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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Late Night Snark: Racist Foot-in-Mouth Edition

"L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling was recorded on tape making racist comments. He now has been banned from the league for life. Great, just where Sterling wanted to end up---the blacklist."
---Jimmy Fallon

Folk singer/activist Pete Seeger
Cheers, Pete Seeger, wherever
you are, on your 95th
birthday tomorrow.
"After the audio was released, the NAACP decided not to honor Sterling with a second lifetime achievement award. Instead, they're giving him the 'Reason We Still Need an NAACP' award."
---Conan O'Brien

Clip of Cliven Bundy defending his racist comments: If I say 'negro' or 'black boy' or 'slave' [and] those people can not take those kind of words and not be offended then Martin Luther King hasn’t done his job yet.
Jon Stewart: Yeah…it's his fault! Why did that guy quit before finishing his job? Somebody should call him and tell him to stop slacking and get back to work.
---The Daily Show

"Hannity ate up that [Bundy and his armed "patriots"] story so hard, Bundy should have charged him grazing fees."
---Stephen Colbert

"The Republicans in Congress voted no on the minimum wage. Wow... I think they're confused. We're supposed to apply the economic sanctions to the Russians."
---David Letterman

And a classic from three years ago this week:
Bill Maher: The tea party is not all Republican?
Former RNC Head Michael Steele: No, it's not! I don’t know the exact percentage, but it is not all Republicans.
---Real Time
Today he gets paid for expert analysis on MSNBC.

I will not drink a julep with the Norse. I will not drink a julep on a horse. Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]...of course.

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, May 2, 2014

Note: Happy Birthday, Jed Lewison!  And many blessings on your camels.
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Lost Sock memorial Day logo
7 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Atlantic hurricane season starts: 30
Days 'til Lost Sock Memorial Day: 7
Estimated portion of death row inmates who are innocent: 1-in-25
(Source: National Academy of Sciences)
Average weekly wages nationally and in Maine, respectively, in the third quarter of 2013: $922, $735
Number of colleges being investigated by the feds for the way they're dealing with sexual assault cases: 55
(Source: Department of Education)
Number of CSX oil-tanker train derailments this week: 2
U.S. imports of bottled tequila, whiskey and rum, respectively, in the
previous year as of 2/14/14 in millions: 1.6, 3.5, 4.1
Source: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau via Nate's joint)

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NEW!  Michele Bachmann Departure Countdown

Michele Bachmann and her googly eyes leave Congress in 246 days.  Relax, Minnesota---she'll probably spend most of her post-House days in D.C. as a grifter, so you'll only have to deal with brief and occasional drops in your state's I.Q.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  May flowers

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CHEERS and JEERS to the "jobs jobs jobs" picture.  The employment numbers for April were announced by the Labor Department this morning.  The good news: private-sector job creation was stronger than expected (288k actual vs. 215k predicted), which means the lopsided-butt graph, courtesy of Calculated Risk, has us almost back to the break-even line:

The bad news, according to Jared Bernstein, concerns the unemployment rate, which fell to 6.3 percent but don’t start high-fiving your pet ferret yet because…
The decline in unemployment is entirely due not to job creation, but to labor force decline (employment actually fell slightly in the household survey).  This important and closely watched indicator---the labor force participation rate---also fell 0.4 tenths, reversing recent gains and returning the lfpr to its low where it stood at the end of last year, commensurate with levels we haven’t seen since the late 1970s.
Yes. The labor force shrank in April, coinciding with the first full month after open enrollment for Obamacare ended.  I believe the conclusion from this jobs report is obvious: the death panels are working.

