November 2007

“My plan to secure the border? Two words …”

“Chuck … Norris.”

Thx to Mike Huckabee, Chuck Norris, and YouTube

Two great, if random, clips of stick figures getting revenge on their creator.

And the Neo-riffic sequel ….

Thx to YouTube, AtomFilms, and Alan Becker

Two days ago, the AP had to issue this retraction to clarify that the earlier story it had reported regarding Paris Hilton’s admirable efforts to help solve the crisis of Indian “binge-drinking elephants” (is there, really, any other kind of elephant?), was–believable as this story sounded–false.


Thx to the fact-checking squadron at the AP, and of course, to binge-drinking elephants everywhere

A few weeks ago, Sammy Allred was fired from KVET, where he and Bob Cole hosted the highest-rated morning radio show–the Sam & Bob Morning Call-In Show–for the past seventeen years. The show was famous for debating municipal issues facing the Austin City Council, and being frequented by both state and national politicians.

Sammy is the one the left

Just last year, Sam and Bob were honored by the Country Music Association as the “Large Market Broadcast Personalities of the Year.”

No doubt that Sammy was an irascible ol’ cud most of the time, but he was an Austin institution, and in an age where too many vestiges of Austin’s past are being bulldozed over to make way for Dallas imports, I–for one–am sad to see Sammy go.

Thx to Sammy for his decades of service to the City of Austin, and the Statesman

One of my favorite scenes, and the birth of Steve Carrell‘s genius.

Thx to YouTube

Some months ago, a novel if sloppily-crafted recusal motion was filed with SCOTX seeking the recusal of “Justices Jefferson, [sic] Hecht, Brister and [sic] Wainwright [sic]” based upon a U.T. law professor’s “unbiased” recent article chronicling reversal trends of tort cases at the Court.

Not anti-plaintiff, just anti-idiot

However, what plaintiffs’ lawyer Ben Martin–who represented the Real Parties in Interest–deems “unbiased,” may be somewhat less so. Professor David Anderson’s article concludes with the the thought:

[O]nly the most obtuse voter could fail to realize that Republican candidates are more likely than Democrats to believe tort liability needs to be curtailed. But advancing an ideology by adopting congenial legal principles is one thing; advancing an anti-tort ideology simply by refusing to allow plaintiffs to succeed is quite another.

David A. Anderson, Judicial Tort Reform in Texas, 26 REV. LITIG. 1, 46 (Winter 2007).

Professor Anderson’s presumption that the outcome of cases granted review or the denial of review to others is premised upon a desire to “refus[e] to allow plaintiffs to succeed” is as breathtakingly obtuse as the voters Professor Anderson presumes to understand.

No less sweeping in generalities or shoddy reasoning is Mr. Martin’s recusal motion, which excludes Justice O’Neill from his list of hopelessly biased Justices on the basis that she dissented six times during a portion of the years examined by Professor Anderson’s article. Of course, Mr. Martin saw no need to study the subject matter of those six cases or the reasoning favored by the majority or Justice O’Neill in her dissents. Not surprisingly, the Justices were unpersuaded to recuse themselves on such a contrived basis and subsequently denied the motion.

A few petitions short of a certiori

Well, leave it to a Florida lawyer to teach Mr. Martin how to recuse a supreme court. After first suing the SCOTUS Justices as well as three judges of the Eleventh Circuit for violating his rights to an impartial tribunal in a child-custody case, Montgomery Sibley sued the SCOTUS Justices for treason for failing to recuse themselves as named defendants in the prior action. Well, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held the SCOTUS Justices were, of course, protected by judicial immunity from such a suit, but because more than six of the Justices were recused due to the underlying suit, the Court was statutorily forced to summarily and in absentia uphold the D.C. Court’s affirmance of their own immunity. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1, 2109.

Thx to Tex Parte Blog and the WSJ Law Blog

Leave it to the Brits to presume to rank U.S. conservatives. That’s like us attempting to rank the top cricket teams or the top fish and chips eateries in lower London.

Well, common sense having never stopped the Brits before (see the American Revolution), the Telegraph staff in Washington–Toby Harnden, Alex Spillius, Tim Shipman, Amanda Halligan and Jessica Jerrell–took upon themselves to rank the “influence” of people whose beliefs are as foreign to them as the Magna Carta was to King John.

Much to the surprise of American conservatives, apparently the most influential conservative in the U.S. is not even a conservative at all: Mayor Guiliani. Our current President (also arguably not a conservative on many issues), graces the list at number 20.

The list also inexplicably ranks the so-called conservatives on SCOTUS (the concept of judicial conservatism being too subtle a distinction for the authors to grasp) with widely varying levels of “influence:” (1) Chief Roberts at number 8; (2) Justice Scalia at number 62; and (3) Justice Thomas at number 85. Apparently, the Telegraph reporters believe that one vote counts more than others on the Court, or that the Chief Justice automatically holds jurisprudential sway over his colleagues. And, what about Justices Kennedy and Alito? The influence of any of the so-called conservatives on SCOTUS can only be as powerful as their collective influence as a voting majority.

No thx to the Telegraph

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