Animal rescuers trying to save obese dog | The Augusta Chronicle

At 76.5 pounds, the Jack Russell mix is not just overweight but morbidly obese, nearly three times her ideal body weight. She can’t walk more than five steps without lying down, and rolling on her back is physically impossible.

Pearl’s condition could have easily made her like one of the 6,578 unwanted animals euthanized at Animal Services last year, but shelter staff and a local rescue group are working to change that.

Rescue group Dog Networking Agents of Georgia said they have taken on a unique case with their adoption of Pearl. After finding a foster home and arranging Pearl’s first veterinary exam, DNA co-founder Hayley Zielinski said a long recovery is ahead.

“She’s literally trapped in her body,” Zielinski said. “You can see she’s been really unhappy and miserable.”

Pearl’s first vet exam at Care More Animal Hospital on Monday showed she’s about 5 years old, has heartworms, an underactive thyroid and painful hip dysplasia, but is otherwise relatively healthy, said veterinarian Madison Hayward.

via Animal rescuers trying to save obese dog | The Augusta Chronicle.

Democrats, Republicans view Sunday voting differently | The Augusta Chronicle

“It’s a partisan issue on the Democrats’ part,” Barbee said. “The last time, they had President Obama on the ticket. He had a great political machine and they don’t have that machine anymore, and they’ve got to do it on their own, and this is what they’re doing.”

Barbee likened Sunday voting to the addition of Sunday alcohol sales.

“Before, everybody bought their booze on Saturday,” he said. “All it did was give (the same people) an extra day to buy booze.”

Barbee said he did not expect Sunday voting to increase turnout.

Super District 9 Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams, a pastor, called Sunday voting a good thing, but did not expect pastors to use their pulpits to coordinate voting after the service.

“Every pastor is going to preach Jesus, he’s not going to preach voting,” Williams said, adding that God is concerned about the government, as indicated by the Bible story about a judge who returned a child to his mother.

“Government is a part of our lives and God is a part of everything,” he said.

via Democrats, Republicans view Sunday voting differently | The Augusta Chronicle.

Winthrop Poll: S.C. split on casinos | savannahnow.com

COLUMBIA — South Carolinians appear deadlocked on whether the state should allow gambling casinos to operate in the state, an issue close to the hearts of Hardeeville leaders.

In recent years, Jasper County advocates had sought to reverse the governor’s opposition to a proposal to open a casino in the city, but were unsuccessful.

Results of a Winthrop Poll released Wednesday showed those favoring and opposing gambling casinos in South Carolina each registered 47.3 percent. Nearly 5 percent were unsure.

When asked if they favor or oppose permitting a limited number of gambling casinos to operate in South Carolina, if they could only be located in or near Myrtle Beach, nearly 64 percent came out opposed to the idea.

Far fewer opposed the idea of Myrtle Beach area casinos if the revenue was designated for roads and other infrastructure needs: about 49 percent.

via Winthrop Poll: S.C. split on casinos | savannahnow.com.

FBI turns animal cruelty into top-tier felony | savannahnow.com

LOS ANGELES — Young people who torture and kill animals are prone to violence against people later in life if it goes unchecked, studies have shown. A new federal category for animal cruelty crimes will help root out those pet abusers before their behavior worsens and give a boost to prosecutions, an animal welfare group says.

For years, the FBI has filed animal abuse under the label “other” along with a variety of lesser crimes, making cruelty hard to find, hard to count and hard to track. The bureau announced this month that it would make animal cruelty a Group A felony with its own category — the same way crimes like homicide, arson and assault are listed.

“It will help get better sentences, sway juries and make for better plea bargains,” said Madeline Bernstein, president and CEO of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles and a former New York prosecutor.

The category also will help identify young offenders, and a defendant might realize “if he gets help now, he won’t turn into Jeffrey Dahmer,” she said.

via FBI turns animal cruelty into top-tier felony | savannahnow.com.

