Trying to round up the news this morning with a few comments.
• The Reid out: Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid died yesterday at the age of 82. The New York Times pays tribute to Senator Reid in the obituary by Jonathan Martin. Senator McConnell has posted a generous press release on Reid’s passing. I offer condolences to his family and friends.
• May I add that the death of Senator Reid reminds me of Moms Mabley’s joke about the death of her husband? “I was always taught never to say anything about the dead unless it’s good. He’s dead. Good!” I remember Senator Reid for his lying about Mitt Romney when Romney ran against President Obama in 2012. Martin does not do justice to this with his reference to Reid “repeatedly, and without evidence, claiming that Mr. Romney had gone a decade without paying income tax.” Actually, it was false. Challenged on this after Obama’s reelection, Senator Reid responded: “Romney didn’t win, did he?” No, he didn’t.
• John Madden died yesterday at the age of 85. Judy Battista puts the number of Madden’s successful careers at three. Madden was a guy who seems to have added to the joys of the world in everything he touched. I remember his Oakland team thrashing the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. Outplayed, outcoached, outmanned, the Vikings’ haven’t been back to the Super Bowl since this fourth of their Super Bowl losses.
• I woke up late last night, around 10:45 p.m. (Central), just in time to catch the second half of the Guaranteed Rate Bowl game in Phoenix on ESPN. Via the Star Tribune’s Patrick Reusse, we learn that the Guaranteed Rate Bowl started as the Copper Bowl in 1989, became the Insight Bowl from 1997 through 2011, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in 2012-13, the Cactus Bowl from 2014 to 2017, the Cheez-It Bowl in 2018-19, and was titled but not played as the Guaranteed Rate in 2020. Guaranteed Rate is a mortgage lender that ran lots of ads offering loans during the game. Return to Cheez-It!
• The Guaranteed Rate Bowl game featured the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers playing the University of West Virginia Mountaineers. Reusse reminded Gophers fans that the Gophers sought to end a snake-bit 0-3 record in in this frequently renamed bowl last night. In the event, the Gophers dominated the Mountaineers, winning the game 18-6. My point, and I do have one, is this. Most interesting was an advertisement that ran on ESPN during the second half trashing Joe Manchin for opposing the Bummer Beyond Belief Bill. West Virginians who stayed up even later than I did were were rewarded with an argument that their support of Manchin and opposition to the bill are foolish and misguided. It can’t have added to their enjoyment of the game. I didn’t catch who ran the ad.
• The Chinese Communist Party continues to run plays from the totalitarian playbook. Turning up in my email early this morning is the AP story “Hong Kong pro-democracy news site closes after raid, arrests.” The CCP has turned dystopian fiction into fact. See Kai Strittmatter, We Have Been Harmonized: Life in China’s Surveillance State (now available in paperback).
• On Monday President Biden offered Remarks at COVID-19 Response Team’s Regular Call With the National Governors Association. Referring to the epidemic, Biden asserted: “Look, there is no federal solution. This gets solved at a state level.” The White House held no press briefing yesterday. The powers-that-be in the White House will reconcile this with Biden’s frequently asserted vow to “shut down the virus” yada yada, but haven’t done so yet anywhere other than Twitter (below). You be the judge.
Sometimes context and the full clip is important (or almost all the time) https://t.co/CkY8u2aJm3
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) December 28, 2021