Monday, July 31, 2006
7:30: Here we go. Morse Diggs once again. Same format as previous dabate. Same panel as previous debate. Let's rock and roll!
7:33 - Johnson is asked about a McKinney attack flier. Hadn't seen this one but it's pretty nasty! Johnson says it was a desperate act of a desperate candidate but admits allegations are partially correct. That's a bad start! Says it was a humbling experience. He can relate to constituents in a tight squeeze. This is getting ugly already.
7:35 - McKinney asked about being desperate. McKinney comes right back that he has not paid all his creditors! Accused him of taking funds from landfill owners. Johnson completely denies this charge.
7:36 - To McKinney. Asked about being an embarassment costing her votes. She states she was never charged. Brags about her congressional scorecard being the highest in the Georgia delegation. She's really reacting to the accusation of not representing her district.
7:37 - Johnson ask about McKinney missing votes including voting on Arabia Mountain right here in Dekalb County. Also she didn't vote on the voting rights act! Can that be right? Have to check that. What is important enough for her to show up? McKinney fires back that she has a 94% voting record. McKinneny says that Republicans are trying to dictate what's going on in this district. Johnson responds that his funds are coming from Democrats.
7:39 - McKinney asked about Johnson's ad saying he would bring sound judgment. Would it be sound judgment to take landfill funds while he was a commissioner, filing bankruptcy, not paying taxes. Johnson responds that its a desperate move again and goes back to saying McKinney has not had any prominent legislation to help her district. McKinney accuses him of being given talking points. She brings back up Congress report cards that show her better than even John Lewis.
7:41 - McKinney asks the judgment question again except this time in the frameworks about values and adds he has received 16000 from Republicans. Johnson responds McKinney's money mostly comes from out of state and ask who controls her. Ouch!
7:42 - Johnson says McKinney accuses him of representing outside interests while her contributions mostly come from Vegas and L.A. Vegas?!?! McKinney says she represents the people. She doesn't represents developers and Republicans. Her campaign is financed by the people. Johnson denies taking landfill contributions again but kind of admits taking developer money. This is like a heavyweight fight. Body blow. Body Blow. McKinney actually brought up the recent water main break and how Johnson allowing overdevelopment is ruining the community. OUCH!
7:45 - McKinney asked why she didn't attend earlier debates. Basically it didn't fit her schedule but she and Johnson have debated previously in other venues.
7:46 - McKinney asked about Barnes support of Johnson and Taylor's non-endorsement. McKinney says Taylor is running his race and she is running hers then pivots nicely back to Johnson taking money from Republicans. Johnson responds that the Republicans contributions were a small portion. Brags that he got money from Bernie Marcus, the guy that built the aquarium hee.
7:48 - Johnson asked about political differences between him and McKinney. He will build consensus. He will work with Republicans including the Georgia delegation. She can't work with people. She can't get anything done. McKinney fires right back that he supports Republicans and that he in fact IS a Republican. There is a weird dynamic here. But this is the 4th!
7:50 - Johnson asked if people really know what issues he stands for. His been talking about it since January and then reels off his campaign points. With each one he reels off that McKinney allegedly is never there to vote. My goodness!
7:51 - McKinney responds she got 500 people a job. 500 people? She brings back the sewage spill! But gets in a nice dig again about overdevelopment.
7:52 - Johnson asked to give specifics about education. He stumbles by talking about universal health care. That should make the libertarians shudder. He takes a jab at the 500 jobs McKinney claims to have created. Then more campaign talking points. Go to his web site to find these, my fingers aren't paid enough to repeat them.
7:53 - McKinney on builders again. Because of Johnson's cozy relationship with builders kids have to go to school in trailers. Says the jobs she created are real due to recent legislation and claims Johnson has been given talking points that need to be updated. SNAP!
Final thoughts: I think they actually cut that one a little short but who could blame Morse Diggs! WHEW! That lived up to everything advertised. I have to say Cynthia McKinney was the clear winner here. She needed to get out the message that she cares about the district and brings home the bacon. Even though it was a little strange to talk about only 500 jobs and a water main break that probably had nothing to do with Hank Johnson, it was a savvy ploy to show her constituents that she knows what's going on in Dekalb as recently as two days ago. She repeatedly slammed Hank about his fiscal hardships and relationship with business and development. She basically succeeded at painting him as a stealth Republican. The bottom line is this had the feel of a general election debate instead of a primary debate. Which given Dekalb's demographics makes perfect sense.
Will this change votes on Tuesday? I don't know. I know it's not enough to change mind but it may make me think a bit.
7:00 - The candidates are ready to go and we are off. Morse Diggs is the moderator. Format is questions from the panel first. Then candidates question each other.
7:03 - First question to Martin is about the infamous Hecht "rape flier". Did Martin actually say women should have known better. Martin says it's outrageous. He worked with the rape centers and counselors to define rape. It's already getting into the stuff!
7:04 - Hecht is questioned about the negative campaigning. Hecht claims he offered to be Martin's campaign manager and wanted to compare platforms! He says Martin started negative first. This is going to be no holds barred. There is no contrition here. Hecht admits one quote was inaccurate but the large portion was correct. He goes right at Martin. Martin now defends his record as DHR head.
7:06 - Hecht asked about a vote to give legislators about a pay raise, why Martin voted for it and would it hurt the ticket. Hecht brings up Cagle voted against is which is weird. Martin talks about his refusing a raise as DHR head. Snipe snipe snipe.
7:08 - Martin gets in how he is a budget cutter and then ask about a revenue shortfall reserve. Hecht starts talking about drug giveaways of something. snnnnnnore. Martin is trying to pin him down on a number and is sounding boringly wonkish. Hecht is attack attack attack. Interesting.
