The Occasional Tendown: March 17, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dear Internet:

Ted Cruz said this to Diane Feinstein this week.

“The question that I would pose to the senior senator from California is would she deem it consistent with the Bill of Rights for Congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the Second Amendment in the context of the First or Fourth Amendment, namely, would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?”
“Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?” 
Cruz is going to be super surprised when he finds out about obscenity, fraud, incitement to lawlessness, defamation, interference with contract, the entire field of intellectual property law, restrictions on time, manner and place, DUI checkpoints, stops and frisks, "reasonable suspicion", the Patriot Act, everything that happens at an airport.

A couple of years ago Cruz referenced a dozen of his former Harvard Law professors as  "Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”  Perhaps he should have paid a little less attention to McCarthyite fantasies and a little more to Constitutional Law.  

152 is here. This is Tendown 153

1. #I'mWithRand

Rand Paul (R-19th Century) filibustered against drones since last we spoke.

The left was split, in a "mommy and daddy are fighting" sort of a way.  It's hard to support a guy who thinks business should be able to discriminate on the basis of race in a debate with the President you've voted for twice.

But Paul was right.  Certainly closer to right than the Democratic President.

I don't much care why he was right, be it as part of a political rebranding that we saw furthered at CPAC this week or a shoutout to the death panel/terrorist fist jab/where's the birth certificate crazies or a Neo-confederate "the President shouldn't get to use drones against Americans, but if a Governor wants to deploy them on a striking union, then git er done" federalism argument that only pops up when a Democrat is in the White House.

Doesn't matter.  Paul's right, Obama's wrong.

2. The First Piece You Have to Read This Week.

It's funny - What Do Hate Groups Think About Jennifer Lawrence.

Who are they?
Those guys who show up whenever anything sad happens with signs about how much God hates good things/loves bad things. 
What do they think about Jennifer Lawrence?
VICE: What do you guys think of Jennifer Lawrence?
Steve Drain, Westboro Baptist Church: You talking about the Hunger Games woman?
Yeah, that's the one.
You want a statement on Jennifer Lawrence? From the Westboro Baptist Church? 
Yes, please. 
I don't know enough about her. You know, we focus on things that we see in front of us. I haven't really taken a look at Jennifer Lawrence from a religious perspective or from a how-great-of-an-actress-she-is perspective. But I was taking a tour at NBC when I was in New York, and she was practicing a skit for Saturday Night Live.That's about as much as I know about her.  
Oh. So you got to see her in real life?
I think that's who they told me it was. I didn't even really know what she looked like until I started seeing trailers for Silver Linings Playbook. 
You didn't see Silver Linings Playbook yet?
I didn't see it yet, I'd like to see it! I've been kinda busy picketing. I saw some of the movies nominated for Best Picture, though. What was the one with Ben Affleck?
Yeah. That was a good flick. I feel good for Ben Affleck because he was kinda on the out, you know what I mean?
Yeah. So you guys are into Ben Affleck?
No, man. You're looking for some kind of a salacious quote to put in your story. All I'm saying is that I thought Argo was a darn good flick. 
OK. But what about Jennifer Lawrence?
OK. Jennifer Lawrence... I think that most of the young people in our church saw Hunger Games. And I think they all liked that... She just kinda bursted onto the scene, didn't she? She doesn't have a very long film career, does she?
She got nominated for some awards a couple of years ago for Winter's Bone.
Oh! That's her? Winter's Bone rocked! That was a great flick.
I like Winter's Bone quite a bit. I think she did a very nice job there. Yep. 

3. The Second Piece You Have to Read This Week
The south still lies about the Civil War.

4. The Most Intense Competitor on the Planet

ESPN did a well received, and right so, piece on Jordan's 50th birthday.  It was insightful.

It included a reference to Jordan as the most intense competitor on the planet.  Which is in line with all of the anecdotes we've ever heard about his indefatigable drive to beat everyone.

Here's the question that wasn't asked of Jordan in the piece.

Did you ever take performance enhancing drugs?

