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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Maine Governor to Poor, Veterans: Drop Dead

No thanks, but we'll happily
kick it in eight months.
The #1 question we Mainers ask ourselves on any given day is, "Good lord, what's he done now?" We're referring, of course, to our Teapublican Governor Paul LePage, one of the oddest and most reckless meatheads ever to lead our 194-year-old state.

So, good lord, what's he done now? Well, Last Friday he sent a message to the estimated 70,000 low-income Pine Tree Staters who would benefit from an expansion of Medicaid here, as the Affordable Care Act recommends, at virtually no expense to the state. And all I can say is, golly does he have a way with words:

Gov. Paul LePage on Friday called a proposed expansion of Medicaid “sinful” during an appearance in Kennebunk, his starkest condemnation of the plan yet.
Expanding sickness- and death-prevention to those who need it most is---oh, let's go with Merriam-Webster---"wicked, wrong according to religious or moral law." Perfect. What a guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was hoisting his middle finger as he said it. LePage's remark drew a quick response from the current congressman who will have the pleasure of defeating him in November, Democrat Mike Michaud:
Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME)
“What we are talking about here is providing life-saving health care to tens of thousands of Mainers and Gov. LePage is calling it sinful,” Michaud said in a statement. “I don’t know how he explains that to the 70,000 Mainers---including nearly 3,000 veterans---who are counting on him to do the right moral thing and sign the bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan into law.”
I have an idea. Maybe Pope Francis should pick up the phone and give LePage one of his famous surprise jingles to explain that the real sinner here is the one coddling the rich and screwing the poor. I'd love to be the NSA snooper on that call.

On the web: Mike Michaud for Governor
Also too: healthcare.gov

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Note: Let me state this clearly for the record: the sheep is just a family friend.
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Chicago Beer festival  logo
4 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the 136th White House Easter Egg Roll: 34
Days 'til the Chicago Beer Festival: 4
Percent of American adults who say they'd be more likely and less likely, respectively, to vote for a candidate who supports a minimum-wage hike: 50%, 19%
Drop in the consumer price index in February, the first decline since November: 0.1%
(Source: Labor Dept.)
Years 64-year-old Glenn Ford spent on death row in Louisiana before he was released due to that whole "being innocent" thing: 26
Percent of voters in Crimea who voted for secession over the weekend: 123%
Year the term "March Madness" was coined by Henry Porter to describe an Illinois high school basketball tourney: 1939

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Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

And bring back the "flesh" crayon!
Is it racist/bigoted for me to say I no longer am interested in basketball because it is played mostly by blacks and foreigners?
When you're a kid growing up, you idolize sports legends.
The legends I identified with were mostly white, like I.
---Commenter DonaM at the Breitbart.com site
All together now: 1…2…3… Classy!

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Sadie mixes it up a bit…

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CHEERS to a defeat in the Republican War on Ladyparts.  I almost missed this bit of good news that came out late Friday.  Says here that the anti-abortion crowd lost again in court:

U.S. Judge Judge Susan Webber Wright of Arkansas
Judge Wright
A federal judge on Friday struck down an Arkansas law that would ban most abortions starting at 12 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most restrictive such statutes enacted in the United States, declaring the measure unconstitutional.  U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled that the law "impermissibly infringes a woman's Fourteenth Amendment right to elect to terminate a pregnancy before viability" of the fetus, as established by the U.S. Supreme Court.
It's a substantial win for two groups: women, and people who set their watches by the conservative cries of "Activist Judge!" in the wake of any case they lose.

CHEERS to a surge that's actually working!  The anti-Obamacare whiners got a rude surprise yesterday when it was announced that the number of signups for health insurance through the state and federal exchanges has topped five million.  One million of those are from California alone.  As one of the newly-registered members of the club, I'm just waiting for my insurance card to arrive in the mail, after which I'll throw it in my wallet and forget about it because I know I'm going to be healthy right up until I drop dead of a heart attack 50 years from now.  Why do I know this?  Easy: knowing my premiums are going to help other fellow Americans stay healthy and recover from illness and accidents will boost my immune system to unimaginable levels.  Plus I took a peek ahead through time travel.  Yeah, I cheated…sue me.

