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31 May 2013

Hot Chelle Rae & Owl City Kick Off #CrazyGoodSummer Tour with Free Concert in Atlanta, 12 June

Pop-Tarts® toaster pastries is bringing Crazy Good™ Summer 2013 to teens nationwide by giving them exclusive access to their favorite music artists, including three free concerts beginning in Atlanta, 12 June.

The second annual Crazy Good Summer tour will kick off on 12 June 2013 with a free concert by Hot Chelle Rae and EDM sensation Owl City at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia. Fans can visit the Pop-Tarts Facebook page on Monday, 3 June at 10:00AM EDT to RSVP to receive two concert tickets. But fans will have to hurry since there are a limited number of concert tickets available.

The crazy good times will continue all summer long as Pop-Tarts will announce two additional, free concerts in surprise cities in July and August. Followers can try their hand at guessing these secret locales by visiting the Pop-Tarts Facebook page, where hints are already being dropped.

"I can't wait to show my fans a crazy good time at the Pop-Tarts concert this summer," said lead singer, Adam Young of Owl City. "They're part of my go-to breakfast while I'm on the road."

Formed in 2007, Owl City is an American electronica musical project by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Adam Young. Young's songs pulsate with euphoric dance beats that will appeal to fans of house, trance, dub-step, and other styles of electronic music.

Winners of the 2011 American Music Awards for Best New Artist, Hot Chelle Rae continues to make their mark in the music industry. Their sophomore album, Whatever, featuring the mega-smash hits "Tonight Tonight" and "I Like It Like That," sold more than 6 million singles.

One for the Road . . . ResignationWatch: Here's a Sample "I Quit" Letter for Mike Berlon to Sign

Georgia Unfiltered is ready to be relieved of its ResignationWatch duties.

For nine days, beginning 20 May 2013, story after story appeared here on this very website that ultimately led embattled Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon to say, "I quit."

In a statement released to the press Wednesday, Berlon said he's "prepared to step down from his leadership role in the party."

"The details of my resignation will need to be worked out over the next few days and weeks. I want to talk to my staff and the leadership of our party to ensure a smooth transition. There is a great deal at stake," said Berlon.

People are now questioning what exactly Mike Berlon means when he says he is prepared to step down and the details his resignation will need to be worked out over the next few days and weeks.

What details must Mike Berlon work out in order to resign?

There's no severance package to be negotiated. The office of chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia is an unpaid position. Plus, and pardon the poor English, the Georgia Democratic Party ain't got no money to be paying nobody.

Does Mike Berlon want the state Democratic Party to bestow him with a token of their esteem?

That might involve some torches, pitchforks, a rope, and a very strong tree.

Plain and simple, there are no details to work out. One does not "prepare to step down." Either resign or don't.

No equivocating. No stipulations. No preparations. No provisions. Resign or don't. It's that easy.

Georgia Unfiltered is a benevolent blog. Help is given here, when needed. And so, in keeping with that benevolence, below is a sample resignation letter. All Mike Berlon needs to do is sign it and print it.

29 May 2013

Berlon Quits.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Faced with mounting legal problems and a growing chorus of criticism from party loyalists, the head of Georgia’s Democratic Party said he would step down Wednesday amid fears that he could complicate a Democratic comeback attempt.


First Vice Chair Nikema Williams, who was profiled earlier this week by Georgia Unfiltered, becomes acting chair.

ResignationWatch: Who are the Members of the Georgia Democratic Party Executive Committee?

Georgia Unfiltered resignation watch now enters its fifth day.

Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon remains in office. But there are eight days until the 6 June state Democratic executive committee meeting, where Democratic National Committee member David Worley says he'll ask the executive committee to recommend the removal of Mike Berlon from office by the entire Georgia state Democratic committee.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) calls 6 June 2013 "decision day for Mike Berlon."

Berlon either resigns or, as the AJC says, the Democratic Party of Georgia executive committee decides his fate.

There is a process to removing Mike Berlon from office. I outlined the Democrats' removal process earlier this week. This process begins with the Georgia Democratic Party executive committee.

So, who's on this executive committee? The answer to that question can be found in the Charter of the Democratic Party of Georgia:

Membership of Executive Committee shall be comprised of the following persons: Officers of the State Party, State Constitutional elected officials (if Democrats), elected federal officials (if Democrats), Congressional District Chairs, the members of the Georgia Delegation to the Democratic National Committee, a Democratic member from each House of the General Assembly appointed by the Chairs of the Democratic Caucus of each House of the General Assembly, the President of the Georgia Association of Democratic County Chairs, the President of the Georgia Federation of Democratic Women, the President of the Georgia Council of Democratic Women, the President of the Young Democrats of Georgia, an elected member of a municipal governing body, and an elected member of a county governing body both appointed by the State Chair, the Chair of the County Affairs Committee, the Chair of the Affirmative Action Committee, and three (3) additional members appointed by the Chair.

Who are these people identified by Georgia Democratic Party rules? Let's start from the top and work our way down:

Obama Justice Department Holds Up Macon-Bibb County Elections Because Blacks Don't Vote in the Summer

AJC Political Insider Jim Galloway brought us this news from WMAZ-TV (Macon).

The U.S. Justice Department put off the July elections for the new Macon-Bibb County consolidated government until state legislators explain how they decided the timing and non-partisan format of the election.

. . . Local Democrats argued that holding the election in July would reduce the impact of black voters, who, statistics show, are less likely to vote in summer elections. They also argued for partisan elections, continuing the practice in the city of Macon and Bibb County.

The department has given the Bibb County legislative delegation 60 days to answer a list of questions and requests for materials related to the move to a nonpartisan July election.

Galloway, Jim (28 May 2013). Feds order Macon elections postponed. AJC Political Insider. Retrieved on 29 May 2013.

I’m a bit confused here.

Under the Voting Rights Act (VRA), Georgia must obtain pre-clearance from the Department of Justice (DOJ) before any changes to election law may be made so that the DOJ can ensure minority voters are not being disenfranchised.

In the WMAZ-TV article, "Democrats argued that holding the [Macon-Bibb County] election in July would reduce the impact of black voters who, statistics show, are less likely to vote in summer elections.”

Could not the argument be made that by failing to vote in summer elections, black voters (like myself) are effectively disenfranchising themselves?

Is it not true that by being less likely to vote in summer elections, black voters reduce their own impact?

Black voters freely choose not to vote in summer elections. How is the free choice of black voters not to vote in July elections a violation of the VRA?

Could someone please explain that to me?

28 May 2013

ResignationWatch: #GaDems 10th Congressional District Chair Asks Stacey Abrams to Demand Berlon Quit

We are still here on resignation watch here at Georgia Unfiltered.

Mike Berlon, embattled chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, has not resigned . . .

. . . Yet.

But the number of Democrat insiders calling for his resignation are steadily growing. It is becoming evident that Mike Berlon cannot continue leading the Georgia Democratic Party, with many activists expressing little or no confidence in his leadership.

Monday, Patsy Harris sent an email to the state Democratic executive committee urging her colleagues to call on Democrat elected officials to ask Mike Berlon to quit.

Harris currently serves as the Georgia Democratic Party's 10th congressional district chair. She also is a member of the state Democratic executive committee.

Georgia Unfiltered obtained a copy of Harris' email (shown below in its entirety), which also was sent to House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams.

ResignationWatch: Planned Parenthood VP Poised to Become #GaDems Chair if Berlon Vacates Post

This is day four of Georgia Unfiltered resignation watch.

It's been four days since Democratic National Committee (DNC) member David Worley, a former Democratic Party of Georgia chairman, called on current Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon to resign his post.

Including today, there are ten days until the Democratic Party of Georgia executive committee meeting where DNC member David Worley said he'll ask the panel to recommend Berlon’s removal from office to the full state Democratic committee.

Yesterday, I explained the process of removing Mike Berlon from office. Whether Berlon resigns or is ousted from office, Georgia Democratic Party rules say, "In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chair, the First Vice-Chair shall become Acting Chair and shall have the authority, powers and duties of the Chair."

