Here Comes the Sun, We Hope

Wasn’t the inauguration lovely? I can’t say I’ve ever paid such close attention to a presidential inauguration before. The entire day — the speeches, the poem, the music, the ladies’ pretty coats, Bernie Sanders’s home-made mittens — exuded positive vibes of hope for a new day. It struck me how wholesome the entire presentation was. Even Lady Gaga was a wholesome version of Lady Gaga.

Nobody else is talking about this song, but I liked it.

And now, on to work. There is much to do.

For example, CNN tells us that the Trump vaccination plan didn’t exist.

… in the immediate hours following Biden being sworn into office on Wednesday, sources with direct knowledge of the new administration’s Covid-related work told CNN one of the biggest shocks that the Biden team had to digest during the transition period was what they saw as a complete lack of a vaccine distribution strategy under former President Donald Trump, even weeks after multiple vaccines were approved for use in the United States.
“There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch,” one source said.

Another big job is purging MAGA loyalists from key positions. This has begun. Michael Pack, who had turned the Voice of America into a propaganda outlet, was ordered to resign. Kathy Kraninger, who ran the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect the financial industry instead of consumers, is out and is to be replaced by Liz Warren protégé Rohit Chorpa. Peter Robb, the anti-union head of the National Labor Relations Board, refused to resign and was fired.

The chief usher of the White House, who was hired by Trump, also has been fired. I don’t know exactly why.

Michael Ellis, who was sworn in as the top lawyer of the National Security Agency on Tuesday, was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday. Ellis’s hiring is under investigation.

However, as of this writing the only Biden nominee to have been confirmed by the Senate is Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence. The Senate vote was 84 to 10. The Ten included The Usual Suspects: Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Mike Lee of Utah, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, James Risch of Idaho, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Mike Braun of Indiana.

Meanwhile, there is a massive unemployment problem.

On the plus side, I take it the White House press corps is practically weeping with relief over the first competent press briefing in four years.

This is somewhat encouraging — see Democrats rebuff McConnell’s filibuster demands by Burgess Everett at Politico.

Senate Democrats are signaling they will reject an effort by Mitch McConnell to protect the legislative filibuster as part of a deal to run a 50-50 Senate, saying they have little interest in bowing to his demands just hours into their new Senate majority.

McConnell has publicly and privately pressed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to work to keep the 60-vote threshold on most legislation as part of their power-sharing agreement. Democrats have no plans to gut the filibuster further, but argue it would be a mistake to take one of their tools off the table just as they’re about to govern.

It’s likely Dems don’t have the votes to eliminate the filibuster entirely.

We’ll see how that goes.

8 thoughts on “Here Comes the Sun, We Hope

  1. I get email notifications when Maha posts a new article.

    When I saw the title, I was sure that Maha must have been watching the same White House Press Briefing as I have been.  It just finished.  Fauci spoke and answered questions followed by the Press Secretary who spoke and answered questions.  An extended press briefing with no lies and no bullshit and no presidential worship was truly a 'Here Comes the Sun' moment.

  2. Re: filibuster reform, I saw an article on Vox that suggested my personal favorite method for reform: require 40 votes to *sustain* the filibuster, not 60 votes to end it.

    Hell, make the number a bit lower, if it's completely impractical to keep 40 senators ready to vote to sustain it. The point is, the people holding up the legislation should be the ones who have to maintain the hold. It's been proven to be downright *stupid* to force the majority to break the hold. If I understand Senate rules properly, a single dissenting voice can prevent the bill from advancing without a cloture vote, so one evil, or stupid (or both) senator forces the majority to win 60 votes, and that just makes no sense whatsoever.

    Giving people a free weapon to use, without any cost, means that weapon will be used; make the weapon appropriately expensive to use, so it's reserved for when it's truly needed.

    • What an idea.  The number 40 is negotiable, but the idea has tremendous merit.  I think it is reasonable, in the Senate, to have any member or minority group of members power. I think this saved our democracy.  I also think this idea is what the founders envisioned.  The Senate more conservative and the House more subject to political winds.  Needless to say I am woefully underqualified to see all the unintended consequences of such an action, but it sure like the way it sounds.  

