Tuesday The Small Business Optimism Index is released for June. It’s up again, on account of Democrats are in charge.
The conservative Supreme Court justices celebrate the end of their session the usual way, by getting together at John Roberts’ summer place to play a few rounds of Stare Decisis Jenga. The first one to cause everything to collapse into a pile of rubble wins.
Wednesday Democrats in Congress work to get more Americans vaccinated, beef up protections against Russian cyber warfare, fight right-wing domestic terrorism, eliminate gerrymandering, raise the minimum wage, fund critical infrastructure projects, and make it easier to vote. Republicans try to get fewer Americans vaccinated, block protections against Russian cyber warfare, encourage right-wing domestic terrorism, increase gerrymandering, lower the minimum wage, delay critical infrastructure projects, and make it harder to vote. And coming up this Sunday on Meet the Press: why aren’t Democrats doing enough to help real Americans?
Thursday Fed Chair Jerome Powell delivers his “Semiannual Monetary Policy Report” to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Wall Street reacts favorably when he begins by lighting his stogie with a c-note instead of the usual twenty.
Marjorie Taylor-Greene adds “food stamps,” “Sesame Street,” “Toyota,” and “baby kittens” to her list of things that are “just like the Holocaust.” Removed from her list: “the Holocaust.”
Friday The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is released. America‘s mood registers an uptick from “itchy” to “cupcakes.” (It’s a weird index.)
After the new Fox Weather Channel issues its first weekend forecast—”cloudy with disease-carrying immigrant caravans and a chance of hurricanes caused by the gays, feminists and pagans, with a blanket of socialism as thick as pea soup, and highs in the marijuana-infested blue-state cities”—management gently questions Rupert Murdoch’s decision to make Tucker Carlson their chief meteorologist.
Have a good one. And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Monday, July 12, 2021
Note: Sure. I’ll catch the shark for ya. The head. The tail. The whole damn thing. But it’ll cost ya the deed to the Brach’s candy corn factory. You fine people think it’s over. But I wouldn’t wait around too long. That thing’s still out there. And it’s still mighty hungry. —Quint in Portland Maine
By the Numbers:
Days ’til National Mango Day: 10
Number of federal standards for protecting farmworkers from extreme heat: 0
Amount by which California Gov. Newsom is asking businesses and individuals to cut their water usage: 15%
Minimum amount by which Americans are effectively charged each year through higher prices and lower wages due to the economy’s lack of fair competition, according to NYU economist Thomas Philippon: $5,000
Number of spectators who will be allowed to watch the Tokyo Olympics in person: 0
Rank of San Francisco, Oakland, and Portland (OR) among America‘s best dog park cities, according to a survey of 97 municipalities by LawnStarter: #1, #2, #3
Length toenails usually grow per month: 1 millimeter
Puppy Pic of the Day: The adventure begins…
CHEERS to a helluva way to wake up. Screw politics for a second. Just take in the morning view, courtesy of French astronaut Thomas Pesquet aboard the ISS…
So calming…peaceful….placid….serene….life-affirming. Okay, now back to our regularly-scheduled narrative: the world is on fire, the robots control humanity, the Mount Rushmore presidents are marauding the countryside, and we’re all gonna die.
CHEERS to the Great Hippie Convergence of Aught Twenty One. Another welcome sign of life returning to normal in the Age of COVID: a good time was had by all at the Daily Kos/C&J meetup at Pepperell Cove Restaurant in Kittery, Maine Saturday. In attendance at the waterfront venue under the watchful eyes of Whaleback and Portsmouth Harbor lighthouses to talk politics, life during lockdown, and the iron-fisted rule of our new overlord Joe Biden were Kossacks DtheO, Vacationland, brillig, Ed Tracey, Mayim, nhox42, Tallmom, Debbie in ME, northerntier & Frank, freedapeople, Bill in Portland Maine, and our intrepid host and organizer, Common Sense Mainer. We’re pleased to report everyone is happy, healthy, and vaccinated. Be sure to keep an eye out for scheduled meetups in your area—or organize one of your own. They’re fun, they’re foodylicious, they’re cathartic and, as always, time spent ata meetup is never deducted from your lifespan.
CHEERS to getting to the bottom of all this nonsense. The post-election zaniness continues unabated down Arizona-way. First the 2020 results were certified by qualified officials. Then they were re-certified by qualified officials. Then, three months ago, the Republicans gave the Cyber Ninjas all the ballots and voting machines from Maricopa County so they could look for bamboo fibers in a secluded cabin in Montana (where the nights are still and the sheep are lonely). And now the Democratic Secretary of State is taking a whack at getting to the bottom of…
…possible efforts by former President Trump, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others to pressure Maricopa County election officials during vote-counting in November.
