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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Only >>> 10!!! <<< Weeks 'til Netroots Nation!

And there's news:

Panels panels Panels!!! After whittling 400 submissions down to the final 80,  the schedule is set:

Netroots Nation 2014 logo &nbsp;Detroit
70 days 'til showtime!
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Thank you to everyone who submitted an idea; this year garnered the strongest, most diverse group of submissions ever. Our 2014 agenda includes a strong lineup of panels on economic issues, particularly around fighting against corporate influence and for more progressive, populist policies that help the middle class. We also have lots of content on the upcoming election cycle, as well as 2016, and lots more.

People come to Netroots Nation each year to hear about the next big issue or idea. This year’s agenda includes panels focused on the most current fights (for example, Religious Exemptions: The Next Frontier for Progressive Battles), sessions highlighting new progressive ideas (A Public Option for Simple Banking for Underserved Communities), and several discussions on cutting-edge campaigning.

An added plus: there's more diversity in the 2014 panels than ever before. You can check 'em out yourself by clicking on this magic insta-portal to the future.

Banner for Netroots nation/DFA scholarship competition 2014.
The Netroots Nation scholarship competition is underway and time is running out. You can enter yourself or someone you think is deserving of free admission and hotel accommodations at the July 17-20 convention. The five applicants with the most votes overall will automatically win a scholarship, and the remaining 25 spots will be chosen by a select committee headed by Darrell Issa. (That is not a joke. Okay…it is.) For more details and to vote for the applicants you think are most deserving, click here. Voting ends Monday, May 12.

Elizabeth Warren at Netroots nation
Battles Wall Street with one hand tied
behind her back...just to keep it fair.
•  The keynoters are starting to be let out of the bag. (Relax, they have air holes and we feed them twice a day.) The first is a card-carrying Kossack who is very complimentary towards this site in her new book, A Fighting Chance: Senator Elizabeth Warren. Of the top cities where her message resonates, Detroit is right up there.

Last month The San Francisco Chronicle of Everything But Narnia wrote about a Netroots Nation-style gathering of tech-oriented right-leaners happening out west at the same time as Netroots Nation. As writer
Joe Garofoli points out:

Creating a "conservatarian" answer to Netroots Nation won't be easy---other activists have tried and failed to do so in the past. Netroots Nation, which grew out of the Daily Kos blog, drew 1,000 activists to its first convention in 2006. Organizers expect 3,000 to attend its gathering in Detroit this summer. … "Most of the people I know who are libertarian in the tech world think that work is work, and that their views are their views, and they don't mix the two," said Netroots Nation Executive Director Raven Brooks.
I hate to give advice to an adversary, but you can't go wrong by renting a chocolate fountain. Or two.

Registration and Hotel info are here and here.

Follow NN14 via Twitter here.

Other than that, I got nothin'.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, May 8, 2014

Note: Now that we're all publicly gathered here, I'd like to start with the customary prayer: "O Lord, please give us the strength and wisdom to abolish opening prayers at public gatherings on account of they're really obnoxious." Amen.
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Funtown/Splashtown USA, saco, Maine logo
Opens in 2 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the next new moon, which the anti-science crowd will claim is proof that the moon is a hoax because, “Look, it ain’t there no more!”: 20
Days 'til the official 2014 season opening of Funtown-Splashtown USA in Saco, Maine: 2
Portion of millionaires surveyed who favor tax hikes on themselves and an increase in the minimum wage: 2/3
Percent of Democratic and Republican millionaires, respectively, who believe America's obscene income gap is troubling: 86%, 20%
(Source: CNBC poll)
Feet of cable being laid inside the 600-ft, $3.3 billion Zumwalt-class navy destroyer being outfitted at Maine's Bath Iron Works: 2.3 million
Number of priests that the Vatican has "defrocked" and "sanctioned," respectively, since 2004 on sexual molestation grounds: 848 / 2,572
(Source: AP)
Percent chance that Nielsen's consumer confidence index reached the magic "100" baseline number in the first quarter of 2014---the highest score since Q3 in 2007: 100%

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo &nbsp;--- small
[A]pproximately one fourth of all fertilized eggs are swept out on the menstrual tide before they even get near to implanting themselves in the uterine wall, and we do not hold funerals over Kotex or Tampax. I suggest to you this means that the beginning of life is not a single specific event, but rather a process that deserves increasing respect as it continues toward birth---precisely the tripartite system set up under Roe v. Wade (and if you hear Roe v. Wade described as "abortion on demand," you are listening to a liar).

I respect those who oppose abortion, but I do not think they have a right to use the law as an instrument of coercion against people who do not believe (and it is a matter of faith) as they do. ... There were an estimated one million abortions a year in this country before Roe. Abortion can be safe and legal, or dirty and illegal. It cannot be stopped.
---From Who Let the Dogs In? (2004, Random House)

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Fascinating

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CHEERS to a terrible, horrible, no-good day for Obamacare-hating Republicans.  Yesterday Republicans on the House self-immolation committee staged hearings on the Affordable Care Act, hoping to cruise to an easy victory over their own (bogus) report claiming that the number of sign-ups who were actually paying their premiums was pitifully low.  Instead, their witnesses from the insurance companies refused to play along and, as some Republicans literally fled the room, this is what the Democrats on the committee did to them:

Also yesterday, Jonathan Chait wrote a column listing all the ways in which Republican predictions about Obamacare have fizzled…a column that was summarized this way by our own Greg Dworkin on Daily Kos radio:

"Customers aren't paying their premiums? False.
Health insurance doesn’t make you healthy? False.
The uninsured rate won’t go down? False.
Premiums are gonna skyrocket? False.
Costs would be unaffordable? False."
Republicans watching their entire 2014 campaign strategy blow up in their face? Delightfully true.

