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Friday, January 28, 2022

Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

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Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Note: Let the record show that we support President Biden’s plan to ban people from eating meat. Thank you.  —The American Association of All the Cows, Pigs, Chickens, and Lambs

By the Numbers:

ArborDay2021.jpg
2 days!!!

Days ’til Arbor Day: 2

Percent of Biden voters polled by Economist-YouGov who believe “it’s a big, beautiful world, mostly full of good people, and we must find a way to embrace each other and not allow ourselves to become isolated”: 75%

Percent of Trump voters in the same poll who believe “our lives are threatened by terrorists, criminals and illegal immigrants, and our priority should be to protect ourselves”: 66%

Percent of Americans polled by Pew Research who support automatically registering all eligible citizens to vote: 61%

Percent who support making early, in-person voting available for at least two weeks prior to election day: 78%

Percent of Americans polled by PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist who say they personally know someone who is transgender, versus only 30% five years ago: 51%

Minimum number of companies focusing on psychedelic ‘shrooms that have gone public: 20

Mid-week Rapture Index: 188 (including 5 anti-Christs and 1 vibrator for God).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

Puppy Pic of the Day: Before C&J is posted, and also after C&J is posted…

CHEERS to the State of the Union that’s not a State of the Union so quit calling it a State of the Union.  President Joe Biden addresses a scaled-down (200 people instead of 1,600) joint session of Congress tonight (9ET), where he will—say it with me, you must know the words by now—”deliver the most important speech of his life.” As he transfers his final draft to the teleprompter, he has reason to feel good:

By most measures, Joe Biden has gotten off to a strong start. His overall job approval has been rock-solid at 53% while disapproval has stabilized at around41%. According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans give him high marks for the manufacture and distribution of the Covid vaccine, and 67% approve of hisCOVID-19 aid bill, which Congress enacted in March. Other high-quality surveys have yielded similar results.

Former U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden arrives at a convention center in Toronto on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, to give a keynote speech on leadership. The speech was closed to the media. (Colin Perkel/The Canadian Press via AP)
It’s showtime…

Mr. Biden’s proposed American Jobs Plan—often but misleadingly called his “infrastructure” bill—enjoys solid though not overwhelming public support, which increases when people are told that it will be financed with higher taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals.

Mr. Biden also gets high marks for his personal attributes. Forty-six percent of Americans like the way he conducts himself as president, Pew finds, compared to just 27% who dislike his conduct. (The remaining 27% have mixed views.)Forty-four percent believe that he has changed the tone of political debate for the better, while 29% disagree. Not surprisingly, Mr. Biden scores highest on empathy: 58% in a Quinnipiac poll believe that he cares about average Americans—people like them.

For the first time, two women will sit behind the president—Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris and Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Afterward, probably from a gunboat on the Rio Grande, there will be a ten-minute “Red-Hatted Cultist Lie-A-Thon Response” by South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.  Or as we like to call it here: a “ten-minute potty break.”

JEERS to democracy dying in darkness. No press. No observers. Certainly no Democrats. Nobody allowed in without police say-so. And no idea what they’re doing inside the cordoned-off Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix except magically changing votes for Joe Biden into votes for Donald Trump. Welcome to Arizona, where multiple audits, independent verifications, a hand-recount, and a gazillion losing lawsuits aren’t enough for Republicans in the state Senate to believe that Maricopa County‘s 2020 election results were fair and accurate. They’ve gone and authorized another “audit,” at taxpayer expense, except this one is being used as a testing ground for rigging elections and stealing votes after they’ve been cast. How else to justify this level of shitbagginess:

The Senate hired Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based technology company, to run the audit and pay subcontractors to do the work. The Senate has relinquished its control over the procedures to Cyber Ninjas and its contractors. […]

The color black
Live cam shot of the audit going on inside Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.

Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan has refused to share the names of all who are involved in the audit. Logan posted a litany of unsubstantiated allegations about fraud in the general election to a Twitter account, which is now deleted. “I’m tired of hearing people say there was no fraud. It happened, it’s real, and people better get wise fast,” said one post he shared from another Twitter user around the end of 2020. […]

Cyber Ninjas does not have any known experience performing election audits.

Since anyone who cares about democracy at any level of government appears to be powerless to do anything about it, the job of forcing sunlight on this mess gets foisted once again on the shoulders of our judges. No wonder so many of ’em keep winning the Iron Trapezius Competition every year.

