Wednesday, March 02, 2011

2 MAR 11: Bikers, Birthers, Bafflers

Tuesday was "Columbus Day" at the Georgia General Assembly. A delegation from the Chamber of Commerce went to Atlanta in style - in a Columbus State University bus which reportedly has Wi-Fi and satellite television. But if there's no mini-frig filled with Coke Zero inside, what's the point?

The Georgia Legislature already is in the second half of its 40-day session. You might think the "silly season" for outlandish bills is over - but Tuesday's news suggested it's not. A couple of eyebrow-raising proposals are still in the running, which Roy Barnes would have banned by now by signing executive orders.

One bill introduced Monday is called the Presidential Electibility Assurance Act. It requires the Georgia Secretary of State to verify candidates for President and Vice President are eligible for the office. I can remember when signed loyalty oaths to a political party were enough....

The bill specifies Presidential candidates must present "a certified exact copy" of a "first original long-form birth certificate," or an affidavit admitting such a document does not exist, along with other documentation. Hmmmm - I wondered what Orly Taitz was doing these days.

This proposal clearly is aimed at the unending rumors about whether President Obama was born in Hawaii or Kenya. I've seen one bumper sticker on a truck in Columbus with the words: "Show the birth certificate" - which makes me wonder if my driver's license is good enough to get around town anymore.

The P.E.A.A. goes on to say if an Electoral College member votes for an ineligible Presidential candidate, that elector will be guilty of a misdemeanor. That may sound harsh, but it could be worse. The elector could be deported to that candidate's real birthplace.

The Associated Press reports the Presidential Electibility Assurance Act has received 93 co-sponsors in the Georgia House. It was unclear Tuesday night if any local lawmakers support it. If Calvin Smyre's name is on the list, I'd want to know what bar he was inside at the time.

The second curious bill in the Georgia Legislature sounds like it would allow motorcycles to run red lights. At least that's how WTVM presented it Tuesday night - as if Uptown Columbus proposed it to make "Bikes on Broadway" weekend a lot more interesting.

But a closer look at the proposal shows it's not exactly a call for "The Fast and the Furious" in Georgia. Motorcycle riders could go through stop lights at their own risk "with due caution," but only after waiting 60 seconds. I don't think Columbus has any intersections which make drivers wait that long - unless you count sections of 13th Street and Manchester Expressway during rush hour.

The thinking behind this proposal is that motorcycles don't get noticed at traffic lights, because they're too small for "vehicle detection devices" to notice. I realize this will stun some younger readers. Especially if you're being brought up as I was -- told there's a little man inside a metal box changing the lights.

A House committee gave the motorcycle bill a favorable report two weeks ago. The "birther bill" was introduced only this week, on the 20th day of a 40-day session - as if the proposal had to go through Caesarean section.

THE BIG BLOG QUESTION on the Iron Bowl closed Tuesday night. Only two of our 11 voters supported the proposal by WTVM's Lee Brantley to suspend the Alabama-Auburn football game, in the wake of the tree poisoning at Toomer's Corner. Yes, that leaves nine opposed to News Leader 9 - coincidence?!

Work crews in Auburn dug wells around the Toomer's Corner trees Tuesday. It was a test to see if the herbicide sprayed by "Al from Dadeville" has reached the groundwater. If the digging happens to lead to an oil strike, the Auburn University football program truly will have the last laugh.

-> A weekend poker night had a sad interruption. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: Let's move from "flora" to "fauna"....

Richard, in reference to the e-mail update about all of the animals in busy, residential areas, we as humans have a tendency to forget that it was "we" that moved in and invaded their habitat to begin with. Maybe the animals are trying to take back what belonged to them to begin with. All that I can say is "good luck" Bambi's! It IS a wild world out there!

Ohhhhh -- so you're saying Columbus is at war, and we simply haven't realized it?! Something like "The Event"? So that's why the cable channel is called "Animal Planet," and not simply a network.

Sad to say, one of my former roommates says he was attacked from behind last week by two of his neighbor's pit bulls. He's alive, but needed treatment and antibiotics for five separate injuries. This occurred in Minnesota - where there apparently aren't enough moose anymore to keep pit bulls in line.

Let's see what else kept us chained to our desk Tuesday on National Pancake Day....

+ Columbus Police reported they arrested a suspect in a string of convenience store break-ins. Someone entered stores through the roof, to steal Newport cigarettes. Forget meth addiction - menthol addiction has been around a lot longer.

+ WRBL reported District Attorney Julia Slater is offering a plea bargain to former Parks Director Tony Adams and the other "Rec-Gate" suspects. I wonder if she's borrowing from the Georgia Blazers basketball team, and offering an old-fashioned three-point play.

+ Alabama Governor Robert Bentley presented his first "State of the State" address. He promised to end proration in state budgets, saying budgets proposed in recent years were unrealistic. So much for the Bentleys getting invited to Bob Riley's next backyard cookout.

+ The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy almost had a perfect score on the aptitude test, at the National Football League "combine." McElroy scored 48 out of 50. Too bad he fumbled away that last crucial two-pointer....

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