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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

"Plain-Spoken" LePage? Hardly.

As Joan mentioned last week, there's a new TV ad produced by the Republican Governors Association airing up here in Maine that tries to sugarcoat Teapublican Governor Paul LePage's chronic foot-in-mouth disease. The ad opens with unnamed supporters praising him for being "blunt," "brutally honest" and "extremely candid."

Here's the thing: if LePage's bluntness happened in the heat of getting laws or policies enacted, that would be one thing. But that ain't the case. I'm reminded, for example, of this whopper from one year ago today:

Gov. Paul LePage told a group of Republicans last week that President Obama “hates white people,” according to two [GOP] state lawmakers who say they heard the remark directly.
WTF? That's not being blunt, candid or honest---it's just needlessly rude and racist-sounding. A few others off the top of my head:
• Told the Portland chapter of the NAACP to "Kiss my butt."
• Claimed the expansion of Medicaid, which would give 70,000 more Mainers health care coverage, is nothing less than "sinful."
Maine Governor Paul LePage
He's nasty, dishonest...
and often just gross.
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• Claimed that “47 percent of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don’t work."
• Claimed that mid-level state workers are "as corrupt as can be."
• Claimed that the worst effect of a chemical used in plastics called bisephenol A is "some women may have little beards."
• Said---out loud into a reporter's microphone---that a Democratic state senator "claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline." (Imagine a child hearing that and asking Mommy or Daddy what that means.)
• Claimed Maine "can't afford" to help eight refugee children who came to our state to stay in private homes while waiting for Immigration officials to hear their cases. Yes…eight. Children.
• Claimed the IRS is just like the Gestapo, but admitted that the agency hasn't started a holocaust---"yet."
• Calls global warming and climate change "good things happening."
If you're a Maine public employee, woman, minority, environmentalist, low-income earner, or you're unemployed because there are more people looking for work than employers looking for workers, you've been insulted by Governor LePage out of the blue, without provocation. That's not "brutally honest," as one of the people in the RGA's TV ad says. That's just nasty bullshit. Mean, stupid, thoughtless...and in some cases just gross.

We've had our share of bad governors, but never have we had one that has so quickly turned a beloved state---I mean, c'mon, who doesn't love Maine?---into a national embarrassment and late-night punchline. Oh, and a boatload of his policies suck, too.

Sane people know that we both want Democrat Mike Michaud to be our next governor…and we need Democrat Mike Michaud to be our next governor. Consider tossing him a few bucks.

I believe this is the part where I'm s'posed to write: /rant.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Note: Tonight on Eyewitness News: Sith Lord accidentally shoots neighbor planet in tragic Death Star cleaning accident.  Film at 11.
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Gettysburg Brew Fest logo 2014
4 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til fall starts: 34
Days 'til the Gettysburg Brew Fest: 4
Second quarter economic growth in the Eurozone, where six years ago austerity was promoted as the magic secret for reviving the economy after the Great Bush Recession: 0%
Average temp in Arkansas last month, the coldest on record: 75.7 degrees
(Source: Nat'l Climatic Data Center)
Percent of Michigan's pumping stations used to clear water off major roadways during heavy rains that are
in poor condition: 58%
Gigatons of cement used in the United States in the twentieth century: 4.4
Gigatons used in China in the past three years: 6.1
(Source: Harper's Index)
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Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

BHO is hard on our allies and our military, soft on our enemies, arms terrorists, and disarms citizens. This is a President? 30% of all abortions are performed on Black women. At that rate, it is projected Blacks will no longer exist in America in about 80 years.
---AErickson at the ClashDaily blog
All together now: 1…2…3… Classy!

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Dogs vs. mirrors

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CHEERS to Super Tuesday: Westward Ho!  It's primary day in two of the several states, with Wyoming and Alaska seeing hot voter-on-voting-booth action.  In both states it's pretty much about the Republicans, and that's especially true in Wyoming:

Wyoming Legislature by party
Dems are just a bit outnumbered
in the Wyoming House.
A Democrat hasn't held statewide office since Gov. Dave Freudenthal left office nearly four years ago. Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats roughly 167,000 to 52,000, and the numbers are becoming increasingly lopsided.  The decline of the traditional two-party system in many Wyoming races means that many of the real battles will play out in the primary.
On the various ballots there will be a "soldier of fortune," a "political gadfly," a Catholic priest, a couple oilmen, and a retired urologist who doesn't believe there's enough Bible thumping in state government.  When they're done voting in Alaska, we'll know whether or not crazy teabagger Joe Miller will be the GOP's choice to take on Mark Begich for Senate.  And speaking of crazy, this is a campaign ad up there for Question 1, a repeal of the governor's oil tax law:
No On 1 ad---Alaska oil tax repeal measure
Question One, by the way, is a measure on which both Democrats and Sarah Palin agree.  I had to hire a freelancer to type that last sentence---my fingers refused.

