From November 16, 2010

Georgia Battlelines Being Drawn Over Federal Healthcare

Across the nation, many candidates ran against the mandated health care reform as a massive government intrusion into citizen’s private lives. Many of those candidates won their races and are taking the fight to Washington. Come January, with veteran Georgian leadership, Obamacare will be under siege.

…Monday, more than 50 members of the conservative Republican Study Committee, led by Rep. Tom Price of Roswell, announced they plan to file a friend-of-the-court brief backing Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and leaders of 19 other states who have filed suit seeking to overturn the legislation. In the suit led by Florida, the states claim the federal government is overstepping its constitutional authority by requiring citizens to have health insurance, and also is placing a huge financial burden on the state governments.

Predictably, the Democrats are taking the opposite position.

On the other side of the argument, meanwhile, more than 70 state lawmakers from across the country — including two from Georgia — announced Monday they were filing a separate friend-of-the-court brief backing the federal health care overhaul and bucking Georgia and the other states.

State Sen. Nan Orrock and Rep. Pat Gardner, both Democrats from Atlanta, say the lawsuit by Georgia and other states is a waste of time and money. Joining them in their friend-of-the court filing backing the federal government are 69 other state lawmakers — all but one of them Democrats — from 26 states.

The American people spoke (loudly) against the government take-over of health care during the vote last year. Was there ever a time in American history that the people’s government was as openly hostile to their constituencies as last spring? Some homework is in order for the 112th Congress. James Madison said in Federalist 46,

The federal and State governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers, and designed for different purposes. The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the people altogether in their reasonings on this subject; and to have viewed these different establishments, not only as mutual rivals and enemies, but as uncontrolled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. These gentlemen must here be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone, and that it will not depend merely on the comparative ambition or address of the different governments, whether either, or which of them, will be able to enlarge its sphere of jurisdiction at the expense of the other. Truth, no less than decency, requires that the event in every case should be supposed to depend on the sentiments and sanction of their common constituents.

Now the fight to repeal/defund the monstrosity begins. Pass the popcorn.

Isakson’s Statement On Earmarks

From a press release:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today released the following statement regarding the need for Congress to end reckless spending and reform the federal budget process:

“I supported a temporary, two-year moratorium on congressional earmarks today because I agree we should not be funding projects that are frivolous or non-essential functions of the federal government. 
“The oath I swore to uphold when I was elected by the people of Georgia was to the U.S. Constitution, which directs the Congress to appropriate federal tax dollars. I will never abandon my oath, and I will continue to fight for funding for projects such as the expansion of the Savannah port that is critical to my state and to U.S. trade, the settlement of the tri-state water compact involving Georgia, funding for our troops and the best interests of the people in the state of Georgia.
  Read more

Gwinnett’s Kinerly Leaves Post Early

The tenure of indicted Gwinnett County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly has come to an end:

Attorneys for Kenerly notified Gov. Sonny Perdue earlier in the day that he would voluntarily suspend himself from office, effective immediately.

“Though Commissioner Kenerly’s first instinct was to continue to work to represent the citizens of District 4 until the end of his term, Kevin came to realize that this matter has become an  unnecessary distraction for the county staff, his fellow commissioners, and the citizens of Gwinnett County,” said attorney Pat McDonough.

Irrelevant grandstanding

So this is what being irrelevant looks like

When a “cabal” of Senate Republicans stripped Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle of most of his authority this month, they also turned Democratic senators into bystanders – and disenfranchised the 3 million people they represent, Senate Minority Leader Robert Brown of Macon declared Tuesday.

“We are not going to be bound by these rules. You can infer whatever you like from that,” Brown said.

When the General Assembly convenes in January, Republicans will have 35 members in the Senate — just three shy of the necessary two-thirds majority needed to rule on any issue without Democratic interference.

When pressed, the Democratic leader has a single word: “Disrupt.”

