Tuesday, July 31, 2007
In the meantime some screeds from others for your pleasure.
I haven't written much about the Michael Vick saga. It's all too awful. But Spacey sums up my feelings very well.
Paul Broun's first vote? To stop prosecution of those who use medical marijuna. Lawdy!
The baseball debate with Jmac continues.
Poor Jim Galloway. This morning, he must feel like the teacher who said "Lake Titicaca" in front of a group of third graders.
More later as I find hot spots.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
You Atlantans are surely familiar with bicycle pants man. If not you should definitely watch the above video.
But whatever you do, please, for God's sake, DO NOT USE GOOGLE IMAGES TO TRY TO FIND HIS PICTURE.
Life has been really bizarre lately.
And don't miss part II with more Keith the CVS Clerk!
Amani, I have to confess. I must have been sleeping because I never heard about Kiri Davis' award winning documentary "A Girl Like Me". Fascinating stuff.
As I watch it, I can't help but recall the Don Imus controversy. The point I think many people missed in that whole mess was how ignorant many of us still are to African American culture. For all the progress we've made, we still have so far to go.
Still, we shouldn't be discouraged by the distance yet to travel. The conversation, the explanation, the exploration of not only our commonalities but also of our differences must continue. If not, we will all continue to sleep.
Jmac and I are having a friendly debate about the greatest player ever. I stand by my hero Hank Aaron and agree with ATLmalcontent that his all around play is continually underrated. Jmac would not even rate him in the top five.
Well, that's just plum crazy. But before we get to the passion, let's look at the cold hard facts.
Stats matter. In basebally arguably more than any other sport. So how does my argument that Aaron is greatest all around player ever stack up against other greats? Let's use Jmac's top five for comparison. First, we will look at each player's rank on the all time lists in 6 offensive categories (Home Runs, RBI, Runs, Hits, Total Bases, Steals). For simplicity sake. we will give someone a score of 100 if he is out of the top 100 all time. Then the rankings will be totalled and the players ranked from lowest total to highest total.
1. Aaron 110
2. Cobb 120
3. Mays 135
4. Ruth 154
5. Williams 228
6. Rose 300
A few things obviously stand out. You could not ask for a more stark contrast of the dead ball era versus the modern game. Cobb's steals and the others home run totals vividly display a time when the ball was barely hit out of the infield. For this reason, Cobb will always be difficult to compare. So let's remove the two obvious outliers; home runs and steals. Aaron still dominates.
1. Aaron 9
2. Cobb 16
3. Mays 31
4. Ruth 51
5. Rose 100
6. Williams 113
Another things stands out. Many will be surprised Ted Williams doesn't rank higher in most categories, especially hits. Yet another demonstration of how his service in the military cut into his career statistics.
But is there a better way? How about we compare the six players to each other. With this method we can include career batting average.
1. Aaron 15
2. Cobb 17
3. Ruth 23
4. Mays 27
5. Rose 30
6. Williams 35
So there you have it. Aaron dominates any way you look at it. That is the cold hard statistical fact. So now let the passion begin.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Amani provides an insiders insight.
Shelbinator was on the ground and not only live blogged but also recorded video.
Grayson takes a turn on Shelby's efforts and is unable to resist taking a shot at all male Atlanta bloggerati as infantile, sexually repressed masses of goo.
Jason Pye also live blogged.
And Benson also live blogged.
Mike-el's wrap up.
If there are other's out there that I missed, drop a comment and I will update.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
What exactly are they trying to hide? Perhaps a High Crime or Misdemeanor? Several possible options lie before Congress. They can use their "inherent contempt" power, which does not require the cooperation of the Justice Department, but will have the look of an internal witch trial. They can impeach Gonzales -- he's already on record lying to Congress and that's impeachable all by itself -- and the Senate can refuse to confirm a successor until this mess is settled and Harriet Miers appears before them. Perhaps they will talk about using the I Bomb on the President himself.
Son, when you have moderates talking about impeachment, it's time to fret.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
My guess is, the justices would not have granted the expedited appeal unless they were interested in finding the legal means to correct an injustice.
