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Cheers and Jeers: Thursday


Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, October 22, 2020

Note: Today is National Nut Day. So help yourself to the bowl of pistachios, almonds, walnuts, filberts, and Giulianis.

By the Numbers:

8 days…

Days ’til the next “blue moon”: 8

Percent chance that Trump’s campaign is floundering so badly that he’s sending Mike Pence to shore up support in Indiana: 100%

Percent of U.S. voters who favor a government health insurance plan anyone can buy (i.e. a “public option,” according to a new NYT/Siena College poll: 65%

Sen. Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) approval rating, per PPP polling: 42%

Iowans polled by PPP who believe the Senate should and should not, respectively, prioritize covid relief over the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation: 55%-32%

Estimated number of North Carolinians who have voted: 2 million

Years Tab was around before the diet soda was discontinued this year: 57

Major League World Series Championship

Tampa Bay Rays 6    Los Angeles Dodgers 4  

(Series is tied 1 game to 1)

Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Without fear of contradiction, I can say that George W. Bush has turned out to be a divider, not a uniter, for the past four years.

Sheesh, if we get any madder at each other there will be fisticuffs, brethren, I say fisticuffs.

Molly Ivins

Liberals, normally gentle as little kittens—usually you can go right up to ’em and touch their soft, curly fur, they don’t mind a bit – are in an alarming state of righteous anger. This time, they devoutly believe, jackbooted fascism is just around the corner. Not only do they think the Bill of Rights is being quietly dismantled, they are sentient enough to notice that our reputation around the world has gone from the instant support of Sept. 11 to disgust and fear.

Meanwhile, many evangelical Christians are convinced gay marriage is upon us and will be the end of civilization. How they convinced themselves George W. Bush is the Lord’s anointed is beyond me. I’ve known him since high school and watched him closely as a public official for 10 years, and I have yet to see the first sign of it.

October 2004

Puppy Pic of the Day: Mask Fail…

CHEERS to the final test of endurance. With a mere dozen days ’til voting ends, the final debate of 2020 happens tonight at Belmont University in Nashville starting at 9 ET. To prevent Trump’s obnoxious outbursts while Joe’s talking, moderator Kirsten Welker will mute one candidate while the other is talking. The topics: “Fighting COVID-19,” “American Families,” “Race in America,” “Climate Change,” “National Security” and “Leadership.” I think we know how this plays out: Joe will be cool, calm, informed and empathetic. Trump will…not.

CHEERS to nailing us some bad guys. Holy smokes, Bill Barr’s Justice Department actually did something useful. Six Russian military intelligence officers have been charged (though they’ll never see the inside of a U.S. courtroom) in connection with major hacking operation operations…

…from damaging Ukraine’s electrical grid to interfering in France’s election to spying on European investigations and more. The men work for the Russian military intelligence agency GRU—which also led Russian cyber-interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Justice Department officials said Moscow has only sustained or heightened its intensity of effort since then.

The first clue that convinced the feds they were up to no good: the being Russian intelligence officers part.

JEERS to another hold-your-breath-moment in American history. Okay, now this was a real crisis: on October 22, 1962 President Kennedy informed the world that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases in Cuba:

He ordered our military to quarantine Cuba until Soviet premier Khrushchev agreed to shut ’em down. Kennedy negotiated his way through the melee without establishing a color-coded terror alert system, telling us to go shopping, abandoning our allies, or invading a country that had nothing to do with the crisis at hand.  And to think he called himself a leader.

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CHEERS and JEERS to Ma Nature’s 2020/2021 playbook. We’ve heard from the Farmer’s Almanac, the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the New Farmer’s Almanac, and the Almanac of Farmers Neither Old Nor New But Stuck In A Mid-Life Crisis. Now it’s time for the NOAA to guess what winter will bring to the US-of-A this season. Their Climate Prediction Center’s latest forecast, based on a months-long analyses of moss on trees, fuzz on wooly worms, and sweaters on local TV morning show meteorologists, is shaping up to be a mild one: 

Wetter-than-average conditions: Across the northern tier of the U.S., extending from the Pacific Northwest, across the Northern Plains, Great Lakes and into the Ohio Valley, as well as Hawaii and northern Alaska.

Drier-than-average conditions: In the Southwest, across Texas along the Gulf Coast, and in Florida.

NOAAwinter2020oct15.png
Temp forecast. My brain believes global warming is a bad thing. My fingers and toes disagree.

Above-average temperatures: Hawaii and most of Alaska, with more modest probabilities for above-average temperatures spanning large parts of the remaining lower 48 from the West across the South and up the eastern seaboard.

Below-average temperatures: Southern Alaska and from the northern Pacific Northwest into the Northern Plains. 

As usual, some predictions are harder to make than others.  For example, there’s a zero-percent chance of knowing actual snowfall amounts this far out, but there’s a 100 percent chance of knowing that climate-change deniers will scream “Global cooling!” every time a flake sticks to the pavement. C&J recommends you start assembling your winter management kit now: shovel, ice-melt pellets, blankets, candles, and earplugs.

CHEERS to Great Moments in Saying Stuff. 159 years ago this week, in 1861, the first coast-to-coast telegram was sent from Chief Justice Stephen Field in California to President Lincoln in Washington, D.C.  Field’s Message: “Could you find the whereabouts of Amanda Hugginkiss?” Lincoln‘s reply: “Nice try.”

Ten years ago in C&J: October 22, 2010

JEERS to Tales of the Batty Spouse.  The rich and privileged wife of the first Supreme Court Justice to have his porn collection inducted into the T&A Hall of Fame calls up one of her husband’s former female employees to demand she apologize and make it raaaaht!!!  The former employee’s offense: telling the truth under oath.  And in a related story, researchers in North Carolina have discovered a “tipsy gene” that, among other things, could lead to a cure for drunk-dialing.  Film at 11.

And just one more…

CHEERS to the world’s most lovable knucklehead.  Moe and Larry had their pluses, but The Three Stooges weren’t worth a poke in the eyes without Curly, aka Jerome Howard. He was hilarious while interacting with his co-stooges, but I think he was funniest during his more intimate solo comic moments, where he focused like a laser on getting a Moe-assigned task, like, say, stuffing a turkey, done perfectly…wrong.  Enjoy:

Happy 118th birthday, Curly, wherever you are.  And N’yuck N’yuck to Moe and Larry.

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

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial

Trump can’t land a glove on a real man like Bill in Portland Maine

The Daily Beast





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Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday


Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Note: Please sign my petition for a constitutional amendment requiring all American flags to wear an American flag pin. But not American flag underwear, because that would just be silly and probably hurt if you sat down wrong. I mean, seriously, what’s wrong with you?  —Mgt.

By the Numbers:

Let’s see: Ivanka, Eric, Don Jr….

Days ’til National Nut Day: 8

Estimated portion of voters who will have voted by the end of this week: 1/3

Amount Kansas Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Bollier raised in the 3rd quarter, a state record: $13.5 million

Number of LGBTQ candidates appearing on various ballots across America this year, up from 432 in 2018: 574

Number of the Vatican‘s Swiss Guards who recently tested positive for covid-19: 4

Total number of influenza cases seen this past winter in New Zealand, a 99.8% reduction from previous years: 6

Year Washington, Iowa‘s State Theater opened, making it the oldest continuously-operated movie theater in the world: 1897

Mid-week Rapture Index: 182 (including 3 gogs and 1 Taliban endorsement of the sitting Republican president).  Soul Protection Factor 45 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

Puppy Pic of the Day: The entirety of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in 14 seconds…

JEERS to Day 2. The confirmation hearings of some judge who, like Neil Gorsuch, will soon be illegitimately installed by Republicans on the Supreme Court continued yesterday. Let’s copy and paste this actual exchange here and see if we can suss out any clues as to her judicial temperament:

 “The rivers shall run red with the blood of the unbelieving heathen, and man shall take his rightful place at the top of the pecking order lest God the Father smite ye in thy beds! The maritally-infidelitous fornicators shall be sent to re-education camps to repent their wicked ways! The devil’s minimum-wage hikers shall be banished from the poor, downtrodden corporations and cast out of the Kingdom of Heaven at the barrel of a AR-15 like the kind the Minutemen used in 1775 at the battle of Lexington, Kentucky, but not before the skies turn black and lightning strikeths every woman who believeth she has control over her own body and every American who insisteth that health care is a—P’tooey!—human right. And yea, I say to you: REPENT! REPENT! REPENT, SINNERS! Or spend eternity in a Soros-approved den of serpents and hellfires!”

“Uh, ma’am? The question was, would you like to break for lunch now?”

I like her. She’s got spunk.

JEERS to the Second Coming. While science-denying Republican senators play fast and loose with proper covid safety protocols in the confirmation hearings…and the president claims “total immunity” from the covid that ravaged his bloated body last week…and his brainwashed cult continues packing themselves into his rallies like lobotomized sardines…and young people continue insisting they’re not at risk for the virus…an inconvenient truth reared its head this week and gave them all something new to deny:

A [25-year-old] Nevada man who had already gone through a bout of COVID-19 was infected a second time with even worse symptoms, doctors say. They believe it is the first documented case of reinfection in the US, a rare occurrence that nonetheless suggests having had COVID-19 does not automatically confer immunity.

CovidFlagonWhiteHouseWEB.jpg

During the second infection, the man was found to be short of breath and hypoxic—meaning his blood was short of oxygen. He was sent to the emergency room for oxygen, the report said.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases study’s findings have “significant” implications for how we understand immunity, Dr. Mark Pandori, an associate professor of pathology at the University of Nevada who was a coauthor of the study, told the BBC. “Our findings signal that a previous infection may not necessarily protect against future infection,” he said.

And in other news:

x

Less than 40 percent of Americans have lost their minds. That’s progress.

CHEERS to that guy America really, really liked.  Happy 130th birthday to Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower, bringer-downer of the Third Reich and our 34th president.  According to author Cormac O’Brien (Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents), Eisenhower loved golf and played at least 150 rounds a year during his presidency, a right he earned because he worked hard and smart and responsibly.  And while the deplorables went apeshit over Hillary Clinton’s brief bout of pneumonia in 2016, they say nothing about Ike’s heart attacks, his intestinal affliction known as ileitis (a cousin of Crohn’s disease), and his 1957 cerebral occlusion during which he terrified wife Mamie by “stuttering a bunch of incoherent words” and then “pounding his fists in frustration at not being able to enunciate his own thoughts.” Then there’s this: 

His domestic agenda bore a striking resemblance to those of his Democratic predecessors.

download-11.jpg
Ike was a notable grill master, too.

