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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

The Week Ahead

Monday  President Obama welcomes French President Hollande Tunnele to Washington for a State Visit. The biggest difference between a regular visit and a State Visit? A State Visit comes with more fife and better chow.

At the Olympics, Russia wins its second gold medal, for synchronized tandem-toilet stall sitting, after all the other nations get together and say, "Here, just take it."

Tuesday Montana Lt. Governor John Walsh gets sworn in as the new U.S. Senator from Montana, replacing 36-year veteran Max Baucus who becomes the new U.S. Ambassador to China. It's widely agreed that China got the short end of that stick.

New Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen makes her debut in front of the House Financial Services Committee. Her semiannual monetary-policy presentation takes longer than she expects after she's told she has to spell out the highlights using toy blocks so committee member Michele Bachmann can keep up.

Antique Valentine's Day card
Friday: a busy day for Rand Paul,
Lindsay Graham and Paul Ryan.
Wednesday  It's Lincoln's birthday. We all chipped in and got him a sousaphone.

Russian Olympic organizers announce that construction is proceeding ahead of schedule and Sochi will be completely ready for the 2014 Winter Games by 2015.

Thursday Students cheer when they find out they don’t have to go to class because the school district has called an impending asteroid strike day.

Friday The latest University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is released. America's mood registers an uptick from "itchy" to "cupcakes." (It's a weird index.)

President Obama straps on Jetpack One and blasts off for the House Democratic Issues Conference in Cambridge, Maryland. Among the ideas discussed for getting more voters to the polls in 2014: jetpacks.

Today is Valentine's Day. Wayne LaPierre at the NRA reminds you that the only way to stop a bad Cupid with an arrow is a good Cupid with a gun and a mind to stand his ground.

Plus lots of the usual blah blah blah 'cause we never run out of that. Saddle up.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, February 10, 2014

Note: I'm told that today is "Clean Out Your Computer Day."  So far I've picked enough crumbs out of my keyboard to re-assemble a chocolate chip cookie and six Cheetos, and enough dog hair to knit a three-foot-long scarf.
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Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival Maryland
19 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Presidents' Day, President's Day and Presidents Day: 7
Days 'til the 24th annual Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival in Delaware: 19
Estimated jobs created through historic preservation since 1997 in Virginia, which has generated $133 million in revenue from it: 31,000
(Source: USA Today)
Percent of Americans who blame George W. Bush and Republicans for our current economic problems: 44%
Percent who blame Barack Obama and the Democrats: 33%
(Source: CNN poll)
Number of judges confirmed by the Senate so far in 2014: 1
Number of people who will save an average of $4,700 on their health insurance in 2016: 19 million
(Source: The White House)

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Tonight!

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Netroots Nation 2014 logo  Detroit
CHEERS to ideas that will change the world.  Just a quick reminder that there's a big Netroots Nation deadline coming up.  If you have an idea for a panel or workshop that you want to propose and coordinate for this year's convention (July 17-20---Detroit), just click here for the guidelines and submission form.  Entries will be accepted through midnight of next Wednesday, the 19th.  To avoid the embarrassment of duplication, please note that I've already sent in a proposal for a panel called "How to Avoid the Embarrassment of Duplication."  To avoid the embarrassment of it getting lost, I sent it in twice.

JEERS to culinary bullying.  Utah suffered a black eye recently when a Salt Lake City school's cafeteria workers dumped deep-dish pizza in the trash because the students who bought them had unpaid balances on the lunch cards.  The school district is sorting it all out now, and they say it won’t happen again because they're implementing a new policy.  I believe the official name of it is Don’t Be An Asshole.

