Thursday, December 29, 2005 Now with 50% more fluff!!

You have got to be gosh-darn kidding me.

I clicked on today and read what I'd hope would be a somewhat illuminating, although probably just distressing, article on what a faboo job Chief Justice John Roberts has been doing. The article was long, but it took more time than it should have for me to get through it, as I had to stop several times to clean up the vomit that I had projected onto my computer keyboard and screen.

Chief Justice Roberts wins early praise

Lighter tone, camaraderie at U.S. Supreme Court

By Bill Mears

Wednesday, December 28, 2005; Posted: 11:49 a.m. EST (16:49 GMT)

Chief Justice John Roberts is proving to be a thoughtful justice and strong, self-effacing leader, analysts say.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Court watchers looking for an anecdote that illustrates how John Roberts is doing in his new role as chief justice point to the "Halloween incident."

It was late October, less than a month into Roberts' new job, and the case before the justices was fairly benign: a discussion of state immunity to debt claims in bankruptcy proceedings.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was addressing a lawyer when a light bulb 44 feet above her head exploded, raining down a tiny spray of glass and causing police officers to scramble amid the momentary confusion.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor quickly figured out what had happened, telling the audience, "A light bulb exploded. A light bulb exploded."

Quick with quip

Then Roberts spoke up. "It's a trick they play on new chief justices all the time," he said, bringing huge laughter. "We're even more in the dark now than before," he added.

Maybe, but the new guy had lightened the mood with some quick-thinking, self-effacing humor. The arguments went on.

And so it has gone this term, where an atmosphere of practically buoyant camaraderie has drifted through an institution that prides itself on continuity and certainty.

And, other than a photo of a very thoughtful Roberts with fist tucked under chin and a few fluffy quotes from three people (one of whch was a former clerk for Rehnquist ("he looks really good ... breath of fresh air!!!!!"), one of whose job it is to impress the justices (his sole legal practice is before the SCOTUS, not that it means he won't give his honest opinion), and then this little winner:

"The change has been amazing, the justices are a happy bunch again," said one court official, who asked not to be identified. "They joke in arguments, they joke among themselves privately. The chief was just the type of man this place needed."
), the rest is out-and-out Hollywood fanzine crap:

By tradition, the chief justice speaks first in the conference, followed -- in order of seniority -- by the other justices. He addressed them formally, "Justice Stevens," "Justice O'Connor."

Then came "Justice Scalia." As Thomas related, the ebullient Antonin Scalia then spoke up. "I will always call you 'Chief,'" he said, "But for you, I'm 'Nino' and this is 'Sandra,' and this is 'John.'"

Those who heard Thomas' comments said the incident set the tone.

WHAT?!? Literally SECONDS of my life were wasted reading that. And then this:

"And he has become an attraction on the Washington social scene. At Vice President Cheney's recent holiday reception, the chief justice was surrounded by a large group of admirers, according to some who attended."

Oh, and at the very end of the piece, there's something about him only having written one decision so far, a completely innocuous one, and ... something about some extremely controvesial cases coming before the Court ... and oh yeah some guy named Alito or whatevs is tryin' to get confirmed...

You know, after careful consideration, I need to apologize to those of you among the masses who read this blog. Why, oh why did I subject you to such drivel? Such inanity? We all would have been much better off with another day off and then some good old-fashioned Friday Semen Blogging.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


In case anyone's confused

The NSA domestic spying issue is somewhat complicated, dealing as it does with the intricacies of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and roving wiretaps and what constitutes a foreign power and all that. But as far as I can tell, it really boils down to one extremely significant point:

Without oversight, we must assume that the Executive Branch, and by extension the party that controls it, are using their self-appointed surveillance authority to spy on political opponents in order to consolidate power.

It may not be a charitable assumption, but it's the one that our founding documents - and, hell, our common sense - demand that we have. So it doesn't matter WHO the Bush Administration is actually spying on, or WHY they are actually doing it. We set up a system of checks and balances because we know without such a system, the temptation to move toward authoritarianism is too tempting (everybody thinks their authoritarian motives are for the best). THAT is what makes domestic spying with no oversight so gosh darn wrong; THAT is why it is almost uncertainly unconstitutional; THAT is why it must be stopped immediately, hearings held as early as next week, and probably impeachment should follow. It's not that I don't trust George Bush, per se, or any other president. It's that within the system of our democracy, I am effectively prohibited from trusting them. Otherwise, I am negligent, a poor citizen, and most of all a damn fool.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I don't trust George Bush. I frankly will be shocked should it turn out that no wiretappings have been ordered against Democrats, anti-war activists, judges, gay rights organizations, professors, students, bloggers, or anyone else on the unpublished-but-inevitable "enemies list."

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I second that Welcome

UPDATE: Unless Ebert and/or Roeper are going to interview her, it looks like Christine isn't on ABC this morning after all...

A hearty round of applause for Christine Cegelis in welcoming Tammy Duckworth to the race (posted on her blog, dailykos, and MyDD). It's a tough pill to swallow, knowing that the machinations of Rahm Emanuel are working to oppose one of the most impressive grassroots races in the country. But Rahm has his reasons, and that's great.

There's no point in being mad at Emanuel and the DCCC, or the media for their inane coverage (so far), or certainly Duckworth herself. There's only a renewed energy in knowing that you can play a part in the hottest Congressional primary in the country, which will lead to one of the hottest general election races in November. And in knowing precisely where you stand with Christine, on the war, on the economy, on the environment, on choice, you name it.

As a testiment to the newly high-profile nature of this race, Christine will be joining Duckworth on This Week with George Stephanopoulos tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on Channel 7 (ABC). Originally it was supposed to just be the Major, but now Cegelis is there too. Which is awesome.

Anyway, the rap against Christine, said again and again on certain blog comments, is her fundraising. Whether or not it's a fair rap (I don't think it is), the best way to counter it is to give .. GIVE ...GIVE!!! I have a page up on Act Blue in support of that effort, and if you haven't done so yet, or even if you have, think about supporting the campaign by donating today!

Thanks everyone!

Friday, December 02, 2005


Friday semen blogging

A keeper from's "trend" columnist:

HAVE YOU ever suspected your man of cheating but not been able to prove it?

If so, there's a kit that's just been introduced that claims to help suspicious spouses gather "scientific" evidence of whether their mate has been sexually active. It's called the Tru-test Home Evidence Collection Kit and retails for $79.95.

It comes with an ultraviolet light that allows you to detect invisible bodily fluid samples on bedsheets or clothing. You can either conduct the analysis yourself or mail what you've gathered back to the company for analysis.


John Mayoue, an Atlanta-based divorce attorney who serves as a commentator on high-profile celebrity cases, pointed out that people are better off relying on tried and true methods.

"I'm not discounting [the kits], but I think the old-fashioned way tends to be more effective and that is looking at e-mails, credit- card receipts and cell-phone records," he said. "That tends to be how we catch people traditionally."

Besides, "how often are you going to find semen on your spouse?"

Hold on, isn't this just the same thing as the MTV show where a girl goes through three prospective mates' rooms looking for semen stains and pubic hairs with some sort of kit? Sorry, Jenice, this is not a new trend if it's already been MTV'd like 3 years ago. No worries, though. You're a fine columnist, it seems. I like your spunk!

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