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Rhetorical Candles on the Birthday Cake

Pearls of wisdom and piles of horse dung from various political types born in May:

"Economic growth without social progress lets the great majority of people remain in poverty, while a privileged few reap the benefits of rising abundance."
---President John F. Kennedy

"I’m not a scientist, man."
---Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

"The foundation of a strong economy and job creation begins with providing every child in America with the best possible education, including students with disabilities."
---Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO)

Sheet cake decorated with American flag and
Daily Kos turns 13 next Tuesday.
"Women deserve a Congress that responds to their needs---not wages war against them."
---Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

"I'm like David Duke without the baggage."
---Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)

"The U.S. cannot force Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds to make peace or to act for the common good. They have been in conflict for 1,400 years."
---Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night's light - but hey, that would be going into sexual details.
---Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC)

"I remember when I first came to Washington. For the first six months you wonder how the hell you ever got here. For the next six months you wonder how the hell the rest of them ever got here."
---President Harry S. Truman

"My dad always told me to stand up to bullies, and Bill O'Reilly is kind of a bully. He's the kind of kid who hits other kids on the playground, and when you hit him he runs to the teacher and says, 'Teacher, sue him!'"
---Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)

"I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”
---Fmr. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

“It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.”
---Late SF Supervisor Harvey Milk

Happy birthday to one and all, even the creeps. And a safe holiday to the rest of ya. Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Who won the week?

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2%68 votes
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2%53 votes
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1%39 votes
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| 2479 votes | Vote | Results

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Oh! More Things I Know:

That President Obama has been on twitter for three days and hasn't posted a single funny cat pic shows he's not taking his twitter account seriously.

Bad news: the deadline to do something to stop man-made climate change is 2:30 this afternoon. Good news: that's Pacific time, so the rest of us back east have a little wiggle room.

President Obama displays t-shirt that says
Another thing I know: the
grin is real even if the shirt isn't.
People always give me funny looks when I assert my religious freedom by stoning an adulterer.

The gays did not cause that oil disaster in California. This one's totally on the feminists and pagans.

The Republican attempt to rebrand itself is going poorly. Experts are baffled as to why the creepy gynecologist Uncle Sam and the guy in the squirrel costume stalking Hillary Clinton didn’t win America's hearts and minds.

Texas right-wingers were so distracted by the invasion of the U.S. military that didn't happen, that they totally missed the invasion by biker gangs that did.

No sentence will ever be started with, "As the great Bobby Jindal once said…"

President Obama should give Ted Nugent a medal of Freedom. Just to fuck with what's left of his mind.

Franken--Klobuchar--Baldwin--Feingold. That'll make a kickass upper-midwest senatorial quartet.

The worst presidential campaign slogan so far is Lindsey Graham's "The World is Falling Apart."

Surprise! The smart Bush is Marvin.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]


Happy birthday, Senator Al Franken from the great state of Minnesota! How would you grade the job he's doing after six years in office?

74%2697 votes
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| 3603 votes | Vote | Results

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End of a Late Night Era

There have been gazillions of words written "Late-ly" (Get it? Get it?) about the impact of David Letterman on late-night comedy. They're beautifully-written, heartfelt tributes that try to sum up Dave's brilliance. It's a near-impossible task, though, because outside of the moment itself, reading an explanation of why someone is funny versus why someone isn't is actually pretty tedious. It all boils down to, in the immortal words of Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart: "I know it when I see it."

For me, this bit is the essence of David Letterman. When I watched it again last night, I was reminded that there are these little muscles in the back of my head that get tugged and pulled and stretched on the rare occasion when I'm laughing so hard that I'm gasping for breath---a reminder of what it means to laugh 'til it hurts. This is Dave with the late, great Larry Bud Melman (aka Calvert DeForest):

Whether he was springboarding onto wall of Velcro, dropping stuff off a five-story building or making John McCain rue the day he blew him off, Letterman always respected the late-night prime directive: send us to bed with a smile on our face, even if we had a shitty day.

Thanks, Dave. Good luck, Stephen.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]


Are you planning to travel over the Memorial Day weekend?

