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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Big News from Netroots Nation

If you've been wondering when the Netroots Nation scholarship competition was going to start, wonder no more! Mary Rickles has the scoop:

We're partnering again with Democracy for America and America's Voice to offer 40 scholarships to deserving bloggers, organizers and activists. The Program is designed to send the movement’s best and brightest to the biggest progressive conference of the year.

Netroots Nation Scholarship Competition logo
This is your chance to tout what you're doing to make your community a more progressive, inclusive place. And it's our chance to ensure that activists and organizers---regardless of age, background, economic situation or geographic location---are able to participate, too.

And because the scholarship covers the cost of registration and lodging, it's also a great way to help make sure you have the resources to be there.

Each year, some of the brightest minds in our movement---from bloggers to social justice advocates, union workers to tech innovators---come to Netroots Nation to make new connections, beef up their organizing skills and build stronger relationships with others working on the issues they care most about. And each year has resulted in strengthened progressive alliances, deeper relationships and new collaborations.

Netroots nation San Jose logo
Here's what former scholarship winner Brandon Greene had to say about his experience:
"Netroots Nation was incredible! The dialogue and building that happened there has continued since I left and inspired myself and others to start an online group of progressive thinkers/activists of color. I can’t say enough about the experience!"
You can also nominate other people to win a scholarship. The contest runs through May 7th. And here ya go: the link to the scholarship application & nomination page. Good luck!

Meanwhile your west coast-friendly edition of  Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Friday, April 5, 2013

Note: One fish, two fish, green fish…[Blam!]…blue fish gun cleaning accident.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Pulitzer Prizes are announced: 10
Days 'til the Sweetwater 420 Fest in Atlanta: 14
Estimated death toll from the Syrian bloodbath as of January, according to the U.N.: 60,000
Years since the first cellphone call as of this month: 40
Percent of U.S. adults who think marijuana should be legalized, up from 41% in 2010: 52%
(Source Pew Research poll)
Percent of major league baseball players who were black in 1975: 27%
Percent of major league baseball players who are black today: 8%
(Source: Time)

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Thugs!

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CHEERS to the movie critic for the masses.  He was such a giant that one of the index tabs along the top of the Chicago Sun Times web site---sitting between "Travel" and "Classifieds"---says, simply, "Ebert."  Of course, we were all just as comfortable calling him Roger.  What makes his death at 70 especially sad is that his Tuesday blog post, in which he announced his cancer had come back, also indicated that he had ambitious plans for his future once he licked it.  So now his opening paragraph stands out as a de facto farewell:

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert publicity photo
"What are we watching?"
"Heaven Can Wait."
"Figures."
Thank you. Forty-six years ago on April 3, 1967, I became the film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. Some of you have read my reviews and columns and even written to me since that time. Others were introduced to my film criticism through the television show, my books, the website, the film festival, or the Ebert Club and newsletter. However you came to know me, I'm glad you did and thank you for being the best readers any film critic could ask for.
When Siskel and Ebert were on, anybody who got between me and the TV got a popcorn bowl to the head.  Those two, more than anyone, made me love movies---so much, in fact, that I have saved all my ticket stubs from 1980 onward and kept 'em in a big glass mason jar.  Roger's later social commentaries helped shape my moral perspective, and his embrace of twitter made him seem like he was a next-door neighbor.  For a life that was never dull and writing that was always worth reading, we give Ebert---as he would say---"Two Thumbs Up…Way Up!"

P.S.  As always: fuck cancer.

Kim Jong Il puppet from
Daddy would be proud.
JEERS to Kim Jong Un-hinged.  And now a brief message to the world from North Korea's spoiledest brat:
"Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?  Huh huh?  [Poke Poke Poke!] Does that bother you?  Huh huh???  [Poke Poke Poke!]  Really?  [Poke Poke Poke!]  It does?  That's too bad!  Look at me!  Look at me!  Look at me!  I know you are but what am I?  I think you eat poop, you poop eaters!  Poopy poopy...I said poopy!"
Hey, China: control your kid.

CHEERS to Great Moments in Medicine. On April 5, 1933, the first operation to remove a lung was performed at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.  Unfortunately the guy was just there to visit his grandmother, but the point is: Progress!

HA HA HA!!! to trial balloon fail.  Again, I say: HA HA HA…….

This is something we’ve never seen from a Democratic president: An official White House budget that includes cuts to both Social Security and Medicare.  …  These proposed cuts will infuriate liberals, but in the budget plan---as in the offer made last year to Boehner---the cuts will be paired with $580 billion in tax increases.  Without the tax increases, there would be no cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
Oh noes!  Pretend hippie punching!  Owie owie owie...[yawn].  Sorry, but I've seen this scenario too many times.  Social Security won't be touched.  Plus Obama's budgets never get passed, anyway.  Can I go play now?

CHEERS to big balls, little balls, balls balls balls!  After a wild March of ups and downs and smiles and frowns, your NCAA Fabulous Four men's matchups are: Wichita State vs. Louisville and Michigan vs. Syracuse.  They'll play tomorrow and whittle the field down to two.  Same with the Women's Division Sunday as Louisville takes on California and Notre Dame faces Connecticut.  Not many people know this, but I tried to compete on the court in school.  Didn’t work out too well.  The basketball broke too many of my golf clubs.