JEERS to a fine mess we've gotten ourselves into.  The feds released a major climate-change report this week, and it would appear that we have reached the point where it's not so much a matter of reversing it as preparing for the increasingly awful calamities ahead.  Here's a sneak peek at Maine's prognosis:

Global on fire
At least it's a dry heat?
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• The spread of invasive plant and insect species. One potential victim is the moose, which faces greater infestations of ticks that survive milder winters.
• More frequent heat waves. One study projected that northern New England communities near the Canadian border could eventually have 15 days a year when temperatures exceed 90 degrees. They now have fewer than five.
• The migration of commercial fish species northward as ocean water temperatures rise.
Maine Teapublican Governor Paul LePage said he would immediately turn the report over to the proper people for serious consideration.  Then he walked back to his office, turned the report over to his staff, and told them to seriously consider if they'd rather shred it or burn it.

CHEERS to "Give 'Em Hell Harry."  And happy 130th birthday to #33, the former haberdasher who said "I felt like the moon, the stars and all the planets had fallen on me" when he became president after FDR died in 1945.  George W. Bush likes to cling to the notion that his legacy will be vindicated over time, as Truman's was.  Or perhaps not: when Bush came into office, the country was enjoying virtually unprecedented peace and prosperity and he led us straight into depression and war.  Truman's situation was a bit different.  From the book Rating the Presidents, in which over 700 historians and political gurus rank Truman #7:

"I don't give 'em Hell. I just
tell the truth about them
and they think it's Hell."
Ahead of him was the task of leading a nation worn out from almost sixteen years of depression and war.  Truman paid heavily for the mood of the people and the troubles of the times.  Contemporary opinion polls gave him terrible ratings.  He was reviled, the endless butt of jokes like, "To err is Truman."

In later, calmer years historians and political scientists assessing his standing consistently ranked him among America's ten best presidents.  Our poll participants give him high rankings in all categories, never dropping him lower than ninth and in the Accomplishments and Crisis Management categories ranked him sixth.

But, golly, it sure sucked when Dewey defeated him.  Titter titter.

CHEERS to real "Mission Accomplished" moments.  And speaking of Truman, World War II---which got started in 1939 when Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked a kerosene lantern into Adolf Hitler's crotch (source: Bullshitipedia)---officially ended in Europe 69 years ago today.  Truman famously said: "The flags of freedom fly all over Europe!"  And the head of the House cafeteria famously said: "Hooray---we can finally change 'freedom veal' back to 'wienerschnitzel.'"

CHEERS to pigskin fever!  Round 1 of the NFL draft is today and I have no idea what that means!  Whoo hoooo!!!  But I do know this: don’t tell Ted Nugent.  Anytime he hears the word "draft" he shits his pants.

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

AWWWW... to losing your marbles.  Well, that was fast---RNC chairman Michael Steele just lost his power of the purse, meaning his job duties now are so scaled back that he'll have hours and hours to surf porn at his desk.  Funny thing: I don’t hear him complaining.

JEERS or CHEERS---who the hell knows?--- to cryptic report cards.  The results of the "stress tests" on 19 major banks are out, and the verdict is unanimous: they're stressing us all out.  Please insert 75 billion dollars in the slot and have a nice day.  Oh, and here: have a wall calendar.

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And just one more…

JEERS to Groundhog Day: Kill Me Now edition.  So here we go again: more Benghazi hearings in a couple weeks, only this time on steroids (thanks to its elevation to "select committee" status).  To give you an idea of how long this has been going on, one year ago today Think Progress posted the results of---you guessed it---Benghazi hearings!  And if past is any prologue, this is the kind of "no there there" crap we'll be debunking all the livelong day:

Man in straightjacket yelling
"It's Lieutenant Hurwitz.
Severe shell shock.
Thinks he's Darrell Issa."
The “whistleblowers” at today’s House Oversight Committee hearing on what really happened in Benghazi, Libya last September were supposed to break the dam that would lead to President Obama’s eventual downfall, in the eyes of conservatives. Instead, these witness actually served to debunk several theories that the right-wing has pushed on Benghazi, leaving the hearing a fizzle for the GOP:

1. F-16s could have been sent to Benghazi
2. Hillary Clinton signed cables denying additional security to Benghazi
3. A Special Forces Team that could have saved lives was told to stand down
4. The State Department’s Accountability Review Board isn’t legitimate

And so on.  Of course, we now know that the tragedy of Benghazi---yeah, four people did get killed---is actually being flogged by the GOP because it makes their cash registers ring.  Tell me again why polls show they're less popular than cockroaches and head lice?  

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:

Despite reform measures in recent years, Bill in Portland Maine isn't improving in reading or in math, according to the latest results from a federally prescribed test known as the National Assessment of Cheers and Jeers.
---The Wall Street Journal.

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Poll

Based on their overall performance on the bench so far, how would you rate President Obama's Supreme Court picks, Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor?

64%2440 votes
28%1064 votes
4%161 votes
2%76 votes
1%44 votes

| 3790 votes | Vote | Results

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