Atlanta Out Loud

Politics and rantings and just stuff that catches my attention.

Friday, February 23, 2007

State version of fair tax plan introduced - Atlanta Business Chronicle:

Mitch Seabaugh, a Republican from Sharpsburg, has introduced a constitutional amendment that would ax state ad valorem taxes, corporate taxes and personal income taxes in favor of a higher state sales tax on goods and services. Called the Georgia One Tax, it could be on the ballots for voters in 2008 and be effective Jan. 1, 2010.
This is exciting stuff, and would put Georgia in the group of states who have the fastest growing economies in the nation -- all of which just happen to have no income tax.

Georgia's current sales tax is 4%. Seabaugh's One Tax would cap the new sales tax at 6.5%, making the measure "revenue neutral."

Althought this would not accomplish the FairTax goal of abolishing the IRS, it would be a good step in the right direction and would accomplish the following:

~ Ensure current funding levels for all government programs
~ Bring transparency to taxes and government funding
~ Enable workers to keep their entire paycheck (at least the state tax portion) and decide when to be taxed.

It would also tax segments of the population who do not currently pay tax like: illegal immigrants, black market, drug dealers, prostitutes, tax evaders, etc.

What better way for Georgia to support John Linder's FairTax plan that to put our money where our mouth is and pass the state version. I'll be keeping a close watch on this one and hope you will support it too.
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Saturday, November 04, 2006

I received this email from Kevin Cherry's campaign for Public Service Commission back when I was ranting and raving about Cathy Cox and Mark Taylor not showing up for Gay Pride this summer.
Kevin Cherry has been a long time libertarian. Under his leadership as the Chairman of the Douglas County LP, legislation was written by libertarians to limit eminent domain powers. This legislation was introduced in the GA General Assembly last summer. In the PSC you can count on Kevin to be a defender of private property rights and standing up to utility companies when it comes to eminent domain.

While Kevin is straight, he attended and his sons attended PRIDE in Atlanta this year for the third year in a row. He has gone in previous years to promote the Libertarian Party's outreach with Outright Libertarians. One thing that upset Kevin this year, was the amount of press coverage that was given to Mark Taylor and Cathy Cox for declining their invitations to PRIDE, yet candidates that were present were virtually ignored by the media. While many didnt feel that the PSC race has any bearing on Gay issues, Kevin said, "The Gay community pays electric bills too." Being gay myself, I'm proud to be working on Kevin's campaign, and have long valued his friendship.
Sounds like just the kind of guy we need at the PSC!
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This FairTax Scorecard is pretty darn cool. There's all kinds of good stuff there. But, click on "Scorecard" at the top and see where your elected officials -- both federal and state -- stand on the Fair Tax.

Here's the letter I've sent to my Congressman, John Lewis:
The Honorable John Lewis
United States House of Representatives
343 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Lewis:

The Fair Tax Act, a nonpartisan bill sponsored by Representative John Linder (GA) and Senator Saxby Chambliss (GA), removes the burden of the income tax and other federal income-based taxes. I have written to you in the past urging you to support the Fair Tax.

Your response to me contained untruths and outright lies about the effects of the Fair Tax. It will not, as your response stated, "deprive the government of funding for critical programs." Indeed, most experts agree that the Fair Tax will actually increase federal revenues.

As a champion of the working class poor, I am surprised that you would not support a measure that COMPLETELY UNTAXES THE POOR up to the poverty level. That is not the case with our current tax system.

Congressman Lewis, please reconsider your positon. Allow Americans to keep 100 percent of their paychecks, pensions, and Social Security payments. Provide a prepaid, monthly rebate for every registered household. Allow families to save more for home ownership, education, and retirement. Raise the same amount of money for the federal government by taxing the underground economy. And, make American products more competitive overseas. Do all of that by supporting the Fair Tax.

As a constituent, I am disappointed by your current position, but I am downright angry by your unwillingness to tell the truth about the Fair Tax.

