Death, Lonely Death

by Doug Muir on February 19, 2024

Billions of miles away at the edge of the Solar System, Voyager 1 has gone mad and has begun to die.

Let’s start with the “billions of miles”. Voyager 1 was launched in early September 1977. Jimmy Carter was a hopeful new President. Yugoslavia and the USSR were going concerns, as were American Motors, Pan Am, F.W. Woolworth, Fotomat booths, Borders bookshops, and Pier 1. Americans were watching Happy Days, M*A*S*H and Charlie’s Angels on television; their British cousins were watching George and Mildred, The Goodies, and Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor. If you turned on the radio, “Hotel California” by The Eagles was alternating with “Dancing Queen” by Abba (and, if we want to be completely honest, “Car Wash” by Rose Royce). Most cars still ran on leaded gasoline, most phones were still rotary dial, and the Internet was a wonky idea that was still a few weeks from a working prototype.

_The Thorn Birds_ was on top of everyone’s bestseller list. The first Apple II home computer had just gone on sale. The Sex Pistols were in the studio wrapping up _Never Mind The Bollocks_; they would tour on it for just three months and then break up, and within another year Sid Vicious would be dead of a heroin overdose. Barack Obama was a high school junior living with his grandparents in Honolulu, Hawaii: his grades were okay, but he spent most of his time hanging with his pot-smoking friends in the “Choom Gang”.  Boris Johnson was tucked away at the elite Ashdown House boarding school while his parents marriage was slowly collapsing: although he was only thirteen, he had already adopted his signature hair style.  Elvis had just died on the toilet a few weeks ago.  It was the summer of Star Wars.

And Voyager 1 was blasting off for a tour of the Solar System.

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The Crack-Up of the Michigan GOP

by Liz Anderson on February 19, 2024

Some of you may have heard that the Michigan GOP is in the midst of a power struggle between Kristina Karamo, who won the party chair election in Feb. 2023, and former U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra, who got the RNC to install him in her place her a year later after he won a contested vote.  Karamo, following Trump’s principle that Republican candidates are entitled to deny the legitimacy of any election in which they are not declared the winner, has refused to concede.  She has declared that she will hold a rival GOP caucus-style convention to Hoekstra’s official one, to select fake delegates to attend the national presidential nominating convention.  (This is on top of the delegates that will be elected in Michigan’s presidential primary on Feb. 27.)  The party has discovered that it cannot sow anti-establishment chaos to defeat its external enemies without bringing that chaos home.

There is no question that the delegates selected in Karamo’s convention will be support Trump just as much as the ones selected in Hoekstra’s.  So what is the point of this conflict?

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