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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

I Can See The Chocolate Fountain From My House

Five months from twelve days from now, San Jose, California will be the place to be for Netroots Nation 2013. I'm looking forward to hopping on the #2 metro bus right outside my house and ridin' all the way from one coast to the other for a buck fifty. (Although with six thousand stops in between, I figure I'll have to start in mid-March.)

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 delegatory skills, I cede the balance of my time to NN13 Executive Director Raven Brooks:

Netroots nation San Jose logo
From electing progressive champions like Elizabeth Warren to defeating Mitt Romney and his billions; from gaining a larger, more progressive majority in the Senate to winning marriage equality votes in four states, there were a lot of progressive victories in 2012. Some might even call it a mandate.

Which campaigns were most interesting to you? What issues will be most important to you in the coming months? Whether it's immigration or climate change, we want to know so we can build the agenda for Netroots Nation 2013 around what's most important to you.

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 and engaging agenda for our 2013 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.

This coming year will help shape our nation's future, and you're going to help ensure sure it's a progressive one. See you in San Jose!

The deadline for submissions is February 8.

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

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go supervise Jeeves while he cleans out our steamer trunks from Providence. I think Lincoln Chafee is still stuck in one of 'em. (What can I say? I like unique souvenirs.)

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Note: Due to a flare-up of excessive anger in the righty blogosphere, exclamation point rationing is in effect this week. Please limit your usage to three per day. Thank you.
---Dept. of Homeland Punctuation
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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Oscar nominations: 2
Days 'til the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts in Florida: 4
Increase in orders for core capital goods, which are a predictor of future business plans, in November: 2.6%
(Source: Commerce Dept.)
Percent of U.S. adults in 2011 and 2012, respectively, who said they planned to retire later than they expected: 44%, 57%
(Source: BOA/Merrill Edge Report via USA Today)
Pounds of lobster caught by Maine lobstermen in 2012, up 18% from 2011: 123 million
Value of that catch, down $3.7 million from 2011: $331 million
(Source: Maine Dept. of Marine Resources)
Time at which ex-Senator Joe Lieberman will finally crawl out of bed today: 12 noon

BCS National Championship:
Alabama 42  Notre Dame 14

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Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

As for Rick Perry, he was the only conservative that had a proven conservative record and could have won the general. However, the RINOs, along with the fools for the Bachmann/Cain/Newt/Pawlease train wreck saw to it that he didn't get the chance.
---Commenter tbone at RedState
All together now: 1…2…3… "Can't…sorry…oops."

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Puppy Pic of the Day: Saved!!!  (Buck's Facebook page is here.)

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HUZZAH to the new Poobah at the Pentagon.  President Obama announced his choice for Secretary of War yesterday:

Yosemite Sam
Hagel
Chuck Hagel may become the first Vietnam veteran and first enlisted soldier to serve as U.S. defense secretary.  He would also be one of the few Pentagon chiefs ever to have been wounded in war, President Barack Obama said in announcing his selection on Monday to take over for outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Obama said Senate confirmation of Hagel would be "historic."

Will he be a good SecDef?  I dunno---I'm just a nose-picking blogger with syntax issues.  But my test of competency is pretty simple and it boils down to one question: Is he Donald Rumsfeld?  If no, thumbs up!

P.S. John Brennan as CIA Director?  The torture-loving, drone-happy guy?  Now that's got me spooked.

CHEERS to locking and loading.  Looks like the White House and its allies on gun-violence control want to make quick work of legislation:

President Barack Obama stands with Vice President Joe Biden in the Green Room of the White House prior to delivering a statement on the economy in the East Room, Nov. 9, 2012.
Sensible gun laws by the
end of the month? Go, Joe.
-
The White House and gun control supporters are gearing up for a whirlwind month, with plans to pass reform legislation before outrage over the Sandy Hook massacre has a chance to fade.

Vice President Joe Biden, tasked with heading a commission to investigate gun violence, has been quietly meeting with experts, interest groups, and public officials and is expected to release a set of recommendations within weeks.  Boston mayor Thomas Menino, co-chair of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told the Boston Herald this week that an optimistic Biden had assured him that Obama would sign legislation “by the end of January.”

Wow, that's pretty amazing.  Joe Biden did something quietly.

George Washington's first State of the Union address
Washignton also called
for dropping cash onto
the public via helicopter.
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. Take a bath.  Get a job.

P.S. Last Sunday was George and Martha's 254th wedding anniversary.  As usual, they spent a quiet day at home.

CHEERS to restoring tea bags to their rightful place: teapots.  Rasmussen polling says that the tea party has lost two-thirds of its members since the height of their billionaire-funded hissy fit in 2010.  So I guess that explains why the rallies and bus-ins have shriveled up to nothing.  Plus there's the fact that a bunch of their candidates lost in November, and both Jim DeMint and Dick Armey sacrificed their loyalty to the cause at the altar of the Almighty Dollar.  Which leads me to today's stock tip: sell your shares in the tri-corn hat sector.  Like…now.

CHEERS to making some noise.  Yesterday in downtown Portland I almost got hit by a Mercedes because its engine was so quiet I couldn’t hear it as I walked between two parked cars that were bumped up against either side of a crosswalk.  So I can appreciate why the Department of Transportation wants to make sure that electric cars make an artificial noise so that they can be better heard by the sight-impaired.  I'm trying to think what a good fake noise might be.  So far I'm torn between the sound of Paul Ryan washing clean dishes or Karl Rove attempting math.

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Five years ago in C&J: January 8, 2008

JEERS to balance, beltway-style.  Two days before the New Hampshire primary, the Sunday morning talk shows made one last push to show their non-partisan stripes by interviewing nine Republicans and two Democrats.  If you're talking about collective intelligence, that ratio is perfect.

JEERS to things that shouldn't have to be said.  I never thought I'd see the day when anti-missile devices would need to be installed on passenger jets in this country.  Some of you planning to travel in the near future might be glad to read this:

Officials emphasize that no missiles will be test-fired at the planes, which will fly between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and the international airports in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
But if you're flying anywhere else, two words: flight insurance.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to the comeback kid.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strapped on her trusty jetpack yesterday and zipped off to the State Department, where she resumed her job after spending a few weeks on the mend.  Her staff got her a thoughtful welcome-back gift:

Hillary Clinton receives a helmet as a gift from her staff on January 7, 2013 upon her return to the State Department.
That'll come in especially handy as a battering ram during the 2016 campaign.  Helpful hint: add a spike on top.

Have a nice Tuesday.  Oh, and Michele Bachmann?  NOW you can wish Elvis a Happy Birthday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Study: Bill in Portland Maine Is 25 Percent Snake
---Mother Jones

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