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Memories of the March

Two of my favorite comedians describe their experience on August 28, 1963. Lewis Black, on MSNBC's The Last Word last week:

Lewis Black as a teenager
Lewis Black
a few years ago.
"I was 14. And I had gone down with my folks and then we kind of split up. I was supposed to meet them afterwards. What was amazing was that, and the reason I`ll never…part of the reason I'll never forget it is, you go to one of those---one of the first big marches I had been to---and I could walk all the way down to the Lincoln memorial. I could walk down that whole stretch, y'know, that was covered with people. And I walked all the way, literally, was no more than 100 yards, 75 yards [away from King] when he spoke. I remember it being overwhelming. I remember it being---wow, this is different than other people speaking. I'm in the presence of greatness. I'm in the presence of someone who's speaking in a fashion that I never...I'm in the presence of a leader, of a real leader, and a moral authority. As a 14-year-old, it probably had a profound [effect] in terms of changing my life."
And Stephen Colbert, whose experience was a bit different, as told to march speaker Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) on The Colbert Report earlier this month:
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) on the set of the Colbert Report, August 2013
(l-r) Lewis, banner, Colbert
Colbert: I want to say that you do not out-civil-rights-pioneer me. Because I hold in my hand…this is a banner from the March on Washington. August 28th, 1963. This is in my hand because I was there---in my mama's belly. She was pregnant with me and she was at the "I Have A Dream" speech. So don’t feel all high and mighty. I was at the "I Have A Dream" Speech, too.

Rep. Lewis: Did you hear me?

Colbert: Yeah.  It was a little muffled.

As Congressman Lewis said later in the above interview: "America is a better America because of the March on Washington. And we are a better people."

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Note: Anyone caught re-buckling their knickerbockers below the knee in C&J will be sent to the same prison where Miley Cyrus is now spending eternity for her lewd and disgraceful act of slovenliness at the MTV Video Music Awards.  An exception will be made if you have an authorized permission slip, which is available in the C&J gift shop for $500.  ---Mgt.


Hard Crab Derby (Crisfield Maryland) logo
1 day!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Halloween: 64
Days 'til the 66th Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield, Maryland: 1
Number of firefighters working to contain the wildfires in California, which have consumed over 161,000 acres so far: 3,600
(Source: CNN)
Number of times the debt ceiling was raised without fuss during the Bush II years: 7
Estimated crowd size at the National Mall on 8/28/63: 250,000
Length of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech: 19 mins.
Percent chance that food stamps = slavery: 100%
(Source: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)


Mid-week Rapture Index: 186 (including 3 occults and 1 church that is very bad at churching).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.


Puppy Pic of the Day: Buds


CHEERS to looming leisure.  Hooray!  Another sign that things are perking up a bit in the United States of Saggy Drawers.  It seems we're feeling better about life these days, and our #1 way to celebrate, of course, is to spend a holiday weekend battling effing traffic:

Traffic Jam
Yay! Holiday travel!
More people will travel in the United States this Labor Day holiday than they have on any of the September breaks since the 2008 financial crisis, U.S. travel group AAA said on Tuesday.  Falling unemployment, better consumer finances, rising house prices and faster economic growth in the United States have all contributed to the forecast, issued every year by the AAA and prepared with research group IHS Global Insight.

AAA and IHS expect 34.1 million people in the country to take a trip of 50 miles or more, a 4.2 percent increase on the 32.7 million that traveled during the holiday a year ago.

If you're planning an excursion to the beach or the mountains or the in-laws (lucky you!), please drive with care and flip people off responsibly.

JEERS to the beating drumbeat of drums beating.  And now, a special message on the situation in Syria from your friends at the American Military-Industrial Complex:

And unleash the gator!
The Syrian crisis must be dealt with carefully and with great sensitivity.  That's why we recommend using only our most sensitive bombs, missiles, bunker busters, jets, drones, bombers, choppers, tanks, warships, armored personnel carriers, artillery, rocket launchers, hand grenades, and fully-armored troops.  Which is to say, all of them.  Immediately.

Pretty please? With private contractors, er, cherries on top?

You could set your watch by those guys.

CHEERS to history not repeating itself.   On August 28, 1968, police and anti-war demonstrators made a giant clusterfuck of things in the streets of Chicago as the Democratic National Convention nominated Hubert Humphrey.  In the wake of the fracas all the parties came together and instituted a new rule that has served conventions well ever since: Decaf, Decaf, Decaf.

