Who Won The Week? 09/27/2020

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you 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.

Before I reveal who won the week this week, I need to provide some background. So please bear with me for a moment.

Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that the federal government conducts a comprehensive and complete count of its population once every 10 years. This decennial process provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and federal financial support for local hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. And even in the best of times, counting roughly 330 million people is a monumental task. In the middle of a pandemic, it becomes incalculably harder.

The Census Bureau anticipated this back in April, during the first wave of the coronavirus, when it requested from Congress a four-month extension to deliver its data. Current federal law requires the data to be turned in by Dec. 31st. The extension would have run through April 2021. As part of its request, the bureau said it would continue knocking on doors, trying to reach every person in the country, through the end of October.

So of course, Trump ordered the Census Bureau to conclude operations for the census a full month earlier than what the Census Bureau requested. With about four in 10 households yet to be counted, ending the crucial in-person canvas one month early would ensure a significant undercount of minorities, immigrants, as well as rural populations and other groups. Such an undercount would benefit the GOP for the next decade, at least.Okay, with that background out of the way, this week’s Who Won the Week winner is U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in California.

Judge Koh ordered a preliminary injunction to stop the 2020 census from finishing at month’s end and suspended a year-end deadline for delivering the numbers needed to decide how many seats each state gets in Congress. Koh said the shortened schedule ordered by the Trump administration likely would produce inaccurate results that would last a decade.

Naturally, the day after Judge Koh’s ruling, the Trump administration asked the Ninth Circuit Court to immediately suspend her ruling, arguing that the September 30 deadline must stand in order for it to be able to deliver final population counts to Congress by December 31, as it is required to do by federal law.

As Rachel Maddow is wont to say, “Watch this space.

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

The Personification of Hypocrisy

Mitch McConnell On February 13, 2016, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died. 2016 was a presidential election year, and Scalia’s death occurred nine months prior to that election.

President Barack Obama nominated a moderate federal judge, Merrick Garland, to fill Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold a confirmation hearing. 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.”

And in something so ironic that if it appeared in a political novel, your reaction would be that it was too contrived to be believable, McConnell invoked the so-called “Biden Rule” as further justification for why the Senate would not consider the nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court in an election year.

Yes, the “Biden Rule,” as in then Vice President Joe Biden and the current Democratic opponent running against Donald Trump.

Then Senator Biden argued in a speech in June 1992 that President George H.W. Bush should wait until after the election to appoint a replacement if a Supreme Court seat became vacant during the summer of an election year.

McConnell used Biden’s argument from that 1992 speech to explain why, in 2016, he intended to block President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick in an election year.

“The Senate will continue to observe the Biden Rule so that the American people have a voice in this momentous decision.”

Fast forward four years.

Last night, after the news that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away, and only a month and a half before the 2020 presidential election, that same Mitch McConnell is singing a very different song:

“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Well, Mitch, it’s time to invoke the real Biden Rule. After learning last night of RBG’s death, Biden said this:

“… the voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider.”

Mitch McConnell is the personification of hypocrisy and he should not be permitted to get away with this. But given the actions over the last four years of the spineless, soulless Republicans who hold the majority in the U.S. Senate, he probably will.

We Need a Landslide Win

627217DD-7B73-4363-B43D-493C77EDBDDE“I never thought I’d live to see the day when our American democracy would be so frangible,” Craig said. “I used to believe that our republic was strong and stout, like a big, beautiful tree.”

“We’ve got an election coming up,” Jennifer said. “I just hope there will be a large enough turnout of voters to make sure that Trump doesn’t get re-elected.”

“My initial thoughts are that it will take a huge contingent of independent voters to get that moron out of office,” Craig said. “We need a landslide victory of epic proportions to ensure that we send him packing with an irrefutable message before it’s too late.”

“Let’s hope it’s not too late already,” Jennifer said.

Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (frangible), Ragtag Daily Prompt (stout), Jibber Jabber (tree), Word of the Day Challenge (initial), The Daily Spur (independent), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (epic).

Fandango’s Provocative Question #78

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

By a very wide margin, The United States leads the world in both COVID-19 cases and deaths.5D43EE67-C712-4BD2-8F19-520E2B1BD7BEAnd with between 60,000 and 70,000 new cases each day and 1,000 or more deaths each day, the virus shows no signs of abating anytime soon.

Donald Trump, the President of the United States, is trying to pretend that everything is fine and that we need to reopen the country and return to “normal.” To that end, he is demanding that schools physically reopen in the fall, even as the coronavirus pandemic is surging through much of the country and is threatening to overwhelm many health care facilities in the hardest hit areas.

Trump is arguing that the social, psychological, and educational costs of keeping children at home any longer would be worse than the virus itself. “We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open,” he said. This pressure includes cutting off federal funding for school districts that don’t physically open for this upcoming school year.

My children are adults and my grandchild is only seven weeks old, so I, personally, have no skin in this game. But I’m curious about how those of you who are parents or grandparents of school-aged children feel about schools being required to reopen in the midst of on out-of-control pandemic.

So here’s my provocative question this week.

Do you believe that students should be required to return to school for the new school year? If you are a parent, are you at all concerned about sending your children to school? Or are you relieved to get the little rugrats out of your hair?

If you don’t live in the U.S., has your country or local school district reopened yet? If so, how has it gone?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.