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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Puff No More

20,679 physicians say "Luckies are less irritating!"
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According to a recent national survey, more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette!
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Toddler: "Gee, Dad, you always get the best of everything…even Marlboros!"
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"As your dentist I would recommend Viceroys!"
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Santa Claus: "Smoke Pall Mall---the cigarette whose mildness you can measure!"
Ah, the glory days of irrationally exuberant cigarette advertising. A time when the most trusted figures in America---doctors, dentists, scientists, athletes, actors, Jolly Old St. Nick---swore up and down that the brand they were hawking was milder, healthier, sexier and more preferred by all the really cool people. Heck, even Saint Ronald Reagan got into the act, boasting: "I'm sending Chesterfields to all my friends. That's the merriest Christmas any smoker can have!"

Funny story, you'll love this: turns out that smoking involves sucking addictive, unconscionably-toxic chemicals into your body, where they do to your cardiovascular and respiratory system what Fox News does to your brain, while laying down enough tar to make your lungs qualify as a federally-approved infrastructure project. Who knew???!!

I'm 47 and I've been around smokers most of my life. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that my mom was puffin' on a butt (King-size Kents were her brand) when she popped me out, because smoking was still tres chic in 1964. When our family traveled we sat in the "smoking section" on airplanes (in the back, so the smoke wouldn’t bother the non-smokers up front---yeah, right). I hung around smokers in college. Smokey bars I frequented never failed to live up to their name. And my partner, Michael, smoked two packs---40 cigs---a day.

But four years ago today he stopped. Hasn't touched one since. He won’t tell you he "quit," though. He simply hasn't reached for another one. For him, leaving the door open instead of slamming it shut makes it easier. He can have one of he wants. (He still keeps an unopened pack of menthol lights in the freezer.)  He just doesn't want one right now. Maybe tomorrow. But probably not.

In a fortuitous bit of timing, today also marks the three-year anniversary of the Daily Kos support group called GUS:

GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or thinking of quitting, please---join us!
Anyone who breaks free of the smoking addiction---or simply attempts to, especially in these nerve-fraying, bullshit times---deserves a medal. As Kossack Wordsinthewind wrote in today's GUS diary: "Finding my way to freedom from smoking was the greatest gift I ever gave myself. Even if the path was long and winding the destination was worth all it took along the way."

Oh, and here's a nice side benefit. Since Michael stopped smoking on June 15, 2008, we've saved roughly $20,000. Or, as Mitt Romney calls it: two bets.

Your west coast-friendly edition of  Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

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Correction: In our poll, the source for the Rep. Lisa Brown line incorrectly quoted her. The actual quote is: "I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no." C&J regrets the error.
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Cheers and Jeers for Friday, June 15, 2012

Note: Spock is shrill.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the world ends on December 21st: 189
Days 'til the Malad Valley Welsh Festival in Malad City, Idaho: 13
Number of water main breaks every day in America: 700
(Source: MSNBC)
Ad revenue per user of Google: $30
Ad revenue per user of Facebook: $4.39
(Source: Fast Company)
Factor by which you divide the seconds between a lightning strike and a thunderclap to determine how far away the storm is: 5
(Source: Parade)
Ratio of American adults who admit to peeing in pools: 1-in-5
(Source: Time)

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NEW! Friday Joe Lieberman Wanker Walk Countdown:
Joe Lieberman will end his Senate reign of error in 214 days.

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Puppy Pic of the Day: I hope they collar the thief…

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CHEERS to stealing the spotlight.  Heh---you can almost hear the Sunday news show producers scrambling to re-jigger their lineups, now that President Obama has throttled back on the deportation of young undocumented immigrants.  Even though it's a limited order, the Hispanic community is feelin' happy today.  Meanwhile, Mitt Romney and his token dreamboat surrogate Sen. Marco Rubio find themselves left in Obama's dust.  They got nuthin' now.  If they try to one-up Obama, their base will find the Magical Mittstery Tour bus and push it over the nearest cliff.  Wow.  Happy Friday!

JEERS to inappropriate frisky'ness.  If you're going to be in New York City Sunday and you have some time, consider joining the March Against Racial profiling.  Writes Denise Oliver-Velez in Black Kos:

I was overjoyed to hear NAACP President Ben Jealous announce a strong coalition of civil rights groups, people of color, unions, and LGBT groups who are joining forces on Father's Day in New York City to protest NY's draconian stop and frisk laws.  I plan to be there and hope to see those of you who are in the NY area.  It will be a silent march---down 5th Avenue, like those held by the NAACP in the past.
The official site with more info is here.  May the silence be deafening.

CHEERS to helping old bigots across Equality Street.  I don’t need to tell you how the Boy Scouts have been locked in a typical conservative time warp, doing everything they can to keep themselves tucked in their Daddy-Knows-Best morality bubble by shunning all things gay.  But that may be starting to crumble.  The recent delivery of over a quarter million petition signatures to the national leadership got lots of coverage.  And now a BSA board member is publicly voicing his dissent of their no-gays policy:

James Turley, global chairman and CEO of consulting and tax firm Ernst & Young, said late Tuesday that his experience had led him “to believe that an inclusive environment” was “important throughout our society. … I support the meaningful work of the Boy Scouts in preparing young people for adventure, leadership, learning and service, however the membership policy is not one I would personally endorse,” he said in a statement first reported by CNBC. “ … I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.”
As a light-in-the-loafers Eagle Scout, I can tell you that's a real breakthrough---a sign that, while the BSA may not be hoisting the white flag of surrender just yet, they're probably quietly patching one together in a tent somewhere.  And once they embrace reality, maybe they'll finally start taking seriously my proposal for a new merit badge: Emergency Jazz-Hands Preparedness.  Trust me---it comes in mighty handy when you're telling a story around the campfire.  Or scaring off a bear.

