Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Coke FRIDAY!

Late Night Snark: Will This Time Be Different? Edition

“’Responsible’ gun owners, now would be a great time for you to stand up and change something about the depraved political choices you made that got us here.” —Samantha Bee

“Gonna take Texas a while to get around to gun laws. They’re still legislating dildos.” —Roy Wood Jr., The Daily Show

"Congress could pass HR-8, a bill that was passed by the House over a year ago which would close loopholes in the background checks law. It's being held up by Senate Republicans, possibly because background checks are only supported by 90 percent of voters. Ninety percent! The only thing more popular than background checks is Dolly Parton riding a giant corgi bringing you ice cream." —Stephen Colbert

Continued...

You are now below the fold. It’s just like above the fold only lower.

"Maddeningly, there are those who say they support gun-control measures, but aren’t willing to use their power to get those measures passed. Like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who said he would do “anything I can” to move common-sense gun legislation forward, but still refused to eliminate the filibuster. Then you're not willing to do anything you can! It's like if you told your spouse you're willing to do anything to clean the dishes except get up from the couch." —Seth Meyers

A senate hopeful in Georgia spouted gibberish when asked about solving gun violence, saying “what about getting a department that can look at young men that’s looking at women that’s looking at social media.” Get ready for: pic.twitter.com/y5dAIgItYw

— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) May 27, 2022

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"It has been a busy week. Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO, George W. Bush basically admitted to war crimes by accident, and monkeypox cases were reported in multiple countries, to which we all collectively said: NOT…NOW." —John Oliver

It’s called “monkeypox” because every 8th disease is named by a medieval barber. —Conan O’Brien via twitter

"Representative Liz Cheney attacked the House GOP leadership, saying they've enabled white supremacy and anti-Semitism. The leadership rejected Cheney's attacks, calling them 'cheaper than a Black rabbi.'" —Colin Jost, SNL

"Nike is reportedly leaving Russia permanently. Nike is basically the same in Russia except the slogan is: Do It…or Else." —Jimmy Fallon

And now, our feature presentation…

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Cheers and Jeers for Friday, May 27, 2022

Note: We wish you a safe and hammock-filled holiday weekend.  C&J will return on Tuesday, May 31, probably with an errant lawn dart or two stuck in our foot, thigh, chest, head or buttock region. God bless our time-honored traditions.  —Mgt.

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By the Numbers:

7 days!!!

Days 'til Independence Day: 38

Days 'til the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Fest in California: 7

Number of Americans who have served their country in wartime: 46 million

Year in which Congress officially declared Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of the Memorial Day holiday: 1966

Rank of Orlando, Florida among top Memorial Day weekend travel destinations: #1

Rank of San Francisco, Minneapolis, and New York City on Lawnstarter's survey of Best Biking Cities in America, based on criteria like "access to bike lanes and bike rentals, the share of bike commuters, the presence of cycling clubs, and the number of bike races and tours": #1, #2, #3

Age of Google Street View as of this year: 15

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Iconic image taken at the War Dog Memorial and Cemetery in Guam…

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CHEERS and JEERS to the week in review. Just a quick moment to take lightning-round inventory of our universe as we prepare to pause for an extended holiday weekend of picnics, memorials, delayed flights, and lots of unexplained rashes:

»  Russia continues turning to uninhabitable apocalyptic dust those areas of eastern Ukraine that they want to make part of glorious Russian empire.

»  Congress's slumber went undisturbed.

Also, as is obvious, the Earth remains a flat disc.

»  Republicans continued their love affair with mail-in voting during primary season.

»  Every Republican-inspired mass-murder prevention measure, up to and including funding the police, failed to prevent a mass murder in Texas.

»  New details show President Trump approved of the hanging of his own vice president on January 6th. No one cares.

»  Emergency pallets of baby formula started arriving in the U.S. from Germany because America is an exceptional nation that is #1 at everything.

» Daily Kos turned 20 and marked the occasion with several hours of botox injections.

» Gas prices are so high that people are driving less. "Gee, that's too bad," said Planet Earth and just a hunch but I think it was being sarcastic.

»  A ruthless and scary space alien trapped the Enterprise in a tractor beam and threatened to blow it up unless its demands were met, but it turns out it was just baby Clint Howard who was easily fooled by Captain Kirk's fake "Corbomite Maneuver."

Oh, and NOAA released its forecast for the 2022 hurricane season. Consensus: the gays, feminists, and pagans are angry this year. Can’t say I blame ‘em.

CHEERS to multitasking. As our endorphins go wild over the prospect that our first warm-weather holiday weekend (and the unofficial start of summer) is upon us, the Newburyport (Mass.) Daily News offer up a few words for the occasion:

Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor servicemen and women who died while serving the nation. Earlier known as Decoration Day, the tradition of honoring the graves of dead military veterans dates to 1868, after the many losses of the Civil War. From 1868 to 1970, each May 30, visitors to graves left flowers and flags. In 1971, following earlier legislation, Memorial Day became a federal holiday, and the date was set to coincide with the last Monday in May. And with the federal holiday designation, the day would be observed across the country.

It is OK to mark Memorial Day with a cook out or if so inclined, to spend the day at a shopping plaza. So long as the real reason for the day is remembered—to honor those who died in the line of service.

And, as always, we pause to reflect on Dwight Eisenhower's famous words: "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity." Me, too. Minus the living it part, but I'll take his word for it.

CHEERS to the other star-spangled banner.  On May 29, 1916, the official flag of the President of the United States was adopted by executive order. This is interesting, via historian David McCullough:

One morning, standing at his desk, [President Truman] presented to the press a new presidential flag … “This new flag faces the eagle toward the staff,” Truman explained, “which is looking to the front all the time when you are on the march, and also has him looking at the olive branch for peace, instead of the arrows for war …” 

To me it looks like the eagle flew into a window.

Both the flag and presidential seal had been redesigned for the first time since the Wilson years, and Truman meant the shift in the eagle’s gaze to be seen as symbolic of a nation both on the march and dedicated to peace.

Astonishingly, Trump didn’t change it back.

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BRIEF SANITY BREAK

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Just shut up and take my coin. Check out Romanbooteen ‘s amazing hobo nickels.#gigadgets #coin #diyideas #handicrafts #amazingart pic.twitter.com/HGMA2hrz3b

— GiGadgets (@gigadgets_) May 25, 2022

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END BRIEF SANITY BREAK

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CHEERS to the end of an era.  Did you know that Sunday is also technically a holiday?  Yup…it's "End of the Middle Ages Day." To mark the occasion, despondent Republicans will lower their flag pins to half-lapel.

CHEERS to the end of the end. It was all over for Tricky Dick 48 years ago today, thanks to a 27-11 vote by the House Judiciary Committee to adopt the first of three articles of impeachment against President Nixon who, said ABC News's Tom Jarrell at the time, was "presumably still in his swim trunks" while on vacation in California when he heard the news.  Meanwhile, then-VP Gerald Ford just couldn’t help but play a little game of up-is-downism:

Ford: It's interesting that every Democrat on the committee—north and south—voted for the article. ... It tends to make it a partisan issue.

Oh knock it off and get the f*ck outta here, crook.

Reporter: Even if one-third of Republicans voted for it?

Ford: Well, the fact that every one of the Democrats voted for it, I think, uh, lends credence that it's a partisan issue, even though some Republicans have deviated.

...said the Republican who later unilaterally exonerated the Republican crook. But, hey, what's a little hypocrisy among friends?

CHEERS to home vegetation. Here's some of the haps on TV this weekend, starting tonight with a pre-Memorial Day MSNBC reality check by the prime time hosts, or you can catch Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood reacting to the pending SCOTUS repeal of Roe v. Wade on PBS’s Firing Line at 8:30.

Now streaming to positive reviews.

The new movies and streamers (led by the Top Gun sequel on screen and Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+) are all reviewed here at Rotten Tomatoes. The MLB schedule is here, the NHL Stanley Cup playoff schedule is here, the WNBA schedule is here, and the NBA playoff schedule is here (Go Boston woo woo woo). Or you can catch the Senior PGA Championship tomorrow and Sunday afternoon on NBC.

Sunday on 60 Minutes: the devastation on the human body caused by assault-style gun bullets, and new discoveries of Caligula’s gardens. The National Memorial Day Concert airs Sunday at 8 on PBS. And beyond that you should just go outside and tiptoe through the tulips.  

Now here's your Sunday morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Oh god—a “special edition” on guns. I’m sure Chuck Todd will solve all the problems. Well, unless he’s out of time and he has to leave it there.

Chris Murphy, one of the most at-the-end-of-his-rope senators on gun violence, makes the rounds Sunday.

This Week: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT); Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

Face the Nation: Chris Murphy; Gov. Asa Hutchinson (The Cult-AR); Uvalde County Commissioner Ronnie Garza; Rep. Val Demings (D-FL); CEO of Sandy Hook Promise Foundation Nicole Hockley; Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor and co-founder of March for Our Lives Jaclyn Corin.

CNN's State of the Union: Rep. Dan Crenshaw (The Cult-TX); Texas Senator Ronald Gutierrez (D); Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). 

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Rep. Mo Brooks (Traitor-AL); Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).

 Happy viewing!

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Ten years ago in C&J: May 27, 2012

CHEERS to dissension in the ranks. There's another war brewing in the Republican party today. I'm speaking of course, about the battle of the blue bloods:

"What voter is going to vote for [Romney] because he’s seen with Donald Trump? The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious, it seems to me. Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics.” —George Will on This Week May 27

"George Will may be the dumbest and most overrated political commentator of all time. If the Republicans listen to him, they will lose." —Donald Trump on Twitter May 27

We hear that they plan to settle their feud the old-fashioned way: Mont Blanc pens at dawn.  [5/27/22 Update: In the end, Trump and his red-hatted orcs defeated Will and his bow-tied intellectuals. With a Sharpee. Go figure.]

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And just one more…

CHEERS to hurtling through space together. On Monday my partner Michael (aka "Common Sense Mainer" here at DK) and I will be memorializing something else in addition to Memorial Day. Namely, another trip around the sun together. Number 29.

We met in Saginaw, Michigan on May 30, 1993 at a bar called Bambi’s during Bill Clinton's fifth month in office as our 42nd president.  And here we are now, with #46 Joe Biden at the helm and a lot of water under the bridge. We're noticeably grayer and creakier—COPD knocked on his door, cancer knocked on mine. But we're still reasonable approximations of our younger selves if you squint hard enough, and so far we've resisted the temptation to shoo any kids off our lawn.

Michael and me waiting for a booth at Olive Garden on our first date.

Longevity seems to boil down to a few essentials: love, shared responsibility, and accepting the fact that neither of us hears half of what the other one says. But that's okay—we're quite smooth at the art of "yupping," and we fill in the blanks by texting each other from our respective ends of the couch.

In a tradition I started a few years back, here's the annual posting of a smug snippet from "The new apostle of sanity in sex," David Reuben, M.D.  Fifty-two years ago, in 1969, his mega-seller Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask—a copy of which I once found in my grandparents' attic—was published and treated as gospel (in fairness, he later took a chill pill and lightened up on us):

What about all the homosexuals who live together happily for years? What about them?  They are mighty rare birds among the homosexual flock.  Moreover, the "happy" part remains to be seen.  The bitterest argument between husband and wife is a passionate love sonnet by comparison with a dialogue between a butch and his queen.  Live together?  Yes.  Happily?  Hardly.

