From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
For One Day
And history so thick you can cut it with a knife...
And one word---originally spoken and repeated by John Adams to George Washington---that skips like a stone across 220 years of American history to echo on the steps of the Capitol at noon today with new significance:
For at least one day...
This one glorious day...
It's all good.
Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Note: It's reigning Dems! Hallelujah!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Inauguration Day: 0!!!
Days `til Groundhog Day: 13
Number of miles the NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity have traveled on the Martian surface since 2004: 13
Number of photos they've beamed to the Daytona Beach Photomat for processing: 250,000
Number of years they were expected to operate: 0.25
(Source: The Week)
Number of Maine car-moose collision fatalities in 2008: 0
(Source: Maine Sunday Telegram)
Percent of businesses expected to close for Inauguration Day: 5%
(Source: USA Today)
Inauguration Day Forecast:
Puppy Pic of the Day: Finally, Puddles could remain silent no longer: "Kiss it, Cheney! Kiss it!" She feels much better now.
And now, a Special Comment:
I don’t have a formal C&J for today because we only have so many minutes to revel in this all-too-short day. So I hope you'll "skim and dash" to other diaries, your TV, and anywhere else your celebratin' soul takes you. But I do want to say something before you go:
With the almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster as my witness, we made it---gasping and wheezing and scuffed and scraped---to the finish line. And by "we" I mean C&Jers, the Kossack community at large, progressive blogs and think tanks, allies in Congress, liberal pundits...and Al Gore. Together we fought back against the Tom DeLays and Dennis Hasterts and Karl Roves and Rush Limbaughs and Dick Cheneys and their army of dishonest Orcs. And got the last laugh.
I will never, ever forget how close---how frighteningly close---the Republicans came to stomping our faces into the sidewalk as they marched to become a "permanent majority." Watching it happen day after excruciating day as so many of our elected Democratic officials and lazy traditional-media journalists let it all slide. Wanting to set their pants on fire to get their attention. Wondering how many years they were going to "keep their powder dry." Knowing that certifiable insanity was being treated as serious governance. It was my vision of hell. And yours.
I started this column in December of '03 as a simpleminded way to mock the powerful by laughing at them...and, in so doing, possibly keep my brain from exploding. It was, and continues to be, one of the most sophomoric daily columns on the internets. But here we are half a decade later, relatively intact and looking out over a horizon that's brighter today than it was yesterday.
As Barack Obama says: "This is our moment. This is our time." Indeed it is. And what a thrill to be here to share not only this present moment of history with you, but the history from which we've just emerged (dark as it was) and the unknown history into which we're headed. There will only be one January 20, 2009. And even though we're scattered all across the globe, we're all in this together. Our moment. Our time. It's here.
Thank You...and Mega Cheers!
And just one more...
CHEERS to the ol' brown gal. As I write this, Molly, C&J's chocolate lab, is licking herself "down there." If tradition holds, she'll follow this by scratching her ears, shaking herself off, stretching, yawning, and then letting out a sigh as she plops down on her bed for a nap. She has no idea that today is Inauguration Day, nor is she aware that it's also her eighth birthday. I'm told that labs typically live ten to twelve years, which means that Molly, despite her energy, is on the downslide. We can see the signs of her age: the white muzzle and belly hair, the benign "lab lumps" and "skin tags," the teeth sanded down from 96 months of mauling tennis balls, the back legs that are a little less reliable than they used to be, and an increase in her room-clearing flatulence. She's a great dog---obedient but not without an independent streak and gentle to a fault. Last October, Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten published an excerpt from his book Old Dogs. Truer words were never written:
In our dogs, we see ourselves. Dogs exhibit almost all of our emotions; if you think a dog cannot register envy or pity or pride or melancholia, you have never lived with one for any length of time. What dogs lack is our ability to dissimulate. They wear their emotions nakedly, and so, in watching them, we see ourselves as we would be if we were stripped of posture and pretense. Their innocence is enormously appealing. When we watch a dog progress from puppyhood to old age, we are watching our own lives in microcosm. Our dogs become old, frail, crotchety and vulnerable, just as Grandma did, just as we surely will, come the day.
Happy Birthday, old lady, and thank you for teaching me the most important life lesson of all: there is no shame in peeing in public. [Skritch Skritch] Good girl.
And now here's Sylvester to play us out. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?