From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…
Tuesday Morning Stress Break
Sit back in a comfortable chair or lie on the floor. Remove your shoes and feel the cool air greet your feet. Close your eyes. Take deep, slow breaths---inhale blue, exhale red.....
Imagine you're lying on your own pristine and secluded beach. Breathe in the fresh air. Feel the warmth of the sand. Hear the rhythmic lapping of the ocean and the palm trees swaying. You have no worries. Your bank account and your 401(k) are flush with cash. You feel completely relaxed. You are at peace and everything is fine.Repeat as needed.
Oh, look. The entire House of Representatives is walking by. Without opening your eyes, gently raise your hand and wave. "Hi, Congress. How's about you vote to end the government shutdown right now? My beach, my rules." They vote. 217 vote yes (all Democrats and 17 Republicans) and 216 nay. The tea party caucus resigns in protest and is replaced with Democrats. John Boehner hands the gavel to Nancy Pelosi. The sun is warm and the breeze gentle as Congress ambles off.
Now a large penguin appears in the distance and waddles up in that funny way penguins waddle and… no, wait, it's Dick Cheney, trolling for spare change with his metal detector. "Hey, Dick," you say. "Takin' a break from the war crimes tribunal?" "Yep," he replies. "They got Rumsfeld in the dock now. If things go according to schedule, I should be behind bars for the rest of my life by this afternoon. Oh look, I found a nickel." He wanders out of sight. You take a cleansing breath and a sip from your daiquiri.
A group of ex-governors approaches: Kasich, Scott, Walker, LePage, Brewer, Brownback, Haley, McCrory, Snyder, Corbett. "Hey," you say. "Whatcha been doin' since your landslide re-election losses?" Before they can answer they get swallowed by a rogue wave.
Now go join Biden's luau next door. Then, when you're ready---sometime after you win the limbo contest---slowly, count backwards: 3... 2... 1... and open your eyes. Welcome back.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Note: Over the weekend I wielded a chainsaw for the first time. Sincerest apologies to the owners of the flagpoles, the maypoles, the fishing poles, the bean poles, the stripper poles, the telephone poles, the barber poles, the parade of stilt-walking Poles, and the Burger King sign across the street. It was an accident.
Days 'til America starts defaulting on its debts if John Boehner can't get a debt-ceiling hike passed: 9
Days 'til the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival in Martinsburg, West Virginia: 9
Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index, its highest point in two years: 56.2
Amount the ACA "bronze" plan pays in health insurance reimbursement after the deductible's hit: 60%
Minimum decline in revenue for International Speedway, Inc. since 2008: 38%
Percent of Republicans who think the Obama Administration is secretly trying to take everyone’s guns away: 62%
Percent of Americans who think that Muslims are covertly implementing Sharia Law in American court systems: 26%
(Source: Public Policy Polling)
Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:
"[T]here is little reason to fear a catastrophic collapse in home prices.All together now: 1…2…3… Classy!
Krugman will have to come up with something much better, I think, to cause many others to share his pessimism."
---John Hinderaker, Powerline, 2005
Puppy Pic of the Day: And the Humane Society's 2013 American Hero Dog is…
CHEERS to bright medals for bright minds. Yay!!! It's Nobel Prize Giving Away Week---my favorite time of year when I can confirm that, relatively speaking, I'm one dumb-as-rocks sumbitch with a brain that resembles avocado dip past its sell-by date. The latest brilliant winners make me want to climb a tall medical facility and shout "USA! USA! (and germany) USA! USA! (and germany)":
Americans James E. Rothman and Randy W. Schekman, and German Thomas C. Sudhof were awarded the [medicine/physiology] prize Monday for discoveries of how the body's cells decide when and where to deliver the molecules they produce. The Nobel Assembly said the three "have solved the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system."When they heard that our cells have their own little post offices inside them, House Republicans immediately vowed to pass bills defunding them. Right after they get done passing resolutions naming them.
CHEERS and JEERS to the first (FRIST???) Monday in October. The Supreme Court got back to business yesterday:
The docket this year has nothing quite as riveting as last year's same-sex marriage cases, or the challenge to President Obama's health care overhaul from the term before. But once again, the court is facing hot-button social issues and questions of presidential and congressional power. Moreover, in a half-dozen cases the court's current conservative majority could well overturn long-established legal precedents.As usual, Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia make up the wanker wing of the court. You can remember that easily by their official acronym: "RATS."
