It looks like the republican party has stopped pretending they stand for anything.  Sure, they’re still all in on their goosestep march of meaningless distractions — Potato Head, Dr. Seuss, Jill’s leggings, Joe’s stumble, Major’s mouth.  And they’re still working hard to create manufactured controversy (the border, the vaccine, the insurrection).  But, underneath it all, there’s no coherent reason for them to exist as a political movement.  They sacrificed all their long held policy positions and credibility at the altar of the Former Guy.

Their base is being reduced to the gullible, the complicit and the criminal.  It’s not a recipe for long term success.  Most of can see that the republican leadership is transparently acting against the best interests of the United States of America and its citizenry.  Their recalcitrance, obstruction and denial of the pandemic and our response, climate change, structural racism, income inequity, public safety, etc ad nauseum is a clear case of political malpractice.  Hell, they don’t even have enough of a moral core to rid themselves of their most odious extremist criminal members.

The republican collapse is accelerating.  They keep nominating candidates who are all vice and no virtue.  Their playbook is about gaslighting the populace rather than working to solve problems.  Their messaging strategy based on FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Division).  More and more people are waking up to the fact that they stand between us and a better future.  None of what they are doing bodes well for their future.  I look forward to the time when I can say, “Good riddance to bad cess.”

Robert A. Heinlein wrote a book, Glory Road, wherein one of the antagonists is vanquished when the hero feeds his foot further and further into his mouth, progressing up the foe’s body, rolling him up until all that’s left is a little bit of grease that the hero wipes off onto his pants.  The republicans are doing this to themselves, except they aren’t using their feet or their mouths.

It’s gotten so bad in right wing la la land that they are planning to amend the republican Bible and add the line, “And Fred beshat Donald who is come among us to make it all grate.” to Deuteronomy.  They will also be removing all references to tolerance, charity and compassion from any part of the New Testament.

Even the Original Orange Man, John Boehner is dumping hard on his fellow republicans.  Under current conditions, the republican party is, just like Matt Gaetz, toast.

x

h/t to Ice Blue for sharing this in Sunday’s comment section.

Among other things, Stephen Colbert spent part of his monologue talking about the Other Florida Man.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Randy Rainbow dropped another sharpened missive for the GQP.

Well, I guess it’s time to look at the news.

Filibuster, Schmilibuster

There are a lot of republican diapers overflowing up on Capitol Hill.  If Democrats succeed in passing landmark legislation without republican support, more and more people will see through the cloud of lies the republicans have been showering us with for the last 60 years.  They find themselves on a fast train to irrelevance, and that’s a good thing.

Huffington Post:  Senate Democrats Gain Filibuster Workaround After Parliamentarian Ruling

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s attempt to give Democrats more opportunities to pass legislation with a simple majority of votes has been granted by the Senate parliamentarian, according to his office.

The favorable ruling by Elizabeth MacDonough, who oversees Senate procedure, means the New York Democrat will have an extra chance to pass a bill with 51 votes this year. The ruling is good news for Democrats’ agenda, much of which faces fierce GOP opposition.

“This confirms the Leader’s interpretation of the Budget Act and allows Democrats additional tools to improve the lives of Americans if Republican obstruction continues,” a Schumer spokesperson said in a statement. “While no decisions have been made on a legislative path forward … and some parameters still need to be worked out, the Parliamentarian’s opinion is an important step forward that this key pathway is available to Democrats if needed.”

Pushback Hard

Kristi Noem is not the sharpest spoon in the GQP drawer.  Like most of the intellectually stunted members of the insurrection party, she makes a lot of extraordinarily stupid statements.  Secretary Buttigieg is a potent antidote to the “burn it all down as long as we can keep power” corps.

Mother Jones:  “You Need Water to Live”: Pete Buttigieg Explains Infrastructure to Republicans

The GOP governor of South Dakota had complained that Biden’s infrastructure plan would fund “housing and pipes.”

There are people out there who are apparently confused about the meaning of the word “infrastructure,” so let’s help them out, shall we?

According to dictionary.com, there are three definitions of “infrastructure,” which is a noun. There’s “the basic, underlying framework or features of a system or organization.” There’s “the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or area, as transportation and communication systems, power plants, and schools.” And there’s “the military installations of a country.”

To help explain the concept, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made the rounds on the Sunday political shows. “There’s a lot more than roads and bridges that are part of infrastructure,” he told George Stephanopoulos, who had asked him about the widely repeated Republican talking point that “only about 5 percent” of President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure proposal “goes for traditional roads and bridges.”

