March 22, 2007

Tom DeLay: fraud once, fraud again, fraud forever

From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:

Appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews to promote his new book, No Retreat, No Surrender, it's clear former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) didn't write it and perhaps never even read it before it was published.

Matthews asked DeLay about passages in his book where described former Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) as "drunk with ambition." Amazingly, DeLay denied writing that, even after Matthews showed him the underlined passage in his own book.

Article with links here.

I think DeLay has taken it upon himself to invent a new form of ghostwriting: DeLayWriting. Or paying someone to do it for you. Or plagiarizing.

In any case...


Happy hour-less Athens?

Athens-Clarke County is considering banning happy hour specials at bars and other locations. Concerned voice in my head goes "WTFFTWWTFBBQ!"

I ask you: what kind of college town would Athens be without (insert bar name here)'s Happy Hour specials? Fried pickles just aren't the same without cheap beer. Moreover, who wants to drop more than ten dollars a night doing that?

Certainly not I.

I direct you to Blake Aued's post at Online Athens:

Much has been made of news that Athens-Clarke County is considering banning Happy hours and other drink specials.

Readers have raised some questions about how the story was reported and the county’s system of government. Allow me to explain.

Athens has a “weak mayor” system in which unelected employees are fairly autonomous from elected officials. The commission sets policy, and the staff carries it out, but many policies come from the ground up.

The commission doesn’t operate like Congress. Commissioners don’t make laws. Sometimes they ask the manager, attorney or a department head to look into an issue and come up with ideas, then use that as a starting point, send it back for polishing and eventually vote on it. More often, unelected officials, in this case Police Chief Jack Lumpkin, Finance Director John Culpepper and Attorney Bill Berryman, identify a problem and come up with a solution on their own, then seek approval from the commission.

So it was not unusual that “staff,” as commissioners refer to the 1,500-strong county bureaucracy, would propose such changes.

They did so at a work session last week, which is the first step toward making a change, and usually the first time commissioners hear about anything coming to them from staff. Work sessions are held once a month, and are usually consist of informal presentations and discussion.

If the issue is complicated, it may be assigned to one of two standing committees or an ad hoc committee appointed by the mayor that will make a recommendation to the full commission.

This one is complicated – a wholesale revision of dozens of provisions in the county code.

One thing I always think about before I write a story is, “How does this affect people?” and “Why would anyone care about this?” The only people who would care about minor changes to alcohol licensing fees are the 300 people who hold such a license. Only those seeking employment as doormen, and to a lesser extent 18-to-20-year-olds, would be affected by background checks for doormen.

On the other hand, everyone who might ever walk into a bar after work would wonder why his PBR isn’t a dollar anymore. That’s why that part of the proposal got more attention than the others.

Once it’s mostly sorted out, the proposal goes to an agenda-setting meeting, where commissioners decide whether it’s controversial enough to discuss, or whether it should be put on the consent agenda, a list of items with unanimous support. Finally, one month to several years after it’s first mentioned, the item will be voted on.

In other words, we have a long way to go with these alcohol reforms, and I suspect the happy hour ban might not be in it when it’s finally passed. Reporters often hear about things at the same time or even before commissioners, so we often get out ahead of the story. That’s good – we try to let you know what’s going on as soon as we can. But it can also lead to situations like this where things get blown out of proportion.

Original story available here: Officials may kill off happy hour specials (This is the printable version of the article, I don't know if you are required to have a login for it as you are for the normal article.)

March 21, 2007


Well then. I leave my computer and whoops - I don't return to blogging for two weeks! Time for an "oops, my bad" statement, a rolling of the ayes, and recounting of Sparkle City. And then some thoughts on Gonzales, the new "1984", and some Georgia political news.

Oops, my bad

I've been busy working and generally not being around the computer, so blogging and *gasp* reading other blogs (*shame*) had fallen by the wayside until this morning. On the jobfront, I still haven't been able to get out of Applebee's, though my attempts have been limited. I have deadlines coming up for applying to UGA's MPA program and praying to God that I meet those. If I don't meet then, I'll have successfully thrown myself under the bus academically yet again.

A rolling of the ayes

Baldwin-Wallace College's Model UN team sent a small delegation - and when I say small, I mean 2 current members of the program, a student from Lakeland College, and me the Baldwin-Wallace alum - to participate in Southeast Model Arab League hosted by Converse College. The team did quite well, with one of us garnering an award for the other members of the team to behold. I say quite well when only one of us performed admirably enough to get an award for a good reason: we had been informed of our country assignment not three days prior to the start of the conference. All things considered - diplomacy, alcohol, and tobacco - it was a great conference.

