Monday, April 30, 2007

A Republican Star Rising

What do you call a governor who has over 80% approval rating in his own party and over a 60% approval rating in the opposition party? A freaking rock star.

On his way from a Republican event Monday evening at the Governor's Club, Gov. Charlie Crist made an impromtu walk along Adams Street, stopping to gab, hug and shake hands with folks...
Charlie Crist may be the most well liked politician in Florida since Walkin' Lawton Chiles. Crist not only portrays the good guy but appears to actually be a good guy. A walk the walk after talking the talk act that I bet Georgia Republicans wish Sonny did.

Dry Ink Interview: The World's Oldest Blogger

Doug Monroe interviewed by Dry Ink:
But I’ve reached the point where I find porn to be spiritually debilitating. It’s like watching a snuff film. So, count me out of that sh*t. Call me old-fashioned.

Doug gives a good overview of new media, especially in the Atlanta area. He has become a vibrant member of the local internet community and a good mentor. Simply put, Doug gets it.

But we'll just have disagree on the pron thing. Probably a generational thing

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Afternoon Trivia

What is the rarest feat in baseball?

The unassisted triple play.

It's only happened 13 times an oddly the last two have involved the Braves.



Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday Stupids

In spite of ourselves.
we'll end up sitting on a rainbow

Quote Of The Day

"When you consider all the lies that this government has told, you have to sort of prioritize the lies." ~Bill Maher

Songs In My Head

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Morning Wooten

I wake this morning to find my heart full of hate and a spleen in desperate need of venting. Fortunately, I have a convenient local punching bag.

So let's go. Suffice it to say, the harsh will not be spared.
No taxpayer should ever, under any circumstances, agree to a tax that can be extended 15 years when two of three local governments agree. Most of the voters who elected to tax themselves and their guests for MARTA are dead and gone. Before it’s extended from 2031 to 2047, the living ought to have a say. The tax was approved by a 471-vote margin in Fulton and DeKalb 36 years ago. By the time this newest tax expires, the youngest voter who could have extended permission will be 94 years old.
And one day the crotchety curmudgeon lap dogs of the pave everthing industry will pass from this world and perhaps we can then have a decent conversation about real transit solutions.
The fight between two lobbyists after the end of this year’s General Assembly came about 2 in the morning. Ever notice how many bad things happen to people between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.?
Ever notice how many bad things happen when drunk, on power or otherwise, Republican lobbyists are involved?
U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s “War is Lost” Democrats defines, again, the difference: If there’s trouble or threat, real or brewing, in the world, put a Republican in the White House. If day care is in crisis and money is the answer, elect a Democrat.
Except for Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Ah, but it is so easy to forget that some choose to live life as if we all inhabit some John Wayne movie. Just one other thing. There was trouble brewing in the world once. And we put a Republican in the White House. That particular Republican chose to brush aside reports of an escalation in terrorist chatter. Then, one day, the entire nation woke up to the horror of 9-11. Please, Jim, spare me your bullsh*t platitudes about Republicans being strong savior cowboys and Democrats being smothering mommies. There's only so many times you can hand the American public a sh*t sandwich and make them believe it is ham on rye.
The Georgia State Senate, exercising its advise-and-consent authority, declines to accept Gov. Sonny Perdue’s renomination of a special interest group lobbyist to the board of the Department of Natural Resources. Said lobbyist and her soul mates are chagrined. Hmm. Should the Marlboro marketer have a designated seat on the board of the Department of Community Health? Or the road builders on the Department of Transportation board?
Don't let a few facts get in your way Jim. Why was the problem only discovered now? The so-called lobbyist sat on the board for almost eight years. Why take action after so long? You do remember why dontcha Jim? It is one of the five "Ws" all reporters are supposed to worship. Is some operation required to remove that particular part of the cognitive ability when a reporter graduates to commentator? And one other thing. If all these other board members are such objective do-gooders, then why won't the Governor's office release the names of all executive board members?
Now I understand why cops here work part-time jobs. It’s to pay their lawyers in the event they use their guns. Or to pay funeral expenses when they guess wrong, and don’t.
No, Jim. Cops work part-time jobs because every time they ask for a decent salary, so-called conservatives who preach the primary responsibility of the government is protection start screaming about unions and how they will be the end of us all. And if this particular point is some obtuse reference to the Kathryn Johnson case, then please excuse me as I remove myself from the room for a good vomit.
When a union spokesman raises alarm about staffing levels, whether in schools, police departments or government agencies, the skeptical taxpayer wonders: Is this a real problem and, if so, does it require a monetary or a management fix?
Well, you didn't take long to prove my point.

