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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Family Research Council's Underground Bunker: 8am

"Morning, Al."
  "Morning, Mr. Perkins, sir!"
"So the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy has been off the books for a full day. What are you hearing from your operatives in the field? Is it as bad as we knew it would be?"
  "Um…no, sir. All sectors are quiet, sir."
"What? That's impossible! Gimme that radio! Sector Bravo! Sector Bravo! This is Jesus' Bosom! Come in Sector Bravo, this is Jesus' Bosom!"

"Sector Bravo here. Hi, Tony! You're not gonna believe this---it's quiet as a church here."
  "What do you mean quiet? Do the personnel on-base know homosexuals are now serving openly?"
"Yes sir. Doesn’t seem to faze anyone. Everyone's takin' it in stride."
  "Well, did you drop the soap in the shower like we talked about?"
"Yes sir. Hell, we threw a whole carton of Lava on the floor. They just picked 'em up and stacked 'em neatly by the sink. Very courteous of 'em, actually…"
  "Shut up! Shut up! Sector Tango! Come in Sector Tango, this is Jesus' Bosom!"

"Sector Tango here."
  "How's your unit cohesion, Sector Tango? Has your morale plunged since the gays were allowed to run rampant around the base? Do you need reinforcements? Counselors? Psychologists? Head busters? Are you trapped in a hellhole of redecorating ideas and fashion tips?"
"Nah. A few guys came out today, but they're some 'o the best grunts we got. Hell, Higginbotham can stop your heartbeat with his index finger. So everything's cool."
  "You fool---you've been gaywashed! I knew this would happen! Sector Alpha! Come in Sector Alpha!

"Sector Alpha here! Hooah!! 'Sup, Tony?"
  "Grizzly Man! You're the most macho operative I've got. Give it to me straight---how bad are things out there in the apocalyptic post-DADT wasteland?"
"Not bad at all, sir. I just came out to my CO and he's gonna be my best man when I tie the knot in Des Moines next week! Your invitation's in the mail, buddy! Semper Fi!"
  "But...  But..."

[Static]

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Note: It is with great regret the we must announce that today's note has died from uncertainty.  Our condolences to surviving siblings Memo, Flyer and Laundry List.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the season premiere of SNL with host Alec Baldwin: 3
Days `til the Kauai Coconut Festival in Hawaii: 10
Expected decrease in Medicare premiums next year: 4%
(Source: Dept. of Health and Human Services)
Number of employees in the CIA's Counterterrorism Center in, respectively, 2001 and today: 300 / 2,000
(Source: The Week)
Rank of "Meeting loved ones at the gate" among things people miss most about pre-9/11 air travel: #1
Rank of "less time getting through security" and "bringing liquids of any size on the plane": #2, #3
(Source: TripAdvisor.com/USA Today survey)
Length of time you'd have to yell for in order to heat one cup of coffee via sound energy: 8 years, 7 months
(Source: Some web site that must be telling the truth because they used a really large font)

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 183 (including 4 gogs and 1 Newt Zombie Minion Rebellion).  Soul Protection Factor 16 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day (via Kossack BeadLady): Rick Santorum's absolute worst nightmare: Man-on-dog salsa!

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CHEERS to moving in the right direction.  Hey, remember that country we invaded because they had a really shitty army and posed no threat to us?  Yeah, that's the one---Eye-rack!  I hate to be a killjoy, but it seems we're blowin' that popsicle stand:

The number of American troops in Iraq will fall to roughly 40,000 by the end of this month as the U.S. winds down the war, U.S. military officials said Tuesday. ... When the U.S. officially ended its combat mission in Iraq on Sept. 1, 2010, it had about 50,000 troops. Under a 2008 agreement, all U.S. troops are to be out of Iraq by the end of this year.

Even better: they're bringing us all back a snow globe from the Baghdad Airport gift shop.  (When you shake it, tiny C-notes rain down on a replica of Halliburton HQ.  Bless us everyone!)

CHEERS to Rrrrrrrocketwoman!!!  I don’t know what Elizabeth Warren is having for breakfast these days, but it's apparently turned her into a populist buzzsaw.  One week after announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts now occupied by Scott Brown, she turned a nine-point poll deficit into a two-point lead.  She's got a few things working in her favor: notoriety as creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, humble roots, a dawn-to-dusk work ethic, a schoolmarm's charm with a barracuda's bite, and…well…she's not Scott Brown.  That sound you hear is air leaking out of the tires of a certain Cosmo poser's pickup truck.  To him it sounds like "Phhhhht!"  But to us it sounds more like "Squeee!"

