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Late Night Snark…with 100% Humidity

"Republicans are already trying to paint Hillary Clinton as too old to be president. In fact, a new ad claims she's so old that she could be a Republican."
---Conan O'Brien

George Takei/Sulu joke
"Osama bin Laden once got a speeding ticket in Pakistan. This guy had no respect for the law. When SEAL Team 6 broke into the house, he said to them: 'Is this about that speeding ticket?'"
---David Letterman
"The Supreme Court struck down the part of the Voting Rights Act which protected minority voting in areas where it needed to be protected. Their reasoning is that we don't need it anymore. Racism is basically over in America, so let's get back to talking about Trayvon Martin and Paula Deen."
---Bill Maher.
"President Obama is getting a new limousine that will have advanced night-vision capabilities. The technology even has a cool name. It’s called headlights."
---Jimmy Fallon
And three years ago:
Clip of RNC Chairman Michael Steele: That's one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan. This was a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something that the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.

Jon Stewart: Okay. Forget about the fact that we've been in Afghanistan since before Obama was even a gleam in the Senate's eye. Forget about the fact that this non-act of war has cost the United States thousands of casualties, and just focus on this: this is the head of the Republican party going after one of the party's core principles: blowing shit up in other countries.
---The Daily Show

Hey, it's Free Mango Night! The way it works is, everybody gives me free mangoes tonight! Yaaay! Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, July 12, 2013

Note: I'm pleased and happy to repeat the news that we have, in fact, caught and killed a large predator that supposedly injured some bathers.  But, as you see, it's a beautiful day, the beaches are open and people are having a wonderful time.  Amity, as you know, means "friendship!"
---Mayor Vaughn


Hollywood used to be a country with
a Viceroy and nuclear weapons.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the New Jersey Senate primary: 32
Days 'til the 9th annual Targhee Fest in Wyoming: 7
Age of the HOLLYWOOD sign as of this month: 90
Cost to build a 64,000 square-foot military facility in southwest Afghanistan that commanders said they didn’t need and which will never be used: $34 million
(Source: The Washington Post)
U.S. adults who say their social-media profile matches reality: 78%
Percent of U.S. adults who say other people jigger their social-media profiles to make them seem more happy, attractive and successful than they really are: 76%
(Source: Time poll)
Number of women's-health experts who have appeared on Fox News to discuss the Texas abortion bill over the last two weeks: 0
(Source: Media Matters for America)


Puppy Pic of the Day:  "Play BALL BALL BALL BALL BALL Yaaaaayyyy BALL!!!"


CHEERSand JEERS to money matters.  I'll leave the detail parsing to the detail parsers (true fact: they have a secret handshake), but here's a handful of business headlines we stumbled on this week that might give us a sense of where things stand in the United States of Austerity:

Monkeys: Speak, hear, see no evil
How the GOP greeted news
of the huge June surplus.
Borrowing shows consumer confidence
Regulators to seek tighter rules on eight of America's largest banks
Weekly Jobless claims jump to two-month high
Producer prices rise, give positive economic signal
Gas prices seen rising sharply within days
Rate on 30-year mortgage hits two-year high
Consumer sentiment climbs for fourth week in a row
Record-breaking day for stocks sparked by upbeat Fed comments
Global PC market shrank 11 percent in second quarter
And this one from Reuters is worth a special solo shoutout: "Surprise! Huge US budget surplus shatters record."  I'd tell you what the Republican deficit hawks think of that, but they've already retired to their coffins for the night.

JEERS to whistleblower groundhog day.  NSA contract employee Edward Snowden emerged from his hiding place at Moscow International Airport today and saw his shadow as he applied for temporary asylum in Russia.  That means at least six more weeks of media focus on Edward Snowden instead of on the shadow government inside the NSA.  And borscht cakes for everyone!

CHEERS to a man who knew his way around a one-room cabin in the woods. Happy birthday to Henry David Thoreau, born 196 years ago on July 12, 1817.  He told the world to "Simplify! Simplify!"  And his writings on civil disobedience (the peaceful kind, not that right-wing "Second Amendment Remedies" crap) influenced many, including Martin Luther King, Jr., who wrote in his autobiography:

Henry David Thoreau with quote
In my imagination I'm a pole dancer.
I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau. As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest. The teachings of Thoreau came alive in our civil rights movement; indeed, they are more alive than ever before. Whether expressed in a sit-in at lunch counters, a freedom ride into Mississippi, a peaceful protest in Albany, Georgia, a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, these are outgrowths of Thoreau's insistence that evil must be resisted and that no moral man can patiently adjust to injustice.
By the way, if you're looking to buy the perfect housewarming gift for a Walden lover, trust me: you can't go wrong with a Thoreau rug.

JEERS to losing one of America's great contortioneers.  The inventor of Twister has died.   Chuck Foley was 82:

Cover of the game Twister.
Notice all the "gents"
are wearing neckties.
Foley and a collaborator, Neil Rabens, were hired in the mid-1960s by a St. Paul manufacturing firm that wanted to expand into games and toys. They came up with a game to be played on a mat on the floor, using a spinner to direct players to place their hands and feet on different colored circles.

"Dad wanted to make a game that could light up a party," Mark Foley said. "They originally called it 'Pretzel.' But they sold it to Milton Bradley, which came up with the 'Twister' name." The game became a sensation after Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor played it on "The Tonight Show" in 1966.

He'll be buried with his right foot on green and his left foot on blue.

