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

Friday, July 10, 2009

Continuing blogging from Manuel's w/ Governor Dean
4:47 P.M. Starting a new entry here, with some unique individuals (including Tom Baxter and Tom Crawford) along for the ride here, with obligatory comments about me and their sandal straps.

Tom Baxter just asked whether Governor Dean was still confident that we are going to see a public option, and he said that he was, through the prism of a bipartisan compromise (with the assorted chunks in that sausage as usual).

4:52 P.M. Catherine basically asked how we can convince people that our system is in need of change - Governor Dean is bringing it back to the point, which is choice (something we Democrats know more about than the other side). The choices will be private health insurance and a version of Medicare not restricted by age as the current version is.

Tom Baxter is bringing up a study that showed that blue states could bear more of the cost of the new system than red states, but points out that those red state lawmakers haven't been convinced by these statistics. Governor Dean is saying that these folks are ignoring public opinion at their peril - I mostly agree with that, but as the economy continues to struggle we may also find that public opinion may change beneath us. It's really a game of chicken - will the public change for the lawmakers, or the other way around?

4:57 P.M. In response to a question from Tom Crawford, Governor Dean points out that there's not a lot of competition to be destroyed by health care reform, with a handful of big insurers in most states.

Catherine is asking why corporations like GM aren't speaking up about the problems being inflicted on them by current health care costs - the Governor says some want to, but are afraid to rock the status quo, but that there is still a lot of misplaced faith in the efficiency of the private sector. Governor Dean also believes most employees would want to keep their employee-provided plans - and hey, I might too, until I figure out what the new plan that passes will do for me. Yay choice!

Governor Dean is saying that the public competitor will lower costs in two ways - it will provide a more attractive product, with no predatory pricing and other such "gotchas" we all know and hate about the private sector, and by lowering administrative costs (read: CEO pay and advertising).

5:04 P.M. Just as an update, we're looking at a select group of fourteen of the local political elite and "new media" (is that still a real term?) here with the Governor. Bernita asked how women receiving breast cancer coverage will be affected, and Governor Dean says there won't be any changes to such existing public programs.

5:10 P.M. Governor Dean just said that the old coalition that defeated this last time isn't there anymore - I wouldn't say it's gone, but maybe they don't have quite the muscle they did in the 1990's. I also wouldn't agree that the public isn't afraid of this at all, we have to assuage their fears as much as we can in the face of these sneaky attack ads.

I asked Governor Dean about some of the "maybe" public options, like the "trigger" option (which would only create a public option if the private sector doesn't reduce costs by some magic amount) and "co-ops" (I commend the reader to Google on that one, not familiar with it), and he immediately labeled all of those as "fake public options" that wouldn't be effective and wouldn't pose a threat to the "real" public option". I haven't seen where various party figures stand on these fake options, but I think it's always up for grabs in the Senate.

5:15 P.M. On the future of the Republican party - Governor Dean is suggesting that the Republican party will have to stress their fiscal credentials and leave all their social conservative nonsense to the fraction of the population who are yearning for the resurrection of Richard Nixon.

Catherine asks, "What's our next big goal?" and Governor Dean immediately pointed to climate change, legislation addressing which (or not, to varying degrees) is already underway, which he expects to be a more traditional political pitched battle (than the health care battle).

And with that (5:19 P.M.) this special session is at an end. We could wish the Governor was still running the DNC!
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 7/10/2009 04:47:00 PM 3 comments

Live blogging from Dean's book signing at Manuel's
3:39 P.M. Well, this begins anticlimatically, since the event started at 3 and it is sooo crowded here there was no way those of us who arrived late had any chance whatsoever at this one. Fortunately Paula was there to capture the event for our friends at Blog for Democracy. Governor Dean is here at Manuel's signing his book and talking health care reform - although I haven't read the BfD post, so I don't know what he actually said...

The Q and A is over, so people have managed to get a better foothold in the room, but it's still pretty hard to maneuver.

3:47 P.M. There are a number of people here in orange shirts in support of H.R. 676, sponsored by John Conyers.

They had a banner too, but I missed the chance to take the picture. I guess it's not super crowded here now, there are places to sit.

