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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

The Last Late Night Snark of the Summer

"Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell admitted they have no Plan B if the House doesn’t avoid a government shutdown. Of course this raised a lot of questions. Like, since when did they have a Plan A?"
---Jimmy Fallon

Russian President Vladimir Putin bears resemblance to dog.
We hear he's upset at the
comparison. The dog, I mean.
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"Vladimir Putin wrote that America should not view itself as exceptional. I disagree. Hey, Russia, we invented jazz and the elevators it plays in. We're the geographic sweet spot between frostbite and beheadings. Our roulette is way better than your roulette. And when you rearrange the letters in 'Russia' you get 'USA, Sir!'"
---Conan O'Brien
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"If you define 'mass shootings' as four or more people getting shot at one time, we've had nearly 250 so far this year. We've only had 260 days! Our mass shooting average is 96 percent. Our mass shooting scores shouldn't be that much higher than our math and science scores. There have been more mass-shooting days than Jewish holidays---and there are a shitload of Jewish holidays."
---Jon Stewart
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"Controversy at the Miss America pageant. Miss North Dakota's talent was fracking."
---Stephen Colbert
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"New Rule: Now that it’s been 60 years, Americans must accept the fact that rock stars like to mime sex acts on stage. Yes, they’re acting all hot and horny but they're a lot like Congress---when all is said and done, what they're actually doing is fucking nothing."
---Bill Maher
And one year ago:
"To fight for the GOP's very existence, we have chosen Mitt Romney as our standard bearer. Unfortunately no one can stand him or bear him."
---Stephen Colbert
Come on down and splash---we're bobbing for gourds in the jacuzzi. Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

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Update: In our poll we erroneously renamed Martina Arroyo "Martha." C&J regrets the error. Monkey-with-typewriter #12 has been reprimanded.

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, September 20, 2013

Note: For your protection, C&J has rented a SWAT team to beat you with courtesy clubs and take you into custody on charges that will later be dropped.  Please remember to buckle your seat belt when you're taken downtown in the armored personnel carrier.  It's the law!  ---Mgt.

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Tour de Fat Bike and Beer festival logo
Tomorrow!!!
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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Obamacare exchanges go live: 11
Days 'til the Tour de Fat Bike and Beer Festival in Golden Gate Park: 1
Percent of all luxury-goods consumers in 1995 who were Chinese: 2%
Percent who are today: 25%
(Source: Harper's Index)
Year through which the International Space Station should be able to continue operating: 2028
(Source: CBS News)
Percent of the U.S. population over age 15 that provides eldercare---unpaid care for someone with a condition related to aging---to others: 16%
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Percent chance that $172,000 is a terrible, awful, too-low wage: 100%
(Source: Rep. Phil Gingrey—R-GA)

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Beach thug

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CHEERS to clenched fists becoming open hands.  Well knock me down and call me sweetheart, elections really do have consequences.  The hardliners took it on the chin this week thanks to this guy

"Y'know what, Fluffy?
I think I like Francis
the hippie pope."
Pope Francis said in an interview published Thursday that the Catholic Church cannot focus only on abortion, contraception and gay marriage, and that the moral structure of the church will “fall like a house of cards” if it does not find better balance. …

The pope’s remarks draw a contrast with both the doctrinal focus of his predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and with church leaders in the United States and around the world who have urged him to speak more publicly about homosexuality, abortion and birth control.

…and this guy
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made his case Thursday to the American people and the world for "a constructive approach" to contentious issues including his nation's nuclear program, arguing that failing to engage "leads to everyone's loss."

Letters spell PEACE
Why, that's cRaZY tALk!!!
"We must work together to end the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us apart," Rouhani said in an op-ed published Thursday evening on the Washington Post's website.  "Rather than focusing on how to prevent things from getting worse, we need to think---and talk---about how to make things better."
Meanwhile, Republicans here in our "exceptional" homeland of equality, riches, intelligence and compassion just voted to starve nearly four million of our citizens and rob millions more of affordable health care.  And I am confused.

