Why the July T-splost may be in trouble

Take two dogs and toss them each a fresh bone. What happens next?

If the dogs get along well, they’ll sit there contentedly, gnawing away. But in other cases the dogs will eye each other warily, each one suspicious that the other one got the better, meatier bone. That often ends in trouble.

And it’s not just true of dogs. That example of canine dynamics also helps to illustrate why the transportation sales-tax referendum scheduled for July 31 may be in trouble. Too many constituencies have their own unique if contradictory reasons for opposing it. Black, white, Republican, Democratic, suburban, urban, liberal, conservative — arguments are available for each group to justify saying no.

Some complain that the project list is too heavy on transit, others that transit is given short shrift. People in the suburbs complain that Fulton and DeKalb counties get too much of the investment, while Fulton and DeKalb residents complain that they aren’t given full credit for the one-penny sales tax they already pay for MARTA.

MARTA is itself a focus of divisiveness. Either it’s getting too much money or getting too little. The only thing that both sides seem to agree upon is that it’s cause enough to vote no. All in all, voters of various descriptions seem bothered by a nagging suspicion that somebody somewhere out there may be getting a better deal than they are. And among people as among dogs, that’s a pretty powerful driver of behavior.

In response, however, I’d offer three points:

1.) What’s the alternative?

On the left, the Sierra Club argues that this proposal should be voted down because subsequent transportation proposals will contain more financial support for transit projects. Unfortunately, that assertion contradicts everything I see on the Georgia political scene. In communities such as Cobb County, for example, repudiation of this proposal will be interpreted as a blanket voter repudiation of mass transit in general, and if that happens no Cobb politician will be willing to challenge that “consensus” again for a decade or longer.

Conversely, the Tea Party and its supporters argue that our transportation woes can be fixed without additional government funds. The fact that the Georgia economy is more reliant on efficient transportation than that of most other states, and that we rank 49th in per capita transportation spending, doesn’t seem to bother them.

Instead of taxpayer subsidies, they argue, private enterprise can be enlisted to build our transportation system through projects such as optional toll lanes. That approach ignores a specific reality — even privately financed toll lanes require hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars — and a more general rule: Transportation infrastructure does not support itself and except in rare cases cannot come close to generating a profit. It is a worthwhile investment because of all the other things that it makes possible, from economic development to family road trips to the quick and easy passage of a fire truck to your doorstep when needed.

2.) Transportation is a regionwide challenge that requires a regionwide solution. Refusing to fund it out of fear that your neighbor may benefit more than you will is a short-sighted and ultimately destructive attitude, because as the region goes, so goes your job, so goes your property value and so goes your quality of life. We’re all in this together.

3.) In most cases, the argument that somebody else will benefit more than you will simply isn’t true. Elected public officials from throughout the region voted unanimously for the project list because they studied it closely and negotiated hard, and all of them came away believing the final product was fair.

But if you’re still skeptical — and skepticism is a good thing — take advantage of a “Wireside Chat” conducted by the Atlanta Regional Commission over the next two weeks. (See http://www.metroatlantatransportationreferendum.com/wireside/ for more detail.) Each of the 12 briefing sessions will focus on a narrow geographic area, offering an in-depth review of the projects slated for construction in your area. You’ll also be able to ask questions.

In the end, you may still be nagged by the thought that the “other side” is getting a bigger bone. But the alternative will be no bones for anybody, at least for several more years.

– Jay Bookman

197 comments Add your comment

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

May 30th, 2012
7:25 am

“If the dogs get along well”

Hell, our puppies can’t even keep the carpet clean.

I say, roll up the AJC and swat a few hindquarters.

Joel Edge

May 30th, 2012
7:26 am

You’re right. When you get to the point of passing pieces of this and that to people who expect to be the top recipient of the goodies the factions start falling apart. It would be good if more people were of the “we’re all in this together”. At one time we were. Not so much these days.

Jerome Horwitz

May 30th, 2012
7:27 am

But, But, But, It’s all about ME. Reflective of the society in general that someone else may get more than I will.

Simple Truths

May 30th, 2012
7:33 am

Today’s blog post follows rule #4 of the Bookman blogging system: Pick the solution with higher taxes.

