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Pitts: South stands on untenable traditions

There is a difference between what the racists Gov. Wallace stood for and and what Roy Moore is doing. Gov. Wallace represented the worst of the Jim Crowe racist past (and unfortunately had a fairly large following when running for president0. Roy Moore's argument is a little less obvious, and one still to be worked out by thinking people, Christian believers or not.

posted @ Monday, February 16, 2015 - 00:37

Huerta: Republicans must rethink stances on immigration issues

@swimdawg68: You forget that these "illegals" have been paying federal taxes but denied access to services or normal tax refunds.
I am not advocating lots of undocumented workers here, but those who rant on about illegals taking from the system don't really understand how it works. For the most part, they pay into but don't receive much from the federal system. From the local system they pay into it in terms of indirectly paying property taxes through their rent and receive from access to public schools, etc. Not sure how well this balances out, and those kids who benefit from the public education are now the "dreamers" knocking at the door.

posted @ Monday, February 16, 2015 - 00:31

What Others Say: GOP must focus on workers as well as job creators

Focusing on "job creators" was the GOP downfall in 2008 and 2012. I was a 'job creator' by their definition in the past, but now have realized that trickle down economics is indeed voodoo economics as Bush Sr. so correctly stated.
So both the GOP and Dems need to realize that the real solution is somewhere in between. Yes, that is right, there needs to be compromise. I realize that is a dirty word phrase to some, but it is true

posted @ Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 23:34

Today's editorial cartoon

Vaccination (or not) is a major public health issue. Too bad that some know-nothings have brought this back into focus. There are some small risks with everything, and those that go on and on about risks of vaccination take more risk driving to work each day than the vaccination issue.

posted @ Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 23:28

GOP leaders move to placate local officials' concerns on transportation funding

@marshalld: You pretty well summed up the problem.
But even still, some oppose this because whatever is done will raise income (aka taxes).
Another issue with this plan is that it still avoids how to compensate for the effect of inflation. For example, the federal gas tax amount effectively collects only about 60% of what it did when last raised. Not including some kind of inflation adjustment sets it up for more problems in the future (again).

posted @ Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 09:08

Blackmon: Community must gain understanding of 'charter' concept for education

If done correctly, a charter school district has the potential of offering the advantages of more innovation to improve public schools without draining from the overall public school system like some want to do with special charter school set up for a certain few.

It appears that ACC schools are going about this thoroughly and methodically, to their credit.

posted @ Saturday, February 7, 2015 - 17:46

Critics don't get chance to speak in House hearing on state transportation funding

[quote][b]Jerry NeSmith[/b] - This bill raises GDOT funding by taking away local tax revenue. The billion dollars comes out of the budgets of local governments. So, though state taxes are not raised, local taxes must be to make up the money siphoned off of local tax revenues.
Just raise the gas tax to fund much needed highway funding. This is a shell game.

You are so right, but of course they can't do that because the ideologues signed a 'no tax increase' pledge, and no are backed into a corner.

If the gas tax had been indexed to inflation when it was last raised years and years ago, this problem would never have come up. (Similarly for the federal tax).

I found it interesting that buried in the original proposal was also a $200 fee for alternate fueled vehicles. I assume electric, natural gas, etc. Assuming say 10,000 - 12,000 miles per year and about 40 mpg average equivalent (my wife get 44 in the Prius), that comes to around $0.75/gallon. I call that the "let's stick it to those tree-huggers" tax.

posted @ Friday, February 6, 2015 - 08:46

Reagan: Conservative media shouldn't take liberals' bait

I agree with @RoyBoy in that Michael Reagan does occasionally have good points. Sometimes Michael joins the fray and reverts to what Fox and other so-called news networks stoop to.

It is too bad that CNN is labeled as bing "no one watches". Is it because they still try to present hard news in a relatively unbalanced way? If that were the case, then what is needed for the thinking public to do is to watch more on places like CNN and express their opinions. Problem is that too many people still love to watch the network that bashes their "enemies" (using Michael's words).

By the way, maybe we would get more done if we stopped thinking of those we disagree with as "enemies", huh Michael?

posted @ Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 08:47

Federal, state education reform policies are making schools worse, not better says UGA speaker

We need more voices in the wilderness crying out against this testing based education.
There are better ways to provide a metric to compare yearly progress of students as well as to evaluate teachers and schools.

Just because someone become the richest man in the world (at least at one point in his life) and has a foundation with lots of money that is doing some good in other areas does not mean Bill is an expert in education. After all, many would point out that Windows and the Office products, while dominant in the market, are "far from perfect" or the best it can be (fill free to fill in your own choice words here next time Bill's products act up).

posted @ Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 08:21

Bill would allow parents to use public dollars for private school

[quote][b]jtsim[/b] - Not no but hell no. Why should the money that I pay in taxes send your kid to a private school? The money should be used to fix the problems in our public schools.[/quote]

Amen to that.
This also does not pass the smell test to me in this regard.. who determines which kids fit into the 8,500 and then 17000 limit? I smell that partial for favortism, etc. here. Would be interesting to see how many of our esteemed legislature take advantage of this, if it passes.

posted @ Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 08:14

Sapera: Athens medical campus dean doing great job

Not all is right inside the arch...

posted @ Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 08:25

Jones: Transportation funding proposal creating confusion

This all could have been pretty much avoided if the concept of inflation adjustment were included in the original. Now the GOP legislature is working all kinds of smoke and mirror contortions to give cover to the ideology focused crowd who signed no new taxes pledges. That pledge looked good on paper and played well to the base, but now has them painted into a corner.

posted @ Monday, February 2, 2015 - 10:03

Towery: Congressional Budget Office isn't apolitical entity

I strongly disagree, and think that the CBO must be nonpartisan and apolitical. That is one potential check and balance on one party or position being favored beyond the other.

