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What Is This Thing Called Politics?

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."
---H.L. Mencken

Hunter S. Thompson
“True happiness in politics is a
wide open hammer-shot on a
poor bastard who knows he’s
trapped, but can’t flee.”
---Hunter S. Thompson
"Politics is like football. If you see daylight, go through the hole."
---John F. Kennedy

"Politics is more difficult than physics."
---Albert Einstein

"There is no more independence in politics than there is in jail."
---Will Rogers

"Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other"
---Oscar Ameringer

"The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'."
---Larry Hardiman

"In politics, stupidity is not a handicap."

Congratulations. You just earned a hundred credit hours from Kaplan University.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, May 9, 2014

Note: Lint screens are flying at half staff for National Lost Sock Memorial Day.  They left us too early, darn them.

UFO festival 2014 poster McMinnville, Oregon
6 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the start of the Memorial Day weekend: 14
Days 'til the 15th annual UFO Festival in McMinnville, Oregon: 6
Increase in consumer borrowing in March, the biggest jump since Feb. 2013: $17.5 billion
(Source: Federal Reserve)
Year Jet magazine was founded (it's ceasing publication of print issues next month): 1951
Percent of Americans surveyed by the University of Texas who say energy efficiency is a priority, up from 72% last year: 79%
Number of passengers who rode Amtrak's Boston-to-Brunswick Downeaster in March, an increase of 2,000 from March, 2013: 44,215
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)
Number of times dogs and cats, respectively, are mentioned in the Bible: 14, 0
(Source: The Internet)


NEW!  Michele Bachmann Departure Countdown

Michele Bachmann and her googly eyes leave Congress in 239 days.  After which she'll get her own wing in the Women's History Museum.  By which I mean chicken wing from the hors d'oeuvres tray during the grand opening, which she'll attend so she can document all the satanism.


Puppy Pic of the Day: In North Dakota, farm dog saves farm toddler by becoming a dog blanket.  (KDAY-TV report here.)


CHEERS to chicken soup for lots of souls.  I gotted a postcard in the mail, and it's addressed to all of us so check it out:

Stamp Out Hunger graphic 2014
The National Association of Letter Carriers, in conjunction with the United States Postal Service, will be collecting non-perishable food items like canned meats and fish, canned soup, juice, pasta, vegetables, cereal and rice during the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 10, to help families in need in our community. You can help by placing your food donation at your mailbox on Saturday before your letter carrier arrives with the day's mail. It will be taken back to the Post office and then delivered to local food banks or pantries. Please do not include items that have expired or those in glass containers.
It's signed by the AFL-CIO, Feeding America, USPS, United Way, the NALC and others, and there's more information at their Book of Face page.  So be sure to put a reminder on your fridge reminding you to put a reminder on your forehead reminding you to leave a voicemail reminding you to leave a text message reminding you to tweet a reminder to your Facebook status reminding you to leave a reminder pic on your Pinterest peg to remind you to cross-stitch a reminder and post it on Etsy, but not before you make a Vine loop reminding yourself to put a reminder on your fridge.  Because it's just a food drive---no need to make it more complicated than it has to be.

CHEERS to a milestone on a milestone.  Just a short time ago a judge in Arkansas ruled that marriage equality trumps marriage inequality.  No, really…there's a graphic and everything:

HRC graphic breaking the news that marriage-equality was granted in Arkansas on May 9, 2014.
The ruling comes on the second anniversary of Barack Obama's first official statement in support of gay marriage as president.  Best of all, Judge Chris Piazza didn't issue a stay, so until the state gets its appeal filed, expect a whole lotta "I-dos" coming from the south.  And from me to you: Mazel tov, all y'alls.  

CHEERS to ol' Whats'ername.  So what's Mom worth these days?  As it turns out, this much:

Whistler's Mother can get
Ma a new recliner.
Stay-at-home moms went from working 94 hours per week last year to 96.5 hours on household and childcare duties in 2014. If paid for their 40 hours plus 56.5 hours of overtime, stay-at-home moms would earn $118,905---an increase of more than $5,000 from last year.

Working moms also saw an increase in time spent “on the job” as well as in their paycheck. From 58 hours a week in 2013 to 59.4 hours per week this year, working moms would take home a paycheck of $70,107---up nearly $3,000 from last year.

So why don't we actually pay them for their toil?  Because they'd just plop the money into a tax-free "Mommy Account" in the Cayman Islands and use it to build a giant mom clone army with which to take over the world.  But my point is: Mother's Day is Sunday, so don’t forget to buy her a new toilet brush and other cleaning supplies.  To increase your chances of surviving past Sunday, have them delivered by one of those drones.

CHEERS to fuzzy math.  Or, to be more precise, fuzzy mathematicians.  Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity was presented 98 years ago this Sunday.  His words: "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour.  Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute.  That's relativity."  To which we would add: Sit with Donald Trump for a second and it seems like forever.  That's eternity.

CHEERS to rubes in the ring.  Merry Early Christmas, liberal America, from your friends in Teabagistan!  We hope you enjoy your present: Allen West sticking his toe into the presidential campaign waters...