      With the 50-50 split on power all is negotiable.  What an individual Senator can block, what needs 60 votes to get to the floor, and  probably more I do not have any idea about.  It is a rare time when the iron is hot for such ideas.  It seems a minority of about 10 Republicans are attempting to wield inordinate power in the Senate and for the future of the Republican Party. These seem also to be the ones that favored the insurrection and the end of democracy in America.  As such they do not merit inordinate power.  It could and probably should be argued that they merit less than ordinary levels of power according to Senate Rules.  Let us see what legs this notion might have.



    It smells like… Democracy!

    I saw most of the inauguration shows:  Wonderful.  Especially our new "Youth Poet Laureate!"  Her poem reminded me of some by the late, great Maya Angelou.

    But back to my screaming headline: It was so wonderful to turn on the news today, and hear nothing… Nothing but legislative and executive processes!

    No shrieking Press Secretary talking down to the reporters.

    No mental health experts talking on the TV about whether the presiDUNCE is just a bit around the bend, or is he zipping along at a cool 125 on the CRAAAAAAAZY Highway to DOOMSVILLE!

    No legal-eagles on what the ramifications are for the lastest presiDUNCEtial scandal!


    Just the news.

    The boring, dull, dull news.

    I look forward to returning at some point very soon to reading fiction again – and not fearing that it will pale in comparisin to our reality, which is someting even Stephen King couldn't dream-up on LSD about politics that could match our Dual-Realities in tRUMPlevania!!!!!


    When only geeks like me follow every twist and turn of Moscow Mitch's political knife as he tries to slash away at progress before it can even get started! 

  4. re the R's who objected to Biden's nominee. Lawrence O'Donnell noted that McConnell wasn't among them. And so the crowd that objected are the usual set of nitwits reflexively performing for their base. The stellar qualifications of the nominee are irrelevant.

    I was thrilled to see AOC’s takedown of Ted Cruz’s moronic complaint about the Paris climate agreement.

    It’s clear that there’s a generational thing going on, that Pelosi and the others got us this far – no small thing – through the last 30-40 years of the conservative revolution. The younger generation is getting ready to step in, and completely kick the dinosaurs and their stupid ideology to the curb.

    I remember when George W Bush and the neo-cons took over, how the volume of lies – and the sick feeling I felt – coming from the govt jumped radically, and how they went off the chart with Trump. 30,000 some lies in four years should be a Guinness World Record.

    Lies are corrosive, they’re like a plague that sickens everyone, writes Bandy Lee. I am glad to see that this particular plague is being turned back. Here comes the sun, indeed.

  5. Oh we have sunshine.  No longer is misinformation regarding American History available on a government website.  That was some fast action.  We can't get back the tax money that was  wasted on it but the "commission" is gone and the web site removed according to the Washington Post.  Credit Valerie Strauss:

    Section 10, Part C of Biden’s executive order says unceremoniously that the Nov. 2 executive order that Trump had signed establishing the commission “is hereby revoked.

    That the '1776 Report' went up on MLK day was an action that assures, we hope, the T**** administration's proper place of dishonor in future American History.  

    That didn’t take long: Biden removes Trump’s ’1776 report’ on U.S. history from White House website – The Washington Post

  6. What a relief it is to not have to waste my time wondering what is wrong with those strange people. 

    Lately I've been satisfied with the idea that human consciousness has gone through a very painful evolution.  We tried  giving the prehensile (grasping) people a chance, but that failed.  Now we can all progress together.

  7. What a difference a day makes!  Biden sure hit the ground running.  Already I feel a little lighter and more hopeful.  I have stated in the past that I am tired of old white men running the government but I believe Biden is the man for the moment.  The gods are truly smiling on us.  

    Love the music.  I was raised on country/western.  Read somewhere that it is an evolution of the folk music brought over from Ireland/Scotland.  But then I am just a simple country girl, having been born in a shack by a river in southern Indiana early one morning in a hot July.  I had a twin brother who followed me but didn't make it alive.  The ol' country doctor told my mother I took all the energy.  Feel a little guilty about that.

    Love the picture, can't tell by looking whether it is a sunrise or sunset but it doesn't matter, it's part of the yin/yang of nature and is beautiful.

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