Tag Archives: Georgia

Georgia Governor Expected To Sign ‘The Most Extreme Gun Bill In America’

Concealed Carry

While  reading the following article, my mind did a fast-forward slide show in which I could see headlines of mass killings in Clubs, Bars, Movie theaters, and worse.  What the hell is wrong with these people?  I truly hope someone convinces the Governor just how insane this bill is…

(Writing a letter to Gov. Deal after I publish this.)

Think Progress

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) is expected to sign a bill that even the National Rifle Association is calling the most “comprehensive gun bill” in recent state history. It allows guns in bars, nightclubs, and government buildings without security checkpoints such as libraries. It eliminates criminal charges for those who accidentally bring their guns to the airport or other secured buildings where guns are prohibited. It even expands the state’s Stand Your Ground provision to allow felons to invoke the defense, and allows guns in public schools by authorized teachers and administrators.

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions, calls it “the most extreme gun bill in America.”

A House bill passed last year that also would have allowed guns in bars and places of worship, but that bill never cleared the Senate. According to Washington State University Sociology Professor Jennifer Schwartz, “40% of male [homicide] offenders were drinking alcohol at the time” and about one in three female offenders were also engaged in drinking.

The amended bill did roll back a select few of the most controversial provisions. The final version allows guns in places of worship, but only with explicit permission. And it eliminated a controversial provision to limit the punishment for carrying a gun onto a college campus.

But opponents of the bill were so overwhelmed by the scope of the bill as it swept through the legislature that they described one of their primary goals as ensuring that lawmakers at least “go through the bill in detail.” As MSNBC reports, “a lack of transparency left many residents and organizations puzzled about which measures were included and which were removed from the legislation” as it made its way through committees in both houses.

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Filed under Gun Advocates, Gun Violence in America

Obama Bails Out Republican Incompetence, Declares State of Emergency for Georgia

president obama at his desk

Now, if only the POTUS could convince Gov. Nathan Deal to implement the Medicaid expansion program which would help over 800,000 Georgians get minimal health coverage

PoliticusUS

President Obama declared an emergency in the State of Georgia and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions stemming from a severe winter storm. Yes, in the state where many think he is the Devil and where the Governor said he would ask for Obama’s birth certificate, it is Obama who has had to step in to fill in where the Republican Governor Nathan Deal failed.

After birther Governor Nathan Deal pretended like he had no access to weather predictions and was incapable of coordinating with other states in order to borrow equipment like salt trucks, a snow storm effectively stopped Georgia in its tracks. Motorists in Atlanta were stranded for up to 12 hours on the freeway. People slept in their cars.

It was reminiscent of the way George W Bush tried to act as if no one had ever warned officials about the impending disaster. In 2001, the Houston Chronicle warned that a severe hurricane striking New Orleans “would strand 250,000 people or more, and probably kill one of 10 left behind as the city drowned under 20 feet (6.1 m) of water.”

The President’s Georgia Emergency Declaration does the following, per a White House statement:

The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Cobb, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Elbert, Fannin, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Hart, Jackson, Lincoln, Lumpkin, Madison, Murray, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, Walker, Walton, White, Whitfield, and Wilkes.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.

Governor Deal did finally admit that “the state did not make preparations early enough to avoid the problems that occurred.” The state? He is the leader of the state. Where was he?

While this might seem like something that can happen to anyone, it seems to happen a lot to Republicans. Republicans also coincidentally don’t believe in government, let alone coordination within government, to help people — unless they are getting money from the feds (see above where Obama is helping to bail out the state from Deal’s willful incompetence).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution laid it out:

Gov. Nathan Deal’s delay in taking charge during Tuesday’s snow catastrophe triggered a series of cascading failures, leaving hundreds of thousands of motorists abandoned and desperate for food, water and shelter.

With no one at the helm, dozens of local agencies took their own myopic approaches, barely communicating with each other, much less the imperiled public.

The state’s multi-million dollar electronic sign system flashed useless messages at trapped drivers. The state’s mobile app, which is supposed to give up-to-the-minute updates on road conditions, gave wrong information about road clearing. Police stood by as cars blocked intersections. Calls to 911 were answered by an automated “all circuits are busy” message.

Does this sound familiar? From the AJC:

“We kept waiting and waiting, and I was thinking, ‘Surely someone is going to send a plow or help,’” said Renae Parent, who got stuck on a sheet of ice on the downtown connector trying to return from Sandy Springs to her Grant Park home.

It’s not that it’s time to be snarky, as it’s a bit like ambulance chasing to politicize an accident or tragedy. No entity is perfect and no official is going to get it right all of the time. But there is a larger point to be made here, and that is that when you don’t like government and don’t believe in it, you tend to not be so great at utilizing it for things like averting disaster, planning for disaster, cooperation with other states, and things of this nature.

