Wednesday, 29 June 2005

An actress with a different sort of talent

Presumably this will air as part of ESPN’s World Series of Poker coverage… so, if you’re avoiding spoilers, don’t look below.

It turns out that Jennifer Tilly, best known for her squeaky voice and getting it on with Gina Gershon in Bound, has some talent after all… albeit at no-limit Texas Hold’em poker rather than acting. Tilly has apparently been getting some tutoring:

Tilly, 46, said she’s learned plenty of pointers from her boyfriend, poker player Phil “Unabomber” Laak.

I guess everyone in poker has to have a nickname, but that’s got to be about the most tasteless one I’ve ever heard.

þ: James Joyner

Going to the wall

Will Baude disagrees with Todd Zywicki’s assertion that the “wall of separation between church and state” is a modern coinage, pointing to Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association.

While it’s true that Jefferson did write the letter, and he is a “founder” in some senses of the term, on the larger issue I’m not sure his opinion is dispositive as to whether or not the First Amendment should be understood as erecting a “wall of separation,” particularly since Jefferson was an executive branch official (Secretary of State to George Washington) at the time. James Madison’s position (as chief author of the Bill of Rights) would be more dispositive—and, in fact, Madison appears to have staked out a somewhat different position closer to the “coercion” and “neutrality” tests than either strict separation or Lemon.

Whether or not this should matter when interpreting the Constitution, however, is another question entirely.

Election fever: Catch it!

More presidential election speculation from Hei Lun of Begging to Differ, who makes the early case for Hillary Clinton in 2008 after surveying the field and finding it, to put it mildly, wanting. Don’t forget, there’s only 1,223 shopping days left until Decision 2008!