Aquagirl

May 30th, 2012
7:35 am

as the region goes, so goes your job, so goes your property value and so goes your quality of life. We’re all in this together.

Jay, you could write that 10000000 times and it wouldn’t make a difference. People move to the far suburbs/exurbs BECAUSE they want separation. Urban living offers jobs and other benefits, and they want those benefits without paying for them.

Until the entire mess collapses they won’t get it.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

May 30th, 2012
7:35 am

Simple Truth

What is the option without higher taxes?

Insider

May 30th, 2012
7:37 am

the only ones who will get anything from passage of the TSPLOST are the companies funding the “vote yes” campaign. they walk (drive) away with the cash and the taxpayer is left with unfinished porjects and cost overruns.

same ol’ story…

stands for decibels

May 30th, 2012
7:41 am

wahhh. don’t want to pay higher taxes. higher taxes always baaaad.

stands for decibels

May 30th, 2012
7:42 am

As a practical matter, Jay, you might want to fix it so your Wireside Chat URL appears as a link (it isn’t, for me, in Firefox anyway).

BlahBlahBlah

May 30th, 2012
7:48 am

If you build more lanes they quickly fill up and congestion is not reduced in the long run. Heavy rail like MARTA is prohibitively costly with benefits that don’t justify the spending. And the politicians have lost my trust when they lied about Ga. 400 tolls.

NO is the way to go.

Finn McCool (The System Isn't Broken; It's Fixed ~ from an Occupy sign)

May 30th, 2012
7:48 am

If we don’t do anything will traffic ever get so bad that it moves companies to start employing more work-from-home employees?

Let’s find out!

BlahBlahBlah

May 30th, 2012
7:50 am

And it’s not a nagging suspicion that someone is getting a better deal. It’s the firm belief that these funds will be mismanaged and wasted, and the estimated costs being publicized are lowball figures.

Tales from the Script

May 30th, 2012
7:51 am

There’s only one thing that supports a lifestyle that has been built up over the years around a freedom that can only be attained through private transportation–asphalt. A vote for public transportation is a vote against asphalt and the freedom that it represents.

Then there are the convenience stations. RaceTracs and such and their ever-expanding influence on our lifestyles and our ability to meet new people while pondering which combination of flavors to try in the morning cup of coffee or which meat product to purchase in the morning biscuit.

Jay, Jay, Jay. We live for our commutes for they are more than a mere trip between two points. They are an integral part of our lives and our memories. How can you possibly experience so much on a train ride. Or a short bus ride. The mundaneness is stifling. I need to get out for a fresh breath of nitrous oxide. Excuse me.

Ga Values

May 30th, 2012
7:51 am

Vote NO on Graft, Waste & Corruption.

Misty Fyed

May 30th, 2012
7:51 am

OH how I hate the “vote for it because its better than nothing mentality.”

This issue lies in leadership. We didn’t vote for Obamacare. We didn’t vote for social security. We didn’t vote for any of the entitlements. I’m so tired of weak leadership. This is why we are a representative gov’t not a pure democracy. People, as a whole, do a poor job at envisioning future needs or identifying the costs required.

And yes…that’s a criticism of republicans.

Brosephus™

May 30th, 2012
7:52 am

BlahBlahBlah: NO is the way to go.

What do you suggest we do then?

Finn McCool (The System Isn't Broken; It's Fixed ~ from an Occupy sign)

May 30th, 2012
7:53 am

Companies rely on roads to get their goods to stores, to get their employees to the office, etc. Let’s put an additional tax on business to help pay for the roads they need.

Butch Cassidy

May 30th, 2012
7:53 am

Finn McCool – “If we don’t do anything will traffic ever get so bad that it moves companies to start employing more work-from-home employees?”

Sadly, no. With todays technology, I’d wager that about 60% of the workforce could be taken off the road and work from home. Unfortunately, there are still too many organizations that subscribe to the 1950’s mentality that you must be seen in order to be productive.

Don

May 30th, 2012
7:55 am

“Plan B” is “do nothing.”

The legislature is gutless.

The state gov’t can’t even agree how to formulate a regional oversight board for transit. You think they can figure out how to fund transportation solutions for Metro Atlanta? They were too chicken to figure out how to raise or shuffle the money to even get started. That’s why the dumped this T-SPLOST vote on us.

