• Jamelle Bouie has a good opinion piece in the NYT arguing that originalist claims that the founding fathers would support the filibuster, especially those invoking the words of Madison (as did Manchin), are misplaced.
A winter sunset to admire…
Mitch McConnell is a man with no moral standards; rather, they are standards of convenience. This was well illustrated with his treatment of Obama’s supreme court nominee — “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.” Oops, different take when the election was only 2 months away in 2020;to replace Ginsburg “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” And now we have his contrasting takes on voting rights. Here he is in 2006 on the Voting Rights Act: “America’s history is a story of ever-increasing freedom, hope and opportunity for all. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 represents one of this country’s greatest steps forward in that story. Today I am pleased the Senate reaffirmed that our country must continue its progress towards becoming a society in which every person, of every background, can realize the American dream.”; McConnell’s stance now: “This is not a federal issue; it ought to be left to the states.”
He and Lindsey Graham (“I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.”) can vie for the congressional hypocrisy prize.
• From the January 11 2022 Annals of Internal Medicine. An all too familiar reminder:
Congratulations to NASA, the ESA, and the CSA today as the Webb Space Telescope hit a major milestone – the 5 solar shields had previously unfolded and positioned, and today the 18 hexagonal segments comprising the primary mirror completed a successful deployment and locked into place. One more burn before it gets to L2!
From Paul Sax’s HIV and ID Observations blog:
“What I’m about to write does not in any way to diminish how awful the pandemic is right now for just about everyone. But looking at the evidence and clinical experience on severity, I’m going to poke the beast and conclude that Omicron does appear milder.”
Fingers crossed it really is the case, and that Omicron can outcompete any new more virulent variants that might appear.
• Osita Nwanevu has an excellent opinion essay in the New York Times discussing the unfortunate systemic representational inequities in the United States: Trump Isn’t the Only One to Blame for the Capitol Riot. An excerpt:
“At no point in his political career — not a single day — has Mr. Trump enjoyed the support of the majority of the country he governed for four years. And whatever else Jan. 6 might have been, it should be understood first and foremost as an expression of disbelief in — or at least a rejection of — that reality. Rather than accepting, in defeat, that much more of their country lay outside their ken than they’d known, his supporters proclaimed themselves victors and threw a deadly and historic tantrum.”
The silos social media and the internet have made possible have enabled the creation and reinforcement of this alternative reality; it’s all too easy to avoid evidence to the contrary.