NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What a shock: Matt Drudge plays fast and loose with the truth
Today's blogger

Most of you are probably familiar with Matt Drudge and his bullshit right-wing spin. Most of you probably don’t read him, either, which is why I want to provide this latest “Drudge Retort”.

Recently (yesterday!), Matt Drudge dredged up some links so he could plaster a headline about how NOAA “blew it” on their 2006 hurricane predictions. At no time does Mr. Disingenouous even so much as allude to the reasons cited in his main article for the calm Atlantic season – namely, that Saharan dust off of Africa was greater than usual, and also that El Nino created vertical wind shear that helped keep Atlantic storms weak this year.

What Mr. Matt “Sensationalist Paparazzo Assclown” completely and predictably failed to mention is that the east Pacific forecast was also wrong – on the low side. Less than 12-16 named storms were predicted; there were 18. Less than 6-8 were forecast to become hurricanes; 11 did. El Nino changed some things, but it didn’t change the water temperatures. The last hurricane, Sergio, was the strongest hurricane on record for so late in the season – November 15th, mind you.

Oh, and let’s not forget the western Pacific. The western Pacific typhoon season claimed the lives of thousands of people in China and the Philippines. Ironically, Drudge flunkie Breitbart carried a story blaming global warming on an unusually active and destructive typhoon season. The Atlantic has been quiet for weeks now, but today, right now, a typhoon in the northwestern Pacific Ocean is bearing down on the Philippines, forecast to attain winds of 125 knots before landfall, the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane. In case you forgot, this is NOVEMBER. The hurricane season ends THURSDAY.

The bottom line is that, as much as Drudge and his sleazy sources want to believe, the slow Atlantic hurricane season was NOT, in ANY WAY WHATOSOEVER, a repudiation of the idea that global warming is destroying our world. Just look at the latest NOAA sea surface temperature anomaly data:

See that? The water around Greenland, the cold water that’s supposed to be sinking to drive the Gulf Stream, is substantially warmer than usual. It’s been like that for months now. Fortunately the Gulf Stream doesn’t matter as much to us as it does to those Brits across the pond, who are living in a horribly freezing miserable climate except for the warmth provided by the Gulf Stream; don’t think, though, that the hyperbole of that movie The Day After Tomorrow is all BS, because it isn’t. The data tells the truth no matter what self-serving hypocrites like Drudge say otherwise. I hope Drudge lives on a coastal area so he’ll drown when the tides rise.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 11/29/2006 01:27:00 AM 0 comments

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Young Democrats in ’06: A+
Today's bloggerWhile 2006 was a bad year for Georgia Democrats, it didn’t stop Georgia youth from making waves up and down the ballot. Your Daddy’s Democrats didn’t call all the shots this year, and the next generation of leaders started stepping up to the plate.

The first, and probably most obvious, area where young Democrats made their voices heard this year was on the blogosphere. Young people powered the explosion in popularity of blogs, so it’s no surprise that they eventually found their way into the world of political blogs and got noticed. Andre Walker is only the best example of young people attracting the notice of the staid political establishment and the media; Georgia Politics Unfiltered has been loved and hated in 2006, but it has been read like few other political blogs in Georgia. From Atlanta Public Affairs to the Dekalb Young Democrats (and, of course, this blog), young people have had an unprecedented platform to express their opinions and have been heard.

In addition to blogging, young people have gotten their hands dirty working on Democratic campaigns across the state. Virtually the entire Jim Martin campaign staff was composed of young people, with Jim’s children and Jane Bradshaw among many others helping to make the race against Casey Cagle unexpectedly close. Young Democrats also played crucial roles in the campaigns of Guy Drexinger, Mark Taylor, and Gail Buckner. The Young Democrats of Atlanta took a bold new approach to recruiting volunteers by focusing on Jan Hackney’s campaign for Georgia State House, district 48, and other metropolitan Young Democrats chapters, as well as the Young Democrats of UGA, set new standards for bringing young volunteers into the world of Democratic campaigns. Yellow Dog Consulting brought a healthy dose of youthful energy and determination to the sedate world of campaign consulting, and the Young Democrats of Georgia brought strategic vision to bear on reaching out to disaffected potential young voters.

