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Karen Handel sent a lovely email to her supporters announcing that she is considering a run for the US Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss. Karen Handel’s last attempt at statewide Georgia politics was a run for Governor against Nathan Deal. Notably, Karen Handel was endorsed by Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin came to Georgia in support of Handel’s candidacy.
Here’s the email:
As you know, U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss announced earlier this year that he has decided to retire at the end of his term. So many of you have reached out and encouraged me to run for the U.S. Senate. I am truly uplifted by this outpouring of support, and your input and counsel are important as Steve and I consider this decision and what is best for Georgia and our country.
Washington has failed us, and the problems facing our country are immense. However, with a fresh vision and true conservative leadership, the return to a prosperous and growing America can be within our reach. What we need is clear: a proven reformer that brings new perspective, someone who isn’t afraid to “shake things up,” and a fighter that stays true to conservative values no matter the political cost.
I wanted to share with you an article about the race for U.S. Senate written by a national conservative magazine. The article summarizes the race well and recognizes one of my greatest strengths: supporters like you.
Steve and I are continuing to think through this important decision and hope you will give us the benefit of your input. Meanwhile, we thank you for your continued support, friendship and prayers.
On September 11, 2001 I was a Senior at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. The day started like any other day for me, I woke up, but this day I awoke to radio announcers saying something about The World Trade Center(WTC). In all honesty the only thing i could recall about the WTC at the crack of dawn was the 1993 bombing. Surely this incident had nothing to do with that, we had just talked about the ’93 bombing in class and that was an act of terrorism, it was a random Tuesday in September, this had to be something else. It was a Tuesday!
I grabbed my remote and turned to NBC just in time to hear a boom and see Katie Couric jump. Apparently, that was the second plane. I ran out of my room to find my roommate informing me of a plane crash. By the time we got back to a television, the Pentagon was on fire and suddenly it sounded like there were jets right outside of our windows. The Today Show was saying “we’re being attacked by planes” and all I hear are large planes flying overhead. Color me terrified. I did what anybody would do in that situation, I called my daddy screaming.
The school sent out emails explaining our country was being attacked and they strongly suggested that we remain on campus. By strongly, I mean there were campus police guards at every gate. After watching hours of nonstop coverage I got up and walked out to the quad where I found the vast majority of my Wesleyan Sisters. They all had the same glazed stare. They weren’t crying they looked numb. Looking back, I probably looked numb as well. I couldn’t process what was happening. I was also terrified. Out of nowhere, I heard ‘Amazing Grace’ being piped all over the campus. I immediately knew that it was Dr. Fletcher Anderson playing the Carillon in our auditorium. My last act on 9/11 was walking into the darkened auditorium to sit in the back and just listen. As soon as I sat down, I started crying. Dr. Anderson played for what seemed like hours and I sat there trying to figure out how a regular Tuesday had completely obliterated my entire world view.
A few weeks later I was walking to class and I heard what I thought was an air raid siren. Some people in the quad started running, others froze, I walked up to the steps of Tate Hall and sat down. I knew Wesleyan had a bomb shelter, but I didn’t know where, so I just waited. I figured being inside of a building was worse than being outside. A few minutes later a dean walked out of the building and told us the state was installing tornado sirens and it was just a test. That is how 9/11 changed my life.
Georgia Highway 113 is like many state highways in Georgia, mostly two lane roads that twist and turn through farmland and past old homes sitting on large plots of land. These roads are essentially the only way to reach some isolated communities that are far from the interstate. Georgia 113 is exactly the same as the others until you reach an unincorporated area which straddles the Haralson and Paulding county line.
“Unincorporated Draketown” reads a tiny sign that indicates you have reached yet another enclave. It is exactly what one might expect: an abundance of pine trees and pickup trucks. Honestly, it is absolutely beautiful. There are churches and a small convenience store. Suddenly, there are two buildings which are obviously commercial establishments, as you get closer to the buildings, you see it. It being at first a normal country sign with an arrow and some words. As you draw closer, the words become clear. The sign reads: “I DO NOT SUPPORT TH NIGGER IN THE WHITE HOUSE.”
