Your morning jolt: Georgia’s GOP delegation fractures over Iraq, Afghanistan funding

The Republican portion of Georgia’s congressional delegation on Tuesday showed a significant fracture when it comes to funding the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From the New York Times:

The House of Representatives agreed on Tuesday to provide $59 billion to continue financing America’s two wars, but the vote showed deepening divisions and anxiety among Democrats over the course of the nearly nine-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.

The 308-to-114 vote, with strong Republican support, came after the leak of an archive of classified battlefield reports from Afghanistan that fueled new debate over the course of the war and whether President Obama’s counterinsurgency strategy could work.

Voting for the measure were Georgia Democrats John Barrow of Savannah, Sanford Bishop of Albany, Jim Marshall of Macon, and David Scott of Atlanta; Republicans Tom Graves of Ranger, Jack Kingston of Savannah, Tom Price of Roswell, and Lynn Westmoreland of Sharpsburg.

Voting against the Iraq/Afghanistan funding were Republicans Paul Broun of Athens, Phil Gingrey of Marietta, and John Linder of Duluth; who joined Democrats Hank Johnson and John Lewis.

Look for explanations from the three no-voting Republicans to hit first thing this morning – though Linder is not standing for re-election.

According to Jamie Dupree up in Washington, the war funding bill included some domestic spending:

* $950 million Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund Program

* $18 million Emergency Forest Restoration Program

* $150 million in Haiti quake relief

* $49 million in economic development for states hit by severe storms between March and May of 2010, which have more than 20 counties declared as disaster areas

* $5 million for NOAA to deal with “commercial fishery failures”

* $94 million for Drug Interdiction

* $10 million for emergency drought relief

* $5.1 billion for FEMA disaster relief…

But one wonders if the issue of spending may be secondary to President Barack Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan, which is coming under increasingly public criticism from influential Republicans.

Earlier this month, while in Iowa, former House speaker Newt Gingrich – whom Linder once served as a top lieutenant – expressed pessimism about the U.S. military’s position in Afghanistan.

The war “is not going well,” said the former Georgia congressman, a potential 2012 candidate for president. From the Des Moines Register:

“I think we are in enormous danger because we consistently underestimate how hard this is,” Gingrich said. Petraeus’ “counter-insurgency doctrine doesn’t go deep enough for some place like Afghanistan. You’re dealing with Afghan culture that is fundamentally different than us, in ways we don’t understand.”

Gingrich is expected to elaborate on the topic Thursday in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute.

***

No doubt you’ve seen this from my AJC colleagues Aaron Gould Sheinin and James Salzer:

A federal grand jury subpoenaed records and testimony from a top state official last month involving gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal and a business arrangement he had with the state for nearly 20 years.

Georgia Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury in June, according to documents obtained Tuesday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through the Georgia Open Records Act.

Deal’s attorney, Randy Evans, said Tuesday evening that his client has not been subpoenaed and is not the subject of an investigation.

Click here to review the five pages of documents the article is based on.

***

ATLaw, a legal community blog sponsored by the Fulton County Daily Report, has decoded some endorsements gathered up since the runoff by Sam Olens of Cobb County, who faces Preston Smith of Rome in a Republican runoff for attorney general:

Although Max Wood, former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, declined to endorse either Olens or Wood, that didn’t stop a lawyer who had been one of Wood’s biggest supporters from endorsing Olens—Macon appellate attorney Steve Dillard.

Also joining the Olens bandwagon are Macon attorney Frank C. Jones, who represented Gov. Sonny Perdue in his constitutional battle with Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker and is Perdue’s lead attorney challenging President Obama’s healthcare reform law; and Keith Blackwell, past president of the Atlanta chapter of the Federalist Society.

Another new addition to Olens’ endorsement brigade is Republican state Sen. Seth Harp, a family-law attorney from Midland. Harp is the senator who took Smith’s place as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of this year’s legislative session, after Smith was booted from the post in retaliation for his voting against a hospital-bed tax.

Harp waged an unsuccessful campaign this year for state insurance commissioner.

***

Public Policy Polling of North Carolina is doing some groundwork in New Hampshire that helps explain the impact of Sarah Palin who, despite her rejection as presidential material, is changing the shape of elections in several states – including Georgia.

PPP says that Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, “continues to look like an overwhelming favorite for the 2012 New Hampshire primary.” Palin runs a distant fourth, behind Mike Huckabee.

Says PPP:

Among voters who are more likely to support a candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin…Romney leads…with 29% to Palin’s 21%. We’ve written repeatedly about how our 2012 polling shows a disconnect between people liking Palin and being willing to support her for President and this is a great example of it.

