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Quit Already!

We all have our addictions. One of mine, no surprise, is blogging. But I swear I can stop anytime I want. Like, say, right now. Here, watch…

[Shuts down computer for 10 seconds…reboots…resumes blogging…]

See? Easy peasy.

Unfortunately, some habits are harder to break than others, which is why I always use some front page acreage at Daily Kos this time of year to salute those in our community who have kicked the smoking habit through one method or another. Among the non-smoking success stories---ready for your close-up, dear?---is my partner Michael, who went cold turkey six years ago this Sunday, after he was chosen to be part of the high-kickers in a local production of La Cage Aux Folles. He knew he'd never be able to run around that stage unless he showed some mercy on his lungs.

Pack of cigarettes in Common Sense Mainer's freezer.  He's been smoke-free 6 years as of June 15, 2014.
The cigs in our freezer.
He won’t tell you he "quit," though. He simply hasn't reached for another one. For him, leaving the door open instead of slamming it shut makes it easier. He can have one of he wants. (He still keeps an unopened pack of Basic Menthol Lights in the freezer.) He just doesn't want one right now. It works for him.

Not that this is the most important benefit of kicking the habit, but the money we've saved over the last six years is---and I say this without a hint of exaggeration---stunning. Our lowball estimate: $30,000.

In a fortuitous bit of timing, this Sunday marks the five-year anniversary of the Daily Kos support group called GUS:

GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. We avoid discussion of political issues. If you are quitting or thinking of quitting, please---join us!
Some feedback from Vacationland's pre-anniversary GUS diary two days ago:
Yes We Can anti-smoking logo in OFA style
The GUSsacks Buddy list is one list I am grateful to belong to!  Hard to believe that it has been five years, but my lungs (not to mention the folks around me) appreciate every second of that time!

3 years for me. GUS is the reason... This wonderful group of people puts up with us wannabe quitters to help us over the big bump. I love you for helping me quit and just for being great folks.

We've come a long way since doctors recommended cigarettes and airline passengers lit up at 30,000 feet without a second thought. It's very rare these days that I catch a whiff of a death stick---I'm much more likely get a snootful of a joint than a Marlboro. So Friday night C&J kudos to all of you quitters (including you, Mr. President) and soon-to-be quitters (Right, Mr. Speaker? Hello? Hello???)

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

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, June 13, 2014

Note: Today is that mythical bad news day known as Friday the 13th.  Or as Eric Cantor calls it: Friday the Tuesday the 10th.

2014 Pittsburgh Pride parade logo
2 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Netroots Nation convention in Detroit: 34
Days 'til the Pittsburgh Pride Parade: 2
Rank of ND, WY, ME and AK on the new list of states with fastest-growing GDP: #1, #2, #41, #50
(Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis)
Amount the NYPD will pay to 14 Occupy Wall Street protesters for wrongful arrest in 2012: $583,000
Viewership of the 2010 World Cup and the 2014 Super Bowl, respectively: 3.2 billion, 111 million
(Source: AP)
Percent of Brazilians who believe the World Cup will help
or hurt their economy, respectively: 34%, 39%
(Source: New York Times)
Percent chance we're gonna need a bigger boat: 100%
(Source: Sheriff Brody)

NBA Finals:
San Antonio Spurs lead the Miami Heat 3 games to 1

Stanley Cup Finals:
Los Angeles Kings lead the New York Rangers 3 games to 1


NEW!  Michele Bachmann Departure Countdown

Michele Bachmann and her googly eyes leave Congress in 204 days.  May we never forget her gift of laughter.  By which I mean the gift of being so clueless that we can't help but laugh our hineys off.


Puppy Pic of the Day:  Now with bonus cheetah!


CHEERS to stocking the pond with the wrong critters.  Over at The Hill,  Democratic strategist Peter Fenn wraps up a crazy week with a summary of what we witnessed through our binoculars while watching the curious Virginia alpha-male supremacy duel on Tuesday:

"Urrrp! Cantor tasty."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) helped make the Tea Party---and it just ate him alive. […] The more radical and angry the Tea Party Republicans become, the less likely they are to win elections, especially presidential elections.  They may pick off some like Cantor and Sen. Thad Cochran (R) in Mississippi, but this will cost them dearly and the Democrats will be the beneficiaries.