For the record, in our household the proper pecking order endures: the cat's the queen, the dog's the butch, and Michael and I are their humble servants. Scandalous, I know.

Have a great weekend. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Justice Jackson FRIDAY!

Late Night Snark: “She’s in!” Edition

“Congratulations to Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who didn't need to tell us what the definition of a woman is, but instead showed us: by breaking down barriers and achieving your goals, all while having to pretend Ted Cruz doesn't exist.” —Samantha Bee

"Big news from the United Nations. This afternoon the U.N. General Assembly voted to suspend Russia's membership in the Human Rights Council. Okay, that sounds right. You know what sounds wrong? Russia was on the Human Rights Council." —Stephen Colbert

Continued...

You are now below the fold, where the mushrooms are all fluent in 16 languages.

"Former President Barack Obama today visited the White House, and out of habit Jeanine Pirro called for his impeachment." —Seth Meyers

"That's really got to bother Trump. All the lies and schemes and lawsuits to get back to the White House, and Obama just strolls right in there." —Jimmy Kimmel

Ukrainians are leaving notes behind for Russians who are coming into their homes to loot. They say the same thing as Russia's most popular board game. pic.twitter.com/OtwBLdmR5p

— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) April 5, 2022

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"Republican congressman Madison Cawthorn said in a recent interview that 70-year-old Republicans invited him to an orgy and did cocaine in front of him. Wait…so you went to the old-man orgy? And you thought the weird part was drugs?" —Colin Jost, SNL

“This guy’s head is stuffed with more crap than his pillows.  And by the way, I was told not to say this, but I will: his stuff is crap. I mean, it’s absolute crap. You only find that kind of stuff in the Trump Hotel.” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on MyPillow grifter Mike Lindell, at the Gridiron Dinner

"Republicans in Ohio are busy with the important business of trying to pass their own version of that 'don’t say gay' Florida law. This is the controversial bill that prevents schools from teaching students about LGBTQ and gender-related issues. Imagine stealing your horrible ideas from Florida, a state that leads the world in murders on pontoon boats." —Jimmy Kimmel

And now, our feature presentation…

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Cheers and Jeers for Friday, April 8, 2022

Note: Due to a clerical error, the United States now belongs to the government of Denmark.  We regret the inconvenience, but at least now we’ll get some decent shit done.  —Mgt.

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By the Numbers:

15 days!!!

Days 'til Earth Day: 14

Days 'til the California Antique Farm Equipment Show in Tulare: 15

Minimum number of witnesses who have testified before the House Jan. 6 special committee: 800

Percent of men and women, respectively, ages 50-79 and surveyed by AARP who say their mental health is very good or excellent: 70%, 54%

Increase in marijuana potency between 1975 and 2017, according to JAMA: 24%

Estimated number of chocolate Easter bunnies that will be sold this year, thanks to President Biden making a dent in our supply chain issues because he loves his country and wants what's best for us and our children, unlike the Republicans who are all pedophile enablers: 92 million

Age of Silly String as of this year: 50

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Weekend plans…

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CHEERS to April 7.  On that auspicious day in the Year of Our Flying Spaghetti Monster 2022, history was carved into America's soul the way the Ten Commandments (or, as the GOP calls them, "suggestions") were carved into solid rock by furious lightning, the Republic's beating heart once again rejuvenated by the defibrillator paddles of progress, Liberty's beacon shining like a giant, throbbing energy-efficient-yet-still-aesthetically-pleasing floodlight of freedom, a rebellion against the status quo having successfully raged into a bonfire that BURNED THE BRUSH OF TYRANNY TO ASHES FROM WHICH THE GREEN SPROUTS OF JUDICIAL DESTINY NOW SPROING!!!!!!  [Ahem.]  Judge Jackson's in.

Nice to have a justice who, unlike the last three confirmed, doesn’t look like Satan when she smiles.

I predict her first words to Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan will be: "Sam Alito: big jerk...or biggest jerk ever?"  (The answer will not shock you.)

P.S. The Kodak Moment…

For those who are asking: pic.twitter.com/iMuM8BArF6

— President Biden (@POTUS) April 7, 2022

He chose...wisely.

JEERS to ominous signs. Speaking of justice, what the ever-loving eff yoo see kay is going on over in the mancave of the attorney general—or should we start calling Him Stonewall Garland?

House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., is alleging that the Department of Justice is "obstructing" the panel's investigation into former President Donald Trump by blocking the National Archives from handing over relevant documents.

Maybe he’s just working on something big. Really big!

In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday, Maloney said the DOJ is "preventing" the National Archives from cooperating with the committee's request for documents and information, “including an inventory of 15 boxes of documents recovered from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence.”

[…]

She asked Garland to confirm by April 14 whether the DOJ will tell the Archives that it may fully cooperate, including by giving Congress the inventory of the documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago.

If Garland delivers his response while wearing a shiny new red baseball cap, we may need to have a little talk with the president about delivering us a new attorney general.

CHEERS to a fine FLOTUS.  Happy Birthday to the late Betty Ford on what would be her 104th birthday. She gained fame in an era that many Americans can vaguely remember—namely, a time when the GOP had a smattering of class.  But even then, she was a persistent thorn in her party's side:

Throughout her husband's term in office, she maintained high approval ratings, though some on the far-right of her own Republican Party strongly opposed her on more liberal social issues.

Happy Birthday, Betty. Regards to Gerald.

Betty Ford was noted for raising breast cancer awareness with her 1974 mastectomy and was a passionate supporter for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Pro-choice on abortion and a leader in the Women's Movement, she gained fame as one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot button issue of the time from sex to drugs.

Her most enduring legacy, of course, is the Betty Ford Center.  Sadly, the center doesn't have a wing for candy corn addicts like me.  But I'm happy to say my self-administered Charms Blow Pop replacement therapy seems to be holding.  One day at a time.

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BRIEF SANITY BREAK

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Trigger warning: Vicious bear attack! 😧🤣❤️ pic.twitter.com/hlMVgBY6pE

— Mack & Becky Comedy (@MackBeckyComedy) April 2, 2022

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END BRIEF SANITY BREAK

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CHEERS to a civil end to a most uncivil war.  Big anniversary tomorrow—in fact, it oughtta be a federal holiday.  On April 9, 1865, following his final late-night cocaine orgy, Robert E. Lee called it quits and surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, effectively ending the southern traitors’ War for the Preservation of Owning Humans for Forced Labor.

Give the racist a purple nurple, Ulysses.

Several years ago a demographic historian concluded that the death toll of the war was much higher than originally thought—750,000 versus the original 620,000.  Sadly, another number has also been extended far beyond its original estimate: the number of years it's taking too many white people in the South to admit they lost and put away that damn confederate battle flag.  As Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC) reminded them a few years back, even slave owner and avowed racist treason-monger Lee had at least enough self-awareness to concern himself with post-war optics:

"When Robert E. Lee surrendered he asked all of his followers to furl this flag. Stow it away, he said. Put it in your attics," Clyburn continued. "He refused to be buried in his Confederate uniform. His family refused to allow anyone dressed in the confederate uniform to attend his funeral. "Why? Because Robert E. Lee said he considered this emblem to be a symbol of treason.”

He also didn’t want any statues of him put up, a request that fell on deaf ears as groups like the Daughters of the Confederacy erected hundreds of them (of Lee and other CSA icons, including a fresh batch in the 1960s to remind the civil rights movement to remember “their place”) as a way of living in denial of their treason. I’ll give the ‘em credit for one thing: they sure picked the right theme song. "Look away, Dixie Land."  Mission accomplished.

CHEERS to home vegetation. The elephant in the room on TV this weekend is the 52nd annual pre-Easter airing of Cecil B. DeMille's bladder buster The Fifteen Ten Commandments tomorrow night—for FIVE freaking hours—on ABC, featuring the mom from The Munsters as Moses' wife and music by the guy who also scored Airplane! and Ghostbusters. (Spoiler Alert: Ramses fails to defeat Moses when his chariot army gets stopped by an Evergreen container ship stuck in the Suez Canal.) Remember: if you get up from your couch to pee at any time between 7pm and midnight, you’re going straight to Hell.

Moses gets busy (again) tomorrow night.

Meanwhile the most popular movies and home videos, new and old, are all reviewed here at Rotten Tomatoes.  The NHL schedule is here, the NBA schedule is here, and hooray we can add the Major League Baseball schedule back again. Also this weekend we have The Masters (tomorrow and Sunday afternoon on CBS), during which PGA golfers will compete to see who can commit the most egregious fashion violation in pursuits of the coveted “Puke Green Jacket.”

Tomorrow night Jake Gyllenhaal hosts SNL.

Sunday evening, Scott Pelley interviews badass Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy from Kyiv on 60 Minutes. Lisa meets the son of musician Bleeding Gums Murphy on The Simpsons. And John Oliver wraps up the weekend with another edition of Last Week Tonight at 11 on HBO.

Now here's your Sunday morning lineup. Please hold your applause until forever:

Meet the Press: National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan; Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba; economic weird guy Larry Summers. 

Face the  Nation: National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan; Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova; former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson; Cleveland Fed president Lorretta Mester.

The ghost of Henry Clay will show up to talk about the exciting prospects for the Whigs in the midterms.

CNN's State of the Union: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Jan. 6 committee co-chair Liz Cheney (R-WY); Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans; European Union President Ursela von der Leyen.

This Week: TBA

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Senator Mitch “I have no red lines when it comes to ethics or morals and you can quote me on that” McConnell (The Cult-KY).

Happy viewing!

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Ten years ago in C&J: April 8, 2012

JEERS to Caterpillargate. Hey, ladies, you might be interested to know that, in addition to sluts, prostitutes and freeloaders, Republicans now think you're like squirmy insects:

“If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we have problems with caterpillars,” [Republican National Committee Chairman Reince] Priebus said. “The fact of the matter is it’s a fiction."

And to support his contention that there is no war on women, Priebus's home state governor, Scott Walker, repealed a law making women’s paycheck equal to men’s. Even the caterpillars did a facepalm. (Which is really tough for them to do because, y'know...no palms.)

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And just one more…

CHEERS to Kodak moments. If Donald Trump’s presidential photographer—who he recently stiffed because that’s his prime directive on Planet Earth—had ever gotten a shot like this, it would be framed and hanging on every Republican's living room wall as a totally-real example of their divine awesomeness. Instead, a different president's photographer (the great Pete Souza) snapped it six years ago this week, and Republicans lost their collective shit. In the hopes that it might make them chew through a few more inches of sheet metal in their survival bunkers, here’s a replay for nostalgia’s sake:

And, by contrast, here’s Obama’s one-term successor:

Mother Nature. Definitely a Democrat.

Have a great weekend. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Booster Shots FRIDAY!

Late Night Snark: Last Weekend of January Edition

"After a visit to a small business in D.C., President Biden stopped in to a local ice cream shop to get himself a treat. What kind of ice cream, you're wondering? Intrepid reporters report that it was two scoops, light-colored flavor on the bottom, darker ice cream on top. Or as Mitch McConnell would describe it: dark ice cream and ice cream." —Stephen Colbert

"Musician Kid Rock released a song this week that criticizes coronavirus restrictions. Oh, buddy, that's not why people are staying six feet away from you." —Seth Meyers

Continued…

You are now below the fold. You fool. We warned you.

