Friday, October 28, 2005


All this nonsense in the Plame just annoys me, and I really am rather numb to it.

I just can't get past a grown man with a nickname like "Scooter."

It appears my brother feels the same way.

And his Cheney is the best on the street.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Few New Links

Folks by now have come to realize that this blog o' mine has devolved into one of them a few posts a month but don't be expectin' more kind of things. This is due largely to the fact that I actually have more remunerative shit to do than I did when I cranked 'er up, but there's more to it than that.

I've found that, in the little time I now have to divert here, it is more fun (and less work) reading others than it is to wrack one's brain for some meaningful, important, poignant words of one's own. Put another way, there are some bad-ass good writers out there, and I have too much fun reading them and commenting on their blogs. Truth be told, they make me feel inferior.

Here are a few that strike me hard. Go check 'em out and tell me if I'm right or wrong:

This lady, Queenie McFarland, writes stuff daily at Inblognito that is lap-wettingly funny but also peers deep into the psyche -- and when it's her own, it can be pretty bizarre. I guess that she disappeared for a while and has just recently come back on line. It's a good thing I wasn't a fan before she left -- I might have considered self-destruction at the thought of losing her.

Then, just recently, while making my too-occasional visit to Os, I was reading some comments and ran into this lady, The Hot Librarian. Maybe I was just seduced by her discussing the topic of gratuitous sex, I dunno -- but since her forte seems to be the artful and discriminate use of sarcasm, she has a stool at the Wavemaker tavern any time she wants to stop by for gin and ice.

The Hot Librarian. What a great name. Even better'n Feisty Republican Whore.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Julie Andrews Launches New Ventriloquist Act

In an extraordinary display of versatility, screen and stage superstar Julie Andrews shows her audience that she can sing without moving her lips.

Shown here at the opening of a new Target Superstore in Boston, Andrews introduced her adoring fans to her new polyurethane sidekick, "Leisl," named, of course, after her favorite charge in Sound of Music.

Can You Spell "Hypocrite"?

Well, you can't say that the Kennedy apple falls far from the tree. In the latest of a running catalogue of hypocritical acts by members of Massachusetts' own version of Arrested Development, Max Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, arrogantly flouts the environmental laws, when it comes to his own property:

Professed environmentalist Max Kennedy is due in court on the Cape today to answer chargeshe violated town conservation rules by clear-cutting a coastal bank on his Hyannisport property.

Kennedy, son of Ethel and the late Bobby Kennedy, was found responsible for cutting the vegetation in violation of restrictions the town Conservation Commission had set. He was assessed a $150 fine, which he did not pay, and he has to appear today for an arraignment.

"He is supposed to show up,'' said town conservation agent Darcy Karle. "As a courtesy I contacted his attorney and told him that Mr. Kennedy needed to show up and pay the fine or a warrant for his arrest would be issued.'' ...

...Kennedy is also currently in violation of wetlands protection laws for a pier he built off the back of his Maywood Avenue home. Karle said Kennedy constructed the pier without first submitting the proper paperwork, and that lights on the end of the dock are in violation....

But you understand, these laws only apply to us.

I have a neighbor like Max. He owns a wood lot between my property line and a vast tidal river. Over the past ten years, some of his saplings have grown up to block my hitherto unobstructed view of the river. For several years, I offered to hire an arborist to prune his trees, so that he could clear my view without cutting them down. My neighbor demurred, saying it was important to "maintain the understory" for wildlife.

This critical understory is of no consequence, however, when it comes to preserving his own view. He and Max must buy their chainsaws at the same "Green" hardware store.

I now avidly root for the Nor'easters to do for me what my neighbor won't.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

You Can't Buy Class

Shame on Jay Tea for not picking this one up in his home state.

Beverly Hollingsworth, 69, is a former New Hampshire state Senate president who ran for governor three years ago. Last year, she and her husband, William Gilligan, purchased a century-old oceanfront house located at the end of a narrow gravel road that served another oceanfront house owned by Peter and Kathy Hutchins. Kathy Hutchins is a local Hampton Beach realtor; her husband is an attorney who was one of the lawyers who successfully represented victims of Roman Catholic priest abuse. After netting his fees in the multi-million dollar settlement, the Hutchinses moved into their oceanfront mansion around the same time as Hollingsworth/Gilligan.

