Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Can't Shut Up Disease

Why I will never vote for Joe Biden; an iron clad rule to never vote for someone so stupid they cannot avoid contracting Can't Shut Up Disease.
I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," he said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."

Shut up. Just shut up.

God Bless Little Old Southern Ladies

If you are having a bad day, you should go watch this.
"I love Jesus, but I drink a little."

I wonder how many people here in the southland are wondering if this is a long lost relation.

Townships In Georgia?

If you listened to the January Georgia Political Podcast, you heard me mention Neighborhood Improvement Districts, sometimes referred to as Business Improvement Districts. NIDs allow unincorporated areas to avoid the onerous task of incorporating, but, through contracts with private entities, control services such water and sewer. In a metro area such as Atlanta, racked with separatists movements and bitter fights over resources and revenue, returning some control to local areas without permanently balkanizing an already divided region is a Gordion's Knot few polticians are willing to ponder.

Senator David Adelman from Decatur has more courage than most. He is not willing to implement something as radical as NIDs but he has submitted legislation to allow the creation of Townships. These entities would allow unincorporated areas to control land use and zoning. It is a small step but an encouraging one. More encouraging is the attitude of Sen. Dan Weber, a member from across the aisle who just happens to represent one of the separatists areas.

[He] has been pushing Dunwoody incorporation for several years. He said this week that the community might have chosen to become a township had the option been available two years ago...."We do need a reasonable middle step," Weber said.
Last Thursday, I wondered if there were any true leaders left in Atlanta. Looks like Decatur has had one all along.

h/t: Doug

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Justice Off The Rails

I normally avoid individual tales of woe as too many people will conflate these incidents to indictments of whole systems. However, this one is the ridiculous exception.

A 21 year old Tampa woman was alledgedly raped during Gaspirilla. When she finally found a police officer, he ran a routine check and discovered the woman had outstanding warrants. Instead of continuing to the crime scene to further the investigation, the woman was cuffed and immediately taken to jail. Although the woman had received an examination by a nurse at a clinic, she was never taken to the hospital for a proper medical evaluation. While in jail, a guard with "religious" objections alledgedly refused the required second dose of the "morning after pill".

The young woman claims she believed the warrants had been satisfied. A convenient excuse? Well, I personally know someone who was carted off to jail following a routine traffic stop. His crime was idiotically forgetting to pay a parking ticket. It happens.

However, there is no excuse for the further traumatizing of this woman over some unpaid fines. There had better be an investigation. Are you listening Tampa? We will be watching.

UPDATE: Tampa officials have apologized. Good first step. But only the first.

UPDATE II: Tampa's Weekly Planet (for you Atlanta folks, it's their version of Creative Loafing) blog Blurbex has a further update. Tampa's police Stephen Hogue has updated policy to require in the case of assault a shift commander weigh all circumstances involving the assault before exercising action on any outstanding warrants. He has also initiated an investigation into the allegation the young woman was denied the morning after pill while in jail. Swift action. Good job Chief Hogue.

Inside Bobby Franklin's Head

Can I get an e-ticket for a ride through the cranial convultions of Rep. Bobby Franklin brain? Earlier this month, he held a good ol' fashioned tent revival in the guise of a public hearing for his heinous House Bill 1. Now, with House Bill 6, he wants to insure the gummint can't take away our guns during a declared emergency.

...the bill which is aimed at preventing law enforcement from seizing your firearm during a declared state emergency. It would also prevent the state from imposing new regulations regarding the ownership or sale of firearms just because of a declared emergency. Basically, whatever rights you have when an emergency doesn't exist, can't be taken away just because there is an emergency.
I imagine somewhere in the dark recesses of Rep. Franklin's brain, in between synapse flashes of images of dead babies, resides a thought that some time in the near future during an apocolypse, we will be forced to raise arms against some totalitarian government.

I guess it's not really such a bad bill. No one wants some insane, out of control government suddenly declaring an emergency and scooping up all the guns. But logic necessitates my pointing out to Rep. Franklin that in such a situation with such a government, I doubt they will care very much about the niceties of law.

Monday, January 29, 2007

An Impeccable Sense Of Timing

Georgia Rep. Barry Fleming wants to eliminate the requirement for unanimous jury agreement on the death penalty.

Given that we are less than one week from a man's release after being held 22 years for a rape he did not commit, is this really the time to start dicking around with the surety of the one punishment where there is no opportunity for a do-over?

Oooooooo I'm Scared!

Guess I shouldn't hold my breath waiting on that state House press credential.

Then, [Speaker Richardson] added, "if I have any more incidents of coming on the floor of the House (and) asking members if they want to speak ... (and) if they don't, then reporting they are avoiding you, I will revoke your credentials to come on the floor of the House."

Ya know Speaker Richardson, there used to be an old saying. Don't pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel. Well, why don't we modify the old saw just a bit. Y'all probably don't won't to pick fights with people that get bytes by the mega.

I bet I'm not the only thinking this way.

h/t: Amy

A Question For Saxby Chambliss

Georgia Senator and fellow Moultrian Saxby Chambliss is in Switzerland rubbing elbows with the intelligentsia and talking about global warming. He is one of the those I spoke of who will question the potential armageddon as cyclical going so far as to say it may be "nature taking its course".

I have a question for Senator Chambliss.

Senator, you have shown remarkable flexibility on immigration issues. This open-mindedness is certainly understandable given the reality of undocumented aliens being vital to agri-business in our state. Given your willingness to buck your own party on this issue, I am curious why you are not also willing to at least entertain discussion on global warming given the possibility its effects on the world economy could ruin south Georgia farming for generations?

We Won't Be Here

Did you know it's possible at one time the Earth was a giant snowball? The hypothesis is still in the early stages and the evidence is far from clear, but the "snowball Earth' theory is gaining some traction. One of the most common attacks on global warming is fluctuations in the global mean temperature are cyclical. It is an effective attack because as with most effective attacks it contains a kernal of truth. For example, in the past the state of Florida has fluctuated from a climate equivalent to New Hampshire to being underwater. Snowball earth is the most radical scenario of global temperature fluctuation. It presents an Earth grown so cold that the oceans freeze over. If he had been alive a Hans Brinker character could have skated from Holland to New York.

We should have no fear of anything as radical as snowball Earth in the near future but a report being released on friday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should startle us nonetheless. It predicts a rise in ocean levels from 5 to 23 inches by 2100. Earlier published journals have the oceans rising up to five feet. Not even skeptics at the conference doubt there will be some rise in the waters, the only question is by how much and what damage will be caused. It should be noted even the most hard core skeptics, those who do not subscribe to doomsday scenarios, accept these unavoidable conclusions are the result of man's interaction with his environment.

But then again maybe its all cyclical. Opponents will certainly run this canard out again. And how should one answer these doubters? A simple two word answer will suffice. So what. So what if it's cyclical? The fact is it is happening and there will be consequences. We may not yet know the extent of these consequences but they might range from economies turned topsy turvy due to changes in agri-business to entire population centers being displaced due to flooding to the end of life as we know it.

It reminds me of a comment I heard long ago. Someone said, "the end of the world is coming". Someone else replied, "no, the world will be fine, we just won't be here". Our tiny little mudball will continue to spin around our rather mediocre star for a few billion more years whether we are scurrying around or not. We are the first species in a line of millions of already extinct species who have some ability to preserve ourselves from the vagaries of catastophic planetary change. What a cosmic laughing stock we will be if we don't embrace that opportunity.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Is It All Just An Act?

It's all just an act. This defense is the usual suspect when a talk radio host goes down some dark path and utters something completely bat sh*t crazy. For some I am sure it is true but for others my feeling is not likely, bubba. On ABC News This Week, Torrie Clark confirms my suspicions:
In the fall of 2004, I had not one, not two, several conservative radio talk show hosts off the air say to me, you know we're going to be okay with McCain this fall because he's being good to the President and on Iraq, but don't let him think we've forgotten and he's not one of us.

So John? How's all that right-wing mollycoddling going?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ticket To Ride: The Georgia DPG Elections

Before the circus began, I commented to an acquaintance that I had to give Democrats credit in one area. They are nothing if not heavily into symbolism, even when it's self-deprecating.

After receiving an appreciation gift which looked like a paperweight, outgoing Chairman Bobby Kahn then received two plane tickets. Mr. Kahn was gracious enough to finish the joke by asking "is it true one of them's one way".

The hall was SRO and I heard someone comment it was the highest turnout in years. This may have presented a problem for Michael Thurmond and Doug Stoner. The two vertically challenged politicians stood near the rear and were asked by a bystander if there was a height requirement for the Vice Chair's race.

I would go into the gory details of what happened during the next three hours but I just stopped the bleeding in my eyes and I don't want to relapse. Suffer it to say the procedure is a candidate is nominated and then there's a speech and then there's another speech and then there's another speech. Then they get to move to the next candidate. Wash, rinse, repeat. Through five candidates. As we approached the end I asked Jon Flack, " JESUS GAWD PLEASE TELL ME THEY DON'T GET TO TALK BETWEEN EVERY BALLOT!'

Voting took four rounds with a Survivor-style elimination of the lowest vote getter. First, Carol Jackson bit the dust. Then freakishly rambunctious Reverend Jim Nelson. Finally, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin's number one gal Hattie Dorsey was eliminated leaving the two horses everyone came to see.

Every vote between Jane Kidd and Mike Berlon was close but with each successive ballot Kidd pulled closer and finally led. In the end, I believe Berlon suffered a gender double whammy. A source told me it was the belief the Dorsey bloc wanted a woman chair. Also the weird bylaws require the chair and the first vice-chair to be different gender. With two strong male candidates in the first vice-chair race, Berlon may have been doomed before the final ballot was cast.

Final Vote: Kidd - 138, Berlon 101

So, congratulations Jane Kidd. Now how about working on some bylaws requiring these things to either have shorter time limits or an open bar. And to those of you who provided a tail gate version of the latter, many thanks.

P.S. I really want to be Jim Galloway when I grow up. My envy grew three times in one day as people kept coming up to him and whispering in his ear. Oh the tales he must hear.

Into A Bag Of Wet Cats

I'm going to watch the Democratic Party of Georgia elections. Pray for me.

Why We Do Good Things

I went to a gathering of drunks and a science discussion broke out.

You may not believe it but when my usual gaggle of rednecks, hillbillies and ne'er do wells gather the talk frequently turns to current events, politics and even occasionally science. Recently I brought up a personal favorite topic, evolution. I was grilled on the usual difficult questions. How does evolution explain such very human needs as altruism, love and generosity? I did my best to answer, secretly knowing that certain scientists were working on the answers I didn't have. Well, now maybe they do.

"Perhaps altruism did not grow out of a warm-glow feeling of doing good for others, but out of the simple recognition that the thing over there is a person that has intentions and goals. And therefore, I might want to treat them like I might want them to treat myself," explained study author Scott Huettel, an associate professor of psychology at Duke University Medical Center, in Durham, N.C.

The beauty of science is it doesn't destroy mystery. It enhances it.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Milton County Update

Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson indicates the formation of Milton County will probably not make it out of the legislature this year. The creation of a new county would require a constitutional amendment moving the cap on the number of counties from 159 to 160 (yes, non-Georgia readers you read that right, 159 counties) or have two other counties merge to create room under the cap. Either method would require a 2/3 majority in both houses to create the new county and Richardson says that just ain't happening.

So guess what children? We get to roll around in this mess same time next year. Sandy Springs gnawed its bone for 25 years and finally succeeded. There's no reason to think the Miltonites won't do the same.

There's Always A Silver Lining

On the heels of a rumor that a Georgia Republican legislator is proposing a New York City-style ban on transfats right here in the heart of fried chicken and fat back country comes a report out of Durham, NC that scientists have created caffeinated donuts.

Let the market rule baby!

Wing Nut Conspiracy Land

Oh and you thought I was pissed yesterday.

There's yet another story floating around the sphere purporting more evidence of President Carter's anti-semitism.

Former Holocaust Museum Council member Monroe Freedman alledges thirty years ago President Carter complained there were "too many Jews" on the council. He also claims Carter rejected a potential board member because his name sounds too "jewish".

Oh, how the smell of blood seems to refresh memories.

I don't know if the allegations are true or not, but I would ask when someone relays them to you that you consider the source. Freedman's statements came in an "exclusive" interview with World Net Daily.

Not familiar with World Net Daily? Well, for those of you who do not take a dip in that fetid pool on a regular basis, let me present you with a few examples of their fine journalism.

Last week, WND "reported" an exclusive interview with an Air Force officer who reported seeing UFOs in Arkansas. It took only a few days for the Air Force to explain to the soft headed children the "lights" were caused by fairly standard parachute flares being used in a training exercise. For good measure, the original article was accompanied by an advertisement for a book that discusses the possibility of UFOs being demons sent by Satan.

Other "news" World Net Daily has covered in the past?

  • Despite reports from the FAA and the Department of Defense, WND continues to put forth "evidence" TWA 800 was shot down by a terrorist missle. Once again followed by an ad for some whack-job conspiracy theorist.

  • An alledged "super highway" from Mexico to the U.S. created under the auspices of NAFTA. Followed by an ad for their own newsletter containing articles on a conspiracy in the highest levels of government to create a North American Union with Canada and Mexico

  • Multiple attacks on Evolution usually single sourced to a creationist minister such as Ken Ham, usually followed by an ad for a book on James Ussher, the 17th century Bishop who claimed to have sussed out the exact time the world was created.

But let's talk a little more about this Jerusalem Bureau, the one who uncovered Carter's alledged comments. In one week, its star "reporter" Aaron Klein had the Israeli government secretly handing over the West Bank first to Mahmoud Abbas and then to a European task force.

World Net Daily's motto should be "All News Fit To Make Our Subscribers Froth At The Mouth".

The internet is a wonderful thing. But sometimes, it's still just the internet.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

In Which I Hate On Everyone

I have a terrible temper. I was talking with a friend about it just the other day. She also has a terrible temper. We both laughed as we discussed having to consciously control our urges to fly off the handle. The one thing we didn't talk about is the slow burn. You sort of snicker at a comment. Then you think about it later. Pretty soon the thought consumes all others. You only suffer the final blow up if the situation which lit the fuse continues.

When the Milton County / Vincent Fort kerfluffle began, I approached it with cold logic attempting to bypass the racial rhetoric and address what I believe to be the actual problem. I didn't know at the time but the fuse was lit. Now I'm madder than a baby with a loaded diaper. I pretty much want to drag all the combatants into a room and give everyone a swift kick in the ass.

So here we go...

