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Atlanta Progressive News is reporting that the case of as many as 40,000 voter registrations which have been held up by the Secretary of State's office may go to the Georgia Supreme Court in an expedited action.

Plaintiffs asked that the Fulton County court rule immediately that the Secretary of  State add these voters to the rolls.  The Secretary of State says there is some kind of mismatch between the voter registration application and federal and state databases, and that this allows him to hold up the registrations.  Fulton County judge Christopher Brasher refused to order the registrations.

According to the Lawyers Committe for Civil Rights, the only reason a registration can be held up is if information is missing.   These forms are completely filled out.

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A final effort is underway to prevent the draconian anti gay bill passed in Uganda
from becoming law -- by asking the president to veto the bill.  You can help by sending a message to the president -- see below the fold.

Among other things, the bill criminalizes anyone who provides HIV counseling,
provides for the life long imprisonment of anyone who performs a same sex marriage an d greatly increases the penalities for same sex relations.  (or the suspicion of same.)

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Remember that remark made by this  coastal Georgia congressman a little while back, to the effect that kids who get free school lunches should be made to pay a nickel or a dime for them, or alternatively to sweep the floors in the school cafeteria?

Well, a local TV station did some actual journalism, adding up the cost of lunches the taxpayers bought for Kingston and his staff, at Capitol Hill and on trips abroad.

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John McCain says "adding gay rights to the immigration bill would be like adding Tax Payer funded abortion"

Slate quotes Sen. McCain at a breakfast meeting yesterday, saying that including LGBT protections in the immigration bill (as Pres. Obama has suggested) would be a Poison pill.  Because we cannot marry (or at least have a federally recognized marriage), LGBT people and their  non-American partners face much more difficulty in settling in the US than straight people.  That's why immigration reform has been a critical concern to gay organizations for years.
Link to Slate story
 Thanks, John McCain, for comparing basic human rights to a political third rail.
Oh, and by the way, as far as I am concerned, tax payer funded abortions are a great idea.

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Sun May 02, 2010 at 04:58 PM PDT

May Day in Cumberland MD

by Atlanta Biker

When I was growing up in the 1950's in the Appalachian foothills,
May Day was an annual event at our elementary school.  This is evidence of the British Isles influence on our community as well as the  last names of the children in my first grade classroom --
 Wilson, Feeney, McDonald, Giles, and my own, Carroll.  

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Your holiday present for today are these pictures of out lesbian Simone Bell taking the oath of office for the Georgia State legislature.

Although politics here can be discouraging, Simone is the second  out lesbian in our state legislature. The first, Karla Drenner, is from DeKalb county, in metro Atlanta.  Simone's district contains precincts in both DeKalb and Fulton Counties.  Most of district 58's precincts are within Atlanta city limits.

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 Community organizer Simone Bell swept to victory with a 400 vote margin tonight in a inner city Atlanta state legislative district, becoming the first elected openly gay African American state legislator. (Another black legislator has come out after being elected.)
 A former organizer for Lambda Legal and a former health educator for the Atlanta Lesbian Health Iniative, Simone was supported by a cross section of the Atlanta gay community and received significant support from the Victory Fund.
  There were tears in many eyes tonight as some in the crowd recalled Allen Thornell, who ran for the seat and lost narrowly just four years ago.  Thornell was a well known community activist  and former director of Georgia Equality who died of a stroke in his 30's earlier this summer.  He and Jeff Graham, the current GE director, encouraged Simone Bell to run earlier this year.

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 When you turn on a light switch, are you participating in the chain of events that begins with mountaintop removal? Many of us are, especially in the southeast, where much of our electricity is generated by coal burning plants.
  Coal Country, a new movie being promoted by the Sierra Club, offers a quick 45 minute lesson on the  multiple types of environmental damage inflicted by our dependence on coal.  
  But far from showcasing "outside agitators," in this movie the people who speak are those who are living closely with the dust, dirty water, and wholesale destruction caused by this type of mining.

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 The first thing I heard this morning when the radio alarm went off was the story that Maine had rejected marriage equality.  Ugh!

 But I do have some good news.  We may elect the first openly gay African American state legislator in Atlanta Ga.  My friend Simone Bell is in a run off with another candidate for Georgia House seat 58.  

 If elected, Simone will join Rep. Karla Drenner as an out lesbian in the Georgia General Assembly. Karla made history with a plucky campaign 9 years ago.  Both are Democrats.

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You may have missed this story on Marketplace, which is aired on many public radio stations.  Just file it under Another way everybody else gets screwed.

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  Atlanta Journal- Constitution columnist Jay Bookman has an interesting commentary on the Senate race between incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss and challenger Jim Martin.
  His commentary covers the possible impact of a Libertarian candidate on the race.  Georgia law requires a Senator to get a majority of votes.  A run off will be scheduled if the 3rd party candidate gets enough votes to keep both the Republican and Democrat under 50% plus one vote.
 In such a case, the Libertarian could become a king maker. But Bookman's column also includes a bizarre story about a leaked memo for a lobbying/election firm that is listed on the National Senatorial Campaign Committee's web site.

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 Yahoo is reporting that more and more Republicans are asking
AK Senator Ted Stevens to resign after (IF) so the seat can be filled with someone else.  (edited from my first summary)

Here is Yahoo's take

WASHINGTON — A growing chorus of Republicans on Tuesday called for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens to resign from a seat he's held for four decades after his conviction on seven felony charges. But with the party bracing for losses in the upcoming election, many hope that Stevens will first win re-election next Tuesday, and then resign to give Republicans a chance to fill the seat with a fresh GOP face.

Stevens, 84, was convicted Monday of lying about hundreds of thousands of dollars in home renovations and gifts he received from a corrupt oil contractor. The verdict came down just a week before Election Day, too late for Republicans to put someone new on the ballot against Democrat Mark Begich.

Nevertheless, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, urged their Senate colleague to resign.

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