He also questions the release of the video tape by Douglas D.A. David McDade.
The law makes clear the exemptions (to kiddie-porn statutes), and giving tapes to legislators so they won’t change a law isn’t one of them.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The optimal solution might well be to allow access to the tape with strict limits on redistribution (perhaps requiring that it be viewed in the courthouse rather than distributing copies) or perhaps blurring the faces of all the persons involved. But most likely neither of these possible solutions satisfies either of the inflexible legal structures. The only way I see of avoiding the problem is for the U.S. Attorney to exercise prosecutorial discretion and allow this sort of limited access. But I'm not sure how likely that is to occur.
The first time I heard of the tape was a CNN report where the journalist viewed it in the District Attorney's office. What an easy solution it would have been. Limit viewing of the tape to the press in the confines of that office. Probably no action by the federal prosecutor. Probably no questions about distribution of pornography. Most importantly, no untold amount of copies floating free across the land.
Which brings me back to a question I first alluded to on March 1.
Every action is backed by motive. Why was this tape let out in the open? What was the motivation? D.A. McDade claims he was simply following the law. Given what we know about exemptions from the Open Records provision, federal child pornography laws and the concept of federal preemption, this is shaky ground at best. Certainly common sense would lead us to wonder if there is a different answer to the question "why".
But even if we give D.A McDade the benefit of the doubt, even if we believe if he was just making a good faith effort to comply with the law, there is still a question which needs to be answered. Why wasn't the time taken to contemplate a better solution than just handing out tapes to anyone who asked (and possibly those who didn't)?
Do we not expect persons holding such enormous power and responsibility to hold to reason and restraint? Do we not expect prudence?
We could dive into the legal minutae until we all drown. Instead, can we not have the clean air of answers to a few simple questions?
The Georgia Open Records Act is even more explicit. If the judge with jurisdiction over a case does not approve public inspection of the evidence, the person responsible for the maintenance of the evidence, including a district attorney, is then required by the law to make available a reproduction or copy.
Really? Well, before we get to that, what about a couple of other angles on the issue?
A Typical Joe handles the political aspect. It appears Barr's recent resurgence of common sense libetarianism once again takes a back seat when the sex is involved.
Sara (with local PD Audacity commenting) handles the concept of federal pre-emption. A concept that's been settled for only about 140 years.
But what about Georgia Open Records statutes? Is it as simple as Bob Barr states? Via the tip line, Georgia Unannotated Code 50-18-72:
(a) Public disclosure shall not be required for records that are: (1) Specifically required by the federal government to be kept confidential; (2) Medical or veterinary records and similar files, the disclosure of which would be an invasion of personal privacy.
Number 2 might be argued but number 1 is pretty clear.
If there are other legal minds that disagree, the tip line and the comments section are wide open.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Maybe the tape is subject to the Open Records law and maybe — maybe — it was absolutely essential that reporters and lawmakers view it, even though there's no dispute about what happened. That doesn't lessen the creepiness dimension of adults watching teenagers having sex or for McDade's failure to be more discreet in releasing the tape instead of putting it in circulation like an R. Kelly sex tape. Why is it necessary for anyone in the general public to have that tape?
Sums it up pretty neatly, no?
Big tip of the hat to Jason.
If you are interested Blake's got it covered.
Oh yeah. And Erick Erickson officially becomes a Macon City Council elect. Seems the smell of victory has him feeling Robert Duvallish.
UPDATE (1:20am): I will take my serving of crow now. Broun is the apparent winner (although Whitehead may ask for a recount). I'm not sure anyone can explain this one. If the coalition Broun claims actually delivered (conservative Christians, African-Americans, Democrats), poly sci students will be studying this race for decades.
I'm going back to watching the World Series of Poker final table. It's even money right now whether it or the race that just won't die, i.e the 10th, will end first.
Monday, July 16, 2007
The Dems may have a chance at winning the Marianna area. For those of you who think everything stops south of I-20, Marianna and Florida's House District 5 is as panhandle as you get. It borders both Georgia and Florida, a tri-state region which is sometimes lumped all together in a wash of scrub oak and flatness. Once upon a time my great Aunt had a fish camp there but that is a story for another day.
