Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Tag

I do not like chest thumping. But I'm sick and tired of having to search my archives every time I get in another one of these insipid arguments.

So I created a new tag.

Original Reporting

Quote For The Day

From the archives.

In the end, then, whatever the media platform, what it means to be a journalist today is what it always has meant...It's not a matter of training...It's a matter of trust. ~Athens Banner Herald Editorial Page Editor Jim Thompson 1-3-08

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Good God

How many consultants does it take to destroy a venerable institution?

I wish I knew the punchline.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Jim Walls scoops his former employer.

Now about those changes...

More Insanity On Marietta St?

The blog Eye on Sports Media is reporting that AJC UGA beat reporter Chip Towers has been reassigned to General Assignment. Now, with no bureau or distribution in Athens, the obvious conclusion is Chip will cover Atlanta stories - from Bogart.

To twist the mobius strip further, it is alledged Atlanta stalwart Tim Tucker is now on the UGA beat- from Atlanta.

If that's truly the situation, things on Marietta St have truly entered the realm of the absurd.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh, What Changes You Will See

Bloody entrails on the table isn't evidence of an impending cure - it is evidence of a slow, painful evisceration.

But don't tell AJC Editor Julia Wallace.

With the ashes of the latest round of layoffs still warm, she has the audacity to use the word "proud" to describe the impending relaunch of the paper.

Apparently this "newsy" "flashy" new paper (didn't we already go through this with Ron Martin?) will be more responsive and local.

On the responsive front, Ms. Wallace chose to address her dwindling readers directly. Online. On Sunday. The one day where people actually still sit and clutch their gobs of dead tree.

But Ms. Wallace did more than navel gaze. She also promised to respond to comments and questions. Which she did. Exactly five times. Out of over 100 comments. And after explaining how endorsements work (gosh, I've never heard that pablum explanation via one of her Public Editor golems before), commenting was closed.

On the local front, things are even more Pythonesque.

A few days ago, an AJC Online headline screeched that a driver in a fatal accident had been charged. Surely, it must be a story of the horrific hit and run on Riverdale Rd.

No. It was in Arizona.

Then today, the always tittilating headline of an exotic dance taking a stiletto to the head of a coworker appears. Gosh, things must be getting a little wild at the Pink Pony.

Or in Ohio.

Salacious headlines to lure readers deeper into stories that have jack squat to do with Atlanta.

It makes one wonder how much of the alledged $1 million a week is spent on the latest hip and trendy consultants who hypnotize with subtle purrings of clicks per million and sticky pages.

Meanwhile, blood continues to flow on Marietta Street and all we hear is the next cut will be the cure. There is a certainty in those words - cut enough and the patient disappears - no longing needing restorative therapy.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Morning Wooten

Don't have to go very far for the solution of today's riddle.

His willingness to cozy up to Venezuelan leftist Hugo Chavez, schmoozing at the Summit of the Americas, while accepting a book from Chavez explaining how Europe and the U.S. had messed it up in Latin America. The little revolutionary, thus, levated himself not just to equal, but to instructor to pupil Obama.
Let's amble down the hall to Jay Bookman's place.

So if Obama is Chavez pupil, was Richard Nixon Mao's BFF?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The People Have Spoken

I enjoy being the man in black but I've always worried about readability. There have been complaints in the past.

Well, time to do something about it.

I got off my lazy butt, dug out my miniscule CSS mojo and tweaked the main section. Hopefully the color contrast is a bit easier on the eyes.

I'm going to keep tweaking but let me know what you think.

Oh. And I know I've also been less than prolific lately. That's going to change too.

I Ask Julia A Question

This Sunday, AJC Editor Julia Wallace explains the ongoing reorganization on Marietta St. She will also field questions.

I submitted one.
Ms. Wallace.

Given the reaction of the online community as well as the rise of such local websites as inDecatur and DecaturMetro while the AJC continued to close local bureaus, do you regret stating the following in 2007?

"Online, we will show that we know Atlanta best, providing superlative news and information and becoming the preferred medium for connecting local communities"
We'll see if it gets through moderation and if it does how much spin the answer will contain.

UPDATE: Still no answer.

At least I don't think there's an answer.

Perhaps I just can't find it in the AJC's hideous mix master commenting software.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Morning Wooten

Jim reaches a new pinnacle of the nonsense and non-sequitor this week.

I'd have an easier time translating hieroglyphics.

Feel free to make your own attempt - kind of a dada mad-lib.

Thanks. But No Thanks.

Let me ask you a question.

If you blew someone off so unprofessionally that they all but publicly called you out, would you then spam them in an attempt to get them to move your content?

I ask this not as a blogger or a writer but as someone who has been in the business world for 20 years and understands that pissing off a potential channel is not the best way to launch a product.

That's strike two.

It happens again and the call-out will be public and it will not be kind.

Well Said

Our friend Jason quoted in the AJC.
Jason Pye of Covington, the legislative director for the Georgia Libertarian Party, had mixed emotions about the rally. He and his fellow Libertarians have long supported the ideals exhorted Wednesday: less government, free markets and a Darwinian-approach to private business...Many of those speaking, he said, haven’t always protected those ideals...“I’m happy people are getting together,” he said. “But the movement has been co-opted by Republicans who are trying to regain their identity and want to forget George W. Bush existed. Libertarians aren’t forgetting.”
It always good to remember there are those who call themselves Libertarians because Republican just doesn't sound as cool.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Woodshed

You think I'm a righteous sonofabitch when it comes to the AJC?

Then, you should read this.

And I agree with every damn word.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Morning Wooten

Apparently when it comes to Lt. Gov. candidate Eric Johnson, Jim has a blind spot similar to the veil cast by Sarah Palin. Since Sen. Johnson supports one of Jim's pets - school vouchers - he must be a straight shooter.
I’m getting OD’ed on drama in office. I want competence and I want honesty. No games. No hidden agendas. I’ve come to admire officials like former Senate Pro Tem Eric Johnson (R-Savannah), who has been passionate about school vouchers. He tells you what he believes and works diligently to give parents an alternative
Let's take a look at Sen. Johnson's honesty.

June 27, 2007
A young girl charged them with rape. The police arrested them. A district attorney chose to prosecute them. A grand jury decided to indict them. And a jury convicted them.
Genarlow Wilson was acquitted of rape. But why let facts get in your way.

February 21, 2007
if Genarlow Wilson had simply had the oral sex with the 15 year old, we would probably not be dealing with this.
Genarlow Wilson's only conviction stemmed from having oral sex with the 15 year old - based on a law so unjust Sen. Johnson voted to modify it the following year.

February 19, 2007
The young men, including Mr. Wilson, engaged in multiple acts of intercourse with the 17-year old, even after she was passed out drunk and high on drugs. In fact, Mr. Wilson is videotaped abusively having sex with the passed out girl – a fact ignored by the media, but witnessed by the jury.
The jury concluded the 17 year old not only was not passed out but was able to give consent.

February 19, 2007
My personal opinion is that the jury would have preferred to convict him of the rape charge due to sex with the older girl after she was passed out and incapable of consenting, but since she had earlier had consensual sex, they felt they couldn’t.
Polling of the jury and transcripts gave no indication the jury preferred to convict Genarlow Wilson of rape. In fact, they clearly indicated the 17 year old gave consent and struggled with the issue of the 15 year old girl. These facts did not stop Sen. Eric Johnson implying jury misconduct.

Honesty. It is a rare thing these days. So rare, an AJC editorial writer sees it in places it has long left.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Carp Circles Blackout

You might recognize this sketchy individual from the Saturday Stupids pictures. Lard help us!

AJC Death Watch: The List

I'm going to say it again because it seems people either forget or ignore it all the time - it breaks my heart when people lose their jobs.

Scott Henry has the list of those taking the buyout (or forced to take the buyout) at the AJC. Sonia Murray. Phil Kloer. Terrence Moore. These are names even casual readers recognize. There's also Doug Nurse whom I had the pleasure of meeting when our paths crossed on The Love Shack saga.

But there's one name in particular I'd like to point out - Lea Donosky.

In my first encounter with traditional media animosity, Ms. Donosky not only defended the bloggers in the room, but also drew the comparison to Thomas Paine. I've used that analogy dozens of times over the years.

People with vision are rare - and they seem to be growing rarer in the newspaper industry.

In my mind, this list is a tipping point. At what point does a desperate industry cut so deep that the very talent which could save it is no longer there? We grow closer to the answer every day.


Attention, PR and media hacks and flacks: If you haven't heard of #amazonfail, you're not doing your job.

Nutshell: Over the weekend, for reasons still unclear, Amazon removes LGBT content from its sales rankings. Someone on the internet notices. Crap storm ensues.

More on this later.

For now though, a simple question.

Which is more likely?

A complex algorithm which searches and prioritizes a massive database goes hinky and excludes certain entries or an internet company with no history of discrimination starts discriminating against a certain segment of society with the belief no one on the internet will notice?

