By Nathan

Congressman Tom Graves Reminds Us Of Some Victories We’ve Had

I attended a townhall, sponsored by the Walker County Republican Party, in LaFayette on Monday evening.  It was a well-attended event organized by Walker GOP Chairman Matt Williamson.  The topics covered federal, state, and local concerns.  I had to leave early, but I was able to catch the update from our own Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14).

One of the topics that the Congressman discussed were the victories that conservatives have actually made since taking the House in 2010.  Here are a few that he discussed:

  • The UN Arms Trade Treaty cannot be funded or implemented.
  • Obamacare’s Risk Corridor program is prohibited from receiving a taxpayer bailout.
  • There is no funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • Race To The Top, a main driver of Common Core, was eliminated.
  • ACORN and its subsidiaries are prohibited from receiving federal funds.
  • The Export-Import Bank expired on June 30, 2015 and has not been renewed.
  • The House and Senate both passed legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline (ultimately vetoed by President Barack Obama)
  • Actually passing a budget since President Obama took office in 2009.

With the exception of the Keystone pipeline, the list above is a sampling of the legislation signed into law by President Obama.  In addition to that, discretionary spending is lower today ($1.013 trillion) than what was proposed ($1.019 trillion) in the “Path To Prosperity” budget proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan and received overwhelming support from conservatives back in 2012.

We are on the right track and heading towards a good direction towards reducing federal spending.  I know there are some who want to use the fun words of “slash”, “gut”, “cripple”, “destroy”, “decimate”, etc. to describe how they would budget federal spending.  It’s not ideal, but in spite of the noise the “silent base of the Republican Party” is making about how awful everything our Party does, at least we can hang our hat on a few victories.  It doesn’t mean we should stop and say our mission is complete.  It’s not, but I believe it’s good to be encouraged by being reminded of what has been done.

Kellie Austin To Run For Something Statewide–Details At 5:30

CS2_9617_ppKellie Austin’s campaign manager issued a press release announcing a campaign announcement for some statewide office at 5:30 this afternoon somewhere on the Square in downtown Lawrenceville.  Apparently she is responding, as the sub-headline of the presser says, “to the request of many to oppose a statewide incumbent in 2016.”  Here’s the presser (formatting is as it was in the original email):

(Gwinnett) — Kellie Austin will announce on Wednesday at 5:30 pm on the Square in downtown Lawrenceville, GA her plans to seek elected office.

Kellie Austin has never run for public office and is fed up with watching politicians become disconnected from the people they were elected to represent. Having the support of grassroots organizations and concerned Georgians, she has made the decision to challenge the incumbent for statewide office in 2016.

Kellie will stand for the rights of Georgians and has no personal agenda and no industry prejudice. She says, “We must get back to solid, common sense, economically viable solutions.”

Kellie is a true Georgia Girl. She was born in Hall County and has lived in Decatur, Fayette, Fulton, Habersham, and Stephens counties while growing up. She has lived for the past decade in Gwinnett. She has been a respected political consultant and has helped many businesses to reach their greater potential through her business marketing development. She understands economic development in the private sector, having worked closely with several Community Improvement Districts.

To find about more about Kellie and her campaign, visit her website: VoteKellie.Com

Her website, as of 1:30p EDT, had a parking page from GoDaddy, so no information available yet.

Most statewide elected offices were decided last year, but there are a couple of statewide offices that are on the ballot: US Senator and Public Service Commissioner – District 2.  Maybe she’s running for US Senate against Johnny Isakson since she’s running against an nondescript incumbent.  The rumors that are currently floating about is that she will be running for Public Service Commissioner currently held by Commissioner Tim Echols who was elected in 2010 and is up for re-election next year.  Of course, her presser doesn’t say if she will be running as a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent.  If she runs as a Republican, she would be joining Michelle Miller who announced earlier this year that she would be running for the Republican nomination against Echols.

We’ll have to wait until 5:30p to get the full details on if she’s running for Senate, PSC, or something else.

The Elephant In The Room

Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14) spoke to the Floyd County Republican Women yesterday.  The Rome News Tribune covered the Congressman’s remarks and subsequent questions from the audience.  The elephant in the room is the motion to vacate the chair filed by Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) last week.

