Monday, April 29, 2024

Beat the Clock – SCOTUS Edition

It looks like we’re going to have to swallow hard this summer when the Supreme Court eventually hands down its ruling on whether TFG is immune from prosecution for anything he did during his term in office. Given the nature of their questions and complete disinterest in the facts of the case, it’s clear that they’re getting their proverbial fig leaves straight so they can hide behind them at decision time.

The disconnect is so vast here that it’s mind-boggling to comprehend. This is essentially what they’re saying they’re worried about: Future presidents being dogged by court battles once their terms end, by partisan, unscrupulous, prosecutors. They worry that such a Chief Executive may start a coup to remain in power to avoid later prosecution.


[Blink blink]


God damn. What greater evidence do we need to conclude that the current SCOTUS is 100% in the bag for Republicans? No serious jurist can possibly find that the president has carte blanche while in office. There is literally nothing to support this in the Constitution, which is supposedly the guidepost by which the “originalists” on the bench navigate the law. Obviously, that’s only when it serves to benefit Republicans and their business people, or their religious biases.

Furthermore, Clarence freakin’ Thomas was on the bench that heard the case, one in which his wife was boobs-deep. By not recusing himself on such a case, it makes a mockery of anyone being recused for anything. THIS is what recusal is designed for.

The real tapdance will be to formulate a decision that only helps the last Republican and no subsequent Democrats. There’s no way they want to give a president untouchable status until there’s a Republican in office.

To do so, they could do like some other pundits are predicting and wait as long as they can to boot the case back to the lower courts, so we can do this all again much later, long after the November election. That way, they’ll have allowed TFG to use the traditional GOP vote-suppressing flimflammery they’ve been honing over the last four years and weapons-grade disinformation to flood the field with confusion and apathy, to get himself re-elected.

If that happens, I think we’ll have seen our last practical election.

Speaking of court cases, TFG’s campaign finance trial has its first week in the books. The National Enquirer’s publisher, David Pecker, testified that he and The Donald were in bed with a catch-and-kill scheme used to keep bad news out of the press, so to avoid torpedoing his 2016 campaign.

We must remember that it’s not a crime to buy people’s silence, but accounting for it improperly has legal consequences. Campaign finance laws have some teeth and it appears the Trump campaign used as much care with that accounting as they did with the rest of his business empire, which is to say, they cut corners and fudged the books at every opportunity.

Meantime, the Right Wing echo chamber was working overtime to redirect the nation’s attention, with stories like this:

I don’t know what makes me angrier, the presumption that TFG sitting on his ass all day is an exception, or that he is not obligated to follow the same standards that bind everyone else in the country. And to use his golf game as evidence of an active lifestyle? If he were walking 18 holes every day, there might be a point. But you know he’s chauffeured right up to his ball all day long. What walking is there really? To and from the cart, that’s it.

If he’s “too active” to sit still for a day in court, how can he sit still in the Oval Office day after day?

All they’re doing is trying to move attention away from his intermittent dips into sleepy time. Misdirection from embarrassing issues is a staple in the Republican Playbook. Don’t cover the story, cover the sideshow.

Don’t look at the sleeping man behind the curtain! Look at how he’s being illegally prevented from witness tampering, like an average mob boss!


There was some good news last week… I think. I’m still not sure if this is good or bad.

I love the idea that the airlines will be required to give us refunds when flights get canceled or suffer lengthy delays. But will that absolve them of getting us where we need to go?

As it is, they hold our money if a flight is canceled, but they are obligated to get us on the next available flight, whether it’s on their own network, or outside it. What if you’re stranded in BFE and they’re like, “Well, we’re sorry. You’ll see a refund in seven business days. Good luck and safe travels. NEXT…”

All I’m saying is that I’m waiting to see the details. I think most of us would rather they keep the money and get us where we need to go rather than refund us but leave us stranded far from home. Even if you’re starting from home, you get your canceled flight refunded, but you still may be out for the cost of your cruise, resort, or hotel stay.

I’d rather see regulations improve so that fewer flights are cancelled, and cut the need for refunds at the outset.

