Archive for August, 2012

Obama campaign so far: The perfect analogy?

If there’s a better analogy for the Obama presidency, I’d like to hear it. From a New York Times article over the weekend:

President Obama has spent more campaign cash more quickly than any incumbent in recent history, betting that heavy early investments in personnel, field offices and a high-tech campaign infrastructure will propel him to victory in November.

Since the beginning of last year, Mr. Obama and the Democrats have burned through millions of dollars to find and register voters. They have spent almost $50 million subsidizing Democratic state parties to hire workers, pay for cellphones and update voter lists. They have spent tens of millions of dollars on polling, online advertising and software development to turn Mr. Obama’s fallow volunteers corps into a grass-roots army.

The price tag: about $400 million from the beginning of last year to June 30 this year, according to a New York Times analysis of Federal Election Commission records, including $86 million on …

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T-SPLOST vote reiterates: We’re more ‘metro’ than ‘Atlanta’

On Tuesday’s ballots, perhaps no question was more opposite the T-SPLOST in scope and spirit than the cityhood initiative for Brookhaven. Their opposite results — voters soundly defeated the T-SPLOST but approved Brookhaven’s incorporation — create a congruity that helps explain why the tax proposal was ill-designed from the start.

In short: Our region is not becoming more centralized, but less. The popular and political momentum is not toward bigger, but smaller.

Counting Brookhaven, which becomes a city of some 49,000 residents, four of Georgia’s 20 most-populous cities didn’t exist just seven years ago. All four — the others are Dunwoody, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs — are in Fulton and DeKalb counties. So are two smaller new cities, Chattahoochee Hills and Milton.

The biggest reason these areas incorporated was to insulate themselves as much as possible from costly, ineffective county governments. But it’s instructive that, while both Brookhaven and Sandy …

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Here goes nothing . . .

It’s been a few weeks now since I started putting all comments in moderation (roughly) between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. That has worked out well, I think, and I’m not planning to change that anytime soon. In the spirit of compromise, however, I’m going to experiment with something this weekend: an open thread.

I’ve never done an open thread, which I’ve seen other bloggers use as a way for readers to talk about whatever topic they choose. It would probably make more sense on my blog if I were stricter about keeping comments on-topic, but I do have a reason for doing it: I’d like to keep commenting on-topic for my Sunday print column, which I typically post here on Friday evenings.

So, here’s what I’d like to try: On Friday afternoons, I’ll post the open thread for the weekend, on which y’all can keep talking politics, swap YouTube links, talk sports, whatever — as long as you continue to follow the rules, I don’t care which topics you address. My request from y’all is …

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Poll Position: Will today’s Chick-fil-A ‘kiss-in’ be successful?

The “buycott” of Chick-fil-A on Wednesday produced what the company will only describe as an “unprecedented day” for business. Today, we get the counter-protest (it was announced first, but arrives second) in the form of a “kiss-in” by gay couples angry about remarks made by company president Dan Cathy.

Will it be as successful?

Boycotts have a revered place in American history as an effective form of protest, in large part because of the role they played in the civil rights movement. Lately, however, the tactic’s record is much more spotty. Looking at one list of current boycotts, I don’t see many, if any, that I’d count as successful.

Will today’s “kiss-in” by gay couples at Chick-fil-A restaurants be successful?

  • No (3,059 Votes)
  • Yes (210 Votes)
  • I don’t know (159 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,428

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Now, a “kiss-in” isn’t exactly the same thing as a boycott; I have no idea how many of the reported 15,000 people nationwide who say they’re participating in …

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Harry Reid manages to turn Romney’s tax returns into a good story for Romney

While we were focused on T-SPLOST, the presidential campaign marched on. Which is not to say it moved forward, in any normal sense of the word.

The latest moment in the summer silly season comes courtesy of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, employing the “when did you stop beating your wife?” technique toward Mitt Romney’s tax returns. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Sen. Harry Reid caused a stir this week when he told an interviewer that Mitt Romney hasn’t released more of his tax returns because “he didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.” On Wednesday, Reid doubled down on the charge. …

“I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination,” Reid said in a telephone call with Nevada reporters. “I have had a number of people tell me that.”

Asked to elaborate on his sources, Reid declined. “No, that’s the best you’re going to get from me.”

“I don’t think the burden should be on me,” Reid said. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why …

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The L-O-S-T in T-SPLOST refers to public trust

There’s a saying for politicians and for those of us who cover them: The voters are always right. While we’re bound to be subjected to a round or two of recriminations about who’s to blame for the absolute debacle that was the metro Atlanta T-SPLOST campaign, pay attention to those who show signs of understanding and accepting that saying. They’re the ones who will be most likely to find the way forward from here.

For my part, here’s what I think the voters were saying in their 63-37 defeat of the $7.2 billion tax.

The political class has lost our trust.

If that sounds obvious, consider that it’s also a puzzling situation, given that many of the same people who voted overwhelmingly against the T-SPLOST have been voting in large numbers to elect the same Republican politicians who gave us the T-SPLOST. I think there’s a pretty clear explanation: This is the consequence of having a one-party state.

Georgia has been a one-party state for pretty much 140 years now. The first 130 …

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