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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Please Rise

Kid President is doin' his brackets:

I'm with him.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, March 22, 2013

Note: Due to the sequester, our space-based lasers will be unable to destroy any more planets for at least six months.  Consider yourself lucky, Galactic Sultans of Blorkmorg.  ---Mgt.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Supreme Court hears arguments on, respectively, Prop. 8 and DOMA: 4, 5
Days 'til the Kelseyville Olive Festival in California: 30
Number of U.S. troops who served in Iraq between 2003 and 2011: 1.5 million
Approximate number of those troops who have served more than one deployment, both in Iraq and Afghanistan: 1 million
(Source: Time)
The last time the House tea party caucus met: 7/2012
(Source: Rachel Maddow)
Years the NCAA March Madness tournament has been around: 75
Percent chance that inhaling pee vapors from a male cat will get you high: 100%
(Source: South Park)

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Newtown adopts new goldendoodles

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The knight in
"Obama chose...wisely."
CHEERS to A Chicago Yankee In King Abdullah's Court.  Fresh off his wildly successful jaunt to Israel and the West Bank, President Obama flew to Jordan today…and boy are his arms tired ha ha ha!!!  As always, the best feel-good coverage is at The Obama Diary, where you can watch his amazing Thursday speech---full of hope and change and common sense and tough love---to an overflow crowd of students in Jerusalem.  Tomorrow---which I think is already today over there---Obama wraps up his trip with a visit to Petra, which is where the Holy Grail was discovered in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  I can't wait to see the right-wingers' heads explode when they find out that Obama has returned to the United States with a head full of memories…and immortality.  That'll make my day.

JEERS to loud voices falling on deaf ears.  Yesterday Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg and families of the Newtown victims urged Congress to find the courage to pass stronger anti-gun-massacre laws.  Congress immediately leapt into action, forming committees, drafting briefs and preparing to vote on measures that would authorize them to look up the word courage in a dictionary.  Republicans filibustered when Harry Reid demanded they use the Merriam-Webster version instead of the Big Dikshunary of Wurds and There Spellingz authorized by the Texas School Board.  Then they went on vacation for two weeks.  So glad I'm helping pay their salaries.

CHEERS signin' significant stuff.  Three---yes, three---years ago this weekend, and one letter at a time, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, fulfilling a promise he coincidentally made five years ago tomorrow:

President Obama's signature on ACA
The BFD to end all BFDs.
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[W]e recognize that every four years we hear somebody’s got a health care plan.  Every four years, somebody trots out a white paper---they post it on the web.  But the question we have to challenge ourselves: Do we have the political will and the sense of urgency to actually get it done?  I want to be held accountable for getting it done.  I will judge my first term as president based on the fact on whether we have delivered the kind of health care that every American deserves and that our system can afford.
We deserved a better bill than the one we got (even Obama agrees with that), but the foundation is there along with a basic framework that is being built out day by day.  Meanwhile, also two years ago tomorrow Vice President Joe Biden used the F-word to describe the bill, which will benefit millions of Americans: "This is a big fuckin' deal!"  If memory serves, Dick Cheney used the F-word once to lash out in anger at an esteemed colleague on the Senate floor: "Fuck yourself."  Difference between Democrats and Republicans right there.

P.S. Let's also never forget crazy Congresswoman Jean Schmidt's freakin' freakout when she thought the Supreme Court had ruled against the ACA mandate when, in fact, they'd ruled for it.  Because laughter adds years to your life.

Canadian flag
Stop beating us at stuff!
CHEERS to those meddling maple leafers.  On tomorrow's date in 1837---78 years before our Supreme Court finally cleared an unobstructed path to the voting booth---the ever-sensible Canadians gave blacks the right to vote.  During the next century they would beat us by two years in letting the womenfolk cast ballots.  But when it comes to putting idiots on the ballot, we clean their clock.  Stick that in a can 'o Molson and sit on it, eh.

CHEERS to famous firsts.  Mark it in the record books: a sitting United States Senator denies allegations of palling around with hookers, and…he's actually telling the truth!!!  So congratulations to Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who was the target of a slime campaign, presumably by Republican shits, that blew up in their faces.  For being such an upstanding guy, I plan to send Senator Menendez my own personal halo.  Just as soon as I remember where I stashed it.  And then blow the dust off it.  And then glue it back together.

JEERS to self-righteous knuckledragging.  On this date in 1638, progressive preacher Anne Hutchinson was booted from the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the Puritan leadership after being accused of "Blasphemy!" and "Lewd conduct!"  Today Senator Ted Cruz unveiled a statue to commemorate the event.  In honor of the Puritans.

Al Pacino as Phil Spector in the HBO TV movie
Sunday night on HBO: "Spector,"
starring a wig wearing an Al Pacino.
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CHEERS to home vegetation.  It's mud season here in Maine!  That's all the excuse I need to park my butt in front of the TV this weekend.  Tonight on HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher talks with former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey, numbers guy Austan Goolsbee, record producer Clive Davis, GOP talking points spouter John Feehery and MSNBC contributor Maria Teresa Kumar.  New DVD releases include Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty and The Hobbit.  (SPOILER ALERT: Bilbo gets shot in the eye by Seal Team Six during the French Revolution.)  Sports: March Madness gets marchier and maddier, the featured Sunday NHL game on NBC will see the penguins "ground" the flyers, and the richest PGA pros will once again bitch about taxes as they accept their weekly six-digit checks.  On 60 Minutes: Anderson Cooper rips off his shirt and goes diving with Nile crocodiles, and a member of punk band Pussy Riot comes out of hiding to taunt Vladimir Putin.