“I heard the governor of South Dakota recently saying, ‘This isn’t infrastructure—it’s got money for pipes,’” Buttigieg said. “Well, we believe that pipes are infrastructure, because you need water to live, and too many families now live with the threat of lead poisoning.”

Undoing the Damage Caused by Four Years of Mismanagement

It will take time, but we’ll get there.  Every step helps.  I think I have a few more platitudes to spout.  But, bottom line — we can’t undo all four years by snapping our fingers.  It takes an effort and we are making that effort.

CNN:  Biden administration announces end to Trump-era rule that rejected certain immigration applications with blank spaces

(CNN)The Biden administration announced Thursday it will not automatically reject certain applications for asylum or immigration benefits when a blank space is left on the forms, a reversal from a Trump-era policy that critics said was a blatant attempt to further crack down on legal immigration.

During the Trump administration, US Citizenship and Immigration Services rejected applications for certain immigration benefits, including asylum and relief for victims of certain crimes, based on parts of the form being left blank, meaning the application would be sent back to the applicant.
The Trump-era rule increased the likelihood of rejections amid other policies that choked off legal immigration, like suspending much of family-based immigration amid the pandemic and gutting asylum.

Um, Remember All That Crap We’ve Been Saying for Years — Forget It

Now, if only the neanderthals they’ve been purchasing to represent them manage to notice.

Wonkette:  CEOs Admit Minimum Wage Raises Actually GOOD For Business!

Last year, the National Restaurant Association spent $2.6 million on lobbying, much of which was directed against the Raise the Wage Act.

For years, the primary narrative coming from business owners has been that if we raise the minimum wage, employers won’t be able to afford to pay workers, and either people will lose their jobs to robots, or hamburgers will cost eleventy million dollars and only the wealthiest people will be able to afford Happy Meals.

…In some recent earnings calls, when asked about what a minimum wage increase might mean for their business, CEOs and top executives of several major chains shared that they are actually doing just fine in states with higher minimum wages — and in many cases, they are doing even better. You know, because people have actual money to spend.

More Trouble for the Former Guy

This is one person who I have less than zero fellow feeling, respect or compassion for.  I’m not even the teeniest bit guilty about it, either.  The article points out that all this started in 2014 when tRump was fighting with Jon Bon Jovi’s investor group while trying to purchase the Buffalo Bills.  The excerpt jumps ahead to the comeuppance part.

Vice News:  Trump’s War on Jon Bon Jovi Could Smash His Empire

… The AG’s office recently gathered personal financial records of the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, the Washington Post reported last week, to see whether Trump’s company inflated its assets while attempting to score loans or insurance contracts, or deflated them when it came time to pay taxes. Trump and the Trump Organization deny any wrongdoing and claim that AG Letitia James is just running a witch hunt.

The probe started after Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, testified in 2019 that Trump provided Deutsche Bank with an inflated financial statement while seeking a loan for his failed attempt to buy the Bills. In August, the AG’s office said in court filings that it’s examining multiple Trump Organization properties in New York City, Chicago, upstate New York, and Los Angeles.  

While the probe is civil in nature, the AG could hand over any evidence of wrongdoing to criminal prosecutors. And she could utilize the state’s Business Corporation Law and file a lawsuit seeking to dissolve Trump’s family business, depending on the evidence she turns up. Jed Shugerman, a professor at Fordham University Law School, has argued she should do precisely that.

Ok, I Know You’ve Been Waiting for It, So Here’s Some News About the Soon to Be Other Former Guy

Republicans have, aside from Gym Jordan and the QAnon Lady, been mostly silent about Gaetz.  They haven’t rushed to call for investigation or even made the required, “I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked” statements either.  Even his supporter, and otherwise complete moron Marjorie Taylor Greene, is scrubbing selfies taken with Gaetz from her Facebook profile.  Things are not looking good for one of the contenders for Most Punchable Face in Politics.

Politico:  Trumpworld has no lifelines it wants to throw Matt Gaetz

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) built a public profile as an unapologetic, unambiguous, omnipresent booster of President Donald Trump.

But as his own political career skids toward disaster amid allegations that he had sex with a minor and paid for sex with women of legal age, neither Trump nor anyone in the ex-president’s orbit is rushing to Gaetz’s defense. A group that often instinctively decries any such charge as part of some nefarious, coordinated witch hunt from deep-state operators has, instead, said virtually nothing at all.

“Not a lot of people are surprised,” said one person involved in Trump’s post-presidential operations.

