Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment
Can’t let the week go by without wishing a happy birthday (her 77th) to the late, great shit-kicking journalist Molly Ivins. When one of her columns came out, including the one where she noted that Daily Kos was one of her favorite go-to web sites, time would stand still as I hoovered up her wit, political insight, and righteous anger. And when she released a book I’d run over any number of old ladies to buy it. She left us 14 years ago, but her Texas sass has lost none of its bite. A few gems on current hot topics, each observation as relevant as ever:
I hate to rain on the [Bush] administration’s parade, but we’re not even out of Afghanistan after more than a year, and that’s a much smaller job. In fact, we don’t seem to have control of much in Afghanistan beyond Kabul. Poor Hamid Karzai was back in Washington last week, looking for money. Turns out the White House forgot to ask Congress for any new money for his country—oops, short attention span. Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona managed to get $435 million put in Afghanistan, acting on his own initiative. Turns out Iran, of axis of evil fame, has pledged $900 million to help Afghanistan. At least its opium production is back up to pre-war levels.
This nation-building is tricky stuff.
[A]pproximately one fourth of all fertilized eggs are swept out on the menstrual tide before they even get near to implanting themselves in the uterine wall, and we do not hold funerals over Kotex or Tampax. I suggest to you this means that the beginning of life is not a single specific event, but rather a process that deserves increasing respect as it continues toward birth—precisely the tripartite system set up under Roe v. Wade (and if you hear Roe v. Wade described as “abortion on demand,” you are listening to a liar).
I respect those who oppose abortion, but I do not think they have a right to use the law as an instrument of coercion against people who do not believe (and it is a matter of faith) as they do. … There were an estimated one million abortions a year in this country before Roe. Abortion can be safe and legal, or dirty and illegal. It cannot be stopped.
—From Who Let the Dogs In? (2004, Random House)
Some of you may have heard me observe a time or two—going back to when George W. was still governor of Texas—that the trouble with the guy is that while he is good at politics, he stinks at governance. It bores him, he’s not interested, he thinks government is bad to begin with and everything would be done better if it were contracted out to corporations.
We can now safely assert that W. has stacked much of the federal government with people like himself. And what you get when you put people in charge of government who don’t believe in government and who are not interested in running it well is … what happened after Hurricane Katrina.
“Politics is not a picture on a wall or a television sitcom you can decide you don’t much care for. Is the person who prescribes your eyeglasses qualified to do so? How deep will you be buried when you die? What textbooks are your children learning from at school? What will happen if you become seriously ill? Is the meat you’re eating tainted? Will you be able to afford to go to college or to send your kids? Would you like a vacation? Expect to retire before you die? Can you find a job? Drive a car? Afford insurance? Is your credit card company or your banker or your broker ripping you off? It’s all politics, Bubba. You don’t get to opt out for lack of interest.”
And, of course, her for-the-ages reaction to Pat Buchanan’s 1992 Republican convention speech: “It probably sounded better in the original German.”
Happy birthday, Molly. And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, September 2, 2021
Note: Here’s the schedule for next week. C&J will be off Monday so that we can sharpen our snow shovel blades, pre-salt the sidewalks, pre-make our emergency winter pots of clam chowder, and then get arrested for wearing white after Labor Day. Back Tuesday to boast about how my new orange jumpsuit matches this blog. —Mgt.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til autumn: 20
Date the phase-in of Windows 11 starts, according to Microsoft: 10/5/21
Percent of Americans polled by ABC/Ipsos who approve of the way Joe Biden is handling the economic recovery: 55%
Percent of Americans polled by Gallup who say now is a good time to find a “quality job”: 72%
Percent of Americans polled by Axios/Ipsos who say if their boss required vaccinations, it would make them more likely to get it, up from 33% a month ago: 43%
Rank of the summer of 2021 among the warmest on record for Portland, Maine: #2
Maximum number of hours per day young people are allowed to play video games in China under a new rule there: 3
Puppy Pic of the Day: Chow time…
CHEERS to setting the record straight. Social media may be the worst thing that ever happened to humanity, because now all it takes to launch a Big Lie is for some right-wing pundit or politician to tweet it or Facebook it and then let nature take its course. One of the big ones coming out of our 100%-correct Afghanistan withdrawal is that Joe Biden personally left $80 billion worth of shiny new guns, Humvees, and Blackhawk attack choppers sitting on a tarmac for the Taliban to pick up and launch World War III with. Snopes.com may have some black eyes on their record, but they come in awful handy in situations like this:
It’s true that over a span of 20 years, the U.S. spent more than $80 billion to train and equip military forces in Afghanistan.
We also left behind these Jarts. Now THEM’s dangerous!
However, this number does not reflect the value of the equipment that was left behind after America’s withdrawal from the area. Billions of dollars worth of equipment was removed or demilitarized by the U.S. military before leaving Afghanistan. […] What we can say is that many of the rumors circulating about the Taliban’s haul deal with sum totals over the course of 20 years, not the amount that was actually left behind. […]
The Taliban’s new arsenal does not include $80 billion in military equipment, 22,000 Humvees, and 33 Black Hawk helicopters. At the moment, it appears that the Taliban actually acquired 10 inoperable Black Hawk helicopters, about 2,000 vehicles (many of which were demilitarized), and a number of other weapons totaling less than $10 billion.
