Commenter Archive

AvatarComments by Em Carpenter

On “Wednesday Writs Pie Edition

Yes... duh. I knew that. Will fix.

On “A Not-So-Minor Issue of Distinguishing Rain From Territorial Urine Markings

Nobody is misunderstanding, George. Your original comment said "sworn statements are not hearsay." You are incorrect. They are. If what you meant was that sworn statements are, in this case, admissible, that is a different thing altogether.

On “Saturday Spins: Dwight Yoakam’s Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.

Love his voice and its particular twang. I’m a fan. My mom was, too and I believe she saw him live in 1989 or 90.

I think he’s a surprisingly good actor, too.

On “But It’s Not Fair: Student Loans and the Growing Demand of Debt

I think it is fantastic that your parents set you up so well as far as financial literacy. I'm trying to do the same for my kids.
My parents did no such thing. In their defense, it is really hard to be money savvy- and pass that to your kids- when you don't have any. Minimum wage jobs meant constantly borrowing from grandparents, who barely had it to give, frequent utility shut-offs, running low on food mid-month, etc. There was no checkbook to balance because they never had enough to bother with a checking account. It was money orders for bills on payday, and the rest was cash for gas and groceries. There was no instilling the value of savings because they didn't have anything to save. I learned nothing about credit cards because they never had any.
I don't fault them for not teaching me to do better than they did. It's exhausting to live that way. There's not a lot of energy left, physical or mental.
What I did learn: I didn't want to have a minimum wage job. I didn't want to be poor. I didn't want to live like they did. But it wasn't financial prudence that I saw as my way out; it was college.
Obviously, that was not going to be paid for by my parents. My FAFSA determined my expected family contribution would be zero. So, I got several grants, a few small scholarships, and yes, loans, and off to WVU, 30 miles away, I went. Did I stop to think about what kind of burden it would be to pay these loans back later? Did I read the entirety of the loan agreement? Did I even have a good grasp of how interest worked? Of course not. I was 18 years old and desperate to change my situation. Most of the loans went to tuition, books, and room and board (didn't have a car and freshmen were required to live on campus unless they were townies), and the small bit left over was what I lived on, along with a part-time campus job.
Of course, I didn't get a degree in pottery. I got a degree in English, actually, but only because that was my quickest route through college and into law school. The loans for my first year of law school equaled the entirety of my undergrad debt, and increased by the same plus a few thousand each year. Even at a state school with in-state tuition, I graduated with a pretty hefty debt load. And even with a valuable degree, these loan payments hurt. I've spent most of my career in government law or public defense which is not the 6 figure salary people assume all lawyers make.
Do I regret my loans? No. I'd do it again, even knowing what I know now; it was really my only option. Maybe I would not take as much, or be more careful with the extra money I lived on. (If anything, I'm more regretful of my idiocy regarding credit cards.)
Would I like to not have to pay them anymore? Hell yes.
Anyway, I guess my point is that not everyone has the knowledge and financial maturity your parents gave you, and not all debt is because of an insistence on going to a super expensive school for a worthless degree. I think financial literacy should be taught in high school, to the extent it is learnable other than through experience.

On “Rudy’s Got A Case…Of the Monday’s

My favorite part:
Judge: What level of scrutiny should I apply here?

Rudy: The normal one.

America's lawyer, everybody!
(I feel like anyone who regularly reads Wednesday Writs knows why this is hilarious.)

On “On History and Being Doomed to Repeat It

The word "Nazi" triggers the moderating. I freed you.

On “Wednesday Writs: Mailed-In Edition

Dude was white in this instance. But yeah.


They were NOT locked out.
And what do you mean “the other party”? Is the vote counting done only by Democrats? Are Dem observers given an up-close advantage the Republicans are denied?
You make no sense.
You also don’t need a 180 IQ to fill out a ballot, and the rejection rate may be higher anyway after all is said and done.

On “RIP, Alex Trebek

Wheel of Fortune at 7, Jeopardy at 7:30. Every evening at my grandma’s house.
Looking back, it’s astonishing how many answers (questions?)she knew, the level of knowledge possessed by an old lady with an 8th grade education. Alex Trebek’s voice was always so comforting because it reminds me of her... thankful for reruns and internet videos.
It is a sad day.
F*** cancer.

On “Best Meal Ever Week: Grandma and The Best Cooking Lesson Ever

Yeah, I know how I'm spending my Saturday.
And thank you!

On “Wednesday Writs: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, SCOTUS, and Election Law

The illegible postmark concern is only an issue in the Pennsylvania case, where they would count ballots that were "not clearly postmarked after election day." In Wisconsin the plan was for "ballots postmarked by election", day to be counted if received by the 9th. There is no mention of illegibility involved.

Also, where are you and your friends getting these 600 extra ballots?


A "wee" bit of research?

On “Can You Housewife Your Way Out of Poverty?

My favorite thing you've ever written, maybe. It is the plain truth of things.

On “Amy, Tell Me What You’re Gonna Do: Part 3

Varies by state, I'm sure. But where I live, you have to give 30 days notice prior to suing a state government entity.
In this case, the medical center at the state university was federally funded. I am sure Chronis had no idea about that.

On “Open Thread: Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings

So Chuck Grassley vindicates my opinion of Barrett's dissent in Uriarte. He was an author of the First Step Act and seemed perturbed by her interpretation of it.


Mentioned glowingly as though it is in itself a qualification


THANK YOU. Yes, especially in that video I watched of her lecture at Jacksonville.


I took a drink every time her motherhood was referenced.
Was soused by noon.

On “Amy, Tell Me What You’re Gonna Do: Part 4

Thanks! In a lull, day job-wise, so it passed the time. Glad it was helpful.


Thank you, I'm glad they've been helpful.


I looked for that. I really couldn't find anything she ruled on that was obviously contrary to what we can assume she would probably want. The sidewalk counseling case was probably closest- using precedent to limit how close abortion protesters can get to patients entering a clinic. She didn't write it but joined the opinion.

On “Amy, Tell Me What You’re Gonna Do: Part 3

My apologies.
I stupidly assumed you were arguing in good faith.
If you are truly too obtuse to acknowledge a difference between the lay person and a person specifically trained in the law- a difference that even the courts readily recognize- I can't help you.


Notwithstanding your absurd mischaracterization of both of these cases, you still have not shown anything inconsistent about my opinions.

"went to the mattress". Give me a goddamn break. As if court forms and process are things I passionately invoke at every opportunity rather than something I have discussed here twice.
You've shown two examples, which are clearly distinguishable by the knowledge level of the person involved and what should be expected of them.

I seriously do not understand why you have such a problem with me, but clearly you do. Seek help with your fixation.


That is the most deliberately obtuse of all the ridiculous, animosity-driven criticism you've lobbed at me.

FIRST OF ALL: the government's refusal to read the a attachments was only a small part of the reasoning- she very clearly set forth in her letter that she had out of pocket damages and was seeking restitution, which was reason enough not to dismiss her claim.

SECONDLY: The man in the second story was an actual lawyer who should know better, not a person in poverty trying to navigate an intricate system without the help of someone who knows how to do it. As I said in the comments on that story:

"Also, he’s a lawyer, so he should have known the rules for civil court filings, or looked them up if he didn’t. I’m not surprised they didn’t have much sympathy for him on the missing cover sheet. Cover sheets are a pretty standard requirement.
If Beck was a pro se lay person, I would be in agreement that the court was unreasonably strict and perhaps unfair, but lawyers are held to higher standards, even when they represent themselves."

So tell me again where I have been at all inconsistent or hypocritical in my opinion of this matter?