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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Happy Birthday, Skinny Brown Guy with the Funny Name

No, not Barack Obama. India's favorite son, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would've been 144 today. He pretty much wrote the book on non-violence which, closer to home, was adapted to great effect by Martin Luther King, Jr., among others. In honor of his day, some timeless Gandhi wisdom:

Mahatma gandhi
1928: "If I had no sense of humor, I
would long ago have committed suicide."
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"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems."

"Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment."

"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."

"Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man"

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

And this one, which seems especially relevant in light of the current Republican war on democracy:
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it---always."
Good advice. Hell, it’s what got me through the Bush years. Happy Birthday, Bapu.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Note: Today's note, which had something or other to do with an imminent Martian invasion led by Viceroy Curiosity, is closed due to the government shutdown.  We regret the inconvenience.  ---National Note Service

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Bridgeville Apple-Scrapple Festival (Delaware) sign
9 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Halloween (on a Thursday this year): 29
Days 'til the Bridgeville Apple-Scrapple Festival in Delaware: 9
Points by which U.S. economic growth in the 4th quarter could be stifled if the tea party terrorists keep the government closed for a prolonged period: 1.4
(Source: The Washington Post)
Number of new pilots American Airlines says it plans to hire over the next five years: 1,500
Number of airline safety inspectors who are furloughed due to the government shutdown: 3,000
(Source: FAA)
Number of us who practice "egosurfing," i.e. Googling our own names: 54%
(Source: Pew Research)

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 188 (including 5 False Christs and 1 Worst Rapture Cartoon of All Time).  Soul Protection Factor 16 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Fenway…parked.

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JEERS to the new America:

Statue of Liberty,
Keep your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free
WE'RE CLOSED!
[ker-SLAM!]
We hear they can still get in if they divert their boats to the Jersey shore and kiss Chris Christie's ring. (So far, no takers.  Just lots of boats making U-turns.)

JEERS to warning signs.  As it turns out, yesterday a confluence of events happened wherby I had to call upon the services of my (awesome) senator, Angus King for 1) a phone consultation with a staffer 2) an email exchange with a staffer 3) another email consultation with his office and 4) a vital, life-hanging-in-the-balance request for his constituent services team.  When I got to Senator King's web site, however, I ran into this:

Black rectangle
True Fact: During a shutdown, all
photos of senators must be redacted.
This is/was Senator Angus King.
Unfortunately, a temporary lapse in funding has resulted in a shutdown of the federal government. At this time, my office is suspending all activities that are not authorized by law.  What this means:

1. Our offices are not staffed and our phones will not be answered; however, we will be reviewing messages received during the shutdown and will respond as able.
2. Emails sent to individual staff members will be responded to at the conclusion of the shutdown
3. Letters and emails addressed to my office will be responded to at the conclusion of the shutdown.
4. With the closing of all federal offices, our constituent services team will not be able to work on any cases for you during this time, but will continue with your case after the shutdown.

The U.S. Constitution requires that money is appropriated by Congress before it is actually spent. Since budget bills that appropriate money to fund much of the Federal Government have not been passed into law, many agencies cannot continue to operate and are shut down.

Also, per the Constitution: during a shutdown senators have to sleep in a burlap sack covered in horseradish, and rely exclusively on camels for transportation.  Oh, Madison, you little prankster.

P.S. Meanwhile, at the web site of Maine's other senator, Republican Susan Collins, there's not one useful bit of information about the nuts and bolts of either the government shutdown or the Affordable Care Act.  Way to serve your constituents, phone-it-in lady.

CHEERS to blowing the doors off the internet!  I'm dying to know how the Obamacare exchanges are doing…because if they're proving to be popular I want to join them so I can cure myself of dying to know how the Obamacare exchanges are doing.  Please turn your monitor and cough

Obamacare exchange site over-capacity message
"Nobody goes there anymore.
It's too crowded!" --Yogi Berra
A senior Obama administration official reported that just three hours after Obamacare’s open enrollment period launched, the national Healthcare.gov site had one million visitors.  That’s five times more users on the site than the number of users who have ever visited Medicare.gov at the same time.  At about 3:45 pm, the White House’s deputy press secretary reported that up to 2.8 million people had visited the site since its launch, and 81,000 people had called the federal hotline to get information about Obamacare.
I poked around the web site a bit.  (Maine is one of the states with idiot governors who aren't lifting a finger to help people get affordable health insurance, so I have to use the federal exchange at healthcare.gov.)  But I didn't sign up yesterday because I have to make sure my plan includes a good procrastinologist.  Today isn't looking good either.  Maybe tomorrow.  Or November.

CHEERS to bringin' justice to the wild frontier, aka Pat Robertson's neighborhood.  The gangsters in the black hats who lord over the state of Virginia with some of the nastiest anti-gay laws in the country always thought they'd be able to run roughshod over the sodomites.  But what's that cloud of dust over the horizon?  [Pew Pew!  "Yee haw!"  Pew Pew Pew!!!]  Holy mother of amicus brief, Batman, it's…it's…The Gang That Could Sue Straights:

Attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson
"Shall we make the bigots beg for mercy?"
"Why, I reckon we should, pardner."
-
Conservative attorney Ted Olson and liberal attorney David Boies, along with the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), announced Monday that they have joined a case filed earlier this summer challenging Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage and hope once again to convince the Supreme Court that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. … "David and I are not done with the battle, even though we were successful in California," Olson said. "We will not feel that we've been successful until all Americans have the same rights, the same privileges, the same respect that other Americans do."
Historians will call it the Gunfight at the Gay-is-OK Corral.  Stand back---there could be blood.  And by blood I of course mean flying confetti.

Look up "gravitas"
in the dictionary...
CHEERS to portraits in contrast. Forty-six years ago today, on Oct. 2nd, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the newest member of the Supreme Court---the first African-American elevated to the nation's highest bench. He once said:
"Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish."
Forty-six years later there's another African-American on the bench named Clarence Thomas. He once said, "How did this pubic hair get on my Coke can?" Potato Puhtato.

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Five years ago in C&J: October 2, 2008

CHEERS or JEERS to doin' the ol' switcheroo.  The House version of the bank bailout bill---and the last shred of John McCain's credibility---went down in flames Monday, so today the Senate will take a whack at passing their version first.  It includes Barack Obama's brilliant, game-changing idea to raise the FDIC insurance cap for bank customers from $100,0000 to $250,000.  And then there's this:

The legislation also includes a "Mental Health Parity" provision, which would require health insurance companies to cover mental illness at parity with physical illness.

There they go again, putting the needs of the Wall Street CEOs first.  The nerve.

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And just one more…

JEERS to the worst birthday present ever.  I hope you remembered to say "Happy Birthday (and many blessings on your launch pads)" to NASA yesterday.  The government space agency turned 55, and produced this nifty graphic:

NASA 55th anniversary graphic of its accomplishments.
C&J saluted the agency's accomplishments with our usual bug-eyed, jaw-on-the-floor awe at what the agency has accomplished---Mercury! Apollo! Probes! Shuttles! The Space Station!---against all odds.  Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, saluted it with their extended middle finger by laying off 97% of its employees.  In fairness, they have a perfectly plausible reason.  They're evil.

Have a nice Wednesday.  Start it off right with a nice glass of Tang.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Cheers and Jeers is apparently making some people seasick on solid ground.  Experts on motion sickness say Bill in Portland Maine may be partly to blame.
---NBC News

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Poll

How long do you think the Republican party's act of political/economic terrorism against the United States (aka the government shutdown) will last?

10%531 votes
34%1712 votes
28%1428 votes
19%974 votes
6%298 votes

| 4947 votes | Vote | Results

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