So…You Say You’re Angry?

July 27, 2015 10:00 am

by Charlie · 71 comments

This week’s Courier Herald column:

So you’re angry. Congratulations.

Assuming the first line applies to you and is your justification to be supporting Donald Trump for our next Presidential nominee, you seem to wear this anger as a badge of honor. I thus wish to pay you with these words the tribute you believe you have earned and are entitled to.

This column is my reaction to the fact that, for years now, you’ve told me the excuse for every questionable act you’ve committed against our party is that you’re angry. It hasn’t always been this way. I’m old enough to remember all the way back to 2010 when you were put off when media members said you were “an angry mob”.

Perhaps I misunderstood, and you were more upset with the “mob” characterization than the angry part. Regardless, these days you’re quite proud of your anger.

You are a self-described “conservative”…but not just any conservative. You loudly tell anyone that will listen that you are “the base”. And as such, we must listen to you. Or else. [click to continue…]

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Slain Marine laid to rest
New photos: Beneath the White House on 9/11
New CNN poll shows Trump leading
Cruz rebuked in Senate on Sunday
Trump vs. Clinton: A tale of two Iowa rallies
More Planned Parenthood controversy

The best Crime Stoppers video we’ve seen in a long, long time, from Louisiana.

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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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It’s Augusta!

July 25, 2015 14:19 pm

by Jon Richards · 4 comments

The news is out that the 2016 Georgia Republican Convention will be held in Augusta on June 3-4. Based on what I’m seeing on this Facebook page, the event will be at the two year old Augusta Convention Center.

Why the June date, instead of the second week of May, as it the usual custom? Probably because the new primary schedule will put the Peach State’s primary on May 17th, 24th, three days* after the convention would have gaveled to a close if it had been held on its normal weekend. There was no convention in 2014, when the primary was May 20th.

Excited about Augusta in June? Let us know in the comments.

* I’ve been alerted by the ever-astute Senator Josh McKoon that according to 2014’s HB 310, the primary is supposed to be the 24th week prior to the general election. Because Election Day 2016 will be on November 8th (The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November,) that makes Election Day take place during the second week of November, and moves the primary and runoff dates a week later than in 2014.

The good news is that because May 2016 has five Mondays, Memorial Day will still be the Monday after the primary. The runoff, if required, will be July 26th.

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On Thursday, 11Alive ran a story in which investigative reporter Catie Beck confronted Newton County Commissioner John Douglas over racially charged comments he made on Facebook about a controversial and offensive #NotMyFlag post.
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UPDATE:

It seems that the version of the petition for voluntary discipline provided by FetchYourNews was incomplete. In addition to being a photograph of a .pdf document (which makes it impossible to search) the version of Ralston’s petition they provided didn’t include all the documentation that went with it, and couldn’t be printed or downloaded. One can only speculate why a news site would be so, umm, “selective.”

Here’s a link to the exhibits that FetchYourNews didn’t include. It’s a 267-page pdf, but it’s downloadable and searchable. There are some investigative notes that may tickle a prurient interest in some of you, and lawyers may have some questions about responses to some interrogatories.

 

Coming out of the complaint filed against David Ralston by a former client are some details that make the matter look appear to be a bad case of “snake-bit.” From Aaron Gould Sheinin’s piece in the AJC: “Ralston is accused of violating nine State Bar rules and of allowing his duties as a legislator “to adversely affect his representation” of his client.” Ralston has submitted a “Petition for Voluntary Discipline” in the matter, but the state Bar wants to dish out more punishment to Ralston than he is willing to accept.

The Bar contends Ralston’s petition suggesting some reprimands for himself to resolve the complaint were “inaccurate, incomplete or immaterial,” and want an evidentiary hearing “where the proof of each party can be tested for accuracy.”

Ralston’s petition can be found via this link (provided by the website FetchYourNews.com) -and it has some interesting footnotes. [click to continue…]

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It’s Friday, and that means it’s time to spend your Friday lunch hour listening to a discussion of this week’s political goings-on. Charlie, Mike Hassinger and I will be in the Talk Radio 640 WGST studios from Noon-1 PM, sharing some time with Rich Sullivan. What might we be talking about today?

