Monthly Archives: April 2010

In which I propose a war between China and Texas

Sometimes news pops up that makes it seem like the world is a movie, or that magic must somehow exist. For example, the recent news that during all the scandal with investment banks, faulty CDOs, and the collapse of the American economy, it turns out that high officials at the SEC were spending all their time downloading porn. I don’t just mean that there was some porn in browser history, or that a guy got off one late night at work. Rather, people making six figures at the SEC were spending hours upon hours looking at porn, with one guy filling up his hard drive with porn, and then filling up DVDs with porn to keep in storage. Who does that? Honestly, the porn will still be there the next day, there is no need to download it.

The only explanation I can think of for all of this is that someone at Goldman Sachs or some other firm has a magic wishing sex genie, which he used to curse members of the SEC so that he could get away with misleading CDOs.

So basically, instead of not being able to make people fall in love, the genie can only make people fall in love. With porn. And you get three wishes within that limit, and also have to put up with a genie making references to cultural tropes from several centuries in the future.

Along the lines of these sorts of movie or genie related events, last week a Chinese diplomat was arrested and beat up by Houston police at the Chinese Consulate on Montrose. The only way I can imagine this actually happening is if the Chinese diplomat was actually a front for drug kingpins or something. And the Houston cops were actually a wise-crackin’ black guy and a Chinese martial artist on loan from the Hong Kong police. It probably looked a little something like this:

Now, this will probably get covered up or at least result in a somewhat aged, mustached police chief with the mayor breathing down his neck, yelling from behind his desk at a renegade street cop who is about to have his badge taken away if he doesn’t shape up and pair with a new partner who is a monkey, a baby, a dinosaur, or Whoopi Goldberg.

But if one looks at history, rather than crib jokes from The Critic, the most obvious result is that Texas will go to war with China. After all, Texas has gone to war with foreign nations over less. Thus, we discuss the Pig War.

In 1841, French chargé d’affaires Dubois de Saligny became enraged (which I assume he expressed by yelling “Sacrebleu!”) when pigs owned by Austin hotelier Richard Bullock busted into Saligny’s stables, ate his horse’s food, then ransacked his house and garden. In revenge, Saligny ordered his servant to kill the pigs, which he did. Bullock responded, as a true Texan, by kicking the servant’s ass and then threatening to beat up Saligny. However, to quote the Handbook of Texas:

Dubois de Saligny promptly invoked the “Laws of Nations,” claimed diplomatic immunity for himself and his servant, and demanded the summary punishment of Bullock by the Texas government.

As far as the historical record demonstrates, Bullock did not respond to Saligny’s claims of diplomatic immunity with a witty one-liner.

Texas refused to punish Bullock without due process of the law, and in response France broke off diplomatic relations from Texas, with Saligny moving to Louisiana and routinely making vague threats of French invasion of Texas.

Since then, Texas and France have been the gravest of enemies.

And both have tense relationships with minorities immigrating from their southern border

Also, there was some sort of resolution where France condemned Saligny for abandoning his post over some stupid pigs. And Sam Houston, who was re-elected President after Mirabeau Lamar, mended relations between the two nations. But that’s boring.

Texas and France went to war over pigs ruffing up a French diplomat. And China and Texas should do the same.

(you see what I did there? Because pigs is also derogatory slang for police officers?)

Of course, once you go to war with China, you just have to do it again an hour later. And Rick Perry would be allowed to pick one battle from column A, and two battles from column B. And once the war is over, Texas will ask China: How do you get your surrender flag so white.

Then end.

Burn Down David Brooks: 10 Politicians Braver than Lindsey Graham

Today, in one of their sometimes entertaining and sometimes enlightening dialogues that plays like a network commercial designed to fill space between New York Times articles but you just know ends with them doin’ it (or at least Brooks trying and Collins turning him down), Gail Collins and David Brooks discussed immigration reform. In this, Brooks refers to Sen. Lindsey Graham as “the bravest politician in the country, bar none.”

This political discussion is a deviation from his traditional wanna-be philosophy grad student TA columns  that set him apart from other middling, sane Republicans whom he joins in his “you ever notice how people in red states drive like this, but people in blue states drive like this” even though he’s never actually lived in a red state. However, it maintains that same essence of his usual work of not being traditionally disprovable, yet eliciting a stream of contrary arguments.

