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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE

Dreaming of Warmer Days Ahead

Six months from nine days from now, Michigan Republicans will tremble as the 2014 Netroots Nation convention gets underway. It may warm your tootsies to know that the average July high temperature in Detroit is 82°.

But first things first: we need to know what we're all gonna talk about and organize ourselves around (besides barstools) while we're there. Drawing upon my amazing slacking delegating skills, I cede the balance of my time to NN14 Executive Director Raven Brooks:

Netroots nation 2014 Detroit banner
In the coming year, activists around the country will continue to raise their voices for better wages, improved access to healthcare and education, and equal opportunity for every person in this country.

In Michigan---our host state for NN14---progressives will continue to push back against regressive legislation on women's health and attacks on labor and collective bargaining while others will lend their support to win an open Senate seat or to unseat Gov. Rick Snyder.

With Netroots Nation 2014 coming just months before the midterms, our goal is to highlight the work you are doing around the country, from electoral campaigns to issue work in your home state. What issues are most important to you and your community? We want to know so we can build the agenda for Netroots Nation 2014 around what's most important to you.

Register NOW for Netroots nation 2014
Each year, we ask for your help in developing and organizing the sessions you’ll attend at Netroots Nation. Your submissions will help us create an inclusive agenda for our 2014 conference while also helping shape the national dialog for progressives in the coming months.

It's easy to submit an idea. Click here for the guidelines and submission form.

The deadline for submissions is February 19.

This coming year will help shape our nation's future, and you can help ensure it's a progressive one. See you in Detroit!

If you could please use your social media outlets to help spread the word, it would be hugely appreciated. Make sure you include the secret authentication code phrase: "Drinks are on Armando!"

Other handy links: Click here to register and Click here for hotel info.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Note: I think today's note is some kind of warning about an impending asteroid strike within the next 24 hours, but I can't read it because it's obscured by polar vortex icicles.  No biggie---we'll try and figure it out by tomorrow's C&J.  ---Mgt.

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Camden (Maine) Winterfest logo
24 days!!!
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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Winter Olympic Games in 100% heterosexual Russia: 30
Days 'til Maine's Camden Winterfest: 24
Number of session days scheduled for the House in 2014, down from 135 last year: 112
Decline in Maine's population last year: 199
(Source: Census Bureau)
Work-related deaths among U.S. miners in 2012 and 2013: 36, 42
(Source: Think Progress)
Number of same-sex couples who filed a class action suit against the state's ban on gay marriage: 4
Percent chance that “Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base are the marks”: 100%
(Source: Chris Hayes)

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Mid-week Rapture Index: 184 (including 5 Moral Standards and 1 movie director who can't explain what he does without a teleprompter).  Soul Protection Factor 14 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Timely advice

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Yellow sign with black snail image on it
Shh! Congress is in session.
CHEERS to clearing a hurdle.  Yesterday the Senate began its slow, frustrating crawl toward maybe or maybe not getting emergency unemployment benefits renewed.  They got 60 Yeas for a silly pre-vote vote, which earns them to right to start talking about the bill.  A majority will agree that it doesn’t cost that much, it helps the economy, supports job creation, and provides a lifeline to over a million Americans unsuccessful in their search for employment despite countless applications and interviews.  Then they have to vote to stop talking about the bill, and only then can they vote to actually pass the damn thing.  Then it's on to the House, where Republican members are now getting tutored on how to "sound" empathetic about the unemployed without actually having to "be" empathetic about the unemployed.  So far they've learned to use phrases like, "My sympathies that you've become a long-term moocher" and "I'd hire you myself, but my office is already staffed up with unpaid interns."  Today Boehner will lead a panel on how to cry on cue.

CHEERS to lifting all boats.  On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson---his greatness not yet destroyed by the Vietnam escalation---declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America" (at the 13:30 mark):

Fifty years later, Republicans like Senator Marco Rubio would like us to cut and run.  Apparently it hasn't resulted in enough no-bid contracts for oil companies or the military-indutrial complex.  And that's no fun at all.

CHEERS to a grown-up response.  As gay Utahans nurse the sting of having the door to marriage slammed in their face for the foreseeable future because "gay = ick" among the powers-that-be, marriage equality appears to be on its way to permanence in New Mexico, thanks in part to its Republican governor:

Freedom to marry graphic It's time for marriage in New Mexico
The governor agrees!
Gov. Susana Martinez said at a news conference Monday that she won’t push for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in New Mexico in the upcoming legislative session. … Asked whether that meant she wouldn’t push for the Legislature to pass a measure like Sen. Bill Sharer’s Senate Joint Resolution 6, Martinez responded, “It’s the law of the land. The [state] Supreme Court has spoken.”
Mark those weighty words down in the history books, and pass them down for future generations to behold: in the year 2014 a Republican actually took yes for an answer!  Aaaaaaaamen.

weights on an old-fashioned scale
Tools of tyranny, by George!
CHEERS to humble beginnings.  On January 8,1790, President Washington delivered the first, and deliberately bland, State of the Union address (here's ye olde transcript). Today he'd shock the teabaggers out of their knee socks:
"Uniformity in the currency, weights, and measures of the United States is an object of great importance, and will, I am persuaded, be duly attended to."
That's right---the father of our country wanted to take your currency, weights and measures and redistribute their uniformity to everyone else.  Long-haired socialist hippie.

JEERS to the energizer dictator.  On this date in 1959, Fidel Castro claimed total victory of his takeover in Cuba.  55 years and one decades-long U.S. embargo later, Castro has outlasted 11 U.S. presidents.  I think he's about to crack---any day now, I hear.

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Five years ago in C&J: January 8, 2009

CHEERS to famous firsts.  Yesterday five U.S. presidents met in the Oval Office to exchange secret handshakes and decoder rings.  Going through their heads as this historic photo was taken:

Presidents H.W. Bush, Obama, G.W. Bush, Clinton and Carter in the Oval Office on January 7, 2009.
George H.W. Bush: "Jeb. Why couldn’t it have been Jeb?"
Barack Obama: "Great---I'm the filling in a Bush sandwich."
George W. Bush: "Ooh! Shiny object!"
Bill Clinton: "Down, boy, down!"
Carter: "I could whip these guys' asses with my eyes closed..."
And when it was over only one lamp was missing.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the happy meeting of X and Y chromosomes.  Today is National Male Watcher's Day.  Seriously…it's a thing.  Far be it from me to deny you the simple pleasure of viewing the male form in all its glory, so ogle away:

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the beach
Don't say I never did anything for ya.  Like, say, give you nightmares.

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

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Dusty old Cheers and Jeers could reveal answer to life, the universe and EVERYTHING
---The Register

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Poll

Hey, America! Do you agree with Nebraska Republican senate candidate and former Bush admin. official Ben Sasse that all we need for our government to work better is to move the capital to Nebraska?

11%347 votes
3%102 votes
2%66 votes
2%83 votes
79%2345 votes

| 2946 votes | Vote | Results

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