Your morning jolt: The pursuit of Toyota by a major U.S. auto investor

On Tuesday, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce heard from Toyota President Jim Lentz on his company’s problems with cars that keep going and going and going and going.

You get the idea.

During that session, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) gave voice to a nagging thought. This appeared in the New York Daily News:

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) also said the federal government, which invested in bailouts of U.S. car manufacturers, might have an ulterior motive in exposing Toyota’s problems.

The government “may have some incentive in highlighting the flaws of a competing manufacturer,” Gingrey said, “but I do not believe that to be the case.”

Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1 FM) has posted an eight-minute discussion with House Speaker David Ralston over the re-introduction of a resolution by state Rep. Al Williams (D-Midway) that would apologize for Georgia’s official participation in the institution of slavery.

The interview is worth listening to in its entirety. Said Ralston:

“We’re now about 150 years past the end of the war that was fought to end that very awful institution. The whole theme of what I’ve tried to do over the last few weeks as speaker is to move this House forward and look to the future. And I’m about looking to the future. I’m not about looking to the past. When you turn around and look backward it invites a whole lot of issues……

“Do you stop with slavery? Do you also need to discuss another very tragic and horrible chapter of our state’s history, and that was the forced removal of an entire Indian nation from this state some decades before that? A dark stain on our state’s history, as was the institution of slavery.

“I worry that it takes away from our ability to gather the energy to move forward, united and harmonious and working together to solve some huge problems and issues that we have as a state like transportation, water, education.”

The north Georgia lawmaker also makes this point, which you don’t hear from many politicians in the South:

“You look around Georgia now. Georgia’s a very diverse state. Many people that live in Georgia now are from other states. Even Georgians who have lived here for generations don’t share the same experiences.

“Many people fail to remember that many, many Georgians – including many of my own family ancestors did not fight to preserve the Confederacy, but fought to preserve the Union.”

Former House speaker Glenn Richardson of Hiram will be replaced by 29-year-old Dallas banker Daniel Stout, whose 935 votes in Tuesday’s special election were enough to push him past two other District 19 candidates without a runoff. reports that turnout was a mere 4.16 percent.

Stout can’t be sworn in until next early week, when the secretary of state is likely to certify the vote.

The banker’s Election Day was complicated by an interview he’d given to Tom Crawford of Capitol Impact, discussing an affair he’d had with his mother-in-law 10 years earlier.

Affairs are a sensitive topic in that county.

On Tuesday, a remarried Stout and his wife sent an e-mail to the Insider, which can be read here, saying Stout had asked for and received his ex-wife’s forgiveness, and that of his church. Wrote the couple:

“Of course, we knew when I announced for the House seat that belongs to the people of Paulding County that this and all matters of our lives would be open to the public. We believe in total transparency, even in matters of past sins anyone would rather forget.”

You’d have to say that voters — at least those who bothered to cast ballots — agreed to let bygones be bygones.

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6 comments Add your comment

Churchill's MOM

February 24th, 2010
12:29 pm

Rep. Phil Gingrey was on PBS last night defending Toyota. Guess he is looking at a Saxby type pay day.

Alabama Communist

February 24th, 2010
12:58 pm

On Tuesday, a remarried Stout and his wife sent an e-mail to the Insider* Insider

Good for him! Of course what this reveals is that Mr Stout has 999 Voters who are somehow related to him by Redneck interfamily marriage


February 24th, 2010
12:59 pm

Even the politician who cheated on his pregnant wife with her mother has to invoke “church” into the equation. I wonder if there’s anything this church wouldn’t forgive? Nonetheless, he wins anyway — the people of Pauling County must have amazing character. Y’all were better off with a powerful creep than a newbie creep, but hypocrites can’t see the forest through the conservative talking-points.


February 24th, 2010
1:01 pm

Good for Phil. Anything we can do to hurt GM is Chrysler is good for our Republic. Creditors and stockholders of GM & Chrysler had their investments taken from them by Obama and given to the auto worlers unions. Never, never, never buy a GM or Chrysler product.


February 24th, 2010
2:03 pm

Good for David Ralston. That man has walking around sense. If we were to go back through history we would have to apologize for mans inhumanity to man ad infinitum from the beginning of human history. In addition to the horrors of slavery, how about Christians burning witches at the stake? The complete decimation of the Native American culture? The Conquistodores? The Inquistion? Hitler? Stalin? Pol Pat? There is no end to the evil that men do in the name of race, politics, lust for power, religion, ethnic cleansing, etc.. All of these atrocities and the men who perpetrated them are seen by the eyes of God, who must wonder at the monstrous potential of his creation, mankind.


February 24th, 2010
2:14 pm

Gingrey is pandering