Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

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Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Note: Remember—only YOU can prevent preventive measures. So don’t!  —Mgt.

By the Numbers:

4 days ‘til this moon “worms” it’s way….into your heart.

Days ’til the full “worm moon”: 4

Percent of Americans polled by Ipsos who say they’ve heard someone blame the pandemic on Asian people: 25%

Percent in the same poll who believe professional athletes make a positive impact when they speak out on issues of racial inequality: 58%

Percent of women and men, respectively, polled by Gallup who approve of the job President Biden is doing: 62%, 45%

Number of senators—17 Democrats and 14 Republicans—still in office who served with Biden in the chamber: 31

Percent of Mainers who are fully vaccinated: 17%

Median price of a single-family home in Maine, up 13% from a year ago: $245,000

Mid-week Rapture Index: 188 (including 2 date settings and 1 White House agenda served up from the pit of Hell—like, literally).  Soul Protection Factor 16 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

Puppy Pic of the Day: Bonnie Tyler reaches a new generation…

CHEERS to the Jedi Justice League of Caped Super Friends Avengers. Zowee!!! Poweee!!! Ooof!!! Thwock!!! Before they could even start dismantling the inaugural scaffolding, President Biden had assembled a team of A+ cabinet nominees, and now they’re all in place (Marty Walsh aced his Labor Secretary test Monday in the Senate) and ready to get their agencies humming again after four years of being run by swamp rats. Huffington Post says that, despite the initial delay, the speed at which Biden got his team through the Senate was impressive. Thanks in big part to the special elections in Georgia and Chuck Schumer’s deft handling of the proceedings, Joe ended up…

…racking up more votes and winning confirmation faster than Donald Trump’s nominees. […]

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True fact: Biden’s cabinet, seen here, is the first one in history to have cloaking devices. 

And despite a Democratic Senate majority that is two seats smaller than the 52-seat Republican majority in 2017, a time-consuming impeachment trial and a delayed handover of power, Biden’s Cabinet nominees have received 73 votes on average, compared with an average of 70 for Trump’s presidential picks. […]

The GOP’s strategy countering Biden’s nominees was haphazard and initially constrained by Trump himself, who refused to concede the 2020 election for months after he lost. Republican lawmakers―and their messaging apparatus―were essentially frozen in pushing back against Biden’s earliest announced picks for fear of acknowledging he won the election.

There are still some lower-level nominees who will sail through, but the big dawgs are in place and ready to rock. Which leaves us with only four words playing on an endless loop in our head: bring on the judges.

P.S. I was going to say how hilarious it is that McConnell’s opposition failed because he was too busy being forced to gargle Trump’s balls, but I figured you’re probably eating breakfast as you’re reading this, so I decided not to include the McConnell gargling Trump’s balls line. Message: I care.

CHEERS to going BIG, Part 2. Having completed his Herculean lift of passing his $1.9 trillion covid relief plan, President Biden is eyeing his next signature effort to get our atrophying republic back on track. Instead of one Infrastructure Week, he wants hundreds of them, one right after the other—trillions worth of them, if you please:

An infrastructure package would include roughly $1 trillion for roads, bridges, rail lines, electrical vehicle charging stations and the cellular network, among other items.

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Hey. Eyes on your work, fella.

The goal would be to facilitate the shift to cleaner energy while improving economic competitiveness. A second component would include investments in workers with free community college, universal pre-kindergarten and paid family leave.

On Monday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee debated a $300 billion-plus measure to invest in drinking water, broadband and other priorities. On Thursday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is set to appear before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Next week, the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to release a white paper revisiting the overseas tax code as a way to pay for some of the spending.

And this just in: according to the white paper I sent to the White House on behalf of the BiPM household, the first project to get the green light should definitely be a bullet train that goes from Portland, Maine to Key West in four hours with no stops for ten bucks, with a Chippendales butler serving a fine selection of food and spirits to our exclusive suite that has a hot tub and IMAX theater. Because as I always say, it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.

JEERS to the other modern-day black plague besides covid. Thirty-two years ago, at 12:04 am on March 24, 1989, Captain Joseph Hazelwood was dreaming happy dreams when his tanker, the Exxon Valdez, was running aground and spilling 11.3 million gallons of crude all over Prince William Sound.  After three decades of false promises to “put things right” and endless legal wrangling on the part of the oil giant to minimize its liability, a simple lifting of most any shoreline rock reveals that the damage is still readily apparent. Conservation writer Tim Lydon wrote on the 30th anniversary:

Dig a shallow hole into certain beaches along Alaska’s Prince William Sound and you will still find oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. As your shovel scrapes through gravel, the crude will mix with the water seeping into the small hole.

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32 years later.

