Tasty Tidbits 9/24/11

  1. “Like watching Donny Osmond dominate John Wayne.”
  2. When Crony Capitalism Collapses.
  3. The whole Constitution.
  4. ConLaw wonkery.
  5. Varieties of Irreligious Experience.
  6. When you vote for John McCain.
  7. A sad birthday celebration.


Rick Perry was awful in last night’s debate. Just awful. The swaggering Texas governor kept scrapping with the chipper Mitt Romney, and he kept losing. It was like watching Donny Osmond dominate John Wayne. Perry would say something, and Romney would respond dismissively with “Nice try” or “I’m not sure exactly what he’s saying” or “I don’t think he knows what he was talking about.”

It was effective ….

(James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal) Indeed, this (go 8:20 into it) was just baffling:

He sounds like a candidate who’s been stuffed with so much new information that he’s lost his swagger.

(Paul Gigot) But I might as well admit it: I really included this because of the Donny Osmond/John Wayne line.


It seems that New York City’s self-financed renaissance may have been built on the obscene, crony capitalist profits of Wall Street, and may be coming to an end as Wall Street feels a bit of the pinch affecting many others. And that, in turn, may explain Bob Turner’s succession to Anthony Weiner’s seat in New York’s 9th congressional district.

(HT Walter Mead)


Some entity called the Constitutional Accountability Center has floated, in this season of GOP hopefuls signing pledges, a self-congratulatory “Whole Constitution Pledge.” Here’s an example of how they introduce their Pledge:

Tea Party activists claim to love the Constitution, except for all the parts of our nation’s foundational document that they would prefer to ignore or repeal outright. Dismissing the full story of our Constitution, including the 27 Amendments ratified by the American people over the last 220 years, these self-professed “constitutional conservatives” have distorted the Constitution beyond all recognition, cherrypicking the parts of the document they like, and jettisoning the rest. To take back America’s charter from the Tea Party, Constitutional Progressives – an initiative launched by the Constitutional Accountability Center and supported by numerous other organizations concerned with protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans – have urged all Americans to pledge to support the whole Constitution.

If that sounds spot-on accurate to you, you need to read what Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy has to say. It’s a little messier than the “Whole Constitution” fans appreciate, since amending the Constitution, including repealing prior Amendments, is built right into the Constitutional structure.


Having been an aspiring ConLaw wonk for so long, I don’t know if anyone other than ConLaw wonks will savor this.

Nicholas Rosenkrantz wraps up some guest-blogging at Volokh Conspiracy with some interesting summary. Having summarized, he separately sur-summarizes:

This week, I have argued that the great overlooked question in constitutional law is the who question: who is bound by each clause and so who may violate it? These posts have attempted to answer this question for many of the most important clauses.  They have also attempted to sketch some of the implications of the answers.

In very brief summary of my own, what intrigued me can be summarized in SAT form:

Facial challenge/Legislative “who” = As-applied challenge/Executive “who”

If you haven’t got a clue what this means, then you really should think long and hard about ever calling anything “unconstitutional” again. (Yes, I know the First Amendment protects blather.)


Somewhat to my surprise, I can recommend that religiously well-grounded people, with a little spare time on a rainy Saturday or something, take a taste of Varieties of Irreligious Experience at the U.K.’s New Humanist. There’s enough meat to chew, and no excess of nauseating superciliousness.


To paraphrase Glenn Reynolds, “they told me that if I voted for John McCain we’d see the Administration using sympathetic clergy to push its agenda . . . and they were right!”

(Rick Garnett at Mirror of Justice, linking to a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed)


Happy birthday, Jim Henson, the pride of Greenville, Mississippi. We miss you. (HT Writer’s Almanac)

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Bon appetit!

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