238 Comments

I'm a day late and a dollar short, but "said the indictment collector" was brilliant. Kudos SER!

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Because we aren't ghouls, we do hope Mitch is ok. We just wish his constituents would vote for someone less terrible. Also, let's check in with how the GOP are responding to this, compared to how they treat Joe Biden, who is thus far quite lucid.

GOP: "All this shows is how terrible the MSM is. ONE 19 second episode of catatonia or other serious cognitive event, and they jump right on it."

"Mitch is fine! Yes, he had one short, 19 second episode of brain failure, during which he was thinking the most profound thoughts that will benefit the whole human race. If Biden pauses for even a second, it's obviously evidence of senility and he must be removed from office."

"Yes, Mitch had a brief episode where he lost his train of thought. But, we can point to several incidents in the past and one or two in the future where that didn't happen, so he's fine."

"The 19 seconds only proves Mitch doesn't speak until he's ready. He's just that meticulous about speaking. Unlike Biden, who just talks and talks with no long, startling, worrisome and uncomfortable silences before he's gently led away."

(Imagine the GOP reacting if it were Biden) "Ok, yes, President Biden stopped speaking mid-sentence and starred blankly at the crowd for 19 seconds, but it's fine. Joe Biden doesn't talk about his health, and he was sharp when he eventually returned to the podum after application of smelling salts."

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How many times was "political" edited into and back out of that last sentence?

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Does anyone here have any ideas who would take over as Senate Minority Leader should McConnell die or resign?

My guess would be Susan Collins.

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Stand Biden next to Trump and McConnell and it’s obvious which one is in the best of health for his age. McConnell looks like he’s been decomposing from the inside out for several years. And Trump is, well, Trump.

As for McConnell’s possible replacement, while they’re maybe republicans in the Senate who are more evil than he is, none of them have the political skills to do the damage to our democracy he has. McConnell is the lord of the darks of senate procedures.

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I'm only a humble radiologist but lemme just say that when you feel "lightheaded" you wobble. You don't silently stare for 10+ seconds.

He had an absence seizure, which is likely related to the recent head trauma.

It is a canary in the cerebral coal mine but actually does not mean that he cannot serve, as it does not impair acuity.

But he definitely has Stage IV hypocrisy.

PS - I applaud SER's concern over Feinstein being used despite her dementia, but as I said before - and will say again here - I don't care if they have to tie her in place like El Cid's corpse because we need judges.

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I remember when the Republicans wheeled Pete Wilson in on a hospital bed so he could cast a vote for them.

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“Trying to complete all of the appropriations bills before recess, the committee markup this morning was a little chaotic, constantly switching back and forth between statements, votes, and debate and the order of bills.”

Even with all the "chaos", when voting, don't they complete a vote, then move on to debating another portion of a bill? And doesn't the Senate vote in alphabetical order, by last name of each Senator? So wouldn't Feinstein have already heard 30 other people vote before it was her turn to vote? It seems clear her infirmity is affecting her ability to do the work she was elected to do.

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Sure, Mitch lost the ability to speak for a spell, and he's fallen down a few times and uses a wheelchair when he's not on camera, but there's still space to talk about Biden's age. Both sides!

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McConnell. Is. Older. Than. Biden.

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Not by much in years, but Biden is far, far healthier than Mitch.

Joe: November 20, 1942.

Mitch: February 20, 1942.

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How do we know what came back to answer questions wasn't a robot or alien?

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Robotics technology is not nearly that advanced yet.

Must be aliens.

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Joe Biden is old and decrepit at 80 not like Mitch McConnel who is a young and spry 81

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...or that young whipper snapper, Drivel Turnip, who will only be 78 next election. He's really on the top of his game. Sharp as a marble, that one.

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founding

I'm on the fence about Feinstein. Likely Barbara Lee would get appointed if she retires. Which would complicate the election. I love Lee but her time has passed. Right now I'm leaning Schiff.

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I like Schiff too, but the Senate needs more women so I'd vote for Katie Porter, if I could vote in California which I can't.

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I don't think Newsome wants to get in the middle of that. If he has to appoint somebody, he'll probably find a placeholder who isn't running for the seat next year.

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I heard an interesting analysis of Beshear's options on NPR this morning. He could choose to ignore the ratfucking law that requires him to nominate a replacement senator from a list created by the lege. That would probably have to go through the fed court system. I suppose it could be tied up until the next election. One fewer GQPer in the Senate wouldn't be a bad thing.

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The Merrick Garland Memorial Senate seat that used to belong to KY, in perpetuity or until the last grandchild of King Charles dies, whichever comes first

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Similar to what Nick Coleman did to Al Franken all those years ago, but this would be a blessing!

