Archive for March, 2006

What are these crazy questions/ That they’re asking of me?

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

Okay, it’s time to close the book on this little question/answer experiment.

1. Jane asks, Do you have siblings? If so, where do you fall in the family? If not, do you ever wish you did?

I have an older brother. We’re close in age but not much else. He was a year ahead of me in school. We’ve never really had the same friends or run in the same circles. We’re really about as different as night and day. I don’t mean that to sound critical of him; we’re just different.

2. Blonde Justice: I wanted to know your St. Patrick’s day plans (will you wear green? drink green beer? go to a parade?), whether you have any good vacation plans coming up (I always need a vacation to look forward to) or, in the alternative, a great vacation you’d recommend, and what is this San Diego Airport story all about? (Don’t call me a jackass, just tell me generally what the background is on this.)

I wore a green tie for St. Patrick’s Day. Nothing too elaborate, I just wanted to avoid the “Where’s your green?!” hassle. But I wear green fairly regularly, so it wasn’t any big deal to shift my wardrobe a bit.

I don’t have any firm vacation plans, but I’ve been feeling like I need one. I may run down to Clerksville for a weekend and see some folks, or maybe try to see some of my friends who are expecting kids before they forget they have single, childless friends. I’m no good at recommending vacations because I so rarely do anything touristy. It seems like every vacation I’ve taken in the last ten years has involved a friend’s wedding.

And that’s the basic gist of the infamous San Diego story. I went to a wedding out there one summer, and it turned into a crazy thing. And the side trip to Las Vegas wasn’t even the craziest part. I promise I will get around to telling the story here sometime, but now it’s so overhyped it’ll be a let-down. I think I’m going to adopt a policy of waiting longer to tell it for every time someone asks for it. That way, it will be more of a suprise when I get to it. Thanks for the patience.

3. Fitz-Hume blows his cover in the Witless Protection Program to ask, “What are your thoughts on the NCAA basketball tournament? I noticed that it started last week and I know you’re something of a basketball fan. Also, didn’t you once say you had a story about San Diego?”

First, as for basketball see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. As a final thought, I’m obviously disappointed about the way Duke’s season ended, but at least I can take some solace in UConn’s massive flame-out.

As for the San Diego story, see above. And thanks for making everyone else wait even longer now, Fitz! Gosh!

4. “Anon” wonders, “Why did Fresh Pepper give up funny posts in favor of pathetic ones?

I think that’s a little harsh. I think there are still some gems in there. If I had to attempt a diagnosis, I wonder if he’s trying to post more often, and maybe forcing it with some less-than-stellar work, or if having a regular gal has turned his brain to mush. Maybe it’s not the best site on the web any longer, but it’s still worth reading. After all, we all know he’s going to screw up something soon, and he’ll have something funny to say about that. It’s just a matter of time.

5. Wayne queries, “When is it too early to begin studying for the Bar exam? I’m not really all that concerned about when it may be too late to start studying for the exam. My main concern is wasting more time studying than is needed.

Question #2, what do you think my chances are of passing this thing? Better or worse than that Sullivan chick’s?

Don’t blame me if this plan doens’t work for you — you’re a grown-up and can make your own decisions. But I didn’t start studying until after July 4th. I mean, I went to the BarBri lectures and filled in the blanks in the book, but I didn’t do any out-of-class studying until July. That gave me about three solid weeks of heavy-duty studying, and not much else. Oh, well, I did pack up everything in my apartment and move the weekend before the bar. I needed the distraction by then. And I know that spending those four hours a day in the lectures crammed at least a little something into my brain. But I also never took a full practice test and didn’t write any practice essays. I think I (a) take tests pretty well, (b) retained a lot from the lectures, (c) felt pretty good about what I learned and remembered from the courses I took that were tested on the exam, (d) studied hard those last three weeks, (e) took the bar in not the most difficult jurisdiction in the country, and (f) didn’t get freaked out about it. Depending on how any or all of those apply to you, adjust your own study time accordingly. I think your chances are good, because I think you’ll put in more time than Dean Sullivan did, at least the first time. Good luck!

6. Blondie again: “Oh, and I have another question… how are those brackets going? Can’t you give us an update?”

Well, the Men’s tournament bracket turned into a freak show with some high-profile losses. Currently, there are a couple of Masons (but not George Masons) fighting it out. If Blondie is just asking so she can taunt, I’ll inform her that she’s sixth and I’m seventh as of now. And since neither one of us can win any more points, she’s guaranteed to beat me there. On the Women’s side, though, I’m in second and Blondie’s in fourth, and I have a lot more possible points remaining. So I’m feeling good about that one, and pulling hard for the Blue Devils to win out.

Thanks, everyone, for playing along. We’ll do this again sometime.

(Post title from “Mama Told Me Not to Come” by Randy Newman.)

Last chance for questions, until I get bored enough to do this again

Monday, March 20th, 2006

I spent the weekend by sitting in front of the computer as little as possible. I’m going to wrap up my little question-begging experiment Monday sometime, so if you have any questions for me, let’s have ‘em! Original post here, first set of answers here, follow-up here.

Did he call bank?

Monday, March 13th, 2006

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Announcing the resurgence of the annual tradition known and anxiously awaited by all. No, I’m not talking about the return of the sundress. I’m talking about the Annual THFB NCAA Tournament Contest. Sure, THFB is dead and gone, but that doesn’t have to stop this yearly devotional to the gods of chance and madness!

How do you play? Why, gosh, I’m glad you asked. Follow this here link to the front page:

http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/group?groupID=119493&password=password

You should be requested to enter in a group and password. Well, I’ve got those for you too:

Group: Electric Boogaloo
Password: password

Electric Boogaloo?!? Well, this is a sequel.

What’s at stake? Well, pride of course. That’s not enough? Well first, maybe you have a gambling problem. Second, I bet if we asked him real sweet like, Milbarge would throw in a guest posting stint here at BTQ to the winner. After all, he’s letting in all kinds of riff-raff these days.

So come one, come all. To the best free entertainment you’ve experience since…well, you clicked on the link to come to BTQ.

Tea Leaves in the Solomon Amendment Opinion

Monday, March 6th, 2006

Today the Supreme Court issued its decision in the Solomon Amendment case, Rumsfeld v. FAIR. The Court unanimously concluded that colleges receiving federal money have to grant access to military recruiters, regardless of whether the military complies with the schools’ non-discrimination policies.

I suppose it’s natural for law nerds like me to read the Court’s opinions with an eye toward the next fight. And in that mode, I was intrigued by a paragraph on page 8 of the slip opinion (cites omitted):

The Constitution grants Congress the power to “provide for the common Defence,” “[t]o raise and support Armies,” and “[t]o provide and maintain a Navy.” Congress’ power in this area “is broad and sweeping”. . . . That is, of course, unless Congress exceeds constitutional limitations on its power in enacting [] legislation.”

Now, there’s nothing particularly remarkable in that statement. But when viewed in light of the ongoing controversy over the Executive’s power as Commander-in-Chief in the war on terror vs. Congressional power to limit the President’s authority regarding, say, detainees or wiretaps, this passage could take on more import than mere throat-clearing at the opening of the Court’s discussion of the Spending Clause issues in the Solomon Amendment case.

It’s certainly overstating the case to say this is decisive language. And I’m sure, if and when a case reaches the High Court, that the Supremes will take seriously the President’s argument about the breadth of Article II authority. But language like this in a unanimous opinion isn’t accidental. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that it means the Supreme Court thinks Congress’s role in military affairs is more “broad and sweeping” than the President would always like. Or, maybe I’m just grasping at straws for something to post about.