March 29, 2012

"Tony Scalia's Retirement Has Started Early."

Says Charles P. Pierce on the Esquire website.

Calling a man of Italian ancestry "Tony" when that isn't his nickname? Isn't that on the level of calling a Latino "Jose" or a black man "Leroy" (or some such stereotypical name)?

Of course, quite aside from that, the blog post is bilge:
I think Justice Antonin Scalia isn't even really trying any more. It's been clear for some time now that he's short-timing his job on the Supreme Court. The job bores him....  he's now bringing Not Giving A Fuck to an almost operatic level.
Opera... see? That's like talking about a black person and throwing in watermelon.
His "originalism" was always a shuck, even if it was consistent, which it rarely was, and even if it was principled, which it never was.... But at least, for a while, he actually tried to act like a judge in a democratic republic, and not the lost Medici pope. 
Pope? More anti-Italian (and anti-Catholic) stereotyping crap, which Pierce probably thinks is just fine, indeed hilarious, because it's against a conservative.
It is plain now that Scalia simply doesn't like the Affordable Care Act on its face.... He doesn't think that the people who would benefit from the law deserve to have a law that benefits them. On Tuesday, he pursued the absurd "broccoli" analogy... And today, apparently, he ran through every twist and turn in the act's baroque political history in an attempt to discredit the law politically, rather than as a challenge to its constitutionality. (What in hell does the "Cornhusker Kickback" — yet another term of art that the Justice borrowed from the AM radio dial — have to do with the severability argument? Is Scalia seriously making the case that a banal political compromise within the negotiations from which bill eventually is produced can affect its ultimate constitutionality? Good luck ever getting anything passed if that's the standard.)
Pierce just doesn't understand what the Cornhusker Kickback has to do with the severability argument. He smears Scalia, but he doesn't do the basic work of fathoming the argument. He denounces without earning the right to denounce, and instead of saying anything of any value about law he flips out over into the ethnic insults.

Here's the portion of the severability argument — transcript PDF — where Scalia talks about the Cornhusker Kickback:

JUSTICE SCALIA: All right. The consequence of your proposition, would Congress have enacted it without this provision....
That is, Paul Clement's argument — attacking the statute — is that the test of what is severable — what will fall along with the unconstitutional provision — is whatever Congress would pass if it were asked to vote on the bill with the unconstitutional provision extracted.
That would mean that if we struck down nothing in this legislation but the -- what's it called, the Cornhusker kickback, okay, we find that to violate the constitutional proscription of venality, okay? (Laughter.)
He's stating a hypothetical: What if the only thing removed were that one provision, the Cornhusker kickback? For the purposes of the hypothetical, he made up a fictional constitutional ground that it is held to violate — a constitutional rule against a purely venal law. ("Venality is a vice associated with being bribeable or of selling one's services or power, especially when one should act justly instead.")  We know that the Cornhusker kickback — AKA the Nebraska Compromise — was a deal made by Harry Reid to get the vote of Senator Ben Nelson, the last hold-out among the Democrats. The state of Nebraska got 100% funding for Medicaid, unlike all the other states, so that extra funding to Nebraska approaches vote-buying.

Maybe there should be a constitutional rule like the one Scalia hypothesizes. That is a quick attack on the political process that produced the bill, but it's actually not irrelevant to the question of severability, because there's a question about deferring to democratic decisionmaking, and that deference is less justified when the process itself is dysfunctional democracy. But the function of the Cornhusker kickback in the hypothetical is mainly, simply, that one provision of a big statute has been stricken down.
JUSTICE SCALIA: When we strike that down, it's clear that Congress would not have passed it without that. It was the means of getting the last necessary vote in the Senate. And you are telling us that the whole statute would fall because the Cornhusker kickback is bad. That can't be right.
So Justice Scalia has landed a brutal attack on Clement's theory of severability at that point. The hypothetical was knife-sharp and brilliant. But Pierce can't even understand it — or lies about his incapacity. 
MR. CLEMENT: Well, Justice Scalia, I think it can be, which is the basic proposition, that it's congressional intent that governs. Now everybody on this Court has a slightly different way of divining legislative intent. And I would suggest the one common ground among every member of this Court, as I understand it, is you start with the text. Everybody can agree with that.
So Clement readjusts and begins to articulate a text-based approach to severability, which he knows is more what Scalia wants, but he craftily preserves the other theory, which he knows some of the other Justices might prefer.

130 comments:

chuck said...

"Not Giving A Fuck"

I thought that was a Mozart aria, not some Italian thing.

damikesc said...

I saw the article after a lot of Progressives I know thought it was great.

It was poorly thought out and rather offensive --- though they never see that part of it.

They never seem to see the racism that they and their friends tend to be guilty of. That's why they smear Thomas in racist terms. Smeared Palin and Bachmann with sexism (apparently, they're nailing the WI LG with the same kind of nonsense). It's why we see Tom Hanks on stage with a guy in blackface at an event that had a remarkable lack of racial diversity (they could've been invisible in a snowstorm).

Scalia is a brilliant jurist. Even if I don't agree with his take --- the Democrats chose to remove severability, so if it fails for even tiny reasons, then that was their goal to try and stop SCOTUS from overturning it --- it was a smart take.

And one that the writer was too dumb to recognize was more beneficial to his side than any Progressive thinker or jurist on the Left side of the court had come up with.

AJ Lynch said...

Libruls are succumbing to mass hysteria- and the Prozak makers will make a bundle off them!

Peter said...

Even without explicit name-calling, it's hard to see this "argument" rising above ad hominem.

As with most such attacks, it says far more about the attacker than about the attacked.

edutcher said...

Apparently , this is the opening gun in the Administration's attack on SCOTUS (according to Fox News, which just ran the piece) in anticipation of ZeroCare being knocked down.

