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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Coming Attractions

Premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival this Sunday...


Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank is a rare and intimate peek into the life of Barney Frank, the quick-witted, cantankerous, and first openly gay Congressman in the United States. On the verge of his retirement, Frank reflects on his 40 years in office and the role his own homosexuality played in his campaigns for social justice. This documentary reveals Frank as one of the most sharp-tongued, entertaining, and lionhearted politicians of our time.
The executive producer is Alec Baldwin. Variety talks to Barney about the movie and life after Congress here. I'm preemptively giving it 20 stars out of five. Just to piss off the haters.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Note: Whew, what an Earth Day!  I'm still drunk on earthiness.
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Out! Raleigh 2014 logo
10 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the start of the Memorial Day weekend: 30
Days 'til the Out! Raleigh in North Carolina: 10
Number of changes to the U.S. Constitution that former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wants to make: 6
(Source: John Paul Stevens)
Regions of the country that have more "green colleges" than the Maine-NH-VT region: 0
(Source: Princeton Review guide to green colleges)
Russia's average rate of economic growth over the last decade and last year, respectively: 7%, 1.3%
Expected rate of economic growth in Russia this year: 0%
(Source: The Portland Daily Sun)
Number of rivets in the Eiffel Tower: 2.5 million

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 187 (including 4 Inflations and 1 school where bullying = love).  Soul Protection Factor 16 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Humans, please build friendlier walls.  ---The Dawgs

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CHEERS to a good start.  Having personally supervised the socialist re-distribution of a dairy product stolen from the pantries of the job creators (aka the White House Easter Egg Roll), President Obama hit the road yesterday, stopping in Oso, Washington, the site of that horrible landslide:

President Obama surveys the mudslide damage in oso, Washington on April 22, 2014.
Obama surveys the damage.
Obama said the “strength in adversity” demonstrated by the community “should be an inspiration to all of us.”  “The whole country is thinking about you,” the president said. Before his remarks at the fire station, President Obama spent nearly an hour and fifteen minutes with relatives of those who perished in last month’s mudslide. […]

Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert earlier praised the president for his quick approval of a federal disaster declaration, authorizing the expenditure of federal funds to help those hurt by the slide.  We understand this was one of the fastest tracks that’s ever been done on,” she said.

Today he's in Asia, where he'll spend a few days hobnobbing with our allies and squinting all steely-eyed in North Korea's direction.  If you'll be following his various events over there, please keep in mind there's a big time difference.  If my calculations are correct, since he's traveling east to west, the current time over there is 8:17 in 1998.

CHEERS to the miracle workers the boss can't live without.  Today is Administrative Professionals Day.  It's been around, by different names, for a long time.  You might say it's evolved…

Dilbert cartoon...executive secretary
The first National Secretaries Week was organized in 1952 in conjunction with the United States Department of Commerce and various office supply and equipment manufacturers. The Wednesday of that week became known as National Secretaries Day. As the organization gained international recognition, the events became known as Professional Secretaries Week and Professional Secretaries Day. In 2000, IAAP announced that names of the week and the day were changed to Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day to keep pace with changing job titles and expanding responsibilities of the modern administrative workforce.
Here at C&J, we have one administrative professional, and we couldn’t maintain our sanity without her.  Later this morning we'll show our appreciation by presenting her with a fresh bone and squeaky toy.  Or else.  

JEERS to all that freezing for nothing.  I was hoping---as were all Mainers---that our frigid winter might've helped kill off some of the ticks that have infested the state in recent years.  But those little fuckers might as well have been living in a tropical paradise:

Lyme disease map of eastern United States.
Lyme disease map. Ugh.
The 2013 incidence of Lyme disease, transmitted by deer ticks, was the highest ever recorded by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, with 1,349 cases across Maine.

The hardy arachnids lie dormant in the snow, and it takes a long period of bitterly cold weather without snow to even have a chance of knocking back the ticks, experts say.  “The snow acts as a nice insulating blanket for the ticks,” Lubelczyk said. “They survive quite well under the snow.”

