More desk-clearing.

So it turns out the good Justice Scalia was the featured entertainment at a rich-guy’s retreat in Texas. I wish I could be surprised. I’m also not surprised by this:

He pointed to perhaps the most famous case involving a justice and recusal, which involved Scalia himself. Scalia joined then-Vice President Richard B. Cheney on a hunting trip while Cheney was the subject of a lawsuit over his energy task force, and in response to calls that he sit out the case, Scalia issued a highly unusual 21-page argument explaining why he refused to do so.

This is one area where there is no false equivalency. This is Washington. But this is also the Supreme Court. No wonder Trump and Sanders are doing so well.

Sorry, I’m still in a sort of all-links/clear-the-desk phase. Ridiculous week at work, empty tank creatively. So here you go:

While we’re on the subject, a little remembrance of the deceased Nino. Not a particularly flattering one.

I love Roy’s blog, but never more than when he points with the sword of truth on wing nut whining about culture. As he does here.

Great New York story here:

One Lower East Side man received what some have called “the most New York note imaginable” after losing his wallet at a concert.

Reilly Flaherty found out after a Wilco concert at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn earlier this month that his personal effects were missing, and later got a letter that was a metropolitan mixture of brash, surprising, honest and mean.

“I found your wallet and your drivers license and your address so here’s your credit cards and other important stuff,” read a note, later posted on Instagram, that arrived in a plain white envelope.

“I kept the cash because I needed weed, the metrocard because well the fare’s $2.75 now, and the wallet cause it’s kinda cool. enjoy the rest of your day. Toodles, Anonymous.”

Now into Thursday. Ugh.

Posted at 12:12 am in Current events |

44 responses to “More desk-clearing.”

  1. Dexter said on February 18, 2016 at 12:40 am

    I heard the lodge where Scalia died was near where “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” were filmed simultaneously about ten years ago. When the oil wells caught fire, it ruined the day’s shoot for “No Country…”, that’s how close the sets were.

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  2. Sherri said on February 18, 2016 at 1:46 am

    Michael Dukakis was not impressed with Scalia when he was in law school with him:

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  3. alex said on February 18, 2016 at 6:28 am

    The wing nuts think they don’t have enough control over popular culture? Really? I think the mainstream media are being pretty deferential to them when they pay earnest tribute to Scalia’s supposedly superior intellect and ignore the brazen unseemliness of his lavish lifestyle furnished by billionaires. In a just world, the press would be putting Scalia on trial for corruption.

    That’s my two cents’ worth.

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  4. Suzanne said on February 18, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Re: wingnuts on culture. It is truly amazing that after all this time, there is no acknowledgement that it’s the message people don’t like, not the delivery, not the noise of everyday life drowning it out, not the refusal of the press to cover it (which is simply not true, but that’s another discussion), and not Beyoncé indoctrinating the children. We all know how it is. You get yourself a new haircut and no one compliments your new look, so as a grownup, you take a good look in the mirror and realize that reason is that it’s flat out a bad haircut.

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  5. alex said on February 18, 2016 at 8:24 am

    And don’t forget, Suzanne, their vaunted free market has created niches in music and cinema and education and media to separate conservative fools from their money. “Passion of the Christ” was one of the biggest earners of all time. I guess it’s not enough that Mel Gibson wasn’t the one prancing around in fishnets for Super Bowl halftime.

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  6. beb said on February 18, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Popular culture is capitalism in action. For conservatives to complain that they don’t like the direction popular culture is going means their are undemocratic and anti-capitalist. They deserve to be shunned.

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  7. nancy said on February 18, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Alex, I see the News ‘n’ Sentinel still can’t find the bottom of the barrel, although I guffawed at the description of Scalia as “healthy and robust.” Those robes hide a lot, but not the plain fact Scalia was fat and old.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on February 18, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Back in the N-S days these would be Items in Search of a Column.

    Not much here; on vacation but got sick, whine, whine. Screed on the health care system to come when I’m on a keyboard again.

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  9. Kirk said on February 18, 2016 at 9:33 am

    For those who don’t get to the linked blog on right-wing turds sobbing that it’s just too hard to be pop culture, this golden excerpt made me laugh:

    Long story short: The dog ate their manifesto, so instead of building a counterculture they built a living pantheon of radio shouters, bow-tie dicks, and other assholes, and now one of them is the Republican Presidential front-runner and it’s someone else’s fault.

