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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

9 Weeks 'Til Netroots Nation!

Here's the latest from the upcoming Rumble in the San Josumble:

Netroots nation San Jose logo
• Some of the panels at this year's convention include:

> Legitimate Tape: Using Republicans’ Own Words to Shut That Whole Thing Down
> Voting Rights for a Shifting Demographic
> Women Leading on Gun Violence Prevention
> Climate Change: Congressional Leaders & Allies on the Path Ahead
> Never Too early: Q&A on the 2014 Elections and Lessons from 2012
> Carrying on Aaron Swartz's Memory
> Stories from the Front Lines on Organizing
> Organizing Support for Abortion Rights in Hostile Territory
> Smoke Signals: The Next Step in Marijuana Reform
> How We Won Gay Marriage in 2012
> Obamacare in Action: Implementing the Affordable Care Act

There's a ton more---some really good ones. You can check out the list here.

• The Netroots Nation scholarship competition continues. You can enter yourself or someone you think is deserving of free admission and hotel accommodations at the June 20-23 convention by clicking here. Forty scholarships will be awarded in all. But get a move on---it ends May 7.

The above link, by the way, is also where you can check out the current applicants and vote for the ones you think should be in San Jose in nine weeks.

• If you want to keep up with what's goin' on in San Jose, there are a couple main ways of doing it: you can check out the daily San Jose Mercury News and the weekly San Jose Metro. Or you can just call San Jose residents at random and ask 'em what's shakin'. I recommend the former because the latter usually results in an earful of crabby.

• "I'm shocked--- SHOCKED---to learn there's partying going on at this convention!" Like this decadence that'll kick off the convention Wednesday night:

Courage Campaign opening party announcement poster for Netroots Nation 2013.
If you've never seen Howard Dean with a lampshade on his head, you're in for a real treat.

• To register for the convention, click here.

• For official hotel info, click here.

• Follow NN13 on Twitter here.

Coming soon: keynoters and all-star panels and leaked answers to the Chairman's Pub Quiz...oh my!

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, April 18, 2013

Note: Your call is, like, amazingly important to us. Please stay on the line and the next available representative will head to the break room for a snack, go outside to smoke a butt, hit the john, and then be right with you. Our current wait time is three days and sixteen minutes.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Earth Day: 4
Days 'til the 2013 Stockton Asparagus Festival in California: 8
Rank of prostate, breast and lung among the most common cancers: #1, #2, #3
(Source: Time)
The last year that the price of gold plunged as far as it did on Monday: 1980
(Source: Bloomberg News)
Increase in auto production over the past year: 10.2%
(Source: Federal Reserve)
Increase in internet ad revenue in 2012 versus 2011, totaling $36.6 billion: 15%
Increase in internet advertising if you take out Google and Facebook: 3.8%
(Source: AP)

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
I am a great admirer of John Maynard Keynes, who first pointed out that government needs to spend money during recessions, but there is a difference between frittering money away on tax cuts for the rich and using the public's money for public purposes of lasting benefit to all.

If Congress wants a public works program, here's one suggestion. Somewhere between one third and one half of all the public schools in America are between dilapidated and falling apart (many of them in rural areas as well as inner cities). This is not a problem addressed by mass testing. To put money into schools is a sound investment of public money. It pays off in the future, and you don’t have to do it again for quite some time. That would in turn give the ever-pressed school districts more leeway to hire more and better teachers.
---August, 2001

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Gold star to Albert from Roto-Rooter!!!

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President Barack Obama attends a Sandy Hook interfaith vigil at Newtown High School in Newtown, Conn., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama at Newtown
High School in December.
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CHEERS to the comforter in chief.  The president and first lady will travel to Boston today to attend a memorial service for the three people---one of them an eight year-old boy---who were killed Monday in the Boston Marathon blasts.  It's really depressing how often POTUS and FLOTUS have been called on to facilitate healing in the wake of violence---Arizona, Aurora, Newtown, now Boston.  While the president's presence and eloquence will be a comfort, it almost makes me wonder if we should have a new cabinet position: Secretary of Grieving.  Sadly, that person would be among the busiest members of the administration.

JEERS to CNN.  Yesterday they confirmed my belief that they're the worst TV news network of them all.  (I don’t consider Fox a news outfit as much as a parody network for people who are immune to parody---way to scratch a niche there, Rupert.)  While reporting on the investigation of the Boston bomber, the network once again justified its awful ratings by getting almost everything wrong.  I say "almost" because John King got his own name right.  Credit where credit is due.