JEERS to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.  It's time to say it: every time they go on vacation for a couple weeks, all hell breaks loose.  This time it's happening Ferguson, Missouri, where police are in the process of assassinating an unarmed teen's character with a smear campaign, having already assassinated him literally with a rage-aholic cop's hot lead.  And, wonder of wonders, it turns out that the town's mostly-black residents don't take kindly to being lied to by the town's mostly-white police force (and its new PR firm, which looks like it's staffed by the cast of Up with People).  Now the National Guard has been called in, and things are so tense that Attorney General Holder is going to swoop in tomorrow and issue marching orders.  Number one, of course: no more vacations for Stewart and Colbert.

Young Bill Clinton in band uniform
Future First Fella?
CHEERS to people with the greatest first name on the planet.  Happy Birthday…and "many blessings on your camels" to Bill Clinton.  #42 turns a boyish---for ex-presidents, anyway---68.  But don’t expect him to make it to his party on time.  From Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents by Cormac O'Brien:
On his inauguration day, Bill Clinton was twenty-seven minutes late for his customary courtesy call on the Bushes. It was a sign of things to come. He once kept Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist waiting forty-five minutes and even showed up late for his formal greeting of the king of Spain.
On the one hand: brash, charming, scary intelligent, beat Bush, humiliated Gingrich, made the economy hum, is a fantastic surrogate for Democrats up and down the ballot, great humanitarian, convincingly feels your pain, and looks likely to blaze a trail as America's first First Husband.  On the other hand: DOMA, DADT, Monica, repeal of Glass-Steagall, NAFTA, and I hear he reed-synched his sax solo on Arsenio. [sigh] That's our Bubba.

JEERS to activist judges.  On August 19, 1692, four innocent men and a woman were hanged (Yay! I didn't say "hung" this time!) on Gallows Hill for "practicing witchcraft" in Salem, Massachusetts.  To this day Dick Cheney is outraged by what happened back then.  He doesn’t think they were waterboarded nearly long enough.

CHEERS to the rarest thing on Planet Earth besides common sense.  Show me a liberal Republican in Washington in this day and age and I'll show you a field where rainbow unicorns roam.  I can't even remember the last one---Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island maybe???  Regardless, a liberal Republican (later an independent) from Vermont has died---Jim Jeffords was 80, and we on the left owe his memory big-time:

Jeezum Jim Beer, named after Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT)
Magic Hat's "Jeezum
Jim" Beer was named
after Senator Jeffords.
Jeffords was a New England moderate who found himself out of step with his increasingly conservative colleagues when he rocked American politics on May 24, 2001, by announcing he was leaving President George W. Bush's Republican Party, tipping the divided Senate.  He declared himself independent, but his decision to caucus with Democrats gave them 51 votes in the chamber that had been split 50-50, with Vice President Richard Cheney's tie-breaking vote putting Republicans in charge. […]

During the presidency of Democrat Bill Clinton, Jeffords backed gun control, an increase in the minimum wage and the president's failed comprehensive health plan. In Clinton's 1999 impeachment trial in the Senate, Jeffords was among the first of a handful of moderate Republicans who announced they would vote against convicting the president of charges stemming from his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

For 18 months, Democratic control of the Senate kept the Bushies at bay, although we sure as hell didn’t act like mindless obstructionists the way the Republicans have with Obama.  So fare thee well, Jim.  In the book of American politics, you get a gold star.

P.S. When he stepped down, he gave us the gift of replacement Senator Bernie Sanders.  Make that two gold stars.

P.P.S. We also lost legendary SNL announcer Don Pardo yesterday.  I'm going back to bed.

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Five years ago in C&J: August 19, 2009

CHEERS to taking a gentler bite out of your ass.  Today's the day that the first wave of credit card reform kicks in.  Here are the changes: Number of days notice you'll get when they make changes to your contract: 45.  Number of years you'll have to pay off your balance if you choose to cancel your card when they raise rates: 5.  Watching credit card companies work every loophole their lawyers can find so they can keep the joint swimming in profits at your expense: Shameless.

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And just one more…

Wright Bros. on their first flight December 17, 1903
"I have HAD it with these motherfucking
snakes on this motherfucking plane!"
CHEERS to the first frequent flyer.  Today is Orville Wright's 143rd birthday.  He was the one at the controls in 1903 during the first heavier-than-air, machine-powered flight.  The trip was uncomfortable, expensive, delayed for hours, and the only free snacks were the ones he brought on board himself.  Thanks to advances in technology, today's passengers enjoy air travel that's uncomfortable, expensive, delayed for hours, and the only free snacks we get are the ones we bring ourselves.  But...at least we can get up and go pee.

Have a turbulence-free Tuesday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

She's got a name! Christina Aguilera and fiance Matt Rutler have named their daughter Bill in Portland Maine Rutler, the singer announced late on Sunday, Aug. 17 via Twitter.
---US Weekly

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