Archive for July, 2010

Spending Too Much on War and Not Spending Enough on America’s Workers

July 31, 2010


There are a couple of op-eds in the New York Times that need to be read by a lot of people.  One is on the incomprehensible way the U.S. is spending way too much on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and spending it unwisely.  For instance, we are spending more on keeping one soldier in Afghanistan for a year than it would have cost to build 20 schools.  Check out 1 Soldier or 20 Schools.

The other op-ed deals with the way that many corporations are maximizing profits by cutting work forces way more than is necessary to adjust for the recession, and sitting on their piles of cash instead of getting Americans back to work.  Check out A Sin and a Shame.

Libraries Top Sports and Movies in Attendance

July 30, 2010

A computer area at the Columbus Public Library, Columbus, GA


Yes, there is hope for society.  More people go to public libraries than movies or sporting events.







To get the full story, go to this LINK.

Thanks to Chattahoochee Valley Libraries Director Claudya Muller for sending this to me.

Many Really Big Hitters come from Really Small Towns in Georgia

July 26, 2010
As we drove into Young Harris, Georgia recently,  I had to reflect on why it is so famous – and it is famous.  It’s not big.  The 2000 census counted 604 residents.  That’s almost a hundred less than the town’s very famous college, Young Harris College, which only has 700 students.

Zell Miller, former Georgia United States Senator and Governor

Like Plains,  Young Harris illustrates that a town doesn’t have to be big to produce big leaguers. Zell Miller might not be quite as famous as Jimmy Carter, but he’s plenty famous – and, to a lot of Democrats,  now infamous.  He served as  Georgia’s Democratic Lt. Governor,  Governor, and United States Senator.  But, even though never resigning from the Democratic Party,  he took up with the Republicans, even speaking at the Republican National Convention that nominated George W. Bush for president.   

 Just as Young Harris is famous because of people like Zell Miller, Young Harris College  is also famous, because people like Zell were students there.  And, I’ll bet you didn’t know that, according to Wikipedia,  these famous folks also went to Young Harris College:  “entertainers Oliver Hardy

Stan Laurel, of Laurel and Hardy, is on the floor, and Oliver Hardy is standing next to him in this lobby poster for their first movie, Lucky Dog, as Laurel and Hardy in 1921.

, Wayland Flowers and Amanda Bearse, country music singers Ronnie Milsap and Trisha Yearwood, Major League Baseball player Nick Markakis, and Waffle House founder Tom Forkner. Poet and novelist Byron Herbert Reece was a student and teacher at YHC.”

Wonder if Zell is going to endorse a Democrat or Republican for governor this year?  You just never know what he will do. But, we do know that he did one very important thing for Georgia. He was instrumental in establishing the state lottery, which funds the HOPE Scholarship program. Furnishing college tuition and textbooks is a big deal.

Fallout from Gulf Oil and Dispersant Fires Affects South Georgia

July 21, 2010

The BP oil spill became even more of a local story today.

Dr. Samantha Joye, Professor of Marine Science, University of Georgia (Photo by Jim Cathorne, Camera1)

Dr. Samantha Joye, Professor of Marine Science at the University of Georgia, told Columbus Rotarians that fallout from the catastrophic oil spill is causing potentially toxic materials to fall on South Georgia.  She has been working in the Gulf of Mexico doing research and personally witnessed the huge fires that have sent massive amounts of smoke into the air and air currents bring that smoke over South Georgia.  The fires are set to burn off oil and dispersants.  

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill laps at the mouth of the Mississippi River. NASA photo taken on May 24, 2010. Oil is silver, and vegetation is red. Image credit: Jesse Allen/NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

What is amazing is that these arguably toxic dispersants, she says, are as harmful as oil and are not getting rid of oil that is under the surface of the ocean, and most of it is under the surface.  She says BP is using the dispersant to get the oil off the surface of the gulf because being visible keeps the disaster on the publics mind. That, of course is her opinion. An AP story today said that  BP wanted to use dispersants to prevent oil from reaching Gulf coast beaches.  It said EPA put a freeze on using the dispersant until its effects could be tested, and that after the tests results were satisfactory allowed continued use of the dispersant.  However, it has stopped being used since the well has been contained.  Mairne sceintists and biologists are not convinced the chemicals are safe.

The reason the spill happened was, she said, a controversial decision to stop using a mud compound to control pressure while drilling, and use seawater instead, in order to save about $16 million, caused the eruption of natural gas that set the drilling platform on fire, causing it to sink, which caused the rupture of the well which released the oil.  She said there were those on the drilling platform that argued against the switch to seawater, but they were overruled.  “What would have cost them $20 million had they used the mud will now cost them $20 billion and more.”  She explained that using mud would have cost $20 million and using seawater would cost $4 million.