(Georgia Democratic Party First Vice Chair Nikema Williams.)
The First Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia is currently Nikema Williams (pictured right).

Here's what you should know about Nikema Williams:
  • Nikema is a Democratic National Committee (DNC) member;
  • Nikema was a delegate to the 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Convention;
  • Nikema raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the Obama campaign in 2012;
  • Nikema is the Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast; and
  • Nikema is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

27 May 2013

For #MusicMonday, "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits




"Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits

ResignationWatch: The Process of Removing Georgia Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon from Office

Georgia Unfiltered is on resignation watch.

It has been three days since State Elections Board member David Worley, a former Democratic Party of Georgia chairman, called on current Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon to resign his post.

Since then, former Democratic Party of Georgia treasurer Russell Edwards, who's rumored to have had his own issues with Berlon, posted the following tweet on Twitter:


Edwards is right. Mike Berlon faced calls to resign or be removed from office just last year. Yet, he weathered the storm and still remains in office. This time, however, seems to be different.

The state Democratic executive committee is scheduled to meet at Party HQ next week. According to media reports, David Worley plans on asking the executive committee to recommend the full Georgia state Democratic committee remove Berlon from office.

If the Democratic Party of Georgia's executive committee recommends removing Berlon from office, it would have to be for cause.

Party rules say, "Officers or members may be removed for cause by a 2/3 vote of the State Committee, provided there is a fifty percent quorum.

"Cause may include:
  • The endorsement of, support of, or contribution to a candidate of another party.
  • Failure to perform the designated duties of office.
  • Conduct or circumstances which reflect discredit or disrepute upon the Party.
  • Public disclaimer of Party affiliation.
  • Intentional misrepresentation of positions or policies of the Party.
  • Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or which otherwise reflects discredit or disrepute upon the Party.
  • Any violation of these bylaws."
Berlon had his law license suspended and received a reprimand from the state Supreme Court. Any schmuck on the street would agree those two circumstances alone reflects discredit or disrepute upon the Party.

26 May 2013

Mike Berlon Digs In, Asks Democrats to Respect Difference Between His Law Practice & His Party Activities

. . . the record is public. Anyone can go to the Gwinnett County Courthouse, pull the pleadings relating to case number 13-A-04434-5, and determine for themselves if they believe Mike Berlon, chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, is a crook.
"It was more than mere chance that brought Merry and Pippin to Fangorn. A great power has been sleeping here for many long years. The coming of Merry and Pippin will be like the falling of small stones that starts an avalanche in the mountains."

-Gandalf the Grey White

It was more than mere chance that last week started with news of Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon receiving a reprimand from the state Supreme Court and having his law license suspended temporarily. Those two events were like the falling of small stones that starts an avalanche in the mountains.

Since then, more reports of Mike Berlon's legal troubles emerged and calls for his resignation grew louder.

Gandalf said, in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, "[Sauron] will raze Minas Tirith to the ground before he sees a King return to the throne of men."

And much like the Dark Lord Sauron, I believe Mike Berlon will raze the Democratic Party of Georgia to the ground before he sees someone other than himself as leader of that organization.

Berlon is digging in and preparing for battle.

In an email to the state Democratic committee (posted in its entirety below), Thursday, Berlon requested Democrats to "respect the difference between my private law practice and my position as the Chair of the Party.

"My legal practice should never be a distraction for the Democratic Party of Georgia," Berlon emailed to the state Democratic committee, "but I am aware that it might become one if I don’t address these rumors directly. Instead of false information, I want to get the record straight."

Well, the record is public. Anyone can go to the Gwinnett County Courthouse, pull the pleadings relating to case number 13-A-04434-5, and determine for themselves if they believe Mike Berlon, chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, is a crook.

And you know what? Mike Berlon is right. His legal practice has become a great distraction for the Democratic Party of Georgia. It's all anyone is talking about.

25 May 2013

ResignationWatch: State Elections Board Member Calls on GA Democratic Party Chairman to Resign or be Removed

The septimana horribilis ("horrible week") for Democratic Party of Georgia chairman Mike Berlon continues as the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) reports a high-ranking Democrat is now calling on Berlon to resign or be removed from office.

A high-ranking Democratic official called Friday for his party’s chairman to step down after a spate of legal concerns came to light.

David Worley, a former chairman of the state party, said Mike Berlon’s legal woes tarnish the party’s image and hamper its abilities to raise funds. He said he’ll ask the Democratic Party of Georgia’s executive committee, a group of roughly 30, to recommend Berlon’s ouster at a June 6 meeting. A vote by the full panel of about 300 board members could follow.

Galloway, Jim (24 May 2013). Mike Berlon’s problems could complicate a Michelle Nunn roll-out. AJC Political Insider. Retrieved on 25 May 2013.

Here's what you should know about Democrat David J. Worley:

In other words, David Worley is hardly some disgruntled, rank-and-file Democrat. He's Daddy freakin' Warbucks.

From a public relations standpoint, the last thing Georgia Democrats want is their Party chairman forcibly removed from office.

Behind the scenes, I am willing to bet pressure is being put upon Mike Berlon to resign and avoid a messy, contentious confrontation with the state Democratic committee in full view of the public; and it will happen in public due to a provision in the Democratic Party of Georgia Bylaws that reads, "Unless the body votes to go into executive session, all meetings of each body of the State Party shall be open to the public."

So, we're on resignation watch, ladies and gentlemen. My guess is Mike Berlon will resign as Georgia Democratic Party chairman before the end of the month.

24 May 2013

Facing More Legal Troubles, Georgia Democratic Party Chairman Vows to Finish Out His Term in Office

Septimana horribilis.

It's a Latin phrase, and it means "horrible week."

The last five days certainly qualifies as a septimana horribilis for Democratic Party of Georgia chairman Mike Berlon.

This week started with news that Mike Berlon had his law license suspended and received a reprimand from the state Supreme Court. Then came the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) report showing $30,734.18 cash on hand and $18,661.32 in debt for Georgia's Democratic Party. Now the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reports Mike Berlon, chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, faces more legal troubles.

Mike Berlon was accused in a Gwinnett County lawsuit this week of failing to distribute nearly $1 million from a trust he created for a friend and his son.

The Gwinnett lawsuit was filed this week by Raymond Hines, who hired Berlon to create a trust in his wife's name after her death in 2003. Hines and his son pumped $960,000 into the trust, they say, but they never heard back from Berlon when they repeatedly emailed and texted him wondering where they're money was.

Bluestein, Greg (23 May 2013). Top Democratic official in more legal hot water. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 24 May 2013.

This particular AJC article came after a list of civil actions listing Mike Berlon as the defendant was published on Georgia Unfiltered.

In spite of his septimana horribilis, Democratic Party of Georgia chairman Mike Berlon said, "I'm doing the best job I can as chair of the Democratic Party, and my private practice has nothing to do with that. I still have two years on my term and I intend to serve it out."

There's an old saying that comes to mind.

You know what they call a leader with no followers? Just a guy taking a walk.

Mike Berlon is just a guy taking a walk. All alone.

22 May 2013

GA Democratic Party Chairman Listed as Defendant in Several Civil Cases Filed with Gwinnett County Courts

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

A search of the Gwinnett County Courts website shows that Mike Berlon, chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, has been the defendant in several civil cases since at least 2002. One case is still pending.

Below is a screenshot of Gwinnett Courts.com:



So now that this little piece of information is out there, which intrepid media outlet will do the grunt work and pull all these civil actions that end "Vs Berlon?"



21 May 2013

The Georgia Republican Party Reports Having $631K Cash on Hand

The Georgia Republican Party filed its Federal Elections Commission (FEC) report for the period beginning 1 April 2013 and ending 30 April 2013.

On this report, the state GOP reported raising $16,628.00 and spending $95,851.53, leaving the organization with $631,960.25 cash on hand.

The Democratic Party of Georgia Reports Having $18K in Debt and a $10K Credit Card Bill

Monday, the Democratic Party of Georgia filed its Federal Elections Commission (FEC) report for the period beginning 1 April 2013 and ending 30 April 2013.

On this report, the state Democratic Party reported raising $83,643.02 and spending $73,842.64, leaving the organization with $30,734.18 cash on hand.

However, the Georgia Democratic Party also said they owe $18,661.32. Part of that eighteen thousand dollar debt comes from a credit card bill that totals $10,663.82. This credit card debt can be found of page 39 of the Democrats' FEC report.

Last month, Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon said, "I’m in the nonprofit business. I’m not interested in banking as much money as I possibly can."

If the Democrats' FEC reports are any indication, Berlon appears to be wholly interest in spending as much money as he possibly can.

Photo Diary: Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport Welcomes Air Force One

On 19 May 2013, Air Force One arrived at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport, carrying President Barack Obama, who delivered the commencement address at Morehouse College.

Georgia Unfiltered was there live for the presidential aircraft's arrival.

dell_maddux's Air Force One 2013 album on Photobucket

20 May 2013

Two Fulton County Commissioners Have Yet to Sign Document Admitting Open Meetings Act Violation

At its 15 May 2013 meeting, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners admitted violating the state's open meetings act.

This admission stems from a meeting four Commissioners --Emma Darnell, Bill Edwards, Joan Garner and Robb Pitts-- held in February that constituted a public meeting under the Georgia open meetings act.

Fulton County’s attorney says four commissioners violated the state’s open meetings law last month when they sat together and heard residents rail against Republican efforts to reshape the county government.

“The definition of a public meeting typically turns on whether a quorum of public agency members meet, at a predetermined time, to discuss public business,” Georgia First Amendment Foundation Executive Director Hollie Manheimer said in an email. “In this case, all of those elements seem to be there, and the matters discussed are of keen interest to the citizens of Fulton County.”

Edwards, Johnny (7 March 2013). Attorney says commissioners unwittingly broke open meetings law. Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved on 20 May 2013.

According to an Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) report, Commissioner Liz Hausmann, who did not attend the February meeting in question, suggested her colleagues on the commission admit their mistake and report it to Attorney General Sam Olens to avoid sanctions from his office. Hausmann's suggestion was met with hostility and insults.

"Even if Liz Hausmann is doing a meeting up there in podunk north Fulton," Commissioner Bill Edwards told the AJC. "If I want to go, I’m going."

Last week, the Fulton County Commission passed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) admitting the four commissioners present at the February meeting, including Bill Edwards, violating the state's open meetings act. The MOU signed by Commissioners John Eaves, Joan Garner, and Robb Pitts features a pledge from Fulton County to "take all necessary and proper steps to assure compliance with each and all of the requirements of Georgia's Open Meeting Act and Open Records Act."

Two signatures are noticeably missing from the MOU. Commissioner Emma Darnell, who did not vote on admitting a violation of the Open Meetings Act, has yet to sign the MOU. And Commissioner Bill Edwards, who voted no on admitting an Open Meetings violation, has not signed the MOU either.

Georgia Unfiltered obtained a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding, which awaits approval from Attorney General Sam Olens. The MOU is posted below:

Fulton County Memo of Understanding Admitting Open Meetings Violation by Andre Walker

GA Democratic Party Chairman Gets His Law License Suspended & A Reprimand from State Supreme Court

Georgia Unfiltered has learned that Mike Berlon, chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party, had his law license suspended and received a reprimand from the state Supreme Court.

Pictured right is the State Bar of Georgia membership page for Mike Berlon. Berlon's status is currently OGC Suspension, which, according to the State Bar of Georgia, means Berlon is a state bar "member who has been suspended by Supreme Court Order."

The State Bar of Georgia describes "OGC Suspension" as, "A form of public discipline where the attorney is ineligible to practice law in Georgia for a definite period of time or until satisfaction of certain conditions imposed as a part of the suspension."

The State Supreme Court issued opinion S13Y1054 today, in which all Justices agreed to reprimand the Georgia Democratic Party chairman. Below is the order:

Georgia Supreme Court Order reprimanding state Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon by Andre Walker

19 May 2013

Obama Visits Atlanta Today. Here's His Schedule . . .

. . . From the White House Press Office

  • 8:00AM - THE PRESIDENT departs the White House
  • 8:15AM - THE PRESIDENT departs Andrews AFB
  • 9:50AM - THE PRESIDENT arrives Atlanta, Georgia (Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport)
  • 11:00AM - THE PRESIDENT attends Morehouse College commencement and delivers the commencement speech
  • 2:10PM - THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at a Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC) event
  • 3:10PM - THE PRESIDENT departs Atlanta, Georgia
  • 4:40PM - THE PRESIDENT arrives Andrews AFB
  • 4:55PM - THE PRESIDENT arrives the White House

17 May 2013

Here's a Story About How the Christian Coalition Got Me to Endorse Alex Johnson for Georgia GOP Chairman

I'm a delegate to the Georgia state Republican convention in Athens this weekend.

At this convention, Republican Party delegates from across this great state will pick a successor to Chairman Sue Everhart.

There are four individuals running: B.J. Van Gundy, Seth Harp, Alex Johnson, and John Padgett.

As a delegate to this convention, I've received direct mail pieces, robo-calls, emails, and all other sorts of communication designed to curry my favor and gain my vote. I've read all the letters, read all the emails, and listened to all the robo-calls. I was truly undecided . . .

. . . Until last night.

Last night, I received an email from the Georgia Christian Coalition. It seems the Christian Coalition sent a questionnaire to the four candidates for Georgia Republican Party Chairman. Last night, the Christian Coalition released the candidates' questionnaire responses.

As I said before, until I received that questionnaire, I was undecided on which candidate to support. Then I saw this query:

"Would you encourage candidates who are openly GLBT to run as a Republican?"

B.J. Van Gundy and Seth Harp both said no. John Padgett provided no answer. Alex Johnson said, "No -- I would not encourage anyone to run as Republican based on their sexual orientation, but based on their policies and platform."

For me, there was only one correct answer to the question of whether open members of the GLBT community should be encouraged to run on the Republican ticket. Alex Johnson gave the right answer, and he has my support.

Less government, lower taxes, more freedom -- these are the principles of the GOP. If any candidate, gay or straight, believes in these three conservative principles, then they should be encouraged to run and make their case to the voters.

I don't care if a Republican candidate for office is gay, so long as they believe in reducing the size of government, keeping taxes low, and promoting freedom at home and abroad. There are plenty of straight Republicans in office right now who are just as bad as the Democrats.

Gay or straight doesn't bother me. Big government bothers me. Higher taxes bother me. And less freedom bothers me.

15 May 2013

Cobb County Manager Says Thanks, But No Thanks to Running Fulton County Government

And quite frankly, I don't blame him for taking a pass on working with Emma Darnell and Bill Edwards.

The Marietta Daily Journal reports the County Manager of Cobb County withdrew his name from consideration for the same job in neighboring Fulton County.

Cobb Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lee said David Hankerson contacted Fulton officials on Monday to let them know he was no longer interested in the job.

“Mr. Hankerson just informed me that he has informed the Fulton County Board of Commissioners that he has officially withdrawn his name from consideration of the county manager’s job of Fulton County,” Lee said Tuesday evening. “He just felt that he’s better served here, and he loves Cobb County, and this is where he needs to be. This is his home, so he wants to stay here and finish his career in Cobb.”

Cobb manager pulls out in Fulton. Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved on 15 May 2013.

David Hankerson has been County Manager for Cobb County since 1993, serving through the administrations of Cobb County Commission Chairmen Bill Byrne, Sam Olens, and Tim Lee.

