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Thoughts on Events the Week of February 22

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 28, 2021

The Crown Prince did it, with a saw in the consulate: President Biden released the report telling us what we already knew, that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It’s a tough call how to deal with MBS now. He is the de facto leader of his country, likely to be the king when his father dies. As head of state, he cannot be ignored. And he is not the only despot Trump’s coddling emboldened to commit heinous crimes without fear of retribution. Remember Putin (Russia), Kim (North Korea), Duterte (Philippines) and Erdoğan (Turkey).

It’s an easy call, however, how to deal with Saudi Arabia, the country: as an ally, but at arm’s length, true to our own national interests, and particularly wary, knowing the country is run by a reckless, violent sociopath. Saudi Arabia is not our friend.

CPAC: This annual congregation of bigots, xenophobes, homophobes, and other various and sundry crazies gathered together this week for a mass ass kissing of the recently departed Trump. (Sudden thought: since Trump is departed, isn’t that necrophilia?)

Mel Brooks said about Nazism that some things are so horrible, all you can do it laugh at them. CPAC is not quite that horrible; it’s just laughable.

Neera Tanden: Having nothing to do with her qualifications, the nomination of Tanden to be President Biden’s Budget Director is in jeopardy because she has said mean things about some Republicans. Poor babies. She hurt their feelings.

But what would you expect from a political operative involved in three Democratic presidential campaigns and administrations? My hopes of rational bipartisanship from Republicans are growing dimmer daily. Shame on these people.

Measured, proportional response: President Biden lobbed a few bombs at Iranian-backed militias in Syria because they shot some rockets at our troops there. I would just like to point out that if we didn’t have any troops in Syria, no rockets could be shot at them, hence no response requiring measured proportionality, whatever that means.

Worst state: Texas is an avatar of what’s wrong with unregulated capitalism and governmental misfeasance. In their misguided sense of independence and greed, Texas allowed profit-driven capitalists to separate Texas from the national power grid and let their grid be market driven. Okay, but when the whole thing came a cropper because they didn’t winterize their systems to cut costs for more profit, the capitalists now want the government to pay for the winterizing, and Governor Abbott is inclined to let them!

Texas capitalists, like those everywhere, want the profits for themselves but for the rest of us to pay for their screw ups and losses. They are definitely the worst state this week and richly deserve the cup.

Football Thoughts – Carson Wentz Trade

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on February 22, 2021

A little news and entertainment before the NFL draft. When the Philadelphia Eagles fired coach Doug Pederson, the report was that Pederson wanted to trade Carson Wentz and start Jalen Hurts at quarterback, but owner Lurie didn’t want to take the financial hit. I opined at the time that Pederson should have been fired for poor coaching anyway.

Perhaps that was the case, because the Eagles did trade Wentz, to the Baltimore Colts for not much: a third-round pick in 2021 and a conditional second round pick, which could become a first-round if Wentz performs well in the 21-22 season. (The Eagles traded up twice, at a cost, to take Wentz #2 in the 2016 draft.)

To trade Wentz, Philadelphia will take the biggest financial hit in NFL history: $33 million in dead cap space.

Financing aside, this was a good call by the Eagles. We can’t say he is a complete bust – he may still work out with the Colts – but it clearly didn’t work out with the Eagles. He couldn’t stay healthy, he became shaky, even panicky in the pocket, he wasn’t popular in the locker room and it’s being said was hard to coach.

An interesting side note for Oklahoma Sooners fans: assuming Jalen Hurts starts for the Eagles this fall, which is likely, it will mean that three NFL starting quarterback will be young products of the OU system: Baker Mayfield (Cleveland), Kyler Murray (Arizona, my new favorite team), and now Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia).

That’s almost 10% of the 32 total starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Quite a record, and a reason OU gets a lot of top tier quarterback recruits, such a Spencer Rattler, a #1 recruit and current starter for OU today. They want to be coach by Lincoln Riley, and what quarterback wouldn’t with this record?

Thoughts on Events the Week of February 15

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 21, 2021

I’m dreaming of a white Texas: Let’s be clear: when a major natural disaster occurs, such as Hurricanes Sandy and Harvey and now the massive winter storm in Texas, there is going to be damage, destruction, disruption and even loss of lives, no matter who is in charge. We cannot hold leaders responsible for the weather.

