Cheers and Jeers for Monday, February 22, 2021
Note: Why? Because I said so. And I’d say that pretty much settles whatever it is we’re talking about. Now go to your room. —Mgt.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til the next full “snow moon”: 5
Public support for the White House’s American Rescue Plan, according to a new Navigator survey: 73%
Percent of the population that’s Black: 13%
Percent of vaccinated Americans who are Black: 6%
Percent of Democrats polled by Gallup who are satisfied with America’s gun laws: 22%
Prison sentence (in addition to $17 million in restitution) handed down Friday to Imaad Zuberi, who donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee and got busted for tax evasion and falsifying records to hide his status as a foreign agent while lobbying high-level U.S. officials: 12 years
Percent of cars on the road, according to AAA, that have at least one improperly-inflated tire: 85%
Puppy Pic of the Day: Monday morning wake-up call…
CHEERS to getting off to a running start. Holy cow, it’s been a month already? Yup, as of Saturday, the Biden-Harris administration has executive-branched from January 20th to February 20th. And what do they have to show for it? I’ll let them tell you (via email):
The United States rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement and is once again taking the threat of climate change seriously. The Biden-Harris administration also reversed xenophobic travel bans, repealed the ban on transgender service members in the military, and strengthened protections for DACA recipients.
Not to forget, we’re finally working with our international partners to combat this global pandemic by re-engaging with the World Health Organization.
For the first time, our country has a comprehensive plan to respond to the health and economic crises posed byCOVID-19. And, as a part of that plan, the Biden-Harris administration opened HealthCare.gov for a special health insurance enrollment period running through May 15.
Also: responding quickly to help storm-hit states (yes, even the red ones), preparing to re-enter the multi-nation Iran nuclear agreement, telling Russia where they can stick their cyber warfare, announcing a major immigration plan, assembling a competent cabinet and staff…plus a First Lady who cares, two dogs who romp, tweets that celebrate America instead of stroke his ego, no Hatch Act violations, and public approval near 60 percent. Sorry to say this, but I don’t think he’s gonna work out. Too much of a showoff.
JEERS to more butt-fugly numbers. There may be light at the end of the Covid tunnel, but—pardon the mixed metaphors—we’re far from out of the woods. Worldwide: over 112 million cases. And here are this week’s domestic numbers for the C&J historical record, courtesy of the most depressing tote board in the world, as our death toll crosses half a million and now exceeds the population of America’s 37th-largest city Atlanta, Georgia:
6 months ago: 5.8 million confirmed cases. 180,000 deaths.
3 months ago: 12.5 million confirmed cases. 263,000 deaths
1 month ago: 26 million confirmed cases. 427,000 deaths
This morning: 29 million confirmed cases. 508,000 deaths
The good news: the Biden administration, by completely ignoring all the advice in The Art of the Deal, easily secured enough vaccine doses for all of us, and it looks like they’ll be in our arms by mid-summer. And then there’s this bit of news that quietly dropped last week:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will invest nearly $200 million to identify, track, and mitigate emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2 through genome sequencing. This down payment will increase CDC’s sequencing more than threefold from about 7,000 samples per week to approximately 25,000. Increasing samples will improve our ability to detect emerging variants and understand their spread with greater precision.
Thinking ahead. What a concept. It’s just crazy enough to work.
CHEERS to Massachusetts liberals. Ted Kennedy was born 88 years ago today and it goes without saying that we on the left still miss him with vigah. Here’s some classic Ted from 2007: lambasting Republicans for turning down the first increase in the minimum wage in ten years…which has now extended to a disgraceful, inexcusable 24. I love the routine: like a seasoned baseball player he steps up, knocks the dirt off his shoes, goes through his warm-up moves, and then…Thwack! Off he goes. I will never tire of hearing Ted in righteous-bellow mode…
Pay your respects here. Today in the C&J cafe: Boston cream pies and keep ‘em comin’.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
JEERS to the traitors in our midst. 46 days later, the FBI is still rounding up the bad cops, politicians, ex-military Rambo wanna-bes, and other assorted Trump cult goobers who took part in the January 6th Republican insurrection at the Capitol. And last week they followed a trail of pork rinds to a hive of civil war school flunkies who will now be spending the better part of the next decade behind bars:
Six more people linked to the far-right Oath Keepers militia group have been indicted on charges that they planned and coordinated with one another in the attack on the U.S. Capitol, authorities said Friday. The case against those affiliated with the Oath Keepers is the largest conspiracy case brought by the U.S. Justice Department so far in the Jan. 6 insurrection. […]
Authorities say the defendants prepared for weeks ahead of the attack, attended training sessions and recruited others. They donned tactical vests and helmets, moved in an organized fashion as they advanced on the Capitol and communicated with one another during the siege, prosecutors say. … Federal charges have been filed in more than 200 cases involving the attack by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump, including many with ties to far right groups like the Oath Keepers.