CHEERS to little reminders. Thirty-three years ago tomorrow, Post-It Notes were introduced by 3M. The road to market was a textbook case of serendipity.  Little-known fact: a little Post-It Note is expected to play a big role in archiving 43's accomplishments at the George W. Bush Preznidential Library, which will open later this month (with all five living presidents in attendance):

Took Oath.
Broke Stuff.
Took Oath Again.
Broke More Stuff.
Meanwhile 75 years ago, in 1938, Roy Plunkett invented Teflon.  It has saved many a meal...and many a presidency.

Melissa McCarthy in
Melissa McCarthy hosts SNL.
CHEERS to home vegetation.  In addition to the aforementioned NCAA hoops action, here are some of the other haps on the TV this weekend.  On HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher hangs with Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Republican no-nothing Steve Moore, author Sebastian Junger, and science education activist Zack Kopplin.  Bill Moyers looks back at the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr..  Harry Knowles has the week's DVD releases here.  The baseball schedule is here.  (The Red Sox will "ground" the Blue Jays, ho ho hee hee.)  SNL is hosted by the hysterical Melissa McCarthy.  Mad Men premieres Sunday at 9 on AMC.  And on HBO's Game of Thrones, all the kingdoms come to a standstill when Rand Paul mounts a filibuster.

And here's your Sunday morning lineup.  We haven’t tallied the lefty/righty guest-pundit ratio in awhile, so let's see just how slanted it is this weekend:

Meet the Press: North Korea gets the attention it craves with Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-Fussyville), former Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) and former Obama defense muckety muck Michele Flournoy.  Roundtable with Mike Murphy, Maggie Haberman and Andrea Mitchell.  Lefty/Righty Ratio: 2/2

Simpsons newspaper headline Old Man Yells at Cloud Abe Simpson
Old Man McCain rants on
"Face the Nation" Sunday.
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This Week: Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer; roundtables on various topics with Martha Radditz, David Sanger, former Reagan budget guy David Stockman, Paul Krugman, Arianna Huffington, George Will and Greta van Susteren.  Lefty/Righty Ratio: 3/3

Face the Nation: It's Bob Schieffer's turn to babysit John McCain while Cindy goes shopping; Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY); former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; roundtable with Blaine Harden (Foreign Policy Magazine), Gerry Seib (WSJ), Major Garrett, Nancy Cordes and Margaret Brennan (CBS News).  Lefty/Righty Ratio: 2/1

CNN's State of the Union: Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT); former Gov. and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R-UT); immigration discussion with Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL); Mike Duffy (Time) and Amy Walter (Cook Political Report) on politics.  Lefty/Righty Ratio: 2/2

Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Asa Hutchinson of the NRA, who will no doubt bring dozens of bodyguards to prove he's not a lily-livered coward; Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer; roundtable with Brit Hume, Juan Williams, Kirsten Powers and Jennifer Rubin.  Lefty/Righty Ratio: 2/5

11 lefties, 15 righties---that's actually not too bad.  Happy viewing!

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Five years ago in C&J: April 5, 2008

CHEERS to the arrival of the cavalry.  Congress is making progress on a bold new housing bailout plan.  So far they've agreed on the basic mechanics: when you hear the sounds of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, start walking around your neighborhood.  When the music stops, run to the nearest empty house and yell "Mine!"  There may still be some fine tuning.  McConnell wants to go with the Macarena. (He's hip.)

CHEERS to the Get-Up-And-Go'er-in-Chief.  President Bush took some flak yesterday because he walked out of a boring NATO meeting that started way late and was apparently droning on and on and on (Defense Secretary Gates took his place).  We have no objections to that.  When it's Game Boy time, it's Game Boy time.

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And just one more…

Bill in Portland Maine
Lording over my domain.
(Photo by Navajo)
CHEERS to eight years of front-page silliness.  On April 5, 2005, sixteen months after our debut in the Daily Kos diaries, this little column got promoted to the front page by Markos.  My memory of that day is as follows: posting C&J from my desk at work, then going to a meeting, then going to lunch, then coming back to find an email from Kos asking me why I did something that made the front page margins go kerflooey.  To quote Rick Perry: "Sorry…oops."  I'm happy to say that's the one and only time I broke his blog, and I shall carve the accomplishment on my tombstone.

Whether you're a long-time splasher or a relative newcomer, thank you for reading and supporting this snarky little gnat on the blogiverse's butt.  I promise to continue focusing on the issues in a serious and sober manner.  HuhHuhHuh…I said butt.

Have a great weekend.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Poll

Who won the week?

3%126 votes
13%454 votes
36%1215 votes
8%270 votes
2%96 votes
3%122 votes
0%26 votes
3%102 votes
16%547 votes
0%8 votes
6%202 votes
1%49 votes
1%46 votes
1%65 votes

| 3332 votes | Vote | Results

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