He expanded Social Security and spent lavishly on public works projects such as the interstate highway system. Though mostly silent on issues of race, he intervened forcefully to support the desegregation of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas [and signed into law the first civil rights bill in 82 years].

He was also just as disgusted as Harry Truman had been by Senator Joe McCarthy’s rabid anticommunism rabble-rousing.

Plus he famously had a few harsh words for our out-of-control military-industrial complex. Pay your respects here.  And once more, for old time’s sake: Sieg heil! [Thppt!] Heil! [Thppt!] right in der Fuhrer’s face.

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CHEERS to the number crunchers among us.  The Nobel Prize for economics was awarded this week to a pair of gentlemen with giant, throbbing dendrites in their heads and space-age auction paddles in their hands: 

This year’s Laureates, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, have studied how auctions work. They have also used their insights to design new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies. Their discoveries have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world. […]

NobelEconomics2020.jpg
Milgrom and Wilson artist sketches from their earlier bank robbing days.

People have always sold things to the highest bidder, or bought them from whoever makes the cheapest offer. Nowadays, objects worth astronomical sums of money change hands everyday in auctions, not only household objects, art and antiquities, but also securities, minerals and energy. Public procurements can also be conducted as auctions.

Milgrom and Wilson invented new formats for auctioning off many interrelated objects simultaneously, on behalf of a seller motivated by broad societal benefit rather than maximal revenue.

 While the news was greeted enthusiastically by the business world, Donald Trump noted that there still hasn’t been a Nobel Prize awarded for the miracle of trickle-down Reaganomics, leading “many people I’m hearing” to suspect that the Stockholm-based Nobel committee has been rigged by Crooked Hillary, Barack Obama and Crazy Nancy, and prompting a call for a total and complete ban on Swedes entering the country “until we figure out what the hell’s going on.”  He added that an exception would be made for Swedish supermodels, whom he would personally vet on Air Force One. And in other news, 20 days before voting ends Donald Trump’s favorability among women still stands at Kellyanne Conway.

JEERS to Democratic brain farts we’d like to forget. Speaking of dissing women, 115 years ago today, in 1905, former president Grover Cleveland wrote an article for Ladies Home Journal opposing women’s voting rights.  His words:

“We all know how much further women go than men in their social rivalries and jealousies…sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.  The relative positions to be assumed by men and women in the working out of our civilization were assigned long ago by a higher intelligence.”

I believe the relative position of his wife’s rolling pin that night was right between his eyes.

Ten years ago in C&J: October 14, 2010

CHEERS to finding an heir in your lens. Yay!  Finally we’ve got some photographic proof that Kim Jong Ill’s successor is possibly a real live human.  His name is Kim Jong Un.  Huh—looks more like a Dick to me.

And just one more…

CHEERS to home sweet home. Livability is out with its latest list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live. The top ten are populated by 100k+ cities like Fort  CollinsMadison, Fargo and Asheville…and this humble Maine hamlet of only 66,000 on the northeast Atlantic coast checking in at #4:

The secret’s out—Portland is on the rise, thanks to its supportive business climate, incredible quality of life and creative residents. This city in southern Maine is home to 66,000 residents, so it’s just the right size for finding your tribe.

PortlandMainepostcard.jpg
All major credit cards accepted. Ayuh.

Families love living in Portland, where nature is just out the front door and history abounds. It also has an incredible food scene, plenty of arts and culture opportunities and a true sense of community.

Sounds right to me. Then  again, I’ve only lived here for 27 blissful years. More study is needed.

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

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial

“As this crowd is chanting that there are members of the press here who suck, I should also point out what also sucks: Cheers and Jeers.”

Jim Acosta





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Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday


Ayuh. It’s finally happening—absentee ballots in Maine are now streaming out to mailboxes throughout the state, and early in-person voting has begun in the mighty metropolises of Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor.

Votes are now—finally—being cast for the next U.S. Senator from Maine: Sara Gideon.

Our humble state pledges to do our part to save the republic for which we stand by delivering a resounding thumpin’ to Donald Trump and his little lapdog Senator Susan Collins. We’ll take out the trash, if you will. Or as we say up here: “We’ll deal with the culch.”

P.S. Find the important voting-related dates for your state here. 

And now, our feature presentation…

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Note: Hey! Don’t throw cans of soup or Bumblebee Tuna during your protest rallies. That’s silly! Instead, launch cans filled with the delicious, tangy taste of Maine-made B&M Baked Beans. B&M uses the same hearty recipe Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and his 20th Maine Regiment whipped at the heads of the Confederates at the Battle of Little Round Top to win the Civil War for the Union. B&M Baked Beans: for patriotic AMERICANS who care enough to hurl the very best.

By the Numbers:

ElectionDay2020graphic.jpg
Voting ends in 4 weeks!

Weeks ’til voting in the 2020 election ends: 4

Biden-Trump matchup numbers in the latest NBC-WSJ poll, Biden’s largest lead ever: 53%-39%

Estimated number of Amazon employees who have caught covid-19: 20,000

Percent chance that Subway bread has so much sugar in it that Ireland won’t approve it as bread: 100%

First-time U.S. jobless claims last week: 837,000

Size of the coronavirus relief bill passed last week by House Democrats, who actually care about helping people: $2.2 trillion

Average increase in wait times at fast-food drive-thrus because of increased use during the pandemic, an outrageous delay that throws my rigorous daily schedule off by at least 30 seconds: 30 seconds

Puppy Pic of the Day: I’m told this is classic. You be the judge…

CHEERS to bright medals for bright minds.  It’s Nobel Prize Giving-Away Week, that most wonderful time of year when I can confirm that, relatively speaking, I’m one dumb-as-rocks man-child with a brain that resembles avocado dip past its sell-by date.  The latest winners announced yesterday in the “Medicine, Physiology, or Dessert Topping” category hail from…USA! USA! USA!  Actually, it’s two Americans and one Brit happily sharing the prize for their pioneering work in…

…a decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world.

NobelPrizeMedicine2020.jpg
True Fact: none of them is wearing pants.

Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice made seminal discoveries that led to the identification of a novel virus, Hepatitis C virus. Prior to their work, the discovery of the Hepatitis A and B viruses had been critical steps forward, but the majority of blood-borne hepatitis cases remained unexplained. The discovery of Hepatitis C virus revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.

Thanks to their discovery, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus are now available and these have essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health. … For the first time in history, the disease can now be cured, raising hopes of eradicating Hepatitis C virus from the world population.

For the Nobel committee it was an easy decision based on three critical criteria: they pored over the trio’s science, looked at the clinical trials and real-life data and, most critically, confirmed that the My Pillow guy had absolutely nothing to do with it.

P.S. Here’s the rest of the Nobel schedule: Physics today, Chemistry tomorrow, Literature by blogger with candy corn addiction Thursday, Peace Friday, and economics next Monday. I’m really excited about my prospects Thursday. I already aced the swimsuit portion.

JEERS to keeping track of America’s fugliest numbers. Speaking of viruses, the mighty Covid-19 Wurlitzer plays on (35 million cases around the globe now, with over 20 percent of them in the U.S. including our dumb president, aka The Great Gaspy).  Our weekly tradition of maintaining a benchmark of the awfulness for the C&J historical record continues. Let’s check the most depressing tote board in the world as our death toll now approaches the population of America’s 103rd-largest city Modesto, California: 

6 months ago: 336,000 confirmed cases. 9,600 deaths.

3 month sago: 3 million confirmed cases, 133,000 deaths

TrumpWave.gif
“Hi, Proud Boys! I’m giving my security detail the covid, believe me.”

1 month ago: 6.5 million confirmed cases, 193,000 deaths

This morning: 7.7 million confirmed cases, 215,000 deaths 

And in other covid news, the following senior members of the “party of personal responsibility” have personally and irresponsibly contracted the coronavirus: The President, the First Lady, Kellyanne Conway (and her daughters), senior adviser Hope Hicks, Campaign manager Bill Stepien, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, White House communications aides Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt, Sens. Thom Tillis (NC), Ron Johnson (WI), and Mike Lee (UT), debate coach Chris Christie, and GOP chair Ronna McDaniel.  And above the White House, as the clouds part, the voice of God whispers: “Can you hear me now?”

JEERS to the first Monday in October. Ugh. The Supreme Court justices, minus the dearly departed RBG, are back in black and ready to rumble this week. On their plate: screwing around with the health care of 20-million Americans, screwing around with the 2020 elections, and yesterday they got right to work screwing around with LGBT rights:

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Samuel Alito, lashed out on Monday at the religious liberty implications of the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that cleared the way for same-sex marriage nationwide.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 23: Lucille Wilson, 3, wears a RBG collar while waiting in line to view the casket of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who is lying in repose at the U.S. Supreme Court, on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. Ginsburg, who was appointed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, served on the high court from 1993 until her death on September 18, 2020. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Holy gavel splinters, Batman. Nobody told me the Ginsburg cloning experiment was a success.  This changes everything.

Thomas wrote that the decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, “enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots, making their religious liberty concerns that much easier to dismiss.”

Thomas’ strong opinion came down on the first day of the court’s new term, and reflects the fact that critics of the landmark opinion from five years ago that was penned by now retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, are still infuriated by its reasoning.

But at least in trashing same-sex marriage they were also forced to allow a lawsuit to continue against former Kentucky most-obnoxious-clerk-ever Kim Davis. Oh, and before I forget: C&J sends our congratulations to Justice Alito for winning the annual Flies-That-Accumulated-on-the-Supreme-Court-Window-Sills-Over-the-Summer Eating Contest. Fourteenth year in a row—six pounds worth in 2 minutes and 21 seconds. Hey, they don’t call him Igor for nothin’.

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HO! HO! HO! to allies in unexpected places. Election or no election, the War on CHRISTmas will begin on time  as usual. (Also as usual, I can’t tell you what time that is because it would ruin the element of surprise.)  And this year I’m proud to announce that we have a defector who is prepared to destroy the holiday with fire and fury from within the enemy’s camp. Troops, I present to you First Lady and honorary Brigadier General Melania Trump, who has picked up a candy swordcane on behalf of Team Happy Holidays:

26-melania-trump-red-trees.w700.h467.jpg

“Who gives a fuck about Christmas stuff and decorations?”

General Trump will provide the exact coordinates for our fruitcake catapult strikes and arrange this year’s decorations so they spell out CRAZY JESUS WAS LOW ENERGY in Morse code on the White House lawn. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-let’s do this.

CHEERS to Great Moments in Republican Gaffery. With the campaign season in full swing, it’s worth noting that 44 years ago this week, President Gerald Ford claimed during a debate with Jimmy Carter—who just turned 96 last week—that there was “no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe.”  The GOP let 72 hours pass before correcting themselves, giving Carter time to drop the hammer. Today, of course, Republicans don’t even bother owning up to anything. They just get Fox News to stick a “(D)” next to the offender’s name and send in the clowns from Q-Anon to concoct a new conspiracy theory starring Democrats and their Soros-funded, suburb-killing sex ring.  Corrections…how quaint.

Ten years go in C&J/And just one more…

CHEERS to brewing a cauldron of hilarity. Can’t let today go by without noting that ten years ago this week Republican tea party know-nothing Christine O’Donnell released an ad for her U.S. Senate run in Delaware with the most bizarre opening line of the 2010 election (or maybe any other, for that matter): “I’m not a witch. I’m nothing you’ve heard. I’m YOU!”

The question I asked back then remains unanswered ten years later: Yeah, but what if I’m a practicing witch? Then you’re a witch, too!  

How awful was her message of “I promise not to turn you into a newt”?  In an election year that saw a tidal wave of tea partiers swept into power, she managed to lose to a liberal Democrat—Chris Coons, doing a fine job after winning re-election in 2014 and poised to win even bigger this year against a Republican Q-Anon freak—in a blowout of epic proportions. She may not have been a witch, but that flame-out was still quite a trick.

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

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial

Kiddie Pool From Cheers and Jeers Has Galaxies Caught in Its ‘Spider Web’

—Gizmodo





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Cheers and Jeers: Monday


Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community—librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types—in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week 2020 will be held September 27– October 3. The theme of this year’s event proclaims “Censorship Is A Dead End. Find your freedom to read!”

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

The top 5 banned books last year were (cue the sound of conservative Christians grinding their teeth): George by Alex Gino; Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin; A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller; Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth; and Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis. Kudos to you all, you’re definitely worth reading.

See the various events scheduled for this week here. So far Trump hasn’t called for any book bannings or burnings. He may be dumb as rocks and more corrupt than Al Capone, but I’ll give him credit for one thing: he’s smart enough to know not to mess with librarians.

And now, our feature presentation…

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, September 28, 2020

Note: Candy corn is Baby Jesus’s tears of joy. No proof, really…it just makes sense.

By the Numbers:

Bidentrumpdebate2020OhioSeptember29.jpg
Tomorrow night.

Days ’til the Biden-Trump debate: 1

Percent of Biden supporters and Trump cultists, respectively, polled by ABC News-WaPost, who say the opening on the Supreme Court makes it more important to them that their candidate wins the presidency: 64%, 37%

Estimated number of people, according to the ACLU, who can’t vote this year because of the patchwork of state felony disenfranchisement laws that leave them out of the democratic process: 5.8 million

Percent of American Millennials (18-36) who hold a “biblical worldview”—i.e. God is the all-powerful Creator of the universe and stills rules it today; Satan is real; the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings—according to a study released by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University: 2%

Percent of population 56 and older who have a biblical worldview: 9%

Amount the U.S. economy has lost since 2000 because of discrimination against Black citizens in areas like education and access to business loans, according to a Citigroup study: $16 billion

Number of New York Metro workers who were suspended for building a secret man cave under Grand Central Station: 3

Puppy Pic of the Day: Monday morning commute…

CHEERS to peepers protection. As a public service to you, our dear C&J reader, once a year we conduct a simple vision test to make sure your eyeballs are functioning the way they should be, thus making for a more enjoyable blogging experience. So, if you would, please read the top line of this chart officially authorized by the National Ophthalmological Society: 

TrumptaxesNYTheadline.jpg

Yes, that’s correct. It says: “The Republican President Is Fucked.” Your eyes are perfect!  You’re good to go for another year. Please enjoy a complimentary lollipop from the reception desk.

JEERS to our new sadist on the bench. Over the weekend the impeached, headed-to-prison-in-2021 president announced his replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Here’s what we know about Amy Coney Barrett: 

» Born on the planet Orpglorb-7 three million years ago, upon which she immediately ate her parents, siblings and attending physicians

» Spent several thousand years educating herself in the ways of catastrophic death and destruction as a radioactive fungus-kraken hybrid

1301268159-1117-miscellaneous_funny_monster_wallpaper.jpg
Barrett at 1 minute old.

» Worked up the ranks of Orpglorb government, becoming Director of Suffering and Pain, where she was awarded the coveted Beating Heart Ripped From The Chest And Shown To The Victim Award

» Signed an authorization that vaporized several planets devoted to peace and harmony so she could use the residual debris to launch her own Echoes of Their Screams jewelry line

» Prefers to go by her nickname: Madam Finger Lightning

» Mother of 16,000 hatchlings, all of whom she ate at birth

» Hobbies include Armageddon management, non-anesthesia abdominal surgery, and bursting out of unsuspecting neighbors’ chests 

Ha Ha, just kidding. She’s much worse: Federalist Society.

