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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

The Week Ahead

Painting of Buddha
Today is Buddha's
birthday. (39 again.)
Monday North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un starts his week the usual way by being a dick.

The sequester becomes a victim of the sequester and gets sequestered, but due to the sequester the sequester's sequester is also sequestered.

Former President Bill Clinton appears on The Colbert Report to demonstrate yet again why the accomplishments of former Republican presidents can't hold a candle to the accomplishments of former Democratic presidents.

Tuesday 34th ANNUAL FREE CONE DAY AT BEN & JERRY'S!

The House and Senate return from their Easter recess. By the end of the day their public approval rating drops by half.

Former President Jimmy Carter appears on The Daily Show. He is given 8 minutes of airtime to build a house. After completing it, he uses his remaining 3 minutes to build a tool shed.

Old photo of Jimmy Carter shaking hands with Bill Clinton
Carter raps with Stewart.
Clinton raps with Colbert.
Wednesday Secretary of State John Kerry travels to London for the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting to help make the world a better place. Had Mitt Romney won last November, Secretary of State John Bolton would be traveling to London for the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting to sneer about all the things Britain did wrong during the Olympics.

The new moon darkens the night sky. Republicans immediately blame Solyndra.

Current President Barack Obama appears at another schmooze-a-thon dinner with a dozen Republican senators. He spends the evening chatting, laughing, and checking to make sure his wallet is still there.

Thursday San Jose residents get an ominous feeling in their gut, as if something nefarious is about to take place exactly 10 weeks from today. They shake it off, thinking it's probably just gas.

America's Republican governors issue a joint statement of apology to their supporters after they realize they've gone a full day without signing a piece of anti-woman, anti-voter or anti-union legislation into law.

Maine Fiddlehead
Fiddlehead season cometh.
Former President George W. Bush appears on his front lawn to pick up the newspaper. As always, Laura helps him remove the rubber band.

Friday The Commerce Department releases retail sales data and business inventories. Wild guess: too little of the former and too much of the latter.

Senator Ted Cruz suffers a brief moment of lucidity. It quickly passes.

The spring fiddlehead forecast is released and, once again, experts are torn between "boiled" and "pickled."

Saddle up. We ride. Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Note: Please (remember]; Only you can help preven't punctuation, abuse?

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Mother's Day: 34
Days 'til the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration, Florida: 19
Portion of children ages 1 to 5 who have harmful lead levels in their bodies: 1-in-38
(Source: CDC standards, updated for the first time since 1991)
Amount of taxpayer money spent defending lawsuits against Governor Scott Walker's anti-collective-bargaining law: $850,000
(Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Dow 30 Industrials gain during the first quarter of 2013: 11.9%
S&P 500 gain during the first quarter of 2013: 10%
(Source: USA Today)
Cost of a bottle of whiskey made from George Washington's own recipe and sold in the Mount Vernon gift shop: $95

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NEW!  California Dreamin'

Brought to you by the 2013 Netroots Nation Convention in San Jose, June 20-23.  Among the Top Ten Reasons to Love San Jose, via San Jose State University:

Wine press in Almaden winery, San Jose, California
Wine press in Almaden
winery in San Jose, CA.
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1. Weather – Ours Rocks! Yeah our neighbor San Francisco’s a great town, but we’ve got better weather. No chilly, foggy summers here. The Chamber of Commerce will kill us if we don’t tell you that we’ve got an average of 300 days of sunshine year round, and it’s rarely too hot or cold. Average daily temperatures range from January’s 50° to July’s 70° — so it’s juuuuuust right. Perfect for playing outdoors!

4. User-Friendly Wine Country We know, we know. Napa this and Napa that. But honestly, are you a slave to branding? We’re not that far from Napa, but just minutes from downtown San José is the Santa Cruz Mountain wine country, recently noted by Wine Spectator as “the most underappreciated appellation in the world.” If you love overpriced tastings, mind-numbing traffic and pretentious growers, by all means, go to Napa. But if you want great wines, knowledgeable vintners, friendly and accessible tasting rooms, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara wineries are the way to go.

A reminder that if you're filling out an application for the just-announced NN13 scholarship competition (winners get free passes and lodging), wine can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  "The More You Knoooow…"

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Saved!!! (Good dog.)