7:10 - Hecht is attacking Martin's voting record again. Martin was the one person voting against making dealing drugs near a school a felony. Martin talks about his daughter, mentions that it would have probably had problems with the court. That was probably the right answer but its weak.
7:11 - Martin ask Jim to pledge to end negative campaigning. Hecht goes over a litany of alledged Martin negative attacks. Hecht is really going after Martin and Martin is looking a bit like a punching bag.
7:12 - Martin asked about how effective can he be with a Republican majority. Martin says you need experience and he has it. Points out that Democrats are still different. After the last 10 minutes this is a bit of a let down in fervor.
7:13 - Question about cutting behind doors deals with private business. This is a softball. They both believe in open government. Shocking.
7:14 - Martin asked about Miles endorsement of Hecht. He will continue to work hard. We are into a whirlpool of pol speech now. Martin is even referring to himself in the third person!
7:15 - Hecht is asked why the Lt Gov of Georgia should be fighting national oil companies. Pretty vague answer but at least mentions biofuels.
7:17 - Give the reporter credit, he asks a follow up basically by saying you have no powers including no subpoena power so how would that work? Hecht says he will embarass them into coming or show the empty seats. It is a weird issue for a Lt Gov race.
7:19 - Hecht is asked about facing Cagle instead of Reed. Hecht actually complements both him and Martin and their experience. Either would help the ticket. But of course his platform is better. Martin accuses Hecht of running a Republican type campaign in the primary. BOOYAH! Now that was a shot!
7:20 - Martin asked about HOPE scholarship. He takes his cues from Mark Taylor. They are really ticket tying.
7:21 - Martin asked about funding for improving education. Once again, a very important question which gets vague answers. But Martin accuses Republicans of raising property taxes. That's a pretty good zinger.
7:22 - They are both asked again how they could possibly get anything done with Republicans which leads to both rolling out their campaign points. How many different ways can you ask the same question? Surely the reporters can fill up half an hour.
7:23 - Hecht asked should immigration be dealt with at a state level. Employers that break the law should be punished. But kids needing medical care should be able to get it. Martin says practically the same thing but says it really has to be at the federal level.
Not going to summarize the closing comments. Back in a moment with final thoughts.
Final Thoughts: It was a lively one. It definitely whet my appetite for the upcoming main event. It was interesting that Hecht came out attacking. He did apologize for one misquote but steadfastly defended the rest of his actions. He was definitely taking the underdog approach of attack, attack. And to a degree I think it worked. Martin seemed defensive and wonkish. He looked like an older, dyed in the wool pol while Hecht looked like the fresh voice. I give the edge in this debate to Hecht. Next tuesday? My prediction is it will be too close to call.
Now on to the main event.
In the meantime, you can preview McKinney and Johnson's take on key issues at the AJC.
NATO has taken over command of coalition forces in southern Afghanistan.
I posted that graphic to remind everyone what a true coalition looks like. A reminder of what we pissed away by opening a second front before stabilizing the first. A reminder that there was a time that we had the support of world. And it was all given away. Given away for what? Three years later and still no real answers.
And some people actually wonder that others might be outraged.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Before you get some looney idea that I am one of those "lefty" blogs that has been silent on the Mid-East crisis I will remind you it was just a few weeks ago that I seemed to be the only person in the world that cared about the invasion of Gaza and how the beast was awakening.
I will not condemn Israel for its actions up to this point. I believe that any nation has a right to defend itself and there is little doubt that Israel was being attacked by forces within southern Lebanon. It's unfortunate that these events occured at a time that the new Lebanese government was still coalescing and had no method to control the radical factions in the hinterlands.
Having said that, I now believe that Israel has sold past the close.
It has been obvious from the beginning that the utter destruction of Hezbollah was the goal. An achievement that would arguably stabilize both countries. However, if in the process of destroying that organization, Israel also destroys the country of Lebanon far worse may emerge.
Israel is very much in danger of losing whatever moral high ground it held. There should be answers for what happened in Qana. They should be definitive with no equivocation. If it was accidental, then it is a tragedy. If it was intentional, then God help us all. Moderate Muslim nations who initially cast blame for the crisis on Hezbollah are already teetering.
Israel (and the U.S. by proxy) has an opportunity here. Accept an immediate ceasefire. Stop the bombing and shelling. Allow the Lebanese army supported by a multi-national force to move into the area and create a DMZ. All of this should be conditional on Hezbollah's immediate disarmament. Nothing is accomplished if the rockets begin falling in Haifa again.
All sides must understand that a third way must be found and more importantly, the bloodshed must stop now.
UPDATE: Israel will suspend air strikes for 48 hours.
Good. Okay boys and girls of the world community. You are on the clock. Make something happen.
UPDATE II: That was brief. Israel continues airstrikes.
UPDATE III: Olmert says no to cease fire. As usual, hope in the Middle East is short lived.
Or I may not. I can be very deliberate and slow to change.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Among other questions posed to him by an Army investigator attempting to
confirm his gayness, Sgt. Bleu Copas of the 82nd Airborne Division says he was
asked if he was involved in community theater. TPMuckraker
Good thing I am way over draft age because if were to even step foot into an induction center, I would probably cause our military's medieval level gaydar to shut the whole freakin place down.
Oh, I've also seen a few Judy Garland movies, had a gay roommate and occasionally listen to Abba. Oddly, I still like girls. NTTAWWI.
I think it's time to resurrect that web chestnut of President Bush playing a little Zork.
The situation in Iraq remains unchanged.
Some insurgents arrive.
> STAY COURSE
The situation in Iraq deteriorates.
> STAY COURSE
The situation in Iraq deteriorates.
