Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Heretical Question

One of my college professors liked to remark that, depending on which side of an argument you've taken, a conclusion can be characterized either a result or a reductio. Let's try one, from yesterday's NY Times:
Because the war on terror is unlike any other the United States has waged, traditional wartime policies and mechanisms have made for an awkward fit, in some instances undermining efforts to defeat terrorism.
Applying my professor's observation to the quote above produces a question: are traditional wartime policies and mechanisms an awkward fit because this is a different kind of war, or are they an awkward fit because the counter-terrorism effort is actually something other than a war?

I can practically feel the NSA satellite dishes turning toward me, but I think it's a fair question. Are we at war? Or does the apparent mal-aptitude of that term suggest that "war" is not the correct label, and that in fact the counter-terrorism effort is more properly called something else?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gobble Gobble Gobble.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How I Learned to Litigate at the Movies

Over the summer, the American Bar Association polled its members and then published in the ABA Journal a list of the twenty-five greatest legal movies of all time, and another twenty-five honorable mentions.  The publication also included an article entitled, "How I Learned to Litigate at the Movies."

Someone asked me today about those articles.  I once had the PDF's, but at some point I lost track of them (maybe on one of the six dozen flash drives cluttering my apartment after OCIP?) but happily they are posted at the ABA website.  The format at the website leaves something to be desired but, hey, they're lawyers.

Perhaps if you seek a diversion this weekend, the links above can offer a starting point.   Alternatively, if you are a 1L who can't bear the thought of a relaxing evening, you can study the Verdict for misstatements of basic Civil Procedure.  Either way, have a safe, warm, and happy holiday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do People Care About Students? People Do

This from John Steele:
If you have a moment, could you please answer this one-question survey about legal ethics courses? Choose as many courses as you’d seriously consider taking if you had those options for legal ethics credit. If you’re curious about the results, shoot [John Steele] an email in about a week and [he]’d be glad to share the percentages that came in.
Survey here.
[Update: Survey here.]


Finals Racket

Did anyone else find this particular tidbit from DE's email today amusing?
The good news from this test is that the noise was only faint to moderate in the north addition reading rooms. Zeb and Goldberg were also surprisingly quiet. The noise was worst in the Main Reading Room, classrooms 121-124 and 115, 111, 107. Between 12/8 and 1/9, these areas will not be usable from 7 AM - 3:30 PM. The computer labs will be usable with headphones... [T]he loss of the Main Reading Room during the 8-3:30 hours will be felt. But the North Addition will be usable for most people, even during the day. The noise is like a distant thunder, but isn't really bad.
To summarize: half of the school will be "unusable," leaving the other half "usable for most people" (those who have already incurred hearing damage from existing construction) and crowded as hell (as if it hadn't been already).

Enjoy finals everyone!


Monday, November 24, 2008

1L Hypo Exercise

The facts are presented here. Use what you have learned in Contracts and Property to explain who should win this law suit and why. Does Porreco v. Porreco, 811 A.2d 566, 574 (Pa. 2002) (Eakin, J., dissenting) apply? Bonus points for Civ Pro and Crim Law arguments.

Lawyers Abroad

This NY Times article, published Friday, describes an influx of U.S. legal résumés in foreign markets:
A year ago, a lawyer looking for work in Hong Kong could have gone on eight interviews and had seven offers, [a legal recruiter] says. But in this market, firms can afford to be choosier. . . . Now they can afford to be more selective because there are more highly qualified candidates coming over.
Much of the article is old hat, but there are some dishy remarks from Boalt OCI frequent fliers, including Kirkland, Latham, Covington, Weil, Fulbright, Cave, DLA Piper, and Clifford Chance.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Turkey Bowling

Pushing aside the wet blanket over your personality that is law school can be wearisome. The fact is that this place, at this time of year, is a fun-killer.