UPDATE: Here is an account from an alledged Amazon employee.
Amazon managers found that an employee who happened to work in France had filled out a field incorrectly and more than 50,000 items got flipped over to be flagged as "adult," the source said. (Technically, the flag for adult content was flipped from 'false' to 'true.')
That my friends is a dbase error.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

AJC Death Watch

Found a new blog via Live Apartment Fire.

Certain Speculation.

And CB has the scoop on Julia Wallace's memo to staff on the recent round of layoffs. The paper also wiped out the whole graphics department. One wonders if it was replaced by a monkey with access to Microsoft ClipArt.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Race Of Fools 2009 - Elephants In Godfrey

The story of an underground road rally as told by the navigator of a cranky '64 Sunbeam Alpine.

To read Part I, go here.

Eventually we passed through the wreckage of broken yard sale dreams but the experience left Captain Ballard muttering. He began gobbling what appeared to be either tic tacs or possibly white crosses.

I attempted to steer us onto the bypass but he insisted it was a highway and that was just not allowed. Despite the temptation to smack sense into him, I charted a side street course. It was simply too early for violence.

We arrived at the botanical garden just behind the Mercedes and frantically searched for the Kugel Fountain. Dozens of steps later, with generous help from the resident Garden Club of Georgia members, we found the object and snapped the appropriate picture.

I wanted to buy some begonias to adorn our ride but the Captain screeched there was no time.

We then reached a mission crossroad.

Our choices were to proceed towards Omaha Springs via either Godfrey or Tignall. Godfrey appeared to be a more direct route and travelling to anything so weirdly named as Tignall was unthinkable.

The Sunbeam puttered past the pastures of Oconee County on the way to Madison and points beyond.

Our clue stated we had to take a picture of an elephant in a metal warehouse.

As we approached the outskirts of Godfrey, it was decided to leverage the local knowledge. Fortunately, a man hauling hay appeared on the side of the road.

He stared at the strange little car and fortunately for its navigator didn't let loose a hail of bullets as an obvious maniac emerged from the cockpit and sprinted towards his truck.

"We're looking for the elephant!", I wailed.

"The whut?", he responded.

"The elephant, man! The elephant!"

Blank stare.

"For gods sake where in town is there a metal warehouse?".

"Uh, yeah. There's a big metal building down by the tracks"

"Many thanks".

We drove to the other side of Godfrey (about half a mile) and indeed a fabricated metal building sat attached to the ubiquitous general store.

A man and his young daughter stood near the entrance. She promptly pointed at the psychedelic roadster and sputtered, "what the hell is that?"

Ballard responded, "It's a '64 Sunbeam Alpine..."

"There's no time", I whimpered, "Have you seen the elephant?"

"It's in there", she pointed Alice in Wonderland-like at the dark door.

Inside lay possibly the grandest taxidermy shop in the whole wide world. And on one wall was the head of an elephant.

"There's a bigger one through there", the little girl, who had followed us, pointed again.

In the next room was a full sized, stuffed bull African elephant.

Stunned at the weirdness of it all, I gently shoved the near catatonic Ballard in front of the monstrosity and snapped the required photograph.

We thanked Alice and her diddy, then sped away towards Omaha Springs and glory.

To continue to Part III, go here.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What Is Goin' On: Sine Die

Wilson and I talk about the craziness of Sine Die including the transportation mess. I even manage to make someone in middle Georgia mad about Marta.

Gonzo Lawmakers - An Appreciation

I've always watched "Lawmakers", but in years past, it was only background noise.

As with many things in my little world, what began as a lark led to a journey of thousands of words. One of the underrated aspects of the new media landscape is the rabbit-hole exploration of things we may have previously taken for granted.

Deconstructing Georgia Public Broadcasting's "Lawmakers" nightly taught this old dog he knew far less about the legislature, journalism and television production than he would ever admit.

One very important thing I learned is most of them are interns. Outside of David Zelski, Nwandi Lawson and Valarie Edwards, everyone you saw or read about nightly are interns. In other words, indentured servants. They are all still attending or fresh out of college and for 40 days, they gave up cheap beer at Moe's & Joes and spring trips to Destin to hone their craft through the unforgiving glare of live television.

And this year, they also had to deal with the ravings of a wild-eyed blogger whose favorite past time seemed to be repeatedly screeching one of their names.

For the record, I think Minoo is a lovely name which is probably the reason it kept bubbling to the top of my consciousness.

