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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

So, Ralphie. About that "one poll."

Time magazine cover: Ralph Reed
One year ago today the conservative movement met its Waterloo on gay rights when it clashed in the Supreme Court with the forces of marriage equality. The Court would eventually let stand an appeals court ruling that California's Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, and then strike down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act.

But two days earlier, on March 24, Bible-thumping grifter Ralph Reed---aka Time magazine's "Right Hand of God"---was asked by Meet the Press host and Best-in-Show-winning sheepdog David Gregory about a poll indicating majority support for marriage equality. And cue the spin:

"I wouldn't build a house on one poll. That same ABC News/Washington Post poll that everybody's made a big deal out of this week, just a couple of months away it was 51/47 for same-sex marriage, and against. Basically a jump ball."
Yeah. Basically a jump ball. It's just one poll. Probably an outlier. Jury's still out. Don't go building a house on it. Poo poo. Sniff sniff. Jumpin' jeepers, please move along, David, there's nothing to see here. Don't worry, God still hates the queers.

He was right, though. It was just one public opinion poll. So I thought it would be helpful to check out some of the "just one polls" on marriage equality that have been released since Ralph's Meet the Press appearance:

Trend lines for polling on approval of marriage equality.
Ralph's riding the red line.
Bloomberg March 2014: 55% yes, 36% no
ABC News Feb 2014: 59% yes, 34% no
Pew Feb 2014: 54% yes, 39% no
CBS News 2014: 56% yes, 39% no
Gallup July 2013: 53% yes, 43% no
USA Today June 2013: 55% yes, 40% no
CNN/ORC June 2013: 55% yes, 44% no
It might also be worth reminding the "Right Hand of God" that, in the year since his Meet the Press appearance, gay marriage arrived in Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Jersey, Hawaii and Illinois. Hundreds of same-sex couples got hitched in Michigan and freakin' Utah until they were temporarily halted pending futile appeal. Favorable rulings are also under futile appeals in Oklahoma, Virginia, Kentucky and Texas. Fresh rulings and their futile appeals are expected from more states this year. The IRS now recognizes same-sex marriages for tax purposes. The military now recognizes same-sex spouses as being equal to their straight counterparts.

Of course, the above is "just one" massive block of overwhelming evidence that Ralph Reed and his Right Hand are full of crap. So basically a jump ball.

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

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Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Note: I object on religious grounds to having to write a note here every morning, so today I'm changing it to a reminder---a reminder from God: "Remember to get milk, cheesy poofs and Twinkies at the store. Also check your tire pressure."
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Great Arizona Picnic Festival logo 2014 Scottsdale
17 days!!!
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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the next full moon: 20
Days 'til the Great Arizona Picnic in Scottsdale: 17
Percent of U.S. adults who want politicians to actively try and make the Affordable Care Act fail: 19%
(Source: Pew Research)
Percent chance that Matt Drudge's attempt to bash Obamacare by claiming he was forced to pay a penalty blew up in his face when reality intervened: 100%
Number of University of Southern Maine students who showed up Monday in frigid weather to protest severe budget and faculty cuts: 200
Amount King Digital made last year off its mobile games, 94 percent of which came from "Candy Crush," "Pet Rescue" and "Farm Heroes": $1.88 billion
(Source: AP)
Particles of fog it takes to fill a teaspoon: 7 billion
(Source: The internet)

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 186 (including 4 Marks of the Beast and…oops, better make that 5 Marks of the Beast).  Soul Protection Factor 666 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Or as I call it, the Jared Leto of dogs.

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Smiley faces
CHEERS to shiny happy people.  Some good news on the consumer confidence front, as We The People start feeling a little more of the proverbial skip to our lou.  (Or is that loo? But then, why would anyone skip to a toilet? Never mind, this is getting complicated.)  The Conference Board's index for March registered its highest number since 2008 when it rose from 78.3 to 82.3.  Looking at my translation chart, that means we've gone from "unprodigous" to "propitious."  Another good month and we might hit "plucky" for the first time since Clinton.

JEERS to the battle over unauthorized sexytime.  I suppose the best you can say about yesterday's Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby oral arguments at the Supreme Court is that the other side didn’t score any kind of knockout blow.  No one can say with any certainty what the justices were thinking during the case to determine if a corporation can ignore federal law because God tells its CEO to, but here are my best guesses:

Anthony Kennedy
It all comes down to him
again. And Roberts thinks
he's in charge? Ha.
Sonia Sotomayor: This is nuts. How did this case even get here?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Ditto, girlfriend.
Sam Alito: If the woman sinks, she can have her contraceptives. If she floats, no dice.
Antonin Scalia: You know who else approved of contraceptives? Hitler. That oughtta bag me some press.
Anthony Kennedy: I like to swing on tires. I like to swing on swings. I like swing music. I like watching my pocket watch swing back and forth. I like swingin' on a star. Swingin' Tony, that's me…
Stephen Breyer: Add my name to the "This is nuts how did this case even get here" list, please.
Elena Kagan: Hey, Scalia! Judo chop! Hai…yah!
John Roberts: Jesus loves me, this I know…la la la la la la laaaa….
Clarence Thomas: [Stares at some sort of movie playing on iPhone and never looks up but grins a lot.]
As usual, by the time it was over not a drop remained in their shin flasks.