Enter turkey bowling. The game feels adventurous enough to limber your character as we enter the exam period, and the rules are simple enough to recall even when highly intoxicated. Here is the gist:
  1. Assemble your posse.
  2. Go to the grocery store, and select a frozen turkey. You want the kind that comes wrapped entirely in plastic. The ten to twelve pounders are optimal.
  3. Select about a dozen cans of food, preferably some variety that should never have been invented. E.g., canned eggplant, or Kimchi.
  4. Travel to an out-of-the way aisle.
  5. Arrange the cans like bowling pins (it helps to stack them two- or three-high) at one end of the aisle.
  6. Bowl the turkey from the other end. 
  7. Cackle gleefully as the turkey glides easily across a polished tile floor and the cans clatter and bounce.
  8. Voilà! You are a better person!
Two final thoughts. It helps to stage a member of your posse behind the pins, where they can run interception on the turkey before it escapes the aisle and arouses suspicion. This is, however, merely a stall tactic; at some point you WILL arouse suspicion, and when you do the store WILL throw you out -- take my word for it. A few minutes of confrontation, however, is a small price to pay for a substantial November character boost.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sorry Tom P., The Waiting Sucks, But It Is Not The Hardest Part

A few rants about this whole bar exam process...

There was a recent post regarding the MPRE being a harbinger of Bar anxiety. Well, look... The MPRE is the proverbial mole hill, and the Bar exam, not a mountain, it is just a freakin' ass-h*le. There's no getting around it.

They said that the waiting would be the worst part of it. ("They" = Bar/Bri). I don't totally agree with that, seeing as I had months of vacation in that time, and Bar/Bri is, essentially, 6 weeks of FUD. Don't get me wrong, it is effective. But diabolical. Basically, after three years of being babied, it hits you like a bad Foreigner song. Or a Fusilli Chemerinsky to the rectum. Bar/Bri instills the fear of Chuck Norris in you, and you study. You study neurotically. You study something fierce. Then it is over and you forget it all and go to Thailand and maybe are lucky enough to still have a job when you get back....

So, I don't think the waiting has been the worst part. But, there are certainly some things about the waiting that I rank right up there with kidney stones, laundry, and Dane Cook. This is what you have to look forward to (and I'd love to hear others' comments on this topic):

- People who insist on comparing what you went through with their own, different experiences, right after you took the Bar exam. For example, doctors and their board exams, or PhD's and their whatever-you-call-whatPhD's-do. Look, we get it. Everyone gets it. You studied, you took hard tests, you persevered. You're brilliant. But don't tell us about your tests in comparison to the Bar exam RIGHT AFTER we finish. I had a doctor tell me about how bad the tests he/she had to take in order to get a license, saying that it made him/her less sympathetic for what I went through. WTF? First of all, just give us a little time to decompress and let off some steam. Second, I sure as hell hope that doctors have a tougher time obtaining a license to do their work, which literally involves responsibility over life and limb, than I had getting a license to practice law. C'mon.

- People who call you "big shot lawyer." So much wrong with this label, I'll just let it be.

- People who ask you "well, how'd it go"? Not only do I not want to go over this, I really couldn't if I tried. My mind has repressed almost all memory of the test, as a coping mechanism. I highly recommend it.

- And, the worst: People who say something like, "Oh, you definitely passed!"/"Oh, c'mon, you KNOW you passed!"/"Oh, you're fine, you passed for sure." This is the most common annoying thing people say, and I vow NEVER to do this to future generations. All this really accomplishes is add one more element to the disappointment of failure. Not only does the test taker I have to go through the whole damn process again, he/she also gets to think about the 500 people who were WRONG about his/her fate. For some, it will feel like they let those people down. Some will forever in the future question why others have confidence in them. Maybe others won't care at all. But I have heard this complaint from many..... Basically, never, never, ever tell someone who is waiting for results that you think he/she passed. Be sympathetic, say you wish them the best, but don't make a freakin' prediction.

Alright, I am going to go pick a fight...


Breaking News: Cal. Supremes Take Prop. 8 Cases

The California Supreme Court has agreed to take cases challenging Proposition 8. The Court also announced it will not stay the proposition pending a decision. (Sorry, Gavin.)

