Open Thread: Netroots Nation #14 Is Now Taking Place in Philadelphia

Any Jackals in attendance? Or planning to attend over the weekend? Honest curiosity — I’d like to get your impressions!

I can remember when ‘we’ all hoped NN would be the progressive answer to CPAC… but, as people warned at the time, even if we had the same deep-pocketed ‘donors’ as the Repubs, getting Democrats to work together is like herding cats. I’m holding on to the Good Thought that the many, many breakout panels are supporting and training local activists working on local issues, which Murphy knows is every bit and more as important as taking back the White House.

Dave Weigel, for the Washington Post:

Four thousand or so liberal activists will spend the next three days here, gathering for the 14th annual Netroots Nation conference — the third with a presidential forum. In 2007, nearly every Democratic presidential candidate attended the conference in Chicago, staying for a debate and holding special sessions for attendees. In 2015, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley (but not Hillary Clinton) sat for Netroots interviews in Phoenix, only to be interrupted by Black Lives Matter activists who protested the lack of a focus on racial justice in the questions.

This year, just a handful of the 25 Democratic presidential candidates will make the trek to Philadelphia. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a frequent speaker at the conference, will join former HUD secretary Julián Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) at the Saturday presidential forum — and that may be it. With Warren’s exception, the highest-polling Democratic candidates will not be in Philadelphia. Joe Biden, whose campaign is headquartered in that city, will be in New Hampshire; so will South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Neither Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) nor Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will be attending, and the Sanders campaign says the candidate is off the trail completely this weekend, for unspecified reasons.

Sanders will have a surrogate, of sorts, at Netroots; former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, a co-chair of his campaign, will appear on a panel and join a solidarity protest with hospital workers. But the smaller footprint for presidential candidates is notable, and organizers say that Biden et. al. are making a mistake by skipping.

“Netroots attendees are the core activists of the party and will play a key role in determining who Democrats’ 2020 nominee will be,” said Carolyn Fiddler, the spokeswoman for Daily Kos, the group blog that founded the conference. “Candidates not in attendance are missing the opportunity to speak directly to this ultra-engaged group of voters and engage core progressives the issues they care about most.”

Every Netroots comes with some drama; this year’s is largely about Sanders. In 2015, he was visibly irritated when a protest disrupted his time onstage. Protests are endemic to the conference — activists have interrupted candidates for governor, White House representatives and even then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). And this year, the presidential forum will be moderated in part by Markos Moulitsas, the founder of Daily Kos and a public critic of Sanders.

The Sanders campaign, again, says there is a good reason the senator cannot come. But the professional activists who make up most of the Netroots audience have been cheering for Warren longer than Sanders; in 2014, a brief campaign to draft Warren as a presidential candidate debuted at the conference. Moulitsas said that Sanders was making a mistake…

Biden’s absence is less surprising, though he spoke at the event as vice president five years ago. (He skipped the 2007 conference.) Booker and Harris spoke at the 2018 conference in New Orleans. Organizers made a conscious effort to not invite everyone running for president. To attend, candidates needed to show some level of support in Daily Kos’s biweekly straw poll; most candidates simply didn’t have that support, and, per Fiddler, they were “politely” told they would not get time at the forum…

The forum is just one part of a multiday conference. There is no real “liberal” answer to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference; Netroots comes close, but instead of stacking a long series of speeches and panels over several days, it features a few keynote sessions interspersed with dozens of small panels and breakout sessions. The better-funded organs of the left, like Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood, and the American Federation of Teachers, sponsor the conference and host trainings and after-parties; Tom Steyer’s NextGen typically sponsors an annual pub quiz. (Steyer himself, now a candidate for president, is skipping this year’s conference to campaign in South Carolina.)

This year, it’s all funding a conference that will focus more on labor unions, protest movements and the new members of Congress than on the 2020 race. Three members of the House progressive “squad” will be there: Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who attended the 2017 conference as an activist and the 2018 conference as an icon, will not make it.) Sens. Sherrod Brown and Jeff Merkley, who decided not to run for president, will talk about the left’s agenda. It will be, again, the biggest gathering of liberal activists in the country, but it’s not lost on anyone that most of the 2020 field is skipping it…

Y’all know my bias, but this seems like a mistake by the Sanders campaign; if he’s going to find a *mostly* sympathetic audience, shunning the meeting gives his detractors a weapon…


120 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    So I’m sitting next to a friend at the bar — the friend who made it possible for me to go skydiving last year — a friend who is a staunch Dem, anti-Trumpist, etc. — and tonight i discovered that he doesn’t have the foggiest idea of who his Member of Congress is.

