Your morning jolt: At Fort Stewart, President Obama targets the votes of military families

President Barack Obama and the first lady will mingle with soldiers at Fort Stewart on the Georgia coast today.

The official agenda, via Larry Peterson and the Savannah Morning News:

President Barack Obama is due to launch a national crackdown on scams used to bilk veterans out of their federal education benefits.

The White House on Thursday described an executive order Obama will sign when he and first lady Michelle Obama visit soldiers, veterans and military families.

White House aides have pointed to today’s excursion to a red state as proof that Obama isn’t just visiting electoral swing states on Air Force One. But a clearly jaded Washington Post posits that today’s trip is a case of niche marketing aimed at “a novel and potentially fruitful voter set: military families:”

The message from Obama and Biden is clear: They will campaign on the president’s foreign policy record and actions to bolster services for veterans while aggressively criticizing Romney on the same subjects — and issuing pointed examples of the Republican’s lack of proposals to assist returning veterans and their families….

The overall strategy gives Obama a chance to widen his audience on military matters at a time when war-weariness has grown — even among Republicans and in less Obama-friendly Southern states. The push also echoes a hallmark quality of the president’s 2008 campaign: its ability to identify supporters from unlikely regions and constituencies.

***
Not-quite-but-nearly-former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who is still making appearances in North Carolina, lost his Secret Service protection last night, according to NBC News.

***
Ninth District congressional candidate Doug Collins sent out a fund-raising email this morning that included this undated YouTube clip of his chief GOP rival, Gainesville radio talk show host Martha Zoller, explaining her position on abortion:

Says Zoller:

“I think I’m a different kind of pro-life person, in that I don’t think abortion should be illegal, but I think the way we change people’s minds on life issues are not with legislation.”

Collins, a lawmaker from Gainesville, has begun calling himself a “consistent conservative.” From the email:

”You’ll never have to worry about where I stand on the issue of abortion, and I vow to stand behind the same convictions I’ve had throughout my lifetime. You’ll never have to wonder if my campaign rhetoric matches with the beliefs of my past.”

The response from Zoller’s campaign strategist, Joel McElhannon:

This race is between a conservative firebrand in Martha Zoller and a wimp.

Martha Zoller was endorsed by Georgia Right to Life before Doug Collins. Why? Doug’s legislative endorsement was suspended by GRTL because he was killing their pro life legislation in committee over the last several sessions at the request of leadership.

Eleven second manufactured clips from years ago will not change the fact that when it’s time to take a stand, Doug Collins consistently waves the yellow flag of cowardice.

After seeing the above remarks, Collins strategist Chip Lake messaged to say that the video clip is from the 2011 CPAC gathering in Washington.

***
Better Georgia, a progressive group headed up by Bryan Long, has been engaged in a campaign to draw attention to the link between Republican state lawmakers and the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful private, non-profit group that generates conservative legislation for use in state capitols across the nation.

Six years ago, state Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, headed up ALEC. From Jon Gillooly and the Marietta Daily Journal:

Ehrhart responded: “Mr. Long doesn’t like free speech, doesn’t like advocacy for anything other than what he wants. The majority of the citizens in this county and this state are going to agree with the principles of ALEC. Again, back to the founding principles of this country. I’ll stand them up against his tent principles all day long. I’m not afraid of some Occupy pansy sitting in a tent without a bath, I’m sorry.”

Replied Long this morning:

“Representative Ehrhart sees public scrutiny like a bad rash. If he has nothing to hide, he’ll tell us every ALEC backed bill so that voters can decide whether they agree or not. The secrecy of this group has lasted too long.

***
In a major break with the past, this year’s farm bill is moving through the halls of Washington without the support of Southern farmers. From Politico.com:

Cotton won concessions on its own revenue protection program, including a decision to lift the acreage cap on land enrolled. But the leadership resisted any return to a countercyclical program with target prices, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) bluntly warned that peanuts and rice will take a “huge hit” and are left “without any safety net whatsoever.”

