Archive for November, 2012

The conservative backlash at ‘Taxby’ begins

"How many people are thinking of running against me?"

"How many people are thinking of running against me?"

And the counterattack against Saxby Chambliss — “Taxby”, they’re already calling him on Twitter — has begun in full force.

From Robert Stacy McCain:

“Nothing that Chambliss does now can save him from his inevitable fate.

He is doomed beyond all hope of redemption.

Here’s the point: A Republican in a purple state can go wobbly without much fear of reprisal. But if a Republican in a deep-red state like Georgia is permitted to get away with flaunting his “bipartisanship” on such a fundamental issue, then every GOP senator might be tempted to join the RINO Caucus, becoming a bunch of treacherous self-serving sellouts like Arlen Specter and Lisa Murkowski.”

From Daniel Horowitz at Red State, writing with admirable frankness about what’s really at stake here:

“Saxby’s comments are quite instructive for conservatives as we confront a Republican Party that is committed to capitulation. This imbroglio over the fiscal cliff was …

Continue reading The conservative backlash at ‘Taxby’ begins »

Hope your holiday was better than Grover Norquist’s


Grover Norquist may be feeling a mite grumpy this morning.

Noting that he had signed Grover Norquist’s no-new-taxes pledge some 20 years ago, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said last week that “times have changed significantly.”

“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” Chambliss said in a phone interview with WMAZ in Macon. “And I care about the country that we leave our children and grandchildren. If we do it (Norquist’s) way then we’ll continue in debt and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”

“I’m willing to do the right thing and let the political consequences take care of themselves,” Chambliss said. “If we get this country back on track, that’s the most important thing and the politics will follow that.”

On Sunday, U.S. Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, joined the bandwagon, appearing on “Meet the Press” to say that “I agree entirely with Saxby Chambliss.”

“A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress. …

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Coming home for the holiday


Downtown Atlanta, as seen in a photo taken Wednesday by a daughter returning home for the holidays.

– Jay Bookman

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone

And that, dear readers, is the end of our political programming as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Bookman clan is preparing to welcome family and friends coming in from California, Washington state, North Carolina and Sterling Street. The food for tomorrow’s feast has been gathered; appropriate libations have been procured. The star of the show, a 22-pound turkey, is defrosting in a cooler outside, in preparation for its date with destiny on my Weber grill tomorrow morning.

And just to get y’all into the mood, here’s an underappreciated holiday classic, which by some accounts was based on a real-life episode right here in the ATL.

– Jay Bookman

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It’s time for GOP to accept reality of ObamaCare

Last spring, conservatives were certain that the U.S. Supreme Court would rule ObamaCare unconstitutional. It did not. Earlier this month, U.S. voters likewise refused to toss out the law’s prime architect, re-electing President Obama to another four-year term. Neither ObamaCare nor its namesake is going anywhere.

So now what?

While some Republicans acknowledge the fact that ObamaCare is now permanent, other GOP politicians seem intent on trying to sabotage the law through inaction even if they lack the support to repeal it. Last week, for example, Gov. Nathan Deal signed onto the strategy of passive resistance against the law when he announced that Georgia would refuse to exercise its authority under ObamaCare to create and operate its own insurance exchange.

The decision means that come 2014, Georgians who try to purchase private health insurance using federal subsidies will be required to compare and buy policies on a federally designed exchange, instead of an …

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On immigration, U.S. public leading its supposed ‘leaders’

In Georgia alone, more than 10,000 immigrants who were brought to this country illegally as children have applied for a temporary reprieve to protect them from deportation. That’s a significant number, especially when you consider that the program was only announced five months ago.

There are a couple of ways to think about numbers that large.

Those who believe that illegal immigrants are by definition criminals who pose a threat to this nation’s economic security, soveriegnty and even ethnic identity would find 10,000 an ominous number. The same would be true of the 300,000 that have applied so far nationwide. And of course, that 300,000 in turn represent just a small subset of the 12 million or so illegal immigrants now in the country.

But there’s another way to look at it as well. The 10,000 applicants from Georgia — all of them between the ages of 15 and 31 — are people who think of themselves as Americans, who have lived much of their lives in this country …

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Time to end Norquist’s death grip on tax policy


Mitt Romney lost big on election night and has continued to take a beating from his fellow Republicans ever since. The lack of affection toward Romney is no surprise, but the post-election response has also revealed an absence of basic respect for the man among conservatives. It is hard to recall a candidate so thoroughly and quickly repudiated by those who just a few days earlier were touting him for the most important job on the planet.

Karl Rove, who wasn’t even on the ballot, has also lost big in the days since the election, suffering a hit to his reputation from which he may never fully recover. However, the biggest off-ballot loser of the season may turn out to be Grover Norquist, the one-man keeper of the GOP’s no-tax-hike-ever-ever-ever-under-any-circumstances-whatsoever pledge.

I must say, it couldn’t happen to a nicer, more deserving guy.

As Dana Milbanks reports,
Norquist continues to put on a game front. Just this week, Norquist told a gathering at a Washington …

Continue reading Time to end Norquist’s death grip on tax policy »

The future of capitalism will not look like its past

Last December, the Pew Research Center released a poll in which it attempted to gauge American perceptions of capitalism and socialism. Here’s what it found, broken down by age group:


The generational differences reflected in those numbers are stark. Americans aged 18-29 are deeply ambivalent about capitalism, while a slight plurality is supportive of socialism. Their grandparents, on the other hand, offer a mirror-image reversal, reporting an overwhelmingly negative view of socialism and a generally positive attitude toward capitalism.

There are many ways to interpret numbers like that, the most obvious being the Churchillian observation that people tend to grow more conservative as they get older. There’s no doubt some truth to that, in part because as people get older, they acquire more wealth and want to protect it. Like older Russians who mourned the collapse of the Soviet Union, older Americans also become emotionally invested in the system in which they’ve lived all …

Continue reading The future of capitalism will not look like its past »

Why the rocket war in Gaza is particularly tragic


War is supposed to be an alternative means of pursuing political change, but the rocket war in Gaza and Israel is something very different. As in any war, people continue to die of course, most of them in Gaza due to the Israelis’ far greater firepower. If a ground invasion of Gaza is launched, those death totals will rise dramatically.

But the hope of political change that is supposed to give war at least a veneer of justification does not exist. Nobody on either side has the slightest belief that anything definitive will emerge from this latest cycle of death and destruction. Israel will have demonstrated once again its immense military advantage and its willingness to use it. Hamas will have added still more names to the list of “martyrs” that it needs to inflame hatred and enhance its standing with the Palestinians and the larger Arab world.

But nothing will be resolved; nothing will change. This is futile war, war conducted solely because neither side has any idea of …

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Travelin’ Music to carry us to the cheatin’ side of town

The first song ever written was a love song. You know, somebody pledging their ever-lasting love and fidelity to somebody else.

The second song ever written was a cheatin’ song, complaining about the lyin’ SOB who wrote the first song.

Given recent events, it’s time to pay homage to the second oldest song topic. I’ve invited the great Miss Kitty Wells to kick off the evening’s festivities, performing a song dedicated to Paula Broadwell and all the other honky-tonk angels out there, wherever you are.

– Jay Bookman

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