Furthermore, Young Democrats have begun to find their way into party leadership. 2006 saw several Young Democrats of Atlanta elected as post seat holders in the Fulton County Democratic Party, and ex-president Page Gleason serves as executive director of the party. Other young people have found leadership positions and respect in the Democratic parties in Dekalb, Cobb, and Gwinnett counties. Tahir Duckett has ably served as field director for the Democratic Party of Georgia, and other young Democrats serve on the state Democratic committee. When decisions are made in our party, we young people have a voice!

Finally, young people placed themselves prominently on ballots across the state. Shyam Reddy ran a strong and well-funded campaign for Secretary of State, and other young people ran for numerous state house and senate seats. Young people already in office, including Representative Mike Jacobs, of the 80th district, and Alisha Thomas-Morgan, of the 39th district, held their seats easily and continue to bring a fresh new perspective to the state capitol to balance the experience and wisdom of our long-serving Democratic friends. A new generation of Democratic leadership is finally stepping into the spotlight – and the ride is just beginning.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 11/19/2006 08:30:00 PM 1 comments

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Scorecard supplemental
Today's bloggerAnd now for something completely different.

  • American voters - D. Oh, you get a passing grade for sustaining this kind of internal animosity between factions without devolving into violence or setting anything on fire like some countries do. But at the same time, you lose points for tolerating this kind of administration without setting anything on fire. The fact that pundits get all kinds of excited about 50% turnout, and that the paltry drizzle in which about a dozen YDAtliens stood for hours waving signs is enough to dissuade people from voting for their government, makes me wonder where the hell we get off "exporting democracy" when we don't know how to use it ourselves. Anyone who did not vote because of weather ought to be tied to a chair in a small windowless room and locked in with Angry Benson after he's gotten into the gin. And Angry Benson gets a golf club.

  • Candidate spouses - W. The W for "Withdrew" is more of a suggestion than a grade, because there is a time and a place for you in campaigns, and it's not out front parading your opinion. I don't need to see Sonny Perdue's wife squinting at me from my TV and telling me what a swell guy he is; she was fool enough to marry the crook, so her testimony doesn't amount to squat. And Mrs. Harry Geisinger ought to watch what kind of garbage comes flying out of her stupid pie-hole, calling an honorable and dedicated citizen like Jan Hackney a "puppet" in a mailer that basically smears Hackney while bemoaining non-existent "smear" alleged against Hackney's campaign (it's not smear when you really vote to screw things up, it's called a record, you moron). Hello, irony! But if you're going to step up and make your personal opinion about your husbands part of the campaign, then you'd better be prepared to take the heat that comes with it. I'm watching you, Mrs. G. You're On Notice!

  • Alcohol - B-. Dear, sweet alcohol, you started off strong as a champagne toast, and when the fit hit the shan, you were quick to provide a comforting sense of numbness. But on nights like last night, you overstay your welcome and do mean and nasty things to the liver and stomach, and you seem to have replaced my brain stem with a combat boot. Extra points of for Honey Brown. Honey Brown? What's up with that? Your alternate selection of Sweetwater 420 was a fine brew on its face, but Atlanta progressives practically bathe in the stuff already. Tsk, tsk.

  • Renaissance Hotel - C+. You know, lots of hotels provide their guests with internet access for free, and it's ironic that you have to go to a cheaper, dare I say dodgier, hotel to have a bottle opener built into the bathroom counter where it bloody well ought to be. And allowing your bar to run out of Guinness? Booooo. Hire a few more valets, while you're at it; the parking situation is just kooky. Kudos for soft beds and big TVs though.

  • Karl Rove - F. Go back to math class. Your "THE math" is not reality-based. You lose, sucka!
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    posted by Aerodad at 11/08/2006 04:41:00 PM 0 comments

    I can't believe we lost the fucking election like this. Final election grades for pretty damn near everyone.
    Today's bloggerAsk, Georgia, and ye shall receive: Welcome to your fucking handbasket.

