Jan. 30th, 2017

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Today's xkcd cartoon, a features list for bird/plane/Superman, is one of the funniest I've seen lately. It also rings something in my head that I can't identify. I hear in my head a voice - and it's without visuals, so this isn't a movie/tv show, nor a book, but either radio or a record - saying:

"It's a bird! It's a plane! *yccch* It's a bird."

I hear it distinctly, but I'm drawing a blank on remembering where it's from.

Probably it'll hit me the next time I hear whatever it is.

This has happened to me twice before with lines that popped into my head. In each case I did not, at the time, own a copy of the source, so it was years before I happened to see/read that source again (one was a book, one a movie), and I suddenly remembered: ah, that's where that comes from.

One was:

"We are the chorus, and we agree. We agree, we agree, we agree."

which is from the parody of Galadriel's lament in Bored of the Rings, and the other is:

"Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?"

which is spoken by Bedevere to King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail after a little experiment involving a witch and a duck.

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Jan. 30th, 2017 10:05 pm
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In the midst of this roiling constitutional crisis, the part that surprises me is the replacement of the Acting Attorney General with a U.S. district attorney. I didn't think they could do that.

A critical aspect of the Saturday Night Massacre in 1973 was that, after Richardson and Ruckelshaus resigned, Bork didn't. He offered to, but Richardson said no, don't, because it would leave the department without anyone legally authorized to act as Acting A.G. An Acting A.G. has to be someone who had been approved by the Senate for their regular office in the Department, and only the Deputy A.G. (Ruckelshaus) and Solicitor General (Bork) fit that requirement.

But U.S. attorneys also work for the Justice Department, and they're approved by the Senate. That must be the reason why the lawyers decided this guy was eligible to be appointed. But if that's so, why wasn't it so in 1973?

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