Your morning jolt: Barbara Bush endorses gay marriage

A Legislature that once cowered in the face of angry church-goers out to protect their Sabbath is now entirely comfortable with a bill to permit the Sunday sale of six-packs and more.

The same state lawmakers who joined Zell Miller in his effort to deposit miscreants in state prisons for decades are giving second thoughts to the state’s two-strike policy.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s drug court idea, as a way to deal with addiction, is taking hold. Says the liberal state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, in today’s Savannah Morning News:

“It’s a sort of convergence of liberal and conservative ideas,” he said. “This idea is fiscally sound as well as socially responsible.

“We need to distinguish between the people we are afraid of and those we’re just mad at. We can’t afford to lock up everyone.”

Republicans often talk of the scare that November gave to President Barack Obama. Only rarely do they acknowledge that the same vote signaled the rise of a more libertarian brand of conservatism within the GOP.

This morning’s national example: Barbara Bush’s endorsement of gay marriage:

The working presumption here is that, as a second-generation – fourth, if you count Prescott Bush – Republican political voice, the daughter of George W. Bush ranks a step or two higher than Meghan McCain.

***
At 7 p.m. today, Republican presidential presumptive Tim Pawlenty, the governor of Minnesota, will be signing his new book, “Courage to Stand,” at the Family bookstore, 6010 North Pointe Parkway, in Alpharetta. So far as is known, that’s his only public appearance during this particular foray into the state.

***
Not so fast, says Grover Norquist. The president of Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform on Monday took issue with an AJC article that said his visit to the state Capitol last week “gave cover” to the tax reform proposal now before the Legislature.

In a letter to lawmakers, Norquist called the piece “misleading.” More important, he said his verdict that, as a whole, the measure amounts to a tax increase remains in place — violating the no tax pledge that many state lawmakers have signed. In part:

On January 10, we informed you that a vote in support of the tax reform council recommendation is a vote for over $1 billion in higher taxes, and thus a violation of the Pledge.

That remains true today. The good parts of the reform package – reductions in marginal tax rates – are more than offset by base-broadening tax hikes. This is the Ted Kennedy school of “tax reform”: providing rhetorical cover for the growth of government. In a meeting with A.D. Frazier and others invested in tax reform for Georgia, I urged the council to adhere to the Ronald Reagan school: reducing marginal rates in a way that is at least revenue neutral, if not an pro-growth net tax cut. Tax reform does not require raising taxes.

Chairman Frazier assured me that he is committed to altering the proposal to achieve revenue neutrality. Should that happen, the council’s recommendation will be Pledge compliant. A statement of intention does not go far enough, though. It is incumbent on the council to either remove tax increases or further reduce marginal rates until the proposal is revenue neutral. When a final bill is filed with the legislature, we will examine it and inform lawmakers of its Pledge implications.

***
A few weeks ago, Carol Hunstein, chief justice of the state Supreme Court, told lawmakers that her branch of the government had taken to begging for pencils and pens from vendors to help cope with budget shortfalls.

Other senior state employees have taken up janitorial duties. From Walter Jones of Morris News Service:

Every Tuesday after work, 50 or so employees at the state Department of Agriculture volunteer to hang around the office to paint, scrub and scour the aging office building that houses their agency.

New state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black changes into work clothes and pitches in when his schedule allows. He also scrounged up donations for the paint, carpet and building materials since the agency’s budget won’t stretch that far.

Black’s goal is to dress up the building so it attracts school groups visiting the Capitol across the street.

***
Monday was a particularly uneventful day for the Legislature. Maybe we’re still feeling the effects of an icy beginning, or the long wind-up of a new administration, but Senate Rules Committee Chairman Don Balfour, R-Snellville, said he’s never seen legislative traffic so slow.

More evidence on the topic, again from Morris News Service:

The House Non-Civil Judiciary Committee’s only bill at its weekly meeting was House Bill 44 dealing with the wire buggies shoppers use in stores. While the legislation didn’t address the nuisance of wobbly wheels or annoying squeaks, it did take on the question of signage.

Current law makes it a misdemeanor offense to steal a grocery cart or to abandon it outside the store’s property. The law also requires the stores to display signs listing the law’s code section and warning shoppers of the price for hijacking buggies.