I'm done with you today, Jim. And no I don't feel particularly better. But sometimes you just can't honey up the medicine enough. Maybe I should try a different form of medicine. One that might take me into the habitat of the elusive feral Republican lobbyist.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Another Drug War Casualty

Add the morale and morality of portions of Atlanta's police force to the butcher's bill of the ridiculous war on drugs.
Atlanta police narcotics officers often falsified search warrants to make busts and pad their arrests records hoping to satisfy goals set for them by upper brass, federal investigators said...That accusation was noted in the guilty plea agreements of narcotics officers Gregg Junnier and Jason R Smith and confirms what police union members and other critics have long said: that pressure on quotas caused officers to bend the rules.

A 92 year old woman dead. Two police officers convicted of manslaughter. APD morale possibly at an all time low. All very tragic. All just part of another day in the useless drug war.

Media Dinosaurs

Check the cartoon here.

Spacey? Don't be drinking coffee when you click that link. Spittage guaranteed.

What Is Going On: Griftdrift On The Special Session

A couple of days ago I talked with Wilson Smith of What Is Going On.

Y'all give a listen. Click the link. Or just Save Target As and listen a little later.

Wilson and Griftdrift Talk About The Legislature

And I really meant Austin Scott. Not Steve Austin.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Let The Lies End

Let them end now.

Why Should We Believe You Now?

John McCain appears on The Daily Show.

The hideous hypocrisy of Jim Wooten's article this morning has nearly left my tank empty. So just follow the link, watch the video and if you are of the Republican persuasion answer this question.

Why should we believe your predictions of the future when you predictions of the past have been so catastrophically wrong?

You want to be the party of accountability? Be accountable.

My Morning Wooten

Yesterday, Jessica Lynch and the family of Pat Tillman testified before congress on how they believe the military intentionally misled the public on both tragic stories. For a long time, I myself wondered why these exaggerations mattered. Then someone, I do not recall who, crystallized the matter for me. He said, "Sometimes the only comfort for the family is the cold, hard truth". As we all know now, when this administration's war effort is involved ,the truth has been not been a requirement but rather a tool to further its misguided agenda. The tool is not even set aside for grieving families or traumatized soldiers who simply want to be left alone.

Then, there are those who "support the troops" but only as long as they are seen in the light of the "good" war effort.
This is not a liberal or conservative issue, but the anti-war Democrats in Congress are attempting to make political hay with suggestions that the brass lied about the valor under fire of Jessica Lynch in Iraq and the death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan.

I would write on but simply reading Jim's article this morning roils my stomach. What about supporting the families (the Tillmans), Jim? What about supporting the troops (Lynch), Jim? Are the also part of the anti-war crowd? Does it matter that the Tillmans have been asking hard questions about their son's death for three years? What about Jessica Lynch? Does it matter that since she arrived home all she wanted to do was receive treatment and return to her life instead of being paraded like a prize pony.

No, in the mind of those who still ignore the cascade of deception and failure that led us to this point, the only viewpoint is a partisan Congress intent on destroying the President. All else is irrelevant, including the actual events of the previous three years.

But should we be surprised? Ignoring history to further agenda has become standard practice in some parts.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What Is Going On: The Special Session

Just got off the phone with my buddy Wilson Smith. We discussed the recently adjourned session and the upcoming special session. The podcast of the broadcast should be up tonight. I'll update when it's there for your listening pleasure.

UPDATE I: I just remembered that I think I said Steve Austin when I meant Austin Scott! I turned a state senator into the Six Million Dollar man! Ah well, it was early.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Why NBC?

Is it too soon to start the inevitable self-analysis? I think not. In the comments of Evolve or Die, Murray Grevious leads us to Laura Fries' of slight alternative to my concluding the old media dinosaurs probably have no hope. An alternative that perhaps also explains a remaining role of old media in the new world.
Why did the shooter choose to send his multimedia package via mail to NBC?...perhaps in the age of self-publishing, granting content exclusivity to a traditional news organization creates credibility.

There it is. The chit I mentioned months ago at Podcamp. Credibility. Instead of posting his rantings to the maelstrom of choice called YouTube, Virginia Tech shooter Cho chose to give NBC an exclusive, thus virtually guaranteeing its broadcast. One item the above article fails to note is that by using the single entry distribution method, Cho probably knew it would get to YouTube anyway. In the bidness, we call that leveraging.

I know all this may sound a bit morbid. People are dead and that should be respected and remembered. However, we cannot ignore what I told my twitterfarm last Monday. With photos pouring in to iCNN and the now famous video by Jamal Albarghouti, as tragic as the events of that day, we may have witnessed the first true convergence of old and new media.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Songs In My Head

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday Stupids

Shall we go down to the stupid and pray?

Evolve Or Die

It is not the destination, it is the journey. ~Zen proverb

The beauty of the blog is how one blip of the RSS feed can lead you down a rabbit-hole of links.

Today, I noticed an interesting headline accompanied by one snarkily tasty graphic at The Moderate Voice. An aside. TMV provides some of the best media coverage and commentary around. If you aren't reading TMV, you should be. But back to that headline.

