I see you guys have hashed out the Bernie Question in the previous post comments. I have little to add, since no one listens to me and I can’t change history. It’s looking better than ever that he’ll be the nominee, and as I am on record as saying I’ll vote for whoever opposes Trump, up to and including the Exhumed Corpse of Charles Manson (campaign slogan: Not me. Us. Plus whoever wants to hang at the ranch.)
But I am a worrier, and I expect I’ll be worrying up to and through Nov. 3. I have allowed a small crack of optimism to push through, thinking that with the right running mate and messaging, it might be possible to pull off a miracle. If Trump pardons Roger Stone, that won’t help. If there’s an undecided voter left in this stupid country, there’s no way he or she will be swayed by the idea of mercy for that smirking douchebag in his very elegant homburg, or whatever he was wearing over his hair plugs the last time he had his picture taken.
Speaking of which, Mitch Albom phoned in another one this weekend, about pardons. Like his Kobe Bryant tribute, it smelled of a quick Wikipedia scan. And like most of his non-sports columns, it was crafted to not exactly say anything that might actually be an opinion. After noting that “perhaps” it’s time to “rethink” the whole idea of the presidential pardon, he goes way out on that limb and says:
Now, before you scatter to your political corners, know that I say this not because President Donald Trump has used his pardon power largely as a means of rewarding supporters or getting back at enemies, but because other presidents have as well, and more are likely to do so in the future.
No, it’s not because a president is obviously abusing the power of the pardon, it’s because Marc Rich and Barack Obama, who “used his pardon power nearly 2,000 times, more than the previous five presidents combined.” Too bad he didn’t read deeper into that Wikipedia entry, where he might have learned that Obama’s pardons were overwhelmingly weighted to help people who had been convicted of non-violent drug offenses, most of them people of color. Marc Rich I won’t defend, but who’s still upset about that one?
That guy. I can’t waste another minute with him.
Anyway, a very nice weekend here. The sun came out and stayed out, and at the moment it’s quite warm. I’m considering a bike ride. Last night I took myself out on a me-date to the Cat Video Fest 2020. It was a me-date because I couldn’t find anyone else to go with me. Not sure why I wanted to see it; I don’t have a cat, have never had a cat, but cats are cool. My favorite cat videos of all time are the ones collected by a Tumblr blog called Indifferent Cats in Amateur Porn, but I haven’t been able to look at that since Tumblr required an account to look at anything on that platform. Needless to say, none were in the Cat Video Fest. Although Henri was!
Then it was home early, and what the hell, a rewatch of “Up in the Air,” a fine movie that shows off George Clooney’s laugh lines but brought me abruptly back to 2009-ish, when the film subsidies had lots of crews here — no duplicating that flat overcast winter sky. Also, where better to shoot a film about the collapse of the economy than here, where a film crew can get an entire abandoned skyscraper to shoot in? God, what a terrible time that was, and yet. I remember reading about credit swap defaults, then looking out the window to wonder why people weren’t rioting in the street. Then I’d make dinner. I ran across a line in a book review recently, about how we live in multiple timelines simultaneously, with history happening on one level, and what-to-have-for-dinner happening on another. That’s exactly right, and captures the strangeness of living through an era like that. Or like the one we’re in now, for that matter.
What else happened this weekend?
An important lesson was taught: If anyone offers you a ride in their homemade rocket, suddenly remember an urgent appointment.
I think that’s all. Good week ahead to the lot o’ youse.