“Do Nothing” = slow death for Atlanta.

kayaker 71

May 30th, 2012
7:56 am

If citizens trusted their elected officials, they would not object to taking a chance. Meanwhile……

Don

May 30th, 2012
7:59 am

Finn – everybody’s favorite tax is a tax on somebody else! You don’t drive on roads? Do you have any idea what the traffic on the interstates inside the perimeter would look like w/o MARTA (inefficient as it is)?

stands for decibels

May 30th, 2012
7:59 am

What do you suggest we do then?

oooh ooooh let me guess: Harness the mighty power of the marketplace’s Invisible Handjob?

Don

May 30th, 2012
8:00 am

Kayaker – You vote for people you don’t trust…on purpose?

stands for decibels

May 30th, 2012
8:01 am

I know “the perfect is the enemy of the good” is a cliche and all, but damn, it rarely applies more appropriately than to this particular conversation.

wahh! we can’t do this or that public works project because some of the people involved might be corruptible and some of the projects might have money that’s mis-spent!

Anyone care to tell me how many *private*-sector deals would EVER get off the ground if removing that hurdle were a prerequisite?

Don't Forget

May 30th, 2012
8:02 am

I don’t know if this is the answer but sooner or later people will wake up to the fact that transportation problems will/are affecting the property value of your home.

Dial M for MassTransit

May 30th, 2012
8:04 am

Maybe we can get Ted Turner to colorize this classic and give it some new life.

Thomas

May 30th, 2012
8:04 am

Obama Nazi death camp gaffe ‘hurt all Poles’: PM

One of the many problems in the world- the President made a mistake and it is hard to believe he “hurt all Poles”

T-splost Great idea but this is the same corrupt gov’t that is written about daily on this blog. Really, give them more $? Also simply enables more long commuting. Horse and buggy.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

May 30th, 2012
8:04 am

I agree with Insider….until we fix what’s wrong with our state (and Federal) legislating, we shouldn’t play into massive spending options. I like the ideal of some limited (additional lanes, widening of surface streets…but to install more mass transit is a waste.

Misty Fyed

May 30th, 2012
8:06 am

How about elect a governor with vision….Someone who set’s a 15 year goal to make Atlanta, and Georgia as a whole number one in transportation infrastructure be it rail, road, canal, or ports. Maybe consider a Civilian Conservation Corps like program using out of work labor force. Use the opportunity to retrain displaced workers and reintroduce some back to a world of working for pay.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

May 30th, 2012
8:09 am

Don’t Forget

May 30th, 2012
8:02 am
I don’t know if this is the answer but sooner or later people will wake up to the fact that transportation problems will/are affecting the property value of your home.

BINGO

Brosephus™

May 30th, 2012
8:10 am

How about elect a governor with vision….Someone who set’s a 15 year goal to make Atlanta, and Georgia as a whole number one in transportation infrastructure be it rail, road, canal, or ports.

Is that not why you guys voted Deal into office, or was it to help him fund his way out of debt?

Maybe consider a Civilian Conservation Corps like program using out of work labor force.

That sounds too much like government stimulus. Not gonna happen in the good ol’ red state of Georgia. That infrastructure had better pull itself up by its own bootstraps. Just thought I’d get that out there….

Brosephus™

May 30th, 2012
8:10 am

dB @ 7:59

That would undoubtedly lead to happy endings for everybody!!! :)

Misty Fyed

May 30th, 2012
8:11 am

Kill the graft and corruption by doing away with the Gov’ts policy on subcontracting everything out. In State politics that simply means give the contract to Uncle Bill’s construction company or some other company controlled by the politician. Make it a 15 year plan where the workers are employed by the state. No more paying elevated rates to pad the pockets of political contributors…

detritusUSA

May 30th, 2012
8:11 am

Vote no. The problem with metro Atlanta traffic is too many people and vehicles. The solution is to forcibly move 50% of the population to southwest Georgia where all of you could begin to recreate a crowded, polluted, pot-holed city like the one you left.

Senior Citizen Kane

May 30th, 2012
8:14 am

I’m voting against TSPLOST because there’s an education SPLOST vote coming up in March for Cobb County. Voters are unlikely to approve another tax if the first one is approved, and I’d rather my money go to education than questionable transportation “improvements.”

Brosephus™

May 30th, 2012
8:15 am

Mysty Fyed

Your ideas would probably merit thought in a society that thrives on logic. When you say get rid of contracting out, you do realize that the end result would be “big government” simply because of the fact that government would be doing the work instead of Uncle Bill’s company. I hate to beat the crap out of a dead horse, but that dog don’t hunt in a red state. Nobody at the Gold Dome will sign off on something that could get them labeled as being for big government. The area around the Gold Dome has been designated as an official Logic-Free Trade Zone.

dc

May 30th, 2012
8:15 am

Fixed rail (ie Marta’s rail) is idiotic in a metro area like Atlanta. And building more will be a huge waste of money, that could be used more effectively elsewhere. Each county needs to determine, build, and fund, their own needs. For public transit, buses are going to be the only real cost effective solution…since it can change as the metro area changes (look at several of the rail stations south of I-20….never anyone there….).

This tax will be a huge boon to the Politicians who get to give out our money, and the politically connected builders who get to receive it. Any program this big is bound to be a failure. Piece it down, let each county make their own decisions…let the state build the major arteries that are cross counties, using existing tax money…..that’s the only approach that will end up with anything other than a huge mess.

Interested observer

May 30th, 2012
8:16 am

There is an alternative. It’s called the motor fuels tax. Oh, that would require legislators with the balls to increase the tax.

Instead of doing its job, the General Assembly passes it on to the voters, and then all those I-will-never-vote-for-a-tax-increase elected officials come out and tell US to vote for a tax increase.

Citizen of the World

May 30th, 2012
8:16 am

We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Vote yes and let’s do something!

Misty Fyed

May 30th, 2012
8:18 am

Brosephus….FIRST…I DID NOT ELECT DEAL GOVERNOR. The fact that he was elected shows the republican party in GA is BROKEN.

Johns creek

May 30th, 2012
8:19 am

i do not see that this project list does anything other than spend money and not solve any problems. The projects on the list located near me are not needed or helpful in any way.

Dial M for MassTransit

May 30th, 2012
8:19 am

Didn’t you all get the news. Our transportation problems have been solved. We got the Peach Pass to handle part of I-85 and all we need to do is implement it along the rest of I-85 and then I-75. We got the re-implementation of Ga 400 tolls to pay for Peach Pass and we got temporary use of an emergency lane to help funnel folks down 400 to the toll booths so we can collect more money. Everyone else is free to take the I-285 bypass. What more could you people ask for.

Finn McCool (The System Isn't Broken; It's Fixed ~ from an Occupy sign)

May 30th, 2012
8:21 am

They elected a governor with known ethics issues. Do you expect them to trust him and his cronies?

man behind the curtain

May 30th, 2012
8:22 am

Higher gas taxes for the areas affected. Doesn’t really have to be state-wide does it?

godless heathen

May 30th, 2012
8:23 am

“Make it a 15 year plan where the workers are employed by the state.”

And it would soon become a 45 year plan.

Misty Fyed

May 30th, 2012
8:25 am

Well I’m as conservative as they come on this blog and I’m not alone in my ideas. I think red or blue would be happy to settle for effective government regardless of size. The money spent wouldn’t change, just who runs the projects.

I don’t know if this is new or I have just been blind to it in my earlier years but we are far too polarized as a people. We really need to table discussing some things for a decade or so and focus on the things that are mutually beneficial. A broken transportation system, water reservoir system, or whatever is not good for republican or democrat.

Thomas

May 30th, 2012
8:26 am

Seems unanimous- drop T-splost and buy the homeless more sandwiches, weed, and booze Easier to account for the money

George P. Burdell

May 30th, 2012
8:27 am

It’s all about trust, and there is absolutely no reason we should trust the scum in our state capitol.
Check out this link:

http://247wallst.com/2012/03/22/americas-most-corrupt-states/#ixzz1wGWV5Azm

Jay

May 30th, 2012
8:28 am

“Fixed rail (ie Marta’s rail) is idiotic in a metro area like Atlanta. And building more will be a huge waste of money, that could be used more effectively elsewhere.”