In the days since news broke that the Department of Justice was looking into whether Gaetz had violated sex trafficking laws — an allegation he denies — no Trump aide or family member has tweeted about the Florida congressman. Nor have almost any of the most prominent Trump surrogates or Trump-allied conservatives and media personalities, including Sean Hannity, Dan Bongino, Charlie Kirk or American Conservative Union Chair Matt Schlapp, at whose annual CPAC conference Gaetz had recently appeared.

It gets better.

Raw Story:  Ex-staffer says he can’t ‘provide any evidence’ to clear Matt Gaetz at press conference promoted by Gaetz

A former aide to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Monday struggled to defend the congressman against sex trafficking allegations.

At a press conference promoted by Gaetz, Nate Nelson said that he had been interviewed by the FBI but did not have any evidence that could clear the controversial Republican.

A Little Bit of Andy

I can’t seem to get through a roundup without including something from Andy Borowitz.  Why is it that these satires are so damn believable?

New Yorker:  Satire from the Borowitz Report:  Rand Paul Claims Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Infringes on Bridges’ Right to Crumble

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Senator Rand Paul said that he is opposing President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan because it “infringes on bridges’ constitutional right to crumble.”

“Decay, deterioration, and collapse are all a part of the natural process of entropy,” Paul said. “It is not the job of government to play God and interfere with that.”

Warning of the “slippery slope of government overreach,” Paul said that the Biden plan is “threatening our infrastructure’s precious freedom to disintegrate.”

Science/Technology to the Rescue

Our continued existence is a slap in the face to the science deniers among us.  Without the scientific advances that make modern life possible most of us wouldn’t be here.  Our resources wouldn’t support it.  Case in point:

Good News Network:  Fog-Catching Towers Could Supply Water to the World’s Driest Megacity Using The Ocean Air

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A fog catcher.

How can a megacity find water for 10 million people if it exists in the desert? Fog-catching nets, erected on hills over the city of Lima could solve the city’s water shortages for good.

A twenty-meter high (60 feet) tower of spiraling nets will be unveiled this summer in the city as a solution to the threat which a warming climate poses to the shaky foundations of water availability in Lima.

Aside from glacial runoff from the Andes, and water from the stressed Rímac River, Peru’s capital city accumulates just one inch of rain a year. The city sees high annual temperatures, and water consumption rates, despite being located in a desert, are higher than world averages.

However, a unique feature of Lima’s weather offers a way of relieving some of this demand. Situated on the coast, Lima’s surrounding hills are constantly bathed in waves of fog coming off the Pacific Ocean, and the moisture captured by plants ensures they stay green year-round.

Musical Interlude

I can ‘t find any translation for this next song.  From what I can understand it’s a heartfelt celebration of women.

WineRev’s History Lesson

Our resident history professor’s always interesting history lesson will appear here as soon as I notice he’s posted it in the comment section.  Until then look for it in the comment section.

Take it away, WineRev!

Good morning to the Pressley staff AKA NotNowNotEver and all the other 4-paw staffers out there in Gnuville. Your ever-lovin’ WineRev knows what all the 2-footed Gnus in Gnuville are up against; I have been house-sitting for a while with three cats, the youngest of whom is 16. I too rise evey day to my sacred task of the 3Bs (not Bach, Beethoven & Brahms) but that of Bowl, Bath and Biffies. (The one good thing about spring allergies and their nose-stuffiness is that it makes cleaning the litter boxes a bit easier.) Fortunately, the Felines take care of their own bathing, ALLOWING me to take care of hairballs—so an interesting trade off.

>>>>>>The President gets to sit at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. The boy-usurper got to sit at the Toy Desk for an immortal photo-op last year. But now the Seabees have landed! These are the Navy’s Construction Battalions (acronym C.B.—and spoken aloud comes out “Sea-Bee”) that one American general in WWII in the Pacific remarked in admiration “The Seabees could erect the Pyramids on a beach if it would serve a military purpose.”

Well in THIS ultra-cool story, at the Washington Navy Yard a team of Seabees built and now have delivered to Vice President Kamala Harris a new desk. The wood? From the oldest warship still in commission, the USS Constitution! Parts of some of the drawers are steel…..from the USS Arizona.  All of us woodworkers and cabinet-maker wannabes want a National Geographic special on this RIGHT AWAY.

>>>» In the US Senate “the budget reconciliation process—-for getting honking big spending bills through by a simple majority—–can only be used once a year”. The Received Wisdom. Law, right? Nope. Senate Rule? Nope. Custom? Yep…… Now after Chuck Schumer became Majority Leader this year word started circulating: “Ya know? Even if (not conceding this either!) budget reconciliation can only be used once a year, in 2020 the GQP Senate was SO incompetent and disorganized that they didn’t use it AT ALL. So there’s one extra in the locker. So if we use it to pass the America Rescue Act in March, we still have another shell to load…..” That has given progressive types hope good things can keep happening.

