The Week Ahead
Monday House Republicans inch closer to an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, on charges of “This, that, and the other thing. Y’know...impeachy stuff.”
The autoworkers strike continues into its fourth day when UAW representatives turn down management’s latest offer of free Yosemite Sam mud flaps and a year’s worth of pine-scented rear-view mirror air fresheners.
Tuesday The 78th annual session of the U.N. General Assembly begins. On the agenda: action items on refugee rights, the climate crisis, global hunger, world peace and, if none of those succeed, escape pods.
Lauren Boebert becomes the first sitting member Congress to be nominated for a Pornhub Award in the category of Best Actress in a Surveillance Video. (Or, for that matter, in any Pornhub Award category.)
Wednesday The Mortgage Bankers Association will release the results for the latest mortgage purchase applications index, right after they sign here…and here…and here...and then initial here, here, and here.
Lots of facepalming among the conservative evangelical movement today as it realizes it’s gone almost a week without remembering to blame Hurricane Lee on the gays, feminists and pagans.
Thursday A Republican state senator in Wisconsin suffers a brief pang of conscience. It quickly passes and his office staff cancels the 911 call.
To everyone’s relief, scientists reveal that global warming isn’t happening 20 times faster than their most pessimistic predictions, but only 18.7 times faster. Exxon-Mobil celebrates the news with a colorful methane emission the size of Texas in the shape of a smiley face.
Friday NBC News releases a preview of new Meet the Press host Kristen Welker's upcoming interview with members of the Proud Boys terrorist organization, including such hard-hitting questions as, "Do you enjoy long walks on the beach at sunset?" and "Have you tried the new keto diet that everyone's talking about?"
Oh poo. Another day, another day JFK Jr. doesn’t show up anywhere disguised as anybody.
Oh, and according to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your lives accordingly. And now, our feature presentation...
Cheers and Jeers for Monday, September 18, 2023
Note: Please refrain from smartphone photography or recording, vaping, breast-groping, tallywacker pulling, or claiming in your PR damage-control statement that you were "honestly" unaware of your smartphone photography or recording, vaping, breast-groping, and tallywacker pulling in the C&J kiddie pool. You may, however, pee in the pool as our water-to-chlorine ratio is 1:1,000,000. Thank you. —Mgt.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til autumn: 5
Days 'til Maine's 151st Cumberland County Fair: 6
Number of senior White House aides President Biden sent to Detroit to help negotiate during the UAW strike: 2
Number of shootings at Friday night high school football games so far this season, resulting in 13 injuries and two deaths: 16
Weekly initial unemployment claims announced last week, up a bit from the previous week: 220,000
Percent of U.S. employees who worked remotely in 2019 and 2022, respectively: 5.7%, 15.2%
New minimum wage in Maine starting January 1, 2024, up from the current $13.80: $14.15
Puppy Pic of the Day: Done well you have, Yoda…
CHEERS to world peace...or a semi-close approximation thereof. If it's autumn in New York, that means it's General Assembly time! All the leaders of the universe are assembling at the United Nations this week for the 78th time in the annual contest to see which one can be the biggest public nuisance.
This year's event likely won’t be nearly as looney-toons as it was back when we had some real unstable goofballs wandering the hallways: Hugo Chavez (dead), Muammar Ghaddafi (dead), Mahmud Ahmadinejahd (now working the fry vat at the Tehran McDonald's), Donald Trump (now facing 91 charges of crimey business), and that Bolsonaro fella from Brazil (now powerless and facing possible prison time of his own). But at least two rock-ribbed freedom fighters will be there to advocate for truth and justice: President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Then, as custom now dictates, the General Assembly will close the session later this week with their time-honored tradition: the annual shredding of the diplomats' unpaid parking tickets.
CHEERS to dodging a bullet. Nice try, Lee. Awash in hubris and misguided assumptions, Saturday the invading hurricane, marching north from the Dixie coast, unleashed its force on Maine in the hopes of conquering our territory in one swift stroke. But in a tactical blunder for the ages, it didn’t count on our cool open waters that were all uphill, stymieing its progress and reducing it to a mere stiff breeze here in Portland. Nor did it count on the ghost of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, the hero of Little Round Top, who rallied our citizenry from the ether to defend our peoples and our way of life. As we begin another week, all is well. Thus we close another chapter in The Big Book of Failed Southern Aggression. Tonight we celebrate with steaming clam chowder ladled from a giant L.L. Bean boot, washed down with the state's most popular beverage, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. Tomorrow: the formal surrender at Appomattox.
CHEERS to famous firsts. Seventy-five years ago, on September 18, 1948, Margaret Chase Smith from the GREAT STATE OF MAINE became the first woman elected to the United States Senate—without completing a term started by another senator—when she beat Democrat Adrian Scolten. Her campaign slogan makes me wonder if it wasn’t the inspiration for Eisenhower’s “I Like Ike” four years later: "My Sentiments Are With Margaret Chase Smith."
It also made her the first woman to be both a U.S. representative and senator, and in 1964 she became the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for president. She came in second. Or as the menfolk in the modern GOP like to say: "As it should be."
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to learning something new every day. On September 18, 1851, The New York Times came out with its first issue, published by Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones who said: "We intend to issue it every morning (Sundays excepted) for an indefinite number of years to come." And while doing a little research I discovered that: Times Square is named after the paper, the Times got its first telephone number in 1886 and it was "John 470," and the first New Year's Eve ball drops were done from their 42nd Street headquarters starting in 1907 (Really Truly!!!). Now I'm scared, because whenever something trivial enters my brain it means something important gets kicked out. Which probably explains why I just got a sudden urge to gnaw the lead paint off my toys and stick a fork in a light socket. This is why I keep my neurologist on speed-dial.
JEERS to the poorest richest nation on Earth. The Census Bureau released its annual poverty report last week, and 11.5 percent of us are at or below the poverty line, including 12.4 percent of our nation's kids. Democrats are appalled by the numbers and want to take strong steps to reduce poverty in America, like increasing the minimum wage, preserving the food stamp program, extending unemployment insurance, and reinstating the pandemic-era tax credit that dramatically cut child poverty. Republicans, on the other hand, say they've got their own foolproof plan for shrinking the numbers to zero: eliminate the Census Bureau's annual poverty report.
Ten years ago in C&J: September 18, 2013
CHEERS to the Great Thaw of 2013. We're seeing three significant developments in this wacky world we call Wacky World Land. 1) The U.S. and Russia working brilliantly together to rid Syria of its chemical weapons—with Syria's blessing, no less. 2) A pope who ain't a total jerk towards gay people. And now 3) The new Iranian president—seemingly with the blessing of the mullahs—wants to ratchet down the nuclear tensions with us:
Rouhani's comments are the latest in a slew of signs that he is cautiously open to defrosting relations with the U.S., which were in deep freeze under the isolating leadership of his predecessor, the inflammatory Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. He and President Obama have exchanged letters in which they traded views on “some issues.”
If this kum by yah trend holds, my source tells me that #4 will be a Glenn Beck-Rachel Maddow hootenanny.
And just one more…
CHEERS to our battered, bruised, and brittle parchment of liberty. I'm told it's unconstitutional to allow a year to go by without acknowledging Constitution Day. So here we are, just one day late. It was 236 years ago yesterday, on September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by delegates from 12 states. And you can thank a wily West Virginia Democrat for keeping it top-of-mind:
Constitution Day became a national observance in 2004, when Senator Robert Byrd passed a bill designating September 17 as the day for citizens to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and learn more about our founding document.
Senator Byrd once said, "Our ideals of freedom, set forth and realized in our Constitution, are our greatest export to the world." … In honor of Constitution Day, all educational institutions receiving federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the U.S. Constitution.
» At 81, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention, and at 26 Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey was the youngest.
» The original Constitution is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, it was moved to Fort Knox for safekeeping.
» More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress. Thirty three have gone to the states to be ratified and twenty seven have received the necessary approval from the states to actually become amendments to the Constitution.
» The boogers stuck to the document represent the Dred Scott, Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, and Dobbs decisions, along with the language about the electoral college.
Got what it takes to be a constitutional scholar? Take the annual 10-question quiz here and the 50-question mega quiz here.
It should be noted that Republicans care very deeply about the Constitution, and pledge to fight tooth and nail for every single word. But, oddly, only During Democratic presidencies.
Have a tolerable Monday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial
"I forgot how exposed Bill in Portland Maine is, but he is, you know, naked with his rear end hanging out in the Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool."