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My 2014 Resolutions

As always, broadening my horizons this year…

>> I shall emotionally adjust to knowing that this is Michele Bachmann's last year in Congress, mostly through brain-numbing googly-eyes exercises and use of the Bachmann Patch.

>> I shall carve a duck call that lures homophobic, misogynist and racist duck call makers to sit in the front row at GLAAD, NOW and NAACP meetings.

>> I shall take a swig whenever I hear someone on the right say that government spending on social safety-net programs is killing our country, but donating as much money as possible to candidates who want to blow up the debt ceiling is critical to our country's survival.

Old 1900s New years postcard
Sadly, my 2013 resolution to overcome
my fear of creepy moon heads failed.
I'll double my efforts in 2014!
>> I shall jump on the libertarian financial bandwagon by creating my own currency called Billycoin. Many will confuse them with stolen hubcaps. Don’t be fooled---guarantee authenticity by buying them directly from me for a million dollars each. I'm located in the third bunker from the left.

>> I shall think more about world peace, economic justice and environmental responsibility. Or sex, whichever comes first.

>> I shall get off my butt and sign up for Obamacare, and then test it to make sure I have
the right level of coverage by walking in front of a bus.

>> Because he's doing such a fine job, I shall reduce the demands I place on Maine Senator Angus King to one 500-page ultimatum per week (down from 800).

>> I shall reduce the number of distractions in my life by

>> I shall turn 50 in August with serenity and good cheer, by which I mean panic and bitterness.

That should keep me busy. How 'bout you?

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

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, January 3, 2014

Note: As of January 1, it's now legal to carry a concealed flamethrower without a permit. Please: incinerate responsibly.  ---City Hall


Isthmus Beer and Cheese Festival (WI) logo
15 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Isthmus Beer and Cheese Festival in Madison, Wisconsin: 15
Days 'til the cost of a postage stamp goes up to 49 cents: 23
Percent chance that anyone under 25 who reads the above item just said to themselves, "What's a postage stamp?": 72%
Minimum number of Mainers who lost their long-term unemployment benefits, thanks to Republicans and their insistence on keeping them out of the recent budget deal: 3,300
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)
Number of states that lost population between 2012 and 2013, according to the Census Bureau: 2 (Maine and West Virginia)
Annual amount of greenhouse gas the new Ford solar-powered concept car saves per driver: 4 metric tons
(Source: Think Progress)
Number of Friday the 13ths in 2014: 1 (June)


Puppy Pic of the Day: Got leash?


Sign depicting President Obama as a Muslim.
January kicks off another year of
Obama Derangement Syndrome.
CHEERS to January!  Anyone who enjoys winter sports is in Heaven this month. And hot clam chowder on a frigid, snowy day is unbeatable. Plus: minimum wage hikes in over a dozen states! Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! FDR's birthday! Australia Day! California Dried Plum Digestive Health Month! Oscar nominations! Same-sex marriage advocates on the offensive! And the Chinese New Year rides in on a horse! Too much fun! Don’t let it stop!

JEERS to January.  We just got a foot of snow on top of the foot of snow we already got on top of the three inches of ice we already got.…stop.

CHEERS to a sight for sore eyes.  Click on the web site for the New York City Mayor's office and you'll find definitive proof that the Bloomberg era is over.  Bill de Blasio was sworn in this week (twice, like Obama in 2009, although admittedly not because of a screw-up by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court in front of 5 billion worldwide viewers and a stray cat zooming past earth on a comet.)  De Blasio seems to be handling---"weathering," as it were Ha Ha Ha---his first major snowstorm okay.  Also on his early agenda is outlawing horse-drawn carriages in the city.  So now we know one thing about him: he's in the pocket of the mouse-drawn pumpkin lobby.

CHEERS to the original landlord of Middle Earth.  Happy Birthday to J.R.R. Tolkien.  The genius behind the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit turns 122 years old today.  Or, to put it another way, that's just one year longer than the total running time of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies.

Hey baggers! While you were waiting for Obama
to take your guns, Bush was takin' yer light bulbs!
JEERS to dim bulbs.  Well, folks, it's the end of a very long era.  It's now illegal to produce incandescent light bulbs in the United States.  The 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs are the last to go, and once stores sell the last of 'em, they're gone for good.  Naturally, the teabaggers are pointing their bony fingers at President Obama, whom they'll claim is trying to---say it with me: "shove his radical tree-hugging agenda down our throats!"  Just one little problem
Beginning Jan. 1, the production of 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs is banned as part of efficiency standards signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007.
When presented with this, they'll respond in unison: "Obama is trying to shove his radical tree-hugging agenda down our throats!"  Same idiots, different year.

CHEERS to one patient I wouldn’t want to piss off.  Down in Houston, 88 year-old Barbara Bush---who will celebrate her 69th anniversary with George H.W. in three days---is recovering from a respiratory infection.  She's doing so well that she's now on a finely-calibrated liquid diet.  It's very precise: she gets 3 ice cubes with her scotch, and 4 ice cubes with her gin and tonic.

