Monday, December 31, 2007


So we always overlook something: it's a rule of life. This time, the oversight was that the Marriott has gone nonsmoking since we last were there.

But our own adorable Uncle Smokes has done some research and found a spot not too far away with smoking rooms.

Travelodge Philadelphia Convention Center
1227 Race Street
Off Hwy 676
Philadelphia, PA, US 19107
Phone number: 215-564-2888

It's a little cheaper, too: $135 for a queen room.

So smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Secret Passwords and the Like

Hello, Moonbats!

'Tis the Season, and I'm busy decking the halls with my own version of holly, so this post will be short and sweet. You may now make your reservations for EschaCon '08 on-line. Just go here, and under the "Check Rates and Availability" box on the right side of the screen, enter your arrival and departure dates (March 28 - 31 or any combination of those dates) and the number of rooms you'll need.

Special Group rate for this event is: $ 159.00 for both single and double rooms.

Next, under "Optional Information," in the dialogue box for "Group Codes," type in this code: ESCESCB. The special rate will be applied for our block of rooms. If you're phoning to make your room reservation, make sure you tell them you're with EschaCon 08.

Here's some miscellaneous hotel information, for your records:

Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown
21 N Juniper Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107 USA
Phone: 1-215-496-3200
Fax: 1-215-496-3696

Hotel Highlights:

  • The hotel is non-smoking
  • Near Philadelphia Convention Center, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Kimmel Center, art & museums
  • State-of-art Fitness Center & Swimming Pool
  • 2 Restaurants, Lounge & Courtyard hotel Room Service

Trust this information is good to go. So go ahead, start reserving those rooms, and plan on an excellent time at the end of March, 2008!

Peace on Earth.

~Vicki, Who ♥ Al Gore (And I mean that, Al, I'd love to see you as president)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

EschaCon Travel Fund

Look, we wouldn't be here if we weren't proud liberals. That means we donate all our money to sick puppies and quixotic campaigns. A surprisingly small number of us are hedge fund managers--though I guess that gig isn't quite the ride it used to be.

In order to allow those who may otherwise lack the means to attend EschaCon, we are establishing the EschaCon Travel Fund. Last time, we raised enough money to bring several people who might otherwise have had to miss, and we're hoping to do so again.

Should we (improbably) raise more money than we need, we will donate any remainder to a political candidate determined by an on-site poll.

So be a mensch--toss some sugar to the gang.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed!

As with our speakers, hotel arrangements have been proceeding apace (with a big hug and kiss to Vicki, who did the bulk of the work).

After doing ample due diligence (as in: months of trying) we ended up at the same place we were last time: not bad, since we know the room and the neighborhood, and got a pretty good deal, considering we're DFHs.

And so, here is the hotel information.

Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown
21 N Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Reservations can be made directly with Marriott reservations at 1(800)321-2211 or 1(215)496-3200.

Our rate is $159.00 a night, and we have reserved 50 rooms for Friday, 50 for Saturday, and 10 for Sunday. (Good news: this is a LOT LESS than we thought we were looking at. Whew!)

Reservations should be made sooner rather than later, but the deadline for the group rate is Wednesday March 5, 2008.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Okay, some news for all you fine Atriots.

The humor panel is shaping up: Moderated by Thers, with watertiger, TRex, Gavin from Sadly, No! (or possibly one of his cobloggers), and maybe Attaturk and TBogg (depends on meatspace work schedule). Other invited but not confirmed panelists include Ted Rall and Tom Tomorrow.

The blogging as journalism panel is pretty set as well: moderated by Susie Madrak, and featuring Jane Hamsher, our own Athenae, and possibly Will Bunch.

The economics panel has Atrios, Echidne, and, quite possibly, the most Conscientious Liberal of them All, Paul F-ing Krugman! (waiting to hear back on that).

Digby, I figure, is a plenary speaker. Here's why. (Who's that sweaty lunk with the appalling posture? I'm telling his seventh-grade gym teacher!)

And soon I'll have news on a fabulous concert event of fabulous fabulousness!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moneys & Such

Okay, dudes, here we go. The program is so close I can taste it--still waiting to hear from a few souls, but it's already good and only likely to get better.


Inflation has hit Freedom City, and we're looking at hotels being somewhat more expensive than last time. We'll do everything we can to set up travel pooling and roommates and such, but we did want to get this on your radar. (And if you want roommates with benefits, well, you can sort that out yourselves.)

Also, we're working on a fabulous entertainment event which should trim some of our expenses--news to come.