Fulton County Republican Party Launches Summer Jobs Program to Combat High Teen Unemployment

(Teens and parents gather at Atlanta Dream Center for Fulton County GOP job fair. Photo by Fulton County Republican Party.)
The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Georgia has the third highest teen unemployment rate in the nation [Couret, Jacques (7 May 2013). Georgia teen unemployment third-highest in U.S. Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved on 15 May 2013.]. 30.6% of Georgia's teens are unemployed. Only South Carolina and California have higher teen unemployment levels.

Fulton County Republicans hope to reverse this trend with a summer jobs program called, "Everyone Can Achieve!"

Saturday, 11 May 2013, the Fulton County GOP hosted a jobs fair at the Atlanta Dream Center for teens looking for work this summer. According to Claire Bartlett, Executive Director for the Fulton County Republican Party, eighty teens attended the event.

The Everyone Can Achieve program features three mandatory training sessions to teach teens dress for success, communicating in the work place ("yes" vs. "yeah"), business etiquette, working with teams, customer service, interview questions, and interview role play. Parental involvement is also required.

Bartlett says Fulton County Republicans are actively seeking businesses who are hiring interns, part-time, and full-time employees.

For more information, click here.

14 May 2013

Rec'd Reading: Albany Herald & Augusta Chronicle Editorial Boards Condemn IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups

"Sometimes people who are dismissed as being paranoid have good reason to be paranoid.."

That's how the Albany Herald Editorial Board opens its column condemning the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.

"Outrageous," is how the Augusta Chronicle describes the actions of the IRS.

The IRS is the most feared and formidable government agency many of us will ever brush up against.

The thought of such a potent bureau having a nefarious agenda – political, for instance – truly is frightening. In another country, in another form of government, led by men of few scruples, such a power could be used to cripple perceived enemies.

The IRS actually admitted last week that some of its agents last year illegally targeted conservative groups that were attempting to achieve official nonprofit status [ . . . ] the thought of using the awesome power of the IRS to torment someone because of his or her political beliefs is scary – and contrary to every notion of freedom this nation was founded upon.

We . . . would like a thorough investigation of this matter. This is too serious an offense for an even sincere apology to suffice.

Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff (13 May 2013). Beyond an apology. Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved on 14 May 2013.

For the IRS to target conservative groups, it only breeds distrust in government, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But, as the Albany Herald correctly notes, the IRS targeting conservatives festers conspiracy theories. These "nuts" didn't get paranoid of the government on their own. Something, like the IRS targeting political groups, created that paranoia.

Purina to Provide Fulton County Animal Shelter with a $30,000 Makeover

Purina Cat Chow is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

To mark its anniversary, Purina Cat Chow announced today the launch of the Purina Cat Chow "50 Years. 50 Shelters." program that will support 50 cat-focused shelters nationwide – one in every state – and donate up to $200,000 in product and monetary donations to acknowledge these shelters' dedication to the cats they serve and help facilitate the start of more cat-owner relationships.

"We believe that someone should always be there for cat owners, cat supporters and the cats that impact all of our lives," said Vincent Biroscak, Purina Cat Chow brand director. "Many cat owners will attest that they didn't choose their cat – their cat chose them – and a countless number of those cats found their forever homes after a shelter stay. In celebration of our 50 years of supporting cats and cat owners, Purina Cat Chow is saying thank you to the shelters that are there for cats when they need it most."

"We believe that someone should always be there for cat owners, cat supporters and the cats that impact all of our lives," said Vincent Biroscak, Purina Cat Chow brand director. "Many cat owners will attest that they didn't choose their cat – their cat chose them – and a countless number of those cats found their forever homes after a shelter stay. In celebration of our 50 years of supporting cats and cat owners, Purina Cat Chow is saying thank you to the shelters that are there for cats when they need it most."

Purina Cat Chow will conduct four shelter facility makeovers valued at nearly $100,000 as part of its "50 Years, 50 Shelters." program. Three shelters, SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. in Spokane, Wa., Fulton County Animal Services in Atlanta, and Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in Pittsburgh, Pa., will receive makeovers valued at $30,000 each that will include custom changes and upgrades to improve their cat-care facilities. The Open Door Animal Sanctuary in House Springs, Mo., will receive a $10,000 makeover that will include cosmetic improvements such as painting and new furniture.

Cat people across the country can participate in the Purina Cat Chow "50 Years. 50 Shelters." program and help their state's local shelter earn an additional $1,000 just by casting a vote. For every vote cast on www.catchow.com/50shelters for a specific shelter from May 13 to June 14, 2013, Purina Cat Chow will donate $1, up to $1,000 per shelter, to be provided via a cash donation. By voting, cat people can help raise a total of $50,000 for the 50 participating shelters. The donations will allow the shelters to purchase necessary items and supplies to help better serve their adoptable cats.

All 50 participating shelters will also receive a Purina Cat Chow "50 Years. 50 Shelters." Care Package valued at $1,000 each that will include Purina® Cat Chow® brand cat food, Purina® Tidy Cats® brand cat litter and general cat care items for participating in the program.

13 May 2013

Victor Hill Trial Date Set for 5 August 2013. Will Clayton County Jurors Convict a Man They Re-elected Sheriff?

From the Clayton News Daily:

The date for the criminal case against Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill has been specially set to begin Aug. 5, according to an order signed Friday by the trial judge.

Jefcoats, Kathy (10 May 2013). Hill trial date set. Clayton News Daily. Retrieved on 13 May 2013.

Question: Is the jury pool in Clayton County prejudiced enough in Victor Hill's favor that they'll vote to acquit regardless of how much incriminating evidence is presented by prosecutors?

The Democrats' Secret Plan to Take Back Georgia: No New Ideas, Just Wait Until Blacks Outnumber Whites

The government itself has failed us.

And the white liberals who have been posing as our friends have failed us.

-Malcolm X
For everyone who follows Georgia politics, here's a question:

When's the last time the Democratic Party of Georgia proposed a new idea?

Allow me to answer my own question. They haven't.

Republicans, on the other hand, can point to pro-growth policies producing new jobs and continuing Georgia's leadership in the South. In the eight years since the GOP took control of Peach State government, Kia Motors built a manufacturing plant in West Point. Porsche Motors relocated their North American headquarters to this state. And, Georgia has a burgeoning film industry, featuring planned construction projects in Fayette County and Gwinnett County; two Republican strongholds.

Meanwhile, the areas where Democrats are the majority aren't doing so great.

Clayton County Schools lost accreditation in 2008. The Atlanta Public School System is embroiled in a cheating scandal, making national headlines. Governor Deal, a Republican, had to step in and suspend the largely Democrat DeKalb County School Board before they lost their school system's accreditation. Unemployment in Democrat-controlled counties like Hancock and Burke still exceeds the state and national rate.

The Democrats don't have any new ideas to address their shortcomings. Their plan simply involves waiting; waiting until blacks outnumber whites, then riding the coattails of that monolithic black vote back into power. That's their plan, and it was revealed this past weekend on the pages of the Augusta Chronicle.

259,422 Clayton County Residents Seem Not to Care How Their School Board Spends 352 Million of Their Tax Dollars

Clayton County gets a bad rap from most in metro Atlanta.

Clayton County voters elected a man, who is facing multiple felony charges in court, sheriff. Clayton County became the first school system, nationwide, to lose accreditation in nearly four decades. And now, the Clayton News Daily only two people out of 259,424 total showed up to share their opinion on how their tax dollars should be spent.

The Clayton County Board of Education gave residents an opportunity to voice their opinions this week about the upcoming budget year but only two took the offer.

Jeffery Benoit, a former state house candidate for District 76, and Sid Chapman, president of the Clayton County Education Association, were the lone voices at Thursday’s public hearing.

“I wish more people were here and lined up out the door,” said Chapman.

Jackson, Johnny (10 May 2013). Citizens ignore budget talks. Clayton News Daily. Retrieved on 13 May 2013.

In a word, pathetic. Not just pathetic, but apathetic.

259,424 Clayton County residents paid $352 million to fund public education in their county. But only two showed up to discuss how that money should be spent.

More people should have been at that meeting. It is, as those folks in the J.G. Wentworth commercials say, their money.

