Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, January 5, 2017
Note: What kind of dancers do professional plumbers love most? Cloggers, of course. Thank you I’ll be here all week.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til confirmation hearings begin for Attorney General Jeff Sessions: 5
Days ’til the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Festival at the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, Florida: 9
Years since consumer confidence has been as high as it is now under President Obama’s leadership, according to the Conference Board: 15
Amount TransUnion and Equifax were fined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for false advertising claims and defrauding consumers out of money: $23 million
Percent chance Republicans want to kill the CFPB because the desire to screw the working class is in their DNA: 100%
Minimum cost over ten years to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Budget: $350 billion
Number of Shakers remaining (both of them in Maine) after Sister Frances Carr died at 89: 2
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
The decision in the Dover, Pa., school board case by Judge John Jones III, a Republican and Bush appointee, is well worth reading.
It annihilates the case for teaching creationism. Calling creationism “intelligent design” changes nothing and is disingenuous to the point of being painful. […]
One hears evolution dismissed as “just a theory,” as though all of science weren’t based on theory and eternally subject to new evidence to the contrary. In science, gravity is “just a theory” — and if you ever drop something and it falls up, they’ll reconsider the whole theory for you. That’s just how “theoretical” evolution is — constantly subject to evidence and proof. But creationism cannot be tested and proved against evidence using the scientific method — that is why it is not science, it is faith.
Puppy Pic of the Day: “Morning, boss…”
CHEERS to inching towards parity. Members of the House and Senate got their badges, parking stickers and secret decoder rings on Tuesday, and when it was over a milestone was celebrated: the largest number of female U.S. Senators to be sworn in on the same day: fifteen! (I know, I know…still way too low.) Elle has a great online binder full of those women you can check out here. Included in the group are four Democratic senators:
Kamala Harris The first Indian-American elected to the Senate.
Tammy Duckworth The first Thai American and first female military combat veteran in the Senate.
Maggie Hassan The second female governor in the Senate, and part of what is now an all-woman congressional delegation from New Hampshire.
Catherine Cortez Masto The first Latina in the Senate.
Biden swearing in Tammy Duckworth is so vintage Joe…
There are also eight new Democratic women in the House. Hooray! On the downside, one of the three new Republican women is—sorry to have to break the news—Liz Cheney. Her dad Dick was actually there to witness the passing of the torch. Or, since she specifically requested it, the pitchfork.
CHEERS to Bibi on the hot seat. Hard-drinking, comfort-loving, saber-rattling and just plain obnoxious Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may not last much longer. He’s under high-level investigation, and unlike this country theirs appears to take these things rather seriously:
[A]fter a nighttime visit by police investigators who read him his rights before asking him if he was corrupt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now faces a new kind of challenge. The opponent who just might sink him is none other than Benjamin Netanyahu himself.
Abraham Diskin, a political scientist at the Academic Center of Law and Science outside Tel Aviv who has advised Mr. Netanyahu, said on Tuesday that it was “not very clear that Netanyahu is going to escape some kind of indictment.” And “once there is an indictment,” Professor Diskin added, “he will have to resign.”
If he does get busted, I bet the first place he’ll probably go is…the Wailing Wall! Ha Ha Ha! (Trust me, that joke kills in the Borscht Belt.)
CHEERS to Democratic bulldogs. Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill—who coined the phrase “All politics is local”—died 23 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. […]
The liberal legend.
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 hangin’ out on inauguration day with some good buds. Too perfect: While Donald Trump is getting—[throws up in mouth a little]—sworn in as our 45th president, some folks will be nearby mellowing out the harsh:
[T]here will be thousands of joints handed out—for free—by the DC Cannabis Coalition. It all starts at 8:00 a.m. January 20th on the west side of Dupont Circle. Then, marchers will walk to the National Mall where the real protest will begin.
“The main message is it’s time to legalize cannabis at the federal level,” said Adam Eidinger, the founder of DCMJ, a group of D.C. residents who introduced and helped get initiative 71 passed in the District. Initiative 71 made it legal to possess two ounces or less or marijuana, to grow it, and to give it away, but it is not legal to sell it. […]
There will 4,200 gifts, to be exact. Then, at 4 minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s speech (420 is the internationally known code for weed), they’ll light up. That part, is most definitely illegal. “We are going to tell them that if they smoke on federal property, they are risking arrest. But, that’s a form of civil disobedience,” said Eidinger. “I think it’s a good protest.”
Shit, if I end up watching that thing at all, I’ll need to twist up a fatty—in this case to make what I’m witnessing seem less freaky.
CHEERS to happy anniversaries in the Gopher State. It was eight years ago today that the Minnesota Canvassing Board slapped a sticker on Al Franken’s ass that read, “Certified 100% United States Senator.” He had officially defeated goofy-but-not-in-a-good-way Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. To mark the occasion, we’ll follow our usual routine: on the count of three, everyone laugh at the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board from January 5, 2009. Ready? One…Two…
If the Canvassing Board certifies Mr. Franken as the winner based on the current count, it will be anointing a tainted and undeserving Senator.
…Three: Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!! That always feels therapeutic. Same time next year?
Ten years ago in C&J: January 5, 2007
CHEERS to famous firsts. Former Boston Globe columnist Tom Oliphant, speaking on Air America, summed up the emotional swearing in of Nancy Pelosi this way: “For an old anarchist like me, I love seeing another barrier fall.” C&J welcomes the first woman Speaker, the first Muslim Congressman (Keith Ellison), the first openly-gay chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and the first Congressman (John Hall) to appear nude on an album cover. Liberals are cool.
And just one more…
CHEERS and JEERS to the speech spankers. Right on schedule, Lake Superior State University’s annual “banished word list” popped up on the scene to give the cable news anchors a “kicker” story over which to hone their phony-chuckling skills. Sure, we’re happy to see terms like “bigly,” “listicle” and “guesstimate” on the list. But C&J—thin-skinned as we are—will never shake the bitterness that infused our lives on that dark day in 2005 when they went off the linguistic deep end:
BLOG – and its variations, including blogger, blogged, blogging, blogosphere. Many who nominated it were unsure of the meaning. Sounds like something your mother would slap you for saying.
“Sounds like a Viking’s drink that’s better than grog, or a technique to kill a frog.”
—Teri Vaughn, Anaheim, Calif.
“Maybe it’s something that would be stuck in my toilet.”
—Adrian Whittaker, Dundalk, Ontario.
So, for the twelfth year in a row (and until they apologize for being such meanies), C&J humbly keeps these four words on its own banished list: Lake Superior State University
Happy humpday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial:
I have to conclude, after half a decade, that it may simply be impossible to make Cheers and Jeers usable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators.