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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Late Night Snark: 100% Cliff-free!

"A lot of dissension among conservatives. One of the leaders of the Tea Party has resigned after a major split in the movement. The Tea Party is now divided between angry whites and even angrier whites."
---Conan O'Brien

Dreidel
Hanukkah starts tomorrow. Daily
Kos has gone 0 hours without
a dreidel-related injury. My bad.
"You've been warned, Harry Reid! Take away Mitch McConnell's filibuster and he will strike back by obstructing everything you do! Or let him keep the filibuster so he can obstruct everything you do!"
---Stephen Colbert

"Mitt Romney has a new job. He's going back to work. He got a job at a Marriott. When you're at the front desk arguing over your mini bar bill, Mitt will be the guy that comes from out back and says, 'I understand there's some trouble?'"
---David Letterman

Clip of Chris Cilizza on NBC News: To vote for anything that is even perceived to be granting the U.N. power [like this United Nations Disabilities Treaty] is a dangerous game for a Republican senator, because the U.N. is so unpopular among the Republican base.
Jon Stewart: It's official: Republicans hate the United Nations more than they like helping people in wheelchairs.
---The Daily Show

"A new survey found that 'Sophia' and 'Aiden' were the most popular baby names this year. The least popular baby name was Kim Jong Sandusky."
---Jimmy Fallon

"We're making a sequel in Middle Earth. It's going to star Gandalf the Gay. And you'll get to find out who's his favorite dwarf."
---Ian McKellen on The Colbert Report

And one year ago:
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about him. He's been consistent since he changed his mind."
---Christine O'Donnell, endorsing Mitt Romney for president
The more time goes by, the more I realize that the 2012 election season was 18 of the craziest, most wackydoodle months evuh. The limbo bar for 2016 has been set very low and I hope we can wriggle our way under it. Nate Silver says the odds are looking good.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, December 7, 2012

Note: Dreidels in the southern hemisphere only spin counterclockwise. Film at 11.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til winter and spring: 14 / 104
Days 'til the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in Austin: 5
Number of acceptable reasons to apologize, according to Mitt Romney's 2010 book No Apology: 0
Rank of Mitt Romney's apology for his "47% moocher" remarks on Time magazine's list of the Top 10 Apologies of 2012: #1
Percent chance that 2012 will end up being the hottest year on record: 99.7%
(Source: MSNBC)
Cost to buy all the Twelve Days of Christmas gifts in their respective quantities, up 4.8% from last year: $107,300
(Source: PNC Wealth Management)
Cost of the new Aston Martin Vanquish: $280,000

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NEW! Friday Joe Lieberman Wanker Walk Countdown:
Chris Murphy replaces Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate in 27 days.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  TCLPITW?

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CHEERS to saying "We DO!!!"  After a couple false starts, the Supreme Court finally started their engines and announced that they'll take on both a DOMA case and the appeal of California's Prop. 8.  If I had to predict, I'd say that both cases will be 6-3 decisions in favor of equality, with Kennedy and Roberts clear-eyed about the historic nature of their decisions.  Also if I had to predict, I'd say that these will be two cases where I'm really really really glad that Clarence Thomas keeps his yap shut.

CHEERS to remembering the date which will "live in infamy."  Today marks the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Earlier this week The Portland Press Herald published a guest columnist's account of meeting the Japanese architect of the attack in 1970 when Minoru Genda spoke as a guest at the University of Maine in orono.  This is rather chilling:

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
Part of Commander Genda's 12/7/41 handiwork:
the U.S.S. Arizona memorialized at Pearl Harbor.
He proved to be disarmingly candid in his analysis of the two air strikes on Pearl Harbor that morning: That the Japanese Zeros made a mistake by not hitting the oil fields was his unabashed post-mortem.  He seemed to regret it.

When Genda finished, there was a question-and-answer session, and one young lady asked the unthinkable: If the Japanese had had the A-bomb first, would they have used it against us? … I'll never forget the imperious look Minoru Genda shot her.  "Of course," he replied with casual coldness.

