Playing with the ongoing non-story of SCOTUS Nominee Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation, Michael Kinsley has written a rather amusing satire about the sex lives of Supreme Court Justices:
Why does Justice Antonin Scalia, by common consent the leading intellectual force on the Court, have nine children? Is this normal? Or should I say “normal,” as some people choose to define it? Can he represent the views of ordinary Americans when he practices such a minority lifestyle? After all, having nine children is far more unusual in this country than, say, being a lesbian.
Let me be clear: the issue is not the fact that Scalia has chosen to have nine children. That is his personal business. The question is whether he is an extremist advocate of the so-called “Nine Children Agenda.” Can he deal open-mindedly with children’s issues when he has so many himself? Can he persuade his children to recuse themselves when appropriate (or, in the vernacular, “Just shut up, will you? I’m trying to write an opinion here. Sweetheart, could you please come and take him…stop climbing up my leg…watch it with that glass of water, buddy…no, that’s some condemned prisoner’s brief that daddy has to reject, so don’t …would somebody please take this kid…LOOK OUT for the… Jesus H. Christ, how am I supposed to get any work done”?).
Read the whole thing. Then slip over to the comments section at the Political Wire and scroll down, for possibly more amusing (and certainly startling) news.
You’re going to hear it through the grapevine, either way.
In other news:
The Kool-Aid Effect: Richard Cohen demonstrates what happens when one has drunk the insidious brew for too long: one becomes incapable of imagining that anyone in the world could possibly have actual effect on anything, from the Oval Office if Obama can’t.
American conservatives look at the defeats and disappointments, and they fulminate about Obama. They call him weak and inept — and surely in some areas he has been both. But they are wrong in thinking that another person would make much of a difference.
Funny how that works. The last guy in office had a powerful effect on everything, even the weather. And this guy? Well, just throw up the hands and say, “well, of course, no one can ever be effective in this office, again. On anything. It’s just not possible.”
Can you imagine if it had been Bush and the Bush government who’d received huge campaign contributions from BP, had skimmed through safety inspections, had recently talked about the safety of off-shore rigs and had–since the disaster–essentially mush-mouthed their way their way through it? The frenzy of rage would still be in its infancy, and would go on for months. But none of this touches Obama, who let 10 days elapse before he even visited the Gulf area. Imagine if it was Bush’s offshore drilling agency representative refusing to testify to the Senate at a hearing addressing the spill!
Deadly stuff, that Kool-Aid. Worse than what the Irish call “the Creature.”
Speaking of the Creature, look what the press hath wrought:
After the signing of the Freedom of Press Act on Monday, President Obama declined to take any questions from the press.
During a pooled press event in the Oval Office, President Obama was asked if he would take a couple questions.
“You’re certainly free to ask the question,” Obama told the reporters in the room. “I won’t be answering, I’m not doing a press conference today, but we’ll be seeing you in the course of the week.”
That’s pretty breathtaking arrogance from a man who is losing the confidence of the nation and the world, and who hasn’t had a press conference in, is it 10 months, now? Once again–and wearyingly–the question, “what if Bush had done it” bubbles up. This “transparent” president is making both Bush and Clinton look like pane glass windows of men. The only thing transparent about Obama is his sense of ego and nearly royal entitlement, and his disdain for the very people who carried them, with unquestioningly glee and ambition, on their shoulders and into the White House.
As Ferris Bueller taught: “…you can’t respect somebody who kisses your *ss. It just doesn’t work.”
Respect hell. I’d be happy just to see his college transcripts. Our incurious press never asked for them. They went and tracked down the dentist who filled Bush’s tooth to confirm he’d been where he belonged while he was in the TANG, but they never even asked Obama for his college transcripts.
Speaking of asking questions, what the deuce is this and who does our Senate work for?
…three US Senators killed an Iraqi deal with US oil firms to develop part of their industry. And in so doing, the door was opened for China to seize the contracts instead. It’s maddening, and on par with the logic of watching Chinese oil companies drill for oil and gas resources just off the Florida coast and not us.