    Yeah, nationally it was a banner night for Democrats. To me that makes Georgia's pathetic Democratic performance that much more painful. Good Lord how could it happen? How could the nation be so angry with Republicans and incumbents and yet our state drools all over them like Mark Foley over a seventeen-year-old page? I didn't expect us to win all our contested races, especially with the weather – never think so. But the margins we lost by, in race after race that we thought we could be competitive in, were truly monstrous, unthinkable except for the terrible fact that they are real. I hope all of y'all that didn't help out feel great about the fucktastrophe that is now Georgia. Thanks!!!!

    So here are the final grades for the 2006 Georgia campaign season:

    • Mark Taylor - D. Mike, Brittany, and the rest of y'all who worked this campaign, please try to take this as non-personally as possible, but NOTHING YOU DID WAS RIGHT. How do I know that? My first clue might be that as of now Mark has more than 50,000 fewer votes than GAIL BUCKNER, who barely had enough money to print those silly little stickers to slap on people at fairs, never mind run a serious campaign. Mark was our gubernatorial nominee, the person allegedly bearing our standard in this calamity bearing vague resemblances to an election – you're telling me that you can't get more votes than Gail Buckner with vastly larger amounts of money and name recognition? PLEASE. Perhaps Mark should have learned the lesson that cost Cathy Cox the primary – DON'T FUCK WITH YOUR BASE. Swing voters mean jack if you alienate your base, say by adopting some ridiculous “tough on crime” crazy death penalty stance and piss off your black voters in some cockamamie attempt to maybe get some swing voters. Your base gives you money and volunteers for your campaign, not to mention votes. Is anyone really surprised that Mark was broke and had crappy volunteer support? Mark was supposed to have a phone bank at the SEIU bus this Saturday from 11 to 6 – I got there at 4 only to find that, due to a lack of volunteers, the bank was switching over to MIKE MCGRAW of all people. Pitiful. I'm embarrassed to be a Georgia Democrat after the 19% smackdown Taylor asked for and got from Sonny Perdue.

    • Cathy Cox - F. At this point it doesn't really matter why Cathy evaporated on the campaign trail, or why her primary campaign sucked. Mark didn't do a damn thing to bring her or her supporters back into the fold and on board, and neither did she. In the end, they locked in a death embrace as the election plunged into the abyss, and they're both Professor Moriarty as far as I'm concerned.

    • Jim Martin - A-. God, this one hurt. Everyone on Jim's campaign worked like dogs for this election, and it paid off in stupendous amounts of volunteer support and money. Who knew Jim could remotely contend with Casey Cagle? His staff – Jane Bradshaw, the Martin family, Bess, Kyle Bailey, and the rest of y'all four square players whose names I should have learned but didn't – made the difference between a Mark Taylor-style debacle and the most solid effort that could be asked of a statewide Georgia candidate running against the winds of Republican change in Georgia. Jim deserved, deserved God damn it, to do better than 10% down. It still hasn't sunk in just how bad things are going to be with Casey Fucking Cagle running the Georgia Senate.

    • Gail Buckner - D+. Nothing personal against Gail, but she was a true wizard at not raising enough money to buy a Coke with. She didn't really earn her primary victory (admit it!) and she never got the clue about fundraising. Gail would have made a great Secretary of State but she's a bad candidate and a bad campaigner. Who knows – maybe if she had been first on the ballot one more time...

    • Thurbert Baker - C+. Whatever, he won his race despite those silly accusations Perry McGuire kept dredging up in his attack ads. Praise the Lord for keeping this office at least.

    • Denise Majette - F Wait, Denise ran a campaign? The next time you see Denise's name on a primary ballot, do me a favor and check that little box that says “FUCK NO”.

