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Stand back.

You're just in time to see me test the squeezing of the honorary starter marmoset with sinusitis as we prepare to kick off the annual Netroots Nation online auction.  In three... two... one...

Yay, it works. Bidding starts promptly at 9am ET and there's something for everyone. On this year's virtual auction block:
Honey Cake donated to the Netroots nation 2013 Auction
Honey cake!
Suites at the Netroots Nation convention hotel in Detroit
• A Tiger baseball Weekend and a chance to watch a Mets game from a luxury suite
• A political book collection including the best of Franken, Ivins and Hightower
Gooey butter bars and homemade honey cake
• A stellar collection of jewelry
artwork that will class up your home or office as it lowers your blood pressure
• A JFK campaign hat
• Netroots Nation '14 exclusives, including backstage passes, front-row seats, and even
a karaoke duet with Congressman Mike Honda
Pootie pads!
And much more. Honestly, this is the best collection yet. Thanks to everyone who donated items. Proceeds go to fund both the annual Netroots Nation convention and its regional events.

Netroots Nation 2014 logo
New goodies will be added throughout the auction, so check back often. And if you have an item or two to donate, the process is simple---just click here to get started.

Bid early, bid often, bid with vigah! Auction ends next Tuesday night. Good luck!

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, August 15, 2013

Note: Just a quick heads-up that there will be no C&J Monday as we'll be taking the annual food inventory in our End Times bunker.  Back Tuesday with an awesome half-off sale on 1950s canned goods with only minor leakage.


Virginia Craft Brewers Fest logo
9 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the last lunar eclipse of 2013: 64
Days 'til the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest in Roseland: 9
Rise in retail sales in July: 0.2%
(Source: Commerce Dept.)
Number of the 4,432 pedestrians killed in 2011 who were walking while drunk: 1,547
Percent of the 625 pedestrian fatalities aged 25-34 who were walking while drunk: 50%
(Source: NHTSA)
Small-business owners who say they could see themselves running their business entirely from an iPad/small tablet next year: 53%
(Source: j2 Global survey via USA Today)
Rank of Iron Man 3, Fast & Furious 6 and Despicable Me 2 among the world's top grossing movies of 2013 so far: #1, #2, #3
(Source: Box Office Mojo)


Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
I'm clearly confused, but I think some of my colleagues are, too.  During the run-up to the State of the Union speech, I heard apparently sane commentators state that since George W. Bush is reading a biography of Teddy Roosevelt, he would speak out against the "malefactors of great wealth" and possibly even endorse campaign finance reform.

I may be confused by Bush, but these folks have absolutely no idea who he is.  Let's try this again, team.  George W. Bush sides with the malefactors of great wealth not because he is a tool of the rich or because Enron bought him with campaign contributions---that's who he is, that's what he really believes, that's his life experience.
---January, 2002


Puppy Pic of the Day (this one's become an August tradition):  "This is my ball. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My ball is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My ball, without me, is useless. Without my ball, I am useless. I must fetch my ball true. I must run faster than my enemy who is trying to fetch my ball before me. I must beat him before he beats me. I WILL."


CHEERS to a nightmare on NOM Street.  The handful of grifters still trying to weasel bucks out of the gullible by fighting against marriage equality aren't going to like this.  Goody---I love to see 'em pout:

The pentagon in rainbow colors
I love what they've
done with the place!
After the Supreme Court's ruling striking down DOMA, the Defense Department quickly endorsed full benefits for same-sex military couples, and today, the Pentagon went a little further still.

The Department of Defense announced a plan Wednesday to extend a range of federal benefits to same-sex spouses of military service members starting Sept. 3. The Pentagon will extend to legally married same-sex couples the same privileges and programs that are provided to legally married heterosexual couples, including benefits tied to health care, housing, and family separation allowance, compensation paid to military members when their dependents can't live with them at their permanent duty station.

Not covered by the brass: who controls the remote, dishwashing duty and whose turn it is to pick the dirty underwear up off the floor.  (There are some conflicts even the military is smart enough to stay out of.)

JEERS to another date that will live in infamy.  Social Security turned 78.  Pakistan turned 66.  David Crosby and Steve Martin celebrated birthdays.  And 8/14/13 will also be seared into the world's memory as Egypt's "Bloody Wednesday."  Juan Cole has a summary of the events surrounding the massacre that killed hundreds, including the lead-up:

Egyptian hieroglyphics
I think this says "Facepalm."
The Interior Ministry, Gen. Mohammad Ibrahim Mustafa and the Defense Minister Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wanted to use force to disperse the pro-Morsi demonstrators.  Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Baha Eldin and Vice President for foreign affairs Mohamed Elbaradei are said to have called for a gradual approach, of simply not allowing anyone who left the square to return and counting on attrition to thin out the crowds over weeks.  They argued that anything that looked like a massacre of Brotherhood members would weaken Egypt’s standing in Europe and the US.  Others in the government wanted to disperse the crowds by force immediately.  While last weekend it seemed that Elbaradei had prevailed, by Wednesday morning the hard liners had won out.
Or, as we say here: the hawks punched the hippies.  Oh, yeah…that always works out swell.