    This is a man who is CEO of his company, and he doesn’t know who represents him in Congress??? I am dumbfounded, aghast, and deeply saddened.

    I yelled at him. Not sure how much good that will do.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    Chalk up her absence as a misstep by Harris, IMHO.

    Switching gears, Rudy & Joe now playing in the hands down worst remake of The Sunshine Boys ever. (Or maybe it’s Grumpy Old Men, electric liver spot boogaloo.)

  3. 3
    germy says:


    Rudy & Joe

    Twin intolerables.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:


    Twin Reeks?


  5. 5
    germy says:

    Onion headline:

    Nation Not Sure How Many Ex-Trump Staffers It Can Safely Reabsorb

  6. 6
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Josh Dawsey @ jdawsey1
    VP saw 384 men sleeping inside fences, on concrete w/no pillows or mats. They said they hadn’t showered in weeks, wanted toothbrushes, food. Stench was overwhelming. CBP said they were fed regularly, could brush daily & recently got access to shower (many hadn’t for 10-20 days.)

    Lindsey Graham @ LindseyGrahamSC
    -A very informative trip to our southern border today with @VP Mike Pence and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    We spent time listening to the brave men and women serving our nation on the border and the many struggles they face.
    -They are heroes and I, for one, truly appreciate their service.
    I plan to introduce a resolution thanking them for their honorable service under the most difficult of circumstances.

  7. 7
    cain says:

    Lindsey is an asshole of such epic proportions. I want his ass out of congress.. when he gets voted out, I’mg oing to get drunk as a skunk and celebrate like it is 1995.

  8. 8
    JGabriel says:

    I’m surprised Harris isn’t attending NN.

    I mean, I get why Biden and Sanders aren’t going. They’re old, they’re already up in NH, they don’t wanna travel any more than they have to, and all that website stuff is for the kidz in their 40’s and 50’s and 60’s and early 70’s – not mature pre-boomer adults like themselves.

    But I’m surprised Harris isn’t attending. You’d think Harris would have some supporters there she’d want to touch base with and inspire.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist

    That painting of himself Graham must have in the attic is by now enough to send Cthulhu shrieking into the night.

  10. 10
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Markos Moulitsas
    ‏Verified account @markos
    Jul 10

    Bernie Sanders goes on Fox, but he’s afraid of ME? Sheesh.

    1,375 replies 164 retweets 522 likes

    He’s always been so comfortable around whites who show up to Fox and so uncomfortable among the POC who show up to NN.

  11. 11
    kindness says:

    Have to give Markos credit. He built something that is doing a job.

  12. 12
    germy says:

    Can't wait to be in Philadelphia this weekend with the amazing @Netroots_Nation community! These are some of the activists and organizations driving this movement to protect our progressive values and stand up to Trump—and we have a lot to talk about. See you there! #NN19— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 9, 2019

  13. 13
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @JGabriel: She’s not attending cuz Wilmer’s cult have been smearing her as a “cop” and as an economic traitor to the masses.

    She’s better off trying to reach persuadables in early primary states.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    @germy: They’ve run that story before. Probably several times, after each very-excellent-appointee flames out.

    I went to the first Netroots Nation, though it was called YearlyKos then. Went to the debate/candidate forum, and then to a Q&A session with Obama. Good times. Better times than now really, even if we were in the middle of the Bush Presidency.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @cain: South Carolina may be one of the trumpiest states, but I’m hoping Jaime Harrison can make him sweat.

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:

    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    She’s not attending cuz Wilmer’s cult have been smearing her as a “cop” and as an economic traitor to the masses.

    Again, I’m still surprised. I suspect Harris has a lot more supporters at Netroots than critics.

    But it’s her call, and I’m sure she knows how to campaign for votes better than I do.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    @David Merry Christmas Koch

    Outreach is necessary and laudable. However – especially this early – one ought not squander opportunities presented on a silver platter for the care and feeding of inreach.

  18. 18
    Mike J says:

    @JGabriel: My guess is that most media accounts of NN will report on it as being as far out there as CPAC is. Harris isn’t running as a competent adult, not a bomb thrower. While we know that’s not what NN is, I’d guess she doesn’t see anything that could help her with the wider public by going and a lot that could be misrepresented.

  19. 19
    germy says:

    @dmsilev: You don’t think there’s more energy now, united against the current administration?

  20. 20
    germy says:

    @JGabriel: Harris was a keynote speaker last year at netroots.

  21. 21
    dmsilev says:

    @germy: I meant that this administration, and those supporting them, are worse than the Bushies. As impossible as that might have seemed to 2007-me.

