Archive for June, 2011

Number of black children in Atlanta drops 27% in 10 years

Some interesting data from the Associated Press:

Last year’s census found that the number of black, non-Hispanic children living in New York City had fallen by 22.4 percent in 10 years. In raw numbers, that meant 127,058 fewer black kids living in the city of Jay Z and Spike Lee, even as the number of black adults grew slightly.

The same pattern has repeated from coast to coast. Los Angeles saw a 31.8 percent decline in its population of black children, far surpassing the 6.9 percent drop in black adults. The number of black children in Atlanta fell by 27 percent. It was down 31 percent in Chicago and 37.6 percent in Detroit. Oakland, Calif. saw a drop of 42.3 percent, an exodus that fell only 6 percentage points below the decline in flood-ravaged New Orleans.

Overall, the census found nearly a half-million fewer black children living in the 25 largest U.S. cities than there were a decade earlier. By comparison, the number of black adults living in big cities has hardly …

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Herman Cain: Barack Obama’s not a ‘strong black man’ like MLK

In this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, Georgia businessman and GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain said he wasn’t questioning President Barack Obama’s racial authenticity when he declare that liberals are afraid “a real black man might run against Barack Obama.” From the Q&A:

Cain: A real black man is not timid about making the right decisions, that’s what I meant. Look, I’m not getting into this whole thing about President Obama. It is documented that his mother was white and his father was from Africa. If he wants to call himself black, fine. If he wants to call himself African-American, fine. I’m not going down this color road.

NYT: But you’re saying he’s not really a black man.

Cain: Not in terms of a strong black man that I’m identifying with. I identify with a strong black man like Martin Luther King Jr., or my dad, Luther Cain Jr., who didn’t have a lot of formal education, but he had a Ph.D. in common sense.

If you want Cain to expound on the topic, he’s …

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Warning: Harvard says Fourth of July parades could turn your kids Republican

Beware: If you go to a Fourth of July celebration on Monday, your kids are statistically more likely to end up Republican.

Harvard University says so. From the press release:

Attending one Fourth of July before age 18 increases the likelihood of identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent and voting for the Republican candidate by 4 percent. It also increases voter turnout by 0.9 percent and boosts political campaign contributions by 3 percent.

Read the real, honest-to-God study here. This was the key to their methodology:

In their paper, the researchers use a simple but novel strategy to address these problems: they use historical data on rainfall on Fourth of July. When it rains children and their parents are less likely to participate and the events are often cancelled.

Moreover, since rain is a random event, some children growing up experience nice weather and are more likely to celebrate, while others are hit by bad weather making it less likely that they join the …

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Bound by a daughter’s death in the Peace Corps

My family includes a 25-year-old daughter who recently informed her parents that she was filling out an application to join the U.S. Peace Corps.

So it has been with more than detached interest that I have watched a rare, intense relationship form between Harry and Lois Puzey of Cumming and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Peace Corps worker Kate Puzey back home in Cumming, Georgia with her brother David, father Harry, and mother Lois. MCT

Peace Corps worker Kate Puzey during a trip home to Cumming, Ga. — with her brother David, father Harry, and mother Lois. MCT

On March 12, 2009, the couple’s 24-year-old daughter Kate, a Peace Corps volunteer, was murdered as she slept — her throat slit — in a small, interior village in the west African country of Benin.

Only hours before, Kate Puzey had emailed her supervisor, accusing a local, male Peace Corps staffer of molesting village girls. The young volunteer asked that her supervisor keep the communiqué confidential. It was not — the man’s brother worked in the country’s Peace Corps headquarters.

Last week, several members of Congress, led by Isakson, …

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Your morning jolt: Georgia’s illegal immigration bill goes too far, says Sonny Perdue

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue continues to surprise many Republicans with his comments about Georgia’s new illegal immigration law.

“The problem is the message it sends about Georgia as a friendly place,” Perdue told Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News in a report broadcast Wednesday:

The former governor signed a 2006 bill that prohibited the use of illegal immigrants on public construction projects – but the legislation didn’t include penalties for local governments.

“I thought that was enough. We sent some signals, we put some parameters around that,” Perdue said. “We tried to do it in a way that did not dissuade people who wanted to come here for the American dream for all the right reasons.”

