Archive for October, 2012

Lawmaker’s reluctance to use bathroom language results in ‘cowardly’ drug accusation

State Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, says his Republican challenger has taken his reluctance to use the word “pee” on the floor of the House and turned it into a “cowardly” accusation that the lawmaker engaged in illegal drug use while serving as an officer in the U.S. Army.

The incident arises from this year’s debate over a bill to require welfare recipients to submit to random drug tests. Holcomb, an opponent of the measure, took to the well and recounted his experience in the military.
Said Holcomb:

“I’ll also tell you, as someone who went through that – my luck isn’t always the best, and I would always get the call after I had – you know. And so, then I would have to sit there, and drink bottles and bottles of water until I could finally do what I needed to do take the test. It can have a real impact on productivity.”

Said Holcomb in an interview this morning: “I was talking about going to the bathroom, but wasn’t I wasn’t going to say that on the …

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Charter school fight makes a jumble of Georgia politics

Hyper-partisanship, the curse of Washington, is an infectious thing.

Yet even here, in the reddest of red states, you and I are catching a strong whiff of something different. For the second time in 100 days, a statewide campaign has made a massive jumble of Georgia’s traditional political alliances.

The fight over the Nov. 6 ballot issue on charter schools has fractured every demographic – men, women, black, white, Democrat, and Republican. Even tea partyers.

Proponents and opponents of the measure, which would allow the state to create public charter schools over the objections of local school systems, are each attempting to create a patchwork alliance – bipartisan and biracial – to breach the 50 percent mark.

A Journal-Constitution poll released over the weekend indicates the vote could be a near thing, and will stand independent of the race for president. Mitt Romney voters are split 44 to 44 percent on the charter school measure. Supporters of President Barack …

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Billy Graham group removes Mormonism from list of cults

Republican presidential candidate  Mitt Romney, left, meets with the Rev. Billy Graham, center, and his son Franklin Graham last week in Montreat, N.C. AP/ Evan Vucci

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left, meets with the Rev. Billy Graham, center, and his son Franklin Graham last week in Montreat, N.C. AP/ Evan Vucci

Evangelicals have been handed one more hint that it’s all right to vote for Mitt Romney, whose Mormon faith has long been considered beyond the pale of American Protestantism. From the Charlotte Observer:

This week, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed Mormonism from its list of religious cults.

The reclassification follows Romney’s visit to Graham’s mountain home last Thursday, a meeting that also included Graham’s son Franklin, who now runs the association for his 93-year-old father….

An article on the Graham website had classified Mormons, along with Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spiritists and Scientologists, among others, as cults.

“Our primary focus at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Ken …

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Paul Broun picks up a write-in opponent: ‘Charles Darwin’

Here’s your giggle of the day, courtesy of Ray Henry and Russ Bynum over at the Associated Press:

Having denounced evolution as a lie “straight from the pit of hell,” Republican Rep. Paul Broun has won himself a new political opponent: Charles Darwin.

A suggested slogan: “Four More Epochs.” But to continue:

An ultraconservative congressman whose district includes the University of Georgia campus, told a Baptist church last month that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory were lies spread by scientists out to erode people’s faith in Jesus Christ. He also claimed the Earth is roughly 9,000 years old, a view held by fundamentalist Christians based on biblical accounts of creation.

Now scientists are questioning whether Broun, a medical doctor and a Baptist from Athens, should serve on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee if he rejects widely accepted scientific ideas. And a talk radio host in nearby Atlanta is trying to rally voters to cast write-in …

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Your daily jolt: Cobb County D.A. says he’s done prosecuting Jessica Colotl

The Cobb County district attorney says he’s done prosecuting metro Atlanta’s most famous illegal immigrant, and wants a local judge to get over it.

Pat Head, whose term as county prosecutor is about to expire, says Jessica Colotl, the Kennesaw State University student whose illegal status sparked a statewide debate, has completed a plea bargain arrangement that he’s approved.

Jessica Colotl with her attorney, Jerome Lee at an October 2011 hearing.  Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com.

Jessica Colotl with her attorney, Jerome Lee at an October 2011 hearing. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com.

