Snow Day Open Thread

Thomas Wheatley over at Creative Loafing has nominations open for the preferred twitter hashtag of today’s “pseudoblizzard”.

Over here, Icarus is still battling his annual sinus infection, and the intern is down at Georgia Tech covering the College Democrats free condom giveaway and a counter-programming move by the College Republicans to raise some money for a good cause. No word on at which booth he was planning on spending more time.

Consider this your customary Friday OPEN THREAD:


  1. ByteMe says:

    We made it a whole day and the front page posters haven’t done an article on Austin Scott’s Kill the Ox bill?

    I’m curious about the end of the article, though:

    But Rick Thompson, the former executive secretary of the State Ethics Commission, said he believes banning contributions is not the answer. Greater transparency is.

    “The money is going to get there no matter what,” Thompson said. “It’s easier for a regulator to make it transparent. If people want to sit on their butt and not pay attention to the political process and elect someone who takes $1 million from Home Depot, then they ought to.”

    Was the highlighted phrase a slap on someone or just an impolitic statement with no real target?

      • polisavvy says:

        Thanks for the link. Wow! I’m going to have to find that list. It would be interesting to see which companies and/or individuals and how much money each has donated to Ox’s campaign. Sounds like a good idea to me. The regulator’s campaign should not be funded by the very ones he regulates, that’s for sure.

        • Why just executives? Why not ban agents as well? Also, if they can’t contribute to the incumbent, why should they be allowed to contribute to a candidate for that office?

          It probably will not pass Constitutional muster though. The Supreme Court has equated money with speech. While, up until recently, the Supreme Court has held that you can limit and even ban corporate contributions, it has pretty much always held that individuals have a right to contribute.

          This bill could only end up resulting in a costly court case for the state to defend.

          I agree with Thompson, transparency is the key. The more rules you put into place as to who can and cannot contribute, the more people will find ways to get around the rules.

          This goes for the Insurance Commissioner, the PSC, or any regulatory authority that’s headed by an elected rather than an appointed official.

  2. Nathan says:

    I thought a Georgia Tech engineering student was a walking contraceptive anyway?

    At any rate, they’re calling for less than 1 inch of the white stuff here in North Georgia. Big Milk and Big Bread have got to be making outrageous profits this year!

    • Nope. Georgia Tech students just typically wait until they’ve found good jobs and settle down to have kids. Just because UGA has a lot in common with the movie Idiocracy doesn’t mean all Georgia universities do as well. 🙂

    • B Balz says:

      I have this theory about blogs like Peach Pundit:

      A controversial topic, say illegal campaigns contributions, about a candidate, is floated.

      Then the campaign operatives listen and evaluate all the comments that come on in. They can tailor their defense/offense strategy based on the comments.

      In other words, would Mr. Oxendine’s wiki entry necessarily include my predicted response to the $120K issue without the strident PP ruckus?

      Who are these folks?:

    • Looks like someone’s already working on it…

      “John Oxendine is the son of Judge James W. Oxendine (who was recently kicked off the board of a nonprofit organization after the board said he had entered into an agreement to pay a fellow board member nearly $400,000 without authorization[9])”

      “In the 1994 election, Oxendine opposed incumbent Democratic Insurance Commissioner Tim Ryles. After a long grueling campaign, Oxendine won with 50.98% of the vote. Since that time, he has totalled two Crown Victorias and purchased a third against strict orders not to. Investigators have found that he has used his emergency blue lights on several occasions to get around traffic and avoid being late to social functions.[12]”


  3. John Konop says:

    The Problem:

    1) The problem is we have set up a one size fit all system that was not designed toward aptitude. If the only way I could graduate school was based on my mechanical skills I would be a failure.

    2) Teaching to a multiple choice test does not mean you are most qualified in that area. If I follow NCLB/DOE logic when hiring people I should have the candidate take a multiple choice test and not even interview them. As I said in the real world we look at an acceptable standard not the highest score and we use many factors mostly skill sets and experience!

    3) A more logical system would look at graduation with skills and placement onto higher education in schools after graduation.


    I wouldn’t expect you to take my opinion that college GPAs are overrated. A 2006 survey by found that only 6% of employers think that a job candidates GPA is the most important piece of information about an individual. The survey found that the interview and work experience were ranked higher than GPA when determining an applicant’s aptitude.

    CRCT cheating details revealed

    On a late June day two years ago, two DeKalb County school administrators panicked.

    A few dozen of their elementary school students had just finished high-stakes summer retests — exams first taken in spring but not passed. With just a glance at the answer sheets, Atherton Elementary School Principal James Berry and Assistant Principal Doretha Alexander saw they were in trouble.

    “We cannot not make AYP,” Alexander said. Not making AYP, or adequate yearly progress, meant not meeting a required federal benchmark. These students, all fifth-graders, also faced being held back if they did not pass.

    “OK,” Berry answered. He pulled a pencil from a cup on Alexander’s desk. “I want you to call the answers to me.”

