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Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Note: Did you know this is International Ask A Question Day?

By the Numbers:

Wild_Chicken_Festival.jpg
2 days!!!

Days ’til spring: 6

Days ’til the Wild Chicken Festival in Fitzgerald, Georgia: 2

Number of U.S. employees who will likely be helped and hurt, respectively, by Trump’s new steel tariffs, according to AP: 140,000 / 5.5 million

Percent of the 11.9 million firearms produced annually in the U.S. that are made in Massachusetts: 25%

Number of people killed and injured, respectively, when lightning struck a 7th Day Adventist church in Rwanda: 16 / 140

Percent by which sales of high heel shoes were down and women’s sneakers were up, respectively, last year, according to the NPD Group: 12%, 37%

Years the NCAA March Madness tournament has been around: 80

Mid-week Rapture Index: 185 (including 4 wild weathers and 1 planet-killing fish god).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

Puppy Pic of the Day: Winter buds…

CHEERS to the headline of the day:

PA-18 Democratic candidate Conor Lamb holds a lamb at Ross Farm Fibers March 9, 2018
Daily Kos congratulates Conor Lamb on his victory in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District

You can check out the official PA Department of State results here and see for yourself. Wowee zowee—it was tight as tight can be, but Lamb pulled it off by a little over 500 votes. This was a frying pan to the face of Donald Trump, Lamb’s opponent Rick Saccone who labeled himself “Trump Before Trump Was Trump” (smooth move, buddy!), the national GOP organizations that tried to salvage this thing by throwing bags of money out of airplanes, and certainly for Republicans in the House who now know that November is going to be brutal. I don’t have much to add beyond this suggestion: wear a hardhat today. And watch for Republicans jumping off of ledges.

CHEERS to going crazy irrational!!!  Let’s hear it for secular holidays!  Yaaay!!!  Today is 3/14, and at 1:59 this afternoon the world will erupt in slide-rule giddyness for Pi Day.  Jet Propulsion Laboratory geeks speak, you listen:

Fred Calef, a geospatial information scientist at JPL, uses pi to make measurements—like perimeter, area and volume—of features on Mars.

pie13.jpg
Really, mom? Only 14 digits? Grandma did 90.

“I use pi to measure the circularity of features, or how round or compact they are,” said Calef. “Craters become more elliptical if the projectile hits the surface at a lower angle, so I use pi to measure how round a crater is to see if it impacted at a low angle.”

“We use pi every day commanding rovers on Mars,” said Hallie Gengl, a rover planner for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, “Everything from taking images, turning the wheels, driving around, operating the robotic arm, and even talking to Earth.”

I admit I got mostly Cs and Ds in math, so I think I’ll stick with regular pie today, thanks.  Humble.  With 3.141592653 scoops of ice cream.

P.S. Happy birthday to pi fan Albert Einstein. He once said, “He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.”  Wild guess: not a Trump fan.

Rex Tillerson, outgoing US Secretary of State makes a statement after his dismissal at the State Department in Washington, DC, March 13, 2018...Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest top official to leave a US administration where turnover has been inordinately high. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Bye. Don’t forget to turn in your ID and men’s room key.

JEERS to chaos as usual. Yesterday the worst president in U.S. history fired his Secretary of State in a tweet. (Or as Fox News reported it: “Compassionate President generously grants Tillerson precious time to pursue hobbies and leisure activities in private sector.”)  Rex Tillerson was an incompetent, overwhelmed dullard who shuffled around like a lost soul, taking frequent naps and complaining about how everything was better in the good old days. He’ll fly back home to Texas, where he’ll shuffle around like a lost soul, taking frequent naps and complaining about how everything was better in the good old days. But now he can finally do it without pants.

P.S. Tillerson’s successor is the conspiracy-theory-embracing nutball formerly in charge of the CIA. He’ll be replaced, if confirmed, by a nutball lady from the Bush II regime who embraced torture and destroyed interrogation tapes to prevent her dirty work from going public.  Warning: don’t get too close to her. She’s got a spike in the toe of her shoe.

CHEERS to the smell of fresh Mueller meat.  Also fired yesterday was John McEntee, a really close aide to Trump. And when I say fired, I mean he was stripped of all his access privileges and frog-marched out of the White House without his coat, allegedly because he’s—Cliffs Notes version here—a crook.  And even though he was immediately sent over to join the Trump KAG campaign, Charlie Pierce at Esquire isn’t so sure he’ll last very long there if America’s favorite special counsel starts luring him in with bread crumbs:

That this administration is a magnet for grifters and thieves is now so obvious that pointing it out (again) is a waste of good pixels.

An Indian child plays with a park staff member wearing a dinosaur costume at the Adlabs Imagica theme park at Sangewadi some 100 kms south-east of Mumbai on April 20, 2013. India's most elaborate theme park opened this week with special-effect Hindu gods and Bollywood-themed rides, aiming to tap a thirst for family entertainment among the country's rising middle-class.  Adlabs Imagica, which cost about USD 294 million to create, opened its doors to the public on Thursday between the western cities of Mumbai and Pune, with capacity for 10,000 to 15,000 visitors a day. AFP PHOTO/ INDRANIL MUKHERJEE        (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
Among John McEntee’s primary duties in the White House was feeding Stephen Miller. 

