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And Then There Were Three

One of the most common questions I get about Maine these days is, "How did that big-mouth tea party jerk Paul LePage become your governor?" The answer's as simple as it is frustrating: a weak Democrat and a bullheaded independent divvied up the left and center, allowing the Republican to slip through with a whopping 39 percent of the vote.

Now we're looking ahead to 2014 and it looks like history is gonna try to repeat itself.  From the Bangor Daily News:

"Turn LePage" buttons are starting
to show up all over the place.
(Photo by mayim)
Independent candidate Eliot Cutler returned to his hometown to announce that he is again running for governor in 2014. … Campaign workers and supporters of LePage and [Democrat Mike] Michaud were quick to respond to Cutler officially entering the race. […]

“We believe---and the polls confirm---that Congressman Michaud is the strongest candidate in the governor’s race and the clear alternative to Governor LePage,” Lizzy Reinholt, spokeswoman for Michaud said Tuesday. “He has the vision, experience, and commitment to get the state back on track and his bipartisan, middle class record ensures that working families will have a voice in the Blaine House.”

Maine Rep. Mike Michaud (D) official portrait
Rep.Mike Michaud
The latest PPP (pronounced "puh puh puh") poll in the Lobster Claw State---taken about a month ago---shows that in a three-way race Michaud holds a slim lead. A more recent poll by an outfit called Maine People's Resource Center gives Michaud a slightly wider lead.

Those numbers will no doubt fluctuate now that Independent Cutler is officially in. But one thing's for sure. LePage---or, as my next-door neighbor calls him, "LePlague"---isn't just disliked by a solid majority here, according to PPP. He's friggin' despised:

The poll showed that 62 percent of Mainers believe LePage brings “national embarrassment” to the state, while only 33 percent disagree with that.
This will not be boring.

[On the web: Mike Michaud for Governor]

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Note: C&J's designated NSA tracker, Bart, is out today for his colonoscopy.  Today's comments will be monitored by Belinda in accounting.  Please give her a good show.  She's looking forward to reading your tyranny.  ---Mgt.


Volkswagen bus
End of an era at
the end of 2013.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Obamacare exchanges go live: 6
Days 'til the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival in Boston: 3
Percent of tea partiers who want to compromise with Democrats and less-conservative Republicans to avert a government shutdown: 20%
Percent of Democrats who want to compromise with tea partiers to avert a government shutdown: 76%
(Source: Pew poll)
Number of children who live in the ten most climate-vulnerable countries: 600 million
(Source: UNICEF study via Think Progress)
Number of countries still producing the iconic VW Bus: 1 (Brazil)
Date on which production of the bus will come to a gear-grinding halt: 12/31/13


Mid-week Rapture Index: 187 (including 3 satanisms and 1 penis-based faith healing.  Soul Protection Factor 28 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.


Puppy Pic of the Day:  Green ball wins.  This time.


JEERS to GOP-induced whiplash.  Considering how conservatives think of the U.N. as the Great Satan---going so far as to oppose it in their official party platforms and accusing it of wanting to outlaw our golf courses---they sure do want President Obama to hang around and schmooze a lot.  You'd think they'd want him to avoid that place like they avoid science books.  Well, the president did pop in yesterday to give a big-boy speech about getting along with our adversaries in this topsy-turvy world:

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, N.Y., Sept. 23, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
Obama gave his U.N. speech in 3-D.
The United States and Iran have been isolated from one another since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.  This mistrust has deep roots.  Iranians have long complained of a history of U.S. interference in their affairs and of America’s role in overthrowing an Iranian government during the Cold War.  On the other hand, Americans see an Iranian government that has declared the United States an enemy and directly---or through proxies---taken American hostages, killed U.S. troops and civilians, and threatened our ally Israel with destruction.

I don’t believe this difficult history can be overcome overnight---the suspicions run too deep.  But I do believe that if we can resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, that can serve as a major step down a long road towards a different relationship, one based on mutual interests and mutual respect.

Score one for the prognosticators on the Nobel Peace Prize committee.

