“As if the violence, as if the trauma isn’t enough, the part that breaks my brain—and I think so many people get affected by this as well because you feel like you’re crazy when you’re watching it—is where you see the police officer come out and almost try to humanize the shooter more than the people who got shot: ‘He was at the end of his rope. It was a bad day for him.’ For him? Yesterday was a bad day for him? No. Yesterday was a bad day for the people who lost their lives.”
—Trevor Noah on the Atlanta shooting spree that targeted Asian Americans.
“This will always be a part of [Trump’s] legacy. He will be remembered as a hateful man who left a stain not just on the White House pillows, but on our whole society by inviting his MAGA minions to an all-you-can-hate racist buffet. I hope one day he’ll come to understand just how much pain he’s caused. I’m sorry, I misread that: I hope one day he sits on his own balls, like really hard.”
Clip of Biden during ABC News interview: I was alone with [Vladimir Putin] in his office, and I said to him: ‘I looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul.’ He looked back at me and said, ‘We understand each other.’
Jimmy Fallon: The weird thing is, Biden once said the same thing to a scooper at Cold Stone who forgot his hot fudge.
—The Tonight Show
“[The child tax credit for low-income families that Democrats passed] could actually cut child poverty by more than half. It’s going to be a huge boost for parents, who frankly deserve it after spending the past year stuck in the same place with their kids 24 hours a day. I’m just saying, you try being body-shamed by a five-year-old who keeps asking you why your arm hair keeps growing all funky. It just does!“
Instead of saying “The days are getting longer,” I like to walk around with a candle and cry, “NIGHT!…she withers….”
And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Friday, March 19, 2021
Note: Due to a totally foreseen accident involving a meat truck, an army of ferrets in red jumpsuits and a giant ray gun, there will be no C&J on Monday. Back Tuesday to refer all questions about the fact that Monday was also National Goof-Off Day to my lawyer. —Mgt.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til Palm Sunday: 9
New date of the 2021 tax filing deadline: 5/17/21
Percent of Americans polled by Hart Research Associates and the Human Rights Campaign who believe that trans kids should be allowed to play on the team on which they feel comfortable, including 56% of Republicans: 73%
Percent in the same poll who support the Equality Act that’s currently before the Senate Judiciary Committee: 70%
Favorability of “Q-Anon” in the latest Monmouth University poll: 2%
Percent in the same poll who believe the Trump cultists are a problem in the U.S.: 64%
Acceptance rate at Harvard and Walmart, respectively: 5.2%, 2.6%
Puppy Pic of the Day: Weekend check-in…
CHEERS to the Jyna dialogues. Just days after Secretary of State Antony (not Anthony, dang it) Blinken led a smashingly-successful junket to mend fences with South Korea and Japan, it was finally time for the seasoned diplomats working for the Biden administration to confront the leadership of China with deftness, intelligence, and skill. And they have our permission to be tough:
American public opinion is overwhelmingly supportive of a confrontational posture toward China. And both Democrats and Republicans now describe China as a dire threat, pushing legislation to impose more sanctions on Beijing over human rights abuses and protect U.S. companies against China‘s trade practices. […]
The chief points of tension from the U.S. side include China’s increasingly aggressive military posture in the region, cyber intrusions and intellectual property theft, trade and economic practices, and human rights abuses, including actions in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang region.
[T]he goal is to get a sense of where the Chinese stand on key issues so they can take stock once returning home as Biden finalizes his broader China strategy.
But we’ll have to be careful how far we’re willing to push. If China gets too mad with us, they might stop making our American flags. (Or, even worse, our American-flag bikinis!)
JEERS to splitting hairs. As he did with the previous president, CNN’s intrepid fact checker Daniel Dale will be intrepidly fact checking President Biden. That’s fair. But things are just a little bit different now. For the last four years, Dale’s reports looked something like this:
Trump just flat-out lied a hundred and fifty times during his 20-minute interview with Fox News. Everything he said was not just wrong, but deliberately wrong. It was outright propaganda, and the only thing he said that could be considered remotely credible is when he said, “We’ll see what happens.”
Now here’s a summary of Dale’s latest fact check after watching President Biden’s interview with George Stephapalooza on ABC News:
» 67.4% of the tax benefits this year from the new [covid relief] law would go to the bottom 60% of households—not “all” of the benefits as Biden said.
» He accidentally said “billion” instead of “million.”
» Prefacing a hypothetical comparison of the number of times Republicans committed filibuster abuse with “don’t hold me to the numbers, George,” Biden did not cite numbers that correlate to the actual Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………………….
That’s it. Bottom line: if you need to find Daniel Dale over the next four years, he’ll be down in the basement playing Crazy 8s with the Maytag repairman.
