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Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Note: What do we want? Regularity! When do we want it? Hold that thought I’ll be right back!

By the Numbers:

Weeks ‘til the special elections (Assembly-42, Senate-01) in Wisconsin: 7

2018 Kentucky Derby logo
10 days!!!

Days ’til the Kentucky Derby: 10

Rank of the term clusters “Idiot/jerk/ass” and “Ignorant/moron/stupid/dumb” used to describe Trump in the latest Suffolk University poll: #1, #2

Minimum number of states now dealing with an e.coli scare linked to romaine lettuce: 16

Number of service members, combat ships, and aircraft, respectively, in the U.S. Navy: 325k / 282 / 3,700

Number of service members, combat ships, and aircraft, respectively, in the Chinese Navy: 235k / 220 / 700

Factor by which cans are recycled more often than bottles, according to The Portland Press Herald: 2x

Mid-week Rapture Index: 182 (including 4 famines and 1 Satanic sex-ed class).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

Puppy Pic of the Day: Aurora saves the day…

JEERS to another hack at the helm. What was our first clue that Trump’s nominee to head the agency that oversees the care of our military veterans would turn out to be a veddy veddy bad man? Oh, let’s see: probably the twenty bajillion times Trump said “I only hire the very best people, believe me, believe me, believe me” in 2016 and 2017. And so here we are. Again:

President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rear Adm.Ronny Jackson, is facing pressure to drop his bid amid concern that potentially damaging allegations from his past service could create an embarrassing public spectacle

Cover of Good Housekeeping from 1940s or 50s.
Also being investigated: why this is the most recent magazine in Dr. Jackson’s waiting room.

Two sources familiar with the proceedings on Capitol Hill tell The Daily Beast that lawmakers have been instructed to no longer push for Jackson’s confirmation after allegations surfaced that he was hostile to co-workers, struggled with alcohol use, and over-prescribed medications during his time in the Navy and during his tenure as the White House physician. A third source told The Daily Beast that lawmakers are particularly hung up on the fact that there are numerous allegations of repeat behavior on Jackson’s part—not isolated incidents.

How appropriate that he’s a rear admiral, given that he’s about to be tossed on his ass. I don’t know what his replacement will end up having to withdraw for, but I’ll toss five bucks in the pot and take a wild guess: nude gurney races. (Admit it: right now you’re saying to yourself: might be!)

CHEERS to the generosity of the “net”-roots. Today is April 25th—World Malaria Day. I was under the impression that things were getting significantly better towards eradicating the mosquito-borne disease, and there are some bright spots according to the World Health Organization’s annual summary. But on the whole, it’s a discouraging picture this year:

In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, 5 million more than the 211 million cases reported in 2015. This marks a return to 2012 levels.

Malaria continues to claim a significant number of lives: in 2016, 445 000 people died from malaria globally, compared to 446,000 estimated deaths in 2015. Children under 5 are particularly susceptible to malaria. The disease claims the life of a child every 2 minutes.

Nothing But Nets logo

[But,] as highlighted in the most recent World Malaria Report, more countries are advancing towards elimination: in 2016, 44 countries had less than 10 000 cases of malaria, compared to 37 countries in 2010. Since 2010, 6 countries have been certified malaria-free (Armenia, Maldives, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan), and several others are inching closer to obtaining this status.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce that number: the humble mosquito net.  That’s where you can help by tossing a few bucks to Nothing But Nets.  As Kossack Denise Oliver Velez is fond of saying: “Got ten dollars? Save a child’s life. It’s that simple.” If only everything was.

CHEERS to today’s episode of Days of Our Miserable Lives. Yesterday’s cliffhanger ended with serial adulterer Viktor Trumpiakis standing in an awkward receiving line next to his spouse, Maggie Horton-Trumpiakis. Click to find out what happens next!


Oh, no! But I thought they’d patched things up! Who could’ve come between Viktor and Maggie? Click to find out!

[Gasp!]  Sacre bleu!!! He’s cheating on her with French butler Emmanuel!!!  What will happen next???  Will Maggie leave Viktor and move in with Vivian Obamamain? Will Emmanuel flee back to France for an emergency Head & Shoulders dip?  Will the smelling salts revive Mike Pence? Tune in tomorrow for another nail-biting installment of Days of Our Miserable Lives. Brought to you by Palmolive Soap Flakes, the breakfast cereal that moisturizes your intestinal lining while you work or play. Try some today!

