Archive for September, 2012

Kasim Reed: Mitt Romney is like a ‘bad NASCAR driver’

Kasim Reed’s shtick at home is one of bipartisan cooperation with Republicans inside the state Capitol.

But when he is on NBC’s “Meet the Press” – today was what, his fourth appearance this year? – the mayor of Atlanta isn’t on camera to appeal to the middle. Reed is there to do damage on behalf of President Barack Obama.

This morning, Reed was out to highlight GOP dissatisfaction with Mitt Romney in particularly Southern terms:

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From the transcript:

Kasim Reed: The best analysis of this election this year that I’ve heard was from a Republican friend that I was having dinner with. He said that this guy is defective. He said he’s like being a– a bad NASCAR driver on a rich team. He said no matter how good the car is, no matter how bad the pit crew is, the driver has got to drive the car. And this guy puts it on the wall every single time. He puts it…

Bay Buchanan: If he shows…

Reed: …no, no, no, …

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Dan Cathy took part in Chick-fil-A talks on gay rights

August was a busy month at Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta, especially when it came to the topic of gay marriage.

On Wednesday, a Chicago alderman had dropped his objections to the first standalone Chick-fil-A restaurant in his city, after the fast-food franchise persuaded him that it had withdrawn from the political battle over same-sex marriage.

Several weeks of negotiations with Chick-fil-A executives had produced internal company guidelines that prohibit discrimination in hiring and customer service. Alderman Joe Moreno also said that, in August, executives of the family-held firm also opened the books of Chick-fil-A’s charitable foundation, to prove that it no longer gave money to groups opposing same-sex unions.

chickgay

Gay marriage supporters gathered at the Chick-fil-A store in Decatur in August for a "kiss-in" protest of company president Dan Cathy's stand on gay marriage. Phil Skinner, pskinner@ajc.com

Less known is the fact that, at the same time, Chick-fil-A was also …

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Herman Cain says he’d have a ‘substantial lead’ over Barack Obama

You can file Herman Cain’s appearance at the University of Florida on Thursday under “With Friends Like These.” From the Gainesville Sun:

Cain told members of the media after the speech that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s recent “47 percent” comment was a “non-story” being blown out of proportion by the media. But Cain said he would have been doing better if he was the nominee, saying that he’d probably have a “substantial lead” on President Barack Obama at this point.

“The reason is quite simple: I have some depth to my ideas,” he said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Your morning jolt: An Obama victory could mean a GOP retreat on taxes

The Washington Post today connects the Nov. 6 election with the lame-duck session of Congress to follow:

Senior Republicans say they will be forced to retreat on taxes if President Obama wins a second term in November, clearing the biggest obstacle to a deal with Democrats to defuse a year-end budget bomb that threatens to rock the U.S. economy.

Republicans have long resisted tax increases of any kind. But taxes are a major battleground in the campaign between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, Capitol Hill veterans say, and the victor will be able to claim a mandate for his policies.

“This is a referendum on taxes,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a senior member of the House Budget Committee. “If the president wins reelection, taxes are going up” for the nation’s wealthiest households, and “there’s not a lot we can do about that.”

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss isn’t quoted, but the Gang of Six outline of what might happen, detailed in the Post piece, mirrors what he told us last …

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Of American flags, American colors and the art of outrage

Georgia GOP chairman Sue Everhart this afternoon joined other Republicans to demand my outrage – and yours — over this bit of art called “Our Stripes” that Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is selling for $35 a print:

obamastripes

“I’m speechless. Utterly disrespectful and outrageous,” Everhart says.

Now, I’m entirely willing to be outraged. I find it exciting, and it burns calories. But I require more information.

