Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, March 19, 2009
Note: I really should take the Christmas lights down.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Buddha's birthday: 44
Days `til the 2nd annual Naruto/Star Trek Convention in Fort Lauderdale: 8
Percent of Americans who approve of lifting the ban on federally-funded stem-cell research: 52%
Percent who disapprove: 38%
(Source: Rasmussen poll via The Week)
Average number of friends a member of Facebook has: 120
Number of a man's and woman's Facebook friends, respectively, who get more attention than the rest: 7/10
(Source: Financial Times)
Time spring arrives tomorrow: 7:44am EDT
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
Q: What's the difference between an anus and an asshole?
A: An anus can't put its arms around you.
Puppy Pic of the Day: Coppertone Baby (Canadian Edition)
CHEERS to CNN's angry old man, Jack Cafferty. For articulating exactly the way I feel about the guy we helped put into the White House:
What a welcome change to feel like someone is running the country instead of running it into the ground. President Obama has done more in eight weeks than George W. Bush did in eight years---unless you include starting a couple of wars.
While the armchair quarterbacks second guess the new president, he gets up every day and does things, lots of things. Whether it's creating commissions for women and girls, ordering the investigation of President Bush's use of signing statements, or jamming a huge stimulus package through Congress, the man is working his tail off. And he seems to be loving every minute of it. It's almost as though our president was born to do exactly what he's doing. He's leading, and boy, is that refreshing.
Yesterday we were treated to two examples of what leadership looks like: the president took responsibility for the AIG mess, and then moderated a clear-eyed, funny, instructional, hope-filled and town hall meeting. And it finally hit me: we not only have a grownup in charge, we have a teacher at the helm. How cool is that?
JEERS to people who deserve to pointed at and mocked. Y'know, I think every human being has worth, but clearly not every human being has common sense. Hat tip to Pam Spaulding for pointing out the latest fundy message to come from Minnesota: if marriage equality isn’t outlawed, THE WORLD WILL END!!! [sigh] Okay, let's pop this bubble now: same-sex marriages have been happening in Massachusetts for half a decade. 18,000 couples are legally wed in California. It's also legal in Connecticut. And also Spain, Norway, Holland, South Africa, Canada and Nepal. So what is so special about fricking Minnesota that makes the lymchpin for the end of humanity at the hands of the gays? I wait with bated breath to hear how they squirm outta that one.
CHEERS to avian homecomings. Once Customs officials give 'em their full-body-cavity searches, the swallows will be returning to the San Juan Capistrano Mission in California. And thanks to a run-in with a radiation cloud, they'll suddenly go berserk and start feasting on human flesh!!! Which, of course, means the only surviving witness will be whoever's covering the event for Fox News.
JEERS to failed comedians. George W. Bush had to fly to Canada to find anyone gullible enough to pay him for a speech. Protestors---many wielding shoes---made their presence known outside the Calgary Convention Centre, while inside the ex-president (Ooh! I had an orgasm writing that!) displayed his usual tin-eared wit, saying: "I actually paid for a house last fall. I think I'm the only American to have bought a house in the fall of 2008. HehHehHeh..." How cute---he made an economic collapse joke!!! (I hope at least the poor saps attending enjoyed the veal.)
CHEERS to the life and career and good works of Natasha Richardson. Add her name to Sonny Bono's and Michael Kennedy's as high-profile reminders that ski slopes can be dangerous place. Very sad to hear that her head injury claimed her life at 45. Kossack klnb1019 reminds us that she had a heart of gold:
Ms. Richardson was a celebrated actress of course, but she was also a fund raiser for AIDS research. Her father died of AIDS-related causes in 1991. Richardson helped raise millions of dollars in the fight against AIDS through the charity amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.
She was actively involved in amfAR, becoming a board of trustees member in 2007, and participated in many other AIDS charities including Bailey House, God's Love We Deliver, Mothers' Voices, AIDS Crisis Trust and National AIDS Trust, for which she was an ambassador.
You'll find amfAR's donation page is here. Our condolences to her family and friends, especially her husband, actor Liam Neeson. Out of this tragedy comes an important red-flag lesson that could save lives in the future: even if a head injury seems mild, don’t wait to have it checked out.
