Starting Wednesday, former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn and three retired ex-colleagues will hold four forums aimed at forcing the first presidential debate between Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney to take up the federal debt crisis.
Each forum will take the form of a congressional hearing before Nunn and his four co-horts: Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico; Warren Rudman, R-New Hampshire; and Evan Bayh, D-Indiana.
Former U.S. secretarys of the treasury Robert Rubin and James A. Baker, III, will be part of Wednesday’s proceedings in Washington D.C.
You’ll recall that, last month, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss was one of a quartet of current senators who asked that one of the three presidential debates be dedicated to the deficit recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson Commission.
On CBS’ “This Morning,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was asked whether the Pentagon had begun planning for the massive across-the-board cuts mandated as of Jan. 1 if Congress can’t reach a compromise on a way to get its arms around $16 trillion in debt.
No, said Panetta. Isn’t that irresponsible? asked the reporter.
“What’s irresponsible is the fact that they put these cuts into place and that they are failing to come up with the answer as to how to prevent this from happening. They put a gun to their head. That’s what a sequester was all about. They said, “Let’s put a gun to our head and if we don’t do the right thing, we’ll blow our heads off.” Well, now they’ve cocked the gun. This thing’s supposed to take effect in January. But the whole purpose of it was for both Republicans and Democrats to do the right thing and to prevent this from happening. That’s what’s irresponsible”
The first debate, dedicated to domestic policy, is scheduled for 9 p.m. Oct. 3 at the University of Denver in Colorado.
Services for the late Otis BrumbyJr., 72, publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal, have been set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church in Marietta.
Some of you who may not quite understand Brumby’s influence in Cobb County.
Several years ago, when he was still chairman of the county commission and a daily target of Brumby’s scrutiny, Bill Byrne told me this story:
He and four other commissioners had just gone through one of those touchy-feely sessions at an annual retreat – the kind where you’re asked to design an escape from a deserted island without sacrificing the least popular member of your group to cannibals.
Each member of the Cobb commission was asked, if he were able to be anyone else in the world, who would that someone be? Without consulting each other, all five said: “Otis Brumby.”
Yet another poll has shown President Barack Obama with at least a small bump coming out of last week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. From the Washington Post:
The survey shows that the race remains close among likely voters, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 48 percent, virtually unchanged from a poll taken just before the conventions.
But among a wider sample of all registered voters, Obama holds an apparent edge, topping Romney at 50 percent to 44 percent, and has clear advantages on important issues in the campaign when compared with his rival.
One more outside group with money has decided to play in Georgia’s 12th District congressional contest. The group Center Forward said it will drop $835,000 on behalf of U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, and Jim Matheson, D-Utah. Here’s the group’s ad attacking Barrow’s Republican challenger, Lee Anderson of Grovetown:
Note that the ad takes an unnamed shot at Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, whose no-new-taxes pledge has received much of the blame for the current deadlock in Washington.
Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee has this new ad, in which it quotes the Augusta Chronicle as “two-faced, disingenuous and perhaps the most shameless, duplicitous, self-serving politician of his era:”
Now, without getting into a discussion of Barrow’s personal attributes, it’s fair to say that such a description reflects a very limited range of experience on the part of editors at the Chronicle. We know Augusta has politicians who have done far, far better than Barrow in these categories.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider