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Friday, July 20, 2007

YDA Dallas Convention Day 3: Waiting for John Edwards
11:13 A.M. Another night of festivities has come and gone, and WOW were there a lot of folks at the party of states with paid Executive Directors. Nothing like playing beer pong in a room that is otherwise PACKED with people! The breakfast meeting of the regional officers this morning offered a nice view of the Dallas skyline from the 38th floor:



President Gallaway was kind enough to attend, and it was good to meet the president of the West Virginia chapter. Oh, and the bacon was GREAT ;-) I'm back in Platform now and we're discussing some anti-sourcing language. Nicolette is upholding the banner for capitalism, heh.

11:35 A.M. Damn, reading the comments, apparently the sound isn't working on the video clips. It must be this laptop, but I still don't understand it. The sound plays on the camera when I play them back... I'll try to upload these videos again when I get home to something that ISN'T "New Vistas of Software that Doesn't Work". Sucktastic!

1:20 P.M. Volunteering is fun! We're teaming up with Democats Work to stuff backpacks for the children of servicemembers, and there are a good number of people hard at work in here. Photos of that in a minute, here's a few minutes ago:



We heard from some leaders of Democrats work just as we were getting started. Wes Clark is going to be here at some point...



1:54 P.M. Woohoo, Wes Clark is here and speaking to us, the main topic is Iraq and how SICK we are of how things are going. He just said that Afghanistan is in a "downward spiral toward failure" - PREACH IT.



"We have a real risk of war with Iran." As long as we have the current Bad Bush and Bad Dick working together... yup. "How crazy is it to want to bomb some country when you won't even speak to them?"



Stop the Iran War

More photos of the backpack stuffing soon...

2:00 P.M. General Clark has just finished speaking, it's really quite insane how many cameras and such have been going off the whole time. Here's some photos of the backpack stuffing for Operation Homefront. (soon!)

2:11 P.M. Whew, that was an exciting hour and a half, need to get these photos posted before Resolutions (yup, another job for Platforms...). Nikema is famous now!



Here are some more action shots...









2:44 P.M. Edging closer to platform, here's one last "aww, cute!" picture of the backpack distribution...



2:56 P.M. Shout out to Nicolette, who seems to be willing to carry on awhile longer! Yay :-)

3:00 P.M. Been trying to upload these photos for forever, finally worked. Here are some of the booths set up here...







3:17 P.M. Continuing on without lunch yet, I'm hanging with Spicy and Just Zach in the lobbing and advocacy training. Proving yet again that Zach rocks, he's busy taking notes...



Only in Texas do you have presenters at a convention wearing cowboy hats...



Actually, this guy is giving a pretty interesting presentation. He's going through the legislative process as a case study, analyzing which committees where shaped which ways on a particular bill, and how professional lobbyists (like Super Betsy) end up testifying before committees since so much happens there.

4:59 P.M. Had a little bit of a lull there, needed to take a nap after some fried rice. The GLBT caucus elections will be occurring very shortly and apparently this is going to have some drama - there's a certain candidate for caucus chair who has had some run-ins with some of our friends in the southeast region, and if he doesn't win that race he'll probably oppose Kyle Bailey for the vice chair position. So hopefully things will turn out right here.

5:18 P.M.



After some last minute working by Kyle and Rachel...



...nominations for chair are about to begin - drum roll please.

5:24 P.M. The credentials check is complete and Rachel Kau-Taylor has just been nominated. Raoul A. (it's Spanish, I can't quite get a handle on it) has now also been nominated and the speeches are beginning.

5:29 P.M. Well that was interesting, Raoul A. has withdrawn his name from consideration to work on the presidential race - so much for the drama. Rachel is chair by acclamation. Kyle is the only nominee for vice chair so he too is elected by acclamation.

5:35 P.M. The elections are done, and we're still 144 minutes from kicking off with John Edwards. Happy hour anyone? (Oh, I forgot to mention the best part - right before my nap, platform FINISHED! Big thanks to Lindsey from Tennessee for running a tight ship, and to Nicolette for handling as much of the voting duties as I did, and of course Tim and everyone else that helped out.)

5:56 P.M. The Southeast Region meeting is minutes (hopefully) away from beginning. I could use a double espresso...

8:06 P.M. They're just now letting us into the session hall, we're very close now to seeing Senator Edwards. Photos from the intervening time are uploading as I type...

8:14 P.M. I've just been informed that Gabriel Pressman was elected treasurer of the Jewish Caucus! They've told us that the event will begin in 5.\\

8:17 P.M. Couple of photos from the regional meeting - director Robert Hooks and deputy director "Nikema!"...