P.S. Today is the 96th anniversary of the Scouts in the U.S.  In honor of the day, we booted up our computer this morning by rubbing two sticks together.  The fire insurance should cover most of the damage.

JEERS to the difference between then and now.  79 years ago tomorrow, Congress passed the bulk of FDR's ambitious "New Deal" program.  When faced with his own (read: Bush's) economic calamity 75 years later, our current president was met with a wall of GOP resistance in the pursuit of one goal: making him fail.  But it was a bit different back in 1933:

Raymond Moley, a member of FDR’s "brain trust," said many lawmakers "had forgotten to be Republicans or Democrats" as they dealt with the burgeoning crisis.

Sen. Hiram Johnson (R-Calif.) said: "The admirable trait in Roosevelt is that he has the guts to try. ... He does it all with the rarest good nature. ... We have exchanged for a frown in the White House a smile.  Where there were hesitation and vacillation, weighing always the personal political consequences, feebleness, timidity and duplicity, there are now courage and boldness and real action."

The Democrat-inspired New Deal was necessary, visionary, humane, functional, morale-raising, and focused on the downtrodden.  Or as the modern-day GOP leadership (Norquist, Rush, Koch & Koch) calls it: a stain on our nation's history.

CHEERS to Things That Bounce for $400, Alex.  On this date in 1844, Charles Goodyear got a patent for better rubber, which would prove wildly successful in the production of tires.  Not so successful was Goodyear's follow-up: steel-belted condoms.

CHEERS to home vegetation.  Quiet weekend on the TV schedule, but here are a few things that might end up on our tube: on HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher talks to Joseph Stiglitz, Alan Thicke, Karen Finney, David Frum and Kristin Soltis.  New DVD releases include Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes sequel and Nicholas Cage's Ghost Rider sequel.  The U.S. Open golf tourney continues.  Your MLB and NBA schedules are here and here (Heat and Thunder are tied at 1 game apiece).  On 60 Minutes: a rerun interview with Trey Parker and Matt Stone that's worth a second look.

And here's your Sunday morning lineup.  See if you can spot the theme:

Meet the Press: It's David Gregory's turn to babysit John McCain while Cindy goes shopping; David Plouffe; roundtable with Doris Kearns-Goodwin, Mark Halperin, Harold Ford, David Maraniss and Kim Strassel.

This Week: Tim Pawlenty; David Plouffe; roundtable with George Will, Matthew Dowd, former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, and Katrina vanden Heuvel.

Face the Nation: Mitt Romney?  Yup---Mitt Romney; Howard Dean; Sen. Lindsay Fussbucket (R-SC); Rich Lowry, Jan Dickerson and John Dickerson (no relation, but I still lump 'em together and call 'em "The Dickersons" just to piss 'em off); David Plouffe's invisible aura

Bill Moyers & Company (link): Thomas Frank on the fluffer treatment JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon got this week in the Senate; Mother Jones editors Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein on “dark money” that allows the rich to influence elections and legislation; David Plouffe's loafers turn up in the PBS Lost & Found box.

Washington Week: Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post will have the latest from the campaign trail; Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times on whatever the fuck's going on in Europe; Peter Baker of The New York Times talks about the Syrian mess; Tom Gjelten of NPR leaks the latest on the national security leaks; Restraining order against David Plouffe.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Joe Lieberman; David Plouffe; General Michael Hayden; roundtable with Joe Trippi, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams and Karl Rove.

Happy Plouffing!!

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Five years ago in C&J: June 15, 2007

CHEERS to absolutely nothing.  Because that's what will happen to all the heterosexual marriages in Massachusetts, now that the legislature has slapped down a proposed constitutional amendment banning the same-sex kind.  All the straight hand-wringers will have to go on living with the fact that their futures will not be affected a bit by the decision.  I hope the state's psychological counselors aren't on standby to counsel all the people who won’t snap.

JEERS to broken promises.  After thugs blew up the twin towers at the Samarra mosque in Iraq this week, President Bush immediately pledged to rebuild it.  Don’t hold your breath---he promised the same thing when they blew it up the first time:

In the immediate aftermath of [the February, 2006] bombing, U.S. officials and others had promised to help rebuild the landmark dome, completed in 1905, but no rebuilding has begun.
Yes, but there's a perfectly good reason.  The Iraqis didn’t say "please."

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And just one more…

CHEERS to swishing towards Gomorrah Deering Oaks Park.  Southern Maine's 26th annual gay pride parade and festival is tomorrow:

With a vote on gay marriage looming in November, participants in Saturday's Southern Maine Pride Parade & Festival are sure to be extra fired up and energized.  The political message of equal marriage will be everywhere, weaving its way from the floats and the speakers to the overall theme.  "The theme changes every year, and this year it's 'The Power of Pride,' " said entertainment coordinator Sid Tripp.  "Right now, this country is so polarized with gay marriage, we felt that the power of having pride is a very powerful position.  So we wanted to show our strength going into this pride season and into this election season to really push for gay marriage in Maine."
As usual, Michael, Molly and I will be marching in a pair of sensible 14-inch stiletto heels with the PFLAG contingent.  Also as usual, if you show us some leg we'll toss you some candy.

Have a great last weekend of spring and Happy Pappy's Day!  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

2%79 votes
1%48 votes
5%219 votes
36%1382 votes
20%771 votes
1%57 votes
2%106 votes
4%171 votes
0%29 votes
0%14 votes
5%197 votes
17%673 votes
1%69 votes

| 3816 votes | Vote | Results

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