Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, August 12, 2021
Note: My toothpaste says it “fights bad breath for hours.” But it never says if it wins.
By the Numbers:
Days’ to all US servicemembers must be vaccinated: 34
Days ’til National Creamsicle Day: 2
Percent of doctors surveyed by Harris who say the pandemic forced technical upgrades that normally would’ve taken years: 62%
Drop in Olympics viewership from the 2016 Games: -36%
Cost of a two-night stay for two people at a guest studio in Disney World’s new Star Wars Hotel: $4,809
Increase in cannabis sales in Maine from June to July, thanks in part to “a boost from summer tourists taking advantage of the state’s legal cannabis market”: 45%
Water temperature off the coast of Portland, Maine: 65F
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
The only people I see in public office trying to address what’s wrong with this economy are Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy.
Reich has been valiantly struggling to get raising the minimum wage on his boss’ agenda and coming up with one improvement and suggestion after another on worker training. Kennedy came out with a multi-pronged plan earlier this month to attack what he calls “the quiet Depression,” which contains a lot of carrots as well as sticks to get corporations to Do the Right Thing. (Someday even conservatives are going to notice that Ted Kennedy is the most effective senator in Washington: He has a wonderful habit of getting Republicans like Nancy Kassebaum and Orrin Hatch to cosponsor good legislation.)
Kennedy’s plan covers the Federal Reserve Board, proposes a two-tier corporate tax plan to favor those that treat workers well, closes lots of stinky corporate tax loopholes, puts brakes on mergers and acquisitions, helps small business, helps labor, helps secure pension plans, and more.
Puppy Pic of the Day: Piglet says Hi.
CHEERS to callused voting fingers. Wow—it’s like these federal legislative mega-project bills are moving at the speed of a bullet train, which is ironic because the one thing inexplicably missing from the legislation is money for bullet trains. Oh well—my life is nothing if not hopes and dreams smashed to bits on the rocks of disappointment. But enough about me, let’s check out the goods that will be gently packed into the Three. Point. Five. Trillion. Dollar. legislative “budget suitcase” that Democrats passed Tuesday:
The Senate passed a sweeping Democratic budget resolution along party lines early Wednesday that would make it possible to expand Medicare, education and environmental measures largely through higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations.
Democrats said earlier this week that the legislative package they plan to write would fund programs to provide aid to families, combat climate change and expand health care and education programs. Democrats are planning to include language that would establish universal Pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds, make community college tuition-free for two years, provide green cards to millions of immigrant workers and families, and reduce prescription drug costs, among other things.
But don’t go demanding your new government-issue hearing aids or cataract surgery just yet, because both the Senate and the House are now on vacation. Which brings us to today’s C&J Happy Fun Tip: Don’t think of Ted Cruz playing beach volleyball in a thong. It won’t end well in any conceivable way.
CHEERS to keeping your hands to yourself. It’s not going out on a limb to predict that that’s what we can count on from New York’s next governor Kathy Hochul, whose career just keeps soaring thanks in large part to the downfalls of a series of pervy males in Empire State politics. So as Andrew “Captain Grabby” Cuomo starts packing his shit, let’s find out a little more about soon-to-be-Governor Hochul:
Name: Kathy Hochul.
Okay, I’ve seen enough and I like her! Ha ha, just kidding. There’s more…
Born: August 27, 1958 in Buffalo
Education: Syracuse University (BA) and Catholic University Columbus School of Law (JD).
Previous doings: As a student, successfully lobbied Syracuse University to divest its holdings in South Africa to protest apartheid; Legal counsel to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan; Erie County Clerk; U.S. Congresswoman 2011-2013; Lt. Governor of New York since 2015.
Policy preferences: Run-of-the-mill, if somewhat more conservative Democratic leanings.
Family: Fancy schmancy lawyer husband; two rugrats.
In 12 days Hochul will become New York’s first female governor. Gee, it’s only been 233 years. What’s the rush?
CHEERS to compassionate conservatism. 66 years ago today, on August 12, 1955, that liberal fringe kook President Dwight Eisenhower raised the hourly minimum wage from 75¢ to a dollar. Or, as Republicans today would call it, “a dollar too much.”
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to great moments in inventin’ stuff. Wipe that doughnut powder off your face and sit up straight, this is important. This week marks the 108th anniversary of the invention of stainless steel. It was created by metallurgist Harry Brearley, who had the good sense to “add chromium to molten iron [that] produced a metal that didn’t rust.” Today stainless steel is a ubiquitous part of life on earth. But to survive the slings and arrows of modern-day politics, only Teflon will do.
JEERS to today’s edition of Well, That’s Escalating Quickly. Courtesy of the national Hurricane Center:
This has been today’s edition of Well, That’s Escalating Quickly.
Ten years ago in C&J: August 12, 2011
JEERS to Wall Street’s Law of Gravity: what takes a painfully long time to go up must come crashing down in no more than four consecutive trading sessions. After the Dow closed down another 49 bajillion points (I rounded up), I called to find out what was left of the meager 401k I’d built up from my last job. Apparently I’m down to six pennies, four marbles, a half-eaten tuna sandwich and the proceeds from Victoria Jackson’s comeback tour. But I’m told that if I just ride this out and keep my wits about me, I can expect to retire in twenty years with a cow and two packs of gum. I’m in!!!
And just one more…
CHEERS to a wild time in the Hawkeye State. Skies will be a mix of sun and clouds and the air will be hot but not broiling in Iowa through the weekend, and for the latter you can thank the vats of bubbling fat and roving gangs of bloviating politicians at the legendary State Fair that starts today. This time around the traditional 600-pound butter cow (whose butter is recycled and can be reused for up to ten years, they say) has company in the form of a replica of the fair’s famous slide to mark its 50th anniversary. And another tradition that will be on full display is the awkward eating of the corn dogs. So, for old time’s sake, enjoy these memories from that golden presidential election year 2012 (the guy in the lower left was recently in charge of our nukes and I believe the guy in the upper right just joined The Village People as the construction worker) with bonus ice cream cone thoroughly embarrassed to be seen with the guy recently fired from CNN for being a racist weirdo: