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Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:06 PM PDT

Going to NN14? Wanna save $175?

by N in Seattle

As soon as registration opened for Netroots Nation 2014 in Detroit, I plunked down the "early bird" fee. After all, I'd attended all but one of these events, and the one I'd missed was still called YearlyKos.

When I signed up, I was looking for employment. Were I still unemployed, I'd definitely be in Detroit for NN14. However, in April I was hired by the Washington State Department of Health, as the epidemiologist for their Prescription Monitoring Program.

It's a great job, and I'm enjoying myself immensely (even though it's a commute of 70 miles each way). But as a newbie in DOH, I haven't yet accrued very much vacation time. And the hours I have earned will be used for going to my 25th consecutive SABR convention (I may be a progressive activist, but I'm also a sabermetrician).

So... I have this NN14 registration in hand. The current registration rate is $365 + $9.95 for handling. My cost back in June of last year was $200.87. I want to sell you my registration.

Please send me a Kosmail, and we can transfer my registration to you (after you've paid me, of course). You'll have a great time at NN14! Be sure to go to BiPM and CSM's Cheers & Jeers dinner.

##################

UPDATE (9am, July 8): The registration has found a good home. Thanks to all for your interest in taking it off my hands.

Once again, I hope y'all have a great time in Motown! I'll miss the numerous buddies I've accumulated over the years. Hopefully, I'll be back next year in ???????.

Discuss

Breaking with Netroots Nation tradition, the location of next year's gathering was announced on the very first night of the meeting. With the plenary session completed, I'm stunned to see that no diary has yet mentioned where we'll be hangin' out next year for NN14.

After the squiggle, you'll see the answer to this question.

[spoiler alert: the location was announced by Eclectablog]

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Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:28 AM PST

Matriculating at Electoral College

by N in Seattle

As we look forward today to Barack Obama's second inauguration (and fourth Oath of Office), let us hearken back to the day he was re-elected.

I refer, of course, to the Monday following the second Wednesday in December (in 2012, that was December 17). That's when all 538 Presidential and 538 Vice Presidential votes were cast. That's when 332 of those Electors -- a clear, solid majority of the electorate -- voted for the winning ticket, Obama and Biden. You may think you were voting for Obama/Biden or Romney/Ryan (or even for one of the other pairs on the ballot) on November 6, but you weren't. In truth, you were voting for slates of Electors, who are the only Americans who actually cast Presidential and Vice Presidential ballots.

You weren't an Elector, nor was I. I daresay, however, that I was a whole lot closer to matriculating at the Electoral College than any of our readers -- had Maria Ehsan, the Elector chosen at Washington's 7th Congressional District's Democratic caucus back in May, been unable to attend the Electoral College meeting in Olympia, yours truly (the Alternate Elector from WA-07) would have taken her place as one of Washington's 12 Electors.

So I was right there in the State Reception Room in Olympia's Legislative Building at noon on December 17, peering over the shoulders of the Electors as they cast their votes. I can affirm

Legislative Building, State of Washington, December 17, 2012
Legislative Building, AKA Washington State Capital
that we had no faithless Electors in the state of Washington in 2012, despite the ridiculous efforts of teahadists to get them to change their minds. Even I, a mere Alternate, received a letter from one of them; you may recall my December 15 diary about that letter, I was asked to be faithless. In addition, you can read the letter itself (page 1, page 2).

The Electors -- and, I presume, Democratic Electors in all of the blue states -- were hit with both snail-mail and email. Everyone at the Washington Electoral College meeting, including the (Republican) Secretary of State, found the attempts to be little more than an amusing distraction.

Parenthetically, in its Presidential election history since 1892, Washington has seen one faithless Elector. In 1976, when Washington backed Jerry Ford over Jimmy Carter (who, of course, won nationally), Republican Elector Mike Padden wrote Ronald Reagan on his ballot. Reagan had narrowly lost to the incumbent President in the GOP primaries and convention, and apparently Padden was still upset about it.

And where is this renegade, this apostate, now? Why, he was just re-elected to the State Senate from the 4th LD near Spokane; this lawbreaker (RCW 29A.56.340 cites a $1000 fine for faithless Electors) currently chairs the Senate Law and Justice Committee. Then again, Republicans probably think he was a savant for tossing aside Ford to choose St. Ronnie four years early.

