Sunday, June 30, 2013

Three thoughts for Sunday: the funniest person on the entire internet, an unfunny sitaution at the Supreme Court, and how to cut the cord?

- by New Deal democrat

[Note: regular nerdy economic blogging will resume tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are three basically random thoughts]

1. The funniest person on the entire internet, bar none...

... is KevJumba's dad.

And the above is just a pale imitation of the flashback where he is handed his newborn son, and while cradling him immediately starts to lecture: "You're going to be a doctor. Or a lawyer."

2. Is Justice Scalia showing signs of dementia?

I'm being serious here. Yes, I disagree strongly with his opinions. But he used to be a whole lot sharper. He wouldn't have authored language in one opinion that directly and funadamentally refuted his diametrically opposed opinion from a mere 24 hours before, like he did this week in the DOMA opinion about fealty to history, that was in direct contradiction to the majority opinion he signed on to that entirely jettisoned the text, Congressional intent, and history of the Fifteenth Amendment in the Voting Rights Act case.

And that's not all. In the last couple of years he has brazenly given speeches directly opining on cases pending before the Court. This is a serious breach of judicial decorum to say the least. Then there was the gasp-inducing "racial entitlements" comment. And a google search of the issue led me to this note about what seems like a pretty serious mental lapse on the Bench last year during the ACA legal arguments:
[T]he “Jack Benny” exchange in the Medicaid expansion argument is simply embarrassing, another example of Justice Scalia losing control of his own cleverness – to the point where the Chief Justice had to step in and say, “That’s enough frivolity for a while,” but only after Justice Scalia realized that he had gotten completely off track with his own intervention (he was playing around with “your life” and “your wife,” but at the very end, after the Chief Justice tried to get him to stop with, “Let’s leave the wife out of this,” Justice Scalia said, “I’m talking about my life,” which completely undermines the point, such as it was, that he was trying to make).
The guy is 77 years old. We're probably all familiar with grampa or aunt Minnie who suddenly seemed to lose their brain's "governor" at about that age - if something entered their mind, it exited their mouth. We also have the example of David Brinkley, who at 76 after nearly half a century in broadcasting had a very senior moment on-air on the night of the 1996 presidential election, excoriating the result. Then there's Helen Thomas, who after half a century as a leading White House correspondent was summarily fired after she let loose with some anti-Israeli diatribes.

If Scalia is beginning to show signs of dementia, there will be fascinating but ugly political battles inside the Court itself as other conservatives try to hide his diminishing capacity from the other branches of government and the public - not to mention keeping it out of his opinions - and inside the Senate as GOPers try to ensure that the balance of power in the Supreme Court cannot be shifted during Obama's second term.

3. Finally, you may not realize it, but over 90% of my posts for the last year have been written on a tablet. I officially "cut the cord" for internet service at my residence. (That should explain some of the odd grammar and punctuation that shows up in some of these posts, when I lose my battle with what Apple is sure I want to say and how I want to say it).

Now I'm considering cutting the television cable as well. What options should I explore?