Congressman Graves said removal of Speaker John Boehner is an “open conversation” that Republicans will be having before traveling back to Washington after their summer break.  The Congressman has not said if he supports or opposes the motion.

It’s not secret that conservatives are upset with the Speaker, but it’s been mostly smoke with no fire.  Not one Republican congressman challenged Boehner in the Republican Conference Committee election of leadership that took place soon after the 2014 General Election in November.  The chest-pounding and grandstanding big challenge took place on the floor of the House in January when two or three decided to challenge the Speaker then.  They lost, and really I’m not surprised nor do I sympathize with their last minute revolt.

They took to the floor and made a show to pump up their image as being anti-establishment leaders raging against the Washington machine.  It looks good on TV and to the folks back home, but I’m willing to bet that they knew what they did in January was a lost cause that had no chance of gaining traction.

Now we have a motion filed.  The Speaker didn’t act upon the motion before the summer break.  Now, conservative media outlets are trumpeting that the Speaker doesn’t have enough votes to get re-elected.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, but what I’m more concerned with is who steps in to fill the vacuum.  It’s a big deal when there is a possibility of replacing someone who is the head Republican of the House and a man who is second in line to the presidency.  I’d venture to say that it would make the shock of Eric Cantor losing his primary pale in comparison.

If you’re rabidly advocating the toppling of Speaker Boehner and revolting against the current Republican leadership, then perhaps you should also be talking about who is going to be the new leadership rather than ousting someone and saying “gee, who do we elect now?”

It’s going to be talked about at the various townhalls that congressmen will be hosting across our great nation, and I believe it’s something that should be discussed openly and honestly.  I hope that more light is shown on the plan to see if it’s a well thought out plan to govern or just another half-baked plan to pump up conservative cred of a few congressmen among the conservative websites and talk show host outlets.

Cries Of #RINO Never Seem To Cease

The idea of “if you’re a Republican leader or elected official who doesn’t follow us, you’re a #RINO” seems to be the sentiment of a lot of the TEA Party/Liberty/”Anti-Establishment”/whatever faction. The thought of identifying the few remaining conservative Democrats, showing them the error of their ways, and encouraging them to switch parties is a cardinal sin among these people. Of course, I’m sure if we welcomed a Libertarian into the Republican Party, I’m sure there’s no problem. The arguments I’ve seen, as of late, is that it’s the responsibility the Republican leadership (which, I would say, is the Executive Committee of the Georgia Republican Party, the Executive Committee of a District Republican Party, and/or the Executive Committee of a county’s Republican Party) to determine who is a “true Republican” and who is a “Republican in Name Only”. Of course, I’m sure this is the same group of people who complain of back-room deals and strong arm tactics to destroy decent. Yeah…..right…..

I’ve maintained that as long as I am a chairman, I will welcome people who say they generally agree with Republican principles. If they’re former Democrats, Libertarians, or just didn’t care, we should be welcoming if they’re wanting to help us work to elect Republicans. If they’re seeking office, it’s not up to me or my executive committee to determine if they are a “true Republican”…it’s up to the voters who pull a Republican ballot. You would think that the people who exclaim that they aren’t being heard or that leadership is trying to limit participation would be more than happy to have Republican voters choosing our candidates. In fact, here are two examples:
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Oxendine Opines On Pending Big Health Insurance Mergers

Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine isn’t a big fan of pending mergers in the health insurance sector.  Aetna announced plans to acquire Humana and Anthem said that it would be buying Cigna which would consolidate most healthcare coverage business into three major players: UnitedHealthcare, the new Aetna, and the new Anthem.

In an interview with Georgia Health News, Oxendine commented that the mergers would limit competition which, in the end, doesn’t benefit the consumer.

“Three is not competitive,’’ Oxendine told GHN last week in an interview. “My personal opinion is that it would be very bad for consumers.”

Oxendine says he believes commissioners in every state “should be extremely concerned”  about the two mergers. They should look at both deals in tandem, not separately, he added.

“Prices are already going up’’ under the Affordable Care Act, he said.

