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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.

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.

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.

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.

Thoughts on Events the Week of January 4, 2021

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 12, 2021

Georgia on my mind: In an astounding upset, Democrats won both Senate races in Georgia, effectively giving control of the Senate to Democrats. The Senate is now split 50/50 between the parties, so Vice President Kamala Harris will have the deciding vote in the event of ties. Guess which party she will favor.

Stacy Abrams did a marvelous job of organizing and motivated black voter turnout. She has risen dramatically in my estimation. But Democrats owe this extreme good fortune to President Trump. There is no doubt in my mind that had it not been for Trump’s antics since he lost his own election, Georgia would have gone like so many other states: electing Biden at the top of the Democratic ticket but Republicans down ballot. Thanks, the Donald, for such an artful deal.

Hey, Moscow Mitch, what do you think about your president now? Don’t bother answering; it was a rhetorical question.

Capitol Carnage: Incited by President Trump and several Republican lawmakers, a mob of Trump’s knuckle dragging, mouth breathing minions stormed the Capitol building, scaring a lot of people, injuring some, killing a few, causing minor physical damage to the building and grave damage to their cause. I’m sure you are aware of this; it was in all the papers.

These criminals were kind enough to take pictures of themselves in commission of their crimes and post them on social media so the police will know who they are and where to find them…typical Trump supporter intelligence.

It’s too late: I enjoyed watching Republicans scrambling to put distance between themselves and Trump. In another week, they will never have heard of Donald Trump. But for most of them, enlightenment has come too late. They had three years and 50 weeks to do the right thing, and they squandered their time and eschewed their responsibilities, preferring to kiss Trump’s ass. How does that fat ass taste now?

Big losers are Trump, of course, and Moscow Mitch McConnell, who is now a back bencher in the Senate. I have less sympathy for Moscow Mitch than for most Trump sycophants. He’s as indifferent to the Constitution and his oath to it as Trump. He has enabled Trump as much as anyone else, yet butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth as he criticized Thump this week. What a puke.

I think this will go hard on Senators Cruz and Hawley too, but only to their reputations and their prospects for higher office. They can probably get reelected in their own conservative states, but I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it.

As for the Republican Representatives who signed onto the coup, most, I expect, will get off Scott free. They come from red states, a large portion of whose voters are probably okay with their behavior. This includes even Kevin McCarthy, Republican minority leader in the house and one seriously unprincipled pig part.

But another big loser, and perhaps the most important in the long run, is social media. They have been allowed to pass along scandalous, even treasonous postings with impunity. They need a big knot tied in their tail and I think they may be about to get it. It is certainly about time.

More shiny object chasing: Democrats are carrying on about impeaching Trump again or removing him from office via the 25th Amendment. I wouldn’t do it, but what else has Congress got to do before January 20? Well, there is that COVID-19 thingie. Save Trump’s punishment until after he is out of office when prosecutors can get their hands on him unimpeded.

The only rationale for trying to impeach Trump now is that it will prevent him from running again in 2024. But there’s no danger of that. By 2024, Trump will be a bad memory and possibly in jail. He’s not going to run for anything again, and if he does, even Republicans, especially Republicans, won’t stand for it. This all assumes there will even be a Republican Party in 2024.

Worst state: Among Republican leaders and legislators doing back flips through their assholes trying to change their positions on Trump since the insurrection began on Wednesday, the most disgusting is Lindsey Graham, the filthiest pig in the sty.

In the course of Trump’s candidacy and term in office, Graham began as a critic, then sold his soul just to play golf with Trump, damn his responsibilities to his office, to now piling on Trump as if he had been opposed to his antics the whole time. This is the behavior of an unprincipled piece of putrid pie. South Carolina gets the cup this week because, you guessed it, Lindsey Graham.

Football thoughts – Week 18

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 7, 2021

College: My beloved Oklahoma Sooners (#6) wiped up the floor with the (#7) Florida Gators in the Cotton Bowl, 55-20. The Texas Aggies (#5) beat (#14) North Carolina handily in the Orange Bowl, 41-27. Meanwhile, Alabama cruised by Notre Dame and Ohio State embarrassed Clemson to set up the championship game.

These games brought into sharp relief how badly the playoff committee blew it this year. Notre Dame should never have been in the playoffs to begin with, and Ohio State, though it is a fine team, should have been disqualified from the Championship because they only played six games. The playoffs could have included OU and the Aggies instead. I’m thinking some of the committee members know it, too.

Texas fired head coach Tom Herman, which surprised me. I expected him to succeed at Texas, given his experience as a high school coach in the state, a potential advantage with recruiting, and his success at Houston (he actually beat OU there a few years ago).

Herman’s record wasn’t that bad, just not good enough for Texas. Herman had an excellent quarterback in Sam Elinger, so you would expect his record to be better. In fact, Texas was getting recruits, just not developing them adequately.

Texas immediately hired Steve Sarkisian off the Alabama staff. I guess if money is no object, you can do that kind of flipping. Sarkisian is an excellent coach, but a once-failed head coach.

NFL: In the comparison and contrast between Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns beat a resting Pittsburgh Steelers team to qualify for the playoffs. Before the game, some sports analyst opined if the Browns didn’t get in, they should part with Mayfield. What a moron. I would replace almost every player on the team before Mayfield, starting with an offensive line that can’t protect him and a defense that can’t break up a pass.