Washington Crossing the Delaware is an 1851 oil-on-canvas painting by German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze. It commemorates General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River on the night of December 25–26, 1776, during the American Revo
General LePage crosses the Kennebec.
JEERS to Governor Stumblebum.  Paul LePage, virtually certain to be a one-term, nasty footnote in Maine gubernatorial history, adds another notch to his incompetence belt.  Seems Maine may be losing a National Guard unit, and our local paper found out about it before he did.  And who is he?  Listen to how he starts an angry phone conversation with the reporter at The Portland Press Herald who broke the story:
The call, which lasted about a minute, started with the governor saying, “This is the commander in chief of the Maine National Guard.”
When the turnpike authority heard that, they immediately changed their sign at the New Hampshire border to read: "Welcome to Maine. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid."

JEERS to guns on campus.  Speaking of the National Guard, it was 44 years ago Sunday when National Guard troops fired on Vietnam War protestors at Ohio's Kent State University, killing four students and injuring 12 in 13 seconds.  The question that may never be answered: what possessed the Guard to use live ammo when they could've pacified the crowd with a plate of hash brownies?  A permanent blemish on my home state's record.

P.S.  Imagine if all the students had been allowed to walk around with concealed weapons, a concept that makes Republicans drool in the wake of the various mass shootings we go through every year like evil clockwork.  That would've worked out swell, huh.

CHEERS to "Things That Stick" for $400, Alex.  103 years ago today, after being declared unconstitutional in four states, Governor Francis McGovern signed the first workers' compensation law to withstand judicial scrutiny. Guess which state he governed. Yup, good guess---Wisconsin:

Francis McGovern, 22nd governor of Wisconsin
Thanks, Guv!
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In its 1911 report on worker’s compensation, the Wisconsin Industrial Insurance Committee appointed by the 1909 legislature stated that the objectives of the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act were to:

1) Furnish certain, prompt and reasonable compensation to the injured employee.
2) Utilize for injured employees a large portion of the great amount of money wasted under the present (liability) system.
3) Provide a tribunal where disputes between employer and employee in regard to compensation may be settled promptly, cheaply and summarily.
4) Provide means of minimizing the number of accidents in industrial pursuits.

To mark the milestone, labor leaders honored the day by doing everything they could to prevent Governor Scott Walker from getting wind of it and ramming its repeal through the legislature.  (He was lured to Chuck E. Cheese's for several hours---never fails.)

CHEERS to the days of lollipops and surpluses.  On May 2, 1997, President Clinton (#42, not to be confused with #45) and congressional Republicans came to terms on a plan to balance the budget over five years.  Said Newt Gingrich of the bipartisan agreement: "This is a great moment for our children and our grandchildren and our country, and we are proud to be part of that."  Fourteen years later, as a presidential candidate, Gingrich foolishly raised his hand when asked if he would veto a budget with ten dollars in cuts for every 1 dollar in revenue increases.  But in fairness, he did also offer jobs to our children and grandchildren.  As janitors.  On the moon.  So be grateful, ya little shits.

JEERS to Great Moments in Horrifying Moments.  What TV news stations will be showing over and over until the earth collides with the sun:

Shame on you, gay marriage.

C-SPAN promo for the White House Correspondents Dinner of 2014
Draw some GOP/CNN/FOX
blood, sir. They deserve it.
CHEERS to home vegetation.  I'm told the big TV event this weekend is the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.  As usual, my money's on the old gray mare with the rocket shoes.  But first the weekend starts tonight with Whose Line at 8, Rachel at 9 and then HBO's Real Time, where Bill Maher talks with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Walter Kim, Gavin Newsom, Ziggy Marley and Monica Mehta.  New DVD releases includes Rosemary's Baby knockoff Devil's Due and Renny Harlin's update of Hercules! Hercules!  In addition to the Kentucky Derby, there's also baseball, NBA playoffs, and NHL playoffs.  Andrew Garfield hosts SNL, but not before President Obama gives another lesson in stand-up comedy when he riffs at the White House Correspondents Dinner starting at 6pm on C-SPAN.  And on Cosmos, Neil deGrassi Tyson dons his cloak of invisibility and plants fart machines inside the Adam and Eve mannequins at the Creationism Museum.