I’m sure the right-wing noise machine will correct the record as soon as possible. Which, given that they’re all on the shitter from the effects of their Big Lie about horse de-worming paste, will be a date TBA.
JEERS to one helluva mess. The good news: former President Barack Obama’s attention to strengthening the levees in New Orleans worked, and current President Biden’s emergency-management leadership in the wake of Hurricane Ida leans toward the competent side. The bad news: this could take awhile…
Over 884,000 customers remain without power in Louisiana and over 14,000 remain without power in Mississippi as of Wednesday morning, according to a report from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) obtained by ABC News. Entergy wrote on Twitter that it took the first step to restore power back to New Orleans East, and the first light shined. “Crews will have to methodically bring back additional transmission lines over time to provide additional pathways for progress,” they said.
President Biden, seen here not throwing rolls of paper towels, attends a prep session at FEMA headquarters.
FEMA reported four Louisiana hospitals were damaged due to the storm, 39 medical facilities had to start operating on generator power and many patients were evacuated. Also, several buildings in Port Fourchon—which is is responsible for 18% of the U.S. oil supply—sustained severe damage.
Ida made landfall in Louisiana twice, first near Port Fourchon before noon local time and again two hours later in Lafourche Parish, obliterating neighborhoods and turning clear roads into rivers.
As emergency crews, relief agencies, volunteers from far & wide, good Samaritans, and Joe’s Army continue working 24/7 to keep victims (and their pets) safe, housed, and fed, the rest of us can help out. Daily Kos has created an Act Blue page with a menu of A+ organizations that you can donate to with a few clicks. You’ll find it here. Among the services provided that most people don’t think about: diaper banks. Very important. As a former flood victim myself, I know how important protective headgear is during a crisis.
CHEERS to happy endings. When I was a kid I used to think that this joke I thought up was hilarious:
Q: How long did World War II last?
A: One day. It started on September 1 and ended on September 2.
[Pees pants from laughing so hard]
Anyway…76 years ago today, President Harry Truman proclaimed September 2, 1945 as Victory Over Japan Day, ending World War II. But Truman refused to fly onto the deck of an aircraft carrier and deliver the news under a “Mission Accomplished” banner. His exact words, I believe, were: “Only an idiot would do that.”
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
JEERS to judicial activism. Well, the Supreme Court went and did it…by not doing it. They sat on their hands—six of ’em, anyway—and let stand Texas’s new abortion “bounty hunter” law, which encourages neighbors to rat on neighbors who might even be thinking of having an abortion. (Won’t that be fun when you throw zero-restriction gun ownership and stand-your-ground laws into the mix?) Their reward for being a good vagina vigilante: $10,000. There’s nothing positive to say about this except that the rest of America still believes women should have the final say over their own bodies:
New numbers from our most recent NBC poll show a majority of Americans—54 percent—believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. That includes clear majorities of women, young Americans, whites with college degrees and those living in the suburbs. […]
It’s unclear if the Supreme Court will overturn Roe heading into 2022 and 2024, but the GOP sure looks like the dog that finally caught up to the car when it comes to abortion. And the question is what happens to the Republican Party in states like Georgia, Florida and Texas that are hanging by a thread.
They’ll rig the elections so that the Republicans will win even if they lose. You still okay with that, Senators Manchin and Sinema? [Long silence] Oh, forgot. They’re still drinking mimosas on his houseboat with a gaggle of Republican senators from Florida and Texas. Vive le bipartisanship.
CHEERS to Republicans. No, wait…I mean the good kind! On September 2, 1901, President McKinley’s Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt, spoke the immortal words, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” A sentiment so simple, so powerful, so indelibly etched on the wall of history, so ingrained in the national consciousness that, of course, only Glenn Beck could screw it up 108 years later when he said on the air…
BECK: We speak without fear, while basing it all in fact. Walk softly and carry a big stick. That ain’t a gun, man. That is the facts.
Of course, the modern GOP would revise it a bit themselves: “Speak softly, or loudly, or however you want to speak as long as you’re beating the crap out of anything that moves with a giant stick, preferably one with a nail sticking through it.” Yeah…that reads better.
Ten years ago in C&J: September 2, 2011
CHEERS and JEERS to Point/Counterpoint: August edition. Point:
A stream of data released Thursday bolstered the case for an economy that’s healthier than it seemed just weeks ago. … “Today’s releases add to the evidence that underlying economic conditions aren’t half as bad as feared a few weeks ago,” said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics.
Employment growth ground to a halt in August as sagging consumer confidence discouraged already skittish U.S. businesses from hiring, keeping pressure on the Federal Reserve to provide more monetary stimulus to aid the economy. … “August was a pretty rough month for the economy,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
We trust this clears up any confusion.
And just one more…
CHEERS to cool science. When all the death, doom and destruction get to be too much, there’s always one place I can count on to restore my faith in humanity. I’m speaking of course about Dairy Queen. But when they’re closed the next-best place is, of course, NASA, a jewel in the federal government’s crown and an agency worth every tax dollar we send its way. If you happen to live under a sky, here’s a preview of what you’ll be seeing this month, courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
Happy viewing. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled doom and destruction and covidiots. Pardon the redundancy.
Have a nice Thursday. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial
“I feel like if I want my towel around the Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool, if it’s not disturbing Bill in Portland Maine’s vision, if he doesn’t see the towel, I don’t see anything wrong with having my towel on the side or on the ground. And it’s just absurd for me.”
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.