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Reminder: The Netroots for the Troops (NFTT) fundraiser diary Showdown between Droogie6655321 and Jeff Lieber concludes this morning at 10ET. It's Lieber's turn. If you're planning to sit in the front row, bring a raincoat.

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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...

Mailbag

Dear Constituent,

I regret having the affair, taking the bribe, lying to the committee, sitting on the report, raiding your trust fund, hiding the evidence, fudging the numbers, cooking the books, blocking the investigation, leaving the filthy voice mail message, spilling the beans, fabricating the facts, sending the inappropriate email, granting the crony special favors, dodging the question, violating the ethics code, missing the deadline, blowing off the meeting, circumventing the proper procedures, throwing the tantrum, leaking the classified information, covering up the money trail, accepting the unlawful gifts, destroying my opponent's reputation, playing the race card, egging on the crazies, making the crude analogy, deleting the files, cutting off the funding, violating the protocol, starting the bar fight, speeding through the red light, shouting obscenities during the commencement speech, and kicking the cat.

I assure you it was all just a simple misunderstanding.

Sincerely,

[Name Withheld]
United States Congress
Washington, D.C.

P.S. Please donate to my re-election campaign. Together, we can make a difference.

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

Cheers and Jeers---Wonder Women Edition---for Thursday, June 18, 2009

Note:  Sorry, America, but we have to dismantle all our military units.  They share duties, cover for each other, spread their assets around (even their food!), have universal health care, and are completely controlled by big government.  We must get rid of this giant hornet's nest of socialists before it's too late.  Thank you.  ---Mgt.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the next penumbral lunar eclipse: 19
Days `til the Flatlan3D Juggling Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska: 8
Public approval of the Republican party: 25%
Public approval of Barack Obama: 60%
(NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll)
New York City's rank on the list of safest large cities in America: #1
(Source: FBI statistics via The Week)
Value of the Manchester United Soccer Club: $1.87 billion
(Source: USA Today)
Number of Tiki bars in Maine: 0

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

For a long time, "conservatism" was just another word for "racist" in Texas: some were more polite than others.  I first ran across another form of conservatism in the Rocky Mountains in the late 1970's as the "Sagebrush Rebellion" or "Wise Use" movement, corporate-funded anti-environmentalism.

From the beginning, it was all about right-wing money---H.L. Hunt, Coors, Mellon-Scaife---that old batty anti-New Deal money that was always behind the Republican right.  They were against taxes on rich people and against taxes on business, didn’t want limits on pollution, didn’t want limits on exploiting natural resources.  Greed is good, the market is God---same old sorry claptrap we have heard since the end of the robber barons.

---From Who Let the Dogs In?

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  [sigh]  Ramone's late with the daiquiri again...

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CHEERS to entering the fray.  I just found out that federal law demands I say something in C&J about the Letterman-Palin dustup.  So, okay, fine.  I think Letterman's research staff made a huge blunder by mistaking Palin's 14 year-old daughter at the baseball game with her 18 year-old daughter, and that made Letterman's sex joke jaw-droppingly awkward and it's good he apologized.  Meanwhile, the pro-Palin protestors are showing what it looks like to take the high road in response:

"I believe his son was born out of wedlock.  I believe there's a term for that."

"Is someone making jokes about his child?" asked another.  "Especially, you know, when he had a daughter out of wedlock himself" (he didn't; 5-year-old Harry is his only child).

"How dare he?" asked yet a third, the most offensive of all.  "When he has a bastard son, and a slut for a wife" (Letterman's wife Lasko has kept a notoriously low profile).

Ah, civility.  I love happy endings.

CHEERS to gearing up for a fight.  Maine's legislature passed a marriage equality bill in May and the governor signed it...BUT...the Catholic church is leading a happiness-killing effort to squash it by putting a citizens veto question on the ballot in November.  Yesterday the new leading voice of the pro-marriage-equality side announced itself (via email):

The new organization, "Maine Freedom to Marry," will draw on resources that were crucial to the legislative victory this spring, and will also free up the campaign to raise and spend money for the statewide referendum expected this fall. ...

Numerous resources that have been vital to the marriage effort to date will now be coordinated under the auspices of Maine Freedom to Marry. These resources include the field organization and volunteer base developed by EqualityMaine, the legal expertise of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, and the legal and public outreach capacity of the Maine Civil Liberties Union.  Additionally, Maine Freedom to Marry will now take the lead in local and national fundraising to protect marriage equality at the ballot box in November.

No word yet on how the other side is doing with their signature-gathering effort (they need 55,000), but there's little doubt they'll get 'em.  Once they do they'll certainly come out with guns blazing, slathering on the lies and distortions real thick.  So it's good that we're laying the groundwork now and staying a step ahead.  In fact, yesterday I stashed a couple hundred meat-lovers pizzas in the basement for the October phone-bankers.  Next: putting up the "Jesus Says: Gay Marriage Now" yard signs.  I just assume that's what he'd say.  He was a nice man.  And considerate.  Always wore a hair net when he was workin' around the loaves and fishes.

P.S. Oops---the anti-happiness crowd may have just made their first mistake: they went and hired the toxic California PR firm that spearheaded the selling of Prop. 8.  We don’t take kindly to out-of-staters who meddle in our business.  Doo doo, meet bottom of shoe.

CHEERS to Ride's ride.  Twenty six years ago today, strapped inside the Space Shuttle Challenger, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.  (The first woman in space from any country was Russia's Valentina Tereshkova in 1963---boy, did we get scooped on that.)  The flight was momentarily delayed when she made the men on the crew pick up their old Chinese take-out boxes and dirty underwear.  Even worse, she hid the remote and flushed the porn.  Now, that's just cruel.