"Senate Republicans lined up to shake Kyrsten Sinema's hand after she voted against changing the filibuster to pass voting rights. Ah, the U.S. Senate: keeping Black folks down with a quiet handshake since 1787." —Michael Che, SNL

"The House [Jan. 6] select committee received a load of documents that the former president sued to try to prevent them from seeing. One of those documents is a draft of a very damning executive order that would've directed the National Guard to seize voting machines after the election.  It was a last-ditch effort to keep Trump in power—a Sieg Heil Mary pass, if you will." —Jimmy Kimmel

“This week, Justice Stephen Breyer announced his plans to retire from the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell announced a new rule that you actually can't replace a Supreme Court judge the same year they replace M&Ms characters.” —Samantha Bee

It’s a slippery slope from woke M&M’s to Same-Skittle marriage.

— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) January 22, 2022

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"President Joe Biden was caught on a hot mic calling Fox News reporter Peter Doocy a 'stupid son of a bitch' when pressed about inflation at a White House event. To be fair, being a 'stupid son' is basically how Peter Doocy got his job." —Trevor Noah

"Kyle Rittenhouse is petitioning the court for the return of his rifle so he can destroy it. I dunno—trying to get your own memorabilia back is how they finally got O.J." —Colin Jost, SNL

 And now, our feature presentation…

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Cheers and Jeers for Friday, January 28, 2022

Note: Big blizzard hitting New England tomorrow. If you’re in the strike zone of the latest “bomb cyclone,” please follow the proper safety protocol: make sure your neighborhood squirrels have plenty of almonds, blankets and propane heaters first, then stock up on your own emergency needs second. The almonds are really especially important, so do those first, like right now, it’s that important. Thank you.

—The definitely human emergency manager and not a bunch of squirrels standing on top of each other under a raincoat trying to look like a human emergency manager

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By the Numbers:

3 days!!!

Days 'til Groundhog Day: 5

Days 'til National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day: 3

Estimated level of child poverty in January, up from 12% because the child tax credit wasn't extended by Congress: 17%

Expected percent among Black and Latino children: 25%

Increase in cigarette sales in 2020, the first increase since 2000: 0.4%

Estimated number if households that acquired a dog or cat during the pandemic: 23 million

Earth's circumference: 24,900 miles

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Puppy Pic of the Day: No one can resist that new puppy smell...

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CHEERS to clamping the vise of justice on the noggins of tyranny. Here's a quick roundup of where things stand with the various bad people who lately can't sleep at night without breaking out into at least one cold sweat:

»  More insurrectionists are getting arrested, charged and sentenced, thanks in no small measure to the patriotic nerds doing facial recognition sleuthing and turning their leads over to the feds.

»  Congressman Matt Gaetz, an alleged sex trafficker of minors, isn’t acting quite so smug today after a BFF of his copped a plea and is now spilling his beans to investigators.

»  Rudy Giuliani was identified as the principle architect of the plot to swap out the real 2020 electors from seven swing states with a slate of fake ones. The fake electors who went along with him are now being investigated by the Justice Department.

»  The Thing from Perv-A-Lago and his spawn are up to their necks in grand juries, DA subpoenas in multiple states investigating real estate fraud and election fraud, and the giant flaming eyeball of the House January 6 committee. Their pleas to stop the proceedings and let them get away with their crimey stuff are falling on deaf ears.

»  12-year-old Congressman Madison Cawthorn, who never met a democratic institution or minor personal inconvenience he didn’t compare to the Holocaust, may be disqualified from running for reelection if his accusers can make their case that he helped incite the January 6 insurrection. Which he did.

»  And seven school districts in Virginia are suing their new cultist governor for turning schools into institutions of human sacrifice by nullifying their sensible Covid protection rules.

As we well know by now, the judicial system moves at a crawl…right up until the moment it doesn't. (Even on weekends.) So keep your ears to the pavement. And if you see Merrick Garland tearing through the streets in his giant modified snowplow of justice, give him a wide berth.

CHEERS to the Biden recovery. Because it was so positive, it was of course like playing a game of Where's Waldo? to find the news that our economy was the envy of the civilized world in 2021, with gross domestic product climbing to 5.7 percent overall and an eye-popping 7 percent in the fourth quarter as Democrats fixed supply chain issues and Americans enjoyed a happier holiday than the previous year:

“It just goes to show that the U.S. economy has learned to adapt to the new variants and continues to produce,'' said Beth Ann Bovino, chief economist at Standard &Poor's Global Ratings. […]

Damn, Republican presidents suck at getting it up and keeping it up.

For the final three months of 2021, consumer spending rose at a more muted 3.3% annual pace. But private investment rocketed 32% higher, boosted by a surge in business inventories as companies stocked up to meet higher customer demand. Rising inventories, in fact, accounted for 71% of the fourth-quarter growth.

In a statement, President Joe Biden said, “We are finally building an American economy for the 21st century, with the fastest economic growth in nearly four decades, along with the greatest year of job growth in American history."

And on the jobs front, unemployment claims came in under the forecasters' expectations. Amazingly, none of the newly-unemployed included incompetent forecasters.

JEERS to premature descents. On January 28, 1986—good lord, 36 years ago—the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members, including civilian teacher Christa McAuliffe.  I'm guessing that if you were more than toddler-age, you remember exactly where you were when you heard about it.  I was in the Otterbein College (Westerville, Ohio) campus center at 11:38am, and can still conjure up the queasy feeling that set in when I realized what had happened. A stunned crowd of students and faculty gathered around the big-screen TV and just...watched. Lest we forget these were the heroes on board that day:

Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe and astronauts Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Mission Commander Dick Scobee, astronaut Ronald McNair, pilot Mike Smith, and astronaut Ellison Onizuka.

Today folks from the Challenger Center and elsewhere, along with family members of the crew, commemorated the tragedy, starkly reminding the world that it takes off-the-charts courage, brains and skill to put yourself through the rigors of space flight.  Which pretty much explains why I blog for a living.

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This is how they tested shoes back in 1937. pic.twitter.com/8oob96I9uv

— STEM (@stem_feed) January 27, 2022

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CHEERS to, like, freeing your mind, man. Tomorrow is Freethinkers Day, which celebrates those who believe that truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, or religion. Noted freethinkers include Thomas Paine, Albert Einstein, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and anyone who has ever shouted, “The Fox News, it burns!”

CHEERS to the first ringy-dingy. On January 28, 1878, the commercial telephone switchboard made its national debut in New  Haven, Connecticut. The first customers were Amanda Hugginkiss, I.P. Freely and Seymour Butz. We hear the first operator lasted a whole five minutes.

CHEERS to home vegetation. Since our nation is still in the capable hands of Democrats again, we can relax and spend some couch time with the teevee this weekend, starting tonight with Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow telling us why we shouldn’t be spending our weekend relaxing on the couch. (Spoiler alert: Because our republic is being destroyed by pro-Russian morons.)

Willem finally adds “SNL Host” to his meager resume tomorrow night.

Or you can catch a new Penn & Teller: Fool Us starting at 8 on the CW. Bill Maher's guests tonight (just for the record, not because we watch him anymore) on Real Time are ACLU executive director Ira Glasser, Matt Welch of Reason, and star of Trump's first impeachment hearing Fiona Hill. Director Kenneth Branagh talks about his acclaimed movie Belfast on The Graham Norton Show at 11 on BBC America.

The new movies and home videos, new and old, are all reviewed here at Rotten Tomatoes. The season premiere of The Great Chocolate Showdown, during which contestants “take on the art of tempering chocolate,” airs tomorrow night at 8 on The CW.  Willem Dafoe makes his Saturday Night Live hosting debut tomorrow night, with Katy Perry on backing vocals.  The NBA schedule is here and the NHL schedule is here. Meanwhile the Superb Owl competitors will be determined Sunday when the Bengals face the Chiefs for the AFC title (3pm, CBS) and the 49ers take on the Rams for the NFC Championship (6:30, Fox, so no Simpsons or Family Guy this week). As always, I'm putting all my money on whichever team Secretariat is on. And on 60 Minutes: reports on great white sharks and Yellowstone Park’s wolves.

Now here's your Sunday morning lineup:

Face the Nation: TBA

We recommend you watch this on Sunday instead.

This Week: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL); Sen. Susan Collins (Cult-ME); former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala.

Meet the Press: Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rob Portman (Cult-OH); Governor Phil Murphy (D-NJ); Gov. Asa Hutchinson (Cult-AR).

CNN's State of the UnionSen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ); Sen. James Risch (Cult-ID); Governor Chris Sununu (Cult-NH).

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Sen. Tom Cotton (Cult-AR).

 Happy viewing!

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Ten years ago in C&J: January 28, 2012

CHEERS to today's boring correction. According to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, President Obama's State of the Union address was "an uninspiring speech delivered with a dismal result." Oh Noes!!! A DISMAL result!!! But the public begs to differ: "91 percent of those who watched the speech approved of the proposals Mr. Obama put forth during his remarks." We're sure Mr. Milbank forgives the American people for interfering with his beltway narrative.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to "32." Make sure you take a moment Sunday to say Happy Birthday (or, to use his dialect, "Happy buhthday") to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who turns 140. He was far from perfect, as all presidents have been: turning away Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, the internment camps, the womanizing. But he was a force of nature who didn’t let polio stop him as he charged headlong into fighting the depression and wars on multiple fronts in Europe and Asia, while passing reforms that made life better for ordinary Americans. Says William Ridings and Stuart McIver in their book Rating the Presidents (where FDR sits at #2, just below Lincoln):

Roosevelt is praised most often for his role in preserving the American capitalist system at a time when many countries were opting for fascism.

Given the dire crises he was forced to confront, perhaps the highest praise from the poll is "the right man in the right place at the right time." [...]

Others praise him for stopping Hitler—and shudder to think what might have been if a less-effective president had been at the helm in those dangerous days.

The lunatics on the right try mightily to rewrite history by insisting that the New Deal was a failure. Never mind that laws enacted in the 1930s—chipped away at though they were—helped prevent our 2008 and 2020 Great Recessions from turning into all-out depressions.  Pay your respects here.  And never let anyone forget the difference between the parties, as defined by Roosevelt himself: Democrats say we have nothing to fear but fear itself, Republicans say we have nothing to fear but everything but fear itself.

P.S. It's also Dick Cheney's birthday Sunday. He turns 666. Again.

Have a great weekend. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Cheers and Jeers: Thursday

Lest We Forget (which Republicans would love)

One year ago today, the 45th president—a Republican—made history by becoming the first to be impeached twice. The first time for trying to extort favors from Ukraine—via his “perfect phone call”—to help him win the 2020 election, and the second for inciting a bloody insurrection when all the “traitor to democracy’s” election rigging failed:

President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Continued...

Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

To get you up to speed one year later: the Republican-led Senate failed to convict him, a January 6 House Select Committee chaired by Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney was formed, over 340 witnesses have been interviewed, and major criminal investigations of The Thing From Mar-A-Lago are also underway in New York and Georgia. To be continued. Hopefully faster.

And now, our feature presentation...

