In Washington, The Hill newspaper today says U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s maneuver to force the Pentagon to purchase more Marietta-made F-22 stealth fighters has revived a fight with Republican colleague John McCain of Arizona:
Chambliss won narrow approval at a closed-door Senate Armed Services Committee markup for his amendment authorizing $1.75 billion to purchase seven F-22 Raptors from Georgia-based Lockheed Martin — despite strong objections from McCain, the ranking Republican on the panel, and a veto threat from President Obama….
McCain was irritated that Chambliss offered the amendment during the markup, according to sources, and has vowed to fight it on the Senate floor.
Chambliss endorsed McCain during the 2008 Republican presidential primary. The Hill also notes this alliance that Chambliss put together on the Senate Armed Services Committee:
During the closed markup, Chambliss got support from three other Democrats and one Independent: Sens. Edward Kennedy (Mass.), Robert Byrd (W.Va.) — both voting by proxy — Mark Begich (Alaska) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).
Georgia’s senior senator got himself in trouble two years ago, when he and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson worked with Kennedy on an immigration reform bill. But it’s doubtful that Chambliss will get much blowback from his latest alliance with the Massachusetts liberal.
What with the confluence of Sarah Palin and social networking, it’s worth noting that a) Newt Gingrich has Twittered not a word about her; and b) while most of the political world focused on the departure of the Alaskan governor, the Washington Times on Sunday produced a long, long profile pronouncing Gingrich’s comeback as a national GOP leader to be complete.
In that profile, the former Georgia congressman recommended a if-you-can’t-beat-them, join-them strategy:
Mr. Gingrich sketched out a vision for conservatives and Republicans to block what he considers the Obama-Democratic march to socialism by thinking outside the party-label box.
That includes building a center-right majority in Congress and the state legislatures — regardless of party identification — even if that means the heretical idea of Republicans actively promoting and backing conservative Democratic candidates in selected races where a GOP candidate would have little chance of winning.
“I would urge conservatives in California to find a Democrat to run in every Assembly and Senate seat in California that can’t be contested by Republicans, and then to run a Republican in every seat they could possibly win, and then have an overt goal of creating a bipartisan conservative coalition,” Mr. Gingrich argues. “I’d do the same thing nationally.”
While you ponder the above, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
$800 million bond deal okayed for ATL airport terminal. MARTA board member gets probation for sex charge. Atlanta police records on Johnston killing to be released today. Murdered boy put in home despite red flags. Georgia to get stimulus funds for clean diesel projects. Auctions delayed on the Fayette County homes of boxer Evander Holyfield and state School Superintendent Kathy Cox. Auction for Clermont Motor hotel put off. Fate of private school in downtown Atlanta uncertain amid financial allegations. Grady ready to settle with CEO who was fired. Georgia native who served with Tuskegee Airmen dies.
Your Luckovich fix. Jay Bookman asks: Can a Georgia Democrat win the 2010 governor’s race? Yvonne Williams says strong leaders can solve gridlock. Pro & Con: Should good schoolteachers be rewarded with merit pay?
From elsewhere in Georgia:
MT’s Lucid Idiocy: Glenn Richardson has all the money, and is backing Nathan Deal. Atlanta Unfiltered: Georgia GOP fund-raising is down 29 percent, but cash-on-hand is up.
WSJ: Deadly ethnic riots pose fresh crisis for Beijing. WP: The Al Franken decade begins 30 years late. McClatchy: Mark Sanford censured by South Carolina GOP.
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.