But putting Lieberman in there is hilariously awful. He was last seen vouching before a Senate committee on behalf of the execrable Betsy DeVos. You can add this to the vast rack of coats he’s turned that includes waxing sententiously about Bill Clinton’s sins of the flesh, hamstringing Al Gore during the Florida recount process, ignoring the will of the Democratic primary voters in Connecticut and using Karl Rove’s money to do it, appearing on behalf of John McCain at the 2008 Republican National Convention, and damned near being McCain’s running mate, and sabotaging the Affordable Care Act. Please, god, let this happen. It ain’t 1998 any more, Joe. You can finally stand for all the damage you did.
It seems that Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin got a bit crossways with Senator Professor Warren the other day when he tried to pretend that he’s really opposed to unregulated big banks. He kept talking about “a 21st Century Glass-Steagall” law. As Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi pointed out Friday morning on MSNBC, this is a meaningless phrase. Glass-Steagall means separating investment banks from commercial banks, so that the former can’t play in the Big Casino with depositors’ money. Period. Any bill that does not achieve that separation, no matter what century you hang on it, isn’t a Glass-Steagall anything. Mnuchin tried to double-talk this codswallop past SPW. It did not go well.
Enda Kenny, the current Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, announced this week that he would be stepping down as leader of the Fine Gael party prior to the next general election. This effectively ends his political career. Kenny’s tenure as the country’s prime minister, a job he’s held since 2011, has its share of detractors. He managed to steer Ireland through the financial catastrophe of 2008, for which there were not many good answers and none that would please everyone. (He pushed to bail out Ireland’s big banks, which did him no more political favors than bailing out the banks over here did for two consecutive presidents.) He was criticized heavily for being in thrall of the financial powers of the European Union. But, for me, from afar, what I will remember is how Kenny stepped up on what we would call the “social issues” over here. It was during his time as Taoiseach that Ireland passed its marriage equality amendment in 2015, a cause that Kenny championed. He also worked hard to repair the moral catastrophes that the institutional Roman Catholic Church had wrought on the Irish people through history.
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He apologized on behalf of the nation for the horrors of the so-called Magdalene Laundries. And, after a 2011 report was published detailing the abuse of minors by 19 priests in the Diocese of Cloynes, Kenny got up before the Dail Eireann and delivered one of the most remarkable addresses ever made by an Irish politician, excoriating the institutional church for its historic disrespect for the institutions of secular government in Ireland. It was a defense of civic institutions against theocratic sabotage that can stand with James Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments as a defense of secular law and secular government.
Thankfully for us, this is not Rome. Nor is it industrial school or Magdalene Ireland, where the swish of a soutane smothered conscience and humanity, or the swing of a thurible ruled the Irish Catholic world. This is the Republic of Ireland, 2011 – a republic of laws, of rights and responsibilities, of proper civic order where the delinquency and the arrogance of a particular form of morality will no longer be tolerated or ignored…I want to make it clear as Taoiseach that, when it comes to the protection of the children of this state, the standards of conduct which the Church deems appropriate to itself cannot and will not be applied to the workings of democracy and civil society in this republic.
He also got off a good one when he came to visit our new president* for the first time.
I’m not close enough to Irish politics to judge the nuances of the years he spent as Taoiseach but, will o’god, as my grandmother would say, Enda Kenny could rise to an occasion.
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “Gimme A Pigfoot” (Bessie Smith): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans.
Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here’s President Kennedy meeting King Saud. They met in Palm Beach because the king was on the mend. No word on the video as to whether Kennedy insisted on his steak and ketchup. History is so cool.
I don’t know what in the hell is going on with Lawrence O’Donnell and the panjandrums at NBC/MSNBC. What I do know is that, if he somehow loses its show, it won’t be because of his ratings or his ad revenues, which are all that are supposed to matter in that business. Right now, MSNBC has a cable-news juggernaut between eight and 11 p.m so, naturally, the solution to this problem is to take one wheel off the juggernaut. I will never understand TV or the people in it. Swear to god, I won’t.
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, CTV News? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!
The main attraction is a fossil from a new species of armoured dinosaur (known as nodosaur) discovered at the Suncor Millenium Mine near Fort McMurray in 2011, the museum said in a blog post about the exhibit. At approximately 112 million years old, it is the oldest known dinosaur ever found in Alberta. According to the museum, the fossil was found by a Suncor employee who “spotted something unusual” while excavating the mine. “Little did he know that this would turn out to be one of the most significant dinosaur discoveries in the world.” Scientists found that a significant amount of the dinosaur fossil’s skin and its “armour, complete from the snout to hips” was intact.
That dinosaur is so well-preserved it could sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee. See? Dinosaurs lived then so we could make jokes and be happy today.
The post about the president*’s cancelling his visit to Masada because they wouldn’t let him land his helicopters on the ruins atop the plateau brought out the best of the shebeen’s Top Commenters. However, Top Commenter Patrick Fiegenbaum takes home the House Cup as Top Commenter for this little reference-heavy gem:
So he cancelled the whole appearance at Masada? And I was so looking forward to President Trump’s warm reminiscences about the time Peter O’Toole and David Warner visited there on behalf of the Roman Empire – wonderful people, the Romans.
I’ll be back on Monday with whatever President Griswold does overseas, which at the moment, I don’t want to think about very much. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snakeline, and eat all the veggies you can, because nothing is forever.