Your morning jolt: Local votes on video gaming machines?

It worked last year for the Sunday sale of alcohol. Maybe the local-vote option will work for those who want to see lottery-driven gaming machines in Georgia. From the Savannah Morning News:

Hoping to overcome Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections, state Rep. Ron Stephens is tweaking his plan to add video games to Georgia’s lottery.

The Savannah Republican’s goal: A politically acceptable way to bail out the state’s ever-more-financially strapped HOPE scholarship program.

His new wrinkle is to let the state allow lottery video games in communities where the governing bodies seek them.

As an incentive, Stephens says local governments could negotiate a piece of the proceeds.

***
On the presidential front, Newt Gingrich ran away to join the circus on Tuesday. Or something close to it. From the Associated Press:

For all the big ideas, Gingrich’s campaign still has something of an improvisational feel. He ventured to the San Diego Zoo on Tuesday without bringing or notifying the reporters assigned to cover him. He visited the elephant exhibit and fed a panda, with only a handful of local press — alerted by the zoo, not the campaign — on hand to record the visit.

Gingrich also knocked the surging Rick Santorum, who suggested last week that women should not serve in military combat.

“I just think Rick completely misunderstands the nature of modern warfare,” Gingrich said. “The fact is if you are serving in uniform in Iraq or Afghanistan … you’re in combat, whatever your technical assignment.”

Gingrich has come a long way since the 1990s, when he offered up trench warfare as a reason that women were hygienically unfit for combat.

***
Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage, during an interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), on the limits of Newt Gingrich’s appeal as a favorite-son candidate in Georgia: “Basically, anyone under the age of 45 doesn’t know a whole lot about his speakership.”

***
In 1988 and 1990, Democrat David Worley ran against U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich – and came within a few hundred votes of defeating him on the second try. Worely has donated his papers to Georgia State University. They include an opposition research file on Gingrich.

Buzzfeed recently hired someone to peruse them, and offers a few samples here. Our favorite: A 1982 Gingrich letter to congressional colleagues proposing a Space Caucus to preserve federal funding for inter-planetary exploration – lest the Soviets get an upper hand.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at the claim by Restore Our Future, the Mitt Romney-affiliated super PAC, that Newt Gingrich “co-sponsored a bill with Nancy Pelosi that would have given $60 million a year to a U.N. program supporting China’s brutal one-child policy.”

***
The city of Rome has decided to follow the example of St. Lous and host its own welcome home party for veterans of the Iraq war on June 16. From the News-Tribune:

“St. Louis put their parade together in a month with just two guys, but we’re doing a lot more than that,” said organizer Linda Liles, Congressman Phil Gingrey’s constituent services representative in Rome.

The day-long event will kick off with a massive parade winding its way from the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds, down Broad Street, to wind up at Barron Stadium.

***
Perhaps the most sobering news of the day comes from the Associated Press:

Georgia lawmakers have plenty of leeway over how to use a significant chunk of the $815 million the state’s receiving as part of the massive national settlement over mortgage abuses.

The settlement, part of a $25 billion landmark settlement reached by 49 attorneys general, includes millions of dollars to help some struggling homeowners refinance their homes and pay down their debt. But it also includes a payment of $104 million that goes directly to the state with no strings attached.

The settlement’s drafters want the funds to be used to reduce preventable foreclosures and bolster law enforcement efforts to prevent and prosecute financial fraud. That could include more legal assistance, anti-blight projects and funding for training teams that target financial fraudsters, according to the deal.

But there’s no legal requirement that the funds be spent for any particular purpose, and Georgia law lets state legislators determine how it’s doled out.

Attorney General Sam Olens said he drafted a letter to legislators stressing that the funds should be used to buffer the effects of the foreclosure crisis, but said he has little say in where the money will go.

“It’s up to the Legislature,” he said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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49 comments Add your comment

Centrist

February 15th, 2012
9:45 am

The left biased St. Petersburg Times “PolitiFact” is used by the AJC, and leftist bloggers point toward.

Not surprising for a liberal mainstream media product, “PolitiFact” simply uses selection bias in favor of Democrats as described here:
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics/2011/02/selection_bias_politifact_rate.php

A Smart Politics content analysis of more than 500 PolitiFact stories from January 2010 through January 2011 finds that current and former Republican officeholders have been assigned substantially harsher grades by the news organization than their Democratic counterparts. A 3 to 1 supermajority of falsehoods documented by PolitiFact over the last year – 76 percent – were attributed to Republicans, with just 22 percent of such statements coming from Democrats.

