❧ For all your domestic terrorism needs, nobody gets the job done like the Republican party. Call today for a free estimate!
❧ Coming soon to a GOP line of attack near you: voter fraud studies showing no voter fraud prove that voter fraud studies are rife with voter fraud study fraud.
❧ The accomplishments of the Biden administration are piling up so fast that almost no one remembers how he eradicated windmill-noise cancer on his first day in office.
❧ Net neutrality is coming back! Net neutrality is comi—[Buffering Buffering Buffering]—ng back!
❧ You’ll need more than one hanky when President Biden inevitably awards President Obama the Medal of Freedom.
❧ Trump may have been booted from Twitter, but someone needs to make sure he’s not knitting secret encoded messages into scarves and posting them on Etsy.
❧ Ben Carson is still asleep at HUD. No one wants to wake him because when he snores he goes “SnORK! Pupuhpuhpuhpuhpuh… SnORK! Pupuhpuhpuhpuhpuh…”
❧ I’ve figured out how to use my pandemic ponytail like a whip to knock a nut out of a squirrel’s mouth. But I don’t recommend it. Almost as much, I’m now aware, as the squirrels don’t recommend it.
And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, January 28, 2021
Note: Today’s C&J is brought to you by the letters J, O, S, H, H, A, W, L, E, Y, I, S, A, T, R, A, I, T, O, and R. See, kids? Learning is fun! —Elmo
By the Numbers:
Days ’til Clean Out Your Computer Day: 11
Date on which global Covid-19 cases topped 100 million: 1/26/21
Percent of voters polled by Morning Consult who approve of Biden’s job performance, compared with 46% who approved of his predecessor’s at this point in 2017: 56%
Biden approval among 18-34 year-olds: 65%
Number of dissenters in Canada‘s House of Commons during a vote to designate “the Proud Boys” a white supremacist terrorist group: 0
The last year that home sales were as high as they were in 2020: 2006
Average national price of a gallon of gas: $2.45
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
Seeing yet another story in the newspaper about global warming doesn’t make much of an impression unless, of course, some storm has just knocked out your electricity for three days and your acquaintance with the greenhouse effect is now measured in buckets of sweat. […]
This summer, five hundred people died from a heat wave in Chicago, and Russian scientists report venomous snakes appearing for the first time in the far north. A team of British scientists predicts that 1995 will be the warmest year in human history. Bill McKibben, author of Hope, Human and Wild (out next month), wrote in the Los Angeles Times that the most curious part of this phenomenon is not that it’s taking place—global warming is right where it’s supposed to be, according to all the predictions by all the scientists who have studied it—but that no one is paying attention.
As they say at Alcoholics Anonymous, denial is not just a river in Egypt.
Puppy Pic of the Day: Teh wind in mah hairz…
CHEERS to ordering us around. Grasping a normal-sized pen in his normal-sized hand, normal American President Joe Biden, having learned lessons from his mistakes of the past like a normal person would, signed four executive orders as part of his “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government” initiative, including…
…directing the Department of Housing and Urban Development to “redress racially discriminatory housing policies,” scaling back the federal government’s reliance on private prisons, condemning anti-Asian racism and underscoring the administration’s commitment to Native American tribal sovereignty, as Reuters reports.
“In the weeks ahead, I’ll be reaffirming the federal government’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and accessibility, building on the work we started in the Obama-Biden administration,” Biden said Tuesday.
On top of the executive order, the White House’s push to raise the minimum wage [to $15] would have outsize effects on African Americans, helping to narrow the black-white income gap.
And if that doesn’t work, he’ll order his supporters to storm the Capitol and take over the government by force. Senate Republicans tell me that’s the new normal now.
P.S. Remember when our previous two Secretaries of State were unqualified sleepy oil executive Rex Tillerson and unqualified big mouth Rapture fanatic Mike Pompeo? You’ll be glad to know there’s a new chief diplomat on duty—sworn in yesterday—and he’s qualified on steroids:
Blinken will be assisted in his duties by undersecretaries Inken, Pinken and Clyde.
