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So That's That.

Tuesday night Maine voters said "Ayuh!" to allowing the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The vote was 53% in favor, 47% opposed, an exact reversal of the results from three years ago when we lost.

It's amazing to think that Tuesday's vote will probably be the last LGBT-related referendum in our state. I doubt the anti-gay forces have the stomach to re-fight the marriage battle---they know full well that they're an ever-shrinking minority.

It's been a long haul, and not just for marriage equality in Maine, but for basic civil rights protections in employment, housing, credit and public accommodation. This is the muddy, deep-rutted road that brung us to where we are today:

Mainers United for Marriage logo
Maine chose...wisely.
1977--The House and Senate kill a basic gay civil rights bill.
1979--The House kills a civil rights bill.
1981-- The House kills a civil rights bill.
1983-- The House kills a civil rights bill.
1985-- The House kills a civil rights bill.
1987-- The House kills a civil rights bill.
1989--The Senate kills a civil rights bill.
1991-- The House kills a civil rights bill.
1993--The House and Senate pass a civil rights bill. Governor McKernan (R) vetoes it.
1997--The House and Senate pass a civil rights bill. Governor Angus King (I) signs it.
1998--A citizens referendum kills the bill.
2005--The House and Senate pass a civil rights bill. Governor John Baldacci (D) signs it.
2005--A citizens referendum to kill the bill fails and the bill becomes law.
2009--The House and Senate pass a marriage bill. Governor Baldacci signs it.
2009--A citizens referendum kills the bill.
2012--Pro-equality advocates put a citizens referendum on the ballot to legalize the issuance of marriages licenses to same-sex couples. It passes.
That's 35 years of sturm und drang---and lots of stinging defeats---just to ensure basic civil rights and marriage equality for a segment of society that has, as former Governor (now Senator-elect) Angus King once described it, "a little comma on their DNA."

Ultimately, the men and women in black robes will flush legal discrimination against LGBT Americans out of our collective system. Courts have been ruling unanimously in our favor for years now---on Prop. 8, on DOMA, even on 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' (before Congress and President Obama repealed it themselves). Nothing makes the bigots shrink like being forced to make their case on facts---not quackery or biblical pronouncements---in front of a judge.

But what's even more heartening is to see the rapidly-growing percentage of people in this country who can separate fact from fiction on LGBT issues. We saw this not only in Maine Tuesday night but also in Minnesota, Maryland and Washington state. The massive faceplant the other side took was a joy to behold. And, just spitballing here, a sign of things to come.

P.S. President Obama publicly expressed his support for marriage equality in general and the four ballot measures in particular. He won re-election in a historic landslide. All together now: "Jus' sayin'!"

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, November 8, 2012

Note: Just a heads-up that C&J will not appear Monday.  Back Tuesday with a massive new trophy for my mantle.  Assuming I can steal it from the Elks Lodge without getting caught.


By the Numbers:
Days 'til Thanksgiving: 14
Days 'til the annual holiday tree lighting in downtown Portland, Maine : 15
Final Senate composition after Tuesday's elections: 55D/I - 45R
Percent of Americans who say they have no debt on their credit cards: 43%
Percent who say they have at least a $5,000 balance on their cards: 16%
(Source: USA Today)
Amount Apple paid in taxes on its foreign earnings over the last fiscal year: 1.9%
(Source: AP)
Number of floors at the Sears Tower that Zac Vawter walked up with help from his mind-controlled prosthetic leg: 103


Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

In the real world, there are only two ways to deal with corporate misbehavior: One is through government regulation and the other is by taking them to court.  What has happened over 20 years of free-market proselytizing is that we have dangerously weakened both forms of restraint, first through the craze for "deregulation" and second through endless rounds of "tort reform," all of which have the effect of cutting off citizens' access to the courts.  By legally bribing politicians with campaign contributions, the corporations have bought themselves immunity from lawsuits on many levels.

Puppy Pic of the Day: Defender of freedom


CHEERS to last night's 3am phone call:

Old fashioned telephone
Mitt's bedside phone.
[Riiiiing!!! Riiiiing!!!]

"POTUS here."
 "Hey, Mr. President! Mitt here!"
"It's 3am, Mitt."
 "Just wanted to call and ask if you wanted to play some ball-in-hoop on the morrow after the crow of the cock!"
"Can't, Mitt. I gotta go to work."
 "Oh, yeah. Right right right. That work thing. Well, I was free so I thought I'd ask."
"Good luck winding down, Mitt."
 "Oh, Jeeves!  You can re-hire the illegals! I'm not running for office, for Pete's sake!"


