Archive for March, 2010

ADL chief reverses himself, says Jimmy Carter’s apology for statements about Israel was ‘insincere’

Updated at 4:30 p.m. with comments from former President Jimmy Carter:

Last December, former President Jimmy Carter offered up an “Al Het” – a confession and plea for forgiveness – for his past statements about Israel.

The Al Het was the result of a years’ worth of negotiations, initiated by leaders of the Atlanta Jewish community.

But it was a quick endorsement by Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, that gave Carter’s apology oomph in the world at large.

Over the weekend, Foxman took back his endorsement, and declared Carter’s Al Het to be insincere. A speech in Atlanta by Carter, given last week during a conference on U.S.-Arab relations was the cause.

This from the JTA news service:

“As far as I’m concerned, there is no ‘Al Het,’ ” Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director, said in the statement, referring to Carter’s evocation of a prayer for forgiveness said on Yom Kippur. “President Carter’s recent comments on Israel are profoundly disappointing and leave …

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The House bill that doesn’t contain a tax on Internet sales

Phone calls have been rolling in from anti-tax enthusiasts, pointing to a bill that had suddenly ballooned from a single page to dozens, then raced through the House on Friday.

H.B. 1221 was chockfull of new definitions that would apply to sales tax collection. There was great wondering over whether this might be a stealthy effort to impose a sales tax on items purchased through the Internet.

On Saturday, my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin tracked down state Rep. Larry O’Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The Bonaire lawmaker swears the bill contains no tax increase – but concedes that the massive tax reform package is “real easy to misunderstand.”

“There’s not a single new tax in it at all. There is no tax establishment of any kind. It is a result of about a nine-year, sort of national collaboration of states that have been trying to conform all of their sales tax codes together — and it has to do with a very technical aspect of the tax law,” O’Neal …

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The crushing of a health care revolt — by GOP women

Throughout the past week, Sonny Perdue walked point for the GOP in Georgia, directing the response to the new health care law passed by Congress.

Republicans of every stripe faithfully lined up behind the governor.

What most people didn’t know was that, at the same time Perdue was leading the charge up Pill Hill, a revolt was brewing within his rear guard at the state Capitol. The target was a basic building block in the Republican concept of national health care.

And the rebellion was led by GOP women, assisted by their Democratic sisters.

The women had managed to stall two bills in the Legislature that would allow individual Georgians to buy their health insurance from out-of-state companies. HB 1184 is sponsored by the governor. A second is SB 407, the creation of state Sen. Judson Hill (R-Marietta).

Nationwide competition would lower costs, supporters say.

At midweek, Hill’s measure was up for a vote in the Senate. In the midst of the debate, two dozen female members of …

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GBI: Former state senator, husband found dead in murder-suicide

More can be found on the AJC home page:

Conservative political activist and former state Sen. Nancy Schaefer and her husband Bruce have died of an apparent murder-suicide.

“There will be a thorough investigation to determine what happened,” GBI spokesman John Bankhead told the AJC. He could not say who might have been the shooter. Six GBI agents and two crime scene technicians are now at the scene of the Schaefer home in Haberham County.

An announcement was made around 7:30 p.m. Friday on the floor of the Georgia General Assembly.

Commenting has been shut down on this item.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

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Bart Stupak on his support for the health care law

U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) has an op-ed piece in today’s Washington Post on his support for the federal health care law. Read the entire thing here.

U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, a Democrat from Michigan. (NYT)

U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, a Democrat from Michigan. (NYT)

But this is the meat:

Many of my Democratic pro-life colleagues and I worked tirelessly in the days leading up to the final House vote on health-care reform to strengthen the legislation’s restrictions on abortion funding. We proposed numerous procedural and legislative options, but ultimately all of our efforts required the 60 votes we could not obtain in the Senate.

Once it was clear that the House leadership would eventually obtain the 216 votes necessary to pass health-care reform, I was left with a choice: vote against the bill and watch it become law with no further protections for life or reach an agreement that prevents federal funding for abortions.

Therefore, I and other pro-life Democrats struck an agreement with President Obama to issue an executive order …

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Breitbart offers $10k reward for proof that n-word was hurled at John Lewis

Andrew Breitbart, on his Big Government web site, is offering $10,000 for proof that U.S. Rep. John Lewis was assaulted with the n-word last Saturday in the run-up to the vote on health care.

This is the same web site that first put up the footage of ACORN staffers in Baltimore, giving advice on how to avoid paying taxes on cash acquired through prostitution.

By way of backbround: Last Saturday, as they went to the U.S. Capitol to hear a final speech on health care, Lewis and other African-American congressmen passed by a crowd of mostly white tea party protestors.

Here’s the Insider post that ran. This from a Detroit news outlet:

Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., told a reporter that as he left the Cannon House Office Building with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a leader of the civil rights era, some among the crowd chanted “the N-word, the N-word, 15 times.” Both Carson and Lewis are black, and Lewis spokeswoman Brenda Jones also said that it occurred.
“It was like going into the …

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Meet Rob Woodall, the newest GOP candidate for the 7th

Until last week, 40-year-old Rob Woodall was chief of staff for U.S. Rep. John Linder. He’s been with the congressman for 16 years.

Woodall called this morning to introduce himself as the newest candidate in the Republican contest to replace his now former boss.

He announced Wednesday, in a conversation with Neal Boortz on WSB (750AM). Boortz and Linder have paired on a couple books on the Fair Tax – a proposed sales-tax substitute for the income tax.

What you probably didn’t know is that Woodall was involved in the writing of both. Said the former staffer:

“I think of myself more as a ghost on the first book. They put my name on the second time around.

“When they got ready to do that second book, they said, ‘Rob do you have the time to help us out with it?’ So I took some unpaid leave from work and really threw myself into it. I really appreciate them giving me that opportunity. The Fair Tax is one of my passions.”

Woodall said Linder was “just thrilled” by his decision to …

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Johnny Isakson released from hospital, sent home for rest

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson has been sprung from Northside Hospital after spending several days there with a bacterial infection. This from the release sent by his office:

“Senator Isakson is still recovering from the bacterial infection, but his doctors felt that his condition has improved enough that he could go home and continue his recovery there. Senator Isakson is feeling so much better and he is glad to get back home. He and his family are very appreciative of all the prayers and good wishes they have received this week,” spokeswoman Joan Kirchner said.

One of Isakson’s attending physicians at Northside, Dr. Steven Marlowe, said bacterial infections typically require lots of rest on the patient’s part before they are fully recovered.

“Senator Isakson has really made great progress this week, and we are allowing him to go home today on the condition that he do nothing but rest and recover for at least the next week,” Dr. Marlowe said.

Isakson’s recovery at home will …

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Newt Gingrich: Democrats bear some responsibility for threats, anger over health care

Former peaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich answers questions about the federal health bill during a press conference. (Associated Press)

Former peaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich answers questions about the federal health bill during a press conference. (Associated Press)

At a press conference in Atlanta on Thursday, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich said he was happy to condemn the use of personal threats rising out of the health care debate, but added that Democrats must bear some of the responsibility.

Said Gingrich:

“Just as there was no place for the kind of viciousness against Bush and Cheney, there’s no place for viciousness against Democrats.

“I would condemn any kind of activity that involves that kind of personal threat.

“But look, I think there’s something very disingenuous about the Democratic leaders who attacked the tea party movement, who refused to hold town hall meetings, who refused to go back home, who kept the Congress locked up in Washington, and are now shocked that people are angry.

“I think the Democratic leadership has to take some moral responsibility for having behaved with …

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Your morning jolt: The complications of impeaching Thurbert Baker

Crucial details – a name would be handy, for instance – are missing, but rumors are swirling that Friday could see an attempt by House members to impeach Attorney General Thurbert Baker for his refusal to join a legal challenge to the new federal health care law.

PeachPundit says a piece of paper is floating around with 30 names on it.

We’ll add some background to the mix: On Wednesday, a spokesman insisted that Gov. Sonny Perdue harbored no ill will toward Baker, a Democratic candidate for governor. Said Bert Brantley:

“We asked him to participate and go with us, and he has not chosen to do that. And that’s fine. That’s his — he’s been the attorney general for a long time. He certainly knows his stuff. He’s also a candidate for governor. And so we know there are multiple things that he’s thinking about, looking at. And that’s fine.”

Perdue and former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich have a joint press conference this morning. The governor is likely to announce that he’ll …

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