Friday, May 29, 2009
Not physically, but virtually.
For the next week, I'm going to take a break from Georgia politics and explore the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The opportunity to write about one of our more fascinating and infrequent Constitutional processes is too enticing.
I'm not a lawyer, but I love arguing with lawyers. Even though I am not lettered in the law, I feel I have a good layman's understanding of the Constitution and the workings of the courts. However, everything I write will be from a lawyman's perspective. If I don't know something (for example if the court has ever clearly defined the term "arms), instead of diving into case law, I'll say I don't know. Hopefully, my common man jumping off point will encourage those lettered in the law who visit this little community to jump in and provide elucidation for us all.
My starting point for this series of essays will be the SCOTUS blog's analysis of Judge Sotomayor's rulings on civil cases while a member of the 2nd Circuit.
As with all my writing, it will not be objective but it will attempt to be fair. My hope is my own analysis of the cases will continue the exploration of the "griftdrift philosophy" I expressed on Monday.
Expounding on this principle further, I would never expect to agree or disagree with any potential Justice but I always expect to at least understand the reasoning, logic and law behind the opinions.
Although in the current climate, I am considered left leaning (I'm convinced 50 years ago I would be considered a moderate Republican), I will approach each case with my personal filters of leaning to the left on individual liberty and leaning to the right on issues of federal supremacy. These personal standards will be my guide and the paint peeling talking points already being blasted about will be ignored.
That's what we'll be doing for the next week. Hope you jump on for the ride.
And we might as well make the first leap a breath sucker - on Monday - 2nd Amendment.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
But it's also because the abject stupidity and utter arrogance of statements such as these enrage me.
Why is our government helping to fund this hate? Especially our Democratic government, helping in some way shape or form by sponsoring the very people that want its downfall? Are they really that masochistic?
I haven't heard the ads, but given Boortz and Cain's general listenership, the ads may have been well-placed. The NPR crowd after all isn't likely to want to brings guns to the airport
Our good liberal friends are questioning the wisdom of the TSA advertising on a radio station which doesn't kowtow to their political point of view. They ignore the practicality that WSB has had the largest audience in Atlanta since well before they were gleams in their daddy's eye.
But that's not what really irks me.
What really sticks in my craw is these types of statements make true the accusations of the right that Democrats act like they know better than you and view most of us poor, wandering, waterhead children who must be shepherded by some smothering nanny to find the "proper" place in life.
Caricatures are amusing because they contain a slice of truth and Democrats always seem the most anxious to prove it.
Less than a week after it appeared, it was filled.
I've certainly been one of the harshest critics of the ongoing splintering of Atlanta, but maybe there's something to this idea of the new cities providing their inhabitants better service.
Friday, May 22, 2009
But there's another topic where they at times stray past my patience - when they co-opt the elephant's stalking horse of the media is the root of all evil.
As long as you repeat the words of others, it doesn't matter how often you insist you are having a different conversation..
Either I don't disagree or even where I do disagree, Jim is actually clever and sane, which makes it awfully difficult to rake him over the coals.
This in particular...
No need to waterboard Joe Biden. If he knows, you know. Real torture’s when he’s forced to remain silent. Where’s the doomsday bunker, Joe?is damned funny.
But there is one item where I can at least provide a little elucidation.
Almost half — 46 percent to be exact — of the 2,800 people who responded to the Web question, “How would you describe President Obama’s political philosophy?” posed by Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ.com answered “Socialist.” Another 24 percent said Marxist, 11 percent Communist, 10 percent fascist and 5 percent liberal. I’d be in the 5 percent. Not scientific, of course, and Viguerie would draw a particular segment of conservatives, but it does reveal how polarized we’ve become.Well, at least Jim admits Viguerie pulls from a slice of the right wing. He doesn't tell you Viguerie is the pioneer of right wing direct mail. I know because, despite my never signing up, he fills my inbox daily. This little poll is the ultimate preaching to the choir. Next, Jim will be quoting WorldNetDaily polls.
But even that's a quibble.
