Video Of The Day

April 15, 2014 9:42 am

by Buzz Brockway · 5 comments

OK, it has nothing to do with politics but it does have something to do with Georgia. Last night the Braves were in Philadelphia and trailing the Phillies when Dan Uggla stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. Some Phillies fans were taunting Uggla when the camera caught their reaction to his Grand Slam.

Uggla's Revenge

Go here to see the hilarious video of the event in super slow mo and join me in laughing at these Phillies fans.

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Former Newt Gingrich aide John McCallum, a GOP candidate in Georgia’s First Congressional District, launched an anti-Obamacare TV ad on Tuesday.

“As a result of Obamacare, millions of Americans have seen their policies cancelled, premiums increase, and choices disappear,” said McCallum. “This big government boondoggle is Washington’s latest attempt to apply a one-size-fits-all solution to every challenge facing America … At the end of the day, Obamacare has got to go.”

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25 Years ago, the Hillsborough disaster claimed the lives of 95 soccer fans. You have my permission to hug a Kopite today, though any Liverpudlian will do.  Grapes of Wrath is 75 years old, but depictions of poverty are timeless. Morning Reads after the jump: [click to continue…]

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Home Depot is having a contest for you to vote for which Historically Black College & University should receive a grant to help with a project at the school.  You’ll note from this list that there are a large number of Georgia institutions represented.

In doing a quick scan of the participating schools, I chose to vote for Albany State University.  Why?  They’re still trying to complete repairs/upgrades from the 1994 flood.  Folks, that was twenty years ago.  That’s like, before a lot of their students were born.

Voting ends at midnight tomorrow (4/15), and you can vote once each day.  Thus, vote tonight and you can vote again tomorrow.  Choose the school of your choice, but if you want to collectively pool our votes here, I would think that finishing off flood repairs from two decades ago seems worthy.

H/T Atlanta Daily World

 

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Captain Herb

April 14, 2014 14:09 pm

by Erick · 2 comments

Over the weekend, my friend Herb Emory died. We referred to him as Captain Herb. If any of you have spent any time in Atlanta in the past several decades, you have probably heard Captain Herb on the radio. He was the voice of Atlanta traffic. For more than two decades, his voice has been on WSB radio getting you to work in the morning and home in the evening.

Captain Herb was brilliant at what he did. He coined terms for roads in Atlanta that every other traffic reporter in the city picked up and used. He was generous with his time too. He made over eighty personal appearances last year just because someone asked him to.

He was also a connoisseur of greasy spoons and various meat and three restaurants in the metropolitan area. He and I had shared more than one grilled pimento cheese sandwich together. I think every police officer in the metro area knew him. He volunteered at food banks, animal rescue facilities, for the Toys 4 Tots program, and more.

Captain Herb was a celebrity, but he was also a servant leader. He put others before himself. He did so Saturday when he called in a wreck, went to make sure everyone was okay, then helped direct traffic before succumbing to a heart attack.

Anyone who knew him knows how fitting it was that Captain Herb’s last act was helping others. Our loss is Heaven’s gain. The angels on Jacob’s Ladder now know how much gridlock there is and all the alternate routes.

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One week remains for people to register to vote in the May 20 primary election.

Georgians with a valid Georgia driver’s license can go online and register here.

The “My Voter Page” (MVP) app also allows Georgians to register to vote.  They can view their specific sample ballot, find their polling locations, check voter registration status and track the status of their absentee ballot. All of this information is available on mobile devices on Apple and Android platforms.  To find the app search for “GA Votes” in the app store.

Kemp recently launched the new systems at a combined meeting of the Georgia Election Officials Association/Voter Registrars Association of Georgia in Augusta, GA with election leaders from across the state.

Georgia is the first state in the nation to offer both online registration as well as an innovative mobile application that enables voter registration like the “MVP” process.

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Jonathan Casas is the young son of Republican State Rep. David Casas of Lilburn. On Friday, he decided to find out who might be a good candidate for President in 2016, so he decided to host a poll on his blog, asking whom his friends and family might pick.

That evening, his mom linked to the poll on Facebook, and several people, including me, voted and helped to spread the word around social media. I saw shares and tweets from other Peach Pundit Front Page Posters, some State Reps., some College Republicans and others. In the end, around 200 people participated in the poll.

Senator Rand Paul was the clear winner, with 24.5% of the votes, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, with 18%, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with 10%, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Congressman and former VP candidate Paul Ryan hovering in the 8% range. Other possible candidates, including Chris Christie, Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin also got votes — you can see the final results here.

Thanks to everyone who voted, and helped to brighten Jonathan’s day. And everyone is welcome to discuss the results in the comments.

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On the same day that her first TV commercial hits the airwaves, Georgia U.S. senate hopeful Karen Handel called on the other Republicans in the race to release their tax returns from the last five years.

“Throughout her career, Karen has been a leader in ethics reform and government transparency,” says campaign manager Corry Bliss. “In an effort to promote government transparency, The Handel for Senate Campaign is making available the last five years of Karen’s tax returns and challenging all other US Senate campaigns to do the same today.”

While as secretary of state, Handel’s campaign says she set limits on gifts to employees (including herself); established a nepotism policy to address cronyism; and required a one-year “cooling off” period before employees could take lobbying positions with companies seeking to do business with the agency he or she worked for previously.

Nosy reporters can check out her tax returns at her campaign office.

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Holy Week, Religion, and Politics

April 14, 2014 10:00 am

by Charlie · 6 comments

This week’s Courier Herald Column:

For many Americans of faith we are in the holiest week of the year.  Passover begins today at sunset.  Christians began our observance with Palm Sunday and will conclude the week with Easter Sunday.  We remain a country that allows the freedom to worship in whatever way we wish, or reserve the right not to.  That is still the America we live in.

As we watch an expansive government issue more and more requirements that affect more and more parts of our lives, concern from those of us who freely practice religion in the way we choose has grown.  Some is justified. Some is hyperbole.  Such is the nature of politics and government.  This column will not attempt to sort it all out.  I don’t pretend that I could.

I do know that as a practicing (and certainly imperfect) Christian my religion never promised me a life without struggle.  My Bible doesn’t tell me that Christians will be universally accepted or live comfortable lives.  Quite the contrary. [click to continue…]

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Wayne Washington has an article in this morning’s Atlanta paper about some of the money flowing into the campaign coffers of Alisha Morgan, a Democratic state Representative running for State School Superintendent. Morgan has long been an advocate for school choice which, as the article points out, has put her at odds with the leadership of her Party. She is receiving a decent amount of money from school choice advocates from around the country. Morgan’s major competition for the Democratic nomination comes from a former school board member who opposes charter schools and any other form of school choice. Thus school choice will be a major issue among Democrats. Many Republicans, it seems to me, are exclusively concerned with where their candidate stands on Common Core. I hope I’m wrong about that.

I’m concerned that if the GOP nominates a candidate who is lukewarm on school choice issues, or is like our current Superintendent who makes promises on school choice he has no intention of keeping, and the Democrats nominate Morgan our candidate could be in trouble. A coalition of school choice Democrats and Republicans could carry her to victory. I consider Alisha Morgan a friend. We don’t agree on many issues but we do on school choice so if she becomes our Superintendent I’ll gladly work with her to improve our state’s schools. But, no offense meant to Alisha, I’d rather work with a reform minded Republican.

Let’s do a quick, unscientific poll. How important are things like charter schools, student scholarship organizations, and opportunity scholarships to you? Will it impact your vote in either the GOP or Dem. primary? Vote in the poll and discuss all this in the comment section below.

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This weekend was the Masters for sure, but many also got a chance to watch a Spring game. 136 days until College football is back. Don’t forget that tax day is tomorrow. Here’s what else happened over the weekend.

Georgia

Deadline to register to vote is looming near. Likely not a problem for our audience, but maybe for your friends.
Changes in tag fees could help  increase non-game animal conservation.
Atlanta Traffic reporting will never be the same. RIP Captain Herb.
In case there was any doubt about the importance of the Port of Savannah.
UGA Alum, Bubba Watson, wins the 78th Masters Tournament.

National/International

If you don’t know what Heartbleed is, you need to go read this.
Curious about who the new head of Obamacare will be, here’s a quick run down.
We haven’t even had the ’14 mid terms and the ‘16 presidential campaigns are already underway.
Ukraine still isn’t settling down.
There’s gonna be a runoff in Afghanistan, this will likely cause some problems with the timeline for a new SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement).

Everything Else

Sid Meier, Civilization, and Foreign Policy.
Even the Pope takes some Selfies.

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Now that Kathleen Sebelius has stepped down from her position as Secretary of Health and Human Services, President Obama as nominated Sylvia Burwell for the position. Burwell presently serves as President Obama’s Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss is none too pleased with the nomination:

In my recent dealings with Ms. Burwell, I’ve had concerns about her willingness to ignore the clear intent of Congress and text of duly enacted laws. Before she is promoted to run Obamacare – a program where this administration continues to illegally ignore the text of their own law – I need to have a better explanation about why she has ignored the direction of Congress as it relates to the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

Burwell, or at minimum her office, was responsible for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project not being funded in the President’s budget request this year, despite the direction of Congress.