Clayton County could be so much better if only more people took an active role in their county government. Until that happens, Clayton County will continue to be the butt of jokes across metro Atlanta.

Pardon the Poor English, But DPG chairman Mike Berlon Ain't Got No Business Talking About Fulton County Politics

This weekend, Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon made another vain attempt to demonstrate his political relevancy by commenting on the efforts to reform Fulton County.

Responding to questions about the Fulton County reform bills recently signed into law by Governor Deal, Berlon said, "None of this is about making Fulton government better. This is about taking over Fulton County" [Barrow, Bill (11 May 2013). GOP legislators use power to control local affairs. Macon Telegraph. Retrieved on 13 May 2013.].

Pardon the poor English, folks, but Mike Berlon ain't go no business talking about Fulton County politics.

Mike Berlon is supposed to the chief fundraiser for his party, but the Democratic Party of Georgia is down to its last $20,000. I've got more money than the Democratic Party of Georgia, and I'm just a poor black man trying to make it in Atlanta.

Every statewide elected official in Georgia is a Republican, in spite of Mike Berlon's best efforts (and I say that with a tinge of sarcasm in my tone). Every elected official in Mike Berlon's home county, Gwinnett County, is a Republican and has been so for quite a while, dating back to the time when Berlon was chair of the Gwinnett County Democratic Party.

And yet, Berlon has the temerity to talk about Fulton County. When the Democratic Party of Georgia has more money than the fry chef at McDonald's; when the Democratic Party of Georgia has more elected officials than I have Facebook friends, then Mike Berlon can register an opinion about Fulton County politics. Until then, Berlon can do as The Rock says:

Know your role, and shut your mouth.

For #MusicMonday, "Hall of Fame" by The Script (feat. will.i.am)



"Hall of Fame" by The Script (feat. will.i.am)

11 May 2013

Children's Christmas Parade Announces Move to Midtown to Make Way for Atlanta Streetcar Project

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta announced that the 33rd Annual Children’s Christmas Parade will take place in Midtown for the first time this year.

The parade has been held in Downtown Atlanta for much of its history, but will be moving to Midtown to make way for construction of the new Atlanta Streetcar.

"We are thrilled that the Atlanta Streetcar will soon become a reality for Atlanta residents and have been working with city officials throughout the planning process of this project. Unfortunately, the design of the streetcar route presents major safety concerns for the parade, meaning we have no choice but to relocate. We are excited to keep the parade tradition alive in Midtown and are grateful to the Midtown Alliance for helping make this new route possible," said Gene Hayes, president of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation.

The new route (shown left) will start at Peachtree Street and 16th Street and continue for one mile, ending at Peachtree Street and 5th Street. The new route is easily accessible to spectators by MARTA, with the Midtown, North Avenue and Arts Center stations all within walking distance.

An Atlanta holiday tradition, the Children’s Christmas Parade is the largest Christmas parade in the Southeast and attracts more than 300,000 spectators each year. Proceeds from the parade help fund programs and equipment to serve the patients and families at Children’s.

For more information, visit www.choa.org/parade.

09 May 2013

Gov. Deal, National Math and Science Initiative Announce Grants to Expand AP Program for Military Families

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), a non-profit organization launched in 2007 to transform math and science education in the United States, announced today that its comprehensive Advanced Placement (AP) program for military families is being expanded this fall to Georgia's Northside High School, Perry High School, Veterans High School, Houston County High School, Warner Robins High School, and Bradwell Institute near Warner Robins Air Force Base and Fort Stewart, thanks to a grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).

"This innovative program serving military bases in the U.S. can open doors to college for more students by providing them with rigorous, project-based coursework to help them succeed in the competitive fields of science, technology, engineering, and math," said Sara Martinez Tucker, CEO of NMSI. "The partnership with these high schools will help provide continuity and excellence to help make a huge impact on young students' lives."

A special event was held today to announce the expansion of NMSI's AP program to these six schools at the Governor's Office at the State Capitol. Attendees included Governor Nathan Deal, State School Superintedent John Barge, military representatives, and the NMSI.

"STEM education plays a critical role in our state's competitiveness and future economic prosperity," said Gov. Deal. "This expansion of NMSI's AP Program in Georgia will help encourage more of our young people to pursue careers in these fields and build the content knowledge and skills of our STEM teaching workforce."

"We are thrilled to work with NMSI to boost STEM opportunities for the children of Georgia military families," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "We must do everything we can to tap into students' passions for science, technology, engineering and mathematics to ensure a strong future for Georgia's economy."

The addition of these high schools was made possible by a $3,411,078 grant from DoDEA, who has awarded nearly $17 million total in grant funds to NMSI for its AP program supporting military families. Enrollment in math, science, and English AP courses for these Georgia schools is expected to increase by 127 percent with qualifying scores in these courses expected to increase by 76.4 percent over the life of the grant.

"The expansion of this program for students attending Georgia high schools opens a new level of opportunity and possibility for children of military families and their peers to excel in math and science," said Adrian B. Talley, DoDEA's Deputy Director. "This investment in the AP program is truly transformational and innovative and raises the bar academically in our public schools. The results are proven, consistent, and speak for themselves – in the schools that have been supported by DoDEA's NMSI AP grant funds, students have increased the number of qualifying AP scores by more than 60 percent."

Remember When ABC Published a Magazine Just for Their Soap Operas? #ThrowbackThursday


When I was younger, my mother told me to watch the ABC soaps and tell her what happened each day. Because of that, I used to come home from school and watch both All My Children and General Hospital.

I knew all the story lines from these two soaps -- Erica Kane and all her men on All My Children; Anna and Robert on General Hospital; Janet throwing Natalie down the well; all good times and good viewing.

At one point in time, ABC published a magazine called "Episodes." My mom had a subscription. I kept a lot of the issues that came in the mail, including the one pictured above.

I had the biggest crush on Kimberly McCullough (pictured above, right), who plays Robin Scorpio on General Hospital. My loyalties lie with All My Children though. And I am so glad they're back.

Obama Impressed by Gay NBA Player's Courage, But Silent on the Courage of Charles Ramsey, A Real American Hero


Last Monday, NBA player Jason Collins revealed he's a homosexual. The same day, Collins received a call from Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama called Jason Collins on Monday to express his gratitude after the NBA player publicly announced that he is gay, two sources familiar with the call told The Huffington Post.

A White House official confirmed the call, saying that the president wanted to "express his support" and tell Collins that "he was impressed by his courage."

Stein and Terkel (29 April 2013). Obama Calls Jason Collins, 'Impressed By His Courage' In Coming Out. The Huffington Post. Retrieved on 9 May 2013.

This week, the quick actions, compassion and courage of Charles Ramsey led to three women being rescued after living in captivity for a decade [Shaw, Alexis (8 May 2013). Charles Ramsey on Rescuing Amanda Berry: ‘You Do What You Have to Do’. ABC News. Retrieved on 9 May 2013.].

Kevin Jackson, a conservative blogger who writes at The Blacksphere.net, noted that Barack Obama remains silent on the actions of Charles Ramsey [Jackson, Kevin (8 May 2013). Barack: Here’s a REAL Hero. The Blacksphere.net. Retrieved on 9 May 2013.]. Jackson noted that Obama has yet to call Charles Ramsey and thank him for his courageous actions.

Not wanting to believe Jackson's assertions, I searched White House press briefings for the last three days and found no mention of Charles Ramsey or Amanda Berry. I even performed a Google search of "Barack Obama," "Charles Ramsey," and "Amanda Berry." Still nothing.

Kevin Jackson is right. Coming out of the closet is not a heroic act. Rescuing three women who were held captive for a decade, however, is a heroic act.

It tells you something about the priorities of Barack Obama when he commends a basketball player for being gay, but stays silent when a man rescues three women.

Quote of the Day: "Fulton County Doesn't Do Anything Anyway."