The Court will address three questions: 
  1. Is Prop 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution? 
  2. Does Prop 8 violate the separation-of-powers doctrine under the California Constitution? 
  3. If Prop 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Prop 8? 
Briefs are due in January, and oral argument may be held as early as March. (Here is my source.)

My gut sense is that the answers to the first two questions are, "No." That is because the Court has construed "revision" quite narrowly in the past, and because it has held that the separation of powers provision is more tolerant and flexible than its actual language implies. Question number three is a doozie.

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An Open Letter to Uncle Zeb

Like the rest of the tenants of the 21st century, I rely on credit and debit cards as my primary method of legal tender. I recognize that carrying cash worked perfectly fine in the days before electricity and networking were readily accessible, but given the advances since, it seems silly to keep insisting on it. I can buy music without leaving the comfort of my home, and can pause 30 Rock while I take a bathroom break - they even have video games you can control with your brain. So why doesn't Zeb take credit card?

One reason may be the fees that credit card companies charge. A quick googlin' reveals that Visa charges 1.62% of the purchase price. So my $1.75 coffee will now cost $1.78. Boo, hiss. I'd gladly pay everyone's fees for an entire day if meant that I could use my credit card. I'd even punch a whale in the face. The convenience is worth far more than 1.62%.

But what about the amount of time? Cash is way faster, right? This may have been the case when we were forced to use those 56.6k modems, with their cacophony of dial-up sounds (I still have nightmares about those beeps), but even with the problem-riddled Berkeley network, verification takes on average (through my completely unscientific study of I-House purchases) about 10 seconds from swipe to approval. Even the most dexterous Zeb-worker would have trouble making change at those blinding speeds. And anymore, signatures aren't required on purchases under $20, so unless you're treating me to lunch (which you should), you won't have to worry about the time lost searching for a pen.

So how about it Uncle Zeb? You want to get with the times and start taking credit card? I'm not even talking about those exotic credit cards like Amex and Discover (haha, seriously, who accepts Discover?). You will make a whole slew of Boalties happy.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good Luck, We're All Counting On You

I know a lot of people in the Class of 2008 are going through hell. The next few days are absolute torture. For the uninitiated, think of it as that feeling in your stomach when a roller coaster drops...except it lasts for about a week. Bonne chance.


Harvard Gets Caught in the Credit Crunch

"Ivy League Investments: If Harvard's so smart, why didn't it manage its endowment better"

Article HERE.

Should we be amused? Interesting article nonetheless...

When Free Speech isn't Free Speech

The Mercury News reports today: "Nine people sentenced for involvement in UC Berkeley tree-sit."

Hopefully this will be a lesson to the rest of Berkeley's crazies: defy court orders to protest a pointless cause and you will pay the price.

It's not free speech if it's costing students millions of dollars while you throw your feces at our police officers.


A Bailout for Detroit?

The lame duck Congress is currently considering whether to give automakers some of the bailout money - to the tune of ten billion dollars. Intense lobbying efforts are underway right now, with Detroit desperately trying to convince Congress that this bailout money is all it needs in order to become a viable business model again.

You didn't really believe your ex when s/he told you that this loan was the last one, I swear, and then s/he'd never need to hit you up for money again. It was just that s/he was having trouble making the rent this month, but s/he promised, this was it, this was the last time.

Why, then, should we believe the automakers? Chances are, if the government hands them ten billion dollars, very little will change. Because the problem with Detroit isn't so much the economic crisis (although that has certainly exacerbated matters) but decades of poor management and uniformed decisionmaking. While European and Japanese automakers focused on developing smaller cars with better gas milage, Detroit went in for the gaz-guzzling monstrosity formerly known as the SUV.

It seems that the primary reason for the bailout is to protect the jobs of all the mid- and low-level employees - the guys who work on the assembly lines putting together the cars. If so, we're doing them a disservice by turning this into a lingering death. What happens in two or three years, when gas prices go up again, and Detroit is still basing its profits on fuel inefficient cars?

I don't know enough about Chapter 11 bankruptcy to discuss it in any detail, but it seems to me that if Detroit is going to fall, we should use the existing mechanisms in place to cushion that, rather than pouring ten billion dollars into an industry that's no longer viable.