Sincerely,

Adam Langley
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Well, at least one media outlet is coming out of the closet and admitting they had the infamous emails provided to them by Democrats quite some time ago.
"I know this with absolute certainty because Harper’s was offered the story almost five months ago and decided, after much debate, not to run it here on Washington Babylon.

In May, a source put me in touch with a Democratic operative who provided me with the now-infamous emails that Foley had sent in 2004 to a sixteen-year-old page."
Now, who has the pages' best interest in mind and who is trying to use them to score cheap political points?
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Hat tip to Gay Patriot for this:

In December of 2003, CBS News reported:
"President Bush’s goal of cutting in half a projected $500 billion federal deficit within five years is being dismissed as too timid by conservatives, unachievable by analysts and laughable by Democrats."
A month later, January 2004, CNN almost laughed at the President:
"Like a cowboy-boot wearing David Blaine, President Bush has promised to perform an amazing feat of prestidigitation: he’s going to saw the whopping federal budget deficit in half in just five short years.

But some observers warn the budget proposal he will submit Feb. 2, which will include projections of a greatly reduced deficit by 2009, will be little more than smoke and mirrors — unless he and Congress can show a lot more fiscal discipline than they have recently."
For sure, the bozos need to show more fiscal discipline. But, CNN, CBS and all the rest of the liberal media have completely ignored the fact that the deficit has dropped to $250 billion, achieving Bush's goals three years early.

So, remember this...

1. Tax Receipts have SOARED 35% since the Bush tax cuts were enacted.

2. Economic growth has averaged 3.89% since the Bush tax cuts were enacted (Clinton's economic growth was 3.87%).

3. Kennedy/Johnson, Regan/Bush(41), and now Bush(43) have proved that tax cuts stimulate economic and job growth.


And also remember that Nancy Pelosi proudly promises to repeal the tax cuts if the Democrats win the House. Vote accordingly.
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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Democrats Revive the Gay Witch-Hunt | Jeff Gannon.com

He continues to say it better than I can...
The reaction of Democrats to the Foley scandal has produced an unintended consequence. In their zeal to take down the GOP leadership of the House, they have ignited a gay witch-hunt on Capitol Hill. What will be the ripple effect through the rest of the country?

Democrats say all the warning signs were there: A man known (or suspected) to be gay, in a position of authority, working with underage boys. Nancy Pelosi is claiming that Hastert and Company should have known this was a potential pedophile situation and done something about it sooner. What more should they have done based on the information that Foley was "overly-friendly" with male pages? Remember, that is all the information they had - nothing of a sexual nature.

Should Hastert have called in the FBI to search Foley’s office? The evidence could have been put in the same locked room with the files taken from William “Cold Cash” Jefferson. Should Hastert have called the NSA to tap Foley’s phone and data mine his online communication? Perhaps Hastert could have invoked the Patriot Act to see what kind of books Foley had checked out of the library. Maybe Hastert could have used the SWIFT program to see if Foley had bought lavish gifts for teenage boys.

What of other potential pedophile situations? Should men who are known or suspected to be gay be allowed to hold positions of authority working with teen males in schools as teachers and administrators? Democrats say yes! Should the Boy Scouts be forced to put men who are known or suspected to be gay in positions of authority working with teen males as troops leaders? Democrats say yes! Should a gay curriculum be taught in public schools with explicit discussions between men who are known or suspected to be gay with young male teens? Democrats say yes!

Should Republicans object to any of these things? Democrats say no! How on earth could the Republican House leadership have done anything else with Mark Foley that would not be portrayed by Democrats as intolerant gay bashing?

What should House Republicans do now? Following the "logic" of the Democrats’ rhetoric about Foley, they should not only purge gays from Congress, but also from their own party and from every segment of American society that might be an environment for pedophilia. Democrats say yes!
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Attempted Gay Rape, Murder Gets Little Notice | JeffGannon.com

This is just weird, and no a little bit eerie. A 40yo Pennsylvania man drugged, raped and killed a 23yo college kid last week. The eerie part is that the victim's name is Jason Shephard, which reminds us of one of the most gruesome cases of gay-bashing of all times.