Allen West official photo
Run, Crazy
Allen, Run!
"A diamond is but a rock until it undergoes intense pressure and heat. Steel is purified by intense heat. We cannot seek to live a life where our goal is to go from one oasis to another. Sometimes we have to cross a desert in order to develop inner strength.  Many are asking me to consider a huge undertaking. If God had not placed a challenge before me and closed one door, perhaps a new mission would not be possible. … I press on and thank God for this moment to reflect upon the doors of life."
And if you promise to clean your plate, we promise to include him in one thousand debates!

CHEERS to great moments in history.  220 years ago sunday, the self-flushing toilet was patented.  Today they're still in use, although some of them work a little differently.  For example, to flush out the turds at Fox News, just pull the fire alarm.

President Barack Obama talks with Sister Simone from Nuns on a Bus in the Oval Office, May 30, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Sister Simone Campbell (seen
here with with the prez), joins
Bill Maher tonight on Real Time.
CHEERS to home vegetation.  I 'spect we'll be tiptoeing through a few tulips this weekend.  But we wouldn't think of missing our TV time, and here's some of what's on tap, starting tonight with Whose Line, Rachel, and then HBO's Real Time, where Bill Maher's lineup includes Dinesh D'Souza (ick), Sister Simone Campbell (yay!), Matt Welch, Arianna Huffington and Baratunde Thurston.  New DVD releases include the crowd-funded Veronica Mars and a rare Kurt Russell sighting in the heist flick The Art of the Steal.  Sports schedules are as follows: MLB, NBA playoffs, and NHL playoffs.  (Do these playoffs ever end???)  Charlize Theron hosts SNL.  And Sunday on Cosmos (what a great re-boot, eh?), Neil deGrasse Tyson does a mind meld with Louie Gohmert and
spends the next six weeks in a coma.

On Bill Moyers & Company, Canada's most popular citizen at the moment, TV host ("The Nature of Things") and "a godfather of the environmental movement," David Suzuki.  And here's your Sunday morning lineup, now with our EXCLUSIVE Benghazi Calculator---our scientific prediction of how many times the name "Benghazi" will be uttered during each show:

Meet the Press: No idea.  Apparently David Gregory is just soooooooo busy that he can't be bothered to...oh, screw it.  Just check Trix's indispensable "Sunday Talk" post at the stroke of 12:01am Sunday.  Benghazi Calculator: 25

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), head of the select committee investigating Benghazi.
Trey Gowdy, who I think
played the warden in the
movie "Cool Hand Luke."
This Week: Defense chief Chuck Hagel; Sen. Marco Rubio; roundtable with Donna Brazile, Bill Kristol, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Michael Smerconish.  Benghazi Calculator: 36

Face the Nation: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) celebrates his 500th appearance on a Sunday show in 2014; former defense chief Bob Gates; roundtable with David Ignatius (WaPo), Margaret Brennan (CBS News), and Michael Crowley (Time).  Benghazi Calculator: 34

CNN's State of the Union: The epitome of all that is wrong with the Sunday shows: Michele Bachmann is CNN's go-to expert on Benghazi---they have become their own parody.  Then Debbie Wasserman Schultz comes on to pick up the tattered remnants of reality.  Benghazi Calculator: 110

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Oh what fun!  The South Carolina Congressman heading up the "select committee" Benghazi hearings, Trey Gowdy (R-Dixie), who looks to me like Benjamin Button at birth as played by Matthew McConaughey.  Also: the head of the House Democratic Caucus, Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA); former Nigerian Ambassador John Campbell; and roundtable with Brit Hume, George Will, Amy Walter and Juan Williams.  Benghazi Calculator: It's Broken

Happy Viewing!


Five years ago in C&J: May 9, 2009

CHEERS to cutting and running.  Blackwater's testosterone-fueled "heroics" in Iraq caused great damage to America's reputation in the region.  The behavior of some (but, admittedly, not all) of their heavily-armed employees was so thuggish that the company had to change its name to---[Snort!]---"Xe."  So it brings no tears to our eyes as we report that yesterday they officially tucked their tails between their legs and scurried back home.  I don’t know what they're gonna do now, but I'll say this: if you find yourself getting a parking ticket from a scruffy-lookin' dude in fatigues with a bazooka tucked under his arm, we suggest you pay it.


And just one more…

CHEERS to merry meetups.  I'm grateful for many things in life.  The top 5, in order: my partner, ice cream, municipal drainage systems, the fez, and May 11, 1969.  The latter is the day that John Cleese and Graham Chapman met Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, and began plotting their collective assault on British stiff-upperlippyness, which debuted a few months later as Monty Python's Flying Circus.  For your viewing pleasure:

Monty Python, early photo
The Ministry of Silly Walks
The Dead Parrot Sketch
Upper Class twit of the Year

...and the high-water mark of their foray into the flickers: Every Sperm is Sacred.

This summer they're reuniting (Graham Chapman will be there in spirit) in London to do "(mostly) live" versions of their best sketches.  I believe the tickets sold out in something like 30 seconds, which is hardly surprising since it's a well-known fact that time spent watching Monty Python is not deducted from your lifespan.  P.S.: Nee!

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



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