Archive for May, 2012

The first hints of flying drones in metro Atlanta

Earlier this week, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell stirred up the libertarian wing of the Republican party with this pronouncement:

WASHINGTON – Police drones flying over Virginia would be “great” and “the right thing to do” for the same reasons they are so effective in a battlefield environment, the state’s chief executive said Tuesday….

McDonnell, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, says he is open to any technology that makes law enforcement more productive.

Which raises an obvious question: Which law enforcement agency in Georgia will be the first to pursue drone technology, and what will it be used for?

Like McDonnell, Gov. Nathan Deal apparently has no qualms.

Late last year, the Georgia State Patrol applied to a private company, AV Aerovironment, to become part of a research and development project that involved a small drone helicopter for use by tactical weapons teams, GSP spokesman Gordy Wright confirmed.

In this case, the drone — called the Qube — was about the …

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Your morning jolt: GOP women key to passage of transportation tax in metro Atlanta

Those backing metro Atlanta’s transportation sales tax vote said Wednesday that they’re turning their focus to Republican women. From Jonathan Shapiro and WABE (90.1FM):

Speaking before about a hundred well-dressed women at Home Depot’s corporate headquarters in Vinings, former Atlanta city councilwoman Lisa Borders, who is now with the Grady Foundation, began her remarks with a very deliberate appeal.

“We are fixers as women. Don’t we fix everything everyday? Don’t we fix everything everyday? So we have a problem, so who do we come to? Women.”

David Hill, an Alabama consultant in charge of polling and strategy for the campaign, provided the numbers:

“We’re expecting to do poorly with Republican males. We’ve got a vote goal of only 35 percent because it’s a historically anti-tax position that Republican men take. If we can get the 50 percent from Republican women who we find more open to the arguments here, we can make it work,” said Hill.

According to his research, Hill said …

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Christian Coalition wants Chip Rogers gone as Senate majority leader

The organization in question isn’t what it once was, so keep that in mind, but the Associated Press reports this:

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers should resign his leadership post because of his connection to a business that handicapped sports games for gamblers years ago, the head of the Georgia Christian Coalition said Wednesday.

Coalition President Jerry Luquire said Rogers, R-Woodstock, is too close to the industry to have a leadership role during the upcoming legislative session, when the coalition expects gambling will be a public issue for lawmakers. The group did not call on Rogers, R-Woodstock, to leave his Senate seat.

Rogers faces a contested primary against GOP challenger Brandon Beach.

“I want him to step down because of his proximity or accessory to gambling activity in the past,” Luquire said.

Rogers did not immediately return a message seeking comment. He recently acknowledged appearing on a show that years ago predicted which teams would win upcoming games, …

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‘Fox & Friends’ and that ‘unauthorized’ anti-Obama video

Here’s that four-minute criticism of the Barack Obama administration aired by “Fox & Friends” this morning. It’s drawn a good deal of attention:

Even some conservatives were made uncomfortable by the clip. This from Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air:

Note that F&F isn’t just playing a campaign ad or a YouTube spot from an outside political action committee. Nor does this come from the production company of one of its opinion-program hosts. The video starts with “Fox and Friends Presents” on the screen, making this an explicit argument from the news channel itself.

Should a news organization produce and publish attack ads like this? I know the initial response will be that other news organizations offer biased perspectives and hagiographies of Obama that go well beyond a single video … and that response is entirely valid. However, we usually criticize that kind of behavior with other news organizations, too. If anyone wanted to look for evidence that the overall Fox News …

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Libertarian wins spot on Marietta school board by default

From Charlie Harper, aka Icarus Pundit, at PeachPundit:

When candidate qualifying ended last week, Brett Bittner was the only person who put his name on the ballot for an open seat with the Marietta School Board. He is now presumptively elected to serve the school system in the Cobb County city northwest of Atlanta.