    • Guy Drexinger - B-. Guy ran a sort of OK campaign aside from his brilliant attack ads. Given the margins that other people lost by, I don't think his past indiscretions had much to do with anything, he just got flattened by the juggernaut unleashed by the Taylor campaigns errors.

    • Tommy Irvin - C+. Didn't see too much of Tommy on the campaign trail, but it appears, thankfully, that being the longest serving elected official ever does in fact speak for itself.

    • Michael Thurmond - C+. All I know about the campaign is that their stickers sucked. He won. Yay. And there was much rejoicing.

    • Jan Hackney - B-. The Young Democrats of Atlanta did a LOT of work on this campaign, and I feel like stabbing random Republican voodoo dolls because Jan lost by the same amount as in 2004. Jan didn't have good fundraising, which may or may not have been part of what doomed the campaign, but she had a volunteer family and I wish I could hug all of y'all that helped on this campaign.

    • Beth Farokhi - B. Bet you didn't even know Beth. She ran for a Cobb County School Board seat on a shoestring in a heavily Republican area, against a BAPTIST MINISTER, and outperformed all her Democratic friends – not that 40% would have been something to cheer about yesterday, but given that Darryl Wilson in House 45, a(nother) guy several of us thought was going to do OK against frat boy doofus Matt Dollar, was crushed 70/30, I think Beth did just fine.

    • David Scott - B-. An incumbent Democrat with oodles of money from God knows where in a district gifted with even more favorable precincts stolen from Tom Price's district ought to be able to beat a crazy Republican woman better than 60/40, if you ask me. Even our victories weren't very convincing.

    • John Barrow/Jim Marshall - A+. That's just for winning, praise Allah - I was deathly afraid that Georgia was not only going to plunge into political hell but would fuck up all the great stuff happening nationally. I think we can all be thankful for the Contract on the Bush Administration, because without that John and Jim would have lost for sure.

    • DNC - F. Thanks for caring about John and Jim, you assclowns. You got lucky in Georgia, luckier than you deserve.

    • Neil Garvin - F. Neil, running against my own Republican assclown Rich Golick in House 34, started canvassing, maybe, the week before the election. Neil, I appreciate you being on the ballot, but you ran a Denise Majette campaign.

    • Jane Kidd, Lauren Benedict, Danita Knowles, Dawn Randolph, Scott Taylor - WTF. All lost, all lost by margins that hurt. I hate Mark Taylor so much...

    • Kevin Levitas - A+. YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This and the fact that Holli Cash took back my Cobb School Board seat from the Republicans officially qualify as the Two Bright Points of Light In the Dark, Dark Night.

    • Ballot initiatives - F. Fuck the traditions of hunting and fishing and old geezers flying around in military aircraft. Give me some health care.

    • Yellow Dog Consulting - A. Page Gleason, Tim Cairl, Billy Joyner – you guys worked way, way, WAY too hard to deserve getting so crushed. Steve Sinton (6th Congressional) – lost 70/30. Melanie Eyre (House 46) – lost 75/25. Bob Roche (House 81) – lost 60/40. God Almighty, how did this happen to us? You should still hold your heads as high as anyone in this God-forsaken state. And hey, you didn't kill ANYONE – that's a victory! (Robert Bunn, shut your mouth and keep your snarky comments to yourself.)

    • Democratic Party of Georgia - F. ASIDE from the abject lack of leadership and direction, and ASIDE from the fact that Georgia Democrats have about a billion different splinter groups rather than a real party, the number of stories I have heard of people going to the DPG offices and seeing everyone there idly talking or playing Solitaire while one lone volunteer slaves thanklessly over mountains of legal forms is not zero. Oh, and let's not neglect to mention how GREAT candidate recruitment was! *ahem* Sorry, that was the wine talking. At least we have officially hit rock bottom, although we may be here for awhile. Hopefully we'll have a state left to defend when we have a state party again. Mike Berlon for chair!

