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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Netroots Nation: Two Quick Things

The folks at Netroots Nation asked me to remind you that we're two weeks away from the deadline for submitting your panel or workshop idea for this year's convention in Detroit (July 17-20):

Netroots Nation 2014 logo &nbsp;Detroit
"Your submissions will help us create an inclusive and engaging agenda for our 2014 conference, while also helping shape the national dialog for progressives in the coming months," says Executive Director Raven Brooks. "This coming year will help shape our nation's future, and you can help ensure sure it's a progressive one."
For more info and a submission form, click your heels three times and then click here. But be advised: at midnight on the 19th, that web page will turn back into a cornish game hen. (Nobody knows why, but tech support has promised to look into it.)

Meanwhile, you can help send some Michigan-based netroots activists to the convention if you register in the next ten days. Mary Rickles has details:

Netroots Nation 2014 logo
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Each year, we have a significant number of attendees from our host city and state. But for each local who attends, there are others who just don't have the resources to go but would benefit greatly from the trainings and networking opportunities at Netroots Nation. We'll still run our normal scholarship program with Democracy for America later in the spring, but we want to take strong steps to be sure that activists---particularly those from underrepresented or under-resourced communities---from our host city are able to attend.

For every person who registers at the current activist or organizational rate today through February 15, we'll set aside $50 of that registration fee for the scholarship program.

If you're planning to attend Netroots Nation this summer, click here to register and help someone else attend at the same time.

Not that I'm counting, but as of tomorrow there are 23 weeks until we fire the starting bazooka. Okay, okay…maybe I'm counting a little bit.

Now back to your regularly-scheduled blizzard. Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Note: Here's today's Helpful Health Tip: Bubble wrap.
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The Krewe of Endymon Mardi Gras Parade 2014 logo
24 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Lincoln's birthday: 7
Days 'til the Krewe of Endymon Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans: 24
Estimated number of children who will be rushed to hospitals today with gunshot wounds: 20
(Source: Gun violence study published in Pediatrics)
Increase in consumer spending in December: 0.4%
Increase in personal income in December: 0%
(Source: Commerce Dept.)
Number of banks that failed last year: 24
Drop in the U.S. abortion rate between 2008 and 2011, due in large part to wider access to contraception: 13%
(Source: Guttmacher Institute)

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 186 (including 3 Antichrists and 1 creepy scientology Super Bowl ad).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Saved from a sinkhole!!!

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Number 6 in purple
CHEERS to six magic words.  Yesterday District Federal Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen heard arguments for and against Virginia's laws against marriage equality.  Dream team plaintiff's attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson relied on the arguments they used to get California's Prop. 8 law ruled unconstitutional, and the opposition relied the arguments they used to get walloped.  You can listen to the post-hearing conference call with Olson and Boies at this link.  But the money quote came from the judge, who, just before banging the adjournment gavel, said the aforementioned six magic words: "You’ll be hearing from me soon."  I hope the folks at NOM have tissues at the ready.  And grief counselors.

Maine Gov. LePage delivers
his state of the state address.
JEERS to the random mumblings of Governor Footinmouth.  Yesterday Maine got its annual "state of the state" address, that magical eight uninterrupted hours when our Teapublican governor, Paul LePage, rhetorically straggles through all the hard-line conservative talking points and then proclaims, "The state of our state is…meh, it's too good for you moochers, that's for sure."  (We're replacing him in nine months.)  The speech was punctuated by occasional smatterings of perfunctory applause.  But he did say one thing that earned him a well-deserved standing ovation.  I believe it was, "In conclusion..."

JEERS to old habits.  You've heard about the nuns in Colorado who won (for now) the ability to sidestep the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act.  They're really happy with the decision.  But isn't it ironic that, because of their own policy, they may be short-changing their time here on earth:

Nuns with guns
Whatever happened to wooden rulers?
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The nuns might have something to gain from taking oral contraceptives. … Nuns have a substantially higher risk of reproductive cancers than women who have children, in part because of their celibacy, which means a lifetime of uninterrupted menstrual cycles. In 2011, my wife and I attended an obstetric conference in the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. The keynote lecture there recommended that nuns use oral contraceptives for two or three years after taking their vows, in order to benefit from a long-term reduction in reproductive cancers to which nuns are otherwise exposed by their celibate life.
But for now they want no one to have access to contraception.  Nun shall pass.  Bar nun.  None for nun and none for all.  We'll have nun of it.  Sorry, I'm starting to sound renundant.  I'll say no more and we'll be nun the wiser.

