Monday, December 31, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
You got me
Labels: The Roots
Monday, December 24, 2012
Blue Monday, Judy Garland edition
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Borking to Gomorrah
Friday, December 21, 2012
For much of the nation’s history, the Senate took seriously its role to provide “advice and consent” in the judicial nomination process. Nominees were frequently turned down, for reasons including partisanship and ideology. In 1795 the Senate rejected George Washington’s nominee for chief justice, John Rutledge, largely because of his view on the 1794 peace treaty with Britain.
Only at the start of the 20th century, as executive-branch authority expanded under Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, did timidity overcome the Senate. Breaking with historical norms, senators between 1894 and 1968 rejected only one high court nominee. These were the years when the president was regarded, as the political scientist Clinton Rossiter wrote in 1956, as a “magnificent lion who can roam widely and do great deeds so long as he does not try to break loose.”
That changed again amid the turmoil of the 1960s, as conservatives began to resist the court’s activism under Chief Justice Earl Warren. The court handed down transformational rulings on, among other issues, civil rights, religious freedom, freedom of speech and the rights of the accused. At a certain point, Republicans and Southern Democrats found it too much to bear.
When Lyndon B. Johnson named Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall to be the first African-American justice in 1967, right-wing senators of both parties tried to block him. The reason wasn’t just Marshall’s race; it was the way his critics expected him to vote on key issues.
Marshall’s detractors pretended to oppose him as unqualified — a case of “Borking” avant la lettre. This was laughable: Marshall was one of the century’s most accomplished constitutional litigators, having won groundbreaking civil-rights cases before the high court.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Off the table? Even now?
You want to know what taking something off the able looks like? It looks like a congresswoman being shot in the head by a lunatic and her political party celebrating when she recovers enough to lead the pledge of allegiance at their convention --- but never even mentioning gun control. That's what taking an issue off the table looks like.Via Atrios.
Will this work?
I will henceforth and only talk about "gun safety" as a goal for America, as opposed to "gun control." I have no abstract interest in "controlling" someone else's ability to own a gun. I have a very powerful, direct, and legitimate interest in the consequences of others' gun ownership -- namely that we change America's outlier status as site of most of the world's mass shootings. No reasonable gun-owner can disagree with steps to make gun use safer and more responsible. This also shifts the discussion to the realm of the incremental, the feasible, and the effective.
Labels: gun violence
Cello suite no. 1
Labels: JS Bach
Friday, December 14, 2012
Your sometimes weekly Steve Forbes
Top of the Pops
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Sunday, December 09, 2012
Bad luck charm
Saturday, December 08, 2012
"As we vacillate and procrastinate"
Labels: climate change
Eric Cantor, proud scion of the South
Friday, December 07, 2012
Band of Gypsys
Labels: Jimi Hendrix
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Kicking one of their own to the proverbial curb
WASHINGTON — Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas sat slightly slumped in his wheelchair on the Senate floor on Tuesday, staring intently as Senator John Kerry gave his most impassioned speech all year, in defense of a United Nations treaty that would ban discrimination against people with disabilities.Senators from both parties went to greet Mr. Dole, leaning in to hear his wispy reply, as he sat in support of the treaty, which would require that people with disabilities have the same general rights as those without disabilities. Several members took the unusual step of voting aye while seated at their desks, out of respect for Mr. Dole, 89, a Republican who was the majority leader.Then, after Mr. Dole’s wife, Elizabeth, rolled him off the floor, Republicans quietly voted down the treaty that the ailing Mr. Dole, recently released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, so longed to see passed.A majority of Republicans who voted against the treaty, which was modeled on the Americans With Disabilities Act, said they feared that it would infringe on American sovereignty.
Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas praised the treaty in a news release with Mr. McCain in May but voted against it. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi voted yes at the beginning of the roll call vote and then switched his vote to no. Calls to the offices of Mr. Moran and Mr. Cochran were not returned.