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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

GOP Re-branding: Little Ladies Edition

What I learned yesterday from the new, woman-friendly Republican party:

The most powerful Republican in the Senate believes that focusing on equal pay for women is bizarre.

A Republican former CIA director thinks a 22-year United States Senator and committee chairwoman is too emotionally fragile to handle the preparation and release of a Senate report on torture.

GOP Graphic: This party has worked 0 days without insulting women.
A woman Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate says women don’t want to be paid as much as men, they just want flexibility so they can get all their chores done. (Don’t forget the wood choppin' and the pork saltin', ma'am.)

An editor for a leading Republican 2012 presidential candidate's web site thinks up the headline "Democrats pick The Vagina Woman for Michigan's Lt. Governor" and posts it on his web site.

An official spokeswoman for the Republican party says women should get equal pay, but her party has no idea how to accomplish that.

The #1 Republican media voice informs America that "This equal pay for women thing" is "old hat."

There's exactly one woman in a Republican leadership position in the House and Senate.

An influential Republican-oriented news site's lewd photoshopped portrayal of Nancy Pelosi is so offensive that it results in a sight rarer than the blooming of a corpse flower: a tut-tut from a Republican congressman.

I can't wait to find out what they teach me today!

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Note: If you haven’t cleaned up this filthy planet by the time Earth Day gets here in 13 days, we are so sending you to your room without supper or your iPhone pad tablet thingy.  Don't test us.  ---Mom & Dad
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Great American Pie Festival logo
17 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the debut of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: 18
Days 'til the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration, Florida: 17
Senate vote to approve an extension of long-term unemployment benefits Monday: 59-38
Number of Americans being denied that lifeline, thanks to House inaction: 2.3 million
(Source: NBC News)
Percent of divorced low-income men who say they wish they had stayed married: 53%
Of divorced low-income women who do: 19%
(Source: Harper's Index)
Number of ants for every person in the world: 1,000,000
(Source: The internet)

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 186 (including 4 plagues and 1 swirl of Satan's syrup).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Pup Pic of the Day: Pups!  

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CHEERS to the consoler-in-chief.  President Obama and the First Lady travel to Houston today to attend a memorial service at Fort Hood for the victims of the latest mass murder in America:

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pay their respects at the memorial service for victims of the Fort Hood shootings, Nov. 10, 2009, at Fort Hood, Texas. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) November 10, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The Obamas at the service
for the 2009 Fort Hood victims.
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A spontaneous argument among soldiers in the same transportation unit at Fort Hood touched off the mass shooting in which Spec. Ivan A. Lopez killed four people, including himself, and wounded 16 others, Army officials said Friday.

The Obamas are already scheduled to be in Texas this week to attend Democratic Party fundraisers in Houston, and the president also is scheduled to speak at a civil rights summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act.  Obama last visited Fort Hood in November 2009 to speak at a memorial service for the 13 killed and dozens injured during a similar mass shooting at the base.

One of the sadder themes of the Obama presidency will be the regularity with which he was called on to help lift the spirits of massacre victims' families in a gun-crazy country where too many yahoos think the answer to the violence is more guns in more hands in more places.  The president can be counted on to rise to the occasion.  The gun makers can be counted on to sink into the slime.

CHEERS to waving howdy to our neighbor.  This is a retro-reminder that last night there will be a great chance to see Mars up close, so make a note to retro-watch the spectacular display yesterday.  Or, if it's easier (time travel damages my complexion), just wait for the next go-round:

Twelve orbits a day provide the Mars Global Surveyor MOC wide angle cameras a global
Hello Mars, you old coot.
Because the orbit of Mars is not perfectly circular, the planet actually makes its closest approach to Earth one week later on April 14, at about 59.7 million miles (96 million kilometers) from us. Its relative proximity will make it shine at magnitude -1.5. That is around the same brightness as the most brilliant star visible this season, Sirius (now located in the low southwestern, early evening sky).
For those who missed it last night, today i'm planning to perfectly recreate what the red planet and its rocks looked like by focusing a telescope on our governor's head and then shouting, "Welfare fraud!"

