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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Mailbag

Dear Herman Cain,

I understand you are seeking my approval to run for President of the United States in 2016. While I don’t normally make endorsements, I believe you are a---well, let's just say you're a special case. So let this be A SIGN UNTO THEE…

Pizza in the sky
You have my blessing to go forth and quote Pokemon and visit Uze Beki Beki Beki Beki Stan Stan at will. In fact, I insist on it. This kingdom could use the levity.

Best to the wife and mistresses (we'll sort that out later),

God

P.S. You may be wondering why I chose to give you your sign on this liberal blog. Tsk tsk. Do I not work in mysterious ways?

G:jc

Your west coast-friendly edition of  Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, June 6, 2014

Note: A quick heads-up that there will be no C&J on Monday.  (Cottage openings for friends that normally happen in April and May have gotten pushed back this year, so they're bunched up.)  Back Tuesday to resume our five-day-a-week-schedule through mid-July.  Please behave tonight---I don’t want any more frantic 3am calls from Kos asking why his servers are clogged with pudding.
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Gumby Fest 2014 California logo
8 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the midterm elections: 151
Days 'til the first annual Gumby Fest in Glendora, California: 8
Campaign contributions by physicians in 1992 and 2012, respectively: $20 million, $189 million
Percent chance that campaign donations by physicians to Republican candidates dropped from 75% to under 50% between 1996 and 2012: 100%
(Source: Campaign analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine)
Portion of men who have "nail gun" at the top of their tool wish list: 1-in-5
(Source: Men's Health)
Age of Little League baseball as of today: 75
Number of Little League teams around the world: 160,000
(Source: Parade)

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NEW!  Michele Bachmann Departure Countdown

Michele Bachmann and her googly eyes leave Congress in 211 days.  Celebrate, yes, but also keep in mind that one year ago she said to Sean Hannity: "I may run for another public office. That could happen."

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  "Timber…"

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CHEERS to D-Day.  The largest amphibious landing in history happened 70 years ago today, and President Obama delivered a moving tribute to the rapidly-dwindling number of veterans who waded ashore on that horrific yet awe-inspiring day:

General Eisenhower talking to the troops before the D-Day invasion in June, 1944
"Remember, men: Sieg heil!
[Thpppt!] Heil! [Thpppt!] Right
in der Fuhrer's face!"
Lengthy applause rang out as the U.S. President said he was humbled by the presence of some of those veterans at the ceremony.  "Here, we don't just commemorate victory, as proud of that victory as we are; we don't just honor sacrifice, as grateful as the world is; we come to remember why America and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at this moment of maximum peril," Obama said.  Their story should remain "seared into the memory of a future world," he said, describing Omaha as "democracy's beachhead."
The Atlantic has a fascinating interactive feature that shows you various scenes from D-Day (including the one of Ike above) and, with a click or a touch, what they look like now.  It's pretty mind-blowing.  To this day, George W. Bush is still a little confused as to why we went through all the trouble---after all, the intelligence was accurate, the threat was real, and there wasn't any oil there.  Crazy.

P.S. Earlier today, Republicans submitted a list of U.S. prisoners taken by the Nazis on D-Day who they believe should be sent back to Germany.  Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would consider the request right after she got done swirling her finger in circles next to her ear.

CHEERS to breaking through the Thin 0.0% Line.  We've been watching the glacial pace of our emergence from the Great Bush Recession through Calculated Risk's "saggy butt graph"---the red line of job recovery that GOP obstruction prevented from reaching the break-even point for years.  But despite the anvils they tied to our collective ankles (why did they do that, again?), we finally broke the surface when 217,000 jobs were created last month:

Post-recession employment chart for May, 2014
Democrats reacted to the news with their trademark cautious optimism and calls for context.  Republicans reacted to the news with their trademark denial and calls for impeachment.

JEERS to a very bad day in a decade full of very bad days.  Forty-six years ago today, 42 year-old Robert F. Kennedy died in Los Angeles (the New York Times account is here) after being shot just after he'd won the California primary.  I was only four at the time, and have no recollection of it.  But this bit from the Washington Post's 1968 tribute expresses in no uncertain terms that we lost more than a man, we lost a movement:

Robert Kennedy campaign button-1968
What if...
As for power, he sought it endlessly, but not for itself.  For he was, above all, a compassionate man who wanted to improve the lot of other men.  He wanted to move the country, to break new ground in response to new challenges as he saw them, and political power was the instrument he needed to do what he thought would be good---for cruelly neglected Indian children, for the people of the ghetto, for the disadvantaged here and everywhere.  Like his older brother, he scorned the slow pace of the Senate and the diluted influence of a Senator for this did not fit his temper.  He reached with restless energy, and some logic, for the Presidency because that is where the political power is. ...

Still only 35 when he became Attorney General in his brother's Cabinet, he applied himself to that assignment with the same intensity and with an increasingly skillful hand. ... In a short span, he revitalized the Department's attack on organized crime and established greater control over the FBI than had been exercised in many years.  From Montgomery to Oxford to Tuscaloosa he led the hard campaign against racial discrimination with tough-minded determination and skill.

Which brings us to the most frustrating game ever invented in the history of the universe: "What if..."