Citing a report in the Arizona Republic, Hobbs said in a letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich that the alleged conduct by Mr. Trump, Giuliani, conservative lawyer Sidney Powell and Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward may have violated a state law that prohibits interfering with election officials.
The Arizona Republic reported last week that Mr. Trump twice tried to reach Clint Hickman, then-chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, in the weeks after the presidential election, but the calls went to his voicemail. Giuliani, too, reportedly called Maricopa County supervisors and left voicemails that were obtained by the news outlet.
At this rate, the 2020 election results will be finally laid to rest by the time Malia Obama’s third grandchild takes the oath of office. (Spoiler alert: she’s going to kick ass.)
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to draining the dictionary. What? There was a National Spelling Bee this year? Strange—my Chippendales strippergram delivery guy told me nothing of this. Oh well. Congratulations to Zaila Avante-garde (the right-wingers are gonna have a field day with that name), who was the last contestant standing at the National Spelling Bee in Orlando. Historic win:
Zaila knew she would be the first African American winner of the bee. She knew Black kids around the country were watching Thursday night’s ESPN2 telecast, waiting to be inspired and hoping to follow in the footsteps of someone who looked like them. She even thought of MacNolia Cox, who in 1936 became the first Black finalist at the bee and wasn’t allowed to stay in the same hotel as the rest of the spellers. […]
The only previous Black champion was also the only international winner: Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica in 1998. The bee, however, has still been a showcase for spellers of color over the past two decades, with kids of South Asian descent dominating the competition. […]
The 14-year-old from Harvey, Louisiana, is a basketball prodigy who owns three Guinness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously and hopes to one day play in the WNBA or even coach in the NBA.
Her winning word was “murraya.” When asked what the word means, the judges responded: “Fifty thousand bucks, kid, if you spell it right.”
CHEERS to a man who knew his way around a one-room cabin in the woods. Happy birthday to Henry David Thoreau, born 204 years ago on July 12, 1817. He told the world to “Simplify! Simplify!” And his writings on civil disobedience influenced many, including Martin Luther King,Jr., who wrote in his autobiography:
I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau.
As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest. The teachings of Thoreau came alive in our civil rights movement; indeed, they are more alive than ever before.
Whether expressed in a sit-in at lunch counters, a freedom ride into Mississippi, a peaceful protest in Albany, Georgia, a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, these are outgrowths of Thoreau’s insistence that evil must be resisted and that no moral man can patiently adjust to injustice.
By the way, if you’re looking to buy the perfect housewarming gift for a Walden lover, we still say you can’t go wrong with a Thoreau rug.
Ten years ago in C&J: July 12, 2011
CHEERS to Americans who make Americans proud. Betty Ford has died at 93. Like Jackie Kennedy, Betty was First Lady for a mere two and a half years, and like Jackie she made an indelible impression during her short time there. Even though First Ladies have no official power, they can wield enormous influence in their own way. Of course, Betty’s best-known crusades were on behalf of those battling breast cancer and substance abuse. But let’s also not forget how she bucked her party’s stuffy, stodgy standards and let ‘er rip:
According to Mrs. Ford, her young adult children probably had smoked marijuana—and if she were their age, she’d try it, too.
She told “60 Minutes” she wouldn’t be surprised to learn that her youngest, 18-year-old Susan, was in a sexual relationship (an embarrassed Susan issued a denial).
She mused that living together before marriage might be wise, thought women should be drafted into the military if men were, and spoke up unapologetically for abortion rights, taking a position contrary to the president’s. “Having babies is a blessing, not a duty,” Mrs. Ford said.
No wonder I liked her so much—she was a hippie.
And just one more…
JEERS to “Second Amendment remedies.” 217 years ago today, Treasury Secretary, Founding Father and Boy Wonder Alexander Hamilton died after dueling in Weehawken, New Jersey, directly across from Manhattan. With Hamilton mania a seemingly perpetual thing, you’re probably expecting me to post some video clip from the 3,000-Tony-Award-winning Broadway smash. Ha ha, fooled ya. I never miss a valid excuse to opt instead for Michael Bay’s smash hit Advertising-Hall-of-Fame commercial with the killer setup one more time:
Have a tolerable Monday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial
“This is the dumbest Cheers and Jeers Bill in Portland Maine has ever done. It’s wonderful.”