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April 25, 2005


I just realized I haven't bitched about exams yet but rather than do it here, I'll just link to this post.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:42 AM


Bill Frist on filibustering federal judges today: "Tonight I want to share with you my thoughts about the filibuster of judicial nominees: it is radical; it is dangerous; and it must be overcome."

But in 2000 the Kitty Kevorkian voted against cloture on Judge Richard Paez. Paez made it to the 9th Circuit after a four year wait. 40 of Clinton's nominees never made it out of commitee. What happened to that up or down vote, Dr. Frist. In total, Republicans blocked or attempted to block 167 nominees during the Clinton administration.

What's even funnier is that Frist, Hatch and the rest have been been calling the judicial filibuster unprecedented when there have been a good number of them in our nation's history including a successful one against Abe Fortas, Johnson's nominee for Chief Justice in 1968.

One thing I've noticed in googling this issue that a remarkable number of right-wing websites have the same exact story which call the judicial filibuster "unconstitutional."

The Constitution is quite silent on the filibuster. Art. II, § 2 of the Constitution gives the President the power to nominate with the "advice and consent" of the Senate any judges. "Advice and Consent" isn't defined so according to Art. I, § 5, ¶ 2, the Senate is free to determine the rules of its proceedings.

The first Senate filibuster was sometime between 1825 and 1841. Changing the rule now just to ram through 10 judges, including Janice Rogers Brown who thinks No means Yes and took a crapload of campaign money from Enron and then wrote Enron favorable opinion and Bill Pryor who doesn't believe in the ADA or Violence Against Women act, who have already been rejected once is quite silly when a million other things demand our government's attention.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 02:39 AM

April 24, 2005

What happens when the rice starts drinking the sake?

Frankenfood news

Japanese researchers have inserted a gene from the human liver into rice to enable it to digest pesticides and industrial chemicals. The gene makes an enzyme, code-named CPY2B6, which is particularly good at breaking down harmful chemicals in the body.

[add obligatory Soylent Green joke here]

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:56 PM

April 19, 2005

Damn Westlaw to hell! Lexis-Nexis is the tool of Marxist-Leninist Satanists!

Tom Delay on Reagan appointee Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Tony Snow Show: "He said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous."

Posted by Half-Cocked at 09:40 PM | Comments (7)

My town is smaller than yours

I noticed Soup posted a link to a Google Maps ™ image of his hometown so I thought I'd go one better and post an image of mine, Lewiston, NE, pop. 72, I think.

It's so insignificant Google doesn't even have an image of it. I had to go to Terraserver for a 6 year old sattelite photo.


The red circle is my old house. The blue circle is where I went to school K-12 and the brown circle is the sewage lagoon.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 08:00 PM

April 17, 2005

My Inner Euro

Your Inner European is Spanish!

Energetic and lively.

You bring the party with you!

Who's Your Inner European?

via ambimb.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 03:29 AM | Comments (3)

April 15, 2005

"It's a renewable natural resource not everyone gets to enjoy."

Hysterically funny.

If the latter is the case and insecurity is the issue, there's a very helpful show-and-tell scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High where Phoebe Cates uses a banana to educate a classmate on how it's nutritiously done.

Wolcott is a brilliant culture critic, but wasn't it a carrot?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 07:10 PM | Comments (2)

April 13, 2005

*Cough* *Snort* *Wheeze*

My pollen allergies hit me earlier and harder than they ever have this spring. At first I thought I'd recaught the cold I had about a month ago. I was congested, had a hacking cough and a runny nose. The achiness and fatigue was missing though. Then I looked at the pollen report for Lincoln and saw that it was off the charts for this time of year and that the main culprits were maple and elm trees. I knew it was my allergies.

We have two grand old maple trees in our front yard. They make a mess of the yard three times a year. Once when they pollinate and the reddish brown pods cover everything and leave a gooey residue. Again when the helicopter seed pods rain down and decay on the sidewalk. Once more in the fall when the front yard is a foot deep in leaves.

They're nice for the rest of year. They keep the front of the house in shade in the summer. When the leaves turn red, gold and purple in the fall they're awfully pretty, and in the winter they look pretty good covered in snow.

For the last few days I've wished I lived in the middle of a concrete parking lot. The horrible trees are about done with their pollination, though. The congestion is easing and the cough is almost gone. I'll have a month or so to recover before my usual grass allergies hit in late May.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:43 PM | Comments (1)

April 12, 2005

When you can tell it's springtime

Civil Rights Litigation starts at 2:55. Monday at 2:50 a tornado warning was issued for Lancaster county and the law school being a government institution had to follow the proper procedures which meant we got to hang out in the basement and watch the Cubs lose until 3:30. It was great, and Civrightlit was almost tolerable being so significantly shortened.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 02:21 AM

April 11, 2005

Wingnuttery and Law School

If you haven't heard about it already, last Friday a group of conservative leaders held a conference called "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith," which seems to have been spawned by the Conservative misunderstanding that Terri's Law required the federal courts to reverse the Florida state courts. It was held the same day as the Pope's funeral which is ironic since much of the ire from the conservatives seemed aimed at Reagan appointee Justice Kennedy's opinion forbidding the death penalty for juveniles. What setencing kids to death has to do with faith is anyone's guess.

Edwin Vieira pushed the envelope of wingnuttery a bit when he said that Kennedy's opinion in Lawrence v. Texas comes from Marxist-Leninist, satanic foreign principles. Oddly enough, Vieira takes his marching orders in dealing with the Supreme Court from old Uncle Joe Stalin. "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,'" Dana Milbank of the post supplied the rest of Stalin's quote in the article: "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem."

Count Vieria as another conservative advocating violence against judges along with John Cornyn and Tom Delay.

Oh, but what does this have to do with law school? Another of the speakers, Michael Farris advocated blocking judicial power by abolishing the concept of binding judicial precedents. Imagine law school without having to read legal opinions. Erie Doctrine? Pullman Abstention? Brown? Palsgraf? Li v. Yellow Cab? Who cares about any of that? Law schools would have to start from the rules and the statutes and train people to argue without precedent. Imagine the exams.

I'd bet it would be pretty fun to be a judge though, as long as you stayed on the good side of the wingnuts. You could just make law up as your mood suited you and then reverse yourself in another case a week later.

Farris also suggested allowing Congress to vacate court decisions. It's funny how little separation of powers means right now. As James Sensenbrenner's (R-WI) spokesman said last week: "There does seem to be this misunderstanding out there that our system was created with a completely independent judiciary." Gee, I wonder where in the hell we got that idea?

I also wonder if Justice Kennedy, who granted cert in Bush v. Gore, is enjoying his long-lost chickens suddenly returned home to roost.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:46 PM | Comments (1)

April 06, 2005

Paging Triumph


"If a movie isn't playing at a theater, will its fans still line up outside? For "Star Wars" fans, the answer is a befuddling yes."

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:35 AM | Comments (1)

April 05, 2005

Congressional Hubris

It looks like my favorite congressman may have finally gone to far. When the egg-loving GOP operative Drudge front pages you, you know it's not just your enemies attacking you, but your so-called friends as well.

Delay miscalculated when he thought Americans would be behind his position in interefering with the Schiavo case by drafting a new law intended to force the federal courts to intervene in the case. The courts saw differently, though. But rather than just shut up, Delay [1] and his box turtle lovin' buddy, John Cornyn[2] decided to lob threats at the judiciary. That was too much for the GOP. The Senate Majority Leader, the kitty Kevorkian[3], Bill Frist quickly distanced himself from the Texas duo's remarks. Now Drudge is reporting even more scandal involving Delay.

The New York Times is reporting that Tom's wife and daughter have been paid $500,000 by Delay's PAC's since 2001. The Washington Post is reporting that Delay's trip to Russia in 1997 was paid for by Russian lobbyists. This is in addition to his other scandals including the Texas criminal investigation involving campaign contributions and the Indian casino boondoggle.

Is it a coincidence that the Times and the Post are both breaking these new scandals on the same day? Hell, no. Delay is damaged goods and his actions around the Schiavo case[4] sealed his fate.

I'm sure the doctors, lawyers and other professionals didn't appreciate a bug killer[5] from Texas running their lives anyway.

"Say, Bill. Would you rub some of this powder on my lips?"[6]

[1]"The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior," said Tom DeLay, the Republican leader who moved the Florida case to the federal arena. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0401-04.htm

[2] Cornyn, citing recent cases of violence against judges, said he wondered "whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people ... engage in violence." http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3117839

[3] Frist acknowledged in a 1989 book that he routinely killed cats while an ambitious medical student at Harvard Medical School in the 1970s. His office said it had no record on how many cats died. Frist disclosed that he went to animal shelters and pretended to adopt the cats, telling shelter personnel he intended to keep them as pets. Instead he used them to sharpen his surgical skills, killing them in the process. http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20021231-071056-3546r

[4] Top Republicans told FOX News that the GOP is still smarting from what they perceive as massive public backlash against Republican-drafted legislation that ordered brain-damaged woman Terri Schiavo's case to be reviewed by a federal court. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,152565,00.html

[5] Tom Delay operated an exterminator business before his election to the Texas Legislature, gaining the nickname "Hot Tub Tom" and finally becoming the most powerful man in Congress.

[6] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102511/quotes

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:54 PM | Comments (1)

April 04, 2005

Ma'am, did you give birth to that tiger?

I'll see Koko's female breast fetish and raise it a couple of breastfeeding tiger cubs.

"I felt sorry for them so I decided to feed them before their teeth grow," she told the newspaper.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:24 PM | Comments (2)

April 01, 2005

Too Much of a Good Thing

The proposed fall schedule is out and the dearth of good classes this semester is made up for by there being about a dozen classes in the fall I would like to take. I had trouble finding 12 hours to take this semester and now I'm going to have a problem choosing.

Here are the candidates with days and times:

Land-Use Planning (M-W 1000-1100)
Election Law (M-W 1100-1200)
Intl. Arb. & Lit. (R-F 900-1015)
Jurisprudence (R-F 1030-1145)
Antitrust (W-F 1400-1500)
Conflicts (W-F 1400-1500)
Law and Literature(R-F 1400-1500)
Sports Law (M-T 1500-1615)
Native Amer. Law (W 1900-2100)
Legal Profession (W-R 1510-1625)

I still need to take a seminar and there are several good ones:

International Human Rights
Education Law
American For. Relations Law & Policy

Posted by Half-Cocked at 03:54 PM | Comments (6)