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Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, June 4, 2020
Note: Today's note is taking a mental health day, so a shopping list is filling in: Milk, butter, eggs, Leggs, TP, Clorox everything, Mister Pibb, Mrs. Butterworth, Chicklets, and 200-gallon vat of Mayo.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the 76th anniversary of D-Day: 2
Percent of Americans polled by CBS News who believe the police generally treat white people better than black people: 57%
Percent of black people who believe this: 78%
Number of times since 2015 that Minneapolis police have rendered people unconscious with extreme pressure on their neck: 44
Percent chance that Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) was caught on a hot mic saying that if he didn’t have a primary to win, he wouldn’t care about the protests: 100%
Amount that same-sex marriage has generated in economic activity over the last 5 years, according to NBC News: $3.8 billion
Length of time the world's largest electric plane and its 2,000 pounds of lithium-ion batteries were in flight last Thursday on its maiden voyage: 28 minutes
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
[L]ast summer, Bush appeared on Wall Street standing before a blue and white backdrop on which "Corporate Responsibility" and "A New Ethic" were printed over and over—in case we should miss the point of his speech.
President W. was there in his incarnation as the Scourge of Corporate Misbehavior to read the riot act to corporate executives who do terrible things—like get insider loans, dump their stock when the company is tanking and do phony transactions to take heavy losses off the books.
In that same speech, to show his zeal for going after corporate evil-doers, Bush asked for a nice round $100 million in additional funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except the New Ethic didn't last very long. Didn't even survive the election, and I think Bush deserves credit on this point. Any posturing politician could have stuck with corporate reform until after the election was over; it takes cojones to drop the whole thing two weeks before the election. That, or someone who thinks the American people are deeply stupid.
Puppy Pic of the Day: Epic head tiltery…
CHEERS to today's abbreviated abbreviated pundit roundup. Not meaning to steal Meteor Blades’ thunder, but when I find myself on the same page as a gaggle of traditionally-disagreeable conservative types, it's worth noting for the C&J time capsule. These are just some of the responses to Trump’s and his enablers' illegal threat to sic the military on the peaceful protesters around the country following the police killing of George Floyd:
Pat Robertson: "[The president] said, 'I'm ready to send in military troops if the nation's governors don't act to quell the violence that has rocked American cities.' … You just don't do that, Mr. President."
Gen. James “Mad Dog Mattis, Trump’s former Defense Secretary: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort.
Jennifer Rubin: "Too often we let off those without whom Trump would have been deterred if not defanged. Let’s start with those who have served in this administration. All of them. There are no “good” servants of a racist, wannabe dictator."
George Will: “[T]his low-rent Lear raging on his Twitter-heath has proven that the phrase malignant buffoon is not an oxymoron."
George W. Bush: "The only way to see ourselves in a true light is to listen to the voices of so many who are hurting and grieving. Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America—or how it becomes a better place."
Michael Gerson (on the church/Bible fiasco): A truly sacrilegious use of the Bible to bless a brutal stunt.
Meanwhile, Fox News extended its own heartfelt thoughts and prayers. To the rubber bullets.
CHEERS to a moment the universe has been waiting for. A cantaloupe-sized win for all the stars and planets in the galaxy as the biggest asshole not named Trump or Cotton—okay, or Gohmert or McConnell—gets booted from Congress:
White supremacist Rep.Steve King’s 18-year career in the House came to an inglorious end on Tuesday after he lost the Republican primary to state Sen. Randy Feenstra in western Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. With 95% of precincts reporting (78,000 votes), Feenstra led by a wide 46-36.
King’s downfall came over a year after House GOP leaders voted to strip him of his committee assignments after he defended white supremacy in an instantly notorious interview with the New York Times.
What a relief. With King's loss the only racists we have to worry about now are David Duke and Alex Jones. And Mitch McConnell. And Rush Limbaugh. And all of right-wing radio. And Fox News. And the President of the United States. And the police. And the Republican party. Oh well…ya gotta start someplace.
P.S. In other excellent election news from Tuesday, the town where Michael Brown was killed by police has a new game-changing mayor:
Says Mayor-elect Jones: “The people in Ferguson are ready to stabilize their community, and we’re going to work together to get it done.” Always the best way to do it.
CHEERS to The Preeecious. Forty-three years ago,on June 4, 1977, the first personal computer—Apple II—went on sale. I'm guessing that, in today's dollars, it would probably cost around $8,000. Their original print ad seems Model T’ish today. (Especially the part where they boast that “thousands” of people have discovered it, including “hobbyists.”) And check out this TV ad:
Today our computers are so advanced that ignorant conservatives can receive Russian propaganda on their touch screens from websites that scramble their brains and convince them to actively work to knock the legs out from under our democratic system of government. But that’s nothing compared to the bar graphs you can make to get your ideas noticed in the workplace. (Ha ha—take that, Gary in accounting with your silly protractor.)
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to cool science. Smart people in white lab coats staring into beakers and jotting notes onto clipboards at Tulane University have made an amazing discovery. There's a switch they think they've found that can turn off breast cancer:
Suppressing the expression of either gene led to a decline in both tumor growth and the spread of cancer to other organs. [Dr. Reza] Izadpanah says that when Rab27a was silenced, the tumor did not grow but was still spreading a small number of cancer cells to other parts of the body.
However, when the TRAF3IP2 gene was turned off, they found no spread of the original tumor cells for a full year following the treatment.
Even more beneficial, inhibiting the TRAF3IP2 gene not only stopped future tumor growth but caused existing tumors to shrink to undetectable levels.
When asked if they could achieve the same shutting-off effect on the Republican mouth hole, Izadpanah responded: "Dammit, man, we're doctors, not miracle workers."
JEERS to the GOP's very bad horrible no good day. Eighty-seven years ago this week, the U.S. went off the gold standard. Then, seventy-one years later, in 2004, Ronald Reagan died. If you see any Republicans walking toward you today with a black cloud hanging over their head, give 'em a wide berth.
Ten years ago in C&J: June 4, 2010
JEERS to America's #1 war criminal. Here's a little primer on how justice works in these here United States:
Thief: "I stole the jewels!"
Authorities: "You're under arrest!"
Kidnapper: "I snatched the kid!"
Authorities: "You're under arrest!"
Burglar: "I robbed the old lady’s house!"
Authorities: "You're under arrest!"
George W. Bush: "I authorized torture!"
Authorities: [Yawn] "Let's not rehash the past...let's focus on the future."
In or out of office, it's good to be the chimp.
And just one more…
CHEERS to fighters for truth, justice and the American way. One of America's great journalists and commentators in the Edward R. Murrow tradition (and also LBJ’s press secretary for a time), Bill Moyers, turns a year more seasoned tomorrow (39 again, I think). Besides having an impeccable first name, he also has a sterling reputation as a straight shooter—a passionate advocate for truth and the fundamentals of democracy. This snip from a column he wrote a few years back on what it means to be a progressive is still terrific:
The progressive agenda isn’t “left wing.” (Can anyone using the term even define what “left wing” means anymore?)
The progressive agenda is America’s story—from ending slavery to ending segregation to establishing a woman’s right to vote to Social Security, the right to organize, and the fight for fair pay and against income inequality. Strip those from our history and you might as well contract America out to the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and Karl Rove, Inc.
At their core, the New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society programs were aimed at assuring every child of a decent education, every worker a decent wage, and every senior a decent retirement; if that’s extreme, so are the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution.
But such is the level of what passes for discourse inside the Beltway these days.
Well, in fairness, just the days ending in y.
Have a tolerable Thursday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
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