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Bob Barr: The Real Tragedy of Eric Garner’s Death, and Where the Debate Should be Focused

Your Georgia Desk

From Bob Barr

BB 2

The Real Tragedy of Eric Garner’s Death, and Where the Debate Should be Focused

“I’m minding my business, officer,” pleads the man on the video. “Please just leave me alone.” Minutes later the man, confronted by police for allegedly selling “loose” cigarettes, would be placed in a chokehold and wrestled to the ground, eventually dying from injuries sustained by the restraint.

The video recording of Eric Garner’s death is deeply disturbing, and has once again stoked protests and fiery debates about police tactics and racial biases. However, focusing the anger and debate on racial bias or specific actions by individual police officers, misses the broader and far more important public policy issues raised by this case: the over-criminalization of our society, and the use of the law enforcement power of the state to regulate commercial actions and raise government revenues.

Make no mistake — whether Garner was targeted because of his race and whether the officers who confronted him employed excessive or improper force, are important issues. And both should be debated and addressed within the context of civil and criminal laws and procedures.

But neither of these questions addresses the far more important issue of why we as a society have clothed police with the authority to consider it within their power to arrest someone for engaging in such a trivial act. Ultimately, it is not so much the police officers who should be the focus of this debate and of our concern; it is ourselves.

If left unanswered, the questions about over-criminalization and abuses of police power to regulate commercial activity and raise revenue, threaten to overwhelm the fundamental principle on which our nation was founded — that government exists to protect Liberty. Unfortunately, what the Garner and so many other cases have come to reflect is the warped principle that the police power of the state exists to protect government.Continue Reading..


Rep. Barry Loudermilk: Named to Homeland Security, Science, Space, and Technology Committee

Your Washington – GA 11 – Desk

From Congressman-elect Barry Loudermilk 

Barry Loudermilk (1)

Loudermilk Named to Homeland Security, Science, Space, and Technology Committees

Congressman-Elect Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) has been named to the crucial Homeland Security and the Science, Space and Technology Committees in the United States House of Representatives.

Regarding his assignments, Loudermilk said:

“These are two Committees which, I believe, will be on the frontlines of crucial issues facing the 114th Congress.

Homeland Security is one of the most critical elements facing our nation. Over the past several years, we have become more vulnerable in numerous areas. We must address critical issues such as border security, counterterrorism, cyber-security and emergency preparedness. In addition to these critical areas, the Homeland Security committee is also responsible for oversight and efficiency of many departments tasked with defending our homeland, as well as many other integral security related issues. I’m looking forward to working with Chairman McCaul and the members of the Committee to do the job assigned to us.

My experience serving on the Science & Technology Committee in both the State House and State Senate, as well as working in the technology sector, has prepared me to hit the ground running on Science, Space, and Technology. While this committee hasn’t gained much media attention, it oversees many areas critical to our national security, economy and technological advancement. Chairman Smith has expressed his desire take the initiative on key legislation and engage in active oversight of the programs and activities in its jurisdiction; including energy, the environment, research and technology, as well as space technology.”Continue Reading..


Rep. Rob Woodall: To Represent Georgia on House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Your Washington – GA 7 – Desk

From Congressman Rob Woodall 

Rob Woodall

Woodall to Represent Georgia on House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Beginning in January, U.S. Representative Rob Woodall (GA 07) will join the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in addition to his continued service on the Budget Committee and as Chairman of the Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process in the 114th Congress.  With his new assignment comes a valuable opportunity to speak for Georgia on the Committee charged with oversight of the nation’s transportation and water infrastructure.

“We will have an incredible opportunity in the 114th Congress to make real progress on our nation’s big issues,” said Rep. Woodall, “and I’m thrilled to partner with Chairman Shuster and the members of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to enact common-sense, conservative solutions for these needs.  Our successes here can be a model for the nation, and the nation can help to address our challenges locally that still remain.  The Seventh District represents one of the most economically vibrant and travelled regions of what is the largest economy in the southeastern United States, and it’s a privilege to serve as a voice for those who work to grow jobs and the economy every day.”

With continued growth in the Metro Atlanta region, as well as being a premier destination for business relocation, Georgia had surprisingly been without a voice on the powerful Transportation committee throughout the 113th Congress, but the region’s success is what Woodall credits for the shift going into the new Congress.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 12, 2014

Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the Constitution on December 12, 1787.

