The two best things about the 2016 General Assembly

No, this isn’t a picture of Georgia legislators leaving Atlanta after the session. It’s a scene from “The Walking Dead,” which could flee Georgia if HB 757 is signed into law.

The two best things that I can say about the 2016 Georgia General Assembly are that it could have been worse, and that now it’s over.

Frankly, given some of the legislation that almost became law, or almost didn’t, it could have been a lot, lot worse. Even in the session’s final hours, Georgia’s finest were still coming up with new feats of surpassing stupidity and self-destruction that make you shake your head in amazement.

But with legislators leaving town, Gov. Nathan Deal still has considerable cleanup work to accomplish, including a decision on whether to sign or veto House Bill 757, the anti-gay piece of legislation disguised as a “religious liberty” bill. I may be proved wrong, but at this point I’d be surprised verging on shocked if Deal signs the bill into law. If he really intended to take that step, he would have done so fairly quickly, before allowing opposition to build.

Because opposition has built. Companies and organizations ranging from the NFL to Disney have warned state leaders about the economic consequences about enacting the law, with the future of the state’s thriving movie business almost certainly at stake. The hundreds of films being shot here, the major movie studios already operating or planned here — all that could be endangered with a simple mistaken swoop of the governor’s pen. I doubt that’s going to happen.

And yes, we ought to be ashamed that such a law couldn’t be defeated on its merits, as an effort to perpetuate second-class citizenship for some of our fellow Georgians. It ought to trouble us that fear of economic pain, not a commitment to equality, has become the most effective argument against it and that if we end up doing the right thing, it’s because of pressure exerted by groups and companies outside Georgia, not by our own sense of decency. Yes, that ought to bother us.

Then again, at least we’re not North Carolina. If there was any real doubt about what the overall debate is really about, our neighbors to the north have crystallized the issue nicely.

On Wednesday, Gov. Pat McCrory called the state Legislature into an emergency special session for one purpose: Overruling a local ordinance adopted by the city of Charlotte that would protect gay, lesbian and transgender citizens from discrimination. The ordinance — due to take effect April 1 — also allowed transgender citizens to use restrooms of their identified gender, and that became the rallying point of anti-gay activists.

The main argument — I kid you not — was that transgender citizens would use the Charlotte ordinance to sneak into restrooms where they would then commit sex crimes on women, children and the elderly. The fact that no one could cite a case in which that had actually happened, not just in North Carolina but anywhere in the county, did not obviate the need for a special session and a new law to ensure that it would not happen in the future. Nor did the obvious fact that someone who is intent on committing a sex crime isn’t going to be deterred by the minor obstacle of a sign on a restroom door.

Perhaps most telling, the oh-so-pressing transgender restroom issue could have been resolved on its own, without broader legislation forbidding local governments from offering any legal protection whatsoever to gay and lesbian citizens. But that wasn’t the course taken by North Carolina. The one-day session opened, the House passed a bill outlawing all such local legislation, it went to the Senate, where Democrats walked out in protest and Republicans approved the legislation, and by 10 p.m. that night McCrory had signed it into law.

Like I said, Georgia’s legislative session could have been worse.

Do the right thing, Gov. Deal. Keep your promise.

 

Reader Comments 0

828 comments
Janet Ward
Janet Ward

He won't sign it. He will absolutely hate the fact that he cannot sign it, but there are too many Fortune 500 companies, not to mention the film industry, that have a dog in this fight. And he's not running again, at least not for governor (thank you).

rimsky
rimsky

In January, Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker investigated the world’s hottest tax haven. “Some are calling it the new Switzerland,” he wrote. “The U.S.,” Drucker reported, “is emerging as a leading tax and secrecy haven for rich foreigners. “////////

Does not do anything for small businesses and middle class and the poor.

IMO we need higher taxes in America.

rimsky
rimsky

The naughty secret of American firms is that life at home is much easier: their returns on equity are 40% higher in the United States than they are abroad.//////

Damn.  Small businesses don't have that kind of margin.  

rimsky
rimsky

AMERICA used to be the land of opportunity and optimism. Now opportunity is seen as the preserve of the elite: two-thirds of Americans believe the economy is rigged in favour of vested interests. And optimism has turned to anger. Voters’ fury fuels the insurgencies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders and weakens insiders like Hillary Clinton. http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21695392-big-firms-united-states-have-never-had-it-so-good-time-more-competition-problem///////

OK Washington what are going to about this pickle of a situation?  The natives are getting restless.

rimsky
rimsky

Islamic State will struggle to recover from the death of a top aide, reported this week in a U.S. air strike, whose overview of the group’s finances, politics and administration was unmatched, Iraqi and U.S. sources said./////////

This is like pulling one ISIS teeth at a time.  Sooner or later they will be incapable to bite.

