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Only >>> 6!!! <<< Weeks 'til Netroots Nation Goes to Detroit!

Here's the latest:

• The opening night speaker has been announced, and what a thrill

Rev. William Barber of the NC NAACP and opening night speaker at Netroots Nation Detroit
We’re excited to welcome Rev. William Barber, the fiery preacher behind North Carolina’s Moral Mondays movement, to Netroots Nation this summer.
Rev. Barber will speak to attendees---and help set the tone for Netroots Nation---at Thursday night’s opening plenary session. A recent piece in Mother Jones says Rev. Barber is “charting a new path for protesting Republican overreach in the South---and maybe beyond.” With conservative overreach happening in states across the country, having Rev. Barber speak couldn’t come at a better time.
You can see him in action via Denise Oliver Valez's post here.

Hotel rooms at the Detroit Marriott are sold out for some days. Please read the update here for details and options.

• Ever since the demonstration of my teleportation prototype went disastrously wrong (hey, gimme a break, I was only three), I've given up the techie life. But if you're a gadget guru, this is for you:

Technical difficulties TV pattern with color bars
We're excited to bring the New Tools Shootout back to Netroots Nation. In addition to the great product demos, this year’s event features a Saturday reception sponsored by Google at Grand Circus (Detroit's new tech hub, near the Convention Center), plus awards given out in four categories. Select presenters will have a chance to make a live pitch. Attendees will then vote on their favorite new feature/product, favorite app or Facebook application, and favorite startup technology.

The New Tools Shootout is a great way to get the inside stories on how these tools are being designed and built, the impact they’re already having on campaigns and organizations, and what they can do to help you become a more powerful and more effective activist and leader.

Applications close June 20. Sign up here.

RSVP now for the Daily Kos/C&J Meet 'n Greet 'n Eat at Vicente's Cuban Cuisine on Wednesday, July 16 starting at 5pm. Let Navajo know you're going via kosmail by clicking here. This is a great chance to hobnob with the Kossacks you love, and maybe start a good old-fashioned pie fight with the Kossacks you don't. We'd love to see you there!

Netroots Nation 2014 logo &nbsp;Detroit
Volunteers are needed for a variety of essential tasks. If you can spare an hour or more, drop Eric Thut an email at volunteers[at]

Panels are here.

• Register to join the NN14 fun here, and follow #NN14 via Twitter here.

Oh, and Happy Birthday this week to Pastor Dan Schultz, who was the original inspirer of the first "Yearly Kos" convention back---waaaaay back---in 2006. When I interviewed him  a few years ago, I asked if he'd ever seen the Virgin Mary in a piece of toast. His response: "Waffle. Denver. In a bar." Close enough.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, June 5, 2014

Note: A quick heads-up that there will be no C&J on Monday.  (Cottage openings for friends that normally happen in April and May have gotten pushed back this year, so they're bunched up.)  Back Tuesday to resume our five-day-a-week-schedule through mid-July.

Chicago Blues Festival graphic 2014
8 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Father's Day: 10
Days 'til the Chicago Blues Festival: 8
Number of coal-burning power plants in the U.S.: 540
Average age of a U.S. coal-fired power plant: 42 years
(Source: Dept. of Energy)
Percent of registered Pennsylvania voters who prefer Democrat Tom Wolf and incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett, respectively: 55%, 30%
(Source: PPP poll)
Years since measles cases have been as plentiful as they are now, thanks to idiotic vaccination deniers: 20
(Source: CDC)
Number of Brady Bunch episodes that Alice's boyfriend Sam the Butcher appeared in: 8

Stanley Cup Game 1
LA Kings 3  NY Rangers 2


Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo &nbsp;--- small
When, in future, you find yourself wondering, "Whatever happened to the Constitution?" you will want to go back and look at June 8, 2004. That was the day the attorney general of the United States---a.k.a. "the nation's top law enforcement officer"---refused to provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with his department's memos concerning torture.

In order to justify torture, these memos declare that the president is bound by neither U.S. law nor international treaties. We have put ourselves on the same moral level as Saddam Hussein, the only difference being quantity. Quite literally, the president may as well wear a crown---forget that "no man is above the law" jazz. We used to talk about "the imperial presidency" under Nixon, but this is the real thing.
---June, 2004


Puppy Pic of the Day:


CHEERS to the travelin' man.  President Obama has been zipping around Europe this week.  Among other things, he says he wants a military surge in Europe, which seems awful confrontational to me.  (I thought Asia was our new playground.)  Here's his schedule for today:

President Barack Obama attends an official Solidarity Dinner hosted by President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, June 3, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
I think this is Dracula's
summer castle in Poland.
G-8 G-7 meetings (minus Russia because Putin's a butthead) on economics, energy and climate in Brussels. Then: waffles!
• Meeting with Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom to discuss renewing the U.S. ban on haggis and kidney pudding.
• Obama straps on Jetpack One and departs for Paris, where he and President Hollande will exchange hearty "Hawh-heehawhs" over John-McCain-is-so-dumb jokes.
Tomorrow he attends a 70th anniversary ceremony commemorating the D-Day landings.  Fearless prediction: Fox News openly wonders if he isn’t secretly rooting for the Germans.

