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An Open Letter to Daily Kos

Dear Daily Kos Community,

We at the Maine Department of Labor are writing to thank you for your contributions this week to help extend your quarantine of Bill in Portland Maine's soul.

When Bill got let go from his 9-to-5 job six years ago today, our phones started ringing off the hook. "Hey, get me a job!" he'd say. "Surgeons make a lot of money. Get me a surgeon gig. But not the kind where there's blood. I want a no-blood clause in my surgeon contract. Get on it!" When we politely explained how the employment process works, he hung up. Five minutes later he called back trying to disguise his voice. This is an actual transcript we submitted when we filed for the restraining order:

"Heh heh heh. Yoda this is, yesssss, Yoda Jedi Master am I. Now master Electrician want to be, I do. Qualifications I have! Stick fork in socket as a child I did. Big sparks it made! Yesss… Mmmm… Sparks Made Billy…er, Yoda…go squeee! Afternoons off I must have. Acceptable a six-digit income is. Shut up, Mom, I'm on the phone! Me come down and sign papers!"

[End of call.]

After "Yoda" it was "President Taft" calling for a judgeship. Then "Sergeant Friday" calling to be chief of police. We brought therapists in to counsel our employees after someone accidentally put the call from "Marilyn Chambers" on speakerphone.

Two days later you, the Daily Kos community, took up a collection to keep "him" at home writing his "Cheers and Jeers" column. We are ever so grateful. The calls have stopped. The skywriting ("Surrender Dorothy---Get Me A Wizard Gig!") stopped. The flaming poo on our doorstep stopped. You have no idea the service you've done for us and our community. If you could look into your hearts and contribute a few dollars to keep him quarantined for just one more year---just one, for the love of god---we'll name our next building after you:

One time contribution: click here.

$5 monthly contribution: click here

$10 monthly contribution: click here

$20 monthly contribution: click here

To send a donation via snail mail: Bill Harnsberger, 16 Pitt Street, Portland, ME, 04103.

We, for one, do not consider you the "Great Orange Satan." More like the Great Orange Saviors. Please save us once more.

With eternal gratitude, ayuh,

The Maine Department of Labor

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

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, September 27, 2013

Note: Anyone seen my hydrogen bomb lying around?  I think I left it at Applebee's.  Text me.


Livermore Falls (Maine) Apple Pumpkin Festival logo
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Obamacare exchanges go live: 4
Days 'til the Apple Pumpkin Festival in Livermore Falls, Maine: 1
Number of state Attorneys General who want the FDA to issue regulations regarding production, sale and marketing of e-cigarettes: 40
Number of same-sex marriages that former president George H.W. Bush has signed off on as a witness: 1
Amount Verizon charges the government to tap a phone line for a month: $775
(Source: Harper's Index)
Percent chance that the holocaust really happened: 100%
(Source: Iran's new President, Hassan Notmahdinejahd)
High bid expected for the 59.6-carat Pink Star diamond when it goes on the auction block in November: $60 million
(Source: NBC News)


Puppy Pic of the Day:  "I scratch your back, um…how does that go, again???"


CHEERS to the power of snark.  What started out as a dry-as-desert-sands joke from our Secretary of State suggesting that---Ha Ha, this'll never happen!---Syria turn over its stockpile of chemical weapons for destruction has led to this:

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
"Stop me if you've
heard this one..."
The five permanent members of the deeply divided U.N. Security Council reached agreement Thursday on a resolution to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, a major step in taking the most controversial weapon off the battlefield of the world's deadliest current conflict.

Senior U.S., Russian, British and French diplomats confirmed the agreement, which also includes China. [A] senior U.S. State Department official described the draft resolution as "binding and enforceable."

Meanwhile, Secretary Kerry is scheduled to meet with his Iranian counterpart in Geneva next month to thaw relations between us and them.  Observers attribute the breakthrough to this recent open-mic moment:
"Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the point where Iran no longer harbors intentions to develop, produce and stockpile nuclear armaments in any capacity, but rather limits their use to peaceful purposes---keeping the lights on, running blenders and washing machines and so forth---which will result in greater potential for peace and stability in the region. Take my spousal unit, please."

JEERS to our little deep-fryer we call home.  I honestly don't know why the animals don't rise up and slaughter us in our sleep.  The U.N.'s latest climate change report is out, and humanity is as parasitic as ever because…

Oh, pish! Clearly the
earth is cooling.
….it is “extremely likely” human beings are the main drivers for the rise in temperatures recorded around the world over the last 50 years — the strongest words the panel has used to describe the effect humans are having on the planet. … “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia,” the researchers wrote in the report. “The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.”

To put it another way: we've set our planet's oven setting from "warm" to "broil."  The only question now is: are we going to turn it back down or rip the knob off?  Quick…somebody snatch the pliers out of George Will's hand.  

CHEERS to the Founding Rabble Rouser. Happy birthday to scrappy Samuel Adams---second cousin to fellow hothead John---born 291 years ago today. His message in a nutshell: "Tyranny bad! Freedom good!" And also this:

“Beer and chocolate are two pleasures that should be enjoyed and savored."
Pay your respects here.  Then toast him with...I dunno, how about a Sam Adams?  (Or, as he calls it, "a Mini Me!")

