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Rhetorical Candles on the Birthday Cake

Pearls from thems who was born this week. Well, not this exact week, like this week in 2014 but on this week's dates in…oh, jeebus, you know what I mean…

“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.”
---Al Franken

“I was born very far from where I'm supposed to be, and so I'm on my way home.”
---Bob Dylan

“What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.”
---Bertrand Russell

Two cats at table with birthday cake...vintage photo
"To err is human. To mew, divine."
---Birthday Cat, 1897
“When I first met him, he had a recurrent nightmare that Henry Kissinger was chasing him with a knife, and I said it was really his father, and he said it was really Henry Kissinger, and I said it was his father and he said it was Henry Kissinger, and this went on for months until he started going to the Central American shrinkette, who said Henry Kissinger was really his younger sister.”
---Nora Ephron

“All men are created equal. Now matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.”
---Harvey Milk

 “To say I’m an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair.”
---Tina Fey

“Intellectual freedom is essential---freedom to obtain and distribute information, freedom for open-minded and unfearing debate and freedom from pressure by officialdom and prejudices. Such freedom of thought is the only guarantee against an infection of people by mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorship.”
---Andrei Sakharov

“When you were born you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying.”
---Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Heineken?! Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!"
---Dennis Hopper

Happy birthday to all of the above. And a safe holiday to the rest of ya. Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Cheers for Friday, May 23, 2014

Note: C&J will not appear on Monday.  Back Tuesday with a brand new Punky Brewster beer hat.  (Despite the holiday, Monday trash pickup in Portland will happen normally.  Remember that the governor goes in the non-recycle bin.) ---Mgt.

Omaha Beer fest logo
14 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Independence Day: 42
Days 'til the Omaha Beer Fest: 14
Date of the first Memorial Day: 5/30/1868
Current poll numbers for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker vs. Democratic challenger Mary Burke, respectively: 46%-46%
(Source: Marquette University Law School poll)
Median age of a fast-food employee: 29
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Number of legal challenges to state gay marriage bans working their way through federal and state courts, respectively: 44, 27
(Source: Human Rights Campaign)
Average price of a gallon of gas, versus $3.66 last year: $3.64


NEW!  Michele Bachmann Departure Countdown

Michele Bachmann and her googly eyes leave Congress in 225 days.  If you're planning a formal celebration, make sure your napkins are folded properly.


Puppy Pic of the Day:  By request, C&J's lab mix, a rescue from Macon, Georgia. Our little peach, Haley:

Haley, white lab of Bill in Portland Maine and Common Sense Mainer.  Taken May 22, 2014.

CHEERS to multitasking.  As our endorphins go wild over the prospect that our first warm-weather holiday weekend is upon us, Iraq war veteran Chad Storlie reminds us in USA Today:

Memorial Day 2011 editorial illustration by John Cole
The plans for this Memorial Day have been made. A picnic in the park, a short vacation to the lake, a trip to the shopping mall, or maybe a visit to a military memorial or a parade. These are all well deserved rests---Americans work hard. However, as Americans, we need to force ourselves to pause and remember the fallen. … We remember them all – their courage, sacrifice, professionalism, dedication and the essence that made them devote their life to their country.

For America, remembering the sacrifice of others is not enough. The Americans who died in combat died acting with the conviction, dedication and passion that they were making America and the world safer and better. They were right and we need to repay their devotion with a dedication to act to make America better, just as they were doing when they fell.

And while you're at it, take a few extra moments to reflect on Dwight Eisenhower's words: "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."  Me, too.  Minus the living it part, but I'll take his word for it.

CHEERS to Robert Allen Zimmerman.  You know him better as Duluth-born Bob Dylan, and tomorrow we'll wish him a happy 73rd birthday.  No one in my conservative family listened to Dylan when I was growing up (it was classical, showtunes, Bread, John Denver and The Carpenters in our house, which is why I think I'm somehow related to Ned Flanders), and I don’t remember anyone playing him when I went to college in the early 80's. So, Dylan never made it on my mix tapes, sorry to say.  But I'm smart enough to know a living legend when I see one. And judging by his summer tour schedule, he ain't slowin' down any.  Here he is in Newport a month before I was born:

His Wikipedia entry is like a museum---you could get lost in it.  Many blessings on your camels, Bob, from all of us mere mortals.

CHEERS to cosmic fireworks.  Keep your eye on the sky tonight, because apparently God might be out playing with sparklers, says Kossack pollwatcher:

Meteor Blades (aka Tim Lange)
Later, we'll watch
this Meteor shower.
A brand new meteor shower from comet 209P/LINEAR just might develop this Friday night, and it could be a REALLY good one! Then again, predicting the intensity of a meteor shower is a lot like predicting which clown will emerge from the Republican clown car to make the stupid/bizarre statement of the week.

