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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Late Night Snark Ventures Onto the Bridge

"A lot of people got stuck in terrible traffic. Ambulances had a hard time getting through. Blocking off bridges intentionally? To put that in perspective, that's what Bain did in the last Batman movie."
---Jimmy Kimmel

Mars Rover
NASA photo shows Mars Rover "Curiosity" (lower
left) pausing to point and laugh at Gov. Christie.
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"A year ago, when I saw [Christie] paling around with Barack Obama after hurricane Sandy, I was worried he was one of those 'fake conservatives' who secretly believe that the government can do things. But now I realize he's the kind of leader I can get behind---the kind who says,  'It's my way or I shut down your highway.' Christie is a true conservative! He's committed to proving the core conservative value that government is the problem, even if he has to create those problems himself. I can already see his 2016 bumper sticker: Christie---Bringing America Together Or I Will Fuck You Over."
---Stephen Colbert

"Did probable presidential favorite Chris Christie personally order this traffic hit? I don't know. But I do know one thing about the effects of this burgeoning scandal. You can probably now see Paul Ryan's boner from space."
---Jon Stewart

"Liz Cheney has decided to pull out of her Senate campaign race in Wyoming, thus making her the first Cheney with an actual exit strategy."
---Jay Leno

"For the past week now, Colorado has been allowing the sale of legal recreational marijuana. In a related story, in one week the population of Colorado has jumped to 315 million people."
---Conan O'Brien

And this from last night as Jon Stewart pondered the conservative attitude toward the poor and unemployed:
Jon Stewart.thedailyshow.com..With the 2008 election, Stewart is increasing his influence exponentially this year. And a big part of the reason why is the Web. After some messy quarrels with YouTube over illegal copies running on the video service, Comedy
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"I think I'm beginning to get it: if it's a policy that benefits the rich, then it doesn’t have to be paid for, should last forever, and is good for America. But if it benefits the poor? We can't afford it, we should end it as soon as possible, and it will destroy our nation from within. Because when you give money to people who don’t have it, it corrupts them. But people who are already rich have a 'money immunity' built up already. Handouts don’t hurt them."
It all makes sense now.

Your west coast-friendly edition of  Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, January 10, 2014

Note: If you've signed up for the "Republican Bake Sale" option at healthcare.gov, please note that there is no longer a lifetime cap on sprinkles or a penalty for preexisting day-olds. --Kathleen Sibelius

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Callanwolde Arts Festival--Atlanta logo
15 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the next full moon, during which you're legally obligated to look up and wink at Neil Armstrong: 5
Days 'til the Callanwolde Arts Festival in Atlanta: 15
Number of vehicles that crossed the George Washington Bridge---the world's busiest bridge---in 2013: 102 million
Amount the IRS says it's saved since 2011 by blocking fraudulent tax refund requests: $50 billion
(Source: AP)
Portion of amateur U.S. sports teams with American Indian names that have dropped them since 1970: 2/3
Portion of professional teams that have: 0
(Source: Harper's Index)
Number of citations issued for pot possession in Portland, Maine since a city-voter-approved ordinance legalizing it took effect on December 6: 4
(Source: The Portland Daily Sun)

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NEW!  Michele Bachmann Departure Countdown

Our countdown begins: Michele Bachmann and her googly eyes leave Congress in 358 days.  Everybody take a swig.

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Pup Pic of the Day: Chiidax  (What, you were expecting a different kind of pup?)

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JEERS to idle hands still idle.  Fresh jobs numbers today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  take a look:

Employment graph for December, 2013.
+ 74,000 jobs for December, 2013
The bad news: the rate at which people are unemployed is still stuck around seven percent, and an extension of now-expired long-term unemployment benefits has as much chance of passing Congress as a lucid thought passing through Louie Gohmert's noggin.  The sliver of good news: one of the unemployed is now Michael Bloomberg.

JEERS to Governor Filibuster.  Let's check in with Chris Christie and see how his press conference---now in its 32nd hour---is going as he defends himself against a mutiny by his inner circle, most of whom have resigned or been fired:

NY Daily News headline with Chris Christie, Jan. 9, 2014.
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"…they were all disloyal. I tried to run the executive branch properly, by the book, but they fought me at every turn. My advisors wanted to walk around with their shirt tails hanging out, that's all right, let them. Take the orange cones---defective equipment, no more, no less. But they encouraged the press to go around scoffing at me, and spreading wild rumors about traffic jams, and then old yellow-strain. I was to blame for Wildstein's incompetence. Bridget Anne Kelly was the perfect administrator, but not Chris Christie! …Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them! They laughed at me and made jokes! But I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic... that a duplicate key to the Port Authority icebox DID exist, and I'd have produced that key if they hadn't re-opened that bridge! I... I... I...
Okay.  We'll check in Monday.  I think by then he'll have moved on to who stole his stapler.

JEERS to reform at the speed of tortoise.  On January 10, 1878, a constitutional amendment was introduced in the Senate that would give women the right to vote.  The amendment was so slow to catch on that it wasn't signed into law for another 42 years. A period more commonly known as the "Era of Wifely Dirty Looks."

