This blog began over the weekend of July 4th, 2008. Since then, there’s been around 350 posts.
These are the best ones. While not perfect, they represent the best of what Left On Lanier had to offer for the past six months. It should give an accurate representation of what was popular, insightful, goofy or notable about being a Democrat in Georgia.
The Hall County GOP chairman has a personal blog. While it feels icky to pick on random people in cyberspace, it feels pretty good to pound on a local political chief. His blog is like shooting fish in a barrel, but he simply doesn’t update enough.
Shortly after discovering the GOP Chair’s blog, I noticed a post that mocked state Democratic candidates, and wanted to respond. Unfortunately, proving my point required having pictures of Hall County political yard signs. So, I drove around in a gas crisis, digital camera in hand, to make this blog post.
It’s not wordy or in-depth, but signifies when I started being serious about adding unique and local content to the site.
MVP # 13 – Paul Stanley’s Personal Blog
The FairTax is exhausting.
The entire state of Georgia is convinced that this tax will be more fair to the middle class, and it’s simply not true. Trying to explain the economics of it can get fairly complex, and eventually you’re trying to explain dead-weight loss of the supply & demand curve, and regressive tax policy, and eventually one just has to give up. People don’t want to be educated by a mysterious North Georgia blogger.
This post explain how the FairTax isn’t fair, in the simplest terms that I could. It’s a bit rambling and it’s too long, but it struck a nerve with people. Immediately, comments started rolling on it. To this day, it’s one of the most viewed posts.
MVP # 12 – The FairTax Doesn’t Work
The Atlanta Gas Shortage was one of the weirdest parts of 2008. An entire generation has lived without the memory of the 70’s gas crisis, so it was a whole new rodeo for many Georgians. It was even stranger that the shortage was so localized. In Alabama or South Carolina, gas was plentiful. Within 70 miles of I-285 though? Nary a drop for miles on end.
This post was an explanation of why the gas shortage hit Atlanta so hard, and also makes a controversial assertion that gas-gouging would be a good thing during the crisis. In a free-market capitalist society, the government shouldn’t regulate the bad parts of the supply & demand curve. You can’t have a free market, punctuated by random bouts of intense regulation, and expect it to work very well.
MVP# 11 – Gas Shortage Economics (Atlanta-Style)
During the Democratic National Convention, MSNBC’s air talent hated one another.
This post was fun because my research cracked me up. Just looking through YouTube, or uploading the clips myself, made me laugh. It was sooooo clear that everyone despised everyone else on-set, but the MSNBC suits didn’t try to separate them… It was like a TV news version of “War of The Roses”.
And during the RNC, held just days later? They had the parties broadcast from DIFFERENT locations in order to minimize the on-air bitching.
MVP #10 – MSNBC Anchors Hate Each Other
The Georgia State budget is a wreck. Everyone knew this six months ago.
Left On Lanier linked to a video of South Hall’s state rep explaining that a special session of the Georgia assembly was unnecessary, since it would cost an additional $250K a week. In his mind, spending that money on a special session was wasteful- despite the fact that the session would correct a $2 BILLION DOLLAR SHORTFALL in the state budget.
I thought this would get picked up by The Gainesville Times, WDUN, maybe the AJC… ANY LEGITIMATE NEWS OUTLET. I thought it was newsworthy.
Guess not. But it represented my first attempt at breaking news, instead of merely commenting on it.
MVP# 9 – Georgia Budget Special Session
Political opinions are seared into one’s soul. After arguing with a trusted family member for four (?!?) hours during a round-trip car ride to South Carolina, it became apparent that no matter what was said, NO ONE WAS GOING TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS.
Facts, logic, all that stuff goes out the window when one starts defending their own belief system. Most of the time, it’s just a monumental waste of time.
This post represents where I felt the rational political discussion broke down, and how it could be avoided by others who read the blog. It also has a sweet graphic that I’d been saving for months, just in case it was appropriate for a future post.
