Friday, February 29, 2008
For the unenlightened, Lawmakers is GPB half-hour nightly recap of the day's legislative session.
Rep. DuBose Porter, Democratic House Leader and possible gubenatorial candidate (he's still being coy) wearing a sporty black fedora.
Not sure what it means. Maybe he's trying to roll time back to when Democrats had a few crumbs of power.
But you might want to get out the fainting couch because I agree with Jim more than not. Must be the whole leap year thing.
But not on this one.
The year’s great irony is the rush of Democrats to Barack Obama on his promises of “change.” Think about it. Nothing more terrifies liberals than the prospect of change from the failed policies of the past.What terrifies people, liberal or not, is the thought of continuing the same craptastic, ruination of the last eight years.
House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s tax-swap proposal —- a portion of the property tax for a new tax on services —- is a loser for Republicans...A good leader doesn’t invite his followers to walk into a political ambush with sharpshooters from the Left on one side and from the Right on the other.Couldn't agree more. Then again real leaders would call for spending reform before tax reform. Does anyone think that will happen before the next Sadie Hawkins Day? Or the next? Or the next? And so on.
Give Dunwoody the right of self-determination. In a metropolitan area, people should be able to control their space.Here's a better idea. Pass one of the township bills. Either Adelman's in the Senate or Jacobs in the house will do. As far as my thoughts on the plight of the poor abused Dunwoodians? See here.
One area where Republicans under the Gold Dome promise to make important trides is education. The majority should most assuredly pass State Sen. Eric Johnson’s SB 458, which would give vouchers to parents of students in chronically failed schools and in a system that loses accreditation. The latter may include Clayton County. The Senate should pass, too, Rep. Jan Jones’ House Bill 881, which would give charter school organizers a state-level way around foot-dragging, kill-the-competition local school boards and would make it clear that the money follows the child. Local control means parents, not another level of government.I'm still not sold on vouchers. Convince me there's a way to avoid entanglements of government and religion, particularly the snake handlers and the creationists, and I might be swayed. But I love me some charter schools. Hell, even John Sugg agrees with Wooten on this one. Maybe we're all high.
What? The drought is not part of an end-of-time cataclysmic event? No. Climatologist Doug Lecomte of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration checked the books and found that drought is a frequent visitor hereabouts. It spent three years here between 1980 and 1982 and five years here between 1985 and 1989. Then there was the visit in the early 1930s and in 1924. All told, the past 325 years have featured more than a dozen droughts. The lesson: Don’t panic. Don’t be arbitrary or stupid with rule-making. Plan, manage and store water. Droughts come and go.No, Jim, it's not part of the apocalypse. Yet. Droughts do come and go but this one has been around for a while and has been significantly severe. The fact is the climate is changing. We also have been on a uncontrolled development binge for the past two decades. Combine these with, as you correctly point out, we haven't really planned, managed or stored water very well and Georgia is very close to experiencing a perfect storm of ecological disaster. But if you want to attack only one symptom of the disease go ahead. Our mutual friend the free market will eventually sort things out as people and businesses flee our great state - for greener pastures usually grow where the water flows.
You know a day where Sugg, Jim and I all start agreeing just doesn't feel right. What's Bobby Franklin up to these days? I need a good old fashion "railing against the crazy" catharsis.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Jack Kingston (R-Lalaland) gets caught attacking Barack Obama for not wearing a flag lapel pin while not wearing a flag lapel pin.
Perhaps the Republicans would be better served by having an attack dog who doesn't come across as the kid in third grade who was so eager to run the movie projector.
The first, despite the furious mental masturbation of all the political junkies, never happens. The last brokered convention was the Democrats in 1952. The refinement of the primary process carefully shepherded by the new class of profressional political rustlers has pushed the possibility of some open political brawl into the realm of fever dreams of the deluded.
After the fever dreams pass, we wake to a world we perceive as madness, muckery and morass.
Much as the "plagarism" charges against Barack Obama caused the scribes to furiously search for previous episodes of "lifting" (not so shockingly they found a throughline of purloined political bromides back to the time of Lincoln) so does history reveal that a few pictures of a man in what westerners think is an awfully funny outfit is far from the worst bit of political awfulness the world has seen.
Grover Cleveland was accused rather publicly of fathering a bastard. Andrew Jackson opponents claimed he was the son of a prostitute and a "mulatto" to boot. Abraham Lincoln was frequently called "Honest Ape". Given the racial politics of that particular era the implication was rather obvious.
Yesterday, we had a picture of a man in a funny outfit. Today, we have some maniac with a microphone using a candidate's middle name as a smear. Neither holds much honor but neither holds much horror either. Certainly neither should unleash an earthquake of contempt strong enough to shake us from our beds. After all, the fever dreams await.
