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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Things I Pledge to Do for Mother Earth

Today is the world's 43rd Earth Day, an event we celebrate every year to remind ourselves that we're the biggest parasites on the third rock from the sun. To mark the occasion, this year I pledge to…

Convert my planned BiPM tar-sands pipeline from Portland to Miami into a 1,600-mile-long public bong.

Save more room at the local landfill by changing the channel any time one of those dishonest oil company commercials claiming environmental responsibility comes on instead of throwing my TV out the window and having to haul its busted carcass to the dump.

Save water in my house by doing laundry at my neighbors' house while they're at work.

Create a clone army of Bill McKibbens and James Hansens.

Earth
"Your human foolishness
no longer amuses me."
-
-
Fart only on odd-numbered days.

Print out all 4,007,852 pages of tree-saving tips on the internet so I can read them and learn how to save trees.

Retrofit the car with hybrid technology so it only runs on gas when the team of kittens gets too tired to pull it.

Restrict my use of "fracking" to its handiness as an adjective paired with the word "idiots."

Continue railing against right-wingers who deny the existence of climate change because they think it's a hoax devised by the United Nations as part of a plot to steal our freedom and our golf courses. Fracking idiots.

Save the whales by teaching them the gospel of the Lord and urging them to repent their wicked whale ways.

Hug a treehugger.

Dispose of my spent fuel rods properly by crushing them up into smaller pieces before flushing them down the john.

Or maybe I'll just do this instead.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, April 22, 2013

Note: If someone walks up to you and asks what the hell makes you so damn special, look 'em in the eye and tell 'em opposable thumbs.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Administrative Professionals Day: 2
Days 'til the Central Railroad Festival in Central, South Carolina: 5
Number of hospitalizations for foodborne infections in 2012, which resulted in 68 deaths: 4,563
Rank of salmonella among most common foodborne illnesses in the U.S.: #1
(Source: CDC)
Amount that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) wants to invest in the state's transportation system, which he suggests will create/retain around 140,000 jobs: $13 billion
(Source: USA Today)
Year of the first Earth Day: 1970
Percent chance that, as far as David Ortiz is concerned, Boston is "our fucking city": 100%
(Source: David Ortiz)

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NEW!  California Dreamin'

Brought to you by the 2013 Netroots Nation Convention in San Jose, June 20-23.  Did you know there's a pleasant little tune about our host city?  It's true, I tell you

Dionne Warwick single cover of
Burt Bacharach wrote the music for the song before Hal David wrote its lyrics, which give narrative voice to a native of the northern California city of San Jose who, having failed to break into the entertainment field in Los Angeles, is set to return to her hometown. David had a special interest in San Jose, having been stationed there while in the navy.

Dionne Warwick advised Jet in May 2002 that winning her first Grammy Award for "Do You Know the Way to San Jose"---Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Performance, Female---was the overall highlight of her career.  Nevertheless the singer said…in a May 1983 interview with Ebony: "It's a dumb song and I didn't want to sing it."

It's also an earworm.  Good luck getting it out of your head today.  Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa….."

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Puppy Pic of the Day (thanks for the link, Lucy!):  Here come da judge… and his pooch.

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CHEERS to timely updates.  As we start a new week, here's where things stand in the world:

Boston: quickly getting back to normal.
West, Texas: slowly getting back to normal.
Immigration reform: slowly getting somewhere.
Gun reform: quickly getting nowhere.
Jobs: stuck in idle.
CNN: stuck in reverse.
Sun: rising.
Gold: falling.
I believe it's all downhill from here.

Bacon shake from Silly's in Portland, Maine
Bacon shake served at
the Portland meetup.
CHEERS to a gathering of trouble.  There was a baker's gaggle of Kossack meetups around the country over the weekend.  In addition to Asheville's and L.A.'s and Chicago's, the police have released mug shots from ours here in Portland, Maine.  Included in the eating & drinking strategy session at Silly's organized by nhox42 (thank you!) were: bluesheep, Jane in Maine, Ed Tracey, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, Commonmass, DtheO, Eddie in ME & State Senator Colleen Lachowicz, Mayim, Simple, Debbie in ME, Vacationland, JBL55 & Jim, Maine State Rep. Diane Russell, and Common Sense Mainer & BiPM.  There's another Maine meetup on the schedule for July 6th at Kossack Mayim's beautiful cottage on the lake, and you're all invited.  Meanwhile, keep an eye out for scheduled meetups in your area---or organize one of your own---via the New Day posts.  They're fun, they're foodylicious, and time spent at one is never deducted from your lifespan.

