Don Henley would.
Actually, I can. The Eagles singer and drummer has been summoned by the Senate Judiciary subcommittee to testify Tuesday about the functioning of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “Notice-And-Takedown System.”
Debating the nuances of copyright law in the middle of a national health crisis and economic collapse?
If the virus moved as slowly as McConnell, the pandemic would be over. His Senate majority quickly agreed to spend $3 trillion in stimulus funds to fight the pandemic, directing a disproportionate amount of it to millionaires and big business. But now hungry Americans and struggling municipalities are begging for help — and the Boys of Summer have gone. They’re suddenly worried about budget deficits, after embracing $1-trillion-a-year deficits under President Trump even before the pandemic.
Local governments have begun the first of what may be 1 million layoffs, potentially forcing cuts for schools, sanitation, public safety and health. The House, in its $3 trillion “Heroes Act,” approved $1 trillion to rescue state, local and tribal governments. But when it comes to federal action, McConnell has a Peaceful Easy Feeling. Last month he said: “I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route.”
As food banks and charities are overwhelmed and there are reports that vast numbers of Americans don’t have enough to eat, the House approved a 15 percent increase in the maximum amount allowed for food stamps. And when will McConnell act? Well, One of These Nights.
“In the next month or so we’ll be talking about possibly another bill,” he said Tuesday.
“Let’s wait a few weeks here and see what kind of impact opening up the economy is having to begin to restore our country, before throwing additional money onto the national debt,” he said Wednesday.
Instead, McConnell is pushing to have, or is spending his time on, getting his former intern and protege, Justin Walker, approved by the Judiciary Committee this week, and by the full Senate shortly thereafter, as an appellate judge on the D.C. circuit, the nation’s second-most-powerful court. Walker, a 37-year-old partisan pugilist, made his name with a recent ruling that ignored the actual facts of a case and instead discussed pilgrims in the Bible and Democrats in the Ku Klux Klan.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) this week urged federal judges in their mid-60s or older to retire so Republicans could use this “historic opportunity” during the pandemic to approve more conservatives to courts.
But that’s not all Graham is doing. He’s also gathering his committee Thursday to authorize subpoenas to a laundry list of Obama-era figures — John Brennan, Susan Rice, James Comey, et al. — as part of his effort to document the “Obamagate” conspiracy theory, in which the investigation into Russian election interference was really about undermining Trump politically.
Not to be outdone, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) will assemble his committee the very same day to authorize subpoenas for some of the very same figures. Also on Johnson’s list are conservatives’ favorite punching bags, such as Sidney Blumenthal, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
Another item McConnell finds more urgent than pandemic response: rapid approval of Michael Pack to lead the agency that oversees Voice of America, even though the D.C. attorney general is investigating whether Pack’s nonprofit improperly transferred funds to his business.
Even in previous rounds of stimulus during the pandemic, McConnell had been uncharacteristically off-key. Last month, The Post reported, he was absent from negotiations on a relief package, flying home to Kentucky for an event with Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. Earlier this month, McConnell complained that “the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan.” McConnell later backtracked when told that the Trump administration disregarded Barack Obama’s extensive pandemic-preparation plans.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has likened McConnell’s pandemic response to Herbert Hoover’s response to the Great Depression. But McConnell’s virus strategy seems less Hoover than Henley:
Who is gonna make it?
We’ll find out
In the short run, Trump’s White House has devised a novel attempt to disguise the depth of the economic collapse: It has decided simply not to issue the usual midyear economic forecast. I thought by now Trump would realize: There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes.