Archive for April, 2011

Gary Busey spoke, and Donald Trump became the sure thing

It’s what Buddy Holly would have done. Just remember where you were when you first saw this bit of history:

Tip of the hat to Washington Note, Andrew Sullivan.

But I don’t know what to make of the “I’m cim-panning for him now” part of Busey’s address.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Reluctance on the Democratic side of the deficit talks

Much has appeared in this space about conservative reaction to U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ participation in the Gang of Six effort to reach a bipartisan deal on the federal deficit.

Certain parties in Georgia have accused him of going “wobbly.”

But it’s worth noting that Chambliss’ counterpart has received similar criticism from his end of the political spectrum. ABC News today posted the interview below with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the majority whip and lead Democratic negotiator.

(ABC says the rather distracting clip is part of its “subway” series of interviews conducted on the underground trams that go back and forth between the U.S. Capitol and Senate office buildings. The technique is perhaps intended to mimic real-life Washington – constant back-and-forth, but no actual progress.)

For one thing, Durbin warns his fellow Democrats away from a resolution backed by Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., which vows opposition to any cuts to Social Security.

“I …

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Your morning jolt: No hot-cross buns for them — atheists target Cobb prayer breakfast

Somewhere in the early ‘90s, Cobb became known as the litmus-test county. We do not know why. But here’s another example, courtesy of the Marietta Daily Journal:

The list of speakers is being finalized and the time is drawing near for the 27th annual Cobb County Prayer Breakfast.

But a small group of protesters from the Smyrna-based Atlanta Freethought Society and American Atheists say they will protest the event on the sidewalk outside of the Cobb Galleria Centre, where the event will be held, as they take issue with the fact that the phone number listed to call for more information is a Cobb County line.

Virgil Moon, Cobb County Support Services Agency director and president of the Cobb County Prayer Breakfast Committee, Inc., which puts on the breakfast every year, confirmed that the voicemail-only landline … is run out of his office, and that his administrative staff is in charge of answering messages requesting information.

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In the hubbub of the end of the …

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First protests against immigration bill have a Holy Week theme

The first major protests against illegal immigration legislation passed last week by the General Assembly will be a series of Holy Week “pilgrimages” across metro Atlanta, involving several Catholic churches.

A Monday march was to end this afternoon near the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department in Cumming. Special attention is being given to the “287(g)” counties of Hall, Gwinnett and Cobb, where law enforcement officials have been trained to run those arrested through federal databases to assess citizenship.

Tuesday’s march will begin in Lilburn and end in Duluth. Wednesday’s will begin on Buford Highway and end at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Briarcliff Road.

A Wednesday march in Cartersville will start at Douglas Street United Methodist Church and end at Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. A Thursday march in Cobb will include a foot-washing service on the Marietta Square.

On Good Friday, marchers will begin at the state Capitol, and walk …

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Georgia bank that loaned $2.2 million to Tom Graves, Chip Rogers goes under

One of two Georgia banks that failed last week loaned $2.2 million to a company owned by U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, and state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock.

The bank was still trying to collect the money, intended to renovate a Calhoun hotel off I-75, when federal regulators shut it down on Friday.

Writes my AJC colleague Scott Trubey:

The banks are the first to fail in Georgia since Feb. 18. The eight-week period was the longest stretch in Georgia without a failure since a nearly two-month lull last summer.

Bartow County Bank reported $330.2 million in assets and $304.1 million in deposits as of December, the FDIC said. Hamilton State bought most of the bank’s assets and all its deposits in a loss-share deal with the regulator.

The FDIC said its failure will cost its Deposit Insurance Fund, the backstop that protects customer deposits, an estimated $69.5 million.

Here’s the background from a February article by my AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon:

The …

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Ralph Reed kills talk of working for The Donald, or anyone else

The Huffington Post has decided to burst everyone’s bubble.

