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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

The Week Ahead

Monday A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 98 percent of Americans agree with the statement, "Fuck Monday."

House Republicans cancel a vote on a resolution condemning themselves for cutting their pay and benefits as part of the sequester after realizing that they didn’t cut their pay and benefits as part of the sequester.

When asked who his guests were yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace draws a blank.

Tuesday The Republican-chaired House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing called Near-Zero Rate, Near-Zero Effect? It's either about monetary policy or the speed at which Republican re-branding efforts are translating into new converts.

U.S. Capitol building
Also this week: the chambers
of the U.S. Capitol are officially
designated National Sinkholes.
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor appears on The Daily Show to explain how handing the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000 turned out to be a super-awesome thing for the country. So it's basically six minutes of silence.

A Vatican official confirms that after three days of retirement ex-Pope Benedict XVI is addicted to The Price Is Right.

Wednesday Republican governors and Republican-led state legislatures across America call for laws making life more difficult for women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, sick people, the unemployed, teachers, first responders, minority voters and city governments. After lunch they hold a rally condemning the federal government for being too intrusive.

Bob Woodward is taken in for observation after he tells a D.C. park ranger that the invisible pigeon on his head threatened to break his kneecaps if he didn’t drop trou and pee in the Reflecting Pool.

Thursday Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia accepts his fourth consecutive Troll of the Decade award in a ceremony under the 14th Street Bridge.

Netroots Nation starts 15 weeks from today. Drinking at Netroots Nation starts 15 weeks and 1 minute from today.

Friday A day after Republicans predict horrible employment numbers for February and preemptively blame President Obama, the Labor Department releases decent employment numbers for February, which Republicans immediately take credit for.

It's International Women's Day. International men: tonight you cook.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, March 4, 2013

Note: Due to the sequester, which has caused our federal note inspectors to be furloughed, today's note may contain salmonella.  We regret the inconvenience.  ---Mgt.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til "Play ball!": 27
Days 'til the Asheville Bread Festival in North Carolina: 19
Number of desertion cases pending in the U.S. Marines: 540
Minimum percent of those cases that are over 20 years old: 51%
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)
Amount the Egyptian government spent in January on an emergency order of 140,000 U.S.-made tear-gas cannisters: $2.5 million
(Source: Time)
Amount the 9 million visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park spent in the surrounding area last year: $818 million
(Source: USA Today)
Approximate ounces of alcohol consumed in the movie Animal House: 18,040
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)

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NEW!  California Dreamin'

Brought to you by the 2013 Netroots Nation Convention in San Jose, June 20-23.  Here's something you don’t see every day: a human-size Monopoly board:

Monopoly in the Park--San Jose, CA
"Yay! I rolled Doubles!"
Welcome to Monopoly in the Park, the world's biggest version of the most popular board game ever, and San Jose's new "larger than life" attraction. Here in the park, the real estate market is always booming, as property is traded on a 930-square foot permanent Monopoly board. Now everyone has a chance to make it big in Silicon Valley real estate. …  Participants play with jumbo dice, don gigantic token-shaped hats, and occasionally even wear jailhouse garb.  Monopoly in the Park is Big fun for: Family reunions, field trips, company picnics, birthday parties, and corporate team building events.
Maybe even, I dunno, just throwin' this out there: a netroots convention?

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Mush.

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CHEERS and JEERS to making cents (and also losing them).  Being a world-renowned fauxconomist, I know that my opinion can have an overly-influential, um, influence on the fiduciary proceedings of the global markets and pork belly futures.  So I'll simply stay neutral and start the week in economics with some traditional-media headlines.  Caution---whiplash ahead:

Civilian helicopter in fllight
Keep your eyes peeled, kids!
Rumor has it Ben Bernanke
will be out dropping money
from a helicopter this week.
Auto sales surge
Income takes sharpest drop in 20 years
Manufacturing sector picks up steam
Girls Gone Wild goes bankrupt
Budget cuts likely to be felt on Main Street
Jobless claims hint at improving labor market
Market resiliency could bleed into March
Sitting on piles of cash, investors are afraid
Obama may tap Walmart's Burwell as budget chief
Tooth Fairy indicator: baby teeth up 15 percent
Today on the lunch menu: chicken stir-fry and irrational exuberance.