Thus, here is my list of 10 politicians braver than Lindsay Graham, which I compiled while in the bathroom after copyright class.

1. Oliver Queen

Its like if Batman were liberal

Political position

Mayor of Star City

Who is he?

Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow, is a superhero. Much like Batman he has no real powers, but some awesome technology and a lot of money. Unlike Batman, he is not a cryptofascist, but rather a traditional liberal. He began expressing his political opinions as a newspaper columnist. In 1979 he ran for Mayor of Star City but lost. However, he runs again after the events of Infinite Crisis and is elected mayor .

Why is he braver?

Because without any superpowers, he routinely fights and defeats people with superpowers, such as a giant, radioactive, North Korean robot. Also, he stands up to Superman and Batman, ensuring that the Justice League not only protects the planet and universe from the biggest crises, but looks after the weak and downtrodden on earth.

So when is the last time Lindsey Graham stood up to a giant, radioactive, North Korean robot?

2. Congressman John Lewis

He represents Hotlanta

Political Position

Representative from Georgia’s 5th Congressional District

Who is he?

Quoteth Wikipedia: John Robert Lewis (born February 21, 1940) is an American politician and was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Lewis, a member of the Democratic Party, has represented Georgia’s 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 1987. The district encompasses almost all of Atlanta.

Why is he braver?

Lewis helped organize non-violent sit-ins, boycotts and protests during the civil rights movement. Specifically, during the Selma to Montgomery marches, police attacked him and beat him in public, leaving scars that you can still see today.

At the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a Dream” speech, Lewis’s own speech included the line “Which side is the government on?” (though that line was cut so as to work with the Kennedy Administration).

However, despite being beaten by government officials and questioning they’re dedication to civil rights and being silenced, he did not fight or resort to violence, but joined the system that seemed to attack him at every turn and tried to change it from the inside.

Perhaps his most amazing moment, Lewis received and accepted an apology on live, national TV from a former Klansman who had personally attacked and beaten him.

3. George Washington

Political Position

Really?

Who is he?

Really???

Why is he braver?

I’d like to point to one specific event to illustrate Washington’s bravery. In 1791, congress imposed an excise tax on Whiskey. Considering that they had just fought a war over taxing things, many people refused to pay. While the tax protestors were called to appear before U.S. district court, most didn’t and instead rioted, resulting in the Whiskey Rebellion. As Commander-in-Chief, Washington led a ragtag militia group into the rebelling areas of the country. There was no large standing army at the time and Washington very well may have been marching into a trap of armed tax-dodgers.

Now that takes balls. But what Washington did next was even ballsier. Instead of fighting, Washington addressed those who refused to pay by giving a speech. Before staring, he pulled out his reading glasses so he could read his notes, commenting: “My eyes grow weary in service to my nation.”

The crowd broke down in tears and the violent rebellion disbanded without a shot being fired. Imagine if Abraham Lincoln subdued the Confederacy merely with the opening lines of a speech. That’s basically what Washington did.

Now, the facts of the case are somewhat hazy. But there was a Whiskey Rebellion and Washington did march in with a tiny army and ended the rebellion without a single shot. But it doesn’t matter whether the story is true, Judge Blogreader. Its a good story.

4. Unnamed President in the X-Men cartoon

I'm sure there is some sort of Gender Studies paper to be written about how the woman president doesn't have a name.

Political Position

President in Marvel Universe Earth-92131

Who is she?

Though unnamed, she served President before the election of anti-mutant Senator Robert Kelly to the office of President.

Why is she braver?

During her time as President, the United States began to confront the reality of mutants, for better or worse. On the worse side, the Mutant Control Agency came to be as a private, yet government-supported, organization created with the supposed purpose of voluntary mutants registration. However, this registration information was actually given to the Sentinel program, which then hunted and captured the mutants.

Upon learning about this program, the Unnamed President immediately shut down the program.

In the face of a rising class of superhumans, a growing and at times justifiable fear among the populace, and political pressure, the Unnamed President accepted the help of the X-Men, even though they had just attacked the government installation that housed the Mutant Control Agency, and shut down the discriminatory program.