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In Which I Agree with the GOP

Count me among those who don’t really give a crap whether or not ABC News prompter reader and "we'll have to leave it there" specialist George Stephanopoulos moderates a 2016 Republican debate in the wake of revelations having to do with a donation he made to the Clinton Global Foundation charity.

Really, I hate to agree with Team Crazy. But I say Li'l George should've been permanently barred from any debate stage after the ridiculousness he moderated with Charles Gibson in Philadelphia in April 2008. This exchange actually chewed up precious time:

George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson preparing to moderate an April 2008 debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
"We got questions about war, recession,
poverty, global, yeah, let's
go with the question about flag pins."
Charles Gibson: Senator Obama, I want to do one more question, which goes to the basic issue of electability. And it is a question raised by a voter in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, a woman by the name of Nash McCabe. Take a look…

Video Clip of Nash McCabe, voter: Senator Obama, I have a question, and I want to know if you believe in the American flag. I am not questioning your patriotism, but all our servicemen, policemen and EMS wear the flag. I want to know why you don't.

Debate #1 between Barack Obama and John McCain, September 26, 2008
Five months later, the Republican
shows why he's not electable.
Gibson: Just to add to that, I noticed you put one on yesterday. But you've talked about this before, but it comes up again and again when we talk to voters. And, as you may know, it is all over the Internet. And it's something of a theme that Senators Clinton and McCain's advisers agree could give you a major vulnerability if you're the candidate in November.

How do you convince Democrats that this would not be a vulnerability?

The flag pin question. George and Chuck went for the flag pin question. They should both be living out their remaining days on an ice floe.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]


One more time: The Iraq war was…

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Outline of Texas
To: All Patriotic Texans who know what's really going on
From: The Patriotic Texans Council (Duke, Charley and Li'l Ricochet)

May 18, 2015 07:45 Alamo Time


As you know, "President" Obama is planning to seize control of Texas this July via an invasion disguised as a "military exercise." Thanks to an alert member of our team, we have obtained a satchel from a Yank containing several Pentagon scenarios for how the slippery northerners will launch their invasion.

Starting today, and continuing every day thereafter (except workdays, Memorial Day weekend, July 4th weekend and bowling night), we will initiate a rotating roster of Texas Patriots to keep watch from the steeple of the Church of Jesus Christ the Asskicker on Winchester Boulevard. When HUSSEIN Obama begins his invasion, we'll warn you of which scenario he's chosen by lighting lanterns in said steeple as follows:

One if by land
Two if by sea
Three if by secret tunnels under Walmarts
Four if by blimp armada
Five if by armadillos with lasers
Six if by infantry division smuggled under Jim Hightower's hat
Seven if by Hillary Clinton
Eight if by United Nations Agenda 21
Nine if by sharia law
Ten if by gay marriage

When you see the signal, race to Applebee's and we'll plan our defense. (Don’t forget to bring your frequent diner discount card for great savings on appetizers.) Together, we can prepare ourselves for the impending War of Northern Aggression into Texas and save our way of life from those gawdamn meddlers.

God Bless the Real America.


Looks like Obama's gonna have to switch to Plan 11. Most unfortunate.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]


Relative to where I was six months ago, my opinion about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement is now…

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| 3350 votes | Vote | Results

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Late Night Snark: It's All Crazy Edition

"Mike Huckabee enters the presidential race. So evangelical voters have a choice, which is more than he wants to give women."
---Larry Wilmore

"Dr. Ben Carson announced that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination. Of course, most Republicans know Dr. Carson by the nickname, Some Of My Best Friends."
---Michael Che, SNL

"Senate Democrats blocked President Obama’s trade bill yesterday because they’re worried it could hurt jobs. It’s not an issue for Republicans, since they’ve all found work as presidential candidates."
---Jimmy Fallon

"A Nebraska woman is suing every gay person on the planet on behalf of God. … How would you even go about giving out all those subpoenas? Ushers at Broadway shows would have to say, 'Welcome. Here's tonight's Playbill and here's
a court order. You've been served. Enjoy the show.'"
---New Late Late Show host James Corden

"To be competitive, Republican candidates must say to their base---to paraphrase Bill Clinton---'I feel your crazy.'"
---Bill Maher

"Expedia released their rankings of the most annoying drivers in America. For the 15th year in a row, the most annoying driver on the road is every driver but you. "
---Jimmy Kimmel

[Chains this week to cinder block and tosses into harbor.]

