Morning Reads for Wednesday, May 30

May 30, 2012 8:49 am

by saba · 19 comments

Seen on Twitter: “BREAKING: Obama bio says he was born in Kenay. #tcot #p2

Here in Georgia:

 

National stories of interest:

Links I like:

Spacey G May 30, 2012 at 9:37 am

Linking to Al Jazeera via Peach Pundit. Now that indeed amuses me. Remember, in the Age of Facebook it is… all about ME. Whew!

SallyForth May 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Nah, it’s all about ME – or maybe that guy drowning and the nerds taking his picture with “smart phones”.

Mike Hassinger May 30, 2012 at 10:34 am

Where is Kenay? Is that to the “West?”

David C May 30, 2012 at 11:59 am

I think it’s somewhere near “Amercia.”

SallyForth May 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Or maybe near a Kardashian?

Baker May 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

No, we can’t vote with a regional mindset. We’re a bunch of balkanized bastards, or we don’t care or even know what’s going on.

Baker May 30, 2012 at 11:51 am

“49th in per capita transportation spending” should be all over the place.

The Last Democrat in Georgia May 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm

■”Looks like we’ll see light rail transit (LRT) along Cobb Parkway (US Highway41) if the transportation referendum passes.”

That’s an increasingly big “IF” at this point.

John Konop May 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm

….Should the POTUS arm the Syrian rebels? Romney says yes……

This is how Bin Laden got started! Who do you think we would be arming?

…..In mid-1979, about the same time as the Soviet Union deployed troops into Afghanistan, the United States began giving several hundred million dollars a year in aid to the Afghan Mujahideen insurgents fighting the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviet Army in Operation Cyclone. Along with native Afghan mujahideen were Muslim volunteers from other countries, popularly known as Afghan Arabs. The most famous of the Afghan Arabs was Osama bin Laden, known at the time as a wealthy and pious Saudi who provided his own money and helped raise millions from other wealthy Gulf Arabs.

As the war neared its end, bin Laden organized the al-Qaeda organization to carry on armed jihad in other venues, primarily against the United States — the country that had helped fund the mujahideen against the Soviets….

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA-Osama_bin_Laden_controversy

Jimmie May 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Hey I remember that crazy kook Ron Paul reminding us about this and countless other CIA-State backed renegades turned into ruthless dictators. We are one blind, deaf, dumb Nation. One that will never fully open their eyes to the Truth. How can they? They are too busy fighting the Republican vs. Democrat charade.

The Last Democrat in Georgia May 30, 2012 at 6:55 pm

“■Can the citizens of metro Atlanta vote with a regional mindset?”

No, they can’t, nor should they.

Necessary investments in transportation infrastructure are something that our gutless, spineless and brainless political leaders should have the backbone to handle without using the constituents they serve as scapegoats for the embarrassment that will ensue when this ascinine tax referendum falls flat on its face and fails, like it should.

Baker May 30, 2012 at 8:57 pm

I’m kind of puzzled by some of your comments. So would you have less of a problem with it all if this list of projects was passed, just as it is, by the legislature, with the necessary tax increase included?

Is your biggest problem the way they did this or the project list?

The Last Democrat in Georgia May 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm

My biggest problem(s) are both the way that they have done this and the project list.

I have a really big problem with they way have have done this by lazily delegating their job out for the public to vote on whether to approve a very limited sales tax revenue stream that will only fund a mere fraction of our overwhelming transportation infrastructure needs.

I also have an even bigger project with the way the project list appears to be nothing more than a bribe to residents of various regional geopolitical stripes to get them to vote on a list that is full of underfunded, vaguely-worded, undefined and incomplete project descriptions.

The Last Democrat in Georgia May 31, 2012 at 12:19 am

After our transportation infrastructure needs have been severely-neglected for so very long, it seems that our so-called legislative leaders could come up with a much more comprehensive transportation plan with a much more innovative and effective way of funding than a sales tax increase that is nothing more than an extension of the “smoke-and-mirrors” approach to transportation funding that this state has employed with decreasing success during the last four decades of boom (and now bust).

When I say “smoke-and-mirrors” I mean keeping voters under the impression that our transportation needs can be met with an increasingly ineffective meager gas tax with no tolls on new expressways and no increases on what are clearly inadequate fares on transit (MARTA, GRTA Xpress, CCT, GCT, the now defunct C-TRAN, etc).

Like when the state lied and told the public that the tolls would come off of Georgia 400 when the bonds were paid off knowing full well that the 400 corridor was in need of additional construction of missing ramps at 400 and I-85 and that the gas tax would likely not be able to keep up with the explosive population growth.

