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X-Ray of the Maine
Republican party's brain
Colleen Lachowicz, who registered at Daily Kos in 2004 under the screen name cmairead, is running for a state Senate seat in Maine's 25th District. Last week the Maine Republican party decided they would oppose her by taking the high road…by which I mean a road enveloped in a haze of pot smoke that literally is making them high.

The Maine GOP discovered that Colleen once had a fondness for playing an online video game. Specifically, a hugely popular fantasy game called World of Warcraft. And that's got their knickers in a twist. Yes---that is literally the best argument Republicans have for why voters should pick their guy in that race.

Fools. Look, Republicans: since you can barely figure out the mechanics of Chutes and Ladders without relying on DVD tutorials and a personal gaming coach, I find this a ridiculous line of attack. After all, one glance at Colleen's issues page should gin up enough horror on your side to make World of Warcraft look like a day at the Creationism Museum. I mean, seriously, take a look at this radical agenda in her own words:

> Climate change is real.
> This is not the time for hasty and ill conceived layoffs of our hard working friends and neighbors.
> I believe that access to health care is a right and not a privilege.
> We need to change our regulations to make sense for everyone.
> I believe in the right for everyone to be able to marry who they love.
> Our tax code should be designed to work for everyone.
> I am a believer in science.
Why, it's enough to send Q*bert right over the edge, I tells ya.

Seriously---going after your opponent for taking on a fictional character in a video game is the strategy you've chosen? Wow. To anyone with a functioning brain, that makes about as much sense as a presidential candidate promising America that the first thing he'll do on Day One is fire a fictional TV character. Then again, when you live in a fantasyland where tax cuts pay for themselves and health care costs can be brought under control with bake sales, I guess it makes perfect sense.

On the web: Four ways you can help the Colleen Lachowicz campaign.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, October 8, 2012

Note: Good news: the meek shall inherit the earth.  Bad news: only after the rich and powerful have sucked it dry and moved to a gated community on Mars.


By the Numbers:
Days 'til the election: 29
Days 'til the Tennessee Beer Festival in Nashville: 12
Amount the Obama-Biden campaign raised in September: $181 million
Rank of Boulder CO, Medford OR and Santa Fe NM among those 16 and older who worked from home in 2010: #1, #2, #3
(Source: Census Bureau)
Number of career postseason hits  Derek Jeter has, putting him at the top of the record books in that category: 191
(Source: via USA Today)
Percent of Maine's small businesses that don’t have a website: 59%
Percent of them who say they don't need one and get off my lawn: 39%
(Source: The Portland Press Herald)

Totally Random NFL Score:
New England Patriots 31  Denver Broncos 21


NEW!  "The President is Distant and Aloof and I Can PROVE it!"

I tell you the President is distant and aloof---here's proof!!!


Puppy Pic of the Day  The canine happy chant: "It's a day ending in Y! Wheeee!!!".


CHEERS to the un-wringing of hands.  Nate Silver's latest polling report came out last night and it seems to show that the Great Debate Panic of Aught-Twelve was overblown:

President Obama greets a supporter in Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 5, 2012
Obama in Cleveland Friday.
Mitt Romney remains in a considerably stronger polling position than he was before last Wednesday’s debate in Denver.  But the polls released on Sunday did not tell quite as optimistic a story for him as those in the debate’s immediate aftermath.

The four national tracking polls as published on Sunday were largely unchanged from their Saturday releases. Mr. Romney maintained a 2-point lead in the Rasmussen Reports tracking poll, but President Obama’s lead held at 2 points in an online poll published by Ipsos and at 3 points in the Gallup tracking poll. In the RAND Corporation’s online tracking poll, which lists its results to the decimal place, Mr. Obama’s lead declined incrementally, to 3.9 percentage points from 4.4 on Saturday.

Meanwhile, in the most-watched U.S. Senate race of the year, here's a great headline for a Monday: Elizabeth Warren Leads by 5 as Scott Brown Spins his Wheels Towards Defeat.  And, we hope, Ted Kennedy moves closer to not spinning in his grave.

CHEERS to today's edition of Karma Flattens Dogma.  Here's some  devastating ammo for the common-sensers in the contentious "free contraception" wars:

Planned Parenthood billboard
Planned Parenthood says it well.
A dramatic new study with implications for next month’s presidential election finds that offering women free birth control can reduce unplanned pregnancies---and send the abortion rate spiraling downward. … The study’s lead author, Dr. Jeffrey Peipert...expected both measures to fall, but even he said he was “very surprised” by the magnitude.

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance plans to cover contraceptive costs.  That’s led to conflicts among the Obama administration, the Catholic church, and the church’s political allies who argue that requiring a Catholic employer to provide such insurance contradicts the church’s teaching and represents a breach of religious freedom.  Conservatives have also objected to contraceptive coverage on cost grounds. … But experts, including Peipert, point out that no-cost contraception saves money.

Saves money.  Sends the abortion rate through the floor.  Less misery.  Fewer broken homes.  Scientifically-derived data.  There can be only one conclusion: this study will be completely ignored by the fundies.

RNC press secretary Kirsten Kukowski
RNC spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski isn't
a "birther," but she appears to be a "Welcher."
JEERS to feeding the conspiracy theory.  I was happy to see the media pounce rather ferociously on Romney supporter Jack Welch's claim that Friday's decent job numbers were cooked by the Obama administration.  But that apparently hasn’t stopped the GOP from joining the chorus.  Saturday, in a fit of poor judgment, I flipped to CNN.  But I was just in time to watch an official spokesperson for the Republican party in this exchange:  
CNN Anchor: Does the Romney campaign stand where Jack Welch stands, which is that
these numbers may have been manipulated?

