Morning Reads for Thursday, January 5th

The Georgia chapter of Americans for Prosperity will host a free screening of Making the Grade, a film promoting school choice, this evening (7pm) at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

Here in Georgia…
– Georgia taxpayers are on the hook for a failed ethanol company.
– State Rep. Mark Hatfield wants to <Set The Record Straight That He Doesn’t Want The State To> condense eight colleges into four as a cost-cutting measure.
– Walking Small is back in the news.
– The Atlanta City Council approved the controversial airport concession contracts yesterday.
– Dunwoody Councilman John Heneghan points out that elected officials in Georgia are still required to take an oath stating that they are not members of the Communist Party.

National stories of interest…
– With Gingrich preparing to go scorched earth against Romney, Pew Research shows that the GOP is being hurt by the race for its nomination.
– Veronique de Rugy gives us more information on tax policy in OECD countries.
– Rick Santorum is just another big spending, big government Republican.

A few that I like…
– The game “Angry Birds” was downloaded 6.5 million times on Christmas.
– Toughness is an issue for the Falcons in the playoffs.
– Here is an iPad update for 2012.
– Seth Emerson lays out the 10 decisions that will impact the Georgia Bulldogs in the offseason.
– Georgia’s annual G-Day Game will be held on April 14th.


  1. Andre says:

    Here are a couple other items piquing my interest this morning:

    1.) State Senator Josh McKoon (R – Columbus) pre-filed Senate Bill 296; a bill that would no longer allow secondary metals recyclers to pay cash for scrap metal such as copper, catalytic converters and aluminum. The bill also requires both sellers and buyers of scrap metal to obtain a permit from their local sheriff. Sellers would need a permit to transport scrap metal. Buyers would need a permit to buy scrap metal.

    2.) Fulton County Commissioners are contemplating a county-wide tax increase; a move that will likely incense north Fulton residents and lead to more calls for the resurrection of Milton County.

    One more thing:

    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus issued the Call to the 2012 Republican National Convention. Georgia sends 76 delegates (3 RNC members, 31 at-large delegates and 42 district-level delegates) to the Republican National Convention this summer in Tampa.

  2. benevolus says:

    This is the kind of thing that just makes me lose hope:

    “- Republicans have made clear that they have nothing against Cordray , the former attorney general of Ohio, himself as a nominee (for CFPB director) . They just don’t think the agency should be allowed to function, and by preventing a vote on his nomination they can essentially nullify the law that created it. ”

    Then McConnell says:
    “President Obama, in an unprecedented move, has arrogantly circumvented the American people by ‘recess’ appointing Richard Cordray as director of the new CFPB,” .

    Either they think we are really stupid, or we really are stupid. Either way it is depressing.

    • Charlie says:

      Here’s what depresses me about it. I read an AP article and saw a CNN screen banner yesterday that both referred to Republicans holding the Senate in recess to make sure the President couldn’t do what he did.

      Remind me again when Harry Reid became a Republican.

      “News” ain’t what it used to be.

      • Cassandra says:

        “News” ain’t what it used to be.

        Millennial generation gets most of it’s news online or off subscribed RSS feeds, which are often not as reliable, vis-a-vis fact-checking, as long form journalists. This will contribute to a general dumbkauphing of America.

        I long for one days newscycle of just wonderful news: I M A G I N E . . .

        “Pancreatic Cancer cured by Stem Cells,”
        “Economy Post 8th Quarter of 4% GDP Growth,”
        “US Debt Retired; President announces,”
        “Korea Unites!,”
        “Nancy Pelosi retires,”

      • benevolus says:

        Apparently a couple of Republicans are having a meeting every couple of days (do they make the rookies pull that duty?) so they can claim they are not in recess.

        I guess if one is a political wonk this is all quite interesting as we are perhaps in somewhat new legal territory, but looking at it as just an normal citizen, it seems so ridiculous that they can’t just agree to disagree and move on instead of making every issue a fight to the death.

        A quote from “The Great Race”:
        “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day!”

        • Charlie says:

          I’m sorry, but you’re either completely missing the point or deliberately obfuscating it.

          The Republicans in the Senate are in the MINORITY party there. The Democrats are in charge. The Minority party isn’t the one holding the Senate in session.

          You can call the Republicans obstructionsists all you want, many of them will be proud of it. But the Democrats are the ones holding the Senate in session. They are the ones keeping the President from making recess appointments. Any responsible news reporting on this should at least mention that Senate Democrats are complicit in the gridlock.

  3. GaConservative23 says:

    If there was ever any doubt that Newt Gingrich is a totally self-absorbed douchebag, his “concession speech” on Tuesday night removed it.

    This guy is acting absolutely dumbfounded that he would be hit with negative ads about his well-documented ethics violations as Speaker, his torpedoing of Ron Paul’s Medicare plan, and his infamous Nancy Pelosi commercial. What did he expect would happen when he became the frontrunner?