The Iraqi government was poised to sign no-bid contracts with those firms this summer to help make immediate and needed improvements in Iraq’s oil infrastructure. The result would have been significant foreign investment in Iraq, an expansion of Iraqi government revenues, and an increase in the global supply of oil. One would have thought that leading Democratic senators who claim to be interested in finding other sources of funding to replace American dollars in Iraq, in helping Iraq spend its own money on its own people, and in lowering the price of gasoline for American citizens, would have been all for it. Instead, Senators Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, and Claire McCaskill wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rice asking her “to persuade the GOI [Government of Iraq] to refrain from signing contracts with multinational oil companies until a hydrocarbon law is in effect in Iraq.” The Bush administration wisely refused to do so, but the resulting media hooraw in Iraq led to the cancellation of the contracts, and helps to explain why Iraq is doing oil deals instead with China.
Really, who do they work for? I am confused.
Speaking of confused, the NY Times is having trouble distinguishing the Catholic Church from the City of New York, the NY Public Schools and the teacher’s unions:
The Catholic Church is working against the interests of child abuse victims in state legislatures around the country. In recent weeks, lobbying by the church has blocked measures in Wisconsin, Arizona and Connecticut intended to widen the legal window for victims to file lawsuits against hidden predators.
We urge the New York State Legislature to rise above intense lobbying by the New York State Catholic Conference and Orthodox Jewish officials and pass the overdue Child Victims Act. Like a similar measure enacted in 2003 by California, it would create a one-time, one-year suspension of the statute of limitations for bringing civil lawsuits over the sexual abuse of children.
An earlier version of the bill passed the Assembly in 2006, 2007 and 2008, but the Senate, then under Republican control, refused to consider it [. . .] The Catholic Church fears a wave of costly settlements and damage awards like those that followed California’s temporary lifting of the statute of limitations several years ago. Those concerns, and the difficulty of trying to judge decades-old accusations, are outweighed by the need to afford victims a measure of justice, the demands of public safety, and the injustice of rewarding any group for covering up sexual abuse of children.
Ummm. No. Let’s now run by some reality taken right from the pages of…the New York Times:
What began as an effort by legislators to expand judicial accountability for sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has grown to cover people in every walk of life. One bill would temporarily suspend the statute of limitations, and allow people who say they were abused as children to file lawsuits up to age 58 — that is, 40 years after they turned 18. [. . .]
Until last year, proposals to change the statute of limitations would not have affected public bodies and fallen largely on the church. After much debate, the bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, a Queens Democrat, was amended to include governments and their employees.
Suddenly, lobbyists and advocates for school boards, counties and small towns spoke out.
“Statutes of limitation exist for a reason,” said Bob Lowry, the deputy director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents. “How can anyone go back 40 years and ascertain what happened? Witnesses, responsible authorities, even the perpetrator himself or herself, may have passed away.”
The State Association of Counties weighed in, saying in a memo of opposition that “a fact-finder would have to make a determination based upon significantly aged and clouded” evidence.
And the New York State School Boards Association said the costs of old misdeeds would be borne by people who had nothing to do with them, and “provide no corresponding protection” to children.
As I wrote two weeks ago:
Should the Markey bill pass, forcing secular and civic institutions (and taxpayers) to beat out the lumps under their own rugs, these institutions may find themselves turning to the Catholic Church in America for advice, to see how they may adapt her successful policies drawn under this pope and the current bishops, to their own organizations. That would be both profoundly ironic, and further evidence that sometimes excruciating episodes and injustices end up working for a broader good.
Which is one message of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
The Markey Bill will likely fail to pass, once more, and its failure will be blamed on the resistance of the Catholic Church, who apparently represent the interests of civic institutions of New York, as well.
Speaking of New York: This is pretty spot-on.
Yes, there’s a pain, living in Queens. I used to live in that little area called Howard Beach. But I’ve never talked like that.