Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

 Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

Says Senator King: 

“In the face of this crisis, the previous Senate leadership did not do enough—despite bipartisan support for action. The bill the Senate passed today, and the vote I proudly cast in favor, confronts the damage done across the board.  […]

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013, file photo Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, listens to testimony during hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. After revelations this week that the National Security Agency (NSA) is allowed to gather U.S. phone calls and emails to sift through them for information leading to terrorist suspects, lawmakers are questioning the scope of the information gathered. ìDoes that data all have to be held by the government?î asked King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who was briefed on the program this week. ìI donít think there is evidence of abuse, but I think the program can be changed to be structured with less levels of intrusion on the privacy of Americans.î (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
How Angus looks at bullshitters.

You may have heard the charge that ‘only 9% of this bill relates to COVID, and the rest is some kind of political wish list.’ This is flat wrong and deliberately misleading. This legislation will also address the secondary effects of COVID-19—including delivering desperately-needed financial support to working families through targeted direct payments, extending unemployment benefits, and providing additional resources to help school districts safely reopen. The bill also addresses longstanding inequalities exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic by adjusting Child Tax Credit to help lift 10,000 Maine children out of poverty and investing key resources into broadband expansion, which is essential to remote learning, telehealth for seniors, and working from home—all crucial in our fight against the impacts of the pandemic. […]

The result is a well-thought-out, effective piece of legislation that has broad, bipartisan support from the American public—one recent poll shows that 77% of the American public supports this plan, including 6 in 10 Republicans.”

 Point: Angus.

And now, our feature presentation… 

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Note: For accounting purposes, today is Thursday, tomorrow will be Monday, and Saturday and Sunday will be combined into a single Tuesday to maximize efficiencies. Questions? Call Marge in HR. Thanks.  —Gary in Accounting

By the Numbers:

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Nominations arrive in 6 days!!!

Days ’til the Academy Award nominations are announced: 6

Factor by which Covid-19 has killed more people than an average flu season, according to The New York Times: 15x

Portion of Americans surveyed by the Kaiser Family Foundation who say they’ve had trouble paying for basic living expenses over the last several months: 2-in-5

Percent of Americans polled by Ipsos who say they’re looking forward to being able to greet people with handshakes again: 58%

Percent chance that phasing out handshakes in favor of elbow or fist bumps is a smart idea, according to Doc Fauci: 100%

Compensation hauled in last year by the CEO of Boeing: $21 million

Number of rivets in the Eiffel Tower: 2,500,000

Puppy Pic of the Day: Cheers to C&J’s senior editor. If you want to get an all-too-real sense of how fast time flies, get a puppy and watch how quick (s)he grows up. Our rescue lab mix Haley joined our family eight years ago today. Her annual grandma chair pic…

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CHEERS to the words we’ve been waiting to read. Fifty freaking days after President Biden’s inauguration, The Hill delivers the good news about his nominee for Attorney General:

Attorney general nominee Merrick Garland is likely to face numerous tests early on at the Department of Justice (DOJ) as the Biden administration looks to quickly turn the page on the Trump era. The circuit court judge, who’s expected to be confirmed by the Senate this week, will inherit a Justice Department that had been mobilized to protect former President Trump‘s personal and political interests using sweeping theories of executive power.

Merrick Garland, President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
“I can report that the Trump family has arrived at Leavenworth and is resting uncomfortably.”

That means Garland will be under the microscope from day one to see how he addresses the previous administration’s erosion of the DOJ’s independence.

Garland will be under a microscope? Wow. When Biden said he was bringing back science, he wasn’t kidding.

CHEERS to securing the homeland. My opinion of what should happen to the Republicans who stormed the Capitol on January 6th and tried to kick your party and mine out of power is pretty simple: 1) if you were illegally on the Capitol grounds as part of the mob, you get five years in prison, 2) if you entered the Capitol building you get ten years, 3) if you had a hand inorganizing any of it you get 15 years, and 4) if you try and use some bullshit excuse like “I was just in there to bring positive energy with my antler hat” or “The doors were open,” you get life without parole. As for preventing another insurrection, it sounds like a plan is coming together:

The final report calls for the hiring of more than 1,000 Capitol Police officers, a dedicated quick reaction force and the installation of retractable fencing around the complex, according to a draft obtained by CBS News.

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The right general for the job. Call it a hunch.

The study was led by former Hurricane Katrina Commander and retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore and a task force composed of other former senior military officials.

The 15-pagedocument seeks to streamline the chain of command after significant delays in deploying the National Guard during the riot.

Speaker Pelosi, whose office was ransacked and peed on by the rioting Republican cult, says she’s looking at how to fund the changes and upgrades, and will review the report with all due urgency. Republicans said stuff about the report, too, but fuck them.

CHEERS to great moments in wingnut walloping.  Sixty-seven years ago today, on March 9, 1954, Edward R. Murrow took Ann Coulter’s pin-up idol, Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, to the cleaners over his Communist witch hunt. His fab-o wrapup could serve as a middle-finger salute to McCarthy’s modern-day doppelganger, Deep State Devin:

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men—not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.”