She did not give in to fear. She did not give in to cowardice. She did not give in to bigotry. Brave.

5. Arnold Vinick

Baaaaaa, bum bum bummmmmm. baa baa bummmmmmm, ba bum ba bummm (da na na na).....

Political Position

Republican Senator from California

Who is he?

On the West Wing, Vinick ran for President and was defeated by the Democratic candidate Matt Santos. Also, I think he served as a surgeon during the Korean War. Then someone killed a chicken, but it was actually a baby.

Why is he braver

I’ll point to one specific moment that was especially brave. In the West Wing episode King Corn, all the candidates are arranged to speak before the Iowa Corn Growers. While nearly all candidates are told to support ethanol, and nearly all oppose it, only Vinick has the guts to tell the corn growers than ethanol is a bad idea. I can’t find a video online, but its a great scene.

6. Christian X of Denmark

I remember a time when royalty had mustaches. Also, I wonder if he's related to Malcolm X.

Political Position

King of Denmark from 1912-1947 and the King of Iceland from 1918-1944.

Who is he?

As King of Denmark, engaged in conflict with the cabinet concerning reunification of Denmark and other territories after the Treaty of Versailles. Also, he had a mustache and apparently was a jerk.

Why is he braver

While his brother the King of Norway went into exile during Nazi occupation, he remained in the capital as a sign of support to those opposing the Nazis. During this time, he used his powers of being a jerk to fight the Nazis.

For example, on the King’s 72nd birthday Adolf Hitler apparently sent him a really long birthday telegram. The King merely replied with a “My best thanks, the King.” In response, Hitler recalled the ambassador from Cophenhagen and expelled the Danish ambassador.

Furthermore, during the Nazi occupation the King would routinely go on daily horse rides around Copenhagen, without any guard. Supposedly, while on these rides, he would wear the same Star of David that Jews were forced to wear. Brave.

Again, it doesn’t matter whether the story is true (I’m recounting it from having read Number The Stars in 5th grade), its a good story.

7. John F. Kennedy

Ich Bin Ein Rich Playboy

Political Position

Friend of Frank Sinatra, also President or something

Who is he?

JFK originally starred in a TV show about him and his brother as children before one of them would later become president. Kennedy was inspired by the plot and entered politics, laying out his plan for his administration in the feature length film JFK, which led to the spinoff film Thirteen Days. To ensure his continuation after his planned assassination, he had himself cloned. His clone would later go on to date the clone of Cleopatra in the illustrated documentary Clone High.

Why is he braver

While JFK served on PT-109, the boat was attacked by a destroyer and literally cut in half. To seek help, Kennedy swam between tiny islands, carrying people who were injured or couldn’t swim well, all the while fighting off crocodiles and sharks.

To summarize: JFK is brave because he fought a shark.

Again: Kennedy fought a shark and won!

Once more: The President of the United States fought a shark and won.

I believe it looked a little something like this

Or this!

8. Sean McBeath

More Sean McStupid. amirite?

Political Position

President of Martel College

Who is he

Sean is tall and worked for the Thresher but then didn’t but then did and also was President of Martel College or something.

Why is he braver

As part of its traditional letters asking for $$$ donations, the Rice annual fund sent out letters apparently on behalf of the college presidents, including their signatures. However, Sean did not cooperate and instead the Rice Annual Fund used a fake, machine-generated version of Sean’s signature without his permission. Sean, and the Thresher, stood up to the administration, which falsely used Sean’s signature and likeness for monetary gain.

Other college presidents had their signatures faked, too. But only Sean stood up for himself. Brave!

9. Brady Tyson

Political Position

Editor-in-Chief of the Rice Thresher

Who is he?

I don’t know too much about him

Why is he braver

In the Sept. 16, 1948 issue of the Rice Thresher, Tyson wrote the following editor to Strom Thurmond:

The Honorable J. Strom Thurmond:

In the opinion of many of us the recent contest in Harris county was marred by the injection of the racial question into the campaign. Full-page ads that mentioned States’ Rights only as a shield to prevent Federal legislation against segregation were used. Inflammatory points were arefully enumerated. The ads threatened “Negroes in your churches, in your schools, in your colleges, in your swimming pools, in your beauty shops,” unless Thurmond and Wright were supported.