Indeed, corn and soybeans appear the big winners in what would be an historic shift away from direct cash payments and price supports in favor of new forms of subsidized crop insurance.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at the claim that, because of traffic tie-ups, “The average Atlanta resident … spends an extra $924 each year in additional gasoline and wasted time.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

152 comments Add your comment

Centrist

April 27th, 2012
9:33 am

Georgia VOTERS certainly prefer conservative ALEC over Better Georgia, a progressive (read liberal) group.

The opposite is as certainly true for AJC writers, editors, a majority of their readers and posters.

sheepdawg

April 27th, 2012
9:39 am

centrist- those stated preferences correlate perfectly with education levels. Georgia voters are the new Mississippi as evidenced by our state leadership and initiatives. Us and SC voted for Noot, #49 and #50 in education.

GaBlue

April 27th, 2012
9:45 am

Alleged Centrist,

More likely scenario: Most Georgia voters are blissfully unaware of the American Legislative Exchange Council and the corporate interests they represent OR the group called Better Georgia that dares to suggest that we deserve better than this current mess of a state government and being at the bottom of every good list and the top of every bad one.

You get “alleged” today for the way you condescend to us by adding the “liberal” label to the word progressive. Newsflash, Sparky: if we can read this blog, we probably are (a) familiar with basic vocabulary, and (b) sick of haters boiling every single complex issue into one of two labels — AS IF that somehow proves anything.

Jack Tudor

April 27th, 2012
9:50 am

1. GRTL’s endorsements are for sale to the highest bidder…sign their pledge and purchase their list.

2. 2011 isn’t “years ago”as ‘We are coming to Athens and bringing hell with us” Joel states, it is last year.

3. Trying to distract the voters with fabricated committee votes and name calling won’t work in the 9th. Martha should stand by her words and just admit that she isn’t a social conservative.

TBone

April 27th, 2012
9:51 am

I guess this another attempt at unifying our country. Looking for votes from military families will be like pissing in the wind I am afraid.

Centrist

April 27th, 2012
9:55 am

@ GaBlue – I agree that most Georgia voters probably are unaware of both the ALEC and Better Georgia groups. But I stand by the philosophy preferences I stated.

The term “progressive” is purposely being substituted by liberals and the media simply because the “liberal” philosophy has fallen out of favor with a majority of voters. Such re-branding and spin is done to confuse perception, so I do a service by equating the two.

ByteMe

April 27th, 2012
9:57 am

Martha should stand by her words and just admit that she isn’t a social conservative.

You mean a social authoritarian.

A libertarian will try to change your mind to get you to do the right thing, but in the end recognize that your rights are important.

A authoritarian will use the awesome power of the government to enforce their view.

People think “conservative” is a catch-all for their position. At this point, it’s a marketing term. There are other terms available that are more descriptive and haven’t been abused for political gain.

oppo

April 27th, 2012
9:58 am

Collins is a clown. what a pathetic candidate and campaign.

Swinging Stefan

April 27th, 2012
9:59 am

Obama got Osama while bush was clearing brush in yeehawville.

ByteMe

April 27th, 2012
10:01 am

I’m not afraid of some Occupy pansy sitting in a tent without a bath, I’m sorry.

This is — in a nutshell — the state of our Georgia politicians. You don’t agree with someone, call them a “pansy”. Yeah, that’s the ticket, Earl.

GaBlue

April 27th, 2012
10:01 am

Alleged Centrist,

So you infiltrated the super-secret underground meeting of liberals where we decided that, huh? How ever did you get past our security team? (**INSERT EYE ROLLIE ICON**)

I agree with you on this, though: “Such re-branding and spin is done to confuse perception.” IMO, that is the basis of every single post you make, day in and day out, so I do a service by calling you out on it.