Considering the prudent thing would be to wait and see what happens, Axelrod & Co must figure the jig is up, as they say.

Scott M said...

As with most such attacks, it says far more about the attacker than about the attacked.

What does it say about the attacker if he says that the attackee's mother smelt of elderberries?

Scott M said...

, Axelrod & Co must figure the jig is up

It might be interesting to keep track of how many higher-ups in the administration find that they need to spend more time with their families between now and the convention.

the wolf said...

Who said that? Chuck Pierce?

leslyn said...

It's an Esquire article. It's supposed to be provocative. That helps sell issues. You fell for it.

Richard Dolan said...

Nice takedown of Pierce. You could spend all your time doing nothing but knocking down similar stuff elsewhere in blogland. The comment thread at Esquire following the article is even more bizarre -- lots of insipid drivel evidently intended to be cutting.

Sadly, this is not a unique feature of the left-o-sphere in blogland.

Seven Machos said...

I think we should take it easy on Pierce. After all, the guy is a pommie and a limey with horrible teeth. His mother is ugly and she reeks of patchouli. He is a dorky geek who wears stupid underwear and couldn't get laid in a brothel full of fat, blind women.

Matthew said...

Someone should write to the Esquire complaining about their allowing blatantly racist, anti-Italian language into their article.

Mainly for, as they say, the lulz.

leslyn said...

Or maybe not (falling for it). Maybe it was provocative here.

There I go with conspiracy theories again. (Hi Meade.)

leslyn said...

@Seven Machos:

He is a dorky geek who wears stupid underwear and couldn't get laid in a brothel full of fat, blind women.

And in that outfit, you could??

MadisonMan said...

It's entirely possible that the headline was not written by the author.

Didn't read the article. Headline didn't draw me in. Fail.

tim in vermont said...

Liberals can't get over the idea that the ideal government, in their mind, has unlimited power, and that the US is instead, a constitutional republic.

Whey they say "this is what democracy looks like," they mean that 51% voters should be able to vote to beggar 49%.

rcocean said...

Pierce is another lefty sports writer who writes about politics.

Like Olbermann he's as dumb as a post. So, no I don't think he's pretending not to understand Scalia.

chickenlittle said...

Like Robin Hood of olde, Althouse pierced the man's arrow, scoring a better bullseye.

Seven Machos said...

And yet another provincial rube too stupid to know what she doesn't know. Way to go, Les. Way to display your utter lack of knowledge about the world in which you live.

Pienso que tu madre y padre estan muy triste.

damikesc said...

Leslyn, I assume you defendee Rush in the Fluke thing, right? If not, why not?

Ann Althouse said...

"It's an Esquire article. It's supposed to be provocative. That helps sell issues. You fell for it."

When you apply that analysis equally, across the political spectrum, you'll have some credibility.

Right now, it's obvious that you just don't like your guy getting slammed.

Tough.

He deserves it.

Seven Machos said...

I was listening to the sad leftist AM talk radio yesterday, driving my car, passing the time. I heard an extended ad from Media Matters about the Limbaugh fracas that ended with a plea for listener to call the local station that carries Limbaugh to say -- I kid you not -- that what Limbaugh did is no way to treat a lady.

And I thought, what we seem to have on the left today is a sort of flabby (philosophically) Victorian promiscuity as the highest value. That, and of course gayness. And free shit.

You dumb asses have come a long way from Mill, though not far from that moron Rousseau (speaking of ugly morons).

But, Les, tell us more about how Mexican professional wrestlers don't get laid. Because, yeah, that has to be true. Right?

Leo said...

I don't understand. What's wrong with a theory that if one provision of any act is found unconstitutional then (unless there are severability clauses) the whole act should be struck down? Congress is empowered to make the choices about severability should it want to. If the Cornhusker kickback would not be accepted if a severability clause were added then then the court would by severing it stop the Nebraskan electorate from having adequate representation in congress. Surely it has to be best if the rules about severability are well known so that congress can accurately draft legislation which accounts for the possibility of being struck down.

bgates said...

Libruls are succumbing to mass hysteria- and the Prozak makers will make a bundle off them!

The evil drug companies should not be allowed to profit from librul suffering. We should force insurance companies to provide Prozac for free.

drozz said...

there are too many provisions, riders, clauses, etc. in the 2700 pages of this monstrosity to argue for complete strikedown of the ACA. in the case the mandate would be stricken, most justices had some very well founded concerns regarding severability.

the first has to do with the size of the legislation. the court's time is precious, and they just don't have the time to do this. scalia pretty much stated this overtly with the 8th amendment joke.

the second is power. does the court have the same powers as congress to surgically remove certain provisions they feel impacted? resoundingly no.

the third is unintended consequences. the justices do not know the impact, and how it would resonate with the other 2700 pages. i beleive all sides were arguing as to how integral the mandate was (e.g. just a tool vs. a very integral tool), and neither side really argued persuasively. this rides with point one above.

there's just too much grey area here for the judges to act in favor of Florida. the easiest thing for them to do at this point would be vote to sever and send back. it would represent the best option for the judges.

i say they vote to strike the publically hated mandate (5-4), and give Congress the option to regain some face (vote for severability 8-1, with thomas dissenting)

side bar-we all know there are calls already that this will be judicial activism. but what about the four judges who voted against? it's a double standard.

drozz said...

oh and pierce and dionne are drones. try not to get too angry.

edutcher said...

Seven's point about Rush, and the failure to crucify him - which, of course, has backfired wondrously - highlights the malaise on the Left.

Nothing is working for them these days.

Palladian said...

Charlie Pierce is also a regular panelist on the crappy NPR news quiz show "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" (where Carl Kassel once quoted Althouse, I believe).

