What's Up, Duck?
Don't worry, the title will make sense later...
After reading about Republicans voting to not allow science to be used by the EPA, the typing fingers just naturally start twitching, but then you realize that there's not much to add because that pretty much says it all. (Okay, in fairness, the vote didn't say that exactly -- it's not about not allowing ALL science but only "science that wasn't available to the public" -- but it's the same underlying concept: there is actual science that Republicans won't allow to be used by the Environmental Protection Agency,
"Protection" is of course an operative word here. After all, these are the same people who just voted that Internet Service Providers don't have to protect your privacy now, and can sell your online usage.
Swell, just swell. Every man for himself. (We've long know with conservatives it's every woman for herself.)
As Kurt Eichenwald quipped, the GOP will next not allow doctors to use medicine. Hey, why don't we just make the country a theocracy and have it done with. When building infrastructure, we won't allow engineers but instead will just rely on divine inspiration and measure with cubits.
It's not shocking that Trump's approval rating during his honeymoon period is now down to 35%. But then, Speaker Paul Ryan's approval is down even lower to just 21%. But even that's looking good to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who is bottom feeding at 19% approval.
At a certain point, you'd think that politicians who live and die by numbers would see approval ratings like this and grasp that their strategy just isn't working, and how merely playing to appease only the base is a questionable way to govern. But apparently not. After all, we have a Republican Party who, like all elected members of Congress, are tasked under solemn oath with defending the Constitution of the United States, and yet their biggest concern is not trying to discover the lengths Russia went to subvert our presidential election, but rather how information leaked that Russia was attempting to subvert our presidential election.
And I won't even get into House Republican's near-unanimous continued-support for Devin Nunes (R-CA), a former member of the Trump transition team who secretly switched cars at night to go to the White House to get classified information that he didn't share with his co-chair but went instead to the Speaker of the House with it and then held a press conference before going back to the White House that had given him the information in the first place to brief the president about the investigation his intelligence committee was investigating the president's administration over. Yes, let's still line up in support of Mr. Nunes and his crack skills to lead a fair, objective intelligence investigation about Russian influence to undermine the country.
Happily, there at least is a Senate committee investigation now. I don't yet have full faith in the Republican chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) -- after all, he was one of the two members of Congress who the White House reached out to in secret a few weeks ago to downplay to the public news stories about Trump team contacts with Russia -- but Burr did come clean later, so he gets a few points for that. Then again, so too did the other person involved...and that was Devin Nunes! However, the Senate has shown at least a slightly greater amount of concern about Russian intervention than does the House, so that seems a better starting point.
Who knows yet what they'll find. Maybe nothing. But I'm willing to lay some cash money on the table that "maybe nothing" won't be the case. After all, we're so far into deep much that two cliches no longer hold true --.
The first I'm referring to is "If there's smoke, there's fire." We're now at the point where that cliche is obsolete and instead reads -- "If there are clouds of smoke billowing out all of the windows of a house, walls collapsing, people running out in fear for their lives, and firefighters are setting up their hoses, then there's a raging inferno inside that risks burning down the neighborhood if the flames leap to the next house."
The second cliche that's lost it's meaning is "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck." We now have reached the place where we must instead say -- "If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, and swims like a duck, and it flies like a duck, and it flaps its feathers like a duck, and it's followed by gaggle of ducks, then we have to wonder what all these ducks are doing gathered together in mass where there usually aren't ducks."
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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