Some insurgents arrive.There is a small number of insurgents here.
> STAY COURSE
The situation in Iraq deteriorates.
> STAY COURSE
The situation in Iraq deteriorates.
Some insurgents arrive.There is a medium number of insurgents here.
> STAY COURSE
The situation in Iraq deteriorates
Picking up this book and reading it. The things I do for you people!
Actually, I've been meaning to read this for a while. What finally got me off my lazy rear was David Sirota's imminent arrival in Atlanta.
Given what I have seen of Mr. Sirota on the idiot box, I don't think I will be disappointed.
If you are in the Atlanta area, I encourage you to attend. If not, check back late next week for my take of the hootenanny.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
From an anonymous tipster at Wonkette.
He flashed his intern badge at the Capitol Club and on his out, low and
behold he saw Kathy Harris stumbling and slurring her words with a few other
unidentified members. She was not looking professional due to her intoxicated
state of mind.
Hey. We've all howled at the moon on occasion so I don't really want to beat up on Harris too much. In fact, if this is true it might make me like her more. Come down to the ATL Katherine! I'll take you to the Clermont and we can have a high time!
M-O-O-N. That's spells crazy.
It's called Rant and Rave.
From yesterday's version.
I see Mr. Perdue came to town to meet with the big money boys. What about us
working people. I guess we don’t count.
It's a totally anonymous ranting so take it for what it's worth. Still it's interesting.
As usual Matt Yglesias gets it absolutely right.
It's worth re-emphasizing that al-Qaeda, unlike Saddam Hussein, Iran, Syria,
Hezbollah, or Hamas really does seem to be hell-bent on mounting terrorist
attacks against the United States and committed to totally absurd goals like
(re-)Islamifying Spain. This is a serious problem that ought to be dealt with
instead of running around the world picking additional fights, multiplying our
enemies, and creating problems that are too big to solve.
Remember, despite the carping of the trolls, sound strategy is not appeasement, pining for the 60s, unpatriotic or anti-American. If one of you ever has the gall to say any of those things to my face, I'll show you just how pacifist a south Georgia boy can be.
Currently it stands at 156.
Shockingly, it has not surpassed the yearly high of 159. Although the GOG category is very active with the explanatory comment of "23 Gog: Events in the Middle East are moving closer to the Ezk 38 & 39 prophecy"
Not time to stand on your roof yet, but we could be getting close!
Once again, we have to ask, what hath the internet wrought?
But good for Hank.
h/t: The Moderate Voice
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
How liberal or conservative are you?
Overall: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
What kind of day would it be without a little Katherine Harris craziness?
So what does she always, ALWAYS order at Starbucks?
Triple Venti, no fat, no foam, extra hot, with pink sugar.
So I have to ask the question. What is the obsession with pink? Was she denied a barbie as a child?
Former campaign manager Ed Rollin's take on the difficulties of keeping a caffeine head satisfied.
Everything is someone else's fault," Ed Rollins, a strategist who left the
campaign in April, told
the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger earlier this month. "If there's not a Starbucks
coffee house within distance, it's someone else's fault.
Must keep Katherine happy! Must keep her juiced up on venti until November!
Courtesy of Ye Olde Muckraker
Conservative national security allies of President Bush are in revolt
against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying that she is incompetent and
has reversed the administration’s national security and foreign policy
The conservatives, who include Newt Gingrich, Richard Perle and
leading current and former members of the Pentagon and National Security
Council, have urged the president to transfer Miss Rice out of the State
Department and to an advisory role.
These jackasses have refused to support firing the incompetent Donald Rumsfeld and now they want to get rid of the one bright spot in the whole tainted administration? So Condi? How does it feel to be Colin Powell?
Republicans: Charlie Crist is leading Tom Gallagher 55 to 22.
Democrats: Jim Davis is leading Rod Smith 47 to 19.
I like Jim Davis but the Republican race is the one to watch. Gallagher has positioned himself as the true conservative and has eagerly hopped into bed with the religious right wing of the party. Although Crist also plays the "I'm a real conservative card" in reality he's moderate.
The battle for the soul of the Republican party continues and the trend seems to be away from the theocrat nutjobs. That's a good thing.
Complete poll analysis found here.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Only one problem with this solution.
You can't control crazy.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Friday, July 21, 2006
I would be disappointed except I got over being disappointed with the remaining members of that great band a long time ago.
"Remember, Islamic extremists fought the West over the course of a thousand
years to their high-water mark outside the gates of Vienna. The siege of Vienna
lasted until September 1683 — September 11, 1683 — the next day the united West
While it is true that the Battle of Vienna took place on September 12, as Matt Yglesias points out historians place the Siege of Vienna of 1529 as the highwater mark of the expansion of the Ottoman Turks.
But let's not quibble over semantics.
Shouldn't it bother people that a U.S. Senator is possibly basing policy judgments on coincidental dates nearly 400 years apart?
What next? Nostradamus?
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Is there any reason anyone goes to Iowa other than you know what?
Outside the forces of good and evil rolling towards the plains of Megiddo, the big national story of the week is Bush pulling out the veto stamp for a bill boosting spending for stem cell research. The veto is the president's nuclear option and Bush chose his first for an issue that 60% of Americans support and a bipartisan Senate passed with a 63 vote majority.
The next question is how will it play at the local level?
In the Georgia primary, we have already seen some weakening of the religious right's stranglehold on the Republican party. Now, Florida elections are starting to feel the effect.
Republican Tom Gallagher adamantly defends Bush's veto and goes on to say that if elected Governor he will also stop any efforts to fund embryonic stem cell research.