This mindset fascinates me. Name a metro area the size of Atlanta that does NOT have major investment in rail. You cannot. Every Sunbelt city in the country from Los Angeles to Charlotte is investing heavily in such projects because they understand the obvious: Once a metropolitan area reaches a certain size, roads and highways alone can no longer move sufficient numbers of people with sufficient speed.

That is just a fact of life. Again, point me to a metro area the size of Atlanta that thrives without rail, and when you fail to find one, ask yourself why. It’s the same reason that you no longer find dinosaurs and wooly mammoths. They simply cannot compete in the modern world.

Brosephus™

May 30th, 2012
8:30 am

Misty Fyed

I didn’t vote for him either. Hell, I didn’t vote for him in the primary. That said, a majority of Georgia Republican voters in the primary, run-off, and general elections voted for him. We’re stuck with what we have. I don’t have any confidence in the Republican leadership in the state of Georgia as they’re like typical politicians. They are more concerned with electablity and sticking rigidly to ideology as opposed to actually governing this state in real-world conditions. No elected official, regardless to party affiliation, should be locked into governing by ideology. We live in a very dynamic society, so there has to be the ability to think and govern accordingly.

I’d go along with your ideas as I think they give the leeway necessary to adjust plans based on changes that could arise. I don’t have faith that the people that have been duly elected to do that could walk that walk however.

barking frog

May 30th, 2012
8:34 am

Distrust of government has
consequences..

Common Sense

May 30th, 2012
8:35 am

Just because every other major city of Altanta’s size has fixed rail does not mean it is fiscally responsible or that it is the answer here.

“Once a metropolitan area reaches a certain size, roads and highways alone can no longer move sufficient numbers of people with sufficient speed.”

At nearly any time of the day you can beat Marta from the Perimeter to the Airport if you drive and beat a passenger you just dropped off at the Marta station. There are exception. But 90 % of the time you will beat the rail….And you cannot make the rail any faster than it is today.

JohnnyReb

May 30th, 2012
8:42 am

Vote NO on TSPLOST and send the message that a regional transportation authority is needed before proceeding with projects. That authority to override Atlanta, Fulton and Dekalb authorities.

Vote NO on TSPLOST to tell the politican’s their project list sucks.

Vote NO on TSPLOST to tell the politicians the Belt Line is not a transportation project.

Vote NO on TSPLOST to tell the politicians there is life and traffic South of I-20.

Turn MARTA over to the new authority and rename it. There will never be sufficient suburban support for a rail system with the current name. A new name, new faces, a new approach.

Brosephus™

May 30th, 2012
8:42 am

Jay

The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area of Los Angeles doesn’t have rail service. It’s all bus from what I’ve seen. I don’t know if you’d call it a thriving area, but as a result, they are ranked worse for transit than we are. :)

Worst Cities
2. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2070992_2071127_2071100,00.html

10. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2070992_2071127_2071091,00.html

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 30th, 2012
8:43 am

Egads ! Another transportation blog………….

I’m still betting Jay has some property on a proposed rail line !!

USMC

May 30th, 2012
8:44 am

The lack of Intelligence and experience displayed by Obama on a regular basis is an absolute joke:

Obama Nazi death camp gaffe ‘hurt all Poles’: PM
http://news.yahoo.com/obama-nazi-death-camp-gaffe-hurt-poles-pm-110505006.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CZgB8ZP_i0AndzQtDMD

stands for decibels

May 30th, 2012
8:46 am

Turn MARTA over to the new authority and rename it.

oooh oooh….

FERGIT-HELL RAIL?

hiram b granbury

May 30th, 2012
8:47 am

One very important facet of this issue you didn’t cover, is the documented level of incompetency of Georgia’s DOT, and the network of theives who are in position to take advantage of the opportunities. This is compounded by the known character of our current chief executive, and the leadership in the General Assembly, who are charged with overseeing it all.

stands for decibels

May 30th, 2012
8:48 am

I know *my* pole is hurtin’.

[...] Can the citizens of metro Atlanta vote with a regional mindset? [...]

jm

May 30th, 2012
8:50 am

short and sweet: agreed

If Atlanta can’t move, it’s going nowhere fast.

Tales from the Script

May 30th, 2012
8:50 am

Need I remind everyone that the woolly mammoth would still be alive and well today if only there had been a sufficient number of barbers available when global warming transformed their thick fur into heat-trapping coffins.

jaystar404

May 30th, 2012
8:50 am

Brosephus™- Your wrong Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario has the Metrolink Service to LA and they are looking to expand the system. See http://sanbag.ca.gov/projects/redlands-transit.html

stands for decibels

May 30th, 2012
8:52 am

the documented level of incompetency of Georgia’s DOT, and the network of theives

We must wait until these organizations are staffed entirely with vestal virgins who remain celibate and uncorrupted their entire lives.

rjn

May 30th, 2012
8:52 am

I have a good discussion going on my blog about this issue. I agree that the TSPLOST does not look very good: http://ow.ly/bf04D

The Fresh Prince of BIll Ayers

May 30th, 2012
8:52 am

State income tax. Ad valorum tax. Sales tax on par with other states that have government services such as trash pickup and street lights and no state income tax. How much is enough? Where’s the accountability??

jm

May 30th, 2012
8:53 am

I personally think this should be on the docket as a paired agreement:

1. Build a second perimeter with limited interchanges
2. Institute a regional North Georgia growth boundary that prevents new development around the new road

Then the new road can be used to move people around the spokes of Atlanta and divert freight traffic without incurring quite so much new congestion.

Tales from the Script

May 30th, 2012
8:53 am

The lack of Intelligence and experience displayed by Obama on a regular basis is an absolute joke:

I agree. The videos that Obama has shared with us of people like Trump are a riot.

Not With My Penny

May 30th, 2012
8:56 am

Just say NO when the leadership can not be trusted! The people in this state refuse to be duped by an administration that refuse to pass a legitimate “Ethics Commission”. Who is responsible for assigning the contracts to perform the work?

Steve

May 30th, 2012
8:56 am

It’s like we’re so stupid we want our city to fail. What the hell?!

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 30th, 2012
8:57 am

Headline: “Poland Demands Obama Apologize”.

You know, I certainly hope Obama gets his hat handed to him this November, but a gaffe is a gaffe.

Methinks, the “Poles” are a little over extended (pun intended) on this one. Obama regrets the mistake so move on !

stands for decibels

May 30th, 2012
8:57 am

1. Build a second perimeter with limited interchanges

The entire way ’round the existing one? or just a Northern Arc-like deal?

retiredds

May 30th, 2012
8:58 am

Let us not forget the naysayers are the same ones who turned down MARTA years ago. Let them stew in their traffic jams for the next 20 years and watch competitor cities eat the Atlanta metro area’s lunch.

Tales from the Script

May 30th, 2012
8:59 am

The first step we need to take toward providing adequate funding for projects intended to benefit the population is to broaden the tax base. I suggest we increase the tax rate on “gifts” (bribes or whatever you wish to call them) to elected officials to 90% for openers.

jm

May 30th, 2012
8:59 am

call me crazy

I think it might pass

If the people who are sick of congestion get of their duffs (which would seem likely)

josef

May 30th, 2012
9:00 am

No. Georgia is already a withering body supporting a giant, fat head. Think regionally? Yeah, sure. Color me skeptical, but this just doesn’t pass the smell test.

_______

Thomas

What’s with the Poles hurt comment? Fill me in on what you’re talking about.

jm

May 30th, 2012
9:00 am

sfd – well at least from I-20 to I-20 round the northern side

maybe later on the south side (which does have less congestion currently

Eric

May 30th, 2012
9:01 am

Why can’t we accept that Atlanta has maxed-out its space, environmental, financial resources, and willpower to continue the worn out “pro-business, pro-growth policies” that got us into this mess to begin with? Let’s instead encourage growth and relocation in nearby cities such as Chattanooga and Birmingham with more space and water supply.

stands for decibels

May 30th, 2012
9:02 am

Scout @ 8.57, yep.

You might appreciate Item #5 in this piece, which should have fairly broad political appeal to most here if they’ve not seen it yet…

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-to-spot-b.s.-political-story-in-under-10-seconds

“Obama gaffe,” “Romney gaffe,” “Perry gaffe,” “Biden gaffe” — every party gets it equally. The word just means “embarrassing mistake,” and I have literally never heard it used outside of the context of a meaningless, bullsh-t filler political news story. I’m not normally an angry man, but it’s such an obnoxious word that if somebody at work used “gaffe” in a sentence I would fling my g-dd-mned coffee into his face.