What is particularly interesting about these findings is that the political party in control of the Presidency, the US Senate, and the US House during almost the entirety of the period under analysis was the Democrats, not the Republicans.

And yet, PolitiFact chose to highlight untrue statements made by those in the party out of power. Selection bias, plain and simple.

bart

February 15th, 2012
9:50 am

The Republicans give lip service to local control. However, since most of them are in the back pocket of the right wing so-called “Christians,” we will never be able to vote on gaming machines in our local communities. It doesn’t matter that it would help save the Hope Scholarship and be a shot in the arm economically for local communities.

UGA 1999

February 15th, 2012
10:09 am

If people want to gamble LET THEM!

Ol' Timer

February 15th, 2012
10:26 am

Dang if ain’t humorous for a chickenhawk like Newt to say Santorum doesn’t understand modern warfare. The nearest thing to warfare Newt has experienced was two tours of duty in divorce court.

UGA 1999

February 15th, 2012
10:30 am

Ol Timer….oh I was unaware that Obama served in the military prior to being elected. Thanks for clearing that up.

Ol' Timer

February 15th, 2012
10:32 am

UGS 1999 — I think we agree on something for the first time ever! I don’t think it’s possible to keep people from gambling anymore than one could keep them from drinking, so let them have at it and gain the revenue. If the state doesn’t, unsavory characters will.

Ol' Timer

February 15th, 2012
10:32 am

UGA 1999 — please forgive the typo.

Ol' Timer

February 15th, 2012
10:36 am

I dopn’t think Obama did serve in the military. But I don’t see him engaging in unwinnable conflicts around the world — and encouraging the country to intervene in situations more where diplomacy would be the best option.

And, besides UGA 1999, the article wasn’t about Obama, it was about Gingrich giving Santorum advice on warfare.

UGA 1999

February 15th, 2012
10:40 am

Ol’ Timer….You mean like Syria and soon to be Iran? What about Afganistan? Glass houses brother, glass houses.

William Smith

February 15th, 2012
10:47 am

Sin as in gambling is a funny thing. When the economy is booming and people get everything they want it is sin. However, in these times it becomes an issue of individual freedom AKA Ron Paul. Gambling at this time is gaining in popularity with the freedom of choice. As said before this to will pass.

Ashley Dawson

February 15th, 2012
10:48 am

If we are talking draft or volunteer……Newt is the only one who could have been draft since he was born in the 1940’s. I don’t see how Obama has a dog in this fight since the article is about Newt and Mr. V-neck.

Hazel

February 15th, 2012
10:57 am

Newt had the draft and Vietnam to avoid. Obama is of the all-volunteer military age.

DannyX

February 15th, 2012
10:58 am

Who would Jesus Shock and Awe?

Santorum doesn’t think people should use birth control but had no problem voting yes for the Iraqi war. An unnecessary war that resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people. Very strange.

Auntie Christ

February 15th, 2012
11:01 am

I’m all for freedom, but wait, I’m agin’ drinking, so you can’t drink! I’m all for freedom, but wait, I’m agin’ gambling, so you can’t gamble. I’m all for freedom, but wait, I’m agin’ birth control, so you have to do what the pope says. I’m all for freedom, but wait, I’m agin’ them homos getting married. I’m all for freedom, but wait, I’m a republican, you can’t have any!

In other news, centrist has made his usual little girl weepy about those mean ole librul media, this time about politifact (tampa bay news) Here’s a real fact, politifact classified marco rubio’s comment that ‘the majority of USA is conservative.” as “mostly true.” Real Fact: about 48-49% of USA considers themselves ‘conservative’ yet politifact regards the comment as ‘mostly true.’ Apparently FL still doesn’t know how to count votes. A majority is 50% +1. I guess getting 48% in an election makes one ‘mostly elected.’ inpolitifact’ eyes. And finally, being at the center of the john birch society does not constitute being a ‘centrist.’

UGA 1999

February 15th, 2012
11:07 am

DannyX….How do you equate birth control to the Iraq war? Another extremist comment from you.

double

February 15th, 2012
11:16 am

Obama inherited Afganistan,using diplomacy in Iran

Look before I leap...

February 15th, 2012
11:18 am

Things are most definitely NOT looking good for Mr Romney.