Face Desk w/ Stephen Colbert
JEERS to Mystery Defiance Theatre.  I don’t know what the hell Ted "Penelope" Cruz thinks he's doing on the Senate floor.  Apparently it's some kind of "fauxlibuster" intended to fool the base of the Republican party into believing that he single-handedly defeated Obamacare, shut down the government, defaulted on the debt and commissioned a bust of Reagan to be placed on top of the Washington Monument.  And in other news, a new overnight snap poll shows that 90 percent of the Republican base suddenly believes Ted Cruz single-handedly defeated Obamacare, shut down the government, defaulted on the debt and commissioned a bust of Reagan to be placed on top of the Washington Monument.

CHEERS to Great Moments in Democracy.  On September 25, 1789---back when everything was still in black and white---Congress adopted twelve amendments to the Constitution and FedEx'd them to all 50 states for ratification.  Ten of those amendments became the Bill of Rights.  Had this same event occurred in 2013, the Republicans would've re-written them to please ALEC, Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers, threatened a filibuster and waited for the Democrats to "meet in the middle."  But my point is: Ha Ha!  They wore funny grampa socks back then!

Trillion-dollar coin concept by DonkeyHotey @flickr
Just make sure Gollum
doesn't get hold of it.
CHEERS to the answer to all our problems.  Atrios reminds us that there's a way to bypass the tea party brinksmanship bullcrap on the debt ceiling:
I guess no one really expects a default, but someone (me) still has to beat the lonely drum for minting the platinum coin. It's a perfectly legal way to avoid destroying the world, but because hippies like it and it sounds silly because we pretend money doesn't work like that (it does) we must not do it.
You remember the trillion-dollar platinum coin forged in the fires of Mount Jacklew, don't you?  It can be done.  It must be done.  In fact, let's make an extra one and take the whole country out to Applebee's.  And free bibs for all the Republicans.

Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick from 1690
Spellcheck FAIL
CHEERS to a double date from the Bay State.  On September 25, 1690 Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, was published for the first time.  It was also published for the last time and I think I can see why: with spelling like that it would seem the publisher got hit with the "dome stick."  Ha Ha Ha Ha!  And speaking of Boston, today is also the anniversary of the September 25, 1911 groundbreaking for Fenway Park, home of the current best team in major league baseball.  To commemorate the occasion, the Green Monster issued a brief statement to the 3rd-place Yankees: "Urp."


Five years ago in C&J: September 25, 2008

BWOK BWOK!! to cutting and running.  John McCain says he's suspending his campaign so he can  go to Washington and stick his finger in the 700 Billion-Dollar Money Pie.  The Republican base assumed this meant that Vice Candidate Sarah Palin would take his place at the top of the ticket, prompting them to lose control of their bladders in a spontaneous display of 'glee pee.'  Overheard yesterday at Wal-Mart Stores across the country: "Cleanup in Aisle 1, Aisle 2, Aisle 3, Aisle 4..."

YAWN to the least-best-kept secret ever.  Clay Aiken is gay.  Just lie there quietly, I'll fetch the smelling salts.  [9/25/13 Update: This summer Aiken got rave reviews in the Ogunquit (Maine) Players' production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, but not before putting hater Tony Perkins in his place on marriage-equality last year on Face the Nation.  Good for him.]


And just one more…

CHEERS to the most important story of the day.  After taking a year-plus break, South Park returns tonight.  It would appear that a certain character isn’t respecting someone's authoritah…

The characters of South Park
Welcome back, m'kay.
[I]t seems Cartman's having a rather strong reaction to learning that the NSA is snooping into people's personal business, but he's found a way around that.  Instead of using Twitter to post his thoughts, he's on Shitter, a social networking site that apparently pulls thoughts right out of his mind and puts them onto the internet.  Also Alec Baldwin's. […]  Meanwhile, Butters finds someone new to listen to his prayers.

Have a great Wednesday.  Thank you for supporting C&J during our begathon and throughout the year.  I think there may be a candy cane in your future.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Pelosi confuses Declaration of Independence with Cheers and Jeers


Republicans are totally freaking out over the Affordable Care Act's implementation because.....

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