Atlanta-Heavy Morning Reads

April 23, 2014 7:14 am

by Ed · 21 comments

[Insert something witty to start off my Morning Reads. I'm drawing a blank this AM].

“Is Anybody Going to San Antone” continues our Texas Tornados appreciation series. 

xdog April 23, 2014 at 7:36 am

Did you hear about the dyslexic pol who sold his soul to Santa?

Jas April 23, 2014 at 7:56 am

Love me some Doug Sahm. Nice choice

Ed April 23, 2014 at 8:04 am

You will enjoy the next few weeks of my MRs then.

John Konop April 23, 2014 at 8:07 am

Georgia Poll:

I was having lunch with a friend of mine yesterday about my age who has young adult kids like I do. The next generation is much more distrustful of government and they are agnostic to racism, gays..,,,

They date way more interracially, and are against the war on drugs. They look at Snowden as a hero…and the pools show they are moving toward the Democratic Party.

The father of the conservative the William F Buckley was one of the biggest supporters of personal liberty….and that is the issue killing the GOP.

1) Immigration has become a culture issue….that is a code word for the KKK….selling that to people who interracially date, marry….or have friends….

2) We cannot even pass medical marihuana let alone end this crazy war on drugs….which takes away personal liberty and steals money from tax payers.,,

3) The policeman of the world foreign policy…..the GOP rips their own who speak out against this ill thought out policy….they even attack the father of the conservative movement when Buckley did.,.

4) Over use of no knock warrants, spying on Americans……ie look at the new hero….

5) No compromise on social issues…….Combined with insensitive bills that end up attacking large groups of people ie anti gay bill…..it not only attacks gays but by the wording it effects race, religion…..I have very good friend married to an Asian women…..who was a republican till this bill….he told me do they really want a bill that would allow a restaurant to deny service to my family?

It is not like the Democrats are offering great solutions….the GOP is just insulting people like a bull in a china shop….you combine this with a demographic change the GOP is in trouble unless they get their act together in about 10 years from now…..they are losing the under 35 crowd fast…..time to look in the mirror…..

WeymanCWannamakerJr April 23, 2014 at 10:22 am

You want an insult to your intelligence? Have your friend look at HB 837. The most shameful legislation that came out of this session from the GOP. Misdemeanor probationers are primarily traffic offenders who can’t afford to pay the full amount of the fine at their court date. Some are of course actual criminals that were in possession of less than an ounce of weed, etc.

From an article by Sandy Hodson in the Augusta Chronicle:
“The bill specifically exempts private probation company reports, files, records and “papers of whatever kind relative to the supervision of probationers” from the state’s Open Records law.

Sarah Geraghty, of the Southern Center for Human Rights, said HB 837 exempts the amount of fees charged, the number of people under supervision, the amount of restitution collected, the number and reasons for the termination of probation sentences, and the number of warrants issued against probationers.”

The bill was passed pretty much down party lines. Georgia’s lack of ethics board filings show about 80K spent with lobbyists. Testimony in a California civil case revealed that Sentinel Offender Services spent $500K to get HB 837 passed.

Basically the poorer you are the longer you stay on probation and the more you pay. With jailing paid for by the taxpayers as the punishment to enforce the debt collections making the claims by the industry false that this is all “Offender Funded.” Even though the laws on the books already prevent oversight that allows the public to see what these guys are actually raking in the bill takes it all the way to opaque.

A very insightful and documented study on Profiting from Probation was done by Human Rights Watch in February. It is well worth the read and the inset box regarding “Animal Control” Day in DeKalb Recorders Court in March of last year on page 8 is a few paragraphs of classic tragicomedy.
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2014/02/05/profiting-probation

John Konop April 23, 2014 at 10:56 am

More rights going away……..I can call up leave an anonymous tip, and the police can pull you over without any violations? HUH?

