February 24, 2015 archive

Tuesday Movie Special


TBC: Morning Musing 2.24.15

Well, this morning I have 4 – yes, 4 – articles for ya!

First up, if you are the working poor as I am, you’ve definitely dealt with some of these:


Republicans LOVE to hate the poor. They see them as inferior, lazy moochers who just bask in their poorness and enjoy all of the happiness being poor brings them. They tell America that poor people could stop being poor if they just work hard enough.

What they forget to mention when they paint this fictional portrait of happy poor people are the struggles the roughly 50 million Americans who live below the poverty line face. Normal, everyday things that cause someone with little or no money to weep in frustration.


On This Day In History February 24

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 310 days remaining until the end of the year (311 in leap years).

On this day in 1803, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, decides the landmark case of William Marbury versus James Madison, Secretary of State of the United States and confirms the legal principle of judicial review–the ability of the Supreme Court to limit Congressional power by declaring legislation unconstitutional–in the new nation.

Marbury v. Madison is a landmark case in United States law and in the history of law worldwide. It formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution. It was also the first time in the world that a court invalidated a law by declaring it “unconstitutional.”

This case resulted from a petition to the Supreme Court by William Marbury, who had been appointed by President John Adams as Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia but whose commission was not subsequently delivered. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to force Secretary of State James Madison to deliver the documents, but the court, with John Marshall as Chief Justice, denied Marbury’s petition, holding that the part of the statute upon which he based his claim, the Judiciary Act of 1789, was unconstitutional.

Marbury v. Madison was the first time the Supreme Court declared something “unconstitutional,” and established the concept of judicial review in the U.S. (the idea that courts may oversee and nullify the actions of another branch of government). The landmark decision helped define the “checks and balances” of the American form of government.

The Issue

There are three ways a case can be heard in the Supreme Court: (1) filing directly in the Supreme Court; (2) filing in a lower federal court, such as a district court, and appealing all the way up to the Supreme Court; (3) filing in a state court, appealing all the way up through the state’s highest courts, and then appealing to the Supreme Court on an issue of federal law. The first is an exercise of the Court’s original jurisdiction; the second and third are exercises of the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction.

Because Marbury filed his petition for the writ of mandamus directly in the Supreme Court, the Court needed to be able to exercise original jurisdiction over the case in order to have the power to hear it.

Marbury’s argument is that in the Judiciary Act of 1789, Congress granted the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over petitions for writs of mandamus. This raises several issues that the Supreme Court had to address:

  • Does Article III of the Constitution create a “floor” for original jurisdiction, which Congress can add to, or does it create an exhaustive list that Congress can’t modify at all?
  • If Article III’s original jurisdiction is an exhaustive list, but Congress tries to modify it anyway, who wins that conflict, Congress or the Constitution?
  • And, more importantly, who is supposed to decide who wins?
  • In its answer to this last question, the Supreme Court formalizes the notion of judicial review. In short, the constitutional issue on which Marbury v. Madison was decided was whether Congress could expand the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

    Late Night Karaoke

    Formal Muumuus

    This is why electing Judges is a bad idea.

    Not all “reform” is good.

    So, Where Are The Indictments?

    Of course this is waste of time.  What did you expect?

    NYPD officers call re-training in wake of Eric Garner death a ‘waste of time’

    by Lauren Gambino, The Guardian

    Monday 23 February 2015 09.27 EST

    A majority of New York police officers called the re-training program they were ordered to undergo after the death of Eric Garner a “waste of time”, according to the New York Post.

    But during the training, officers fell asleep in their seats and eight out of 10 gave the $35m program a negative review when they finished, the Post reported, citing a high-ranking NYPD official.

    Relations between the NYPD and the mayor deteriorated in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of two officers in Brooklyn in December, with many officers angry with De Blasio for supposedly siding with protesters against perceived police brutality.

    The entire encounter – from Garner resisting arrest nonviolently to the officer locking his arm around Garner’s neck to Garner’s final words: “I can’t breathe” – were captured on video. Despite this, no indictment was returned. His family is supporting a legal push by civil liberties groups to release the grand jury proceedings.

    The three day re-training program was touted by the mayor and his police commissioner, Bill Bratton, who said it would be both cognitive and tactical. The officers were meant to learn new techniques to use on resisting arrestees rather than the forbidden chokehold.

    “I think you’re going to see a very different reality after this training has been achieved,” De Blasio said in December. “This will protect our officers, it will protect live citizens. I have no doubt some tragedy will be avoided because of this training.” The official, however, told the Post the program included eight-hour lectures rather than hands-on training.

    “Officers thought they were going to get some real hands-on, quality training on how to deal with a hostile prisoner or arrestee,” the source said. “They didn’t get that.”

    The three sessions included a cultural sensitivity workshop, followed by a course on the “legitimacy of policing” and, on the last day, training on the “high-low takedown”, a tactic to be used on suspects.

    “It’s more of a self-reflection kind of course – reflecting on how they can improve as police officers,” the official told the Post.


    It’s actually much worse than this footage makes it.  Not just this incident.  It’s everywhere, all the time.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-

    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-

    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-

    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me-

    And there was no one left to speak for me.

    The Daily/Nightly Show (Paden)

    I thought we were pals after all that riding we did together. All of a sudden he’s worried about some mutt. Well, we did like he asked. We left him, and he went to jail for a dog. You want to hear the funny part? Paden didn’t even like that damn dog.

    It evened out in the end. They locked me up; the dog sprung me.

    So, what does it mean to love America?  I for one think it means recognizing the United States is not the only damn country on two continents and a land bridge and never confusing one with the other, but then again I have a lot of “crazy” ideas about ‘Liberty and Justice for All’ and ‘We, The People’ that are just so Enlightenment as to make me quaint and cuddly like a Mennonite kneecapper at an Amish Field Party.

    Anyway, tonight we get to hear Martin Short (Canadian), Big Sean, Frank Rich and former senior media adviser to Mitt Romney Tara Setmayer (nee Wall) pontificate on the subject which will be a relief for you since you generally get me spouting off about it 3 or 4 times a day.


    James Ross Clemens, a cousin of mine was seriously ill two or three weeks ago in London, but is well now.  The report of my illness grew out of the report of his illness, the report of my death was an exaggeration.

    Mark Twain, May 1897

    To the death, serious wounding, or ‘Uncle’ saying Arby’s.

    Horny Las Vegas Teens

    This week’s guests-

    Christine Lagarde is the head of the IMF.  Do you think we will hear anything about SYRIZA and Greece?