We have plenty of Republicans in executive offices who aren’t extremists and do their jobs well when it comes to disaster planning. But it’s also fair to note that the far right governors tend to not engage in planning ahead and cooperation with other agencies as well as they should. They have that cowboy/Ayn Rand fantasy of everyone pulling themselves up through a snowstorm/category 5 hurricane/etc by their own bootstraps, and that fantasy just isn’t realistic.

Nathan Deal demonized President Obama in order to get elected, including giving air to the clearly racist conspiracy that Obama is not a legitimate President. But ever the non-petty leader, Obama is riding to the rescue with the big government that Republicans only seem to believe in when they need cash for their buddies or to be bailed out from their willful refusal to use government resources to avert disaster.

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Filed under Gov. Nathan Deal

Fox News Sunday Interviews Former Republican Activist as Everyday Obamacare ‘Victim’

No surprise here.  This is par for the course with Fox News.  Propaganda is their entire game.

Mediaite

If news consumers had a nickel for every bogus Obamacare horror story on TV, they wouldn’t need Obamacare. Add to the list the story of 34 year-old Georgia native Cade Joiner, who was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this week. Introduced simply as a “businessman” who is “Losing Health Plan,” Mr. Joiner’s story, getting a letter in the mail cancelling his old health insurance, and “calling around” only to find the new plan cost much more, sounded familiar. Some of the language Joiner used about Obamacare being “not ready for prime time” sounded even more familiar.

In fact, Mr. Joiner might even look familiar to you, if you’re into Georgia Republican politics. Here is the same Cade Joiner introducing Ralph Reed at the 2001 College Republican National Convention:

At that time, Joiner had just finished a stint as President of the Georgia Association of College Republicans, but more recently, he was a campaign fundraising organizer, and then a campaign finance committee co-chair, for the successful reelection bid of Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R-GA).

None of this necessarily means Joiner is a bad person, or even that he’s not a credible guest, but these are things that Fox News Sunday, and host Chris Wallace, should have disclosed to viewers. Wallace also should have asked Joyner where he “called around” to find an individual health insurance policy for over $500, when the most expensive policy available in his county of residence costs about $350.00, and there are several plans available for less than he was paying before. It might be tough to get viewers to sympathize with a Republican fundraising heavyweight whose insurance premiums went up, but nearly impossible if they went down.

Cade Joiner may have an honest gripe with President Obama’s assurance that he could keep his plan, and there may well be some tradeoffs for some people when it comes to individual insurance, but even though consumers like Cade Joiner are still having trouble using the Obamacare website, there’s little excuse for news outlets to fail to do such basic research. There’s also no good reason to conceal Mr. Joiner’s political activism, unless the point is to make him seem dishonest upon its revelation.

 

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Filed under Affordable Care Act, Fox News Sunday

GOP Rep. Complains He’s ‘Stuck’ Making ‘$172,000 A Year’

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) – Center

Many of us should be that “stuck”…

TPM LiveWire

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), who’s running for Senate in Georgia, complained that while his staff can jump to K Street and make $500,000 a year by lobbying, he’s “stuck” in Congress making a bare $172,000 a year.

The comments, relayed by congressional aides to National Review, came during a closed door meeting among Congressional Republicans on Obamacare.

The lawmakers were debating a proposal that would exclude members of Congress and their staff from a part of Obamacare that requires them to engage in federal health care exchanges. A number of lawmakers complained that participating in the exchanges would be costly. Gingrey, according to NR, stood up and said that Congressional aides “may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street.”

“Meanwhile I’m stuck here making $172,000 a year,” he added.

In a followup phone interview with National Review Gingrey told the conservative magazine that he did not remember making the comments. The Georgia congressman said his point was that “it is completely unfair for members of Congress and Hill staffers to get this special treatment that the general public are not getting.”

Gingrey added that he “was engaged in a dialogue with some members of our conference who truly believe that Congress should get special treatment. And some also believe that staff members should get special treatment. I happen not to believe that.”

 

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Georgia school shooting suspect had nearly 500 rounds of ammo, police say

A sign welcomes Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy students as they return to classes at McNair High School on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 after a man with an assault rifle and other weapons entered the academy yesterday and shot at police from inside.

Yesterday tragedy was averted in an Atlanta school by a brave secretary in the McNair Elementary School office

NBC News

The suspect in a Georgia elementary school shooting who fired six rounds in a front office before surrendering to police had nearly 500 rounds of ammunition with him, authorities said Wednesday.

Michael Brandon Hill, 20, walked into Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., outside Atlanta with an AK-47 type assault rifle, along with bags containing hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a couple of magazines on Tuesday, DeKalb County officials announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, DeKalb County lead investigator Ray Davis and police chief Cedric Alexander outlined what could have been a massacre for the school, but ended with nobody hurt. The suspect surrendered peacefully to police after exchanging gunfire with them.

