Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Note: Three months later my dreidel is still spinning. I still can’t decide if that’s amazingly cool or super creepy.

By the Numbers:

19 days!!!

Days ’til Easter: 19

Years as of today since C&J suspended posting our “Days ’til…” feature for public festivals because of the pandemic: 1

Estimated boost in income for the poorest 20 percent of Americans as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act: 20%

Average daily number of Covid-19 vaccine doses given last week: 2.54 million

Estimated number of Americans, according to Nielsen, who watched Joe Biden’s first address to the nation and Trump’s first address to the nation, respectively, across 14 TV networks: 32 million / 28 million

Rank of Knoxville TN, Escondido CA, and Madison WI among cities with the highest number of public gardens per 100,000 residents: #1, #2, #3

Percent chance that Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is in charge of time zones, according to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on Jimmy Kimmel Live: 100%

Puppy Pic of the Day: Sunday recap…

CHEERS to taking the show on the road, Part 1. Lest we forget (and lord knows we’re trying), our previous two Secretaries of State were a sleepy, clueless oil executive and an End Times-infatuated, clueless cultist who will forever be associated with the worst president in history. Now that we have a POTUS whose brain is actually functional and engaged, American diplomacy is back and in full patch-things-up mode:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will travel to Tokyo, Japan, March 15-17 to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to strengthening our alliance and to highlight cooperation that promotes peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.

Secretary Blinken will meet virtually with business leaders to highlight the importance of U.S.-Japan economic ties and shared priorities, such as addressing climate change, securing supply chains, promoting and protecting emerging technologies, fostering digital trade, and recovering from COVID-19.

He will have a virtual discussion with women entrepreneurs on the challenges that women face in building successful businesses. Secretary Blinken will also host a virtual roundtable with emerging Japanese journalists to discuss the future of the U.S.-Japan Alliance, the role of a free press in promoting good governance, supporting human rights, and defending democracy, and the widespread benefits of advancing gender equity and opportunities for women worldwide.

It’s all part of the Biden administration’s new international diplomacy campaign: “Sorry About All The Abuse And Gaslighting. Here’s A Puppy—We Good Now?”

CHEERS to taking the show on the road, Part 2. You’ve just passed the most historic piece of legislation in a generation that will bring financial relief to a country rocked by Covid-19, cut child poverty in half, and jump-start the jobs machine. Now what? Everybody hop in the jalopy, we’re spreadin’ the news…

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses are traveling around the country this week to speak directly to Americans about the benefits of the $1.9trillion Covid-19 relief package. […]

Car_Hillary-Obama-Biden-Michelle.gif
Still my all-time favorite gif.

The president will travel to Pennsylvania’s Delaware County on Tuesday and to Georgia on Friday to promote how the legislation will benefit people and their families, according to the White House. The president won both states in the 2020presidential election last November. […]

“We will have people out communicating directly in communities, but we’ll also use a range of tools at our disposal, including engaging and communicating through digital means, doing local interviews and also utilizing a number of members of our Cabinet who have key roles in the implementation,” [press secretary Jen Psaki] said.

So far things are going well. The only trouble happened around mile marker 174 on I-80, when Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff started warbling “99 bottles of beer on the wall.” He’s now sitting comfortably next to the gumball machine in the lobby of the DuBois Sunoco waiting for his Uber.

CHEERS to socialism, American-style.  Through the collective approval and funding by We The People, the Wildlife Refuge System celebrates its 117th birthday this week. Ever wonder how it got started? If you answered ‘no,’ tough. You’re gonna find out anyway…

In the late 1800s, the whims of fashion dictated that women’s hats would be decorated by bird feathers. To meet this need, poachers hunted many species of birds to the brink of extinction. Concerned citizens, scientists and conservation groups found a champion in President Theodore Roosevelt.

Their concern about the rookery at Pelican Island on the Atlantic Coast of Florida inspired Roosevelt to use his presidential powers to protect pelicans, egrets, ibises and other birds. With the establishment of the first national wildlife refuge on Pelican Island on March 14, 1903, Roosevelt created the National Wildlife Refuge System. […]

owl.jpg
“For the last time: three. THREE licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Okay???”

Building on that foundation, the National Wildlife Refuge System today spans 150 million acres, including 566 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetlands management districts.