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45 comments Add your comment

Will

July 28th, 2010
9:10 am

This is an excellent excellent when politicians let their desire for “purity of thought” outweigh their duty to country.

These cut and run politicians have abandoned our brave patriots over an opportunity to cast a purely partisan vote against the President.

I stand with and for our patriots in harm’s way. I hope each and every one of these wonderful patriots receives a list of each politician who has cut and run from them and our wonderful republic.

James

July 28th, 2010
9:24 am

Will Republicans be portrayed as being “soft on terrorism” or willing to “cut and run”? Somehow I doubt it.

We need to support our men in battle at all cost. If it was up to me I would also march in to Pakistan to get Bin Laden. Our boys need our support and the Republican want to play politics? Oh my. Now is not the time.

T-Bone

July 28th, 2010
9:38 am

“I don’t think Obama is doing a good job with this war that Bush got us into. I have an idea! Let’s cut funding to the war – that’ll get us on the right track!”

Bob

July 28th, 2010
9:41 am

I’m with you guys. If there is one thing that really needs bipartisan support it is our men and women fighting and dying overseas so that we can have the luxuries that our country affords us. I don’t care who you are, whether you want to get us out of the war as soon as possible or believe we need to stay the course, don’t stop funding the troops themselves.

Disavantaged Insider

July 28th, 2010
9:51 am

Jim, how is $150 million for Haiti considered “domestic spending?” I know it’s got nothing to do with the war, but it sure ain’t “domestic” neither!

James is right; we need to take this fight to whereever we must take it if we are to prevail over these killers. It is a shame that President Cheney took our eye off of the ball with the invasion of Iraq, costing lives and treasure that could have been put to better use getting bin Laden and ALL of his fellow travellers sent to their virgins or Virginians or whatever “reward” they will get when they perish.

Michael Steele, Chairman

July 28th, 2010
9:54 am

Well, this a war of Obama’s choosing. Everyone knows that engaging in a land war in Asia is a sure loser. Only an idiot would go down that road.

Thanks and keep supporting the RNC.

(BTW – we are going to make gay adoption our next wedgie)

luangtom

July 28th, 2010
10:02 am

Gee, AJC, maybe, just maybe, some of these Representatives ARE representing the constituents of their districts and voting accordingly. Have you ever thought of that unique scenario?

khc

July 28th, 2010
10:07 am

the graveyard of empires….anyone knows we cannot convince the tribes to come with us; at some point we will leave or reduce influence….probably all our enemies russia, china, iran are aiding the instability there in hopes we will wear our military power out….as well as our economic might……has nothing to do with supporting our military men and women…..the usa alone cannot contain the tension in the region from israel to pakistan vs. india. noteworthy a repub that is not seeking reelection votes against the funding…

UncleTom

July 28th, 2010
10:09 am

Remember, if you cant say sompin good bout Roy, dont say nuthin.

FEMA funding

July 28th, 2010
10:40 am

The FEMA money listed includes $ for GA properties flooded out in 2009.

James

July 28th, 2010
10:48 am

@luangtom Funny how the constituents are now the cover for playing politics. I don’t recall Dems being allowed that excuse. STOP playing politics and support our troops!!!!

lmno

July 28th, 2010
10:49 am

End these wars now.

I hate when people say, “We can’t just leave”. Yes we can!

Just leave. 9 years is far too much.

mike

July 28th, 2010
11:16 am

Let see if I understand this. The good ole Georgia Boy GOP who have never ever served in a war from Newt down to Price are quibbling around with the funding while someone else’s Momma, Daddy, Father, Sister, Sons and Daughters are over there pounding around each day on that hot sand trying to stay alive. You morons keep voting this folks into office. They would feel a lot different if it was their relatives sitting behind those bunkers or searching those huts for terrorists.

James

July 28th, 2010
11:25 am

@Imno I’m not a defense hawk to start with but, if “we just leave” what in the hell did we start this crap for? Afghanistan was a hell hole 1,000 years ago and its still one today. Our troops were sent there to find Bin Laden who is in Pakistan and has always been in Pakistan. We haven’t been able to find Bin Laden because we got caught up in trying to spread democracry. We took our eyes off the ball. Sounds a bit like the Russian trying to spread communism back in the day.

If I recall, General Powell said something to the effect of – “if you break it, you own it”. I appears we have broken it, therefore we must fix it and that means supporting our troops.

Jay

July 28th, 2010
11:50 am

Cut and run chicken hawk republicans.

J

July 28th, 2010
11:51 am

First of all we don’t own Afganistan, the Afgan people do. Its that empire mentality that the Founders abhored and got us in this mess in the first place. Secondly the best way to “Support Our Troops” is to get them out of harms way, and bring them home to their families safe and sound, there could be no better “support” than that. Thirdly, the last person to conquer Afganistan was Alexander the Great, and there is a reason why. Those tribal, religious, mountain people want to be left the hell alone, and you would think that a country that promotes freedom would endorse that idea and instead of mocking it. There is less than 100 terrorist there according to our CIA our special forces and intelligence community is more than capable of handling that, not our military.

Winfield J. Abbe

July 28th, 2010
11:57 am

America is bankrupt. The money they approved does not exist except in printed or borrowed form. We do not have this money. The war must be ended immediately and all involved brought home where they belong. All this is a total sham anyway. Americans are easily fooled these days because they watch too many football games and drink and smoke too much. They have brain impairment. 9/11 was a false flag attack to fool the dumbed down Americans into going to war and bankrupting their country for the sake of Israel. Wake up you dumb Americans. Read numerous articles and books documenting and proving this to the extent it can be proved by Captain Eric C. May. Read about General Betraeus behind Bush with a kiss. All this proves higher education in the U.S. is a total dismal failure. Americans are the biggest fools in the world.

Winfield J. Abbe

July 28th, 2010
12:06 pm

Do any of you fools know what is going to happen if American continues to spend money it does not possess or able to tax out of its citizens? We are all going to wake up one morning very soon and the entire country will no longer exist because there is no money left. All the money they now have is either borrowed or printed. It is counterfeit. What is going on with the fools we elect in Congress is like the idiot state legislator in the State of Indiana who once sought to legislate the value of pi, the distance around a circle divided by its diameter. This is like trying to legislate the laws of physics. Only ignorant fools do that. Nature will take its course no matter what the ignorant fools in Congress do. We must stop this foolish train which is headed for the greatest train wreck on the planet if you idiots do not tell your good for nothing corrupt non representatives to end this fooishness immediately; that means PRONTO lest we disintegrate as a nation. This is an emergency. These meaningless and foolish wars must be ended immediately today!
What was that about a Nobel Peace Prize for our president who is now in charge of two wars?

Winfield J. Abbe

July 28th, 2010
12:10 pm

America is bankrup in more ways than one. We are out of money, out of intelligence, out of common sense, out of truth, out of courage and out of conscience. Our education system is a total dismal failure as is the lying media. Our government is totally corrupt. If it isn’t corrupt, why isn’t it?

East Lake Ira

July 28th, 2010
12:13 pm

Why does Phil Gingrey hate America?

UsmcDawg

July 28th, 2010
12:13 pm

Nice try Jim Galloway.
Sure we have differing opinions within the Republican Party, but your attempt to present the perception that the Republican Party is “Fractured” is pathetic.
There are WAY more FRACTURES in the Democratic Party’s policies and politicians than the GOP, but I guess that doesn’t suit your LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC AGENDA. Nice Try!

leo

July 28th, 2010
12:19 pm

We need to get out of Iraq and Afganistan immediately. We cannot win, and we’re losing too many brave young men and women to wars that have no end. I find it interesting that these Republicans who claim to be deficit hawks are willing to spend billions of unnecessary dollars on a hopeless cause. Let’s bring our troops home.

Michael

July 28th, 2010
12:19 pm

There shall come a time when American politicians learn that they represent folks from all political parties. Right now, they all seem to forget that they represent Democrats, Republicans, and all parties regardless of their prefered political parties. Saxby Chambliss is the perfect example of how “not” to be a great politician. He and his cohort Johnny Isacson vote purely Republican, regardless of the issue, regardless of the impact on everyone, and regardless of the merits of the issue. Lord knows, the Democrats couldn’t possibly have any worthwhile opinions (at least in their eyes. Partisan politics is killing America. Voters need to see through the “good old boy” politics we see every minute of every day by both parties. If America is ever to regain its strength, politically, ecnomically, and morally, our voters need to find individuals, like Zell Miller who are not afraid to vote “the issues” rather than politically convenient opinions. I still believe a viable three or four party system would be the best thing for this country.

Alabama Communist

July 28th, 2010
1:07 pm

No doubt Newt will prepose that the USA nuke China soon to stop the war in Afghanistan, and become the Peace Presidental Candiate in 2012

Winnie

July 28th, 2010
1:13 pm

When republicans get heat for not supportingnour brave sliders but democrats get a pass you know the writer is only a partisan who will say anything to help his ore cause.