Swinging Stefan

April 27th, 2012
10:05 am

Romneybot does not compute!

jt

April 27th, 2012
10:15 am

Shouldn’t Saxby’s farmers have to be drug tested before picking up their welfare checks???

c

April 27th, 2012
10:16 am

Total waste of time. He has no shot to win Georgia

BL

April 27th, 2012
10:17 am

I am truly upset he is not going to fly in at 5:30 on a Friday then motorcade through all of downtown Atlanta. What is my commute going to do?

Member of a fading nation

April 27th, 2012
10:29 am

Obama’s visit to the military base is simply political smoke and mirrors. He was raised by left wing, pro socialist parents, (Least us not forget, one of them NOT an American citizen) not of Christian faith, the basis for which this country was formed.

He was indoctrinated into believing that capitalism and America are evil. He won’t change. He is absolutely the WORST President that this country has had the displeasure of having. The one and ONLY thing that I can think of that he’s done that was successful was the bailout of the auto companies. They have either all paid back their debt or are about to and are starting to make money again. That’s the only thing. Everything else has been a disaster.

He said that Bush was irresponsible and unpatriotic for running up the debt 5 trillion dollars in EIGHT years. Well, if that’s the case Mr. Obama, then what do you call yourself for running up the debt 6 trillion dollars in LESS THAN FOUR years? With plans to add an additional 5- 8 trillion over the next four if reelected? Absolutely pathetic!!

Obama stated that he was his brother’s keeper. Well, isn’t his brother dirt poor and live in a mud hut in Africa? Yeah, I think I’ll pass on being kept by Obama and his horrific administration.

Don't tread

April 27th, 2012
10:31 am

“you condescend to us by adding the “liberal” label to the word progressive”

It’s condescending to call a mallard a duck, I suppose. It should be offended.

Liberals know nothing about progress, evidenced by the last 30 years or so. (Unless you define “progress” as moving closer to socialism.) But you can call yourselves “progressive” all you want, if it makes you feel better about yourself.

GaBlue

April 27th, 2012
10:34 am

Call the paramedics! Kool-Aid Overdose @ 10:29. Somebody please HELP him!

Hang in there, buddy!

Member of a fading nation

April 27th, 2012
10:36 am

Please GABlue – Enlighten me. What, if anything that I said, was false. Do tell.

(This outta be good)

Centrist

April 27th, 2012
10:36 am

@ GaBlue – Maybe it is because we are now in an election year, but you have been a lot more polite in your past debates.

I simply made an observation about different philosophies between GA voters and the AJC. Please note that I am NOT conservative (and they have not re-branded). My secular humanism, pro-choice stance, and agreement with liberals concerning the “Buffet rule” would get me tarred and feathered at one of their conclaves. I am not a liberal/progressive either -

This is from Wiipedia:

Progressivism is a general political philosophy advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes usually in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.

Today, members of the Democratic Party or the Green Party of the United States are most likely to self-identify as progressives. In the US Congress there exists the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which is often in opposition to the more conservative Democrats, who form the Blue Dogs caucus. Some of the more notable progressive members of Congress have included Ted Kennedy, Russ Feingold, Dennis Kucinich, Barney Frank, Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, John Conyers, John Lewis, and Paul Wellstone.

yuzeyurbrane

April 27th, 2012
10:37 am

Georgians will get to experience an ALEC govt. after the next session of the legislature which Ehrhart and his Republican buds have gerrymandered to virtually assure a 2/3 veto proof majority. Which makes me wonder why Ehrhart continues to engage in slanderous name-calling? I guess he still thinks he has to keep his Teapeople followers distracted from how they are being sc***** by him and his buds.

Slip

April 27th, 2012
10:38 am

It may have been more than 6 years ago but wasn’t Rep. Earhardt associated with the General Assembly, ALEC, and a private prison company when ALEC and the legislature were promoting privatization of prisons?