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  10. Jolene said on February 18, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Gawd, it’s depressing to read things like that News-Sentinel column and Roy’s report on the Trumpsters’ cultural attitudes. I really don’t want to live on the same planet with those people, let alone in the same country.

    On Twitter yesterday, Jeff Goldberg, a journalist who writes for The Atlantic, often on Middle East Affairs but also on other topics, confirmed the idea that The Donald’s followers are not into tolerance or inclusiveness. He said that, if you Jewish-sounding name, saying anything mildly critical about Trump will produce a cascade of anti-Semitic responses. The example he provided left little doubt about the truth of his claim. Really disgusting.

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on February 18, 2016 at 10:30 am

    The wingnuts dominate talk radio and cable news. They can’t be satisfied with that?

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  12. Deborah said on February 18, 2016 at 10:56 am

    The right wing is personified to me as the dowdy, humorless, biggest scold, most authoritarian teacher I had in high school. She taught Latin which I inexplicably took for two years, so unfortunately she was my teacher for both of those years. I hated the class, it was excruciating, but I masochistically thought I needed to take it for some good it was supposed to do for me for the rest of my education. It makes me depressed to even think about it. I imagine that the Tea Party is made up of people like my Latin teacher, I have blocked her name from my memory but I can still see her sour face.

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  13. jcburns said on February 18, 2016 at 11:14 am

    All NYC Transit police, be on the lookout for Toodles Anonymous, described as Some Dude with Weed and a Nice Wallet and a partially loaded Metrocard. Sheesh.

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  14. brian stouder said on February 18, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I simply couldn’t make it to the end of the Ric Rimshot (or whatever his name is) rant in the News n’ Sentinel (my dad always called that paper by that name, too. I thought he was jokingly calling it what his dad had, but – maybe not…!)

    So, the paper can’t find the bottom of the barrel, and I can’t even get to the bottom of their latest (exploratory?) floating turd!

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  15. Suzanne said on February 18, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I think Ric is a financial advisor that we get invites from occasionally to join him for a free meal and presentation at some local restaurant. But the invitations include scant information about who sent them. The first one we got, I had to do some investigating to discover what company it came from, which I find a little sketchy. We get these from Edward Jones, too, but it clearly states that it’s Edward Jones. I don’t think he has a stellar reputation among local financial people, either.

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on February 18, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    My sister once told me about a guy in New York, where she lived, who found his car’s bumper smashed in and a note to this effect on his windshield:

    “Hello, I hit your car. The people around here are watching me write this and think I’m giving you my contact info, but I’m not. Ha ha f*** you.”

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  17. Peter said on February 18, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks a hell of a lot for that Ric Runestad link Nancy, I’m going to have to hit my head against the wall for a solid hour to get that crap out of my head.

    Here’s how unmoored from reality this guy is: He states that last year the court took a treacherous lurch to the left, but that this year it was going to be different. How so? It’s the same nine characters, dim bulb, what would make you think that it would change? Because you prayed for it?

    The comments were even better – I just love the people who thinks there’s a liberal conspiracy to conceal fat boy’s death – sure, because Texas is a socialist hotbed, don’t cha know.

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  18. Scout said on February 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    If I ever lost my wallet I’d be relieved to have my driver’s license, credit cards and other “important stuff” returned. I’d consider the cash and wallet the price of my own carelessness.

    Being a linkish kind of day, thought most of you would enjoy this. (note – NSFW)

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  19. Joe K said on February 18, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Debra @12
    That is exactly how conservatives see liberals.
    Pilot Joe

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  20. nancy said on February 18, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Shame Jeff has to be taking a break from the internet when the Pope and Donald Trump get into a fight online.

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  21. brian stouder said on February 18, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Joe – I’d agree with your statement if it had a limit.

    For example That is exactly how some conservatives see liberals.

    Heck – I was a conservative back in the day; used to pester Madam Telling Tales and extol the virtues of R Emmett Tyrell and WF Buckley and Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Jack Kemp; and voted for Ronald Wilson Reagan 4 times (counting the primaries) – which was four more times than Rush Limbaugh (for example) ever did.

    In fact, I have stolen (and slightly modified) one of Reagan’s lines, and now use it as my own, to wit:

    I didn’t leave the Republican party; the Republican party left me.

    PS – and by the by, what would the 2016 R’s say today, if the D’s were running a former Union president, and B-movie actor?

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  22. brian stouder said on February 18, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Deconstruct the lead, of the Donald’s post on the Facebook

    If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened.

    Look at all the “if”s.