“He walked in with 498 rounds of ammunition. Fortunately this came to an end quietly, without incident,” Alexander said. “I think we can all make a reasonable assumption he came here to do some harm.”

Hill “did not have anything else in the bag that would harm people,” Davis told reporters. Only one weapon was recovered, authorities said Wednesday, contradicting earlier reports that he had multiple firearms.

As part of their investigation, authorities are looking to locate the owner of the AK-47, who they believe is an acquaintance of Hill’s. Davis said officials believe Hill got the weapon from an acquaintance’s house, although he wouldn’t say whether the weapon was stolen or not.

A photo of Hill holding an AK-47, believed to be the same one used in Tuesday’s shooting, was found on Hill’s cellphone, Davis said.

Also Wednesday, the brother of Michael Brandon Hill, said Hill previously threatened to shoot him and that he suffers from mental disorders.

Timothy Hill told NBC News his brother “was bipolar and suffered from ADD,” and that the two have not spoken recently.

Davis said Hill told investigators he was on medication.

“He indicated that he was on medication and had stopped taking it,” Davis said.

Hill waived his first appearance in DeKalb Magistrate Court Wednesday afternoon.

Hill is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, making terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was questioned for hours by police, but police have no clear idea of what may be a motive or whether Hill has ties to the school.

Police chief Alexander said Hill “may have had prior contact” with someone at the school, but the investigation was still pending.

No other individuals are expected to be charged.

A sheriff’s official in Henry County, Ga., south of Atlanta, said Hill was also charged there in March with making terroristic threats — a felony in Georgia. The indictment is for an incident between Dec. 30 and 31 of 2012 to “unlawfully threaten to commit the crime of murder, a crime of violence, for the purpose of terrorizing another.”

Timothy Hill told NBC News the charge stemmed from Hill threatening to shoot him. Michael Hill was issued a no-contact order afterwards, Timothy Hill said.

Court records show that Hill pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years’ probation and anger counseling.

Buses transported elementary school students from their school to nearby McNair High School on Wednesday to resume classes, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, a day after a potential massacre was averted.

Students were greeted by counselors and a sign that read, “Welcome McNair Elementary School. Our prayers our with you,” WSB in Atlanta reported.

Continue reading here…

 

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George Zimmerman’s Brother: ‘Black Teens’ Are Killers

This is unfortunate because Robert Zimmerman has decided to paint all Black teens with a broad brush, totally disregarding the teens who excel in high school and college.  There are Black teens who can’t go to college but will work hard to achieve their goals.  I am proud to say my four boys fit both examples.

Stereotyping all Black males is what has gotten the police chief at the 40th precinct in the Bronx in hot water over his stop and frisk policies.

Think Progress

Rob Zimmerman

Since he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year, George Zimmerman has been trying to convince the public that he was not acting simply out of racist aggression but because Martin attacked him. Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr, is not helping his cause. On Saturday, Zimmerman went on a Twitter tirade against “black teens,” equating the boy killed by his brother with De’Marquise Elkins, the 17-year-old suspect in the murder of a Georgia infant.

Zimmerman tweeted the photo at Michael Moore, the NAACP, the NRA, and a Breitbart.com editor. He followed it up with another comparison between the two, tweeting “Teen to West: “Do you want me to shoot your baby?” #TrayvonMartin to #GeorgeZimmerman: You’re gonna die tonight Motherf**ker.”

In case the reason for his comparison of the two young black men was unclear, Zimmerman later tweeted:

Trayvon Martin was unarmed when Zimmerman allegedly followed him and shot him. He had no criminal record. Zimmerman had a history of calling the police to report suspicious black individuals, one as young as 7-9 years old. By his brother’s logic, this frequent suspicion of black people was not due to prejudice but because black people pose a genuine and constant threat to everyone around them.

Zimmerman’s trial is scheduled for June 10.

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Worried Too Many Minorities Are Voting Republicans Try To Rollback the Constitution to 1913

african-american-voting

Seems like an effort in  futility to me.  This demonstrates yet again, the GOP’s constant folly of walking the thin line between optimism and delusion

PoliticusUSA

A group state representatives in Georgia are proposing a resolution that would ask Congress to begin the process of repealing the 17th Amendment, which provides for the direct election of U.S. Senators.

One of the representatives behind this effort, Rep. Kevin Cooke said, “It’s a way we would again have our voice heard in the federal government, a way that doesn’t exist now. This isn’t an idea of mine. This was what James Madison was writing. This would be a restoration of the Constitution, about how government is supposed to work. The fact that this coincides with the 100th anniversary gives us a pretty good snapshot of what has happened to the federal government since then. The federal government has grown exponentially since the amendment was ratified. This would restore the constitution to what it was in 1913.”