But we can hold them responsible for what they did to anticipate the possibility of such disasters and how they respond to them. In both of these, Texas failed spectacularly, due to its overwrought sense of independence, misguided distain for regulation and greed. Texas’ leaders can’t hit the floor with their hat and seem to be proud of it. Texas voters picked them, so they have no one to blame but themselves.

The Good Civil War: Former President Trump and former Senate Majority Leader Moscow Mitch McConnell are savaging one another in public for us all to see. I’m enjoying watching (cliché alert) the “battle for the soul of the Republican Party” and it couldn’t happen to more deserving people. I hope they tear it down to the ground and end up with two anemic parties that can’t elect a dog catcher between them.

Rush Limbaugh died: Even the worst people will eventually leave the stage.

A step in the right direction: At a gun store in Louisiana, a gun nut shot and killed two people, wounded two others and was himself shot and killed. I’m down with it when these crazies kill each other, just not other people.

Worst State: I’m sure you are all familiar with the maritime tradition that when the ship is sinking, the captain always goes down to Cancun. Such was the case with Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Governor Abbott stayed – he’s wheelchair bound – but he addressed the disaster by taking a gratuitous swipe at environmental activists as the cause of Texas’ grid failure. Texas earned and received the cup this week.

Football Thoughts – The Super Bowl

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on February 16, 2021

Skip Bayless was right. Never bet against Tom Brady when all the chips are on the table. Brady can be beaten, but you are foolish to bet on it.

Prognosticators opined this game would go in one of three ways and it did. One opinion, with which I happened to agree, was that the game would turn on the absence of Kansas City’s two starting tackles. This allowed Tampa Bay to get to Patrick Mahomes as no team has before and had him running for his life the entire game.

But it was also a factor that, though KC had three of the top five offensive players on the field, the Buccaneers had the better team top to bottom. You picked your new team well, Tom.

Overall, I thought the commercials this year, which are usually among my favorite parts of the event, were disappointing. I like the Rocket Mortgage spot.

As for the halftime show, I had never even heard of The Weekend, which shows that they are no longer interested my demographic, I suppose. But I don’t even know what to think about a celebrity whose name is a daypart.

Next on the football calendar is the NFL draft, after which I will segue into my summer of discontent until fall practice.

Thoughts on Events the Week of February 8

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 16, 2021

Impeachment Redux: If the second impeachment of Trump proved anything, it is that the Impeachment clause is another one the founding fathers did not think through sufficiently. It was naïve to think the Senate could hold a trial involving the president of one or another party. Senators are not jurors, they’re politicians and politicians are going to act like politicians, not impartial jurors.

In the more than 230 years of our country’s existence, there have been four impeachments – Johnson, Clinton, Trump, Trump – three in my lifetime, all in the last quarter of a century and the last two within a year of one another. The pace is picking up. Soon, we will be impeaching presidents on Inauguration Day.

(Nixon would have been impeached and convicted – there was bipartisan support for it. Republicans were capable of shame back then – but he resigned to avoid it. Then President screwed up the accountability by pardoning him.)

The trials and verdicts were political and predictable, and none of the defendants was convicted. In each case, the presidents were obviously guilty of something, but unlike a courtroom, there is only one possible punishment option – removal from office – and the politicians were unwilling to go there, as were the people, except in the case second trial of Trump.

The clause should have read that the House could impeach, and the trial would be held before the Supreme Court, or an ad hoc tribunal of impartial jurists, using judicial standards. Since the Constitution doesn’t read like that, we might as well scrap their use altogether and go to Plan B, which is to have the Justice Department rescind its policy not to prosecute sitting presidents for true crimes. This probably wouldn’t work either, but it might be a stronger deterrent to future presidents and an available remedy is necessary.)

One of the reasons Democrats wanted to impeach Trump was to be able to ban him from running for office again. This is an unnecessary concern. Trump will not run again – he’s more likely to be dead or in jail – and if he did, he would lose, but make life hell for other Republican candidates.

Still, the impeachment trial had some utility. It exposed the Republican Party for what it has become, which is anti-democratic, for which they will pay a heavy price, I hope, I hope. Either way. political theater is going to be interesting to watch over the couple of years.

