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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Gone Once… Going Twice… And…

In slightly less than 14 hours, a gigantic squeaky gavel will drop with a thud of noble gravitas, signaling a cessation of hostilities in the Netroots Nation online auction. Karen Kolber reminds us why she and the Netroots crew do this every year:

Netroots Nation has always received remarkable community support. In addition to the many folks who volunteer each year for our conference, hundreds of people donate services, collectibles and other unique items for our annual community auction. It's a unique way that the community helps support our programs financially.

Fundraisers like this one help keep registration costs down for the annual convention---the next one is in Detroit July 17-20---and give activists around the country opportunities to network with progressive leaders, learn new techniques to advance progressive values and collaborate on common causes. Plus, it's fun to get involved in the bidding wars!

Chocolate chip cookies
These would be them.
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Since the opening of the auction last Thursday, a baker's dozen or two of new items has been added, including a baker's dozen or three of homemade chocolate chip cookies in the food and gourmet section. Plus:

Jewelry
Artwork
Unique experiences
Collectibles
Autographed books
Petpourri

And lots more. Bidding ends at 10 ET tonight. Go take a look and plant your flag on what should rightfully be yours. But top my bids and I'm prepared to towel-snap you back to the stone age, bub.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Note: This is your reminder to go outside tonight and wink at the full moon in honor of Neil Armstrong, whose birthday was earlier this month, except there was a new moon at the time so you couldn't wink at anything except the blackness of space.  (A written warning has been placed in God's personnel file for the error.)

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LOL Cat:
8 dayzes!!!
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By the Numbers:
Weeks 'til the NYC mayoral primary: 3
Days 'til the Internet Cat Video Festival in Minnesota: 8
Number of households with no broadcast antenna or cable TV, up from 2 million in 2007: 5 million
(Source: The Week)
Amount the "mom market" represents in the U.S.: $2.4 trillion
(Source: Time)
Restaurant and lodging revenue for Maine during the 2013 fiscal year: $2.95 billion
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)
Percent by which Iran's oil revenue and currency value, respectively, have dropped in the last year: 50%, 70%
(Source: AP)
Cost of a mini chandelier for your kid's school locker: $24.99
(Source: lockerlookz.com)

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Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

Politicians like McConnell, Graham, Rubio, Boehner, Cantor, Ryan and other Rinos need to be removed or conservatives need to form a third party. And soon! For my money, watching Democrats hurtle down the road of socialism at 50 miles per hour is understandable. That is what they do. But to watch this country go down the same socialist road at 25 to 30 miles per hour when Republicans are in charge is no longer acceptable to me.
---Commenter ae2x8
All together now: 1…2…3… Zoom Zoom!

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Hey!  New addition to the Obama household---Sunny:

White House dog Bo with new White House dog Sunny  August, 2013
We hear she's already complaining about how Bo never picks up his socks.

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CHEERS to irrational exuberance.  Posting a few economic headlines I noticed over the last few days, just to provide an occasional reminder that this battered old republic may not be ready to circle the drain just yet:

Hand grasping at $100 bills
Also: the gentle art of money-
petting is making a comeback.
> Foreclosure statistics keep falling in the U.S.
> Consumer prices inch up, reflecting only mild inflation
>Rise in retail sales suggests consumers spending more freely
> U.S. deficit down 36.7% so far
> Obama prods regulators to enact Wall Street rules
> Recovery in housing market appears steady
And this one: "Earn More Money When you Have More Sex, Study Says."  Or as the 1 Percent puts it: the more money you make, the more people you can screw.

JEERS to the sack-o-whine from Saskatchewan.  Senator Ted Cruz will probably run for president in 2016, and since he was born outside the United States---Canada, so he says, but I think he's from commie Russia---he released his birth certificate to "prove" he's "one of US."  I've examined the document with a magnifying glass and a proton scanner, and I'm now educated enough to make up a bunch of bullshit reasons why it's fake.  Be sure to get my good side at the press conference, Fox.

CHEERS to do-gooders of yore. As part of his 'War on Poverty,' President Lyndon Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act 49 years ago today. It included funds for vocational training, loans to farmers and businessmen, establishment of a domestic version of the Peace Corps, and community action programs. Or, as modern-day Republicans call them: Bleh, Meh, Feh and Ick.