CHEERS to G-d’s Amazing 25-Hour Miracle Diet. The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur started at sundown yesterday (which in Maine is, like, 6 O’clock now) and continues through today.  According to C&J’s go-to guide, Torah Tots

Yom Kippur is a Shabbat…no work can be performed on Yom Kippur.

antisemitism

It is well-known that you are supposed to refrain from eating and drinking (even water) on Yom Kippur. It is a complete, 25+ hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur. The Talmud also specifies additional restrictions: washing and bathing, anointing one’s body (with cosmetics, perfumes, etc.), marital relations and wearing leather shoes.

The holiday is a somber one during which Jews confess their sins and seek forgiveness over the course of a day.  That’s why I’m not Jewish—I’d barely get started before the closing buzzer went off.

BRIEF SANITY BREAK

END BRIEF SANITY BREAK

JEERS to keeping track of America’s fugliest numbers. While Trump and McConnell continued piloting their SCOTUS nomination steamroller over all that is just and good in America, the mighty Covid-19 Wurlitzer played on (33 million cases around the globe now, with over 20 percent of them in the U.S.).  Our Monday tradition of maintaining a benchmark of the awfulness for the C&J historical record continues. Let’s check the most depressing tote board in the world as our death toll now approaches the population of America’s 109th-largest city Birmingham, Alabama:

20 weeks ago: 1.4 million confirmed cases. 80,000 deaths.

10 weeks ago: 3.8 million confirmed cases, 143,000 deaths

POTOMAC FALLS, VIRGINIA - JUNE 21: U.S. President Donald Trump golfs at Trump National Golf Club on June 21, 2020 in Potomac Falls, Virginia. Trump spent Father's Day on the golf course a day after holding his first public political rally since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Yup. Again.

5 weeks ago: 5.8 million confirmed cases, 180,000 deaths

This morning: 7.3 million confirmed cases, 209,000 deaths

And in other covid news, Florida Governor Ron DeSuperspreader has officially given the green light for the entire state to become a giant maskless covid bump-and-grind beer & titties pool party, while banning local governments from spoiling all the fun by imposing their own stupid “life saving” “regulations.”  Up yonder in the hereafter, God sighed as He logged on and placed another mega-order of bunk beds from Ikea.

CHEERS to order in the courts. Some clear-eyed action by the Knights of the Oaken Gavel in recent days as they pour the hot lead of justice from their parapets onto the heads of the schemers trying to bring down Castle Democracy:

Staffing Fraud  A federal judge ruled Friday that [Bureau of Land Management acting director William Perry Pendley] has been serving unlawfully, blocking him from continuing in the position in the latest pushback against the administration’s practice of filling key positions without U.S. Senate approval. The ruling came after Montana’s Democratic governor in July sued to remove Pendley, saying the former oil industry attorney was illegally overseeing an agency that manages almost a quarter-billion acres of land, primarily in the U.S. West.

Voting Rights  Less than three weeks before early voting begins in Texas, a U.S. district judge has blocked the state from eliminating straight-ticket voting as an option for people who go to the polls this November. In a ruling issued late Friday, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo cited the coronavirus pandemic, saying the elimination of the voting practice would “cause irreparable injury” to voters “by creating mass lines at the polls and increasing the amount of time voters are exposed to COVID-19.”

2020 Census  [US District Judge Lucy Koh] ruled late Thursday night that national counting for the 2020 census can continue through October 31. … The National Urban League and several other groups, including the city of Los Angeles, had sued the government, asking for a preliminary injunction to block the government from concluding the count on September 30. …Los Angeles’ City Attorney Mike Feuer said the injunction was a major win for amore accurate Census count in a statement released after the stay was issued.

And this just in: Eric Trump has to show up next week in front of a judge in New York and explain why crimes seem to follow him around like the perennial dirt swirling around Pig-Pen. The judge’s first words to Eric will be: “Place your right hand on the Bible.” The judge’s next words to Eric will be: “No, your other right hand.”

Ten years ago in C&J: September 28, 2010

JEERS to unequal treatment.  Here’s another example of the oft-used phrase, “It’s Okay If You’re A Republican.”  Two years ago, President Obama announced he was ordering his departments to cut $100 million, admitting it was a small and mostly-symbolic gesture to set the tone for the new administration.  Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell pounced on it as meaningless.  And yet, when promoting the GOP’s new “Pledge to America,” one of its co-authors could only recommend cuts across the entire spectrum of federal programs that totaledyou guessed it—$100 million:

For the math challenged, [Rep. Kevin] McCarthy’s proposed cuts amount to 0.01% of the federal budget, leaving 99.99% of the federal budget—including entitlements (Medicare, Social Security), defense and interest on the debt; about 80% of the budget—intact.  And he won’t name any non-defense discretionary programs he’d cut. Wow, is that bold or what?

Please contain your laughter.  For purely selfish reasons, I want him to hear mine the loudest.

And just one more…

CHEERS to intercepted documents. My intel squirrel Sgt. Fluffy brought back a doozy from D.C.:

From the Desk of Ronna McDaniel

This Week’s RNC Motivational Action List
Sept. 28 – Oct. 4

Monday Take all the time you need to reflect on all the positive and worthwhile things you learned over the weekend from the Values Voters Summit. Spend the remaining 23 hours, 59 minutes and 55 seconds reviewing your preemptive Biden impeachment list.

Tuesday Clear your head of “stinkin’ thinkin'” by picturing a happy, placid scene of illegals being shipped back to Mexico in boxcars via the main entrance through the Great Wall of Trump.

