Friday, June 30, 2006

The King is ... Wounded?

Normally I don't like to make an entire post a redirect, but Andrew Sullivan's summary of and reflections on yesterday's SCOTUS decision are so spot-on and absolutely perfect that I thought I'd send you there with the requisite- "Yeah, what HE said."

Andrew's comments

Ok, yeah, I love that wacky British libertarian. You wanna make something of it? Do ya?

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Because I'm so pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling on Guantanamo Bay military tribunals, I thought I'd break from my typical vitriol and reward my faithful readers with this picture of a kitten.

(Hat tip-

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Focus on a Moron

First, read this asinine commentary on the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment penned by Mr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, and posted on today.

Then, read my response:

James Dobson is obviously not a lawyer (or if he is, he's forgotten what he learned in law school). His "media bias" comments notwithstanding, the last time I checked, it took a supermajority in the Senate AND 3/4 of the states to enact a constitutional amendment. He cites 20 states as having voted "defense of marriage" amendments to their state constitutions. 20 is, of course, less than HALF the number of states in this union- thus VERY, VERY far from the 3/4 number necessary to pass an amendment. Perhaps the reason for the media's "negligence" is that members of the media can count; they realized that 20 states is nowhere near the amount needed- and they had other, more important news to cover (the Iraq war and various crucial domestic issues come to mind).

As for the courts- Dobson can name-call all he wants, but "liberal judge activism" equates in all cases to decisions logically made based on precedent and the Constitution OR the constitutions of the several states (he should review the Massachusetts case- that was decided based on STATE constitutional equal protection- differing from the federal). He whines that "activist" judges were appointed by Clinton and Carter- these were popularly elected Presidents, thus Mr. Dobson would be hard pressed to argue that the judicial appointments made during their tenure were somehow against the will of the electorate.

Finally, the argument put forth by Sen. McCain and others is perfectly logical. Marriage CAN be defined by the states. Perhaps Mr. Dobson should turn his attention to the Defense of Marriage Act, which nullifies the Full Faith and Credit Clause with regard to gay marriage. His main argument against state definition of marriage is that it might be "confusing" to have differing definitions of marriage in different states, but surely the intelligent American public can handle it, as we tend to be able to do when confronted with varying state laws generally.

Mr. Dobson should also glance at the 10th Amendment. It stresses that the federal government is a government of limited and enumerated powers, and leaves the balance of governing to the states. It delineates, in other words, a concept called Federalism- one that Conservatives are happy to get behind unless the topic debated falls within the nebulous rubric of Christian morality- then the federal government should by all means tell us what we can and cannot do.

This hypocrisy is, frankly, getting old.

As a post-script, I would add that I have no problem with CNN running conservative commentary; I do have a problem, however, with rhetoric that is an illogical, thinly-veiled appeal to base emotion- that is exactly what Mr. Dobson's commentary amounts to. He should choose his arguments more carefully or get off his soap box once and for all.

Thank you for your time.

Los Angeles, CA

UPDATE: My dearest Andrew Sullivan responds to Dobson:

"Many of Dobson's fundamentalist preachers were as certain then that black-white marriages were as alien to God's will as they believe same-sex marriage is today. There was no "utter chaos." Moreover, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and all constitutional precedent prevent the imposition of one state's civil marriages on any other state. These facts are not in dispute. James Dobson is an intelligent man; and he's engaged in deliberate deception."

Whether he's deliberately deluding others or is just plain deluded, James Dobson needs to SHUT THE HELL UP.

Read the rest of Sullivan's comments- they're well thought out and more articulate than mine...

Friday, June 16, 2006

How to Win in 2006

I've listened to the plans laid by the DNC, and they're, frankly, pretty pathetic. I think we may be in danger of losing (or not winning back) not just the House, but the Senate. So here's what I propose:

The DNC create a national advertisement, that Dem candidates in the various jurisdictions can adapt- but the theme will remain national. The idea: tie each and every GOP candidate to the failures of the Bush Administration and the general atmosphere of corruption. It's simple, it's unifying, and- by and large- these people CAN be tied to the less-than-savory side of their political party, to a man (or woman). Here's how it will go down:

Opening voice-over: "the Republicans have controlled the House, Senate and Presidency since 2002. Things have not gone well."

