So, who've you got in the Supreme Court Death Pool? I mean, you know one of those old black-robed folks is going to pass on soon, and we'll be down to seven justices. If four of them are conservative, it's a win for the GOP. If the first one to die is conservative, then the Democrats will have the edge. Sound crazy? Get used to it. SCOTUS Death Pool Roulette appears to be the way of the future.
When Justice Antonin Scalia inconveniently died on a hunting trip earlier this year (or Killery had him taken out, if you're not one of the sheeple who believes the lamestream media), it meant we were down to eight justices, which means almost every SCOTUS decision is now gridlocked at four-to-four. And that just doesn't work. Our Founding Fathers knew this, because they could do math. They knew an odd number of justices, say, nine, would lead to, you know, actual decisions.
But judging from remarks made this week by Senator John McCain and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, we're going to be stuck at eight for a while. At best. According to these fine legislators, there will no longer be a SCOTUS selection process, at least not until a Republican is elected president.
McCain pledged in a radio interview in Pennsylvania that the Senate would not confirm any justices nominated by Hillary Clinton. McConnell said in a Fox News interview with Chris Wallace that he "couldn't see" the Senate ever confirming a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association and the National Federation of Independent Business. He was referring specifically to President Obama's current nominee, Merrick Garland, but one suspects the NRA and NFIB will pretty reliably oppose any nominee put forward by a Democratic president.
Which could be a problem, if we are to believe the polls. They currently show Hillary with massive leads in the popular vote and in every key swing state. If McCain and McConnell are to be taken at their word, we won't see any new justices until at least 2020, when the Republicans will do their best to nominate someone who's not a delusional 70-year-old sexual predator.
Of course, thanks to the GOP's innovative SCOTUS Death Pool system, we might be down to five justices by then.
I've tried to wrap my head around the dilemma forced upon the GOP by this Trump thing. Every day, it seems, another prominent Republican finds a conscience. Last week, our own Governor Bill Haslam finally had enough and said he couldn't vote for the GOP nominee. But we still haven't heard a peep out of our Tennessee senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out what their thinking is. Neither is up for reelection this cycle. There are no two safer seats in the U.S. Senate than theirs. Are they on board with the SCOTUS Death Pool strategy? Are they afraid Donald Trump will grab them by the pussy?
They shouldn't be. Trump is down to a bunker mentality. He's unraveling, preaching paranoia to his rabid base: The polls are fake, the debate monitors are biased, the election is going to be rigged, all those women accusers are liars (except the ones accusing Bill Clinton), and, at least according to Melania Trump, Access Hollywood svengali Billy Bush egged him into that "locker room talk." And last, but not least, the media hate him.
There's an old saying: Never get into an argument with people who buy ink by the barrel. Here's a corollary: Never point to the folks covering your campaign at your rallies and call them out as the "enemy" and urge your supporters to attack and demonize them. They might just put a little more effort into fact-checking your daily stream-of-consciousness horse puckey.
But hey, maybe Alexander and Corker and McCain and McConnell and Paul Ryan and all the other GOP establishment weasels who bravely denounce Trump's words but who are too timid to stand up to him, are onto something. Maybe they think the election really will be rigged. At this point, that appears to be the only way Trump could win. Maybe they know something we don't know. Maybe they're actually looking forward to confirming President Trump's SCOTUS nominees.
"Justice Billy Bush" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
It's deep in a November night in Memphis, and I'm awakened by rain. It's coming down hard, sounding like a million pebbles hitting the roof. The gutter I've been meaning to clean is overflowing outside the bedroom window. A flash of lightning illuminates the room, and I do what I've done since I was a boy: count the seconds 'til the thunder rolls. I get almost to 10 before I hear a distant rumble. Two miles or so. Someone else's lightning ...
In the 14 years I've been the Flyer editor, I've gotten lots of hate mail. It mostly used to come in envelopes filled with pages of scrawled handwriting. I read them and put them in the wastebasket, chalking it up as a natural by-product of writing for a liberal paper in the conservative South. Lately, the angry folks have switched to email, and it comes in waves ...
The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced last week that the I-55 "old bridge" across the Mississippi would be closed for nine months, beginning in 2017, so that the department could build new exit and entrance ramps. This is a really horrible idea, with potentially disastrous economic, public safety, and even national security ramifications ...