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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Countdown to Netroots Nation: 19 Weeks and Downcounting!

Netroots nation San Jose logo
Good Morning! (At least I hope it's a good morning or else that's gonna sound pretty stupid. I worry about these kinds of things.)

The folks at Netroots Nation---aka the At Netroots Nation folks---asked me to remind you about tomorrow's deadline for submitting your panel or workshop idea for this year's convention in San Jose (June 20-23):

"Your submissions will help us create an inclusive and engaging agenda for our 2013 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."
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama at the 2007 Netroots Nation convention in Chicago
This 2007 Netroots Nation
panel was...eh...it was okay.
If you've been working on a panel idea and you need to finish it up, or if inspiration is striking you right now, consider this your virtual string-around-the finger. For more info and a submission form, click your heels three times and then click here. But be advised: at midnight tomorrow, that web page will turn back into a cornish game hen. (Nobody knows why, but tech support has promised to look into it.)

And, as always, if you need links to the NN13 registration page and/or the official hotels, here's the former and here's the latter.

We now return you to our regularly-scheduled mayhem.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, February 7, 2013

Note: Today's drinking game for CIA Director-nominee John Brennan's confirmation hearing is as follows: take a swig every time he says "I'll be happy to speak to you about that offline," and a shot every time he says, "I'd have to look at that in more detail before I could provide a definitive answer."  (Translation for both: "I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you, and as CIA director I could do that.")  See ya under the table!

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til President Obama delivers the State of the Union address on Lincoln's birthday, 23 days after being sworn in on Martin Luther King Jr. Day: 5
Days 'til the 50th annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival in Florida: 9
Percent of Mainers who favor banning ammo clips that hold more than 10 bullets: 61%
Percent of Mainers who favor banning armor-piercing bullets: 69%
(Source: Maine Sunday Telegram poll)
Percent of children living in Japan's Fukushima prefecture who have thyroid abnormalities: 40%
(Source: Harper's Index)
Decrease in heat-trapping gases from coal-fired power plants between 2010 and 2011: 4.6%
(Source: EPA)
Percent chance that the hills are alive with the sound of music: 100%
(Source: Von Trapp Institute for Paranormal Alpine Studies)

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly Ivins
As Paul Krugman of The New York Times points out, if you accept the Rosy Scenario the administration is using to paint privatization as an effective scheme, then Social Security is in no trouble at all and we don't need to do anything about it -- economic growth will take care of it all. Contrariwise, if you accept the doom-and-gloom scenario the administration uses to prove that SS is in trouble, then there's no way the privatization scheme will be anything other than a disaster.

Dogged if I know what these people have against SS, a program that works just fine and has kept elderly people from having to eat cat food for many years now. Because the right wing has somehow become a cult of anti-government nuthatches, I have no idea where we're headed.
---February, 2005

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  First!!!

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National Weather Service graphic of snow falling.
Storm's a brewin'...
CHEERS to takin' a big fat flaky dump.  I always say that if you're gonna have winter ya might as well have snow on the ground.  I should probably say that a little more quietly, though, because Mother Nature is granting my request with a huge winter storm in the northeast, and Portland appears to be near ground zero.  The latest forecast I saw said we could get up to 30 inches, meaning we'll be waddling around outside like Sumo wrestlers.  So if you're in the northeast, make sure you've got plenty of emergency vittles (Bacardi and Oreos in this household) and supplies, and hunker down (weather guy says by noon-ish) tomorrow.  And as Obi Wan Kenobi famously said: "May the internet connection stay with you."

CHEERS to "nutritional tyranny!"  That's no doubt what'll be buzzing through conservatives' heads as they discover the government is sticking their commie bean-sprout-clutching hands down Junior's throat:

WPA school lunch program poster.
"Healthy food is tyranny!"
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The government for the first time is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are more healthful, a change that would ban the sale of almost all candy, high-calorie sports drinks and greasy foods on campus. …

The rules, required under a child nutrition law passed by Congress in 2010, are part of the government's effort to combat childhood obesity. … Under the proposal, the Agriculture Department would set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on almost all foods sold in schools.