As governor, I'll fight any attempt to divert taxpayer dollars toward
embryonic stem cell research or any other practice which diminishes the worth
and human dignity of innocent life.
His opponent Charlie Crist has in the past played footsie with the religious right but once again tries to toe the moderate line. Although he refuses to give full support to the research he admits if he had been in the Senate he would have voted for the bill.
Had I been in the U.S. Senate, I probably would've tried to modify the bill
to include that kind of new technology, but I probably would have voted for
I smell a wedge issue. There are many ongoing battles for the soul of the Republican party. Stem cells could flare from brush fire to full on conflagaration. With such popular support for the research, it is only a matter of time before some stop trying to tap dance and start attempting full on body blows.
The question is who will have the courage?
h/t: Orlando Sentinel
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
So I can't resist this story.
High stakes players are suing the World Poker Tour.
A lawsuit! Has poker truly made it?
A sure sign that an edge game has made it or jumping the shark?
Now the Georgia and Florida blogs are on top. Support your local troops, you know!
The rest are next and are in alphabetical order (with one notable exception).
Don't forget Blogs on Film wayyyyyy at the bottom. Two of the best film / entertainment blogs on the net. (Don't think I'm not giving you the love, Ed and Matt. Think of it as an "and..." in the credits. Big stars have to be first or last!)
If'n you want you blog added either email me or drop a comment. I have few rules on linking so you are almost guaranteed entry on the roll.
Okay, now I'm tired. Time for some Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List.
Edited to add: I forgot two very important things.
I don't endorse the views of anyone linked in the blogroll. The only time I endorse a point of view I specfically say it in a post. I read about 125 blogs a day including all of these. I read people I agree with and people frankly I can't stand. You just have to be interesting (or weird) enough to intrigue me. Which leads me to...
Time for a plug. To manage all these blogs I use one of the best little net tools invented. Bloglines. If you read blogs and you ain't usin' it, you crazy. Create an account, download the little notifier and go to town.
There. Now I swear that's all until either later tonight or in the morning.
My main priorities are updating my blogroll, laundry and Pirates of the Caribbean.
But first some final thoughts on last night.
decaturguy at Atlanta Public Affairs has a good round up of "winners" and "losers".
I want to make a few comments on the Democrat Secretary of State race but first a bit of unfinished business.
Remember back in May when I passed through Jesup, Ga? At the time, I noticed a profound number of yard signs for a candidate named Mark Williams, a Republican candidate for Georgia House 178. According to regular reader Richard Campbell, Godwin has a history as "Christian Coalition Volunteer of the Year".
Well, last night Williams won. Another defeat for the Christian Coalition? This time in deep South Georgia? The times they are a changin or just a momentary blip in routine politics?
Now back to the Secretary of State race.
As I stated before, I believe the lion's share of talent this year was in the Democrat SOS race. When I stated this I may have fallen victim to blogger hubris. The shockingly low performances of Shyam Reddy and Scott Holcombe have left many people scratching their heads this morning.
Despite solid financing and some heavy weight endorsemetns, Reddy and Holcombe finished behind Gail Buckner, Darryl Hicks and Angela Moore.
Buckner and Hicks are not so surprising. Buckner is a seasoned local politician and Hicks showed evidence in the debates of a well-focused campaign. Moore, however, is a real puzzler. If you read my live blog report of the SOS debate, the word that comes to mind in relation to Moore is strange.
So how did Moore and to a lesser extent Hicks and Buckner upset the net-picked darlings?
I'm not sure. I am going to speculate that the top three had better get out the vote strategies. It's an area of a campaign that can be difficult, demanding and decisive in a tight race.
Whatever the reason, my hope is that Reddy and Holcombe are not too discourged. They both showed promise and could represent the future of the Democrat Party in Georgia. I predict that we will see both in the future, more seasoned and truly girded for battle.
Guess what Blackjackk? You can't vote in the runoff.
In Georgia, only those who have not voted or voted in the Democrat primary can vote in the Democrat runoff.
Ohhhhh the weirdness that will ensue.
Update: Oh the weirdness has already begun. McKinney's non-concession speech is one rambling mess of good God knows what.
It appears the national media is going to report the Reed defeat as rebuke to the corruption of Jack Abramoff and I think that's wrong.
From The Moderate Voice:
Actually, as a Georgia resident, I have a bit of a different take.
This was a bit of stand against a certain type of politics.
The Abramoff thing just didn't play that well down here. Despite what some people may think, we are not all crazy.
Even though we had some of the most hotly contested Democrat races in generations, one of my most liberal friends crossed over to cast a vote for Cagle.
The fact is that although Reed was raised and educated in Georgia, he simply hasn't been down here in years. I believe the Georgia Republican party was a little offended at Ralph seemingly descending from the mountain like Moses to take over things. We just don't like that.
I also believe there are many people on both sides who didn't want to face the potential firestorm of a Reed candidacy. Republicans do not want a controversial outsider. And Democrats, particularly like my friend, do not want to see "satan" nominated. Neither side saw it as good for the state and I think that is pretty noble.
I guess I think that although Abramoff mattered on a meta-level, most people down here really just wanted to be Marlene Dietrich.
They just want to be left alone to decide their own fate.
Update: Okay, I couldn't stand it. I edited a few things (including a terrible assumption I made that Jeff Emmanuel corrected in the comments). I'm pretty laid back in general but a little OCD about certain things. You can still follow the links to see my original comment with all its rambleness.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Throw better parties!
You are supposed to be the fun people! The we don't care how often we lose, where's the booze party!
Manuels. Alledged cerebral cortex of Atlanta Democrats, other than a drive by take out order flash of Tom Houck and few personal friends? Nothing.
It was a good time but COME ON PEOPLE!
Scott Holcomb's party at Twains?