  22. 22
    germy says:

    @dmsilev: I remember during the bush administration, thinking it couldn’t get any more horrible. And now this president…

    Which makes me dread who the GOP will cough up next. Tom Cotton? Gym Jordan? Matt Gaetz?

  23. 23
    Jay says:

    So Storm Area 51 is trending,

    Storm ICE is not.

    Nuff said.

  24. 24

    @SiubhanDuinne: That is one of the questions on the citizenship test. To name your Congress critters.

  25. 25
    cain says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I will give this guy money (when I’m employed again). I want to see this weak kneed putz outt.

  26. 26

    @schrodingers_cat: The Congress Critter that Madame had to name when she took the test ended up in the greybar hotel.

  27. 27
    Doug R says:


    Chalk up her absence as a misstep by Harris, IMHO.

    Uncle Joe and Wilmer aren’t there and it’s kinda preaching to the choir.

  28. 28
    mad citizen says:

    Harris playing a long game. Watched some of her Maddow interview linked here earlier, and she mentioned she was travelling to some state today, I can’t recall where but thinking west. Anyhoo, she’s got things under control from what I see. It’s a long campaign.

  29. 29
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Meet the Press
    ‏Verified account @MeetThePress
    3h3 hours ago

    THIS SUNDAY: World Cup Champion and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Co-Captain Megan Rapinoe will join #MTP for an exclusive interview on equal pay.

    20 replies 16 retweets 37 likes


  30. 30
    TS (the original) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Doubt that he ever had one, but if he did, the soul of Lindsay Graham has gone to the darkest corner of hell.

  31. 31
    lamh36 says:

    bullshit…someone needs to make sure the Stanford MD isn’t a pro-Trump plant

    The Trump administration has agreed to allow a Stanford University pediatrician to conduct an independent investigation into health conditions for migrant children at US Customs and Border Protection facilities

    Even if they are legit…if the report is bad…we all know Chump co gonna bury it!

  32. 32
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mike J:

    My guess is that most media accounts of NN will report on it as being as far out there as CPAC is. Harris isn’t running as a competent adult, not a bomb thrower. While we know that’s not what NN is, I’d guess she doesn’t see anything that could help her with the wider public by going and a lot that could be misrepresented.

    Yeah, to be cynical — Harris has a solid fan base at NN, and their feelings won’t be hurt she didn’t take a chunk out of her limited campaigning time to schmooze them personally. But on the other hand, there *will* be ‘Justice’ Dems and other fringe/ratfvcker individuals primed to get their ‘twitter moment’ by slagging off Tha Authorities, maaaan. Low reward, high risk scenario for Harris and her campaign.

    Warren, on the other hand, is a natural I-Have-A-Plan star at NN (& it’s much easier to reach Philadelphia from Boston than California). She’ll be targeted by the same famewhores, but how are they gonna attack her? ‘She’s too organized’? ‘She wastes time catering to every selfie-seeking schmoo in the room’? All they’ve really got is the Pocahontas racism and the bog-standard misogyny — anyone tries that in this audience would be lucky to escape with his most prized appendage still attached.

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I know. That’s why I was so astonished that my friend couldn’t!!

  34. 34
    dr. bloor says:


    But I’m surprised Harris isn’t attending. You’d think Harris would have some supporters there she’d want to touch base with and inspire.

    Who’s going to NN these days? Last time I paid any attention, it mostly seemed to be Bernier-or-busters. I guess I can see how anyone to the right of Warren might feel like it’s not a value proposition.

    Having said that, I think any time at NN devoted to presidential politics rather than taking back school boards, city councils, and state houses is time poorly spent.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    getting Democrats to work together is like herding cats

    Cats don’t appreciate the comparison.

  36. 36
    rikyrah says:

    A judge has already ordered that healthcare professionals be allowed into the camps. This is just CYA by this Administration.

  37. 37
    TS (the original) says:

    Just watching Rachel – there is so much ratf…ing going on with this administration NOTHING seems to last more than a day or two before something new breaks. trump then just carries on tweeting about the fake media & doing whatever his next evil thought happens to be. I have no idea how congress or the judiciary bring him into line??

  38. 38
    RepubAnon says:

    If you’re going to mention herding cats, you need to watch the old “Herding Cats” SuperBowl commercial :

    Nobody knew what the company that put the ad on did, but it was a great commercial…

  39. 39
    Jay says:

    The Palantir user guide shows that police can start with almost no information about a person of interest and instantly know extremely intimate details about their lives. The capabilities are staggering, according to the guide:

    If police have a name that’s associated with a license plate, they can use automatic license plate reader data to find out where they’ve been, and when they’ve been there. This can give a complete account of where someone has driven over any time period.

    With a name, police can also find a person’s email address, phone numbers, current and previous addresses, bank accounts, social security number(s), business relationships, family relationships, and license information like height, weight, and eye color, as long as it’s in the agency’s database.

    The software can map out a person’s family members and business associates of a suspect, and theoretically, find the above information about them, too.

  40. 40
    Jay says:

    @dr. bloor:

    NN hasn’t been a Wilmer friendly zone in years.

  41. 41
    Millard Filmore says:


    A judge has already ordered that healthcare professionals be allowed into the camps. This is just CYA by this Administration.

    So they are going about this in the same way Microsoft has acted in its field: the most useless way possible.

  42. 42
    Baud says:


    Who did they support in 2016?

  43. 43
    Jay says:

    Border Patrol agents are wearing masks so they don’t have to smell the people that they’re keeping in cages. We know where this leads. #NeverAgainIsNow— ✡️ Never Again Action ✡️ (@NeverAgainActn) July 12, 2019

  44. 44
    dr. bloor says:


    Who did they support in 2016?

    Baud!, you goddamn ingrate.

  45. 45
    Jay says:


    Hillary Clinton.

    Followed by the Great Purge.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Now I feel bad.


    I didn’t hear about that. Good on them.

  47. 47
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    House votes to extend health care funding of 9/11 first responders by a vote of 402 to 12

    Justin Amash joined 11 republicans in voting against the sick and dying.

  48. 48
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    House passes defense budget 220-197 with all 189 republicans voting against the troops.

  49. 49
    dr. bloor says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Sick and dying in Jew York, you mean. Won’t cost him a single, solitary, fucking vote in his district.

  50. 50
    Jay says:

    The face of a Nazi,

    icymi: Trump's Border Patrol chief was in secret Facebook group that mocked dead kids— Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 12, 2019

  51. 51
    Kent says:

    “Netroots attendees are the core activists of the party and will play a key role in determining who Democrats’ 2020 nominee will be,” said Carolyn Fiddler, the spokeswoman for Daily Kos, the group blog that founded the conference.

    Pretty sure of themselves aren’t they.

    I mean yes, to the extent that some of these NN folks are out there working the ground game in the early primary states, perhaps. But I don’t think Daily Kos keyboard warriors are going to be all that important to who wins South Carolina or California.

    I know a bunch of “core activists” in the Democratic Party here in WA and OR and I don’t know of any of them going to NN.

  52. 52
    Jay says:

    @dr. bloor: really((( )))

  53. 53
    Jay says:

    Twenty-two nations just issued an unprecedented protest at the UN Human Rights Council over China's mass detention of one million Uighur and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang for "re-education." Guess who didn't join them?— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) July 12, 2019

  54. 54
    caphilldcne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: you would not believe the number of people who don’t know their member of Congress. I work for an organization that is largely about connecting our members to congress and routinely have to help them look up who it is. That said as a ceo he should get engaged. what are his issues? He should totally invite his member out to his company. Maybe work with a local advocacy organization. Truthfully they are pretty easy to engage although not so easy to flip their ideology if they are in the wrong party.

  55. 55
    Jay says:

    Riyadh’s apparent decision to court the Buttigieg and Biden campaigns is an early sign that Saudi Arabia is seeking to rebuild influence among Democratic presidential candidates following three years of increasingly strained relations, @aawadall writes.— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) July 12, 2019

  56. 56
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @lamh36: Picked by the super conservatives running the Hoover Institute?

  57. 57
    Amir Khalid says:

    Saudi Arabia supporting an openly gay presidential candidate in the US? Hmm.

  58. 58
    Eljai says:

    I attended NN in 2013. That year there were a lot of headlines about how Nancy Pelosi was booed at NN. But the truth is that she was mostly warmly received. However, during a Q&A I believe, she was asked about Edward Snowden and she said that Snowden had broken the law. That’s when she got some boos from people in the audience. I was more sympathetic to Snowden back then, than I am now, but her statement didn’t bother me.

  59. 59
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Money buys influence.

  60. 60
    Jay says:

    At Dewey Elementary, where most kids have military parents, the line forms early at the food pantry for free food staples like bread.The vast majority aren’t homeless or even newly unemployed. They're the spouses of US military service members. (1/5)— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 12, 2019

  61. 61
    Mike J says:

    @Mike J: is running, not isn’t

    grr. Dumb fingers.

