Think of it as a quick sign that Washington is quickly moving back to normal.
The successful lobbying team of Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Tuesday will make a hardcore, on-site sales pitch for federal assistance to dredge the Port of Savannah, when both will squire U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood through a tour of the coastal facility.
Think of it as an attempt to build on last month’s success. In July, following on a meeting with Deal and Reed, LaHood green-lighted a low-interest $270 million infrastructure loan for managed lanes up the I-75/I-575 corridor in metro Atlanta.
This session will be all about dredging. LaHood will be the first member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet to eyeball the situation. “This is a chance for [LaHood] to see first hand the fastest growing and fourth largest port in America,” said Robert Morris, spokesman for the Port Authority of Savannah. “As a member of the president’s cabinet, it’s a great opportunity to tell the story of the harbor deepening and let more members of the president’s team understand how critical the deepening is.”
You’ll notice that this post has been significantly revised. Reed, invited to participate in the 90-minute tour, had originally indicated that he wouldn’t be able to attend, said Morris.
That’s just changed in the last few minutes. A text message from a spokeswoman for Reed indicates the mayor will be there.
No doubt you’re near the saturation point when it comes to the debt-ceiling debate. But if you want to see in writing what was agreed to early this morning in Washington, click here.
And while you’re reading, note that the deal contains many elements laid out by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson in a floor speech made Saturday evening. A synopsis from the Southern Political Report:
To appease Democrats, Isakson’s proposal would raise the debt ceiling until past the 2012 elections. President Barack Obama and most congressional Democrats appear unwilling to have the debt-ceiling debate arise again before November of next year.
In exchange for that concession by Republicans, the proposal likely would also call for an up-or-down vote on a balanced budget amendment, probably by January 2012.
The third area of contention involves the means by which a spending-restraint enforcement mechanism could be put into place after a bipartisan congressional committee considers spending cuts, or if it fails to make those recommendations.
GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain appears to be getting some of his mojo back after last week’s apology to American Muslims, winning a straw poll of GOP activists in Denver on Sunday. From the Associated Press:
Cain spoke to the Western Conservative Summit moments before the poll ….and drew the crowd to its feet with his life story and biting criticisms of President Barack Obama.
With 508 people voting, 48 percent chose Cain as their favored presidential candidate. Second place, with 13 percent, went to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has not formally announced his presidential campaign but addressed about 1,000 people at the conference Friday.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who addressed the group Friday, got 10 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, won Colorado’s Republican presidential caucuses in 2008, also got 10 percent. Nine other Republicans split the rest of the votes.
The state investigation into test score cheating is officially moving south. From The weekend’s Albany Herald:
Dougherty County Superintendent of Schools Joshua Murfree and School System Attorney Tommy Coleman met with former Attorney General Michael Bowers Friday morning.
Confirmed through two independent sources, The Herald learned that Murfree and Coleman had been invited by Bowers, who is heading an investigation to determine whether there had been cheating on the DCSS’s 2009 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test exams.
“It was just a get-acquainted meeting, because I’d never met Dr. Murfree,” Bowers said. “Bob Wilson (fellow investigator) and I just wanted to chat with him before we get down there on the (Aug.) seventh. He was gracious enough to meet with us.
“It was no big deal. We just wanted to let him know how we were going to proceed with the investigation and we exchanged cell phone numbers.”
On a related note, the Clayton County school system celebrated its escape from probation from its accreditation agency. From George Howell of Channel 2 Action News:
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at the claim that nearly half of all Latino children in Georgia rely on Medicaid for health care.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider