Morning Reads for Thursday, Oct 11

October 11, 2012 8:01 am

by Bridget Cantrell · 47 comments

Good morning, kiddos.  How is it already Thursday??  I’ve been in Chicago this week for work and haven’t had time to read PP much less post.  I have no idea how Charlie manages to travel for work and still write a daily article for a newspaper plus post on PP throughout the day – I’ll have what he’s having, please.

I caught up on news, the VP debate, the campaign, and PP posts as best I could this morning.  Help a girl out and post things I missed in the comment section.

p.s.  It’s 10/11/12.




Andre October 11, 2012 at 8:39 am

WMAZ-TV in Macon is reporting that once again, the Democratic Party of Georgia is tilting at windmills.

State Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon “announced […] that the party will be filing suit against the state to overturn the state’s strict voter ID law.” (

Voter ID passed constitutional muster repeatedly here in Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy upheld voter ID. The state Supreme Court upheld voter ID as well. Yet, Georgia Democrats keep clogging up the legal system with litigation seeking to overturn a law that, according to the Secretary of State’s office, has not resulted in minority voter suppression.

This threatened lawsuit by Mike Berlon borders on frivrolous, and the State of Georgia should consider pursuing any applicable penalties for the Democrats’ continued use of abusive litigation.

jsq October 11, 2012 at 8:40 am
Buzz Brockway October 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

But in Geogia State commissioned charter schools, you know the ones rejected by local school boards, perform better than other schools.

Chris Huttman October 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

Buzz I seriously doubt 75% vs 73% is statistically significant. You guys are eager to draw conclusions when you think they benefit you!

Buzz Brockway October 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

It’s incorrect to say they are worse because 75 is more than 73 last time I checked.

John Konop October 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

The numbers are meaningless unless you understand the aptitude of both student bodies you are comparing. , plus other variables……. A more expectable standard would be study if the group improved from the school they left from entering the charter school ie test how they ranked going in verse how they did in the charter school.

jsq October 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Statewide, charter schools in Georgia on average do worse in math and no better in reading than public schools:

ryanhawk October 11, 2012 at 9:46 am

Seriously? If you would like to have a serious discussion about Charter Schools I’m happy to have it. But citing a random website with a cherry picked anecdotes isn’t going to cut it.

Here is what the best evidence on Charter Schools in Chicago tells us:

“students in charter schools outperformed a comparable group of lotteried-out students who remained in regular Chicago public schools by 5 to 6 percentile points in math and about 5 percentile points in reading…. To put the gains in perspective, it may help to know that 5 to 6 percentile points is just under half of the gap between the average disadvantaged, minority student in Chicago public schools and the average middle-income, nonminority student in a suburban district.”

jsq October 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Perhaps you only noticed the illustrative examples and missed that the article was based on test scores for all Chicago schools. Here’s more on those scores:

Jackster October 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Okay, so some Chicago charter schools suck, and some Chicago public schools are good. The idea here is that there are options for students, which I’m pretty sure was evident during that strike.

bgsmallz October 11, 2012 at 9:25 am

Just as an aside…and I’m not an Obamacare rah rah guy, just someone that is worried about health care delivery in our country…there are two sides to that Darden story, right?

Obamacare says if an employee works more than 30 hours, the employer has to offer health insurance. So to save the cost of offering health insurance, they are forcing shorter work weeks.

But this will have several effects, right? First off, they will have to hire more people to fill the hours. In a business like this, if all dining options end up having to do this, severs etc. will find plenty of work b/c they will be able to fill 20 hours at Outback and 20 hours at Chili’s, if you will. Oh…and if there is an employer that decides retaining the best employees means offering health insurance, that employer would presumably be able to snatch the best workers from Darden due to benefits and a defined employer.

On the other hand, for the worker under Obamacare forced to work 20 hours at each restaurant or even under the repeal of the law…there is no legitimate option for that person to obtain health insurance because of our current preference for employer provided plans. I can understand the argument ‘the government shouldn’t make Darden provide health insurance’ and can appreciate it. What I don’t understand is absent of that requirement, what is the GOP solution to this problem?

kyleinatl October 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

“uhhh…uhhhh….tort reform!”

Lea Thrace October 11, 2012 at 9:44 am

you beat me to it kyle. The only thing I have seen presented as an alternative (to an idea that was once a GOP creation) is tort reform. Really? Really? That’s going to help more people become insured. That’s going to control sky rocketing costs?

This is why when it comes to reform, I cannot take some of the GOP leaders seriously. So blindly focused on the being the one to enact an idea and not letting the other guy score points that you are willing to cut off your nose. Ugh.

mpierce October 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm

The only thing I have seen presented as an alternative is tort reform.


bgsmallz October 12, 2012 at 9:46 am

The Empowering Patients First Act is cute…and I like some of the ideas in it like individual/portable health insurance and tax credits/deductions for those purchasing individually, but it’s a comic book bill. There are all of these credits and pools but no funding for any of them. It also doesn’t seriously address the adverse selection problem or the moral hazard that someone will choose to underinsure knowing they really don’t get stuck with the bill…which all sides agreed were real problems until the debate on Obamacare. It is basically a replay of the failed reforms in Texas.