JEERS to today's boring correction.  Earlier this week, the National Rifle Association took several Texas yahoos with NRA memberships to task for aggressively brandishing weapons inside restaurants and retail stores, calling them "weird" and "downright scary."  They would like you to know that those same yahoos are now considered to be proud flag-waving American patriots whose colors don't run as they protect their freedoms from federal tyranny (and the occasional mugger).  Why the change of heart?  Mostly because the NRA quickly remembered that NRA members is crazy.

JEERS to the GOP's very bad horrible no good day.  On June 5, 1933, the U.S. went off the gold standard.  Seventy-one years later, on June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan died.  If you see any Republicans walking toward you with a black cloud hanging over their head today, give 'em a wide berth.

CHEERS to bets I'm willing to make.  I am prepared to write a check made out to the National Organization for Marriage in the amount of one…million…dollars.  And all NOM has to do to get that check is win a case somewhere somehow that restricts same-sex marriage before they go bankrupt and close their doors for good.  Their latest opportunity was yesterday, when Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy heard their plea to stop gay couples from marrying in Oregon.  Let's see how that turned out

NOM request to halt gay marriage in Oregon is denied graphic
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to halt new marriages between same-sex couples in Oregon. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), sought a stay of a lower court’s decision allowing marriages to take place, and after the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a similar request two weeks ago.
By my count, that's 20 defeats in a row for NOM and its allies.  Tick tock, NOM.  Tick tock.

Storm on June 4, 2014, via The Weather Channel
This always happens when
Ann Coulter comes to town.
JEERS to death from the sky.  Bug storms in the Midwest and Tennessee and Ohio Valleys yesterday.  Check out the pic of what hailstones the size of softballs did to a house via Weatherdude's post over at The Vane.  More here at The Weather Channel.  The storms are caused by extreme patterns of high and low pressure colliding with extreme moist air and other forces of nature that almost defy physics.  Then there's the grasshopper swarm in New Mexico that's so thick it looks like a storm on weather radar.  That, of course, is caused by a permissive society.  And shame on us.


Five years ago in C&J: June 5, 2009

JEERS to Dungeonmaster Dick.  Oh, what webs he wove...  Here's a CliffsNotes summary by Emptywheel of the big-time (but hardly surprising) revelations in the Washington Post:

Headlines during the Dick Cheney lawyer-shooting dustup. &nbsp;February 13, 2006.
Cheney was working with the CIA to keep his little torture program, and neither the CIA nor the Republicans he was arm-twisting want to talk about it. ... [Why] did the CIA hide Cheney's role in these briefings (not to mention the date of their briefing with McCain)?  It reveals not only a desire to hide the degree to which these "briefings" under [CIA chief] Porter Goss became active lobbying in support of torture, but also the degree to which the CIA is working actively, with a former Administration official (Cheney) to hide their collaboration.

If anyone needed yet more proof that torture was Cheney's baby, his active lobbying of Congress---hidden as "CIA briefings"---ought to do the trick.

The only way this could get any more damning is if we discover that Cheney did the actual torturing himself.  Frankly, I expect that news to slither out any day now.  (Our guess for the office pool: he had a fondness for wiring detainees' nipples to his pacemaker.)


And just one more…

CHEERS to fighters for truth, justice and the American way.  One of America's great journalists and commentators in the Edward R. Murrow tradition, Bill Moyers, turns a year  more seasoned today (39, I think).  Besides having an impeccable first name, he also has a sterling reputation as a straight shooter, a passionate advocate for truth and the fundamentals of democracy.  (And it was so nice of him to come out of retirment and get back in front of the camera.)  Here, munch on some bon Moyers:

"America's corporate and political elites now form a regime of their own and they're privatizing democracy. All the benefits---the tax cuts, policies and rewards flow in one direction: up.”

Bill Moyers & Company logo
Happy Birthday, Billeh!
Secrecy is the freedom tyrants dream of.

Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.

Ideas are great arrows, but there has to be a bow. And politics is the bow of idealism.

When I learn something new---and it happens every day---I feel a little more at home in this
universe, a little more comfortable in the nest.

When I learn something new I usually require Tylenol.

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


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the diaries to the kiddie pool, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when Bill in Portland Maine knocked and I didn't answer, he’d call Kos and have me banned for being unable to handle Cheers and Jeers.
---Maureen Dowd


Do you support Sen. Bernie Sanders' anti-backlog VA bill that calls for hiring more medical personnel, allowing some veterans to be treated outside VA facilities, and making it easier to fire poor-performing VA executives?

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