July 25, 2019

Back in December 2017, my beloved lab-pit mix was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer and given less than a month to live. She survived another 18 months, astounding her vets, who couldn't understand why she looked so healthy, despite lab results that would confirm her diagnosis again and again. We all started referring to her as "The Notorious Sophie" as a tribute to the indomitable spirit of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Sadly, Sophie is no longer with us, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg still chugging along. And she's rightfully proud of that.

In an interview with NPR's Nina Totenberg, Ginsburg gloated a little bit on her amazing survival with three bouts of cancer over the last 20 years:

"There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months," she recalled. "That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I," she added with a smile, "am very much alive."

That forgotten senator was Jim Bunning (R-KY), a former MLB pitcher.

The text fails to capture the absolutely chilling giggle Justice Ginsburg and NPR’s Nina Totenberg share after Ginsburg acknowledges that the grim reaper came for the late Detroit Tigers/Philadelphia Phillies pitcher/Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) who said in a 2009 speech that the justice had “bad cancer. The kind that you don’t get better from. Even though she was operated on, usually nine months is the longest that anybody would live.”

Bunning, who pitched for the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies before getting into politics, died from a stroke in 2017, eight years after making said remark. But in the aftermath of publicly reassuring conservatives that the death he wrongly predicted would pave the way for a right-wing judge to get placed on the Supreme Court, he did make a statement (in which he misspelled her last name). In his mea culpa, he apologized if his comments “offended” her. So, it wasn’t really an apology at all.

I think RBG is entitled to throwing a little shade, but that's pretty savage.

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