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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

The Other Oath

It was four years ago that I published the official document below in C&J. In the interests of a smooth inauguration, I'm re-publishing it as a reminder to a certain Supreme Court Chief Justice who, according to Pulledoutofmybuttipedia, reads C&J religiously and agreed to the following:

An Oath for Our Chief Justice

I, Chief Justice John Roberts, do solemnly swear that I royally fracked up trying to administer the presidential Oath of Office from memory.

President Obama is given the oath of office a second time by Chief JJustice John Roberts, january 21, 2009.
Take 2: January 21, 2009
That I embarrassed myself and the nation by getting something so simple---something memorized by every boy and girl in third grade---so excruciatingly wrong. And in so doing, came within a butt hair of accidentally making Sasha Obama President of the United States.

Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing, but you have to admit juggling second grade and the presidency might be a bit much for a seven year old.

Most important, I do solemnly swear that four years from now, when I'm swearing in Barack Obama for a second term---in fact, any time I'm swearing anybody in for anything---I will execute the...no, wait!...I will faithfully execute the Herculean task of doing what Justice John Paul Stevens had the good sense to do when he swore in Biden: namely, bring an index card, which I can get a whole pack of for a buck plus tax over at The Dollar Store…on which I will have scribbled, legibly, the words to the Oath of Office, so that I don't frack up again, unnecessarily reminding the world once more that I am an appointee of former President George W. Bush.

So help me God.

Faithfully.

Fingers crossed. By the way, Sasha is in sixth grade now. Still not seasoned enough to be president, but more than qualified to replace the current Speaker of the House.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, January 18, 2013

The Bible on wich Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama were sworn in on.
Lincoln's Bible...
or Mao's book?
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Note: How do we know that the Bible Obama plans to get sworn in on won't actually be a copy of Mao's Little Red Book doctored to look like the Bible Abraham Lincoln used during his first inauguration in 1861 and hollowed out to hold the ashes of Stalin?  We don't!  Our only hope is that Donald Trump finds out in time to save the republic.  That story plus Hank with sports and the parade of babies in banana suits on NewsCenter at 11.


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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the State of the Union address: 25
Days 'til the Big Bay Whale Festival in San Diego: 8
President Obama's job approval-disapproval rating one year ago in the Gallup daily tracking poll: 45% - 46%
Obama's approval-disapproval now: 53% - 41%
Number of new Amtrak ACS64 trains being bought for the northeast corridor over the next six years at an investment of $466 million: 70
Percent of the energy from "regenerative braking" that the train adds back to the electrification system: 100%
(Source: Fast Company)
Weight of the $36 billion in gold bars that Germany is transferring back from Paris and New York to its own vault in Frankfurt: 700 tons

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Monday's Inauguration Day Forecast:

Partly sunny with a 70% chance of widespread coffee breath.  High: 40.  Low: Rand Paul's presence.

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba!!!

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CHEERS to 1,461 days at the helm.  Wow---seriously, where does the time go???  Four years and three thousand Republican filibusters since he first swore to preserve, protect and yadda yadda the yadda yadda, POTUS 44 is grayer, wiser, and rarin' to get back to work on an aggressive agenda plus whatever unexpected shit gets thrown his way.  The big D.C. shindig is Monday, but on Sunday (noonish, and televised, I hope), the first Obama-Biden term officially ends and the second one begins.  Here's Obama's official second-term photo, taken by the eagle-eyed Pete Souza and released today:

President Obama's official second-term portrait photo, taken Dec. 6, 2012.
"Oh, hai!"
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Here are a few of my predictions for term two, on which I'm staking my meager fortune and tarnished honor: immigration reform passes, diluted but still effective gun-death-control legislation passes, a conservative Supreme Court Justice dies in office and a liberal Justice retires, the embargo on Cuba is lifted, climate change is ignored despite a minimum of ten catastrophic weather events, DOMA disappears, world calamities are pesky but mostly manageable, he leaves office in 2017 with 57 percent approval, and doesn’t return any of my calls.  [Seals predictions in mayonnaise jar]  As always, if I'm wrong I'll buy you a Coke.

CHEERS to strange dreadfellows.  Next week Satan worshippers are staging a rally in support of Florida Governor Rick Scott.  My reaction: scary, creepy, weird, ick!  And I believe the same thing about the Satan worshippers, too.

CHEERS and JEERS to dollars (if not sense).  When it comes to business and economic news, my brain typically goes ZOT!!!! if I go beyond the headlines.  So that's all you're getting:

Trillion-dollar coin mockup
Also: ixnay on the
illion-ollar oincay.
> President: debt limit not a game.
> Data show economy gained at the end of 2012
> Credit card use remains tight
> Signs for 2013: Gas to cost less
>Small businesses fading as drivers of growth, hiring
> Apple reports 2 billion apps downloaded in December
> Slumping Apple stock tempers markets
> U.S. workers drawing on retirement savings to get by
> Feds giving small farmers a way to grow
> Debt crisis has eased, EU block likely to live on
> Unemployment claims drop to lowest level in five years
> New home construction highest level since June 2008
> Toyota back in driver's seat as the top-selling automaker
> GM to open new center near Atlanta, create 1,000 jobs
Oh, and my first nominee for the Nobel Prize in economics for 2013 is the guy who paid a fraction of his salary to outsource his own job to China so he could spend his time at work watching cat videos and shopping online.  Nice work if you can get it---and he did!