The article states that he has not talked to current Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.  Oxendine has also been active in the healthcare arena since he has left office.  Recently, according to the article, he has filed suit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia citing that the insurer has fraudulently been charging higher premiums while simultaneously cutting out-of-network benefit payments to medical providers.

H/T: Northwest Georgia News

US Senator Johnny Isakson Pays Tribute To Slain Georgia Marine

Senior US Senator Johnny Isakson paid tribute to Cobb County-native Lance Corporal Skip Wells, who was killed on July 16th during the attack of military sites in Chattanooga, by eulogizing the fallen Marine on the floor of the US Senate today:

Lance Corporal Wells was laid to rest today at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton. May he rest in eternal peace.

The full text of Senator Isakson’s eulogy can be read below the fold:
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Tragedy Strikes Chattanooga

IMG_0606-PANOToday has been a tough day for those of us who live in and around Chattanooga.  This morning, a gunman went to an Armed Forces recruitment center and opened fire and left the scene to do a similar deed at another military site a few miles away.  The search for the man ended in the early afternoon, and the reports of the aftermath started coming in.  When the dust settled, four Marines lost their lives and the gunman was killed.  One Marine and one Chattanooga Police officer were wounded and taken to a local hospital.

It’s one of those surreal times when you’re watching social media talk about events unfolding just a couple of miles down the road from you.  I know we’ve always talked about being more vigilant after attacks hitting the United States, but, admittedly, in the back of our minds we never would have thought an act of terrorism would have hit the Scenic City.

We have received words of sympathy and encouragement have been coming in all across our nation.  Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who was Chattanooga’s mayor in the early 2000s, delivered remarks on the floor of the United States Senate about the tragic events that happened.  President Barack Obama offered condolences to the families of the Marines who had fallen in the line of duty and promised a thorough investigation.

Georgia’s congressional delegation also offered words of condolence.  Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14), whose district borders Chattanooga, offered this statement:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Marines who were killed in the horrific attack in Chattanooga today. These Marines perished while serving our country and I know that our community in Northwest Georgia is forever grateful for their sacrifice.”

Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11) offered words of support:

“I am deeply saddened and enraged by the attacks on our U.S. servicemen in Chattanooga. My family and I are praying for the families of these brave Marines who lost their lives serving our nation. Initial intelligence reports indicate that ISIS may have been involved in this attack, and the Administration must act swiftly and decisively to protect our citizens and enact justice against those involved in carrying out this cowardly act of evil. An attack on any American is an attack on all of us, and we must remain vigilant in our fight to end this violence.”

Over the next weeks or months, we will learn more about the gunman, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, and we will learn if ISIS was behind this attack, but today and over the next few days, we will mourn and honor the four Marines who sacrificed themselves for their nation.

This man’s motivation may have been hatred towards us, but this will not hurt our resolve.  We refuse to let the evil act of this man, regardless if he was a “lone wolf” or acting on behalf of ISIS, cause us to fear a faceless entity.

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers for our community and for the families of these fallen Marines.  A deep, heartfelt appreciation and thank you goes to the Chattanooga Police Department and our United States Armed Services…..especially the United States Marine Corps.

More Fun In HD-80 Race

Tomorrow is the special election in HD-80, and it sounds like the tried-and-true GOP operative tactics of Attack, Rebuttal, Counterattack, Rebuttal, Wash, Rinse, Repeat, and then finally call for unity against Democrats is in full operational mode.

For those keeping score, there are three Republicans and one Democrat who is running to fill the seat being vacated by Mike Jacobs.

An anonymous mailer was sent out attacking J.Max Davis, one of the Republicans running for the open seat.  The AJC’s Political Insider has pictures of the mailer, but the gist of the mailer is a sexual harassment complaint that was made against Davis during his term as Brookhaven’s mayor and compared him to former Democratic President Bill Clinton.  From the Political Insider:

Records show Davis was accused of spraying an aerosol product on a woman’s buttocks while she was working at city hall, and the mayor told the flustered woman he was joking. The woman and a witness reported the incident to the city mayor the next day, who has said he never aimed at the woman’s backside. Davis is now facing allegations that he bullied the woman into retracting the allegations against him, and that he sought to cover-up the complaint. He’s denied any wrongdoing.

