A vote on increased funding for the F-22 is set for high noon today, and Politico reports that the tide has shifted to favor President Barack Obama and other opponents, as Democrats in the U.S. Senate respond to some heavy arm-twisting:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is the public point man for the administration, making calls to senators and delivering a toughly worded speech last week in Chicago.
But as the political stakes have become more evident, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has also begun working the phones, and Vice President Joe Biden last week even called his old friend, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), an ardent F-22 backer.
In Georgia, a curious war has broken out on the far right side of the political spectrum, between the Republican candidate for governor who has led most polling, and a rival GOP candidate known for his embrace of states’ rights.
The John Oxendine camp is objecting to the use of the phrase “Ox Nazis” by Jenny Hodges, campaign director for candidate Ray McBerry.
An anti-abortion activist, Hodges has posted several video clips — long, extemporaneous sessions with the camera — on YouTube.
In at least two she describes confrontations with the Oxendine campaign, and neglects a new rule in American politic debate: He/She who invokes Hitler or his minions loses the argument.
The first was posted on July 4, after Hodges said she and her husband were accosted by Oxendine volunteers in Woodstock, over a McBerry bumper sticker on their car — which had been slapped over an Oxendine bumper sticker.
A second was posted Saturday. Hodges describes a Union County confrontation — she was not involved — between McBerry and Oxendine aide Jeff Breedlove.
Breedlove, she said, insisted that McBerry fire her. “Why don’t you decide. Is Ox Nazis over the top?” she asks in the video.
The Oxendine campaign wouldn’t talk about the confrontations per se. This is what campaign manager Tim Echols said:
This is the same person who produced a video calling our volunteers Nazis. The same person who gloated on YouTube when [Kansas abortion doctor] George Tiller was murdered.
People can decide for themselves whether to take her seriously or not. I’ll not apologize for defending our good volunteers.”
A similar message went out in a fund-raising e-mail last night: “How sad it is when a person calls our volunteers such an offensive name.”
As for that “gloating” accusation. Hodges is one of those pro-lifers who believe the anti-abortion movement has gotten itself bogged down — and betrayed the cause — with incrementalism. And this is what she said after Tiller’s murder, in a YouTube clip made while her husband finished the dishes:
”Killer” Tiller was an American terrorist… He was a wicked, wicked man, and he was a treasonous enemy of our nation….
“I’m certainly not going to sit here and say I’m sad he’s dead. I thrilled he’s dead. Hundreds of lives this week will be saved because he’s dead. Hundred of lives next week will be saved because he’s dead. I’m sorry he didn’t repent, and that he’s burning in hell….”
So why spend several paragraphs on a schoolyard fracas? McBerry won nearly 50,000 votes in a doomed 2006 primary against Republican incumbent Sonny Perdue. Oxedine may be convinced that he needs a few of them.
While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
DFCS says it “missed the signs” that led to boy’s death. Perdue open to restarting water talks with other governors. Georgia’s docs in Congress influence health care debate. DeKalb County parks director fired over swim league snafu. Atlanta to use city bonds to buy MLK papers. Atlanta traffic violators to face boot. Proposed police cuts anger Gwinnett residents. Could Atlanta lose a NASCAR race?
Your Luckovich fix. Memo to GOP: Hush. Listen. Chemical plants can and must make themselves much safe. Pro & Con: Do anti-smoking programs work to reduce smoking?
From elsewhere in Georgia:
ABC: Atlanta City Council OKs streetcar study. Fox5: No prosecution for cop’s “baseball bat” comments about mayor. Mostly Media: Report from the CBS46 blogging summit.
NYT: U.S. withheld data on risks of distracted driving. WP: CIA committed fraud, judge writes in ruling. LAT: TARP watchdog cites lack of transparency in Obama administration.
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