Your morning jolt: Michael Thurmond offered U.S. Labor post

The state’s unemployment rate jumped to more than 10 percent in June, the highest ever recorded in Georgia — though we’re fairly certain no one was counting during the Great Depression.

That’s nearly half a million people looking for work in this state, up 65 percent over June 2008.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond will testify at a U.S. Senate hearing (Johnny Isakson a ranking member) on Thursday. The topic will be re-training an army of American workers.

And this is where Georgia politics kicks in. We understand that Thurmond, who had been gearing up to enter the Democratic race for lieutenant governor, was recently offered a post within the U.S. Labor Department.

Thurmond is perhaps the most valued African-American stump speaker in the Georgia Democratic party, and plans have been afoot for him to run on an informal, biracial ticket with former Gov. Roy Barnes.

Thurmond has discussed the offer with Democratic lawmakers and other officials. Acceptance would give Gov. Sonny Perdue the chance to install a Republican incumbent before the 2010 campaign really heats up.

It is one thing to forget where you left your car keys. It is quite another to forget where you put Dad. This from

After initially saying that First Lady Michelle Obama’s father was among those buried at an Illinois cemetery where staffers are accused of digging up graves and dumping bodies, Obama’s spokeswoman now says that he is buried elsewhere.

“There has been some confusion that has been cleared up. Fraser Robinson III was buried at Lincoln Cemetery not Burr Oak,” Camille Johnston, Michelle Obama’s director of communications said in a statement. Johnston didn’t say how the confusion occurred.

Last week, while other Republicans in Washington were gearing up to grill Sonia Sotomayor, Newt Gingrich the Ultimate Gringo — who only recently mis-tweeted about the racism surrounding Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” line — opened up a Spanish-language Twitter account.

We mentioned it yesterday. But my trusty translator was quite impressed with Gingrich’s hewing to political correctness in one tweet, in which he referred to Americans as estadounidense.

You remember that, in John Wayne movies, the phrase was always americáno, which many Latin Americans felt left them out. Then there is the alternative term, norteamericano — but that refers to anyone north of the Mexican border, including Canadans.

The word “estadounidense,” which Gingrich employed, essentially means United-Statesian. And is considered least offensive.

While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s

  • Perdue critic to speak at ALEC this week.
  • Court knew man jailed for a year for non-support was not child’s father.
  • 113 metro Atlanta schools didn’t make the mark this year.
  • Alpharetta makes Money magazine’s high-income list.
  • Fines delayed for Atlanta Botanical Garden bridge collapse.
  • Group sues over early nuclear reactor fees.
  • Baker rules that state agencies don’t have to adhere to local storm runoff rules.
  • Verizon partners with AirSage to track traffic.
  • Some opinion:

  • Your Luckovich fix.
  • Cynthia Tucker says calls to fix traffic sound very familiar.
  • Chambliss and Isakson: U.S. military needs the F-22 Raptor.
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • InsiderAdvantage: Lawmakers meet with Perdue on budget, no word yet of special session.
  • Creative Loafing: Shirley Franklin named to Homeland Security task force.
  • ABC: LexisNexis data breach linked to New York mob family.
  • And beyond:

  • WP: Aid for auto dealers gains traction on Hill.
  • NYT: Afghan war’s buried bombs put risk in every step.
  • WSJ: Thomas Frank on poor, persecuted Sarah Palin.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    13 comments Add your comment

    Will Jones - Atlanta

    July 15th, 2009
    11:39 am

    Regardless of the bottom of any ticket, Roy Barnes will not be a successful candidate for governor in an honest election in Georgia, DV. Thurmond would do well to see to his own political future elsewhere.


    July 15th, 2009
    11:55 am

    Thurmond moves to DC, openes up the possibility of a Barnes/Baker ticket. While I do not think this ticket could win, it might be the strongest the Dem’s can field. Taking the job in DC might be a very good career move for everyone involved.


    July 15th, 2009
    11:56 am

    Why would Thurmond be offered a position in Washington? He hasn’t done a dayum thing in Georgia if you ask me. His department here is nothing but a joke. They always seem to side with the employer if there is ever an arbitration on getting your benefits. They’re to sorry to hold a face to face arbitration, they do it over the telephone.


    July 15th, 2009
    12:50 pm

    I could vote a Thurmond/Baker ticket with no problem. But any Democratic ticket with Barnes on it is out of the question. Barnes, you’re still a scalawag. Enjoy your award from the Kennedy family.


    July 15th, 2009
    1:08 pm

    Great idea for Commissioner Thurmond…maybe now GDOL can get rid of all of the contractors and returning retirees! Could mean more jobs for others seeking employment and promotion for most!

    Just a thought! and Good Luck Commissioner!


    July 15th, 2009
    1:59 pm

    Thurmond has not done anything to support him going to Washington. Georgia has a 10+ % unemployement rate and he has done nothing, Why would Washington want him? Could it be a race thing???? I hope not.

    eric watson

    July 15th, 2009
    2:32 pm

    georgia has a unemployment rare of 10 percent and climbing.. why would you offer him a federal job when such a poor job performance looms in the balance.i wish the obama administration would stop with the racial profilng hiring,its stinks.what can he do on a national level he cant due right here in the state of ga..small businesses aren,t going to hire with higher taxes and health care reform.cmon


    July 15th, 2009
    3:37 pm

    Considering how dysfunctional and archaic the GDOL, maybe the carrot can be used to get this guy out and Perdue can put a real change agent in there. GDOL is a bad organization run by half literate miscreants using technology that is antiquated and a website that is at best marginal. Let’s hope they can pull him out of there quick.

    [...] the link to job offer for dol comish Your morning jolt: Michael Thurmond offered U.S. Labor post | Political Insider [...]


    July 15th, 2009
    7:51 pm

    Thurmond, nice guy he is, is NOT qualified to be dogcatcher in douglas county. He is a true & total idiot. Yep, can see why he got picked.


    July 16th, 2009
    9:21 am

    Why would anyone with half a brain think that the unemployment rate has anything to do with Commissioner Thurmond. The unemployment rate is correlated to our economy folks. However, I can’t blame the folks that want to blame the commish, they are too ignorant to place the blame on the folks running this state. Let’s see, Perdue,and Cagle have done nothing in the last eight years to warrant anyone with half a brain to vote Republican in 2010. No transportation plan, how would companies relocate here if we only have gridlock traffic to offer them. Gutting our public education system, (companies review SAT scores in determining whether we have a skilled workforce) means our future generation will not be prepared to enter the workforce with any skill sets. And to, Jesuzgotnailed, you are an idiot. You guys in Douglas County can’t even get a decent district attorney, What do you know about being qualified????

    [...] Public Broadcasting followed up on news (which first appeared here) that state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond had been offered a job within the U.S. Labor [...]

    [...] turning down a position in the Obama Administration with the Department of Labor last year, it would seem that Thurmond has been seriously considering [...]