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Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Resistance FRIDAY!

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, February 8, 2019

Scheduling Note: Ugh, here we go again. Shortly after posting Monday morning, we’ll be hauled up the hill to Mercy Hospital‘s oncology wing by a herd of drunken goats pulling a jitney for 48-hours of madcap fun during chemotherapy infusion #10 (out of 12). So no C&J on Tuesday, and don’t count on one Wednesday. (Though we’ll try.) But we’ll definitely return on Thursday and Friday to entertain y’all with latex-glove balloons and my glowing mitochondria. Thanks for your patience.  —Mgt.

By the Numbers:

8 days!!!

Days ’til Paul Manafort gets sentenced: 33

Days ’til the Festival of Dark Arts in Astoria, Oregon: 8

Percent of Trump’s civilian executive branch nominations that have been approved so far, according to the Partnership for Public Service, versus 77% of Obama’s nominees at the same point in his first term: 54%

Trump’s approval rating in California, according to a new Quinnipiac poll: 28%

Minimum portion of the Himalayan ice cap that’ll be gone within 80 years: 1/3

Amount of crypto-currency (e.g. bitcoin) currently tied up in the platform Quadriga, whose founder died without writing down the access password: $137 million

Percent chance that the Unicode Consortium approved an underwear emoji for 2019: 100%!!!

Puppy Pic of the Day: A fresh pic by partner Michael (aka Common Sense Mainer) of C&J’s rescue lab-mix Haley, taken as we’re explaining the situation in Virginia…

Haley, the 6-year-old lab mix belonging to Common Sense Mainer and Bill in Portland Maine

CHEERS to thinking big…I mean REALLY big. That loud, prolonged “whoosh” you heard yesterday was the sound of the earth sighing at the unveiling of the Green New Deal. Congresswoman Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) co-authored it, and it’s a doozy. The goals are…

…to zero out planet-warming emissions [by 2050] and restore the middle-class prosperity of postwar America that the original New Deal helped spur. […]

Unabashedly progressive ideals anchor the resolution. … Yet the resolution seems designed for broad appeal. … “This is how green socialists will govern,” said Greg Carlock, the researcher at the think tank Data for Progress, whose Green New Deal blueprint from September resembles the resolution. “It will be thoughtful, it will be politically pragmatic, it will still be ambitious.” […]

Green New Deal graphic
Quite a splash for a freshman congress member. 

In December, 81 percent of registered voters said they supported a plan to generate 100 percent of the nation’s electricity from clean sources within the next 10 years, upgrade the U.S. power grid, invest in energy efficiency and renewable technology, and provide training for jobs in the new, green economy, according to a poll by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University.

Trump, of course, hates the whole damn thing. He’s afraid it would actually make America great again.  

Rep. John Dingell with the gavel he used when Medicare was passed.
Congressman Dingell wielding the famous gavel he used to bang in the approval of both Medicare and Obamacare.

CHEERS to “The Dean of all the Deans of the House.” Anyone born after yesterday will not know a world with Democratic Congressman John Dingell (MI-15, MI-16, MI-12) in it, and I feel sorry for them.  Dingell, who represented his Michigan district for 59 years, a record tenure (to win re-election 29 times? Holy cow), was 92 when he died yesterday. (See tributes and other heartfelt farewells here.) His final words on Twitter, where he raised snarky hell for his 259,000 followers, were dictated to wife Debbie: “I want to thank you all for your incredibly kind words and prayers. You’re not done with me just yet.”  That’s an understatement. With all he accomplished, his legacy will last well beyond the time when you and I have joined him for a beer in the Washtenaw Elks Lodge in the sky. Beyond condolences to his family and army of supporters, we only have six words to say: Get that gavel in the Smithsonian!

CHEERS to pipsqueaks pipsqueaking from the peanut gallery. After historically-awful leadership (I should probably put that in scare quotes—“leadership”) during which they protected the corrupt-to-the-core president and his Russian blackmailers while ignoring the urgent issues facing their constituents, House Republicans lost their majority status in the 2018 midterms. Now the Democrats are in control, and they’ve righted (lefted?) the GOP’s wrongs by launching massive investigations into the corrupt-to-the-core president and his Russian blackmailers while focusing on the urgent issues facing their constituents. And, in the case of the Intelligence Committee, a grand time is being had by all…by which I mean all the Democrats:

Republicans on the committee, led by [former committee chair Devin] Nunes, made several motions on Wednesday that were rejected by Democrats. […]

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 20: (L to R) Ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) questions witnesses as chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) looks on during a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing concerning Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election, on Capitol Hill, March 20, 2017 in Washington. While both the Senate and House Intelligence committees have received private intelligence briefings in recent months, Monday's hearing is the first public hearing on alleged Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Awwww, Devin. Why so serious?