  62. 62
    Cacti says:


    I believe, she was asked about Edward Snowden and she said that Snowden had broken the law. That’s when she got some boos from people in the audience.

    Back when being right about him was unpopular.

  63. 63
    oatler. says:

    “Where do you find these people, Gonzales? I never see people like this anywhere else.”

  64. 64
    Eljai says:

    @Cacti: Well…yeah. ;)

  65. 65

    @Amir Khalid: That would be, uh, surprising.

  66. 66
    Another Scott says:

    Open Thread? It looks like Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever Berlin 2019 is this weekend.

    Is Otmar going?


    Seriously, it looks like great fun and a nice tribute to an amazing song from an amazing performer.


  67. 67
  68. 68
    Cacti says:


    Most definitely here.

  69. 69
    dr. bloor says:

    @Jay: We’re about to find out if, as Grandma used to say, God gave Mayor Pete the common sense of a can opener.

  70. 70
    Bill Arnold says:


    The Onion: Nation Not Sure How Many Ex-Trump Staffers It Can Safely Reabsorb

    The Onion is wrong. The US eats roughly 8 million tons of pork per year (&); mix in a few tons of long pork and nobody would notice. The Solution To Pollution Is Dilution!
    (I am a vegetarian. We’re allowed to make cannibalism jokes. :-)

  71. 71
    chris says:

    Fuckitall, I’m going to bed.

    Fred Fleitz, who @jonathanvswan says maybe nominated to oversee US intelligence, has a picture of him with conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi as his BANNER photo on twitter. This is panic stations.— Max Bergmann (@maxbergmann) 12 July 2019

  72. 72
    Jay says:

    “A State Department intelligence analyst has resigned in protest after the White House blocked portions of his written testimony to a congressional panel to exclude data and evidence on climate change and its threat to national security.”— Amy Siskind 🏳️‍🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) July 11, 2019

  73. 73
    Jay says:


    Posted that yesterday.

    QAnon nut job as Office of National Intelligence.

  74. 74
    Redshift says:

    I’m holding on to the Good Thought that the many, many breakout panels are supporting and training local activists working on local issues, which Murphy knows is every bit and more as important as taking back the White House.

    I got an email from them a week or so ago about how the greater focus on local organizing is in response to feedback from attendees, so I think there’s a good chance you’re right.

    (I went the first three years, I think. Got to check “getting my picture on the front page of the Drudge Report wearing a tinfoil hat” off my list of life goals. 🙂)

  75. 75
    plato says:

    @Redshift: drudge report… wonder if that shit is still floating around.

  76. 76
  77. 77
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bill Arnold:
    I too am a non-eater of pork (yes, really) and I guess I’d be okay with this.

  78. 78
    Bill Arnold says:


    Palantir is one of the most significant and secretive companies in big data analysis.

    Do Palantir tools work on their corporate officers and major investors? Would be nice to see an expose. Some enterprising police department employee somewhere could do this easily with a little crowdsourced help. They’d get fired but would become famous.

  79. 79
    Jay says:

    A police union asked its members to post a Punisher symbol in solidarity with officers under investigation by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) July 12, 2019

  80. 80
    Redshift says:

    @plato: yeah, apparently it still is, and it still looks like a MySpace page.

  81. 81
    satby says:

    @dr. bloor: he’s a smart cookie. Probably smarter about it than Biden would be.

  82. 82
    plato says:

    The man replacing Acosta — deputy labor secretary Pat Pizzella — was a former associate of disgraced lobbyist felon Jack Abramoff who pushed for "unchecked slave labor" on N. Mariana Islands. You couldn't make this stuff up— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) July 12, 2019

  83. 83
    Jay says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Works on everbody, but Palantir is Vampire Thiel’s company, he’s big into funding Nazi’s and has tight security, along with a bolt hole in New Zealand.

    Gotta love the new Guilded Age.

  84. 84
    plato says:

    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey caves on Nike: He previously tweeted "we don't need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation's history" over the Betsy Ross flag controversy.

    Now, he's saying "welcome" to Nike.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 12, 2019

    Another win for Colin Kaepernick.

  85. 85
    Ruckus says:

    @Bill Arnold:
    That’s not a cannibalism joke. That’s a shit eating joke. Different species altogether.

    And on that note, it’s my birthday. Can not believe that I made 7 decades and most things still work OK or at least acceptably. So now the goal is 25 more years, that would be one more day than mom made. OK I have a progressive version of tremors so I’ve got that to look forward to. Life hands you roses, you eat thorns. Friend gave me a card.
    On the outside.
    We got you something for your birthday.
    You’re holding it.
    So I got a laugh for my bday. Not a bad day as these things go.

