I'd guess Gov. Deal and state-house Republicans have mostly overlooked the potential for a reversal in their political fortunes. Starting with the re-election of PBO, and the defeat of native son Mitt Romney, seemingly a national tide turned inexorably in favor of democrats, and their values. One can only guess the bevy of GOPers in the state house and congressional delegations believe GA is a SAFE red state!!
Since the election, you have seen PBO call the GOP's bluff on the "fiscal cliff" as well as the "debt ceiling" power play; each time, the GOP-nation and its intrepid leaders LOST FACE; and they LOST POWER, as well, by demonstrating "weakness." More importantly, however, their supporters were demoralized!!
And, Gov, Deal, NO ONE LIKES A LOSER!!
Oh, sure! I see you have held the line on state spending and arranged to re-up the hospital tax to triage the medicaid wound threatening to "bleed out" the entire state treasury! Of course, that is only a TEMPORARY solution; and your bid to stop "Obamacare" and refusal to set up the health care options seems to have come to nothing!
And NOW, you sent a "problem" GOP leader over to work at GPB just to make your job in the state house a little easier! Now that one, governor, is likely to stink; in fact, to grow in stinkiness kinda like your landfill operation over there in Gainesville! Know what i MEAN?
Bottom-line: This is like one of those old Dooley 4th quarter UGA games, but the state GOP leaders believe themselves to be only at half-time! No! You best get worrying, Governor, or you will be a one-term Governor and Republican, GOP, and conservative, elected folks are likely to be swept clean from elected and appointed office all over the state!
Maybe it's inevitable, already. At the national level we see faux GOP champs like Chambliss tossing in the towel "out-of-frustration." (How did Stalin deal with deserters??? Did he offer the state's thanks, and a pat on the back?!)) And the GOP thinking -- I know it -- is that Saxby's replacement will surely come out of the state GOP! Ya'll have failed to read the tea leaves, and believe you have time to get things back together and roll over democrats while encouraging growth in the ranks of GOP-leaning state voters! But, no, you are wrong ABOUT THAT! Likely, it's NOW or NEVER!
Here You Go, AKA "the never-ending campaign to ..."
1. State GOP leaders from the Governor on down GET BEHIND the effort to rewrite the old TSPLOST legislation so that VOTERS and districts who voted NO, ARE NOT punished! I know, I know: Ya'll think all that spending was a good idea, and maybe those 'no' voters need a little lesson .... NO! NO! NO! Those 'no' voters and those folks out there now talking ugly about the expensive new ATL DOME are YOUR supporters! Pick them-up! Encourage them! Even if you think all that new spending might help, you better adequately explain that and get them on your side: OTHERWISE: SEE above!
PS: Nearly EVERY liberal journalist and media operation in GA believes, like some GOPers, that state "no" voters should be punished for their votes against the TSPLOST! This is because THEY believe governments should tax AND spend MORE, not LESS!
This is WHY media coverage of the General Assembly has de-emphasized this important issue! If the GOPers fail to correct this train-wreck, they are effectively taking aim at their base -- their most loyal and energetic supporters! (And that's what the big libs in the media wish to see!!!)
Get this done GA GOP, or forget about a future in this state!!
The GOP should proudly point to the diversity in the different districts; in one, folks pay a higher tax; but they are free to move to the lower taxed district! Encouraging this sort of CHOICE is exactly what the GOP doctor ordered for many things ... including taxes; TSPLOSTS; school choice; etc., and so forth ...!
2. End the state income tax;
3. Think about Amendments to the GA Constitution that would ...
A. Get rid of some of the state agencies; John Barge, and the Dept of Ed., would be a good start; shouldn't the state atty general and SOS be appointed, and not elected positions???
B. Allow local communities to decide how they wish to form Boards of Education; they might choose to appoint or elect; give 'em the choice!
4. Reform the Board of Regents to re-establish the non-political nature of the body; they've gotten away from this and hurt the system tremendously. Generally, in regards to higher ed., more hard decisions ought be made: The King's ideas ...
A. Get rid of Azziz at MCG (before he leaves, on his own), change the name back to MCG; and end the "medical-school-to-Athens" charade! Maybe allow the MCG community in Agusta and around the state to have more influence over governing the institutions; Azziz' wacky idea about "medical tourism" will not improve health care access in GA!
B. Allow UGA to offer engineering in Ag. Engineering but not other fields; let GA TECH retain the engineering school and scotch the thing growing now in Athens.