"The county doesn’t do anything anyway. So, what -- the freeze is going to prevent them from doing anything? They didn’t do anything when there wasn’t a freeze in place."

--Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed commenting on the recently enacted House Bill 604, which freezes Fulton County tax rates until 1 January 2015, then requires five votes on the Fulton County Commission to raise taxes after that date.

Nestle Purina Facility in Fairburn, Georgia Unveils Nearly 1,900 Solar Panels to Power Plant

(Pictured from left at the Nestle Purina solar panel array unveiling are Fairburn Mayor Mario Avery; Mark Burns, Vice President & Director, Manufacturing, Nestle Purina; Scott Sethman, Plant Manager, Fairburn; and William Silva, President, URE. Photo by Nestle Purina PetCare) )
Nestle Purina PetCare unveiled the Company's largest solar array at its Fairburn pet food manufacturing facility, Wednesday The solar array, designed and installed by United Renewable Energy (URE), represents the latest step in Nestle Purina's commitment to environmental sustainability.

Fairburn Mayor Mario Avery joined a Nestle Purina delegation, as well as representatives from the offices of U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and URE on the factory's rooftop during a dedication ceremony for the nearly 1,900 glistening solar panels.

"Congratulations to Nestle Purina on this tremendous achievement," Mayor Avery said. "I'm excited to be here on behalf of the people of Fairburn to mark another major milestone for this great company. Nestle Purina represents what we're trying to promote in this community, and we're glad you're here."

Nestle Purina Atlanta's solar array will produce more than 585,000 kilowatt hours of clean sustainable energy each year, with this energy used to power equipment in various areas of the plant, including Processing, Packaging and the Warehouse. The amount of electricity produced annually by the solar array could power nearly 52 average-sized homes – or approximately 5,000 light bulbs – for one year. The carbon offset for a system this size equates to a C02 emissions reduction of approximately 16 million pounds.

Nestle Purina Atlanta, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012, produces many of the world's most popular and trusted pet food brands, including ALPO®, Purina Cat Chow®, Purina Dog Chow®, Friskies®, Purina Pro Plan® and Purina Beneful®.

Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols to Hold Twitter Town Hall on Solar Energy

(Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols gassing up his clean natural gas vehicle. Photo by Bita Honarvar/AJC.)
Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, who has made headlines in the past for driving a car powered by clean natural gas, is hosting a Twitter town hall meeting Monday to hear what the public thinks about solar energy in Georgia.

Every 3 years the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) must work with Georgia Power to create an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) determining the types of energy (Coal, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Biomass, Hydro, Solar, or Wind) that will be used to power our homes and businesses for the next 20 years.

The PSC must weigh current and future energy prices while forecasting on an energy plan that will keep rates low and provide reliable power. Commissioner Echols is eager to hear the public opinions on our state's energy future.

Georgians can participate in the town hall by tweeting a question using the hashtag #GASolarChat. Responses can be viewed by clicking the #GASolarChat hashtag on Twitter or following Tim Echols directly @TimEchols.

The Twitter town hall is scheduled for Monday, 13 May 2012, from 11:30AM to 12:00PM.

08 May 2013

Governor Deal Signs New Fulton County Commission Maps into Law

Pending approval from the Department of Justice, Fulton County now has new commission maps.

Governor Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 171, a bill creating staggered terms for Fulton County commissioners and re-drawing the Fulton County Commission districts.

H.B. 171 eliminates one of Fulton County's two at-large commission seats in favor of six contiguous districts of equal size and one countywide commission seat. Each district roughly contains between 153,000 an 155,000 residents. The first election under the new maps will take place in 2014.

New 48,000 Square Foot Retail Development Announced for Brookhaven near Johnson Ferry & Ashford Dunwoody Roads

Coro Realty Advisors and Easlan Capital announced Tuesday that they will develop the retail component of the Heights at Brookleigh, a mixed-use development including a retirement community and over 400 apartments, townhomes and single family homes. The property, known as Brookleigh Marketplace, will contain approximately 48,000 square feet of retail. The property's location at Johnsons Ferry Road near Ashford Dunwoody Road has remained undeveloped for some time and has been widely pursued. Coro will lease and manage the property. Easlan will supervise the development and construction.

"We are enthusiastic about bringing this product to our site," said Kent Levenson, President of Easlan. Easlan assisted the Worthing Company and Norsouth in the design and rezoning of the property. "Brookleigh Marketplace's design, new construction and strategic location enable us to fill a niche not currently served by the older retail properties in the area. The talented, seasoned individuals working at Coro and Easlan are in tune with this market and are the best suited to maximize the potential of this unique location." Easlan Capital specializes in the design, zoning, and development of mixed use properties, most notably the St. Regis Plaza, Terminus, and Glenridge Springs Projects in Atlanta.

Brookleigh Marketplace is planned to include 2 outparcels and approximately 27,000 square feet of in-line space in two to three buildings. Coro and Easlan are targeting restaurants and a variety of neighborhood retail uses for the property.

Robert Fransen, Partner of Coro, commented, "Coro is committed to enhancing the retail experience in Atlanta, and is excited about adding to the value created in this area by the recent construction of several residential developments. We believe that Brookleigh Marketplace will be a vibrant addition to the Brookhaven community."

07 May 2013

Unemployment Declines in Georgia's 20 Majority Black Counties, But Still Exceeds State or National Average

The State of Georgia is home to twenty counties where blacks are a majority of the population.

Those 20 counties --Bibb, Burke, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, DeKalb, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Hancock, Jefferson, Macon, Randolph, Richmond, Sumter, Talbot, Taliaferro, Terrell, Warren, and Washington-- all have black populations exceeding 50% or more.

In these twenty Georgia counties, with majority black populations, the good news is the decline of unemployment. The bad news is unemployment in most of these twenty, majority black counties still exceeds the either the state average, the national average or both.

The current national unemployment rate is 7.6%. The current Georgia unemployment rate is 8.4%

The following table was constructed using the 2010 Census and data from the Georgia Department of Labor:


County

Black Population 
(percent)

Unemployment 
(percent)

(percent)
Bibb52.1%8.7%10.0%
Burke49.5%12.3%11.7%
Calhoun61.3%10.7%10.4%
Clay60.4%8.5%9.4%
Clayton66.1%9.9%11.4%
DeKalb54.3%8.2%9.4%
Dooly49.9%12.0%14.4%
Dougherty67.1%9.5%11.0%
Early49.6%7.2%9.0%
Hancock74.1%17.1%16.0%
Jefferson54.4%13.7%13.1%
Macon60.6%13.8%14.2%
Randolph61.8%11.7%13.5%
Richmond54.2%8.9%10.5%
Sumter51.8%12.7%13.2%
Talbot59.2%8.4%9.8%
Taliaferro59.6%8.9%13.1%
Terrell61.2%11.1%10.4%
Warren61.7%14.2%16.3%
Washington52.7%10.8%11.9%

Contact Your Member of Congress. Tell Them the Conservative Position is No New Taxes on the Internet

Monday, the United States Senate passed the so-called "Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013" on a vote of 69 - 27 [SOURCE: Senate Vote #113].

This bill is opposed by nearly every conservative organization in the country.

The Heritage Foundation says, "Congress should not authorize states to expand collection of taxes on internet and mail order sales."

The TEA Party Patriots, who believe Americans are taxed enough already, say the Marketplace Fairness Act is a functional tax increase, since the states currently do not collect taxes owed under current law.

Freedomworks says, "Conservatives should reject any bill that expands the authority of out-of-state governments to regulate businesses with regard to online taxation".

Georgia's two United States Senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, have already rejected the conservative position with their "Yes" votes in favor of internet sales taxes.

However, the bill can still be killed in the House, if you contact your Member of Congress today.

The message is clear. Do not let the internet sales tax bill come to the House floor for a vote. And if it does appear on the House floor, vote NO.

Visit www.House.gov to contact your Member of Congress. Tell Them the Conservative Position is No New Taxes on the Internet.