Wednesday With that nip of fall in the air, today is a good day to write a letter to your local newspaper warning about the dangers of global cooling. Go ahead and make up your own facts—they’ll print it anyway.

Thursday Butt-dial John Bolton and let one rip. Then scratch a pesky itch with your open-carry Glock, but don’t bother checking to see if it’s unloaded because you’re a responsible Republican gun owner so how could it not be?

Friday Don’t take no for an answer, give no for an answer. Then practice mansplaining lady parts in front of a mirror so you’ll be ready to win hearts and hoo-hahs at upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.

All Week: Don’t bake a single thing for the gays.


Have a great week! God Bless
America and Money and Trump and Bombs!

And here’s the Democratic motivational action list: in 36 days, make the makers of the Republican motivational action list cry.

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

Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial

“Bill in Portland Maine knows he’s crazy; it’s so self-evident. Quite frankly, I don’t pay that much attention to him. I think it’s really a sad, sick situation.”

Nancy Pelosi





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Cheer’s Monica Aldama Feels Pressure to Win ‘DWTS’


Feeling the pressure. Monica Aldama knows Cheer fans are expecting big things from her on Dancing With the Stars due to her competitive nature and cheerleading background.

“There is kind of this insinuation that since I’ve won so many times, I would automatically win this competition,” the 50-year-old Navarro College cheer coach told Us Weekly exclusively while promoting her partnership with Robitussin Naturals. “I think there are things that I can bring as far as how to prepare for competition, physically and mentally, and my work ethic. … Those are things that I can bring that are going to be to my advantage, but because the bigger part of this is actually the dancing, and I have zero experience.”

Aldama and partner Val Chmerkovskiy received a 19 out of 30 for their Foxtrot to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts during the Monday, September 14, premiere of the ABC competition series.

Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy ABC/Eric McCandless

“It’s so different than cheerleading … the muscles that I use the way, that I carry my shoulders, all of that, I mean, I’ve gotten told at least 1,000 times to keep my shoulders down,” she told Us. “And so, it’s been a challenge to really retrain my body to do things differently and to be in certain positions that feel very unnatural to me. I think there’s a ton of pressure because people do expect me to come out here and bring it and I do plan on doing that. I just it’s been very difficult to learn something that I don’t know how to do.”

As the dancing duo prepares for week two, they are working on a Jive number. And while Aldama feels comfortable with the faster paced dance, she isn’t looking forward to taking on a Salsa or Rumba.

“The Latin dances with all of the hip action I’m a little bit terrified to learn all of those,” she admitted. “We’re doing the Jive next week. So it’s really fast — really, really fast. But it’s a little bit more of my comfort zone because I’m more free to move different ways with my body than being in such an awkward frame that feels very unnatural. But, it is fast, so we’ll see how it goes. Those Latin dances are a little scary.”

Cheer's Monica Aldama Feels Pressure to Win DWTS
Monica Aldama ABC/Kelsey McNeal

For now, Aldama is soaking in the “neat” experience with new friends Chrishell Stause and Anne Heche. “My trailer is right next to Chrishell, so I get to talk to her a lot. She’s super sweet. And Anne Heche is hilarious,” she gushed. “And she really is so funny. Everybody is great.”

She’s also finding time to help Robitussin launch their new cough relief and immune health gummies and syrups.

“I’ve been a user of Robitussin for as long as I can remember. I’ve got two children so, you know, you always have that on hand,” she told Us. “I’m really excited that they’re coming out with these are all-natural products to help with cough relief, because obviously with my job, you know, I have to use my voice a lot. I have to talk a lot. … The gummies are so easy to just keep in your pocket and pop one in!”

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.



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Cheer’s La’Darius, Monica and More React to Daytona Cancellation




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Cheer’s Monica Aldama Defends Gabi Butler’s Controversial Parents


Monica Aldama Defends Gabi Butler Controversial Parents
Gabi Butler and Monica Aldama. Courtesy Gabi Butler/Instagram; Courtesy Monica Aldama/Instagram

Gabi Butler’s parents may not have won over social media users who watched Cheer, but according to Monica Aldama, the 22-year-old’s mom and dad aren’t as bad as they seemed on TV.

“I’ve known Gabi’s parents for a long time and they are honestly some of the best people, they would give you the shirt off their back,” the 49-year-old Navarro coach told Us Weekly exclusively. “They take in a lot of kids that need help and I don’t know that it necessarily showed that side. They’re funny, they’re a crazy bunch of people, but in a fun way.”

Monica added that Gabi’s parents “really care about” their daughter.

“Maybe they were a little much in the show, but they’re really, really awesome people and they really would give anybody the shirt off their back,” she explained.

While watching the six-part docuseries, social media users accused Gabi’s parents of exploiting her career, pushing her too far and being too controlling about her diet. Gabi, for her part, called the series eye-opening for her entire family.

“My parents were like, ‘Wow, maybe we do need to let her be more independent and let her make her own decisions for herself,’” Gabi said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday, January 23. “I really just think that it was great because I really started to love myself more and being like, ‘I need to be more positive about myself.’ I’m very grateful for the show.”

Earlier this month, she took to Twitter to defend her family.

