Depending on where their college or university is located, students in the class of 2025 are experiencing vast differences in COVID-19 regulations on campus, leading to a disparity in educational quality.
Incoming students now live in a country where Oregon decriminalized drug use, drug possession, and low-level drug sales, as Portugal did 20 years ago. These policies have shown that using a public health approach reduces drug overdose, HIV infections, and decreases incarceration for drug-related offenses.
Incoming students live in an era where a primary threat of terrorism to Americans comes from domestic white supremacists, rather than from abroad. This is the first incoming college class in United States history to have witnessed the confederate flag displayed in the Capitol.
Incoming students were inspired by Amanda Gorman’s reading of her poem, “The Hill We Climb” at the [Biden] Presidential Inauguration to rediscover the power of poetry in their own lives, and on their own terms.
Click here for the whole list. I’ll add my usual contribution: during their lifetime the Republican party has always consisted of incompetent hacks, paranoid loons, climate-crisis deniers, and/or pathological liars supported by neo-Nazis, Christian mega-grifters, and the Ku Klux Klan. These days that one seems timeless.
And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Monday, September 13, 2021
Note: The street sweepers were out in force Friday in our neighborhood. Good news: the old lady next door managed to get out of the way in time. Bad news: her walker now belongs to the ages.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til the start of Yom Kippur: 2
Days ’til the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Fort Wayne, Indiana: 5
Portion of Mainers who will be affected by the Covid-19 vaccine mandate announced by President Biden Thursday: 1-in-3
Percent of North Carolina’s middle and high school Covid clusters that have been among sports teams: 45%
Amount that racial inequality has cost the U.S. since 1990, according to a new report published in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity: $22.9 trillion
Percent chance that Justice Stephen Breyer calls the decision by five of his SCOTUS-mates to allow Texas’s “Bounty hunter” abortion law to take effect “very, very, very wrong”: 100%
Date on which my evil twin came out of the shadows and wrote a GBCW diary: 9/12/13
Puppy Pic of the Day: Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day…
CHEERS to feelin’ the Newsomentum. It’s the day before voting in the California recall election comes to a merciful end, and I’m pretty sure I know what’s on everyone’s mind this morning: sex. But besides that…the recall election! And if you’re looking for some good news, you have either accidentally or reluctantly come to the right place. Apparently, the home of the fifth-largest economy in the world is in no mood to turn the reins over to a Trump clone wackadoo who believes slaveholders were the ones who got the shaft in 1865:
The tide of likely voter preferences in this year’s gubernatorial recall election has turned.
The latest Berkeley IGS Poll, completed earlier this week among a sample of nearly 10,000 registered voters across California, finds just 38.5% of those most likely to participate in the recall election now intending to vote Yes to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, while 60.1% say they will be voting No to support his retention. This compares to a much closer 47%-50% division of likely voter preferences found by the poll just six weeks ago.
Nearly four in ten of the likely voters said they had already voted at the time the latest poll was conducted and these early voters are giving Newsom a substantial lead, and are voting against the recall more than two to one.
IGS Co-Director, G. Cristina Mora notes that “the findings underscore a significant change in tempo in the state, as decidedly more Californians are attending to the pending election, and are intent on voting No.”
This should put no one’s mind at total ease, but at least maybe now we can unclench our toes a bit:
CHEERS to taking out the trash. This just in from the Billeh in Portland Maine Tribune:
Former Trump administration adviser Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sean Spicer were treated for minor bruises and released from a D.C. hospital Thursday evening after the door hit them on the way out.
The pair, included among several Trump-era officials appointed to U.S. military academy boards, were fired after refusing to voluntarily resign at the request of President Joe Biden. According to witnesses, Conway and Spicer ignored the president’s repeated warning to “Don’t let the door hit ya where the god Lord split ya.”
According to Press Secretary Jen Psaki, an automatic door had opened as they departed, but struck them in the buttocks after they stopped in the doorway to “get our revenge when you least expect it, whatever that means.”
Their treatment was covered by Obamacare, and they were driven home by Conway‘s husband George, who coincidentally was also at the hospital to pick up his weekly bucket of Valium.
Update: Mr. Spicer, who demanded that his wounds be treated only with the horse de-worming paste ivermectin, says he is now sterile and plans a lawsuit against the White House.
The door is now in therapy for psychological trauma.
JEERS to the human snot rag. Lest we forget, eleven years ago this week Newton Leroy Gingrich put on a display of the class and charm that makes him one of America‘s most admired leaders since, oh, the First of Never. See if you can detect the subtle undertones in his pronouncement…
“What if [President Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asks.
“This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president,” Gingrich tells us.