Court Upholds Traffic Stop Based on Anonymous Tip

………The Supreme Court says an anonymous tip can be sufficient to justify a decision by police to pull a car over on suspicion of reckless or drunken driving.

The justices voted 5-4 Tuesday to uphold a traffic stop in northern California in which officers subsequently found marijuana in the vehicle. The officers themselves did not see any evidence of reckless driving.

Justice Clarence Thomas said the tip phoned in to 911 that a Ford pickup truck had run the caller off the road was sufficiently reliable to allow for the traffic stop without violating the driver’s constitutional rights.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent in which he called Thomas’ opinion “a freedom-destroying cocktail.”……..

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/court-upholds-traffic-stop-based-anonymous-tip-23421468
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saltycracker April 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

Glad some folks in Cherokee Co didn’t know that.
John
BTW did you specify that your donation to one of the SB candidates had to be applied to his outstanding taxes ?
http://www.cherokeetribune.com/view/full_story/24796481/article-Steiner–Singleton-candidacies-challenged-for-back-taxes

John Konop April 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I have defended many candidates on this issue…..support or not….. Brian, Larry…..if they are in a payment plan than why harass them? You can bring it up as a campaign issue…..but the hearing part is wrong if you did not first call the guy to find if they are on a payment plan….

I voted for Brian, and still think it was a good vote, and he was harassed for the same issue….We all have had ups and down through our life….the real issue is how you deal with the job….Once again Brian Poole is doing a good job….

Finally Rick has done a good job on the school board….I am friends with his opponent and like him as well….But Rick has always been supportive of school options that I have proposed…ie homeschool/public school option we have just implemented, more vocational options, co-op/internship options, less testing…….

I do think his opponent would do a good job as well….And wish he was running in my district against Marlow…..With that said Rick is doing the job……and he is a class act!

saltycracker April 24, 2014 at 7:32 am

Harass ? We have all held our tongue at moments in support of even our favorites but there has to be a gag reflex moment. One of those in public service has to be when they want to spend our money when they have broken the law on taxes and have not fully settled the matter. Georgia does not have a debtor’s prison for good reasons but it is one of those reprehensible laws that allow someone that has our money, be allowed to serve in an elected office. It is a major tell on the character of anyone that thinks it is ok to do so. If he was my best friend and voted my way 100% I’d tell him I could not support his public handlings until his hands were clean.

I don’t gag easily but this is totally unacceptable for elected public service.

John Konop April 24, 2014 at 8:00 am

The use of tax payment plans is not illegal? In all due respect President Lincoln had a lot issues, with Bk, taxes…..companies have issues like this all the time….ie cash flow….managing AP to AR….I have gotten bad advise from accountants myself….in one business we had a very large accounting firm tell us we could recognize income before the fiscal year one way……we did it and almost got caught short via end year audit by same company telling us it was wrong….

saltycracker April 24, 2014 at 9:46 am

When you steal or tricked into pocketing money not yours there is, many times, a repayment plan while you work, somewhere else. If you can’t grasp the public service ethics on this we need to move on. It’s just insane our legislators can’t either.

WeymanCWannamakerJr April 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

I know you guys are talking about higher end finances so these guys don’t have to worry about it but at the lower end of the spectrum Georgia does have a debtor’s prison in effect with the private probation companies. When it comes down to it all they do is heavy duty debt collection with jailing by police as their enforcement. The only counseling a debtor might receive as part of their probation is when the debtor has to attend a Mickey Mouse Traffic School or peeing in a cup of course provided by the same probation company at rates that the public doesn’t get to know. Even though the Supreme Court ruled that a probationer cannot have their probation revoked and be jailed simply for failing to pay a fine if they truly cannot afford to pay it, most of Georgia’s courts rely on the word of the private probation company to determine the debtor’s ability to pay. Guess which way that goes?

“Human Rights Watch takes no position on the broader issue of privatization—and some publicly run probation programs have seen their fair share of abuses. But government oversight and transparency are especially crucial where private companies are hired to provide probation services. The absence of that oversight has given rise to serious allegations of abusive practices leveled against leading probation firms like Sentinel Offender Services and Judicial Correction Services.”

