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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

[Poink!] The First Late Night Snark of Spring Sprouts!

"Things have gotten very tense between the U.S. and Russia. In fact, during a speech today Vladimir Putin criticized the U.S. for thinking it's “always right.” Then he went back to organizing an election where you can't vote 'No.'"
---Jimmy Fallon

"President Obama released his March Madness bracket this morning, picking Michigan State to win the tournament. In response, Vladimir Putin started moving troops into Gonzaga."
---Seth Meyers

Don't Tread on My Obamacare graphic
Reminder: 2014 Enrollment
ends in 10 days!
"John McCain wrote an op-ed in The New York Times and said Obama has made America look weak because he's not decisive. Right---"decisive." Y'know, once you've picked Sarah Palin as your vice president, decisions aren't something we call you for as a phone-a-friend."
---Bill Maher

"So many Obamacare horror stories have been debunked at this point that The Los Angeles Times speculated that, 'maybe there are no genuine Obamacare horror stories.' Yeah, or
maybe there were until the death
panels got 'em."
---Stephen Colbert

"Colorado has launched a million-dollar ad campaign warning people of the dangers of getting stoned and driving. So keep your eyes peeled for billboards that say SPEED UP."
---New SNL Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost

"So what I'm getting from Fox [News] is this: exploiting government largesse, while reprehensive and morally corrupting for an individual, is A-OK for corporations. So maybe this'll help: don't think about food stamps and Head Start and programs like that as feeding and helping a small child. Think about it as investing in a promising startup with a liquidity problem."
---Jon Stewart (via BruinKid)

[Note to self: don't forget to add pithy line here that ties all of the above into one overarching lesson that will improve the lives and fortunes of millions. They're all counting on you.]

Your west coast-friendly edition of  Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, March 21, 2014

Note: Our condolences to friends and family of the crocus in our back yard that poked its head up when it heard spring had arrived, only to be greeted with a hail ball the size of a goat spleen.  And shame on whoever sent an arrangement of fresh-cut crocuses to the funeral home, you sick bastard.
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MoCCA Arts Fest logo 2014 New York City
15 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the enrollment deadline for health insurance through Obamacare: 10
Days 'til the MoCCA Arts Fest in New York: 15
 Percent of Americans who believe employers should not be exempt from the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate versus 41 who believe they should be exempt: 53%
Percent of those 18-34 who say employers shouldn't be exempt, versus 33% who say they should: 62%
(Source: NBC News/WSJ poll)
Chance an Air Force officer tasked with launching nuclear missiles stands accused of cheating on a proficiency exam: 1-in-5
(Source: Harper's Index)
Days that Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair will spend behind bars as a sexual predator, thanks to whatever the hell passes for the current system of military justice these days: 0
(Source: CNN)
Number of microscopic saliva droplets the average talker sprays per minute: 300
(Source: The internet)

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Friday Michele Bachmann Departure Clowntdown

Michele Bachmann and her googly eyes leave Congress in 288 days.  Please plan your ex-gay therapy sessions accordingly.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Small fish in a big pond

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CHEERS to the Dean revolution: the first one-tenth of one century.  As Kos dukes it out with the Wall Street elites who make up the entire board at Third Way, we were reminded this week that Howard Dean's Democracy for America has been helping promote and elect progressive candidates for ten years.  From Dean's reflection on the anniversary, which he cross-posted here at Daily Kos:

Democracy for America logo
"Ten more years!
Ten more years!"
Today, Democracy for America has become everything we imagined it could be and more.We've trained 75,000 candidates, campaign staff and volunteers. We elected more than 800 progressive candidates in all 50 states. Together, our movement has grown to more than 1 million members nationwide.  Whether it's fighting to implement a 50 State Strategy and access to Medicare for All or electing candidates like Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren, working together, we have played an active, critical role in every election since our founding---and we're just getting started.
Dean's rallying cry has always been, "YOU have the power!"  And those of you who have supported the organization from the start will be thrilled to know that your power has been upgraded to include the ability to shoot lightning from your fingers.  Please: charbroil responsibly.

