• on a comment on We Are a Nation in Decline over 4 years ago

    Growing up, I knew a few older people who couldn't speak English.  They were were Italian-Americans.  Today, I live fewer than 100 miles from the Mexican border.  I don't think I've ever encountered anyone here who can't or "refuses" to learn English.  

    That said, if making a Spanish language ballot or legal document will help someone, I say go for it.  It's just sounds we make with our mouths.  

  • William F. Buckley campaigned for him in 1988 against the liberal Republican Lowell Weicker.  He's always been the Republican's Democrat.

  • And actually, even if you do have a clearance, you still need to have a "need to know" to access particular classified information.  In other words, just because you have a particular clearance, doesn't mean you can just walk over to CIA headquarters and start browsing through the files, reading everything at your clearance level.

    I don't question Cheney holding a clearance as an ex-VP, but I do question why he has a need to know anything now that he's out of the government.

  • Ok, I realize it's snark.  But is it snark of snark (snark^2)?

    Because if it's just snark and not snark^2, I feel truly sad for mydd and motley moose.

  • You could allow for truly temporary appointments with a strict time limit, say 90 days.

  • An explanation is gilding the lily of what all of already knows.

    I don't know about that.  It could be that he's moved away from favoring gay marriage because he needs to get elected so he can implement his agenda.  It could also be, though, that he recognizes that the President is the president of all Americans and that he needs to take into account widespread opinions even if he disagrees with them.  Maybe he sees civil unions as a compromise position.

    I could see where those two explanations could lead to different outcomes.  It would be nice to know his real motivations.

    I'm also not sure that having to guess the 'real' motivations of politicians is conductive to a healthy democracy.

  • The notion that the state has the power through statute to compel God (whomever that may be) to recognize a spiritual commitment is equally absurd.  The state has no business playing church.

    I do, though, have to object to your statement regarding marriage as an institution that's thousands of years old.  That's something of a canard.  It's true that there has been something recognized as "marriage" for thousands of years, but it's been continually redefined over those thousands of years.  It's quite different today, for instance, from the way it's described in the bible.  It no longer includes polygamy or incest, divorce is possible, interfaith marriages are permitted, etc.  

    Like I said, I agree with you almost wholeheartedly, but we should be careful not to give institutions a permanence and taken-for-grantedness that they don't deserve.

  • on a comment on On the blow off of Dean over 5 years ago

    The first time I heard someone refer to "The Chicago Way" it was Sean Hannity.  Good grief.

  • Thanks.  That makes sense.  I wonder, though, whether anyone really disputes that.  In that case they're either judging the outcome based on already existing qualifications, or making a judgment based on an investigation.  Neither of those seem to apply here as I haven't seen any evidence that Burris bought the seat, and "not appointed by a governor under investigation" seems a lot like an additional qualification added specifically to disqualify Blago.  I understand it's arguable, though.

    Frankly, I wish they would seat him provisionally pending the outcome of an investigation.  

  • I agree that Moscow is inferring quite a lot, but what on earth is hideworthy in his comment?

  • I'm not a lawyer, I'm hoping you can explain this.  I've read the Tribe article, but I guess I don't understand it.  He says:

    The fact that he is indisputably "qualified" in the constitutional sense has no bearing on the authority of the Senate under Article I, Section 5 to serve as the sole "Judge of the Elections"--and, by extension, the temporary appointments--of would-be members.

    But, earlier, he states that Article I, Section 5 does not grant "any power to deny membership through the discretionary addition of ideological or other 'qualifications' to those carefully laid out in the Constitution itself".

    It seems to me he's making two claims here.  How is denying any candidate appointed by Blago not the discretionary addition of "ideological or other qualifications"?

    I also find unconvincing his argument that barring Burris is OK because the Senate decided to bar whomever was appointed, regardless of who they were.  That is, they had no way of knowing who would be affected by the rule, so it was not crafted to stop Burris specifically.  Does that mean it would be OK for a Republican-controlled Senate to refuse to seat a senator from Massachusetts as long as they announced their intention prior to the filing of candidates?  

    Tribe may be right.  However, I certainly hope he is not.  His interpretation seems to be against the spirit, if not the letter, of a constitution designed to protect the democratic rights of a free people.

  • the problem was that Jerome killed it off when he took away rating privileges after the "Is this snark?" thing.  He was right to let Alegre post here even though her posts were mindless fan-worship.  He was wrong, though, to punish people for following the guidelines of the site which call for downrating comments that serve only to belittle other users.  Suddenly, he wasn't encouraging open discussion, he was a hypocrite.  It pissed people off and they left.  Soon after, Alegre and the rest of the PUMAs jumped ship (big surprise: when you lie down with dogs...) and now there's hardly anyone left.

  • on a comment on Stop Hijacking LGBT Issues over 5 years ago

    that marriage is more than just the legal rights that come along with it.  You seem to recognize that, because you imply that "marriage" is qualitatively better than "civil union".

    The reason it's qualitatively different is because marriage adds religious, moral and spiritual elements.  The problem is that by granting the state authority over those elements, in addition to the legal elements, you allow the state to make religious, moral and spiritual arguments against same-sex marriage.  If you don't grant the state that authority, the issue is a relatively straightforward case of equal protection.    

  • on a comment on Stop Hijacking LGBT Issues over 5 years ago
    Sorry about the formatting - it looked ok before I posted. Don't know what happened.

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