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The Week Ahead

Monday The House is back in session. Or maybe it's not. Who the hell can tell these days?

Brits get the day off because of a rare event called a "Bank Holiday." (Please note that the traditional Bank Holiday cheese rolling event on Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire isn't until May 27th). Here in America, meanwhile, the big banks will observe their usual holiday  tradition of worshipping themselves on days that end in "y."

Teacher Appreciation Day cartoon icon
Tuesday Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day. I'm especially appreciative of my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Wiley (East Elementary in  Mount Vernon, OH), for not hiding her box of "Good Little Boys and Girls" reward candy very well so I could steal some every day.

Wednesday The day after Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch squeaks out a win over Mark Sanford in the South Carolina 1st Congressional District special election, her brother sprains a gloat muscle while taking credit for giving her the "Colbert Bump."

Thursday The Netroots Nation convention begins a month and a half from today. Repairing the hole in the ceiling from firing the starter bazooka begins a month and  half and a minute from today.

Lint screens fly at half staff for National Lost Sock Memorial Day. They left us too early, darn them.

Friday The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio opens in theatres. It deals with the problems of the super-rich. Or, as the rest of us call it, "problems we'd love to have."

Mother's Day is two days away. That's your reminder. You're welcome.

It's dawn. Saddle up. We ride.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, May 6, 2013

Note: Some see their glass as half empty.  Some see their glass as half full.  I see the Virgin Mary in a Bacardi smudge halfway up my glass. "Hello, eBay!"


By the Numbers:
Days 'til Election Day 2016: 1,282
Days 'til Eat What You Want Day: 5
Average cost, globally, for a three-mile downtown taxi ride: $10
Average cost for a three-mile downtown taxi ride in Zurich and L.A., respectively: $28, $25
(Source: USA Today)
Size of the workplace drug-testing industry: $2 billion
(Source: The Nation)
Rank of Jeff Flake (R-AZ) among least-popular U.S. senators: #1
Flake's current approval: 32%
(Source: PPP polling)
Percent chance that Han Solo is no good to Boba Fett if he's dead: 100%
(Source: The Empire Strikes Back)


NEW!  California Dreamin'

Brought to you by the 2013 Netroots Nation Convention in San Jose, June 20-23.  One of the Congressmembers representing San Jose (the other is Zoe Lofgren) is Mike Honda of the 17th District, a solid Democrat whose childhood got off to a tough start:

Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA)
Mike was born in California, but spent his early childhood with family in an internment camp in Colorado during World War II.

“We were in and out of the camp for four years. Between the ages of one and almost five, I lived at Camp Amache, a Japanese-American internment camp in southeast Colorado during World War II, ironic given my father’s service in the US Military Intelligence Service. One of the first lessons I learned was that being Japanese carried a negative connotation in America.  My parents raised me talking about the injustices of camp, how it was a violation of the Constitution, and how Japanese Americans had been mistreated. I've since followed in their footsteps by advocating for social justice and publicly serving communities that do not have a voice. The reason we were sent to camp is because no one in Washington said no. I’m here in Congress to make sure that never happens again to any community in America.”

He went on to spend time with the Peace Corps and then spend 30 years as a public-school science teacher, principal, and then educational researcher at Stanford.  [Sigh]  Always refreshing to come upon a politician who's not a lawyer.


Puppy Pic of the Day:  Oops


CHEERS to putting on a good creepshow.  I'm going to force myself---right here, right now, on the spot, just to see if it's possible---to come up with 5 positives about the just-concluded NRA convention in Houston:

NY post and Daily news headlines castigating NRA as loons
The benevolent host keeps
a Derringer in his nose.
1) No one shot themselves while cleaning their gun.
2) No one left their gun in the bathroom.
3) No one dropped their gun on stage.
4) No one said "of course it's not loaded" and then shot somebody.
5) No bra-holster related injuries were reported.
Everything else about it?  Nutsville.

CHEERS to the most exciting three minutes ever.  Over the weekend America showed off its gift for spectacle, as we partook in one of our most time-honored and storied sporting events.  Over a dozen noble beasts bred from the finest stock and groomed for competition under grueling conditions gave it their all as the crowd---some bedecked in elaborate hats---cheered.  For a brief moment in time, it was just a blur of legs and tails.  And when it was all over, out came the ribbons and flowers.  I'll never forget it---the 2013 American Gerbil Society pageant in Bedford, Massachusetts.  Which reminds me: anyone know how the Kentucky Derby turned out?

