Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, May 16, 2019
Note: This note took six weeks to complete from conception through three drafts, first edit, corporate input, initial layout, second edit, legal review, third edit, outside consultant review, fourth edit, final corporate approval, hard proof, cancellation due to a “change in corporate direction,” and a total shit-canning of the entire note-writing division. I forget what the note was about. Something about simplifying your life, I think.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til Memorial Day: 11
Percent of Americans who favor same-sex marriage, according to the latest Pew poll, versus 31% who don’t: 61%
Number of robocalls in America per day: 163 million
Factor by which Trump Tower, with an 88% occupancy rate (down from 99% in 2012) is now lagging behind the average Manhattan occupancy rate: 2x
Number of Florida counties whose election systems were hacked in 2016, we were told only two days ago: 2
Number of orders placed for new jets from Boeing in April: 0
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
The blessed Bob La Follette founded The Progressive in 1909.
Eight years later, he was hanged in effigy and widely excoriated as a traitor for opposing U.S. entry into World War I. O, what a lovely war it was, that war to end all wars. “Patriots” used to go around kicking dachshunds in those days on the grounds that they were “German dogs.” You notice they didn’t go around kicking German shepherds. La Follette reported on the repressive tactics of our government, which was arresting people simply for opposing the war or saying anything critical about the flag. The Progressive defended Eugene V. Debs and many others who were put in the hoosegow for having the temerity to disagree with the government.
In 1917, La Follette wrote, “Today, Secret Service men, United States District Attorneys, United States Marshals, United States Court Commissioners, and other federal officials are rankly abusing their authority on every hand. People are being unlawfully arrested, thrown into jail, denied the right to employ counsel, or to communicate with their friends, or even to inform their families of their whereabouts, subjected to unlawful search, threatened, examined, and cross-examined. The most sacred constitutional rights guaranteed to every American citizen are violated in the name of democracy.”
Puppy Pic of the Day: Confounded corgi…
JEERS to the State Of Things. Here’s a quick roundup of where life stands on the third planet from the sun:
Middle East: powder keg as usual
The Lower 48: We’ve lost our f*cking minds
Ukraine: Holding our breath
Iran: “Bone spurs to America!”
Britain: Going to hell…but at least Archduke Archie is kinda cute
Israel: Fuck all o’ ya’s, we’re going rogue
Yemen: Still very deathy
Brazil: Help…we, too, have elected a maniac
Mexico: Still not paying for that fucking wall
Africa: Treading water, thank you. P.S. We’re running out of water.
Russia: Everything’s great here, thanks. See ya on Facebook!
And in other news, the asteroid known as “Apophis” won’t be smashing into earth when it whizzes by in 2029. I’m still trying to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
JEERS to less nookytime. According to the Centers for Disease Control, The United States is making fewer babies:
Hamilton and his colleagues found that the total number of births in 2018, at 3,788,235, was down 2 percent from 2017. The general fertility rate for 2018 was 59.0 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, another record low for the U.S.
For perspective, it’s lower than in the years after the Great Depression. In 1936, for example, the general fertility rate was 75.6.The downside to fewer babies: fewer baby gifs.
More telling, perhaps, is the drop in the “total fertility rate,” which also fell 2 percent compared to 2017 figures, to 1,728 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age.
“Fewer humans? Golly, that’s too bad,” said no plants, animals, air, bodies of water or land masses in America ever.
CHEERS to joining the popular crowd. Here’s a thought to blow your mind: Elections have consequences, and sometimes elections have election consequences. (See what I did there? Wordplay!) And that’s certainly true here in Maine, as our Democratic-majority state senate voted this week to join the multi-state compact that pledges to allocate electoral votes to whoever wins the popular vote nationwide:
The legislation would take effect only when similar laws are enacted by states possessing 270 electoral votes—a majority of the country’s 538 electoral votes. The 15 jurisdictions across the country that have enacted the legislation into law as of Tuesday possess 189 electoral votes.Never again.
There have long been calls from both Republicans and Democrats to abolish the Electoral College. Critics of the institution say the body provides an unfair advantage to Republicans and marginalizes the vast majority of minorities. […] Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016 by nearly 3 million but won the presidency because he had more votes in the Electoral College.
The bill now goes to the Maine state House, which is also led by a Democratic majority, and then it’ll land on Democratic Governor Janet Mills’ desk. Republicans said the compact is bad because it’ll reduce the influence of conservative white people in rural states. When contacted for comment, spokespeople for minorities in those states said they would have no comment until they were finished popping their champagne corks.
JEERS to bad “jokes” badly told. Lest we forget, this was the “future of the Republican party” on this date in 2008. A real class act:
During a speech before the National Rifle Association convention Friday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee…joked that an unexpected offstage noise was Democrat Barack Obama looking to avoid a gunman.
“That was Barack Obama, he just tripped off a chair, he’s getting ready to speak,” said the former Arkansas governor, to audience laughter. “Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor.”
Anyone who denies evolution, there’s living proof that you might be right.
JEERS to fanatics on parade. Here we go again. Tensions are running high after radical armed extremists living in the ideological dark ages threatened the safety of Americans who were just going about their business. Of course, it’s only one faction of that country that’s twisting and distorting their chosen religion to terrorize innocent people and radicalize the region where they live. In response, Americans have been put on high alert, and calls for an evacuation have even been suggested. As it stands, many people appear likely to suffer the consequences of an all-out war, supported by the nation’s fanatical leader who wears a ridiculous-looking head covering, that has alarmed the world and could set progress back by decades. But enough about the abortion bill in Alabama. I hear things are pretty tense with Iran now, too.
Best food stamp ever.
CHEERS to hunger control. On this date in 1939, folks in Rochester, New York became the recipients of the first food stamps issued by the commie socialist American government under the mind control of Kenyan-born infiltrator (and first confirmed Manchurian candidate, says Conservapedia) Franklin D. Roosevelt. According to Bon Appétit magazine, the first food stamps were described as “crisp and tender” and quite delicious when paired with a fruity cabernet.
Ten years ago in C&J: May 16, 2009
CHEERS to the Politician-in-Chief. Let’s see: Barack Obama’s in favor of gay rights, but hasn’t said the word ‘gay’ once in four months. He’s against military tribunals for detainees except when he’s for them. He’s for releasing abuse photos except when he’s against it. And he’s for North Carolina in the NCAA bracket except when he’s in front of an Arizona State University crowd and suddenly defects to the Sun Devils. Wow—he’s frustrating me, he’s pissing me off, he’s worrying me, he’s…he’s…really getting the hang of being a Democratic president!
And just one more…
CHEERS to today’s reminder that we’re all just microscopic specs of dander on the universe’s butt. Pics from space bring on two simultaneous yet diametrically opposed emotions: smug superiority at being able to develop the technology to see things billions of light years away with crystal clarity…and mind-numbing inferiority because our cosmic neighborhood is so awesomely huge and yet the farthest we’ve ever been able to personally venture is our own moon. So,with that in mind, bask in a fresh Polaroid from the supergeeks at NASA and their latest “deep-field image” from the Hubble telescope:
This image, a combination of thousands of snapshots, represents 16 years’ worth of observations. This mosaic presents a wide portrait of the distant universe and contains roughly 200,000 galaxies. They stretch back through 13.3 billion years of time to just 500 million years after the universe’s birth in the big bang.
I call dibs on the 79th planet from the left—the one with the sponge cake crust and creamy filling. Oh my god, the mining opportunities.
Have a nice Thursday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial
“These days I spend a lot of time reading Cheers and Jeers. I don’t splash in the kiddie pool, I just sit and read it, with the greatest pleasure.”