But my favorite Pierce "gem" is this, from 2004:

"If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age."

As rcocean pointed out, Pierce is a low-budget Keith Olbermann.

X said...

Who said that? Chuck Pierce?

he goes by Chaz

Paddy O said...

"Not Giving A Fuck" is another stereotype, one that I've often heard used to describe Dean Martin's persona.

Menefreghismo is the italian term.

dbp said...

What makes the story especially funny is that Justice Scalia is not only making a cogent point, but is making a point for Charles P. Pierce's side!

So blinkered by Nino-hate, even as he is unaware of Scalia's actual nickname, he doesn't notice that the judge is generously offering a point for the administration's side.

Rob said...

The article and the comments are one big "Scalia is fat and stupid" ad hominem fest. Is that the best the left can do?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I'm not a lawyer and I don't even follow the Supreme court very closely, but I understood the Cornhusker Kickback reference at first hearing, and it actually tended to support the government's argument by making Clement try to draw a bright line on how important a provision must be in order to not be severable. Of course, to get that you have to actually read the transcript, which apparently Pierce did not do.

MadisonMan said...

@seven, I hope Helen Reddy was playing in the background of the ad.

leslyn said...

Ann Althouse said...
"'It's an Esquire article. It's supposed to be provocative. That helps sell issues. You fell for it.'"

"When you apply that analysis equally, across the political spectrum, you'll have some credibility.

"Right now, it's obvious that you just don't like your guy getting slammed."

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Seven Machos said...

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

So much so that you keep posting twaddle. Your actions obviously demonstrate your lack of caring. Clearly, you are investing no time in this.

leslyn said...

Seven Machos said,

...a plea for listener to call the local station that carries Limbaugh to say -- I kid you not -- that what Limbaugh did is no way to treat a lady. Ow. That really does hurt. Ick.

And,

But, Les, tell us more about how Mexican professional wrestlers don't get laid. Because, yeah, that has to be true. Right?

I suspect Mexican professional wrestlers can get laid as much as they want. I just wouldn't go near you while you're wearing that mask.

phx said...
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Seven Machos said...

Incorrigibly stupid.

Scott M said...

Some of you guys got your own level of PC that won't be outdone.

Conditioning can be a harsh mistress. One thing I've noticed more and more as time goes by is that people on the left absolutely hate being reminded with which side came up with political correctness.

Lyssa said...

I'm Italian, but I definitely would not have read this as offensive to my heritage. I'm also certain that I've heard of Scalia being called Tony regularly, including by people he is friendly with. (I'm pretty sure that, if I remember The Nine correctly, the other justices call him that - could be wrong, though.)

That said, yes, Pierce's actual argument is incredibly stupid. (And I hate when people attempt to criticize a political figure by calling him or her an overly casual name - yes, that goes for people who refer to the President as "Barry", too.) What do they think that they're proving that way?

Fen said...

But my favorite Pierce "gem" is this, from 2004: "If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age."

Oh geez, what a wretched soul. He's fowarding the meme that Kennedy did "pennance" for killing Mary Jo by "serving the people" as a Congressman.

Kennedy: "So what if I left you to suffocate in the back of a car, I *believe* in welfare so that makes it all okay..."

What a farce. Pierce is already in Hell. Fine by me. Let him rot there.

damikesc said...

But, Les, tell us more about how Mexican professional wrestlers don't get laid.

...well, some unmasked Luchas are stunningly ugly or look real, real, real young (looking at you, Rey Misterio Jr)

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

You look great decked out in hypocrisy.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
damikesc said...

I'm Italian, but I definitely would not have read this as offensive to my heritage.

...now pretend you're a Progressive. As a somewhat more conservative/Libertarian type, you tend to not get hung up over these things.

But is it really wrong to expect the civility and diversity police to live up to the standards they demand of those of us who DON'T buy into it?

Scott M said...

Only when rational people refuse it from either side can we finally evolve, IMO.

I can both refute it and make sure those responsible don't forget their folly. The other side needs to refute it and remember it was their folly.

Those who forget history...etc, etc.

Seven Machos said...

Rey Misterio Jr gets laid plenty. I'd bet any amount. This proves my point perfectly. I mean, if Rey Misterio Jr is getting all the trim he gets, imagine what a normal-looking Lucha hero must be pulling.

damikesc said...

The trouble with that standard is that it makes it impossible for anyone to stop doing that shite. Every attempt to curb it is met with "You guys started it."

Only when rational people refuse it from either side can we finally evolve, IMO.


True.

We just dealt with weeks of "conservatives have a war against women" because we have the audacity to not support forcing us to pay for their birth control.

There's a difference between "Don't always say 'they started it'" and just accepting whatever bullshit one side lobs at the others.

If you expect US to live up to your standards, you had damned well best live up to them yourself first.

damikesc said...

Rey Misterio Jr gets laid plenty. I'd bet any amount. This proves my point perfectly. I mean, if Rey Misterio Jr is getting all the trim he gets, imagine what a normal-looking Lucha hero must be pulling.

He's married with kids, if memory serves. So, getting laid plenty is sketchy. Also looks 15 when he's nicely into his 30's.

Now, if Psichosis got laid a lot, then that would be impressive. :)

Alex said...

Go Tony "Soprano" Scalia, make the libruls quake in FEAR. You are indeed the GODfather.

John Cunningham said...

Sounds like Pierce still in love with President Rastus and VP Slow Joe.

Revenant said...

So much so that you keep posting twaddle. Your actions obviously demonstrate your lack of caring. Clearly, you are investing no time in this.

It is not enough to ignore us. We must also know that we are being ignored.

Rabel said...

Charles P. Pierce:

"The zealot is very often the hardest person to argue with, because he doesn't know what he doesn't know, but he knows what he believes."