There. It can never bother us again.

Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]


Who won the week?

17%487 votes
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| 2727 votes | Vote | Results

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Billo Sees the Light?

I gotta hand it to old ferret face. America's most famous guttersnipe pinhead may have finally come to his senses.

Tuesday night, while lamenting the growing number of religiously unaffiliated Americans (now 23 percent of the population, up seven points in less than a decade), the #1-rated Fox News host put his finger on What's Wrong With America These Days. He reflexively pointed at ragtime music Elvis Presley's gyrating hips metal bands rap music and the generic "the media," of course. But then he said this:

"The prevailing wisdom, especially among young Americans, is whatever is good for me is good, period---the overall good be damned. … Any student of history knows that when a nation turns inward toward the pursuit of individual gratification, the nation is in trouble."
I couldn’t agree more, Bill. When a political party promotes the notion that selfishness and greed and…oh, let's call it rugged individualism…is more important than the collective good, the nation is indeed in trouble. When followers of a certain ideology put the "me" over the "we," it diminishes the enormous public good that comes from pooling our resources to solve problems, improve our quality of life, have each other's backs, and ensure that future generations have it better than we do.

I never thought I'd say this, but…welcome to democratic socialism, Bill O'Reilly. It's a pretty sweet way to live. And to honor you for seeing the liberal light, I'm giving another thirty-five bucks in YOUR name to the presidential campaign of Team Bernie Sanders. And to think I was this close to giving up on you.

Call me, Bill. We'll do a phone hug.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]


Do you agree with Fresno County Superior Court Judge Donald Black's ruling that "abstinence-only" classes aren't legitimate because they don't provide medically-accurate sexual health information, which Black calls "an important public right"?

97%3648 votes
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| 3731 votes | Vote | Results

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Take Two

Megyn Kelly: Governor Bush, thanks for joining us again on Fox News to clear up something we asked you about on Monday. You said you "misheard" my question about the war in Iraq, and it caused a nationwide uproar.

Bush: Well, I appreciate the chance to come back on and clear this up. As they say in Tennessee…I think it's Tennessee, I know it's in Texas…fool me once, shame on…can't get fooled again!

Kelly: Actually, your brother George said that when he was president.

Bush: Oh. Well, that's just a coincidence. As you know, Megyn, I'm not my brother. I'm my own man, and when I'm president I'll let wings take dream and let my hand-picked cabinet know that they're doin' a heckuva job.

Jeb Bush speaking with Megyn Kelly on Fox News
Kelly: Actually, he said that, too.

Bush: HehHehHeh. Just a fluke. HehHehHeh.

Kelly: Ooookay. How about if I just repeat the question you say you misheard Monday: knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?

Bush: Hell yeah! The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 are resourceful and so are we. They never stop thinkin' about ways to harm our nation and…um, neither do we. Because the smoking gun will come in the form of a mushroom cloud and oceans can't protect us from those significant quantities of uranium from Africa! You're either with us or against us! It'll be easy! Six months tops and we'll be greeted with sweets and flowers. I know those WMDs gotta be around here somewhere! Maybe they're in that cabinet over there. HehHehHeh! HehHehHeh!

Kelly: This all sounds strangely familiar. My god, are you…are you George W. Bush wearing a Jeb Bush mask? Take that thing off!

Bush: Aw, shucks. Cheney made me do it! Honest! He threatened to take away mah paint brushes! You have no idea how mean he is. He'll do anything to sneak us in for a third term! It was Cheney!

Kelly: So, if you're impersonating your brother to try and get back in the White House…where's Jeb?

[Meanwhile, in a storage shed on the grounds of one of Dick Cheney's undisclosed locations…]

Jeb: Lemme out! Please, Mr. Cheney sir! I'll start a war, I promise! Iran! Syria! Central America! Anywhere you want! Just lemme outta here…your guard badgers are biting really hard and we're running out of oxygen! [Bam Bam Bam!] Help! Somebody!!!

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

What grade would you give the Democratic senators who voted "No" on yesterday's first vote towards fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal?