CHEERS to the miracle workers a boss can’t live without.  Today is Administrative Professionals Day.  It’s been around, by different names, for a long time.  You might say it’s evolved…

The first National Secretaries Week was organized in 1952 in conjunction with the United States Department of Commerce and various office supply and equipment manufacturers. The Wednesday of that week became known as National Secretaries Day.

Dilbert cartoon with Wally and carol the Administrative Assistant

As the organization gained international recognition, the events became known as Professional Secretaries Week and Professional Secretaries Day. In 2000, IAAP announced that names of the week and the day were changed to Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day to keep pace with changing job titles and expanding responsibilities of the modern administrative workforce.

Here at C&J, we have one administrative professional who fetches things for us with amazing efficiency, and we couldn’t maintain our sanity without her. Later this morning we’ll show our appreciation by presenting her with a fresh bone and squeaky toy.  Or else.

CHEERS to a heapin’ helpin’ of good old-fashioned nostalgia. Boy oh boy, this feels like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life. A blast from the past circa a dozen years ago, when milk was just a penny a gallon, parasols and fedoras were the rage, and everybody peed in an outhouse. Get ready to fill your lungs and startle everyone within a hundred-foot radius:

Fired FBI Director James Comey has retained former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as one of his personal attorneys, bringing in a heavy-hitting former prosecutor, close friend and longtime colleague to help him navigate his dramatic role as a potential witness in the investigation of President Trump’s campaign and potential obstruction of justice.

1/23/13.New member of the University of Illinois Board of Trustee Peter Fitzgerald at the BOT retreat on January 23, 2013
“This IS my smiley face.”

The hiring adds an additional twist to President Trump’s recent decision to pardon Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, for his role in the Valerie Plame affair.

Fitzgerald, through a colleague, declined to comment on TPM’s reporting, or to clarify in what exact role he was working for Comey.

Everybody say it with me: “Merry Fitzmas!” (And subpoena’s greetings.)

Ten years ago in C&J: April 25, 2008

JEERS to over-celling yourself. Of all the lands in all the world, the United States is #1 in throwing its citizens in jail. Right now there are 2.3 million in the pokey:

It used to be that Europeans came to the United States to study its prison systems.  They came away impressed. “In no country is criminal justice administered with more mildness than in the United  States,” Alexis de Tocqueville, who toured American penitentiaries in 1831, wrote in “Democracy in America.”

This is what passes for “swanky” in an American prison these days. Ooh, a mattress!

No more.

“Far from serving as a model for the world, contemporary America is viewed with horror,” James Q. Whitman, a specialist in comparative law at Yale, wrote last year in Social Research. …  Indeed, said Vivien Stern, a research fellow at the prison studies center in London, the American incarceration rate has made the United States “a rogue state, a country that has made a decision not to follow what is a normal Western approach.”

Oh, pick pick pick.  At least we’re #1 at something. By the way, prisoner 38363489A in cell block J is my 86 year-old next door neighbor.  Gladys is serving six to twelve months for putting her trash out too early.  I feel bad for turning her in, but neighborhood association rules are neighborhood association rules.

And just one more…

CHEERS to the apple of CBS’s eye.  Happy 110th birthday today to CBS News legend Edward R. “Good Night, and Good Luck” Murrow.  He had more journalistic integrity in his pinky than many of today’s journalistic misfits (too many of whom call CBS News home) have on their entire resumes. He was a fighter for journalistic independence free of the entertainment side of television, and his clipped and unemotional delivery only added to his gravitas. From his New York Times obituary:

One former staff member recalled the instruction Mr. Murrow gave to his newsmen.

The reporter must never sound excited even if bombs are falling outside, Mr. Morrow said.

Rather, the reporter should imagine that he has just returned to his hometown and that the local editor has asked him to dinner with, for example, a banker and a professor.

Edward R. Murrow with President Harry S Truman
Murrow chats up President Harry Truman.

“After dinner,” Mr. Murrow counseled, “your host asks you ‘Well, what was it like?’ As you talk, the maid is passing the coffee and her boyfriend, a truck driver, is waiting for her in the kitchen and listening. You are supposed to describe things in terms that make sense to the truck driver without insulting the intelligence of the professor.”

Unfortunately chain-smoking (sometimes blowing through three packs a day) snuffed out his life prematurely at 57—lung cancer.  Hear excerpts of his W.W. II and McCarthy hearing reports here.  And, hey, don’t smoke.

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


Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“If an unfortunate human were ever to descend into the Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool, they would be met with very unpleasant and odiferous conditions.”

Prof. Patrick Irwin, University of Oxford

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