The Republican motions underscored the role-reversal for Schiff and Nunes in the Democratic-led Congress when it comes to the Russia investigation: In the last Congress, Schiff made numerous requests for subpoenas and committee actions that were rejected by the Republican majority.

As he left the committee’s secure spaces, Nunes was asked whether he voted to release the [2018 witness hearing] transcripts to Mueller. “You guys are an embarrassment to yourselves,” Nunes responded.

If you need to reach poor Devin tonight, he’ll be curled up on the couch in a Pootie-Poot Snuggie with a quart of Haagen Dazs wondering aloud to his nesting dolls how it all went so wrong.

CHEERS to a Very Barry Weekend (or…My, How Time Flies). Barack Obama officially announced his candidacy for president a dozen years ago this Sunday in front of the old state capitol in Springfield, Illinois: 

“As Lincoln organized the forces arrayed against slavery, he was heard to say this: ‘Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought to battle through.’

Barack and Michelle Obama in Springfield...February 10, 2007

That is our purpose here today.

That is why I’m in this race. Not just to hold an office,but to gather with you to transform a nation. I want to win that next battle—for justice and opportunity. I want to win that next battle—for better schools, and better jobs, and better health care for all. I want us to take up the unfinished business of perfecting our union, and building a better America.”

And here we are, looking at the improbable two-term Obama presidency in our rear-view mirror.  We’ll always be frustrated by the unfinished business that was left on the table, but we’ll never forget why: petty, lockstep GOP obstruction (aided by Senate Democrats’ failure to deal with it sooner despite knowing exactly what was going on), and a conservative movement that took leave of its senses by displaying a willingness to burn the country down before it would ever let that “foreign” and “lawless” black guy succeed.  And yet, to the right wing’s tooth-grinding chagrin, big black badass Barack Hussein Obama—with many major accomplishments and zero scandals in his plus column—left America stronger and better, and he’ll end up higher on historians’ Best Presidents lists than even their patron saint Ronald Reagan and certainly future cellar-dweller Trump. That’s gonna hurt their delicate snowflake fee-fees. A lot, I hope.

CHEERS to today’s edition of She Said-She Said. The burning question on everybody’s minds this week: did Speaker Pelosi knowingly give Trump the scold-clap during his State of the Union address to demonstrate her alpha-female dominance over the zeta-male dumbass? Let’s find out. She said…

On Wednesday, she revealed the thought process behind her expression, which many commentators suggested was a sarcastic dig towards the president. “It wasn’t sarcastic,” Pelosi insisted to reporters, per People magazine.

“Look at what I was applauding. I wanted him to know that it was very welcomed.”

But she said…

Pelosi’s own daughter, Christine Pelosi, appeared to spin a different narrative for her mother’s clapping:


Oh yes, that clap took me back to the teen years. She knows. And she knows that you know.”

I’ll leave the rest of you to decide who to believe when it comes to shame-clapping. I don’t know much about it. My mom always skipped that part and went directly for the soap.

Also swept up in the payola scandal: D.J. Tinkles.

JEERS to paying-for-playing. On February 8, 1960, Congress opened hearings on payola, a scheme in which disc jockeys (Dick Clark among them) accepted payment for playing and hyping certain records. Payola was outlawed, and it became punishable by a maximum $10,000 fine. Meanwhile members of Congress accept payment every day for playing favorites with and hyping corporate interests over the public interest, an offense punishable by a fat paycheck, a full pension, gold-plated healthcare benefits, and guaranteed employment in the lobbying sector if they get booted from office. My point is: shame on the record industry—that was just wrong!

CHEERS to home vegetation. If it’s Friday, the boob tube must be singing its siren song. Goes without saying that after another wild week in the age of Trump, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow are must-watches tonight. Then at 10 you have your choice of Lawrence O’Donnell and his newly-revived and brilliant “Rewrite” segment, or HBO’s Real Time, where Bill Maher talks with Malcolm Nance, Eric Idle, Chris Christie, former Rep. and serial liar Jack Kingston (R-GA), and MSNBC’s Natasha Bertrand. Also tonight: The Late Show (CBS) welcomes goddess and part-time Maine resident Glenn Close.

Jimmy carter's 2006 Grammy Award
This is Jimmy Carter’s 2006 “best Spoken Word” Grammy, which resides at the Carter center in Atlanta. He’s up for another one Sunday night.