06 May 2013

For #MusicMonday & #Clitoris #Awareness Week, "Cola" by Lana Del Rey



"Cola" by Lana Del Rey

Georgia Sheriff's Association President: Victor Hill's Suspended POST Certification May Not Force Him From Office

Last week, I highlighted a technicality in state law that could allow Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill to remain in office, even though his Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) certification has been suspended.

The state law that governs the qualifications and eligibility of county sheriffs says, "No person shall be eligible to hold the office of sheriff unless such person: Is a registered peace officer as provided in Code Section 35-8-10 or is a certified peace officer as defined in Chapter 8 of Title 35. Any person who is not a registered or certified peace officer at the time such person assumes the office of sheriff shall be required to complete satisfactorily the requirements for certification as a peace officer as provided in Chapter 8 of Title 35 within six months after such person takes office; provided, however, that an extension of the time to complete such requirements may be granted by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council upon the presentation of evidence by a sheriff that he or she was unable to complete the basic training course and certification requirements due to illness, injury, military service, or other reasons deemed sufficient by such council" [O.C.G.A. § 15-16-1(c)(1)(J)].

Although his certification is currently suspended, Victor Hill still remains a certified peace officer.

Attorneys for Victor Hill argue that since his P.O.S.T. certification was simply suspended, not revoked, Victor Hill will remain in compliance with state law even if his criminal trial has not concluded after the six month period given for elected sheriffs to attain P.O.S.T. certification.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills seems to agree with Victor Hill's attorneys.

"I do think that Hill has a valid legal argument there," Sills said. "He is certified. There's no question he's a certified peace officer. ... The fact that he is suspended will not make the office vacant."

Brumback, Kate (4 May 2013). Ga. sheriff's indictment raises legal questions. WSB-TV (Atlanta). Retrieved on 6 May 2013.

I still maintain that Victor Hill is the luckiest S.O.B. in the state of Georgia.

Only a guy as lucky as Victor Hill could be indicted on multiple felony charges; win re-election; get some of the charges dropped; and keep his job while having his P.O.S.T. certification suspended.

Dear Tennessee, Georgia will Give You the Land We Own in Your State, If You Give Us Access to the Tennessee River

There is a time and a place for everything.

There is a time for war. There is a time for peace. And yes, there is even a time for diplomacy.

As Georgia builds up our armed forces to liberate our citizens from the tyrannical oppression of Tennessee, the time for diplomacy has come.

It has been revealed that Georgia owns land in the state of Tennessee. Two media outlets have confirmed this irrefutable fact.

Our land, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution assistant editorial editor David Ibata, "is about 15 miles long by 66 feet wide. It begins at the state line north of Graysville in Catoosa County, curves around Missionary Ridge on the Tennessee side and ends deep inside Chattanooga. It’s the Western & Atlantic, the 138-mile-long railroad built by the state of Georgia before the Civil War" [Ibata, David (17 April 2013). Georgia’s 15-mile claim in Tennessee. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 6 May 2013.].

The Athens Banner Herald reports the same.

Paul Melvin, director of communication for the Georgia State Properties Commission, said Georgia still owns the remainder of the Western & Atlantic right of way extending from King Street to East Ridge and the state line, and a portion of the rail line is still very active.

Sohn, Pam (5 May 2013). Georgia owned a piece of Chattanooga a century ago. Athens Banner Herald. Retrieved on 6 May 2013.

Georgia collects $8.1 million in rent from the very active rail line we own in Tennessee.

However, I believe we'd be willing to part with it in exchange for access to the Tennessee River, which also happens to sit on land that should be part of the great state of Georgia, but for an erroneous survey all those years ago.

This is a fair exchange and I believe you should take it.

Have your governor contact our Governor to discuss terms, so that we may avoid a costly war that Georgia undoubtedly will win.

David Scott Ignores the Wishes of His Constituents with His Endorsement of Gay Marriage

"You've got to represent the wishes of your constituency. My proper position would be to vote the wishes of my constituents."

Those are the words of 13th district Congressman David Scott.

Congressman Scott made those comments in 2008, after the voters in his district supported Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential preference primary, 82% to Hillary Clinton's 18% [Espo, David (15 February 2008). Black Lawmakers Rethink Clinton Support. Washington Post. Retrieved on 6 May 2013.]. Scott endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, then withdrew his endorsement of Hillary after his constituents backed Obama overwhelmingly at the ballot box.

Fast forward five years to now, where, last week, Georgia Congressman David Scott made headlines with his endorsement of gay marriage [Douglas-Brown, Laura (3 May 2013). U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) supports gay marriage. Georgia Voice. Retrieved on 6 May 2013.].

Once again, the Congressman's endorsement puts him at odds with the voters in his district.

David Scott's constituents voted overwhelmingly in favor of banning gay marriage in the state of Georgia.

Here are the numbers:



Remember what Congressman Scott said, folks.

"You've got to represent the wishes of your constituency," Scott told the Washington Post. "My proper position would be to vote the wishes of my constituents."

77% of Congressman Scott's constituents voted to ban gay marriage. He's got to represent the wishes of his constituency.

03 May 2013

ICYMI: Next Week is International Clitoris Awareness Week, So Let's Revere the Clitoris in all its Glory

Clitoraid.org, a nonprofit organization fighting female genital mutilation, announced its first annual International Clitoris Awareness Week, May 6 to May 12.

"Our first six years of humanitarian work have been dedicated to surgically repairing clitorises for female genital mutilation [FGM] victims, and on October 8 we'll open the world's first Clitoral Restoration Hospital," said Nadine Gary, Clitoraid spokesperson. "This year, we'll celebrate the sexual pleasure of all women, since all can benefit from more sexual appreciation."

She said another Clitoraid mission is to raise public awareness about the clitoris.

"It's been ignored, vilified, made taboo, and considered sinful and shameful for centuries because of patriarchal religious values," Gary said. "It's time to give this beautiful organ the attention it deserves. It's the only human organ with an exclusive sexual pleasure function!"

We don't need to go far back in history to see why Western women still experience sexual guilt, she said.

"In the 19th century, 'nymphomania' was considered a disease," Gary said. "Maybe it still is! Masturbation was thought to cause jaundice, blindness and premature death, and doctors even believed that sexual arousal destroys a woman's mental balance. The clitoris was declared the source of these purported problems, and in 1865, the president of the British Medical Society recommended clitoral excision as a cure for illnesses like epilepsy and hysteria. Amazingly, scientists didn't really research the clitoris until the 21st century. Dr. Helen O'Connell, an Australian urologist, finally mapped it in all its voluptuous splendor 8 years ago by using an MRI device."

Gary pointed out that the clitoris boasts the most nerve endings of any human body organ: about 8,000. (The penis has about 5,000.)

"Dr. O'Connell's work shows that the clitoris reaches 8 inches in length," she said. "Its highly pleasurable erectile tissue is wrapped around the vulva like two magnificent arches. That's why we can surgically restore a clitoris whose tip has been mutilated."

For International Clitoris Awareness Week, Clitoraid is inviting women to organize special events.

"Whether through educational lectures, art exhibits, songs and dance, or a 'girl's night' of sharing, each woman can celebrate sexual beauty the way she chooses," Gary said. "Sexual expression brings self-esteem and inner balance, so let's revere the clitoris in all its glory while completely free of shame and guilt!"

#FlashbackFriday: From 1990, "Groove is in the Heart" by Deee-Lite

Dee lite - Groove is in the heart from RAFAEL M on Vimeo.

Dear Better Georgia, Sign My Petition Telling John Eaves to Make Fulton County Government Employees More Diverse

Sign the Petition Today

Tell Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves that we want a government that looks like Fulton County - one that is diverse and brings together people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and genders - from every corner of our Georgia's largest county.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution dropped a bombshell on Fulton County's record of diverse employees, or lack thereof.

We were shocked by the numbers.

5,475 Fulton County employees:

83% are black.
14% are white.
1.5% are Hispanic or Latino.
1.4% are Asian.