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[Gong!  Gong!!!]

We interrupt this C&J to bring you a list all of the substantive and legitimate reasons why the new farm bill---passed with both Republican and Democratic votes---cuts $8 billion in food stamps for America's poorest people who depend on it for a smidgen of nutrition assistance.  This concludes this list all of the substantive and legitimate reasons why the new farm bill cuts $8 billion in food stamps for America's poorest people who depend on it for a smidgen of nutrition assistance.  Now back to C&J…

[Gong!  Gong!!!]
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CHEERS to the Illinois governor who took on the Kansas general. Happy 114th birthday to Adlai Stevenson II.  He lost to Dwight Eisenhower in both 1952 and 1956.  Then again, I think God herself would have.  But as U.N. Ambassador he pleasantly surprised the Kennedy administration by giving the Russians hell during the Cuban missile crisis.  And he sure understood Republicans:

Adlai Stevenson II 1952 political ad
1952 campaign poster
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"A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation. "
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"I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them."
And I love this:
We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and I will say, the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave to the ancient enemies of man half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.
Pay your respects here.  Democrats rock.

CHEERS to the smell of a fine Cuban cigar.  I'm not suggesting that we're close to opening up relations withy Cuba again---I mean, heavens, we've only had the embargo in place since Eisenhower, let's not be too hasty---but this sounds like the start of something grande.  One of the biggest of the Anti-Castro bigwigs, a U.S. sugar tycoon, may be changing his tune:

Now, contrary to what almost anyone could have imagined, the 76-year-old [Alfonso] Fanjul has begun to reassess old grievances and tentatively eye Cuba as a place for him and other U.S. businessmen to expand their enterprises. Quietly, without fanfare, Fanjul has started visiting the island of his birth and having conversations with top Cuban officials.

“If there is some way the family flag could be taken back to Cuba, then I am happy to do that,” Fanjul said in a rare interview, publicly discussing his recent visits to the island for the first time.

And you know the old saying: What tycoon wants, tycoon gets.

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Five years ago in C&J: February 5, 2009

JEERS to much ado about nothin', man.  Y'know the most outrageous thing about pot?  It's not the smoking of it by millions of adults in every state in the country.  Rather, it's the phony outrage over the smoking of it by self-appointed finger-waggers who know full well that all pot does is make you happy, horny and hungry...and it wears off after an hour.  The lesson Michael Phelps should take away from this silly brouhaha is not "weed is evil."  It's "Light up in the bathroom, ya dweeb."  Now we know why he didn't win any medals in the Olympic Common Sense-athon.

CHEERS to closure.  Now we know.  The National Transportation Safety Board and Bistro says that it did, indeed, find birds in both engines of the Airbus that landed in the Hudson River last month.  And, boy, do they got some explaining to do.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to a profession full of highs and lows.  Happy Weatherpersons' Day!  After scraping the ice off my Wikipedia page, I see that it "recognizes individuals in the fields of meteorology, weather forecasting and broadcast meteorology, as well as volunteer storm spotters and observers.  It is observed on the birthday of John Jeffries, one of the United States' first weather observers who took daily measurements starting in 1774."  Yes, it took our best scientific minds over 200 years to build our modern forecasting tools, and Paul Lynde five minutes to tear it all down…  

Forecasters predict National Weatherpersons' Day will blow over within the next 16 hours, followed by an 80 percent chance of lingering National Weatherpersons' Day hangovers.  Mostly among weatherpersons.

Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

“Bottom line, Bill in Portland Maine will do and say anything to save Bill in Portland Maine.”
---Governor Christie's office

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Extended (Optional)

Poll

Do you support Senator Elizabeth Warren's idea to let U.S. Post Offices start offering basic banking services---e.g. debit cards, small loans---so that folks without bank accounts don’t have to go through predatory payday lenders?

80%5187 votes
13%865 votes
2%162 votes
1%76 votes
2%129 votes

| 6422 votes | Vote | Results

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