While it is true that both political parties have made mistakes and missteps in the past, there can be no doubt that Republicans attending this local convention, and others across the country, can take solace in the knowledge that they have been vindicated on two fronts:
First, conservatives who had been complaining for months and months that they were being targeted for scrutiny by the IRS for their political beliefs, have been vindicated.
Secondly, conservatives who believe in smaller government, and believe that it's bureaucracy has grown too large, and unmanageable have also been vindicated.
You need look no further than the responses recently given by those in charge of government agencies from DHS, IRS, Treasury, the State Department, etc., all the way to the White House, when confronted with questions regarding their action or inaction on issues of importance.
These responses, given by agency heads, of "I don't know, didn't know, never knew, was not informed", etc. proves one of two things: Either they are all lying, or their agencies, and government itself, has grown so vast, that one hand has no idea what the other is doing.
Either scenario is dangerous and unacceptable. If we have reached the point where the President of the United States asserts he found out about the biggest scandal to hit this country since Watergate, from newspaper reports, something is terribly wrong.posted @ Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 13:04
@Abc: "The real problem was security at the OUTPOST. This was not an embassy but an outpost and the security increases asked for were REFUSED by the GOP."
You are correct in your first sentence, incorrect in your second.
The refusal to provide extra security requested by the Ambassador, was the decision of the State Department, not the "GOP". A ranking member of the State Department was asked point blank in hearings if funding had anything to do with denying the request. Her short answer was "NO".
We still do not know why the security request was denied. Should we not know, when the impending result, as you yourself state, came about because of the lack of it?
Another question that remains unanswered: If those responsible for the safety of the Embassy personnel did not see fit to provide the additional security that was obviously needed, why not pull the personnel out of Benghazi, as the British did, and American Red Cross did, when the situation became dire?
I believe the failure to provide needed security that was begged for months ahead of the attack, the failure to pull our people out in the face of increased threats, which included the bombing and destruction of the Embassy wall, an attempted assassination of the British Ambassador, the failure to attempt any type of rescue once the attack was under way, is the reason for the subsequent misleading of the American people, by blaming this all on a sudden demonstration over a video.
@cyou299: "so, umm....what exactly was covered up?
Short answer: Bungling and incompetence, and the desire to keep the growing threat of rising terrorism in Libya from the American people.posted @ Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 10:28
@hack: "Why do I have the feeling his comments are bullsit ??"
Because he waited so long to make them. This story hit the news cycle last Friday. In a news conference on Monday, he used the phrase, "if this proves to be true", when the IRS had already admitted to, and "apologized" for, wrongdoing.
He rightly received a lot of blow back for that from both sides of the aisle. The charge that this President has been "passive and disengaged" is an understatement. His response would have more readily accepted as genuine, had he immediately responded to this scandal with the aggressiveness it deserved.posted @ Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 08:59
@mpd0.59: First of all, my political views have nothing to do with my opinion. One of the things most upsetting to me, is that I believed FINALLY, this was a non-partisan issue that would be deemed unacceptable to ALL Americans, that would unite in a common cause. Comments I have seen on the Internet, in the media, and on this forum, burst that bubble quickly.
Secondly, there is, in my opinion, no explaining the inexplicable. I understand well that there have always been red flags that command the attention of the IRS. Those that you mention for example: Home Office, excessive charitable deductions, or business expenses, and tax credits. None of these could, in any way, be construed as political. There can be no doubt that organizations are now being targeted for their political beliefs.
Thirdly, I am not aware of any organization that is "anti-tax" or "anti-government". No one disagrees there is a need for government and the taxation to support it's necessary services. Anti-excessive taxation, anti-excessive government, yes. To put a target on the backs of people or groups for their political beliefs, as being possible tax cheaters, is Orwellian, and simply unacceptable.
Fourthly, the possible far reaching damage that has been inflicted on the political groups targeted, is yet to be determined. It is my understanding that the IRS asked for donor lists and even candidates supported by these groups. Would you, in the future, be hesitant to financially support a group or candidate that fell within the investigative scope of the IRS, in fear that your name might possibly end up on a flagged list?
Lastly, no where in my post did I mention the President or his possible involvement. Although it is my understanding that there are Democratic Senators who sent letters to the IRS suggesting that some Conservative Groups be investigated. How high this goes remains undetermined, Until such proof of involvement by higher-ups becomes evident, I remain neutral on blame, except where it is evident.
As to your last statement: "I also find it highly incredulous to think a Bush appointee would go along with such a supposed effort in the first place and subsequently lie about it."
Following orders, and subsequently attempting to cover his butt, maybe? Who knows?