Conservative Thinker

July 28th, 2010
1:25 pm

Michael-

Do you use the same standard for say Hank Johnson ot Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid? No? I thought not, the same ole double standard BS. Has it ever occured to you there are people out here that truly disagree with the liberal mind set?

Beeg Boi

July 28th, 2010
1:25 pm

You want Freedom Fries with that cut-n-run sandwich ?

lmno

July 28th, 2010
1:27 pm

“@Imno I’m not a defense hawk to start with but, if “we just leave” what in the hell did we start this crap for?”

Are you familiar with the term “Sunk Cost” as it applies to Business Management?

Basically, the principal is that whats in the past is in the past and not relevant to the future forward-looking path we choose.

So, if you were standing waiting on the bus for 20 minutes and a taxi pulls up and offers you a ride, the 20 minutes you’ve waited on the bus should not be a consideration on whether to take the taxi. You can’t get the 20 minutes back no matter what path you choose.

Whether we stay or go in Afghanistan, nothing we’ve done in the past can be changed. Our decision should only be based on what is the best path for the future.

9 years. How many more will we fight?

David S

July 28th, 2010
1:39 pm

Finally nice to see a lot of Democrats wising up and standing up against the empire and its emperor. Also very nice to see more republicans coming on board too. Unfortunately they are probably just wanting to pull the troops out of Afghanistan so that we can illegally and immorally invade and destroy Iran, but you take your victories where you can.

Looks like the Wikileaks release did some good. Of course the truth of the war has always been available every day on Antiwar.com if anyone bothered to care. Certainly the mainstream media in America doesn’t. Of course the rest of the world knows every day of the atrocities we commit in the name of “democracy” and other BS notions that our empire uses to cover for its blatant entension of its destructive tentacles.

GTBee

July 28th, 2010
2:03 pm

Mr. Galloway: Why is it that you state “Georgia’s GOP” is split in the decision when BOTH parties were split? Uggggghh… the initial vote shows both sides leaning in opposite directions.

FOR: 4 Dems, 4 Repubs
AGAINST: 2 Dems, 3 Repubs

Looks to me like both sides are split on the issues!

Jane

July 28th, 2010
2:08 pm

They are not split over the war, they are split over how to fund it.

Billy Joe Poteet

July 28th, 2010
3:31 pm

@Jane

Thank you! You are exactly correct. I would have thought someone would have pointed that out earlier. I think Gingrich is spot-on with his statement,
“I think we are in enormous danger because we consistently underestimate how hard this is,” Gingrich said. Petraeus’ “counter-insurgency doctrine doesn’t go deep enough for some place like Afghanistan. You’re dealing with Afghan culture that is fundamentally different than us, in ways we don’t understand.”

calvinb

July 28th, 2010
3:34 pm

Yup good ole Johnnny Is has got to go. We need to strongly support Midhael Thurmond. But, somehow the AJC can’t remember his name and discuss the issues…………hmmm

Secondly, its the military industrial complex you need to focus on. Its a cancer that is going or has already damaged the health of American. War and more war, and more war. Fought only by the working class. Lets re-start the draft so the RICH and POWERFUL can lose their lives and come back brain damaged too.

I salute my Republican brothers who are having a honest disagreement. This is good. Not bad.

Billy Joe Poteet

July 28th, 2010
3:50 pm

@calvinb

The only disagreement is about HOW to fund it. Unlike Obama, they don’t want to borrow more money or crank up the printing presses.

East Lake Ira

July 28th, 2010
4:28 pm

Anyone else notice Sen. Johnny whining in today’s paper?

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, please don’t raise my taxes, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, it’s not fair, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, that net 5% increase is gonna break me, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, I know it really means an average of 5,000 extra for the less than 1% that this affects but I’m rich, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

What a friggin baby.

Billy Joe Poteet

July 28th, 2010
4:39 pm

@East Lake Ira

Guess you’ll be coming off the hip to pay yours, too?

roughrider

July 28th, 2010
6:05 pm

We can’t even secure our own borders, much less Afghanistan’s.

Jon Lester

July 28th, 2010
6:47 pm

@khc: your foreign policy acumen is about as good as Mitt Romney’s. China and Russia happen to share our interests in stabilizing Afghanistan to whatever extent is possible, and both countries very much need a healthy US economy. BTW, Russia today is more democratic than Afghanistan ever will be.

BeyondTheRhetoric

July 28th, 2010
8:21 pm

“No doubt you’ve seen this from my AJC colleagues Aaron Gould Sheinin and James Salzer:” from Jim Galloway, above.

