"I’ll take 8 gallons of unleaded, some jerky and that dirty, dirty whore in the corner."

It seems the energy crisis is affecting all facets of American industry. Yes, even the oldest profession:

A Kentucky woman is facing prostitution charges for allegedly trading sex for gasoline. Angela Eversole, 34, was nabbed last weekend during a police stakeout at a Days Inn, where she allegedly trysted with customer Kenneth Nowak. According to court records, Nowak admitted paying for Eversole’s services, in part, with a $100 Speedway gas card. Eversole was hit with a prostitution rap and also charged with doing business without an occupational license. Nowak was charged with promoting prostitution. Eversole and Nowak are pictured below in mug shots snapped following their June 27 arrests. A local prosecutor noted that it was sad to see someone selling their body for gas, in this case about 25 gallons worth.

Depressing, isn’t it? What happened to the good ole days when we could pickup a quick handy for a couple Snickers and a Giant Eagle coupon?

It’s all about timing…

Yesterday, Adam Nagourney of the New York Times discussed the timing each campaign will consider to announce their respective Vice Presidential selections. He states:

“…the calendar also presents an opportunity for Mr. McCain. The Democratic convention ends on Thursday Aug. 28, and the Republican convention begins the following Monday. What better way for Mr. McCain to squash whatever lift Mr. Obama receives from his convention than to announce his choice for running mate just as Democrats are folding their tent in Denver? It would knock Mr. Obama to the back of the stage and give Mr. McCain a nice little lift going into his own convention. And yes, Republicans say that is something that is under very serious consideration in the McCain camp.”

Nagourney’s guess seems to make the most sense for McCain: Stop the bounce and gain the benefit of selecting someone that can counter Obama’s selection.

But what other option does McCain really have? Due to the Summer Olympics, the only alternative would be to make the selection in early August/late July. In terms of days before the Convention, a selection at this time would be much earlier than any of the previous selections from either Party over the past 20 years.

Would that be so bad?

Well, let’s consider the negatives…the most glaring would be that McCain could not select someone to counter Obama’s pick, and in turn, would give that advantage to Obama. The other negative is missing the opportunity to negate the Obama post-convention bounce, as described by Nagourney. But, is that really the case? Is coverage of the beginning of the National GOP Convention really that much less than that of the VP selection if both are at the same time? It would seem that the coverage of both would lessen the impact of each. In other words, coverage of the beginning of the GOP convention should have enough of an impact on Obama’s post-convention bounce in order to enable McCain to make their selection earlier.

So what are the benefits of selecting the GOP Vice Presidential candidate before the Summer Olympics? Well, provided the timing is right, it could be the last major political story before coverage of the Olympics commences and the public tunes out due to an obsession with women’s gymnastics or their own personal vacations to wherever people go before school starts.

Now if we assume that McCain will make a solid selection :cough: SARAH PALIN! :cough: then McCain will go into this downtime on a likely poll upswing. Public opinion is unlikely to sway in any major way over the course of the Olympics and McCain can enjoy higher than usual poll numbers for 16 days. Upon the completion of the American ass-kicking of the world(yay Women’s gymnastics!), we have the bounce for Obama with his convention which is quickly muted by the GOP convention.

Another positive is that Pali….er….the VP selection could then be used for fundraising events/rallies/as a major TV surrogate much earlier than Obama, or anyone, likely expected. Also, the usual negative vetting that comes days after the selection could be muted by the lack of coverage due to the Olympics.

The question then seems, do these positives outweigh the fact that Obama will be able to base his selection off of McCain’s choice? Clearly, it seems to be a benefit for Obama, but the media also will likely heighten the pressure of making the correct choice. If he doesn’t, or if he seems to be pandering to fit McCain’s choice, then Obama could get ripped apart throughout the fourth estate.

Quite a conundrum, eh?

Scratch another one from the list

Obama’s ‘Dick Cheney’ pick just took his final bow. According to the Mississippi Sun Herald:

“Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama should not select former Sen. Sam Nunn to be his vice presidential running mate because of Mr. Nunn’s support for doing business with the terrorist state of Iran.