To the Atlanta Legislative Caucus, Fulton County Commission, Atlanta City Council, etal:

Do you ever step back and ask yourself if what you are doing is actually serving the people? I would love to ask about serving the region, but hell let's start with the small steps. It is your history of not even showing a willingness to come to the table that led to the formation of the city of Sandy Springs. We now all reap the fruit from that poison tree. Your mule headed intransigence has led every separatists group in the metro area to believe brinksmanship is the only tactic in discussing resources and revenue issues. Constituents questioning your wisdom on appropriating their tax dollars is not inherently racist. Even when the constituent is, God forbid, white. Blood on the walls? A chairman's race that could throw us back to the dark ages of fire hoses and police dogs? There is a proud history of leadership in this city, this county, this region. Somehow that leadership has lost its way in the past ten years. The current leaders better find that way again or someone will come along and show them the way out the door.

To North Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and all the other enclaves outside downtown:

Your whine is showing with your cheese. You bitch about lack of services and high taxes. Well, I have visited your shangra-la of the ways thing should be. What I didn't see were houses burning to the foundation because all the fire trucks are in south Fulton. What I didn't see was little old ladies dying in the gutter because all the defibrillators are in south Fulton. What I did see were plenty of sidewalks and fairly good roads (adding more lanes as we speak). What I did see was uncontrolled sprawl with strip malls where every the last tree sprouts. What I did see were new cities, these havens of good service, immediately deciding to waste money on trying to shut down porn kings and forcing businesses in good standing to reapply for licenses via new onerous bureaucratic processes.

It is your history, stretching from Cobb County's proposal to require residence identification before boarding the county transit system to Gwinnett County's stupid refusal to allow MARTA access while the DOT continues to slap down new lanes on I-85, that contributes to the black eyes you are now suffering. You want to enjoy all the benefits of Atlanta, from Grady's trauma center where your 16 year old is treated after wrapping the new SUV around a tree to Chastain where you can chatter your way through quiet acoustic melodies, but God knows don't actually associate yourself with being Atlanta. The only people in this world who still believe you can have all the chocolate without the bellyache are three year olds. Grow up.

To the national media, blogs, etal:

You don't know us. You think you do but you don't. Here's some things to help you. While adults were throwing rocks at children in Boston, Atlanta and surrounding counties were quietly using busing and minority to majority programs to peacefully integrate schools. While African-Americans in such citadels of enlightenment as Detroit continue to try to push a single toe into the pool of economic growth, Atlanta has one of the fastest growing African-American middle classes in the country. Yet, you will take the easy way out by painting us as a bunch of gun-totin', Confederate flag wavin', banjo pickin' stump jumpers who probably need another good burning by General Sherman. My grandma had a saying. Sweep around your own stoop before spitting snuff on someone else's. Well y'all out there in the "cultured" part of the world just keep on with your preaching. My stoop is swept and my mouth is full of chaw.

2007 and we still have to go through this crap. Shame on us all.

Begala On Changing Communications

Bernaise Source has an excellent interview with Paul Begala. Go read it.

Bloggers on both the left and right bedevil corporate media, and I couldn't be happier about it (even though, as a mainstream media pundit at CNN, I get my share of grief from both the left and the right). They keep us honest. You have to have a thick kin, but why should media be immune from the same sort of scrutiny we give politicians?


We Made The Blogs, Mabel!

Well, it's gone beyond the "local" blogs.

Get ready for the whole Milton County separation movement to be the national blog "cause celebre" tomorrow.

You can read my thoughts in the comments here.

It's telling that our state only makes the internet buzz on good ol' fashioned racial issues. Whether they are ginned up or actual, maybe all of us, both sides, should learn something, step up and do something about it.

P.S. Some of you big fish bloggin internets folk could give credit where credit is due. Some of us overall wearin, banjo pickin yokels have been talkin about this for some time. Don't doubt the power of all us bowin' up (that's a southern term, worth lookin up) as one voice when outsiders come lookin' in.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Quote Of The Day

From Shakespeares Sister on President Bush commenting on how "the best health care decisions are made not by government and insurance companies, but by patients and their doctors".

Unless, of course, you have a vagina


Should We Elect Judges?

The founders of our country are deservedly treated with near universal reverence. Which makes their disdain for the will of the people curious. Perhaps they were a product of the time, trusting reason over passion. Perhaps they could not completely excise their legacy of English gentry who believed they simply knew better. Impetus and motivation can only be gleaned from the documents left behind but ultimately the truth is relegated to the past. However, the undeniable fact is they did not trust us. At least not completely.

Although the Constitution of the United States grants more power directly to the individual than any document in history, closer examination reveals numerous safeguards against the so-called "tyranny of the masses". Layer upon layer of checks and balances prevent the passion of the moment from eliminating the possibility of sober reflection.

For this reason, the Founders placed the more deliberative wings of government increasingly further from the direct will of the people. The House of Representives is elected directly by the populace. The Senate, until ratification of 17th Amendment, is elected or appointed by the state legislatures. The Supreme Court is appointed by the President and approved by the aformentioned Senate. An elegant system placing those undertaking the most delicate and far reaching matters as far away from direct poltical influence as possible.

However, for some places in this vast country, the Founder's system is simply not good enough. In Georgia and select other states, we elect judges. Including our Supreme Court.

In the past, Georgia's system functioned. Judicial races remained for the most part "non-partisan". Everyone complicitly "jobbed" the system with justices retiring before re-election allowing the Governor to appoint a replacement. As most voters could care less about judicial records, the incumbent inevitiably is re-elected creating a default appointment system.

The tenor changed forever with the re-election of Justice Leah Sears in 2004. For the first time in memory, Republicans, not directly through the party apparatus but through proxies, directly intervened in the campaign against a sitting justice. As is natural in all conflicts, the other side responded in kind. To her credit Justice Sears stayed mostly above the fray.

Conflict brings escalation. In 2006, once again a sitting justice receives attacks from monied proxies. Justice Carol Hunstien chooses to not stay above the fray. Instead the citizens of Georgia are treated to the nastiest, most partisan judicial election in history.

It is obvious to all the system is broken and Representative Ed Lindsey wants to fix it. His solution to the increasing influence of partian proxies is public-only financing of judicial campaigns. For the most part, his reasoning is quite logical; remove the money, remove the influence, remove the ugly stain from a prestigious institution. He must be credited with going where few would dare to tread.

However, for all the valor for his effort, Rep. Lindsey's arguments are based on a foundation with a fundamental flaw. His only reasoning for maintaining the current system is the "will of the people".

The Founders understood prudence sometimes requires removing the will of the people. The question must be asked, why should Georgia continue to ignore their wisdom?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bill Richardson Interests Me

When I saw Bill Richardson's appearance on ABC's This Week, I giggled a little. I mean, come on! Other than poltical junkies and New Mexicans does anyone even know who he is?

Then today I start reading about the respect he receives from many disparate sides.

From the left:

I dig his resume. Rather than talk about Darfur, he got his ass over there and brokered a cease fire, and that's on top of high-profile diplomatic missions all over the world, including places like North Korea. His resume is the strongest of any of the candidates.

From the right:

He has extensive foreign-affairs experience; he has plenty of contacts in Congress and a long history of working between the legislative and executive branches; and most of all, he has solid executive experience that all of the other main candidates for the nomination lack. In fact, compared to Richardson, the rest of the pack look like amateurs playing at national politics.

And of course the center:

In another year with less well-connected and well-financed (Clinton) candidates, or with less charisma-fortified (Obama) newcomers, Richardson might be one of the people to truly watch as a key figure.

