Archive for March, 2012

Opponents bring war against Rush Limbaugh to Georgia

On one hand, comic Bill Maher has an op-ed in today’s New York Times calling for an end to the clichéd cycle of insult and apology:

Let’s have an amnesty — from the left and the right — on every made-up, fake, totally insincere, playacted hurt, insult, slight and affront. Let’s make this Sunday the National Day of No Outrage. One day a year when you will not find some tiny thing someone did or said and pretend you can barely continue functioning until they apologize.

On the other, Rush Limbaugh’s critics have stepped up their war on his radio program. Note that Macon is a targeted city. From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK — Rush Limbaugh’s opponents are starting a radio campaign against him Thursday, seizing upon the radio star’s attack of a Georgetown law student as a “slut” to make a long-term effort aimed at weakening his business.

The liberal Media Matters for America is using a past campaign against Glenn Beck as a template. In Limbaugh, however, they’re going after …

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A right to peace and quiet at home — for a ‘certain’ few

Your state Legislature is poised to protect the right of certain people to enjoy the peace and tranquility of their homes.

Probably not your home. Definitely not mine. But the homes of “certain” people – that’s the exact word used in the legislation. By which lawmakers mean the homes belonging to business executives, mostly. And only a few of those.

SB 469 is sponsored by state Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, but was written by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce — another chapter in the organization’s ongoing war at the state Capitol against unions.

Much of the bill is devoted to making it more difficult for unions to collect dues from paychecks. That’s a traditional battleground. It is the portion of the bill addressing public demonstrations that is novel, and has resulted in an unprecedented political alliance between organized labor and tea party activists.

SB 469 would ban the picketing of a private home that interferes “with the resident’s right to quiet enjoyment,” and …

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Newt Gingrich jumps on the Mitt Romney campaign’s Etch A Sketch gaffe

Mitt Romney can’t catch a break. On the day after winning Illinois, his largest victory of the primary contest , he finds himself defending the Etch A Sketch gaffe of his communications director.

We tossed you the original CNN video earlier today. Here’s Newt Gingrich taking advantage of the same, also via CNN:

The former U.S. House speaker posed with an Etch A Sketch and said this:

“Given everybody’s fear of Governor Romney’s flip-flops, to have Romney’s communication director say publicly to all of us, if we’re dumb enough to nominate him, we should expect that by the acceptance speech, he’ll move back to the left, triggers everything people are worried about.

“You’ll notice that the picture’s not permanent. Nothing is locked down. You can re-do it anytime you want. And that’s the problem…

Rick Santorum had a similar reaction:

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Jeb Bush’s endorsement, and the Etch A Sketch in Mitt Romney’s future

Things are rapidly coming to a head in the GOP presidential primary. From the Associated Press:

Fresh off a decisive victory in Illinois, Mitt Romney on Wednesday won critical establishment support from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as he looks to unite the Republican Party behind his candidacy.

The son of one president and the brother of another, Bush had stayed out of the race for months. Some party elders publicly had urged him to jump into the race when it looked like Romney was having trouble closing the deal. On Wednesday, a day after Romney won Illinois by 12 points, Bush signaled that was no longer the case.

“Now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall,” Bush said in a written statement that suggested the race is all but over. He congratulated the other Republican candidates “for a hard-fought, thoughtful debate and primary season.”

***
Otherwise, the video clip …

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Your morning jolt: ‘Jesus never said a word about homosexuality,’ says Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter, 87, is on another book tour, this time to push a collection of his Sunday school lessons at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, combined with biblical text.

Passages are said to include an endorsement of gay marriage, which Carter touched on in this Huffington Post interview:

“Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -– he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.

“I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I’m a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws …

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In 9th District race, Martha Zoller endorsed by tea party group

In the very Republican race for Georgia’s Ninth District, Freedomworks – the Washington-based group that has financed much of the tea party movement – has endorsed radio talk show host Martha Zoller over state Rep. Doug Collins.

Zoller was one of 10 candidates endorsed. From the press release:

FreedomWorks PAC Executive Director Max Pappas commented, “Through extensive personal interviews, detailed research of their records, and feedback from activists in their districts, we are confident these candidates will expand the freedom caucus in the House and lead the fight for economic freedom and constitutionally limited government.”

“I am honored to have the strong endorsement of such a powerful organization that’s leading the conservative movement,” said Zoller following the endorsement announcement. “With the help of FreedomWorks and grassroots activists across northeast Georgia, we can hold Washington accountable and put America back on the road to prosperity.”

FreedomWorks …

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A GOP rule that could torpedo Newt Gingrich’s dream of convention fight

My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy, who’s traveling with Newt Gingrich in Louisiana, wonders if he’s discovered the insurmountable barrier that stands between the former House speaker and a contested Republican National Convention in Tampa.

It is Rule No. 40(b), as adopted by the party in 2008:

GOPRULE40(B)

Gingrich has won only Georgia and South Carolina. His prospects in Illinois tonight are dim. He needs to come in first in three more states to even be considered a part of any floor fight to come.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Sigh. We need a bumper-sticker that says, ‘Get a better dictionary’

What Roger Friedman of Forbes magazine thinks of us:

Paula Smith of Hinesville, Georgia has a company called Stickatude.com. And they’re selling their own version of an anti-Obama bumper sticker that reads “Don’t Re-Nig 2012.” Ms. Smith told me in a telephone conversation on Saturday afternoon that the bumper sticker has been in their inventory since June 2010, but just in the last few days it’s started selling.

The price is $3. Ms. Smith insisted that the bumper sticker is not racist. I asked her about the “N” word, for which “nig” is the shortened version. “According to the dictionary [the N word] does not mean black. It means a low down, lazy, sorry, low down person. That’s what the N word means.”

This isn’t a happy one, people. Keep it clean.

Updated at 6 p.m.: Commenting on this post has been closed.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Slow down the tax reform train, conservative activists say

With less than an hour to go before a massive tax reform measure comes to a first vote in the House, a bewildered group of conservative activists at the state Capitol urged lawmakers to slow down.

“Here we are, we’re voting in an hour and and we’re having this press conference. There’s something fundamentally wrong with that,” said Julianne Thompson of Georgia Tea Party Patriots.

Kay Godwin of Georgia Conservatives in Action said she and others have met with the governor, the House speaker and Senate leadership and expressed their support of tax reform – but only saw details of the bill’s conent in the last few hours. “We’re perfectly willing to stand with them to get this done,” Godwin said. “But there are bits and pieces that are not acceptable.

Among the most objectionable parts, said Bil Hudson of Madison Forum, is an income cap of $65,000 on income earned by senior citizens. In 2009, as part of a deal for the hospital bed tax, Gov. Sonny Perdue had offered an expansive …

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Tea party, labor unite over anti-protest bill

The House Industrial Relations Committee on Monday held a hearing on two hot bills – one that would restrict Georgia unemployment benefits, and another would limit public demonstrations at private residences.

SB 447 attempts to back fill a $730 million debt owed the federal government – money borrowed from a trust fund depleted by the economic downturn and several years of tax holidays for business owners.

Background from the Associated Press:

Currently, employers are charged $21 per worker towards repaying the trust fund.

Absent the legislative changes, the amount employers are charged would double next year, and it would double again two years later — which supporters warn could hobble the state as it looks to rebound when the economy recovers.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, in the past, has declared that Georgia’s lengthy unemployment benefits — though among the nation’s most frugal — compete with businesses that would like to hire workers at low starting wages.

But Butler …

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