Maybe Jim took Crawford's little spanking to heart?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wooten eventually moved up to the AJC editorial page as a columnist and for many years provided his conservative take on Georgia politics. Unlike Shipp, who raised hell with both parties as he continued to crank out his columns, Wooten became less of a journalist and more of a public relations spokesman for the Georgia Republican Party. You could always tell what the Republican Party considered to be its main talking points for the week, because they would inevitably be regurgitated in Jim's columns...Wooten's decision to become, in effect, a party flack was a sad loss for journalism, although I suppose it turned out to be a good arrangement for the GOP.Ummmmmmmm.
I'd like the record to reflect that my picture postcard of Jim's impending retirement was much more in the tradition of the southern "everybody's gotta find something nice to say at a funeral" sort of thing.
Welcome to the game, Tom.
I may have to step things up a bit.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
More importantly, in a town drowning in traditional media angst, he proves there's still some ass kicking left to be done in those old streets and byways.
Creative Loafing's Thomas Wheatley's "Sober" has been nominated for The Association of Alternative Weekly's award for feature writing.
I've always believed great writing is driven by a deeply internal engine and Thomas plows that earth like few can.
We're lucky to have him.
Also, photographer Joeff Davis is a finalist for the APC's Journalist of the Year in Photography. Joeff and I once spent a few very interesting hours in an effort to capture an image for a certain "Best of" issue. Of course, it was the picture snapped at the end, almost as an afterthought, where I looked like a child molestor that was chosen. And I thought it was funny as hell.
His images capture the funny, the moving and the just plain strange soul of Atlanta.
We're lucky to have him, too.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall said it’s worth exploring. On Friday he used the social-media tool Twitter to obtain assistance for a woman who suffered a seizure at the intersection of John Wesley Dobbs Avenue and Jackson Street...Hall said Sunday night he planned to register @911Atl on Twitter, though the city’s emergency operators won’t be responding to “tweets” anytime soon. A phone call remains the only way to directly contact 911 in Atlanta. “Let’s see how we can embrace this new technology and maybe save some lives,” Hall said.Points for thinking outside the box, but one of the safeguards of the 911 system is when you call, authorities know where you are. If some fool decides to get his jollies off by punking the emergency system, he will get a visit from Johnny Law who will promptly throw his butt in the pokey.
How in the world would you prevent these types of resource soaking distractions on Twitter?
Firstly, it's a little strange but pretty funny.
Secondly, as Rusty and I discussed yesterday, Secretary Handel's going to be a force to be reckoned with. She's never been afraid to bare the knuckles in a fight and this weird little vignette just put everyone on notice.
Also, check CB's take on the video. As usual, it's funny and insightful. Bonus points for the Fringe connection.
The playoffs ended when Josh Smith tried that dunk through his legs - that showboating, hotdogging baloney...there's no room for guys like Josh Smith in basketball.So here's the obvious question.
Would Dick have said the same thing about Bob Cousy?
Friday, May 15, 2009
A warning to conservatives wishing to avoid being trampled in a stampede: Never stand in the path of a liberal determined to give a Republican governor a big hug for vetoing a tax cut. Won’t give ’em a vote, but will give ’em a big wet kiss.I'm for tax cuts but the constitution requires a balanced budget.
Despite Gov. Sonny Perdue’s veto of a capital gains cut and business tax credit for new hires, the Legislature did send an important message that it believes in cutting taxes to stimulate the economy, as opposed to Washington’s print money and spend approach. Kudos to state Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger) and state Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) for ushering the bill through.I'm for tax cuts but the constitution requires a balanced budget. CTRL-C/CTRL-V/GOTO Line 1
Georgia’s seventh in foreclosures. It’s fourth in mortgage fraud. Connect the dotsAnd? Last I checked fraud is illegal. Prosecute at your pleasure.
