Archive for the ‘John Lewis’ Category

John Lewis wonders: Who knew Rush Limbaugh was a Black Panther?

This afternoon, talk show guru Rush Limbaugh attempted to draw the connection between those who support some limits on firearms, and their alleged idealism of Martin Luther King Jr.’s adherence to non-violence. A bit of the transcript from Limbaugh’s website:

”If a lot of African-Americans back in the sixties had guns and the legal right to use them for self-defense, do you think they woulda needed Selma? I don’t know. I’m just asking. If John Lewis, who says he was beat upside the head, if John Lewis had had a gun, would he have been beat upside the head on the bridge? And these people that think like [Tom] Brokaw are all over the media. This is the way they’re looking at this.

“So now what this has become, there is still slavery, there is still bigotry, there is still racism. It’s concentrated among people who are devoted to defending the Second Amendment, and they primarily live in the South. They are white, and they’re extremists, and they’re religious, and …

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John Boehner retains speakership; Paul Broun goes West

John Boehner was re-elected House speaker this afternoon, as reports of a coup turned out to be wildly overstated — though several Republicans did publicly signal their disapproval.

One of them was U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Athens. Broun voted for former Rep. Allen West for speaker – even though the Florida firebrand served just one term in Congress and lost a re-election bid in November.

Georgia’s Republican House members all lined up against Boehner on the fiscal cliff deal Tuesday night, but all except Broun backed him Thursday – including newcomer Doug Collins from Gainesville.

Broun explained himself this way:

“After careful consideration, I opted to cast my vote for a new Speaker of the House. Speaker Boehner is a good man and a good friend, but under his leadership, this Congress has failed to address the root of our nation’s fiscal crisis — the out-of-control spending in Washington. My hope was that we could elect a new speaker, so the 113th Congress would be …

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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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Fiscal cliff deal passes House; Ga. GOP’ers vote no

Crisis averted. Let the countdown to the next crisis begin.

After a day of remarkable swings, House Republican leaders folded and brought to the floor a bill they knew they needed Democrats to pass. The final tally was 257-167, with 172 Democrats joining 85 Republicans in favor. This broke House Speaker John Boehner’s practice (named for ex-Speaker Denny Hastert) that bills must pass with “the majority of the majority.” It will be interesting to see whether conservative members’ ire remains focused on the Senate or whether it will shift to Boehner with the Speaker’s re-election coming up on Thursday.

Georgia Republicans lined up unanimously against the American Taxpayer Relief Act: Reps. Tom Price of Roswell, Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County, Phil Gingrey of Marietta, Rob Woodall of Lawrenceville, Jack Kingston of Savannah, Paul Broun of Athens, Austin Scott of Tifton and Tom Graves of Ranger all voted no.

That’s a major break from the state’s Republican senators — Johnny …

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Rep. John Lewis’ wife, Lillian, dies

Sad news amid the fiscal cliff madness: Lillian Miles Lewis, the wife of U.S. Rep. John Lewis, died this morning in Atlanta, his office announced. Spokeswoman Brenda Jones said John Lewis is returning to Atlanta today but had no more details to release about the cause of death.

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John and Lillian Lewis in 1988 (AJC file/Johnny Crawford)

The Lewises had been married 44 years. They have one son, John Miles.

From the AJC’s obit:

Lillian Lewis met her future husband when he was already a civil rights legend, and played a key role in his transition to a career in politics.

Lewis, whose father owned a small contracting business, attended Los Angeles High School with the late Johnny Cochran, received an undergraduate degree in English from California State College (now California State University) at Los Angeles, and a master’s degree in library science at the University of Southern California.

She developed a lifelong interest in Africa when she taught in a student program in …

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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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Your Daily Jolt: A long-term Democratic majority?

Emory University political science professor Alan Abramowitz, a frequently cited scholar of presidential politics, has written a 31-page analysis of Barack Obama’s victory to be presented next month at the annual Southern Political Science Association meeting entitled: “The Emerging Democratic Presidential Majority.” According to an early copy provided to Jolt, Abramowitz concludes thusly:

The structural advantages that Republicans enjoy in House and Senate elections would appear to guarantee the party’s continued competitiveness in congressional elections for many more election cycles.  As a result, divided government will probably be a persistent feature of American politics for some time.  And at the state level, Republicans are likely to remain the dominant party in most of the South as well as a number of sparsely populated, predominantly rural states that are relatively insulated from the demographic and cultural trends affecting the rest of the country.  …

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Your Daily Jolt: Close to a fiscal cliff deal?

With Christmas one week from today, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner appear to be nearing a fiscal cliff deal. Some details from the Associated Press:

[Obama offered] to drop his long-held insistence that taxes rise on individuals earning more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000. He is now offering a new threshold of $400,000 and lowering his 10-year tax revenue goals from the $1.6 trillion he had argued for a few weeks ago.Obama’s move follows concessions by Boehner on higher tax rates for the wealthy.

In the new proposal, Obama abandoned his demand for permanent borrowing authority. Instead, he is now asking for a new debt limit that would last two years, putting its renewal beyond the politics of a 2014 midterm election.

And in a move sure to create heartburn among some congressional Democrats, Obama is proposing lower cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries, employing an inflation index that would have …

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Obama, Isakson, Lewis, Reed react to Conn. shooting

Our elected leaders are struggling to deliver their thoughts on the unthinkable today after the horrific school shooting in Connecticut. The video above is President Barack Obama fighting tears while giving a statement in the White House briefing room. Below some reaction from the Georgia delegation.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson:

I am terribly saddened to learn of the shootings today at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the victims and the families affected by this horrendous tragedy.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta:

I am incredibly grieved by this horrible tragedy.  As one who has experienced violence and even terrorism in my life, I deeply regret that young innocent children were killed and that their families and the people of Newtown, Connecticut must face this violence in their communities.  My heart weeps at the senselessness of this atrocity.

This time of year is special for the children of this nation.  They are …

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Your Daily Jolt: Barrow glad for “a few less crazy people” in House

Augusta’s Blue Dog Democratic Rep. John Barrow found himself among like-minded folks this morning at a seminar sponsored by Center Forward, a group that works to promote the few remaining moderates in Congress. The point was to examine the role moderates play in the fiscal cliff negotiations and Congress going forward.

Barrow swung between lamenting the receding number of Blue Dogs and pronouncing himself hopeful for the future. The outlook for the forthcoming Congress is positive, he said, because “we have a somewhat smaller number of crazies than there is currently. … A few less crazy people is a good start.”

He was referring mostly to the conservative House Republicans who “created a crisis” over the debt limit vote last year and who, he said, are hemming in Speaker John Boehner now. Barrow said the biggest problem as we near the fiscal cliff is “the tyranny of the minority within the majority, their ability to dismiss their leader and their predisposition to do so.”

He …

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