Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, June 10, 2021
Note: Do people really still get all upset when you get your chocolate in their peanut butter? Asking for a friend who currently has me in a chokehold.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til Canada Day: 21
Support among Americans for same-sex marriage—an all-time high according to a new Gallup poll: 70%
Support for marriage equality among Republicans in 1996 and 2021, respectively: 16%, 55%
Number of years since Hoover Dam construction started 90 years ago that the water level of Lake Mead has been as low as it is today: 90
Percent of Covid tests that came back positive among Americans who wore a mask at all times and not at all, respectively, according to the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: 11%, 23%
Height and length of the plant-eating Australotitan, the largest dinosaur discovered in Australia: 16 feet, 98 feet
Estimated number of times you’ll flex the joints in your fingers over your lifetime: 24 million
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
Politics is not a picture on a wall or a television sitcom you can decide you don’t much care for.
Is the person who prescribes your eyeglasses qualified to do so? How deep will you be buried when you die? What textbooks are your children learning from at school? What will happen if you become seriously ill? Is the meat you’re eating tainted? Will you be able to afford to go to college or to send your kids? Would you like a vacation? Expect to retire before you die? Can you find a job? Drive a car? Afford insurance? Is your credit card company or your banker or your broker ripping you off?
It’s all politics, Bubba. You don’t get to opt out for lack of interest.
Puppy Pic of the Day: Transformer Woozle is a dog…and an Ewok.
CHEERS to the loudest “Duh!” ever shouted from planet Earth into the vast void of space. This week Washington joined 12 other amazing, awesome, patriotic states (including all of New England) to join the “70% Vaccinated Club.” And you’ll never guess how the numbers are breaking nationwide. Take it away, NPR…
The top 22 states (including D.C.) with the highest adult vaccination rates all went to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
Some of the least vaccinated states are the most pro-Trump. Trump won 17of the 18 states with the lowest adult vaccination rates.
I wonder what the Orpglorpians in the Bffrrrr-[knock knock sound]-mifftha Nebula (look it up, it’s on Google maps) will think when their Saturn-sized ear trumpet picks up my “Duh!” I like to think they’ll take it as a request for an ambassadorship and beam me over to a condo on their liquid helium lake for my swearing-in and sash presentation. That would be nice. That would be really nice. I hope it has off-street parking.
CHEERS to the old new new old guy. One of the happiest political surprises in recent memory was watching Terry McAuliffe transform himself from slimy political consultant to serious and effective governor of Virginia, even with Republicans in control of the legislature. He paved the way for his successor, Ralph Northam, to build on his accomplishments as the state turned solid blue, and now he’d like to keep it goin’. The commonwealth agreed Tuesday, handing McAuliffe a primary win and likely second term:
With the chance to lead the state alongside a Democratic legislature, McAuliffe ran on boosting teacher pay, enabling universal access to early childhood education, speeding up implementation of the $15 minimum wage, adopting universal broadband internet coverage, and closing racial economic disparities. […]
The chance to govern with the support of a Democratic legislature―Democratic control of the state House is likely and assured in the state Senate―was a key part of McAuliffe’s case for running.
“Terry has demonstrated what he can do,” state Senate President Louise Lucas (D), a McAuliffe campaign co-chair, told HuffPost. “With a Democratic legislature, he can double what he did before.”
His campaign bumper-sticker slogan is so simple even I could come up with it: McAuliffe for Governor—Proven Leadership, Ready On Day 1. As usual, I’ll waive my $1 million consulting fee. I’m just here to help.
CHEERS to the new X-man on the bench. And while we’re on the subject of humans accomplishing stuff, here’s a milestone worth mentioning: After four-and-a-half-months at the helm, President Biden finally got his first judicial nominee through the Senate. It took so long because Chuck Schumer wanted to get voting rights, infrastructure, immigration reform, climate-change, and LGBTQ-rights bills through the Senate first. Now that those are all done, please say hello to Judge Julien X. Neals, for whom the road to the bench has been a long one:
First nominated by Obama in early 2015, Neals languished in political purgatory for nearly two years as then-Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell continually blocked confirmation of Obama’s nominees. Neals waited a potentially record-setting 674 days before his initial nomination died Jan. 3, 2017.
A Newark native, Neals received his juris doctor from Emory University School of Law in 1991 and his bachelor’s from Morehouse College in 1986, the White House said. He started his legal career as a clerk for Judge Seymour Margulies on the New Jersey Superior Court, then practiced privately for about 15 years.
