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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Habemus Late Night Snarkum!

"Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has been named the new Pope. After the new Pope was chosen, he was brought to a place in the Vatican called "The Room of Tears." Or as I call that: the gym."
---Jimmy Fallon

President Obama at a school
"Kids, this is what I have to use when I
go looking for good Republican ideas."
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"Did you know that no Pope has ever in the history of the church been elected without carrying Ohio?"
---David Letterman
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"The automatic budget cuts could lead to a huge drop in food inspections. So be careful if you eat at the Olive Garden---your meal may contain trace amounts of Italian food."
---Conan O'Brien
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"Congress: where you rarely see so many things going nowhere so noisily outside of a NASCAR race."
---Jon Stewart
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"John Boehner is the man for the job if your job is not doing your job."
---Seth Meyers
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"Sarah Palin is getting ready for the big CPAC thing by writing words on her hand like OBAMA BAD. NO LIKE. And Rick Perry is getting ready by writing RICK PERRY."
---Bill Maher
I'm filling the kiddie pool with green beer early. C'mon down and splash. Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, March 15, 2013

Note: [Due to the sequester this note is closed. Please use the side note instead.  ---Mgt.]

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the start of the Memorial Day weekend: 72
Days 'til BaconFest Atlanta: 15
Increase in February retail sales over January: 1.1%
Increase in retail sales over the last 12 months: 4.6%
Rank of Portland, South Portland and Biddeford, Maine among the best metro regions in America for landing a job in the next quarter: #1
(Source: Manpower Employment Outlook Survey)
Percent of kids age 12-17 who have cell phones, half of which are smartphones: 78%
(Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project poll)
Percent chance that tomorrow is another day: 100%
(Source: Scarlett O'Hara)

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  7am and already drunk…

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CHEERS to coming over to the fabulous side.  There's a reason that LGBT rights have advanced as far as they have.  There's a reason why the wave of acceptance and equality is getting bigger and bigger and the voices of the bigots are getting teenier and tinier.  It's a simple formula: the more straight people get to know LGBT people and how cool and/or normal and/or boring and/or close to them they are, the more they realize that their fears and prejudices are grossly misplaced.  Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman's transformation from part-of-the-problem to part-of-the-solution is as welcome as it is unsurprising:

PFLAG logo
Senator Portman: get thee to a PFLAG meeting.
Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman on Thursday announced he has reversed his longtime opposition to same-sex marriage after reconsidering the issue because his 21-year-old son, Will, is gay.  Portman said his son, a junior at Yale University, told him and his wife, Jane, that he's gay and "it was not a choice, it was who he is and that he had been that way since he could remember."

"It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that's of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have---to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years," Portman told reporters in an interview at his office.

We congratulate Senator Portman on his escape from the dark side.  I just hope I can knit his GRAND MARSHAL sash for the pride parade by June.

Baby picking nose
CPAC greeter.
JEERS to foolish fools and the foolish fools they fool.  Wondering why Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert took the week off?  My guess is it's because they didn’t want to get upstaged by the knee-slappin' hootenanny that is the CPAC (Conservatives Pissing At Clouds) convention, which continued today in the "Real American Values Heartland" known as, er, Washington D.C.  What we've seen so far: anger, rage, tried-and-failed ideas, madness, pretzel-twisted logic, xenophobia, homophobia, immigrant-o-phobia, Islamophobia, isolationism, birtherism, secession and denial, denial, denial.  Plus exciting discussions about the groundbreaking new Republican agenda of tax cuts, annexation of our female citizens' Mommy parts and...um...did we mention tax cuts?  Oh well. At least some people will make a fortune off the self-proclaimed morality police of America: namely, D.C.'s hookers.

Maine Coon Cat
The official state beast
is the Maine Coon Cat.
It eats pie. And cars.
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CHEERS to the GREAT STATE OF MAINE!!!  We told Massachusetts to kiss our hineys 193 years ago today, after which we declared our independence and became America's 23rd state:
Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood in the years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one in either Massachusetts or Maine foresaw, however, was that Maine's quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history — slavery. Most Mainers supported abolition. They were dismayed that their admission to the Union was linked to the admission of Missouri as a slave state. This controversial "Missouri Compromise" preserved — for a few more decades — the delicate balance between pro- and anti-slavery forces in the U.S. Congress.

Today we're ruled by a slime-fisted teabagger who is so gaffe-prone that he has to stick his foot in his staff's mouths.  Then again, we're the first state in the country to approve marriage equality by a citizen vote independent of the legislature, our scenery will lower your stress level in mere minutes, our lobster melts in your mouth, and the Amtrak Downeaster train that runs from Brunswick to Boston has been a huge success.  Cmon up and see us some time.  The black flies would love to have you for dinner.

CHEERS to Brooklyn's "Small Woman of Steel."  Happy 80th birthday (and many blessings on your camels) to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I can only imagine how her blood boils as she watches the Republican machine try to set the women's movement back decades.  But here's a clue:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so slight, so frail, so like your bubbe in her tight bun and Boca-size glasses, was pissed.

When she read aloud from the bench a summary of her dissent in Gonzales v. Carhart, her words were incandescent, shimmering with rage and steely reason. The protection of reproductive rights, she said, is not a matter of "some vague or generalized notion of privacy" but of "a woman's autonomy to decide for herself her life's course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature." [...]

[She] had every reason to be livid. "Her life has been about achieving equal rights and opportunities for women under the law," says the pro-choice activist Kate Michelman.

