The blog.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 13, 2015

Dublin Frito

Frito is a young male Shepherd/Hound mix, about 25 pound and 9 months old. He is available for adoption from Dublin-Laurens Animal Shelter in Dublin, GA.


Nemo is a young male Hound mix who is available for adoption from Dublin-Laurens Animal Shelter in Dublin, GA.

Dublin Lab Mix 30

This sweet Lab mix was recently brought in and doesn’t have much information yet, but is available for adoption from Dublin-Laurens Animal Shelter in Dublin, GA.


Tucker, a sweet young cream-colored Lab mix male is available for adoption from Dublin-Laurens Animal Shelter in Dublin, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 13, 2015

On March 3, 1736, the Spanish Governor of Florida complained to Georgia’s James Oglethorpe about English settlements and forts in areas claimed by Spain.

On March 13, 1868, the first impeachment trial of a United States President began in the Senate. President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House for allegations based on his Reconstruction policies that allegedly violated federal law.

Sworn in as president after Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, President Johnson enacted a lenient Reconstruction policy for the defeated South, including almost total amnesty to ex-Confederates, a program of rapid restoration of U.S.-state status for the seceded states, and the approval of new, local Southern governments, which were able to legislate “black codes” that preserved the system of slavery in all but name. The Republican-dominated Congress greatly opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction program and passed the “Radical Reconstruction” by repeatedly overriding the president’s vetoes. Under the Radical Reconstruction, local Southern governments gave way to federal military rule, and African-American men in the South were granted the constitutional right to vote.

In March 1867, in order further to weaken Johnson’s authority, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act over his veto. The act prohibited the president from removing federal office holders, including Cabinet members, who had been confirmed by the Senate, without the consent of the Senate.

On March 13, 1957, Governor Marvin Griffin signed a joint resolution by the Georgia General Assembly purporting to impeach United State Chief Justice Earl Warren and associate justices Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Thomas Clark, Felix Frankfurter, and Stanley Reed, and calling on Congress to impeach the Justices.

Under the Gold Dome Today

The House Rules Committee meets at 8 AM in Room 341 of the State Capitol; the Senate Rules Committee will meet upon adjournment. Either chamber’s Rules Committee is subject to meeting today depending on the throughput of their respective chambers.Continue Reading..


Jim Kingston: Lessons from the 2014 Senate campaign

by Jim Kingston

Last year, I drove my Dad around the Peach State helping him campaign for the United States Senate. While in the end our efforts came up short, I do not consider the effort wasted. I made many friends from all different walks of life and I learned a whole lot about the fight for smaller government— something both my parents have spent years doing.

After many successful years in the House of Representatives, my Dad felt that our country needed better leadership in the Senate. When you consider the Senate has not met their constitutional requirement of passing a credible budget in over five years, I think you might agree with him.

The results of that campaign have given my dad and everyone who had helped him run a lot of great opportunities in both the public and private sectors— opportunities that likely would not have been available otherwise. So, with that being said, here are a few key takeaways from my brief political experience.

Kingston Qualifying

(Left to right: Jim Kingston, Jack and Libby Kingston, Mrs. Ann Kingston, seated)

Freedom of speech is alive and well in the Peach State.

We can all relax. After 238 years, the first amendment continues to be well protected. If you want to hear some great, unfiltered political feedback, the Walton County GOP monthly meeting led by chairman Roy Roberts is a great place to start. County GOP BBQs, rotary club meetings, tea party rallies, and chamber of commerce luncheons across Georgia have some of the most strongly opinionated citizens in the country.Continue Reading..


Bill would reconfigure DeKalb County sales tax – Decaturish

Whenever a new city forms in DeKalb County, it eats into a special sales tax that funds infrastructure improvements.

Now state Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven, has introduced a bill recommended by the DeKalb County Operations Task Force that’s intended to fairly distribute the 1 percent Homestead Option Sales Tax. It would designate the current HOST tax to property tax relief and levy an additional penny sales tax for capital projects, like paving roads.