The alligators that the right-wing Republicans have filled the swamp with will proceed to devour them at an alarming rate.  Lesson: Don't feed the animals!

Said a spokesgator for the National Society of Crocodilii: "We've taken a lot of verbal abuse over the years, but comparing us to teabaggers is a new low!  Good day sir...I said, good DAY, sir!"  [ker-SLAM!]  Touchy.

JEERS to the Worst Man with No Lips in the World.  Earlier this week the multisyllabic mansplaining conservative hankysniffer George Will wrote a Washington Post column---100% supported by his boss Fred Hiatt---lamenting that colleges are making rape victims (who asked for it, of course, by wearing tight jeans and walking around and stuff) feel all cool and special and superior to everyone else because they're actually being taken seriously now.  The outrage was thunderous, and now four U.S. senators have thrown a rhetorical shoe at him:

George Will
Will strikes a creepy pose.
"Having an ongoing interest in ways to reduce sexual assaults on college campuses, we read your June 6 column on campus sexual assault with particular dismay," [Sens. Blumenthal (CT), Casey (PA), Baldwin (WI) and Feinstein (CA)] wrote. "Your thesis and statistics fly in the face of everything we know about this issue."

The senators told Will that the column "represents ancient beliefs about the realities of sexual assault that are inconsistent with the reality of victims' experiences, based on what we have heard directly from survivors."

It's a scathing letter, but it probably won’t do anything.  Convincing a conservative to drop an ancient belief is like convincing a cable company that customer service is a priority.

CHEERS to the anti-Clarence Thomas.  On June 13, 1967, in an act of equal parts courage and smarts, Lyndon Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.  His 24 years on the bench worked out very well for America, and his previous work wasn't chopped liver, either:

Photo of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall
After amassing an impressive record of Supreme Court challenges to state-sponsored discrimination, including the landmark Brown v. Board decision in 1954, President John F. Kennedy appointed Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  In this capacity, he wrote over 150 decisions including support for the rights of immigrants, limiting government intrusion in cases involving illegal search and seizure, double jeopardy, and right to privacy issues. [...]

In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson appointed Judge Marshall to the office of U.S. Solicitor General.  Before his subsequent nomination to the United States Supreme Court in 1967, Thurgood Marshall won 14 of the 19 cases he argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of the government.  Indeed, Thurgood Marshall represented and won more cases before the United States Supreme Court than any other American

And no one ever---ever---found a pubic hair on his Coke can.

CHEERS to today's edition of "They Say That Like It's A Bad Thing."  Today's softball is provided by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which writes:

The mayor of San Francisco, liberal politicians, and a group of radical activists who call themselves Christians are attempting to shame Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for his involvement with the March for Marriage.
This has been another edition of "They Say That Like It's A Bad Thing."

JEERS to the definition of sanctity in a right-wing marriage.  Ten years ago, Rush Limbaugh's wife filed for divorce. (He wanted to start having sex with the lights on, and she bolted like a filly in a lightning storm.)  He's currently on wife #4.  And with God as my witness, I am so sorry for that visual.

EPA Director Gina McCarthy
McCarthy is on HBO's
"Real Time" tonight.
CHEERS to home vegetation.  There will be no shortage of TV this weekend, starting tonight with Whose Line (CW), Maddow (MSNBC) and HBO's Real Time, where Bill Maher chats with EPA head Gina McCarthy, Krystal Ball, Richard Clarke, Tom Rogan and Carol Leifer, author of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying: Lessons From a Life in Comedy.  New DVD releases include the reboot of Cosmos with tons of extras (but unfortunately no Jesus-riding-a-dinosaur action figure) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  Sports schedules are as follows: MLB, NBA, and NHL, U.S. Open (golf) and World Cup (croquet?).  And tomorrow night at 9, the Smithsonian Channel airs a doc on the battle for Fort McHenry that gave birth to a national anthem that no one can remember the ramparts part of.

On Bill Moyers & Company, Bill talks with economist Anat Admati, co-author of the book, The Bankers’ New Clothes.  And here's your Sunday morning lineup, parental supervision edition:

Meet the Press: It's David Gregory's turn to babysit Mitt Romney while Ann is at dressage class.

