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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

The Amazing Adventures of Super Barney

Compared to years past, the town hall spittle-slinging has been quiet this summer. Since nature abhors a vacuum, here's a classic moment from August of '09, when Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank gave a Nazi-card playing Lyndon LaRouchebot something to cry in her strudel about when she framed health insurance reform this way:

Woman holding photo of Obama with a Hitler mustache: Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy, as Obama has expressly supported this policy? Why are you supporting it?
Barney, it's all yours:



"When you ask me that question, I am going to revert to my ethnic heritage and answer your question with a question: on what planet do you spend most of your time?"
Jon Stewart answered it best, I think: "Apparently a planet where a mixed-race president and a gay Jew qualify as Nazis."

Consider this your moment of zen.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Note: C&J Pharmaceuticals reminds you to ask your doctor if asking your doctor is right for you.
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Imagine Festival logo 2014
10 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Festivus: 126
Days 'til the Imagine Music Festival in Atlanta: 10
Percent of U.S. adults who believe concerns about global warming are unwarranted: 13%
(Source: NBC News/WSJ poll)
Percent of blacks and whites, respectively, who say they're following the events in Ferguson, MO closely: 54%, 18%
(Source: Pew poll)
Amount New Jersey taxpayers owe to the law firm Governor Christie hired to exonerate him from any wrongdoing in the Bridgegate scandal: $6.5 million
(Source: AP)
Maine's rank nationally and out of the six New England states, respectively, in terms of supporting green businesses: #29, #6
(Source: Clean Tech Leadership Index)
Rank of Altoona, PA's Leap-the-Dips roller coaster among the oldest running in the U.S.: #1

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 187 (including 4 tribulation temples and 1 apocalyptic skypunch).  Soul Protection Factor 32 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day (hat tip to Thinking Fella):  Water woozles!

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CHEERS to the new Sheriff in town.  Armed with a sword cane and a derringer in his boot, Attorney General Eric Holder rides into Ferguson, Missouri today to knock heads and assess the situation surrounding Michael Brown's murder at the hands of a trigger-happy cop last week.  This is just my two bits, but I'd like to see him pound his fist on a lectern and say to the town:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder listens to a question at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW) - RTR3ENGY
"And I mean it, bub."
"I just got done briefing all law enforcement officers. They have been informed of the following: if we catch any officer on duty without a name badge prominently displayed, they are SCREWED.  If we catch any officer on duty pointing a weapon at an unarmed citizen, they are SCREWED.  If we catch any officer on duty restricting the press from exercising their First Amendment rights freely, they are SCREWED.  The military vehicles are to stay parked in the GARAGE.  And for god's sake, if you absolutely must discharge your weapon, shoot 'em in the frigging LEG for once.  Y'know…the little stick with a hinge in the middle and a foot on the end?  LEG!!!"
But no matter what happens in Ferguson today, we do know this: tear gas canister company CEOs will have no problem making payments on their yachts and private jets this month.

JEERS to the necessity of today's not-so-boring correction.  The widespread right-wing claim that Affordable Care Act-related insurance premiums for the 2015 enrollment period will be skyrocketing and bankrupting Americans from sea to shining sea as the entire program collapses on itself is in error.  The correct claim is:

Don't Tread on My Obamacare graphic
"Premium increases for exchange plans have been modest in most places, based on public reports so far," Larry Levitt, vice president at the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, told TPM in an email. "But even the increases we’ve heard about generally represent proposed rates that may not be the last word once state regulators finalize their reviews."
We're sure the right-wingers don't regret the error, won’t post a correction, and will continue to hate themselves for actually liking Obamacare a lot.  They're so cute when they're torn.

CHEERS to do-gooders of yore. As part of his 'War on Poverty,' President Lyndon Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act 50 years ago today.  It included funds for vocational training, establishment of a domestic version of the Peace Corps, and community action programs. Or, as modern-day Republicans call them: Bleh, Feh and Ick.

CHEERS to crossing one more thing off my bucket list.  #17 on my list says, "Post mug shot of Texas Governor Rick Perry upon his indictment."  Why, with pleasure:

Mug shot of Texas Governor Rick
Damn, Molly Ivins was right.  I gotta hand it to him.  That is some good hair.

Shenna Bellows and Hon. George Mitchell
Mitchell with Maine Senate
candidate Shenna Bellows.
CHEERS to statesmen who make us proud to be part of Club Democrat.  True fact: state law requires every Mainer to either say "Happy birthday" to former Maine senator George Mitchell, who turns 81 today, or be banished to a life of misery in New Hampshire.  So: Happy Birthday Mr. Former Senate Majority Leader!  After spending 14 years in the Senate, he brokered peace in Northern Ireland, headed up an investigation of steroid use in baseball, tried his best to thread the Middle East peace needle, helped Penn State get through their post-Jerry Sandusky period, and last year helped resolve issues relating to the working conditions in Bangladesh's problem-plagued garment industry.  Last week the DNC asked if he'd mind brokering peace in between the Hillary lovers and Hillary haters.  Mitchell's response: "Dammit, man, I'm a negotiator not a miracle worker."

