Fun with Math
The Daily Beast reports:
Republican Kyle Biedermann of the Texas House of Representatives, previously best known for dressing up as “gay Hitler,” became the first American legislator in nearly a century and only the second since the Civil War to file a formal bill calling for state-level secession from the United States. Dubbed the “Texas Independence Referendum Act,” his bill would allow Texans to vote this November on a referendum “on the question of whether this state should leave the United States of America and establish an independent republic.”
Let's see. There are currently 50 Democratic senators and 50 Trump Cult senators. If we add two Democratic senators from the upcoming state of DC and two Democratic senators from the upcoming state of Puerto Rico, and subtract the two senators—including Ted Cruz—from Texas, that equals 54 Democrats and 48 Trump cultists.
Do go on, Mr. Gay Rodeo Hitler. We're listening.
Cheers and Jeers for Monday, February 1, 2021
Note: From the Eyewitness News Desk—Nation reels as new president wears clothing that actually fits, and walks like a normal human. Film at 11. Parental discretion, for the first time in four years, is not advised.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the impeachment trial starts: 8
Average public support for President Biden's order prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, according to FiveThirtyEight, making it his most popular executive order so far: 83%
Percent of Georgians who voted for Democratic Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and said health care was their top issue: 80%
Estimated number of Americans who have health insurance today because of Obamacare: 20 million
Year by which GM says it will be selling only electric cars: 2035
Years since a snowy owl was spotted in Manhattan, as it was last week: 130
Age at which Cicely Tyson, who died last week at 96, became the oldest person to win a Tony Award: 88
Puppy Pic of the Day: The Major Biden story…
CHEERS to February! Hooray—we finally made it to the third and last month of meteorological winter in the northern hemisphere! For the shortest month, it sure packs a lot of goodies in it. Some of the highlights:
Black History Month, more daylight, Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Waitangi Day in New Zealand, Heritage Day in Canada, Dia de la Bandera in Mexico, Cordova Ice Worm Day in Alaska, Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day, and Purim. President Biden continues issuing executive orders that PolitiFact confirms are making America great again, and awaits Congress's Covid relief bill to sign. Plus there's George & Abe's awesome storewide mattress sales, Charles Dickens Day, full "snow moon" on the 27th, Create A Vacuum Day (chaired this year by Marjorie Taylor Greene because her cranial cavity contains the biggest black hole on the planet), and National Pancake Day.
And, lest we forget, the second impeachment trial of the previous president—this time for "incitement of insurrection" aka sending an armed mob to storm the Capitol and install him as dictator—gets underway on the 9th. And with Democrats in charge you'll be seeing what last year's trial lacked: evidence and witnesses. I'll say this: we may live in a crumbling republic on a planet beset by fire and parasites…but at least it's never dull.
JEERS to embarrassing math. What do you get when you add up the number of Covid-19 cases in India, Brazil, and Russia, which currently occupy the #2, #3, and #4 spots on the list of most-infected countries? Answer: still fewer cases than the United States, which "leads" the world by a country mile. Worldwide there are now over 103 million cases—over a quarter of them in the U.S. (Although cases have gone down 40% over the last three weeks, which is great.) Here are this week's domestic numbers for the C&J historical record, courtesy of the most depressing tote board in the world, as our death toll now exceeds the population of America’s 44th-largest city Virginia Beach, Virginia:
6 months ago: 4.8 million confirmed cases. 158,000 deaths.
3 months ago: 9.4 million confirmed cases. 236,000 deaths
1 month ago: 21 million confirmed cases. 360,000 deaths
This morning: 27 million confirmed cases. 450,000 deaths
Keep an eye on Congress this week. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer, backed by the blessing of Treasury Secretary (and former Fed chair) Janet Yellen and 120 economists, may introduce their $1.9 trillion Covid relief package to the howls and rending of garments by Republicans over the deficit, the poor, poor deficit! If you want to make a fast buck this week, don’t bother with GameStop—sink all your money into Acme Fainting Couches, LLC.