You'd think that these two well-to-do neighbors would have no problems in the world, both having just found their Shangri-las. But when the Hollingworths began parking their car at the end of the road in front of the Hutchins' house, problems arose. Apparently, the unspeakable offense of parking a car caused lawyer Hutchins and his wife such grief that animosity sprouted:

Kathy Hutchins was caught on videotape hammering a nail into a tire on Hollingworth's car at night. Videotapes showed the Hutchinses giving the finger toward the Hollingworth house and Kathy Hutchins slapping her buttocks and bending over as Hollingworth and Gilligan passed in their car. Witnesses saw her douse her neighbors' guests with a lawn sprinkler.

Of course this is all the subject of a lawsuit -- and reading of Ms. Hutchins' behavior, you would think that the lawsuit had been brought by Mrs. Hollingsworth and her husband. But you would be wrong.

The lawsuit was filed by the butt-slapping, finger-giving, guest-dousing Mrs. Hutchins.

She claimed that she had been harassed, stalked and threatened when Mr. Gilligan told her ''You have no class," and ''You have no shame," after witnesses said they saw her douse her neighbors' guests with a lawn sprinkler.

Well, Judge Thomas Rappa agreed with Mr. Gilligan's assessment of Mrs. Hutchins, finding that she " has engaged in a course of conduct that is both provocative and harassing," and ''...the fact that (Gilligan) responded to this conduct with comments demonstrating his disdain for such actions does not constitute stalking as defined by the statute."

Welllllllllll you certainly might want to believe that this would end the matter -- but of course, Mr. Hutchins is a lawyer, so he is appealing.

Hutchins said he plans to seek reconsideration of the decision this week. He said he and his wife have a right to water their property ''which includes a portion of the road." He also said Rappa was wrong to describe his wife as having hammered a nail into a tire.

''There was no puncturing of the tire," he said.

There was, however, a demonstrable puncturing of the flimsy ego of a litigator.

UPDATE: Beachcomber's comment (edited here) corrects my facts -- and in so doing reveals the Hutchins to be worse that I could have fictionalized:

Beverly Hollingsworth and Bill Gilligan have owned "The Barnacle" for YEARS . They (and family, friends, and tenants) have had right of way use to the road for ages.

The "front lawn" that the Hutchins keep referring to in the articles is in reality their back yard and their actual yard (lawn) is fenced in and no one parks on it. Just on the dirt road (which can only park 2 cars wide and that is pushing it).

The road in question is a centuries old private road used for all the homes and Inns that used to be on the rocks (which The Barnacle is the only remaining building). It was also considered a Fire Road.

Everyone who lives in that neighborhood, or has friends/family that live there, all know that that road has been used by Hollingsworth and her family for years and the previous owner of the Hutchins home never had a problem with the cars being parked.

The Hutchins knew what they were purchasing, knew about the right of way and the status of the road, and also know the building restrictions. This was no secret when the home was on the market. They purchased anyway and now want to cry foul and make everyone's life in that neighborhood miserable.

Doesn't that just wanna make you love lawyers?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Shut Up And Get On The Bus

I've been thinking about the hysterical reaction to so many conservatives about the nomination of Harriet Miers that I thought to myself, "good gawd this woman can't possibly be that bad!"

Then I read my friend NED at New England Republican fretting about the "instant shattering" of the Republican base and "the Souter Effect," and concluding that "I'm sorry, but I don't trust the President."

Well this has my shorts all in a bunch, so I trundled off to do some reading, looking for things said about Ms. Miers from people who actually know her, personally and professionally. And I've come to the conclusion that, if this crap doesn't stop soon, the right wing of the party is in danger of doing to Harriet Miers what the left did to Robert Bork.

First, I turned to BeldarBlog, where William Myers, a Texas attorney provides useful insights from lawyers and judges who have worked with and against Ms. Miers during her days as a trial lawyer and law firm president. His opening line says it all:

"If you want to know who's an effective courtroom lawyer and who's just a preening, posturing candy-assed (excuse my bluntness) litigator, one very good way to find out is to ask an experienced trial judge.

He gives this report regarding the unsolicited emails he has received concerning her fitness and qualifications:

"I've gotten unsolicited emails from a former professor of hers; a fellow editor on the Southwestern Law Journal; a former colleague in a high leadership position of the State Bar of Texas; several lawyers who've had cases with and against her; and three different lawyers (including a judge) who've practiced with her and/or who describe her as a role model, pioneer, and a personal inspiration. Percentage thanking me for publishing factual and detailed information about Ms. Miers' record: 100 percent. Percentage expressing any doubts about her fitness for the Court based on personal knowledge and dealings with her: Zero."

