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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Tonight is the End of the World

And by end of the world I of course mean the end of the fourth annual Netroots Nation Holiday Bazaar online auction which comes to a crashing halt tonight at 10 ET. The auction's an easy way to get some holiday shopping done and support a great cause (proceeds support the programs and events sponsored by Netroots Nation). There's a plethora of unique treasures, gifts, keepsakes and edibles for anyone on your holiday list, including:

Kitty modeling a scarf in the Netroots Nation 2012 Holiday Bazaar auction.
Some awesome scarves in
the auction's clothing section.
(Pootie not included.)
Lots more---just shy of 100 items in all are on the virtual auction block! NO muss! NO fuss! NO trips to the mall! How much would you pay for all this? That's up to you! But bid early and bid often, because the Netroots Nation Holiday Bazaar online auction ends tonight at 10. Oh, and for an extra 50 bucks, we'll see to it that Rush Limbaugh delivers your goods dressed as Santa. Or, for an extra 500 bucks, we'll see to it that he doesn't.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Note: To remove stubborn winter ice from your steps, driveway and/or sidewalk in an environmentally-friendly way, try a solar-powered hair dryer set to high heat.  ---Hugs, Heloise

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Hanukkah: 5
Days `til the Army-Navy game: 4
Percent of the U.S. population that lived under the poverty line in 2010, based on a new formula that takes into account medical and work-related expenses: 16%
What that represents in actual number of people: 50 million
(Source: Census Bureau)
Percent chance that "Tea Party 2 is going to dwarf Tea Party 1": 100%
(Source: Grover Norquist)
Percent chance that "Tea Party 2 is going to dwarf Tea Party 1": 0%
(Source: Reality)
Increase in items purchased when someone is accompanied by a child versus shopping alone: 40%
(Source: Parade)

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Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

OBAMA CAN BE IMPEACHED ON MANY COUNTS ! Nixon succumbed to Watergate, Obama will to Benghazigate --Obama wrote THIS biography of HIMSELF to promote his first book back in 1991. Again, this was written in 1991 before he was even thought of as a competitive politician. Barack Obama says it himself he was born in Kenya and raised in Hawaii. Either he lied (why?) or we are living through one of the truly greatest cover-ups/ fraud of our time.
---Commenter Lucii at Tucker Carlson's blog The Daily Caller
All together now: 1…2…3… Classy!

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Farewell, Reno

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CHEERS to freshly-dried ink.  Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) acts like he's against same-sex marriage, but in reality he really doesn't care.  So it was with a shrug and maybe even a bit of a smile that he signed into law the gay marriage referendum that voters approved last month.  The rice---and bouquets and garters---will officially start flying here on December 29th:

Mainers United for Marriage sign
In 25 days it all gets real.
"The long wait for marriage for same-sex couples in Maine is almost over," said Betsy Smith, the executive director of EqualityMaine. "Before the end of this year, all loving and committed couples in Maine will be able to stand before their friends, family and community and make a lasting vow to be there for one another."  

While the law allows for same-sex couples to marry, there are a number of questions remaining concerning the implementation of law and the implications of potential action in the U.S. Supreme Court concerning federal marriage law.

Yeah, about that Supreme Court: they were expected to announce which DOMA cases they were going to take on yesterday, but instead they kicked the can down the road by at least a full week.  John Boehner immediately issued a statement: "Hey, quit stealing our act."

CHEERS to playing in the big red sandbox.  If I were to tell people from, say, the 1700s that probes from earth were ambling around the surface of Mars gathering soil samples, they'd go fuckin' apeshit and many thousands would die on the spot from shock.  So let's give it up and make some noise for NASA and their little dune buggy that could:

Eyeball
Latest image from the Mars rover.
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil.  Water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances, among other ingredients, showed up in samples Curiosity's arm delivered to an analytical laboratory inside the rover. … "We have no definitive detection of Martian organics at this point, but we will keep looking in the diverse environments of Gale Crater," said SAM Principal Investigator Paul Mahaffy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
Although Mahaffy says the condo time-share contract that Curiosity beamed to Earth for approval will require further study. (I wouldn’t sign it.  I don’t care what planet you're on, them's scams.)

P.S. On this date in 1996, NASA sent the six-wheeled rover "Pathfinder" to gather rocks on the Martian surface.  Moments after landing, the space agency got a call from Newt Gingrich asking them to please come get it off his head.

JEERS to the white cliffs of do-nothing.  Pardon me, Jewish readers, as I blatantly rip off one of your most prized expressions: "Oy."  If you're a glutton for punishment, here's yesterday's dialogue between the House and the White House on the latest budget proposal and counter-proposal:

"We Republicans are flabbergasted."
  "We Executive Branchers are non-plussed."
"We're cheesed."
  "We're gobsmacked."
"We're apoplectic."
  "We're stupefied."
"We're dazed."
  "We're ROTFLOAO'd."
  "We're…um… Hey, somebody gimme a melodramatic adjective, quick!"
"Gooblefloggled!"
  "Good one, Hank. Hear that? We're gooblefoggled."
"It's 5 O'clock.  We'll pick this up in the morning."
  "We'll be here. Rested and shocked...SHOCKED!"
We actually pull a lever for these people?

