Archive for the ‘birthers’ Category

The ‘birther’ bill and an image of second thoughts

HB401

When state Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross, dropped his bill to require next year presidential candidates to provide hard proof of their birth on U.S. soil, the paperwork contained the signatures of 93 of his House colleagues – 92 of them Republican.

Word of House Speaker David Ralston’s coolness toward the legislation spread through the Capitol on Wednesday. Those concerned with the Port of Savannah made their opinions known.

By the end of Thursday, at least 23 House members had changed their minds, according to my AJC colleague April Hunt – and the above image of blotted out, former supporters.

For a PDF of the above image, click here. For a look at the original, click here.

John Meadows, chairman of the House Rules Committee, which determines what legislation goes to the floor, was the first to remove his name this morning.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Your morning jolt: HOPE scholarships to cover 90 percent of tuition? That’s so last year

HOPEprotest

College students from across Georgia rally at the state Capitol on Wednesday, protesting cuts to the HOPE scholarship program. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com

One of the selling points of the HOPE legislation speeding its way through the Legislature has been that, despite the cuts, the college scholarships would still cover 90 percent of tuition costs.

But Jason Carter, D-Decatur, says he and a few other Democratic senators sat down with Gov. Nathan Deal’s number-crunchers on Tuesday night and figured out that the real figure is more like 80 percent.

The 90 percent figure used in association with the current legislation, which Carter and other Senate Democrats oppose, is based on last year’s rates – for tuition that’s already paid for. The reduced scholarships “will go toward next year’s tuition. So it is an approximately 20 percent cut. I don’t think people fully understand that,” he said this morning.

Carter and other senators on Wednesday unveiled their plan for …

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Your morning jolt: House speaker suggests ‘birther’ bill has a limited future

House Speaker David Ralston, in a late Thursday interview, said he would not stop committee-level debate of a bill to require President Barack Obama to provide proof of his American birth in order to get on the ballot next year.

But Ralston, who has developed a strong relationship with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, suggested that HB 401 stood little chance of making it to the floor for passage, despite carrying the signatures of 93 Republican lawmakers.

House Speaker David Ralston. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com

House Speaker David Ralston. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com

“I’m not promoting the bill or squelching discussion. We’ll have a discussion, and then we’ll see what happens,” Ralston said. “First of all, I believe President Obama is the duly elected president of the United States. I’ve never followed the ‘birther’ school of thought.”

The measure was introduced Monday, and has its first hearing today in a House subcommittee. The bill could require all candidates for president to provide certified copies of their …

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New bill would require Barack Obama to provide proof of birth to get on Georgia ballot

State Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross, just handed me a copy of his new bill, HB 401, which would require President Barack Obama to provide certified proof of his birth to the Georgia secretary of state in order to appear on next year’s presidential primary and general election ballots.

The bill has the signatures of 94 members of the 180-member House, including that of one Democrat, Glenn Baker of Jonesboro.

State Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross. Ben Gray, bgray@ajc.com

State Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross. Ben Gray, bgray@ajc.com

The measure will get its first hearing on Wednesday. Read the bill here.

If you’re a member of the Georgia Ports Authority or Georgia Chamber of Commerce, still attempting to persuade the White House to add a few zeros to that appropriation for the dredging of the Port of Savannah, this is your cue to cut loose an animal howl of frustration.

At minimum, the bill will make for some interesting chatter when the national press comes down to hear Newt Gingrich’s announcement that he’s exploring a GOP run for …

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White House accuses Newt Gingrich of pandering to birthers with ‘Kenyan’ remarks

This morning’s chain reaction was just posted by Jake Tapper and Dana Hughes of ABC News:

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich/AP

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich/AP

On Good Morning America, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told George Stephanopoulos that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., in a recent interview was “trying to appeal to the fringe of people who don’t think the president was born in this country.”

Gibbs was pointing to an online interview of the former Georgia congressman, posted late Saturday by the National Review:

“What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asks. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

And Gingrich, in turn, was reflecting on an article in Forbes by Dinesh D’Souza, the president of the King’s College in New York City, that included this:

[….O]ur President is trapped in his father’s time machine. Incredibly, …

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Nathan Deal quickly sheds Facebook friendship with ‘birther’ attorney

The campaign of Nathan Deal says the Republican nominee for governor shed “birther” attorney Orly Taitz as a Facebook friend this morning, within minutes of finding out who she was.