4:01 P.M. Paula is totally making the most of the chance to be a Dean groupie, with YDAtl friend Catherine Smith:

YDAtl financial friends A Capella Books are providing the printed materials for this event. At some point these updates will fall to a lull until the book signing is over, but hey, something exciting could happen in the next hour (like a martini).

4:26 P.M. The dreaded Last Call has been issued - for books, that is. Governor Dean is posing for some photo ops with a medium sized handful (melts in your mouth, not in your hand) of the folks still here. Not sure what's next, but this ain't the end of this post - stay tuned.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 7/10/2009 03:39:00 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

YD's at the Democratic Party of Georgia Jefferson-Jackson dinner
7:43 P.M. The YD table, featuring your YDG president Jane Bradshaw...

7:24 P.M. If you haven't met your Atlanta region rep Leslie Small, or his dynamic ("dynamic" = "sweet but don't facking mess with her") fiance Nikema, here they are!

7:03 P.M. Michael Julian Bond isn't a Young Dem, but he was at our May business meeting, and we were happy to see him.

6:42 P.M. This isn't the real live blog from the JJ dinner, but you might like to see some friends all dressed up. Amir Farokhi, our friend running for city council, is here:

Recognize Mr. Male Young Democrat of the Year and president of Most Improved County, Cobb?

Zak and Khaz hangin' with Senator Curt Thompson, a friend of ours from Gwinnett:

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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 5/12/2009 06:36:00 PM 1 comments

Friday, April 03, 2009

Live blog from the remainder of Sine Die
12:05 A.M. This legislative session, and maybe MARTA as you know it, is over.

Might wanna bring a Segway to your next Braves game. Oh well, guess it could have been worse.

11:58 P.M. House is reading the resolutions, it's all over on this side.

Jerry Keen has moved to adjourn Sine Die on this side... and I hear the Senate adjourning too.

11:52 P.M. King Glenn has put in a call to the Bat Phone, time's getting real tight. H.B. 169 is again not considered on the motion to suspend the one hour rule 55-107. Another motion to suspend the rule fails 67-97.

11:47 P.M. Motion to suspend the one hour rule in the House fails 87-82 - supposedly that was because the bill had not lain on the table for an hour. Rep. Morgan is moving to adopt the CCR to H.B. 251 again, and it is adopted 97-73. One hour rule is again not suspended, 76-90, to consider H.B. 169.

11:43 P.M. Senate rejects a bill whose number I can't remember, but some evil people cheered, while the environmental folks stood by.

11:37 P.M. Larry just told Tim that transportation is toast. He might not have been joking when he asked for a ride back to the Inman Park station...

11:32 P.M. Senate passes H.B. 2 38-16. More immigration enforcement, 'cuz that's what we need to focus on now.

11:23 P.M. House rejects Rep. Morgan's H.B. 251 77-78, but votes to reconsider 103-62. Word is "payback", not sure I'm at liberty to say for what though.

11:15 P.M. Bunch of boring House conference committee reports, one by Rep. Major Jerk of the 80th, who incidentally isn't that much taller than I am. My feet hurt. Here is our next Attorney General taking a break:

H.B. 189 passes 91-66, but is reconsidered 87-77. I don't know what this bill is but it seems controversial.

10:59 P.M. House rejects H.B. 169 55-110. No sub metering.

10:50 P.M. Word is that S.B. 164 (billboards) may come back and Tim's talking call-out strategy and counting votes.

10:45 P.M. Amazing, S.B. 67 (English only written drivers' examinations, among other things), fails 22-22. House just passed S.B. 56. 107-60.

10:26 P.M. House votes 136-30 to take S.B. 56 off the table. Don't we already have laws that keep you from stocking up on Sudafed?

10:21 P.M. S.B. 82 finally passes 141-20. Some education stuff is coming up in the House soon, we hear, but we're not being called on to act yet.

10:17 P.M. The Senate votes down Adelman's amendment to S.B. 200 22-33. Senate adopts the House substitute 33-22. Rep. Golick seems to be speaking in favor of S.B. 82.

10:07 P.M. The Senate debate on S.B. 200 is continuing and is not proceeding quietly.

9:57 P.M. Page and Tasso are chillin'. The YD's are scattered. I'm bored. Rep. Smyre isn't.

9:53 P.M. The Senate (in the form of Sen. Thompson) has been discussing something that sounds suspiciously like the DOT revamp.

9:44 P.M. The Big Show and Rep. Alan Powell are passing the time while the House continues droning on about metal recycling.

9:26 P.M. The House is debating S.B. 82. Hopefully someone will be able to explain to me why something trying to cut down on copper theft by imposing some regulations on metal recyclers is generating so much controversy. Leslie Small says the purpose of the bill is to make the night longer. Guess they'd rather chit chat about metal recycling rather than talk about MARTA.

9:22 P.M. Sen. Orrock is taking questions from Sen. Thompson on the conference committee report on H.B. 481, which would provide part-time unemployment benefits. Speaker (sic) Richardson is up to his usual silliness.

9:14 P.M. S.B. 86 passes the House, 104-67.

9:07 P.M. There is some action going on now, yes. Debate on S.B. 86, which requires proof of citizenship before you even register to vote (as though the voter ID law wasn't strict enough), is ongoing. Rep. Pedro Marin (Gwinnett) is in the well and a good number of the YD contingent have headed to the gallery.

8:50 P.M. Check the array of Young Dems ready to spring into action when (not if) the Republicans try something sleazy:

And in what HAS to be the moment of the day, an intrepid soul (pictured) managed to capture Sharon Teague's latest unbelievable DFI transgression.

This blogger's opinions regarding Rep. Teague are once again vindicated.

8:34 P.M. Dinner's over, and the crew is getting ready for the last shift. Larry Pellegrini is always a good guy to talk to...

Tim's been on top of the game for the whole day. Brad says he thinks there's something voucher-y going on, but when isn't there with these bozos in charge?

8:10 P.M. More or less just got here. I hear that many YD's have taken a semi-permanent break at the Irish pub near the Capitol (because the service sucks, not because anyone's giving up or anything). When Tasso (and Lauren Benedict)...

...and Calvin Smyre...

...have time to kick back to this degree, you know it's going slow. They're back to voting on some stuff now, but I see Ben Myers and Nikema Williams still sitting here near me, so nothing too important seems to be imminent. Reading Young Democrats of Georgia guru Tim Cairl's running commentary (interrupted by some Guinness, as I mentioned), seems that some of our stuff is still in play.

I figure it's probably not a good sign when random old guys high-five while waiting at the rope for their legislative victims.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 4/03/2009 08:09:00 PM 0 comments

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Celebrate Earth Hour tonight
The annual observance of Earth Hour, an hour where the lights of cities and homes are dimmed to promote awareness of environmental issues, has once again arrived. From 8:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M., whatever your time zone, turn off the lights and show your Mother some love.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 3/28/2009 10:48:00 AM 0 comments

Friday, March 06, 2009

No Surgeon Sanjay after all
Atlanta's most visible doctor, Sanjay Gupta, who was *squinchy gesture* thisclose to being Surgeon General, has removed himself from consideration for the post. Is it ok to be a little disheartened by another first choice not working out?
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 3/06/2009 06:59:00 AM 2 comments

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sunday sales squashed, again
Another year, another victory the Sarah Palins of the Georgia Legislature. The Sunday alcohol sales legislation was withdrawn in committee in the Senate, again, because the votes to pass it weren't there, again. We tried, guys!


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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 3/04/2009 05:59:00 PM 1 comments

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sunday sales committee vote today?
For those of you who don't like having to ask "What day is it?" before you head out to the convenience store, YDAtl is lobbying today in favor of a bill that would allow Sunday alcohol sales - a committee vote on the bill could be coming soon. This may be one of the very few issues where we can actually get on the same page with the Young Republicans - that's when you know our state has some silly laws!
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 2/25/2009 05:49:00 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blue Dining: Flip
Flip Burger Boutique


1587 Howell Mill Road

Lunch: M-S 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dinner: M-Th 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., F 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Saturday: Open all day 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Closed Sundays

By Jeff Romig

I’ve eaten countless Krispy Kreme doughnuts in my 31 years.

