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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

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When I run out of answers I ask questions:

•    Is the tea party "outrage" over the House's clean debt ceiling vote as phony as their overinflated tea party rally crowd estimates?

•    Is Senator Elizabeth Warren living up to our freakishly impossible expectations of her, or what?

•    Why'd ya do it, Christie? Why'd ya do it?

Question mark
•    Is this fucking winter dragging ass?

•    Have the fracking-related earthquakes stopped…or are they just old news to the media until cars start getting swallowed?

•    Does it bother anyone else that we don’t have a national backup plan for what to do if we lose gravity?

•    Is it still not a good time to ask Iraq to make good on Dick Cheney's promise to America that they would one day greet us as liberators with sweets and flowers?

•    Am I the greatest living practitioner of false choice, or are you a stain on the fabric of humanity?

•    If we had to spend a bunch of money to divert an asteroid heading straight toward us, would Republicans force us to offset it with cuts to domestic programs first?

•    Is your answer to this question always going to be no?

•    Does anyone else spend half the day checking word spellings on Google because your own computer's spellchecker seems to have a drinking procklrm?

•    Is this the day Pope Francis releases the kraken?

Those oughtta keep us busy for awhile. Me, anyway.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Note: Hillary Clinton accused of falsifying claim that it takes a village to raise a child, after documents reveal it actually takes three hamlets and a burg.  Film at 11.
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Naperville Winter Ale Fest (Illinois) logo
10 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the we hit the debt ceiling for real, according to Treasury Secretary Jack oooOOOooo: 15
Days 'til the Naperville Winter Ale Fest in Illinois: 10
Percent of Democrats and Republicans, respectively, who have a favorable opinion of Vladimir Putin: 20%, 32%
(Source: Washington Post/ABC News poll)
Percent chance that Google topped Exxon Mobil last week to claim the #2 spot in terms of market capitalization (outstanding shares x their value): 100%
Apple's market capitalization, making it #1 on the list: $463.55 billion
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)
Percent chance that if a woman is drunk while she's getting raped, she is as much to blame as her rapist: 100%
(Source: Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto)
Year in which the late Shirley Temple won her honorary Oscar: 1935

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 185 (including 4 gogs and 1 Krugman SMASH!).  Soul Protection Factor 8 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day (via Patience Wait):  Civil debate

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Woman at laptop asleep
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CHEERS to paying our bills.  In the nick of time, the House voted 221-201 to raise the debt ceiling yesterday with no fuss and no hostage-taking, thus preventing economic Armageddon that would destroy the planet and cause humanity to perish in face-melting agony (and, in those not getting enough vitamin D, rickets).  It's nice to see that the most consequential vote on which Congress votes has, finally, reverted back to becoming the most boring vote on which Congress votes.  Feels good to yawn again.

CHEERS to #16.  Happy birthday, Abe Lincoln, who turns 205 today. It's no surprise that he's considered by many to be our greatest president, including the 721 historians and political scientists who contributed their opinions to the book, Rating the Presidents:

Abraham Lincoln and son Tad.
"Why'dja chop down the cherry tree, dad?
"Wrong president, son."
Our poll rates the category of Lincoln's Character and Integrity the highest of any president's.  The poll also lauds his appointments. ... His steady leadership, rated second among presidents [after FDR], kept the Union cause alive during the Civil War's darkest days for the Union.  Our experts describe this with remarks like "took America through its greatest crisis," "great moral leader," [and] "had broad strategic vision and a poet's wisdom." ...

He possessed qualities of kindness and compassion.  Lincoln also had the wisdom of magnanimousness in victory, especially needed for the national healing after the Civil War.  Many of the men reaching the august office of the presidency have lacked these simple but uncommon virtues, which play so important a part in governing a nation.

And he had a few choice words for the future leaders of his party:
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

"He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met."

"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

Pay your respects here.  Tonight in his honor, as usual: Four score and twenty nachos.

P.S.  No, kids, that's not zombie Lincoln walking around.  It's just Daniel Day-Lewis.  Please stop chasing him around town.

CHEERS to the other birthday boy.  Man, there sure was a lot of brain power released on February 12, 1809.  In addition to Lincoln, today is the 205th birthday of Charles Darwin.  It's also, in a shocking coincidence that will confound historians for decades, Charles Darwin Day:

Dick Cheney sneering
There's also proof
that devolution exists.
[I]t celebrates the discoveries and life of Charles Darwin---the man who first described biological evolution via natural selection with scientific rigor. More generally, Darwin Day expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.
Meanwhile, the "Intelligent Design" crowd---which spends most of its time mocking the idea that we evolved from chimpanzees---will spend their day picking fleas out of each other's fur and flinging poo.

JEERS to another fine mess they've gotten us into.  As if West Virginia doesn’t have enough mayhem on its gooey hands with the Charleston chemical spill, along comes a fresh gusher of coal slurry.  The powers-that-be say there's nothing to see here please move along.  But, as a precaution, they'll dispatch a team of men in hardhats to stand around and point at it with frowny faces.

Pascal Tessier, the first openly-gay Boy Scout to earn his Eagle badge.  Feb. 11, 2014.
Gay Eagle Scout has
bigots tied in knots.
CHEERS to famous firsts.  If you're a rabid right-winger, you'll want to be near a fainting couch for this: Pascal Tessier is now in the history books as the first openly-gay Boy Scout to earn his Eagle badge.  Only a tiny fraction of Scouts ever reach high enough and dig deep enough to make it to the top.  And now that he's reached that all-American pinnacle of integrity, honor, judgment, maturity and respect, he'll be prohibited at age 18---per a Scouting policy "compromise" last year---from teaching other youth about how to master those qualities as a Boy Scout leader because at that moment he'll magically morph into a lousy, no-good pedophile suspect no longer worthy of his Eagle badge.  Somewhere in the hereafter, Kafka is suppressing a giggle.

JEERS to involuntary displacement.  It'll take awhile for mapmakers to make the change, so thank god CNN is out with the new location of London, England, which apparently up and moved itself recently:

CNN map showing London in the wrong place.
I pity whoever is tasked with informing The Queen when she wakes up from her nap.

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Five years ago in C&J: February 12, 2009

JEERS to cutting and running.  I'll mince no words about Senator Judd Gregg's decision to withdraw his nomination as commerce secretary: Coward.  Gregg decided that reality, hope and hard work were too toxic a concoction for his delicate constitution, so he bolted back to the comfortable, cold embrace of Mitch McConnell and the Republican minority, which welcomed him back as if they were hailing a conquering hero.  As for his replacement: there's only one kind of person the president can appoint to mitigate this brazen act of conservative betrayal: a total flaming liberal.  Our choice: Congressman Hempy Volvo McBirkenstock.

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And just one more…

Sky the wire fox terrier, winner of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for 2014.
We have a winnuh.
CHEERS to America's top dog.  Last night at the Westminster Kennel Club's 138th annual competition---the Super Bowl of dog shows---GCH Afterall Painting The Sky, aka "Sky" the wire fox terrier, took home the coveted Best in Show trophy.  To put it in perspective, winning Best in Show is like Ted Cruz winning the Mr. Assless Chaps Contest after a grueling whip-off with Orrin Hatch and Lindsay Graham in "Dungeon Master" Mitch McConnell's basement on January 25th, which John Boehner refused to participate in because he claimed it was rigged so he sat moping in a corner under a tanning lamp with a rubber ball in his mouth while diaper-clad David Vitter attached alligator clamps to his nipples and demanded to know who in the room was a bad boy and deserved a thorough filibustering.  Only different.

And this just in: Atlanta-area traffic grinds to a standstill as motorists get snarled in three inches of preemptive road salt.  Mayor and governor flee to undisclosed location.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

If Boehner spilled gravy on Bill in Portland Maine, he’d probably blame Obama.
---Eugene Robinson

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Poll

Eleven states still have laws that forbid convicted felons from voting after they've served their time. Do you support Attorney General Eric Holder's call for those states to repeal those laws?

82%3707 votes
10%493 votes
2%100 votes
1%78 votes
2%113 votes

| 4495 votes | Vote | Results

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