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It’s worth noting that a number of years ago, I suddenly passed out while simply walking down the sidewalk, and I fell backwards and smacked the back of my head on the pavement. (Explains a bit, doesn’t it?)

I think I had every medical test known to science, but they never figured out what happened, which is nice to walk around with in the back of your mind. A day later, I had a large kidney stone, so it was a notable weekend.

Anyhow, I did end up with a concussion, and, for some time, I’d get vertigo whenever I’d look up and to the right. I think it took over eight or nine months for that to resolve. Fortunately, now fine am I think.

I also wasn’t in my 80s, and I never suffered aphasia. But concussion effects can linger and be spooky, as can the flashbacks.

(The scalp has a LOT of capillaries, and, after a one-inch gash, it pretty much looked like the back of my head had been blown off. It’s VERY comforting to open your eyes, see a bunch of kind strangers gathered around you, all of them looking grim and shaking their heads like “He’s a goner.”)

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Ohhhhhh, this could explain why I would get dizzy every time I looked straight up for several months. I had a fall exactly like yours and never connected the dots. Thanks for the education!

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So glad you healed completely!

Your injury story brought back a scary moment for me. Wrestling in my 10 yr old brothers bedroom, and I knocked over a heavy metal desk lamp with sharp corners(don’t ask), on the middle of his forehead. Gusher of blood got everyone’s adrenaline going. Turned out to be 1/4 inch wound that healed with no scar. He hardly remembers it.

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Several years ago I was feeling a bit off at work (tunnel vision, confusion, not being able to say what I wanted to say without effort). I went to the company's nurses office (I know, they actually had one and it was staffed) to lie down. The nurse was concerned and called an ambulance to take me to the nearest hospital.

After a few tests they told me I'd (probably) had a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). I was 51 (IIRC), and haven't had one since.

I haven't watched the video of McConnell, but it sure sounds familiar.

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It appears pretty apparent that’s what happened, or something similar. It’s kind of eerie to see McConnell frozen in place like that, like he can’t figure out why he’s there and all these people are looking at him and want do they want him to say. If he’s actually even in touch with the outside world.

It’s actually kind of touching to see Barasso approach him and gently ask if he’s okay (receiving no answer), but he’s a doctor, and they learn to fake that during their internships.

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Jul 31, 2023Liked by Stephen Robinson

Eh, I'll take the "sandbagged" comment as a playful joke rather than a cruel barb at Biden--McConnell is a cold motherfucker but it doesn't seem like his style to show pointless cruelty.

McConnell's cruelty always has a point.

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McConnell's intent with the "sandbagged" troll remark was to deflect any comments about being old, or infirm back on to President Biden. He knows which GOP talking points to push. I would agree that McConnell's childish trolling probably wasn't perceived by President Biden as cruel. At least in this one case, McConnell wasn't doing his usual shtick of punching down. But pointless cruelty is exactly McConnell's style.

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founding

"it doesn't seem like his style to show pointless cruelty" you are kidding right?

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It's the pointlessness I'm questioning. McConnell can be cruel, but he always has a purpose--he doesn't just waste his time making digs the way a more childish troll like Cruz or Vance or Trump would. Considering the context, it seems more like he's ribbing Biden in good fun, in a "yep we old guys take our tumbles, am I right" sort of way.

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Am sure Joe got - and laughed at - Mitch’s joke; they’re old cronies. Don’t believe either is actually senile, but both could euphemistically be considered ‘frail’ these days. Dianne belongs at home, living her best life.

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Yeah--probably Biden was even like "yeah, we both took a fall, getting old sucks, right?" when they talked and Mitch was playing along with it. Mitch plays hard, he can be a bastard, but I don't get the sense he has any personal animus towards Biden, unlike some of his colleagues.

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I worked on the Hill a long time ago and "sandbagging" was a routine expression - lowering someone's expectations so you could take advantage of them later. I think it's wrong to read it as cruel.

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Yes, it could have been a bad attempt at a pun.

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McConnell, true to form, said he told Biden that he’d been “sandbagged,” a snarky reference to when Biden fell onstage in June at the Air Force Academy's graduation ceremony.

Which is why I hope McConnell is cleared of all health problems and then when he leaves the hospital the spire on top of the building impales him The Omen style. What an ungracious dickhead.

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That actually kind of happened in my hometown. It was the kind of place where icicles get REALLY big in winter. One fell off the cathedral and killed a bishop.

Another one killed my brother's car, which admittedly didn't have a lot other than chewing gum and duct tape holding it together.

I would like to see McConnell hang on to his seat but purely out of concerns for his health he should rest and skip any votes between now and the end of his term.

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