CHEERS to the chilling season.  Sunday afternoon at exactly 4:44 EDT, the autumnal equinox will get its groove on and steal summer's mojo.  Right on cue the flannel shirttails will be flappin' in the breeze, the trees will become nature's fireworks display, and New England will take on an unabashedly nostalgic Currier & Ives feel:

Autumn leaves--orange
Autumn as seen through
a pair of Kos-colored glasses.
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State forestry officials are expecting some of the most colorful foliage ever. Farmers say pumpkins are plumping up nicely in their fields.  Bookings are strong at hotels and inns through next month."  Anecdotally we are hearing good things," said Carolann Ouellette, director of the Maine Office of Tourism.

[Gale] Ross said Maine Forest Service specialists attribute this season's brilliant forecast to ideal growing conditions for native maples, especially red and sugar maples, which contribute the deep reds and neon orange hues to the fall landscape.

Still, the transition to The Nippy Side does make everyday life more of a challenge.  Biggest pain: putting on ten individual pairs of Gore-Tex toemuffs anytime the dog has to go out to pee.  Here at the BiPM household we'll observe our usual solstice tradition: slurping a quart of steaming clam chowder from a dirty L.L. Bean boot.  

JEERS to the American war of terror.  On September 20, 2002, during an address to a joint session of Congress, George W. Bush tapped Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to be the first director of a new monstrosity called the Department of Homeland Security.  So how'd that work out?  Well, if the department's mission was to exploit the old color-coded terror alert system for political purposes around election time, Mr. Ridge will tell you it worked like a charm.  Color me hardly surprised.

CHEERS to America's favorite literary boogeyman.  Sixty-six skulls go on the cake of Stephen King, born September 21, 1947 in Portland, just steps from where I live. (Okay, several thousands of steps, but still---steps!)  King is an unabashed progressive who isn't afraid to speak his mind, as he did two years ago:

Cover of the novel
King's sequel to "The
Shining" debuts Tuesday.
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"You know what? As a rich person, I pay 28 percent taxes. What I want to ask you is, why am I not paying fifty? Why is everybody in my bracket not paying fifty? The Republicans will say, from John Boehner to Mitch McConnell to Rick Scott, that we can’t do that because, if we tax guys like me, there won’t be any jobs. It’s bull! It’s total bull!"
And this from three years ago in Entertainment Weekly:
I read a blog post about this situation where the writer called BP "half-assed." That's simply not true. BP has a whole ass; it's just that one cheek is smart and the other one is stupid. The smart cheek knew how to drill nearly a mile deep to get the oil, but the dumb cheek can't seem to fix what went wrong. Jekyll-and-Hyde buttocks, if you see what I mean.
In honor of his birthday, I promise to not only bless the Daily Kos reader's camels, but to also feed all unnecessary adverbs to the rabid St. Bernard chewing a hole through my front door.

P.S. Tonight's special in the C&J watering hole: two-buck Redrum and Cokes.

Chris Hayes publicity shot
Will Chris Hayes let Bill Maher
get a word in edgewise? Find
out tonight on "Real Time."
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CHEERS to home vegetation. Nice cool weekend coming up here---our cue to fire up the teevee for some quality couch time, starting tonight with the season premiere of Shark Tank.  Later tonight, HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher actually has a decent lineup with Chris Hayes, Billy Crystal, Joy Behar, David Frum and Jeremy Seifert.  New DVD releases include World War Z, starring Brad Pitt as a man desperately trying to, I presume, get some sleep in a world of snoring zombies.  The baseball schedule is here.  (The Red Sox will make the Blue Jays "sing the blues" Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!)  And the Emmys---hosted by Neil Patrick Harris---are Sunday night on CBS.  (I can announce one winner already, and it thrills me to no end: Bob Newhart---his first!!!)  But I reserve the right to switch back and forth between that and the next-to-last episode of Breaking Bad.

