Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed – and the governor signed – HB 954, which reduced the period during which a woman could seek an abortion to 20 weeks.
It was one of the most restrictive anti-abortion measures passed in years, and – while it was later softened somewhat – originally made no exception for women who were carrying stillborns and other fetuses that could not survive outside the womb.
Last March, during debate over this provision, House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, cited his farming expertise. “Life gives us many experiences. I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive — delivering pigs, dead and alive. And I want to tell you… it breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it,” he said.
This was nature’s way, was the lawmaker’s apparent point. England voted for the bill.
Many people objected to England’s turn of phrase, especially on the Internet. And if you put the terms “farm animals” and “women” through the Google machine, England’s name pops up – ahead of many topics unfit for public discussion.
Bryan Long, whose group Better Georgia first highlighted England’s remarks, said the video posted on the abortion debate has been viewed 1.2 million times.
The result, for England, has been worldwide harassment and ridicule.
That is unfortunate, but unlikely to change. Hollywood’s finest – led by Kevin Bacon — are now weighing in on England’s comments, with a public service announcement devoted to women’s reproductive rights. England has gone where few Georgians have gone before. He’s made Meryl Streep angry:
The word from England, via email:
“Kevin Bacon is a great actor, despite his role in ‘Hollow Man,’ which just doesn’t compare to his performance in ‘A Few Good Men’ (in my humble opinion of course).
“It is unfortunate he has been misled by some on the far left trying to push an agenda of their own. Had he watched the full three + hour debate on the fetal pain bill, he would see my comments a bit differently. As a movie star and a director, I am sure he knows a thing or two about editing and manipulating video to present it in a certain context.
“It’s simply false to insinuate that I said anything like that.”
On a similar topic, remember last week’s video of U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, declaring – in front of a spooky wall of deer heads – that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are all “lies straight from the pit of hell”? It made Jon Stewart’s playlist on Thursday night.
How do Broun and other members of Congress get away with such comments? “Easy,” Stewart said. “They do it by being less crazy than guys on the state level.”
Now, honestly – most people in the state Capitol would tell you that this just isn’t so. Congress is awarded the politicians who are most able to survive a July primary. Which is not exactly a sanity test.
In fact, Georgia’s primary process can be — forgive us, Mr. Broun — more than slightly Darwinian. The birds with the brightest plumage are the ones most likely to thrive.
The Gallup organization this morning tells us that bipartisanship remains a foreign concept in the United States:
Thus far in October, an average of 90% of Democrats, and 8% of Republicans, approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. That 82-percentage-point gap in approval ratings by party is on pace to be the largest Gallup has measured for a recent incumbent president in the final month before Americans vote on his re-election.
George W. Bush had an 80-point party gap in approval, while the October gaps for other presidents were less than 70 points.
Perhaps you remember that Lee Anderson, the GOP challenger to U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, recently declared that a debate with his opponent on statewide TV wasn’t worth a trip to the Big City.
But campaign contributions are always worth the risks of an urban dystopia, according to Walter Jones of Morris News Service:
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — House Republican Leader Eric Cantor campaigned Thursday with 12th District challenger Lee Anderson at a private fundraiser in an Atlanta suburb, saying incumbent John Barrow is out of touch with the district.
Meanwhile, Barrow blamed Cantor for holding up passage of legislation critical to the district’s farmers….
“This is an extremely important race for the House of Representatives and the Republicans there, and we’ve got a candidate who is in touch with the people of that district and reflects the common-sense, conservative vein that runs throughout this state,” Cantor said of Anderson. “Lee is a farmer. He’s someone who’s been in that community throughout his career, and he represents a stark contrast, really, to Mr. Barrow.”
If you are a supporter of the charter school measure on the November ballot, this is exactly, precisely, the news story you didn’t want to see in the four weeks before the vote. At least, not in Georgia:
Oct 12 (Reuters) – It’s been a turbulent period for charter schools in the United States, with financial analysts raising concerns about their stability and regulators in several states shutting down schools for poor performance.
…But an unlikely source of new capital has emerged to fill the gap: foreign investors.
Wealthy individuals from as far away as China, Nigeria, Russia and Australia are spending tens of millions of dollars to build classrooms, libraries, basketball courts and science labs for American charter schools….
The reason? Under a federal program known as EB-5, wealthy foreigners can in effect buy U.S. immigration visas for themselves and their families by investing at least $500,000 in certain development projects. In the past two decades, much of the investment has gone into commercial real-estate projects, like luxury hotels, ski resorts and even gas stations.
Lately, however, enterprising brokers have seen a golden opportunity to match cash-starved charter schools with cash-flush foreigners in investment deals that benefit both.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider