Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Louisiana Gov. Huey Long (D) 1935.. Share the Wealth

Now you wonder where did President Obama get the whole :Share of the Wealth Idea..here it is..

Monday, January 30, 2012

50/50 Obama gets re-elected..But what If President Obama DOES get Re-Elected in November?

Hmmmm......, as we learned in 2010 and as we’re learning to some extent during the early month of the 2012 election cycle, the Tea Party has also caused the party to go off on bizarre tangents at times and to take insane stands like appearing to be willing to take the nation to the brink of financial chaos back in August. The “no compromise” position that the Tea Party represents may be good for internal party consumption and it may make the true believers happy, but it’s not good government and it’s probably not a good long term political strategy. A loss in 2012 that gets pinned on the movement would likely re-energize the “establishment” and more traditional conservatives in the party and cause a backlash against some of the more radical elements of the Tea Party. In the long run, this would probably be good for the GOP.

If President Obama wins it will almost certainly be with less electoral votes and percentage of the popular vote than 2008, making him the first president to win reelection with less votes since Woodrow Wilson back in 1916. What would President Obama be able to do in his second term? He's been politically impotent since January 2011 and there's no reason to think that this election year will be different. With 23 of the of the 33 senate seats up for reelection in 2012 held by Democrats the Senate you can it's almost likely to be held by Republicans. The only possible Democratic pickups would be in Massachusetts and Nevada. Many of these Democratically held seats are open in 2012 due to retirements. It's possible for Democrats to take back the House but they need to gain 26 seats to do so.

Although it seems bleak for the president, there is an awful lot that he can accomplish using one simple tool: The Presidential Veto. A re-elected President Obama COULD veto any extension of the Bush Tax Cuts, but that'll hurt the economic recovery, oversee the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, around 2014, he could call for changes to the HealthCare Bill..let's face it, that bill will not be repealed, despite all the tough talk by those on the right & he and can start high profile fights with Republicans over issues like the closing of Guantanamo, the federal budget, and the future of entitlement programs. Obama's second term would be marked by his ability to ironically prevent change. His re-election will prevent the privatization of Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, which is one of the top goals of the GOP. With the political center being so wide open, the president should drop anchor there while the hard left & the hard right battle it out, tearing each other apart....The odds are against the president winning re-election, but its very possible that he will win a second term.

Barack Obama: The obstructionist for Republican change.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Robert Patillo Announces Bid For State House

Press Release from the campaign of Robert Patillo

Democrat Robert Patillo Enters Georgia's State House District 44 Race

Atlanta, GA – As the 2012 Georgia Legislative Session opens and just days before the nation celebrates the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., former democratic operative and attorney Robert Hillard Patillo, II has filed his campaign committee paperwork, Patillo for Georgia, with the State Democratic Party. Patillo told supporters, “This election is about working towards an agenda to restore Jobs, Justice and the American Dream in Georgia. It is time we put our dreams into action with new ideas and fresh leadership. Voters want to see leaders who will fight for their best interest. They realize candidates in the Democratic Party went to the Capitol and voted to cut programs like the HOPE Scholarship fund should be disqualified from representing this party and the needs of our community.”

Patillo's committee Treasurer Janice Mathis currently serves as the Executive Director of RainbowPUSH Coalition Atlanta Bureau as well as the RainbowPUSH Coalition National Vice President. Mathis noted, “I've worked with Robert on several legal issues. I know no one better to serve the citizens of Georgia. “Dwayne Brown will be serving as Campaign Chairman for Patillo's state house bid. “It is an honor to help elect a democrat that won't forget our shared ideals when he gets to the capitol. The top issues in this state are to restore jobs and support education and we need Democrats who won’t compromise in our pursuit of the American dream.”