Seems like a man with a great deal of insight.

bgates said...

Every attempt to curb it is met with "You guys started it."

If a leftist defended a conservative from PC attacks, he'd both avoid that reminder and be seen as principled instead of partisan.

phx said...
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phx said...
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Scott M said...

But that's just MO.

I'm fairly certain it happens in the other 49 states as well.

Louise said...

I'm Italian, but I definitely would not have read this as offensive to my heritage.

Same here and me neither, but I do get a chuckle co-dependency displayed in that statement. Someone seems to have a lot invested in the name-calling.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

No I'm pretty sure it's just Missouri.

You'd have to prove it to me.

Amartel said...

Pierce and like-minded residents of the "elite" media echo chamber are losing their grip on the narrative. It has all been so easy up to now. No one who matters has questioned their ownership and mastery of the culture and its interpretation. They have not had to think deeply, or sometimes at all, about other points of view, other people.

damikesc said...

I don't really expect conservatives or liberals to live up these standards. I expect principled people to live up them.

Except I don't feel un-PC thoughts as being all that bad. Rude, certainly. But rudeness is fine. I don't feel it is a major issue.

I'm not the one who supports jihads against people who offend certain sensibilities. Do I CARE that Bill Maher is a misogynist? No. No skin off my back. If a woman wants to be with him in spite of it, oh well. Not my problem. Free speech can be exceedingly ugly.

But if a certain political idealogy is going to have adherents who will tolerate Maher's rhetoric --- heck, applaud him for it --- AND proceed to bash Rush for far less coarse language and views, then they have issues to answer for.

If I'm going to see conservatives BLAMED for the shooting of Giffords for "harsh rhetoric" --- and then watch those same critics say far worse about conservatives, then there is an issue. A big one.

Conservatives stood up for that useless putz Don Imus when he driven off the air for basically nothing. I thought Maher being forced off ABC for making idiotic comments on P.I was dumb (the show being terrible was more than reason enough).

How many Progressives stood up for Rush with this absurd "scandal"? Kristen Powers is the closest I've seen to one. How many called out leftist commentators for comments about Palin that would've led to outrage if made about any Democratic woman? How many Progressives would be OK with an actor doing a voiceover in a documentary for a Republican candidate for President after he was nailed, on film, at an event with a guy in blackface in a lily-white gathering?

Principled people need to live up to their own standards before demanding I live up to the standards that I feel are fraudulent.

Amartel said...

Rabel,
Yes, how insightful of unknowledgeable Mr. Pierce.
The quote about the zealot sounds familiar, a lot like the quote by Winston Churchill that "a fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Canuck said...

I thought the cornhusker deal wasn't in the statute.

damikesc said...

Here's the deal about "principled people": they don't demand that others live up to the standards of what's right before they will live up to them themselves.

What you aren't getting is that "what's right" is in dispute.

I don't advocate driving somebody off the air or costing them their job for saying something stupid.

There are a lot of Progressives who disagree --- yet a lot of Progressives have a tendency to just lightly toss out racist, sexist, etc comments about conservatives they don't agree with.

To THEM, doing such things is bad --- apparently, unless you don't agree with that person. Then it is peachy.

It's no better than having a Kennedy discuss the need for renewable energy like wind while simultaneously fighting a wind farm that might be visible from their compound. I don't buy global warming as a problem at all --- but people like him expect me to change my behavior "for the good of the planet" while they actively fight doing the same?

It's no better than Obama telling people to not take extravagant vacations while taking LOTS of extravagant vacations.

Now whether everyone agrees what "right" is, is something else again. But the "You go first" argument is strictly for children.

Again, I have no problem with offensive commentary. When Progressive activists who claim they find people like Rush's comments so offensive go after people like Maher who say far worse, I'll take them seriously.

Otherwise, I'll just point out their hypocrisy and label their "beliefs" as a scam.

Again, if you expect somebody to live up to a standard they eschew but you believe is important, you'd best live up to that standard first.

Pogo said...
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Pogo said...

"You go first" argument is strictly for children.

However, once the majority of the media, schools, and government are run by persons who are themselves immature and childish thinkers, there is no point in acting like an adult around them.

They do not have the capacity for mature, rational and learned thought.

The adult behavior you desire is completely lost on them. When they number but a few, that fact can be ignored.

But the sophomoric utopian boneheads (with their rigid licentiousness) control most of the levers of society, so one must play their game by their rules.

It's foolish to behave as if we were back in the 1820s or 1920s, when there were fewer idiots in charge.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

What does the cornhusker kickback have to do with the constitutionality of the ACA? Yes, Justice Scalia said that the ACA wouldn't have passed without the cornhusker kickback, but there's a slight problem with his claim. THE CORNHUSKER KICKBACK WAS STRIPPED OUT OF THE FINAL VERSION OF THE BILL! AKA, THE ACA DID PASS WITHOUT IT!!!!!!

damikesc said...

What does the cornhusker kickback have to do with the constitutionality of the ACA? Yes, Justice Scalia said that the ACA wouldn't have passed without the cornhusker kickback, but there's a slight problem with his claim. THE CORNHUSKER KICKBACK WAS STRIPPED OUT OF THE FINAL VERSION OF THE BILL! AKA, THE ACA DID PASS WITHOUT IT!!!!!!

Can you do people a favor and actually READ THE POST YOU'RE RESPONDING TO?

Your question has been answered.

John Stodder said...

THE CORNHUSKER KICKBACK WAS STRIPPED OUT OF THE FINAL VERSION OF THE BILL! AKA, THE ACA DID PASS WITHOUT IT!!!!!!