For as long as I can remember, I believed the only way to eat an original glazed Krispy Kreme was hot and fresh.

When the hot sign is lit, that’s the best time to get your fix.

But thanks to Chef Richard Blais, I’ve had a paradigm shift.

Blais has taken the traditional goodness of a hot, fresh Krispy Kreme and flipped it on its head.

While any given meal at Blais’ Flip Burger Boutique won’t necessary begin with the Krispy Kreme milkshake, it should certainly end with the liquid version of America’s best doughnut.

It’s as amazing as it sounds. I promise.

As for what to get before you order your milkshake, Flip also reinvents the idea of what a burger can be.

The top and bottom of each burger is a buttery, delicious brioche bun, while the middle is your choice of 15 or so different options from new takes on the traditional beef variety as well as nontraditional takes like a Shrimp Po Boyger, a Cuban and a Breakfast burger.

My favorite is the Steak Tartare burger, which is a wonderful mix of chopped rare steak, garlic, capers and Worcestershire topped with a smoked mayo.

And you can’t go wrong with a side of Vodka-battered onion rings and an old-school bottle of Cheerwine or Sundrop.

But if that’s not your style, I guarantee with all the choices offered on a daily basis, you’ll find something you’ll love.

I recommend going early because lines are consistently long and there are no reservations.

But even if you have to wait, it’s more than worth it as the food and atmosphere are truly a blast!

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posted by JeffR at 2/18/2009 01:47:00 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is this the end for Morris Brown?
Morris Brown, an HBCU founded by former slaves, has been on life support for years, and today might be the day the feeding tube gets disconnected for good. The college owes the City of Atlanta $214,000 in back water bills, but only has $60,000 to pay. They have until 5 P.M. today to come up with the cash or the water switch gets flipped off (again). It doesn't seem to be looking good.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 2/17/2009 07:02:00 AM 1 comments

Thursday, February 12, 2009

100 years of the NAACP - where does it go now?
The venerable NAACP, an organization that over the years has stood both at the forefront and the middle of the push for civil rights, turns 100 today. It's come a long way from the days of Brown v. Board of Education and W. E. B. Du Bois - not least in that many people now would be hard pressed to identify him, or to identify any of the NAACP's ongoing activities. When was the last time you saw the NAACP in the news? For me, it was when they were leading the outcry against the treatment of the Jena Six. That was a time to remember that even with Barack Obama in the White House, the battle is not yet over. But what vision can move the organization to its next victory? Is the NAACP suffering a similar fate to many of the HBCU's in Atlanta, as we see Morehouse, Clark Atlanta, and others struggling? Will there be another John Lewis, Ralph David Abernathy, or Martin Luther King Jr., and if so, will (s)he come from the ranks of the NAACP?
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 2/12/2009 06:55:00 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bzzt, time warp, we're still here!
Wow, a lot as happened since our last blog post on May 6, 2008.. Barack Obama won the primary, John McCain imploded (insert "poof" sound here), America elected a black man as its President, and now the news of the day is President Obama and his three best friends in the Senate, who just happen to be Republicans at the moment: Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Arlen Specter. Oh yeah, and that guy who makes the jokes still hasn't finished beating Norm Coleman yet. Hope Y'ALL have been doing good in the last, what, 9 months? We have! Look for slightly more frequent updates here going forward.
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 2/10/2009 07:13:00 AM 1 comments

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Future is Blue: Passing the Torch: Connecting the Young Democrats of 1968 to the Young Democrats of 2008

Please join us on Monday, May 12th at Carolyn’s Gourmet Café at 7 p.m. for our annual fundraiser, Future is Blue.

Forty years have passed since the events of 1968 reshaped our nation. Young Democrats of Atlanta is deeply honored to host Democratic leaders who will lead a night of remembrance and storytelling.

Speakers will recount their 1968 experiences related to Vietnam, the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the lives and deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr., Bobby Kennedy, and more.

