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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

It Seems Like It Was Only---[BLAM!!!]---Yesterday

On February 13, 2006---after the Cheney team sat on the news for a day---America finally learned that the vice president went hunting and bagged himself a lawyer:

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a campaign contributor during a weekend quail hunt on a friend's South Texas ranch, local authorities and the vice president's office said Sunday. The wounded man, 78-year-old Harry Whittington, was in intensive care at a Corpus Christi hospital after being hit by several pellets of birdshot Saturday afternoon, hospital spokesman Peter Banko told CNN.

That was the signal to unleash the hounds of late night:

"They were in a car, they drive along, they get out of the car, he shoots his friend in the face, then they get back in the car and they go hide for 18 hours. That’s not hunting, that's an episode of The Sopranos."
---Jay Leno

Headlines during the Dick Cheney lawyer-shooting dustup.  February 13, 2006.
Lawyer? Quail? Easy mistake.
"Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man during a quail hunt ... making 78-year-old Harry Whittington the first person shot by a sitting veep since Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, of course, was shot in a duel with Aaron Burr over issues of honor, integrity and political maneuvering. Whittington? Mistaken for a bird."
---Jon Stewart

"To the vice president's credit, he did own up to it. On FOX News he said the fault was his, he can't blame anybody else. It's amazing---the only time you get accountability out of this
administration is when they are actually holding a smoking gun."
---Bill Maher

"But all kidding aside, and in fairness to Dick Cheney, every five years he has to shed innocent blood or he violates his deal with the devil."
---Jimmy Kimmel

I bring this up not only to mark one of many jaw-dropping milestones during the previous accidency…er, presidency, but to remind you that Deadeye Dick is still alive and roaming the countryside.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, February 13, 2014

Note: Today is Thursday the 13th.  The good news is: it's not unlucky!  The bad news is: it's still only effing Thursday.
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Burrowing Owls in Cape Coral, Florida
9 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the next full moon: 1
Days 'til the 12th annual Burrowing Owl Festival in Cape Coral, Florida: 9
Percent chance that the GOP's own report says the right-wing hysteria over Benghazi is bullshit: 100%
(Source: Think Progress)
Year of manufacture of the Shelby Cobra Coupe that is the first federally-registered historic car: 1964
(Source: The New York Times)
Increase in the Dow Industrials after Fed Chief Janet Yellen told a House committee she won’t be doing anything radical just yet: 192 points
Year the first commercially-produced Valentine cards were sold in the U.S.: 1834
(Source: Reuters)

Current U.S. Olympic Medal Count
Gold: 4  Silver: 2  Bronze: 6

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
What's really sad is that all this damage is being done to real, living children -- not clumps of cells in a petri dish -- to save what is, in Washington terms, pennies. Pitifully small sums. Nothing compared to the $9.9 billion being squandered on the missile defense boondoggle this year. (Did you notice that the system flunked yet another test this week, at a cost of another $85 million?) Nothing compared to the two tax breaks in the budget that benefit ONLY the really, really rich -- regular folks this time will not even get that little, tiny slice that went to the middle class in the first Bush tax cuts.

But don't get me started.

---February, 2005

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Yeah…that's big.

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CHEERS to Pabst Blue Ribbon wishes and Cheez Whiz dreams.  President Obama did something very nice (if long overdue) yesterday: he used his executive authority to give federal contract workers a raise:

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the importance of raising the federal minimum wage for all workers, during an event in the in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Nice to see him at the
old signing desk again.
"I’m about to sign this executive order.  When you hear me talking about my pen and my phone to make a difference for middle-class Americans and those working to get into the middle class, this is exactly what I mean.  I’m going to do what I can. Congress should do what it needs to do.  I will not give up on this fight, no matter how long it takes.  America deserves a raise.  Working families deserve to know some more economic security in their own lives."
The old wage was $7.25 an hour.  The raise boosts it to $10.10.  Democrats call it a good start.  Republicans will issue a statement after the smelling salts revive them.  

