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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Good News from Up Yonder (and a Bit to the Left)

Alaska Democrats have a great ally in Shannyn Moore, who blogs at The Mudflats. During Netroots Nation she spent time in front of a mic talking about the right-wing wankers and schemers who make the state's politics so, um, interesting. She's particularly outspoken on the issue of the Pebble Mine, which would have serious consequences on the health of Bristol Bay if approved. Late last week she and her reality-based allies got this news:

Bristol Bay and location of the Pebble Mine area
The Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposal Friday under the Clean Water Act that would limit mining activity in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, striking a major blow to a project that would rank as one of the world's largest open-pit mines.

The proposed determination, which will now be subject to a public comment period until Sept. 19, represents the latest step by the Obama administration to impose restrictions on a massive gold and copper mining project, called  Pebble Mine. Native Alaskan tribes, commercial fishing operations and environmentalists who have been seeking to block the venture on the grounds that discharge from its operations could harm the area that supports nearly half of the world’s sockeye salmon.

Shannyn, whose bullshit detector goes to 11, confirms this is a BFD:

And for good reason. The EPA's ruling appears to be sticky:

The EPA agrees.
Joel Reynolds, Western director for the advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council, said he did not think the mine's sponsors would be able to overturn the EPA's determination because it was based on "a comprehensive, science-based process." "Their chances of being able to overturn it are minimal at best," he said. "Today's one more nail in the coffin in a project that deserves to die."
More at the Save Bristol Bay site. Oh, and memo to Sarah Palin: God told the EPA this was the right thing to do. Deal with it.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Note: Due to a torrid tryst with her maintenance man that she can't get out of, Mrs. Gladwin will be late for spinning class today.  She regrets the inconvenience and says start without her and she'll catch up.
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Wisconsin State Fair logo
8 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the midterm elections: 104
Days 'til the Wisconsin State Fair: 8
Voter turnout in the 25 states that have held statewide primaries so far for the Senate and/or governor, versus 18.3% in 2010: 14.8%
Rank of Montana, Kentucky and Nebraska among states with the highest turnout (both parties): #1, #2, #3
(Source: Center for the Study of the American Electorate via NBC News)
Current unemployment rate in Portland, Maine: 4%
(Source: Maine Dept. of Labor)
Percent of Californians who oppose a billionaire's ballot initiative to split California into six states: 59%
(Source: Field Poll)
Cost of the smallest-size draft beer at a Miami Marlins game, the highest fans pay among all MLB stadiums: $8

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 187 (including 4 beast governments and 1 god who apparently got drunk one night and decided to channel a bunch of drivel through Sarah Palin's yap).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day: A tense sand-off!

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Cathey Park of Cambridge, Massachusetts shows her cast signed by U.S. President Barack Obama after he spoke about health insurance at Faneuil Hall in Boston October 30, 2013. The writing on the cast reads,
And Obamacare hearts you.
JEERS…but then CHEERS to dueling gavels.  Jaws dropped to the floor yesterday morning when an appeals court ruled that the non-state-exchange Obamacare signer-uppers aren't eligible for tax subsidies because derp, and therefore they'd have to pay the sticker price for their health insurance.  Then, minutes later, a different appeals court ruled that, yes, non-state-exchange Obamacare signer-uppers are eligible for tax subsidies because derp is bullshit.  Then, feeling threatened by the other's ruling, the two courts stood their ground by drawing monogrammed Glocks and shooting each other dead.  It's possible I may have dreamt that last part.  I'll Google it after I finish eating my grapefruit and throwing a Pilates ball at random pedestrians on the street.  (What can I say? I hate to break my routine.)

Pea brain silhouette
The winner.
CHEERS to peaches and bare-knuckle brawling.  Yesterday was primary runoff day in Georgia, and all eyes were on the Republican Senate race between a radical and unreasonable obstructionist and a radical and unreasonable obstructionist.  You'll never believe this, but the radical and unreasonable obstructionist won and the radical and unreasonable obstructionist lost, even though my statistics predicted the opposite.  Tonight: I eat crow for dinner as Nate Silver looks on and snickers via Skype.

