02/24/2013 archive

Rant of the Week: Jon Stewart

Hagel With a Smear

Senate thespian Lindsey “Beauregard” Graham foils Chuck Hagel’s Secretary of Defense confirmation.

Hagel With a Smear – Country First

Republican filibustering of Chuck Hagel’s Secretary of Defense confirmation vote is tinged with a hint of junior high school-level pettiness.

Speaking of boring-

No one man can be more corrupt than soccer can be boring.

On This Day In History February 24

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 310 days remaining until the end of the year (311 in leap years).

On this day in 1803, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, decides the landmark case of William Marbury versus James Madison, Secretary of State of the United States and confirms the legal principle of judicial review–the ability of the Supreme Court to limit Congressional power by declaring legislation unconstitutional–in the new nation.

Marbury v. Madison is a landmark case in United States law and in the history of law worldwide. It formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution. It was also the first time in the world that a court invalidated a law by declaring it “unconstitutional.”

This case resulted from a petition to the Supreme Court by William Marbury, who had been appointed by President John Adams as Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia but whose commission was not subsequently delivered. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to force Secretary of State James Madison to deliver the documents, but the court, with John Marshall as Chief Justice, denied Marbury’s petition, holding that the part of the statute upon which he based his claim, the Judiciary Act of 1789, was unconstitutional.

Marbury v. Madison was the first time the Supreme Court declared something “unconstitutional,” and established the concept of judicial review in the U.S. (the idea that courts may oversee and nullify the actions of another branch of government). The landmark decision helped define the “checks and balances” of the American form of government.

The Issue

There are three ways a case can be heard in the Supreme Court: (1) filing directly in the Supreme Court; (2) filing in a lower federal court, such as a district court, and appealing all the way up to the Supreme Court; (3) filing in a state court, appealing all the way up through the state’s highest courts, and then appealing to the Supreme Court on an issue of federal law. The first is an exercise of the Court’s original jurisdiction; the second and third are exercises of the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction.

Because Marbury filed his petition for the writ of mandamus directly in the Supreme Court, the Court needed to be able to exercise original jurisdiction over the case in order to have the power to hear it.

Marbury’s argument is that in the Judiciary Act of 1789, Congress granted the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over petitions for writs of mandamus. This raises several issues that the Supreme Court had to address:

  • Does Article III of the Constitution create a “floor” for original jurisdiction, which Congress can add to, or does it create an exhaustive list that Congress can’t modify at all?
  • If Article III’s original jurisdiction is an exhaustive list, but Congress tries to modify it anyway, who wins that conflict, Congress or the Constitution?
  • And, more importantly, who is supposed to decide who wins?
  • In its answer to this last question, the Supreme Court formalizes the notion of judicial review. In short, the constitutional issue on which Marbury v. Madison was decided was whether Congress could expand the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

    Danica Patrick’s Love Life: The Daytona 500

    Faithful readers already know what I think about Turn Left.

    In the Roman form of chariot racing, teams represented different groups of financial backers and sometimes competed for the services of particularly skilled drivers. These teams became the focus of intense support among spectators, and occasional disturbances broke out between followers of different factions. The conflicts sometimes became politicized, as the sport began to transcend the races themselves and started to affect society overall.

    Those who have worn the crown should never survive its loss.  Purple makes a fine winding sheet.

    It’s hard to blame the technology, the cars and tracks can hardly be safer than they are.  It’s high speed bumper cars and the rules that create an environment where you can take out 12 of them at a time; and though 33 were injured, some critically, nobody died… yet.

    To me the sport’s biggest sin is that it’s boring.  BORING!

    Yup, that’s right, more boring than having Vettel dive into the front and drive off into the distance with Mark Webber in tow.

    And that’s because nothing matters until the last 5 laps except for the accidents.

    You know, like the whole track falling apart.

    So let’s talk instead about Danica Patrick’s love life.

    Patrick Was Leading Way Even Before Winning Pole

    By VIV BERNSTEIN, The New York Times

    Published: February 18, 2013

    On the first day that drivers arrived at Daytona International Speedway for Speedweeks, the Daytona 500 and the celebrated start of Nascar’s 2013 Sprint Cup season, the story making headlines was Danica Patrick’s romantic relationship with the driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

    Her relationship with Stenhouse, an up-and-coming driver who will also be a rookie in the Sprint Cup this season, has only served to intensify the interest in everything she does on and off the track.

    “I don’t mind answering questions about the other stuff,” she added. “But I get that it’s not about racing. It’s nice to change the tone of the questions because of what’s going on, on the track. That is a really good sign, and I like that.”

