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Parchment is Brittle---Do Not Eat!

I hope you put some extra starch in your bloomers this morning because no slouching is allowed on Constitution Day. 226 years ago, on September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by delegates from 12 states. And you can thank a wily West Virginia Democrat for making us pay attention to the damn thing at least once a freakin' year:

Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Craaazy Bob!
Constitution Day became a national observance in 2004, when Senator Robert Byrd passed a bill designating September 17 as the day for citizens to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and learn more about our founding document. Senator Byrd once said, "Our ideals of freedom, set forth and realized in our Constitution, are our greatest export to the world." … In honor of Constitution Day, all educational institutions receiving federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the U.S. Constitution.
Are you reh-DAY for some "Fast Facts??!!!" Hold on to your tricorn hat! Whoooo parTAY….
Closeup of the U.S. Constitution
Hey! That's me!
The U.S. Constitution was prepared in secret, behind locked doors that were guarded by sentries.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, it was moved to Fort Knox for safekeeping.

More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress. Thirty three have gone to the states to be ratified and twenty seven have received the necessary approval from the states to actually become amendments to the Constitution.

According to the Daily Show's classic history manual America (The Book), the early reviews were boffo:
Pabst Blue Ribbon logo
After the signing,
they enjoyed this
fine malt beverage.
"Checks, balances, executive, legislative, judiciary--this baby's got it all!"
---George Washington, Mount Vernon Bee-Dispatch

"The Constitution grabs you right from the Preamble and doesn't let go until the last Article…the must-ratify document of the summer!"
---Alexander Hamilton, New York Post

"Belongs in the so-bad-it's-good genre of political charters…destined to become the kind of camp classic revered by some of our more, shall we say, 'unmarried' friends."
---Melancton Smith, "Melancton's Musings" (syndicated column)

Take the quiz here and see if you can beat my 9-out-of-10. (Damn you, question 6!) So happy birthday, Our Constitution. You may not be perfect. But at least you're a lot better than that piece of unexceptional s**t Russia's got. (In yer face, Pootie Poot.)

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Note: Today is National Apple Dumpling Day.  Please: dumple responsibly.


Nork Hostfest logo
14 days!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the next full moon: 2
Days 'til the Norsk Hostfest in Minot, North Dakota: 14
Number of journalists who have been killed in Syria this year: 17
(Source: Committee to Protect Journalists via USA Today)
Percent of students enrolled in Afghan schools in 2001 who were girls: 0
Percent of students there who are girls today: 40%
(Source: Harper's Index)
Percent of men who spend more than 30 minutes in the bathroom per day: 43%
Percent of women who do: 62%
(Source: USA Today)


Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

The single most important thing the republicans MUST do in the history of the GOP is...DEFUND AND DEFEAT OBAMACARE!! If they don't understand the importance of that to the future of our our very survival, they all need to be fired and will deserve to spend the rest of their days living under oppression with the rest of us. This is IT, folks! I don't care how long the government is shut down! I truly don't care. This is the last stand of the American People before we lose the war.
---Commenter Hapscrap at the Michelle Malkin blog
All together now: 1…2…3… Buy gold!!!


Puppy Pic of the Day:  Don't forget to tell 'em about the $20 fee for their carry-on bones…


CHEERS to righting a wrong.  The engineering geniuses working off the coast of Italy performed a small miracle yesterday when they re-floated the huge Costa Concordia cruise ship.  The mechanics behind it are pretty amazing:

Canoe on beach
Cost to move the Costa
Concordia: $795 million.
A series of 11 towers with hydraulic mechanisms controlling 205-kg (450-lb) cables under the ship and attached to its side slowly rotated the vessel, aiming to place it on six specially built platforms drilled into the granite rock bed.

As the sunken side of the vessel emerged from the water, engineers ceased the pressure from the cables and huge tanks fixed to the ship's exposed side began filling with water, using the effect of gravity to pull the ship vertical.

So basically it's the same way I get out of bed every morning.

JEERS to déjà vu all over again.  And once more, the world looks at the United States---the Great Peacemaker---and wonders what the hell is wrong with us:

A former naval petty officer who apparently had a grudge against the Navy sprayed an office building with bullets at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, killing 12 people in a rampage that paralyzed part of the nation’s capital, authorities said. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.

Authorities said that the gunman, a civilian contractor and former Navy reservist identified as Aaron Alexis, 34, was killed after exchanging fire with officers who stormed the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in a massive law enforcement response. He packed an assault rifle and two other guns during his lethal rampage.