    With that, he began to erase the students’ answers.

    State officials announced Wednesday that 191 schools — 10 percent of Georgia’s public elementary and middle schools — will be investigated for possible cheating on state tests. It was the second time in as many years that the state’s testing program has come under fire.

    BTW this is not an excuse for what happen, but if the person in charge sets up the system wrong than they most take responsibility. And test score driving everything will create a dysfunctional behavior.

    • Excellent, John!

      I think our biggest problems are drop out rates and students not being encouraged to meet their potential.

      People like to do what they do well, so why do we not provide real skills students could use to learn more easily and be more successful in school? This should lower the drop out rate and give students the tools to do their very best.

  4. old political pro says:

    I am friends with Marty and Tony at the Capitol. Glad to see they made the smart choice….from Insider Advantage:

    Creative Differences In The McGinnitie Campaign?
    (2/12/10) Sources say two highly regarded Republican political consultants – Tony Simon and Marty Klein – have resigned from Doug McGinnitie’s campaign for Secretary of State, apparently over strategic differences.

    They informed the rival campaign of Brian Kemp on Friday, according to sources in the Kemp campaign.

    Kemp is the current Secretary of State, appointed to the post by Gov. Sonny Perdue to replace Karen Handel. Handel resigned to focus on her gubernatorial campaign.
    Seeking the GOP nomination against Kemp, besides McGinnitie, is Robin Carlisle. There also is a contest on the Democratic side, featuring Gail Buckner, Michael Mills, Darryl Hicks, Angela Moore, and Gary Horlacher.

    Klein is the former executive director of the Georgia Republican Party. He also is a veteran of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s 2002 election campaign which made Perdue the first Republican governor of Georgia in over 130 years.

    Simon coordinated the ground efforts for the GOP’s successful takeover of the Georgia House in 2002 and went on to become lead fundraiser and senior advisor to then-Speaker Glenn Richardson.

    • HowardRoark says:

      Just hOld on a sEc there, sLick. there Just cOuld bE more to Learn there. with the frosty weather, you might want to adJust yOur wardrobE, Leaving the socks on your feet and not your hands.

    • Provocateur says:

      Interesting, but sounds more like a puff marketing piece on the two consultants than a real story about MacGinnitie. What were the “strategic differences?”

  5. Ron2008 says:

    “Insider Advantage” should learn to do research on the person they are writing about and at least get Doug’s last name spelled correctly.

  6. Joshua Morris says:

    Sitting at the office waiting to get some files uploaded to a client’s ftp–then a 42-mile trek home. Hope it isn’t too bad.

  7. B Balz says:

    Heavy and hard in NE Atlanta, sticking to branches about 1″, on residential roads, it’s dusting up. IF this wet schnaaaa freezes, this may be the ice storm we worried about.

    GO HOME!

    • polisavvy says:

      Please bite your tongue! We don’t need an ice storm. If you have to get out early in the morning, watch out for the black ice. It’s coming down pretty hard here in Covington, too.

  8. polisavvy says:

    How weird is it that it is snowing here in Georgia; but, they have had to truck snow in for the Olympic Games? Who would have thought that? Enjoy the snow and the opening ceremonies tonight! Hope everyone is safe and that there are no power outages. The weather folk are saying to watch out for black ice in the morning. Ugh!!

  9. HowardRoark says:

    I’m gonna learn some cool snowboarding tricks tonight watching the opening ceremony to go out and try them.

    • B Balz says:

      Why would this matter be germaine, other than the obvious, adverse and sketchy references to embarrass Ms. Handle?

      I know Ms. LaGrua and she is a top flight attorney, who has very high personal and professional standards. I think that these personnel issues reflect how hard it is to do ‘business’ in the public sector. Part of doing ‘business’ is terminating employees.

      • Provocateur says:

        Perhaps you’re right about the “personnel issues”…except for that Fulton DA’s report that describes Ms. LaGrua as someone who did not appear to have legitimate probable cause to launch an investigation on Anonizzi. And the charges she tried to get on him turned-out to be false.

        If someone’s a “top flight attorney”, one would think, that such a report would more reflect that she was perfectly justified in launching the investigation.

        • B Balz says:

          You just made my point, why does a boss need ‘probable cause’ to fire an employee? Answer: The public sector .

          • Provocateur says:

            Firing him is one thing…trumping up actual “charges” is quite another. The charges were found to be invalid. LaGrua accused him of “theft by taking, theft by conversion, and violation of public oath.”

            None of these were found to have any basis in fact by the Fulton County DA’s office.

            So, that means, B Balz, that LaGrua stepped over the line in trying to oust Mr. Antonizzi.

            By the way…you said in this post (
            about a month or so ago that you were “there.” Where were you, Mr. Balz, when LaGrua was fabricating charges against employees, former and otherwise? Were you holding the law book for her, helping her invent charges to levy against former employees?

          • B Balz says:


            Whatever your axe is to grind, why don’t you just come out and grind it? Perhaps Ms. LaGrua prosecuted you?
            I could see that angle, otherwise, who cares?