News reports say the President nominated Burwell as Sebelius’s replacement in order to avoid a confirmation fight with the Senate. It will be interesting to see if Chambliss (and fellow Senator Johnny Isakson) will try to pick one.

Oh, and apparently Burwell was also the person responsible for closing the national parks, veterans memorials and the rest of the government last year.

Update: Isakson just tweeted this:

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WAR!

April 11, 2014 14:04 pm

by Nathan · 25 comments

Speaker David Ralston has a war on his hands.  From the Peach Pundit Daily (which you really should sign up to receive if you haven’t already):

Debbie Dooley And Ray Boyd Join Forces To Do Battle With David Ralston.  Debbie Dooley of the Atlanta TEA Party is on a mission to see House Speaker Davld Ralston defeated by challenger Sam Snider and she now has an ally in Ray Boyd (who wanted to run for Governor as a Republican but refused to sign a “loyalty oath.”).  Boyd has taken out a full page ad in the Elijay Time-Courier in support of Snider and against Ralston.  Dooley has vowed in emails to TEA Party supporters to bring her legions to the mountians to campaign against Ralston and has created a “wall of shame” to list House members who dared to attend a campaign event Ralston held last week.  Dooley and Boyd may succeed but we’re not holding out breath. Mountain residents don’t like “outsiders” coming in and telling them how to vote.

Is the Atlanta TEA Party leading the charge? I mean, Debbie Dooley’s name is synonymous with the Atlanta TEA Party, right? Those of us north of the metro area (at least, the TEA Party candidates and leadership) talk about being “outside the influence of Atlanta”. So, if that’s the case, then why does it seem that the leader of the Atlanta TEA Party is dabbling in Republican politics outside of Atlanta?

I have heard, and I wouldn’t doubt, that Ms. Dooley was in northwest Georgia advising Steve Tarvin during the special election a few months ago. I also wouldn’t doubt that she might stick her nose in the District 1 House race (I’ve heard rumor of “an army” of TEA Party folks going door-to-door against incumbent Representative John Deffenbaugh, but I don’t know if that would necessarily be connected with Ms. Dooley or not), but I wonder the likelihood of that since the defeat of Speaker Ralston would be a much bigger prize for the TEA Party warrior.

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Conservative talker Sean Hannity is endorsing Jack Kingston in the Georgia Republican Senate primary. The Kingston campaign released this statement this morning:

Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity has endorsed Jack Kingston in the Georgia Republican Senate primary.

Hannity described Kingston as a, “bright, solid, incredible conservative,” on his nationally syndicated radio show.

“I have known Jack Kingston for 20 years,” Hannity said in a statement. “He’s a solid Ronald Reagan Republican and my choice in the Georgia Senate race. Jack will join the conservative coalition in the U.S. Senate.”

“We are honored to have Sean Hannity on our team,” said Kingston. “He’s been a voice for conservative values and a real fighter for our cause.”

Prior to joining Fox Television and getting his nationally syndicated radio show, Hannity had a morning talk show on the old WGST, opposite Neal Boortz on WSB.

Now retired, Boortz recently tweeted this:

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ClassKafka would have been a Republican, just for the material.

I started an email correspondence last year with Jeremy Kilpatrick, a University of Georgia professor who helped craft the Common Core math standards, when Republican state conventioneers started debating the evils of Common Core as a potential plank in the party platform.

“Those of us who worked on helping to develop the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics assumed that because the effort was being led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the standards would not be seen as coming from the federal government –because they weren’t,” he wrote last year. “I don’t think any of us was prepared for the backlash that has arisen. It’s too bad because I think, on balance, the standards represent potential progress even if they aren’t perfect and have had little opportunity to be tried out.”

The blowback hasn’t really slowed down since. The meaningless do-nothing demagoguery of this session, typified by a call for an Article V convention and the feckless gun bill, reached its nadir with all the legislative effort wasted trying to kill Common Core. The compromise between the sane wing of the Republican Party and the other guys was HR 550, calling for an education study committee.

This line in the committee’s mission brief – and, hooray for more useless government committees! – is a metaphor for policy making in this state.

“WHEREAS, to evaluate whether a recommendation should be made that the United States Department of Education should be abolished and any funding derived thereby returned to the states in the form of block grants for the purpose of education spending.”

As if.

[click to continue…]

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