Even if Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley hasn’t. From Kim Isaza and the Marietta Daily Journal:

In an eight-page response filed in Cobb Superior Court on Tuesday, Head repeatedly points out the entry into the pretrial diversion program — in which defendants charged with certain offenses can pay a fee and do community service to avoid prosecution and a criminal record — is at his discretion.

Head also writes that Colotl, who was charged with a felony charge of making a false …

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CNN’s Candy Crowley: Mitt Romney ‘right in the main’ about Libya

The most dramatic moment in Tuesday night’s debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney came during a heated discussion of Libya, when moderator Candy Crowley of CNN intervened and became a third voice in the contest.

Here’s the transcript, courtesy of Politico.com:

ROMNEY: I — I think interesting the president just said something which — which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.

OBAMA: That’s what I said.

ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.

It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?

OBAMA: Please proceed governor.

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror…

OBAMA:

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An endorsement of Joe Biden from an Atlanta TV pioneer

A testimonial on behalf of Vice President Joe Biden arrived from Marietta this afternoon – a little late for last week’s debate, but well-written and compelling.

It wasn’t until I got to the bottom of the note that I realized that, after more than four decades, I’d finally received my own letter from Mr. Pix. In the ‘60s, he hosted the local children’s show for WAGA-TV. He drew pictures – hence the name.

Dave Michaels would go on to anchor the news at WXIA, then finished his career as a pioneer on CNN. Michaels is now 78 and mostly retired. Here’s his letter:

On the afternoon before the ’92 Super Bowl my son Michael suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage – what was called an AVM – while working out at a local health spa. He was 27 years old. That night he went through six hours of brain surgery. He was in a coma for weeks following that surgery.

I was working at CNN at the time and had to take weeks off.

As you can imagine, my wife, daughter and I spent most …

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U.S. Supreme Court won’t block early voting in Ohio

Debate or no debate, as crucial as this state is to Mitt Romney’s strategy, this could be the biggest news of the day. From the Associated Press:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Supreme Court sided with Democrats on Tuesday in refusing to block a decision over disputed early voting days in the battleground state of Ohio, giving President Barack Obama’s campaign a victory three weeks before the election.

The court refused a request by the state’s Republican elections chief and attorney general to get involved in a battle over early voting on the three days before Election Day.

Obama’s campaign and Ohio Democrats sued the state officials over changes in state law that took away the three days of voting for most people but made exceptions for military personnel and Ohioans living overseas.

Democrats in their lawsuit cited a recent study saying nearly 105,000 people voted in the three days before the election in 2008. They argued everyone should have the chance to vote on those days. And …

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Your daily jolt: Gloves off, Kasim Reed enters tonight’s post-debate spin room

When Democrats gathered in Charlotte last month, many wondered why Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed – a hard-charging defender of President Barack Obama — had no speaking role during the national convention.

Newark Mayor Corey Booker, many theorized, was the preferred choice because of his low-key approach and appeal to independents.

From Obama’s perspective, the time for low-key is apparently over.

On Sunday, Reed was the chosen Obama surrogate on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” On Monday morning, it was an MSNBC interview with Chuck Todd. Boxing metaphors flew with each appearance. On Monday evening, Reed snagged time with CNN’s Piers Morgan to set expectations for the president’s performance.

This morning, the Obama campaign released a list of two-dozen spinners who will be in New York to persuade journalists that Obama won this evening’s debate. Reed, not Booker, is among them.

***
CORRECTION: On Monday, the Insider blog identified the John McCallum in a Brunswick News …

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Hillary Clinton claims responsibility for Libya breach

Twenty-four hours before a crucial second debate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed responsibility for the deadly assault in Libya that left four U.S. diplomatic personnel dead, including the U.S. ambassador:

From the CNN website:

“I take responsibility” for what happened on September 11, Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Elise Labott soon after arriving in Lima, Peru, for a visit. The interview, one of a series given to U.S. television networks Monday night, was the first she has given about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Clinton insisted President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are not involved in security decisions.

“I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha,” she added, noting that it is close to the election.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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