MEH to the games.  I admit I'm biased.  The Vancouver Olympic games four years ago spoiled me with their William Shatner, their Anne Murray, their Ghost of Pierre Trudeau and their Stephen Colbert in speed-skater Spandex.  It's just---sorry to say---a huge step down from Canada to Russia, so I'm not into these games just yet.  Well, except the part where athletes like Dutch snowboarder Cheryl Maas respond to Putin's anti-gay hysteria with a little flash of defiance:

In case you can't make it out, it's a rainbow with a unicorn.  As soon as he saw it, Vladimir Putin quietly scrawled "Ride unicorn shirtless in front of press" on his bucket list.

CHEERS to Einsteinian logic.  Pay attention, this is pretty amazing: I live in Portland, Maine.  Portland, Maine is the happiest city in the eastern United States.  Therefore Portland, Maine is the happiest city in the eastern United States because I live in Portland, Maine.  I believe this is the part when I drop the mic and walk off the stage.

JEERS to the angry blue planet.  How are things going for our fellow homo sapienses in other countries?  Here's a handy guide you can print out and keep in your pocket for easy reference at garden parties and other social gatherings, because it gets confusing sometimes:

Cartman from South park.
Libya: pissed
Yemen: pissed
Ukraine: pissed
Syria: pissed
North Korea: pissed
Egypt: pissed
England: not as pissed as before but still pretty pissed
Central African Republic: pissed
Pakistan: pissed
Palestine: pissed
Afghanistan: pissed
Canada (specifically, Rob Ford): pissed
Israel: pissed
Iraq: pissed
You can remember it easier with this handy acronym decoder: "People In Shitty Situations Enduring [pick one:] Dictators, Deficitmongers, Dolts and/or Drones.

CHEERS to the most important day in U.S. history.  On February 10, 1945, the Andrews Sisters hit the top of the charts with `Rum & Coca Cola.'  Or, if you want to make the Republicans near you writhe in agony: "Cuba Libre!"

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Five years ago in C&J: February 10, 2009

Fred Barnes on Fox News
Ninny
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JEERS to life in the intellectual desert.  Fred Barnes, the hyperactive Fox News "analyst" and Weekly Standard "columnist," is considered the cream of the conservative "thinkers."  So when he recently asserted that the case for global warming is "falling apart," the folks at Talking Points Memo called to find out where he got his information.  Barnes' response tells you everything you need to know about the modern-day Republican: "I'm not going to do your research for you."  Translation: it came from the prestigious conservative think tank known as Fred Barnes' Butt.  (We hear it has its own bowling alley!)

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And just one more…

CHEERS to a Very Barry Weekend (or...My, How Time Flies). Barack Obama officially announced his candidacy seven---seven!!!---years ago yesterday in front of the old state capitol in Springfield, Illinois:

Barack and Michelle Obama in Springfield...February 10, 2007
Seven years ago today.
"As Lincoln organized the forces arrayed against slavery, he was heard to say this: "Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought to battle through."

That is our purpose here today. That is why I'm in this race. Not just to hold an office, but to gather with you to transform a nation. I want to win that next battle---for justice and opportunity. I want to win that next battle---for better schools, and better jobs, and better health care for all. I want us to take up the unfinished business of perfecting our union, and building a better America."

Five years into his improbable two-term presidency, we're still frustrated by a lot of unfinished business, but mostly because of the obstructionist GOP weenies in Congress and a conservative movement that has taken leave of their senses by displaying a willingness to burn the country down before they'll let that "foreign" and "lawless" black guy succeed.  And yet, to the right-wing's tooth-grinding chagrin, Barack Hussein Obama will end up higher than Saint Ronald Reagan on historians' Best Presidents lists.  That's gonna hurt.  A lot, I hope.

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“Bill in Portland Maine ought to stick to Cheers and Jeers, because he obviously doesn’t know what the hell he's talking about.”
---John McCain

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Poll

By a show of hand, do you agree with real estate billionaire Sam Zell when he says that the difference between the 99 percent and the 1 percent is, "The one percent work harder"?

1%70 votes
0%20 votes
96%4540 votes
1%66 votes
0%10 votes

| 4708 votes | Vote | Results

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