Good morning! School is back in session, so now the break is really over. Or it’s just beginning, depending on who you ask.
- Earlier this month, the Washington Post political team sat down with Donald Trump and Ben Carson at each candidate’s DC-area home:
- Trump: Interviewers described it as, “A nearly 90-minute one-man channel surf that landed on, among other topics, golf, the polls, whether he planned to drop out of the presidential race, what he’s afraid of, whether he’s a nice person, the media, the media and the media.”
- Carson: The candidate offers proof that he’s not weak by saying, “A weak person doesn’t have all of these honorary degrees. Most people of accomplishment have one, maybe two or three honorary degrees at most. It’s the highest award that a university gives out. I have 67. That’s probably not indicative of a weak person who doesn’t get things done.”
- The New York Times overviews President Obama’s anticipated moves on gun control.
- WABE prognosticates how Atlanta’s neighborhoods will continue to evolve in 2016.
- The Wall Street Journal reports how more Americans are looking to faith-based organizations for their health insurance coverage.
- Georgia lawmakers vote now, read later. It’s tradition!
- In the AJC, Maureen Downey (from her new location on the front page of the Metro section) kindles the conversation on merit pay for teachers.
- Also from the AJC, hateful talk is protected by the first amendment. But hate talk accompanied by criminal activity is a whole other story.
- The City of Atlanta quietly made a $9 million Beltline payment to Atlanta Public Schools.
- From CityLab, one congressman wants to preserve our right to pee – freely.
- WSAV covers the pending legislative conversation about whether firefighters in Georgia should carry guns.
- The world didn’t know it needed a George Costanza-themed bar. Thank you, Australia!
- NYC CFA remains DOA.
And below the fold, if you’re willing to wait for it –
It’s time to plan your New Year’s Day dinner, and that means black-eyed peas – or Hoppin’ John – (for luck) and greens (for money). How you prepare your greens is entirely up to you, as is which kind of green you choose to prepare (we are a cabbage family). Hopefully, you saved the bone from the ham you served with your holiday dinner, because there’s no tastier way to cook your beans than with a leftover ham bone (pro tip: you can buy just a bone at any Honeybaked Ham store).
Less cooking, mor(ning)e reading:
For the comments, what’s your favorite Georgia (mis)pronunciation? I knew I’d lived in Georgia for a long time when I wanted a Martinez and asked the bartender for a “MAR-ti-nez.”
There are so many Christmas songs to share! First, there’s Ashley Monroe’s lovely cover of Joni Mitchell’s River – but perhaps you’re more the type to gather at the roadhouse with your next of kin to celebrate the Swayziest Christmas of them all?
- The lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, is a failure of their government and an alleged violation of constitutional rights – and it’s a tragedy that will resonate for a generation.
- President Obama and Jerry Seinfeld get coffee, together, in a car.
- Not unlike their hipster beards, this hipster chocolate is not as original as its creators lead you to believe.
- How Delta is ready when you are.
- Here’s where to eat while you’re riding your bike around Atlanta.
- … Meanwhile, Torpy continues to (mostly) troll cyclists.
- Savannah-Chatham Police take a thoughtful approach to improve their relationship with the community.
- I.P., UGA IX.
- Big Boi, T.I., and Killer Mike petition SCOTUS. From Daniel Malloy: “The brief cites artists from Eminem (who murdered his wife in “Kim”) to Johnny Cash (who shot a man in Reno with the unsettling motive of just wanting to watch him die) to Eric Clapton (who shot the sheriff, but definitely not the deputy) as examples of violent imagery in music protected by the First Amendment.”
- Two-thirds of the cities I’ve lived in made this best-of list. (Sorry, Atlanta.)
- This week in Hamilton: The Atlantic makes the case for why it’s the best album of 2015.
And below the fold, allow the cast of Hamilton to bring joy to your world. Or just replay the MST3K video. Your call.
Good morning! Ten days until Christmas. I honestly can’t remember what it was like to prepare for the holidays before Amazon. And, oh yeah, two days until The Force Awakens (and the new cantina scene.) How does a ragtag army in need of a shower somehow defeat a global superpower?
Yesterday, Clarkesville Mayor Terry Greene died at Atlanta Medical Center as a result of a gunshot wound to the head. The shooting happened at his home in Habersham County, reportedly during a domestic dispute, and according to the AJC, local police have requested that the GBI handle the investigation. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
Greene, a physician, lived in Clarkesville, where he had served as mayor since 2005, with his wife and four children (as of this writing, the Clarkesville website’s links to information about Greene are broken). The following is from a statement from Habersham Medical Center CEO Jerry Wise:
“The Habersham Medical Center family is filled with unimaginable grief and sadness upon learning of the passing of Dr. Terry Greene. Our hearts go out to his family, office staff, patients and countless others who admired and appreciated his medical expertise and leadership. Dr. Greene served for 23 years on the HMC Medical Staff, including serving as Chief of Staff from 2012 to 2014. His passing is a huge loss to our medical family, and we join the entire Habersham County community in mourning.”