Commenting on the freeze on drilling other deep-sea wells in the Gulf, she said the freeze is in effect until safety contingency plans are formulated. She said those plans would greatly increase the cost of drilling, perhaps so much that drilling would not be cost-effective, and that the energy companies should use the money to develope alternative energy sources, which would be a way of providing a lot of jobs.

Barnes and Handel Almost Cross Paths at Columbus Airport

July 19, 2010

Karen Handel arrives at Columbus Airport

The general aviation terminal at Columbus Airport was a political stump today as candidates flew in to get day-before-election news coverage.  Two front-runners for governor, Democrat Roy Barnes and Republican Karen Handel almost crossed paths at the airport.  

Roy and Mrs. Barnes arrive at Columbus Airport

Republcian gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel, with supporter Josh McKoon, who's running for GA Sen. Dist. 29

She arrived from Macon a little early, and he arrived from Albany a little late.  She wants to fix things economically by, for one thing,  relying less on income taxes and more on sales taxes.  He wants to raise billions by cutting out tax exemptions for special interests like insurance companies, saying schools need the money, that education is the key to Georgia’s future. 

Mrs. Barnes, Roy Barnes, and supporter, Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington

Whereas the question among pundits was “who will be in the runoff with John Oxindine?” it’s now who will be in the runoff with Karen Handel, who said the latest poll shows her ahead by 11 points.  On the Democratic side, the polls are showing a win without a runoff.  The two could be facing each other in November.

A Very Important Election that You Probably Know Nothing About

July 19, 2010

Bobby Baker, departing member of the Georgia Public Service Commisssion (Photo: courtesy, GPSC)

There is a very important election in the Georgia Primary tomorrow that most people don’t know about because it has received scant media attention.  It’s the race to fill the seat of Georgia Public Service  Commissioner Bobby Baker. Baker, who has the reputation of being the lone true consumer advocate on the commission, decided to hang it up after 18 years of fighting for the consumer, and often losing to the four other members of the Commission. 

A Public Service Commission member directly affects you and your pocketbook. The Commission sets rates for public utilities.  For instance, it decides whether or not Georgia Power gets to go up on what you pay. So it really matters who gets elected to the Commission. 

If you are voting in the Democratic Primary, you don’t have to feel guilty about knowing nothing about the candidates for the GPSC, because only one person, Keith Moffett, is running. But, in case you plan to vote tomorrow, I’ll tell you a little about him.  He is the Director for Internal Affairs for the City of Macon, as well as an adjunct professor in business administration at Macon College. He is for clean energy, energy efficiency, renewable energy options, and keeping rates low. 

It’s a little harder if you are voting in the Republican Primary since four folks are running.  Two of the candidates, Joey Brush, John Douglas, are state senators, one, Jeff May, is a state representative, and one, Tim Echols,  is a former campaign manager for Insurance Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate John Oxendine.  You can click their names to read about what they say about themselves on their websites.  Not unexpectedly, all claim to be conservative, and they say they realize that public utilities have to make a reasonable profit.  Some are  “drill baby drill” advocates and support drilling off Georgia’s coast.  You can read more about that by clicking this link to Creative Loafing

All right, I have done my duty. You now at least have the names of those running for a very important job because what the PSC does directly affects your pocketbook.

Carol Porter Says Georgia Legislature Needs New Leadeship

July 17, 2010
Carol Porter says leadership is the key to Georgia’s problem and moving the state forward, and that the state needs new leadership because the Republicans who have been in control of state government have failed. Carol, who is wife to House Minority Leader DuBose Porter, who is running for governor in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary, is running in the primary for Lieutenant Governor.Polls show that she should win the nomination and will be facing Republican incumbent Lt. Governor Casey Cagle in the November General Election. After leaving Columbus she flew to Albany, and from there will fly to Savannah and Augusta.

Carol Porter and her son Guyton arriving at Columbus Metropolitan Airport


She is flying around the state today for airport rallies and news conferences. Columbus was the first stop. She told enthusiastic supporters that education is the key to Georgia’s future and that Republicans in the Georgia legislature have opted to slash funds for schools and teachers so they can campaign on making government smaller. She said Democrats in the House offered a bill to find funds to prevent teacher furloughs and increase class sizes, but Republicans shot it down. She said the state’s future is at stake. Businesses go to states where education of the workforce is effective.