If you’re thinking of visiting a wildlife refuge, make sure you take a map, a canteen, and trail mix.  But, uh, you best leave the feathered hat at home. Too soon.

BRIEF SANITY BREAK

END BRIEF SANITY BREAK

CHEERS to Ol’ Shortstuff.  Happy 270th birthday to “Father of the Constitution” James Madison—at 5-foot-4 our president (1809-1817) with the lowest center of gravity and our next-to-last Founding Father to occupy the White House (Monroe ended the era after him).  Frankly, it’s amazing what he accomplished considering that he was one sick puppy:

James Madison was without a doubt the sickliest president in American history.

james-madison-pragmatist-1a.jpg
Madison in his late 70s. Sick as a dog much of his life, but didn’t shuffle off his mortal coil until he was 85.

The man’s life reads like the index to a medical textbook. Influenza, rheumatism, hemorrhoids—you name it, he had it. He suffered frequent bouts of illness from a young age and abstained from serving in the Continental Army during the Revolution on account of them. […]

The location of the founded capital—Washington—didn’t help. The area’s proximity to a swamp meant summers there could be infernally humid and plagued by fetid, unhealthy air. While unpleasant for most people, it was downright crippling for Madison, whose “bilious indispositions,” as he called them, usually forced him to flee D.C. during the hot months.

—From Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents by Cormac O’Brien

And yet he lived to be one of our oldest ex-presidents, expiring in 1836 at the ripe old age of 85.  Madison was also at the helm during the War of 1812, when The Star Spangled Banner was written.  Pay your respects here.  Preferably under the red glare of some sort of rocket-like projectile.

CHEERS to movin’ and groovin’.  Congrats to the winners at Sunday’s Grammy Award ceremony, which was happily dominated by women this year: Beyoncé is now the most awarded artist in Grammy history, Taylor Swift is the first artist to win album of the year three times, Billie Eilish is the first female artist to win record of the year twice in a row, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande are the first all-female collaboration to win pop duo/group, Rachel Maddow won for Best Spoken Word (“Blowout”), as did Tiffany Hadish for Best Comedy Album (Black Mitzvah, and her reaction went viral), and a lot more. Also: John Prine and Chick Corea won posthumous Grammys. And, thanks to Best Metal Performer Body Count, the world finally has its first Grammy-winning song with the words…

Jimmy carter's 2006 Grammy Award
Jimmy Carter’s 2006 Spoken Word Grammy.

Can’t stop the bum-rush

A million strong and we all bust

We didn’t fall prey to your bullshit lies

Propaganda of twisted minds

We figured out how it’s all set up

The object, keep us all split up

Keep us fighting amongst ourselves

While you accumulate all the wealth

Mark my words, DJs:  That’s got “wedding song” written all over it.

Ten years ago in C&J: March 16, 2011

JEERS to failing History 101. You know what’s really cuckoo about Michele Bachmann not knowing in which state the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord were fought?  It’s this: I bet there were a bunch of people in that New Hampshire crowd who either a) didn’t know the shots were actually fired in Concord, Massachusetts, or b) thought to themselves, “That’s okay…we’ll just go in and edit the Wikipedia entry to fit the new narrative.”  But goofier than all of the above is this retort from the congresswoman with the empty intellectual attic:

“And by the way…that will be the last time I use President Obama’s teleprompter.”

Utterly forgetting that it’s a cardinal sin for a Republican to use a teleprompter at all, let alone admit to using the president’s.  You’d think she’d have a better handle on her jokes, given that she’s a walking one.

And just one more…

CHEERS to cheep dates. In four days the groundhog will clap his hands and—Poof!!!—winter will magically turn to spring. In a sign that all is on schedule, the first buzzards arrived yesterday in Hinckley, Ohio—to roost in trees by the cliffs of old Whipp’s Ledges in northeast Medina County—for the 64th year:

Here in Maine we’ll be marking the start of our own post-winter season later this week.  We call it the return of the mud and, like Hinckley, you can set your watch by it.

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

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial

Last summer, I was in Daily Kos, and I met a woman. I asked her—I said, what do you need most? I’ll never forget what she said to me. Looking me in the eye, she said, ‘I just want the Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool. Just let me soak in the kiddie pool.’ Think of that.

President Biden

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