The bill’s author, Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, told the committee that the Georgia Food Industry Association had asked him to seek repeal of the sign requirement after a zealous code-enforcement officer cited a Food Lion store in Adel for failure to post the warning sign.

***
We’ve heard quite a bit from those in hot pursuit of federal cash for the dredging of the Port of Savannah. Not so much from those who are agin it.

The editorial section of today’s ajc.com has a pro-con on the topic. Here’s a taste of the con side, from Charles Watson Jr., president of Watson Technical Consulting in Savannah:

[A] deeper river can cause saltwater to intrude further upstream, killing freshwater wetlands used by migrating birds, harming fish habitats and requiring expensive filtration equipment on water intakes for businesses and communities.

The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers took over the studies in 2004 and, to save time, a computer model developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was modified for the job. I was contracted to evaluate that model. While it was a big improvement, it wasn’t quite ready.

The model has several shortcuts, large uncertainty in its predictions and wasn’t tested adequately. For example, it cannot handle the twice daily tide cycles in our marshlands, and estimates of the salinity levels at Savannah’s freshwater intakes could be much different than forecast.

As a result, the expense of filtering that water, a cost taxpayers will be stuck with, may prove to be greater than estimated. Or not as high. We just don’t know. Given the time, money and effort spent, this uncertainty is tragic, and could have been avoided. When the Corps begins dredging, it will be doing an experiment on Savannah’s greatest natural resource, an experiment with an uncertain outcome. I hope there are no surprises.

I would accept significant environmental risk if the economics were sound. But the macroeconomics of this project are terrible. A serious concern is that the deepening risks further damaging our already struggling manufacturing sector.

Everyone was rightly excited that Mitsubishi built a new plant in Pooler, near Savannah. A reason companies manufacture locally is that it’s less expensive than importing from places where labor is cheap and other costs (such as environmental compliance) are low.

By making imports cheaper, which is the main effect of the deepening, a future Mitsubishi may decide it is more profitable to stay put and import, rather than build systems here.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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40 comments Add your comment

LawDawg

February 1st, 2011
9:19 am

I thought you meant the real Barbara Bush, not this girl. Most people in their 20s and 30s support gay marriage. This would have been news if it were the old, crotchety one.

Maybe you should consider changing the headline.

Richie

February 1st, 2011
9:26 am

LawDawg, I’m pretty sure the young lady in the video is real. She just happens to have the same name as her grandmother.

LawDawg

February 1st, 2011
9:32 am

@Richie: What? Who the hell said she isn’t “real”? My point is this isn’t news and who gives a s*** about THIS barbara bush.

LawDawg

February 1st, 2011
9:34 am

Who hears “Barbara Bush did X” and assumes automatically that the speaker is referring to one of the drunk twins rather than the wife of one President and the mother of another? The matriarch of a powerful family or some child?

John

February 1st, 2011
9:34 am

Looks like Bobby Franklin may have had a point in that 1-164 challenge of the ruling of the chair yesterday… http://swgapolitics.com/index/2011/02/01/like-it-or-not-bobby-franklin-was-right/

Marie

February 1st, 2011
9:35 am

Who gives a hoot what Barbara Bush thinks or what she endorses? These two “privileged” Busk girls are seeking to make a name for themselves by embracing positions that they know he opposes in the name of having their own identity. The same as Meghan McCain, Ron and Patti Reagan, and every other privileged, young libby brat raised by conservative parents.

LawDawg

February 1st, 2011
9:40 am

@Marie: Another stupid comment. Because they disagree with their parents they must be triangulating a position, right? It’s not possible that people in their 20s and 30s today (particularly the children of privilege) know and are friends with gay people (who do not, in fact, bleed poison from their pores) and therefore disagree with the elder generation on this issue. Among young conservatives, gay marriage support is approximately 10X higher than among older conservatives.