CHEERS to bourbon, bluegrass and betrothal.  Who knew red states would be so out-front on gay marriage?  In yet another jaw-dropping decision, a judge in Kentucky ruled yesterday that same-sex couples who live in there but get married in another state will be considered legally hitched:

Kentucky seal of the commonwealth
"Hey, what's your sign?"
Ruling in a suit brought by four gay and lesbian couples, [Judge John] Heyburn said that while “religious beliefs ... are vital to the fabric of society ... assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons.”  Heyburn said “it is clear that Kentucky’s laws treat gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.”
At this point it's become easier to count the states that don't have any marriage-equality rulings pending: seven.  I think we're due to hear from a judge in Texas today.  Fearless prediction: it'll be the first gay marriage ruling in history to contain the word Yippeykayay.

JEERS to conversations with myself.  The latest ping-pong match inside my head:

Mary Barro, GM CEO
Thou vexeth me, woman!
Me: Outrageous! Mary Barra is only making four million dollars as the new head of General Motors???  That's only half of what the former male CEO of GM made! This is sexism at its worst!
Me: Actually, Barra is making more than her male predecessor. Lots more. Like, 60 percent more.
Me: Really?
Me: Yeah.
Me: Outrageous!  This is income inequality at its worst!  She should be making four million bucks tops. Sign the petition!!!
Me: Do you ever listen to yourself?
Thank god, no.

Man holding pistol in old western movie
"And after I blast ya I think I'll go
order some pizza and not call the cops."
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JEERS to the dick in the dock.  Another "stand your ground" trial is underway in---where else?---Florida, where a middle-aged white guy opened fire on some black kids sitting in a car at a convenience store, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis.  Michael Dunn says he had absolutely no choice but to unload nine rounds into the car.  After all, what other choice could there be when some sassy kids are playing loud music and not brandishing a weapon of any kind?  Ignore 'em and drive away?  Complain to the store manager?  Go inside and call the cops?  Count to ten and try to calm the fuck down?  Or maybe---just maybe---whip out the gun and point it but don’t pull the fucking trigger right away?  Nonsense---none of those options were available.  The only choice, says Dunn, was to instantly and without warning start spraying hot lead into a car to prevent those darn kids from thinking they could go around being sassy and playing their loud music wherever they damn well please.  He also had no choice but to flee the scene without calling the cops, and then order some pizza and booze at a quaint bed & breakfast in St. Augustine before turning in for a good night's sleep.  I have no punchline for this because I have no words.

JEERS to Presidents' Day ads.  They're all over TV and print (not so much on the internet, though, which is a bit odd) hawking everything from cars to mattresses---bad actors in bad Abe and George costumes spouting lines like "We'll free your credit with no payments 'til 2015!" and "We cannot tell a lie...we're dealin'!!!"  I've even seen one with Abe and George pillow-crooning:

My God, Spock, what have they done?  What…have they…done?  And advertisers wonder why they always find themselves at the bottom of the professional food chain.  (Although, admittedly, in the stratosphere compared to Congress, so there's that.)

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Five years ago in C&J: February 13, 2009

CH'J'CH'J'EERS to the biggest ATM (American Tax Money) withdrawal in history.  The details of the economic recovery package appear to be all hashed out.  Yes, it's great that it looks like it'll pass.  But it sucks that it was necessary (and probably only enough to do a "heckuva job" instead of a "truly effective" job).  Yes, it's great that it includes lots of money for vital projects like these (via AP)...

American Recovery and Investment Act road sign
Among other things, Obama
saved the road sign industry.
Across the nation, some of the 102,798 leaks at storage tanks beneath gasoline stations could finally be cleaned up.  And a network of gauges used to predict floods along America's streams and rivers across the country might get enough funding to literally stay afloat.  These are just some of the environmental projects that could be funded when Congress passes the economic stimulus package.

But it sucks that none of these projects (and many others) were deemed important enough until we were on the verge of a total meltdown and stuck in two protracted wars with countries that 70 percent of us still can't find on a map.  Still, the plan does include "Free Ice Cream Fridays" and how can you say no to that?  Pass the damn thing and build us some bullet trains, already.  You can just charge it to our great great great great great great grandchildren.  I'll vouch for their creditworthiness.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to Sid Caesar.  I spent half the night on You Tube watching the master at work.  They say only the good die young.  Sid died at a very young 91.  Enjoy:

Normally I'd feel bad for planting that earworm in your head.  Not today.

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"Tomorrow Bill in Portland Maine will be lying on a curb in Minsk."
---Bob Costas

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Poll

Do you think Rep. Michele Bachmann is correct when she asserts that God will repeal the Affordable Care Act because Republicans are "His people"?

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