Study group discusses funding for transportation | savannahnow.com

Georgia lawmakers looking for new ways to fund the state’s crumbling network of roads and bridges met Wednesday in Savannah.

In a four-hour meeting at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, the 16-member Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding heard from coastal business owners and government officials, as well as representatives of the railroad and trucking industries.

“We’re trying to put together a funding plan for the Georgia Department of Transportation for the next 20 or 30 years that will be sustainable and move the state forward,” said co-chair Rep. Jay Roberts, a Republican from Ocilla.

Georgia’s excise tax is 7.5 cents a gallon. The state also collects a 3 percent tax on sales of motor fuel that is classified as a motor use fuel tax and a 1 percent tax that goes to the state’s general fund. An 18.4 cent per gallon federal excise tax also applies.

Georgia ranks right in the middle of states for its gas tax rate, coming in 23rd highest at 27.49 cents per gallon in a June analysis by the D.C.-based nonprofit Tax Foundation.

The fuel tax doesn’t go as far as it used to, a problem facing all the states, said Paula Hammond, a former secretary of transportation for the state of Washington. The federal government used to pay more than 90 percent of the cost of interstate highways.

“Those days are long gone,” she said.

via Study group discusses funding for transportation | savannahnow.com.

Porsche is sharing its ‘cool’ with Georgia | savannahnow.com

ATLANTA — The increased visibility of Porsche’s new North American headquarters will allow the German sports carmaker and the Peach State to benefit from each other’s reputation for a good quality of life, CEO Detlev von Platen said Tuesday.

Porsche owes much of its early success to the fact that its 911 model was perceived as “cool” in California in the 1960s, where it was featured in movies, commercials and the garages of the stars. But when the company wanted a home for its new North American headquarters, it chose Georgia.

Porsche Cars North America that von Platen heads has been based in Atlanta since 1998, and imports one-quarter of its vehicles through the Port of Brunswick. When the $100-million headquarters opens around yearend on 28 acres next to the Atlanta airport, it will consolidate offices scattered as far away as Chicago. It will also include a test track, training center, upscale restaurant and conference facilities designed to raise the company’s visibility.

“I said we need to do something different for the future,” von Platen said in a luncheon speech at the Atlanta Press Club. “We wanted a very unique design and a very unique location.”

Other states tried to lure the company, but after reviewing all of them, executives concluded Georgia was the clear winner because of its quality of life, transportation and the fact Porsche has found that it has no trouble hiring the best employees from anywhere in the world because they are willing to move here, he said.

via Porsche is sharing its ‘cool’ with Georgia | savannahnow.com.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 2, 2014

On October 2, 1789, President George Washington signed a resolution transmitting the (then-twelve) amendments constituting the Bill of Rights to the states that had ratified the Constitution. Click here for the letter from Washington to Governor Charles Pinckney of South Caroling that accompanied the amendments.

On October 2, 1835, Texans and Mexicans met in the first military battle of the Texas Revolution, the Battle of Gonzales.

In 1831, Mexican authorities gave the settlers of Gonzales a small cannon to help protect them from frequent Comanche raids. Over the next four years, the political situation in Mexico deteriorated, and in 1835 several states revolted. As the unrest spread, Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea, the commander of all Mexican troops in Texas, felt it unwise to leave the residents of Gonzales a weapon and requested the return of the cannon.

When the initial request was refused, Ugartechea sent 100 dragoons to retrieve the cannon. The soldiers neared Gonzales on September 29, but the colonists used a variety of excuses to keep them from the town, while secretly sending messengers to request assistance from nearby communities. Within two days, up to 140 Texians gathered in Gonzales, all determined not to give up the cannon. On October 1, settlers voted to initiate a fight. Mexican soldiers opened fire as Texians approached their camp in the early hours of October 2. After several hours of desultory firing, the Mexican soldiers withdrew.

Texas Cannon Flag 600

On October 2, 1879, Wallace Stevens was born. Stevens would become a renowned poet and insurance industry lawyer. My favorite poem of his is “Connoisseur of Chaos.”

