July 24, 2014

"It’s unfortunate that an actor today would feel uncomfortable playing gay, especially on a program that has always put LGBT characters front and center."

"But Nelsan Ellis and Nathan Parsons are proof that Luke Grimes is not the norm. Grimes is the exception," said Stacy Lambe, Associate Editor of OUT Magazine.
... Larry Gross, a professor specializing in LGBT and TV issues at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism said that in today’s climate “refusing to play a bisexual role is not a good career move. It’s pretty clear Luke will suffer as a result. Hollywood will either say he was unprofessional or a phobe of some sort"...

Cool green.



"Yes, it is important for girls to present themselves in ways that don't spotlight their sexuality..."

"... but from a feminist perspective, it is equally important for young ladies to not see overt displays of sexuality as a sign of a deviant personality."

Interestingly the same and simultaneously different, from the same article: "Women can't get ahead no matter what they do, and this is a society where women who are sexual (or present themselves sexually) are judged. But on the flip side, women who don't take enough care in their appearance, who dress sloppily, who don't fit the required metric of how women should look, are also criticized."

I think this idea of not judging is overstated. It seems to me that anyone — male or female — who tries to look sexy in social media photographs is going to get mocked. Males, perhaps, even more than females.

If this mockery were somehow silenced — and, really, how could that happen? — I can't imagine how idiotic the photographs would get.

Linda Greenhouse predicts that the Supreme Court won't take the University of Texas Fisher case back...

... now that the 5th Circuit, on remand, has approved of the affirmative action program, because "unless the new appeal offers a plausible vehicle for getting rid of affirmative action... why would the justices bother?"
Justice Kennedy, whose vote would most likely decide the appeal’s fate, is already being pressed from the right to man up...

Note that I’m predicting only that the court will sidestep Fisher redux, not that the justices won’t deal again with affirmative action.... The stakes are too high, the disappointment in some quarters — and some Supreme Court chambers — over the pallid outcome of the Supreme Court’s Fisher case too deep, the issue too mobilizing for it to fade away.
ADDED: What do you think of Greenhouse's use of the phrase "man up"? Does it serve her cause of preserving affirmative action or does it undercut what she is saying by presenting support for affirmative action as unmanly? I suspect Greenhouse would say that she's attacking the righties who are pressuring Kennedy: They are the bullies who are taunting Kennedy by questioning his manliness.

Here's the post from a couple weeks ago where I discussed the phrase "man up."

AND: I wanted to add some discussion of whether the righties really did indulge in any insinuations about Kennedy's masculinity, but Greenhouse only cites a Wall Street Journal editorial and it's behind a pay wall. What the hell is the point of writing editorials — attempts to influence opinion — and making them hard to see? I mean, I know how to Google and get to the text, but it's so irritating.

Anyway, the WSJ said "Justice Kennedy blinked" in Fisher. Is blinking unmasculine?

Butt hackery in America.

Boy has 232 teeth removed.

"Ashik's malaise was diagnosed as a complex composite odontoma where a single gum forms lots of teeth."

The "50 Shades of Grey" trailer is ready to see you now.

I hope you find that suitably ludicrous. If not, if you got actual twinges of sexual feeling, you are not doing your part to prevent the downfall of civilization.

"It is not a coincidence... that judges appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents have divided along party lines in these cases."

"I do not believe this is because Republicans dislike Obamacare and Democrats like it. It is because Republican presidents now appoint judges who stick to textualism even when it leads to harsh results while Democratic presidents are more likely to choose judges who will look at the big picture and the human costs, when they’re parsing the words of a law."

Writes lawprof Richard L. Hasen.

My question for Hasen: But if a judge is going to look at the big picture and the human costs, won't that perception include his likes and dislikes?

I think the answer must be yes, and if so, I believe Hasen — wittingly or unwittingly — conceded that textualism does constrain a judge. Yes, this person — this Scaliaesque entity — will not save us from harsh results, but at the same time, this means that the textualist's idea of what results are, in fact, harsh never becomes part of the analysis.

ADDED: What, if anything, is wrong with Republican Presidents choosing textualists and Democratic Presidents choosing nontextualists? (Maybe that isn't what's happening, but we can assume it is, for the purpose of discussion.) Why isn't that what a liberal should like best (aside from preventing any Republican Presidents from ever appointing any judges)? What would the nontextualist conservative do with clearly written statutes that seem "harsh" to him or impose what he calculates as "human costs"? Does Professor Hasen really want this character's "big picture" trumping the words of legislatures?

AND: I'm trying to imagine what this out-and-proud conservative creative-rewriter of statutes would do. Imagine an arch-conservative President appointing stalwart conservatives with strong visions of the good who feel free to fix statutes to save us from harsh results and human costs. Obviously, Hasen would hate that, and yet it's so tempting to excoriate the textualist conservatives for their textualism, even when you know damned well you'd really hate their nontextualist work. But I think most laypersons think textualism is what a judge should do, and a judge who emerges from the cloak of textualism is much easier to criticize.

ALSO: A textualist may think he can discipline legislators into writing their statutes clearly, but what can such a project mean with a sprawling text like the Affordable Care Act? Did anyone even read it? Was any legislator in a position even to perceive the loose ends that needed tying up? The original act was intended to coerce the states into setting up the exchanges by putting all of the Medicaid funding at risk. The Supreme Court saved Obamacare by rewriting the statute so that only the Medicaid extension would be lost, otherwise the spending power would not have supported the scheme.

So the scheme survived, many states were able to say no, and the federal exchange became necessary. But that was not envisioned by the original statute. A Scalia majority would have taken the entire statutory scheme down in 2012, and we wouldn't be talking about this new set of cases.

In the new cases, no one can find the text needed to make the federal exchange work, and it's no surprise that there's nothing in the text that addresses the remnant of the ACA that was left after the Supreme Court saved us from what Chief Justice Roberts — in his Republican-appointed nontextuality — might have considered a "harsh result."

The newest attack in the war on women: Men commenting on the food women eat.

Be careful, guys, women are taking notes and tweeting about your off-handed remarks about what they are eating, and what you might imagine is lighthearted and even charming, they are portraying as an effort to control their bodies.

"In my late 50s, at a time of life when most people are supposed to be drifting into a cautious conservatism..."

"...I am surprised to find myself moving steadily leftward," writes Thomas Ricks a Politico piece titled "Why Am I Moving Left?/I used to be right down the middle. But America’s changed, and so have I."

Is Ricks someone whose political shift matters, someone we shouldn't suspect of hacking out another essay desperate for links? He informs us that he's spent his journalistic career "covering the U.S. military, first for the Wall Street Journal and then for the Washington Post, and now for Foreign Policy magazine." He's "written five books about the Marines, the Army and our wars." And he actually refrained from voting, because he wanted to maintain a professional detachment from his subject matter. (I wonder how many reporters do that. I've actually toyed with the idea of not voting, but it was a way of conveying my commitment to what I call "cruel neutrality," and in the end, I care too much about participating in the ritual of going to the polls.)

"What is ridiculous is the Obama administration refusing to answer simple questions about whether this was dictated by politics and why the FAA is singling out Israel..."

"... while not focusing on other areas around the world... Was this politics from the White House? Or was this an airline safety decision? And I think the facts strongly suggest it was politics and an effort to strong arm the nation of Israel."

Said Ted Cruz.

July 23, 2014

I'm considering posting about...

... this article on procrastination, and I'm pondering exactly how to do it, and the whole time I'm distracted by this plan I formed 10 minutes ago to shut off the computer and go to bed.

"An Iranian judge sentenced a Christian man to have his lips burnt with a cigarette..."

"... for eating during the day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan."

"The execution of a convicted murderer in Arizona lasted for nearly two hours on Wednesday..."

"... as witnesses said he gasped and snorted for much of that time before eventually dying."
“I’m telling you he was snoring,” Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for the Arizona attorney general’s office, said in an e-mail to The Washington Post. “There was no gasping or snorting. Nothing. He looked like he was asleep. This was my first execution and I have no reason to minimize this.”

Marco Rubio's social conservative manifesto.

Here's the full text. There's good, there's boilerplate, and there's the predictable effort at grappling with the discrimination against gay couples that some people feel sure belongs in the social-conservative platform:

NYT exposes the U.S. Senator from Montana who seems to have committed plagiarism on his dissertation.

And he's even a Democrat.

At the Green Café...


... I think I'm going to lie down right here and rest.

"In fact, this is nothing like breast implants. If breast implants got stuck under your tongue..."

"... and in the back of your throat when you were pleasuring your (hypothetical) woman, then you could say it's the same. Also, these are not so much complaints as they are common, first-hand reports on the sexual logistics associated with not grooming. We women (and men) are trying to give you [ungroomed] men a glimpse into our struggle. We just want to help, man, we just want to help."

Comment (by a female) at a Buzzfeed article (written by a man) called "Dear Men, Stop Shaving Your Pubes/Let’s end this once and for all." The article got huge pushback from females, and the comment I've quoted comes after a defensive male said:
Dear women, I don't groom for you. I groom for me. If you don't like it, we're obviously not sexually compatible, and I couldn't care less what you think. I say the same thing about breast implants, but that makes me a misogynist. Your complaints are no less superficial than that of people who hate "fatties" and "uggos"...
What's this world coming to? It seems that people don't like each other too much anymore.

"Births have slowed so sharply that researchers note that future economic growth could be stunted by a smaller labor pool."

"Immigration is often seen as a fix. But the downturn crimped supply lines for both babies and new foreign faces. The change was so dramatic that the Census Bureau in 2012 was forced to revise the 2050 U.S. population projection it made just four years earlier, dropping it by 9 percent, to just under 400 million."

Fewer people, slower economy... why isn't this exactly what those who worry about climate change ordinarily celebrate?

"Given the potential for chaos in the Obamacare scheme if the states decline to participate, it's surprising that Justices Breyer and Kagan went along with the Chief Justice's opinion on the spending power."

"The original legislation had the states locked in, because they'd lose all their Medicaid funding if they didn't participate. That was held to be coercive, and thus not supportable by the spending power, which requires that states be given a choice whether to run federal programs and accept various related conditions. Under the Court's ruling, the states only lose the funding for the expansion of Medicaid, which makes it possible for them to say no, as many seem to be doing. There's an elaborate set of moves in the future, and I wonder how far ahead the Chief Justice looked when he chose his position. Perhaps Obamacare is doomed by the seemingly modest, miminalist hit it took on the spending power issue. But wouldn't Breyer and Kagan have seen ahead too? Why did they join him? I'm not ready to give him genius points for skillful playing of the long game."

Just something I wrote on July 5, 2012 that should be useful in thinking about the new Court of Appeals cases.