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As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin‘s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.

---Robin Williams' wife Susan Schneider

I'm still not sure if human civilization reached a new peak whenever Robin Williams and Johnny Carson were in the same room...

But it sure seemed like it.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold...

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Note: Today is National Middle Child's Day.  Everybody say the official motto with me: "Oh, Marcia Marcia Marcia!!!"

New York State Fair logo
9 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Bill Clinton's 68th birthday: 7
Days 'til the Great New York State Fair in Geddes: 9
Minimum membership size in U.S. credit unions as of June: 100,000,000
Percent by which credit union fees tend to be lower than big bank fees: 5-20%
(Source: The Washington Post)
Increase in U.S. worker productivity during the second quarter: 2.5%
(Source: Labor Dept.)
Percent of Chinese who owned a refrigerator in 1995 and 2007, respectively: 7%, 95%
(Source: The Week)
Percent chance that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is one of the two best writers in the federal court system today: 100%
(Source: Former Justice John Paul Stevens)


Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

When this whole house of cards falls down, we need to grab the pieces fast and then quickly, efficiently and most important ruthlessly defund the entire progressive terrorist network. No time for courts or any paper-filing. Catch them, defund them, and put them back on the streets - penniless.

Put teams together to do this; law enforcement needs to look the other way. It will take a few months to get 'er done. Then we can have a serious country again. Imagine the first country to survive a leftist onslaught. Usually it's terminal. It is like surviving Ebola.
---Commenter Peter4 at

All together now: 1…2…3… Classy!


Puppy Pic of the Day:  Mornin', Romo…


Daily Kos Elections Liveblog logo
Tonight starting at 8 ET!
CHEERS to Super Tuesday, Part XV (or is it XIV? XVI? Whatever).  Primaries today in the great states of Minnesota, Connecticut and Wisconsin.  As usual, the Daily Kos Elections Team has the best coverage this side of Neptune.  Among the highlights are GOP races in Connecticut to see who gets the chance to get clobbered by Dan Molloy, and in Minnesota to see who gets the chance to be clobbered by Mark Dayton.  Liveblogging commences here at the Great Orange Elections Satan at 8ET.  You bring the nachos, and they'll squirt the cheese out of your thumb drive hole.

CHEERS to "reading the whole damn thing."  The latest political shiny object being relentlessly flogged by…well, everyone as far as I can tell…is the interview with Hillary Clinton in The Atlantic, and particularly this snip being interpreted as a "rift" between her and the current occupant in the White House:

“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
Oh noes!  She's off the rails!  It's Hillary the Hawk coming to slide nukes down the Axis of Evil's gullet!  Or, as Betty at Balloon Juice suggests, perhaps not if you read the full quote:
HRC: Great nations need organizing principles, and “Don’t do stupid stuff” is not an organizing principle. It may be a necessary brake on the actions you might take in order to promote a vision.

JG: So why do you think the president went out of his way to suggest recently that that this is his foreign policy in a nutshell?

Boy band girl sticking their tongue out at each other
How the beltway pundits see
every political disagreement.
HRC: I think he was trying to communicate to the American people that he’s not going to do something crazy. I’ve sat in too many rooms with the president. He’s thoughtful, he’s incredibly smart, and able to analyze a lot of different factors that are all moving at the same time. I think he is cautious because he knows what he inherited, both the two wars and the economic front, and he has expended a lot of capital and energy trying to pull us out of the hole we’re in.  So I think that that’s a political message. It’s not his worldview, if that makes sense to you.
Yeah, okay.  Mission statements are good, I suppose, as long as you know they're gonna get heaved out the window when things don’t fit so tidy inside them, which is often.  But whatever.  I get what she's saying, and I get what he's saying.  On my to-do list today: anything but have a cow.

CHEERS to compassionate conservatism.  59 years ago today, on August 12, 1955, that liberal fringe kook President Dwight Eisenhower raised the hourly minimum wage from 75¢ to a dollar.  Or, as Republicans today would call it, "a dollar too much."

CHEERS to cleansing your soul.  In addition to the Supermoon, the Perseid meteor shower is putting on a display of Perseidiousness for, I believe, one more night:

A Perseid meteor
A meteor is also a metaphor for Rand
Paul's chance of becoming president.
They are typically fast, bright and occasionally leave persistent trains. And every once in a while, a Perseid fireball will blaze forth, bright enough to be quite spectacular and more than capable to attract attention even in bright moonlight.  With this as a background, perhaps the best times to look this year will be during the predawn hours several mornings before the night of full moon. That's when the constellation Perseus (from where the meteors get their name) will stand high in the northeast night sky.
Everyone agrees that supermoons and meteor showers are beautiful, unite Americans in a common activity, and make lots of people happy and curious about the universe and the wonders of science.  And in other news, Republicans announced this morning that they plan to introduce a constitutional amendment banning all future supermoons and meteor showers.

CHEERS to a vanishing species making it through another year.  On August 12, 1889, William Gray patented the payphone.  Since 2000---thank you, smartphones---roughly 90 percent of America's payphones have disappeared.  But they still make great advertising venues, and New York City has found a way to repurpose them:

Superman in phone booth
"Hello, police? Someone
just stole my wallet!"
Google may be among the hopefuls vying to turn the New York City phone booths of the past into “communication points” of the future with free Wi-Fi and cellphone charging.  The dominant search company was among 60 entities that attended a meeting on May 12 to discuss a project to replace or supplement as many as 10,000 pay phones around the city. The list came to light in a Bloomberg News report on Monday. Other participants included Samsung, IBM, Cisco Systems, Verizon Wireless, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable.
Portland only has a smattering of pay phones scattered around the city.  It definitely makes it more challenging to call people anonymously in the middle of the night to arrange ransom drops, trust me.  Er, I mean...from what I'm told.


Ten years ago in C&J: August 12, 2004

CHEERS to diary flotation devices.  Kos implements "Recommended Diary" feature, allowing the best and the brightest to stay longer on the surface of the deep orange sea. will come visit us bottom-feeders from time to time, won't you?


And just one more…

CHEERS to songs without music (via Joe.My.God).  This kinda reminds me of the "Bad Lip reading" guys, who made the 2012 election season bearable.  Someone on The Tube of You is removing the music from classic pop videos, leaving only the vocals and added sound effects.  I know this is what it pretty much sounds like when a video is being shot, but it's still strangely hilarious.  And there's a fart 38 seconds in, so I'm kinda obligated to post this:

Uh…Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  These guys next, 'kay?

Have a lazy dog-day Tuesday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

When it comes to substance, Bill in Portland Maine is living in a fantasy world.
---Paul Krugman


The public pay phone was patented 125 years ago today. When was the last time you used one?

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