21 July 2014

Thoughts on GA House 112

Whenever I think about Ronald Reagan, I think about a line in his autobiography. A line, to paraphrase, that talks about him looking at a bunch of people going by in a very busy place and thinking to himself - who are these people; what are their stories?

When I think about the 112th district of the great state of Georgia, I think about the regular folks of that district. And I think about their stories. The working folks, the blue collar, if you will. I also think about most of the the small business owners - the engine of Georgia. Several folks who are very close to me, and several other folks that I know who fit the description of the line in the great Guy Clark song, "the heroes of this country."

When I think about GA HD 112, I think about the power-elite in Newton Co. And Covington. The folks that run the local GOP party. And other folks. The folks behind the 2050 plan. I think about how they have been so dead set on stopping my good friend Aaron Brooks, and, every time I think of this, I realize that my buddy is doing something so right.

And then I think about how a win for Aaron Brooks would be a win for the people in this district. A much needed and hard fought win. After dealing with a tax increase last year, based on millage, and then another tax increase this year, based on real estate valuation, and then I think about the persons I mentioned earlier in this column, and I think about the hardships that these folks will deal with. And the hardship that me and the Missus will deal with with our measly property tax burden and the taxes on our two modest vehicles, even though our income - like most folks - has fallen yet again because, as most of us know, the economy is not in recovery. All because the powers-that-be can't let go of certain things. And that certain things can't get done because...they're "off the table" ( Hell, people, it's a laundry list here: county attorney, hospital authority, landfill contract, ambulance service, etc. etc. etc.)

And then a negative mailer goes out in which every single, goddam sentence is one lie after another. I start to get hot...I can feel the blood pressure going up...but then, I realize a beautiful thing. They are losing. They're getting desperate. And with each move they make, just like the Newton Co. establishment pick a couple of months ago, they hurt themselves more and more. Well, I'll tell you what: It puts a smile on my face...

My friend Aaron Brooks has kept it on the high road. And I have no doubt that he will win Tuesday. I think he would have won even if he hadn't kept it that way. If it was me, I sure as hell wouldn't have stayed high. By God, I sure would have fought fire with fire!!! But...I wasn't running. Aaron was. And he's a much better man than I am. I think helluva lot of him, and I think a lot of folks around town do as well.

So...I guess to find the rub, that would be it. Aaron winning would be a huge win for a lot of folks who need a win right now.

So if this column finds you - I hope it finds you well - and if you were to live in the 112th House District of Georgia and are able to vote in the GOP run-off on July 22nd, I sure hope you cast your ballot for a man that I admire and am fortunate to consider a good friend, Mr. J. Aaron Brooks.

17 April 2014

My Take on GA CD 10

The 10th Congressional race has been slowly heating up here lately, although there really isn't a ton to report at this time except for fundraising. Speaking of which, Jon Richards over at Peach Pundit did a nice little write-up detailing everybody's 1st quarter's haul and a basic synopsis of where things stand. It's a pretty good read...

I'm pretty much in agreement with a lot of what he says in this article. To me, at this time, there are two defined front-runners, one right behind them, a possible dark horse, and then the rest of the field. Let's take a look:

  • Front-runners

    • Mike Collins - The son of Mac Collins, the well-known and well-liked former Congressman from Georgia, Mike is a very likeable guy. He comes across as very real and genuine. A successful businessman, he is making that the focal point of his campaign - a business approach to dealing with things. His plan, as evidenced by his web address, is to "overhaul D.C.." Out in east Newton Co., near my neck of the woods, he has a lot of support, and as I understand it, he has a lot of grassroots and financial support throughout the entire district as well. I'd be pretty surprised if he doesn't make it past May 20th. And he currently has the most cash on hand of any candidate in this race. As an aside and in the spirit of disclosure, this is the guy I'm supporting in this race. Haven't donated or anything, and hell, I can't even vote for him as I'm west of the Alcovy, but this is who I like in this one.
    • Jody Hice - The smart money is on Jody being the other one to wake up on May 21st with a run-off campaign to work. Hice raised the most money in this year's first quarter, He, too, has a very strong grassroots structure. Hice is the more fiery TEA party type who is also a Preacherman. And he can whip 'em into a frenzy - he gives a very good stump speech. Mr. Hice, by the way, is also a very nice man. The thought that some have had is that perhaps he peaked too early, but some have said that of Collins as well. It definitely doesn't hurt that he's from the most populated county in the district in terms of GOP votes, Walton Co. We'll see...

  • Second Tier

    • Donna Sheldon - For a while, Sheldon was kind of an enigma. The word was that she had raised a lot of money but wasn't really spending much of it and wasn't really campaigning that much, either. Well, that has changed. She is now very much running a very active campaign. She's raised more money than anyone else, and she almost raised the most in the 1st quarter as well. She's a good speaker and seems to connect well with audiences. She's also a pretty good-looking lady, and that probably doesn't hurt with some voters. If someone is going to knock one of the top two off the perch, it will probably be this former state representative from Gwinnett

  • Dark Horse: 

    • Gary Gerrard - He hasn't raised a ton of money, but he hasn't done bad. He seems to have a pretty good campaign team and structure and has some decent grassroots support. Yes, he's a lawyer, but he seems like a good guy. He also seems to be smart as hell. For a time, I was thinking about publicly supporting Gary in this one. Chances are that he'll finish fourth behind the aforementioned three, but I wouldn't totally count him out. Some big donations and a few things go his way, and he could have a very outside shot at making the run-off. 