For the first time in Lord knows when, a Democrat may stand a chance of taking the seat. Of course, he's a gun-totin, rootin-tootin sort of Democrat who was a county Sheriff for 28 years. But despite endorsing Jeb Bush twice for Governor, he swears he will never switch parties. Meet John "Johnny Mac" McDaniel.
The Democrats' possible savior is John McDaniel, who for nearly three decades has been sheriff of Jackson County..."Johnny Mac," as he is known, is running for the District 5 House seat being vacated by Don Brown, a feisty Republican from DeFuniak Springs, who will be term-limited out of office in 2008...After his wife's death, McDaniel said he prayed about what to do next in his life. He wants to change the way the FCAT is used to grade students, emphasize vocational education more and improve mental health programs for jail inmates.
Republican-lite? Old school Democrat? Just plain ornery old guy that wants to make a difference? Who knows at this point but he should be fun to watch. Read the entire St. Pete Times story here.
Lest you think all Republicans in this state are bull fruit looney, I give you Sen. Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody). In April, he took the well to defend making the previous changes in the aggravated child molestation statutes retroactive. I wrote on him previously in "The Lifeline of Hope".
(And yes I know. The Star Trek thing is a little goofy, but in the context of his elephantine brethren, a rather minor sin.)
The citizens of Douglas County and Georgia as a whole are fortunate to have someone as smart, committed, and thorough as David looking out for them. Politicizing this situation and attacking him rather than discussing the merits of the case are shameful.
Politicizing? Not discussing the merits of the case? Please Rep Ralston, answer me this.
Was it the Democrats who rose in the Senate and lied about the "merits of the case"? Was it the Democrats who leaked a tape of teenagers having sex in an attempt to steer legislation? And how about the legal community. Surely, it must only be Democrats who are calling for prosecution or at a minimum sanction, right?
The Guardian is reporting a sharp divide in the White House over dealing with Iran. On one side is Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of Defense Gates advocating diplomacy. On the other is Vice President Cheney advocating military action.
The Washington source said Mr Bush and Mr Cheney did not trust any potential successors in the White House, Republican or Democratic, to deal with Iran decisively. They are also reluctant for Israel to carry out any strikes because the US would get the blame in the region anyway.
If we choose to open a second military front in Iran the chances are high the entire region will dissolve into sectional war.
I've long avoided using the "I" word, but if Bush/Cheney pursues such a dangerous course of action we have truly reached the brink of insanity. And that is not the "I" word of which I speak. Impeachment is.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Dick Williams: There are 35 tapes out there right?
Phil Kent: Disseminated by the news media. Maybe we ought to prosecute the news media for pornography. It's not being disseminated by David McDade...It's the news media distributing them, not the D.A.
Do what?! In a sea of ridiculousness, Kent has actually plumbed new depths of ridiculousness. As has been documented here and many other places, McDade admits to making approximately three dozen copies of the videotape and providing it to media outlets and legislators. And as WSB reported Friday night, he sent at least one tape to a legislator unsolicited.
What is the color of the sky in Phil Kent's la-la land?
Stephanie Ramage of The Sunday Paper: I don't know how much consent an intoxicated 15 year old girl can give when she's in the company of older males who are taking advantage of her.
I'm going to give Ramage the benefit of the doubt here and assume she mispoke on the age of the girl but its important to note the mistake because there have been so many purveyors of falsehoods in these parts.
Let's the get the facts absolutely clear. The 15 year old was not intoxicated. She did not drink any alcohol or ingest any drugs prior to arriving at the hotel or after the party got started. The 17 year old admits to drinking prior to arriving at the hotel room.
It was Wilson's sexual intercourse with the 17 year old that resulted in the rape charge. A charge on which not only did the jury acquit but have made quite clear they were able to determine the 17 year old was able to give consent.
It was the oral sex with the 15 year old which resulted in the aggravated child molestation convictions. This is the act which resulted in Genarlow Wilson being sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Many people are making many spins in an attempt to retry the rape charge. Of course, I'm sure that was never D.A. McDades goal when he decided to release the tape. Right?
