You Can Never Have Too Much Tea

I attended “Constitution, Candidates, & Your Vote” presented by The Georgia Tea Party this evening. I had an awesome time mingling with my favorite candidates, listening to Herman Cain, and chatting with good friends.

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The event was held at Jim R. Miller Park in Marietta, from 5pm to 9pm. I arrived just after 5:30 and wasted no time getting to the candidate “bullpen” to see who I could photograph.

The first candidate I saw was Kira Willis, Libertarian candidate for State Superintendent of Schools. She got my vote earlier today when I left all of the choices for superintendent blank on the primary ballot.

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According to the news media, Karen Handel is doing well in the polls, and it looks like the primary may come down to a run-off between her and Nathan Deal.

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I didn’t see Eric Johnson at the event, I am not sure if he was able to attend, but you couldn’t miss seeing John Oxendine. Everytime he opened his mouth there was a bright glow in the bullpen. Is it me or are his teeth un-naturally large and artificially white?

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By far, the most disgusting experience of the evening was when I was greeted by another candidate who had abnormally sticky and slimy hands. The next time I attend an event like this, I am bringing a gallon of Purell. I can put up with a lot from people, but this is just disgusting.

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Of course, there were many bright spots (and I am not talking Oxendine’s teeth) in the candidate’s area. Gerry Purcell, candidate for Insurance Commissioner, was there. He was greeting people, answering questions, chatting with supporters, and posing for photos.

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The next Attorney General for the state of Georgia, Max Wood, was on hand to listen to voters and remind people why we need someone like him in that office.

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I spent far too much time in the bullpen, but as soon as Ray McSlimy shook my hand I had to leave in search of hot water, or at the very least someone with a bottle of Purell. I quickly took my seat in the bleachers with the gals from the Douglas County TEA Party, Brenda, Beth, and Teresa. We listened to Herman Cain as he did his live show, and spent the evening chatting about all things “local”. Or was that “loco”. Hmm. I forget.

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So I am sitting here tonight, at almost midnight, and I just realized I have to be out the door around 7am for a camera club field trip. You can see the rest of the photos I took on my Facebook page or my Flickr page. If you need the link, it’s at the top of the page.

The Official 101 Dead Armadillos Endorsements For 2010

Many people seem to be under the impression that I am a Republican. I have no idea why people make this assumption. I make no secret about being a conservative, but I have not registered with any particular party for a very long time.

With the election just around the corner, one week away, I thought I would list my official endorsements and my reason for endorsing, or not endorsing, each candidate.

For U.S. Senate, I am supporting the Libertarian candidate, Chuck Donovan. I’m sure a few “by the book” Republicans just made a loud gasping noise, but I do not think Johnny Isakson has done a very good job for the people of Georgia and it’s time to give someone else a chance who will.

While it’s not difficult, right now, for Republicans to stand as a solid alternative to the current Democrat induced spending craze in Washington, some of us can actually remember what this country was like before Nanny State Nancy and Scary Harry took over Congress. A quick check of their voting records show that many Republicans, Isakson included, weren’t doing a very good job back then, so why should we think they will start doing so now?

The Governor’s race is really heating up. With one Libertarian, 7 Republicans, and 7 Democrats vying for the position, it’s the craziest statewide race. If you are a regular around here, you know which one of the 15 that I will definitely NOT be voting for. Second only to Roy Barnes, John Oxendine is the worst candidate the people of Georgia could pick to run our state.

I usually have issues voting for “career” politicians, but in this race, I support Eric Johnson. I’ve heard him speak a couple times, I’ve reviewed his record, and I think he’s the best candidate in this large field of choices.

Polling has been spotty, to put it mildly, but it’s clear that no one candidate is going to walk away with 50%+1 of the vote on Tuesday, but I am really hoping and praying we are not stuck with the choice between John Oxendine and Karen Handel. If so, I’m afraid Roy Barnes may be our next Governor, again.

I am not happy with any of the choices for Lt. Governor. I may just leave that choice blank. I really wish more people would step up and run against incumbents at the primary level. If there’s one way to remind a politician that they are an employee of the people, it’s to make them stand up, defend their record, and remind people why they are the best person for the job.

For Secretary of State I am tossing my support to Doug MacGinnitie. Doug is not a career politician, and he has common sense, conservative ideas.

The logical choice for Attorney General is Max Wood. There is no better qualified candidate in the race. Max has experience as a prosecutor, which many of the other candidates do not. He also has also stepped up and got the job done, time and time again.

To be honest, I could really care less about the Commissioner of Agriculture race, but my sources tell me that Gary Black is the man for the job. I know, this seems to completely contradict what I wrote about a week or so ago, but I do think he is the best man for the job.

And now, my favorite candidate of this election cycle. Gerry Purcell. Gerry Purcell is a good man and he’s a great candidate. I’ve been following his campaign for Insurance Commissioner since day one, and I have no doubt that he is the best qualified candidate for the job. He has great ideas for fixing the insurance industry with free market solutions. I’ve heard him speak at several events, and unlike all of the other candidates I am endorsing today, I have met him in person. I’ve had a chance to speak to him and see who he really is. Gerry Purcell is a good man, and in politics, you don’t see that very often.

My choice for the next State School Superintendent is Kira Willis.

Melvin Everson has my vote for Commissioner of Labor.

After my articles about the entire Maria Sheffield/John Oxendine e-mail scandal, you would think I’d have a problem with my next endorsement, but I don’t. Tim Echols, the former campaign manager for John Oxendine, is running for Public Service Commissioner, and I think he’ll do a fine job if he is elected to that position.