Every time the airlines get a break on regulations, they always seem to find a way to skimp even harder, charge for more, and provide less. At this point, they might as well just stack us up like logs.


Did you hear that sound over the weekend? The sound of a dying career? It sounded just like the “BLAM BLAM” of SD Governor Kristi Noem executing her pet dog and goat. I’m sure she thought she was firming up her MAGA bona fides by featuring her ruthlessness, but unlike TFG, I’d wager a lot of her MAGA followers love dogs and could come up with various other ways to deal with an undisciplined pet than a double-tap to the brain.

If she really wanted to firm up her MAGA cred, she could have shot a Mexican and a burro, instead. Then they’d be putting up statues of her along the border.

And in pure Republican fashion, she wouldn't admit it was a mistake and doubled down on the butchery.

She didn’t really break any new ground though. She can’t avoid that she took the easy way out rather than doing (or hiring someone to do) the work. This will probably play well in South Dakota and the other vast states with more livestock than people than in the rest of the country.

I’d say a great many Americans don’t view their pets as disposable, regardless of party. I think this will make her toxic, nationally, when it comes to when TFG picks a running mate.

Hell, he’s probably pissed that she just showed herself to be even more callous than HE is. Can’t have that, can he? “Mushroom-dick” Trump and Kristi “Dog Killer” Noem? He won’t like the imbalance. All she has to do now is quit her job and she’ll be the Sarah Palin of the 2020s.


And now, just because I’m a hockey fan and I thought this was hilarious:

Say hello to your 2024-25 Ice Mormons!

Monday, April 22, 2024

Trials and Errors

Here we go, time for the Trial of the Century, at least until the next case in which TFG sits at the defendant’s table. TFG and the Republicans must have decided that given the preponderance of evidence that’s already public, their most effective strategy will have to be jury tampering.

He’s already holding court outside every day to smear the judge, jurors, their families, their pets, and anyone who owes them money, all the while claiming the trial is rigged, he’s being unfairly prosecuted, the judge is biased, and any other piece of poo he can throw at the wall. He knows this won’t help, but the goal is to get traction for his excuses ahead of time.

It’s the same thing he did in each presidential election. If he wins, the people have spoken. If he loses, it’s rigged. Heads I win, tails you lose. It’s the Republican way.

His minions in the media are going all in as well. Jesse Watters is trying to ID the jurors on Fox “News,” so they can get started with the smears and threats. And you may have seen this as well:

This schmo is openly asking for jurors to break the law and hold onto the foregone conclusion that Trump’s innocent no matter what the evidence shows, and create a hung jury.

This is what worries me the most because, despite prosecutors’ best efforts, they only get so many juror DQs. A quiet MAGA without anything incendiary on his social media could easily get on the jury. It only takes one to kibosh the whole thing. 12-0 is a tough ask under the best of circumstances and much tougher with emotions running so high. I just have to hope that any Trumpist who would tank such a case probably didn’t have the temperament to keep his feelings muted on Facebook or Twitter. It’s like all the insurrection idiots who posted their 1/6 whereabouts online. They’re too proud of it to STFU.

I hope the prosecution is ready for such an outcome and is prepared to refile the case immediately.


Last week I commented on another blog about how EmptyG isn’t even hiding her ties to Russia now and at this point, she couldn’t signal her allegiance to Putin any more clearly if she rode into Congress shirtless on a horse. Now I’m seeing several outlets nicknaming Moscow Marj. Let’s just remember that this isn’t exactly original. Moscow Mitch had the title first. Are we just going to keep handing it down to M-named Republicans as others wash out? Looks like Moscow Matt Gaetz would be next.

Granted, “Minsk Marj” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Maybe Leningrad Lindsey. Tsar Ted? We definitely need to branch out.


I have an update to my post last week about my eyeball surgery in which I had “floaters” removed from my right eye, and was dealing with an air bubble left inside, meant to protect the retina and dissipate over time. When I wrote the post, the bubble occupied the lower third of my vision in that eye. I could see perfectly above the line but had red-tinted “Walleye Vision” below. And of course, the eye looked like something out of a horror movie (and I will spare you the pictures.)