Both would have to be approved by the voters, assuming the House Bill 215 passes in the legislature this year.

via Bill would reconfigure DeKalb County sales tax – Decaturish.


Two anti-bullying bills before House – The Newnan Times-Herald

Two anti-bullying bills are before the Georgia House of Representatives this year.

One, House Bill 131, “The End to Cyberbullying Act,” has a chance of passing.

To become law this year, the bill would need to be approved by the House on Friday, which is “Crossover Day.” That day, the 30th legislative day of the 40 day session, is the one by which a bill must have passed either the House or the Senate to have a chance of becoming law that session. Language of bills that don’t make the deadline can sometimes be tacked on to other bills.

The other bill, HB 40, hasn’t yet gotten a hearing this year, said Rep. Keisha Waites, D-Atlanta, author of HB 40 and a co-sponsor of HB 131.

via Two anti-bullying bills before House – The Newnan Times-Herald.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 12, 2015


Duke is a magnificent beast! A young male Bloodhound who will be available for adoption beginning March 15, 2015 at Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.



Number 44077 is a young male Great Pyrenees who is friendly and available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.


Number 44058 is a young male Maltese who is friendly and available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.


Number 43867 is a young male Chihuahua who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

Macon-Bibb County will open a new animal shelter on March 20th.

A replacement for the old shelter at 1010 11th St. has been needed for years. The special purpose local option sales tax passed in 2011 included $3 million for a new shelter, built at 4280 Fulton Mill Road. Some items were cut from original plans to save money, and some were added back after Macon-Bibb commissioners moved another $435,000 from other under-budget SPLOST projects to the shelter work. Even so, officials then asked for public donations of money and items to furnish and equip the new facility.

Assistant County Manager Steve Layson said this week that the new shelter already is taking in animals, with a dozen dogs and nine cats at that time. Fewer than 20 dogs remained in the old shelter, and animal rescue groups are working to get them adopted instead of moving them to the new shelter, he said.

The State Senate passed legislation to override local laws that regulate dogs by breed, according to the Macon Telegraph,

As for dogs, they need to be judged on the content of their character, not their breed, said state Sen. Ellis Black, R-Valdosta, of Senate Bill 184.

That bill says cities and counties cannot regulate a dog based on its breed. It passed in a 42-11 vote..

Local governments could still regulate dogs found to be “vicious” or “dangerous,” but they could not single out pit bulls or other breeds.

In Georgia, only the cities of LaGrange and Lawrenceville regulate dogs by breed, Black said.

Both bills may be heard by the House of Representatives as early as next week.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 12, 2015

On March 12, 1739, James Oglethorpe, recognized as the Founder of Georgia, wrote the Georgia Trustees, urging them to continue the ban on slavery in the new colony.

Juliette Gordon Low held the first meeting of the Girl Guides, which would later be renamed the Girl Scouts, in her home in Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912.

Gianni Agnelli was born on March 12, 1921 in Turin, Italy, and would come to be the wealthiest man in Italy, head and principal shareholder of Fiat, and recognized as an Italian Senator for Life in 1991. Among those who follow fashion, Agnelli has long been recognized as an archetype of the Italian approach to menswear.

His style was about more than clothes—it was an attitude, a philosophical response to absurdity. Watching him could tell you how to live, how to behave. In Italy, they call it sprezzatura, making the difficult look easy. Americans are gonzo, a spirit personified by Hunter S. Thompson, who defined it as a man who learns to fly by falling out of a plane. Agnelli might look gonzo—especially on nights when he showed up in boots and an ill-fitting tie—but was, in fact, sprezzatura; he knew how to fly all along. “When he was not perfectly dressed, it was contrived,” says Taki Theodoracopulos, the writer, columnist, socialite and son of a Greek shipping tycoon. Taki is one of the few surviving members of Agnelli’s social circle. “The tie askew, the unbuttoned shirt—nothing was an accident. Or, to put it another way, it was meant to be an accident, which made it even more stylish.”