This does not look like Fulton County.

For the record, Fulton County is 47.5% white, 44.5% black, 8.1% Hispanic or Latino, and 5.8% Asian. So if you’re like us, you see something very wrong with these numbers.

We need a county government that looks like Fulton County.

Fulton County is diverse. We can't trade institutional racism perpetrated by Whites in exchange for institutional racism perpetrated by Blacks. Both are wrong.

We can do this.

We can make Fulton County the county we know it can be: a leader, once again, in Georgia.

Fulton County can be a county where people move to start a business and raise a family because we welcome everyone and support a strong and diverse community.

Tell Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves that we want county government employees to reflect what Fulton County really looks like.

02 May 2013

The Tyranny of Political Correctness: Houston County Schools Says No Prayers or Hymns at Graduation Due to Complaints

WMAZ-TV (Macon) reports today that due to complaints from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, there will be no prayers or hymns at Houston County graduation ceremonies this year.

Houston County Schools superintendent [Robin Hines] says the programs for this year's graduations won't feature any prayers or hymns, due to complaints about last year's.

He said the district doesn't want to break the law.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, said people can pray silently and quietly at a public school ceremony but should not impose that ritual on others.

"They [people who founded America] did not want to be told who to worship, or how to worship or who to give tithes to," said Gaylor. "And when they send their children to public schools they don't send them to the schools to be indoctrinated-but to be educated."

O'Donnell, Bernard (2 May 2013). Hines: No Prayers, Hymns at Houston Graduations This Year. WMAZ-TV. Retrieved on 2 May 2013.

What's happened in Houston County is a fine example of the tyranny of political correctness. It's ironic that an organization calling themselves the "Freedom from Religion Foundation" just denied the freedom of someone else to pray. It's not illegal to pray in a public square. And a high school graduation certainly qualifies as a public square. In fact, two years ago, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled it should not be illegal for students to say prayer at a graduation ceremony [CNN Wire Staff (3 June 2011). Appeals court allows prayer at Texas high school's graduation. CNN. Retrieved on 2 May 2013.].

That being said, I encourage the students in Houston County to rebel against the tyranny of political correctness. Do as is instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:17:

Pray without ceasing.

Make a joyful noise.

Assert your freedom to worship as you see fit.

Throwback Thursday: From 1971, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour . . . Games People Play

This stuff cracks me up:


Games People Play - The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1971)

Obama Declares May "Mental Health Awareness Month." Is Your Elected Official Aware They're Completely Mental?

Are you aware that May is National Mental Awareness Month?

Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in him by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, proclaimed May 2013 as National Mental Health Awareness Month; and called upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness.

Is someone you know aware they're completely mental?

Are you completely mental?

How about your elected officials? Do they know they're completely mental?

Let's examine the warning signs:

If your elected official introduces a bill to make satire a crime, they're probably mental.

If your elected official waxes philosophic about the world without balloons while speaking to the United States House of Representatives, they're probably mental.

If your elected official claims climate change may lead women to prostitution, they're probably mental.

If your elected official thinks new internet sales taxes is a good idea, they're definitely mental.

And finally, if your elected official tries to ban soft drinks, they're completely mental and they need your help.

Governor Deal: The Georgians who Work at the KIA West Point Facility are Producing Popular Excellent Products

Wednesday, Kia Motors of America (KMA) announced their highest U.S. sales ever for the month of April.

Kia sold 47,556 cars last month, of which the Georgia-built Optima and Sorento accounted for nearly 50 percent.

Governor Nathan Deal, who visited the Kia Motors Facility in West Point this week, had this to say, "Kia and the Georgians who work there are producing excellent products that are increasingly popular. I was just at Kia today in West Point to sign international business-friendly legislation and I was able to see their latest models. From what I saw, you can expect Kia's success to continue unabated."

In 2012, the Georgia-built Optima and Sorento accounted for 82,022 of Kia's 185,610 total sales.

01 May 2013

Kia Motors Announces the Optima and Sorento, Both Built in Georgia, Made Up Nearly 50% of U.S. Sales in April

Kia Motors of America (KMA) reported their best sales ever for the month of April, and Georgians have a reason to be proud of these numbers.

Kia sold 47,556 cars in April. The Kia Optima and the Kia Sorento accounted for nearly fifty percent of those sales. Both automobiles are made in Georgia. For the year total, Kia sold 174,488 cars, of which 88,355 were either the Optima or the Sorento.

Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time. Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the United States, including the company's first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia --Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia-- which is responsible for the creation of more than 11,000 plant and supplier jobs.

The Georgia-built Optima and Sorento accounted for 82,022 of Kia's 185,610 total sales in 2012.

Congressman Hank Johnson Sponsors Resolution Claiming Climate Change May Push Women into Prostitution

Try hard not to laugh at this one, folks.

The Hill reports that Congressman Hank Johnson (D - Georgia) has co-sponsored a resolution that claims, among other things, "women will disproportionately face harmful impacts from climate change" [Kasperowicz, Pete (29 April 2013). Dem resolution warns climate change could push women to ‘transactional sex. The Hill. Retrieved on 1 May 2013.].

House Concurrent Resolution 36 reads, "Climate change exacerbates issues of scarcity and lack of accessibility to primary natural resources, forest resources, and arable land for food production, thereby contributing to increased conflict and instability, as well as the workload and stresses on women farmers, who are estimated to produce 60 to 80 percent of the food in most developing countries.

"Food insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health."

Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, we pay Hank Johnson $174,000 annually to say Guam may tip over, wax philosophic about the world without balloons and sponsor resolutions warning that global warning may turn women into whores.

Now you can laugh. Or cry. It's your choice.

Kasim Reed Announces 40 Million Visitors were Welcomed to Atlanta, Where the Playas Play, in 2012

(Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed celebrates Atlanta welcoming 40 million vistors with Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau President & CEO William Pate. Photo courtesy Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Surrounded by mascots from Atlanta sports teams and landmarks, Mayor Kasim Reed announced the city set a record for visitation in a single year, welcoming 40.4 million visitors in 2012.

Visitation has increased by 28 percent over the past decade alongside more than $5 billion in new attractions, restaurants and hotels in the same timeframe. The increase has pushed Atlanta to become one of the top destinations for travelers from across the U.S.

In 2010, Forbes magazine reported Atlanta was the 7th-most-popular destination for international visitors, with 35.4 million coming to Georgia's capital city that year.

Joined by Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau President & CEO William Pate, Mayor Kasim Reed said, "Tourism is one of the top economic drivers for Atlanta and it's an industry that continues to thrive. We are proud that Atlanta welcomed more than 40 million visitors in 2012 and with all of the exciting development occurring in our city, this number will continue to grow."

Pate echoed those sentiments, saying, "Today is an historic day for Atlanta and its hospitality industry and confirms Atlanta's position as one of the country's top travel destinations."

Domestic visitation estimates are produced by D.K. Shifflet & Associates Ltd., a travel research firm, specializing in consumer-based travel data on U.S. residents and their travel.

In honor of this record-breaking feat, here's some unofficial Atlanta theme music (every major city should have some):


Jermaine Dupri ft. Ludacris - Welcome To Atlanta

Clayton County Sheriff Notches Yet Another Court Victory. He's the Luckiest S.O.B. in the State of Georgia.

Victor Hill, the Sheriff of Clayton County, is the luckiest S.O.B. in the State of Georgia.

Despite being under indictment on several felony charges, Hill emerged victorious in his bid for another term as Clayton County Sheriff. Hill notched another victory when Clayton County Superior Court Judge Albert Collier dismissed five of the thirty-seven charges against him. And yesterday, the Georgia Court of Appeals handed Victor Hill yet another win when they refused to reinstate the five charges thrown out by Judge Collier.

Below is the opinion from the state Court of Appeals:

The State vs. Hill by Andre Walker



Victor Hill is like the Teflon Don. You could hit him with everything you've got, and he'll just smile at you and keep on coming.

Good grief.