Here’s an advance copy of my column this week on the T-SPLOST. I’ve been talking about it on the radio in Atlanta and I really think it is worth emphasizing that I’m not automatically opposed to the T-SPLOST. But I just don’t think we should approve it until our elected officials have made a concerted effort to clean up the ongoing problems within the Department of Transportation and the state’s transportation bureaucracy. Read more
Here is the T-SPLOST analysis from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. The GPPF is less than thrilledd with the T-SPLOST and the Atlanta area T-SPLOST’s emphasis on rail. There is one graphic that stands out in my mind.
From page 19 of the report:
Atlanta and Barcelona have the same number of people and Atlanta uses 30 times the physical land area as Barcelona. In other words, rail works great in Barcelona due to population density, but not Atlanta for the same reason. Zoning in Atlanta doesn’t help the matter.
Tonight on the Erick Erickson Show, I’m going to get into this topic and also Joe Biden’s comments that the tea party is to blame for the lack of economic recovery. You can listen live tonight on the WSB live stream and call in at 1-800-WSB-TALK. The show is from 6pm to 9pm ET on the nation’s most listened to talk radio station.
Consider this an open thread.
Apple has out a new app in its App Store — Cards. You can take a picture on your phone, design a card, and have it sent via the post office to someone. Think about that for a minute. In an age of digital communications, text messages, emails, and cell phones, Apple has produced a product that harkens back to one of the earliest message transmission methods — snail mail as the kids these days are calling it.
Siri, the assistant on the iPhone, kindles fond memories of growing up in the age of Star Trek for the thirty somethings out there.
A friend of mine two nights ago showed me an awesome app he works on called Goba. It’s available for the iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, etc. It lets you plan an offline gathering of friends and manage sending texts and emails and the replies thereto. An app for the phone designed to facilitate a gathering of friends off line and unplugged.
My neighborhood is pretty new. Almost every house has a relic of an earlier time — a front porch. My wife, me, and our kids sit on the front porch in rocking chairs or the kids play on the porch. On sites like Etsy, people are getting back to early American crafts — typography, quilts, homemade soaps, arts, etc. Like with Apple’s Cards program, people are trying to reconnect to a past that exists in our dreams. Part is real and part is not real. But we are trying to connect to it.
At this time, as so many perceive a decline in the country, there is a profound sense of nostalgia for a past era. Successful technologies from Apple or this Goba program or others are those technologies that actually help us realize, in some way, some part of that past. From getting a card in the mail to meeting friends on a front porch in the evening for a drink, Americans want to turn back to a simpler time or at least a time that they perceive to be simpler.
This is why the Republicans will lose next November to Barack Obama. Read more
It finally hit me tonight why I think Mitt Romney would have a real problem in the general election.
He is Barack Obama.
No, not really. But yeah, there is something there. They are both robotically good on the campaign trail. But throw them off guard, get them off balance, and they turn a bit nasty.
We are all intimately familiar with Barack Obama lashing out. During a closed door meeting with Republicans he tells them “I won.” When John McCain stands up to him at a closed door meeting, Barack Obama snidely remarks, “We’re not campaigning anymore” or some such.
Romney, in the debates, has been very, very polished and smooth. Never mind the repeated times he hasn’t quite gotten the facts right, including the bit about his book wherein he actually did delete a line suggesting Romneycare was a model for the nation. In two debates now he has denied he wrote that and claimed to have always suggested otherwise. It simply is not true.
In the CNN debate he was confronted on multiple occasions and on multiple fronts with the fact he has an honesty gap. He resorted to demanding fair play and threw out some rather savage remarks with a smile reminiscent to Barack Obama on the campaign trail raising his middle finger to his nose with a smile.
Then, after the debate, the Romney camp began pushing out the narrative that Rick Perry is too mean to be the nominee. Obama does the same with the GOP — they are just too mean to him when they start ganging up on him.
Then, in the height of overreaction, Mitt Romney put out a devastating web ad on Rick Perry’s debate performance. The ad was designed to make viewers believe Perry’s awful performance was in the Las Vegas CNN debate. Most of the commentators used were from CNN, including me. They were spliced in and shuffled around outside the actual timeline of when they were delivered — most after that awful Fox News debate.
It was a vitriolic overreaction to kick Perry and distract from the wounds Romney actually suffered in the debate. They subsequently pulled the ad. It made them look both desperate and defensive over Romney’s own debate performance.
This is all so familiar. Romney is behaving exactly as the GOP said Barack Obama behaved on the campaign trail in 2008 and still says he is behaving as campaigner in chief.
Isn’t ONE thin-skinned debater enough?
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
Happy Easter to each and every one of you.
Using the same rationale George W. Bush used to go into Iraq, Barack Obama has now gone into Libya.
It seems that the world is upside down. Suddenly Republicans are concerned about going into a Middle Eastern country and and Democrats are gung-ho neocon warmongers.
The situation, of course, is not that simple.
Whether you think he lied, was misled, or was right, George W. Bush did make a case to Congress and the American people prior to going into Iraq that Iraq was training Al Qaeda and, given its weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda, was an imminent threat to the United States.