Guglielmo Marconi completed the first transatlantic radio transmission from Cornwall, England to Newfoundland on December 12, 1901.

Jimmy Carter announced he would run for President of the United States on December 12, 1974.

Dickey Betts, guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, was born on December 12, 1943.

The United States Supreme Court released its decision in Bush v. Gore on December 12, 2000, stopping manual recounts of contested ballots in Florida.

A new historical marker commemorating the end of Sherman’s March to the Sea was unveiled yesterday at Madison Square in Savannah.

The marker was the second erected by the Georgia Historical Society to observe the 150th anniversary of Sherman’s march through Georgia.

The first one was unveiled in Atlanta on Nov. 12 in a small ceremony on the grounds of the Carter Presidential Library, a quiet, tree-studded sanctuary that was the site of Sherman’s departure from Atlanta along a nearby road.

Georgia Politics

Congratulations to Derrick Dickey, who has been named Chief of Staff (Leo McGarry) to Senator-elect David Perdue and will split his time between Atlanta and Washington, DC. Megan Whittemore, who joined the Perdue campaign in August, will serve as the Senator’s Communications Director (Toby Ziegler).

Congressman Phil Gingrey was dinged by the House Ethics Committee.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 12, 2014


Valspar – Husky mix female

My name is Valspar and I am an adorable and lovable ball of fluff. I’m two years old, female and a sweet thing. I am good with most dogs and I am okay with cats. I can be a little shy and do not seem to like loud noises. Therefore, I would probably not do well in a home with small children. I need some training to help me. I am house trained and crate trained. I would love to be a part of a family.”



Foster – Collie mix male

Hi there, I’m Foster! That may seem like an odd name for a foster dog but you see, I was truly saved by a Foster family. I had less than an hour left here on earth but Angels Among Us heard my plea, got me a foster home and now here I am. My foster mom says I’m the biggest goof ball ever. I love to play, my first night at my foster home I just sprinted around picking up every toy I could find. I’m pretty calm in the house but I do love to play bow, grab a toy and then try to convince you to chase me. I would do best in a home with female dogs that are not very dominant. I promise to keep you entertained with my upbeat attitude and playful ways! So if you are looking for a new sweet dog to be a part of your family then look no further, I’m right here!

Mr Tuggs

Mr. Tuggs – Pekingese/Corgi mix

Mr. Tuggs’ original owner passed away, and he is now living in a foster home, waiting for someone to call him their own once again. He is an amazing, well behaved and laid-back little doggie!! Mr. Tuggs is part Pekingese and part Corgi, but all heart. He can be a little timid around new people, but once he gets to know you he will be your best friend. Cuddling, napping and getting lots of love are his favorite past times.

Mr. Tuggs is very quiet, loving, gentle and calm, and would be best suited to a laid back family with older children, empty-nesters or seniors. Mr. Tuggs needs to kept on a grain-free dog food and Frontline year-round to prevent skin irritation as he’s a little sensitive. He is about 9 – 10 years young, but he has many happy years ahead of him. He has lived his entire life as the only household pet and as a result, he would prefer to keep it that way, but he’d sure like the chance to live out his life with someone special like you!


Rep. Paul Broun: Statement on Budget Vote

Your Washington – GA 10 – Desk

From Congressman Paul Broun 

Paul Broun (2)

via Facebook

I voted NO against the $1.1 trillion CRomnibus tonight because the bill does nothing to stop President Obama’s unilateral executive amnesty, and continues to spend money we do not have. Congress should be using their Constitutional power of the purse to block the President’s immigration plans through the appropriations process – not bowing down to Harry Reid after a sweeping Republican win at the ballot box. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to reject this misguided bill – and to use their Constitutional authority to stop the President’s attempts to grant legal status to those who have broken the laws and come to this country illegally.


Rep. Paul Broun: A Farewell

Your Washington – GA 10 – Desk

From Congressman Paul Broun

Paul Broun (2)

A Farewell

As we wrap up the final legislative week in the 113th Congress, I wanted to take this moment to thank my constituents for the deep honor of serving you in Congress.

