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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Well, He Pushed My Button

The ebb and flow of letters to our hometown newspaper, The Portland Press Herald, follows a fairly predictable pattern. A conservative dutifully spits out some Fox/Rush/Beck pabulum---heavy on the exclamation points, of course!!!!!---and a few days later a liberal letter writer gently responds that, no, you're mistaken kind sir or madam, here are the facts and have a nice day.

Postage stamp with
Sometimes I engage the Gadsden flag wavers. But what really drives me crazy is when a columnist splooshes some tired old "both parties are guilty" dreck, as a "centrist" Press Herald columnist did last week in the context of economic policy. The left is just as extreme as the right, I learned, because…well, because because because. Suffice it to say, his proof was a little thin. As in, non-existent. So I sharpened my quill, opened up a tub of moonbat ink, and got down to business. A snip:
[Columnist] Caron  has a notion rattling around in his head that both the left and the right are equally severe in their economic policy, but only one side has recently taken extremism to a whole new level of cruelty, dishonesty and needless austerity: the Republican side.

To claim that Democrats “cling” to the notion that “government is the miracle cure for everything” is silliness. [...]

Democrats would love to meet in the middle, but Republicans have swerved so hard to the right that the “middle” now sits in Rush Limbaugh’s lap. Or Paul LePage’s. Take your pick.

Distinguished Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe didn’t pack her bags because the left suddenly became radicalized. She left because her own party---the party of “birthers” and “death panels” and austerity fanatics who wouldn’t agree to $10 in budget cuts for $1 in tax increases---had jumped the tracks.

So, no, Mr. Caron. The left is not causing this crisis of government. That is firmly the right’s doing.

Democrats can easily reach compromises with Republicans. But first Republicans need to return from Pluto.

Pie
Codwallop freedom pie.
The response from a self-described "patriot" on twitter: "100% unadulterated codwallop (sic), garnished with heaping silliness." Yes, and for dessert: freedom pie!!!!!

Write letters to the editor. They're therapeutic and people do read them.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Note: Breaking!  Lemon Growers Association unveils new TV ads opposing tart reform.  Film at 11.
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Mackinac Lilac Festival logo
9 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til runoff elections in Afghanistan: 17
Days 'til Michigan's Mackinac Island Lilac Festival: 9
Number of lobbying firms that Comcast is using to woo Washington in order to get its merger with Time Warner Cable approved: 40
Percent chance that, yes, I said 40 "firms," not 40 "lobbyists": 100%
Size of the wildfire in Alaska, equal to the area of Chicago: 248 sq. miles
(Source: The Weather Channel)
Number of girls and boys, respectively, who have won the National Spelling Bee (which starts today in D.C.): 41, 48
(Source: Parade)
Number of hairs in an average eyebrow: 450
(Source: The internet)

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 187 (including 3 Supernatural Events and 1 headless Franklin Graham).  Soul Protection Factor 16 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  A dog and his bucket

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CHEERS to rational and/or irrational exuberance.  Eh, who cares what kind it is…it's still exuberance…

Smiley faces
Confidence among U.S. consumers rose in May to the second-highest level since 2008 as Americans grew more upbeat about the economy and labor market. The Conference Board’s index climbed to 83 from 81.7 a month earlier that was weaker than initially estimated, the New York-based private research group said today. […]

“Rising home prices certainly are making households feel better, and higher net wealth with rising equity portfolios, those things are helping households feel healthier,” said Joe LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, who correctly predicted the confidence reading. What’s more, “the labor market is better.”

Curious, I decided to check on my wealth portfolio, and they're right: my coffee can has three more pennies, six buttons and a marbles.  Jeeves, fire up the Studebaker---we're going to Applebee's!

CHEERS to joining the family of families.  Yet another positive development in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to strike down most of the Defense of Marriage Act last year:

Same-sex married couple with a child
Officially "a family" in the
eyes of the Census Bureau.
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The Census Bureau, which struggles to keep up with the rapid changes in American life, is about to start categorizing same-sex married couples as families.  The 2013 American Community Survey results, which will be reported in September, will mark the first time the census integrates an estimated 180,000 same-sex married couples with statistics concerning the nation’s 56 million families.  Until now, they had been categorized as unmarried partners, even when couples reported themselves as spouses. […]

"[The Supreme Court’s decision] didn’t obligate us to do anything,” said Rose Kreider, chief of the fertility and family statistics branch of the Census Bureau. “But it in some ways made it easier to say: It’s legally recognized federally, so it’s time for us to throw them in with all married couples.”

