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Nifty Nifty, Look Who's Lookin' A Lot Younger Than Fifty!

First Lady Michelle Obama hands a diploma to a graduating senior during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet High School for Health Sciences and Engineering at Historic Pearl High commencement ceremony, at the Howard C. Gentry Complex in Nashville, Tenn., May 18, 2013 (Chuck Kennedy)
So distant......
Michelle Obama is the ninth First Lady I've lived to see. She's my favorite, too.

We have a lot in common, FLOTUS and I.  She's a wife, a mom, a lawyer and a strong advocate for our veterans. I'm a domestic partner, the spawn of a mom, a lawyer's nightmare and I believe our veterans deserve to be well taken care of on our nickel for the rest of their lives. She loves growing vegetables and I've eaten a vegetable. She's made the White House truly feel like "The People's House," and I'm a person!

We both pamper our dogs. For four months and 12 days of each year, we're the same age. She tweets and I tweet. She loves Maine and I love Maine. She told Barack before he went onstage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, "Don’t screw it up, buddy," which is the same thing my partner Michael tells me right before I put my socks on in the morning.

First lady Michelle Obama greets former Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders, right, and her children, Skye and Spider, following a Let’s Move! London event at Winfield House in London. Sanders served as part of the U.S. delegation to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
So aloof.....
Oh! And we're both Democrats! Major, total dyed-in-the-wool Democrats.

Since she and I are practically twins, I can't let the day go by without shouting from the highest online rooftop I can find:

Happy Birthday, Michelle. You're just all kinds of awesome, and you've set the bar mighty high for future First Ladies…or First Husbands. In fact, before I cast any vote for Hillary, I want to see Bubba drop and give me 20. Then we'll see what he can do with a hula hoop and a garden shovel.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, January 17, 2014

Note: When I'm sent to the old age home in 2050 and I tell the nurses that I used to blog at Daily Kos, they'll nod politely and then write "TROLL" on my chart.  For I have been accidentally dropped off at the RedState Home for the Infirm, you see...and I shall get no pudding.


Coralville Brrr Fest (Iowa) logo
8 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Grammy Awards: 9
Days 'til the Coralville Brrr Fest in Iowa: 8
Drop in unemployment claims for the week: 2,000
Drop in coverage of climate change-related stories in The New York Times and The Washington Post, respectively, last year from the previous year: 40%, 33%
(Source: University of Colorado analysis)
Total number of climate stories on NBC, CBS and ABC's evening newscasts in 2013: 30
(Source: Robert Brulle, Drexel University)
Estimated number of federally-licensed U.S. gun dealers and pawnbrokers that sell firearms illegally: 1,719
(Source: Harper's Index)
Approximate age of Pharaoh Senebkay, whose tomb was found near the Egyptian town of Sohag: 3,650  


NEW!  Michele Bachmann Departure Countdown
Michele Bachmann and her googly eyes leave Congress in 351 days.

Puppy Pic of the Day:  New kids on the Westminster circuit


CHEERS and JEERS to fresh sausage making.  Here's special C&J guest blogger Oprah to announce the $1.1 trillion federal budget that passed through Congress this week and will be signed by President Obama:

Oprah screen grab
"YOU get some of what you want but not enough and YOU get some of what you want but not enough and YOU get some of what you want but not enough and YOU get some of what you want but not enough and YOU get some of what you want but not enough and YOU get some of what you want but not enough and...."
So it goes.  Republicans caved because they know that, strategically speaking, their in-depth statistical analysis shows that their obstruction-as-usual tactics could lead to a big defeat for them in the midterm elections, leaving them no choice but to abandon the tea party on a fiscal ice floe and take a slightly more moderate stance this one time.  Democrats caved because they're Democrats.

JEERS to justice served…poorly.  Convicted murderer and death-row inmate Dennis McGuire was executed in Ohio yesterday.  The state opted to use the method known as Injection Of Untested But Supposedly Fast Working Drugs That Turn Out To Be Not So Fast Working And Cause The Accused To Writhe In Agony For 20 Minutes As The Gallery Looks On In Horror.  Because the other methods were deemed too inhumane and unreliable.

JEERS to turning a deaf ear.  On this date 53 years ago, during his farewell address in 1961, President Eisenhower warned us all against the rise of the "military-industrial complex."  Every year, as his warning appears ever more prescient, I believe this speech ranks right up there with Lincoln's Gettysburg Address or FDR's Four Freedoms speech:

Newspaper headline regarding Dwight Eisenhower's farewell speech
That's crazy talk, old man!
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Let's see how that's working out: We did let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties and democratic processes. We did take it for granted. And we the ignorant and apathetic citizenry did not compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty are now fighting like rabid dogs.  But, hey, other than that?  Thumbs up!

CHEERS to riding to the rescue.  Speaking of the military, 22 years ago today, Operation Desert Storm---led by Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf on his trusty horse Sparkles---began:

A coalition of the willing---like, a real one---pushed Saddam's army out of Kuwait within 100 hours.  Plus we actually got out really fast when it was all over and President George H.W. Bush actually raised Americans' taxes to help pay for it.  Oh, what a pleasant little war.

CHEERS to locking and loading: Hollywood style.  With all the shootings this week (yes, folks, the "popcorn defense" is now a real thing that a jury will probably buy), mega-producer Harvey Weinstein says he's got something in the works that may set the gun lobby's hair on fire because he's…

Ted Nugent
Ted Nugent co-stars as "Gun
Cleaning Accident Victim #3"
…working on a movie that takes direct aim at the National Rifle Association.