In 1776, three Georgians – Lyman Hall, George Walton, and Button Gwinnett – signed the Declaration of independence. Each lives on, most notably through the counties that bear their surnames. When you visit the Georgia State Capitol, you can see the marble bust of each one in the rotunda.
What do we know about Button Gwinnett? It’s been written that Gwinnett is great, success lives there, and in at least one Gwinnett city, everyone is somebody. However, unlike his co-signers from the thirteenth colony, Gwinnett wasn’t even born here – he was an immigrant – and he died in a duel with Lachlan McIntosh in May of 1777 following a disagreement over securing Georgia’s southern border. Gwinnett wanted to invade Florida; McIntosh disagreed and asserted that Gwinnett’s scheme was politically motivated. (Maybe it would have been easier to just build a fence?)
Revolutionary-era immigrants who died in a duel with a political rival are kind of a thing right now – perhaps I’ve mentioned it? – so it only stands to reason that our man Bilbo Giblin Button Gwinnett is ready for his turn in the spotlight. It took a South Carolinian and a New Yorker (and a beat-boxing New Orleanian) to get the job done, and for that, we raise a glass to Stephen Colbert and Lin-Manuel Miranda for their one-song musical. Ladies, prepare to defend thine Button-holes:
It’s the third day of Hannukah. Listen to Sharon Jones, and fry a bunch of latkes!
- “Trump, you disgust me.” / “Ah, so you’ve discussed me?”
- Real quick, go up to the address bar and type in JebBush.com. (Followed immediately by hitting your browser’s “back” button, because while that site is SFW it’s not safe for your soul.)
- The number of imprisoned U.S. veterans continues to decrease.
- What Americans don’t know about Americans.
- Third, unnamed Threat Level announced.
- Attorney General Sam Olens follows the law, upsets Deal.
- In Georgia, all you need to do run for coroner is graduate from high school, be a registered voter, and be 25 years old. That’s it. As a result, we “pay for what we get” – and that was said by the chairman of the Georgia Coroner’s Training Council.
- Representative Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) explains why Georgia should raise the minimum age to drive.
- Stone Mountain Park can’t restrict Klan rallies, but that doesn’t mean they have to like them.
- Holiday gift ideas for the person in your life who will never be satisfied.
- Not sure whether to title this “Making groceries,” or “Oh! My valve!”
Non-jokey headlines because the subject matter is far too awful:
No, the defeat of Lust didn’t happen in a poll of dissuaded AshleyMadison users, and this is a family political blog, so this post will remain G-rated.
In the municipal and legislative runoffs that took place across Georgia on December 1, there were notable upsets, but perhaps none with as much at stake as that posed by Lust versus Wisdom. 1,173 voters in Powder Springs Post 2 faced this choice on Tuesday, and when all the votes were counted, Lust was vanquished by the hair’s breadth of 13 votes.
Statewide, we only get our wisdom in moderation. In Powder Springs, Wisdom is theirs for the next four years.
(Meanwhile in Powder Springs, veteran Councilmember Al Thurman won Tuesday’s mayoral runoff with 57% of the vote – and also made history as the first black mayor elected in Cobb County. In the Marietta Daily Journal, Thurman emphasized his hope that his service as mayor will transcend race, stating, “I’m not the black mayor. I’m the mayor. I’m here to serve everyone… The demographics are changing and this is a clear reflection of this change.”)
It’s the first day of December. Did you manage to find your damn elf last night so you can go all police state on your tikes? (We did.)
It’s Thanksgiving Eve Eve! Do you know what you’re cooking? Here are some ideas:
- Cornbread dressing: Scott Peacock’s version is the one that comes closest to my Mississippi grandmother’s recipe. Don’t hold back with the turkey stock, and for the love of all things holy, don’t make it with Jiffy cornbread mix.
- Oyster dressing: Because double the dressing, double the fun! I prefer the version with French bread, because that’s what my Louisiana grandmother made.
- Talkin’ turkey: Those crazy Yankees at America’s Test Kitchen will never, ever steer you wrong. (Except maybe now that Chris Kimball has left the building, Anonymous will pull off some kind of catastrophic Thanksgiving Day hack and we’ll all be left flailing in puddles of savory turkey brine.)
- Even the military likes NPR’s Susan Stamberg’s mother-in-law’s cranberry relish.
- Rely on Miss Manners when your drunk uncle (Drunkle!) starts talking about Trump.
Now, as Thomas Jefferson so sagely said, can we get back to politics? (Please? – James Madison)
Today in Hamilton, we visit the Schuyler sisters, Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy. Listen closely so it will make sense when your three cousins start arguing about which one of them is the Peggy. Work!
An in-depth investigation by the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Huffington Post uncovers massive subsidies of college athletic programs by students who are mostly disinterested in college athletic programs. Their prime example? GSU (the one in Atlanta).
In Macon, GPB asks what comes after public housing?
More on the Palmetto Pipeline, Kinder Morgan, and the DOT.
