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And Republicans Would Still Love To Kill It

Today marks the 48th anniversary of a milestone that reminds us what a Democratic president and solid Democratic majorities in Congress can accomplish. And, like Obamacare, it wasn't a slam dunk until late in the game.

You know it, you love it, tens of millions can't live without it! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...Medicare:

The legislative logjam finally broke with the election of 1964, which swept LBJ into the White House behind large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. Shortly after that election, a breakthrough occurred when House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Wilbur Mills (D-Ark.), who had previously blocked Medicare proposals, said, "I can support a payroll tax for financing health benefits just as I have supported a payroll tax for cash benefits."
Johnson signs Medicare bill with harry Truman watching, in Independence, Missouri
History: Presidents Johnson and Truman
shake hands after Medicare signing in
Independence, Missouri---July 30, 1965.
When the long-stalled Medicare effort came before the 89th Congress in January 1965, congressional leaders designated the bills as H.R. 1 and S. 1. Despite determined resistance by organized medicine and some of its congressional allies, the Medicare bill moved forward. A Mills rewrite cleared the House on April 8 by 313-115. The Senate approved its version on July 9 by 68-21. A conference committee labored for more than a week in mid-July to reconcile 513 differences between the two chambers.

At the [signing ceremony in Independence, Missouri], Johnson enrolled Truman as the first Medicare beneficiary and presented him with the nation’s first Medicare card.

Said President Johnson at the signing:
"No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years. No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents, and to their uncles, and their aunts. And no longer will this Nation refuse the hand of justice to those who have given a lifetime of service and wisdom and labor to the progress of this progressive country. [...]

Harry Truman's application for the first Meeicare card, signed by Lyndon Johnson
Harry Truman's Medicare application,
signed by Lyndon Johnson.
In 1935, when the man that both of us loved so much, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, signed the Social Security Act, he said it was, and I quote him, "a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but it is by no means complete."

Well, perhaps no single act in the entire administration of the beloved Franklin D. Roosevelt really did more to win him the illustrious place in history that he has as did the laying of that cornerstone. And I am so happy that his oldest son Jimmy could be here to share with us the joy that is ours today. And those who share this day will also be remembered for making the most important addition to that structure, and you are making it in this bill, the most important addition that has been made in three decades."

Republicans---led last year by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, bless their ice-cold hearts---have made no secret of the fact that they want to turn Medicare into a voucher plan so they can pare it down bit-by-bit until it resembles Swiss cheese and the private sector can feast on the carcass. Fat chance. Americans like it. A lot.

It'll be interesting to see what historians write in 2058 about the 48th anniversary of Obamacare, which adds another pillar of support to that Democratic Party-built structure. I'm optimistic that with steady management and intelligent tweaking, it'll be deemed a success. Of course, the ultimate proof will be revealed in the number of tea party protesters standing at the door to the Capitol yelling, "Keep your government hands off my Affordable Care Act!" I think I may join them---I'll be 94, I'll have nothing else to do that day, and it'll be a fine way to test out the battering ram on my motorized scooter.

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


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Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Note: I will now make today disappear.  The date is 7/30/13.  7 - 3 - 0 - 1 - 3 = 0.  Magic!


Star Wars soundtrack picture disc
The Star Wars picture disc. Best vinyl evuh!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Talk Like A Pirate Day: 51
Days 'til the 159th Topsham Fair in Maine: 7
Number of nuclear plants that have closed this year: 4
(Source: Time)
Number of vinyl albums sold in 2007 and 2012, respectively: 990,000 / 4.5 million
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)
Latest consumer sentiment index score: 85.1
The last time the score was that high: 7/07
(Source: University of Michigan)
Year the popsicle was invented (by accident): 1905


Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

great, just what the world needs, a commie pope. This is why I was not thrilled when this pope was announced. Just another commie in a white dress
---Commenter Oeconomybuyer at RedState
All together now: 1…2…3… Classy!


Puppy Pic of the Day (via politik and llbear):  A servicemember who returned from Afghanistan found out that the "friend" who was watching his dog while he was overseas gave him away.  Have you seen Oakley?

Yellow lab belonging to Lt. Brandon Harker, in the news July 29, 2013
More on the story here.    


President Barack Obama has lunch with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the patio outside the Oval Office, July 29, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
And NO ONE thought
to bug their salads?
CHEERS to a #44 with a #45, hold the mayo.  President Obama had Hillary Clinton over to the White House to look over paint swatches for the Oval Office…er, um, to have  lunch yesterday.  Naturally, the media made it all about them:
The two Democrats and former rivals met for lunch Monday in a private dining room at the White House, spawning a frenzy of predictable media speculation about whether they might be putting their heads together about Clinton’s much-rumored 2016 run.

And---adding to that speculation---Clinton is now also scheduled to have breakfast [today] with Vice President Joe Biden, considered a top potential rival for the Democratic nomination.

After lunch Obama and Clinton played lawn darts in front of the press pool.  Doctors say Chuck Todd won’t be able to sit down for a week.  Match: Hillary.

