Cheers and Jeers for Monday, April 5, 2010
Note: Ugh. I'm bursting from all the traditional all-you-can-eat Easter Chinese food I ate yesterday. Any more kung and I'm gonna go pow.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Pulitzer prizes are announced: 7
Days `til the Sweetwater 420 Fest in Atlanta: 12
Number of militias in America in 2008: 42
Number of militias in 2009: 127
(Source: Southern Poverty Law Center)
Utility companies in the U.S. that now let customers know how much juice their neighbors are using: 25
Estimated average decline in power usage as a result of that use of social pressure to encourage energy conservation: 2-to-3 percent
(Source: USA Today via The Week)
Amount of taxpayer money that George W. Bush took from the Social Security trust fund to pay for his budgets between January 20, 2001 and April 5, 2005: $639 billion
(Source: Joe Conason)
Opening Day: Red Sox 9 Yankees 7
Your Monday "Nevada Nuggets"
Brought to you by the Netroots Nation convention in Las Vegas July 22-25 (108 days and counting) starring Senator Al Franken, Governor Brian Schweitzer, and inflatable furniture at the Daily Kos booth that won't deflate no matter how $#!%#! hard you try!!! (Sorry...residual frustration from Pittsburgh.)
> On any random night there is an estimated $30-$60 million in a casino's vault, depending on its size; about double on holiday weekends
> The average number of weddings held per day is 315. They can be arranged within an hour and can cost as little as $200.
> Las Vegas is home to the largest community of Hawaiians outside of Hawaii.
(If you don’t include Kenya, where all the future fake-president babies are in training.)
Puppy Pic of the Day: Free advice
CHEERS to another week in the land of milk and crazy. Aaaand...we're off top the races:
The president heads to Prague to sign a nuclear treaty; Congress is off; Obama throws out the Washington Nationals' first pitch; the Financial Inquiry Commission holds its first hearing; Romney to NH; Palin, Bachmann together; and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference GOP cattle call kicks off in New Orleans.
Wake me when it's over.
CHEERS to the new toy on the block. The Apple i-Pad is out. Sorry, it's Monday morning, let me try that again: THE APPLE I-PAD IS OUT OH MY GOD I CAN'T BELIEVE IT BECAUSE IT'S THE BEST THING EVER CATCH ME AH'M GONNA FAINT!!!!!!!!!! Ouch, I just sprained my uvula. Anyway, darn thing's out. Thought you'd like to know.
CHEERS to BiPMstrodamus. Last Monday I joked that "The Labor Department issues its employment numbers for March. If they're bad, Republicans will attack Democrats. If they're good, Republicans will attack Democrats." Well, Friday we got word of the strongest job creation in three years. Cue the minority whiners:
"Americans deserve far more than the up and down, roller coaster like unemployment reports of the past few months." (Eric Cantor)
"A 9.7 percent unemployment rate is no cause for celebration and any politician who takes a victory lap for it is out of touch with the struggles working families and small businesses asking ‘where are the jobs?’ are facing." (John Boehner)
Translation for the 162,000 people who found work in March: La la la, we can't see you! Compassionate conservatism indeed.
CHEERS to high eggspectations. Today, perhaps more than any other day of the year, is the one where the White House really looks like the people's house. President and Mrs. Obama will host several thousand "reg'lar folks" at the annual Easter Egg Roll on the south lawn. By the way, whoever finds the golden egg wins a free year of non-wiretapped phone service. (Hint: check Senator Dodd's hair...but you didn’t hear that from me.)
Gong! Gong!! BuddaBuddaBudda... GONG!!!
This is another edition of The One Word Answer Man. McClatchy News asks: Where was Moody's board when top-rated bonds blew up?
Now back to Cheers and Jeers.
Gong! Gong!! BuddaBuddaBudda... GONG!!!
CHEERS to gravity defiance. Only four shuttle missions left, and I plan to be absolutely dazzled and awed by them as if I'd never been dazzled and awed before. This morning the Shuttle Discovery launched on its way to the...to the...um...[Flips frantically through AAA Triptik]...Space Station! Yeah, that's it...
Discovery will carry a multi-purpose logistics module filled with science racks for the laboratories aboard the station. The mission has three planned spacewalks, with work to include replacing an ammonia tank assembly, retrieving a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior, and switching out a rate gyro assembly on the S0 segment of the station’s truss structure.
And finally, greasing the whirlygig 2000 on the Bamboo Throttle Sausage and mounting it to the station's Twinkie erector lederhosen platform. (I hope they remembered to bring the L-shaped wrench.)
JEERS to the Vanity of the Vatican. See, this is the problem with top-down, patriarchal organizations like, say, the Land of Oz or the Catholic Church. When the dog gets that curtain in its jaws and pulls it back, reality collides with perception and the big boys at the top who claim to have superpowers suddenly appear as what they are: snarly old geezers exploiting the masses for power and profit (and pleasure!) without conscience. Exhibit A: the "preacher of the papal household" who compared the current valid, moral- and law-centered criticism of the Pope and his not-so-holy hierarchy to the barbaric treatment of Jews. Whoa! I strongly disagree. It was definitely more like the Inquisition. Those Inquisition guys were real pros. I forget whose authority they were inquisitioning under...I must've missed the day they covered it in my Villainy 101 class. Anyone? Bueller?
CHEERS to Great Moments in Medicine. On April 5, 1933, the first operation to remove a lung was performed at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Unfortunately the guy was just there to visit his grandmother, but the point is: Progress!
Five years ago in C&J: April 5, 2005
CHEERS to rays of sunshine. Then: Tom DeLay is unstoppable and will crush us all. Now: Tom Delay is quite stoppable and will get crushed by us all. Pay attention kids---this is a great way to view the natural survival instincts of the cockroach. (Careful, though. He will bite).
JEERS to the Crasher-in-Chief. George W. Bush says he will attend the funerals of the Popes on Friday. Which means the entire Catholic hierarchy will have to get tickets in advance and sign a loyalty oath. And don't get wise with your T-shirts and bumper stickers, Monsignors, or you'll end up in the parking lot.
And just one more...
FEARS of making Billy angry. Political cartoon in Maine Sunday Telegram trivializing transgender issues make Billy's blood boil. Billy grab pen and turn into Billy Hulk:
Cartoonist Steve Meyers' March 21 doodle was amazing in its callousness. A restroom sign showing male and female icons is accompanied by a third one, showing a half male/half female, half pants/half dress-wearing icon with a question mark and shrugging as if to say, "Oh fiddle-dee-dee, am I male or am I female? I'm just all mixed up!"
With all the difficulties they face, I assure you the members of the transgender community are not shrugging about their identity. Nor are they shrugging about the fact that they face a constant uphill battle for respect, inclusion and equality.
Mr. Meyers' flippant cartoon makes it all look like a little game. Go ask a transgender or questioning Mainer how funny it is. You'll get an earful.
The issue of how best to respect and accommodate the needs of transgender students in our schools while respecting the needs of the student community as a whole is indeed complex. Mr. Meyers' job as a political cartoonist is to cut through the clutter and the crap, and bring insight and clarity to issues through imagery that can be, to borrow a phrase, "worth a thousand words."
Instead he chose to dip his quill in ink and turn a thorny and difficult issue into, literally, a condescending shrug.
Me feel better now. Need change clothes. And replace Billy-sized hole in drywall.
Oh, and the trick to making it through Monday? Periods of soft weeping, mostly. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:
For Bill in Portland Maine to be right, everyone else must be wrong.
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