But the news late yesterday is then stunning. Schumer got to announce that after making a case with the Senate Parliamentarian (whose rulings can be over-ridden by a simple majority anyway), she has ruled “actually, given the argument you’ve made, reconciliation can be used 3 MORE TIMES here in 2020.”  As you can tell, this is a wise and brilliant decision and I for one move to sustain the ruling of the Parliamentarian…….   Hope just got hope-ier……

April 6ths that have been playing in April showers in Good and Goofy ways for centuries so that as you are out with your Good and Goofy moments today jumping through puddles, know that you are honoring tradition.

              610   Cave of Hira, Mount of Jabal al-Nour, Mecca (now Saudi Arabia) Lailat-ul Qadar: The Night of Power, or Night of Decree. In a dream Mohammad has a vision of the angel Gabriel, who teaches him the opening words of the Quran, the Islamic sacred text. Mohammed understands himself from this point to be a prophet from and for God. This night is considered a night of blessings, forgiveness of sins, revelations, supplications are made and accepted, and that the mercies of God are spread.  

              1652   Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Dutch sea captain and sailor for the Dutch East India Company Jan Van Riebeek establishes a resupply base camp. The settlement that grows up around it eventually becomes the city of Cape Town.

             1660  Geising, Germany  Birth of Johann Kuhnau, composer, music theorist. Talented from an early age he was sent at age 10 to a boarding school for budding musicians. Later continued in Leipzig, where he earned a doctorate in law. Joined the army for a few years as an officer and engineer and took up composing in his off hours. Resigned his commission after a few years and returned to Leipzig to  becoming chief organist at the Thomaskirche Cathedral. He set a very high standard for the organ and for composing—-and upon his death was succeeded in the post by rising star Johann Sebastian Bach. Kuhnau wrote a number of sacred works and several hymns still used among Protestants.  Chiefly recalled for some collections of keyboard sonatas (“Biblical Songs”) where he uses surprising passages and instrumentations to express the emotional content of several Biblical scenes. Unusual, even experimental on several levels.

                1862  Shiloh, Mississippi    After defeats and retreats going back to early February at Fort Henry, at dawn this day Confederate Gen. Albert Johnson catches Union General Ulysses Grant by surprise. Johnston has assembled all the men he could from as far as New Orleans to try and hold the Confederate West and turn back the Yankees. The Confederates push the Federals back steadily all day long. Grant and his fellow generals had not ordered entrenchments as they did not believe Johnston was able to attack. William Sherman took 2 minor wounds and had 3 horses shot out from under him during the day but steadied the defense all day. Benjamin Prentiss and about 4000 men lodged in a saucer-shaped depression later called the “Sunken Road” as a natural trench and held off at least 9 separate Confederate charges for nearly 4 hours before the last 2200 surrendered. Grant was everywhere and stitched together a long line of artillery near sundown and dared the Rebels to try his men and those guns. They didn’t, and fighting died down, waiting for morning. Grant and Sherman found each other and bedded down for the night under a large tree. Sherman recounted some stuff he’d seen and summed up saying “Well Grant, we’ve had the devil’s own day, haven’t we?” He was stunned in the dark as Grant pulled his coat around his shoulders, closed his eyes and said, “Yep. Lick ‘em tomorrow though” and fell asleep. And they did…….dooming the Confederacy in half their territory.

               1866   Decatur, Illinois   Formal formation this day of the Grand Army of the Republic (The G.A.R bronze marker you can still see in many old cemeteries. ) THE veteran’s organization for Union soldiers and sailors. An integrated organization (rare for its time) they cared for war widows and orphans and lobbied for veteran’s pensions from the federal government (for Union men; former Confederates were not eligible and had to rely on state pensions.) The GAR was so successful that during President Benjamin Harrison’s administration (1888-1892) Union pensions for veterans and their survivors made up 1/3 of the entire federal budget. The last member to die was Albert Woolson, a New York man who finally passed away at the age of 109 (verified) in Duluth, MN in August of 1956. (Fought in the Civil War, Union drummer boy at Appomattox, lived to see x-rays, radio, jet airplanes, motorcars, penicillin, movies, air conditioning, atomic power.)  

