Category Archives: Uncategorized

Brewers ‘settle’ beer issue in GA

southeast-beer-laws

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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

Skipping debate will not cost Trump

150810-donald-trump-debate-743a_ded2a0af932f2c2332757273ea911da2.nbcnews-fp-1200-800

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?

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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

Proposed fireworks regs in GA a bit much

fireworks-file1

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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

Time’s hyperbolic statement on Class of 2015 is sad and demeaning

Scrolling through Twitter this morning, I came across a rather hyperbolic statement by Time Magazine. The tweet simply read “Here is proof the class of 2015 is the most spoiled ever,” with a link to a short article regarding how much money the class of 2015 received in gifts. Gifts–mostly in the form of cash–rose from $4.7 billion in 2014 to $4.8 billion in 2015, thus necessitating Time’s declaration that the class of 2015 is spoiled rotten.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 9.46.05 AM

Sadly, Time fails to acknowledge the number of students who will take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to pay for a higher education. College is the way to a prosperous future–or so we were told–and those that can’t afford to attend college quickly turn to student loans. As of November 2014, the average student loan debt hit $30,000, but that number isn’t all that shocking. According to a 2012 study by the Institute for College Access & Success,  66 percent of graduates from public colleges had student loan debt. That number rises to 75 percent for those graduating from private nonprofit colleges and universities and hits a staggering 88 percent for graduates of for-profit colleges.

When you consider all student loan debt in the United States, the level reaches something almost unfathomable by the average person: $1.2 trillion dollars. Yes, trillion with a “T.” When Time Magazine calls the class of 2015 the most spoiled class of graduates ever, perhaps they should consider the rising cost of college tuition and how students are now forced to pay for their education.

According to CollegeData.com, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees during the 2014-15 academic year was $23,410, while tuition and fees at an average private college hit $46,272. For those keeping score, that’s $93,640 for 4 years at a public school and an astounding $185,088 for 4 years at a private school. Spoil the class of 2015 all you want, but for an average high school graduate to pony up that kind of money is nearly unbelievable.

Sure, plenty of parents bestow their spoiled children with the funds to receive a college education, and bless the children fortunate enough to have parents that can afford that kind of financial cost, but for most, that’s simply not the case. Millennials like to joke about the Boomers who like to say that they worked a summer job to afford their college tuition; I’d like to see the same Boomers attempt to do that now. Unless you’re trading stocks, or already have a job paying you enough money to avoid having to go to college in the first place, a summer job will not cover college tuition. Perhaps it’ll cover a few books, but it won’t make a dent in the nearly $12,000 you’ll need to pony up just for fall tuition.

There are plenty of reasons why college tuition is skyrocketing, unabated, but that’s not a conversation for this post. The words here are for those who feel entitled enough to once again trash talk to the current generation of Americans. Yes, many of us may be entitled brats, but it’s the Boomers who raised us. For those who are not entitled, the struggle to pay back one’s loans is enormous. While interest mounts, many students struggle to find decent entry-level positions following college, and in some cases must take unpaid internship after unpaid internship with the hope that it will one day become a full time, salaried job.

So yes, the class of 2015 may be living large before the enter college classrooms across the country, but once the loans start piling up, so does reality. If the class of 2015 wants to get ahead in life, they’re not the most spoiled class in history, they’re just another class in a series of classes that might be the most unfortunate generation in recent history.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Medical marijuana advocates moves south

Next year’s gubernatorial contest in Florida will be a hotly contested race, with near-record amounts of money spent by incumbent governor Rick Scott’s campaign and his likely Democratic challenger, former Republican governor, Charlie Crist. A major issue that is just starting to surface is the role medical marijuana might play in who governs the Sunshine State from 2015 through early 2019.

Supporters of medical marijuana legalization are pushing a petition throughout state, attempting to acquire the 700,000 necessary signatures to get the issue on the ballot next year. With over 200,000 signatures in the bank, it appears likely that pot will find itself at the forefront of state politics. Rick Scott, along with incumbent attorney general Pam Bondi (also a Republican) have both publicly opposed the effort to legalize medicinal pot in Florida, while Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich has come out in favor of the measure, and Crist is “open” to the idea.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Elections, Florida Politics, Policy, Politics, Uncategorized, US Politics

On Obama, Democracy, and America

 

by Kevin Hagler

No doubt many of you have heard the news: Anthony Weiner’s seat has been hijacked by the Republicans and the politicos across the nation are questioning the realism of a second Obama term. Even CNN’s Jack Cafferty questioned whether or not the nation’s chief executive should even run for a second term.

Americans are no doubt frustrated with this president. And I can understand why: His first major act was a stimulus program that will cost this country nearly $1 trillion. A package, though Keynesian, had far too many tax cuts — which gave more money in peoples pockets for them to save and not to spend — and even the spending programs in Stimulus I were certainly not technocratic-ally targeted to  create permanent job growth. Many of us Georgians could easily find an article online with our, no doubt, Republican representative  boasting  non-job creating “stimulus” projects within their given districts.