The first time I did this was nine years ago, while visiting researchers studying the spill’s lingering impacts. Holding an oil-stained stone in my gloved hand, my mind flashed to March 24, 1989, when I first heard the news that the Exxon Valdez, a 300-meter tanker, had run aground on Bligh Reef.  […]

As the spill recedes into a more distant past and climate change accelerates, it becomes harder to tease out the disaster’s continuing effects. Less debatable is the lingering damage to the area’s wilderness resource, specifically amid the 8,000 square kilometers of western Prince William Sound that fall within America’s largest congressionally designated wilderness study area. With oil beneath beaches, certain species unrecovered, abandoned structures, and garbage still present, the wilderness remains injured.

In fact, time has pretty much elevated a theory into a law as immutable as anything Newton ever came up with: the only thing you can trust an oil company to do is something terrible.

BRIEF SANITY BREAK

END BRIEF SANITY BREAK

JEERS to America: land of the guns, home of the gun nuts.

A Whole truckload of thoughts and prayers.

What happens in the wake of the massacre in Newtown Aurora Binghamton Tucson Santa Barbara Charleston Lafayette Roseburg Kalamazoo Orlando Alexandria Las Vegas Parkland Benton Pittsburgh Thousand Oaks Aurora Poway Highlands Ranch Virginia Beach Gilroy El Paso Dayton Midland/Odessa Fresno Milwaukee Atlanta etcetera etcetera etcetera Boulder, Colorado (ten dead at a supermarket—lone gunman with an AR-15) is depressingly predictable: The community will grieve. Gun control advocates will wisely suggest that this might be a good time to review our federal and state firearms policies so that our nation’s shameful record of gun violence might be improved upon. The president will offer words of comfort. Flags will be lowered to half-staff. Republicans will blame Democrats for the carnage and urge every living soul and their pets to arm themselves to the teeth, and the NRA will insist it’s “too soon” to talk about gun control as they continue scaring politicians into looking the other way by informing them that, “We’ll be scoring you on your response.” Like I said, predictable. Depressingly.

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Sorry, but due to the pandemic this is as close to Nova Scotia as I’m legally allowed to take you.

CHEERS to those meddling maple leafers.  On today’s date in 1837—78 years before our Supreme Court finally cleared a “theoretically”-unobstructed path to the voting booth—the ever-sensible Canadians gave black people the right to vote.  It happened in Nova Scotia, where government-designated black communities were settled. And although they still weren’t fully included in government decision-making, it gave them the impetus to develop their own ideas on leadership.  During the next century Canada would beat us by two years in letting the womenfolk cast ballots.  But when it comes to putting idiots on the ballot, our Republicans clean their clock.

Ten years ago in C&J: March 24, 2011

CHEERS to a severe case of dedication.  In the tsunami-swamped town of Ishinomaki, Japan, editors of the daily local newspaper found themselves in a quandary: no electricity meant no newspaper.  But as chief reporter for the Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun said, “People who suffer a tragedy like this need food, water and, also, information.”  So the staff got busy creating an edition of the newspaper by hand:

For a few days at least, the printed and handwritten word were in the ascendant.  After writing and editing articles, Takeuchi and others on staff copied their work onto sheets by hand for distribution to emergency relief centers housing survivors of Japan’s worst-ever earthquake and deadly tsunami that followed.

Reminds me of how the Washington Times creates their papers every day.  Except they copy GOP talking points.  And they’re only allowed to have crayons.

And just one more…

CHEERS to smiles for miles. The giddy goblins who put together the annual list of the happiest countries on earth have released their latest list. You can already surmise that the cranky old US of A, whose Founding Fathers only gave us the right to pursue happiness as opposed to actually having it, did not come in first place. Nor did we come in second place. Or third. Or fourth. Or… Oh, screw it, this is taking too long…

Finland has once again defended its coveted title as the world’s happiest country. It marks the fourth year in a row the Nordic nation has claimed the top spot, even amid a pandemic that has shaken the world.

Despite the catastrophic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in all areas of life, many of the highest-ranked countries in terms of overall happiness have remained at the top of the list, according to the 2021 World Happiness Report, released Friday, the day before the International Day of Happiness.

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The Finns are obviously the happiest people on earth because they have the cleanest forest floors.

The report focuses primarily on the relationship between well-being and the pandemic, which made collecting responses from around the world particularly challenging. The editors note that on top of the pandemic’s terrible toll of 2.6 million deaths worldwide, people all over the world are also dealing with greater economic insecurity, anxiety, stress, challenges to mental and physical health and an overall disruption of every aspect of daily life.

And where does the United States fall on the happiness list? Um…[scroll scroll scroll]…[scroll scroll scroll]…Number 14. But that’s actually up from #18 last year. Mainly because President Biden changed our national motto back to “E pluribus unum” from the previous guy’s “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” It’s the little things.

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

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial

“Believe me, if it were possible to fatally overdose on Cheers and Jeers, I’d be a heapin’ midden of candy corn-infused mulch right now. But it’s just not.”

Aldous J Pennyfarthing

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