Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Finally in Austin: Netroots Nation starts on Thursday

Some of the contents of the swag bag given to participants. See if you can pick out the two condoms. Condoms? There also was a fortune cookie and a bag of salsa chips among the flood of reading material.

My candidate for Congress, Annette Taddeo, is on two panels for this year’s bloggers’ extravaganza. Now called Netroots Nation, in its first two years the convention was called YearlyKos after the DailyKos blog that is one of the young fathers of this online world of analysis, news and political organization/campaigning. We used to be profane and profound. Now we’re trying to change the world, and Taddeo, the candidate in my home congressional district FL-18, is on two panels with change as the keyword.

Friday afternoon she’s on the Future Leaders panel talking about being a progressive candidate in a newly competitive district, and Saturday she is talking about the process of selecting the presidential candidate with emphasis on reforming and improving. Florida’s experience this year is no doubt a theme to be explored.

Apologies to readers for not having put up many posts while I was on the road. The old laptop refused to link up with my motel Wifi nets, and if I had something to say it didn’t ever get out of the neighborhood.

Must get better gear, or must get smarter at settings. But why did it work that one night back in the Panhandle? Could this be only a Florida-functioning laptop? The test is to come.

While we’re waiting for a call, let me recommend a new website to you: which is a Texas blog, credited in the current issue of The Nation with having a lot to do with the Democratic Party’s rising star in the Lone Star State. Our counterparts in Florida are and the Florida Progressive Coalition blog.

This more locally focused blog will in future be asking you to cast your attention more often to these blogs with statewide focus. Yes, I’m approaching a state of solidarity. Must do more for the team!

While I’ve been on the road there has been splendid news on the fund-raising front for Raul Martinez and Joe Garcia, who are on the way to ousting the Diaz-Balart brothers from FL-21 and FL-25, respectively, as well as for Annette Taddeo, whose trembling FL-18 incumbent is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Here’s a link to the Miami Herald roundup on the races.

If there’s time I hope to post some observations about my travels to Austin but for the moment I’ll only mention one highlight from Cajun country in Louisiana. This was a little stop for a snack off I-49, which connects New Orleans and Shreveport. I pulled off at Exit 17 and stopped at the only business in this rural area, a gas station with what looked like just a lunch counter. Smelled good and spicy. I asked if they served breakfast. Yes, the young lady said, they could make a ham and egg sandwich, or they had tournedos with sausage and scrambled eggs. I asked for a tournedo, and along came the proprietor, a jovial man who asked me if I wanted some boudin – pronounced Boo-Dan, with a little more stress on the Dan. I don’t know what boudin is, I said. He opened a lid on the steam table and there was a deep pan of white sausage links. He told the young lady to cut me up a sample, and I ended up with a delicious plate of spicy sausage. He said he sold it far and wide, including to Florida.

So I said I’d mention his name in my blog (Blog? he replied.) He’s Lynwood Hebert (pronounced A-bair), accepting orders for boudin and cracklins at 337 942-8828.

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