though it was at the same time when the Mets showed the most life in their Spring Training game (baseball is kinda back), another good episode -- pretty good given the downturn of the last season or so. There was even a nifty C-SPAN bit. Gail O'Grady btw still hot. Only thing is that (if you saw it) logically Timmy would go with the daughter too, right? Still good.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Lincoln and a discussion by the screenwriter on C-SPAN over the weekend led me to think how revolutionary it really was. When slavery ended in my state (NY), it was over a span of time and a state matter. The 13A made it instantaneous, a federal matter and of such breadth (@2) that it lead to two more amendments to reaffirm congressional power.
Only saw a bit of the Oscars ... a few nice speeches (e.g., Anne Hathaway; nicely thanking wives seemed to be the thing), a range of winners with a few surprises (such as supporting actor) and fairly boring mid-show host chatter (cute Sound of Music bit)-- keeping things interesting with ad libs there is a sign of a good host. Overall, fairly typical.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Some think Terry Collins should have some margin of error but this analysis is reasonable -- not sure if he earned that yet. The team fell apart in the second half in '12. That is partially on him. He, as much of the team, has something to prove.
Grandpa Scalia showed up again, loudly asserting he remembered the open government movement at issue in this novel litigation and knew it didn't help the challengers here. I find it curious why the Court was as a whole so unsympathetic to the challenge to the bit of pretty gratuitous state favoritism at issue. Neither advocate seem to impress them, admittedly.
Chaidez, for example, has lived in the United States for four decades and has three children and two grandchildren who are U.S. citizens. Now facing removal, she faces the possibility of being stripped from the only community and family she really has ever known.The case has bite in the real world. George Will is sane on solitary confinement.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
The opponents' merit briefs can be found here and are discussed here. Both have very good opening arguments and the bit about the pro-Prop 8 brief not mentioning "love" once and referencing "a sociologist who advocated 'zero population growth' while fathering four children with three different women, including a son at age 79" are highlights.
O'Donnell's interview with Stephen Colbert's sister running for an open seat in SC was pretty trivial, but more here. Interesting stuff about history of sex workers and "rational basis" (USSC sniping alert!). The Americans dealt with the Reagan shooting last night -- interesting take on the Russian view of things. Effect of children on the characters also is notable.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Old but valid analysis of Dickey trade that references things I repeatedly don't see -- all that the Mets received for Dickey (a 38yr old they controlled for a year), the pick they got for losing Reyes (same type that got them Wright) and the value of Alderson's "hard bargain" approach. Some have noted Reyes was hurt at the deadline, but that too.
Defendants split today in the USSC: seizures away from the home not allowed as a means to hold people while their residences are searched (6-3, B/A/T dissenting), but (in a crisp unanimous opinion by Kagan) a search/seizure on the street via dog sniff upheld, the state court required too strict of a test for competency. Other sniff case not decided.
Monday, February 18, 2013
... of the UK (also Canada). Good sidebar piece on the issue, including how S/K decided to be less supportive when they got the job. Shades of Kagan's change of heart on questioning nominees. Audio is great, but really see no very good reason to bar video.
More on Justice Thomas not asking questions, but being more personable than you might think (another event with someone with quite different views) has an interesting tidbit about his friendship with Breyer. Not asking questions furthers his insularity; he can put forth true believer opinions without asking a single question to get some feedback from advocates. Sort of sad, even if you respect his p.o.v., which I do up to a point.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
The State I Am In (shades of Running on Empty, but somewhat darker) concerns a close knit German couple on the run for unclear past crimes and their teenage daughter, who is starting to rebel, especially when she meets a boy. Meanwhile, they must deal with a crisis that hits their seemingly comfortable existence. Well acted and put together.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
One of the films picked up at the library to see if it sticks, this is a mixed bag. It is well made and likable, but personally thought the childhood/mother scenes better than the adult ones. Found the adult character a bit hard to take. Pretty good commentary.
I realize the ideological difference, but if Rand Paul (against the wishes of McConnell, who really comes off as a tool) can win in KY, why not? The NYT article didn't mention that she was Global Ambassador for YouthAIDS, which is a bit more than being "outspoken" on the topic. Anyway, her opposition seems to think she's serious. Interesting times.