The bubble continued to dissipate throughout last week so that by Friday, it was about the size of a quarter, by Saturday, the size of a dime, and by Sunday, it was down to the size of the head of a thumbtack before it disappeared completely that evening. And there was much rejoicing throughout the land!

The eye redness has also cleared up, leaving only a small dark pinkish patch. I think it should be gone by the end of this week.

So, all in all, a good experience. While there are still some free-floating fragments, my vision is vastly better than it was. I’m anxious to get on with having the other eye done but I can’t even make the appointment for another 3 weeks.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Floaters: The Eyes Have It

Late in 2019, I wrote about developing floaters in my right eye, in conjunction with cataracts. I had cataract surgery the following January but was told I should just “get used to” having the floaters. There was surgery available, but they were reluctant to take the risk. They said it was “low risk, but not no risk.

So I adapted to looking through what looked like a twirling red spider web. Then, last December I developed floaters in my left eye as well. Trying to read anything, especially against a white background, (or watch hockey) was difficult and frustrating, like reading through a jellyfish. At that point, I began pursuing the surgical remedy for floaters, called a “Vitrectomy.”

This is a procedure where they use a laser to cut the floaters away from the inner lining of the eyeball, then drain out the floating material and eyeball fluid (aka Vitreous Fluid), and replace it.


Yes, it skeeves me out too. Whenever one thinks about eye surgery, the mind conjures up images like from this old ad for Thorazine:

I wonder how much Thorazine this ad ever sold. Seems counter-productive to me to terrify your prospective customers.

But I just had my right eye done last Wednesday so I’m here to tell you about it and try to provide some insight (heh) on the experience. Many web resources tell you what it is, but I didn’t see any that told you what it’s like to go through it.

For me, the scheduling was half the battle. My original surgery date was 3/27 but about two weeks before that, they called and said the doctor wouldn’t be in that day (then why schedule me in the first place?) and bumped it to 4/10, two weeks later. This was a kick in the head because the original date was perfect. Sweetpea (a schoolteacher) would be on spring break that week, so she wouldn’t have to make arrangements and write Sub Plans to cover her absence while she took me to and from my appointments. (They do a follow-up appointment the day after surgery, and then again a week later.) But after the postponement, she would have to do all the extra work. (Which she did, because she’s such a good wife!)

I was also required to get a pre-op physical, to ensure I was fit enough to undergo the surgery. (It was the same for my cataract surgery.) I was due for one in another couple of months anyway, so this one wouldn’t go to waste.

As with all the surgeries I’ve had in the past, there was a strict “No eating or drinking” edict to be followed from midnight until “go time.” That’s usually a piece of cake, but this appointment wasn’t until noon, so I wouldn't be allowed to eat all morning nor have my customary iced tea. On the bright side, I’d get to have a post-op feast!

So we arrived about 10 minutes early, checked in, and then sat on our thumbs for the next hour. Obviously, we were scheduled for their convenience and not ours. I understand it though. They had a lot of other patients rolling through there and dealing with latecomers would jam up the whole system.

They took me in around 1:00 and got started with putting dilation and numbing drops into my eye, and inserting in the IV. That would be used for administering the light anesthetic later. They don’t want you out cold, just comfortable and able to follow directions. There were several applications of drops and it took about 20 minutes for them to take effect.

I was in sweats and a T-shirt. They laid a tri-folded blanket on me and there was no need for the diabolical hospital gown. I swear those things are designed by a sadistic branch of IKEA.  As usual, I joked around with the nurses and anesthesiologist so that they would like me. Just like with restaurants, you never want to piss off someone who can spit in your food, or decide not to worry about your pain level.

I understood about the blanket later when they rolled me into the operation room, which was about 15 degrees colder than the previous room. I presume it’s something they do to keep the laser machines from overheating.

At this point, I felt fine. Even when they started working on me, I didn’t really notice any altered feeling. I was just going along with it. Maybe that’s the trick… getting a patient pliable without their noticing anything’s different.

The first thing they have to do is put injections into your eye, to numb the whole site. That is the part I was most concerned about because, you know… [shudder]. I wasn’t even sure when the doctor was doing it. He would say, “Look up and to the right. Now up and to the left.”

