“It feels good to only have to worry about a deadly pandemic now.“
“Trump’s Operation Warp Speed was frustratingly slow with vaccine distribution. It also turns out the Trump administration lied about how many vaccines they had. With unpredictable shipments and information from the federal government, states have been unable to accurately plan their own distribution, leading to thousands of vaccines winding up in the garbage. But on the plus side, our nation’s raccoons are now totally resistant to Covid.”
“After Covid, people with soul patches should still have to wear a mask.”
“My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell recently told reporters that he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run for governor of Minnesota. That’s all right. Unlike your pillow, you can sleep on it.”
“Sarah Huckabee Sanders is running for governor of Arkansas, so she’ll probably say she’s not running for governor and there’s no state called Arkansas.”
And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Friday, January 29, 2021
Note: You’ll have to forgive me if I get emotional in C&J tonight. [Long pause] [Lip quivers] [A single tear falls] National Puzzle Day always makes me fall to pieces.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til the federal health insurance exchange at Healthcare.gov reopens for 3 months for people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic: 17
Percent of the U.S. population that has received a first Covid-19 vaccine dose: 6%
Percent of Israel‘s population that is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, up from 10% a week ago: 15%
Number of new health care workers Biden wants to hire as part of his Covid response plan: 100,000
Fine for entering the House without going through a metal detector: $5,000
Date on which a dozen bottles of Bordeaux landed back on earth after spending time at the Space Station as part of an experiment on how weightlessness affects wine: 1/13/21
Increase in online searches for banana bread in 2020: 525%
Puppy Pic of the Day: Weekend plans…
CHEERS to the earth’s new best friend. Funniest thing I saw this week was The New York Times editorial board telling President Biden—in print, mind you, for the whole world to see—to ”ease up on the executive actions, Joe.” They’d prefer he sit on his hands until the legislative branch gets its act together and passes his agenda. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!! That was hilarious. This is a mere sampler of the climate-change executive actions Joe announced Wednesday, and which the Times would like us to wait on until the Senate becomes functional again for the first time in a dozen years:
“We’re going to take money and invest it in clean energy jobs in America—millions of jobs in wind, solar, and carbon capture. […]
[C]limate change will be at the center of our national security and foreign policy. […]
[E]nvironmental justice will be at the center of all we do addressing the disproportionate health and environmental and economic impacts on communities of color—so-called “fenceline communities—especially those communities—brown, black, Native American, poor whites. The hard-hit areas like Cancer Alley in Louisiana, or the Route 9 corridor in the state of Delaware. … Lifting up these communities makes us all stronger as a nation and increases the health of everybody. […]
Today, I’m signing a presidential memorandum making it clear that we will protect our world-class scientists from political interference and ensure they can think, research, and speak freely and directly to me, the Vice President, and the American people.”
Read the president’s entire statement here—it’ll be the best three minutes of your day. Says climate activist Bill McKibben, who helped bang one of the loudest climate drums during the previous administration’s let-it-all-burn policy: “The depth [of Biden’s actions] so far is what’s so powerful. We’re suddenly a very long ways from ‘Do you believe in climate change?'” And he never even broke a sweat.
CHEERS to, like, freeing your mind, man. Today is Freethinkers Day, which celebrates those who believe that truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, or religion. Noted freethinkers include Thomas Paine, Albert Einstein, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and anyone who has ever shouted, “The Fox News, it burns!
CHEERS to “32.” Make sure you take a moment tomorrow to say Happy Birthday (or, to use his dialect, “Happy buhthday”) to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who turns 139. He was far from perfect, as all presidents have been: turning away Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, the internment camps, the womanizing. But he was a force of nature who didn’t let polio stop him as he charged headlong into fighting the depression and wars on multiple fronts in Europe and Asia, while passing reforms that made life better for ordinary Americans. Says William Ridings and Stuart McIver in their book Rating the Presidents (where FDR sits at #2, just below Lincoln):
Roosevelt is praised most often for his role in preserving the American capitalist system at a time when many countries were opting for fascism.
Given the dire crises he was forced to confront, perhaps the highest praise from the poll is “the right man in the right place at the right time.” […]
Others praise him for stopping Hitler—and shudder to think what might have been if a less-effective president had been at the helm in those dangerous days.
The lunatics on the right try mightily to rewrite history by insisting that the New Deal was a failure. Never mind that laws enacted in the 1930s—chipped away at though they were—helped prevent our 2008 and 2020 Great Recessions from turning into all-out depressions. Pay your respects here. And never let anyone forget the difference between the parties, as defined by Roosevelt himself: Democrats say we have nothing to fear but fear itself, Republicans say we have nothing to fear but everything but fear itself.
