Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, May 17, 2018
Note: Cure eludes Republican congressman diagnosed with severe case of Traumatic Being Born Louie Gohmert Syndrome. Film at 11.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til 2019: 228
Days ’til the Newport Beach Jazz Festival in California: 15
Spike in the airline transporting of service animals between 2016 and 2017: 40%
Percent chance that United Airlines is banning, among other creatures, support insects, reptiles, rodents, snakes and spiders: 100%
Age of Margot Kidder (Superman) and Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff) when they died this week: 69 / 88
Factor by which applications for licenses to grow hemp in Oregon have increased since 2015: 20x
Quarts of blood the typical pair of kidneys filters each day: 200
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
[A]pproximately one fourth of all fertilized eggs are swept out on the menstrual tide before they even get near to implanting themselves in the uterine wall, and we do not hold funerals over Kotex or Tampax.
I suggest to you this means that the beginning of life is not a single specific event, but rather a process that deserves increasing respect as it continues toward birth—precisely the tripartite system set up under Roe v. Wade (and if you hear Roe v. Wade described as “abortion on demand,” you are listening to a liar).
I respect those who oppose abortion, but I do not think they have a right to use the law as an instrument of coercion against people who do not believe (and it is a matter of faith) as they do. … There were an estimated one million abortions a year in this country before Roe. Abortion can be safe and legal, or dirty and illegal. It cannot be stopped.
—From Who Let the Dogs In? (2004, Random House)
Puppy Pic of the Day: Just a little off the top…
CHEERS to one hurdle down, two to go. I have to admit, I did not see this coming. Thanks to a procedural maneuver giving Democrats the ability to put a resolution on the floor, the Senate voted LII to XXXXVII in favor of wiping that f*cking smirk off FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s smug face and standing up for America’s small businesses:
The US Senate on Wednesday voted narrowly in favor of reinstating the Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality rules. […]
The Senate voted on the resolution under the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows Congress, with a simple-majority vote in both houses, to overturn new regulations by federal agencies within 60 legislative days of implementation.
For nearly all of the past 10 years, the FCC has had in place rules that sought to guarantee net-neutrality protections. The latest version of the agency’s rules, from 2015, barred internet service providers from blocking, slowing, or giving preferential treatment to particular online sites or services. The FCC’s new anti-net-neutrality regulation, set to take effect next month, eliminates those prohibitions.
Now all we have to do is get it passed in the House and get it signed by President Trump. [Long pause] Yes, that was the punchline.
CHEERS to A+ trolling. Let’s check in with the stupidest president in American history and see how his obsession with winning the Nobel Peace Prize is going. You may recall that Donald J. Trump thought he had his big, beautiful (so big and so beautiful, believe me, believe me) accord with North Korea all sewn up, and all that remained was a perfunctory June 12 meeting in Singapore,during which Kim Jong Un would “see the light” and agree to all the U.S.demands so Trump could get his medal. So, yeah, let’s see how that’s working out:
Well, he may not get that Nobel Prize, after all. But I like his chances of grabbing a Booby.
CHEERS to today’s Kum By Yah Moment. Sixty-four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its 9-0 opinion in Brown vs. Board of Education, ending racial segregation in public schools:
The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) is one of the most pivotal opinions ever rendered by that body. This landmark decision highlights the U.S. Supreme Court’s role in affecting changes in national and social policy. […]
In December, 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court had on its docket cases from Kansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, South Carolina, and Virginia, all of which challenged the constitutionality of racial segregation in public schools.
The U.S. Supreme Court had consolidated these five cases under one name, Oliver Brown et al. v. the Board of Education of Topeka. One of the justices later explained that the U.S. Supreme Court felt it was better to have representative cases from different parts of the country. They decided to put Brown first “so that the whole question would not smack of being a purely Southern one.”
I’d like to say it was smooth sailing since, but unfortunately today we’re dealing with a problem just as bad: Betsy DeVos vs. all the Boards of Education.
Gong! Gong!! BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!
This is another edition of The One Word Answer Man. Over at FiveThirtyEight.com, Perry Bacon, Jr. asks: Missouri’s Claire McCaskill Has Been Savvy And Lucky—Can She Do It Again?
Now back to Cheers and Jeers.
Gong! Gong!! BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!
CHEERS to hot primary action! Lots to like about the various elections that were held Tuesday in four states, which I shall now rattle off by memory to prove my superior brain power: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Acceptance. (What? They were actually Pennsylvania, Idaho, Oregon and Nebraska? Well, phooey.) Here’s a quick recap of some of the notable election results:
>> Thanks to the support of Daily Kos readers (and especially the Cheers and Jeers community, according to me), Helen Tai won her special election in Pennsylvania’s 178th House district, flipping it from red to blue for the first time in 35 years.