Worse than nothing!
I know your wife is pregnant and you were getting pasted but COME ON! By 10:30 nothing on the TV by the Braves and the usual regulars I know! Nary a party person in site!
I look forward to many invitations to the behind the scene orgies in the fall election to make it up to griftdrift.
In the meantime, there were some primaries today and you should visit all the major sites to find results. In the meantime, I am drinking one more beer, going to bed and in the morning, maybe, just maybe, I will have something else to say.
Manuel's fits like an old shoe and there's certain to be activist / pols / drunk crazies to eavesdrop on.
I'll be perched on a bar stool for a few hours so if you can figure out who I am stop by and say hi. I might even give you my real name.
Excerpts from an email she sent around.
Value of "George Harris Legacy Loan" to Senate campaign: $10 million
Value of "refurbishments" to Capitol Hill residence: $100,000
Value of Handing in my Resignation Letter: Priceless
But this matter of fact summation actually tops that little snark!
"No, I do not have a job lined up,'' she wrote. "But I have my dignity and
a smidgen of the sanity I had when I came to work here."
You go girl!
h/t: St. Pete Buzz
Jim Davis, Florida candidate for Governor:
"I'm a congressman from Tampa. You can Google me and find out more about
me," he said.
Let's give it a try.
Google results for Jim Davis.
I wonder if Florida Jim Davis likes lasagna? Meow.
h/t: SPTimes Buzz
My polling place is never really busy but this was a little beyond the pale. I went at 12:30 hoping to hit the lunch crowd.
It was me and four of the elderly.
And people wonder why Social Security is the third rail of politics.
So then I went driving around looking for a few cheering supporters.
More tumbleweeds. Maybe they are waiting for the afternoon rush hour.
One scene that was just precious was a lone little boy flagging a Nan Orrock sign on Rock Springs road.
My take on primary day? We have the most interesting races in years and we will have a record low turnout. Sigh.
First an FYI for our non-Georgia readers. We are not "registered" to any party in Georgia. Instead, when we vote in a primary we simply tell the poll worker which ballot we want.
After much thought, I've decided to pull Democrat. It was sorely tempting to pull Republican just to be able to vote in the Reed-Cagle race. But the proverbial straw was the Democratic primary in my congressional district. I have to vote for Hank Johnson. Maybe it's a vote against Cynthia McKinney but so what.
I do not like Cynthia McKinney. I do not like her politics. I do not like her father. I know that shouldn't matter but it does. Mostly, I do not like the way she represents my district. I've made a lot of fun of her on this blog in the past few months but the serious matter is that she is an embarassment. The only thing anyone outside my area knows about my district is that it's represented by a crazy woman. That is something nobody wants.
End of rant. Here is how griftdrift will vote.
Governor - Cathy Cox. This is a personal vote. I don't like Mark Taylor and some of his shenanigans in south Georgia politics.
Lt. Governor - Jim Martin. This is a tough one. I was actually impressed with Greg Hecht in the debates. I think he has some solid ideas and he could have a bright future. But his harsh turn negative in the final days of the campaign made me want to vomit. I just can't in good conscious vote for him. Sorry Greg.
Secretary of State - Shyam Reddy. Oh I have soul searched over this one. From a certain perspective this race has three times the talent of the other combined. As I said before I met Shyam Reddy and that's big in my book. I like him. It really comes down to that. But I also was able to look him in the eye to search for a spark. I found it. Scott Holcomb has hugely impressed me in the final few days of the campaign and his ideas are rock solid. Also, Scott is holding his results party at one of my favorite bars. It would be a helluva lot of fun to go there and watch the first bright day in what should be a bright future in politics. But I have to stick with my initial guy. I'm going for Shyam.
State School Superintendent - Nobody. I will skip this one. As a resident of the 4th, my loathing of Denise Majette for her betrayal in 2002 will carry on for years. I'm not sure when it will end and I cannot vote for her. Her opponent would be a disaster. It's a stupid position any way and should be abolished.
I think that covers all the big ones. On most of the others, I will be following griftdrift's first rule of politics: if the incumbent hasn't screwed up, they deserve the benefit. That sounds goofy but my logic is that in most cases if the incumbent is doing an adequate job then they are staying out of the news. If I haven't heard anything about them recently they are doing their job. Given all things being equal, I'll vote for an incumbent over a challenger about which I have absolutely no clue.
So I am off! I'm going to drive around a bit and see what I can see of campaign workers in Dekalb and Fulton counties. Back later with pictures and a poll report!
Monday, July 17, 2006
I guess everyone's waiting for tomorrow.
But I reaffirmed something I already knew.
WE HAVE TO GET SOME OF THESE DAMNED CARS OFF THE STREETS!
In the meantime, for an amusing campaign story check the comment on my last thread.
We have an incumbent Republican governor for the first time in 150 years which has led to a "competitive" Democrat primary.
The Republican Lt. Governor race features Time cover boy Ralph Reed. Due to the foul taint of Jack Abramoff even the national media is watching this one.
The Democrat Lt. Governor features two solid party guys who suddenly decided to take the gloves off and dabble in nasty fliers and even nastier phone campaigns
Both Secretary of State races feature rising party stars.
Oh and don't forget cell phone wielding Cynthia McKinney is up for re-election.
Whew. And y'all say the heat makes us crazy down here? You might be right.
Yesterday, every statewide race featured debates. You can read my thoughts on a couple below. Also here's a round up of impressions from other parts of the Georgia blogosphere.
Rusty and Amber at Radical Georgia Moderate and Being Amber Rhea actually sat through three of the debates live.
Progressive site Blog For Democracy has updates on the alledged phone shenanigans of Democract Lt. Governor candidate Greg Hecht.