Does it seem reasonable, given when he played, given the extent that he would go to win, given that he was "the most intense competitor on the planet", given the ease of availability and the absence of drug testing - does it seem reasonable that Michael Jordan would have taken performance enhancing drugs?

Why doesn't anyone ever ask?

Clive Davis recently confessed to bisexuality in his memoir. There are celebrated actors who are largely assumed to be gay, who are nonetheless married with children - it would not surprise me to see several, as they age out of their current family circumstance, to eventually come out.  I wonder if athletes from the steroid era who were fortunate enough not to play in the one sport that chose to set them all on fire, will one day be similarly inclined.  There does not seem a plausible argument that all of the top baseball players, but not the top football or basketball players, of the same generation, took performance enhancing drugs.

It's interesting that we never ask them.

5. Thanks, Scott Prouty.
This week, we met the guy who shot the 47% video.

6. Where's Nikki Manaj?

Wednesday was super fun.  Nikki Manaj blew off the beginning of a live American Idol.  So far, "traffic" seems to be the only answer anyone is getting.  I don't know when the judge's call time is - I'm guessing sufficiently early to make that an unlikely excuse.

And Brandon Hantz provided us with his family's latest TV meltdown.  In his previous season, Brandon was central to what has been the main Survivor trend in recent years - its overt Christianization, including the view that God impacts who wins challenges, players voicing that God is picking who gets immunity has been a claim made by multiple players in multiple recent seasons.

I'm a Probst fan, at least in that format, but when he was asked by Klosterman during a media appearance to roll this season out why this was - Probst said it was just in the culture in recent years.

Presumably, he is unfamiliar with this data.

New survey shows 1 in 5 Americans last year claimed no organized faith

Religious affiliation in the United States is at its lowest point since it began to be tracked in the 1930s, according to analysis of newly released survey data by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University. Last year, one in five Americans claimed they had no religious preference, more than double the number reported in 1990.

I'd suggest a more likely reason is Mark Burnett.

For producer Mark Burnett, who worked on the ten-hour special with wife Roma Downey, the success of The Bible isn’t all that surprising. “It will be, over the next 40 or 50 years, the most watched thing that Roma and I have ever made,” he told EW, quite confidently, back in January.
At the time, Burnett gushed about shooting the series. “I really believe what I’m going to tell you right now,” he said. “The hand of God was on this…. the edit came together perfectly, the actors came together perfectly, it just comes to life.” But Burnett wasn’t just speaking about how well the practicalities of production had gone. “Weird things happened during filming,” he said. “Everybody would look at each other like, “Whoa.”
7. I Write the Stories
This week, I ranked every match in Wrestlemania history. A post which is already one of my ten most read ever.

I also saw some 4 star matches:

February AJPW Akiyama Kotaro Kanemaru v Kaz Soya Omori 4 1/4. 
              Min Tanaka Kanemoto v Yamato Sato 4.  
Feb NJPW      Devitt v Taguchi 4
              Okada v Suzuki 4
              Tanahashi v Anderson 4 
Mar ROH       American Wolves v. Forever Hooligans 4 1/2  
Feb DDT       Omega v Harashima 4 1/2 
Mar NJPW      Devitt v Tanahashi 4 

8. What I Learned From the Bad Girls Club

If your opponent pulls your hair, your inclination is to yank yourself the other way. That's gonna hurt.

So don't do that - push your way right into the fight - either she lets go of your weave and you're good, or she holds on and only has one hand to stop your onslaught.  Don't pull away - push in.

9. Moratorium

Do you recall how Joey would tell his friends he got a part?  He would first try to make them think he didn't get it.

No more of that.  I never want to hear "you know, it was a tough decision, there were a lot of good singers, and we had to send some good people home....but you're not one of those people, you're going through"....ever, ever again.

I like the cover of the KFC logo in the above image.

10. You're Just Wrong About the Beards.

Big week for beards.

Gentlemen, they’re not just for hipsters and the homeless any more. While both dead sexy and totally awesome, beards are also a boon to your overall health. Researchers discovered that men with beards and moustaches actually enjoy numerous benefits including, but not limited to, instant handsomeness.

Carry on.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time....

Your pal,


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