CHEERS to #5.  Happy 263rd birthday to President James Monroe—the last Founding Father to occupy the White House.  He creeped people out by wearing his revolution-era clothing and a powdered wig at a time when doing so was long out of style.  He also told Europe and Russia to keep their paws off the west and then sucked up to the AARP by snagging Florida.  And then there was this bit of insanity (From Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents by Cormac O’Brien):

Secretary of the Treasury William Crawford once came calling on the president with a stack of patronage recommendations, all of which Monroe rejected.

Bellows.jpg
Monroe’s first attempt to chase Crawford from his home with puffs of air from his fireplace bellows failed to dislodge the Treasury Secretary.

Enraged, Crawford threw a temper tantrum and demanded to know whom Monroe intended to appoint; the president replied it was none of Crawford’s damn business.

Crawford snapped and actually advanced on the chief executive with his cane raised, calling Monroe a “damned infernal old scoundrel.”  Monroe then stepped to the fireplace, seized a pair of fire tongs, and chased his secretary of the treasury from the Executive Mansion.

Historians call it “The night Monroe went mad.” Fox News calls it “Saturday night with Jeanine Pirro.

BRIEF SANITY BREAK

END BRIEF SANITY BREAK

CHEERS to minor delays. You’ve heard about this “Real ID” thing? It’s a 16-year-old reaction to the attacks on 9/11 that was passed into law four years after the attacks on 9/11 and is designed to something something something defeat the terrorists by making you jump through extra hoops to make it through security before you can fly the friendly skies.  Unfortunately, it’s confusing and cumbersome for states, so the deadline keeps getting pushed back for one reason or another. The latest delay places the blame on the pandemic:

The deadline was supposed to be Oct. 1. Similar delays in the past have been the result of a lack of full state compliance with the requirements for issuing the more secure driver’s licenses. But this time, it’s due to the pandemic, these officials say, which made it harder for people to get into state motor vehicle departments and get the new IDs. […]The new licenses have a star on the upper right-hand corner.

Thelma and Louise go off the cliff
Flying cars are excluded from the REAL ID law. For now.

The Department of Homeland Security will announce the new deadline shortly, the officials said.

Also extended: the deadline for making air travel easy, convenient, and worth the hassle. Officials say the new deadline for that will be announced never.

JEERS to words that bite back.  Fifty-four years ago today, on April 28, 1967, General William Westmoreland said that the U.S. “would prevail in Vietnam.”  Responded the producer of Laugh-In: “Hey, quit stealin’ our jokes.”

Ten years ago in C&J: April 28, 2011

JEERS to doublespeak for from dummies. The “Ryan Plan”—which the Senate will be voting on soon, a schadenfreude moment that’ll be sweeter than chompin’ on a sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup and sugar-in-the-raw sandwich—calls for phasing out Medicare and switching to a voucher system.  But the word “voucher” has become so toxic in the public arena that Republicans are reaching for their Orwellian Cliffs Notes. Here’s an exchange from a recent town hall meeting in which Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) gets put on the spot and races to his mental thesaurus:

Constituent: The Ryan program proposes to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

Duffy: It’s a premium support. It’s not a voucher.

It’s not a “voucher,” you see, it’s a “premium support.” It’s not a “potato,” it’s “a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family.” And Republicans who crafted and voted for the Ryan plan are not “mammals forming the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family,” they’re just…weasels.

And just one more…

CHEERS to today’s edition of Billy’s Mega Motorcar Mysteries. Over the weekend I came upon a photo of my grandmother I’d never seen before, likely taken in the mid-to-late 1920s, after she played violin at Carnegie Hall at age 20 but before she became a licensed pilot, respected Mark Twain historian/author, and business owner. (As if it’s not obvious, the only DNA I inherited from her was her “pull my finger” strand, for which I’m grateful.) Being the roaring twenties and all, our family eventually forgave her for showing so much skin here, presumably causing a great calamity in the budding community of Grandview Heights, Ohio.

But it’s the two-ton behemoth she’s sitting on that brings me to the mystery in need of solving. Someone suggested on Twitter that it might be a Rolls Royce. Someone else suggest a Pierce-Arrow. Or a Chandler, which so far seems likeliest. Your assignment, should you decide to accept it, is to answer one question: What the hell is this?

CarolineHarnsbergercar.jpg
Only three digits of the year are visible on the Ohio license plate: “192.”

The winner gets a free fill-up and windshield squeegee at the nearest Sunoco station. Runner-up gets a free rubdown of Neatsfoot oil on your leather rumble seat. Good luck.

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

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial

By the time Cheers and Jeers posted, there was a bit of a pep in Daily Kos’s step. But it lasted only for about 15 minutes.

USA Today



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