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SE Cupp and bacon

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has seen S.E. Cupp on Fox a few times. He tries to read her pieces over at the Daily Caller. He also gets her tweets. She is an interesting commentator and he’s enjoyed what he’s read.

Of course now she is doing her best to catapult herself into the stratosphere of sexy political commentators. How you may ask?

Please read: S.E. Cupp’s “Can bacon save the world?”

Keep the bacon coming S.E..

Also worthy of note about S.E. Cupp… She is a hunter, publish author, and rational atheist who doesn’t hate religion.

Carry on.

Yay! Supreme Court incorporates 2nd Amendment!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t pay as close attention to the vast majority of opinions handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States. He views this as something of a failing. He generally finds SCOTUS opinions to be an interesting read and it is always good to know how the highest court in the land is applying the Constitution in different arenas of public life.

Of course, there are some issues and cases which your Maximum Leader follows closely. Take for example the case decided today of McDonald v. City of Chicago. In that case the Court incorporated the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment to citizens of all states.

Now, your Maximum Leader has not yet read the various opinions and dissents in McDonald yet (and according to Jonathan Adler at Volokh the opinions and dissents go on for 250 pages - so it might take a little while to read and digest); but the summaries he’s read all seem pretty promising.

Your Maximum Leader will give a little cheer (Huzzah!) to the 5 members of the majority who did (in your Maximum Leader’s opinion) the right thing in incorprorating the Second Amendment to the states.

Carry on.

RIP - Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader heard on the radio this morning that Robert Byrd, the longest serving Senator in history, had died this morning. If you have not, you should read the 6 (internet) page obit in the Washington Post.

Your Maximum Leader doesn’t have much to say about Senator Byrd. This is due to a reticence about speaking ill of the dead so soon after they pass; but also because he doesn’t have much to add to the big picture of his life. Your Maximum Leader can’t recall an issue on which he agreed strongly with Senator Byrd. He can recall a few where he did disagree strongly with Senator Byrd. Your Maximum Leader does have tremendous admiration for the man because of his knowledge of the minutae of the Senate’s arcane rules. Your Maximum Leader loves parliamentary procedure and the ways it can (and frankly should be) used in the legislative process. While he has not read it, your Maximum Leader understands Byrd’s book on Senate Procedure is a classic of the genre.

Rest in peace Senator. Your work here is done.

Carry on.

100 Below: The well read redneck

This was why Roger Tomlinson signed up for when he took the temporary Census job. He needed a summer away from Brown and his parents. He was meeting people outside his milieu.

He regarded the shack. The front porch was festooned with cast-off chairs and a weight set. It smelled of urine and stale beer.

A rangy man emerged from the shack.

“Hello Sir. I’m with the Census. Your name is Mister…”

Snopes.”

“Really?!?!”

“Naw. Just shittin’ you college boy. Lemme ask, you read any James Dickey?”

“No sir.”

“Good. That’ll make our visit more interestin’.”

Stras-mas

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that his good friend Robbo was able to take in the Nationals/Royals game last night at Nats Park. What a game it was! Your Maximum Leader feared (feared greatly indeed) that Matt Capps was going to blow it at the end. Thank goodness he did not.

That means that Nationals phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg will start tonight with a chance for the Nationals to sweep the (mostly hapless) Royals.

Your Maximum Leader has decided to indulge himself… He’s going to the game this afternoon. Not only that… He’s sitting in one of them fancy boxes. That means he’ll have access to special food and drink. But most importantly, he’ll not have to be too concerned about any thunderstorms that might pass through. He will also have air-conditioning.

Woo-hoo!

The Nat’s curly “W”
Go Nats!

NB to Robbo: Google search results seem to show that Charles Caleb Colton said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I didn’t know myself…

Carry on.

Anniversary

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sorry for silence here. He’s been quite busy of late. Kids getting out of school. Birthdays. Anniversaries. It has been a little crazy.

Your Maximum Leader celebrated over the past few days both his birthday and his wedding anniversary. He’d hoped to get away with Mrs Villain for a nice dinner in town to celebrate the “contract renewal” as he jokes about his wedding vows.

What is the joke you might ask?

Allow your Maximum Leader to explain… He has a friend who, in college, speculated that one of the reasons for rampant divorces in the world was that people were living longer. In olden tymes, when a couple got married it was until death did you part. But death came to people fairly soon. So being married 20-30 years was a pretty good run in this friend’s mind. This friend posited that since we (modern people) live so much longer we ought to change the way we view marriage. In the opinion of your Maximum Leader’s friend, marriage vows should expire after 7 years unless both parties agree to renew for another 7 years.

