Morning Reads for Friday, February 15, 2013 – UPDATED

February 15, 2013 6:57 am

by Obi's Sister · 44 comments

The best thing about the day after Valentine’s? All the chocolate is on sale!

Tripp Halstead battling bacterial meningitis.
– And the mystery sponsor of KSU football is…
– Clayton County women arrested for trafficking teens for sex.
Floyd County school system planning lay-offs.
Georgia National Guard unit from Marietta to deploy to Afghanistan in two weeks.
Big bill for Open Record request.
– [Update] Amazon still in talks with the state.
– [Update] Itty-bitty cars being auctioned.

Chuck Hagel vote filibustered.
– Facebook caught censoring protests against Obama.
– Le Frogs are totally bankrupt.
Gun-grab legislation introduced in Missouri.
Marco Rubio water bottles!
Who cares what the Supreme Court says!
Interesting take on the Pope’s resignation.
– It’s not just Georgia that has a political consultant problem.
Second vacation this year, but who’s counting?
Sunk boat.
– Really, really stinky boat.
Run away! Run away!
– [Update] Jefferson County, Alabama okays debt deal with the Europeans. What could go wrong?
– [Update] SkyNet.

Random Everywhere:
Winning on Jeopardy.
– It’s only a matter of time
“Vinegar” valentines.
– Up in the sky…it’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s a giant rock! [Update] This morning’s meteor hit in Russia is said to be unrelated. Harry Stamper…Stamper…Mr. Harry Stamper…white courtesy phone, please.

John Konop February 15, 2013 at 7:45 am

I wonder what the PP commenters think about the Neocon side of the GOP holding up the Hagel nomination. Basically the reason behind it was that Hagel spoke out against the Iraq war. Also that he is for pushing a compromise in the West Bank…..btw 50 percent of the people in Israel agree with him. What does the GOP win by this? Does anyone really think we can afford the NEOCON foriegn policy?

Ed February 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

Neoconservatism died several years ago.

The Hagel hearings have been the height of stupidity and absurdity from Republicans.

Yes, Senator Cruz, how do we know if Sen. Hagel received $200k from North Korea, or Saudi Arabia (the latter being our ally, FWIW).

BuckheadConservative February 15, 2013 at 11:39 am

Dude, did you watch the hearings? Have you read the statements he made? Have you bothered reading any coverage of this oustide of HuffPo and DailyKos? There are deep reservations about this guy on both sides of the isle. Both his qualifications and capacity (his performance in that hearing was absolutely alarming) and his prior stances (that even he’s trying to walk back now b/c they are so far out of the mainstream).

I get that elections have consequences, and I believe that unless there are extraordinary circumstances, the POTUS should have his pick of his cabinent. But there is a confirmation process for a reason, and Chuckie Hagel has failed to meet even the lowest of bars so far.

Ed February 15, 2013 at 11:45 am

Sure thing, bro.

BuckheadConservative February 15, 2013 at 11:44 am

If that’s what you believe will you concede that the Democrat filibuster of John Bolton in ’05 was the height of stupidity and absurdity from Democrats?

Ed February 15, 2013 at 11:46 am

Really? That’s the standard you want this to be judged by? REALLY?

FFS dude, in two posts you’ve managed to make it to my ignore list. Later.

gcp February 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Hagel supported Iraq War, opposed the surge. Could not explain Obama’s Iran policy. Could not name who in senate is “intimidated” by the Israel lobby. Agreed with a reporter U.S. is a bully. Tony Zinni, James Jones, even Gen. Shinseki at VA would have been a better choice.

BuckheadConservative February 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Ha! Really? This guy…

Noway February 15, 2013 at 9:13 am

I hadn’t been watching the Hagel thing very closely, John, other than to hear he didn’t do to swiftly in his hearing. What are the issues that Graham and McCain are having with him? Is it that they want more info on the Bengazi fiasco?

bowersville February 15, 2013 at 9:32 am

This from John McCain:

McCain said it was “very disturbing” that Hagel had not answered McCain’s question about the success of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq in 2007.

The Arizona Republican also condemned what he called Hagel’s “gratuitous” rhetorical attacks on President George W. Bush.


Noway February 15, 2013 at 9:50 am


Noway February 15, 2013 at 9:53 am

Well, McCain has always been a grudge-holding cuss anyway. And Bengazi, that wasn’t DoDs responsibility. It was State’s. That wasn’t Hagel’s fault. Like it or not, the Prez can choose who he wants as his cabinet secretaries.

Three Jack February 15, 2013 at 10:40 am

Why McCain correctly challenged Hagel at the hearing:

Hagel during 2007 senate hearing : The plan to revive the Iraq War by sending in a “surge” of 30,000 troops (and instituting a counterinsurgency strategy) is “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it’s carried out. I will resist it.”

The surge not only failed to be “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder” as Hagel predicted, it was very successful in wrapping up the Iraq situation. The nominee should have simply admitted that he was wrong. Since he didn’t, the nomination deserves to be challenged.

bowersville February 15, 2013 at 11:06 am

This is a serious question. Have you or Erick Erickson even considered the alternatives to Hagel?

Sometimes it pays to study your opposition and get out of the 55 gallon steel drum echo chamber. Watch Rachel Maddow Monday night on MSNBC. Something about the “Hubris” and misleading information leading to a “needless” Iraq war.

It doesn’t appear any consideration is being given to a possibility of ground work being laid for the coming public arguments over the validity of intelligence on Iranian nuclear capabilities. Hagel has sharp elbows and speaks his mind. Will his replacement?

Three Jack February 15, 2013 at 11:26 am


Unlike Hagel, I will respond honestly. No, I have not considered a specific alternative to Hagel, but I am quite confident that there are many who are equally or even more qualified than him.

To your echo chamber statement, I seldom listen to Erick and hardly ever watch Fox because I would rather watch the ‘progressives’ on MSNBC talk about how our laws are based on an old, useless document conceived by slave owners.

Hagel should have answered honestly, then he could have elaborated. Instead he chose to be a politician and try to dance around a serious question from a fellow veteran. For that bit of obfuscation, he deserves to face further scrutiny.

bowersville February 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Michele Flournoy for one. Qualified and high level Pentagon. Left the Pentagon to work on the President’s reelection. I would suggest loyalty to a fault.

I’ll not watch it again nor link to it. Take the time to watch McCain on the FOX interview suggesting among the reasons Hagel is being opposed is payback for Hagel leaving the Republican reservation. With Iran approaching nukes, the left (media) will paint Republicans into a corner.

BuckheadConservative February 15, 2013 at 11:33 am

He isn’t just seeking “compromise” on the West Bank. He’s been openly antagonistic toward our only real ally in the region, and his sympathy toward Iran is far outside the mainstream of American politics.

Also, his performance in his last hearing showed a man who is either lacks the mental capacity to run a department the size of DoD, or is too lazy to prepare for the biggest job interview of his life.

There are list of name after name after name of people who would be far more qualified for the job and would already be confirmed by now. Barack Obama is playing a political game here, seeking Republican cover for his defense cuts. The GOP shouldnt play along.

John Konop February 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm

…………Barack Obama is playing a political game here, seeking Republican cover for his defense cuts. The GOP shouldnt play along……….

You just made my point! Some of us on all sides think we cannot afford to be the policemen of the world. And other people like you think we can afford the policy, and it is working. Let’s all of us be honest about the debate, over simple minded talking points like conservative or liberal……..For us or against us…… You have people on the right like as well as the left on all sides on this issue. Finally a non ideological disagreement on policy should be reason to hold up a nomination on either side.

John Konop February 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm

…should not be a…….

bowersville February 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

BC, those are reasons for an up or down vote on Hagel’s confirmation McCain has straight out said he would vote for cloture after the recess and Graham said he would too. But Graham qualified his answer with unless something else pops up.

The left is having a field day over the filibuster or should I say in the delay in confirmation while we go on recess.

BuckheadConservative February 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm

He’ll wind up getting an up or down vote. But as long as doubts are building about him, even in democratic circles, it’s smart politics for the GOP to delay it a little longer.

I understand that as a conservative, I’m not going to get the Sec of D that I would like. But I think Chuck Hagel is an extraordinarily bad nominee. This is a nomination made for political theater, without a single thought given to competence or sound defense policy.

John Konop February 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm

……….I understand that as a conservative, I’m not going to get the Sec of D that I would like. But I think Chuck Hagel is an extraordinarily bad nominee………

In all due respect, many would question from the conservative side if you are fiscally conservative. Ron Paul, William F Buckley…..all agree with Hagel on the issues you disagree on. Not only did the argue the fiscal part, they do not think traditional conservatives should support the policemen of the world foreign policy. Below is basically what you complained about with Hagel.

….Buckley: Bush Not A True Conservative……

……..Buckley finds himself parting ways with President Bush, whom he praises as a decisive leader but admonishes for having strayed from true conservative principles in his foreign policy.

In particular, Buckley views the three-and-a-half-year Iraq War as a failure.

“If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we’ve experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign,” Buckley says…….

…….Despite evidence that Iran is supplying weapons and expertise to Hezbollah in the conflict with Israel, Buckley rejects neo-conservatives who favor a more interventionist foreign policy, including a pre-emptive air strike against Iran and its nuclear facilities…..

bowersville February 16, 2013 at 8:47 am

“But I think Chuck Hagel is an extraordinarily bad nominee.”

Let me offer you a quote from the Navy Times. These groups disagree with your assessment of Chuck Hagel.

“Hagel is not without support from a potent constituency: military veterans. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Military Officers Association of America, and the American Legion have all backed him.”

D_in_ATL February 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm

A good example of McCain’s ‘flexibility’ with his beliefs…

The Last Democrat in Georgia February 15, 2013 at 7:48 am

Thanks for the news, Obi’s Sister.

saltycracker February 15, 2013 at 7:53 am

House Bill 176, on local control of cell towers sponsored by its chairman, Rep. Don Parsons, R-Marietta goes to vote Thursday.