Shawn Mullen tags his latest post, "Growing The Journalist-Blogger Relationship". Given the travails of the local fishwrapper, my curiousity carried me through the RSS feed and onto the main page of TMV. Shawn's article led me to the blog of Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News. Which then led me to this 2005 article by Bunch.

We are, and can continue to be, the front-line warriors of information -- serving up the most valuable commodity in a media-driven era. But that means we must be the message, not the medium, and so we must adjust to give consumers news in the high-tech ways that they are asking for, not the old-tech way that we are confortable with...If we don't change, we will die - and it will be our fault.
Follow the links and read the whole thing. Then go to your local media sites and judge for youself. Who gets it and who doesn't?

Friday, April 20, 2007

I Blame Scott Henry

On the day Creative Loafing publishes its annual Golden Sleaze Awards, the Georgia Republican Leadership loses its mind.

Governor Perdue crawls back from whatever fishin' hole he's been hiding in to do something no governor has done in 40 years. Veto the budget.

Glenn Richardson, already teetering on the edge of crazy, actually shuts the Governor's staff out of the House and starts recruiting Democrats to override a veto of the first Republican Governor in 8 generations.

Placed in a near impossible political position, Lt. Gov Casey Cagle chooses to walk around naked in the vain hope no one will notice the "emperor's new clothes".

Yeoman's work, Mr. Henry. Yeoman's work, indeed.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dirty Old Town

WARNING! Adult language and subject matter.

The Lifeline of Hope

For complete background on the Genarlow Wilson case please see this Atlanta Magazine article.

A few moons ago, my friend Wilson Smith asked me if I believed the issues taken up by the General Assembly were pre-determined. I answered it is the nature of politics that those in power make the rules and there is little the minority can do. After seeing Wilson's face turn slightly ashen, I offered a lifeline of hope that there will be times when a brave legislator steps forward to do what is right instead of what is convenient..

As I followed the debate in the Senate on Amendments 1 and 1a to House Bill 197, I felt my own lifeline of optimisim slipping away.

Sen. Emanuel Jones rose to present Amendment 1. The law would allow judicial review of any convictions within the last five years which would have been rendered moot if last year's change to Georgia's aggravated child molestation statue, the so called "Romeo and Juliet" provision, had been in effect. Although the name was not mentioned, the unspoken beneficiary of the amendment would be Genarlow Wilson, sentenced under the old law to the mandatory minimum of 1o years for having consensual oral sex with a 15 year old girl when he was 17. If the act had occured after July 1st, 2006, Wilson would have at most been charged with a misdemeanor.

Frustration was evident on Jones' face. He had worked diligently the entire session to tailor legislation which would provide justice for Wilson. Faced with waves of objection, including specious accusations of freeing hoardes of sexual predators, Jones finally presented an amendment constructed so narrowly it would affect only 91 convictions. All would require judicial review specifically defined to address the change in the statute. No amnesty for molestors. No free pass out of prison for predators. Simply a chance for the original judge to review the case and determine if justice was truly done.

Jones' reward for his dogged work? First, Judiciary Chair Preston Smith rose to praise Jones for his hard work, receive reciprocal praise for his own assistance on the amendment and then matter of factly state despite all this hard work, the bill would not pass constitutional muster. Then, Erick Johnson rose to continue his tales of loosed predators, victims repeatedly traumatized and lawmakers intefering with the actions of juries and judges.

Democrats rose to defend the amendment. A second amendment was proffered to address the constitutional question. Attempts were made to part the lace of fear and deceit so carefully woven by their Republican opponents.

All political theater. All staged so the Republicans could act tough on crime and Democrats could be on record as trying to save a young man from a travesty of justice. It was apparent to all the Jones amendment was dead before it was born. Snuffed by a powerful committee chair, the President Pro Tem and their colleagues.

I felt the cautious optimism I offered Wilson seep away. I was actually witnessing the fait accompli I had warned was the norm. It mattered not that a life would remain in ruins; that a young man would rot in jail branded with the scarlet letter of "sexual offender" for the rest of his life. Despite the so-called stately manner of the Senate, this august body's continued claims of reason, on this day, only politics mattered.

Then another Senator rose to speak.

Sen. Dan Weber, Republican from Dekalb County.

Sen. Weber defended the constitutionality of the amendments. Politely but mercilessly he questioned a member of his own party on the specific statutes and exclusions. In the tortuous manner of Senate debate, Weber expressed to his colleagues that he believed the amendment was passable. That it was good law.

Jones amendment failed 32-19. The fait accompli done. Genarlow Wilson still incarcerated with little further hope.

As the camera panned the Senate chamber, I noticed one rather lengthy arm raised in support of the amendment. It was the prodigious appendage of Sen. Dan Weber.

