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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

[Blinky Light!] BREAKING: Ellen Wins War on Christmas

Caution: viewer discretion advised. It gets pretty ugly:

Sarah Palin and a contingent from Fox News will sign the terms of surrender from the deck of the battleship U.S.S. Happy Holidays. Cue the confetti cannons.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, November 21, 2013

Note: Due to the sequester, federal judges now have to share a gavel.  To prevent slowdowns, the judge who has it will bang it as necessary for all the other judges via Skype.  Congress does not regret the inconvenience.  ---Mgt.

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SLO (San Luis Obispo) Bacon fest logo 2013
2 days 'til yummy time!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til The Hobbit, Part II---Hobbit Harder: 22
Days 'til the SLO Bacon Fest in San Luis Obispo, California: 2
Percent chance that a person age 24-34 could end up with a medical bill of at least $13,000: 10%
(Source: The New York Times)
Number of people President Obama has pardoned so far: 39
Number of turkeys he's pardoned: 8
(Source: Harper's Index)
The last time a former Secretary of State was elected president: 1856 (Buchanan)
Percent chance that tea partiers are outraged that President Obama read the Gettysburg Address out loud without including the words "Ronald Reagan": 100%

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
Since the political world ranges from poor to icky these days, you may think we are gratitudinally challenged this Thanksgiving. But a mere soupcon of sunny optimism goes a long way toward getting us to dwell on how lucky we are. We are abundantly blessed with lemons. Let us make lemonade. […]

I am…grateful that Vice President Dick Cheney---that little ray of sunshine, that bouncing ball of light and happiness spreading joy where'er he goes---is so well prepared for a brilliant second career. He's perfect to play the heavy in films. Not since Jimmy Cagney was a gangster have we seen a sneer like that. In the remake of "Jaws," Cheney can play the shark.  
---November, 2005

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Down they go…

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Presidential Medal of Freedom set
That's quite a haul.
CHEERS to something that looks really awesome on a resume.  President Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom to several recipients yesterday---the 50th anniversary of the first ceremony---at the White House.  The awards are given out for "An especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."  This year's gaggle:
Slugger Ernie Banks, newsman Ben Bradlee, POTUS #42 Bill Clinton, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI, posthumous), psychologist Daniel Kahneman, former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), Loretta Lynn, environmental scientist Mario Molina, astronaut Sally Ride (posthumous), civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin (posthumous), jazz musician Arturo Sandoval, Coach Dean Smith, Gloria Steinem, minister and civil rights activist Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, Judge Patricia Wald, and Oprah Winfrey.
Each honoree gets the medal, a ribbon, a tie clip, and command of their own infantry division.  Congratulations, by the way, to Lugar, who later won the Oval Office game of Duck, Duck, Goose.  Figures---I put all my money on Oprah.

JEERS to Scrooge's golden arches.  I worked a couple summers---'84 and '85---at McDonald's down the road in Saco, Maine. Back then it was a kid's gig. They'd practically start showing you the first training video before the ink was dry on your job application. For most of us it was an easy (if greasy) way to earn some cash for college or a car or just spending money. But today, given the dynamics of the 1-Percent economy, people of all ages climb over each other to secure a meager paycheck from Mickey D's.  Factoring in inflation, they're earning shittier wages than I did, and now the Galtian overlord is adding insult to injury by offering condescending tips for their poverty-line workers so they'll be able to keep their heads above water enough to make it just barely worth getting out of bed in the morning:

cemetery
A reunion of America's most
devoted McDonald's customers.
McDonald’s McResource Line, a dedicated website run by the world’s largest fast-food chain to provide its 1.8 million employees with financial and health-related tips, offers a full page of advice for “Digging Out From Holiday Debt.” Among their helpful holiday tips: “Selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist could bring in some quick cash.”

Elsewhere on the site, McDonald’s encourages its employees to break apart food when they eat meals, as “breaking food into pieces often results in eating less and still feeling full.” … [T]heir website has another piece of advice for people who are stressed about their meager paychecks: “Quit complaining,” the site suggests.

And if those brilliant tips don't work, McDonald's has one more suggestion for their employees: go and secretly raid the bins where Walmart employees are donating canned goods for other Walmart employees.  Remember: it's only immoral if you get caught.

Mayflower moving van
Amazing true fact: the Mayflower
was an amphibious vehicle.
CHEERS to the original Occupy movement.  On today's date in 1620, after being denied boarding passes at Heathrow because they were on the no-fly list, a bunch of "pilgrims" from England with a bad case of B.O. and no sense of humor landed in New England after 66 days at sea and promptly got all quill-crazy, signing the Mayflower Compact.  By the way, the ship was destined for the northern edge of the Virginia Colony, but they ended up dropping anchor in a totally different place: Provincetown, Massachusetts.  After spending several years reviewing all the available evidence, I've come to an inescapable conclusion: GPS sucked back then.