2013 Euro Pride Bastille Day poster
My my my... Whatever they're
storming, count me in!
CHEERS to getting mad as hell and not taking it anymore.  Sacre Bleu! Sunday is Bastille Day, commemorating the important lesson the French learned 224 years ago, but which we Americans still haven't: it is better for the government to fear the people than it is for the people to fear the government.  Thus the French get a couple months of vacation, shorter work hours, universal health care, sick time, and a fresh beret every three months.  We, on the other hand, get to work ourselves to the bone for zero vacation days, zero sick time, and the honor of having to defend anti-poverty, anti-sickness, anti-getting-screwed-by-rich-people programs that are perpetually "on the table" for cuts---please try to contain your enthusiasm.  Sunday morning you'll find me propping a ladder up to our neighbor's bedroom window, storming in, grabbing a pair of their underwear and sending it up the flagpole.  Because we refuse to break our usual daily routine just because it's Bastille Day.

Pister for the documentary
Out on DVD.
CHEERS to home vegetation.  Gonna be a hot, humid weekend 'round these parts (we're guessing the same applies in your parts too---sorry, that sounded dirty), and since the AC unit is next to the TV, well…resistance is futile.  On HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher talks with Bobby Ghosh, Mike Rowe, Cornel West, Liz Mair and Matt Lewis.  New DVD releases include a timely documentary called The Gatekeepers and girls gone wild with James Franco in Spring Breakers.  The baseball schedule is here. (The Red Sox will flabbify the Athletics.)  The Senior U.S. Open golf tourney---which I like to watch because the roster is basically made up of legends---continues with the final two rounds.  And Sunday night is the Season Two premiere of Aaron Sorkin's engaging, if overly preachy, The Newsroom.  I watch it because Jeff Daniels Jeff Daniels Jeff Daniels and Jeff Daniels.

On Bill Moyers & Company, media scholar Marty Kaplan talks about how and why the traditional media goes out of its way to mask inequality in American via weapons of mass distraction.  And speaking of that, here's your Sunday morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatens to go nuclear on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after McConnell reneges at the last second on a handshake deal to share a Twix bar.  Reid, of course, fails to make good on his threat, but agrees to replace his chair on the set with a cardboard box at McConnell's insistence.  Plus: Congressman Tom Cotton (R-AR) gets to yakety yak about the evil brown people from Mexico without any Democrat to respond.

Still the rulers of
Sun. morning TV.
This Week: If you want to see Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA), you're gonna have to put up with Republican Congressobstructors Michele Bachmann (MN), Tom Cole (OK) and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)…and right-wing Wall Street Journal water-carrier Paul Gigot.  Hooray for balance!

Face the Nation: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyoohoo; plus three Republican House members---Peter King (NY), Mike Kelly (PA) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL); Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) does that Durbin thing he does.

CNN's State of the Union: Texas Governor Rick Perry openly wonders why someone would let a chick host her own Sunday morning TV news show.  It takes him several minutes to unstick Candy Crowley's brooch from his uvula while Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) points and laughs.  Plus: Reps. Chaka Fattah (D-PA and House Black Caucus) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ and House Hispanic Caucus); NAACP head Ben Jealous talks about the George Zimmerman trial.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Reps. Steve King (R-IA), Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Steve Israel (D-NY).

Looking purely at the House members represented on the above shows, you'll see 9 Republicans and 4 Democrats, 11 of them men and 2 of them women.  Happy Slanted Viewing, guys!


Five years ago in C&J: July 12, 2008

JEERS to Deputy Droopydrawers.  Flint, Michigan police chief David Dicks (yep, that's his name)---apparently having nothing better to do in one of the most violent cities in America---has his super troopers using this handy chart to check citizens out for excessive asscrack exposure:

Graphic displaying Flint, Michigan PD's rules for baggy pants.  From 2008.
The maximum penalty is a year in jail.  Which I guess explains the sudden disappearance of all the city's plumbers.


And just one more…

HA HA!!! to worthless predictions that become more worthless by the year. According to this highly-influential right-wing journalist, you and I have been stranded in the virtual desert for the last seven years and Daily Kos is just a mirage:


July 12, 2006

Markos Moulitsas on Meet the Press
Not even the sight of Kos in
a suit and tie could sink us.
It appears that the post-Yearly Kos month from hell is continuing for Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the proprietor of the Internet's premier liberal blog Daily Kos. After receiving some extremely negative press from major publications such as The New York Times, The New Republic and Newsweek immediately following his seemingly successful bloggers' convention in Las Vegas, Kos is now faced with an even greater challenge: dissension within his ranks.

Such internal squabbling comes at the same time that many prominent Democrats seem to be privately expressing concern about the direction the "netroots"---the self-described Internet grassroots movement of liberal bloggers and their loyal followers---are taking the Party. This seemingly inconvenient planetary alignment is not only threatening the long-term viability of this crusade, but also is putting Kos in an uncomfortable position just as his notoriety is skyrocketing.

Seven years, seven bigger-and-better Netroots Nation conventions, and dozens of election victories both big and small later, "The" Daily Kos continues to not implode.  We're on great terms with a large number of Democratic lawmakers (Elizabeth Warren! Kirsten Gillibrand! Bernie Sanders! Alan Grayson!), candidates, and movers and shakers inside the progressive universe.  We're up to over 900,000 registered Kossacks.  (Source: jotter, of course.)  Hell, we've even got hippies like Tom Tomorrow and Mark Fiore posting here, fer cryin' out loud.  Sure, our pie fights are the stuff of legend.  But imploding?  Please.  "The" Great Orange Satan lives, breathes and throbs.  And our prime directive remains the same: make Bill O'Reilly cry.

Have an implosion-free weekend.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?



Who won the week?

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