From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…
It seems there's an issue with the graphics this morning, so I'll re-post my intro on Friday.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Note: Only firearms that have traditionally been pulled by a team of horses or a locomotive are welcome in this diner. Thank you for your cooperation, and please mind your step around the chef's Big Bertha in the parking lot. ---Mgt.-
Days 'til New York Comic Fest: 10
Days 'til the 41st annual Old Port Festival in Portland, Maine: 4
Number of foreign banks and other financial institutions that are now working with the IRS to prevent offshore tax evasion: 77,000
Median age of The O'Reilly Factor viewers: 72
Median age of Fox News viewers overall: 68.8
Percent of Americans who faced difficulty paying their monthly household expenses on time in 2010 and so far in 2014, respectively: 43%, 36%
(Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers survey via USA Today)
Length of President Obama's helicopter ride from the White House to Andrews Air Force Base to catch a flight on Air Force One: 15 minutes
(Source: The White House)
Puppy Pic of the Day: Today's magic number is twenty-three.
CHEERS to the consequences of elections…and re-elections. To coin a phrase, "It's the courts, stupid." And after six years of the Obama presidency, even GOP obstruction can't stop the inevitable swing towards normalcy:
When President Bush II left the White House in 2009, the 13 U.S. courts of appeal were firmly under Republican appointees’ control. Ten appeals courts had majority GOP judges, two were evenly split and only one had a majority of Democrats. President Obama’s 49 appeals court appointees have dramatically altered the landscape. As of the Senate’s recess on May 23, nine of those courts had majority Democratic appointees and four had Republican majorities.Doesn't quite mean the republic is saved. But at least I've started sleeping a lot better.
The change, much feared by Republicans, is not necessarily shocking. But the transformation, in just 5 1/2 years, said University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur D. Hellman, an authority on the federal circuit courts, marks ”a huge shift in a very short period of time.”
CHEERS to Super Tuesday. Primary votes were tallied last night and there was plenty of grist for the various mills in the half-dozen-plus states that had elections. (You can sort through the results via Darth Jeff's terrific Daily Kos Election Liveblogs. The biggest overall story is that it looks like Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, who couldn’t seal the deal against a teabagger, will go down in a runoff election with Whatsizface three weeks from now. The best news: Sandra Fluke (if I'm reading this right) was one of the two winners last night in the CA-26 state senate race, so she'll be on the ballot in November. The strangest news: Iowa Republican Joni Ernst's win in the U.S. Senate primary (she'll face Democrat Bruce Bralee) means that promising to castrate anything in Washington that moves is a winning campaign issue. I'll say this: it was a ballsy move.
CHEERS to green shoots turning into green stalks??? Some economic headlines from around the interneterverse:
> US factory orders up for third straight monthAnd for the 0.000001 percenter who has everything, how about a Stradivarius? By which I of course mean Stradivarius swimming pool. At only a million bucks each, you'd be crazy not to get two!
> GM sales jumped in May
> New day in Seattle: $15 minimum wage
> UAW increases member dues for first time since 1967
> Detroit moves closer to bankruptcy exit
> Maine officials optimistic about meeting new carbon limits
> Power plant rule will shrink power prices
> U.S. construction spending up in April
JEERS to annoying chores. 103 years ago today, the newly-invented washer/dryer combo went on sale for the first time. Followed the next day by the first husbands and kids to totally ignore it.
CHEERS to leading from…in front??? I haven't commented on the new EPA clampdown on carbon emissions (aka the War On Coal Impeach Obama!!!) because I wanted to wait and see how big the ripples would be. And if I may say, holy cow! This is huge:
China, the world's biggest emitter of climate-changing greenhouse gases, will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions from 2016, a top government adviser said on Tuesday. The target will be written into China's next five-year plan, which comes into force in 2016, He Jiankun, chairman of China's Advisory Committee on Climate Change, told a conference in Beijing. […]Meanwhile the coal-producing states will compensate for the 30 percent cut in carbon emissions through increased political poutrage. The upside: it's a lot cleaner. The downside: it's a lot noisier.
He's statement comes the day after the United States, the world's second-biggest emitter, for the first time announced plans to rein in carbon emissions from its power sector, a move the Obama administration hopes can inject ambition into slow-moving international climate talks.
His funeral will be attended by purple leprechaun licorice welders, turtles in spaceships zapping meteors in the shape of Glenn Beck's head, and ponies farting rainbows on the set of NBC Nightly News with giant panda head. (Or at least that's what I plan to be seeing.)Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, who has died aged 88, was a pioneering and fearless scientist, but his chosen discipline---the design and synthesis of psychedelic drugs---was one of the most maligned and least understood. Shulgin invented hundreds of new psychedelic drugs, which he tested on himself, his wife Ann, and his friends, documenting their preparation and effects. But he wasn't satisfied with mere discovery---he argued passionately for the rights of the individual to "explore and map the limits of human consciousness" without government interference.Shulgin
Five years ago in C&J: June 4, 2009
And just one more…
CHEERS to The Preeecious. Thirty-seven years ago, on June 4, 1977, the first personal computer---Apple II---went on sale. I'm guessing that, in today's dollars, it would probably cost around $8,000. Their original ads seem quaint today. Our favorite one stars meta-blogger Ben Franklin. The copy is priceless:
Rather revolutionary, the whole idea of owning your own computer? Not if you're a diplomat, printer, scientist...or a kite designer. Today there's Apple Computer. It's designed to be a personal computer. To uncomplicated your life. And make you more effective. ...Funny. Windows 8 just gave me a pop-message that reads, "Oh, Apple Apple Apple!!! Give it a rest already!" Ha ha, I'm just kidding---it just sat there and crashed.
Apple is a real computer, right to the core. So just like big computers, it manages data, crunches numbers, keeps records, processes your information And prints reports. You concentrate on what you do best. And let Apple do the rest. Apple makes that easy with three programming languages---including Pascal---that let you be your own software expert.
Time waiting for access to your company's big mainframe is time wasted. What you need in your department---on your desk---is a computer that answers only to you...Apple Computer. It's less expensive than time sharing. More dependable than distributed processing. Far more flexible than centralized EDP. And, at less than $2,500, downright affordable.
Have a nice Wednesday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
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Scientists Announce Successful Teleportation, But Can You Beam Yourself to Cheers and Jeers?