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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Late Night Snark: Did They Notice the Shutdown?

"The Nobel Prize for chemistry was announced this week. It was awarded to Senator Ted Cruz for mixing up that batch of Kool-Aid that the Republicans seem to be drinking on Capitol Hill."
---Jay Leno

Nancy Pelosi poster: never shut down the government
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"People are actually getting very pissed off at this government shutdown. But Republicans say, 'Remember one thing. We are standing up for an important principle…and as soon as we figure out what it is, you will be the first to know.'"
---Bill Maher

"[Michelle Bachmann] is a true conservative with a vision of our country's future…or possibly of a coat rack or a bird. I could never tell what she was looking at."
---Stephen Colbert

"After the shutdown debacle, the tea party's approval rating is 23 percent. In other words, it's the first time the tea party has ever been supported by a minority."
---Conan O'Brien

"Some in Congress are acting like this is a big achievement. I don't think so. If you pick up a gun and don't shoot yourself in the leg with it, that's not really an achievement."
---Jimmy Kimmel

And via The Daily Show, this response to the bullshit attempt by Republicans to blame both parties for the $24 billion Republican-orchestrated shutdown:
"Both sides?!! Look, you think Obamacare is a big enough threat to this country that you need to shut down the government over it? Fine! Own it. Don’t fart and point at the dog."
---Jon Stewart
Heckuva week, huh? C'mon down and splash. The barricades are gone and the bar's open. Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, October 18, 2013

Note: Tomorrow is Evaluate Yourself Day.  For best results, grade on a curve.

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Bay Area Science festival logo
6 days!!!
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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Thanksgiving: 41
Days 'til the Bay Area Science Festival in California: 6
Estimated cost of the government shutdown to American taxpayers, according to Standard and Poor's: $24 billion
Number of Republicans in the House and Senate, respectively, who voted to let America slide off the fiscal cliff Wednesday, versus 0 Democrats: 144 / 18
Minimum number of "essential health benefits" that all Obamacare levels must include: 10
(Source: Healthcare.gov)
Percent of the pumpkins harvested in the U.S. that come from a 90-mile radius around Peoria, Illinois: 90%
Percent chance that Morton, Illinois is the self-proclaimed Pumpkin Capital of the World: 100%
(Source: AgMRC)

MLB Championship Playoffs
Boston Red Sox lead the Detroit Tigers 3 games to 2
St. Louis Cardinals lead the L.A. Dodgers 3 games to 2

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Award-winning pics of dogs doin' what dogs do…

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CHEERS to praising two birds with one statement.  Yesterday President Obama shot the eloquence moon as he put a rhetorical bow on the gift that Democrats delivered to the nation Wednesday night.  This is the voice of reason, delivered by the adult in the room, praising both the value of government and the worth of its employees:

"We hear all the time about how government is the problem.  Well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways.  Not only does it keep us strong through our military and our law enforcement, it plays a vital role in caring for our seniors and our veterans, educating our kids, making sure our workers are trained for the jobs that are
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden walk through the Rose Garden after a meeting at the White House, Oct. 14, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
"Republicans act like freaking two-year-olds, y'know?"
"I know."
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being created, arming our businesses with the best science and technology so they can compete with companies from other countries.  It plays a key role in keeping our food and our toys and our workplaces safe.  It helps folks rebuild after a storm.  It conserves our natural resources.  It finances startups.  It helps to sell our products overseas.  It provides security to our diplomats abroad.

So let's work together to make government work better, instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely making it work worse.  That’s not what the founders of this nation envisioned when they gave us the gift of self-government.  You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position.  Go out there and win an election.  Push to change it. But don’t break it.  Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building.  That's not being faithful to what this country is about.

And that brings me to one last point.  I’ve got a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who’ve either worked without pay or been forced off the job without pay these past few weeks, including most of my own staff: Thank you.  Thanks for your service.  Welcome back.  What you do is important.  It matters."

