Only a matter of time. The general sentiment appears to be he is a young (49) Scalia type wunderkind who would be an ideal choice if he died now. Well, for a conservative President. But, that is not what happened. Obama was robbed of a justice and Republicans couldn't even deign to have hearings. Horrible on basic civics levels, putting aside politics. Democrats must play hardball here. Screw the "be reasonable" unilateral disarmament brigade. ETA: Dawn Johnsen being blocked as OLC rankled, saw it as of special symbolic importance. Meanwhile: Another last minute death penalty rejected blocked without comment, including from RBG who supported a stay. Sen. Gillibrand (NY) supports a filibuster, but based on ideology. Facebook message doesn't MENTION Garland.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017
I was wary that the hype for La La Land was too much and was right. Some of the set pieces were good but the film as a whole (including the downer ending) was not. I was repeatedly bored. Elsewhere (a YA novel from about a decade ago), suggesting when we die we go to another land, age backward and then are reborn, was very good.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
This is a Finnish book (the English translation of the second book is due soon) about the trouble that arises when a newcomer arrives at an isolated island abbey. It does a good job building a different world and very good when it gets to the height of the plot, but takes a bit long getting there. For those who like the universe created, this might not be an issue. Well written young adult fare with some serious violence involved, if often under the surface.
Friday, January 27, 2017
Looking at something I wrote concerning the First Amendment, my line for restrictions was physical harm to others. But, even then, I understood there were various other constitutional concerns such as fair trials to take into consideration. Absolutism doesn't work, so a liberal critique that also shows how it is not protected (e.g., restrictions on protests) is helpful. OTOH, this one is a tad too heavy-handed, making broad statements about "pornography" or "commercial speech." Ironically, it should have taken its own advice on proportionality.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
I have wrote a lot about abortion and Roe v. Wade since high school and much can be found on this blog by clicking the hyperlinks or doing a search. Here's a post in response to the C-SPAN landmark series episode. The fight continues, a chill wind blowing. ETA: Anniversary on Sunday, so Republican return of global gag rule occurred the next day.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Today was basically protest day. Kudos to those who protest and stand together against those now in power and for justice and all that good stuff. Basically, bottom line, have to do what we can, when we can. But, feel like I'm in a burning house, the flames nearby with those in control gleefully tossing on more gasoline. I don't want this to be my America.
Friday, January 20, 2017
Needed some solace. The Museum of Moving Image had free admission today, including a showing of Loving (dramatized look at couple behind Loving v. Virginia). The local councilman, in a same sex marriage and ready to go to tomorrow's women march on D.C., was on hand. The audience shared his politics. A good way to help deal with ongoing events. Leads are excellent and film very good in some ways, but it tapers off late. Not quite there. And Also: Don't really like them starting in media res with no flashbacks to when they first met or something. It is actually the sheriff who hints how racial fluidity is accepted by Richard. Too many shots of him bricklaying too.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Obama has a record of commutations, pardons are much less, no matter how much ideally he should have done much more. One person among the last couple batches is of special note. I think she was rightly convicted for releasing hundreds of thousands of secret materials as a low level military official, no way merely "whistle-blowing" of illegal actions which endangered innocent parties (which all her defenders from some comments appear don't give a shit about). But, seven years is enough, especially since she admitted fault and didn't flee to Russia, putting aside abuses (how horrible is unclear to me) regarding her treatment. ETA: "Traitor" is kicked around but she wasn't convicted of treason. Her actions were deemed to have "aided" the enemy, but she was found innocent of that charge. Yes, all sides use the term loosely, some in fact calling her a "patriot." I hold to the idea there is a moral reason to submit to the criminal justice system, fears of mistreatment can apply to those we don't like.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
I have had the chance to see more movies lately in theaters, an experience I have long enjoyed, luckily enjoying each film. This was a late decision, but was another good one, additionally got to go to the charming theater in Pelham NY and the mini-screening room with the comfy chairs. Isabelle Huppert is great and charming to see an actress who looks great plus middle aged (she is 63/looks in her 50s). This review reflects some of my thoughts.
Note the new book on the side panel about the the black civil rights great (lawyer, poet, activist, minister etc. etc.) Pauli Murray and Eleanor Roosevelt. Well timed for yesterday's holiday along with Hidden Figures about three black women's role in the space race. The movie follows norms enough to be widely accepted (some think Moonlight, e.g., is not getting enough support) but has a lot going for it including performances, civil rights messages and family/love stories. Plus, by movie magic transfers us to another time.