Speaking with Howard Stern Wednesday, Weinstein said he plans on making a movie that will make the NRA “wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.”

Weinstein, who calls the gun lobby "a disaster area," says the flick will star Meryl Streep, but there's no title yet.  My suggestion: The Devil Wears an NRA Lapel Pin.  

JEERS to yesteryear's sleazebag.  On January 17, 1997, then-Speaker Newt Gingrich---the guy who promised to clean up Washington ha ha ha---accepted a reprimand by the House that included a $300,000 penalty as punishment for ethics violations.  Four days later the House voted 395-28 to discipline the doughy pantload for ethical misconduct.  Also on that day the question was answered: "What does it take to get the sun to shine and the birds to sing in Washington, D.C.?"

Bill Maher with caption
Tonight: Maher returns.
CHEERS to home vegetation: weekend edition.  Hooray---Bill Maher returns to HBO tonight with a new season of Real Time.  Guests are Glenn Greenwald, Steve Schmidt, Jennifer Granholm and professional gargoyles James Carville and Mary Matalin.  New DVD releases include the Oscar-snubbed The Butler, the Oscar-snubbed Fruitvale Station, and James Gandolfini's last movie, the Oscar-snubbed Enough Said.  The schedule for the semi-finals in the tax-exempt, non-profit NFL is here, and I predict that the Patriots will leave the Denver Broncos "mile-high and dry" Ha Ha Ha Ha! (And, what the heck, I'll give the edge to San Francisco over Seattle in the Latte With Soy Milk Hippie Bowl.)  Someone named Drake (Who?) hosts SNL, and I expect they'll mock Bridgegate with a giddy vengeance.  On Bill Moyers & Company, astrophysicist and host of the upcoming Cosmos reboot Neil deGrassi Tyson talks with Billeh about science and religion.

And here's your Sunday morning lineup.  Please hold your applause until, oh, let's say 2070:

Meet the Press: Oh, lookie!  It's Republican Congressman Mike Rogers again---the guy who surpassed John McCain last year as the most media-hoggy media hog (no small feat); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian on the NSA; former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, whose book rollout has been the worst book rollout since President Mitt Romney: My First 100 Days came out on November 7, 2012; Rudy Giuliani gets fluffed by David Gregory because there's no other possible reason he could be booked on a Sunday morning show anymore; roundtable with David Axelrod, Nia Malika Henderson, Andrea Mitchell and Newt Doughy Pantload.

Me, I'll be watching Steve
tear into Bridgegate some
more. Great work on his part.
Face the Nation: Oh, lookie!  It's Republican Congressman Mike Rogers again.  Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO); former Obama National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and former #2 at CIA Mike Morell; roundtable with David Sanger (NYT), Ruth Marcus (WaPost) and Christie Parsons (LA Times).

CNN's State of the Union: Oh lookie!  It's Congressman Mike Rogers again!  It always amazes me how Sunday morning guests can use holographic technology to appear on multiple shows simultaneously.

This Week: George Stephanopoulos goes sweater vest-to-bare chest with Vladimir Putin, and ends up in a body cast for six weeks; Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) on Sochi security; roundtable with James Carville and Mary Matalin (they'll be all over the media hawking their new book---consider yourself warned), irrelevant concern troll Peggy Noonan and her pouty bottom lip, New Yorker editor David Remnick and Tavis Smiley.

The Hitler Show: Der Fuhrer welcomes author Jerome Corsi to hawk his latest book on how Hitler escaped from Berlin with help from the U.S. government.  Congressman Mike Rogers, who will literally appear on any show with a functioning camera, offers an opposing view.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Sen Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and former NSA/CIA head Michael Hayden tell us all the things they can't tell us about our government's data-hoovering Borg; TrustedSec founder David Kennedy hacks into the Obamacare web site and organizes a death panel to steal an old lady's kidney; roundtable with Brit Hume (sporting a highly-feminine manicure and way too much blush), Juan Williams, Robert Costa and Kimberly Strassel.

Happy viewing!


Five years ago in C&J: January 17, 2009

CHEERS and JEERS to the final day.  Yeah, it's good that the White House staff is clearing out.  But lest we forget, the end of gainful employment is never fun, especially the cleaning out your desk part:

No kidding.
White House staffers will go through the behind-the-scenes business of turning in their hard passes, coded lapel pins, "flip-top" fancy White House IDs in leather folders, blackberries, cellphones, and security clearances.  At 9:00 p.m. Friday, the highest-level staffers will turn in their gear; and the West Wing will become a ghost town.
We wish them luck in their future endeavors.  They can start with penance.


And just one more…

CHEERS to Ben Franklin.  The Founding Father, publisher, diplomat, philosopher, taker of baths with lusty wenches, and the only American to invent more things than Ron Popeil turns 308 today.  I created this little "Bush/Franklin Debate" a bunch of years back, and his advice (Franklin's, I mean) is still relevant:

Painting of Ben Franklin conducting his kite experiment.
Ben Franklin:
Founding Badass
Bush: America must not ignore the threat gathering against us.  Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.
Franklin: All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones.  In my opinion, there never was a good war or a bad peace.  When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?
Bush: I'm a uniter, not a divider.  I refuse to play the politics of putting people into groups and pitting one group against another.
Franklin: Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest.
Bush: I'm not going to change my mind.
Franklin: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise. ... When you're finished changing, you're finished.
And the old man didn't even break a sweat.

I hope you have a nice, slow, fantastic weekend.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?



Who won the week?

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