Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Things to do today: Election parties

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 4:15 AM

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Georgia Democratic Party and the Obama campaign at the Hyatt Regency downtown

Jim Martin at Park Tavern

GOP bashes at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead

Libertarians at the Mansour Center in Marietta

• The Watchtower at Sugarhill

DeKalb County Democratic Election Night Celebration at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Decatur

• The usual suspects at Manuel's Tavern

Election Day Costume Party at Cenci

Election Party at 595 North Ave.

Huge Election Watch Party at Amsterdam Atlanta

Stonewall Democrats Election Night Party at Halo Lounge

Barack Obama Official Yes We Did Final Watch Party at Fox Sports Grill

Yes We Have! Obama Presidential Election Results Celebration at Verve Restaurant and Lounge

Presidential Election Watch Night Party at Encore in Duluth

One Nation Under a Change Election Night Party at Luella’s Restaurant in Jonesboro

Did we miss one? Leave it in the comments for your fellow election watchers.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

5 things to do today: Monday

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 4:15 AM

1) Public Enemy co-founder Chuck D discusses race and media at Agnes Scott College.

2) The Ninja Puppet Extravaganza opens at Eyedrum.

3) Duncan Sheik and Lauren Pritchard play Smith's Olde Bar.

4) Cutting Fine, Cutting Deep continues at the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum.

5) Sonic Generator performs at the Georgia Tech Alumni House.

(Image courtesy Agnes Scott College)

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Word: Dismissed

Posted By on Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 9:00 PM

Bryan Terry, Sr. filed suit in Fulton County Superior Court, demanding Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel investigate claims that Sen. Barack Obama was neither born in the U.S., nor is he U.S. citizen, therefore he is constitutionally ineligible to serve as President.

“Failing to officially and publically [sic] vet the status of the citizenship claims of Mr. Obama will cast a pall of doubt on the election process and taint the election results themselves.”

-Atlanta resident Bryan T. Terry, Sr., in a memorandum to Fulton County Superior Court.

“. . . there is no basis for this court to issue an injunction or a mandamus or other relief against the Secretary of State. Plaintiffs’ claims are, there, HEREBY DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.”

-An October 24, 2008 order by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter in response to Terry’s claim.

“Way to waste your freaking time and my email storage space.”

-Conservative Georgia blogger Erick Erickson, in an October 27 post on Peach Pundit mocking Terry and others who are trying to get him to publicly support their claims.

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5 things to do today: Sunday

Posted By on Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 4:15 AM

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1) Atlanta Printmaker Studio's The Art of Democracy continues at Java Monkey.

2) Rev. Horton Heat, Nashville Pussy and Reckless Kelly play Variety Playhouse.

3) Sharon Willis' operetta Pink Lady honors Breast Cancer Awareness Month at 14th Street Playhouse.

4) Franklin Pond String Quartet and Robert Spano perform at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

5) Lots of theater closing today: Antigone, Managing Maxine, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Wicked and The Second City: Too Busy to Hate ... Too Hard to Commute.

(Image by Debra Santini)

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

5 things to do today: Saturday

Posted By on Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 4:15 AM

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1) Legendary Pink Dots play the Earl.

2) Zoetic Dance Ensemble's Dirty Pretty closes at 7 Stages.

3) The Hold Steady and Drive-By Truckers play the Tabernacle.

4) Young Blood Gallery & Boutique hosts an opening party for Day of the Dead.

5) Jay Reatard, Poison Arrows and Twin Targets play Lenny's Bar.

(Photo by Alena Boikova)

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Paralyzed restaurateur won't set tort reform precedent

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 10:15 PM

A case involving a paralyzed restaurant owner who sued a local hospital for medical malpractice has almost made it to the state Supreme Court. The case questioned the constitutionality of a $350,000 cap that the state Legislature placed on malpractice damages.

Some say the cap helps keep insurance costs down by limiting multi-million-dollar settlements. Others, including Fulton County Superior Court Judge Marvin Arrington, say the cap violates the equal protection guarantee under both the state and U.S. Constitution.

In a ruling that challenged the damages cap, Judge Arrington wrote, “Persons suffering the exact same personal injuries at the hands of other tortfeasors — including other professionals — are not subject to such caps.”

The plaintiff, Cheon Park, fell from a ladder at his home in 2006 and was treated at WellStar Douglas Hospital, where he was X-rayed, diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and discharged that day. Three days later, Park was still in debilitating pain and went Grady Memorial Hospital to be X-rayed again. His spine was so badly damaged that he is now a quadriplegic, with no use of his legs and only limited use of his arms.

After Park sued and Arrington ruled in his favor, hospital group WellStar Health System and the medical liability insurer MAG Mutual appealed the ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court, which was supposed to hear the case Monday.

But yesterday, WellStar submitted a motion to withdraw its appeal. The Supreme Court granted the motion.

"It’s very disappointing," says Allie Wall, executive director of consumer-rights lobbyist group Georgia Watch. "We strongly believe that the caps are unconstitutional, and that once the Georgia Supreme Court has an opportunity to review the law, they would agree with us. We were really hoping that the Park case was that opportunity.

"It’s very clear that the defendants didn’t want this to go forward. They were concerned about what the ruling would be."

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Musical chairs, City Hall-style

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 9:17 PM

There's a parlor game going on these days down at Atlanta City Hall. Here's how you play: Imagine that President-elect Obama invites Mayor Shirley Franklin to join his administration; then figure out who might move over to take her place, and who'd take that person's place, and who'd take that person's place, and so on.

I'd heard about this swirl of speculation a couple weeks back, but decided it would be irresponsible to write about because it's so, well, speculative. But I've changed my mind because: 1) polls are predicting an Obama victory; 2) City Hall is still buzzing with this talk; and 3) the AJC has already jumped on board the speculation train.

