» We now know that Joe Biden’s immune system handily fought off an attack by Trump’s covid-19 ambush at that 2020 debate, thus proving that our 46th president is truly God’s Chosen One.
» Every time you ring a bell an angel gets its wings. Every time you hold in a fart an angel explodes.
» Whenever Germany’s new chancellor does something clumsy, all the other world leaders can shake their fists at him like Colonel Klink and shout, “Schoooooooolz!!!”
» When one of the dendrites in a House Freedom Caucus member’s brain goes out the whole string goes out.
» No Biden cabinet officials have had even a whiff of scandal surrounding them.
» I sold my precious pocket watch so I could afford to buy my partner Michael a set of hair brushes. But unbeknownst to me he sold his precious hair so he could afford to buy me a watch fob. He laughed and said at least we’ve got each other in these turbulent and uncertain times. I threw a chair across the room and declared Christmas ruined.
» And I remain cautiously optimistic that Kamala Harris will bring back the time-honored vice-presidential tradition of shooting a lawyer friend in the face while quail hunting.
And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, December 9, 2021
Note: This note is on break. If this is an emergency, please go tug on the shirt tail of the Post-It note in the pundit roundup and explain your problem.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til 2022: 23
Days ’til A Baroque Christmas presents Handel’s Messiah in Broomfield, Colorado: 8
Percent of all Americans 18-years and older who are fully vaccinated: 72%
Weeks since gas prices have been as low as they are now: 7
Lifetime risk for invasive cancer in men and women, respectively: 1-in-2, 1-in-3
Number of the four calling birds that no longer have a land line: 3
Number of women who have represented Vermont in Congress: 0
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
[A]pproximately one fourth of all fertilized eggs are swept out on the menstrual tide before they even get near to implanting themselves in the uterine wall, and we do not hold funerals over Kotex or Tampax.
I suggest to you this means that the beginning of life is not a single specific event, but rather a process that deserves increasing respect as it continues toward birth—precisely the tripartite system set up under Roe v. Wade (and if you hear Roe v. Wade described as “abortion on demand,” you are listening to a liar).
I respect those who oppose abortion, but I do not think they have a right to use the law as an instrument of coercion against people who do not believe (and it is a matter of faith) as they do. … There were an estimated one million abortions a year in this country before Roe. Abortion can be safe and legal, or dirty and illegal. It cannot be stopped.
—From Who Let the Dogs In? (2004, Random House)
Puppy Pic of the Day: Oh fer……
CHEERS to starting off with some good news. If you want to lift your day with a piping-hot mug of optimism, White House chief of staff Ron Klain’s twitter feed is where you go. Here are a few of the nuggets he posted that are refreshing because they’re not couched in the media’s habitual chorus of “yeah, but…” that they employ to cast a sheen of doubt on the good news:
» U.S. workers about to see their biggest pay increase in 13 years.
» J.P. Morgan: “Our view is that 2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the pandemic, and a return to normal economic and market conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
» Gas prices will tumble below $3 a gallon soon, government forecasts.
» Pfizer’s CEO says third shot of its vaccine improves efficacy against Omicron “dramatically.”
» Biden: “Since I took office in January, we’ve had the fastest drop in unemployment in a single year—and the most jobs added in the first 11 months of a year.“
» Also Biden: Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we’ve cut child poverty in America by more than 40%. Many children who spent last Christmas in poverty will not this holiday season.
» Booster blitz, kids mobilizing, and first shots humming! In the last week we’ve gotten 12.5 MILLION SHOTS IN ARMS. The highest weekly total since May (7 months ago).
» US Exports in goods increased at record levels last month. The US economy is booming, with strong growth and Americans back at work.
Those stories and more coming tonight on your evening network newscast. Not.
CHEERS to famous firsts. Just south of Portland, Maine is the town of South Portland, which—surprise!—borders the southern side of Portland Harbor. It’s history includes having the largest dry dock for the production of Liberty Ships during World War II, having a giant oil tank farm that most residents would love to get rid of, and, now, electing a mayor who’s getting national attention:
Somalia was on the verge of civil war when Deqa Dhalac fled the capital city of Mogadishu 31 years ago and began her journey to become the first Somali-American mayor in the United States. On Monday afternoon she was formally seated as the top elected leader of Maine’s fourth largest city. […]
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, praised Dhalac’s election “as a sign of the increasing civic involvement of the American Muslim community,” spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper said. “We hope Mayor Dhalac will help inspire a new generation of American Muslims as they take an increasing role in building a better society.” […]
On a personal level, Dhalac said she will continue to encourage new Americans to vote, especially in local elections, because many immigrants are unaware of the power they have to bring change to their public schools and municipal governments.