CHEERS to safety nets. 81 years ago today, the first Social Security check (#00-000-001) was issued to Ida May Fuller—a Vermonter and childhood classmate of Calvin Coolidge—for $22.54. Or, as Republican leaders calls it: "$22.54 too much." Despite all the despicable fearmongering coming from the right that Social Security is "flat broke," Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) reminds us via email….
Here’s the truth: Social Security is fully solvent, and will be through 2038. So why all the bluster? It’s a giveaway to Wall Street, plain and simple.
Starting with Ida May Fuller in 1940, our nation has a proud history of rewarding a lifetime of hard work with the promise of financial security in one’s golden years. It’s been the most effective anti-poverty program in the history of the world.
As always...much obliged, FDR.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to order in the courts. If you ground your teeth down to the nub during the Obama years because of the way Democrats let Republicans obstruct judicial nominees on an unprecedented level for way too long, this is welcome news: they're not about to let 'em get away with it again…
In addition to forming a new commission to study structural changes to the judiciary, the Biden White House has asked senators to recruit civil rights attorneys and defense lawyers for judgeships. Officials who work on the issue say they’ve seen an outpouring of interest and have begun holding sessions to offer information and advice on navigating the confirmation gauntlet. […]
“I call it repair the courts,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview [,] calling it “a very prudent goal” to fill every judicial vacancy by the end of 2022. He urged Democratic colleagues to ignore “Republican procedural caterwauling” on matters like blue slips after the tactics they used to tilt the courts to the right. […]
[Majority Leader Chuck Schumer] told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in a Tuesday interview that Democrats “can fill up a lot” of seats. “There will be lots of vacancies that come up. And I think there are a lot of judges—Democratic appointees who didn't take senior status while Trump was president who now will,” Schumer said. “Then we get to fill it.”
The prime directive during the Biden years falls in line with what I—the godfather of modern liberalism—call "The Three C's" that should be focused on most: 1) Covid, 2) Courts, and of course, 3) Convince Republicans to Leap Into A Volcano.
P.S. Big Biden speech on foreign policy today. I think we’re finally invading Lichtenstein. That oughtta teach ‘em to return our lawnmower when they’re done, the little pricks.
CHEERS to "slide-rule portability." Tech geeks, fall to your knees and grovel before “the world’s first pocket calculator.” On February 1, 1972, the hand-held HP-35 ("challenges a computer!") made its debut. Cost: a mere $395. And it was made the old-fashioned way—in the USA. How quaint. Today's calculators are solar-powered, mainly because Detroit and the oil companies could never figure out a way to power 'em with internal combustion. If you get bored today (and if you made it this far down into C&J you must be): punch in 5318008, turn it upside down, call a phone number at random and read what you see to the person on the other end. But be mature about it.
Ten years ago in C&J: February 1, 2011
JEERS to wimping out. The headline in my local paper said it all over the weekend: "Senate attempt to restrict filibustering dies." Republicans got a complete and total pass for choking off the democratic process and establishing their own "government by 41-vote majority." So now Republicans don’t even have to get on the floor and read the phone book ‘til they drop. Just a spit-handshake agreement between Harry Reid and Yertl the Turtle to "play nice" and everything's back to normal. Oh, sure...that'll fly. Like a Texas history schoolbook through a bullshit detector. [2/1/21 Update: And here we are.]
And just one more…
CHEERS to Maine's matchless movie maker. Happy 127th Birthday to director and Portland native (and son of immigrants) John Ford. He launched John Wayne's career and defined the classic American western with Stagecoach, The Searchers, the cavalry trilogy and gobs more. And then there's The Grapes of Wrath, which is in a class all by its amazing self:
Ford proclaimed in 1967: "I am a liberal Democrat and a rebel." Well, of course he was. He had intelligence and talent.
Have a tolerable Monday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial
Can someone please keep Bill in Portland Maine away from the cameras? And the microphones? And really, most situations in which he publicly tries to turn words into meaningful thoughts?
—The Charlotte Observer