After all, it is just a dumb board!
Sine Die! If it were only true. Wikipedia has this description of “sine die:”
It is often used with regard to legislative bodies whose terms or mandates are coming to an end, as in “The One Hundred Third General Assembly of the State of Georgia closed its second session today by adjourning sine die.” This would mean that it is anticipated that this particular body will not meet again; the next session of the legislature would have a somewhat different membership, as some members would not be standing for election again, while others might not win their seats back. However, a legislative body may be called back into special session.
A corporate board might adjourn sine die if the corporation were being sold, merged, or liquidated.
Can we sell the Georgia Legislature? Merge them? With what? Liquidate? I like how that sounds, a certain ring of finality!
According to GriftDrift, James Williams, the Republicans managed to accomplish little, nothing on the important issues like transportation, while at the same time, alienating all the county commissions in Georgia and disappointing the business community.
How does a modern, 21st Century legislative body pass legislation that places the control of roads projects in one man appointed by the Governor? How do they decide that each road project in the state has to be approved by a general assembly that meets 40 days ever year? Yep, that is the essentials of the legislature’s attempt to dismantle the DOT and politicize road projects in Georgia.
And, they are still dreaming up some of the dumbest taxing ideas, like a 7% one time ad valorem tax on vehicles. That’s 7% in addition to the sales tax. I am sure the car dealers need that one to boost sales in these economic times.
This is no way to run a state!
The question is whether or not Casey Cagle will own up to this failure or put a “spin” on the poor performance during his gubernatorial campaign.
When will the people of Georgia wake up and realize the current Republican leadership is not worthy of this great state. We are going backward, not forward.
My apologies to Jason Pye for not posting this interview last week, but after the interview I had to leave the state. Really! (Business in Oregon, not because of the interview.)
Anyway, our discussion about the Georgia Legislature and the budget issues is still pertinent to everyone interested in understanding the stresses and strains of these times and the tension between the spenders (Me) and the tax cutters (Jason).
If you haven’t noticed, I have been in a blogging slump since Independence (Inauguration) Day 2009. Still trying to pull myself out of it. There is still hope, Friday is Good and Easter is coming!
You will have to listen to the interview. I am headed out of town again, but wanted to get this posted without further delay.
I have just been out of it since the inauguration. What better way to get back than with the master or Georgia political analysis! Thanks Grift Drift!
This eclectic interview gives a sense of the subdued weirdness of the Georgia legislature this season. The shouting and brazen conflict of past legislative sessions has given way to conflicting agendas worked out in back rooms and committee meetings.
The Georgia Power bill to make taxpayers pay for the expansion of Plant Vogle brought the ire of conservative Republicans like Erick Erickson of Peach Pundit. Even with grassroots opposition, the bill passed anyway, and the cost, politically speaking, may not be paid until the 2010 elections.
The lame duck Governor had his misguided (actually corrupt) attempt to let drug manufacturers kill us without fear of consequences die in committee. His equally stupid idea of making losing litigants pay attorney fees passed after being gutted and field dressed. Just between you and me, I will be glad when “Perdue” makes me think only of real chicken.
With all the budget problems, the Republican legislators were saved by President Obama and the Democratic stimulus legislation. Were it not for those funds, the legislature might committed political suicide in cutting services, teachers and a whole bunch of other stuff. Even as it turned out, they may have alienated a lot of county governments just because they seriously contemplated leaving them out to dry by failing to reimburse them for the loss of revenue from the homestead exemption, Such a move would have put every county in the state in deep trouble.
The real question is what does all this mean for the 2010 elections? We may not know that until Roy Barnes announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Governor.
The Governor’s race in 2010 is going to prove interesting. Will the Republicans maintain their iron grip on state elections? Will the Democrats be able to exploit the budget cuts and layoffs the revenue shortfall is going to engender? There are hundreds of ways to characterize the struggle for power that will unfold over the next two years. I prefer the following: Will the citizens of Georgia wake up?
In this interview, David Poythress explains why the people of Georgia should consider the conservative leadership of a Georgia Democrat. David is not a new comer to Georgia politics. He has held various state positions, including stints as Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Revenue Commissioner and Secretary of State. In 1992 he campaigned in his first statewide race and was elected State Labor Commissioner. Although he was re-elected to the position in 1994, he ultimately resigned to run for Governor in 1998. Roy Barnes was the successful candidate in that race.
While some of the current economic crisis is due to policies of the national political parties, David believes the current Republican leadership under Perdue and the Republican controlled House and Senate has failed to do anything to solve the problems of this State when it comes to things like education and transportation.
As for the Democrats, they have failed to aggressively take the Republicans to task for their policies. David hopes to change that and give the people of Georgia a clear choice in leadership in 2010.
I believe a lot of Georgia Republicans are not happy with the quality of their party’s leadership and the direction of it policies. You hear the whispers on the corner expressing dissatisfaction. Most of these guys are Georgia Democrats that switched parties hoping for a piece of the power pie. They are less and less enamored with the strict obedience to party leadership decisions demanded by the Republicans.
My hope is that we all wake up and realize that the current Republican leadership in Georgia is doing everything it can (vouchers are coming) to cripple public education while deceitfully claiming to be making it better. They are determined to transfer the burden of taxes from the rich (most of them) that own property to the rest of us that spend all we make on goods and services. And when it comes to transportation, they don’t seem to have a clue. They won’t consider any reform that raises a dime of new taxes, because they prefer to raise fees on target groups (like smokers). Their goal is to make Georgia as sorry and as cheap a state as Mississippi and Alabama, not the leader of the South.
