Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rick Warren, Schmick Schmarren

No, I don't like him. Warren giving the invocation is an outrage, etc...
I'm serious, I really dislike him.
I dislike the idea of an "invocation" at a state event more. That's the kowtowing to the Christian right that I find most offensive. William Lloyd Garrison would wage secular jihad over such nincompoopery.

So, yeah. I guess I have a problem with Rick Warren giving the invocation at Obama's inauguration. But to me that's like having a problem with the curtains on the Hindenburg. It's valid, but in the grand scheme, it misses the point by a pretty wide margin.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I learned today, from Crooks and Liars, that Odetta has died. That sucks.
I became familiar with Odetta after watching an otherwise unremarkable documentary about Ramblin' Jack Elliot. There was a lot of music by luminaries such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, but all I really came away with was a need (yes, need) to pick me up some Odetta CD's. In the intervening few years I've never gone more than a few weeks without firing up some Odetta on my iPod. In fact, she was one of my main sources of study-music while I was in law school. And I did all right.
So here's to Odetta, and here's to you getting to experience the magic of her voice and her delivery if you've never before had the pleasure:

My Wonkette moment

Listening to this newly released Nixon telephone tape, I was struck mostly by the fact that Warren Burger's response to cases involving pornography was to "come out hard." Awesome.

But on a more serious note, I was actually astonished to hear Burger and Nixon chewing the fat, guffawing about first amendment jurisprudence, waxing wistful about the regrettable longevity of the liberals on the court.

Maybe I've led a sheltered existence wherein I believed the story that the Justices were implicitly telling me as they sat on their hands during State of the Union addresses, but this just struck me as a little crazy. I've read "The Brethren," so I'm not that naive (certainly not about Burger), but I have to admit, this recording kind of shocked me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Just shut up already!

I'm actually not one of those dirty effin' hippy bloggers who got upset at the Democratic caucus for failing to punish Joe Lieberman. I don't like him, but I get it-I understand why it may be better not to punish Lieberman to the full extent possible.

But if he's learned any lesson from all of this, it should be to shut the hell up for a little while. For god's sake:

Shorter Joementum:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


"______ of rivals."

That's right, it's over. Done. All of it. "Team of rivals," "cabinet of rivals," all of it. Over.

The mind-blowingly unimaginative news media has drained that construction of all of its usefulness and left only meaningless catchphrase useful only for identifying those that use it as superhacks.

The concept of staffing a cabinet with former adversaries is as good or bad an idea as it ever was. Nobody has done anything to the thing the now-dead phrase describes. But the phrase itself has been rendered lifeless by herd animal talking heads mouthing it somewhere around infinity times in the last two weeks.

Doris Kearns Goodwin should sue.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gingrich on "gay and secular fascism."

It'd be nice to have republican commentators who actually had a reasonable grasp of this whole "republican form of government" thing:

Did you notice how Gingrich invoked the popular will here? That's cute. Our My old friend, James Madison, had something to say about it:
When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed...By what means is this object attainable? Evidently by one of two only. Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression.
-Federalist #10

Shorter Madison: Where fundamental rights are concerned, the popular will can pound sand.

Friday, November 14, 2008

For those of you keeping score at home

I found out today that I passed the New York State Bar exam. Assuming I can keep my nose clean for a few months, I'm gonna be a real live lawyer!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Strange music: The return!

This is the very definition of strange music. The Sun City Girls are probably my favorite band. 90-95% of their output was utterly unlistenable. The other 5-10% was pure, mad brilliance. Even much of the unlistenable dreck was brilliant in its own way. A live Sun City Girls show could be infuriating or rapturous-or both.

This song may be in the brilliant minority or it may be in the awful majority. I post, you decide.