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The Energizer Ex-President

Jimmy Carter turns 90 in a little over six months. Regardless of what you think of his one-term stint as president (during which he never said "malaise," thank you very much), his post-presidency life has been one of the most productive of any ex-POTUS. Building houses with Habitat for Humanity, helping eliminate nasty health threats like Guinea worm disease in Africa (those damn things grow to be three-feet long!), going on diplomatic missions, teaching at Emory University and, as his Carter Center motto says, "Waging peace, fighting disease, building hope" as best he can. It's a remarkable legacy, and while he doesn't make it into many presidential top 10 lists, I dare say he stands at or close to the top among the chief executives in terms of the marks they made after they left office.

Carter is hardly ready to warm a rocker on the back porch. Today he's releasing a new book that's literally "A Call to Action" for women's rights:

The Carter Center publicity photo of President Jimmy Carter.  march 2014
Guys, whaddya say you
knock off all the bullshit.
"A Call To Action," a new book by President Carter available March 25 (Simon & Schuster), urges the end of discrimination and abuse against women, calling it the number one challenge in the world today. The book builds on the work of faith leaders and courageous human rights defenders who met last summer at The Carter Center to mobilize faith groups worldwide to commit to advancing women's rights. Religion, they said, should be a force for equality and human dignity not oppression. … President Carter writes, "My own experiences and the testimony of courageous women from all regions and all major religions have made it clear that there is a pervasive denial of equal rights to more than half of all human beings, and this discrimination results in tangible harm to all of us, male and female."
From Dale Singer's review in the St. Louis Times-Dispatch:
Cover of the book
[H]e says he often asks [his Emory] students this trick question: “When did women gain the right to vote in the United States?” The usual answer, he says, is the 19th amendment to the constitution, ratified in 1920.

But in keeping with the themes of his book---women, religion, violence and power---Carter says the real answer is 1965, when Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act that protected black Americans against discrimination at the polls.

“This makes the point,” Carter writes, “that racial, religious, and gender discrimination are often interrelated.”

The Republicans' state-by-state dismantling of healthcare policies for women in this country, especially since the 2010 midterms, are appalling. Today the Supreme Court gets a crack at dismantling them even more, not long after they took an ax to the aforementioned Voting Rights Act. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Carter's book enters the fray at the perfect moment.

Oh, and DVR alert: Jimmy's the guest tonight on The Colbert Report. He's gonna get outwitted big-time. Colbert, I mean.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Note: $2,500 to the first person who can provide me with an authentic photo of Rand Paul at a beauty shop in curlers.  Independent verification a must.  Extra $500 for additional photos of Rand Paul fleeing the scene in curlers.  You know how to reach me.

Wakulla Wildlife Festival  logo  Florida
25 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the cutoff for the 2014 health insurance enrollment period via Obamacare: 6
Days 'til the Wakulla Wildlife Festival in Florida: 25
Percent of adults who say they'd give up some of their paycheck in exchange for working one less day a week: 22%
(Source: USA Today)
Number of cherry trees (in 12 varieties) along D.C.'s Tidal Basin: 3,770
Number of those trees that are part of the original gift from Japan in 1912: 100
(Source: National Cherry Blossom Festival)
Year during which Republicans tried to replace FDR with Reagan on the dime with their "Ronald Reagan Dime Act": 2003
Amount of time Americans spend eating per day, versus 2 hrs 42 mins for the Spanish: 1 hr 14 mins


Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere (Double Play!) after Mitt Romney appears on Face the Nation:

I fault King Mitt the Head for not stepping aside and allowing Ron Paul to claim what was rightfully his.
---Commenter Murphy at World Net Daily

You voted in that jacka## muslim who has NO past record of accomplishments and is spending all your money down the sewer and ruining this nation. Like being TAXED to death? When was the last time you sent your family on MULTIPLE vacays on someone else's dime? He's made a FOOL out of all of you and the WORLD is LAUGHING. How's that oburycare working out for you? Voting fraud and corruption STOLE the election along with STUPID sleeping people that didn't give a rats a##. There was a time you VOTED for the man and what was best for this country and it's people. So those of you that have been ASLEEP and allowed that demonic thing in the black house in deserve what you get. ovomit is NOT finished with you yet.
---Commenter Rivend at World Net Daily

All together now: 1…2…3… Cla##y!


Puppy Pic of the Day: Get-well wishes go out to Anaheim K-9 Unit hero Bruno.  


2014 Nuclear Security Summit  meeting hall.
I think King Arthur's down there somewhere.
CHEERS to going un-nuclear.  In yet another win for President Obama's efforts to rid as many countries as possible of as much nuclear material as possible, Japan said yesterday---as the nuclear security conference was opening in The Hague---that it's giving up a bunch of its weapons-grade plutonium and enriched uranium.  If you read the NYT story at the link above, you'll see that, despite the president's best efforts, there's still a bunch of the stuff stashed in various places around the world, and a bunch of nimrods (like Senate Republicans) who want to thwart efforts to make the world a safer place.  But at least now, thanks to this agreement with Japan, we don’t have to worry about any more radiation-created Godzillas.  Ha Ha Ha!

P.S. Oops.  Spoke too soon.