The shift in the poll numbers for Michigan alone should be of grave concern for the Romney machine.
Feb 1 poll numbers showed Romney with a very comfortable 15 point lead over Newt and 21 point lead over Santorum. Then the disaster of the CO, MO and MN primaries and the numbers now (less than 12 days later) have moved the needle to Romney trailing Santorum by 9 points in a state where Romney enjoys native son status. In fact, the only state that Romney is not trailing in the polls is AZ and those poll numbers have not refreshed since the mid-states meltdown.

That Romney will do better in NE states primaries is likely and perhaps the west coast swing where the conservatives are less likely to be influenced by evangelical mandates are also going to favor Romney, indicate that it is not quite yet time to sound general quarters, but the Romney campaign needs to understand why Romney is not drawing key components of the GOP base.

Romney had the support to win in CO and MO but the areas in those states that would typically favor him simply did not turn out to vote. MO can be dismissed because the actual primary votes are not until next month but ignoring MO last week may have been a strategic blunder by Romney, allowing Santorum to gain some much needed momentum and an influx of cash.

MI is key for Romney. A poor showing can’t help but to have negative impact in the Super Tuesday primary voting.

UGA 1999

February 15th, 2012
11:18 am

double….There are those words again “Obama inherited”….So why are we not totally out now?

Look before I leap...

February 15th, 2012
11:29 am

hmmmm

TX primary out of the Super Tuesday mix, may not happen until late May.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/unsettled-texas-primary-may-1349688.html

George Hills

February 15th, 2012
11:31 am

The appeal of Mr. Gingrich in Georgia will be more limited as voters discover he cut the deal to pass the 1996 Misdemeanor Gun Ban. Many people don’t want rats gnawing at their right to keep and bear arms.

Dumb and Dumber

February 15th, 2012
11:37 am

So, Obama started the war in Afghanistan? And when did Obama send troops into Syria and Iran?

Someone needs to hire a fact-checker.

UGA 1999

February 15th, 2012
11:38 am

Dumb…Did I ever say he started anything? More assumptions from the left. HAHA go figure. About as much rational thoughts as Samuel L. Jackson!

Centrist

February 15th, 2012
11:57 am

The latest (Rasmussen) poll has Romney inside the margin of error in Michigan. Romney only lived there as an adolescent – never in politics. It is a rust belt state where Santorum has based his campaign on manufacturing jobs and right wing religious values. Like yesterday in this blog – Santorum is getting a lot more scrutiny which will not be good for him.

Romney is only starting to campaign in Michigan with 2 weeks to go (along with Arizona). Romney only needs to win half of the remaining primaries and will do better than that. Time to get used to the fact that he will be the GOP nominee.

UGA 1999

February 15th, 2012
12:00 pm

I am fine with Romney. He is just going to have to explain Romneycare in more detail when he debates Obama. I really think Santorum would have stood against Obama very well.

double

February 15th, 2012
12:06 pm

poor need more ways to spend money foolishly. will we furnish credit type card to use in these machines?TD if you have missed this-Real Estate Tax in health care law.Just get it right.

DannyX

February 15th, 2012
12:09 pm

Inside the margin of error? Struggling to find a Romney positive angle today Centrist?

What is your spin of the national poll released today by Rasmussen?

Santorum 39%
Romney 27%
Gingrich 15%
Paul 10%

Spin that!

UGA 1999

February 15th, 2012
12:10 pm

DannyX….Again you lack a point. Is logic that hard for you to follow?

Danny O

February 15th, 2012
12:11 pm

Instead of slots or video machines, the crack cocaine of gambling, how about local votes on poker? It’s a skill-based game that employs a lot more people than any electronic gambling expansion would.

The Snark

February 15th, 2012
12:14 pm

Number of American servicemembers killed in the fight to oust Gaddafi from Libya: Zero.
Numbers of American servicemembers killed in the assassination of Bid Laden: Zero.

As for the comment that “Basically, anyone under the age of 45 doesn’t know a whole lot about [Gingrich's] speakership” — that is probably a point that favors Gingrich.

Look before I leap...

February 15th, 2012
12:14 pm

Romney should not even be near the margin of error in Rasmussen and he most definitely should not be trailing.

He is missing the mark somewhere and aside from the establishment, does not seem to be generating a lot of enthusiasm amongst the moderates. We’ll see what direction the polls move in the next week or so as the campaign begins to hit its stride. But decisive losses in AZ and MI are going to give a lot of people pause and any hope of an early wrap-up will evaporate quicker than butter on a hot griddle.

Samuel L. Jackson

February 15th, 2012
12:16 pm

I only voted for Obama because he is black!

double

February 15th, 2012
12:18 pm

Inherited will never equal.TELEPROMPTER,You and LMS wore that one out.

