'Lanie's Got a Gun & Other Smart Things

Color me amused:

According to two witnesses, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia took fellow Justice Elena Kagan out for a lesson in skeet shooting at his shooting club in Virginia last week.

The witnesses saw Scalia at the Fairfax Rod and Gun Club, where he is a member, around noon on Wednesday of last week. He was with a woman who was noticeably diminutive in height, like Kagan, who stands at about five feet three inches. The witnesses, who got a very close look at the pair, say that the woman was the newest Supreme Court Justice.

Scalia was bending down in order to teach Kagan how to hold the shotgun, the witnesses say, and the pair were shooting skeet.

Nino certainly does know how to charm the women of the court. Showtunes at the piano with Ruth, shooting at the range with ‘Lanie, and sharing tongue rolls with Sonya.

He’s smart to play nice with the women.

Also very smart: Mickey Kaus in this piece at Newsweek, on how Obama could have held on to more smart indies:

All it would have taken was a bit of sincere symbolism. Or at least effective symbolism. On at least four fronts:

1). . . As Charles Lane points out, it’s one thing for the UAW to negotiate wages above what the average taxpayer makes. It’s another to make those taxpayers then subsidize your wages when they bankrupt your employer. Why didn’t Obama ask for at least a symbolic cut—say $2/hr in wages, from $28 to $26? According to Lane, car czarlet Steve Rattner says in his book that the administration feared a strike—a threat Lane scoffs at. But a strike would have been great! Let the UAW strike, and have Obama face them down over whether $26/hour is a reasonable wage for assembly line work. They’d cave soon enough—and after that it would have been difficult to see Obama as in the pocket of the unions.

Yup. Read the whole thing. Kaus is spot-on, here. The scenario he suggests here is a demonstration of effective leadership that signals a comprehension of (and alignment with) the concerns of those footing the bill.

This has been Obama’s biggest weakness. It’s not just a “branding” issue or a problem of his being too remote (although he is); Obama has simply not been able to convince the taxpayers that he understands that they are, in the end, his bosses and not his subjects. Taking the sort of action described by Kaus would have gone a long way toward demonstrating to the taxpayers that he–as their steward–could be trusted to look after their interests. He did not do that when he had the nation on his side, choosing instead to lecture, condescend and ultimately tell the country to take the stuff he was shoving down their throats, and like it.

That’s not good stewardship; it’s not good leadership. Even if Obamacare was the most brilliant plan in the world, which it is not, the way it was served to the country is what is at the heart of this election.
The voters are saying, “you’re telling us what’s gonna be? No, we’re telling you. You work for us, not the other way around.” I don’t get the impression, though, that he will listen.

Kaus’ piece also demonstrates why it is a good thing for a president to include among his advisors a few voices from outside the insulated enclave; if your companions are not all in lockstep, they’re not just tripping over the same things, some are finding other avenues to go down.

A Smart Move: CBS gets real about the unemployment numbers. Very sobering stuff.

A Smart Program: What a gift to these families

Ann Althouse: really not liking Obama’s traveling plans for India. I personally agree with Ed Morrissey, that insisting on the teleprompter in India is just a bad move. It does not impress.

George Will: Liking Tim Pawlenty. I am, too, which surprises me.

Bizzyblog: Clever!


Silly: Who keeps telling the Vatican to try to court the pop-culture.


Fascinating: by 2100, more people will speak Hebrew than Greek

Not smart: Balloting screw-ups in NY. Funny how these things always seem to hurt the GOP.

If you have half a second: help couples who can’t afford it to experience a Marriage Encounter weekend. My husband and I did that about 18 years ago, and it was invaluable.

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