I *do* know the way to San Jose

Greetings from San Jose! I’m here in the Bay Area for the annual Netroots Nation meeting. Something like 3000 political activists, writers, bloggers, operatives, and practitioners are here.

Yesterday, I attended a panel called Science Under the Rug: How Government and Industry Hide Science. Among the panelists was Penn State climatologist Michael Mann, whose research in the 1990s led to the now widely known hockey stick chart of global mean temperature. The emphasis in this panel was on the determined anti-empirical efforts of climate deniers, the gun lobby, opponents of choice, and the like. Too often, the opponents in separate fields are the same groups, or at least groups funded by the same corporate and/or ideological groups. They certainly share techniques to try to undermine science, to drive wedges into our understanding of the world around us.

Lunch today (sponsored, BTW, by the Sierra Club) was accompanied by a Q&A with Nancy Pelosi. If nothing else, she’s a tough, gutsy woman. It isn’t easy to defend the complexities of the NSA mess — especially against some of the more extreme of purity trolls, which abound in this crowd — but she did exactly that. She turned the crowd toward her side by decrying the privatization of security (Snowden worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, not the NSA).

The Netroots Nation 2013 meeting celebrates the turnaround of California in the last few years. Once saddled with a $40 billion deficit, the state is now solvent, even booming. I’m sure it’s merely a coincidence that this reversal occurred as soon as Jerry Brown took the corner office in Sacramento from Ahnold, as soon as the state legislature achieved a super-majority of Democrats in both houses. Yes, there was a bit of help from the glacially-improving US economy, but still…

At the opening plenary session on Thursday, the location of Netroots Nation 2014 (NN14) was announced. There’s great excitement that, between July 17 and 20, we’ll get together in Detroit. It will be an important year in Michigan — an open seat in the US Senate (due to the retirement of the Senate’s finest combover, Democrat Carl Levin), a wildly unpopular Governor (Scott Walker-wannabe Rick Snyder), and other important political races. On top of that, of course, there’s the symbolism of going to the symbol of America’s collapsing middle class, decaying infrastructure, and other deep socioeconomic woes. If NN14 can be, in some small way, part of bringing Detroit back from the brink, then it will be the most meaningful event in the organization’s existence.

[UPDATE: 5:30pm] In the closing session, we’re hearing Ignite talks from many progressives. Among them — Seattle’s own Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO of MomsRising and spouse of former State Senator (45th LD) and recent Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor Bill Finkbeiner. I knew that she was to Bill’s left, but not this far in the correct direction.

Comments

  1. 1

    spews:

    I’m sure it’s merely a coincidence that this reversal occurred as soon as Jerry Brown took the corner office in Sacramento from Ahnold, as soon as the state legislature achieved a super-majority of Democrats in both houses.

    Amazing what happens when klownservatives can no longer do any damage..

  2. 2

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    1)For years it was deficits that had California in the news, now they have a surplus. Although they better be careful with it. Although I don’t think it was legislative Democrats that did the gerrymandering, but for the first time in California’s history, an independent commission, as well as a Top-Two primary. I wonder if voters were just tired of legislative Republicans abusing a supermajority rule in the legislature on budget issues?

  3. 3

    Ten Years After - Roger Rabbit is just a liberal progressive troll. spews:

    Re: California solvency

    We’ll see…

  4. 6

    Puddybud spews:

    The Netroots Nation 2013 meeting celebrates the turnaround of California in the last few years. Once saddled with a $40 billion deficit, the state is now solvent, even booming. I’m sure it’s merely a coincidence that this reversal occurred as soon as Jerry Brown took the corner office in Sacramento from Ahnold, as soon as the state legislature achieved a super-majority of Democrats in both houses. Yes, there was a bit of help from the glacially-improving US economy, but still…

    Of course HA’s unemployed moron would cheer the commentary OF Carl without ACTUALLY validating it. Just like he doesn’t find a job he takes the paycheck of someone else, Mrs unemployed moron ylb and wastes it all day.

    Actually US Today exposes the moronic commentary of Carl, the HA NutRoot Blogger.

    Or you can review the So Cal economy here… Yeah it’s BOOMING…

    To be sure, Los Angeles, Orange County and Riverside-San Bernardino are up somewhat from their dismal showings in past years, in part due to the housing recovery. But none did well enough to ascend even to mediocrity. Yet, of 66 regions with more than 450,000 jobs, Los Angeles ranked No. 49, while Riverside-San Bernardino clocked in at No. 45, and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine did best, with a still-less-than-middling No. 38.

