“My favorite line belongs to an old Irish woman taxi driver in Boston. Flo Kennedy and I were in the backseat talking about Flo’s book, Abortion Rap, and the driver turned around and said, ‘Honey, if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.’ I wish I’d gotten her name so we could attribute it to her.”
“Nixon is the kind of guy who, if you were drowning twenty feet from shore, would throw you a fifteen-foot rope.”
—Eugene McCarthy [Also applies to Trump]
“When I was 40 and looking at 60, it seemed like a thousand miles away. But 62 feels like a week and a half away from 80. I must now get on with those things I always talked about doing but put off.”
—Harry Belafonte, now 94
“My folks came to the U.S. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens. I was born in Boston a citizen [and] went to Hollywood and became an alien.”
“If Attila the Hun were alive today, he’d be a drama critic.”
“Like the other immigrant groups, the day will come when we win the economic and political rewards which are in keeping with our numbers in society. The day will come when the politicians do the right thing by our people out of political necessity and not out of charity or idealism.”
“Who hasn’t had a weight issue? If not the body, certainly the big head.”
If you celebrate a birthday in March, we wish you many blessings on your camels. And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Note: For all your paper clip needs, we strongly recommend paper clips. Quality you can see, dependability you can trust, and now value priced at only, let’s say, $1,400.
—A message from the American Paper Clip Marketing Council
By the Numbers:
Days ’til Tax Day: 29
Percent of Americans polled by CBS-YouGov who approve of Biden’s job as president: 62%
Percent who approve of Joe’s handling of the pandemic: 67%
Percent of members of Congress who haven’t been vaccinated yet: 25%
Amount that the American Rescue Plan will allocate to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which will help live entertainment venues stay open: $1.25 billion
Percent by which Goldman Sachs predicts the economy will grow this year: 8%
Number of cannabis shop applications currently waiting to be approved by the City of Portland, Maine: 31
Mid-week Rapture Index: 189 (including 4 ecumenisms and1 scamvangelist healing-covid-through-the-TV FAIL). Soul Protection Factor 8 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today
Puppy Pic of the Day: Luke gets a new Ewok…
CHEERS to America’s new Interior designer. Let’s see: the two Interior Secretaries under the previous president were an oil and gas industry lobbyist and this walking Corruption 101 textbook. To them, American lands were to be chewed up and spit out. So it makes the confirmation of President Biden’s Interior Secretary, Pueblo of Laguna Native American and 35th-generation New Mexican Deb Haaland, literally a transition from evil to good. Very, very, very good:
“I just think about my son and how he’s going to be able to visibly see someone who looks like him, someone who comes from his same community, who is at that level,” said Valerie Siow, an educator and Laguna Pueblo Native. “Sometimes I can’t even believe it.” […]
“A lot of people don’t really understand the relationship that Indigenous people to this country have had with the federal government. There’s a whole history of broken treaties, of land for forced removal of our people,” she said. “It’s kind of hard to explain outside of Indigenous circles but our way of life is so connected to [the land],” she said. “The land always calls us home.”
Haaland’s confirmation, Cajete believes, “gives her the power to be able to right some very deep wrongs to Native tribes.” Along with the acreage itself come concerns about stewardship, about air, land and water quality.
I don’t know why Republicans are freaking out over Secretary Haaland’s confirmation. They should love her. After all, she’s following their ideological playbook: after all the damage her predecessors did, she’ll be spending most of her time standing athwart history yelling “Stop!” (I’m guessing with a few well-placed cuss words thrown in.)
JEERS to the least surprising development of the day. Remember that Republican “shaman” in the horns and carrying the spear who took part in the Capitol insurrection on January 6th? Remember how he and his mom told 60 Minutes that he was innocent because the Capitol doors were open so he felt he could walk in to spread his “positive vibes”? Yeah, well, the judge reviewed video footage and you’ll never guess:
Senior Judge Royce Lamberth, a Ronald Reagan appointee, narrated what the footage showed. “Not only is defendant unable to offer evidence substantiating his claim that he was waved into the Capitol, but evidence submitted by the government proves this claim false.
“The government’s video shows that defendant blatantly lied during his interview with 60 Minutes+ when he said that police officers waved him into the building,” Lamberth added. “This video confirms that defendant did not, as defense counsel claims, enter the building ”contemporaneously with the exiting by Capitol Police.” […] Nor did he enter, as defense counsel represents, in the ‘third wave’ of the breach. To the contrary, he quite literally spearheaded it.”
It’s a good thing Mr. Whipple isn’t alive to see this. He hates it when people squeeze the shaman.
CHEERS to favorite First Couples. Today is the wedding anniversary of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. They were married on March 17, 1905 in New York:
The 20-year-old bride was escorted down the aisle by her uncle, then President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.
The ceremony took place at the New York City home of Eleanor’s great uncle and aunt, Edward and Margaret Livingston Ludlow. The reception took place next door at the home of her cousin, Susan Parish. Though no photographs of the day are known to exist, several artifacts from the wedding are in the FDR Library’s museum collection.
