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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Monday Morning Magnanimity

Thought this might be a nice way to start the week, especially since the GOP says its trying to re-brand itself as a kinder, gentler party.

Every now and again, when I'm feeling in a conciliatory mood, I put on my diplomat's bowler hat and ride my trusty unicorn Triggerlock to visit the major right-wing blogs in search of some common ground---tidbits of truth, wisps of wisdom or knuggets of knowledge we can all agree on. It ain't easy, but I have yet to return from Rightyville empty-handed. These are actual comments I found "over there" yesterday that prove, once again, that our respective circles in the Venn diagram of life do indeed intersect a teeny weeny bitty bit:

Universal gun background checks are supported by a large majority of the country.
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The number of so-called "fraudulent voters" is awfully small.

Painting of woman petting unicorn
Jennifer Rubin was so nice
to tend to my unicorn while
I was in Righty Blogistan.
Stop with the hillary polls and stories every week.
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Learn science rather than fable and fiction. It will do you worlds of good.
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Actions speak louder than words.
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President Obama is appropriately using the word "may".
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Wait a minute---you mean the most popular politician isn't Rand Paul?! Whoa- what a shocker!
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Ike and Winston Churchill painted also.
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I hardly think same sex couples wishing to marry is the end of civilization.
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Seems many of our elected officials desperately need a refresher in basic things like the Bill of Rights and the Constitution
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Somehow PeePee thinks he owns this blog.
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I don’t know what the heck you’re talking about - but thanks for your input.
My hope for the survival of the republic remains guardedly optimistic.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, February 11, 2013

Note: For a delicious blizzard stew, mix one part snow with two parts snow, bring to a boil, simmer, add two cups of snow and then gently stir in half a tablespoon of snow.  In a separate bowl, mix snow, snow, snow and snow, then add mixture to the snow.  Add snowballs.  Season with snow.  Stir until snowy.  (And if you feel daring, toss in a pinch of snow for a dash of "Zing!")  Serves several million...whether they want it or not.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Mardi Gras: 1
Days 'til the Maine Boatbuilders Show: 32
Gallons of gas burned in 2011 from cars sitting in traffic: 2.9 billion
Overall annual cost of traffic congestion: $210 billion
(Source: Texas A&M Transportation Institute)
Percent of Democratic voters who said they had to wait in line at least 30 minutes before they could vote in November: 18%
Percent of Republicans who said they had to wait that long: 9%
(Source: NYT/CBS News poll)
Chance that an American ate at McDonald's yesterday: 1-in-12
(Source: Harper's Index)

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NEW!  California Dreamin'

Brought to you by the 2013 Netroots Nation Convention in San Jose, June 20-23, where we should carve out some time to explore this:

The
The "Door to Nowhere" at the
Winchester House. I believe they
imported it from Alaska.
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Winchester Mystery House™ is an extravagant maze of Victorian craftsmanship---marvelous, baffling, and eerily eccentric, to say the least.  Tour guides must warn people not to stray from the group or they could be lost for hours!  Countless questions come to mind as you wander through the mansion---such as, what was Mrs. Winchester thinking when she had a staircase built that descends seven steps and then rises eleven? … The miles of twisting hallways are made even more intriguing by secret passageways in the walls. Mrs. Winchester traveled through her house in a roundabout fashion, supposedly to confuse any mischievous ghosts that might be following her.

It is estimated that 500 rooms to 600 rooms were built, but because so many were redone, only 160 remain. This naturally resulted in some peculiar effects, such as stairs that lead to the ceiling, doors that go nowhere and that open onto walls, and chimneys that stop just short of the roof!

Or as we call "a chimney that stops just short of the roof" today: Jan Brewer.

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Puppy Pic of the Day: The Westminster Kennel Club show starts today.  Meet the  Maine pooches competing for Best in Show honors.  (My pick: Henry.)

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CHEERS to the week ahead.  A sneak peek from the C&J Department of Tempus Fugit:

Army Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha, awarded the Medal of Honor February 11, 2013.
Romesha
> President Obama awards former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha the Medal of Honor.  Ann Romney Awards Mitt the Medal of Oh Look Who Finally Remembered To Pick Up His Socks.
> Tuesday: the SOTU Address, during which President Obama waters the tree of liberty with the sounds of boogie.  Rand Paul delivers the "tea party rebuttal," which is widely referred to by sane people as the STFU.
> Tuesday is also Lincoln's birthday. We all chipped in and got him a tuba.
> Ash Wednesday begins with the traditional shouting of, "Hey, what's that smudgy thing on Biden's forehead???"
> Thursday is Valentine's Day.  Remember: the only way to stop a bad Cupid with an arrow is a good Cupid with an arrow.
> Friday: an asteroid that scientists swear can't possibly collide with earth collides with earth.  Americans' #1 complaint: all the #!!$%! car alarms going off.
Plus lots and lots of the usual blah blah blah.  Never gotta worry about running out of that.

Draft Sallah!
Sign the petition!
JEERS to a muted anniversary.  Whoo.  Honk Honk.  Happy Liberation Day in Egypt, everybody.  It was two years ago today that a people-powered revolution forced President Hosni Mubarek to flee to his undisclosed cardiac ward in the desert…a moment that brought back the same kind of giddy feelings we had when the Berlin Wall fell.  What was supposed to happen then was pretty simple: establish a new inclusive government that empowered citizens to be the best they can be and find a George Washington-like figure to lead it.  Instead they chose another dictator who tried to turn the place into Shariaville, and today Egypt has basically become one big barroom brawl.  Shoulda taken my advice back then and gone with Sallah.  Oh well.

