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Posts Tagged ‘John Yoo’

Beyond the “Pail”

March 21st, 2011 1 comment

Everything’s on a bucket list these days, and everyone’s got one: the 25 places you must visit; the 37 varieties of fried donuts you must try (which, come to think of it, is itself a good way to kick the bucket); the 100 books you must claim to have read, and so on.

All this talk about buckets could make you want to retch into one. These lists give the impression that life’s but a frenzied dash from one experience to the next, until — zap! — the buzzer sounds, and the contestant experiences the ultimate “Final Jeopardy”. It’s exhausting just to contemplate.

But that won’t stop me from mentioning that I’m on such a list. National Jurist, a freebie mag that’s mostly read by law students, just released a list of “23 Law Profs to Take Before You Die” — and I’m on it. The list is a diverting mix of academic and policy heavyweights (Elizabeth Warren, Brian Leiter, and the reprehensible John Yoo); celebrities (Bud Selig, Arlen Specter, and that vilified Tiger Mother, Amy Chua)…and, well, the rest of us. (The page with my entry is here.)

Rankings that try to compare complex things, like universities, aren’t to be taken seriously. (After all, who decides what measures count, and how to weight them?) And this isn’t even a ranking; it’s just a story that was apparently based on nominations that were submitted. (That’s really all I know about it.) But it’s flattering and fun to be named.

I mean, if this is the trend, why buck it?

Under Siege? Throw a Cocktail Party!

June 24th, 2009 No comments

This article in the NY Times caught my eye:

“As advocates for gays and lesbians intensify their criticism of the White House, President Obama has invited some of their leaders to an East Room reception next Monday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the 1969 Greenwich Village demonstrations that gave birth to the modern gay rights movement.

“The White House has not publicized the reception, and officials did not respond to e-mail requests for comment. But gay leaders from here and around the country said they had received either telephone calls from the White House or written invitations to the event, and were told Mr. Obama is expected to speak.”

Let’s commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with…a great big party (although not so very big that I was invited1)! Perhaps the entertainment can include a stagey reenactment, West Side Story style, of the clash between police and the fed-up drag queens (et al.) who opposed them on June 28, 1969, outside of the Stonewall Inn.

I think the Administration is really onto something here: appeasement, reconciliation, or forgiveness through partying. After a few drinks, most people will allow just about anything:

  • The New York State Senate might find that their seriocomic inability to actually meet can be solved by a Gov. David Paterson-hosted gala, at which the drunken revelers agree to accept the leadership of whichever party’s representative wins a game of musical chairs. The ensuing pratfalls and sprawls will be but little removed from reality.
  • Guantanamo detainees might be able to just quit griping if the Administration would just allow them to attend one l’il party, at which, after a few high-octane cocktails, luminary guests like Dick Cheney and John Yoo would return to lead a game of “pin the tail on the detainee.” Rich.
  • Jon and Kate Gosselin…oh, who cares?

Sorry for the high snark quotient. It would be hard to turn down a White House invitation, especially if there’s some potential to get “face time” with the Prez and ask him some hard questions. But will that be done? And what will Obama say? Probably not this, but let’s hope for something both inspiring and — more critically —  substantive.

  1. {sob}