No Snark Today — Just Good News!

Typically, my posts bring you all the bad news, but today I actually have a couple of good news pieces, starting with the news that as I write this, Brittney Griner is on a plane heading home to the U.S. after some ten months imprisoned in Russia.  President Biden announced early this morning …

“Moments ago, standing together with her wife Cherelle in the Oval Office, I spoke with Brittney Griner. She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home after months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances. Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along.”

Ms. Griner was arrested in February on “drug smuggling” charges, for having inadvertently packed a vaporizer cartridge containing less than a gram of cannabis oil.  For this, she was sentenced to nine years in prison in August.  A rather harsh sentence for what wouldn’t even be a crime in the U.S., but that’s Russia.  Negotiations for her release, as well as another U.S. citizen being held by Russia, Paul Whelan, have been ongoing and today she was released in a one-to-one prisoner swap with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.  Negotiations for Mr. Whelan’s release are ongoing.

Welcome home, Ms. Griner!

And huge kudos to the House of Representatives today for passing the Respect for Marriage Act (FfMA) that will protect same-sex and interracial marriages by a vote of 258-169.  Last month, the bill passed in the Senate by 62-37 with 12 Republicans voting for it.  Today, 39 House Republicans joined all Democrats in passing this legislation!  This came as a surprise to me, especially after the 12 Republican senators came under serious criticism by their party for working across the aisle.

The bill doesn’t go as far as we might like, as it would not force states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples but it will require that people be considered married in any state as long as the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed.  The bill also would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA). In addition to defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, DoMA allowed states to decline to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. That law has remained on the books despite being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in United States v. Windsor and its 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry.

Next, the bill heads to the Oval Office for President Biden’s signature, which is all but guaranteed.  👍👍

And that’s the good news of the day, my friends! No doubt tomorrow I will return to my usual snarky self.  Meanwhile, just a few cartoons …

14 thoughts on “No Snark Today — Just Good News!

  1. Jill, that is excellent news on both fronts. Adding this to other bills passed earlier this year on infrastructure, some gun governance, among others and it shows what can be done. Next year, I am confident the House will be moving chairs around to show activity for its base. Their ultra conservative leaders like to say doing investigations is pay back for the January 6 commission, but unlike these others, it looked at an insurrection against the government that not only put lawmakers in danger, it would not have happened if Donald Trump were not president. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, in two years, the Biden administration and the 117th Congress have actually accomplished a heck of a lot, but you won’t hear Biden being given much credit for anything. I think that the next two years you are right … NOTHING of import will get done by Congress. Petty grievances will be aired ad nauseam, back-stabbing, pointless investigations that have no actual basis or outcome, and the campaigning for 2024, which has already begun. Something may transpire to change that, but right now I don’t see that the 118th Congress will be able to come to terms on anything.


      • Jill, two things can be said about retiring Speaker Nancy Pelosi are she could count votes and get things done. Some of her grandstanding is off putting, but she is a very good Speaker. I don’t see anyone as competent as she was in the group being considered for the next Congress and a couple are not known for being very truthful – McCarthy and Jordan. So, maybe with one if those folks in charge, they may keep shooting themselves in the foot as they are now. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve read in several places that she is likely to go down in the annals of history as the best Speaker of the House to date in the history of the U.S. I agree. She wasn’t without fault, but who of us are? And she was effective … she knew, as you note, how to get things done. My hope is that she will be guiding and advising Hakeem Jeffries for these next two years and that he will be a quick study, learning her techniques for getting the job done. I think he’s qualified, just needs some experience under her tutelage. Granted, he won’t be Speaker, but he can still learn the ways of one. McCarthy, Jordan, and possibly Biggs … I shudder to think of it. I think they WILL keep shooting themselves in the foot, but I worry more that their loyal followers won’t care. I’ve noticed of late that it doesn’t seem to matter how corrupt or incompetent a Republican is, his base will put on their blinders and stand behind them anyway.


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