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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

14 Weeks 'Til Netroots Nation!

Netroots Nation 2014 logo  Detroit
Yup, I counted. Seven times. And four of those times I counted fourteen, so fourteen it is. Here's some news 'n stuff for the July 17-20 convention in Detroit:

• With an emphasis on more gender and ethnic parity, the Netroots Nation organizers have published their list of "40 hands-on trainings on topics ranging from data and analytics to field organizing to graphic design, messaging and more." It's an impressive agenda with equally impressive moderators. Take a look. Coming soon: the list of panels and announcement of keynoters.

• Congratulations to the "Grab A Booth" contest winners. After receiving thousands of votes for many worthy groups, these organizations will be set up in the exhibition/town hall area this year:

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History...Creative Action Network...United Peace Relief, Inc...DOP Inc Records...4000 Years for Choice...and Nursing Students for Choice.
If you're attending the convention, keep an eye out for these booths and stop by to demand free swag say hi.

• Navajo has details in her Connect! Unite! Act! post about a Daily Kos VA Hospital Service Project organized by Sara R that's happening Wednesday, July 16th:

Sara R's VA Hospital Service Project quilts.
We focused on the [Detroit VA] hospital's nursing home this time---it has 65 beds. This is to deliver 65 quilts, a bunch of hand knit scarves and hats, books, 65 teddy bears, hand made greeting cards, and phone cards.  You can see an update in my recent diary. One of the cool things about this project is that it brings together several groups in the DK community.

To join Sara's new DK VA Hospital Service Project group, click here and send a message asking her to add you to the list.

• Yes, Virginia, there will be a Daily Kos/C&J eat-'n-greet in Detroit. To add your name to the RSVP list, email Navajo and then circle July 16 on your calendar. More details later, but for now rest assured that my proposed Spam and candy corn casserole buffet idea has been officially nixed.

• Last month, as the CPAC convention was winding down, Booman of the ever-excellent Booman Tribune wrote a post in which he described the difference he sees between that nutfest and our little shindig:

Booman Tribune logo
Netroots Nation's seminars are educational, run by professional people, and attended by people who are serious about the topics. CPAC seminars are exercises in mass self-delusion. Compare CPAC's drivel to the 2013 Netroots Nation program and you can see that we're dealing with two totally different animals. One conference is incredibly focused on technology, innovation, and policy, and the other is just reinforcing ignorance and trying to get press coverage.
• Registration and Hotel info are here and here.

• Follow NN14 via Twitter here.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, April 10, 2014

Note:  Mmmthmmthmmm mmmth...Ptoo!!!  ------8------  Ta da!  Okay, now you try to tie a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue.
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Cod fish race at the Boothbay Harbor Fishermans Festival in Maine
16 days 'til the codfish races!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Memorial Day: 43
Days 'til the "41th" Fishermen's Festival in Boothbay Harbor, featuring the famous codfish relay race: 16
Percent increase in job openings in February: 7.7%
The last time there were that many postings (4.2 million): 1/08
(Source: Labor Dept.)
Expected average per-gallon price of gas between April and September: $3.57
Number of national NCAA titles won by the UConn women's team (40-0 this season) as of Tuesday night, a record: 9
Percent chance it turns out that Stradivarius violins are god-awful screechy crap machines compared to new violins: 94%
(Source: Blindfolded world-class violinists)

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
In one totally berserker speech, House Speaker Newt Gingrich actually claimed poor people were "coaching" their children to "act crazy" so they could obtain "crazy money" and then beating the children if they didn’t get it.  There is no evidence whatever for this insane charge.  Try to get a three-year-old to fake cerebral palsy sometime.  Gingrich actually implied that Congress was justified in cutting SSI [Supplemental Security Income] as a way of ending child abuse.  The sheer hideousness of the insult to the poor families who care so devotedly for their handicapped children is beyond my ability to describe.  Gingrich would rather dump them into state hospitals---where their lives are often without any joy, and, incidentally, cost us a lot more money---than pay their own families a pittance to care for them.
---September, 1998
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Puppy Pic of the Day: Early filming has already started on the new Star Wars movie, but some casting calls continue…

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CHEERS to order in the court.  It's fast becoming a "known known" (thank you, Rumsfeld, for that phrase---but damn your eyes for everything else) that anytime a gay rights issue ends up in court, the sunlight cast on the opposing side's arguments turns them to dust.  So we're looking forward to today's 10th Circuit marriage-equality hearing (Kitchen v. Herbert) before a three-judge panel in Utah.  The Human Rights Campaign has an easy-to-read summary (pdf) here.  This is an especially noteworthy case, and not just because it's in freakin' Utah.  Says HRC:

State Map of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and pending gay marriage cases in it.
10th Circuit states.
Like dominoes waiting to fall.
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The case marks the first in a string of lawsuits that will be heard by federal appeals courts across the country.  The panel, made up of a George H.W. Bush appointee, a Clinton appointee and a George W. Bush appointee, will hear up to 30 minutes of arguments from both sides, and could take several months to issue a ruling.  The case has received much attention since District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down Utah’s ban on marriages for same-sex couples in December.  With no stay on the ruling, over 1,000 couples in the state were married.
Our side will present positive facts about same-sex marriage that many other judges and legitimate experts have agreed with.  The 'god squad' will present the argument that gay marriage ain't right because God says so.  The Bible---worst legal textbook ever.