CHEERS to standing up to a bully. On the international front, President Biden called Vladimir Putin of the tiny oligarch nation of Russia to let him know that, with his predecessor long gone (an entire blessed week), the only lap dogs he’ll find in the White House these days are named Champ and Major:
According to the White House, Biden raised concerns about the arrest of opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Russia’s alleged involvement in a massive cyber espionage campaign and reports of Russian bounties on American troops in Afghanistan. […]
While the readouts from the two capitals emphasized different elements, they both suggested that U.S-Russia relations will be guided, at least at the beginning of the Biden administration, by a desire to do no harm but also no urgency to repair existing damage.
The two presidents agreed to have their teams work urgently to complete a five-year extension of the New START nuclear weapons treaty that expires next month. Former President Donald Trump’s administration had withdrawn from two arms control treaties with Russia and had been prepared to let New START lapse.
The conversation got off to an awkward start when Putin tried to speak directly to Biden through the bug his foreign minister planted in the Oval Office ficus plant in 2017 while Trump wasn’t looking. Correction: while Trump was looking.
JEERS to premature descents. On January 28, 1986—good lord, 35 years ago—the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members, including civilian teacher Christa McAuliffe. I’m guessing that if you were more than toddler-age, you remember exactly where you were when you heard about it. I was in the Otterbein College (Westerville, Ohio) campus center at 11:38am, and can still conjure up the queasy feeling that set in when I realized what had happened. A stunned crowd of students and faculty gathered around the big-screen TV and just…watched. Lest we forget these were the heroes on board that day:
Today folks from the Challenger Center and elsewhere, along with family members of the crew, will commemorate the tragedy, starkly reminding the world that it takes off-the-charts courage, brains and skill to put yourself through the rigors of space flight. Which pretty much explains why I blog for a living.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to the comeback kid. Tuesday afternoon Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy of Vermont—aka the guy who’s two heartbeats away from the presidency—was taken to the hospital for observation. He was quickly released and says he’s feeling much better now. Doctors say it was nothing more than a brief bout of accidentally making direct eye contact with Ted Cruz.
CHEERS to the first ringy-dingy. On January 28, 1878, the commercial telephone switchboard made its national debut in New Haven, Connecticut. The first customers were Amanda Hugginkiss, I.P. Freely and Seymour Butz. We hear the first operator lasted a whole five minutes.
One year ago in C&J: January 28, 2020—Our 1st mention of the coronavirus
JEERS to creepy crawlies with evil on their minds. If you liked ebola, you’ll looooove the coronavirus. Yes, folks, nature’s microscopic stormtroopers are spreading disease, death and fear as they infect their way to infamy. Thankfully the Trump administration hasn’t gutted the CDC entirely, so they’re actually on the case:
» There is an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, China, caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.
» Person-to-person spread is occurring. Other parts of China have also reported cases.
» Older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease.
» The situation is evolving. This notice will be updated as more information becomes available.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. However, at least two previously identified coronaviruses have caused severe disease.
The most important thing, according to the CDC, is that “travelers avoid non-essential travel to Hubei Province, China, including Wuhan.” In addition, C&J recommends that you duct-tape all of your neighbors’ windows and doors so if they have the virus they can’t spread it to you. Better seal their chimneys good and tight, too. Let’s not take chances. [1/28/21 Update: Anyone know if it’s safe to travel to Wuhan again?]
And just one more…
CHEERS to meteorology run amok. Because C&J aims to be a full-service information provider, here’s the latest totally boring and predictable weather outlook:
Hooray…no meteors or Martian invasions. We might actually be able to work on our tans.
Have a nice Thursday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial
“When we are not splashing in the Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool, then one of two things is likely to happen. Either some other blog tries to take our place—but not in a way that is likely to advance our interests and values—or maybe, just as bad, no one does, and then you have pool scum. Either way, that does not serve the American people.”