Consider your vote! It is getting more and more important.
It may not be of interest to you if you don’t live in Toombs County and the surrounding counties, but when your local hospital decides to build a new facility, it means a lot to a lot of people. In this interview with Alan Kent, CEO and President of Meadows Regional Medical Center, Alan gives us a broad overview of where the hospital is headed in finalizing the plans and building the new facility. We might have a state of the art hospital in two years or so.
Our current hospital is located in a 50+ year-old building with add-ons and modifications. At some point old equipment plants simply become too costly to maintain. That, together with the fact that the current facility is located on an inadequate 22 acre site, is probably the best justification for a new home, but for me, I just like new, state of the art anything. If you build it, they will come!
Meadows has come a long way in the 30 years since I moved to Toombs. It was a sleepy, country hospital that gave birth to babies and took out gallbladders the old fashioned way, cut that sucker out! We had a handful of doctors, mostly GPs like Drs. Merritt and Barfield, that did a little bit of everything. Health insurance wasn’t expensive and a lot of people did not have it. You had to work at Plant Hatch or be a teacher working for the state.
Technology has transformed healthcare, insurance companies have raped it, and government doesn’t know what to do with it. Oh well, we will still have a new hospital.
Keep up the good work Meadows Regional Medical Center!
In case you have not had a chance to ponder what Obama said, the text of his First Inaugural Address follows. I copied it from the MSNBC website. If my cut and paste screwed it up, I apologize.
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them— that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence— the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive … that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.
I can hardly wait until noon. I want to hear it. I want to hear his speech. I want to hear those words. I want so desperately to be inspired. I want to journey to the mountain top as we did with Martin Luther King. I want to stay there. For 8 years. Actually, for even longer.
Today, I will be happy, fulfilled, satiated with victory. Today, I will look on the monuments of my nation and be proud of all that is good and ignore the blips of its history. I will contemplate with faithful assurance that the MLK holiday was destined to fall on the day before the election of our first African American President.
But, in the recesses of my mind there is this feeling, this nagging feeling, that on Wednesday reality will arrive, a reality that I knew was coming, but did not want to face. That reality is me! It is easy to be excited, because I am on the side of the victors. It is easy to be inspired, I voted for him.
But, I did not vote for Obama to be excited or inspired. I voted on him to solve problems and to fix what is broke and I am afraid that I am part of what is broke. I am 57 years old and I have no idea what generation I am a part of but I do know that I was raised to want what I want and to have what I have. I was not raised on sacrifice. I do know that no matter what proclamations of unity I hear, I have, for more than a decade, been steeped in partisanship. I have been trained to be skeptical of the opponent’s intentions and objectives, expressed and unstated. I have been hardened by Bush’s ineptitude to the point that I wonder if anyone can turn it around.
My point? When all is said and done, I think Obama’s success depends more on me and you, than on him. Sound crazy? Wait and see! Wait until my group gets to sacrifice first, rather than “them.” I ain’t gonna like that. Wait until things don’t improve for me as fast as I need them to. Wait until that one thing I am convinced should be done or implemented, doesn’t get done. Wait until I find a way to blame “them,” rather than me. Wait until they start tampering with my favorite government program, be it tax cuts or social services or Medicaid. Wait until I call my Congress and tell him he better oppose Obama on this or that. Wait until I don’t get my way.
The choice? Do I learn or do I revert? Do I think or do I react? Do I mean the words Obama speaks or do I just want him to mean them?
I have not choice but to wait and see!
…on this last day of the Bush Administration, I did not wish Bush good riddance. That may sound unkind. I care not. I do not recall any kindness from Bush. It may not be forgiving. I care not. I have no proof that Bush has forgiven any slight to his majestic self image. It may not be the tone our President-Elect would attempt to set. I care not. No one voted for me.
I only have a few hours to be angry and mad at our President and I damn well intend to get a lot more anger and madness out of my system while time is short.
When George W. Bush puts his words into practice and takes personal responsibility for his actions and those of his administration, then I might be forgiving. After all forgiveness comes after repentance.
When George W. Bush tells something that sounds like the truth, rather than an excuse, then I may be kinder, gentler. (No, that was 41, not 43.)
When George W. Bush gives some indication that he has undermined American principles of human dignity and respect, I will cease to hope his dreams are tortured.
When George W. Bush admits it was all a cruel joke, that they new exactly what they were doing, I will laugh and say, “Fool me once….”
But until those days come, I will have to be satisfied with the assurance that in the annals of history George W. Bush has no chance for vindication, no matter how much he tries to re-write the script. I can smile when I lay my head on my pillow at night with the knowledge that his legacy will be that of a fool, a misguided, self-possessed, ignorant fool.
And I will know that everyday for the rest of his life George W. Bush will have to worry that some Attorney General in some state that is deep blue will prosecute his sorry ass for the murder of thousands of American men and women in a war he perpetrated upon lies, intentional lies.
Who was it that said: “Give anyone enough rope and he will hang himself.” That’s an idea! Offended? I care as much as George Bush and Dick Cheney do.
Lincoln inherited a country on the verge of attack, internally, not foreign. It was a country divided, divided by a lot of things. His words at his second swearing in just before the end of the Civil War may not have been well received by many people in the South. Nevertheless, is there is any lie, any deceit, and empty rhetoric in his words?
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.
On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, urgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.
One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.