  • Whither the Republican Party?  A diverse group of Republicans talked about how to move forward at the Atlanta Young Republicans meeting on Wednesday.  We’ll tell you what they said, and what it might mean.
  • Whither MARTA?  The Atlanta transit agency announced they are working with Uber to provide additional connectivity options for Atlantans.  MARTA also said you can expect to have WIFI on their buses and trains in the near future.  Is that going to boost MARTA ridership?  Plus, what does that mean for the Atlanta Streetcar?
  • Whither space exploration?  Could Camden County become the next Cape Kennedy?
  • Whither the Highway Trust Fund?  The House has one plan, the Senate another, and there needs to be some sort of agreement made bu a week from today.
  • Whither the FY 2016 appropriations bills?  The new fiscal year starts in just over two months, and Congress is taking August off, so there isn’t much time to find an agreement.  Seems like little details including the sequester and the fate of the Confederate flag might make agreement difficult.
  • Whither Donald Trump? Or for that matter, the other 15 candidates for the GOP presidential nomination?  The debates start in two weeks, and the lineup still isn’t settled.

I hope you’ll join us. Well, not literally, The studio is way too small, and there are only a few microphones. Plus they haven’t finished remodeling the seventh floor, where IHeart Radio is located. It’s still a bit messy. But do listen in, at 640 on your AM dial, on the Internet, or by using the App.

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Fresh off a new wave of enthusiasm for transit in Atlanta, MARTA is now announcing two new initiatives to solidify its new image as a draw for Millennials: free wi-fi and Uber.

The wi-fi proposal is relatively simple, according to Saporta Report’s scoop: MARTA executives announced Thursday that it would immediately implement free wi-fi services on 50 MARTA buses, with plans to expand that service to all buses, rail stations, and trains in a year’s time.

Uber on the MARTA AppAlso, MARTA has teamed up with Uber in a partnership to further invigorate the MARTA experience. Truthfully, however, the word “partnership” may be overselling what is actually happening here. At this point, that partnership seems to entail simply giving MARTA users a free discount at Uber in exchange for Uber advertising on the MARTA app.

But Uber regularly gives out free rides to first-time users, so the MARTA discount (just type “MARTAGuide” into your Uber app) is nothing new.

Additionally, even the integration into the MARTA app isn’t all that revolutionary. I pulled up the app myself on my phone to see how MARTA is using Uber and discovered the transit agency had simply included a link out to the Uber app on a list of options buried under the “More” menu.

That said, there’s no denying that both MARTA and Uber share a common goal: building a metro Atlanta region where owning multiple cars becomes increasingly unnecessary. Uber makes it more likely that residents will feel more comfortable giving up one of their cars, and the ride-sharing company also helps those outside MARTA’s corridors connect to transit.

But if Georgia’s leaders want to continue to attract talent to the state, they’ll need to continue investing in these initiatives that make our cities more livable. It’s no secret that Millennials (like myself) are flocking to cities in droves, and more and more people are beginning to realize the economic impact a robust transit system can have on a region.

But to Saporta’s credit, the article also includes a sobering thought that should be a required kicker for every promising story praising the future of MARTA:

MARTA is the largest transit agency in the nation to not receive annual operating funds from its state government.

Without buy-in from the state, Atlanta may never be the Mecca for Millennials and jobs of which the corporate community so often dreams.

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Here:
Sneak peek at the boondoggle new stadium.
Fort Benning in the Fed’s sights, again.
RIP Jeannette Cathy.
MARTA aiming to be more customer friendly.

There:
Grasping…
– Just because I like the title.
Who better to be your new PR director?
The past is such an inconvenient thing.

Random Everywhere:
What could go wrong?
Thank you 7th Circuit Court.

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With one week remaining before funding for the nation’s roads and bridges runs out, the Senate began debate Wednesday on a bill that would authorize six years worth of transportation projects, but would only provide funding for the first three years, leaving a future Congress to determine how to fund the remainder.

Georgia Senator David Perdue wasn’t happy with the arrangement, so he introduced an amendment that would limit spending authorization to the amount of available funding, and he took to the Senate floor to explain his reasoning:

As proposed, the highway bill authorizes spending for the next six years, yet only funds these programs for the next three years.

Passing responsibility over to the next Congress to find additional funding mechanisms for the remaining three years is unacceptable. It’s what got us in this debt crisis in the first place.

Some of my colleagues have suggested that this is simply the way the Senate has acted in the past. Yeah, I got that, and again that’s what got us here.

That may be true, but it doesn’t make it right. I wasn’t sent to Washington to accept the status quo.

A serious long-term solution needs to be fully funded, not filled with half-empty promises that can’t be kept or could add to our national debt.

I am working to find a responsible way forward, in order to provide Georgia and other states, with more certainty through a longer-term solution, instead of settling for just another short-term fix.

Today, I am introducing an amendment to simply match the authorization period with the available funding. Sounds basic, sounds simple. It’s what I have to do in my home budget. It’s what most Americans have to do. If they don’t have the money, they don’t spend it.