MVP #8 – Neoconservative Tears
The Supply & Demand curve for the gas/oil industry. Sounds boring. Plus, it’s the second post regarding the economic meltdown of the gas industry.
It’s wordy, and I don’t especially like the title. It wasn’t an “idiot’s guide” as the title suggests, it was more like a crash course in some fairly complex economic issues.
When blogging, it’s easy to just throw something against the wall and see if it sticks- no outline, no rough draft, just a quick few sentences and *poof* it’s off in cyberspace somewhere. In this case, I wish I’d written it more succinctly, and streamlined it a bit. But, it’s still a post that I’m quite fond of, because it reduces a lot of complicated mumbo-jumbo into a more user-friendly version.
This post correctly speculated on the GOP Vice-Presidential choice, two days before McCain publicly announced Sarah Palin.
Left On Lanier was one of the few people to recommend that, and when it happened, it was pretty cool.
Again, check the time stamp. August 27, 2008. I nailed it bitches!
MVP #6 – McCain’s VP
On the local GOP website, there was an offensive article regarding Barack Obama. One of the local party members (The Director of Communications, no less) was perpetuating the myth that Obama was a Muslim. Despite the SYSTEMATIC DEBUNKING OF THIS MYTH FOR MONTHS.
A phone call or two to my former media buddies, and suddenly it was picked up by the AJC’s Political Insider column. After which, I linked to the story and included some choice comments from readers at the AJC.
It got some attention, and it was pulled off of the local GOP site shortly thereafter. More importantly, it was an example of what Democrats should be doing more of in North Georgia… responding vigorously to attacks on our values and stances.
MVP # 5 – Hall County GOP
This was about an ‘inside baseball’ dispute between two fellow bloggers. Erick Erickson, the proprietor of Peach Pundit, banned one of his contributors, Spacey G, from future posting. She took it personally, and eventually these two (and their surrogates) were arguing on their respective websites.
Pretty obscure right?
I posted this silly little creative writing exercise, attached a goofy picture, and mocked the whole disagreement. To my surprise, about 5 other blogs (including Erick’s and Spacey’s) linked to it, and suddenly Peach Pundit was sending me 100 hits an hour. Even the two people involved posted a comment on Left On Lanier. It really was the coming-out party for this blog.
To this day, it’s been my most viewed post… BY FAR.
MVP #4 – OMG! LOL! WTF?!
The neo-conservative movement is falling apart. This post tried to reflect that.
There were a ton of offensive comments on FreeRepublic, a far-right blog, that I found to be inaccurate, hateful, or simply wrong. Plus, they were tearing Fox News a new one, which seemed delicously ironic. So, I compiled some of the best of the worst and threw them up here.
This might be my favorite graphic on the whole site. No, I don’t know what the diagram is meant to represent. It reminded me of a “how-to” diagram on making a toilet-bong. Or how to commit suicide-via-sewer. Not sure, but I thought it represented the base instincts of the FreeRepublic crowd.
MVP #3 – Split Elephant
It was pretty difficult to compile a comprehensive list of John McCain’s flip-flops.
While we acknowledge that all politicians (or at least SMART ones) change their stances over time, it seemed ironic that Kerry was clobbered for this in 2004, yet McCain was getting a pass.
So, here ya go. A long and brutally accurate portrait of John McCain’s flip-flops.
My only regret was that I didn’t have time to hotlink all of these assertions to the appropriate news articles.
MVP #2 – John McCain’s Policy Flip-Flops
The Most Valuable Post of 2008 tries to debunk the idea that “businesses don’t pay taxes, only people pay taxes”. It’s a Republican oldie that gets trotted out every time a business has to pony up some cash.
It gets so tiring to see conservatives gasp and clutch their pearls in a mock faint everytime a business has to pay taxes.
This post tried to illuminate the point that often-times, businesses DO PAY taxes that are not passed onto the consumer. It’s my favorite for many reasons… perhaps you’ll enjoy it as well.
MVP #1 – Business & Tax Economics
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