Archive for the ‘Atlanta flood’ Category

Kasim Reed to Legislature: ‘It’s time for a cease-fire’

Last year witnessed several loud, knock-down-drag-out fights between the Legislature and elements associated with the city of Atlanta. Usually, the city lost.

But in an effective appearance before the state House this morning, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed essentially promised that – while the situation may be even more dire this year – there won’t be a repeat.

“It’s time for us to have a cease-fire. We can deal with the stuff between us later. But right now, Georgia’s dominance as the capital of the South is threatened,” the mayor said.

Note that Reed identified Georgia as the capital of the South. Not Atlanta.

Reed’s invitation to speak was recognition that the House had served as the starting point for his political career – though Reed actually spent more years in the Senate. So the mayor understands that his former colleagues can be a prickly bunch. If Reed used the word “humble” once, he used it five times — before House members and in interviews afterwards.

His …

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Your morning jolt: Judge Thrash warns others to steer clear of Atlanta’s water

Update at 10:55 a.m.: This post originally misidentified the federal judge in the transcript below. He is U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash.

Water is the essential ingredient to the establishment of any new city. And in recent years, efforts in the Legislature have been aimed at putting two new entities in the water-delivery business.

In 2007, S.B. 306 would have permitted Sandy Springs and other areas of north Fulton County to create a water and sewer authority. This year, H.B. 406 would pave the way for a reservoir in south Fulton County.

Both measures have stalled, over the city of Atlanta’s objections that the projects would erode the financial underpinnings of a court-mandated overhaul of its water-and-sewer system.

Renewed attempts at both are expected in the Legislature next year. But during a hearing on Monday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash had a warning for state lawmakers in general and north Fulton in particular. A kind soul sent us a partial …

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Your morning jolt: Max Cleland on Afghanistan as Vietnam, and struggles with depression

Revised at 4:55 p.m.:

On a quiet Tuesday night in the shadow of downtown Atlanta, Max Cleland rolled his wheelchair to the head of a welcoming crowd and explained where he’d been the last seven years.

Down the dank rabbit hole of depression and out the other side.

The gathering of 150 or so at the Carter Center was the first event in Georgia associated with the publication of Cleland’s new book, “Heart of a Patriot: How I Found the Courage to Survive Vietnam, Walter Reed and Karl Rove.”

Attendees were mostly older. Many were former military, and some were from Cleland’s old neighborhood in Lithonia. A C-SPAN camera was there as well. At least one Republican was in the audience.

The former U.S. senator, who lost his seat to Republican Saxby Chambliss in 2002, disappointed some who had assumed that, in the years since, the Vietnam veteran had drifted into the ranks of conspiracy theorists.

Cleland had no answer for the lanky fellow who assumed that, because the former …

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John Oxendine’s dad admits land deal caused his early departure from judgeship

Updated at 5 p.m.: John Oxendine’s Republican campaign for governor just issued the following statement on behalf of his father, Jim Oxendine, who until last week was a senior judge for the Gwinnett County Superior Court:

For the last 26 years, I’ve served the state of Georgia in some capacity as a judge. In 2001, I stepped down from the bench and became a part-time Senior Superior court judge. 

Because of questions that have arisen regarding my executing certain documents with a power of attorney, last week I accelerated my retirement which had been planned for the end of the year. 


I want the people of Georgia to know that I have been honored to serve them.

And the following comes from the candidate:

My 81 year old father, who has been a judge for the last three decades, had planned to retire at the end of the year.  Last week he decided to step down from his part-time position.

My dad has served the people of Georgia and I am proud to stand up for him.  He has been …

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Your morning jolt: Jim Marshall loses the ghost-hunter vote in Macon

Because life is unfair and cruel and at its heart a veil of tears, you are not allowed to read press releases with headlines like this every day:

“Georgia Congressman Jim Marshall publicly attacks ghost hunting and those who participate.”

An explanation will come, but later. This morning, the Macon Telegraph reports this:

Paul Rish, until a few days ago chairman of the Bibb County Republican Party, will challenge U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall in the 8th Congressional District, he said Monday. Rish, who will be 30 next week, is making his first bid for political office.

He is president and CEO of his own voice and data network business, Rish Telecommunications, and was head of the local GOP until resigning Sept. 30 to make this congressional run. The Republican Party has tried to take down Marshall, a Democrat, for several years now, making Middle Georgia’s 8th District a national priority.

