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Earth Day 2014

I have still never seen…

You're staying at this spectacular
resort for a mere millisecond. Please
leave it better than you found it.
A bison throw a cigarette butt out a car window
A flock of geese blow the top off a mountain
A seal cause an oil spill
A hippo drive a Hummer
A lemur leave the faucet dripping
A raccoon go out for the evening and leave all the lights in the house on
A bobcat fight legislation to lower smokestack emissions
A songbird sing "Drill Baby, Drill"
A panda declare bankruptcy to wriggle out of lawsuits after polluting a river
A pride of lions wage war over oil
A slug (the real kind, not the George Will kind) claim that our biggest worry is global cooling
A gorilla laugh at people who keep their tires properly inflated
A salmon pollute a stream with mercury
An elephant claim that his God says it's okay to pillage the world's natural resources willy-nilly because pachyderms are the "chosen ones"
A mockingbird mock public transportation
A polar bear claim that the melting ice caps are no big deal
A mountain goat shrug off earthquakes related to fracking for natural gas.
A monarch butterfly buy enough Congress members to retain billions in oil subsidies.

Today is Earth Day, an event we celebrate every year to remind ourselves that we do not, in fact, have to be the biggest parasites on the third rock from the sun. Unlike the other parasites, we know what we're doing to this planet…and how…and why…and what we must do to stop turning it into a ball of uninhabitable human-made garbage.

As an inhabitant of this spectacular planet, I'll continue to try and treat it with the respect it deserves, mostly by following the golden rule: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Redouble my efforts in my basement lab to create a million-clone army of Bill McKibbens, James Hansens and Rachel Carsons." (Good news: I'm halfway there. Bad news: they're only half an inch tall.)

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Note: Due to a clerical error, Tuesday's child is no longer "full of grace" but rather "doomed to be flattened by a falling piano."  Please make a note of it, and have a nice day.  ---Mgt.

2014 Maine Fiddlehead Festival poster
12 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til May Day: 9
Days 'til the Maine Fiddlehead Festival in Farmington: 11
Cash on hand at the DCCC and NRCC, respectively, at the end of March: $40m, $31m
Cash on hand at the DSCC and NRSC, respectively, at the end of March: $22m, $16m
(Source: AP)
Estimated portion of China's farmland that's contaminated with toxic metals: 1/5
(Source: Chinese Environmental Protection Ministry via AP)
Number of protesters on the first Earth Day in 1970: 20 million
(Source: Earth Day founder Sen. Gaylord Nelson)
Number of Maine governors who have vetoed more legislation than current Teapublican Governor Paul LePage: 0
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)


Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

Christie is toast. New Jersey is one of the states going along with the Democrats plan to do away with the electorial college system that's been in place. The Democrats are gathering states to sign off that they give their electoral votes to the candidate that wins the popular election. New Jersey has signed off on this plan.
---Commenter "Clarence" at the Powerline blog
All together now: 1…2…3… Huh???


Puppy Pic of the Day: In my mind's eye I picture this dawg wearing a toga.


CHEERS to blowin' this popsicle stand.  President Obama jogs up the steps of Air Force One today to embark on a three-day Asia trip:

President Barack Obama greets Aung San Suu Kyi during a stop at her private residence in Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 19, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Obama greets Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi in
2012. This pic drove teabaggers over the edge.
Administration officials hailed the president's visit to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines as a chance to underscore the United States's commitment to the Asia-Pacific, with an emphasis on regional allies. The trip comes after Obama missed a scheduled visit to four Asian countries in the fall, including stops at two regional summits in Southeast Asia, during the partial U.S. government shutdown. […]

On the trip, Obama will meet with each of the leaders of the four countries. Two of the stops -- in Japan and the Philippines -- will be official state visits, meaning Obama will attend formal dinners with Emperor Akihito in Japan and President Benigno Aquino in the Philippines.

I'm guessing he might also make an unannounced late-night swing into Afghanistan to say "Hua!" to the troops.  But one thing I'm sure of: if he so much as bends one-degree forward in front of a world leader during his trip, Drudge's blinky light will go off and the Bundy standoff will disappear from Fox News in favor of "OMG He Bowed Again"-gate.  Some things you can set your watch to.

P.S. Before crossing the ocean, he'll stop to thank rescue workers and comfort victims' families at the site of killer mudslide in Washington.  Nice.