This year your Maximum Leader and Mrs Villain were married 14 years. In case you were wondering, your Maximum Leader and his lovely bride agreed to another 7 years of wedded bliss.

How did we celebrate this milestone? Did he get away for a nice dinner? Well… Since you ask… We went and got burgers from Five Guys. Because nothing says Happy Anniversary quite like bacon cheeseburgers.

Carry on.

Growing more stupid

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader receives a word of the day e-mail from Dictionary.com. He’s gotten it for years and years and finds that he is familiar with the word sent daily (even if he doesn’t use them regularly).

So… Today’s word was “hegira.”

Your Maximum Leader looked at it and drew a complete blank. He studied the word for a moment and thought to himself, “Self, this is probably a word of greek origin.” Then he thought for a moment to try and figure out the meaning of the word. Again he drew a blank. So he clicked through to read the definition.

As soon as he saw the pronunciation key he started kicking himself. Then the feeling of stupidity washed over him. Here is the definition for you:

hegira \he-JAY-ruh\, noun:

1. A journey to a more desirable or congenial place.
2. The flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution a.d. 622: regarded as the beginning of the Muslim Era.

Hegira, whether referring to the event in the history of Islam or a general sense of the word, comes from the Arabic hajara, “to depart.”

Ugh. He should have recognized the word as being closely related to “Hajj” - at least phonetically.

The more he thinks of it the more he realizes that he’s read this word (and probably used it in school) a number of times.

Your Maximum Leader wonders if he really is growing more stupid.

Carry on.

“We’re on a mission from Gad.”

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that there is good news ye olde news wire today.

Apparently His Holiness (and likely most of the College of Cardinals) have a soft spot for a film by John Landis. To wit: The Vatican Endorses “The Blues Brothers.” Here is the release from Reuters in full:

TAORMINA, Sicily (Hollywood Reporter) – When Jake and Elwood Blues, the protagonists in John Landis’ cult classic “The Blues Brothers,” claimed they were on a mission from God, the Catholic Church apparently took them at their word.

On the 30th anniversary of the film’s release, “L’Osservatore Romano,” the Vatican’s official newspaper, called the film a “Catholic classic” and said it should be recommended viewing for Catholics everywhere.

The film is based on a skit from “Saturday Night Live.” In the story, Jake and Elwood — played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, respectively — embark on an unlikely road trip featuring concerts, car chases, clashes with the police and neo-Nazi groups, and attempts at revenge from a spurned lover, all, ostensibly, to raise money for the church-run orphanage where they grew up.

But aside from a brief appearance from Kathleen Freeman as a wrist-slapping nun referred to as “The Penguin” and the brothers’ periodic claim that they were on a mission from God, spirituality does not play a significant role in the film.

In addition to Belushi and Aykroyd, the film featured an all-star cast including musicians James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, and Chaka Khan, in addition to noted actors John Candy, Carrie Fisher, Charles Napier, and Henry Gibson, and cameo roles for Frank Oz, Steven Spielberg, Landis, Mr. T, and Paul Reubens.

With the recommendation, “The Blues Brothers” joins the list of dozens of films recommended by Catholic authorities that includes Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments,” “Jesus of Nazareth” from Franco Zeffirelli,” Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of The Christ,” Victor Flemming’s “Joan of Arc,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” from Frank Capra.

Your Maximum Leader should put the movie on the olde Blu Ray player tonight and celebrate…

In a stream of consciousness type of codicil to this post… Another film on the list is “The Passion of The Christ.” In that movie the highly desireable Monica Bellucci plays Mary Magdalene. It has been a while since your Maximum Leader has attempted any sort of RCBfA type post… So here is Monica Bellucci for your viewing pleasure.
Monica Bellucci
Please note the fruit on the banquet tables in the back… Because as we all know, where there is fruit there is art. You know something, and this is a sad confession to make, Monica Bellucci is the only reason your Maximum Leader bothered to watch “Shoot ‘em up.” It was a horrible film, made slightly less horrible by Ms. Bellucci being in it.

BTW, did your Maximum Leader mention that Ms. Bellucci just made the number one spot on Pajiba’s list of the Ten Hottest Celebrity Women over 40 list. You can clicky the link if you like to see the other nine…

Carry on.

A short defence of Svanberg

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a little disgusted. More than just a little disgusted perhaps.