We are pleased and deeply honored to feature the following speakers:

Winston Johnston - confidant of Coretta Scott King, who inspired her involvement in LGBT issues.
Lonnie King – Civil Rights Movement Student Leader and former President of the NAACP
Tasso Knight – 7th Congressional District Chair and Political & Legislative Directors for UFCW 1996
Nan Orrock – Georgia State Senator
Kay Scott – President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Georgia

Additionally, we will present video recollections by U.S. Representative John Lewis

Georgia State Senator Kasim Reed and Atlanta City Councilman Lamar Willis, representatives of a young generation of lawmakers, will serve as the evening’s hosts.

We could not be more thrilled to be the next wave of Democrats from the birthplace of the civil rights movement.

If you would like to make a donation to the Young Democrats of Atlanta, please visit our website at www.atlantayoungdems.org or join us Monday at Carolyn’s.

Admission: We are asking a minimum donation of $25 dollars.

Carolyn’s Gourmet Café is located at 1151 W. Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30309
-A note about parking: There is limited parking at Carolyn’s and Einstein’s Bros Bagels, as well as street parking on 13th. There are also pay lots across the street and at the corner of 14th and Spring streets.
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posted by Allison Layton at 5/06/2008 01:44:00 PM 0 comments

Friday, February 29, 2008

Live blog from YDA quarterly meeting in Anaheim
Sunday, 10:45 A.M. Last pictures before I hit the shuttle...

I leave you with a picture of Tomorrowland, and it's *blue*, people! Great conference - we'll be back, Ah-nold.

Sunday, 10:12 A.M. Things are wrapping up here. Unfortunately our coverage will have to end prematurely due to my flight out at 1:30, but we currently have the state presidents' association meeting...

...as well as the college caucus (which has more people in attendance than you can see in this photo). Not sure who the guest speaker is (not pictured).

The LGBT caucus meeting starts at 10:30, which I can bring a little bit of before I catch the bus to the exciting theme park known as LAX, featuring thrills, chills, and surly TSA agents.

Saturday, 7:13 P.M. Just got done with the Southeast Region meeting - we have a new region director, Alan Brock from Florida. We are getting ready to go get some food and inevitably degenerate into, um, other activities, so this may be the last update for tonight.

Saturday, 6:11 P.M. Dispatches from the picket line:

Word from Tony Cani is we had 286 people on the picket line - it's amazing how powerful you feel with a picket sign in your hand, shouting "Si Se Puede" or "We are the union, the mighty mighty union". We were on the picket line with people in their chef's uniform and with their kids. Anyone up for finding a picket line around here? :-)

This is definitely uncharted but awesome territory.

Saturday, 4:18 P.M. This rally is STARTED! Do we have a huge crowd here or what?

We are ready to march and take the message to management!

Saturday, 4:07 P.M. Oops, guess there were also breakouts on LGBT issues, women's rights, immigration, and a couple more things I can't read from here. The number of people gathered outside waiting for this issues stuff to finish is pretty impressive.

Saturday, 3:58 P.M. We're very close to starting the labor rally, but here are the four breakout sessions (the fourth one was environmental issues or something).

Environmental issues:

Health care:

Veterans' affairs:

And education:

Not sure how this rally thing is going to work. The VA group is advocating Google bombs, which I don't think is really very kosher ;-P

Saturday, 3:42 P.M. Bunch of photos. Between all the branding and cuteness, the kids, and the incessant Disney theme music, everything is seeming very corporate Stepford here...

This guy has got to be rolling in his grave.

The smokers' caucus had a little meeting. They've really raised their profile here - the prominent members really have their own special credentials and positions (Lindsey Barret is VP of chain smoking or something...).

The video taping and general geekery has been continuing (the interviewee in the second photo below is the labor caucus secretary, which you can probably guess from his Teamsters shirt):

The issues meeting has divided into breakouts on health care, education, veterans affairs (or something), and something else which I didn't catch. Here are some photos from earlier...

Our union march supposedly starts in ten minutes, but as usual we've been behind for most of the afternoon. At least it's not really raining at the moment.

Saturday, 3:10 P.M. Here's the Christine Pelosi clip:

There seems to be strong interest in purchasing the "Boot Camp" book, as well as in getting it signed by Ms. Pelosi...