Decaturguy at Atlanta Public Affairs has his predictions and I have to say I agree with most.
Liberal Lucidity, an admitted Cox supporter, has thoughts on Mark Taylor's body language.
Aging Hipster has his picks in.
Andre has his picks in and wants to hear yous.Peach Pundit is getting stuff from all over.
I'm sure there will be more later as the campaigns take to the streets in the final 48 hours. Stay tuned.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
There are six, COUNT'EM SIX, candidates!
UPDATE I: The candidates are now asking each other questions. Hats off to the moderator for keeping the charlie foxtrot straight! Gail Buckner goes after Walter Ray who goes after Shyam Reddy.
UPDATE II: Scott Holcomb goes after Darryl Hicks about his history of a lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light or was it Georgia Power. This is all very confusing. Hicks pivoted nicely to say that he has the ability to relate to business. Hicks and Holcomb went back and forth for several times. It's near chaos! Poor moderator.
Now Reddy is going after Hicks. First Holcomb now Reddy. Is Hicks the front runner and I don't know it?
UPDATE III: I have to say Hicks is taking the questions very well. He's very eloquent. Now here goes Angela Moore after Gail Buckner. They are talking about individual house bills they both supported. A dentist could use this instead of novacaine.
UPDATE IV: Okay, this is boring. After watching the nasty catfight that was Cagle - Reed, I'm not sure I can sustain mysef through this. Now here we go! Hicks just accused Ray of privately telling friends that Hicks is the best candidate. I have to say at this point Hicks is looking the most positive. Reddy needs to get a little livelier.
UPDATE V: Now the journalist are asking questions. First one is about voting paper trails. I'm going to bet they are all for it.
Reddy not only wants a paper trail but wants random sampling that could cause a manual recount. It sounds a bit byzantine and over the top.
Ray is for a paper trail. Shocking. At least he brought up that we are going to have to pay for it somehow.
Moore started with some bizarre answer about how she would steal an election. She wants to have an 800 number so you can call and verify that your vote is counted. That sounds even more bizarre than Reddy's double count system. Good lord how consultants would abuse that 800 number for exit polling data!
Holcomb is for paper trails. Shocking! He is for simple receipts that become the official ballot but he threw in once again his service overseas.
Hicks start right off with his business experience in auditing. Hicks wants the vendor to open up the machine and show the safeguards. Now we're talking! Open source, baby! He also wants a paper trail. Shocking!
Buckner is for a paper trail. Shocking! She's going to research and audit these machines from top to bottom. Here answer is a little bizarre ala the Ted Stevens the internet is tubes stuff.
UPDATE VI: Now voter ID. Yeehaw!
Buckner informs us that the law is on hold because of the courts. DUH! She does roll out her record against voting against both ID laws because she believes its an unfair poll tax.
Hicks thinks it's a bad bill because it disenfranchises. But if the law is passed he would enforce it. At least he understands how the job works.
Holcomb believes in common sense and protection of rights and this law fails on both. He brings up the absentee ballot issue which he believes is the real source of fraud. He wants to get people more involved not set up barriers to voting. Good answer.
Moore brings up she is native of D.C. and knows what it's like to be disenfrachised. Okay, she's a little weird. But of course that makes me like her more. Touting your not a native Georgian is probably not a wise move. She would follow the law but wants it to be fair for everyone. Wow that was pretty weird.
Ray thinks its a bad deal. His mother-in-law is 96 and has no driver's license. He does roll out that over 600k people don't have IDs. He wants to beat them at the polls. Okay, the middle of the panel is pretty out there.
Reddy points out that over 200k would be affected. He and Ray have different number I suppose. Brings up that he was an attorney that helped get the injunction. There should be a better way. Proactively issue ID cards. Better answer but he needs to be more personnable dammit!
UPDATE VII: Individual questions.
Moore is asked if she supports bringing casino gambling. She's against it.
Holcomb asked about ID theft. He's against it. Just kidding. He wants to educate the public. Which is what the Sec of State does. So that's a pretty good answer. His wife is a victim and he knows how it is. Not bad.
Reddy is asked about Sec of State being appointed instead of elected. Ray jumped into answer! He thought they were asking him. HAHAHAHA! He said Ray and Reddy are pretty similar. Anyway, Reddy came back that he thinks the people should have a say but he could see a possibility of a commission overseeing elections. That's interesting. And he seems more engaged. I think Ray's gaff may have woke him up.
Ray is asked about contactor licensing. He would work through the contractor associations. The rest is pretty boring. I just caught a shot of Reddy and he looks like he's still giggling over Ray's Oprah / Uma moment.
Moore supports bringing boxing to Georgia? She wants boxing but not gambling? Welcome to bizzaroland. Sec of State runs the boxing commission? Didn't know that. She believes this will bring in revenue quickly. I say lets get ready to rumble!
Holcomb is asked about his military service. Oh boy is that a softball! Holcombs big bit is his status as a veteran. He brings up his service in Bosnia and how that makes him want to make sure things are fair here. He's going over his whole service record and leadership. My god could he have gotten a better question!!
Buckner is asked about saving state records. Sec of State is the state historian? I'm learning all kinds of stuff! She brings up a fire that happened in the early 1900s. Didn't know that either! She's going to look for ways to duplicate records all over the state. Well I suppose that's a pretty good plan.
Hicks is asked about growth vs regulation. This is Hicks version of Holcombs question! He's running as someone who can work with business! He wants to help small businesses by offering training programs. Technology and customer service will help.
Ray is asked how you could get anything accomplished with the other party controlling the legislature. Another softball! Ray was president pro tem! He's a bridge builder and is respected by both parties. Now he's touting his legislative service like Holcomb did with his military service. Who's writing these questions? The campaigns?