CHEERS to clearing the air....and the lungs.  Fifty years ago tomorrow, in 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first government report saying smoking may be hazardous to your health.  (This came as quite a shock to some of tobacco's most fervent supporters, like doctors and Ronald Reagan.)  And how are we doing half a century later?  Not bad:

John Baohner surrounded by cigarette smoke
Gee, what a swell role model.
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Deemed the “most successful public health campaign in modern history,” researchers report that 50 years of tobacco control have saved about 20 years of additional life for eight million Americans. … [A]study published in JAMA by researchers from the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CSINET) reports that 20% of adult Americans now smoke, compared to 50% in 1964. … [T]he researchers estimated that the life expectancy for adults at age 40 increased 7.8 years for men and 5.4 years for women, and that tobacco control efforts accounted for 2.3 of these additional years for men and 1.6 of them for women.
If you're in the process of quitting or thinking of quitting, stop by the daily GUS (Giving Up Smoking) diaries for tips and support.  A nice side benefit of quitting: saving $$$.  Since my partner, Michael (Common Sense Mainer here in Orangeland) quit nearly six years ago, we figure we've saved over $30,000.  Lemme tell ya: that buys a lot of liquor.  So cheers to healthy habits!

JEERS to not paying attention. On January 10, 2001, President-(not)-elect Bush and his "national security" team (Condi Rice and a Steinway baby grand) received their first top-secret Pentagon briefing on military challenges around the world. Judging by their performance over the next eight years, they apparently tuned out somewhere around, "Now listen carefully, this is important..."

Tina fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes...2013.
Golden Globes drinking game: take a
swig when you see someone take a swig.
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CHEERS to home vegetation.  As far as TV watching goes, here are some of the things going on, starting with the new half-hour version of Bill Moyers & Company, where astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will talk about his upcoming revamp of Carl Sagan's series Cosmos.  New DVD releases include Robert Reich's must-see documentary Inequality for All and the Ben Affleck crime flick Runner Runner.  (Sample dialogue: "Beep Beep!")  The post-season schedule for the tax-exempt, non-profit NFL is here (the Patriots will of course bumble their way to a victory over the far superior Colts---sorry, Indy) and the NHL schedule is here.  Sunday night Downton Abbey competes with the Golden Globes (hosted by Team Fey/Poehler), where Robert Redford better freakin' win or I will torch this planet.

And here's your lineup for Sunday morning, during which a Republican will get absolutely piled on for a change:

Meet the Press: Might be easier to list who's not on Meet the Press this week.  Let's see: Billy Jean King, Reince Priebus, Chuck Todd, Democratic Mayor of Baltimore Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Kim Strassel (WSJ), Robert Gibbs, Mark "The Drudge Report Rocks My World" Halperin, Maria Shriver, Google Santorum, Chris Matthews, Jeffrey Goldberg, and Jane Harman.  And their orchestra.

This Week: To help Chris Christie get through his scandal and become president in 2016, ABC is hauling in "crisis management expert" Judy Smith.  And since they never hauled her in to help Obama get through any of his "scandals," I guess they weren't really scandals now, were they?  The roundtable includes David Plouffe ("It's a scandal!"), Matt Dowd ("It's not a scandal!"), Donna Brazile ("It's a scandal!"), Rudy Giuliani ("911!"), and GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger ("It's not a scandal!").  And---wow!---a women's panel with Carly Fiorina, U.S. Air Force Col. Jeannie Leavitt (the first female fighter pilot and first female active duty fighter wing commander), Atlantic contributor Liza Mundy, and Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani.

George Washington Bridge
G.W. Bridge spills the beans to
Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday.
Face the Nation: New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who is leading the investigation into the Christie crimes.  Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) explains how poverty can be reduced in the U.S. if poor people would just learn how to better balance their stock portfolios...and insists that Chris Christie be locked up in jail until at least January 20, 2017.  Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on LBJ's war-on-poverty speech.  And retired airline Captain Chesley Sullenberger reminisces on the 5th anniversary(!!!) of the "Miracle on the Hudson."

CNN's State of the Union: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who is not involved in any scandals and therefore will get grilled more than any other guest on weekend TV.

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Reps. Steve Southerland (R-FL) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Ben Cardin (D-MD); roundtable with George Will, Karl Rove, Bob Woodward and Juan Williams.

Great job, Fox News: 8 dudes and 0 chicks. Makes perfect sense for the channel representing people who don't believe in evolution.

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Five years ago in C&J: January 10, 2009

JEERS to one hard sell.  Microsoft, coming off the rip-roarin' mediocrity of Vista, says it's ready to start churning out "the best version of Windows ever."  Which is a bit like being told by a doctor, "Good news---you've got the mildest strain of gonorrhea ever."

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And just one more…

CHEERS to "Liberace without the piano."  I'd be a very bad representative of Mount Vernon, Ohio if I didn’t recognize the dates on which my hometown's best-known son entered and exited this world.  Sadly, today is not the more celebratory of the two: 32 years ago today, Paul "Center Square" Lynde died at 55 in Beverly Hills. In his memory, feast on some zingers...

Peter Marshall: Paul, it is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Paul Lynde
Mount Vernon, Ohio's finest.
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Peter Marshall: What was it that made Dr. Jekyll turn into Mr. Hyde
Paul Lynde: Tweed pajamas.

Peter Marshall: President Nixon doesn’t like to watch the news on television. Why?
Paul Lynde: Because it's on opposite Sesame Street.

Peter Marshall: You get a headache right after romance. According to Dr. Thotusen, is there anything wrong with you?
Paul Lynde: No, but I need a softer headboard.

Peter Marshall: Paul, who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?!!


You'll find tons of clips and info on a new biography at the official Lynde fan site.  He was an interesting---and frustrating---transitional figure on the LGBT timeline of the 60s and 70s.  Even though his lips never said "I'm gay," his demeanor screamed, "Helloooo!!!"  Scores of homophobic fans never figured it out, and their adoring fan mail, including marriage proposals, never stopped filling his mailbox.  Liberace may have cried all the way to the bank.  But Paul?  Oh, he swished.

Have a balmy, tropical weekend.  (Hey, it doesn't hurt to try.)  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

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