Again, you can think he lied. You can think he was misled. You can think he was right.
But Bush went to the United Nations, got the appropriate resolutions, went before the American people to make his case, and before going into Iraq received Congressional approval. In fact, it took him a year and a half to make his case. When he went in, he had 80% public approval and a much larger international coalition than Obama is taking with him.
He also could articulate an idea for an endpoint, whether you liked it or not.
Feel free to disagree with every justification and feel free to disagree with his idea of an endpoint, but recognize the factual timeline.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, has failed at several of these things.
We stare into the abyss today — the abyss that comes when a political party’s spine is removed and we stare down into the cavity . . . longingly . . . waiting . . . dreaming of what might have been.
Friends, I write this hoping the events I predict will not happen, but I suspect the events will happen. You need to understand what is at play today in Washington. There are two competing forces.
The first force is that of the Democrats and their unstoppable desire for a government shutdown. You read that right. The Democrats, not the Republicans, are desperate for a government shutdown. Barack Obama needs a government shutdown.
Everyone in Washington is fixated on the Myth of 1995. In the MythTM, nasty Republicans shut down Washington, DC, starving old people and children, denying passports to refugees from the crisis, and gunning down our soldiers in harm’s way because the government could not buy and ship bullets to respond. Yogi Bear also starved to death because no tourists with their picnic baskets could get into Jellystone.
In the MythTM, Bill Clinton was transcendent and triumphant. He outmaneuvered the GOP, reopened the government, and cruised to re-election vanquishing the GOP. Don’t believe me? Just watch the West Wing episode cementing the MythTM as fact.
In fact, I hear David Axelrod, Plouffe, and Jay Carney keep coming out of the White House bathroom red raced, sweaty, and slightly blind and the only thing left in the bathroom is a flatscreen running that episode over and over and some hand sanitizer.
It is the MythTM.
I am tired of talking about the Arizona shooting. The left has done its best to try to pin it on the right. We know now that not only was Loughner of the left before he went nuts, but that, in fact, Loughner was nuts.
His actions can be pinned on neither the left nor the right.
All of the media handwringing over the “tone” in the country and the “extremist rhetoric” distracts from and implies that the tone and rhetoric had something to do with Jared Loughner’s rampage.
It did not.
By continuing to discuss this topic, the media continues to imply that it did.
We also know Barack Obama’s advisors are urging him to seize the moment and join the left in blaming the right for this violence. Not only is that disgusting, but should he, the media wringing their hands about the tone better call him out on it — but I won’t hold my breath.
Through it all though, well meaning people on both sides of the ideological and partisan divide are not talking about the one thing that should be talked about — a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
This morning we pray for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her family, and the other victims of the heinous violence in Arizona.
It should not be, but the media, under the guise of “a full exposition” of the evil in Arizona, is back to subtly and not so subtly pinning the blame for the attempted assassination of the Congresswoman and the related shootings on the tea party movement, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, me, you, and everyone right of center.
Let’s be crystal clear: this is the supposedly objective news media doing this, not the openly, partisan left, though it is fueling the media witch hunt. And from what we now know, it is not just media malpractice, but a lie.
Ironically, by perpetuating the lie — by even treating it as a legitimate topic of consideration to revisit the accusations of violence and hate the media tried to run with prior to the November election — that the right and the tea party incited this evil act, the left and media may very well incite violence against the right.
Today, the Sunday Shows will all be from Arizona. There will, I have no doubt, be many of them wanting to know if “rhetoric” and “tea parties” and “opposition to Barack Obama” did this.
They will also bring up, as they did yesterday, Sarah Palin putting Gabrielle Giffords on her target list for defeat with a rifle scope symbol over her district.
Here is what will either not be brought up, or if brought up, will only be mentioned in passing.
As many of us go through the grand experience of the TSA prostate exams — no doubt a part of healthcare cost savings under Obamacare — we need to consider a few things.
When terrorists started trying to bring liquid explosives on planes, we went to 3 oz. bottles.
When terrorists started wearing bombs as underwear, we went to full body screening.
What happens when terrorists start using their body cavities? God help us.
In each of these instances, the threats occurred overseas. No one overseas is going through the motions that we are going through here. No one.
And if this is designed to stop terrorists from blowing up airplanes, why stop there? Why not trains? Why not buses?
No one can land a plane in midtown New York. Airports in almost every major city are on the outskirts of the cities. But one can put a bomb in a duffle bag and take Acela Express straight into Union Station in Washington or midtown Manhattan. But those bags are not inspected.
What the TSA is doing now makes no sense. It makes no sense to target a three year old or a nun or a frequent flier. Made worse, we now know for certain that if the terrorists take their plastic explosives and stick them to their body in a pancake shape the full body scanners cannot detect them.
We have dumb downed airport security to the lowest common denominator. In doing so, we have some great airport security theater, but not much else.
And come tomorrow, we will see the full insanity that is our security system at work. I urge each and every one of you to opt-out of the full body x-rays and take the pat down. Highlight the absurdity.