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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE

Slipping in a Little Reminder Here for Your Weekend…

The mischievous elves at Netroots Nation---led by Joan McCarter, Linda Lee and Beth Becker---are prepping for the holly jolly 5th annual online Holiday Bazaar, and they're now accepting donations from the netroots community to put on the auction block:

Hliday Bazaar logo from the 2013 Netroots Nation Holiday Bazaar online Auction
This year's Bazaar runs from Thursday, December 5th through Monday, December 9th. The creativity of our community never ceases to amaze us---from hand-cut greeting cards to scrumptious treats based on recipes passed down from generation to generation. From hand-crafted woodwork to one-of-a-kind needlework.

Donating items to our auction catalog is a great way to support our fundraising effort. We appreciate any items you donate as well as any items you round up and submit on behalf of other donors. To submit an item donation to this auction, you will be asked to provide some information about the item you would like to donate, with a pic or two if possible. We'll contact you via e-mail after the item has been reviewed.

Homemade fudge
Donate fudge and you'll
achieve instant sainthood.
To upload info about your donation, click here for the the auction web site and punch the "Donate Items" button.). If you have any questions, Karen Kolber is standing by at Karen[at]netrootsnation.org.

Proceeds help defray the cost of putting on the Netroots Nation convention in Detroit July 17-20. As always, no live organs, tar sands pipelines or stolen paintings, please. Oh, and also no endangered species---Republicans never attract any bids, anyway.

Kiddie pool's open for the weekend. 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, November 22, 2013

Note: Hunger Games: Catching Fire Hunger Games: Catching Fire Hunger Games: Catching Fire Hunger Games: Catching Fire Hunger Games: Catching Fire Hunger Games: Catching Fire Hunger Games: Catching Fire Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  This fulfills my Hunger Games: Catching Fire hype obligation to society.  Thank you.

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National Christmas Tree, Washington D.C.
The lights go on
in 14 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Thanksgivukkah: 6
Days 'til the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in D.C.: 14
Percent of all holiday-light strings sold this season that will consist of LED bulbs: 40%
(Source: GE)
Factor by which President Obama is more popular than Congress: 5x
Approximate square footage that will be used at Apple's new corporate headquarters complex for solar panels: 750,000
Time it took for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to lose his TV show after it was announced: 1 day
Year in which Maryland will return to paper ballots from touch-screen machines: 2016

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Dangerous thug

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Gif of Harry Reid with explosion behind him, posted the day he invoked the
Hasta la vista, GOP babies.
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CHEERS to the big bang---it ain't just a theory anymore.  Political-junkie eyeballs were glued to C-SPAN2 yesterday when Harry Reid stood up on the Senate floor and shouted, "Yippeekayay, motherfuckers!" and pulled the trigger (or did he push a button?) on senate-procedure reform and, with 51 other members solidly behind him, effectively stopped the Republicans' out-of-control obstruction of the president's judicial nominees.  It got a bit tense before the vote when Russia's foreign minister frantically called Secretary of State John Kerry to find out what the hell "Senate is poised to go nuclear" meant, but a few cases of vodka calmed him down.  Afterward, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the driving force behind filibuster reform, wrote:
When I arrived in the Senate, I found a place that was dysfunctional---that didn't work the way it did when I was a young man, the way it had worked since
Thank you, Senator Jeff!
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the dawn of the Republic. But, together, we organized an historic grassroots campaign. Hundreds of thousands of Americans signed petitions, wrote letters, supported candidates who committed to filibuster reform. All told, millions of Americans spoke out.

Today, we have taken an important step toward fixing the filibuster---and making the Senate work for ordinary Americans again.  We'll…start making progress on ending the empty-bench crisis in our judiciary, filling critical judicial positions and ensuring that justice is no longer delayed and denied.

A happy bonus of yesterday's Senate drama: it distracted the GOP so much that they completely forgot to name any roads or buildings after Reagan.

Happy 59th birthday!
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CHEERS to November 22.  Lots of good things happened on this date: pirate Blackbeard's reign of terror ended when he was caught.  (The terror Threat Alert Level was lowered from "Skull and Crossbones" to "Peg Leg and Pint of Grog" after that); Ravel's ravishing Bolero was performed for the first time; the Germans were surrounded at Stalingrad; Margaret Thatcher retired; Billy Jean King, Rodney Dangerfield, Hoagy Carmichael, Terry Gilliam and Jamie Lee Curtis were born; the Humane Society set up shop on behalf of pooties and woozles; Denver was founded; The Beatles released The White Album; steel-shaft golf clubs were patented; and Toy Story premiered.  Nothing else happened on November 22, according to SelectiveAmnesiapedia.  I'm inclined to go along with it.

P.S. It's worth remembering that another victim of the Kennedy assassination was the career of Mainer Vaughn Meader, whose comedy album "The First Family" won the 1962 Album of the Year Grammy and sold a bajillion copies.  Still classic, and it's the way I choose to mark today's anniversary after a month-long crush of wall-to-wall seriousness and sadness. JFK himself loved this:

I'd play it on my LP copy, but the grooves are plum wore out.

CHEERS to Saving Our Souls.  On November 23, 1906, "S-O-S" was adopted at the International Radio Telegraphic Convention in Berlin as a signal that a ship is sinking and the end is near.  Today there's an alternative signal that means the same thing: "G-O-P."