  86. 86
    Jay says:

    #Breaking: Homestead isn’t just for kids at the border, it’s for kids living in the U.S. their whole lives. @MiamiHerald— Monique O. Madan (@MoniqueOMadan) July 12, 2019

  87. 87
    Jay says:


    Happy B day, wishing you fish.

  88. 88
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Jay: Palantir is an information aggregator at heart. It’s really impressive, but all it does is take disparate databases and let you search between the simultaneously.

    Thiel is also not really involved with Palantir beyond the initial funding. It’s a convenient boogeyman but doesnt deserve the focus it gets from the left.

  89. 89
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Harris is probably spending time some place with actual voters and organizers. Hint: It ain’t with a bunch of lily white shut-ins with an overinflated sense of importance.

  90. 90
    Aleta says:

    (WaPo Friday)

    In seeking to keep (Epstein) jailed pending trial, New York prosecutors argued Epstein had a history of trying to obstruct inquiries into his misdeeds, including those from journalists.

    Prosecutors wrote they had obtained financial records showing in November 2018, two days after the Herald reported on a favorable plea arrangement Epstein received years prior, Epstein wired $100,000 to someone identified as a possible co-conspirator in the case. Three days after that, he wired $250,000 to another person identified as a possible co-conspirator, prosecutors wrote.

    Prosecutors’ filing Friday was a response to defense attorneys’ request that Epstein be let out on bail before his trial. The defense wrote in their court filing Epstein was willing to put up his Manhattan mansion and private jet as collateral, agree to home confinement and GPS monitoring, and pay for 24/7 security. They said Epstein intends to vigorously challenge the allegations.

    (Prosecutors) said they had recently obtained records from a financial institution showing he was worth “more than $500 million” and earns at least $10 million a year. Because of that, they wrote, “there would be little to stop the defendant from fleeing, transferring his unknown assets abroad, and then continuing to do whatever it is he does to earn his vast wealth from a computer terminal beyond the reach of extradition.”

    Multiple victims or their lawyers, prosecutors wrote, had asked them to seek that Epstein stay locked up, believing that if allowed out, he might try to harass or abuse them. They noted Epstein “has history of obstruction and manipulation of witnesses, including, as detailed herein, as recently as within the past year, when media reports about his conduct reemerged.”

    Past police reports, prosecutors wrote, also seem to tie Epstein to obstructive efforts. One police report said a parent of one of Epstein’s victims was driven off the road by a private investigator, and another suggests an associate of Epstein’s was offering to “buy victims’ silence” during the previous investigation, prosecutors wrote.

    “Indeed, the victim reported having been told: ‘Those who help him will be compensated and those who hurt him will be dealt with,’ ” prosecutors wrote.

  91. 91
    planetjanet says:

    @RepubAnon: I have a downloaded copy of that video from years ago. Have to revisit it now and then. The company, EDS, was Ross Perot’s firm.

  92. 92
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Kent: I know, right? These people have no idea who the core activists are. They’re in church basements, not hotel ball rooms.

  93. 93
    Wapiti says:

    @Jay: Junior enlisted with less than two years in have a base pay of $20-24k per year, and allowances for meals (just for the soldier, not the family members) and housing (if housing isn’t available on post). It’s below the poverty line if you have 2 kids and your spouse doesn’t work.

    It’s better than US minimum wage (~15k a year, w/o meals/quarters) and the service trains people. It can be a route out of poverty… but a slow one for junior enlisted.

    There used to be a push to discourage/prevent young soldiers from getting married for the first 4 years – I remember Senator Patricia Schroder out of Colorado taking grief over it.

  94. 94
    Jay says:


    Key people
    Peter Thiel (Chairman)
    Alex Karp (CEO)

    The company was valued at $9 billion in early 2014, with Forbes stating that the valuation made Palantir “among Silicon Valley’s most valuable private technology companies”.[7] As of December 2014, Thiel was Palantir’s largest shareholder.[7] In January 2015, the company was valued at $15 billion after an undisclosed round of funding with $50 million in November 2014.[9] This valuation rose to $20 billion in late 2015 as the company closed an $880 million round of funding.[2] Palantir has never reported a profit, and in 2018 Morgan Stanley valued the company at $6 billion.[10]

    British Parliament Inquiry (2018)
    During questioning in front of the digital, culture, media and sport select committee, Christopher Wylie, the former research director of Cambridge Analytica, said that several meetings had taken place between Palantir and Cambridge Analytica, and that Alexander Nix, the chief executive of SCL, had facilitated their use of Aleksandr Kogan’s data which had been obtained from his app “thisismydigitallife” by mining personal surveys. Kogan later established Global Science Research to share the data with Cambridge Analytica and others. Wylie confirmed that both employees from Cambridge Analytica and Palantir used Kogan’s Global Science Research data together in the same offices.[68][69]

  95. 95
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Jay: only after months of The Bros bullying and shouting down everyone else. By then the damage had been done. Kos shares some blame for the brats getting as out of hand as they did.

