Rose bush outside St. George Condo, 21st Street NW, Washington, D.C., 1:34 p.m., May 8, 2020
I'm home on this wet, windy Friday night watching my old, late TV shows -- variously on Antenna TV, Cozi TV, and MeTV. Right now, I'm watching a Perry Mason episode I have not previously seen ("The Case of the Two-Faced Turnabout"). It's not a typical Perry Mason episode.
White flower, Newport Place NW, Washington, D.C.,
1:26 p.m., May 7, 2020
The front has blasted through and is ushering in an out-of-season blustery cold snap for the weekend. The rain has ended but the wind is blowing -- gusts to 45-mph. Temps are already down to 45°F and tomorrow's high might not break 52°F, a record low high for the day (see previous entry for weather-related posting). I'll try to have another weather-posting tomorrow night.
Wet night view, 22nd Street near Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 9:01 p.m., May 8, 2020
I took the Metro from L'Enfant Plaza after finishing up the first batch of monthly progress reports and went to the Foggy Bottom Whole Foods and was walking home in the gusty rainy showers.
My plan for tomorrow is to take a walk -- possibly with Gary and Aydin -- up to the National Cathedral and then on a route back through Georgetown. My plan is also to stop for a bit on the grounds of the National Cathedral and again at Holy Rood Cemetery for a snack and a drink or two -- which I'll have to bring along in a backpack.
As with other recent entries, the outdoor images in this entry are from a mélange of images that I took over the past week They are not topically related to the entry topic but instead are meant to break up the text with pretty imagery. I'm only captioning some of them.
I took them primarily here in D.C. on walks from my apartment to my L'Enfant Plaza office -- a walk I did all five days this past work week -- but a few from my afternoon backseat car trip accompanying Doug and Fred up to Carroll County, Md., on my first trek out of the District since February.
Willow tree on a spring day, Brookeville, Md., 1:27 p.m., May 2, 2020
I mention this because for this entry, I'd like to post a topically-specific one with a political bent and with accompanying commentary.
Spring day in a yard, Brookeville, Md., 1:27 p.m.,
May 2, 2020
May 2, 2020
One of my political pet peeves -- one that triggers an unwanted visceral reaction in me -- is anything involving the GOP Cult's ongoing generational packing of the federal judiciary.
It is an amoral but highly effective strategy of filling the federal judiciary with phalanxes of smarmy, self-righteous, besuited-but-slimy Federalist Society federal judge types (like this masked ass-wipe at at his pro-forma hearing).
When you cut through all the fly-strewn horseshit, these federal judge types are just all-growed-up rightwing frat boys from wealthy families with a bit too much power -- almost always from Catholic or Jewish backgrounds.
I mention this observation because while the GOP base is Low Protestant American evangelical, the intellectual edifice of the present-day Republican Party -- on legal and economic theory -- is overwhelming rightwing Catholic or Jewish (or, in the case of Neil "Ass-Suck" Gorsuch, an indeterminate High Church type).
With a few exceptions, these are the Brett Kavanaugh sorts who are defined by a "strict textualist" inverted Marxist libertarianism that itself is always and only a tool of Dark Money oligarchy and 19th Century quasi-slavery and race-and-class-based genocide.
It's also, judging by their own lives lived, just as obscenely hypocritical as you'd expect.
Keep in mind, though, that today's GOP Cult exists first and foremost for the purpose of packing the federal judiciary, and the fact that it "triggers the libs" makes it a perpetual base-stroking trolling operation.
This, in turn, on the fact that the religio-socio-economic and racial pillars of the U.S. Republican Party is in a secular decline with demographic extinction the end result (not that something equally bad won't take its place).
This demographic extinction is something that any and all GOP'er down to the level of trailer park talk radio listener or basement rec room Breitbart-reading online perv is fully aware of its long-term demographic extinction.
Over the past decade, though, the GOP has come to understand that THAT day of demographic doom can be pushed indeterminately far into future.
This is possible thanks to America's counter-majoritarian institutions (i.e., the Electoral College and the Senate); dilution and/or tampering with the vote via gerrymandering (think "REDMAP") and endless voter suppression drives; ethno-racist driven information warfare (with Russian government help); cheating (voter fraud) and projection about cheating; and -- to the point of this entry -- packing the federal judiciary with 35-to-45-year old Federalist Society types in lifetime positions.
From a generational cohort viewpoint, this is keeping with the Baby Boomer's refusal to just go the fuck away.
Whether a Federalist Society dystopia of functionally equivalent slavery, planetary ecocide, and libertarian claptrap about the sacrosanctity of the monied overclass's "contract law" -- to say nothing of back alley abortions for poor women (and I say that someone who thinks the intellectual underpinning of Roe v Wade were deeply ill-conceived) -- could actually be realized isn't a topic for this entry.
What is topical for this entry is that Mitch the Nihilistic Reptilian Bitch appreciates the strategic need to get as many judges, judges, judges appointed in the time he has remaining. Yes, he's acting in the style of Orwell's 1984 character O'Brien and detailed in the book-within-a-book entitled The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism -- and it's precisely the right thing for him to do.
Because Mitch the Amoral Bullfrog-Faced Bitch correctly, he would rather lose the Senate later than pass up an opportunity to create a federal judiciary in whatever image he has in that undead brain of his.
As for Senate Dems, yes, they are in the minority, but they also NEVER seriously fight back -- up to and including boycotting the grotesque proceedings if, for no other reason, than to deny Mitch the Ethically Subhuman Bitch the quorum that he needs to give the sham proceedings any legitimacy.
