Cheers and Jeers for Friday, August 10, 2018
Note: I’m proud to announce that I’ll be launching my new product next week! It’s a multi-media/multi-platform/multi-sensory self-help seminar series called Why You Should Never Launch A New Product in the Middle of August. I hope there’s a bank with a big enough vault to hold all my first-week sales revenue! Ha ha, I kid. It’ll all go straight into yachts.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til the midterm elections: 88
Days ’til the 14th annual Bat Fest in Austin: 8
Minimum number of women (most of them Democrats) running in races for the U.S. House this year, beating the previous record of 167, according to the Center for American Women and Politics: 183
Rise in deaths from cirrhosis of the liver between 1999 and 2018, according to a University of Michigan study: 65%
Age group which has experienced the greatest increase in liver-related deaths over the last decade: 25-34
Shades of grey the average human eye can detect: 500
Amount of actual baseball action over the course of an average 3-hour major league game: 18 minutes
Puppy Pic of the Day: Peek-a-boo…..
JEERS to Darth Dumbass. How appropriate that the guy chosen to announce our newest security branch—”Space Force! Pew Pew Pew!”—would be the one guy in America who most closely resembles hapless Lt. Frank Drebin. Trump’s going-nowhere fantasy borne out of watching too many episodes of Pigs in Space achieves two obvious goals: distract from all his corruption (and investigations thereof) and border cruelty, and find a convenient excuse to open up a new zero-interest credit card account for the military-industrial complex. Apparently Secretary of defense Mad Dog “Mad Dog” Mad Dog is also on board, but he better re-read the—[Unrolls parchment]—1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies before he starts building any death stars:
States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner.
The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military maneuvers on celestial bodies shall be forbidden.
Good thing they chose to make the announcement here on earth instead of from space or they would’ve violated Article IV’s section on weapons of mass destruction right off the bat: moments after Pence said the words “Space Force,” the head of every comedian around the world exploded.
What do I think? After seeing that I think I’ll be sleeping with the lights on tonight.
JEERS to opening big mouth before engaging small brain. On August 11, 1984, during a radio voice test, President Reagan joked (and this joke became the spark for Presidential Joke Day): “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” (Listen to it here.) The Russians had a good laugh over it…right after they carefully put their missiles back in their silos and sucked down a bottle of vodka. Not necessarily in that order.
P.S. President Trump would never do something like that to Russia. It’s not polite to nuke one’s BFF.
JEERS to shaky numbers. After eight years of traumatizing Mainers under the racist, foul-mouthed and flat-out incompetent rule of Paul LePage—currently at 37% approval—you’d think polling would show that the Democratic candidate in this fall’s governor’s race would be far ahead of the Republican LePage clone. But, astonishingly, you’d be wrong:
Republican Shawn Moody and Democrat Janet Mills are locked in a dead heat in the Maine governor’s election, according to a new poll by Suffolk University in Boston. […]
“It’s a really close race,” said David Paleologos, the director of Suffolk’s Political Research Center, which conducted the poll.
“Unless someone really has a major gaffe or there is some negative news story that’s going to take one of these candidates out, it is going to come down to voter turnout and…the get-out-the-vote operations.”
Adding to the challenge for Team D: two left-leaning independents are mucking up the works (just like Eliot Cutler did in 2010 and 2014), currently siphoning off about 5-7 points from the Democratic side. And just to clear up a misconception held by 99.9% of people around the country: because of a rule in our state constitution, the ranked-choice voting system we approved at the ballot box that’s designed to minimize the effect of pesky independent spoilers is not—repeat, NOT—applicable to the governor’s race. Who’s praying hardest for a blue wave on Tuesday, November 6th? You’re lookin’ at him.
CHEERS to compassionate conservatism. 63 years ago Sunday, on August 12, 1955, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower raised the hourly minimum wage from 75¢ to a dollar. Or, as Republicans today would call it, “a dollar too much, General Libturd.”
CHEERS to cleansing your galactic soul. The Perseid meteor shower is putting on a display of Perseidiousness this weekend, and this one is expected to be the most spectacular display of “shooting stars” of the year:
“This is the meteor shower people view most because it occurs in the summer, when the nights are warm and comfortable, when you only have to worry about mosquitoes,” [NASA meteor expert Bill] Cooke told Space.com.
“The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that’ll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it.”
