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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Wanted: Good Ideas for Great Time

In 156 days, the annual Netroots Nation convention kicks off in San Jose, California. Over the span of four days, approximately 93 percent of the nation's problems will be solved by the netroots and our allies, including a guaranteed pathway to the White House for President Digby, Vice President Moulitsas, Secretary of the Treasury Atrios and Attorney General Adam B.

The only thing standing in our way is an agenda, and that's where you come in. NN13 is now soliciting ideas for panels, speakers, training sessions and film screenings.

"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," says NN13 Executive Director Raven Brooks, "This coming year will help shape our nation's future, and you can help ensure sure it's a progressive one."

Netroots nation San Jose logo
Another good panel might be:
How to prevent giant Nevada
bears from invading California.
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You pick the topic. You flesh out the details and write up a proposal. You line up the guests. You take the reins. You placate the fire marshal when your event draws an overflow crowd. You propose the early sketches for your statue on the National Mall for when your idea takes hold outside of the convention, overcomes House obstructionists and a Senate filibuster, becomes law and makes America stronger, nimbler and awesomer.

Think grassroots organizing…civil rights…voting reform…climate change and green energy…messaging…recruiting progressive candidates and helping them win…protecting our social safety nets from the corporate barracudas…immigration…getting along with them ferriners…gun violence control…how to explain things to Republicans real slow and simple-like…and etcetera. What's near and dear to you that you'd like to create a buzz over? (Note: I call dibs on the panel called, "How to Use Hypnosis to Get A Trillion Dollar Coin Accepted at Your Local 7-11…and Get Change Back!")

It's easy to submit an idea. Click here for the guidelines and submission form. The deadline for entries hits in 24 days, on February 8th.

Also too: if you need the links for registration and/or hotel info, you'll find 'em here and here.

And please spread the word on other blogs you comment in or write for. The more the merrier.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Note: Today's weather forecast is calling for partly cloudy skies with scattered outbreaks of "What the fuck is that?!!"  High: 850.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Super Bowl Sunday: 19
Days 'til the Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene: 10
Patients in public psychiatric hospitals per 100,000 population in, respectively, 1950 and 2010: 339 / 14
Last year that the patient level in public psychiatric hospitals was as low as it is today: 1850
(Source: USA Today)
Percent of Democrats and Republicans, respectively, who say stronger laws are need to prevent people from getting mowed down with guns: 64%, 18%
(Source: Gallup poll via CNN)
Number of Maine's 14 ski resorts that will be able to be able to have a 100-day season in 2039, according to the Center on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo in Ontario: 8
Number of tips Keith Olbermann got in his tip jar after posting his first diary at Daily Kos five years ago: 1,365

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Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

It can only be that these Liberal commenters know nothing of what awaits them at the end of their rainbow. They have sold their souls for what appears to be security, but that same security comes at a terrific price: The loss of guaranteed liberties! No one person desires to deprive them of their self-defined freedom, however, when they awaken, the common lament will be : What the hell just happened? When the government teats run dry, and they will, these same oafs will be the first to knock upon our doors asking for, no, demanding relief from their now miserable existence. You know what I say? To hell with them, let them find their own way out of the abyss.
---Stephen Atkinson at Newsbusters
All together now: 1…2…3… Classy!

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Vitamin C denied…

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CHEERS to showdown at the JB Corral.  Big Tuesday---Vice President Joe Biden releases the White House's recommendations for reducing assault-weapon murders in America.  They'll likely include common-sense actions like tougher background checks, shoring up mental-health services, outlawing mega-clips and drums, and so on.  In any ordinary country they wouldn’t raise an eyebrow, they're so tame.  But this is America, and no matter how modest the suggestions, the NRA will act like a 48 year-old liberal Maine blogger whose light bulb in his Hasbro Easy Bake Pot Brownie Oven just went on the fritz.  Insufferable.

New Coke (can)
This might as well be the new
icon for the new "No Labels"
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JEERS to smoke where there ain't never gonna be fire.  No Labels 2.0 launched yesterday with a BIG HAPPY MEETING in New York.  The goal of the organization, of course, is to bring liberals and conservatives together in a happy circle of Kum By Yah'ness.  But there's a little problem: the head of the group, Mark McKinnon, is a former W. Bushie, and the No Labels co-chairs are Republican Jon Huntsman from red state Utah and Republican senator with a "D" after his name, Joe Manchin, from red state West Virginia.  The liberal is Cory Booker, who went on Meet the Press last year and slammed people who were hurting the Wall Street banksters' feefees.  Oh, and my prediction that there'd be no "Gang of…" that independent Maine Senator Angus King wouldn’t join is coming true.  He's on the No Labels bandwagon, too, along with conservative Democrat Bill Clinton and shockingly dangerous radical Republican John McCain.  I got a label for the new No Labels: no sale.