Such support can only eventually hurt the cause of the States’ Rights Democrats. The Christian sense of the people of the South, will, at last, become disgusted by such a hate campaign and will react against the States’ Rights Democratic party. If such a campaign is pursued it will only mean that in the eyes of the people of America those of us who stand for States’ Rights must stand also for segregation; whereas I believe the facts to be that many of us who support the States’ Rights ticket are convinced that segregation is morally wrong, and as such must be eventually eliminated thru education and a return to the principles of Christian brotherhood.

Very truly,

BRADY TYSON

Editor The Thresher

This letter got picked up by national news. At a time when Houston, not to mention Rice, still discriminated against blacks, this guy had the balls to call out Thurmond on his unabashed racism.

Thurmond wrote back:

To the Editor:

While the segregation issue is of vital importance to the South, anyone who is familiar with the States’ Rights issue know that it is not the fundamental question which has aroused the patriotism of Southern leaders. The matter of segregation is merely one of the many fields in which the State is supreme under our United States Constitution. Among other questions are those of police power, control of the ballot, and regulation of all internal matters.

Opinions as to segregation vary in the South as elsewhere. I, myself, believe that sep-aration of the races is necessary in my own State for the welfare of both white and colored. But I am firmly convinced that this question is one for decision by the people of the separate states, and not Constitutionally under the authority of the Federal Government.

I hope this answers your questions.

If you publish my reply, please be kind enough to convey to the people of Houston my sincere appreciation for the confidence they showed in the cause of the States’ Rights Democrats in their Harris County referendum on August 28th.

With kindest regards and best wishes,

Very truly,

J. STROM THURMOND

Governor

Tyson, you’ve got balls.

Also, I’d like to give an honorable mention to some random Thresher EIC from the 1920s who wrote in the Thresher a defense of integration both nationally and on campus. I don’t have the actual article on hand, so I can’t write about it. I do recall that most of the letters in response were basically “WOULD YOU LET A NEGRO DATE YOUR SISTER WAWAWA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

10. Vaclav Havel/Nelson Mandela/whatever

Whatever, you know the deal with these guys. Thats 10.

Shitty Senators and Goldman Sachs’ Step 1: We find the worst play ever written

Why won't Drudge say shit? Is he being censored by Muslims?

Senators are cursing up a storm on the TV! This is, literally, worse than the Brooks-Sumner affair.  So far, both Claire McCaskill and Carl Levin have use the cursed S-word, in an adjective form.

You ever notice how Carl Levin looks exactly how Mallard Filmore imagines all liberals look like?

Now, there is certainly room to debate the difference between Shit and Shitty, and the leeway one is given when quoting curse words rather than using them ad hoc. (See: Racist Backpage). But instead of doing that, here is a video of Rep. Barney Frank cursing, too. Because its fun.

And as we all know, Senators cursing is way bigger new than the underlying money-making scheme of a company being contrary to a functioning marketplace. If a company can make money on investments failing, then success relies upon creating market failure, which various investment banks did. If only farmers made money by losing crops, or producers made money by a musical closing on the first day!

Of course, like in all things, someone has already made that joke.

My new favorite court case, and it involves Jurassic Park

For those who can’t tell, I love Jurassic Park. Of course, who doesn’t? Its fun, interesting, has dinosaurs and Unix. Now you’re probably saying, “I know this!” But you probably didn’t know that the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals knows this, too, and has officially recognized, in law, forever, the awesomeness of Jurassic Park. Thus, behold the case of Williams v. Crichton. (PDF: Williams v. Crichton)

For those who don’t want to read the whole thing, I’ll cut to the meaty center: About 20% of this case is just summarizing the plot to Jurassic Park. I can’t imagine which clerk got the cushy job of reading and summarizing Jurassic Park for the court. Really, what were his conversations like?

Clerk 1: I have to research the legislative history of tariffs on beets to determine what sort of regulatory structure Congress intended for various rooted vegetables. What about you?

Clerk 2: I have to read Jurassic Park and then watch the movie Jurassic Park, and then summarize the plot.

[Judge walks in]

Judge: Hey Clerk 2, how’s the progress on the research for the Williams v. Crichton case?