CHEERS to closure.  Whistleblower-slash-document-leaker Pfc. Bradley Manning finally learns his fate from a military judge at 1 o'clock this afternoon.  Fearless prediction: less than death, more than 100 hours of community service at the Droopy Pines Senior Center.  If I'm wrong, everyone gets a Coke.

CHEERS to hitting the halfway mark.  From what I'm told, a pope needs to be responsible for two "confirmed" miracles in order to become a saint.  Yesterday Pope Francis performed his first miracle, and it was a doozy: he actually said the word "gay" without invoking Sodom and Gomorrah, shooting lightning bolts out of his fingers or perching Cardinal Timothy Dolan on his shoulder so he could shout, "Bwok! Straight to Hell! Bwok! Straight to Hell!" like a deranged parrot.  In fact, he was downright non-dickish about it:

George Takei with t-shirt reading,
The Pope also says
it's OK to be Takei.
"If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?" said the pope Monday on a flight from Brazil to Rome.  Pope Francis also registered what appeared to be a more moderate position on how Catholic doctrine dictates gay people should be treated, reports Australia's ABC.  "The catechism of the Catholic Church says clearly that we must not marginalize these people who should be integrated into society."
It occurs to me that I just read something the Pope said about gays and it didn’t cause my blood pressure to spike.  MIRACLE #2!!!

JEERS to the politics of fear. Fifty-seven years ago---on July 30, 1956---to ward off evil Communist spirits, the phrase "In God We Trust" became our country's national motto, a move led by a Democratic congressman---Charles E. Bennett:

He proposed putting the phrase “In God We Trust,” which began appearing on coins in 1864, on all paper and coin currency.  “In these days when imperialistic and materialistic communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, we should continually look for ways to strengthen the foundations of our freedom,” he declared on the House floor.
Today people have no freaking clue what our national motto is ("e pluribus spongecake et creamy filling unum Twinkie?"), but they know that rolled-up paper currency is a great way to snort cocaine.  Yay, freedom!!!

JEERS to the Weinerpocalypse.  Look, you have a choice: I can give you the latest news on the further adventures of Carlos Danger…or I can show you a pic of a craaaazy cat.  You have three seconds to decide… Two… One…  Very well:

Crazy cat upside down
Excellent decision.

CHEERS to an eye for an eye. On July 30, 1863, in response to reports that Confederate forces were executing blacks captured wearing the uniform of the Union Army, President Lincoln issued orders to shoot one rebel prisoner for every black prisoner reported shot.  In fairness, that was only after threatening to revoke their beach volleyball privileges didn’t work.


Five years ago in C&J: July 30, 2008

CHEERS to a double dose of defeat.  Oh, the fundies are steaming mad today.  Seems the godless gay horde scored a two-fer on both coasts this week.  First, the Massachusetts House agreed (118-35) with the Senate to repeal a 1913 law that's prevented out-of-state same-sex couples from getting married there.  All that's needed now is Governor Deval Patrick's signature.  Meanwhile, California Attorney General Jerry Brown revised the language in a November referendum that would create a Constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.  It now makes clear the real intent of the measure's backers, much to their frothy ire.  So instead of crap about "saving the sanctity of traditional marriage," it now reads:

Former federal district judge Vaughn Walker
Judge Vaughn Walker:
Hero of Prop. 8's demise.
Proposition 8
Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
So what does this mean for the two states?  An increase in marital fidelity and money money money!  Jeez, you'd think the Republicans would be thrilled.  [7/30/13 Update: Five years, one stinky referendum, one lawsuit and three appeals later, the short, unhappy life of Prop. 8 is finally over.  Ding dong.]


And just one more…

CHEERS to smooth moves.  Man, what I'd give to give to tap into a prodigy's brain for an hour or two.  Like, say Carissa Yip, who is fast becoming the universe's benevolent chess overlord:

Chess pieces
"Help! I've fallen and I can't
yadda yadda yadda..."
The Massachusetts child prodigy, who only picked up her first chess piece three years ago this week, became the youngest American to reach expert level.

And her proud dad Percy---who taught her everything he knew until she started beating him, too---is predicting she will become a master within a year. […] The fifth grader from Chelmsford, ranked in the top seven percent of all players registers with the U.S. Chess Federation, has previously flown to compete in Slovenia.

No one will ever mistake me for a chess master, but I did invent a popular move called the "Billy gambit."  It goes like this: 1) King's knight to KB3  2) Queen's pawn to Q6  3) "Holy shit, it's Clooney!!!"  4) Scramble pieces  5) Checkmate.  (Patent pending.)

Have a strategically thought-out Tuesday where you're always a dozen moves ahead of everyone else.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"Methane released in Cheers and Jeers doesn't make it to the atmosphere."
---Carolyn Ruppel, U.S. Geological Survey's Gas Hydrates Project

Extended (Optional)


Have you ever worked at a fast-food joint?

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