As a nation, we snapped out of our post-12/7 shock in the blink of an eye and it was all downhill for Genda and Tojo and Yamamoto soon after.  And this is sad: the survivors are so few and so old now that the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association closed up shop last year.  But they would be most happy if we young'uns would kindly never forget that day or those who were there.  Happy to oblige.

South Carolina flag
The South Carolina flag sure
looks Muslim to me. What are
you people up to down there?!
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JEERS to much right-wing ado about nothing.  South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, one of the least-deliberative members in one of the world's most deliberative chambers, is tired of being in the minority.  So he's leaving to go work at the Heritage Foundation, and that has the conservative establishment (read: Fox News roundtables) peeing their pants with joy over the "new kingmaker in the Republican party."  Who do they think they're kidding?  You know all those "secret" details about their economic plan that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan kept under lock and key during the campaign?  You know why they kept those secret details secret?  Because those secret details were forged in the fires of Mount Koch at the Heritage Foundation, and the public recoils every time they get a whiff of 'em.  So, no, Jim DeMint isn’t going to the Heritage Foundation to become a kingmaker.  He's going there to smoke cigars, ogle the receptionist, slap his name on some press releases, and make a ton of money before slithering off into the sunset to enjoy all the socialist retirement benefits he accrued as a socialism-hating senator.  Moral of the story: nice work if you can get it.

P.S. Speaking of work, here's Jared Bernstein's abbreviated video assessment of today's November jobs report.  And here's my abbreviated emoticon assessment of Jared Bernstein's assessment: :-) plus :-( equals :-|

CHEERS to the Pine Tree State's mealy-mouthed "moderate."  Maine Senator Susan Collins---that rare Republican who actually has the ability to look forward once in a rare while---turns 60 today.  We give her props for supporting stem cell research and co-sponsoring the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  But she voted to go to war with Iraq, there's no worthless "Gang of [insert number here]" she won’t eagerly join, and she says she's pro-choice but then votes for Supreme Court justices who are champing at the bit to overturn Roe v. Wade.  Oh, and she also, of course, rends her garments over the incivility in the Senate, but fails to recognize that her party is wholly responsible.  But she's getting a sweet, if belated, present: on January 3rd, as Angus King replaces Olympia Snowe, Collins becomes Maine's senior senator.  Lord help us.

CHEERS to great inventions.  The microwave oven, invented by Dr. Percy LeBaron Spencer (from the great state of Maine, no less), was patented on this date in 1945.  We were going to use this as an opportunity to give a lecture on proper microwave usage and safety...but trying this is much cooler.  Here, kitty kitty...

JEERS to Maine's crazy uncle we wish we could lock in the attic.  While all the other Republican governors are off killing union rights and women's rights and voting rights with ruthless efficiency, all Maine Governor Paul LePage can seem to accomplish is causing self-inflicted wounds with his mighty dumbstick.  This week, as Democrats officially re-took control of the Maine House and Senate in a swearing-in ceremony that is traditionally a moment of back-slapping and comity, Governor Sourgrapes used the occasion to go on one of those rants that in a wedding-themed movie would cause the daughter to run from the church screaming, "Daddy, you've ruined EVERYTHING!!!"  The guv's beef: he doesn’t like having his public remarks videotaped by a polite, rule-following tracker:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage
Yeah, he's an idiot governor,
but he's OUR idiot governor!
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"I think it's vulgar, I think it's vicious and I think it's vile to me and my family," LePage snarled to a packed (and generally shocked) audience. … LePage's latest ultimatum: He will not meet with the Dems until their party calls off Brian Jordan, the young "private paparazzi" whom the governor called out twice by name during Wednesday's swearing-in ceremony.

But according to Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant, that is not what's happening.  "We're not lying in the bushes outside his house," Grant said Thursday. "We're not following his family to the supermarket."  Rather, he said, Jordan shows up at public events where LePage is scheduled to speak, secures permission to set up his tripod and camera and simply records what the governor says from the podium---and only what he says from the podium.

My main question is: what did Brian Jordan do that would warrant the cruel and inhumane punishment of having to watch and record all of Governor Hurt McFeefees' speeches?  My guess: Murrrrrder!

