Catching

Thus far I’ve spent a good deal of October watching my Tampa Bay Rays in the baseball playoffs. (This article is being written prior to the start of the seventh and deciding game of the ALCS.) The thing that has impressed me the most so far is the defensive skills the catchers have displayed. Loosely staying with the catching theme for a bit, today’s article will be another of the catch up variety. Let’s explore.  

Decision

Thursday I was forced to decide which event to watch live: the Rays’ game, Joe Biden’s Town Hall or Donald Trump’s Town Hall. I opted for the game and while I wasn’t happy with the result – the Rays lost – I was with my decision.

Predictably Trump lied and generally proved himself to be the fool all with above room temperature IQs who are not willing sycophants already knew he was. Many of his lies were in the long debunked zombie lie category.

One that was not (if you exclude his recent pep rallies/super spreader events) was his claim that 85% of mask wearers contract COVID-19. That sounds much like Louie Gohmert’s (R-TX) claim that his mask gave him the coronavirus. Let’s play with numbers for a bit. Assume that 200 million Americans wear masks prudently. (I think my base number is low.) If 85% contracted the coronavirus we would have 170 million confirmed cases. The confirmed cases in America just passed 8 million last week. I have long contended that the official number is an undercount but certainly not by anything approaching 162 million. I rest my case.

Is Trump Really Good For TV Ratings?

I was surprised to learn that the ratings for ABC’s Biden Town Hall were actually higher than the ones for NBC’s version starring Trump. Generally more people watch the aftermath of an accident than normal traffic. Perhaps enough of the American viewership has finally had their fill of Trump’s circus.

Early Voting

The early and mail in voter turnout is off the charts. Normally that, coupled with Party registration data, would make me feel confident. It is certainly good news in that people are motivated and resolved to make it difficult to cheat them out of their vote. However, I wonder how large a portion of the turnout are simply voters who would have voted anyway but just cast their vote earlier than usual. To put it in a baseball metaphor, we are leading but it’s still the early innings.

California Burning

California has been devastated by wildfires again this year. Trump claims it is because they don’t do a good job of racking the leaves in their forests. Interestingly he never mentions (and probably doesn’t know) that most of their forest land is “managed” by the federal government. Thinking people (that excludes Trump and his crew) know that climate change is the major contributor to the increase in wildfires. In any event Trump stopped federal aid only reversing himself after a call from California Governor Gavin Newsom. Is that how he gets all the alleged compliments from Democratic governors? I think the mob calls that extortion.

California voters are subject to getting burned by the GOP too. The California Republican Party has put up several ballot drop-off boxes in highly contested congressional districts. That is of course illegal. It violates several state and federal statutes. (Good luck with Bill Barr allowing federal prosecutions.) Even after being told to cease and desist they have continued. Trump won’t win California but it wouldn’t take much in shenanigans to throw a few congressional districts to the Republicans. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, you gave these people fair warning, now have them arrested and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. This is a domestic terrorist assault on democracy.

Time For Lies But Not Relief

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett were held last week. I spent very little time watching or listening to them live. (That was another good time management choice on my part.) Basically the Republican Senators I heard insulted my intelligence and knowledge of the way the federal courts work. Perhaps it was good for Bubba but basically they went through a School House Rocks version of how the Court functions. Even then they were often misleading at best.

The Democratic Senators, knowing the outcome was a forgone conclusion, used their time largely to outline the damage a 6-3 Court will do to the American people in the hope of motivating voter turnout.

Senate Judiciary Chair Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has set October 22 as the date for the final Committee vote. Incidentally that is the date of the scheduled third and final presidential debate of the 2020 cycle. That debate may very well not take place and what will certainly be a Party line vote to recommend Barrett’s nomination to the full body would be a great distraction if Trump bails on the debate or refuses to follow the rules on testing (either of which is very possible).

I’m sure Massacre Mitch McConnell will find time to take up the nomination in short order after that. Trump wants Barrett seated prior to the election to enhance his chances of getting favorable election related rulings. Too bad Mitch doesn’t find the plight of the millions of Americans financially hurt by the pandemic nearly as important.

As to Barrett her defenders have made a big deal of defending her Catholic faith. I was raised Catholic and still remember a few things. Among them is the Eighth Commandment which reads: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”. That is a fancy way of saying, don’t lie. Judge Barrett would be advised to remember that! If memory serves me correctly that is a mortal sin so she better go to confession and get absolution and quickly.

She may also want to consider remedial reading classes. Prospective justices have to be careful about answering questions about cases that may come before them if they are confirmed. I understand that. Barrett wouldn’t answer questions on issues that are clearly spelled out in the Constitution or long established federal statute. She has serious gaps in her legal education (doubtful), can’t read at the sixth grade level (also doubtful) or is being deceitful (another form of lying). You choose.

A lot was left on the “cutting room floor” again but that is enough for my readers today.

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