At this point, it seems his only negative is some alledged "Clintonian" type behavior. Which given the current state of the world I believe the public would respond to such a smear campaign with a collective scream of "GROW UP!"

I still doubt Richardson's ability to garner even the slightest electoral support, but I won't be giggling anymore.

Songs In My Head

Monday, January 22, 2007

Something Cool This Way Comes

I've been playing with this for a couple of weeks.

The New Georgia Encyclopedia

If you are a Georgian or interested in Georgia, you should check it out. If you are interested in politics you are going to love seeing some of the video provided by the UGA archives.

Georgia Blog Navel Gazing

I'm still fairly new to all this.

My more experienced friends would tell me to avoid "meta" and all that jazz. The uglier side of blogging is the seductive urge to become introspective. To share why you blog as if you have discovered some new innovation. A quick glance at Technorati should disabuse anyone of this notion.

Well, today something happened in my little corner of the blogosphere that causes me to dive briefly into the clarification zone on how this blog is run.

There is only one editor at this shop. Only one person who decides what is published and what is dumped in the bit bucket. When I began, one promise I made myself was that every effort would be made to not simply throw every piece of poo on the internet against the virtual wall to see what runs.

When I run with something, it is not because I am promoting one side. If I don't run something, it is not because I support the other side. I run things that I find interesting. If you are a regular reader, you know I almost always find a good fight interesting.

Well, a fight broke out today and although I have commented here and there, I have not addressed it directly. Primarily because I have absolutely no dog in this fight. Some would say since I covered the DPG forum, I should give equal time to those who disagree. Maybe.

Which leads me to the real problem with meta posts. A lot of dancing around the subject without really talking about anything. So let's get on with the deal.

A new blog figuratively erupted today.

Peach Pundit chose to link to it and say very little. My suspicion is Erick gleefully followed the time honored tactic of never interfering while your enemy is slitting his own throat.

Jon Flack chose to meet the controversy a bit more head on.

And me? I'm not saying anything. You could argue I should link since it might provide an alternate view to my coverage of the DPG forum and linking to the Blog For Democracy videos. However the deliberative side of me causes pause. In general I do not link to new blogs until I've read them for a few days. Mostly I want to make sure they are not utter crap and have a few standards. I also want to make sure that I am not inadvertently being "used" to garner a little publicity for a screw job.

Right now the jury's still out on this new thing. Until that time? No linky. In a few days? We'll see. My hope is it moves beyond a single issue focus and becomes a new voice in the ever burgeoning Georgia blog whirlwind.

End Meta.

DPG Candidate Forum Video

As promised Blog for Democracy has video from Saturday's Democratic Party of Georgia candidate forum.

You can find all the links conveniently gathered here.

Less than 48 hours from the happening to the sharing. Welcome to media by the people. Welcome to the revolution.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Weirdness Approaches

In an effort to simplify navigation I'm dusting off my CSS skilz and changing some things around. So everything may get a little wonky for a while. If what I change causes major havoc in your browsers let me know here.

Sunday Movie Fun

"It is the job of the critic to leave no turn unstoned."

Are there any crueler beast than film critics?

Find out for yourself as Edward Copeland on Film presents the Worst Best Actresses of all time.

My favorite? From Matt Zoller Seitz.

Maybe the most boring Best Actress performance of all time, it redefines competence as excellence. I get sleepy just thinking about it.
Lord help me but I do so love a good snark.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

DPG Candidate Forum

It started with a spilled box of legos. The audience tittered; some probably thinking they had seen an unfortunate omen, some a symbol of the last year, some both. However, the little boy responsible for the clatter gleefully began pushing them around, innocent of his inadvertent tumble into the adult world of "readin' the bones". At least until his mother took him away. And that's when the real clatter began.

Blog For Democracy will soon have video of the forum online so I will not trouble you with a full recap here. Instead in an effort to whet your appetite for the forthcoming show, I'll give you some choice nuggets to savor.

James Quarterman, candidate for Constituency Vice Chair, on the need for boots on the ground: "Payless Shoes has got a special!"

Rep. Winfred Dukes, candidate for Candidate Recruitment Vice Chair, responding to opponent Danita Knowles stating her husband had been Dukes principal: "He paddled me!"

Labor Commission Michael Thurmond, Candidate for First Vice Chair: "Not all Democrats lost on November 7th".

Mike Berlon, Candidate for Chair, on running against John Linder: "He is the Prince of Darkness".

Carol Jackson, Candidate for Chair: "When we rebuild a motor, we don't throw away the motor." [Note: People in the country always say motor, they never say engine, city folk should always remember that.]

Mike Berlon, Candidate for Chair: "We're three minute people in a 30 second world."

Rev. Jim Nelson, Candidate for Chair, on divisive issues: "If we didn't have divisive issues, we'd be Republicans."

And the quote of the day,

Blog for Democracy's Bernita Smith on the length of term for the chair: "It's a four year position. I'm just saying."

Check back for the full video when it becomes available.

Possum Saturday

It's gonna be a doozy

Songs In My Head

Friday, January 19, 2007

More Adventures In Georgia Politics

What's more fun than a bag full of possums?


Tomorrow morning I will be crashing the Democratic Party of Georgia's candidate forum. After experiencing a good ol' fashion ass whuppin' two months ago, the Dems are a little fiesty. Jon Flack of Peach Pulpit sums up the mood.

It's time for folks to sack up and start talking straight. When I get something that says "...someone running for DPG Chair..." it's insulting to me as a voter on the matter. If you don't have the sack to name names, you might as well keep it to yourself.
I'm hoping for a rollicking good time, but it is at 10:00am. On a saturday. Which means I will probably be a little hungover and potentially cranky. Then I again, I will be in a room full of Democrats so at least I won't be alone.

Georgia Carnival

ElementaryHistoryTeacher has an excellent round up of Georgia blog posts in her second edition of Georgia Carnival. Check it out. Follow the links to find voices you have yet to hear.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Maverick McCain In McTrouble

Let's run the roll.

First there was sniffing Falwell's butt.

Then there was the approval of torture.

Then the weird waffleness on the gays.

And don't forget to take a swipe at the bloggers!

Where does all this lead? To possibly the biggest pooch screw in American political history. Polls coming out of New Hampshire show McCain's lead either evaporating or dangerously stagnant. The Granite State is known for its indepedent snarkiness. A seemingly perfect witches brew for the darling of the independent crowd. However, New Hampsherites are not easily fooled and it appears they smell a rat. Perhaps as Joe Gandleman writes they have doped out "The Straight Talk Express has been replaced by Finger In The Wind Airlines".

Love Shack Liquor Store Safe!

The new city of Johns Creek has backed off a plan to require all restaurants, bars and liquor stores to re-apply for a liquor license.

The fledgling city is seeking to close loopholes and catch scofflaws and shirkers, so officials are not inclined to do it the easy way.

Scofflaws and shirkers? Did AJC reporter Doug Nurse become possessed by the ghost of some 19th century reporter? Or maybe it was just Furman Bisher.

h/t: Erick

My Morning Wooten

From this morning's Thinking Right:

The war in Iraq is nearing abortion as a topic of conversation that generates heat, but changes no minds.

An interesting analogy Jim as over 60% of Americans support some form of choice and well over that amount now believe Iraq is an utter failure. Yet, somehow right wing pundits like yourself continue to see the world through some weird prism that lets you believe you represent "mainstream" thought.

