Archive for April, 2010

Nobody does Travelin’ Music better than the gypsies

When I saw that the Gipsy Kings were playing at Chastain tomorrow night, I knew what the Friday Night Travelin’ Music ™ would feature. I’ve never seen the Kings in person, but I’ve long admired their musicianship and passion. They’re true Romani, or gypsy, from Spain by way of France.

But if their current tour takes them by way of Arizona, they better keep their passports handy.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Gipsy Kings!

Continue reading Nobody does Travelin’ Music better than the gypsies »

As disaster looms, Obama suspends coastal drilling policy

Watching the advance of the Deepwater Horizon oil slick onto the marshes and bays of the Gulf feels all too familiar. It’s the same sense of impending tragedy I felt seeing the huge eye of Hurricane Katrina before it made landfall in the same area.

They can already smell the oil on the streets of New Orleans, 90 miles from the coast.

“I am frightened,” David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told The Associated Press. “This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling.”

The disaster has forced the Obama administration to announce at least a temporary suspension of its efforts to open new coastal areas to drilling, including the Georgia coast.

From Politico:

“There will be no new domestic offshore oil drilling pending a review of the rig disaster and massive oil spill along the Gulf Coast, the White House said Friday morning.

Speaking on ABC’s …

Continue reading As disaster looms, Obama suspends coastal drilling policy »

Obama, the white-hating Muslim Marxist from Kenya

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Many a strange tale has been told — and believed — about Barack Hussein Obama.

The most prominent is that Obama was born outside the United States, and thus may not be a legitimate president. Prominent politicians and media figures, including at least one major Republican candidate for governor, have publicly flirted with, if not embraced, the story.

That’s in part because it has a good number of believers. According to a recent CBS poll, 32 percent of Republicans believe Obama was born somewhere else, and the tale is more popular still among those who align themselves with the tea party. The poll reports that 59 percent of the tea party movement say they are at the very least unsure whether the president is a native-born American.

The tenacity of that belief, even when confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, makes no rational sense. But looked at another way, the birthers tell a story that is 100 percent accurate.

Don’t get me wrong — their story doesn’t tell …

Continue reading Obama, the white-hating Muslim Marxist from Kenya »

In which an impish cartoonist meets a bearish House speaker

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston was scheduled to be the guest speaker Wednesday evening at a dinner honoring AJC cartoonist Mike Luckovich.  But that morning at breakfast, when Ralston opened his AJC, he found an eye-opening surprise:

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Ralston admitted later to being a bit taken aback. “What a coincidence,” he thought, that his first starring role in a Luckovich cartoon would occur that very day. But to his credit he never thought about withdrawing from the event, which was sponsored by the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.

Pretty soon, in fact, the phone began to ring with calls from folks eager to laugh with him at the cartoon.

“My mother called today and said, ‘If you’ve gained that much weight, it’s time to come home’,” Ralston joked.

That evening, however, sponsors of the dinner were a little nervous, worried that hard feelings might mar the event. As it turned out, the concern was groundless.

When Luckovich showed up at the Woodruff Arts Center to receive the …

Continue reading In which an impish cartoonist meets a bearish House speaker »

McConnell’s bid to block reform falls short

With the Senate opening debate any minute now on Wall Street financial reform, the effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to halt that reform has officially failed.

You can read more about that failure here, from Jamie Dupree.

Or, if you’d prefer, we’ve got a short video depiction of McConnell’s flying leap, complete with empty-handed outcome.

Continue reading McConnell’s bid to block reform falls short »

Wind shifts, scale of oil spill multiplied in Gulf tragedy

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The tragedy that modern technology had guaranteed could never happen again is taking a turn for the worse.  Estimates of oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico have risen from 1,000 barrels a day to 5,000 barrels a day, with some indications that the flow may even be much greater. It may takes months to seal the rig, meaning the total spill could easily exceed the total released in the infamous Exxon Valdez incident.

The weather, which had been keeping the growing slick offshore, is reversing course as well.