CHEERS to money well spent.  First Lady Michelle Obama (plus the kids and Grandma Robinson) wraps up her China trip today.  Here are a couple pics from this week:

First Lady Michelle Obama Seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors in X'ian, China. March 24, 2014.
FLOTUS browses souvenirs at the X'ian airport gift shop
First Lady Michelle Obama jumps rope with kids at the Xi’an City Wall.
Whoa. This ain't Pat Nixon.
The New York Times has a nice write-up of her trip, which included some opportunities to talk about the importance of various freedoms, like speech and religion.  But mostly it was about comin' over to say hey and break some ice.  On that score she succeeded big-time (and all the right-wingers complaining about the cost can just shut their pieholes---that act's getting awful creaky).  Oh, and this is a sly way to wrap up her trip:
The last stop will be lunch at a Tibetan restaurant in Chengdu, a choice that her staff readily acknowledged had been made not for the cuisine but as a political statement to show support for the rights and religious liberties of Tibetans in China.
Nice.  Next on her agenda is joining with her husband to meet Pope Francis, so she'll fly from China to Rome.  And since she works out so much, boy, will her arms not be tired!  Ha Ha Ha Ha!

Nancy Pelosi speaks during a visit by U.S. Representatives discussing bilateral relationships between Egypt and the U.S., in Cairo March 15, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS)
You must be at least "this" tall
to be Speaker of the House.
CHEERS to speakers you won’t find at Best Buy.  Happy birthday (and many blessings on your camels), Nancy Pelosi! The former and future Speaker of the House turns a sprightly 74 today, and she can still photobomb with the best of 'em.  When I think about all the things she got done when she wielded the gavel versus her orange chain-smoking successor, it almost boggles the mind.  (Plus, unlike Boehner, she can actually count votes.)  This year she got us a little present: this headline
Nancy Pelosi’s Latest Comments on Obama Will Likely Make Conservatives’ Heads Explode
As usual, Denny Hastert will jump out of her cake, after which nobody will eat any.

CHEERS to today's boring correction.  The G-8 summit, which used to include Russia, has been changed.  The new name is the G-7 summit, and it no longer includes Russia.  Please update your Rolodexes accordingly.

CHEERS to makin' up and makin' nice.  Where does the time go?  Thirty-five years ago today, on March 26, 1979, Israel's Menachem Begin and Egypt's Anwar Sadat signed a historic peace agreement that is still holding up today (if more shakily under whoever the hell's running things in Cairo at the moment).  Said Sadat of the mediator, Democratic President Jimmy Carter: "[He is] the man who performed the miracle. Without exaggeration, what he did constitutes one of the greatest achievements of our time."  Interesting bit of trivia: the three of them had to duck into the Oval Office, where it took them 45 minutes to untangle their hands:

Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter shake hands after signing their peace treaty March 26, 1979.
I know---Awkward.

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Five years ago in C&J: March 26, 2009

CHEERS to a headline you wouldn’t have seen during the Bush years.  It almost sounds like news from another planet: Maine to Get Stimulus Money for Arts.  $293,000, to be precise.  Creative types can apply for grants up to $10,000.  That should be just enough to cover the budget for my one-man stage show, Drunk Blogger Sleeping It Off.  Save $2 when you come for the Saturday matinee!

JEERS to you bad, bad common folk and your high-falutin' lifestyles.  NBC White House coverer Chuck Todd, who makes bucketloads of money and wants for nothing, wondered aloud why the president isn’t asking the American rabble to sacrifice anything in this time of war and economic meltdown.  Um, Chuck?  People are sacrificing their life savings, homes, jobs, health insurance, pensions, vacations, free time, food budgets, heat, sanity, and their kids' college educations...and U.S. military families are sacrificing even more.  Tell me, Chuck, would you like one lump or two in your morning cup of STFU?

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And just one more…

CHEERS to Tuesday morning fun! Let's play a game I created four years ago this week…you'll love it! I call it "President...or Hand Towel?"  The rules are simple: just watch the clip below and then decide whether Bill Clinton is a president…or a hand towel:

If you guessed president and hand towel, you win an extra helping of disgust at George W. Bush. Lucky you.

Oh, and happy 83rd birthday, Leonard Nimoy, who is doing a darn fine job of living long and prospering.  Have nice Wednesday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Among self-identified liberal Democrats, only 43 percent had never heard of Bill in Portland Maine---9 points lower than the general public.
---Politico

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Extended (Optional)

Poll

Why do you suppose Rick Perry, Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans want Wendy Davis and Texas Democrats to stop talking about equal pay for women in the governor's race?

11%468 votes
10%405 votes
6%246 votes
0%26 votes
3%129 votes
66%2595 votes
0%11 votes

| 3910 votes | Vote | Results

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