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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Maine's Delegation Responds With A Unanimous "WTF?"

Rep. Mike Michaud (D):

“I’m disappointed by today’s ruling and believe it is an affront to a woman’s right to access basic healthcare services,” said Michaud. “I have the utmost respect for religious freedom---it is one of the defining principles of our nation. However, I believe today’s ruling sets a dangerous precedent that opens up the door to discrimination in the workplace under the guise of religion. Unfortunately, this is not the direction in which we should be moving.”
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D):

Senator Angus King (I):

Former Maine Governor Angus King is pictured in this undated photograph released on June 22, 2012. It has been nearly a decade since King finished his second term as Maine's governor, loaded his family into a recreational vehicle and set off on a 5 1/2-mo
"I think it is disturbing because I don’t know where you draw the lines. Number one, I don’t understand how a corporation can have a religion. A corporation is an artificial person. I have never seen a corporation sitting in a pew at St. Paul’s Church in Brunswick. People sit in pews."
Senator Susan Collins (R) [from same link as King's, above]:
Susan Collins (speaking on the shutdown in November 2013)
She says the ruling deserves careful study because it could have unintended consequences. "If employers can start going through a list of standard benefits and saying, 'I don’t believe in blood transfusions,' which some religions do not," she says. "And I respect that belief, but does that mean that they will not cover blood transfusions for their employees?"
And this from State Senator Diane Russell (D) from Portland:

I won't even give 'em the time of day anymore from my cuckoo clock made out of popsicle sticks and rubber bands. And glitter. Lots and lots of red, satanic glitter.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Note: Today's note will be doing sidewalk counseling from 11 'til 1 in front of Staples to convert wayward memos, laundry lists and blurbs into god-fearing notes like itself. If you wish to join it, please bring a pro-note sign and wear comfortable shoes.
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Mango Festival at Fairchild logo  Coral Gables, Florida
11 days!!!
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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the midterm elections: 126
Days 'til the 22nd annual International Mango Festival in Coral Gables Florida: 11
Percent of Americans who agree and disagree, respectively, that employers "should have the ability to limit coverage for contraception based on religious beliefs": 35%, 53%
(Source: Reuters poll)
New minimum wage at Ikea, up from $9.17/hr that will start in January: $10.76
Amount Blackwater and its mercenaries received in government contracts after threatening to kill a U.S. government official: $200 million
(Source: Think Progress)
Percent chance that if Rand Paul wins the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and chooses Paul Ryan as his running mate, the ticket would be "Paul-Ryan": 100%
(Source: Ezra Klein)

World Cup Soccuh
France 2  Nigeria 0  
Germany 2  Algeria 1

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Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

The whole thing is a religious and occultic demonstration of what the Powers That Be have intended for us. People need to understand that mainstream movies are nothing but venues for the New World Order agenda. They use the "Transformers" characters for eye candy and metaphores. As you alluded to, the viewer needs to pay attention to the background. Not the foreground.
---Commenter undecided at World Net Daily
All together now: 1…2…3… Classy!

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  'Tis the season

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Still from the movie
Also in July: you're gonna
need a bigger boat.
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CHEERS to July!  America turns 238 (but thanks to a recent facelift and tummy tuck, we don’t look a day over 234) and Canada turns 147.  It's also National Baked Beans Month and National Ice Cream Month, and on the 11th we'll be celebrating something called Feest van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap (Translation: "The takeover of the planet by horny gerbils wearing chaps").  Full moon is on the 12th so make a note to look up yonward and wink at at Neil Armstrong and Elvis.  Sadly, this is the month during which Monty Python performs live for the last time---lucky ticket holders.  And the only thing we can all truly count on this month: a whole lotta bakin' goin' on and I ain't talkin' about
pies although those, too.  Okay, last one in the pool's a rotten egg---"Cannonball!!!"