We’ll see how this affects J.Max’s chances of making it to a run-off with someone who we’re still curious about if she voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, the libertarian/conservative/classical liberal/Bull Moose YouTube candidate (is he afraid of the Republican label even though he qualified as a Republican?), or the Democrat….or win the thing out-right.

Prognosticate in the comments.

Stumping Against Gay Marriage May Win You The Primary But Probably Not The General

Jon mentioned earlier this week that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) were in south Georgia stumping for their respective candidacies.  The Supreme Court’s ruling on the recognition of gay marriages was a hot topic.  I believe “tragic” and “radical” were used in their campaign rhetoric according to the Political Insider article.

From a personal belief, I don’t agree with gay marriage, but in terms of the “up and coming” new generation (yes, Millennials) in politics, gay marriage is becoming acceptable from a societal standpoint.  Pew Research, in fact, conducted a poll last March saying that 61% of young Republicans (aged 18 to 29) are accepting of gay marriage.  That’s a big percentage.

I know, I’ll have folks commenting about how the Millennial generation is the most unreliable voting bloc….which may be true, but if we are trying to “reach out to young people”, then perhaps we should tone down the rhetoric of how America will fall apart because two men or two women can get married in the eyes of the government and society.  I’ve seen a mixture of posts on my own Facebook feed concerning this SCOTUS ruling.  Surprisingly, or maybe not, there was a large mixture of my Republican friends applauding the SCOTUS ruling and those who were against it.

I believe the best way to navigate these waters is to advocate the freedom of congregations and pastors to not perform wedding ceremonies.  After all, I’m willing to bet that there will be a number of people who get their Internet ordination to perform weddings.  I don’t believe that First Baptist, First Presbyterian, or any other church should be forced or coerced by government to violate their own beliefs.  Of course, those same congregations should see this as a great time for harvest.  A time to be loving and share the Gospel.

Governor Huckabee and Senator Cruz are looking for a fast path to the nomination, and there are a lot of votes that still remain within Evangelical voting bloc.  They, as well as other GOP Presidential hopefuls, look to be the moral standard bearer, but there are other ways to uphold their beliefs without alienating those who may not see eye-to-eye…especially when those votes will matter come November 2016.  But haven’t we said this again and again?

I can only hope that our eventual nominee has the ability to tell it like it is as well as the optimism for our future.  “Everything is awful” with no substance on how to make things better will only cause us to strike out for a third time.

A Few Thoughts On The Battle Flag Controversy

There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the battle flag of the Confederacy in light of the tragedy in Charleston.  It’s caused a lot of people, both Republican and Democrat, to call for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from main line view.  South Carolina’s governor is supportive of removing the battle flag from its state capitol grounds, and now there is focus on Mississippi’s state flag which bears the symbol.  I think it’s a fair discussion as, for some, it brings up negative imagery and connotations to racism and bigotry.

I have heritage in the Civil War, and I’m not ashamed of that.  My maternal great great grandfather fought in the army of Georgia.  Plus, it’s hard to not have a strong interest in the “War of Northern Aggression”, as a lot of folks around my neck of the woods like to call it, living so close to Chattanooga and Chickamauga…which was one of the bloodiest battles that was fought in the Civil War.  However, it’s time to let the ghosts of that awful conflict rest in peace.

Republican officials are having an honest and frank discussion about the impact of keeping such a controversial symbol in a place of prominence.  It’s a genuine discussion that needs to happen regardless of party, but it seems like some Democrats (and even some Republicans) are unsatisfied.  Removal of the Confederate battle flag isn’t enough.  There’s a push to scrub any semblance of the Confederacy from history.  The rhetoric coming from Democrats sounds more like they’re trying to figure out where to move the goal posts so they don’t lose their talking point of “Republicans are a bunch of racists” for the next few election cycles.