On Bill Moyers & Company, an important discussion of the FCC chairman's crusade to kill net neutrality, with David Carr of The New York Times and Susan Crawford of Harvard Law School.  And here's your Sunday morning lineup, which we post purely as a reminder that you should watch Up! With Steve Kornacki and Melissa Harris-Perry for instead:

Meet the Press: Rick Perry and his Very Serious Spectacles on just how hilarious he found the torture and death of that Oklahoma death-row inmate; Sacramento mayor and former NBA All-Star, Kevin Johnson is also on and, gosh, what could he possibly have to talk about? Roundtable with will.i.am, Chuck Todd, Kathleen Parker, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Anita Dunn.

Al Franken on SNL in sketch with satellite dish on his head.
Sen. Franken appears on "This
Week" via satellite Sunday.
This Week: Two words: Al…Franken.  Two more words: Kareem…Abduljabbar.  Then Rick Santorum hawks his ghost-written book, or as it will soon be better known: the last book remaining in the 10-cent box at Grandma's yard sale.  Plus: John Oliver on his new HBO series (Sunday night at 11) and roundtable with Cokie Roberts, Laura Ingraham, David Plouffe and Van Jones, who will go round and round on…BENGHAZI!

Face the Nation: Race in America with Mayor Eric Garcetti of L.A., Richard Williams (father of tennis pros Venus and Serena), Michele Norris (NPR), Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic), Michael Eric Dyson (Georgetown University), William C. Rhoden (NYT), and CBS News' James Brown; CBS News Foreign Correspondent Clarissa Ward on being detained in Ukraine with her crew.  And Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-Fussyville) is given airtime to flog…BENGHAZI!

CNN's State of the Union:  I don't know because they haven't updated their web site yet, but probably…BENGHAZI!

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: How Obama's war on the U.S. economy is almost as bad as Benghazi with Fred Smith, Chairman and CEO of FedEx, and Robert Wolf of "32 Advisors"; roundtable with Brit Hume, Jane Harman, George Will and Elise Viebeck; and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) waste lots of airtime on...say it with me...BENGHAZI!

Happy viewing!

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Five years ago in C&J: May 2, 2009

CHEERS to hiring a new benchwarmer.  Well, well, well---sixty nine year-old Justice David Souter is trading in his robes for a pair of LL Bean waders and a fishing pole.  He was appointed by George H.W. Bush and everyone expected that he'd toe the conservative line.  Instead, he became a reliable member of the Supreme Court's liberal wing, and we thank him for being part of the bulwark against the Court's radical, Let's-Steal-An-Election cabal during the Bush II years.  Right on cue, the phony-baloney alarmists in the traditional media are predicting that Obama---a former constitutional law professor---has so much on his plate that he may fuck this up.  Uh huh, right:

President Obama with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
He chose...wisely.
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"I will seek somebody with a sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and integrity. I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families...I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving as just decisions and outcomes."

The man's clearly out of control.  I'm a'scared.  [Yawn.]  [5/2/14 Update: We got Sonia Sotomayor.  To put that in legal terms: Yippety skip!]

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And just one more…

CHEERS to mirth panels.  Here's something you'll "Marvel" over: tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day at participating comic book shops around the country.  The annual event honors "an original American art form, created in the early days of the twentieth century."  And its #1 fan is the legendary Stan Lee:

You can choose from action fare like Guardians of the Galaxy and V-Wars, and classics like Archie and Power Rangers.  Or, for pure childish fantasy, you can't go wrong with SpongeBob or The Paul Ryan Budget.

Have an illustrative weekend.  Make your Maypole beg for mercy.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

4%126 votes
19%515 votes
0%19 votes
8%231 votes
15%403 votes
2%75 votes
6%171 votes
1%39 votes
32%855 votes
2%78 votes
1%28 votes
2%64 votes

| 2607 votes | Vote | Results

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