11 February, 2013

Keep the Big Door Open. Everyone'll Come Around.

More on Michael McNeely Madness

If you consider yourself a Republican, chances have it that you've already heard of the McNeelys' exclusion from their county's GOP convention. On Saturday Michael McNeely the current head of the Georgia Black Republican Council, and his wife were two of five members of their precinct present at their county's mass precinct meeting. Because a maximum of 15 delegates could be sent to the county's GOP convention, both expected to be selected, however, Precinct Chairman Jack Gamel put their selection to a vote and in turn, denied the two the privilege of serving as delegates to the Douglas County GOP Convention.

Of course, come Sunday evening GAGOP'er were coming out of the woodwork to publicly express their disapproval of the McNeelys' exclusion from their county's convention; overnight, McNeely Madness became a fashionable, bandwagon campaign; within just a few hours, the Facebook fan page of Michael McNeely's campaign for GAGOP 1st Vice Chair acquired a ridiculous number of new "likes," and suddenly, Georgia Republicans were outspoken about their support for Michael and "minority outreach."

Give me a break! This swarming of supporters is just as superficial and misguided as the term, "minority outreach." I've been a Michael McNeely supporter for a while now and have and will be the first of my conservative friends to include everyone in the political "conversation," but I feel that viewing the Michael McNeely exclusion as racist may be jumping the gun.


07 February, 2013

I Will Go in This Way

When One Door Closes..., Be Glad There's Always Been a Window in the Room.

A few days ago I submitted an article to my campus newspaper, half expecting it to be featured in that week's edition. The editors though, determined that my "presentation was not up to contemporary professional standards," letting me know that my "voice lacks the range of tonal color necessary to make it consistently interesting," so my piece wasn't ever published. For your viewing pleasure, here's the unedited draft of my submission, typos and all:

Manifestations of the Same Problem: Georgia College's Bomb Scare & The Newton Tragedy

No One Would Believe It Except the Nutjobs

Why Did GCSU's Chick-fil-A Sales Increase by 8%, and What's All the Beef Really About?

I'd hate to jump to any conclusions. Go ahead, skim through the headlines, and decide for yourself.

19 January, 2013

This Little Game Where Nothing is Sure

Withholding Congressional Pay: Possibly Unconstitutional, but Who's to Say

            Yesterday afternoon, House Republicans announced a few concessions  and agreed to extend the debt ceiling under three conditions: 1) The debt ceiling will be raised only for three months. 2) The debt ceiling may then be further extended only if the Senate passes a budget resolution before April 15th. 3) Until the Senate passes a budget resolution, Congresspersons’ paychecks must be withheld.

            Stipulation #1 was to be expected; Republicans are going keep the budget and national debt at center stage for as long as the party may benefit from it being there. Stipulation #2 isn't much of a shocker either, but it’s not nearly as notable as the third. The last condition of yesterday’s House Republicans’ proposal brought into question the constitutionality of acts which would alter the timing of representatives’ compensation. Journalists from both sides of the political spectrum initially wrote this third stipulation off as a case of GOP showmanship, arguing that the ratification of the Twenty-seventh Amendment makes the Republican stipulation "a nice effort at grandstanding, except for the obnoxious fact that it is unconstitutional.” Such arguments may be lack sufficient support though.

            These critiques base themselves on a supposedly, commonly accepted and definitive interpretation of the Twenty-seventh Amendment, but no such interpretation has ever been written. In fact, the Supreme Court has never made a ruling on an aspect of the Twenty-seventh Amendment. Consequently, these criticisms of the House Republicans’ third stipulation are unfounded. With the Supreme Court having not yet identifying the specific qualities of a law which would “vary compensation,” such critiques are based largely on speculation.



14 January, 2013

No Words Exchanged

Should Box Offices Resemble Grocery Stores?

            When it comes to grocery shopping, I’m a badass. If I’ve got a couple bucks, an empty stomach, and a shopping cart, I’ll be in and out of the store in minutes with a month’s supply of rations. Just about everything – the aisles, prices, nutritional content – is labeled, so it’s easy for me to find exactly what I want, as quickly as I want. If you ever need a guy to go grocery shopping with you, I’m your man, but please…, when we go to the movies don’t expect me choose the film we’ll be seeing.

            Picking a movie isn’t anything like choosing a slab of meat or a box of cereal. Aside from their trailers and MPAA film-rating, you don’t really have a clue what you’re buying. Movies don’t itemize their nutritional content, so to speak, so often times, picking a winning film is a shot in the dark. I still love the cinema though. I even consider myself a bit of a film buff.

            Coen, Eastwood, Hitchcock, Nolan, Scorsese, Spielberg, Tarantino, you name the director and I’ll tell you all about his works. Even though I usually have no clue what’s in store, I’ll never pass down a chance to see a flick. Thankfully, once a month, with an airing of a foreign film, my university gives me an opportunity to indulge in this little hobby of mine.

            Eight days ago, I received an email, telling me which film’ll be aired. It told me (and everyone else on the listserv) that on the eleventh of the month, the German film, Die Welle (The Wave) will be played in our college’s auditorium, followed by a discussion. The email didn’t provide many details; it only said that Die Welle was “seductive and horrifying” and didn’t contain any “frontal nudity this time,” but, being a self-proclaimed film buff, I wasn’t bothered by the vague description and decided to attend. Much like the time I chose to see the musical, Rent, the movie’s plotline ended up a being a complete and regrettable surprise.

SPOILER ALERT: 

Share Some Wine, Maybe

Republicans, R@pe and Ak!n are Now Four-Letter Words. Let's Act Accordingly.

            Most of us noticed that thanks to Todd Akin, this past election season was one long, awkward sexual experience for a number of GOP candidates, but besides me, only two other people know about the sexual encounter that my buddy went through back in October. (He had quite an interesting Halloween…) Why, you ask? My friend’s encounter didn't make headlines because he followed my advice, conventional wisdom. I told him to talk it over with the girl in private and to never, ever, ever, mention it again.  

            Since October, my buddies made no mention of the words “tequila” or “transvestite,” so nobody else has gotten wind of his experience or had reason to question his or my explanation of it. Meanwhile, “legitimate rape” keeps being brought up by a few Republicans, adding fuel to the fire  of liberal media and keeping the issue under the limelight. Needless to say, now might not be the best time for the gang to talk about rape.

            Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree with Gingrey’s recent remarks about the Akin debacle. I just think that he and a few other Republicans would do the party more good by refraining from commenting on the issue, at least not in public where their words might be misconstrued. Instead, Republicans might want to lock the doors, relax, pour a few glasses of wine, and talk among themselves. That would be much less akin to controversy.

04 January, 2013

Drinking Coffee, Making Plans to Change the World

GA's Lobbyist Gift Cap: Much Ado About Nothing

             With some having deemed Georgia the most corrupt state in the union, recent pushes for ethical reforms are to be expected. It’s a noble cause, raising the ethical standards for Georgia’s elected officials, but creating legislation which would effectively curtail corruption is no simple project. As much as placing a cap on lobbyist gifts would appease voters, in actuality, such a measure may do little to reduce government corruption.

            In July Georgians voted overwhelmingly in support of capping lobbyists gifts, with over 87% of the Republican primaries’ voters favoring a $100 cap and about 73% of the Democratic primaries’ voters expressing similar discontent with the status quo. The gift cap movement then continued to gain momentum through the election season, with fifty of the state’s legislative candidates signing pledges to cap lobbyist gifts at $100 dollars. Needless to say, the gift cap will be brought up within days of the session's start, and will likely pass. This in itself is no sign of real progress though.