NW Ga Dawg

February 1st, 2011
9:46 am

I say let them marry each other. That way they can be as miserable as the rest of us. Plus they have all them in-laws for advice.

rainbowmittens

February 1st, 2011
9:47 am

Way to go Babs – obviously got her Mother’s brains!

toodles

February 1st, 2011
9:50 am

Young conservative here: I support gay marriage. I like the constitution, think its a great document. Not really sure where it says in there that the government should prefer one group over another. I will give a little more credence to the social right if they would support a bill that outlaws divorce. I mean, the justification is that a marriage between a man and a woman is more solid, so why do they support the state sanctioned destruction of that bond.

Conservatives should not cherry pick.

T-Bone

February 1st, 2011
10:05 am

Toodles: Well put. I typically vote (D), but I’d happily vote for an (R) with your position.

DannyX

February 1st, 2011
10:07 am

“Because they disagree with their parents they must be triangulating a position, right?”

In this case Barbara takes the same position as one of her conservative parents, former first lady Laura Bush also supports gay marriage.

Of course the conservative Cheney family also supports gay marriage.

jconservative

February 1st, 2011
10:07 am

“…and every other privileged, young libby brat raised by conservative parents.”

Since the discussion is about the Bush family and one of its “brats”, here goes.

I have never heard anyone describe George H W Bush as conservative. I have heard him referred to as a “moderate Republican”.

I have never heard anyone describe George W Bush as conservative. I have heard him, like his dad, referred to as a “moderate Republican”.
And, of course, he called himself a “compassionate conservative” which future events clearly showed meant liberal Republican.

Barbara Bush, the wife of #41, always has described her politics as moderate. Same for Laura Bush the wife of #43.

My point is that President Bush 43 was not raised by a conservatives and the twins of President Bush 43 were also not raised by conservatives. If the twins are “young libby brats” it may be due to being raised by “libby” parents.

Does anyone really want to make the claim that Meghan McCain’s parents are conservative?

The Reagan kids are children of a man who was a liberal Democrat until he was in his early 50’s. He then became truly conservative for about 20 years. Then he went into the White House and became just another in a long unbroken line of liberal-type presidents that started with FDR.
Did Ron & Patti Reagan betray their conservative rearing? Maybe.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Galloway and stuckeystop, H. Lee Whack Jr.. H. Lee Whack Jr. said: RT @politicalinsidr: Your morning jolt: Barbara Bush endorses gay marriage http://bit.ly/dEU7tr [...]

LawDawg

February 1st, 2011
10:11 am

@jconservative: You’ve never heard W. referred to as conservative? You’ve never heard of him as a conservative on SOCIAL ISSUES? I agree that his economic policies were not conservative, but his social policies and foreign affairs sure were.

LawDawg

February 1st, 2011
10:11 am

@DannyX: That was my point. I was responding to Marie.

toodles

February 1st, 2011
10:18 am

@T-Bone,
Do not be surprised if you start hearing (R)s with these types of viewpoints in upcoming elections. We are a rising surge in Georgia. I do not hold ill will towards my social conservative friends, I just fear a government that picks one religious belief over another. God forbid and I fear the day that my religious belief is not the one picked. Also, like I said, I do not like cherry picking. I am against the Healthcare Bill because I believe it is unconstitutional. If I am to be true to myself, then I must find constitutionality in all viewpoints that I wish the government to promulgate, including gay marriage.

toodles

February 1st, 2011
10:22 am

@T-Bone,
to continue, a colleague of mine I think said it best. She is not pro-union or anti-union. She is not pro-corporation or anti-corporation. She is anti-spineless politicians that do not have the guts or the willpower to say “No”. She is a staunch fiscal conservative. I hope she runs for office someday.

LawDawg

February 1st, 2011
10:28 am

toodles: I agree with you. I am fairly conservative on fiscal and economic issues, but not at all on social issues. I’ve never understood the conservative anger toward the gays (even if it is religiously based, it would be their sin, not yours), particularly when we have such serious issues that actually affect the bedrock foundation of the country (terrorism, out of control spending by both parties, a crushing debt, our status as a debtor nation, the trade deficit, etc., etc., etc.)

toodles

February 1st, 2011
10:31 am

@LawDawg,
In complete agreement. I have the same political bents. I hate political rhetoric and ideologies. They are simple statements meant to satiate the uneducated voting public to raise campaign funds, but are not solutions. I thought about running for office but I am not sure how many people in Georgia are moderates. It seems that the money and the loud voices come from the progressive left and the religious right.

toodles

February 1st, 2011
10:32 am

I mean “uninformed and disinterested”, not “uneducated”. Please accept my apologies.

Say whaaa?

February 1st, 2011
10:32 am

Why do conservatives want less government intrusion in their lives and more government intrusion for everyone else.

sammiega

February 1st, 2011
10:49 am

I am normally a (D) voter myself, but it is because for most of my adult life the (R) group has been doing their best to make this gay gal a second class citizen. If there were more people running that thought the way some of you on this post have, I would most definitely change my mind. Thank you for letting me see another segment of the (R) population.

rightofcenter

February 1st, 2011
10:51 am

I don’t care about their politics. Those Bush girls are hot.

toodles

February 1st, 2011
10:59 am

@sammiega,
no thanks necessary. please think of us and support us when we run for office. Usually, the silent majority is just that, silent, while the vocal extreme right wing gets the most press. We are often lumped in the same group, RINO, without ever really taking the time to see our viewpoints. The problem is that we do not think in simplistic, ideological terms. We do not talk like we are a commercial. The right wing media does not like people that can appreciate viewpoints on both side. I am a fiscal conservative, but I refuse to believe that half of the American population are my enemy or that they hate America. I am not going to try to shut them up or call them names like the press want me to do. I am going to close my mouth and open my ears and heart and listen. I think that is what is missing in politics today. Politicians do a lot of talking, but they do not do any listening. And I do not mean just sitting there, I mean actually paying attention and trying to understand where someone is coming from.

Well, gotta pay the bills. Take care.

midtownguy

February 1st, 2011
11:11 am

Memo to old homophobes: It’s just a matter of time, there is nothing you can do. I might not get to marry my partner of 30 years, but the young guys who live around me will.

midtownguy

February 1st, 2011
11:25 am

HW and Barbara’s sons were raises Episcopalian and attended Ivy League colleges. They adopted those socially conservative positions because they were popular with the Republican base, not because they actually believed them.

Pull My Finger

February 1st, 2011
11:31 am

NW Ga Dawg, I am laughing my tail off at your post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!……LOL…………..I needed that…great post!

LawDawg

February 1st, 2011
11:39 am

I agree about the silent majority issue. The problem is that the ideologues are the only ones who get ratings on cable news and pageviews on news pages and blogs. Until the unengaged moderates say “enough”, we will have to deal with what we have. As George Carlin once said, you cannot blame the politicians, you have to blame the voters: “Garbage in, garbage out.”

Pull My Finger

February 1st, 2011
11:49 am

midtown guy, and maybe not too long after, you can marry your dog………or better yet, your five-year-old neighbor…………..sheeeeeeeesh.

abouttime

February 1st, 2011
1:01 pm

Pull my finger wrote “midtown guy, and maybe not too long after, you can marry your dog………or better yet, your five-year-old neighbor…………..sheeeeeeeesh”
I don’t understand the mindset of someone who would write a comment like this. Are you equating gay people with child molesters and people who have sex with animals? If so, how sad.

Richie

February 1st, 2011
1:03 pm

Ah, the old “if gays can marry each other, why can’t I marry a cat or a tree” argument. Because, you know, cats, dogs, trees, and 5-year-olds can enter legally binding agreements and all.

DannyX

February 1st, 2011
1:54 pm

Well just look what happened when gays were allowed to get a drivers license.

Animal drivers are a huge problem. Dogs can’t see color, they now account for 20% of all accidents because they can’t tell the difference between a red light and a green light. Siamese cats are the worst drivers in the world.

Let gays get a marriage license? No way. Look what happened when we let them drive.

Joe Mustich

February 1st, 2011
2:02 pm

Cool. Go Yalie. It’s time for full marriage equality rights now. Period.
Onward, Joe Mustich, Officiant, Red Studio Farm, Washington Green, CT USA

Joe Mustich

February 1st, 2011
2:03 pm

PS: Marriage is a civil matter in America, as marriage licenses are issued by and recorded in town halls, not mosques or temples or church halls.
Onward. It’s the 21st century, Cheers, from CT where we passed a marriage equality law n 2008!