JEERS to going in reverse.  My state's slogan is "Maine: The Way Life Should Be."  In the future it could end up being something more like "Maine: The Catastrophic Oil Spill Cleanup Continues":

Enbridge tar sands pipeline break in Marshall, Mich.
Marshall, Michigan tar-sands pipeline break.
Now Canada wants to pump it through
Maine. That'll fly like a lead balloon.
Canadian-based oil pipeline giant Enbridge, Inc. says it's filed papers to reverse the flow in a stretch of pipeline originating in Montreal.  That has Maine environmentalists concerned.  The Natural Resources Council of Maine, the state's largest environmental lobbying group, says it's another step in bringing the "dirty" oil through Maine via an existing pipeline that now carries oil in the other direction, from Portland to Montreal.

"Today's application is clear evidence that oil companies are planning to send tar sands across eastern Canada and New England," says NRCM's Clean Energy Director Dylan Voorhees, in a statement. … Shipping the oil through Maine puts several of the state's waterways, including Sebago Lake, and the Androscoggin Rivers - along with Casco Bay - at risk, the group says.

The company denies it has any plans to bring tar sands to Portland Harbor.  Which can only mean one thing: the companny has plans to bring tar sands to Portland Harbor.

CHEERS to fresh heir.  Yay---some unadulterated good news from across The Pond: baby bump!!!

The future king of England and his beautiful bride surprised Queen Elizabeth and her subjects Monday with the news that the couple is expecting an heir to the throne. …  [William and Kate's] spawn, be it a girl or a boy, would be third in line to become monarch, under the royal rules.  The baby would also be the first grandchild for Prince Charles and the third great-grandchild of the ruling monarch, Queen Elizabeth.

President Obama congratulated the parents-to-be.  "On behalf of everyone here in the White House, beginning with the President and first lady, we extend our congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the welcome news this morning out of London that they are expecting their first child,” he said in a statement.

No word about the gender yet, but here's a clue: based on the latest ultrasound, doctors say it looks like either a future king or a future queen holding a scepter.

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Four years ago in C&J: December 4, 2008

President Obama and his cabinet watch the raid to get Osama bin Laden
Obama and his national security team
watch the Bears-Vikings game.
CHEERS to Sheriff Obama and his new deputies.  After proving they had no skeletons in their closets and could sink a three-pointer from 50 feet (it took Bob Gates 250 tries), President-elect Obama announced his national security team yesterday:
Sec. of State Hillary Clinton
Attorney General Eric Holder
Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano
UN Secretary Susan Rice
Sec. of Defense Bob Gates
Nat'l Security Advisor Jim Jones
Suffice it to say there could be trouble on the horizon.  Obama is a Leo and three of his new team are Scorpios.  Memo to the White House hospitality crew: keep 'em away from the good china.

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And just one more…

JEERS to a chilly reception.  Maine has seen an influx if immigrants from Africa over the past several years, and lord knows this whiter-than-white state can use the diversity.  For the most part our new neighbors get into the swing of American life smoothly---our economic climate, our religious climate, our live-and-let-live climate, even our political climate.  But there's always one climate up here that catches some off-guard: namely, our climate climate:

Bowl of New England clam chowder
And never turn down a
bowl of hot clam chowdah.
[I]t's not just the novelty of falling snow and frozen puddles. Furnaces, steam radiators and heating oil bills can be just as bewildering.  On occasion, misunderstandings about heating systems and cultural and language barriers can create conflicts with landlords, city officials say.  To prepare newly arrived immigrants for winter, the Portland's Social Services division offers monthly "winter workshops," with lessons on how to dress properly, what to do in cases of frostbite, how heating systems work and the cost of heating fuels.
As 20-year veterans of Maine winters---including some never-ending ones that belong in the hall of frozen fame---my partner Michael and I have come up with a fool-proof plan for dealing with them.  It's really simple if you remember it as the "Nine Bs": Be prepared, Bundle up, Buy a good shovel, Brake carefully and, above all, Bitch Bitch Bitch Bitch Bitch.  (If you need any tips on the last five, we're available for seminars.)

Have a nice Tuesday.  And congrats to Mitt Romney for getting re-hired on the board of Marriott Hotels and also scoring some weekend hours at this joint.  Attaboy.   Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Some of Cheers and Jeers' inhabitants are so bizarre that humans can't help but mimic them.
---Mother Nature Network

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Poll

Does it appear to you that, in the wake of its loss last month, the Republican party is now actively and sincerely trying to be more inclusive of women and minorities?

1%72 votes
97%5477 votes
0%51 votes

| 5601 votes | Vote | Results

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