I haven’t been following the Elena Kagan nomination or hearings much. I was, however, impressed to find out that Kagan had the balls to call out now-Chief Justice Roberts’ fantastically stupid construct, comparing justices to “umpires” and limiting their role to “call[ing] balls and strikes”, for the disingenuous twaddle that it was.
The metaphor might suggest to some people that law is a kind of robotic enterprise. That there’s a kind of automatic quality to it. That it’s easy. That we just sort of stand there, and we go “ball” and “strike” and everything is clear cut, and there’s no judgment in the process. And I do think that that’s not right, and that it’s especially not right at the Supreme Court level, where the hardest cases go.As anyone who spent a week or two in a law school ConLaw class could tell you, the last thing in the world the Supreme Court would ever do is simply call balls and strikes. The only damn reason the cases have risen to the Supreme Court is because the law or Constitution is unclear and, in most cases, different federal circuits have taken divergent positions on an issue! Right on, Ms. Kagan.
For anyone who snickers about the Great Orange Satan from time to time, just ask yourself this question: “Would a large right-wing blog ever come clean like this?”:
I have just published a report by three statistics wizards showing, quite convincingly, that the weekly Research 2000 State of the Nation poll we ran the past year and a half was likely bunk. [...]
We contracted with Research 2000 to conduct polling and to provide us with the results of their surveys. Based on the report of the statisticians, it’s clear that we did not get what we paid for. We were defrauded by Research 2000, and while we don’t know if some or all of the data was fabricated or manipulated beyond recognition, we know we can’t trust it. Meanwhile, Research 2000 has refused to offer any explanation. Early in this process, I asked for and they offered to provide us with their raw data for independent analysis — which could potentially exculpate them. That was two weeks ago, and despite repeated promises to provide us that data, Research 2000 ultimately refused to do so. At one point, they claimed they couldn’t deliver them because their computers were down and they had to work out of a Kinkos office. Research 2000 was delivered a copy of the report early Monday morning, and though they quickly responded and promised a full response, once again the authors of the report heard nothing more.
Lawlz via C&L:
Sometimes I forget just how mindfuckingly retarded Sarah Palin is. E.g.:
“…I think Obama is kind of flirting with also, some government overreach. We are a rule of laws, not a rule of presidential fiats that I think President Obama would rather have sometimes, it seems.”
I share digby’s confusion:
Honestly, who would actually pay money to hear this incomprehensible, babbling moron pretend to speak?
Let’s talk about your TV show Bullshit! Will you ever run out of theories to debunk and people to expose? If you build a kingdom on bullshit, you’re not in danger of running out of it. Our producer says that Teller and I can take any subject in the news and do a credible show on it. Sure, we like to have a villain, something to call “bullshit” on, but if we don’t, we can depart from that model.
Are there any groups you won’t go after? We haven’t tackled Scientology because Showtime doesn’t want us to. Maybe they have deals with individual Scientologists—I’m not sure. And we haven’t tackled Islam because we have families.
Meaning, you won’t attack Islam because you’re afraid it’ll attack back … Right, and I think the worst thing you can say about a group in a free society is that you’re afraid to talk about it—I can’t think of anything more horrific.
Of course, it might please some Islamic fundamentalists to hear you say that you won’t talk about them because you’re afraid … It might, but you have to say what you believe, even it if pleases somebody you disagree with—that issue comes up all the time in moral discourse.
You do go after Christians, though … Teller and I have been brutal to Christians, and their response shows that they’re good fucking Americans who believe in freedom of speech. We attack them all the time, and we still get letters that say, “We appreciate your passion. Sincerely yours, in Christ.” Christians come to our show at the Rio and give us Bibles all the time. They’re incredibly kind to us. Sure, there are a couple of them who live in garages, give themselves titles and send out death threats to me and Bill Maher and Trey Parker. But the vast majority are polite, open-minded people, and I respect them for that.
Well, the Twenty-Five Percenters are at it again:
Long after the question of President Obama’s birthplace should have been put to rest, a new poll shows that nearly one in four Americans believe the “birther” lunacy that the president was born outside the country. The Vanity Fair/60 Minutes poll found that 24 percent of respondents think Obama was born outside the U.S., with six percent saying he was born in Kenya, another two percent choosing Indonesia, and the remainder being unsure of his exact foreign origins.When you think about it, it’s pretty scary to realize that something on the order of at least 60 million people in our country have the mental faculties of a marmot.
And lest you think this is just a phenomenon of the unwashed masses:
Astoundingly, at least 11 Republican congressman endorsed the fringe [Birther] theory, perhaps contributing to its perseverance.
Ah the wise words of yesteryear:
The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame.
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