So, uh…what do you get a 139-year-old man and a 137-year-old woman on their 116th anniversary? If they’re still actually walking the earth after all this time, I’d say the #1 thing on their list would probably be: “Braaaaains…”
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to happy endings. Look up “Honor and Integrity” in the dictionary, and you’ll see…well, nothing, because honor and integrity are two different words with their own separate listings and….oh, damn me and my tangents. The point is, the Vindman brothers—Alexander and Eugene—are honor and integrity personified, and they got absolutely shafted by Trump for, respectively, telling the truth and being the brother of the guy who told the truth. And with Trump now relegating to scaring the guests at Mar-A-Lago, the good karma is coming home to roost:
Lt. Col. Yevgeny “Eugene” Vindman, who was fired last year from his job in the Trump White House after he raised concerns about the former president’s dealings with Ukraine, says he is set to be promoted to a full colonel.
Vindman is the twin brother of Alexander Vindman, who was a key witness in the Ukraine impeachment inquiry. The brothers were both Army officers serving on the National Security Council when they raised concerns about former President Donald Trump’s phone call to Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July 2019. […]
Both men were sacked from the NSC days after the conclusion of the impeachment trial and escorted out of the White House.
Conversely, with any luck, New York prosecutors will see to it that Trump is soon be demoted to full inmate.
CHEERS to the wearin’ o’ the green beer. St. Patrick’s Day is today and C&J extends a hearty “Begosh ‘n Begorrah” to all our Irish and/or Irish-ish readers. My blood line is Swiss (“Is that the Matterhorn in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Ha ha ha, I kid. It’s really an Alpine horn.”), so I’m totally neutral about St. Patrick’s Day. But since the parades appear to be canceled again, we bring you the following 15 seconds of copied-and-pasted mirth:
Have you heard about the Irish boomerang? It doesn’t come back, it just sings songs about how much it wants to.
There’s a new Irish restaurant being built in town. They’re going to serve gourmet 7-course Irish meals. Everyone who comes in gets a potato and a six-pack.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Americans are expected to drink over 13 million pints of Guinness. To give you an idea how much beer that is, go outside and look at the sidewalk. —Seth Meyers
What’s Irish and sits outside in the summertime?
Remember: if someone walks up to you today and shouts “Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!”, the proper response is, “Don’t move. I’m calling the CDC.”
Ten years ago in C&J: March 17, 2011
CHEERS to the power of denial. So here’s what I know about the situation in Japan: a massive earthquake hit, which was quickly followed by a killer tsunami that made what Moses did to Ramses look like a squirt gun fight. Then the nuclear plants started blowing up and catching fire which is really bad but, amazingly, not “yet” quite as bad as it sounds, unless they can’t get water to cool down the nukular rods in which case… That’s when I closed my eyes and stuck my fingers in my ears and things seemed to quiet down significantly. This is BiPM reporting live from under my bed. Back to you, Chet.
And just one more…
CHEERS to my secret accomplice. I can admit it, now that Lou Ottens, the inventor of the cassette tape, has reached the end of Side B at age 94. (Plus I assume the statute of limitations will keep me out of the hoosegow.) When I was a teenager I’d sneak a cassette recorder into movie theaters and record my favorite scenes—notably the Battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back and the face-melting scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark—so I could re-experience them through a hard plastic earpiece in glorious mono. I’m amazed I never got caught. Then there were the endless mix tapes and, when I pursued radio as a career, air check tapes. I had stacks of those little faux-leather briefcase-style cassette holders all over my apartment, and still have a bunch of ’em in storage. So this morning we doff our cap to Mr. Ottens, sad in the knowledge that whatever ailed him couldn’t be spliced back together with a sliver of Scotch tape:
When the first plastic cassette tape made its debut at a 1963 electronics fair, it boasted the slogan, “Smaller than a pack of cigarettes!” Ottens specifically designed the cassette to be tiny enough to fit in a jacket pocket, in part because he found other tape models to be unnecessarily large. “I got annoyed with the clunky, user-unfriendly reel-to-reel system,” he said years later. “It’s that simple.” […] All told, over 100 billion were sold worldwide.
As noted by music journalist Marc Masters, who is writing a book about the history of cassette tapes, the original prototype that Ottens’ team invented was created as “an opportunity for journalists or nature lovers to make sound recordings outside,” not as a way to listen to popular songs. “The very first one, we said, well, speech is good enough,” said Ottens. “Then we came to the conclusions that [the sound quality] was much better than we had anticipated. We said, if it’s made for music, we should have 30 minutes per side.” And thus, the cassette tape as a portable album was born.
His casket will be larger than normal so he’ll have enough room to flip over every 30 minutes.
Have a happy humpday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial
“Bill in Portland Maine is Boring—and it’s Driving Daily Kos Crazy