Robert Patillo is a graduate of Clark-Atlanta University and Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2009 where he served as President of the Black Law Students Association. Previously, Patillo served as a Field Manager for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. in fundraising for the Democratic National Committee in 2004, lead workers’ rights campaigns during the Student Labor Week of Action in 2005 and assisted Rainbow/PUSH in the 2005 initiative to re-authorize the Voters Rights Act in addition to working on issues of corporate diversity and minority representation in Fortune 500 companies. He recently served as the Statewide Field Director for Ken Hodges Campaign for Attorney General and currently works as a practicing attorney in Atlanta at The Patillo Law Group, LLC.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Prisons as Economic Development: Boom or Bust for Rural Georgia?

In Georgia today there are more prisoners than farmers. And while most prisoners in Georgia are from urban communities, most prisons are now in rural areas with high levels of poverty & a unskilled, uneducated workforce. During the last two decades, the large-scale use of incarceration to solve social problems has combined with the fall-out of globalization to produce an ominous trend: prisons have become a "growth industry" in rural Georgia, in fact Rural America.

Communities in isolated regions of the state began suffering from declines in farming, mining, timber-work and manufacturing are now begging for prisons to be built in their backyards. The economic restructuring that began in the troubled decade of the 1980s has had dramatic social and economic consequences for rural communities and small towns. Together the farm crises, factory closings, corporate downsizing, shift to service sector employment and the substitution of major regional and national chains for local, main-street businesses have triggered profound change in these areas.

The acquisition of prisons as a conscious economic development strategy for depressed rural communities and small towns in Georgia has become widespread. Many small rural towns have become dependent on an industry which itself is dependent on the continuation of crime-producing conditions.

Ironically, while rural areas pursue prisons as a growth strategy, whether this is a wise or effective strategy is far from clear. Increasing evidence suggests that by many measures prisons do not produce economic growth for local economies and can, over the long term, have detrimental effects on the social fabric and environment of rural communities. Moreover, this massive penetration of prisons into rural Georgia portends dramatic consequences for the entire state as huge numbers of inmates from urban areas of the state become rural residents for the purposes of Census-based formulas used to allocate government dollars and political representation.

Despite a lack of studies documenting the effects of prisons on rural areas and small towns over time, prisons are now heralded by economic development professionals and politicians of all stripes as beneficial economic engines for depressed rural economies like the one up in Baldwin County which was hyped by then governor Sonny Perdue, & State Senator Johnny Grant in 2010. Along with gambling casinos and huge animal confinement units for raising or processing hogs and poultry, prisons have become one of the three leading rural economic enterprises as Georgia and localities seek industries which provide large scale and quick opportunities.

The competition for prison "development projects" has become fierce and political. In order to be considered competitive in the bidding wars for public prisons, rural counties and small towns give up a lot to gain what they hope will be more: offering financial assistance and concessions such as donated land, upgraded sewer and water systems, housing subsidies, and, in the case of private prisons, property and other tax abatements.

A significant development in rural incarceration is the advent of private prisons. While private prisons do fill most jobs with new recruits when they open, and they sometimes give a hiring preference to local residents, they fail to provide a stable employment base in their host communities because they suffer extremely high rates of job turnover -- three times higher than the rate for public prisons. Correctional officer turnover rates in for-profit facilities are due mostly to poor training and low wages. This rapid turnover can create staffing problems that play out in understaffed shifts, low morale, and a sense of instability in the facility and the surrounding community.

While the growth in prisoner population and new prisons have increased dramatically, without other interventions such as changes in mandatory sentencing laws and parole policies, or more extensive use of alternatives to incarceration, prisoner populations and prison-building may climb upward again.

As well, the use of prisons as money-makers for struggling rural communities has become a major force driving criminal justice policy toward mass incarceration of the urban poor regardless of policy rationales like rising crime and prison overcrowding. In my opinion, When legislators cry 'Lock 'em up!,' they often mean 'Lock 'em up in my district!.'" LOL!! Indeed, the rural prison boom occurred at a time of falling crime rates and experience shows that the federal and state governments are reluctant to pull the plug on the many interests that now lobby for and feed off prisons. Allowed to continue, this cycle will have catastrophic consequences for the health and welfare of individuals, families, and communities in urban and rural areas, and indeed for the nation.
This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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