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Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, January 13, 2022

Note: Today is National Rubber Ducky Day. C&J's mascot Kevin the Socialist Duckstick will be in the kiddie pool today, so be sure to say squeak.  

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By the Numbers:

One month from celebrating the “Big Two One Four.”

Days 'til Abraham Lincoln turns 214: 30

Portion of Americans now totally vaccinated: 2/3

Number of lives saved by vaccines during the first six months of 2021, according to NBC News: 241,000

Percent chance that a judge has ruled that Gruyere cheese does not have to come from the Gruyere region of Europe to be sold under the Gruyere name: 100%

Age of Oreos as of 2022: 110

Rank of Mary, Dorothy, and Helen among the top baby girl names in 1922: #1, #2, #3

Rank of John, Robert, and William among the top baby boy names in 1922: #1, #2, #3

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Contrary to the paranoid fantasists on The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, populists are not motivated by some burning resentment of the rich—we don't spend our lives in an envious funk that someone else is better off than we are.

"No skin off my nose" is the general attitude, with others coming in at "Lucky them" or "Good for them." The problem is that the rich are screwing up our democracy. Less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. population gave 83 percent of all itemized campaign contributions for the 2002 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. According to the Houston Chronicle, just 48 wealthy Texas families provided more than half the campaign funds for the major Republican state candidates this fall.

How dumb do you have to be not to be able to connect the dots here? Law, policy and regulation are consistently shaped to favor the rich over the rest of us, and that, dammit, is not fair, it is not right, it is not the country we want and for which we are asked to sacrifice.

January, 2003

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Puppy Bowl preview…

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CHEERS to gravity. What goes up must come down. And thankfully Omicron's 15 weeks of fame might be coming to an end:

America's tally of new cases ticked down slightly for the first time since Christmas, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. […]

Hands up, Omicron. Yer goin’ straight to the pokey.

Boston has been a hot spot, but Dr. Mark Siedner of Massachusetts  General Hospital told CBS in Boston there are early signs the city has "turned a corner." One of those signs is a wastewater tracking system—virus particles found in wastewater are no longer infectious but can still be measured and can reflect trends among people contributing to the wastewater.

“The wastewater data are in, and the news is good," tweeted Bill Hanage, associate professor at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. The data is "providing solid evidence, that importantly can't be put down to exhausted testing capacity or other factors."

"Solid evidence." Huhhhuhhuh. Professor made a poop joke.

JEERS to gravity defiance. And sometimes what goes up just doesn't feel like coming back down. Exhibit A:

Consumer prices rose by 7 percent in December over the previous year, its fastest increase since the early 1980s, as companies raised prices to offset pandemic-driven supply chain issues—and also took the opportunity to increase profit margins on the back of brisk consumer spending.

Well, little fella, that’s one way to stop inflation.

The latest Consumer Price Index data, released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marks the third consecutive month in which the index, a measure of what consumers pay for goods and services, rose by more than 6 percent.

According to the reports, inflation grew fastest in three sectors: housing, vehicles, and Marjorie Taylor-Greene's ego.

CHEERS to one of the good guys.  On this date 44 years ago, Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota—aka Mayor of Minneapolis, LBJ's vice president, 1968 presidential candidate (great platform except for supporting the Vietnam War) and fierce advocate in the war on poverty—died much too young at 66.  He was wise:

"Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism."

Humphrey in his prime.

"Behind every successful man is a proud wife and a surprised mother-in-law."

“We seek an America able to preserve and nurture all the basic rights of free expression, yet able to reach across the divisions that too often separate race from race, region from region, young from old, worker from scholar, rich from poor. We seek an America able to do this in the higher knowledge that our goals and ideals are worthy of conciliation and personal sacrifice.”

"Liberalism, above all, means emancipation—emancipation from one's fears, his inadequacies, from prejudice, from discrimination, from poverty."

And a special shout-out from Humphrey to the QAnon cult: "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." Amen.

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Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, seen from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA Johnson pic.twitter.com/WgMJPSkBl5

— Amazing Physics (@amazing_physics) January 11, 2022

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JEERS to the fate of the republic. President Biden, who remains unable to do much to prevent Republicans from committing widespread voter suppression and election nullification, gave a speech in Atlanta this week calling on Senate Democrats to carve out an exception to the filibuster rule and pass robust voting rights legislation. The two holdouts remain Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. For her part, Sinema appears ready to play ball:

And for his part, as of this morning Joe Manchin says he's ready to throw his party a life ring. Just as soon as the cement hardens.

CHEERS to discus lite.  Wham-O began producing the "Frisbee" 65 years ago today.  Ever wonder where the name comes from?

The Frisbie Baking Company (1871-1958) of Bridgeport, Connecticut, made pies that were sold to many New England colleges. Hungry college students soon discovered that the empty pie tins could be tossed and caught, providing endless hours of game and sport.

A Frisbee from the ‘76 Democratic convention.

Many colleges have claimed to be the home of 'he who was first to fling.' Yale College has even argued that in 1820, a Yale undergraduate named Elihu Frisbie grabbed a passing collection tray from the chapel and flung it out into the campus, thereby becoming the true inventor of the Frisbie and winning glory for Yale. That tale is unlikely to be true since the words 'Frisbie's Pies' was embossed in all the original pie tins and from the word 'Frisbie' was coined the common name for the toy.

Frisbees remind me of the Republican party: Lightweight, logic as contorted as a no-look reverse-flick backhanded corkscrew air bounce, and the only thing keeping them aloft is spin.

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Ten years ago in C&J: January 13, 2012

CHEERS to doin' it Martian-style. NASA reports that the Mars Science Laboratory—aka that thing up in the sky goin' to Mars—has been firing its thrusters this week. In response, the American Family Association called for an immediate boycott of NASA for such disgusting behavior.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the Class of 2022. Hey, did you know that there's a National Aviation Hall of Fame? It's true, I looked it up! Members range from the Wright Brothers   And last month they inducted five new members into their ranks. Happy to see that women outnumber men in this year's impressive class:

(The late) Willa Brown  The first African American female to earn a pilot’s license in the U.S. first to run for Congress, first African American to become a Civil Air Patrol officer, and trainer of over 200 Tuskegee Airmen.

Sweet medal.

(The late) Joe Clark  Founder of the blended winglet, which enhances the performance of airplanes by impacting sustainability in less fuel consumption, longer aircraft range, and reduced carbon emissions.

Margaret Hamilton  Coined the term “Software Engineer” to describe her role in developing the in-flight systems software, and Priority Displays for the Apollo command module, lunar lander, and Skylab. Also perfected broomstick flight stability in her homeland of Oz. (Ha Ha Ha, not really, I just wrote that!)

Story Musgrave  Pilot, physician, mechanic, and former NASA astronaut. Second astronaut to fly on six spaceflights, and only astronaut to fly aboard all five Space Shuttles.

(The late) Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock  First woman to fly solo around the world, fly around the world as pilot in command, fly across two oceans, and first to fly across the Pacific in a single-engine plane.

You can see the lengthy list of enshrinees here. They’re each given a plaque, a medal and, best of all, the knowledge that they have the know-how to spend some time off the surface of this fucking planet.

Have a nice Thursday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial

Cheers and Jeers is lush and green and beautiful. 

Emily VanDer Werff, Vox

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Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

The Brain of a Daily Kos Reader is a Fearsome Machine

Tying up a loose end from the dearly-departed year 2021, here’s a recap of some of our C&J poll results from the fourth quarter. It gives the world a moment to pause and collectively marvel at the sound judgment and brainpower on display here at the Great Orange Satan:

✔  86 percent of you are definitely ready to let states other than Iowa go first during future presidential primary seasons.

✔  95 percent aren’t surprised that people who claim “Jesus is my vaccine” keep dying of Covid-19.

✔  94 percent support Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s call for a federal data protection agency focused on safeguarding Americans’ online personal data and civil liberties.

Continued...

✔  69 percent rightly predicted that world leaders would get nothing substantial done at the climate summit in Glasgow. (Greta was not happy.)

✔  99 percent support the suspension and/or firing of health care workers and first responders who refuse to get vaccinated for Covid-19.

All of our poll results are double-checked by the world-famous Hinkelmeijer triplets in real time using the latest accordiotabulation technology. 

✔  In mid-November we asked how you would grade Attorney General Merrick Garland’s job performance in terms of “his urgency in dealing with this precarious moment in our country’s history.” Three percent gave him an A, 14 percent a B, 30 percent a C, 29% a D, and 24 percent an F.

✔  Given various projects the new infrastructure bill will pay for, 32% were most impressed with lead-pipe replacement, followed by charging stations for electric vehicles (20%), with roads/bridges and broadband expansion tied at 17%.

✔  Not even close: 98 percent of the orange rabble support a vaccine mandate for people traveling by air, as Dr. Fauci has suggested.

✔  When asked to grade the overall performance of President Biden’s cabinet during 2021, 33 percent gave them an A, 53 percent a B, 7 percent a C, and one percent a D.

✔ And for 45 percent of you, your list of Festivus grievances for 2021 was longer than last year’s. For 23 percent the list was shorter.

Please: keep voting in our polls. It'll keep ya sharp for the midterms. And now, our feature presentation…

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Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Note: What kind of dancers do professional plumbers make the most money off of? Cloggers, of course. Thank you, I'll be here all week.

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By the Numbers:

The Covid Games start in 30 days.

Days 'til the start of the Winter Olympics in that country that allows corruption and human rights abuses to fester. No, not us, silly—China: 30

Percent of Democrats and Republicans, respectively, polled by Civiqs who say they teach about racism at home: 86%, 39%

Percent of Americans in the same poll who believe the police improved how they interact with people over the last year: 18%

People in the ICU in Michigan on December 13 and January 3, respectively: 1,019 / 774

Average price of a used vehicle in November, according to Edmunds.com: $29,011

Percent chance that the Mercedes concept car EQXX is "made with a host of innovative recycled and sustainable materials including mushroom fibers, ground up cacti, and trash such as food scraps": 100%

Current rate of inflation in Turkey: 36%

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 185 (including 5 plagues and 1 “true Christian” who can't understand why he’s still single).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Rule #1 for a seasoned criminal: leave no prints…

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CHEERS to bustin' that filibuster in the chops, boy howdy I'm tellin' ya this time it's for realz maybe. After eating his usual breakfast of rusty nails and single-handedly stopping several muggings and bank robberies with nothing more than his wits and those giant fists of fury, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sat down and scrawled an earthquake-inducing letter on a chunk of Harley tailpipe. And, by god, this time it's personal:

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced on Monday that the Senate will hold another vote on voting rights legislation in January. If Republicans choose to filibuster debate on it for the fifth time, Schumer promised to hold a vote on changing Senate rules to enable it to come to the floor for debate and, ultimately, passage.

A helluva legacy if he pulls this off.

In a letter to his Senate colleagues, Schumer framed the push for voting rights laws as a response to the election fraud lies peddled by former President Donald Trump, which inspired the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Those lies and the insurrection have since stood as inspiration for Republican state legislatures to enact new laws that limit voting opportunities and, in at least one state, enable Republicans to purge Democrats from local election boards and replace them with partisans who can make it harder to vote in key Democratic counties. […]

The Jan. 6 anniversary is at the beginning of this final push for voting rights legislation. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, which falls on Jan. 17 this year, is the end: Schumer promised that any push to change Senate rules will come by that date.