CHEERS to the flying FLOTUS.  First Lady Michelle Obama continues her trip to China.  Her mission, according to the knuckledragger wing of the American citizenry, is to bankrupt the USA by racking up outRAGEOUS expenses to support her tyrannical hoity-toity lifestyle!  Once you're done laughing, you can check out her schedule for the next few days:

First Lady Michelle Obama arrives in Beijing for a week-long trip.  March 20, 2014
Trust me, China. You're
gonna fall in love with her.
-
Saturday (Beijing)
> Delivers remarks to American and Chinese students at the Stanford Center at Peking University, discussing the importance of study abroad and other cultural exchanges.
> Online discussion with American kids highlight the role of technology in enabling students in the United States to connect and collaborate with students around the world.
> Visit to the Summer Palace.

Sunday (Beijing)
> Education roundtable and visit to the Great Wall of China.

Monday (Xi’an)
> Visits to the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum and the Xi’an City Wall.

Sasha and Malia are also tagging along.  They'll experience the exciting life of China's youth by spending a few hours on an iPad assembly line and being blocked from logging on to their favoritie web sites.  Then they'll all sit down for a traditional Chinese meal of steamed smog cutlets.

[NOTHING TO SEE HERE PLEASE MOVE ALONG] to [I said, NOTHING TO SEE HERE PLEASE MOVE ALONG].  Fred Phelps died.  For the first time ever, an infamous 2008 quote by Dick Cheney actually comes in handy here: "So?"

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).
Watching in the Roosevelt Room as the
House passes the health care reform bill.
CHEERS to the Nailbiter Heard Round the World.  I remember it like it was just 1,461 days ago…mainly because it was.  On March 21, 2010, the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  And what a collection of moments we saw...from blue dog Bart Stupak's grandstanding over abortion, to John Dingell showing off his historic Medicare gavel, to the House leadership locking arms and walking through a canopy of teabaggers like the protagonists of The Wizard of Oz skipping down the yellow brick road, to the hecklers that created "mass hysteria" (Barney Frank's term), and finally the moment that nobody wanted to arrive because they were all having so much darn fun: the 219-212 vote shortly before midnight.  Today Democrats marked the occasion with quiet reflection on a job well done and signups that are in line with expectations.  Republicans marked the occasion by gnawing the bark off a tree.

JEERS to under-the-rug sweepage.  Oh, Kansas conservatives, what have you done now?  As if the deck isn't already stacked far enough against ordinary citizens when they file a complaint against the police for misconduct, now they want to threaten people who dare report officers for their abuses with possible felony charges.  Think of it as a sort of "Stand Your Ground" law for cops, as in this one-act drama by the Portland Billy Players:

Kansas Cop: That citizen just threatened me by accusing me of cracking his skull with a club for no reason!  I feel threatened by his accusation!
Kansas Cop Captain: Why, that's outrageous!  How dare that citizen lie when you, a knight in shining black armor, clearly wouldn't do such a thing!  I pronounce you innocent!  Lock that liar citizen up!  He's a menace to the proper order and discipline of this community!
Cop: Darn tootin', Captain!  He was threatening my ability to do my job!  Can we throw away the key?
Captain: Only if he makes a similar complaint against a guard working in our noble and perfect incarceration system.
Cop: Oh, goody!
Those are the cops you really need to steer clear of.  The ones who say "Oh, goody."

JEERS to self-righteous knuckledragging.  On this date in 1638, progressive preacher Anne Hutchinson was booted from the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the Puritan leadership after being accused of "Blasphemy!" and "Lewd conduct!"  Today the Republican National Committee unveiled a statue to commemorate the event.  In honor of the Puritans.