Sparkle City

If you don't know where Converse College is, you will now. Converse College is a small, private, liberal arts college in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It is where Holly went for her undergraduate degree. Spartanburg has the wonderful feel of a quaint, small, Southern college town, not unlike Athens. Unlike Athens (and Athens-Clarke County) however, Spartanburg County is among the most conservative in South Carolina. It still has an Old South feel to it with out losing a sense of modernity and is fairly decentralized. And, to the point, it feels very much like a family town.

And other thoughts

1: The video that was posted on YouTube that "bashed" Hillary vis a vis the classic Apple "1984" ad (video link) has been declared "not mine" by the Obama camp.

Wunderbar. For what it's worth, the video is amazing in its conception and execution. It has shown up on MSNBC and F-xN-ws, which is making me wonder about Rothenberg's verdict on the matter.

2: Alberto Gonzales' days look numbered, yet internally I wonder if we will have a John Ashcroft redux. Remember, Bush was all about Rumsfeld until the days before he was pressured to give out.

3: There's going to be a special election in my Congressional District following the death of my congressman. I don't know jack about anyone.

Oh well.

That's all for now.


March 7, 2007

Scooter Libby... scooting his way to jail?

Scooter Libby should be going to jail until he dies.

Not necessarily because he should go for a very long time, but that the maximum sentence of twenty-five years should be imposed and, seeing as how Libby isn't exactly a spring chicken, he should expire during that period of natural causes. I don't wish death upon him, but it would serve well to see a member of the Bush Brigade and Cheney's Chumps lose their dignity and life in confinement.

I was at work yesterday when F-xN-ws emblazoned its banners indicating that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby had been convicted of only four of the five counts with which he had been charged. I wasn't surprised with the outcome, but only hoped that he had gotten the clean sweep, taken down on all five charges brought against him. I could also faintly hear the running dogs of F-xN-ws try to defend their man Libby against the things that *gasp* CNN or *doublegasp* Keith Olbermann may say.

"Libby didn't receive a fair trial."

"Fitzgerald was a hack for the Democrats."

And so on and so forth. This is what it is now: exacting political revenge through extra-legal means requires a fall guy (Libby) when it seems you can't get the guy who did it (Cheney) and said fall guy (Libby) can expect to pay a high price for it (maybe 25 years!) when a decent prosecutor (Fitzgerald) who actually knows what he's doing (DUH!) gets the job done (yay).


March 1, 2007

Angry Young Man

You know, given the spirit of my blog, maybe this would have been a better choice of lyrical quotation:

There's a place in the world for the angry young man
With his working class ties and his radical plans
He refuses to bend, he refuses to crawl,
He's always at home with his back to the wall.
And he's proud of his scars and the battles he's lost,
And he struggles and bleeds as he hangs on the cross-
And he likes to be known as the angry young man.

Give a moment or two to the angry young man,
With his foot in his mouth and his heart in his hand.
He's been stabbed in the back, he's been misunderstood,
It's a comfort to know his intentions are good.
And he sits in a room with a lock on the door,
With his maps and his medals laid out on the floor-
And he likes to be known as the angry young man.

I believe I've passed the age of consciousness and righteous rage
I found that just surviving was a noble fight.
I once believed in causes too,
I had my pointless point of view,
And life went on no matter who was wrong or right.

And there's always a place for the angry young man,
With his fist in the air and his head in the sand.
And he's never been able to learn from mistakes,
So he can't understand why his heart always breaks.
But his honor is pure and his courage as well,
And he's fair and he's true and he's boring as hell-
And he'll go to the grave as an angry old man.

There's a place in the world for the angry young man
With his working class ties and his radical plans
He refuses to bend, he refuses to crawl,
He's always at home with his back to the wall.
And he's proud of his scars and the battles he's lost,
And he struggles and bleeds as he hangs on the cross-
And he likes to be known as the angry young man.


Seeing Billy Joel tonight... so... yeah...

You have to learn to pace yourself
You're just like everybody else
You've only had to run so far, so good
But you will come to a place
Where the only thing you feel
Are loaded guns in your face
And you'll have to deal with pressure

You used to call me paranoid
But even you can not avoid pressure
You turned the tap dance into your crusade
Now here you are with your faith
And your Peter Pan advice
You have no scars on your face
And you cannot handle pressure

All grown up and no place to go
Psych 1, Psych 2, what do you know?
All your life is Channel 13
Sesame Street, what does it mean?

I'll tell you what it means
Don't ask for help
You're all alone
You'll have to answer
To your own
I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale
But here you are in the ninth
Two men out and three men on
Nowhere to look but inside
Where we all respond to pressure

All your life is Time Magazine
I read it too
What does it mean?

I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale
But here you are with your faith
And your Peter Pan advice
You have no scars on your face
And you cannot handle pressure
Pressure pressure
One, two, three, four