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How Low Can You Go?

George W. Bush, the tough-talkin' "Texan" with the thick skin and the super-sized swagger, says that a 2-second-long editorial comment by a pop singer was the lowest moment of his eight-year presidency. C&J, harnessing fusion-powered wayback-machine technology, asked some of our previous presidents about their lowest moments, in or out of office:

"Twas when a leaflet in general distribution among the populace doth claimed that---it pains me now to think o'er it---'Jefferson is a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia Mulatto father.' Now that stungeth."
---Thomas Jefferson
"A DeWitt Clinton supporter referred to my person as 'A base wretch.' At first I thought he calleth'd me a 'wrench,' and I was like, dude that maketh no sense! Then he repeated what he said and I entered into a prolonged agitated state."
---James Madison
"I shall never forget the day when that rakish cur Davy Crockett claimed I was, 'Laced up in corsets, such as women in town wear, and if possible tighter than the best of them.' At that point I considered my presidency a"
---Martin Van Buren
"The Charleston Mercury labeled me, 'a horrid-looking wretch, sooty and scoundrelly in aspect, a cross between the nutmeg dealer, the horse-swapper, and the nightman.' But I'd have to say Booth. Definitely Booth. Don’t get me started on Booth."
---Abraham Lincoln
"Woodrow Wilson referred to me and Teddy as 'Tweedledum and Tweedledee!' For the last time, I am not fat, I'm big-boned!"
---William Howard Taft
"My lowest point? Listening to Taft and his insufferable whining. Grow a pair, man!"
---Teddy Roosevelt
"Truman said, 'If you vote for Nixon you might go to hell.' Well, I may be a crook, but I'm no Judgment Day lackey. That was my rock bottom.' [Flashes double V-for-victory sign]
---Richard Nixon
"I was gettin' dressed one morning, looked in the mirror and my lips said to me, 'New taxes. Gotta do some new taxes.' Tried to fight 'em, my lips, I did. Didn’t succeed. Didn't appreciate it then. Don't appreciate it now. Bad lips. Baaad!"
---George H.W. Bush

(By the way, the insults hurled at Jefferson, Madison, Van Buren, Lincoln, Taft and Nixon are real, via the book Anything for A Vote. And if I may say: tut tut.)

Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Note: [Inserts "-----" into mouth]  [20 seconds elapse]  [Removes "&" from mouth]  [Ta daaah!!!]


By the Numbers:
Days 'til Atlantic hurricane season ends: 20
Days `til the Black Canyon Balloon Classic in Montrose, Colorado: 9
Percent chance that when someone in Maine says, "What's all the fuss about?" they're referring to the new Trader Joe's that opened last week in Portland: 50%
Percent chance that when someone in Maine says, "What?  You've never been to a Trader Joe's???" they're responding to the other 50 percent about the new Trader Joe's that opened last week in Portland: 50%
(Source: Mainers)
Percent of Wall Streeters who failed drug tests because of cocaine in, respectively, 2007 and 2009: 16%, 7%
Percent of Wall Streeters who failed drug tests because of marijuana in, respectively, 2007 and 2009: 64%, 80%
(Source: Sterling InfoSystems via Details)
Rank of "Restaurants", "Concerts/plays" and "In nature" on the list of places people find cell phone use most annoying: #1, #2, #3
(Source: USA Today/TripAdvisor survey)


Mid-week Rapture Index: 172 (including 5 droughts and 1 Flattop Jesus).  Soul Protection Factor 16 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.


Puppy Pic of the Day:  Decent reception


CHEERS to green shoots.  Are ya ready for some Good Newwwwwws???!!!  Okay, perhaps that build-up was a bit excessive but, hey, it is kinda hope-inducing:

The nation's economic stress fell in September to a 16-month low, thanks to more hiring in New England, fewer foreclosures in the mid-Atlantic and declining bankruptcy filings in the Southeast, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country.  Eighty percent of the nation's 3,141 counties enjoyed some month-over-month easing of economic pain, the AP's Economic Stress Index shows.

Meanwhile, at the center of the universe, Goldman Sachs was fined $650,000 for assorted non-disclosure skullduggery, after they failed to convince the SEC of their innocence with the excuse "My dog ate my business ethics."  As usual, the fine will be paid out of the petty cash drawer's petty cash drawer.

JEERS to taking your ball and playing for the other team.  Did you know that 31 percent of gay voters pulled the lever (no, that's not a dirty euphemism, perv) for Republicans last Tuesday?  How appalling.  You have to wonder what the number would be if, say, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell had been repealed before Congress adjourned for the midterms.  I'm guessing a bit lower.  And now it looks like the effort to repeal this unconstitutional (a federal judge's word, not mine), career-killing, money-wasting, discriminatory, security-compromising, extremely-unpopular-with-every-segment-of-society policy may go nowhere before Mitch McConnell's 46-seat Senate majority reasserts control in January, when it will go nowhere even faster.  Y'know what I say?  I say a Democrat with some spine (Franken?  Gillibrand?) needs to stand up and put a hold on the Defense Authorization Bill until DADT is both included and assured passage.  If Jim DeMint can obstruct from the right, then so can John Kerry from the left.  Or maybe Russ Feingold, in a last act of legislative heroism.  Be a bee in their bonnet.  Hold stuff up.  Hell, the Republicans already derailed the authorization bill in September without batting an eye, so they have no room to whine.  It'll never happen, but...[sigh]...a girl can dream.

