A few suggestions for President Obama’s first Supreme Court nomination:
Bill Ayers (thanks, Gasman);
His wife, the lovely and unrepentant domestic terrorist Bernadine Dohrn;
Squeaky Fromme (after a presidential pardon);
Some homeless guy who now forges signatures for ACORN.
The possibilities are endless, really. I’m putting my money on “a moderate Democrat with XX chromosomes.”
They say David Souter, the retiring justice, hates Washington and aches to get back to New Hampshire. “They” have to say it because, as usual, Souter says nothing. When he was nominated I recall a Mark Russell song about him, called “The Man Who Has No Footprints.” I know there are many people in this country who delight in court-watching, people who in another time would have made excellent Kremlinologists, spending months analyzing body language and position in the May Day photograph, but I’m not one of them. I think their proceedings should be on television, too. All it takes is one Clarence Thomas to queer you on the idea of the Gang of Nine as some sort of council of divine mandarins.
Souter must be insane. I can hardly blame him for hating Washington, but on his current work schedule he can enjoy his New Hampshire home four months of the year, the best four months (in New Hampshire, anyway). The guy must love winter, I guess. Once he’s retired he can go on leaving no footprints up there, year-round. Nothing like Vermont and New Hampshire for privacy protection. Solzhenitsyn found it a nice, cold, media-free simulacrum of Russia. You wonder why more of these camera-shunning Hollywood ninnies don’t buy houses up there — it’s certainly pretty enough. On my sole trip to Vermont, nearly oh-my-god 30 years ago, I recall: Hardly any freeways, every town a small one. (Montpelier is smaller than Grosse Pointe Woods.) Very scenic, general stores, the whole bit. New Hampshire, which we drove across to get to Vermont — much the same, plus an valued-out-of-proportion primary.
Well, godspeed, Justice Souter. The best job in the world, followed by the cushiest retirement. Enjoy it.
Good to see the outstanding Nina Totenberg broke the story. For some media outlets, covering the court is sort of like being on the court — a lifetime appointment. No one can say she hasn’t left big footprints, however. She’s going to be a hard act to follow.
From her report:
Rather than fly home, Souter preferred to drive. He also resisted other forms of contemporary technology and convenience, holding out against the cell phone and e-mail and continuing to write his opinions and dissents in longhand, using a fountain pen.
Another technological stick-in-the-mud! What is it about writing that makes people so loathe to change their ways? (I don’t know how anyone writes in longhand, anymore. My brain moves so much faster than my pen these days it would be like running a race with one foot in a bucket of cement. I can barely write a check anymore.) On the other hand, good for him for spurning e-mail. I watched “Rachel Getting Married” last week. My favorite line, from the addict Kim: “She never responded to my amends e-mail. I hate it when people won’t meet you halfway.” A couple years ago I told a friend her ex-husband had gotten a big job he’d been after for a while. “I’ll have to send him a congratulatory e-mail,” she said. I replied: “Yes, for when only the least you can do will do, the congratulatory e-mail.”
I’m sure you lawyer types will bat this subject around in the comments, so have at it. Please, ladies and gentleman, no hitting below the belt.
NPR had a a piece on Snowball the dancing cockatoo last night, which prompted me to look up his YouTube collection. This being NPR, the story was on research into whether animals really can coordinate movement to music, but me being me, I was mainly interested in the yuks. Snowball’s opening act was to a Backstreet Boys track, but I really prefer his interpretive routine to Stevie Nicks.
I’ve always liked birds like this, although I’d never own one. When Kate was a toddler I used to take her to a local pet store where they had about half a dozen parrots, macaws and cockatoos, none for sale, that talked and interacted with customers without fail. My favorite was Smoky, an African gray, who loved to make this sound: A descending whistle, a muffled explosion and then, “Bombs away!” It reminded me of a parrot in a Carl Hiaasen novel, who’d been liberated from a drug dealer’s home after its owner was shot to death. DEA agents taught it to say, “Duck, shithead!”
A little TGIF bloggage? OK:
Did you know the Keep Your Distance Bug Vacuum not only exists, but is a big seller? Now you do. SkyMall catalogs: The middle-class man’s Archie McPhee.
Finally, if you missed Coozledad’s most excellent description of a day on the farm yesterday, you missed something that prompted a writer with a national profile to e-mail and say, “I’d read a whole book of stories like that.” Me, too, but Coozledad says he lacks the motivation. As a consolation prize, he sends along a picture of the farm’s newest resident, Bodankey:
I can’t top this. Have a great weekend.