CNN's State of the Union: It's Candy Crowley's turn to babysit Eric Cantor while Diana sends out five thousand victory party un-invitations; Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-Fussyville); Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD).

Cat in a dress pushing a baby in a carriage
Fluffy the pootie pushes
Reince Priebus to the
"Face the Nation" set.
This Week: Five-thousand un-invitations is a lot, so George Stephabrokemyspellchecker will also be babysitting Eric Cantor for a bit; House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), former Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli and Col. Steve Ganyard, USMC (Ret.) on Iraq; roundtable with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Donna Brazile, Fox News's Laura Ingraham and Bill Kristol (aka one of the wrongest neocons on Iraq in Neocon Land); journalist Elizabeth Drew on the 40th anniversary of the Republican shame of Watergate.

Face the Nation: This week it's Bob Schieffer's turn to babysit Sen. Graham (R-SC) while his "special friend" stays back at the bachelor manse baking a surprise peach cobbler for "Colonel Lindsay"; gay-marriage dream team Ted Olson and David Boies on their new book; RNC chairman Reince Priebus on mastering the fundamentals of telling a bald-faced lie; roundtable with Roberta Costa, Gwen ifill and Nancy Cordes.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: This week it's Chris Wallace's turn to babysit Rep. Mike Rogers while Kristi goes shopping; battle of the Republicans with Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), and Rep. Tom Price (R-GA);.roundtable with Jane Harman, Brit Hume, Julie Pace and rape defender George Will.

And here's your final Game of Thrones spoiler alert for this season: gay marriage destroys all the kingdoms.  Happy viewing!


Five years ago in C&J: June 13, 2009

CHEERS to payuppance.  I've been ordered to write the following letter to my neighbors:

Former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Coleman before voters
scrawled a big "L" on
his ample forehead.
Dear neighbors,

The reason I shouted "Yeeeearrrghhhhhh!!!" at the top of my lungs yesterday morning at 6am is because I read in the paper that Norm Coleman owes Al Franken $95,000 in court costs.  I regret that you misinterpreted my victory whoop as a tornado warning siren and spent the day in your bathtub covered with pillows.  I also regret that you didn’t appreciate that I mowed "Yeeeearrrghhhhhh!!!" into your front lawn.  I can assure you it probably won’t happen again.

Sincerely, Billy

Happy now, mayor?


And just one more…

CHEERS to everyone's favorite Uncle Arthur.  Today is late comedian Paul Lynde's 88th birthday.  Regular C&J readers know I boast about him because he and I share the same hometowne---Mt. Vernon, Ohio---and also a general distrust of politicians: "They talk in generalities and lies, and I think they’ve caused all our grief---I hope Nader never lets up on them. … I hate thinking this because my dad loved politics."  Paul wanted to be a serious actor, but he couldn't utter more than a few lines before everyone busted out that kinda told him which way his winds of fortune were going to blow.  Here are some classic zingers from the Center Square who, in 1972, polled even higher with the general public than John Wayne:

Paul Lynde
"Paul Lynde for the win..."
Peter Marshall: When Richard Nixon was vice president, he went someplace on a "good will mission," but instead wound up being stoned and shouted at.  Where did this take place?
Paul Lynde: Pat's room.

Peter Marshall: Nathan Hale, one of the heroes of the American Revolution, was hung.  Why?
Paul Lynde: Heredity.

Peter Marshall: When is it a good idea to put your pantyhose in the microwave oven for two minutes?
Paul Lynde: When your house is surrounded by the police.

Peter Marshall: Pride, anger, covetousness, lust, gluttony, envy, and sloth are collectively known as what?
Paul Lynde: The Bill of Rights.

Peter Marshall: The Great White is one of the most feared animals. What is the Great White?
Paul Lynde: A sheriff in Alabama.

Want more? Here are 16 glorious minutes of Paul in action on Hollywood Squares…and who can forget Uncle Arthur from Bewitched?  Squares host Peter Marshall once said, "Paul Lynde made the world safe for sissies."  I guess that's why I sleep so well at night.

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



Who won the week?

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