Wrong, stupid. When you use the all caps feature to express how irate you are at the foolishness around you, first check your facts. This from a very liberal site:

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2012/03/29/scalia-is-actually-right-about-cornhusker-kickback/

The cornhusker kickback was SUBSEQUENTLY repealed in a separate piece of legislation. It was just too embarrassing a bribe to allow to stand. But it was part of Obamacare as passed and signed by the president. .

Revenant said...

What does the cornhusker kickback have to do with the constitutionality of the ACA?

Nothing at all. Of course, neither Scalia nor anyone else ever said it did -- but don't let that get in the way of your caps lock key. :)

Chip S. said...

Charlie Pierce's education culminated in a bachelor's degree in journalism at Marquette. Since then he's gone on to a mediocre career in sportswriting and game-show paneling.

Althouse's smackdown of this troll demonstrates that he's not been underplaced in the job market, and is in way over his head when trying his hand at jurisprudential analysis.

He's written a book called Idiot America, which I can only assume is a personal memoir.

Thorley Winston said...

Calling a man of Italian ancestry "Tony" when that isn't his nickname?

Indeed, it’s pretty common knowledge that Justice Antonin Scalia’s nickname is “Nino.” As soon as I read that I thought “here’s a guy who knows nothing about the subject matter he’s writing about and trying to look clever but actually embarrassing himself in front of his readers who do.”

But since it’s Esquire magazine, the risk is probably not that great. ;)

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

The purpose of a hypothetical is to more clearly understand a complex issue. To require that it actually happened is to demand that a hypothetical never be used.

Titus said...

By the look of his fucking fat face with a million chins he definitely looks to be very afraid of broccoli and exercise.

He's gross. But definitely not as gross as that butt ugly Clarence Thomas. That face of his looks like a really ugly person's ass. And you know his breath stinks to high heaven.

All the judges should be allowed to sit on the bench 10 years and then get the hell out.

They are all government employee lifers.

Ralph L said...

Is there a Pope missing? I know Italians are stereotypically slack about some things, but that seems really careless. Was it a Borgia or a Barberini Pope that was a murderer?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's foolish to behave as if we were back in the 1820s or 1920s, when there were fewer idiots in charge

Oh I think there were just as many idiots in charge then as now.

They just didn't have the ability to get at all of us. Time, distance for one thing. They mostly left us alone.

Technology and the huge expansion of government intrusion has just made the idiots more noticeable. The fucking government is everywhere...all the time...in all aspects of our business.

The government is like a creepy stalker that you are afraid is probably going to kill you sooner or later.

Titus said...

Could you imagine having sex with either Scalia or Thomas? The poor victim that endures there enormous fat bodies sweating and pounding them.

Wait until Scalia gets the gay marriage shit coming his way. You know he will compare it to Man on Horse and Althouse will still be sucking his cock defending him.

Thank God she isn't my mother.

Rabel said...

According to Google, Ann Althouse is the first person in the history of the world to enter the phrase "purely venal law" into the cybersphere.

Congratulations.

gadfly said...

If you have to make a living writing for Esquire Mag, then you are compelled to write using liberal code words - else you don't have a job.

Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo live on in the ample body of Charles P. Pierce - who really needs to practice the face-palm maneuver.

Alex Ignatiev said...

Scalia's nickname is Nino, not Tony.

ricpic said...

This is an ideal opportunity for Pelosi to suffer the cruel and unusual punishment of actually reading what's in it and then reporting her findings to Scalia. I'm sure he'd be amenable to that arrangement.

ricpic said...

There's nothing worse than fat in Titusworld. It's hard on a bottom.

Pogo said...

@phx
"Always a reason to eschew maturity, reason, and learning for yourself."

Around other adults, I maintain them.

Around lefties?
Feh.
And as the lefties control most everything at present, there are very few times that's needed.

Nathan Alexander said...

phx' "principles" are apparently imbalanced so that he only directs his "more in sorrow" criticisms about lack of civility to conservatives, rarely (if ever) to liberals.

But it allows him to be smug about being More Principled Than Thee, so I don't see him growing up any time soon.

Mary said...

"Oh, lighten up Annie, baby."

You get so deep into this silly stuff, like the conspiracy theories and the onion ring/carrot sticks nonsense. It's silly.

Besides, you best save all your creative energies to try and go two rounds with the old man in the bedroom tonight...

(oops --was that unintentionally sexist? Calling out your heterosexuality and husband's birthday publicity? Take a pill, and ... good luck. Close your eyes and think of ... Obama? ;-)

O Ritmo Segundo said...

What you aren't getting is that "what's right" is in dispute.

Actually, he got exactly that.

I don't advocate driving somebody off the air or costing them their job for saying something stupid.

Me neither.

There are a lot of Progressives who disagree --- yet a lot of Progressives have a tendency to just lightly toss out racist, sexist, etc comments about conservatives they don't agree with.

An example would be nice.

Some things are just plain offensive and/or rude. No big deal. And then some offensive/rude things are also wrong.

Reason will help you figure out when that is.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

A guy with an avatar of a cartoon character banging a drum has now appointed himself the arbiter of what is maturity and rational, learned thought.

Like him, there are certain people who always start with the foregone conclusion first, and proceed to reason out the implications of that foregone conclusion in a backward fashion.

Very mature.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Pogo's thought process explained:

1. First declare absolute truth. Absolute truth is whatever idea or sentiment you feel most emotionally attached to.

2. Declare anyone who disagrees with or questions such an absolute truth as an enemy of civilization.

3. Move on to the next "absolute truth".

4. Repeat.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Pogo has the same thought process as Glenn Beck does. He just goes about expounding upon it in a more "mature" way.

If that makes any sense.

It would behoove him to know that some attitudes and cognitive styles are really not all that amenable to maturity or reason.

Darleen said...

