“They told me I have 45 seconds up here, which is more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week. Maybe Quentin will make a movie about it and in the end the adults will do the right thing.”
—Once Upon A Time…in Hollywood’s Brad Pitt at the Oscars
“According to a new report, Senator Bernie Sanders has had more fundraising success with Latinos than any other candidate. But once they hear Mike Bloomberg speak Spanish…that won’t change.”
“Two candidates dropped out of the race last night: Andrew Yang and Michael Bennett. Andrew Yang told his supporters, ‘Thank you for this amazing ride,’ while Michael Bennett told his supporters, ‘Come on, son, let’s go home.'”
“The media is eager to crown a winner and dump on the losers, but the truth is it takes like 2,000 delegates to win the nomination. Iowa and New Hampshire combined have 65, and neither state is demographically representative of anything other than a Jimmy Buffet concert. So declaring a front-runner at this point is like picking a plastic surgeon based on two Yelp reviews.”
“The virusssssssss. They’re working hard. Looks like, by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer it miraculously goes away.”
—Trump explaining his detailed plan for dealing with the coronavirus at his New Hampshire cult rally
“It would be fun to have Susan Collins as a teacher because she’d just give everyone A’s in the hopes they’ll one day learn something.“
And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Friday, February 14, 2020
Note: Wanna play a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors? Great! You pick scissors and I’ll pick rock. I win! Rematch?
By the Numbers:
Days ’til Mardi Gras: 11
Days ’til the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho: 14
Number of major (1,000 employees or more) labor strikes in 2019, versus an average of 15 per year between 2010 and 2018: 25
Percent of Democratic voters surveyed by Monmouth who say they want to maintain the existing nominating system where Iowa votes first: 7%
Percent of folks who voted in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night who were LGBTQ, even though only 4.7% of the state’s population identifies as LGBTQ: 7%
Estimated amount spent on “unwanted” Valentine’s Day gifts last year, according to WalletHub: $9.5 billion
Percent of annual flowers sales that happen on Valentine’s Day: 30%
Puppy Pic of the Day: Oh, get a room, you two…
CHEERS to a bit of per-speck-tive. Today seems like a good day to step back and ponder our place in the universe. And when I say step back I mean waaaaaay back—like 3.7 billion miles back. Today is the 30th anniversary of the famous “pale blue dot” photo snapped by the Voyager probe in 1990 as it took one last look back at our sorry asses. Now, thanks to advances in imaging technology, NASA has unveiled a new, clearer image that we recommend you and a mixed drink or toke of wacky tobbacky spend some time with in quiet contemplation, as Carl Sagan so eloquently did, this weekend:
As we can all plainly see, it’s a reminder—simultaneously placid, eerie, and awe-inspiring—that no matter how insurmountable our problems may seem or how big the assholes are who rule us, we’re just an annoying itch on the universe’s butt, and one day, whether humanity is still here or not, we’re going to get scratched. Also as we can also plainly see, would it kill ya to pick your underwear up off the floor? The universe hates a slob.
CHEERS to getting the chef’s kiss of endorsements. Only eight days until the Nevada (correctly pronounced “nay-VAY-day” or they’ll come down on you like a ton of Bunny Ranchers) caucuses, and the tension is palpable as the all-powerful Culinary Workers Union prepares to take its fresh-baked endorsement out of the oven. The dynamics at play are substantial and complicated, which is why the C&J elections team is here to lay out the odds:
If Biden gets it, it’s bad news for Buttigieg but good news for Klobuchar.
If Klobuchar gets it, it’s good news for Sanders but bad news for Warren.
If Warren gets it, it’s bad news for Sanders but good news for Steyer.
If Steyer gets it, it’s good news for Buttigieg but bad news for Biden.
If Sanders gets it, it’s bad news for Warren but good news for Buttigieg.
If Buttigieg gets it, it’s bad news for Klobuchar but good news for Biden.
If Gabbard gets it, she’ll be sent to jail for bribing a union to rig a caucus.
And the Culinary Workers Union endorsement goes to—[Opens envelope]—oh my god it’s an eight-way tie for nobody. I bet that’s gonna be hard to swallow and tough to digest. It’ll probably leave a bad taste in their mouths. And the union’s certainly gonna get grilled by the stewing candidates simmering over that half-baked non-committal committal. I just hope it’s not enough to stir up a recipe for disaster. We’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled. Pass the yams.
CHEERS to women on the move. 100 years ago this week, the group that Republicans today call “that damned nuisance”—The League of Women Voters—was founded in Chicago under the direction of president Maud Wood Park. It still amazes me how hard women had to fight for basic equality in the land of “Liberty and justice for all.” I guess we’re just slow learners when it comes to complicated, high-falutin’ words like “all.” And while we’re on the subject, happy 200th birthday tomorrow to Susan B. Anthony:
“Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”
”There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.”
“I distrust those who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”
“Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.”
I have a great gift idea for her 200th birthday: a woman president.