Release of Rehnquist Papers Begins

Rehnquist's papers and files began to be released today. Find two articles describing his appointment by Nixon, decisions to recuse, and his personal file on Roe v. Wade, here, and here.

Also find a catalogue of the files, here.


Friday, November 14, 2008

HRC as SoS?

Rumors were that she was in consideration. Now Nico Pitney at HuffPo is reporting that she has been offered the job, and that she has asked for time to "consider".

Two things:
  1. While I didn't support Clinton in the primary, there is no doubt that she is tough as beans, and has the street cred to represent the United States on the world stage admirably.
  2. I'm not personally offended that I wasn't offered this position, as I'm still holding out for Secretary of Awesome.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Big Green "O" Stands for "OMG"

So now the WSJ Law Blog and Above The Law are reporting that Orrick is going to be laying off 40 attorneys (and 35 staff).

In the comments on another post, I've been debating with McWho on whether the collapse of Heller and Thelen are primarily the result of the economy or poor management. That's not much consolation to Heller employees, I know. But it's important for law students, since most firms are going to cut back, but not expire.

My point in this post, however, is to focus on California. In light of Heller and Thelen, Orrick is the third SF-based firm to face difficulties. And Orrick has one of the strongest practices in Northern California; after all, they were the ones that raised market salaries to NY levels in 2006.

It seems to me that the California legal market swings more widely than other areas in the US, probably since it is largely fueled by venture capitalism. This is bad news for Boalt, since our law students--more than any other national law firm, including Stanford--tend to self-select to California markets.

EDIT: All those specifically interested in Orrick should see this interview with the firm's managing partner.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crazy Ivan

Just want to point out the ridiculously fast reversal of the 9th Circuit and vacatur of the district court's preliminary injunction in the Navy Sonar case. Our tree hugger-in-residence, Max Power, probably thinks this is the end of Environmental Law.

I understand why the courts are reluctant to second guess the military. But I don't understand the Navy's position here. Submarine exercises? Who's going to attack us using a sub? The Russians can't even launch a new sub without massive casualties. I guess that's sort of the reason why the Navy has to run around the Pacific pinging away with active sonar in training exercise...they don't have any real targets left. I just don't see the national security threat. Or any threat.

In related news, there may be a way to quickly reverse the Bush Admins latest gutting of consumer and environmental regs.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Berkeley vs. The LSAT

Looks like researchers right here in B-town are hard at work in designing a new law school admissions test that would correlate with success not as a 1L, but as a lawyer. What a novel concept.

If this saves just one future student from having to spend a month learning "tricks" on the logic games, it will have been worth it. Still, I'm skeptical that any 3-hour test can effectively measure the qualities that make a good lawyer. It seems to me the #1 most essential ability is a strong work ethic (not to imply that I have one), which is going to be tough to tease out with multiple choice questions.

What do you guys think of the LSAT? How should a "better" test differ from the one we endured? What are Berkeley's chances of actually affecting any change in the system?

Oh Sh!t

ATL is reporting that White and Case is conducting widespread layoffs.

Up to this point, layoffs had been covert or limited to less affluent firms (for the most part). The actions today by White and Case bring layoffs to the highest tier of law firms. I ask: have the floodgates been opened for all of the others?


Monday, November 10, 2008


Just saw this on ATL. We used to do something similar in college, and it was a blast. I propose we try to get this started at Boalt for next semester. Is there interest? Sound off below.

Boalt Hall is Filthy

And notwithstanding our massive tuition increases, I don't mean it's filthy rich.

For the past week, construction crews have become Berkeley's butchest custodians, using power washers to scrape the grime off the courtyard walls. I would guess that the building exterior hasn't been cleaned in half a century, and it shows. A comparison of cleaned and uncleaned sections is amazing.

Actually, the power cleaning is probably the best part of the construction. In a week or so, digging will begin in earnest, with all its noise and dirt. So hopefully this cleaning lasts as long as possible.

Maybe a few judiciously thrown eggs each evening will spread this stage out a little longer? I'm on my way to Trader Joe's.