It was a small act, probably lost in the maelstrom of the last days of an overlong session. But as I told Wilson, it is on the smallest stands where we must latch our belief that all is not pre-ordained. Although I weep at the travesty which was executed in the Senate on April 17th, one man's vote forces me to once again grasp at the lifeline of hope.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Let me say first, in the end they did the right thing.

Where to begin? There are so many angles.

The politics? Certainly, good politics would dictate avoiding a controversial issue where many of your own allies stand against you on the day following a national tragedy which can be linked to the matter.

The new media? It's hard to imagine this story being reported on the same day it occurred in the old media world. It is easy to imagine a past where it would have been buried on the third page of the metro section. A practice that would allow it to be quickly forgotten. Godspeed, Tom Baxter. It makes one wonder if the AJC actually realizes what it is losing.

No, instead the focus should be on the viscera. The awful feeling that roils the gut when one can't quite believe what is happening. Surely in our modern world, filled with civility and post-modern idealism we are beyond Preston Brooks walking into the Senate to thrash Charles Sumner. Certainly, we must believe a gang cannot simply enter our houses of government and bend the representatives of the people to their will. But, yesterday, that is exactly what happened in the Georgia Senate.

There were no beatings. There were no scuffles. There was no literal blood on the floor. In this new political world, the thugs do not strike in the dark alleys. They march down the tiled halls of power, boldly into the very heart of Democracy and drag their shockingly docile victims into side rooms for the figurative beat down.

Instead of wielding guns while charging on horses, the gucci wearing lobbyist of the National Rifle Association flew from Washington in private jets armed with letters threatening political horror on any who would oppose their latest pet bill. So confident are these vigilantes, they refuse to remove their heels from the chest of the prostrate victims even when they beg to let the matter quietly fade away in arcane procedure.

We may never know what happened behind closed doors last night in the Georgia Senate but in the end Casey Cagle and his Republican caucus did march back into their chamber and adjourn the session without a vote on Senate Bill 89. There were no visible bruises but the deeper hurts will linger. Although unsuccessful in the end, for a brief moment, a gang brought a house of the people to its knees.

Somewhere in the darkened halls, the thugs remain. Patiently biding their time until the predator instinct once again urges them to seek blood.

The Coming Home

As if I wasn't already inspired. Senate Bill 89.
But an hour later, the bill came roaring back. Republican senators were called one-by-one up to the fourth floor office of state Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), where an angry official from the NRA — who’d flown in from Washington for this very bill —gave lawmakers what-for.

I guess we have to answer to Washington. That probably wouldn't have played well in 1861 Sen. Mullis.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Senate Bill 89, also Genarlow Wilson Amendment

Senate Bill 89 is scheduled for floor debate in the Senate today. For those of you not in Georgia, this is the mutated form of the original Senate Bill 43. Bill 43 would have prevented employers from banning their employees from carrying guns onto company property. It is strongly supported by the national N.R.A. but opposed by the Georgia affililate of the N.R.A. and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. The national N.R.A. even went so far as to try to subvert the age old legal principle of vicarious liability.

Some say the new bill removes the vicarious liability sacrifice. The N.R.A claims it got everything it wants. After a full day of analysis by the wonks, I'm not sure anyone knows for sure. Perhaps today's debate can elucidate. But given the tragedy in Virginia yesterday, I doubt even such a serene body as the Senate can temper the emotions.

Via the live feed, I plan to live blog the debate. Prepare for the snark.

If they ever get to it.

UPDATE: Georgia Political Digest is reporting the vote may be delayed. Given the length of time spent on the appropriations bill and the sensitivity of the day, I'm predicitng GPD is going to be right.

UPDATE II: Session still not reconvened, but here's an interesting tidbit from the Political Insider.
We’re told that a handful of GOP senators are insisting on a vote — and that Cagle has promised the NRA that the revised bill will come to the floor. Another 10 to 11 senators adamantly oppose moving the bill today or any other day this session.

I can certainly imagine the angst this is causing the Republican leadership but to me the more interesting tidbit is the next paragraph.
The NRA has made the bill a scorecard issue, and promised an ‘F’ to any senator voting against it.

And there you have it. The N.R.A. scorecards are not based on a broad view of a legislator's history for or against gun ownership. It's based solely on whether said legislator is willing to drop trou and grab ankles over the latest piece of looniness dreamed up in a lobbyist think tank. Remember that the next time you consider being influenced by one of these "scorecards".

UPDATE III: Still no SB 89 but the Genarlow Wilson amendment is being presented.

UPDATE IV: I'm really disgusted by the whole thing. Sen. Jones tried to tailor his amendment as narrowly as possible in order to address the abomination that is the Genarlow Wilson case and now he is being pounded that it is too narrow. I hope you are proud Republicans. Smarmy doesn't even begin to describe this.

UPDATE V: Sen. Preston Smith. If you are so damned concerned about the constitutionality of the amendment based on the exclusion of those that pled guilty instead of asking for a jury trial than proffer a damned amendment. Based on the questions this thing is not going to pass. If I were a Republican in this state I would do some deep soul searching over the next year about the antics of your leadership on this matter.

