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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Good News Monday!

Netroots for the Troops care package
A box packed at Netroots Nation
by Netroots for the Troops
Less than a week ago, the Netroots for the Troops (NFTT) organizers announced an ambitious goal of raising $15,000 to cover the cost of packing and shipping care packages to forward U.S. military units in Afghanistan---aka the troops we all love who are still engaged in the war we all hate. This is NFTT's sixth year, and the annual volunteer effort has been applauded by everyone from U.S. senators (Warren, Whitehouse, Brown) and congressmembers (Duckworth, Grijalva, many more) to…well, just about everybody.

There's a reason my title above says Good News Monday. In six days, you have collectively chipped in $12,156, meaning 81 percent of the goal is behind us!

Rep. Raul Grijalva packs a box for Netroots for the Troops
Rep. Grijalva packs
an NFTT box in 2011.
That means all we have left to raise is two grand and some change. If you're so inclined, please chip in a tax-deductible $3, $10, $20, $50, or more if you can, by clicking here and going to the NFTT donation page. And please share this post on Twitter, Facebook and the other corners of the social-mediaverse.

NFTT Executive Director Tony Gattis (aka "TexDem") is thrilled with the response, partially because it's allowing him to get the wheels turning faster as he and the volunteers prep for the big packing day in San Jose. (If you'll be at Netroots Nation, you're invited to join the assembly line.) Thank You for getting us 81 percent towards our goal. And pre-emptve thanks for taking us over the top.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, June 3, 2013

Note: Okay.  After this weekend I believe in global warming again.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Summer: 18
Days 'til the 40th annual Old Port Festival in Portland, Maine: 6
Percent of their wealth that the average American household has recouped since the Bush Crash of 2008: 45%
(Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
Average warning times respectively, in minutes, for confirmed tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods: 14 / 18 / 64
(Source: NOAA)
Rank of Minnesota and Mississippi among healthiest states in the country for seniors: #1, #50
(Source: America's Health Rankings Senior Report by the United Health Foundation)
Bank failures so far this year: 13
Rank of "drivers honking their horn" among top pet peeves for joggers: #1
(Source: Brooks Running Survey via USA Today)

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NEW!  California Dreamin'

Brought to you by the 2013 Netroots Nation Convention in San Jose, June 20-23.  If you're feeling in a high-tech mood, you might want to beam yourself over to the Tech Museum of innovation, which…

The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose
The Tech at night.
…is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum-located in the Capital of Silicon Valley - is a non-profit learning resource established to inspire the innovator in everyone. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards, The Tech celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative technology for a more promising future.
In fact, the "Liquid Courage" party, sponsored by NN13 and the Courage Campaign, is Wednesday the 19th at the museum.  (R2D2 will be serving the drinks---please have the correct change handy.)

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  In Washington state, dogs gotta learn new tricks…

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June Lockhart in Lost in Space
I love June, don't you?
CHEERS to June! Dad and the flag get their day, gay pride breaks out across the country (June 15th here in Portland), Atlantic hurricane season started Saturday (the forecasters say this'll be a busy year, so keep plenty of emegency candy corn on hand), the Supreme Court rules on two landmark gay-rights cases and rumor has it there's a little netroots dustup starting in 17 days in San Jose.  Plus: according to my wall calendar the Queen gets two holiday celebrations, one in New Zealand (today) and one in Australia (the 10th).  There's a full moon on the 23rd, so you have some time to practice winking at Neil Armstrong.  Superman gets a latex-covered reboot at the movies.  Oh, and a special message from our Maine mosquitoes: "Come on up---we'd love to have ya for a drink sometime."

P.S. "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon!"  So who drew the black spot this year?  I gotta get these rocks thrown and then back home in time for Judge Judy.

