So there’s been quite a lot of news going on this summer. We’ve got a Presidential election going on, starring perhaps the most bat-shit crazy person ever nominated by a major political party (I say “perhaps” because who really knows how nuts Richard Nixon or some other candidate I’ve never heard of from the 1820s might’ve been). The Olympics are just finishing up, and they were as usual, awesome and infuriating and dominating the news. (more on them below)
We’ve got racial tensions and police violence and violence against police in so many American cities, plus a ton of other stories that don’t get nearly the attention they deserve.
And in all that, nobody seems to be talking about the outrage that is the Merrick Garland nomination to the Supreme Court.
Merrick Garland, remember him? Name ringing a bell? He’s the completely qualified, unimpeachable judge who was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next Supreme Court Justice after the death of Antonin Scalia.
That was five months ago. FIVE months ago! And as I write this, there has been no Senate judiciary committee hearing on Judge Garland. There has been no Senate confirmation hearings either, of course. There have been almost no meetings with Judge Garland by Senate Republicans, lest they (heaven forbid) be seen even considering voting for or against him.
I cannot stress this next point enough: This is unprecedented in American history. One political party refusing to even interview or hold a hearing on a Supreme Court justice, dangerously and irresponsibly allowing the Court to remain at eight justices, leading to (of course) several 4-4 opinions decided in June.
I don’t know why this injustice isn’t being screamed from the high heavens by every elected Democrat and every Democrat running for a House or Senate seat. I don’t know why Merrick Garland isn’t being paraded around the country next to these Senators and Congressmen, with everyone in America being reminded, over and over again, what a disgrace it is that a Republican-majority Senate refuses to even hold a hearing (and remember, the GOP is still in the majority! What are they so afraid of?) is.
I know there’s a lot going on in the world, I do. But this absolute refusal to consider Garland should be getting a lot more attention than it is. Let’s hope clueless Harry Reid will follow up on what he’s promising here.
**Next up today, the Rio Olympics ended Sunday night, after what, all things considered, has to be considered a really successful Games. Again, the bar was so low given how unprepared Brazil seemed a few weeks ago, but overall these Olympics will be remembered for the incredible performances, I think, more than any malfunctions.
Too many great efforts to mention them all here, but just this past weekend, I was inspired by Usain Bolt and Jamaica dominating on the track, an American named Matthew Centrowitz winning the 1,500 meters, the first time a U.S runner has done that since 1908 (1908 was also the last time the Cubs won the World Series, so, you know, that’s an omen), and this little piece of video from American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, who decided to stop an attempt midway through when he heard “The Star Spangled-Banner” playing.
The fantastic photographers at Reuters put together this great photo gallery of the Olympic’s best moments. No. 3, No. 9, No. 17 and No. 26 are my favorites, along with the one above, but they’re all just terrific.
**Finally today, I always love the heart-tugging Olympics commercials, and I’m kind of amazed how every Olympics Procter & Gamble manage to set the bar pretty high for emotional ads.
This one was just superb, it gave me chills each time I saw it. Watch it, then go call your Mom.