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Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Note: I’m taking a stress break from Daily Kos starting now.  Okay, I’m back. Thanks, I needed that.

By the Numbers:

2018 Catawba Pottery Festival Graphic
11 days!!!

Weeks ’til the primary election between progressive Marie Newman and DINO Dan Lipinski in IL-03: 1

Days ’til the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival in Hickory, North Carolina: 11

Percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League: 57%

Percent rise in anti-Semitic vandalism incidents: 86%

Boat value of the 111 million pounds of lobster caught off the coast of Maine last year, down 19 percent from 2016: $434 million

Percent chance that suicide-by-firearm rates are lower in states with strict gun laws than those without, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine: 100%

Percent of Americans who own a dog: 48%

Puppy Pic of the Day: Storming the castle…

CHEERS to ideas that will change the world.  Just a quick reminder that there’s a big Netroots Nation deadline coming up tomorrow. It’s the final call for your panel and workshop ideas—in other words, the lifeblood of the convention’s agenda. (This year’s event is August 2-4 in New Orleans.) So now is the time to make sure your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed. Or, if you haven’t started yet, this would be your time to pull an all-nighter to git ‘er done. Here are some rough guidelines from the organizers:

> Panels on the upcoming midterm elections, specifically ones that focus on how to make our government and the progressive movement reflective of the New American Majority

Netroots nation logo generic
In NOLA this year.

> Conversations that encourage long-term thinking about building grassroots power, especially by centering marginalized voices and supporting local organizing

> Sessions highlighting resistance efforts both nationally and locally  

> Trainings that help new activists grow into successful organizers

The place to go for all the official info and submission form is at this beautiful orange link right here. Entries will be accepted through midnight tomorrow, March 14th.  To avoid duplication, be aware that the title of my proposed panel is Progressive Mardi Gras Bead Throwing: Is Underhanded or Overhanded Right for You?  (I hope someone on my panel can tell me, cuz mine always end up in the trees.)

JEERS to a poor sequel. Over the weekend Donald Trump made a stop in Pennsylvania to gin up support for Republican PA-18 congressional candidate Rick Saccone, but ended up spending over an hour talking about, of course, himself. One of the big revelations he unveiled (again, totally oblivious that Saccone was in the room) was his campaign slogan for 2020. Are you ready for this? Are you sitting down? Nitroglycerin tablet under your tongue? Got 911 on speed-dial? Okay, then…here it is:

Keep America Great

Yes. Instead of “MAGA,” the Trump cult is now going to start running around chanting, “KAG! KAG! KAG!”  I’m no political expert, but I’m not sure a crowd of people who sound like they’re coughing up hairballs is going to seal a second term.  On the other hand, at least the campaign had the sense not to use Jared Kushner’s suggestion: “Finally America’s Great!”

JEERS to teaching bad lessons. I know this isn’t indicative of schools overall, but it’s an infuriating juxtaposition nonetheless. A teacher—a popular teacher, no less, including Teacher of the Year honors at Charlotte Anderson School in Mansfield, Texaswas suspended and gag-ordered apparently for daring to suggest that school policy be updated to add LGBTQ non-discrimination. Horrors! Meanwhile, this real horror show still has his job in Florida:

“If my daughter was dating someone who used the ‘f’ word, I wouldn’t have any respect for that n****r,” Swinyar said, according to the report.

Ha Ha! Being a racist, sexist asshole is FUNNY!

In the same conversation about dating, Swinyar used the slur again. “If your boyfriend says bad things to you and/or treats you wrong, that means that he’s acting like a n****r,” he said, per the report. “You all should not be dating all these different African Americans [sic] boys because they are not worth it.”

Students said Swinyar regularly berated them, yelling and calling them “idiots.” […] One female student said she felt uncomfortable because the teacher allegedly “makes female students uncomfortable by staring at their breasts and other parts,” the report says.

Somebody needs to lock him in a cellar with a gaggle of ruler-wielding nuns.

CHEERS to great inventions. On this date in 1877, Chester Greenwood of Farmington, Maine got his patent fora new device called “earmufflers”.  Normal people wear them to keep out the cold. Conservatives wear them to keep out the truth.

CHEERS and JEERS to dollars and, occasionally, sense. It’s been awhile since we tooled around Newspaper Land to get a feel for how the economy is huffing and puffing these days, so here are some recent headlines that may provide a clue or two. As usual, a mixed bag…

Manufacturers grow at fastest rate since 2004

U.S. productivity stalled in dismal fourth quarter

Payrolls soar but wage growth stalls

Steelworkers score victory; everyone else must bear the cost

Consumer spending up only slightly in January

Wilbur Ross’s office: 9am

Larry Kudlow is the leading contender to replace Gary Cohn as Trump’s top economic advisor

Maple syrup producers hoping to tap out second season after an early start

Maine jobless rate under 4% for a record 26 consecutive months

Tariffs could knock Harley Davidson off course

Companies are putting tax savings in the pockets of shareholders, not employees

Crunch time for NAFTA: 300,000 jobs at risk

Oh, and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is retiring. I set up a GoFundMe page and, using all the money we raised over six weeks, we got him a farewell gift: a shiny Lincoln penny. (And I hope he’s considerate enough to send his mom a thank-you card.)

CHEERS to the little planet that tried but couldn’t. On March 13, 1930, astronomers informed the world they had discovered Pluto. Unable to handle the fame that followed, the ball of rock and ice with the eccentric (read: emotionally unstable) orbit ended up on the drunken-party circuit and was publicly canned:

Pluto and its moon Charon, which would both have been planets under the initial definition proposed Aug. 16, now get demoted because they are part of a sea of other objects that occupy the same region of space.

Earth and the other eight large planets have, on the other hand, cleared broad swaths of space of any other large objects.


“Pluto is a dwarf planet by the … definition and is recognized as the prototype of a new category of trans-Neptunian objects,” states the approved resolution. Dwarf planets are not planets under the definition, however.

It’s a cold, dark, toxic, dangerous, unforgiving and gassy place.  But enough about the Oval Office.  Happy birthday, Pluto!

Ten years ago in C&J: March 13, 2008

CHEERS to free bad advice.  Yesterday Eliot Spitzer, who was heralded as the darling of Democrats for sweeping himself into the New York governor’s mansion on a 99%-1% election result in 2006, resigned in disgrace for shacking up with the hottest hookers money could buy. But is he really the victim here?  Should he be taking the heat? Dr. Laura Schlessinger says HE’s the innocent one:

When the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings—sexually, personally—to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like her hero, he’s very susceptible to the charm of some other woman. […]

The cheating was his decision to repair what’s damaged and to feed himself where he’s starving.  But yes, I hold women accountable for tossing out perfectly good men by not treating them with the love and kindness and respect and attention they need.

Mrs. Spitzer: Resign!  From…something.


And just one more…

CHEERS to pootie persuasion. You would think that cats would be among the last critters to teach us what we need to know about gun control. And you would be wrong. Thanks to animator Alex Clark, our furry academic friends are here with a little lesson that even the NRA might understand…

Bonus tip: keep guns out of the paws of cats. If any animal should be armed, it’s dogs. Says my dog.

Aieeeeee!!!!!  Another blizzard is slamming into Maine today, so we’re trotting out the usual disclaimer: if you don’t see us here tomorrow, it means we lost our juice.  Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“We have video from space of the rotating, spherical Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool. The kiddie pool is round.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

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