Money bag
Mitt Romney relaxes
in the Fox green room.
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JEERS to the return of Starchypants McChocolategoodies.  If you noticed that the water pressure went down all of a sudden at around 9:10am yesterday, here's the explanation: at 9am, moments after hearing that Mitt and Ann Romney were announced as Chris Wallace's guests, Fox News Sunday viewers decided it was the perfect time to take their Sunday morning dump and they all flushed at the same time.  As for the interview, we were reminded once again that arrogance never takes a holiday in Romney Land, as he blamed his loss on the moochers who think an improved healthcare system is a good thing.  Meanwhile, when asked about his future plans, Romney said, "CPAC this month and then lots of mahjong with Bush I, Bush II and Bob Dole."  Ten-thousand bucks a game, we hear.

CHEERS to the land of milk and hippies.  Happy birthday, Vermont!!!  You became our 14th state on Sunday's date in 1791.  Besides Ben and Jerry, Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and a nuclear power plant that makes me nervous, Vermont is home to Howard Dean, who became the first governor to pass civil unions for same-sex couples and exclaimed, "YOU have the power!"  It's also the birthplace of the 21st U.S. President Chester Arthur and the 30th U.S. President and founding member of The Village People, Calvin Coolidge, who slept ten hours a day and once murmered, "When a great many people are unable to find work, unemployment results."  Saaaaaa…lute!

JEERS to going down fast.  Whenever I hear a story about a sinkhole like the one in Florida that pulled some poor guy down while he slept, my mind goes back to my first big assignment in radio news.  It was July, 1986, and I was sent down by the news staff at 610AM WTVN ("The Full Service Giant") to cover the giant sinkhole that had opened up on Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio:

The giant sinkhole that appearaed in Columbus Ohio in July, 1986.
July, 1986: a giant sinkhole
swallows a Mercedes in Ohio.
Here's what happened: Two 100-year-old brick sewer lines had given way underground, and a 40-foot-by-30-foot section of the road between Front and High streets had nothing to support it. …

Michael Schmidt, a 29-year-old lawyer, was on his way to work at the Huntington Center. He slowed his 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E as the hole opened up in front of him.  He swerved, Bush said, and his car fell in.  It flipped once and landed on its wheels.  Schmidt climbed out of the hole unhurt.  Asked that day whether he had been through anything worse, he replied: "Well, I took the bar exam."

I still have a small chunk of asphalt with a dash of yellow lane-marker paint on it.  It reminds of the #1 lesson I learned that day: always wear a jetpack under your cardigan.

CHEERS to walking into a hornet's nest.  Man, talk about hitting the ground running.  On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated.  And on March 4, 1933, Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated.  Lincoln led the country through the Civil War.  FDR led the country through the Great Depression and World War II.  The crop of Republicans who believed they could rise to the same level of greatness last year included Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann, Paul the Elder, Cain, Santorum and Romney.  I wrote that last sentence because it's my job to make you laugh.

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Two years ago in C&J: March 4, 2011

CHEERS to the CARD Act.  Oh, you'll never guess!  The credit card reform bill that passed a couple years back is actually helping consumers and limiting excess wankery by the credit card companies.  Democrats win again by reforming the system in favor of Main Streeters.  Cue the sound of Republicans taking credit for it.

JEERS to 100% pure cynicism whipped up in less than two seconds.  My partner Michael got the winter issue of his health insurance company's generic and HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY magazine in the mail the other day.  The cover-story headline says: "How to get the care you need."  Cynic Billy says: figure out how to poop gold bullion into your bedpan.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to morning Joe.  It's Monday.  Bleh.  Meh.  I feel your Feh.  Here:

Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Better.

Due to the sequester, only half of the floor's open...  What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"I am not Bill in Portland Maine, I'm the President."
---President Obama
3/1/13

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Poll

Do you agree with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia that the Voting Rights Act is little more than a pesky 'racial entitlement?'

1%90 votes
3%176 votes
94%4391 votes
0%13 votes

| 4670 votes | Vote | Results

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