Archive for the ‘Georgia Legislature’ Category

Pew: 65% of independents say GOP is ‘out of touch’

2-26-13-1

From the Pew Research Center:

At a time when the Republican Party’s image is at a historic low, 62% of the public says the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56% think it is not open to change and 52% say the party is too extreme….

Republicans are more critical of their party than Democrats are of theirs on most issues. For example, 36% of Republicans say the GOP is out of touch with the American people. Just 23% of Democrats say their party is out of touch. And while 30% of Republicans say their party is not open to change, just 10% of Democrats make the same criticism of their party.

However, Republicans overwhelmingly credit their party for having strong principles; 85% say the GOP has strong principles while 13% say it does not. And 80% of Republicans say their party is looking out for the country’s long-term future.

————————————

Among independents, 65 percent say the GOP is out of touch with the American people, and just 39 percent say the party is open …

Continue reading Pew: 65% of independents say GOP is ‘out of touch’ »

Wisdom for our time, from Honest Abe’s time

Abraham-Lincoln

Of the more than 40 presidents to occupy the White House, Abraham Lincoln was the only one whose presence was essential to the nation’s future.* The Great Cataclysm that occurred under his leadership had been building for decades and had become inevitable; had it occurred under those who came before him, or those who came after him, the Union as we know it would not have survived.

With that in mind, I’ve collected some pearls of wisdom from Honest Abe that hold particular relevance for our own times and challenges:

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”

“The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves — in their separate, and …

Continue reading Wisdom for our time, from Honest Abe’s time »

With Hagel filibuster, Senate Republicans shame themselves

Senate Republicans have not merely chosen to filibuster the nomination of Chuck Hagel, himself a former Republican senator, for secretary of Defense. That step alone would be remarkable enough, a serious break with the understandings and traditions of American politics.

What makes it worse is that some among them have tried to justify the filibuster by implying that Hagel has sold himself out to this nation’s enemies. They have challenged his patriotism. They have assaulted his honesty and character, based on no evidence whatsoever. Some in the conservative movement have even funded an anonymous, multi-million-dollar media campaign against Hagel, accusing him of wanting to weaken America. It is a charge that was also aired publicly by former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Chuck Hagel, right, volunteered to fight for his country in Vietnam as an enlisted man, alongside his brother Tom, left. Both men were seriously wounded, earning five Purple Hearts between them.

Chuck Hagel, right, volunteered to fight for his country in Vietnam as an enlisted man, alongside his brother Tom, left. Both men were seriously wounded, earning five Purple Hearts between them.

In Senate …

Continue reading With Hagel filibuster, Senate Republicans shame themselves »

The terrifying yet sadly amusing world of Wayne LaPierre

Coming to an America near you!!

Coming to an America near you!!

I am very, very grateful that I do not live in Wayne LaPierre’s world. Because as described in a new column by the NRA leader, that world is a scary place right out of a Mad Max movie:

“Meanwhile, President Obama is leading this country to financial ruin, borrowing over a trillion dollars a year for phony “stimulus” spending and other payoffs for his political cronies. Nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won’t be enough money to pay for police protection. And the American people know it.

Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival. It’s responsible behavior, and it’s time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that….

gunmedia15n-1-web

Responsible Americans realize that the world as we know it has changed. We, the American people, clearly see the daunting forces …

Continue reading The terrifying yet sadly amusing world of Wayne LaPierre »

North Korea jerks the world’s chain once more

North Korea

The North Korean young’un, Kim Jong-Un, is making his bid to sit at the big people’s table. His country has just announced its third test of a nuclear bomb, this one considerably larger than those that preceded it (although still about half as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945).

The test inspired the usual round of diplomatic condemnation, employing rhetoric that was calibrated to communicate exactly the preferred degree of offense. The Obama administration described the test as a “highly provocative act”; the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency used the somewhat less critical “deeply regrettable,” while China merely communicated its “staunch opposition” to the test.

