Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 26, 2014

President George Washington declared November 26, 1789 the first “public day of thanksgiving and prayer.”

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

On November 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Fourth Thursday in November as the modern Thanksgiving celebration.

[I]t was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated nationally.

With a few deviations, Lincoln’s precedent was followed annually by every subsequent president–until 1939. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt departed from tradition by declaring November 23, the next to last Thursday that year, as Thanksgiving Day. Considerable controversy surrounded this deviation, and some Americans refused to honor Roosevelt’s declaration. For the next two years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation, but on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

On the same day, a Japanese navy fleet left port headed toward Pearl Harbor.

Transportation Funding

Senator Johnny Isakson wrote in the AJC that the federal government should consider moving to user fees to pay for transportation infrastructure.

With drivers buying less gasoline, the revenue coming into the Highway Trust Fund has dropped. Given these factors and recent trends, it is likely our gas consumption will continue to decline. Simply raising the tax rate on a declining revenue source isn’t the solution for our long-term infrastructure needs.

In 2015, we have a real opportunity to repair this broken trust fund and find a new formula that fits the needs of 21st century America. It is time we change the trust fund model to a “user-pays” system. Everyone who uses the roads and other modes of transportation financed through the trust fund should pay into the system.

I also support letting states set their own infrastructure funding priorities. While the federal government should prioritize projects important to the nation as a whole, states have a much better sense of their day-to-day infrastructure needs, and they should be given the flexibility to direct the use of gas tax revenues collected within their borders.

One way a user fee for highways can work is seen on I-85 in Gwinnett County, where a Peach Pass gets you access to the HOT lanes, which are usually moving faster than the prole lanes. Remember how that went over when it first started?

#FergusonAtl

Barricades CapitolSM

Last night, some Atlanta residents took to the street to protest the decision by a Missouri grand jury declining to indict a police office.

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Old Friends – Adoptable Senior Labs for November 26, 2014

Roxy Forsyth

Roxy is a senior female Lab mix who is available for adoption from the Forsyth County Animal Shelter in Cumming, Ga.

Libby Lab

Libby is a sweet senior Lab mix who is available for adoption from Pickens Animal Rescue, Inc. in Jasper, Ga. Libby is house trained, good with other dogs, walks well on a leash, knows basic commands, and is very smart. She enjoys lots of attention and love.

Alice Lab

Alice is a sweet senior Lab mix who is waiting for a new home at the Murray County Humane Society in Chatsworth, Ga.

Basset42928

This beautiful Basset Hound female was rescued from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter yesterday by Country Livin’ Pet Rescue. She started bleeding and is receiving care at Suwanee Animal Hospital and the rescue group is asking for help with her veterinary costs. To make a donation directly to the veterinary office for her care, please call 770-271-8716.

Randy Travis at Fox 5 Atlanta has a soft spot for dogs and has done a number of stories about bad situations, but this week his story profiled Lifeline Animal Project, which has taken over Fulton County Animal Services and reduced the euthanasia rate from around 60 percent to last month’s 17 percent.
Randy Travis Dolly

Six years ago the FOX 5 I-Team began investigating an earlier non-profit in charge of Fulton County Animals Services. That director resigned after we discovered she was keeping her own dogs chained up at her house, even though DeKalb County had an anti-chaining law.

We also revealed how the group’s president spent nearly $80,000 in shelter money at pricey restaurants… hotels… and New York trips. The charity claimed it was all for charity business and appropriate, but the county said the money should not have been spent that way and accused the group of refusing to fully cooperate with an audit.

So in early 2013 Fulton County replaced that non-profit with Lifeline Animal Project.

“Every person on our staff here is focused on how do we keep the animals from coming into the shelter and once they are here, how do we get them out alive,” said CEO Rebecca Guinn.

Feds agree to protect Ga. whales’ habitat by 2016 | savannahnow.com

Highly endangered North Atlantic right whales, which give birth in the waters off Georgia and Florida, got a boost Friday from a settlement agreement that requires NOAA Fisheries to expand their protected habitat by February 2016.

Only about 400 of these right whales remain. Around this time each year the females migrate from feeding grounds off New England to their nursery areas in Southeastern waters. But only a small portion of this range, including an area off the Florida-Georgia border, is protected as federally designated “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act.

Last spring, the four groups — Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation — filed suit in federal court in Boston to force action. The settlement agreement, filed on Friday, sets the 2016 deadline for the Service to act, though it doesn’t prescribe the critical habitat needed.

via Feds agree to protect Ga. whales’ habitat by 2016 | savannahnow.com.

Garden City ready to pass $7.6 million budget | savannahnow.com

Though it was widely unpopular when implemented last June, Garden City officials say a new property tax might prove to be the boost needed to rejuvenate their town.

Money from the property tax will come into play as the City Council prepares to pass a $7.6 million budget for 2015. Earlier this week, the council held a public hearing on the document, the last step required before their Dec. 1 vote.

While the hearing Monday was poorly attended, the budget has been a popular topic of conversation for the council and the public in recent months, said acting City Manager Ron Feldner.

via Garden City ready to pass $7.6 million budget | savannahnow.com.