From Administrivia

A Pause In The Action

Howdy all –

No doubt you’re wondering, given what happened last week, what’s to become of Peach Pundit. That’s a great question, and one I’ll be trying to answer over the next little bit.

Friday’s walkout was unexpected but not surprising. I wish Charlie and the contributors all the best with their new venture, and I have no doubt they will continue to carry on the fine work they’ve put in at Peach Pundit over the years.

For the time being, things will be kind of slow around here. I’ve already had several folks reach out and offer suggestions. If you’ve got one for me, please let me know at clayton -at- peachpundit.com.

In the meantime, I beg your indulgence as we figure out just what the next chapter of Peach Pundit looks like.

Thanks for your patience, and we’ll let you know when the fire gets lit again.

Best,

Clayton Wagar

P.S. – In the spirit of days past.. Consider this an open thread!!

Easter 2014

Resurrection

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.

And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.

And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”

And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.

But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

Luke 24:1-12 (ESV)

Happy Easter to each and every one of you.

Jay-Z name checks Atlanta in diss track about Cuba visit

Jay-Z has released a diss track … on two congress-critters sweating him over a state-approved trip to Cuba. The first lines?

“I done turned Havana to Atlanta / Guayabera shirts and bandanas”

As in, Havana is a tourist destination now where I shop like a capitalist for local stuff.

Florida GOP lawmakers Sen. Marco Rubio and Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen have criticized Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce for making the trip in apparent violation of sanctions, and are calling for an investigation. Jay-Z’s song responds to that criticism.

The song itself is a masterwork of lyricism and political commentary that appears to have been thrown together in an afternoon in a fit of pique. He notes that communist China is both unsanctioned and one of America’s largest trade partners, but Cuba remains theoretically off-limits. Those limits only exist of course for people without real means. The doors are open if you’ve got the cash for a Treasury department pass and can fly through a third country.

The White House pushed back this morning against the suggestion that President Obama had anything to do with approving the trip — the line “boy from the hood but got White House clearance” drawing attention. Jay-Z thrives on the use of double meaning in lyrics; he’s saying he had government permission, but also that he’s close enough to the President to visit the Oval Office.

The track calls attention to the ridiculousness of accusing a guy like him — a millionaire poster child for modern capitalism — of supporting communism. “Got an onion from Universal, read it and weep / Would’ve brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free / Except I made millions off it, you f–kin’ dweeb.” An onion is slang for a brick of cocaine, with the double meaning of his record company paying him millions.

The “onion” double meaning has a deeper layer as well. In one line, Jay-Z says that if they’re going to consider sentencing him to jail and a fine, he should commit a real crime instead, like flooding the streets with cocaine. Jay-Z has said he was briefly a juvenile crack cocaine dealer before turning to music, and his success is a testament to the redemptive power of both music and entrepreneurial industry. Jay-Z is arguing that a hypocritical political assault on his flamboyant lifestyle by supposed defenders of the free market suggests that his detractors in Congress would prefer people like him to remain poor criminals instead.

Jay-Z redeems the art form, again.

The track can be heard on Soundcloud.

An introduction: George Chidi is on the bench

Another joins the fray.

Normally, I wouldn’t roll out of bed for less than a buck a word, but I care deeply about the state of political dialogue and I’ve found Peach Pundit to be a place for reasoned discourse, even among people with whom I often disagree. That’s a rare commodity these days. So, I hope to contribute political intelligence which would otherwise go undiscovered and unpublished, as well as a fresh perspective offering a reasonable counterpoint to prevailing views – as opposed to the cartoon-character straw men many on the right imagine those on the left to be.

Also, Charlie said he’d go clubbing with me.

I’ve been writing for pay since I was 18, after dropping out of the microbiology program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. I enlisted in the Army as a military journalist 20 years ago, for which the only qualifications were two years of high school English, 20 words per minute on a typewriter and not being colorblind. I served five years on active duty, mostly with the 25th Infantry Division, without once being intentionally shot at. I have no business regretting that.

After returning to UMass to finish a journalism degree, I worked as a wire service reporter for the IDG publications covering the dot-com bust and as a politics reporter for the Rocky Mount Telegram in rural North Carolina before landing as a staff writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I covered growth and development, business, crime and municipal government in Gwinnett County for about three years before sobering up.

After covering one too many ax murders and gang shootings, I left the paper when Georgia Tech offered a full ride through its MBA program. I said to myself that a career in finance or real estate might be just as interesting and certainly more stable than news reporting.

I started school in the fall of 2008. Who knew.

I’ve also been a security guard, a long-term substitute teacher, a technology flack, various flavors of corporate peon, an associate investment banking equity analyst, an Occupy Atlanta activist, an ex-Occupy Atlanta activist and an elected official for the city of Pine Lake, which is manifestly not a speed trap. Any more. For real.

By day, I am the managing director of Neon Flag, a competitive intelligence consultancy, which is more or less exactly what you think it is. By night, I’m trying to figure out how to keep apparent corruption among Democrats from snatching defeat away from the hands of demographic victory in Georgia. I contribute from time to time to Creative Loafing and write irregularly about personal finance for Dimespring.com. I’ll be writing here about governance in Democratic communities and the leadership challenges of progressive politics in Georgia, along with a note now and then about economic competition, innovation and the state of the local club scene.

Next time, with Charlie.

The Peach Pundit Daily -Administrative Note

This morning’s Peach Pundit Daily included this: 

“New Look For AJC: ajc.com? That is so last week. The new myajc.com is much cooler. Clean lines, minimal ads and easier to navigate. It’s free until May -and then will require a subscription. So, maybe you would subscribe now?”