Maggie Smith Downton Abbey gif
The tut-tutting resumes Sunday
CHEERS to home vegetation.  I'm thinking of collapsing on the couch tonight and not moving for at least 48 hours.  Y'know, like any other weekend in our house.  On the TV besides Chris Hayes, Rachel and Star Trek The Next Generation reruns: the Anchorman 2 cast hangs with Graham Norton tomorrow night on BBC America.  The wildcard weekend schedule for the tax-exempt, non-profit NFL is here and the NHL playoff schedule is here. (The Bruins will "ground" the Jets ha ha ha!) New DVD releases include Joseph Gordon Levitt's Don Jon.  On Bill Moyers & Company, author Thomas Cahill talks with Billeh about the conservative freak-out over Pope Francis, and former Poet Laureate Philip Levine explains how working on an assembly line in Detroit influenced his poetry.  And Sunday night's squee-worthy event is the Season 4 premiere of Downton Abbey on PBS---please watch it properly, with pinky extended.

And here's your Sunday morning lineup. For shits and giggles, let's see how many righties and lefties they've booked this weekend (numbers won’t match up perfectly because middle-of-the-roaders won’t be counted):

This Week: Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Charles Schumer (D-NY); roundtable with Cokie Roberts, Bill Kristol, Republican strategist Ana Navarro, former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Buzzfeed's Ben Smith.  Righty/Lefty Index: 3/3

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Sunday on MTP: Donna!!!
Meet the Press: Former DHS director Janet Napolitano; Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling and CNBC’s Jim Cramer on the 2014 economy;  Dr. Delos Cosgrove of the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. John Noseworthy of the Mayo Clinic on the ACA; roundtable with Steve Schmidt, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), Judy Woodruff and Chuck Todd.  Righty/Lefty Index: 2/2

Face the Nation:  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV); roundtable with washed-up Reagan remnant Peggy Noonan, David Sanger (NYT), David Ignatius (WaPo), and John Dickerson (CBS).  Righty/Lefty Index: 1/1

CNN's State of the Union: White House Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling; Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI).  Righty/Lefty Index: 1/1

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Mitt Romney offers his thoughts on the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.  Yeah, because that worked out so well when he offered his thoughts on the 2012 Olympics in London.  NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue vs. Becket Fund for Religious Liberty's Mark Rienzi on the ACA contraception mandate.  Roundtable with Brit Hume, Amy Walter, George Will and Charles Lane.  Righty/Lefty Index: 5/1

Final tally: 12 righties, 8 lefties.  Perfect intellectual parity.  Happy viewing!


Five years ago in C&J: January 3, 2009

Senator Al Franken
The winnuh!
CHEERS to Amy Klobuchar's new junior partner.  The results are in aaaand...half of Americans still can't find Minnesota on a map.  But who cares?  Al Franken beat Norm Coleman by 225 votes and returned Paul Wellstone's seat to a true progressive.  There'll be a bunch of legal maneuvering to delay Al's coronation, but in the meantime we can think about this to tide us over: Bill O'Reilly just lost another showdown against his arch-nemesis, and he's going to have to live with "UNITED STATES SENATOR AL FRANKEN" rattling around in his brain for six long years.  Oh,'re beautiful when you seethe.


And just one more…

CHEERS to saving our celluloid. Twenty-five movies from yesteryear have been inducted into the National Film Registry. Some of them---Mary Poppins, Pulp Fiction, The Magnificent Seven---are mainstream hits, and it's great to see Michael Moore's Roger and Me on the list in time for its 25th anniversary. Others are less known but just as important, such as…

Movie poster for Forbidden Planet, inducted into the National Film Registry in 2012
Robby the Robot finally
gets his close-up.
Cicero March (1966)
During the summer of 1966, the Chicago Freedom Movement, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., targeted Chicago in a drive to end de facto segregation in northern cities and ensure better housing, education and job opportunities for African Americans. After violent rioting and a month of demonstrations, the city reached an agreement with King, in part to avoid a threatened march for open housing in the neighboring all-white town of Cicero, Ill., the scene of a riot 15 years earlier when a black couple tried to move into an apartment there. [T]he Chicago-based Film Group, Inc. filmmakers situated themselves in the midst of confrontations and captured for posterity the viciousness of northern reactions to civil-rights reforms.

Daughter of Dawn (1920)
A fascinating example of the daringly unexpected topics and scope showcased by the best regional, independent filmmaking during the silent era, "Daughter of Dawn" features an all-Native-American cast of Comanches and Kiowas. Although it offers a fictional love-story narrative, the film presents a priceless record of Native-American customs, traditions and artifacts of the time.

Men and Dust (1940)
[T]his labor advocacy film is about diseases plaguing miners in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Sponsored by the Tri-State Survey Committee, "Men and Dust" is a stylistically innovative documentary and a valuable ecological record of landscapes radically transformed by extractive industry.

I remain hopeful that the all-time greatest movie ever---Cats and Dogs---will one day find itself nestled among the NFR's pantheon of greatness for its message of universal truth in a world gone mad: "Dogs drool, cats rule."

Oh, and be sure to mark December 29th on your calendar so you don’t miss Part I of A Very Special C&J Look Back At 2014. It'll be very exciting! In the meantime, the newly-waxed floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?



Who won the week?

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