Tony Cani is now running a session on issues activism and advocacy, similar to what I remember him doing for the Southeast Region meeting last year. According to Tony, the main reason legislators listen to us under the Dome is a desire to keep their seats and/or look good to their constituents (rock stars like Nan Orrock being the exception rather than the rule).

I met one of my fellow bloggers earlier today, who suggested that we might profitably blog occasionally on Kos (which I confess I know nothing about) and reach a wider audience in Georgia. Maybe that's something worth looking into.

Saturday, 2:49 P.M. Sweet, looks like the video upload worked this time. Christine Pelosi is uploading now. This is turning out to be another good session - giving people a chance to put into practice what they just heard is a lot more effective, and that's what we're getting here. My cyber colleague Ken Whitaker from Michigan is going to have pretty much this whole shebang on YouTube somewhere sometime, so if you're looking for more Christine check it out. You can see him to the right of the picture below, with the video camera.

At one point, the bloggers in the audience (and the audience is pretty dang big) were asked to raise their hands, and a bunch of people did. We're hearing a practice campaign speech from a man running for a judgeship in Texas.

Saturday, 2:34 P.M. Let's see if this works this time - I recorded a few minutes of Mark Newman's fundraising presentation from earlier, and I believe the sound and all is working this time (unlike it was when I tried things in Dallas). Mark had a lot of good things to say, and if this works I have some footage of Christine Pelosi as well that is rendering as we speak.

Christine specifically mentioned Max Cleland's experience as an example of the lesson that you should not let the opposition define you. (We're perfectly willing to define Saxby, of course, but this is a family blog.)

Saturday, 2:16 P.M. The next item on the agenda (after the conclusion of what was a great panel with some WGA members) is a "boot camp" session run by Christine Pelosi.

You know, she's a YD as well as everything else she is, which makes it that much cooler that she can speak so authoritatively about what it takes to be a candidate.

Saturday, 12:54 P.M. We're about halfway through lunch now, and we are just starting a panel discussion with some members of the Writers Guild about the recent writers' strike.

This may be the most pro-union place I've been - we gave a big shout out to the people serving us, who we are probably going to be joining us in the march (I don't know whether there's a picket line - people have said these people aren't actually on strike). Fist in the air for Labor!

Some of these people on stage have written for such well-known shows as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and others were prominent strike organizers, so this is pretty cool.

Saturday, 11:16 A.M. Holy dollar signs, Batman, this fundraising training meeting is *packed*. Every seat is taken and there's barely space to sit on the floor in the back. Mark Newman and Amy Lewis are running through some power point slides that I am hoping to get my hands on - I missed the start of this by being at the labor caucus. Mark just said that the thing he hates most is when people view donors as ATM's rather than investors.

The whole "I can't believe she said no!" thing is definitely going to be my least favorite part of my finance chair job!

Saturday, 10:31 A.M. Coincidentally, one of the people here is also live-blogging, so that makes at least 3 people at this meeting, and any number of other people with video cameras. Tech power!

Saturday, 10:24 A.M. There are some interesting ideas being discussed at the labor caucus, which seems well-attended (President Hardt is here as well). In addition to discussing the march for the Disney hotel workers later today, there's also a suggestion to have Young Labor Democrats (or some such slogan) t-shirts printed for Labor Day, and to have photos of chapters around the country wearing them to Labor Day events. We'd look good wearing them to the Labor Day picnic at the Hapeville UAW (assuming that happens...), don't you think?

It's kind of neat to be asked to introduce yourself with "I believe the brother from Georgia has joined us?" ;-)

Saturday, 10:07 A.M. Geez, walking between the buildings here is a real trial. I mean, there's the kids screaming "I wanna go hooommmeeee!!!" (seriously), as well as towers named "Dream" and "Wonder" ("Tower of Wonder IV, the Quickening", coming soon to theaters), and then the Donald Duck topiary that looks more like a nightmare than a dream...

I'm at "On Camera Media Training", which is looking like it's a very good training indeed - attendees are going through some media pitches for their organizations while getting tips from the woman doing the training...

Got to grab my stuff from the demographic training room.

Saturday, 9:56 A.M. Dropping in now on "Working with the Media" (my favorite subject <sarcasm>)...

