Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Note: Ow!  I just stabbed myself in the cheek with my pipe.  Good thing I added supplemental elitist insurance to my Obamacare plan. Covers torn elbow patches, too!

By the Numbers:

11 days!!!

Days ’til Earth Day: 5

Days ‘til Scrabble Fest in Auburn, Maine: 11

Measles cases in the U.S., 90 more than last week: 555

Amount Ecuador was spending to harbor Julian Assange every year: $1 million

Percent of Americans in a new Gallup poll who believe corporations pay too little in taxes: 69%

Percent who believe middle-class people are paying too little: 7%

Groundbreaking year and completion year for Notre Dame Cathedral: 1163 / 1345

Mid-week Rapture Index: 179 (including 3 occults and 1 former congresswoman with mad cow disease who believes no president will ever be godlier than Donald Trump).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

Puppy Pic of the Day: Triple nappy time…

CHEERS to crying all the way to the bank.  Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) got bullied on twitter by President You-Know-Who for saying something about the attacks of 9/11 that was exactly zero percent as bad as all the shit he’s said about the attacks of 9/11. Right on cue, the domestic-terrorist-in-chief’s brainless rage-aholic base peppered her with hate and threats of violence that were so bad Speaker Pelosi had to call in security. But Omar has her own base of support, and it’s sending its own message: we and our wallets stand with her…

Rep. Ilhan Omar raised $832,000 in the first quarter, according to her FEC report—among the best totals posted by any House Democrat.

Ilhan Omar, newly elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on the Democratic ticket, speaks to a group of supporters in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 6, 2018. - US voters elected two Muslim women, both Democrats, to Congress on November 6, 2018, marking a historic first in a country where anti-Muslim rhetoric has been on the rise, American networks reported. Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee, won a House seat in a heavily-Democratic district in the Midwestern state of Minnesota, where she will succeed Keith Ellison, himself the first Muslim elected to Congress. (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP) (Photo credit should read KEREM YUCEL/AFP/Getty Images) Rep. Ilhan Omar spins GOP hatred into $$$.

Roughly half of her donations, $415,000, came from people who gave less than $200 to Omar, and the majority of her funds, $631,000, came from online donors who gave via ActBlue, the Democratic online fundraising platform that has been such a boon to the party’s candidates in recent years that Republicans are scrambling to develop an alternative.

So far, the right seems to be having trouble developing an “ActRed” fundraising site. The main hurdle: figuring out how to create an online platform that accepts payment in empty beer cans.

JEERS to another day of silence. We are now two days past the “middle of April,” and still no Mueller Report to look at. Trump’s Senate-confirmed human shield from laws, AG William Barr, says we won’t see it until tomorrow morning. Until then, as we wait to fill the space reserved for the juiciest, most damning tidbits that will send trump fleeing from office, please enjoy this nun on a gas-powered bicycle:

Tomorrow we feast on Mueller’s 400-page guilty-of-obstruction sandwich. Hold the pickle, add a bucket of schadenfreude on the side.

CHEERS to horse power.  The original pony car, the Ford Mustang, turns 55 today:

Making its debut at the New York World’s Fair, the first Ford Mustang proved to be one of the industry’s biggest hits ever, quickly requiring the automaker to fire up three assembly plants—two more than planned—to meet soaring demand. Interest was so intense, then-Ford President Lee Iacocca and Mustang landed on the covers of both Time and Newsweek, a unique coup.

Ford Mustang on top of the Empire State Building October 1965. As a stunt, Ford chopped up a Mustang and reassembled it at the top of the Empire State Bldg.

Yet, the Mustang almost didn’t happen. The car was rushed to market only after another major Ford product program collapsed. … Ford’s designers and engineers worked feverishly to pull the project together in barely two years, about half the time it normally took to develop a new car from the ground up. But the first production models were already in dealer showrooms in time for the World’s Fair debut April 17, 1964.

Happy anniversary, Mustang fans.  But don’t get cocky and challenge my Metro bus to a game of chicken.  The driver dangles the losers’ hood ornaments from his mirror.

CHEERS to grifter vs. grifter. Oh, this’ll be fun to watch. The PR firm for the gun industry (aka the NRA) which is reportedly hemorrhaging money, is taking aim (ha ha) at the outfit to which it outsources its domestic terrorism-promoting “NRA TV” segments. The boring part of the suit involves a sudden halt to billing transparency on the part of ad agency Ackerman McQueen. But this is the good stuff…

The lawsuit also zeroes in on NRA President Oliver North, who has a contract with Ackerman McQueen to host the NRA TV show Oliver North’s American Heroes.