Sounds like Schumer has something up his sleeve. If he doesn’t get this done, it better be a one-way ticket on the first SpaceX trip to Mars.

CHEERS to peace in our time. Big announcement from the dudes in charge of most of the world's supply of metallic laser-guided Worse-Than-Hiroshimas:

China, Russia, the United States and France have agreed that a further spread of nuclear arms and a nuclear war should be avoided, according to a joint statement by the five nuclear powers published by the Kremlin on Monday.

Nukes are legal. These are not.

It said that the five countries—which are the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—consider it their primary responsibility to avoid war between the nuclear states and to reduce strategic risks, while aiming to work with all countries to create an atmosphere of security.

“We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” the English-language version of the statement read.

And in economic news: words remain cheapest commodity on earth for the four billionth straight year.

P.S. Britain, Pakistan and the UK didn’t sign on to this? Earth, we may have a problem.

CHEERS to beating Big Meat. Smart and appropriate move by President Biden, as he reaches out to rural Americans by taking aim at the giant price-gouging meat-packing conglomerates:

President Joe Biden met virtually with independent farmers and ranchers Monday to discuss initiatives to reduce food prices by increasing competition within the meat industry, part of a broader effort to show his administration is trying to combat inflation. “Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism—it’s exploitation,” Biden said.

Meanwhile candy corn prices have skyrocketed to $1 million per pound, and Biden has done nothing. Nothing!

Biden is building off a July executive order that directed the Agriculture Department to more aggressively look at possible violations of the 1921 Packers and Stockyards Act, which was designed to ensure fair competition and protect consumers. Meat prices have climbed 16% from a year ago, with beef prices up20.9%. […]

“We must get to the bottom of why farmers and ranchers continue to receive low payments while families across America endure rising meat prices,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Good. Because meat has gotten so expensive that in order to put pork on my table I've had to put my most cherished possessions in hock. You might call it...ham hock! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! (These and 499 other knee-slappers are now available in Billy's Industrial Food Industry Jokes For All Occasions, Volume LCXXIII. Hurry and get yours today---they're moo-ving fast!)

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This is what Earth looks like from 1.5 billion kilometers away. A pale blue dot beneath the rings of Saturn captured by the Cassini spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI pic.twitter.com/8NvxIOIBVM

— Wonder of Science (@wonderofscience) December 22, 2021

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CHEERS to Democratic bulldogs.  Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill—who coined the phrase "All politics is local"—died 28 years ago today at 81. His 1994 New York Times obituary is an excellent read on retail politics and how Team D can differentiate itself from Team R:

He was a large, joyous, generous-spirited man with a bulbous nose, yellowed white hair that flopped over his forehead and an ever-present cigar. […]

You never saw him and Lt. Frank Drebin in the same room together.

Mr. O'Neill was an old-style politician and proud of it, a House Speaker comfortable with power, who clung to his brand of liberalism long after it ceased to be fashionable, even among his fellow Democrats.

An early opponent of the Vietnam War, Mr. O'Neill took strong positions on many controversial issues. He was the Congressional leader who pushed hardest for the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon and later, as Speaker, put his prestige on the line for Congressional reform. […] To Mr. O'Neill, who spoke of the Democratic Party with near-religious fervor, the party was the one of the cities, the working people, the poor, the needy, the unemployed, the sick and the disinherited. "And no way are we ever going to let them down," he would insist.

Pay your respects here. Bulbously.

CHEERS to happy days in Nerdville. A lot of well-earned whooping and hollering at NASA yesterday as the James Webb space telescope—which, when fully active, will look so far back into history that we'll be able to see whose shoe our universe came from the bottom of—passed a major milestone in its deployment as it unfurled…

…all five layers of its tennis-court-sized sunshield, a prerequisite for the telescope's science operations and the most nerve-wracking part of its risky deployment.

As of today, the Webb has its own trampoline. 

The challenging procedure, which required careful tensioning of each of the five hair-thin layers of the elaborate sunshield structure was a seamless success today (Jan. 4). Its completion brought huge relief to the thousands of engineers involved in the project over its three decades of development, as well as the countless scientists all over the world who eagerly await Webb's groundbreaking observations. […]

Since Webb observes infrared light, or heat, it has to be kept at extremely cold temperatures so that there is no heat from Webb that could obscure its observations. By reflecting both incoming solar radiation and heat from planet Earth, the sunshield keeps Webb perfectly cold.

 Had the rollout of the heat shield failed, NASA was ready with Plan B to keep the craft icy cold during its mission: having Ivanka Trump spend a few minutes a day staring at it.

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Ten years ago in C&J: January 5, 2012

JEERS to earth-shaking news. In northeast Ohio, underground storage of wastewater from the natural gas extraction process called fracking is causing earthquakes.  Eleven so far. Of course, there's a difference of opinion on the seriousness of this. The people we typically refer to as educated scientists say "you ain't seen nothin' yet," while the group popularly known as politicians (Governor Kasich, take a bow) say "nothing to see here, please move along." Besides, who doesn’t dream about having their own vibrating bed?

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the Land of Enchantment.  Happy 110th birthday this week to our 47th state: New Mexico!  Not many people know this, but the state's official insect is the tarantula hawk wasp, which apparently flew through the gates of hell to get here:

When a female is ready to lay her eggs, she seeks out a tarantula and injects it with paralyzing venom.

Welcome to New Mexico!

She drags the tarantula to a burrow and stuffs it down the hole, then lays her eggs on top of the paralyzed spider.  Several days later the eggs hatch and the larvae feed on the still living tarantula.

Also: not many people know that the state maintains an army of giant tarantula hawk wasps in an underground bunker in Roswell.  And also not many people know that therein lies the reason for the state's official motto: "What New Mexico Wants, New Mexico Gets."

Have a happy humpday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial

”I Moved Into the Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool With Bill in Portland Maine during COVID-19. Now I Don't Want To Leave.”

Daisy Maldonado

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Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

Deadlines, Deadlines

Good morning, liberal hippie commie Marxist Sorosistas and your America-killing infatuation with—[Checks notes]—keeping your fellow Americans safe and healthy and able to pay their bills. Tuesday welcomes you. For your convenience, C&J continues monitoring important deadlines of national importance as imposed by the Trump shadow administration, aka the MyPillow guy, who has never missed a deadline because of his peerless managerial efficiency and long-range planning prowess. Please mark the following on your "Chemtrail A Day" calendars:

August 12-13  “When we get through this and the Supreme Court pulls down this election—like I’ve been telling everybody—when they do this, it’s going to be a great uniting and that gives me hope. Once we have this symposium, how are the pathways of Donald Trump coming back? The first one would be, once we have the symposium, by the night of the 12th or the morning of the 13th. … maybe, you know, Biden and Harris would say, ‘hey, we’re here to protect the country’ and resign."

Stay tuned to Daily Kos for updates, as Mr. Lindell’s brilliant mind works beautifully and pillowy, and these developments will happen very, very quickly. Thank you. Have a magnetizing day.

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Note: Here's today's Helpful Hint from Heloise. To to reduce your risk of being robbed on the street, always carry a shovel with blood stains on it. Hugs!

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By the Numbers:

Thursday!!!

Days 'til National Chili Dog Day: 2

Days 'til the Washington Island Music Festival in Wisconsin: 6

Minimum number of openly LGBTQ athletes who are competing for Team USA at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo: 30

Number of countries the estimated 140 “out” LGBTQ athletes, competing in 26 sports, come from: 25

Percent of states that now specifically ban the practice of using Jesus to turn gay kids straight via "conversion therapy": 50%

Amount Maine’s retail pot dispensaries made in June, a new record according to the Office of Marijuana Policy: $6,471,000

Next high tide in Portland, Maine: 2:32pm

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Puppy Pic of the Day: And Lassie didn’t lift a damn finger…

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Tourist.

CHEERS to getting to the bottom of all this insurrection whatchamahootchie. Today's the day the Trump cult has feared since the day they went all "Reichstag Fire" on their country by storming the Capitol to—in order of importance—hang Trump's vice president, smear feces on the walls, ransack the place, attack the Capitol Police, plant a Confederate flag under the Rotunda, and stop the certification of Joe Biden's election victory. Or, as the cult likes to say: the day they dressed up in their fancy best to hug and kiss the Capitol Police as they politely took a tour of our seat of government out of intellectual curiosity. So, y'know…potato puhtahto. Today the "Select Committee on the January 6th Attack" (9 Democrats, 2 Republicans) meets for the first time to investigate—quoting here—"WTF??????"  C&J has obtained an exclusive transcript of chairman Bennie Thompson's opening questions:

"Congressman Jim Jordan, would you like to say a few opening words? Oh, wait, that's right, he got booted off the committee Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!  Any objection to Congressman Jordan going first? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!  Or do you just want to sit there and look the other way, cuz I hear you were really good doing that at OSU. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

If you've ever wondered what Liz Cheney looks like cracking a smile, here's your chance.

CHEERS to an interesting set of options. Oh, those Democrats. Always trying to make it a little easier to help their fellow citizens get through this crazy thing called life. And one way they're trying to do that is by stuffing their $3.5 trillion "New New Deal" with provisions that will help add more support for the health care laws that are already on the books.  Via a deep dive at HuffPo (motto: "All the Po That's Fit to Huff"), these are some things that could be included…

»  $200 billion to shore up subsidies for Obamacare signer-uppers

Soon it could be Obama’s turn to tell the sitting president that his health care bill is a BFD. 

»  $400 billion for in-home care, housing, and employment for seniors and the disabled to help them maintain independence from nursing homes

»  Add dental, vision, and hearing care to Medicare, and cap out-of-pocket costs

»  $400 billion to close the "Medicaid gap" caused by Republicans (especially in the south) who refuse to expand the program as allowed by the ACA. This would get countless people at or just above the poverty line insured, many for the first time ever.

»  Reduce the age of eligibility to sign up for Medicare

»  Give the government the power—finally!!!—to negotiate for lower drug prices

Holy Aunt Fanny's lumbago, that's nice! Probably enough even to swing a few more votes the Democrats' way in the midterm elections for Republican officials to overturn the morning after. So what happens next? That's your homework assignment for today. Be specific and remember: penmanship counts.

CHEERS to the end of the end. It was all over for Tricky Dick 47 years ago today, thanks to a 27-11 vote by the House Judiciary Committee to adopt the first of three articles of impeachment against President Nixon who, said ABC News's Tom Jarrell at the time, was "presumably still in his swim trunks" while on vacation in California when he heard the news.  Meanwhile, then-VP Gerald Ford just couldn’t help but play a little game of up-is-downism:

Ford: It's interesting that every Democrat on the committee—north and south—voted for the article. ... It tends to make it a partisan issue.

When Trump is forced to leave in disgrace, he’ll just give the thumbs-up sign, which will look as ridiculously stupid as Dick’s victory signs.

Reporter: Even if one-third of Republicans voted for it?

Ford: Well, the fact that every one of the Democrats voted for it, I think, uh, lends credence that it's a partisan issue, even though some Republicans have deviated.

...said the Republican who later unilaterally exonerated the Republican crook. But, hey, what's a little hypocrisy among friends?

