Cheers and Jeers for Friday, January 11, 2019
Note: Next week is going to be one of those weird posting weeks shrouded in chaos and uncertainty (the financial markets may tank!) here in the kiddie pool. Shortly after posting early Monday morning, we’ll be hauled up the hill in a surplus W.W. II halftrack to get our 8th chemotherapy infusion (of 12) at Mercy Hospital. So no C&J on Tuesday, but we’ll do our best to show up Wednesday and definitely be here Thursday and Friday. Or, y’know, I may just pound on the table and leave the room after passing out candy, who knows? We’ll see what happens. —Mgt.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til Star Wars Episode IX: 342
Days ’til the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival in California: 7
Months ’til the first of twelve 2020 Democratic candidate debates: 5
Amount that federal workers who aren’t getting paid because of the government shutdown collectively owe this month in rent and mortgage payments, according to Zillow: $438 million
Percent of Democrats surveyed by Public Policy Polling who say they want their 2020 presidential candidate to be in their 50s or younger: 57%
Percent of Republicans who say they want their candidate to be as old as possible while still maintaining the brain function of a two-year-old in mid-tantrum, according to my top-secret internals: 90%
Years ago that tomatoes genetically separated from peppers, according to FiveThirtyEight: 11 million
Puppy Pic of the Day: And the 2019 Puppy Bowl starters are…
CHEERS to C&J Theater. A play in one act:
[Stage CENTER: Michael Cohen and Donald Trump
sharing a park bench, feeding a squirrel]
Michael Cohen: I’m testifying before Congress.
Donald Trump: I don’t care.
Cohen: I’m spilling all the beans on you…
Trump (Interrupting): It’s all behind closed doors, nobody will know!
Cohen: …in public. All the networks are carrying it.
Trump: Soooo boring. It’s just your word against mine.
Cohen, pulling out smartphone: I’ll be sharing this video.
Trump: Oh, fuck. I thought Vladimir had the only copy.
Cohen: Thinking never was your strong suit, was it?
Trump: You annoy me, you know that? You really fucking annoy me.
Cohen, after long pause: So?
I hope the squirrel gets a Tony nod. You rarely see such an emotional deep dive like that from a rodent.
JEERS to the government shutdown. It’s day 20, and as of this hour the garbage continues to accumulate. But enough about Republican senators gathering in Mitch McConnell’s office for drinks, the trash in the national parks is still bad, too.
P.S. Memo to Grover Norquist: this is what happens when you “shrink the government until it’s so small you can drown it in the bathtub”:
You must be so proud, Grov’.
CHEERS to the not-so-artful dodger. Happy 262nd birthday to Lin Manuel Miranda’s identical twin Alexander Hamilton. He was one of our country’s youngest Founding Fathers, but he wasn’t very good at avoiding controversy (adultery, skullduggery in the 1800 election) or ye olde musket ball. But before he met his premature end, he left behind some pearls like this:
And here’s something for the pootie diaries:
People today still name their tomcats after Alexander Hamilton in deference to his infamous many extramarital affairs. Martha Washington was the first as she named her large carousing tomcat ‘Hamilton.’
Pay your respects here. Or just pull out a ten-spot and pat his head.
CHEERS to The Portland Press Herald. Lost in all the hubbub over the Great Border Hoax of Aught Nineteen is the fact that the House, led by a new Democratic majority, passed historic legislation virtually moments after the 116th Congress was sworn in. On Wednesday Maine’s largest paper took a moment to shine a light on H.R. 1 and what its voting rights and election transparency regulations would mean. I say these five sentences are worth framing:
The first bill brought forward by Democrats [is] a question—as in, what kind of government do you want?
The days of the House functioning normally and passing useful legislation are back.
Do you want a government that is fair, one in which the influence of Americans of modest means can at least hope to contend with the influence of the rich and powerful?
Do you want a government that is open and transparent, one where conflicts of interest are banished or at least disclosed, one where the needs of constituents have a chance against the transactional relationships between elected officials and the money behind them?
Do you want a government that reflects the electorate that it serves, one where the right to vote is universal—and not a function of where you live, how you vote, how much you make or how you look?
With H.R. 1, House Democrats answer “yes” to those questions.
Just in case you’re interested, I asked what the Republican answer was. They sent me a crude drawing of the Kremlin on a booze-soaked cocktail napkin.
No line at the pharmacy? Yeah…in my dreams.
