Morning Reads for Tuesday, October 16th


  • Agreed upon ground rules leave little room for debate (Gawker)
  • but moderator Candy Crowley is a political oblate, (Politico)
  • Obama strategy, call out Romney on the obfuscate, (AmericanSpectator)
  • And the ladies are starting to like Mitt’s traits (at least in swing states) (USAtoday*)
  • Obama’s campaign makes use of data mining (MotherJones)
  • And in Romney’s tax plan, its intention is merely a pining (Bloomberg)
  • And sadness for OSU, T. Boone Picken’s health wasn’t declining, (BusinessWeek)
  • A troll revealed, or how to do Internet identity divining, (Gawker)


  • Athens School Board votes to oppose Charter Schools (Flagpole-Aued)
  • And somewhere Sam Olens says “sorry, but them’s the rules!” (WABE News)
  • PSC Challenger Attracting Support from Both Sides of Aisle (WABE News)
  • GOP close to supermajority rule, something we all claim to revile (Macon Telegraph)
  • State list of presidential electors includes two you may remember (Macon Telegraph)
  • Chatham, city sales tax dispute heading to court in December (Savannah Morning News)
  • post-T-Splost ARC making plans to keep Atlanta afloat (Marietta Daily Journal)
  • and in a non-surprise, Georgia Pacific tells its employees how to vote (AJC-Galloway)

* Warning: Pie Graphs.


  1. saltycracker says:

    “GP tells employees how to vote …”
    Ridiculous. GP like many employers told them which candidate they believed would have a negative impact on the company. GP, being downtown, supported T-SPLOST.

    The problem for Democrats is if this is all about jobs and private growth why are so many companies and small business owners so opposed to Obama ? The part of Wall Street for Obama are those standing to benefit from a financial oligarchy.

    • saltycracker says:

      Modify: …..told employees which candidate would have the most positive impact on their company.

      • Calypso says:

        salty, why didn’t you just use the modify feature which is part of this website instead of submitting a second comment to pseudo-modify your original?

        Charlie, why didn’t salty do that?

          • Stefan says:


            Much love, as always, but you cannot really argue that the purpose of the packet sent to gp workers was not to tell them how to vote. You can say it was to inform them of the position of the company vis a vis their voting behavior, or whatever you’d like, but the goal is to influence the votes of their employees.

            It is entirely separate question as to whether or not the company is asserting some sort of undue influence upon those employees by stating that there will be repercussions to an Obama victory.

            • bgsmallz says:

              The funny part is that the whole piece was started by a pro-labor group that was complaining about the Koch brothers gall in informing employees which candidates they are supporting.

              Because unions have never, ever, ever, ever, ever informed their membership on which candidates should be selected using undue influence or otherwise. Sigh.

              • Calypso says:

                “Because unions have never, ever, ever, ever, ever informed their membership on which candidates should be selected using undue influence or otherwise.”

                No, I think I read one time where this might have sorta kinda perhaps happened.

            • saltycracker says:


              You are as pretty smart guy with maybe not much real world experience. There is a difference between telling employees what you think and as you inferred, telling them what they will think.

              In my dealings with unions, primarily the UAW, I was very fortunate to deal with some really savvy union guys. Those I respect as their word was solid.

              We had some great negotiations, some big battles and a few that resulted in short strikes. We had hard case individuals (jerks) on both sides and worked through it. If one of us got cut, the salt shakers were coming out. 🙂 Great memories & stories to look back on.

              It is a rare company that oversees how an employee votes and a rare union that its members don’t put some serious heat on how their members vote. Neither can get in the booth with them but I’d say the union peer pressure was more effective.

  2. Ed says:

    Whoa. USA Today has pretty charts and graphs? When did this start happening?

    Also, there was a front page story on Sunday’s New York Times about how both candidates are using data mining.

    • Stefan says:

      True, but that story is about the Obama campaign’s use of it. I would assume that all political campaigns use data mining to a degree.

  3. wicker says:

    There is already one comment on that AJC article on the crime cameras complaining about a police state, but if the alternative is a criminal state, I will take my chances with the police.