JEERS to America's Easy Bake Oven.  Up here in the northeast you can hear the wee village folk shouting, "Maine's #1!!!  Maine's #1!!!"  And we are…in global warming on American soil:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage quote on global warming, from 350Maine.org
Good to see our Teapublican
governor is taking it seriously.
The climate has warmed in Maine and Vermont more than in every other state in the past 30 years, a shift that scientists say is evident in the species of birds and fish that are moving into or out of northern New England.  The six New England states, along with three of their neighbors in the Northeast, accounted for nine of the 10 states that have had the largest increase in annual average temperature since 1984, according to an Associated Press analysis of temperature records from the federal government’s National Climatic Data Center. …

Sean Birkel, a research assistant professor at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, said part of Maine’s winter warming trend is attributable to the fact that Arctic sea ice is melting as that region warms. As sea ice melts, sunlight is absorbed by the darker ocean, further heating the air.

In response, we plan to take an aggressive approach to reduce greenhouse gasses through carbon-emissions control, energy conservation, sensible resources management and a laser-like focus on renewables.  But first, after the winter we just had, we're gonna sit and enjoy the warmth for awhile.  Twenty minutes or so.  Three months tops.

CHEERS to pissing off (and on) the King.  On Tomorrow's date in 1775, "United States" was chosen to replace "United Colonies" as our official name (beating "Bubbaland" by one vote---thanks a lot, Pinckney).  By the way, if you need some parchment at bargain basement prices, there's still a few thousand boxes of "United Colonies" stationery in the Independence Hall supply closet.  Thanks for the heads-up, $!#%&!! management.

Belmont Stakes 2014 logo
Giddyup, pony.
CHEERS to home vegetation.  Here's our weekly roundup of weekend TV stuff, starting with HBO's Real Time, and I can only imagine how soft-gloved Bill Maher will be to that odious criminal weasel Ralph Reed (Time magazine's "Right Hand of God").  He'll be joined by right-wingers Jim Geraghty and Nicolle Wallace and penis-swinger Anthony Weiner---between the four of them, they'll give director John Waters enough fodder for half a dozen naughty flicks.  New DVD releases include the not-terrible reboot of Robocop and the Blu-ray of the 70s classic Death Bed ("The Bed That Eats!").  Sports schedules are as follows: MLB (Go Boston!), NBA Finals (Go Boston!), Stanley Cup Finals (Go Boston!), and Saturday's Belmont Stakes (Go Boston!).

Sunday continues to be an embarrassment of riches, with Veep, John Oliver's FCC-crashing Last Week Tonight, and Cosmos (tonight Eric deGrassi Tyson picks up hitchhiker Dr. Zachary Smith and quickly ejects him because you can only listen to someone complain about "The pain! The Pain!" for so long).  And here's your Sunday morning lineup, which is to say the shows you'll be skipping so you can watch Up! With Steve Kornacki and Melissa Harris-Perry or just sleep in:

Meet the Press: Who knows?  They don’t seem to feel like updating their web site lately.  Preempted by tennis again?

Property Andrew Hefter
Here's a sneak peek at this
Sunday's network gabfests.
This Week: This week it's George Stephapalooza's turn to babysit Rep. Mike Rogers while Kristi goes shopping; Hillary Clinton sets a record for the most number of times a person has ever said "no plans" in a ten-minute span (349); super-pooper-scooper roundtable with no one of any partocular wisdom; Nate Silver handicaps the World Cup.

Face the Nation:  Warning: this show is toxic!  Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); former prisoner in Afghanistan David Rohde; roundtable with Peggy Noonan, Michael Gerson, Tom Friedman and Michael Gergen.  Seriously---you've been warned.

CNN's State of the Union: This weekend it's Candy Crowley's turn to babysit John McCain while Cindy goes shopping; Secretary of State John Kerry.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on impeaching Obama over the prisoner swap; armchair general Jack Keane (ret.) on impeaching Obama over the prisoner swap; two parents who say their son was killed while looking for Bowe Bergdahl on impeaching Obama over the prisoner swap; roundtable with Amy Walter, George Will, Steve Hayes and Juan Williams who all call for Obama's impeachment over the prisoner swap.  I'm sensing a pattern here.

And on Game of Thrones, the biggest shocker yet: a character dies of natural causes!  Happy viewing.

-

Five years ago in C&J: June 6, 2009

JEERS to a waste of perfectly healthy trees.  I saw an ad yesterday that says Joe Scarborough has a new book out.  I believe it's called Blah Blah Blah, That'll Be Twenty Five Bucks Please.  Sponsored, I'm sure, by Starbucks.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the disclaimer of the week.  Last weekend I bought a t-shirt that has a crude map of the mid-coast region of Maine---one of my favorite places on earth---on the back. I love the shirt, but I confess to loving what was printed on the sticker that came with it even more:  

C A U T I O N!
NOT INTENDED FOR
NAVIGATIONAL USE!

Manufacturer disclaims responsibility if teeshirt
is used as navigational aid, and cannot be held
liable for any damages, including shipwreck,
loss of life or limb, or any other inconvenience.
Have a nice day.
The bad news: this is a new low in underestimating the intelligence of the American people.  The good news: the Coast Guard says rescues of shipwrecked teabaggers are down 30 percent.

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

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Poll

Who won the week?

16%548 votes
1%39 votes
26%865 votes
0%22 votes
4%132 votes
0%12 votes
15%513 votes
7%237 votes
3%130 votes
3%117 votes
0%11 votes
19%635 votes

| 3265 votes | Vote | Results

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