Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

Your daily jolt: 122,949 white Georgia voters went missing in 2012 presidential race

Black voters in Georgia turned out for the November presidential election at nearly the same rate as they did in 2008, while white voter turnout dropped measurably, according to demographic statistics released this week by Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Usually calculated in the weeks following an election, a spokesman for Kemp said the statistics – gathered as required by the Voting Rights Act — were delayed by incomplete numbers from Fulton County. But the breakdown remains doubly important for political wonks, given that Georgia wasn’t included in any exit polling.

Last November, Republican challenger Mitt Romney beat Democratic incumbent Barack Obama in Georgia by 53 to 46 percent, doing slightly better than John McCain against Obama (52 percent to 47 percent) four years earlier.

But behind the percentages are some numbers that, in a state where race and voting preference run parallel to each other, ought to concern Republicans. White voter participation dropped by …

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Reports: Beyonce lip-synched national anthem

Mrs. Insider took one look at Beyonce at Monday’s inaugural ceremonies and told me this was the case. But would I believe her? Oh, no. It couldn’t possibly be so. The tweet from Jim Acosta of CNN:

CNN has confirmed Times of London report that Beyonce lip-synched the National Anthem during #inaug2013

The Times report cites a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps Band.

Look, the lady has fine pipes and obviously came down with a case of nerves, complicated by a driving need for perfection. But at any inaugural, whether Democrat or Republican, it seems to me that the object should be authenticity rather than unrivaled excellence.

What was that line from Obama’s inaugural speech? Ah, yes:

“We must act, we must act knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial.”

Otherwise, let’s just have Chuck Schumer say, “Roll tape.”

On the other hand, my AJC colleague Melissa Ruggieri, over at the Music Scene, has a different …

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Hank Johnson: NRA has “invoked racist sensitivities”

The big news in Washington today is President Barack Obama’s roll-out of executive orders and proposed Congressional actions in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre last month.

The proposals are being met with an aggressive counterattack from the National Rifle Association, which called Obama a hypocrite for not calling for armed guards in all schools when his own daughters are protected by armed guards at all times. That being the Secret Service. Here’s the ad:

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Decatur, didn’t like this one bit. In a conversation with Your Washington Correspondent today, Johnson said the NRA’s opposition to the Obama proposals — read them all here — is personal and, in part, racially motivated. Said Johnson:

“They are a tool of the free enterprise system and they, like many of their philosophical friends, don’t want any regulations on anything, and they don’t want the federal government to be involved in any area other than the defense of the nation …

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Your daily jolt: Nathan Deal wants to stay out of gun debate

Gov. Nathan Deal’s sit-down with Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News on Wednesday was primarily intended to spread the news that the state’s economic woes had eased enough to boost HOPE scholarships by 3 percent and add 10 days to the pre-kindergarten schedule.

But Geary was also able to sneak in a question about gun legislation – which has become a hot topic for governor’s elsewhere. Said Deal:

”It is a time that is fraught with emotions on both sides of the issue. I’ve heard of proposed legislation, but none of that is part of my agenda.”

Don’t consider that declaration of neutrality to be a green light for the handful of bills already filed in the House, in anticipation of the new session of the Legislature that begins Monday. Several have been filed by incoming freshman Charles Gregory, R-Kennesaw, who has proposed removing state bans on (permitted) concealed weapons in churches and on public university campuses.

The governor’s statement could very well …

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Conservative Atlanta pastor to deliver benediction at Obama inauguration

President Barack Obama’s second inauguration will be book-ended with prayers from the widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers and the conservative pastor of an Atlanta mega-church.

The  Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta has been tapped to give the benediction at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

The Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta has been tapped to give the benediction at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

The Rev. Louie Giglio, whose Passion City Church just hosted a youth-oriented event that attracted 60,000 to the Georgia Dome, will offer the benediction – a duty assigned four years ago to the Rev. Joe Lowery.

The invocation will be offered by Myrlie Evers-Williams, whose husband – a field director for the NAACP – was gunned down in 1963 in the driveway of his Jackson, Miss., home. Myrlie Evers-Williams served as chairman of the NAACP from 1995 to 1998.