UPDATE VI: Sen. Michael Meyer von Bremen (D-12) rescued Jones on the constitutionality question pointing out exclusions already exist in the current code as amended by this Senate last year. I have a new politician to admire.

UPDATE VII: Instead of Smith proffering an amendment to address the exclusion of pled sentences, David Adelman (D-Decatur) is offering the amendment. By God some Democrats are actually fighting! I'm wandering outside to see if pigs are flying.

UPDATE VIII: HERE'S JOHNSON! The gloves now really come off.

UPDATE IX: Johnson: "Wilson has an offer on the table to plead to a reduced sentence". BECAUSE HE WOULD STILL BE ON THE SEXUAL PREDATOR LIST. Johnson points out that he could conveniently wait the ten years to apply to be removed. Of course he doesn't mention how often that request is denied. Here we go with the second guessing again. Johnson: "We didn't listen to the evidence". But you got to Senator Johnson. For God knows what reason, the prosecutor in the Wilson case gave you the tape. And you and your cohorts have chosen to act as judge, jury and executioner while simultaneously asking others to not.

UPDATE X: Jones is trying to get Johnson to clarify some of his statements. Jones: "Doesn't the amendment simply require the case be reviewed by original judge". Johnson: "Judge could be dead". Can someone find out how much hay they grow in Savannah since Johnson seems so adept at constructing strawmen?

UPDATE XI: Smith is now up again stating the amendment would allow a reduction of the sentence of a conviction of a serious violent felony. THE AMENDMENT SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDES THOSE PARTICIPATING IN VIOLENCE. I am so mad now I could spit nails. Sen. Johnson and Sen. Smith you are not only liars but you are bullies. This is the chamber of reason and decorum? Today it is a sty. With hogs grinning as they roll in their own feces, self-satisfied that there is no world beyond their fence.

UPDATE XII: Two democrats, one who goofily used a Star Trek analogy, have stepped up to explain what this is really about. Redress for those convicted under "Romeo and Juliet" circumstances prior to this very legislative body changing that very law. The two Democrats certainly got sidetracked on some weird stuff but my God, at least they stated what the thing is really about.

UPDATE XIII: Smith is back in the well speaking of the continuing constititutional problems. Just prior to this he talked about how worked so hard with Jones on the amendment. As chair of the Judiciary committee if he worked so damned hard on the amendment, why is he just bringing up all these deadly problems now.

UPDATE XIV: Sen. Weber (R-40) is questioning Smith's position on the constitutionality. A Republican! Might he get some credit from Dekalb Democrats?

UPDATE XV: Amendment 1a fails 30-22. Amendment 1 fails 32-19. It should be noted Weber voted yea on both amendments. I'll look for a full rundown later. I want to say something here. I do not hate Republicans. I enjoy interacting with Republicans. I also attempt to abstain from painting with a broad brush. But right now I don't want to see or hear from any Republicans. I am just too damned disgusted.

UPDATE XVI: Now they are debating Peach care. I just don't have the energy left for this. They aren't going to get to SB89 and I need a drink.

Tondee's Tavern

My buddy Jon Flack is starting a new group blog Tondee's Tavern.

Here is a segment of the New Georgia Encyclopedia on the original Tondee's Tavern.
Events of that summer, however, made Tondee's Tavern the hub of revolutionary sentiment. On August 10, 1774, despite a ban from the governor, delegates from every parish convened at the tavern, where Tondee himself stood at the door with a list to keep out intruders. Though failing to elect delegates to the Continental Congress, the meeting passed resolutions and organized as a general committee to correspond with other colonies.

This new tavern promises to be unabashedly partisan and probably a little revolutionary. Always good to have a new voice in the Georgia community and how can I resist one that's a bar? The Tavern is going up on the roll.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Chilling Account From Virginia Tech

"It's a small class, about 25 people," she said. "And I would say no more than 2 people didn't show up, were absent. And of those of us that were in there today, only four of us walked out of that room, but two of us had been injured during the shooting," Sheehan said..,"I saw bullets hit people's body," Sheehan said. "There was blood everywhere. People in the class were passed out, I don't know maybe from shock from the pain. But I was one of only four that made it out of that classroom. The rest were dead or injured." She described.

h/t: Ima (For the record, my handle at that site is Jimmy The Hand)

The Speed Of Rhetoric In The New World

I'm watching coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings and immediately my mind wanders to the question of how long will be before both sides of the gun control issue start chirping. Turns out it didn't take long.

Glenn Reynolds wonders how it could have been different if a student or professor had been armed. Let the countdown begin until we see the N.R.A. using this incident to resurrect S.B. 43.