In Putnam and Baldwin counties, residents felt the earth move under their feet. (The sky did not come tumbling down.)
Antony Bourdain beholds Waffle House, the “yellow beacon of hope for the seriously hammered.”
Seattle residents pay 28 different transportation-related taxes fees.
Should HUD ban smoking in public housing?
Mapping the flow of gun traffic from Georgia (and elsewhere).
This week in “Hamilton”:
On Monday, Representative Rob Woodall (R-GA7) delivered the keynote address at the Council For Quality Growth’s 6th Annual CID Recognition Event in Atlanta. Rep. Woodall’s remarks focused on his work on the House Committee for Transportation and Infrastructure, emphasizing how the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act will benefit Georgia, and will – hopefully – give local governments greater control over their transportation priorities.
Georgia journalist Walter Jones noted that the Act will have a positive impact throughout Georgia, highlighting Woodall’s remark regarding Georgia’s major freight corridors:
“What have we done to get I-16 ready for Panamax [and New Panamax] ships? That’s a lonely stretch of road. It doesn’t have a big voice in terms of federal transportation policy, but critically important, not just to people who live along it, but also to the entire Southeastern region. … I’m optimistic that you’re going to see a greater investment in some of these projects that might not be as glamorous as a big new bridge inside the (Atlanta) Perimeter,”
In the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Dave Williams presented Rep. Woodall’s emphasis on local control of local priorities through the Act’s block grant program:
“Maybe Washington doesn’t have all of the solutions. … Maybe we can trust folks on the local level to make more of their own decisions. … The new block grant program is going to allow you to do that.”
Other highlights from Woodall’s remarks include:
There are lots of things that make a community a city, but nothing (other than a yes vote – sorry, LaVista Hills!) legitimizes a city like making a best-of list on the internet.
By this metric, the nascent City of Tucker is now really a city. Two lists released last week by WalletHub and 24/7 Wall Street include several Georgia cities ranked by virtue of their affordability, economic health, education and health, and quality of life.
Of the 1,268 cities with a population between 25,000 and 100,000 residents on the WalletHub list, Georgia’s representatives include:
- Alpharetta (83)
- Duluth (145; ranked first in most restaurants per capita)
- Kennesaw (174)
- Marietta (183)
- Evans (249; #1 in Highest Income Growth)
- Milton (323)
- Newnan (532)
- Lawrenceville (572; #5 in most restaurants per capita)
- Johns Creek (575)
- Smyrna (602)
- Peachtree City (606)
- Tucker (632)
- Dunwoody (662)
- Roswell (694)
- Martinez (726)
- Douglasville (885)
- Stockbridge (955)
- Mableton (1007) (Wait, what?)
- Hinesville (1027)
- Statesboro (1083; dead last in the highest percentage of residents below the poverty level)
- Warner Robins (1100)
- Gainesville (1119)
- Rome (1161)
- Sandy Springs (1166; third from the bottom in income growth, but their median income is pretty good, so interpret that as you will)
- LaGrange (1172)
- Dalton (1173)
- Valdosta (1182)
- Macon (1220)
- Albany (1225)
- East Point (1242)
On the 24/7 Wall Street list, which only ranked cities with a population of more than 60,000 residents, Johns Creek received an overall score of 95.4 out of 100. The site notes that, “While Georgia generally fares worse than most states in many social and economic measures, Johns Creek residents benefit from high incomes, low poverty, high levels of education, and plenty of amenities.”
The methodology used in each set of rankings is key to contextualizing the lists, which may come as a relief to Sandy Springs when they find themselves ranked below Mableton, which is not actually a city (yet).
If Charlie asks nicely, he may borrow the cardboard ViewMaster thingy that came with my Sunday New York Times.
IRS may try – again – to use private debt collectors to collect back taxes.
$53 million in tax dollars spent on “paid patriotism?” God bless America, INDEED.
Tybee Island likes Ike, Jr., their newest litter-fighting ambassador.
State officials are concerned about the impact of poverty on children in south Georgia.
Second runner dies following the Savannah Rock & Roll Marathon.
Twenty years of consolidated government in Augusta-Richmond County.
Spaghetti Junction through the years.
If politicians had man buns.
Hamilton! The Founding Father without a father! If you have yet to welcome Alexander Hamilton into your life, this is a great place to start.
Good morning! I’m taking the reins on the Tuesday morning reads, so with homage to Stefan (and apologies to Ed), here’s a poem (that I didn’t write):
Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving…
It’s Election Day, y’all, so whether you’re voting for a new city, for mayor, county commission, city council, or SPLOST, if your precinct is open, vote!
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the bigger elections happening today in Georgia. This is by no means comprehensive, so please add any others in the comments:
In other news:
- If you’re a regular obituary reader (it’s the first section I turn to every morning), you’ve probably also noticed that there’s a definite uptick in deaths among middle-aged whites – and if you tend to decode the obits, you’ve probably also figured out that suicide and substance abuse are increasingly the cause of death.