Your morning jolt: For $26 a pop, federal court in Atlanta will sell recordings of health care arguments

Lemonade, popcorn and T-shirts will be offered separately in the lobby. From the Associated Press:

The federal appeals court in Atlanta issued an order allowing the high-profile arguments over the federal health care overhaul to be recorded so they can be sold to the public.

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Tuesday that suspends a ban on audio devices in the courtroom for the June 8 oral arguments.

A court memo says officials plan to sell CDs of the recordings for $26. Electronic devices for the general public are still banned.

Many sports fans have noted the failure of metro Atlanta politicians to jump into the effort to keep the Thrashers and professional hockey in Atlanta. But in an interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), sports economist J.C. Bradbury of Kennesaw State University said disappointed hockey fans can blame the Gwinnett Braves:

”It’s fair to say that the politicians were being smart. In an age where we’re cutting the HOPE scholarship, jumping behind, supporting a hockey team, isn’t the thing you want to do when you’re an elected official…..

“You saw what happened up in Gwinnett County, with all the subsidy money going to the Gwinnett Braves. Soon after the economy tanked, all of the sudden – even though the stadium wasn’t the cause of all the problems in Gwinnett – people associated with it took a lot of the blame. I think that’s why politicians were steering very clear from this.”

Later this week, Ralph Reed and his Faith and Family Coalition will host a gathering of most of the GOP presidential field. Which has prompted the New York Times to study the revival of Reed’s career.

The piece closes with a hint that the former chairman of the state GOP might try for public office again:

Mr. Reed has aspirations. Together, fiscal and social conservatives make up 35 percent to 45 percent of the electorate, he said, and in five years he hopes to have three or four million of them enrolled as dues-paying members of his coalition, able to place 10 trained volunteers in every precinct.

Beyond that, he said, “I certainly haven’t ruled out ever again running for office.”

A pause, then another laugh, “Although it seems that I have a better gift for helping elect others rather than myself.”

Also not by coincidence, the Washington Post today has a piece on a book by Lisa Baron, who served as Reed’s press secretary during his 2006 run for lieutenant governor in Georgia. She dubs herself a “press tart” – with all the term implies.

However, she’s kind to her former boss:

The two worked side by side for years, but parted soon after his failed campaign and revelations that [Jack] Abramoff paid Reed more $4 million in casino money: “He had skated too close to the moral line he pretended to walk, and he had tripped.”

Looks like no more politics for Baron, who’s married to a doctor in Atlanta and works as a writer. Fleischer and Whitman didn’t return calls for comment, but Reed remains a fan.

“Lisa was a valued employee and an outstanding member of our team, especially in her skillful handling of the press,” he told us Tuesday in an e-mail. “As a struggling author myself, I wish her luck. I have not read the book, but I hope Lisa enjoys great success.”

If you’re Secretary of State Brian Kemp, and you have the power to set the date for the 2012 presidential primary in Georgia, you’re paying very close attention to this piece in The Hill:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says he is considering running for president after frustrated conservative activists have pleaded with him to run.

DeMint told The Hill that he has discussed a White House bid with his wife and will pray on the question out of respect for his supporters across the country….

The second-term senator would have the inside track to win South Carolina, a key early state in the nomination process. Since 1980, every Republican who has triumphed in the Palmetto State has gone on to capture the GOP presidential nomination.

A DeMint candidacy might force other presidential candidates to concede South Carolina to the senator and skip the state entirely. Which would create an opening for another Deep South state to step prominently into the mix.

Georgia Republicans continue to feel a mite Macbeth-ish when it comes to their support for Paul Ryan’s plan to shift Medicare to a voucher program. They’ve waded in too deep to think about going back. From The Hill:

Even as newly emboldened Democrats hopeful of retaking the House intensify their criticism, there seems to be little appetite or inclination among Republicans for modifying their approach — even if that approach ends up carrying electoral costs.

“To back away from this or to get skittish for fear of losing a few seats or even the majority would be pretty darn irresponsible,” Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) [said].

The state Democratic party has decided on a theme for its June 25 Jefferson-Jackson fund-raising dinner at the Georgia World Congress Center. The affair will honor U.S. Rep. John Lewis and the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders.

The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at a claim by Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash that her county’s water use has dropped by 18 percent since 2006.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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12 comments Add your comment

Southside Shawty

June 1st, 2011
9:24 am

John K

June 1st, 2011
9:36 am

Ralph Reed. LOL

Ga Values

June 1st, 2011
9:54 am

Reed should have run for Governor, his ethics are about the same as Deal’s.


June 1st, 2011
10:09 am

Re $26 CDs of oral arguments: Hawaii should have cut a deal with Obama to sell copies of his “long-form” birth certificate. The crazy will buy anything.

“Alfred E.” Reed says, “What? Me worry about ethics? The Sheep will forgive anything as long as I invoke the name of God.”

I can’t imagine the egoists running for President conceding South Carolina to another egoist who won’t be able to win anywhere else.

Gingrey and Price carrying the water for the party instead of for the people of the state. No surprise.


June 1st, 2011
10:39 am

Since nobody seems to care about the issues brought up in these blog topics – did anyone here read Cynthia Tucker’s reversal on gerrymandering now that the R’s are in charge?

Pretty funny that such a partisan like her openly admits past abuses should only be stopped when her party is out of favor. She goes on in her editorial to smear Republican consistencies. She uses the race card (nothing new for her) by ignoring that gerrymandering is done first by past Democrat/Republican election results – minority districts are merely part of a shortsighted federal law.

Gerrymandering by EITHER party should be restricted to at least County lines.


June 1st, 2011
10:54 am

“Since nobody seems to care about the issues brought up in these blog topics”

You really need to stop reading Jim’s blog, you get upset then start with your whining. Jim Galloway is probably the most respected political writer in the state, as evidenced by the many blogs that link to his columns.


June 1st, 2011
10:55 am

I promise you, the “rank and file” citizen of north Georgia is not going to sweat losing the Thrashers. This might be #500 on my list of worries.


June 1st, 2011
12:10 pm

I hope that standing up to pro-sports megabucks extortionate demands becomes the new norm, especially in re Artie Blank’s demand for a taxpayer funded new mega-stadium. That will be the true test because of all the quiet but significant expressions of support for the expensive toy all the way up to Guv Deal (Mr. 10% is his nickname and price).


June 1st, 2011
12:11 pm

Republicans need to come up with a new health care plan for Medicare. Ryan’s plan simply transfers medicare to the insurance industry that has failed, in 50 years of virtually controlling the health care market, to deliver accessible or cost effective care. That system is a failure and Ryan’s plan does nothing but turn medicare over to it.

It is ironic that so many ideas now promoted by Democrats were originally Republican ideas. Mandates, review panels, etc. What Romney did in Massachusetts was bold, original. I was surprised to read that Huntsman of Utah liked proposals from his own state advisory panel that included mandates, a health insurance exchange and a cost-control task force. But his state legislators squawked and he caved.

Republicans would be farther down the path of finding solutions if they followed the advice of those who study the problem for solutions.

Ryan is no expert and his answer is no solution.

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

June 1st, 2011
12:35 pm

Faith and Family and Ralph Reed in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

Ralph Reed will have a political career only if the voters develop mass amnesia.


June 1st, 2011
2:12 pm

When there is no money for education, sports facilities need to take a back seat. Maybe Los Angeles got it right with the NFL. No blackouts and no billion dollar stadium to support. When are the bonds for the Dome going to be paid off?