Earth will pass through the thickest part of the comet’s trail during the daytime hours on Aug. 12, which is why the nights before and after are the Perseids’ peak. Although both nights should be spectacular, Cooke is inclined to say that the second night—Aug. 12 to 13—might be better.
Meanwhile, mere hours from now—assuming conditions are favorable enough—NASA history will be made as the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft blasts off from Cape Canaveral at 3:33am ET. It looks like this:
I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I’m not sure it was the wisest move to turn over command of the mission to Captain Icarus.
CHEERS to great advances in libationology. On August 10, 1889, Dan Rylands patented the screw cap for bottles. Our rule: if it doesn’t curl your nose hairs when you twist it off and sniff it, send it back to the bartender.
CHEERS to home vegetation. I have some serious DVR tubeage to catch up on this weekend: Match Game, Whose Line, Judge Judy—oh, the work of a political scholar is never done. What else is on? Well, after Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow digest the latest developments in the Manafort trial and the 600 orders against the Trump administration by pissed-off federal judges tonight, Bill Maher jawbones with Lawrence O’Donnell, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), D.L. Hughley, USC journalism professor Christina Bellantoni, and cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker on HBO’s Real Time.
New home video releases include Melissa McCarthy’s Life of the Party and season 4 of the animated Star Wars: Rebels. Golf’s last major of the year, the PGA Tournament (the Bellerive course in St. Louis) is good if you want to see country clubbers bitching about having to pay taxes. Or there’s baseball—the weekend schedule is here. (The Red Sox will defeat whoever they’re playing; that’s just the way it is now, hee hee.) Sunday night at 9 on MSNBC, Breaking Hate chronicles a former neo-Nazi’s effort to rescue other brainwashed mini Hitlers and acclimate them back into the real world. (Which reminds me: the Nazi rally in D.C. will be something to keep an eye on via MSNBC Sunday, for the size of the protest and counter-protest, the police’s behavior, and the timely reminder, in the full light of day, of just how sick and diseased the Republican party has become.) And John Oliver’s current season of Last Week Tonight seems to be (happily) running into overtime, because there’s yet another new episode Sunday night at 11 on HBO.
Now here’s your Sunday morning lineup:
Meet the Press: Former “Most Prominent Black Woman In the Trump White House” Omarosa Manigault Newman hawks her new tell-all book.
This Week: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD); lying Kellyanne Conway; Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti; Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani digs a deeper hole for his client to plunge into.
Face the Nation: Special edition: “Race in America: One year after Charlottesville.” Among the guests: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Mayor Nikuyah Walker, who “says she is still so personally angered by President Trump that she has not been able to bring herself to even refer to him by name.”
CNN’s State of the Union: Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe; Giuliani.
Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI); Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Under the elm tree fanning himself while sipping a lemonade).
Ten years ago in C&J: August 10, 2008
CHEERS to Hawaii-YAH!!! Cokie Roberts of ABC News just insulted a great American state on national TV without batting an eye. By calling Hawaii “foreign” and “exotic” in the context of Barack Obama’s candidacy (he must be foreign and exotic too!), she proved that she’s willing to regurgitate official GOP talking points at the expense of her fellow citizens who, I’m sure, she would encourage to “eat cake.” So it’s funny as hell that exotic U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka just towel-snapped her with a studded leather lei:
“Saying our 50th state is somehow ‘foreign,’ does a great disservice to the hard working, patriotic Americans who call Hawaii home.
For months people have been asking me, ‘when is Sen. Obama going to come home?’ I’m so glad he found time to visit his sister and his grandmother, show his daughters more of his home state, and relax a little. Hawaii is a great U.S. destination, just ask the 5.5 million Americans who visited last year for business and pleasure.”
And just one more…
CHEERS to the whitest guy ever to be “born a poor black child.” Happy birthday Sunday to Steve Martin, who was a spry 30 when I first heard his stand-up act (via long-play LP, no less, but later I went high-tech with long-play cassettes) at age 12 and laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe, and who today is an elder statesman of comedy at 73. Besides being an award-winning banjo picker, having a hit single (King Tut), hosting the Oscars and SNL, starring in a boatload of popular movies, touring with the Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell, and writing best-selling books, an Oscar-nominated screenplay (Roxanne), a Tony-nominated musical (Bright Star), and sketches for the legendary Smothers Brothers, what has he contributed to society? While we’re trying to think of something, watch this from—[Checks watch]—26 years ago:
Sorry, Steve, but I’m still drawin’ a blank.
Have a great weekend. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?