CHEERS to Day 5.  The Iranian government is doing its darndest to black out communications between Iranian protestors and the outside world, but fat chance 'o that happening, you mullah fuckers.  (Oops, no disrespect---that, uh, slipped out.)  On the slate today, from what I understand: protests that will be Bigger, Longer and Uncut.  Then Friday even larger rallies and some kind of a "big announcement" from Grand Poobah Khamenei.  If it's nothing more than "You kids get offa my lawn," he better be ready to duck.

CHEERS to women with wings.  Seventy seven years ago today, in 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, completing a journey from Newfoundland to Wales in about 21 hours.  And boy were her arms tired.  Ba-boom.  (Yeah!  The old man's still got it!)

CHEERS to Obama the Enforcer.  Yesterday the president outlined his administration's ideas for increasing oversight of the Wall Street gambling industry.  (Geithner will sell it to Congress today---oh, joy.)  Since most people [BiPM raises hand] have no idea how our financial system works, the changes might be great or they might suck---we're guessing they'll fall somewhere in the middle.  But one thing's for sure: the hucksters are already hard at work figuring out ways to game the system.  That's why we love America---we're a nation of thinkers.

JEERS to America's dark ages.  A reminder that we used to be, in certain ways, as backward as any nation that ever was.  On this date in 1873, Susan B. Anthony was fined a hundred bucks for the unpardonable offense of...voting.  The dustup led to immediate outrage and reform.  Unfortunately, in those days "immediate" meant waiting another 50 years before doing anything about it.  By the way, she never paid the fine.  Her descendants now owe the fed, with interest---[clackity clackity clack clack clackity clack]---eight million dollars.  But please not the Susan B. Anthony ones---there's no place in the cash register to put 'em.

CHEERS to the pot paradox.  Marijuana was outlawed decades ago because it was---so the scaremongers said---the cause of violence and destruction as a legal substance.  Terrible, just terrible!  So it’s interesting to see that there's a growing wave of support for legalizing it again...because it's the cause of violence and destruction as an illegal substance:

Pot usage is pervasive.  The latest federal survey indicates that more than 100 million Americans have tried it at some point and more than 14 million used it in the previous month.

Testifying recently before Congress, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said U.S. demand for pot is a key factor in the Mexican drug war.  "The violence that we see in Mexico is fueled 65 percent to 70 percent by the trade in one drug: marijuana," he said.  "I've called for at least a rational discussion as to what our country can do to take the profit out of that."

It's pretty simple:  Tax it.  Regulate it.  Make it illegal for anyone under 21.  Enforce existing penalties for driving stoned.  Keep careful stats.  And then, after a couple years, if it's not working, we can make it illegal again---just like prohibition but in reverse.  I say we give it a go.  Thomas Kincaid is itchin' to unveil his limited-edition collectible seascape bong in Parade magazine.  Nobody says no to him.  Nobody.

CHEERS to Babes on the Bench.  Twenty eight years ago today, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart retired and was replaced by the first female justice, Sandra Day O'Connor.  Rehnquist and the Boys were pissed---they had to start wearing pants.

JEERS to bustin' up the joint.  All right, dammit!  I wanna know right now who broke our Secretary of State!  Whoever you are, I hope you realize what you've done.  Here, let me give you a little preview:

"Hey, welcome to every late-night TV monologue!  Hey, did you hear that Hillary Clinton broke her elbow?  Yeah, it's true.  Yeah.  Yeah.  The doctor says she needs to spend some time recuperating at home.  Naturally, Bill is panicking because it will affect his ability to have adulterous affairs with other women!  Ha Ha Ha!  Bill Clinton sex jokes never get old for us, do they?  Cut me a slice of that!  Whoo...he's in trouble now, boy!  Look out ladies, 'cause Hillary knows judo!  Ha Ha!  Zing!!!  Boy, we got a million of 'em!"

Boy, we gotta vomit.

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Five years ago in C&J: June 18, 2004

CHEERS to Dick Cheney.  Wow...during CNBC interview, he finally says something we can agree on:  "The press, with all due respect, (is) often times lazy, often times simply reports what somebody else in the press said without doing their homework."  Like those bogus Iraq/Al Qaeda links you keep spreading?

CHEERS to Granny D.  At 94, Doris Haddock of New Hampshire is running for the U.S. Senate.  She promises to "raise a little hell" for our team and to "play to win."  We encourage all left-leaning blogs to give her a FREE fundraising ad.  The Repugs had their Thurmond---we deserve our Granny!

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And just one more...

CHEERS to "good old-fashioned common sense---and nothing else."  Sometimes, when the noise over an issue gets so loud that you can barely make sense of it all, it's good to step back and think: Simplicity!  Here's Doctor J. Marcus---who bears an eerie similarity to Fred Willard, which I'm sure is coincidental---to demonstrate his unique brand of universal health care.  Spokespeople for Vernors and Canada Dry issued a joint statement: "We likey!"

Oh, and happy 67th birthday to Roger Ebert.  This clip of outtakes with Gene Siskel is as un-work-friendly as it is un-PC.  Wow.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

This month, thousands of college students will sit scrunched together in flat hats and itchy robes while listening to Bill in Portland Maine give sweeping platitudes---and little practical advice.
---David Randall
Forbes

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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 05:58 AM PDT.

Poll

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