Credit Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack for the announcement.  Certainly not a cure-all, but I don't see why the new rules wouldn’t make a dent in childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes, juvenile heart disease, etc.  On the other hand, belching the alphabet on diet soda?  That's just not right.

JEERS to tying yourself up in unnecessary knots.  Yesterday was the day that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) promised to announce a new, more inclusive policy towards kids wanting to join who happen to be gay.  Instead, they found themselves unprepared and kicked the can of pork-and-beans down the road until May.  So, to sum up via the Scout Law: the BSA board wasn't brave or trustworthy yesterday.  The anti-gay scout protesters in front of the BSA headquarters weren't friendly, courteous, cheerful, kind or helpful.  But because our side is thrifty, obedient and loyal to the struggle, we'll prevail.  Wow---between this and the looming Supreme Court action on DOMA and Prop. 8, we've got a gay gay gay gay spring ahead.  Now you know why Punxsutawney Phil showed up last Saturday wearing an ascot.

CHEERS to construer constriction. On February 7, 1795 the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.  It says:

The Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 1795
"The judicial power of the United States shall not be
construed to extend to any suit in law or equity,
commenced or prosecuted against one of the United
States by citizens of another State,
or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state."
Sadly, they failed to include "or by aliens from another planet," leading to the unexpected annexation of Montana by the Emperor Glarb of the Xxxxorpp nebula. Whoops!

JEERS to skipping the proof-reading part.  Thanks for sending me this email, CREDO Action people.  It's very good.  Except for this part:

Aaron Schwartz

Dear Bill,

Aaron Schwartz was one of CREDO's allies in the fight for social justice.

Yes.  And so was Aaron Swartz.  Very sad he's gone.  Aaron Schwartz has big shoes to fill.  Sign the petition anyway to urge Congress to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  And then feel free to slap me upside the head for being nitpicky.  But c'mon---if you want the whole world to know about someone you admire, and you want them to take action on his behalf, at least get name right.

CHEERS to repetition that repeats itself. On this date in 1893, the "telautograph" was patented, which automatically added signatures to documents. Don Rumsfeld made great use of it when expressing his condolences to families of soldiers killed in Iraq, thus allowing him to fit in a couple extra games of squash every week. Efficient?  Gosh, yes.  Heartless?  Goodness gracious, of course!

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Five years ago in C&J: February 7, 2008

JEERS to Fox News.  The official television network of the George W. Bush administration is still holding out hope that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will debate in front of the dumbest, most right-wing TV viewers in the nation.  Bill O'Reilly even went so far yesterday as to say, "If you dodge us, it is at your peril."  Sure, Bill.  But first we wanna see you arrange a Republican debate on Air America.  Hello?  Hello??  He must have falafel in his ears.

CHEERS to defying gravity to touch...the face...of GOD!  Does anybody get excited about space shuttle launches anymore?  If the weather cooperates and the mini-bar is fully stocked, Atlantis will launch at around 2:45.  By the way, wouldn’t it be wild if God actually appeared during a launch and the shuttle bumped into her boobie and made a little "honk" sound?  That's why I love science---the possibilities.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to historic moments in getting caught.  It wasn't Watergate or an adultery scandal, but I think today contains an anniversary worth noting with a hearty "Heh."  Three years ago today, while bamboozling a rapt Tea Party audience in Nashville at the height of the movement's ascendency, former everything Sarah Palin got caught for the most juvenile of transgressions: writing cheat notes on her hand:

Energy.  Budget  Tax cuts.  Lift American spirits.  So complex were those concepts to the former half-term governor that she had to write them down.  On her hand.  Or, as EileenB said in the above diary, her "telepalmter."  We don’t say this to our right-wing friends nearly enough: thank you for your healing power of laughter.

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:

'Don’t Say Gay' Sponsor Compares Cheers and Jeers to Injecting Heroin
---Think Progress

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