Tuesday TV

“I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown” – in which Rerun, Linus and Lucy’s little brother, befriends Snoopy. In fact, Rerun likes the dog so much, that he wishes he had his own dog and offers to pay Charlie Brown for Snoopy. Charlie Brown tries to find another dog for Rerun – inviting Snoopy’s brother Spike from the desert for Christmas. But, that weird mom of Rerun, Linus, and Lucy, really doesn’t want a dog in the house, so it’s back to the desert for Spike anyway (where he was a heck of a lot more comfortable). It was a weird enough storyline in the comic strips (where it was really obvious that Rerun really fell in love with Snoopy), so seeing it in the tv screen was sweet. Charlie Brown is awfully nice and patient with the strange Rerun. Snoopy’s still strange (apparently, only playing with Rerun for the consideration of Christmas cookies). And, Linus is still attached to the blue blankie. Uh huh. I think that this was one of Charles Schultz last projects (Rerun was certainly the last invented character) – so this is a good watch.

And, got to credit FC – I’m really enjoying “Amazing Race” ever since I watched the last episode of the previous installment, and this current installment has been a fun watch. Thought it was touching how the producers had the contestants visit the point of no return of African slaves before they were shipped to the New World (particularly poignant to watch the African-American father-daughter’s feelings of that moment) and then heading off to Berlin, passing the World War II sites (that father pointed how the whole sadness of this – to go from humanity’s inhumanity in Africa to humanity’s inhumanity in Europe – what point were the producers’ making? “Amazing Race” is a borderline educational tv). Thought that the nasty young husband was just awful to the young wife. Too bad about grandparent pair – they were the example of a halfway decent married couple (the nasty young husband ought to take a lesson from them).

Fascinating story about a 94 year old attorney of the NYC Law Department in Newsday – Edith Spivak, Esq., has finally retired. Salute a pioneer.

NY Times’ Adam Cohen writes an editorial on the latest case before the U.S. Supreme Court, wherein the Court is asked whether to let Californians grow medicinal marijuana – which means possibly asking the Court to overturn the famous Wickard case – that case constitutional law classes made us wonder whether one farmer’s wheat affects the entire market (and which upheld FDR’s New Deal legislation). Cohen notes:

Getting rid of Wickard would be an important first step. At last month’s argument, that did not appear likely. Justice Antonin Scalia, a leading states’ rights champions, said he “always used to laugh at Wickard,” but he seemed prepared to stick with it. It may be, however, that the justices are quicker to limit Congress’s power when it does things they don’t like (like gun regulation) than when it does things they do (like drug regulation). They may be waiting for a more congenial case.

The court will not return to the pre-1937 Constitution in a single case, but it seems likely to keep whittling away Congressional power and federally protected rights. If it does, what President Franklin Roosevelt declared in 1936 – after two key New Deal programs were struck down – will
again be true: “It was not the wage earners who cheered when these laws were declared invalid.”

Worrisome – limiting Congressional power – yeah, about 70 years worth of it. Scary to think about it. Gee, what are we going to do about this, Charlie Brown…?

(oh, and looks like ABC is showing “A Charlie Brown Christmas” again this Thursday. Can’t get enough of the wishy-washy, round-headed kid).