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CHEERS to a grand bargain.  For the past couple weeks the Daily Kos Quilt Guild Auction Alliance has been taking bids on this handmade, team-built Okiciyap ("we help") quilt to benefit the Food Pantry of the Isabel Community in the Cheyenne River Reservation in north central South Dakota:

The OkIciyap (
Last night Pam in Calif wrote the final post for soliciting bids, and at 8:02 Kossack weck delivered the news:
SOLD! TO QUILT MATCHING FUNDRAISERS $6,600.00 plus all the money they haven't added up yet!
I believe the technical term used by the financial sector for that kind of result is: "whoa, momma."  You can still send a donation via your plastic here or snail mail to: Okiciyap Food Pantry, P.O. Box 172, Isabel, S.D. 57633.  A big thank you to everyone who promoted the auction and everyone who supported it financially---your generosity will be much appreciated.  Ya big lovable lugs.

JEERS to sour notes.  Senator Lindsay Graham was on Meet the Press yesterday, and trotted out a phrase that sounds like vintage Frank Luntz.  This literally turned my stomach:

Small girl with hands over ears.
Public reaction to
Graham's "harmony."
“We’re beginning to set the stage for the grand bargain,” said Graham.  But he mentioned one idea that Obama has not proposed---raising the eligibility age for Medicare benefits from the current age of 65.  Graham called for a change to “harmonize the retirement age of Medicare with Social Security.”  For middle-aged and younger workers, the eligibility age for full Social Security retirement benefits is 67.  For Medicare benefits, the eligibility age is now 65.
I got yer harmonization right here, Lindsay.  In the key of FU.

CHEERS to hoop dreams. Over the weekend the NCAA men's and women's basketball brackets got pared down to their distilled essence of basketballiness.  Tonight the men of Michigan and Louisville, and tomorrow the women of Louisville and UConn will appear at the court.  Which will promptly declare the games unconstitutional and award the trophy to a Republican Super PAC.

JEERS to an inappropriate pause in the global warming.  Welcome to week three of spring in Maine:

The Portland Sea Dogs postponed their Saturday game against the Trenton Thunder because of cold, windy weather. The Sea Dogs made the announcement at 1 p.m., when the game was scheduled to start. The 35-degree weather and winds gusting over 20 mph created "unplayable field conditions," according to the team.

The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on July 2.

Snowblowers will be kept gassed up, just in case.

CHEERS to geeking out at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Sure it sucks that the sequester has halted live tours of The White House.  At the same time, it's a good opportunity to remind everyone that we can all stroll through it without standing in line.  Google's Street View technology lets you take a 360-degree tour of the place in hi-res.  You can even zoom in on the paintings to count the brushstrokes.  We should all play hooky sometime and take the virtual tour together.  Mainly because I need someone to prevent me from whipping out my crayons and scribbling on the virtual walls.

P.S. Another victim of the sequester: the Vidalia Onion Festival in Georgia (April 18-21), where the Blue Angels have been cut from the program.  But all is not lost: Newt Gingrich has agreed to attend and perform aerial stunts by flapping his jowls.

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Five years ago in C&J: April 8, 2008

JEERS to getting lost the eighties.  81 percent of Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction.  80,000 jobs disappeared last month.  '80s band The New Kids On The Block launched a comeback tour.  Alan Greenspan turned 82 last month.  I have 80 cents in my pocket.  And Senator Susan Collins voted with President Bush 82 percent of the time.  I don’t know what it all means, but I'm moving my office into the bunker anyway.

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And just one more…

Oh, nothing phallic about that.
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CHEERS to Mint'y freshness.  While debate continues to rage over whether or not to ditch the penny (I think it's just a conspiracy by the lobbyists at Big Nickel), the America the Beautiful state quarter collection rolls merrily along.  The latest release---a fine addition introduced last week---depicts the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial:
This memorial site in Ohio was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812 and to celebrate the long-lasting peace among Britain, Canada and the U.S.  The memorial, a Doric column rising 352 feet over Lake Erie, is situated five miles from the longest undefended border in the world.  The memorial bears the name of Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry.
I probably should've put up a disclaimer for the teabaggers.  I know how woozy they get when they see the words "undefended border."

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

NASA is planning for a robotic spaceship to lasso Cheers and Jeers and park it near the moon for astronauts to explore, a top senator revealed Friday.
---TPM

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Poll

Do you find it creepy that the Republican party's leadership and punditry spend as much time as they do warning of an impending outbreak of people having sex with animals?

95%3088 votes
2%97 votes
1%47 votes

| 3234 votes | Vote | Results

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