CHEERS to lime, tangerine, strawberry, blueberry and grape. The rainbow-colored "flavors" of the new iMac were unveiled 16 years ago:

Original display of iMacs 1997
"We'll sell lots of them. This is the sexiest computer I've ever seen," said Jim Halpin, president and CEO of CompUSA. … The iMac will also be the first Mac to feature USB (universal serial bus) technology. This is important since the iMac is slotless. In other words, it does not offer the ability to add new features via circuit boards that typically plug into slots inside the computer; most computers come with these slots. Instead, Apple claims the USB technology will allow users to add devices externally through the USB connection. Apple has made another radical design decision: the iMac won't ship with a floppy disk drive or serial port connector.
Not to be outdone, PCs still come in a variety of cool colors, too: beige, black or gray.  My new laptop is both black and gray.  What can I say…I was born to be wild.

JEERS to the Mustache of Understanding.  Yesterday I saw Thomas Friedman's latest New York Times column quoted on a Very Serious Sunday Show.  Seems he wants us to tiptoe lightly through the Syrian tulips:

After burning our tongues in Iraq and Afghanistan, and watching with increasing distress the aftermath of the revolutions in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, President Obama is right to be cautious about getting burned in Damascus. We’ve now seen enough of these Arab transitions from autocracy to draw some crucial lessons about what it takes to sustain positive change in these countries. We ignore the lessons at our peril — especially the lesson of Iraq, which everyone just wants to forget but is hugely relevant.
He’s right, you know.  And I hope that among those whose Iraq War-era lessons Tom Friedman wants us to ignore is the especially shitty one dispensed ten years ago by Tom Friedman:
"We needed to go over there, basically, um, and um, uh, take out a very big state stick right in the heart of that world and burst that bubble, and there was only one way to do it. ... What they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house, from Basra to Baghdad, um and basically saying: 'Which part of this sentence don't you understand?  You don't think, you know, we care about our open society, you think this bubble fantasy, we're just gonna to let it grow?

Well Suck. On. This. Okay???'"

Cuz that wanker Tom Friedman was an idiot.  Right, Tom Friedman?

JEERS to incorrigible dirigibles.  The "Hindenburg" airship caught fire and crashed 76 years ago today---May 6, 1937---in Lakehurst, New Jersey.  Herb Morrison's anguished broadcast is as riveting now as it was then.  Sadly a similar tragedy occurred several years later during the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Drop over Cincinnati.

Oh the humanity, indeed.


Five years ago in C&J: May 6, 2008

JEERS to tough times for mom 'n pop businesses.  Sad news, I'm afraid.  Exxon Mobil---which I believe makes shoes and quilts for the homeless---had a bad quarter.  In the middle of a war, they could only scrape together a $10.9 billion profit between January and March.  I'd recommend giving them an immediate tax holiday.  If only they paid any.

CHEERS to deep thoughts.  GMA's Robin Roberts sat down with President Bush and this is the best they could do:

Roberts: "Y'know, America considers this their front lawn; this is your backyard.  You see it all the time.  Does it still amaze you, sir?"

Bush: "It does.  It's a beautiful place.  In the spring, the flowers are fantastic.  In the fall, the...  It's just such a...kind of a place that's so fresh.  In the winter, of course, it's got a lot of snow.  (Laughter.)  Summer is real hot..."

He added: "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.  HehHehHeh..."  Roberts narrowly escaped by jumping through a window.


And just one more…

JEERS to HELLO URGENT MESSAGE KIND MADAM 7PLEASE RLPY V&i*GR#A HOT SEXY LOVER NEED ASSISTANCE!!  We can't let May go by without acknowledging the 34th anniversary of spam.  It had a fascinating beginning.  Via Geekosystem, here's how it started back in 1978:

Spam Free Zone graphic
Ha Ha! That's impossible.
Gary Thuerk, a marketer for the Digital Equipment Corporation, blasted out his message to 400 of the 2600 people on ARPAnet, the DARPA-funded so-called “first Internet.” Naturally: He was selling something. (Computers, or more specifically, information about open houses where people could check out the computers.) He annoyed a lot of people. And he also had some success, with a few recipients interested in what he was pushing. And thus, spam was born.
Aren't we lucky.  Now if you'll excuse me, I just got an email I have to attend to from "Íâó¾Àí/½ø³ö¿Ú¾Àí " with the subject line "|Íâó½Óµ¥Ó뺣Í⩵ ¥»ñÈ¡²ßÂÔ|"  It might be news from my favorite Nigerian finance minister.  Or his widow.

Be excellently Mondayly to each other.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

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---Bob Greene, CNN


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