CHEERS and JEERS to the topple seen 'round the world.  Remember all the hullabaloo when that Baghdad statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down shortly after we shocked 'n awed Iraq?  Believe it or not, that was 11 years ago today.  I remember wincing when a U.S. soldier, unfamiliar with the concept of "How Things Look from the Liberated Folks' Perspective," tried to tie an American flag around Saddam's head, and drumming my fingers on my desk as the  Iraqis took for-freakin'-ever to try and yank the statue down by hand.  They finally decided to let our troops attach a rope from Saddam's finger to a tank, which pulled it down in mere seconds as the crowd made crude fart noises (proving that, no matter what country you're from, that gag never gets old).  They then beat it with shoes as it was dragged around the square like a cat toy.  But, as with so many aspects of that war (like the reason for starting it), things weren't exactly as they seemed.  The press made it look like the entire city was there celebrating.  In reality, it looked more like the size of the tea party caucus at a MENSA meeting:

Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in fardus Square April 9, 2003.
If you're hyperventilating from the shock of being misled by the media, breathe into a paper sack for a few minutes.  It'll pass.

UConn Huskies mascot logo
Happy Husky
CHEERS to saving the best for last.  The men having gotten their silly little Nerf basketball tournament out of the way Monday, last night it was time for the rock 'em, sock 'em finale: the Women's Division I NCAA Battle Royale.  And the champs are the UConn Huskies, in a 79-58 chomper over Notre Dame.  And now that this year's March Madness is all over (in April, yes, thank you, we're aware of that), it's time to take the final step: you must now print out your brackets and eat them.  [MunchMunchMunch…gulp]  And we'll speak no more of it.

CHEERS to a civil end to a most uncivil war.  On April 9, 1865---149 years ago today---Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, effectively ending the War Between the States.  Amazingly, there are folks down south who still haven't heard.  It's understandable, I guess.  They're busy.

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Five years ago in C&J: April 9, 2009

CHEERS to getting your wish.  In Minnesota, the Norm Coleman campaign insisted on having disputed ballots counted.  A three-judge panel said, "Fine."  The disputed ballots were indeed counted.  And yesterday, having widened the gaping hole in its hull, the S.S. Normie slipped beneath the waves.  Now let's see how long they can hold their breath.  [4/9/14 Update: Like brainwrap with the ACA signup data, Kossack WineRev was instrumental in (and literally wrote the book on) documenting the nail-biter in Minnesota.  Today Al Franken is a popular and respected United States senator and it's hard to see how he loses re-election.  And Norm Coleman?  I think these days he's asking people if they'd like fries with that.]

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the beastmaster.  Jim Fowler, the guy who always---so the myth goes---had to do the dirty work on Wild Kingdom while Marlin Perkins sat in the truck drinking whiskey sours turns a year older today.  Fowler was a childhood icon of mine, and I can still hear the "Ka-chunk ka-chunk" of the TV channel changer on Sunday evenings.  He's a smart guy:

"Almost all of the social tragedies occurring around the world today are caused by ignoring the basic biological laws of nature ... The quicker we humans learn that saving open space and wildlife is critical to our welfare and quality of life, maybe we'll start thinking of doing something about it."
And though he aimed to save and protect animals, he killed in one arena.  Namely, Carson's comedy sanctuary:


Happy 82nd birthday, Jim.  And blessings on your camels or whatever creature you happen to be wrangling at the moment.

Have a nice Wednesday.  And a nice 9th.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

In a north London hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory in a bold attempt to make Bill in Portland Maine using stem cells.
---Associated Press

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Poll

Is Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) correct when he labels the push by Democrats to achieve equal pay for women a "bizarre obsession?"

5%149 votes
93%2327 votes
0%17 votes

| 2498 votes | Vote | Results

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