Josh Gerstein (POLITICO) usually has something interesting to read and today was no exception. This is from his "Laywer who fought same-sex-marriage wrote legal opinion OKing robosigning:"
The legal opinion the White House is relying upon to justify using an autopen to affix President Barack Obama's signature to legislation was written by an attorney who played a front-line role in the legal fight against same-sex marriage in California.
The 2005 opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel was authored by Howard C. Nielson Jr., a Utah native who was part of the courtroom team that defended Proposition 8, the initiative California voters passed in 2008 banning same-sex marriage in that state.
Nielson, a partner at the Washington law firm of Cooper & Kirk, is a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
At least one lawmaker has already questioned the legality of the robosignature aides applied to a Patriot Act extension bill Thursday night at Obama's instruction.
I disagree with the judge's decision. If you're able to sign the bill, you do so. If you're able to do so and you use a robo-pen then you didn't really sign it.
We've already turned over all of Barack's remarks to the teleprompter. Are we now to turn over his signature to a machine as well?
And Jonathan Allen (POLITICO) reports, "In a letter sent Friday, Rep. Tom Graves, who voted against the bill, asked Obama to confirmthat the bill was 'presented to you prior to the autopen signing' and to provide 'a detailed written explanation of your constitutional authority to assign a surrogate the responsibility of signing bills passed by Congress into law'." I agree. I mean, we know Barack's a little princess but who knew the little girl couldn't even sign into the law the legislation she supposedly wanted?
It's the weekend and Hiram Lee (WSWS) offers a review of the film Thor:
In an already dubious film genre, Thor is surely among the silliest comic book films yet produced. It’s virtually impossible to take any of this seriously. As the film progresses, one begins to feel a certain sympathy for the young actors tasked with making such material appear convincing. That they fail to do so is not entirely their fault. With regards to the more veteran actors—including Hopkins and Stellan Skarsgård—one only wants to ask them what on earth they’re doing in this film.
In the director’s chair is Kenneth Branagh, the actor and director best known for his adaptations of Shakespeare. In the past, Branagh has produced memorable film versions of Henry V (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993) and Hamlet (1996), works animated by a passion and confidence that Shakespeare should and could reach and enrich a mass audience. It is unfortunate that Branagh, perhaps given a limited choice in the matter by the film industry, has now devoted his time and energy to such an insubstantial work.
Without the richness of Shakespeare on which to base himself, and his own feeling for the material that comes with it, Branagh’s weaknesses as a director come to the fore, perhaps more than in any other of his films. His visual sensibility has never been his strength, and that continues to reveal itself here (although much of the film was created with computer animation). Branagh pursues the “drama” of Thor with the same self-consciousness that limits even his most interesting work. On the whole, Thor is taken far too seriously by Branagh and his collaborators, as though it were Shakespeare, and one tends to cringe as the actors, made up like futuristic Vikings, intone in deeply theatrical voices before galloping down the “Rainbow Bridge.”
The “serious” undertone in this comic strip is war, and the consequences resulting from the actions of those who would too eagerly rush into it. But, as with all the other superhero films, in Thor, the world is filtered through, and reduced to, the primary colors of comic books. The entire film is so thin, one can almost see through it.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"