Saturday, November 19, 2005

The news highlight of the past two days (during which my posting has been - to say the least - sporadic) has to be Brad Pitt's condition-laden vist to Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-Iowa) office. According to the Hotline's On Call, Pitt's lengthy list of demands required that Harkin (1) clear his office, (2) not introduce Pitt to anyone, and (3) provide Pitt with a cold cut platter featuring normal-sized bread.* Harkin, perhaps remembering that he's a member of the United State Senate, took extra care to violate each and every one of Pitt's conditions, to the point of introducing Mr. Movie Star ("He got the personal introduction, along with their function and everthing else") to every single member of the staff.

I like Brad Pitt as much as the next guy, but come on: if you're meeting with a Senator, the chances are pretty good that you're not the important one in the meeting, no matter how big a movie star you are.

* - I actually made the third demand up, as an excuse to make a Spinal Tap reference.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Norwegian webcam-using son (the son being Norwegian, not the webcam) saves his collapsed Californian mother by calling 911 from 5,000 miles (thank you, Google Earth) away.

Pregnant woman drives in HOV lane; police object; woman contests ticket on the grounds that her unborn child qualifies as a passenger. Clever.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Alito reportedly backed away from the abortion's-not-a-right comment this afternoon, explaining that "1985 was a 'very different' time."

Added George Michael: "Ain't that the truth."

Today's Last Call's Shot and Chaser:


"I did live in Alaska, summer of '74. And I remember it just like it was then, a vast, majestic land, so beautiful" - Bush (AP, 11/15).


"Governor says no illegal drugs used since 1974" - Houston Chronicle (8/20/99).

As of right now, this is the second graphic from the top on

Now, I haven't seen the movie, so I'm willing to accept the possibility that this is some clever pun that I as a non-Willy-Wonka-seer simply do not understand. But on the off-chance (let's say) that it isn't, I thought I'd share it with you, my loyal readers, so that you might have the same chuckle that I did.

Lefties assemble an anti-Alito coalition for the apparent express purpose of making my former co-editor's head explode.

In addition to the [Alliance for Justice], a liberal legal group that focuses on judicial nominations, the coalition includes the abortion rights groups Naral Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood, as well as People for the American Way, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Sierra Club.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Former Seinfeld writer Peter Mehlman explains Philip Roth's recent success. To summarize: it's the 'roids. Very nicely done.

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-The Rapture) challenges Bob Casey to ten debates (one for each commandment, perhaps?), and the only news source I can find that's carrying the story is the Centre Daily Times. Way to be, CDT!

Follow-Up: Hotline's On Call has the text of the letter, which says, I swear to God, "The specific details of each debate would be determined by you and I or our representatives."

Makes a person pause, doesn't it? I guess you have to admire the man's brazenness. I mean, why bother proofreading? It's not like Santorum's press secretary was actually distributing copies of this letter to the media.

Gavin Newsom (D-Future), in Iowa (of all places), on Democrats' public abandonment of their core positions:

"We're running a 90-yard dash right now and not crossing the finish line," Newsom said. "We're not saying publicly what we say privately on many issues."

As much as I hate (really, hate) to link to the Washington Times, this would certainly appear to be newsworthy.

"It has been an honor and source of personal satisfaction for me to serve in the office of the Solicitor General during President Reagan's administration and to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly," [Alito] wrote [in 1985]. "I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

The Houston Chronicle picks former Commerce Secretary Don Evans as Andy Card's eventual replacement (should such replacement become necessary...).

During Dave Barry's hiatus,* the Miami Herald publishes a "classic" column every Monday. Today's, "A handyman's guide to decks and other manmade disasters," is one of my all-time favorites (not quite in the Ernest-and-Zippy range, but certainly up there with some of his great stuff from the early-90s glory days). Chock full of helpful tips.

* - And here's hoping that it stays a hiatus, without blossoming into something more permanent.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

From Yale law professor Robert Gordon: "Alito is a careful carpenter. [His opinions] are well built, but they are not beautiful."

Quite a nice essay by the Dalai Lama calling for an open debate on the interaction of religion and science:

While I agree that certain religious concepts conflict with scientific facts and principles, I also feel that people from both worlds can have an intelligent discussion, one that has the power ultimately to generate a deeper understanding of challenges we face together in our interconnected world.
I've pretty much chosen sides in this one, but I'm hardly averse to the idea of an open, intelligent discussion. (Preferably one in which we give those religious types a damn good thrashing.)