  96. 96
    Another Scott says:

    Meanwhile, in Virginia – BlueVirginia:

    I was listening to a recording of the Kojo Nnamdi Show’s Politics Hour on WAMU a few minutes ago, and it was pretty much routine…that is, until the topic of conversation with Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria/Arlington) turned to the situation with Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax [D]. At that point, things got VERY pointed, with Sen. Ebbin using language that was stronger than basically anything I’ve heard an elected Virginia Democrat use previously. Check out the audio, below. By the way, from what I’ve heard privately, a lot of elected Democrats agree with Sen. Ebbin’s take, but not many (if any) have said it like this publicly. Apparently, Sen. Ebbin ate his Wheaties this morning!

    – Asked how he thinks LG Fairfax has handled the sexual assault allegations made against him, Sen. Ebbin responded, “it’s embarrassing to the state and it should be embarrassing to him.”

    – Sen. Ebbin added that LG Fairfax “needs to see the handwriting on the wall; he needs to realize that he’ll never be elected to another public office again or win a Democratic primary.”

    – Asked about comments LG Fairfax reportedly made regarding how this scandal has raised his public profile and led to a lot of people saying they support him, and also asked whether there’s any support for LG Fairfax among Democratic Party leaders, Sen. Ebbin responded: “I think that with anyone in public life, there’s a danger when you believe your biggest fans…let it go to their head and he’s more than let it go to his head.”

    This is after Fairfax’s lawyer suddenly claimed (5 months after the story first was in the news) that there’s a witness that backs him.

    I think Sen. Ebbin’s right. Fairfax may serve out his term (somehow), but he’s done in NoVA and VA politics.


  97. 97
    Jay says:


    I was Seaforth in the ‘70’s.

    Pay ranked up there with a 7-11 cashier.

    Didn’t need a Food Bank, there were no such things.

    Looked at my first “real job”, union, retreading factory. $186k, full medical full dental, pension, adjusted for inflation today.

    Today, the job pays $9.80 an hour, no benifits, 1% RRSP , ( our 491k) match.

  98. 98
    Kay says:

    Interesting that it went up:

    Support for abortion remaining legal in the U.S. is at its highest point in more than two decades, according to a poll released Monday.
    Sixty percent of adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a Washington Post–ABC News poll. This comes as several states with conservative legislatures have passed laws restricting access to the procedure

    I have been to NN twice and it’s worthwhile going, IMO, but my impression was a lot of the people there are employed in liberal or Left-leaning non-profits along with labor unions. Which is fine! It’s certainly true of CPAC and God knows there’s a huge, paid conservative “movement” so it’s good there’s a liberal “side”, as long as you keep in mind they are MUCH more plugged in than rank and file voters. So they can have some huge controversy and 99.99% of people won’t even know it happened :)

    It’s good for what it is as long as you’re clear on what it isn’t.

  99. 99
  100. 100
    Ruckus says:

    It is undoubtably better than no NN but it seems to me that a lot of organizations like this exist for the people to get together and pat each other on the backs. What do they do, day to day? What do they truly know about politics? People ask what I do and I tell them my current job is a machinist. How many people actually know what that entails? I ask the same question about politics. How many people actually know what a politician does day to day? (and I’m talking about an effective one, not a placeholder) Yes this can be said about a lot of jobs. Driving a big rig is a lot different than a car but how many people know how to do that? A lot of people think they know how to do a job, either because they’ve seen it on TV or they work with someone who does that job. I worked in professional sports as a manager, but not of the participants, of the organization putting on the events. Same title but completely different job. So, how many of us actually know what a US national politician does day to day? How to influence one, or how not to? How does one actually get a bill through congress, the different rules for the two houses? What do the rules mean, how do they help or block constituents desires? What are the pitfalls of being a member of congress. And we are talking about a normal time, not the one we are in now.
    Most of us are educated, some far more than others and a lot of us don’t know a lot of this stuff. We should, it is after all our country, it is a representative democracy, we elect people to do the day to day work, but that doesn’t mean we don’t/shouldn’t pay attention.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: Dear god.