Watkins

April 27th, 2012
10:42 am

Have a little time on your hands? Compare the initiatives of ALEC with recent stated objectives of House and Senate leadership in GA. ALEC link is below. If you post here, you should be able to find GA legislative news.
http://www.alec.org/initiatives/critical-state-fiscal-reform/

DannyX

April 27th, 2012
10:42 am

Don’t Tread, why don’t you tell us about all of the progress red state Georgia has made the past 10 years. How is Georgia doing after Red State George ruined the economy? Tell us how we have progressed.

You can’t, can you?????

DannyX

April 27th, 2012
10:46 am

“(This outta be good)”

Not nearly as good as your 10:29, I’m still LMAO!

Liberal loather

April 27th, 2012
10:52 am

Obummer is flailing like an energiser liar.as his deliberate community organiser trashing of the USA is starkly exposed. The SCOTUS is about to “crucify, EPA fascist style of course, his regime in several big cases of repugnant leftist federal over reach. Mitt is “crucifying” him in the polls, as his selfish grasping wife’s ongoing greed is finally exposed – but only after two years of cynical liberal stonewalling (by the supposedly most open admin in history) and a selfless lawsuit by the heroes at Judicial Watch allows the folks to find out almost $500,000 of taxpayers hard earned was utterly wasted on an utterly undeserved Spanish holiday. No word yet on the presumably equally expensive and equally pointless jaunt to South Afrika. Still at least George Zimmerman’s obvious innocence will soon provide hilarious entertainment watching the shameless race baiters going apoplectic on the regime’s news outlets.

Swinging Stefan

April 27th, 2012
10:52 am

The christian movement has gone off the tracks and become a danger to society. Jesus’ is rolling over in his tomb.

james

April 27th, 2012
10:56 am

Obama coming to Georgia is another wasteful trip.. He is the worst
ever and I hope things change in November. He needs to go or the economy
will continue to go in the tank…. Business People will not hire anyone until
they know this idiot is out… not to say the repubs don’t have there fair share
as well and some of them need to go as well…

DannyX

April 27th, 2012
10:56 am

“Mitt is “crucifying” him in the polls,”

Liberal loather I realize your 10:52 was a parody but just for more laughs what polls/poll has Romney ahead right now?

NOBAMA

April 27th, 2012
10:58 am

NOCHANCE NOCHANCE

More wasted money by this hustler buffoon.

gm

April 27th, 2012
11:02 am

james

I’m sure the people around the country care about conservative Georgia idiots who voted for Newt.
President Obama has passed more bills and laws to help veterans then any other President in our history, when he took office this country was on alert color codes at alll airports, Americans were scared to fly.

President Obama has taken the fear out of this country all you nut jobs on the right can do is take shots at him, I wonder would you prefer him to allow attacks on our country like GW Bush, where 3500 Americans died, what a bunch of Anti Americans on the right””’

James

April 27th, 2012
11:03 am

I will say this, if anyone in the military supports this guy still, then lord help us all. I will give him credit for killing those pirates a while back, and of course bin laden, but other than that, he has made us a JOKE internationally. I also am happy to see that my tax money is being used by him to fly around and campaign. Another wonderful and efficiant use of our money by the D’s.

Liberal loather

April 27th, 2012
11:05 am

Any lieberal incumbent who is BEHIND the 50% level as obummer has been unremittingly now for well over two years is effectively being “crucified”. You need to finally learn the difference between lieberal packed “registered voter” polls and much more accurate “likely voter” polls. Rasmussen is the most accurate polling .org, because they always use likely voters. Hows that ATF gun smuggling to Mexican cartels criminality by Steadman’s DOJ crew working out for you lieberals? Guess they can always get the snouts in the trough GSA video team to make a video defending this outrage on their next Vegas trip.

James

April 27th, 2012
11:06 am

EVERYONE KNOWS that the 9-11 attacks are on Clinton, not Bush….come on now, that is accepted common knowledge :0 he should have taken him out when he had a chance, and certainly after the failed attempt on the Towers in the 90s.

DannyX

April 27th, 2012
11:07 am

Maybe we should go back to the good ol’ Bush days when our troops in Iraq were being blown up because their vehicles didn’t have adequate armor.

Oh yes the good ol’ Bush days for our military, sending our troops into harms way for a useless trillion dollar unfunded war!

Liberal loather

April 27th, 2012
11:08 am

Americans are STILL scared to fly – nowadays overwhelmingly because of the TSA fascists who invariably treat folks like they were in a line at Treblinka.

DannyX

April 27th, 2012
11:11 am

James brings up a good point about Commander in Chief George W Bush, what a leader he was on 9-11 when he sat in a stunned state reading “My Pet Goat” to a bunch of school kids!

Yes, wow, I’m sure our military personnel can’t wait to get back to the good ol’ days.

Btw, has Bin Laden released any tapes lately???

Swinging Stefan

April 27th, 2012
11:12 am

loafer,

U sound like a scared puss.

Centrist

April 27th, 2012
11:12 am

The name callers (both sides) and partisans (both sides) are out in force this morning. Anybody have some chill pills?

Liberal loather

April 27th, 2012
11:14 am

Swishing Stephanie

U are a scared puss

gm

April 27th, 2012
11:14 am

James

I guess that was Clinton security team in place when 911 happen? during Bush years Americans were being captured and being held hostage every week, nobody respected Bush, GW can not even leave the country for he might be captured and brought up on war crimes.

I wonder would you right nut jobs would have forgiven Obama the way you have Bush if Americans were attacked like 911?

DannyX

April 27th, 2012
11:19 am

Lets go back to the good ol’ days! Remember when Americans had to lie and tell people they were Canadian when traveling outside the country?

Good times, good times. I’m feel nostalgic today, I think I’ll have some freedom fries for lunch.

Swinging Stefan

April 27th, 2012
11:20 am

loath,

I’ve passed bigger terds then u.

gm

April 27th, 2012
11:22 am

Thanks President Obama and First Lady for helping our Veterans, for the last 3 years, passing laws, and supporting the spouse of veterans who have lost their lives.

The losers on the right look at your skin, instead of seeing your loyalty to our soldiers who have fought hard so Anti Americans scum like Hannity, Rush can bash the Commader and Chief day in and day out.

DannyX

April 27th, 2012
11:22 am

Liberal loafer, you were going to post all the polls with Romney ““crucifying” Obama in the polls, when were you going to get to that?

Member of a fading nation

April 27th, 2012
11:25 am

….and people respect Obama? All he is doing is going around and apologizing for the things that this country did to defend itself. The terrorists show no respect for us, so they can kiss my @$$ if and when I choose to burn the koran or draw a spoof of the child molester, mohammad.

curious

April 27th, 2012
11:26 am

Just what have the Republicans done for the military?

Yellow bumper stickers and freedom fries are acknowledged.

Weetamoe

April 27th, 2012
11:27 am

I hope Obama learns about the conservation program at Ft Stewart. The DOD under Dick Cheney was very supportive of the hard work done by dedicated civilian natural resource professionals who accomplished so much in supporting training sites while managing the millions of acres of diverse land on our military installations. They even got Barb Boxer to cooperate in turning The Presidio into something to be proud of. Now the imperial presidency has a high ranking appointee in the EPA shouting crucify and urging the equivalent of the Romans’ practice of decimating populations as a means of discouraging dissent.

TiredOfIt

April 27th, 2012
11:30 am

Going back to the fall of 2008 is far enough back for me. Wonder if the republicans remember what happened and who was president?

jd

April 27th, 2012
11:30 am

If the average Georgian supports ALEC — why not rewrite our constitution to let a committee from ALEC make all the decisions? We could save the costs of elections, paying all those staff folks, heck, outsource all of government to IBM, AT&T, Brown & Root, etc…