Early voting for the November elections began this week in Georgia and at least for this state, the outcome for the presidential election is already known. Mitt Romney will carry Georgia and its Electoral College votes. Votes for President Obama in Georgia are little more than symbolic.
The real contest for president is taking place in a handful of swing states where Democrats are more competitive. Those states tend to have strong liberal unions (Wisconsin, Ohio); or lots of government bureaucrats (Virginia); or a blend of ethnic minorities and retired people (Florida.)
President Obama isn’t the same man who ran in 2008. He’s now the incumbent, not the outsider. He has a record to defend. That’s a different kind of race than when he ran in 2008 as the young outsider of “hope and change.”
One of the most maddening aspects of President Obama’s first four years has been his penchant for never taking the blame when things go wrong. The slow economic recovery isn’t his fault; he blames Wall Street and President Bush. The screw up in Libya over a lack of security wasn’t his fault, that’s the fault of intelligence agencies (after it was the fault of a video.)
Whether you like President Obama’s policies or not, it’s difficult to respect a President who can’t say to the American people, “The buck stops on my desk.”
Perhaps he should channel Harry Truman for a while.
The hottest show on television now is purported to be “Walking Dead.” And the recent “Twilight” series of movies was among the most popular in history.
What does it say about a society when zombies and vampires have become major cultural icons?
Where is Andy Griffith, Gomer Pyle and Roy Rogers when you need them?
OK, ladies, a question: What’s with all the cowboy boots? At a recent UGA football game, there were thousands of lovely young coeds in short, tight (very tight!) skirts, but they were all wearing cowboy boots as if they were at a rodeo rather than a football game.
I hope someone is making photos of this new fashion trend to show these young girls in about 20 years so they will know just how ugly they dressed in 2012. The fashion gods must be on vacation.
The City of Jefferson faces a dilemma. Town leaders want to have the downtown area designated as an “opportunity zone” by the state to attract tax credits for job creation. But to do that, the city has to create an urban redevelopment plan, part of which has the town declaring the area as being a slum, or “blighted.”
That’s a difficult position for public officials. On the one hand, the city is proud of its downtown and recent streetscape projects. The area certainly doesn’t look “blighted” and city officials would never use that word in a marketing campaign for the town.
On the other hand, there are a lot of empty buildings in the traditional downtown area and the city would like to attract new businesses to those facilities. One way that might help would be to offer these tax credits.
Like many small downtowns, Jefferson is in transition. Retail has migrated to shopping centers outside of the traditional downtown area. Small cafes and restaurants come and go like rain giving a sense of instability.
The future of traditional downtowns probably won’t be in retail. Professional and government offices are the logical way to use these empty facilities.
The county government has agreed to lease land to the Jackson County Humane Society for a future site of an animal shelter. The need is great in the county for some kind of animal control facility.
The problem is money. It will cost a lot to build a shelter. It will cost even more to operate once built.
Somebody has to pay for that. Even if they raise enough funds to build a shelter, volunteer donations won’t be enough to fund an ongoing operation. That will take tax money.
Like public recreation facilities, an animal shelter is a quality of life issue in many communities. But unlike recreation, most of what’s done by an animal shelter is not in public view nor does it involve thousands of children and adults.
Good idea. Hard to sell.
Mike Buffington is editor and co-publisher of The Jackson Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.