Repeated viewings of anything will lead to the discovery of the odd.
I just noticed they use stock footage for floor shots during Senate debates. For at least the second time while someone spoke from the well, we were treated to a shot of Senators in their desks with Senator Dan Weber looking pensive and a Senator (I'm not saying who I think it is) rather noticeably napping. Or maybe he was just resting his eyes.
Not much but I thought it was funny. Now I'm going to be looking for naptime Johnny every time I watch this show.
Watch it here.
I wonder how long before one of us nasty bloggers crashes into a 30 second audio spot on a certain radio station living on the left hand side of the dial.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
So you think you know what happens during waterboarding? So did a reporter from Creative Loafing Tampa until he first witnessed it then experienced it.
For over a minute, Ruppert has a gallon of water poured over his face. He struggles slightly, but seems calm considering. Suddenly he shoots up and jumps off the bench, gagging and spitting. He takes a few moments to catch his breath before the TV cameras descend...(At this point I'm starting to question my decision)Read the full article to see what happened next.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I've never heard a President use words like "destiny" and "sacrifice" without thinking bullsh*t.That pretty much crystalizes why I support Obama. So, I'm going to indulge in embracing the platitudes of unreality for a moment.
The snark will return shortly.
While the Georgia left is all a-ga-ga over Rep. Jack Kingston's (R-Lalaland) loopy performance, David Frum played historian on Bill Maher's show friday night.
People compare him to John F. Kennedy and one of the things that's interesting about the comparisons is John F. Kennedy...was immediately tested by America's adversaries and immediately failed those tests.One of those "tests" was the Bay of Pigs which is hard to argue was not a failure. But the other one was the Cuban Missile Crisis which to call a failure is laughable.
Kennedy actually faced Russian destroyers cruising off the coast of Florida with nukes, cowboyed up in real life, looked the bad guys in the eye and said, no.
Hardly the failure of a limp wristed liberal.
The myth spinning of "Kennedy as a failure" is usually left to the realm of late night wacko radio shows, but we can now see it is being trial ballooned as a mainstream Republican talking point.
It might be worrisome if the whiff of desperation didn't make it so laughable.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Check out his first screed opining on what the future holds for Republicans who leave their core beliefs behind.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Well, it's a sick, warped, liberal cultureSo, when liberals aren't busy aborting babies and lolling around in laziness, they are also responsible for producing all the vulgarity uttered in the great United States of America.
"[Conservatives are less of a power online]because we have family lives because we don’t abort our kids and we believe in capitalism so we go to work." ~Erick EricksonI'm no expert on the funny. But I have walked this Earth for close to forty years and I own a blog so that must mean something.
In my experience, the funny requires two things.
One, it must contain a kernel of the truth.
Well, we could stop there but let's give the comment the small benefit of the doubt and proceed.
But ultimately, to be the funny something has to actually be funny.
And that's all I've got to say about that.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
They recently took interest in HB997. The bill attempts to provide stricter guidelines in the use of eyewitness evidence in a criminal case.
It is a noble bill as the recent case of Troy Anthony Davis revealed serious issues with eyewitness recollection.
Still some oppose.
[Terry Norris, executive vice president of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association] told Committee Members that while the resolution is not legally binding, he still feels the State is dictating to law enforcement what to do.Mr. Norris. That's their job. It's why they are called lawmakers and you are called law enforcers.
It's hard out there for a blogger.
Then came SB59.
A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 9 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to forgery and fraudulent practices, so as to provide definitions; to provide that it shall be illegal for the owner or operator of a social networking website to allow a minor using a protected computer to create or maintain a profile web page on a social networking website without the permission of the minor's parent or guardian and without providing such parent or guardian access to such profile web page; to provide for penalties; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.In other words, unless social networking sites, i.e. twitter, facebook, myspace, lastfm, etc., provide certain parental controls their owners could end up in the hoosegow.
SB59 has that certain special brand of crazy which inspires the bloggers of Georgia to pull together on the same end of the rope.
So, the state Senate wants to try to ban minors from joining MySpace. No word yet on whether they plan to ban church picnics, where minors are actually more at risk than they are on MySpace.Leonard Witt:
Of course, as someone who just started a social networking site for SoCon08 to help Georgia businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs, it worries the hell out of me.Jason Pye (who might be ready to storm the castle):
I have an idea. Let's just ban the damn internet. That would solve the problem. Let's bring Georgia back to the stone age. We don't need technology, right? It's evil.Even the heavy hitters at Peach Pundit:
Yet more idiot-based legislation is making its way through our Senate chambers. A few dopes think we can’t teach our kids about the Internets on our own, so they’ll just take it away.Well, while we are all a little excited (and some us grateful for something to finally write about) the fact remains the thing is probably about as useless as hen's teeth.
