So, by now, most faithful readers of this blog probably have heard Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) has apologized to BP for the President “making them” put $20 billion dollars in an escrow account to pay for the Gulf cleanup. (He has since retracted that apology, since many Republicans have backed off that statement.) The media has been concentrating on this statement as if Rep. Barton was a lone gunman. In fact, this fund has been attacked by Michele Bachmann, Dick Armey, and even Georgia’s own Rep. Tom Price.

Rep. Price, who is congressman for Georgia’s 6th district, said the Obama administration is “hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics.” So, putting aside the usual unfounded, Regressive rhetoric, is Rep. Price really prepared to fall on his sword for BP?

So, let’s hear some comments. Is BP being treated unfairly? Are (some) Republicans putting a foreign corporation’s before the interests of Americans? Is this something entirely different? Comment!

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Yesterday, our Junior Senator, Johnny Isakson, met with Supreme Court Nominee Elana Kagan. While overall upbeat, and stating he doesn’t “ever prejudge these situations,” he proceeded to prejudge the situation.

Georgia’s junior senator said he has concerns about Kagan’s lack of judicial experience and her previous stance on military recruiting on college campuses…

Judicial Experience was not really such an issue in looking at Harriett Miers.

Sen. Isakson is up for re-election. It may be time to starting thinking whether this is a Senator who will represent all of us, or remain in lockstep with the party of “Hell No.”

To the (few) devoted readers, a new post is sorely overdue. As Georgia is back in the news, the timing is perfect.

Apparently, There has been an incident of students dressing as Klan members at a North Georgia school, with a teacher’s permission. This has upset the local African American community and attracted national attention. A great deal of the response has been negative, showing deep racial scars still divide our state. Is this so, or is this an overreaction to something more innocuous?

The teacher was teaching AP US History and Film, and the students were making a film tracing racism through the history of cinema. An immediate example that comes to mind would be Birth of a Nation. The point is taken. Film has been used as a form of propaganda nearly since its invention. The students made their own costumes and were walked through the cafeteria by the teacher to the place where they could film. They apparently did not expect anyone to be around. The student doing the filming was dressed normally.

Unfortunately, two African American students did see and were frightened. Who can blame them? This led to a parent complaining and the teacher being put on administrative leave.

So, the question remains. Were these students doing a thought provoking project, or racist kids trying to get by with intimidation and fear right in front of everyone? Please comment with any opinions on the matter.

Once again, another state has shown itself to be more backward than Georgia. And, once again, Georgia conservatives are bound and determined to show who can stride furthest back in history.

Arizona passed a law in which law enforcement officers must ask anyone whom they are “reasonably” suspicious of being an illegal immigrant for their ID or immigration papers. What passes for “reasonable” is not listed, but it is difficult for this not to be seen as racial profiling. If you speak around an officer with an accent, or have a certain shade of skin, the police not only can ask you for your”papers, please,” they are bound to do it by law. Racial profiling is now the law of the land in Arizona.

Now, Nathan Deal, GOP front runner for the governor’s seat to be vacated by Sonny Purdue, wants to to the same thing. Even prominent conservatives, such as Tom Ridge, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Tom Tancredo have issues with this law.

So, Georgia, we have choices. Does the GOP nominate a man who advocates a blatantly racist law, or does it continue to stride into a 21st century which acknowledges civil rights for all Georgians. If the GOP gos for the former, are we going to let this speak for us to the rest of the country? Arizona is already the target of numerous boycotts. Georgia cannot take being boycotted by the rest of the nation and by other nations. A state in the red must reject this and look to comprehensive immigration reform as the real answer.

So, did anyone else know that yesterday was Confederate Memorial Day? It was first enacted in 1874, to commemorate the official end of the Civil War in Georgia on April 26, 1865. The legislative language states that Georgia apparently already celebrated that day as “Memorial Day,” although no one is certain what we were commemorating. This was an official state holiday until 1984, along with Robert E Lee’s Birthday, Jefferson Davis’s Birthday, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving, among others.

