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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

It's time once again to play History: Cruel...or Kind?

Round 1

After going live on October 1, elements of the federal government's Affordable Care Act website---healthcare.gov---prove to be broken, frustrating people who try to sign up there. Conservatives throw a hissy fit and declare it the greatest American catastrophe since slavery.

History will be cruel because... When it comes to breaking stuff, conservatives know what they're talking about so it's hard to argue against 'em.

History will be kind because... While frustrating as hell, the problems will be resolved in due time, people will get signed up, and the ACA will prove to be both a life saver and a money saver.

Verdict: History will be KIND. And just watch how quickly those same do-thing curmudegon conseratives rush to take credit for saving it when future tea party demonstrators hold up signs reading "Keep Your Government Hands Off My TedCruzcare!"

Round 2
The White House assures German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the NSA is absolutely, positively not spying on her.

History will be cruel because... We're spying on everyone else, so why should anyone believe we're not spying on Merkel?

History will be kind because... If you don’t believe history will be kind, the NSA will put an asterisk next to your name. You do know what an asterisk next to your name at the NSA means…don’t you?

Verdict: History will be CRUEL. When Chancellor Merkel sneezes and a lamp next to her says in a Brooklyn accent, "Yo, lady---gesundheit," that's not a good sign. But gimme a break, furriners---you're spying your little hearts out on us, too, so the faux-outrage rings a little hollow. Oh, and by the way, Germany: love yer castles.

Round 3
Just days after marriage equality takes effect in New Jersey, thousands of pro-equality advocates swarm the Illinois state house and call on the legislature to let gay couples marry there, too.

History will be cruel because... In the succinct tweet of an opponent of marriage equality fighting to keep Illinois free from the bonds of gay matrimony: "The state will take over our schools and teach a deviant lifestyle." My god!

History will be kind because... The people who think history will be cruel are a little nuts.

Verdict: History will be KIND. And the Illinois legislature better get a move on if it wants to beat Hawaii or New Mexico at becoming the 15th state to see the light. Tick tock, tick tock...

Next time: history judges the budget negotiations, immigration reform and satanic messages being broadcast through the National Zoo's Panda Cam.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, October 24, 2013

Note: C&J's designated NSA tracker Bart passes along his thanks for the lovely potted mums we sent him.  He says they "look lovely next to my Snooper-5000 Surveillance Widget."  He also says our homes have the cleanest gutters of any group he monitors via satellite.  We rock.

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Palm Springs Pride logo
10 days!!!
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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Daylight Saving Time ends: 10
Days 'til the Palm Springs Pride parade: 10
Percent of tea party supporters who think it was a bad idea to not let America slide off the fiscal cliff: 62%
Percent of Americans who believe the Republicans in Congress are doing a good job: 18%
(Source: CBS News poll)
Percent by which men are more likely to die from skin cancer than women: 70%
(Source: Details)
Percent chance that Halloween is one of the top three deadliest days for pedestrians: 100%
(Source: Parade)
Percent of men and women, respectively, who have a tattoo: 19%, 23%
(Source: Time)

World Series
Boston leads St. Louis 1 game to 0

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
Actually, sex education is entirely about the consequences of "exploring sexuality," and it works. The Guttmacher Institute published a report last week showing that the abortion rate is down by 11 percent in this country precisely because young people are now getting more education about sex. One would think the anti-abortion forces would be grateful.

Instead, there is every indication that in addition to taking away a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion, the Bush administration is going after contraception, as well. Bush's first action on his first day as president was to reinstitute the global "gag rule" that no foreign aid can go to any women's clinic abroad that that mentions the word abortion, even when the life of the mother is at stake.
---October, 2002

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  After ten years of waiting, Houndy finds a suitable human to adopt…

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CHEERS to blowin' this popsicle stand.  Remember that Austrian guy who floated up into the stratosphere in a balloon and then jumped?  Well, now you can enjoy a similar experience, except the jumping part is replaced with sipping champagne:

World View Experience balloon, which will take tourists into the stratosphere and back starting in 2015
The one-percent's
next playground.
A new space tourism company named World View unveiled its plans on Tuesday to loft passengers to the stratosphere as early as 2015… “This is a very gentle flight that will last for hours aloft,” said Jane Poynter, World View’s chief executive. She said the cabin would be about the size of that of a private jet, and would have a “superbly comfortable, luxurious interior where you can get up and stand upright and move around and go back to the bar and get a drink.” …

The balloon would rise about 18.5 miles, not quite a third of the way to the 62-mile altitude that is considered the beginning of outer space. But it is high enough to view the planet’s curvature and for the sky to darken from blue to black.

It costs $75,000 to go up.  And $10 million to go back down.