Karen Handel and Carol Porter Campaign in Columbus Today and Tomorrow

July 15, 2010


We are talking about a potential groundbreaking and historical election for governor and lieutenant governor in Georgia this year. The state could end up with two females in the top two offices in the state. 

It’s not too far-fetched to consider. Former Secretary of State Karen Handel has a very good chance of becoming the Republican candidate for governor, and Dublin newspaper executive Carol Porter is running so far ahead in the polls that hardly anyone doubts she will be the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.   

Based on the latest Mason-Dixon Poll, sponsored by the Georgia Newspaper Partnership, which includes the Ledger-Enquirer, Handel is within 6 points of pulling even with Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine. Her chance of becoming governor is less than his, according to the poll, which shows Democratic front-runner Roy Barnes beating her, but tied with Oxendine. However, a lot can happen between now and November.  

According to supporter, attorney, and Republican State Senate candidate Josh McKoon,  her campaign bus pulls into Columbus today. She’s scheduled for a rally at the Government Center at 12:45 and then will meet folks and shake hands on Broadway.  We’ll look forward to a report on what she has to say. 

Carol Porter will also bring her message in person to Columbus. Tomorrow, she is flying around the state for airport rallies.  Columbus is her first stop.  That rally begins at 9 a.m.   Her energetic campaigning, no doubt, has improved her name recognition factor which is something she needs to run against Republican Lt. Governor Casey Cagle in November. 

We’ll have more on both rallies. Stay tuned.

A Grateful War Widow Endorses DuBose Porter for Governor

July 14, 2010
 Mrs.  Nancy Rodman’s husband died after he had been called up as a reservist. She said he died of cancer and diabetes caused by being exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. His death left a void for their daughter Amanda when she got married, a void that DuBose Porter filled.

DuBose Porter, Mary Jane Galer, and Nancy Rodman

Mrs. Rodman,  says she endorses Rep. DuBose Porter, who is running in the Democratic Primary for  governor of Georgia, because, “He is more than just a politician. He is a man who cares about people. He is a man who keeps his word. He kept his word to us.”

  Amanda was going to Georgia Tech when she decided she wanted to intern for a state representative or senator. Her mother, Mrs. Rodman, asked her neighbor, Senator Seth Harp, if Amanda could intern for him. He said she was so smart and talented that she should work for someone with better contacts at the time, and took her to meet then House Speaker Pro Tem DuBose Porter. He was greatly impressed and made her his intern. Amanda was impressed with his integrity, competency, intelligence, and compassionate personality, and they became good friends. 

Later, when she was on the verge of getting married, she broke down in tears when she told him about it, because she had no father to give her away. DuBose told her not to worry, that he would do all the things that a father would do for her at the wedding. Mrs. Rodman said, “He told her he could not replace her father, but he could do for her what a father would do. He kept his word. And at the wedding reception, he danced the first dance with her and the second dance with me.” He was going to give Amanda away at the wedding, she said, but her son Chris, Amanda‘s younger brother, wanted to do it, but DuBose and his family were there.” 

Amanda is a lawyer now, having gotten her law degree at Mercer University. She married a lawyer and both of them are big Porter supporters, sponsoring a fund-raiser  for him in Macon, where they live. 

“He will make a wonderful governor. He is more than just a politician. He is humane. He is compassionate. He keeps his word. He has integrity. He is accessible. He cares about people.,” Nancy Rodman tells us. She was one of a number of people who announced they were for DuBose, including Rep. Debbie Buckner, former Rep. Mary Jane Galer, former Rep. Jed Harris, attorney and environmentalist Ken Henson, and Muscogee Democratic Party Chair Jeanne Dugas. 

Former Rep. Jed Harris, Former Rep. Mary Jane Galer, Rep. Debbie Buckner, Gubernatorial candidate DuBose Porter at a news conference held on the Riverwalk by the Chattahoochee River at Columbus, Georgia

Inman and Asa Porter, DuBose and Carol Porter's twin sons. They accompany their father as he campaigns around Georgia. Both are students at the University of Georgia, and both are Eagle Scouts. Their two older brothers, Stephen and Guyton, accompany their mother as she campaigns for Lt. Gov. They are also Georgia Bulldogs and Eagle Scouts.

“Creative Loafing” Comes Out for Oxendine

July 12, 2010

With the Georgia primary elections only 8 days away,  I’ll be doing some more blogs to help you make up your mind on who to vote for.  Let’s start with why you should vote for John Oxendine in the Republican Primary for governor.  Just click on this link to get all of the reasons that Scott Henry wants Oxendine to win.