Looks like we're gonna have to edit the signs at our border crossings: "This country has gone 9 0 months without a senseless multiple-homicide gun massacre.  Sure wish the Founding Fathers had gone with "pea shooters" in that $!^#@#! 2nd Amendment.

Supreme Court Justice David Souter
74 trips around
the sun...and boy
are his arms tired!
CHEERS to the Bush appointee who shoulda been Chief Justice instead of that other Bush appointee.  Happy Birthday to former Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who turns 74 today.  He was appointed by George H.W. Bush, who thought Souter's rulings would lean towards the "right."  Fortunately, Souter interpreted the word to mean "correct," not "conservative."  And it sounds like he might be a fan of Thoreau's penchant for simplicity:
According to Jeffrey Toobin's 2007 book The Nine, Souter has a decidedly low-tech lifestyle: He writes with a fountain pen, does not use e-mail, has no cell phone or answering machine. While he was serving on the Supreme Court, he preferred to drive back to New Hampshire for the summer where he enjoyed mountain climbing. Souter also has done his own home repairs.
I'd love to be able to thank him in person one of these days for not leaving the bench during 43's reign, thus sparing America from having a "Justice Alberto Gonzales."  If they ever start handing out a Presidential Medal of Republic Preservation, he should be in the front of the line.

CHEERS to happy fun sounds!  Shhh.  Listen carefully, it's about to happen…  [Thwack!]  The unmistakable sound of the door hitting Larry Summers in the ass on his way out.  President Obama's supposed #1 (yet very poor) choice for head of the Federal Reserve withdrew his name from consideration, increasing the odds that someone smarter, more cool-headed and less tethered to our billionaire overlords will get the job.  Was it a good decision on his part?  Well, here's a hint from the headlines: World Stocks Rise As Summers Exits Fed Contention.  If you need ol' Larry for anything today, you'll find him pouting under his bed.

JEERS to the real Mitt Romney.  My, how time flies.  One year ago today, David Corn of Mother Jones, working with Jimmy Carter's grandson James, effectively destroyed Mitt Romney's chance of being elected president by releasing the now-infamous "47 Percent," aka "Moocher" tape.  Once more for old time's sake:

It's nice every once in awhile to be able to use the phrase "Ah, good times" without sarcasm.

JEERS to uncertainty.  My laptop died a couple weeks back, and I had to send it to the Toshiba Island of Misfit Geeks for repair in order to comply with the warranty rules which I'd signed in blood last May.  So it finally came back, but now I'm a little nervous about the reliability of the repair job.  The box's return address, scrawled in black sharpee by the technician, reads: "Tosheba."  That's not a good si [404 ERROR SHUTTING DOWN SEE WARRANTY FOR DETAILS GOODBYE]


Five years ago in C&J: September 17, 2008

WHAAA??? to the worst financial analyst in the world.  Yesterday afternoon I happened to catch a segment of Bill O'Reilly's radio show.  He was talking about the meltdown on Wall Street.  With his trademark smugness, he informed me (paraphrasing here) that, "Hey, I've had people borrow money from me and not pay it back.  It happens."  Yeah, that's what it boils down to.  The loss of $700 billion in one day equals a neighbor not returning your lawnmower.  I don’t know about you, but I feel so much better.  Thanks for the reassurance, Mr. Multimillionaire.

CHEERS and JEERS to the last throes of...something, maybe.  The good news: top anti-terrorism officials say al Qaeda is unpopular and "imploding."  The bad news: they also say that "Al-Qaeda still remains the most dangerous threat to the United States."  The even worse news: that's only if you don’t count Russia, China, bird flu, recession, depression, hurricane season, and the possibility of a Sarah Palin presidency.


And just one more…

President Barack Obama wearing a cowboy hat.
"Y'all have a good sleep
with the fishies, Osammy."
JEERS to the worst sheriff in history.  Here's a little memento of our sorry recent-past that I always like to isolate and hose down with disinfectant.  On September 17, 2001, President George "W Stands for Decider" Bush evoked the image of an old west "WANTED" poster, vowing to catch Osama bin Laden "Dead or Alive."  Bush failed (big surprise there) to nab "America's Most Wanted," either dead or alive.  But Seal Team Six under the authority of President Barack Obama sure didn't, and now bin Laden has paid for his crimes.  [Tips hat]  Much obliged.  

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


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Experiment confirms life may have come to Cheers and Jeers from outer space


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