It’s been a few days at least since there was a Snarky Snippets post … long overdue, I think! The difference between the Biden administration and the former one is … I can’t even describe it. It is a breath of fresh air, it is like finding a TGI Fridays in the middle of the desert. It is most noticeable in the news. Oh sure, there are many things to snark over … always will be as long as we have politics, I suppose. But today, two of my ‘snarky’ snippets bring good news … something that hasn’t happened a single time between 2017 and January 20th, 2021.
A promotion for Vindman!
I’ll start with the good news! You remember when Alexander Vindman testified against the former guy in the first impeachment hearing last year? Shortly thereafter, in a move that can only be dubbed revenge, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman was fired, as was his brother, Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman. Both men, twins by the way, were employed by the National Security Council (NSC).
Well, despite the former guy’s attempts to derail their careers, at least one of the Vindman brothers has the last laugh. Though fired from the NSC, Yevgeny Vindman remained in the military, while Alexander retired. Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman, however, is soon to be promoted to a full Colonel! Yep, Yevgeny Vindman is now on a list of colonel promotions that has been approved by the White House and is going to the Senate for formal confirmation! Score one for good triumphing over evil!
In case you’re wondering what Yevgeny’s brother Alexander Vindman has been doing since his retirement, he is writing a memoir and also working toward a doctoral degree! His memoir is a book I’ll definitely read!
Change of venue???
I wrote just two days ago about the upcoming trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who murdered George Floyd last May. Well, the latest today is that his attorney, Eric Nelson, has asked the judge in the case for a postponement and … wait for it … a change of venue!
Now, a change of venue is typically requested when an attorney believes his client cannot get a fair trial in his own area due to excessive publicity. But … in this case? The George Floyd murder set off a domino effect that publicized it not only all across this nation, but around the globe! I think that if Mr. Nelson is seeking a venue where people perhaps haven’t seen the heart-wrenching video of Chauvin keeping his knee on the neck of a defenseless George Floyd, where they haven’t seen the protests that took place not only all over the U.S., but also in Europe, then I think perhaps the Arctic is about the only place for the trial. Do they have courts in the Arctic? Or perhaps Siberia, which would be a great place for Derek Chauvin … he would fit right in!
Nelson asked the judge to, at the very least, recall the seven jurors that were selected last week to ask them if they had heard of the settlement approved by the City of Minneapolis to the family of George Floyd in the amount of $27 million … basically an admission that their police officer is guilty. Now, once again this is ridiculous, for of course they have all heard of it … hell, the entire nation has heard of it! Judge Cahill did agree to call back the jurors for additional questions but said he would do so closer to the date of opening arguments, currently scheduled for March 29th.
Keep your eye on this one, folks … the future of holding police accountable for their actions rides on the outcome of this case.
Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior
Yesterday, Deb Haaland became the first Native American to serve in a cabinet position! President Biden nominated her to serve as Secretary of the Interior, and yesterday she won Senate confirmation in a 51-40 vote! (Where were the other nine senators? Did they forget to come back to work on Monday?)
Thus far, the president has met with little resistance to his cabinet nominees, with the exception of Neera Tanden whose nomination was withdrawn due to wide opposition as a result of certain tweets she had made in the past. But Deb Haaland’s nomination was contentious, especially among republicans, for she has long taken a “keep it in the ground” approach to the fossil fuel industry – not a particularly popular stance among Republicans, many of whom are in the pockets of the coal, gas and oil industries.
In the final vote, only four Republicans joined all Senate Democrats present in the 51-40 tally that will install her as Interior secretary. Those votes came from Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, who said she “struggled” with her support, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Dan Sullivan of Alaska.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said …
“Given the long and troubled relationship between the federal government and tribal nations, the ascension of Rep. Haaland to the top of the Interior Department is a profoundly important moment for America. For too long tribal nations have been denied a seat at the table where decisions were made that affected their lives and their land.”
Three cheers to Deb Haaland and those senators who voted to confirm her.