JEERS to one nasty governor (link via Ed Tracey).  Yes, our governor is insane.  How insane?  This insane:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) recently bullied state workers to resolve unemployment claim disputes in favor of businesses, according to an investigation by the Maine Sun Journal published on Thursday. According to the paper's report, LePage called a mandatory meeting on March 21 with more than a dozen state Department of Labor employees. He allegedly scolded the hearing officers and their supervisors, complaining that they too often decided against businesses that challenge laid-off workers' unemployment claims.
The feds have already swooped in and will leave no stone unturned, especially the stone LePage is standing on because that's probably where the damning evidence is buried.  Meanwhile, LePage is making overtures---via the Wall Street Journal editorial page no less---to gun makers.  I believe I speak for every normal person in the state of Maine when I say: "Please, governor…go hike the Appalachian Trail!"

P.S. And hot off the presses, Governor LePage presents: Turbinegate!  If you need me for anything today, I'll be under my Cloak of Embarrassment.

CHEERS to rebuffing rabid Republicans.  Fifty-nine years ago today, the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began.  The villain was Ann Coulter's hero (really, seriously), a first-class jerk named Joseph McCarthy, for whom it went very badly (and who died three years later after guzzling booze like a Hummer guzzles gas).  May Ms. Coulter one day get laughed off the public stage in a similar fashion: "At long last have you left no sense of decency?"  I know, I know...when pigs fly.

JEERS to making a joyful oink.  Speaking of pigs, New Hampshire State Representative Peter Hansen is getting a deserved earful today after he was caught referring to women as "vaginas" in an email.

Pig
Hansen issues
his porka culpa.
The politician was complaining about a bill passed last month which repealed parts of the Stand your Ground self-defense law. ... [U]nder-fire he backed down on Tuesday and apologized to "those who took offense."

State Republican chair Jennifer Horn denounced Rep. Hansen's comments as "disrespectful and shameful. ... There is no excuse for anybody to use such disrespectful language---especially an elected official. I strongly condemn his disrespectful and shameful remarks."

Y'know what?  I'm in a good mood this morning, so I forgive you, Mr. Flaccid Pencildick.  OOPS!  Did I just think of that, write it, edit it, add it to C&J, and publish it?  Sorry, sir.  An accident, I assure you.  I apologize to those who took offense.

Babe Ruth Pitching in 1914
A southpaw of
some renown.
CHEERS to American Icons.  Ninety-nine years ago today, on April 22, 1914, Babe Ruth played in his first professional baseball game---he pitched (yes, pitched) a shutout against the Buffalo Bisons.  If you're a fan of Ruth's place in baseball history and you want a nostalgic lump in your throat, click here, and/or here.  Amazing...not a steroid in sight.

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Five years ago in C&J: April 22, 2008

JEERS to thugs in uniform.  Pop quiz!  What kind of person does the Pentagon deem to be more worthy of serving their country?  Your choices are A) a gay person who obeys the law, or B) a convicted thief, drug abuser or sex offender.  If you said B, give yourself an A+:

Data released by a congressional committee shows that the number of soldiers admitted to the Army with felony records jumped from 249 in 2006 to 511 in 2007. And the number of Marines with felonies rose from 208 to 350.
And yet over 2,700 honorably-serving gay people have been kicked out since the war started, including a boatload of Arab linguists.  Yeah---makes perfect sense.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to stamps of approval.  The United States Postal Service gets two gold stars this week.  The first is for saying "FU" to Republican USPS haters by reversing itself and vowing to continue Saturday mail delivery.  The second is for making this fanatical lover of lighthouses go "Squeeeee!!! over their just-announced New England Coastal Lighthouses stamp collection.  One of them is Portland Head Light, which was commissioned by none other than George Freakin' Washington because he had the foresight to know it would look awesome on a stamp:

New England Lighthouse series stamps 2013
Portland Head, Portsmouth, Boston Light, Point Judith & New London Harbor
Nicely done.  By the way, I could never be a postal carrier.  My chauffeur refuses to drive the Packard in snow, rain, heat or gloom of night.  

Oh, and Dick Nixon died nineteen years ago.  If you're interested, here's the high point of his life.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"I am the senator. You are Bill in Portland Maine. You need to be quiet."
---NC State Senator Tommy Tucker

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Poll

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