I hope Europeans clamp down on the home grown ISIS members and sympathizers.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Debbie Do Right:  Only pathetic losers would detest a man who's been through so much and still manages to smile and enjoy life   // 

Nonsense, Debbie. You're letting your personal partisan preferences cloud your judgment here. 

One can sympathize with Joe Biden's personal tragedies while at the same time viewing him critically for his role in some of the worst policy decisions of the past two decades. 

Joe Biden is a public figure, which means that he is ultimately judged not for how he deals with hardships in his personal life but for his role as a policymaker. Bruno pointed out below Biden's nefarious role in the turn of the Democratic Party to a party of right wing law and order (minimum sentencing), but we could also point to his unsavory role in eliminating the ability to discharge student loans in bankruptcy, in which he played a central role.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Rare Saturday SHEETZ

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

Next up, next beatdown, you heard it here: Chelsea (better known to Republicans as, and i quote 'the White House Dog') - Chelsea will float Single Payer, as an improvement to ACA. Maybe soon, maybe later, but it's coming.

Bernie (in addition to the short bus) is giving her the freedom to run Left.  


Bruno2
Bruno2

St Simon: booty envy 

Yep, you busted me.  I lay awake every night wishing it was me who was going down on Hillary.

RantNRave
RantNRave

@BrewNO


A  FAST but steady transformation of deviance has


 taken over the REPUBLICAN PARTY.


And The Chump is the RING LEADER !


FREAKS !


K



RantNRave
RantNRave

"I'm sure you saw the clip. The fantasy part was your Trump visualization.  Professional help is available."


@BrewNo


The Chump & Cruz


MUSSOLINI & McCARTHY


You will never find the real truth among The Chump & Cruz


that have egos to protect.


 Their truth over time becomes twisted as their perspective


 changes;  it changes with the seasons of their shame & pride. 


PROFESSIONAL HELP IS NEEDED !

goat diddler
goat diddler

This is large... Mann Coulter never met a facist she didn't love...

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

All of a sudden BIG BUSINESS is of value to our liberals?

Which restroom a person's allowed to use constitutes discrimination?

A trifling testimonial to how far we've devolved. Men don't care who uses their restrooms. Women are more selective.

Were I a male to female transgender, I'd stick with the male restroom...the lines are shorter. Female to male?

Like I said...men don't care. I can attest. 

goat diddler
goat diddler

Men don't even need restrooms. If you've been to any large music festivals lately, you'll see these plastic thingys for the dudes that pretty much has us just peeing out in the open...

goat diddler
goat diddler

"All of a sudden BIG BUSINESS is of value to our liberals?"

Sure, why wouldn't it be?

goat diddler
goat diddler

You confuse things like demanding that Big Business:

Pay for the infrastructue they utilize and consume.

Not destroy the environment we all have to live in.

Consider taking a profit of 999 million instead of a billion so their lowly employees can actually have like healthcare and comfortable lives in return for their labor.

You confuse these things with "hate"...

goat diddler
goat diddler

I know... I know... infrastructure should be paid for solely by the individual taxpayers, not by those who leverage it to gain maximum profits.

The environment? Pfffttt... after the rapture, who cares?

And large bidness needs that million out of a billion to fund golden parachutes...

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@foo2u

In other words, you want ALL that they can give and then some.

Most liberals do.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@foo2u

I know...I know...BIG BUSINESS needs to redistribute their wealth...spread it around if'n YOU please.

goat diddler
goat diddler

Yeah...not sure where you got THAT from.... but not altogether surprising that you read that into my statements. ..

Maybe you could address my points directly?

goat diddler
goat diddler

No... of coarse not...

I give you specific points to address and refute, you reply with bumper sticker quotes. ..

It is what it is I suppose...

Derp...

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@foo2u

Late response. What can I say...

Individual taxpayers don't go it alone on funding infrastructure.

Don't allow yourself to fall victim to what the EPA's selling foo2. They're picking the winners of your tax dollars, not you.

If you wanna have a say in how corporations operate, become a shareholder. Change from within. Engage in a hostile takeover.

Don't look for the government to do what you won't. 

goat diddler
goat diddler

I know right? And that congressman had that snowball that one time too...

Bruno2
Bruno2

DDR: Only pathetic losers would detest a man who's been through so much and still manages to smile and enjoy life. He's lost his wife and child at a young age, and raised his surviving two children mostly by himself.

I guess that DDR is forgetting that Joe Biden was one of the main architects of the minimum sentencing drug laws in the 80s and 90s.  Many critics point toward those laws as having the greatest negative effect on the Black community than any other factor.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/08/joe_biden_presidential_run_why_it_s_a_bad_idea.html

goat diddler
goat diddler

Watching a show on the history channel about American Nazis... I swear they just showed a clip of a rally that looked exactly like a Trump rally... someone even rushed the podium and got the tar beat out of him by the redhats, er... I mean brownshirts..