Okay… He’ll concede that he is angry and frustrated at BP for the continuing problems in the Gulf. As more and more news comes out it seems more and more clear that BP really screwed the pooch on the Deepwater Horizon well. It is clear that BP will have to bear as much of the cost as is possible for them to bear in the cleanup and recovery of the area as a result of their ineptitude and failure.

That said, your Maximum Leader is disgusted at his countrymen for the hullaballoo over Carl-Henrik Svanberg’s “small people” comment yesterday.

No one in the America likes to be called “small people” it is insulting. But on the other hand no one seems to be very offended when we associate ourselves with being “the little guy.” We like politicians who lie and say that they will “fight for the little guy.” We want to “stand up for the little guy.” We feel kinship with “the little guy.”

Surely your Maximum Leader isn’t the only person in America who has (mostly unsucessfully) studied a foreign language. And furthermore he shouldn’t be the only person in America thinking that Carl-Henrik Svanberg is trying to make a heartfelt comment under tremendous stress and in a language that is not his native tounge. Your Maximum Leader wouldn’t be surprised in fact to learn that English is Svanberg’s fourth or fifth language.

WTF? We can’t cut a guy a break at all when he is trying to string together some words in a language that is probably not spoken by reflex in such a way that sounds both sincere and colloquial? Great jeezey chreezey. We can’t have a little understanding in this case. The news outlets that continue to report this story with (your Maximum Leader feels) no context are not doing themselves any service. Your Maximum Leader would like to see any big-name reporter go to Sweden and order off a friggin’ diner menu and see if they nail it.

NB to Carl-Henrik Svanberg: Your Maximum Leader apologizes to you for this specific incident becoming a big news story. Normally Americans are big-hearted people who appreciate it when you come to America and try to speak English. You happen to be in a tough spot and apparently we expected more from you in this instance than we would normally. If you would ask for a suggestion on how to handle this next time, your Maximum Leader would recommend that you either stick with scripted remarks or speak in Swedish and use a translator.

Lighten up everyone. That is an order.

Carry on.

The Economist on the American Right

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a big fan of, but sadly not a subscriber to, The Economist. It is so well written, well researched and generally not crazy. There aren’t many publications superior to The Economist.

Your Maximum Leader subscribes to various audio feeds from The Economist. This past week there was a particularly interesting audio report that he thought he’s share with you. For your listening pleasure, The Economist on the State of the American Right.

Your Maximum Leader agrees with so many points on this commentary that he think’s he’ll just present it without further comment.

Carry on.

Federal judges and voting

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, from time to time, sees where some federal judge orders a locality to do something to comply with the Voting Rights Act. In most cases your Maximum Leader thinks that the judges are acting within the past interpretations of the Act. But every once and a while some judge does something really wacky.

Case in point… Port Chester, NY. In Port Chester a federal judge has ordered that every voter get 6 votes to cast in an election for Village Trustee. According to the AP piece:

Voters in Port Chester, 25 miles northeast of New York City, are electing village trustees for the first time since the federal government alleged in 2006 that the existing election system was unfair.

Although the village of about 30,000 residents is nearly half Hispanic, no Latino had ever been elected to any of the six trustee seats, which until now were chosen in a conventional at-large election. Most voters were white, and white candidates always won.

Federal Judge Stephen Robinson said that violated the Voting Rights Act, and he approved a remedy suggested by village officials: a system called cumulative voting, in which residents get six votes each to apportion as they wish among the candidates. He rejected a government proposal to break the village into six districts, including one that took in heavily Hispanic areas.

Your Maximum Leader really ought to try and find out what was at the root of the initial allegation put forth by the federal government in 2006. In a way he hopes that it was something more than the fact that no hispanic has been elected as a Trustee even though half the community is hispanic.

From what is written here, it seems as though this is a case of a federal judge (Stephen Robinson in fact) trying to get a particular result from an otherwise free election. If the case is as simple as it is depicted in the AP piece, then the underlying assumption is that since “nearly half” the village population is hispanic and there has never been a hispanic village Trustee there must be some civil rights violation. This seems like a wrong-headed assumption to your Maximum Leader.

Let us assume, for the sake of discussion, that there has not been any voter intimidation or other patently illegal method of manipulating the election results. What we are left with is an election with low voter turn-out and a number of candidates running for a 6 available seats. Is it unfair that the hispanic community is “splitting” their vote among the available candidates in a way that happens to prevent a candidate of hispanic origin from being elected?

Your Maximum Leader supposes that another, rather insidious, assumption here is that hispanics should only vote for hispanics and if they don’t it is unfair. Is your Maximum Leader the only person that gets this out of this piece?