Still image from
"You no-good
horrible rabble!
Ha ha...kidding!
(But not really.)"
JEERS to scaring the faithful.  The Republican party has been spending a relaxing summer brandishing their fine arsenal of bully rhetoric.  But in their zeal to top each other's threats to shut down the government, default on the debt, cancel health care for 25 million Americans and shrink the government to the size of a cocktail weenie, they're doing something that does not bode well for their 2014 prospects: they're making their own base cry:
Arizona Senator John McCain practiced some compassionate conservatism at a recent town hall meeting.  When a constituent who could no longer afford physical therapy after being dropped from an aid program broke down in tears over being labeled a "taker" by Republican leaders like Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, McCain responded with a hug and some reassurance.  "You’re not a taker," he said.
He added: "The proper term is moocher."

Emmett Till
Emmett Till
JEERS to the good dying much too young.  Today is the 58th anniversary of the abduction and lynching of 14 year-old Emmett Till---a shocking and disgraceful act that helped spark the civil rights movement in 1955.  Till's original glass-topped casket (his remains were exhumed and re-buried in 2005) will be restored and go on display at the Smithsonian's Museum of African American History and Culture starting in 2015.  We hope his killers---who confessed after they were acquitted and never showed remorse before they died in 1980 and 1994---are currently in the process of feeling a certain burning sensation for eternity.

JEERS to schoolhouse crock.  I think it's fair to say that if our tea party governor could turn over our entire state education system to Jeb Bush's for-profit online charter school scam, he'd do it in a heartbeat.  But he can't, so he's doing what he can to otherwise hinder and demoralize Maine's public schools.  One of his recent ideas is a clumsy grading system that seems to be an example of classic right-wing ideology in action: all bluster, no substance:

The ABC's of the GOP:
State education officials and Gov. Paul LePage wanted a new A-F rating system of Maine public schools to spur change and improvement, but local school leaders say its influence so far has been small or nonexistent because it lacks funding, rewards, penalties and significant assistance.

School leaders say the controversial report cards didn't tell them anything they didn't already know and that they've received little help from the state since the grades were released May 1. Legislation that was supposed to expand school improvement efforts failed in the spring.

I'd suggest sending LePage to the principal's office, but I'd hate to make him endure such shame and condemnation.  The principal, I mean.


Five years ago in C&J: August 28, 2008---the Democratic National Convention continues…

JEERS to lying liars.  I can't believe it!  I tuned in yesterday afternoon with a Mega-Gulp and a tub of popcorn to witness the historic split in the Democratic party!  MSNBC...CNN...CBS...ABC: You promised it would happen!  Fox...New York Times...Washington Post...NBC: You promised the shit would hit the fan!  Politico...Newsweek...Time: You promised there would be fire hoses and dogs and SWAT teams lobbing tear gas in the streets!  Sean Hannity...Bill O'Reilly...Bill Kristol...Charles Krauthammer: You promised me a meltdown!  You all promiiiiiiised!!!!  And what happened?  Kum...By...Frickin'...Yah, that's what.  I'm starting to think these people aren't serious.

Official photo of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Look at Obama with
his Greek column! Oh
wait...that ain't Obama.
CHEERS to a day for the history books.  Only two speakers are on tonight's line-up in Denver: Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. will yammer on for three hours, and then some skinny black kid will get three minutes to wrap things up for the night:
On Thursday night, the DNCC will throw open the doors of the Convention and move to Mile High Stadium at Mile High so that more Americans can be a part of the fourth night of the Convention as Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination.
I hope people stick around after Ritter's done.  Y'know...out of politeness.  [8/28/13 Update: Remember when Republicans criticized Obama because the platform on which he spoke had Greek columns?  Yeah…Republicans would never do such a thing.  Idiots.]


And just one more…

CHEERS to Minty freshness.  "The new America the Beautiful State Quarter is here!  The new America the Beautiful State Quarter is here!!!"  The latest in the series gets its release this week, and represents the great state of Maryland and a fort of some repute:

Nice try, Britain.
Fort McHenry---the birthplace of our country's national anthem---was named for James McHenry, our Nation's second Secretary of War.  Following the burning of the Nation's capitol and other federal buildings in August 1814, British forces attacked Baltimore.  Francis Scott Key, a poet-lawyer, witnessed the September 13-14 bombardment of Fort McHenry while under British guard on an American truce ship in the Patapsco River.  Seeing his country's flag still flying over the fort the next morning, he was moved to pen "The Star-Spangled Banner."  Fort McHenry was first established as a national site on March 3, 1925.
It's a lovely design.  Fort McHenry still standing.  The stars and stripes still waving.  And, for reasons I can't explain, two bugs going Splat! on a windshield.  Our guess: cicadas?

Have a nice Wednesday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their cheers and jeers."
---Martin Luther King, Jr.


Have you watched, listened to or read Martin Luther King, Jr.'s entire "I have a dream" speech?

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