Clarence Thomas, originally from Pin Point, Georgia, was sworn in to the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on March 12, 1990.

R.E.M. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 12, 2007.

Happy birthday to former Atlanta Braves slugger Dale Murphy.

Under the Gold Dome Today

Here’s an excellent brief interview of Speaker David Ralston by GPB’s Bill Nigut on the Transportation Finance Act and forthcoming political challenges.

10:00am – 11:00am House MARTOC – 406 clob
10:00am – 11:00am House Nat’l Resources & Env’t – 506 CLOB
10:00am – 11:00am Senate Transportation Continuation – 125 CAP
12:00pm – 1:00pm Senate Regulated Industries – 310 CLOB
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Science & Technology – 310 clob
1:00pm – 2:00pm House Industry & Labor – 406 CLOB
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Interstate Coop – Canceled – 123 cap
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate Finance – Canceled – mezz 1
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Nat’l Resources & Env’t – 450 cap

Matt Kempner at the AJC has a higher-level view of the legislature this year, making the case that much of this Session’s legislative action involves friction between free-market conservatism and the reality of government in Georgia.

From beer to solar panels and, now, $70,000 electric cars, state legislators are weighing whether to let Georgians buy what they want, the way they want, even if it comes at the expense of powerful businesses.

Three bills in particular this year are testing the Republican-dominated legislature’s resolve for a freer market versus protectionism. Backers say they want Georgians to be able to get more from young, innovative businesses.

Legislators usually are wary of irritating their most influential business constituents, such as car dealers that employ nearly 30,000 Georgians.

“Those are some of the heaviest hitters in your community,” Hooks said. “It is difficult for any member of the legislature to go against the tried and true business leaders.”

Legislation that challenges such entrenched interests “is not going to happen overnight,” Hooks said. “Ideas change slowly in the General Assembly.”

“Since consumers are empowered in this way, when they come across regulations and laws and so on that restrict their ability to buy … then they are going to be lobbying their representatives,” said Michael Crew, a Rutgers University professor of regulatory economics. “The people with the entrenched industries are going to be lobbying also, and they generally have more power.”

Said Crew: “The guy with the least weight is the individual consumer.”

This is an excellent article that is worth reading in its entirety.

This dynamic and the libertarian leanings of many Georgia voters is demonstrated by the GaPundit Online Survey results on some of the issues that article discussed.

BeerJobsSurveyResultsContinue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 11, 2015

On March 11, 1861, the Confederate Congress, assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, adopted the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. Today the original signed manuscript of the Confederate Constitution is in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries.

On March 11, 2005, Brian Nichols shot and killed Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and court reporter Julie Brandau in the Fulton County Courthouse, leading to a lockdown of the state capitol and a number of nearby buildings. Nichols killed two more before taking a young woman hostage in Duluth; that woman, Ashley Smith, would talk Nichols into surrendering the next day. Nichols was eventually convicted for four murders and is serving consecutive life sentences.

Happy Birthday to former Governor Roy Barnes, who served from 1999-2003, and lost to Republican Sonny Perdue in 2002, and to current Governor Nathan Deal in 2010.

Pulitzer Prize winner and former New York Times reporter Claude Sitton, who covered much of the Civil Rights Movement in the South, died yesterday.

One of his articles, in 1962, caught the attention of Robert F. Kennedy, the attorney general at the time. It described a south Georgia sheriff and his deputies intruding on a voting rights meeting at a church in Terrell County and menacing the citizens there. One officer repeatedly struck his palm with a large flashlight as if it were a club; another ran his hand over his revolver and cartridge belt.

Mr. Sitton began by quoting the sheriff: “We want our colored people to go on living like they have for the last hundred years.”

Kennedy sent a Justice Department team to Terrell County to sue the sheriff two weeks later.

“It was not that Claude was some flaming liberal or liberator,” Mr. Klibanoff told The Associated Press in an interview. “He just liked a good story and liked to have it first. And frequently he was reporting on injustice — and they knew, on the civil rights side, that if The New York Times wrote about it, it would get attention from important people.”