JEERS to the arc of justice bending towards…[Ka-boom!!!]  If I had a nickel for every major news outlet who's asked me about the CIA's secret drone program, I'd have zero nickels.  Maine's new Senator, Angus King (aka the "Mustache of Independence"), on the other hand, would be building quite a nest egg.  He's been all over the media lately because of his membership on the Senate Intelligence Committee (think John Brennan confirmation hearings). And I'm pretty much where he is on it:

Maine Sen. Angus King continued Friday to press for a review procedure for deciding when to use unmanned drone aircraft to target and kill U.S. citizens working with terrorists overseas.  "It's an effort to try to find a balance between constitutional and legal requirements and the necessity of the commander in chief being able to protect Americans," King said in an interview Friday.
And it should have some real teeth to it.  Of course, as we saw during the Bush years, the Executive Branch lawyers can pretty much justify anything, from stealing candy from a baby to full-on torture mania, knowing that their little memos and white papers will cover their ass sufficiently to avoid getting their hands slapped (or their asses jailed) later.  In the meantime, we have a little drone-related skirmish on our hands: team "Obama's a Monster!" vs. team "Leave Obama ALONE!"  If you plan to venture into the middle it, don’t forget your protective eyewear.  And cast-iron girdle.

CHEERS to movin' and groovin'.  Congrats to the winners last night at the Grammy Awards, including Jimmy Fallon for Best Comedy Album (Blow Your Pants Off), singer Janis Ian for, um, Best Spoken Word (Society's Child), and Paul McCartney (he's 70!) for Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Kisses on the Bottom). And, thanks to the Best Hard Rock/Metal award bestowed on Halestorm, the world finally has its first Grammy-winning song with the words…

Grammy Award
Heavy metal.
My lips are pale and vicious.
You’re foaming at the mouth.
You’ve suffered in the darkness.
I’ll suck the pain right out.
So come and taste the reason
I’m nothing like the rest.
I kiss you in a way you’ll never forget about me.

That chick can eat her heart out!
Love bites, but so do I, so do I.

Mark my words, DJs.  That's got "prom slow dance" written all over it.

JEERS to a white supremacist's dream come true.  The New England Hurriblizzardcane of 2013 set snowfall records all over the place Friday and Saturday, and Portland, Maine was no exception, topping out at 31.9 inches.  It got so bad that the Cory Booker had to jetpack in to perform daring rescues here because our mayor sprained his back shoveling out Mrs. McGillicutty's driveway.  By the time it wound down, the folks at The Weather Channel and the Big 3 networks were reduced to informing America how much fornication was going on in the northeast.  I think the take-away message from this calamity is obvious: Republicans will do anything to stop Saturday mail delivery.

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Two years ago in C&J: February 11, 2011

As you're probably aware, Daily Kos 3.0 is mere hours away from going bye-bye.  Good lord willin' and the creek don’t rise, Daily Kos 4.0 will be unveiled sometime tomorrow.  During the downtime---aka the "dark times"---follow these simple steps:

Masthead for Daily Kos 3.0.
Masthead for DKos 3.0
Twas a fine flag waver.
1. Don’t panic.
2. Wear the DKos blog patch or chew DKos blogger gum. Both provide a time-release infusion of therapeutic netroot extract that mimics the euphoria of hide-rating a troll.
3. Practice deep breathing, preferably while you're drunk-dialing total strangers.
5. Contemplate why Step 4 is missing.
6. To simulate the Daily Kos experience, buy a bag of jumbo oranges and write diaries on them with a Sharpie. Respond to yourself by writing comments on a tangerine. And use a Clementine as your tip jar.
7. Pick a room in your house and chew through the drywall.
8. Grant yourself the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know how to properly hide your porn stash from the spouse. (This has nothing to do with DKWS, really, but it's good advice so I stuck it in.)
9. There's always beer.
10. And also online Donkey Kong.
11. Okay, now you can panic.
See ya on the other side, kids. Oh, and to gain entry once DK4 is up, the password to give the bouncer at the door is: "I forgot my password."

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And just one more…

CHEERS to a Very Barry Weekend (or...My, How Time Flies). Barack Obama officially announced his candidacy six---six!!!---years ago yesterday in front of the old state capitol in Springfield, Illinois.  Back then C&J said: "He looks presidential. His family looks First-familyish. He sounds presidential."  He sure did:

Barack Obama announces he's running for president---Feb. 10, 20
What I remember most
was that huge crowd.
"As Lincoln organized the forces arrayed against slavery, he was heard to say this: "Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought to battle through."

That is our purpose here today.  That is why I'm in this race. Not just to hold an office, but to gather with you to transform a nation.  I want to win that next battle---for justice and opportunity. I want to win that next battle---for better schools, and better jobs, and better health care for all.  I want us to take up the unfinished business of perfecting our union, and building a better America."

Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?  Four years into his improbable two-term presidency, we're still frustrated, due in large measure because of the GOP weenies in Congress and a conservative movement that has taken leave of their senses.  And yet, to the right-wing's tooth-grinding chagrin, Barack Hussein Obama will end up higher than Saint Ronald Reagan on historians' Best Presidents lists.  And this, I suppose, would be as good a time as any to look Sarah Palin in her beady black eyes and tell her to scrawl this on her hand: "Frankly, my dear, that hopey-changey thing is working out out pretty well, thank you.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have to retire to my contemplation hut and figure out the drinking games for tomorrow night's State of the Union.  The one not being delivered by John McCain or Mitt Romney."

Have a tolerable Monday.  Keep your eyes peeled for the Keystone XL Pipeline blogathon diaries this week and rec 'em up!  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"One thing about Cheers and Jeers, you don't really care.  You just say what you say, and then you get away with it."
---Clint Eastwood
2/8/13

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