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"Even witches have to have pockets."

The Wicked Witch of the West chats with the Nicest Man of the Neighborhood...

Happy Halloween.

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


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Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, October 31, 2013

Note: C&J will not appear here on Monday, as we will be returning from a weekend-long seminar on how to turn a clock back one hour.  Back Tuesday, unless something goes disastrously wrong and the instructor blows up the time-space continuum.  But that rarely happens.


Mexican Days of the Dead skeletons
Days of the Dead skeletons rock.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til election day: 5
Days 'til the Days of the Dead in Mexico: 1
Percent of uninsured U.S. adults who are under the age of 35: 46%
Percent of uninsured adults who make less than $40,000 a year: 77%
(Source: Time)
Portion of Americans who lived in counties with smoky air in 2011: 2/3
Rank of Texas among states with the most high-density smoke areas in 2011: #1
(Source: Natural Resources Defense Council)
Percent of Americans who say chocolate is the best candy to get for Halloween: 72%


Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo &nbsp;--- small
I'm trying to give you some sense of scale here. According to Korb's research, we could take $60 billion out of the defense budget, 15 percent of the total, without remotely affecting military readiness. Any think tank, left or right, can come up with a similar scenario for cutting military spending without harm to security---the details may differ, but you will find a surprising degree of overlap, as well.

OK, so we could shift $60 billion into education without even breathing hard. Then, how would we continue toward of a goal of putting more into education than on stuff to kill people? For starters, we could try having fewer enemies in the world. Then we wouldn't need so many ways to kill them, eh?
---November, 2005


Puppy Pic of the Day:  "This is the fourth dog he’s done mouth-to snout breathing on in his 23-year career 'and all four have made it back.'"


David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox
Build the dang Big Papi statue!
CHEERS to seeing RED!  Sorry, St. Louis, but it wasn't meant to be this time. Boston, wanting to make sure that the "Curse of the Bambino" was really, really really dead, won their third World Series in ten years last night---4-games-to-2---and brought the 2013 season to an awesome close by sealing the deal on their home turf for the first time since 1918.  And now that that's over, we can all get on with our lives.  At least until spring training.  Which starts in 117 days.  But who's counting?  Not me!  I'm just keeping track for a friend.  His dog ate his abacus.

CHEERS to covering the kids.  As Republicans and the media fail to see the forest for the trees regarding Obamacare (their whining is as ear-splitting as it is ill-informed), HHS demonstrates how an important demographic will fare with their coverage:

Obamacare graphic 10/29/13 &nbsp;Nearly 50% of 18-34 year old singles will pay less than a hundred dollars for Obamacare
And it ain't shit insurance, neither.
Young adults are the age group most likely to be without health insurance coverage and, therefore, are a key target for outreach and enrollment activities.  Nearly 5 in 10 (46 percent, or 1.3 million) uninsured young adults in single-person households who are eligible for the Health Insurance Marketplace may be able to purchase a bronze plan for $50 per month or less after tax credits, based on analysis of data in 34 states.  In these states, a total 1.9 million young adults, representing nearly 7 in 10 (66 percent) of the Marketplace-eligible uninsured ages 18 to 34, may be able to pay $100 or less for coverage in 2014.
Not bad.  Meanwhile HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius withstood the brickbats yesterday in front of the House Committee on Cheap Political Grandstanding, and President Obama fired up Jetpack One and rocketed to Boston to promote the ACA in the same spot where Mitt Romney signed his state version of Obamacare into law.  This made the Romneybot-1000 mad, but what's sauce for the goose
At a 2008 event in New Hampshire, Romney was asked by a voter, “You supported national healthcare in Massachusetts. Are you going to do the same thing on a national [basis]?”  His response: "Absolutely, I've already put a plan out.  Take a look at it."
I am.  At healthcare.gov.  Now go back in your hole, please---you still creep me out.

JEERS to the word thief.  Let's check in with Senator Rand Paul's Thursday morning press conference as he tries to answer for plagiarizing chunks of a Wikipedia page about the 1997 movie Gattaca during a speech:

Wikipedia graphic on plagiarism
"Hey Senator Paul! Do we
gotta draw you a picture?"
Reporter: Senator Paul, did you know you were gonna get busted for plagiarism?
Sen. Paul: My momma always said, 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.'
Reporter: What went through your mind Monday night when you saw Rachel Maddow post the footage of your speech next to the Wikipedia quotes you ripped off?
Sen. Paul: Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night.
Reporter: What did you say to your staffers who ripped off those quotes and put you in this situation?
Sen. Paul: Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!
Reporter: And now your presidential aspirations are swirling the drain. How does that make you feel?
Sen. Paul: You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.
Reporter: Any final words?
Sen. Paul: I vant to be alone.
The guilty always do.