CHEERS to VJ Day. Sixty-eight years ago, on August 15, 1945, America celebrated the end of the war in the Pacific.  Our youngest W.W. II vets are now in their upper 80s, so today it's our pleasure to slip a nip `o scotch in their Ensure with a wink and a "thank you"---that was a war that needed to be fought.  Meanwhile the Afghanistan war has dragged on over eight---eight!!!---years longer than the Second World War.  Not that we're counting.  Or seething.

CHEERS to speaking up for yourself.  Pfc. Bradley Manning, convicted of 20 counts of leaking a boatload of classified military information (including how we load our boats), said a few words in court yesterday.  Doesn’t sound to me like the cunning and evil publicity hound the prosecution painted him as:

Pentagon papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg holding sign in support of Pfc Bradley manning.
Pentagon Papers whistleblower
Daniel Ellsberg showing his full
support for Pfc Bradley Manning.
"I understood what I was doing was wrong but I didn't appreciate the broader effects of my actions," he said during his sentencing hearing at Maryland's Fort Meade. "I only wanted to help people, not hurt people." …

Manning has claimed he leaked the material to expose wrongdoing and provoke discussion about U.S. military and diplomatic affairs.  But in court on Wednesday, he told the judge that he now recognized he should have handled it a different way. "I should have worked more aggressively within the system," he said.

He could get 90 years in prison (minus 112 days that were subtracted from whatever sentence he gets because of the way he was tortured by guards while awaiting trial).  I say make it ten years tops with the stipulation that the Nobel committee shouldn't give him their Peace Prize.  He should get President Obama's.

Original artwork for Crisco circa 1911
I eat it straight
from the can!
CHEERS to an artery's best worst friend.  On August 15, 1911, obedient and properly submissive American housewives across the country swooned to the sound of Crisco (short for "crystallized cottonseed oil") glopping into their frying pans and mixing bowls as Procter & Gamble brought it to market.  Over a hundred years later, Americans still love it because it lets them enjoy fried chicken and cupcakes and cookies and pies and countless other sinful foods.  And cardiologists love it because it lets them enjoy Porsches.


Five years ago in C&J: August 15, 2008

JEERS to limp stimuli.  So our free checks from the Fed have all been received and cashed.  And did we rev up the economy as Bush told us to promise him we would?  Well...not really.  But we did do this:

Graph of Bush vs. Obama deficits up to 2012
Curious, dat.
The federal budget deficit soared in July, pushed higher by economic stimulus payments and $15 billion in outlays to protect depositors at failed banks.  The Treasury Department reported that the deficit for July totaled $102.8 billion, nearly triple the $36.4 billion deficit recorded in July 2007.  The deficit outstripped the $97 billion gap that Wall Street economists had been expecting for July.
Oh, bad Americans.  Bad!  To punish you, the president will probably be forced to give you another stimulus check.  Get it right this time.  Europe's watching.  [8/15/13 Update: But you know who wasn't watching?  The future teabaggers of America.  They only started paying attention when the Democrat got elected and was tasked with cleaning up the Republicans' mess.  As for Europe, they were too busy reading Austerity for Dummies to pay attention to us.  My point is: so how's that Mars colony coming along?]


And just one more…

JEERS to unwelcome transformations.  Stand back.  Billy about to get mad.  And when Billy get mad BILLY SMASH!!!

Artwork of the Rapture
Nice knowing ya. I'm
going the other way.
The Patriots are dealing with their greatest scare of training camp.  Tom Brady left the field with a left knee or ankle injury early in 11-on-11 drills this afternoon. Brady threw an incompletion to rookie Aaron Dobson on the right sideline on his second pass of full team drills, and then the quarterback hit the ground clutching his left leg.  Brady gingerly limped off the field and met with head trainer Jim Whalen. He returned to the field after just one play, though the limp was still noticeable.
It happened yesterday…on Tim Tebow's birthday.  That's the signal.  Everybody prepare for the Rapture.  I'll fetch the steamer trunks.

Happy Thursday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

That jetpack Bill in Portland Maine always wanted?  It's almost ready.


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