The item prompted a few emails about whether or not Peach Pundit is being compensated in any way by the AJC. The answer is no, we are not, we just liked their new site and thought our readers might want to subscribe. Thought it was obvious, but probably should have disclosed. Sorry for any confusion.

(You can always sign up for the Peach Pundit Daily here, though.)

Peach Pundit Road Show Tonight

Reminder that tonight’s the night!  Come join us for tonight’s Peach Pundit Roadshow, the 2012 Wild Hog Supper Edition.

The Roadshow is Pundit’s occasional social event in which people who almost never agree with each other get together and have a beer. It’s also the place where pseudonyms become faces, thus making the declaration Godwin’s Law less necessary.   (Wikipedia: Godwin’s Law)

Everyone’s invited — and you too!  And bring a friend if you have one.

Where:  Max Lager’s, 320 Peachtree Street Atlanta, probably upstairs

When:  Tonight — Sunday, January 8th,  7 PM until it’s over

Parking:  SunTrust Plaza parking is across Peachtree Street, as well as a surface lot.

 

An Idea So Crazy It Just Might Work!

Actually, it doesn’t sound crazy at all, and just might save Georgia taxpayers some money. Below is a letter from Sandy Springs City Councilman Gabriel Sterling to hold the Presidential preference primary and the partisan primaries on the same day. It would save the Counties the cost of holding two elections in one year, and might get Georgia a bit more national attention in the Presidential nomination process next year -or at least, no less than we have received in the past. It’s worth discussing, in light of Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s announcement tomorrow.

And does anyone know why we have these two election on separate dates?

Dear Georgia Colleague,

I wanted to take a moment to share an idea with you that could potentially save every county in Georgia, and therefore their taxpayers, money next year.

Being 2012, we are scheduled to have a Presidential Preference Primary and a General Primary. My question, and one also asked by many I have talked to, is “Why”?

For as long as I can remember, we have had these two elections separate out of tradition. Many believe that Georgia separated the two so that local Democrats would not have to share the same ballot as the national Democrats. But if we combined the General Primary and the Presidential Preference Primary to the same day, it would save millions of taxpayer dollars across all 159 counties of Georgia. Read more

And So, This Is Us

With post election “fishing trips” and holidays, we realize a few of you may have missed some of the recent changes around these parts. We’ve said goodbye to some familiar faces (pixels?) who have decided it’s time to move on, and added a new casts of characters who have agreed to join us for a few months and see how things fit.

The new folks we’re adding are all now accounted for, and as such, here’s a list of the current roster for those of us who have front page posting privileges.

The old folks:

Clayton Wagar, Publisher
Charlie Harper, Editor
Jason Pye, Associate Editor
Buzz Brockway, Associate Editor
Ron Daniels, Contributor, Historian, Ghostbuster
Chris Huttman, Contributor
Clint Murphy, Contributor
Pete Randall, Contributor

Erick Erickson, Editor Emeritus 

And the new folks:

Theresa Garcia, Contributor, Columbus GA: Theresa Style
Mike Hassinger, Contributor, Political consultant and former political reporter
Ed Hula, Contributor, Blog for Democracy
Keith McCants, Contributor, Peanut Politics
Johnathan McGinty, Contributor, Beyond The Trestle
Obi’s Sister, Contributor, Obi’s Sister
Nathan Smith, Contributor, GOP Activist

Brandon Howell, Intern, “Has yet to bring me coffee”

Click the links above to check out the introductory posts from our newest additions, and take the opportunity to make them feel at home.

I’m Now On Twitter #WhoCares?

Yes, this signifies as a slow start to a slow Monday.   But, I’ve finally succumbed to the Twitter.   You can find me there, like Facebook, under the name IcarusPundit.   Here, I’ll be Charlie going forward.

A couple of quick housekeeping items:

Pye is on a fishing trip this week.   Clint is on a longer one.  Others, including myself, have short work weeks combined with some light travel.  Then, we all have a holiday weekend.    Real news will likely be few and far between, but we’ll post what we can find when we can.   

In the mean time, the contributors who are around will have a bit more leeway than usual to post non-Georgia Political material.  We’ll see how that goes.

We’ve still got a couple of new contributors who should be showing up any time.   Our current roster should be complete by next week.

As for anything  else, OPEN THREAD:

Greetings from Southwest Georgia!

My name is Theresa Garcia and I’ve been politically active from the age of 3. My mother is so excited about this new writing gig that she may post a home video of me (age 3) and my dad going door to door campaigning for my “Uncle” Jack’s city council race just to prove that she helped to jumpstart my love for politics. And she did have a lot to do with it. I’m a true “Rush Baby” as my granddaddy and my mother both listened to him every day at lunch and I used to ask for them to turn it on if they happened to forget. I loved the intensity of Limbaugh’s voice when things weren’t going the way he wanted them to and I loved hearing all about Congress, the Senate, and the White House. Heck, at the age of five, I cried when Bill Clinton beat Bush Sr.  My favorite subjects in school were always government and English, so it’s really no surprise that I write about politics.

Most recently I was the Campaign Coordinator for Josh McKoon’s State Senate race and a staffer for Mike Keown in the 2nd Congressional race against Sanford Bishop. Those experiences are some of the greatest I’ve ever had and I have plenty of  stories to share. I have been blogging since 2005, politically since 2008, and my blog (Columbus, Georgia: Theresa Style) is located here.

Read more