Archive for June, 2009

Why Mrs. Gingrey doesn’t fluff her husband’s pillow

On MSNBC this week, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey was defending the F-22 Raptor against those who say the plane hasn’t seen much action.

Said the Marietta congressman:

”I have a .44 Magnum that I keep under my pillow every night for the last 15 years. Everybody in my neighborhood knows I’ve got it. And I haven’t had to use it.

“That’s the same thing with this F-22 Raptor.”

See for yourself, in this YouTube clip posted by the liberal group Think Progress:

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Dangling Marietta’s F-22 in front of the Japanese

You’ve heard this one: A butterfly flaps its wings and a hurricane is spawned a hemisphere away.

Here’s another one: Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s dear leader, points a missile at Japan — and a Lockheed worker in Marietta keeps his job.

This from UPI in Tokyo:

U.S. defense officials are preparing a version of the stealth F-22 Raptor that Japan has expressed strong interest in buying.

While the Department of Defense is working to design an export version of the Raptor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, this week sent a letter to Japanese Ambassador the United States Ichiro Fujisaki saying that the F-22 would likely carry a price tag of $290 million.

Japan has made it known it would like to buy 40 F-22s, made by Lockheed Martin and Boeing, so the potential value of the deal is more than $11 billion.

There is competition, of course.

Japanese defense officials are reportedly looking at other aircraft, including Lockheed’s F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon, which is …

Continue reading Dangling Marietta’s F-22 in front of the Japanese »

Oxendine to name new campaign manager

Updated at 3 p.m.:

We’ve learned that Republican candidate for governor John Oxendine will name a new campaign manager — Tim Echols, a conservative Christian organizer who helped U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Athens win his seat.

This is the first staff shake-up by a candidate in the 2010 race, which has already been underway for more than a year.

“There are some similarities between Oxendine and Broun,” Echols said. “When a guy is willing to take on the establishment — I’m really drawn to people like that.”

Echols will replace Kathryn Ballou, who will shift to head a separate Oxendine support group, Transform Georgia. Her husband, Jeff Breedlove, will remain as a chief strategist for Oxendine.

Echols is the founder of TeenPact, an organization that introduces kids — often home-schooled — to the workings of government. He’ll remain as president of the TeenPact board, we understand.

Echols, who gave some thought to a run for the state Senate to replace Ralph Hudgens …

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Your morning jolt: Candidates beg for spare change

On Tuesday, with a June 30 deadline only seven days away, Karen Handel begged for spare change.

“Any amount you can contribute right now will go a long way in helping us meet our goals next week,” the Republican candidate for governor said.

At five days out, John Oxendine , a GOP rival, asked supporters to empty their pockets, else a Democratic bogeyman will reign over them. “I am running to protect the traditional values Georgia holds dear from Roy Barnes and the liberals in Atlanta,” he said.

Republicans and Democrats alike, whether running for governor or something else, see the end of the month as a kind of CRCT test for grown-ups.

The size of a candidate’s treasury in the first six months of this year will be read as a measure of strength and viability — could determine the size of his/her treasury for the next six months as well.

There will be exceptions. Democrat Roy Barnes specifically declared that he wouldn’t start his campaign until next month, …

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60 percent of South Carolinians want Sanford to resign

A poll by SurveyUSA of 500 adults — not voters — in South Carolina indicates that 60 percent of the state’s residents think Gov. Mark Sanford should resign.

His former press secretary thinks so, too. “No man is bigger than a movement, and as much as it pains me to say it the best thing Mark Sanford can do for the reform movement in South Carolina right now is to step down,” Will Folks wrote on his bog, FITS.

The poll in question was sponsored by WCSC-TV of Charleston. Margin of error is 4.4 percent. Slightly two-thirds said he didn’t “have the right” to take a vacation without informing the public of his absence.

Even more, 77 percent, said Sanford had no right to disappear without informing his staff.

The poll shows the grip that Sanford’s disappearance has had on the state since word leaked out that he hadn’t been at work for several days. Two-thirds said they watched or listened to the governor’s press conference in the state capitol, in which he confessed …

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Ignoring Obama’s veto threat, Congress approves more funding for Marietta’s F-22

Updated at 5:15 p.m. Thursday.