CHEERS to free choice.  On November 10, 1793, France ended the forced worship of God.  God immediately responded by renaming two of his cafeteria dishes in Heaven "freedom fries" and "freedom toast."  Touchy.

CHEERS to must-see TV.  Y'know, I think Rachel Maddow could sub for Jon Stewart in a heartbeat.  She's got the intellect, the wit, the spontaneity and the timing to pull it off.  Doubt we'll see that anytime soon, but we'll get the next-best-thing tomorrow night when Stewart the host becomes...Stewart the hosted:

Rachel Maddow will talk with Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," in an exclusive interview to air Thursday, November 11 on "The Rachel Maddow Show."  This marks Stewart's first appearance on "The Rachel Maddow Show."

Seems to me that an occasion like this calls for a drinking game.  Take a swig every time they agree on something, and knock back a shot every time they break into a chorus of You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.  See ya under the table 'round 9:05.

Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda... GONG!!!
This is another edition of The One Word Answer Man.  The Christian Science Monitor asks: California 'mystery missile' ignites debate: Friend, foe, or faux?
Now back to Cheers and Jeers.
Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda... GONG!!!

OH, BROTHER to the whopper of the day.  George W. Bush's book tour has barely begun and it's already a disaster.  His arrogance and whitewashing are reminding America all over again why we despise this USA wrecker so much.  And an army of fact checkers are giving him across-the-board F's for honesty and accuracy, and A's for delusions of grandeur.  But I'll give him this: when it comes to humor he's got a deft touch, like when he describes why he remained glued to his chair in that classroom after being told on 9/11, "America is under attack":

My first reaction was outrage. Someone had dared attack America. They were going to pay.  Then I looked at the faces of the children in front of me.  I thought about the contrast between the brutality of the attackers and the innocence of those children.  Millions like them would soon be counting on me to protect them.  I was determined not to let them down.

I saw reporters at the back of the room, learning the news on their cell phones and pagers.  Instinct kicked in.  I knew my reaction would be recorded and beamed throughout the world.  The nation would be in shock; the president could not be.  If I stormed out hastily, it would scare the children and send ripples of panic throughout the country.

As Al Franken pointed out many times back when he hosted his show on Air America, the president's options weren't limited to "storming out" or just sitting there.  He could've calmly stood up and said, "Hey, kids, I'm really sorry but I gotta attend to some presidential stuff right now.  But I'm real proud of ya, and thanks for inviting me to your school!"  That's what a president appointed by the Supreme Court is supposed to do---keep his wits about him and take charge immediately.  And what an idiot to be sitting there waxing philosophical over brutality (Boo!) and innocence (Yay!) at a time when the situation called for nothing less than decisive action.  Then again, it's hard to pull yourself away when you're so invested in the fate of a pet goat.  (Spoiler alert: it swallows a lot of crap.  Like Bush is expecting readers to do with his book.)

CHEERS to knockin' that sucker down.  Twenty-one years ago, the surreal and unthinkable happened when Berliners hacked away at that damned wall with pickaxes and hammers and brought it down---a mind-blowing moment that briefly galvanized the world in celebration.  (This Boston Globe photo diary from last year is simply stunning---be sure to click on photos 13, 14 and 15).  In the C&J cafeteria today: wienerschnitzel the size of a Mercedes hubcap.


Five years ago in C&J: 10, 2005

CHEERS to shooting yourself in the ass.  Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert demand...DEMAND!! investigation into who leaked the fact that the United States has set up secret torture chambers in eastern Europe.  Turns out the leaker was a friggin' Republican Senator.  Oh yes, please...let the investigation begin!

JEERS to Do-gooding for Dummies.  President Bush is forcing the kiddies in his White House to take a class in "ethics."  The first day will be spent teaching them how to pronounce the word.


And just one more...

CHEERS to the software revolution.  On November 10, 1983, back when I was still banging away term papers on my REALLY LOUD Smith Corona electric typewriter, Microsoft introduced Version 1.0 of its Windows operating system.  It wouldn’t actually be released until 1985, but the spark  Wanna see something hilarious?  Here's current CEO Steve Ballmer selling Windows 1.0---or more like selling the bejesus out of it (and the last line is priceless).  To celebrate the occasion, we suggest you log off and take your animated paper clip to lunch---he's lonely.

Have a nice Wednesday.  Floor's open.  What are you cheering and jee [windows has encountered a fatal error and will now spend the next several hours laughing at you.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha................]

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 05:33 AM PST.


Admit it: you kinda miss seeing and hearing all those midterm political ads, don't you?

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