Republican spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski: Well, y'know what? We're gonna have to wait and see.

Of course, if the jobs number had gone up three tenths of a point, Republicans would consider them cast in stone, forged in steel, and dipped in titanium.  But they went down instead, so clearly Obama snuck into the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the middle of the night with a stocking over his head and a key to the safe that he'd made from a wax imprint he'd taken earlier in the day while pretending to be there for a ribbon cutting, Wite-Outed the actual numbers in the report, and used a Sharpee to replace them with his preferred numbers.  Since there now seems to be a small army of right-wingers who believe in the "Obama fudged the numbers" conspiracy theory, I'm giving them an official name: "Welchers."  I hope the birthers can handle sharing the spotlight.

JEERS to navel gazing: BiPM edition.  Through an impossibly complex series of instructions and perfectly-timed maneuvers requiring immense planning, skill, intellectual heft and technological perfection, the Dragon space capsule built by SpaceX roared into orbit last night on its way to dock with pinpoint precision at Cargo Bay 1 of the International Space Station, bringing precious life-saving supplies to the weary but stoic and highly-trained crew working at the peak of human capacity under the most unforgiving conditions imaginable.  Also last night I spilled ranch dressing down my Honey Boo Boo t-shirt and missed the beginning of The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror 23.  Sometimes life just sucks.

CHEERS to a portrait in contrasts.  One of the four gay-related state referendums on the ballot this year is here in Maine, where voters will be asked if they approve of granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  The polling is ever-so-narrowly in our favor.  But if you want to know which side has more energy behind it, check out the difference between the fundraising disclosures they just released:

Mainers United for Marriage logo
The 230-page report filed by supporters shows a massive campaign operation with thousands of donors, dozens of staffers and several affiliated organizations that donate time, money, food and other items.  Among the expenditures is $1.4 million on television ads.

The 22-page report filed by opponents shows a small operation with fewer than 125 individual donors, a paid staff of four and a television ad buy of $153,000. Also, the campaign is $48,500 in debt.

I hope that's another sign---in addition to the polls---that attitudes have changed up here since our 2009 marriage-license law was overturned by voters after a really nasty campaign.  But there's no doubt that when the bigot-powered SuperPACs swoop in this month this week, they'll bring plenty of out-of-state slime for the slingin'.  Then again, it's good to see 'em pop their heads up every once in awhile, because I keep forgetting if I'm out to destroy children, schools, the institution of marriage, or civilization itself.  (Forgive me---my dog ate my marching orders.)


Five years ago in C&J: October 8, 2007

CHEERS to Dr. Bill's miracle cure.  I think I know how to get President Bush and Congress to reach an agreement on funding the SCHIP program, which provides health insurance to small children.  Just call it an Iraq War Supplemental for "the care and maintenance of future warriors."  It'll pass in a heartbeat with a gazillion votes and be signed into law five seconds later.  Problem solved.

CHEERS to weird science.  A new study shows that salmonella germs that were sent into space aboard the shuttle Atlantis came back three times meaner.  Thus proving that, when it comes to air travel, there's no difference between bacteria and humans.


And just one more…

CHEERS to the sail of the century. In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two, Whatzisface sailed the ocean blue (back before we turned it a gray-ish beige and built our magnificent garbage islands). The pleasantness of the voyage depended on which ship you were on:

USS Submarine Greeneville
A fourth ship had to turn
back due to engine trouble
The Nina The discount vessel. A whopping 50-feet long, the Nina was a floating pigsty. If the salted-pork buffet didn’t kill ya, the drink prices would. Evening entertainment was limited to games of "Clutch your crucifix for dear life" and "Find the Peso in the piss bucket." First class accommodations consisted of sitting anywhere upwind from the crew. And the sails? Ladies' bloomers.

The Pinta The "family" vessel. Parents (aka "guests") spend some quiet time suckin' down glasses of sherry while their children cavort with "cast members" decked out in animal skins and given comical names like "Luigi Llama" and "Miguel Mule." Unfortunately the sherry ran out on day two and the skins had to be tossed overboard on day three because of the stench. After that, entertainment was pretty much limited to games of "Clutch your crucifix for dear life" and "Find the Peso in the piss bucket."

The Santa Maria The party boat. Chocolate fountains, roaring casino, crystal chandeliers, disco ballroom, laser light shows and clothing's optional, baby! If this boat's a' rockin'...yadda yadda yadda. Other than that, not much is known about the flagship, thanks to Columbus's one and only on-board rule: What happens on the Santa Maria stays on the Santa Maria. Unfortunately, the one exception to the rule turned out to be syphillis.

Anyway. There's your annual Columbus Day history lesson, courtesy of the BiPM Institute for the Advancement of Made-up Stuff.  And now a public service message: There's no mail today.  And therefore no bills.  Thank ya, Chris.

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


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"The funny thing about Bill in Portland Maine is that he's so simple---you leave, come back 10 seconds later and it's like he hasn't seen you in a year."
---Tim Burton



Which of these nutbag Republican claims is nutbaggiest to you?

5%338 votes
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14%864 votes
20%1283 votes
37%2329 votes

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