Reddy is asked about illegal immigration. His primary charge is to promote economic growth. He wants to help people in rural Georgia to start business. If the legislature passes immigration laws he will enforce them but then pivots right back into encouraging new business. A bit of a stumble there.
Hicks is asked about incentives for small businesses. I swear it's the campaign managers are writing these questions! He wouldn't alienate large businesses while growing small businesses. Can someone please ask this guy about microloans? His grandfather owned a farm and he understands that a business is personal.
Holcomb is asked about his work as a securities lawyer. This is basically a repeat on identity theft question. Educate the public blah blah blah. But he is the only former prosecutor and he will pursue justice.
Moore is asked about internet access to the government. It's full of tubes! Okay she didn't say that but she believes the internet information is valuable for businesses. Especially in rural offices where people can't get to main offices. Click and pay remotely via pre-form. Not a bad answer.
Reddy is asked about experience forming coalitions. As an attorney he helped people grow their business and investors where to put their money. Huh? He brings up the Red Clay Democrats that he helped form which he should have said from the get go. He's trying to cover too much in a one minute answer. He'll build bridges.
Buckner is asked if we should have a history museum. She's asked a second history question? I swear I am not making this up. This gives her a chance to brag about her role in getting a new state archives. Which was a good thing. Who is this Capital Impact guy? His questions suck.
Holcomb is asked about negative campaigning. He believes people should run on their strength. He commends all the candidates in this race. Just wait until the runoff. I guarantee some negatives.
I'm not going to summarize the closings. Back in a moment with some final thoughts.
UPDATE VIII: Okay that was kind of fun. I've never done live blogging before. But don't expect me to do it for whatever is coming on next. It's pretty intense.
Clearly the best performance here was Darryl Hicks. He was personable and comfortable. He stayed focused on what the job of the Sec of State is and how his experience would make him a good manager. And that's really what the Sec of State is. A manager.
Scott Holcomb did pretty well too. He got his military service in at every opportunity.
Shyam Reddy I am sorry to say did not do well at all. He seemed very uncomfortable. Maybe it was the format. Maybe it was being on TV. It's surprsing because in person Shyam is really a nice and personable guy. If he makes the runoff, his staff better have him better prepared next time.
That's all for now. I'm going soak my fingers in Palmolive.
I noticed something odd. Cagle's lectern is noticeably lighter than Reed's. Subtle symbolism or does Reed just attract the dark side?
UPDATE: Moderator John Pruitt asked Reed a very good question. How can you be against casino gambling and a strong supporter of the HOPE scholarship which is funded with a lottery. Reed dodged all over the place but he did say that its a settled issue that the Georgia voters have voted and that's that. Cagle hit back pretty hard mentioning Jack Abramoff and Reed's work to kill the Alabama lottery. Oh how the times have changed. Anyone remember how the "values" candidates fought the lottery tooth and nail?
UPDATE II: During the portion where candidates question each other Cagle went straight for the jugular with an Abramoff question. You should see the look in Cagle's eyes. These two guys REALLY don't like each other. This is nasty!
UPDATE III: It just finished. Due to a green-white-checker at Loudon I only saw about half of it. Typical debate where everyone already knows the issues and the candidates don't throw too many surprises. It was particularly tense and it's pretty obvious this campaign has taken its toll. Overall I doubt it changes many minds. Still this is probably the race to watch Tuesday night.
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It's 100% true. I've nearly wrecked a dozen times because of #8.
(Paraphrased)We should have learned from September 11th that we cannot use
appeasement when dealing with extremist.
Can someone point out to me these people that post-9/11 talked of appeasement with al-Qaeda? Other than some extreme loons you can't find any because there were none.
Revisionist history is such a wonderful thing. Let's look back at what really happened.
After 9/11, we engaged the Taliban and al-Qaeda in their home base of Afghanistan. We did this with the support of the entire world. The entire world. Including most Arab nations.
Then, the Bush administration made the conscious choice to open a second front in this war, against a nation that has been shown as no threat and against the warnings of regional experts that we could possibly kick the hornet's nest.
This move made many reasonable people say, "what the hell"?
Common sense, reasonable foreign policy and sound military strategy are not appeasement.
Appease terrorists? Before Rice and her boss cavalierly tossed away arguably the most powerful moral position the U.S. has ever had we had an opportunity to destroy terrorists.
Never let them forget this fact. It was their choice to throw that away. They had one golden shining moment where the world was united with us to stamp out this monstrosity called terrorism and they chose to throw it away.
And they have the unmitigated gall to call anyone who disagrees with their little misadventures appeasers?
I have been disgusted many times over the past four years but right now I just threw up a bit in my mouth.
On Meet The Press this morning, Newt Gingrich pounded the point that we are in a global conflict and went so far as to call it World War III.
Of course, idiots such as Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly have been calling this WWIII for a long time. It's significant that a Republican leader is now using the same phrase.
The right wing rule for discussing the current situation is as follows: Comparisons to World War II good. Comparisons to Vietnam bad.
My belief is this is all very politically calculated and to figure it out you just have to go back to President Bush's statement of you're either "with us or agin us".
More later if I can get my brain up and running.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Dekalb developer Charles Buckley was nabbed tearing down commission candidate Don Broussard's yard signs. He was apprehended by a team of.....pre-teens.
Full story at the AJC.
I was intrigued by Clark in 2004 but it became apparent early that he was unprepared for the knock down drag out nature of a Democrat primary race. I have a feeling this time around he will be well seasoned and hard to knock down.