Congress moved to add more funding for the Marietta-made F-22 Raptor on Thursday, setting the stage for a bruising fight with the White House — which threatened only 24 hours earlier to veto a major defense funding bill over the issue.

In the Senate, the Armed Services Committee finished closed-door negotiations by accepting an amendment by U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss to add $1.75 billion for seven more of the Lockheed Martin stealth fighters. The measure now goes to the full chamber.

In a separate action, the U.S. House this afternoon passed a $550 billion defense bill with an added $369 million in additional spending on the F-22. The House measure also includes language that would permit the sale of a different, less potent version of the fighter to other countries such as Japan.

Both actions occurred less than a day after the White House issued a memo detailing its objections to the House bill. The additional F-22 spending — for parts — …

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Your morning jolt: The Mark Sanford e-mails

Before dawn this morning, the radio announced that Mark Sanford had no intention of resigning as governor of South Carolina.

But on TV, after the sun came up, Sanford’s best friend acknowledged that more fallout could come from Sanford’s Argentinian adventure.

“I think that South Carolinians, in particular Americans, have tremendous capacity for forgiveness. That said, they can also recognize hypocrisy. I think the tale of the tape will be the next few days, whether or not Gov. Sanford is sincere in his repentance,” state Sen. Tom Davis told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday.

With the first shock of Wednesday’s news conference in the state capitol in Columbia now over, the details are washing over us like flotsam in the wake of an ocean liner.

The speed of Sanford’s fall from grace is stunning. This from Chris Cillizza, who writes The Fix for the Washington Post:

State State Rep. Nikki Haley, who is widely seen as Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R) choice to replace him as …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: The Mark Sanford e-mails »

Governor’s wife had booted him two weeks ago

During that strange press conference in Columbia, S.C. this afternoon, Gov. Mark Sanford was asked if he and his wife Jenny had separated. He said that “in a formal sense we are not.”

The State newspaper just published the following:

Jenny Sanford, in a statement issued late this afternoon, said a “trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage.”

“When I found out about my husband’s infidelity I worked immediately to first seek reconciliation through forgiveness, and then to work diligently to repair our marriage,” she said in her statement. “We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago.

“During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our …

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‘Take a hike’ doesn’t mean what it did yesterday. Then again, maybe it does.

Gov. Mark Sanford tears up at Wednesday's news conference, without his wife/Associated Press

Gov. Mark Sanford tears up at Wednesday’s news conference, without his wife/Associated Press

Search for “Appalachian Trail” on Twitter and you’ll find that it has suddenly taken on a new, bawdy meaning that has nothing to do with hiking.

But there’s been more serious reaction to Mark Sanford’s confession that, rather than exploring the outdoors — as his staff had said — he had spent the last five days in Argentina, ending an adulterous affair.

A sampling follows.

From the New York Times:

”I think you’ve got one less contender for president,” said Charles E. Cook Jr., editor of The Cook Political Report, adding that Mr. Sanford may be able to complete his term as governor, but could not expect to climb the ladder. “You don’t leave this behind — you really can’t.”

From at Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post:

The only commendable thing Sanford has done lately was to stand before the television cameras by himself as he admitted that his mysterious …

Continue reading ‘Take a hike’ doesn’t mean what it did yesterday. Then again, maybe it does. »

Mark Sanford: ‘I’ve been unfaithful to my wife.’

After apologizing to nearly everyone — his sons, his wife, his staff, his supporters, residents of South Carolina — Gov. Mark Sanford just said this:

“I’ve been unfaithful to my wife. I developed a relationship which started with a dear, dear friend from Argentina.”

Gov. Mark Sanford arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport this morning, from Argentina. Gina Smith/The State

Gov. Mark Sanford arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport this morning, from Argentina. Gina Smith/The State

A reporter asked if he was alone when he was in Buenos Aires. “Obviously not,” he said. The other woman wasn’t named, but the governor said the relationship “sparked” while he was offering advice on her failing marriage.

The affair was discovered — presumably by his wife — five months ago, but had lasted about a year. “I spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina,” he said.

The press conference was the finish of a six-day saga in which Sanford dropped off the state’s radar, with his staff stumbling to make excuses for his absence. On Monday, his spokesman told reporters …

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