A Four Day Sham And Other Distractions

It is just past noon on Sunday as I begin to pen this article for publication at 1am on Monday. I’d like to look a few days in the past and a few days into the future. Let’s explore.

The Sham

Under the leadership of South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Nominee Amy Coney Barrett commencing Monday morning and scheduled to last through Thursday. The hearings will mainly be a meaningless sham with a few moments worthy of television news.

Graham is locked in the tightest political battle of his life in his current reelection bid. He is looking for the hearings to provide him with a lot of free TV time which he hopes will motivate his base to show up for him at the polls. Look for a plethora of Trump posterior kissing moments from him.

It will be interesting to see the questioning from Democratic Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

In any event I expect Graham to find a way to have Barrett’s nomination pass out of committee by a Party line vote.

The Fly

Last week we may have seen the last top of the ballot debate of 2020 when Vice President Mike Pence and Harris squared off in Utah. Pence was a less bombastic version of Donald Trump often interrupting Harris, evading answering questions, disrespecting the (notably female) moderator, going over his time and lying. I don’t think the debate moved the needle one bit with the possible exception of convincing a few white women (a key sub demographic) to vote for Biden.

Harris did an exceptional job of non-verbal communication. In all honesty she avoided answering a question on Court packing, which is basically a hypothetical at this point.

Judging by media attention the “winner” of the debate is the fly that spent two minutes on Pence’s head. When a fly wins a (at least somewhat) major political debate it speaks poorly of America.

The Great Trump Shakedown

The New York Times ran an article in its Sunday edition, under the by line of seemingly half its staff, outlining various ways the Trump administration is openly selling influence and shaking down those seeking favors from the administration.

For many months now I have been referring to the Trump administration as an organized criminal enterprise led by Don Trump. (That is not a familiarized form of the president’s first name.)

Social Distance

Speaking of DC Dons, last week Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch “Don” McConnell of Kentucky revealed that he hasn’t been in the White House since August 6th because he was uncomfortable with the lack of COVID-19 precautions.

I have long described the relationship between Trump and McConnell as two Dons in a turf sharing agreement with McConnell assuming he would outlast Trump. We actually have an opportunity to get rid of both this November. As of this writing I like McConnell’s chances of reelection better than Trump’s.

While both outcomes are still very much in doubt one thing is certain: McConnell isn’t going to take himself out by being careless. Both may well be evil but McConnell, unlike Trump, is pretty savvy.

It’s Not Really All Greek

Having lived in Western New York until I was 47, I spent many years not paying a lot of attention to hurricanes which are much more of a threat to the southern part of the lower 48. I’ve lived in the South for a tad over 20 years now and have experienced hurricanes up close and personal (luckily always out of a direct hit). Hurricane Delta hit Louisiana this past weekend. For some time now tropical storms (some of which develop into hurricanes – it is a matter of wind speed) have been named by the letters of the English alphabet only after the English alphabet is exhausted do we go to the Greek alphabet. Historically a hurricane season that got into the Greek alphabet has been extremely rare. Here are two really scary facts to consider: first, hurricane season 2020 has about six week to go.  second, America’s Republican Party is the only major political party in the world not to recognize climate change and man’s role in it.

The Good News

Baseball has provided me with a pleasant, if temporary distraction, in that my Tampa Bay Rays are in the American League Championship Series (third or semi-final round of the playoffs).

Here is my request of all eligible voters: cheer for the Rays and VOTE!!!!!!

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