Beldar cites to Legal Underground, where Evan Schaeffer excerpts from a profile of Ms. Miers in Texas Lawyer in 1996, following her election as president of her law firm, Locke Purnell Rain Harrell. Interesting reading, this piece about someone who, according to the armchair experts, isn't qualified. Here's what one judge said about her:

"I've had her in court. [She's] very good, very cool, very deliberate, very poised, never gets rattled, very centered and has a very matter-of-fact way of communicating to a jury that's very effective," says 192nd District Judge Merrill L. Hartman.

I suppose I could string cite to many other sources who know Ms. Miers best, but I'll just tag along with Hugh Hewitt, who understands well why conservatives are angry with this pick, and tells them to relax:

"Now the complaints have all been aired, and everyone has put their marker down. Continuing the assault on Miers means committing to her defeat, an event that would be one of the more remarkable exercises in political self-destruction in memory. Though the GOP is poised to pick up seats in the Senate in 2006 --in Florida, West Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington State, to name just six possibilities-- the decision to turn on the president is decision the injure those chances.

"Activists" will say this reasoning "blames the victim." Nonsense. They have no reason to doubt the president's judgment of this nominee, only that they'd have preferred another. (The "Souter" argument is the silliest being thrown about as the president has worked closely with Miers for a decade) Easy passage through the Senate is not an indication of ideological flaw, only of Democratic blinders. And there is no reason to believe that his next appointment won't bring exactly the nominee they want, though I strongly suspect that will depend on who retires next, and fully expect if the vacamcy occurs next summer the Attorney General would be the nominee to replace on the Court's left-leaning members, but a Luttig or McConnell to replace on the justices on the right though I hope none retire. Post 2006, all bets are off.

Part of my disappointment with the conservatives piling on the White House is the refusal to look at the entire political situation as it exists right now, 10 months into a 48 month term, 13 months before a crucial election, a week before the Iraq election and four years into a war that will go on for decades.

Bush and his team made a judgment on what was best for the cause of reforming the judiciary now, and he's been stalwart in that cause throughout. Judging his judges on the Miers nomination is lousy analysis, especially as the case isn't ripe. Talk to me in 2009 about the Bush judicial legacy. As of today, it looks extraordinarily good, but some conservatives seem intent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. "

I think this is proper cause to re-up my affiliation with the Coalition of the Chillin and Patrick Ruffini's new CofC SCOTUS Division! I'm going to sign up now. I already feel better, thanks.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Delay's Dilemma

We are seeing once again what happens to a public figure who is feared and hated by his enemies.

It is the same thing that happened with Newt Gingrich.

If you wield the reins of power with severity and relentlessness, sooner or later someone's going to try to take you down. If you play dirty, you're going to reap what you sow.

I have no doubt that politics plays a significant (if not exclusive) role in the prosecutor's motivation -- it is Texas, after all, where (as in Massachusetts) politics is a blood sport. And we will learn sooner or later whether or not there was any legitimacy to Ronnie Earle's prosecutorial actions.

But whatever your opinions on Tom Delay, you have to admit -- he is one scary looking dude.

Wishful Thinking?

Here's a poignant articulation of the dilemma partisans on both sides have created for themselves -- although it appears that, Harry Reid's initially supportive statements notwithstanding, the libs are poised to attack her for being a **gulp** friend of the President.

It's all about gamesmanship, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Another Shrewd Entree

It is a testament to the President's shrewdness that his pick of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court would be immediately blasted from the right because she does not have a pedigree made to be the gravy in a partisan ideological food fight.

That she has recorded political contributions to Lloyd Bentzen and Al Gore and satisfies the stated preference of some Senate democrats that Bush look "outside of the judiciary" adds to the shrewdness of her selection.

Does her total absence of a paper trail help or hurt her chances? It depends on where the paper trail would have led if there was one. Too many "movement conservatives" would prefer someone with a blazing superhighway leading to a cafeteria melee.

That does the President and the Republican Party no good whatsoever.

It annoys me to no end that conservatives howl out of one side of their mouths that it is inappropriate for liberals to inquire into the positions of judicial nominees, and then gripe when they can't have their cake and eat it too. When I hear Pat Buchanan blathering and sputtering on Good Morning America, I want to gag on my corn flakes.

The penchant of both liberals and conservatives in Congress to escalate partisan ideological food fights at the drop of a hat is monotonous. But a food fight is only as good as the food that is available to throw, and white bread just doesn't make a mess the way gravy does. So let's leave the food fights to Animal House and restore some table manners to the Capitol.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have suddenly become hungry for nourishment.

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