              1889   Rochester, New York    Owner George Eastman, head of a camera company, is proud to place the Kodak Camera on sale for 1st time. You’d buy the camera, take your pictures, then mail the whole camera to Rochester. Kodak had special tools to open it, remove and develop the film into prints, then reloaded the camera with a fresh roll and mailed it and your pictures back to you. (A few years later there was enough business and improvements that you only had to mail in the roll of film.)

               1924   Seattle, Washington  Congress made a war department appropriation last year for an experiment to the Douglas Aircraft corporation. They carefully built four open-cockpit biplanes with the money. On this day the 4 planes (8 pilots) took off for a round-the-world flight. Two of the planes made it all the way (no crashes), which provided the engineers all sorts of information for improvements. It took them 175 days, averaging 77 mph.  They flew 26,000 miles in 363 hours of flying time.

              1925   Somewhere over the Weimar Republic (now Germany) Speaking of flying, aviation is taking off, even passenger aviation. On this day on one such flight (featuring an “enclosed cabin for passenger comfort”) a Lufthansa flight debuted the first in-flight movie, a silent-reel short. (Likely could not have heard a soundtrack (not until 1927) over the pair of engines; cabin sound insulation was just getting started.)

               1930  Schiller Park, Illinois   Canadian-born baker and executive James Dewar is bothered that several strawberry crème machines for making shortcake at the Continental Baking Company stand idle several months of the year when strawberries are out of season. He comes up with an idea and this day uses the machines to inject banana crème into a small sponge cake. He calls the product the “Twinkie.” It is a hit…..in World War II bananas are rationed and Continental can’t get any. Dewar changes over to using vanilla crème, which proves to be an even more popular. Even when bananas were available again, they were only sold occasionally.

            1966   Washington DC   Out at the DC stadium the Washington Senators (the ball team, not the politicians) are hosting an early season game against the Cleveland Indians. They play the National Anthem and then home plate umpire Emmett Ashford yells, “Play ball!” Almost 20 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line in baseball, Ashford breaks it again, becoming the first African-American major league umpire. Highly regarded in his 4 years in the majors, the man umpired with style, trotting after foul balls to make a call, and behind the plate dressing in pressed suits, cuff links and freshly polished shoes, with a dynamic and distinctive style of calling balls and strikes.

May all your News be Good, comforting and inspiring.

Shalom.

On the Lighter Side

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Parenting During the Pandemic

Quote(s) of the Day

Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings, and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities expressed in crime, perversion, and insanity. — H. P. Lovecraft

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. — Abraham Lincoln

The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. — Henry A. Wallace

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” — Isaac Asimov

Required Pet Photo

Pressley has been a bit full of herself since Sunday.  She’s parading around the house with her snout up in the air and giggling about Pawlitzer Prizes and Peebody Awards.  She’s taking pleasure crowing about the emails she’s getting telling her she’s a much better writer than I am.  She even did this to me in a recent conversation.

Monday morning, we were out on one of our daily nature walks.

Pressley:  I can jump higher than that flower.

Me:  I know.  I’ve seen you do it.

Pressley:  I can jump higher than that bush.

Me:  Well, you’ve got some serious hops.  I suppose you could do it.

Pressley:  I can jump higher than that tree.

Me:  C’mon, Pressley.  No way you can do that.

Pressley:  Silly human, of course I can.  Flowers, bushes and trees can’t jump.

That led to this picture.

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I did not need that bath.  You are a monster.

Closing Notes

Thanks for slogging on through to the end of another Roundup.  Remember to stay active and involved, while also looking out for your health.  We need you!

hpg keeps on keeping on.  Last night’s Evening Shade:  PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN—Day75—Evening Shade-Monday

Let’s finish up with an “I was there” moment.  The lads used to cover a lot of Dylan songs.  I much prefer Phil’s voice (limited though he is) to Dylan’s.  Although, at this show, I still remember being blinded by Phil’s legs.

Disclaimer:  No teenagers were interviewed across state lines during the preparation of  this Roundup.  Obscenely rich people don’t have a handle on what’s important to the rest of us.

Poll

277 votes Show Results

Why is the republican party working so hard to make itself irrelevant?

277 votes Vote Now!

Why is the republican party working so hard to make itself irrelevant?

They have succumbed to the ravages of being nincompoops.
29 votes
Obscenely rich people don’t have a handle on what’s important to the rest of us.
63 votes
They are too busy massaging the Former Guy’s tender fee-fees
36 votes
Who cares? I’m just happy it’s happening!
137 votes
Where’s the booze pie you promised us?
4%
10 votes
I know this will come as a shock, but rather than vote in the poll, I’m going to promote my comment. It’s down there in the comment section and it’s really good.
1%
2 votes

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