So we can agree that there is more out there than tort reform…although, some could argue, quite persuasively actually, that the only part of HR 3400 that is feasible without tax increases, which Grover’s un-elected beard strictly prohibits, is tort reform and therefore HR3400 isn’t really a serious attempt at all.

Anyway, we all better sharpen our pencils. If Romney gets elected, people are going to expect something real to match the rhetoric. Folks better be prepared to do serious work on health-care, social security, etc.

Chris Huttman October 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

After Pappa Johns said it would cost $0.17/pizza to give their employees health care, you have to wonder what the equivalent cost will be to Darden’s. Also to show you how bad Darden’s potentially is – they’re a huge company that likely has a large enough pool to self insure – so they aren’t even facing the typical problems that a small business faces when one of ten employees becomes so expensive that they have to drop insurance for everyone.

Darden should be able to self insure, their pool should skew young, and they still refuse to do it. And probably for the equivalent of adding a few bucks a year that they pass on to their customers. Shameful. Viewed from this lense, Obamacare really is a civil rights initiative that’s just trying to force all players in America’s economy to get on the same page and do the right thing.

And before you jump and scream, I’d like to point out that Mitt Romney’s alternative is that he thinks all the states should just implement it on their own – without pointing out of course that any state (like Utah or Vermont) that wants to come up with an alternate plan that hits coverage targets is free to opt out.

saltycracker October 11, 2012 at 10:33 am

The inability to control health cost even outweighs the tax advantages. Employer sponsored health insurance is also a tax loophole for employees and employers that reduced tax revenue $177 Billion last year and burned those who buy it on their own. End it as part of a total tax overhaul.

High turnover employees would benefit in a portable health care program. Pass an individual mandate, establish basic insurance requirements, privatize all health care insurance and open up the competition. It wouldn’t take long for insurance companies to offer programs to the restaurant industry as their profile is young, healthy and active.

Chris Huttman October 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Just so we’re on the same page:
1 Pass an individual mandate,
2 establish basic insurance requirements,
3 privatize all health care insurance and
4 open up the competition.

Obamacare does 1+2, not sure what you mean by 3. I will assume you mean that companies should have to use an exchange instead of self-insuring so that all policies truly are portable. Ironically this seems to be one of the main conservative CRITICISMS of obamacare – ie for example you’ll see some story “Many companies are considering using the exchange after Obamacare fully gets implemented which Republican senator responded to as ‘See you won’t be able to keep your insurance it will be DIFFERENT’.

4 will pretty much take care of itself once you have a mandate and exchange.

So what exactly do you want to do differently from Obamacare, and please keep your responses limited to a universe where Republicans will actually do it.

Jackster October 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

So you’re saying it will cost Darden less to self insure than to not insure?

gcp October 11, 2012 at 10:15 am

If you don’t have health insurance through your employer, get it on your own and no, I am not a Repub. Kaiser here in Ga. for example has all kinds of plans for individuals and families.

bgsmallz October 11, 2012 at 11:00 am

That’s right…it’s such a great alternative that people are flocking to get off the group health care plans that are provided by their employers and sign up for these awesome individual plans. Durr. Oh wait..I forgot, employer provided plans are tax free while premiums paid out of pocket are not deductible unless you are spending 7.5% (10% starting in 2013) of your AGI on medical expenses. And good luck if you have a pre-existing condition…like corns on your feet or worse.

You can’t stack the deck in favor of employer provided coverage and then say the alternative to your employer not providing coverage is for you to go get it on your own.

saltycracker October 11, 2012 at 11:36 am


There are millions of people, mostly healthy, that will not purchase health insurance and even when it is optional with an employer at a low cost some will pass it up for the extra discretionary money. Absent an individual mandate for a policy or bond the health care providers must have the right of denial of services and refer those in need and unable to pay to charity.

David Staples October 11, 2012 at 10:44 am

I wonder why IKEA continues to ignore Stan Wise’s Congressional testimony that Georgia doesn’t have enough sun to support solar? Why pay attention to facts and data from all of the existing solar installations here when they have an expert like Stan in the state that they could resort to instead? 😉

Calypso October 11, 2012 at 11:09 am

Ikea ships extra sunlight in from Sweden on cargo ships that are not fully loaded with Kronlach- and Spesbort-styled furniture.

John Vestal October 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

Luckily, the instructions for re-assembling the sunlight has easy-to-follow pictures.

Calypso October 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

But what language are the pictures drawn in, Swedish or American?

John Konop October 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

Very important, you could burn your hands………

Calypso October 11, 2012 at 11:37 am

And I shudder to think what might happen should it be re-assembled backwards.

Jackster October 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Just don’t look directly at it.

Ed October 11, 2012 at 11:27 am

Georgia=1 store in Midtown.

Got it.