CHEERS to elder Democratic statesmen.  True fact: state law requires every Mainer to say "Happy birthday" to former Maine senator George Mitchell, who turns 80 today, or you'll be banished to a life of misery in New Hampshire.  So: Happy Birthday Mr. Former Senate Majority Leader!  He's been quite the diplomat since he left office, and just last month he helped take action on improving the working conditions in the Bangladesh garment industry:

Senator George Mitchell (D-ME)
Happy birthday, Senator.
With broad participation from 17 of the leading garment retailers and brands in North America, the Alliance will implement The Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative. … Because we all urgently seek to avoid a recurrence of tragic events in Bangladesh factories, the Alliance has committed to inspecting all of the factories in which its members do business and to training all of the workers in their factories in Bangladesh within one year to follow uniform, established safety standards. Workers will also be empowered to anonymously report dangerous conditions without fear of reprisals and to contribute to remediation plans that are crafted in the wake of detailed inspections. And the agreement calls for a minimum of 10 percent of the Worker Safety Fund to be dedicated to helping workers displaced by closures resulting from necessary factory renovations.

The people of Bangladesh---like people everywhere---deserve jobs and a safe place to work. As responsible global citizens, the members of the Alliance are committed to making that happen.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, I thought you'd like to know that Maine's tea party governor, Paul LePage, told a roomful of Republican royalty that President Obama "hates white people."  (Who does he think he is, Reverse Kanye West?)  I'll say this for the two of 'em: Mitchell sure has earned his "D," and LePage sure has earned his "R."

CHEERS to cleaning the air(waves).  I thought it was rather ridiculous when MSNBC shoved Ed Schultz from weeknights to weekends.  So it's nice to hear the news that, starting next week, he's moving back to weekdays---specifically the 5 o'clock slot.  That means there will be a 150% increase in Ed energy.  But even better, that means there will be a 50% reduction in Chris Matthews emissions.

CHEERS to #23.  Happy birthday to Benjamin Harrison, born on August 20, 1833 in North Bend, Ohio.  As president from 1889 to 1893, he was the filling in the Grover Cleveland sandwich.  And what a party animal!  From Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents by Cormac O'Brien:

President Benjamin Harrison
The beard? Pure ice.
[I]n person the staunchly Presbyterian president was a virtual corpse.  Chilly, frigid, frosty---words like these were routinely used to describe the unpleasant experience of meeting privately with the man. ... Senator Thomas Platt was the one who coined the moniker "White House Iceberg."  As Platt explained, "Inside the Executive Mansion, in his reception of those who solicited official appointments, [Harrison] was as glacial as a Siberian stripped of his furs.  During and after an interview, if one could secure it, one felt even in torrid weather like pulling on his winter flannels, galoshes, overcoat, mittens and earflaps."  Even Harrison's handshake was a flop, likened to "a wilted petunia."
Like Mitch McConnell.  Minus the charm.

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Five years ago in C&J: August 20, 2008

CHEERS to the letter "R".  Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press submitted a story yesterday in which she wrote that Senator Joe Lieberman was "...the Democratic vice presidential prick in 2000."  Thus providing a textbook example of the first rule of Journalism 101: get your facts right.  Grade: A+  (Oh, and drop me a line, Nedra, so I'll know where to send the chocolate roses...)

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And just one more…

CHEERS to Super Barney!  Compared to a quartet of years ago, the town hall spittle-slinging calls for revolution on the part of the tea party have been relatively, dare I say it, un-revolutionary.  There's the occasional dustup about Obamacare and collective circlejerk over the desire to rip families apart rather than deal with immigration reform intelligently, but other than that…pffffff.  I say we liven up the joint a bit with a moment from August of '09, when Congressman Barney Frank gave a Nazi-card player something to cry in her strudel about when she framed health insurance reform this way:

Woman holding photo of Obama with a Hitler mustache: Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy, as Obama has expressly supported this policy? Why are you supporting it?
Barney, it's all yours:

"When you ask me that question, I am going to revert to my ethnic heritage and
answer your question with a question: On what planet do you spend most of your time?"

I miss having Barney in the House, but he certainly hasn't gone into hiding.  He's got his own weekly column in Maine's largest newspaper, The Portland Press Herald, he's a regular guest on cable news, and he even showed up at this year's Netroots Nation convention in San Jose.  (You can snag an autographed pic at the Netroots auction.)  Oh, and as for the answer to Barney's "what planet" question, Jon Stewart said it best, I think: "Apparently a planet where a mixed-race president and a gay Jew qualify as Nazis."  (Ya live long enough, ya see everything.)

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“At the moment, the only legacy I want to pass on to Bill in Portland Maine is to sleep more and maybe not to change his nappy quite so many times.”
---Prince William

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