It wasn’t until he was halfway done that I even realized he was giving me the injections right then. I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t even see the needle. I suppose he brought it up from the opposite direction from the one he had me looking.

After that, they lowered a big device over my right eye and covered the left with a towel or something. I could hear various things beeping and the doctors moving about, but there was no pain whatsoever. If I didn’t need to keep my eye open, I could have had a nap.

Before I even knew it, they had a plastic eye guard taped in place (lined with gauze) and had me sitting up in the recovery room. They wheeled me back out to Sweetpea at about 2:30, so aside from the initial wait, the whole thing took an hour and a half.

Instructions were to keep the guard in place until the next day’s appointment, don’t get it wet, don’t sleep on my back with my head facing up, not bend at the waist, no alcohol, and don’t pick up anything over 20 pounds. No problem.

On the way home we picked up some KFC for my post-op feast. (It had been a long time because I usually tried to stay away from eating things that would kill me. But it was sooo good.) It’s weird operating with only one eye. My depth perception was definitely off, so when I reached for something, it usually took some adjustments in aim. So I had to be careful not to poke myself in the eye with a chicken bone or spork full of mashed potatoes.

After that, nap time! I put in a solid two hours, then got up, watched a little TV, then turned in early. I figured the more time I spent asleep, the less time I’d have to wander around all cockeyed.

The next morning’s follow-up appointment would be the moment of truth. I was dying to see what I’d be seeing. They told me things would be blurry for a while but would gradually clear up over a week. When the eye tech removed the guard, I was shocked. I expected it to be blurry as in the letters looking distorted or unfocused. What I got was looking through a fish bowl. Then I really started to panic when the tech started going through the usual drill of asking what I could see.

She was like, “Can you read these letters?


Now how about these?”

No. I can’t even see that there are letters there, let alone read them.”

She narrowed it down to one giant letter, which I still could not see. So she asked how many fingers she was holding up. I was like, “I can’t even see that you have a hand.”

She left to let the next batch of dilation eye drops take effect before the doctor came in.

Now, I was expecting the blurriness, but the fact that she was testing me like I could still see something made me start to seriously worry, especially sitting alone in the room for 20 minutes. I kept thinking, “Holy shit, why couldn’t you have just lived with the @#$% floaters?

When the doctor came in, he explained that the issue was that because I had a retina tear repaired in this eye four years earlier, they injected an air bubble into my eye to protect the repair site. It was this bubble that was making things seem like I was underwater. It was like my face was a leveling tool and the eye contained the bubble you try to line up. The bubble would reabsorb into my eyeball/face gradually over the next week. He said that after examining it, everything looked good, just like it was supposed to look. I was greatly relieved.

I guess the tech who scared the shit out of me was just going through the usual pre-visit checklist they do with every patient.

So I was dismissed with basically the same warnings. Don’t rub, keep water out, use the guard for sleeping, stay off my back (looking up), no bending from the waist, and take it easy for a while. He also mentioned that some people use an eye patch while they’re healing, which is exactly what I’d planned to do. 

We stopped for an eye patch at the drugstore on the way home, although not before I poked myself in the repaired eye with the earpiece of the sunglasses I was trying to put on. Like I said, the hand/eye coordination is way off when you’re down to mono-vision. I was lucky that the numbing drops were still in effect so it didn’t hurt, but I was worried that I jostled the whole structure which would cause more focusing problems.

At the store, I had the choice between the traditional black eye patch or the adhesive “Band-Aid” colored ones. I went for the black patch, obviously. So I could either wear my Pittsburgh Pirates ball cap and audition to be their new mascot or put on a straw hat and go out on tour singing “Cover of the Rolling Stone.”

Once home, I got to scope out the site in the mirror and yeah, it was as bad as I expected. Basically, the cornea from the bridge of the nose to the iris was bright blood-red. Again, it’s supposed to clear up over time.

I wore the eye patch constantly for the first couple of days. It was hard to see clearly, not only because of the mono-vision but because I still have floaters in my left (good) eye, so what vision I had was often blurry.