Clerk 2: Its going well, but I think I need to watch the film again to really get a sense of its copyrightable attributes as distinct from mere scenes a faire.

Judge: Very well, keep working.

Clerk 1: I really hope we have a copyright infringement case about Congo, because I’m sure there was a previous story about supermonkeys using diamond-powered lasers.

Anyways, the point of the summary was to compare Jurassic Park to some guy claiming Michael Crichton ripped him off, violating the copyright of his “Dinosaur World” books, which were short children’s books with titles like “Saber Tooth: A Dinosaur World Adventure.”  Basically, the books are like what Jurassic Park would have been like if it had actually opened.  Booooring. Plus, this joke had already been made in the future by the Simpsons:

For those who do not want to watch a video, or if the Hulu video isn’t working, which is wasn’t when I wrote this, you can read the words said by the characters in that wonderful 5th season episode, “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song”:

At the Kwik-E-Mart, Apu chides Bart for abusing the self-serve ice cream dispenser and making a foot-high cone.  Milhouse spies a familiar face in one of the aisles.

Milhouse: Bart, look!  It’s Principal Skinner.  And I think he’s gone crazy — he’s not wearing a suit or tie or anything!

Bart: [approaches him] Principal Skinner?  Um, I’m real sorry about my dog getting you fired, and biting you, and then getting it on with your leg.

Skinner: Well…maybe it was for the best.  Now I…I finally have time to do what I’ve always wanted: write the great American novel. Mine is about a futuristic amusement park where dinosaurs are brought to life through advanced cloning techniques.  I call it “Billy and the Cloneasaurus.”

Apu: Oh, you have _got_ to be kidding sir.  First you think of an idea that has already been done.  Then you give it a title that nobody could possibly like.  Didn’t you think this through…[later]…was on the bestseller list for eighteen months! Every magazine cover had…[later]…most popular movies of all time, sir!  What were you thinking?!  [realizing] I mean, thank you, come again.

However, the best part of this case isn’t just the retelling of the epic Jurassic Park story, even the part where “Velociraptors hunting in packs attack many people, killing some and narrowly missing others.  The children are attacked by a pack while hiding in the headquarter’s cafeteria, but they manage to trick the velociraptors into entering a giant freezer.” 84 F.3d 581, 586. The best part is not even footnote 2:
“Malcolm, near death, argues with Hammond that the park was doomed to failure from the beginning.  Hammond stalks off, and is soon killed and eaten by procompsognathids.  Malcolm also dies, succumbing to his injuries.2
2.   What seems to use a clear case of death is made more ambiguous by the sequel to Jurassic Park, a novel entitled The Lost World, where Malcolm is again a central character.

Not only must some clerk have read Jurassic Park, but The Lost World as well. Best clerk job ever (except maybe when the pre-Miller Supreme Court got to watch pornos all day long to decide if they were obscene or not). However, this leads to the Best part of this case. Now, due to this footnote, the plothole between Jurassic Park and The Lost World is now part of the official legal record. It can be cited in future cases and be held as binding. Sure, one could argue that this line, and indeed most of the summary of Jurassic Park, was just dicta. I say shut up.

Sure, maybe none of the other cases that cite this case deal directly with dinosaurs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make references to dinosaurs when discussing applicability of this case:

“characters escape deadly, pack-hunting dinosaurs … when another dinosaur intervenes.” Robinson v. New Line Cinema, 42 F.Supp.2d 578, 593.

“electrical fences, automated tours, dinosaur nurseries, and uniformed workers were all ‘classic scenes a faire that flow from the uncopyrightable concept of a dinosaur zoo.’” Randolph v. Dimension Films, 634 F.Supp.2d 779, 790.

“Both stories centered a small group of individuals, including a knowledgeable adult guide and young dinosaur enthusiasts. Both depicted harrowing encounters with carnivorous dinosaurs from which the human characters escaped, via helicopter, ‘through the combined wit of the children and adults.’” Hudson v. Universal Studios, 2008 WL 4701488

Thanks to this case, contemporary and future jurists dealing with copyright cases can talk about dinosaurs. All judges who have a chance to use this case should use this case, simply as an excuse to deluge our judicial system with references to dinosaurs. (Also, any case citing this one should refer to its dissenting opinion as “inflicting dino-damage”)

Justice Scalia is a Battle-Ravaged Allosaurus

In conclusion, Jurassic Park is now legal canon, and it should remain that way, forever. Or, as Ryan Q. North put it referencing another wonderful pastime:

Question: Does the USS Enterprise not exist on the new Star Trek timeline?