Neil deGrasse Tyson battles the
empire of ignorance Sunday.
CHEERS to home vegetation.  It's mud season here in Maine!  That's all the excuse I need to park my butt in front of the TV this weekend.  It starts tonight at 8 with the season premiere of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on the CW, followed by Rachel and then Real Time, where Bill Maher talks with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Shane Smith, Errol Morris, Sheila Bair and Simon Schama.  New DVD releases include Oscar nominees American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks.  The schedule for the NBA is here and the NHL schedule is here.  And Sunday night, Neil deGrasse Tyson continues to enrage the universe deniers with episode three of Cosmos.  Or as I've started calling it: my hour of zen.

On Bill Moyers & Company, investigative journalists Kim Barker and Andy Kroll explain "the role of dark money---and the wealthy donors behind it---in this year’s midterm elections."  And here's your Sunday morning lineup, which I remind you is posted here purely for comic purposes:

This Week: Nate Silver gets the beltway's blessing of his new FiveThirtyEight site when George Stephanopoulos recites the magic words: "And we're out of time, we'll have to leave it there." Roundtable on how Happiness Day is a U.N. plot to distract us while they steal our golf courses with Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Cokie Roberts and Dan Senor; actor and water.org co-founder Matt Damon.

President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter classes up
'Meet the Press' Sunday.
Meet the Press: This week it's David Gregory's turn to babysit Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) while Kristi goes shopping.  Former Republican director of Homeland Security under Bush, Michael Chertoff, talks about Ukraine and stuff because he's bored at home.  Jimmy Carter once again proves to be the smartest guy in the room as he corrects the previous two guests and promotes his new book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.

Face the Nation: Mitt Romney, the world's preeminent expert on both airline mechanical engineering and delicate foreign-policy crisis negotiations, explains to Bob Schieffer why Obama sucks; Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL); roundtable on why Happiness Day sucks because all we're legally allowed to do is "pursue" it, not have it, with Clarissa Ward (CBS), Leigh Gallagher (Fortune), David Sanger (NYT), Capt. Sully Sullenbrger and David Gallo (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution…Huhhuhhuh, I said hole).

CNN's State of the Union: Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie on ending violence against women.  Rep. Patrick Meehan and Rep. Adam Schiff; underwater search and rescue expert Curt Newport; Reverend Earl Johnson, former National Disaster Spiritual Care Manager for the Red Cross; White House Deputy National Security Adviser, Tony Blinken and former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.  Then Newt Gingrich swoops in and kills the buzz.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Rep Michael McCaul (R-TX); Dr. Alan Diehl, formerly with the NTSB and FAA; Governor John Kasich (R-OH) gets his Roger Ailes tongue bath; roundtable with Juan Williams, Bob Woodward, Iraq war criminal and friend of Fox Paul Wolfowitz and, taking a break from appearing on ABC News's This Week, Fox News's Laura Ingraham.

Happy viewing!

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Five years ago in C&J: March 21, 2009

JEERS to things you should never try at home (or anywhere else).  You have got to be kidding me:  

A woman in southern Maryland was airlifted to a hospital last weekend after being wounded by a saber saw with a sex toy attached to it.
The woman and her partner apparently plan to sue the manufacturer, Black & Pecker.

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And just one more…

JEERS to the Very Seriousest of the Very Serious People. Since the universe is taking a bit of time this week to look back at the clusterfuck that was the Iraq War, it's worth pulling this gem out of cyber-storage (with a hat tip to Atrios).  This is Tom Friedman's rationalization for why inflicting pain and punishment on Iraq was teh awesome.  Literally, he told the Middle East: "Suck on this"...

On the one hand, what a typical American know-it-all bully jerk. On the other hand, if someone's going to present himself as an expert on sucking, I can think of few people more qualified than Tom Friedman.

Have a springy sproingy weekend.  Oh, and happy birthday to JSB---or should I say, "Ahhhhhh...Bach!"  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

7%187 votes
11%273 votes
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12%295 votes
6%156 votes
22%526 votes
6%154 votes
1%38 votes
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8%192 votes
10%247 votes

| 2355 votes | Vote | Results

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