She will also continue to give Republicans heart palpitations, because she exists.
CHEERS to the #1 cause of hairy palms and sudden blindness. On this date in 1994 Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders—who, at 88, is still active at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences—got triangulated out of her job by President Bill Clinton. Her offense: having the gall to suggest that teaching kids about masturbation might help prevent the spread of AIDS.
“Education, education, education,” she said. “The only way we are going to get around this disease is with education. We have no vaccine, we have no magic drug. All we’ve got is education.” Clinton should’ve let her stay. He might’ve learned that playing with yourself prevents something else: impeachment.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to locking and loading for democracy. We haven’t said much about the House select committee’s work on getting to the slime-encrusted bottom of the who, what, when, where, and why attached to the January 6th Republican insurrection. There’s really not a whole lot to say yet, because so much is being kept under wraps. I mean, we know that some of Trump’s bootlickers (Hi, Mark Meadows!) are refusing to respect their subpoenas. But apparently they’re just pissing into the wind, because a ton of others are showing up to spill their guts out of self-preservation:
Like an iceberg that hides most of its mass beneath the surface, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol incited by former President Donald Trump has quietly gathered far more information than its public announcements suggest. […]
“While we’ve announced roughly 40 subpoenas, the select committee has heard from 275 witnesses, both individuals complying with subpoenas and those participating with our investigation voluntarily,” a committee aide said on condition of anonymity.
“We’ve taken in more than 30,000 pages of records, received hundreds of tips, and are making rapid progress in this phase of our investigation.”
Meanwhile, co-chair Liz Cheney says brutal televised public hearings will take place next year and reveal “exactly what happened every minute of the day on Jan. 6 here at the Capitol and at the White House and what led to that violent attack.” Spoiler alert: minute #5 will SHOCK you.
CHEERS to great moments in feeling good. 177 years ago this week, in 1844, laughing gas was used by a dentist for the first time. They don’t use it as much these days. They achieved better results by putting TVs on the ceiling tuned to Fox News.
Ten years ago in C&J: December 9, 2011
OOPS to the whole falling out of the sky thing. Bad news: One of our stealth drones crash landed in Iran, and word is they’re going to send the carcass to China for—oh, what’s the phrase—“study and duplication.” Good news: it’s one of the drones that’s nothing but balsa wood, rubber bands and a gerbil with binoculars.
And just one more…
CHEERS to Hollywood titans. He came back from a stroke and survived a helicopter crash in the 90s, and for awhile we thought tough guy Kirk Douglas might damn well be invincible. Today is the late screen legend’s 105th birthday (he passed in 2020 at 103), and C&J pauses this morning to salute his longevity, his liberal leanings, and his amazing roster of classics that have kept us entertained for decades. It’s also worth re-reading the cautionary-tale column he wrote a five years back for HuffPo. As relevant today as it was before the ink was dry:
In my lifetime, American women won the right to vote, and one is finally the candidate of a major political party. An Irish-American Catholic became president. Perhaps, most incredibly, an African-American is our president today. […] Yet, I’ve also lived through the horrors of a Great Depression and two World Wars, the second of which was started by a man who promised that he would restore his country it to its former greatness. […]
Until now, I believed I had finally seen everything under the sun. But [Trump’s] was the kind of fear-mongering I have never before witnessed from a major U.S. presidential candidate in my lifetime. I have lived a long, good life. I will not be here to see the consequences if this evil takes root in our country. But your children and mine will be. And their children. And their children’s children.
All of us still yearn to remain free. It is what we stand for as a country. I have always been deeply proud to be an American. In the time I have left, I pray that will never change. In our democracy, the decision to remain free is ours to make.
Now and forever…he is Spartacus.
Have a nice Thursday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial
Germany’s incoming chancellor pledged Tuesday that his new government will stand up for a strong European Union and nurture the trans-Atlantic alliance, but left open whether it will join in a planned boycott of Cheers and Jeers.