Phil Kent: And if you look at that tape, you wonder if this was a midemeanor too.
Stephanie Ramage: Have you seen the tape?
Phil Kent: I have not seen the tape.
Oh! Well at least we can cross Phil's name off the list of people who have seen the tape. Doesn't prevent him from bloviating about the contents of the tape and what "greater truths" the images tell. That's pretty much all you ever need to know about Phil Kent and his credibility.
But also we must give credit where credit is due. And from an oh so unexpected source.
Dick Williams: ...is saying the District Attorney in Douglas County may be guilty of facilitating child pornography.
Phil Kent: Well, that's absurd.
Dick Williams: No it's not!
And a light will shine in the darkest of places.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
I hope this tape helps you...
WSB is reporting unequivocally that D.A. McDade sent the tape to Sen. Johnson unsolicited.
So much for those open records requests.
Why has he been holding private screenings of this video in his office at the capitol? I know for a fact he's been doing it. I've had legislators say they've seen it in his office.
Jason, despite his respect for Sen. Johnson and the heat he has taken from his friends, has been a staunch ally in the search for the truth regarding this whole sordid mess.
So do the libertarian bloggers at Reason.
People with a hell of a lot more legal mojo than me seem to think McDade violated state ethics laws. Some even go so far to suggest federal prosecution is necessary.
McDade loosed a genie when he started handing this tape out. Now another genie is loose and I don't believe this one will be easy to cork back in the bottle either.
You would think a journalist would at least have a clue.
Can someone please explain to me how anything in this Randy Travis blog entry is ironic?
A lame attempt at cleverness? A rather flaccid defense of an exploitive "investigative" piece by his employer? Well, it may or may not be those but it certainly ain't no black fly in your chardonnay.
At least we know we can add Travis to the list of those who have seen the tape.
The problem with hate crime legislation is demonstrated by the unprovoked assault by 10 or more thugs on young Joshua Martin outside Six Flags Over Georgia. All are the same race, but suppose otherwise. So when is it a hate crime? By the way, wonder how many of the gang have fathers in the home?
Answer to question 1. When the evidence indicates the crime was racially motivated. Evidence. Still required by the American judicial system despite the efforts of some over the past five years.
Answer to question 2. Rememeber a time in this country when reporters actually supplied answers to questions instead of posing strawman questions to further a political agenda? So do I.
American politicians are able to play partisan political games with the war. Imagine them in the role of Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, constantly the target of assassination attempts, and yet he has the courage to confront — and kill — hard-line pro-Taliban cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi and dozens of his die-hard followers.
Except for the western mountain provinces of Pakistan where due to lack of action by the Pakistani government and sheltering by the warlords actually in charge of a quarter of the country, Al-Qaeda is currently regrouping. WHOOPS!
Between Mark Taylor and the trial lawyers the Democratic Party of Georgia remains afloat. Better sue a few more manufacturers, guys. This need could go on for awhile.
Ummmmmm. Exactly who is talking about Mark Taylor? Except for right wing floggers. Then again, the oldies are always the goodies, right Jim? See above regarding reporters and reality.
The plot for my latest novel, entitled “When Good People Do Stupid Things,” features a renegade board member from a major urban hospital who shows up at a neighboring county demanding $4 million, thereby sabotaging any charitable impulse that might have existed to help the neighbor solve his problem. In Chapter 2, he goes to three more neighbors demanding money — where he is arrested by the short sheriff in Slayton (this is fiction) for panhandling.
Shall we keep a tally of young'uns in Cobb, Clayton and Gwinnett who when they wrap their car around a tree are transported to Grady? Surely if we kept such a tally there would be no cost due outside the citizens of Dekalb and Fulton. Surely, only those that actually pay in taxes for Grady actually benefit. I thought conservatives are about accountability. Once upon a time facts actually mattered in reporting. Even in opinion.
Maybe I should have titled this one: reality check.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Check out the new site. Now, you can finally see what the rascal looks like.
Note to bloglines subscribers: You will probably see several old posts pop up today as I update my links to past interviews.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Can you hear the waves crashing, D.A. McDade? Perhaps it's time for you to start 'splaning before they wash you away.
