The bottom line on the notion that Kavanaugh will be "damaged goods" as a SCOTUS justice, based on how Clarence Thomas's stint on the bench has played out:Scott Kelly, a retired U.S. Navy Captain, NASA engineer, and veteran of four spaceflights, was brought low on Sunday by those possessed of neither his accomplishments nor talents for the crime of advocating Churchillian generosity of spirit. “Did not mean to offend by quoting Churchill. My apologies,” the astronaut wrote after what must have been a withering assault on social media. “I will go and educate myself further on his atrocities, racist views which I do not support.”This is only the most recent example of a menacing phenomenon. In the name of historical literacy, an absurd form of pseudo-academic reductionism has become the preferred means by which we “interrogate” Western (and only Western) history. We are told that we must abandon discretion, compartmentalization, and basic good sense if we are to be taken seriously by the self-appointed arbiters of such things. Nuance is for the naïve. Sensibility is found only in simplicity.
. . . let’s pause for a moment and consider what that “asterisk” next to Thomas’ name actually means. I can sum it up for you in one word: nothing. Zip, zero, nada. Are Thomas’ votes in Supreme Court decisions measured as counting for less than one each? (Dare I say… two thirds?) No, they are not. Are decisions where he’s taken part in a 5-4 split somehow less final in the nation’s system of laws? Nope. He’s been on the bench and voting for just shy of 27 years, and each and every one of those votes was recorded just the same as those cast by every other member of the court.
Barring a complete breakdown of our political ecosystem or some shocking new revelation involving provable illegal conduct, Brett Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court to stay. And at the age of 53, barring any tragic health issues and with the grace of God, he’ll likely be there for the next quarter of a century or more. Those camping out on the steps of the Supreme Court and rending their garments in grief should probably come to terms with the idea.American Thinker piece by Thomas Lifson entitled "Liberal Pope Francis Has Lost the Most Liberal Weekly in Europe":
You might think that the enthusiastic support Pope Francis has offered for environmentalism, open borders, and the normalization of homosexual behavior would buy him support from liberal media. But Der Spiegel, the most important weekly magazine in Europe, has turned against the Roman Catholic Prelate with a cover story that proclaims (auf Deutsch) the Ninth Commandment: “Thou shalt not lie,” with a subhead: “The Pope and the Catholic Church in their greatest crisis.”Facebook is censoring ads for the new movie about Kermit Gosnell.
The problem with Gershwin is that : No one could write like Gershwin without being a grade-A, 100 percent, non-certified natural musical genius. So the academic music world hated Gershwin, and instead chose Schoenberg and Webern and, later, Cage and Glass as their role models: When music is based on a theoretical concept, rather than how it sounds, suddenly can do it. This was the appeal of rule-based composition “systems” like Schoenberg’s terrible twelve-tones. This is why the only thing you’ll learn about Gershwin in a university music program is that he was Schoenberg’s occasional tennis partner.
Almost everyone who attends an academic composition program really wants, more than anything on earth, to be a composer. When these students discover that they’re simply composers — that they haven’t got what 100 years ago would have been the obvious requisites of talent and imagination and a capacity for melody and harmony — there are two possible courses: They can admit defeat gracefully and move on to a different career. Or they can spend the rest of their lives pretending to be what they wish they were. Ever since the invention of conceptual music, the vast majority of failed composers have chosen the second and less honorable course, hiding their lack of talent behind a rulebook that proclaims talent no longer matters.
Brazil shifts abruptly to a populist-right political footing:
I think repealing the 17th Amendment is a good idea, but I think Steve Berman's argument at The Resurgent merits consideration:
I'm not completely convinced, though. You know us conservatives. We're not too big on arguments of the it's-too-late-to-go-back variety.I think it would merely take the circus and $10 million (average) cost of Senate campaigns and move them to the individual state legislatures. It could, in theory, make your local state legislative races as nasty as some Congressional races have become. It could pour money (like the $50 million that went into the Handel/Ossoff special election in my home district) into local races in a way we have never seen.In short, I think it's too late to even consider taking the new political landscape and trying to roll it back into a more pastoral time where state legislatures operated in relative calm (press-wise). A new crop of Wendy "Abortion Barbie" Davises and other demagogues and issue hogs would then dominate the race to get the coveted Senate seat. I think it would be a disaster, but YMMV.Maybe in 1946, under Harry Truman, this idea could have worked. Not in 2018 under Donald Trump. And likely, never afterward. Some things have have their window of opportunity close, and the idea of states once again appointing Senators is one of them.