Friday, July 14, 2006
I replied, "Unless something blows up, I think the markets stabilized. The price of oil has probably topped out. The only way we lose is if it starts creeping back up. I think we should leave it where it is and we'll be all right."
Crude oil rises above $78 per barrel.
Dow loses 400 in three days.
Free investment advice is now available from griftdrift is an idiot, inc.
Besides. It's the weekend before the primary. God knows what craziness I might miss if I left town.
She alledgedly phoned high dollar Republican donors to insinuate that potential primary opponent Joe Scarborough had a role in the death of one of his interns.
Seriously, I'm thinking about avoiding Florida for a while.
This time the politician did a good thing!
The mayor of Newark chased down a would be robber.
Good for him. I've been to Newark and other than Gary, Indiana, it is hell on earth. Symbolism is important and Mayor Booker's instinctual foot chase while screaming "these days are over" shows that just maybe there is a politician out there who values action.
My first endorsements ever.
I am going to implement two rules for my endorsements. Either I have to have met the person or someone who I trust must pass along critical and hopefully dirty information. The more filled with dread and loathing, the more strong the endorsement. So let the games begin.
Secretary of State (D)- Shyam Reddy. The only politician this season that I have met. He seems capable and competent and that's good enough for me. Vote for Reddy.
Governor (D) - Cathy Cox. I really have wanted to support Cathy Cox all along but lately she has done nothing but piss me off. However, whispered tales of Mark Taylor's Jabba the Hutt like ways in South Georgia politics have convinced me that given little choice, Cox is the only choice. And that's all I got to say about that.
Lieutenant Governor (R) - Casey Cagle. And I will already break my rules. I have not met Cagle and I don't know anything personal on Reed. But Reed is the devil and that's good enough. Vote Cagle to keep Georgia from a thousand years of tribulation.
As far as the rest? Throw a dart to make your picks. No, that might break the fancy new voting machines. Close your eyes and just start punching buttons. For the rest of the statewide races mostly leave me meh.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Campaign spokesperson, manager and field director are leaving the campaign.
At this point, I am tempted to send in a resume.
He was an affable young man and we had a pleasant conversation for about 20 minutes. But I know how these things work. I'll be happy if I get a single quote. We'll see when he publishes.
Under the Ochlocknee Bay bridge. We sat here for a couple of hours and drank a few beers. It's also the site of my only catch. No I didn't take a picture. Just google minnow and you will find something similar.
That's it for the trip. Now back to politics.
How about that!
It's not me. That's my cousin Matt Eusner who caught an Alabama state record yellowfin tuna. He was fishing just south of New Orleans. Good old griftdrift was fishing in Panacea, Fl and caught exactly one fish that was less than 10 inches long. So instead of my woe, I give you my cousin and his glory. You can read his story here. For the moment, I hate him. I'm sure it won't last.
So I spent two days fishing in the gulf, drinking a ton of beer and meeting some interesting people. My favorite was the guy unloading an airboat. Being a former guide, he offered plenty of advice on where to catch fish. Given our results, I wouldn't bet my life on him. He is apparently more successful at another type of fishing. As he put it, he was "going up river to see a gal. He would come back smelling like fish but wasn't bringing any back".
Now, I'm back in the ATL preparing for a fast burn up to D.C. for the weekend. Got a few pictures of the trip that I will post shortly.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I watched "No Direction Home" on PBS last night. It's a lovely documentary and I highly recommend it.
The most striking segment was Dylan's electric performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. I had seen clips before but never of this length. Given the narrative up to that point of Dylan as the heir to Woody Guthrie, the sight of him backed by a full blues bland was shocking. It gave me some momentary empathy for those that booed him that night. It was so far removed from anything that was expected.
But that was Dylan.
As I listened to "Maggie's Farm" and "Like A Rolling Stone" it really struck me. A man singing complex folk-style lyrics over a blues backbeat. Revolutionary. Just a few years earlier, the Beatles had shook the world. They would again just a few years later with the seminal Sgt. Pepper's. But now I truly believe the most important moment in rock and roll was when Dylan strode on to that stage with a Fender stratocaster around his neck.
Now, the same brother has bought a new t.v. It's a fancy, flat screen LCD model. He was very proud as he showed me his new toy. Then, a look came over his face. He told me that he bought a new DVD to see how it would look.
"I just wanted to watch a movie", he said. "I saw commercials for it and I knew it was a romance but it was a cowboy movie and I figured that it would have great scenery. I thought it would be perfect for my new high tech t.v.".
As I realized what he was about to tell me, I began cackling.
He had bought Brokeback Mountain.
His review? It was a good movie, but a little slow. He didn't mind the "scenes" so much but they did make him twitch a bit.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I'm a headed south! Which means tomorrow is......library blog day!
Until then, make sure you check the blog roll. I've added one new blog. Can you find it?
Also, have a listen to Carp Circles Radio. It plays 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Over 20 hours of eclectic muzak!
Time to roll!
But for now, I'll just let ol' Jim speak for himself on difference between masculine and feminist politics.
Have at him feminists!
P.S. I really want some of what he's smoking.
In the meantime, looking ahead to November, I present you with the Libertarian candidates in Georgia.
Due to the some of the most restrictive qualifying laws in the nation, if you aren't a Dem or a Pub in Georgia you just about ain't getting on the the ballot. Under these draconian conditions, the Georgia Lib party do an admirable job qualifying folks. They are like the little engine that could and are worth a look.
If nothing else, everyone should have plenty of options.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in
the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?
Because it got
tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially….
They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And
again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a
It’s a series of tubes.
Via blah blah blah. Hell, if you can't find all the sites that are quoting this nonsense, your internet tubes are probably clogged.
Shuttle Discovery Has Cracks In External Fuel Tank