P.S. It’s also Dick Cheney’s birthday tomorrow. He turns 666. Again.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to C&J Theater. My latest one-act play—I call it “Oklahoma!”—is now ready for production, and you get the first sneak peek:
[Curtain up—John Lithgow as Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter enters from STAGE RIGHT, pulling an ox cart full of white plastic bottles with green and purple labels. He stops CENTER STAGE, picks up a bottle in each hand, and cries out…]
Hydroxychloroquine! Who wants to buy my state’s Hydroxychloroquine? Only 1.2 million pills left for the bargain price of only two-million dollars! Kansas, Wouldst thou wish to purchase some of my fine Hydroxychloroquine?
Kansan Voice from Offstage
You bought that stuff? What a moron.
Nebraskan Voice from Offstage
No, you freaking idiot.
Will’st no one take my Hydroxychloroquine product that hast punctured a hole in my state budget? No one at all?
50 Voices in Unison from Offstage
No, you big dope.
[Dumping PILLS into BOWL and pouring MILK on them]
Then I guess I’ll just have to eat them myself. Hmmph.
Memo to the Broadway League: please remember my lighting team at Tony time.
JEERS to lying liars. On January 29, 2001, President George W. Bush promised to “act boldly and swiftly” to deal with our challenges concerning energy. His brilliant idea: put Cheney in charge of a secret task force that would make sure nothing happened boldly or swiftly. As a result, the big oil companies were forced to deal with the challenge of where to sock away all their record profits. (I guess that explains why the Exxon-Mobil CEO’s mattress ended up twelve stories high.)
CHEERS to home vegetation. Now that our nation is in the capable hands of Democrats again, we can kick back and spend some couch time with the teevee this weekend, starting tonight with Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow. Or you can catch a new Whose Line and Penn & Teller: Fool Us starting at 8 on the CW. Bill Maher’s guests tonight on Real Time are evolutionary biologists Brett Weinstein and Heather Heying, Van Jones, and James Pogue from Harper’s magazine. And if you’re a fan of Esquire’s Charlie Pierce, he’s on with Jimmy Kimmel at 11:30 (ABC).
The most popular movies and series from all 34,761 streaming services are reviewed here at Rotten Tomatoes. The NHL schedule is here and the NBA schedule is here. (Football season is over for all but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs, who are headed to the Superb Owl on Feb. 7.) SNL is finally back from Christmas vacation, with John Krasinski hosting. On 60 Minutes: people reflect on losing family members to Covid-19; and an expose on a Chinese mega-biotech company that’s—[checks notes]—collecting our DNA??? What does one say to oneself when one meets one’s clone—”Hi, me”?
Now here’s your Sunday morning lineup:
Meet the Press: CIDRAP Director Michael Osterholm; White House Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese; Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
Face the Nation: Senior adviser to President Biden Cedric Richmond; Gov. Ned Lamont (D-CT); Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R); Chicago public schools head Janice Jackson; former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
This Week: Bernie!!! Plus Gov. Asa Hutchinson (Trump Cult-AR).
CNN’s State of the Union: Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ); Sen. Rob Portman (Trump Cult-OH); White House Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese.
Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Jared Bernstein of President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers; Sen. Bill Cassidy (Trump Cult-LA); Dr. Tom Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Ten years ago in C&J: January 29, 2011
CHEERS to those meddling kids. Riots have broken out in Cairo, Suez and other cities in the country ruled by Hosni Mubarek for 30 years. They’re protesting repression, stagnant wages and poor living conditions, and thousands upon thousands are making their angry voices heard. That’s right…they’re finally learning how to balk like an Egyptian.
And just one more…
MEGA-WORSHIPFUL CHEERS to the Great and Powerful “O”. Pardon me, I have a song to sing:
Happy birthday to you…
Ow Ow Ow Ow!!!
Happy birthday to you…
Ow Ow Ow!!!
Ow Ow ow!!!
…er, 39th birthday, dear Oprah,
Again, I say, and I can’t stress this enough: Ow!!!
Happy birthday to you.
There, I sang it. Now please, ma’am…remove your heel from my neck.
Have a great weekend. Oh, and happy 57th anniversary, Dr. Strangelove. Tonight in the C&J cafeteria: 50% off all precious bodily fluid cocktails. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?