Below the orange squiggle, you'll find more of the story, and quite a few additional photos from the Electoral College. But first, here's confirmation that the Electors did indeed vote as their fellow Washingtonians wanted them to, for Barack Obama
Washington Elector casts Presidential vote, December 17, 2012
and then for Joe Biden.
Washington Elector casting Vice Presidential vote, December 17, 2012
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Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:12 PM PST

I was asked to be faithless

by N in Seattle

Monday at noon, in the State Reception Room at the Legislative Building in Olympia, I may have the opportunity to cast ballots for President and Vice President.

I'm sure that very few of you saw my diary On November 6, Washingtonians might be voting for *me*, written on May 23, in which I described the 7th Congressional District caucus where my fellow Democrats elected me as the CD's Alternate Elector. I'm all but certain the WA-07 Elector will be in attendance, so I probably won't be one of the 538 Americans who actually elect the President. But I'll definitely be in Olympia to meet Secretary of State Sam Reed and Governor Chris Gregoire, and to participate as much as I can.

But that's not my subject in this diary (though I'll have more to tell you -- and hopefully show you -- after the Electoral College meets). Here, I want to talk about an interesting(?) letter I received the other day.

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Here in the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, as NN12 came to a rousing close, the weekend's biggest secret -- the location of next year's event -- was just unveiled by Van Jones at the end of his keynote speech.

We're going to San Jose, June 20-23, 2013, and it's gonna be great!

More details coming soon, I'm sure.  And the opening of the registration period as well.

Discuss

Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:31 PM PDT

Happy Birthday, Bob

by N in Seattle

Date of birth:   May 24, 1941
Place of birth:  Duluth, Minnesota
Name at birth:  Robert Allen Zimmerman

In case you somehow don't know anything about the man born 71 years ago today, here's an eight-minute profile:



Whether he likes it or not, he is truly The Voice of a Generation.  Dylan has created so many brilliant albums, so many wondrous songs ... and he's still out there playing music.  He's been running the Never Ending Tour since June, 1988 (that's 24 years, folks!), and shows no sign of stopping.

You'll find a few more videos (please excuse the brief ads on some of them) below the squiggle.

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They may think they're voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, but that's not correct. Of course, they -- like Americans in the other 49 states and the District of Columbia -- will actually be voting to determine which slate of individuals will represent their state in the Electoral College. On December 17, those Electors will gather in state capitals to cast the 538 actual votes for President and Vice President.

It's possible that I, N in Seattle, will be one of those 538 voters.  

Even if I don't get to sign my name to the official Certificate of Ascertainment (don't worry, I'd use my real name!), I will definitely be right there, participating in the ceremony. And I will write about the experience, both here on dKos and on the leading Washington state political blog, HorsesAss.org.

I am a Democratic Alternate Elector for Washington, chosen by my fellow delegates at last Sunday's Seventh Congressional District Caucus.

If you're interested in how that came to pass, come on down below the squiggle. I'll also talk at some length about the selection of national convention delegates.

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So says NPR's "Political Junkie".

I did a double-take when I heard it this morning ... thankfully, I'd already finished my cup of coffee by then, else it would have been a spit take.

From the Morning Edition transcript, as Mara Liasson listens in, Ken Rudin responds to Steve Inskeep's question (emphasis added):

INSKEEP: Do no harm. Let's talk very, very briefly about Congress. Up to a 14 percent approval rating, by the way, Congress. More conservative Democrats, a couple of them in Pennsylvania, lost in primaries. And a couple of more mainstream Republicans, Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar, face primaries coming up.

RUDIN: Well, let's talk about Congress. First of all, you have these centrist Democrats, Jason Altmire and Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, they both voted against the President Obama's health care bill. They were defeated by liberals and the unions. And it seems like as a Tea Party is moving the conservative party more to the right, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, what's left of it, is trying to move the Democratic Party farther to the left.

Maybe Rudin's trying to say that Holden lost to the liberals and Altmire to the unions.  Which would, of course, be an accurate assessment.  But unless you already know quite a bit about what was going on in the Pennsylvania primary, there's no way that the bolded sentence could ever be construed thusly.

I also like the snide "what's left of it", as if it was the Progressive Caucus, not the Blue Dogs, that suffered the 2010 teahadist onslaught.

Sigh...

PS.  I'm surprised that there was absolutely nothing said about this before my post.  Neither "critz" nor "altmire" showed up in the diary searches I did before posting.  Am I the only Kossack who wakes up to NPR?

Discuss

Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 04:20 PM PST

WA-01 candidate forum

by N in Seattle

Last night, the Bertha Knight Landes Room in Seattle's City Hall was the venue for the first big forum of candidates for Washington's open First Congressional District.  It may seem odd that the event was held in a location that is not within WA-01's new boundaries (in fact, none of Seattle is in the reconfigured CD).  The reason is that the forum was sponsored by the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle, which does have some influence beyond the city and the county.

The great majority of the numerous candidates for the House seat attended the confab.  In alphabetical order, the participants were:

  • Darcy Burner (D, Ames Lake), the 2006 and 2008 candidate in WA-08, former head of ProgressiveCongress.org, and a director of the Netroots Foundation
  • Suzan DelBene (D, Medina), the 2010 candidate in WA-08, former Microsoft exec, recent head of the state's Department of Revenue
  • Roger Goodman (D, Kirkland), three-term State Representative in LD-45, environmental lawyer, former Congressional staffer
  • Darshan Rauniyar (D, Bothell), engineer, entrepreneur, immigrant from Nepal
  • Laura Ruderman (D, Kirkland), nonprofit executive, former three-term State Rep from LD-45, 2004 candidate for Secretary of State
  • James Watkins (R, Redmond), 2010 candidate in WA-01, businessman, former FDIC staffer
Yes, that's right ... a Republican spoke before the MDC in bluer-than-blue Seattle!  

The other three candidates were absent.  One Democrat (Steve Hobbs, Lake Stevens, State Senator from LD-44) cancelled at the last minute.  Neither Republican John Koster (Arlington, candidate in WA-02 in 2000 and 2010, former State Rep from LD-39, Snohomish County Councilmember) nor Republican-turned-independent Larry Ishmael (Issaquah, 2006 and 2008 candidate in WA-01, environmental economist) ever intended to attend the forum.  I would characterize those three individuals as, respectively, Conservadem, Teahadist, and Inconsequential.

Former Governor and Congressman Mike Lowry was the moderator.  Each candidate got to respond to six questions, as well as make closing remarks.  Below the squiggle are my notes on the forum.  For the record, I took no photos during the event (my cellphone doesn't sport a camera).  Also, I didn't start detailed notes until nearly the end of answers to Question 1:

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Despite all of my protestations, and even after I explicitly asked to be taken off the gift sub list (my request was honored), earlier this afternoon some anonymous Kossack benefactor threw one my way anyway.  Thanks, whoever the hell you are.

Since I'm at home and using the AdBlock Firefox add-in, I haven't noticed any difference at all in the dKos experience.  Maybe I'll see a change under IE7 when I get back to work next week year.  I guess the ads I never notice won't be there to not notice.

Look, I don't want to sound unappreciative.  I'm no good at receiving presents, don't really feel comfortable with it.  There's lots of childhood/upbringing stuff behind that aversion, but I'd prefer to discuss that with my therapist, if you don't mind.  I've been commenting and diarizing (is that a word?) here on dKos since before Day 1, so it's not like I was going to leave because of some easily ignorable advertisements.

That said...

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That truly is the question I'm debating with myself.

Frankly, I don't care one way or the other about ads.  At home, I use Firefox with Adblock Plus, a wonderful add-on that eliminates the great majority of advertising from all the sites I visit.  At work, where I am barred from downloading or installing unauthorized software (and must still make do with the brain-dead IE 7), I can easily ignore the non-content.  Really, truly, it's as if that crapola is invisible ... it doesn't even enter my conscious mind.  I therefore considered buying a subscription to be an unnecessary step for me, something that would have little to no effect on my DailyKos experience.

Oh sure, it does bother me that the site is so slow to load these days.  However, there are plenty of other tabs in my browser and plenty of other windows on my workstation to keep me busy while it's churning away.

I'd seen the incessant "nag, nag, nag..." from the site's muckety-mucks.  I'd seen the dozens and dozens of diaries (some even promoted to the FP) about new subscriptions, gifted or otherwise.  I generally skipped past them, perceiving them as giddy, treacly, overwrought, somewhat silly.  I worry enough about my blood sugar without exacerbating the problem with all that sugary Yuletide sentimentalism.

But in recent days, I've started wavering in my inertial inaction on the subscription front.  Why?  Follow me below the squiggle for more...

Poll

The bottom line ... should I subscribe?

11%4 votes
2%1 votes
19%7 votes
22%8 votes
2%1 votes
30%11 votes
11%4 votes

| 36 votes | Vote | Results

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Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 11:11 PM PDT

Boycott

by N in Seattle

Boycott started in 1832, in Norfolk, England.

Boycott ended in 1897, at Flixton in Suffolk, also in England.

Boycott dealt with the payment of rent on tenant farms in Ireland, and the refusal of those farmers to engage in all interactions -- financial, social, and more.

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