The Civil War was a dark time in our nation’s history.  Our history is just like us…it’s human history.  It’s full of blemishes and scars just like we are.  There are other dark times in our nation’s history like the forced removal of the Cherokee nation during President Andrew Jackson’s administration, the destruction left in the wake of General Sherman in his march through the South to the sea, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Our history, both the good times and the bad times, are threads in our cultural tapestry.  Those threads makes us who we are, and, hopefully, we can learn from the errors of our forefathers.  How much scrubbing of history do we need to do?  Do we rename the counties in Georgia that are named after people with Confederate ties, blast off the images on Stone Mountain, and remove every reference to the Confederate States of America?  What will be “enough”?  No matter how much we try, we can’t scrub away our history.

We shouldn’t ignore our history, but we shouldn’t ignore the feelings of our fellow citizens.  I believe Republican leaders are trying to do the right thing.  There will be resistance by some calling it capitulation and cries by others on how Republicans still “aren’t doing enough”, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

It’s time for us to move past this controversial object.

Of Course, You Know This Means War!

You invade Fort Oglethorpe, we'll invade Chattanooga.
You invade Fort Oglethorpe, we’ll invade Chattanooga.  Tit-for-tat, right?

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam must feel awfully powerful being Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.  The Chattanooga Times-Free Press has an article about Governor Haslam’s seemingly quiet invasion of his fellow Republican Governor Nathan Deal’s state of Georgia:

On a listing of Tennessee historic sites, an icon located just below Chattanooga describes the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park’s headquarters as “Fort Oglethorpe, Tenn.

Maybe the move to annex Fort Oglethorpe represents a tit-for-tat effort on Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s part, an effort to punish uppity Georgia officials who have long disputed the two states’ border, especially as thirsty Atlanta and parts of North Georgia seek access to the Tennessee River.

To quote both Groucho Marx and Bugs Bunny: “Of course, you know this means war!”

It’s a “glitch” that apparently has been fixed with the State of Tennessee’s roll-out of their redesigned website.  Of course, this may only be a preemptive strike to hamper our efforts on getting our water back.  Either way, Tennessee should know that Georgia won’t go down without a fight.  Everyday, Georgia sends thousands of people to invade Tennessee…..of course, they come back home to Georgia only to return the following day, but it could be the next #Occupy movement.  Or something.  After all, Chattanooga, Georgia does have a nice ring to it.

Reporting from the Occupied Territory, over and out.

Magna Carta Signed 800 Years Ago Today

In a field in Runnymede on June 15, 1215, King John of England placed his seal upon a document drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to bring about peace between the King and rebelling barons.  The document promised protection of church rights, protections against illegal imprisonment of the barons, access to swift justice, and respect to rights and property.

A John Sims of King John assenting to the Magna Carta. Courtesy of the UK Parliament
A portrait by John Sims of King John assenting to the Magna Carta. Courtesy of the UK Parliament

Now, of course, the Magna Carta, as we now know it, was brokered between the King and nobles and didn’t pertain to common men, but as our National Archives points out, there are a couple of enduring principles of liberty that resonate with us today…that apply to all men and women:

“No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.”

“To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice.”

Neither the King nor the barons held up their respective sides to the agreement, and Pope Innocent III later annulled.  Although the original charter failed, it was reissued several times after the death of King John and later gave inspiration to a few good men in the late 18th century.

Senator Jeff Mullis’ Contact With Judge Leads To Recusal And Controversy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press has an article out about how Senate Rules Chairman Jeff Mullis has found himself cited as the reason Judge Brian House recused himself from a trial concerning former Fort Oglethorpe Building Inspector Mark Lindsay.

Of course, what they don’t make clear is that Mr. Lindsay was charged in 2010 and had yet to be tried in 2013.  He told Senator Mullis about his concern of why it had been three years at that point but he had not been tried, so the Senator asked Judge House if he could ask him about the case.  The Judge said yes, so he asked him about why his friend hadn’t been tried.  Jim Galloway over at the AJC has Senator Mullis’ side of the story:

“I was asked by a friend of mine who was concerned that he hadn’t had a trial in three years and didn’t know why. When I ran into the judge, I asked him if I could talk about the case,” the senator said.

Mullis said Superior Court Judge Brian House told him to proceed. The senator said he told the judge that he felt his friend was being “railroaded” – and that prosecutors were using delaying tactics to pressure Lindsay into a guilty plea.