    So in his remarks after finishing 4th in the state he onetime had a double digit lead in, he pledges to go negative on Mitt Romney simply out of spite. Seriously. This guy’s game plan is to go scorched earth on someone simply because that person (or a PAC affiliated with him) pointed out Gingrich’s obvious flaws to an audience that had temporarily become blinded by the next “not Romney” candidate.

    Newt Gingrich will never, and should never, be President.

    • Cassandra says:

      Newt is a Dem BFF in turning ‘swing and soft’ voters away from the GOP. Most people do not understand how important primaries are to the political vetting process. Instead, this general election cycle will highlight the GOP as a the ‘lunatic fringe,’ as candidates cannibalize running mates.

      I hate it for good Georgians that got behind Newt, this cycle; has to be a **faceplant** moment.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        No one should be surprised as they all had to know that with Newt Gingrich things were bound to go horrifically sideways at some point.

        The guy is very smart, but tortured by his own lack of self-discipine and focus.

  4. Three Jack says:

    This story was skipped yesterday —

    Ag Comm Gary Black is attempting to shift blame for a lack of workers caused by HB87 to the U.S. Congress. While illegal immigration is certainly a federal problem, ‘Rising Star’ Rep. Matt Ramsey and the GA legislature assumed control when they irresponsibly passed tougher restrictions in order to rally support for themselves from a rabid, anti-hispanic base. As the old saying goes, ‘you break it, you own it’.

    “It shows that we have a problem,” Black said. “We can talk about the magnitude of losses, and they were substantial in Georgia…”

    Story about the full report —

    • saltycracker says:

      HB87 doesn’t exceed the Federal laws does it ?
      The underground economy is doing pretty good combining taxpayer subsidies with cash work.
      Maybe if we addressed that some workers that can clear e-verify might show up.

  5. Engineer says:

    It seems that State Rep. Mark Hatfield has decided to give the metaphoric finger to his district before he goes (considering his current district got split and merged into the districts around him in redistricting) in trying to merge Waycross College with South Georgia College 30+ miles away in Douglas.

    He should have started with cities that have multiple public colleges, then worked his way to the regional mergers. Ex: Savannah, Albany, Augusta, Atlanta

  6. greencracker says:

    Hm, Heneghan’s blog sounds nervous that he was forced to pledge he’s not a Commie. What red thoughts are Dunwoody’s elected leaders harboring?!

    -former Dunwoody city council reporter

  7. Cassandra says:

    – Dunwoody Councilman John Heneghan points out that elected officials in Georgia are still required to take an oath stating that they are not members of the Communist Party.

    Also, in Peach Pundit:

    I refer to myself: Ken Carroll’s First Law of Politics: Never Defend the Indefensible.

    Seems in 1985, then AG Bowers (A paradigm, I shall say no more) deemed the words, “I am not a member of the Communist Party,” a violation of our 1st and 14th Amendments.

    Seems an unlikely battle to fight; who cares?

  8. I wouldn’t call Santorum a “big-government” conservative in the sense he wants government to expand and govern every area of your life. He’s really a “communitarian conservative” or traditionalist. Traditionalists believe that small town values made America great, they’re important, and government has a role in protecting those values. He’s more Russell Kirk than Milton Friedman. Also, see Rob Dreher and his book “Crunchy Cons.”

    It’s a debate that’s gone on within the Republican Party for a long time. John Adams said our government only works for a moral and religious people so how do we protect the moral values needed to keep up free, and what is government’s role in that?

    Santorum is against Obamacare for example, but has supported tariffs (to protect jobs in Pennsylvania) and Bush’s prescription drug bill (improving the health of the poor and elderly).

    Listen to today’s “Coffee and Markets” podcast for more on this.

    • kyleinatl says:

      Maybe I’m misinformed, but his stance on birth control seems to be about as big government as it gets…but I do appreciate the link to the book! Looks interesting!

  9. Rep Hatfield says:

    Jason and “Engineer,” you two intellectual standouts need to do a little bit of homework before you unhinge your jawbones to speak.

    “To say we are shocked would be an understatement,” said Hatfield. “We need to do our homework. This is not a decision that will benefit the state, Waycross, south Georgia or the people who yearn for education. Many of our most talented students can’t hold down a job, raise a family and drive an hour each way to attend class.”

    He pointed out that Waycross College not only benefits the people
    of Waycross and Ware County but students who attend here from
    Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Pierce, Bacon and Glynn counties, and
    other nearby communities.

    “This will take away a lot of opportunity from our young people,” Hatfield said.

    • Engineer says:

      What are you talking about? Since you want to pull out random quotes, how about citing them and maybe explain what any of those quotes have to do with anything.

      My whole comment was about how much easier it is to merge two public colleges in the same town versus 30+ miles away. When you consolidate, the idea is to cut administrative costs by having the two colleges work under one administration and that the smaller college acts as a branch of the larger college. The problem is that you see lag in paperwork (promissory notes for student loans and the like, transcript requests, and transfer requests) between the campuses. Unfortunately, this will become worse with planned USPS sorting/distribution center cuts planned for this year, including Waycross. Then of course, there is the matter of town pride in regards to the name, but that is another thing altogether.

