How common is a Supreme Court vacancy during a Presidential election?

How common is a Supreme Court vacancy during a Presidential election?

The short answer: it isn't. Immediately after the news broke that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had died, Republican leadership indicated it did not welcome a Barack Obama nominee to replace him. Rather, they want to wait a year. Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement. — Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 13, 2016 The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President (emphasis added).” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Majority Leader Let's ignore, for the moment, the fact that "the American people" elected President Obama. Twice. Republicans insist that there is "ample precedent" for this "standard practice." But is there? The Senate has left one Supreme Court justice vacancy hanging in November…continue reading →
That hot 60-second “Bernie Sanders ad” isn’t a campaign ad

That hot 60-second “Bernie Sanders ad” isn’t a campaign ad

If it walks like an ad, quacks like an ad, but requires no out-of-pocket change to distribute ... is it still an ad? And if it features a candidate, does that make it a campaign ad? Pundits sure think so. Together is a slick, emotionally-charged 60-second video that features a Bernie Sanders clip, photos of Bernie, and liberal use of the campaign "vote together" slogan. .@JoeNBC on @BernieSanders campaign: They put out the 2 best ads of this campaign. ... Check out Sanders' new ad. https://t.co/IBT2V2Byk4 — Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) February 11, 2016 It is a video, story, ad about the campaign. But it's not a "Bernie campaign ad" despite every headline that says it's so. Or every editor/publisher/pundit/TV personality/reporter/columnist tweet. This should be obvious to anyone who knows anything about political campaigns because there are no credits on the video. On the other hand, the Bernie campaign did release…continue reading →
Quote-busting: not Darwin

Quote-busting: not Darwin

It sounds so clever, so right ... that you want to share it immediately! Which, one assumes, is the point. This particular version of the quotation misattributed to Charles Darwin was in my Twitter feed. The Darwin Correspondence Project makes it clear that this is not Darwin. They gave an award to Nick Matzke for documenting the quote, which you can find on scads of images. Kathy's mantra: If it sounds too good (or too bad!) to be true, it probably isn't! Check before sharing! Where to check quotations? I start with Wikiquote. Sometimes I search-inside-books using Amazon or Google. Don't trust any of the thousands of quotation sites on the web (unless there is a source - and then, maybe not).continue reading →