Calypso October 11, 2012 at 11:32 am

Actually, this is for their 182,000 sq. ft. distribution center near Savannah. They fired up their 129,000 Atlantic Station store with solar panels in July.

Ed October 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

Never let facts get in the way…

Either way, its kind of a bad idea to even compare a distribution center with the entire state’s needs.

Jackster October 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I’m pretty sure you’re the only one doing that. The state has needs for power. Solar is power. Perhaps by adding it to the market, the price would go down.

Adding. not replacing. No one is suggesting replacing. But I bet you that solar combined with LCDs will save IKEA a bunch of Kronas.

David Staples October 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Ed – when I said all of the solar installations here, I didn’t necessarily mean they were owned by IKEA. There are quite a few privately owned solar installations in this state that I’m sure would be happy to share their usage data. :-)

chamblee54 October 11, 2012 at 11:30 am

Today is 10/11/12.

Scott65 October 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm

FYI…the study saying Albany has the 2nd highest music piracy rate is symptomatic of the fact that companies like the RIAA and the music labels refuse to listen to their customers by providing a product they want at a price point they will purchase. When you dont satisfy the market, the market will responde. Itunes reduced piracy considerably. People were given an alternative. DRM, and not making things available only drives demand underground. There are some stupid (and I might add technically challenged) execs running these labels.

Chris Huttman October 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Most songs cost $1 or $1.29. Once you buy it you can listen to it as many times as you want.

A small coke costs $1 at McDonalds and you can only drink it once if you’re driving through.

I think it’s pretty easy to own music legally if you want to these days.

Harry October 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm

But don’t you agree that the recording industry lobbyists have managed to lobby/buy far too much copyright protection which is at consumer expense?

Chris Huttman October 12, 2012 at 8:23 am

Not really – I don’t think most people would agree if the tables were turned and people were talking about their work product that way.

Harry October 12, 2012 at 8:58 am

Mickey Mouse is what, 70+ years old and still under copyright protection? Nobody’s work product should be protected for more than 10 years.

LaFayette Underground October 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm

The news about Ales’ Campbell’s taxes isn’t so much that she had problems with taxes (her husband’s company actually had the problem and it’s all been paid off) but how the sole-commissioner led county used resources to dig up dirt on the sole commissioner’s write-in opponent and then had the county attorney hold a press conference announcing all this to local media. Once all the documentation verifying there’s no tax problem is produced, will they hold another press conference to apologize? Of course not.

— LU

saltycracker October 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

Got no dog in this hunt except an opinion that the law should be amended to eliminate the payment schedule provision and that no public office should be held by someone with unpaid taxes.

In rereading the article. Apologize for what ? So far the only fact made public and to the press is there is no record of it being paid.

“But there’s no record at the courthouse of the lien being removed for the $10,849 that the Campbells owed to the state.”

Georgia Department of Revenue spokesman Jud Seymour couldn’t confirm Tuesday whether the Campbells had paid what they owe. “I can’t disclose taxpayer information,” he said. “It goes public at the county level. It doesn’t become public with us.”

“(Walker County Election Superintendent Barbara) Berry last week contacted County Attorney Don Oliver for his opinion on the matter. After doing some research and providing Berry with information, Oliver announced Tuesday morning that he was going to recuse himself from investigating the matter.”

“Berry said the county elections board will meet at 8:30 a.m. Friday in the courthouse to discuss the situation and may seek advice from the Attorney General of Georgia or from the State Election Board.”

“Ales Campbell said Tuesday afternoon she would travel to Rome, Ga., today to get a copy of the release of the state tax lien from the regional office of the Georgia Department of Revenue.”

LaFayette Underground October 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I agree the elections supervisor Ms. Berry has nothing to apologize for, but the county attorney (a convicted felon who supports the sole commissioner’s reelection campaign) was in the wrong to call a press conference about the tax issue before it had been investigated or even before the candidate had been contacted.

She was cleared today by the way.

— LU

saltycracker October 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm

How can a convicted felon practice law in Georgia much less be a county attorney ?

Calypso October 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Good question on the attorney, though.

LaFayette Underground October 12, 2012 at 11:35 pm

After he got out of prison the state supreme court gave him permission to practice law again and he was readmitted to the bar.

When arrested he was a state legislator, representing Lookout Mountain (HD 2 back then I think), and an employee of Walker County. It’s not like he was just some random bum, or kid making a bad choice – he was a trained attorney, a state lawmaker, and a county leader. He should have known better, and the punishment should have been stiffer to begin with for that reason – but he just used his ties to reestablish himself once he left prison.

A juvenile court judge was also arrested with him and another man involved in the smuggling ring. Not sure how their stories worked out, I know one of the three is now deceased.

— LU

saltycracker October 13, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Convicted but “forgiven” felon hired as county attorney laying low on a “politically charged” situation and folks defending a law allowing office holding with upaid taxes.

A bit incredulous. You just can’t make these Georgia tales up and there are so many around that people are desensitized.

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