President Biden’s highest priorities: Were I advising the president, I would recommend that his first priorities should be, after any necessary Executive orders to reverse everything possible from Trump’s orders, the following four, in priority: (Spoiler alert: my list will be different than many others, and different from Biden’s at this point. I hope he listens to me.)

  1. Covid-19: This must be, and is, Biden’ first priority. The economy cannot completely recover until the virus is wrestled to the ground. This includes the financial stimulus necessary to keep the real economy sustained until then.
  2. Voters’ Rights: Since John Roberts screwed the country over by ruling cynically that voter suppression no longer warranted regulation, voter suppression has run rampant. Since they lost the election, Republicans are trying to suppress voters’ right even more to insure as unfair
    an election as they can, since they can’t win a clear and fair one.

Voter suppression has no place in a democratic society, which, at least at this moment, we have in this country. Biden should rewrite the bill, make it stronger, bronze it, stick it in Roberts’ ear and dare the Supremes to mess with it, and then wage serious prosecution on offending states.

Among the most egregious suppression tactics is gerrymandering, by both parties. I don’t know how this obscene practice can be stopped, but it must be. My suggestion would be to take all redistricting out of the hands of local legislators and establish a board of independent, non-partisan experts to draw them. This is done in some states, including Arizona, and it seems to work better.

  • Immigration reform: We must come to grips with this chronic, toxic issue and create a comprehensive plan. It must resolve, if not solve, all issues – status, who, how many, the Dreamers, everything. This will take some compromise, but it must be done. It will take this issue off the table and prevent it from causing so much rancor, not to mention hypocrisy.
  • Gun Control: The carnage has got to stop. Perhaps Congress, having looked down the barrel of a gun itself recently, will have some incentive to take this issue seriously and more rationally.

Worst state: Has there ever been a more cynical, hypocritical smarmy pig part than South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham? Don’t bother to answer; it’s a rhetorical question. Though Graham has some close competitors, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Let’s let Texas and South Carolina split the cup this week. I’ll deal with disgusting wannabes Hawley and Cotton later.

Thoughts on Events the Week of February 1

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 12, 2021

The Battle Rages On: In a secret ballot, about two thirds of the Republican House caucus refused to strip Liz Cheney of her leadership position for voting for the impeachment trial of Trump to go forward. If the vote had been on the record, more of the cowardly congresspersons would likely have voted against her, according to news sources.

Likewise, the caucus couldn’t bring itself remove from her committee assignments, Marjorie Taylor Greene, even though she is certifiably nuts. They hid under the refrigerator while the whole House, in which Democrats hold the majority, did it for them, the pusillanimous pukes.

The result of these contradictory votes signals that the Republicans are still intent on tearing their party apart, mostly in public. This couldn’t happen to more deserving people and I am going to enjoy every minute of it.

One thing is clear: Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, is siding with the crazies. He went down to Florida to kiss Trumps, er, ring, in public to demonstrate his abhorrence of democratic processes, or democracy more broadly. He’s all in with scraping the Constitution and using it to wipe his chin after his, er, ring kissing.

At the end of this civil war, there will probably be no Republican Party. There may or may not be something that calls itself the Republican Party, but it will be an Authoritarian Party and/or a teeny tiny Establishment Party, but either or both will see precious fewer representatives elected.

Not yet: I’m still waiting for some congressperson to start talking about gun control after seeing them out of control in the Capitol. So far, crickets.

Lou Dobbs is fired from Fox News: Talk about bad things happening to people richly deserving of it. I’ve watched Dobbs go insane before my very eyes, but up until now it didn’t seem to matter to Fox. Why now? I’ll tell you why below.

Libel and Slander are actionable: Politicians can say anything about their opponents and get away with it. News channel hosts can say almost anything about anyone whose party their network opposes. But it turns out that private companies, such as news organizations, may not slander or libel other private companies without potential consequences, and that big bad chicken has come home to roost.

Conservative news organizations, including Fox News, the biggest of them, and others in their obsequious support for Trump’s lies about having been cheated out of the presidential election, have blamed not one but two voting machine manufacturers, without evidence, of participating in this “steal.”

These voting machine companies are suing, or threatening to sue, Dobbs and others of slander. They have been injured and they have standing.