JEERS to a weekend of pointed fingers.  Whoa---what the hell happened?!!  Illinois was poised to celebrate the passage of a marriage-equality bill on Friday night.  All that was needed was a vote in the House and Governor Quinn's signature.  But Friday night came and went without that House vote, and now everybody's blaming everybody else (including their dogs, several of whom apparently ate the bill) as the insufferable right-wing bigot grifters crow about their huge victory in order to soak up some fundraising cash.  Smooth move, Land Of Lincoln legislators.  But at least there's still a chance to make it a summer of love:

Illinois Unites for Marriage graphic about the upcoming May, 2013 House vote.
The Illinois House slept
through its alarm clock.
The Illinois same sex marriage bill had its deadline date for approval extended into the summer.  House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) acted quietly on Friday night before the House adjourned to extend the bill’s deadline for approval until August 31.
If a special House session is called between now and August 31 (and it sounds probable since they still need to deal with an unfinished pension-reform bill) they can schedule another vote on the marriage bill.  So keep the faith, gay Illinoisians and Illinoisianettes---soon enough you'll be throwing bouquets, and the bigots will be throwing tantrums.

CHEERS to great moments in "Ahhhoooooogah!!"  Sixty seven years ago today, in 1946, the first bikini (named after the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific) went on display in Paris.  It took a few days, but they finally figured out it looked better on women.

JEERS to meteorological mayhem.  The gods were angry over the weekend, as one calamity after another---lightning, hail, twisters, searing heat, floods, fires, John McCain appearing on another Sunday show---ripped through one state after another.  The worst of it, again, was Oklahoma, where tornadoes killed a bunch of people, including three storm chasers.  Disaster services, including FEMA and the Red Cross, are comforting the afflicted with a three-prong approach: 1) Tend to the injured and restore power and water, 2) provide emergency food, shelter and clothing as cleanup commences, and 3) Duct-tape Tom Coburn's mouth.  Not necessarily in that order.

CHEERS to moments worth remembering:

"Our primary season has finally come to an end... Because of you, I can say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States of America.

America, this is our moment!  This is our time!"
---Barack Obama, June 3, 2008

My hangover on June 4th, 2008: a moment worth forgetting.

CHEERS to the madman's demise.  24 years ago, Iranian Ayatollah "Dick" Khomeini---the jerk who held American citizens (including the dad of one of my high school classmates) hostage for 444 days---died after choking on a mixture of Pepsi and Pop Rocks.  True story: During the funeral procession, grieving supporters lunged at his coffin, causing his corpse to fall into the dust.  A fitting end to a first-class asshole.

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Five years ago in C&J: June 3, 2008

CHEERS to Ted's head.  Great news: Kennedy's brain surgery was successful.  He told his wife, "I feel like a million bucks.  I think I'll do that again tomorrow."  But just to be sure he was back on his game, the lead surgeon gave him a little test:

President Obama walks with Ted Kennedy at the White House
One of my favorite pics.
"Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when I say...Santa Claus."
"Christmas."
"Very good.  How about...Sunday?"
"Mass."
"Cape Cod?"
"Regatta."
"Fine.  How about...Dick Cheney?"
"Go to hell."
"Yep, you're OK."
He'll be towel-snapping Mitch McConnell again in no time.

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And just one more…

Pastor Dan Schultz
Hi, Dan.
-
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CHEERS to the Blessed Birthday Boy.  Brothers and Sisters, today is [Cue the angelic harps] Street Prophets founder and loooooooong-time Kossack Pastor Dan (Schultz)'s birthday.  Did you know he's the progressive genius who came up with the idea for the Netroots Nation convention (originally called "Yearly Kos")?  It's true!  And after I met him for the first time in Chicago in 2007 I wrote: "If Jesus returned and declared himself sheriff of the world, he’d make Pastor Dan his deputy."  A good man to have on our side, and we hope he turns a year older with grace, dignity, and a few of the F-bombs he's so fond of dropping.  Happy birthday, Dan...and many blessings on your camels.

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"What good is it to save the planet if Bill in Portland Maine suffers?"
---Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson

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Poll

As far as my favorite months are concerned, I put June in…

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