Crashing the Gate Update: Raleigh is on the Calendar

The Crashing the Gate Tour has Raleigh on its calendar for May 12th. They still do not have an event planned. I e-mailed some bookstore owners to see if they were interested, but anyone else with ideas should put them in the comments.


I've just emailed my offer

I've just emailed my offer to help organize a Raleigh event, via the Independent and perhaps also the Progressive Dems here. Quail Ridge Books is an obvious venue, or perhaps downtown at Jillian's, where the Prog Dems meet. Or the Raleigh Times bar. There are lots of possibilities. (Or, we could do in Durham at the Regulator Bookstore.) If I get their go-ahead, I'll be back in touch.

Way to go, Bob!

Thanks for taking the lead on this. I hope you'll let us know how we can help.

Kos Coming to Quail Ridge with Miller Introduction

This is the e-mail I received from Quail Ridge:

I'm happy to report they'll be here at Quail Ridge Books & Music on May 12, time TBA (7 or 7:20 p.m.). We've been badgering the publisher for months to get them here and will have a tremendous crowd. Our U.S. Congressman Brad Miller will introduce them.

Nancy Olson
Quail Ridge Books & usic

Confessions of a Dittohead

From Kos:

We all know Jim Derych around these parts for his Confessions of a Former Dittohead series. Those writing were turned into a book by that same name. And it's good. I had the pleasure of reading an early draft. Jim's book tour schedule is also available so you can catch him in person.

From his website:
Tuesday, June 13th, 7:00PM
Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth Street
Durham, NC

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

The book

I don't doubt that Markos can be a motivating force for galvanizing progressive bloggers (and he happens to be a very nice guy to boot) but have any of y'all actually read the book? I'm about halfway through right now and I'm not impressed.

Markos and Jeremy seem to think that progressive political activism began with George Bush's election in 2000 (their own political awkening, I presume). They also blame "special interest groups" (a.k.a. Democratic party constituents) for dragging down the party and keeping it from winning. What good is winning if you don't stand for anything?

= Ruby


Ruby knows

Ruby was on a panel with Markos, so she's definitely got the inside scoop.

As to the book, I haven't read it and I won't. I stay away from things driven by celebrity or the cult of personality. Even if the content of the book were fantastic, I wouldn't read it because it was so heavily promoted on Daily Kos. I think that makes me a curmudgeon.

Dissenter, malcontent

I generally feel the same way, but Bill Rehm generously gave me a copy of book with the proviso that I pass it on to someone else, which I have with the same proviso. But I would recommend reading it (see comment below). It is pretty light and would only take a night or two to finish for someone interested in advancing the progressive agenda through the netroots.

Oh all right.


I'll get my hands on a copy and give it a look.

You can borrow mine

I still owe you a favor (and then some) for hosting our engagement party last summer. ;-)

I got the book ostensibly to prep for the panel at SXSWi. Also, I was really hoping they would prove wrong my theory that their success is equal parts luck and political ambition.

= Ruby

I liked it

A little on the light side, but I agreed with the analysis of the party's state.

Special interest groups: I do not want to give away the ending, but I think the point they are making is that the special interest groups are killing their issue by being too narrowly focused on it. For instance, the pro-choice groups that keep pro-life Democrats out of office by exerrting influence within the party and thereby resulting in pro-choice (or pro-life) Republicans being elected. It would be better for the pro-choicers to have a Democratic Congress with some pro-life members, who would never bring up abortion, than a Republican Congress with some pro-choice members, who show every year that they are willing to strip women of rights.
For all of these groups, building a consensus around progressive ideas, much like the way the think tanks have done for conservative ideas, would do a lot more for their cause than being single issue voters. Once we regain a Democratic/progressive majority, we can go back to bickering over which special interest gets priority. But there is no power to be spread around, and no progressive interest's agenda wins, with the Democrats in the minority.


I also agreed with much of their assessment of of the DP. But I care more about those issues than about saving the party. Half the time I think we should just take it out behind the shed and put it out of it's misery.

Sorry if that's heresy here on BlueNC!

The Thought Police Have Been Notified

And should be arriving at your location in about... now. Resistance only puts you at risk of physical harm.

Have a nice day.

Ruby: Not heresy

We are not part of the party establishment!