CHEERS and JEERS to Ma Nature's 2013/2014 playbook.  NOAA's Climate Prediction Center says that yes, Virginia, there will be a winter this year.  Their latest forecast, which was delayed a few weeks as a direct result of the Republicans' government shutdown tantrum, is finally out:

NOAA predictive temperature map fr the winter of 2013-2014, released 11/21/13
Maine will be warmer than
average. Our toes are happy.
Below-average precipitation in the Southwest, Southeast and the Alaskan panhandle.
Above-average precipitation in the Northern Rockies, particularly over Montana and northern Wyoming and in Hawaii.

Below-average temperatures in the Northern Plains and the Alaskan Panhandle.
Above-average temperatures in the Southwest, the South-Central U.S., parts of the Southeast, New England and western Alaska.

The rest of the country falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning these areas have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation.

As usual, some predictions are harder to make than others.  For example, there's a zero-percent chance of knowing actual snowfall amounts this far out, but there's a 100 percent chance of knowing that climate-change deniers will scream "Global cooling!" every time a flake sticks to the pavement.  C&J recommends you start assembling your winter management kit: shovel, ice-melting pellets, blankets, candles, and earplugs.

CHEERS to common sense backed by science.  On Sunday's date in 1859, Darwin's The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was published.  As proof that the theory works in reverse, more Americans believe in creationism today than evolution.  Even the one-celled amoeba's are rolling their eyes.

Bill Cosby
The Cos returns to TV
Saturday night.
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CHEERS to home vegetation.  Comedy is big on the TV agenda this weekend.  On HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher snarks with Dan Savage, Paul Begala, actor Wendell Pierce, Katty Kay and former Republican congressman Bob Ehrlich.  Then, Saturday at 8 Bill Cosby stars in his first comedy special in 30 years and at 10 Sarah Silverman takes the stage on HBO.  New DVD releases include Pixar's Planes and the third in the Simon Pegg/Nick frost trilogy, The World's End.  The schedule for the tax-exempt, non-profit NFL is here (the Patriots will "herd" the broncos to the loser's stall Ha Ha Ha!!!) and the NHL schedule is here.  And the weekend ends with more laughs as Carol Burnett gets her Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize Sunday at 8 on PBS.

On Bill Moyers & Company, "scholar Henry Giroux connects the dots between our political system and 'casino capitalism' and a tribute to writer Doris Lessing.."  And here's your Sunday morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Their website says "Meet the Press will not air Sunday, Nov. 24, due to NBC's Coverage of Formula 1 Racing."  Blessed early Thanksgiving!

This Week: Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA); Poet/author/saint Maya Angelou; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pokes George Stephanopoulos, who giggles; roundtable with Donna Brazile, Bill Kristol, Matt Dowd and Cokie Roberts.

Face the Nation: House Whips, Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA); Jackie Kennedy's Secret Service bodyguard Clint Hill; roundtable with David Sanger (NYT), David Rohde (Reuters), Kim Strassel (WSJ) and John Dickerson (CBS).

CNN's State of the Union: The chairs of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Mike Rogers (R-MI).

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: The Senate has just revamped its complex procedure rules for judicial nominees, and who does Chris Wallace invite to provide deep expert analysis?  Of course---Sarah Palin.  (Don’t forget to hawk your book, scary lady!); Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bob Corker (R-TN) swoop in to correct every single thing Palin said; roundtable with Juan Williams, George Will, Nina Easton and Julie Pace

As always...Happy Viewing!

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Five years ago in C&J: November 22, 2008

JEERS to self-parody.  Yesterday at noon CNN started their top-hour news with two minutes on the collapse of the U.S. economy.  Then they moved to their #2 story, which they gave equal time and treated with equal gravitas: Madonna's divorce.  And coming up after the break on "The World's News Leader," the Jonas Brothers are caught roughhousing again.

GET WELL SOON to Michael Mukasey.  The Attorney General collapsed last night while giving a speech, and it looks like he'll be fine (he was up smiling and endorsing torture from his hospital bed this morning).  Mukasey told doctors it sometimes happens when he thinks about who his boss is.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the lexicon of our lives.  I read online recently that we only use a handful of the words available to us in the English language.  I disagree, and I'd like to respond by saying: no fart no no booger no no fart no booger booger fart no.  Now that I've gotten that off my booger fart, let's take a look at the Oxford Dictionaries's's #1 word of 2013:

Eyeball
Bill in Portland Maine selfie
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Selfie
Selfie can actually be traced back to 2002 when it was used in an Australian online forum. The word gained momentum throughout the English-speaking world in 2013 as it evolved from a social media buzzword to mainstream shorthand for a self-portrait photograph. Its linguistic productivity is already evident in the creation of numerous related spin-off terms showcasing particular parts of the body like helfie (a picture of one’s hair) and belfie (a picture of one’s posterior); a particular activity---welfie (workout selfie) and drelfie (drunken selfie), and even items of furniture---shelfie and bookshelfie.
Words that made the short-list (the "shlistlfie," if you will) include binge-watch (to watch multiple episodes of a television programme in rapid succession), olinguito (a small furry mammal found in mountain forests in Colombia and Ecuador), and---I kid you not---schmeat (a form of meat produced synthetically from biological tissue).  I think I'll stick with Cheetos, thanks.

Have a great weekend!  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

2%123 votes
5%217 votes
0%25 votes
2%97 votes
74%3241 votes
2%112 votes
2%124 votes
3%147 votes
0%24 votes
2%106 votes
0%32 votes
0%26 votes
1%52 votes

| 4333 votes | Vote | Results

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