Phil Gingrey is running unopposed for the Georgia 11th Congressional seat. I mentioned before that I would prefer it if candidates were forced to run against someone, and while that is true, I would vote for Phil Gingrey no matter who he was running against. Why? Look at his record. His record is consistent, and he has never let me down. As the person who represents me in Congress, he has never let me down.

I’m supporting Bill Hamrick for State Senator, and Tim Bearden for State Representative.

So there you have it, my official endorsements for 2010. I may (or may not) be revising my endorsements after the primary on Tuesday, July 20th. If I do make any revisions, I will do so in a new post, which will reflect the outcome of the primary races.

Lookin’ For Love

Green Herons are fun to watch, especially when they’re trying to impress each other.

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For the record, the female made her appearance just moments after these photos were taken.

My Fine Feathered Friend

I’ve got a lot scheduled over the next couple days, so I hope you’ll bear with me while I post some photos today and tomorrow. I promise, they’re good ones.

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See. I told you. You can see some more awesome birds on my Flickr account.

The Barrett Boys Spot A Whimbrel

All I can say, is “Wow, what a day!”

We woke up at 4:30 this morning to get a headstart on the day, and to make sure we were at West Point Lake when the sun came up. The kids jumped out of bed as soon as I woke them up, and we were all in the truck, on our way by 5:00 am.

The trip to West Point was a good one, as JM spotted a Whimbrel sitting in a tree on the beach next to the Dam.

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The Whimbrel is a coastal bird which breeds across much of subarctic North America, Europe, and Asia. It migrates in the winter to coasts in Africa, South America, Australia and southern parts of North America. They don’t normal make a stopover in inland lakes, let alone one as far inland as West Point Lake here in Georgia.

The boys did great all day, as we traveled from West Point Lake to the Newman Wetland Center and the E.L. Huie ponds, to the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, and Jackson Lake. We arrived at the finish line, the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, about an hour and a half early, so we took the opportunity to bird the grounds there and they added eight more species to their list before we turned it in before 5:00 pm.

The highlight of the night, for JM, was meeting his birding “hero”, Giff Beaton, the author of “Birding Georgia”. Giff signed his book, and was excited to see the photos of the Whimbrel JM spotted at West Point.

At one point, Giff stole my camera! Well, he didn’t really steal it, but he took off with it to show other people. This was only the fifth time that a Whimbrel had been spotted inland in the state of Georgia, and it was the furthest inland too. It was a great find, in fact, for all of us, it was the find of the day.

After everyone checked in we got to eat dinner! Lasagna, macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, salad, potato skins, broccoli and cheese, dinner rolls, cookies, cheesecake, iced tea and lemonade. It was awesome! As everyone finished dinner we got to see a reptile show and then they handed out prizes.

Our boys, known as Team Swift in the competition, turned in a bird list containing 94 species of birds. They finished in second place for their division, and they each won a pair of Eagle Optics Binoculars.

The Youth Birding Competition was an awesome experience, for our kids as well as ourselves. I was stunned at the number of kids who are really into birding, and I was equally as stunned by the tremendous job that Tim Keyes and his team of people did to pull off such a wildly successful event.

After I decompress, I hope to post more photos of the birds we saw. When I post them, I will put them on my flickr page, of course.

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Awesome, Announcements, Amnesty & Articulation

For the first time in over two weeks, I don’t have a headache at this time of the night. It’s refreshing to know I will actually enjoy a day, finally, even if my neck is still as stiff as a board. Well, I guess I can’t be back to 100% all in one day now can I?

Gidget almost has her sewing studio all set up, but here’s a sneak peak at the new “fitting room”.

Sometime next week (or the week after that) I will be setting up my photography “studio” and my woodworking area in the basement. I just don’t have the energy right now.

Here are some thoughts for you…

Thought #1

This is the video where Jon Voight Calls Out President Obama. This is awesome.

Thought #2

The White House says the job numbers in Georgia are looking good. They say that the stimulus program has created 84,000 jobs in the state.

That is probably true. It probably has. It’s also true that the stimulus has not helped one bit.

According to state-by-state numbers released on Friday by the President’s Council on Economic Advisors, the stimulus program created or saved 84,000 jobs in Georgia during the first three months of 2010.

But even with those gains, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Georgia had:

162,000 fewer jobs in January, 2010 than it had in January, 2009

136,000 fewer jobs in February, 2010 than it had in February, 2009

116,600 fewer jobs in March, 2010 than it had in March, 2009

Add it up people. That’s 414,600 jobs. If you adjust for all of those wonderful stimulus jobs (many of which are probably census jobs that won’t exist in next month’s reports), the State of Georgia has 330,600 less jobs than it had last year at this time.

That’s hope for ya! What awesome results huh? Got any spare change?

Thought #3

Keep an eye on Washington, because Scary Harry and company are at it again

Harry Reid is claiming to already have nearly all the votes he needs to force amnesty for illegal immigrants down our throats (despite voters overwhelmingly rejecting the idea) and is vowing to pick up the remaining stragglers within weeks.
That’s right. In the middle of “the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” as Obama calls it, we are now going to reward 15 million uneducated poor people for illegally breaking into our country and cutting in front of law-abiding immigrants.

Just say no to amnesty! If you thought the employment numbers looked bad before, just wait until you’re competing with 15 million more people for that job at Burger King. ¿Qué Pasa?

Thought #4

Herman Cain. What can I say about Herman? I think he is one of the most articulate and well spoken people I have ever listened to in my life. Oh yeah, and he nails it every time he speaks about the government.

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