Welcome to the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar, A twenty-six year old Draketown establishment owned by Patrick Lanzo. The website for the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar claims the bar is the “original klan,klam, and oyster bar.” The menu includes the phrase, “we cater to hangins.” Is this a bit of Southern hospitality for the weary traveler? When questioned about the website and the menu, Mr. Lanzo scoffed at the notion. He said, “I had a friend help me with my website and she put that Klan business on there.”
Mr. Lanzo’s establishment has been in the news before, specifically when he posted this question on his now infamous sign: “Is Michael Jackson Not Guilty Because He Is A Nigger or Money” and his take on the Affordable Care Act: “Obama Plan For Healthcare? Nigger Rig It.”
In a phone interview, when Mr. Lanzo was asked about how his motivation for displaying such provocative signs, he responded: “I’ve been doing this for 26 years, it’s strictly free speech. If others get offended, I don’t care.” He was told that school buses regularly pass by his establishment and asked how he felt about children seeing his sign. Lanzo simply stated, “It’s not my responsibility to raise other people’s children. What’s any different than brainwashing them as Baptists, Methodists, or Catholics? The Baptists think the Methodists are the worst people in the world and the Methodists think the same about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, how’s my sign any different?”
Patrick Lanzo is indeed a talker. He noted that, while he has had many events for “skinheads” and “the klan,” he was also a “card-carrying member of the NAACP.” Lanzo was appalled that during a rally and protest against his signs, he says the NAACP wouldn’t let him speak in spite of his NAACP membership. He continued, “at one time I was a member of the Rainbow Coalition and the NAACP and they denied me the right to speak at their protest against my sign.” Mr. Lanzo is not happy with the Rainbow Coalition and the NAACP, he says “I feel I could run with Al Qaeda and be less offended than dealing with the people of the NAACP, not that I would.”
According to Mr. Lanzo, he’s a free thinker and supports the rights of others, “do you know that one time I had a skinhead rally at my bar and brought in a black stripper?” He also states, “I invited the queer rights to march in the Dallas, Georgia Christmas Parade. Instead of letting them march, Dallas cancelled the parade.”
The conversation with Mr. Lanzo then turned to the word “ni**er” and why he chose such a hurtful word for a very public sign. Lanzo responded, “I’ve done a tremendous business for twenty-six years and we do not expect everybody to be comfortable here. I’ve had black people come in here to have their picture taken, everybody is welcome. I’ve had white niggers I’ve thrown out faster than anybody.”
Ultimately, Mr. Lanzo has the right to offend as many people as he wants on his private property and he seems to feel that the offended have the right to speak out against his actions. Is his sign a publicity stunt? Perhaps. Will his sign draw more people to tiny unincorporated Draketown? Probably not.
After getting your fill of the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar, feel free to drive the additional few miles to Lake Olympia, in Unincorporated Corinth, GA. The lake is beautiful and a palette-cleansing experience.
*Emokidsloveme traveled to Draketown, Georgia to personally photograph the sign in front of the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar.
There is a battle heating up in Alaska. Oddly, the rest of the country does not seem interested.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest is challenging an Alaska law that requires minors seeing abortion services to gain parental consent before the services can be rendered. Planned Parenthood is basing their constitutionality challenge on both privacy and equal protection.
As of December 2010, a minor who seeks abortion in Alaska must first get parental consent before the procedure takes place or they must petition the court for a waiver to the parental consent requirement.
As of this writing, Alaska has had seven waiver requests. Six of the requests were granted and one was withdrawn.
The trial is expected to last fifteen days.
“What’s the big deal with showing your ID when you go to vote? Won’t it keep down voter fraud?”
This is the question most people ask when they first learn of the opposition to laws requiring that people who wish to vote present photographic identification at the polls. The big deal is disenfranchisement. A person who has the right to vote is precluded from doing so. How does this happen? Let me explain:
Elections are won by garnering the most votes. This is true for almost every election except that of the Presidency, there is an entire process above the popular vote called the Electoral College which I won’t explain here. That is for another chat beside another fire. One way to garner the most votes is by simply getting more people to cast their vote in your favor, the other way to garner the most votes is to preclude citizens who are likely to vote for your opponent from exercising their right to vote at all. This is why voter identification (Voter ID) laws are a vital tool in elections. Minority voters are less likely to possess the state issued photographic identification. In many cases those who were previously able to exercise their right to vote will no longer be able to vote. In the 2008 election, a whopping 96 percent of African-American voters cast their vote for Barack Obama.
