I just learned that my sweet, kind cousin Kathy has died as the result of several recently discovered brain tumors. I hadn’t seen her for decades, so in my mind she’s still 35, vibrant and beautiful. I have to come to terms with the fact that we had no relationship at this point, but her loss still stings. She lived alone after her marriage with a real creep fell apart; never had children. Like all of the Coulourises (my mother’s side), family was so important to her. I could have picked up the phone.
1. I suppose today’s anniversary of Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamationin 1862 has to be noted, but it was a strategic act, not an especially ethical one. After all, it exempted slaves in the border states, which allowed slavery but had not joined the Confederacy. After the Union’s sort-of victory at the Battle of Antietam earlier in the month, Lincoln announced that enslaved people in areas still in rebellion within 100 days would be free. Then, on January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” Note that it freed no slaves that he had the power to free, but the maneuver successfully made the Civil War about human rights. Anti-slavery nations like Great Britain and France, which the Confederacy desperately wanted as allies, couldn’t back the Confederacy after Lincoln made the war explicitly a statement against slavery.
2. Does Mitt Romney have any core principles at all? If he does, I don’t know what they are. It has always been clear—I hope— that he is a pure pragmatist, doing whatever he thinks will work at any given time. Non-ideologues often make effective leaders: FDR was one. Lincoln too. Romney would hate this, but Donald Trump is like Romney in that regard. (So are Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.). Over in the Facebook hive, the Deranged are gnashing their teeth over Romney’s announcement that he’ll vote for a qualified nominee for SCOTUS. I guess they thought that he would be like John McCain, and be governed by spite. Sure, Romney voted for impeachment because it was meaningless except to give the President a poke in the eye. He is still a Senator from Utah, however. he’s not going to torpedo an effort to solidify a conservative majority on SCOTUS.
If he were a Senator representing Massachusetts, it would be a different tale.
3. Black Lives Matter quietly deleted the “what we believe” page on its website. You know, that was where the group said its mission is to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” to “dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work ‘double shifts’ so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work,” as well as “foster a queer-affirming network” by “freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual.” Maybe they were afraid all of those corporations, sports teams and politicians proclaiming their support might finally decide to read about what they were endorsing.
4. Forget the “everybody does it” defense of Mitch McConnell. I’m seeing this invlaid argument a lot in the conservative blogosphere: Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff told CNN anchor Jake Tapper that there was no hypocrisy in McConnells apparently flip-flop. “It’s a pretty easy historical precedent,” Short’s carefully prepared talking point went. Of 29 SCOTUS vacancies in the final year of a Presidential term, “19 of those vacancies … happened when the majority party was the same party of the president. Of those 19, nine out of 10 were confirmed before election day, and another eight out of nine after election day in the lame duck period.”
Of ten vacancies that occurred when the party in control in the Senate was a different party than the President,however, Short pointed out that only one out of 10 was filled before election day.
So what McConnell did in 2016 has been done before. So what? It’s unethical no matter how often its been done.
[Aside: you know what’s fun? Asking someone who is distraught over the Notorious RBG’s passing to name a single opinion she authored that impresses them.]
5. Gee, I wonder who’s at fault for this? “TRUMP 2020” was just painted on a busy thoroughfare in multiple Massachusetts towns. In Brooklyn, New Yorkers painted an expanse of Brooklyn blacktop with the yellow message “Fuck Cuomo and de Blasio” over the weekend.
Good. When city governments abuse their power by using city property as political billboards, ” tit for tat” is the proper response.
6. “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” All the news media has to do is play it straight, and they just can’t do it. The Washington Free Beacon checked the social media posts of voters ABC News said were undecided and on that basis selected to question President Donald Trump during a network town hall last week The network claimed its town hall “provided uncommitted voters the opportunity to ask the president questions about issues affecting Americans.”
Right. One questioner was Kutztown University professor Ellesia Blaque. ABC repeatedly identified him as “uncommitted.” Yet he praised vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris (this also marks her as an idiot) during the Democratic primary, saying she would “be there, volunteering” for the California senator in Pennsylvania. In 2019 tweets, the professor called Trump a “fucking moron,” “pathetic,” “pig,” “swine,” and “punk ass.”
You know: uncommitted.
Her Facebook describes herself as “liberal Democrat.” Another “uncommitted” voter who participated in grilling the President was Philadelphia pastor Carl Day, Last month he tweeted that he’s “never once supported trump and won’t now.” He also tweeted “Make America Great Again” slogan refers to a time in which “the niggers did what they were told in all industries, wouldn’t have the audacity to try to enter a white establishment and didn’t talk back to the cops.” Day called Trump a “villain,” and “ridiculously arrogant & obnoxious.”