Some of us can relate…
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died Friday. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.
The court, in a statement, said Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family. She was 87.
“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
Architect of the legal fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation’s highest court, becoming its most prominent member. Her death will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty and tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her, and it thrusts the Supreme Court vacancy into the spotlight of the presidential campaign.
Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed on Friday that whomever President Donald Trump nominates to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will get a vote on the Senate floor, signaling a historic fight in Congress over one of the most polarizing issues in American politics.
“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said in a statement Friday evening that sets GOP lawmakers on a collision path with Democrats, though the exact timing of such a fight was not immediately clear.
GOP aides are skeptical that there is enough time to confirm a nominee before November 3, given that Supreme Court nominees typically take two to three months to process, according to a review of recent confirmation proceedings.
But that process could be sped up if McConnell, who controls the majority of the chamber, has the votes to confirm a replacement, and there is enough time to confirm someone in a lame-duck session of Congress after the November elections.
That calculation is further complicated if Republicans lose control of the Senate and the White House after the election — and whether enough GOP senators would break ranks and oppose any nominee by a President who had just lost his election and a GOP Senate that just lost its majority.
Senate Republicans, who hold the majority in the upper chamber, only need 51 votes to confirm a new justice once one is formally nominated. Currently, there are 53 GOP senators — meaning they can only lose three Republicans. In the event of a 50-50 split, Vice President Mike Pence could cast a tie-breaking vote.
Evacuation report from Michael Newnham (The Phoenix Preacher)…
SEPT 16, 2020. It strikes you as some sort of cosmic error that will surely be fixed before there is significant damage to what has always been.
We had to leave quickly…the angry clouds of black smoke looked as if they would soon overtake us and the sound of propane tanks exploding made it sound like war.
We fled north… I needed to get my mom and her cat to shelter…a friends house would be safe.
Except it wasn’t.
A wall of fire on the mountain was descending on that home…we had to go elsewhere.
My aunts house was safe, I left them there.
I would stay with my godson and his family…they were far enough away from the fires.
They evacuated that night.
I stayed at their home…an old man can only run so far for so long.
They are home now, as am I…I’m waiting until we have potable water to bring mom home.
Last night was the first night I slept without the scanner app playing on my phone .
The roads into Phoenix proper are blockaded down the street from my house…those who live (or lived) in that area are allowed to walk in briefly and walk out with whatever possessions they can carry.
At times it looks like those videos you see of refugees fleeing some Third World country… last night I saw a mom walking out hauling a garbage bag containing what remains of her world with her little boy trailing behind pulling a red wagon with a giant scorched teddy bear riding in it.
The streets are lined with cars all over the county as if folks were attending a giant wedding at someones house or a huge yard sale…in reality they are sleeping in their cars, often with their pets.
The initial estimate was that 600 homes burned…now that number is 2400.
They didn’t count the mobile homes at first…a subtle way of saying that folks who live in trailer parks don’t really count.
Jesus wept, then Jesus got busy.
I left my house with my meds and an oil stock…a small cylinder of oil used to anoint people for prayer.
I ran out of oil the first day…I was refueled by a retired Catholic priest.
We are caring for each other, protecting each other, supporting each other.
The Spirit hovers over the chaos restoring life one person, one moment, at a time.
Society has been reordered here…firefighters, law enforcement, and first responders are heroes again.
The Gospel is not a doctrine right now… it’s a spoken prayer, a shift as a volunteer, an unmasked hug, a can of cat or dog food, an ice chest full of water and Red Bull for those standing watch.
It’s people “paying forward” seven deep at the coffee stand and restaurant owners picking up tickets for newly homeless customers.
It’s people having visions of what will be rebuilt even before we know what has been lost.
It’s buckets of sunflowers placed on the on the road that is the only entrance to the town to remind us that the light will shine again.
Truly, it will….it is right behind the smoke.
It always is.
Update from Jeff Dunn:
Jeff’s wife Kathy is home after her hospitalization with Covid-19. Jeff says both she and he are going to try and get some much needed rest. Jeff also says, “Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement. We could not have made it without you!
“I will show you these Stooges…”
President Lincoln used stories to make military and political points with simple economy. When, at the height of the American Civil War, Brigadier-General John Pope telegraphed Washington that he had captured 4,500 enemy troops, was marching on the Confederates, and would soon have the rebels in his power, the cabinet asked the president for his opinion. “That reminds me,” he replied, of an “old woman in Sangamon Co who was ill.”
The doctor, he went on, came and prescribed some medicine for her constipation. Returning the next morning, he found her “fresh & well, getting breakfast”. Asked if the medicine had worked, she confirmed that it had. “How many [bowel] movements?” he inquired. “142,” she replied. “Madame, I am serious,” the physician replied. “I know you are joking. How many?” “142.” “Madame, I must know,” he insisted. “You couldn’t have had 142.” “I tell you 142,” she said, “140 of them wind.”
Lincoln closed the discussion by adding simply: “I am afraid Pope’s captures are [most] of them wind.”
Viva la English language…
That gesture looks so familiar…
Before they both got demoted to the minors at Weehawken, and history was made…
Venus has gas…
…which may prove the presence of life!
Scientists say they’ve detected a gas in the clouds of Venus that, on Earth, is produced by microbial life.
The researchers have racked their brains trying to understand why this toxic gas, phosphine, is there in such quantities, but they can’t think of any geologic or chemical explanation.
The mystery raises the astonishing possibility that Venus, the planet that comes closest to Earth as it whizzes around the sun, might have some kind of life flourishing more than 30 miles up in its yellow, hazy clouds.
Nothing could live on what passes for land on Venus; its smooth volcanic plains are a scorching hellscape hot enough to melt lead, where the temperatures exceed 800 degrees Fahrenheit. High in the clouds, however, the pressures and temperatures and acidity levels would be less intense — though still vile.
The clouds are far more acidic than any environments where microbes make their home on Earth. And instead of water, the clouds on Venus contain droplets of concentrated sulfuric acid; the atmosphere is so bereft of water that it’s many times drier than the driest desert on Earth.
All in all, it seems like an unlikely place for life. Nonetheless, the new report in the journal Nature Astronomy has astrobiologists and planetary scientists talking. Two different telescopes, at two different times, looked at Venus and saw the chemical signature that is unique to phosphine. If this gas is really there, Venus has either got some kind of geologic or chemical activity going on that no one understands, or alien life might be living right next door.
I’m hoping it’s a comedy in the end…
In my hour of darkness…
On this day in 1973, 26-year-old pioneering country-rock singer Gram Parsons died of a drug overdose in a California motel room. In honor of a drunken pact Parsons had made with his road manager, two friends stashed his body in a borrowed hearse and drove it into the middle of the Joshua Tree National Park, where they doused it with gasoline and set it on fire.
In the early 1970s, Parsons recruited an unknown female singer named Emmylou Harris, who joined him on his first solo album and a tour in 1973. She recorded more songs with him on Grievous Angel, which was released in 1974 after he died. Here’s a poignant song from that album, which features not only Harris, but also Linda Ronstadt.
Another young man safely, strummed his silver stringed guitar
And He played to people everywhere some say he was a star
But he was just a country boy, his simple songs confess
And the music he had in him so very few possess
In my hour of darkness, in my time of need
Oh Lord, grant me vision oh, Lord grant me speed