Category Archives: Politics

Brewers ‘settle’ beer issue in GA

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Notice anything odd about Georgia’s beer laws compared to its neighbors? 

Settling is in quotes for a reason. After getting royally screwed by a confusing and rather silly piece of legislation last year, craft brewers in Georgia were screwed far worse when the state Department of Revenue issued new guidelines late last year that effectively rendered the new law moot.

The issue at hand? Whether breweries can directly sell beer to customers, eschewing the ironclad three-tier system that’s run Georgia since the repeal of prohibition in the 1930s. Rather than direct sales to customers, allowed in 46 other states, the legislation passed last year required brewers to sell tours at varying prices. “Tours” would include a small amount of beer to drink on premises and up to 72 ounces to take home. However, the Dept. of Revenue put the kibosh on that when they issued new rules last year, telling brewers they couldn’t have variable prices for tours. One set price. Anything else was against the law.

Brewers were rightfully outraged and this year, the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild threatened to file new legislation that could upend Georgia’s three-tier system and possibly allow direct sales to customers. Distributors were furious, legislators were likely nervous they would lose hefty campaign contributions from distributors if they supported such legislation, and therefore a compromise was worked out. Brewers could once again go back to the strange tour system set up in last year’s SB 63.

Hardly a victory.

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Filed under Georgia News, Georgia Politics, News, Policy, Politics, State Policy, Uncategorized

Skipping debate will not cost Trump

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This is the face of a man who knows exactly what he’s doing. Or not. Who knows?

Sure, it seems insane for any candidate–even a frontrunner–to consider skipping the final debate before the Iowa Caucus, but Donald Trump is not your typical candidate. If Jeb! Bush or Marco Rubio led Iowa with a week to go and decided to skip the final debate, it might be considered a fatal mistake, costing the candidate not only Iowa, but other early states as well. However, Trump continues to prove his impervious to the usual traps that ensnarl campaigns and cost candidates elections. No, Trump continues to win and his defiance may be the reason why.

Trump’s entrance into the race last summer (has it really been that long?) defied logic. His campaign kickoff speech, filled with grotesque words about Latinos and undocumented workers was equally baffling. Surely, no one serious about winning the presidency would say these things and think they’ll win, right? But Trump’s poll numbers shot through the roof. Nothing he’s said or done since that fateful day have affected Trump’s numbers. The only thing that’s truly changed is the candidate nipping at his heels, and who stands to his left and right during debates. Trump, however, has remained front and center at every debate, and through every gaffe, ramble, and scoff, Trump reigns supreme.

So why skip the final debate before real votes are cast?

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Filed under Elections, National Elections, News, Opinion, Politics, Uncategorized, US News, US Politics

Proposed fireworks regs in GA a bit much

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During the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly, lawmakers finally legalized fireworks. Not sparklers, which had long been allowed in Georgia, but legitimate fireworks. Bottle rockets, mortars, and other fun explosives would finally be sold and taxed in Georgia, ending necessary pilgrimages into neighboring states to buy fireworks. What thrilled many Georgians who enjoy risking their fingers, faces, and other body parts to lit fireworks on Independence Day and New Years upset Georgians across the state, who didn’t welcome the new law with open ears or eyes.

Since every single Georgian obeyed the previous ban on fireworks and never once launched a bottle rocket, lit a firecracker, or watched a mortar light up the night sky, many were shocked, outraged, and very upset by the noise caused by fireworks on July 4th–along with the days immediately before and after America’s birthday. Calls were launched to strongly regulate–or ban–fireworks, because dogs, children, and the sensitive ears of adults were hurt by this new, foreign sound.

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Filed under Georgia News, Georgia Politics, Metro-Atlanta Politics, News, Opinion, Policy, Politics, State Policy, Uncategorized

Michelle Nunn, Jason Carter hope to rechart the course of Georgia politics. – The Washington Post

Michelle Nunn, Jason Carter hope to rechart the course of Georgia politics. – The Washington Post.

Awesome piece in today’s Washington Post focusing on Michelle Nunn,  Jason Carter, and the future of Democratic politics in Georgia. A must-read this morning.