Here’s the latest update from NOAA, posted just last night:

– Winds are forecast to become strong (20+ kts) and blow from the southeast starting tomorrow and continuing through the weekend, which will continue to push surface oil towards shore
– NOAA oil-spill trajectory analyses indicate that oil continues to move towards shore.
– 100,000’ of oil-containment booms (or floating barriers) have been deployed as a precaution to protect sensitive …

Continue reading Wind shifts, scale of oil spill multiplied in Gulf tragedy »

A portrait of a deeply divided nation

The above chart, a composite of polls on President Obama’s job approval, paints a picture of nation equally divided in its response to the president’s performance. But of course, Obama won’t be listed on the 2010 ballot; members of Congress will.

And as a new Washington Post poll reports, Democrats have cause to be worried:

Members of Congress face the most anti-incumbent electorate since 1994, with less than a third of all voters saying they are inclined to support their representatives in November, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Dissatisfaction is widespread, crossing party lines, ideologies and virtually all groups of voters. Less than a quarter of independents and just three in 10 Republicans say they’re leaning toward backing an incumbent this fall. Even among Democrats, who control the House, the Senate and the White House, opinion is evenly divided on the question.

The Post/ABC poll puts Obama’s job approval/disapproval rating at 54/44, about where …

Continue reading A portrait of a deeply divided nation »

Yup, microchips are the answer to illegal immigration

In comments in the post below, a tongue-in-cheek “modest proposal” was offered to use microchips as a means to distinguish citizens and legal immigrants from those here illegally.

Illegal, after all, is illegal and real Americans shouldn’t be upset if they’re required to accept microchips as a way to keep our borders secure and our precious bodily fluids untainted. Besides, once implanted microchips are the law, only outlaws won’t be microchipped. What better way to tell “us” from “them?”

I even suggested that Nathan Deal, the GOP candidate for governor who backs an Arizona-style law for Georgia, might want to jump on board the microchip train. Sure, it might be unconstitutional, but if the federal government can’t protect our borders, such things have to be done, you know? With microchips, we’d just be enforcing something that’s already the law, and who could argue with that?

The only problem is, satire in modern America has become impossible.

From Iowa’s Gazette:

Speaking …

Continue reading Yup, microchips are the answer to illegal immigration »

No racial profiling in Arizona. Or Georgia either.

UPDATE: As my colleague Jim Galloway reports, former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, now a leading GOP candidate for governor of Georgia, says that if elected he would try to enact a law here very similar to that passed in Arizona.

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Karl Rove, speaking in a Florida retirement community as part of his book tour, expressed regret at Arizona’s passage of a harsh new immigration policy, but said he doubted it would lead to racial profiling.

“These are modern police forces that respect the rights of people in their communities,” Rove said. “They’re going to do it on the basis of reasonable suspicion that these people are here illegally, like they’re driving a car with a Mexican license plate or they can’t speak English or they don’t have a drivers license.”

That’s such a nice thought. On the other hand, there’s this:

Last week, an Arizona truck driver pulled into a commercial truck weighing station in Phoenix, as required by law. He produced a valid commercial truck license, as also …

Continue reading No racial profiling in Arizona. Or Georgia either. »

A few conservative voices criticize Arizona law

Arizona’s draconian new law regarding illegal immigration has drawn harsh criticism from many on the left, including President Obama. Most egregious is a provision that requires local law enforcement to check documentation of those they suspect might be in this country illegally, and to detain those who cannot produce such documentation.

In other words, if you look, sound or act as though you might be of Hispanic origin, you risk being accosted by law enforcement officers every time you venture into public. It’s a vast expansion of government power, yet most of those on the right who have claimed to be outraged by imaginary assaults on liberty by the Obama administration have been silent about this very real intrusion.

Instead, we get nonsense such as this tweet from Erick Erickson of CNN and Red State.com, who asks: “If Canadians were crossing illegally N2 Arizona, no one would be playing the race card. Can AZ not respond just b/c of the illegals’ race?”

Given the porous …

Continue reading A few conservative voices criticize Arizona law »