The GOP porked that sh$% up.

And let’s face it: the uptick in last year’s job growth numbers were temporary. Much of it can be attributed to short-term Census jobs (And even the Census itself was a big disappointment for Atlantans — we LOST members of  our city’s population).

His second major act was health care. Many of us liberals thought he took too soft a stance. “Waffley” indeed. Nevermind that we, as a nation, wouldn’t have even been talking about health care had it not been for Barack Obama.

Interestingly enough, the makeup of Weiner’s old district (NY-09) is as Democratic as it gets. Queens. Working folks,  New “Yawkers” as it were. Well, a mailer was sent out with the Democratic candidate, David Werpin, alongside Obama as a DETERRENT for potential voters. Many of the polls suggest that the election’s result was a referendum on Obama’s economic policies which nation-wide polls suggest that the majority of the nation does not approve of. Why? Well, jobs for one — or the lack thereof. Humiliation, another. For NY-09 specifically, the embarrassment of a Democratic representative, once beloved, who’s showing his wanker to women  whose ages even HE is unsure of contributed to this result.  I’m sure Weiner’s sexcapades helped the unknown Republican (Bob Turner. “Who?” you ask? Well, he co-created the Rush Limbaugh Show) win one of the nation’s most powerful seats in our great democracy.

A mailer was sent out with the Democratic candidate, David Werpin, alongside Obama as a DETERRENT for potential voters

With The American Jobs Act push, the president has taken a new approach in contrast to his other initiatives. He’s going from GOP area to GOP area boasting a jobs plan that most economist’s will say is not only bolder than expected but will create jobs for the unemployed who aren’t even considered in the U.S.’s stagnant unemployment figures. And my God, he’s back to the old 2008 Obama — the one much of us youngters voted for.

So where does that leave us?

Not entirely sure. If I know anything about politics most liberals will still get off the couch in 2012 and vote for Obama only as a protest against a potential Republican presidency — and not necessarily for the policies of their current chief executive. Independents seem to be unimpressed by Obama’s new candor.

I will say that emphatically liberals must organize and vote against a GOP presidency that is uncomfortably close to that last GOP presidency. Hell, he was Bush’s deputy for chrissake. Yes, yes… I’m talking about Perry. Governor Rick Perry of the great state of freaking Texas. Ugh. He even threatened  secession from the damn union. You know? The Texas governor who promotes creationism in schools, the privatization of Social Security, the utter abolishment of all the major progressive strides Obama has made on health care coverage, financial protection for students as well as other Americans seeking loans or quality investments and not the usual snake oil that “board room Republicans” have been selling for the past 2 decades…  I could list more but in order to save time just imagine everything as a liberal that you’re for: Well, Perry’s against that. Now, imagine everything you’re against: Well, Perry’s definitely FOR that.

Yes, for many of us Obama has been a disappointment. It’s partly his fault for overselling himself but mostly OURS for not only buying it, but for making up our own liberal utopian heaven with an Obama presidency. Hell,  many of us expected to get government subsidized blowjobs from any woman of our choosing  — and whatever equally satisfying fantasy that women wish for — when we voted for the man in 2008.

Let’s get things straight: He’s not a fundamentalist. He’s definitely not a liberal stalwart like Bernie Sanders, Michael Moore, or Noam Chomsky. Well… GOOD. He’s a utilitarian pragmatist whose goal is to make America and her people flourish with just the right amount of government when the private sector fails. He’s a technocrat who’s ahead of his time when others in our federal government  take the easy way out and play to the lowest common denominator in out current god-awful political discourse.

He’s just what this country needs.

So say it with me folks:

FOUR MORE YEARS!

FOUR MORE YEARS!

FOUR MORE YEARS!!

–Kevin

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Why the Casey Anthony trial is everything that is wrong with America

Will you PLEASE go away already?!?

By Joel Mendelson

Yesterday, a young woman in Florida was acquitted on charges that she killed her child and was convicted of lying to investigators. Ho-hum, another day in the American criminal justice system. Yet, for some odd reason, the trial captivated the imaginations of far too many. Now, I hate to harp on the news that Americans watch/read/absorb, and let’s face it, most of it really sucks, but there is something weirdly wrong with America’s obsession with the Casey Anthony trial.

Most will immediately point fingers at Nancy Grace, who popularized the story on her cuckoo legal show on Headline News. Every night she presents crimes, just like the Caylee Anthony death as “breaking news.” While it’s certainly a tragedy that a young girl was found dead, and that the mother was suspected, it’s hardly breaking news. In the last decade we’ve seen terrorist attacks, two wars, a near economic collapse, the election of the first African-American president, far too many natural disasters to count, uprisings across the Middle East and so much more. How does the Anthony story qualify as breaking news?

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under News, Uncategorized, US News