With all this madness, the "kids", as I repeatedly called them, consistently pulled off informative and even entertaining reporting on possibly the driest beat of their burgeoning careers. I expect many big things from you young'uns in the future. (And that includes Andrea Hummel-Shelton who worked behind the scenes. As a former technician myself, you have a special place in my heart.)

And a special thanks to "secret squirrel". You'll never know my pet critter's name but the missives I received in the dead of the night gave me a whirlwind education on the perils of live tv - particularly the always strapped-for-funds-glue-screw-tattoo wild world of public tv. I certainly hope I continue to hear chirps in my inbox.

Finally, I've held off on a particular rumor for weeks. Like every other aspect of our life these days, Georgia Public Broadcasting is struggling in the current economic climate. Budget concerns inevitably leads to talk of cutbacks and in the television industry, whispers of cancellation. I have no evidence Lawmakers is on the table but I also have no reason to believe it's not on the table. Only a blind fool would believe it's a guarantee the venerable show will celebrate its 40th year next January.

For a moment, put aside your philosophical and political views on the overall need for government run television. We should all ponder the question that if public broadcasting won't take a mere 30 minutes nightly to show us how our government works, then exactly what is the purpose of the people's television?

I certainly hope to see my friends next January. And I hope in a small way Gonzo Lawmakers made them your friends too. And I hope you tell a neighbor about these friends. And for 40 nights, next year, all us friends will gather round about supper time to witness the latest shenanigans stirred up by the Gold Dome scoundrels.

Until then, that's a wrap.

Gonzo Lawmakers - Day 40 - Part II

A daily recap of the Georgia Public Broadcasting show "Lawmakers". The show airs weekdays at 7:00pm with a replay at 5:30am the following weekday.

* Day 40 - 11:00pm

* Oh lord. I now see this one is actually an hour long. It runs all the way to Sine Die.

* Dave's in studio but Nwandi's down at Hogwarts.

* Budget passed. Details to follow. Bells ringing in the background. I bet the crap's flying!

* They saved some of the stimulating for next year. No teacher furloughs. Medicaid funded.

* They had an hour debate on creating an aviation authority. Why an hour debate? Because everyone still breathing tried to tack on an amendment.

*Tom Crawford is right there with Nwandi.

* SB 200 which reshapes the DOT passed and heads to the Governor but still no funding bills. Here's a hint - there won't be one when this is all over.

* The previous random shots of seats at 7:00 is now revealed. They were trying to show Rep. Heckstall but he wasn't standing.

* Chip Rogers got rather animated after repeated badgering by Nan Orrock about capital gains tax cuts.

* Valarie reports SB 200 passed but there was a threat to Preston Smith! Oooooo I heard about this one. It's the tale of the text messages which Jim Galloway covered. By the way, Sen. Smith's tie is longer than Valarie is tall.

* We're going to random live shots. It must be hell to try to cover this stuff completely on the fly.

* I just realized I think I saw Sen. John Wilkes in the Perimeter Mall area tonight.

* It's now a blur of letters followed by numbers. It would have been fun to do this live but I was otherwise occupied in Dionysian activities in Athens. Now clips of stuff that happened on the earlier show. Stretch, people, stretch!

* Sen. Don Thomas' seatbelt bill was resurrected from the dead again! But there's only 30 minutes left! Oh the drama!

* Guvner in the House! WOOT! He's praising the House on their hard work. That makes me giggle. Doesn't he know the clock is running? God help us if we have another Denmark Groover moment.

* Lawmakers is 39 years old and we're getting a review of it over the years. How cool is that. Okay, maybe not that cool. I think I've jumped in the deep end of political geekdom.

* It was in black and white in 1971! My god! They were always technologically challenged!

* Ray Charles singing Georgia On My Mind on the House floor - now that was a great moment.

* They used to take live calls and some man is mad, I mean MAD at a young Roy Barnes. They should bring this feature back. Oh lord that would be fun.

* An early iteration of Angry Zell Miller.

* There's Gerald Bryant. He's the first anchor I remember.

* The stachey days of Glenn Richardson. Now the stacheless Richardson is talking about listening to all sides. Better get out the smelling salts.

* Young Nwandi! I wonder if she was an intern.

* Dave running down a street in 2005. He's always liked stunts.

* Back to black and white in 1971. 1971! Still in black and white! Goodness gracious.

* Retrospective over. It was a very good segment. Good job writer-producer Matt Reznick.