JEERS to one helluva slippery slope.  The Supreme Court hears arguments in the cases of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga v. Sebelius today.  The issue is whether or not, to step into the mouth of Mitt Romney for a moment, "Corporations are people, my friends, and the CEO is a bearded old person in the sky no one can see."  The Alliance for Justice has a nice summary here and concludes:

Oil painting of God -
"Kneel before me, you silly government."
If the Supreme Court agrees, it will radically reinterpret federal law---and potentially the United States Constitution.  It will be saying, in effect, not only that corporations are people, but that they are people who can impose burdens on others based on what the boss proclaims are the corporation’s religious beliefs.  That could open the floodgates to denying not only contraception, but all sorts of other rights and benefits to Americans from every walk of life.
If the court approves it, I'm going to start up my own business and object, on religious grounds, to my employees breathing, and then fire 'em for being slackers when they pass out.  I'll probably go bankrupt pretty fast, but it'll be fun while it lasts.  Repeat after me, everyone: OSHA is Satan!

CHEERS to a glimmer of hope.  Still on the subject of today's Supreme Court rumble, Talking Points Memo reminds us that none other than Antonin Scalia will have to contradict his own 1990 majority opinion if he intends to put god over government.  The case involved a couple Oregon men who ingested peyote for religious reasons, got fired for it, and were then denied unemployment benefits.  Back then, Scalia went all secular on religion's ass, ruling that unfettered exemption seekers could declare…

"…exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind," he wrote, "ranging from compulsory military service, to the payment of taxes, to health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws, compulsory vaccination laws, drug laws, and traffic laws; to social welfare legislation such as minimum wage laws, child labor laws, animal cruelty laws, environmental protection laws, and laws providing for equality of opportunity for the races."
Goodness, how will 2014 Scalia outwit 1990 Scalia?  My guess: he'll distract himself with a cannoli.

CHEERS to walkin' the walk.  On March 25, 1965---a few weeks after "Bloody Sunday" in which police set upon peaceful civil rights marchers with fire hoses, clubs and dogs---Martin Luther King, Jr. led thousands of marchers to the State Capitol in Montgomery for a rally.  Looked something like this:

MLK March from Selma to Montgomery, March 25th, 1965

The marchers got three things out of it: Lyndon Johnson's signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a permanent place in civil rights history, and aching bunions.

JEERS to unstable tyrants and their unstable toys.  North Korea fired 30 rockets into the Sea of Japan over the weekend.  Kim Jong Un says he's prepared to fire more if the ocean doesn't stop destroying his sand castles.

CHEERS to more March Madness!  The NCAA thingamahoochie continues. Here are some random scores from the weekend, which will reinforce your wise decision to rely on C&J for timely information:

Cartoon basketball scoreboard
To be clear, this is a
basketball scoreboard.
The current bracket looks like this.  I kinda feel bad for the NCAA on account of they'll only be making something like $11 billion over the next decade.  But whatever---we're all feeling the pinch.  For those of you who don’t know, here's how the tournament works: it starts with 68 teams that get whittled down to one.  Or as it's better known: Congress's approval rating since Boehner took over.


Five years ago in C&J: March 25, 2009

JEERS to sociopathic bullies.  Let us not forget that Bill O'Reilly has skewered and shamed the paparazzi for stalking celebrities.  And yet he has no problem sending his scruples-challenged harassment ogre out in the field to stalk Think Progress's Amanda Terkel, accusing her something she didn’t do:

The moron O'Reilly sent
out to stalk Amanda Terkel.
To recap: I write a blog post highlighting comments O’Reilly made during his radio show.  He sends his henchmen to harass me.  I can’t immediately recall a three-year old O’Reilly interview when accosted on the street.  He refuses to explain or apologize for implying that a dead rape victim should have been expecting the crime.  And I’m the villain.
Bill O'Reilly is to integrity what Barack Obama's lips are to Rush Limbaugh's ass.  Never the twain shall meet.


And just one more…

CHEERS to the awesomest and cheapest vacation ever.  It's March 25th and Maine hasn't seen anything even close to spring yet.  It's been -20 degrees with five-foot snow drifts for five months straight (Look it up! Look it up!) and tomorrow we're supposed to get our 129th "plowable snow event" of the season.  It's enough to make you shout, "NASA, take me away, preferably somewhere that's clothing optional…"  

Galaxi roller coaster
NASA's next project is mapping
the entire Galaxi roller coaster.
Touring the Milky Way now is as easy as clicking a button with NASA's new zoomable, 360-degree mosaic presented Thursday at the TEDActive 2014 Conference in Vancouver, Canada.  The star-studded panorama of our galaxy is constructed from more than 2 million infrared snapshots taken over the past 10 years by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

"If we actually printed this out, we'd need a billboard as big as the Rose Bowl Stadium to display it," said Robert Hurt, an imaging specialist at NASA's Spitzer Space Science Center in Pasadena, Calif. "Instead, we've created a digital viewer that anyone, even astronomers, can use."

Click here and ditch this popsicle stand.  Be sure to swing by the constellation Orion around three for complimentary margaritas.  And watch out for Neil deGrassi Tyson and his silver Cosmos rocketship.  Can you say lead foot?

Have a nice Tuesday.  And cheers to Gloria Steinem---today's her 80th birthday but we'll just call it the 41st anniversary of her 39th.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Scientists across the world have started to examine what happens to people’s brains and bodies when they become Cheers and Jeers-deprived.  Their results are enough to keep you up at night.
---Daily Mail


Hey! The House is back in session this week. How high are your expectations that the GOP leadership will accomplish anything positive beyond naming some post offices?

2%75 votes
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94%3186 votes
0%11 votes

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