By the weekend, I could see a distinct reddish line going across the upper portion of my vision, like I was looking through a goldfish bowl, at the water level. Throughout the weekend, the line began to get lower and I found I could see reasonably well over the line. If I looked down, I could see a clear darkish circle. It was almost like a magnifying glass, in that if I held something up and looked through the circle, I could see it in super detail. But the farther away, the blurrier it got.

Today is Monday and I’m not wearing the patch at all. All of my computer screen is “above the line,” and the bubble is shrinking steadily. I’m betting that I should be fine by the end of the week. And then it will be time to schedule to have the other eye done. And that one should be a breeze because they won’t have to inject a bubble into that eye. Plus, my right eye will be floater-free.

OK, there are still a few tiny fragments floating around. I’m not sure if those will settle out or if I’m stuck with them, but it’s still a big difference.

If you ever consider such a procedure, I fully recommend doing it. The pain was minimal, (managed with Tylenol) and the recovery hasn’t been bad at all. I don’t yet know what the cost will be but I’m sure it will be worthwhile. One’s sight is something that’s often taken for granted, right up until it becomes damaged.

I write posts like these to help people who are evaluating whether they should undergo such a procedure and provide some first-hand information. If you have a question I haven’t addressed, please drop it in Comments.

Here’s looking at (anything), kid.”

Director’s DVD Commentary: Here’s to anyone who got that “Cover of the Rolling Stone” joke! Dr. Hook lives!

Monday, April 8, 2024

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Anyone feel that Northeastern earthquake last Friday? I can report that I felt no such thing here in Baltimore, although others had reportedly felt it in the Baltimore/DC area.

Never one to leave a solid omen unpoliticized, Rep. MT Greene (3-Toes GA) proffered the following wisdom:

God is sending America strong signs to tell us to repent. Earthquakes and eclipses and many more things to come. I pray that our country listens.”

As soon as the rational population could stop laughing, they went about setting the record straight, in that eclipses are known hundreds, if not thousands of years ahead of time, and that there are up to 55 earthquakes that strike the planet each day.

Never one to back down from having said something stupid, Greene doubled down by citing more Bible passages:

Yes, even if we accept the irrationality of using the Bible to clear up geological and astrological phenomena, is THIS the person we need to provide the interpretation?

Maybe she has one of those customized Bibles, that contains a passage somewhere that reads, “Let some hateful, small-minded, charlatan conjure up fascist propaganda in My name.”

How do we know that the correct interpretation of these incidents isn’t that it’s a warning against restricting people’s personal freedoms at the behest of one small aggressive sect of religious whackaloons?

That’s what I say it is and I have as much experience in what God intends with His omens, as Ms. Greene does.

Of course, she’s not really talking to the country, she’s addressing the sheep who have elected her twice. I wonder what she’s ever done for her district, other than provide a misplaced air of haughty superiority. I’ll never understand how after her first term, her district could look at the job she’s done and go, “Yeah, we want more of THAT!

No Labels, No Problem

I saw last week that the “No Labels” group is abandoning their attempt to run a third-party presidential candidate. One less distraction in the mix, that’s always a good thing. I don’t think they realized how transparent their stated, high-minded intentions were. No matter what their messaging said, everyone could see it was all about sabotaging Biden’s reelection chances by siphoning off Democratic votes.

I’m sure the reason they couldn’t find anyone to carry their banner is that anyone paying attention knew that they’d be a mere sacrificial lamb, with zero chance of winning. Any serious candidate is going to wait until TFG is out of the mix, as well as an incumbent president, and take a chance in the free-for-all in 2028. No sense in wasting reputation and resources on a predetermined trouncing.

More from the Echo Chamber

I’m not even addressing the details of this tragedy, other than to point out one of Fox “News’s” most common misdirections.

Biden ridiculed for obvious hypocrisy…” Who do you think is doing this ridiculing? Well gee, I bet it’s all those talking heads at Fox, OAN, Breitbart, and the rest of the Republican bubble. They manufacture the controversy, and then go, “Hey look, there’s a controversy,” as if it’s a legitimate news story. Rule number one in journalism is that you don’t become part of the story. But I don’t expect that Fox has many J-School grads on the payroll.

