The big scam racing through the internets is the "news" that Tom DeLay was indicted on a charge of conspiring to violate Texas political fundraising laws. Not only that, but---get this---the prosecutor has indicted four times as many Democrats as Republicans!!
Yeah, right. Tom DeLay---the most powerful politician in half a dozen solar systems---got indicted by a guy who mainly goes after Democrats. Puh-leez!
I'll believe that when someone spots a white giraffe.
Or the House passes a hate crimes law.
Or President Bush snatches defeat from the jaws of his election victory...
...or even asks Americans to---snort!---conserve energy!
Or they get photographic proof of a squid the size of Pittsburgh.
Or Bill Frist finds himself in the middle of an embarrassing SEC investigation.
Or some guy builds up 40,000 volts of static electricity in his clothing and sets an office on fire.
Or---let's just say it---when pigs fly.
Nice try. But I wasn't born yesterday, y'know.
Cheers and Jeers starts in the reality-based section of the buh-logosphere... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Note: To enhance your status with family and friends, always wrap your gifts in back issues of Cheers and Jeers. Hugs, Heloise.
By the Numbers:
Days `til United Nations Day: 25
Number of diplomats John Bolton will chase down the halls that day: 16 (but schedule is flexible)
Days `til the new bankruptcy law takes effect: 18
Number of pages in the bankruptcy bill: 501
Highest rate of bankruptcy among the 50 states: 26.2 per 100,000 households (Tennessee).
Lowest bankruptcy rate: 6.3 per 100,000 households (Alaska)
Acres of forest in Maine: 17 million
Your Puppy Pic of the Day Y'know, I wonder how Lucky is doing. Veddy veddy splendidly, I hope.
MEGA CHEERS to the fall of Tom Delay. I will never, EVER, get a buzz like the one I got when I read the news of his indictment. I tasted colors. I heard flavors. I saw sounds. I floated. And I don't remember this part, but there's a $500 fine on my dining room table for "...riding a burro naked down Forest Avenue while yelling `Take that, beeotch!'" It's weird because normally I don't say anything during my commute.
JEERS to Delay'd reactions. Normally I don't send people into the raptors' den, but check out Wednesday's news stories at Little Green Footballs and tell me if something is missing. I wonder if they have palm trees in prison?
CHEERS to reality. Between DeLay's indictment, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's insider-trading investigation, etc. etc., it's hitting the GOP like a frying pan in the face:
"Even though DeLay has nothing to do with Frist, and Frist has nothing to do with Abramoff, how does it look? Not good."
---William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard
"When you couple Iraq, Katrina, DeLay in the House, Frist in the Senate...it looks like 10 years is a long time for a party to be in power. And when you add to that gas prices and home-heating prices that are going through the ceiling this winter, it shouldn't give much comfort to the Republicans."
---Joe Gaylord, Republican consultant
"When you pile it on top of everything else---Iraq, Katrina, gas prices---it's pretty grim. We're still waiting for some sign of good news, something our candidates can run on. This isn't it. The Democrats will make the case that Republicans are too busy dealing with their own ethical issues to care about the problems facing the country. And guess what? That charge worked pretty well for us in '92 and '94."
---Unidentified Republican strategist
JEERS to autumn inside the bubble. Cartoonist Mike Luckovich shows why President Bush loves the raking season. Watch for blisters, li'l nipper.
(Cautious) CHEERS to our new Chief Justice. I'll catch flak for this, but I predict that John Roberts---who will certainly be approved by the Senate today---will turn out to be an often-fair and hard-working jurist on our highest court. And Roe v. Wade will not be touched. Of course, my opinion and 5 bucks'll get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
JEERS to half-baked Brownies. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it gets worse (emphasis mine):
An internal FEMA audit released today shows former director Michael Brown was warned weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit that his agency's backlogged computer systems could delay supplies and put personnel at risk during an emergency.
The review of the agency's information-sharing system shows it was overwhelmed during the 2004 hurricane season which saw four hurricanes rip across Florida.
In a response last month, Brown and a deputy rejected the audit, calling it unacceptable, erroneous and negative.
Yeah. They should, like, do it over. And this time dot all the I's with smiley faces.
CHEERS to the great troublemakers. Lech Walesa, electrician, founder of the anti-Communist Solidarity Union, President of Poland, and Nobel Peace Prize winner turns 62 today. In his honor, today we'll lay off the light bulb-changing jokes.
JEERS to something else you can blame the boob tube for. Crooks have a new ally in their quest to get away with crimes: CSI and other forensic TV shows:
There is an increasing trend for criminals to use plastic gloves during break-ins and condoms during rapes to avoid leaving their DNA at the scene. [Detective Sgt. Paul] Dostie describes a murder case in which the assailant tried to wash away his DNA using shampoo. Police in Manchester in the UK say that car thieves there have started to dump cigarette butts from bins in stolen cars before they abandon them. "Suddenly the police have 20 potential people in the car," says [forensic pathologist Guy] Rutty.
Fortunately, forensic experts say such ruses are just a short-term distraction, and the bad guys usually get caught anyway. Just like congressmen who try to change ethics laws.
JEERS to takebacks. General George Casey then: U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq in 2006 will be "fairly substantial." General George Casey now: "I think right now we're in a period of a little greater uncertainty than when I was asked that question back in July and March." Translation: We ain't goin' nowhere. Memo to World War II vets: start patchin' up those holes in your old uniforms.
CHEERS to sneak peaks. The Nevada State Quarter, due out next year, features a lovely trio of horses. Running from Brownie as fast as they can.
JEERS to the nerve! What does it take to aggravate sciatica? In my case, lifting a plastic garbage can lid weighing probably less than 10 ounces. For the time being, feel free to call me Gollum.
One Year Ago in C&J: September 29, 2004...
CHEERS to editorial boards with cojones. Guess what, Preznit Bush? Your own damn hometown newspaper--which endorsed you 4 years ago--thinks you're an IDIOT. Memo to the rest of the print media: Pile on!
JEERS to Foxwatchers. Like we didn't know this already: kids who watch Jon Stewart are 10 times more likely to have a clue than grown-ups who watch Brit Hume. And O'Reilly viewers typically wear special helmets to keep them from hurting themselves.
Which reminds us: JEERS to this piece o' fruitcake. A cross between a failed evangelist and Ed Begley Jr.'s evil twin. Quick, Ma...hide the chi'dren.
And just one more...
"Here it is...your moment of Zen." Ahhh...serenity now.
Floor's open. What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless Testimonial
"I rely on Bill in Portland Maine with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side and sometimes I let him down. But Bill, this mystical warrior, has never let me down."
--Florida Gov. Jeb Bush