Morning Reads 4/12/2012

April 12, 2012 8:28 am

by Ron Daniels · 48 comments

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on deepening the Savannah harbor: “economically viable, environmentally sustainable and in the best interests of the United States.” But the saga must continue for now, as everyone involved expects litigation to come. Oh, and here is a timeline of everything involving the Savannah harbor project–in case you reside under a rock or something.

Atlanta isn’t the only “A-town” with school problems. The Sumter County system, down there in Americus, is being investigated this week by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

An Augusta State University student is planning on running for State House. He’ll be challenging Rep. Earnest Smith.

What does God want with a starship? I don’t know. What does Google want with SCAD? Art.

Word to the wise: closing schools in Atlanta may incite protests and upset constituents.

But hey, those Braves are finally winning.

Who knew that a Lee County trash ordinance could be so controversial?

Macon reminds us that pistol-whipping is still a crime.

On a national note, some guy named George Zimmerman was indicted. And guess who won’t be President next year.

And finally, for all of you traveling this morning, here is some driving music.

John Vestal April 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

And 150 years ago today, Andrew’s Raid at Big Shanty (Kennesaw) began “The Great Locomotive Chase” (h/t to Scott Slade of WSBRadio)

Bridget April 12, 2012 at 9:01 am

WTH is this Herman Cain video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V1rjf7zdD-M

The rabbit one is even weirder. A little girl catapulting a bunny that’s then shot/exploded by a hipster? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdpN5C1_flQ&feature=player_embedded#!

This isn’t the kind of video you want going viral…

Max Power April 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

U.S. Army Core of Engineers?

John Vestal April 12, 2012 at 9:06 am

Corpse….as in, Corpsemen

Calypso April 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

Coar

Ron Daniels April 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

There’s a joke there. You’ve just got to look for it and likely be crazy.

Buzz Brockway April 12, 2012 at 9:08 am

Thank God for the Astros.

And speaking of Senator Rick Santorum. I’d like to see him be Romney’s VP. He’s strong where Romney is weak (southern Social Conservatives, people who make less than $100k) he’s a good campaigner and he’d rip VP Biden a new one in a debate. Don’t y’all agree?

Calypso April 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

ummm…no, no I don’t.

John Vestal April 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

He’s strong where Romney is weak (religio-fascists, aborto-centrists, homophobes, Barton disciples….)

FTFY (no charge).

Ron Daniels April 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

I am going out on a limb, and saying Ron Paul.

Calypso April 12, 2012 at 10:42 am

Ron Paul what? Like Charlie’s said before, “If the answer is Ron Paul, someone must have misunderstood the question”. Or maybe that was Santorum. Either one fits.

Ron Daniels April 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

The answer is always Ron Paul. Or Ru Paul.

Calypso April 12, 2012 at 11:37 am

Unless the question is, “Which guy looks better in an evening gown and feather boa?”

ricstewart April 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

And now we’re back to Santorum.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

Santorum as VP?

Sure, why not, because who cares about the economy, high unemployment, huge deficits, and unsustainable government debt when the GOP can help Obama win the election in a landslide on the issue of contraception?

It was Santorum’s comments about banning contraception in a video-recorded “speech” (more like a rant) last fall that Obama and the Dems seized on to pick this fight over birth control and pull the female vote away from the GOP (with much help from Mr. Limbaugh, of course).

It’s because of the “thoughtful” comments by Santorum and Limbaugh that Romney is trailing Obama by 20 points with females, who by the way, make up more than half of the electorate.

With Santorum as the VP candidate the Dems can take Romney’s comment that he would defund Planned Parenthood if elected and put it together with Santorum’s comments that he thinks that contraception should be banned in the same commercial and run it in a loop through the fall and win by a sizeable margin as Romney, Santorum and the GOP become Public Enemy #1 amongst the fairer sex.

Simply put, if the GOP wants to actually WIN the election (you know the reason why all these huge sums of money are spent to run), Santorum is NOT even an option.

There is a reason why Santorum lost his Senate seat in PA by nearly 20 points in 2006 and it was on full display during the 2012 GOP Primary race.

caroline April 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

It’s not just Limbaugh and Santorum though. Look at some of the legislation that being put forth in a lot of the state houses.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I know as there are supposedly something like 1,100 anti-abortion, anti-contraception bills pending in statehouses nationwide.

