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

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Atlanta Young Democrats big winners in DPG elections
Today's bloggerThere's been a lot of talk about a "new era" after the Democratic Party of Georgia elections on Saturday, but the real story was how the Young Democrats of Altanta gained not one, but TWO voices on the DPG executive committee! Georgia, meet your new 5th Congressional District Chair and your new 13th Congressional District Chair...

Will Curry and Nikema Williams have made a habit of working actively to promote the Democratic cause in Georgia - Will did a great job running the Young Democrats of Georgia Youth Voter Alliance program this past election, and Nikema set new standards for diligence working a state house campaign over the summer. Atlanta Democrats were ready for a change, and that's exactly what Will and Nikema are going to bring to the Democratic Party of Georgia. Even DPG Secretary Steve Leeds was on hand to congratulate Will...

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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 1/28/2007 11:59:00 PM 1 comments links to this post

Virgilio Perez Pascoe, DPG Rock Star (U2be)
Today's blogger

After an ABSURDLY LONG day at the Democratic Party of Georgia officer elections (so long that it was officially recorded as such in the minutes), and quite a bit of dust had settled, Georgia Democrats were left with a new rock star, a completely fresh and new person untouched by the patina of political dust that naturally collects on you in this business - Virgilio Perez Pascoe.

Forsyth County Democratic Party Chair Jon "Blog Star" Flack nominates Virgilio Perez "You Da Man" Pascoe

I have to admit - Virgilio was such an unlikely hero that I didn't even get a picture of him until he graced the Young Democrats after-party with his presence! But clearly Virgilio is ready to work with us wee ones, and I for one am ready to hand Virgilio the "Woohoo!!!!" award. He took a minute after enjoying a well-earned beverage to talk about what he'd like to get started on...

(Extreme apologies for the ambient noise, damn those Manuel's patrons!) Young (and otherwise) Democrats, get ready for Constituent Group Services like you've never seen before!
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 1/28/2007 09:23:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 25, 2007

There is a difference: you lie
Today's bloggerMan oh man, I almost forgot what a double-edged sword it is to get in the newspaper. Publicity? Yay! Sounding like a retard? D'oh! Ah, well, there was a lot of information to cover in a short amount of time, and we're all very grateful to Kevin Duffy for reporting on a serious and growing political force among young Georgians. Let it shine, let it shine....

For those of you who haven't yet seen, the Young Democrats of Atlanta and of Georgia are featured in today's AJC: Underdog role OK to Young Democrats. You'll just have to trust me that my witty repartee sounded much cooler in context, and while I'm not sure how I feel about being defined entirely by drinking Guinness and backpacking in Ireland (did he just call me an elitist? o es que soy más macho?), I suppose there are worse things to be identified with.

Like telling tall tales to reporters! The real tough nugget to swallow in the article comes from our counterparts on the other side of the aisle. You see, Republicans want that "liberal mainstream media" to present things in a "fair and balanced" way, and by that they mean, "throw in some of our hot air for good measure."

So far, the Young Dems are not much of a force, according to Jason Shepherd, chairman of the rival Young Republicans of Georgia.

"This is the first time I've heard of any concerted effort by Young Democrats to get out for the candidates," Shepherd said.

Attempts by Young Repubs to set up a debate and a softball game with the Dems have failed, he said, which is a shame because "I don't think there's too much difference, except party allegiance, between the two groups."

Not much of a force, eh Jason? Tell that to Chip Pearson and his water-killing SB510. And don't act so surprised that Kevin Duffy wants to write us up, you knew this was coming. Don't you remember your Buckhead Young Republican newsletter from September '06?
Yesterday, the Buckhead and Atlanta YRs were contacted by Representative Harry Geisinger and Steve Schultz who is running for the seat held by retiring GOP Rep. Paul Jennings. Both of them need help this weekend for get out the vote and spreading their message.

These campaigns are being HEAVILY targeted by the Democrats and we will be competing in the districts with teams of Young Dems going door-to- door as well!
Jason Shepherd
Chairman Emeritus, Buckhead Young Republicans

First you've heard indeed! Ah well, must've been so busy adding flash animation to the website for it to really stick in your noggin. But if you want to debate the issue, that's fine. C'mon, it'll be just like last time! Don't you remember?
Look at that, right there on the Atlanta YR website: four of our finest Young Dems debating four of yours. Sorry we never got back to you on the paintball game in '05, buddy, but you really don't want to put weapons in our hands while you're raiding children's health care.