But, as any West Wing fan knows, personal aides (or “body men”) have an interesting job. They’re around the president a lot. They hear and seethings about which, if they’re good at their jobs, they never speak again.

However, if, say, one of these personal aides got his hindquarters in a crack with the law, and he was looking to cut a deal with influential law-enforcement types, those rules might prove a bit …malleable.

Between Tillerson and McEntee, Bob Mueller may have to pick up some more file folders.

100-count only $8.29 at Staples. I checked. Sir.

CHEERS to the GREAT STATE OF MAINE!!!  We told Massachusetts to kiss our hineys (well, the proclamation specifically says “kisseth our hineyeths”) 198 years ago this week, after which we declared our independence and became America’s 23rd state, though not under the best of cicumstances: 

Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood in the years following the Revolution.

Maine Coon Cat
The Maine coon cat is the official state pootie. It chases cars and sometimes eats them.

The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one in either Massachusetts or Maine foresaw, however, was that Maine‘s quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history—slavery. Most Mainers supported abolition. They were dismayed that their admission to the Union was linked to the admission of Missouri as a slave state. This controversial “Missouri Compromise” preserved—for a few more decades—the delicate balance between pro- and anti-slavery forces in the U.S.Congress.

 Today we’re ruled by a barely-literate teabagger—in his last year, thank god—who is so gaffe-prone that he has to recruit staff members to stick their feet in his mouth. Then again, we’re the first state in the country to approve marriage equality by a citizen vote independent of the legislature, our scenery will lower your stress level in mere minutes, our lobster melts in your mouth, we have a brand new national monument thanks to Obama, and the Downeaster train that runs from Brunswick to Boston is a huge success story for Amtrak. Come on up and see us once the roads are passable when mud season ends in June. The black flies would love to have you for dinner.

CHEERS to stepping into your own bullshit. Posted without comment…because it’s hard to top the comment that’s already there:

I’m surprised Trump hasn’t made the Flat Earth Society a cabinet agency. Thank god for small favors.

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - APRIL 04:  Members of the Swiss Guards patrol before Pope Francis meets Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on April 4, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Boom shaka laka laka, Boom shaka laka laka!”

CHEERS to an eventful first 60 months. Pope Francis, who I believe is the first pontiff with only one lung to get the white-smoke treatment, and is definitely the first Jesuit pope and first non-European pope of the modern era, began his reign five years ago today.  He’s quite a mixed bag, ain’t he?  I love the way he tut-tuts conservatives on climate-change and trickle-down economics.  But his stance on LGBTers and women remains firmly rooted in reality-denial territory.  Then again, at least he’s not the lump of German sourdough (still alive!) he replaced. In keeping with his reputation as a humble and casual Pontiff, today he’ll sleep in ’til noon, pull on a pair of sweatpants and a “Party Like It’s 1499” t-shirt, down a bowl of Cocoa Puffs, ride his skateboard to the office, give everybody high fives and invite busloads of poor people in for a fish fry and games of beanie Frisbee. But he’ll stop short of taking take a hit off the incense bong. Ya gotta draw the line somewhere.

Ten years ago in C&J: March 14, 2008

CHEERS to the great disappearing pundit act.  Woo hoo!  Well, it only took several years of sucky ratings and thoughtless comments for MSNBC to finally give Tucker Carlson the boot.  He’ll be replaced Monday by NBC White House correspondent David Gregory, who recently performed as a backup dancer for Karl Rove.  Thanks, but I’ll stick to my normal 6-7pm routine of stabbing myself in the neck with pencils.  It hurts less. [3/14/18 Update: Yes. The “liberal” network once employed Fox News’s new Hannity clone. Because of course they did.]

And just one more…

CHEERS to “Q.” Composing and producing legend—like, the kind of legend that other legends look at and say, “Okay, now he’s a legend”—Quincy Jones turns 85 today. Our favorite Q-tune is his junky-tonk theme for Sanford and Son and if you want to release some waterworks just go revisit his Oscar-nominated score for The Color Purple.  For pop thrills there’s Thriller.  But for sheer mojo-rejuvenating goodness, no playlist should be without Soul Bossa Nova. I propose that this replace our current national anthem. No words, just groovin’…

In his roller-coaster ride interview with Vulture earlier this year, he said: “I stopped drinking two years ago and I feel like I’m 19 years old. I’ve never been so creative. I can’t tell you, man—what a life!”  Live forever, Q.  I mean it.

Have a happy humpday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“When you’re reading Cheers and Jeers, you can almost feel the legendary Bill in Portland Maine sitting next to you, laughing at the references, thrilled with the action, and eating his candy corn. You definitely need candy corn for this one.”

Brian Tallerico


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