  102. 102
    Jay says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Wasn’t just Bro’s. Lots of “ inauthentic” accounts. Some of us learned from 2016.

    The St. Petersburg troll two days ago here, shows that a lot didn’t.

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Can they be shut-ins if they are at NN?

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Wapiti: Oddly enough, I remember mentioning the enlisted pay issue a while back and getting a lot of “they shouldn’t have kids” responses.

  105. 105
  106. 106
    Peale says:

    @Jay: he’ll turn the intelligence agencies towards proving once and for all that Obama smoked crack with a Muslim gay lover as a rent boy out of Columbia.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    Jay says:

    ‘This is a warrant.’ ’No it’s not.’ — This citizen stopped ICE from arresting 2 undocumented immigrants because he knew his rights— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 26, 2019

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: Happy b-day, you cranky old bastard.

  110. 110
    Kay says:

    And they make an effort to include non-professionals, there are lots and lots of forums and specific events, so you can go listen to the Secretary of State candidate from Arkansas, or “how we passed an increase in the minimum wage in Seattle” if you want to, but those aren’t the big draws or the big events- the areas where there are conflicts and disagreements with national politicians just naturally draw the biggest crowds. It’s a weird thing because it’s both adversarial towards powerful people while at the same time trying to elect or re-elect those people, and that tension is always pulling in two directions. They’re trying to straddle two things- they want to be influential (insiders) while at the same time be “insurgents” (outsiders) and that’s a hard thing to pull off! I don’t think it’s surprising that it sometimes seems incoherent. It’s inherently conflicted.

  111. 111
    Kay says:

    And you see it sometimes, the weird result, because they will go off on some strange tangent chasing the “insurgent” prong and just be in the weeds. My favorite example was 2005-6 when they decided that Sherrod Brown was the establishment Party candidate so following the insurgent impulse led them to back this former Republican sort of gun-nutty fellow because he opposed the Iraq war. But so did Sherrod! It just didn’t make any sense. So in that example their effort to be insurgents led them to inexplicably reject the long time liberal who wins and instead chase Mr. Maverick in a…primary? What? They don’t always resolve the insider/outsider tension in a coherent or even rational way.

  112. 112
    Jay says:


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.
    Will Rogers

  113. 113
    Kay says:


    Right, but I think that underestimates the cause of the conflicts. Because it’s not just chaos. What it is is a power struggle. And they’re not entirely comfortable with that (although to his credit, Kos is comfortable with seeking power, I think he knows exactly what the fights are about) because wanting influence veers dangerously close to wanting to be part of “an establishment”. Which means you give up your insurgent status. So one year they’re campaigning for Obama and two years later they are literally seating whole panels opposing him and some of them are most comfortable as the opposition.

  114. 114
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I didn’t think we’d actually met, but it’s like you know me.
    Thanks man.

  115. 115
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Baud: :””Anyone who thinks you can’t herd cats never heard of a can opener.” (Jim Hightower) Found that out the first (& last) time I ever cat-sat.

  116. 116
    Ruckus says:

    A lot of progressives are chasing outsiders. President Obama was, at least as many are concerned, an outsider. Not a lot of years as an elected politician, a very good speaker who could get a crowd to respond to his speeches very well. An outsider. Once he was elected he became the state, the power, the insider. And that’s the enemy, the insider, unless of course the insider has something they want. But what an insider has is the power and that is the one thing that a lot of groups don’t want anyone to be, the power, the insider. The groups that fall into this are the groups that have no traditional power and never will have, because they don’t work inside or have much idea how the inside works, how the sausage is made. Because no one wants to watch that, they will eat the sausage but watch it made, no way.
    ETA OK I see that you fully understand, I was typing slower than you.

  117. 117
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    @Wapiti: I know this isn’t the point, but Schroeder was a representative, not a Senator. She was in the House from 72 to 96. I recently saw her on an MSNBC show, so she’s still active

  118. 118
    Yutsano says:

    @Ruckus: Happy Womb Eviction Day ya old codger.

    BTW the head therapist at my clinic is a year older than you.

  119. 119
    horatius says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’m so glad that ghoul Barbara Comstock is not my Congresscritter anymore.

  120. 120
    daryljfontaine says:

    I’ve always wondered how much trickle-down (ugh) influence something like NN has. A few thousand attendees is a small/medium SF convention; I attend some nerd-pursuit conventions that regularly draw 30K-60K annually. For something which has a sort-of national profile, Kos’ ProgCon doesn’t seem to be building a very large audience (more evidence of the “online political groups are never as large as you think”), so are the attendees at least coming out of it with useful tools to help build their local/state parties?


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