It’s been a bit since my last sweeping and there is plenty to clean up. Let’s go.
No Cause For Applause
Congress managed to keep the government open until December 16th. The fact that something like that makes the news tells me everything I need to know. Keeping the lights on is the most basic function. Celebrating it is like throwing a company wide party because an employee showed up for work two days in a row.
In addition to that did you notice that the next manufactured crisis point is after the mid-term and just before Congress leaves for holiday break?
Failure To Act On A Basic Integrity Issue
Congress is gone from DC again. This time, in most cases, to campaign for reelection. Proposed legislation that would have prohibit members from owning stock failed to get a vote. Only a fool would believe that members, of both parties, have never traded based on insider information they gleaned as part of their duties. Only that same fool would believe that members never have lobbied legislation that favored their investments.
The simple way to prevent those practices and the perception that they exist is to prohibit members and their close family members or surrogates from holding stock. The majority of Americans manage to exist without owning stock; I’m sure members of Congress could also. If you think that rule is too onerous then simply don’t run for the seat.
I’ve never thought of Brett Farve as a queen but he does seem to fit the definition of a welfare cheat or to put it in Reaganesque terms a welfare queen. Maybe after all these decades the Republicans finally found one.
Two Wise Men
Over the last few days, I had the good fortune to hear two pearls of wisdom; one in person and the other on TV.
As part of a book club discussion my local independent bookseller, Dave Lucey, said, “Marriage isn’t about sex; marriage is about love.” Think about that for a bit. It clears up and simplifies a lot of things.
During an interview with Chris Hayes, Senator Raphael Warnock uttered this gem, “A vote is a kind of prayer.” If you boil it down to its simplest it really is. When we vote we hope/ask for a certain outcome; not that different from praying.
I’m not sure who the worst Senator is but Ted Cruz of Texas is certainly in that discussion. When the Senate version of the Presidential Election Reform Act came before the Senate Rules Committee, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took the unusual step of addressing the committee to announce his support. The bill cleared committee one vote short of unanimous. You guessed it, Cruz voted against it. Preserving loopholes and staying in the good graces of MAGA Republicans is more important to him that American democracy. Even Mitch isn’t that evil.
A little known fact is that at one time Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes – who lost an eye in a self inflicted gun accident – was a staffer for then Republican Representative Ron Paul. Maybe odd ducks are birds of a feather.
Method To His Madness?
Trump seems to say one crazy, and often contradictory, thing after another. In the long run Trump fears criminal, more than civil charges. Could he be gearing up for an insanity defense? Could you find him sane?
History Repeating Itself
Giorgia Meloni was elected Prime Minister of Italy. Her party is basically dedicated to the memory of Mussolini. Remember Mussolini preceded Hitler and was the father of fascism in 1930s Europe. Meloni has a long association with Steve Bannon who is close to Donald Trump. None of this stuff happens in a vacuum or is totally new. In large part her victory occurred due to low voter turnout – the far right turned out. Take that as a warning!
A Food Fact
Currently we produce enough food to feed the world’s population. Access; affordability and distribution are the challenges. While difficult, they are all surmountable. With climate change unabated there is a very good chance that demand (in the case of food need) will outstrip supply. That is insurmountable.
It has recently been reported that many Republican members of Congress privately refer to Donald Trump as “Orange Jesus”. Trust me, its neither a term of respect nor endearment.
Don’t expect Trump’s support to drop by much until and unless he reaches the end. When he started to very openly embraced QAnon you knew he was down to basically his most loyal supporters and couldn’t afford to lose them. Until they make a sudden mass exodus they will stick with him.
Endure The Frustration
Merrick Garland and the Justice Department appear to be moving agonizingly slowly. First, we don’t know all that is going on because they play by the rules and keep investigation quiet until and unless they turn into charges. Remember it was Trump, not Justice, that publicized the search warrant service at Mar-a-Lago.
They are fighting domestic terrorism and just like fighting foreign terrorism you have to be right the first time, every time. They can’t lose this one!
That’s enough for today but the floor is still loaded. XIII can’t be too far into the future.
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