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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Roses and Tyranny!!!

Happy Valentine's Day! I tossed some horny goat weed in my Cocoa Puffs this morning and now I'm madly in love with all of you and half the furniture in the house.

Did you know that eight billion of those addictive Sweethearts candies (a fine New England Confectionery Company product) are produced every year? It's TRUE!!! In a tradition we started a few years back, we add to our list of candy heart sayings for modern-day Republicans:

#1 MISTRESS
LET'S GO GALT!
SIT IN MY EMPTY CHAIR
R U A MORAN TOO?
Candy hearts
BQHATEVWR
PRAY AWAY MY GAY
LET'S SECEDE 2GETHER
UR IN MY BINDER, WOMAN
MY MOON COLONY OR YOURS?
I'LL DO YOU IN UNDER THREE HOURS
B MY RAPTURE BUDDY
I ♥ 1% OF U
MY SECRET LIBERTINE
WATER! WATER!
UN-DRESSAGE ME
CRAZY FOR YOU
WHISPER SWEET NOTHINGS (ENGLISH ONLY!)
SORRY. CAN'T. OOPS.
DRILL ME HERE DRILL ME NOW
I LIKE FIRING YOU
TINFOIL 4 EVUH
That's amore.

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

Note: Just a quick reminder about the New England Kossack Meetup this Saturday, February 16, from 1-4pm at Margarita's Mexican Restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  In addition to food, drink and great company, we'll be celebrating the life of, and hoisting our glasses to the memory of GreenMountBoy02.  Please RSVP ASAP to Kossack nhox42 at nhox42 [at] yahoo.com so we can get a final count.  Hope you can make it.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Star Trek—Into Darkness: 92
Days 'til the 11th annual Burrowing Owl Festival in Cape Coral, Florida: 9
Percent of viewers who had a positive response to Obama's SOTU: 77%
(Source: CNN poll)
Reduction by Maker's Mark in the alcohol content of its famous bourbon, in an effort to produce more of it because of rising popularity: 45% to 42%
Rank of John, Benedict and Gregory among the most popular pope names: #1, #2, #3
Estimated percent of dog owners who plan to give their pooch a Valentine's Day present today: 20%
(Source: National Retail Federation)

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
Mother Jones magazine reported two years ago on how easy it is to set up an offshore shell company. "It's fast and cheap. All that's required is filling out a one-page form and providing a photocopy of my passport and driver's license. The entire incorporation process -- which costs $1,000 plus $750 in annual renewable fees of $750 -- can be completed within 48 hours." I predict this process will be available on the Web any minute now, you won't even have to go to Bermuda or the Caymans to do it, and then nobody will have to pay taxes. Won't it be great?
---February, 2002
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Puppy Pic of the Day: Old Monopoly piece meets new Monopoly piece

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CHEERS to voter vindication.  Like in many other states, Maine has had its share of Republican lunkheads who claim our voting system is "rife" with "fraud."  In fact, a couple years back our GOP-led legislature approved a law that would eliminate election-day registration in Maine to combat "fraud"---thus nixing a law that was originally passed decades earlier by Republicans.  (Thankfully, a citizens veto was successful in repealing the Republican repeal of the Republican law.)  And now, lo and behold, along comes a state commission's report that says, unequivocally, this silly non-debate is over:

102 year-old Desiline Victor, featured at the 2013 State of the Union address
Desiline Victor, 102, was featured in the
State of the Union address because she
stood 6 hours in line to vote. The president
vows to strengthen voter rights laws.
By a 4-1 vote, The Commission to Study the Conduct of Elections in Maine said in a report that there is "little or no history in Maine of voter impersonation or identification fraud."  It also said such a [Voter ID] law would slow down the voting process and could work to disenfranchise elderly, poor or rural voters, many of whom don't have IDs or may not be able to travel far to get them.

[T]he report…also asks the state to establish an early voting system, in which residents would be able to cast ballots before Election Day.  "We are thrilled the commission rejected voter ID and endorsed true early voting," said Shenna Bellows, the Maine ACLU's executive director.

In Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama announced that a bipartisan commission would look into making voter laws more favorable to, y'know, the voters.  I think there should be the following minimum threshold for state laws: if 1) each state conducts a regular (and published) "Study on the Conduct of Elections" modeled after Maine's and 2) if your voter laws don’t cause the League of Women Voters to throw up their hands and quit, you get a thumbs-up!!!  If not, the feds take over.  As usual, I release this sterling advice into the public domain.  Unless somehow there's money in it.

CHEERS to women on the move.  Speaking of the League of Women Voters, on this date in 1920, the group that Republicans today call "that damned nuisance" was founded in Chicago under the direction of president Maud Wood Park. It still amazes me how hard women had to fight for basic equality in the land of "Liberty and justice for all."  Guys: tonight you cook.

