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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Time once again to play History: Cruel...or Kind?

Round 1:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker swiftly, fiercely and proudly signs bills that take away rights from women in the areas of health care, reproductive rights and equal pay.

History will be kind because... Hey, it's just dames. And dames do what Daddy Walkerbucks says or they get a grapefruit in the puss. Right, dollface?

History will be cruel because... [Ducks to avoid airborne lamp]

Verdict: History will be CRUEL. Women were given the right to vote in 1920, and they've pretty much got the hang of it by now. Have fun in the private sector after your humiliating recall, Governor.

Round 2:
Elizabeth Warren raises $6.9 million for her Senate campaign in Massachusetts.

History will be kind because... That's more than double the amount raised by her opponent, incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown.

History will be cruel because... Those contributions came from 30,000 icky commoners, with 83% of them contributing $50 or less. From now on Warren will be associated with the rabble who make up 99 percent of the electorate. They smell funny.

Verdict: History will be KIND. And Elizabath Warren will follow her soon-to-be brilliant Legislative Branch career with an equally dazzling Executive Branch career. But, of course…one step at a time.

Round 3:
Republicans approve a budget that turns Medicare over to the private sector with the long-term goal of killing it entirely.

History will be kind because... it's plain to see that the private health insurance industry is a true champion of patients' rights and they only want what's best for you…if you squint really hard while your brain is turned off.

History will be cruel because... Medicare is such a popular program that even the tea party crowd has threatened to bite the government's hand off if they try to mess with it. (We'll overlook, for the moment, that their reasoning is completely bass-ackward)

Verdict: History will be CRUEL. 228 Republicans actually went on the record and voted to gut Medicare. If Democrats can't make hay out of that in November, I'm turning in my membership card and taking up knitting.

Next week: history judges caterpillars and Chuck Grassley's stupid tweets!

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Note: Two roads diverged in the wood.  I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.  Because my road has waffles at the end of it.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Mother's Day: 33
Days 'til the 39th Fishermen's Festival in Boothbay Harbor, featuring the famous bait shoveling race: 17
Rank of Knoxville, McAllen (TX) and Louisville on the list of the "five most challenging places to live  with spring allergies": #1, #2, #3
(Source: Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America via USA Today)
Increase in retail sales in March: 3.9%
(Source: Retail Metrics)
President Obama's lead over Mitt Romney among women in 12 swing states: 18 points
(Source: USA Today/Gallup Poll)
Hits the National Archives web site got in the eight hours after it released the full census from 1940: 37 million
(Source: Time)
Current box-office haul by The Hunger Games: $302 million

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Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

Thanks for doing your part to give us 4 more years of the thug in chief, moron. When are you idiots going to learn that it’s OVER for Paul, “Sanctimonious Santorum”, and Newt. The country will NOT elect a religious fanatic like Santorum in the general election, and his continued attacks on the eventual nominee---that being Romney---only hurt the GOP’s chances. Ricky is just a whiny little boy who can’t believe people will not elect him. I suppose he couldn’t believe his own damned state booted his butt out in the largest majority in history too?
---Commenter Brce at the Michelle Malkin blog
All together now: 1…2…3… Whoa.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  In the wake of those Dallas-area tornadoes, a happy reunion.

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CHEERS to stumpin' away in Margaritaville.  President Obama travels to Florida today to push for passage of the "Buffett Rule," which would put in place a minimum 30% tax rate for millionaires, billionaires, zillionaires and jillionaires.  He'll have a strong backer: Saint Ronald Reagan The Wise and Fair, from the kingdom of Awesomelandia, who was PISSED that secretaries had to cough up a bigger slice than their bosses.  So if Republicans vote it down next week (starting in the Senate), we'll know that they're beyond redemption and start searching for an ice floe big enough to hold 'em all.  Nah, scratch that…I mean rocket.

JEERS to running things the Republican way: i.e. into the ground.  Thanks to a Chapter 7 filing ($10 million in debts, three two jellybeans in assets), the Gingrich Group's Center for Health Transformation is closing its doors as a think tank.  But before they seal Gingrichcare in amber, I have some questions:

> Has he tried saving it by holding a bake sale?
> And this guy wants us to give him the keys to the United States government?
> Will his child janitors qualify for unemployment benefits?
> Doesn’t he keep his pet billionaire on speed-dial for emergencies like this?
> Isn’t it odd that they couldn't think their way out of this before they tanked?
> Frankly, isn’t this just a conspiracy by the liberal media?
> Does the bankruptcy have anything to do with the fact that the Gingrich Group "once vouched for a form of individual mandate to buy health insurance"?
> Can't he just make up the difference with his revolving Tiffany's account?
> Isn’t it a coincidence that the new Club Med on the moon cost exactly ten million dollars?
> Anyone mind if I eat the last two jellybeans?
Glad I don't have a think tank.  It hurts m'brain.