Regarding Kyler Murray, the Cardinals lost their game with the Rams, but Murray went out with a sprained ankle in the first quarter after scoring a touchdown and giving the Cardinals the lead, so no comparisons are possible.

Clearly, the Cardinals need more protection for Murray and a whole lot more defense. Sadly, the Cardinals coach hasn’t a clue about defense. Never has had, never will have. And, based on body language, Murray has little confidence in his defense and no confidence in his coach.

The Dallas Cowboys, my erstwhile favorite team, did it again, stinking up the place with a loss to the New York Giants to eliminate themselves from the playoffs. Bad coaching, inept defense, under performance and poor play. Never has an NFL team paid so much for players giving such little effort.

But the most interesting game in the NFC Least was between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. Washington won and will represent the East with a losing record, 7-9.

It’s a mystery what Eagles’ head coach Doug Peterson was thinking, given his decisions. The only plausible explanation is that he was trying to lose the game to gain a higher draft choice. The only other possible explanation is that he is a bad coach and it’s inexplicable how he ever won a Superbowl a few years ago. Either way, he should have been fired on the spot.

Peterson wisely started Jalen Hurts at quarterback over Carson Wentz, who is struggling, and Hurts had them in position to kick a short, easy field goal that would have tied the game with eight minutes to go, but instead Peterson went for it on fourth and about 10 yards, an exceptionally low percentage decision, which failed, predictably.

Worse, Peterson then benched Hurts for a third string backup quarterback of whom I had never even heard, who immediately blew up. Hurts was not happy, nor was anyone else in Philly.

The irony in Peterson’s blunder is that he may have solved the Eagles’ quarterback dilemma inadvertently. Philadelphia must decide who to keep at QB next year: Carson Wentz, who seems to be a bust now, but who has an enormous contract that will make him hard to trade and disastrous if they have to swallow it, and Hurts, who is a good player at a fraction of the cost and who would be a welcome starter on most NFL teams.

Peterson may have made this decision academic by benching Hurts. If I were Hurts now, I would insist on being traded out of that chicken outfit and stick Philadelphia with Wentz. It would serve Peterson right to be left with a struggling Wentz and his albatross of a contract.

I’m a believer in the importance of timing a peak for the playoffs. A few NFL teams seem to be peaking at the right time: Baltimore, Green Bay and Buffalo in particular. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Superbowl between two of these teams.

Thoughts on Events the Week of December 28

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 6, 2021

How did it all come to this: I have my theories, but it is still somewhat of a confounding mystery how one of the two major political parties in our country no longer supports democracy, but instead embraces an authoritarian wannabe.

More than 100 Republican congresspersons and about a dozen U.S. Senators have indicated they will ignore the Constitution and raise (futile) objections to the certified vote of the people in favor of the election’s clear and decisive leader. If that’s being faithful to their oath, I’ll kiss your ass in Macy’s window and give you an hour to draw a crowd.

Among the notable objectors is newly elected Tommy Tubberville (R-A), displaying his disdain for the Constitution before he even gets onto the Senate floor; and Josh Hawley (R-MO). Tubberville is an ignorant boob, consistent with the bozos Alabama typically elects to public office, but Hawley knows better.

I can understand that the objectors are from red states and that they are afraid of Trump’s base, but that doesn’t excuse their flouting the Constitution and their oath of office.

It’s said that Hawley is a young, smart, ambitious politician who plans to run for president in 2024. I’m sorry Hawley, but I prefer to vote for someone with faith in, and respect for, the Constitution and not one with more naked ambition than Casca and his “lean and hungry look.”

Covid-19 Distribution: Fortunately, distribution of the new vaccines has begun, and inoculations are underway, though the numbers of each are far behind what was promised at this point. There may be some weather-related reasons why some inventory of vaccines was held back, but the inoculation hold ups can only be explained by massive incompetence.

The cynic in me has considered that Trump may be holding up distribution to use it as a tool for manipulation of states to overturn their election results, or even to sell the vaccines for his personal profit. In the end, however, I am pretty sure it’s just gross incompetence. That’s the default explanation for so much of the Trump administration’s behavior.

One thing Trump got right: Trump got two things right in four years, but he subsequently screwed one of them up. I’m commenting on this one. Trump was spot on to want to get rid of Section 230 of the so called “Communications Decency Act,” which is anything but. This section allows social media companies to post vile, spurious, inaccurate information and downright lies, with impunity. The practical effect of Section 230 is that some of the communications posted on these sites is about as far from decent as you can possibly get.

Not even cable news networks can get away with that. See how quickly Dominion Voting Systems got Fox News to recant the lies about the company that they have been passing along about their voting machines in response to Dominion’s cease and desist order. Talk about a fast backtrack. Social media should be legally accountable for the lies and misinformation they allow to be disseminated on their platforms.

And another thing, the disclaimer language that Twitter and others use is woefully inadequate. It goes something like, “Claims in this posting are disputed.” No, they’re not. They’re clearly inaccurate or lies or both. The disclaimer should say something like, “This post is a flat out lie,” or “This statement is bullshit.” Then let’s get on to the lawsuits to get these tech behemoths under control.

The worst states: Congresspersons from all the worst states have signed onto this patently unconstitutional assault on our democracy, so they all share the cup this week.

Going into 2021, we’ll hold the worst state list at: Alabama, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. Arizona drops off the list for 2021 due to its enlightened voting laws.