Here’s the Washington Post take on the pairing:

The contrasting choice of speakers are typical of a president who has walked a sometimes complicated path when it comes to religion — …

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Your daily jolt: In Georgia, congressional Republicans split

Each of Georgia’s House Republicans on Tuesday voted to reject the Senate-passed measure to defuse the “fiscal cliff” debacle – highlighting the “yes” votes cast a day earlier by U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss.

Within the delegation, as a matter of courtesy, such splits rarely receive a public mention. But according to Slate, protocol was almost violated after a House GOP caucus meeting, when alternative legislation was still being pondered:

After he left the room, Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston joked that the deal passed only because “it was way past those senators’ bedtimes and they had blurry eyes when they were reading” it. House Republicans? Why, they were “trying to fill in the gaps they might have missed.”

The reply that Isakson and Chambliss can’t make, but would like to: “We don’t have the luxury of designer districts to guarantee our re-election.”

The bill would boost the top 35 percent income tax rate to nearly 40 percent …

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Your Daily Jolt: Watch the Dow on cliff day

Like energy drink-guzzling college students pulling an all-nighter, our federal lawmakers are up against the “fiscal cliff” deadline today. And who’s the man you call when you need real work to get done? Biden. Politico this morning reports Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Veep have made “major progress” toward an accord:

McConnell and Biden, who served in the Senate together for 23 years, are closing in on an agreement that would hike tax rates for families who earn more than $450,000, and individuals who make more than $400,000, according to sources familiar with talks.

The vice president and the Senate minority leader only began talking Sunday, after negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and McConnell sputtered.

Sources close to the talks said a deal is now more likely to come together but cautioned that obstacles remain, including how Speaker John Boehner and House Republican leaders react to any tentative agreement.

But both …

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Fiscal cliff action to come Sunday … maybe

Harry Reid returns to his office Friday(The New York Times/T.J. Kirkpatrick)

Harry Reid returns to his office Friday after White House meeting (The New York Times/T.J. Kirkpatrick)

The United States Senate has the ball in its hands.

This afternoon’s White House fiscal cliff summit appears to have generated some movement toward a deal, with just more than 72 hours to go. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both took the floor afterwards in an unusually conciliatory manner, pledging to work with their staffs to come up with a plan that can pass both Houses of Congress. Reid said “we’ll see what we can come up with.” McConnell said he was “hopeful and confident” that both sides will have a deal to take to their conferences shortly after 2 p.m. on Sunday. The words were noncommittal, but the tone was a vast improvement over the deep freeze of recent days.

That would likely be a short-term deal. President Barack Obama did not present a new plan at the meeting — a fact that, once leaked, caused a stock market dip — and told …

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Your Daily Jolt: Racing over the cliff

Christmas is over, but Cliffmas is still bearing down. Here’s your morning shot of reality from the good folks at Politico:

Nearly all the major players in the fiscal cliff negotiations are starting to agree on one thing: A deal is virtually impossible before the New Year.

Unlike the bank bailout in 2008, the tax deal in 2010 and the debt ceiling in 2011, the Senate almost certainly won’t swoop in and help sidestep a potential economic calamity, senior officials in both parties predicted on Wednesday.

With the country teetering on this fiscal cliff of deep spending cuts and sharp tax hikes, the philosophical differences, the shortened timetable and the political dynamics appear to be insurmountable hurdles for a bipartisan deal by New Year’s Day.

Lawmakers are starting to emerge from their egg nog break today: President Barack Obama is flying back to D.C. from Hawaii, and lands late this morning. His Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner shot up a flare Wednesday reminding …

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Your Daily Jolt: Boehner ‘they weren’t taking that out on me’

A few minutes ago, House Speaker John Boehner faced the press following last night’s Plan B Implosion and declared that he does not think that the conservative rebellion was about him, and he does not fear losing his gavel. Majority Leader Eric Cantor was standing just feet away and, based on the angle provided by CNN, did not appear to be holding a dagger.

“No, I’m not,” Boehner said when asked if he was concerned about his speakership. “You’ve all heard me say this and I’ve told my colleagues this: If you do the right things every day for the right reasons, the right things will happen. Though we were not able to get the votes last night … I don’t think, they weren’t taking that out on me. They were dealing with the perception that someone might accuse them of raising taxes.”

Last night’s non-vote leaves the fiscal cliff negotiations in limbo, and Boehner said he would continue to work with President Barack Obama but gave no specifics about meetings or phone calls or …

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