@mpd0.59: Am I to understand that your assertion here, is that Conservatives, or anyone else, should find his testimony unquestionable because he is a Bush appointee? I don't care if he was appointed by God. If he knew and approved of what was going on here, he should be held accountable.
". . . . . going after organizations which they perceived as being more likely to illegally avoid paying taxes."
You mean conservative organizations? Any organization that used the words freedom, constitution, patriot, tea party, or Israel? Since when did those terms exact the perception of illegality, or tax avoidance, except in the minds of those who oppose them?
If the IRS was simply "overzealous in their pursuit of tax dollars", why not target ALL groups applying for tax exempt status? The answer is obvious, and your attempted justification of their actions doesn't hold water. Try again!!posted @ Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 09:45
@ Ms. Seagraves: "The IRS should be congratulated for pointing out what Congress has failed to do: outlaw tax breaks for any political organization. Are these congress people nuts?"
Are you serious? The IRS should be congratulated? Really? To your point of tax breaks for political organizations, there is a right way and a wrong way to address an issue, or achieve an objective, and it should be noted that this was obviously not their goal here.
As to your question of whether these "congress people are nuts, my answer is, in many cases "Yes", and they are obviously not alone.posted @ Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 09:18
"The bigger issue at stake is probably going to be obscured by justifiably huffy allegations of IRS abuse. The real issue is the way political groups are getting away with undeserved tax-exempt status in the first place."
With all due respect to the author of this op-ed, the "bigger issue at stake" here, is the total and absolute abuse of power by arguably the most powerful agency of the federal government.
Also, in case he/she missed this fact, they are not "huffy allegations", but heretofore admitted abuses. This practice cannot, and should not, be tolerated under any circumstances.
While I don't necessarily disagree with his/her premise of political groups non-deserving of tax exempt status, this issue, and any other, are secondary only!
The author further states: "When all is said and done, it’s kind of hard to feel too sorry for some of these groups".
Really? Which groups would that be, and what makes their opinions any more worthy of the intrusiveness they were subjected to than others?posted @ Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 09:06
@Millionexus: I appreciate your response, and the fact that Planned Parenthood is applauding the verdict in this case.
I, however, stand by my statement that they, and women's rights groups in general, have not been consistent in their condemnation of this case.
As far as the President is concerned, it is possible to speak out against a practice without targeting a specific criminal case, ie. the Boston Terrorist attacks, among other past committed atrocities.
This does not, however, answer my question as to why this clinic was allowed to operate under such conditions for decades. Where was Health and Human Services? Why aren't all of these clinics regulated and inspected on a regular basis? We do not know how many other babies were born alive, then murdered.
The whole point of my post, is that until the power brokers in this country decry the practice of late term abortions and the result thereof, these abuses will continue unabated, as the horrors uncovered in this case were a direct result of the barbaric practice of delivering babies alive, and then killing them.posted @ Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 11:05
I am pro life and am horrified at the actions perpetrated by this monster disguising himself as a "physician", and believe that late term abortions should be outlawed, period.
Leaving that aside, what is troubling to me is where are all the women's groups on this issue?
A woman also died at the hands of this monster. The unsanitary conditions under which the Dr. operated were nightmarish to say the least. Where is the outrage from Planned Parenthood, and the Obama Administration? The silence on this has been deafening. Why were the actions of the so-called Dr. allowed to continue for decades with no oversight? How many more of these "clinics" exist in this country, with virtually no inspections whatsoever? I was under the impression that the legalization of abortion was to stop such nightmarish practices.
I understand and accept that abortion is the law of the land. However, don't we at least have the right to demand that any clinic or any Dr. performing abortions at any time, be closely scrutinized so that women and babies delivered alive not be murdered?posted @ Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 09:38
As far as the Benghazi issue is concerned, it should now be obvious to anyone paying attention, that the State Department bungled it from the beginning. Refusing additional security that had been begged for since June of 2011, ignoring the escalating violence there, refusing to send military help to those being attacked, and then lying to cover up said bungling, so that the State Department would not "look bad", all have been proven factual. It's also obvious that the President went right along with the talking points for political reasons. It's still somewhat amusing to hear him still try to explain what he said when.
As far as the IRS scandal is concerned, the total abuse of power here is frightening. Even more frightening is the fact that this agency will be enforcing the health care law. One has to wonder just how intrusive they will become into individual Americans private lives, possibly justifying such intrusiveness as "enforcement".