CHEERS to the right words at the right time.  President Obama and First Lady Michelle traveled to Houston yesterday, where they attended a memorial service for the three servicemembers killed last week (sixteen others were injured) by an Army Spc who snapped.  The president, as he has in the aftermath of so many similar tragedies, expressed his condolences on behalf of the country with his trademark eloquence.  As usual, the Obama Diary has the best photo-video roundup.  (Transcript via DKos Transcript Editors here.)  In a lighter moment, Obama was greeted by George H.W. Bush upon his arrival:

President Obama is greeted by President George H.W. Bush 4/9/14 as Obama arrives in Houston to give remarks at the Fort Hood memorial service.
The 41st president thanked the 44th for returning his son's teddy bear.  The 44th president apologized to the 41st for not thinking to check under the bed sooner.

P.S. In other mass carnage news, yesterday a sophomore at a Pittsburgh-area high school stabbed two dozen students and staff.  Behind closed doors, the PR vultures at the NRA let out a sigh of relief.

JEERS to non-refundable tickets. On April 10, 1912, the unsinkable RMS Titanic set off for New York from Southampton, England.  That cruise, of course, turned out to be a disaster.  I hear the caviar was much too salty.

Drawing of a boy angel
Rep. McCallister self portrait.
JEERS to noises of mass distraction.  Married family-values Congressman Vance McCallister (R-LA), who was caught on video giving a female staffer an emergency tonsillectomy with his tongue, is responding forcefully to put this behind him.  With his wife and the staffer's husband distraught over his hanky panky, McCallister is taking swift and decisive action to set things right without resigning.  And setting things right requires a three-step plan: fire the staffer, blame the leaker and, of course, Look over there shiny object!  Actually, I hear Congressman Darrell Issa plans to call a special hearing to find out if this whole thing was just a conspiracy by Obama to distract attention from Benghazi.  (Spoiler alert: of course!)

CHEERS to swing time.  The Masters golf tournament starts today in Augusta, Georgia.   Defending champ Adam Scott is going for his second green jacket, and with Tiger Woods out of action (sprained back, we hear, due to a moneybag-lifting injury), his odds are decent.  I know, I know...the Masters is elitism, sexism and corporatism writ large, but it's a gorgeous course and fun to watch.  (Vive le conflicted values!)  I thought about becoming a pro once, but the magic dissipated when I found out they didn't allow liquor on the course.  And I had to walk.  And practice.  And there's rules.  Fuck that.

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Five years ago in C&J: April 10, 2009

JEERS to fakers and frauds on the high seas.  Let's get one thing clear: these jerks who board tankers, demand ransoms, and threaten to kill crewmembers are not pirates, okay?  Real pirates look like Johnny Depp, drink rum, keep parrots on their shoulders and swagger around comically growling "Arrrr!"  These guys off the coast of Somalia, by contrast, are hijackers at best and terrorists at worst.  Don’t give them the honor of wearing the pirate name.  And no parlay, either!

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And just one more…

A Kossack named jotter
Jotter will drink no wine before
its time. By my watch it's time!
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CHEERS to Jotter: International Man of Mojo.  And here we are again: April 10.  A date which will live in jotterinfamy.  Yes, today is the annual rite of spring (the other being the running of the tutu-clad man-goats---we'll post those photos shortly) known as the jotternal equinox, aka Jotter Appreciation Day.  Day in and day out this Kossack titan (real name: Jotter Jefferson Jotterbury) employs sophisticated computer technology to rank the day's most popular diaries and keep track of the death spiral of "The" Daily Kos by keeping count (secretly these days) of the ever-swelling number of new user registrations (2.6 billion as of yesterday around 11 but I forget if that's AM or PM).  Unless he has some secret double life as a beard-stroking James Bond villain, jotter is one of the most authentic liberal gentlemen you'll ever meet.  So watch for today's High Impact Posts post and give him a hearty tip, rec, and comment.  Otherwise---as if it needs to be said---the terrorists win.

And though it's been said many times, many ways: have a jotterrrrrrific Thursday!  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

American astronaut Steven Swanson marked a small tech milestone yesterday with the first Instagram selfie in Cheers and Jeers.  Swanson took not one, but two pictures of himself in the kiddie pool.
---CBS News

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