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Ronald Reagan's Stuck in My Closet

Seriously. My Boy Scouts of America Eagle certificate bears the signature of Saint Ronald Wilson Reagan. It's in my closet at the moment, in a box. If the Scouts relax their policy against gays this week, as many expect, I might even let the Gipper's John Hancock out for some fresh air. (While I'm at it I might do the same with my grandfather's Scouting membership cards, which are signed by another Wilson guy: Woodrow.)

According to Gallup, 62 percent of 18 to 29 year-old Americans are OK with teh gay.

Oops...did I say 62 percent? Silly me, that was a 2002 poll. The 2012 poll number is actually 76 percent. In other words, I think the writing is on the birch bark. It may happen in stages, but the BSA is in the process of evolving.

Marshmallow on stick over campfire
The key to a perfect marshmallow?
Hold it over the fire for two hours.
And, of course the usual conservative suspects are trotting out their usual getting-more-hollow-by-the-day talking points. Exhibit A: Texas Governor Rick Perry:
“I think most people see absolutely no reason to change the position and neither do I… To have popular culture impact 100 years of their standards is inappropriate. I think you get tolerance and diversity every day in Scouting.”
Yes---the BSA can only be tolerant and diverse by preventing more tolerance and diversity. Cue the rim shot. And extra points off, Governor, for not knowing the difference between tolerance (grudging acceptance) and inclusion (free and open acceptance).

Meanwhile, Rick Santorum, once the Republican frontrunner for the presidency, trots out the old saw that allowing gay teens in Scouting will cause a “mass exodus…leaving the Scouts hollowed at its core.” What a drama queen. You know who else predicted a mass exodus? A bunch of retired military hand-wringers a few years ago over repeal of the 'Don’t Ask Don’t Tell' policy:

[O]ur active-duty, reserve and National Guard forces would lose 228,600 people---more than the total of today's active-duty Marine Corps. Losses of even a few thousand sergeants, petty officers and experienced mid-grade officers, when we are trying to expand the Army and Marine Corps, could be crippling.
Yeah. Feel the exodus-mentum! Thhppt.

These sorry, silly arguments just aren't playing anymore. As we saw in the Prop. 8 trial (now in front of the Supreme Court), a wise judge ruled, based on a mountain of evidence, that the only reason for GLBT discrimination is garden-variety hostility and bigotry. Same thing, I'd add, with their rules on religious conformity, which are also due for a rewrite.

It'll be interesting to see what kind of policy shift the BSA makes this week. (Perhaps the 1.4 million petition signatures delivered yesterday will help guide their decision.) I know many here at Daily Kos say we shouldn't care about the organization. I'm not active in it anymore, but I've tied so many knots, nursed so many blisters, torched so many marshmallows, frozen so many toes, bagged so many snipes, captured so many flags, bandaged so many first-aid dummies, and helped so many old ladies across the street (with a 75 percent success rate) not to care.

And if they go beyond my expectations, I may just pull Saint Ronnie out of my closet and stick him back up on my wall.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Note: I had a handshake deal with today's note.  It reneged.  Lesson: never trust a note named Mitch.


By the Numbers:
Days 'til Daylight Saving Time starts: 33
Days 'til the Merrimack River Eagle Festival in Massachusetts: 4
Portion of the U.S. population that will get hit with food poisoning this year: 1-in-6
Number of people who will end up in the hospital with food poisoning: 128,000
(Source: CDC)
Estimated amount by which New Jersey's shoreline shrank because of superstorm Sandy: 35 feet
(Source: Harper's Index)
Approximate number of streets in Portland, Maine: 850
(Source: The Portland Daily Sun)
States with a higher proportion of cat owners than Vermont: 0
(Source: Time)


Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

Tea Party Pig
Radical Arab muslims are invading our borders and ports and before you know it we will be under attack because Obama wants to enslave us because he wants to be like his heroes Hilter and Stalin. Soviet and Chinese troops are already here, so wake up America before you get slaughtered in the middle of the night because your leaders do not care aif we are mass murdered at the hands of UN troops or Soviets and the CHINESE, JIHADISTS AND THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD AND OTHER COMMUNISTS.! GOD SAVE US NOW THROUGH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST FROM ALL THESE EVIL PEOPLE.
---Commenter Nusque at World Net Daily
All together now: 1…2…3… CLASSY!


Puppy Pic of the Day:  41 days after superstorm Sandy, a happy ending…


CHEERS to weekend warriors.  What do the combined Sunday morning network talking-head shows have in common with a typical football game?  Answer: there's a total of about 10 minutes of action and the rest is just guys sitting around picking their noses.  Fortunately, Think Progress has gift-wrapped the two best highlights from this past weekend.  Paul Krugman was on the This Week roundtable and rebutted Carly Fiorina's contention that government employees are all nameless, faceless bureaucrats:

Paul Krugman, holding cat
"You lose, Ms. Fiorina.
Bwoo haha!  Bwoo haha!"
"When we talk about public sector jobs---when we look at the ones that have been lost in large numbers in this---it’s basically school teachers. Don’t think about bureaucrats. It’s school teachers. What we’ve laid off hundreds of thousands of school teachers. And when we talk about the cuts in public spending that have happened, they are not, you know, some god awful who knows what. It’s actually public investment. It’s largely fixing potholes and repairing bridges.