Our political leaders could have been straight-up with us and told us that the tolls would never come off of Georgia 400 and would remain on for the life of the road to help operate, maintain and expand the road as needed as is commonly the case these days in competing states like Texas and Florida and even North Carolina, all Sunbelt states with fast-growing populations with gas taxes that are much higher than Georgia.

Two road projects that really raised my ire are (partial, of course) improvements to add express truck lanes to GA Hwy 6/Thornton Road off of I-20 West in Douglas, Cobb and Paulding counties and the construction of the controlled-access (expressway) extension of Sugarloaf Parkway from GA Hwy 316 up to GA Hwy 20 by the Mall of Georgia, a road project that was originally going to be built as a toll road before the backlash against the flawed startup of the idiotic I-85 HOT Lanes.
http://documents.atlantaregional.com/tia/pdf/TIA-DO-018.pdf
http://documents.atlantaregional.com/tia/pdf/TIA-GW-060.pdf

These are both projects that could, and SHOULD, be funded with tolls to free up very limited sales tax revenues to fund other roads (surface roads and freeways) that cannot collect tolls to pay for themselves and would even be better-funded and completed much more quickly if they were funded as toll roads as tolls would make the funding available to fund a more complete upgrade to an super-artery/expressway of GA 6/Camp Creek Pkwy/Thornton Rd/C.H. James Pkwy from the Atlanta Airport out to Paulding County and much sooner than would be possible with limited T-SPLOST funding which is being split amongst hundreds of projects in ten different counties.

Using tolls instead of T-SPLOST funding would also enable the Sugarloaf Parkway Extension to be completed much sooner all the way over to its intended western terminus at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard so that it can serve as a transition road from I-85 SB to I-985 NB and from I-985 SB to I-85 NB to take very heavy expressway transition traffic off of GA 20 instead of only over GA 20 as is called for in the T-SPLOST.

The Last Democrat in Georgia May 31, 2012 at 12:46 am

Likewise with some of the so-called transit improvements and that rather than a very-limited revenue stream in the T-SPLOST that is being split amongst dozens of different projects in 10 counties, could be more efficiently executed with a potent combination of public-private partnerships like the kind that the state was originally going to use to fund a very large chunk of the I-75/I-575 NW Corridor HOT Lanes project; targeted fare increases through the long-overdue implementation of zone-pricing and distance-based fare pricing; fees on parking and traffic fines; advertising revenue increases, sin taxes on adult entertainment, liquor and tobacco and Tax Increment Financing (property tax revenues from future development that pops up around stations)….The revenue from these combined sources alone would totally negate the need for transit funding to be dependent on a very limited sales tax that attempts (and largely fails) to fund dozens of different road, transit and economic development projects in 10 different counties across the region.

By attempting to (mostly partially) fund a mismash of road and transit (and economic development) projects this TIA/T-SPLOST actually dramatically shortchanges most of them doing both roads and transit a great disservice.

Dedicated sources of funding to transit (user fees in the form of adequately-priced fares, etc), roads (redirecting the general fund part of the gas tax to road improvements, gas tax/user fee increase if necessary, user fees in the form of tolls on new expressway lanes) and economic development projects (Tax Increment Financing) are much, much, MUCH more effective ways to finance long-overdue upgrades to long-neglected transportation infrastructure than a sales tax that poorly attempts to fund all three areas.

Baker May 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Why weren’t you on the Roundtable? I think everything you said there makes perfect sense. They probably did make a mistake in trying to please everyone rather than focusing on what would really be a more comprehensive plan.

That said, what you laid out will never happen and I don’t think the current plan is bad, it just could be better.

John Konop May 31, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I agree!!!!

The Last Democrat in Georgia May 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm

“That said, what you laid out will never happen”

It will if the right people are bribed…

Scott65 May 31, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Hmmm…I didn’t get the impression that LRT was a given reading the posting at the link provided. What I do know is that these people are not even using correct terminology. They speak of express buses and BRT as on in the same and they are vastly different. Express buses are just buses that dont stop between points in the same traffic that everyone else is. BRT is basically the same as LRT just using buses with their own ROW. It is also vastly cheaper than LRT and achieves the same end. You can also upgrade to LRT at a later date if the ridership is there. If people really understood what BRT was…they would be favoring it as the most cost effective, congestion reducing alternative
http://vimeo.com/19806003

Comments on this entry are closed.