Heck, Arizona just passed three bills concerning abortion and contraception just yesterday while Georgia passed one just a couple-of-weeks ago.

caroline April 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Yep. Either the GOP is incredibly insular and stupid or they really want to lose the election.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm

But it was Santorum’s rant that the Dems seized on to make the “War on Women” and contraception campaign issues while it was Limbaugh’s juvenile outburst that brought want turned out to be very unwanted attention to an “issue” (contra-freakin-ception) that has turned into a HUGE distraction for those that are trying to unseat Obama based on the dismal failure of his economic policies.

And yet, Obama seems to be building a lead on the strength of the female vote because the GOP is stupid enough to keep playing into and feeding this growing narrative that “the evil Republicans want to take away women’s contraception so that they can keep them barefoot and pregnant”.

This country is nearly BANKRUPT, the economy is in a shambles and we have people that want to campaign for and against freakin contraception.

Un-FREAKIN-believeable!

caroline April 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm

The GOP is doing a lot of stupid things. Look at the polls–almost every group has a negative opinion of the GOP. The only group that the GOP seems to do halfway well with is elderly voters. Overall the GOP brand is in the garbage dump. All this “war on women” is doing is helping them dig a bigger hole to bury themselves in.

I don’t have a dog in this fight but the GOP is going to force me to vote for Obama if they keep this crap up. It’s not like the GOP has any economic solutions either and that’s why Obama is polling better than he should be.

caroline April 12, 2012 at 11:57 am

That would be great if the GOP wants to lose the election. I mean Santorum wasn’t even going to win the GOP primary in his home state.

CobbGOPer April 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Santorum can’t even win his home state (a swing state, I might add).

Best choice is probably Rob Portman in Ohio.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm

IMHO, the GOP sorely needs to attempt to smooth things over with women and Hispanics as much as is humanly possible or they run the risk of being humiliated in the fall in an election in which the other side should be back on their heels on defense.

I like Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico as the best choice for VP seeing as though Romney currently trails Obama 57%-38% amongst women, a gap that has been growing in recent days, and is only polling at 15% amongst Hispanics, two groups of swing voters that a candidate absolutely must have the support of to win the general election.

caroline April 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm

In 2008 Obama got 67% of women in this country. The GOP is working toward making it 75%. The only thing that is going to change what they are doing is to lose and lose big. The problem is that the damage is already done. I don’t see how you undo it unless Romney runs away from the GOP base as the GOP base seems to be entirely happy with what the GOP has been doing.

drjay April 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

nice star trek reference, made me smile

Ron Daniels April 12, 2012 at 10:26 am

No one detected my extremely random and esoteric Star Wars reference, though.

Doug Deal April 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

Wasn’t that Star Trek V: The Unwatchable Disappointment?

Ron Daniels April 12, 2012 at 10:33 am
Doug Deal April 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

True. I take it all back.

Cassandra April 12, 2012 at 10:24 am

TSPLOST – May not be DOA.

According to MAVEN officials, it may only take 50K pro-TSPLOST votes to pass the referendum. This magic number was derived using advanced FM techniques, don’t ask me how, it isn’t polite to do math in public.

Where shall these ‘fab-50′ come from?

According to MAVEN, folks who do not generally vote in summer elections, but do vote in the general election are due to be targeted. Really smart people, highly motivated, and well paid are in charge getting a $7+Billion pot ‘o honey from the polling booth to GDOT.

Local municipalities get a cut, therefore support from new Mayors/Councils in the ATL region seems logical.

MARTA haters be darned, this thing is going to grow wheels. TSPLOST may not be perfect, but never let perfection stand in the way of the greater good.

NoTeabagging April 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

Can anyone confirm if TSPLOST money will actually go toward the transportation projects being promoted?
OR will it go to the general fund and doled out to pet projects and other nefarious deals?
thanks in advance!

Engineer April 12, 2012 at 10:53 am

The bill clearly states that all the money collected in it has to stay in that regional district with 15-25% of the money (depending on situation) going to individual counties. It also only pays for listed projects.

(§48-8-249.)

“(a) The proceeds received from the tax authorized by this article shall be used within the
778 special district receiving proceeds of the tax exclusively for the projects on the approved
779 investment list for such district as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-243.
780 Authorized uses of tax proceeds in connection with such projects shall include the cost of
781 project defined in paragraph (2) of Code Section 48-8-242.”

in regards to local money

837 (e) Twenty-five percent of the proceeds received from the tax authorized by this article
838 shall be distributed to the local governments within the special district in which the tax is
839 imposed if such special district’s boundaries are not coterminous with an MPO. Fifteen
840 percent of the proceeds received from the tax authorized by this article shall be distributed
841 to the local governments within the special district in which the tax is imposed if such
842 special district’s boundaries are wholly contained within a single MPO. Such percentages
843 shall be allocated to each local government by multiplying the LARP factor of each local
844 government by the total amount of funds to be distributed to all the local governments in
845 the special district.

