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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Netroots Nation 2014: 17 Weeks and Counting!

Netroots Nation 2014 logo  Detroit
Avg. temp in July: 82°
In 119 days (somebody check my math), proud liberal patriots will gather to---yet again---pull America's ass out of the fire by debating, planning and strategizing ways to make this more perfect union of ours more perfecter. Plus parties. Here are some quick odds 'n ends on Netroots Nation '14 (July 17-20) as we approach our rendevous with destiny and tasty box lunches:

• The panel discussions and workshops are still being finalized, but Mary Rickles has some cool info about the nearly 500 total submissions that, as usual, poured in from all four corners of the universe:

Netroots Nation 2014 panel submissions by gender.
Last year was the first year ever where Netroots Nation featured more women as speakers than men (we also had more women panel organizers than men in 2013). That holds true again for 2014. Of the panels submitted in 2014, 953 of the proposed speakers are women (60%), 602 are male (38%) and 44 are not identified or identify as other (3%).

While there is still a majority of Caucasian speakers submitted, the diversity has improved over 2013, particularly among African Americans. About 20 percent of proposed speakers are African American and about 20 percent are API, Hispanic, Native American or multi-racial. During the panel selection process, we have a chance to make those numbers even more diverse. It’s our goal to make Netroots Nation more diverse every year so that our speaker list is much more representative of what our country really looks like.

As soon as the 80 approved panels and 40 training sessions are announced, we'll grab our Billyhorn and shout them out one at a time from a tall building unless we decide to post them here instead.

This Week in Blackness logo with Elon James White
• Nolan Treadway reports: "This year, we'll be partnering with the team from This Week in Blackness (TWiB) to produce some great content from Netroots Nation. Elon James White and the rest of the TWiB team will produce mini shows, interviews with speakers and VIPs and other videos that capture the highlights from the weekend. Those clips---as well as our keynotes and other official content---will be highlighted on our website for those watching from home."

• If you missed Kos's post contrasting Netroots Nation and its conservative counterpart, it's worth a read:

Netroots Nation is a buffet of panels on how to win elections, how to take action, how to influence change. There's very little of the red meat that characterizes CPAC. And that's a good thing. We're focused on winning, they're focused on making themselves feel good by putting Donald f'n Trump on stage. If you're the media, which is more compelling?
Another difference: CPAC attendees are much more prolific at trolling for gay sex via Craigslist. Go figure.

• According to sources, for the first time in Netroots Nation's history, there will be a special landing pad on the roof of Cobo Center if you're arriving by jetpack. Please call ahead for wind speed and direction so you can stick the landing.

• Registration and Hotel info are here and here.

• Follow NN14 via Twitter here.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, March 20, 2014

Note: Sugar caffeine sugar caffeine sugar caffeine sugar caffeine. Our motto: keep it simple.
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Curran Homestead Maple Festival participant---Orrington, Maine
The sap flows in 2 days!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til summer: 93
Days 'til the Maple Syrup Festival and Irish Celebration at the Curran Homestead in Orrington, Maine: 2
Percent of Democrats who say they personally know someone who has benefited from the Affordable Care Act: 48%
Percent of Republicans who say they personally know someone who has benefited from the Affordable Care Act: 14%
(Source: Bloomberg National poll)
Number of years in the last dozen when employers hired "aggressively": 3
(Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Number of the 3,200 children’s books published last year that were about black people: 93
(Source: Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin via Black Kos)
Amount of time by which the Rocky Mountain wildflower season has lengthened since 1975 due to climate change: 35 days
(Source: Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado)

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment---CAUTION: RATED R

Molly Ivins head shot
LEGISLATIVE JOKE:

Q: What's the difference between an anus and an asshole?
A: An anus can't put its arms around you.
---April 1991

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Well, in fairness, that IS a lot of dog.

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Happy Spring from Maine!
CHEERS to Spring!  I don't care if another winter storm ran over top of us last night.  At exactly 12:57 this afternoon, I'm still gonna put on my tutu, strap on my fairy wings, go outside and romp barefoot through the barley fields with the wee village folk.  (If the past is any guide, I'll end up smooshing many of them, because they're really wee and my wild twerking gyrations tend to cover a lot of ground).  We hope your 10-day outlook is a little springier than ours.  But we're not complaining: as of today, only a month 'til our daffodils show up.  Or two.

P.S. Where do people go to learn about the seasons? At the School of Hard Vernal Equinox! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

CHEERS to a good show.  If you live in the northeast and you're wondering what went whizzing by your house at 10,000 miles per hour in the wee hours of the morning, it was just an asteroid the size of Rhode Island.  In fact, it was so big that it actually caused a brief "eclipse" of the brightest star in the constellation Leo.  The last time illumination disappeared that quickly was when Michele Bachmann walked into a committee meeting.