I’m glad we’re taking the high road here, but I probably shouldn’t be terribly surprised given that the Senate Democrats blasted out a press release about their caucus elections with a headline of “2010 Senate Demcartic Caucus Elelctions” so there’s that.

Regardless, Brown’s argument is completely illogical. The new internal rules spread the authority to appoint committees out more broadly among the Senate Republican leadership, thus increasing the likelihood of more diverse representation. Eight Republicans filling out committees compared to one would suggest a more open appointment process and not one dependent on the stream of lobbyists winding out Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s door.

If Brown wants to ensure solid placement for the members of his caucus, then I’d suggest he begin consulting with his colleagues from across the aisle. Apparently, however, it’s easier to ‘disrupt’ things by grandstanding about how the process may work and by concocting weird and insulting arguments about ‘cabals’ and the Confederacy.

Speaking as a progressive, it sure would be nice if Brown would focus on ways to advance progressive policy rather than rehash tired arguments.

Macon’s Halls & Macon’s Cash

We’ve had some lengthy discussion here in the past about the two halls of fame in Macon, the Sports and Music Halls for those you unaware. Tonight the Macon City Council will be voting on whether they should give the beleaguered Halls of Fame an additional $500,000 over the next three years.

This money would be in addition to the money the Halls receive from the local hotel tax, from the General assembly, and through donations. An organization called “Save the Halls” is pushing for a more aggressive donation solicitation scheme, to include some inductees of the two Halls actually appearing at events.

“This is the last time we’ll come and ask the city and county for money,” he said.

The financing plan required with a bid for the halls demands that the institutions become self-supporting within five years. Dyer said the nearly complete financial plan predicts that, but acknowledged that it’s an uphill climb. The state subsidized the halls with a total of $790,000 last year.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Mike Cranford noted that local governments already have invested nearly $8 million in the halls, counting land and construction work.

“In my mind, we’re protecting an investment we’ve already made,” he said.

Dyer said that if attendance and support aren’t going as expected after three years, Save the Halls would acknowledge that, cut its losses and turn the halls back over to the state.

On one hand, these Halls obviously mean a lot to some members of the community and significant capital has been invested in them. On the other, if the dog ain’t huntin’ . . . then you retire the dog. I don’t think anyone contests that the best possible thing to happen is for the Halls to be solvent and be able to not rely on infusions of cash from the government. It just has not happened.

I can honestly say I have never been to the Sports Hall of Fame. I have been to the Music Hall of Fame – and I enjoyed the experience, though I am not sure it was something I would want to spend the price of admission on again nor was it anything to write home about. I think there is a two-fold problem here, one the attractions just do not inspire people to visit and secondly the other nearby attractions like the Hay House are more impressive for tour groups.

But that is a systemic problem. You need capital to improve the attraction. How do you get capital? By attracting more people. Here’s hoping these two Halls get on the right track, because too much money has been sunk in for them to just disappear without Macon receiving any benefit.

Georgia College Republicans Outwork Peer Organizations

We kid the College Republicans around here because, well, because we can.   We’re old and most of our college days are long behind us.   We’re jealous that they still get to enjoy the college lifestyle while also participating in our grown up games.   Today, however, we’ll acknowledge the hard work of the Georgia Association of College Republicans.    Students around the state gave up a few frat parties and games of flip cup to donate over 7,000 hours to get Republicans elected this campaign cycle.

With the official books now closed, the GACR’s can now claim they outworked every other state federation in the country.  In fact, the UGA chapter alone, were it broken out as a separate state, would have ranked 6th in total hours worked.  

Their press release is below the fold.  Please join in congratulating all those mentioned below and the many others unnamed who worked hard and generated demonstrated results this campaign cycle.

Read more

Obama should get primaried in 2012

We aren’t that far away from the 2012 presidential elections. After the debacle of Nov 2 & the gridlock up on Capitol Hill, I come to the realization that President Obama will not & cannot win re-election on 2012 unless things drastically change.

