Thanks, Mr. President.
In 2023 alone, State and local legislatures have already introduced over 600 hateful laws targeting the LGBTQI+ community. Books about LGBTQI+ people are being banned from libraries. Transgender youth in over a dozen States have had their medically necessary health care banned. Homophobic and transphobic vitriol spewed online has spilled over into real life, as armed hate groups intimidate people at Pride marches and drag performances, and threaten doctors’ offices and children’s hospitals that offer care to the LGBTQI+ community. [...]
Despite these attacks, the LGBTQI+ community remains resilient. LGBTQI+ Americans are defiantly and unapologetically proud. Youth leaders are organizing walkouts at high schools and colleges across the country to protest discriminatory laws. LGBTQI+ young people and their parents are demonstrating unimaginable courage by testifying in State capitols in defense of their basic rights.
They are not alone: My entire Administration stands proudly with the LGBTQI+ community in the enduring struggle for freedom, justice, and equality. [...] I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the achievements of the LGBTQI+ community, to celebrate the great diversity of the American people, and to wave their flags of pride high.
Read the full proclamation here. Don’t forget to pride-light up that White House, Joe.
Cheers and Jeers for Monday, June 5, 2023
Note: Our sincerest apologies for not warning the Daily Kos community in advance that we were changing from jeans to shorts over the weekend. Those of you who suffered retina burn as a result of viewing our blindingly-white bird legs without proper protection can submit a claim to C&J's legal department. (Please allow 5-10 years for processing.) —Mgt.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til summer: 16
Days 'til the National Cereal Festival in Battle Creek, Michigan: 5
Number of babies born in the U.S. last year, 3,000 fewer than in 2021: 3.7 million
Percent of Americans who say they regularly smoke marijuana, according to a new Gallup poll: 16%
Percent polled in 1969 who said they’d even tried smoking weed: 4%
Percent chance Moody's upgraded Maine's credit rating from "stable" to "positive" because the Democratic leadership here has proven its "strong fiscal governance and financial flexibility as well as manageable fixed costs”: 100%
Length of the pause India is putting on building new coal plants so the country can focus on renewable energy: 5 years
Puppy Pic of the Day: Beau gets a brother…
CHEERS and JEERS to news from the workin' stiff desk. Good data on the May employment front, as announced Friday: 339,000 new jobs were created. More good news: the official unemployment rate remains low at 3.7%. More good news: that was better than the experts not-very-expertly expected. So what to make of it all? More from Bill McBride at Calculated Risk:
Leisure and hospitality gained 48 thousand jobs in May. At the beginning of the pandemic, in March and April of 2020, leisure and hospitality lost 8.2 million jobs, and are now down 349 thousand jobs since February 2020. So, leisure and hospitality has now added back about 96% all of the jobs lost in March and April 2020.
Construction employment increased 25 thousand and is now 320 thousand above the pre-pandemic level. Manufacturing employment decreased 2 thousand jobs and is now 199 thousand above the pre-pandemic level.
Overall, this was another strong employment report.
The status of Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, remains the same from last month: hardly working.
CHEERS to today's far-from-boring correction. You can cross another traitor's name off the welcome sign at a military base, and good riddance. Fort Bragg in North Carolina is no more. From now on you can call it Fort Liberty:
The North Carolina base was originally named in 1918 for Gen. Braxton Bragg, a Confederate general from Warrenton, North Carolina, who was known for owning slaves and losing key Civil War battles that contributed to the Confederacy’s downfall.
While other bases are being renamed for Black soldiers, U.S. presidents and trailblazing women, the North Carolina military installation is the only one not renamed after a person. Retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Ty Seidule said at a naming commission meeting last year that the new name was chosen because “liberty remains the greatest American value.”
According to Military Times, the cost of renaming nine bases that never should've been named what they were named will be around $39 million. Why, that's almost the military's cost of a toilet seat. Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Procurement humor—never fails.
JEERS to the GOP's very bad horrible no good day. On June 5, 1933, the U.S. went off the gold standard. Then, seventy-one years later, on June 5, 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.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to The Preeecious. Forty-six years ago this week, in 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 Republican and 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. (Take that, Gary in accounting with your silly protractor.)
CHEERS to fighters for truth, justice and the American way. One of America's great journalists and commentators in the Edward R. Murrow tradition (not to mention President LBJ’s press secretary), Bill Moyers, turns a year more seasoned today (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. Sadly he retired from his Emmy-winning 30-year career several years back. But this snip from a column he wrote in 2015 on what it means to be a progressive is still terrific, and should be quoted in every Democratic stump speech:
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.
Ten years ago in C&J: June 5, 2013
CHEERS to sunny days ahead for solar. Memo to the fossil fuel zombies: the tighter you squeeze, the more the green energy sector is going to slip through your fingers. Take sun power for instance. Brian Dowling at The Hartford Courant says that leasing solar panels is becoming a popular way to minimize the hassle and expense of getting off the grid:
The solar company, not you, owns the equipment—just like car dealership owns a leased car. And so in many cases, when it comes time for routine maintenance or repairs, the company is responsible. When the lease ends, you have the option of buying the system, renewing the lease or having it removed. If you move out, the solar systems also can be transferred to a new owner.
SolarCity, a California solar outfit that has offered solar leases in Connecticut since 2011, has signed more than 350 leases in the state and more than 40,000 countrywide. The company's chairman, Elon Musk, is the CEO of electric car company Tesla Motors and spacecraft firm Space-X. This week, Goldman Sachs said it would put up $500 million in financing for SolarCity leases.
Last week solar's arch-enemy, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, lamented, "What good is saving the planet if civilization suffers?" Amazingly, he wasn't looking into a mirror when he said it. [6/5/23 Update: Tesla bought SolarCity in 2016. Somehow they’re still in business.]
And just one more…
CHEERS to draining the dictionary. What? There was a National Spelling Bee this year? Strange—my Chippendales strippergram delivery guy told me nothing of this. Oh well. Congratulations to 14-year-old Dev Shah of Largo, Florida, who was the last contestant standing at the 2023 Bee in National Harbor, Maryland:
Dev correctly spelled schistorrhachis, aegagrus, rommack and tolsester. Dev competed against 14-year-old Charlotte Walsh from Merrifield, Virginia, as the final two standing. She earned $25,000 for reaching second place after correctly spelling akuammine, collembolous and Jhangar.
More than 180 were National Spelling Bee first-timers, and 49 were returning contestants. Dev previously had tied for 51st place in 2019 and finished tied for 76th in 2021.
He told CNN he focused on studying the roots of words so that he would be better prepared for this year’s contest. “If I got a word I didn’t know, I then could figure it out,” he said.
His winning word was psammophile. When asked what the word means, the judges responded: "Fifty thousand bucks, kid, if you spell it right.”
Have a tolerable Monday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
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