JEERS to a day at the media circus.  After a week of bringing on bona fide experts in aviation science, criminology and psychodynamics to help unravel the mystery of where that Malaysia Airlines jet went, CNN goes down the rabbit hole by suggesting that it disappeared for supernatural reasons.

Oil painting of God -
"Yeah, well put it back
in there, you silly mortal."
"Especially today, on a day when we deal with the supernatural, we go to church, the supernatural power of God. You deal with all of that," [CNN anchor Don] Lemon said to Meltzer.

"People are saying to me, why aren't you talking about the possibility---and I'm just putting it out there---that something odd happened to this plane, something beyond our understanding?"

Did space aliens from Planet Splorknork eat Don Lemon's brain and replace it with a pudding brain programmed to commit journalistic malpractice by asking if God raptured an airliner and then following it with "I'm just putting it out there"?  Hey, I'm just putting it out there.

CHEERS and JEERS to reaping what ya sowed.  Speaking of the supernatural, "God Hates Fags" slimeball Fred Phelps---whose Westboro "Baptist" "Church" made funeral picketing the scummiest form of performance art ever---is reportedly teetering on the edge of death.  The Grim Reaper says it won’t be much longer.  The cement is almost dry in the brand-new, custom-built tenth circle of hell.

JEERS to meddling meddlers.  I admit I don’t know "liberal scholar" (hell, compared to conservatives every liberal is a scholar) Erwin Chemerinski from a hole in the wall, and while he may have a sharp legal mind he doesn’t seem to know much about the basics of human psychology.  Case in point: by suggesting on her 81st birthday that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should step down (just in case a Republican is elected in 2016 and Ginsburg dies shortly after), Chimerinski has all but guaranteed that she won't.  If I had a chance to climb inside her head, I'd guess that Ginsburg's reaction went something like this:

Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth bader Ginsburg riding an elephant together.
"Resign? And give up my elephant
rides with Scalia? Oh, balderdash!"
"Well, if I was considering stepping down I sure as heck am not considering it now. Kindly stick to your own knitting, young man. I am a Supreme Court Justice and I can make my own decisions, thank you very much and, unlike you, I can issue them from my comfy seat waaaaaay up in that there yonder bench for as long as I like.

Good day, sir.  I said…good DAY, sir!"

Smooth move, poindexter.

CHEERS to "Uncle Jumbo."  Happy Birthday to #22 and #24, Grover Cleveland, born March 18, 1837.  According to Cormac O'Brien's book Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents, as sheriff of Erie County, Pennsylvania in the 1870s, Cleveland "personally threw the noose around the necks of two convicted criminals," making him the only American president who personally hanged someone.  That is, if you don't count presidents like Hoover, Harding, Nixon and George W. Bush, who did a pretty good job of hanging themselves.

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Five years ago in C&J: March 18, 2009

Credit card chopped up with scissors
JEERS to highway robbery.  We got a notice from our credit card company over the weekend.  They informed us that, as a courtesy for being such conscientious customers, they're raising our interest rates on purchases to 17.2 percent (and 19.2 percent on cash advances).  They further informed us that we have the option of rejecting their overture, in which case our account will be closed, we'll lose all our accrued bonus thingy points, and they'll repossess our front-porch welcome mat.  But at least they're upfront about it, saying plainly:
The principle factor we considered in amending your account is maintaining profitability on your account.

Fair enough.  And in other news, Portland, Maine man breaks world speed record for chopping up credit card into a million pieces.  Film at 11.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to miracle transformations.  By day they're just mild-mannered Obama, Bush, Jong-un, Benedict and Putin.  But by night they're the Fabulous Five.  Please welcome to the stage…drag queens Baricka O'Bisha, Georgia Buchette, Kimmy Jungle, Popette Benny and Vladdy Pushin'!!!  Enjoy the show and please remember to tip your servers.

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“If you don’t know science in the 21st century, just move back to Cheers and Jeers, because that’s where we’re going to leave you as we move forward.”
---Neil deGrasse Tyson

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