>> Pennsylvania’s lock on 100% male membership in Congress (20 reps, 2 senators) is going to be shattered like a…like a…oh, I know! Like a glass ceiling this November. Wear a helmet.
>> Awww, we won’t have Idaho Republican Raul Labrador to kick around anymore. The congressman, who famously claimed that “nobody dies” in the United States because they don’t have access to health care, and crafted “license to discriminate” legislation targeting the LGBT community, chose to give up his seat in a bid to win the GOP primary for governor. He chose…pooooorly.
>> Watch Nebraska’s 2nd District in November. True-blue progressive Kara Eastman, who campaigned her heart out, beat a centrist Democrat propped up by the DCCC. If she frames the issues with savvy and authenticity, she could buck the odds and ride the blue wave to Washington.
>> And in Grant County, Oregon, voters overturned a ban on the marijuana businesses. Which is a good thing because incumbent Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett was re-elected with 76.6 percent of the vote, mainly because of the scrump-dilly-umptious hash brownies she serves after administering wedding vows.
Congratulations to all the Democratic winners. But don’t be measuring the lengths of any drapes yet. Because, of course, you first need to know the widths of the curtain rods, silly!
JEERS to the gate to end all “…gates.” Since 1973, we’ve had Iran-Contragate, Travelgate, Monicagate, U.S. Attorneygate, Plamegate, Russiagate (thanks for that contribution, Trump) and, in the case of the Obama administration as seen through the right-wingers’ lens: “Day-ending-in-y-gate.” But the big kahuna of gates got underway 45 years ago today, when the televised Watergate hearings began. I remember them well, mainly because my mom watched every second of them (with Triscuits and cheese washed down with a Schlitz or two while draggin’ on her King Size Kents) and they pre-empted my afternoon cartoons, gawdammit:
Millions of U.S. households bore witness to the Senate Watergate Committee’s tactical destruction of White House subterfuge, methodically convincing Americans that perhaps “Tricky Dick” was more than some absurd distortion of the president’s legacy-in-waiting.
A month after the televised hearings, which started May 17, 1973, an astonishing 97 percent of Americans had heard of Watergate, according to the U.S. Senate website. And 67 percent believed that President Nixon had participated in a cover-up of the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington.
Nixon never confessed and declared that “I have never been a quitter” right before he did just that.
To commemorate today’s 45th anniversary, Fox News will spend the day putting a “D” after Nixon’s name.
Ten years ago in C&J: May 17, 2008
CHEERS to the party of dizziness, nausea and constipation. See, typically what happens is, before a huge conglomerate like, say, the Republican Party, Inc. starts throwing around a new slogan (“The Change You Deserve”), some intern is given the job of checking to make sure it isn’t already—what’s the word?—taken. But that bit of marketing 101 seemed to elude the GOP. So now they share their slogan with a prescription drug for depression and anxiety disorders whose company was recently knuckle-rapped for making “unsubstantiated superiority claims.” On the other hand, the cross-promotional possibilities are endless!
And just one more…
CHEERS to Adam and Steve & Adele and Eve. I thought it would be a nice way to bookend our above-the-fold bit on today’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia by noting that fourteen years ago today, America‘s first marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples. The lead attorney who so deftly shaped the arguments that convinced the state Supreme Court (and later the federal Supreme Court) to rule in equality’s favor was—and still is, for many more years we hope—a Mainer. A couple years back Mary Bonauto remembered that wild day in Massachusetts:
Sharpshooters were on the roof of Boston City Hall as Bonauto escorted three couples to get marriage licenses on May 17, 2004. Police led her to their weddings through the throngs of well-wishers and protesters.
At the Arlington Street Church, Bonauto witnessed Rob Compton and Dave Wilson, wearing classic black tuxes and matching red-striped ties, saying their vows, as they all fought back tears. “I was sitting in the church, and I just didn’t realize I was gonna fall apart to see, OK, there are Dave and Rob, and they are finally getting married,” she says. “I was sitting next to Rob’s mother, and she kept handing me tissues. It was her son, and I was the one who was a total mess.” …
That had never happened before legally in this country. It felt like the cage had been lifted off, and it was just a different world from that point forward.”
The good news: sharpshooters are no longer needed to protect gay couples during their weddings. The bad news: today red states are debating bills that would put sharpshooters on the roofs of port-a-potties to keep “them transgenders” out. We still have a ways to go.
Oh, and happy birthday, Mueller Investigation—one year-old today and striking fear into the demonic souls of Trump and his incompetent gangster ring. Have a subpoenarrific Thursday! Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial:
Hello! Did you happen to be splashing in the Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool and find a big ol’ crate of explosive grenade rounds? The U.S. Air Force meant to fire those somewhere else, and would really like it if you return them.