The weird part is that the media, and particularly the gay media, is ignoring this brutal murder. I found out about it at JeffGannon.com purely by chance as I was browsing around the web:
The Old Media is downplaying the shocking aspects surrounding the case of a 40-year-old Pennsylvania man who murdered a 23-year-old man college student after drugging and attempting to rape the victim. The report in the Aberdeen American opens with:

'A Northern State University student who was found dead last week in Pennsylvania was strangled after rejecting sexual advances from a sales manager for the company he was interning for, authorities have said.'

Rejecting sexual advances? Fighting off a rapist after being drugged and is rejecting sexual advances?

It's ironic that the victim is Jason Shephard, his last name recalling another case involving homosexuality and murder. When Matthew Shepard was killed in 1998 the case got worldwide attention as a symbol of anti-gay violence. Don't look for much reporting on Jason's case, however. The perpetrator is gay and the victim was described by a friend as 'staunch Republican who liked to talk about his faith.'

Do a Google search. There's no coverage of the crime outside of the Philadelphia area where it took place and the upper Midwest where Shephard was from. Nothing in the New York Times or the Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times. No weepy segments on the Today Show or The View (c'mon Rosie, tell us what you think.) The GLBT media has yet to report the story and probably won't. Why is that?
When I first read that, I thought it was a little far fetched. So, sure enough, I did a Google search. There were two pages of results, and not a single one of them linked to a media outlet outside of Pennsylvania. I went to the HRC website. Nothing. I did a search. Nothing. GLAAD is supposed to be the media watchdog for us. So you would think they would have something to say -- if not about the murder itself, at least about the media ignoring it. But you would be wrong. They did, however, have extensive coverage about the San Diego gay bashers from two months ago going to jail. The "Award-Winning National LGBt Newsmagazine" (de-emphasis mine), The Advocate, had to report on it, right? Not. A. Word.

Are our "non-partisan" gay 'leadership' organizations and gay media really so callously inflicted with tunnel vision that they wouldn't report on a brutal murder of a gay kid because "the perpetrator is gay and the victim was described by a friend as 'staunch Republican who liked to talk about his faith.'"? Say it ain't so. But, then, prove it.


The Matthew Shepard Foundation
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Dem Suicide Alert: Market Near All-Time High | JeffGannon.com
On Tuesday, the Dow closed at a 6 1/2 year high, its second highest close in HISTORY. Its been less than 2 years since Democrats were calling the American economy the 'worst since the Great Depression.'

Rep. Charlie Rangel, the man who would become chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee if Democrats take over in November marked the occasion by telling reporters that he would not renew the Bush tax cuts that produced this roaring economy."
http://www.jeffgannon.com/archives/general/index.html#a000747
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Monday, September 18, 2006

This was no way to run a Beltline | ajc.com

Wayne & Keith Mason are none too happy about the way they've been treated by the City of Atlanta. The signs are beginning to show of my cynicism coming true -- the City of Atlanta will find a way to screw this thing up.
Two years ago, the Northeast Atlanta Beltline Group bought 72 acres from Norfolk Southern Railroad, five miles of what is now commonly referred to as the Beltline.

This was the first and only private-sector purchase of a key segment of Atlanta's proposed 22-mile Beltline. The Beltline was the centerpiece of Mayor Shirley Franklin's 21st century economic development vision. It was viewed as a public-private partnership. We believed in that vision.

For nearly two years, since we filed arguably one of the city's longest-running zoning applications, we have shared with city staff nine alternative plans for development along the Beltline. We have reduced density, created smaller building footprints, expanded transit right of way, identified access opportunities and conducted an independent traffic study.

We compromised our plans by proposing to donate more than half of our property to serve the Beltline:

~ 24 acres for transit to accommodate a double-track streetcar/trolley system;

~ A minimum of 15-foot-wide pedestrian/bike trails; and

~ 18 acres for 11 new parks.