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It is entirely common for political organizations to take flag motifs and alter them for their own purposes. Bunting, for example.

teapartyflag

In the above case, the Obama campaign has adopted the form of the U.S. flag (note that there are five stripes, not seven), but has stayed away from the colors. Other groups prefer to use the colors of the U.S. flag – but feel free to play with the form.

romneyflag

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Some people might declare that putting a personal stamp on a U.S. flag is somehow disrespectful. But Mitt Romney surely isn’t among them, because his campaign is selling this poster on …

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Your morning jolt: Give home foreclosures their day in court, says Glenn Richardson

You knew that if former House speaker Glenn Richardson were to revive his political career, he would have to go where no Republican has gone before. And now he has.

In a friendly 34-minute interview first posted at Paulding.com, Richardson – now looking to win a seat in the state Senate – discusses depression and his 2009 attempted suicide, transportation, ethics, and has some indirect criticism of the Legislature’s decision to change the terms of the HOPE scholarship.

But the former speaker also said he’s ready to look at slowing down home foreclosures in Georgia by bringing the courts into the process. This is important, given that District 30 is a largely exurban district that has more than its share of zombie subdivisions – particularly in Paulding County, where Richardson lives.

Four years into a massive housing crisis that has crippled the metro Atlanta economy, Richardson may be the first Republican legislative candidate to seriously raise the topic of giving …

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The 12th District race and the art of public speaking

At the outset, the 12th District congressional race down in southeast Georgia was to be a straight-up test of whether the last white Democrat from the Deep South would be able to survive another two years in Congress.

But in the last few weeks, the contest between Democratic incumbent John Barrow of Augusta and Republican challenger Lee Anderson of Grovetown, has been transformed – at least for the moment — into something slightly different.

It’s now an argument over elocution, over whether the ability to speak clearly and think on one’s feet is a worthwhile talent to take to Washington – or whether glibness and smooth-talking should be considered part of the problem.

Anderson, a farmer and state lawmaker, concedes that he’s not a Toastmasters kind of guy. Not only that, he has a rural Southern accent so pronounced that it ought to be preserved in amber for future generations to examine and enjoy.

He speaks with a King James cadence that sometimes shoves grammar into the glove …

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Chick-fil-A just blinked on gay marriage

The Civil Rights Agenda, an Illinois advocacy group focused on sexual orientation issues, says a letter from a Chick-fil-A executive to a Chicago alderman indicates the Georgia-based fast-food chain is backing off its financial support for political opponents of gay marriage.

From group’s website:

In a letter addressed to Alderman [Joe] Moreno and signed by Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate, it states, “The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.”

Winshape, a non-profit funded by Chick-fil-a, has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT groups, including some classified as hate groups, such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage. In meetings the company executives clarified that they will no longer give to anti-gay organizations.

Jim Burruss of WABE (90.1FM) reports

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Your morning jolt: Charter school support holds steady at 58 percent

The forces behind Georgia’s charter school amendment to the state constitution are out with a new poll this morning that shows voters still comfortably in favor of the measure.

Fifty-eight percent of voters are prepared to vote in favor of the amendment – unchanged since the previous poll in July. See the polling note from John McLaughlin and Rob Schmidt here.

The real purpose of the poll was to measure the effectiveness of arguments we’re likely to see put forward in coming weeks. Opponents have argued that giving a state agency the power to grant charter school licenses over the objections of local systems would sap education funding from traditional schools.

Here’s one test argument from the poll:

If approved, this amendment would not take a single dollar away from traditional public schools. This amendment simply provides for a fair appeals process for families that are not fortunate enough to have great public schools or enough resources to enroll in private …

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Peggy Noonan: ‘Time to admit Romney campaign is an incompetent one’

A surprising column from Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal includes this:

It’s time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one. It’s not big, it’s not brave, it’s not thoughtfully tackling great issues. It’s always been too small for the moment. All the activists, party supporters and big donors should be pushing for change. People want to focus on who at the top is least constructive and most responsible. Fine, but Mitt Romney is no puppet: He chooses who to listen to. An intervention is in order. “Mitt, this isn’t working.”

….Romney doesn’t seem to be out there campaigning enough. He seems—in this he is exactly like the president—to always be disappearing into fund-raisers, and not having enough big public events.

Consider this fodder for Romney’s private fund-raiser at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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