Back awhile, when Daily Kos was just a few tin cans attached by strings to Markos's flip phone, a fellow who called himself Bill in Portland Maine showed up. Bill thought he was pretty funny. And, fortunately for all of us, he wasn't kidding himself about that. In fact, he's had us rotfl ever since he launched the fabulous Cheers & Jeers series 110 months ago. Which is like six or seven centuries in Internet time. Even though he hasn't managed to get a Democratic senator elected from Maine since Georgoe Mitchell flew the coop, it's hard not to love his relentless efforts to keep us jam-packed with grins, chuckles, giggles, snorts and guffaws.

That includes this one on that auspicious debut:

JEERS to the Medicare bill. Democrats asleep at the wheel while Nero (Bush) fiddles. This turkey's as fake as the one in Baghdad mess hall.
And this one that appears in today's C&J:
CHEERS to friends in "buy" places. Oh, Wall Street, you're so adorable because you're so predictable. On Day 1 of the government shutdown, stocks soared on the confidence that this is no big deal. But when Day 2 rolled around and rainbows hadn’t yet popped up over the horizon, they were selling off their shit faster than Ron Popeil.  Lord only knows how twitchy they'll be today. Meanwhile, big business, realizing they've been sleeping with a lunatic, is running into the arms of the boring but not crazy Democrats.
Koufax Award, Best Series 2004
Bill won this award for the
 first full year of Cheers and Jeers.
Soon, Cheers and Jeers shared the honors of a Koufax Award for Best Series with David Neiwert's The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism. Bill didn't let this go to his head. Or maybe he did. Because he kept getting funnier and funnier. And, eventually, he found himself on the Front Page of Daily Kos. Five days a week. No pressure.

Something you may not know: It's a paying gig. But it's unusual in that Bill's readers are the ones paying him. To ensure he keeps up all his bad habits, they—that is, you—have to keep paying him. (Yes, I am contributing.)

If you want to contribute, here's how:

One time contribution: click here.
$5 monthly contribution: click here
$10 monthly contribution: click here
$20 monthly contribution: click here

To send a donation via snail mail, the address is: Bill Harnsberger, 16 Pitt Street, Portland, ME, 04103.

Bill in Portland Maine
BiPM with his nose to the
grindstone working on another C&J.
If you're not convinced yet, perhaps an interview will nudge you over the line. Here's a couple of questions and answers from my 19-question interview with him last year:
Meteor Blades: For breakfast, maple syrup or honey on those pancakes?
Bill in Portland Maine: Sticky question! Pure Maine-made maple syrup only. Don’t ever ever ever buy syrup from Vermont or New Hampshire. Their maple trees aren’t the right height. [...]

What's the last non-fiction book you read? Should the rest of us read it?

I'm thrilled with your inquiry! I'm currently working on Rachel Maddow's Drift and Paul Krugman's End This Depression Now. Among the classics, I recommend Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Kos's epic American Taliban, and Owner's Manual: Kenmore Dishwasher Model 363.14051692. Be sure to read only autographed copies, which are much better. [...]

Do you think Twitter is an intolerable time-suck or the new sliced bread?
I'm glad that I'm glad you asked! For me Twitter is sliced bread in how it helps me practice editing skills and try out jokes to see if they stick. It's definitely a time-suck, though. Everything in moderation, as they say. [...]

Your sense of humor is uniquely you, but is there someone who served as a sort of comic mentor, a model for your brand of funniness?
Funny question! My early influences are Steve Martin, Dave Barry, The Three Stooges, Hogan's Heroes, MAD magazine, and "center square" Paul Lynde, who's also from Mount Vernon, Ohio. But the person who really took me to the goofy side was my grandmother—she was a Mark Twain historian and laughed more than any other relative in the family. Also taught me to swear.

Bill's one of the family. Don't let him run out of rum and Coke.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2002Homeland security bill stalled:

House Republicans are threatening to stay in session in order to pressure Senate Democrats to compromise on the Homeland Security bill. Dems are insisting on union protection for the proposed agency's employees, while the GOP hates unions.

However, if no bill ever passes, that would not be a bad thing. All the new agency does is shuffle a multitude of far-flung government agencies into a brand new bureaucracy. And, those agencies most tasked with "homeland security" issues—the FBI and intelligence agencies—are not even included.

The whole Homeland Security agency idea had its genesis in the post-9-11 hysteria, and was driven hard by Democrats eager to show their "security" bona fides. While balking at first, the White House caved in to deflect attention from the whole "Bush knew" frenzy. In both cases, support for the agency hasn't been borne of actual security concerns, but political opportunism. This whole idea stinks.

Tweet of the Day:

"If it's a legitimate bicameral Congress, the Republican body has ways to shut that whole thing down."  ---T.  Akin

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, it's Day Three of the Republican shutdown. The crazy-pants quote from back-bencher Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) tops the day's narrative. Greg Dworkin provides background to make what "sense" can be made of it. We explain the state of play, the parliamentary maneuvering, and the crumbling road ahead. Ian Reifowitz joins to talk about the role extreme Gerrymandering plays in the crisis. And as usual, our discussion ends up making connections between far-flung issues that reveal key differences between liberals and... whatever it is that "conservatives" have become.

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