      Getting back to my main point, in a case like Albany, you have Albany State University and Darton College that are 2 miles from each other. In Savannah, you have Armstrong Atlantic State University and Savannah State University about 3-4 miles from each other (depending on the roads you take). Surely you must see how having two campuses working under one administration would be easier in a single city than stretched out over a couple counties.

      However, if this is a full-out closure of the smaller school as your comment’s 2nd paragraph/line would imply, then this is far worse than plan than I thought.

  10. Rep Hatfield says:

    Let me make it perfectly clear for you. I, along with Waycross Mayor Clarence Billups and Ware County Commission Chairman Jimmy Brown, had a press conference yesterday in order to let the public know what we had just learned yesterday morning from the chancellor and the chair of the Board of Regents. I AM OPPOSED TO THE CONSOLIDATION/MERGER PROPOSAL. I told the chancellor and his group that I am opposed. Mayor Billups and Chairman Brown are opposed. We don’t want to see Waycross College eliminated or rolled into another school that is located almost an hour’s drive away. I don’t know how else I can say it more plainly.

    • Engineer says:

      Every news article I’ve heard and seen about this, list you as the one proposing it. Even on GPB this morning they reported this and reported you as the one proposing it.
      No offense, but criticism of a something proposed falls on the person presenting/proposing it.

      But, to get back to be to the point, I have two questions that perhaps you can clarify.
      1. Why did you not just propose to merge same city colleges first? I know I provided 2 perfectly good opportunities for consolidation in Albany and Savannah, yet none of them appear on the list.
      2. You comments and the news articles are not clear on what the consolidation/merger means. Is the plan to close one of the campuses, or is it to simply merge their administrations/institutions?

  11. Rep Hatfield says:

    None of the articles say that I am the person proposing any merger. I have NOT proposed any mergers, and I do NOT support the merger plan. They mentioned me because they got their information from me, Mayor Billups, and Chairman Brown. I realize that you may have misunderstood what was written in the articles, but — and no offense is intended, of course — by continuing to make statements like those in your last post, you are either being deliberately ignorant or you are, in fact, legitimately stupid. Either way, you won’t be doing any “engineering” for me, okay?

    • Engineer says:

      Sir, I’ve not made any personal insults at you, so you should do the same. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt on poorly written articles (especially the one in the AJC) that made it seem like you were the one proposing it. However, to continue to go and make personal insults, to be honest, is disappointing to see from a fellow person from the Waycross area.

      Beyond that, you have yet to answer either of the two questions I brought up:
      (Note: I took all indications of you proposing it out)
      1. Why not just propose to merge same city colleges first (ex: In Savannah & Albany)?
      2. Your comments and the news articles are not clear on what the consolidation/merger means. Is the plan to close one of the campuses, or is it to simply merge their administrations/institutions?

      Seriously guys, I think I’m going to have to change my name to B.L.U. Engineer ( Let me google that for you link ) if people keep thinking I’m an actual engineer.

      • bowersville says:

        I haven’t followed this particular conversation too closely but let me interject if you will. Do you remember when the Board of Regents announced cost cutting measures by cutting funding for all county agents? There was an uproar from all across the state and the county agents were not cut. I have read somewhere that the Board of Regents has set a time and date to make this announcement about consolidation/merger and whom ever was speaking on behalf of the Regents had chose not to comment. Also, Rep. Hatfield being on the Higher Education Committee had met with the Regents where he was informed of the forth coming announcements. Hatfield returned home and spoke to his local newspaper.

        That being said, I also read that consideration was being given by the Regents to consolidate Gainesville College with North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega. The reasons given as I understand it is to cut administrative costs. Why not same city Colleges as Savannah, Albany or even Atlanta? The Board of Regents make these type of decisions.

        I may be wrong but it appears to be the same ole thumb in the eye as with county agents. Gainesville and Dahlonega? Who’s from Gainesville?

        As for Hatfield, meh, he needs an issue besides birfer to run on.

        • bowersville says:

          I just read at the Gainesville Times that Governor Deal will approve if the Board of Regents approves and submits the plan to consolidate/merge. The Board is expected to vote on the measure next week.

        • bowersville says:

          For a comprehensive view on the mergers, and offer credible viewpoints from additional sources this morning.

  12. Jason says:

    Anyone else find it hilarious that Rep. Hatfield, who constantly questions Barack Obama’s citizenship status, is calling other people “stupid” and otherwise insulting their intelligence?

    For my part, I was in a hurry to leave the house and misread the article and apologize; however, Rep. Hatfield, has demonstrated a complete lack of class in handling this.

        • At least it’s an easy mistake to make… I read the article probably the same way you did. Guess it just goes to show that ya’ can’t always take what the AJC writes at face value. 🙂

          • Three Jack says:

            “you two intellectual standouts need to do a little bit of homework before you unhinge your jawbones to speak.” The same statement could/should be applied to Rep. Hatfield when it comes to intellectually challenged legislation like his bill attempting to keep Obama off the ballot this year.

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