JEERS to the "is" biz.  Thirteen years ago today, President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony---during which he detailed his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky---aired on national TV.  This wasn't his finest moment:

"It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is.  If 'is' means 'is and never has been' that's one thing---if it means 'there is none', that was a completely true statement," he said.

It's one of the few times in my life when I've begged for 'em to cut to commercials.

CHEERS to the shortest and funniest joke of the day: "Get Updates From Mark Penn."  Stop.  You're.  Killing.  Me.

CHEERS and JEERS and CHEERS to General Whiplash.  Twenty-two years ago today, the Senate Armed Forces Committee unanimously confirmed Colin Powell as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He kicked the Iraqi army's ass during the first war, got hung out to dry by neocons in his own party during the second when he was Secretary of State (tell us again what brand of baby powder you used in that vial of "anthrax" during your big U.N.-scaring speech, sir), but got the last laugh in '08 when he gave his own party a middle-finger salute by endorsing Barack Obama for president.  That's worth a Pottery Barn gift certificate, I guess.  (But we just noticed his parents were from Jamaica, so we'll of course need to see his birth certificate first...  Ahem.)

JEERS to stupid congressman tricks.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and his Amazing Disappearing Memory:

February, before the News Corp. scandal erupted: "I know Rupert Murdoch."

September, after the News Corp. scandal erupted: "I don’t know Rupert Murdoch."

Ta-daaaa!!!  For his next trick he'll plunge into a container filled with his morals.  Or as it's better known: thimble diving.

CHEERS to America's favorite literary boogeyman.  64 skulls go on the cake of Stephen King, born September 21, 1947 in Portland, just steps from where I live.  (Okay, several tens of thousands of steps, but still!)  With Obama's new economic plan fresh out of the oven, this is a good time to remind ourselves that King was on board with raising taxes on the rich back in March:

“Now, you might say, ‘What are you doing up there? Aren’t you rich?’ The answer is, ‘Thank God, yes.’ … And you know what?  As a rich person, I pay 28% taxes.  What I want to ask you is, why am I not paying fifty?  Why is everybody in my bracket not paying fifty?  The Republicans will say, from John Boehner to Mitch McConnell to Rick Scott, that we can’t do that because, if we tax guys like me, there won’t be any jobs.  It’s bull!  It’s total bull!”

And this is cool: a couple years ago he told Entertainment Weekly that Daily Kos is one of his must-read blogs.  So, Steve, in honor of your day, I promise to not only bless your camels, but to also feed all unnecessary adverbs to the rabid St. Bernard chewing a hole through my front door.  And today's special in the C&J watering hole: half-off Redrum and Cokes!

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Five years ago in C&J: September 21, 2006

CHEERS to happy landings.  The crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down this morning at the Kennedy Space Center.  After a thorough debriefing, the crew will go home to mow the lawn and clean the gutters.  Ah, sweet humility.

JEERS to pungent proclamations.  Yesterday at the U.N., Venezuela's Hugo Chavez took aim at President Bush:

"The devil came here yesterday.  I can smell the Sulphur still."

Not that we're thrilled by the notion of defending the Decider-in-Chief, Hugo, but...dude...he who smelt it dealt it.  But nice try, Mr. Firepants.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to `The Way Life Should Be.'  Eighteen years ago today, my partner Michael ("Common Sense Mainer" here on Planet Orange) and I arrived in Portland, Maine, having escaped the rust-belt hamlet of Saginaw, Michigan (motto: "Please, No Smiling").  We had no jobs, only a smidgeon of savings, and an apartment with barely any heat.  (January, 1994's heating bill: $318---I keep it for those moments when I have an urgent need to induce vomiting.)  Eighteen years later, we're still here, and Portland is Home in the best sense of the word (minus a few choice words about our seven months of winter and our twelve months of having to endure endless "You cahn't get they-uh from hee-yuh" jokes and the current four-year term of our teabagger governor).  U.S. News & World Report says Portland's one of the 10 sweetest places to retire (then again, these days if you can retire anywhere it's pretty sweet).  To mark the occasion, I plan to, as usual, climb to the top of the Time & Temperature Building and yell, "PORTLAAAND! AH LUV YEW!!!"  And this year I got smart---I stitched my bail money into my Spanx so it won’t blow away.  Watch for me on the news, kids!

Have a nice Wednesday.  Watch that first step.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Seventh Circuit Slams Bill in Portland Maine for 345-Word Sentence and "Gibberish"
---Jonathan Turley
9/20/11

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Poll

Now that the dust has settled a bit since Monday, how would you rate the president's economic growth/deficit reduction plan?

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