My humble prediction is that the Dems will be so pissed at him that they
will field several candidates from the left and he’ll be defeated in the primaries. Obama  won’t be beaten by a Republican in the general election if he make it that far.

The president has lost every single constituency, except African-Americans that he needs to make a strong run for re-election…..FOR NOW!

Independents don’t love him, hispanics are 50/50 for him at this juncture due to the lack of movement towards immigration reform, white voters have all but given up on him due to the rapid increase of the federal government under his watch & the perceived so-called “socialist” agenda he along with his cronies are supposedly trying to implement on the American People.

I will say this:  If the economy improves, Obama will win re-election. If it doesn’t and the republicans have a strong candidate , NOT a Tea Partier , Obama will probably lose. The only Republican I really like so far on a personal level is Haley Barbour (R-MS), but some of his views are a little too far right for me. Romney is smart, but I don’t know a lot about him.  And OMG, I hope Sarah Palin does not run.

Now  I will admit, she has become in a way the voice for the populist fervor of the American Public just like the late Louisiana Governor & Senator  Huey P. Long (D-LA) was to the depression era voters  back in the early 1930s when he was setting his sights on the 1936 presidential elections before he was shot in Baton Rouge in 1935.

Back to Obama, there are plenty of democrats, especially Bluedog Democrats who lost the other night who would could make a run at the democratic nomination in 2012. But the way the whole thing is set up, it’ll be damn near impossible for a moderate/conservative democrat to win the primary.

I don’t who would make a run at the democratic nomination if indeed Obama is challenged, but a ticket of Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana & Artur Davis of Alabama is more appealing that the Obama-Biden re-run that has done very little in fixing America’s aches & pains to put it lightly.

The one republican that can win in 2012 against Obama is Senator John Thune of South Dakota. Not the re-threads of Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney,  Sarah Palin &  Haley Barbour, but John Thune with Bobby Jindal as his running mate

A John Thune-Bobby Jindal ticket would beat the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket hands down!

Prefiling begins for next session

Legislators have started prefiling bills for the upcoming session of the Georgia General Assembly, which begins on Monday, January 10th:

Legislation has already started flowing in the state Capitol, weeks before the Georgia Legislature is set to convene.

By late Monday afternoon, state lawmakers had filed 24 bills and eight constitutional amendments with the House clerk’s office.

Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, filed legislation that would allow DeKalb County voters to decide how many people serve on their school board, five, seven or the current size of nine. If the bill passes, a ballot issue would be put before the voters in the November 2011 general election. Oliver said her legislation is aimed at creating a more effective school board that could better work with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and maintain is accreditation.

Oliver also filed a bill that would require state officials to develop regulations for the use of psychotropic drugs for foster children.

Also, Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, filed legislation Monday that would adopt certain federal rules of evidence, which spell out how people can testify and what documents are admissible in court. That bill passed the House last year but didn’t make it out of the Senate.

Most of the legislation filed Monday is from Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta. His bills would, among other things, make abortion illegal, eliminate the state income tax and prevent the state from requiring driver’s licenses. He also introduced constitutional amendments that would end property taxes and strip the Board of Regents of its power to manage the budgets of state colleges and universities.

You can check out House prefiles here, Senate prefiles here.

The Kountry Boy & his Peanuts comes to Peach Pundit

Alright Y’all,

 My name is Keith MacCants (McCants) & I reside down here in the boondocks of rural Macon County in the town of Oglethorpe, the home of Peanut Politics. I live 10 miles north of the Andersonville Ntaional Cemetary. Macon Co is a democratic stronghold ran by the Old-Guard Richard Russell Democrats along with the new guard Obama Democrats. Its almost taboo to run as a republican here, but I think that’ll change in the next few years.

I graduated from South Georgia College in 2003 majoring in Aircraft Structual Repair & Welding Technology. I now work as a certified welder/boilermaker, going on 9 years.

