Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Note: Six days and Vice President Harris hasn’t shot a lawyer in the face with birdshot after drinking beer at a ranch. Not sure she’s quite getting the hang of the job yet.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til Black History Month: 6
Percent of Americans surveyed by ABC News who approve of President Biden’s Covid-19 response: 69%
Percent in the poll who support Biden’s 100-day mask mandate, including 6-out-of-10 of Republicans: 81%
Age at which Hank Aaron, who died Friday at 86, began and ended his streak of hitting at least 24 home runs in a season: 21-39
Amount fetched at auction for a Brasher doubloon made in New York in 1787, the highest ever for a gold coin: $9.36 million
Percent chance that, according to CNN, guests have started canceling their $200,000 memberships at Mar-A-Lago “because they no longer want to have any connection to” the family that owns it: 100%
New release date of the latest James Bond movie, No Time to Die, which has already been delayed twice since spring 2020: 10/8/21
Puppy Pic of the Day: In New York’s Jamaica Bay…Saved!!!
CHEERS to the return of normalcy: Part I’ve Already Lost count. I’m tooling around twitter yesterday and, lo and behold, after mere seconds of scrolling I come face-to-face with something I haven’t seen from the Executive Branch in—[checks backyard sundial]—four years: namely, useful information…
It’s part of the marketing for President Biden’s 100-day plan to mask up and get covid under control as the vaccine is rolling out. Amazing what happens when you inject some common sense into a federal pandemic response. Why, it’s almost like a cleaning!
CHEERS to not forgiving and not forgetting. Remember that little insurrection at the Capitol earlier this month? The one orchestrated by Republicans because somehow they lost their manual How to Lose An Election Gracefully and replaced it with Mein Kampf? Turns out We The People weren’t so keen on having our country stolen out from us by Yokel Team 6 and their crackhead moms:
Support for impeaching, removing, and banning former President Donald Trump from federal office for life is at 55 percent, with just 31 percent strongly opposed to those penalties.
Senate Republicans have been projecting an aura of inevitability for a Trump acquittal to reporters, but a poll released this week indicates this will not be an easy vote for senators instates with large numbers of Democrats and Independents—and even Republicans to some degree.
The events themselves present enough of a problem, beyond the politics. Trump is being impeached for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol that killed 5 people, during which participants constructed a gallows and chanted “Kill Mike Pence!”
If the first trial resembled an episode of Perry Mason (minus evidence or witnesses), this second one is going to be more like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And viewership will be through the roof because we all watched the shit show in real time, and it’s burned into our collective conscience. The gavel drops two weeks from today. Somehow I don’t think we’ll need No-Doz to make it through this one.
JEERS to little misunderstandings. 26 years ago this week, in 1995, the Norwegians fired a scientific rocket called a Black Brant XII into the air, and the Russians thought it might actually be an American Trident missile launched from a sub. What happened next was so hilarious…
As a result, fearing a high altitude nuclear attack that could blind Russian radar, Russian nuclear forces were put on high alert…and the nuclear weapons command suitcase was brought to Russian president Boris Yeltsin.
[He] then had to decide whether or not to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike against the United States.
The Norwegian rocket incident was the first and only incident where any nuclear weapons state had its nuclear briefcase activated and prepared for launching an attack.
How lucky was the world that January day in 1995? Let me put it this way: the incident happened on the one day of his presidency when Boris Yeltsin wasn’t drunk. That lucky.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
JEERS to moguls among the moguls. I know what you’re saying. You’re saying, “Hey Billeh, I read yesterday that the World Economic Forum in Davos was happening. Do you know anything about this consequential world event?” Oh…you mean the confab in swanky Switzerland where the perfectly manicured, pedicured, furriered, botoxed and mansculpted ultra-rich fly in on their private jets and, after finishing their champagne and zipping their flies, get whisked in limos to the Ritz, gorge on gourmet food, drink $500 bottles of wine out of ladies’ shoes, shuss the slopes in $10,000 designer skiwear, party the night away with the finest prostitutes money can buy, and make back-slapping backroom deals that bulldoze more money into their off-the-books Caribbean accounts, all while pretending to care about the climate crisis and the poor, but all that’s on hold this year because it’s online and don’t think for a second that doesn’t make Tom Friedman cry because now he won’t have any folksy firsthand stories to write about the unexpected geopolitical insights of Swiss taxi drivers in his beloved New York Times? That World Economic Forum in Davos? Sorry. Never heard of it.
CHEERS to old soldiers. Today is General Douglas MacArthur’s 141st birthday. After destroying the Japanese forces during World War II, he gained their respect as Military Governor of Japan, but then he became too much of a loose cannon over Korea and got fired by President Harry Truman. Afterward…
There was an unsuccessful attempt by Republicans to have him run for President in 1952, but he deferred, and the nomination went to General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower.
After retirement, he became Chairman of the Board for the Remington Rand Corporation, and spent his remaining years in NYC, speaking out on public issues.
His final address, in January 1962, to the graduating class at West Point is considered one of his finest speeches.
Pay your respects here. In his farewell address to Congress, MacArthur said that old soldiers never die, they just fade away. Thanks to the size of his ego, he’ll finish fading sometime during the next ice age.
Ten years ago in C&J: January 26, 2011
JEERS to stopping short. Well, it looks like Democrats in the Senate, the branch of our illustrious government that is essentially broken because of Republican filibuster abuse, have come to an agreement on how to address that huge democracy-killing problem. They are apparently going to blaze a trail to reform by, um, not blazing a trail to reform:
There’s now a strong chance for a bipartisan agreement to make it easier to confirm, at least, non-controversial judicial and executive branch nominees. Chances also remain high that the sides will agree to do away with secret holds, which allow senators to block nominations or bills anonymously. But that may be as far as the Senate goes in overhauling its rules.
What will happen after that is obvious: as soon as those chintzy new rules are passed, Republicans will immediately redefine what constitutes a “controversial” judicial or executive branch nominee: any Democratic nominee with a pulse.
And just one more…
CHEERS to the land down under. Hit it…
Happy Australia Day 2021. But if you come near me with anything resembling vegemite, I’m calling in a drone to drop a loogie on your opera house.
Have a tolerable Tuesday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial
”As I read Cheers and Jeers, I just kept thinking: man, this is why Joe Biden won.”