Cheers and Jeers for Friday, March 19, 2010
Note: Is there who will put on a kimchi festival? My kingdom for a kimchi festival! Somebody please!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Earth Day: 34
Days `til the Greater Boston Kimchi Festival: 2
Percent of college freshmen who supported gay marriage in 2000: 56%
Percent of college freshmen who support gay marriage now: 65%
(Source: Chronicle of Higher Education)
Estimated dollar value of pharmaceutical drugs stolen in 2008: $97 million
Estimated dollar value of pharmaceutical drugs stolen last year: $184 million
(Source: Freight Watch International, via AP)
Number of coonskin caps sold during the mid-1950s run of "Davy Crockett" starring Fess Parker who died yesterday: 10 million
And from the Department of Homeland Security:
Days the color-coded federal terror alert system has been in place: 2,929
Days spent at terror alert level Blue or Green: 0
Puppy Pic of the Day: And with only seven items in their cart they can go through the express checkout...
CHEERS to Spring! As soon as the sun crosses over the equator at 1:32pm tomorrow, I shall put on my tutu, strap on my fairy wings, run outside and skip barefoot through the barley fields with the wee village folk. If history repeats itself, I'll end up squishing several of them (they're really wee), but their screams will fall on deaf ears because, really, this is supposed to be a happy time and they're not going to ruin it for me again. Memo to daffodils: start poinking!
P.S. Once Customs officials give 'em their full-body-cavity searches (check that underwear!), the swallows will be returning to the San Juan Capistrano Mission in California. The annual event is popular with budding young lovers who are on a budget. It's a cheep date.
CHEERS to civil disobedience in uniform. In an act of bravery, patriotism, pride and just a hint of the kinky, Lieutenant Dan Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo, decked out in their Army fatigues, handcuffed themselves to the White House fence yesterday to protest the military's 'Don’t Ask Don’t Tell' policy. Pushing the envelope further, today they went to court and said, "Fine? We ain't payin' no stinkin' fine. We're goin' to trial." Then they shouted "Huah!" together and gave the judge windburn. Meanwhile, the new poster child for those opposed to DADT is a retired general---I believe his name is Ninny McDramaqueen---who claims that gay soldiers are genocide enablers. Now I know why his grandkids have to take a double dose of Zoloft before he reads 'em a bedtime story.
CHEERS to the final push. If all goes according to plan (Ha Ha Ha Ha!), the House will get the 216 votes it needs to pack the healthcare sausage into its casing 43 hours from now and send it to the Senate, which will fry it up and serve it to the President next week. In the meantime, the right-wingers in and out of Washington are doing themselves no favors by ratcheting up their vitriol to the point of hooliganism. (Savaging an 11 year-old kid and a 60 year-old guy with Parkinson's disease? Really?????) This is the campaign ad I want to see airing across the country this fall:
[Footage of the worst of the teabagger/Limbaugh/Malkin/Beck behavior interspersed with the worst rhetoric of GOP congressmembers]
Narrator: While Democrats were working day and night on historic healthcare reform...to give 30 million uninsured Americans coverage...to eliminate denial of benefits because of pre-existing conditions...and to reduce the deficit by over a trillion dollars, this is what the Republicans were contributing:
[More obnoxious footage]
Narrator: When you vote this November, remember: Republicans got us into this mess by sitting on their hands when they were in power...and then, when they lost, turned into a do-nothing peanut gallery while Democrats were left to clean it up. This November, vote Democrat. Because the alternative is these guys....[More rabid footage]...and we've seen what they do: .
But, of course, we won't. We're just too nice.
JEERS to the 7-year ditch. Today marks 2,557 days since the invasion of a country that over half of Americans still can't point to on a map and, in many ways, America's descent into outright madness. Yesterday I re-hung the words of the neocon architects around their necks, and today Noweasels posted a this poignant reminder. This evening I want to single out a particularly odious individual for scorn, ridicule and (in our dreams) a long jail sentence: Paul Wolfowitz, who was Don Rumsfeld's Deputy Orc. Behold his amazing grasp of Iraq War bamboozlement and cluelessness:
On WMDs: "They've worked at hiding them very, very deliberately. There's no question in my mind that there was something there. There are just too many pieces of evidence, and we'll get to the bottom of it."