            I spent some time campaigning with Shawn and met most all of her Staff when she was running in DeKalb. Here is a campaign where the office ought not be a Partisan pick. Shawn lost due to Party affiliation, no other reason.

            Her Staff did not seem to have any issues with Shawn, personally or professionally. They were genuine in their support for her. Shawn did a great job with drug court.

            Perhaps this story has more to it than meets the eye, I just don’t see it. Others here seem to concur, and I question why anyone would be so very concerned about this matter? Unless they had some skin in the game, of course.

          • Provocateur says:

            Well, apparently you care, Mr. Balz, since you are all over the map being her defender. And now we know that you actually were not “in” the office, but just a political campaign jockey. Yeah, like that’s an all-knowing vantage point.

          • B Balz,

            How dare you actually care enough about a campaign to get involved! You should be a whiny do-nothing instead, hanging out on boards attacking people who do not agree with your biased opinion on matters! 🙂

            It should not be inferred that I am speaking directly of anyone else on this particular thread, even if I am.

          • Provocateur says:

            The point appears to be getting “personal” because first Mr. Balz claims he knows Shawn Lagrua to be a fine attorney, and then it comes to find out that the only first-hand knowledge he knows about her was that he was a volunteer on her campaign in 2004 for Solicitor General.

            Hardly what one would call a “professional” opinion of someone’s legal ethics when all you are is a campaign jockey.

          • Provocateur says:

            Ken, I did not “assume” anything. I took what Balz said at the very top of this thread: “I know Ms. LaGrua and she is a top flight attorney, who has very high personal and professional standards.”

            How can Balz know anything about Ms. LaGrua being a “top flight attorney who has very high personal and professional standards” when the only contact Balz had with LaGrua was to volunteer his time on her campaign?

            That is the point here. Balz made the statement as if he was really familiar with her job as a prosecutor when in fact he had no clue of how she performed her duties as a manager or a prosecutor in that solicitor’s office. Fluffy talk does nothing but point to the lack of integrity of the person doing the talking.

          • GOPGeorgia says:


            I’ve worked on a campaign for a candidate who happened to be an attorney. During that time, I met many former clients of that attorney who were volunteering for him. They did so because they were happy with his work, or at least that’s what they told me. You can tell something about an attorney from they way they run their campaign and imply that they run their office that same way. I don’t know THIS attorney, but I think it’s reasonably fair for someone to comment on what type of attorney a candidate is from working on their campaign. Working as staff on a long campaign, you will find out things about your candidate and their business dealings.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            Even if B Balz spent hundreds of hours in court with Ms. LaGrua, that wouldn’t mean he knew everything about the way she worked. What’s YOUR OPNION, of what it takes for someone’s else to form their OWN OPNION?

    • B Balz says:

      From the political vine website:

      Political Vine: The Inside Dope on Georgia Politics
      The Political Vine is the home of political news, satire, rants, and rumors.

      About The Political Vine

      The Political Vine was established on July 24, 2000 and is based in Georgia. We have gone though many incarnations, first as only an e-mail newsletter, then a Website, and now a Blog with an occasional e-mail sent out to a list of about 5000 people.

      All material printed on this site is produced by Georgia Republican activists whose agenda is to deliver facts, information, humor, opinion and rumors in a satirical environment.

      Anything on this Blog should be treated as you would treat anything else you read off the Internet, in a newspaper…or off of the public bathroom wall: information that may or may not be true and/or may or may not be entirely accurate. The difference between Political Vine and your other everyday news sources is that we are upfront and honest about what we deliver.

      Opinions expressed by commenters and other bloggers are theirs alone and may or may not reflect what the Political Vine agrees with. Free speech is a great thing, ain’t it?

      • GOPGeorgia says:

        I enjoy reading Bill’s stuff, but I don’t always agree with it. Most of the time I do. Regarding Bill’s rant on Ms. LaGrua, I didn’t read it. Too much detail on something that I won’t probably have to deal with it.

        • B Balz says:

          Spoken like a diplomat, Doug!

          Occasionally, I miss Bill Simon’s acerbic and often well written comments. After I lie down for a few minutes, the feeling passes…

          Bill is an ‘in your face’ kinda guy, and this story is no different. Time will tell if Ms. LaGrua’s rulings are overturned by appeal.

          That is one true mark of a bad Judge.

    • polisavvy says:

      Me, too. It is pretty though, isn’t it? Only problem is hearing branches starting to crack — sounds like yard work. UGH!!

  10. PegM says:

    It started snowing in Lawrenceville at about 1 pm and didn’t stop until about 1 am. My accumulation is about four plus inches. With a steep curvy driveway I haven’t a prayer of getting out of here. Jump forward to Saturday at 1 pm…the temperature is now over freezing and snow has melted on the road surface but is taking too long to melt on the driveway. It’s ironic, I had to call the guy who mows my lawn to hie thee over here with a shovel!! I hate snow.

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