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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Late Night Snark: In Like a Lion Edition

"In his final speech before resigning, Pope Benedict said that he is not abandoning the Catholic Church. Like most Catholics, he'll be back for Christmas and Easter."
---Jimmy Fallon

"Fox news host Bill O'Reilly is writing a new book about the killing of Jesus. It'll be the first time Jesus's death is blamed on Obamacare."
---Conan O'Brien

"Obama hosted a Google chat and somebody asked him why don't we get rid of the penny. And he said as long as we're getting rid of stuff that's bronze and useless, how about John Boehner?"
---Bill Maher

"Anyone in the TV business knows that the best way to create a hit show is not to create one---instead, import a hit show from overseas. NBC's The Office came from Britain's The Office … and Chris Matthews' Hardball was adapted from the Irish children's program, The Very Angry Potato."
---Stephen Colbert

Antonin Scalia flipping the Italian bird
Troll
"Someone hacked into Donald Trump's Twitter account. It's filled with offensive nonsense and stupid jokes. Then it got hacked."
---Craig Ferguson

"He's a troll. He's saying [the Voting Rights Act is a 'perpetuation of racial entitlement'] for effect. He knows it's offensive, and he knows it's going to get a gasp from the courtroom and he loves it. He's like the guy on your blog comment thread who's using the N-word. He's that kind of guy."
---Rachel Maddow's take on Antonin Scalia, last night on The Daily Show

The legacy of Saint Ronald Reagan lives on. Rah rah.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, March 1, 2013

Note: That wall calendar ain’t gonna flip itself, you know.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til March Madness starts with "Selection Sunday" : 16
Days 'til the San Diego Science Festival: 15
Money spent on lobbying by pharmaceutical and other health-care industries and organizations between 1998 and 2012: $5.36 billion
Money spent on lobbying by defense-related industries between 1998 and 2012: $1.53 billion
(Source: Time)
Rank of blue states Hawaii, Colorado and Minnesota among states with the highest well-being rating: #1, #2, #3
Rank of red states Mississippi, Kentucky, and West Virginia on the well-being list: #48, #49, #50
(Source: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index)
Percent chance that a tauntaun smells bad on the outside, but even worse on the inside: 100%
(Source: Han Solo)

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Pug sledding whooooo!!!

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Rush Limbaugh as a pig
True fact: March 1 is National Pig Day
CHEERS to March!  Highlights of the month that will soon erupt into madness: Coming in like a lion, Daylight Saving Time, International Women's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Worship of Tools Day (not sure if they mean the screwdriver or the Ted Cruz variety), Something-on-a-Stick Day, the infamous Ides, Spring(!!!), Easter…and then going out like a lamb.  DOMA and Prop. 8 finally---finally!!!---go in front of the Supreme Court.  I also believe it's one of the months of the year in which members of the House tea party caucus act like total dicks, the others being January, February, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December.  Plus this: as of today we've made it through one-sixth of 2013.  Slap another gold star on your tuckus and...Forward!

JEERS to the calamity du jour.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, your government has decided that we all must suffer because…um…because we all must suffer.  Yes, the drastic budget cuts known as "sequestration" are in effect as of today, and here are some pointers to get you through it:

DO: remain calm
DON'T: kick the cat
DO: openly express disgust with the actions of House and Senate Republicans
DON'T: go on a solo multi-state bank robbing spree
DO: pick me up so I can join you on your multi-state bank robbing spree
DON'T: forget to gas up the car first
DO: bring enough snacks for both of us
DON'T: tell anyone that our guns are carved out of bars of soap and made to look real with shoe polish
Plus DON'T try to fly, eat, drink, pee, poop, get educated, get healthy, be a woman or a child, get a weather forecast or feel safe.  Also the old pope wants to come with us to rob banks, so bring an extra bar of soap and stocking mask.

P.S. Don't worry about Congress---they still get to keep their full pay, health insurance, pension, parking spot and diamond-encrusted lapel pins.  Because, hey, let's not get crazy.

CHEERS to helping hands. The Peace Corps turns 52 today, and it's still crankin' out the awesome:

President Kennedy Greeting Peace Corps Volunteers August 09, 1962  
President Kennedy greets
Peace Corps volunteers.
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries.
Fifty-two years later, it's still "The toughest job you'll ever love."  Especially if you bring a few cases of Bacardi.  And limes.  Without limes it's intolerable.

CHEERS to unexpected surprises.  I didn’t think the Obama administration would weigh in on the Prop. 8 appeal case that's going in front of the Supreme Court this month.  I thought they'd consider it a state issue and leave it alone.  Well, I'm happy to be as wrong as a photo of Mitch McConnell in a thong on the cover of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog.  The scope of their brief is interesting:

Sign:
Demons of love, baby.
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In essence, the position of the federal government would simultaneously give some support to marriage equality while showing some respect for the rights of states to regulate that institution.

What the brief endorsed is what has been called the “eight-state solution”---that is, if a state already recognizes for same-sex couples all the privileges and benefits that married couples have (as in the eight states that do so through “civil unions”) those states must go the final step and allow those couples to get married.  The argument is that it violates the Constitution’s guarantee of legal equality when both same-sex and opposite-sex couples are entitled to the same marital benefits, but only the opposite-sex couples can get married.

In addition to California, those states are Hawaii, Delaware, New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island, Nevada and Oregon.  The administration's support echoes that of a whole gaggle of Republicans and major corporations who filed briefs earlier this week.  The other side, meanwhile, is submitting a brief from Henny Penny, a box of locusts, and a CD of Anita Bryant's greatest hit.

CHEERS to bustin' outta this taco stand.  On tomorrow's date in 1836, the Republic of Texas---bless their ten-gallon hearts---formally declared its independence from Mexico.  Then on March 2, 1861, Texas joined the Confederacy after declaring independence from the Union.  Today, Texas's current governor and his tea party orcs talks openly about re-declaring independence from the United States.  Because you know what they say: If at first you do secede, try try again.  Why they say that I have no idea.

CHEERS to home vegetation.  Nothing earth-shattering on TV this weekend, but here's what we got:  On HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher talks with cybersecurity poobah James Lyne, Snoop Dogg Lion, Gavin Newsom, Steve Schmidt and Monica Mehta.  New DVD releases include The Master (with Oscar nominees Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams), and an apparently amazing BBC documentary called Africa.  Kevin Hart (who?) hosts SNL.  In the NHL, the Blackhawks and the Red Wings knock each other's teeth out Sunday.  On 60 Minutes: the looming "pop!" of China's real estate bubble.

Meanwhile Bill Moyers picks the brain of 19-year old Louisianan Zack Kopplin about his fight against creationism being taught as science in schools, and journalist Susan Jacoby talks about "the role secularism and intellectual curiosity have played throughout America’s history."  Finally, here's your Sunday morning lineup, now with C&J's EXCLUSIVE Vapidity Index:

Meet the Press: John Boehner drives the camera color adjusters bonkers; roundtable with Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), Kathleen Parker (WaPost), Joy-Ann Reid (Grio), Tom Brokaw and Chuck Todd.  For those of you keeping score, that's a roundtable with four conservatives and one liberal.  Balance!  Vapidity Index10

This Week: Because there are no other pressing issues, ABC News has booked White House economic advisor Gene Sperling to talk about the Bob Woodward emails; Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) will no doubt work Benghazi into every one of her answers on the sequester; roundtable with Paul Gigot, Cokie Roberts, Matthew Dowd, Mia Love, and James Carville.  Vapidity Index: 10

Mourdock and Romney campaigning together, with caption:
I sure hope Chris Wallace
asks Mitt to explain this.
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Face the Nation: This weekend it's Bob Schieffer's turn to babysit John McCain while Cindy goes shopping; as if that's not bad enough, he'll be joined at the hip with Lindsay Graham and poor Dick Durbin has to breathe the same oxygen.  Plus Catholic cardinal Timothy Dolan.  Bob Woodward tries (and fails) to de-asshole-ize himself.  Vapidity Index: 10

CNN's State of the Union: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) slings obstructionist hash; Gene Sperling goes all shruggy-shoulders on Bob Woodward again; Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) find common ground as they both agree the Oscars sucked; roundtable with Stephen Moore (WSJ), Susan Page (USA Today), Mark Zandi (Moody's).  Vapidity Index: 10

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Ann and Mitt Romney discuss their irrelevance to any future national discussion on any topic with the possible exception of greed, superiority complexes and pancakes.  Vapidity Index: 11

Happy sleeping in!

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Five years ago in C&J: March 1, 2008

CHEERS to overdue departures.  Defense Department general counsel William Haynes is a dick.  I know he is because he thinks torture is The American Way, and he warned that no inmates should be allowed to leave Guantanamo except in a body bag.  Well, William Dickhead Haynes is leaving Washington.  If there's any justice he'll be hogtied to a rail on his way out.

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And just one more…

Earth
Happy Birthday to you,
Ohio and Nebraska!!!!
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CHEERS to the swingiest swing state in all of Swingdom. I was hatched at Mercy Hospital in Mount Vernon, Ohio in August of 1964, and that makes me a dyed-in-the-wool Buckeye.  So it goes without saying that today I'm wishing a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my home state---210 years young.  Seven mostly-crappy presidents from Ohio were elected, and you all wisely stopped nominating us after Harding kicked the bucket.  It's the only state whose flag is a pennant.  And we're the proud birthplace of Steven Spielberg, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Orville Wright, Clark Gable, Gloria Steinem and one or two others.  Oh, and in the interest of fairness I should also mention that some people say Nebraska was admitted to the union on this date in 1867.  Can't say I'm familiar with it, but I'll take 'em at their word.

Okay, that's all I got.  Have a great first weekend of March.  Now here's Van Cliburn to play us out:

Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

10%372 votes
2%76 votes
15%560 votes
1%51 votes
8%303 votes
7%287 votes
4%156 votes
16%601 votes
0%20 votes
19%719 votes
6%238 votes
1%59 votes
2%84 votes
3%140 votes

| 3668 votes | Vote | Results

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