There is one other thing here that should be troubling to all. That is how little those in positions of power claim to know what is going on in their respective agencies or departments. Janet Napolitano claimed to know nothing of the release of thousands of illegals, Hillary Clinton claimed to know nothing of the security requests from Benghazi, the Treasury Dept. that oversees the IRS, and the Director of the IRS, claim to know nothing of the targeting of Conservative groups for scrutiny. The President claimed he heard of the IRS incident through the news media. Really? All of these incidents are laid at the feet of "underlings" What exactly are we paying these people for??posted @ Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 09:24
@cyou299: 1-You obviously don't consider the recurrent blaming of a "video", for what happened in Benghazi, "sweeping it under the rug." That is your right, and in hindsight, you may be correct. Perhaps lying is the best terminology.
2-You are the one who brought up the embassies attacked during the Bush Administration. I consider it a coherent argument that somehow, no matter the subject, or accusation being made, Bush's name is always brought up by those who believe whatever he did or didn't do, somehow justifies his successor's actions.
3-As to why the embassy attacks that occurred during the Bush Administration did not get the same scrutiny as the Benghazi attack, perhaps you should consult the Democrats serving in Congress at the time for an answer. I believe one can be assured that if there was anything regarding these attacks that needed further investigation, they would have done so. (Notice I did not use the word "ya'll" in my above sentence, giving you the consideration you failed to give me. That is, that I'm an individual with individual opinions, not part of a "ya'll.)
4-Let's be honest. Had the Obama Administration been up front and truthful from the beginning regarding what they knew to be the true reason for the Benghazi attack, and admitted from the get go, the mistakes you yourself acknowledge were made, this story would never have gotten the kind of traction it has.
You want to talk "political"? The Administration's reaction from the beginning was nothing but political. What motive can there be for stamping "case closed" on this incident without hearing from all personnel directly involved in the attack, other than a political one?posted @ Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 11:47
Let me see if I have this straight here. Any incident occurring under ANY Administration, even if it involves the loss of life, should be swept under the rug, because it may be construed as political? Really?
Those who were actually on the ground, and have personal knowledge of what happened in Benghazi, should not be allowed or encouraged to tell their story, because many see it as political? Really?
Is this what we have come to as a people?
I see the "it's Bush's fault" champions are out in force, with their tireless chanting of "he did it, could have done it, thought about doing it", etc. Will this tireless alibi be used to excuse anything untold, that this Administration, or future Administrations may be complicit in? Really?
This ongoing blaming of others to excuse any possible wrongdoing, is akin to third graders caught on a playground breaking the rules, chanting "he did it first".posted @ Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 09:42
@helligater69: You really think that matters to me? It does not. Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent, waste is waste, and this was a waste!!!
ALL are guilty, and we continue to pay the price for it.
@grove600: Well said. Legal abortion is the law of the land, but that does not mean that those opposed should be forced to fund it.
I find it appalling and disappointing, that Planned Parenthood did not feel it necessary to speak out against the atrocities committed by Gosnell. I find it even more so, that the President, who speaks out often against other atrocities, did not feel the need to address this one. What better place to do so. The silence is deafening.posted @ Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 11:44
@mpd0.59: Just as an afterthought, if you want proof of the massive waste that abounds in the Federal Government, you need look no further than Athens's own "Park and Ride". With a maximum of four cars utilizing this facility at one time, it's obvious that pick was a loser.
A two million dollar project funded by a grant from the Federal Transit Authority. Wonder how many Air Traffic Controllers that two million dollars would have kept on the job? Again, a little micro-managing, by transferring of funds from one agency to another, based on need, might be a good thing.posted @ Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 11:21
@mpd0.59: If you want to call cutting where it does less harm to businesses, the public at large, and the economy "micro-managing" then so be it.It's evident someone needs to.
Most should realize by now that the sequester only cut the increased growth in future spending. Most should also realize that cuts in unnecessary spending in all federal agencies could be accomplished without major disruptions, unless of course, major disruptions is a goal of the Administration.
Make no mistake about it, however, pain will have to be felt by everyone, if we are ever to get our massive debt under control.posted @ Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 10:41
@Farmer GA: Kudos to you!! Would plus you 100 if I could. You have, in two simple paragraphs, provided an accurate summation of the opposition to this bill, and others. Americans have been burned too many times, Obamacare being the largest culprit to date.
"....with good reason" is an understatement.posted @ Monday, April 22, 2013 - 07:52
@E.J.: "I'm sure these brothers were influenced to wear the mantle of Islam to conceal their evil doings which were nothing but their own inner frustrations and anger."
Think about your statement for a moment, as it comes across to me as an oxymoron.