JEERS to environmental brevity.  And now, the conclusion from the Third Quadrennial National Climate Assessment, a snapshot of our planet's health created by 240 top genius scientists crunching the most up-to-date and comprehensive data available:
So long, suckers. (Please feed our cats.)
Lesson: when climate scientists request backup from experts in the escape-pod industry, just say no.

CHEERS to the adult in the room.  Here's President Obama's last press conference of his first term in a nutshell, via Keith Boykin:  1. I won.  2. Congress needs to pay its bills.  3. I'm not a loner.  Or, in simpler terms:

President Obama:
After a brief intermission, Term Two begins.  If ya gotta pee, do it now cuz we're not pullin' over again until 2016.

JEERS to masters of timing. I honestly couldn’t have told you who Aaron Swartz was before I'd heard he'd killed himself.  File that under "You don’t know whatcha got until its gone."  But I do know the severity of the charges against this internet whiz kid were bullshit.  And I know this because

Aaron Swartz   1986-2013
Aaron Swartz
1986 - 2013
The U.S. Attorney's office has quietly dismissed charges against Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz, who reportedly took his own life Friday.  A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz told Boston.com that paperwork was filed Monday dropping the charges, and that Ortiz does not want to discuss the case, being dismissed because of Swartz's death.

"We want to respect the family's privacy at this time," DOJ spokesperson Christina DiIorio-Sterling told NBC News via phone. "His death was a tragedy and we don't think it's appropriate to be commenting on  this case at this time." […]

"Aaron's death is not simply a personal tragedy.  It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach," Swartz's family and partner said in a statement over the weekend.

Government as usual: too little, too late.

JEERS to the tick tock tick tock of fiscal doom.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has informed Congress that we have, at most, six weeks to raise the debt ceiling.  Or as Congress calls it: five weeks, 6 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes to fart around.

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Five years ago in C&J: January 15, 2008

JEERS to the leader of the free world.  While President Bush is overseas checkin' up on his oil, selling missiles to the Saudis by the billion$, and taking part in the most awkward photo-ops since Calvin Coolidge wore an Indian headdress, the rest of the world continues to despise the guy.  According to a new Harris Interactive survey, Bush's approval rating is 8 percent in Italy, 7 percent in Britain, 7 percent in Spain, 5 percent in Germany and 3 percent in France.  Meanwhile here in the Land of Applebee's and American idol, the latest CBS News/New York Times poll pegs him at a robust 29 percent.  But never fear!  His handlers say he'll surge to 45 percent before he leaves office.  Because there's nothing like an endless war and a new recession to make a guy lovable.  [1/15/13 Update: he actually left with a Gallup approval rating of 34%. If Nixon was still around, I'm sure he'd appreciate the company.]

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And just one more…

CHEERS to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Today is the civil rights titan's 84th birthday.  Some words of advice for President Obama, who made a bit of a leap in fulfilling King's dream and who starts his second term in five days:

martin Luther King Junior with Lyndon Johnson
King and Johnson both agreed: watching
televised bowling is boring as hell.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
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The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.  Intelligence plus character---that is the goal of true education.
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A man can't ride your back unless it's bent.
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Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking.  There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions.  Nothing pains some people more than having to think.
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The time is always right to do what is right.
And my advice to Obama, adapted from King's: "Judge me on the content of my character, not the underwear on my head."  I'm guessing he won't find that one particularly helpful.

Have a nice Tuesday.  If you plan to accidentally shoot yourself, please---(NSFW ALERT)---do it to music for our enjoyment.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"Bill in Portland Maine is---whatever you think of Cheers and Jeers and all its inane surrounding pomp---a pretty young man with an infectious smile, a cascade of chestnut hair and a healthy bloom.  So how is it that he has been transformed into something unpleasant from the 'Twilight' franchise?"
---Charlotte Higgins
The Guardian

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Poll

How excited are you about yesterday's re-launch of 'No Labels,' in which conservative co-chairs Jon Huntsman and Sen. Joe Manchin are tasked with uniting liberals and conservatives in the middle of the road?

1%76 votes
4%177 votes
45%1821 votes
4%173 votes
43%1765 votes

| 4014 votes | Vote | Results

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