CHEERS to FLOTUS in flight.  First Lady Michelle Obama is in China for a week to meet 'n greet, grip 'n grin, and show the world yet again that when it comes to awesomeness among current spouses of world leaders, "WE'RE NUMBER ONE!  WE'RE NUMBER ONE!"  You can find details on her (and the kids') trip at the White House web site. Here's what she's up to today and tomorrow (which, due to the time change, I think is a week before yesterday):

China: prepare
to be charmed.
Today
Arrival in Beijing.

Friday
> Obama joins First Lady Peng Liyuan at Beijing Normal School, a school that prepares students to attend Universities abroad.
> Obama visits the Forbidden City with First Lady Peng Liyuan.
> Obama meets with First Lady Peng Liyuan and joins First Lady Peng Liyuan for dinner and a performance.

One of the highlights will be a visit to the Terracotta Warriors Museum, whose ceramic soldiers date back to the Qin Dynasty.  To give you an idea of how old that is, archaeologists say they pre-date the Republican platform by a whole week.

JEERS to crude surprises.  Hey, did you hear about all the solar and wind that gushed through a busted pipe under an L.A. street and started oozing all over the place?  Yeah, me neither.  But this happened:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/azimian/8680033446/
"I can do finger
painting with it!"
Crews Tuesday night were capping off an underground pipe leak that sent oil seeping through cracks in the asphalt of a Southern California neighborhood.  Crews used sand to cover the areas where oil seeped out of a finger-sized hole on the bottom of a 10-inch pipeline buried 7 feet underground, officials said. The pipeline belongs to Phillips 66, whose crews were working with hazmat teams to fix the leak.  … Los Angeles city officials. More than 1,200 gallons of crude oil were collected from the leak.
Governor Brown will probably say that this is the reason California needs to up its fracking activity.  If he does, please walk up and whack him with your shoe on my behalf.  But be nice about it.

CHEERS to strategic cutting and running.  In a move that would've gotten him court-martialed by George W. Bush for "not finishing the job," on March 20, 1942, General Douglas MacArthur pulled out of the Philippines during World War II so his forces could live to fight the Japanese another day.  His words made history: "I shall return."  Not so historic were the words that followed: "Accelerator's on the right, Chumley.  First hit the clutch...now give it some gas...a little more...great, now you've stalled, try it again.  I swear, this is the last time I moonlight as a war zone driving instructor..."

CHEERS to Minty freshness.  Exciting doings across Her Majesty's Pond in Her Majesty's realm of Her Majesty's Exchequer at Her Majesty's Department of Her Majesty's Currency, as Great Britain starts minting a these little hotties:

Undated handout photo issued by HM Treasury of the side of a new one pound coin announced by the Government, which will be the most secure coin in circulation in the world, the new coin will have the same shape as the 12-sided pre-decimal three pence piece or “Threepenny bit”. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday March 18, 2014. See PA story CONSUMER Coin. Photo credit should read: The Royal Mint/PA Wire..NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Hey...who's the broad?
A new 12-sided pound coin based on the threepenny bit is being unveiled – and is said to be the hardest in the world to fake.  Described as a “giant leap into the future” the new coin will replace a familiar token that the Treasury says has a 3% forgery rate---amounting to a total of more than 45m in circulation.
The coolest new feature of the threepenny?  When you squeeze it, the Queen goes, "Helloooooooo!!!"

JEERS to shocking moments in American history.  On March 20, 1899 Martha Place of Brooklyn became the first American woman to be strapped into the electric chair in Sing Sing prison.  Her crime: REDRUM!  It took 'em two tries to finish her off.  The public read about it the next day in their local paper's current events section.

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Five years ago in C&J: March 20, 2009

JEERS to the Seven Million Dollar Man.  That's how much Chimpy McFlightsuit is reportedly getting to write a book about how he made decisions in the White House.  Working title: Dart Throwing for Dummies.

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And just one more…

Noruz spread
Any holiday starring goldfish
gets thumbs-up from me!
CHEERS to a happy Persian New Year!  Hey, I'm a lover not a fighter, so I'll jump on the Obama bandwagon and join him in wishing the Iranian people a---[Fires glitter cannon]---Happy Nowruz!  The president always closes his message with the traditional, "Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak," which loosely translated means, "Ask your doctor if enriched uranium is right for you."  (Admittedly, very loosely.)  It's a classy and important thing to do.  I know it's a classy and important thing to do because the right-wingers always grind their teeth down to the nub over it---always a sign that our side's doing something right.  Also the reason why 4-out-of-5 dentists lean Democrat.  They appreciate the business.

Have a nice Thursday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

When you’re hot, you’re hot.  When you’re not, you’re Bill in Portland Maine.
---Paul Mulshine

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