Georgia Says

The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle on not getting caught up in misguided hysteria after Zimmerman verdict:

Who's hounding whom now?

The very people who bitterly complain that George Zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin now seem intent on dogging Zimmerman, even after a jury acquitted him in what everyone concedes was a fair trial.

They say they want justice, but only if it leads to the outcome they expect. The justice system spoke for itself, and on Saturday found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

As we warned in an editorial Saturday, those who tuned in to the former mainstream media were exposed to a perverted view of the case that presented the prosecution in an unrealistically favorable light - and were likely shocked by the outcome as a result.

The case was not only riddled with conflicting evidence and reasonable doubt, but also arguably some pretty compelling evidence that Zimmerman was being beaten before shooting Martin - which would buttress Zimmerman's claim of self-defense. As other news outlets reported long ago, the physical evidence indicated wounds on Zimmerman's face and head - and on Martin's knuckles.

If there is any reasonable belief that Zimmerman was defending himself - and there is - then the jury was duty-bound to acquit him.

Even in the face of such facts, the former mainstream media just couldn't resist selling the story line that this was a racial incident reminiscent of America's inglorious past. Many in the left-wing media seem to want that past to be true today. They want to believe the worst in America. They're not interested in the evidence. It gets in the way of a good, self-loathing story.

There was no evidence that Zimmerman had any racist tendencies whatsoever.

This mob-like pound-of-flesh incitement on the part of some is causing a hysteria that leads to civil unrest and irrational statements such as one protester's lament of "58 years, and nothing's changed." That's just lunacy. And it's a particularly perilous genre of fiction.

Leaders appealed for calm before and after the verdict, while not really achieving it. What we might want to appeal for is reason.

George Zimmerman is not a cop, and he should've left law enforcement to the law enforcers. He should never have followed anyone as he did. But our hounding him makes just as little sense. The jury has spoken.

Neither this case nor its conclusion have anything relevant or coherent to say about race relations in America.

Unfortunately, the reaction to it does.

The Telegraph, Macon, Ga., on grand bargain comes unraveled in the House:

If Americans are wondering what their representatives in Washington are doing, they are right to question. Senators and members of the House of Representatives are working hard, however, much of their effort is not on behalf of the American people, but on thwarting the other political party or remaining pure to an unrealistic ideology.

There were two examples of Washington, D.C., gridlock that was on rare display last week. Both issues will have an impact on Georgia, and in many respects, the stance taken by House Republicans will have a grave impact on their pro-business creed.

The first is stripping food stamps from the Senate version of the Farm Bill, which provided $955 billion over a 10-year period. Certainly, in a perfect world, food stamps should be handled apart from an agricultural program already full of its subsidies and price supports. But joining the two concerns was a negotiated deal between rural and urban legislators to garner bipartisan support dating back 40 years. That grand bargain has worked pretty well -- until now.

The House version, according to the Congressional Budget Office, with food stamps stripped, will cost $196 billion over 10 years. The House version did not attract a single Democratic vote.

In Georgia, as of April, 1.9 million residents used food stamps to put food on their tables. Nationally there are 48 million who depend on the program, and while other states are seeing a decrease in food stamp usage,Georgia's rate is increasing.

The House version was opposed by 530 organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Association, the nation's largest, and the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation.

House Republicans are at cross purposes with their national ambitions. Red America, as explained by The New York Times, finds that, through redistricting, Republicans have carved out districts that are 74.7 percent white. It's easy to rail against immigration reform in Republican districts and still get re-elected. Democratic districts are 51.1 percent white.

House Republicans were not chastened by the 2012 national elections, but are speeding down a path that, for a time, will keep them in power in the House, but destroy their chances of holding national office.



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