Archive for April, 2012

Why Herman Cain’s run for president started with a ‘shucky-ducky’

On Monday night, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” offered up a retrospective on some of the more curious moments in Herman Cain’s run for the White House, which officially began last May with the exclamation, “Aw, shucky-ducky!”:

A quick, transcripted taste:

Cain: “’Aw, shucky-ducky’ was a way for me to say, ‘I’m thrilled to be here. And I am happy that you are happy that I am here.’”

John Oliver: “Why not just say that?”

Cain: “That would be too formal.”

John Oliver: “So it would be too formal for an announcement that you are running for the highest office in the land?”

Cain: “Yes.”

We know the Comedy Central interview was taped, because Cain was in Dalton on Monday, where the former GOP presidential candidate declared that he could have been the nominee – where it not for “dirty, gutter politics.” From …

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Report: Nathan Deal based savings from Florida drug-test law on bogus findings

Last week, when Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a measure to require welfare applicants to submit to a drug test, his office included a precedent in the press release:

“Florida passed similar legislation back in 2010 decreasing their welfare applicant pool by 48 percent and saving their state $1.8 million.”

But the Huffington Post reports that the above statement is based on “bad research” conducted by a conservative think tank. Florida’s own evaluation of the law contradicted the finding:

“Florida’s caseload had been declining consistently since December 2010,” says a document from the state’s Department of Children and Families, which administers the assistance program (formally known nationwide as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).

“On applying the previous rate of decline to a projection of the July-September 2011 caseload and factoring in the drug testing denials, we found that the projected caseload would have been lower than the actual caseload. Therefore …

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Saxby Chambliss on eliminating deductions for 2nd home mortgages

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss on Monday said he’s taken heart from Mitt Romney’s mention of the possibility of doing away with mortgage interest deductions on second homes, and said he’d like to see a presidential debate this fall dedicated to the federal fiscal crisis that will immediately follow the November election.

“I was glad to see [Romney] at least allude to that. That’s the kind of conversation that we’re going to have to have,” Chambliss said.

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, AP/Alex Brandon

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, AP/Alex Brandon

In a speech to the Atlanta Press Club, Chambliss gave an update of his “Gang of Six” efforts with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., to broker a bipartisan solution to the ballooning federal deficit – and the possible end of George W. Bush-era tax cuts that will expire on Dec. 31.

The Georgia senator also warned that whoever wins the White House will have to almost immediately come before Congress to request another increase in the debt ceiling. “You remember that ugly …

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Your morning jolt: President Obama headed to Fort Stewart

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will visit Fort Stewart on the Georgia coast this Friday, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston’s office confirmed this morning. We’ve got a call into the base for details.

But the Savannah Morning News offers this from Chris Crawford, Kingston’s spokesman:

“The congressman is glad the president’s coming,” Crawford said. “It’s a great chance to show off the facility and its suitability for additional missions.”

A major launch pad for U.S. military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army installation had been considered as the site for up to two more Army brigades, Crawford said. But mostly for budgetary reasons, that never happened, Crawford said.

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He may have been cleared by the Secret Service, but Ted Nugent now has a problem with Army commanders at Fort Knox in Kentucky, which has cancelled the aging rocker’s June 23 appearance. From USA Today:

“After learning of opening act Ted Nugent’s recent public …

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The changing fortunes of the transportation sales tax

The cover of a flyer sent to metro Atlanta voters this week by Citizens for Transportation Mobility, the group pushing the July 31 vote for the transportation sales tax.

The cover of a flyer sent to metro Atlanta voters this week by Citizens for Transportation Mobility, the group pushing the July 31 vote for the transportation sales tax.

If opponents of a transportation sales tax for metro Atlanta seem to be flailing, perhaps it is because they have finally gotten a glimpse of the behemoth that’s headed their way.

Even a year ago, the idea that voters might approve the penny sales tax, given the state of the economy, appeared fool-hardy. Things have changed since then.

The economy has inched up. So have the stakes. The size of the push from corporate Atlanta has already begun to show itself, in fancy mailings, television commercials, websites, and robo-calls.

Another month will pass before we have a firm grasp about who has put how much money behind the campaign for what’s now called the Transportation Investment Act.

But assume that enough cash to run a respectable campaign for governor will be crammed into the 10 counties of metro …

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Tampa mayor to press governor for ban on concealed firearms at RNC protests

A good piece on the conflict between security and GOP support for gun rights from the Tampa Bay News:

TAMPA — Frustrated by a Florida law that blocks all local regulation of guns, Mayor Bob Buckhorn expects to reach out to Gov. Rick Scott for help keeping concealed firearms away from protests during the Republican National Convention.

