March 8, 2019

TGIF 3/8/19

It's time again for our weekly look at good weeks and bad, even if we don't have an actual definition of those terms.

It's sort of like pornography, right? We know it when we see it?

Minnesota's Rep. Ilhan Omar had a good week, I think in the end. She made, for the 3rd time, what most people would historically think of as being anti-Semitic remarks - that's right, the 3rd time - and as a result, the House of Representatives decided that the right thing to do was to draft a seven-page resolution that the House thinks that hatred and discrimination of all kinds are wrong.

All of the Democrats voted in favor of the resolution, Rep. Omar included, as did many Republicans - all but 23 of them, in fact.  The fact that the resolution was drafted in such a way as to protect Omar from being singled out for her specific comments gave her a better week than it might have otherwise been. The question for the House leadership, of course, is what happens the next time? Because it seems almost inevitable that there will be a next time.

Meanwhile, NY's Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used this opportunity to raise money. I'm not sure whether or not those efforts were successful, but I bet she thinks she had a good week.

Who else had a week?

The House also passed this year's HR-1, a massive reform bill. So, does this mean it was a good week or a bad week for the majority Dems? Opinions are mixed on this.

Some think it proves a good week, as they're on record as being for early voting, easier voter registration, making Election Day a federal holiday, eliminating gerrymandering, and demanding that presidents and veeps (and candidates for those offices) share 10 years of tax returns, among other things.

On the flip side, some wonder how it helps to knowingly pass legislation that is dead on arrival and won't pass at least until Trump is gone and Mitch McConnell is the leader of a much smaller Republican caucus in the Senate.

A third group thinks this is all well and good, but how will it help people who can't afford their insulin?

It's a tough call - I sincerely hope that having passed this 'wish list' we don't later miss out on the opportunity of addressing many of the important individual provisions of the bill that people really want to see happen, instead of just hearing people talk about them for another two years or so.

Paul Manafort had a good week, I think. I mean, how often is it that a crook gets props from a judge for living an "otherwise blameless life" aside from tax evasion, lying, bank fraud, lying, and so on. Facing a prosecutor's recommendation of significant jail time, and sentencing guidelines pointing to 20 years, Manafort was given only 47 months, less time already served. All in all, a pretty friendly sentence, particularly in light of how so many people of color are given much harsher penalties for lesser offenses, or who are given the death penalty for having cell phones or selling loosies. 

Some say the combination of the items above -- Omar, AOC, HR1 and Manafort - make for a really good week for the president, but there was a dark cloud or two for him. It seems that there are enough Republicans in the Senate who will sign on to the bill defying his national emergency declaration. Not enough to overturn his veto, but enough to make him do it.

And today. on International Women's Day no less, we learned that the president watched the Super Bowl with the founder of the sex trafficking salon where Patriots owner Robert Kraft was allegedly caught on tape soliciting prostitution. Li Yang no longer owns the particular chain of spas that were implicated in the sting but, according to the Miami Herald, her spas  have "gained a reputation for offering sexual services."  She's also gaining a reputation in Republican circles; with her relatives, she's donated over $42K to a Trump PAC and over $16K to the president's campaign in the last couple of years.

Finally, we'll close with one I think everyone would agree was a good week. Space X got its baby back. The company's unmanned Dragon capsule had been docked to the International Space Station for six days, but after de-coupling and taking a six-hour flight home, it landed safely in the Atlantic and is on track to go back up, with astronauts, later this year.

It was also a good week for the test dummy, too, I think.

How was your week?

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