‘Sam Nunn voted to allow the General Electric Company to do business with Iran despite that the U.S. government had labeled Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism,’ said Tom Borelli of Action Fund Management, the investment adviser to the Free Enterprise Action Fund, a publicly-traded mutual fund. “Someone who supports doing business with an avowed enemy of the U.S. has no place in the White House,’ Borelli added.”

Obama recently mentioned he is looking for “somebody who can be a good president if anything happened to me. And I want somebody who can be a good adviser and counsel to me.”

So….you want your Dick Cheney. Sam Nunn was the best bet. A statesman. Well versed in foreign policy. The yin to your yang.

Annnnnd he does deals with Mahmoud Ahmadinutjob. Oops.

So who is left? Tom Daschle is probably the next safest bet. The former Minority Leader has the DC experience and his former staff is pretty much running the Obama campaign.

God help us all.

Scalia’s Top 8 Quotes

Well, the US Constitution scored a major victory today in the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER Case. If you don’t know what happened maybe it would be best if you moved on and watched The Hills . The full opinion can be found here. Legal scholars will be opining about this case for years to come so it wouldn’t be prudent to do any legal analysis here. However, I do find Justice Scalia quite humorous so I put together a list of the Top 8 Justice Scalia Quotes from the DC v. Heller decision.

1. We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

This one sentence just prevented a revolution while also keeping the Obama Campaign relevant.

2. Worse still, the phrase “keep and bear Arms” would be incoherent. The word “Arms” would have two different meanings at once: “weapons” (as the object of “keep”) and (as the object of “bear”) one-half of an idiom. It would be rather like saying “He filled and kicked the bucket” to mean “He filled the bucket and died.” Grotesque.

OMG OMG, did he just call Stevens Grotesque? Oh no he didn’t. I can just imagine them sitting around the back rooms of the SCOTUS drinking scotch and smoking cigars calling each other ‘grotesque’. ‘Grotesque’ is my new favorite slur.

3. We would not apply an “interest-balancing” approach to the prohibition of a peaceful neo-Nazi march through Skokie.

Thanks for the shout out to the Chicago-land area. Go Cubs! This is our year!

4. Nothing so clearly demonstrates the weakness of JUSTICE STEVENS’ case. Miller did not hold that and cannot possibly be read to have held that.

Seriously Stevens, did you not even read Miller? WTF? Seriously???

5. The right “to carry arms in the militia for the purpose of killing game” is worthy of the mad hatter.

Justice Scalia is using Alice in Wonderland to tear apart your argument. Damn, this guy is good. What’s next, a Chewbacca defense

6. JUSTICE STEVENS relies on the drafting history of the Second Amendment—the various proposals in the state conventions and the debates in Congress. It is dubious to rely on such history to interpret a text that was widely understood to codify a pre-existing right, rather than to fashion a new one.

Not only are you Grotesque, but you are also dubious. Justice Stevens, go take a shower.

7. We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach.

Interest-balancing sounds like a great phrase to use to promote fascism or communism or both.

8. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.

Wait… I don’t get it…you are just interpreting the Constitution? But what if a law totally sucks?

Stay Classy, Gen. McPeak.

The politics of personal destruction is alive and well in politics. I just HOPE they CHANGE their tune, because this is getting ridiculous.

While Obama’s people continue to make up accusations that simply aren’t there, the most senior Military official to back Sen. Obama has taken things to another level:

“He was fresh out of jail, you know,” Gen. McPeak said. “Skinny kid. All beat up of course, physically. But quite thin. They weren’t feeding him very well in Hanoi. He’s done very well at the dinner table in Washington.”

Gen. McPeak also said Mr. McCain received special favors when he returned to the U.S.

“McCain was always kind of an exception,” Gen. McPeak said.

When told about Gen. McPeak’s comments, Mr. McCain’s roommate in the Hanoi Hilton was not amused.