CHEERS to a bright spot on a crappy day.  All I can do is echo what others have said about the Supreme Court's rulings on contraception and unions: despicable.  But lost in the Hobby Lobby and Union-busting rulings was this niblet:

Nah gonna happen.
The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to California's law that bars mental counseling aimed at turning gay minors straight.  The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said the state's ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors doesn't violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment.
However, ex-bigot therapy will continue as usual because you can see it actually works.  My method has a 100 percent success rate: each client get a punch card, and when they've hugged an L, a G, a B, a T and a Q, they turn it in for a free feather boa.

JEERS to a Supreme waste.  And speaking of SCOTUS, twenty-three years ago today, George "41" Bush nominated Thurgood Marshall's replacement to the Supreme Court:  porn-obsessed, sexual-harassing federal appeals court judge Clarence Thomas.  During his tenure he has contributed virtually nothing except a reliable hard-right vote and lots of Federalist Society infrastructure building behind the scenes at SCOTUS.  But at least he never speaks.  Thank God for small miracles.

Screenshot of cellphone video of surveillance video of Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) kissing a staffer.
This is him. And her. But not Mrs. her.
JEERS to kissing and running.  You remember that married congressman who got caught on surveillance video making out with a staffer (like, tongue and everything), prompting him to announce he wouldn't run for reelection out of shame?  Funny story---turns out Rep. Vance Suckface McAllister (R-LA) didn't really mean it, so he flip-flopped and now he's running again.  He said the decision was difficult, but ultimately he came to the conclusion that he doesn't really want to spend more time with his family.

CHEERS to the bloody turning point.  151 years ago today, on July 1, 1863 the Battle of Gettysburg began, marking the high-water mark of the Confederacy.  (For the record, Maine won the war, although we love to hate to brag about it, because it's true but we're modest.)  In a show of magnanimity---because, hey, what's a little treason between friends---I bought the South a gift today, on account of I thought it was fitting for the occasion.  It's a Robert E. Lee cuckoo clock:

Confederate pride cuckoo clock
Instead of a cuckoo, a little toy cannon goes off every hour.  Who knew treason could be so whimsical?

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Five years ago in C&J: July 1, 2009

JEERS to unwanted raises.  The credit card legislation passed earlier this year already has lenders passing the pain...to you:

Credit card in a bear trap art
It's interest-free!!! (For six months
that fly like greased lightning.)
The ink has barely dried on credit card reform signed by President Obama in May, and already, issuers are raising prices again. ...

[S]ome critics say that issuers are taking advantage of a loophole in the law to bolster their financial conditions.  Increases in credit card rates have been "widespread" as issuers try to make up for falling revenue because of higher loan losses and pending restrictions, says Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of LowCards.com, an information site. ... In a statement Monday, [Senator Chuck] Schumer slammed issuers for trying to "wring more dollars out of their customers." Some of the changes in card terms, Schumer says, are "against the spirit of the law and ... just plain wrong."

But their million-dollar commercials are cute.  And, really---doesn’t that count for something?

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And just one more…

Canada zombie hunting permit
Happy hunting, Canada!
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CHEERS to our favorite constitutional monarchy!  Happy birthday, Canada!  As America prepares to celebrate the violent upheaval and protracted war with Britain that led to our independence, our neighbors to the north are commemorating the cool, calm, and civilized "union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada July 1st."  Awesome whoooooo!!!  We luv ya Canada.  (Disclaimer: But not your tar sands, which you are free to keep.  In fact, we insist, and we're keeping William Shatner hostage until you agree.)  Have fun, but don't get too crazy, eh---you could tear a rotator cuff politely waving at your neighbors.

Have a Tuesday.  In fact, take tue.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Cheers and Jeers has never been a series capable of personality growth, leaving Bill in Portland Maine pretending to crack wise with rubber duckies as thoughtful as pudding.
---Scott Bowles

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Poll

Do you believe it would be a good idea to disconnect health insurance in this country from places of employment?

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