JEERS to labeling something is that ain't.  Dana Milbank's Thursday column in The Washington Post (re-published in our Portland paper) has a teeny tiny error.  See if you can spot it in these excerpts:

A screen capture of Jimmy Stewart's character holding a filibuster in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
You're no Mr. Smith, Ted.
You're just a big lousy jerk.
Excerpt 1: A couple of hours before Sen. Ted Cruz launched his doomed filibuster…
Excerpt 2: The filibuster, ostensibly in opposition to Obamacare…
Excerpt 3: …he announced as he launched his marathon filibuster.
Excerpt 4: Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Cruz’s filibuster ...
Excerpt 5: He…said he was “embarrassed” to admit that he bought black tennis shoes for his filibuster.
Answer: it wasn't a filibuster at all---it was just Ted Cruz on the Senate floor jawboning until the next day's session opened.  So on behalf of Strom Thurmond, Alfonse D'Amato and the other steel-bladdered authentic Herculean filibusterers: "Ttthhhppt."

P.S. Milbank wrote another column in which he recognizes that Cruz's stunt was a "phony filibuster."  A pundit learned sumpin' from his mistake.  Amazing.  

CHEERS to the beginning of the end. On tomorrow's date in 1781, during the War of Independence, American troops backed by the French fleet Ronald Reagan riding a trained dolphin while brandishing a bazooka [Revision courtesy of TX Dept. of Ed. textbook approval committee], began their siege of Yorktown, Virginia.  The British, trapped like rats, were forced to surrender, thus securing our freedom as an independent nation.  Moral of the story: only fools go to war on a peninsula without jetpacks.

Bryan Cranston in
Walt's Excellent Adventure
ends Sunday night on AMC.
CHEERS to home vegetation.  Here's some of the stuff that may or may not be flickering on your teevee this weekend.  On HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher talks with Robert Reich, Tim Robbins, Matt Welch, Carl Hart and Monica Mehta.  New DVD releases include Iron Man 3.  The rapidly-dwindling baseball season schedule is here and the schedule for the tax-exempt NFL is here. (The Patriots will "ground" the Falcons Ha Ha Ha!)  On 60 Minutes: their 46th season kicks off with Secretary of State John Kerry and a report on how Bill O'Reilly was told by God to write a really boring book.

On Bill Moyers & Company, the executive director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo, talks about the ongoing incident between Russia's thugs and the multinational crew of the Arctic Sunrise.  And here's your Sunday morning lineup, which I publish every week for one very good reason: it takes up space...

Meet the Press:  Last week they got all leg-tingly over their "exclusive" interview with NRA crackpot Wayne LaPierre.  This week David Gregory gets the vapors over his "exclusive" with crackport senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).  Oh well…crazy sells.  Plus a rountable with Chris, Dee Dee, Raul and Jon.

Paul Krugman
On "This Week" this week:
Paul Krugman SMASH!!!
This Week: Bubba!  Plus: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and a roundtable with Matt, Paul, Jennifer and Bill.

Face the Nation: Sens. Dick Durbin and Rand Paul; Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Chris van Hollen; roundtable with Gerald, David, John and Clarissa

CNN's State of the Union: GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers; dueling doctors with Senator John Barrasso and Howard Dean; roundtable with John, Artur, Ruth and Ben.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA); Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mike Lee (R-UT); roundtable with Brit, Juan, Kimberly and Evan.

All of which pales in comparison to Sunday's grand finale of Breaking Bad, for which AMC is extracting $250,000 from sponsors for each 30-second commercial.  Wow---looks like Walt picked the wrong racket.


Five years ago in C&J: September 27, 2008

John McCain angry face
Hey, remember the
do-nothing candidate?
JEERS to Pokeyman.  I wonder if John McCain can explain tonight why he made such a stink about being the only man in the world who could fix the nation's economy, and then when he had his chance he acted like this:
At the bipartisan White House meeting that Mr. McCain had called for a day earlier, he sat silently for more than 40 minutes, more observer than leader, and then offered only a vague sense of where he stood, said people in the meeting.

For those of you keeping score at home, that's more than five times longer than Bush's deer-in-the-headlights classroom-sitting stint on 9/11.  Next week: McCain officially weighs in on the Teapot-Dome scandal.

JEERS to the latest "Whoopsie!"  The largest bank failure in recorded history (if you don’t count the CXXI-billion denarius meltdown at the Second Augustus Bank and Bathhouse of Rome in XXIII BC) was announced last night.  Washington Mutual's assets were snatched up by JP Morgan Chase.  The preliminary inventory: a few rolls of quarters, 50-thousand "Happy Birthday, Valued Customer!" cards, half a million free toasters, and a million dollars under the CEO's mattress.  Ugly.


And just one more…

Hint: it's not a blimp.
CHEERS to the C&J Friday Night Mystery Link.  Week's over.  Time to put my political dumbstick down and end the week on a high (no, not that kind of high, although now that you mention it...) note.  To be more precise, a note in the key of "Mew."  If you like your drama hot, wet, smokin', heroic, emotionally-draining, suspenseful and, um, fuzzy wuzzy wuzzy cutie p'tootie, click on the C&J Friday Night Mystery Link.  After you watch it, hankies will be available in the gift shop for $500 each.

Have a great weekend, and thanks again for supporting C&J with your dollars, bitcoins and trinkets!  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?



Who won the week?

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