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Filed under Elections, Georgia Politics, Politics, State Elections

Is Georgia soon-to-be blue? | MSNBC

Is Georgia soon-to-be blue? | MSNBC.

Great clip from last night’s “All In with Chris Hayes”.

Georgia’s turning blue faster than anyone thinks, despite rhetoric to the contrary. Georgians of all stripes are sick and tired of getting left behind. If you’re interested in learning about Georgia’s new Moral Monday, feel free to check out their Facebook page for more info.

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Filed under Elections, Georgia News, Georgia Politics, News, Policy, Politics, State Elections, State Policy

The Politicization of Everything

You may have heard, some long-bearded man who stars in a popular reality TV show said something offensive and the entire country flipped their lid. Once again, Americans of all stripes decided they were scholars of the U.S. Constitution, and chimed in accordingly.

I have little to say regarding the Duck Dynasty controversy that unfolded yesterday except for this: when something major happens that you consider a violation (or not) of one’s constitutional rights, think long and hard before you say something. Look, I’m no Constitutional scholar. I didn’t go to law school, nor do I pretend to be an expert in all things “freedom.” I’m a political scientist, who dabbles in the world of campaigns and political communications and I can tell you without a doubt that the vast majority of this country hasn’t the slightest clue what they’re discussing.

Like so many other, I joined the fray yesterday, and chipped in my two cents. It’s not worth repeating here, but let’s be clear, no one’s constitutional rights were violated yesterday. In fact, all the noise that emanated from the Duck Dynasty nonsense is a fantastic demonstration of the power of free speech. Americans hit the web to express support for either Phil Robertson or A&E without any repercussions or interference from an oppressive government.

Remember, your right to free speech protects you from the government, not your employer.

We live in a great country that allows us to debate something as irrational and bizarre as the personal views of a man who makes a living through calling ducks.

If that’s not freedom and American, I don’t know what is.

Ultimately, the fallout gives off the distinct impression that we now live in a country where we politicize everything. Pseudo-politicians like Sarah Palin insist on giving their political opinion of the actions a private company took when they believed an employee stepped out-of-bounds. Ditto for Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

Not everything in this country is political. The talking heads, politicians, pundits, and others would make you believe that there is politics in everything we do, but there just isn’t. We are the ones creating the political environment when it doesn’t need to exist.

 

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Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, US News, US Politics

Stop defining the race of a made-up person

Sorry kids, but Santa Claus isn’t real. Sure, he’s loosely based on St. Nick, but the big guy, with the red outfit, big beard, and a jolly laugh is a fictional character meant to excite kids about Christmas, sell paintings, and most importantly, bottles of delicious, fizzy Coca-Cola.

To go on national television to explicitly claim that Santa Claus is of one particular race is beyond ludicrous; it’s insanity. It’s something that lunatics rave about after they’ve consumed one too many hits of bad LSD, or the hangover from the whiskey hasn’t yet kicked in.

For the love of Christmas and all that is holy, stop talking about Santa.

Unless expressly stated by the creator of a character, fictional beings can be of whatever race we choose. If the producers of the James Bond franchise decide to replace Daniel Craig with a black 007 following Craig’s tenure, will the bloviating fools on FOX News decry the choice and argue that James Bond is white?

Probably not.

Why you ask?

James Bond, like Santa Claus is a fictional character, and despite only caucasian interpretations of the character, it doesn’t mean James Bond’s (or Santa’s) race is dogmatic.

Maybe this just happens to be a new front on the supposed “War on Christmas,” which is nothing more than a conservative delusion to make sure that the ideologically opposed can find no common ground, even around Christmas.

Some may be desperately trying to cling to an America that is dominated by straight, white males, but the country is changing. We are moving forward into a time where (we hope) race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation are no bearing on whether you are Santa Claus, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or president. Clinging to the past makes it harder for us to move forward as a nation.

Of all the issues that matter, some still believe Santa’s race is a newsworthy topic. Keep it up, FOX News and talk radio, you’re certainly winning that culture war…

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Filed under Cable News, Media, Opinion, Talk Radio, US Politics