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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Yeah…We Know

Much has been made of Ohio GOP Senator Rob Portman's public reversal on marriage equality, two years after his son came out to him. He's been rightly praised for reversing his stance on DOMA, and rightly tut-tutted for only changing his mind after it affected his immediate family.

Here's a note from a different dad who sounds all kinds of awesome:

Nate,

I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me. The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now. I’ve known you were gay since you were six, I’ve loved you since you were born.

-- Dad

P.S. Your mom and I think you and Mike make a cute couple.

Sign:
True Fact: demons possessed this guy
and forced him to make this sign.
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I've been active in the southern Maine chapter of PFLAG since 1995, and one of our long-time members always describes himself as "a recovering homophobe." It always gets a laugh, because we all know he gave up the hater lifestyle for good years ago. The PFLAG national office's response to the now-viral "Nate letter" helps explain why the group usually gets the loudest applause at pride marches:
This letter is what PFLAG is all about---what child doesn’t want to receive unconditional love from his or her parents?” a spokesperson told Yahoo! Shine. “For some, like this dad, it comes quickly. For others, it may take time. But regardless of how or when they get there, parents need to have their kids’ backs, no matter what. So applause for Nate’s dad.
As for Senator Portman: on the whole, his support for his gay son and his public endorsement of LGBT rights is a win-win as far as I'm concerned. Despite his belated and opportunistically-timed reversal (the criticism against him on that score is valid), he still did it. And he was the first GOP senator to do it. But his enlightenment won't be official until he hoofs it in a gay pride march this summer. Feather boa optional but highly recommended.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, March 18, 2013

Note: Sugar caffeine sugar caffeine sugar caffeine sugar caffeine. Our motto: keep it simple.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Supreme Court hears arguments on Prop. 8 and DOMA, respectively: 8 / 9
Days 'til the 135th White House Easter Egg Roll: 14
Percent of the U.S. workforce made up of, respectively, men and women: 51%, 49%
Percent of female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies in, respectively, 2003 and 2013: 1.4%, 4.2%
(Source: Time)
Rank of Alaska among states with the highest tuberculosis rate: #1
Alaska's and the national average rate of tuberculosis cases per 100,000 people in 2011: 9.3 / 3.4
Rank of Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum in the CPAC straw poll: #1, #2, #3

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NEW!  California Dreamin'

San Jose Flea Market
Commence haggling!
Brought to you by the 2013 Netroots Nation Convention in San Jose, June 20-23.  If you're feeling itchy, it might be because you're here:
The San Jose Flea Market opened in 1960 with only 20 vendors and 100 customers.  It started as a simple idea by George Bumb, who was working in the landfill business.  Over 50 years later, the flea market continues to bring the community together and provides a family-friendly atmosphere for local entrepreneurs and visitors alike.

When you come by, you’ll find out why over 4 million people visit each year.  Khaled Hosseini, the best-selling author of The Kite Runner, even met his wife at the San Jose Flea Market.  The San Jose Flea Market takes up 120 acres along Berryessa Road.

This week they're having a special: buy 1 Sarah Palin book for 1 dollar and they'll try their best not to laugh at you for paying full price.  Same special as the other 51 weeks of the year.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Everything's coming up Rosie…

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CHEERS to green shoots.  Good way to start the week: some happy business headlines I stumbled over in a drunken St. Patrick's Day stupor yesterday:

Green shoot
Wheeeee!!!
Consumer spending gives boost to recovery
Hiring will remain healthy in coming months
CEOs upbeat about sales
U.S. economy on track for stronger growth than expected
Stocks poised for more gains as economy picks up
IRS really does have millions in unclaimed refunds
Rising stocks yield 300,000 new millionaires
Twinkies buyer says snack could be back by summer
And my favorite: Nap rooms encourage sleeping on the job to boost productivity.  Yeah---I'll get right on that.

JEERS to much ado about crazy.  For my money Hunter's CPAC convention updates were the best of anyone's, so if you want to see what hell for liberals looks like, click on the link.  But my biggest CPAC laugh came Friday night when MSNBC informed me that one of the songs throbbing over the sound system was "Some Nights" by the group Fun.  Among the could-not-be-more-perfect lyrics:

Ronald Reagan at CPAC
The party of Reagan is no
longer the party of Reagan.
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Oh, Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for oh
Woah oh oh (What do I stand for?)
Woah oh oh (What do I stand for?)
Most nights I don't know anymore...
The song also has this line: "Five minutes in and I'm bored again."  My sentiments exactly.  By the way, what's the difference between CPAC conventioneers and a roomful of zombies?  One is a mob of creepy stiffs with dilated pupils lurching around uttering gibberish and hellbent on mindless assimilation of the masses.  And the other's a roomful of zombies.

