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Two Pauls in a Pod

You might say the excitement here in THE GREAT STATE OF MAINE is "Paulpable." It's GOP state convention time and one name is sending tingles up the legs of the party faithful: Paul. Rand Paul. A living being who contains actual DNA of their almighty GOPfather, Ron Paul. (Praise Him!)

Yes, Rand "Sonny" Paul is coming to Maine this weekend as the keynote speaker at the GOP convention. But unlike the last two conventions, when the Daddy Paul wing of the state party ruled the roost (twice passing a radical tea party platform full of Austrian economics and United Nations paranoia), this time they're planning to slap "big tent" happy-face stickers on their butts to try and convince casual observers that our idiot governor, Paul LePage, deserves re-election this fall because, hey, he's not that bad, is he?

The Maine Dems say, of course he's that bad…and so is Rand Paul:

[T]heir actions speak louder than words. In fact, the Maine GOP continues to prove it’s still the same old party when it comes to waging a war on women, equality, youth and Maine’s poorest families. … Rand Paul’s visit to Maine this weekend highlights an extreme push to the right for the Maine GOP, in their hopeful efforts to boost ultra-conservative Paul LePage. Here's how the "Pauls" and the Maine GOP line up on key issues.
It's quite a lengthy and stomach-turning list of similarities, so here's a helpful summary the DNC put together:

So welcome to Maine, Rand Paul and your cranium-based tribble colony. Have a great time here and make sure you give Aqua Buddha some under-the-sea time in Penobscot Bay. Oh, and maybe ask Governor LePage why his tax cuts for the rich just don’t seem to be trickling down. Who could've predicted???

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

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, April 25, 2014

Note: There will be no C&J Monday as we'll be spending a big chunk of the weekend on the road. (Funeral, unfortunately.)  We'll be back bright and early on Tuesday to invite you to join me in a 24-hour sympathy fast for my sweetie Michael leading up to his Thursday colonoscopy.  Solidarity!!!  Popsicles!!!

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2014 poster
8 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til May Day: 6
Days 'til the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival at the Howard County Fairgrounds: 8
Percent of registered voters in Louisiana who support expanding Medicaid: 52%
Percent who support Medicaid expansion in North Carolina: 54%
(Source: New York Times/Kaiser poll)
Number of North Carolina's four GOP senate candidates who are climate-change deniers: 4
(Source: Think Progress)
Percent of Americans taking at least one prescription drug: 70%
(Source: AARP)
Minimum number of loadable tons required to get another day older
and deeper in debt: 16  
(Source: Tennessee Ernie Ford)


NEW!  Michele Bachmann Departure Countdown

Michele Bachmann and her googly eyes leave Congress in 253 days.  To prevent in jury to your vocal cords, please squee from your diaphragm.


Puppy Pic of the Day:  "Arooooooooo…"


CHEERS to a deluxe field trip for one.  President Obama continues his Asia trip into the weekend, drawing cheering crowds and generating lots of positive press on behalf of the United States.  Some highlights for the remainder of his trip:

Drudge Report headloine: President bows to robot April 24 2014
Saturday: Meeting with business leaders to discuss awful, horrible no-good Asia trade pact…Combined Forces Command Briefing at Yongsan Garrison…travels to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia…attends a State Dinner and delivers remarks at Istana Negara.

Sunday: Greets members of the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia…visits the National Mosque of Malaysia…meets with Prime Minister Najib Razak at Perdana Putra…speaks at the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center…participates in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Town Hall at the University of Malaysia.

As usual, the right-wingers will engage in their usual freakout if the president's body shifts even one degree forward ("He's bowing to a ferriner! He hates America!") or backward ("He's letting ferriners push him around! He hates America!").  Don't stray too far, Biden---anything beyond five degrees and impeachment's on the table.

JEERS to a gathering of goons.  If you live in the vicinity of Indianapolis, keep your head down this weekend.  Your city is being overrun with the nuttiest of the gun nuts during this weekend's NRA annual meeting:

Gun maker logos
This is the NRA.
Tourism officials expect more than 70,000 attendees at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium for the meeting, and attendees will be able to peruse more than 400,000 square feet of exhibition space to enjoy "over 600 of the most spectacular displays of firearms, shooting and hunting accessories in the world!" As in years past, the NRA expects that roughly 80 percent of attendees will be men.
And what a lineup! Wayne LaPierre (of course), Sarah Palin, Marco Rubio, Oliver North, Ted Nugent, Mark Levin, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Mitch McConnell and his buddy Flinty the Flintlock, and Billy Graham's trust fund baby, Franklin Graham.  This year they're having a special contest: whoever correctly guesses how many guns people accidentally leave in the bathroom wins, what else, a free gun.

Edward R. Murrow at his desk
"Good night and good luck getting
through '60 Minutes' without ralphing."
CHEERS to the apple of the eye.  Happy 106th birthday today to CBS News legend Edward R. Murrow.  He had more journalistic integrity in his pinky than many of today's journalistic misfits (too many of whom call CBS News home) have on their entire resumes. He was a fighter for journalistic independence free of the entertainment side of television, and his clipped and unemotional delivery only added to his gravitas. Adding: one reason I respect Rachel Maddow so much is that she, like Murrow, builds her arguments piece by piece, fact by fact, before tying them up with a damning bow.  Unfortunately chain-smoking snuffed out his life prematurely at 57.  Hear excerpts of his W.W. II and McCarthy hearing reports here.  And don’t smoke.