"It can really knock ... the few legs out of prior, more liberal precedents," says Supreme Court advocate Tom Goldstein, "across an array of incredibly important issues like abortion and religion and civil rights law."
P.S. Another reminder of how sweet our victory was last year: Mitt Romney will never nominate anyone to the Supreme Court. Ever.
Gong! Gong!! BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!
This is another edition of The One Word Answer Man. Ecopurist asks: Is this the Holy Grail of Eco-Materials?
Now back to Cheers and Jeers.
Gong! Gong!! BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!
JEERS to too much of a good thing. Look, I'm just as happy as anyone to see that our relationship with Iran is warming up. After all, both they and us are guilty of doing some seriously fucked up shit to each other. Let's bury the freakin' hatchet already. But I'm also a red-blooded American exceptionalist (or at least I'm told that I am), and all this kum by yah with Iran is starting to make my head spin. I need a quick hit off the old nostalgia hookah to restore my equilibrium. Like, maybe…
Iranians chanted "Death to America" and burned the U.S. flag after weekly prayers in Tehran on Friday despite their new president's outreach to the West and promises of moderation and easing of tensions with the outside world.Oh yeah---that hits the spot. Feeling better now. Go ahead and release the doves again. (Too early for a group hug?)
JEERS to Bovines of Mass Destruction. On this date in 1871, the Great Chicago Fire broke out after a cow apparently kicked over a lantern in Mrs. O'Leary's barn. Despite the horrific damage and loss of life, there was a bright side: the T-bones were excellent that night.
CHEERS to the medical miracle where the less you know, the better. There's a nasty bacterial infection called clostridium difficile that can be treated with a---stop reading now if you're eating breakfast---fecal transplant. Needless to say, it's kinda nasty business. But now researchers say they can send "that stuff" through an ultra-thorough purification process and put it in a pill:
"The approach that Dr. [Thomas] Louie has is completely novel---no one else has done this," he said. "I am optimistic that this type of preparation will make these procedures much easier for patients and for physicians."The development of the poop pills do have one notable complication. When conservatives take them, they keep ending up in their brain.
Five years ago in C&J: October 8, 2008
A FEW CHEERS, A FEW JEERS to an evening in front of the telly. Last night's debate at Belmont University in Nashville seemed to go on forever. A few thoughts:
• When John McCain speaks, the little CNN Dial-O-Matic lines don’t do nothin' but sit there. When Barack Obama speaks, the Dial-O-Matics' Viagra kicks in.Bottom line: Barack Obama won handily. I know this because Pat Buchanan said McCain won handily. On to Hofstra University for the final showdown! It's in the bag for our team...unless McCain takes that little girl's advice and grows a beard.
• McCain called Obama "That one," as if he was identifying a suspect in a police lineup. All the class of Bush, all the charm of Cheney.At debate #2, "That
One" won that one.
• Okay, now I'm bored. My only interest now is watching to see if John McCain wanders off the set. He's going...going...going... Aw, damn, he turned around.
• In yesterday's C&J poll, we asked how many times you thought John McCain would say "My friends." The official answer: 24. But no lovin' for Palin---not even a word? Is she still on the ticket?
• Best line of the night goes to McCain: "What I don't know is what the unexpected will be." Zen Maverick strikes!!
And just one more…
CHEERS to living saints. I'd be shirking my duties if I didn't say a slightly-belated happy Birthday (and many blessings on your camels) to Desmond Tutu, who turned a sprightly 82 yesterday. A few reasons why we've reserved the apartment next to his in the hereafter:
"Be nice to the whites. They need you to rediscover their humanity."
"I say somewhat facetiously, 'I’m so glad I’m not God.' Can you imagine being God and looking at Syria and saying: 'These are my children. Look at what they’re doing to each other.'”
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."
"Children are a wonderful gift. They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things and to expose sham and humbug for what they are."
You're a hero to the universe and beyond, Your ex-Bishopfulness. But don’t get cocky---there'll be no spotting you any points on the racquetball court. Not yet.
Have a nice Tuesday. Or as Republicans call it, a nice Tuesday in 1890. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:-
In ongoing work, the MIT researchers are building an army of 100 Bill in Portland Maines, each of which can move in any direction, and designing algorithms to guide them. “We want hundreds of BiPMs, scattered randomly across the floor, to be able to identify each other, coalesce, and autonomously transform into a chair, or a ladder, or a desk, on demand,” John Romanishin says.