Of course, if that did happen, the Beltway Mandarin Professional Centrist on the Washington Post Editorial Board -- and this means Ruth "Mother" Marcus -- would be aghast and agog that "the process" wasn't "being respected." She might even be STOPPED COLD again. That set is forever stuck in some 1990 time warp.
I guess the main reason it upsets me is because I see it as having ecologically catastrophic outcomes, but even with a Swedish High Court set of justices, that doesn't do much to halt all the filthy air, land, and water pollution and habitat destruction that China, India, Indonesia, and Russia, among other countries, are wrecking upon the Earth.
OTOH, if the Earth wants to shake us off, it will do so easily. And, no, "coronavirus" (SARS-CoV-2) is not the instrument by which the Earth will or would do that. It would do it much more effectively than some species-jumping coronavirus from some Wuhan wet market.
OK, all of the above is just a set up to repost a darkly humorous Daily Intelligencer piece by Ed Kilgore from earlier today. It was prompted by one of those nihilistic POLITICO pieces, which Kilgore quotes. Specifically, this piece by Burgess Everett (link embedded): 'We're going to fill it': Republicans ready for any Supreme Court vacancy.
That piece was prompted by yet another hospital visit on the part of "RBG" (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) as a result of a gall bladder condition and the non-secret that the Republican Party, led by its media / entertainment / agitprop complex, is openly hoping she dies as soon as possible -- certainly before November 3rd.
Additionally, there was also another one of those Judiciary Committee "hearings" to confirm another rightwing asshat to a very high-level court that is a springboard to a lifetime sinecure on the U.S. Supreme Court, itself just an appendage of the Republican National Committee.
It involved this wanking asshole, Justin Walker, "protégé" of Mitch the Undead Zombie Bitch, to whom Mr. Elaine Chao is literally whacking off in public:
Is it me or does Mitch McConnell look like this long-ago actress?
So, below is the piece in question, reposted in full for your convenience (but without inline links). And with that, I will end this entry.
Republicans Ready to Rock and Roll With a Preelection SCOTUS Confirmation
By Ed KilgoreMay 8, 2020
Republicans won’t admit they have to suppress spasms of joy every time Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a health problem, like a flare-up of the chronic gallbladder condition that briefly put her in the hospital this week. And I’m sure the more irenic of them would wish her a very long and healthy life -- in retirement.
But make no mistake, if anything happens in this election year to bring to a close the SCOTUS career of any justice, the White House and Senate Republicans will initiate a pop-up appointment-and-confirmation drive that will be astonishing in its speed and efficiency.
And far from being embarrassed by the hypocrisy of such a move as contrasted with their unwillingness to give Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland even a hearing in 2016, Republicans will for the most part exult in the proximity of this process to a presidential election.
More than anything else, the goal of shaping SCOTUS is the glue that holds the GOP base together, and a brisk and successful confirmation fight over the violent objections of liberals will be regarded by Republicans as the ideal enthusiasm-generator, just as they believe it was in 2018 when the Kavanaugh battle supposedly saved their control of the Senate.
The president already has an ongoing SCOTUS vetting process and an updated list of ideologically safe prospects in place. After brief consultations with his allies in Congress and MAGA constituency groups, Trump will be ready to name a name very quickly.
As Burgess Everett notes, the confirmation machine is ready to go, too:
[I]f there is a surprise opening or retirement in the months before the presidential election, GOP senators plan to act on it, despite denying President Barack Obama a Supreme Court seat in an election year …
“If you thought the Kavanaugh hearing was contentious this would probably be that on steroids,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “Nevertheless, if the president makes a nomination then it’s our responsibility to take it up.”
McConnell made it very clear a year ago that he won’t let the hypocrisy charge get in his way:
“The Leader has noted on multiple occasions that not since the 1880s has a ‘vacancy created in a presidential year’ been ‘confirmed by the party opposite the occupant of the White House.’ His comments in Paducah yesterday simply repeated this. If there is a vacancy next year, because the White House and the Senate are the same party, we would vote to fill the slot,” McConnell’s staff director wrote in an email to reporters listing previous statements.
The normal expectation is that an opening might occur this summer after the Court’s current term ends. That’s when the last retirement, of Anthony Kennedy, occurred in 2018. But it’s clear Republicans really have no deadline:
In a brief interview, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) declined to say there was a cut-off to when a new vacancy might be considered …
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said a Supreme Court opening represents the “ultimate hypothetical” — but one Republicans would be prepared to respond to whenever it occurs.
“There’s no cut off,” said Blunt, the No. 4 GOP leader.
The only discordant Republican voice in Politico’s take on the subject came from Lisa Murkowski, the one GOP senator to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation:
“You’re coming pretty close, though, to the presidential election,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the only Republican to oppose Kavanaugh. “That is something that you factor into these discussions about how we move forward.”
Yeah, you factor it in, you maybe write off Murkowski, and move right on.
We will hear, of course, that a preelection SCOTUS battle might endanger Republican control of the Senate by discomfiting those in close reelection battles. That would certainly be true of Susan Collins, who’s already in trouble for her crucial vote in favor of Kavanaugh, and possibly Cory Gardner from blue-leaning Colorado.
But other vulnerable Republicans might well benefit more from a charged-up base than from an outraged opposition. And in any event, the Republican leadership and funding groups on which these pols depend won’t ultimately care: Getting to place an ideological ally into a lifetime position on a still closely divided Court is exactly why you want to control the Senate. Having that bird in the hand is worth risking a Democratic Senate after the deal goes down.
This craziest of election years could, believe it or not, get a whole lot crazier. The traditional announcement made at the beginning of each session of SCOTUS ends: “God save the United States and this Honorable Court!” Prayers are in order for the health and safety of them all, certainly until November 3.