    The slap-back if a poofy marshmallow, like the Donald’s ‘do

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  23. brian stouder said on February 18, 2016 at 2:19 pm


    and I do NOT miss the edit button! (it was a premature exclamation, on my part!

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  24. Joe K said on February 18, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Good point on “some conservatives ”
    I often get called out on this here blog, you only get your news from fox,
    I guess I could respond yes but you only get YOUR news from cnn,
    What it shows, at least to me, is we’re not all that different from each other. really I think we basically want good things to happen we just have different thoughts on what is good and how to get there.
    Pilot Joe

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  25. brian stouder said on February 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I nominate Joe for Thread-Win, baby!

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  26. Suzanne said on February 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Brian @21. Me too. Honestly, when Limbaugh got started, he wasn’t so crazy. I used to listen regularly when he first went national, but at some point, he got so full of himself that he didn’t even make sense. The drug addiction was the last straw for me, although I was waning long before that. My son says the same thing about Glenn Beck. He and some friends used to tune in when they were in high school (he’s now 30), and thought he was witty, did some fun parodies, and made a good point now and then. He said he listened a few years ago just to see how he sounds now and said he was surprised that he was only peddling fear to the ignorant and becoming very, very wealthy while doing it. Maybe my son & I both evolved at some point, but I don’t think that’s the whole story.
    I’d say more that the sane Republicans were pushed out by the likes of Limbaugh & Beck, who had to keep upping the ante in craziness to stay on the air and their fans followed without realizing it. Kinda like the frog in the pot, they started cool and then turned up the heat until we got the mess we have now.

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  27. Deborah said on February 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Joe, you have a point to some extent. I have some friends in Chicago who are far, far lefties who really are scolds with sour faces, they are the extreme though. I suppose it’s the same on the right, only it doesn’t seem that way to me, the scolds and the authoritarians seem to be the rule not the exception.

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  28. ROGirl said on February 18, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Doctrinaire extremists, whether far left or far right, and no matter the religion, are remarkably similar.

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  29. brian stouder said on February 18, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    So, our presidential campaign appears to have officially relocated into the year 1852.

    Our ‘Know Nothing’ anti-immigration surfers (including candidates and our internet latter-day penny press) are now in full-on anti-Catholic mode!

    How long before they try and repeal the 15th Amendment, and/or the 19th Amendment?

    Those silly suffragists and people-who-look-different shouldn’t get to vote, right?

    If Captain Kirk were here, he’d say “We seem to be tumbling backwards…through time!”

    And Spock would mutter “Fascinating!”

    As for me, I’m really becoming convinced that genuine “human progress” (as opposed to clever-gadgetry progress) is a fairy tale.

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  30. brian stouder said on February 18, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I forgot to put the Penny Press link and headline in (and STILL I don’t miss the edit button!)

    The Headline:

    Pope tells Trump building walls ‘not Christian’ on way back to walled-in Vatican

    Watch out for those hypocritcal ‘papists’, I tell ya!

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  31. Mark P said on February 18, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    I don’t see radical conservatives as scolds so much as authoritarians who want to maintain a strict social hierarchy with themselves at the top, of course. Anything you do that threatens their positions is not only wrong, it’s evil. My own belief is that their positions on many social issues are barely hiding their old-fashioned racism.

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  32. brian stouder said on February 18, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Mark P – agreed.

    One concept that I’d heard before, but which came to the forefront (in my consciousness) – thanks to Heather Cox Richardson’s book (To Make Men Free – a history of the Republican party) is

    the ‘mudsills of society’.

    When slavery legally existed, those human beings were the “mudsills” – upon which society’s structure rested – rock-assed bottom.

    When legal slavery ended, suddenly the question of who is going to be society’s “mudsill” became live –

    and to this day, that impulse – to push others downward, so as not to be the “mudsill” – provides the endless waves that politically opportunistic surfers (like the Donald, or Raphael Cruz) ride

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  33. Sherri said on February 18, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Does anybody get their news from CNN?

    It’s been my experience with my conservative friends that they consider any media outlet that isn’t explicitly conservative as liberal; if they aren’t for us, they’re against us. Most liberals I know think that many media outlets are neither conservative nor liberal, but rather beholden to other interests, whether it’s clicks, corporate ownership, ratings, or access. There are outlets that are explicitly liberal, like The Nation, but CNN and most mass media doesn’t fall into that category.

