It’s Inauguration Day!!!!! The nightmare of the last four years appears to be over and, through his actions surrounding the Capitol takeover, Trump has probably shattered whatever political career he envisioned after his Presidency. (Believe me, he won’t want to go back to reality shows and real estate deals.) Good news all around! Even Mitch “666” McConnell is making noises that may help convict Trump during his second impeachment trial in the Senate (a conviction would of course help separate Trump from the GOP, which many Republicans want).
A couple of tweets and memes to celebrate. Sadly, the first one is marred by the misspelled “Lonney Tunes”.
— Tomorrows Papers Today (@TmorrowsPapers) January 19, 2021
— Pascale Clark (@PascaleClark) January 19, 2021
It’s a good day, this Wednesday, January 20, 2021, as the heinous incumbent will be ejected from the Presidency at noon. He’s off to Florida, skipping the Inauguration: the first ex-President to do that in a century. ABC News describes the petulant little baby:
Trump, who remains consumed with anger and grievance over his election loss, refused and has not been seen in public since last week, when he traveled to Texas for one last photo opportunity at the border wall he pushed so adamantly throughout his presidency. In the end, he spent less than 45 minutes on the ground there and spoke just 21 minutes.
Trump has also refused to take part in any of the symbolic passing-of-the-torch traditions that have been the capstones of the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. He is boycotting not just the ceremony at the Capitol, but also passed on inviting the Bidens to the White House for a get-to-know-you meeting. And it remains unclear whether he will write Biden a personal welcome letter, like the one he received from former President Obama when he moved in.
It’s National Cheese Lover’s Day, and once again a misplaces apostrophe implies that only one person on Earth loves cheese, and it’s their holiday.
Is this the Cheese Lover?
News of the Day:
Trump’s pardons have now been issued and there are 143 in the last batch, with 73 full pardons and 70 commuted sentences. The list includes Steve Bannon, a couple of Trump’s other cronies, some convicted Republican congressmen, and, to Trump’s credit, a number of people convicted and serving time for nonviolent drug crimes, especially involving marijuana. The release of the list was reportedly delayed by a long debate over Bannon. You can see the full list here.
I’m sure we have a winner in our “Who will get pardons?” contest, but it will take me some time to find the victor. If you remember your choices, it would help for readers who entered to match your choices with the pardon list and let me know if you were the first to get them all right. A prize will be forthcoming.
On Saturday, a team of Nepalese climbers accomplished a first: reaching the summit of K2, the world’s second highest mountain (28,251 ft.), in the winter. And crikey, ten of them made it to the top, having a veritable house party on the summit. No winter ascent was successful until this one.
Here’s the route from the BBC article on the ascent:
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 401,823, an increase of about 2,800 deaths from yesterday’s figure. Our death toll has now exceeded 400,000, and in two days will surpass the total number of Americans killed—combatants or others—in World War II, (405,399). It took four years of war to reach that figure, but less than a year of Covid-19. The world death toll is 2,067,591, a big increase of about 16,200 deaths over yesterday’s total, or about one death every five seconds.
Stuff that happened on January 20 includes:
- 1265 – The first English parliament to include not only Lords but also representatives of the major towns holds its first meeting in the Palace of Westminster, now commonly known as the “Houses of Parliament”.
- 1783 – The Kingdom of Great Britain signed preliminary articles of peace with France, setting the stage to the official end of hostilities in the American Revolutionary War later that year.
- 1788 – The third and main part of First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decides that Port Jackson is a more suitable location for a colony.
- 1841 – Hong Kong Island is occupied by the British.
- 1887 – The United States Senate allows the Navy to lease Pearl Harbor as a naval base.
- 1929 – The first full-length talking motion picture filmed outdoors, In Old Arizona, is released.
Here’s the whole movie if you want to have a look:
- 1936 – King George V of the United Kingdom dies. His eldest son succeeds to the throne, becoming Edward VIII. The title Prince of Wales is not used for another 22 years.
Edward VIII of course abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson; his reign lasted a bit less than a year. Here’s the instrument of abdication:
- 1937 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Nance Garner are sworn in for their second terms as U.S. President and U.S. Vice President; it is the first time a Presidential Inauguration takes place on January 20 since the 20th Amendment changed the dates of presidential terms.
- 1961 – John F. Kennedy is inaugurated the 35th President of the United States of America, becoming the second youngest man to take the office, and the first Catholic.
- 1981 – Twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States of America, Iran releases 52 American hostages.
- 2009 – Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America, becoming the first African-American President of the United States.