Sitton was an alumnus of Emory University and when I was at the College, he was a professor there, teaching the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Under the Gold Dome Today

Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 11, 2015

#Savethe200 is a group of volunteers trying to help the dogs and cats who are in Dublin-Laurens County Humane Society. They must all be out of the shelter by March 23 or they’ll be euthanized. You can help by fostering or adopting, or by visiting them on Facebook to sponsor heartworm medication for an HW+ dog to make them more adoptable.


Bailey (above and below) is a 1.5 year old Retriever mix female who is available for adoption from Dublin-Laurens County Humane Society in Dublin, GA.



24578967 is a one-year old male Yellow Lab mix who is available for adoption from Dublin-Laurens County Humane Society in Dublin, GA.


24850160  is an adult Chow mix (maybe Golden Retriever too?) who is available for adoption from Dublin-Laurens County Humane Society in Dublin, GA.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 10, 2015


This sweet 30-pound Lab mix is one of the #Savethe200 dogs who needs to be out of the Dublin-Laurens Humane Society before March 23d or he will be euthanized. He might have been someone’s Christmas puppy, but he came into the shelter on December 27th.


This pit mix is number A24918298 and he likes to be hugged. He is available for adoption from Dublin-Laurens Humane Society in Dublin, GA.

Two Labs

This sweet pair of Lab mixes, one male and one female, might be brother and sister, and they’re definitely best friends. The bigger one is more outgoing, while his buddy is more reserved. Their adoption fees will be waived for a home that takes them in as a pair. They are available for adoption from Dublin-Laurens Humane Society in Dublin, GA.

If you think that the Official State Dog bill is a waste of time, here’s something for you. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black will issue $200,000 of taxpayer money in the form of grants to local governments to help with spay and neuter.

“Often local communities have citizens that are burdened by the high costs of having their pets spayed or neutered,” Black said. “This grant will target and aid these communities across Georgia by keeping strays off the street and controlling the animal population in a humane manner.”

Since the inception of the program, the Dog and Cat Sterilization Program has been utilized to sexually alter over 100,000 companion animals. The funds for these procedures are obtained from the sales of the dog and cat sterilization program specialty vehicle tags, the income tax check off and from direct contributions to the program. In 2013, the Dog and Cat Sterilization Grant Program was established to allow for state licensed animal shelters and licensed animal rescue organizations with 501-c3 status to apply for grants from the program. The first round of grants; offered in May 2013, awarded $125,000 to a total of 19 organizations.

Our friends at work to raise money to fund low-cost spay and neuter programs for pet owners in Georgia like the free Clayton County Spay Day (actually about three weeks), from February 24-March 12, 2015.

FGP is bringing its resources to Clayton County Feb. 24 through March 12, offering free spaying and neutering. FGP works with local veterinarians and clinics who offer a discount for the surgeries. The program is funded through donations and Fix Georgia Pets uses the money to cover the cost of spaying and neutering for cats and dogs.

Judy Simon is the FGP spay and neuter day coordinator. She said they’ve already received hundreds of calls and that it points to a real need in the Clayton community.

“We did a lot of homework, studied the statistics and found that a good percent of the county’s residents are under the poverty level,” Simon said. “The county has always been in need and we determined Clayton was the best place to go next.”

Ginny Millner, founder of FGP, said in an email that “Clayton is the perfect example of the pet overpopulation crisis that Georgia faces. The number of surrendered and stray dogs is so high that there’s no place to put them.”

To register for the program, call the Spay/Neuter Hotline at 404-432-3618 or 404-647-1550 for Spanish-speaking residents.

Simon said callers should leave a short message with their location and phone number. She said residents will receive a call back with a schedule time and clinic location.

As of the beginning of their Clayton County campaign, Fix Georgia Pets had more than 700 pets signed up.

If you’d like to help Fix Georgia Pets, please consider making an online donation today and join them on Facebook to keep up with their activities.