Today’s Debunkery

I culled this from Facebook last week:

Just another hunk of fallacy from the fossil fuel industry and their trolls. The point of electric cars isn’t what’s put into them as much as what comes out. Even though there is energy necessary to charge up the car, the emissions are zero.

And the electricity used for charging is created with less pollution than gasoline. So it doesn’t have to be pristine, just less than what we already do. We can’t let “perfect” become the enemy of “better.” But the oil companies don’t want you to think about that. They just want to keep the gasoline gravy train running as long as it can.

And to be clear, I don’t think we’re ready for widespread use of electric cars because the infrastructure is not there yet. It won’t be until there are more charging stations across the “heartland” away from urban centers, and the time needed for charging is brought down. But the tech is advancing steadily and these issues will be ironed out soon enough. But memes like this are trying to sow the seeds of mistrust, to keep the population hooked on gas, regardless of the effect on climate.

Turn Around…

So, today was Eclipse Day. (Gee, I wonder if I can find a US Representative from Nowheresville to explain to me what it all means!)

As Baltimore wasn’t in the path of totality, it was kind of like the sun went behind a thick cloud for a while. It was still light, but sickly-looking, as if it was from an old photograph or a spooky movie. When I went out to retrieve our recyclables bin from the curb, I considered grabbing my post-dilation dark shades and wrap them around my usual sunglasses, but I still knew better than to risk my eyesight just for a glimpse of odd-looking light.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Bridge Over Stupid Water

I knew something bad happened that day last week when just before my alarm went off, my wife, Sweetpea, came into the room and sat on the bed, looking at me. My first reaction was like, “Oh crap, what happened?” I thought for sure it would be something like a friend or relative got maimed or killed, or worse, something happened to the dog. But no.

The Key Bridge collapsed,” she told me.

I was relieved it wasn’t any of the tragedies I was imagining. That’s the thing about first reactions; they start with a small personal orbit. Then as it sinks in, the bigger picture begins to emerge.

My next thoughts were, “OK, no big deal for us.” She’s a Baltimore native and I’ve lived here 27 years, but we’re on the other side of town from the bridge. If you think of the I-695 beltway around the city as a clock face, the bridge is between 4 and 5, and we live just outside the midway point between 9 and 10. All of our families live on the west side, as well. I haven’t been over that bridge in probably 25 years.

But then the rest of the details start to become clear… it’s a major shipping port for the East Coast. This missing bridge will force thousands of people to reroute, which will invariably impact the stretch of I-695 that we do use. Most days traffic is already a monumental CF and this will make it worse for the next four to five years it will take to rebuild.

The shipping industry employs a ton of people, from dock workers, to truckers moving the goods, to cruise ships, and so on. There are going to be some big ripples, for sure. And there are cargo ships already in the harbor that need to get out. I understand that the ones on the way in will be rerouted to Norfolk or Philly.

My next reaction was about how fortunate it was that this happened in the wee hours of the morning.

Of course, there were lives lost along with the bridge. They know a handful of road workers went into the water; two were rescued, two more were recovered too late, with the rest presumed dead as well. That’s truly tragic. But imagine if there was bumper-to-bumper traffic on that bridge when it fell. I’d bet several hundred would have been killed, at least.

Early warnings from the boat reached the bridge control people, who were able to shut down the bridge to the cars that were on the way, which saved further lives. Those people are heroes.

This was the first headline I saw that morning:

Seriously? Morning commuters. “Oh yeah, we’ll have it all put back together for the afternoon rush hour, no problem.” Who writes these things?

As the TV news coverage was unfolding that morning, I asked Sweetpea, “Now how long is it going to take before someone tries to blame Biden?

Well, it took a while for the Republicans to drag President Biden into it but right off the bat, they framed the situation using the template of their standard talking points. Blaming DEI, illegal aliens, Secretary Pete Buttigieg, insufficient funding for infrastructure (Hah!), and everything else they could throw at the wall.

They blasted the Mayor of Baltimore, Brandon Scott, for not wearing a suit at the first press conference, again, making up rules on the spot that only Democrats have to follow.