* Valarie at Hogwarts again. Bells ringing. Crap still flying.

* Repeat of intern appreciation day.

* We're down to the last 10 minutes. Soon paper will fly.

* The countdown begins. It's like a weird New Year's Eve. No one can find the bill to adjourn. Oh lord will it ever end! Denmark Groover is smiling down from heaven.

* Before the inevitable happens, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading, emailing, commenting and generally making this a fun experiment. More on that tomorrow.

* Now...


Monday, April 06, 2009

Gonzo Lawmakers - Sine Die - Part I

A daily recap of the Georgia Public Broadcasting show "Lawmakers". The show airs weekdays at 7:00pm with a replay at 5:30am the following weekday.

Day 40 - 7:00pm

* This is the end. My only friend - the end. The last day. By now, you've probably heard it was the day the transportation died and maybe some other hideous little fruforals. But we must complete the circle. There's one more episode of Lawmakers to mockingly love. Actually there's two, because the powers that be decided to bring the kids back at 11:00pm to cover the last hour of bloodletting. Thus, the Part I. Part II will cover the second broadcast.

* Senate in session. House out to lunch. I mean dinner.

* Negotiations on transportation funding. Yes, I know it's already happened and that makes this a little weird. So, let's focus on how they cover it. Valarie is quick out of the gate forecasting the thing is about to suffer a hideous death.

* There is a noticeable increase in the number of microphones at every interview session.

* Sen. Mullis is banging away at the podium like a revival preacher.

* Casey fires up the troops to invade the House and twist arms. Valarie says not too many followed through.

* Live Tom Crawford. The budget took two or three hours to print. Somewhere in Brazil another 100 acres of trees just bit the dust. Tom says the business community is not happy with the transportation shenanigans and says Casey has the most to lose politically.

* Some lady behind Tom is scratching in strange places. Now she's mugging for the camera. Someone's been nipping on the flask early.

* Bunch of bills that we've already talked about dozens of times but were being hammered out in conference committee were finally passed.

* Seatbelts in trucks. We're gonna hear more about this in Part II.

* Finally! We hear what will happen with the results of HIV testing of prisoners. It will remain confidential. Some legislator is saying he still didn't understand what the bill accomplished. I would think that would be pretty obvious - the prisoner would know their previously unknown status. I would tell you who asked this weird question but the camera is suddenly showing random shots of the seats. Doesn't matter because Earl Ehrhart says "if you don't like it, vote against it"! SNAP! (It passed)

* Most of the clips are from the Senate. I should have tracked the percentage of House vs. Senate coverage. Maybe next year.

* Weird moment of the day. The bill to dismantle the State Public Defenders Council had no one step forward to present it in the House. For a second, Speaker Richardson looked like an auctioneer looking for a buyer. It was eventually withdrawn.

* Kasim Reed is running for Mayor. Imagine that.

* Intern appreciation moment! With clips! Awesome! Brittany on a scooter! Emily Banks at warp speed! Alan Friedman eating god knows what! Evan Seitz surviving his "boom goes the dynamite" moment! Tiana nearly choking to death! Minoo winking! I'll have more about the kids tomorrow.

* Special edition at 11:00 which through the magic of the internet will be Gonzoed in about 45 minutes.

My Morning Wooten

Today's a real laugher.

A few days ago Jim opined that even though Alaska's favorite bridge builder Ted Steven's convictions were overturned...
The Senate’s a better place without Stevens.
But can any man of Jim's nature resist a coy wink from his Alaskan girlfriend?
Should we start a national campaign to put Stevens back in the U.S. Senate? There’s no time to wait. The poor suffering soul is halfway through his 80s and cannot long wait for justice to be done. Send him back to Washington.
Internet archives. Aren't they just wonderful?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Race Of Fools 2009 - A Good Start

The story of an underground road rally as told by the navigator of a cranky '64 Sunbeam Alpine.

A night of molotov cocktail bonfires, fire engines, stilettoed co-eds and the demons of Irish whiskey led to a staggering morning of a shattered alarm clock, a non-existent wake-up call and a trip deep into the unknown.

The 2009 Race of Fools began at a farm 15 miles north of Athens with a promise of a finish line somewhere within the bounds of the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia. The format was a treasure hunt style road rally where we would only discover our goals as we passed from checkpoint to checkpoint. Our final landing strip never revealed until the final hurdle was cleared.