CHEERS to defying expectations.  Twenty-four years ago today, President George Bush---the relatively sane one---announced that David Souter was his pick to replace William Brennan on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Souter's liberal leanings took conservatives by surprise.  (I believe their exact words were, "What the F....??!!")  We wish him a long and happy retirement in New Hampshire cracking walnuts with his gavel.

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Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!

This is another edition of The One Word Answer Man.  PBS asks:  What's the latest on Israel's ground offensive into Gaza?

Groundoffensivier.

Now back to Cheers and Jeers.

Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!
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CHEERS to one-way streets.  Following up our above-the-fold environmental win with another one that happened closer to home: way down in South Portland, Maine, where they drink moonshine from tin cans and speak with an almost incomprehensible twangy drawl, the city council has passed an ordinance---to much cheering and applause---that would bar tar-sands oil from glooping and glopping its way from Canada through the pipeline that currently sends fuel oil from tankers up to them:

Protect South Portland graphic after city council votes to ban tar sands oil.
The ordinance committee found that loading crude oil onto a ship could increase air pollution, and that the vapor combustion facilities needed to mitigate the problem would have a negative visual impact on the waterfront. … Environmentalists want to block the export of Canada’s tar sands oil because of its potential to contribute to global climate change. They also argue it is difficult to clean if spilled and that export operations would add air pollution to the local environment.
The "vapor combustion facilities" mentioned above translate into English as "big old flaming waterfront smokestacks burning off excess methane"---can you say Not In My Fucking Back Yard?  By the way, the councilman belonging to the one dissenting vote wanted an amendment limiting the preemptive tar-sands law to "non-American" gloopy glop only.  A kindergarten teacher has been hired to explain the reason for the law to him again…real…slow.

CHEERS to a good man to have on Lincoln's team.  On July 23, 1885, Ulysses S. Grant, the larger-than-life general who helped win the Civil War (even though he fainted at the sight of blood---really) and then went on to spend a rocky, cronies-run-amok eight years in the White House, died in Mount McGregor, N.Y. at 63.  Today we appreciate him for this nugget from the book Rating the Presidents:

Dollar Coin featuring Ulysses S. Grant
For his dollar coin
the U.S. Mint gave
Grant a fauxhawk.
He kept his own religious values and practice to himself.  In the larger view for the country, he believed in a strict separation of church and state, stating in his seventh annual message to Congress:

"Declare church and state forever separate and distinct; but each free within their proper spheres."

Go pay your respects here.  But don’t leave him any cigars---they’re what killed him.  Perhaps a nice salad.

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Five years ago in C&J: July 23, 2009

CHEERS to Franken's first foray...it's furry!  Senator #60 has set his first legislative goal.  It's modest but smart:

"Service dogs ... can be of immense benefit to vets suffering from physical and emotional wounds," Franken wrote in a column published in the Star Tribune.  "Yes, they provide companionship.  But they can also detect changes in a person's breathing, perspiration or scent to anticipate and ward off an impending panic attack with some well-timed nuzzling.  They are trained to let their masters know when it's time to take their medication and to wake them from terrifying nightmares."

A bill starring both puppies and veterans?  Oh, well played, sir.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to a "durable leading man."  We hadn't seen him for awhile, but it still came as a bit of a shock to hear Oklahoma-born James Garner (whose mother was of Cherokee ancestry) died over the weekend.  Maverick was before my time and I didn't watch The Rockford Files as a kid, but I never saw a movie he was in that I didn't like.  I'd actually forgotten that he was in the '82 Blake Edwards comedy classic Victor/Victoria, and this scene where he and Julie Andrews discuss gender and sexual identity issues as they try to spark a romance lays out the movie's premise poignantly:  

Garner, the first Korean War draftee from Oklahoma and recipient (twice) of the Purple Heart, said he never wanted to be #1 in Hollywood, he just wanted longevity.  He had 95 movie and TV credits to his name over 50+ years and he died at 86.  We should all be so successful.

Oh, and keep your eye on Colorado today, where a judge will be making a much-ballyhooed ruling on gay marriage.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

There’s no need to ask what the appeal of Bill in Portland Maine is—it’s in the name.
---Ars Technica

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Poll

This is a test of the Kentucky election for U.S. Senate. This is only a test….

97%3194 votes
2%84 votes

| 3278 votes | Vote | Results

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