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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

An Email Exchange I'd Like to See

From: Bill in Portland Maine
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 7:34 AM
To: The Cosmic Forces of the Universe

Time for some serious immigration reform,
for an increase in the federal minimum wage,
for a major jobs program,
for bringing our troops home from Afghanistan,
for nixing the Keystone XL Pipeline,
for some massive funding for public education including state colleges,
for an EPA overhaul of hazardous substance rules,
for tossing out that hideous Asia version of NAFTA,
for a Constitutional Amendment that says corporations are not people,
for a new Voting Rights Act with even more teeth,
for restoring net neutrality,
for higher taxes on the rich,
for enough food inspectors to actually inspect our food,
for passing every responsible-gun-ownership law favored by more than 50 percent of the people in this country,
for dumping the NSA metadata machine,
for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act,
for a Bob McDonnell conviction,
for Rush Limbaugh to make good, one year ahead of schedule, on his 2010 threat to move to Costa Rica in 2015 if Obamacare became law (and he can take that whiner Hannity with him),
for seeing to it that Chris Christie can never drive anywhere ever again without getting stuck in traffic,
for spring.

From: The Cosmic Forces of the Universe
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 7:35 AM
To:  Bill in Portland Maine

Got it.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Note: President Obama hasn't taken a single sick day in five years, prompting some to suspect he's a communist robot built and controlled by George Soros.  Film and paranoia at 11.
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Key West Food and Wine Festival 2014 logo
Starts today!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til President Obama meets with Pope Francis: 64
Days 'til the Key West Food and Wine Festival: 0!!!
Minimum number of women diagnosed with breast cancer last year: 230,000
(Source: American Cancer Society)
Amount by which the Medicaid expansion in West Virginia has cut the number of the uninsured there: 1/3
Number of Americans still in the Medicaid "coverage gap" nationwide because most Republican governors enjoy seeing poor people suffer: 5.3 million
(Source: Think Progress)
Percent chance that I'm confident Tokyo Electric Power Company has any idea what it's doing at the Fukushima nuclear power plant nearly three years after it blew up: 0%
Cost to get a steaming-hot serving of mashed potatoes from a vending machine in Singapore: 80 cents
(Source: Time)

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 184 (including 4 Earthquakes and 1 case of seriously-misplaced deity wrath).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Yeah.  Whatever…

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CHEERS to wakey time.  A European "Rosetta" probe hurtled dormant through space for the better part of three years.  But it bleeped and blorped to life Monday and is now putting on its tux for a hot date with a comet.  The probe even has its own twitter page, where it sends out progress reports, like this one:


Coincidentally, that's what I told people when I was staggering home from the bar last Saturday night.  Here's how I did it: drunk dialing.

JEERS to the bully with his hand on the Bible.  Chris Christie was sworn in for what will likely be---either due to a presidential run or a scandal---an abbreviated second term yesterday.  But before he did that he canceled his inauguration party because he said it would've been impossible to weather the storm.  Oh, karma…I [heart] you.

Roe v. Wade graphic
CHEERS to a quiet little verdict that people hardly ever mention anymore.  Roe v. Wade turns 41 today.  Pro-choice advocates will mark the occasion with events to remind Americans that women should be in control of their own bodies and that health care decisions should be between them and their doctor, not them and their nearest right-wing legislature.  Anti-choice advocates will mark the occasion by reminding Americans that microscopic bits of blastocyst matter are people too, with full rights including voting and marriage (as long as they're not gay).  And the five conservative justices on the Supreme Court will mark the occasion by licking their chops.  (Stare decisis is sooooo yesteryear.)

CHEERS to getting a second opinion.  Maine Teapublican Governor Paul LePage really doesn't want to expand Medicaid up here, but he didn’t have the ammo he needed to make the case.  So he forked over a million of our taxpayer dollars to hire a professional Medicaid basher to do a "study" on the feasibility of expanding it under the ACA.  And…voila!  The study came back showing that expanding health insurance to more poor people would be a TERRIBLE idea!  Case closed!  Except a far more credible expert looked over the study independently and concluded it's full of shit.  The part in bold slays me:

Credo Mobile graphic
Mainers will have to wait one more
year until Democrat Mike Michaud
becomes governor and seals the deal.
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But [Kathy] Gifford said the report has several shortcomings, including a miscalculation that could significantly overstate the cost of the program and expansion. Gifford reviewed the study for AARP, which favors Medicaid expansion. … Gifford, whose firm’s clients include the Kaiser Family Foundation, hospital associations and state and local governments, said there are other, more compelling issues that cast doubt on the Alexander report’s findings. … Gifford also noted that, unlike independent analyses of Medicaid expansion in other states, Alexander’s omitted any savings from expanding the program. … Asked last week why the savings weren’t included in Alexander’s analysis, members of his team said they didn’t want to complicate the study.
Yes.  There's nothing like pesky old facts to gum up the pre-conceived conclusions of a million-dollar study.  I guess that explains why the study's margin of error was plus or minus the table of contents through the endnotes.

JEERS to frozen assets.  Oh, we have been spoiled the last couple years---here in Maine, at least---with what seemed like winters that zipped right along.  But this week we---and a big swath of the republic for which we stand with our tongue stuck to a flagpole---have been thrust once again into a long-term deep-freeze.  How cold is it?  It's colder than Dick Cheney at a civil liberties convention.  It's colder than a Koch brother at a union rally.  It's colder than the glares the on-air staff gives the lone fact-checker at Fox News.  Oh yeah…it's cold.

JEERS to terror among the several states.  Apparently New York Governor Mario Cuomo said something about the "extreme conservatives" in the Empire State being a little…[circles ear with finger]…cuckoo bananas, and now because of Cuomo's comments, New York resident Sean Hannity is threatening to move to another state.  Yeah, that would be too bad, said nobody in the state.  Yeah, don't even think about it, said everybody in the other 49.

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Five years ago in C&J: January 22, 2009

CHEERS to the progressive honor roll.  Think Progress has compiled a list of our allies "who stood up to speak truth to power" during the reign of Generalissimo Bush.  Among them...li'l old us:

Trophy
The Netroots: Markos, Atrios, Josh Marshall, Arianna Huffington, FireDogLake, Crooks and Liars, Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan, and so many of our other blogging comrades in arms who helped forge the path of rational opposition to many of Bush’s failed policies.
Medals of Freedom to you all.  Now go give everyone on their list a big smooch.  In Jim Webb's case, maybe just a little salute.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to following in the missteps of Mr. Plagiarist and Mrs. Googly Eyes.  After meeting in their secret conference room (the one filled with plastic balls and Magic Claw machines), the tea party caucus announced that their official response to President Obama's State of the Union address will be delivered by…Senator Mike Lee of Utah:

Michele Bachmann giving tea party response to the State of the Union address in 2011.
It'll be hard to top Bachmann
and her weird off-camera
response in January 2011.
Lee was a key figure in last year’s government shutdown, when along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Lee advocated for a strategy on budget negotiations that would not pass a budget unless it defunded Obamacare.  While the tactics drew criticism from Democrats and many mainstream Republicans, the pair became champions of the tea party movement.
The tea party response, of course, is the response that follows the "traditional Republican response."  Because what's a joke without a punchline?

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"I would not go to Cheers and Jeers, and I don't think I would send my family."
---Sen. Angus King (I-ME)

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