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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Netroots Nation 2013: 13 Weeks and Counting!

Netroots nation San Jose logo
The siren song of San Jose calls. In 91 days, proud liberal patriots will gather to---yet again---pull America's ass out of the fire by debating, planning and strategizing ways to make this more perfect union of ours more perfecter. Plus parties. Here are some quick updates as we approach our rendevous with destiny and tasty box lunches:

•  Congratulations to the "Grab A Booth" contest winners! These were the top three vote getters in Round 1:

Being Liberal
American Atheists
Move to Amend
And these were the judges' selections for Round 2:
Purple Mountain Institute
Emerge California
Young Invincibles
By the way, Linda Lee tells me that there were 9,550 votes cast for organizations who entered the contest, a 280% increase from last year. If you're attending the convention, keep an eye out for these booths and stop by to demand free swag say hi.

•  Moderator Zerlina Maxwell invites you to send her questions for the special NN13 Q&A session with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.  Send 'em via twitter at #AskPelosi.

•  Yesterday I checked in with Adam B to ask how the category selection was going for the legendary Netroots Nation pub quiz and how he intends to guard the answers:

I more or less settled on the categories about a day after leaving Providence last year.  As for the security of guarding them, I have learned from military intelligence how to best maintain secrecy.
Eeeeexcellent.

•  If you feel like wandering off for a bit during the convention, you can check out Lick Observatory, "the world's first permanently occupied mountain-top observatory" built in 1876. Not only can you see Russia from their house, you can see Russians' eyeballs.

•  Registration and Hotel info are here and here.

•  Follow NN13 on Twitter here.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, March 21, 2013

Note: In a groundbreaking expression of humility, Pope Francis will be coming to work tomorrow in cutoffs and a tank top as part of his new casual Friday initiative.  He suggests you follow suit.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til summer: 92
Days 'til the Spring Beer and Wine Festival in Portland, Oregon: 9
Current amount of annual taxpayer costs associated with, respectively, World War I and World War II: $20 million, $5 billion
Minimum amount of time that taxpayers will be paying costs associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: 100 years
(Source: AP analysis)
Change in the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. since 2007: -900,000
(Source: Harper's Index)
Percent chance that President Obama's NCAA Final Four bracket consists of Ohio State, Louisville, Indiana and Florida: 100%
Amount fetched at auction for a bowl purchased at a yard sale for $3 that turned out to be a 1,000 year-old relic from China's Northern Song Dynasty: $2.2 million

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
Hillary Clinton has become the functional equivilent of a national Rorschach test of our attitudes toward the changing role of women.  All the doubt, guilt, anxiety, and confusion we feel are being projected onto Mrs. Clinton, who is being made to stand for everything from a role model for working mothers to some fang-dripping militant feminist.
From my own brief acquaintance with Hillary Clinton, I'd say she's not only exceptionally bright, but also a kinder, funnier and nicer person than is generally perceived.  As we all get to know her, I suspect much of the controversy will die away.
---November, 1992
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Puppy Pic of the Day:  A for effort

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CHEERS to one less Republican talking point in the world.  Like a pack of yappy dogs, the conservative base has hounded Barack Obama for not visiting Israel as president.  That all came to a screeching halt yesterday when---gosh!---President Obama found himself getting the full VIP treatment in Tel Aviv.  He's got a busy schedule today as his trip continues:

President Barack Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they walk across the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 20, 2013.
Clearly ready to claw
each other's eyes out.
•  President Obama will visit the Israel Museum, where he will view the Dead Sea Scrolls and also attend a technology expo.
•  President Obama will travel to Ramallah, West Bank, where he will be greeted with an official arrival ceremony.
•  In the afternoon, President Obama will have a bilateral meeting with Palestinian Authority President Abbas.
•  President Obama will participate in a working lunch with Palestinian Authority President Abbas followed by a press conference.
•  Later, President Obama will attend a cultural event at Al-Bireh Youth Center and will meet with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Fayyad.
•  President Obama will give a speech at the Jerusalem Convention Center.
•  In the evening, President Obama will attend a dinner hosted by Israeli President Peres and will receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction.
By the way, since the Rapture-infatuated Republicans are so loud about dissing Obama for not visiting there until now, here's a fun fact: there have only been nine presidential visits to Israel: once by Nixon, once by Carter, four times by Clinton, twice by Dubya, and once by Obama.  By my count Democrats visit twice as often as Republicans, and you'll notice that Saint Ronald the Reagan is missing from the list.  Bring that up at the Easter brunch table and watch your crazy conservative relatives urp up their scalloped potatoes.  Better wear two napkins this year.

Rep. John Dingell with the gavel he used when Medicare was passed.
"Say hello to my
leetle friend!"
CHEERS to the Nailbiter Heard Round the World. I remember it like it was just 1096 days ago…mainly because it was.  On March 21, 2010, the House finally passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  And what a collection of moments we saw...from blue dog Bart Stupak's grandstanding over abortion, to John Dingell showing off his historic gavel, to the House leadership locking arms and walking through a canopy of teabaggers like the protagonists of The Wizard of Oz skipping down the yellow brick road, to the hecklers that created "mass hysteria" (Barney Frank's term), and finally the moment that nobody wanted to arrive because they were all having so much darn fun: the 219-212 vote shortly before midnight. Today Democrats will mark the occasion with quiet reflection on a job well done. Republicans will mark the occasion by gnawing the bark off a tree.

JEERS to wearing white before Memorial Day.  I can't believe it.  Just because humankind totally fucks up the world's oceans, rivers, streams, mountains, valleys, air, icecaps and skies, Mother Nature just has to be an asshole by ushering in spring with a near-blizzard in Maine that officially takes Portland within a butthair of the 100-inch mark for the season.  If you need to speak with our crocuses this morning, you're out of luck---they're all in therapy.

CHEERS to early morning games.  Rise and shine!  It's time to play Human Face Reading…or Vulcan Mind Meld???  You make the call!  Here ya go:

President Dwight Eisenhower gets his face
The answer is: human face reading!  Via Michael Beschloss at twitter (@BeschlossDC ):  "This shows Eisenhower obliging Helen Keller in 1953 when she asked to "see" [Ike's] famous grin."  I included this in today's C&J to make an important point: cool pic!!!

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Five years ago in C&J: March 21, 2008

CHEERS to throwing the bum out.  Ha ha ha!  Scooter Libby got disbarred yesterday, and there's not a goddam thing President Bush can do about it.  Wait a minute...  I've just been informed that Congress has granted President Bush an Authorization for the Use of Force against the U.S. Court of Appeals.  Golly, I hope he and Cheney use it responsibly.

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And just one more…

JEERS to the Very Seriousest of the Very Serious People.  Since the universe is taking a good chunk of time this week to look back at the clusterfuck that was the Iraq War, it's worth pulling this gem out of cyber-storage (with a hat tip to Atrios).  This is Tom Friedman's rationalization for why inflicting pain and punishment on Iraq was teh awesome.  Literally, he told the Middle East: "Suck on this"...

On the one hand, what a typical American know-it-all bully jerk.  On the other hand, if someone's gonna present himself as an expert on sucking, I can think of few people more qualified than Tom Friedman.

Have a Thursday that doesn't suck (Friedman excepted).  Oh, and happy birthday to JSB---or should I say, "Ahhhhhh...Bach!"  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Pink stops concert to give crying Bill in Portland Maine a treat
---ABC News.

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Poll

Will the Republican party succeed in its plan to re-brand itself without changing its actual policy positions?

4%169 votes
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79%3343 votes

| 4182 votes | Vote | Results

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