Archive for July, 2010

WILL THIS BE THE YEAR OF THE WOMAN IN GEORGIA POLITICS?

July 9, 2010

FOR REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR, HANDEL IS GAINING ON OXENDINE AND, FOR DEMOCRATIC LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR,  PORTER HAS A 2 TO 1 LEAD OVER McCRACKEN, ACCORDING TO THE LATEST STATEWIDE POLL 

Karen Handel, Republican Primary Candidate for Governor

If the latest poll I just read is right, we could have women running for Georgia governor and lieutenant governor in the November General Election. The poll, which was taken Wednesday and Thursday of this week by SurveyUSA for 13WMAZ in Macon, and WXIA and V-103 in Atlanta, shows former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel gaining on front- runner Georgia Insurance Commissioner  John Oxendine.  If Handel gets into a runoff with Oxendine, and that appears likely, because, with the election only 11 days away, Oxendine is way short of winning without a runoff, and if she wins the runoff, she will be the Republican candidate for governor. 

Carol and DuBose Porter with their 4 sons

  And if Carol Porter wins the Democratic nomination – she is the front-runner and is running far ahead of Tricia Carpenter McCracken – she will be the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.  (Full disclosure: Carol is my first cousin once removed.)  Carol is the wife of DuBose Porter, minority leader of the Georgia House and candidate for governor.  If the poll results are accurate and they stay that way for the next 11 days, Carol could be the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor and DuBose will not be the Democratic nominee for governor. The Poll shows former governor Roy Barnes winning the Democratic primary without a runoff. DuBose comes in third, after Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who is shown gaining on Barnes. Asked about the possibility that his wife could win and he could lose, he said he has been asked about that a lot, and he always answers that she will get his full support no matter how it turns out.  I don’t think we’ve ever had women running for governor and lieutenant governor in the same election in Georgia  before.  If both of them just get the female vote, they’ll win.  That’s right, according to the latest figures from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, slightly more women than men are registered to vote in Georgia.

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Maybe Ray Stevens Doesn’t Think “Everything is Beautiful” Anymore

July 7, 2010

When we decided to attend the Ray Stevens concert at Hiawassee, Georgia last Saturday, July 3rd, it was because I could remember his country music novelty hits of the 1970’s, songs such as “Everything is Beautiful” and “The Streak,” and that it would be a night of fun nostalgia, and a highlight of our 4th of July weekend in the Young Harris area. It was, but it also was something else. 

After the opening act, a twangy country band, which I thought would never end, there was a 30-minute intermission used to hawk Stevens' CDs and to sell hot dogs and hamburgers, and to go to the restroom. I used that occasion to pull out my cell phone and take this shot of the sound and lighting control booth. The Georgia Country Fair music hall was anything but fancy, as you can see, but it held a lot of folks, and the sound and lighting were first class.

 The huge music hall at the Georgia Country Fair (that’s the name of the place; the fair was not being held) was almost sold out.  I thought people there were folks who remembered Stevens’ heyday.  I didn’t realize that Stevens is hot again and got that way by latching onto the lucrative right-wing media circus. He has made some totally unsophisticated, puerile videos against healthcare reform, “We the People,” and illegal immigration, Come to America,” that, after getting publicity from Fox News interviews, have gotten millions of hits on YouTube.

He didn’t do those numbers during the Saturday night concert. He made some reference to the country being in big trouble, which got whistles and cheers from some in the audience, but said he was not going to get political during the concert. Besides, he said, “You know where I stand politically, anyway.” (I didn’t. After a Google session, I now do.) Then he continued with his non-political comedy routine, which got a lot of laughs from a lot of people, including me.   

He had a fine band, and when he did his big hits from the past, like “Ahab the Arab,” “Shiners Convention,”  “Misty” (which won a Grammy for him), and, of course, his biggest hits, “Everything is Beautiful,” and “The Streak,” he performed with a freshness that made them seem new, which is quite a feat when you consider how many times he has done those numbers in the last forty years.  He is a very talented musician, having studied classical piano and music theory at Georgia State University in Atlanta. (He is a native Georgian and grew up in the Atlanta area.)  He also has a creative mind and, in my view, is a good folksy comedian.  I wouldn’t put him in the humorist league with Garrison Keillor or the late Will Rogers, but he is self-deprecatingly funny. 

I said he sang his old hits with a freshness that made them seem new, but I did get the feeling that when he sang “Everything is Beautiful,” it was a perfunctory performance, and that he really didn’t mean it.  I think, since he now identifies with the Tea Party folks, maybe he doesn’t anymore.   

 

This is what my iPhone camera captured back on Row “P” where we were seated. The bench seats sort of reminded me of the time I went to the Grand Old Opry at Opryland at Nashville. I guess country music fans like thinly padded bench seats.

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Happy 5th of July

July 6, 2010

Since I promised to try to post  something each Monday, I’m having to knock this off to get it in just under the wire since the day is almost over.  I spent the 4th of July weekend visiting with some new friends and touring the Young Harris – Hiawassee area of north Georgia.   I just got back this afternoon and frankly I’m  too tired ( driving up to north Georgia and having a lot of fun can use up a lot of energy) to do anything ambitious like giving you my impressions and showing some pictures I took while there, but I’ll start working on it tomorrow.  I will tell you this.  I attended the Ray Stevens concert. It was a hoot. He is amazing. More, coming up.

Why Just Teenagers?

July 1, 2010

It’s too bad the Georgia legislature made it against the law for only 16 and 17-year-old drivers to use their cell phones while driving.  It’s not a safe practice at any age.   I suppose the reason the legislature didn’t ban it for those over 17 is that anyone 18 and above can vote.

However, the lawmakers were brave enough to ban texting for everyone.  While kids seem to text all the time, it appears adults are quite addicted to it also.  I just saw a report on CNN about parents who are ignoring their children because they are so wrapped up with smart phone texting and emailing. The reporter said physical presence is not enough. You have to be there mentally for your kids too.

Both laws were necessary, but the one that bans driving while talking on a cell phone should not just be for teenagers.