President Obama with a baby
Proof that Obama
listens to Republicans.
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JEERS to our esteemed opposition in the crybaby caucus.  Today is---no kidding---National Baloney Day, and to commemorate the occasion I've got a nice big Grade-A chunk of it, courtesy of a Republican tea party politician who goes to the greatest lengths imaginable to deny that the state-controlled Obamacare exchanges are working pretty darn well.  In a nutshell, Kentucky's Democratic governor tells a CNN host that he's proud of how well the online Obamacare signups are in his state (1,000 a day and counting).  He's then followed, for "balance," with Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-TN), who performs the tiresome trick of "La La La I can't hear you and we're all gonna die."  To get a sense of just how contradictory and diversionary her arguments are, check out the segment David "KagroX" Waldman did yesterday morning on Daily Kos Radio, during which he dissects the CNN segment with all the finesse of an accomplished neurosurgeon.  The podcast is here---it starts about 50 minutes in.  More like this, please.

CHEERS to World Peace...or something like it.  Happy United Nations Day!  On October 24, 1945, the U.N. charter took effect.  Their mission:

United Nations flag.
They're comin' for your
golf courses, America!
To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war; to reaffirm faith in human rights; to promote social progress and better standards of life; to practice tolerance and live together in peace and unite their strength to maintain international peace and security.
And then…lunch.

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Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!

This is another edition of The One Word Answer Man.  Liz Goodwin at Yahoo News asks: Will New York's new mayor guard the city against climate change?

Yes.

Now back to Cheers and Jeers.

Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!
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JEERS to sleeping at the switches.  Some of the Air Force personnel whose job it is to keep our nuclear missiles locked up and out of the hands of madmen were caught propping open their blast doors during nappytime.  That means a terrorist could've waltzed right in and played his own real-life game of Missile Command.  But who would be such a brazen lunatic that they would admit to wanting to fire off nukes for no other reason than pure egomaniacal vanity?  Oh, silly me, of course: American gambling-industry billionaire Republican and Newt Gingrich financier Sheldon Adelson:

CEO and Chairman of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson speaks during a news conference at the Marina Bay Sands convention centre in Singapore June 23, 2010.
This face belongs on
a post office wall.
"So there’s an atomic weapon goes over ballistic missiles in the middle of the [Iranian] desert that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple rattlesnakes and scorpions or whatever. And then you say, ‘See, the next one is in the middle of Tehran. So we mean business.
Yeah---whaddya say we lock them blast doors from now on?  [Thumbs up!]  Awesome.  Probably add one of them chain thingies, too.

CHEERS to Great Moments in Saying Stuff.  On October 24, 1861, the first coast-to-coast telegram was sent from Chief Justice Stephen Field in California to President Lincoln in Washington, D.C. Message: "I farted."  Reply: "Thanks for sharing."

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Five years ago in C&J: October 24, 2008

CHEERS to 20-20 foresight.  A polite round of applause to the elves at BusinessWeek for this bit of crystalballery from January 2nd of this year:

Official photo of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
How's President John McCain
doing these days, Businessweek?
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will enter the Presidential race in February, after it becomes clear which nominees will get the nod from the major parties. His multiple billions and organization will impress voters---and stun rivals.  He'll look like the most viable third-party candidate since Teddy Roosevelt.  But Bloomberg will come up short, as he comes in for withering attacks from both Democrats and Republicans.  He and Clinton will split more than 50% of the votes, but Arizona's maverick senator, John McCain, will end up the country's next President.
That's why they earn the big bucks.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the essence of this little rag. Six years ago today, just days after the DKos community swarmed to make C&J my full-time gig via voluntary donations and monthly subscriptions, the Portland Press Herald published an article about it.  (It's no longer online, unfortunately, although I'm not complaining too loudly because the photo they used made me look pregnant.)  The stuff about me didn’t mean diddly compared to the stuff about you, and it's always humbling to repost reporter Dieter Bradbury's take on the kiddie pool:

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (L) applauds as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) reacts during an event posthumously awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol fresco painter Constantino Brumidi (1805-1880),
C&J inspires a wide range of reactions.
Cheers and Jeers resonates with its readers, who live from coast to coast and fiercely compete to be the first to post a comment in response to Harnsberger’s blogs. Most say they gravitate to Cheers and Jeers because it’s a welcoming place, free of the sniping and personal attacks that characterize many political blogs.

"It is a real community," says Mercedes McCarter [aka mcmom], who has been reading and commenting on Cheers and Jeers for two years. "People celebrate the good in others’ lives, and are there to provide support, emotional and practical, for those who are having tragedy or illness in their lives."

Today C&J---now speeding headlong toward its tenth blogiversary in December---remains DKos's equivilent of the Free Parking space on a Monopoly board: a place where you can slip in and take a few deep breaths before you head back out into the craziness.  And I don’t say it enough: thank you for both splashing every day and for making our annual fall begathon a success.  Now someone c'mon over and massage Daddy's bunions.  Hello?  Hello???

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Support for Cheers and Jeers reaches historic high of 58 percent
---Center for American Progress

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Poll

Because of the rough launch of the ACA web site, the White House is giving people an extra six weeks to sign up for health insurance through the exchanges without penalty. Do you think this a good decision?

83%4378 votes
12%678 votes
1%86 votes
0%52 votes
1%78 votes

| 5273 votes | Vote | Results

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