Breakdown of the Senate vote on background checks 4/17/13
Not enough.
JEERS to the Worst Senate in the World.  Yesterday enough members of the so-called "upper chamber" tossed their spines on the bone heap, hoisted the middle finger at 90 percent of the American public, and crazy-glued their lips to Wayne LaPierre's ass.  Gun control legislation---at the federal level, at least---is dormant for the foreseeable future.  If there is a silver lining, it's something DemFromCT (aka Greg Dworkin) wrote in yesterday's Abbreviated Pundit Roundup:
[W]in or lose, and no matter how bitter a pill to swallow, this is not over.  The gun responsibility lobby, created from nothing 4 months ago, will continue to work for change at state and federal level.  There will be no free votes on this bill.  Senators will be held accountable.  We are not going away.
He's right.  From ending slavery to women's voting rights to LGBT rights and, oh, I dunno, a MILLION other things that would make us a more perfect union, we're nothing if not pokey.  The United Snails of America---that's us.

P.S. Just to be clear: 99.9 percent of us could've swamped our senators' switchboards with demands to pass gun-control measures, and the jerks who voted no still wouldn’t have listened.  This was far, far, far from a failure on the part of We The People to get something done to reduce gun violence.  This was a failure of leadership.  Period.

CHEERS to a government that rocks.  Today's trivia question:

After the results of a vote for marriage equality were announced, members of New Zealand's parliament and the gallery erupted into smiles, hugs, tears…and song.  Did the measure pass or fail?
Oh, you're so smart.

CHEERS to saddle sores for freedom.  238 years ago today, On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott hopped onto their Segways and scootered from Boston to Concord, Mass., warning the citizens of the approaching British army (Prescott was the only one with enough juice to make it all the way).  Their focus group-tested talking point: "The British Are Coming!"  The day after, our War of Independence began with a brief skirmish at Lexington, an engagement at Concord's North Bridge, and then guerrilla warfare as we chased 'em back to Bahston. Shortly afterwards, British General Thomas Gage quietly took down the "Mission Accomplished" banner from the bridge of his frigate.

CHEERS to a good news story that's nothin' but a good news story and maybe I'm high as I write this and maybe I ain't.  Everybody twist up a fat one and rejoice---Willie Nelson has a new CD out this week: Let's Face the Music and Dance:

Willie Nelson cover of his 2013 album Let's Face the Music and Dance
Willie once smoked a joint on
the White House roof when he
was a guest of Jimmy Carter.
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2013 is shaping up as a banner year for the pop country patriarch, who turns 80 on April 30.  His rollicking memoir, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die---Musings from the Road,” published by HarperCollins in May 2012, is currently a New York Times bestselling non-fiction title and Let’s Face The Music And Dance is an essential addition to the outlaw country artist’s catalog of timeless recordings.

Compiling the repertoire for Let’s Face The Music And Dance, Willie chose a range of pop, rock, jazz and country classics drawn from the 1930s (“Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” “Walking My Baby Back Home”), 1940s (“You’ll Never Know,” “I Wish I Didn’t Love You So,” “Shame On You”) and 1950s (“Matchbox”) covering evergreen songwriters Irving Berlin, Mack Gordon, Carl Perkins, Frank Loesser, Django Reinhardt and Spade Cooley, among others. Willie turns in a beautiful new version of his composition “Is The Better Part Over,” a song he introduced on 1989′s A Horse Called Music.

When I'm 80 I hope I can remember how to face the toilet and flush.

JEERS to the coin-tosser-in-chief.  Seven years ago, George W. Bush, in yet another moment of detachment from reality, proclaimed after 5½ years of utter incompetence that "I'm the decider and I decide what's best."  If I may weigh in on that, sir, all these years later?  You sucked at deciding.

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Five years ago in C&J: April 18, 2008

Dondi
Stephanopoulos
CHEERS to Time Travel.  George Stephanopoulos yesterday, defending himself for co-moderating Wednesday night's Democratic debate so horribly:
"The questions we asked [about flag pins and the Weather Underground and man/flag love and the capital gains tax] were tough and fair and appropriate and relevant and what you would expect to be asked in a presidential debate at this point."
Now here's George Stephanopoulos, circa 1992 (via a clip dug up by The Colbert Report), slapping himself silly for his atrocious job of co-moderating Wednesday night's 2008 Democratic debate:
"What [we need] to do in this campaign is focus on what's important to the American people.  On the jobs and the education.  That's what the American people care about.  They want to move into the future.  They don't want to be diverted by side issues."
Thank you, George.  Now give yourself a wedgie.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the S-word.  A dusty old retailer that was last relevant in the 1980s has thrown the equivilent of a hail-Mary pass.  I don’t know or care how this got approved by the suits at corporate HQ, but it's a beautiful thing…and judging by the number of You Tube hits, over 11,000,000 people agree.  Enjoy:

For a brief shining moment, Kmart is cool again.

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:

Cheers and Jeers goes down for small number of users, usual panic follows.
---Ars Technica

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Poll

Are you as concerned as the tea partiers are about the secret United Nations plot to forcibly take possession of our nation's golf courses and turn them into gigantic French perfume boutiques?

44%1234 votes
4%136 votes
2%78 votes
4%111 votes
43%1200 votes

| 2761 votes | Vote | Results

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