Presumed next YDA President David Hardt took some time to speak to us and gave the region a major shout out. I'm looking forward to the Hardt administration...



Angela is still pimping out the oh-so-pimpable Campaign Window and D&E!



(Spicy contributed to this post.)

The Hillary folks are outside, I suppose they feel that they still have the opportunity to get some traction even though *cough* their candidate couldn't be troubled to come speak to us...



8:25 P.M. The session has just been called back to order. It looks a little different tonight with all the David Hardt signs...



We're being introduced to Senator Edwards now!

8:32 P.M. "I hope you enjoyed my wife's little dustup with Anne Coulter" - OH YEAH we <3 Elizabeth! Senator Edwards is getting a VERY warm reception.

8:38 P.M.



Senator Edwards is giving a lot of the same speech we heard at the state Jefferson-Jackson dinner, and why not? It's a great speech and it's exactly what we want to hear. Stop Iraq, stop Guantanamo, stop coal-fired power plants, stop Darfur. Yum!

8:41 P.M. Oh yeah, this can make you forget all about 2004. I don't understand why Edwards can't catch up to Obama and Clinton when he gives these great speeches.



Edwards is telling a story about a man with a cleft palate, who didn't get the condition fixed until he was fifty years old. Gotta say, that's *insane*. The Edwards signs are out...

8:46 P.M. "Who cares whether [fighting poverty] is a good political strategy?" Well, apparently the other candidates do care, we don't get these kinds of speeches from them. He just said he wants the minimum wage ought to be $9.50 an hour (heh, nice!) and he's shouting out to unions again.

8:56 P.M. Edwards has just wrapped up, and I have two words for everything he said - "fuck" and "yeah". To say that Senator Edwards was well-received here would be a huge understatement. He put out the call to action to young people - he didn't just give the stock stump speech, he knew his audience and he spoke right to them. After that speech, and coupled with the fact that Senators Obama and Clinton are apparently too high and mighty to grace us with their exalted presences (they still have time to change their minds), I'd be very surprised if Edwards didn't come out of here with a lot of converts. We're hearing from an Iraq war veteran now, and this should be a nice followup to what Edwards had to say.

9:05 P.M. "There is no worse commander in chief in the history of this country than George W. Bush". Coming from us, that's one thing - coming from a soldier, that's another. At least some people are finding that being a "good soldier" has limits - are you listening, Colin Powell?



9:10 P.M. Ohhh snap, we're seeing some ads from www.votevets.org - "Senator McCain: Protect America, not George Bush." This guy was real. Just real.

9:24 P.M. OMG they have the BEST speakers at this event! We just heard from Chuck Rocha, political field director for the United Steel Workers, and he gets the award for using the word "bullshit" more in a serious speech than I've heard in a long time. "We don't believe that you're the future of the Democratic Party, we believe you're the BACKBONE of the damn party!" Got some of him on video too, for posterity.



9:28 P.M. We're hearing a comedian from Laughing Liberally... "It's not 'If you see someone who looks Middle Eastern, punch them in the face', it's 'The Patriot Act'". Not bad at all :-)

9:37 P.M. O-k, we're on to YDA candidate nominations and speeches. *yawn*
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 7/20/2007 11:12:00 AM

3 Comments:

Blogger Daniel said...

capitalism?

what...are y'all now members of the international federation of status quo youth?!?! ;)

7/20/2007 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

LOL at daniel, you're missin us aint ya buddy...yeah.

Omg, the Steelworkers Political Director totally rocked.
Edwards' speech was fantastic, it was close to the same speech from JJ but it has definitely been honed to a younger audience. Awesome stuff.

Here's hoping Sheila Jackson-Lee and today's other speakers are ready to step up!

Good job to the candidates and good speeches. Crystal Straight is a total rock star here, she obviously has an exciting future in YDA and politics. Go Crystal!

7/21/2007 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Check out "The Switch". It's a story set in the context of a teacher discussing with his class all of the evidence that the Bush administration is as corrupt as it is incompetent, but it starts off as a discussion about the urgent need to confront our environmental problems. I wrote in celebrities to play the students, so it's very funny despite how infuriating it is. A soldier who read it said he wants to shake my hand. And a WWII vet said, "You made me feel guilty for not paying closer attention to Clark in 04!" I'm just sending it out to everyone I can in the hopes that it'll find its way into the hands of the people of notoriety in it so that they can help publicize it.

Just go to clarkvsbush.com and click on download to open the word doc, or ask me to email it to you via afanofwesclark@yahoo.com

7/26/2007 05:08:00 AM  

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