We are trying to work from outside the party to make it more progressive and responsive to the people, which will in turn mean a victory for our causes.

As far as killing the party, fine lets pretend it is dead. Now what?
I would love to have many more political parties and viewpoint expressed, but that is not the way the system is set up. Our system is catered to having two political parties. As much as I hate it, that is the way it is with a first past the post system. So with no Democratic party, there will have be some counterweight to the Republicans. Whatever that party is called, it will include all members of the current Democratic party.

How much can you take?

I know there's no short-term alternative, but at some point we have to say enough is enough!

Just because the current system caters to rich, well-connected fat cats and their toadies doesn't mean it has to stay that way, right? I acknowledge that reality, but I work to change it. Similarly, just because the current system favors two conservative parties, doesn't mean the best we can ever do is to work within it.

When the Democrats whither away, other options will fill the vacuum. I'll admit, I don't really know how to get from here to there without fucking up the country even more than it is now. But I just have trouble getting excited about electing Democrats who I barely agree with 50% of the time.

For now I hold my nose and vote against Republicans while working for real change in non-partisan municipal races and through other politcal organizaing.

Including (but not limited to)

running a website that provides a forum for progressive views and fosters discussion about the things that matter to citizens of Orange County. You're my role model!


Thanks, Lance! At least that's what I'm trying to do. Sometimes I wonder what the real impact is besides being the local politico water cooler and doing reporters' jobs for them.

The bit I know about OC Politics

Came from reading your site. It's hard to catch on's like that joke about comedians:
A group of comedians get together every year at a convention. But, they've been hearing the same jokes for so long that instead of repeating the whole joke, they have written them out on a list and just say the number. One day a new guy was sitting down with these old fellas and the banter was fast and furious.
"Hey Ed, remember 47? Ha, ha!"
"Oh, man, do I. But, what about when 112 led to 113?"
Everyone cracked up even harder when another fella spit out - "22"!
Well, the young guy sat there listening for a while and then during an opening in the conversation he says "All this reminds me of 55."
Dead silence.
Finally, one of the old fellas looks over and says, "Kid, it's all about timing."

I feel like that guy sometimes when discussing local politics around here, or rather over there.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

No heresy here.

I actually think having a Blue Party (conceptual similar to Green) would be a very excellent direction for progressives to take. It would have a fair amount of shared interest with some factions of the current Democratic party . . . but not entirely. Our core principles would be integrity, competence and the common good. And while there would much debate over "common good," I'd be happy these days if we could just get agreement on competence and integrity.

O/T, but about money

All this discussion about special interest groups has put me in the mood to peruse some funding data. But, I can't find anything from the just passed deadline. Is it not available yet?

I did find an interesting site that allows you to look up everyone's political contributions over $250. I will just say this is one case where UNCs old coach was better than its new coach and Franco Harris better than Lynn Swann.

Don't bother...I've never given more than $250 a pop to anyone....and, yes, I did look you all up!!!

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Speaking of Privacy Invasion

I let my wife's grandmother, a true old Southern Dem, know I had looked up her voting record online. You could have heard a fork drop, since it was a birthday dinner with about 30 people. I went on to tell her that I was jealous of someone who had voted in every primary and election since the system had gone in place, and I wished we had more like her. She was far from offended, she was glad to know there were "young" people out there fighting for the Democratic Party.

It's not just us youngins that are sick of the Bushit.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


I see that Swing State is pushing folks to donate to NC races.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

third party concept

Isn't it almost impossible to get a third party on the ballot in this state? I know a lot of people who've thought of it and then decided it was easier to take over their local party.

As long as you don't change their schedule of men's breakfasts and women's bean suppers, everyone can be happy. But there are lots of insipid meetings and you'd have to get used to pledging the flag and praying in public.

Don't get me started

on flag worship. I'm just waiting for a constitutional amendment on flag desecration so we can start celebrating National Flag Burning Day in honor of free speech and the First Amendment.

As I've noted in the past, my job is to make all my brethern and cistern look sane, and I am doing a very good job if I do say so myself.


Note to my fellow veterans. I love our flag and fly it proudly everyday. But I fought for the freedoms it represents, and one of those freedoms is the right to protest whatever suits me. I would put Congressional action abridging free speech in the category warranting serious protest.