Shot one: "Smoking gun turning into a mushroom cloud."

Shot two: "We KNOW that Saddam Hussein has ties to Al Qaeda."

Shot three: "We recently learned that Saddam Hussein has been seeking yellowcake... in Niger."

Shot four: Powell pleading his false case before the UN.

Shot five: This war should cost $5 billion and we'll only need 10,000 troops (or whatever)

Shot six: Mission Accomplished

Shot seven: Bring 'em on

Shot eight: "The insurgency is in its last throes."

Shot nine: Bill Frist: "In this video, she doesn't appear to be in a persistent vegetative state."

Shot ten: "We couldn't have anticipated the breach of the levees" (with quick cut to the day before when Bush was BRIEFED specifically on the probable breach of the levees)

Shot eleven: Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.

Shot twelve: "Poor Trent Lott lost his vacation home in this storm. Such a tragedy."

Shot thirteen: Split screen- Bush joking and playing guitar while the levees burst in New Orleans.

Shot fourteen: Chertoff trying to explain why the press found out before DHS about the state of shelters in New Orleans.

Shot fifteen: Bush proposing Harriet Miers as SCOTUS justice.

Shot sixteen: Tom Delay making some statement that he has never done anything corrupt.

Shot seventeen: Randy Cunningham being led away in handcuffs.

Shot eighteen: Scooter Libby being indicted.

Shot nineteen: Bush: "I never met Jack Abramoff." Cut to multiple pictures of him shaking hands with Abramoff.

Voice over: Isn't it time we brought this country back to honor, back to accountability, back to truth?
Vote Democrat in November.

Of course, there's so much more that could be addressed- the tax cuts for the rich vs. the national debt, "No child left behind" vs. cuts in education spending... but the ad needs to be focused and hit home. Whaddya think? Am I missing any "shots" I should stick in there?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My poor, neglected little blog

Ah well. I've been spending a lot of my free (and not-so-free) time over here: very cool blog with very interesting commenters. Arguing such timely issues as gay marriage and abortion with conservatives and libertarians has forced me to dredge up my Constitutional Law learnin' from the recesses of my brain and- oooh, it feels mighty good. I miss ConLaw. I miss debate. You'd think, in a glistening, top-notch lawfirm such as my Lillyfirm, heady legal discussion would be de rigeur, but nothin' doin'. "Where should we have happy hour this week" is about as cerebral a topic as anyone at my workplace approaches. So when I get the opportunity to debate equal protection, substantive due process, privacy- I get a little turned on. And my little blog gets neglected in consequence. So it goes...
I am also pregnant and morning sick- so when I'm not elaborating on the incorporation of the Bill of Rights, I am curled in the fetal position (no pun intended) in Lillyfirm's "nap room." Ah well.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Spectre of Conservatism

It's rearing its ugly head this week. Could the GOP be preparing for hairy midterms? Looks like it.

Bush Revives Gay Marriage Ban- auspicious timing much? Shameless political pandering, this is. And yet, it worked in 2004. Can't blame the GOP for sticking to simple, emotional topics that appeal to simple, emotional people. People who are willing to vote against their economic self interest to ensure that the two guys living down the street can't receive the same legal and tax benefits that we heterosexual married couples may. It's touching, really, their selfless concern for others. Touching.

Supreme Court to Rule on Affirmative Action in Public Schools- This one is pretty ominous. Sandra Day cast a deciding swing vote in the Michigan case- and she's gone, replaced by a man who, while professionally qualified, leans slightly to the right of Ghengis Khan. I have not read about this "open-slot" diversity question in detail; perhaps I will, perhaps I will comment further.

Repeal of the Estate Tax- And this, OOOOH this. As our debt reaches $9 trillion levels, as we gorge the life out of low income and education discretionary spending, as we trumpet this country as the ultimate meritocracy while the gap between rich and poor grows ever wider- we are about to repeal the estate tax. Brilliant. This is a GOP pet issue and I am amazed at the support for it in the Senate.
Sebastian Mallaby, who wrote this article, sums up the distasteful turn of events:
"Repealing the estate tax is like erecting protectionist barriers around the hereditary elite. It is anti-meritocratic and unfair -- and antithetical to this nation's best traditions."

Must work but will try to post more and better.