I was going to "fisk" the rest of Jim's entry but I vomited in my cereal bowl.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Songs In My Head

Dead drunk and naked

Time To Fold

Internet gambling in the U.S. is dead.

Well, not dead. As with any "vice" with high demand someone will find a way. Somewhere in the ether, the ghost of Al Capone is cackling.

But with the arrest of former Neteller executives Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre American gamblers may be forced to visit brick and mortar casinos or seek less legitimate money transfer systems.

Neteller, based in the Isle of Man, offered U.S. citizens a method to tranfer funds to international accounts allowing those funds to then be transferred to popular online poker sites such as Pokerstars, UltimateBet, FullTilt and Bodog. Its InstaCash system offered security and legitimacy previously only seen in cold hard cash transactions in real world casinos.

Since passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, federal agents have struggled with how to enforce the new code. The strategy is now apparent with the arrest of Lawrence and Lefebvre. Attack the money. Follow the old boxing maxim "kill the body and the head will die". Without a method to transfer funds in a secure, above board manner online gambling sites will wither and die.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Certainly online gambling has taken a hit. Since passage of the bill, Neteller's stock price has fallen 60%. All but a few rebel online poker sites immediately stopped allowing U.S. players in cash games. Now the rebels have also folded.

Pokerstars and FullTilt no longer allow cash transfers via NetTeller. Bodog, the most rebellios of the rebels, went further effectively freezing U.S. cash in current Neteller accounts.

So what will poker players do? Most will simply fold the tent. Some will seek other means of funding; possibly less legitimate means. The gamble will not only be in the cards but also in whether they will ever see their money again.

Those like me who primarily enjoy live play will be less effected. However, like me, those players who live in states without casinos will move further and further into the underground live games. It is in these dark places where they will face the volatile mixture of large amounts of cash poured into an illegal operation. It is not rare to hear tales of robbery, intimidation and even visits to the hospital or the morgue.

As for the government? All those who voted for the bill pat themselves on the back, congratulating themselves for saving the poor innocent masses from poverty of the wallet and poverty of the soul. Few will note the massive loss of revenue. It is not widely known, but winnings in gambling, even illict, are taxable. The primary problem with this revenue stream is collection. Maybe, just maybe, one brave politician will wonder aloud how much fiscal benefit could be realized by cooperation with gambling sites to accurately track winnings and ensure they are taxed.

Meanwhile, two businessmen await trial, gambling will continue and somewhere out there, Al Capone's ghost is wringing his hands wishing he could grab a piece of the action.

Navel Gazing

It's a slow news day.....cold weather does not suit mind does wander

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wiki-vandlism Again!

I caught another one! Someone really needs to stir up a little widget that will monitor the Wikipedia entry for Wikipedia to see when it's modified. They really should just lock this entry down.

Buy Bread and Milk, Mabel!

Winter weather may finally come to the sunny south!

Which of course means later this week we'se and us'es will be the laughing stock of the nation. For we will frantically storm the supermarkets buying bread, milk and various potent potables. We will rush home and listen to the old media gaggle breathlessly report on STORM WATCH '07! Some of us will stupidly try to drive in this unfamiliar environment and play bumpers cars all over the interstate. And of course Waffle House will remain open giving Neal Boortz another opportunity to chastise the rest of us for being lazy and stupid.

Just remember this you damned Yankees! In August when it's 110 degress and you are all flopping around like fishes on the beach for lack of that modern invention called conditioned air, we will all be galavantin' around drunk, laughing, half-naked and worshiping the sun god!

More Blogrolling

New blog added to Georgia Voices:

Georgia On My Mind
Chicken Fat

al-Sadr One Of Saddam's Executioners?

IRAQSlogger puts forth some interesting visual evidence. Take a look at the pictures and judge for yourself.

h/t: Joe

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Mountain Top

20 Years Ago

I don't remember where I got on the bus but I do remember getting on the bus. There were thousands of us. There were hundreds of buses. So many people I had to stand. Seats were given to the elders. I remember thinking at the time it was no big deal as we were only travelling a scant 40 miles. Standing for such a short time seemed a small sacrifice.

I remember the week before - watching the news. As a Georgian, I was horrified by the images of rocks and bottles being tossed at peaceful protesters. I remember thinking this could not be happening in my state. Not now. Growing up in a small south Georgia town, I was familiar with racism. Had witnessed it first hand. I remember hearing the stories from two decades earlier of gangs of men armed with rifles and shotguns. But this should be different. This was Atlanta. This was my new city. One filled with enlightenment, culture and understanding. Even though the images on my television were coming from just outside Atlanta, it seemed too close. Too real.

I remember the girl I was dating at the time. She was angry at first. Then she cried. She did not want me to go. She had seen the images. She had seen the young man dressed in a jean jacket and Confederate flag t-shirt with hate in his eyes. She was also from a small south Georgia town and knew the potential consequences. She begged, she screamed and she cried.

On the bus, I remember we were a strange melange. I stood next to a man much larger than me. A friendly guy with a New York accent. He had just moved to the area and like myself had been shocked by the images on the news. A transient man in a transient city confronted with images that should have never surfaced again.

Spread among us, usually sitting in seats, were the elders. They had marched when marching truly mattered. They shared stories. They sang songs. They led us in "We Shall Overcome", "I Shall Not Be Moved" and"Blowing In The Wind". They taught me songs most 18-year olds had never heard.

The ride was long. Much longer than any of us anticipated. The caravan of buses and vans stretched for miles. Back then Georgia 400 was still a rural highway, not the suburban autobahn it is today. The buses lurched and stopped, lurched and stopped. My new friend and I swayed back and forth, grasping the hand rails.

I remember snow on the ground. It had snowed a few days prior and the remnants still dotted the shoulders and the woods. Eventually people began leaving the buses and dashing for the woods. Relief being the only remaining sliver of thought in their mind. Next to me, my new friend chuckled and muttered, "Don't eat the yellow snow".

I remember arriving on the outskirts of Cumming. It was all too familiar. A few convenience stores. A fast food restaurant. And all too unfamiliar. For the first time, the people in Klan robes were not pictures in books. They were standing on the side of the road. Staring at us. Staring at me.

As we assembled I thought about the rumors we had all heard. The gun stores had been cleaned out. The liquor stores had been cleaned out. The FBI had snipers in the woods. I remember my idealism of the night before seeping away in the reality of seeing men and women and children standing behind a wall of National Guard. Men and women and children with hate in their eyes.

I remember a lone girl standing on the side of the road. She wore Klan robes but mostly I remember her shoes. Bright, white, new Reeboks. We all saw her. She could not have been more than 15 years old. We would later nervously laugh and call her "white frocks and Reeboks".

The organizers lined us up. We were instructed to lock arms. We were told to always look forward. We were told to never, ever respond. No matter what we heard, we were never to engage those with wont to turn non-violence to violence. I remember locking arms with my new friend from New York and moving forward.

I remember we never came close to the Cumming city square. We were simply too many. At one point, we topped a hill and I could see all those before us. I was near the back and had a clear view of almost everyone. Thousands of people. A large undulating mass of people, locked arm in arm, singing and chanting, stretching to the crown of the next hill and then disappearing.

We never heard the speeches. They were too far ahead. I remember being able to see the top of the court house and imagining John Lewis standing somewhere up there in the distance. Speaking of evils he had seen and evils that still lived.

Soon after we returned to the buses. Soon the buses returned to Georgia 400. Soon the buses returned to Atlanta. Soon I returned to campus.