The 2011 state law pre-empts the ability of cities and counties to pass any laws regulating firearms or ammunition.

So while Tampa plans to ban a wide range of weapons (clubs, switchblades, Mace) and things that could be used as weapons (chains, glass bottles, water pistols) outside the convention, it cannot prohibit guns carried with a concealed weapons permit.

Buckhorn anticipates sending Scott a letter soon asking the state to explore a way to suspend the law temporarily during the Aug. 27–30 convention. He hopes that would create a way to ban concealed weapons inside the city’s proposed “Clean Zone,” which covers downtown and surrounding …

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Georgia chopstick factory goes into receivership

Remember that feel-good story of the little plant in Americus, Ga., that was to send 2 million sets of chopsticks a day to China — and became a something of a symbol of outside-the-box thinking in a tough economy?

The Americus Times-Recorder reports this:

Georgia Chopsticks LLC, 102 Brady Road, Americus was closed Thursday just after 2 p.m. when lawyers descended and the company went into receivership. A temporary restraining order was also in effect so that evidence could not be be destroyed or removed. The court order was signed on April 18 by a Bleckley County judge.

A dozen employees onsite were asked to leave the premises, the newspaper reported. Here’s a taste of the AJC piece on the enterprise from last June:

Let it be known that when China needed more chopsticks, the country of 1.3 billion people turned to the south-central Georgia city of Americus.

It may seem strange that for all the products that China exports to this country, it should need to look outside its …

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Your morning jolt: Sign up for state lawmaker’s emails, get $50 off your next shotgun

Blog for Democracy has caught state Rep. Sean Jerguson, R-Woodstock, a gun store owner, using his campaign mailing list to offer red-tag bargains to his constituents.

Premium shotguns for $50 to $100 off, for instance. From BfD:

[C]onviently included in the footer [of the e-mailed ad] is a link to Rep. Jerguson’s campaign website. …. So, it would appear that constituents who sign up for campaign communications from Sean also will also receive business communications from his company.

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Just in time for the July 31 referendum on the transportation sales tax, another tea party group has decided to purge its leadership.

From Jon Gillooly and the Marietta Daily Journal:

The Marietta-based Georgia Tea Party had a lively meeting Thursday night as its leadership explained to an audience of about 60 why they decided to remove three people from the group’s nine-member board.

The meeting kicked off with the board’s chairman, J.D. Van Brink of Acworth, explaining that the …

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Five years later, the Irish wake that Tom Murphy deserved

From left to right, former House speaker Terry Coleman, current Speaker David Ralston, and former speakers Mark Burkhalter and Glenn Richrdson. Marshall Guest/Special

From left to right, former House speaker Terry Coleman, current Speaker David Ralston, and former speakers Mark Burkhalter and Glenn Richrdson. Marshall Guest/Special

CARROLLTON, Ga. — Half of Georgia’s political world – by and large, the older half – turned out Thursday for the formal dedication of a recreation of the late House Speaker Tom Murphy’s office on the campus of the University of West Georgia.

Earlier this week, we described the recreated office with its eclectic collection of mementoes gathered up by Murphy over his 28-year career as leader of the House.

Much of Murphy’s nearby hometown of Bremen witnessed the event, as did all four House speakers who have followed him, two governors, a labor commissioner and a roomful of former lawmakers, lobbyists and staffers.

The political population gave the ceremony the air of a long-delayed, and much overdue, Irish wake. Murphy left office in 2003, and died in late 2007. A few high points:

House Speaker David …

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Sue Everhart proposes, and the RNC rejects, a streamlined primary in 2016

In Phoenix, members of the Republican National Committee on Thursday rejected a proposal by Georgia GOP chairman Sue Everhart to streamline, for 2016, a long and tortuous primary process that some think have placed Republicans at a disadvantage this year.

From the New York Times:

[Everhart] suggested changes that would have allowed states to hold winner-take-all contests in 2016, potentially bringing the contest to a close more quickly.

But several members spoke in opposition to her proposal, saying the current process gives more voters an opportunity to participate in the nomination by creating a lengthier process.

“The thought has been for 20 years to try to create a process which keeps us from having a one-day primary in which you have the man on the white horse winning and then you wake up with buyer’s remorse,” said John Ryder, a committee member from Tennessee.

Everhart, curiously, was a major champion of ousted RNC chairman Michael Steele, who has cited the …

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