In 2009, this blog added two new front page contributors, 600+ posts, and more than a few comments. The good news? We’re still going (moderately) strong. The bad news? We’ve pissed off about 80% of the die-hard politico’s in this area.
No worries. We haven’t worried about our popularity since high school. Even then we didn’t really care that much.
Below you’ll find a good sampling of what 2009 had to offer North Georgia, and the individual posts that tried to highlight it all. Spelling errors, tortured grammar, it’s all there. Have we mentioned that we could really use an editor?
Gainesville High football star Tai-ler Jones (and a Rivals.com four-star recruit) committed to Stanford in April.
That’s right. STANFORD.
We commented on the fact that there was no way- NO WAY- that Tai-ler sticks with Stanford over the other heavyweights that were after him. Just as we predicted, he changed his committment to Notre Dame months later.
So we get points for being clairvoyant. And as an aside- he committed to Notre Dame a month before Coach Weis was fired…which means once again we make a bold prediction. Tai-ler Jones ain’t going to Notre Dame either.
Moby in the Morning is a syndicated radio show that claimed President Obama had forbidden US servicemen from speaking at faith-based events.
Of course, this is patently false, and we pointed it out immediately. It included a personal phone call to the radio show, and we were delighted to see Moby retract the statement after we called him out.
Moby simply had a guest cancellation and used it as an opportunity to take a shot at the POTUS.
It’s this type of pervasive falsehood that has successfully branded Democrats as “anti-faith” in Georgia, and we need to stand up to this crap.
Jim Threlkeld is one of the nuttiest columnists ever on the otherwise delightful website Cumming Home.
Jim is a tea-bagger. He’s convinced himself that Obama will soon take over any business in America, dissenters will be silenced, books & newspapers will cease to exist, and that we will be slaves to Chairman Obama.
So, Jim, have your predictions panned out yet? We’re eagerly awaiting your next screed so we can tear it apart yet again.
Jim Threlkeld is “more scared of the federal government than anything in his life”.
Less than a month into office, Jim blames Obama for the Budget Deficit.
Atlanta’s WSB-TV produced a story about the Flowery Branch “Field of Dreams”. This ballpark has been specially fitted for use by handicapped children at the expense of $1 million, yet had only been used once in 6 months. Instead, it laid dormant, padlocked, and inaccessible to the community.
Every local politician was eager to take credit for building the facility, but suddenly disappeared when Atlanta media began asking why the community wasn’t able to actually use it.
Good news is that since this story, the “Field of Dreams” has seen more use. Sadly, not enough to justify the upkeep.
“Field of No” covered WSB-TV’s involvement and a local politician taking credit for it.
Snarky criticism of our local media outlets is what we do well. In 2009, they made it all too easy.
Our local congressman described elderly people with no birth certificates as “Ghetto Grandmothers”. The racially charged term would sink most politicians, if the general public ever were to know. Sadly, our local newspapers NEVER RAN THE STORY.
Even now, you can find media sources from all over the country that have printed Nathan Deal’s Ghetto Grandmother slip-up. But not the Gainesville Times or Access North Ga/WDUN. They just let it slide. Because our local congressman running for Governor while demeaning its black citizens simply isn’t newsy enough.
By any estimate, the Georgia budget is a mess.
Unfunded mandates caused our state to be in-the-red for 2009, and only a heaping helping of federal money kept Georgia afloat.
In 2010, don’t expect Obama to be so generous with the financial help. Our state legislators will find a way out of this mess without Daddy’s money this time.
We question the tax cuts for Hollywood filmmakers (algebra alert!)
We question the tax-free holiday for school supplies while cutting educational funding
We point out that poor folks in Georgia have had state income taxes increased by 25%
We actually read the budget and describe the spending increases
Exclusive video of State Rep. Alan Powell stating that Georgia’s budget has increased 43% in 7 years
Chris Fetterman is probably a likable guy. People voted for him as a Flowery Branch Councilman, so it’s fair to say he has some charisma. Our quarrel started off harmless enough. He said something nutty, and we pointed it out.