Monday, January 16, 2017
After early offensive efforts, a penalty started the path to another blowout for the Falcons. Texas actually made a game of it early but had no real offense (maybe three points? rest thanks to defense) and Pats laid on the points after intermission. The other two games were finally evenly matched, Dallas coming back from 18 down only to fall in the end after Rodgers had one last killer throw. Penalty taking back a two pt conversion late key to the second game. Only saw half of first game; saw and enjoyed Hidden Figures. Saw end of second.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
The first execution of the new year was not for someone many would find sympathetic though the same might be said about the two victims. This is someone who you would fear might snap and kill someone in prison, but not sure if we are talking "worst of the worst" here. One of those scary people who might snap for not so big slights. But, it isn't just about him and execution big picture does not seem to be the way to go. No comment from SCOTUS. Again, not a great option, but do wish there was more capital dissents.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Obama gave his farewell address last night (is it really next Friday? wah), but he has been busy writing stuff. A recent long effort talked about a President's role in criminal justice reform, only partially about his own efforts. He also wrote an article on climate change. And, he wrote an article on ACA, including discussing hypocritical Republican opposition. Sure, question if he wrote every word, but it's believable he had a key role. Sigh.
War Against War is a new book and was a good read about the peace movement against WWI. Also liked Manchester by the Sea by the same writer/director involved in the superior You Can Count On Me. This one upped parents dying with a parent/brother [played by Kyle Chandler] dying AND three young children. Charm was not only the great acting, but the relaxed feel of it, like we were dealing with ordinary sorts who used "fuck" a lot. During the Golden Globes, abuse allegations (denied) arising from a past work arose about the star.
Sunday, January 08, 2017
There were two back-ups (one a third stringer) and a regular perhaps playing with a sore hand and the scores showed it. Not totally sure about the last part; the Lions v. Seahawks an unbalanced affair in general, the Lions finding ways to lose, the others a way to win. Dolphins have found ways to win even with their back-up, but played poorly today vs. tough Steelers. The Texans lucked out -- figured with the actual starters, either potential competitor would beat them easily. Giants defense stop Packers for around 20m. ETA: Dolphins probably glad just to get in, Detroit might have been too (and used to playoff futility). NYG might honestly felt the same way given their poor offense. Oakland saddest result given potential without late season injury. Texans also (tbh) probably see rest as gravy. Still, fans have a right to expect a bit better than four unbalanced results.
Congress officially counted the electoral votes on Friday, perhaps appropriately the unofficial end of the Christmas season. A few Democratic House members on various grounds challenged the count, but unlike Sen. Boxer joining in 2004, no senators did. So no two hour debate on question. Disgusted not a single senator was willing to join in. These were real issues and we deserve at least one gadfly (RIP Nat Hentoff) who doesn't compromise like this. The normalization of Trump, with appreciated occasional comments, continues. ETA: Yes, Nat Hentoff has died. I was a consistent reader of him at the Village Voice and on the whole liked him. At times, think he went a tad too far without proper nuance. For instance, for Bush v. Gore without noting how the winners had very unclean hands etc. Clinton is the worst President? But, gadflies often are like that. Then again, even though he was pro-life (against death penalty too), he supported free speech in Rust v. Sullivan.
Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Per the 20th Amendment, the new Congress began today, with a special preview (ethics) first being reported on why the governing party are assholes. With this, the Garland nomination is officially dead. The whole thing is disgusting, including how Democrats (including at the Convention) didn't do more to underline how wrong it was not to even give the guy a hearing.
Sunday, January 01, 2017
Pats went up early and Dolphins blew at least a couple shots at making it interesting. Jets again found a whipping boy in the Bills, going 5-11. Panthers tried to win it near end but failed. Browns managed to lose in OT. Oakland will drop from possible #2 to #5 but should beat the Texans even with a back-up. Other games. Unlike some teams, Giants kept their top QB in for a "meaningless" game vs. playoff hunting Redskins (win/in; lose the loser of the night game still in). Defense held late, even tacking on six on last play. 19-10. Update: Not that the first guy did that well, but Oakland on their #3 now. Green Bay won (quick FG at end of 1st Half after nice Lions drive started it) & will play NYG.