    One question though … will those cameras go where they are most needed – to the low income high crime areas – or will they be used in wealthier areas as a way to reassure them to stay in and move into the city? If the goal is to actually fight crime and eliminate a criminal culture, it will be the former. But if it is a PR move, it will be the latter.

    • Stefan says:

      You mean, will the cameras be in Vine City or Sandtown? No. 92 of the 110 will be in Zone 5. It is about reassuring people that Midtown and Downtown are safe. It has nothing to do with making actually dangerous places safer.

      • wicker says:


        Ah well. That is one more reason to vote for Mary Norwood next time around should she decide to run again. (I wasn’t yet a city resident last time.) Then again, I wonder whether Norwood would make citizen safety in high crime areas a priority either. She will likely invest all her efforts on “her base” also. Still, if the current guy isn’t doing the right thing, then why not give someone else a shot. (I know, that is basically Romney’s entire campaign theme. My problem is not with the theme, but with Romney, the guy using it.)

        • bgsmallz says:

          That’s right…because there have been no crimes and/or potential victims at Atlantic Station, GA Tech, Castleberry Hill, or GA State…come on. Zone 5 isn’t just Peachtree St. The census block groups around GA Tech happen to be two of the largest in population in the city and certainly are two of the most dense…and that doesn’t include daytime pop.

          There are 792 cameras now being deployed in the city. I’d say based upon the high-profile nature of any crime in these areas, adding more in Zone 5 is a smart investment. There’s an old saying about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

          • Stefan says:

            right, but he asked bout low income/high crime. Tech has crime, as does Ga. State, but I wouldn’t call them “low income” areas. For the cameras to work, you have to have relatively high traffic areas as well – so business districts in some ways make more sense than neighborhoods. Part of the problem with cameras is obviously interoperability, but also simply resolution. . If it isn’t good enough to get a plate number, it is often worthless.

    • Three Jack says:

      It’s a damn shame that so many will so easily relinquish their freedoms in trade for perceived protection. Atlanta along with most other major cities have the ability to monitor much of their respective municipalities via video and yet crime is still prevalent. But at least the CCTV vendor is happy.

      It is not a choice between ‘police state’ or ‘criminal state’…we have both scenarios with both thriving. It is a choice between freedom or more government intrusion into the vast majority of our lives.

          • bgsmallz says:

            Help me understand again why cameras monitoring public spaces are evidence of the destruction of our 4th amendment rights? The police already have a right, if not a duty, to monitor these places for criminal activity, no? Are we saying that because technology allows them to do this better that it should now be illegal?

            Cell phones would have ruined most of the plots from movies and TV from 1960 to 1990….but just because my kids will not understand the Chinese Restaraunt episode of Seinfeld doesn’t make it wrong to have cell phones. (<—that doesn't really make sense but it was fun to write and I didn't want to erase it)

            • Three Jack says:

              bg, not to get all conspiracy wacked on you, but ultimately we could end up in an Oceania type society with every movement monitored by Big Brother. In a society so hellbent on protecting every step of our collective existence through some form of government backed program, it is quite easy to see the Orwellian outcome of this particular endeavor.

              For example, say the government wants to reduce its healthcare expenses after Obama/RobertsCare is fully implemented. NIH determines that obesity is rampant costing taxpayers billions to care for irresponsible, overweight lardasses. So NIH contacts the Dept. of Video Surveillance with a new directive backed by Executive Order: Any lardass attempting to enter a Golden Corral buffet restaurant will be apprehended and hauled off to the local fat farm for rehab and nutritional re-education. CCTV cameras are placed near the entrances of all Golden Corrals at a cost of millions to taxpayers, but it will be done in the name of saving human life while reducing the cost of care thus it is an acceptable expense. Who could argue against that?

              Put simply, we have survived over 200 years without need of video surveillance in our everyday lives. Why do we need it now?

              • bgsmallz says:

                Not to go all common sense on you, but that’s like saying that police shouldn’t use cars because for hundreds of years feet and horses were just fine.

                The equipment used by the police isn’t an indication of the power of the police state only an indication of what year it is. The question is: what is the activity? Monitoring and patrolling the public right of way is one of the basic functions of any police force…if you’ve been to Europe, you’d note that guard houses and watchtowers go back to the ancient world.