The pensive man . . . He sees the eagle float
For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.

President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke at the White House on October 2, 1909.

Thurgood Marshall was sworn-in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 2, 1967.

Betty Talmadge, then wife of Senator Herman Talmadge, hosted a fundraiser with Rosalynn Carter and Joan Mondale on October 2, 1976.

Ground was broken for The Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta on October 2, 1984.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Monday is the last day to register to vote in the November 4, 2014 General Election. Email me directly if you need information on where to register to vote.

Democrat Michelle Nunn’s campaign has run more ads in Georgia than Republican David Perdue. From the AJC:

The raw numbers from Kantar Media/CMAG go like this: From Sept. 12-25, there have been 4,945 total ads in the Senate race. Of that sum, 2,780 favored Michelle Nunn and 2,165 favored David Perdue.

In all, Democrats spent $1.7 million on TV in that span and Republicans spent $1.6 million.

In the governor’s contest there were 4,625 spots, with 2,364 favoring Democrats and 2,261 favoring Republicans. Just 1.18 percent came from outside groups on the Democratic side, while 10.84 percent came from outside Republican sources. Democrats outspent Republicans in that stretch $1.43 million to $990,000.

The analysis also reveals that there were more ads in Georgia’s 12th District in that stretch than any other U.S. House race in the country — a whopping 4,051. U.S. Rep. John Barrow and national Democrats had a considerable advantage in that race, according to the data: 2,611 spots and $800,000 spent, compared to Rick Allen and Republicans’ 1,440 spots and $460,000.

That’s not necessarily the most important points. You can run more ads, but reach fewer viewers if you’re buying spots with lower ratings. Or you can spend more to reach the exact same viewers if you’re buying non-preemptible time while the opponent buy preemptible but his spots clear.

Also interesting in the report from which the AJC’s numbers were derived, is that Georgia’s advertising is far less negative than some other states. The Wesleyan Media Project rates recent political advertising in Georgia’s Senate race as:

Positive……….24.5%
Contrast………45.7%
Negative………29.7%

By contrast, Louisiana’s Senate race has seen no positive advertising, with two-thirds consisting of contrast ads, and one-third negative.

The gubernatorial race has been much more positive,

Positive……….33.1%
Contrast………61.0%
Negative………..5.9%

The most public part of Mitt Romney’s trip to Georgia yesterday was his rally at The Varsity in support of Attorney General Sam Olens. From the Marietta Daily Journal:

“Georgia may well decide whether we have (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid running the country or whether instead we have a breath of fresh air with an agenda focused on creating jobs and shrinking the federal deficit,” Romney said. “As you know, the Senate is very much in question, and this is probably going to be the place that it all focuses, because David Perdue becoming a senator means we get new leadership in Washington in the Senate.”

After circling the restaurant to shake hands and pose for pictures, as well as lunch on a Varsity hot dog, onion rings and Frosted Orange, which he called “delicious,” Romney listed a string of other factors that would occur under a GOP-controlled Senate from both congressional chambers working to place legislation on President Obama’s desk, to a new energy policy, immigration reform, tax reform and more jobs.

“So if people want Harry Reid to stop everything going on in Washington, why, they can vote for Mrs. Nunn. But if they want to see real leadership to take us in a new direction that gets the economy going, they’re going to vote for David Perdue,” Romney said.

Romney said he came to know Perdue while he was involved in organizing the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Perdue, then an executive with Reebok, was supportive of his efforts at the time.


No to another run

Olens said he wished it was Romney who occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Romney was asked if he would run again.

“Ah, no. I’m just sad I’m not able to be there either. I’d like to be in the White House,” Romney said to cheers. “This is a slightly partisan crowd here, but I’m pleased at the reception I’ve had. I love my country. I’m concerned about the country. I think the president has been more disappointing than even I had expected, not just domestically but also internationally. What’s happening with ISIS, what’s happening in Ukraine, what’s happening across the world is in part the result of a president that just hasn’t been on the job as he needed to be.”

