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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

10 9 8 7 6 5 Weeks 'til Netroots Nation!

Time to put your hair in curlers (ladies, you too) as the countdown to the big convention in San Jose reaches the 35-day mark. Here's your weekly dose of info:

Netroots nation San Jose logo
• The exhibition hall will look different this year, says Linda Lee:
For those of you who have been to Netroots Nation before, you've seen the Exhibit Hall evolve and grow. It’s become more of a town square---i.e. “an open public space commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings.” Well, we liked that so much we decided to rename the Exhibit Hall the Town Square. There you will find more than 70 organization and company booths, a visual arts space, self-organized caucus space, the Town Square stage, concessions, American-made arcade games and the ever popular Daily Kos lounge. That's just for starters. As we get closer we’ll pass along more details.
I tried to push for a teabagger petting zoo, but the liability insurance is too high. They're ankle biters.

• Volunteering is a blast, and signing up to pitch in during the convention can net you a hefty registration discount. Michael and I won’t be there this year, unfortunately, but in years past we've stuffed swag bags, assembled badges (yes, you need stinking badges to get in), picked up supplies, and even built the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago from the ground up back in '07 (we were nursing our calluses for days). There's an infectious energy among the volunteer staff that transcends the rest of the convention activities. So get in touch with Eric Thut---at eric [at] netrootsnation.org---for more info about volunteering. Tell 'em Billeh sent ya.

• Congratulations, scholarship winners! Thanks to everyone who entered and/or voted in the annual competition, which ended last week.  Winners get free passes to NN13 and accommodations, and you can meet 'em here at the DFA site. And hopefully in San Jose.

• Returning this year: the Karaoke Party, the Living Liberally Comedy Show on Thursday night, Adam B's Chairman's Pub Quiz on Friday night and the Morning News Dump with Lizz Winstead and Friends on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

• Did you know? The Richard Meier-designed San Jose City Hall---still just a municipal tyke at 8 years old---has a couple of famous feathered caretakers:

Falcon
"Esteban Colbert" at
San Jose's City Hall.
The city hall tower is home to a peregrine falcon named Clara, and her current tiercel, named "Esteban Colbert" after Stephen Colbert, of whom San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is said to be a fan. The original falcons, named Jose and Clara after the city and Santa Clara County produced three offspring, named Spirit, Hiko, and Esperanza. In 2008, Clara and her then-mate Carlos had three chicks, Cielo and Meyye, both girls, and Mercury, a boy.
They even have their own Facebook page.

• Have you seen the list of panels and sessions yet? You can check 'em out here. The filters are now working, so you can separate 'em by day and session type. Among the panelists: Amanda Terkel, James Carter IV, Matt Ortega, Darcy Burner, Duncan Black ("Atrios"), and Chris Savage of Eclectablog.

• Basic info: To register for the convention, click here. For official hotel info (with an important update), click here.  Follow the NN13 gang on Twitter here and on Facebook here.

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

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, May 16, 2013

Note: This note took six weeks to complete from conception through three drafts, first edit, corporate input, initial layout, second edit, legal review, third edit, consultant review, fourth edit, final corporate approval, hard proof, and cancellation due to a "change in corporate direction."

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Portland (Maine) Observatory
Portland Observatory
By the Numbers:
Weeks 'til Independence Day: 7
Days 'til the Greene County Iris Festival in Greenville, Tennessee: 2
Percent of the major league baseball roster made up of Hispanics: 25%
Increase in upper-arm plastic surgery since 2000: 4,378%
Percent of those surveyed who say Michelle Obama has the best upper arms in the universe: 31%
(Source: Time)
Percent of Republicans surveyed who think Benghazi "is the biggest political scandal in American history" and also don’t know where Benghazi is: 39%
(Source: Public Policy Polling)
Percent chance the Portland, Maine Observatory---the only maritime signal-station tower still in existence in the U.S. today---has a cool web cam looking out over Portland Harbor: 100%
(Source: Portland Observatory Web Cam!!!)

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Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
The poor man who is currently our president has reached such a point of befuddlement that he thinks stem cell research is the same as taking human lives, but that 40,000 dead Iraqi civilians are progress toward democracy.
---July, 2006
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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Play ball.

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Fishing logo
Rep. Darrell Issa's official
House Oversight Committee logo.
JEERS to wishful thinking.  Yesterday I heard Washington Post pundit Dana Milbank trying to backseat drive for the White House as two non-scandals and one sorta-scandal flared up this week.  Milbank claimed that the Executive Branch had made a huge error by not "getting out in front of the scandals" and releasing information about them.  Um…that's exactly what they're doing right now.  In order: 1) the Benghazi non-scandal information has been out for months.  2) The IRS non-scandal information has been released via the Inspector General's report, and the wheels are turning as they should to fix problems and tighten controls as needed.  3) The AP sorta-scandal is also being dealt with, but complicating matters is the fact that Republicans loudly fanned this fire by calling the leak in question a terrible breach of national security and screamed to have every rock looked under to find the leaker.  So that's what's going on.  The Obama administration is keeping up with all three stories simultaneously, and the world is still turning as it should.  But anyone who thinks "getting ahead of" a firestorm of Fox News/Rush Limbaugh/New York Post poutrage is even possible anymore is smoking something good.  Other than that, I have no opinion about it.

CHEERS to friends in lofty places.  When Al Franken gave his first national interview as senator Monday night on The Last Word, I was hoping Lawrence O'Donnell might squeeze in a question about the marriage bill that passed in his home state of Minnesota.  Twas not to be and I've been wandering around in a fog wondering, "What did Al think?" ever since.  Late Tuesday he came through via his office web site, and he didn’t disappoint:

Graphic: Marriage Equality comes to Minnesota
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"I've been married to Franni for 37 years and it's the best thing that ever happened to me.  As a long-time supporter of marriage equality, I believe that every loving couple-in Minnesota and across the country-should have the same opportunity.  And now, thanks to courageous---and not to mention, bipartisan---votes by the Minnesota State Legislature and support from Minnesotans statewide, we are the latest state to legalize same-sex marriage.  Today I'm proud that Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation bringing marriage equality to Minnesota.  Our country is beginning to understand that it's not about what a family looks like: it's about their love and commitment to one another."
Meanwhile, Minnesota's senior senator, Amy Klobuchar said on her Facebook page:
BREAKING NEWS:  Governor Dayton signs the bill allowing same-sex marriage in Minnesota.  Minnesota is now the 12th state in the country with true marriage equality.  This is a historic day for our state and country.
But I question her judgment---mainly because she just "followed" me on Twitter.  Place your bets on how soon it'll be before she comes to her senses and blocks me.  My guess: 3... 2... 1...

CHEERS to hunger control.  On this date in 1939, folks in Rochester, New York became the recipients of the first food stamps issued by the commie socialist American government under the mind control of Kenyan-born infiltrator (and first confirmed Manchurian candidate, according to Conservapedia) Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Accortding to the Texas school board history textbook I'm working from this morning, they quickly switched to regular stamps because the ramen noodles kept gumming up the mail sorting machines.

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Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!

This is another edition of The One Word Answer Man.  Think Progress, in full stand-up comedy mode, asks:  Amid new data about the shrinking deficit, will Washington finally focus on jobs?

Ha.

Now back to Cheers and Jeers.

Gong!  Gong!!  BuddaBuddaBudda… GONG!!!
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JEERS to bad "jokes" badly told.  Lest we forget, this was the "future of the Republican party" on this date in 2008.  A real class act:

  This man...
...is a jerk.
During a speech before the National Rifle Association convention Friday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee...joked that an unexpected offstage noise was Democrat Barack Obama looking to avoid a gunman.  "That was Barack Obama, he just tripped off a chair, he's getting ready to speak," said the former Arkansas governor, to audience laughter. "Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor."
Anyone who denies evolution, there's the living evidence that you might be right.

JEERS to Florida's voters.  WTF???  Jesus endorses a candidate for mayor of North Miami…

North Miami mayoral candidate mailer saying Jesus Christ endorsed her.
...and the candidate comes in dead last???  Oh well…at least you Sunshine State sinners will be accustomed to the heat when you find yourself fist-bumping Lucifer's hoof in the hereafter.

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Five years ago in C&J: May 16, 2008

JEERS to pundit love.  Pat Buchanan wants Hillary Clinton to be on the Democratic ticket in 2008 so bad (so his party can rip her to pieces and energize its base) that he nearly pees himself whenever he talks about her.  Last night he sang her praises so highly that Chris Matthews called him "The Alan Alda of our time."  Um, no, Chris.  I believe the Alan Alda of our time would be…Alan Alda.

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And just one more…

Oil well
True fact: 82% of Republicans
think this is the Mars Rover.
CHEERS to diggin' in the dirt.  Meanwhile on Mars, the rover Curiosity is sporting a new bumper sticker today: Drill There! Drill Now!  The latest:
The team operating NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has selected a second target rock for drilling and sampling. The rover will set course to the drilling location in coming days.  This second drilling target, called "Cumberland," lies about nine feet (2.75 meters) west of the rock where Curiosity's drill first touched Martian stone in February.
As soon as she heard there'd be drilling happening on the Martian surface, Sarah Palin got so excited she immediately grabbed a telescope, a bottle of wine, and her battery-powered freedom wand from the back of her underwear drawer.

Scrub that visual from your mind and you may still be able to have a nice Thursday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Still hatin’ on Bill in Portland Maine? J.D. Power says he's getting better.
---NBC News

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Poll

Do you agree with the Congressional Budget Office that scoring the latest GOP House bill to repeal Obamacare (their 37th attempt) would be nothing but a waste of time?

95%3050 votes
3%114 votes
0%18 votes

| 3184 votes | Vote | Results

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