It is at this point that the history becomes a little strange. In 1984, the legislature recognized all holidays that had been recognized up to that point, but removed all of their names. Thus, Georgia does not celebrate New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. Instead, we celebrate January 1, the fourth Thursday in November, and December 25. We also do not, as a matter of statute, celebrate Confederate Memorial Day. We, as a state, celebrate April 26, and give all state employees the day off for it.

So, after some unsuccessful attempts to get April named Confederate History month and April 26 named Confederate history month, Georgia governors stared proclaiming April 26 Confederate Memorial Day by executive proclamation. They have to do this every year. No Governor has failed to do this since 1984. In 2009, the Georgia General Assembly finally designated April Confederate History and Heritage Month.

All of this is to say this: Why are we celebrating a traitorous rebellion against the United States? Here in the South, it is not uncommon to find that the “Love it or leave it” patriots also have confederate flags and celebrate their confederate heritage. If anyone can explain how this is not treason in and of itself, please do so. It does not seem that one can love both the United States and the Confederacy.

So, the GOP has blocked the motion to open debate on financial reform. They won’t even talk about it. This is related to Georgia because both Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson joined in this vote. They feel so safe in their seats that they will side with the banks against their own constituents.

So, when you talk with your conservative friends (I know you have them if you live in Georgia), and they mention that they will “remember in November,” ask them if they will remember this when Senators Chambliss and Isakson come up for re-election. In fact, Senator Isakson comes up this November. Remember in November, indeed!

It’s time to continue running down how the Ten Commandments have almost nothing to do with our current legal system. The next commandment is “Do not take the Lord’s name in vain.” Americans do that many times in a day. There are no laws against it. Basically, the law does not care if someone swears an oath or curses using the Lord’s name.

Next is “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” Americans, especially in the South get closer to this, but still no cigar. First, the Sabbath is Saturday. No laws about keeping Saturday. However, let’s assume it got moved to Sunday, as so many Christians do. Does not allowing alcoholic purchases on Sunday “keep the Sabbath?” What about eating out after church, where someone has to serve you? Of course, that person had to skip church in order to prepare the restaurant for your arrival. The point is that this commandment has lackluster obedience at best from eth American legal system. So close.

Moving on, we find “Honor thy mother and father.” While this is definitely a good idea, and we do culturally encourage this behavior. However, there is still no law against putting your loving parent in an old folks home where you see them once a month, and have no idea and less care whether they are being taken care of. If this is honor, you can keep it.

Next time, we finally hit some commandments that may have affected our system. And we will see that still, Paul Broun knows little about the Bible and less about teh laws of our land. Its kind of scary that he is expected to write those laws, huh?

This post was supposed to be celebratory. After all, Georgia decided to exercise common sense, not embarrass its citizens, and not sue the federal government. Thurbert Baker declined to join the Attorneys General suit, saying “this litigation is likely to fail and will consume significant amounts of taxpayers’ hard-earned money in the process.”

So, how do Georgia Republicans respond to this sensible act? They are trying to impeach the attorney general. The charge is that the Attorney General was not upholding his oath of office. Baker, who received his JD from Emory, felt that the lawsuit was baseless and without merit. The Governor, who got his JD…wait, he isn’t an attorney. In fact, he is a veterinarian. Not to say anything against veterinarians in their field, but an attorney from Emory may know more about what is Constitutional than a lame duck Governor with a political bone to pick.

On top of that, the Governor is appointing a “special attorney general” to file the suit. So, not only is Georgia part of this mentally challenged exercise, we are expending extra resources to do it. Go team! Teachers are getting furloughed across the state, budgets are being cut past the essential services level, and Sonny Purdue wants to sue the federal government when the State’s top legal mind says its pointless. Does the Governor even have that power? So, this will cause another legal fight, more expenditures, and more stupidity.