Not only are these assumptions disturbing, but what the hell is up with giving voters 6 votes to cast? That doesn’t seem right. It seems positively… Communist… Or just Socialist… (Or perhaps just very Italian.) Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure why dividing the village into precincts wasn’t a good idea…

The whole settlement of this case seems to be wrong-headed in so many ways.

Carry on.

BP related funny

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader enjoys perusing Crumudgeonry. (And not just because Mike frequently posts photos of attractive women there in various stages of undress - but that does add to the experience.)

Mike posted a BP related funny today that made your Maximum Leader laugh and laugh.

Here is the video for your viewing pleasure. (Even though your Maximum Leader is posting the video here, that shouldn’t prevent you from going over to Curmudgeonry anyway…)

Carry on.

Two sports comments

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has two quick sports related items this morning.

Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks! The Hawks have won their first Stanley Cup since 1961. Since your Maximum Leader has a pathological hatred of Philly sports teams, he is very happy by this outcome. He watched the 3rd period and the OT last night. (He was true to his pledge to not watch any hockey games except for the Stanley Cup finals after the Caps went out. He watched game 1, 2, 4 and part of last night’s game.)

It is good from time to time to have an original six team win it all. (Unless that original six team is in the East, like Montreal, Boston or NYR.)

The second item is baseball related (of course).

As good as Strasburg’s game was the night before, last night’s game between the Pirates and the Nationals was tough to watch. So much sloppy play. Sure the Nats won (and we’ll take all the wins we can get); but it wasn’t fun to watch. Your Maximum Leader was sure that John Lannan was going to be pulled as early as the 4th inning. You know, your Maximum Leader hopes that John Lannan can relax a little and work on being the best pitcher he can possibly be. He has been “the Ace” for the Nats for the past two years. On most top-tier baseball clubs Lannan would be a number 3 starter. He’s had piles of pressure on him. We can hope that the pressure on him will be less now and he can focus on his game and doing what he does best (which is not getting Ks but getting guys to ground out).

So once again… Congrats Blackhawks and citizens of Chicago! Citizens of Natstown, continue to support your team on days when Strasburg isn’t pitching…

Carry on.

Asking Skippy

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has to out of his way to get news about goings-on in Canada in the US news. Call him crazy, but he likes to know what is going on with our great neighbour to the north (and largest trading partner). Your Maximum Leader likes Canada. He’s liked pretty much every Canadian he’s ever met. It is a good place.

But imagine how sad he is to know that the only news he can get (without going out of his way) about Canada is about a fake lake being made for the G-20 conference.

So your Maximum Leader feels he must call out his good friend Skippy and ask “So is this “fakelakegate” really the biggest news in Canada right now?”

And a good follow-up might be… “Really… Nearly a billion dollars to protect the G-20 summit? Couldn’t you just not protect some of the leaders attending and hope for the best? How about you skimp on protecting all the ones from a parliamentary democracy in that the PMs are likely just glorified party leaders and can be easily replaced?”

Carry on.

Wow. He was THAT good.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is impressed. Stephen Strasburg was really THAT good last night.

Your Maximum Leader watched one of Strasburg’s starts at AAA and felt he was really ready for the big show. But there was still a nagging thought in his mind that once Strasburg started facing all big league batters you might see a crack in his game.

Well… So far no cracks in Strasburg’s game.

Your Maximum Leader wasn’t too far off in his predictions. Nats did win. Strasburg got the win. And Strasburg’s ERA was 2.57 and not 3.1X. Your Maximum Leader didn’t believe that Strasburg was going to pitch a perfect game (or a no hitter even) in his first outing.

Strasburg struck out 14. He didn’t walk anyone (that was a feat that deserves a little more praise). His movement to the plate is short and quick. A little statistic people aren’t mentioning but should. That game last night was 2 hours and 20 minutes long. If it hadn’t been for commericals your Maximum Leader bets it would have been under 2 hours. It was a great start to what your Maximum Leader hopes will be a long and distinguished career (most of it in Washington).

All in all Nationals fans have a lot to be excited about. If Strasburg can pitch like this every fifth night, and if Drew Storen is able to move into that starting rotation soon; then the Nats will have two dominating pitchers and a good chance to pull out wins in 2/5th of their games.

If your Maximum Leader has been tenative up to now he isn’t anymore. That Strasburg kid can really pitch good. (NB: Your Maximum Leader isn’t ready to annoint him the second coming of Walter Johnson yet, but he understands the comparisons better now.)

The Nat’s curly “W”
Go Nats!

Carry on.

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