Malcom Y

February 1st, 2011
5:22 pm

Once you destory a nations culture, language, and borders it’s easy to replace it with communism!
Barbara’s dad didn’t try to stop Same-Sex Marriage with an amendment. George was friends with Dick who daughter Liz was welcomed into the Bush clan along with Gay-Marriage! When people have the chance to vote, they vote against it. Except in Liberal Enclaves. Even places that are against it like the state of Iowa, have Judges who legslate not interprate the laws…
Why can’t marriage stay between a man and a women?… Why do we have people who arn’t happy with civil unions? Nothing is ever good enough for the Gay Gistapo! There are people whith Autism who can’t get married, and down syndrome, cerebral plasy etc. There is no pitty for those souls…

But if you’re gay.. ouch! ( I’m a secondclass citizen)! Alot of these people complaining don’t know what a real second-class citizen is! I’ve witnessed people with cerebral palsy being turned away from restraunts in NYC because they slober over themselves. I’ve seen people with Autism who are parcially deaf, having Cops called on them because “they were loud and disruptive” while illegal aliens murder people, and drunk drivers get a slap on the wrist!… Not all gays want to redifine things but a small and powerful number, want to dictate what “is” is… When there has never been “same sex marriage in world history”. Even in Greece or Rome, where bisexuality was widely excepted.

I hope Barbara Bush has some gay children! She should reap what she sows. Just like the Bush Clan, and the rest of the Globalists…

But being the stupid people the Bush clan are, they will never really know what a second-class citzen is! They treat the citizens of the US as serfs! Illegal aliens before Americans thats Bushs and Obama’s motto!

Bill Orvis White

February 1st, 2011
6:32 pm

This girl is like the Honorable President Reagan’s homosexual son, Ronnie Junior – it’s a fact that “he” is a disgrace. I wouldn’t be surprised is she was gay herself. I suppose the Honorable President GW Bush was too busy to set her straight on some things in life and that’s how he fell off the tracks when it came to his daughter. I pray that he and his lovely wife Laura can find the time to fix young and stupid Barbara.
Amen,
Bill

Overtaxed

February 1st, 2011
9:11 pm

“In a letter to lawmakers, Norquist called the piece “misleading.”

I’m probably not the only person who read the article and thought it odd that Norquist would have done such a fast about-face. Now the truth comes out. This was probably A.D. Frazier or someone else on the council feeding misleading info to the paper hoping Norquist wouldn’t call them on it.

stan James

February 2nd, 2011
12:32 am

HW and Barbara’s sons were raises Episcopalian and attended Ivy League colleges. Quote.

thats so interesting. the episcopal church has two gay bishops, and is formalizing their own gay marriage ceremony. Despite all the screaming and yelling, they have only lost about 5-7% of their members – mostly older ones like our local episcopal church where I know the pastor.

The thing that seems to get missed is that you can measure the progressivity of a church by the position of women in it.

Catholic – not a chance- second class citizenship, no women priests, and a female pope is inconceivable. their position on gay marriage is close to that of dracula’s. The episcopla church is headed by a woman, Ms Schori.

Most All the BS about gays is actually about machoism – the domination of the male over the female, and that gets mixed with the absolute BS stereotype of gays as sissies. If you don’t believe that, you should see a couple of the gays I know – retired military high level Sargents – who could break the average person in to pieces with one hand tide behind their back.

As a guy, I’m beginning to believe we would be a lot better off, if women ran the country,a nd the men stayed home and did the housework.

I can just hear the screaming now – from those guys who are probably grabbing their packages, and thinking I’m calling for their castration.

What a screwed up society we live in. Rare is the woman, if any who ever started any war. -

nomus313

February 2nd, 2011
12:51 pm

It’s funny to watch you guys throw these kids under the bus. Yes, it’s all about family values and raising your kids right, until they disagree with you. And nice feigned outrage at the thought of a Republican family bringing up their kids in an environment of ‘privilege’, an economic status whose perpetuation through the elimination of the income tax so many of you heartily endorse.