I am a  rural, conservative democrat,(which are becoming rare here in Ga) who at times over the years have pondered whether or not to leave the party due to the overbearing nature of the liberal wing of the party, but I have remained. I assisted State Senate candidate Griffin Lotson (D-Darien) & State Rep candidate James RC Timmons (D-Camilla) with their campaigns in in a part-time advisory role.

I love to fish, hunt, a big fan of Nascar’s Tony Stewart & the late Dale Eardhardt & talking politics with old-timers who still remember the days of Eugene Talmadge. I’ve been called a “Black Redneck” to  a poor man’s “Joe the Plumber”, (although I know I make more money & much more in tune with politics  that the one hit wonder).

I founded the blog Peanut Politics back in 2009, which provides a common everyday person’s point of view of politics, right after the presidential elections. I didn’t take it seriously at first, but eventually people started to folllow the blog & what I had to say. I started Peanut Politics to provide a voice to the concerns & happenings of rural Georgia that wasn’t getting the attention it needed.

My politics is that of a moderate conservative, who often disagree with his party on a host of social and economic issues. I support school prayer, a balance budget amendment, the elimination of all abortions, the dismantling of affirmative action, welfare programs that have kept a certain segment of the popultaion down on its knees, but I do not support school vouchers, & keeping goverment as small as possible because lord knows we all know it does more harm than good.

Currently I am the Vice-Chairman of the Macon County Democratic Party & potential candidate for District 2 County Commission seat in 2011

I want to thank Charlie Harper for inviting me to join Peach Pundit as a contributor & I will do my best to tell it like it is. I curry no favors & I offer a no-holds bar, unfiltered view of all things related to politics. That is all!

Saxby Chambliss’ Statement On Earmarks

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today released the following statement:  

“The American people are rightly concerned about reducing federal spending. Now that there appears to be an agreement to oppose earmarks, I hope Congress will begin a serious discussion of how to cut federal spending on larger, more meaningful scale.
“I have consistently voted for the elimination of earmarks in the past and will support the earmark-moratorium resolution today.
“However, there are times when crises arise or issues come forth of such importance to Georgia, such as critical support to the port of Savannah, and the nation that I reserve the right to ask Congress and the president to approve funding.”

Jones County Balks at Taking “Race to the Top” Money

From Maureen Downey over at the AJC:

Concerns over the performance-based pay requirements in Race to the Top prompted Jones County to turn down the $573,000 it would have earned as one of the 26 Georgia counties in the $400 million federal grant program.

I suspect the Middle Georgia county and its superintendent William Mathews may gain folk hero status among Georgia educators opposed to the plan to judge teachers in part by the performance of their students.

Jones is the only county in Georgia’s grant application to reconsider and decline the federal infusion of cash, which was awarded to the state and the 26 counties based on their pledge to adopt a series of ambitious reforms, including performance pay. Gov. Sonny Perdue was a driving force behind Georgia’s successful application.

Strings attached to money doled out by the federal government?  Bah, never!!!

Public schools are struggling, but I don’t believe that more edicts from the federal Department of Education is the answer.  I’d like to see control be taken away from the federal level and pushed back down to the local school systems, teachers, and parents.

Gulfstream to Expand Savannah Operations

Gulfstream will be pumping in 500 million dollars into their Savannah facilities over the next years. The planned expansion includes the addition of about a thousand “high tech jobs” to the area. This is the second time within a decade that Gulfstream has invested significant capital into the state, last time it was 300 million.

Of course Governor Perdue was on hand, it was in Savannah after-all and he has to check on the port, to express how this investment by Gulfstream will help our state’s economy and unemployment rates. You can read more here. Naturally, Kingston, Barrow, and a host of others were there too – you can read some of their comments here.

They’re only going to hire UGA engineers though. (Just kidding.) I don’t think Gulfstream’s move is going to be the saving grace of Georgia – but hiring a thousand more workers and building up facilities can only help our state’s economic situation. I’m not sure if the results will be as far reaching as some have suggested, however.