Senator McCarthy was the ideological right-winger who thought he could bully and bluster his way to power and glory by ruining innocent people’s lives, but ended up ruining his own by getting censured in the Senate and then dying in a cloud of booze and morphine at age 48. Karma’s a what, again?

BRIEF SANITY BREAK

END BRIEF SANITY BREAK

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The first movie I saw at the Globe Theater in Düsseldorf was also my first James Bond flick. It totally influenced me in my later decision to go to college and major in villainy.

JEERS to palace intrigue. If you want the takeaways from the supposed bombshell interview between Oprah and Harry and Meghan, click here. I’d rather not. But, gol’blimey, having spent four years of my childhood in the British sector of then-West Germany in the mid-70s (Düsseldorf, to be precise), I feel compelled to comment on what I know about the Royals, in the hopes it will foster unity and understanding with our former red-coated overlords across the pond.

What I know is this: when you went to see a movie at the British military-owned Globe Theater, before the feature they played God Save the Queen while showing footage of Queen Elizabeth II riding around on her horse, inspecting the guards at Buckingham Palace doing that little wavey-wave thing she does, and everybody had to stand up until that part was over, even if you weren’t British, and if you didn’t stand up for it you got kicked out. I’m Bill in Portland Maine…and this has been my British Royalty master class.

CHEERS to shuttle diplomacy.  167 years ago this week, in 1854, U.S. Commodore Matthew C. Perry finally reached Japan during his second trip there.  His perilous efforts on the high seas were well rewarded: he came back with the Kanagawa treaty and a runner-up trophy from the karaoke finals.

Ten years ago in C&J: March 9, 2011

CHEERS to the arrival of the banjo-strummin’ cavalry.  Always nice to have a living legend on your side in a labor dispute, and the latest to weigh in on the strange Madison times is a man who knows a thing or two about unions—folk singer Pete Seeger:

“Maybe the Republican governor, he’s done us a favor by bringing the problem to national attention,” the 91-year-old Seeger said in a telephone interview from his New York home. “It shows the whole country how much we need unions. We may end up thanking him.” […]  Seeger, who’s been singing since the Great Depression and released a record in 1942 titled “Talking Union,” said he was following the issue in Wisconsin.

NEW YORK - MAY 03:  Musician Pete Seeger performs in the Clearwater Benefit Concert Celebrating Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday at Madison Square Garden on May 3, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Pete now resides up where Rush Limbaugh does not, and where Scott Walker won’t.

“Without collective bargaining rights we’d be right back to primitive times,” Seeger said.

Upon hearing the news, Governor Scott Walker called Seeger’s remarks outrageous and then drew a frowny face on his cave wall.

And just one more…

CHEERS to gut checks. Ending today’s column on a personal note, but a pretty big one around our house. Four years ago today, Mercy Hospital’s ER waiting room was the proud recipient of a bouncing-in-agonizing-pain-and-looking-rather-gaunt adult baby Billy. Something mysterious in my belly had declared war on me, and the 82 Advils I was taking every day were no longer providing the medical care I required.

They ran some tests, declared me the new poster child for the living dead, wheeled me into an OR at midnight for emergency surgery, gutted me like a fish, took out some stage-3 colon cancer, stapled me back together, took care of my every whim for a week but also stabbed me with many needles and told me I couldn’t watch Judge Judy with the volume set to 99, signed me up for a dozen sessions of chemo (a fizzy Folfox-fluorouracil, Oxaliplatin and Leucovorin cocktail with a lime twist and don’t forget the paper umbrella), helped me with the paperwork to nominate my post-surgery epidural for a Nobel Prize in Pain Management, and declared me cancer-free…all the while accepting my Obamacare card with a smile.

I bring this up because a) unlike Francisco Franco, I’m still alive!  And b) I want to remind myself what I posted on Facebook shortly before I was discharged, words that ring even more true today with a year of chaos and confusion over the coronavirus pandemic to look back on:

“As for the doctors, nurses and staff here at Mercy Hospital, I would strip every penny from every worthless fucking hedge fund goon in a second and hand it all over to them. We are paying the wrong professionals the wrong wages.

"Not all superheroes wear capes" graphic with medical professionals

I watched these good-humored professionals with my own eyes come to work during an epic blizzard to drain stuff, relieve pain, and make sure we’re all doing okay. But it’s something they do every day. These people are gods and goddesses among men and women.”

Coincidentally, this week also marks two years since I sat for my last chemo session from a second bout of the same kind of cancer (in my stomach this time) that Mercy’s surgical and oncology teams kicked to the curb with equal efficiency. Since I’m at higher risk for Covid, I’ve hunkered down for the duration, but will start going back for regular CT scans and lab work by summer. Knock on wood, I feel great and have no overt signs of anything amiss under the hood. It’s very important I stay healthy for many more years. Mainly because I had a premonition years ago and I’ll be very disappointed if I don’t, in fact, depart this world in a paragliding collision with fog-shrouded Mount Kilimanjaro at the age of 110. Yes—alcohol will be involved.

Have a tolerable Tuesday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial

The new U.S. president starts his days with an early morning workout in the gym of the White House residence reading Cheers and Jeers, and ends them at a reasonable hour often with a bowl of Breyers chocolate chip ice cream.

Bloomberg News

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