I wrote a thing for the Jurist. If you don’t go to Cardozo, you won’t care.

I have a column in this month’s Jurist, the student newspaper at Cardozo. It is about how the Office of Career Services funds summer stipends for students who work at nonprofits. You could read it on the Jurist website, but its not up yet. So instead, read it here! Direct from the newspaper.

You probably don't care about this at all

jurist PILSA funding

A problem with so much of my writing is that it is hyperlocal. Who the hell cares about how the OCS distributes summer stipends at Cardozo. The system doesn’t even affect  all the students at Cardozo, let alone anyone else. Luckily, I believe that the Thresher made a similar commentary in the 2006 Trasher, which I suppose isn’t related to the Thresher. But it is. Anyways, here’s Amber Obermeyer McCullagh and Nathan Black’s “Another long-ass policy editorial no one will read.”

Other people on the Thresher were way funnier than I was.

Long-ass policy editorial in the 2006 Trasher

Anyways, that’s what I do these days for a newspaper: hyper-specific commentary about topics only the closely associated care about. Twitter and the expansion of hyper-local news coverage is probably the best thing that could happen to me.

Literally burn down teabaggers

A few days ago, Politico ran a column comparing the Ron Paul and Sarah Palin camps in the Teabaggers. However, the real meat of the story is about half way through, with this wonderful quote:

“Literally, there’s more harm being done economically to this country than 100 A-bombs could accomplish,” said Dave Kidwell, a 44-year-old from the Detroit suburbs.”

Instantly, my mind went here:

The word Literally just reminds me of Literature, as a tech in Civilization that granted you the ability to build the Great Library Wonder

Literally, worse than 100 atomic bombs. What with the national debt being radioactive and causing cancer and all. Also, it can accidentally awaken Godzilla, who will use his firebreath to cut federal entitlement programs and defeat Mothra.

Cornyn Wood (see what I did there?)

I wrote a letter to Senator John Cornyn. You can read it here if you want. It is about the upcoming nomination of a justice to the Supreme Court, and why he should support Diane Wood.

Dear Senator Cornyn,

As a Texas voter, Rice University graduate, and 2L student at the Cardozo School of Law, I encourage you to support Diane Wood for nomination and confirmation to the United States Supreme Court.

As a member of the Senate Judiciary committee, you play a very important role in the nomination of justices, and given the totality of the circumstances, Wood is best candidate Texas can get.

I understand that your political and party allegiances will lead you to oppose Wood, whether due to partisan or policy reasons. However, anyone the President nominates is going to meet some base level of pro-choice, or traditionally liberal, approval. The question then is, given these candidates, which one is the best of all the choices. For any Texan, the overwhelming choice is Wood, the only mentioned candidate from the University of Texas.

Placing Justice Wood on the Supreme Court would send a message that the University of Texas produces legal scholars on par with Harvard, Yale and Columbia, the other only schools represented on the highest court. Indeed, her confirmation could thrust the University of Texas to the very top of law school rankings and send the message that students do not need to leave our great state to get the best possible education.

This is the closest chance since Homer Thornberry’s nomination in 1968 for Texas to have say on the court. At a time when New Jersey and New York seem to be the only acceptable origins for a Supreme Court Justice, a Wood nomination would help emphasize that Texas is a center of intellectual research and modern business, deflecting the traditional, ignorant stereotypes from the coasts. Your colleague and my representative John Culberson likes to say “Let Texans Run Texas.” Well it is time to let Texans judge Texas, not to mention every other state.

One should learn a lesson from the Senate rejecting Thornberry in the wake of the Abe Fortas scandal. After senators filibustered President Johnson’s nomination of Abe Fortas to replace Earl Warren as Chief Justice, and Thornberry to replace Fortas as Associate Justice, the chance was passed to President Nixon, who eventually nominated Justice Burger. While Burger was touted as a conservative, his eventual record could be seen as no more conservative or liberal than Thornberry’s. The main difference is that one was a Texan and one was not. Furthermore, if Johnson had made the nomination rather than Nixon, one could safely assume that he would choose a candidate much more liberal than Thornberry, and certainly one lacking in Texan sensibilities.