“I never asked [the judge]” for anything,” Mullis said. “I have a right as a citizen to speak my mind.”

Judge House was probably acting above board, and I believe Senator Mullis was asking why his friend had yet gone to trial…not for a favorable ruling.  You know, that whole “right to a speedy trial” thing.  Perhaps, instead of lazy, one-sided reporting, the author of the article in the Chattanooga newspaper needs to try a bit harder to find out the facts of the case or even why the case kept on being delayed from going to trial.

As Senator Mullis told the AJC: “No good deed ever goes unpunished.”

Google Announces $300 Million Expansion In Georgia

Earlier this week, Google brokeGoogle DC Groundbreaking ground on a $300 million expansion of their data center in Douglas County.  The expansion will create 25 new jobs and will help with the increase in demand for Google services.  The new data center should be online by the end of 2016.

Governor Nathan Deal was on hand for the ground breaking:

“Google continues to play a significant role in making Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business. We are pleased that one of the world’s premier technology companies continues to make strategic investments in our state, whether it is this data center expansion, providing jobs, enhancing our technology infrastructure with Google Fiber, or by providing educational programs and technology resources for nonprofits. We are proud that Google is growing in Georgia.”

The expansion is a boon to Georgia since Google recently announced plans to provide access to nine metro-area municipalities.  The data center is one of thirteen Google data centers in the world.  In an age where data and the reach of the Internet continues to grow at a rapid rate, this expansion is certainly needed.  Google’s Data Center Operations Manager Jason Wellman looks towards growth for Google:

“Data centers are the engines of the Internet, and as the Internet grows, our data centers are growing too. Douglas County and the state of Georgia have been excellent partners, enabling us to grow our presence in the state. This expansion will allow us to continue to provide fast and reliable service to millions of people around the clock.”

Of course, Douglas County is a huge benefactor with having such a large global company expanding in their backyard.  Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan talks about growth from a rural community to being connected to the world in such a big way:

“Much like Google, Douglas County continues to rapidly grow —evolving from a rural area to the economic hub of west Georgia. The expansion of Google’s data center demonstrates our commitment to growth and innovation. We are excited that the Google team has chosen to continue to invest in our community by expanding its home here with us.”

Georgia continues to show its potential at being a technology powerhouse.  Alpharetta, for example, is home to a number of data centers and Suwanee lays claim to one of two data centers used by AMD.  It’s good news for us.

A Chattanooga To Atlanta High-Speed Rail Link Still A Golden Unicorn

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke believes a high-speed rail line linking Chattanooga and Atlanta will probably never happen according to an article in the Chattanooga Times-Free Press. It’s not because Mayor Berke is anti-train…in fact, his administration is doing a study on the feasibility of light rail trains to service Chattanooga residents. Really, it’s more of a fact that Chattanooga hasn’t heard about much progress beyond “studies are being performed”.

Since then, Chattanooga has spent $1.3 million in local funds toward the first part of a $17.1 million study. In 2011, Georgia added $1.5 million and the Georgia Department of Transportation and Atlanta each put in $250,000. Those funds were used to get a $13.8 million grant for the research. The first tier of the environmental study is finished, and the second tier is slated to begin this year.

Atlanta and the state of Georgia pushed for the rail, which could help relieve congestion around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

But Chattanooga hasn’t heard any meaningful updates, except that the studies are ongoing.

I believe Hizzoner is being a realist and probably sees the ongoing transportation problems in Atlanta and the solutions that will primarily be metro-specific. I would guess that the high-speed rail line between the two cities, although not impossible to build, would probably not be high up on the transportation project list for the city of Atlanta or GDOT. Of course, the Mayor did say it would take a good amount of community support for high-speed rail, so it may take a mayor (or a group of mayors between Chattanooga and Atlanta) to drum up their respective communities.

Of course, would elected officials have the intestinal fortitude to explain the costs and benefits (as well as the price tag and how we would pay for it) of such a railway? Would taxpayers even be willing to consider a project worthy of such a large investment? Does this project even still have legs (if it had any at all) with Chattanooga’s mayor saying the Golden Unicorn will never be found?