But the former governor of Massachusetts reiterated his decision not to run for president.

“I’m not running and I’m not planning on running. I’ve got nothing to add to that story,” he said.

An attorney general ‘above politics’

Romney praised Olens for his record on fighting sex trafficking and illegal drugs.

“Georgia is a lucky state to have an attorney general who believes in following the law, not in making the law, not in twisting the law, not in warping the law, but in following the law,” he said. “It makes a huge difference. People depend upon the rule of law, and having an attorney general who is above politics is so critical to the functioning of a state or a nation, and this is a darn good attorney general, and that’s why he’s going to get re-elected.”

Senate candidates David Perdue, the Republican, and Michelle Nunn, the Democrat, will debate in Perry on Tuesday night.

There will be an hour-long Senate debate among Republican David Perdue, Democrat Michelle Nunn and Libertarian Amanda Swafford.

Following that, there will be a debate among the candidates for Governor: Democrat Jason Carter, Republican incumbent Nathan Deal, and Libertarian Andrew Hunt.

Greg Bluestein writes that National Right to Life is spending $44,000 on direct mail in support of David Perdue’s campaign.

With Richmond County having approved a day of Sunday early voting, the two parties’ views on the move are on display.

Richmond County Democratic Party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum called it a “historic day for Augusta” when voters can go after church to cast their ballots, and expected more Georgia counties to approve one or more Sundays of voting in the coming days.

“There are people who find every excuse not to vote and we hope that – most of the big churches are downtown – so after the services, it’s a short ride to Greene Street where they can vote,” he said.

Greenbaum said the Republican Party’s effort to “suppress voting,” including delayed processing in Atlanta of voter registration forms, made the addition of Sunday voting more significant.

“This is typical of the Republican concept of voting,” he said.

Richmond County Republican Party Chairman Dave Barbee scoffed at Greenbaum’s hopes.

“It’s a partisan issue on the Democrats’ part,” Barbee said. “The last time, they had President Obama on the ticket. He had a great political machine and they don’t have that machine anymore, and they’ve got to do it on their own, and this is what they’re doing.”

Barbee likened Sunday voting to the addition of Sunday alcohol sales.

“Before, everybody bought their booze on Saturday,” he said. “All it did was give (the same people) an extra day to buy booze.”

Barbee said he did not expect Sunday voting to increase turnout.

“I think Lowell is going to be very, very surprised that the numbers are not going to be as great as they thought it was,” he said. “He’s expecting miracles on Sunday and that’s not going to happen.”

Meanwhile, in heavily-Republican Columbia County, no request for Sunday voting has surfaced.

“Two people came in that were hot over the issue,” Board of Elections Director Nancy Gay said. “They said they hope we do not do it.”

The Georgia General Assembly’s Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding heard from coastal Georgians on funding the state’s transportation needs.

In a four-hour meeting at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, the 16-member Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding heard from coastal business owners and government officials, as well as representatives of the railroad and trucking industries.

“We’re trying to put together a funding plan for the Georgia Department of Transportation for the next 20 or 30 years that will be sustainable and move the state forward,” said co-chair Rep. Jay Roberts, a Republican from Ocilla.

Georgia’s excise tax is 7.5 cents a gallon. The state also collects a 3 percent tax on sales of motor fuel that is classified as a motor use fuel tax and a 1 percent tax that goes to the state’s general fund. An 18.4 cent per gallon federal excise tax also applies.

Georgia ranks right in the middle of states for its gas tax rate, coming in 23rd highest at 27.49 cents per gallon in a June analysis by the D.C.-based nonprofit Tax Foundation.

The fuel tax doesn’t go as far as it used to, a problem facing all the states, said Paula Hammond, a former secretary of transportation for the state of Washington. The federal government used to pay more than 90 percent of the cost of interstate highways.