Research indicates that the “OCE”, Office of Congressional Ethics, was formed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her effort to “Drain the swamp” or rid the House of Representatives that break the House Ethics Rules. Wikipedia defines this organization as follows:

“The Office of Congressional Ethics, established by the U.S. House of Representatives, is an independent, non-partisan entity charged with reviewing allegations of misconduct against members of the House of Representatives and their staff and, when appropriate, referring matters to the United States House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (commonly referred to as the Ethics Committee).”

Further research into the political leanings of the Board and Staff of OCE reveals the following:

Liberal: 12 Members
Unknown: 3 Members
Conservative: 2 Members

Regardless of the heavily left lean of OCE, the bottom line or summary of the final report on Nathan Deal summarizes as follows:

“The OCE does not take a position on Representative Deal’s motivations for inserting
himself into discussions of potential modifications to a state vehicle inspection program.”

“The OCE reviews the facts as presented at the time of review and does not take a position on whether Representative Deal’s income from GSD was mistakenly reported as earned income since 2006 on his federal income taxes.”

“For all the reasons stated above, the OCE Board recommends further review by the
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.”

(Note: For the complete report go to http://oce.house.gov/disclosures/Review_No_09-1022_Referral_to_Standards.pdf)

AJC article this morning ” Federal grand jury sought documents, interviews regarding Nathan Deal” by Aaron Gould Sheinin and James Salzer is a bit misleading in its title. The article actually is about Bart Graham, our Georgia Revenue Commissioner, a grand jury subpoena, the FBI and the Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McBurney.

Deal’s attorney says ” We became aware of an investigation and my office inquired if the U.S. attorney considered Nathan Deal to be a target, and we were told no”.

Is it possible that the federal government is investigating Bart Graham? The subpoena ‘ordered Graham to appear June 8 and provide documents “concerning the contents of the sidebar discussion between Commissioner Graham and then-U.S. Representative Nathan Deal” last year in the office of the governor’s chief of staff’. This meeting was described as “contentious” and “hostile” by Graham and Deal’s Chief of Staff, respectively, according to the AJC article.

In my opinion, the pathetic ethics investigations against Deal and Karen Handel (recently reported in the AJC) are a result of partisan complaints. Why is our tax money going to the investigation of petty, political grievances. We saw it with Speaker Gingrich and we are now watching it with Representative Charlie Rangel. The state and the country are hurting. It’s time to focus on the issues folks……

As FNC would say, “You Decide”.

John Konop

July 29th, 2010
7:44 am

Early and often on this issue I pointed out the flaws to a nation building foreign policy. But the reality is if you support the policy than tell me how we pay for it?

The reason I am upset at both parties is the lack of fiscal discipline is lost on pandering unrealistic wish list to get votes.

THE TRUTH like it or not:

If you go to war someone has to pay for it

The Middle East countries are tribal groups running territories and forming a strong central government at gun point is illogical. And Iraq only chilled-out when we implemented local control. And it they will have issues but it is the best working model we can hope for.

Afghanistan is worse than Iraq via lack of natural resources and education.

Powell doctrine was all about not becoming an occupier and getting in and out quickly. We traded this policy for the Bush/Obama doctrine and how is it working?

No matter what we do the threat of terrorism will not go away. But an economic meltdown with our current policy was part of Bin Laden goal.

Is Bin Laden’s Strategy Working?

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/is-bin-ladens-s.html

Like it or not we will bankrupt our country if we do not get out. And Bin Laden will have won and put us at even greater risk!

khc

July 29th, 2010
9:44 am

lester, you have got to be the biggest da if you think china, russia and the usa, plus all of these countries allies could not force their will on afghan you gotta be kidding….the only thing the chinese are reluctant about is how would they replace all the worthless debt the usa owes them and the marketplace for so much of their exports…and russia is more corrupt than we are….

Jon Lester

July 29th, 2010
1:00 pm

You’re not changing my mind, khc. I still think you’re an idiot.

double zero eight

July 29th, 2010
3:10 pm

We are trying to fight a politically correct war in Afghanistan, and will not be successful as a result. We have the firepower to win there, but appear committed to mainly fighting a ground war. Our politicians are not willing to accept the consequences of utilizing the additional resources needed. As a result, we should pull out as soon as possible.
The dilemma the president faces is avoiding the stigma that the deaths of our troops were in vain.

khc

July 29th, 2010
3:47 pm

lester, sounds like you could get a job on palin’s foreign policy staff….

khc

August 1st, 2010
5:44 pm

hey lester did you read thomas friedman nytimes today, da