JEERS to hot times in the land of ice.  It's weird, the odd little memories we stash in the folds of our hippocampuses.  I remember, for no good reason, a few years back when that Iceland volcano spewed so much ash across Europe that some leaders, including Obama, couldn't make it to the Polish president's funeral.  Well, I hope Europe's leaders have their doctors on speed-dial, because it looks like Iceland's about to blow its top again:  

Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland
Looks more like a Bardarbunghole.
Iceland has issued its most severe volcanic eruption warning for two years because of earthquakes at the Bardarbunga volcano, which lies under a glacier in the centre of the country.  Four years ago the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland caused an ash cloud that grounded 107,000 flights over an eight-day period and affected 10 million passengers.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority insisted today that huge advances in forecasting ash clouds, testing their density and determining safe ash levels for flying mean far fewer flights would have to be cancelled if Bardarbunga blows.

Another plus: Bardabunga is expected to send far fewer people to the hospital with pronunciation-related injuries than Eyjafjallajokul.

CHEERS to #23.  Speaking of ice, Happy birthday to Benjamin Harrison, born on August 20, 1833 in North Bend, Ohio.  As president from 1889 to 1893, he was the filling in the Grover Cleveland sandwich.  And what a party animal!  From Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents by Cormac O'Brien:

President Benjamin Harrison
The iceman presideth.
[I]n person the staunchly Presbyterian president was a virtual corpse.  Chilly, frigid, frosty---words like these were routinely used to describe the unpleasant experience of meeting privately with the man. ... Senator Thomas Platt was the one who coined the moniker "White House Iceberg."  As Platt explained, "Inside the Executive Mansion, in his reception of those who solicited official appointments, [Harrison] was as glacial as a Siberian stripped of his furs.  During and after an interview, if one could secure it, one felt even in torrid weather like pulling on his winter flannels, galoshes, overcoat, mittens and earflaps."  Even Harrison's handshake was a flop, likened to "a wilted petunia."
So basically Mitch McConnell minus the charm.

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Five years ago in C&J: August 20, 2009

CHEERS and JEERS to Purple Finger Thursday.  The Afghani people are bravely turning out to the polls today, and we hope they make it through without any boom-booms or bang-bangs.  They'll either pick Hamid Karzai again to be their country's corrupt, greasy-palmed president for five years...or they'll pick someone else to be their corrupt, greasy-palmed president for five years.  SPOILER ALERT: the winner is corrupt and greasy-palmed.  (The suspense was killing me.)

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And just one more…

Same-sex couple Steven Bridges (L) and Michael Snell exchange rings after filling out a marriage license at the City Hall in Portland, Maine December 29, 2012.  Same-sex couples can start marrying on December 29 in Maine, a state that made history on Elec
Also in attendance: Steve and
Mike, the first gay couple to be
married in Maine on Dec. 29, 2012.
What a hoot, those two.
CHEERS to getting to the church on time.  Over the weekend Michael and I attended our first gay marriage since it became legal (thank you, voters) here in December of 2012.  Two of our good friends here---together for 15 years---got hitched under the approving eyes of The Lord at St. Ansgar Lutheran Church.  It was a lovely service.  The groom and groom walked down the aisle.  Then the pastor asked the groom if the groom took the groom to be his lawfully-wedded spouse. The groom said "I do" and then the pastor asked the groom if the groom took the groom to be his lawfully-wedded spouse. The groom said yes. Then the groom put the ring on the groom's finger and then the groom put the ring on the groom's finger.  Then the pastor blessed the groom and the groom, and then the groom and the groom did the kissy-kissy.  The last thing I remember, besides how ineffective windshield wipers are in post-gay-marriage locust swarms, was telling the bartender of course I can handle a fifth beer stein full of chardonnay and then waking up the next morning with ceiling fan blades stuck in my hair.  So it was really nice.  And I'm told that with good behavior I can be taken off the gay marriage do-not-invite guest list within five years.  

All those planning to have a nice Wednesday say "I do."  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

While Cheers and Jeers boosts brainpower for a few hours---making it a good idea to read before a test---it's not clear how it affects the brain in the long term, said Bonita Marks at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
---Philadelphia Inquirer

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Poll

A new Pew survey reveals that 27 percent of Americans say they're paying close attention to the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. How closely are you following it?

14%748 votes
43%2182 votes
30%1554 votes
9%481 votes
1%65 votes

| 5030 votes | Vote | Results

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