Fox News is in trouble and they know it, which is why they are doing backflips through their assholes to distance themselves from themselves by issuing disclaimers and firing some crazies.

I can’t wait to see where these suits go, and afterwards, maybe we can rethink how politicians may be held responsible for their slanders.

Groundhogs Day: This week we observed what is perhaps the most ridiculous ritual in our culture. Let’s be clear: whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not, Spring comes officially on March 20-21, the vernal equinox, six weeks after February 2, making dragging the poor rodent out of hibernation superfluous.

Super Bowl: This same week, perhaps our most popular ritual was celebrated.

Covid-19: I got my first shot this week with a follow-up scheduled for March 7. One step closer to normality.

Worst state: Lindsey Graham is putting South Carolina on the map. At the rate he is going, this favorite son may retire the cup for his home state. He certainly earned it this week with his comments on the Trump impeachment.

Thoughts on Events The Week of January 25

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 5, 2021

It’s too soon to become discouraged or give up, but the prospects of Congress making any bipartisan progress do not look promising. Any number of Republican politicians are clearly determined to keep their wagons tied, if not to Trump, then to Trump’s base.  So, Democrats may have to go it alone for a while longer.

It’s understandable – what politician wouldn’t want such a loyal and gullible base – but unwise. Voter behavior suggests that to hold that base requires alienating most other voters and the base is not big enough to win an election.

In the meanwhile, I intend to get my entertainment watching the Republican Party deal with itself. I anticipate a nasty, vicious bloodletting, likely resulting in a split, impotent party with one segment going the way of the Know Nothings and the other to where I’m not as certain. But it couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

Keep an eye on the Cheney/Green drama. It may give us some illumination as to where the party may go and how nasty may be the path to get there. Here’s my take on this early battle of the Republican Civil War.

Liz Cheney certainly did nothing illegal when she voted to impeach former President Trump, but for a member of the Republican leadership in the House, it is unusual, and doubtless offensive to “Trumpers.” As a member of that leadership, she is the Republicans’ issue to deal with. She’s an internal party matter.

The situation is slightly different for freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has made numerous ludicrous, vile, and offensive statements before and since entering the House.

Fortunately for Greene, and me and all of us, most of her language is protected by the First Amendment. As odious as she is, and she is, or how crazy, hers is still protected speech. If she wants to claim that wildfires in California are being started by laser beams from space paid for by Jewish bankers, she is free to do it.

However, the First Amendment’s protection of free speech does not extend to supporting insurrection or inciting violence.  Greene’s support of shooting Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in the head crosses that line. In my view, that’s not only unprotected speech, but actionable.

The U.S House is clucking like a hen house over what to do about Greene, but ultimately, the decision rests with the constituents in her dark red district in Georgia. They voted for her and they are welcome to her. Just don’t ask me to respect people who vote for such representation. I can’t do it.

Worst state: Some say I was premature in taking Arizona, my own personal state, off the worst state list because two House members supporting the events of January 6 – Paul Gosar, my own personal congressperson, and Andy Biggs – are from Arizona.

This is a valid point, but the fact is that most states, especially red states, but most states have similar such congresspersons. Arizona is hardly unique in this regard these days. That said, Gosar is a particularly odious example, rivaling Louis Gohmert in stupidity and crazy. (When I want to call someone stupid, I call them a Gohmert.)

I am taking this suggestion under consideration, however, but I’m going to wait to see what Arizona does with its voting laws. We have very enlightened ones, but there is pressure from the Republican majority state legislature to make it harder, not easier, to vote. If they succeed, I’ll put Arizona back on the list.

In the meantime, I’m keeping an eye on Georgia, which is currently trying the same kinds of dirty trick to suppress voters. If they succeed, I may have to add another state to the worthy worst state candidates.

While we wait, everyone gets a pass this week.

Football Thoughts – Week 20

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on January 27, 2021

Skip and Shannon both had something to be happy about Monday morning. Shannon’s Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills and Skip’s GOAT (I don’t believe in GOATS, only tiers) Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers eliminated the favored Green Bay Packers. It was the second straight week of quarterback duels and we will be treated to another one in the Superbowl.

In the Be Careful What You Wish For category, Aaron Rodgers said he wanted to play a Conference Championship game on his home field in winter conditions. He got it, but Brady outplayed him, aided by a poor call by the Packers coach, and won the game. In the second game, Kansas City was simply better than a good Buffalo team.