JEERS to banality in blue.  I'm guessing you heard about the NYPD's campaign to get people to tweet pics of themselves being all buddy-buddy with the beat cops, but instead got flooded with tweets---many from Occupy protesters---of police being brutish, nasty and short.  Commissioner Bill Bratton responded by poo-pooing the pics as "old news," saying they've "been out there for a long time."  Then he punched a hippie in the face and said, "Here's a fresh one for ya."

CHEERS and JEERS to Left click, Right click, Click Click Click! Thirty-three years ago this Sunday, Xerox introduced the 8010 Star "Dandelion", the first commercial computer system to use a mouse (correctly pronounced MOW-uss).  We've been clicking our way into wrist braces ever since.  Just don't tell the pooties it wasn't created solely for their amusement...

They're very sensitive, you know.

CHEERS to genome sweet genome.  On April 25, 1953, scientists identified DNA for the first time.  Its appearance is described by the U.S. National Library of Medicine as "two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix."  Or, as many wrongly-convicted prisoners have come to describe it: a lifeline.

John Oliver poster for
Debuts Sunday!
CHEERS to home vegetation.  Two words define this weekend's TV viewing: John Oliver.  His new Sunday night show, Last Week Tonight debuts Sunday night on HBO.  But the weekend starts in our house with Whose Line at 8 and Shark Tank at 9.  At 10 it's HBO's Real Time, where Bill Maher talks with former NY City Council speaker Christine Quinn, AEI's Charles Murray, NextGen Climate president Tom Steyer, author Annabelle Gurwitch and Daily Beast editor John Avlon.  There's also friendly sporting competitions on TV, including baseball (the Red Sox dead to me. Dead!), NBA playoffs, and Stanley Cup playoffs.  (Goodbye, Red Wings. Nothing personal, just business. Love, the Bruins.)  If you're more partial to the flickers, new DVD releases are here.  And Sunday night on Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson bursts out of John Hurt's chest.

On Bill Moyers & Company, Ellen Dorsey of the Wallace Global Fund and Thomas Van Dyck of RBC Wealth Management talk about Desmond Tutu's effort to succeed with a "divestment boycott" of the fossil fuel industry.  And here's your Sunday morning lineup.  Please hold your applause until Sean Hannity ceases looking like the biggest dope on the planet if you don't count Clive Bundy:

Meet the Press: Dr. Michio Kaku opens up David Gregory's head and discovers Karl Rove inside takin' a hit off a bong; war criminal Tony Blair on Justin Bieber's recent hijinks; Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ); roundtable with Very Serious people sporting Very Serious haircuts.

Elizabeth Warren, the Obama administration adviser on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, smiles before testifying at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 14, 2011. Warren s
Elizabeth Warren AND Paul
Krugman on "This Week?"
Liberal bias! Liberal bias!
This Week: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on her new book A Fighting Chance; Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson; roundtable with Matt Dowd, Bill Kristol, Alicia Menendez and PAUL KRUGMAN SMASH!

Face the Nation: Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO); Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) on his bald-faced lie to VW plant workers that duped them into voting down unionizing; Rick Santorum on how firearms are the answer to out-of-control libertine clusters; roundtable with Bobby Ghosh and Joe Klein (Time), Peter Baker (NYT) and Nia-Malika Henderson (WaPost).  Oh, and also a mystery guest to talk about Ukraine, and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts it'll be John McCain, who has been sneaking onto the Sunday shows lately without being pre-announced.

CNN's State of the Union: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; political panel with Matt Bai, S.E. Cupp, and L.Z. Granderson.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: According to Fox, Indiana Governor Mike Pence is a leading Republican 2016 presidential contender.  I wasn't aware of that, but who am I to argue with Roger Ailes?  So it's Mikey Pence this week raggin' on Obamacare and all things DemocRAT; XIV CEO Jennifer Gratz and civil rights attorney Shanta Driver on the Supreme Court's affirmative action decision; roundtable with George Will, Juan Williams, Karl Rove and Amy Walter.

Happy viewing!


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

JEERS to today's Totally Self-Evident Lesson in Nautical Etiquette.  And this is a rather important one: if you're out in a rarest-whale-in-the-world-research boat off the coast of Massachusetts, it's generally a good idea---on a PR level, if nothing else---to not ram into one of the rarest whales in the world that you are researching:

Graphic of 2009 incident of NOAA boat colliding with a whale while studying whales.
The Auk, a 50-foot National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel working for the Stellwagen [Bank National Marine] sanctuary, was traveling at about 22 mph when it hit the whale at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, NOAA spokesman David Miller said. ... The crew noticed lacerations from the boat's propeller on the left fluke of the whale. The ship remained at the scene to observe the animal for 45 minutes.  "It didn't appear to be having any problems," Miller said. ... "It's an unfortunate accident. We're really upset by this,"
The whale is suing for 30 million pounds of krill.


And just one more…

CHEERS to memorable moments in marriage milestones.  Can't let the weekend go by without noting the anniversaries of two events that helped turn the trickle of support for gay marriage into the tidal wave we're witnessing today.  Fourteen  years ago tomorrow, Vermont Governor Howard Dean signed the first civil unions bill in the nation into law, followed nine years later by full state marriage rights for same-sex couples.  And five years ago this Sunday, jaws dropped in the heartland as same-sex couples in Iowa started getting married after the state Supreme Court ruled that it was---their exact words---"Okeley Dokeley!"  It's worth remembering how the other side reacted to that event…with a hysterical blend of poutrage and fearmongering couched in a commercial for The Weather Channel:

Today the gay marriage bug has spread to neighbors Illinois and Minnesota, with the rest soon to follow.  And Sunday's forecast for Iowa on its big anniversary day?  Thunderbolts and lightning.  Oh, God, you merry prankster.

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



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