Former FDIC chair Sheila Bair (R) bashes the banksters and economics professor Richard Wolff updates the state of income inequality in America on Bill Moyers & Company.  Dan Savage gets a seat at the table on Up! With Chris Hayes.  And here's your Sunday morning lineup---let's see how the male/female balance is among guests and pundits this week:

Meet the Press: Bloomberg vs. LaPierre on guns; Richard Engel on Obama's historic Middle East trip; Attorney David Boies on next week's historic Supreme Court cases on marriage equality; roundtable with E.J. Dionne, Hilary Rosen, Ralph Reed (Why the hell is this crook still showing up on my teevee???) and, for comic value, David Brooks.  Male/Female Index: 7/1

StarWars cantina scene
A hive of scum and villainy: Reed, Perkins,
Kristol and Bauer stink up Sunday morning.
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This Week: For reasons that defy explanation, Karl Rove is still getting invited on the Sunday shows; 2012 Obama campaign mastermind Jim Messina sings "We Are The Champions"; director Alexandra Pelosi and former NJ Gov. Jim McGreevy promote their new HBO talking picture "Fall to Grace."  Roundtable with Donna Brazille, Peggy Noonan, Terry Moran, Christiane Amanpour, Jeffrey Goldberg and San Senor.  Male/Female Index: 6/4

Face the Nation: Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) on drones; gay marriage discussion with David Frum, Austin Nimocks, Evan Wolfson, Brendon Ayanbadejo and hatemonger Tony Perkins; Obama's Israel trip is dissected by Tom "Mustache of Understanding" Friedman (NYT), Bobby Ghosh (TIME) and Clarissa Ward (CBS).  Male/Female Index: 8/1

CNN's State of the Union: Eric Shinseki gets grilled about the embarrassment that is our current VA system; Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on the gun-violence and civil union bills he signed this week; Supreme Court chitchat with pro-marriage-equality California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund; National Journal's Ron Brownstein and GOP strategist Ana Navarro on looming battles in Congress.  Male/Female Index: 4/2

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Sen. Rand Paul's head explodes when he tries to get his walnut-sized extremist brain to get his mouth to say things that sound reasonable; Nicolle Wallace and extremist hate bigot Gary Bauer on gay marriage; roundtable with Nina Easton, Bill Kristol (who, let's remember, was one of the biggest Iraq War liars), Joe Trippi and Karl Rove (another Iraq war liar).  Male/Female Index: 5/2

Final tally: 30 dudes, 10 chicks.  It's a man man man man world.

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Five years ago in C&J: March 22, 2008

Governor Howard Dean
DNC Chair Howard Dean's
50-state strategy in 2008
crushed Michael Steele's RNC.
CHEERS to the registered rabble.  One of the amazing (and underreported) stories of the primary season has been the stratospheric numbers of Democrats who are participating.  Pennsylvania---which makes its mark in 32 days---is no exception.  AP:
Since last fall's election, statewide Democratic enrollment has swelled by more than 111,000---an increase of about 3 percent in less than six months that state elections Commissioner Harry VanSickle said is apparently unprecedented.

With days to go, Democratic registration is barely 5,000 votes shy of a record 4 million.

I'll say it again: the so-called McCain "surge" is bullshit.  This year Democrats have overwhelming cash, overwhelming energy, overwhelming ideas, and overwhelming numbers.  We can absolutely afford to let the primary season play out because it will take about 30 seconds to brand the other team as the incompetent nincompoops they are.  Okay, so I woke up on the right side of the bed today...sue me.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to rolling blackouts...no, no, I mean the good kind!  Don’t forget to turn off your lights tomorrow night at 8:30 and join the world in going dark for Earth Hour:

Earth Hour poster for 2013
Also be on the lookout for
marauding panda gangs.
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Every year at the end of March, individuals, governments, companies and organisations switch non-essential lights off for 60 minutes to mark Earth Hour---a global event which aims to raise awareness of climate change and environmental concerns.  It may only be symbolic, but watching iconic buildings such as the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House be plunged into darkness sends a powerful message.

The seventh annual Earth Hour on 23 March, 8.30pm to 9.30pm, is a flash of inspiration for teachers wanting to explore climate change in more depth---from the science of global warming to energy saving and renewable energy. The event is made even more relevant this week after teachers in England condemned the British government for dropping climate change from the geography curriculum for under 14s.

One drawback: emergency rooms are bracing for an influx of injuries from people walking into walls and lampposts.  Oh, and then there's the looting.  And the feeling it'll create that we're all alone in the universe and everything is pointless---a cold, black void where demons stomp on your heart, dreams get shredded into failure, and the soul shrivels into a walnut-sized mass of despair.  Um…  Sorry 'bout that.   I'm in the advanced stages of Twinkie withdrawal.  Lemme try again: Earth Hour. Yay.  

Have a great weekend!  Oh, and Happy 82nd Birthday to William Shatner…and many blessings on your bongos.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

1%47 votes
24%746 votes
26%796 votes
6%184 votes
3%114 votes
1%32 votes
10%313 votes
1%31 votes
2%87 votes
0%21 votes
16%488 votes
4%123 votes

| 2986 votes | Vote | Results

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