So for instance, during the health care reform debate, President Obama gave approximately 9 million speeches outlining how his plan supposedly would make the system more efficient. Then, in one speech, he stumbled, and instead of saying that the plan would rid the system of inefficiencies, he accidentally said it would bring inefficiencies. This slip of the tongue unleashed a torrent of headlines and blog posts and talk radio rants. On the other side, at a Mitt Romney campaign event, John McCain accidentally mixed up two words that implied Romney liked wasteful government earmarks. Boom! Gaffe!

Eric

May 30th, 2012
9:04 am

It’s also because of this transportation crisis that we don’t need tax money flowing into building a new Falcons stadium.

jm

May 30th, 2012
9:04 am

here’s how uneconomic technologies eventually shake out though

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-29/spain-ejects-clean-power-industry-with-europe-precedent-energy.html

“In the 2000s, Spain copied the German clean-power aid model, as did nations from Portugal to Israel and Japan, increasing subsidies to a pinnacle in 2007. That’s when a law granted 444 euros ($556) a megawatt-hour for home rooftop solar panels feeding the power grid, compared with an average 39 euros paid to competing coal- or gas-fired power plants.

By 2009, the consumer bill for clean-energy aid had risen to 6 billion euros a year, ahead of the 5.6 billion euros in Germany, whose economy is almost four times bigger, according to the Council of European Energy Regulators. ”

“Solar energy was the biggest drag on the system, accounting for almost half of the annual 6 billion euros of liabilities and producing just above 2 percent of the power, said Eduardo Tabbush, an analyst in London at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

With peak electricity demand at less than half of capacity, the country doesn’t need more power plants, he said. Spain has a capacity of 99 gigawatts, and peak demand of 44 gigawatts. ”

Conclusion: socialism is stupid. Even in light doses. Don’t do bath salts.

Call It Like It Is

May 30th, 2012
9:07 am

Well its damn if you do, damn if you don’t. We have an overall distrust of our officials and they have done nothing to quell that. “Ga 400 Tolls” The T-Splost is like putting a band aid on a shotgun wound. So do you go with the band aid, and watch while we still bleed to death but much more slowly or do you force the politicians back to the table to come up with a good plan? Adding asphalt is not helping us, we need a modern up to date light rail system. We have one of the leaders in maglev systems in our back door in Powder Springs, yet we don’t use them. I will be voting no. Go back to the table come back with a good plan then will talk about it again. Not just going to continue throwing money into the fire.

Brosephus™

May 30th, 2012
9:10 am

Your wrong Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario has the Metrolink Service to LA

Metrolink only runs from LA to that area. You can’t transit the R-SB-O area via Metrolink in the same manner you can transit through Atlanta via MARTA. The only way to get around the R-SB-O area within itself is by bus.

josef

May 30th, 2012
9:10 am

THOMAS

Nevermind…googled it.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 30th, 2012
9:11 am

stands for decibles:

I hear you and yes ……….. all sides do it.

I call ‘em like I see ‘em ………….. :o

Thanks.

Out on patrol ……… everyone be nice.

Brosephus™

May 30th, 2012
9:13 am

maybe later on the south side (which does have less congestion currently

You should try to drive I-75 Southbound through Henry County on a Friday. I can guarantee you that it looks just as bad, if not worse, than I-75 in Cobb. If it’s a holiday weekend, you’d better travel to Florida overnight, or else, you’ll need to pack a lunch in your vehicle. You’re talking about a traffic jam from I-285 to Macon.

GT

May 30th, 2012
9:13 am

How much money did the Georgia Development Authority spend getting Kia to come here? In doing so how many Alabamians work for the Kia plant, how many suppliers went to Baldwin County, Alabama instead of West Point, Ga.? How much of this money came from metro voters and how much did it benefit the metro?