So here goes: If Shirley heads to Washington next spring, then a special election would have to be called to replace her. The collective assumption is that City Council President Lisa Borders – who abandoned her campaign for mayor for personal reasons in mid-August – would get back into the race. In a campaign cycle lasting only a few weeks, Borders would have to be considered the front-runner due to high name recognition.

The other candidates would at least include those already running: Atlanta State Sen. Kasim Reed; Councilwoman Mary Norwood; Councilman Ceasar Mitchell; attorney Jesse Spikes; and, likely, Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts.

Councilwoman Clair Muller, a 19-year veteran of City Hall and the Council's leading technocrat – she helped persuade Franklin to undertake the city's massive sewer program – would, in turn, aim for Borders' job. She could expect to be opposed by Councilman Lamar Willis and maybe others.

And, of course, we'd see a group of new faces looking to slide into the seats vacated by Mitchell, Muller, Norwood and Willis.

All of this day-dreaming hangs on the premise that Shirley would accept a Obama job (and on the assumption that he'll offer one). However, I'm not sold on this scenario.

Earlier this week, when asked by the AJC if she might jump ship, she said: "My term as mayor continues through Dec. 31, 2009.” That may sound like a dodge, but more than once – and quite publicly – I've heard Franklin make more definitive statements on the subject, such as: "I will be here for the next 16 months" and "I'm not going anywhere."

The council members I've spoken with don't put much stock in those pronouncements. After all, they argue, no one could blame Shirley for answering a call to service from her president, despite what she's said in the past. But I'm not convinced. Regardless of how you feel about her as mayor, you must admit Shirley isn't in the habit of saying one thing and doing another. If anyone would turn down a White House appointment on principle, it would be Franklin.

We may soon get the chance to find out if I'm right.

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"The Simpsons" goes trick-or-treating for 19th time

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 8:32 PM

One of the quirkiest traditions of this time of year is watching "The Simpsons" annual new "Treehouse of Horror" episode -- after Halloween. Because Fox currently owns the broadcast rights to the World Series, and November is a ratings "sweeps" month, "The Simpsons" Halloween episode almost always airs after All Hallow's Eve, when it's horror-themed slapstick proves a little out of date. The show doesn't even make self-deprecating jokes about it any more, it's been this way for so long. This year the 19th installment airs on Sun., Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. and, as usual, features three segments: "How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising," "Untitled Robot Parody" and "It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse," which satirize, respectively, AMC's "Mad Men," Transformers and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and other Peanuts specials. The amusing titles for the "Mad Men" spoof are already on-line:

"Treehouse of Horror XIX" seems unusually, uh, leaky this year. The episode's election-themed prologue, involving a faulty voting machine, has been on-line for several weeks already. (In a sign of just how long "The Simpsons" has aired Halloween specials, one of its most amusing political-themed chapters dates to 1996. "Citizen Kang" featured slobbery aliens Kang and Kodus impersonating Bill Clinton and Bob Dole.) Anyway, here's the new prologue, which at least airs ahead of Tuesday's Election Day.

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Dance of the Dead digs up home-grown zombies

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 8:03 PM

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Georgia seems intent on staking a claim on the idea of musical zombies. Inman Park's Dad's Garage Theatre staged the world premiere of the stage musical Song of the Living Dead in June, while the horror comedy Dance of the Dead, filmed in Rome, Ga., has come out on DVD in time for Halloween. In Dance, director Gregg Bishop stitches equal parts of of a John Hughes-style high school comedy to a George Romero cannibal zombie uprising. As luck would have it, the dead rise on the night of the high school prom, so the first line of defense are the plucky teens who don't have dates for one reason or another. Justin Welborn, an Atlanta actor who played the sensitive leading role in Atlanata's sort-of zombie-themed The Signal, gets a meaty role as a high-strung bully. ("And Justin Welborn" announces the credits: that "And" is nearly as god as having top billing.

Dance of the Dead played this year's Atlanta Film Festival and pushes the comical sides of the story. Amusing bits include the undead hypnotized by a garage band's righteous chops (as long as the amps are plugged in), as well as a pair of zombies driving off in a pizza delivery car. The coolest scene features zombies bursting from their graves at a run, but otherwise it's not very imaginative conceptually. The zombies lurch around moaning for "braaaaains" like perfect cliches. (At least, say, the McCain Zombie Images offer some fresh perspectives.) The Onion A.V. Club's review of recent straight-to-DVD horror films gives it a 5 in its "Potential classic rating:"

"Bishop combines EC Comics and The Breakfast Club in a way that's breezy and good-natured, but not especially deep. Dance Of The Dead is easy to like, but there's not much here to love."

In general, if you've ever seen Shaun of the Dead's treatment of the lighter side of a zombie holocaust, or "Buffy the Vampire Slayer's" occult metaphors for the high school experience, Dance of the Dead doesn't offer much new, but it leaves you eager to see what the filmmakers will do next.

Dance of the Dead can be purchased as a stand-alone film or as part of the Ghost House Underground Eight-Film Collection.

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Rasmussen: McCain still leads Georgia 52-47

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 7:15 PM

In the last of its Jawja polls of the day, Rasmussen says John McCain still leads Barack Obama by five points in Georgia.

Interesting tidbit:

In the latest poll, Obama now leads 53% to 44% among unaffiliated voters in the state. Last week, McCain led those voters by an identical margin. McCain leads 73% to 26% among white voters in Georgia while Obama earns overwhelming support from black voters. While men favor McCain 55% to 45%, women are split between the candidates at 49% each.

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