CHEERS to America‘s dispensers-in-white. Tomorrow is National Pharmacist Day, when we acknowledge a profession whose members quietly go about their task of filling prescriptions correctly, promptly and safely before ringing them up along without peanut M&Ms, People magazine, Swiffer pad replacements and dental floss. (True fact: the first pharmacy in America was opened by Louis Joseph Dufilo, Jr. in 1823.) They’ll celebrate the usual way, by inviting customers to pick a goodie from the giant bowl full of pills they found on the floor over the course of the year. (Note: if you pick the one shaped like a dodecahedron, allow yourself three days to come back down to earth.)
CHEERS to discus lite. Wham-O began producing the “Frisbee” 62 years ago this Sunday. Ever wonder where the name comes from?
The Frisbie Baking Company (1871-1958) of Bridgeport, Connecticut, made pies that were sold to many New England colleges. Hungry college students soon discovered that the empty pie tins could be tossed and caught, providing endless hours of game and sport.A Frisbee from the ‘76 Democratic convention. Adorbs.
Many colleges have claimed to be the home of ‘he who was first to fling.’ Yale College has even argued that in 1820, a Yale undergraduate named Elihu Frisbie grabbed a passing collection tray from the chapel and flung it out into the campus, thereby becoming the true inventor of the Frisbie and winning glory for Yale. That tale is unlikely to be true since the words ‘Frisbie’s Pies’ was embossed in all the original pie tins and from the word ‘Frisbie’ was coined the common name for the toy.
Frisbees remind me of the Republican party: Lightweight, logic as contorted as a no-look reverse-flick backhanded corkscrew air bounce, and the only thing that keeping them aloft is spin.
CHEERS to home vegetation. Typical mid-winter weekend on the TV. We’ll start with Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow deftly parsing whatever Friday news dump(s) happened today. (Bill Maher is still off, so no Real Time tonight. Or, for that matter, SNL tomorrow.)
“Oh my! The Spice Channel sure is getting weird, Gary.”
New home video releases include season 1 of Stephen King’s Castle Rock and the 20-year(!!!) anniversary edition of Office Space. America’s Got Talent’s special “Champions” edition continues tomorrow night on NBC. The NBA schedule is here, the NFL playoff schedule is here, and the NHL schedule is here. On 60 Minutes: job losses due to Artificial Intelligence, and an architect who lost his sight and then became…a better architect! And the Griffins move to Washington, D.C. on Fox’s Family Guy. After all that we suggest you end your weekend with a good book.
Now here’s your Sunday morning lineup:
Meet the Press: Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ted Cruz (R-Tonsilcheese Town) and dearly-departed Clair McCaskill (D-MO).
This Week: Senate Minority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and House Minority Whip Rep. Steve “David Duke Without the Baggage” Scalise (R-LA); former Maryland Rep. John Delaney discusses his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign; former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkam
“I want YOU to watch smart TV. Which is to say, me.”
Face the Nation: Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson; Secretary of State Mike Pompousass; Julian Castro; House Minority Leader—Ha Ha Ha Ha, you’re in the minority now, you de-fanged cretin—Kevin McCarthy.
CNN’s State of the Union: Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Ron Johnson (R-I Can’t Find My Glasses Oops They’re On My Head!)
Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Lindsey Graham (R-Mad Cow County).
Ten years ago in C&J: January 11, 2009
JEERS to a blue Christmas. The Bush administration’s final parting gift:
The U.S. economy lost 524,000 jobs in December, closing out the worst year for job losses since World War II, the Labor Department said Friday. Nearly 2.6 million jobs were lost in 2008, with 1.9 million destroyed in just the past four months, according to a survey of work places. It’s the biggest job loss in any calendar year since 1945, when 2.75 million jobs were lost as the wartime economy was demobilized.
I believe I speak for the entire nation when I say wewoulda settled for a box of chocolate-covered cashews.
And just one more…
CHEERS to the wisdom of #45. Y’know, I was going to end this exceptionally Pulitzer-nominated week of Cheers and Jeers by pointing out that it was two years ago that then-president-elect Donald Trump demonstrated just how profligate a “truth mis-teller” he was going to be when he decided to lie about, of all things, the availability of inauguration dresses in D.C. But, golly gee, I’d prefer to send you into the weekend on a high note. So we’ll post these words of wisdom—and I say that without a hint of sarcasm—from the mouth of 2004 Donald Trump that The Daily Show discovered this week:
“Never, ever give up. Don’t give up. Don’t allow it to happen.
If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it, go over it, go around it.
But get to the other side of that wall.”
Bonus tip: If, instead, there’s a steel fence in front of you, no prob—that’s why God invented the hacksaw. Here endeth the lesson.
Have a great weekend. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?