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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

The Purpose of Marriage Must be Preserved!

As a simple caveman, I naturally rely on the conservative movement to help me make sense of this crazy world. After all, they proclaim that they're the ones who unerringly understand who's who, what's what, where's where and, most important, who puts what in who where.

So I was happy to see over the weekend that Oklahoma lawyers appealing a judge's ruling requiring Tulsa County Court Clerk Sally Howe Smith to allow a lesbian couple to get married through her office have filed a 63-page brief explaining what marriage is all about. And this is what marriage is all about:

Elderly couple nose to nose
Congrats! Now get busy.
Lawyers: The purpose of marriage is procreation

Lawyers for Smith argued that marriage is about furthering "potentially procreative sexual relationships into stable unions" rather than recognizing the love and commitment of two people.

I'm really glad to know that. Marriage should not apply to gay and lesbian couples because it's all about pumpin' out babies---compatible plumbing, if you will. I mean, anyone who has ever heard a couple recite the standard marriage vows can see how obvious it is that marriage is not about recognizing love and commitment at all:
Gold wedding rings
I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
See what I mean? It's all babies, babies, babies. Those vows practically command the happy couple to get down to the birthin' business right there at the altar. So I hope those fine Oklahoma lawyers succeed in defending the true purpose of marriage, because if they don't it could open the floodgates to---how did they phrase it again?---"love and commitment."

Yick.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, April 7, 2014

Note: The internet tells me that today is "No Housework Day."  Or, as it's more popularly known, "Day That Ends In Y Day."

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New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival logo 2014
15 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Easter: 13
Days 'til the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival: 18
Estimated number of people around the world killed by pollution in 2012: 7 million
Estimated number of them killed by indoor pollution, mostly Asians using coal and wood stoves for cooking: 4.3 million
(Source: WHO)
Amount the Palatine, Illinois, fire district plans to make by selling advertising on the side of its trucks to help make up a budget deficit caused after voters refused to approve a tax increase: $25,000
(Source: AP)
Years the new atomic clock at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder will go without gaining or losing a second: 300 million years
Number of automated synchronization requests it gets every day from
its online service: 8 billion

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NEW!  Your Monday Michigan Moment

Brought to you by the 2014 Netroots Nation Convention in Detroit, July 17-20.  Did someone say "lighthouse field trip?"  Pack more than one bag…you'll be on the road awhile:

Detroit River Lighthouse in 2008
Detroit River Light
Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state and all of them have a unique look and story, making it the perfect place for a summer lighthouse tour.  … Michigan lighthouses are the stars of the shore. Some still shine for ships, others share their stories with us first-hand as museums, as bed and breakfasts and as Michigan history in the making. With more than 115 lighthouses across the Great Lakes, you can experience these luminaries as a volunteer keeper or on a relaxing excursion.
The Detroit Free Press has a pdf map of where all 129 lights are located.  A popular lighthouse preservationist once said that, "Lighthouses are to America what castles are to Europe."  We hope you found this item illuminating.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  If you're a kid in Vancouver, here's your shot at fame.  (I'm an adult in Portland. Bummer.)

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CHEERS and JEERS to making cents (and also losing them).  Being a world-renowned fauxconomist, I know that my opinion can have an overly-influential, um, influence on the fiduciary proceedings of the global markets and pork belly futures.  So I'll simply stay neutral and start the week in economics with some traditional-media headlines.  Caution---might be some whiplash ahead:

> U.S. economy regains jobs lost during Great Recession
Some good news: last week my
earnings as a stripper doubled.
> Eurozone jobless rate still high despite recession end
> New signs of life in the manufacturing sector
> March auto sales rebound best since late fall
> Angry families want GM prosecuted for defects
> More Americans slip from middle class
> Workaholic Americans aren't taking vacations
> Nigeria becomes Africa's biggest economy
> Spring home buyers facing sticker shock
> US probing high-speed trading for insider angle
> Maine bill seeks taxes on profits held overseas
Oh, and this one: "Median CEO Pay Jumped 13 Percent Last Year To $10.5 Million."  Today on the C&J lunch menu: tea and loathing.

JEERS to the deporter-in-chief.  President Obama may be getting well-deserved praise for hitting his health insurance sign-up goal, but over the weekend thousands of protesters in dozens of cities reminded him that he also invites some well-deserved criticism:

Frederico F. and his six-year-old son attended the April 5th, 2014 rally to ask the President to stop deportations in DC.
Frederico and son at the DC rally.
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Some deportation monitors and activists have marked April 5th as the day that the Obama administration likely reached its two millionth deportation.  In the nation’s capitol, hundreds of activists gathered in a park in the predominantly immigrant neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant before marching two miles south to the White House. As they marched, advocates shouted “two million, too many,” “up up with education, down, down with deportation,” “not one more,” and carried pictures of immigrants who have been deported.

Frederico F. told ThinkProgress that he brought his young son to the rally because they wanted to “tell President Obama to stop deportations that tear families apart. It’s really important for my family to be together.”