Rish has been an active participant in the Tea Party movement. PeachPundit has more …

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Did global warming cause the Atlanta flood?

Stu Ostro, leader of the Weather Channel’s team of tornado, hurricane and climate experts just outside the Perimeter, describes himself as a reformed skeptic when it comes to the topic of man’s impact on climate.

But in a post over the weekend, Ostro raised the ultimate question: “Did global warming ‘cause’ the Atlanta flood?”

The post is long and complex, with charts and graphs as tough to wade through as Pumpkinvine Creek was 10 days ago. But here’s his summary toward the end:

…There’s a straightforward connection in the way the changing climate “set the table” for what happened this September in Atlanta and elsewhere. It behooves us to understand not only theoretical expected increases in heavy precipitation (via relatively slow/linear changes in temperatures, evaporation, and atmospheric moisture) but also how changing circulation patterns are already squeezing out that moisture in extreme doses and affecting weather in other ways.

In other words, the …

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Your morning jolt: Iranian president has ‘Jewish roots’?

The Telegraph of London is – quite seriously – raising the question of whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Holocaust-denying president of Iran, has a more nuanced background than he lets on:

A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots.

A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.

The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth…

Experts last night suggested Mr Ahmadinejad’s track record for hate-filled attacks on Jews could be an overcompensation to hide his past.

Unfortunately, the rival Guardian newspaper apparently has no sense of irony and this morning declared the idea to be hogwash:

Professor David Yeroshalmi, author of “The Jews of Iran in the 19th century” and an expert on Iranian Jewish communities, disputes the …

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Your morning jolt: Liberty U. student made phone call that stopped Friday football Scriptures

A banner made by high school cheerleaders in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. for a Friday night. Special/Brad Scott

A banner made by high school cheerleaders in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. for a Friday night. Special/Brad Scott

The Case of the Friday Night Football Scriptures up in Catoosa County has taken a strange turn.

On Monday, the county school superintendent – responding to what she termed as a complaint – declared that cheerleaders at the local high school would no longer be allowed to paint Bible verses on the paper banners that football players crash through on game night.

Much of the northwest Georgia community erupted.

Who was the interloper who blew the whistle on this colorful Christian – but legally indefensible – tradition? A mom who had just finished a class on education law at Liberty University, the institution founded by the Rev. Jerry Fallwell.

In prelude to a Thursday evening interview with Donna Jackson, radio station WAAK (94.7 FM) posted a formal statement from the mother, which includes this:

“I did call the superintendent to express concern that the …

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Your morning jolt: Creating an early, strong consensus on water

Just before the close of the Tuesday business day, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced that two prominent business leaders had agreed to help create a massive – and probably expensive — to-do list intended to make Georgia more independent when it comes to water.

Coca-Cola Enterprises CEO John Brock and Tim Lowe of Lowe Engineers have agree to co-chair a task force that will have until December to draw up contingency plans that will be put before the Legislature in January.

“We will consider conservation measures as well as opportunities to enhance our water supply options,” Perdue said. I.e., reservoirs and low-flow toilets.

This “water contingency task force” – blue-ribbon panels are passé, possibly because they lack drama – is intended give the governor a deep, unassailable consensus within the business community from the outset, before state lawmakers assemble.

“That’s absolutely correct. It’s not just business leaders. It’s business, community leaders, …

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Your morning jolt: Al Gore’s champion in Republican ranks

Within hours of a Georgia Supreme Court decision upholding the use of touch-screen voting machines, Secretary of State Karen Handel celebrated with a press release.

“Georgia has the most secure elections in the nation due to our four levels of security testing on touch-screen voting machines,” crowed the Republican candidate for governor.

But if Handel is fer it, then GOP rival John Oxendine must be agin it.

Said the Ox, in a counter news release:

”With all due respect and appreciation for the Supreme Court of Georgia, I am deeply disappointed in the decision today to reject the challenge to touch-screen electronic voting machines.

….[M]any Georgians will suggest, and I agree, that the 2000 presidential election demonstrates the exact need for a back-up paper system to establish the integrity of the voting process.”

Who knew that Oxendine was an Al Gore man?

A third Republican candidate for governor, Eric Johnson, was at the state Capitol on Monday, packing up his …

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