Fandango’s Flashback Friday — April 8th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 8th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on April 8, 2018.

The Personification of Thwart

When I saw today’s one-word prompt, “thwart,” the name of the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, immediately came to mind. McConnell’s primary mission when Obama was President was to thwart everything Obama did.

Obama was elected in 2008. When McConnell became the Majority Leader in 2010, he said that his “number one priority is making sure President Obama’s a one-term president.” Fortunately for America, he failed.

In 2016, McConnell said, “One of my proudest moments was when I told Obama, ‘You will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.’”

As justification for thwarting Obama’s Constitutional right to appoint a Supreme Court Justice after the sudden death of Antonin Scalia in early 2016, McConnell said, “The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

But in January of 2017, McConnell changed his tune. When newly elected Donald Trump nominated U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Scalia’s vacancy, Democratic senators vowed a fight, insisting on keeping the rule that a majority of 60 votes be required for confirmation. That’s when the man who prevented Obama from filling the Scalia’s vacancy said, “Apparently there’s yet a new standard now, which is not to confirm a Supreme Court nominee at all. I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate.”

Is this not the height of hypocrisy? And that is why I consider Mitch McConnell to be the personification of thwart.

Who would get your vote?

Why I’ve Lost Hope

I’ve always thought of myself as a glass half full kind of guy. But I’m sorry to say that I no longer feel that way. Any optimism I have felt in the past has been displaced by an overwhelming sense of doom. I have lost hope for America.

Why? Well, while 85% of Democrats say what happened on January 6, 2021 was “an insurrection,” 56% of Republicans describe it as “defending freedom.” Basically, according to the Republican way of thinking these days, left-wing violence is anti-American terrorism, but right-wing violence is understandable, and even justified. It’s patriotic, they believe.

Yesterday I posted about how the Republican senators blocked the efforts by Democrats to pass legislation that would guarantee voting rights to all Americans. Not one Republican lawmaker in either house of Congress voted in favor of ensuring voting rights for all Americans.

Why else am I pessimistic? Republicans in red states spent much of 2021 hunting for the alleged widespread voter fraud that the former president told his supporters cost him the election. Of course, they never found any. Still, last year was characterized by a wave of Republican-led voting restrictions fueled by Trump’s Big Lie. As a result, 19 states, most of them controlled by Republicans, enacted 34 laws that made voting harder, while many blue states expanded access, particularly to mail voting. And with the federal voting rights legislation having been stymied by congressional Republicans, that trend is likely to continue — and maybe even accelerate — this year.

Additionally, at least 15 Republican candidates for secretary of state in 13 states have publicly gone on record questioning the legitimacy of Biden’s victory last November, despite no evidence of significant fraud. In all but one of those states, the secretaries of state oversees the electoral process.

And if all that’s not bad enough, at least 57 people who took some part in the January 6th attempt to overturn the election are currently running for elected office. This includes some candidates who breached the Capitol and face criminal charges. More than two dozen are running for Congress, state legislatures, or other statewide offices. At least five are running for governor in their states. Can you believe that?

So, sadly, I don’t see anything on the horizon that is going to bring our country back together.

Who Won the Week — 10/3/2021

The idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

My Who Won The Week pick for this week is the health of Americans living in blue (democratic leaning) states that voted for Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

According to an article published in the New York Times this past week, the political divide over vaccinations is so large that almost every reliably blue state now has a higher vaccination rate than almost every reliably red state.

Further, because the vaccines are so effective at preventing serious illness, Covid deaths are also showing a partisan pattern. Covid is still a national crisis, but the worst forms of it are increasingly concentrated in red America.

And when you get even more granular, in counties where Donald Trump won at least 70 percent of the vote in the 2020 election, Covid-19 has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the Covid death rate is about 10 out of 100,000.

I wonder what lesson we can learn from this.

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Don’t Hold Your Breath

“Did you get your invitation to the Cloudscape Conference in Austin?” Brad asked Jim.

“Yeah, but I don’t think I’m going to attend this year,” Jim answered.

“Why not? You always attend,” Brad said. “And last year’s conference was held over Zoom due to COVID. This year’s conference will be live again, and I heard it’s going to be quite the spectacle.”

“Maybe so,” Jim said, “but I don’t yet feel comfortable getting on a plane and being inside a convention center crowded with people, especially in Texas where all those assholes are refusing to get vaccinated or even to wear face masks.”

“I hear you, buddy,” Brad said, “but the conference isn’t until December and maybe by then, the virus will be gone.”

“Now you’re sounding like Trump back in early 2020 when he claimed the virus would miraculously disappear,” Jim said.

“Whatever,” Brad said. “But you have until early November to register, so we should keep checking. Maybe by then the virus will actually dissipate and you’ll be able to go.”

Jim shook his head. “Don’t hold your breath, my friend.”


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (cloudscape), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (attend), Word of the Day Challenge (spectacle), The Daily Spur (comfortable), and My Vivid Blog (check).

Tidbits of the Week — Our Divided Nation

I subscribe to The Week magazine and there were three interesting tidbits that appeared in the latest issue of the magazine. The first two show how the Republicans and their anti-masking, anti-vaccination drum beat has divided our nation possibly beyond repair.

A shopper at an Omaha grocery store was shot with a BB gun for wearing a face mask. The unnamed victim was leaving the store when an unmasked assailant spat at him and then shot him multiple times, causing injuries to the victim’s face, neck, and shoulder. “I asked him why he would do that,” the victim said, “and he said: ‘You’re on the other team.’”

*****

Doctors in Covid-ravaged Missouri say that anti-vaccine sentiment runs so high that some patients are wearing disguises to get their shots. Dr. Priscilla Frase of Ozarks Healthcare says patients have begged her, “‘Please, please, please don’t let anybody know that I got this vaccine.’” The hospital now offers shots in a “private setting” to protect patients from being shunned.

*****

And this last tidbit begs the question, “What is he so desperately trying to hide?”

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer this week said he will fight “tooth and nail” to block the Treasury Department from releasing Trump’s tax returns to House Democrats. The new legal battle follows a ruling by the Justice Department that the Treasury Department must comply with a House committee’s request for six years of Trump’s returns. Treasury planned to comply, but the case could still take months to resolve.

In 2019, Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, refused the House’s request, saying it “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.” Trump’s lawyer said nothing has changed since and argued that the real aim of the House inquiry — said to be undertaken to examine how the IRS audits presidents — is to embarrass Trump.

I’m convinced that there is nothing that can embarrass Trump. He has no shame; he is beyond embarrassment.