Friday, February 15, 2013
I liked the first and third Die Hard, the second okay, but (shades of Indy and Terminator) it eventually got stupid. Now, the lead looks like a cartoon & I have no desire to see the film. The Sotomayor autobiography didn't do it for me at the moment. Her open-minded reasonable approach is copacetic, but couldn't get into it. Not into Pitch Perfect.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Especially without Michael Bourn, which with the fifth year option was a pretty risky move all things considered (potshots at Mets and Alderson will still come), some have noted the HORRIBLE Mets OF. Compared to '12? No depressing Bay, mediocre Torres or home run (but no longer cheap) fourth OF Hairston. A few new maybes, at least one who might thrive.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Double quotes sometimes used too! Julia Sweeney has an upcoming book about motherhood (her second monologue discussed the adoption of her daughter) so re-watched the title monologue (which in part explains why she adopted). Enjoyed it again. Discussed her third monologue (the daughter made an appearance in person) here. My type of gal.
Had a freak accident recently that led to the need for some stitches in my arm and it underlines the value of insurance. If I didn't have any, the trip to the emergency room (no morphine for me, but I felt like an extra on ER, it being a teaching hospital) and two follow-ups would cost a tad more than $0. Ah, that is what exposed muscle looks like.
Republicans are latching on to pretty trivial things to block the re-authorization, but rights of non-members accused on tribal lands seems to be a credible dispute. Uh, not really. At most, it isn't totally out there. If you choose to reside on tribal lands, being treated like tribal members would seem to be equal protection. Here, it's allegedly unjust or something.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick B. Garland on Tuesday became the new chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court. He moved into that position after Chief Judge David B. Sentelle finished his term at the head of the Court. Judge Sentelle took senior status, and will continue to sit in that capacity.Sentelle is a true believer conservative sort, while Garland was on Obama's short list to the USSC. Might not mean much, but interesting given the circuit's importance.
Rules of Engagement is back -- the first new episode was saved by Liz, the second was pretty lame. "Jen" has a new look and still not much to do. The first episode of The Americans about KGB spies in 1980s U.S. was pretty good. Keri Russell has a good "don't f with me" face. Colbert (resident Catholic) last night was a good "pope update" viewing.
The Mets have a bunch of also rans and maybes in the OF though if they got even one everyday type (like B), it would be okay for their needs and send a message the team isn't just waiting until '14. B. also would have gave them a lead-off guy. But, a first round pick (#10 at that) allegedly was [a] problem. [Whatever.] Didn't really want him.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Obama noted that prayer should transcend politics said the unity provided by faith often quickly goes away.See here and here. Not a gigantic fan of "prayer" days [that are far from fully inclusive] or such that have a semi-official character, especially given the questionable sponsors. But, such nods to civic religion are expected these days and Obama seems to handle it pretty well.
Leahy and Grassley are not terribly impressed with the white paper either, saying in their letter, that it “was not an adequate substitute for the underlying legal analysis that we believed had been prepared by the Department’s [DOJ] Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) ….”Yes. Release the damn OLC memo. This Cliff Notes version is better than nothing, but heck, it was leaked first anyhow, so half a cheer at best. If there is real (he says doubtfully) bipartisan concern, how about restraining funding or something unless it is released?
It is joked by some that the History Channel is really the Hitler Channel for all the WWII coverage. At time, it seems C-SPAN is the Civil War Channel, given the focus of weekend educational programming. Last night (and now) is Gettysburg. Imagine how it will be in July, which is the 100th anniversary. There is a lot of other ground to cover in our history.
Saturday, February 09, 2013
This very well researched (with some reasoned supposition) bit of "micro-history" (small event used to discuss bigger themes) concerns the grandmother of the great divine Johnathan Edwards, in particular, the woman his grandfather divorced. It is in fact somewhat of a revisionist account of someone (if noted at all) seen as mostly "the crazy grandmother."
I find the federal prosecution (should be a local case) and sentences (crimes are serious, but not THAT serious) sought (update) in the Amish beard-cutting case troubling but appreciate this. This is somewhat personal, but the guy involved (not just your garden variety troll) has ranted and raved for a long time at the blog. He deserved this comeuppance.
Friday, February 08, 2013
The discussions regarding the leaked white paper (at times treated as if it is a full-fledged OLC memorandum, and one that covers a lot more than it purports to) often has an aspirational quality. That is, people insist certain constitutional liberties are being violated when it is far from clear that they are pursuant to established law. At least, as currently understood. But, "due process" etc. changes over time. Aspiration becomes reality.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
In her Opinionator column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse discusses Knox v. SEIU,including its judicial activism (the bad kind) and treating unions stricter than corporations. Meanwhile, for some strange reason, the 1A friendly sorts at Volokh Conspiracy doesn't talk about such things while perusing the world for upsetting incidents.