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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

It Wasn't Just A Dream?

Oh my god…it's really happening. In 47 days:

I hope he says "bollocks" a lot. Great word, bollocks. Bollocks!

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Note: If you're boycotting C&J on religious grounds, why are you reading this?
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National Cherry Blossom Festival logo
9 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Earth Day: 42
Days 'til the National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C.: 9
Reduction in consumer borrowing on credit cards in January, marking its third decline in the last five months: $226 million
Percent by which credit card debt is currently lower than it was before the start of the Bush recession in late 2007: 14%
(Source: Federal Reserve)
Number of jobs created last month, higher than expected: 175,000
Portion of Maine seniors who depend solely on Social Security for their income, higher than the national average: 1-in-3
Portion of Mainers 65 and older who have had all their teeth extracted: 21%
(Source: America's Health Rankings Senior Report)

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Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere (now with helpful visual aid!)

Obama/Bush vacation day comparison
The.Worst.U.S.pResident.Ever.Hands.Down! He makes Jimmy "The Peanut" Carter seem like a George Washington, in comparison. I'm surprised our great bloviator, Barack Inssein O'Blamer, could sacrifice some of his precious time to make today's worthless radio address, because he has all of those important vacations, golf outings, celebrity events, White House parties, and fundraisers to attend. Zero diddles while America burns. I'm so outraged by this Marxist moron; I'm going to need an entire roll of duct tape wrapped around my head to keep it from exploding.
---Commenter Lupus at the Michelle Malkin blog
All together now: 1…2…3… Boom!

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Canine cliff diving.  (We don't recommend it.)

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CHEERS to showdown in the sunshine state!  Today is special-election day in Florida's 13th District (or as Stephen Colbert would say, "The Fightin' Thirteenth!!!").  It's Democrat Alex Sink versus Republican Bill Something versus Libertarian Something Something, all vying to fill the seat formerly sat on by the late Rep. Bill Young.  And right on cue, the media can't just enjoy the localness of the race.  No, this election is…

Map of Florida with the 13th District highlighted in red.
Satellite photo of Florida with the
13th District highlighted in blood.
• A referendum on Obama!
• A referendum on Obamacare!
• A fortune cookie for November!
• Do or die for the future of the tea party!
• Do or die for the future of the establishment Republicans!
• The most important election of our lifetime!
• The first election in 60 years since the last election was declared the first election in 60 years since something!
• Governor Rick Scott's Waterloo!
• Governatorial candidate Charlie Crist's Waterloo!
• ABBA's Waterloo!
• Al Gore's revenge!
Or, holy hanging chads, Batman, it could be all of the above!  Now that I've set the stage, I'll turn it over to the Daily Kos elections people to do the easy part and stay up 'til 2am monitoring the results and writing a detailed report with charts, graphs and analysis.  That's what I love about covering elections.  The teamwork.

March 11, 2014 photo of senators preparing to speak all night in the senate for climate change.
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CHEERS to CO2 worth expending.  Ten hours ago the smartest, coolest and most progress-oriented United States Senators---Democrats and Independents all---took to the floor of the upper chamber and spent the night laying down the what-is and what-ain't about climate change.  The the Up For Climate marathon was championed by Hawaii's Brian Schatz along with Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Barbara Boxer of California.  Besides a global perspective, each of the participating senators understands that their individual states are affected, too, and they're summarized here at Think progress.  Here's Maine's:
Sen. Angus King (I-ME)  Residents of Maine are becoming more at risk of diseases transmitted by insects as the climate warms and increases their range.  Lyme-disease carrying ticks are now endemic to all sixteen counties in the state as opposed to just the southernmost regions as was the case in the past.
Our Republican Senator, Susan Collins, failed to show up.  In fact, no Republican signed up to make that small sacrifice and take a turn at the lectern in defense of the environmental health of their state and their planet.  Oh well…if anyone needs as much beauty sleep as they can possibly get, it's Republicans.

CHEERS to the Sith twins.  (Or, more accurately, cheers to the endless comedy potential these two assholes provide.)  Completing another destructive orbit around the sun today: the cuddly Rupert Murdoch (83), and the man for whom the Speedo was not invented, Antonin Scalia (78).  For those of you who think you've hit rock bottom in life, consider this: at least you're not the piece of cake (aka "culinary entitlement") that ends up hoofing it through their digestive tract today.

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Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!

This is another edition of The One Word Answer Man.  In a fundraising letter, Senator Harry Reid asks: I've got two words for you: Koch brothers. Need I say more?

No.

Now back to Cheers and Jeers.

Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!
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JEERS to too much water and not enough ShamWOW!s.  Today marks the three-year anniversary of the---in order of occurrence---8.9 earthquake, tsunami and meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear complex.  Over 15,000 perished.  A detailed article in Emergency Management explains that the human toll is far from behind them:

Fukushima plant explosion, March 2011
It doesn't help that this thing went
kerflooey and won't be cleaned up for years.
A recent study estimated that more people have died of stress-related causes in the Fukushima region than were killed by the tsunami. Another analysis found nearly a third of children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Miyoko Chiba's daughter, who was trapped in a building and saved by a pocket of air, is still losing clumps of hair.

Hitocabe, the hotel manager, considers herself lucky to have lost only her house and possessions. "For people who lost family members, the feelings of loss and despair are not something you can recover from in a year or even in decades," she said.

As cleanup continues for the foreseeable future at the reactor (a fact that has prompted entire countries to swear off nuclear), there were protests in Tokyo Sunday calling for an end to nuclear power.  Meanwhile the New York Daily News has an amazing before-and-after photo essay here.  It's nature's world, we just live in it.  Tenuously.

CHEERS to lending a hand.  On March 11, 1941, President Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law, which allowed American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan months before our official entry into World War II.  Not to be picky, Britain, but four pencils are still unaccounted for.  [Uncomfortably long pause]  We'd like them back.

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Five years ago in C&J: March 11, 2009

CHEERS to in-sourcing.  The IRS says it's shutting down its practice of hiring private collection agencies to go after people who owe back taxes.  Their sorry excuse: government employees kick the contractors' butts in efficiency.  In related news, private nose-picking companies also lost their gigs because Republicans in Congress outperformed them 20 to 1.

CHEERS to mysteries solved.  Using a delicate jeweler's sledgehammer and chisel, an expert at the National Museum of American History pried the faceplate off of President Lincoln's pocket watch to reveal a secret inscription engraved by the original watchmaker: "April 13---1861: The walrus is Ringo."  Oops!

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And just one more…

CHEERS to today's boring correction (via Kossack Thinking Fella).  The "Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China" is no longer located in Asia.  The new location is provided below, courtesy of CNN:

CNN screen grab from March 2014 showing Hong Kong in South America
Please adjust your maps accordingly.  And have a nice day.  (Especially you, Brazil, with your seven million new neighbors!)

Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Yes, California can really ban Bill in Portland Maine, legal experts say
---Judd Legum

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