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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...

PDN is in the Clearinghizzouse

Kossack and recommended-diary favorite Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse grew up in New York, and has lived in Wisconsin, Indiana and, since 1986, California. "I've been politically active with environmental and social justice issues ever since I organized my first protest against a bully in elementary school. It was after I was arrested, facing marijuana charges, and suspended from high school at 15 that I decided that I’d be a juvenile justice lawyer. (I was innocent, of course!)" After clerking for the Chief Justice of a state supreme court, PDNC switched to water and environmental law, and she now blogs mostly on environmental, human rights, politics and legal issues.

This morning she faces the grilling of her career in the latest installment of our carbon-neutral (if you don't count all the exhaling) interview series, Yes, We're All Staring At YOU!

Cheers and Jeers: How long have you been blogging and what originally brought you to Daily Kos?
Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse:
I started blogging in 2005. My moniker is the name of my old website, which posted news stories missed or minimalized by the megamedia, similar to the Overnight News Digest (OND), and blogged mostly politics. In 2006, my blogging focused on the multitude of Bush's illegal acts and lies so I felt right at home politically when I posted my first diary in January and was both happy and intimidated a bit when all these comments were posted. I really should have lurked for a while. I was---and remain---attracted by the boldness and acuity of the writing and vision fostered by community and humor.

You, Meteor Blades and Land of Enchantment recently concluded your first DK GreenRoots Week. What was your goal with it, and was it a success?
My idea for DK GreenRoots week was to try to highlight the  interrelationship between environmental issues and health care, family, economy, jobs, labor, poverty, equal justice, human rights, political stability, national security and war. With Obama in the White House, I wanted to show that we have the tools at Daily Kos to organize eco advocacy, including drafting legislative proposals so that we are part of the debate with our ideas on the table rather than rearguard action after minds are cemented in some ill-advised approach that does not consider sustainable reforms.

It was a tremendous success. Each of the 64 diarists wrote phenomenal diaries---a total of 80 diaries were posted---that trumped any publications. In addition, eco week introduced a new eco-bloggers advocacy group, DK GreenRoots, which now has 369 members.

DK GreenRoots is being set up with a structure of tools to assist communication and implementation of collaboration projects, working groups, group diaries and discussions. When Meteor Blades returns from vacation, we will open a private forum for GreenRoots; and, then we will open a GreenRoots website around Labor Day.

Members of DK GreenRoots are already discussing several eco projects or campaigns, and an award-winning producer contacted us to discuss a collaborative project where our OND eco news and DK GreenRoots writings are used for eco-educational purposes in communication mediums. This started me thinking: Why can't we do similar projects? We have the talent here to create videos, even basic text videos with pictures for both proactive and defensive advocacy on all political issues. We discussed this the other night in OND, and some are interested.  

Can people still join the GreenRoots?
Yes, anyone may join GreenRoots! If you're not familiar with GreenRoots, Meteor Blades provided a nice overview:

[DK GreenRoots] will be our workroom where activists and other interested participants interconnect, inform each other, encourage the writing and cross-posting of diaries, teach research techniques, initiate short- and long-term working groups, develop special projects, hone our persuasive skills, plan political action, and draft legislation.

In your opinion, what's the best part about the climate bill that recently passed the House, and what's the worst part about it?
I think the worst aspect of this measure is the same ol' process and approach of pre-compromise that limits the parameters of substance. Democrats need to focus on implementing our ideas that generally are supported by most Americans. Let the GOP whine---they will no matter what we do.

What kind of music makes you feel invincible to the GOP horde?
I love a variety of music.  If I'm feeling down or frustrated with GOP BS, recharging is easy by turning up the volume on the likes of Joe Cocker, Buffy St. Marie, Stevie Ray Vaughan or U2.

What's the one book every Kossack must read?
The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing From Crisis to Sustainability by James Gustave Speth. He discusses how capitalism is inherently destructive to a sustainable environment, community and popular democracy and explains why environmental advocates have made great strides yet still failed to stop all the crises we now face.

Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on the wall, who's the battiest Republican of them all?
The easy answer is that Palin is bat-shit crazy, but she's more of a joke than a problem. I think Cheney is the battiest, complete with his secretive obsessions lurking in his undisclosed caves while he runs a shadow government, pulling strings like a puppeteer. I hope that groups like DK's own Bloggers Against Torture (BAT) succeed in convincing Holder to fit Cheney with a nice orange jumpsuit. Recent news suggests we're inching closer to at least investigations.  

Finish this sentence: In the kitchen I make a mean...
Home-made pizza, garden zucchini casserole, cheese ravioli, Frozen Chocolate Mousse Torte and Lemon Meringue Pie. My mom taught me to cook meals from scratch using fresh, organic ingredients. Cooking her recipes is one way to keep in touch now that she's gone. Guess right now I'm in the mood for some Italian food.