Our projects would produce $100 million in tax allocation district revenues for the city to invest elsewhere along the Beltline for affordable housing, other land, transit and infrastructure.

We have had more than 80 meetings with neighborhood groups and civic leaders, and met with more than 100 business leaders during the past two years. The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and Atlanta Regional Commission concluded that our proposal is in the best interests of the region.

Some neighborhood groups near the 10th and Monroe site mistakenly continue to believe that the Beltline is public property. The two high-rises at that seven-acre site represent only 20 percent of developed area, leaving the rest for open space.

The Atlanta Development Authority and the Beltline Partnership (a "public-private partnership"), to build support for the Beltline, crafted a plan calling for open space on our private property with no plan to pay for it. Their plan was developed without any meaningful input from us. At the same time, other nearby Beltline-interested developers were invited to sit at the table. Strangely, we were not invited to that table. This was no way to run a Beltline.

The community was misled to believe that our Beltline corridor had no development value. This was a huge disservice to Atlanta, and confused the residents.

This was no way to run a Beltline.

Our proposal consists of nearly 3,000 residential units of low, medium and high-rise buildings, including affordable work force housing, and 140,000 square feet of retail space throughout our five-mile corridor (the equivalent of driving from Turner Field to Piedmont Hospital along Peachtree Street). The ADA Redevelopment Plan calls for 11,500 units of residential density in the same area within a mile of our property. The ADA density levels would be more intrusive into the neighborhoods than our plan.

This was no way to run a Beltline.

We remain hopeful that responsible city leadership will look at the Beltline's impact and opportunities throughout the city. We remain ready to help make the vision a reality.
This was no way to run a Beltline. I couldn't agree more.
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

American 'outraged' over 9/11 miniseries | USATODAY.com - Today In the Sky

Apparently the Clinton clan aren't the only one's hot and bothered by ABC's "The Path to 9/11". American Airlines is miffed too.
...Executives objected to a scene in the television docudrama in which American employees in Boston are depicted allowing hijacker Mohammed Atta to board a flight even after receiving a security alert about him.

In reality, the incident allegedly depicted occured in Portland, Maine, on a flight operated by another airline. ABC claims the script is based on the report of the 9/11 Commission, but the network was forced to make script changes after challenges from former Clinton administration officials.
Huh? Does ABC really believe they were "forced to make script changes"? They should have said "We are a bunch of pansies and bowed down to pressure from some dried up old politicians named Madeline Halfbright and Sandy the Burglar."
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Costs may kill travel program | USATODAY.com

Oh this is bad. I don't travel as much as I used to, but even now, I think I would probably pay $200 to avoid those ridiculous security lines. The time involved isn't even what bothers me as much... it's the sheer stupidity and confusion of people going through security.

I do agree that the TSA should not expect this program to be "self sufficient" as they already have to pay those TSA screeners to process the same number of people.
"Registered Traveler advocates are lobbying the TSA against the $70 charge for screeners. Brill said the TSA doesn't have to hire extra screeners to run Registered Traveler checkpoints."
Given the increased efficiency of registered travelers, this program will require less screeners, not more.
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I woke up this morning rather blase -- nothing to be excited about, nothing to be sad about. But, little did I know what an important day it is...

According to Daily Candy's "The Weekend Guide" (yes, guys read it too... especially gay guys) today is National Creme-Filled Donut Day! Their claim is corroborated by The American Food Holidays Website.

Oh, what a glorious day!!!
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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Seeger's will close on Aug. 19 | AccessAtlanta

This is bad. Real bad. Atlanta will be less of a city if Seeger leaves.

Hopefully Bob Amick, as obnoxious as he is, can make it work and entice Guenter to stay.
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Economic outlook: Georgia No. 1 in U.S. | Atlanta Business Chronicle:

Don't tell John Sugg, but there's even more expert support for the FairTax in Georgia:
Georgia's economic outlook is rosier than that of any other state in the nation, according to a new study by the father of supply-side economics.