Conservatives, meanwhile, staged their own protest, saying Obama isn't throwing brown people out of the country nearly fast enough, and would he please start sending them back to Mexico packed in box cars like the Constitution says he's supposed to?!!  So I guess you could call that the silver lining: at least Obama's also not listening to the immigration whackos.

CHEERS to hoop dreams.  Over the weekend the NCAA men's and women's basketball brackets got pared down to their distilled essence of basketballiness.  Tonight the men of UConn and Kentucky, and tomorrow the women of UConn and Notre Dame will appear at the court.  Which will promptly declare the games unconstitutional and award the trophy to a Republican Super PAC.

JEERS to the wild wild south.  As long as Rick Scott is governor, I'm afraid Florida's tourism slogan is going to be, "Come Have Fun in the Sun---But No Sudden Moves."  The latest legislation making room for more gunplay from Rambo wannabes has been called the "warning shot" bill, and it tore through the legislature and is on its way to Governor Voldemort's desk. Soon you'll be free to blast hot lead into the sky if you feel threatened, and god only knows who it'll end up falling on.  The Governor (not really Voldemort, his real name is Prick Snot) says he'll give the bill "close scrutiny," so that guarantees he'll do the wrong thing.  There will be a promotional campaign to explain the law's effects to Floridians.  I believe it'll be a video called, Got Helmet?

P.S. On a related note, what's the matter with Kansas?  Three words: Pew Pew Pew!!!

CHEERS to purple fingers for (what passes for) freedom!  Credit where credit is due: the beleagured people of Afghanistan appear to be tired of taking the Taliban's shit:

Purple finger of voter
Why can't we do purple
fingers in this country? I
want my purple finger!
Millions of Afghans defied Taliban threats and rain Saturday, underscoring their enormous expectations from an election that comes as the country's wobbly government prepares to face down a ferocious insurgency largely on its own.  With…mercurial Hamid Karzai stepping aside, the country's new leader will find an altered landscape as he replaces the only president Afghans have known since the Taliban were ousted in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. […]

Nazia Azizi, a 40-year-old housewife, was first in line at a school in eastern Kabul. "I have suffered so much from the fighting and I want prosperity and security in Afghanistan. That is why I have come here to cast my vote," she said.

Now that we're just months away from pulling our remaining troops out, it's probably worth reminding Afghanistan of the lesson we hope they learned over a baker's dozen of deadly and very expensive years, and that lesson is this: don’t ever do that again.  (Unless the thought of "Viceroy John Sidney McCain" sends a tingle up your leg.)

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Five years ago in C&J: April 7, 2009

CHEERS to words you've never heard a president say before.  Here's a little message for Sean Hannity, Bill Kristol and all the other right-wing jerks who accuse President Obama of being too accommodating and conciliatory overseas after eight years of Bush's open hostility and derision: Your 'competence envy' is showing, guys.  Obama nails it:

President Obama speaks to US-Turkish relations in his address to the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara, Turkey on April 6, 2009.
Pres. Obama address to the Turkish
Grand National Assembly in Ankara.
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I also want to be clear that America's relationship with the Muslim community, the Muslim world, cannot, and will not, just be based upon opposition to terrorism.  We seek broader engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect.  We will listen carefully, we will bridge misunderstandings, and we will seek common ground.  We will be respectful, even when we do not agree.  We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world---including in my own country.  The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans.  Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country---I know, because I am one of them.  [Applause]
To give you an idea of what a leap forward that is, consider that the last president to make a similar statement was Zachary Taylor, who professed that "some of my best friends be sprites and pixies who live in the mushroom village."  I think that was shortly after he ate the bad cherries.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to U.S. Minty freshness.  While debate continues to rage over whether or not to ditch the penny (I think it's just a conspiracy by the lobbyists at Big Nickel), the America the Beautiful state quarter collection rolls merrily along.  The second release of 2014---introduced Friday---depicts Virginia's Shenandoah National Park:

2014 America the Beautiful series state quarter for Virginia, featuring Shenandoah National Park.
"Yodelayheehoo!!!"
Just 75 miles from Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park is an escape for travelers wanting a wide range of outdoor adventures. It features cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas and quiet wooded hollows. Park habitats provide a haven for black bear and numerous songbirds. Creation of the park was authorized by legislation in 1926…with formal establishment in 1935 and dedication by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.  

The reverse design depicts a day hiker taking in the view from Little Stony Man summit.

Of course, some of the more casual hikers take in more than just the view once they reach the top of Little Stony Man.  Hence its nickname: Munchies Mountain.

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Bill in Portland Maine actually looks like something you would find in one of America's trash-rich Salvation Army stores and buy to laugh at. He's got a classic amateur clumsiness and oddity to him.
---Jonathan Jones, The Guardian.

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Poll

By a show of hand, do you agree with Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) when he says restoring financial assistance for the long-term unemployed is just an unnecessary handout to slackers?

1%70 votes
0%15 votes
95%3602 votes
1%54 votes
0%5 votes

| 3756 votes | Vote | Results

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