I remember calling the girl I was seeing at the time and only hearing an answering machine. I remember her terrible temper. I remember later that night when she knocked on my door. We embraced and we both cried together.

Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Journal Constitution / Steve Deal

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Iran: Old Is New Again

With all the saber-rattling towards Iran, I decided to dig up something I wrote all the way back in April 2006.

Also, Iran is not Iraq. Iraq is mostly desert. Iran is mostly mountains. A problem with the geographically challenged American consciousness is we visualize the entire middle east as one vast flat desert. Not so in Iran. The most populous regions actually lay in basins between imposing mountain ranges. If invasion moved forward, there would be no dash to Tehran as there was to Baghdad. The likely scenario would be months if not years of slogging slowly towards the population centers.

Read the entire entry here.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday Stupids

Probably going to be at the usual haint today. If you are in the area feel free to stop by and hang out with the hillbillies.

Songs In My Head

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Poker Trip: I'm Going Home

Free, to try and find a game... dealing...
Cards for sorrow, cards for pain

Cause I've seen blue skies through the tears
In my eyes
And I realise.. I'm going home.

No poker today. In the ways of many multi-generational southerners, I am not slow, just deliberative. I've got a lot of information to process and before jumping in the pool again, I want to absorb everything I've learned.

Plus there's a damn ice storm coming and I'm getting the hell out of Dodge!

Friday Fun

A break from poker and politics.

Remember Edward Copeland's Worst Best Picture Survey?

He's back! This time with a Worst Best Actress survey.

Head on over to Eddie On Film and vote for your top (bottom?) five. Only eight days left to vote!

Georgia Political Podcast Ep. 9

Want to hear what griftdrift sounds like?

Check out the latest Georgia Political Podcast!

It was a blast and I hope to do it again.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Poker Trip: They Call Me Short Stack

Event 2:

Buy-In - $500
Starting Chips - 2500
Field - 25
Payout - 2 main event seats; 3rd = $1600
Finish - 4

Everybody was surprised by the small turnout. I heard Monday's event at this level was in the hundreds. Speculation was that the World Poker Tour at the Goldstrike pulled away most of the players.

So I finished 4th. One out of the money. To be honest, after playing nearly five hours it's all a blur. I've played in longer tournaments but never at this skill level. So no hand summaries. Suffice it to say it was a typical tournament. I got lucky, I got unlucky, I played with skill and I played boneheaded. You play long enough and you get a little of everything.

In one of the games back home my nickname is "short stack". I proved it at the end. When we got down to 8 players, I was down to about 7000. The blinds were 200 / 400 plus a 50 ante. They would shortly go to 300 / 600 with a 75 ante. They started chewing my butt up. I nursed and coddled my short stack all the way to four left. I worked my way back up to about 9,000 but with over 60,000 chips in play, I had to play desperate poker.

The final hand was me pushing with K-8 off suit and getting called by a pair of 10s. He hit the third 10 on the flop, I did not hit the running kings and it was all over.

So what now?

I may play some single table events in the morning, but I doubt it. I'm pretty pokered out. The one thing I thought I was prepared for but was not is the stamina requirement. These were small tournaments and I am wore out. To focus intently for 4+ hours is incredibly difficult. I felt my mind wandering and a few times had to be reminded by the dealer to put in my ante. The big tournaments run for 10+ hours a day for several days. My hat is off to the pros. I don't think you really understand the mental discipline until you try it.

This does not mean I won't try again. The circuit hits Atlantic City in March and I haven't seen a good friend in D.C. in nearly a year.

For now, I feel the need something a little less taxing.

Like Georgia politics.

The Poker Trip: Average Isn't So Bad

Event 1:

Buy-in - $300
Starting Chips - 1500
Field - 40
Payout - 2 spots in the main event
Finish - 20
I expected more players but this was the middle of the day and the buy-in was relatively low (high?). But 40 is a field size where I am very comfortable and I felt confident.

My confidence took a small hit when I sat at my table. Remember how I was whining about the young guns? I was probably the second youngest person at the table. And no one was talking. The mood was very serious and it appeared so were the players. Also my table included one guy who I swear I have seen on TV. There would be no fooling around here.

As you can see from above I finished dead center of the field. This experiment is about seeing if I have the game to play at these events and I believe the answer is a tentative yes. I played well even going heads up with the "tv guy" and winning. About 40 minutes in I had almost doubled my chips up to 3000.

Here are the two critical hands.

Hand 1: This was when I was at the top of my chip count. Blinds are 25-50 and I am in the big blind. A player raises to 100 and a couple follow. I have 10-8 off suit but I am priced in so I call. Flop is 10-6-4, two hearts. I check. The initial raiser bets 175 and everyone before me folds. Earlier I had check raised this guy and he had folded. So I raised to 350. He pushes all in for another 900. This is tough situation and here is the hands he could have: A higher pair, a lower pair, a flush draw, two over cards. I don't think he has a higher pair or a flush draw. I put him on two over cards but pray for a 9-9. I call. He turns over A-K, both hearts. Uh-oh. Even with the better hand I am a slight dog. He gets the king on the turn and I lose almost half my stack. I had the right read on the overs but did not count on the flush draw.

Hand 2: The final hand. Blinds are now 50-100. After grinding for almost an hour but also being whittled away, I am sitting on 1000. One caller and then a guy who just moved to our table raises to 500. I've been waiting for a position where I could get all my chips in and either double up or take a few limpers. I look down at a A-Q, both spades. I push my 1000. The caller begins asking if he calls mine can the guy who opened still re-raise. Uh-oh. After being told yes, he can be re-raised, caller folds. The raiser calls my raise and we flip over. He has K-K. I don't improve and I'm out of the tournament.

Thinking back on it, I might have played hand 1 differently. I could have called and when the king came, I would have probably sussed out he had a king. But I don't think my decision was bad. If my tens had held up, I would have been over 4000 and could have cruised to the final 8. But you know what they say? That's...yeah yeah yeah.

Next: $500 buy-in at 6:00pm CST.

Have We Lost Our Minds?

You really have to wonder just what in the name of holy hell they are putting in the water in D.C. these days.

We have apparently raided the Iranian Consulate in Irbil, Iraq:

US forces have stormed an Iranian consulate in the northern Iraqi town of Irbil and seized six members of staff.

For those playing at home, consulates are considered sovereign soil. Not only have we rabid-monkey-like thrown poo straight in the face of our biggest (and craziest) rival in the region but we have endangered our own diplomats the world over.

We have gone from foolish to dangerous to deranged.

The Poker Trip: To Be 22 Again

Last night, I checked out the Grand Tunica. It is as you would expect. A sprawling complex covered with glitter. As if a wandering giant passing by had vomited neon. As I sat in the bar eating a burger and watching Georgia Tech whip up on Duke, two young men sat next to me. Wearing their skull caps, they seemed out of place among the silver fox slot jockeys and the desperate cowboys. They are the new breed of poker.

I remember being 22. Completely fearless. Bouncing along through nascent adult experiences never worrying about what may be around the next corner. But I am now 38. I have experienced death, love, heartache and desperation. To age is to know fear.

Fear is the poison of poker. It will cripple you before you begin. The lingering shadows of doubt must be conquered before you can conquer any opponent. It is on days like these when I wish I was 22 again. Fearless and stupid.

But knowing fear does not mean acceptance. When the fear hits, I know how to face it, pull it inward, smother it with the blanket of experience. One day, maybe today, fear will hit the 22 year old and he will not know what to do. That's when the old dog will show he has a few tricks left.

