From: American Stranger

      Hello, BartCoppers! K and I got home from DC about 2 hours ago, at which point we collapsed
      on the couch and fell asleep. I'm still kinda bleary here, so forgive any typos while I give you a
      stream-of-consciousness report on the great party we attended last night and the day that led up to it.

      We woke up yesterday morning and left LI shortly after posting that we were leaving (about 9:15).
      We ran into the same traffic delays in LI, and then hit the Jersey Turnpike and had a largely
      unobstructed drive South. As a matter of fact, we hit virtually no traffic at all - until we were 5 miles
      out of DC. Then traffic slowed to a crawl. After getting past the traffic jam, we arrived at the
      Washington Marriott at about 3:30.

      We were at the counter checking in when a lng-haired fellow wearing an 'NYC' t-shirt approached and
      asked if I was American Stranger. It figures that the first person we'd meet would be my hairier
      brother from Chicago, Fascistan Pete! He introduced Hypatia and I introduced K, and we finished
      checking in. Along the way we stopped in the restaurant and met Ms. Steele along with Marty from
      Bartcop E!, Mark Perkel, and Michelle from BartCook! We then headed upstairs, threw our luggage into
      our room and the four of us set out for the Smithsonian.

      Unfortunately, the walk was long and we were walking slow, and by the time we got within eye
      contact of the Smithsonian, it was very close to closing time, so we passed on going and decided to
      go and get some food.

      Pete has a history of finding excellent restaurants in every city he goes, and somehow he found a
      great Maylaysian restaurant where we sat and got acquainted over good food and a couple of beers.
      We left the restaurant and headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Big Party!

      Once dressed to the nines, we hit the street and walked over to West24. There was quite a crowd outside
      on the sidewalk, due to the security measures that were rightfully taken. We stood on line  talking to Col. Tom
      Parker and his wife, and then got interviewed by the videographer for the JulieFest video.

      Slowly but surely the line moved, and we finally presented our tickets to Christian at the door (great
      job, Christian! ), showed our ID and headed down the stairs to the restaurant. At the top of the
      stairs, we were greeted by a guy with a name tag that said simly 'Bart'. I finally got to shake hands
      with the guy who had the great idea of putting 200+ liberals in a room to support one of their own.

      There was a cash bar right inside the door, and we bought drinks and set about mingling with the
      substantial crowd. Pete and Hypatia were already there, and in short order we were introduced to a
      number of BCers. We walked into the next room (where we demon smokers could light up with
      impunity), and came face to face with John Tomato, Genslab, and Michelle from Bartcook again.

      We then met hholli1 (who was so full of energy she lifted the energy level of the entire party!), Mrs.
      Bart, and Faun Otter, who was behind the raffle table and handing out BuzzFlash stickers and pins.

      Carville was in the bar talking to a small group of people, then made his way into the other room and
      took the mic. The passion he shows on Crossfire ain't no act, folks - when he said 'They didn't like
      the 1996 election and tried to reverse it illegally, and the didn't like the election in 2000 and they stole it!,
      it gave me chills. Carville then introduced Joe Conason, who read some prepared remarks, thanked David
      Brock for being in attendance (he got a solid cheer from the crowd) and introduced the Guest of Honor.

      Everything BC told us about Julie Hyatt Steele was true - she is irrepressable, very engaging and very
      positive, despite all that Ken Starr and his minions tried to do to her. She voiced a theme that was
      repeated throughout the night - that we should use this gathering as an opportunity to organize to take back
      the Congress this year, and the White House in 2004. She was very warmly received by the crowd, who by
      this time was really revved up. She thanked BC and his crew for putting everything together, and the crowd
      echoed her feelings by offering up a loud and long cheer for BC and his crew.

      Then it was back into the smoking room to meet yet more BCers. We met Chines (who came in for
      one night and was going without sleep to get back home early - what a trooper!), Atrios (who got a
      plug on MWO yesterday - way to go, A!) Zomar (who looked amazingly like Carville and was
      introducing himself as 'Carville's stunt double), Media Tiger (who passed out cigars to myself and
      Zomar - someone said we looked like a group of fat-cat Repubs), Demgirl (who has some great ideas
      on how to organize and target the energies and talents of those on this board - more to come on
      that soon), Onehandle and his wife, Zenferret and many more whom I can't remember at this point.
      hHolli passed out shots of something, and K bought me a glass of Chinaco. It is all Bart says it is - it's
      tequila only better! ;-]

      I met Bruce Yergil (the guy who does the brilliant 'pulp magazine' covers for BC), and we talked shop
      (Photoshop, that is) for quite a while. Conason made his way through the room, and I got to shake
      hands with him and tell him how much I enjoyed his work). When we finally had to exit West24, we all
      headed out into the rain and made it back to the bar at the Marriott.

      We sat and shared drinks, stories and ideas with the owner of among others.
      We sat and talked until about 2:30, when K and I headed back to our room and fell quickly to sleep.
      This morning we joined many of the crew for breakfast and maore conversation. Pete and Hypatia got
      up early and left around 8:00, so we never got to tell them how much we enjoyed meeting them. The
      Marriott's breakfast buffet was outstanding, and soon Bart, Mrs. Bart, Christian, and Julie and her son
      (who looks amazingly like Harry Potter) joined us.

      I burned a dozen copies of 'Oil War' and handed them out to a few people (I still have 3 left - anybody
      want 'em?), and we hung out until about 11:30, when I stopped and thanked BC once again, gave him
      an 'Oil War' CD, said goodbye to Julie and went back to the room to get our stuff and check out.

      I'm so glad we made the decision to take that drive to DC. JulieFest was one of the best parties
      we've attended of late, and the gathering of artists, writers and lobbyists was amazing. BC has some
      great ideas, but putting us all in one room and letting sparks fly may just be his greatest ever.

      Thanks to BC, West24, and all you great BartCoppers in attendance. We are about to become a
      force, and Julie's optimism rubbed off in a big way. Get ready to take back the House and increase
      our margin in the Senate. Ain't a freeper or a Repub in the world that can stop us.


Privacy Policy
. .