Monday, December 12, 2022

Good News and Bad News

Several good things happened last week, but naturally, there are dark linings for these silver clouds.

Good News: Hey, we improved our majority in the Senate. Now we only have to worry about Manchin OR Sinema. Surely one or the other can be bought off persuaded to vote for Democrat-sponsored bills.

Bad News: 1.7 million people thought sending Hershel Walker to Washington was a good idea. Thank goodness for the 1.8 million that didn’t. This is a guy I wouldn’t have considered qualified to work in my record store back in the day, yet almost half the Georgia voters thought he would make a good Senator. They should just remake the state motto to read: Georgia, the “Low Bar” State.

The thought of Walker going to Congress left me with one distinct mental image:

Good News: The House passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which is expected to be signed by the President today. The law provides national protection for any valid marriage performed in any state, including same-sex and inter-racial marriages, which appeared targeted in some conservative circles. Forty-seven GOP Representatives voted for the bill.

Bad News: The vote should have been unanimous, but there are still way too many Republicans beholden to the Religious Right.

It also occurred to me that there might be a downside to passing this law. Justice Thomas indicated in his concurring opinion to the Dodd ruling (overturning Roe v Wade) that they may also look at overturning same-sex marriage, contraception, and the right to privacy. One of the things I thought would prevent such a ruling would be the utter disaster created by dissolving existing marriages all over the country. It would be chaos, affecting the lives of untold numbers of families, especially those with children. But now with the threat of such chaos off the table, the Supremes may be more emboldened to overturn Obergefell completely.

I’m not saying the new law is a bad thing, at all. I’m sure it allows affected families to breathe easier, knowing their family will be intact, at least as long as they can stand each other. But it’s unfortunate that people who are currently single may not have the option to marry on the table in their state for very much longer. I wonder if there’s going to be a run on same-sex marriages, trying to get them on the books before SCOTUS torpedoes another basic human right, just to appease a tiny percentage of religious wingnuts.

Good News: The US enacted a prisoner swap with Russia to get Brittney Griner back from a Russian prison, after being convicted of possession of cannabis oil. She was sentenced to seven years in prison, for something that if not legal here, would scarcely earn her a ticket.

Bad News: We were not able to trade for Paul Whelan, an American serviceman held on espionage charges. Naturally, conservatives are enraged that Griner is free and Whelan isn’t, and expressing their displeasure with their customary grace and dignity obnoxious hissy fits.

It looks like all the former experts on virology, tax law, the Constitution, and computer forensics are not experts in international diplomacy.

How the eff do they figure she “hates America?” Was she not a two-time gold medalist for the USA? I knew this shit would blow up for the simple Republican optics: The Black, lesbian, woman went free and the White military man did not. Cue the strains of White Oppression.

Also, consider that there is a vast difference between a civilian in a Russian prison for “drugs” versus US military personnel charged with espionage. Didn’t they ever watch Sesame Street? One of these things is not like the other. The White House says the charges are bogus, but who really knows? They would say that even if the charges were accurate. So Russia refused to deal on Whelan, despite multiple overtures from the US. So they took the deal they could get, rather than leave both in prison. But then, that’s Republican politics… “Unless I get what I want, no one gets anything.”

I think if Whelan’s family understands the deal, everyone else should STFU. As far as I’m concerned, it’s “Anti-American” to be a misogynistic, racist, fuckwit.


Friendly Neighborhood Spiderwoman said...

More smoke and mirrors.

They are only pro-American military when it suits them.

Didn't they cheer for Trump calling McCain a loser?

I smell BS

bluzdude said...

I've been blowing that horn for years. Republicans are only interested in the military in the abstract. They're the first to chime in that we can't do "x" for anyone else without first solving homelessness among vets. But when they have undisputed power and the opportunity to take action... crickets.

If a Democrat had said about servicemen what TFG did, at a military gravesite in Europe, they'd have been calling for his head on a pike. But it was "their guy," so... crickets.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Some twit said to me that she doesn't deserve to be released because she had hemp/or pot or whatever. And that we should never give them dangerous people in exchange. Well, do we have sweet grandmas in there? WTF is wrong with people?

Friendly Neighborhood Spiderwoman said...

My goodness. MTG and her 5 families meeting comments.

Does she NOT understand that her JOB is to work for US??? Meaning us the citizens and US the united states?

Her job is NOT to sit around having mafia meetings planning attacks.

Geez Louise. Just wow. I cannot stand her.

bluzdude said...

If someone thinks possession of hemp or pot is worthy of a 7-year sentence in a Russian jail, then it's no use in even talking to them about it further. These "offenses" are perfectly legal in many parts of this country.

I give Biden credit for going and getting one of our people, even at the price of a criminal going free. It's the cost of doing business and exactly why Russia grabbed her up. It doesn't make any sense to leave her there just because we can't get someone else out.

MT Green is truly an acolyte of TFG... an idiot who thinks she's a genius. I can't imagine how dumb her constituents must be to think she is the best person to represent them.