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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Late Night Snark: May Flowers Edition

"Violent thugs run amok in the streets of Baltimore. But enough about the police department."
---Larry Wilmore
Chief Justice John Roberts at Tuesday's marriage hearing: Every definition that I looked up, prior to about a dozen years ago, defined marriage as unity between a man and a woman as husband and wife. … You’re not seeking to join the institution, you’re seeking to change what the institution is.

Jon Stewart: The institution of marriage has almost never not been changing! Before the last century, marriage wasn't "one man and one woman." It was "one man and his new piece of vagina property." Change can be good!
---The Daily Show

Aaagh! These mystery alien invaders are popping
out of the ground in Maine! Run for your lives
while I beat them over the head with a stick!
"Donald Trump may be running for president. He said he is sick and tired of the rest of the world laughing at the United States. Well, President Trump will certainly put an end to that!"
---David Letterman

"While covering the earthquake in Nepal this week, CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta helped medical personnel perform brain surgery. Gupta said he was excited to work with brains again after being at CNN for so long."
---Seth Meyers

"I'm not going to tell you politicians how to do politics. That would be like you guys telling me what to do with my body."
---Cecily Strong at the WH Correspondents Dinner

"A U.N. study claims the happiest country in the world is Switzerland. When asked why they're so happy, Swiss people couldn't answer because their hands were counting money and their mouths were full of chocolate."
---Conan O'Brien

And one year ago on The Daily Show, this classic:
Clip of rancher Cliven Bundy defending his racist comments: If I say 'negro' or 'black boy' or 'slave' [and] those people can not take those kind of words and not be offended, then Martin Luther King hasn’t done his job yet.

Jon Stewart: Yeah…it's his fault! Why did that guy quit before finishing his job? Somebody should call him and tell him to stop slacking and get back to work.

Don't forget that the U.S. military will be occupying Daily Kos tomorrow from 11amET/8amPT until whenever we boot 'em out and ring them freedom bells from Concord Bridge in New Hampshire.  Meanwhile, your west coast-friendly edition of  Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Poll

Who won the week?

14%444 votes
2%63 votes
1%40 votes
21%639 votes
40%1194 votes
3%99 votes
2%76 votes
6%181 votes
2%65 votes
5%160 votes
0%18 votes

| 2985 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Life Lessons I Learned from Republicans in April

From the deep thinkers in Conservative Land:

The economy is still struggling because workers are watching porn all day. (Carly Fiorina)

The way to stop gun violence in America is a law requiring that all 319 million Americans attend church every Sunday. (AZ state Senator Sylvia Allen)

The way to stop gay marriage is Christian tent revivals. (Rand Paul)

Elephant in graduation gown
Moms and dads must not let their kids join the military until President Obama leaves office because he's turning new enlistees into zombie atheists. (Mike Huckabee)

If your child misbehaves while you're at work, bellow the magic words "Big Daddy's home!" when you pull into the driveway. Then raise your hand to the "twerp" and…Wham!!! (Pat Robertson)

Unless the black community you're driving into is full of billionaire George Washington Carvers, put the pedal to the metal and don't stop! (Sen. Mark Kirk)

Government death panels are now okey dokey! (Presidential candidate George W. Jeb Bush)

To stop players from getting injured during high school football games, put prayer back in school. (Former Rep. Allen West)

Being a heterosexual adulterer or parent abuser is not sinful enough to affect your ability to get a wedding cake made by a Christian baker. (Christian baker)

Fact-checking is for sissies. (Powerline & Breitbart.com)

B stands for bisexual and that's orgies. (James Dobson)

Print this out and sign your name at the bottom along with the letters "Ph.D." Then frame it and hang it on your wall, you genius, you.

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Poll

The news that Senator Bernie Sanders is running for president is….

52%2341 votes
18%842 votes
15%685 votes
5%230 votes
3%158 votes
4%206 votes

| 4465 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Just this:

My annual posting of this exchange on Real Time with Bill Maher from April, 2011, because oh my god:

Bill Maher: The tea party is not all Republican?

Former RNC Wrecker Michael Steele: No, it's not! I don’t know the exact percentage, but it is not all Republicans.

And since you've been such a great audience, here's some bonus Michael Steele circa 2009, as he struggles with what current RNC Wrecker Reince Priebus now calls "rebranding":
Crying baby wearing a teabag hat and with a
"The GOP is a hat. Some people wear a hat frontwards, others cocked to the left. Some wear it backwards because that’s how they roll. The strength of the party is in this: the fact that you’re willing to put the damn thing on. The problem we’ve had as a party is: too many of our friends, neighbors, colleagues are taking the hat off, because we’ve decided we don’t like the way they wear it... The GOP is not about how you wear the hat, but the fact that you want to wear the hat."
Well, in fairness, not every Republican who leaves the party just stopped wearing the hat. For a lot of 'em it's because they stopped breathing.