It’s the Tan Suit scandal for the mid-20s! They’re probably just surprised that this guy is Mayor. He looks like he should be worrying about his date for the senior prom, as opposed to long-range urban transportation planning.

Idiots who were previously experts on economics, viral transmission, bio-weapons, and reproductive biology are now experts on bridge construction, blaming design flaws for the collapse.

I’m no physics expert, but I’m quite confident that if you ram a fully loaded cargo ship smack into a central support pylon for any bridge in America, that fucker is coming down. There is no need for conspiracy theories here. It’s just the inevitable effect of a huge mass hitting a vastly smaller immovable object.

I was happy when I heard President Biden announce that the Federal Government would supply the necessary funding for rebuilding the bridge, but that opened the door to Republicans, who will disagree with Democrats on literally anything.

I'm sorry, but how is this not the exact situation in which the government should help? It's a colossal mishap that affects the entire mid-Atlantic region. Jobs are lost, the supply chain is interrupted, and there's a massive reconstruction to be done. This is what governments are supposed to do! Unless, of course, you're a Republican, who thinks the government exists to coddle the wealthy and ensure they stay that way.

I presume his objection is that the shipping company should be footing the bill. He’s not wrong, however, how soon do you think it will be before anyone that money actually appears? I’m guessing years, if ever. The shipping company is already requesting they be held exempt from responsibility. So let The Fed foot the bill, so that the removal and reconstruction can begin immediately, and then seek reimbursement on the back end. These aren't mutually exclusive positions.

The video of the crash clearly shows the ship losing power before veering off course to the right, and eventually hitting the bridge support. So the big questions will be, what happened on the ship? Why did they lose power? Were safety protocols followed? Were there corners cut?

The answers to those questions will dictate who ultimately pays.

I don’t see what the Republicans are grousing about. A white guy piloted a fossil-fuel-burning ship into a bridge, killing a handful of Latino men, who were repairing a road. The Black Mayor and Governor are taking heat, as is the Democratic President. As far as they’re concerned, the system works.


In other news from last week, I was amused to watch the hiring and almost immediate firing of former RNC Chairwoman Ronna (No longer Romney) McDaniel and subsequent brouhaha.

Naturally, Republicans are jumping on the bandwagon claiming that conservative voices are being censored. That’s fine for breathless hyperbole, but in the real world, this has nothing to do with Right vs Left. This is a question of journalism vs disinformation. If they want to see network TV balanced with equal voices from the political spectrum, they can start with Fox “News.”

Of course the trained journalists in the NBC universe are going to be pissed about hiring an election-denying shill. McDaniel went out and espoused every fallacy TFG ever spouted, essentially claiming up was down, black was white, the sky is blue, and brown people will end America as we know it. NBC should have known better and clipped this dumbass hiring at the onset. At the very least, they should be able to read their own room.

The rub for Republicans is that those who do appear “sane” and were averse to propagating looney conspiracy theories have been run out of the party, so there’s not much left to choose from to carry the company water.

And speaking of the buffoonery at the RNC, we have to be careful in adjusting our expectations of what happens when the Trump Crime Family assumes ownership. Like with this message:

Just because the RNC will become the TFG’s legal trouble cash cache and donations dry up, doesn’t mean that those who used to donate there will sit on their money. The Powers That Be will still endeavor to bankroll the races as they see fit, they’ll just use or create different PACs to handle it.

Republicans have been quite successful in winning “down-ticket” state and local races. Putting money into and winning state legislature races is what’s allowed them to gerrymander the House so thoroughly.

Dems will only have a chance at these races if they compete in and fully fund them. They have to run serious, qualified candidates, vie for every office, and stick to the popular messaging (Reproductive freedom, support Social Security/Medicare, support the democratic process by removing artificial barriers to voting, raise taxes on the rich/remove gaping loopholes.)

It would be nice to think Republicans will just implode but there is too much money available to prop them up. After all, it takes a special kind of person to fight for the lowest taxes on the richest people. Such candidates have to be recruited, nurtured, brain-washed, and admitted into all the best Secret Societies. It’s the only way they protect their nut.