Links for 2010-06-30

  • “Yet the ghost of [Thurgood] Marshall himself comes in for tremendous abuse today at the hands of Republican members of the committee. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., starts the ball rolling by accusing Kagan of having clerked for “a well-known liberal activist judge.” John Kyl, R-Ariz., tears into Kagan for respecting Marshall’s emphasis on protecting the underdog and says she “enthusiastically embraces” Marshall’s philosophy by labeling it a “thing of glory.” Not to be outdone, John Cornyn, R-Texas, piles on with this: “[I]t is more about his judicial philosophy [is] what concerns me, and this has already been mentioned: it is clear he considered himself a judicial activist and was unapologetic about it.” Having alienated every minority in America with their weird “wise Latina” obsession last year, Republicans are determined to use this year’s hearing–this time featuring a white nominee–to scare off the rest. “
  • “She came in a big hurry — Sophie’s water broke at home, and the baby came about four hours later — which meant that I got to do the thing that all expectant fathers dream of, which is drive really fast through New York City in the middle of the night with my laboring wife in the back seat yelling at me to go faster.

    My years of “wasted” time playing Midnight Club and Burnout paid off bigtime.

    Though it turns out drifting round corners doesn’t give you a power boost in real life. And when I successfully completed the course my seven-year-old VW Passat station wagon was not upgraded to a fancy new car.”

  • “Nobody wants the press to be objective. Demands for objectivity are the same as diving to the ground clutching your ankle in the World Cup: they’re meant to play the referee into calling a foul (or refusing to call one). What most readers want is a press that cares about the truth. This is not the same thing as objectivity. Most of the time it’s exactly the opposite, particularly when the truth is subtle, contradictory or ambiguous, as it often is. If I came across a reporter covering American politics who did not have pungent, strong opinions about the personal character of most of the people he was covering, I’d assume he was a dullard, incompetent, a zombie or an alien. Or some mixture of those. “
  • “The striking thing about the incident that opens [a NYT article about ‘cyber-bullying’] is that the parents of the girl who received the abusive, sexualized messages don’t contact the parents of the boy who allegedly sent those messages. Why not? Because the two fathers coach in the same league. So they want the school to do for them what they cannot do for themselves, to act as a quasi-judicial institution, to police what its students do in their everyday life.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the same parents, in other contexts, complained about the size or pervasiveness of government.”