Those same two companies along with the bail bondsmen’s lobbies just got Georgia’s GOP legislature to give them HB 837 to remove the vestiges of transparency that did exist.

Three Jack April 23, 2014 at 11:32 am

John,

This is a topic near and dear to me. The GOP in GA has done a piss poor job since gaining control of the state about a decade ago and it is extremely frustrating to those of us who worked diligently to make it happen. The problems began right away when GOP ‘leadership’ convinced some dems to change parties after winning the senate thus blurring party lines that continues to this day (see the past 2 governors for primes examples). There really is very little difference between the two parties when it comes to actual legislation.

Going forward, the only solution I see as viable is to open ballot access for candidates that do not want to be associated with the failed 2 party system. Unfortunately this will be the ultimate battle that both major parties will join together to fight no matter the possible benefits to voters and citizens of this state. So the frustration is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Somebody posted about voting ‘none of the above’ last week only to face a strong rebuke from Charlie who admonished the poster to ‘suck it up’ and just accept what we are offered as candidates. Personally I have not sought a ‘none of the above’ line item on the ballot, but I can see why some would feel this way considering what we have for political leadership in GA. ‘None of the above’ is not a solution, but it could send a loud message to those entrenched in powerful positions that voters are growing weary of the same ethically challenged shenanigans taking place under the Gold Dome every session while real issues are ignored.

Will Durant April 23, 2014 at 11:43 am

+1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Will Durant April 23, 2014 at 12:41 pm

I’ve asked this before and still can’t find an answer. Why do we as taxpayers fund the Primaries and consequent runnoffs for the 2 parties to choose their nominees for the General Election?

Why are “campaign” funds convertible to the individual if they no longer run for office?

Why is a PAC or Super PAC considered a non-profit organization as long as they are not politically motivated when almost all of them are?

Why is a substance that is less harmful than tobacco or alcohol still listed as a Schedule I narcotic by the Feds?

How can DUI checkpoints be considered legal?

No-Knock warrants?

“Farms” like Barnes for his cow and Rudy Bowen for his trees being taxed at a pittance?

An income tax code that could paper the Capitol?

Three Jack April 23, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Further to my point, I give you the Red Meat of the Day – HB60 Guns aplenty/Guns everywhere – bill signing today. Will this improve education, reduce gridlock or make government more efficient at lower cost to taxpayers? No. But look at all the old gray haired bureaucrats lined up to get their pic taken somewhere near the ethically bankrupt governor while he signs this election year bill meant to divert attention from real issues.

John Konop April 23, 2014 at 1:21 pm

…….. Will this improve education, reduce gridlock or make government more efficient at lower cost to taxpayers?…….

agree…we need focus…on real solutions…not more red meat BS…

WeymanCWannamakerJr April 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Don’t know if you saw my addendum to Charlie’s comment “suck it up” comment but I compared these guys to the oldest profession. The only reason corrupt politicians are not the oldest is that they used to have to fight to be the chief, not sell their votes. I propose in honor of today’s glorious bill signing that changes our way of life as we know it that we also legalize dueling and therefore really and truly institute term limits.

Three Jack April 23, 2014 at 2:09 pm

WCWJR, I’m with you on the dueling and suggest we invite Chris Matthews to face off with Zell Miller in the first shootout. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXpuEFansic

penguin April 23, 2014 at 11:52 am

Atlanta seems like a really unstable point of measurement for understanding the size of said iceberg. I mean – is it Atlanta ITP? Metro Atlanta? And what version of “Metro”. Metro is huge and that would be a really scary iceberg. Better measurement for icebergs? How many penguins can it hold..

analogkid April 23, 2014 at 10:51 pm

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http://www.power2give.org/atlanta/Project/Detail?projectId=2952

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Sorry for the advertisement. :)

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