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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Somewhere in Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 59,219

About Me

White guy, computer programmer. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Patrick Caddell, Self-Taught Pollster Who Helped Carter to White House, Dies at 68

Patrick Caddell, the political pollster who helped send an obscure peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter to the White House, later became disillusioned with fellow Democrats and finally veered right to advise supporters of Donald J. Trump, died on Saturday in Charleston, S.C. He was 68.

His death, from complications of a stroke, was confirmed by a colleague, Prof. Kendra Stewart of the College of Charleston.

While Mr. Caddell was considered instrumental in Mr. Carter’s victory in 1976, he also shared the blame for limiting him to a single term. He helped persuade the president to deliver a speech that was intended to inspirit the nation during an energy crisis and economic slump, but instead tarred Mr. Carter as a weakling who was unable to lift the country out of its malaise.

Instead, in 1980 voters chose Ronald Reagan, a Republican who promised a rosier vision that he would describe during his successful re-election campaign as “morning again in America.”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/16/obituaries/patrick-caddell-dead.html

Georgia high court strikes down part of DUI law

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday struck down a portion of the state’s DUI law, ruling that a driver’s refusal to take a breathalyzer test cannot be held against them in criminal court.

The impact was immediate. Hours after the unanimous decision, prosecutors told police they should prepare to seek more warrants for blood and urine tests in order to combat drunk driving. Such a process could be cumbersome, especially in some rural areas of the state, law enforcement officials said. The state Legislature likely will try to rewrite the law to address the court’s concerns.

The justices found that using a driver’s refusal to submit to a breath test against them at trial violates the Georgia Constitution’s protections against self-incrimination. They also affirmed a previous ruling that said it’s unconstitutional to force drivers to take the breath tests.

“We acknowledge that the State has a considerable interest in prosecuting DUI offenses (and thereby deterring others), and that our decision today may make that task more difficult,” Justice Nels S.D. Peterson wrote in the opinion. “This Court cannot change the Georgia Constitution, even if we believe there may be good policy reasons for doing so; only the General Assembly and the people of Georgia may do that. And this Court cannot rewrite statutes.”

Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/breaking-georgia-high-court-strikes-down-part-dui-law/eLskh4ABFolqARRaPVd6qN/

It will be interesting to see if cases in other states will have a similar outcome.

New UGA Environmental Group Calls for Chick-fil-A Ban

A new Athens environmental group is making headlines on conservative outlets like “Fox & Friends” and InfoWars because of its demand to remove Chick-fil-A from the University of Georgia’s Tate Center. Athens Earth Strike is urging the community to take immediate action against global warming by adopting its list of 12 demands, including banning Chick-fil-A.

The group, which came together in Athens last month, is a branch of the larger international organization Earth Strike, a grassroots movement demanding immediate climate action from governments and corporations.

AES is primarily made up of Athens-area activists and college students, particularly members of the Athens Young Democratic Socialists of America. By April, Valerie King, an AES organizer, says she hopes the organization has a fair mix of people, even across county lines. Overall, King says they have a total of five main organizers but closer to 50 members.

Part of the group’s mission is to name and shame businesses that “facilitate the destruction of our planet through corporate funding of politicians and manipulation of the media to promote fossil fuels, or lying to the public about the effects of climate change,” according to a Facebook post.

Read more: https://flagpole.com/news/news-features/2019/02/13/new-uga-environmental-group-calls-for-chick-fil-a-ban

Tweet Pete for Prez

Note: This is in the Humor Group.

by Pete McCommons

Today, I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States of America. The results are in from the work of my exploratory committee, and they say, “Go for it.”

Why, you may ask, would an unknown, inexperienced old white man run for the presidency? In the words of Bobby Kennedy, “Why not?”

Any Democrat who wants to be taken seriously in the coming years is running for president this time. It’s just what you do, if you hope to remain viable, to be taken seriously. If you are not running for president, you no longer count. You are out of it.

At this point in the game, it doesn’t matter whether you have a chance to win. It just matters that you are staying alive politically. President Trump didn’t expect to win when he got into the race against all those Republican candidates, and look what happened.

Read more: https://flagpole.com/news/pub-notes/2019/02/13/tweet-pete-for-pres

North Greenville University ordered to pay $2.5 million over recruitment efforts

North Greenville University has been ordered to pay $2.5 million to resolve allegations that it violated a federal ban on incentive-based compensation, the Justice Department announced this week.

Any college receiving federal student aid is barred from compensating student recruiters with commission, a bonus or other incentives based on the recruiters' success in securing student enrollment, the Justice Department said.

The $2.5 million settlement resolves allegations that North Greenville University hired Joined Inc., a company partially owned by the university, to recruit students between 2014 and 2016 and that Joined was compensated based on the number of students who enrolled in NGU programs.