Taitz is the infamous attorney – the term is used loosely — who has persuaded a handful of military personnel, including officers, to resist overseas deployment on the fiction that Obama is a non-citizen and thus ineligible to be president and commander-in-chief.

She’s currently fighting a $20,000 fine imposed last year by a federal judge in Columbus.

On Wednesday, Taitz posted the following on her web site:

If you recall, on my birthday, when I was getting hundreds of birthday greetings on Facebook, my access to my own Facebook page was blocked by Facebook.

I started a new page. Within a few days nearly 300 people signed up as my friends on my new page. More community leaders are joining. Congressman Nathan Deal joined my new page today.

Brian Robinson, spokesman for Deal, said that Taitz …

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Your morning jolt: Questioning Barack Obama’s religion

Earlier this month, Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky, the U.S. Senate minority leader, was asked about a poll that indicated that nearly one in five Americans believe President Barack Obama is a Muslim.

“The president says he’s a Christian. I take him at his word,” McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

This morning’s editorial in the Augusta Chronicle doesn’t even cut Obama that tiny bit of slack. The first two paragraphs:

Much has been made recently over questions of the president’s religious views.

In reporting a poll that says 18 percent of Americans believe Barack Obama is a Muslim, national media have condescendingly added the words “mistakenly” and “incorrectly.” Yet, it’s quite possible Americans aren’t as dumb as the media think: Maybe they’re aware of Mr. Obama’s Christian affiliation — and just don’t believe it.

We are beginning to tread some very shaky ground, ladies and gentlemen.

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Thousands of Tea Party activists gather for a "Restoring America" rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT

Thousands of Tea Party activists gather for a "Restoring America" rally at the …

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Of Nathan Deal, Roy Barnes and Georgia geography

There’s the mess in Washington, and the mess in the state Capitol.

Decide which one worries you most, and you’re halfway to solving the riddle of the November race for governor of Georgia.

The other half of the mystery is trickier, and will come down to your opinion of two political veterans: An 18-year Washington regular who trumped Sarah Palin’s chosen “mama grizzly,” and the first ousted governor to attempt a return since Georgia was a dusty web of dirt roads.

After 12 hours of limbo on Wednesday, it became clear that Republican voters — by the slimmest of margins — had settled on former congressman Nathan Deal to beat back the return of Democrat Roy Barnes.

The contest is sure to become one of the most hard-fought and expensive in the nation. Millions of dollars are about to be spent to help you identify the nightmare that keeps you up at night, whether it be classroom size or health insurance mandates.

Deal and his allies will hang the albatross of President …

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‘Birther’ lawyer again tries to fend off $20k fine

From the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and McClatchy News Service:

So-called “birther” attorney Orly Taitz has resubmitted an application to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that $20,000 in sanctions imposed by a federal judge in Columbus be reversed.

Taitz has represented two people in Columbus who questioned their military orders on arguments that President Barack Obama couldn’t legitimately hold office. It was the case of Capt. Connie Rhodes that led U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land to sanction Taitz after he warned her and then gave her a time limit to explain why he shouldn’t fine her.

The sanctions came in October 2009, and Taitz appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. That court upheld the sanctions in May, and Taitz sent an application for stay to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on July 8.

Thomas denied it a week later, and the application was again docketed to the high court on Wednesday, this time to Justice Samuel Alito.

For instant …

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Your morning jolt: Pressure building on abortion bill vote

With a transportation bill finally passed, and an ethics measure to bleach out the scarlet “E” on their chests on its way to the governor, Georgia lawmakers are basking in the exhaustion of a productive 38th Day.

There’s even talk of adjourning for good next Tuesday, on the 39th day.

But there’s one last fight to resolve, an intra-mural struggle between House Republican leaders and Georgia Right to Life.

SB 529, the anti-abortion bill designed to become a court challenge to Roe v. Wade, made it out of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and is now poised for a floor vote next week. The bill would prohibit physicians from performing abortions on women who have been “coerced” into the procedure.

But the bill would also bar abortions that are based on the race or gender of the fetus – and that’s the portion of the measure that backers think will attract constitutional attention.

Speaker David Ralston has come under a deal of national pressure to bring the bill to a vote …

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