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Dolphins riding a wave.. pic.twitter.com/4KKXfT7SDW

— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden_) July 25, 2021

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CHEERS to shedding blood, sweat, toil, and tears for victory. The greatest sporting competition in the world continues today. It's intense. Inspiring. Gut-wrenching. Yes, it's even enough to bring a tear to your eye, knowing how hard the competitors worked and fought and planned and sacrificed to make it this far. Watching last night reminded me that the power of the champion isn’t in the brawn, but the brains. And all the pomp and ceremony can't conceal the fact that winning it all boils down to individual achievement on a scale that only the best of the best—the goatiest of the GOATs, if you will—will come out on top.  But enough about LeVar Burton's first night guest-hosting Jeopardy! Anyone know what's up at the Olympics?

JEERS to hounding the wrong guy. Speaking of not speaking about the Olympics, here’s a reminder that assholes can, and do, sometimes pee in the pool during the fun.  Twenty-five years ago today, domestic right-wing terrorist nut Eric Rudolph detonated a pipe bomb at the Summer Olympic games in Atlanta.

Sculpture in Centennial (Olympic) Park with an indentation of a nail from the July 27, 1996 bombing.

The blast killed one person and injured over a hundred more, but it could've been worse if security guard Richard Jewell hadn’t found the bomb and tried to move people out of harm's way. The hero was later pilloried in the press and by the late-night gaggle (Leno called him the "Una-doofus") when it became known that the FBI considered him a suspect. Then, when his name was officially cleared, they moved on and dumped his reputation by the side of the road like a rodent carcass.  Wikipedia reminds us of what the media should've learned: 

Jewell's case became an example of the damage that can be done by reporting based on unreliable or incomplete information...

Mr. Lesson From The Past, meet Mr. ADD.

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Ten years ago in C&J: July 27, 2011

JEERS to the continuing distraction from job creation. This is Day 4 of our daily—and oh-so-useful—updates on the debt crisis. Here's the latest, courtesy of special guest blogger, Atrios:

Just a reminder that there is no debt ceiling crisis. There's a fake crisis started by Republicans and then embraced by the White House so that everyone gets to use the fake crisis to try to do unpopular things in such a way that nobody, in theory, actually gets the blame.

A few people need to show up in Congress in the middle of the night, cast a voice vote, and we can move on to the next fake crisis.

Tomorrow: You ain't seen nothin' yet. (And that's what you're getting.)

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And just one more…

CHEERS to a fabulous quintet. Just a pure unadulterated good news story: the 44th Kennedy Center Honorees have been announced. As usual, the wealth of talent has a liberal bias:

Operatic bass-baritone Justino Díaz’s remarkable career has taken him to the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses and symphonic halls. He stands as one of the greatest bass-baritones in the field.

Berry Gordy’s unparalleled contribution to music and popular culture as a songwriter, producer, and director provided the musical soundtrack for generations of Americans and brought us many of today’s greatest artists. He is responsible for the “Motown Sound” that reached out across a racially divided, politically and socially charged country, to transform popular music forever.

Good lookin’ bunch.

Emmy Award winning producer and writer Lorne Michaels created Saturday Night Live, capturing the zeitgeist of American life and culture.

As one of the world's most beloved entertainers and living legends, Bette Midler’s expansive body of work has spanned nearly six decades across different genres, eras, and media.

An artist of unparalleled talent stretching across genres, Joni Mitchell is an icon of modern music and one of the most influential songwriters and creators of our age.

I'm thinking that we'll see a return of the President of the United States sitting in a balcony seat with the honorees during the festivities on December 5th. The last president snubbed them. He suffers from a severe allergy to the toxic mix of happiness and culture.

Have a tolerable Tuesday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial

A man named Dan Bailey posted a video of himself on Instagram as he calmly told Bill in Portland Maine to his face, “You are the worst human being known to mankind.”

Mediaite

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Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

The Big “Con”

Climbing into my home-built starship (thanks again for the blueprints, Popular Mechanics) and using the sun as a slingshot to achieve speeds that allowed me to merge with a wormhole, yesterday I made my annual trip back in time to fetch this bit of insight-with-no-expiration-date from Paul Waldman circa July, 2006. Consider it a timely warning to our current spate of GOP toxicity:

Conservatism is the ideology of the past—a past we don't want to return to.

Continued...

Waldman continued...

Liberals need to embrace the culture war, because we're winning. The story of American history is that of conservative ideas and prejudices falling away as our society grows more progressive and thus more true to our nation's founding ideals.

Conservatives supported slavery, conservatives opposed women's suffrage, conservatives supported Jim Crow, conservatives opposed the 40-hour work week and the abolishment of child labor, and conservatives supported McCarthyism. In short, all the major advancements of freedom and justice in our history were pushed by liberals and opposed by conservatives, no matter the party they inhabited at the time.

Conservatism is Bill Bennett lecturing you about self-denial, then rushing off to feed his slot habit at the casino. It's James Dobson telling you that children need regular beatings to stay in line. It's a superannuated nun rapping you on the knuckles so you won't think about your dirty parts. It's Jerry Falwell watching "Teletubbies" frame by frame to see if Tinky Winky is trying to turn him gay. Conservatism is everyone you never wanted to grow up to be.

Let’s just hope our country gets that through its thick skull in time.

P.S. Follow Paul Waldman on twitter here.

And now, our feature presentation...

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Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Note: "Palmolive implants microchips while you do dishes."  —Deep State Madge

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By the Numbers:

2 days!!! (Commercial airliner sold separately.)

Days 'til the full "Buck" moon: 2

Rank of the U.S. in new covid cases: #1

President Biden’s and President Trump's average approval rating after 6 months in office, according to FiveThirtyEight's daily tally of all polls: 52%, 38%

Number of prisoners left at the U.S. gulag facility at Guantánamo Bay after the release of one Monday: 39

Percent support among all Americans for the Biden infrastructure bill's spending on, respectively, building roads and bridges, getting broadband to rural areas, and paying for childcare and eldercare: 87%, 73%, 71%

Per-glass price at my front-yard lemonade stand I set up when I was 5: $199.95

Number of glasses sold in 52 years: 0

Totally Random NBA Finals Score

Milwaukee Bucks 105   Phoenix Suns 98

Milwaukee wins the championship for the first time since 1971 

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 186 (including 6 floods and billions of Satan's Big Macs served).  Soul Protection Factor 30 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day: In Cincinnati…Saved!!!

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CHEERS to getting your moment in the stratosphere. Yesterday morning, at the precise stroke of 9-something something, tough-as-nails 82-year-old test pilot and 1960s Mercury program veteran Wally Funk became the oldest person to reach space, thanks to a successful flight of the Blue Origin:

An inspiration to many across the world, as well as those who know her best, Funk's life has revolved around flying: she has logged more than 19,600flight hours and has instructed thousands of pilots. Funk also has been a dedicated member of the Oklahoma City-based Ninety-Nines International Organization for Women Pilots since 1958.

Finally!!!

"She is the poster child of never giving up on your dream, never quitting, never allowing anything to stop you," said Funk's close friend and Ninety-Nine's International Director Monica Randolph-Graham.

Funk officially tops the previous age recordholder, John Glenn, who went up in a Shuttle at the age of 77. Somehow, wherever he is, I don’t think he'll mind.

CHEERS to today’s comforting words from Dr. Anthony Fauci. Oh, man...

Fauci ain't having Rand Paul this morning. pic.twitter.com/sZYL8qWFzN

— kevin (@NarcTranslator) July 20, 2021

PolitiFact rates this claim: Self-Evident Truth.

CHEERS to high times in the upper chamber. This is it—today's the day we've all been waiting for. Today the Senate will take a crucial vote on a motion to start debating the motion to end the beginning of the debate to decide if debating a motion to debate is debatable, or if they should just move straight ahead with debating the motion to debate the motion to end debate right at the start. If all goes well, an infrastructure bill that doesn’t yet exist will be placed in one of three "shell bills," and senators will take turns trying to guess which shell the non-existent bill is under. (You can try this at home, it's great fun.) Then, for reasons yet to be made clear, the Republicans will all wink at Joe Manchin, who will leave after the chamber adjourns with an erection lasting more than four hours. God Bless our democratic-republic.

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Starfish walk using hundreds of tiny tube feet on the underside of their arms, as seen in this fascinating timelapse by Juliette Horn at the Frost Museum of Science. pic.twitter.com/UL8qDiFr4h

— Science is Amazing (@AMAZlNGSClENCE) July 19, 2021

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CHEERS to a chamber that knows how to pass stuff. How's your state doing with divvying up its share of the $1.9 trillion in covid rescue/recovery funds that Democrats so generously passed last spring? Not blowing it all on cigarettes and booze and lottery tickets, I hope. Here in Maine, our Democrats in the legislature seem to have allocated wisely this week. The state Senate passed a measure that will now go to the House for final approval and then off to the governor's desk for a' signin':

The legislation sends large amounts of funding to a range of programs, government agencies, public colleges and businesses. It includes large boosts for student loan repayment grants for health care professionals, while also focusing on infrastructure improvements, especially broadband internet expansion for rural and other underserved communities in Maine.

As usual, whatever money's left over will be invested in the flannel futures market.

CHEERS to comeuppance.  47 years ago today, on July 21, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against Richard "Okay, I Guess I Am A Crook After All" Nixon. That same day, he was giving a speech at a private home in Bel Air, California.  Let's see... He talked about the host's fine tent. He talked about the struggle between Greece and Turkey.  He talked about his trip to Egypt.  He talked about some former administration officials.  And then he toasted his audience with a fine whine:

"You wonder sometimes, and I am often asked, you know, how do you really take the burden of the Presidency, particularly when at times it seems to be under very, very grievous assault.

Let me say, it isn't new for it to be under assault, because since the time we came into office for 5 years, we have had problems.

Buh bye.

There have been people marching around the White House when we were trying to bring the war to an end, and we have withstood that, and we will withstand the problems of the future."

He forgot to add four crucial words: "...for 19 more days."  Silly goose.

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Ten years ago in C&J: July 21, 2011

CHEERS to a fine ride and a good run. Th-th-that's all, folks! With the perfect landing of Atlantis earlier this morning, we officially conclude the Era of the Space Shuttle, an endeavor—that is to say, an enterprise—that was a real challenger of discovery for NASA, a project more difficult to pull off than finding the lost city of Atlantis or an honest Republican in the District of Columbia. Please remove your belongings from the seat pocket in front of you and the overhead storage bins, exercising caution as some items may have shifted during our 30-year journey. If you're connecting with a public-private space exploration program, please have a seat at Gate W8. We'll be boarding just as soon as the crew arrives and they build the spacecraft. Hope you brought plenty of stuff to read. And a sturdy butt cushion. 

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And just one more…

CHEERS to second thoughts. I saw this Subaru ad for the first time Monday night, and was surprised to find out it's a year old. A gold squeaky star goes to whoever thought it up and then made it happen:

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It’s no wonder that dogs drive Subarus more than any other brand. (But a word of caution: they swerve willy-nilly to go after shiny objects. Blinker optional.)