Arthur Laffer, an influential adviser to former President Ronald Reagan, put Georgia at the top of his annual comparative ranking of state economies, a seven-category analysis that primarily focuses on tax and fiscal policy. That's up from fifth place in 2005 and a marked improvement from a No. 24 finish in 2002.

...

Laffer suggested the state might want to shift more of the tax burden to sales from property or income, an idea popular among state Republican lawmakers, who are currently examining the possibilities.

...

Perdue agreed that the state might do well to adopt a more consumption-focused tax system, perhaps after the fashion of the FairTax proposed by U.S. Rep. John Linder, a Republican who represents parts of north metro Atlanta.
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Georgia Fair Tax submitted for 2007 Session

Representative Steve Davis has already submitted HB 1667 - the Georgia Fair Tax bill. You can read the entire bill here. This is a fantastic opportunity for Georgia.
What do Texas, Nevada and Oklahoma have in common? No income tax. What else do they have in common? They are the first, second and third fastest growing economies in the nation.

~ Clark Howard at the FairTax Rally
Although the Georgia economy ain't that bad, the FairTax can only explode this state as a powerhouse economy.

Like the national FairTax bill, Georgians will be able to keep more of their paycheck and will have more control over how much they pay in taxes. But, there are a few differences: It includes no "prebate" to cover the tax of life's essentials and it eliminates personal and corporate income taxes, but not other taxes.

I'll follow it closely...
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Bus transit looks like the ticket for Beltline | ajc.com

I've said it before... MARTA's involvement with the Beltline project will prove to be it's downfall. They have made much fanfare of the community's involvement and the identification of a "locally preferred alternative." But, it appears now that MARTA may be stacking the deck and, as the usually do, getting by with the cheapest upfront cost, even if the long-term costs point to a different direction.

Atlanta Larry has a first person account of the recent meeting where no community groups endorsed MARTA's leanings. This is an important decision and it's important for us not to screw it up.
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Saturday, August 05, 2006

What's the real federal deficit? | USA Today
The federal government keeps two sets of books.

The set the government promotes to the public has a healthier bottom line: a $318 billion deficit in 2005.

The set the government doesn't talk about is the audited financial statement produced by the government's accountants following standard accounting rules. It reports a more ominous financial picture: a $760 billion deficit for 2005. If Social Security and Medicare were included — as the board that sets accounting rules is considering — the federal deficit would have been $3.5 trillion.

Congress has written its own accounting rules — which would be illegal for a corporation to use because they ignore important costs such as the growing expense of retirement benefits for civil servants and military personnel.


How is this ok? A small (but growing) number of Congress members are beginning to realize that it's time for the federal government to come clean and stop cooking the books.

If it did so...

~ The $318 billion deficit reported in 2005 would become $760 billion.
~ Each household's portion of the deficit would equal $6,700, more than double the $2,800 given last year.
~ The running deficit since 1997 would equal $2.9 trillion, rather than the official $729 billion reported by the government.

And... before my Democratic friends get started, it's not just limited to those rascally Republicans:

~ The Clinton administration reported a surplus of $559 billion in its final four budget years; the audited numbers showed a deficit of $484 billion.

In addition, none of these figures counts the financial burden of Social Security or Medicare. If they did...

~ The government would have reported nearly $40 trillion in losses since 1997.
~ The new Medicare prescription-drug benefit alone would have added at least $8 trillion to our financial woes (a conservative estimate).
~ The federal government would have had a $12.7 trillion deficit in 2000 because that was the first year that Social Security and Medicare reported broader measures of the programs' unfunded liabilities.

How can Congress operate in such a way? This makes the passage of the FairTax all the more crucial. Our economy will continue to deteriorate (although it is certainly not doing as bad as Democrats would like for us to believe) until U.S. businesses and citizens achieve a level playing field financially, which the FairTax clearly accomplishes.
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Thursday, August 03, 2006

S. Africans shiver through harsh winter | Yahoo! News

Damn that Global Warming!
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