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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Two Choices. No More, No Less. Two.

President Obama ties his bow tie fr the 2013 Gridiorn Dinner on March 9, 2013.
Obama dresses for great-
ness...or brokenness?
-
As Barack Obama starts his sixth year in office today, I find myself once again asking the question: "How will I know if he's a great president…or a broken one?"

As a slovenly blogger pecking away at a crumb-encrusted keyboard in my Underoos without a shred of intelligence or common sense, I'm in no position to pronounce judgment on the most powerful public figure in the world. I hate to admit it, but me and my Dorito-stained fingers are lost souls when it comes to #44's legacy.

So thank goodness I can, once again, count on America's most-grey-templed sage, David Brooks, for the crucial guidance I never got from my muthuh, my fathuh, or my high school guidance counseluh. Brooks knows all, sees all, judges all and pronounces all. He'd know if President Obama is a great president or a broken one. In fact, he's so good that he pronounced judgment in January 2009, 12 days before "That One" took the first oath of office ever to be botched by a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court:

"By this time next year, he'll either be a great president or a broken one."
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to President Barack Obama during the inaugural swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2013. First Lady Michelle Obama holds a Bible that belonged to Dr
Jan. '13: a not broken president is sworn
in for his 2nd term of not-brokenness.
There you have it: since he's clearly not a broken president, President Obama joins Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, TR, and FDR among the greats. It's right there in writing by the most serious of the Very Serious People.

Thanks, Mr. Brooks, for retro-confirming the future greatness of the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama once again.

Same time next year?

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

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, January 20, 2014

Note: For the last time: NO.  Chesley Sullenberger will not come to your house and spoon you.

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Australia Day graphic
6 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Valentine's Day: 25
Days 'til Australia Day: 6
The last year that home foreclosures were as low as they were in 2013: 2007
(Source: RealtyTrac via AP)
The last year that job openings were as high as they were last November: 3/08
(Source: Labor Department)
Reduction in the deficit during the first quarter of the fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 through December 31, compared to last year's first quarter: 40%
(Source: Congressional Budget Office)
Number of presidential inaugurations John Marshall presided over: 9 (two Jeffersons, two Madisons, two Monroes,  one J.Q. Adams and two Jacksons)
An encore reminder of the 2012 Obama-Romney electoral college results: 332-206

NFL results:
Seattle Seahawks 23  San Francisco 49ers 17
Denver Broncos 26  New England Patriots 16

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Puppy Pic of the Day: It snowed here over the weekend.  Haley, C&J's yellow lab-mix, shows her approval with a smile that reminds me of The Joker's:

Haley, the lab-mix of Bill in Portland Maine and Common Sense Mainer.  Jan. 2014
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Martin Luther King, Jr.
Happy Your Day, MLK!
CHEERS to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Once again we're thankful, and rather awestruck, by what he accomplished for black America---and, consequently, all of America---in his way-too-short life.  He was flawed, as all humans are.  But he had that stubborn 'ol dream.  And come hell or high water (or fire hoses or guns or nightsticks or jail time or whatever else the bigots could throw at the movement) he refused to shut up and sit down, or match violence with violence:
"Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals."
King and I co-existed on the Blue Planet for two-and-a-half years.  Oops…there I go boasting again.  Oh, and remember: there's no mail today, which also means no bills today. Thank you for that too, Reverend.

JEERS to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Once again, we didn’t get a single Martin Luther King Jr. Day card in the mail (we sent out 150), no Martin Luther King Jr. Day presents under our Martin Luther King Jr. Day tree and, as usual, radio stations are way overdoing the Martin Luther King Jr. Day carols. But the Martin Luther King Jr. Day mattress sales are pretty decent. If you have a dream of no money down and no payments 'til 2015, c'mon down!