Judging by attendance here, it seems that learning about the young and unmarried demographic is less interesting to young people than learning how to talk to the media. Guess demographic outreach just isn't as sexy as getting interviewed and sending out press releases... They're now mentioning my #1 lesson, "Nothing Is Off The Record. Ever." I could raise my hand and be like "yeah, here's what I said off the record that ended up in the AJC!" ;-)

Saturday, 9:45 A.M. Reporting briefly from Rules and Charter, the topic under discussion is some arcana related caucus formation and procedures - seems there is desire to have a Veterans Caucus, but I've missed a lot of the preceding discussion.

Now we're on to the soooo exciting "Amendment 2", so I think I'm heading elsewhere.

Saturday, 9:11 A.M. My portion of the Georgia contingent called it a night early last night, but the welcome reception did feature some fairly high profile people. We had the vice chair of the California Democratic Party, as well as Crystal Strait (DNC representative for YDA) and Phil Angelides, who you may remember as the Democratic challenger to Ah-nold in 2006. He was not a girly-man, and he kept his comments short so we could get back to the open bar.

This morning some of us (Billy and Kirk) are enjoying the Fun that is Rules and Bylaws, while me and Jane are currently at a session on reaching woman and young voters, put on by a speaker from Lake Research Partners.

We know that these demographics are trending Democratic, but there are still some interesting figures here. Only 21% of unmarried woman have a bachelor's degree - wow. Also, contrary to what I thought at least, young people and unmarried women list jobs and the economy as their most important issue, above Iraq. With 80% of these demographics indicating that they are following the election closely, we clearly have a chance to really impact the election and win some new converts to the Democratic cause.

Friday, 7:52 P.M. We're hearing from president of Unite Here Local 681, which represents the hotel workers here who have been on the job since February 1 without a contract.

We're hearing from some of the rank and file union members as well, one of the bellmen shared his concerns about his employer health care. So yeah, I'm going to be there marching tomorrow. Disney can sure afford to pay these people more than $8 an hour, which ain't the same as $8 back in Atlanta. You can't live on that here.

Our last speaker is Tim Steed, the president of the California Young Democrats, and then we are off to the welcome reception.

Friday, 7:24 P.M. Well, guess I was wrong - the conference "kickoff" is in progress. We got some nice propaganda (this is the only picture of the video that came out, not that the video favored Obama):

We heard from Tony Cani, who is (I think?) YDA political director, who introduced YDA president David Hardt, who happens to be a Texas superdelegate (i.e. more popular than Britney Spears these days).

This is the first time I've seen David since he was elected at the convention last year. We're seeing a YouTube video about the "youthquake" that is shaking the nation ;-)

Friday, 6:56 P.M. We're here now, with an hour before the welcoming ceremony.

Everything has names like "Magic Way" (street) and "Sleeping Beauty Pavilion" (meeting room...). Ugh! Tim told us all about how we're supposed to be supporting the Disney hotel workers tomorrow, or something.

Dinner was tasty, although apparently "Tex-Mex" isn't a concept that exists around here. I guess Jason doesn't have to worry about the cow tongue tacos on this trip...

Friday, 4:28 P.M. Well, we have finally arrived at the hotel, after an exciting trip in the rental car, where we ran into some of the famous LA palm trees...

...as well as that famous LA traffic.

Looks kinda familiar, huh? Turns out we could take public transportation from here to Disneyland (we're opting for the cheap and Mickey-free hotel), but it would involve two different buses and would take an hour - this is for five miles. Yup, that's something us Atlantans know all about!

We're going to hunt for some edibles of the Tex-Mex variety before we join our friends at the Disney hotel.

Friday, 1:55 P.M. I bring you news from Anaheim, or more properly LAX at the moment, where me and Jane Bradshaw are waiting for Exalted President Cecil, who is arriving late after a fun snow delay in Chicago.

The YDA meeting is at the Disneyland hotel and resort, and we are looking forward to a productive couple of days - although some people are probably still going to be in full campaign mode (like our YDA president from Texas, for one). You can see we're having lots of fun ;-)
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 2/29/2008 04:55:00 PM 1 comments


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