On Bill Moyers & Company, Robert Reich bangs the drum for income equality.  And here's your Sunday morning lineup:

Meet the Press:  And right on cue, out pops the evil jack-in-the-box, aka Wayne LaPierre, to explain why Washington Navy yard massacres wouldn't happen if only every American was issued a bazooka at birth.  Then: Sandy Phillips, mother of Aurora, CO shooting victim Jessica Ghawi, explains why LaPierre is nuts.  The roundtable pits Bill Kristol, Kimberly Strassel, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) against Robert Gibbs, Tavis Smiley, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).  Chuck Todd hides under David Gregory's desk the entire time to avoid any accidental fact checking.

Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI)
Sen. Ted Cruz brings
the crazy Sunday on
the Fox Neurosis Channel.
Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO); roundtable with Brit Hume, Amy Walter, Karl Rove and Dennis Kucinich.

This Week: Budget committee ranking member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA); Billy Jean King clobbers former labor secretary Robert Reich in a game of Wii Wimbledon; roundtabloe with Gwen Ifill, disgraced former House speaker Newt Gingrich, and disgraced journalist Jonathan Karl

Face the Nation: Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Tom Coburn (R-OK); Rep. Matt Salmon explains how he's been fishing for ways to defund Obamacare.  (There is no Democrat booked to offer a rebuttal---I wonder why.)  And just in case Sunday morning isn't crazy enough, un-convicted war criminal Henry Kissinger shows up to play a round of mahjong with Bob Schieffer.

CNN's State of the Union: Rep. Nancy Pelosi who, with each passing day, becomes one of the greatest House Speakers in history compared to the current idiot wielding the gavel.

Happy viewing!

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Five years ago in C&J: September 20, 2008

CHEERS to the League of Super Duper Friends.  Great news!  The morons and misfits who slept while the underpinnings of our economy were being pulled out from under us in a giant game of Jenga: Greed Edition have spoken!  Bush, Bernanke, Paulson and the rest all agree: "Blah blah blah blah blah BE CALM!!!"  Bad news: the government will be stopping by this weekend to confiscate your coffee cans full of pennies and whatever ya got between your sofa cushions.  Good news: after this week, you're not constipated anymore, are ya?

P.S. On Monday, after the Dow lost 500 points, President Bush hosted a state dinner during which he dined on "Gratin of Maine lobster, late-summer corn pudding, ginger-scented farm lamb and graham cracker crumble with cocoa pod shell."  But in a show of support for average Americans, he stopped short of using ice cubes with the presidential seal carved in them.  Everybody's sacrificing.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to 'The Way Life Should Be.'  Twenty years ago tomorrow---Holy cow, it was September 21, 1993---my partner Michael ("Common Sense Mainer" here on Planet Orange) and I arrived in the liberal paradise known as Portland, Maine, having escaped the rust-belt hamlet of Saginaw, Michigan (motto: "No Smiling: It Just Encourages the Children").

Portland Maine Postcard
Home Sweet Home. Sweet.
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We had no jobs, only a smidgeon of savings, and an apartment that gave us barely any heat but did give us a January heating bill of $318 (yes, we still have it).  Twenty years later we're still here and we have nothing but kinds words for our home (if you don't include the unprintable ones we have for seven months of winter and our teabagger governor).  Portland is constantly making Top 10 lists for awesomeness: most livable city, best place to retire, great place for dogs, the arts, food, working, playing, drinking, vacationing and yadda yadda yadda, oh, we hate to boast.  Marriage equality is the law of the land, the environment is top-of-mind, and BILLBOARDS ARE ILLEGAL!!!  So, yeah---we love our little corner of the world, and we hope you feel the same way about yours.  Coming up tonight: our annual good luck tradition of releasing a Maine lobster into the wild.  I hope this one fares better than the last 19 by making it all the way across the turnpike...

Have a great weekend.  See ya in the fall!  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

2%72 votes
2%79 votes
38%1222 votes
4%150 votes
0%26 votes
24%772 votes
0%13 votes
3%112 votes
2%80 votes
2%68 votes
5%188 votes
7%230 votes
5%192 votes

| 3209 votes | Vote | Results

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