Yep, I know; these things are politically dangerous; but do you know how much political power you'd get by doing "the right thing" over in Augusta at MCG?! Just letting those folks "in" on the decisions that affect "their" institution!
SURE. You could allow the Regents to continue running rough-shod over these interests groups; but YOU and state citizens will pay the price for that! The Regents will skate, scot-free!
C. With regards to reining-in the Regents, generally, and higher education in the state: Many authorities including former governors and other high officials would likely BACK this action; former Gov Perdue, for instance, suffered the indignity of having Regent's break promises ... just as soon as he left office! If our political leaders CANNOT trust the Regents, then something must be done about it or the whole thing might go up in flames!!!
5. Consider alteration of the state's laws with respect to marijuana, "gay" marriage, the 2nd Amendment, tobacco and alcohol usage by persons 18 and older; the GOP should sponsor a "Bill of Rights" referendum respecting whether or not the states' citizens believe ...
A. That state citizens who have reached age 18 ought to be able to choose, legally, to use marijuana ...
B. That state citizens who are homosexual should be allowed to marry under state laws; and that marriages in other states should be recognized.
C. That state citizens, via the 2nd Amendment, are afforded the right to buy and keep arms; and, if necessary, have superior state claims to possession that outrank certain federal restrictions. (LEGAL THEORY: See Fed response to pro-pot votes in Colorado and Wash. State!!!) You have almost EVERY GA sheriff in your corner on the 2nd Amendment; don't WASTE this opportunity to do right by them and by all of US!
D. That state citizens of a certain age are permitted to use tobacco; and that local government smoking bans on public property and planned, prohibitive tax increases on tobacco violate the spirit of this right, and are hereby ruled in conflict with the state and federal Constitutions; and accordingly "null and void."
(If you liked the war on drugs ...
You'll LOVE the war on tobacco!)
Tobacco tax advocates: You've come a long way, baby, but not quite far enough!! Move to NYC if you want a nanny-state government which uses taxes and bans to create a "backdoor" Tobacco Prohibition!!!
E. That states have the right to establish minimum ages for partaking in intoxicating beverages free of federal intervention including the withholding of transportation funding;
Theory: Jack Kingston ALREADY got DOD folks (military bases in the U.S. and abroad) exempted from this Madd-ening extortion from the Feds aimed at the states ...
In GA, and in Athens, the state-wide "21" law on drinking has done FAR MORE HARM than good!!!
You could take a swipe at two nasty birds, here: Federal extortion aimed at "state" powers; wrong-headed public policy which does more harm than good!
PS: We can keep drunks off the roads WITHOUT having the Feds force us to raise the drinking age!!!!
Yeah, now, sure, some of that is controversial! BUT NOW IS THE TIME to WAKE UP!
A tax on pot would likely solve revenue problems far, far into the future; as is, all these monies are in the black market. Sure, it's almost a radical idea to many folks in GA ... but these ARE radical times and if the state and national GOP leadership fails to understand this then they will be TOAST!!!
In regards to both marijuana and same-sex marriage, the Republicans should be proudly in favor of "personal choice" and against government meddling, force and intimidation!
6. Re-visit the PSC's decision to unilaterally demand that "Obama phone" users be charged "at least $5 per month." The thinking: YES, there is probably abuse, but it is a federal program and the state PSC has NOT adequately addressed the abuse simply by mandating the $5 fee; even the providers have not asked for that money and have no way to collect it!
Go after the PSC on this, and make sure their little fee gets put back where the sun doesn't shine! For legitimate users, this $60/year fee is stupid, and the sort of thing the Democrats would do!
Yes, yes, yes! I know! The KING is trying to scare the Gov. and state GOP into doing some CRAZY things ....
What the King knows, though, is Gov. Deal, and state GOPers ... you guys ARE DONE!! You guys are DONE if you do not pick yourselves up and come out swinging for what you believe in!
Perhaps ya'll were never really willing to FULLY commit to the battle! Well, get the Hell out of the way then! Don't run again! Be like that miserable [filtered word] Saxby Chambliss!!!
NOW or NEVER, GA GOP!!
Summary: I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. read more
As you might imagine, the vast majority of the editorial cartoons available these days for publication through the syndicate which supplies cartoons to the Athens Banner-Herald/OnlineAthens are addressing the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where the fatal shooting of a black teen by a white police officer has touched off a number of demonstrations -- some peaceful, but many not at all peaceful, with tear gas fired by police officers and gunshots fired by some protester. read more