CHEERS to moments that matter.  Saturday was the third anniversary of the day when the Vermont legislature overrode the governor's veto and made gay marriage legal there.  I bring it up because it's something I forgot to mention in my tribute to Kossack Julie Waters (who died Sunday) yesterday.  She was among the first to apply for a marriage license there, and I'm reminded of her perspective when she wrote about it the day she and Cyndi applied for their license:

Here's the relevant part of the bill that got passed.
§ 8. MARRIAGE DEFINITION
Marriage is the legally recognized union of two people. When used in this chapter or in any other statute, the word "marriage" shall mean a civil marriage.
That's it. It's that simple. It goes into effect today. It's about time.
Later that month, they got hitched, and all hell broke loose.  Oh, wait…no it didn't:
I know I've only been married for a short while, but honestly, what's most special about this for me is the ordinariness of it: the week before the ceremony, people asked me if I were nervous. I really wasn't. The week after, people asked me how it went. And then everything went back to normal. …

[L]et me just say this: pretty much everyone I know, even people I know who are really conservative, seem genuinely happy for us.

I think this is where the people who oppose same-sex marriage will, in the long run, fail: not because they're wrong (which they are) but because when ordinary people know same sex couples who are married, they can see exactly what is there: people who care for one another in the quiet, dull, and ordinary ways everyone else does. When groups claim that same-sex marriage will destroy something, it's prevalent on them to prove it. When they make such unrealistically and obviously false claims, all it takes is an act of truth to prove them wrong.

Julie was married for two and a half years before she passed.  Terribly short.  Cruelly short.    But in that short time she and her lawfully-wedded spouse proved as false everything---everything---the fearmongers and haters claimed.  In that respect she's among the marriage-equality trailblazers, and subsequent knot tiers owe her and the "Vermont Class of '09" their thanks.  It's odd to say this: they helped make it safe for the skeptics to yawn over it.

CHEERS to drilling down to the truth.  McClatchy News reports on a congressional committee meeting that examined soaring gas prices---i.e. what's really causing the pain at the pump.  If you loved the dot-com bubble and the housing bubble, then by golly you'll gush over this:

"It is similar to the gambling Wall Street did on whether or not people would pay their subprime (below-market rate) mortgages in the mortgage meltdown," said Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland and a former federal regulator of financial markets. … Today's routine $4-and-higher prices for a gallon of gasoline have nothing to do with conventional supply-and-demand forces, Greenberger said. He formerly directed regulation of market trading in futures contracts and derivatives for the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.  "It is excessive speculation, which is a fancy word for saying that gamblers wearing Wall Street suits have taken these markets over," he said.
The article points out that "no Republicans were present" at the meeting.  They have more important things to do.  Like, y'know…stuff.  Stuff stuff.  Y'know?

JEERS to non-refundable tickets.  On April 10, 1912, the unsinkable RMS Titanic set off for New York from Southampton, England.  That cruise was a disaster.  The caviar was much too salty.

CHEERS to the calm before the storms. Atlantic hurricane season starts in 52 days, and the meteorological elves at Colorado State University are out with their 2012 forecast.  They're predicting a "below average" year: 10 named storms and only four actual hurricanes...two of them major.  But more important, check to see of your name is on the 2012 storm list:

Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie, William
Remember the meteorological Pottery Barn Rule: if a hurricane named after you breaks it, you buy it.

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Five years ago in C&J: April 10, 2007

CHEERS to waking up.  One of the most frustrating things about the Bush II era has been watching political pundits turn into Rip van Winkles right out of the starting gate.  One of them---Joe Klein---appears to have finally heard the alarm clock that's been beeping for six years:

The three big Bush stories of 2007---the decision to "surge" in Iraq, the scandalous treatment of wounded veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys for tawdry political reasons---precisely illuminate the three qualities that make this Administration one of the worst in American history: arrogance (the surge), incompetence (Walter Reed) and cynicism (the U.S. Attorneys). ... And it is increasingly difficult to imagine yet another two years of slow bleed with a leader so clearly unfit to lead.
For those of us who were conscious in '01, '02, '03, '04, '05 and '06...um, not so difficult.

CHEERS to the new arrival.  Congratulations to the puppet dictator of this blog and his wife for coaxing Baby Elisandra into the world Saturday.  Her first words: "Get me those congressional district maps and the latest numbers from Roll Call---we got work to do!"  A chip off the old block.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to Jotter: International Man of Mojo.  I've was digging through the pink slime-slathered C&J archives over the weekend and I noticed that April 10th has cultural significance here at the Great Orange Satan.  Today is We Love Jotter Day.  Day in, and day out, and day kinda-sorta-in-and-out-at-the-same-time, the Kossack titan labors over a two-story-tall abacus (each bead weighs 20 pounds), ranking the most popular diaries of the previous day using a measurement---the "bharns" named after yours truly for reasons involving huge sums of cash---and keeping track of the death spiral of Daily Kos by posting the ever-swelling number of new user registrations (339,549 as of yesterday).  So watch for today's High Impact Posts post and give him a big 'ol "Recommend" for a job consistently well done.  And a butt slap for…oh, whatever you come up with.

Have a jotterrrrrrific Tuesday!  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"It's always good to have Bill in Portland Maine on your side."
---President Obama

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Poll

Do you tend to feel more, or less, optimistic about life when the Republican-led House is in recess for the week?

83%2473 votes
7%225 votes
8%264 votes

| 2964 votes | Vote | Results

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