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Bottomless Credibility Pit

[ 0 ] October 24, 2008 |

I remember when Andy McCarthy was just a garden-variety hack, making sudden conversions to farcical constitutional arguments that happen to favor Republican interests (note: his analysis of the unconstitutionality of filibustering judicial appointments expires in January 2009.)   But impending electoral oblivion has apparently removed any remaining mental faculties, causing him to become a crackpot Obama birth certificate truther  (hey, if you don’t spend most of your resources defending against ludicrously frivolous lawsuits filed by people who are to 9/11 what you are to Obama, their claims must be true!), claim that Bill Ayers wrote Obama’s biography,  and to unthinkingly endorse claims about black Obama supporters assaulting McCain supporters so implausible even Michelle Malkin won’t touch them.   What a shame it is to lose one’s mind, such as it was.   

Alas, this is going to get worse before it gets better; I expect his cover story about how Obama was behind the killing of Vince Foster and the Arkansas drug trade no later than March.     And he should take over editorship of the Wall Street Journal op-ed page no later than June…
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QOTD

[ 3 ] October 24, 2008 |

Commenter “Njorl” on McCain social policy:

There are plenty of options for children with no special needs. They can:

-Marry a beer heiress.
-Get elected to Congress and get comprehensive medical care.
-Start a small business and earn over $250,000 per year.

Six year olds who are not doing these things are expressing a preference for not having quality medical care.

At this point, it also seems worth noting that the McCain/Hensley family fortune was based on risk-taking job-creating entrepreneurship a government-established rent-extracting racket that restricts consumer choice while adding no discernible value. Now that’s the kind of state intervention we can support, my friends!

Throwing Priorities Under the Bus Is A Real Game-Changer That Could Close The Deal

[ 15 ] October 24, 2008 |


I think there’s only one solution to the crisis in the McCain campaign…another bold initiative to send us to Mars!

Just Sayin’

[ 0 ] October 23, 2008 |

If I was going to select someone to dispense earnest campaign advice, I might try to find someone who didn’t confidently claim that John McCain was an “even chance” to win Massachusetts.

Socialist of the Day

[ 2 ] October 23, 2008 |

John McCain. After all, a free market tax scheme would try to tax all types of income relatively equally and trust the market to distribute resources. But McCain wants to “pick winners and losers” and benefit investors as opposed to people who earn money through wages or salaries. Oh, the humanity!

And, of course, proposing a capital gains tax cut as a remedy to…a collapsing stock market makes it a super-brilliant idea.

Requiem For An Academic

[ 13 ] October 22, 2008 |

Deposed Canadian Liberal leader was indeed a good and able man, but was pretty clearly unsuited to the job as a party leader, as his whining about garden-variety opposition attacks during the campaign makes clear. I wish he had succeeded but he certainly didn’t.

Now we have to hope that torture apologist and “dirty hippies made me support the Iraq fiasco” jagoff Michael Ignatieff doesn’t take over…

The Wages of Being Thankfully Wrong

[ 0 ] October 22, 2008 |

As some readers may remember, I have a friendly wager with frequent commenter Howard about whether the Yankees will make the playoffs and win the AL East. Thankfully, my affirmative wagers were wrong! Hence, according to my promise, I have donated $50 to the No On Prop 8 campaign. The importance of not allowing an initiative to nullify marriage rights for same-sex couples can scarcely be overstated, and this is looking like a close race, so it’s a cause worthy of your consideration.

And showing some flexibility since Howard is a jazz fan who’s been kind enough to enrich my own too-small collection several times, I’ve donated the other $50 to the highly anticipated recording project of the Secret Society. Darcy is a virtual and meatspace friend who has drawn deservedly fulsome praise from Ben Ratliff among others. In addition, my original proposed honoree, Planned Parenthood, won’t get stiffed — I’ll give to them this Christmas.

Readers should feel free, as Howard has, to match any donations of their choosing. Hmm, and maybe someone should make a reverse-hedge World Series bet with Atrios?

The "Impartiality" of Originalist Judging: A Video Representation

[ 36 ] October 21, 2008 |

Starring Wilbur Hackett as Antonin Scalia.

Bonus footage: a new movie about Bush v. Gore, featuring Nelson Emerson as the Republican Party and Denis Morel as Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

The Originalist Dodge

[ 0 ] October 21, 2008 |

Clarence Thomas makes a typical argument in favor of originalism:

Let me put it this way; there are really only two ways to interpret the Constitution — try to discern as best we can what the framers intended or make it up…To be sure, even the most conscientious effort to adhere to the original intent of the framers of our Constitution is flawed, as all methodologies and human institutions are; but at least originalism has the advantage of being legitimate and, I might add, impartial.

The choice between “originalism” and “nihilism” is a silly, false one; even to most realists, not all constitutional arguments are equally plausible. The idea that originalism is “impartial” is equally indefensible, not least because “originalism” rarely produces determinate outcomes when applied to concrete cases (and in the rare cases where “originalism” cannot produce a plausible conservative outcome on cases Thomas strongly cares about, he’ll simply ignore the evidence anyway.)

This formulation is important, however, because unless the choice is “originalism or nothing” originalism has no chance to become a widely acceptable method. If there are multiple defensible interpretive methods, originalists would have to explain why it’s normatively attractive to bind 21st century Americans to 18th century constitutional norms, a claim most people (including, when you actually get down to cases, most originalists — like the “faint-hearted” Antonin Scalia, not to mention most of the founders themselves) will reject. Rather, originalism fails on both counts: it’s not normatively appealing, and it doesn’t constrain judicial discretion more than other theories of constitutional interpretation. Thomas doesn’t address these arguments so much as make assertions that dodge the crucial questions.

PUMAs…

[ 8 ] October 21, 2008 |

are like unicorns. Why this surprises anybody I can’t tell you. I mean, Lady de Rothschild isn’t leading a populist revolt in favor of more upper-class tax cuts in the Democratic party, I’m shocked!

The Incredible Vanishing "Voter Fraud"

[ 10 ] October 21, 2008 |

Of course. But the point of the whole exercise was to get another apocryphal example of “voter fraud” out there for Republican vote suppressers to use as a pretext, so in that sense every claim is successful…

"Our Greatest Vulnerability is that We’re Complete Morons Willing to Spend Unlimited Amounts of Time Developing Insane Theories About Trivia" Part II

[ 5 ] October 20, 2008 |

Remember that exclusive “African Press International” story? Where Michelle Obama was supposed to have given a Hate Whitey interview to a press organization manifested in a cheap-looking wordpress site? Fortunately, it’s all been explained:


The circle was completed by Jammie Wearing Fool, who suggested that the API report may be “a clever bit of astroturfing by the Obama camp trying to dupe people into running with bogus information.” (Why would they bother?)

Yes. That must be it. Although I can’t argue with the proposition that right blogosphere is very, very easily duped.

Meanwhile, for bonus fun we can also see the Corner going back to the anonymous letter writer/apocryphal cab driver or cocktail party with sneering liberals genre. Always stick with the classics! Combining the two is even better…

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