First of all it's not enforceable. The only way to arrest the nasty pedophile assisting scofflaws is to raid their hosting facilities. Most of these are either located outside of Georgia or are part of a distributed network across several states. Which brings us to....
...a little thing called the Interstate Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitituion. The power to regulate commerce between the states is explicitly limited to the Federal Government meaning any attempt to affect a business in another state is patently unconstitutional. Even if the hosting facility is in Georgia given the required connectivity to servers elsewhere and the elasticity the Supreme Court has acknowledged in the clause, it would still be patently unconstitutional.
I suppose there is a small chance someone operating solely in Georgia could be arrested by an overzealous law enforcement official. They might even be inconvenienced by some time in the pokey. But imagine the outcry, lawsuits or public damage such a case would cause. Would anyone actually risk that media maelstrom? We should qualify by saying anyone outside the Georgia Senate.
Which brings us to the ultimate point. Jason has it right. Anyone who votes for this thing should be thrown out of office on the simple grounds of idiocy. If our guardians of democracy under the dome can't understand concepts taught in an 11th grade civics class should we really trust them with anything else?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Water dominated the conversation with the Lt. Gov. attempting to explain the controversial state water plan.
Take a listen here.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Courtesy of the Georgia Podcast Network, take a gander the ramblings of myself, Southern Political Report's Tom Baxter, CNN.com's John Helton and Shelby.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Last year, Douglas County D.A. David McDade created quite a stir by alledgedly handing out multiple copies of the Genarlow Wilson sex tape. After hints of prosecution from the Feds, McDade finally stopped his willy-nilly distribution. But the genie was out of the bottle.
That one thoughtless act led to rumored viewing parties at the Capitol and ultimately to the demise of legislation which would have freed Wilson. Fortunately, the Supreme Court, presumably without the same access to the horrible video talisman, later set aside Wilson's conviction.
Now the final act of the Wilson saga begins.
Rep. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna) and David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) have submitted a bill which would prevent any release of evidence of sexual nature used in a criminal case. They should be applauded for this effort, but as Political Insider points out there one potentially big problem with the law.
Particularly worrisome to the Georgia Press Association is a provision that would permit judges to clear the courtroom when such evidence is presented during trial.
The good intentions of Rep. Golick and Rep. Ralston miss the point that the sin committed in the Wilson case was not the viewing of the material but the distribution of the material. It can certainly be argued the press and even the public to a degree have a legitimate interest in viewing all evidence which might lead to a criminal conviction. This does not means either should be able to possess that evidence.
Fortunately, the fixing is pretty easy.
First, throw out the ability of the judge to scurry the press out during a trial. Second, add that access to evidence of a sexual nature should be limited to those with a legitimate interest, i.e. the press, and that it can only be examined in the confines of a custodial facility such as a D.A.s office. Third, require the request for information be in writing and recorded. This final point will prevent those who only seek this type of material for prurient interest.
There's a lot of good here. Just needs to be shined up a bit.
A couple of things though.
A hint to future moderators. If your first question is going to be how many hits your site gets, make sure the local blogs don't have to follow the CNN.com guy.
One thing the panel agreed as a whole was the speed in which the political world and the electronic world is converging is astonishing. Even to those of us immersed in it every day. When Shelby began describing some experiences on the Biden campaign there were audible gasps from the audience.
Overall I had a hoot and I really appreciate the APC for asking me to participate.
UPDATE: You can see your humble scribe and read one brief summary here.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Tom Baxter, Southern Political Report
John Helton, CNN.com
Shelby Highsmith, Shelbinator.com
James Williams, Griftdrift
Moderated by: Walter Jones, Morris News Service
When: Thursday, February 7
7 - 8:30PM
Where: The Commerce Club, 34 Broad St., Atlanta, GA, 30303
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
-Democrats know how to party. I'm still waiting for some invitations from the Republicans. The longer y'all keep me out the more I will be convinced your hootenannies involve candles, paddles and cries of "thank you sir may I have another".
-Amsterdam Walk has some seriously messed up parking areas. One lot was completely isolated and practically unlit. Given some recent criminal activity in that area someone might want to look into improvements.
-Wow. It was a word heard over and over last night. Everyone predicted an Obama win in Georgia but no one predicted the avalanche of a 2 to 1 victory. Also as the demographic numbers emerged many were in a stunned daze. Obama won everywhere among everybody. Except for the blue hairs. Clinton took the over 60 set.
-When will the Frank Capra movie end? Mike Huckabee has no money, no support staff and many thought no chance. He still has no chance as last night McCain surged to a huge delegate lead but winning Georgia in fairly stunning fashion will keep Mr. Chips alive for a while.
