I had previously said I was off for the holidays. And I was. But since we are facing what Michael Osterholm calls a “viral blizzard,” I think the holidays are on hold. And besides, what teacher-writer with a book to finish ever stops working. As Perry Como (channeling Armando Manzanero) wailed, “Tell a baby not to cry, it’s impossible.”
You know, if you tried to make the last 18 months up, you couldn’t. I couldn’t, and I have a Hell of an imagination. Here are a few examples. In no order of importance.
There is a guy in the US Senate named Manchin (ne Mancino, or something like that). Now, I never gave this guy much thought. Cause, honestly, I never gave West Virginia much thought. I’ve been there briefly coming or going from the Southwest to Philly. Maybe 20 minutes. It looked like upstate Pennsylvania, but worse. I figured 20 minutes was enough. No there there.
Then along comes Manchin. I am told he drives a Maserati. You do sort of wonder how some dorch from nowhere affords such things, especially on a government salary. In Mexico, this is a presumptive crime called “inexplicable enrichment.” I like that. I think we need it on the books here. Because I got the feeling that Manchin is bought and paid for, well beyond the public stuff we can scrape the web for. Pharma? Energy companies? Who really cares? Right now, I know he is holding not only the United States, but indeed, the world, hostage. He has gutted the clean energy provisions of Biden’s legislation from his perch in the Senate. Why? Because he is, as they say in Spanish, el fiel de la balanza. The balance weight. The guy who tips the scales in our bankrupt political system, the land of “one man, one vote.” Right. More like “one man, one toilet.” Cause that’s where we are. With the evidence of truly scary climate change upon up–please, spare my intelligence the denials–maybe irreversible change, for all I know, Manchin is a one man greenhouse gas producer. He is toxic.
And yet the miserable Democrats have pussy footed around this weasel in the vain hope that “he can get there.” Meaning that they can talk some sense to him about Biden’s legislation, much of which strikes me as far too important to ignore. Like, Manchin apparently thinks greenhouse gases are a “positive good.” You know, like John C. Calhoun and African slavery. Not an obnoxious byproduct of a system of production, but a vital, and, indeed, beneficial contribution to humanity. No offense to Calhoun intended.
Time’s up, and Manchin is in the way. Not of progress, but maybe of the future of the planet. So is West Virginia. If the place were Russia in the 1950s, we would’ve given them over to Curtis LeMay and let his beloved B52s bomb them even further back into the Stone Age than they currently are. As far as Manchin goes, I think it’s time for Biden and any self-respecting Democrat (Pelosi, Warren, Klobuchar are the only three I can think of) to rough him up. And as we learned from past Presidents, you can rough someone up when you want. Gee, when was the last time that Joe’s tax returns got thoroughly audited? Search me. Better yet, search him. One of them compliance thingies, where if you say you are a dude on your 1040, you have to prove it. Maybe on national television. But I think the time for doing nice nice to this slug (among others) is now long past over. Ask Jim Carville. He seems to have some clues about how to handle people like this. And I bet he wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. I wouldn’t. And I’m a nice Catholic boy. But enough is enough.
Then there’s January 6. Oh, yeah, that refreshing stroll across the Capitol grounds by the Minions of Trump. Yesterday, I read that a guy who tossed a fire extinguisher at the cops got 5 years. And what about that Howling Maniac dressed up in an animal skin. He got some time, right? Whatever it was, not enough.
You have got to be kidding me. Merrick Garland is said to have a net worth of $20 million. I am again sort of wondering where that came from? By dint of his motivational seminars? Do we still have a DOJ? Or did Trump just lay waste to the entire thing? A year later and we got a couple of chicken shit sentences for fur wearers and extinguisher tossers? What about Trump? What about Meadows? What about Rick Perry? What about Giuliani? What about the complicit knuckleheads in Congress? We now have several long volumes by Woodward et al essentially laying out a public version of what these characters were up to. Lord, if some guy in South Texas can figure it out, are you telling me that the Best and Brightest can’t? Oh, they’re dotting i’s and crossing t’s. Comforting. Here I thought they were facing down the first open attempt at rebellion in the United States since Our Southrun Breathern decided to prove their point. . I remember when Katrina wiped out NOLA, I called my Senator (Kay Bailey Hutchison) and asked her office “Where the Hell is George?” You know, W who was a no-show for days in the wake of a catastrophe. I’m at about that point now with Garland and the DOJ. Y’all home? Taking calls? This is an emergency. The house is burning down. You can nap or have a tasteful meal later.
Then there’s the newest flavor of Covid. Dear God, is this nuts or what? I looked at a shot outside Macy’s in NYC. Crowded streets. Some masks even, but you’d never know this damn thing was blowing up again. I heard some poor physician say there are two worlds: ours, and then the one in which people are pretending nothing is happening.Take a look at the streets of Berlin for comparison. They got as many antivax wingnuts there–proportionately–as we do here. But they’ve gotten serious about making people get vaccinated. By restricting access to public spaces to people who realize their actions have consequences. The vaccinated. Don’t give me this idiocy about what I put into my body is my business. What you put into MY body is MY business. How many times do people have to hear that nobody has an absolute right to anything, especially when it infringes on the rights and well being of others?
Give me a break. Rousseau talked about forcing people to be free in The Social Contract. Well, I finally get it. Took fifty years, but I hear you, dude. I think we need to force some Americans to be free.
Yeah, this is nothing but an ill tempered rant. I don’t care. You don’t have to read it or like it or agree with it. But like they used to say in my old neighborhood, lead, follow, or get the Hell out of the way.
I have a feeling a lot of people need to get out of the way. And if they don’t, maybe they need a push. And it’s increasingly likely that some of us will be willing to help administer it.
Merry Christmas. And sorry I didn’t proofread carefully. Tough.