Mr. Towery is expressing an opinion that the democrats got their way with the ACA by ignoring or hiding facts (or at least potentially likely scenarios, since any prediction of the future is not a fact). That probably did happen and not he wants to turn the tables and do the same kind of fuzzy math with the GOP pushed agenda. In spite of what he wants in his tag line as being "nonpartisan" he is really not and just playing the game still.

The American public need and deserve a nonpartisan CBO.

posted @ Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 11:48

Today's editorial cartoon

@Georgia Boy: He plays out well to the party base that is supported with immense amounts of money from those that would be hurt by the recognition of real climate change (including I would add ocean acidification), such as the Koch bothers and their nearly $1 billion dollar commitment to buy more elections in 2016 (than you US Supreme Court).

I wonder is the Augusta Chronicle publishes opinion pieces and cartoons that reflect a diverse range of opinions like the ABH. Being in Athens with a wide set of opinions, the ABH does well to balance these out. Not so sure if that happens in Augusta (and doubt it really).

For a little levity related to this check out today's Non-sequitor comic in the link below

posted @ Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 11:36

House leaders release outline of transportation funding plan for state

You could use the same smoke and mirrors claim and just raise the gas tax to where it would have been had there been inflation adjustments in place since the last rise. That is as much a justifiable reason as some of these other shenanigans.
All this, just to satisfy the ideologues who sign a no tax increase bill.

posted @ Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 19:23

Stanford: Pragmatism is key to ending America's political stalemate

We need to have more of these type of letter and articles to begin to build a coalition of non-ideologues.

posted @ Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 10:19

Tant: French killings reawaken commitment to freedom

"Americans have long used their Bible to justify war, homophobia and racial segregation. "
You might add slavery to that list.

Fortunately that is not as overtly done now (in most cases), but those thought still exist for some.

posted @ Sunday, January 25, 2015 - 11:18

What Others Say: Americans lacking in basic civics knowledge

@swimdawg68: Not sure if they still require civics in HS now (probably do or I at least hope they do), but the problem is that today's younger generation seems to be so inward focused. They don't seem to care about keeping up with current events or learning about civics. Perhaps it is because they see all the hyper partisanship and gridlock that exists and just are turned off by it; I don't know.

posted @ Sunday, January 25, 2015 - 11:14

Gerson: God is very near to us

[quote][b]jtsim[/b] - God is near to all of us. Sadly too many of us don't know it.

Agreed! Either we don't know it or we get caught up in life and forget it (the seed among thorns).

posted @ Friday, January 23, 2015 - 22:51

Editorial cartoon for Jan. 23

[quote][b]barryhollander[/b] - That said, Fox is brilliant at what does -- skilled, attractive anchors who dress up opinion as news. MSNBC tries to do the same but it's not in Fox's league.[/quote]

True, and from a financial perspective it is brilliant and it works. Unfortunately, their style just contributes to the bad discourse we have in this country now. I would rather see Fox (and MSNBC) or whatever be honest about the fact that they are opinion oriented "news" and not be so shrill and confrontational.
But, of course, that does not sell with a hard core group that they are targeting.

posted @ Friday, January 23, 2015 - 22:49

Estrich: 'Money primary' under way in 2016 presidential race

"On the Republican side, the challenge for the whales will be to fight all of those sharks who would actually try to change the system and elect someone from outside the club. Good viewing."

You mean lots of luck. The "system" is now in control, that meaning the big money interests who now are considered people too. (as confirmed by the US Supreme Court and publicly by one of those seeking nomination on the GOP side, that being Mitt Romney).

posted @ Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 22:41

Wahhabi perversion of Islam sows seeds of terrorism

Interesting analysis, and seems to have some basis for describing what is going on now.
So, with the establishment of a new oil and gas industry in the US thanks to fracking and the growing renewable energy systems out there due to decline cost of PV, etc., perhaps it is time to tell the Saudi oil machine to buzz off. Either they stop funding and renounce the extremists or [OK here is the hard part, or what?]

posted @ Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 22:35

Ponnuru: Republicans don't need to 'show they can govern'

[quote][b]barryhollander[/b] - @Kwijibo Junior: Actually moderates do vote. They made up, according to exit polls, 40 percent of the 2014 voters. Conservatives made up 36 percent, liberals 23 percent.
What it means to describe yourself as a "moderate" is an interesting and difficult-to-parse question. Twenty-nine percent described themselves as "independents" versus the other two parties, so moderate appears to be a somewhat more acceptable term.

So true. Unfortunately, our political primary system is now biased toward having the 'less moderate' candidates on both sides win elections.

posted @ Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 22:29

Ponnuru: Republicans don't need to 'show they can govern'

"That task is to devise and promote an attractive conservative agenda to place before the voters. Unlike governing the country, that’s an achievable goal."

actually that is one way to define governing.

posted @ Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 08:49

Free tuition is excellent public investment

While it is a good idea to increase access to community college (and tech schools) education, I would prefer we first find the means to fully fund public K-12 education first. It is a travesty that we in Georgia there still are furlough days for teachers and shortened school years. It is hypocritical of our state 'leadership' to allow this to continue to happen and then complain about failing schools and the lack of a trained workforce.

Instead of investing in education, many states are rather spending more and more on prison facilities and operations. You could make the case that it is one or the other.

posted @ Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 09:13

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