Please, Republicans, for goodness sakes, don’t do what Associated Press writer Erica Werner warns about. The president’s trying to reshape “the nation’s health care system to bring down costs and extend coverage to 50 million uninsured people.” But “Republicans could scare the public with images of a system run by bureaucrats.” Don’t. Henceforth, my band of right-wingers is forbidden to suggest that government-run health care might be an unhappy experience.I'd love a link here so I could read the entire article for context. After all, it has been a problem before. Quote mining - a favored tactic of creationists and apparently soon-to-be retired Associate Editorial Page Editors.
Don’t suggest, either, that it’s not a good thing that the Obama administration wants a say in how financial institutions compensate employees, including companies that got no public money. Truth is, that’s not government’s business.Pretty simple here. If you don't want the government mucking in your business, don't take its money. Otherwise, Jim is right. Government has no business mucking in the compensation of any private institution.
Why should a mayor have to suspend a police chief for wearing blue jeans after he’d been told to wear “professional attire,” namely his uniform? Jonesboro Mayor Luther Maddox suspended Chief Brad Johnson for five days for insubordination. At some point mature adults stop playing rebellious-child games.Can't disagree with that one. Can you feel the love?
What a quaint notion: The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, thinks Justice David Souther’s replacement should be committed to the rule of law without regard to “feelings toward a particular person or political group.” Mark me quaint.Okay. Guess I'm quaint too. But why do I feel Jim really means something more here.
A federal judge in Jacksonville will decide the value of metro Atlanta’s claim to Lake Lanier’s water. Common sense should prevail, with water allocated on these priorities: 1) Drinking. 2) Flood control. 3) Jobs. 4) Power generation. Next case, please.Wait a minute. Did a "conservative" just say a federal program (that's really what Lake Lanier is) should generate jobs? Let's move on. Actually, when Buford Dam was built the purposes were 1) Power generation. 2) Flood control. Nary a mention of jobs or drinking water. As a commentor on Jim's own blog points out - he lusts for judges who rule on law and then ask one to rule solely on common sense (not to mention the feelings of particular group of people i.e. Atlanta).
Living the good life, as expressed by former WAGA-TV newscaster Jim Axel, now residing in Venice, Fla., where he’s battling lung cancer. Said Axel of his broadcasting career: “I was being paid for a job that I loved.”Jim Axel was one of the first television faces I saw when I arrived in Atlanta in 1986. I've been keeping up with his battle at Certain Speculation. God bless, Jim.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Last week, DecaturMetro pondered whether the re-jiggered media giant's new policy of showing all sources would extend to the online world.
Given many in the community spent the past three years attempting to convince members of the traditional media that online content has any value, expecting them to suddenly embrace one of our most cherished concepts seemed pie beyond the sky.
Then, last night Steve Visser posted an article on the potential closure of Decatur's Paste Magazine that not only credited Drive A Faster Car as the origin of the story but linked to the site.
To my knowledge, that's the first time an AJC staff writer outside of Jim Galloway linked to a non-traditional local media site.
That's one bridge crossed, but our expectation remains that it won't be the last.
And this moment of feel good does not mean the talons will remain sheathed if in the future the paper brings the crazy.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
That's how long I've heard the rumor that Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Land Of A Thousand Rants) will drop out of the Senate to run for Atlanta City Council President.
Maybe this year the rumor will finally prove true. If not, I'm going to start talking about Generalissimo Francisco Franco.
Those over 40 will get the reference. The rest of you young'uns should use the Google.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Part I - A Good Start
Part II - Elephants In Godfrey
Part III - Muddin'
Part IV - No Joy In Midville
Also you can view the route of the Sunbeam on this Google Map.
And you can view photos (including the fire truck!) on this Flickr page.
We proceeded, carefully following the path of the Triumph (minus the turn towards the tree), through the mud and water and came to the next intersection.
"You've got to be kidding", Ballard screamed.
"I swear this is the only way in or out", I replied.
We passed the test of mud and now faced by all appearances a single lane logging road.
My driver had no choice. He had to follow the seemingly insane instructions of his navigator. We rumbled across the ruts and washouts and saw our Triumph adversary approaching from the opposite direction. I burst into a smug smile and Ballard kept mumbling about the car rattling to pieces.