ATT lobbyists say local cities and counties are just too difficult to agree with on cell towers and control needs to be at the state level. The House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee Chairman Rep Parsons agrees.

bgsmallz February 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

“The general attitude of local government has become more difficult over time,” said Kevin Curtain, lobbyist for AT&T

Translation: When you can’t convince the government closest to the people that it’s a good idea, go to the state where you can use your influence to get around that pesky local control thing!

bgsmallz February 15, 2013 at 9:07 am

If you are AT&T, why bother convincing local governments of the need for your cell tower when you can just buy cart blanche at the state?

Guess who was Mr. Parson’s top contributor on his 12/31/2012 contribution report?

AT&T Political Action Committee – $2,000.

Mr. Parsons doesn’t discriminate, though. He’s taken money from Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T over the past 16 months…How much? A combined $10,050 in contributions from cell phone companies in the past 16 months or so. !

Interesting…let’s look at the December contributions of the AT&T Political Action Committee, shall we?

12/22/12- $2,000 to Don Parsons…sponsor of HB 176 ($5,500 in the past year alone)
12/19/12- $1,250 to Chuck Martin…sponsor of HB 176
1/2/13- $1,500 to Stacy Abrams….sponsor of HB 176

Not to be outdone, Mark Hamilton…sponsor of HB 176…received his largest contribution in December ($1,000) from Sprint/Nextel. (He got his four figure contribution from AT&T in September!)

Oh…and AT&T did some other giving earlier in the year, too.
5/18/12- $1,500 to Mike Dudgeon…sponsor of HB 176
7/3/12- $1,000 to Richard Smith…sponsor of HB 176

I wonder why the attitude of the state government is less difficult while the local governments have become more difficult? Hmm…..

John Vestal February 15, 2013 at 7:57 am

OK, if you click on my byline it will take you to my 2013 St. Baldrick’s page. This year’s event is Sunday, March 10, at The Harp Irish Pub in Roswell…..and this marks my 6th year as a St. Baldrick’s SHAVEE.

That b/w pic you see at the top of the page is actually yours truly ca. 1968 or so, taken at the Statesboro Regional Library for my “Summer Reading Club” certificate. If I had been diagnosed with most forms of childhood cancer back then, my survival chances would have been 10-20%. Because of the kinds of research funded by St. Baldrick’s (over $100million in grants since 2005!), the survival rate for the most common childhood cancers is now over 80%!…..but that’s still too many lives lost, and still too many types of cancer that are still a likely death sentence.

My still growing TEAM has a new name for 2013….TEAM SPIDER MONKEY!!…because that’s how we’re coming after cancer!! (Ricky Bobby fans will appreciate that)

If I can reach my $3K goal for 2013, that will put me well over $25,000 personally raised since 2008. Would love any/all support, or just helping me spread the word by sharing my St. Baldrick’s page with your friends.


John Konop February 15, 2013 at 8:02 am

We should all give! Thanks for all your effort!

The Last Democrat in Georgia February 15, 2013 at 8:10 am


John Vestal February 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Thanks, guys!

John Konop February 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Btw I hope you know by now feel free to disagree with anything I say…….and the real thanks is to you. I always separate business, friendship……….from debate.

The Last Democrat in Georgia February 15, 2013 at 8:13 am

“-Gun-grab legislation introduced in Missouri.”

…No comment.

D_in_ATL February 15, 2013 at 8:45 am

It’s pretty amazing the lengths that McCain, Graham, etc. will go to to tow the hard line Israeli position while flat out ignoring what is in the best interest of America. I really don’t think it’s too much to say that this is as close to treasonous behavior as your likely to get.

D_in_ATL February 15, 2013 at 8:46 am

(in reply to John Konop)

Ed February 15, 2013 at 8:57 am

“I really don’t think it’s too much to say that this is as close to treasonous behavior as your likely to get.”

Way to make an already dumb situation and dumber.

Noway February 15, 2013 at 9:16 am

D, treasonous? Seriously? These senators have the right to question a nominee about whatever they like. Sure, it’s politics. What in DC isn’t? +1 to Ed’s comment.

saltycracker February 15, 2013 at 10:23 am

Sunk boat. The story on the Bounty was excellent writing. Thanks for posting it.
When under pressure for money or maintaining ideals we take increasingly risker chances…….

Scott65 February 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm

LEGISLATURE ALERT!!! They are trying to limit broadband again in GA ala Chip Rogers last year

saltycracker February 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Same broadband control sponsors as in above discussion on cell tower controls…….

loved this site posted by Scott65:

saltycracker February 17, 2013 at 11:59 am

Biblical flat tax:
Hope Dr. Ben Carson makes Monday’s reads:

The Last Democrat in Georgia February 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Good article, thanks for the link.

saltycracker February 17, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Facebook censures Obama critics ? Good move to keep the heat off when you make over a Billion with a B and expect a refund over $400 million,

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