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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

? + ? = ?

When I run out of answers I ask questions:

  • What the hell have the honchos at AIG and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett been smoking?
  • Who will become a Fox News contributor first: Joe Lieberman or Allen West?
  • Would the House of Representatives be more useful to the country if it was rented out as a banquet hall until Democrats win it back?
  • At what point on the Richter Scale will a fracking-related earthquake have to register before the country's hair stands on end?
  • Does it bother anyone else that we don’t have a national plan for what to do if we lose gravity?
  • Isn't it refreshing to see a pollster---I'm lookin' at you, PPP---do an occasional survey for its humor value?
  • Am I the greatest living practitioner of false choice, or are you a stain on the fabric of humanity?
  • Could I be any more disappointed in the makers of Zero Dark Thirty for glorifying the use of torture by the U.S.?
  • Does it come as a relief that David Bowie released a new single yesterday (with an album due in March) so we don’t have to wonder anymore if he'd turned into a muttering recluse with three-foot-long fingernails living in a dusty manor on nothing but canned haggis?
  • Is Iraq liking us or not liking us these days and do we really care anymore?
  • If we had to spend a bunch of money to divert an asteroid heading straight toward us, would Republicans force us to offset it with cuts in domestic programs first?
Those oughtta keep us busy for awhile.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Note: Remember that protein is very important for your body's ability to restore and repair itself.  Please make sure you eat at least five servings of fresh hair and fingernails per day.
---C&J Health Dept.
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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Star Trek: Into Darkness: 128
Days 'til the 7th annual Brewski Microbrew Festival at Indianhead Mountain in Michigan: 10
Average U.S. miles-per-gallon achieved in 2012, an increase of 1.3 mpg from 2011 and a new record: 23.8
(Source: NBC News)
Number of days in which Chicago has gone without an inch of snowfall, breaking the record set in 1940: 320
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
Average high temp in Portland, Maine in 2012, tied with 2010 as a record high: 49.2 degrees
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)
Percent chance that the Eurozone achieved another record high unemployment rate in November: 100%
(Source: CNN)
Number of smartphones AT&T sold in the fourth quarter of 2012, a record: 10 million

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 184 (including 4 Date Settings and 1 Face of Evil).  Soul Protection Factor 8 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Meet Terfel's seeing-eye cat Pwditat…

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CHEERS and JEERS to a portrait in contrasts.  In this corner, former congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly:

"I bought a gun at Walmart recently and I went through a background check. It's not a difficult thing to do," Kelly said.  "Why can't we just do that and make it more difficult for criminals and the mentally ill to get guns?"  The debate over high-capacity magazines and assault weapons has been renewed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.  Kelly, a veteran of Desert Storm and a gun owner, said he doesn't believe an extended magazine is necessary for the sport.  "An extended magazine is used to kill people," he said, "lots of people."
Smart. Sane Sensible. And in this corner, this guy:
"Megabanks taken everybody's guns but the Swiss and the American people!!!  And when they get our guns, they can have their world tyranny … [their] New World Order!!! … I'm here to tell you 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!"
Mommy, do I really have to defend to the death his right to say that?  Cuz I don't wanna.

JEERS to Hacksaw McMeanie.  Maine Governor Paul LePage haz a bit of a sad today.  Seems he only achieved a half victory in his quest to convince HHS to approve his plan for making Maine sicker and deathier.  Still, he does have a partial smirk on his face today because…

More than 20,000 low-income Mainers will lose health care coverage on March 1 because of Medicaid cuts sought by Gov. Paul LePage and approved this week by the federal government. … It also allowed the state to deny or reduce Medicaid health care and prescription drug coverage for 8,250 elderly and disabled adults in the Medicare Savings Plan. About 2,600 of those people will lose all coverage under the Medicare Savings Plan and Drugs for the Elderly programs, Mayhew said.
Among civilized countries, only in America would that be called a solution.  We're weird.

CHEERS to the Nutmeg State. Connecticut entered the union on this date in 1788.  It's responsible for giving us the nuclear submarine, Pez candy, the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and lollipops.  Plus also Joe Lieberman.  Oh well…no one's perfect.

