From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
File This Under: "Whoops!"
Good ol' Maine---never a dull moment here. On June 8, while most eyes were focused on our governor's primary, the good citizens of Waterboro were voting for their road commissioner. Just one little problem, reports the Portland Press Herald. Someone had apparently set the town's clocks ahead...by a year:
It turns out that [current road commissioner Fred] Fay's three-year term doesn't expire until next year. That forced the town to invalidate the election to replace him.
"We kind of struck out on this one," said Dennis Abbott, chairman of the selectmen. "We have a lot of egg on our face."
No one in town has been able to explain how the error occurred, but at some point in late winter, the town clerk's office put out nominating papers for road commissioner, even though Fay was elected to a three-year term in 2008. ...
When voters went to the polls June 8, [Scott] Ohman apparently won, 744-732. A recount was scheduled for Tuesday---until the selectmen discovered the error late last week and threw out the election. ... Town Administrator Nancy Brandt said Tuesday that she can't figure out what happened.
The money quote, courtesy of Ohman: "It's a complicated thing, small-town politics."
I can relate. I feel lucky if I look down and my socks match.
Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, June 17, 2010
Note: Starting Monday, the C&J corporate office is raising interest rates from mildly curious to "Do tell!!!"
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Father's Day: 3
Days `til the Cottonwood Festival in Hastings, Nebraska: 1
Amount of diesel fuel for vehicles and electric generators that the military burns per day for every soldier in Afghanistan: 22 gallons
(Source: Foreign Policy via The Week)
Top speed of the Shanghai Maglev Train during its runs between Longyang Road and Pudong International Airport: 431mph
Minimum percent of board members at major Norwegian corporations who, by law, must be women: 40%
Percent of women on company boards in, respectively, the U.S., European Union countries, and Asia: 15% / 9.7% / 5%
Price that the autograph of Declaration of Independence signer Button Gwinnett---who was killed in a duel a year after he signed it---sold for at auction: $722,000
(Source: Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese)
Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:
A debate on torture. I don't know---what do you think? I guess we have to define it, first. The White House has already specified "water boarding," making some guy think he's drowning for long periods, as a perfectly good interrogation technique. Maybe, but it was also a great favorite of the Gestapo and has been described and condemned in thousands of memoirs and novels in highly unpleasant terms.
I don't think we can give it a good name again, and I personally kind of don't like being identified with the Gestapo. How icky. (Somewhere inside me, a small voice is shrieking, "Are you insane?") [...]
Bush's problem is that despite repeated warnings, he went ahead with "the program" without waiting for Congress to provide a fig leaf of legality. Actually, we have been torturing prisoners at Gitmo, prisons in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan for years.
Puppy Pic of the Day: Butt shot
CHEERS to dissension in the ranks. Last week, Maine Republicans chose as their candidate for governor---over six others---a small-town mayor and business owner named Paul LePage. Like Rand Paul and Whatserface out in Nevada, he's gonna need some heavy-duty message filtering, in part to placate members of his own party. Via email from the Maine Democrats:
Former Republican Party Vice-Chair Scott Kauffman expressed frustration with his Party's new direction and refused to stand with LePage. "I feel that party unity only exists if you toe the party line and give up your own personal beliefs. I for one am not able to do that; therefore I cannot and will not be giving my endorsement to Mr. LePage. The Tea Party, and to a larger extent the Maine Republican Party, has become too extreme."
LePage holds questionable views on a number of issues, going so far as calling global warming a hoax and calling for the repeal of the Maine Human Rights Act. Key members of his staff were involved in crafting the Tea Party takeover of the Republican platform, and LePage himself has called for the dissolution of the Department of Education, the EPA and even the Department of Energy.
No word yet if LePage plans to schedule a sit-down meeting with George Washington in a tavern to discuss gathering his armies. We'll keep ya posted!
JEERS to beating BP to the punchline. John Clarke and Bryan Dawe are comedians on Australian TV. Funny as hell. This is from their parody of BP's PR efforts, which I posted in C&J Monday morning:
Interviewer: What happens if something goes wrong?
BP 'Spokesman': Well, we're trying to figure that out at the moment.
Interviewer: No, I mean before you start. What are the regulations? ...
BP 'Spokesman': You're not gonna have an accident before you start. I mean, it's starting that causes the problem. There no problem before you start. It's before you start.
And this is from The Rachel; Maddow Show from Monday night:
NBC News Correspondent Tom Costello: We're still relying on booms, still relying on skippers, still relying on shovels 40 years after the Ixtoc spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Why don't you have giant vacuums sucking tubes? Why don't you the most high-tech 21st century response to this?
Doug Suttles: Tom, I think that probably part of the reason is, is there'd been so few big spills. The events haven't driven the technology change that's out there. I think this event probably will.
Rachel Maddow: Hold on a second. The cleanup technology hasn't been developed because there haven't been enough oil spills? If only there had been some oil spilled somewhere in the last 40, 50 years, the oil industry would have been forced to come up with a better way to clean it up! ... This spill will be enough to get the oil industry to update their cleanup technology for the first time since the 1960s. It's only because they didn't notice "those" spills. This time---this time---it will be different. I'm sure they'll step up right up and take care of it.