Escalation Roundup

If it's Iraq I usually have something to say. But between the Georgia Legislature and poker, I am going to do something unusual and rely on the words of others. And when I lack time to cover a big national story, as always I turn to my favorite crutch, The Moderate Voice. Joe and the gang have a great round up of the story and links to commentary of various stripes.

There is one thing I have not been able to get out of my mind lately. 1965. That is the year President Johnson committed the first full combat battalions to Vietnam. His own version of escalation. U.S. KIA in the previous five years were 1,864. U.S. KIA in the year following were 5,008. Do we never listen to the ghosts of the past?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Poker Trip: Arrival Tunica


Some random thoughts:

I wondered why there was no interstate between Memphis and Birmingham. Apparently there will be in the near future. I-22. The good thing is most of the new highway is complete so you can drive pretty fast. The bad part it's completely desolate. The most desolate interstate I have ever seen. And yes Georgians, it is even worse than I-16. If you ever travel this way, before leaving Birmingham you need to gas up, go to the restroom and grab a cold drink. At one point I drove 70 miles without seeing a gas station. Hell! I didn't see anything at all!

Mississippi is not what I pictured until I got within about 30 miles of the river. It's mostly rolling hills and driving on a two lane backroad into the setting sun is an adventure. Then suddenly the hills ended and I was driving on a levee with fields on both sides. From there on it was flat, flat flat and probably what you picture in the movies.

After resting up for a while, I am going out to explore. Thanks for the many words of encouragement I had received today. We'll see where this goes but at least I'm here!

A New Adventure Begins

Here's the deal. I'm a pretty decent poker player. I win my share of home games and the occasional free bar tournament. Given the recent poker boom these performances sometimes lead to praise. It's good for the ego but every decent poker player understands ego cannot alter reality. Being a good poker player at your home game is a little like being a good singer at the local karaoke bar. It does not mean you are anything but a fish if you choose to swim in the deep ocean. But evolution is a wonderful thing. Sometimes a fish has to venture into the deep waters. Almost all die a swift, horrible death but one in a million adapts and becomes something new and wonderful.

I am walking out the door, climbing in my car and heading west. To Tunica, MS and the satellite qualifying for the World Series of Poker Circuit Event. Lately, I have been on a bad run of cards and poor play. All odds are that I will return on Friday or Saturday with my tail between my legs. But sometimes you have to take that chance. Sometimes you get an opportunity to make a run and you have to take it. That's poker.

See you in about 7 hours.

Georgia Legislature: Day 3

Day one brought us the election of Speaker Glenn Richardson and the inauguration hootenanny.

Day two brought us the snake handlin', tent meetin' House Bill 1 Hearing.

What the the hell will day three bring? The ghost of Gene Talmadge whooshing through the halls looking for Rastus McGill?

Songs In My Head

Industrial Disease

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pro-Life Crazies At The Capitol

Bernita at Blog For Democracy is live blogging the "hearing" on Georgia House Bill 1 (a complete ban on all abortions, no exceptions).

I'm very jealous I didn't join her for the fun.

UPDATE: Grayson's got pictures! GO HERE to hear her version of the snake handling er I mean legislatin!

The Porn Wars: The End?

Once again all is quiet in Johns Creek.

DVD players are probably humming. Lube is probably sliding. Cakes may be are baking in Penis Cake Pans.

The story of the Johns Creek Love shack seems to have quietly sank beneath the wake of the Sugarloaf prostitution ring.

For now the store is open and the elders of the new city have taken no new action. Last reports are Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker is meeting with attorneys to formulate a new strategy. My personal feeling is starting a new city is complicated and the powers that be have bigger fish to fry. Fish like police, fire protection and garbage collection. Items that unlike a rather innocuous porn store affect the every day lives of citizens.

So possibly the story ends. At least it does for me. Unless the winds of indigination restart the brush fire, I am leaving the story behind. I appreciate all the feedback provided and look for more stories of this nature in the future.

A denouement. Some have inquired why I have not told the Johns Creek side of the story. The simple answer is I tried. I emailed Mike Bodker several days ago offering him or his spokesman a chance to comment on previous entries or participate in an interview with the same ground rules provided to Mr. Cornetta. So far, silence. If the government of Johns Creek changes its mind, I'll be here. Waiting to tell their perspective.

In the meantime, the Georgia Legislature is in session. The Florida Legislature is about to enter session. And we are bombing the hell out of Somalia. In the griftdrift world, porn goes back into the drawer. Waiting for the day we once again need a little stimulation.

Dr. Laura Has A Blog

Chapter 657 of "What Hath The Internet Wrought": Dr. Laura has a blog. She still exists? Who knew?

My favorite passage so far.
Research following 200,000 women from nine European countries for an average of over 6 years and 3,423 cases of breast cancer determined that women who exercise by doing the housework can reduce their risk of breast cancer by 30% among the pre-menopausal women and 20% among the post-menopausal women.

My second favorite passage.
Rocky Balboa is probably one of the best films I’ve seen… ever.

Hmmmmmm. I don't know who's going to stomp over here first. The feminists or the film critics?

Songs In My Head

I swear I don't know what made me think of this song. Really. No Really.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Watching The Georgia Inauguration

Good lord is that a tricky word to spell!

Look here first for any gaffes!

UPDATE I: Zell got a huge ovation. The only other person to come close on the applause level? State School Superintendent. Kathy Cox. Interesting. (Except for Cagle and Perdue of course)

UPDATE II: Political Insider has the advance of Sonny's speech. Darn those big media perks!

UPDATE III: When asked by the justice if he is ready to take the oath, he not only makes a point of showing he is swearing on a bible, but an open bible and then quotes the verse. Ahhhhh the Keith Ellison effect.

UPDATE IV: The Great Seal of the State Of Georgia has been passed on from the Secretary of State. I only note this because it's a good time to bring up the "Three Governor Episode" in which the seal played a critical role.

UPDATE V: Cagle's speech on now. There's only been 10 Lieutenant Governor's? I need to research that. Ahhh! Speaking of the three governors affair, apparently the Lite Guv office was created just in time for that fiasco!

UPDATE VI: Cagle brings up education but emphasizes "local control" and the "tools to help them". I smell vouchers!

UPDATE VII: Cagle was raised by a single mom. Wonder what Jim Wooten thinks of that?

UPDATE: VIII: Wow. Cagle got a little verklempt talking about his wife and kids. This is a pretty good speech. I think we just heard the first shot fired in the 2010 Governor's race.

UPDATE IX: And now the seal goes back to current SOS Karen Handel. It's one of those weird rituals that I admit gets me a little hot and bothered.

UPDATE X: Someone please confirm. Thurbert Baker wears a "rug" right?

UPDATE XI: Once again Kathy Cox gets big whoops and hollers. Either she has a lot supporters there or her family in attendence shares a striking vocal resemblence to my own family at a wedding.

UPDATE XII: Thurmond has some whooping supporters too. And an amen from Governor Perdue! Someone please tell me how the hell a guy with this much charisma has not been run for a higher office?

UPDATE XIII: Perdue is talking about turtles on fence posts. Once again I am reminded of a friends comment, "I could never vote for Sonny but I can't not like him cause he reminds me of my granddaddy".

UPDATE XIV: As Tom and Jim already pointed out, the speech is pretty basic stuff. No dramatic promises. No hot specifics. A lot of pride in the state and its people. Oh god, he punned the year 2020 by saying he has a 2020 vision.