Facebooks Have Arrived

. . . and everyone in the 2L class, whose pictures carried over from last year, looks ten years younger. It's doubtful that the 1L's will ever face the same problem -- their pictures (carried over either from their student ID cards or from wanted posters at the post office, I can't tell) came out so pixilated that they look ten years older.

Ahhh, Boalt.

Accommodating Prop 8

Con Law Professor GL discusses today in the LA Times a few of the legal issues surrounding the ban on gay marriage. Most Boalties are probably familiar with them by now.

A question he didn't address, and one I would like to hear about, is this:

What happens when a same-sex married couple approaches a state bureaucrat and asks for a state benefit normally accorded to married couples, and the bureaucrat refuses because granting the benefit would violate the California Constitution as amended on November 4th?


Sunday, November 09, 2008

More Whining, but at Least Mostly Justified

I'm hearing reports from a number of 2Ls who have unsuccessfully petitioned to avoid taking the ethics requirement next semester. This contradicts what a number of 3Ls told me about last year, which is that the petitions were kind of a joke and all were granted. It seems the admin is being a little hard-assed about this, as is their right.

My question: why do they care? Is there a good reason why we need to take this course as a 2L and not 3L? Are we going to encounter significant ethical dilemmas in our cushy summer programs? I suppose the best argument for it is they're looking out for us by making sure we take the MPRE before we have to start worrying about the bar. But still, it strikes me as pedantic at best and arbitrary at least.

Ultimately, the real question is what will they do to 2Ls who simply decide to ignore the petition and not take the course. I doubt anyone will really get kicked out of Boalt over this, but I suppose it remains to be seen. Anyone care to be the canary in the mine? I'm much too cowardly.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Post-MPRE Love

The sentiment around Oakland's Alameda County Conference Center around noon today was that the MPRE this time around was either (a) harder than usual or (b) something we all should have actually studied for.

Here's a thread for post-exam discussion bitching.

PS: anyone else realize in the process how much Barbri this summer is going to suck?

PPS: any ideas for drinking away our sorrows tonight (or other sorrows that will likely develop as today drags on)?


Thursday, November 06, 2008

This is the Endley

I have to limit this to a few quick thoughts, but here they are:

a) Edley is the kind of administrator who gets to the nitty gritty, plans the details, and then executes. Current Boalties have not had the pleasure of seeing the law school before the DE era (and for females, this is a very good thing). DE doesn't have patience for slow moving gradual change. As a prime example, he moved at light speed (by UC standards) to gain approval for the Boalt-Haas joint building. He also moved at light speed to change the culture among Boalt alumni regarding giving.

b) Edley has been a core member of the Obama campaign since the very inception (and I'd wager even before). When you invest that much time and effort into such a fierce competition, you don't just walk away as the victor. Ever.

c) Combining A and B, it's increasingly clear that DE will have some role in an Obama Administration and that he does not have the patience to be on the judiciary. Don't get me wrong, he'd make a great, if not excellent, jurist. But he doesn't have the patience to wait for cases with standing to come before him. Whether he'll be the White House counsel or an advisor of some sort, I don't know. I would also peg him to be the AAG for the Civil Rights Division of DOJ.

d) If he goes to the White House, nothing contradicts any of his public statements. See, e.g., the e-mail to the Chron linked to by Sara in the previous thread. He is not "seeking" to go back to Washington. But he will be asked to go and he will not turn down such an opportunity. I also cannot emphasize how much the delay of the Boalt-Haas building curtailed his ambitions. Nearly all the plans for Boalt's expansion and growth as a powerhouse revolved around the new building. Now they are all dashed for the foreseeable future.


e) Unrelatedly, once again, others have beaten me to the punch in thinking that Marty Lederman is the ideal candidate to head the OLC. Marty's point by point criticisms of the legal arguments contained in various OLC memoranda, including the torture memos, make him particularly suitable following the current administration.

f) Foreigners flying American flags. Reminds me of the outpouring of goodwill following 9/11. Whatever happened to that?

g) Oh and my idea for Prop 8R (and in line with the comments of Laura in another thread) is the following language: "Marriages between any two individuals are recognized and valid in California. Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to require any religion to marry anyone contrary to its practices." The wording is clumsy, but that can be polished. Point is, clarify that gays can marry, and churches/temples/mosques/etc. don't have to marry anyone who does not meet their religion's standards. That would peel off enough votes, imho.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Edley Over-Under

It's a new day in America.