CHEERS to more proof of evolution.  Here's what President Obama has said over the years on gays in the military in his State of the Unions.  This is pretty damn impressive:
 

2010 State of the Union
"This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are."

2011 State of the Union
"Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love."

2012 State of the Union
"When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian, Latino, Native American; conservative, liberal; rich, poor; gay, straight."

2013 State of the Union: "We will ensure equal treatment for all servicemembers, and equal benefits for their families---gay and straight."

So simply stated, yet so significant in the fight for civil rights.  Gay people are now serving openly in the military, and it's no big deal.  The fearmongers (John McCain and Tony Perkins, I'm lookin' at you) were eleventy billion percent wrong.  Maybe they'll get to be right about something one day.  Just not today.

JEERS to too-close close shaves.  Heads up, people!  An asteroid approximately one thousand times the size of Hitler's testicle (Source: Nazipedia) will be whizzing by our heads tomorrow afternoon.

Disco ball
The 2012 DA14 asteroid.
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2012 DA14 orbits the sun every 368 days, and has approached Earth relatively closely on approximately an annual basis, according to NASA. The discovery occurred during one of these approaches, but this year's asteroid flyby will be a significantly closer shave.

Once the asteroid is close enough, scientists can aim radar at the space rock to get a better look. That's the plan for 2012 DA14, NASA near-Earth object expert Don Yeomans said in an agency video interview. The equipment at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California will make these measurements.

Scientists say that the massive chunk of rock is in no danger of touching the earth's surface, as its velocity will keep it safely 17 inches off the ground.  Which brings us to today's stock tip: sink everything you have into home repair companies and knee replacement clinics.

Red heart small
The Bandits
strike again!
CHEERS to the Valentine's Day Bandits.  This is perhaps Portland, Maine's most whimsical day of the year.  Every February 14th for the last 37 years, a mysterious posse of love has gone around Portland's downtown in the wee hours and secretly taped red paper hearts on virtually every street-level window.  Everyone just loves it.  Some even swipe one or two to put in their own windows.  It's sweet. It's cute.  And, truth be told, it takes our mind off yesterday's visit by the Colorectal Screening Day Bandits.

CHEERS to new additions. On February 14, 1859, Oregon officially joined the Union, and 53 years later Arizona followed suit.  The former is called the "Beaver" state.  The latter is called the "Grand Canyon" state.  And one or both of our minds is filthy.

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Five years ago in C&J: February 14, 2008

JEERS to the big bite.  Yesterday I paid my taxes, and I couldn’t help but feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that the lion's share was going to the Pentagon, Halliburton, Blackwater, China, India, Iraqi warlords and Dick Cheney's salary.  But that $3 election fund?  I know government waste when I see it.  Donation denied.

JEERS to misplaced priorities.  Holy cow, did you see the sparks fly in Congress yesterday?  They was mad as hornets!  They stomped their feet, shook their fists, and DEMANDED accountability during this time of WAR!!!  They issued subpoenas, threw the violators in the House prison (yes, they have one) and even started impeachment hearings!!  And the cable news networks breathlessly aired non-stop coverage of this five-hour war on ...um...a baseball player.  (Reminds me of the great tiddlywinks scandal during World War II.  Traitors one and all.)  Today they'll be back to kissing Bush's ass and spending money we don't have.  How do they do it?

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And just one more…

tabloid depiction of Wayne lapierre as a gun nut
Future Maine ice cream vendor?
Over my cold, frozen sherbet.
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JEERS to the carpetbagger from hell.  Over the weekend the Maine Sunday Telegram ran an AP puff piece on NRA ghoul Wayne LaPierre.  He's really an aw-shucks kind of intellectual, see?  He reads books!  He bowls!  He's an absent-minded professor!  He buys yummy treats for the office staff!  I guess I should thank AP for reminding me of what the proverbial "banality of evil" looks like.  But one line made the hair on my neck stand up:
[Former NRA spokesperson John] Aquilino says he once asked LaPierre what he wanted to do eventually and was told, "To tell the truth, I'd like to run an ice cream parlor in Maine."
Gahhhh!!!  Okay, NOW I believe in building an electrified border fence and a moat stocked with alligators---not down by Mexico but around the state of Maine.  I'm all for well-regulated gun owners' rights an' all, but if there's one thing we don’t need in this state, it's a frozen concoction called Jack-Booted Thug Swirl.  Do us a favor, Wayne---if you come up north: take a left at New Hampshire.

Okay, that's all I got.  Don’t forget to read, tip and rec the Keystone pipeline blogathon diaries.  Oh, and a heads-up that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice will be on with Jon Stewart tonight.  Golly, what will they have to talk about???  Have a nice Thursday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“I should know better than to use Latin in Cheers and Jeers.  I get my imperfect, future perfect and pluperfects all mixed up.”
---Major Garrett
2/11/13

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Poll

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