Have a happy humpday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial

Fox News viewers tear into Steve Doocy after he begs them to read Cheers and Jeers

Raw Story

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Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

We’ll Be Back After This Brief Message…

Are you a Republican who regrets blaming Trump for the insurrection? Then you need Insurrectigone. pic.twitter.com/rK1ZNZDmBE

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) May 16, 2021

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Also erases memories of Watergate, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, and the 600,000 victims of Covid-19. Now available with invisible bamboo fiber for gentle, dependable election stealing.

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Note: There are too many petitions flying all over the place and it's time for government to step in and bring some order to the chaos. Please sign the petition.  —Mgt.

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By the Numbers:

5 days, eh.

Days 'til Victoria Day in Canada: 5

Date on which the Democrats' covid relief bill will order the start of monthly child payments: 7/15

Percent of the nation's parents who will receive up to $300 per month for each child under 6, and up to $250 per month for children between the ages of 6 and 17. : 88%

Estimated cut in child poverty as a result of the payments: 1/2

Percent of Democrats polled by PBS-Marist who say they do not plan to get vaccinated, compared to 41% of Trump cultists: 4%

Cost—per thousand board feet—of lumber, a surge of 406% from this time last year and an all-time high: $1,686

Number of homes the 84-turbine Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm will power when it's finished (Biden gave it the official OK last week): 400,000

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 188 (including 5 plagues and 1 prick for The Lord).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Morning yoga...

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CHEERS to bad news for Little Marco. Apparently it's official: Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings is taking on Marco Rubio to be the next junior senator from Florida:

While other Democrats have declared their candidacies in the race, Demings is the most high-profile contender. Rubio is planning to run for re-election for the seat, which he has served in since 2011.

Senator Val Demings (D-FL) has a nice ring to it.

Demings has served in the House since 2017, and her husband is currently the mayor of Orange  County, Florida. Between 2007and 2011, Demings worked as chief of Orlando’s police department.

She received national attention last year when she served as an impeachment manager in the first Senate trial of former President Donald Trump over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

If she can thread the needle of Republican gerrymandering, voter suppression, and outright cheating on the part of Rubio and his useful idiot the governor, she'll make an excellent senator. But unlike the rest of her colleagues, she'll have one unpleasant task now mandated by the state constitution: taking senior Florida Senator Rick Scott outside once a day and releasing him from his burlap sack to sun on a rock for two hours. Even more unpleasant: letting him do it under a heat lamp in her office on cloudy days.

CHEERS to lookin' out for the little guy. What a difference an administration makes. While his predecessor spent the government's legal resources on saving his own hide and those of his fellow crooks and cronies, President Biden is now focusing on legal resources for Americans who don’t own their own resorts and high rises, or print their own money:

President Biden is [taking] executive action to boost access to legal services and the legal system for low-income Americans after government-led initiatives largely went dormant during the Trump administration.

Mr. Biden's presidential memorandum is the latest step taken by his administration to advance racial equity and joins his requested $1.5 billion for grants to bolster state and local criminal justice systems, including for public defenders.

Also on the to-do list: re-opening the office that "expands and improves access to lawyers and legal assistance," which got shuttered a few years ago by then-AG Jeff Sessions, who now spends his days de-winging flies and sittin' on a porch swing sewing secret encrypted messages into confederate battle flags. If he's a good boy the nurse lets him have pudding on Thursdays.

JEERS to the Boy Wonder's bubbleheaded blunder.  On May 19, 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle cited Murphy Brown as a poor example of family values.  Said Ken Tucker back then in Entertainment Weekly:

Dan Quayle's spleen venting about the way Murphy Brown subverts family values is only the most direct expression to date of a notion that has gained in intensity over the past decade—that TV has some sort of obligation to present only ''positive'' examples of family life, that any portrayal of something other than the happy nuclear clan is detrimental to our American way of life.

She won. He lost.

But TV isn't an arm of social policy or government propaganda; it has no more responsibility to be upbeat and positive than do, say, poetry or the theater. ...

Someone pour Quayle a glass of cold milk, please.

Isn't it nice to know that the Republican party has come so far in its thinking over the last 29 years? (You may commence smirking at will.)

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“What sorcery is this?” 😅 pic.twitter.com/5SGqGHQGGx

— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden_) May 17, 2021

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CHEERS to folks who did more than just make nifty furniture.  On today's date in 1774, the first Shakers, led by Ann Leesailed to America from England.  During the Revolution they refused to fight and were jailed, making them our newborn nation’s first conscientious objectors. I looked it up and there are two remaining Shakers. Both live in Maine. I’m parachuting one into Israel and one into Palestine to sort that shit out. Don’t worry—I’ll feed the goat.

JEERS to unsolved mysteries? And lo, there appeared unto the planet this development in free-market capitalism:

A man in Texas is suing Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle company Goop Inc. over a vagina-scented candle that he says "exploded" and became "engulfed in high flames" after burning for a few hours. …

[I’ll spare you an accompanying photo.]

A warning on the vagina-scented candle advised users not to burn it for more than two hours, according to its listing on Goop's website.

I don’t know what's more fascinating about this story—that there's such a thing as a vagina-scented candle, or that nowhere in this story does NBC News question whether the candle does, in fact, smell like a vagina. I suppose they're saving that bit of investigative journalism for an upcoming sweeps-week episode of Dateline.

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Ten years ago in C&J: May 19, 2011

JEERS to talking out of your ass. Former U.S. Senator and current GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum says that John McCain doesn’t understand how torture works. McCain responded that he knows all about how torture works. He added that it usually starts when Rick Santorum picks up a microphone.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to lording over our domain. In the entire universe of intelligent, common-sense-endowed, freedom-loving, patriotic, thoughtful, compassionate, and hard-working arbiters of justice, democracy, and good taste in the progressive world, guess who rules benevolently from the top of Mount Awesome according to infallible tracking site Feedspot? The purveyors of politics, pooties and pie, that's who: 

Liberal Political Blogs List. The Best Liberal Political blogs from thousands of top Liberal Political blogs in our index using search and social metrics. Data will be refreshed once a week.

1. Daily Kos

Daily Kos, a brainchild of blogger Markos Moulitsas, is one of the oldest political blogs on the Web and it is unashamedly liberal. It gets about 25 million hits a month and has thousands of readers commenting every day. Expect a lot of heated discussions here.

Frequency 12 a day.

Facebook fans 1.3 million

Twitter followers 291.8k

This can mean only one thing: I think we’re gonna need a bigger fridge in the break room.

Have a happy humpday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial

"I think it’s important that we model our ministry after that of Bill in Portland Maine. We want to try to bring healing kiddie pool water to people’s bodies, and we can do that through Cheers and Jeers."

Franklin Graham

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Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

Welcome

In the previous POTUS’s naturalization video, he barked out a message about “loyalty” and “assimilation” to new American citizens before heading up to his bedroom for an afternoon of rage-tweeting against immigrants. I like the new guy’s message better:

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Free advice, newcomers: avoid Republicans. They’re having...issues.

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Note: Today is C&J's annual Random Religious Objection Day. How it works is, you each get to draw one random religious objection from the God Jar and adhere to it all day long.  It’s fun!  I'll go first.  [Draws from God Jar]  It says your carbon dioxide exhalation goes against my sincerely-held religious beliefs.  See you in court, breathers!

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By the Numbers:

16 days!!!

Days 'til Earth Day: 16

Percent of Americans polled by AP who approve of President Biden’s job performance: 61%

Minimum number of America’s largest corporations, including FedEx and Nike, that paid no federal taxes last year despite billions of dollars in profits, according to The New York Times: 55

Years since Holland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage: 20

Number of countries where same-sex marriage is now legal: 28

Estimated number of Maine children who will be lifted out of poverty, thanks to the Democrats' American Rescue Plan: 15,000

Amount Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised in two days during her latest recess—her biggest 48-hour haul ever: $6 million

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Meanwhile, the other puppies are in the kitchen drinkin’ all the beer…

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CHEERS to jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs. The hills are aliiiiive...with the sound of paychecks! Yes, folks. Though we've still got a ways to go, the Biden recovery rolls on and last week brought more good news. The latest weekly jobless-claims report says first-time unemployment claims are at their lowest month-to-month level since March of 2020, and the previous week's report was revised down by 26,000. Then there's Friday's monthly employment report: a whopping 916,000 jobs created in March and the unemployment rate is at a 13-month low of 6 percent:

The hiring and employment data, released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, firmly beat economists' predictions of 675,000 positions added. Totals were revised upward for January by 67,000 to 233,000 positions and for February by 89,000 to 468,000.

Wow—even the Bureau of Labor Statistics logo is rebounding.

Sectors critical to economic recovery saw some of the biggest gains: The construction sector added 110,000 jobs, leisure and hospitality posted 280,000 new positions, and bars and restaurants added another 176,000.

The most vulnerable area of employment as of this writing: the Matt Gaetz sector.

JEERS to one big hot mess. Did you hear about this? It's just about the worst thing imaginable. There's a steady leak of toxic sludge pouring through a gaping hole down in Florida—awful radioactive stuff that, if allowed to go unchecked, will turn into an out-of-control gusher that could make the state's already perilous threats (pandemic, rising sea levels, golf cart wars at The Villages) look tame by comparison. Engineers are trying to figure out how to stop the flow of slimy ooze, but the only surefire course of action, of course, is to remove it entirely and dispose of it so that it can never threaten the state like that again. But enough about Governor Ron DeSantis's mouth. Have you heard about the toxic phosphogypsum pond that's about to burst?

CHEERS to little reminders.  Forty-one years ago today, Post-It Notes were introduced by 3M.  The road to market was a textbook case of serendipity.  Little-known fact: A Post-It Note will play a central role in archiving our 45th president’s accomplishments at the Donald J. Trump Presidential Grift Shop:

Took Oath. Broke Stuff.

Got impeached twice. Lost. Pouted.

Died. Buried along with his name. Nobody came.

Meanwhile 83 years ago, in 1938, Roy Plunkett invented Teflon.  It has saved many a meal...and many a presidency.

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Galaxy Rise narrated by Carl Sagan. pic.twitter.com/snxfz44t2S

— Wonder of Science (@wonderofscience) March 29, 2021

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CHEERS to great moments in synthetics.  On April 6, 1869, the first form of plastic—celluloid—was patented. 152 years later, the talking heads at Fox News swear by it for their almost-lifelike appearance. Memo to Sean Hannity: time to order another case—you're sagging again.

CHEERS to following the bouncing balls. Now that the final shots have been made into the—to use Ted Cruz's term—basketball ring, we can now announce the victors in 2021's NCAA greedy money grab posing as wholesome college basketball tournaments. The men's championship belongs to Baylor, and the women of Stanford showed Arizona the business end of a slam dunk...by one point.

Show-off.

And now that this year's March Madness is all over (in April, yes, thank you, we're aware of that), it's time to take the final step: you must now pour your shredded brackets into a bowl and eat them.  [Munch Munch Munch…gulp.]  We'll speak no more of it.

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Ten years ago in C&J: April 6, 2011

JEERS to number crunching…and squishing and squashing and making up altogether. The Republicans unveiled their latest budget yesterday.  The cocktail-napkin formula: destruction of social safety net + extraction of America's soul + screw the least among us + bestow gold and jewels on the richest among us – regulation x barely-concealed sadism = a rainbow in every back yard and a unicorn in every garage. But only if you squint hard enough and chew enough peyote.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to 13 years in the winner's circle. It's a well-established fact that C&J's "Who won the week" poll, introduced this week in 2008, is considered America's 500-pound gorilla of weekly polls. Every Friday we pluck a gaggle of worthy candidates from the previous seven-day news cycle and affix them to their place of honor on the front page. The candidate who gets the most votes wins. Period. No electoral college here—fuck that.