Of course, this isn’t really about states’ rights or the intentions of the Founders. The movement to take away the people’s right to directly elect their senators is about keeping Republicans in power. A recent PPP poll of Georgia found that if Max Cleland could be talked into running for his old Senate seat in the state, he would lead each of the top five Republican contenders. If the Democratic candidate is Rep. John Barrow, he would trail the Republican nominee by an average of four tenths of a point. Depending on who the Republicans nominate, the Democrats may have a chance at picking up a Senate seat in Georgia.

The idea of repealing the 17th Amendment is just the latest extreme example of how far Republicans are willing to go in order to hold on to power. Instead of trying to appeal to the changing face of the electorate, a group of Republicans would rather takeaway the popular election of United States senators. 

Georgia’s demographics are changing quickly. People of color make up more than 40% of the state’s population. There is also an age gap, as 73.2% of Georgia residents over age 60 are white, but only 46.9% of the state’s school age children are white. The electorate in Georgia is shifting towards the Democratic Party.

Instead of changing with the times, some state Republicans have decided that the answer to their problems is to roll back the constitution to 1913.
Why stop at 1913? If they really want to hold off the demographic wave, they should also seek to repeal the 13th Amendment.

After all, the Founding Fathers also intended for slavery to be legal too.

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Filed under GOP Agenda, GOP Hubris, GOP Malfeasance

Allen West Rejects Offer To Restart Political Career In Georgia: ‘I’m Not An NFL Free Agent’

Allen West Georgia

What an arrogant piece of work.  I, for one am glad he didn’t take the offer.  We have enough arrogant politicians in Georgia and we surely don’t need this one.

The Huffington Post

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) on Wednesday turned down an offer from Georgia’s Republican Party chairwoman, Sue Everhart, who earlier this week urged the congressman to run for office in her state at some point in the future, in the face of his apparent electoral loss.

“No,” West told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution when asked if he’d consider Everhart’s offer. “Look, let me tell you something. I have moved my wife around for 20-some-odd years, being in the military, and she was also the daughter of a career military guy. When I retired, she chose Florida. That’s where my daughter’s in school, in college, my youngest daughter’s in high school. That’s our home. It’s a very nice thing, but I’m not an NFL free agent.”

West is currently still clinging to the hope that his loss to Democrat Patrick Murphy earlier this month is not concrete, despite the fact that Florida officials have certified the result.

While he and other top Republicans continue to explore possibilities for recounting votes, in hopes of somehow producing a victory, Everhart suggested on Monday thatWest should move back to his home state of Georgia if the final outcome doesn’t go his way.

“I would be glad to have him come back to Georgia and at some point run here,” Everhart told the Journal-Constitution. “I would certainly try to help him because he has done his job. The way he ran his race didn’t in any way interfere with the job he did. He ran as a Republican, a conservative Republican.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Florida GOP Chairman Lenny Curry have both called for a full recount of the West-Murphy contest. Murphy is meanwhile attending freshman orientation events on Capitol Hill, a move that West’s campaign has criticized as “premature.”

 

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Military Terror Plot: Murder Case Uncovers Terror Plot By ‘Militia’ Within U.S. Military

Military Terror Plot

This should come as no surprise…

The Huffington Post

Prosecutors say a murder case against four soldiers in Georgia has revealed they formed an anarchist militia within the U.S. military with plans to overthrow the federal government.

One of the accused troops, Pfc. Michael Burnett, pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter and gang charges in the December slayings of former soldier Michael Roark and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Tiffany York.

Burnett told a Long County judge that Roark, who had just left the Army, knew of the militia group’s plans and was killed because he was “a loose end.”

Prosecutor Isabel Pauley says the group bought $87,000 worth of guns and bomb-making materials and plotted to take over Fort Stewart, bomb targets in nearby Savannah and Washington state, as well as assassinate the president.

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KKK seeks to ‘Adopt-A-Highway’ in Georgia

Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members at 2009 rally (Flickr/Arete13)

I would say “only in Georgia”, but it happened in another state as well…

The Raw Story

The state of Georgia is in a bind after a local Ku Klux Klan (KKK) group filed a request to join the state’s Adopt-A-Highway program.

Records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show that the International Keystone Knights of the KKK in Union County has applied to “adopt” one mile of Route 515, located in the Appalachian Mountains near North Carolina. The state would be forced to give the group official recognition in the form of road signs bearing their name and other benefits in return for cleaning up litter on the stretch of highway.

A spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Transportation told Raw Story that he was aware of the request but could not say more.

The state of Missouri in 1999 argued that they could bar a KKK group from participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program without violating their First Amendment rights. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, the group eventually won after the state’s case was dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Officials from the Georgia Department of Transportation were meeting with lawyers in the state attorney general’s office on Monday to decide how to proceed. In the end, the state could be forced to include the white supremacist group or end the program altogether.

Continue reading here…

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