Source: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20092010/106194.pdf

CobbGOPer April 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

“The bill clearly states that all the money collected in it has to stay in that regional district with 15-25% of the money (depending on situation) going to individual counties. It also only pays for listed projects.”

Yeah, and we have plenty of other pieces of passed legislation that say fees for this license plate go to this program, and fees for that fishing license go to this program, and so on. Yet they all still end up contributing heavily or completely to the general fund. Funny how that works out, huh?

NoTeabagging April 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Thanks, but I’m still skeptical like CobbGOPer. I’ll try to read the legislation, until I get too bleary eyed. I’d like to consider voting for this, but I want to be sure about the money and the projects.

Harry April 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm

T-SPLOST opponents need to get the message out that the bang for the buck simply isn’t there for the vast majority of citizens in the various regions.

Engineer April 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm

How so? All the money stays in the region and each county gets a say on the money’s use in the region.

Harry April 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Too much is going to mass transit and other politically correct initiatives. Very little is going to widening and paving of congested feeders such as state highways 92 and Peachtree Industrial in Norcross, or to install additional turn lanes or intelligent traffic signals. For 90% of the electorate the proposed improvements will make no difference.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Peachtree Industrial is NOT my friend during rush hour.

L. Max Lehmann April 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Why should Atlanta ever be considered anything other than a Tier II market by most standards?

Not having a world class transit system, like virtually every other Tier I city, is part of the reason, Harry. We have all mulled, pontificated, whinged, and whined about MARTA. You are correct, MARTA is a priority on TSPLOST.

I submit that MAVEN does not consider folks that do not want to see MARTA grow to be part of their advocacy strategy.

And you may be 100% correct!

Engineer April 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Ah, now it makes sense, another Atlanta-only based response. While that may be the case in Atlanta, that isn’t the case elsewhere. Money from Southern Georgia won’t be paying T-SPLOST money to Atlanta and vice versa (which is one of the major selling points for it outside of Atlanta). I’ve looked at the list of projects throughout the state that are proposed for the T-SPLOST if passed, and a very small number of these are for mass transit projects (MARTA, CAT, etc). While yes, there are some big ticket items for MARTA (the biggest two transit projects I noticed being the rail connection to Emory University and the Cobb-Atlanta MARTA line addition, after all, that’s a lot of expensive land rights to collect to make those rail lines), the majority of the projects across the state are for road improvements (widening, bridge building/repair, & resurfacing).

Here’s the list if you are interested:
http://www.dot.state.ga.us/localgovernment/FundingPrograms/transreferendum/Pages/ProjectList.aspx

Rambler1414 April 13, 2012 at 8:02 am

I love how projects like the 285/400 Interchange, 285/20 West Interchange, 75 at Windy Hill Interchange, 400 C/D Lanes, and Sugarloaf Pkwy Extension are always ignored by the “I HATE MARTA” crowd.

Harry April 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Michelle Obama’s $300K “Job” at Hospital Eliminated
http://joshuapundit.blogspot.com/2009/01/michelle-obamas-300k-job-at-hospital.html

Calypso April 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Harry, I understand, and share, your dismay at the patronage job of Michelle Obama, but the article you link to is 3 years and 3 months old.

Harry April 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

It’s supposed to tie in to the Democratic attack yesterday on Ann Romney.
http://www.businessinsider.com/democratic-advisor-slams-ann-romney-she-never-worked-a-day-in-her-life-2012-4

Calypso April 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Ok, sorry I missed the tie-in.

Harry April 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Also by the way, the GOP should remind the libertarians and haters of the recording industry just what a sleazeball Hillary Rosen was when she was head of the RIAA.

NoTeabagging April 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Left Field…Fly ball…over the fence…out of bounds

NorthGeorgiaGirl April 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm

That article about the Sumter County Board of Education was interesting. How can you refuse to step down from the board when you asked the legislature to change it from 9 to 7 members? It was a little late to change your mind at that point. I guess they don’t care about either the law or their accreditation status.

There is something similar going on up in Bartow County. A board member resigned in December and they appointed a replacement, then (OOPS) a community member reminded them that the law had been changed locally in 2003 to require a special election, not an appointment. They finally called for a special election in July (after it was exposed to the public by a local political website), but the illegally appointed board member is still there as if nothing has changed. The board attorney, lobbyist Boyd Pettit, is insisting that this is okay, even though the laws show otherwise. None of the board members has said a word publicly about this.

I guess most politicians think they are above the law, this isn’t any different. This is the type of thing that disgusts people about politicians.

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