Meanwhile, I shall use this occasion to blow your mind as she's blowing out her candles. This is a photo of her taking Antonin Scalia for an elephant ride:

Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth bader Ginsburg riding an elephant together.
Or as Scalia calls it: a pachydermal entitlement.

CHEERS to Day 1.  Pope Francis began his reign yesterday.  In keeping with his reputation as a humble, informal Pontiff, he slept in 'til noon, pulled on a pair of sweatpants and a "Party Like It's 1499" t-shirt, took a few hits on the incense bong, downed a bowl of Cocoa Puffs, rode his skateboard to the office, gave everybody high fives and invited busloads of poor people in for a fish fry and games of beanie frisbee.  I think I like him!

CHEERS to things that go "snap."  On tomorrow's date in 1845, Stephen Perry received his patent for the rubber band.  I think that's something everyone should see at least once in their lifetime: condoms playing Sousa.

Screen shot of Rachel Maddow on MSNBC set
Rachel joins Bill Maher tonight!
CHEERS to home vegetation.  Here's our weekly roundup of weekend TV highlights and lowlights.  Tonight on HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher jousts with Rachel Maddow, Michelle Rhee, Jared Bernstein, former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) And chef Tom Colicchio.  New DVD releases include Hitchcock with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, and Oscar winner Life of Pi.  Sports: the NHL schedule is here (the Bruins will "pluck" the Penguins---Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!), and the USA's top PGA pros will spend another weekend complaining about how poor they are as they compete for another diamond-encrusted trophy somewhere.  Sunday at 6pm CBS has the NCAA Championship Selection Show to kick off what's popularly called March Zaniness!!!!

On 60 Minutes: Twitter's Jack Dorsey and God's architect.  Bill Moyers & Company has Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, to talk about "the intersection of climate change and American cultural attitudes."  And here's your Sunday morning lineup.  Just for shits and giggles, let's count up the righty/lefty guests and pundits to see how lopsided things are this week:

Meet the Press: Reps. Chris van Hollen (D-MD) and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA); Wisconsin Governor and Very Serious Person Scott Walker on "the state of the GOP."  (I can't remember the last time Meet the Press wondered about the state of the Democratic party.  Then again, Democrats don’t rule David Gregory's world.)  Also a discussion of the CPAC convention and Pope-a-palooza with Chris Matthews, fmr. Gov. Frank Keating (R-OK), fmr. Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D-MD); and Republican Ana Navarro.  Righty/Lefty Count: 4/3

President Millard Fillmore (Whig)
Millard Fillmore will make the
Sunday morning rounds to
explain why the future of the
Whig party looks BRIGHT!
This Week: John Boehner weeps for America; Madeleine Albright, Stephen Hadley and General James Cartwright on what to do about the epidemic of emails from Nigerian finance-minister widows; roundtable with George Will, Matt Dowd, Xavier Becerra, and NPR's Audie Cornish.  Righty/Lefty Count: 5/3

Face the Nation: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on the budget; RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on the future of his sinking ship; foreign affairs roundtable with David Sanger (NYT), Danielle Pletka (AEI), David Rohde (The Atlantic) and Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations.  Righty/Lefty Count: 2/1

CNN's State of the Union: Reps. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Tom Cotton (R-AR); roundtable with Al Cardenas (American Conservative Union---yes, I said Union), Democratic Strategist KiKi McLean, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Dr. Ben Carson.  Righty/Lefty Count: 3/4

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Dick Durbin (D-IL); roundtable with Nina Easton, Bill Kristol, Joe Trippi and Karl Rove.  Righty/Lefty Count: 4/2

Final tally: 18 righties and 13 lefties.  That's about as balanced as they'll ever get.

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Five years ago in C&J: March 15, 2008

CHEERS to winning Dixie.  Here are the results of last night's primary contests:  voters handed a double victory to Rick Santorum in Alabama and Mississippi, and sent runner-up Mitt McCheesygrits scurrying back to Elitesville where he ate cold cereal and nursed his boo-boo with wins in Hawaii and American Samoa.  And I'd just like to say, on behalf of everyone who watched the action unfold last night, including those pollsters who were gobsmackingly wrong: "Aloha, y'all!"

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the wearin' 'o the green beer. St. Patrick's Day is Sunday and C&J extends a hearty "Begosh 'n Pull Me Finger" to all our Irish readers. My descendants are Swiss ("Say, is that the Matterhorn in your pocket or…ha ha ha."), so I'm totally neutral about St. Patrick's Day. But Federal law requires us to post the following:

Old man dressed as St. Patrick
SPOILER ALERT:
This does not end well.
Have you heard about the Irish boomerang?
It doesn't come back, it just sings songs about how much it wants to.
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There's a new Irish restaurant being built in town. They're going to serve gourmet 7-course Irish meals. Everyone who comes in gets a potato and a six-pack.
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"St. Patrick's Day---what better way to honor Ireland's greatest saint than to sit on a curb wearing a plastic derby and vomiting in the street." (David Letterman)
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What's Irish and sits outside in the summertime?
Paddy O'Furniture!
Sadly, federal law also prohibits us from apologizing for the above. Shillelagh! (Gesundheit.)

Have a Nice O'Weekend.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

5%191 votes
2%82 votes
45%1744 votes
7%292 votes
0%33 votes
6%243 votes
1%49 votes
2%108 votes
16%625 votes
5%209 votes
3%150 votes
1%69 votes

| 3798 votes | Vote | Results

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