What we have this week is a news roundup of odds and ends.
Putin spent less than four hours talking to Biden, and already he’s flattering him just like he used to flatter Trump. I’ve detected a pattern.
Putin said after their meeting, “Mr. Biden is a professional, and you need to be very careful when working with him so as not to miss something. He himself does not miss a thing, I assure you, and this was absolutely clear to me.
“He is focused, he knows what he wants to achieve and does it very skillfully, and you can instantly sense it.”
Putin went on to say, “Biden is now my new best friend forever, and I want him to come live with me, and I will share with him all my toys. We will have so much fun. We will take our shirts off and ride horses together.”
In this part of the world, people are saying maybe Biden’s list of places Russian computer hackers should not attack is an invitation to attack everything else. So, not everyone agrees Biden is thinking of everything. We will know he goofed if Russian cyberterrorists manage to shut down a major toothpick supplier.
One argument against having a Bill of Rights was people would just use the list of rights as an invitation to violate any rights not on the list.
Meanwhile Congress, or most of it, didn’t miss a chance to look less racist than usual. I’m writing this the morning of last Friday, the eve of the first national Juneteenth Day. All but 14 Republicans want us to remember that Lincoln ended slavery and Lincoln was a Republican. The other 14 want to move on already. Lincoln is such old history.
Juneteenth is connected with Texas, which I know very little about. When I was a kid I was driven through north Texas several times, where I remember every gas station sold Dr Pepper. I came to think of Texas as hot weather plus cold bottles of Dr Pepper.
I believe Texas is the only state to have seceded from its country twice — once to break off from Mexico, because Mexico was interfering with slavery. Then after becoming a U.S. state, Texas changed its mind because it looked like the federal government would stop slavery, and they turned out to be right. Although if they hadn’t joined the Confederacy, who knows if there’d have been an Emancipation Proclamation so soon.
Juneteenth happened when Union troops gained control in Galveston, Texas, and enforced Lincoln’s decree on June 19, 1865. Galveston had its first annual commemoration of the event in 1866, and now throughout the U.S. we’ll be doing it. Banks will close; there won’t be mail; government — and some private — employees will get the day off or holiday pay and I hope there will be marches and rallies and reparations from us non-Black people.
The newer thing I know about Texas is it’s proposing to continue Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. They sure remember the Alamo. But I find this proposal surprising because it’s fiscally nuts. Texas would pay so much for a border wall without help from other states in the shadow of the wall? Are Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska as regressive?
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hasn’t said how the project would be paid for. I want him to continue Trump’s promise to make Mexico pay for it — that’s always been a great source of comedy. The world needs more to laugh about.
In other news, the Supreme Court dismissed a Republican-driven lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, making Justice Samuel Alito very angry. The lawsuit was dismissed because even Justice Clarence Thomas and Trump’s additions to the court thought the states bringing the suit had no standing as they couldn’t claim any harm due to the ACA. Alito said sure they could — even if it only cost them each a dollar, that’s enough. And then he spat in disgust, I’m imagining. “Your liberal law cost my state a whole dollar, and dollars don’t grow on trees!”
At the same time the Supreme Court was handing that victory to liberals, the justices decided a Catholic foster agency didn’t have to allow same-sex couples to adopt children. Because, you know, they’re Catholic, so they have freedom of religion.
Allowing the violation of a right not on the list.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Read more of the June 23-29, 2021 issue.