In light of the inspirational and historic milestone of Obama's election, it's time for Democrats all over the country to ask: "What's in it for me?" Or perhaps more charitably: "How can I get involved?"

Which brings us to DE, who's been rushing to start construction before election day. DE is close to Obama and a member of the transition team. DE has assured faculty that he has no "Potomac Fever," and I almost believe him. But my guess is that he'd prefer a role with a little more authority and stability than he has here as Dean. Yes, I'm talking about Article III.

The next President will nominate many federal judges. I would guess that progressive appellate judges have been delaying retirement for a Democratic president. As a result, Obama will appoint several appellate court justices in 2009. Following recent precedent (i.e., Roberts and Alito), if a Supreme Court position opens up in 2010 onwards, it will probably be filled by one of those early nominees.

In other words: if Edley is a potential Supreme Court nominee, then he is likely to be nominated as an appellate judge soon. And a position on the 9th Circuit wouldn't require him to move to Washington or leave the Boalt community--his two justifications for NOT joining the Obama Administration.

So here it is: the Official Edley Over-Under. I predict that Edley will be appointed to the 9th Circuit (based in San Francisco) by mid-2010. What do you think?

(I wrote this post this morning , and I'll be damned if I'm going to be pre-empted by Patrick.)

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Two Questions

[Update: I wrote this post before Carbolic hit "publish," and 'll be damned if Carbolic preempts my preempt. So I am going to preempt Carbolic's preempt to my preempt by closing comments on this thread. Ha!]

First, the Washington Post has announced that Dean Edley is on the board of Obama's transition team. Now, DE may not have Potomac fever, but all the same . . . which lucky journal will take over his office when he moves to Washington this spring?

Second, and tangentially related, how many Supreme Court justices will retire by this time next year, and what are their names?


Still so far away...

On one level, I find it incredible that a state in which 61% of the voters decided to elect a black man president also decided to pass Prop. 8. Why is it okay to break the racial barrier, but not okay to allow gay people access to the same kinds of rights we give everyone else? What really gets me is the way the Yes on 8 campaign was run - essentially threatening people that if they didn't vote for Prop. 8, the whole moral fabric of society would collapse.

Their children would be "taught" gay marriage in schools. (In much the same way schools "teach" straight marriage, I suppose, by books and videos and classroom sessions mentioning that when people grow up and they love each other very much, they get married.) The institution of marriage would be threatened. (Because two gay people marrying each other prevents straight people from getting married.) That traditional values would be threatened. (But if we stuck with "traditional" Biblical values, we'd still be exchanging camels as dowry and condoning polygamy.)

In ten or fifteen or twenty years, my children are going to ask me why it is that people in my generation could manage set race aside but couldn't let go of homophobic fears and hatreds. And I won't have an answer for them.


Berkeley Parties for Obama

Is this it? Is this how it feels to be proud of your country? Not to go all Michelle Obama on you, but that's all I could think as I traversed three of the undoubtedly many Berkeley block parties that sprung up around town tonight. Don't get me wrong. I've loved U.S. and A. ever since learning about the revolution and founding fathers way back in first grade. But my first political memory is the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and I think it's safe to say things have pretty much gone downhill since then. Until now. I can't recall another moment like this, when I've felt so much joy over something my country did. In fact, just that phrase feels a little odd jostling around in my brain. "My country." Mine. At least 52% of the country agree with me that Obama is the man for the job. For the first time, I'm in the majority.