This amendment ensures that Congress is not authorizing spending programs beyond a point where there is no money to pay for them in the future.

I urge my colleagues to join me in breaking Washington of its chronic overspending problem.

Watch Senator Perdue’s floor speech here:

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City of Marietta sent out a notice regarding the tribute to Lance Corporal Skip Wells after he lost his life last week in an attack on a Chattanooga military recruiting office (here is the article from Nathan last week). If you’re in Cobb County around 1pm today please consider stopping by to pay tribute as the motorcade goes by, you can find parking directions here. Visitation will be held tomorrow at Wikenhofer Funeral Home with the service being held Saturday at First Baptist Church of Woodstock according. For more information on services tomorrow please click here.

MARIETTA – On Thursday, July 23, 2015, the City of Marietta, the Marietta Police Department, and the Marietta Fire Department invite the public to help pay tribute to the life and memory of Lance Corporal Squire “Skip” Wells as he makes his final journey home to Cobb County.

Lance Corporal Skip Wells will be escorted via motorcade from Hartsfield Jackson International Airport at 1pm and continue north along Interstate 75 towards Kennesaw.  The Marietta Police Department will shut down a portion of the Canton Road Connector Bridge over Interstate 75, so that the City and citizens can gather on the roadway to pay their respects to Lance Corporal Wells and the other United States Marines and Navy Sailor who were killed in Chattanooga in the line of duty. 

Please join the City at 1pm to pay our respects to Lance Corporal Wells and his family as they travel along Interstate 75 by bringing your American flags and your thoughts and prayers for the family and friends of those who lost their lives.

*Citizens may access parking for this event by traveling I-75 southbound to exit 267A (Highway 5 North, Canton Road) and exit to the right at the over pass construction parking lot.

Please continue to keep those involved (and families) in this terrible attack in your prayers.

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How long will Trump last?

July 23, 2015 12:00 pm

by Tim Darnell · 8 comments

As Donald Trump continues to make news, speculation abounds regarding the candidate’s popularity as well as how realistic his chances are, of winning the GOP presidential nomination.

Tell us what you think about Trump’s future in our latest poll.

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The monthly meeting of the Atlanta Young Republicans Wednesday night featured a panel discussion that touched on the diversity within the party, and which principles the different parts of the party can use to attract others to the party. The panel included three members, Beth Beskin, Leo Smith, and David Bachman.

Beskin represents House District 54 in the General Assembly. Her Buckhead district is one of the most highly educated in the state, but it is also one of the most moderate districts controlled by the GOP. Leo Smith is the Georgia GOP’s Minority Engagement Director. His role within the party has been to encourage minorities — from African Americans, to Hispanics to Asians — to support Republican principles, and vote for GOP candidates. Bachman is the former chair of the College Republicans at West Georgia College. Bachman, who is gay, participated in a March, 2015 demonstration against Religious Liberty legislation.

In the portion of the discussion devoted to questions from the audience, 11th District Republican Party Chairman Brad Carver noted that if the GOP fights among itself, it will lose. He asked the panel members what they would do to keep the party focused on winning in November 2016, rather than having the party’s different factions attacking each other.

Starting out, Smith said that the Republican Party needs to focus more on policy, since policy is less personal, and more about ideas. Noting that Democrats are quick to follow social trends, such as search and seizure or civil forfeiture, Smith said the GOP should pay attention to what people are talking about. He mentioned Uber as an example of something free market oriented. Then, Smith brought up education reform as a way of appealing to a wider audience. [click to continue…]

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On August 14th, officials announced an agreement had been reached between the United States, Iran and five other countries regarding Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. As the White House sung the praises of the arrangement, others compared the agreement with Neville Chamberlain’s bargain with Adolf Hitler, which the British Prime Minister claimed would lead to “Peace in our time.”

Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue each serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the duo will have a voice over whether the agreement is approved by Congress. In April, he two joined the other members of that committee in a unanimous vote on a measure known as Corker Cardin, that defines the ground rules for how the Iran deal can be disapproved by Congress. As a result, Congress now has 60 days to review the measure and potentially issue a resolution of disapproval. While a regular treaty requires two thirds of the Senators to approve the deal, Corker Cardin in essence will require a two thirds vote of Congress to override an expected veto by the president of the disapproval resolution. [click to continue…]

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On this date in 1938, the first federal game preserve was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The area was 2,000 acres in Utah.

Peaches

Jimmy Carter

Sweet Tea

Liberty Drum

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