It should also be noted the other side is not silent. A reporter at the White House briefing asked if President Bush would consider a federal minimum age on the purchase of a handgun. Based on the evidence so far, a law which would have accomplished absolutely nothing in Blacksburg. Maybe there should a federal three strikes law on reporters asking idiot questions.

Is it too much to ask both sides exhibit restraint while bodies are still warm and victims are still bleeding?

My Morning Wooten

Back to back with Boortz!

Of course Jim couldn't avoid commenting on the Obama rally.
In the Obama story I kept looking for the name of some Democrat from outside I-285. Didn’t see it. Not entirely surprising.

Of course it's not surprising. But not due to Obama's liberal tendencies as Jim posits. I originally thought about commenting on how fear-mongers such as certain pundits at the AJC present inside the perimeter as a wasteland of crime and corruption but then I remembered something Jon Stewart once said, "Extremists run the country, because moderates have sh*t to do". A saturday afternoon. Intemperate weather. Little league games. Planting gardens. But the real reason rural Democrats didn't drive 100 miles to show up at the Obama rally is he's a hippie. Uh-huh.

Speaking of hippies...
For a fresh-face Democrat, Obama sounds an awful lot like one of the anti-war hippies of the bygone era which, alas, may be the only way any Democrat can win the party’s nomination... The war in Iraq, Obama said Saturday, is about “an administration that is trying to preserve its own political viability.” That’s the entrenched cynicism that has come to define the national Demcrats, the jaded and the fresh-faced alike. New face, same pitch.

I guess Obama is also speaking for all those hippies that consititute over 60% of the electorate who basically agree with his position. Must be a lot of bongs being passed around.

Then again, with the insistence of some in trotting out the same old tired rhetoric, maybe we're not the ones smoking.

To judge for yourself about the Obama rally, check out Amani's excellent report here.

Boortz The "Libertarian"

Neal believes the right to carry trumps property rights.

As we write this, WSB radio talk show host Neal Boortz has taken up the guns-in-parking-lots issue, and appears to be siding with the National Rifle Association.

Interesting, considering one of the basic tenets of libertarianism is an unwavering belief in property rights trumping most else. Even conservative Erick Erickson and Libertarian Jason Pye recognize Senate Bill 43 as an unholy abomination. Then again, instead of a radio show, they have something else. Principles.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Arte Et Labore

Semis of the FA Cup today. Rovers face the near impossible task of taking on Chelsea or as they are snidely known, the World Cup All Stars.
UPDATE: Jason Roberts equalizes at 1-1 in the 64th minute! YES!
UPDATE II: Extra time!
UPDATE III: Dreams dashed by the German. Ah well.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday Stupids

The word traveled swiftly, up and down the coast, and by nightfall the downtown streets were crowded with people who had come from as far away as South Point and the Waipio Valley to see for themselves if the rumor was really true - that Lono had, in fact, returned in the form of a huge drunken maniac who dragged fish out of the sea with his bare hands and then beat them to death on the dock with a short-handled Somoan war club. ~Hunter S. Thompson, The Curse of Lono

Quote Of The Day

Someone please tell me what pagan ritual I need to perform to get Dollar Bill back into politics. Former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley last night on Bill Maher, speaking about Iraq.

It was a conceptually flawed policy. You are not going to create a liberal democracy out of three provinces of the former Ottoman Empire that are really a figment of Winston Churchill's imagination.


Friday, April 13, 2007

My Morning Wooten (And Erick)

My morning irritation is causing me to focus on a single issue.

Another clue as to whether congressional Democrats have any interest in legislating or simply politicking for 2008 will come on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The Democratic bill, which President Bush has vetoed once, is a slippery slope to embryo farms. The votes don’t exist to override. Georgia’s Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson authored one the president will sign that allows federal funding only for stem cells taken from deficient “naturally dead” embryos. It has risks, too, but is the best deal that supporters of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research will get out of this president. Isakson does have a knack for finding the middle ground on contentious issues

And then there's Erick at Peach Pundit.

The Speaker and Senator Shafer are working to move Sen. Shafer’s important bill forward while making sure living embryos are not destroyed in the process.

Forgive me, for by internet standards, I am about to do something very crass.


The question will remain in caps and the font will grow larger and larger until one of these conservatives finds the stones to answer.

Thousands of embryos are discarded every year. Do we save these as well? Sen. David Adelman authored a reasonable bill to simply provide storage for couples who want to donate their excess embryos created in fertility treatment. It was promptly shot down and faced the usual rhetoric of "embryo farms" and portraying stem cell researchers as modern day Frankensteins.

So, Jim and Erick. What do we do with all these embryos which will eventually be dumped in the garbage with the rest of the medical waste? Do we store them until the rapture calls them home? Do we force them to be implanted? Or do we ban fertility treatments as in your world view it ultimately destroys life? Or do we just do what you and your brothers and sisters in arms continue to do. Ignore them because you can't easily pop forth a lurid description to provoke visceral reactions?

The question will continue to be asked. And it will continue to be asked loudly.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My Morning Wooten

Can someone please explain to me the right wing's obsession with the Duke "rape case"?

Like most conservatives, my first inclination is to support the cops, the prosecutors and the men and women in the criminal justice system who are constantly under the gun. But as former governor Roy Barnes was fond of saying, “I gotta tell ya” And this “I gotta tell ya” is that the prosecutor’s conduct in the case of the Duke University lacrosse players scares the bejesus out of me.

An inclination to support the cops and prosecutors? No kidding. In most cases, right wing pundits are a breath away from advocating behind the barn shooting for anyone seen in handcuffs. Yet, from the get go the more rabid right wing spew mouths like Sean Hannity questioned everything about this case. Turns out they were right and bully for them. This fact will of course blind all to the question of why the hell did the usual law and order crowd turn so quickly on a prosecutor in a local case?

Admittedly Jim is pretty late to this party. But I can't help but compare how certain Georgia Republicans desire to emphasize that Genarlow Wilson is no choir boy yet anyone who comments on the Duke case, including Wooten, conveniently omits the less than choir boy antics of the Duke lacrosse players. Also ignored is both cases suffered from overzealous prosecution. Yet, in the Wilson case, Georgia Republicans, despite changing the obscene law on which he was convicted, continue a campaign to paint him as a rapist and sexual predator. But in the Duke case, the allies of these same politicians paint the accused as victims and scream for the blood of Nifong. It's hard to ingnore the one obvious difference in the cases.

I want to say as sincerely as possible that I do not believe Jim Wooten is in any way racist. However, if it starts to walk like a duck and talk like a duck. Maybe this is one party where he shouldn't even walk through the door.

An editorial postscript: I often find myself siding with Republicans on certain issues. And I am certainly not comfortable with how Democrats seem to be up to their asses in being beholden to certain special interests. You know the difference? Almost never does the Democratic Party pull one of these. Actions that just make my skin crawl. I mean even when they are right their actions make my skin crawl! There may be nothing more insidious. For that reason, although I am no Democrat, unless they change their ways, I sure as hell will never be a Republican.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Geek Moment

I have an odd fascination with maps. Now Coturnix is enabling this not so normal obsession by leading me to this fascinating place: Strange Maps.

My Morning Wooten

A logical fallacy which makes my skin crawl and my limbic system fire adrenaline through my body spurring the urge to hit walls: apply an extreme outlier to a broad, complex issue in an attempt to portray the problem in the worst possible perspective.

DNA tests establish California photographer Larry Birkhead as the daddy of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby...It’s the baby/daddy DNA search, however, that prompts today’s commentary.

Anna Nicole Smith was at best a pathetic soul deserving sympathy. At worse, she was an irresponsible example of the species who unfortunately procreated, passing along potentially aberrant genes. What she was not was part of the pool Jim Wooten so casually throws into the mix.

As noted here before, a nation that suffers an epidemic of out-of-wedlock births, as this one does with 70 percent of black babies, almost half the Hispanic and a quarter of the whites born into homes without a mother and a father present, is in trouble.

Unlike Anna Nicole Smith, most of these women are not wealthy. They do not jet to the Bahamas in an attempt to solve custody issues. They may or may not be drug addled but if so chances are the substances are not prescribed by a doctor. They certainly do not have svengali-like attorneys but instead rely on the public defense system. A system some conservatives, notably Jim Wooten, wish to gut.

Government, along with Hollywood, the church, civil rights leaders and the middle class, all have a role in changing that.

This is conservative ideaology? Somehow government can repair social ills? Different political persuasions can certainly wrestle with the different shades of the concept but hearing it from such a staunch "conservative" causes pause. As we shall shortly see, government tinkering with the family unit and procreation inevitably leads to the bizarre.

When a pregnant woman presents herself for public assistance, she should be required to identify the male she suspects as having caused her pregancy. That accusation would be sufficient to obligate him, by law, to submit DNA samples. If he is, indeed, the responsible party, every dime the state spends on the baby should be on his tab, with the state willing to spend $5 to get $1 from him. The message to him is: You can’t cause children and walk away. If the first DNA test is negative, the woman carrying the baby would be obligated to name other candidates. The failure to establish the daddy’s identity would constitute child abuse.

And now into the breach we travel. Based on a single witness' testimony, the government will now wipe away the Fifth amendment and begin removing tissue from citizens who have committed no crime. What if the women has had multiple partners? Shall we have a parade? A genetic lineup of the usual suspects?

And if the woman is wrong? Charge her with child abuse. It's telling that Jim leaves out the consequences of immediately jumping to the nuclear option. Such a charge would remove the child from the mother's custody. So, at the end of the day, the likelihood is instead of forcefully creating a family, government inteference will lead to an even further splintering, a child deeper into the system and an burden greater than the original.