So aside from party allegiance, there is a difference between the two groups, Shep. Many differences, in fact, and that helps us sleep at night. We don't want to shaft working families just so those of us with trustfunds can save a few hundred bucks a year on taxes; we don't want to endanger our environment and drinking water so our tycoon friends can whip up a new townhouse "enclave;" we don't need automatic assault rifles with silencers to hunt wildlife that voluntarily walks in front of cars (what kind of shots are you, anyway?); and we don't tell fibs to reporters when we haven't got a leg to stand on, Shep. Tsk, tsk.

Now let's go win one for the Gipper!
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posted by Aerodad at 1/25/2007 10:02:00 AM 17 comments links to this post

Monday, January 22, 2007

The DPG chair candidates head-to-head, from a Young Democrats perspective
Today's blogger
Hello Young Democrats! It’s two and a half months after Georgia Democrats got creamed seven ways to Sunday – do you know who’s running the Democratic Party in this state?

For the less wonky among you out there – yes, all two or three of you – who may have vaguely heard something about this upcoming event known as “DPG officer elections”, I will attempt to overview the four candidates (plus one unworthy of consideration) running for the position of chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia. It actually matters this year, because the statewide elected officials who called the shots for 137 years (and, it will be noted, traipsed merrily along with us in this handbasket we find ourselves in) have gone to meet that big Diebold machine in the sky. More importantly, there is a real chance that the next party chair will turn to Young Democrats to do some of the heavy lifting to get this shipwreck afloat again.

For a bit of background, dear Young Democrats, first let me tell you a bit about the current chair, Bobby Kahn. edit: well, turns out maybe I wasn't wonky enough to get this right the first time, so I'm trying again... Bobby Kahn got his job back in the brave old days of yore (oh, 2002, how we do miss thee) when Democrats still ran things in Georgia (well, at least the House). He was good at being in charge, and he was good at making our people vote the way they needed to vote, and that was generally a good thing. He didn’t need the Young Democrats, and truth be told he wasn’t real fond of us anyway (although he did come speak at our 2005 YDG convention). Next thing we knew Republicans were whooping it up at the Gold Dome like Mark Foley sitting at his desk writing sexy e-mails to those adorable little pages. Everything changed, except that Bobby Kahn and the rest of the DPG still didn’t think too much of Young Democrats, even though they really needed us. Then the 2006 election happened, and Chairman Kahn decided that reading several blog posts a day from people who hated him wasn’t really his cup of tea, and so here we are. And so, without further ado, I present the Saviors of the Democratic Party of Georgia:

  • Mike Berlon, current chair of the Gwinnett County Democratic Party and several other things as well. There are various wonky reasons why various wonky people like Mike, but I believe these arcana will likely bore you, my tender little Young Democrat reader. The reason many Young Democrats have gotten on board with Mike is simple: he got on board with Young Democrats a while ago. He’s come to several of our events, and he also worked with a dear friend of ours, Adam Stevens, before he unexpectedly passed away last March, and he showed us we really mattered to him by personally attending Adam’s memorial and remembrance gathering. He also came to the Young Democrats of Georgia retreat in December, no small thing considering he drove three hours to Augusta to spend the evening with us. So when Mike tells us he wants to get us involved in the Georgia Democratic Party, a lot of us believe him.

  • Jane Kidd, former State Representative and State Senate Candidate, from the Athens area. Again sparing my wide-eyed readers the ongoing drama playing itself out on the blogosphere, Jane Kidd is the other candidate who knows and loves Young Democrats. While she has not had the relationship with us here in the metro area that Mike has, the Young Democrats at UGA have always been a major part of her campaign strategy and volunteer effort in the area, and she has come to our state convention to share some of her positive experiences with us. Jane will look out for Young Democrats and listen to us wherever she ends up, and her loyal UGA volunteers are supporting her.

  • Carol Jackson, former State Senator from White County, a place that can be kindly described as “far away”. Now, it turns out that there just aren’t that many Democrats period up there in Tennessee (ok, that’s an exaggeration), let alone Young Democrats, so she hasn’t had the opportunity to get to know us until she began her campaign for chair. Carol likes the Young Democrats – if nothing else, she likes the YouTube videos we’ve put together of her – and she’s always nice to me. I feel like Carol would be welcoming of us as chair, but I don’t know that she’d seek us out like Mike and Jane have and would.