Sad.  Mormon sober-dialing.

JEERS to Athena.  What is Athena?  Athena is like a mini Sandy, only this time let's add snow and ice and freezing temperatures.  I don’t care how tough and gritty you NJ/NY coasters are, that just fuckin' sucks.  As always, the Red Cross is on the case, and they always appreciate a donation if you can spare it.  Army Corps of Engineers: get crackin' on that giant dome.  Put it on Christie's credit card.

CHEERS to another election worth celebrating.  80 years ago today, on November 8, 1932, New York Governor Franklin Roosevelt was elected president.  A few verbal goodies from FDR...

Franklin Roosevelt color photo
FDR---a 1 percenter who
fought for the 99 percent.
"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward."
"The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government."
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
[Memo to self: check source on that last one. Might be Fillmore?]

ND Senator-elect haidi Heitkamp still image from political ad
ND Senator-elect Heidi
Heitkamp is wicked smart.
CHEERS to assembling the team.  With proper filibuster reform, the 55 Senate seats we (meaning 53 Democrats and two scrappy independents from Vermont and, soon, Maine) occupy should be enough to get plenty of legislation and Obama nominations green-lighted.  Yesterday a few more winners were announced, including Heidi Heitkamp (pulling an upset) in North Dakota, Jon Tester in Montana, and Mazie Hirono in Hawaii.  This weekend I'm going to take a closer look at our team in the Senate.  Other than some annoying outliers like Joe Manchin (WV), I think we've got a virtual Justice League full of superheroes who could give Mitch McConnell's gang heartburn.  But best of all, and it thrills me to say it: in 51 days, it's goodbye Joe Lieberman, hello Chris Murphy.  Our long national turncoatmare is almost over.

JEERS to the dick in the dock.  Remember the name Jared Loughner?  Bald guy…crazy eyes…crazy bald guy with crazy eyes?  He's getting sentenced today in Arizona for last year's Arizona shooting spree that killed six and injured 13 including then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  Giffords, whose recovery has been nothing short of miraculous, will reportedly attend the sentencing with her husband.  That sentence will be  life without parole.  They stopped short of piping non-stop Dick Morris election predictions into his cell.  Too cruel and unusual, I presume.

Library---row of books
The cocktail section
of the C&J library.
CHEERS good readin'. On this date in 1731, Benjamin Franklin opened the first library in the colonies, located in Philadelphia. (For our Republican readers: a library is a place where people go to learn facts and logic and wisdom from things called books!)  The dedication ceremony was cut short, however, thanks to strict enforcement the colonies' first ever "3 shushes and you're out" rule.


Four years ago in C&J: November 8, 2008

JEERS to the idiot of the day (with apologies to real idiots who would never be this idiotic).  Politico's Roger Simon said this on Hardball with a straight face: "Barack Obama could be really smart and give Joe Lieberman a position within the administration."  He also said Lieberman should be rewarded by Democrats, not punished, because he put his country first and stood by his principles.  At least I think that's what he said.  Lieberman's tongue was in his mouth at the time.

CHEERS to fresh faces.  Illinois Governor Rod Bleergrbtjdhcch (if that's wrong, complain to my spellchecker) gets to choose Barack Obama's successor in the U.S. Senate.  Pardon me for inserting myself into such an important decision, but if I may gently, meekly suggest: DUCKWORTH!  DUCKWORTH!  DO IT!  GO TAMMY!!!  Ahem.  If it's not too much trouble.  [11/8/12 Update: It ended up being Roland Burris.  But four years later, Tammy has just been elected to Congress.  Memo to Joe Walsh: Thanks for being so crazy!]


And just one more…

CHEERS to Ann Coulter.  She nailed it over a year ago, so credit where credit is due:

Crystal ball
"And the Red Sox will sweep
the World Series in 2013..."

"If we don't run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we'll lose"


I believe they call that the blind squirrel's found nut.

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


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

[Dick] Morris predicted Romney wins in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Minnesota, Virginia, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Cheers and Jeers.  He lost each of those.
---Media Matters



Of these horse's asses, who looks like the biggest horse's ass in the wake of the election?

46%5925 votes
6%761 votes
0%120 votes
5%727 votes
3%460 votes
11%1393 votes
1%175 votes
20%2565 votes
2%328 votes
0%102 votes
0%101 votes

| 12663 votes | Vote | Results

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