Posts by Alex Miller

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McCarthy Ousted as Speaker

After a grueling nine months as Speaker of the US House of Representatives, attempting to herd the mangy strays of the GOP caucus, on September 3, 2023, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) lost the job he had coveted all his adult life, as a motion to vacate passed by 216-210, booting him from the Speakership.  Eight MAGA Republican radicals joined Democrats to remove McCarthy from his lofty perch, the first time ever that a sitting Speaker has been fired.

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House Diary: Rodent Wars

I like to think of myself as a fairly tolerant person.  At least when it comes to other species (with humans, I’m not always that patient).  I far prefer a policy of “live and let live.”  There are exceptions.  I will not suffer a mosquito to live in my presence (buy, hey!  they started it!).  And an ant discovered in the kitchen has a very short shelf life, though I often turn a blind eye to scouts I find elsewhere in the house.  Silverfish and my library don’t mix, and thousand leggers skeeve me out, to the point of hysterics, so I am usually unable to take direct action against them.  I positively cosset spiders of all kinds, which help me deal with other unwanted insects (sorry, spiders, I know you’re actually not insects, but arachnids; it’s just easier to phrase it that way).

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Aaron Rodgers: Down & Out

On Monday, 11 September 2023, the New York Jets pro football franchise saw half of their $75 million investment evaporate when starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked just minutes into his first game with them, resulting in a torn Achilles tendon and the loss of the entire season.  It was just August 1st when the two-year contract was signed, and the injury, coming at age 39 for Rodgers, could well signal the end of his career.

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AAA Profile: Vivek Ramaswamy – Truth Hurts

On Sunday, 3 September 2023, Republican presidential nomination contender Vivek Ramaswamy was muffled by the collapse of a huge banner reading “TRUTH” as he stumped in Lancaster, New Hampshire.  Footage of the event shows the massive backdrop slowly folding forward onto the unexpecting Ramaswamy, in a moment of cosmic irony worthy of a Wes Anderson film.  Unhurt, except perhaps in his pride, the incident has led to a plethora of Tweets and internet memes calling attention to the aptness of the visuals, for a candidate who can’t seem to keep his stories straight about his opinion of the prior president.

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Aster-Obit: Jimmy Buffett -Wastin’ Away in Paradise

On 1 September 2023, word came of the death of singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who passed away at his Sag Harbor, NY home, surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs, after a four-year battle with an aggressive, rare skin cancer.  Buffet was best known for his patented brand of “tropical rock,” celebrating a back-to-the-beach, “island escapism” aesthetic, especially epitomized by “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” from the 1970s.  But Buffett was also a gifted businessman and entrepreneur, with a net worth at his passing of over a billion dollars, making him one of the richest musicians on the planet, albeit most of his wealth stemmed from these other sidelines, and not record sales.

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Hurricane Idalia Swamps Northern Florida

On 30 August 2023 the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season kicked off with a bang, as Hurricane Idalia battered the northern Florida coast with 125 mph winds and a 7-foot storm surge, making landfall as a category 3 storm at Keaton Beach, in the Sunshine State’s Big Bend region, at 7:45 AM EDT.  Earlier projections had seen the storm coming ashore somewhat further south, in more populous areas, but despite the already swampy terrain and smaller communities in its path, Idalia is estimated to have caused some $9 billion+ in damage.  Thankfully, loss of life was minimal, with three traffic-related fatalities attributed to Idalia’s effects.

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