They also nabbed another mother-son duo who thought overthrowing the government would be a fabulous bonding experience, and they also caught the UCLA dipshit who sat in the Senate President’s chair wearing his little MAGA hat and dreaming of what Trump would give him: a cabinet post or an ambassadorship. Congratulations, Sparky, you’re about to become the new Viceroy of Toilet Scrubbing in Cellblock D. Enjoy your sash—it’s made of the finest dirty underwear.
CHEERS to the Miracle on Ice. We’ll file this item under “Up Yours, Putin.” Forty-one years ago today, on February 22, 1980, the U.S. Olympic hockey team out-skated and outwitted the “unbeatable” Soviet team at Lake Placid, stunning everyone by beating them 4-3. I walked around afterward in a t-shirt with a Russian bear getting knocked in the head by a puck and the caption: “Puck You, Russia!” (I’m still surprised my schoolmarms didn’t have a problem with the thinly-veiled F-bomb.) Thankfully, with maturity and the passage of time, I’ve traded in that ratty old shirt for a sensible Brooks Brothers button-down. It says “Hey, Remember When We Kicked Your Ass in 1980, Russia? That Was Puckin’ Awesome!” Because, y’know, we all have to grow up sometime.
Ten years ago in C&J: February 22, 2011
CHEERS to electing a new Windy City windbag. The big mayoral election is today in Chicago. It’s the first time in more than six decades that a sitting Chicago mayor is not on the ballot, and if Rahm! wins, he’ll go straight to the blacksmith to be fitted for a new iron glove. Or, if he’s too busy, he can just use the iron glove he wore in the White House. Or the iron glove he wore in Congress. Always good to have a spare.
And just one more…
CHEERS to #1. I just got done reading “1776” by David McCullough and, man, Washington’s adventures that year—starting in Boston routing the redcoats and ending in Pennsylvania strategically retreating from them—was a pinball game of victories and routs punctuated by both strategic cunning and sheer luck. And mud. Lots and lots of mud. Anyway, thanks to him, we booted the British and formed our own republic which, despite an insurrection in 1861 and another one this year, endures—shakily—to this day. So don’t forget to say “Happieth Birthdayeth” to ol’ George today—289 years old and still alive! (Disclaimer: actual aliveness limited to the hearts of his countrymen. See warranty for details.)
From the day he took office, Washington knew that corruption and special interests would be a fact of life in the halls of power. (Today Republicans would obstruct him at every turn because “We’re still troubled by all the unanswered questions about that cherry tree” and then hold 18 months of committee hearings.) President Biden, meanwhile, has followed in the footsteps of the Father of our Country:
As president, he was particularly sensitive to the diverse interests of the new country and fervent in his efforts to prevent its fragmentation. […]
He promoted roads, canals, the post office—anything and everything that would bind the different states and regions together. …
Never taking the unity of the country for granted, he remained preoccupied throughout his presidency with creating the sinews of nationhood. … Washington, more than anyone, promoted the sense of Union that Lincoln and others would later uphold.
—From To the Best of My Ability, edited by James McPherson
Roads. Canals. Postal service. Or as the GOPers call them: handouts for the takers. But thank god the lamestream media was on the case to call Washington out on his caliphatic socialist takeover agenda designed to destroy the soul of America:
[H]is critics believed he wanted to become another “King George.” … The Philadelphia Aurora, one of the major opposition papers, in 1796 editorialized: “If ever a nation was debauched by a man, the American nation has been debauched by Washington. If ever a nation was deceived by a man, the American nation has been deceived by Washington.”
—From Rating the Presidents by William Ridings, Jr. and Stuart McIver
Washington wasn’t perfect. He lied at times. He schemed at times. He threw tantrums. There was that whole owning other human beings thing. But considering he didn’t have much of a POTUS playbook to work with, and no predecessor whose brain he could pick over an evening of bowling and beer, he did okay. Now shine up yer buckles and pay your respects to”#1″ here. And then go take advantage of his awesome mattress sales.
Have a tolerable Monday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial
Directions for filling the Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool were detailed in a process no fewer than seven steps long—and illustrated with four photo exhibits. The pool had to be opened in front of the germaphobe Bill in Portland Maine, “never beforehand.”