Before my election in 2007, I promised you I would vet every piece of legislation by asking four simple questions. In voting on all bills, I ask: Is it right? Do we need it? Is it Constitutional? Can we afford it? If all four questions are yes, I vote yes. If one question is no, I vote no. In doing so, I have never voted for a tax increase, never voted for a debt ceiling increase, never voted for a bailout, never voted for a stimulus package, and never requested an earmark. Though it has often been a lonely fight when you are the only one saying NO to more government and more spending, it has been a necessary one. I urge new members serving in the 114th Congress to embrace this four-way test – and in doing so, they will not fall victim to the pressures of Washington.

Unfortunately, both Republicans and Democrats alike have built a government that’s totally out of control, and contributed to our astronomical debt that is over $18 trillion. This means that each citizen’s share of this debt is over $56,000 dollars. Washington cannot continue to spend money that we do not have. In doing so, we’re stealing from our grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s piggy banks and robbing them of their future. This must stop.Continue Reading..


Rep. Tom Price: Statement on Passage of Funding Bill

Your Washington – GA 6 – Desk

From Congressman Tom Price


Price Statement on Passage of Funding Bill

Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06), Chair of the House Budget Committee in the upcoming 114th Congress, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed a consolidated appropriations bill to fund the majority of government through fiscal year 2015 along with a short-term funding bill to cover the Department of Homeland Security until February 2015:

“This legislation is the result of divided government, and yet it will allow the newly elected and strengthened Republican majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives next Congress to start the year off with a relatively clean slate and with the opportunity to continue our efforts to hold President Obama accountable for his unlawful violation of our immigration laws. Right now, the Democrat majority in the Senate – as it has all Congress – is going to continue to run interference for the president until they no longer can. They made that clear earlier this summer when the House first passed legislation to prohibit the president’s executive overreach, and the Democrat Senate, characteristically, shelved the proposal. There’s no reason to believe those on the other side of the aisle plan to change their tune in the next few days.

“The manner in which President Obama has trampled on the Constitution demands Congress use every legitimate tool and realistic avenue at our disposal to protect the rule of law. We believe the American people have a right to live in a nation governed by laws, not executive fiat, which is why we have put in place a short-term extension of Homeland Security funding so that Congress must confront this issue in the new year when we have a stronger hand to play.Continue Reading..


Rep. Rob Woodall: Statement on House-Passed Government Funding Bill

Your Washington – GA 7 – Desk

From Congressman Rob Woodall 

Rob Woodall

Woodall Statement on House-Passed Government Funding Bill

Today, U.S. Representative Rob Woodall issued the following statement regarding his support of the House-passed government funding legislation.

“Congress and the American people have debated a number of different paths to try to hold President Obama accountable for his executive overreach.  While there is still disagreement on which path is best, the path that we took in the House tonight is the first step to get us there.  First and foremost, this bill holds the line on spending, implementing a spending level that is even lower than the one proposed in the original ‘too conservative to pass’ Paul Ryan budget.  Additionally, the bill implements conservative priorities such as an increase in pay and funding for our troops, as well as accountability measures for the IRS and EPA.”

“While the bill implements restraints on executive overreach in many areas, it could not turn off the funding stream that the President intends to use for his executive actions on immigration.  As conservatives, we have all been very frustrated by recent attempts at unilateral lawmaking by the Obama Administration.  There is a misconception, however, that if we shut down the government that we can prevent him from acting.  A government shutdown can’t stop him.  His actions are funded with money that he raises through fees, so regrettably he can and will continue his unilateral efforts whether the government is funded or not.  We must find another way.Continue Reading..


Ethics Committee finds Phil Gingrey improperly aided Ellijay bank | Political Insider blog

WASHINGTON — As U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey heads for the exits, the House Ethics Committee issued a “letter of reproval” today for Gingrey’s actions on behalf of an Ellijay bank.

The committee publicly revealed its findings that the Marietta Republican gave “special favors or privileges” to the since-failed Bank of Ellijay by allowing it to meet with top Treasury Department officials and key members of Congress about its pending application for TARP funds. Gingrey helped start the bank and his investment in it was worth as much as $500,000, according to a 2011 Reuters report that first raised ethics questions.

The key problem for Gingrey, in the Ethics Committee’s determination, was that he went out of his way to help the bank even though it was not in his district. Members are directed not to help non-constituents in such ways.

via Ethics Committee finds Phil Gingrey improperly aided Ellijay bank | Political Insider blog.