And I'm starting to move into the registration and money part of the program--we're going to revive the Poor Atriots Fund which was such a godsend last time, and try to figure out how much all this is going to run us. But we'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

All Work & No Play ...

So you know there will be paneling at EschaCon '08, but there will also be a social component, specifically a Friday (March 28th) Drink Thing and a Saturday (March 29th) Dinner Thing.

I'll be scouting potential drinking and dining locales in City of Brotherly Love. In the interim, I'd love to hear any suggestions that you may have for specific spots I should check out. Post 'em in comments and when the time comes, I'll drop by and see if these establishments would be interested in hosting a meeting of The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Another Invite Goes Out

This time to new blogger Paul Krugman. (crosses fingers)

His bio reads:
Paul Krugman joined The New York Times in 1999 as a columnist on the Op-Ed Page and continues as professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Mr. Krugman received his B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1977. He has taught at Yale, MIT and Stanford. At MIT he became the Ford International Professor of Economics.

Mr. Krugman is the author or editor of 20 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals and edited volumes. His professional reputation rests largely on work in international trade and finance; he is one of the founders of the "new trade theory," a major rethinking of the theory of international trade. In recognition of that work, in 1991 the American Economic Association awarded him its John Bates Clark medal, a prize given every two years to "that economist under forty who is adjudged to have made a significant contribution to economic knowledge." Mr. Krugman's current academic research is focused on economic and currency crises.

At the same time, Mr. Krugman has written extensively for a broader public audience. Some of his recent articles on economic issues, originally published in Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American and other journals, are reprinted in Pop Internationalism and The Accidental Theorist.

And if that's not enough, he's also one of the few economists discussing the effects of income inequality in the US.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Taking Shape: Susie Madrak

I've asked Susie Madrak to chair a panel, and she has agreed. If you don't know Susie, she's the brilliant and delightful woman behind Suburban Guerrilla, one of th bright lights of the Philly blogosphere. She and i are still playing phone tag about what exactly her topic will be, but you can rest assured it will be something good. Click around her site to see what her interests are (and one of them is music, so you know I love that).

Susie's interests, like Atrios's, tend to circle around the media, so I expect that that's more or less what we'll be organizing.

I wanted to get back to this, since I think there are a couple of different ideas on the table here re: the media. QL justly pointed out that YKos took some heat for perceived kowtowing to the media, and that's not quite what we do. But Eschaton (the site) started as a critique of the media, and I think leaving them out would be short-sighted. Besides, I'm interested in what the media has to say about bloggers--Will Bunch, who also commented on that thread, is a good example of someone who spans the divide.

I'm not talking here about comping Joe Klein to come and abuse us (though I would love to let simels harangue him in person), but I'd be curious to hear the stories of progressive media people and how they see the shape of their profession. But David Corn? Paul Krugman? Barbara Ehrenreich? Why not?

Prior A's comment has more to do with media coverage of what we're doing, which we obviously can't control. The DFH meme will undoubtedly be as tenacious for them as the Hillary-Ballbuster meme: too much depends upon its continued health to let it rest.

UPDATE: Spocko swung by Eschaton and said he'd be interested in presenting. Few know more about doing battle with the right-wing talk-radio machine than Spocko, whose crusade against KSFO in San Francisco has had real, concrete results (to the tune of about a half million in ad revenues for shit-spewers like Melanie Morgan). I hope he can come!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Planning Begins!

I know it's traditional to wait for Labor Day for dark shoes and new product, but hey, I'm a college professor, and we start early.

We have a date (March 28-29, 2008), and we have a city (Philadelphia).

So.... we want to keep this low-key, more social than political (we're not the Kossacks, who are lovely folks but have a different vibe than we do: the Student Council kids versus the Freaks and Geeks). But we did pick the date partly because it's just before the PA primary, and we might be able to get some "names." Question is: what names do we want?

Answer in comments.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Inviting the media to EschaCon 2008

This may not be such a hot idea. One of the major criticisms I read about the KosCon was the attempt to integrate the msm in with the bloggers. Here's one from TeddySanFran over at fdl.

Besides, if we did get some hot shot media people to come, it may be a bit intimidating. Just a thought.


We're starting to organize EschaCon 08, tentatively to be held in the city of brotherly love on March 29-30, 2008, a scant 3 weeks before the Pennsylvania primary. We're looking for logistical and content details here: Speaker recommendations, restaurant recommendations, anything else you can think of. Jump on it; the water's fine!