"The incentive compensation ban protects students against aggressive admissions and recruitment practices that serve the financial interests of the recruiter, rather than the educational needs of the student," the Department said in a release.

Read more: https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2019/02/13/justice-department-orders-north-greenville-university-pay-2-5-million/2863017002/

Hundreds hold competing protests at Greenville's Drag Queen Story Hour as deputies block media entry

There was a moment Sunday afternoon when crowds of people outside Drag Queen Story Hour at a local library loudly sang along — together — to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA." Their voices carried across a designated neutral zone in a parking lot near the Five Forks community of Greenville County.

But they were gathered in opposition.

The two groups showed up under gray skies to protest and support an event that's been a source of controversy since it was announced in late January.

The story hour, organized by a group called Moms Liberal Happy Hour SC, included local drag queens reading popular stories to children at the Five Forks branch of the Greenville County Library System.

When trying to enter the library to cover the event for The Greenville News, a reporter was told no media would be allowed inside by Greenville County Sheriff's Office deputies who claimed to be enforcing library policy. Policy posted on the Greenville County Library website states a restriction on video recording inside the library but does not attempt to establish policy for barring media access to the public facility. The reporter made it clear that she did not have photography equipment with her while trying to enter.

Read more: https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2019/02/17/drag-queen-story-hour-draws-crowds-competing-protests/2899862002/

State pension plans that 1 in 9 SC residents rely on are short $25 billion in funding

The state pension plans that 12 percent of South Carolina residents are counting on gained $1.2 billion in the 2018 financial year, but they need $25.47 billion more to be fully funded.

South Carolina’s pension funds added billions to the bottom line over the past two years but also paid higher fees and produced lower investment returns than most other large public pension funds.

“It’s our job, ultimately, to earn a rate of return that makes our plan work, not to beat our peers,” said Mike Hitchcock, CEO of South Carolina’s Retirement Systems Investment Commission.

Although the state’s main pension fund has just 54 cents for every dollar needed to pay future benefits, retirees aren’t at risk of missing pension checks. The pension system has more than $31 billion invested and gets millions in contributions yearly from workers and the state and local governments that employ them.

Read more: https://www.postandcourier.com/news/state-pension-plans-that-in-sc-residents-rely-on-are/article_f280b374-2987-11e9-ae09-6b844cc175d1.html

Former South Carolina lawmaker won't get new job until senators probe his House votes

COLUMBIA -- The nomination of a former S.C. legislator to head the state’s Conservation Bank is on hold as a Senate panel looks into his votes related to the agency.

Former Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, also came under intense questioning for his past support of the Confederate flag and role in other controversies.

Pitts testified Thursday he had not voted on issues related to the Conservation Bank as far back as May. Pitts said he recused himself because he was mulling the possibility of becoming the agency’s $115,000-a-year executive director.

Pitts, a former law enforcement officer, resigned his House seat earlier this year to head the Conservation Bank, tasked with protecting land from development. But his nomination to head the state agency must be confirmed by the Senate.

Read more: https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article226255905.html

After corruption scandal, South Carolina lawmakers push changes at electric cooperatives

COLUMBIA, SC -- Months after South Carolina’s electric cooperatives were rocked by a corruption scandal, the not-for-profit power companies are working with state legislators on wholesale reforms of the rural utilities.

A proposed law — sponsored by state Rep. Russell Ott, D-Calhoun — aims to protect the 1.5 million South Carolinians who get their power from co-ops and restore trust in the customer-owned utilities. The proposal would require more state government oversight of co-ops, and stricter ethics, nepotism and transparency rules for co-op boards.

The bill, H. 3145, follows The State’s reporting last May that part-time board members of the St. Matthews-based Tri-County Electric had enriched themselves with high pay, expensive benefits and inappropriate perks. Those costs were charged to the co-op’s rural customers, who pay some of the highest electric rates in the state.

Three months later, Tri-County’s customers rose up and overthrew the co-op’s entire board in a historic vote. But the episode raised questions about South Carolina’s 20 other little-understood and scantly regulated co-ops. Their leaders also have enjoyed higher pay and better benefits than their co-op counterparts nationally.

Read more: https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article226340885.html

A ban on bans: Are SC legislators killing local control as favor for Big Business?

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- For nearly an hour Wednesday, S.C. House members debated a bill to ban local governments from passing more regulations on cigarettes and vaping products.

In the end, the ban on more local regulations passed, 69-37.

It is not the only debate likely this legislative session about limiting the control that local governments — cities and counties — have over local issues.

S.C. lawmakers have been “unusually active the last three years” stepping on the toes of cities and counties, said Lynn Teague of the League of Women Voters, trying to limit how cities and counties regulate a variety of activities — from cigarettes and vaping to plastic bags to billboards to poultry farms.

Read more: https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article226176810.html
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