I haven't read all the comments yet, but this stood out for me:

He doesn't think that the people who would benefit from the law deserve to have a law that benefits them.

I'm not a lawyer, but if I remember my civics and government classes right, the whole point of a law is not to benefit/privilege some people at the expense of other people.

And certainly, this abominable "law" not only "expenses" other people, but expenses people not even born yet.

This is of a piece with Justice Kagan's fundamental assumption that all money really belongs to Big Government and who would ever turn down a "big gift"?

David said...

A few things to consider about Scalia:

1. He and his wife have nine children, so saying he does not give a fuck is inaccurate.
2. His middle name is Gregory (after the Popes.)
3. His father was in fact Sicilian.
4. His wife's maiden name was McCarthy. She is not Sicilian. Nor is she related to Joe McCarthy,
5. His immigrant father got himself educated and eventually became a Professor of Romance Languages. His immigrant mother was a schoolteacher.
6. He went to a Jesuit high school in New York, where he was smarter than everybody, even the Jesuits. He was also smarter than everybody at Georgetown, Harvard Law School, the law firm Jones Day where he worked, at Virginia Law School where he taught me and on the Supreme Court.
7. He was an extraordinarily popular teacher at Virginia even though he was a tough grader. (Or because.)
8. He will not cross a picket line. I know, because after the Kent State and Jackson State killings in 1970, I was on a picket line that he would not cross.
9. He has a wicked sense of humor, which he is often unable to contain.
10. His children love him. He lectures throughout the country at colleges and law schools. He goes to Mass. One of his sons is a priest.
11. He was confirmed by the Senate at Associate Justice by a vote of 98-0.
12. He is in very good health.

Kirk Parker said...

What does it say about the attacker if he says that the attackee's mother smelt of elderberries?


Olefactory hallucinations?

jeff said...

"He doesn't think that the people who would benefit from the law deserve to have a law that benefits them. "

Another moron who thinks the constitution allows stuff he likes and doesn't stuff he doesn't.

F said...

ad hominem much? Ok for a Dem to sear a conservative that way, I guess. Doesn't show much creativity -- just third grade playground name calling.

damikesc said...

An example would be nice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=E3ctO7fdrcc
Calling for the lynching of Clarence Thomas.

Do I need to re-link the racist cartoons involving Condi Rice?

Democrats tossed Oreos at Michael Steele during his gubernatorial run.

You can ask Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Bachmann how the sexism works. Heck, ask Kleefisch.

phx said...
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phx said...
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Dante said...

Leslyn, pulling out those masculine quotations:

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Yes, you are right. A political group pushing a political philosophy ought not to adhere to their own rules, don't you think?

It's permissible and all in good humor for libs to attack their opponents this way, starting with Bristol and Sarah Palin.

Carl Vero said...

Justice Scalia's mistake was to choose the wrong vegetable for his hypothetical. The hybrid of ludicrous liberals and prattling progressives identify with Broccoli's relative, the Italian turnip – swollen head, purple outside, yellow inside; susceptible to decay on a rainy day.

SH said...

The old Tony dude just shredded the advocate for your healthcare plan... so if you can't win a debate go to personal attacks... its all they have.

Greg Hlatky said...

He went to a Jesuit high school in New York, where he was smarter than everybody, even the Jesuits. He was also smarter than everybody at Georgetown, Harvard Law School, the law firm Jones Day where he worked, at Virginia Law School where he taught me and on the Supreme Court.

Yeah, but is he Obama smart?

Gary Rosen said...

"Yeah, but is he Obama smart?"

His pants are not sharply creased, and as we all know that is the most definitive indicator of IQ.

phx said...
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NotquiteunBuckley said...

As a noble man, more honorable than I can fathom, Justice Scalia's retirement started, in a sense, when Justice Thomas took command of the court's ethos.

Were Justice Scalia average or even only above average, ego and pride would prevent him from changing his long-held views on basic concepts such as (undue) respect for precedent.

Because Justice Thomas, using the court system the only way logic could allow him to, has been so influential, America will remain a country of ungrateful 1%ers bitching about everything that's wrong.

The ying/yang associated with constant bitching being the reason why America is so influential, and not liking bitching, is something to celebrate.

hum'n'mum said...

Maybe one of you geniuses might want to remind your fearless, clueless leader that the so-called Cornhusker kickback NEVER made it to the final bill- it ain't there, and is utterly irrelevant.

Of course, Scalia spewed all manner of Teabag talking points, in an effort to undermine the arguments for the ACA. The point is, he displayed the kind of intellectual dishonesty and legal dissembling reminiscent of a Mob lawyer. Brilliant he may be, but he is a dreadful example of jurisprudence subordinated to ideology, and a disgrace to the fundamental American idea of an independent federal judiciary.

Somewhat off topic, but not really: Scalia has repeatedly revealed himself to be a nasty piece of work, given to sarcasm and scorn. Not really ideal qualities in any jurist, but in a Supreme Court Justice it actually demeans the whole character of the Court.

And- Althouse trying to take down Pierce? Really??!! You're a couple of hundred re-incarnations short of that task, Dearie.

Seven Machos said...

Scalia spewed all manner of Teabag talking points

Hilarious. On so many levels. But I think the utter lack of self-awareness demonstrated by the writer is the most sublime.

Also, the Cornhusker Kickback was in the bill that was passed, and it was later repealed. But preach on, dude. Preach on. Amuse me.

Eisai said...

Well, is not his given christian name Antonin: Nickname would be Tony or Anthony. Now if his given christian name were Robert or Joseph...Then yes! I would think given his stature, not referring to him as Associate Justice should be more offending. And more offending is how all of these Justices allow their clerks to stove pipe them information...Cornhusker kickback. Or perhaps they don't live in that bubble that we fantasise them to be. Indeed!

