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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...

The Petrified Party

Bloomberg News's Al Hunt explains why our noble colleagues across the aisle are walking around pining for the days when Tom DeLay would deliver them magic ponies by swinging his awesome hammer:

Republicans in the U.S. Congress are petrified about a November debacle, a fear stoked on May 3, when they lost their second straight special election in a district held by Republicans.

The party's fundamental situation is terrible: Republicans are saddled with an enormously unpopular president, a war, a troubled economy and a Democratic opposition that's being energized by important constituent groups.

"The generics are as bad as anytime since I have been here," said Representative Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican and one of the most politically astute members of Congress in either party.

In short, Democrats are flush with cash, more energized, fielding better candidates, and we have the Worst President in History with which to saddle the opposition. The one apparent lifeline Republicans have, says Hunt, is a guy they've spent years mocking and vilifying: John McCain. But his coattails already seem a little tattered:

"McCain comes across to some as a different kind of Republican," [DCCC chair Chris] Van Hollen said. "Yet he has fallen in line with the Bush agenda on the fundamental issues: the war and the economy."

A huge percentage of Americans agree with Barack Obama that we need a prudent plan to get the hell outta Mess-O-Potamia and let the Iraqis exercise their own sovereignty. And Bloomberg's latest poll shows that We The People are in no mood for Bush and McCain's whitewashing of the bad economic news that trickles down day after day:

More than three-quarters of voters said they believed the economy was in a recession, and about a quarter said they thought the downturn was be [sic] mild. The same percentage said the recession was serious.' ... Seventy-seven percent of voters, and 76% of adults overall, said the nation was "seriously off on the wrong track. ..."

[A]mong the 78% of voters who said they believe the economy has slid into a recession, 52% would vote for Obama, compared with 32% for McCain.

And on that note, fellow Democrats: Have a nice Monday.

Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, May 12, 2008

Note:  You bet your ass I'm a racist.  Specifically, I love potato sack races.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the West Virginia primary: 1
Days 'til Memorial Day: 14
Number of Marches, since record-keeping began, that have been warmer than March, 2008: 0
(Source: NOAA via The Week)
Percent of Ford's retail sales that were from trucks and SUVs in 2004: 70%
Percent today: 38%
(Source: USA Today)
Odds of being killed by a shark: 1 in 280 million
(Source: TIME)
Odds of Sean Hannity saying something honest: 1 in 280 million

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Your Monday Texan As A Second Language Lesson

Brought to you by the 2008 Netroots Nation Convention in Austin July 17-20:

"They say California's the big burrito; Texas is a big taco right now.  We want to follow that through.  Florida is a big tamale."
---Dan Rather
(Translation: I'm hungry.)

"Texas: 32 electoral votes, another of the so-called big enchiladas or if not an enchilada at least a huge taco."
---Dan Rather
(Translation: I mean, really hungry!)

Say each phrase three times out loud before you go to bed and you'll be fluent in Texan in no time!

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Puppy Pic of the Day: No vacancy

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CHEERS to giving the maverick  the pink slip.  Not to be a Bloomberg News hog (the two sources in our intro were from the Big B), but this article shatters another myth about McCain: that, if nothing else, at least he'll raise gobs of cash from Big Bid'ness.  Ain't happening yet:

Senator John McCain...is struggling to attract money from some of the same industries that helped bankroll President George W. Bush's record-setting fundraising.   Employees from the securities, construction, pharmaceutical and energy industries, who accounted for about a tenth of Bush's money in 2004, are turned off by his record and giving more to his Democratic rivals, Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Not that we're naïve.  These mega-monoliths will no doubt expect to be given something in return by President Obama.  I'm thinking Garfield coffee mugs would be warmly welcomed.  (Ha Ha!  He's eating Jon's---"URP!"---lasagna again!)

JEERS to jackasses on a box.  Just to give you an idea of how fucked up a government can get, ponder this: the Myanmar "junta" (read: generals who live in palaces surrounded by whores and huge platters of mutton) held up distribution of cyclone relief boxes so they could plaster their names on them before an election.  When he heard about it, Karl Rove emailed them a brief message: "I detest your use of this deplorable tactic!  Mainly because I didn't think of it first."

CHEERS to the brilliantist idea they ever came up with five years after they shoulda come up with it.  Good news: The pentagon (yeah, small p, to denote the size of their brains) has decided to do something radical: put armor on its mine-resistant vehicles to prevent insurgent mines from blowing them up.  Bad news: the no-bid contract went to the company that makes graham crackers.  [sigh]  Baby steps.