Perdue said this about the burden that undocumented residents place on public schools and hospitals:

“I think that, to some degree, is overstated. I believe that when we did our Declaration and Pledge [of] Allegiance, I really believe we meant liberty and justice for all. And I don’t think …

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Atlanta police sergeant: ‘Gays more violent than heterosexuals’

My AJC colleagues Rhonda Cook and Angel Brooks have the full story here, but when it comes to how Atlanta cops justified frisking an entire bar full of gay patrons, look at these paragraphs from an executive summary of the Greenberg Traurig report, drawn up by Attorney Daniel Grossman, attorney for the Atlanta Eagle:

The report concluded that patrons of the Eagle were forced to lay face-down on the floor during the Raid in part because of anti-gay prejudice on the part of Raid commander Sgt. John Brock. The report concluded: “By allowing the sexual orientation of the patrons to influence tactical decisions of the Raid, Brock allowed his preconceived notions of a class of persons to dictate the treatment of individuals.” (GT report, pp. 143-144.)

In describing his belief that gay people are more violent than heterosexuals, Brock stated: “In the past I have as a patrol officer handled calls where there are gay couples living in residence where one is mad at the other, and they …

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Your morning jolt: State lawmaker owes Georgia Southern $52k in broadcast revenue

You can now count Cecil Staton, the Senate majority whip, among the many state lawmakers in serious financial trouble.

Georgia Southern University says the Macon Republican and his company, Georgia Eagle Media, owes more than $52,000 in shared advertising revenue generated through radio broadcasts of the school’s football games.

According to 13WMAZ in Macon, Staton signed a five-year deal with the university in 2006:

From the TV station’s website:

The university’s response to 13WMAZ’s open-records request showed Staton’s last reply to Georgia Southern dated May 24.

In it, Staton did not directly acknowledge the late payments, but wrote, “As a local business, we are barely surviving the worst three years broadcast media has experienced in decades due to the bad economy. At just the most difficult time for us you simply send a letter saying that’s it. No call to a friend. No word of warning.”

What the WMAZ report doesn’t mention is that Staton chairs the higher education …

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Before Atlanta stop, Tim Pawlenty warns Republicans on foreign policy

With fewer than 48 hours before a campaign contribution deadline, GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty will make a quick ATM stop in Atlanta this evening, with a fundraiser at the Cherokee Town and Country Club on West Paces Ferry.

But first, the Minnesota governor had a speech to give before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Pawlenty didn’t mention Mitt Romney by name, but one passage seemed directed at the GOP frontrunner. From The Hill:

[Pawlenty] said that members of his party cannot afford to forgo their traditionally bold, muscular foreign policy.

While it’s OK to question the Obama administration’s military tactics in Libya or the pace of the Afghan withdrawal, he said, “what is wrong, is for the Republican Party to shrink from the challenges of American leadership in the world.

“History repeatedly warns us that in the long run, weakness in foreign policy costs us and our children much more than we’ll save in a budget line item.”

- By Jim Galloway, …

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On reviving the ‘World’s Largest Cocktail Party’ with a Georgia-Florida primary

Secretary of State Brian Kemp called this morning, during the commute to the state Capitol. So you’ll pardon the lack of direct quotes.

Our topic was South Carolina’s unfunded presidential primary – and the chance that the February winner-take-all event could devolve into a less-influential caucus. Here’s the latest from The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C.:

State law allows the S.C. Election Commission to run the 2012 S.C. Republican presidential primary even if Gov. Nikki Haley vetoes sections of the state budget intended to ensure the agency oversees that vote, according to an opinion issued Monday by S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Haley has threatened to veto sections of the budget that allow the Election Commission to use $680,000 in its savings to help pay the primary’s estimated $1.5 million cost. Republican Haley repeatedly has said taxpayers should not pay for the primary.

S.C. GOP chairman Chad Connelly said last week that, without the state’s electronic voting …

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You can fry chickens, but you can’t keep ‘em, zoning officials tell Paula Deen

Down on the Georgia coast, the long arm of Chatham County officials are reaching into the backyards of celebrity cook Paula Deen and others – for keeping chickens in a non-agricultural zone.

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From the Savannah Morning News:

Deen’s publicist Nancy Assuncao said Deen believes she is in compliance with the zoning ordinance. If the county finds otherwise, Assuncao said, it would upset Deen to have to get rid of her beloved birds, which were rescued after serving as monitors for West Nile virus for the Chatham County Mosquito Control Board.

“I don’t know what to say; it’ll be devastating to her,” Assuncao said. “When she’s home the thing she loves so much is to see her chickens at the start of the day. She holds them like they’re little babies.”

Sounds like a job for former Gov. Roy Barnes, who recently beat a similar ordinance in Roswell.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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