Alec Baldwin Schweddy Balls sketch still from Saturday Night Live
SNL better air the Schweddy Balls
sketch tonight is all's I can say.
CHEERS to home vegetation.  Here's some of the haps that might show up on your teevee this weekend, starting tonight on NBC with the Best Saturday Night Live holiday sketches.  Bill Moyers and Company (link) get the dope on the Cult of Grover with GOP Congressman Mickey Edwards.  The most anticipated new DVD of the week is The Dark Knight Rises.  (Spoiler Alert: the Dark Knight rises.)  But praise the war-on-Christmas gods for the Blu Ray of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.  The NFL schedule is here.  On 60 Minutes: plowshare tortoises vs. poachers.

Don’t forget to watch the best weekend morning shows, Up! With Chris Hayes (I hear there are 6 good reasons to tune in) and Melissa Harris-Perry.  And here's your Sunday morning lineup, now with C&J's EXCLUSIVE Fiscal Cliff Hair-On-Fire Index (where 1 = low-key, thoughtful discussion and 10 = HAIR ON FIRE!!!!!)

Meet the Press: Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL); Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA); roundtable with Newt Gingrich, Lawrence O'Donnell, Bob Woodward, Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman and Helene Cooper.  Fiscal Cliff Hair-On-Fire Index: 10

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
WARNING: Simpson-Bowles
will be on 'Face the Nation.'
This Week: Not one but two---TWO!---powerhouse roundtables!!!  #1: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ).  #2: James Carville, Mary Matalin, Paul Krugman, George Will and Matthew Dowd.  Fiscal Cliff Hair-On-Fire Index: 10

Face the Nation: Newark Mayor Cory Booker; roundtable with Joe Klein, Michael Gerson, Norah O'Donnell and Major Garrett; and Simpson-Bowles namesakes Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.  Fiscal Cliff Hair-On-Fire Index: INFINITY

CNN's State of the Union: Managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde; plus "More guest bookings to be announced momentarily."  (They wrote that yesterday.)  Fiscal Cliff Hair-On-Fire Index: 10

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Corker (R-TN); roundtable with Kimberly Strassel, Kirsten Powers, Bill Kristol and Juan Williams.  Fiscal Cliff Hair-On-Fire Index: 10

Happy viewing!

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Four years ago in C&J: December 7, 2008

JEERS to carrying on the family business.  Like a bad penny, they just keep turning up.  News yesterday that another Bush wants to join the highest level of the federal government.  But Jeb's got a good reason to go for a Senate seat: apparently, despite the best efforts of George I and George II, there are still a few pockets of America that haven't been destroyed yet.  Gotta love a family so dedicated to finishing the job.

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And just one more…

George W. Bush lights a Hanukkah menorah
Flashback: Dubya lights a menorah. Moments
later the White House is engulfed in flames.
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CHEERS to Menorahpalooza.  This Sunday will be a day of dread in my neck of the woods, as I become what my neighbors fear most: an Episcopalian brandishing a dreidel and a platter of my homemade latkes.  So far I've taken out six windows, two lampposts and a hedge with the former, and made the old lady across the street use her supplemental dental insurance with the latter. We trust things will be a little more peaceful where you are. Oh, and this…
My mother once gave me two sweaters for Hanukkah.  The next time we visited, I made sure to wear one.  As we entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she said, "What's the matter?  You didn't like the other one?"
Happy Channuka, Channukah, Chanuka, Chanukah, Chanuko, Hannuka, Hannukah, Hanuka, Hanukah, Hanukkah, Kanukkah, Khannuka, Khannukah, Khanuka, Khanukah, Khanukkah, and Xanuka!!!  (Don’t say all those too fast or your uvula might end up in the ER.)

Have a great weekend!  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

3%192 votes
1%54 votes
27%1374 votes
0%14 votes
2%116 votes
12%630 votes
5%276 votes
1%93 votes
25%1252 votes
0%49 votes
1%50 votes
1%78 votes
8%415 votes
7%361 votes

| 4956 votes | Vote | Results

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