JEERS to the WVWV in WV (via TPM).  Remember when the group "Women's Voices. Women Vote" got their knuckles rapped for deceptive mailers before the North Carolina primary?  Apparently they didn’t learn anything from it, because they're causing confusion again with a mailer:

The Secretary of State's office is reminding first-time voters that the deadline to register to vote in Tuesday's primary already has passed.  Betty Ireland said she's worried that a mass mailing aimed at getting young women in West Virginia to register to vote might cause confusion.  A group called "Women's Voices. Women Vote" sent out more than 16,000 mailers to unmarried women in the state after April 22, the last day to register in time to vote Tuesday.  ...

Page Gardner, president of the women's organization, said in a letter that: "The mailing clearly indicates that the deadline to register to vote by mail for a particular election in West Virginia is 20 days before the election ... We hope that this unfortunate coincidence in timing does not lead to any confusion or aggravation for either your state's voters or registrars."

Ireland's office said it received a batch of voter registration forms as a result of the group's mass mailing, and many of them were from people already registered.

So to recap: a mailer that was probably planned weeks in advance of a primary date that was planned over a year in advance is an "unfortunate coincidence in timing."  And in other news, No.

CHEERS to Yogi Berra.  And happy 83rd birthday to the baseball legend.  There are too many Yogi-isms to count, but one stands out as an apt statement on the Iraq vs. Vietnam wars: "It's like déjà vu all over again."  Feast on a few more here.  And if you ever come to a fork in the road, take it.

CHEERS to penile put-downs.  Timely bit from The Colbert Report Thursday night puts John McCain's Iraq policy in perspective:

Arianna Huffington:  He has such a passion for Iraq, that's his Viagra.
Stephen Colbert: I guess the warning on that should be: If your erection lasts more than a hundred years, pull out.

On second thought, maybe not so timely.  If you're still eating breakfast.

JEERS to creepy people.  Yesterday on This Week, Clinton campaign surrogate Terry McAuliffe admitted that Hillary's only chance of winning the nomination was if something "catastrophic" (George Stephanopoulos's word) happened to Barack Obama's campaign between now and the August convention.  He followed this admission with a big-ass, toothy grin, as if he had just won a stuffed Ninja Turtle from a Captain Claw game.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if he wasn't pulling wings off flies at the same time.  Two words, pal: Vacation.  Now.

CHEERS to newbie nuptials.  Jenna Bush got married over the weekend.  Papa Bush danced with the bride to "You Are So beautiful," a song that I believe is about a guy who's trying to convince a woman to take her bra off.  Meanwhile Mama Bush pulled the groom aside and whispered, "How soon can I move in with you two?"  Mazel Tov!

P.S.  Classy...you betcha!

CHEERS to  Radio.  One hundred years ago today, Wireless Broadcasting was patented (#887,357) by Kentucky melon farmer Nathan B Stubblefield.  It looked something like this.  They called the early years of radio "golden" for a reason.  Limbaugh wasn't on yet.

CHEERS to personal identification.  Yesterday Parade published the annual list of most popular baby names in America, as determined by the Social Security Administration (aka the Eye of Sauron).  The top three girl names are Emily (#1 since 1996), Isabella and Emma.  For the guys, it's Jacob (#1 since 1999), Michael and Ethan.  And moving up two notches, from #10 to #8: William.  In yer face, Matthew and Andrew!

CHEERS to great moments in history.  213 years ago, the self-flushing toilet was patented.  It was voice-activated: "Wench! New bucket!"

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One Year Ago in C&J: May 12, 2007...

JEERS to the Decider Denier.  After USA Today's bombshell  (their Q&As are here) revelation that the NSA is storing all of your phone calls in the Borg, the president promised Americans that it was just "for quality assurance purposes only."  He then put the country on hold and went to lunch.  In other words, business as usual.

"TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK" to Tom DeLay.  The former majority leader's last day of using the Constitution as toilet paper is June 9th.  He's leaving early to answer a higher calling: short-sheeting the beds at nursing homes and stealing kids' lollipops.

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And just one more...

CHEERS to green thumbery.  Lessons from the C&J garden center:

Clean up dog poop before using the weed whacker.

If the neighbors have some new flowers in their garden that would look great in yours, take just enough so that they don’t notice and call the cops.  (This also applies to trees and shrubs.  And lawnmower gas.)

Do not expect your 19 year-old cat to come to you when you say "Here, Kitty Kitty" and you're holding a shovel.

The sight of bees may warm your heart, but do not try to pet them.

A good time to plant ivy is if you wake up and discover that a coffin has worked its way up through your soil.

Be careful not to disturb worms too much when you're digging in the yard.  They've figured out how to work together to unscrew lug nuts.

If you pull a weed, but it turns out to not be a weed on account of it's actually an expensive stargazer lily, do not tell your significant other.

Trust me on that last one.  Unless you really enjoy sleeping under the stars.

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Oh, and don't forget to do your Monday Pootiesthenics.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon May 12, 2008 at 05:38 AM PDT.

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