The games being the last step to get to the Superbowl, the pressure was palpable, and while the games were hard fought, there were several pressure-induced mistakes made (Brady had three interceptions, for instance).

Oddly, I thought the referees performed pretty well under the stress, arguably better than they have during the regular season. But the referring reminded me of another reason I oppose instant replay: Opera.

I enjoy operatic music, but I don’t like operas, because after every aria, the show stops, the curtain closes and the singers come out an take a long bow, after which the action resumes. It’s what’s wrong with instant replay. The action stops for interminable reviews, which in most cases stand. In football more even than opera, these reviews adversely affect the flow of the game. Let the refs work and there be reviews for only the most obvious and egregious misses.

The Philadelphia Eagles finally fired head coach Doug Pederson ostensibly for how his mishandling of the season, his quarterback dilemma and for tanking in their last game to try to move up to a higher drafting position. They should have fired him on the spot for that. I would have. Pederson had become bad for the game.

Philadelphia asked for permission to talk with Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore about the job. I was momentarily excited because I would like to see Moore gone. He’s a holdover from the old Cowboys regime that drove the Cowboys into years of mediocrity. Sadly, Philadelphia wised up and signed someone else.

Apparently, the decision to fire Pederson was made by the owner, Lurie. It was doubtless a financial decision, because it’s reported Pederson wanted to trade Wentz and start rookie Jalen Hurts, but Lurie didn’t want to have to eat Wentz’s enormous contract. Perhaps a sound financial decision, but a poor football one. So now Hurts may be traded to some team where he can prosper. We’ll see.

Thoughts on Events the Week of January 18

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 26, 2021

Inauguration Day: On Wednesday, we got a new president and the former one flew off uneventfully, albeit with some pathetic self-organized pomp, to Florida. A blessed moment.

My reaction to this moment was not quite what I expected. I expected to be overjoyed, and I am, but my primary emotion was one of relief that the previous administration is over.

I was spot on when I predicted that there would be no trouble at the inauguration in D.C. or in state capitals. When the FBI started rounding the rioters up for prosecution, the cockroaches scrambled back under the refrigerator.

I was wrong, and pleasantly surprised, at how quickly things started to snap back.  This is one of those times when longing for the good old days is appropriate.

But we have some unfinished business with those among The Donald’s base who defiled our Capitol and threatened our democracy, including those elected representatives and senators who participated.   

The Republicans have some unfinished business among themselves, as well. I will be curious to see how they shake out, but I am skeptical it will be nobly.  

I applaud President Biden’s determination to find middle ground with Republicans in Congress, particularly in the Senate, but he should abandon his attempt in a heartbeat if he gets insufficient positive response. Moscow Mitch, who positions himself as an institutionalist, is as dismissive of democratic governance as Trump. He is an undemocratic horse part. And by the way, the filibuster is undemocratic.

Impeachment Redux: The House Impeached Trump, again, and the Senate will try him, beginning February 9th.  Some Democrats say the reason for the trial is that if convicted, Congress can vote to prevent Trump from running for elective office ever again. This is true, but not a sufficient reason. Trump will not run again. In 2024, he’ll too old, likely in jail or dead, and in more disgrace than he is now.

No, the reasons to try Trump are first, to show the world, and ourselves, that we have come to our senses, and second to remind future presidents of the Constitution they have taken an oath to preserve and defend and they had better take that oath seriously. Gerald Ford did us a great disservice by pardoning Nixon and denying the country this example.

Finally, it will give Republicans one last opportunity to assess whether they want to move forward with the rest of us. I’m thinking not. It’s a sad thing that one of the two major political parties has knowingly rejected our democratic form of government. Damn their eyes.

Social Media: After more than four years of publishing lies and incitements to riot by Trump, Facebook and Twitter both kicked Trump off of their platforms. The silence is golden, but it’s not a reliable solution. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want these two unimaginably wealthy, privileged entrepreneurs making free speech decisions. They’ve proven to be untrustworthy.

Remember, their first solution when Trump tweeted that he had won the election and it had been stolen was to add a comment saying, “This claim is disputed.” Bullshit, it is not disputed; it’s a provable fact, and a damnable dangerous lie, as we have seen.

