My Blog Week: May 16 to May 22
A Word on the Week
It Never Hurts to Ask
And the party that found the wherewithal to stage the Maricopa County audit in Arizona is unwilling to support the January 6 commission.
From Axios, a May 19th article, “McConnell formally announces opposition…”, I take the following:
What he’s saying: “After careful consideration, I’ve made the decision to oppose the House Democrats’ slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of January the 6th,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
- “Federal law enforcement have made at least 445 arrests and counting relating to crimes committed that day. Hundreds of those people have been charged. Law enforcement investigations are ongoing and federal authorities say they expect to arrest at least 100 or so more.”
- “Bipartisan investigations are also underway and have been for months at the committee level here in the Senate. So there is, has been, and there will continue to be, no shortage — no shortage — of robust investigations by two separate branches of the federal government.”
- “The facts have come out and they’ll continue to come out. What is clear is that House Democrats have handled this proposal in partisan bad faith going right back to the beginning.”
Can a proposal be slanted and unbalanced? An allegation can be. But a proposal is, “Let’s do a particular thing.” In response can be said, yes, no, or, “Let’s do this other thing instead.” McConnell’s words create a false air of grievance at the outset. Also, no commission has yet been created. By “another”, does he mean the second Trump impeachment?
The first of the bullet points is really a statement of facts. It would be as though you’d asked: “Can we get a banana split?” and the answer was: “Hundreds of bananas have been purchased, and many have been opened and cut in half. The efforts of ice cream shops to assemble banana splits are ongoing.”
Of interest, maybe, but a failure to address the question.
With the second bullet point, we have more facts presented as argument. There is a question buried in this statement, one not raised as a contention: that somehow the commission is wanted merely to bulk up a dearth of investigations. A commission would serve as a clearinghouse for gathering and distributing information, both evidence and testimony obtained by other investigations, and its own fresh findings, based on its greater subpoena power. And yes, a higher profile brings the power of the public eye, with television coverage, including those indelible MAGA impressions on the public mind. But also, top-down organization of disparate work by varied groups is a good thing. It has to be done anyway, and will be, by the writers of books on the subject.
The third point is only the culmination of circular reasoning. A return to the unsubstantiated allegation of bias, as though saying it at the beginning and end amounted to proof, and a bromide about the nature of facts: that they exist, and “come out” as more are produced.
GOP members of the Senate Ben Sasse and John Thune, quoted this week by Axios and Politico, expressed concern the commission was a political strategy. Which assertion raises (not begs) the question of, “Can you tell the difference between one thing and another?” “Can you tell when something that began under a favorable representation, shifted, becoming unfavorable?”
If you haven’t got those basic skills, or aren’t confident you do, it’s true you aren’t much use on an investigative commission. You should be able to, when you see behavior that looks like political strategizing, bring out statements of record (which like the video coverage of January 6, count as factual evidence), and reviewing these, ask for (of course, listen to before speaking) the explanations.
Then summarize your conclusions, by reiterating your arguments, the counters to your arguments, your evidence, and by the use of reason, determine whether in the light of your own work, your proposition still holds.
Getting places… Less outdoor work this week, and I even did my first Moderna shot. If you need encouragement, I got mine at Walmart, with no one in line ahead of me. Paperwork needed filling out, but rumor has it in Ohio we get entered into a lottery drawing! And I’ll encourage my readers with this, too—I’ve had zero symptoms related to the shot, not even muscle soreness. (Which, given that I always have muscle soreness, I have to measure against the background level, but for me at least, everything about the shot was easy.)
On Monday, part two of “Be a Helper”, Bede, Jorinda, the sprites, and Farmer Langham, feast with Melchior the Giant. Tuesday, Hammersmith, with Minnie busy developing Ruby’s career. Wednesday, I put aside finding a poem to reissue, and actually forgot to post at all. Thursday, a big moment in Shine!, when Patrice tells his feelings to Annie, who loves him, but can’t…torture all around. Friday, The Sword Decides!, Giovanna confounded and mad at everyone. And Saturday, a reissue from Beast, “Dust”.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: May 16 to May 22