At the end of the lane was a single house and two men dressed as WWII aviators.
My first thought was, "This guy really wanted to get away from it all".
My second was, "How the hell did that fire truck get in and out of here".
I dutifully showed the monitors our pictures of the fountain and the elephant and we were handed our next packet.
Our next destination was Shawnee, Georgia but we had three choices for our intermediate checkpoint. I instructed Capt. Ballard to proceed towards Wrens while I figured out just what the hell to do next.
My decision was to proceed to the checkpoint via the Bellevue Plantation near Millen, Ga.
It was here I made my first error. Pumped full of adrenaline, I steered us south towards Louisville. After a few moments of careful study I realized my error would cost us about 15 minutes but Ballard was already tear-assing down US-1. The die was cast and I set out to find a short cut.
It appeared as something called the Eden Church/Magruder Rd. I explained the situation to Ballard and included the fact that I had no idea if my short cut would suddenly turn into another hellish mudhole. Filled with the lust for victory, he was ready to roll the dice.
South of Louisville, we were pleased to see a beautiful two lane blacktop peeling off to the left. My shortcut was indeed a fine county maintained by-way. Flying down the paved backroad, it was easy to ignore the growing heat flowing through the holes in the firewall.
In the distance, a bad sign emerged - literally a bad sign - one that said pavement ends 1000ft. We thumped off the pavement onto another dirt road - albeit a dry, firm one.
Capt. Ballard slowed the Sunbeam to a halt, but not because of the sudden change in terrain. He said in a slow voice that something didn't sound right. He also pointed to the temperature gauge which now registered an alarming 260 degrees.
I believed the road ahead was good and firm and would lead us to our destination, but there was no town of any size down that path. We looked around at the surrounding desolate forest, then down at our cell phones registering no bars and made the difficult decision. We found a cut through back to the main road and headed towards the nearest town of any size - Midville.
The Sunbeam now labored - wheezing and gasping with frightening regularity.
The town of Midville is a crossroads with two gas stations and little else. Our immediate concern was the 'Beam's now white hot engine block. The first store had no exterior water spigot but the second did. A couple of water filled gallon jugs later, the temp gauge dropped to an acceptable 220.
But the poor thing still sounded sick.
I called the race officials to let them know our status and that we still intended to make the next check point. Ballard unloaded the massive collection of tools stored in the small trunk and we peered under the hood. We determined three things: the mixture was too rich, the distributor didn't look quite right and one cylinder was completely dead. Not good.
We reached the limits of our mechanical ability quickly. Attracted by the clang of tools and howls of frustration enveloping the strange little car, a pair of gentlemen, in a strange twist also travelling from Athens, stepped out of a massive SUV and asked if they could help.
They admitted they knew little about cars and the sight of two grimy, wild eyed fiends beating on the engine block of a psychedlic convertible filled their eyes with wonder and possibly fear, but they had a cousin who worked as a mechanic and they were willing to fetch him.
"Please god, yes!", I moaned.
They peeled out of the parking lot leaving me prostrate under a shade tree and Ballard madly searching for more tools and parts.
Minutes changed to hours and I began to believe our saviors chose discretion over valor by fleeing the weird scene as quickly as possible.
Then, the SUV appeared and out of it stepped a man in a blue and gold Goodyear uniform. He would not have been more beautiful if he were a white-clad angel bathed in the glory of grace and rapture.
In practically no time, our new best friend returned the distributor to its proper position, changed all the plug wires and performed a full tune up on the carbs. He said there was little he could do about the bad cylinder but he believed it would get us back home.
I wanted to hug him. But in the fashion of southern men, we all heartily shook hands and laughed about the craziness of it all. Ballard gave the mechanic the little cash we had left and he graciously accepted.
I called the race officials to tell them we would not finish but instead stagger back home. Capt. Ballard turned the Sunbeam northward, we waved goodbye to our new friends and started for Atlanta.