When reality follows parody, you've got a problem.
P.S. BP is putting aside $20 billion in Escrow for coastal relief. Which is like Dad giving you a $50 Treasury bond for your college fund when you're 10. Quaint, but thoughtful.
CHEERS to William's Worldly Words of Warfare Wisdom. Today's lesson comes from the Battle of Bunker Hill (I know, I know, it was really Breed's Hill), which was fought 235 years ago today: Bright red uniforms = Bad idea. We technically lost that battle. But guess who won the waaaaarr??? Nah nah nah nah naaaaaah nah!!!
CHEERS to Lucky #7. Well, this is it. Tonight's the night. Boston vs. L.A. for all the large, orange, bouncy marbles. The final game of the NBA Finals. The final reckoning. The final time this year when we can reflect on the fact that the Celtics have beat the Lakers in game 7 four times before---'62, '66, '69, and '84. The final curtain. The final clash. The final rah-rahs. The final clash before the merciful end of the promos and hype and cries of, "The NBA season is STILL going on???" On behalf of a grateful nation, I say: Finally!
P.S. The U.S. Open golf tournament opens today at Pebble Beach. Jack Nicklaus says that the second shot on the eighth hole is his "favorite shot in all of golf." Mine is the first shot on the 19th hole.
JEERS to Fellatio Theatre! Hot new porn off the rack, courtesy of your friendly Democratic Party:
[Ooh wacka wacka. Boing Boing wacka wacka]
NRA: Hey, baby. I hear you're thinking of dumping me for some floozy legislation that would make me disclose who's funding my campaign ads.
House Democrat: Oh, NRA. You know you're the only one for me.
NRA: Then show it, baby. Show me .
House Democrat: I thought you'd never ask. I'm gonna give you the sweetheart exemption of your life. Now bend over and take it!
NRA: Yeah! Yeah.......
House Democrat: Wait, hold on. Saddle... Now take the bit in your mouth. Okay, bend over and take my hot exemption! Yeee-haw!!!
NRA: [Whinny!] [Whinny!] Oh, you're so sexy when you cave to right-wing special interest groups. Mmmm... Ohhhhhh!!!!!
House Democrat: You like that exemption? Huh? Do ya? Do ya?
[Ooh wacka wacka. Boing Boing wacka wacka]
A WTF Production
JEERS to short fuses. Meg Whitman is running as a Republican for governor in California. Even though I'm not a Golden Stater, I was all set to somehow figure out a way to vote for her across state lines. (She's a CEO, and they're always awesome, right? Right???) But not anymore! Not after I read that she inflicts violence on her own staffers. Not cool! In fact, I'm not gonna refer to her as Meg Whitman anymore. From now on, she's...The Shovernator. So angry, Republicans.
CHEERS to the beginning of the end. 38 years ago today, five burglars were arrested inside DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex. It was the start of a chain of events that led to Nixon's resignation, punctuated by the now-shocking notion that prominent members of Nixon's own party would help drag the scandal into the sunlight instead of burying it in the backyard under a smokescreen of spin and faux-outrage at Democrats. When the crisis had passed, Republicans paused a moment to reflect on the fact that they'd done something right and honorable...and vowed to learn from the mistake and never repeat it.
"ALLEGED" JEERS to the
Painter of Light Partaker of Bud Lite. Artist Thomas Kinkade, whose placid landscapes and collectible figurines have stolen the hearts---if not the discretionary income of---millions of placid collectibles seekers around the globe, was busted for drunk driving. By the time he was released, his cell had been hand-painted, hand-numbered and came with a certificate of authenticity.
Five years ago in C&J: June 17, 2005
CHEERS to the new Republican party...and I do mean PARTY!! Last night a porn star dropped by a GOP fundraiser (yep, the President of the United States was there, too) to promote them good old GOP values. The most frequent comment made by the men sitting near her table: "Oops, I dropped my [fork, spoon, butter knife, napkin, drumstick, teeth, Brussels sprouts, watch fob, glass eye...]" [6/17/10 Update: The article linked above details Bush whining about how them dastardly Democratic senators are so obstructionist. Really.]
CHEERS to Bush's crumbling mandate. Yesterday the House---in an amazing act of open defiance against Th' Preznit---ruled that the government can't look at your library records or book store receipts. But it was only a partial victory---what's under your mattress is still fair game.
And just one more...
CHEERS to words of wisdom from unlikely places. That GOP guy in---where else?---South Carolina who called President Obama a "raghead" gets a gold star today. Yes, he does. He gets it for thinking up the new Republican Party motto: "If all of us rednecks leave the Republican Party, the party would have one hell of a void." That'll look swell on a bumper sticker!
Oh, and if you've ever wondered...this is what happens when a shoe actually makes contact with George W. Bush. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:
I think what shocked me most about this is that Bill in Portland Maine is still alive.