    • Fulton County Democratic Party - B+. Melanie Goux, Sam Westmoreland, and company must have done something right if they managed to keep their county commission in Democratic hands while the rest of the state was collapsing around them. I'm sure there are lots of numbers to analyze before the effect of all those absentee ballot forms can be stated, but given the terrible weather yesterday, I'm going to put money on the canvass packets being a Good Idea. There was a pretty good crowd yesterday for rides to the polls at the CWA Local 3204 as well.

    • North Fulton Democrats - C+. Is it just me or are the CallingPost calls getting to be a little like those HeadOn commercials? No, really, I'm sure the folks up in North Fulton worked hard, it's just that every damn thing in that neck of the woods sucked as far as I know. I guess when you live within a 5-mile radius of Eva Galambos it's a stretch to hope for anything good. I think I saw a few members at the Jim Martin campaign from time to time, so they knew where the fun times were at least.

    • Red Clay Democrats - C. Thanks for the memories, and the $. And the $$. And the $$$. (And for bringing us John Rodgers, a good new member!)

    • Young Democrats of Georgia - A. I don't know yet how our Youth Voter Alliance stuff turned out, but I think that went pretty well and we reached people. We just didn't have time to follow through. 2008 will be different. Thanks Will Curry!

    • Young Democrats of Atlanta - A. Ok, fine, I should have recused myself from this grade, but hey, I have to include the new player in Fulton County politics in my ratings, right?? Reports seem to indicate that YDAtl did, in fact, significantly improve Democratic performance in two of the three Hackney precincts we targeted, and that counts as something to be comforted by on a night when EVERY FUCKING OTHER THING WENT TERRIBLY WRONG. Er, ahem. Sorry. The bitterness just comes out sometimes...

    • John Kerry - F. Stick to your day job, Mr. Comedian. And shut the fuck up.

    • Zell Miller - A. Georgia Assclown #1 gets an A for wasting all his time and considerable hot air campaigning in Pennsylvania for Rick Santorum and leaving us down here the hell alone. At least Zell got a stomach punch too!

    • Andre Walker - C. Not bad, Andre, getting mentioned in the AJC. But I have a radical idea for you for 2008 - more volunteering, less blogging. I know it sounds crazy, but it just might work.

    • Robert Bunn - F. Keep the “I-Told-You-So”'s to yourself, Mr. glad to be in Florida working one of the biggest campaigns in the country. Congratulations, you (presumably) won. Why bother coming back here?

    Angry Benson contributed to this post.
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    posted by Ataru Atlanta at 11/08/2006 10:25:00 AM 35 comments

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    Election day video update 4
    HOLY CRAP PEOPLE! YDAtl kicks ass and takes names: Precinct 19, the results phoned in are Harry Geisinger, 454, Jan Hackney, 623! GIDDYUP! A couple other, smaller precincts with words like "Country Club" in the name haven't been as favorable...but we'll see.

    Video #4 includes the champagne toast at Kroger and the start of celebrations at Campaign HQ, including ruminations on Harry's true election day activities.

    This is the last update from Sandy Springs; hopefully you'll see more from us from the Renaissance Hotel!
    UPDATE: OUR ROOMS ARE 1010 (YDG) AND 1017 (YDATL). The party will most likely be in YDG's suite, with YDAtl's room holding bags, bikes, the unconscious, and God knows what else.

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    posted by Aerodad at 11/07/2006 09:00:00 PM 0 comments

    Election Day Video Update 3
    Between the lunch and evening visibility shifts, another round of phone banking descended into fatigue-induced giddiness. Also news from the Blackberry that Republicans were inspired to tamper with the Dem voter hotline thanks to some right-wing assclown on AM radio.

    Sorry I couldn't get this online before we left at 4:00, but the champagne toast and celebration footage will follow very soon before we head down to the Renaissance. Hopefully the hotel has a good high speed internet connection for us.

    Today was phenomenal, people. We have gotten such good response, and at all of the precincts we covered, Geisinger's campaign machine was nowhere to be seen; perhaps he doesn't have any friends, and his record of poor service couldn't inspire enough campaign volunteers. YDAtl and Jan's other volunteers dominated District 48. Let's hope it pays off! Data will be coming within the hour, we hear.