Since this is the first shower from this particular comet, it's hard to tell how it will turn out, but some predictions are in the really, really cool range.

It starts at 1:30am ET (10:30pm PT), and you may see up to 400 shooters an hour.  Or as the right-wing conspiracy nuts call it: 400 signs per hour that Obama is the antichrist.

CHEERS to the original texter. On tomorrow's date in 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the first telegraph message: "What hath God wrought."  On the upside: the telegraph went on to become an indispensable communications device that wowed the world.  On the downside: no camera, no apps, and it took six months to play one screen of Candy Crush.

Posdter for HBO's
Sunday night
CHEERS to home vegetation.  Here's some of the weekend haps on the teevee.  On HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher hangs with Jose Antonia Vargas, Michael Smerconish, Sarah Silverman, Ana Deavere Smith and David Frum.  New DVD releases include The Monuments Men and Pompeii. (Spoiler alert: they're gonna need a bigger hose.)  There's also sports on TV, including baseball and whatever's still going on in the NBA and NHL playoffs.   Oh, plus the Indy 500, which conservatives love because it involves going around in circles getting nowhere while burning lots of gas.  (83 year-old Jim Nabors will be there to sing "Back Home Again in Indiana" one last time.)  Sunday night on HBO, Larry Kramer's important AIDS drama The Normal Heart finally makes it to the screen accompanied by positive reviews.  And on Game of Thrones: why you never, ever want to get your tongue stuck in a drawbridge.

On Bill Moyers & Company, Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic talks with Bill about "a bold step to change the way we talk and think about race in America in his June cover story for the magazine, provocatively titled The Case for Reparations.”  And here's your Sunday morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Who knows?  Their web site is such a disaster that the lineup may be hidden somewhere, but hell if I got time to root around in David Gregory's virtual sock drawer.

Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
Sunday on ABC: Rieckhoff!
This Week: Friend-of-C&J Paul Rieckhoff (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America) is the sanest voice on the problems at the VA and deserves every minute of airtime and print space he gets; Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff; China-U.S. relations with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Steve Ganyard (ABC News); roundtable with conservative Matt Dowd, conservative Ana Navarro, liberal David Plouffe and, for balance, conservative Kristen Soltis Anderson.

Face the Nation: VA chat with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Senator John Thune (R-One of the Dakotas?); Teapublican whackjob Dr. Ben Carson talks about the Teapublican party; VA roundtable with Dana Priest (WaPo), David Finkel (WaPo), Tom Manion ("Brothers Forever"); NFL roundtable with Jarrett Bell (USA Today) and Sean Gregory (Time).

CNN's State of the Union: Indiana GOP Governor Mike Pence; roundtable with Penny Lee, Corey Dade, and Alex Castellanos; filmmaker Wes Moore.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: The VA problems get aired out with Derek Bennett of Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America and Dr. Margaret Moxness, a VA hospital whistleblower; Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); roundtable with George Will, Kirsten Powers, Charles Lane and Kimberly Strassel.

Happy viewing!


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

CHEERS to silver linings.  Wow, there's an upside to falling into a deep recession, after all.  Thanks to the crappy economy and high gas prices, carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. dropped last year at the steepest rate since 1982.  We were on track for a similar result this year, but after a full day of Republican leaders talking out of both sides of their mouths and their asses at Tuesday's special session of the RNC, Mother Nature raised the white flag.  But it was fun while it lasted.


And just one more…

CHEERS to the birth of the Great Orange Satan.  We won’t be around Monday, so tonight we wish this site's merry band of muckrakers and misfits an early blast from the confetti cannon for a dozen years of blogging goodness.  It all started when a dirty fucking hippie named Markos Hemp Flower Rainbow Prius Moonbat Benghazi Moulitsas emerged from his law-school cocoon and flapped his tie-dye wings on May 26, 2002:

Markos Moulitsas as the devil
What is thy bidding, my mahster?
I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. I believe government has an obligation to create an even playing field for all of this country's citizens and immigrants alike. I am not a socialist. I do not seek enforced equality. However, there has to be equality of opportunity, and the private sector, left to its own devices, will never achieve this goal.
"The" Daily Kos stewed in its juices for a bit before I discovered it (via the Dean for America blog) and got addicted to the cattle calls.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Despite the meta wars, sigh-inducing GBCWs, and the sheer crazy volume of information that gets posted every day, it's still a kickass source of netroots-level analysis, opinion, issue-vetting, fundraising, snarking, storytelling and flying furniture, and only a fool would try to herd our breed of cats.  So from all of me to all of you---especially you, Kos, our mighty Keyboard Kingpin---Happy 12th blogiversary from user ID #2574.  May your hearts remain progressive...and your hands always be filled with pies.

Be safe.  Have fun.  Climb a tree. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?



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