A Few Words From the February Birthday Table
"It was immigration that taught us it does not matter where you came from, or who your parents were. What counts is who you are."
—Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
"I have said this before, and I will say it again: the vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy."
—Congressman John Lewis
“If the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.”
"To me, the most important part of winning is joy. You can win without joy, but winning that’s joyless is like eating in a four-star restaurant when you’re not hungry. Joy is a current of energy in your body, like chlorophyll or sunlight, that fills you up and makes you naturally want to do your best."
"The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but can not do at all, or can not so well do, for themselves, in their separate, and individual capacities."
"The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous."
"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart."
"Guys, is this inauguration speech running too long? No? You sure? We're cool? Great. As I was saying…"
—President William Henry Harrison
And the classic:
“You don’t need no gun control. You know what you need? We need some bullet control. That’s right—I think all bullets should cost five thousand dollars. Five thousand dollars per bullet. You know why? Cuz if a bullet costs five thousand dollars, there would be no more innocent bystanders.”
If you’re marking another year around the sun this month, Happy Birthday and many blessings on your camels—especially you lovable leap year babies. And now, our feature presentation...
Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, February 15, 2024
Note: Today’s note is in a minor key today. I'm feeling villainous.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til we move our clocks forward: 24
Days 'til the Charity Chowder Cook-off in Mystic, Connecticut: 9
Annual inflation rate in December and January, respectively: 3.4%, 3.1%
Estimated portion of Americans over 75 who still work, up from 1-in-20 in 2012: 1-in-12
Number of Super Bowl LVIII viewers last Sunday, the largest TV audience since the moon landing: 123.4 million
Current score at Rotten Tomatoes for the new Marvel Universe movie Madame Web: 17%
Average number of times the human eye blinks in a year: 4,200,000
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them.
I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this [Iraq] war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point out the latest in the endless "string of bad news."
Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.
Puppy Pic of the Day: Dad's turn to babysit…
CHEERS to the usual drill. The special election in New York’s 3rd congressional district, where Tom Suozzi romped to a landslide win over all the Republicans’ hopes and dreams, is behind us. And that means it's time for the media to trot out…The Takeaways!!! Let's Google and see how many they came up with this time:
The New York Times: 5 takeaways
NPR: 5 takeaways
The Cook Political Report: 4 takeaways
The Hill: 5 takeaways
The Washington Post: 3 takeaways
ABC News: 4 takeaways
NBC News: 5 takeaways
Politico: 6 takeaways
CNN: 5 takeaways
And so on and so forth. But one takeaway lords over all others: Dems rule, MAGAs drool.
JEERS to a master class in Wasting Everybody's Time 101. Having nothing better to do, the MAGA-brained leaders in the House set up a do-over vote to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on charges of [TBA] and succeeded by one measly vote. And now, according to the rules…
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office said in a statement, “The House impeachment managers will present the articles of impeachment to the Senate following the state work period [Feb. 26]. Senators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial the next day. Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray will preside.”
Way to go, Republicans. That'll really fill the potholes.
JEERS to incivility. On this date in 1798, the House of Representatives was the site of the first congressional brawl, when much knocking of noggins occurred after a hurling of insults followed by Rep. Matthew Lyon (Democratic-Republican-VT) spitting in the face of Roger Griswold (Federalist-CT). Among the weapons that were wielded: fireplace tongs. Based on his expression, the guy recording the minutes just got tonged in the crotch...
And if you look toward the lower left corner, you’ll see a dog is present in the chamber. That would be Thaddeus T. Woofington from the great state of New York. He only lasted one term. Once he got tax cuts for the Wilson company passed, he spent the rest of his life working a cushy job at a pro-tennis-ball think tank. Crafty canine.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to unleashing the romantic within. My credit card isn't happy with me this morning, because yesterday I went all-out for my sweetie Michael—doing fine after his emergency appendectomy last week—on Valentine's Day. First I gave him the latest miracle weight loss plan. Then I got him a box of Hair Club for Men and lifts for his shoes. Then a cordless nose-hair trimmer. And finally, new vacuum cleaner bags and a lifetime supply of Windex. I know you're jonesin' to know how much he loved them. I'm jonesin' to tell ya! And I'll be sure to let you know just as soon as he lets me out of this crawlspace. (Y'know, with a little ketchup these cockroaches wouldn't taste half bad...)
CHEERS to a life well lived. Three indispensable bills were introduced in 1964: me, a new civil rights act, and the inventor of Pop-Tarts. Sadly, this morning we note that one of them has suffered an irrevocable setback. Bill Post, the inventor of Pop-Tarts, has gone to the great toaster in the sky at 96:
By the age of 21, Post was the personnel manager of [Kellogg's] and worked in all aspects of the business, including sales and production. That’s when Kellogg’s executives approached him.
The executives had an idea for something "like a piece of pie, the shape of a slice of bread, fork marks around the edge, two pieces of dough with some filling in" to put in a toaster. Post took the idea and turned it into a real product. […]
The Pop-Tarts debuted to the public in 1964 with four original flavors: strawberry, blueberry, brown sugar cinnamon and apple-currant. The toaster pastry remains a favorite among customers 60 years later, with around three billion sold in 2022.
If you plan on going to his funeral, get to the church early. It's expected to be jam-packed.
Ten years ago in C&J: February 15, 2014
JEERS to today's least-surprising opening sentence in an environmental news story:
The natural gas system in the United States is leaking far more methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, into the air than official estimates say, according to research released Thursday.
The natural gas industry says it will make all the leaks go away by using a method they like to call disappearing all the research released Thursday.
And just one more…
JEERS to socialism. Makes me so mad! The government takes our hard-earned money and then turns around and "distributes" its services to everyone equally. Like, for example, how they build public streets and then "distribute" their use to the vehicles of all the unsuspecting drivers. Even worse, look at how they send out large trucks with attached blades to distribute “snowplowing services” to those streets. My god, where will it stop? Next thing you know, they'll be offering the public the right to distribute "names" to those plows, and ohhhhhh I wish I were joking…
Heckuva job, Minnesota. Or should we now start calling you…..Mini Moscow?
Have a nice Thursday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
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