With this nomination at hand, you cannot hedge that a Republican will become President if a filibuster were successful. There is simply too much time and too great a Democratic majority, even if you are just waiting for the midterm elections. Obama will get a nominee, but you can influence which one. Go with the Texan.

Furthermore, of all the potential candidates, Wood distinctly has gained the respect of her conservative colleagues on one of the most conservative circuit courts. On the highest court, she would not be some renegade judge to be feared, but an academic sparring partner who would help conservative judges sharpen their own arguments, leading to better decisions and a collegial court that would embody a working bipartisanship severely lacking in today’s political rhetoric.

Even when looking at Wood’s liberal record, she deviates from some of her fellow judicial candidates by taking a position strictly limiting the Executive Branch. At a time when conservatives and Republicans worry about President Obama’s executive authority, Wood could stand as an ally with those who support a small and limited government. All of Obama’s potential nominees will be pro-choice, but not all will support a limited government.

Furthermore, Wood is the only candidate who has balanced her career while raising three children, and that experience has given her a home-town groundedness that would be hard to find from any justice, liberal or conservative.

I do not expect you to loudly proclaim your support for Wood. I do not even expect you to vote for her. However, a leaked word that a Texan nominee would lead to a smoother confirmation from the Texan Senator would be a sign that you are willing to face the facts, recognize the totality of the situation, suck it up and choose the best of all possibilities. And Wood is the best for Texas.

UPDATE: I reposted this at Daily Kos (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/4/21/859447/-The-Texan-Argument-for-Diane-Wood) And there was some discussion. But not really.

UPDATE 2: 2Up2Date: Shane brings up that O’Connor was born in El Paso. True, but she went to Stanford for undergrad and law school, and was essentially an Arizonian… Arizonite… from Arizona. Wood went to UT law, which is the main issue.

Burn Down 4/20

According to various studies that I won’t link to here, long-term marijuana use can have negative effects on short term memory, and long term memory, and also short term memory, too.

To help everyone cope with the inevitable side effects that come with celebrating 4/20 (aka Mark Shepard’s birthday), here are some ghosts from 4/20s past!

Also, wouldn’t that be a neat idea for a movie, “A 4/20 Carol” about a politician opposing a marijuana legalization bill, but then is visited by 3 ghosts: Ghost of 4/20 past, present and future. The film would go straight to DVD and would be aired regularly on late night Comedy Central.

Hey, its that 420, guy!

Or, you know, read it on the website: Roll up for the 420 magical mystery origins

I hit a few profs with the Tenure Truck

Ah memories of 4/20s past.

PooP


Brown is the color of poop. Is this sign racist?

I saved this picture but couldn’t remember if it had said boobs or poop. I thought it said boobs, and I was going to do a whole thing about how boobs are great, etc. But then an EDIT: about how boobs has two meanings and they probably meant the one where boob means idiot and not boobies, but I’ll believe what I want to believe, much like the teabaggers themselves.

But in the end, just “poop” is much funnier.

Burn Down Comics about Politicians, specifically James Baker

Apparently, Rice guy and Student Association Election loser Ruchir Shah makes comics about historical figures.

The Baker Institute is supposed to look like a Mosque. James Baker is a Muslim.

There is no Golden Age Obama, he’s clearly a Silver Age character
I don’t know what the plot to the James Baker comic is, but it has to involve the time he was abducted by Sentinals operated by a rogue political force within the Kremlin, but he escaped on board an SR-71 Blackbird, but the extreme heat and exposure to cosmic radiation imbued him to the Phoenix Force, and he had to destroy himself to both save the Earth from his massive power and heal the M’Kraan Crystal. However, it turns out that James Baker was actually a clone and the real James Baker secretly escaped from capture when he was rescued by Rice President Eric Rupp and his International Rescue Committee. In thanks for Rupp’s brave actions, Baker founded the Baker Institute for Public Policy and School for Youth Gifted at Resume Padding and gave Rupp the M’Kraan Crystal, which currently sits within a granite block in the Herring Hall courtyard.