                Anyway, your scenario paints clearly the difference…the activity you describe isn’t based on reality and would clearly be illegal, unconstitutional, etc.

                I’m all for the protection of our 4th Amendment rights and we must remain vigilant…Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?, if you will…however that’s not what we are talking about here.

                • Three Jack says:

                  Since cops replaced horses with cars, has crime increased or declined? More tools as you label it does not necessarily mean less crime.

                  You are either extremely naive or just don’t give a hoot about privacy rights. You say it’s not about the 4th Amendment or privacy, I disagree. It is all about preventing an ongoing effort by bureaucrats to police our very existence and folks like you will surrender rights to the perception of security.

                  Benjamin Franklin summed it up thusly, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” Enjoy your perceived safety.

                  • bgsmallz says:

                    That’s completely asinine. Are you going to argue that cops would be as effective in doing their job without cars? As if time should stop for police and keep rolling for everyone else. You actually made my Seinfeld comment pertinent…trying to argue that if our police were only using spears, leather loin clothes, and rocks that somehow they would be able to effectively function in the 21st century.

                    And I absolutely care about privacy rights and liberty…frankly, I just think you have no idea what either of those words actually mean beyond cutting and pasting quotes from your google search.

                    Where in any free society has a persons public activities in a public right of way ever been afforded the right to privacy? Should we all close our eyes when walking down the street so as not to invade your privacy? Have you ever heard of the term ‘witness’? I’ll give you a few minutes to look it up….back?….ok…clearly our justice function would not operate in any sort of effective manner if we were not allowed to observe and describe our surroundings.

                    This is just a completely stupid discussion. Let me just give you one other little nugget from our boy, Benny… “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.”

                    • Three Jack says:


                      You are for less privacy, I disagree. You can call me names, makeup crap and go off on some unfounded tangent, but it will not change the fact that crime has not abated despite all the tools you mentioned. Add cameras to the mix and you will still not be able to thwart criminals determined to be criminals.

                      But we do agree on one thing, it was a stupid waste of time trying to have an adult discussion with you. I will make sure to avoid making the same mistake again.

                  • bgsmallz says:


                    I actually enjoyed it. It is always fun to see the old adage at work that people are willing to suspend their disbelief in order to enjoy a story of their own interest.

                    I will disagree on one other point…I’m not sure you actually attempted to engage in an adult discussion. For the record, you didn’t address any of the points I made regarding anything…you really only made up some sort of hypothetical that has nothing to do with the question at hand and claimed wholesale that I am for less privacy instead of addressing the simple issue supported by history, common sense and our Constitution that there is no expectation that your actions in the public square could ever be considered private. That is not quite the expectation I have of adult conversation. But alas…I’m done as well. Feel free to get the last word with another quote pulled from the googles.

  4. wicker says:

    @Three Jack:

    The need for more advanced law enforcement techniques is a result of increased crime due to social/family/moral breakdown. It is easier to put in cameras to deal with the results of the breakdown than it is to fix the breakdown. Since it is, after all, a free society, so we can’t dictate to people how they choose to ruin their lives with selfish, irresponsible behavior that affects them, their kids and families, and their communities. We were the ones who decided that legislating morality was bad, that having a puritanical society was wrong and evil, that we had to have all of these libertarian and liberal freedoms, so now we need law enforcement measures to deal with what happens in the absence of social control. Look, I grew up in a town where people didn’t have to lock their doors at night, and you could allow your kids to wander all over town on their bicycles or by foot basically unattended. But a few short years after I graduated high school in that community, they had to install metal detectors in that high school because of gang problems (so no, I am not THAT old … I didn’t grow up in Mayberry in the 1950s or anything like that).

    And as far as the “big brother” stuff, go back and read the book, please? “Big Brother watching you” wasn’t a problem in public spaces. What is the difference between a camera monitoring you in a public space and a police officer? It is a public space. You have no expectation to a right to privacy in a public space. If you did, there would be no laws against lewdness, public indecency, etc. You can’t even shout “fire” in a crowded theatre, but you can do it with abandon in your own home. And that goes back to big brother watching you … they were watching you in your own home. Every house had to have a “telescreen” which was two-way. You could see them AND they could see you. CONSTANTLY. So you couldn’t leave a public space, like a city street, to have privacy because there was no private space. Because of the telescreens, the government could see and hear you wherever you were. That is totally different from a camera in a public street.

