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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Time once again to play History: Cruel…or Kind?

Round 1

Cover of Elizabeth Warren's book
Senator Elizabeth Warren's new book, A Fighting Chance, becomes an instant bestseller---currently #2 on The New York Times non-fiction list.

History will be kind because it's an engaging account of how a woman with plenty of odds stacked against her rose to become a champion of economic fairness for America's struggling middle class, and a feared adversary of Big Money and its destructive mission to keep the system as unfair as possible. Bonus: no ghostwriter.

History will be cruel because there's only one mention of Daily Kos. Sure, that one mention says that she's "humbled" by our "extraordinary efforts" and "profoundly grateful" for all our help, but still. Nothing about our legendary pie?

Verdict: History will be KIND. It's been awhile since a progressive political book has flown off the shelves and been downloaded as fast as A Fighting Chance. And unlike the ghost-written pabulum conservatives churn out and then buy back in bulk so they can artificially-inflate their numbers, Senator Warren's success is the result of being really good at what she puts her mind to.

Round 2
Time magazine cover with Senator Marco Rubio
Teapublican Senator Marco Rubio dismisses the fact that humans are contributing to catastrophic climate change, ridiculing the avalanche of hard science as a quaint "notion."

History will be kind because global warming is nothing more than the earth using the conservatives' own how-to guide for medical care by preparing to hold a bake sale so that it can pay to get all these opposable-thumbed biped parasites removed.

History will be cruel because half of the western Antarctic shelf just broke off, and will soon slice Rubio's gated mansion off its foundation and turn his backyard into what future generations will call Lake Told Ya So.

Verdict: History will be CRUEL. But, in fairness, Senator Rubio is sending a valuable message to America's kids who will have to deal with man-made climate calamities: don’t be like him.

Round 3
The gay marriage juggernaut continues, with Arkansas marriage licenses issued deep in the Bible belt and a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals hearing in Virginia that will lead to marriage equality not only in that state, but also West Virginia and the Carolinas. Oh, and as of last night, one more favorable court ruling in, quoting McJoan verbatim, "Idaho!!!"

History will be kind because when only three remaining states (ND, SD, MT) don’t have either marriage equality enshrined into law or pending marriage-equality lawsuits, you can
pretty much consider the garter snapped.

History will be cruel because the Bible thumpers insist that the wrath of God is just around the corner…but only if you send them a generous donation of $1,000, $500, $100---whatever you're able to give---so they can continue warning that the wrath of God is just around the corner. And if not God, then certainly the kraken.

Verdict: History will be KIND. It ain't counting chickens before they're hatched to say that 50-state marriage equality is inevitable. It'll be a big step for civil rights…and manna from heaven for the wedding industry.

Next time: history judges the Bundy bumpkins, the Benghazi bloviators and Lay's delicious Air Pops.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Note: C&J's designated NSA tracker Bart would like you to know that Glenn Greenwald is "a poopypants."  He would also like you to know that your diction has been excellent lately, which makes his job much easier.  But mostly the Greenwald poopypants part.   ---Mgt.
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Baltimore Herb Fest  logo 2014
10 days!!!
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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Godzilla!!!: 2
Days 'til the Baltimore Herb Fest: 10
Increase in sales of smartphones with 5-inch or greater screens in the past year: 369%
Worldwide shipments of smartphones in the first quarter of 2014: 279 million
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)
Percent of confiscated counterfeit bills that were produced via jet printers in 1995: <1%
Percent of confiscated counterfeit bills produced via jet printers in the last fiscal year: 60%
(Source: Secret Service)
Approximate number of pieces of space junk floating overhead: 500,000

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 187 (including 4 Kings of the East and 1 kiss that destroyed civilization).  Soul Protection Factor 40 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Retweeted by Steve Martin:


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CHEERS to that boring old ACA (via Greg's Abbreviated Pundit Roundup).  I'm thinking of firing up my time machine and going back in time to 2009/2010 when the right-wing freakout over the Affordable Care Act was at its freakish worst (remember "Bury Obamacare with Ted Kennedy?"), and document some of their Henny Pennyism for posterity.  The entire right-wing spent years being total assholes about the concept of expanding health coverage, I suspect because they knew in their brittle bones that the final product was going to be pretty boring and pretty effective:

The New Yorker cover for April 14, 2014. &nbsp;Obama spoon-feeds meds to Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted cruz and Michele Bachmann
Classic New Yorker cover.
Five months into the biggest expansion of health coverage in 50 years---with about 13 million people enrolled in private insurance and Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act---there are few reports of patients facing major delays getting care, say officials from more than two-dozen health centers and multigroup practices, as well as insurers and physician groups in nine big states. […]

the Affordable Care Act gave health providers more than three years to prepare. In that time, the federal government has spent billions expanding community health centers while private practices have added nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and adopted electronic health records.  "Despite the widely publicized shortage of primary care physicians, primary care capacity does exist in each state," said Karin Rhodes, director of the Center for Emergency Care Policy & Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

The extent to which our health care system has had to "ramp up" is indicative, I think, of just how exclusionary our insurance system has been.  There will certainly be more bumps ahead, but it's pretty hard at this point to come to any conclusion other than this one: Republicans have found themselves on the wrong side of history.  Again.