Seems to me the one thing for sure in this, it benefits the taxpayers paying for it. You can actually see some money going into our community from property taxes, and income coming into our pockets for jobs being produced making more buyers for what you are selling. You benefit from the metro a lot more than you benefit from the state development. I think a lot of good old boys have their hands in the Kia plant type deals so they grease the shoots for them and let us hang in Atlanta. A healthy Atlanta is good for the entire state, a healthy West Point is good for the mob at the state government trough.

josef

May 30th, 2012
9:15 am

ERIC

There is a logic to that, but this is Georgia. There are hundreds of places dying on the vine which could use the attention. Let Tennessee take care of Chattanooga and Alabama take care of Birmingham. We need to look at Albany, Savannah, Dalton, Columbus, Macon, etc. Shoot, fir that matter just follow Sherman’s march, that would be a good place to focus.

Dave

May 30th, 2012
9:16 am

I’m a no vote, not because I’m jealous of another town or faction in the region. I’m very pro-regional solution for our transportation problems. But the problem with the list of projects we will get is that they aren’t “a” solution or even an attempt at “a” solution. They are a laundry list of horse trades among the localities involved: “Elected public officials from throughout the region voted unanimously for the project list because they studied it closely and negotiated hard, and all of them came away believing the final product was fair.” Fair in that they got theirs or as much of it as they thought they could.

I also think it’s telling that there’s corporate money out there in the mid-seven figures for an advertising campaign to pass the tax. Corporations don’t shell out that kind of money without a financial incentive, here, largesse from a bunch of big ticket projects.

Finally, I don’t trust the people that run these kinds of things to do it well. Imagine that I don’t trust my elected leaders.

Jm

May 30th, 2012
9:16 am

Jay 8:28

What u ignore is that rail is inherently more costly

So between congestion and higher cost infrastructure, Atlanta is almost doomed no matter what to be less competitive unless it is willing to do a Dallas level road building binge

jd

May 30th, 2012
9:17 am

If solar is stupid, why is Goldman Sachs investing $40B in solar companies?

josef

May 30th, 2012
9:18 am

BROSEPHUS

Which is worse, 75 S or 75 N? It’s stopped dead cold bumper to bumper both directions.

And a northern arc? Please…that’s a NIMBY call to arms…

Romney bailed out on Massachusetts

May 30th, 2012
9:19 am

Mitt’s missing record in Massachusetts reflects the fact that he treated that executive office as a launching pad for his presidential ambitions

New York (CNN) — Rudy Giuliani committed a classic Washington gaffe on CNN’s “State of the Union” this past Sunday — he told the truth.
When asked about his criticism of Mitt Romney back in 2008, Rudy explained that it was a campaign contrast influenced by ego, but admitted that at the time he was comparing “my far superior record to his otherwise-decent record.”
Surrogates aren’t supposed to toot their own horn. They’re supposed to loudly recite the party line. But Rudy is an independent-minded kind of guy and when asked a direct question, he answered.
The reason that Rudy had a better record in office than Mitt is actually pretty simple — he worked at it in New York City nonstop for eight years. In contrast, Mitt was MIA from Massachusetts much of the time when he was governor.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/30/opinion/avlon-romney-massachusetts/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

May 30th, 2012
9:20 am

Gaffe?

Did someone say gaffe?

Seen the new Romney app?

“A Better Amercia”

Brosephus™

May 30th, 2012
9:20 am

Adding asphalt is not helping us, we need a modern up to date light rail system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_MOVIA_C951

Jm

May 30th, 2012
9:21 am

“They are a laundry list of horse trades among the localities involved:”

Welcome to politics. What’s your alternative? Get 4 million atlantans ina room and let them negotiate it?

Adam

May 30th, 2012
9:21 am

Another day, another local issue I have no comment on. I’ll be watching for people to change the subject and I might chime in then :D

Well, if it’s a subject worth discussing. I see two “deflect to Obama” posts on the first page….

Adam

May 30th, 2012
9:22 am

jm: Chris Hayes: servicemen and women who lost their lives protecting and serving their country: not heroes

Again I refer you here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/in-defense-of-chris-hayes/257744/

Don’t be too chicken to read the whole thing now ;)

stands for decibels

May 30th, 2012
9:23 am

And a northern arc? Please…that’s a NIMBY call to arms…

Cost Barnes his re-election. (IMHO.)

Don't Forget

May 30th, 2012
9:23 am

Jay: Once a metropolitan area reaches a certain size, roads and highways alone can no longer move sufficient numbers of people with sufficient speed.

Kind of reminds me of what would have happened if the car had not replaced the horse. It begins to pile up quickly every day.