Sure, my first impulse is to take that lead and run with it, to pull the same bullshit conservatives have for the last six years or so. "You don't agree with President Obama? What, do you hate America?" Or, "Hey buddy, he's commander in chief of this country. You're with him or you're with the terrorists!" Maybe we could even get Toby Keith to write a new America-lovin' anthem for us that we can shove in dissenters' faces! I'm thinking "Birkenstock in Your Ass."

But the beauty of Obama--and also McCain in his concession speech--is that he ran on putting an end to that kind of bullshit. He single-handedly destroyed the power of Rove-ian politics by calling them out directly in his 2004 "Purple America" speech. No red states, no blue states, just United States of America. This is his most fundamental message, and one we should embrace. While I am proud of my country tonight, I recognize that it is not just mine. And that getting out of this mess depends on everyone finally coming together, to the extent possible in our democratic system.

I think that was the real source of euphoria on Telegraph Avenue tonight. Sure, Berkeley's candidate was backed by a majority of the nation. He won. That's enough to make any Democrat happy. But I think what elevated tonight from just another election victory to the kind of pure ecstasy I saw throughout town this evening is the possibility that Obama may just be the miracle he appears to be. He might be that rarest of politicians who actually brings people together. I'm too jaded at this point to count on it, but I think what I felt tonight was the acknowledgment of that possibility, that this country might not be yours or mine anymore, but ours.

Of course, with Prop 8 still ahead as I go to bed tonight, it's clear there are going to be issues that sharply divide us. They're worth fighting for, and I plan to fight. But Obama argues that what unites us is more powerful than what divides us. He might even be right.

I'm not sure what we're in for in the next four years, but for the first time I can remember, I'm optimistic. Here's hoping that feeling doesn't go away.


Disclaimer: I recognize this blog was pretty self-indulgent, but such is my power. We're all feeling something tonight, and I figured I might as well share. Please do the same below.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes, we did.

Barack Obama is the next President of the United States.



...for Shirley Dean. 

Okay, here are Carbolic's local election recommendations.

Do not vote for Shirley Dean for mayor. (I'm sick of Berkeley looneys; also, she wants to make UCB pay millions to Berkeley. My response: Screw off. We were here first.)

2. Do not vote for Phil Daly. (Hayashi worked on civil rights for Bill Clinton!)

3. Do not vote for Judy Shelton for the Rent Board. (She looks crazy. I don't trust any candidate who lists "artist" or "activist" as an occupation.)

5. Do not vote for Prop. 2. (How the hell do I know what kind of chicken cages should be used? This is a regulatory issue best decided by experts at the CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture, not a bunch of people who think that bunnies are cute.)

6. Do not vote for granting marijuana permits "as a matter of right." (Damn hippies!)

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Barack the Vote

If I'm any indication, then the legal/political junkies around the Boalt community will be very restless in the next 24-48 hours. So, here's an open thread to vent your thoughts, frustrations, and share any links/videos you find worthwhile. (You may also wish fond farewells to DE, the future White House counsel if Obama wins).

If you are the fantasy sports/tournament pick 'em type of person (edit: or a Supreme Court Justice, as the case may be), you can check out Yahoo's map. Click on "Create Your Scenario." Once you have created a scenario you like, click on "Link to This" and create a link that cannot be changed. You may then post your projected map in the comments for "bonus points." For "bonus bonus points" you can project the total national votes per candidate. My prediction is here. And I'm thinking 68,500,000 Obama to 62,000,000 McCain.

Otherwise, I'll be following Steve Benen and Josh Marshall's blogs fairly regularly. The floor is yours.

UPDATE 1: This video is informative in that stating the obvious sort of way. But interestingly, the guest on the show is my next door neighbor from Manville 1L year and a Berkeley Public Policy School alumnus. Way to go Room 321!!

UPDATE 2: A commenter below notes I think this is a great website and a great resource for those who care about accurate sampling. Nate's post on exit polls is spot on.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Funnier than Fiction

"In an over-the-top accent, one half of a notorious Quebec comedy duo claims to be the president of France as he describes sex with his famous wife, the joy of killing animals and Hustler magazine's latest Sarah Palin porno spoof.

At the other end of the line? An oblivious Sarah Palin."

News article here, Mp3 of the call here.