I used to cohost a radio show on Friday nights. But my partner and I did not wish to go on air every week. At the end of each show we finished with the tagline that we were here every Friday night except when we ain't. Conservatives like Jim remind me of that old tongue in cheek sign off. They are conservative, except when they ain't.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Collective Media Unconcious

On the same day Atlanta's Fresh Loaf reports on restructuring at the AJC, sister blog Blurbex reports on staff cuts at the Tampa Tribune.

Which leads one to the ultimate question.

Is there really peace in the Matrix or did Neo's absorption in the core just restart the entire system?

N.R.A. Wants Florida Too!

Just in case you thought Georgia was the only place the N.R.A. is poking a finger squarely in the eye of property rights, it's happening a little further south too.

A second Senate committee this morning endorsed the National Rifle Association's push to make it illegal for businesses that try to prevent employees from keeping guns in their cars when they park at work.

More evidence the N.R.A. is completely around the bend. Jackasses.

Welcome To Dekalb!

I really have to start attending commission meetings.

Today's DeKalb County Board of Commissioners meeting devolved into chaos, with the majority of the seven member commission walking out — and the CEO threatening to legally force their return. Four commissioners left the meeting, complaining about the way Chief Executive Office Vernon Jones was running it.

Please, please run for Senate Vernon! Things have been so dull since Cynthia and Katy left us!

Holy Jesus! We Lost A Satellite!

I seem to be in a screaming religious expletive mood.

Actually, we haven't lost a bird. Yet.

The QuikSCAT, which stands for Quick Scatterometer, is equipped with a sensor that provides tropical meteorologists with a storm's wind patterns. Without it, the accuracy of track forecasts could suffer 16 percent, when storms are three days out, and by 10 percent when storms are two days out, Bill Proenza, hurricane center director, said... The problem: When the satellite was launched in 1999, it was designed to last only five years.

Fortunately, Florida Rep. Ron Klein is going to root up some emergency funding. A friendly reminder. Hurricane season is less than two months away!

Jesus Gawd! Fine!

I'm twittering.

Crime Rampant In Roswell

But the po-lice have it under control.

A challenge. Without using the bible, someone explain to me why gambling should be illegal.

The next time you hear about the po-lice being strapped for resources, remember this story.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Headin' North

Everyone down here blames me for bringing the weather this far south. Normal ranting will resume tomorrow.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Further South

Dang! Who left the door open? It's cold in here! I need to head further south. See what's happening in the Sunshine State.

My Morning Wooten

Sadly, a feature that may soon go the way of the dodo.

But while we have him...

The problem now with a sensible middle-ground compromise, like the one U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) proposes on stem cell research using flawed embryos that can’t survive in the womb, is that we do live in a slippery-slope world and in one where ironclad guarantees are never that.

What about the unneeded embryos from fertility clinics that are discarded with the rest of the waste. Oh, better not to speak of those. It's a very southern thing to act as if something doesn't exist if you don't speak of the subject.

I thank the border guards who bravely protect our borders and also arrested the violators, and I grant them the bravery medal to their commander,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said of those who took 15 British sailors and marines hostage. The Brits lost big. They looked and sounded weak. They just bought themselves more terrorism on the home-front.

New rule (apologies Bill Maher), before demagogues can start spewing about how someone "lost" or appeared "weak, he or she must explicitly describe what action would be considered winning or strong. This should include details of collateral damage both human and political.

And now your moment of zen (apologies Jon Stewart)

Writing on an American flag is offensive because it’s cheap emotionalism and not art. Painting the Mona Lisa on the American flag would be offensive, too, but it would be art.

That type of thinking is going to be pretty tough on car dealers, Fox News chyrons and the bumper sticker industry

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Henry Reaves Passes


A good friend of Georgia farmers and a good friend of mine.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Headin South

For a few days. Time to start cutting grass again.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Jay Bookman Gets It...Maybe

In the midst of his continuing campaign to expose how the Bush Administration is as D.L. Hughley put it on Bill Maher "mired in bullsh*t", Jay Bookman offers a revealing bit of self-examination:

To cite an example uncomfortably close to home, newspapers have long embraced the mythology — backed by some 500 years of history — that what we do is indispensable to an informed society. That mythology has now been exploded with the arrival of the Internet, pushing the industry into a desperate search for a narrative that better fits the world around us. We are coming to realize that if you ever let your mythology become too distant from how the world really works, you're in trouble.

I've always wondered why Jim Wooten, as ass backwards as you can get at times, at least cautiously embraces the new world with his blog "Thinking Right", while Jay Bookman, a talented writer with great grasp of the issues, sits on the sidelines. Local media insiders have told me Jay is not comfortable with the new medium. Well, maybe he's getting past the discomfort zone. I certainly hope so. He's a voice the community needs.

The Tease

I'm sniffing around a story but it's going to take some time to put together. To give you a hint, it's going to involve this.