CHEERS to the game of Jenga: Chris Christie edition.  I don’t much care for any governor who yells at teachers and other public employees who don't get paid enough to take that kind of abuse.  So I cheered when "Hobokengate" blew open on Saturday morning.  Here's Tom Moran at the Star Ledger to fill you in and put it in lip-smacking perspective:

Time to give this bully a
taste of his own medicine.
This one is beyond ugly. Because in the end, [Hoboken Mayor] Zimmer did get shorted. Hoboken got $342,000, a pittance for a town that was 80 percent under water after the October 2012 storm. She had requested $127 million. …

Leaving people stranded in horrid traffic for four days is bad enough. But denying aid to victims of Sandy as a means of leverage against an elected official is simply revolting. And surely illegal.  Time for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman to jump on this.  And the Legislature should ramp up an investigation as well.

For those of you keeping score: along with "Bridgegate," Christie is now embroiled in twice as many "-gates" as Nixon.  I wonder if the governor is talking to the portraits in the halls of the executive mansion yet.

JEERS to overstating the obvious.  New research compiled by the Institute of Obvious Conclusions concludes that too much alcohol takes a toll on middle-aged male brains.  Well thank you very much, Florence Nightingale.  Hey, you know what else takes a toll on middle-aged male brains?  Middle age.

Football
A football.
JEERS to fumble fingers.  If you missed the NFL action yesterday, here's what I saw: one team out of four sucked donkey balls.  It wasn't Seattle or San Francisco or Denver.  No, it was New England, which apparently woke up at noon and straggled in from the Pee Wee league lookin' for the beer tent around 2:59pm.  So it'll be Denver vs. Seattle on February 2nd during Super Bowl 20 + 18 + 5 + 4 + 6 – 5.  As usual, the winners will be the Budweiser Clydesdales and whoever's turn it is to have a wardrobe malfunction.

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And Just One More/Five years ago in C&J:

CHEERS to Great Moments in Comings and Goings.  On January 20, 2009, the world came to a standstill as Barack Obama became the first African-American to be inaugurated President of the United States.  Hope and change were on our lips and tears were in our eyes.  This was my entry for the day at Daily Kos:

President Barack Obama gives his inaugural address to a worldwide audience from the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol after taking the oath of office in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009
This here day right here.
For One Day
No cynicism
No anger
No rage
No rants
No fuming
No fighting
No teeth-grinding
No axe-grinding
No finger-pointing
No tut-tutting
No bitterness
No bloviating
No bickering
No bitching
No frustration
No pettiness
No worries
No quibbles
No quarrels
No squabbles
No seething
No snipping
No sniping
No whining
No wankery
No regrets
No fear
No hate
No agenda

Just celebration...
And jubilation...
And pride...
And hope...
And history so thick you can cut it with a knife...

And one word---originally spoken and repeated by John Adams to George Washington---that skips like a stone across 220 years of American history to echo on the steps of the Capitol at noon today with new significance: "Finally! Finally!"

For at least one day...

This one glorious day...

It's all good.

Aretha Franklin 2009 Inauguration graphic:
Okay, okay. Make
that three reasons.
How sappy.  How treacly.  How starry-eyed and naïve.  And I stand by every word.  It was a once-in-the-history-of-our-country moment for two earth-shaking reasons: who we were saying hello to, of course…but also who we were saying good riddance to.  If Hillary Clinton runs and wins, I'll be thrilled for the way she'll have taken a bazooka to the glass ceiling.  But she won’t be replacing a gang of tyrants who paralyzed the country with war, economic inequality, religious wackadooery, record deficits and the Great Recession.  Obama inherited so much Republican-strewn garbage, it makes my head spin to think about it.

We all know what a slog the last five years has been.  But January 20, 2009 was amazing.  You might even say it was all good.

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Want to get hired? Don't hug Bill in Portland Maine
---Today.

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Poll

Overall, how would you grade President Obama's performance after five years in office?

3%332 votes
8%697 votes
13%1159 votes
20%1785 votes
20%1731 votes
12%1073 votes
6%590 votes
4%387 votes
4%359 votes
2%235 votes
2%192 votes
0%24 votes

| 8568 votes | Vote | Results

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