Damn right and cheers to you all.  Now, as I was saying before the Republicans so rudely sent you home three weeks ago---[Unravels 20-foot-long scroll]---I have the following complaints, starting with these $!!#%&! potholes…

JEERS to the dissenting opinion.  In the interest of fairness and balanciness, C&J allows Senator Ted Cruz (R-Buyer's Remorseful TX)---a moment to express his opposing view:

Ted Cruz claiming victory behind a photoshopped backdrop of destruction.
It's true.  He got what he wanted: a massive email list and a bunch of donations from America's most gullible.  Grifters gotta grift.

CHEERS to happy hands.  One of the casualties of the government shutdown was the 1815 "Ohio clock"…  

The
Time marches on!
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The arms on the nearly 200-year-old timepiece, known as the Ohio Clock, had been frozen on 12:14 p.m. since it stopped ticking on October 9.

The Senate specialists who normally wind it were among the roughly 800,000 federal employees who were sent home when the U.S. Congress could not reach a budget deal and government operations largely shuttered on October 1.

Well, good news: with the shutdown over, the hands on the clock are moving forward again.  Or as Republicans call it: tyranny.

JEERS to the Big Dump.  On tomorrow's date in 1987---on Saint Ronald Reagan's watch---stocks plunged 508 points amid panicky selling. They called it "Black Monday."  The lowlights as they unfolded:

Stock market plunge graph from October 19, 1987
The plunge of Oct. 19, 1987 was
caused when Reagan sneezed.
10:30 AM With 140 million shares traded, the Dow is down 101 points, to 2145.
11:45 AM A brief turnaround gives traders a flicker of hope as the Dow regains 95 points in a half-hour.
1 PM As rumors spread about a NYSE shutdown, the Dow plunges 100 points in the next hour.
2:15 PM With the Dow down 300 points, an investor outside the NYSE screams, "Down with Reagan! Down with MBAs! Down with yuppies!"
4 PM The NYSE closes. Chairman John Phelan says it was the closest thing to a "financial meltdown" that he had ever seen.
The percentage decline (22.6%) was actually worse than the crash of 1929.  Thank god we learned our lesson and, through sensible legislation, never had to experience anything like that again.  Attaboy, Congress!

CHEERS and JEERS to the new watchdog.  President Obama has picked a guy named Jeh Johnson to lead the Department of Homeland False Sense Of Security.  He runs hot and cold:

As the Pentagon's top lawyer from 2009 until last year, Johnson was at the center of many of the Obama administration's major decisions on issues like counterterrorism, the use of drones, and the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.  He co-authored a report that helped pave the way for repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military.
DADT repeal = Good!  Drone policy = Bad!  As for what he'll do as head of DHS, word is that Johnson plans to revamp the old color-coded terror alert system.  Instead of colors, actual aromas will be emitted from special "Emergency Scent Clouds" to signal the likelihood of impending doom.  They'll include, from best to worst: Peach Blossom, Mint, Dead Fish, Hair on Fire, and Dog Fart.

CHEERS to girls with grenades. Sixteen years ago today, the Women In Military Service Memorial was dedicated:

1994 Women in Military Service Memorial dollar coin
A 1994 dollar coin commemorates
the Women in Military Service memorial
The history of women in the armed forces began more than 220 years ago with the women who served during the American Revolution and continues through the present day. The Women's Memorial honors all the women who have served courageously, selflessly and with dedication in times of conflict and in times of peace---women whose achievements have for too long been unrecognized or ignored.
Times of peace?  Really?  We have those?

CHEERS to home vegetation.  You've been so good this week that I have a special present: an extra hour of weekend TV!  (You're welcome.)  Tonight you have your choice of watching the pitches on Shark Tank or the pitches in the major league as the Dodgers fight to stay alive against the Cardinals.  The rest of the MLB pennant race schedule is here (no offense Detroit, but it's Boston's year) and the schedule for the tax-exempt, non-profit NFL is here.  (The Patriots will "clip the Jets' wings" Ha Ha Ha!)  New DVD releases include the formidable pairing of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat, and Guillermo del Toro's "massive aliens vs. massive robots" actioner Pacific Rim.  On 60 Minutes: a segment on Dick Cheney's heart, which will appear behind a screen out of embarrassment for being Dick Cheney's heart.