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  34. Suzanne said on February 18, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    I get my news from CNN, ABC, CBS, the local newspapers, the NYTimes, the local news station, and wherever. I’ve tried Fox but it’s like a video version of the National Enquirer, with lots of outrage about everything. I watch MSNBC on occasion, too, but unlike Fox, they don’t seem to pretend they are anything but liberal leaning so if I tune in, I know what I’m getting.

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  35. Deborah said on February 18, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    I don’t watch CNN, if and when I watch it’s MSNBC, just Chris Hayes and Rachel, I do that about once a week. The rest of the news I get from online daily, the New York Times, NPR, that kind of thing. I read Talking Points Memo for a Liberal slant. I read the local Santa Fe paper online and the Tribune breaking news online. I’m probably forgetting something. A lot shows up on my Facebook feed.

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  36. David C. said on February 18, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I don’t know where news like this comes from. I was chatting with a nut, both wing and gun, at work today. He was going on about the Feds picking on poor Cliven Bundy. Apparently, he had a 100 year lease to graze cattle on the public land, but Harry Reid and his son wanted the land to sell to the Chinese to build a solar energy farm. I don’t watch Fox, so I don’t know if this is one of theirs or if it comes from Info Wars, World Nut Daily, or one of the others. It pushes almost all of the wingnut buttons. I read it and it’s so patently absurd and urban legendary, that I don’t see how he can believe it, but he does. It’s like near the end of the Clinton Administration, my father-in-law believed the President Clinton was going to invite the Chinese army under the United Nations to take over the US so he could stay President. He believed it so much that he buried a rifle and ammunition in the back 40. I guess propaganda works that way. It’s rather frightening if you think about it. If Rush lost his shit and told his listeners to do a Rwanda, does anyone think that some of them wouldn’t take him up on it?

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  37. alex said on February 18, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Sherri, the argument to which Joe was referring wasn’t about reasonable people disagreeing and it wasn’t about Fox viewers versus those who choose CNN. He’s still smarting over the fact that he got called out for being just plain misinformed following his insistence about Obama being a product of the Chicago political machine and having “zero qualifications” to be president. Now that’s some serious mudsill bullshit. I can cut him a little slack, I suppose, insofar as one could be forgiven for mistaking the high production values of the National Review and Fox News as proof of their legitimacy, but indisputable facts are what they are.

    He won’t take the word of the Chicagoans here — me included — who witnessed Obama’s political rise while it was happening. We didn’t get our information from CNN.

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  38. Dexter said on February 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    We were J-G people, but we always got the evening paper for the Roto section and the great, big color comics on Saturday night. It was always called “The News ‘n’ Sentinel”. I can’t remember how much the N/S cost on Saturday, but I charged my customers 20 cents for Sunday-only delivery. Early to mid-1960s. Our local daily is 75 cents now. Two years ago when I let my The New Yorker lapse, newsstand price per issue, $7.99. That’s what I gotta do…start my New Yorker coming again.

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  39. Jolene said on February 18, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Dexter, The New Yorker is making videos now. They stream on Amazon under the title “The New Yorker Presents. Here’s a review of the initial offerings that appeared on the website of The Atlantic. I haven’t checked them out yet, but plan to do so soon.

    There is, by the way, another Sanders/Clinton townhall on MSNBC at 9PM EST tonight. Moderated by Chuck Todd and Jose Diaz-Balart. It’s in Nevada, scheduled to stir up interest in advance of Saturday’s caucus meetings.

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  40. Sue said on February 18, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    David C., ask your nut friend how he feels about Scott Walker selling farmland to China. While not technically truthful, it might happen, ya know?—–jcpg-321567-202536171.html

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  41. Sue said on February 18, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    And with all the, shall we say, ‘energized’ voters out there, I keep thinking of a line from one of my favorite books. You don’t get this thinking without the right kind of leader:
    ‘There was a thoughtful pause in the conversation as the assembled Brethren mentally divided the universe into the deserving and the undeserving, and put themselves on the appropriate side.’
    — The Elucidated Brethren see the light (Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!)

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  42. Jolene said on February 18, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Happened to see this pic on FB. an appealing accessible design.

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  43. susan said on February 18, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Dexter, Jolene – The New Yorker also produces a wonderful podcast, “The New Yorker Radio Hour.” Well, actually, they have a variety of podcasts (Politics, Fiction, Poetry, “Outloud”), but that’s the one I listen to.

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  44. Brandon said on February 19, 2016 at 3:59 am

    @Sue, #40: It reminds me of Genshiro Kawamoto.

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