Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Italians are very saucy.

I find it very shocking that anyone is bothered that Berlusconi insulted Mao. That is so silly! If Berlusconi were to have been truly rude, he would have insulted the Chinese national hero, General Tso.

Italians have such an amusing sense of humor! But The Boston Herald does not. They need to relax! Justice Scalia was only making a traditional Sicilian gesture, like this one:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"Maybe we should just suspend the Confrontation Clause in spousal abuse cases."

That's what Justice Scalia wittily said during Davis v Washington, a case about whether or not a 911 transcript can be used against a defendant even if the caller later changes her mind. This often happens when women who are being beaten are later so childish as to change their minds about their original complaint in a domestic abuse case.
Two years ago, however, the Supreme Court issued an unmistakable warning that these efforts were likely to collide with the Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause, which guarantees to a criminal defendant the right "to be confronted with the witnesses against him."

In Crawford v. Washington, the court laid down a new rule: a "testimonial" statement made out of court cannot be used at trial unless the person who made the statement is available for cross-examination....

[Adrian M.] Davis's lawyers argued on appeal that the admission of the 911 tape violated his right to confrontation, but the Washington Supreme Court said the call was not testimonial. It was, the court said, a request for "help to be rescued from peril."...

Mr. Fisher, a Seattle lawyer who successfully argued the Crawford case, said the purpose of the Confrontation Clause was "to bring the accuser and accused face to face and require the accuser to deliver the accusation in court."

But the 911 call was "not just a call," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg objected. It was also "a cry for help." Was it not a "practical reality," she asked Mr. Fisher, "that many women in this situation are scared to death?" She added, "Your neat legal categories don't conform to real lives."

Mr. Fisher responded carefully. "I don't mean to be insensitive," he said. He offered a solution: under a rule known as the "forfeiture doctrine," he observed, a defendant who intimidated a witness lost the right to object to the use of that witness's out-of-court statements.

Justice Antonin Scalia interjected: "Maybe we should just suspend the Confrontation Clause in spousal abuse cases."

The other justices undoubtedly took his point, a reminder that he was the author of the Crawford decision, and that he had persuaded six of his colleagues in that case, including Justice Ginsburg, that the Confrontation Clause should be interpreted literally.
Interpreted literally! What a textualist! Are we to be literal about the interpretation in that interesting, sensitive decision, or are we to consider the realities of spousal abuse? What a puzzler!

UPDATE: Have you noticed how indecisive Barry Manilow is when he talks to the contestants on American Idol?

Monday, March 20, 2006

I am back and I am blogging!

I have returned after my hiatus! As all of my loyal readers know, I am moving into a new condo in the middle of Madison. Here is another shot of the view out my window. It is very cold in Madison in the winter, but of course you can always find something to eat, if you are very resourceful.

I have not been on vacation. Here is what happened. I am getting my new condo painted, and I decided that it would be very exciting to liveblog the process of watching the paint dry. What a hoot! That is the sort of original thrill only Altmouse provides.

So as soon as the painters left, I brought in a pillow, my laptop, a pot of coffee, and a big bag of Marshmallow Peeps, and I started blogging away! But I made a mistake. I brought in a humidifier because I have sinus trouble. How was I to know that blowing a humidifier does not help paint to dry? The humidifier manufacturer is very partisan, so they did not put a warning of this sort on their machine. How shocking. To make a long story short, three days ago I woke up in the hospital with an acute case of Marshmallow Peeps poisoning. I understand that there will be a medical journal article written about my condition! Of course I would prefer that someone would write a blog post about it. It would seem more appropriate.

UPDATE: I cannot get the final episode of Project Runway out of my head! How exciting it all was! And did you know tnat the musical Oklahoma takes place in... Oklahoma? I find that very fitting. It is also about sexuality. How surprising! Who knew that musicals were ever willing to take on such subjects, especially 40 years ago, well before sexuality was invented?

UPDATE: I see that Scott Lemieux calls The New Republic "vacuous." Ha! He is the one who is "vacuous." If there is one thing that gets my goat, it is people who write empty-headed, meandering fluff about trivial issues and yet have the audacity to call other people names like "vacuous." Lemieux needs to engage in a process of sincere self-reflection.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Moving and I am very tired.

I am so very tired. I am selling my house and moving to a condominium. This is the view from my new window. It is a bit nicer in summer, I hope. But I am very close to downtown.

I am very excited about the finale of Project Runway. Do you know what would be great? If the show were scripted by Chief Justice Roberts! That would be so wonderful! He writes very crisply. Reading his opinions is like eating fresh iceberg lettuce, because his opinions are just that crisp. But to get his opinions you don't have to go up to a salad bar and use those awful tongs they have there. I hate those! Sometimes I lean down because I have dropped a grape tomato or something, and I bang my head on the sneeze guard. Anyway, Justice Roberts would know what to do about judging between Daniel and Chloe. Chloe could perhaps make some clothes for his Chief Justiceness' kids! I think she designs terrific pockets and so she could probably do a good job with Peter Pan collars.