They were either influenced by Islam to do evil or they were not. Are "inner frustrations and anger", a reason to deliberately kill and maim citizens whom they had never met, and who had never caused them harm? Citizens of a country that granted them and their family political asylum? A community in a country that allowed them to live freely in peace, granted the youngest full citizenship, allowed him to attend one of the finest Boston high schools, and even granted him a scholarship to attend college?
This was a blatant act of terrorism committed against the citizens of a country that gave them sanctuary, the origins of which must be more than just using the "mantle of Islam".
Whether they acted on their own or with conjunction of a terrorist group, only time and evidence will tell. There is no denying, in my mind at least, that the evil ideology of those who use the Islamic religion to perpetrate hatred and terror, had permeated every part of their being.posted @ Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 08:15
@helligater69: "No...the taxpayers control the SLOST vote. If, enough of them, actually, take the time to read what's in it, maybe, the outcome will be different."
While your statement is true that taxpayers control the SPLOST vote, unfortunately, they do not control the SPLOST content.
Much like the appropriation bills that come out of Congress, SPLOST has become a vehicle of special interest projects, many taxpayers would normally not support. However, in order to fund a much needed project, they are forced to vote for other, non cost effective items, they consider not beneficial to all citizens.
I would like to see the state legislature change the way SPLOST is structured, so that citizens could vote on line item projects. Until that happens, I foresee many necessary expenditures going by the wayside, as citizens vote NO, as they grow ever more tiresome of the pork laden SPLOST.
In a nutshell, what crazy8golfer states, is not that far from probability.posted @ Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 11:17
"Part of the increased cost will come with tackling problems with old neighborhoods, built when stormwater management wasn’t as much a priority and with infrastructure, like old septic tanks, that can lead to contaminated water supplies."
Translation: Bend over, residents of the "General Services District".posted @ Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 08:46
Guess debt does matter after all!!posted @ Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 08:50
"Orpinas says this study suggests “dating should not be considered a rite of passage in middle school.”"
Exactly! Seems it would depend on the maturity of the young person, and the degree of parental involvement. Bottom line is all young people are not cut from the same piece of cloth, and parents who know their children, should be able to discern how early dating will affect them, and act accordingly.
I keep waiting for the study that is headlined: Americans have lost all ability to use common sense.posted @ Monday, March 18, 2013 - 09:20
Once again, it is troubling how little this administration's cabinet heads seem to know about what is going on in their own agencies, and the lies perpetrated to cover up their supposed "ignorance". There is no "good" reason, be it sequestration, or any other, for releasing these offenders back into society. They were locked up originally for good reason. "
"The immigrants who were released still eventually face deportation and are required to appear for upcoming court hearings."
How hilarious is this statement? Do they honesty think that these illegals will voluntarily "report" for deportation hearings? When they don't, how much will it cost taxpayers to once again attempt to locate them, or will they even bother?
It's a joke alright, one of many being perpetrated against the American people.posted @ Friday, March 15, 2013 - 08:41
@proftom: "Problem is that much of the work done to "feed our citizens" is done by the groups of people in question."
True enough! Therein lies a huge part of the problem, and it tells me that many of our citizens, if forced to engage in hard labor to feed themselves and their families, would starve to death. It also tells me, that when considering the track this country is on economically, that scenario, is not really far-fetched, and the result won't be pretty.
You have to ask yourself, who, before the influx of illegal workers, did the work done to "feed our citizens", and why has that changed? The answer to that question is evident.posted @ Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 09:52
The letter writer states: "That is the reason the majority of Americans affirmed the tenets of liberalism in November and returned President Obama to the White House — because they define governance and faith his way. . . "
I wouldn't be quite so sure of that. I believe most Americans are fair in their thinking, and consider themselves to be center, to center right, regarding how they view their "governance and faith". History tells us that they will be pushed just so far in either direction, before they begin to push back. Recent polls seem to be reflecting that.
"You may fool all of the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people, all of the time."
Want your business here? Contact Leslie Turner for more information.
Rep. Regina Quick, R-Athens, was one of two local delegates to score less than an "A+" in the Chamber of Commerce's annual legislative score card. She and I played phone tag Monday when I was reporting the story and I wasn't able to get her comments in a timely fashion. Instead, she sent over this statement Wednesday morning and she did not mince her words. (Links and italicized portions are my own; otherwise, it's as she wrote it.) Dear Friends: read more
The committee opted Tuesday night to put off deciding on the ordinance until, at the earliest, its next meeting. Of note: The Athens-Clarke County attorney highlighted that the proposed times are, in essence, placeholders for the commission to change or keep as it pleases. Full text of the Use of Public Right-of-Ways ordinance draft is below. read more