As a Californian, what would you do about your state's economic implosion?
Anyone up for another gubernatorial recall?

No waffling here: dogs or cats?
Heh. Lawyers live to waffle. Dogs and cats...and lizards and birds and all critters (except spiders).

I have one question left, but I just noticed that I missed one of the neighbor's stargazer lilies when I was out weed whacking. Please ask and answer the final question yourself...

When is the next eco week at DK?
We may have more eco days rather than a full week, like a 3-day blogging eco. BUT, we are now creating a GreenRoots weekly series, just like Top Comments and the other regular series, where DK GreenRoots members will post 2 or 3 times a week one of those outstanding diaries that everyone loved during eco week. Our series starts July 19th, leading off with our incredible Devilstower!

Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, July 13, 2009

Note:  "You have the power!  You have the power!  You have the power!  You have the pow...  Oops, sorry.  Wrong number."  [Click]

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Festivus: 163
Days `til Koloa Plantation Days in Hawaii: 5
Number of years Sonia Sotomayor has been a 2nd Circuit Appeals Court judge: 10
Percent chance that Comair flight 6313 from JFK to Minneapolis---the tardiest flight in the commercial airline system---will be late: 96.8%
(Source: Transportation Dept. via AP)
Height of the tallest First Lady: 5'11"
Percent chance that Eleanor Roosevelt and Michelle Obama are tied for being the tallest First Ladies: 100%
(Source: Parade)
Increase in overnight backpacking between 2007 and 2008: 18.5%
(Source: The Outdoor Foundation via USA Today)
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And now..."Pimping Pittsburgh!"  

Brought to you by the Netroots Nation Convention August 13-16---one month from today!  Today's fun fact: Pittsburgh's great if you feel pretty and witty and...oh, what's the word?

Pittsburgh has long cultivated a vibrant, politically active, and fun-loving gay scene---it finally earned some of its due when the U.S. version of the show Queer As Folk used Pittsburgh as the setting for its chronicle of urban gay culture (granted, the show was actually filmed in Toronto). The hometown of gay artist Andy Warhol also has a stellar arts scene, and several neighborhoods around the city are popular with Pittsburgh's many gay and lesbian residents.
---From gaytravel.about.com

I understand there are four gay bars of various types within a block of the Westin hotel.  We'll have to inspect them.  Very closely.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  How long d'ya suppose before the Rodent Empire sues for copyright infringement?

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CHEERS to the showdown at High Noon---minus two hours.  At 10 O'clock this morning, during the Judicial Committee hearings, attention will be focused on a certain seat under the glare of the klieg lights.  As the hearings unfold the scrutiny will be intense and the questions could be pointed.  It will be a "supreme" test of knowledge, wits, and cool-headedness, and one thing's for sure---we'll be watching the proceedings with bated breath and hoping there are no gaffes, bleeps or blunders.  So, before the curtain rises and the carnival begins, we'd just like to say: "Good luck, Senator Franken.  We're all counting on you."

P.S. As for our expectations of the judge being questioned, they can be expressed thusly: Sonia Sotomayor is to Judiciary Committee as Cat is to Cat Toy.

JEERS to headlines that don’t surprise us a whit: Gov't report: Bush secret surveillance program extended beyond wiretapping without warrants:

President George W. Bush authorized other secret intelligence activities---which have yet to become public---even as he was launching the massive warrantless wiretapping program, the summary said.  It describes the entire program as the "President's Surveillance Program."  The report describes the program as unprecedented and raises questions about the legal grounding used for its creation.

Every time I read something like this, I always go back to the bullshit Bush tried to lay on us---all of us---back in April, 2004.  This was a bald-faced lie:

Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires...a wiretap requires a court order.  Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.  It’s important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.

Actually there is some truth to those last four words of Bush's statement.  But only if you add these crucial two: "...as toiletpaper."

JEERS to Sergeant Emphysema.  Here's something else you can lay at the feet of the previous administration.  Thanks to their complete fuck-up of the wars in Iraq and Thatotherplaceistan, they turned our combat troops into stressed out nicotine addicts:

Troops worn out by repeated deployments often rely on cigarettes as a "stress reliever."  The study found that tobacco use in the military increased after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. ... Combat veterans are 50% more likely to use tobacco than troops who haven't seen combat.

Overall, thirty two percent of active-duty military personnel smoke, compared with 20 percent of the U.S. population in general.  Because of that, there's a movement afoot inside the Pentagon to ban the use of tobacco because it's killed so many of our troops.  I have another suggestion: let's invade and conquer the facilities of RJ Reynolds.  After all, their WMDs have cost us more in lives and treasure than Saddam ever did.  Plus Saddam didn’t recruit kids with a cartoon camel that thought he was cool but was actually a dick.  Think about it is all's I'm saying.

