CSotD: Timing is everything

Ed Wexler poses the question of whether Dianne Feinstein learned anything from the results of Ruth Bader Ginsburg lingering on the court so long that Donald Trump got to choose her successor. The answer is “Apparently not,” because Ginsburg was mentally sharp right to the end, while Feinstein has reportedly been less so, needing prompts and hints to remember what she is up to.

You hate to tell someone with such a distinguished record to give it up, but she’s becoming more of a burden than an advantage, Gavin Newsom would certainly appoint a compatible temporary replacement and it’s likely her district would then do the same.

It’s hard to mock Trump for saying only he can fix it when Feinstein appears to feel the same way.

Technical Note: I was going to comment on how surprised Ginsburg must have been to find herself in Christian heaven, but it occurs to me that there is no basis for thinking anyone ends up as a angel anyway. Angels are angels, souls are souls. Wexler might have drawn her as a disembodied spirit, but a friendly caution seems more attractive here than a Scrooge/Marley confrontation.

On the same topic, Andy Marlette offers Joe Biden cause for confidence, given that Martha Stewart is same age and, in case you’ve somehow managed to miss it, is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue.

Constant Readers know how annoying I find it when elderly achievers are highlighted as if, indeed, you were only as old as you feel. I promise you, it’s not an issue of character and attitude so much as one of genetics, arthritis and rolls of the dice.

When you talk about specific individuals, it’s accurate to point out that some people are sharper and more active at 80 than most 40-year-old schlubs, and it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that a guy who, at 80, still jogs, rides a bike, drinks water with one hand and can accurately identify his wife in photographs is fit for office.

Juxtaposition of the Day: Asked and Answered?

This could simply be a case of working too much in advance and betting on a result, and Clay Jones works to a very tight deadline, which is why he turns up here so often: He hits stories while they are fresh and I try to do the same.

At the same time, both Lester and Gorrell have been beating the “Open Borders” drum for so long that it’s hard to imagine either of them drawing a cartoon that reflects the fact that, after a quick surge just before Title 42 ended, crossings have dropped precipitously.

As Jones points out in his essay, Title 42 was never about illegal crossings in the first place. That, and the Trump-era restrictions back in force now, have always been about people who legally cross and seek asylum.

The US has been at pains to try to get the word out that immigrants need to register before coming, and there is even an app so they can do it on-line. The Washington Post had a story (gifted/no paywall) about migrants heading this way, and, yes, they have cell phones, though I have no idea how they manage to recharge them.

But I suppose picturing them as 19th century peasants passing through 19th century villages is my fault, not theirs.

Which, BTW, makes me feel doubly foolish, since, when I was reporting in Plattsburgh, NY, we had a lot of Somalis who, having tried to enter Canada, were turned back until their cases could be heard. They hadn’t crossed the Atlantic on rafts; they were reasonably middle-class people who happened to dress like people dress in Somalia.

There was also a Colombian kid who, while his family waited, was required to go to the local high school, since kids have to be in school. He spoke no English, but there was a Mexican exchange student his age who acted as an interpreter for him.

Which they told me annoyed the exchange student’s parents slightly because they wanted him to be immersed in English, not translating all day. But, in any case, the Colombian kid’s father was a cartographer. These are not all peasants.

Which, by the way, so what if they were? If you want to hire American, you’d better not be in agriculture, and the last time I stayed at a hotel, nobody cleaned my room or made my bed for four days. I kind of missed hearing the cheerful trill of Spanish-speaking women in the halls during the day, which had become customary in such settings.

In any case, you can prattle on about the Great Replacement, but maybe you should specify who’s being replaced, because the apple growers I know have, for decades, been legally required to advertise for American harvest workers and come up empty before they were allowed to hire Jamaicans. Which they do (both).

The trick isn’t to build walls to keep people out. It’s to refurbish the system to regulate their arrival.

Joe Heller also seems guilty of drawing a cartoon too far in advance of the story, because I suspect that most of this year’s graduates at least got through three years without the help of AI.

Not that they had to do it honestly. There are all sorts of ways to crib from the Internet, though there are all sorts of ways to get caught, starting with having the prof plug a sentence into Google, never mind investing in any of several programs to detect plagiarism.

And even before the Internet, there were ads in youth-oriented publications offering term papers on any topic.

We had an “honor code” in college, which required us to turn in anyone we knew was cheating, but very few of us cared what other people were doing. We had enough on our plates just keeping ourselves in good academic standing.

A final bit of odd timing, this from the Lockhorns (KFS). I don’t know their lead time, but I just heard a story on Wait-Wait about a couple barred for life from Carnival Cruise Lines for fishing from their balcony.

I looked up the story and was delighted to find a report that echoed my feeling about cruise ships as well as about the particular decision.

For my part, I’d rather hang out with the Fishin’ Musician:

13 thoughts on “CSotD: Timing is everything

  1. RBG would have to have retired at the start of 2012. Otherwise the Republicans would have refused to hold hearings for her replacement, just as they did when Scalia died, and then Trump would have had that SCOTUS pick anyway, just as he did after McConnell unconstitutionally refused to hold hearings for Garland.

  2. Regarding age being more of a matter “of genetics, arthritis and rolls of the dice.” It’s also having enough money to have personal trainers, chefs, nutritionists, cosmeticians, hair dressers, shoppers, people to dress you (pick out your outfits and tailor them as needed), chauffeurs, etc., to take care of everything all us little people have to do for ourselves.

  3. Feinstein doesn’t have a “district”. She is a US Senator and is elected by the state she represents.

  4. “Bienvenido to m” made me laugh harder than anything in the funny pages this week!

    1. Tempted to start using it in the same manner as that “Yes… Haha, yes!” panel and see if it spreads.

  5. It’s Wait, Wait… not Wait-Wait

    On the other hand, the Fishin’ Musician clip makes up for that.

  6. I heard someone mention (either on MSNBC or in the paper) that even if Feinstein retired and allowed Newsom to pick her successor till the election, there was no assurance yjat the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee would allow her (or him) to be seated, and we’d be right back in the same situation we were when she was out with shingles. At least now, they’re getting some nomoinations confirmed. Maybe she’s not as out of it as is alleged, or her staff is smarter than they’re given credit for.

  7. Mike Peterson reminded us: ‘Constant Readers know how annoying I find it when elderly achievers are highlighted . . . I promise you, it’s not an issue of character and attitude so much as one of genetics, arthritis and rolls of the dice. ‘
    I immediately thought: character matters! No matter how ‘fit’ or ‘well publicized’ they are, Martha Stewart is Still a Convicted Criminal! And, Biden and his hypocrisy (turning most of his campaign promises into lies) make him Far From an an ideal candidate! (o.k. I’ll try to reduce my use of exclamation points, but sometimes they are needed)

  8. Re: … “ there are all sorts of ways to get caught, starting with having the prof plug a sentence into Google” made me wonder when I started warning about internet cribbing in my syllabus. Turns out it was before the turn of the century and took the form of “I’ve got Alta Vista, too.”

  9. ?? Thanks Mike P. I enjoyed your commentary on the political issues and agree with the ageism. I question more about the sanity of the players in DC than whose fault it is that it’s a mess!

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