On troop strength: "The notion that it would take several hundred thousand American troops just seems outlandish."
On American casualties: "[As of May 2, 2004] It's approximately 500 of which---I can get the exact numbers---approximately 350 are combat deaths." [Actual figure at the time of his statement to a congressional committee: 738 deaths, of which 524 had been killed in combat]
On paying for the war: "There's a lot of money to pay for this. It doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money. We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."
As we count down the days until August, when our combat troops will FINALLY leave Iraq, we'll continue to pray every day for the headline we'd love to see: Wolfowitz chokes on comb. Nothing fatal, of course. Just enough to make him crap his pants.
CHEERS to strategic cutting and running. In a move that would've gotten him court-martialed by ex-president Bush for "not finishing the job," on tomorrow's date in 1942, General Douglas MacArthur pulled out of the Philippines during World War II so his forces could live to fight another day. His words made history: "I shall return." Not so historic were the words that followed: "Accelerator's on the right! Go Go Go Go Go!!!!"
CHEERS to home vegetation. Here in Maine the mercury plans on zooming up to 65 degrees tomorrow, so we'll be playin' out in the yard most of the day. But fear not, my beloved TV, there'll be time for you, too, especially Sunday around 1 for the House healthcare vote. Meanwhile on HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher gets in some face time with Dennis Kucinich, Gavin Newsom, and [swoon!] actor Emile Hirsch. They'll all gang up on Ayn Rand BFF Stephen Moore, but only because he's wrong about everything! New DVD releases include Disney's Oscar-nominated, 2D-animated The Princess and the Frog, plus Mystery Science Theatre XVII, Ninja Assassin and "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" (SPOILER ALERT: "No.") College basketball games will help dudes pass the time as Vasectomy Madness swings (heh) into high gear. And here's your Sunday morning lineup...the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Meet the Press: Steny Hoyer cleans John Boehner's clock---that's good. Ed Gillespie on the roundtable---that's bad. Tim Kaine's caterpillar eyebrows clash with Michael Steele's caterpillar mustache---that's ugly.
This Week: David Plouffe cleans Karl Rove's rhetorical clock---that's good. Trent Lott rears his racist head---that's bad. George Will's haircut---that's ugly.
Face the Nation: Mitch McConnell lies---that's bad. Jim Clyburn, Dick Durbin and Chris Van Hollen don’t---that's good. Bob Schieffer's nose hair---that's ugly.
The McLaughlin Group: Four conservatives take on one liberal---that's bad. Eleanor Clift decimates their bullshit, anyway---that's good. Pat Buchanan---ugly.
Bill Moyers Journal: Jane Goodall's extraordinary life---that's good. Bill Moyers hosts with civility, humor and intelligence---that's good. But he's retiring this spring---that's bad ugly.
Fox Pity Party with Chris Wallace: No clue who's on---that's good. Everything else about it is bad and ugly.
Five years ago in C&J: March 19, 2005
CHEERS to fixing Social Security. Bush said this at his press conference yesterday re: private accounts: "You get to decide whether you want to set some of your money aside in an account that will earn a better rate of return than that which will be earned in the Social Security system." C&J's question: If there's a way to earn a higher rate of return, why isn’t the government doing that with Social Security ? Cue the crickets.
JEERS to America's achin' 401(k)s. The Dow fell a whopping 112 points yesterday because of rising oil prices. And fears that GM's earnings will be 80% below expectations. And worries about interest rates. And dread over the ballooning deficit. And rumors that Stefano might be up to something on 'Days of Our Lives.' Those Wall Street types...they don't miss a thing.
And just one more...
CHEERS to the fountain of Ruth. My partner Michael's grandmother turns 97 today. Ninety seven! She finally moved to an assisted-living facility late last year, but she still has her marbles, and plays squash 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 97 great big blessings on your camels.
Have a lovely spring weekend. Stay classy. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?