Soon afterward, he called us a liar (for some unknown falsehood that’s never been explained) and cowardly (because we don’t use our real names).
Then- we got a tip regarding the future political aspirations of himself and a fellow FB council member and realized…it’s a County Commission Election Year! He’s setting the stage for a future upgrade in office for himself or his buddy! Now it makes sense! He wants to argue with Democrats for sport!
Eventually the feud disintegrated into a long in-the-weeds discussion over sewer rates in South Hall. Boring conclusion for such a promising beginning. We’re hopeful that Fetterman will double-down on the krazy in 2010.
2009 was the year that America took healthcare seriously.
We commented on its broader implications, but also focused on how it was portrayed locally by two of our Congressmen and one of our local teabag radio talk show hosts.
We get all up in Martha Zoller‘s bidness
It’s called a “Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax”, or SPLOST. It works well in many places to fund better communities. In Hall County, it’s used to cover up the misplaced priorities of our County Commissioners.
This additional 1% tax has been in place for 22 of the past 25 years, and it keeps getting approved over-and-over again. The latest incarnation was voted in overwhelmingly to pay for traffic lights and a landfill and such- things that shouldn’t be an “option”, but should be funded by our government every year as a crucial need.
It’s a shell game, where the Commission puts larger and larger projects- critical projects- under a “voluntary” sales tax in an attempt to hide the fact that taxes are going up. And it works every single damn time. And if we don’t approve the SPLOST? We don’t get a landfill and our community goes down the crapper.
The difference between a T-SPLOST and the Hall County SPLOST
The Chamber supports it and insists it’s not a new tax
Local GOP Leaders raise taxes but hide it in the SPLOST
We’ve thrown a few literary punches at our Republican friends and neighbors. Without a vibrant alternative media in North Georgia, our local leaders have been able to shovel manure for years without ever having to endure the smell. Left on Lanier tried to change that in 2009.
Republicans aren’t always gasbags and blowhards. There are some principled conservative voices in town (Hi Bill! Hi Joel!), and we’ve tried to stay away from the respectful differences that occur when competing ideologies collide. But when they go full-tilt against “Dimocrats” or defend Joe Wilson’s “you lie” during a joint meeting of Congress, it becomes too much.
We’re like a traffic-cop. Keep it between the lines, and you’re cool. Start venturing out into Palin-Teabag-Birther land, and we’ll gladly write a front-page ticket. In fact, when the former Hall County GOP Chair stopped contributing to his little-read but very-crazy blog, we posted a counter on this site, ticking off the days since he last updated it… his rantings were just too good to be deprived of.
We goad the former Hall GOP Chair to update his blog
After 300 days of silence, we goad yet again
Finally! He returns!
We throw a bomb at Gwinnett Buzz
The banking crisis in Georgia has been under-reported. We have more bank failures than any state. This includes California, which has 8 times our population.
It seems logical that local media might go to our local representative (who just happens to chair the Banking committee) and ask what the f@#k is going on. The dude lives 5 miles down the road.
But it hasn’t (and apparently WON”T) happen. Whether politics or laziness or whatever, it’s clear that this is not a priority for our local media folks. And yes, we know that good, hard-working reporters read this blog. Let’s be clear that we’re not blaming you personally, but the media conglomerate that pays your check and prints your stories.
This is one of the biggest stories in the nation, and the Gainesville Times and WDUN are sitting on a goldmine in their own backyard. Instead, we get another report about the 25th rabid skunk found in the North Georgia mountains or something.
Rep. Mills presides over bank meltdown, but gets paid by the Georgia Bankers Association
Wall Street Journal does a story, local media still silent
We implore the local media to again DO A STORY OR SOMETHING
GPB does a story, local media still twiddling thumbs
After nearly a year! The Times does a story!!! And doesn’t ask Rep. Mills a single question
Whoopsie! Rep. Mills owns stock in banks while chairing the Banking committee