  • Jim Nelson, former candidate for Congress. Jim’s a preacher, and he’s probably got the most “inclusive” stands on issues – allow me to stereotype us for a moment and say that rank-and-file Young Democrats like that. Jim’s a nice guy, and you can’t hear him speak without liking him. That said, I think Jim is the least attractive real candidate from a Young Democrats perspective, only because, well, he doesn’t know as much about us and what we do. Jim’s a guy most Young Democrats haven’t seen or heard of unless they’re really wonks in novice clothing.

    And last, and coincidentally least…

  • Hattie Dorsey, current First Vice Chair of the party. Some of you may remember when I called last year a “fucktastrophe” (which the Party rightfully gets a lot of blame for), and as I have yet to hear or see Ms. Dorsey anywhere, including events that the other four previous candidates came to, and as Ms. Dorsey was in a position of leadership and never showed an interest in Young Democrats even though she’s in Fulton County, I feel confident in saying that, in my not-so-humble-at-all opinion, Ms. Dorsey would continue to completely ignore Young Democrats (and everyone else, if I may editorialize yet again) as Chair.

And so there you have it, my precious little Young Democrats, the nutshell version of the most important thing going on in Georgia Democratic politics right now. In the end, we Young Democrats will be ok as long as Hattie Dorsey doesn’t get elected. Mike Berlon and Jane Kidd are the front runners right now, and I feel good about both of them (although I’ve personally endorsed Mike, for some of those wonky reasons I alluded to). The election is Saturday; come to the Young Democrats party at Manuel’s after the elections and celebrate having a place at the DPG table.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 1/22/2007 10:14:00 PM 9 comments links to this post

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Thinking Left about the DPG candidate forum
Today's bloggerAfter more than a century of the governor running the Georgia Democratic Party, history was made today - real candidates sat down in front of an audience of rank-and-file Democrats in Atlanta, in a smoke-free room, and faced the issues confronting the party in Georgia.

  • Any candidate who didn't come and wasn't in the hospital (Miss Angela Moore, I'm talking about you), don't bother showing up next Saturday either.

  • James Quarterman seems not to have gotten the "big tent" memo. I hope his "one message one agenda" plan leaves room for those pesky little aberrations known as "differences of opinion" in our party of Stepford clones.

  • Irony mavens were treated to the sight of a lot of white people trying to talk about how allegedly diverse this party is.

  • Twilight Zone Benson, playing the "grassroots" drinking game, passed out cold long before we even got to the chair races. Come on people - saying "grassroots" five times in three minutes is a crappy substitute for telling us how you're actually going to DO it.

  • Sorry, Jane Kidd - I'm trying to focus on those things that work right, like you said, and I'm not coming up with much. Mike Berlon said there were all kinds of problems with the Georgia Democratic Party - what was he talking about?

  • In a rare break with the hallowed tradition by which everyone at these things asks stupid questions, we actually got a few zingers. The question on whether or not the chair candidates would tell the "wrong" candidate in a two-person primary to drop out was great.

  • Winfred Dukes is all about using cash for candidate recruitment. That worked so well last year, huh? And we have less money this year - what's going to happen now, I wonder?

  • It was nice to see that everyone generally brought their games to a higher level for this event - much more of substance was said than was on display even last Saturday at the Cobb County breakfast.

  • "For those candidates in rural Georgia, do you expect any problems running the party from outside metro Atlanta?" Jim Nelson: "No." 'Nuff said.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 1/20/2007 09:10:00 PM 1 comments links to this post

Monday, January 15, 2007

BEHOLD the power of SMO (Social Media Optimization)
Today's bloggerAs we speak, the words "Social Media Optimization" are becoming the new internet buzzwords - everyone is trying to figure out how to get random people to pass their message around. We busy YD Atlanta bees are working on all aspects of SMO - from content generation and distribution to making it easy for people to add our posts to link and content aggregators and such, like del.icio.us. Well, tonight we are PROUD to unveil the linkability of our posts in all its tasty goodness. See all those neat little icons under this post? Those are all one-click add-this-post-to-my-links or whatever else these services do for you. That little combo box is just like the icons, except that it encompasses just about every bookmarking service on the planet, all in a neat little space. Try it! If you don't use a bookmarking service, well, now might be a good time to sign up, because we're starting a trend here.