    If you are concerned about big brother, then what you should direct your attention to is these smart devices, I-Phones, Droid phones and such, that can be tracked with GPS, and the cameras and microphones on them can be activated remotely. (Hacking them is a way to do it, but technically they don’t even have to be hacked. Seriously, they don’t.) The camera and microphone can be activated on your smart device remotely at any time, the GPS on that thing is on constantly, so it is possible to know where you are and what you are doing and who you are with at any time so long as you have one of those things with you. Even turning it off doesn’t help, because many of them can be turned on and off remotely also (because they are never REALLY turned all the way off anyway). That is how your private space can actually be violated. But since it is corporate America doing it and not the government (of course, ignoring that big business and big government collaborate in this country all the time, and always have) no one is talking about how their freedoms are being threatened.

      • wicker says:


        “The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that state law enforcement cannot obtain search warrants to use thermal-imaging scans to detect indoor marijuana-growing operations.”

        indoor. indoor. indoor.

        THAT is big brother. But if you are smoking, snorting, shooting up or whatever in a public area, the places where these cameras will be installed, that is not Oceania. That is not relinquishing your freedom. What is the difference between a camera catching a person using cocaine or heroin on video, and a police officer seeing them? When it is on the same street or other public area?

        Incidentally, on that thermal imaging thing … if they have a warrant, why not? The problem is warrantless searches. If they don’t have a warrant, then no thermal imaging. And no thermal imaging to justify going getting a warrant later. But if they have a warrant, what is the difference between using thermal imaging to find the drugs and seeing it with your human eyes? And if that be the case, I suppose that you object to having drug dogs sniff through the house? Or drug-sniffing robots, that are being used in some cities (and would be in more if the cost and training required were not prohibitive)?

        Sorry, but remove private property and illegal search/seizure concerns and it is no longer a personal freedom issue.

        • bgsmallz says:

          Thanks, wicker. Glad to know someone understands the distinction between private and public.

          Interesting note on that case cited in the AJC article…the court didn’t say that it would be a 4th amendment violation…only that it isn’t allowed by the statute currently in place in the GA Legislature. That would be a interesting question and one worth watching if the legislature passes a law that specifically allows that. Also, I assume we are talking about internal scans…I’m pretty sure heat signature that can be detected externally can be collected and used as evidence for a search similar to smells, sounds, etc.

    • wicker says:

      I don’t know why so many GOPers are exhuberant. According to the latest polling data, Obama still has a lead in the electoral college.

      And that is with 2 debates to go. 56 million people watched the VICE PRESIDENTIAL debate. So at the very least, this debate tonight is going to matter plenty, and unless Obama does as poorly in this debate as he did in the first, the third debate will matter also. As a matter of fact, the last jobs report – which will come out a few days before the election – could be huge if the unemployment rate drops again, say to 7.6 or 7.5 (7.7 isn’t enough). Which, of course, is why so many GOP leaners are making an issue of the reliability of the BLS data (just like they were accusing the polls of being biased right up until the polls started to swing their way):

      Now I don’t have a dog in this hunt; when I vote I am going to leave the president slot blank (not that it matters anyway thanks to the electoral college). But the Romney partisans need to quit deluding themselves. There is still a ton left for their guy to do in order to close the deal – especially since even now he still isn’t in the lead, so if things stay pretty much the way that they are now Obama wins – and there are a lot of things that Obama can do to regain a healthy – even if not as large as before the debate – margin in the polls.

      One thing that Obama could do to blow it: produce the terrorists who assassinated the ambassador. It would strike a lot of folks as, you know, too convenient …

  5. SallyForth says:

    All I can say about any of this is: WOOT! WOOT! Falcons 6-0

    I’m still on a high about that last second field goal Sunday, now trying to get my brain in gear for tonight’s “debate” (aka, new red meat for the talking heads).

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