Why, I believe that's the first time I've heard the Census Bureau say something that sounds almost kinky.  Careful with those drinks, heteros…this is cashmere.

JEERS to petty stooges.  In a proud moment for the Republican party, forty-two years ago today, in 1972, the White House "plumbers" hit the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, setting in motion a series of events that would lead to Nixon's resignation in disgrace.  The first clue that something was amiss: their bill was reasonable.

CHEERS to the Nerd-in-Chief.  The fourth annual White House science fair was yesterday (I forget where), during which a swarm of young’uns showed that they'll be perfectly capable of saving the planet from us oldster parasites:

The three on the left are
now in Obama's cabinet.
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This year’s event brought 100 incredible kids from more than 30 states to participate in a day-long showcase of innovative projects, patent-worthy inventions, and potentially life-saving discoveries made by America’s brightest young minds. The student exhibitors included a young researcher making progress to develop an anti-flu vaccine, an engineer who built an electric car and then raced it in a national competition, a group of girl coders who built an app to help their visually impaired classmate, and multiple teens with patents pending on groundbreaking inventions that could one day save lives.
The grand prize winner was 14 year-old Gladys McPherson, who invented the XR-60 anti-filibuster cannon, which works by putting a senator into a cannon and launching him into space.  The jumpsuit has tassles!

JEERS to those darn kids.  268 years ago, England's first indoor swimming pool opened.  It was followed moments later by the first pool-side sign: "We don't swimmeth in thy chamberpot. Please don't peeth in our pool."  Killjoyeths.

JEERS to the worst never-a-plumber in the world.  So, let me paraphrase Joe Wurzlebacher's message of hope and healing to the families of the California mass shooting:

Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber
He needs to go away.
"Okay, look…sorry 'bout yer kids. Okay? There, I said it.

Now you listen to me, moms and dads thinkin' of milkin' this situation to pass some new gun laws: don’t you fuck with my guns, you understand me?  Don't…FUCK…with…my…GUNS! Especially you fuckin' commies in the Democrat party.

But anyway, I'm sorry again about your dead kids. But you know who's not sorry? Them commies wantin' to take away our guns. And tell that Martinez guy to grow a pair."

Lest we forget, John McCain isn’t just responsible for unleashing Sarah Palin on us.  He also catapulted the celebrity status of the above not-a-plumber to such an extent that in late 2008 CNN actually ran this article: McCain's best hope: Joe the Plumber.  Or, for the moment: McCain's most tone-deaf millstone around his legacy's neck.

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Five years ago in C&J: May 28, 2009

CHEERS to throwing sand in the bigots' gears.  Hmm...this could be a brilliant flanking maneuver or a flash in the pan.  The opposing lawyers in the 2000 Florida recount are joining forces to get proposition 8 thrown out...at the federal level.  Whoa...

Attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson of the American Foundation for Equal Rights
The Dynamic Duo:
Boies and Olson:
Their suit seeks an immediate injunction on Prop. 8's ban, thereby allowing same-sex marriages to resume while the case makes its way through the federal court system.

But Olson's role in the gay rights mission prompted much speculation about his motives.  The former Bush administration official, who lost his wife in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, conceded that the federal courts might not be ready to recognize sexual orientation as a class in need of protection from discrimination, but he said he hoped "that people don't suspect my motives," vowing to demonstrate his commitment to equal rights by winning the challenge.  Boies vouched for Olson as "committed in heart and soul to equality and committed in heart and soul to the Constitution."

Last night on Countdown, John Dean told Keith Olbermann that, "You couldn’t have a stronger team to present this issue," but he also cautioned that there were risks involved.  Well, I say if they're gonna go for it...kick ass, guys. [5/28/14 Update: They did.  Now they're doing the same thing in Virginia.]

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And just one more…

CHEERS to Rudolph William Louis Giuliani III.  St. Rudy 9/11 gets a break today, but only because it's his 70th birthday, so we'll valiantly resist the urge to jeer him.  Here's the stripper for your party, sir:

Rudy Giuliani in drag as mayor of NYC
Just make sure you get her home on time. At midnight she turns back into an asshole.

Have a nice Wednesday, and good luck scrubbing the above image from your mind. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"I'm glad I lobbed a pint and I'm glad it hit Bill in Portland Maine."
---Patrick Mendes

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Poll

Do you agree with rising Republican star Dr. Ben Carson that the troubles at the VA are "A gift from God"?

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