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    posted by Aerodad at 11/07/2006 07:54:00 PM 0 comments

    Election day video update 2
    After two more hours of visibility work -- this time out in the rain -- we retire for lunch, do a little phone banking, read a letter from the delightful and charming Mrs. Harry Geisinger, and get punchy all 'round.

    GOOD NEWS! We did get a room at the Renaissance. We'll be just a couple doors down from YDG (still waiting on that room number, but call the various phone numbers we've put up if you don't hear before you get there).

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    posted by Aerodad at 11/07/2006 02:47:00 PM 0 comments

    Campaign Trail Update 1
    Good morning kids!
    Starting at oh-dark-hundred this morning, a couple dozen volunteers including a handful of your fellow YDAtliens grabbed some donuts and spread out over Sandy Springs to GOTV for Jan Hackney. This is going to be a close election, but I think we are really going to have reason to celebrate tonight. Here's hoping YouTube cooperates (and our crotchety DSL connection doesn't choke) -- I'll be uploading video updates from the campaign trail and Party Party HQ all day as consciousness permits, so stay tuned...and GET ON UP HERE!

    Back to the streets!
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    posted by Aerodad at 11/07/2006 11:19:00 AM 0 comments

    Monday, November 06, 2006

    Place your bets
    For your pre-election day procrastination pleasure, we offer this opportunity to show off your political prognostication and procure some iTunes in the process. Comment with your estimate of the final take the following candidates will bring home, in percentages (single decimal place allowed). Whoever has the best prediction (lowest total error) gets a free song from the iTunes store -- just email me what it is and I'll gift it to you (sorry, they don't sell $0.99 gift certificates for cheapskates like me). We'll have two different contests: local and national, with one song going to the winner of each. Ready?

    1. Mark Taylor
    2. Jim Martin
    3. Jan Hackney
    4. Steve Sinton

    1. Rick Santorum
    2. George Allen
    3. Harold Ford
    4. Mike DeWine
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    posted by Aerodad at 11/06/2006 08:18:00 AM 3 comments

    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    The last (sanitized) dish on the Harry Geisinger mailers, including the Project VoteSmart debacle
    Today's bloggerHere, now, are the Harry Geisinger attack mailers again, appropriately stripped of the personal details of the voters unfortunate enough to receive them, and also stripped of the comments of one Angry Benson who got a bit carried away criticizing them. I do point out again, however, that Geisinger a) ignored the admonition of Project VoteSmart not to use their questionnaire for attack pieces (earning a scathing public statement directed at Geisinger), and b) flat out lied about Jan Hackney's positions vis a vis her responses to the questions listed on Project VoteSmart, in particular to the Internet tax and gay marriage questions. I'm looking forward to celebrating Mr. Geisinger joining Greg Hecht on Political Pluto Tuesday night!

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    posted by Ataru Atlanta at 11/04/2006 11:36:00 PM 0 comments

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Where did Benson's Geisinger posts go, you may ask?
    Today's bloggerFirst of all, to everyone who linked to one or more of the Geisinger posts, sorry! I did remove them; it was simply brought to my attention, and I agreed, that the tone of the posts wasn't really what YDAtlanta is about, particularly in light of our active campaign for Jan Hackney. Angry Benson is going to find a new home; his posting duties on YDAtlanta will be assumed by Calm Benson. Incidentally, the other major problem, which I should have realized to begin with, is that I neglected to redact the addressee information for the voters unfortunate enough to receive Harry's mailers. I will try to find some time to repair those images and repost something tame with those images and the VoteSmart image; in the meantime, I apologize for breaching blog etiquette and making the Young Democrats look like vindictive unrestrained maniacs, where in fact everyone else here is quite nice and friendly.

    (Of course, Nice Benson may have a tough time identifying blog topics given current events, but Angry Benson thinks it's a doable task.)
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    posted by Ataru Atlanta at 11/01/2006 10:48:00 PM 2 comments


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