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Molly at 70

Happy birthday tomorrow to Molly Ivins, born August 30, 1944. She left us seven years ago, but her Texas sass has lost none of its bite:

[W]e've bounced back from this same mistake before---the mistake of thinking that we can make ourselves safer if we just make ourselves less free. We get so scared of something---scared of communism or crime or drugs or illegal aliens---that we think we can make ourselves safer by sacrificing freedom.  Never works.  It's still true: the only thing to fear is fear itself.

  Q: What's the difference between an anus and an asshole?
  A: An anus can't put its arms around you.

Coover of Molly Ivins bioggraphy,
Great bio.
I have a correspondent named Irwin Wingo in Weatherford, Texas. Irwin and some of the leading men of the town are in the habit of meeting about ten every morning at the Chat 'n Chew Café to drink coffee and discuss the state of the world. One of their number is a dittohead, a Limbaugh listener. He came in one day, plopped himself down, and said, "I think Rush is right. Racism in this country is dead. I don’t know what the ni***rs will find to gripe about now." I wouldn't say that dittoheads, as a group, lack the ability to reason. It's just that whenever I run across one, he seems to be at a low ebb in reasoning skills.

Republicans in the Senate have constructively declared English the national language. That'll fix everything. Every foreigner at our borders will stop and say: "Gosh, ma foi! English is the national language here. Good thing to know. I'll begin speaking it immediately." Yes sir, you want a solution, call a Republican.

The American press has always had a tendency to assume that the truth must lie exactly halfway between any two opposing points of view. Thus, if the press presents the man who says Hitler is an ogre and the man who says Hitler is a prince, it believes it has done the full measure of its journalistic duty.

Texas sign in front of a pharmacy: GENERIC PROZAC NOW IN, GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Highly recommended: Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life by Bill Minutaglio and W. Michael Smith, a non-sugar-coated account of her amazing yet far-from-charmed life as a journalist and shitkicker.

Cheers, Molly. Any hijinks you can engage in from the great beyond to mess with Goodhair Perry's life would be greatly appreciated.

Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, August 29, 2014

Note: Just a heads-up---there will be no C&J next Monday or Tuesday, so you'll have to cobble your own together out of Spam, dryer lint and tinfoil.  Please submit complaints to the proper authorities.  Or just think them in your head and the NSA will transmit them to the proper authorities free of charge.

Kansas State Fair logo
7 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the midterm elections: 67
Days 'til the Kansas State Fair: 7
Percent chance that Israel won the recent war against Hamas: 100%
(Source: Israel)
Percent chance that Hamas won the recent war against Israel: 100%
(Source: Hamas)
Amount by which Arkansas' health insurance premiums will drop next year under the Affordable Care Act, after years of rising by an average of 10%: 2%
(Source: Think Progress)
Number of parks and memorials managed by the National Park Service, which turned 98 this week: 401
Dollars returned in economic activity for every dollar we invest in our national parks: $10
(Source: NPS)


NEW!  Michele Bachmann Departure Countdown

Michele Bachmann and her googly eyes leave Congress in 127 days.

After that, she'll become a perpetual dis-honorary Creep of the Week.  No cash prize involved, just lots of dirty looks.


Puppy Pic of the Day:  Listen up, I need to remind you of something important: National Dog Day is last Tuesday.


CHEERS to focusing on the important issues.  President Obama gave a press briefing yesterday to discuss various troubling events on the international front that will require much thought, debate and intelligence to deal with.  Here's the official internet summary of what you need to know about the briefing: OMG the president wore a tan suit, that's the signal to turn America into a Muslim wasteland.  Several right-wing bloggers were briefly hospitalized with imagination-induced pearl-clutching injuries.  After their release, they were re-admitted after suffering traumatic shock when they realized they'd briefly felt happy that their pearl-clutching treatment was subsidized by Obamacare.

CHEERS to finding your place in this topsy-turvy world, eh.  O Canada!  I think you've hit on a great role for yourselves on the international stage: Gentle Explainer of Stuff…

If you're taking requests, send our Republicans a reminder of the difference between "Head" and "Ass."  With love.

President George W. Bush joins Arizona Senator John McCain in a small celebration of McCain's 69th birthday Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, after the President's arrival at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix.
The day Americans were horrified to
learn that Katrina was destroying the
south and Republicans were in charge.
JEERS to Republican leadership inaction.  Nine years ago today, as George Bush displayed a lovely birthday cake he'd baked for John McCain (who turns 78 today), a swirling category-3 fetus was terrorizing abortion clinics in New Orleans.  FEMA head Michael Brown, drawing on his vast experience in disaster management as former head of the Arabian Horse Association's legal department, responded swiftly and maturely:
The day of the storm, Brown exchanged e-mails about his attire with [FEMA's deputy director of public affairs Cindy] Taylor, [Rep. Charlie] Melancon said. She told him, "You look fabulous," and Brown replied, "I got it at Nordstroms. ... Are you proud of me?" An hour later, Brown added: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god."
Say it with me, for old time's sake: "Heckuva job, Brownie."  Meanwhile, you want to see something pretty?  Look, Ma---no hurricanes:
Hurricane map on August 29, 2014 evening.
Thanks, Obama!!!

