Monday Reads: What Still Works?

Good Day Sky Dancers!

Kate McKinnon did the #SNL cold open as herself doing a news-style talk show asking folks “What  Still Works?” in the USA.  It’s full of all kinds of topics we discuss a lot here and though it is certainly one of the funniest openers I’ve seen in awhile, it’s also a serious question.

This New York Times headline certainly sums up the situation with the badly broken Republican Party.  I mean it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of greedy, power hungry, no-nothings but sheesh, we have a two party system.  How does this not break most of our government and it certainly has meaning in states like mine where the leges are basically Camp Run Amok for Right Wing nut jobs.

An Emboldened Extremist Wing Flexes Its Power in a Leaderless G.O.P. . As more far-right Republicans take office and exercise power, party officials are promoting unity and neutrality rather than confronting dangerous messages and disinformation.”

There’s plenty of examples there to choose from in terms of what’s going on in state Republican Parties as well as the chaos ruling the Republicans in the District.

Damaged windows of an old abandoned factory.

I had to laugh/cry at this headline from New York Magazine and Jonathan Chait.  “McConnell: Trump Tricked Me Into Backing His Coup”. Are we seriously expected to believe this?

Needless to say, that explanation looks even worse now. McConnell and his allies are trying to launder their reputations. McConnell’s excuse is contained within a deeply reported New York Times narrative account of Trump’s election challenge. Apparently, McConnell was duped by Trump and his wily son-in-law:

The senator was also under a false impression that the president was only blustering, the officials said. Mr. McConnell had had multiple conversations with the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and the senator’s top political adviser, Josh Holmes, had spoken with Mr. Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Both West Wing officials had conveyed the same message: They would pursue all potential avenues but recognized that they might come up short. Mr. Trump would eventually bow to reality and accept defeat.

Poor sweet, naïve Mitch McConnell was told that Trump would graciously concede defeat, only to eventually realize Trump had misled him.

Clearly the Republican party is broken and the legislative sausage-making process is in dire shape.  Perhaps they need a School House Rocks watch session to remember how it’s all supposed to work?

It goes without out saying that the global climate isn’t in good shape, our immigration system isn’t working, and we dont’ seem to be able to get the economy working for every on or the justice system to work for people of color or the poor.  The media is already picking on the Biden Harris administration for their first 10 days which is yet another example of how our media is clearly broken without even mentioning the entire channels dedicated to right wing lies and conspiracy theories.  Even the one governor that seemed to have it together on the COVID-19 Pandemic was faking rather than making it.  Cuomo’s undercount of nursing home deaths and a flight of experts from his administration has me wondering has every one in this country just trying to blow smoke in our face?

Here’s a good question from The Atlantic which could actual be one of those turning points in urban economics.

As a general rule of human civilization, we’ve lived where we work. More than 90 percent of Americans drive to work, and their average commute is about 27 minutes. This tether between home and office is the basis of urban economics. But remote work weakens it; in many cases, it severs the link entirely, replacing spatial proximity with cloud-based connectivity. What knock-on changes will this new industrial revolution bring?

I’m one of those people with a job that could work from any one and I’ll tell you, that cabin on an island in the Peugeot Sound just keeps calling to me.  I’ve been a Zillow traveler for at least 6 years with that project and the Covid-19 thing may have slowed me down along with a friend that needed an escape from a brutal husband but it hasn’t stopped me from searching out where the next place might be.  I’ve found there’s a lot to be said about holding up at home and avoiding as much work place drama as possible even when you’ve got an office with a door that closes.

The one thing I might never be able to escape unless we do something is the gun violence even though I am in a place where the sounds of gun shots are quite common.  The most threatening thing I’ve seen in awhile are those imagines of angry white militia jerks armed to the teeth. The Rev. Sharon Risher writes this op ed at WAPO: “Guns are white supremacy’s deadliest weapon. We must disarm hate.” 

The defining photograph of the attempted insurrection on Jan. 6 was that of a man strolling through the broken halls of our national Capitol, amid the smashed windows and assorted rubble of the failed coup, proudly brandishing a Confederate flag on his shoulder and hoping to overturn an election decided largely by Black voters. It’s an image that tells the story not only of Jan. 6 or of the Trump presidency, but also of all the steps that led to that moment — the whole history of hate in America captured in one frame.

For me, the echoes of that picture reverberated back nearly six years, to the day my mom — Ethel Lee Lance — was shot and killed while praying in Charleston’s Mother Emanuel Church along with eight other Black Americans, including two of my cousins and one of my closechildhood friends. In the months leading up to that tragic day, my mom’s killer posed for pictures with the Confederate flag, sometimes even slinging it over his shoulder just like that insurrectionist in the Capitol did.

The similarities between these two days don’t end there: Both days ended in deaths, both attacks were perpetrated (at least in part) by white supremacists chasing a lost cause, and tragically, the perpetrators of both incidents were carrying more than just flags. My mother’s killer was armed with a handgun; the Capitol insurrectionists were armed with enough live ammunition to shoot every member of the House and Senate five times.

This is no kind of a  situation to leave to the kids of America or the World for that matter.  We’ve become more of a menace than ever before.  And it all seems to be wrapped up in the flags of traitors.

So, I’ll just leave this topic here for you to talk about.  I’m not sure what all this means in terms of trusting Joe, Kamala, Nancy, and Chuck to get the job done frankly.  There’s a lot at stake and like Kate said, there’s a lot not working right now.    There’s a lot of stuff that’s just really broken.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

6 Comments on “Monday Reads: What Still Works?”

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