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Poll

How closely have you been following the situation in Baltimore?

27%774 votes
54%1545 votes
14%411 votes
3%85 votes

| 2818 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Previously on As the Supreme Court Turns

When last we entered the chambers of the nation's highest court to debate the constitutionality of same-sex marriage two years ago, a bare-knuckle brawl had broken out over the arguments for and against DOMA and Prop. 8. Like marriage being all about procreation…

Justice Kagan: I can assure you, if both the woman and the man are over the age of 55, there are not a lot of children coming out of that marriage.
And whether civil rights are even necessary for a class of people endowed with certain organizational skills…
Chief Justice Roberts: As far as I can tell, political figures are falling over themselves to endorse your side of the case.

Lawyer: The fact of the matter is, Mr. Chief Justice, is that no other group in recent history has been subjected to popular referenda to take away rights that have already been given or exclude those rights, the way gay people have.

Antonin Scalia flipping the Italian bird
And from this guy:
"Legalistic argle bargle."
And where the limits of treating a minority as second-class citizens should begin and end…
Justice Sotomayor: Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other rational decision-making that the government could make? Denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?

Lawyer: Your Honor, I cannot.

And whether or not equality is lactose-intolerant…
Justice Ginsburg: You're saying [there are] two kinds of marriage: the full marriage, and then this sort of skim-milk marriage.
And who would tickle the fancy of the swinger…
Justice Kennedy: Oops! I dropped my hanky.

Lawyers: I'll get it! No, I'll get it! I got it first! No you didn't! Gimme that! [Pow! Sock! Biff! Whomp Whomp Whomp!]

Today, the original cast reunites to hear oral arguments for and against marriage equality in the thrilling conclusion of As the Supreme Court Turns. Showtime: 10am ET. Bring popcorn. And a legal dictionary.

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Poll

What sentence would you give the Boston Marathon bomber for the 2013 attack that killed three and injured 164?

85%3249 votes
11%455 votes
2%111 votes

| 3818 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Knot Tying 101

Tomorrow the Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. The religious conservatives are in full freakout mode, epitomized by likely Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's assertion that, "If the courts rule that people have a civil right to have a homosexual marriage, then a homosexual couple coming to a pastor who believes in biblical marriage who says 'I can’t perform that wedding' will now be breaking the law.”

Funny thing. Whenever same-sex marriage becomes legal in a state---and today it's legal in 35 of them---the lines of couples who want to get hitched always form here:

Gay couples lining up in New York to get legally married. 2011
A non-biblical government building. That means the lines are not forming here:
Church
Same thing applies to couples who want to get un-hitched, by the way. As with the decision to get married, the Bible may be consulted or prayed on to help justify splitting up. But a divorce, like a marriage, ain't legal until someone not holding a Bible in that not-a-church above says it's legal.

So relax, Mike. Religious freedom is alive and well in America, and a favorable court ruling won’t change that a bit. Because if straight couples can't force a pastor to Bible-marry them, then neither can the gays. See? Equality is really a wonderful two-way street.

Here endeth the lesson. Bless your hearts.

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Poll

As she becomes our new Attorney General, what is your overall opinion of Loretta Lynch?

46%1506 votes
22%716 votes
22%723 votes
5%173 votes
2%91 votes

| 3209 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

[Rimshot!]

The White House Correspondents Dinner is tomorrow night, hosted this year by SNL's Cecily Strong. Some past zingers:

“It is a privilege to be here at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. I suppose I should say it is an executive privilege.”
---Richard Nixon, 1973

"These days the House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me, which means orange really is the new black."
---Barack Obama, 2014

President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner
"I know CNN has taken some knocks lately,
but the fact is I admire their commitment to
cover all sides of a story, just in case one
of them happens to be accurate."
"I stand by [President Bush] because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers. And rubble. And recently-flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message: that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully-staged photo ops in the world."
---Stephen Colbert, 2006

"Good evening. I'm Gerald Ford and you're not."
---Gerald Ford, 1976

“George didn’t know much about ranches when we bought the place. … He’s learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. It was a male horse.”
---Laura Bush, 2005

"The board of governors had a meeting and drew up some ground rules for tonight's talk. For example, there are a number of subjects I've been instructed to avoid. … Newt Gingrich's first wife, Bob Dole's first wife, Phil Gramm's first wife, Dick Armey's first wife, Rush Limbaugh's first wife, Rush Limbaugh's second wife, and Rush Limbaugh's third wife."
---Al Franken, 1994

"Dick Cheney is a scary man. I tell my kids, if two cars pull up and one has a stranger and the other car has Dick Cheney, you get in the car with the stranger!"
---Wanda Sykes, 2009

The smoochfest starts at 9 on MSNBC and CNN. Or, if you're a real glutton for punishment, at 6 on C-SPAN. And speaking of punishment, your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Poll

Who won the week?