“Surely a four-star general can come up with something better than that,” said Orson Swindle, a former Marine Corps pilot who, like Mr. McCain, was shot down over enemy territory. “It wreaks of pettiness and sarcasm, and I can’t imagine why he can make that kind of comment to imply that John McCain feasts at the Washington establishment.”

We’re supposed to be in a new Obama-inspired era of politics…an environment of substantive and reasoned discussion. Instead we have people like McPeak degrading the debate. In this new era is it really that hard to focus on an opponents positions on policy and their accomplishments(or lack thereof)?

"Grotesque."

Ok, so I lied about rarely posting about Supreme Court cases. But come on, how can I ignore DC vs. Heller?

By now we all know the good guys won. 5-4. For the uninformed, here’s a quick summary of Justice Scalia’s majority opinion on the case from Bench Memos:

(a) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense at home.

(b) The Second Amendment right is not unlimited. The Court’s opinion should not cast doubt on concealed-weapons prohibitions, laws barring possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, laws barring firearms in sensitive places like schools and government buildings, and laws imposing conditions on commercial sale of arms.

(c) D.C.’s handgun ban and trigger-lock requirement violate the Second Amendment. The total ban on handgun possession prohibits an entire class of arms that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any standard of scrutiny, that ban falls. The trigger-lock requirement makes self-defense impossible. D.C. may use a licensing scheme.

First off, this clearly sets a substantial precendent that will make it very difficult for further assaults on the second amendment anytime in the near future. Liberals may challenge the decision with other cases, but Supreme Court Justices, even when on the losing side, are cocky when it comes to their supreme body setting precedence. They won’t allow any cases to even be heard that may even come close to turning over this decision. In other words, this is a huge win for the Constitution.

Now onto the fun part. The right to bear arms.
Justice Scalia has himself a way with words. This is particularly evident in a portion of his opinion that focuses on just that:

In any event, the meaning of “bear arms” that petitioners and JUSTICE STEVENS propose is not even the (sometimes) idiomatic meaning. Rather, they manufacture a hybrid definition, thereby “bear arms” connotes the actual carrying of arms (and therefore is not really an idiom) but only in the service of an organized militia. No dictionary has ever adopted that definition, and we have been apprised of no source that indicates that it carried that meaning at the time of the founding. But it is easy to see why petitioners and the dissent are driven to the hybrid definition. Giving “bear Arms” its idiomatic meaning would cause the protected right to consist of the right to be a soldier or to wage war—an absurdity that no commentator has ever endorsed. Worse still, the phrase “keep and bear Arms” would be incoherent. The word “Arms” would have two different meanings at once: “weapons” (as the object of “keep”) and (as the object of “bear”) one-half of an idiom. It would be rather like saying “He filled and kicked the bucket” to mean “He filled the bucket and died.” Grotesque.

As a friend said, can you imagine Scalia being in the same room as Stevens when the “incoherent” Justice read those words? “Hi guy who considers himself to be really smart. Your opinion is grotesque. See ya tomorrow.”

Ka-Blammo.

I Don’t Think the 8th Amendment Means What You Think It Means

Posts on Supreme Court cases will likely be few and far between here as 1) I’m not a lawyer; and 2) I can only bullshit so much. But the ruling this morning had me pretty frazzled.

In the case of Kennedy vs. Louisiana, the Supreme Court ruled that the rape of a child should never require the death penalty. Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion limits the death penalty to crimes involving acts that intend to cause death and in fact do so. He uses the 8th amendment as a means to support his argument, stating that in this case, the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment.

But constitutionally speaking, did Kennedy and the majority get it right?

Simple answer. No.

The fact of the matter is that the 8th amendment speaks only to the punishment, not the crime. As in, is the punishment itself cruel and unusual? Now if the question was to whether Louisiana had started using stoning, quartering or death by laxative overdose as a means of punishment, Kennedy may have a point. But it wasn’t.

Unfortunately, we’re once again stuck with a Supreme Court who feels the need to encourage messing with the intent of the Founders. Justice Kennedy, let the United States be what it was intended to be, a nation based on federalism. Let the states decide how to respond to the crimes committed within their borders.

And please, stop working outside your job description.