So, you know, you have this image of these wasteful bureaucrats doing god knows what. What we’ve seen is an incredible drought of basic infrastructure, and laying off hundreds of thousands of school teachers."

Awesome.  That's what you get when you pit a Nobel prize winner in economics against a failed political candidate whose legacy is a TV ad starring "demon sheep."  And the second high point of Sunday morning comes from---sitting down?---Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday, who stared down NRA mouthpiece Wayne LaPierre and said to his face, "That's ridiculous, sir, and you know it!"  Prediction: Chris Wallace won't be getting his usual Whitman's assault rifle sampler for Christmas this year.

CHEERS to Hatfields vs. McCoys redux.  I thought I'd tip you off on this development so you'll have a chance to stock up on popcorn and refreshing frosty beverages.  There's a war a'brewing---a war between Karl Rove's country clubbers and Jim DeMint's tea party patriots.  It will be ugly, brutish and spittle-splattered.  At stake: nothing less than the heart and soul of the Republican party.  And seeing as the Republican party has no heart or soul, this could take a while.  You want butter on your popcorn?

JEERS to the price poor people pay so the rich can have their tax cuts.  Behold the spoils of austerity:

West Quoddy Lighthouse in Eastport, Maine
As far as I know, our governor can't
slash Maine's scenery from the budget.
Medicaid recipients in Maine are receiving some bad news in the mail.

In the past week, recipients of roughly 20,800 letters from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services received confirmation that they would lose Medicaid benefits due to state budget adjustments made in the previous [Republican-led] session.

The letters, which went out late last week and early this week, warn that, effective March 1, recipients will no longer be eligible for benefits due to cutbacks in the state's MaineCare program, the state's version of Medicaid.

Meanwhile, Governor Paul LePage, who wanted even more drastic cuts on poor people's health services, stormed out of a meeting after swearing up a storm at three independent House members who dared to suggest that rescinding recently-passed tax cuts for the rich might be a prudent idea.  This is the governor's third year in office, and after promising to "open Maine for business," business pretty much still sucks.  Turns out the magic Gadsden unicorn he rode in on was nothing but a mop with a saddle on it.  But, on the bright side…um…it's purty up here.

CHEERS to the Illinois governor who took on the Kansas general.  Happy 112th birthday to Adlai Stevenson II.  He lost to Dwight Eisenhower in both 1952 and 1956.  Then again, I think God herself would have.  But as U.N. Ambassador he pleasantly surprised the Kennedy administration by giving the Russians hell during the Cuban missile crisis.  And he sure understood Republicans:

Adlai Stevenson II 1952 political ad
1952 Stevenson camoaign ad.
"A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation. "
"I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them."
"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take."
"The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear breeds repression."
Pay your respects here.  Democrats rock.

CHEERS to amazing discoveries.  Here's something you don't see every day: in Leicester England they discovered that someone had buried the bones of Richard III under a parking lot.  "Hey, don’t look at me," said the dog.


Five years ago in C&J: February 5, 2008

JEERS to straight talk vs. crazy talk.  John Aravosis at Americablog says John McCain vilifies patriotic gay Americans in public (among other things, using that old chestnut "special rights" in stump speeches)...except when he's palling around with 'em in private:

McCain has always surrounding himself with gay men.  Ever since I worked on the Hill in the late 80s, early 90s, McCain always had gay men on staff in senior positions. ... But now we're to believe that McCain suddenly has a problem with the gays and their "special rights." ... There's a reason that conservatives don't trust McCain.  He's just a more refined version of Mitt Romney.  Say one thing, do another.
I know.  Shocking.

JEERS to small-time crooks.  This is creative, if disgusting: a gang of enterprising thieves, pretending to be bus travelers, zips a "short person" into a suitcase, which is stowed in the luggage compartment.  During the ride, the diminutive accomplice unzips himself and rifles through other passengers' stuff.  It's become such a lucrative form of thievery that thieves are now hiring short people to steal other thieves' short people.  This can't end well.


And just one more…

CHEERS to the joke of the butt.  Did you hear about the guy in Florida who was arranging a drug deal in the cab of his tow truck?  No?  Well, the cops did.  Mainly because the guy arranging the drug deal sat on his phone, which butt-dialed 911 and allowed the men in blue to hear it live and track him down.  He's busted.  What an ass.

Oh, and Betty White's Second Annual 90th Birthday Special is tonight on NBC.  Freakin' Energizer Bunny, that one.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Look outside.  A moment ago, was it bright, and warm, and sunny?  Did a cloud just move across the sky and block out the sun completely?  Did a monstrous shiver just rack your body, as though somewhere a Great Evil had been loosed upon the world?  That is because some idiot claims people want Bill in Portland Maine to run for John Kerry’s seat in the United States Senate.


Overall, which of these issues are you following most closely at the moment?

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