CHEERS to Spring! ‘Bout effing time, huh? I don’t care if we’re still up to our knees—okay, fine, due to global warming, our toes—in snow. At exactly 5:37 ET tomorrow morning, I’ll put on my tutu, strap on my fairy wings, slather myself in sanitizer with a wallpaper-paste brush, go outside and partake in the annual tradition of romping barefoot through the blueberry fields with the wee village folk, being sure this year to maintain a safe social distance. After arriving back home and doing another Purell slather, we’ll partake in our other annual spring tradition: scraping wee village folk off the bottom of our shoes. (Sorry about that, guys. You’re, like, really wee.)
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to the Nailbiter Heard Round the World. Ah, yes…I remember it like it was just 4,018 days ago Sunday. On March 21, 2010, after a huge amount of debate, committee hearings, number-crunching and input from the entire health care and insurance industry—y’know, all the responsible governmenting the Republicans never bother doing—the Nancy Pelosi-led House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
And what a collection of moments we saw…from blue dog Bart Stupak’s (and recently-vanquished Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski’s) grandstanding over abortion, to the late John Dingell showing off his historic Medicare gavel, to the House leadership locking arms and walking through a canopy of teabaggers like the protagonists of The Wizard of Oz skipping down the yellow brick road, to the hecklers that created “mass hysteria” (Barney Frank’s words), and finally the moment that nobody wanted to arrive because they were all having so much darn fun: the 219-212 vote shortly before midnight.
There was still work to do in the Senate, but this was nothing less than historic. Sunday Democrats will mark the occasion with quiet reflection on a job well done (like eliminating discrimination based on pre-existing conditions), elbow-bumping each other for expanding and improving it as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, and the satisfaction of knowing signups and savings are still quite robust. Republicans will mark the occasion by gnawing the bark off a tree.
CHEERS to home vegetation. A quick rundown of weekend TV highlights. Friday evening starts the usual way, with Chris and Rachel on MSNBC, or new Whose Line and Penn & Teller: Fool Us on the CW. At 9 ABC airs a special edition of 20/20 on the rise in hate crimes against the Asian American community. Bill Maher’s guests on HBO’s Real Time are David Shor of the Center for American Progress, former Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and annoying Nick Gillespie of Reason on HBO’s Real Time. And at 11 on BBC America, Graham Norton welcomes Amy Poehler, Jennifer Garner, and Minnie Driver.
The most popular home videos, new and old, are all reviewed here at Rotten Tomatoes. The NHL schedule is here, the NBA schedule is here, and the NCAA tourney women’s and men’s brackets are here and here.
On 60 Minutes: a profile of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and the school system working with the CDC to help it understand how covid spreads in classrooms. Sunday night on HBO, the series Q: Into the Storm premieres, but not before the 700th episode of The Simpsons airs. (See surrealist cartoonist Bill Plympton’s couch gag here.) And John Oliver, who so deftly sliced and diced white supremacist Tucker Carlson’s Fox News shtick last week, slays another anti-democracy beast at 11 on Last Week Tonight.
Now here’s your Sunday morning lineup:
Meet the Press: Director of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; Sens. Roy Blunt (CULT-MO) and Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA);
Face the Nation: Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Rob Portman (CULT-OH); L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti; former White House covid vaccine coordinator Moncef Slaoui; former FDA director Scott Gottlieb.
CNN’s State of the Union: DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; Rep. Young Kim (D-CA); Rep. Michelle Steele (R-CA);
This Week: DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Michael McCaul (CULT-TX); Gov. Doug Ducey (CULT-AZ).
Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; Sen. Tom Cotton (CULT-AR).
Ten years ago in C&J: March 19, 2011
CHEERS to the international cavalry. You know you’ve gone too far when a) the United Nations rousts itself from its slumber and passes a resolution authorizing unlimited force to stop you from killing your own people, and b) leading the charge is none other than France. That’s what happened to Libya yesterday, and their response was swift and defiant:
With the U.S. on board as part of the Coalition of the Fly-Swatting, it means we’re now embroiled in three armed conflicts “over there.” On C&J’s agenda this weekend: expanding our victory garden.
And just one more…
CHEERS to the guy at the helm of the most famous bridge in space. We won’t be here Monday, so we gotta say this tonight: Happy birthday to one of the greatest gifts Canada ever gave the universe: Emmy- and Golden Globe-winner William “Kirk” Shatner, who turns 90 Monday and keeps boppin’ around like he’s thirty years younger.
I never watched T.J. Hooker, loved his “attorney with mad cow” Denny Crane on Boston Legal, and once in a blue moon I catch an episode of the original Star Trek series that, astonishingly, I haven’t seen before, and I become a kid again. Here’s a clip that hits a spectacular trifecta of bizarre American history. This is from July, 2009, when Conan O’Brien was host of The Tonight Show, Sarah Palin had just given her batty farewell address (officially becoming known as the “half-term governor of Alaska”) and, perhaps most amazing of all, Howard Dean was filling in for Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown. What Shatner brings to this clip is almost superfluous, but still brilliant:
Sarah learned an important lesson that day: don’t bring a phaser to a photon torpedo fight.
Oh, and I’d be a total cad if I didn’t remember to also wish our own mcmom a happy, happy Monday birthday…and many blessings on your camels. Have a great weekend. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?