JEERS to furry ambushes.  On August 30, 1979, President Carter was attacked by a 20-foot tall rabbit with laser eyes and a grenade in each paw!  Or…not:

Jimmy carter on 8/30/79 shooing away a swamp rat
Carter v. Wabbit
Carter was alone in a small fishing boat when a swamp rabbit, a species of large cottontail, began swimming toward his boat.  He turned the frightened and agitated rabbit away with a paddle.  Several months later he jokingly mentioned it to press secretary Jody Powell, who repeated it offhandedly to a reporter.  To Powell's horror, The Washington Post headlined "President Attacked by Rabbit."  Carter was lampooned by turns as crazy, weak, and ineffective.
It was a low-water mark for shoddiness in journalism.  Or as Politico would call it: the high-water mark for excellence in journalism.

Captain Kirk inspects his crew on Star Trek
Yay! Star Trek reruns!
CHEERS to home vegetation.  It's not a stretch to say this isn't going to be much of a weekend for the tube, exactly, but here are some of the scraps (not including infomercials, preachers, and sweet, sweet Star Trek reruns) that all 1,800 channels will be tossing your way.  For starters, the The Simpsons marathon continues on FXX.  There's also sports on TV, including U.S. Open tennis, baseball and the start of college football season with defending champs Florida State vs. Oklahoma State.  Or if you want to watch a new DVD release, there's Captain America: Winter Soldier, the Emmy-winning TV movie The Normal Heart, and the Criterion restoration of All That Jazz.  Sunday night brings the way-pared-down MDA Telethon---minus Jerry Lewis, but they'll still bring in a ton of money.

On Bill Moyers & Company, an encore of "How tax reform can save the middle class" with Joseph Stiglitz.  And here's your Sunday morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Chuck Todd is your moderator.  Chuck Todd.  The guy who said it's not journalism's job to fact-check, but to let the ideologues present their own facts while the moderator smiles and makes coffee---what fun!  This week's exclusive guest is a robot Ronald Reagan in a tan suit.

President Ronald Reagan with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Sunday: Robot Reagan on
the NEW "Meet the Press."
This Week: Apparently all they've got is a roundtable with Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Matt Dowd, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), and Myrtle Beach Tourism cheerleader Cokie Roberts.

Face the Nation: This weekend it's Bob Schieffer's turn to babysit John McCain while Cindy goes shopping; Rep. Adam Smith and Rep. Peter King (R-NY); roundtable with Danielle Pletka (AEI) and Michael Singh (Washington Institute for Near East Policy).

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: This weekend it's Chris Wallace's turn to babysit Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) while wife Kristi goes shopping; midterm election poll dancers Mark Mellman (The Mellman Group) and Bill McInturff (Public Opinion Strategies); roundtable with George Will, Julie Pace, Mike Needham and Charles Lane.

CNN's State of the Union: Who knows?  They never update their website in time.  So let's go with John McCain, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, and a Darth Cheney hologram from Death Star #3.  Was I close?

Happy viewing!


Six years ago in C&J: August 29, 2008---Democratic National Convention wrapup…

Ted Kennedy at the DNC cnvention
Ted in Denver.
CHEERS to stark contrast.  During the 2004 Democratic convention, it seemed like our party's slogan was, "Let's Keep Our Powder Dry."  This year it seemed to be, "You May Fire When Ready, Gridley!"  Michelle was perfect.  Ted was perfect.  Hillary was perfect.  Bill was perfect.  Joe was perfect.  Obama was perfect.  The unity bounce was sweet.  The whole thing was a platter of GOP-smashing red meat with a basket of progressive-idea fries and a side of Americana pie.  It was Rope-A-Dope.  It was a colossal fake-out.  And the best the wounded, shell-shocked Republicans could do was criticize the Greek-style columns.  (Then again, when your party is made up of white, calcified stonefaces that advocate ancient ideas, I guess I can't blame 'em for taking umbrage.)  Good pageant, kids.  You should take it on the road.


And just one more…

CHEERS to famous firsts.  Where does the time go.  Six years ago, I posted my first reference to Sarah Palin, and this is it:

JEERS to adults who prove every day they're not smarter than a fifth-grader.  Steve Doocy of---you guess it---Fox News says Sarah Palin is a fantastic choice for vice president.  He thinks she's got the chops she needs to handle foreign affairs because...  Um, because...  Because Russia is in her backyard.  Which I guess means that if McCain wins, Steve Doocy will be a shoo-in to be appointed Ambassador to Pluto.
Basket of peaches
I don't feel like posting a pic
of Palin tonight, so please
enjoy this basket of peaches.
I thought Doocy's comment was an isolated bit of garden-variety dumbassery.  But soon after, the entire Republican machine went into hypergear and backed the idea that Palin was a national security expert because she could---in the soon-to-be-immortal words of Tina Fey---"see Russia from my house."  It was all downhill from that low, low starting place.  Palin has since gotten crushed in a national election, resigned as governor because "only dead fish go with the flow," had three forgettable books ghost-written for her, gotten hired and fired and hired again (and at some point in the future fired again, we presume) at Fox News, embarked on (and abandoned) bus tours, spent the 2012 Republican convention on the outside looking in, and now sits at home in her Moose-skin underwear posting tweets and bits of incoherence on her new You Tube channel.  And as long as the money keeps flowing from her gullible minions, she will always represent the ideology and intelligence of the Republican party.  What did we on the left do to be so lucky?

Have a great Labor Day weekend.  Go Unions!!!!  See ya next month!  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?



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