Darkness fell on us at Rutledge and the haggard Capt. Ballard handed me the driving duties for the final push.
Traffic increased, the deepening night cooled and the luminous skyline of Atlanta suddenly appeared on the horizon. Though the sting of disappointment in not finishing remained fresh, we bathed in the salve of the safe return home.
We also immediately began planning next year's mad run.
To read Part II, go here.
Omaha Springs - a place so exotic and hidden, it baffled the GPS.
Ballard and I left the elephants of Godfrey in the dust and headed towards our first official check point. Although the GPS remained clueless, I quickly located the village on the map and we pointed the Sunbeam towards Eatonton and beyond.
As we approached the Jefferson County line, a scream erupted behind us. A Triumph which began the race ahead of us was now hurtling towards us from the rear. I pumped my fist and screamed at my driver that superior navigation will always...well...triumph.
Our celebration was short-lived as the six cylinder beast tore past us. Ballard floored it and the Sunbeam squealed in angst. Although our little machine was a gamer it could not match the speed of its larger bore brother.
The Triumph flew around a bend in the road and I knew we had them once again - they had passed the turn off to Omaha Springs. I motioned for Ballard to make a right but he hesitated. It was a dirt road and it was not in good shape. The biblical rains of the previous week left many a mud puddle in between the washboard ruts.
We pulled over to discuss the situation. I explained I was 100% positive the little hellhole road was our route but if there was doubt, I could find an alternate. Ballard looked at me and grinned with that toothy smile that could scare the devil.
"Let's try it", he grunted.
We proceeded down the dirt path at a reasonable pace until we reached a puddle the size of a small lake. We stopped to inspect its depth and ponder the wisdom of plowing a 40 year old British car with British wiring through a fair sized water hole.
At this moment the Triumph re-appeared.
Having discovered their error, our competition circled back and followed our track onto the side road. Now, they were again travelling full tilt boogie towards our position. Where as the slowness of aged wisdom caused our pause, the bullet-proof stupidity of youth led the Triumph's team full speed towards a collision with mud.
It hit the water and immediately went wobbly. The back end spun wildly towards the ditch and fearfully appeared destined for a tree. Ballard and I watched helplessly as the driver frantically spun the steering wheel. Then with the grace of the angels who watch over idiots who drive too fast on country roads, it straightened and flew out of danger in an eruption of rooster tails.
I looked at Ballard and said, "I think we can make it if we follow their ruts."
"But not quite as fast", I quickly added.
To continue to Part IV, go here.
Will we go with tanned, telegenic tax hikers with dubious personal issuesExactly what are these "personal issues", Erick? Is he corrupt? Perhaps, he take kickbacks? Stuffed some ballot boxes? Kills kittens in his spare time?
Step forward and speak plainly, young man.
But that is a vaporous wish of the vain.
If a person puts pure rumor on his website regarding the marital status of candidates, if a person slanders a sitting Supreme Court Justice as a buggerer of boys - why would we ever expect that person to speak plainly?
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Cameron McWhirter's piece on John Oxendine's questionable fundraising is simply stunning.
If you want to read political analysis on this situation, check the Georgia Voices section to the right. I'll only say - this is exactly the type of story the paper does well and my goodness let us all pray we see more.
Today is also the first time I've seen the new "How We Got The Story" feature and it is brilliant. One of the tragedies of these waning days of newsprint is people do not understand how newspapers work. This veil of ignorance allows certain purveyors of the media is the enemy mantra to easily produce their shadow puppet shows of deceit.
Those three paragraphs explaining how McWhirter and others caught and produced the story benefitted the grand old fishwrapper more than any musings and grovelings by the seemingly endless supply of public editors.
No one knows if the re-design will save the AJC, but today certainly brings a glimmer of hope.
What does this mean for we's and us'ens beyond the borders of the Sunshine State? The Republican Civil War is about to hot up again.
Crist will face former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, current darling of the Erick Erickson set, in the primary. Once again, we're going to see Moderate Charlie take on the right wing of his own party. The last time that happened was when he put a rented mule beating on Christain Right darling Tom Gallager in the 2008 Republican primary.