CHEERS to a signature of some importance.  Yesterday Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that grants gay couples full marriage rights.  To put it in perspective, a little over 40 percent of the nation's population now lives in one of the 16---sixteen!---states that celebrate marriage equality:

Protester Peter LaBarbera outside the signing of the gay marriage bill on 11/20/13
The protester
was out in force.
To underscore the fight for equality, Quinn signed the bill on a desk used by Abraham Lincoln while writing an inaugural address.
“President Abraham Lincoln of Illinois said our nation was conceived in liberty, and he said it’s dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” Quinn said. “And that’s really what we’re celebrating today, it’s a triumph of Democracy, a triumph of government of the people — that we believe in liberty and equality, and we’re making sure that’s part of our law.”
The law isn't going into effect right away.  Marriages won’t actually start until June of 2014.  They figure that's the earliest that folks in the wedding industry will be done turning cartwheels.

Thomas Edison with an early phonograph
Thomas Edison listening to his
favorite song, "Do Ya Wanna Funk?"
CHEERS to spinning in circles. On this date in 1877, Thomas Edison announced to the world that he had invented the phonograph machine. In fact, he broke the news via a phonograph recording, which sounded like this:
"Hello, is this thing on? Testes...testes one two three. We begin bombing the Russians in 30 minutes. Ha ha! That always cracks 'em up at the Elks Lodge! But seriously, folks. Mary had a little lamb---her parents were mortified. I just can't help myself... You folks fly in from out of town? I bet your arms are tired! I slay me... Oh, by the way, the walrus will be Paul and Luke will be Vader's kid. Oops…'Spoiler alert!' I'm bored. Can I go home and invent the light bulb now?"
Only known cure for Restless Inventor Syndrome, according to doctors: take out two patent applications and call me in the morning.

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Five years ago in C&J: November 21, 2008

WHOOPS to the understatement of the week.  "Oh, great."  And with those words astronaut Heide McButterfingers, in the process of making repairs on the International Space Station, watched her tool kit float off into space, where it will one day collide with and destroy an Inkydinkyalite spacecraft rushing to save Earth from ecological destruction by its own inhabitants.  But even worse, the bag also contained the only key to the mini bar.  Let's just say it's a little tense at the space station breakfast table this morning.

CHEERS to unsolved mysteries.  Achtung!  After decades of speculation, it's official: Hitler really did have only one testicle.  Now if we can just figure out who Carly Simon was singing about in "You're So Vain," we can finally get some sleep.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to climbing inside the mind of the mighty Kossack headbone (and occasionally toilet-papering your dendrites).  C&J's legendary daily polls function as a progressive finger in the wind for your collective beliefs, attitudes, moods and prognosticating ability.  Here are updates on two that I found interesting.  Yesterday I repeated my 2012 Joe Biden approval poll (it was his birthday), and here's how the numbers have shifted as the glow of the Obama-Biden re-election win has faded:

"You Kossacks...god love ya."
What grade would you give him these days?

A---78% in 2012, 46% in 2013
B---18% in 2012, 36% in 2013
C---1% in 2012 and 8% in 2013
D---0% in 2012, 1% in 2013
F---0% in 2012, 3% in 2013

Not horrible, but definite slippage from last year.  Meanwhile, one year ago today I asked you to respond to this, and here's how you voted:
Still steering the GOP
right into the rocks.
"I think all the post-election Republican beltway talk about shifting left in order to survive as a party will result in…"

A big shift to the left---0%
A small shift to the left---5%
No shift, because they have no rudder---28%
A shift further to the right, because the far-right base still rules the GOP's universe---64%

A year later the GOP is in hopeless disarray, with nothing on their agenda except whining about the ACA and shutting down the government.  They're not interested in immigration reform, ENDA, climate change, jobs, preserving the social safety net…nothing. Just obstruct, obstruct, obstruct in rudderless subservience to their most fevered and nutso far far far far-right base.  You guys nailed it.  That's why I fear you.

Have a nice Thursday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Whoever decided to not make Bill in Portland Maine People's Sexiest Man Alive...You're doing your job right and I applaud you. THANK YOU.
---Meghan Thalken

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Poll

How should your U.S. Representative vote on the House's "Federal Lands Jobs and Security Act," which would make it a lot easier for Big Oil and Big Gas to drill on public lands and charge people $5,000 to file a protest against a proposed drilling permit?

2%103 votes
96%3364 votes
0%6 votes

| 3476 votes | Vote | Results

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