The argument most often used in favor of voter ID laws is that the requirement of photographic identification prevents voter fraud, particularly impersonation fraud. If voter impersonation fraud were prevalent in the United States, this argument would be somewhat valid; however, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law states (pdf):
“It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”
Essentially, voter impersonation fraud is rare unless there is a sudden and drastic uptick in the frequency of sky to human lightening strikes.
The Voting Right Act of 1965 (VRA) was passed for the purpose of protecting minority voters, particularly in the South, from poll taxes and literacy test. Previously such devices were used to keep minority voters from exercising their rights granted by the 15th amendment. The passage of the VRA protected those minority voters and the United States saw a wave of new voter registrations by minorities, particularly African-American voters.
Section 5 of the VRA is particularly important in the protection of minority voting rights. Section 5 requires that a certain group of states and counties that have a history of voter disenfranchisement submit any changes to their voting procedure to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for “preclearance.” The changes must be cleared by the Department of Justice before any changes can be made. South Carolina, a state with a history of minority voter disenfranchisement is covered under Section 5.
Recently, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, head of the Civil Rights Division at the DOJ, sent a letter to the Attorney General for the state of South Carolina. In the letter, Perez indicated that parts of South Carolina’s proposed voter ID law did not meet the burden set forth in Section 5. According to Perez, “the voting change at issue must be measured against the benchmark practice to determine whether it would lead to a retrogression in the position of racial minorities in their effective exercise of the electoral franchise.” This means the new law is weighed against the current law to determine if implementation would lessen the ability of racial minorities who have the ability to vote currently from exercising their rights under the new voting law. Perez noted, according to the statistics provided by the state of South Carolina, an incredible 81,938 registered minority voters in the state of South Carolina lack a photographic ID and would be rendered ineligible to vote under the new law. This is disenfranchisement.
The next statement is usually, “the state could give all 81,938 of those people a free identification card.” While in theory this would work, in practice it is completely ridiculous. Here’s why:
- People who do not have a state issued photographic identification card also do not possess a driver’s license.
- Those who do not possess a driver’s license are less likely to own a vehicle.
- Those who do not own a vehicle must obtain transportation to and from a state approved identification center.
- Transportation costs money.
- In rural areas, access to transportation for those who do not own a vehicle may not be readily available and the distance can be upwards of 20 miles to a state approved identification center. A round trip in some instances of 40 miles.
The notion that a state approved identification requirement is arguably a poll tax becomes compelling. The money required to obtain an approved voter ID becomes the tax. If a voter cannot afford the cost of transportation to obtain valid identification they have lost their ability to vote. Basically, if you are poor and do not have state approved identification: NO VOTE FOR YOU!
Mitt Romney is set to release his tax return for 2010 and an estimated return for 2011 amid outcry from both Democrats and his fellow Republican candidates. Romney has been characterized as both a corporate raider and out of touch with the American people.
The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, which were provided early details of the returns by the Romney campaign, reported an overview which shows that in 2010 Mitt and Ann Romney paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent well below the effective rate of most Americans.
Highlights of the Romney 2010 tax return:
- Mitt and Ann Romney’s total gross income for 2010 was $21,661,344. In June of 2011, Romney joked to a group of unemployed Floridians, “I’m unemployed too.”
- In 2010 Mitt and Ann Romney paid $3,009,766 in income tax at a rate of 13.9 percent
- Mitt and Ann Romney’s total charitable contributions in 2010 amounted to $2,983,974 which included a donation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the amount of $1,525,000.
- The couple had a Swiss bank account which was also closed in 2010. The couple had additional accounts in both Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
- Mitt and Ann Romney list their occupations as “executive” and “homemaker.”
Reuters further reports:
“Romney advisers stressed that the holdings in the Caymans – along with those in a Swiss bank account that was closed in 2010 after an investment adviser decided it could be politically embarrassing to Romney – were reported on tax returns and were not vehicles to avoid taxes.”
Mitt Romney is expected to release his 2010 tax returns and 2011 estimated returns later today.