Should be fun to watch.
Hit play or head to the Georgia Podcast Network to listen to episode 22 of the Georgia Politics Podcast.
And I know. Cuomo was 92 not 88. With age comes addledness. It wouldn't be a podcast if I didn't misremember a date.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Friday, May 08, 2009
Here we go.
The U.S. Senate wisely rejects a bill that would allow bankruptcy judges to “cram down” mortgage rates. You can bet that the rate on your next mortgage would be higher to cover the risk had it passed. A dozen Democrats joined Republicans to vote it down.Can't disagree there. That's not a very fun start.
Chicken of the Sea, mindful that Al Gore’s global warming projections will make Vidalia and Lyons seacoast towns, announces that it’ll build a $20 million tuna packing factory employing 200 about 110 miles inland, in Lyons. Until the fishing ships are able to dock in Lyons, the tuna will be shipped in frozen. About 65-70 million years ago, Macon was on the coast. Check with me soon for beach front property in Jacksonville, Ga.There we go. Only Jim could tie a new cannery in Lyons to global warming. By the way, Al Gore never mentioned danger for the residents of the Greater Toombs County Metro Area. He did mention the fact that about 1 billion people live close enough to a body of water to be affected by unchecked global warming. And the vast majority can't afford a beach house in Jacksonville. The real problem is most of them can't afford a U-Haul.
Headline: “French excel at leisure.” Another from Yahoo: “Kirstie Alley tells how she gained 83 pounds.” A reminder: News is what people don’t know.Next, Jim tell of the pleasures of life before all these wireless telegraphs he sees all the young'uns frantically tapping. Ol' Sam Morse should have left well enough alone, I tell ya!
You’re never too old to learn. On Tuesday, for example, I learned never to park a white car under a mulberry tree where hungry birds are gorging.News is what people don't know. Unless you're Jim. And want to break the blather with an amusing anecdote. Perhaps the band of right wingers are available to wash their dear leader's stained Tin Lizzie.
The liberal community activist group ACORN had best register Georgia’s illegals before Jan. 1. Under a law signed this week by Gov. Sonny Perdue, proof of citizenship will be required after that date. Acceptable proof: a driver’s license, birth certificate, U.S. passport, U.S. naturalization documents or a Bureau of Indian Affairs card.ACORN STOLE THE ELECTION! Acorns and Mulberrys - pure evil. Tree and their terrible spawn. Will the madness never stop? Seriously, though. I don't think you have to be a citizen to have a driver's license. Is that really one of the acceptable documents?
Which is preferable — a Senate with 30 Jack Kemps or 60 Arlen Specters? The Kemps, no doubt. Over time, 30 Kemps could persuade the country to alter its course. The Specters would get the majority periodically, but you’d little notice the difference.I would love to have 30 Jack Kemps. However, since on many issues he was a social moderate, do you really believe he'd get a big ol' hug from Jim, his band of right wingers, the hillbilly heroin addict and local leper colony entrepenuer Erick Erickson? Me neither.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Here are some things I've been pondering in my mini-sabbatical.
Has Peach Pundit turned into TMZ?
What the hell was Jay Bookman thinking?
Good to see The Newsman gets the same type of tepid response from the AJC powers-that-be as me.
Speaking of which, have you ever noticed instead of an ombudsman, the AJC has a "public editor". This nomencature explains much about why The Newsman and I receive such mealy-mouthed responses.
Last AJC bit - I hate to admit it but I kind of like the redesign. But in my travels, I've seen many gutted houses with pretty window dressing.
Found a new blog. Intown Writer. Given my recent fascination with the operations of Georgia Public Broadcasting, the latest entry is most interesting.
I think I may have a solution to our transportation problems. More on that later.
I will conclude my Tale of Captain Ballard and the Sunbeam.
All of these things and the usual doodads very soon. Breaks over.
Now, what's that rascal Jim Wooten been up to...