-Congratulations Georgia. We were first and we were the story. Obama's stunning numbers and Huckabee's nail-biter kept our state in prominence all the way to the close of the California polls. Campaigns might want to consider that in the future.
-Finally, last night it occurred to me that I voted for the winner in a Georgia Presidential Primary for the first time ever. EVER. Voting for the winner feels pretty good.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Today he took the well and invoked the spirit of recently departed Speaker Murphy. Things are certainly very uncomfortable in the House these days.
Jason has the audio. You can listen here.
From the Dem side JMac and Flack (sounds like a bad indie comic) will be live blogging from the hinterlands of Athens and Cumming.
Check the voices section for others. Reports are heavy turnout just about everywhere.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Two months before I was born, the Tet Offensive began - shredding the last desperate hope we would salvage anything from a broken war. Two days after I was born, Dr. Martin Luther King was gunned down in Memphis. Two months after I was born, we lost Robert F. Kennedy.
Can a life be defined by the year of its birth? No. But there it remains. A year which has haunted a nation - becoming ingrained in our very conscience. A wound on an entire generation so deep the healing always seemed far from possible.
Those born in the chaos of 1968 never knew the hope of previous years. We were weaned on Watergate, reached adulthood chased by the spectre of nuclear destruction and entered the prime of our life with the shadow of another broken war covering our future.
For four decades we, along with our beloved country, yearned for a cleansing - water to wash away the sins and sorrow of the past. We wanted nothing less than to be dipped into the river of hope and emerge back into the sunlight of a new life. A life reborn.
A life healed.
Chip Rogers of Woodstock was the original sponsor of the guns-in-parking-lots bill, and it’s customary for the originating lawmaker to be part of a conference committee...“I think you all know the significance of those appointments,” Johnson told reporters.
Translation of the political speak is the bill will slip into the ether of a never-agreeing conference committee. Isn't it interesting the boys up at the NRA hardly made a peep this year? Interesting indeed.
From some old friends. Since I went from national to pretty much Georgia only, I miss talking regularly to Libby and Joe and Eddie. But I still read them every day.
But none of that matters because here is the real deal.
About a year ago or somewhere in between, a few of us started a blog amnesty day. Fed up with the high and mightyness of the few and far between, we delinked some of the big boys and gals. Our mouse whine was that if they didn't link to us, we wouldn't link to them.
And they felt our power! And went on to watch their Technorati scores rocket!
Don't matter. It was about the little blogs saying we're little but we still matter.
So today we celebrate that day raising a toast to other little guys. Folks you may not have yet seen. Well, since I've gone pretty much Georgia exclusive, y'all are just gonna have to notice a few southern voices. Enjoy.
Going Through The Motions - Tough politics and tasty music
My Mind Is On Georgia - Every state should have this kind of dedicated blog
Drive a Faster Car - Atlanta has always been a music town. Now you know why.
The Aging Hipster - God help you, there are liberals even in the moutains of North Georgia
Chicken Fat - Be careful. There may be a little more than tea in that mason jar.
You can catch many more great Georgia blogs over to the right in my Voices section.
Happy Blog Amnesty Day everyone!
Sunday, February 03, 2008
She lives in Dunwoody - or maybe that should be past tense - she lived in Dunwoody.So, the good people of north Dekalb are going take one of the few Republicans who has avoided the taint of the last two years of craziness under the Gold Dome and run her out on a rail because she didn't want to create a city that even many residents don't think should be birthed? I'm willing to take book on that bet.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008
A question gentle readers. How do you kill a bill nobody wants?
Your Political Insider explains.
In the blink of an eye, and with no fingerprints, the state Senate may have just deep-sixed H.B. 89, the tortured guns-in-parking-lots bill.We wait with bated breath on news the thugs are gassing up the jets for a quick flight down here to once again place their pointy-toed lizard-skins on the chests of their wayward brethren.
However, this time could be different. Suddenly the mundane is filled with accusations of mischief, strong-arming and all kinds of hooliganism. It's too much to get into in such a short time but Wheatley gives you the thumbnail.
You can watch here.
Now that we've both built the anticipation, we'll probably have a whimper instead of a bang.
UPDATE: As feared, a whimper instead of a bang. The House just adjourned. But not before Rep. Ron "I Put The Peach In Impeachment" Forester took the well once again in an effort to force an impeachment vote against Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. I think that dog needs a new bone.
UPDATE II: Apparently they are voting. Now I think I remember they vote for this based on the district or something. Maybe Rep. Erhart is right. Maybe this stuff is too arcane for the average Joe. Anyway, Jason has the scoop at Peach Pundit. It appears scourge of Mr. Speaker Mike Evans has won.