The good old days (John Roberts leads the oath:
- 2017 – Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America; at the time he was the oldest person to assume the office.
Trump was 70 on that day, but today Biden will become the oldest President by a long shot, as he’s 78. The bad old days:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1888 – Lead Belly, American folk/blues musician and songwriter (d. 1949)
Here’s Lead Belly singing “Where did you sleep last night?”
- 1896 – George Burns, American actor, comedian, and producer (d. 1996)
- 1920 – Federico Fellini, Italian director and screenwriter (d. 1993)
- 1930 – Buzz Aldrin, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut
- 1939 – Chandra Wickramasinghe, Sri Lankan-English mathematician, astronomer, and biologist
- 1953 – Jeffrey Epstein, American financier and convicted sex offender (d. 2019)
- 1956 – Bill Maher, American comedian, political commentator, media critic, television host, and producer
Here’s Maher the other day introducing his new children’s book about Trump. (They could have written poetry that scanned.)
Those who checked out on January 20 include:
- 1779 – David Garrick, English actor, producer, playwright, and manager (b. 1717)
- 1900 – John Ruskin, English painter and critic (b. 1819)
- 1962 – Robinson Jeffers, American poet and philosopher (b. 1887)
- 1984 – Johnny Weissmuller, American swimmer and actor (b. 1904)
- 1996 – Gerry Mulligan, American saxophonist and composer (b. 1927)
Here’s Mulligan with his Quartet playing “Open Country”:
- 2018 – Paul Bocuse, French chef (b. 1926)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili was left out in the cold for too long, and wasn’t noticed on the windowsill:
Hili: This is a lack of responsibility!A: What do you mean?Hili: For an hour now I’ve been banging on the window!A: You went out ten minutes ago.Hili: Exactly, and all this time I’ve been waiting for you to let me in.
Hili: To jest brak odpowiedzialności!Ja: O co ci chodzi?Hili: Od godziny dobijam się do okna!Ja: Wyszłaś dziesięć minut temu.Hili: No właśnie i cały czas czekam, żebyś mnie wpuścił.
Little Kulka, who loves to run, climb the trees, and play, is enjoying the recent snowfall.
Caption: And Kulka is enjoying herself. (Photo: Paulina)
From reader Pliny the in Between’s The Far Corner Cafe, a dig at HuffPost (how could I resist?)
A meme from Bruce:
From Titania, but sent by Simon. The big question here, whose answer I can’t find, is whether Winter was put in a women’s prison or a men’s. Winter still has male plumbing, and, given his rape conviction, would seem to be a real danger to the other inmates if put in a women’s prison.
Given that women are woefully underrepresented in the prison population, a male criminal choosing to identify as female can only be a good thing.https://t.co/AxgFYXKVro
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) January 19, 2021
From Jez. I find this astonishing! It’s almost a Tweet of the Year. Be sure to play the video.
This bloke spent £300 on vets fees and X-rays and it turned out nothing was wrong with the dog, was just copying him out of sympathy 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/CJ8pPqxJqH
— Tom Francis (@TFrancis20) January 17, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. I love this first one!
This deserves a million likes.. 🎶🙏 pic.twitter.com/Oxp4z4hpqA
— The Feel Good Page ❤️ (@akkitwts) January 19, 2021
Truer words were never spoken (or, in this case, written):
Surprisingly heartwarming graffiti at Alexandra Palace pic.twitter.com/pWAZKtxRon
— Gareth King (@_garethking) January 19, 2021
Check out the cuticles of the old legs:
Acanthophrynus coronatus molting
Amblypygi – Whip spider pic.twitter.com/TOmQpzcNdK
— Jordan Cadiot (@D_DJoh) January 19, 2021
Mine are too!
50-million-year-old fossilized assassin bug has remarkably well preserved genitalia. New research from @swheads @drswanny1 in Papers in Palaeontology. https://t.co/VZYx4FoJMV pic.twitter.com/0oAioZshs2
— (((Diana Yates))) (@diana_yates_) January 19, 2021
This is a visual poem—one way of looking at a crow:
A snowflake on a crow’s wing. pic.twitter.com/tbUcrhZzyW
— Animal Life (@animalIife) January 19, 2021
I told Matthew to get one of these for his three cats Ollie, Pepper, and Harry, and he says there have been familial discussions about that on and off:
The cats have a water fountain that they find endlessly fascinating. pic.twitter.com/ZynSX6MfyW
— Raymond (@raubrey) January 18, 2021