Archive for August, 2010

Unity on display at GOP event

The Republican Party faithful put a good face on last night’s close gubernatorial race at a “unity breakfast” this morning in Buckhead. But they’ll surely breathe a sigh of relief at the news, just broken by the AJC’s Aaron Gould Sheinin, that Karen Handel has conceded to Nathan Deal.

There was little appetite among the breakfast crowd for Handel to take a knife’s-edge loss and try to stick it in her opponent. Nor was there much belief that a recount would produce anything other than what we had after last night: the nomination of Deal to run against Democrat Roy Barnes and Libertarian John Monds.

Her absence from the breakfast event was conspicuous, although that looks different in the light of a fresh concession. But in any case it was clear that the party was ready to move on to the general election.

And while Congressman Tom Price and especially defeated labor-commissioner candidate Melvin Everson gave fiery speeches, the most effective remarks may have come from, of all …

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Another good turnout, good sign for GOP (2nd update)

2ND UPDATE at 11:05 p.m.: It looks like, whoever ends up ahead either way, the vote will be within the 1 percent margin that would allow the loser to request a recount. Which means this contest may not be over yet. How long can one primary last, anyway?

And with that … g’night, y’all.

UPDATE at 10:05 p.m.: My questions about today’s turnout appear to have been unfounded. With 84 percent of precincts reporting, more than 550,000 ballots already have been counted in the GOP runoff for governor. It would appear that Republican voters had a similar amount of enthusiasm for the runoff as they had in July’s first round, when they cast 680,000 ballots.

Now, enthusiasm for whom? The early results suggest that Nathan Deal built on his momentum more than Karen Handel did; in a lot of the early-reporting counties, he cut into or reversed Handel’s lead from July. Handel turned the tables on Deal in Catoosa County, which was part of his former North Georgia congressional district. But in …

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Dump Biden to save Obama?

We’ll get to the local electoral politics of the day shortly. But in the meantime, John Fund hits on something today that I somehow missed last week: an apparent movement to have Hillary Clinton replace Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket in 2012.

Writing on The Wall Street Journal’s website, Fund notes:

Former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder, his state’s first African-American governor, touched off the controversy. Writing at last week, Mr. Wilder argued that Mr. Biden’s tenure has been undistinguished and chock full of “too many YouTube moments.” He charged that Mr. Biden “has continued to undermine what little confidence the public may have had in him.”

By way of contrast, Mr. Wilder says that Hillary Clinton has excelled in her role. “Clinton has been nothing but a team player who has earned good marks since being asked to serve as secretary of state.” Having Mrs. Clinton join the 2012 ticket, he said, would revive the Democratic Party and reestablish the party’s …

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APS, DeKalb scandals point to need for school choice

Education news lately has been one long advertisement for school choice. Tag line: It’s the administrators, stupid.

Foremost was the underwhelming report this past week on suspected test cheating in Atlanta Public Schools, and Superintendent Beverly Hall’s stubborn denial of even its modest implications. There also came word that an accrediting agency was looking into the utter managerial collapse in DeKalb County schools.

Before that, the AJC reported on conflict-of-interest stories involving the purchases by DeKalb schools of hundreds of copies of an administrator’s autobiography, and thousands of dollars worth of food from a school board member’s pizzerias. Not to mention DeKalb’s spending $4.2 million to hire 67 teachers from overseas, even though scores of educators in metro Atlanta have been laid off since spring.

You’ll notice a common thread here — and not only that DeKalb is starting to make even Clayton County’s school leaders look good. Much of the rot …

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Fannie Mae brings back no-downpayment mortgages

What could go wrong? From the Washington Independent:

“Buy new with $1,000 down,” the advertisement says, the words resting atop a trim green clapboard house offset by a bright blue sky. “The time has come. Stop wasting rent check after rent check and start building equity in your own home. And with only $1,000 down, affordable monthly payments and no private mortgage insurance required, the dream is closer than you think.”

It sounds too good to be true. But it is true. This offer does not come from a subprime lender, looking to reel in thousands of unqualified and ill-advised homebuyers, only to slap them with add-ons, fees and variable rates. It is not a teaser or a trick. The advertisement references a program initiated by the National Council of State Housing Agencies and Fannie Mae, the taxpayer-backed, government-sponsored enterprise that buys up mortgages from lending banks.

The Federal Housing Authority already offers mortgages for just 3.5 percent down — a program …

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Gay marriage ruling will keep the culture wars burning

Set aside for a moment your personal beliefs about gay marriage. What does it say about yesterday’s federal ruling on the subject, which struck down California’s constitutional amendment against gay marriage, that some of those who support gay marriage are nervous about the judge’s reasoning and his decision’s reach?

First, from Dan Blatt, one of the writers at Gay Patriot:

I find that the judge makes some good arguments for gay marriage, but doesn’t succeed in relating them to the constitution. His legal analysis is sloppy at best and dismisses the sex-difference argument for traditional marriage by flippantly referring to what he calls “discredited notions of gender” as if the assumptions about a supposed social construction of gender had been proven true when, in fact, all serious psychological, sociological studies have shown the opposite. Not to mention studies of the human brain.

He fails to cite a provision of the federal constitution which prevents states from …

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Gone surfin’

I’m out of town for the next few days and will get back to blogging late Wednesday or first thing Thursday. Thanks.

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