CHEERS to indoor grilling. Yesterday the House Fine Ants committee put AIG CEO Eddie Liddy---80 percent of whom you and I own, including his head, shoulders, arms, legs, pancreas, liver and balls (eyeballs, you perv)---in a chair to explain just what the fuck is going on over there. His response (from memory): "Dunno, but whatever we're doing the Federal Reserve said it was okay last fall and besides I didn’t cause this mess I only inherited it, so y'all can kiss my grits." But we'll give him bonus points for chatting with Code Pink before he testified. As for what happens from here on out? Knock me down and call me Tinkerbell, but I'm guessing AIG and the Gub'ment will slowly get their act together, split the company up into a million pieces, and barely come out of it with a pulse. But first Mr. Liddy is taking a few moments this morning to finish soaking his ass (which we also own) in a tub of ice water.
JEERS to eye poison. Portland has a new daily newspaper---it's more of a pamphlet, but it's free and covers local issues pretty well---called The Portland Daily Sun. I like it because they publish columns by liberals like Joe Conason and Jim Hightower...but, of course, they have to provide "balance" by also running columns by moron conservatives. This bit of brilliance appeared in a column (warning: the link goes to Town Hall) by Thomas Sowell:
John McCain's daughter...has said how embarrassed she is by having to explain Ann Coulter to her friends. If it wasn't for articulate conservatives like Ann Coulter, both the Republican Party and the country would be in even worse shape than they are now, for there are extremely few articulate Republican politicians who can make the case for any principle.
Yeah, like, say, the Republican principle---so eloquently advocated by Coulter---that says it's okay to say of the survivors of 9/11 victims: "I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.." Remember, America, you can't spell "Grand Old Pricks" without GOP.
Five years ago in C&J---March 19, 2004: Iraq War 1-year anniversary
JEERS to George W. Bush. 567 of our troops died for his pre-9/11-planned, $100 gazillion (and counting) Father's Day gift. Talk about overkill---all '41' wanted was a sweater.
CHEERS to Howard Dean & Dennis Kucinich. If they'd had their way, 567 troops would be alive and the WMDs would still be...um...not there. Good thing we didn't listen to those fringe kooks, huh?
CHEERS to blogs. Came into their own---big time---before, during and after the show. And fired a warning shot over the head of the snotty, cow-towing traditional media: we're watching you---all of you.
JEERS to Shock and Awe. Shock at how we bullied our allies. Awe of how our intelligence screwed up so badly. Shock at our lack of an exit strategy. Awe of how we pooh-pooh'd the weapons inspectors. Shock at how no one's gotten fired. Awe of how no one's gotten impeached. Shock at "Bring it on!" Awe of fake Thanksgiving turkey. Shock at how quickly Al Qaeda set up shop. Awe of how utterly stuck we are.
And just one more...
CHEERS to the fountain of Ruth. My partner Michael's grandmother turns 96 today. Ninety six! She still lives on her own, has all her marbles, and plays racquetball twice a day. It's mind-boggling to revisit where our country was when she was born...in 1913:
The National Woman's Party formed
The 16th Amendment establishing the income tax was ratified
Woodrow Wilson succeeded William Howard Taft
The first U.S. paved coast-to-coast highway opened
The Shubert Theatre opened in New York
Henry Ford started using a moving assembly line
Gandhi was arrested for leading a miners march in South Africa
The first modern elastic bra was patented
The Panama Canal opened...and so did the first drive-up gas station
Charlie Chaplin started his film career
and... President Wilson said America would never attack another country.
It's been awfully quiet ever since. Happy Birthday, Gram...and 96 great big blessings on your camels.
Oh, and for those of you wondering how my first doctor visit in 18 years went yesterday: it wasn't pneumonia. Turns out a bunch of Glenn Beck's minions climbed through my ear while I was sleeping and surrounded me from the inside---sneaky bastards. This morning I added a bunch of extra fiber to my Bran Buds, so they should be circling the bowl by noon. I love happy endings. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:
"Bill in Portland Maine is a good friend. I love him."
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