DALLAS, TX - MAY 04: Lt. Colonel Oliver North speaks at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center on May 4, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. The National Rifle Association's annual meeting and exhibit runs through Sunday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Ollie North’s tenure at the NRA in one word: dud.

The NRA says it is required to disclose and approve its top officials’ pay, but that neither North nor Ackerman McQueen will share all the details of their contract.

The article highlights a split between the “pro-Ackerman McQueen faction” of the NRA’s board, who think the law firm leading the lawsuit is charging too much, and those who think it is “money … well spent, because it’s for the survival of the NRA,” which reportedly includes Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.  

Uh oh. This could get messy at the next board meeting. One side thinks they’re the good guys with guns facing the bad guys with guns, and the other side thinks they’re the good guys with guns facing the bad guys with guns. So we’ll just say in advance: thoughts and prayers.

CHEERS to cool science.  The day when we can swap out body parts the same way we swap out auto parts got a bit closer recently, when researchers at Tel Aviv University figured out how to 3D-print a heart that, unlike previous models, comes “complete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers—a marked improvement over previous attempts that only printed simple tissues without vessels.” Fascinating stuff:

The process of creating the heart started with a biopsy of fatty tissue taken from patients.

Heart made with actual organic matter with a 3D printer at Tel Aviv University Ba-bump Ba-bump: Tel Aviv University’s 3D printed ticker.

The cellular material from the tissues was used as the”ink” for the print job. That allowed researchers to create complex tissue models including cardiac patches and eventually an entire heart. It should be noted that the heart isn’t very big—it’s only about the size of a rabbit’s heart.

Or as Hannibal Lecter calls it: “a sumptuous appetizer.”

CHEERS to money in the bank.  Did you see the sky open and hear the angels sing yesterday morning?  Me neither, but “Tax Freedom Day”—the day on which Americans have earned enough to payoff their tax obligations for the year—arrived anyway.  The next financial milestone arrives when Americans earn enough to pay off their credit card debts. “Plastic Freedom Day” will arrive on… [flip flip flip flip] …December 31.  11:59pm, to be precise.

Ten years ago in C&J: April 17, 2009

CHEERS to sensible warnings.  The Department of Homeland Security is “right” on the money (ha ha—can’t stop me from whippin’ out them ideological spectrum puns) for alerting law-abiding Americans to the distinct possibility that right-wing groups or individuals might be cooking up some serious crazy.  But Republicans, once again, have gone into knee-jerk hissy-fit mode by claiming that the new DHS report was directed at the tea party participants.  Umm…not quite.  More like neo-Nazi, KKK and paranoid militia groups, and those pesky individuals who sit in their apartments and seethe over phantom threats spread by the conservative media and their overactive imaginations.  So if you’re out and about, be alert for these goons.  The most common clues: goose stepping, carrying a cross in one arm and a can ‘o gas in the other, and a total inability to parallel park.  (Don’t ask—even the FBI is stumped by that one.)

And just one more…

DuncanBlack.jpg Atrios, aka Duncan Black, at Netroots Nation

CHEERS to the Baby Blue Cherub. Everybody stop by and say “Heh indeedy” to Atrios (aka millstone-around-Philadelphia’s-neck Duncan Black) today on the 17th blogiversary of his Eschaton blog.  Few dirty fucking hippies can reduce the traditional media and punditry’s wankery to one or two lines of cool-as-a-cucumber snark like this communist peacenik can. He was especially ahead of the curve on the ‘08 economic meltdown and the Iraq debacle, and he led the charge to expand Social Security, a movement with some real traction these days. His latest crusade: predicting the inevitable doom of driverless cars. Besides that, his is a classic, old-fashioned blog that looks the same as it did during the Dark Times of 2002 (although he happily embraced the twitter revolution early on).  By the way, this was the moment on April 17, 2002 when he flicked the switch for the first time: 

Is this thing on?

by Atrios at 22:13


Yes, it still is.  And if it ever shuts down, civilization is doomed.

Oh, and Philadelphia resident Ben Franklin died on this date in 1790.  I guess that explains why he never returns my calls. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial

Why focus on describing Cheers and Jeers when Bill in Portland Maine does it so well for us each and every day?”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

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