New home video releases include the conversion-therapy drama Boy Erased (Caution: despite noble intentions, it’s as dour as it is slow as molasses) and the heist flick Widows.  The NBA schedule is here and the NHL schedule is here. Someone named “Halsey” hosts SNL, and I’m really hoping it turns out to be the ghost of Admiral Halsey because how often does that happen???  The critically-acclaimed Mr. Rogers documentary and 90-minute moment of zen Won’t You Be My Neighbor is playing tomorrow night at 8 on both PBS and HBO. And the world will come to an abrupt halt Sunday night at 8 when CBS airs the 61st Grammy Awards. (See all the nominees here.) One notable nominee up for an award in the Best Spoken Word category: Jimmy Freaking Carter. It’s his ninth nomination, and this would be his third win.

Now here’s your Sunday morning lineup: 

This Week: TBA

Markos Moulitsas on Meet the Press
If Markos wears the brown suit on Meet the Press this Sunday, guess what? Early spring!!!

Meet the Press: Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO); Rep. and Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA); Mick Mulvaney and…ZOMG!!!!!…Keyboard Kingpin Markos Moulitsas!!! Make sure you tune in because he’ll be using his eyes to blink out our new instructions from George Soros.

Face the Nation: Saudi Arabian foreign something-or-other Adel Al-Jubeir; HHS secretary Alex Azar; 

CNN’s State of the UnionSouth Bend mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg; Rep. Annette Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Cuckooville).

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL)

Happy viewing!

Ten years ago in C&J: February 8, 2009

JEERS to the great buttock bamboozle. So I’m replacing the toilet paper roll at Chez BiPM yesterday and I notice that it’s—quoting here—NEW 3-Ply Quilted Northern with 2 layers of Softness & a 3rd layer for Added Absorbency!  Well, poop-de-doo!  So I’m thinking to myself, how do they manage to do all that without charging extra?  Then it hits me: the bastards shortened the width of the roll.  Gee, thanks for the privilege of “freshening up” with a 3-ply postage stamp, Georgia-Pacific! As to what this has to with politics: I don’t know, but there must be a Joe Lieberman connection somewhere.

And just one more…

CHEERS to the Energizer Maestro.  Woo-hoo!  It’s time for our annual “Happy Birthday” salute to 25-time Grammy winner (he’s up for two more Sunday night), 5-time Oscar winner, 3-time Emmy winner, Kennedy Center honoree, Lifetime Contribution to Hollywood Award winner and rock-ribbed dirty fucking hippie union-loving Democrat John Williams.  He is hands-down (very, very large hands, much larger than Donald Trump’s, believe me) my favorite composer, and he’s widely considered America‘s greatest living composer period. Over a span of fifty-plus years he’s given us: 

»  One iconic theme for NBC Nightly News and another for Meet the Press

»  One fanfare for the Boston Red Sox

»  1 score for an Oscar-nominated Kobe Bryant animated short based on the NBA star’s poem Dear Basketball

»  Two iconic Irwin Allen disaster flicks (Poseidon Adventure & Towering Inferno)

»  Two Jaws scores

…and he’s just getting started.

»  Two Jurassic Park scores

» Two themes and one episode score for Land of the Giants

»  Three Oliver Stone films (Born on the 4th of July, JFK, Nixon)

»  Three Harry Potter scores

»  Four Indiana Jones scores

»  Five themes for various Olympic Games

»  Eight Star Wars scores (soon to be nine)

»  20 scores for episodes of Gilligan’s Island

»  28 scores for Steven Spielberg movies

» And, yes, a disco version of his theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind that he regrets recording but it’s actually pretty damn catchy.  

He’s also composed music involving a gaggle of American presidents: John F. Kennedy (JFK), John Quincy Adams/Martin Van Buren (Amistad), Tricky Dick (Nixon, The Post), Lincoln (Lincoln) and Obama (a piece for the first inauguration, in which he expressed “in a very simple and not ostentatious way the solemnity and beauty of the moment and the promise of the moment”). Also: Queen Elizabeth II (in The BFG).

Now the million-dollar question: can you imagine Star Wars without Williams’ iconic music? The Auralnauts did, and it’s just not quite the same…

…as this:

He’s currently working on the score for Star Wars IX, due out in—[Looks at watch]—315 days. Happy 87th birthday, John. Only 13 more years and we’ll let you retire.

Oh, and I think, like, 175 Democrats are declaring their candidacies for president this weekend. We wish them all good luck…we’re all counting on them. Have a great weekend. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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