I can't remember what inspired me to create the first one, but today it's a feel-good feature that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with such time-honored American traditions as stickball, setting pies on window sills to cool, and following Republican shitbags with competent and popular Democratic presidents. As we leave behind the first quarter of 2021, let's take a moment to review the winners from January through March, which is also a good time to review the slate of accomplishments our 46th president and the first woman vice president have achieved in the wake of an insurrection during a killer pandemic and in spite of unified opposition:

Jan 8  "All of the above" related to the people who thwarted the attempted Republican coup and the Democrats taking control of the Senate.

Jan 15  U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, for steering a Republican mob away from the Senate chamber door during the insurrection, buying time and saving lives

Jan 22  All of the above, related to the Biden-Harris inauguration

Jan 29  President Biden: signs massive orders on climate, covid, criminal justice; reverses trans military ban; 56% approval; announces re-opening of Obamacare marketplace; and the dogs have arrived!

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Each Daily Kos WWTW poll winner gets a free fat-melting belt massager. True fact: President Barack Obama has 84 of them. Pope Francis, believe it or not, has six.

Feb 5  Team Biden-Harris: Firing Trump's embedded cronies in droves; honors memory of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick at Capitol; frees up billions in Puerto Rico aid; and covid response is full steam ahead

Feb 12  The impeachment managers—Reps. Raskin, DeGette, Cicilline, Castro, Swalwell, Lieu, Dean, Plaskett, and Neguse—and their staffs for their devastating January 6 timeline of Trump's insurrection

Feb 19  The glorious nerds at NASA, successfully landing the Perseverance rover near the Jezero Crater on Mars

Feb 26  New York prosecutors, as the Supreme Court deals a catastrophic loss to Donald Trump by green-lighting the handover of his tax returns

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Mar 5  Team Biden-Harris: speeds up vaccine avail goal by 2 months; invokes war Powers Act to forge Merck/Johnson & Johnson vaccine production alliance; supports Amazon union organizers; approval honeymoon continues in mid-50s

Mar 12  Team Biden-Harris: signs order to expand voter access and election information; 100 million vaccine pledge ahead of schedule; 1st address to nation is a hit; and signs Rescue Plan Act into law

Mar 19  Team Biden-Harris: barnstorms for Rescue Plan Act; now favors talking filibuster; 60%-plus approval; completes 100-million shots in only 58 days; nominates 3 for USPS Board (pack your bags, Louis DeJoy)

Mar 26  Team Biden-Harris: vaccine program kicking butt; aces 1st press conference; extends open-ACA enrollment through August; lowest jobless claims since pandemic began; and the dogs are back!

Biden is certainly coming out of the gate hot, but he's got a ways to go to beat the all-time champ. "Senator" Barack Obama won our first poll in 2008, and by the time he left office as president he'd won 84 polls voted on by the Daily Kos community, making him indisputably first in the hearts of our countrymen. Sorry, George Washington, nothing personal—we're just not into your "uniformity in weights and measures" shtick anymore.

Have a winning Tuesday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial

"There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bill in Portland Maine.”

John Boehner

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Cheers and Jeers: Monday

You People Have Spoken…

Every now and agin' we revisit our daily C&J polls ("Crosstabs? We don't need no stinkin' crosstabs") and post the results of some of the notable ones to expose the inner workings of the Great Orange Mind. Here, in no particular order are some from the first quarter of 2021:

»  Jan. 5 (one day before the Republican insurrection): 100 percent of you believe Republicans would've immediately filed impeachment charges against a Democratic president if he got caught on tape coercing a state Secretary of State to steal an election, as Trump did with Georgia's.

»  March 24: Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines? Yup, say 97 percent of you.

Continued...

»  Jan. 18: It did not surprise 94 percent of the Daily Kos community that the amount of election-related misinformation online dropped by over 70% when Trump was banned from Twitter.

» March 1: A resounding 98 percent believe President Biden should listen to tribal leaders and conservationists by dismantling parts of the border wall built circa 2017-2021 that encroach on vulnerable ecosystems and tribal lands.

»  Jan 13: When it comes to the 75-day gap between election day and inauguration day, 72 percent would definitely shorten it, and another 17 percent are open to the idea.

C&J poll results are sent to this processing center, where they’re folded, spindled, mutilated, and turned into lunches for motivational seminar attendees at Holiday Inns.

»  Feb. 18: How stupid is it for Texas to maintain a power grid separate from the rest of the country just to avoid federal safety regulations? According to 94 percent of you, “beyond stupid.”

»  March 23: A Heritage Foundation lawyer says D.C. doesn't deserve statehood because residents there already influence Congress with their yard signs and bumper stickers. You'll be happy to know that 99 percent of you disagree with that.

»  March 9: When it comes to how we greet each other in a post-pandemic world, 59 percent favor a societal phase-out of the handshake in favor of the fist- or elbow-bump. 23 percent disagree.

»  Feb. 16: Only 1 percent of you unpatriotic heathen bought a mattress on Presidents’ Day.

»  March 30: What??? Only 13 percent of you rated President Biden's infrastructure plan as "good"? Yes. Because 35 percent were busy rating it "excellent" while another 42 percent were rating it "Wow!"

»  And on March 15, 66 percent of you believed we should abolish polls that ask you what you think of Daylight Saving Time.

As always, we bow to your superior ability to have opinions on stuff.

And now, our feature presentation...

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Cheers and Jeers for Monday, April 5, 2021

Note: Please (remember]; Only you can help preven&t punctuation, a’buse?

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By the Numbers:

Starts a week from today.

Days 'til the start of Ramadan: 7

Biden's and Trump's average approval among all polls by this point in their presidencies, according to FiveThirtyEight's daily calculation: 54%, 39%

Number of major companies, including target, Snapchat, and Uber, who issued a statement Friday warning Republicans not to f*ck around with Americans' voting rights: 100

Percent of Republicans polled by Pew in 2018 and 2021, respectively, who believe it should be as easy as possible for Americans to vote: 48%, 28%

Percent of Democrats polled by Pew in 2018 and 2021, respectively, who believe it should be as easy as possible for Americans to vote: 84%, 85%

Number of bridges in Pittsburgh, more than any other city in the world (3 more than Venice): 446

Human population in 8,000 BC: 5 million

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Unexpected arrival...

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CHEERS to new furniture. Hey, look, President Biden's infrastructure plan is already working. He just finished building a brand-new American-made cabinet:

Female! African American! Native American! LGBT! South Asian! And a few white dudes, too, because the government is an equal-opportunity employer. 

What can we say? Eat yer heart out, Ikea.

CHEERS and JEERS to another week on Planet Covid. As we have for the last year, here we go again with another weekly check of the latest coronavirus numbers for the historical record, courtesy of the tote board of woe. Worldwide now: over 131 million cases, and our domestic death toll exceeds the population of America’s 32nd-largest city Albuquerque, New Mexico (if there's any good news in our U.S. city comparison, it's that we won't reach the population of #31 Milwaukee for several weeks):

1 year ago: 288,000 confirmed cases. 7,000 deaths

6 months ago: 7.7 million confirmed cases. 215,000 deaths

On Saturday: 4.1 million doses. 

3 months ago: 21 million confirmed cases. 360,000 deaths

This morning: 31 million confirmed cases. 567,000 deaths

And here's some welcome news: the CDC says that if you're fully vaccinated you can travel freely again. Thank god, because after 14 months I really gotta go to the bathroom.

CHEERS to Great Moments in Medicine. On April 5, 1933, the first operation to remove a lung was performed by Dr. Evarts Graham at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.  Unfortunately the patient was just there to visit his grandmother, but the point is: Progress!

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BRIEF SANITY BREAK

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This device makes it so you never have to share an airplane seat armrest again pic.twitter.com/o6Ry1UwzQv

— Tech Burrito (@TechAmazing) March 29, 2021

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END BRIEF SANITY BREAK

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CHEERS to today's edition of Golly, That Was Easy. NBC News: 

Iran and the major powers in the agreement to keep Tehran from developing nuclear weapons said Friday they are ready to welcome the return of the United  States.

Any “return by the U.S. to the nuclear deal does not require any negotiation and the path is quite clear,” Iran's nuclear negotiator said.

This has been today's edition of Golly, That Was Easy.

CHEERS to nighttime sparklies.  Now I know why our moon and all the planets and stars in the galaxy practice safe social distancing from us: we're crazy!!!  But that can't stop the universe's most obnoxious parasites—that would be us—from gazing up and marveling at all the conquering we have yet to do. The elves at NASA always let us in on the big celestial events for the month, and here’s a look at April’s sky-watching tips, including the ongoing planetpalooza, Leo's heart, and the Belt of Venus:

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And remember: if you're sharing binoculars or a telescope, be sure to wipe 'em down before you pass 'em to the person six feet from you. Or else the ghost of Copernicus will come down while you're sleeping and give you a purple nurple. (Trust me.)

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Ten years ago in C&J: April 5, 2011

CHEERS to ”Four more years! Four more years!” How fun to be able to chant that for the first time in close to two decades.  Feels good. I thought for a brief moment that President Obama might go Polk on us and only serve one busy busy busy term, but, naaah…he's not gonna give up the toughest job he'll ever love.  So color me happy.  And color the advertising agencies, consultants and media outlets who'll share in his $1 billion war chest the happiest color of all: green.

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And just one more…

Me at my first typewriter circa 1968. I taught Woodward and Bernstein everything they know.

CHEERS to 16 years of front-page silliness. On April 5 in The Year Of Our Lord 2005, sixteen months after our debut in the Daily Kos diaries, this little column got promoted to the front page by Keyboard Kingpin Markos Moulitsas, who was clearly in the middle of a judgment-clouding bender. He suggested that C&J would be a nice morning wake-up feature for the blog’s readers—the east-coasters especially, given that most of the front-page contributors back then lived out west and slept in past noon, leaving the site in limbo for hours.

What happened the first time I used the keys to the front page is now the stuff of legend. I posted C&J from my desk at work, then went to a meeting, then went to lunch, then came back to find an email from Kos asking me why I did something horrible with my html formatting (remember those days?) that stretched the front page margins across three time zones. You could almost see his arm reaching through the pixels to strangle me. I'm happy to say that's the one and only time I broke the blog, and I shall carve the accomplishment on my tombstone.

Through the years C&J has helped humanity weather the Iraq War, the Katrina catastrophe, the Great Recession, the presidency of—I swear this is true—failed businessman Donald Trump, and a global pandemic. But, hey, how about them Obama years, and now the Biden Recovery!  So whether you're a long-time splasher or a relative newcomer, thank you for reading and supporting this snarky little pimple on the blogiverse's butt.  I promise to continue focusing on the liberal issues you care about in a serious and sober manner.  Just as soon as I run out of fart jokes.

Have a tolerable Monday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial

Cheers and Jeers is big, dumb fun that should be read in the biggest kiddie pool you feel comfortable with. ”

Chris Hewitt

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