  • The Rest

    • Stephen Simpson - Super nice guy and well-qualified and has come a long way as a candidate since 2012, but he doesn't have much of a chance, I'm afraid. He might slip up and take 4th place, and that's about as well as he could wish for. 
    • Mitchell Swan - Late to the race. Not that it would have mattered.  He makes you think about some things. Very passionate and intelligent. No chance whatsoever.
    • Brian Slowinski - I can't lie. I kind of like ole Brian. Yeah, he's kind of an oddball, but he actually knows his stuff pretty darn good. Not sure exactly why he's running, though. The only drama with these last two is to see who doesn't finish last. Because he will be on the ballot before Swan, I'm picking the upset and going with Slowinski to finish 6th with about 3 to 4% of the vote.
So...that's my take on the 10th. 

***Update: My good friend, Jason Pye, has also weighed in on this race.

08 April 2014

The Law of Unintended Consequences: GOP Style

 *Cross-posted at United Liberty

Let's take a stroll down memory lane right quick. Back to the late Summer of 2012 to a little place called Tampa, FL and a little event known as the Republican National Convention.

As I reported back during this time, the GOP, for some unexplained and borderline-obsessive reason, was desperate to "maintain the narrative" that they were 100% united behind Mitt Romney. They thought it would be a good idea to completely re-write longstanding GOP rules and bylaws to keep Dr. Ron Paul from getting the guaranteed speaking slot that would come with his having captured the plurality of delegates in five states. So, led by Romney's lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, and the most awful Republican of all time, John Sununu, the GOP did just that - completely reworking and reshaping the entire power structure of the GOP.

As Rick Ungar mentioned in his column at Forbes.com yesterday, the main reason this was done was to put out that pesky Ron Paul fire and also to ensure a smooth process for Romney's reelection during the 2016 delegate process. Of course, there is one little problem there. Romney didn't win, so now the GOP is stuck with Rule 40 that now mandates that a candidate has to have a majority (rather that plurality) of delegates from eight (instead of five) states.

With the very crowed field that the GOP primary season will almost undoubtedly see, is there a real concern that we might get to the 2016 Convention without the ability to nominate a candidate? According to Ungar, that answer is a very possible yes. And also according to him, there is nothing that can be done about it until the RNC starts up the 2016 convention and who knows what the Rules Committee might look like. If it's made up of people all supporting different candidates, this thing has the ability to be a full blown mess.

So, the law of unintended consequences and the whole "be careful what you wish for - you just might get it" thing.

And one final recollection of mine from the day after the November election:

Looking back on it, it should have been obvious. The GOP had a death wish. It seemed as if they were, at every, single turn, making all of the WRONG decisions. On everything! Flipping the middle finger to all of the Ron Paul supporters wasn't one of their finer moments, for sure! With the polarized electorate we now have, you've got to be as inclusive as possible, not completely exclusive.

Has the GOP learned its lesson? I'm wanting to maintain some optimism at this point. It seems, from where I'm at, as if more and more long-serving and rank-and-file GOPers are getting on the Rand train. So maybe.  But what about the mid-terms this year? Can the GOP keep from snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

17 April 2013

Closing up shop

Well, what can I say? It's been real and it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun, right? LOL! JK! Actually, it has been pretty fun. It's hard to believe that I first started this blog almost eight years ago. And while I had about a three year dormant phase, this blog has been pretty productive in my opinion.

Times change, and things change, and I've just gotten to the point where I don't have the inclination to do this blog anymore, nor the need to in my opinion (more on that later). Anytime you get to the point where you only have two blogposts in a two month period is usually a sign that it's time to hang it up.

The specific reason for shelving the East Metro Blog? Well, that's a good question. Hmmm...let's see, laziness? Yes, that would be one. But the biggest reason would be that...I don't know, I just don't think I need to anymore. For starters, I've come to the opinion that "winning the hearts and minds" rarely happens online. Most people, I think, are going to believe what they believe, and nothing you can say or write is going to change their minds. Either you're going to be preaching to the choir, or you're going to have people reading that will never, ever agree with you. So...what's the point? Well, the point is - you want to have your say. And there's something to be said for that; however, there are other avenues to do that. Also, I am of the opinion that actions speak much louder than words. I'm very much a "political activist" and I think I can do more with that, politically, than I ever could on this blog.

With all of that said, I actually do believe that it is important to fight the battle of ideas in order to win those aforementioned "hearts and minds." If I feel so inclined, and if my copy is good enough, I can always publish something over at United Liberty, a blog I occasionally contribute to. This is one of the premier libertarian-leaning, conservative blogs on the web. Based out of Washington, D.C., it usually get thousands of hits per day. In addition to that, an old college mate of mine, Perrin Lovett, has a very active blog that fights the good fight in its own, albeit weird and sometimes bizarre, way. There are so many other great pages out there that can be easily found if you sniff 'em out (hint: check my blogroll).

But the real reason why I'm shelving the East Metro - I want to recommit myself to the things that are really important to me: my family, my job, my music, and my non-political writing. Those are my true passions, and also where my true talents lie, in my honest opinion.

If you really want to keep up with me politically, click on my twitter feed at the top of this page. I'm not the biggest tweeter, but I'm fairly active with it. And I'll probably end up starting a new blog that may occasionally cover politics without being political. Keep an eye out, and I'm going to get serious about Tumblr, so check my page there when you can.

8 years...what a ride.Until next time...

Peace be with you.




08 March 2013

Because FB and Twitter isn't enough...

I've decided to really start to get involved with my Tumblr account. Why? I have no good answer for that at time: however; other than just having a desire to do it I'm planning on concentrating more on music, food, art, and esoteric politics with this page. So...we'll see. Here's the link:

The Enduring Chill

And right quick, how about Rand Paul! Yesterday was so invigorating and exhilarating. A great day for Freedom and Liberty. 

Yours in Peace and Liberty! 

26 February 2013

Tuesday Morning Bites