9%238 votes
4%109 votes
2%61 votes
5%135 votes
0%22 votes
20%512 votes
12%313 votes
20%530 votes
7%189 votes
11%294 votes
5%141 votes

| 2547 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Bravo

The Family Research Council hate group has a new video out that issues a warning. The gays, you see, are on the cusp of destroying everything: cakes, flowers, cameras, society and, most alarming, the ability of the Family Research Council to grift their way into their gullible followers' bank accounts. Matt Baume---"Writer, explainer, nerd, video man, relatively small mammal"---has fun dissecting their bullpucky point by point, with an eyebrow-raising quote from St. Ronald Reagan at the end that would give Rand Paul the tinglies:

Maybe if the FRC's bullshit gets exposed often enough, the TV networks will finally stop giving Tony Perkins credibility by inviting him on their news shows. Yeah…that was a joke.

(Hat tip to Joe.My.God)

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Poll

What's the best way to find out whether or not the Senate should pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty?

3%110 votes
93%3103 votes
2%98 votes

| 3314 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Things I Pledge to Do for Mother Earth

Today is the 45th Earth Day, a worldwide event we celebrate every year to remind ourselves that we are, though we don't have to be, the biggest parasites on the third rock from the sun. To mark the occasion, this year I pledge to...

Change the channel any time one of those lying oil company commercials claiming environmental responsibility comes on. (Note to BP: you'd walk away from your obligations to clean up the Gulf in a heartbeat if you thought you could get away with it. Thank god the government still has its boot on your neck, you upper-class twits.)

Rent a chopper and drop thousands of large plastic bins over the city to remind people that Portland recycles.

Earth globe satellite photo
We live on the Ritz-Carlton of the universe.
And we're turning it into a flea-bitten dive.
Fart only on odd-numbered days. (This one'll be tough. I may need to attend support group meetings.)

Vote for Democrats.

Retrofit the car with hybrid technology so it only runs on gas when the team of kittens gets too tired to pull it.

Use only the sun and a magnifying glass to light up my bong. Er…uh…"water pipe."

Restrict my use of "fracking" to its handiness as an adjective paired with the word "idiots" to describe people who displease me.

Contribute to healthy forests by teaching tea partiers that watering trees with the blood of
tyrants actually kills them. Fracking idiots.

Close down tar sands sites by making spooky noises so the owners think they're haunted and run away.

Dispose of my spent fuel rods properly instead of selling them as glowsticks at raves.

And as an inhabitant of this spectacular planet, I'll continue to try and treat it with the respect it deserves, mostly by following the Four Rs: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Redouble my efforts in my basement lab to create a clone army of Bill McKibbens, James Hansens and Rachel Carsons." (Good news: I'm halfway there. Bad news: they're only half an inch tall.)

Meanwhile, Republicans will spend this Earth Day at national parks. Mostly to look for locations that are ripe for sinking drill bits.  

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Poll

100 right-wing "scholars" are urging the Supreme Court to rule against same-sex marriage because they say it will cause straight people to have more abortions. Could they get any crazier?

76%2586 votes
20%699 votes
2%92 votes

| 3381 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Tuesday Twain Blogging

Mark Twain, a man whose bullshit detector went to 11, died 105 years ago, on April 21, 1910. A year earlier he wrote:

I came in with Halley's comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'
More Twain:
"Always respect your superiors; if you have any."

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

“Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.”  

Mark Twain with cat
"If man could be crossed with the
cat it would improve man, but it
would deteriorate the cat."
“Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.”

"Travel is fatal to prejudice."

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

"It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races."

"To eat is human…to digest‚ divine."

“Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.”

“Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.”

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”

He was anti-slavery, pro-women's rights, clear-eyed about religion, and a big supporter of labor unions. Occasionally humorous, too. Pay your respects here.

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Poll

How bad are your spring allergies this year?

17%462 votes
25%660 votes
26%693 votes
31%819 votes

| 2635 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Maine: Open for Business Bamboozling

The Cliff's Notes version: Louisiana free-market capitalists push a Trojan horse into Maine in the form of a new law that "provides tax credits to investors who back businesses in low-income communities." The Trojan horse is greeted in the Maine legislature to thunderous applause. A struggling paper mill is targeted for "backing." In the dead of night, the free-market capitalists leap out of the Trojan horse, push the paper mill into bankruptcy, strand 200 now-unemployed employees in the low-income town of East Millinocket, and then feast on the spoils:

Sometime this year, the state of Maine will cut two checks worth a total of $2.8 million and mail them to out-of-state investors. Next year, it will send two more checks, worth $3.2 million, to the same recipients. It will repeat that process for the next three years until roughly $16 million of taxpayer money has been withdrawn from Maine’s General Fund.
…and given on a silver platter to the Louisiana carpetbaggers, who, of course, have no comment. The Portland Press Herald, which deserves big credit for throwing a spotlight on this legal scam, even made a video showing just how effed up this deal was:


Meanwhile, our Republican Governor Paul LePage, who was guarding the hen house when all this happened, took a bold step to improve Maine's business climate recently by stripping South Portland---a hotbed of business friendliness---of its "Business-friendly" status because of an ordinance the town passed that bans tar sands oil being pumped down to its shore from Canada and loaded onto tankers. Or spilled.