On Bill Moyers & Company, psychologist Sherry Turkle wonders if technology is making us lonely.  (Of course not---I have you guys on the internet to keep me company!)  And here's your Sunday morning lineup, now with C&J's EXCLUSIVE Zombie Index:

Meet the Press: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew; Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).  Zombie Index: "Mmmm...Jack OOOoooOOO Brains!"

Zombies
The Meet the Press
guests arrive at NBC.
This Week: Jeb!!! (But why???)  Plus: Competent Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX Hates Him Now), and roundtable with author Peter Baker, Matt Dowd, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).  Zombie Index: "Mmmm...Jeb Brains!"

Face the Nation: Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lindsay McFussypants (R-SC) and Mark Warner (D-VA); Mark Zandi of Moody's; roundtable with Michael Gerson of the Washington Post, Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report, and Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal.  Zombie Index: "Mmmm...Turtle Brains!"

CNN's State of the Union: This week it's Candy Crowley's turn to babysit John McCain while Cindy goes shopping.  Roundtable with Donna Brazile, Republican "strategist" (Strategy #1: tell lies) Alex Castellanos and The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza.  Zombie Index: "Mmmm…Maverick Brains!"

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Senators Marco Dreamboatio (R-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roy Blunt (R-MO); roundtable with Brit Hume, Charles Lane, Julie Pace and George Will, who looks like he's practically weeping with joy to be able to call Fox "Home."  It was a dream, sir---and you made it happen!  Zombie Index: Mmmm…Shit for Brains!"

For those of you keeping score, that's 10 senators on this weekend---7 Republicans and 3 Democrats.  Now you know why zombies leave the Sunday morning bookers alone.  They got no brains.

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

CHEERS to white flags of surrender.  They seem to be popping up all over the place these days.  This week the RNC announced that it's pulling out of Maine (Wisconsin, too) and will no longer help John McCain win here.  Their absence hasn't been particularly noticeable here.  But our neighbors agree it's nice that the formaldehyde smell is finally gone.

JEERS to stiffing the band.  Since he can't seem to stop using artists' songs during campaign rallies without getting permission or paying royalties, here as a courtesy is the official list of musicians who say John McCain can use their music for free: Betty Ripple and the Clog-tones, A Nasty Case of Rickets, Hooked on Oboes, 10,000 Zither Maniacs, The Lone Clapper, and Dance, Monkey, Dance.  We hope this clears up any confusion.

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And just one more…

BBC's Richard Baker introduced the UK's first news television broadcast from Alexandra Palace in north London at 7.30pm on 5 July 1954
"Testes, testes one two
three! Ha ha! Naw, I'm
just coddin' ya, mate..."
CHEERS to news from across The Pond. [BeepBeepBeepBeep…Beeeep!] "We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a breaking news bulletin, old chap: today marks the 91st anniversary of the BBC, which is properly pronounced, of course, 'Beh Beh Seh.'  Since our founding we've maintained a reputation for being cool, calm, impartial, and accurate.  So of course you Americans have no idea what to make of us.  (Plus you don’t understand our proper accent.)  Now stay tuned for The Goon Show, followed by Educating Archie and assorted ramblings from Her Majesty the Queen during her ceremonial Drinking of the Several Glasses of Sherry."  [Beepity Beeeeep!]

Have a great weekend, O victorious Democrats.  This week we saved the country from very bad people.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

1%39 votes
3%116 votes
3%141 votes
0%17 votes
1%59 votes
71%2631 votes
4%175 votes
2%88 votes
4%151 votes
1%46 votes
3%136 votes
2%95 votes

| 3696 votes | Vote | Results

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