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TWO weeks 'til Netroots Nation 2014 in Detroit!!!

Yup---14 days and counting, and that means it's time for our patented C&J MEGA Update:

The closing night event got rave reviews last year, so it's back for 2014:

Ignite logo
Using the Ignite format, each speaker gets 5 minutes to talk while 20 slides advance automatically every 15 seconds on the screen. Over the course of the program you’ll hear from Deepak Bhargava, Mansur Gidfar, Sara Haghdoosti, Feminista Jones, Christopher Massicotte, Zerlina Maxwell, Jess Morales, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Leanne Pittsford, Rinku Sen, Anat Shenker-Osorio, Amy Lynn Smith and Lauren Windsor, plus host Lizz Winstead.
If you've ever watched speakers in this format, you know they're addicting as potato chips.

Next-to-last Call to RSVP for the Daily Kos/C&J Meet 'n Greet 'n Eat at Vicente's Cuban Cuisine on Wednesday, July 16 starting at 5pm. All Kossacks welcome, but you need to let Navajo know you're going via kosmail by clicking here.

The Town Square is the hub of activity at the convention, and this year there's a ton of things to check out, says Linda Lee:

Photo of Detroit skyline, NN banner
More than 70 exhibitors representing your favorite progressive organizations and companies…a lounge sponsored by ProgressNow where you can relax and recharge…an IAFF Aerial ladder truck and vapor smokehouse from which Detroit firefighters will show you how to perform search and rescues…the Friday night Pundit Cup with open bar…live broadcasts, interviews, and entertainment along Radio Row and at the Town Square Stage, headed up by the great team at This Week in Blackness.
This year's Stealth Campaigns 101 workshop has been moved. To find the new location, just look for the empty room where you get the sense that the space around you is shimmering almost imperceptibly.

Meet Michigan's next governor! It's a fundraiser, not officially connected to NN14, and Chris Savage at eclectablog has the details:

Mark Schauer
Meet Mark July 18.
On Friday, July 18th, Michigan’s next governor Mark Schauer is holding a Happy Hour Fundraiser during Netroots Nation in Detroit. It takes place at the Anchor Bar at 450 West Fort Street and begins at 6 p.m.  This is a terrific chance to meet Mark in person. When you do, I feel certain that you’ll come away understanding like I do that he is the real deal: a genuine Democrat with a heart of gold and a strong determination to win this election so that we can take the control of our state government back from the corporatists and tea partiers who are running it into the ground now.
Among the VIPs joining Mark are Kos and Lizz Winstead.

Kossack Vicki's World Famous Google Spreadsheet has all the panels, trainings and special events---including the moderators and panelists---in an easy-to-print format. You'll find it right here.

The Detroit People Mover will come in handy during the convention. It "operates on an elevated single track loop in Detroit's central business district. The 2.9 mile system provides connections between the courts and administrative offices of several levels of government, sports arenas, exhibition centers, major hotels, and commercial, banking and retail districts. Linky here.

Netroots nation Recovery Party logo
A necessity on
Sunday morning.
To achieve instant coolness, be a Netroots Nation volunteer. Organizers still need some slots filled in set-up, swag-bag stuffing, name-tag assembly, staffing the Netroots Nation booth and other tasks that will earn you the rank of…viceroy or staff sergeant, I forget which. Please email Field Marshal Eric Thut at volunteers [at] ASAP to get more info.

Register to join the NN14 fun here, and get the latest hotel info here.

Follow #NN14 via Twitter here and Facebook here.

Other than that, I'm drawin' a total blank.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, July 3, 2014

Note: In a slight deviation from our usual Friday schedule, we'll post our traditional July 4, 1776 column---complete with mutton and pigeon pudding---tomorrow morning at 9 ET.  Have a safe and independence-minded holiday weekend.  And don't forget to pick up your wig from the powderer.  ---Mom

Festival of Farms logo Minnesota
9 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Labor Day: 60
Days 'til the Festival of Farms in Minnesota: 9
(Unexpected) increase in U.S. car sales in June, the fastest pace in 8 years: 1.2%
(Source: Autodata)
Years as of this week since President Lincoln signed an Act protecting Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Sequoia Grove: 150
Money allocated for restoration projects on the Mariposa Grove: $36 million
(Source: AP)
Number of large military drones that have crashed while on training missions in the U.S.: 49
(Source: The Washington Post)
Ticket sales for the last week of "All the Way," the one-man show about LBJ starring Tony winner Bryan Cranston, a Broadway record: $1,623,495

World Cup Soccer Results
The World Cup is dead to me. America is an exceptional nation. That is all.


Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
Yet again, we rejoice not so much in what makes America great, as in what makes it really peculiar. This is in the belief that one of America's finest traits is that it is a blissfully funny place to live. ...

We continue our charmingly eccentric habit of polling ourselves to find out how ignorant we are. Then we all slap our foreheads in dismay over the national dumbness. This particular oddity yields such nuggets as: 37.2 percent of us think the Mexican border should pay rent.
---July, 2005


Puppy Pic of the Day:  Saginaw, Michigan firefighter: "This was the perfect situation. … If any of those things hadn't happened, this would be a totally different story."


CHEERS and JEERS to gettin' outta Dodge.  Travel organization AAA (pronounced "Ahhhhh…") is out with its holiday traffic prediction.  Even with the season's first hurricane ("Chester Alan Arthur") roaring up the east coast, 41 million people will be trying to get to their vacation destination at exactly the same time and at exactly the same place as you.  That's up from last year.  The details:

Safe travels.
AAA Travel projects 41 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 1.9 percent increase from the 40.3 million people who traveled last year and a nearly 14 percent increase compared to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

“Steady improvement in the economy has spurred increased consumer confidence and spending,” continued [Marshall] Doney.  “Optimistic Americans are more willing to take on debt this year, dusting off their credit cards to pay for a much-needed Independence Day getaway.”

If you'll be on the road and a fellow driver pisses you off, take George Carlin's advice to heart.  Be subtle.  Instead of giving 'em the finger or cussing them out, just roll down your window and calmly say, "I hope your children turn out poorly."

JEERS to the wild wild west of the south.  A new gun law went into effect in Georgia (take a wild guess as to whether it's more restrictive or more permissive), and the Second Amendment worshippers are off to a fine start. I've added clarity to this story by making some NRA-friendly edits in brackets:

Good thing Jarts are outlawed
in Georgia. They can kill ya!
A [good guy or bad guy with a gun] entered the store to make a purchase. Another [good guy or bad guy with a gun] approached him and demanded to see his identification and firearms license, according to the Valdosta Police Department report.

The [good guy or bad guy with a gun] making demands for ID pulled his firearm from its holster but never pointed it at the other [good guy or bad guy with a gun], who said he was not obligated to show any permits or identification. He demanded the [good guy or bad guy with a gun]’s ID again. Undeterred by the drawn gun, the [good guy or bad guy with a gun] paid for his items, left the store and called for police [like a lily-livered coward who ain't worth the pain 'o the mother that bore him].

And in the background a crooner was singing "Do not forsake me, oh my Big Gulp."  Welcome to Georgia!

George Washington's teeth
The founding choppers.
CHEERS to the right man for the right job at the right time.  On July 3rd, 1775, George Washington---freshly promoted to general by the constitutional mouseketeers---took command of the Continental Army in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He won some battles, lost some (okay, a lot) and suffered mightily, but had the courage, smarts and fortitude to keep his army together and eventually claim victory by bottling up old Butthead Cornwallis at Yorktown.  And he did it all while wearing knee stockings.  Suck it, Patton.

CHEERS to the Howard Hall of Fame.  Ron Howard.  Howard Dean.  Howard Johnson.  Just a few of the great Howards that walk or walked among us.  And now, two more Howards have made the list less than a day apart.  Team USA goalkeeper Tim Howard is Superman with Jazz Hands!  His pedestal is immovable.  And then there's Michelle Howard…or should I say Four Star Admiral Michelle Howard:

4-star Admiral Michelle Howard.  July 1, 2014.
Nice boards!
"If you don't believe today was a first, when I called to order four-star shoulder boards for women, they didn't exist," Howard said. "A special contract was let, and you folks are seeing the first set in the history of the United States Navy."

