Monday, February 14, 2011

The Jim Marshall Farewell Tour, Robo-Calls and Other Political Mysteries

The Jim Marshall Farewell Tour

Welcome back, my friends,
To the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend
Come inside, come inside.
– Karn Evil 9 First Impression by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

The third month of the Jim Marshall Farewell Tour is now well underway with no end in sight. Marshall’s eight years of Congressional service weren’t exactly the stuff of legends, so why the big fuss? After all Democrat Marshall just lost a popular election to Republican Austin Scott.

At this rate, the celebration of Marshall’s relatively short Congressional career may continue into 2012. Then the question will become, “Ummm, isn’t this campaigning?” Redistricting may take care of that question, but apparently many residents of Macon, especially the editorial board of the Macon Telegraph, are jonesing for a resident US Representative. I’m willing to lay odds that wish won’t be granted within this decade.

On the bright side, Marshall is receiving praise for his professional and helpful attitude in the transition of the GA-8 Congressional offices and constituent services. This is a good thing.

On the other hand, In a single story, The Macon Telegraph flubbed both the Warner Robins physical address of GA-8’s new congressman, Austin Scott, and the telephone number for Scott’s Tifton office. The correct Warner Robins address is 230 Margie Drive, and the correct Tifton phone number is 229 396-5175. Everyone makes mistakes, but combined with their editorials and the flubbed election coverage (to Scott’s detriment), the continued errors are beginning to look like a pattern. Only liberals can manage to use incompetence as a weapon.

Mystery Robo-Calls

Last week many Georgians received robo-calls reminding them that “most Georgia counties” were conducting their mass precinct meetings on Saturday, February 12th and that all Georgia voters should attend. Most people receiving the automated calls assumed that the calls were paid for by the Georgia GOP. They weren’t.

This explains a couple of obvious mistakes. For example, less than 20 Georgia counties had their mass precinct meetings in February. The remainder – counties with a population under 80,000 as of the 2000 census - will have their meetings on March 12th. In addition, the call encouraged all registered voters to attend the meetings, not as the GOP Georgia Call to Convention states: “. . . residents who are legally registered to vote and believe in the principles of the Republican Party are urged to participate in this process.” No word yet on who paid for the robo-calls. Honest mistakes or something a little more sinister? Either way, it’s Georgia politics as usual.

High-Speed Rail in Georgia?

While I love the idea of high-speed rail in Georgia, unless the state government indulges in widespread mass-discount lobotomies, it shouldn’t happen. We don’t have the population density to support mass transit rail and we don’t have the need for high-speed rail. If the needs were there, then private companies would provide it.

We don’t need to spend money to build a public service that will cost us more money every year. The mystery here is why anyone would seriously consider the state building a rail system. When the rail enthusiasts call, “All aboard!” just remember that the trestle down the track is out and the state can’t afford to fix it.

James Clapper: Director of National Intelligence or Human Oxymoron?

From the “Never trust a man named after an ‘As Seen on TV’ product” department comes Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Clapper proclaimed, "The term Muslim Brotherhood is an umbrella term for a variety of movements. In the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.”

If I were to buy this claim, then I would expect to see large numbers of Christians and Jews as members. I’m betting there is not a Southern Baptist wing of the Muslim Brotherhood or an Orthodox Jewish wing or a Hindu wing. I’m betting they are pretty much all Muslim and pretty much all anti-Israel and pretty much all fans of Iran, and to quote the Eagles from Victim of Love, “I could be wrong, but I’m not.”

A spokesman for Clapper – they weren’t going to let Clapper near a microphone twice that day – later said that Clapper meant that the Muslim Brotherhood was willing to work through secular political system. look out Michael Phelps, because in Clapper’s little world everything that swims is a fish.

The truth is that for a Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper is certainly lacking intelligence. You can take that either way and be right.

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