Bruno2
Bruno2

@foo2u I'm sure you saw the clip. The fantasy part was your Trump visualization.  Professional help is available.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@foo2u You have some very strange fantasies, foo.

goat diddler
goat diddler

No... this really happened... just a few minutes ago...

Bruno2
Bruno2

A:  "It Takes A Village"


Q:  How many women does it take to satisfy Bill??

Bruno2
Bruno2

Q:  What does Bill say to Hillary after sex??


A:  Honey, I'll be home in 20 minutes.

goat diddler
goat diddler

Anytime you're unsure of what you should do, do what I do and ask yourself:

WWPH do?

goat diddler
goat diddler

Hellz yes...

The contested convention will be decided by lead...

Paul Horner approves...

goat diddler
goat diddler

Hmmm... they feel it's ok to let college kids carry... why wouldn't they trust "adults" to do the same?

Hmmmmmm...?

goat diddler
goat diddler

What if those 7 kids show up with their paper banners? The wingnuts will need a way to defend themselves... after seeing how weak their sucker punches are... it's obvious they need something with more "pop"...

goat diddler
goat diddler

"Tybee Island, GA — In an ironic twist of a fate, a mascot for a Christian anti-masturbation group was arrested yesterday for masturbating in public. The mascot along with his organization, Stop Masturbation Now, recently finished a federally funded 31-city nationwide school tour which they claim focused on educating both children and parents about the dangerous consequences of masturbation.

Fappy The Anti-Masturbation Dolphin, whose real name is 36-year-old Paul Horner, was arrested outside Tybee Vacation Rentals located in the Tybee Islands after employees notified police about a man with no pants on peering through office windows.

Tom Downey with the Tybee Island Police Department, who took Horner into custody, spoke with Savannah, Georgia news station WJCL about the arrest.

Tybee mascot Fappy Paul Horner

The contest held by the Tybee Island Police Department to find a new mascot, which was won by Fappy The Anti-Masturbation Dolphin. (AP Photo/Dennis System, File) / AP

“We thought at first he was possibly intoxicated or mentally unstable, ya know, talking about children and how deadly it is for them to masturbate. Telling us he was in town with a Christian organization aimed at talking with children about the dangers of masturbation. Saying things like, ‘They need to stop playing on the Devil’s playground, stop pounding their Devil stick or ringing the Devil’s doorbell’,” Downey said. “Turns out he was in town accepting an award to be the new mascot for the Tybee Island Police Department. I didn’t believe this at first, but after further investigation, it turns out this was factual information, so this whole ordeal is quite an embarrassment for the police force here on Tybee Island. We further learned that Mr. Horner has two previous arrests for public masturbation while with the Christian organization Stop Masturbation Now. We’re still looking into why that didn’t show up in our background check we did on Horner before giving him the award. Horner is technically the new mascot for the Tybee Island Police Department, but a hearing will be held later today to hopefully strip that roll from him as soon as possible.”

Lonnie Childs who is president and founder of Stop Masturbation Now spoke with reporters about the future of the organization after this recent setback. “Thanks to your tax dollars, Fappy has helped tens of thousands of adults and children learn to live a masturbation-free lifestyle. During his visits to schools around the world, Fappy has collected thousands of signatures from children promising to never masturbate; he has done amazing things,” Childs said. “It’s a shame how the media is portraying Fappy right now. Paul Horner is a great man. He’s passionate about his work, he loves being Fappy, he loves the kids. They even have a nickname for him, they call him the tickle monster. But now, all of that is possibly ruined by some trumped-up charges by the Tybee five-oh, such a shame. I have activated my prayer app and I ask each and every one of you to keep Fappy in your prayers until this incident is resolved. Praise Fappy!”

Horner told CNN by phone that he plans to make the most of his imprisonment.

“I want to apologize to all my amazing faithful Fappy fans out there, I love and miss you all,” Horner said. “You have my word that I will make the most of this bad situation. Jail is just a hotbed for self-rape and immoral acts. I plan to do everything in my power to stop the masturbation currently happening in this jail.”

On the group’s Facebook page this morning, news was posted of the arrest."

Gmare
Gmare

Was this in The Onion?!?!

goat diddler
goat diddler

Good morning Gmare. I'd try to explain, but it might be easier if you scrolled down a little and catch up from last night... starting where a regular here posted a "news" article about someone being paid 3500.00 to protest at Trumps rallies.

Gmare
Gmare

Yeah, foo2u, I did see that last night, just hadn't had enough coffe yet to make the connection. :)

goat diddler
goat diddler

Im still not adjusted to the time change yet, pile that on top of the fact that im a morning person and the result is I'm up and alert wayyyy to early these days...

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

@foo2u see, that's what you get for considering Tybee over St Simons & Jekyll, Georgia's Jewels, Georgia's true Golden Isles. They belong to YOU. Every beach is public, in  Georgia's true original socialist tradition.