The Oscars are odd. It’s just about the only reason left for having them; that and for the sake of the people who make red carpets. Every year when the nominations come out, there are three or four days of stories about the “surprises” and the people who were “snubbed.” So Tom Hooper and Kathryn Bigelow were overlooked, but Michael Haneke was remarked on. And Helen Hunt got a supporting actress nod for The Sessions. No, I’m not suggesting that she was undeserving—far from it.
The Governator keeps coming back—because retirement is for sissies.
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One of the most remarked-upon aspects of the upcoming Supreme Court challenge to California’s gay-marriage ban is the odd couple leading the charge: Ted Olson and David Boies, the conservative and liberal superlawyers who squared off in 2000 in Bush v. Gore. Much less is known, however, about the old friendship between Olson and their opponent in this case, Charles Cooper, one of the many lawyers who helped Olson on Bush v. Gore. Cooper and Olson are both part of Washington’s tiny tribe of top-flight conservative litigators. Given their similar resumes, it is odd to find them on opposite sides of one of the most politically contentious Supreme Court cases of the 21st century. When Olson and Cooper face off before the court in late March, they’ll not only be debating gay rights, but the nature of conservatism itself.Cooper, known in Washington as “Chuck,” is from Alabama, and he’s best known for his starched French-cuffed shirts and genteel southern formality. His way of speaking, once described by Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory as “Victorian copy book prose,” can come across as impressive or a little unctuous, depending on the listener. If Olson, who also has a flair for oral arguments, is the lawyer who argues before the court this spring, he and Cooper will be evenly matched.
THAT FAINT CLANKING SOUND, arriving through the open window of his home office: Was it coming from the courtyard? Was it being made by the pulley they’d attached to the house’s outside wall? Christ, it couldn’t be, thought Nixon, looking at his new digital watch: 6:15 p.m. No, they still had the round-the-clock nurse with them, and she wouldn’t be letting Pat get up from her long afternoon nap for another 15 minutes, when he’d join her for a glass of fruit juice and dinner off the TV trays. He heard the clanking again and realized it was just the halyard hitting the flagpole.
Casinos already divide Indian tribes into haves and have-nots. Legalizing poker will only make the problem worse.
Dear Supreme Court Justices, Last week, you agreed to hear two landmark cases about gay marriage. In the broader of the two cases, which comes out of California, you could establish same-sex marriage nationwide as a matter of constitutional right. This is a ruling that most gay Americans would celebrate as a historic victory for civil rights. But I want to suggest that you make history, and advance the cause of gay equality, in a different way: by butting out. I bow to no one in my support for marriage equality.
The Supreme Court has announced it will look at two gay marriage cases. Chris Matthews feels a thrill running up his leg. Shivers are probably the right response. But not necessarily the Matthews kind. The Court’s consideration of the sweeping challenge to California’s Proposition 8 raises the odds that the Supreme Court strategy may backfire—a risk that the modest challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act was likely to avoid.