Months ago, I signed on as navigator for a 1964 Sunbeam Alpine with a technicolor paint scheme, wires crawling up and down the barely existing firewall and carbs which were replaced by a Rastafarian mechanic less than 72 hours before the checkered flag was set to drop. The pilot, Captain Ballard, promised his machine now hummed like a prom date slithering into her first back seat and had at least a 50% chance of making the entire journey.

The field spanned from the sublime (a mint Mercedes 560SL) to the truly bizarre (a fire truck with kegs of beer in place of the water pumps) - 23 vehicles in all, including an ungodly amount of little Triumphs, a sprinkling of MGs and the aforementioned weird roadster with two hideously hungover southern gentlemen in its tiny cockpit.

The fire engine, sirens blasting, generating a furious response from near-by trailer court pit bulls, led off.

At one minute intervals each team blasted from the start in a spew of gravel. Team Sunbeam began its journey in the 20th slot but the race was against the clock, not the well tuned German beasts and whining British bumblebees, so confidence was high.

The official's clock counted to zero, she handed me our first orders and our little car wheezed towards US-441. Our first destination was the UGA Botanical Garden. Good, I thought. Familiar territory. This small jog across town would allow my addled brain to catch up.

Five miles towards Athens, the first obstacle of the day presented - two non-participants cars intent on turning into a yard sale at the same moment had tangled in a mass of saturday morning trashy despair.

Johnny Law held up his hand and refused passage past the wailing scene until the ambulance jockeys made sure all the occupants retained their teeth - a challenge on this side of town.

Chewing our lips, cursing the depression era madness of the siren call of yard sales, we stared at the nightmare as the enemy clock ticked away.

Continued in Part II.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Destination Unknown

Sunbeam Alpine

As the Gold Dome scoundrels hurtle towards Sine Die, I'm getting the hell out of town. Even wild eyed political junkies have thresholds and the wailing from Capitol Avenue could drive Tantulus to drink.

The only salve is a high speed burn to parts unknown. I'm navigating the above two wheeled piece of weirdness through the wilderness areas of no less than four states. I'll be back Monday to pick up the pieces.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Gonzo Lawmakers - Day 39

A daily recap of the Georgia Public Broadcasting show "Lawmakers". The show airs weekdays at 7:00pm with a replay at 5:30am the following weekday.

Day 39

* The penultimate day and the penultimate episode of Lawmakers

* Straight to a live shot of the House. These are more frequent as we run headlong towards the end.

* Budget passes but there's a fight over that VA home in Milledgeville. The Donkeys are going to pin this tail on the Elephants forever. John Douglas (much less crazy this year) responds that if everyone is taking a hit the veterans have to as well. Not the best response. It reminds me of the time Roy Barnes pissed off the teachers and we all know how that ended.

* Earnest Dan Weber wants to get some more money for teachers. Nan Orrock is on his side. But Perdue still might veto. All of this means its doomed. Veterans. Teachers. Some Republicans are playing with fire.

* No live shots yet. Where are the kids?

* Here we go! Transportation and that means Valarie. She's in studio. If I recall, SB200 saw a rare procedural move in the House. Let's see how it plays. The critical portion is the DOT would have to run all projects through the Governor's office. So, the Governor becomes a giant project manager. The whole weird twisty thing even brought the Speaker to the well. In the end the bill ended in a tie which let Speaker Richardson vote and pass the thing back to the Senate. To be honest, this hideous little chimera has metastisized so many times, I'm not sure anyone understands what it does.

* We're past the big stuff and into the minutae.

* Definitions. We're arguing over definitions. Yes, yes, counselors, I know many times legal decisions fall on the crux of a definition, but good TV it does not make.

* We can adopt embryos. I'll take an even dozen.

* Garden club vs billboard owners. There's a cage match only government could gin up. I think the begonia lovers won but I'm honestly not sure.

* Tiana's at Hogwarts. Some immigration bill that's apparently clean up to get us in line with Federal law.

* We're going to allow victims to show emotion when they give a statement during sentencing. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds.

* John Oxendine is accusing Lt. Gov. Cagle of playing politics with the Insurance Department's budget. Imagine that.

* My sweet lord, they are using Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyrie" to introduce a segment about scooters. I love the smell of small two stroke engines in the morning. There's Brittany looking spiffy on a yellow Vespa. Keith Heard showed up for some face time. I'm sure his Athens constituency are just plum happy.

* Lawmakers will be on at both 7:00 and 11:00 this Friday. I, however, will not. More about that later. Look for the final Gonzo Lawmakers next monday. Until then, that's a wrap.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Simple Question

What the hell is Thurbert Baker thinking?