Comanche Voter said...

Ms. Althouse you just fail to perceived what a great man Charles P. Pierece is. Why he's been a working journalist since 1976--and he has erudite reasoning (fully on display in his most recent blog post) and keen logic with a razor sharp wit.

That at least is what you might think from reading a promotional blurb for one of his new books. In its knob slobbering grandeur, it can only have been written by Ta Da! You guessed it--Charles P. Pierce. Here it is.



The Culture Wars Are Over and the Idiots Have Won

A veteran journalist's acidically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States.


In the midst of a career-long quest to separate the smart from the pap, Charles Pierce had a defining moment at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, where he observed a dinosaur. Wearing a saddle.... But worse than this was when the proprietor exclaimed to a cheering crowd, “We are taking the dinosaurs back from the evolutionists!” He knew then and there it was time to try and salvage the Land of the Enlightened, buried somewhere in this new Home of the Uninformed.

With his razor-sharp wit and erudite reasoning, Pierce delivers a gut-wrenching, side-splitting lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States, and how a country founded on intellectual curiosity has somehow deteriorated into a nation of simpletons more apt to vote for an American Idol contestant than a presidential candidate.

With Idiot America, Pierce's thunderous denunciation is also a secret call to action, as he hopes that somehow, being intelligent will stop being a stigma, and that pinheads will once again be pitied, not celebrated.
.














.

Q said...

An example would be nice.


How about Stanley Fish, American literary theorist and legal scholar. Not some anonymous crank on a blog, in other words.

A snippet from his essay "Two Cheers For Double Standards". (As if the title alone does not tell you all you need to know)

I know the objections to what I have said here. It amounts to an apology for identity politics. It elevates tribal obligations over the universal obligations we owe to each other as citizens. It licenses differential and discriminatory treatment on the basis of contested points of view. It substitutes for the rule "don't do it to them if you don't want it done to you" the rule "be sure to do it to them first and more effectively." It implies finally that might makes right. I can live with that.

And yet we still have to put up with liberals scoffing at the notion that liberals sometimes do as they say and are utterly cynical about double standards.

Robin said...

hum n mum, so evidently you are not paying any attention to the real issues either. You just cough up slogans and name calling to gloss over the fact that Scalia's point went over your head too.

We get no seriousness at all from the left.

Q said...

phx said...You guys are obsessed by this smartness stuff



You're not very good at picking up on mockery.

Fat Man said...

I guess that this Charles Pierce is not to be confused with "Charles Sanders Peirce (September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) ... born at 3 Phillips Place in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... An innovator in mathematics, statistics, philosophy, research methodology, and various sciences, ... As early as 1886 he saw that logical operations could be carried out by electrical switching circuits, the same idea as was used decades later to produce digital computers." from Wikipedia

I see no reason to think any further about this Charles Pierce as he is a blithering idiot.

Titus said...

Once gay marriage will come to the Supreme Court Althouse will comment, "yes Scalia has a very good point about the gays and Seabiscuit". I support gay marriage, Althouse will say, but what about the gay doing dogs=Scalia makes and excellent point and he is the best most amazing judge ever....but I am a demo-I voted for Obama.

But Scalia is totally right about the gays and man on dog sex.

As a result, my entire audience is totally wingnut and I thank you for your patronage. Now buy the new Ipad idiots.

And unemployed, protester loving husband go videotape something fast that will allow our readers to be outraged.

Disgusting and totally boring/

Is this what your retired life is going to be? How fun.

phx said...
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hum'n'mum said...

Goodness, the Dittoheads are offended. Once again, we see self-styled conservatives braying about how smart their guy is. Intellectual penis envy, from the home-schooled mob that thinks Newt has big ideas, Ryan is a misunderstood genius, and Scalia's broccoli analogy (a Teabag favorite) is a masterstroke of legal polemics.

Honest citizens (and jurists, too!) can honestly disagree about the ACA's constitutional standing. But, when one conservative justice's wife is a well-paid political operative for those working to strike down this bill, and at least 2 other conservative justices enjoy weekend retreats and quiet dinners with the plutocrats who are cynically spending millions to defeat the ACA, the fix is in.

The reflexive- and, frankly, wretchedly executed- posturing from Ms. Outhouse and other right wing gossoons is little more than a sour joke.

damikesc said...

You guys are obsessed by this smartness stuff.

Yes, it's CONSERVATIVES who routinely comment on how brilliant their candidates are while discussing how idiotic their opponents are.

Happens all of the time.

Intellectual penis envy, from the home-schooled mob that thinks Newt has big ideas, Ryan is a misunderstood genius, and Scalia's broccoli analogy (a Teabag favorite) is a masterstroke of legal polemics.

As opposed to the side who were convinced that John Kerry was really, really bright; that Obama was brilliant; that no SCOTUS justice could possibly have an actual problem.

Maybe one of you geniuses might want to remind your fearless, clueless leader that the so-called Cornhusker kickback NEVER made it to the final bill- it ain't there, and is utterly irrelevant.

It was passed, signed, and repealed later.

But, yes, it made it to the final bill.

Honest citizens (and jurists, too!) can honestly disagree about the ACA's constitutional standing. But, when one conservative justice's wife is a well-paid political operative for those working to strike down this bill, and at least 2 other conservative justices enjoy weekend retreats and quiet dinners with the plutocrats who are cynically spending millions to defeat the ACA, the fix is in.

...meanwhile, one of the justices personally worked on the defense of the bill, another was busy in session assisting the SG make arguments.

But that isn't a problem.

The reflexive- and, frankly, wretchedly executed- posturing from Ms. Outhouse and other right wing gossoons is little more than a sour joke.

I notice you didn't actually provide any legal justification of the Congress creating commerce in order to regulate it.

