Earlier this month, Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky, the U.S. Senate minority leader, was asked about a poll that indicated that nearly one in five Americans believe President Barack Obama is a Muslim.
“The president says he’s a Christian. I take him at his word,” McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
This morning’s editorial in the Augusta Chronicle doesn’t even cut Obama that tiny bit of slack. The first two paragraphs:
Much has been made recently over questions of the president’s religious views.
In reporting a poll that says 18 percent of Americans believe Barack Obama is a Muslim, national media have condescendingly added the words “mistakenly” and “incorrectly.” Yet, it’s quite possible Americans aren’t as dumb as the media think: Maybe they’re aware of Mr. Obama’s Christian affiliation — and just don’t believe it.
We are beginning to tread some very shaky ground, ladies and gentlemen.
On somewhat the same topic, several news agencies interpreted Saturday’s Glenn Beck rally in Washington D.C. as a bid by the Fox News commentator to assume leadership of the nation’s Christian conservatives. Some, including CNN, alluded to Beck’s Mormon faith.
Ralph Reed, the former state GOP chairman and leader of the Christian Coalition, attended the Beck event and had this to say on the web site of his Faith and Freedom Coalition:
The evangelicals participating in the Restore Honor event are not endorsing Glenn Beck’s theology, nor is he asking them to; they are joining in his clarion call to restore America’s honor and founding principles.
Together, we and millions of our fellow citizens are calling America back to its Judeo-Christian values of faith, hard work, individual initiative, the centrality of marriage and family, hope, charity, and relying on God and civic and faith-based organizations rather than government for our security and prosperity.
On Sunday morning, if you watched the “Georgia Gang” on Fox5, you heard Phil Kent say that Republican nominee for governor Nathan Deal has made public his income tax records.
Deal hasn’t, spokesman Brian Robinson said this morning. Robinson wouldn’t say exactly when Deal might do so – but implied it would be soon.
This spring, Deal requested an extension on filing his 2009 personal income taxes – a common procedure. As soon as the former congressman files his ‘09 returns, Deal will make public several years’ worth.
But don’t look for that to satisfy the Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes.
The Barnes campaign will continue to call on Deal to release the income tax returns of his auto salvage corporation – the company that got wrapped up in the investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics.
When it comes to ethics investigations, Republican nominee for governor Nathan Deal has found an unlikely ally: U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. – the most powerful African-American in Congress.
In an interview with Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News, Clyburn said the Office of Congressional Ethics – a relatively new entity that acts as a kind of grand jury, making preliminary inquiries — has an “accusatory mentality about every allegation.”
The OCE has initiated investigations of several African-American members of Congress, including U.S. Reps. Maxine Waters of California and Charlie Rangel of New York.
Clyburn made his remarks at a gathering of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. From the SMN:
Clyburn, the House majority whip, said he has no opinion about the validity of the case against Deal.
But he said the ethics office investigatory process “is being used by … people who want to make mischief.”
Clyburn said the office lets inquiries be initiated “from a newspaper story or headline … implying things that may or may not have any factual basis.”
He said such stories or headlines form the basis of complaints to the office by “third-party groups.”
Among such groups, he said, is Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The organization filed a complaint against Deal after an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article was published.
“People get a wild hair,” Clyburn said concerning members of such groups, “and they just say things.”
The congressman also said he is concerned that a “CIA guy” plays an important role in the office. Former Central Intelligence Agency Director Porter Goss is the vice chairman.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, outlined a post-November agenda for Congress during a conversation with voters in Calhoun. From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:
A few of his constituents asked Gingrey what could be done to stop new health care reform from going into effect, and at least one asked him to vote to repeal it. He said that, logistically, it would be a challenge to repeal the laws because President Barack Obama has veto power.
Gingrey, an obstetrician-gynecologist, said he expects Republicans to pick up enough seats in Congress so they can “control the purse” and take away funding for some of the reform’s programs.
Over at InsiderAdvantage, Dick Pettys has the body count of lawmakers departing the General Assembly this year:
In all, 17 senators who were on the 2008 ballot won’t be on the 2010 card. In the House, 36 representatives will be gone.
The House losses include Majority Leader Jerry Keen and former interim Speaker (and speaker pro tem) Mark Burkhalter, both retiring, along with Minority Leader DuBose Porter, who lost his primary bid for governor.
All are veteran hands. But it can be argued that the 2004 loss was even more severe, at least in terms of longevity.
Among those retiring that year was 85-year-old Sen. Hugh Gillis of Soperton, who took office before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and served under 14 governors. He chose to retire rather than face another incumbent – Republican Jack Hill of Reidsville – in a district redrawn by a federal court.
Also retiring in 2004: Larry Walker, the House Democratic leader, after 32 years in the chamber; Democrat Tom Buck, the House Appropriations Chairman who had served 38 years, and Republican Lynn Westmoreland, the House minority leader who led the GOP fight against the Democrat-drawn redistricting maps.