CHEERS to ideas that will change the world (and selected outlying star systems). There’s a big deadline coming up on the Netroots Nation convention calendar: if you have an idea for a panel or workshop that you want to propose and coordinate for this year’s convention (August 13-15 in Denver), just click here for the guidelines and submission form. Entries will be accepted through midnight on February 28th, just 15 days from now. Here’s a closer look at what they’re looking for this year:
» Strategic conversations about how we’ll work together as a movement to win in 2020, from local races to the White House
» Sessions about how to govern and enact progressive policies after we’ve won
» Panels focusing on the intersections of racism and electoral justice, environmental justice/climate change and disability justice
» Trainings that help new activists grow into successful organizers and candidates, and advanced trainings that focus on cutting-edge tools and techniques
The link for all the panel submission info is here. If you have a panel in mind but you want some live assistance, there’s a webinar on the 25th, which you can register for at this link. To avoid the embarrassment of duplication, please note that I’ve already prepared a proposal for a panel called “How to Avoid the Embarrassment of Duplication.” To avoid the embarrassment of it getting lost, I sent it in twice.
JEERS to incivility. On tomorrow’s date in 1798, the House of Representatives was the site of the first congressional brawl, when much knocking of noggins occurred after a hurling of insults followed by Rep. Matthew Lyon (Democratic-Republican-VT) spitting in the face of Roger Griswold (Federalist-CT). Among the weapons that were wielded: fireplace tongs. Based on his expression, the guy recording the minutes just got tonged in the crotch and kinda liked it…
And if you look in the lower left corner, you’ll see a dog is present in the chamber. That would be Thaddeus T. Woofington from the great state of New York. He only lasted one term. Once he got tax cuts for the Wilson company passed, he spent the rest of his life in a cushy job at a pro-tennis ball think tank.
CHEERS to the last useful thing the Vatican ever did. On Sunday’s date in 600, Pope Gregory the Great decreed that “God Bless You” would become the religiously correct response to a sneeze. Mostly because the old response—”Dude, that sounds bubonic”—was scaring off the faithful.
CHEERS to home vegetation. The big TV news of the weekend is John Oliver’s triumphant return for another season (his seventh…already???) of Last Week Tonight on HBO Sunday night at 11. God only knows where he’ll plant his shovel first. But things get started tonight with Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and then HBO’s Real Time, where Bill Maher talks with New Hampshire bronze medal winner Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Katie Couric, Van Jones, and Bret Stephens. Then at 11 Mark Ruffalo talks about his latest movie Dark Waters on The Graham Norton Show (BBC America).
New home video releases include Ford v. Ferrari and an interesting documentary called 16 Bars about a unique prison in Virginia. The NBA schedule is here and the NHL schedule is here. The PGA Tour moves out west for the Los Angeles Open, which first teed off back in 1926. Down Florida-way it’s the 62nd Daytona 500 Sunday at 2:30 (Fox). On 60 Minutes: the way video is “transforming the stage” of the latest Broadway revival of West Side Story. The sea captain finds the treasure he’s been looking for all his life on The Simpsons, while Brian becomes an accidental hero on Family Guy. Season 3,219 of American Idol premieres Sunday at 8 on ABC. (True Fact: the first champion was Betsy Ross.) MSNBC premieres a new series on immigrants’ contribution to our food supply called What’s Eating America? At 9. And one has to wonder what part of the new episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm Trump will take out of context and tweet to the world, demonstrating once again he’s dumb as rocks.
Now here’s your Sunday morning lineup:
Meet the Press: 2020 candidates Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
CNN’s State of the Union: Amy Klobuchar; House majority whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC); Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA) and Andrew Gillum are on the pundit panel; Pence chief of staff Marc Short (R-Moscow).
Face the Nation: Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH Dr. Anthony Fauci; 2020 candidates Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer; Sen. John Kennedy (R-Moscow).
This Week: TBA, but taking a wild guess here: Amy Klobuchar.
Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Mayor Pete! Plus: Kellyanne Conartist.
Ten years ago in C&J: February 14, 2010
CHEERS to bigots dropping like flies. Taking inventory of who no longer supports the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy is getting to be a full-time job: Colin Powell, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, National Security Advisor Jim Jones, Federalist Society attorney Ted Olsen, 75 percent of the public, the Reserve Officers Association, even the craziest critters of the far right and their ringleader Dick Cheney. Wow—Dick Cheney and I are in total synch. Pardon me while I go dunk my soul into a barrel of Purell.
And just one more…
CHEERS to li’l sweet nothings. Happy Valentine’s Day! I tossed some horny goat weed in my evening cocktail and now I’m madly in love with all of you and half the furniture in the house. Did you know that eight billion of those addictive Sweethearts candies (thankfully picked up by the Spangler Candy Company after the original maker, the New England Confectionery Company, went belly-up) are produced every year? It’s TRUE!!! In a tradition we started a few years back, we present this year’s list of candy heart sayings for Trump-era Republicans:
LIGHT MY TIKI TORCH
READY FIRE AIM
WHISPER SWEET NOTHINGS (IN ENGLISH ONLY!)
STROKE MY GUN. I’M PRETTY SURE IT’S NOT LOADE
MY WALL OR YOURS?
BE MY GRIFTER
FETCH MY SUPPER, WOMAN
CHICKS DIG NUKE STRIKES
RICH SINNERS GET MULLIGANS
U R THE CREAM IN MY COVFEFE
BEST THIRD WIFE EVUH
CAGE KIDS 4 JESUS
What can we say? That’s amore.
Have a great weekend. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?