    Either way, it’s all good for Nascar. Patrick made the rounds of many of the major television talk shows Monday morning, giving the sport some much needed publicity. Nascar has had a drop in attendance and television ratings in recent years. The marketing game plan is to focus on drivers, and nobody does a better job of self-marketing than the 30-year-old Patrick.

    “Driver star power is something we’re going to bang on from a marketing perspective in ’13 and in ’14, ’15, ’16,” said Steve Phelps, Nascar’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “It will all be about the drivers.

    “Listen, she is a marketing phenomenon,” Phelps said. “I think putting her on the biggest stage that we have, the Sprint Cup, and have her run a full season, will only help her.”

    He asked rhetorically: “Do I believe that she needs to win in order to continue that momentum that she has seen so far? I don’t. Would it add to it? Would it kind of plus-up the whole thing? I do.”

    To be continued, as Patrick moves through the week and heads to the pole Sunday, with 500 miles in front of her and the remaining skeptics in the rear.

    ek, are you implying that we’re living in the decadent final days of empire with bread and circuses to placate the proletariat?

    Ahem, let me clear my throat.


    Enjoy the race, I’ll be back for the last 5 laps to see how things turned out.

    Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

    Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

    Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

    Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

    The Sunday Talking Heads:

    Up with Chris Hayes: Joining Chris will be: David Sanger (@SangerNYT), chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times; Robert Gibbs (@PressSecGibbs), former White House press secretary and senior campaign adviser to President Obama’s re-election campaign; Neera Tanden, president and CEO for Center for American Progress; Michael Hastings (@mmhastings), BuzzFeed correspondent, Rolling Stone contributing editor; Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox), founded the political blog Wonkette and columnist for The Guardian; Brandon Valeriano (@drbvaler), lecturer at the University of Glasgow in the Social and Political Sciences; Steve Ellis,  vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense; Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies; Bill Black, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, former litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board; Oscar Joyner, president and chief operating officer of Reach Media, Inc and Kimberly Peretti, partner in Alston’s White Collar Crime Group and co-chair of their security incident management and response team, former director of PriceWaterHouseCooper’s cyber forensic service.

    This Week with George Stephanopolis: There are two roundtables on this Sunday’s “This Week.”

    House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, join ABC News’ George Will and ABC News Global Affairs Anchor Christiane Amanpour to debate how the U.S. should respond to the cyber threat from China, and the latest challenges in Syria and Iran.

    Then, the political roundtable debates all the week’s politics, with George Will; Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile; TIME Magazine contributor Steven Brill, author of this week’s cover story “Bitter Pill” on rising health care costs; former Lead Auto Adviser and Counselor to the Treasury Secretary Steven Rattner; and Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel.

    Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests will be Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R- NH); Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD); Gov. Robert McDonnell (R-VA); Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO); and Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ).

    His panel guest Mental Illness Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick; Parents Television Council President Tim Winter; former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole and Texas A&M International’s Chris Ferguson will discuss mental health, video games and gun violence.

    The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests are Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post Senior Political Editor; Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent; Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent; and Errol Louis, NY1 Inside City Hall.

    Meet the Press with David Gregory: Sunday’s guests on MTP are Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA;) Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA); and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

    The roundtable guests are former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford; Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan; Host of NPR’s Morning Edition, Steve Inskeep; and CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and Jim Cramer.

    State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are Sen. John McCain (R-AZ; Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Gov. Dan Malloy (D-CT), former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Gwen Ifill from PBS, and Jackie Calmes of the New York Times.

    Six In The Morning

    On Sunday

     France’s military operation in Mali in ‘final phase’

    BBC 24 February 2013 Last updated at 00:02 GMT

    French President Francois Hollande has said his country’s forces are engaged in the “final phase” of the fight against militants in northern Mali.

    He said there had been heavy fighting in the Ifoghas mountains, where members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) were thought to be hiding.

    Mr Hollande also praised Chadian troops for their efforts in the same area.

    Thirteen Chadian soldiers and some 65 militants were killed in clashes on Friday, according to the Chadian army.

    Chad’s government has promised to deploy 2,000 troops as part of the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (Afisma).

    US drones

    Speaking in Paris on Saturday, President Hollande said “heavy fighting” was taking place in the far north of Mali, near the Algerian border

    Sunday’s Headlines:

    Rescuers fear India will drop new law banning child labour

    War on terror is the West’s new religion

    ElBaradei calls for Egypt vote boycott, poll date moved

    ‘Second Generation Red’ fall in behind Xi Jinping

    Israeli Oscar contenders force citizens to confront uncomfortable questions