CHEERS to strength in numbers.  The death of unions has been slightly exaggerated, as evidenced by what just happened at the University of Connecticut, where a majority of graduate assistants there voted to organize:

University of Connecticut logo
The state Board of Labor Relations verified that more than half of the workers had signed cards authorizing the Graduate Employee Union/United Auto Workers to represent them, according to union officials. … Madelynn von Baeyer, a UConn graduate student in anthropology and a member of the organizing committee, said: "I think it's wonderful that UConn came out and recognized our right to collectively bargain.  Being recognized, we're hopeful to enter a new mature relationship with the university that will improve not only [the] experience as a graduate employee, but will benefit
the university by bringing in top-quality graduate employees for future years."
Tyranny!  Meanwhile, down in Tennessee the UAW has come to the probably wise conclusion that re-fighting the battle to unionize the Chattanooga VW plant isn’t worth the effort because the thumb of the anti-union forces (led by GOP Senator Bob Corker) is welded to the scale.  Non-union welding, of course.  Tyranny averted.

CHEERS to rebuffing rabid Republicans.  Sixty years ago today, the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began.  The villain was Ann Coulter's hero (really, seriously)---a first-class jerk and pre-Ted-Cruz Ted Cruz named Joseph McCarthy---for whom it went very badly (and who died three years later after guzzling booze like a Hummer guzzles gas).  May Ms. Coulter one day get laughed off the public stage in a similar fashion: "At long last have you left no sense of decency?"  I know, I know...when pigs fly.

CHEERS to the Boston Marathon.  Well, well, well.  Look who has bragging rights for the first time in three decades: USA! USA!  Ahem...

Baby crawling against white background
The toddler division should
start crossing the finish line
around three this afternoon.
Meb Keflezighi defied his age, nearly 39 years old, to craft an exceptional race and become the first American male since Greg Meyer in 1983 to win the Boston Marathon, and first American period since 1985.

In the women's division, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya defended her 2013 victory with a flawless race. Jeptoo slammed the door on the field with a 4:49 mile in the 24th mile, a kick that put nearly 30 seconds between her and the field. Her 2:18:57 beat the course record by almost two full minutes. Her performance was the eighth fastest women's marathon ever recorded on any course.

As usual, the winner of the jetpack division, clocking in at .008 seconds---was Geeky McNerd from MIT, who is expected to make a full recovery from a rather nasty bout of windburn.

JEERS to Dicks who should've been put in the dock.  Richard Nixon---aka #37---died twenty years ago today at the age of 80-something.  Whoever chose the color of his headstone knew what they were doing.  But we'll be kind to his memory today and just replay the high point of his life:

Oh, I wish we coulda socked it to ya, Dick.  Thanks for spoiling our fun, Gerald.

CHEERS to American Icons.  One hundred years ago today, on April 22, 1914, Babe Ruth played in his first professional baseball game---he pitched (yes, pitched) a shutout against the Buffalo Bisons.  If you're a fan of Ruth's place in baseball history and you want a nostalgic lump in your throat, click here, and/or here.  Amazing...not a steroid in sight.


Five years ago in C&J: April 22, 2009

JEERS to sibling ripoffry.  Stunning: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s kids charged $800,000 for the use of dear old Dad's words and likeness on his national memorial in Washington, D.C.  That isn't exactly settling well:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Impressive memorial, though.
"I don't think the Jefferson family, the Lincoln family ... I don't think any other group of family ancestors has been paid a licensing fee for a memorial in Washington," Cambridge University historian David Garrow told The Associated Press. "One would think any family would be so thrilled to have their forefather celebrated and memorialized in D.C. that it would never dawn on them to ask for a penny."  King would have been "absolutely scandalized by the profiteering behavior of his children," added Garrow, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of King.
A spokesman for the Jefferson and Lincoln heirs issued a brief statement: "And with retroactive interest, you owe us...29 trillion dollars, please."  Whew---good thing America bought that AIG Greedy Bastard insurance policy last summer.


And just one more…

Jon Stewart with Elizabeth Warren on The Daily Show
Liz and Jon reunite tonight.
CHEERS and JEERS to must-see and must-not-see TV.  Tonight on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart welcomes scrappy and ebullient defender of the middle class Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).  And then I encourage you to shut your TV off and enjoy the post-Liz buzz, because minutes later on The Colbert Report, conservative fussbucket and global-warming denier George Will---a newly implanted peg in the Fox News matrix---will grimace, roll his eyes, purse the part of his face where normal people have lips, and dutifully suffer the pedestrian antics of his host like a fish out of water.  For his part, Colbert will get all the laughs, thus proving the old adage: the only intentionally funny conservative is a fake conservative.

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


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

As if alcohol, marijuana, caffeine, and pills of various kinds aren't enough to give Americans a buzz, the federal government has approved a new product: powdered Cheers and Jeers.
---USA Today


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