75%2800 votes
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| 3705 votes | Vote | Results

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Tuesday George Blogging

Happy Birthday to line crosser George Carlin, who would've turned 78 today.  He spent many a glorious decade dissecting language, culture, politics and human nature, wielding a comedic scalpel and jackhammer with equal dexterity.  All the reason we need to take a moment to revisit a mere smidgeon of his comedic Esprit de George…

When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat.

Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?

The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and “Thou shalt not lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.

George Carlin in standupn TV special
Hansel and Gretel discovered the ginger bread house about 45 minutes after they discovered the mushrooms.

This country is full of nitwits and assholes. You ever notice that? Nitwits, assholes, fuckups, scumbags, jerkoffs, and dipshits. And they all vote. In fact, sometimes you get the impression that they're the only ones who vote.

I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed.

Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do "practice"?

O Beautiful, for smoggy skies, insecticided grain
for strip-mined mountains' majesty, above the asphalt plain
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee
and hides the pines, with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.

…and, of course, the (still not safe for work) seven dirty words:

His humor still makes my sides hurt. His (well-placed) cynicism still makes my head hurt.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]


With recent attention focused on America's non-existent paid maternity leave policy, do you think Congress will step up and do something about it anytime soon?

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Preview: Republican Debate #1

Moderator: Welcome to tonight's first GOP debate. Because there are so many candidates, we've had to divide you into groups, give each group one question, and limit each candidate's answer to one word. But since your views are all the same, we don't anticipate this being a problem. Our first question is for Senator Paul, Governor Walker, Governor Bush and Ms. Fiorina. What will your energy policy be as president?
Paul: Drill
Walker: Here
Bush: Drill
Fiorina: Now.

debate stage
They're gonna need a bigger stage.
Moderator: Thank you. Now, Governor Huckabee, Senator Santorum, Governor Perry and Governor Jindal, what would you say if you found out you had a son or daughter who came out to you as a homosexual?
Huckabee: Pray
Santorum: Away
Perry: The
Jindal: Gay.

Moderator: Fine, then. Now, over to you Dr. Carson, Senator Graham, Senator Rubio, Senator Cruz, Mr. Trump and Ambassador Bolton. Can you give us a preview of your foreign policy goals?
Carson: Bomb
Graham: Bomb
Rubio: Bomb
Cruz: Bomb
Trump: Bomb
Bolton: Iran.

Moderator: And that's all the time we have. Thank you to all the candidates for making your views perfectly clear, and thank you at home for watching. Good night.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Since you know more about British elections than anyone here, will David Cameron still be Britain's prime minister when today's election results are tallied?

12%296 votes
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Headlines You Won't Read Today

Quiet, uneventful day ahead for planet

In exclusive agreement, book by controversial Democratic campaign operative questioning ethical practices of Republican presidential candidate scores weeks of extra publicity in the name of "fact checking" by The New York Times, The Washington Post and ABC News

Bernie Sanders stops making sense

Conservatives maintain grip on power in Alberta

Headline error in The Gurdian  2008
Senator Tom Cotton wakes up with world peace on his mind

Republican budget most likely to benefit poor, middle class

Bill O'Reilly reports from war zone

Humans credited with comeback of large herbivore mammals

Hedge fund managers jumping out of windows over "paltry" $11bn earnings

Aaron Schock posts selfie on Instagram from exotic location

Astronaut says view from International Space Station is overrated

Sunday morning shows now favoring liberal guests over conservatives

Holy #$&!@!! Obama invading Texas after all!!!

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

What gizmo do you use most often to access Daily Kos these days?

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I'm Feeling Haikuish

Carly, Huck and Ben
So many hats in one ring
Jeb revs Steamroller

Japanese art
Century-old man
Nepal quake says: time's up, gramps
Reply: not yet, bub

Loaded pistol sits
in Capitol bathroom stall
Gift from Glock Fairy?

This trade treaty rocks!
But you can't ever see it
It would melt your face

Finally! Feels like spring
Leopard thong snaps into place
Down go neighbor's blinds

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]


Of the presidential candidates who have declared in the past week, which one do you believe has the best ideas for dealing with the absurd level of economic inequality in the U.S.?

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| 4208 votes | Vote | Results

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