China probably does staunchly oppose having a half-mad nuclear upstart on its border, but its other options are even less attractive. The rest of the world already refuses to do business with North Korea, and China could follow suit by cutting off badly needed oil and other supplies to …

Continue reading North Korea jerks the world’s chain once more »

GOP’s most daunting challenge is among the young

The political story of the week, month and probably the year continues to be the plight of the Republican Party and its belated effort to break its dependence on white, older Americans.

That’s why RNC Chair Reince Priebus is here in Atlanta, the capitol of black America, seeking input on how to reach African Americans. It’s also why U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will be giving the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address next week, and is leading a Republican effort to resolve its immigration challenge.

But Stu Rothenberg, writing in Roll Call, lays out what may be the most daunting challenge of all. As he notes, the GOP does very, very well among older voters, particularly older white voters. It does so well, in fact, that by rights it ought to be winning national elections easily:

“Romney … easily beat Obama among voters 45 and older, many of whom came of age politically during the Reagan years or whose views were formed by the Gipper’s brand of conservatism…. …

Continue reading GOP’s most daunting challenge is among the young »

Liberal critics of drone-warfare standards are simply wrong

In a secret 16-page “white paper” leaked to NBC, Justice Department lawyers have laid out an argument attempting to justify the president’s decision to launch drone attacks even against overseas terrorist leaders who are U.S. citizens.

According to authors of that memo, that presidential authority is derived from “his constitutional responsibility to protect the country, the inherent right of the United States to national self-defense under international law, Congress’s authorization of the use of all necessary and appropriate military force against this enemy, and the existence of an armed conflict with al-Qaida under international law.”

The document also explains the standards implemented by the current administration in using that authority. It concludes that such strikes are legal when:

– The targeted individual is “a senior operational leader of al Qaida or an associated force of al Qaida — that is, an al Qaida leader actively engaged in planning operations to kill …

Continue reading Liberal critics of drone-warfare standards are simply wrong »

If Washington’s tone has changed, this is why

Here’s what President Obama’s job-approval numbers look like, from Sept. 1 to today, as compiled from major polls by RealClearPolitics:

rcpaverage

—————————–

It’s also interesting to look at the polls individually. Here’s a list of every major survey conducted in the month of January on the question of job approval. As you’ll notice, one of the numbers is not like the others:

rcppolls

Every poll but one reports an eight-to-12-point differential between job approval and disapproval. I won’t mention the identity of the outlier.

And finally, we have this, which helps to explain why, despite passionate promises to the contrary, the Republicans will not be pushing the government into default or shutting down the government anytime soon:

rcpcongress


– Jay Bookman

Continue reading If Washington’s tone has changed, this is why »

Political realities drive push for immigration reform

BUSH-JEREMY“I believe we can get it done. I’ll see you at the bill signing.”

– President George W. Bush in 2007,
expressing confidence in passage of a
major immigration reform package

———————————

Of course, the bill signing envisioned by President Bush never did take place. Opposition from within his own party quickly doomed the measure, and the relationship between Republicans and Hispanic Americans has been all downhill ever since.

In 2004, Bush attracted 44 percent of the Hispanic vote on his way to re-election. In 2008, after the demise of the immigration bill, John McCain pulled just 31 percent. Mitt Romney, whose solution to the problem was self-deportation, got 27 percent in 2012. An ever-declining percentage of a fast-growing demographic group is a long-term formula for failure, as McCain himself reminded his party Monday.

“If we continue to polarize the Latino/Hispanic vote,” the Arizona senator said on CNN, “the demographics indicate that our chances of being in the …

Continue reading Political realities drive push for immigration reform »

“The Kids Are Alright,” but they’re not exactly kids …

A cover of a song released 50 years ago next year.

Rock and roll will never die.

– Jay Bookman

Continue reading “The Kids Are Alright,” but they’re not exactly kids … »