JEERS to another edition of "Not Helpful."  Today's entry comes courtesy of The Portland Press Herald and the Duke University School of Medicine:

Bullies may gain health benefits from their behavior that last into adulthood, researchers said Monday.
Not helpful.

CHEERS to the original Jedi Master.  George Lucas turns 70 today---that's 445 in Yoda years.  Yes, I wish he hadn't messed around with the first three movies years later.  And, yes, I wish the second trilogy had been better.  But the Imperial Walkers in the Battle of Hoth are still the coolest things I've seen in any movie ever, and they still top my wish list for Santa so I can finally help the rebel alliance win the War on Christmas:

My gift to George: about half of my lifetime earnings in movie tickets, action figures, trading cards, DVDs and comic books since 1977.  His gift to us: turning directing duties for the new Star Wars movies over to J.J. Abrams.  May the force be with him…but not Jar Jar Binks.

JEERS to stirring up trouble.  Someone broke into President James Garfield's tomb the other day and made off with a spoon collection. This reaction is priceless:

The James Garfield memorial and crypt in Cleveland, Ohio. &nbsp;Photo dated between 1900 and 1906.
Garfield's pad circa 1900.
"We were like, 'Really? They took spoons?' " said Katherine Goss, president and chief executive of Lake View Cemetery, which houses the Garfield tomb. … The 13 silver spoons had practically no monetary value, according to Goss. They were "flimsy little things" from Garfield's inauguration and have his face engraved in the handles and what Goss believes might have been an image of his Ohio home on the teaspoon itself.
No one knows why the spoons were taken from the ostentatious resting place of #20.  But experts agree on one thing: until the utensils show up, no soup for him.

CHEERS to getting outside in the fresh air (back when we had fresh air).  On May 14, 1804, Lewis and Clark set off from their camp in Illinois to go explore just what the hell kind of territory we'd acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.  Their first words when they got back: "Somebody needs to invent GPS, and somebody needs to invent GPS now!"  Added the welcome committee: "And deodorant."

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Five years ago in C&J: May 14, 2009

CHEERS to unexpected solutions to major problems.  President Obama, whom I've been losing a wee bit of respect for every day lately (my approval of him has plummeted to 89 percent), flip-flopped by saying that the release of more torture photos, a move he originally supported, may be a tad premature.  The reason:

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said military "commanders are concerned about the impact the release of these photos would have for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq," and that [Defense Secretary] Gates shares their concerns.
Okay, that makes sense, I guess.  So here's my solution: pull our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, then release the photos.  Can I be promoted to field marshal now?

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And just one more…

CHEERS to going home again.  Please insert your monocles and put on your pith helmets…this item is about antiquity!  Basically, kudos to the San Diego Natural History Museum for sharing rather than selling:

Museum at Prairiefire, Overland Park, Kansas
The Museum at Prairiefire
in Kansas opened Monday.
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The San Diego Natural History Museum has donated a collection of prehistoric fossils to a museum in Kansas. The San Diego museum had planned to auction off the fossils last year, saying the 85 million-year-old specimens originally unearthed in Kansas didn't quite fit with its focus on the Southern California region.  But many researchers protested against the auction, arguing the fossils belonged in a public institution where they would remain accessible to scientists. …

The specimens include a 16-foot-long Xiphactinus (a toothy, fast-swimming fish) and a 17-foot-long Platecarpus (a kind of aquatic lizard).

By the way, did you know Kansas actually has a state fossil?  It's called Senatorus Pat Robertsaurus.  It's described as hawkish, bald and mean.

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:

Whether he likes it or not, Boehner controls the fate of Bill in Portland Maine
---MaddowBlog

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Poll

By a show of hand, do you believe that Karl Rove might be accusing Hillary Clinton of having brain damage because he's projecting his own biggest weakness onto her?

3%104 votes
1%31 votes
91%2750 votes
3%102 votes
1%34 votes

| 3021 votes | Vote | Results

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