Today someone came to look at my house. I'm pretty sure they were sent there by the real estate company. Anyway, I forgot they were coming, and so I had not shoveled the walk. At the last minute I had to go outside in only a towel, because I just got out of the shower. Brrrrr! It felt very nice after a few minutes, though. Have you ever noticed that snow can be very snowy? I have.

Maybe my ancestors were polar bears! Or they were from Scotland. Polar bears would probably like to take a trip to Scotland. I would.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Liveblogging last night's Oscars.

Last night I liveblogged the Oscars by putting them on TiVo so I can blog about them today. Watching the Oscars on TiVo is the only way to do it! That way I can skip past all the boring speeches, songs, musical numbers, presentations, monologues, "comedy bits," film montages, commercials, and everything else. That material is too boring! I only watch to see the fashions. It is too bad though that none of the starlets, like Hillary Gyllenhall or Heath Swank, wore anything nearly as glamorous as the Mrs. Sam Alito evening gown.

7 (Central Time). Jon Stewart is off to a fast start, because I am hitting the fast forward on the remote. I stop because there is a scene with Billy Crystal and Chris Rock in a tent. I did not know that they liked camping. I hope they have warm pajamas. I think I see panic on Jon Stewart's face. Or maybe that is some butter I got on the TV screen. Hold on... it was butter. David Ogden Altmouse Steirs sometimes thinks that the TV set is an English muffin. He is such a scamp!

7:10. A very funny montage about camping. I haven't seen more than 15 minutes of any of the movies they are discussing, but I am pretty sure that most of them were about camping. The environmentalist bias is clear. But Jon Stewart is subtly mocking the partisan audience. Only I get the joke. I am a nonpartisan, That is why I usually get knock-knock jokes, also. Moreover, I also am alone in my grasp of the subtle mockery of liberal partisans that is the true hallmark of the Daily Show.

7:45. George Clooney wins Best Supporting Actor. He says blah blah blah, I am better than you, and actors are better than you, do you want a piece of this motherfucker, I want to rape your puppies, Ace is the place for the helpful hardware man, I am a partisan, I like to eat biscuits n' gravy. I am paraphrasing but that is really what he meant. Thank goodness for TiVo! That made it easy for me not to actually listen to such partisan ranting.

7:45. Tom Hanks wastes our time by not blogging but talking. Ben Stiller is wearing a bow tie and a duck with no pants. I eat some cookies. "King Kong" wins, which is a movie about a giant gorilla. The gorilla does not come out -- because there was no gorilla. It was all fake. "Wallace and Grommit" win an award for something, but they for some reason do not accept the award in person. That is the first real political statement of the night. Maybe they are off camping.

8:20. Jennifer Aniston comes out to make fun of us and to call us names. Will Ferrell and Steve Carell tell funny jokes. "Return of the Sith" doesn't win! Partisanship! I like light sabers. They are very nonpartisan. Rachel Weisz has large, voluptuous, swelling breasts. I lose track of what she is saying.

9:00. All the women are in beige or black. Did some nonpartisan order go out? I hope so. Last year some women word different colors in an obvious attempt to sway the election. That was very wrong. Black and tan are nice colors with no partisan connotations, however.

9:45. Salma Hayek is wearing blue! I hope she gets hit by a bus. The conductor is eating M&Ms, while I am drinking red wine. But that is not because I am a partisan! Ha ha ha. Wine is very good and goes well with all sorts of food, like sandwiches. I am fast forwarding again.

10:00. A big yawn. "It's Mighty Hard Out Here for a Pimp." The room is jubilant, because Hollywood is objectively pro-pimp. America is not impressed. America hates it when its values are stomped on by Hollywood. Americans do not like pimps, and are in face extremely anti-pimp. Why can't other people agree that Hollywood is out of step with traditional American values? Why am I the only one who ever makes this point? I am a very original thinker. Anyway, nobody will be talking about this "Pimp" song tomorrow. That much is very clear.

11:00. And the winner is CRASH! This is an excellent choice. There is a strong chance that I even saw this one, but I will have to check my blog to be sure.

Why "Crash"? It is a surprise, but it makes sense. Giving an award to a homosexual movie would have been too partisan. People disagree about gays. Everybody now obviously agrees about race. But what about camping? What happened to the camping movie? Why did they risk alienating all of those people who like camping? Very strange.

UPDATE. Apparently this character is trying to increase his hit count by talking about how I liveblogged the Oscars. How sad! He apparently is convinced that I am a conservative. But he does not know that I watch the Colbert Report. Ha! So I get the last laugh. And all of his commenters are extremely sexist, because they made fun of me. How shocking. This is exactly why I might someday regret my vote for Russ Feingold. But this character was ideating about me all night! Clearly he was driven to near madness by my feminine allure. How tragic. I am sure he is now regretting his foolishness, as he has had a chance to go back over my commentary and see how incicive and nonpartisan it is. He needs to stop being someone who ideates. That is clear.