Centrist

February 15th, 2012
12:22 pm

Santorum’s media bump from the rinky dink caucuses last week is fading and will be gone in 2 weeks. The added scrutiny will quickly sink him with Gingrich.

The nomination is based on delegates. Romney leads and will certainly get the lion’s share forward. Romney has a nationally funded and staffed campaign, while Santorum is on a shoestring budget and skeleton staff – not even on some state ballots. Anybody here think the right wing Santorum will win the biggest states of New York and California? For the media, Democrats (redundant), and the ultra right – reality sucks.

DannyX

February 15th, 2012
12:26 pm

“DannyX….Again you lack a point. Is logic that hard for you to follow?”

Gosh, you are so right UGA, I promise to do better. I will use your example and turbo post a bunch of mind numbingly shallow one word sentences that lack any sign of depth.

Dusty

February 15th, 2012
12:28 pm

I thought we were talking about video gaming machines.

Centrist

February 15th, 2012
12:28 pm

Look before I leap… posted “Romney should not even be near the margin of error in Rasmussen and he most definitely should not be trailing.”

Wrong analysis – you are buying into the opposition spin. Michigan is a natural for the kindred rustbelt Pennsylvanian Santorum whose campaign is largely based on manufacturing jobs. Romney’s “home” state is MA where he served as Governor – not where he was born.

Dusty

February 15th, 2012
12:38 pm

Okkkkk….let’s squeeze more money out of poor people for the state. Rich people are not playing video gaming machines. So we take from the poor to help other people pay mortgages, education, etc. with taxpayer money. Something wrong with that!!

I had more interest in the mistreated Chicken Man than games and posted a non-relevant comment. Never came up! Musta laid an egg! (Is Galloway against chickens?)

Samuel L. Jackson

February 15th, 2012
12:46 pm

Dusty….Is anyone making the poor play the video poker machines? Can they not think on their own?

Look before I leap...

February 15th, 2012
12:51 pm

@Centrist

“Wrong analysis – you are buying into the opposition spin”

Wrong assessment. I am not following anyone’s spin. I am simply looking at the numbers.
Romney had a clear path to lock up the nomination fairly early on or at least eliminate a broke and trailing Santorum. That path is less clear and less assured. Whether or not the momentum bounce continues, time will tell but Romney now has a two-front war to fight where 8 days ago he had but a single contender to worry about.

That Romney will attack Santorum is not in question. But the character and political attacks that were so effective against Gingrich are not going to work as well against Santorum. Santorum does not have the same baggage as Gingrich. That means a different set of ads to come up with and a whole separate ad buy. Romney has a lot of money, but it is not infinite.

General Turgidson

February 15th, 2012
12:51 pm

We can’t afford a mine shaft gap!

double

February 15th, 2012
1:10 pm

Romney money not infinite?You referring to money in USA,or stashed in foreign accounts?

Samuel L. Jackson

February 15th, 2012
1:12 pm

Double…..Can you attempt to speak English? You do realize that the FDIC only insures up to a certain amount on each account. Also the rate of return on Swiss accounts is much greater. This also applies to the Cayman Islands. Nothing illegal or unethical about it.

Look before I leap...

February 15th, 2012
1:12 pm

Campaign cash
Romney’s personal fortune is not an issue for me.

UGA 1999

February 15th, 2012
1:14 pm

Look before that is great to hear….it shouldn’t be.

Shine

February 15th, 2012
1:24 pm

use the money and give us our homestead grant back the republicans took and raised our out of pocket property taxes in the process.

Becky

February 15th, 2012
1:37 pm

I’m so bored with all this back and forth I will not offer anything else. Nor should anyone else as President Obama will be re-elected by a landslide. This runup is just for giggles.

UGA 1999

February 15th, 2012
1:42 pm

Becky….HA that is great. Please define “landslide”. Also, please tell us how he is going to get the median vote and what he has done to earn it.

Samuel L. Jackson

February 15th, 2012
1:43 pm

UGA 1999….He is black, shouldn’t that be enough?

jaypat

February 15th, 2012
10:28 pm

The problem with video games seems to be a different one from the “draw” lotteries. I’m sure that there’s some data out there in social scienceland that can describe why this is a bad idea, video poker and other video games. Louisiana, or at least some of the more intelligent parishes, tried video gambling only to vote it out, just tlike they voted it in. It seems to be addictive, much moreso than other forms of lottery play.