    These rankings were way below those registered in the country’s emerging economic powerhouse, Texas, which placed a remarkable four regions in the top 10 (Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, Austin) or rising burgs such as No. 2, Nashville, No. 3, Salt Lake City, and No. 9, Denver. We also got smoked by such low-exposure places as No. 13, Columbus, Ohio, No. 15, Oklahoma City, and No. 16, Indianapolis.

    Even the venerable libtard paper the NY Times is skeptical of this so called capital-tax gains.

    Spin it all you want libtards…

  5. 7

    correctnotright spews:

    Yeah, Texas is doing sooo well – despite the oil boom they still are 49th in intelligence and education:
    “Nationally, Texas students rank 49th in the nation on the verbal portion and 46th on the math section of the SAT college preparatory exam.

    During the next two years Texas schools will face a tougher time as they cope with a $4.8 billion cut in state financing compared to previous years, the first cut in per-student funding in Texas since World War II. Democratic lawmakers repeatedly have expressed concerns about the cuts and their impact on student achievement”

    so despite an oil boom artificially boosting the Texas economy – they still stink. California or Texas? The choice is obvious – when oil crashes again Texas will be even worse off. Of course, more uneduated voters like Puddy means more votes for idiots like Rick Perry – but even Perry won’t be elected dogcatcher with this education record.

    http://www.reporternews.com/ne.....standards/

  6. 8

    Very Severe Conservative spews:

    What does Texas care right now if they are almost last in education. Aren’t most of those new kids brown? Texas republicans doesn’t want to bother spend good money on brown kids that will likely vote them out of office if they get a quality education.

  7. 10

    herzog spews:

    Who in there right mind would even want to live in Texass? They can’t even keep their cattle alive.

  8. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The U.S. government has stupidly charged Snowden with espionage and he’s now on his way to Ecuador to seek asylum. He’ll get it, too. This guy is a leaker, not a spy, and whatever knee-jerk stupe dreamed up the espionage charges has just guaranteed Snowden will never so much as pay a parking fine in the U.S. The Chinese must be laughing their asses off.

  9. 12

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Funny how people who pooh-pooh facts with pithy comments such as We’ll see never know where to look.

  10. 13

    Puddybud spews:

    Okay unemployed moron N in Seattle. Was catching a flight, something you prolly never do!

  11. 14

    Puddybud spews:

    when oil crashes again Texas will be even worse off.

    And you predict that will happen when correctnotright? Seems y’all ain’t screaming bout DEM high earl prices now are ya? Yet back in 2007 that’s all you loony libtards did all day!

  12. 16

    spews:

    @13:

    Okay unemployed moron N in Seattle. Was catching a flight, something you prolly never do!

    How do you think I got to San Jose (and back)?

  13. 17

    No time for Fascists spews:

    @11. Or the government did it badly on purpose, because the current administration wanted the program outed and muzzled so it wasn’t so unfettered for the next president, but he couldn’t just do it. Now he’s being “forced”.
    Or Snowden is some sort of double agent and this part of their plan.

  14. 18

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    On the peninsula north of the Golden Gate Bridge, there’s a railroad that had fallen on hard times over the last decade or two. Declining traffic, proposed abandonment, public takeover, storm damage, and a FRA mandated suspension. In 2011, repairs had succeeded over enough of the Northwestern Pacific, that service could recommence, but not without lawsuits from environmental groups and NIMBY’S almost stopped it. The latter were bought off with GenSet Locomotives, and the former, the case was dismissed. In 2008, enpugh voters approved a commuter rail line in Sonoma and Marin County from Larkspur to Cloverdale, but the funding for fixing tracks in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties may be a long time from now.
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/a.....#038;tc=pg

    As for the Sonoma Marin Rapid Transit, both counties were part of BART, but opted out, for a variety of reasons. The two counties would have been served by BART trains, via an extra deck under the Golden Gate Bridge.
    http://sf.curbed.com/archives/.....county.php

    On the restoration of freight service, the environmentalist concerns included toxics from the reconstruction, probably the creosote in wooden ties. If that were not the problem, they should have been for it. One freight car can take up to 4 trucks off the highway.