Chatham County has pulled out of discussion with Savannah on the merger of the two police departments, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Chatham County Commission Chairman Al Scott today sent Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter an official letter stating the county’s desire to end the Savannah-Chatham police merger agreement.

On Friday, the commission voted unanimously to have Scott send the letter to begin the 18-month process of ending the merger.

In the meantime, Scott, as well as the commissioners, said they want to continue to negotiate with the city to try to reach a new agreement before the 9-year-old department is dissolved.

If a new agreement is not reached, Scott said, the commission’s options would include re-establishing the county department, having the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office take over or contracting with the city for police services.

I read that as saying that the letter is a negotiating tool, not necessarily the end of discussions.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for October 2, 2014

Ziggy1

Ziggy is an adult Schnauzer/Dachshund mix, is a very sweet boy who loves to be held and follows his foster everywhere. He loves his little dog bed and chew bone and he goes outside when told. He is good with kids (over 8 is all we have seen him with) and he has ignored the foster’s cat completely. Ziggy is available for adoption from Forgotten Paws Pet Rescue in Acworth, GA.

Yoda1

Yoda is a Chihuahua mix, 10 months old, 14 lbs. Sweet little Yoda. He is a quiet little stoic man but he love his little toys and is learning not to nibble on my hands. He is a good boy. He won’t jump up onto anything or off of anything. I don’t know what kind of start he had in life b/c we pulled him out of a high kill shelter on his last day but he deserves the best. He loves to sit by my side and is always laying in whatever room I am in at the time. When he is tired, I find him in his dog bed sleeping or in the laundry basket in the closet. :) He is good with kids, dogs and cats. Yoda is available for adoption from Forgotten Paws Pet Rescue in Acworth, GA.

Trevor

Trevor is a Basenji/Boston Terrier mix who is 10 months old and weighs 25 lbs – Trevor is a sweet, smart, loving boy. He sleeps under my bed at night and either stands on the side next to me to get me up in the morning or sometimes he lays on my head to give me kisses. :) He loves to play with the other dogs and will chase a ball. My other ones are faster then him so I don’t know if he would bring it back if he actually got it nor if he is chasing the ball or the other dogs. LOL He comes when called and would thrive with just a little bit of command training.

Trevor has spent his life on a chain outside before we got him a couple of months ago. He never knew how to be a dog, just a lawn ornament. When we got him, he was all over the place, curious and busy but now he has really settled in well and seems alot more mature then his age.

Trevor is available for adoption from Forgotten Paws Pet Rescue in Acworth, GA.

Bob Barr: Government’s Demand For Data Truly Is Insatiable

Your Georgia Desk

From Bob Barr

Government’s Demand For Data Truly Is Insatiable

The launch of the new iPhone 6 late last month set a record for Apple, selling 10-million units in the first three days. In spite of the record-setting sales, it was not long before consumer enthusiasm for the new technology dulled with reports of alleged problems, including a potential for bending if sat on for long periods; a phenomenon quickly dubbed “Bendgate.” The release of the iPhone 6 presented another, more serious problem for a much different demographic: government snoops.

Rather than continuing to be the rope in a tug-of-war between consumer privacy and warrantless government requests for consumer data, Apple smartly took itself out of the game altogether. The techno-giant did this through its new iOS 8 operating system which Apple claims makes it not “technically feasible for [Apple] to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices.” Not surprisingly, Apple’s move did not sit well with government officials who not only see surreptitious surveillance as their duty, but a right no citizen should have the power to impede.

The surge in technological innovation over the last few years has raised the stakes in this fight, highlighted by the recent Supreme Court ruling Riley v. California in which the Justices clearly noted the differences in searching paper files versus digital data. However, the federal government’s efforts to undermine the development and use of devices or programs (such as encryption keys) that protect citizens’ communications against government snooping, goes back more than two decades.

In 1994, for example, Congress passed the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which forces telecommunication carriers and manufacturers to modify their digital communications platforms and hardware in order to facilitate the government’s ability to surreptitiously monitor communications made over those networks. (more…)