YD Atlanta. Now that's moving you forward.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 1/15/2007 10:02:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Meet Will Curry, new Fulton County DP secretary (U2be)
Today's bloggerLast month, our very own Young Democrat of Atlanta Will Curry was elected as Secretary of the Fulton County Democratic Party, and he took a few moments to talk about his new position...

Will joins several YD's of Atlanta in the Fulton County Party serving as post seat holders, as well as Page Gleason as Executive Director. Will brings a strong work ethic to the position, as well as the hip coolness that only Young Democrats can provide. Go Will!
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 1/15/2007 05:32:00 PM 1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cheryl Williams, DPG Second Vice Chair Candidate (U2be)
Today's bloggerFor those of you who haven't noticed the pattern yet, if you're running for something and you want to get on the Internet, come to a Young Democrats of Atlanta meeting. Cheryl Williams came down from Gwinnett to talk to us at Manuel's last Wednesday...

It's not too late for certain other candidates who haven't sought out the crucial YD endorsement (that's where we buy you a beer) to come to us; our next happy hour is coming up on the 18th, although I won't be there to do the video honors.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 1/10/2007 07:06:00 PM 4 comments links to this post

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Divide by Zero
Today's bloggerA short time ago, a good friend pointed me in the direction of this (registration required, sorry - I recommend BugMeNot), promising the ultimate divide-by-zero error in the form of "Jesus was a very bad Christian." For those not big up on computers, a divide-by-zero error is just that - an instance in which a computer is asked to divide something by zero and freaks the hell out because that's, you know, not possible. I'm sure you see how this is very similar to the assertion that Jesus, the source of all Christianity and the paragon of its virtues, was a "very bad Christian." If we were all Windows machines, that statement would likely cause us all to throw up a Blue Screen of Death. If we were all Macs, we'd likely get the Spinning Beach Ball of Death, or that really nicely designed screen that explains in several languages that something has gone really really wrong. If we were all Linux machines, we'd all... uh, I don't know... spit out a long and detailed report of what happened that requires a lot of programming knowledge to even begin comprehending? What do Linux boxes do with that sort of thing? And don't tell me "They don't crash..." I'm making a joke.

Records, of course, much like computers, are made to be broken. In that spirit, I give an even greater divide-by-zero. Oliver North wrote a piece for Fox calling Bill Clinton on the carpet for law-breaking, which is, on its own, a pretty big act of chutzpah. That's not all, though. Oliver North, the man central to the selling of arms to Iran (an enemy of the United States) in order to illegally finance war in South America, is shocked - SHOCKED! - that Bill Clinton admitted on national television to authorizing the assassination of one Osama bin Laden. You may remember the rather heated exchange between Clinton and Chris Matthews - we on the left were proud of our boy for standing up to the widely spread falsehood that he was too busy enjoying Oval Office blowjobs to pay attention to bin Laden and al Qaeda. In that exchange, Clinton said "I worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding at the CIA to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since."

The US government is not allowed to authorize assassination. There are executive orders that forbid it. That it's pretty much winked at does not excuse the fact that Clinton did admit to breaking that prohibition. I would much rather see Osama bin Laden captured and prosecuted in a court of law than with his brains blown out from a thousand meters. Either way, he'll end up dead (I'm being realistic, here), but with the former we make a statement about how we do things, what justice is. Hell, with the latter we make a statement about how we do things, but I prefer the other statement. Still, the boundless hypocrisy of anyone on the right picking at Clinton's attempts to rid the world of the man they themselves hold up as the purest embodiment of evil since Hitler (well, used to hold up, at least) turns my stomach. To hear it coming from a man who helped in the creation of a massive criminal enterprise to further antidemocratic war in South America is far worse. North even goes so far as to compare Clinton's authorization of assassination attempts against bin Laden with Pat Robertson's call for attempts against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Subject A> Terrorist leader responsible for the deaths of thousands of US and other citizens. Subject B> Repeatedly democratically elected head of a foreign government, routinely labeled a "dictator" ("tin-horn dictator," to use North's words) because he's a staunch leftist and isn't playing along with US economic interests. The intellectual dishonesty is staggering.

The brain seizes up.

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posted by Aaron at 1/03/2007 12:59:00 PM 0 comments links to this post


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