I’m still shocked that Trump didn’t make Newt his Secretary of Racism. Such a natural. Then again, I understand why he didn’t—he would’ve made Stephen Miller jealous.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
JEERS to a fond look back at the party that was. They came from the north, south, east and west—all 500,000 of them. They ate, they drank, they smoked, they vroom-vroomed, they got tattoos, they swap-meeted boots and caps and patches and leather vests, they danced, they screwed, they ate and drank some more, and they owned the libs and their commie “science.” When it was all over, they hopped in their hogs and rode back to their communities bearing an invisible gift, courtesy of rugged individualism:
South Dakota is experiencing a jump in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations after this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally many times greater than seen at the same point after last year’s superspreader event, an analysis of state data shows.
South Dakota’s daily coronavirus cases have increased 685% from an average of 54 when the rally began on August 6 to 424 as of September 1, according to a tracker run by The New York Times.
New infections had only jumped by about 260% by this point after last year’s rally, which yielded a fraction of the estimated 700,000-person turnout of last month’s event due to pandemic restrictions, increasing from an average of 87 new daily cases the day the rally began to 313 at the start of September.
I believe I speak on behalf of us all when I say: awww, you shouldn’t have. No, seriously, you idiots: You. Shouldn’t. Have.
CHEERS to the ultimate spin machine. Don’t forget to hug your hard drive—today marks the 65th birthday of the IBM 305 RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control), the first computer to ship with a hard drive:
The total amount of information stored on its 50 spinning iron-oxide-coated disks—each of them a pizza-size 24 inches—was 5 megabytes. That’s not quite enough to hold two MP3 copies of Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog.”
“It was about the size of two large refrigerators, about as tall as a person stands, and though it used vacuum tubes, it was always running,” recalls Jim Porter, who worked at Crown Zellerbach in San Francisco in the mid-’50s and would proudly take people to the basement to see what he claims was the very first unit delivered by IBM.” It really turned the tide [in the Information Age],” he says.
Here’s the original promotional film for it. “Another business service of tomorrow made possible today by IBM…”
And now let’s all say Happy Birthday to the hard-workin’ hard drive: “01001000 01100001 01110000 01110000 01111001 00100000 01000010 01101001 01110010 01110100 01101000 01100100 01100001 01111001” And a 00010001 to grow an inch.
Ten years ago in C&J: September 13, 2011
JEERS to the essence of the teabagger. At last night’s disgusting Republican presidential primary debate in Tampa, the new Commandment, based on the rabble’s whoop-and-holler scale, rang loud and clear: ”Thou Shalt Let Thy Neighbor Drop Dead.” Also:
- Rick Perry: Social Security is still a Ponzi scheme, but we’ll fix it up so that’s it’s a riskier and less sustainable Ponzi scheme.
- Mitt Romney: Hey, Perry, I’m open to the veep slot, y’know. Have your people call my people.
- Rick Santorum: Latinos…Illegal immigrants…what’s the dif’?
- Herman Cain: Mention this debate and get two medium pizzas for just 9.99!
- Michele Bachmann: I will work tirelessly. And rudderlessly!
- Jon Huntsman: Governor Perry, I never knew Kurt Cobain. Kurt Cobain was not a friend of mine. And you, sir, I’m pretty sure aren’t Kurt Cobain. But I’m going to mention Kurt Cobain because I think it might make me seem hip. Also you’re guilty of treason. But I’m open to the veep slot. Have your people call my people.
- Newt Gingrich & Ron Paul “Hey, wanna get a beer since we have no chance of winning a single delegate?” “Sure. But first I need to pick up some chickens. My doctor’s been pestering me about paying my bill.”
The next debate will be hosted by Fox News September 22 in the great state of denial.
And just one more…
CHEERS to the last Lone Star State governor to have more than two brain cells to rub together. Former Texas governor Ann Richards—whose reelection campaign was thwarted in part by Karl Rove’s smear tactics (“I’m not saying she’s a lesbian, but…”)—died fifteen years ago today, dammit. Age 73. Born during the depression just outside of Waco, she mulled her epitaph back in ’95:
“I did not want my tombstone to read, ‘She kept a really clean house.’ I think I’d like them to remember me by saying, ‘She opened government to everyone.'”
As the snippet of her 1991 inaugural address engraved her headstone shows, she got her wish. (Although it must be said that her record on the death penalty, while not nearly as sadistic or prolific as her successors’, is the worst of the few blots on her record.) Molly Ivins and Richards became close friends—you can read Molly’s tribute here. In January, 1995 she wrote this after Richards lost to George W. Whatsizface:
Richards said in a farewell interview with the press corps that if she’d known she was going to be a one-term governor, she would have “raised more hell.”
I wish she had.
But these are relatively minor quibbles with what is, overall, a distinguished record. My political memory of Texas goes back to Allan Shivers, and I know that in that time we have not had a governor who worked nearly as hard as Ann Richards. Who was nearly as gracious as Richards. Who made more good appointments than Richards. Who set a higher standard of honesty than Richards. […]
What our notoriously weak governors actually do is set a tone for the state. So let it be recorded that for four brief shining years, Ann Richards gave the joint some class.
Good on ya, Annie.
Have a tolerable Monday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial
”The Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool got stuck in the Suez Canal and blocked traffic. Again.”