Within hours of a Daily Beast report that real estate magnate/reality TV host/birther convert Donald Trump had interviewed Ralph Reed for the job of campaign manager, Reed sent this e-mail:

“Because of my involvement with Faith and Freedom Coalition, I do not plan to work on a presidential campaign in 2012.”

Sigh.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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Your morning jolt: Donald Trump interviews Ralph Reed to be his campaign manager?

Just when you thought Donald Trump couldn’t surprise you anymore, the Daily Beast reports this:

[I]n a move bound to trigger a new guessing game about the credibility of Trump’s presidential ambitions, he has quietly interviewed a number of bold-faced names for the job of campaign manager, according to a source close to Trump.

Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition, speaks during a 2010 tea party event at the state Capitol in Atlanta. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition, speaks during a 2010 tea party event at the state Capitol in Atlanta. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Among the candidates: Ralph Reed, the scandal-tainted former Christian Coalition leader with links to fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Reed, the former chairman of the state GOP, still operates his Century Strategies political consulting firm out of Duluth. Reed is now head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition – an attempt to wed tea party activists with religious conservatives.

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On the other hand, the one entity that doesn’t think Trump is serious is the network that broadcasts the …

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Newt Gingrich: Kids should be required to study the ‘Creator’ in the Declaration of Independence

Though not unexpected, former U.S. House speaker and presumptive presidential candidate Newt Gingrich picked up a formal, advance endorsement from U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, on Saturday.

Said Price at the 6th District GOP convention:

”I know of nobody, nobody, brighter more brilliant, who has a greater respect for fundamental American principles than this gentleman. And I want to tell you, if and when he stands up and throws his hat into the ring, I’m going to be standing there right with him.”

The endorsement puts Price and Gov. Nathan Deal on the same side of a candidate – after a nasty split during the race for governor. Price, you’ll remember, was a Karen Handel fan.

The 6th District represented by Price is Gingrich’s old congressional seat. Gingrich also spoke to a 9th District gathering in Lawrenceville.

Here’s the account of Gingrich’s doings from Ray Henry and the Associated Press:

Roswell, Ga. — Republican Newt Gingrich tried winning over social …

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With Sunday sales and immigration, Georgia’s center of gravity shifts to suburbia

You may not have felt it, but the ground shifted in Georgia last week.

On a tectonic plate set in motion by 236 members of your Legislature, the state’s center of gravity slipped several miles north, out of Georgia’s rolling farmland and into the fringes of metro Atlanta.

State Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, accepts congratulations after final passage of his controversial immigration bill, HB 87. AP/David Goldman

State Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, accepts congratulations after final passage of his controversial immigration bill, HB 87. AP/David Goldman

It took a pair of disparate bills to point out the new fault line that now divides suburban and rural Republicans.

During the three-month session of the General Assembly, nothing spoke of suburban Atlanta’s growing clout like passage of the bill to permit the Sunday sale of packaged alcohol.

After a five-year fight, Republicans shook off opposition from a weakened conservative Christian lobby and embraced the concept of a well-lit beer aisle in the grocery store that can be visited after church.

Final passage in the 180-member House on Tuesday produced 40 …

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You needed a poll? Bobby Cox is a very popular fellow

Public Policy Polling of North Carolina, which normally sticks to politics, has ventured into Georgia’s sporting world.

And Bobby Cox, now that he’s done with the Atlanta Braves, may want to think about seeking a spot on next year’s ballot.

The numbers are drawn from the same early April survey that examined favorability ratings for Barack Obama and potential Republican presidential candidates.

From PPP’s Tom Jensen:

When Braves fans look back on the work Bobby Cox did during his time with the franchise, 86% express approval to only 5% who disapprove. Those are the best poll numbers we’ve ever found for a sports figure.

To put into perspective how good they are, last summer we did approval polls on 18 baseball managers, and the one who did best with his fan base was Mike Scioscia of the Angels at 65% approval. Bobby exceeds that number by more than 20%.

And Cox’s replacement?

Braves fans are mixed between optimism and reserving judgment when it comes to the hire of …

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