CHEERS to Teddy: In His Own Words.  That's the title of the documentary that premieres tonight at 9 on HBO.  Monsters and Critics says...

The footage is moving.  It will evoke a variety of emotions in people, especially for those who remember Bobby's assassination, Vietnam, various civil rights incidents including the busing riots in Boston and the Chappaquiddick scandal as top news, stories that I watched as a young child at dinnertime with CBS' Walter Cronkite.  

Just hearing the Senator's voice---culled from past commentary, speeches and public and private sources---with archival newsreel and television footage, iconic photographs and rarely seen archival footage, such as home movies and photographs, recounting the sweeping saga of Kennedy's life amidst the most turbulent of American decades, the Sixties, makes this a no-miss and highly recommended smallscreen experience.

You can watch a preview here.  The show is running a bit earlier than planned.  Michele Bachmann: In Her Own Words was supposed to air first, but it's taking the editors a lot longer than expected to add the laugh track.

JEERS to petty politicians (sorry, is that redundant?).  Thirty seven years ago today, George McGovern---who turns 87 this Sunday---became the Democratic presidential nominee at the convention in Miami Beach.  A couple years ago some secret Nixon tapes were released, revealing #37 as that rarest breed of paranoid---the sore winner:

Several hours after the election, after 1:00am, when vote totals are known, Henry Kissinger calls Nixon to congratulate him on the landslide victory: "It's an extraordinary tribute," he said. [...]  Then they go after the loser, George McGovern:

Nixon: "You know this fellow, to the last, was a prick.  Did you see his concession statement?" [...]

Nixon says speechwriter Ray Price urged him to send McGovern a message that he looks forward to working with him and his supporters for peace in the years ahead.

Nixon: "And I just said hell no, I'm not gonna send him that sort of wire."

He then took his ball and went home.

CHEERS to today's edition of Politicians Say the Darndest Things.  John McCain, gobbledygooking on Meet the Press, puts his brain on autopilot:

David Gregory: You think [Sarah Palin] is qualified to seek the highest office in the land?
John McCain:  I know she's qualified.  I know she's qualified.
David Gregory:  She is qualified?
John McCain:  Sure.  Absolutely.
David Gregory:  No doubt about it?
John McCain:  No doubt about it.  She has all the right instincts, all the right principles.  She was a...she was a...a mayor, she's a governor.  She understands the challenges that families face.

I don’t know what scares me more...that Palin had a credible shot at being vice president, or that McCain had a credible shot at being president.  Since both scenarios are unfathomably chilling, I'll just stick with my usual tried-and-true nightmare: playing naked Twister with Mitch McConnell.

JEERS to the CIA.  Which apparently stands for Coverups In Action:

Four months after he was sworn in, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta learned of an intelligence program that had been hidden from Congress since 2001, a revelation that prompted him to immediately cancel the initiative and schedule a pair of closed-door meetings on Capitol Hill.  The next day, June 24, Panetta informed the House and Senate intelligence committees of the program and the action he had taken, according to Democratic and Republican members of the panels.

And just like that, Wild Roman-style Orgy Thursdays got axed.  Killjoys.

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Five years ago in C&J: July 13, 2004

JEERS to failing to learn.  In Tennessee, Bush defends his doctrine of preemption and it goes something like this: we reserve the right to invade anyone anytime anywhere because...well...what are the chances of being 100% wrong a second time?  So quit mooning us, Canada...we're losing patience with you.

JEERS to Terrapene Family Values.  Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): "It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle.  But that does not mean it is right.  Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife."  Um...is there a new rider to the constitutional amendment we don't know about?  [7/13/09 Update: While Cornyn never actually spoke the words, they were written into his speech.  In any case, my point is he makes Yertl look like freakin' Gandhi.]

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And just one more...

CHEERS to portable suds.  On this most important date in 1568, the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, Dr. Alexander Nowell, reportedly perfected a way to bottle beer by that glorious scientific method known as serendipity:

[I]t was discovered that if beer was bottled in glass containers and sealed with cork, it would keep better than it did in the cask.  The discovery is credited to one Dr Alexander Nowell, the dean of St Paul's in Elizabethan times, who is reputed to have decanted some into a bottle to take with him on a fishing trip in 1568.  He lost one bottle in the grass and, when he came upon it again quite by chance a few days later, found it was still perfectly drinkable.

The news was hailed as a major breakthrough among the clergy.  Try stashing a keg under your robe sometime and you'll see why.

May your day be full of Mon.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"I sat next to Bill in Portland Maine once at dinner and he had his hand on my inner thigh the whole time.  I was like, ehh, get me out of here."
---New York Times columnist David Brooks
7/10/09

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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jul 13, 2009 at 05:48 AM PDT.

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