“My parents are amazing and have always been there for me,” Gabi wrote on January 8. “Every time I have made money from cheer opportunities it has gone into my own account. My father already runs several successful businesses and has showed me how to create my own. They push me to be my best and I am more thankful than ever for their love and support. They have helped shape me into the person, athlete and coach I am today. So please stop with the negativity towards them.”

Monica, meanwhile, admitted to Us that it was difficult at times to watch her students on the series.

“I knew that they were opening up and telling their stories. But I think watching it back, I didn’t realize how emotional I would get,” she explained. “Even though I know these kids, I know their stories, it was just told in such a touching way that, I’ve watched it four times and I’ve cried every single time.”

The coach added that the final episode, which documented the NCA College Nationals in Daytona, California, was extra emotional.

“In the last episode, it was like I was reliving that moment. I was nervous, my heart was racing, I felt nauseous,” she said. “I did not expect to watch it back with all of those emotions.”

Cheer is currently streaming on Netflix.



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Jennifer Aniston Cheers on Brad Pitt at the Golden Globes 2020


Friendly exes! Jennifer Aniston cheered on her ex-husband Brad Pitt after he won at the 2020 Golden Globes.

Jennifer Aniston Cheers on Ex-Husband Brad Pitt During 2020 Golden Globes Speech
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles on January 5, 2020. Rob Latour/Shutterstock; Paul Drinkwater/NBC

The Oklahoma native, 56, won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture for his role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and his ex-wife, 50, whom he split from in 2005 after five years of marriage, happily cheered him on.

An onlooker told Us Weekly exclusively that the Friends alum “stood up and clapped for Brad’s win” and then “sat down before some of the other people who were sitting near her.”

“Holy moly,” the Thelma and Louise actor began his acceptance speech on Sunday, January 5. He then gave a shout out to his costar “LDC” or Leonardo DiCaprio before switching his focus to his parents.

“I want to say hi to my folks, cause, hey! They’re back in the Ozarks,” he said. “I wanted to bring my mom but I couldn’t because any woman I stand next to they say I’m dating. And that would just be awkward.”

The cameras focused on The Morning Show star who smiled as Pitt joked about his dating life.

“Thank you,” Pitt concluded. “Hey, if you see a chance to be kind to someone tomorrow take it. I think we need it.”

When the Seven star returned to his seat a source tells Us that his “table was still cheering him on and standing as the show went to commercial.” At that moment, Aniston was sitting by her Apple TV + costar Reese Witherspoon, and then “took a few glances over at Brad wearing her clear glasses.”

Ahead of the Moneyball actor’s win, a source told Us that “both of them remained seated during commercial break and kept to themselves.” The source added: “It looks like they’re keeping their distance.”

The exes also managed to avoid one another before the show began, despite arriving on the red carpet moments apart.

An eyewitness told Us that Aniston walked into the Beverly Hilton with friend Jason Bateman and his wife, Amanda Anka, while Pitt took a selfie with a fan before entering the ballroom himself.

When asked by reporters about a possible run in with his ex, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button actor told Entertainment Tonight on Sunday, “I’ll run into Jen, she’s a good friend.”



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Gwen Stefani Cheers on Blake Shelton


His biggest fan! Gwen Stefani was in the front row of the 2019 Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday, November 13, to support Blake Shelton.

The 43-year-old crooner sang “God’s Country” during the telecast. Stefani, 50, remained seated during the powerful performance, but she rose to give her boyfriend a standing ovation after he concluded.

Earlier in the awards show, Shelton won in the Single of the Year category for “God’s Country.” The Voice judge was also up for Song of the Year with the same track, though he lost out to Luke Combs for “Beautiful Crazy.” Kacey Musgraves defeated the tune for Music Video of the Year too, with her hit “Rainbow.”

Gwen Stefani Sweetly Cheers on Blake Shelton 2019 CMA Awards
giphy

In addition, Shelton received a nod in the Musical Event of the Year category, but Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ ubiquitous song, “Old Town Road,” won instead.

The “Hell Right” singer’s ex-wife Miranda Lambert attended the ceremony with her husband, Brendan McLoughlin. The songstress, 36, performed her single, “It All Comes Out in the Wash,” earlier in the night.

Lambert and Shelton split in 2015 after four years of marriage. She announced in February that she secretly tied the knot with McLoughlin, 29.

Earlier this month, Stefani denied engagement speculation at the 2019 People’s Choice Awards, which she attended with Shelton while wearing a diamond ring on her left hand. “It might be a real ring — a real diamond — but it’s not a wedding ring, no,” she clarified to E! News. “It actually doesn’t fit over the glove on [the right] hand so I put it on this hand. But it looks good, right?”

Gwen Stefani Sweetly Cheers on Blake Shelton 2019 CMA Awards
Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton attend the 45th Annual People’s Choice Awards at Barker Hanger on November 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Matt Baron/Shutterstock

She added: “When I have something to say, I’ll say it.”

The No Doubt singer later gave the country star a shout-out while accepting the Fashion Icon Award. “Blake Shelton, look! Icon!” she declared. “I love you, Blake Shelton, you’re a babe.”

When Shelton won for Country Artist of 2019, he shared the same sentiment. “I love the s–t out of you,” he told her.

Us Weekly exclusively revealed in October that the couple, who began dating in 2015, bought a house together. According to a source, “It’s currently being renovated which is why they are living in a rental in Bel-Air.”



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