President Donald Trump was offered–and accepted–a temporary upgrade from his usual dwelling in the 9th and lowest circle of Hell to join Senator Mitch McConnell in the 8th circle. Both gave speeches attacking the credibility of women. After the speeches McConnell stayed amongst the “barrators” (corrupt politicians) in the 8th circle of Dante’s Inferno, while Trump was remanded downward to the bottom basement reserved for the treacherous. Mark Judge had no comment as he read Superman comics in the back seat of his car in Bethany Beach, Delaware
The money quote today–the category 5 of disrespect–from the president was that, re Dr. Blasey Ford, “I have given her a lot of time.” Actually, I am feeling that this president has taken up a lot of this country’s time, and really, his time is about up.
Why was Senator “Cocaine Mitch” McConnell (as Don Blankenship called him) lying about the Constitution–on Constitution Day? What was he thinking when he made up the utterly fake news that the sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh was put forward at the “11th hour” in an “irregular manner”? The Constitution, I can assure the Senator, says nothing about any deadline or 11th hour or timeline of any kind for considering Supreme Court nominees. Also, Merrick Garland, but I digress. Article 2, section 2, clause 2 of the Constitution gives the president of the United States the responsibility of appointing people (not necessarily judges or even lawyers) to become “Judges of the Supreme Court,” and also gives the Senate the power to “advise and consent” on nominations. There is nothing in article 2 or anywhere else in the Constitution about an “11th hour.” Of course the Republican-controlled Senate is eager to confirm this nominee, and to attack the credibility of anyone standing in the way of their project to reshape the high court. But they are hesitating, for good political reasons, to go forward with a vote on Kavanaugh. And it has nothing at all to do with respect for the text or the original public meaning of the United States Constitution.
The midterm elections are so close now that as far as I am concerned, Mitch McConnell can do whatever he sees fit, and reap the benefit or pay the price. He has no good choices, and he knows it. When McConnell starts making process arguments, and dishonest ones at that, he’s losing.
Salisbury Cathedral was marvelous, especially the 123-meter spire–no I did not just look that up on Wikipedia, I always wanted to see a spire of exactly 123 meters, in order to promote interfaith cooperation between the great Orthodox Christian white Russians and the antifascist English Gothics. Poison? Why do you even bring that up, we were not in Ukraine or Moldova, we were in the land of the second homes of our best oligarchs, why would we risk poisoning one of their serfs? The Czar would not ask us to do such a thing.
Putin’s trolling of the Anglo-Americans may have hit a peak of cynicism with the interview on Russian TV of the two alleged poisoners. They say they were just visiting Salisbury Cathedral because they appreciate Gothic architecture, and the clock. Uh-huh. Did they also enjoy Salisbury Cathedral’s (said to be the best preserved of the original 1215 documents) Magna Carta? Maybe next time, eh?
An official statement from Google’s public policy blog yesterday announced “Our Testimony to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.” But it wasn’t actually testimony, or even prepared remarks to kick off a day of actual testimony by a living human being. It was merely a series of bullet points purporting, absurdly, to be “testimony.” Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter, bless their living beating hearts, actually showed up and testified this morning–perhaps evasively and self-servingly, but they testified.
Should we conclude that Google’s pretend testimony is the first fruit of their quiet abandonment of “don’t be evil” as company motto? Or that Alphabet’s AI engines have malfunctioned and cannot comprehend the plain meaning of the word “testimony”? In other words, “evil” or “stupid”? I am agnostic on this question.
It was nice to see yesterday that Republican Senator Ben Sasse recognizes that the United States is in danger of becoming a banana republic (in his statement criticizing President Trump’s tweet attacking the Attorney General for not blocking indictments of Republican Congressmen). It was nice to see that Senator Jeff Flake also realizes that Trump’s open assault on the rule of law is problematic. What’s more problematic, though, is that neither Sasse nor Flake seem to feel obliged to do anything about the threat of Trump’s subversion of justice. I expect they want to run for president, and what senator doesn’t? But they do not seem to see far enough out ahead to imagine that they have responsibilities, so long as they are in the Senate, to preserve and protect the Constitution. If they want to be remembered well in the end, they and other Republicans in Congress would do well to realize that the crisis is upon them, and upon us. Not that they should become Democrats, if they believe that the Republican Party can still be a vehicle for positive things. But they can and should put sand in the gears of Trump’s attacks on the Department of Justice and the legitimate and necessary checks and balances on an obviously out-of-control president. If they think that their actions and inactions are not being watched, they are fooling themselves. They are in a pickle, all right. I am honestly not sure what I would do in their position. But if they want to be American heroes, this is their moment, now and for the rest of this Congressional session. Same goes for the rest of the GOP, including Speaker Ryan and Senator Collins and even Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley. Even Dana Rohrabacher and Louie Gohmert. Why let them be judged by the soft bigotry of low expectations?