Elena, we hardly knew ye

When Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing start next week, senators will fire up the proverbial grill. But based on 75,000 e-mails sent to and from Kagan in the late 1990s – which last week were released by the Clinton Presidential Library – she has a pretty spicy past. As noted in a compiled story by The Week:

  • Kagan occasionally peppered her e-mails “with salty language,” including “a New Yorkerized version of the word ‘unbelievable’” that added two syllables to it.
  •  She can be sarcastic: In critiquing a colleague’s e-mail, she replied: “Not to carp, but on memos to the president, it’s usually wise to spellcheck.”
  • She isn’t afraid to speak her mind: In an advance draft of Clinton’s 1997 State of the Union address, she clashed with speechwriters over a line that included a quote from Isaiah about being a “repairer of the breach” — a reference to Clinton’s desire for bipartisanship. “That quote from Isaiah is the most preposterously presumptuous line I have ever seen. The president would deserve it if the press really came down on him for this.” The quote stayed in.
  • She was enthusiastic about affirmative action: In one message she noted that presidential race adviser Chris Edley was leaving and lobbied to be put in charge of affirmative action in his place. “I know the issue well (because I teach it) and care about it a lot.”

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Court: BK franchisees can’t have it their way

And now for the third course in the trilogy of food-related legal matters.

First, we reported on a Hooters waitress being called out by management for carrying more than chicken wings and burgers, as she was put on “weight probation.” (This week, she filed an ELCRA lawsuit, and an Irish wagering site is accepting bets on how it turns out.)

Then, a burger joint in Cambridge, Mass., launches a burger that pays tribute to both U.S. Supreme Court candidate Elena Kagan and to the U.S. way of doing business.

Now, a federal court judge in Miami has ruled that Burger King management has the right to dictate value-meal pricing to franchisees. This comes after store owners, by way of the National Franchisees Association, were complaining that BK’s setting the double cheeseburger price at $1 was hurting their bottom line, making the value menu only a value to – gasp! – the consumers. (Though it should be noted that it’s not exactly been a value for cheese lovers, because, for the past month, BK has been skimping on the yellow stuff.)

Yet, allegations by the franchisees of bad faith by the company had enough plausibility to be argued in court.

Still, MSN reported, “[I]f franchisees and Burger King management know what’s good for them, they’ll spend less energy on this lawsuit and more energy on boosting BKC stock through stronger sales and profits.”

Maybe getting rid of those creepy commercials that feature the guy in the King costume would help, too.

Take a bite out of the Kagan Burger, and you’ll get a taste of Obama, too

Politics make strange bedfellows. But it looks like they also make for a tasty sandwich.

Turns out that Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers, a storied Cambridge, Mass., haunt near Harvard, recently added the Elena Kagan Burger to its menu.

Yet, the $10 burger wasn’t intended to honor the former Harvard Law School dean who’s President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court. Rather, the move was, in part, a political statement.

“It has a liberal amount of salsa, grilled pineapple, because of the Obama connection — she’s cozy with Barack and he’s from Hawaii — and it comes with onion rings,” general manager Billy Bartley told The Boston Globe.

“I thought the coziness [between] her and Barack was inappropriate, but what do I know? I thought a Supreme Court justice should be further from the president than she is.”

The burger’s menu description shows that the sandwich wasn’t exactly created with love for the nominee. “Experience??? ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,’” the menu reads, according to The Harvard Crimson. It presumably refers both to the fact that Kagan has never been a judge, and to her stance on the military’s policy on gays.

But Bartley revealed to the Globe another motivation behind the burger, and it’s about as American as it gets: “For the attention, so I can make money.”

Kagan won’t want to be part of this ‘elite’ SCOTUS group

A sex-crazed 62-year-old. A Harvard professor who smoked pot with his students. A close friend to the president. A white supremacist. A three-time loser.

Sounds like the ideal cast for this summer’s edition of “Big Brother,” no?

If only.

Instead, they’re Lucius Q.C. Lamar, Douglas Ginsburg, Harriet Miers, G. Harrold Carswell and Reuben H. Walworth, all past hopefuls for the U.S. Supreme Court who didn’t have luck on their side for the aforementioned reasons, respectively. They’ve made the list of “The 5 Most Disastrous Supreme Court Nominees,” as designated by The Week magazine.

So far, Elena Kagan appears to not be a candidate for the list should it get revised next year. However, despite her being a former dean at Harvard, she’s never been a judge. Ginsburg already has one up on her, as he’s a D.C. Circuit Court judge – albeit, as The Week labeled him, the “highest judge in the land.”