Uncontested local races are generally not political events from which headlines are made. Bittner’s situation is unique in that he is the executive director of the Libertarian Party of Georgia. While the race is officially non-partisan, he is believed to become the third member of the Libertarian Party to hold office in Georgia.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Your morning jolt: Casey Cagle joins call for $100 gift cap on lawmakers

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle on Tuesday became the latest figure at the Capitol to declare his support for a $100 gift cap for state lawmakers, vowing to build support for ethics reform in the General Assembly. From the Gainesville Times:

“It’s a process, and the legislature’s got to get comfortable with it,” Cagle said.

Cagle, who spoke to the Kiwanis Club in Gainesville Tuesday, said he supports a measure like the one [Sen]. Josh McKoon proposed last session that died….

The lieutenant governor said a July 31, non-binding ballot question is likely to push GOP lawmakers to embrace stronger ethics rules:

“I think there’s going to be a lot of support — a lot of support,” Cagle said.

Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, last week pledged his support for a gift cap. At this month’s state GOP convention, House Speaker David Ralston declared it to be the wrong approach.

***
The Associated Press has pinned down a location for President Barack Obama’s visit to Georgia next …

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Wolf Blitzer to Donald Trump: ‘You’re beginning to sound a little ridiculous’

Because one can never have enough Donald in one’s diet:

Says Trump about his “birther” views: “I don’t speak to Mitt Romney about this. What I speak to Mitt Romney about is jobs.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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Mitt Romney: Barack Obama’s ‘policy of paralysis’ led to 10,000 Syrian deaths

Most of the attention given to Mitt Romney today involves his Las Vegas appearance with Donald Trump, his meeting in the same city with Newt Gingrich-funder Sheldon Adelson, or his crossing of the GOP delegate threshold tonight in Texas.

But these paragraphs from the Associated Press are no small thing:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is calling for more “assertive measures” against Syrian President Bashar Assad, including arming the Syrian opposition. The Obama administration so far has declined to help arm the opposition.

Romney said in a written statement that he welcomed Tuesday’s mass expulsion of Syrian diplomats by the U.S. and other countries to protest the weekend massacre of dozens of civilians, including children.

But he said the move underscores the need for stronger measures to end Assad’s regime. He said President Barack Obama’s “lack of leadership” had created a “policy of paralysis” that has led to the killing of an estimated 10,000 …

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Your morning jolt: Tea party challenges that didn’t happen

In politics, the only thing more dangerous than throwing a spear at the king and missing is declaring that you intend to throw the spear – then failing to do so.

This spring, a new coalition of conservative groups called the Peach Tea Party declared that it would target 16 House Republicans and the chamber’s sole independent for their votes against HB 954, a bill to shorten the period during which a woman can seek an abortion, and another measure to eliminate discrimination in public hiring by sexual orientation or gender identity.

Of those 17 targeted, only four ended up with Republican opposition last week:

– Incumbent Republican Amos Amerson of Dahlonega retired. Three Republicans and one Democrat will try to replace him;

– Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, no opposition;

– Mickey Channell, R-Greensboro, no opposition;

– Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, has no opposition;

– Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, no opposition;

– Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, picked up no GOP opposition, but has a …

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Going home

My father, who will turn 89 this year, left high school early for the U.S. Army, five months before Pearl Harbor.

Though none of them were born in this country, four of the seven Galloway brothers would scatter themselves across the globe during World War II. Dad was the youngest, and the only one to carry a sketch book.

He’s the only one left.

As an Air Corps mechanic, he started in north Africa, then moved on to India for flights across the Hump into China.

The cartoonist Bill Mauldin was something of a hero. Lined notebook paper would do in a pinch. Above is a rescued drawing from Dad’s return trip in ‘45. That lump in the background is the Rock of Gibraltar.

In the upper right hand corner are traces of a laundry list written on the other side — a brief catalog of one young warrior’s requirements for conquering the world: Four undershirts, four shorts, two handkerchiefs, two dress shirts, four pairs of socks, and two coveralls.

He was an amateur photographer, too. We found …

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