Because there are that many people out there searching for the keywords "Genarlow Wilson Sex Tape".
The genie was let loose from the bottle a long time past, so why wouldn't people seek it on the internet?
Does this make you proud Sen. Johnson?
UPDATE: Now I'm receiving email requests to post the video. As if I wasn't completely feeling vomitous before.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Sen. Emmanuel Jones (D-Decatur) has sent a letter to Attorney General Thurbert Baker requesting an investigation in the release of the Genarlow Wilson sex tape.
State Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) said it is "an absolute, utter disgrace" that a videotape of the raunchy party in a Douglasville hotel room that led to the conviction of Genarlow Wilson on aggravated child molestation charges has been shown to both reporters and legislators. He characterized the videotape as child pornography.
Strangely, Sen Eric Johnson, an early, ardent supporter of viewing the tape as the "truth", has grown silent on the whole matter.
But Don Ward, 48, said there were only three questions Mr. Giuliani needed to know to converse with a fan like himself: “What kind of beer do you like? Who is your favorite manufacturer? And who is your favorite driver?
Monday, July 09, 2007
Well, I've already been to Federal District Court. Seems like a good time to visit the state's highest court. Look for a report on the 20th.
However, when the AJC used the same type of request to obtain an audio tape of a Douglas County investigator interviewing one of the girl's mother about her comments to a reporter, D.A McDade declined the request.
McDade later released the tape to the Fulton County Daily Report.
Listen and judge for yourself what is going on here. Slowly but surely, the onion is being peeled.
It's a question which is not going away. And it shouldn't.
I do believe that science is the key to innovation in the American economy, the key to improving our standard of living. We see the impact of science everyday--from biotechnology to smart bombs, from satellite Global Positioning Systems to the Internet.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
He (Douglas D.A. McDade) also took the role on as lobbyist and went down to the legislature and did in fact show this video. And it has really poisoned, I can just tell you. A lot of my colleagues who are usually very reasonable guys who I've known for a long, long time have seen this video and they say "oh Matt the guy is guilty". I say "guilty of what"? They say "rape". Well, he was found innocent of rape.You can listen here.
h/t: Rogue at Peach Pundit
UPDATE: Tonight Channel 46 will air a Wilson piece. Only this time instead of just rehashing all the sordid details, it appears the focus will be on the question of why the tape is being distributed to legislators. Sometimes small ripples can build into big waves.
I had resolved to make a final decision and announcement by the end of June. A press conference was scheduled for June 27, but someone leaked it to the media on June 18. Rather than fostering a “will he or won’t he” guessing game for a week and a half, I went ahead and announced my decision the next day, on June 19. That’s life in the information age.
"Those dadgum blog sites. You know what I predict is going to happen? I predict somebody’s going to sue one of those site domains for slander, and somebody’s going to get hit with a big suit because there’s no accountability, and they say and do things about people that are blatantly false."
We've got a saying where I'm from Mr. Speaker. Don't sing it, bring it.
But before you consider that perilous course of action let me bring forward a few more of your own words.
"truth is a defense"
Usually a good one too.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
In 1988 when the infamous Rob Lowe sex tape with an underaged female surfaced in Atlanta, the Justice Department dispatched representatives to inform television news directors and producers that if they even viewed the tape, much less aired it, they would be guilty of serious crimes related to child pornography. Since we are so hell-bent to stick to the letter of the law in this state, even when a law such as mine had “Romeo and Juliet” language in the bill for consensual intercourse, then will someone tell me what the federal law is to possession, viewing and dissemination of a video showing underaged teens having sex and the viewing of that video by legislators? Perhaps there is an exception, but no one has shown it to me. And if there are exceptions, have they been properly utilized in the instance of every person who has been shown or has viewed this tape? Seems we are hard as hell on some folks, but the letter of the law is more forgiving for others.
Mr. Towery authored the law which snared Genarlow Wilson. He has stated on record it was never the intention for the law to be applied in cases such as Wilson's.
Unlike your humble blogger, Insider Advantage is read by the big boys and girls of state politics. If that is what it takes to turn the heat up on this issue, so be it.