UPDATE XV: Perdue, "My mandate is simple, to be a good steward and a good servant to the people of Georgia."

UPDATE XVI: It's over! Yeehaw! Let's go shoot the cannons again!

UPDATE THE LAST: Wait a second! There's a freakin benediction?! I would pay every damn dime I own right now if they would hold an altar call with Brother Perdue calling all Democrats forward to confess their sins. Lines and lines of democrats, tears streaming down their faces, pledging to follow the straight and narrow.

Something Foul This Way Comes

I just watched Glenn Richardson's acceptance speech as Speaker of the Georgia House. I admit I snickered a bit when he laid out his "four prong test" for new bills. One "prong" is does the bill "strengthen Georgia families".

Given recent rumors surrounding Richardson, prong is probably not a choice of words I would have made.

It all started when Bill Shipp sniffed up a story filled with all sorts of human horribleness including pills and adultery. The blogmentum gathered as Peach Pundit discussed the suspicious timing of the story. Now Peach Pulpit may have sussed out the feminine half of the alledged tryst.

All which leads to a certain smart-ass resurrecting the memories of the 1986 New York Mets.

Everyone is puzzled by the local fishwrapper's silence on the matter leading the boys at Political Insider to 'splain why papers don't rush to judgment (for the most part).

Well, the fact remains the story's validity is still in question, but it's out there now. And as we all know, once bloggers get ahold of a bone, they gnaw it to the marrow. Where this will ultimately lead is unknown, however one local blogger in a forthcoming podcast believes it all leads to an inglorious tumble from power for Richardson. And that children is what is known in the bidness as a tease. Stay tuned!

Something Weird This Way Comes

CNN reports an odd odor is covering Manhattan. Since it seems to originate from New Jersey or Staten Island, my first thought is, "this is news?"

Then I hear a story about downtown Austin, Tx. being shut down due to birds mysteriously dying and I start to wonder.

Of course there is no need to panic. But isn't it odd how these two probably unrelated stories are viewed differently in this new media / post 9-11 world?

Hide The Kids, Mabel!

The legislature is back in town! For the next 40 or so days, the guys and gals of the gummint will be up on the hill passing, porking and oinking.

For all your coverage, the Georgia media, both old and new, will be rooting around.

The Scorecards

The Progrecrats

The Republicaterians

Old Media Hipsters

Mostly Non-Partisan Snark Masters

If I left you out and you want a link, email me or drop a comment.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Momofuku Ando, inventor of ramen noodles and possibly secret prophet of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, has passed on.

In his honor, I think I will have a cup of liquid sodium for breakfast.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pornagrapher Saturday

Seems appropriate

Friday, January 05, 2007

For Those That Follow Georgia Politics

New blog / news feed that will follow the upcoming session: Georgia Legislative Watch

So far, it contains listings of all pre-filed bills. Good stuff. Subscribe to the feed.

To be completely transparent the site is run by conservative leaning Chris Farris and Jason Pye. However, from their press release, it appears the site will rely on commentors to provide commentary and analysis.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Porn Wars: Trucks A-Rollin!

It's past 10:30 and trucks are probably rolling in north Fulton. Earlier today, Love Shack owner John Cornetta told me he would be restocking his Johns Creek location with adult material. Earlier he removed all adult DVDs and toys to comply with a federal court order.

Mr. Cornetta stated that before 11:00pm tonight he would add 20,000 adult DVDs and 5-6000 adult magazines. Despite this massive increase in inventory, he believes his store will contain around 22% adult material. In his mind, well below the new Johns Creek standard of 25%.

The ongoing inventory battle is not the only battled being waged. On the legal front, Mr. Cornetta's team will file suit in federal court claiming a constitutional issue with the new Johns Creek ordinance. At the time of this post, the Love Shack legal team is still discussing the exact strategy for the legal battlefront.

Despite the increase in adult inventory, Mr. Cornetta claims about 90% of sales are non-adult. He proudly discusses his smoke shop business and then points out his comic books. He says he originally added the books in order to comply with the court order but they have been selling well. So well he has ordered more for his other stores. When asked if it the books were like an impulse buy in the checkout counter of a grocery store, Mr. Cornetta replied, "Yeah, like a box of Tic-Tacs".

There is little doubt Johns Creek will have something to say about the sudden influx of adult oriented material. Tomorrow begins a new chapter in the north Fulton porn war and Drifting Through The Grift will be there.

The Porn Wars: Showdown Fizzles

3:00 was supposed to be high noon in Johns Creek but only members of the local media showed up. Yesterday, District Court Judge Thrash ordered The Love Shack to reduce its adult material to less than a "significant amount" by the deadline or face continuing fines. Possibly the reason for the no-show by Fulton County is owner John Cornetta complied with the court order. Mr. Cornetta stated "out of an abundance of respect for the Federal Court" he had removed all adult material except for a "few adult DVDs".

Despite the apparent tactical retreat, Mr. Cornetta is not giving up the fight. He even vows to "run for mayor [of Johns Creek] if this doesn't stop".

Cornetta pointed out concessions he has offered Johns Creek including allowing a Police substation to occupy a portion of the store rent-free, a fence surrounding the parking lot, more lighting and video security. When asked if the fence would be simple chain-link or a privacy barrier, Mr. Cornetta responded "whatever they want within reason".

Johns Creek resident Kim Tye not only observed the scene from the parking lot but also accepted an invitation from Mr. Cornetta to tour the store with no media present. Ms. Tye stayed in the store for some time and emerged unchanged in her stance on the existence of the store but possibly with new perspectives.

She stated that Mr. Cornetta was a "nice man" and "not the monster portrayed in the media". When asked if there was room for compromise between the store and the community she said, "I would still rather it be gone" but "there is some room for discussion". She was unaware of Mr. Cornetta's offer to house a sub-station and build a fence and said she will follow up on these issues with Johns Creek mayor Mike Bodker.

At midnight tonight, the matter shifts to the newly minted Johns Creek ordinance requiring businesses to contain less than 25% adult material. Mr. Cornetta stated he is not only compliant now but would also be compliant under the new ordinance. In his words, "we've covered every "or"".

For now the battlefront is quiet but the war is far from over. Stay tuned to Drifting Through The Grift later tonight for possible breaking news.

The Anti-Libertarian President

Remember how I was wondering what the hell was happening with my Netflix envelopes? Maybe I now know.

The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions.

My question is to all those "libertarians" who continue to support this president. Exactly how far will go to compromise your ideological soul before finally admitting President Bush is possibly the most anti-libertarian President in history? At least I will still be able to chuckle when someone says, "I'm a libertarian but I voted for Bush and would again".

We Are Altenative Fuel

Why, only a few weeks after the opening of the movie "We Are Marshall", do I suspect a wave of "We Are ______" statements forthcoming?

“We will make an example for South Georgia and the southeastern United States.
We’re not just talking about alternative fuel. In Mitchell County, we are
alternative fuel. We are on the right track"

So sayeth Mitchell County Commission Chairman Ben Hayward.

I shouldn't kid. Yesterday, I had the choice between witnessing the ground breaking of an alternative fuel plant in my homeland of South Georgia or witnessing a contempt hearing on porn in my adopted city of Atlanta. By now, you know what I chose. I can't say my mama would be proud but she would probably snicker once I left the room.

Good for F.U.E.L. Good for South Georgia. Good for us all.