Morning Reads: 28 April 2014

April 28, 2014 6:30 am

by Eric The Younger · 14 comments

Early voting starts today. Some will undoubtedly take advantage of this, others will likely wait some time to see what will come out over the next couple weeks. I for one will be waiting until election day. Here’s what happened over the weekend.

Georgia

Here’s the MDJ’s voter guide. It is Cobb centric but all the state wide and a few congressional districts are also represented.
Tea Party split over Senate Race.
HB 60 and Jason Carter’s rock and a hard place.
Promises not being kept for Savannah school building contract.
Georgia Power gets out of paying credit subsidy fee to the Department of Energy for loan to build Plant Vogtle.
Gillooly takes over as news editor at the MDJ.

National/International

This is why we can’t have nice things, thanks Florida. Hopefully this will not spread to other states.
Indigenous People’s Day con-celebrated with Columbus Day? Sounds good to me.
US increases military capability to deal with China.
Two Popes canonize two Popes.
Ukraine’s getting all the talk, though we should probably talk about Latin America too.

Everything Else

Go vote for Savannah.
Former KKK Grand Knight caught with black male prostitute. Oh irony.

Raleigh April 28, 2014 at 9:13 am

Not trying to hijack a thread but the storm front on its way to Georgia has the potential to get very ugly very quick. Keep an ear on weather reports tonight through Wednesday morning. Stay safe everyone.

Charlie April 28, 2014 at 10:38 am

1) Excellent tip. We’re three years past some of the worst storms in recent memory as of last week, and the scars from that are still very visible reminders of how quickly our world can change.

2) Every morning read is an “open thread”. Thus, it’s impossible to threadjack here. This is y’alls space. Use it as you see fit to bring things to everyone’s attention.

Ellynn April 28, 2014 at 10:35 am

The Savannah School article is very lopsided.

First, it’s one general contractor causing the problem.
Two, This was not a ‘Bid’ project, it was a RFQ to pick the Contractor before the building is completely designed, and then the contractot handles the pricing packages of the subcontractors. This forces a General Contator to name subs before the school is even designed, which is silly, and will end up costing the system additional money. (Does not excuse the GC from lying about subs… but it’s a silly process)
Third, What about the other dozen or so projects under contract? Not a peep. Not a word. Why…?

Jackster April 28, 2014 at 11:56 am

Anyone have a good reason why (in general) a county govt and a county school board can’t share IT services? Email, storage, licensing, reporting, power, facilities management, and transportation?

I get that as an executive or official, you want explicit control and to not share budget authority over your areas, but those would be operational.

Not to mention, most gov’t entities have trouble retaining talent – removing micromanaging from elected officials may present a savings to the tax payer.

objective April 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

I’m curious what ppl think abt Ed Lindsey’s new ad. Any takers?

Eric The Younger April 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

I thought it was a bit cheesey but strangely enough, I really liked it.

Three Jack April 28, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Somehow the Cherokee BOC escaped criminal prosecution in the Bobo deal – http://www.mdjonline.com/view/full_story/25003673/article-DA–Audit-clears-Cherokee-County-BoC-in-Ball-Ground-Recycling-case?instance=home_state_bullet

Joke is on the taxpayers who not only just paid over $500,000 for this ‘audit’, they are also obligated to pay millions covering the cost of guaranteed loans for Bobo’s convoluted land swap deal.

saltycracker April 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

For those worried about sales tax on internet purchases, marketers are light years out front – how about pricing just for you. Caveat Emptor is entering a whole new dimension on the internet via data mining.

Now we have algorithms being developed and refined that can determine how much you may be willing/capable of paying and price accordingly.

Amazing.

Very interesting story in Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamtanner/2014/03/26/different-customers-different-prices-thanks-to-big-data/

Thank goodness the government fails with computer programs.

Harry April 28, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Here’s a simple thought more in line of what a government can handle. Let’s say the tag of a vehicle heading east out of Colorado into Kansas is scanned at the state line, and if said vehicle heads across a bridge into Tennessee and the scan there matches up and is compared to the list of vehicle owners who have prior drug citations, would it not be interesting? Of course that by itself is not probable cause for a search, but maybe a TN or GA state trooper might be interested to see if a rear light is broken or a tire seems low.

saltycracker April 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Another favorite story is Fortune, April 28 headlined:
How Warren Buffett and Don Graham are saving $675 million in Taxes.

Yep, they just did an IRS tax free cash-rich split-off and handled it just as congress has specifically allowed.

Easy to take the high road on high income taxes from W-2′s when the tax code has such wonderful loopholes.
Buffett is one smart guy. His railroad BNSF is just lovin’ the pipeline delay.

Harry April 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Yeah, Buffet says it’s mainly a safety concern with transporting all that fossil fuel.

Harry April 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm
WeymanCWannamakerJr April 28, 2014 at 3:55 pm

I know this will step on toes here as the vote was almost if not entirely down party lines but there is only one more day for Governor Deal to veto HB 837, a bill done on behalf of Georgia’s Private Misdemeanor Probation Industry. The bill’s primary sponsor, State Representative Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming), probably just hit a few more toes with this partisan ally to many here, has recently been electronically papering the State with his plea for the Governor to let it slide on into law. One example can be seen here, http://cumming.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/hb-837-ensuring-the-integrity-of-our-criminal-justice-system.

I’m not going to bother parsing all of the hype, though it is a heaping pile of it, suffice it to say this bill was done at the behest of this industry essentially because one company, Sentinal Offender Services, lost a couple of cases last year before a very conservative judge. He found that they were abusing the limits of existing law. This included getting probation terms extended and arrest warrants issued when the probationers had satisfied their fines and fees to the State but not the probation company’s own fees. He also found it unconstitutional to utilize Sentinal’s most lucrative area of electronic monitoring in some cases where their fees are supplemented at $6 to $12 per day.

Regardless of the heinous wife beaters and vehicular homicide miscreants Rep. Hamilton names the majority of the people in the misdemeanor probation system are guilty of more mundane traffic offenses. They simply didn’t have the cash on their court date and were then thrown over to the probation companies for debt collection of the fine. So I’m wondering where this group came up with the money that “paid to fight this bill”. It is on public record that Sentinal spent $500,000 alone to see this bill through. We don’t know how much was spent by Georgia’s 30 other private probation companies and lets not forget the bail bondsmen either as these companies were responsible for the issuance of 120,000+ arrest warrants in Georgia in 2012.

From the Human Rights Watch site: “The job of probation officers in pay only cases is not to supervise offenders. It is to collect money, and to use the credible threat of incarceration to coerce offenders into paying down their fines along with their probation fees. Pay only probation is essentially a convenient legal fiction. It allows courts to hire debt collectors who can have people put behind bars if they don’t pay. Add private probation companies to the mix and supervision fees in these pay only cases boil down to this: a discriminatory tax that many offenders are required to pay precisely because they cannot afford to pay their court-ordered fines, with all of the revenues going directly to private companies instead of public treasuries.”

And to Rep. Hamilton I will submit that I wasn’t paid a dime to post this, just a citizen of Georgia who takes civil liberties seriously. To Governor Deal I submit that though you will not gain too many votes by letting this bill become law, if you don’t veto it Mr. Carter will have a field day with it on down the road.

Will Durant April 28, 2014 at 4:24 pm

It appears that Kansas could save their taxpayers a lot of money if they just put the KKK guy into the general population.

Comments on this entry are closed.