Sen. Cory Booker has been a staunch supporter of Neals, who in 2006 joined Booker’s mayoral administration in Newark. The senator has praised Neals in the pastas an “incredible talent” and called him one of the “most impressive people” he had met in his professional life.
Also confirmed: Regina M. Rodriguez to a district court in Colorado. There are still 78 open seats left to fill, and you’ll notice at least one important difference between Biden’s nominees and Trump’s: when Joe nominates someone, the American Bar Association’s vetting committee will no longer feel an immediate instinct to crawl out on a window ledge.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS and JEERS to dollars and sense. As the week slouches on toward its inevitable conclusion, let’s check in with some recent economic headlines we plucked off the money tree to find out if we should start moving our cash from the hole in our back yard to the hole in our mattress:
» 4 million Americans quit their job in April, a record
» Kroger to hire 10,000 employees in June
» Maine sales of recreational cannabis surpass $5 million in May
» Ohio soon to be home to largest solar panel factory outside of China
» Black-owned banks are booming, and they’re pouring money back into their communities
» Lordstown Motors warns its electric vehicle business may fail
» El Salvador first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender
» Mortgage rates drop, but not enough for out-priced homebuyers
» Lobster lovers feeling the pinch of high prices
» Inflation fears linger, but economists believe risk is short-lived, will ease
» Vinyl records find groove during pandemic, keep sales spinning
» Biden reverses Trump’s effort to ban TikTok
» Electric car charging networks jostle for pole position amid Biden’s push to electrify
And here’s something that Pro Publica just discovered: the rich don’t pay taxes. My goodness. Why, that’s so shocking to my system that I may end up in therapy for an entire millisecond.
JEERS to lies and the lying liars who tell them. Do you remember this bit of nonsense as well as I do?
Shortly after George W. Bush’s installation as president by the Supreme Court in 2001, White House staffers accused Bill Clinton’s people of tearing the White House apart before they left—even going so far as to remove the “W” keys from all the computers. Remember that? That was our first concrete clue that conservatives without conscience (to use the aforementioned John Dean’s famous phrase) were running the show. Well, it was 19 years ago this week that Congressional investigators released a report on the “scandal.” Their conclusion basically said, “Don’t you have anything better to do than waste our time?” Tragically, they did: hire incompetent cronies, invade Iraq, ram No Child Left Behind through, give no-bid contracts to Halliburton and free passes to polluters, run up record deficits, let a major city drown, authorize torture…and so on and so forth.
Ten years ago in C&J: June 10, 2011
JEERS to the biggest load of bullshit you’ll hear all week unless Sarah Palin emerges from exile to explain how Zachary Taylor actually died of lamestream-media poisoning. The Republican-led Maine House approved two bills that would eliminate same-day voter registration and require photo ID at all polling places. Republicans, lying as usual, claim the bills are necessary because of voter fraud. Democrats, telling the truth as usual, countered that the bills are unnecessary because there have been virtually no voter-fraud prosecutions since the laws went into effect 30 years ago. Republican Rep. Jon McKane (no, I did not make that name up) then counter-countered with this bit of brilliance:
“Just because we haven’t prosecuted that many voter fraud issues, we all know that around the country there’s a lot of voter fraud. There’s no reason to think that it might not happen here or that in fact it may be happening.”
Yes. We must pass this voter-suppression bill because otherwise there may or may not be voter fraud, and besides it’s an epidemic everywhere else, except where it isn’t, which is everywhere. And just because we haven’t prosecuted that many Maine Republicans for breaking into farm stables and having sex with moo cows, we all know that around the country there’s a lot of bestiality. There’s no reason to think that Republican cow-schtupping might not happen here or that in fact it may be happening. We really need a bill to, at minimum, require photo ID before Republicans can go cow-schtupping. And for god’s sake, at least buy her dinner first.
And just one more…
CHEERS to this morning’s fireworks show. Did you get up in the pre-dawn darkness so you could watch the sun get its partial eclipse on? Yeah, me neither. There’s only one thing that keeps these Brad Pitt good looks on this Charles Atlas body and that’s beauty sleep. But I’m told that it was ooh-ful and aah-ful, so I went looking for a decent pic so we could all bask together in its pixelated glow:
Which reminds me: you know what they tell you to do when you arrive at the solar eclipse DMV?
”Take a penumbra.”
Have a nice Thursday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial
Lester Holt: You haven’t been in the Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool.
Vice President Kamala Harris: And I haven’t been in Europe. I don’t understand the point that you’re making. I’m not discounting the importance of the C&J kiddie pool.”