CHEERS to Synonym Fever!  Happy 234th Birthday to Peter Roget.  He created the first thesaurus.  For which we are thankful.  Grateful.  Appreciative.  Heaving with sweaty mojo.  Writhing with blessings between satin sheets.  Shuddering with reciprocal gladness in the shower...er…  Sorry 'bout that.  I probably shouldn't watch the Spice Channel while I'm writing.

P.S. On this date in 1955, Scrabble made its debut. The highest scoring word, if you've ever wondered, is "Sesquioxidizing," which can earn you 2,044 points.  Plus some really dirty looks from the other players.

CHEERS to home vegetation: weekend edition.  Hooray---Bill Maher returns tonight with a new season of HBO's Real Time.  Guests are Martin Short, Bob Kerrey, journalist Rula Jabreal, former Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette and CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.  New DVD releases include Woody Allen's To Rome with Love and Liam Neeson back in revenge mode in Taken 2.  The NFL schedule is here.  (The Patriots will crush the Ravens "forevermore!"---Ha Ha Ha!!!)  Jennifer Lawrence hosts SNL.  On 60 Minutes: Sonia Sotomayor and job-killing robots.

On Bill Moyers & Company (link): union leader Larry Coehn talks about the need for filibuster reform.  Of course, you can't go wrong weekend mornings with Up! With Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry.  And here's your Sunday morning lineup, which I'm sure has lots of exciting and unusual guests for inaugural weekend!  Or not...

Meet the Press: Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX); inauguration roundtable with Chuck Todd, David Axelrod, Tom Brokaw, Richard Engel, Joe Scarborough and Doris Kearns-Goodwin (who will hit a milestone when she reminds us for the 10,000th time that she "woke up with Abraham Lincoln every morning for ten years").

Peggy Noonan on Face the Nation
Peggy Noonan insisted that “all
the vibrations [were] right” for
Mitt Romney to win big. Yet she
still gets invited on the Sunday
morning shows because...???
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This Week: David Plouffe; Inauguration committee co-chair Eva Longoria; roundtable with George Will, Cokie Roberts, Jennifer Granholm, Matt Dowd and Rick Santorum, whom it is still not safe to Google in polite company.

Face the Nation: David Plouffe; Condoleezza "Smoking Gun/Mushroom Cloud" Rice, Dee Dee Myers, Peggy Noonan, Bob Woodward; Texas's Castro twins; MLK's legacy with Taylor Branch, Joe Califano, and Dr. James Peterson.

CNN's State of the Union:  Dunno.  They haven't updated their web site.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: David Plouffe; Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO); roundtable with Brit Hume, Liz Marlantes, Juan Williams and Bill Kristol.

Wow.  So glad they moved heaven and earth to line up such unique and exciting guests on inaugural weekend.  Happy sleeping in!

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Five years ago in C&J: January 18, 2008

JEERS to an inconvenient re-entry.  The Department of Homeland Security---where "Hey, don’t stick that in your ear" is heard more often than in any other federal agency---will be imposing stricter ID standards for border crossing from Canada or Mexico into the U.S.  Starting January 31, you'll need stronger proof that you're an American.  Like a passport.  Or not being able to locate Canada or Mexico on a map.

CHEERS and JEERS to the chess king.  Bobby Fisher has died at 64.  He scored a cold-war victory "against a product of the grim and soulless Soviet Union" (Boris Spassky) in 1972, but in later years said filthy things about Jews and praised the 9/11 attacks.  And not many people know this: he may have been a chess prodigy, but he lost 321 games of checkers.  In a row.  To a four year-old.

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And just one more…

Molly, Bill in Portland Maine's dog, with ennis ball
Molly was born with one
of these in her mouth.
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CHEERS to the ol' brown gal.  As I write this, Molly (formal name: Molly of Wonka Moore), C&J's chocolate lab, is doin' what she does best these days: sleeping on her bed (and probably SBD'ing).  She has no idea that Sunday is her twelfth birthday---I'm told that's around 75 in yooman years.  Labs typically live to be 10 to 12, so Molly is living on the proverbial borrowed time.  The years are showing: white muzzle and belly and eyebrows.  Benign "lab lumps" of various sizes all over and teeth sanded down from 144 months of obsessively mauling tennis balls.  Her back legs are now so wobbly that we have to follow her up the stairs with our hands cupped behind her butt in case they give out (but, bless her big ol' heart, she still loves going for walks and can still make it around the four-mile Back Cove on weekends).  Her appetite comes and goes.  But she's still the same goofy old pooch, with an independent streak but gentle to a fault.  (Hell, the kitty walks right over top of her at night without a peep of protest from the big lump under the covers.)

A few years back, Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten published an excerpt from his book Old Dogs.  Truer words were never written:

Molly, Bill in Portland Maine and Common Sense Mainer's chocolate lab.
Happy Birthday, old lady.
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In our dogs, we see ourselves.  Dogs exhibit almost all of our emotions; if you think a dog cannot register envy or pity or pride or melancholia, you have never lived with one for any length of time.  What dogs lack is our ability to dissimulate.  They wear their emotions nakedly, and so, in watching them, we see ourselves as we would be if we were stripped of posture and pretense.  Their innocence is enormously appealing.  When we watch a dog progress from puppyhood to old age, we are watching our own lives in microcosm.  Our dogs become old, frail, crotchety and vulnerable, just as Grandma did, just as we surely will, come the day.
Happy Birthday, old lady---and thank you for teaching me the most important life lesson of all: there is no shame in peeing in public.

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

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Poll

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