By the way, each state has the ability to opt out by means of their legislation. Georgia put resolutions in front of both the State House and Senate. They were voted down by the democratically elected officials. The Governor is setting aside the democratically (and popularly) attorney general’s opinion to get a self-appointed “special attorney general.” Georgia Republicans are thwarting the will of the people for their narrow ideology. and embarrassing us in the process.

I will admit, I am torn. As a Progressive, I enjoy watching Republicans make fools of themselves. They are digging their own political graves. I want to encourage them in their endeavors. On the other hand, as a Georgian, I really hate that we will be, once again, on the wrong side of history. This time, the people tried to do the right thing, but a handful of Republicans on a power trip think they know better than the people. So, I want this to go away, since this is nothing but a stain on the state I love.

As much as I would (and probably will) love to watch these Republicans march off this cliff like lemmings, my love of Georgia persuades me otherwise. Please, Governor, for the love of the State you swore to defend, let this one slide.

So, Representative Paul Broun (R-GA) of the 10th district is making Georgia proud again. After proposing legislation to keep pornography from the adults in our military, voting against a climate change bill because it was a “hoax” perpetuated by the scientific community, and proposing legislation to make 2010 “The year of the Bible”, he has made another stride to make America an anti-intellectual theocracy.

Rep. Broun has proposed a resolution to make the first weekend in May “Ten Commandments Weekend.” Not only would this be a gross violation of the First Amendment, it is also highly offensive to those of non-Abrahamic faiths or no faith at all, on top of being a horrendous waste of taxpayer money.

The bill asks that “citizens of all faiths and religious persuasions…reflect on the important impact that the Ten Commandments have had on the people and national character of the United States.” So, let’s look at how each Commandment is related to our people and national character.

First up, “[d]o not have any other gods before me.” Sorry, that is explicitly outlawed by the First Amendment. Besides, everyone knows the god of America is the dollar. Next up, “You shall not make for yourself an idol.” Again, we worship our money more than any other god. Just look at how riled social conservatives get when you try to part them with their precious mammon.

But not only that, the Jewish and Islamic traditional understandings of this commandments have long been “don’t make graven images,” i.e. statues. Americans love statues. Our nation’s capital alone has dozens of such “idols” littering the landscape. Sorry, this isn’t in our character either.

This post is getting a little long, so we will have to review the rest in another post. Hopefully, by the end, we will have a better understanding of what the distinguished gentleman from Georgia is trying to get across to us.

No, this is not the next screed on how to handle your delinquent teen. This about Georgia Senate bill 304, which would not allow teenage prostitutes, under the age of sixteen, to be charged with prostitution and arrested. Instead, they would be steered into care, counseling and diversionary programs. The idea, which is not really that off base, is that these children are not making a choice to sell their young bodies. They are victims who need protecting, not criminals who need arresting.

Apparently, this laudable goal does not sit well with some. Georgia Christian Alliance, the Georgia Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, and the Georgia Baptist Convention have all come out against it. There is even a fringe group call “We are CHANGE Atlanta” who has a Youtube video attacking the image. FYI, I call this particular group fringe because they are also fighting the pressing issues of vaccination and chip implants. Go freedom fighters!

The main argument of these groups, other, I suppose, than the unspoken “I don’t care if it is statutory rape, its pre-marital sex and you need to be locked up,” one, is that, without arrest powers, the police have no alternative but to leave these children with their pimps. Of course, this bill does nothing of the kind. This actually helps children get the care they need, while maintaining statutory rape a crime. If this passes, this doesn’t give pedophiles the freedom to do what they like with these children.

Here it is, progressives! Conservative groups are using their own ignorance to hurt children! Not in my state, buddy.

By the way, the above video has been taken down by Youtube already and replaced. No one has supplied a video response, and this would appear to be an opportunity for any webcam users out there. GO GET ‘EM!