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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.

Graphic for the 41st Old Port Festival...Maine
4 days!!!
By the Numbers:
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
(Source: Politico)
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)


Mid-week Rapture Index: 187 (including 3 financial unrests and 1 humanity-sucking Sky Oreck).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.


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:

Judge's gavel
"Toss me a walnut, will ya?"
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.

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.”

Doesn't quite mean the republic is saved.  But at least I've started sleeping a lot better.

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:

Stradivarius swimming pool...cost: $1 million
This is a thing.
> US factory orders up for third straight month
> 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
And 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!

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. […]

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.

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.

Actress Ann B. Davis (Alice from The Brady Bunch)
JEERS to the dearly departed.  Sorry to hear about Ann B. Davis's demise (a fall from which she never regained consciousness, age 88)---Alice was the best thing about The Brady Bunch and besides that she looked like my grandmother who was also a hoot.  On the bright side, she's now reunited with Sam the Butcher in the great deli in the sky.  Meanwhile, another 88 year-old has left us:  
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.
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.)


Five years ago in C&J: June 4, 2009

U.S. president Barack Obama delivers a speech in the Grand Hall of Cairo University June 4, 2009 (Tomasevic/Courtesy Reuters).
CHEERS to pressing the 'Reset' button.  [Yawn]  Another day, another grand slam.  President Obama, speaking in Egypt, threaded a needle this morning and gave the Middle East (not to mention folks here at home) plenty of food for thought.  He spoke of respect for religious diversity, women's rights, peaceful co-existence, political freedom, nuclear disarmament, and fighting terrorism.  He pledged to support these efforts without acting like a bull in a china shop, but said change would only come with fresh thinking on everybody's part.  But even more than that, he accomplished one thing that historians will marvel at as a high point in the first year of his presidency: he knocked Joe Scarborough off the teevee for an entire hour.  On behalf of a grateful nation---thank you.


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:

Early Apple computer ad
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. ...

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.

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.

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


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Scientists Announce Successful Teleportation, But Can You Beam Yourself to Cheers and Jeers?
---ABC News


Does it surprise you that four out of 80 candidates endorsed by the tea party in 2014 are women?

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