CHEERS to the prince of the progressive putdown.  He's back, baby, and rockin' Congress's rafters:

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) on Monday mocked the 67 House Republicans who voted against disaster relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Sanday.  “It’s the same 67 over and over again,” he noted on The Stephanie Miller Show. “It’s the bath salts caucus, the people that would rather eat your face than cut taxes on the rich.”
And he's juuuuuust getting started.

The United nations on opening day: january 9, 1951
John Bolton once talked of removing the
top ten floors of the UN building. What a dick.
CHEERS to world peace...or some approximation thereof.  On January 9, 1951, the United Nations headquarters officially opened in New York City. From its preamble:
WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
• to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
• to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
• to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
• to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
It drives conservative paranoids crazy because they think the boys and girls in the blue helmets are gonna impose martial law and take control of our cities and towns without any regard for the principles of democracy.  Idiots---they're obviously confusing the U.N. with Michigan.

CHEERS to the slimy centenarian.  (C&J has a policy of never jeering someone on their birthday, no matter how deserving.)  Today is Richard Nixon's birthday.  Said the late Andy Rooney a couple years back: "I forget how Richard Nixon got elected. It makes you wonder about our democratic system of government.  I mean, how could we have done that?"  And in their great book Rating the Presidents, Bill Ridings, Jr. and Stuart McIver write:

Richard Nixon with Elvis Presley
President Nixon, seen
here with Vice President
Presley, turns 100 today.
The president that Richard Nixon, a Republican, admired most was a Democrat---Woodrow Wilson.  Both were dedicated to world peace.  Shortly after Nixon's inauguration, he had Wilson's huge desk moved into the Oval Office.  Since he liked to sit with his feet on the desk, his heels left scars.  Once, while he was abroad, someone had the mahogany surface refinished.  Nixon was not pleased: "Dammit, I didn't order that.  I want to leave my mark on this place just like the other presidents."

Richard Milhous Nixon left his mark, but it was more than scuff marks on a desktop.  The mark he left behind was a scar on a nation he betrayed.  In the cause of peace he achieved an enviable record in foreign affairs, proving himself a highly-effective president.  Then he threw it all away.

Nixon is the first president I actually have any memory of.  I was five when he basked in the glory of the Apollo 11 mission ("Hello, Neil"), and that left an impression on me.  I didn’t understand Watergate very well when it hit a handful of years later, and I cried when he boarded that helicopter and flashed his last awkward V-for-Victory sign.  Today is Nixon's 100th birthday, and I know something now that I didn’t know then: damn, I'm old.

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Five years ago in C&J---January 9, 2008 NH Primary results:

CHEERS to the Comeback Kid.  Wow, it feels like 1992 all over again.  After seeing her campaign's back get filled with daggers and dumped into the Piscataqua River, Hillary Clinton clawed her way back and took revenge against her naysayers last night (39 percent to Obama's 36).  Kudos to the New Hampshire voters who sent a message to America: "Never take us for granite. Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!"  (Igneus rock humor---never fails.)

JEERS to the biggest loser.  The Cliffs Notes version of Mitt Romney's concession speech last night in the wake of McCain's victory: "I spent seven billion dollars in New Hampshire and all I got was this lousy second-place showing."  By the time it's all over, the only thing he'll have left to will to the kids will be a pair of socks.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the return of Major Tom.  To the world's detriment, no one's seen or heard much of David Bowie for half a dozen years and he hasn’t produced an album in a decade. That changed yesterday when he released a new single for his 66th birthday---a preview of a new album coming in March.  Yay!  The single is called Where Are We Now?  It's odd, unsettling, nostalgic, and the lyrics start out like a German version of Google Maps:

All of which is to say…me likey.

Have a nice Wednesday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"I need Cheers and Jeers like I need a hole in the head."
---John Boehner

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Poll

Should Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick let Barney Frank finish out John Kerry's term in the Senate when Kerry becomes Secretary of State?

88%5742 votes
6%412 votes
1%89 votes
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| 6479 votes | Vote | Results

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