By the way, there's an easy way to distinguish a tick from our state's tea party governor.  One is a greedy little ankle biter with a pea brain whose perfectly willing to suck the blood out of ordinary Mainers.  And the other is the exact same except he wears pants.

President James Buchanan
True Fact: Buchanan
invented the fauxhawk.
CHEERS to "Ten-Cent Jimmy." Happy 223rd Birthday to that old stuffed shirt James Buchanan. In practice, he was a dud as president. But on paper, his resume was pretty impressive:
• United States Minister to the United Kingdom
• 17th United States Secretary of State
• United States Senator from Pennsylvania
• United States Minister to Russia
• Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (PA-04: 4 terms)
• Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (PA-03: 1 term)
• Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
We're getting the 15th POTUS our usual gift: an "I Diddled While the Country Teetered on the Brink of Civil War and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt" t-shirt.

CHEERS to Li'l Bubba or Bubbette.  Congratulations to Chelsea Clinton and her husband on the kidlet they're going to welcome into the world this fall.  Here's how the media reacted to what will be the first grandchild of #42 and #45:

CNN: No one has actually seen the baby, so you have to assume it's missing and wonder if maybe there isn’t an alien abduction aspect to this story.
FOX: What does that fetus know about Benghazi? The answer might shock you.
MSNBC: Subpoenad documents reveal a memo by Chris Christie assistant Bridgett Kelly that reads: "Time for some traffic problems in Chelsea's birth canal?"
CNBC: If they're smart they'll skip the silver spoon and go with an investment-quality baby utensil from Goldline.
HLN: I'm Nancy Grace and this pregnancy is an…OUTRAGE!!!  I don’t know why yet, but I'll think of SOMETHING!
Rush Limbaugh: Mark my words, this is an implanted baby Vince Foster!
Meet the Press: Some say the baby was produced for politcal reasons. Others disagree. And we're out of time so we'll have to leave it there.
Oh somehow I don’t think you will, Dancing Dave.

Airline no-smoking sign
A bygone era. Thank god.
JEERS to getting emphysema at 35,000 feet.  My mom was a smoker, and I'll never forget traveling with my parents and having to sit at the back of the plane because that was where the smokers sat so they wouldn't---cough cough---bother the non-smokers sitting in front of them. What were we thinking??!  Thankfully the movement to ban airborne puffery went into effect 26 years ago today. So now all we have to worry about is catching an exotic disease from the passenger two rows back that causes instant diarrhea and gruesome facial disfigurement.  But we'll have the pinkest lungs!

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Five years ago in C&J: April 23, 2009

JEERS to the Coalition of the Cowardly.  If you're wondering whether Rush Limbaugh still rules the butt-picking wing of the Republican party, um...yeah, he does.  How absolutely perfect: as long as he flaps his gums, he's the de facto leader of the GOP.  81 percent of Americans find the de facto leader of the GOP repulsive.  But the 19 percent who form the GOP base think he walks on water.  It's quite a conundrum.  Thankfully not ours.

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And just one more…

Americablog's logo
Happy Blogiversary--
10 years and counting.
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CHEERS to the red, white & blue hypocrite slayers.  Be sure to stop by Americablog today as it celebrates its tenth blogiversary.  Founder John Aravosis started out with the highly-effective "Stop Dr. Laura" campaign and went on to expose fake White House "reporter" Jeff Gannon/James Guckert's prostitution past and other Republican- and corporation-fueled shenanigans.  Plus their spin-off site, Americablog Gay, is of course fab-o.  (Two snaps and a twist to Portland native Joe Sudbay, who runs it.)  Americablog is kind of a cross between the snarky brevity of Atrios and the lengthier posts of Daily Kos.  It was highly influential during the Bush years, and came to symbolize the effect that a blog could have on public discourse during an especially awful time in our history.  It's still one of C&J's must-read blogs---we had them bookmarked from the beginning---and we wish them many more years in the pursuit of truth, justice and Americanwayishness.

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Who Knew Sheep Were So Versatile??  Behold The First Five Minutes Of HOW TO TRAIN BILL IN PORTLAND MAINE 2!!
---Ain't It Cool News

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