Councilor Tom Blake said the certification didn’t mean much anyway. “It was kind of a joke just to get it,” he said. “And if the governor can just squash it with no review or investigation, that’s ludicrous.  …  [B]ut I’m not surprised. This is indicative of how the governor does business."
LePage had no comment, mainly because he's too busy keeping an eagle-eye on the poors. They might be using taxpayer money improperly!

So that's the state of Maine on Monday, 4/20. And we're not even stoned yet.

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Poll

The group 'Women on 20s' has narrowed the field to four female candidates to replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill. Who would you vote for?

25%956 votes
16%639 votes
11%445 votes
45%1720 votes

| 3762 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Late Night Snark: One Ring, Many Hats

"Yesterday Hillary Clinton made the big announcement we all knew was coming. She's going to join the all-female cast of Ghostbusters."
---Conan O'Brien

"Rand Paul announced that he's running for president, and his slogan will be, 'Defeat the Washington machine, unleash the American dream.' Which is a lot better than Jeb Bush's slogan: 'Buy two Bushes, get one free.'"
---Michael Che, SNL

Wednesday: astronaut Terry Virts wears a replica Jackie
Robinson jersey at the Space Station. 4/15/47 was
Robinson's first day in the majors.
"Let me be clear. Speculating over who's going to win the 2016 election now is like speculating over who's going to win the shot put at the 2016 Olympics. The only thing we know for sure is that Ted Cruz isn't going to win either."
---John Oliver

"The ubiquity of cell phones is far outpacing police awareness of the ubiquity of cell phones."
---Jon Stewart

"About eighty percent of taxpayers get money back, which is a weird thing to be happy about. That means
you've been overpaying all year long. It's like if someone broke into your house and the police recovered the stuff and brought it back and you said, 'Ooh! Presents!'"
---Jimmy Kimmel

"Utah might bring back firing squads, combining two things America has an abundance of: guns and bad ideas."
---Larry Wilmore

And three years ago:
"Whatever Republican is going to replace Obama is going to need three things: vision, leadership, and enough cash to make up for not having vision or leadership."
---Stephen Colbert
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Poll

Who won the week?

4%151 votes
7%255 votes
22%735 votes
10%354 votes
20%684 votes
0%28 votes
2%70 votes
1%39 votes
3%102 votes
13%453 votes
7%238 votes
4%163 votes

| 3278 votes | Vote | Results

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Oh! More Things I Know:

Maine state senator Gus Grumpypants has withdrawn his Indiana-style "religious freedom" bill, so now our state is going to have to contend with religious discrimination continuing to not happen here.

Regardless of who wins in 2016, Chief Justice John Roberts says he still plans to mess up the oath of office out of respect for precedent.

Democratic Underground graphic on the whiteness of GOP primary voters
Rebranding!
Reince Priebus's re-branding of the Republican party is going swimmingly. And by swimmingly I mean the kind of swimming where you can't swim so you drown.

As of yesterday, Portland Maine has a ban on disposable polystyrene cups and take-out containers. Most people support the new law, but everyone agrees it's gonna take us awhile to get used to the new pewter ones.

What Howard Dean says to his neighbors when spring arrives in Burlington: "YOU have the flower and YOU have the flower and YOU have the flower!!!"

It's amazing that we now live in a time when the millionaires are getting all pissy and jealous because their political candidates are paying too much attention to the billionaires.

One more thing I've crossed off my bucket list: watch an espresso machine get launched into space. Next on my list: Watch a mailman land a gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Help escort Dick Cheney to prison.

Nobody has been able to give me a good reason why Democrats didn’t confirm Loretta Lynch last December when they still held the majority and knew full well that Republicans were going to obstruct their hineys off when they took over.

People are all excited about the new season of "Game of Thrones" on HBO. I'm more partial to "Game of Throw Rugs" on Bravo.

And one thing John Fugelsang knows:


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Poll

Do you agree with Fox News that Americans should have to pass a literacy test before they can vote?

7%272 votes
90%3210 votes
2%77 votes

| 3564 votes | Vote | Results

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