A 1982 Naval Academy graduate, Howard has achieved many firsts in her career. She was the first black woman to command a ship---the amphibious dock landing ship Rushmore in 1999---and went on to command Amphibious Squadron 7 and later Expeditionary Strike Group 2.

That's not all.  Howard is also the first naval commander---male or female---to figure out who stole the quart of strawberries.

JEERS to the new guy in Iraq.  Juan Cole, bless his heart (I mean that in a good way), brings a welcome dose of clarity to what's going on in Iraq with that nitwit chasing all over the desert swallowing up towns and erasing borders and whatnot.  Here's his bio in a nutball shell:

Dumbass graphic
Ibrahim al-Badri, a run-of-the-mill Sunni Iraqi cleric, gained a degree from the University of Baghdad at a time when pedagogy there had collapsed because of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship and international sanctions. After 2003 he took the name Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and turned to vicious and psychopathic violence involving blowing up children at ice cream shops and blowing up gerbils and garden snakes at pet shops and blowing up family weddings, then coming back and blowing up the resultant funerals. This man is one of the most infamous serial killers in modern history, with the blood of thousands on his hands, before whom Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy fade into insignificance.

Al-Baghdadi leads the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL),which today changed its name just to “the Islamic State.” And its members made a pledge of fealty to al-Baghdadi as the “caliph.” Let us please call it the “so-called Islamic State,” since it bears all the resemblance to mainstream Islam that Japan’s Om Shinrikyo (which let sarin gas into the subway in 1995) bears to Buddhism.

Nice, huh.  A sadistic emperor demanding the world admire his new clothes at gun-point.  Cole goes on to give a helpful rundown of the various "caliphs" in history who have proven to be less divine and more arrogant assface.  Cole concludes that "This Baghdadi ‘caliphate’ thing is doomed."  I hope so.  He burns my chaps.


Five years ago in C&J: July 3, 2009

CHEERS to blood in the water.  The sharks are circling, and it's getting ugly for a certain South Carolina governor.  Apparently he's even creeping his friends out, and that's sayin' something:

Fourteen GOP state senators---more than half the Senate Republican caucus---have already called for Sanford’s resignation, joining a list that, as of Wednesday afternoon, included 11 Republican members of the state House and six of the state's biggest newspapers.

And three leading South Carolina Republican officeholders, including the state’s two U.S. senators, called Sanford today for what sources close to the lawmakers described as frank conversations about the governor’s ability to carry out his job.

Meanwhile, the state Attorney General is launching an investigation to see if Mark Sanford committed any actual crimes under South Carolina law.  Here's an easy one you can start with, Mr. McMaster: adultery.  (That took me five seconds of Googling, but I'm billing you for the whole hour.  Just fill a wheelbarrow with Franklins and we'll call it good.)

And just one more…

FIRE IN THE HOLE! to lightin' them freedom fuses and firin' them warnin' whistlers.  Fireworks are now a fact of life here in Maine (thank you, 2011 Republican-led legislature), but at least sales are booming a bit less than they were last year.  In fairness, municipalities are still free to ban fireworks, and Portland is among them (our city has burned down enough times, thanks).  Suffice it to say, some of our neighbors are already firing shit off their balcony, and Grampa Billy has the cops on speed-dial.  Harumph.  And now please join us for our annual pre-4th C&J tradition---reminding ourselves that fireworks are most dangerous when they're in the hands of crazy-ass mannequins:

And then give a flag-wavin' cheer to our current state motto: "Maine: The Emergency Room Is Thataway!"

Happy Pre-Birthday Birthday, America.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

The legend of the enormous creature variously known as a yeti, Bigfoot or Sasquatch has long been a source of mystery. But now a study of supposed Bigfoot hair samples has revealed that they actually derive from Bill in Portland Maine.


The tea party protesters who halted those buses of immigrants from reaching a Border Patrol facility in Murietta, California came off more like…

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