There are serious, tricky free speech issues to be resolved, but we have got to tie a knot in the tail of these platforms. Free speech or not, it’s never made any sense to me that these sites can permit any libel to be published on them without bearing any responsibility. There are laws against slander or libel, and these should apply to social media also.  

Worst state: Just because I took Arizona off the list of worst state candidates does not mean we are incapable of really stupid governance on occasion. Every state is. As an example, this week, deeming them to be insufficiently supportive of Trump, the Arizona Republican Party censured its own Republican Governor Doug Ducey, Senator John McCain’s widow Cindy, and the aptly named former Republican Senator Jeff Flake.

Sudden thought: If it’s ok for Republicans to censure a senator who has been out of office for more than two years, why is it not ok to impeach a president after he is out of office for a week?

But this laughable example of Republican insanity does not rise to the level of cup worthiness. However, the behavior of leaders of almost all the other worst states is sufficiently egregious, so this week, the cup recipients are a ménage à trois of South Carolina because Lindsey Graham, Texas because John Corwin and Alabama because of newly elected Senator Tommy Tuberville, who all were involved in supporting Trump’s attempted coup. (Tuberville is already challenging Oklahoma Senator James Imhoff for dumbest sombitch in the Senate.)

Thoughts on Events the Week of January 11

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 20, 2021

The Aftermath: I’ll stand by my predictions regarding Cruz and Hawley and most of the Republican House members who participated in Trump’s despicable attempt to overturn the Constitution last week. They’re from red states whose voters are OK with that kind of behavior from their politicians.

But I may have underestimated the fate of those rioters and vandals who got inside the Capitol buildings. It turns out that various federal authorities have technologies and techniques to identify many if not all of the rioters, and they are using them. As of this writing, more than 100 of these insurrectionists have been arrested.

More important, perhaps, it also turns out that Congresspersons don’t appreciate having criminals barging into their chambers with firearms and intent to kill them. Who knew? A gun nut kills 20 second grade pupils and teachers at a school in Connecticut and it doesn’t faze Congresspersons a bit, but when the guns are aimed at them, they take a different view.

This change in Congressional attitudes suggests there just may be another loser from the events of last week: guns! Just maybe people in authority might begin thinking about the wisdom of letting knuckle dragging mouth breathers wander about carrying weapons now that they are potential targets.

Speaking of whom: After rioters, looters and various and sundry insurrectionists stormed and vandalized the Capitol and threatened our Congresspersons and our democracy, 25,000 troops were sent to guard the place. Talk about closing the barn door after the horse has already peed on the carpet. But those 25,000 troops will be ready the next time, by golly.

In fact, I think we will see little to no disruption during the inauguration week, in D.C. or at state houses, and rapidly diminishing white supremist troublemaking going forward. These people are like cockroaches, in that they scamper under the refrigerator when the lights are switched on.

For the last four years, the cockroaches have been tolerated, even encouraged, but that changed on January 6. I suspect that seeing how quickly the FBI has been able to identify and arrest the miscreants has been sobering to these bozos.  

The worst Trump Appointment: As the rats are leaving the ship, it begs the question which of them was the biggest rat. They are pretty much all corrupt and incompetent, so it’s hard to pick the worst one.

A good candidate would be Mike Pompeo, who will go down as the worst Secretary of State in history. He is the antithesis of a diplomat. He’s a pompous prick. There will be cheering in foreign capitals, and our own Foggy Bottom when he is gone.

But the worst Trump appointment was Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Education is arguably the most important, and most neglected of departments. As Thomas Piketty has written in Capital in the 21st Century, education is the best long-term solution to inequality.

Like many Trump appointees, DeVos was put in place more of less to destroy the department she was appointed to head, and she made a pretty good job of it. This child of extreme privilege was in completely over her head and had absolutely no understanding of or appreciation for her responsibilities. DeVos was unprepared and unqualified for any number of reasons, including that she herself is, well, stupid.

Worst state: The weathervane that is Lindsey Graham’s hypocrisy, has spun again. After briefly criticizing Trump’s behavior over the Capitol riot, Graham placed his lips back on The Donald’s ass, arguing against another impeachment because it might hurt his feelings. South Carolina gets the cup because Graham.