P.S. All you morality-drenched conservative role models who either got pregnant or got someone pregnant after-hours at CPAC will be having every one of those babies and raising them in the realm of marital fidelity, right?  Right???

CHEERS to pleasant Sunday surprises.  Yesterday morning I was happy to discover that one of my favorite former congresscritters was gonna start showing up on my Sunday doorstep:

Former congressman and new Maine resident Barney Frank will be a regular contributor to the [Maine Sunday Telegram’s] Insight section. … Barney Frank, a Democrat first elected to Congress in 1980, retired last year, and will draw on the more than 30 years he spent in Washington to provide commentary on today’s events.
In his first column, Barney barely stifles a chuckle over how Republicans, via the sequester, are suddenly squeaking about how we need the federal government for jobs:
Congressman Barney Frank
Barney Frank calls
Maine home now.
As to the economic effects of federal spending, the Republicans have finally gotten it correct: There is a job-creation element in federal spending, and job losses when spending is withdrawn.  This does not mean we should never reduce federal spending. It means we should carefully consider both the timing and the nature of those reductions, avoiding deep cuts at this moment when unemployment is still too high, and structuring reductions to take effect later. […]

Now that there is a national consensus that government spending can have a positive jobs impact---and now that the sequester threat to defense spending has made Keynesians out of Republicans---we can go forward with a budget policy that reflects this reality.

I look forward to Barney's future columns.  Mainly because I know they'll drive our teabaggers up here crazy.

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, Cleveland, as sheriff of Erie County, Pennsylvania in the 1870s, "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.

CHEERS to the travelin' man travelin' down life's crazy highways and byways.  As referenced in today's C&J poll, President Obama is strapping on Jetpack One and whooshing over to the Middle East to do some meet-'n-greetin', grip-'n-grinnin' and hob-'n-nobbin.  For more on his trip, we'll throw it over to the White House for one of their famous "talkies"…

Among the most-watched-for developments of the trip: what the American president with the funny name and the Israeli prime minister with the funny name have to say about the Iranian president with the funny name.  Or as the neocon war hawks like to call it: one of those days we don’t need Viagra.

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Five years ago in C&J: March 18, 2008

CHEERS to blacks in high places.  Barack may be getting the headlines at the moment, but Newsday says we ain't seen nothin' yet:

Carol Swain, a Vanderbilt University law professor, who has written extensively about race and politics, says the rise of Obama and the others on his heels isn't a surprise to her.  She says they have figured out how to do what she suggested black politicians do more than a decade ago: frame issues in terms of economic class, rather than race.  "It's hard for me to be caught up in the novelty," she said.

[I]f [Newark Mayor Cory] Booker does not become a player on a national stage, says G. Terry Madonna, a political scientist at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., other African Americans who have similar characteristics will follow Obama.  "It's about the onslaught of a new generation that can't be denied its place," Madonna said.

Booker thinks so, too. "We are a far more diverse nation than many people realize," he said. "When you see Obama, there are hundreds of others forging a similar path."

A racist's worst nightmare.  Tee hee.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to taking C&J to new heights.  Ever seen the tippy top of New York City's iconic Chrysler Building from the inside?  It's, like, wicked cool.  Click to join the ladder-climbing few who have seen it, but only if you don’t mind experiencing a bit of vertigo:

A perfect parable for the week from the perspective of Monday morning: it's all downhill from here.

Close your eyes, click your heels and repeat "There's no day like Friday" until it's Friday.  See?  It's magic!  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“In an interview I said that Bill in Portland Maine is a ‘wacko bird.'  That was inappropriate.  I apologize."
---John McCain
3/15/13

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Poll

How long will it take the right-wingers to start complaining about the cost of Obama's overseas trip once Air Force One goes wheels-up tomorrow?

11%370 votes
2%74 votes
7%233 votes
25%834 votes
54%1799 votes

| 3311 votes | Vote | Results

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