JEERS to really big heads.  On this date in 1941, Mount Rushmore was deemed "completed" after 14 years of blasting and chiseling, but only because they'd run out of money.  The monument is an eyesore and an insult to the native Americans there, and it's more a testament to its creator's ego than anything else.  Having said that, it's still quite a freakin' accomplishment.  Which reminds me: next week the U.S. Mint is releasing the Mount Rushmore-themed South Dakota "America the Beautiful" state quarter.  That's gonna present a problem for people trying to decide things by way of a coin toss.  Both sides are heads.

Freedom to Marry graphic marking Hawaii state senate passing a marriage equality bill 20-4 on Oct. 30, 2013
Mighty quick with the graphics
there, Freedom to Marry folks.
CHEERS to clearing another hurdle.  Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie's special-session gambit to get marriage equality enshrined into law is proceeding smoothly.  After clearing a committee, the full senate voted yesterday and the ayes drowned out the nays 20 to 4.  As for what's next:
Now, the bill will be placed before the House, beginning tomorrow morning at 10am Hawaii time, where loving same-sex couples and others who support marriage will testify in support of the bill.  A vote on the marriage bill is expected in the House next week.
For you members of the U.S. House in Washington, DC, a "vote" is when you express support or dissent for a piece of legislation, leading to either "passage" or "non-passage."  Just in case you've forgotten.  It's been awhile.

Graphic of California and Nevada
Oh, get a room.
CHEERS to the USA's most incorrigible state.  Happy birthday to Nevada (pronounced "nee-VAY-day" and get it right because they're very sensitive about it)---celebrating 145 years as the skirt-chasing, fun-loving black sheep of the American family today.  The "Silver State" makes a boatload of money on gambling---most famously off of Bill Bennett and John McCain---along with booze, prostitution and impulse marriages.  At C&J we say, eh, live and let live.  But the way your sister, California, spoons you all the time?  That's kinda creepy.

CHEERS to uniformity.  On this date in 1868, Postmaster General Alexander Williams Randall approved a standard uniform for postal carriers.  He revised the look a year later because in the winter the assless chaps were giving too many carriers frostbite.


Five years ago in C&J: October 31, 2008

JEERS to her (yeah, her)...again.  I had to read this several times just to wear down the part of my brain that filters the stupid.  Sarah Palin actually believes that media criticism might be---hang on, I've got to go read it again...  Yes, she thinks media criticism might be violating her First Amendment rights.  Glenn Greenwald embarks on a suicide mission to get inside her intellectually booby-trapped head and translate:

"Oh dear. Half my
vision just went out."
According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers.  The First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials would not be "attacked" in the papers.  [Is it] even possible to imagine more breathaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office?

As soon as Obama wins, we need to start mapping out how we're going to secure his reelection.  Namely, by doing everything we can to ensure that Sarah Palin is the GOP nominee in 2012.  Step one: yard signs.


And just one more…

Little boy holding up pumpkin
"Junior! Put Mr. Boehner's head
back on his body this instant!"
CHEERS to Halloween.  I read this week that participation in the holiday is going to be down a bit this year, probably because ghosts and monsters and serial killers pale in comparison to what Congress put us through this month.  But one thing that won't slow down is the speed at which the rest of 2013 zips by after today---Halloween is the foot that hits the gas.  As for trick-or-treaters, here in Portland tonight the weather is going to be a bit iffy, but we're hoping for a decent turnout as the BiPM household readies itself for the annual pitter-patter of li'l ghoul and goblin feet on the porch. (Bonus: our screen door makes an unnerving Squeeeeak when you open it…bwoo ha ha.)  As we plop their treat into their plastic pumpkins and bags, we'll offer our usual free advice: "When you've drained the little bottle, kids, don’t forget to swallow the little worm."

Have a nice Thursday.  Cory Booker will---Biden's swearing him in today as a United States Senator.  Yeah---it's another BFD moment.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

You hardly ever see depictions of extraterrestrials that live in C&J---and there's a good reason for that, says Don Lincoln, author of a new book titled "Alien Universe: Extraterrestrial Life in Cheers and Jeers."  The reason?  It's hard to build a fire in a kiddie pool.
---NBC News

Extended (Optional)


Which October birthday boy/girl would you rather go Trick-or-Treating with?

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