I am sure you'll get to it soon enough.

SH said...

phx said...

"You guys are obsessed by this smartness stuff."

I just get a kick out of hearing it from the left... since I have an iq over 145.... and most leftists I talk to can not explain their views outside of simplistic 'republicans are mean' type arguments...

Sethy Go Bragh! said...

Your argument against Pierce's is so ridiculous it falls on its face. First, trying to glean some anti-Italian bias out what he said is laughable. Because he noted that Scalia's carelessness is operatic that is you smoking gun. Being an instructor and an outstanding school, I'm rather shocked that ideas of metaphor have been lost on you. Had you considered that by referring to opera, Pierce was remarking on the over-the-top nature of Scalia's Not-Give-A-Fuckness, rather than some veiled anti-Italianism.
Similarly, you admonish the headline for referring to him as Tony--again suggesting that it is somehow a marker of anti-Italian bigotry. Had he called Scalia Guido, you might have a case, but Tony is popularly derived from Antonin. You correctly point out that Scalia does not refer to himself as "Tony" but that merely shows that Pierce has no regard for Scalia as a justice, and probably as a person, but it has no relation to your fantastical implications of bigotry. (and the anti-Catholic canard is merely playing into the popular right-wing horse manure that somehow, in a nation in which the VAST majority of people self-identify as christian, christians are somehow persecuted. I know you want to be, but it just isn't the truth.)

Finally, to the business of the so-called Cornhusker Kickback, it is a stupid point to make in the hearing because that provision didn't even make it into the final bill! So, Scalia bringing it up has nothing to do with judging the constitutionality of the bill in question; rather he is showing himself to be more interested in belching out talking points that he heard on the radio.

So, in sum, Pierce was merely pointing out that Scalia is a disingenuous, overly-partisan hypocrite who should probably retire since it's clear that he does not have the slightest interest in his job anymore, preferring to grandstand and show that he is merely an egomaniacal bully.

Seven Machos said...

Being an instructor and an outstanding school, I'm rather shocked that ideas of metaphor have been lost on you.

You are not an instructor nor are you an outstanding school. Therefore, this sentence is utterly terrible. You are sentenced to repeat eighth grade or else pay a fine.

joeyess said...

Ann?

This: We know that the Cornhusker kickback — AKA the Nebraska Compromise — was a deal made by Harry Reid to get the vote of Senator Ben Nelson, the last hold-out among the Democrats. The state of Nebraska got 100% funding for Medicaid, unlike all the other states, so that extra funding to Nebraska approaches vote-buying.

Now we know that not only are you a drunk blogger, but that you're a lying one as well.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35940777/ns/politics-health_care_reform/t/cornhusker-kickback-gets-boot-health-bill/#.T3YI745xXUj

Q said...

You're not very good at reading.


You're not very good at writing.

Sigivald said...

Calling a man of Italian ancestry "Tony" when that isn't his nickname? Isn't that on the level of calling a Latino "Jose" or a black man "Leroy" (or some such stereotypical name)?

Only if the Latino or black man has a name that one would typically shorten to "Jose" or "Leroy", but chooses not to do so.

It's not like Scalia's first name is Guiseppe or Mario or even Frank.

It's Antonin.

Which does normally shorten to Tony - it's the same root name as Anthony, Antonio, etc., all of which shorten in normal American usage to "Tony" quite readily.

So the "Leroy" equivalence is more like calling someone who really is named Leroy "Roy", despite him not going by "Roy".

The problem with the name is familiarity (ie, "being familiar", as in "anti-formal"), not bigotry.

hum'n'mum said...

Hey Domikesc,

First, I agree Kagan should recuse herself. Second, I agree it was criminally naive for ACA supporters to suppose they could convince such obvious idealogues as Scalia, Thomas, and Alito- which makes us both right, I guess. Third, the 'Cornhusker kickback' is NOT in the bill under consideration by the court, so knock it off already. Fourth, neither one of us is arguing the legal merits of this case: I'm questioning the intellectual honesty of movement conservatives; you're questioning...exactly what?

We think Obama is brilliant? Nooo, the conservative scholars on the Harvard Law Review enthusiastically joined their liberal brethren to elect Obama editor of said review. Can't blame that one on affirmative action, chum.

Look, no one forced you folks to swoon and moon over Dubya, Screeching Sarah, and this season's crop of brain-dead Republican candidates. You couldn't wait to let the rest of us know just how seriously we should consider all these frauds and malcontents. You farted; don't blame us for smelling it.

Robin said...

joyess, you are calling someone a liar when you are too clueless to understand the issue at all.

When the legislation was initially passed, it then included the provision. It was removed by subsequent legislation. So the use of it as a hypothetical in the original passage was valid.

You are the ignorant one.

Lisa said...
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Mart said...

To me the Cornhusker Kickback is a great example of how the legislative process should work. It was so odious and made such bad press that it was stripped from the bill. Fix the bill in Congress, not in SCOTUS. We have the most dysfunctional health care system in the industrialized world - no coverage for preexisting conditions or part time workers, low lifetime limits, 50M without coverage etc,etc. Heaven forbid we try to make it work a little better using a sane republican (30 to 10 years ago) market mandate formula.

Patrick Ryan said...

Recognizing that in today's environment facts just don't matter, I foolishly weigh in on the Charlie Pierce quote ‘If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.’ HOLD ON. The truth is that Pierce was employing irony in the service of a breathtakingly vicious putdown of Kennedy, in the midst of a profile that was far, far tougher than the Kennedys are accustomed to receiving in the Globe. The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, an honest conservative, accurately described what Pierce had written as a “paragraph of pure poison.” And a letter-writer to the Globe Magazine divined that Pierce had written “a savage attack” on Kennedy. Just thought you should have the rest of the story.