vacation

Ominous, or, Your Congressional Forecast

A portion of the U.S. Capitol dome. (Detail of photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images, 2013)

This is what we might call not hopeful; other days we might just call it normal. Either way, Andrew Taylor offers the grim look ahead:

Lawmakers return to Washington this week for an abbreviated election-season session in which they will likely do what they do best: the bare minimum.

All Congress must do this month is keep the government from shutting down on Oct. 1 and, with any luck, finally provide money for the fight against the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Republicans controlling Congress promise they won’t stumble now, but the weeks ahead could prove tricky.

(more…)

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Communicable Stupidity

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to the media during a visit to the Advanced Pharma to kick-off the grand opening of their new facility that hopes to create 60 new jobs by 2014 on February 21, 2013, in Miami, Florida. Florida Gov. Rick Scott reversed himself on February 20, 2013 and is now calling for an expansion of Medicaid to Florida residents under the federal Affordable Care Act. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

There is, of course, the part where Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) is complaining about Congressional Republicans while invoking the necessity of federal assistance for the Sunshine State.

And then there is, of course, Congress.

Lawmakers are currently in the middle of a 10-day vacation, which comes on the heels of a separate 10-day vacation last month. In July, Congress is only scheduled to be in session for a total of six days, and members won’t work at all in the month of August. All told, federal lawmakers will have the lightest schedule in 2016 of any Congress since 1956.

In February, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared, “We need to get out in front of the Zika virus.” That was on Feb. 2, shortly before Congress took … wait for it … a 10-day vacation in the middle of February.

(Benen)

This is important, Steve Benen suggests, in no small part because despite Governor Scott’s plea that, “Florida needs action from the federal government now”―

Unfortunately, “now” doesn’t appear to be much of an option. The Republican-led Senate approved a $1.1 billion package, while the Republican-led House passed a bill about half as large. Under the current Republican approach, it may be “well into the summer, or even longer” before Congress approves an inadequate final bill to address the Zika virus.

―that just isn’t going to happen.

Moreover, it seems worthwhile to mutter something about Republicans complaining that government doesn’t work. This bit about taking vacations at really obviously stupid times is at least a little familiar.

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Image note: Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to the media during a visit to the Advanced Pharma on 21 February 2013, in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Benen, Steve. “Even Rick Scott thinks the GOP Congress is negligent on Zika”. msnbc. 2 June 2016.

Guesticles (Bug Style)

'I have completed the laundry'.  Detail of Bug Martini, by Joel Duggan, 31 August 2015.When last we heard from Adam, our hero departed to France in search of capers, though hopefully not one involving old pottery and a Dick.

Meanwhile, back at the ‘Toonion Hall, the ever-talented Joel Duggan dons the super-suit, and it’s worth noting at least the laundry was finished.

And if you’re going to tell me you don’t know who Joel freakin’ Duggan is, I’m just going to tell you to do what I did, and go read Starcrossed.

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Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Joel Duggan, 31 August 2015. Everybody say, “Thank you, Joel!”

Literacy in the Time of Facebook

This is what it comes to.

Either Empire viewers are really, really stupid, or Facebook is.  Flip a coin.One of the underappreciated qualities of whatever excrement happens to be “trending” via social media is that we can discern a little something or other about the audience. You know, like a “Most Popular” sidebar in which we discover that for everything else going on, people would rather read about Rhianna going on vaction, or Jennifer Lawrence nude, or, hey, how about Martha Stewart having a threesome.

This is what we do with literacy.

I suppose, then, that while it is easy enough to say we shouldn’t be surprised that the season finale of a popular television series is trending, I’m not certain why the trending aspect is the fact that a finale is a two-hour episode.

But, you know, it’s Facebook, so … right.

Yeah. This is what we do with literacy.

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Image note: Facebook “trending” widget, 19 March 2015, 1:49 PDT. Apparently people who didn’t watch the show need to know how long it was. Wait a minute, that doesn’t work, does it? Why would we care? Oh, dear. That means either Empire viewers are really, really stupid, or Facebook is. Flip a coin.