Archive for the ‘National politics’ Category

Your morning jolt: Tom Graves again dominates 9th District map

Republican candidate for Georgia's 9th Congressional District Tom Graves greets supporter and barbecueist Oscar Poole during an election-night party in Jasper. AP/John Bazemore

Republican candidate for Georgia's 9th Congressional District Tom Graves greets supporter and barbecueist Oscar Poole during an election-night party in Jasper. AP/John Bazemore

Updated at 10:37 a.m.: A campaign spokesman on Wednesday morning said it’s likely that Tom Graves of Ranger won’t be sworn in as the newest Republican congressman from Georgia until early next week.

Tim Baker of the Graves campaign, said that he’d been told by the U.S. House clerk’s office that Graves could be seated Thursday – if Secretary of State Brian Kemp, by noon, sends a letter, assuring Congress that the results aren’t likely to be contested.

Baker says he’s getting indications that Kemp isn’t completely comfortable with that. Provisional ballots don’t have to be counted until Thursday, and the deadline for overseas military ballots is Friday — at which time counties will send in their formal counts.

But the betting here is that caution from the secretary of state is rooted in the fact that …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Tom Graves again dominates 9th District map »

Helen Thomas, 89, retires after Israel comments

From The Hill newspaper in Washington:

Helen Thomas announced Monday that “she is retiring, effective immediately,” according to a statement from Hearst newspapers.

Her decision comes after her controversial remarks about Israel hit the blogosphere. She later apologized for her comments, saying she “deeply regretted” making them.

White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) President Ed Chen criticized her in a statement Monday.

“Helen Thomas’ comments were indefensible and the White House Correspondents Association board firmly dissociates itself from them. Many in our profession who have known Helen for years were saddened by the comments, which were especially unfortunate in light of her role as a trail blazer on the White House beat,” he said.

Thomas, who will turn 90 in August, has been covering U.S. presidents since the Kennedy administration.

Here’s the source of the controversy — a YouTube video posted on rabbiLIVE.com:

It would have been hard for her to stay, …

Continue reading Helen Thomas, 89, retires after Israel comments »

Just in time, your Alabama backgrounder

Over at fivethirtyeight.com, Democratic strategist Ed Kilgore has a handy assessment of today’s primaries in Alabama. Here’s a taste:

If you like your elections raw and messy, tomorrow’s Alabama primary should satisfy your appetite. It’s featured viral, much-parodied ads; disputes over biblical interpretation; wild conspiracy theories; college football rivalries; all sorts of reverse-spin tactics; and as usual in this state, largely unregulated campaign contributions and spending and heavy hitting by interest groups of every variety.

Suffice it to say that in the red-hot Republican gubernatorial primary, the famous Ten Commandments Judge, Roy Moore, has been one of the calmer and more responsible candidates. And on the Democratic side, Rep. Artur Davis’ bid to become the first African-American governor of a Deep South state has encountered some serious resistance in the Democratic primary–from the left!

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading Just in time, your Alabama backgrounder »

Tuesday’s lessons for Georgia for Republicans — and Democrats

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul and his family during his victory rally in Bowling Green, Ky., on  Tuesday. AP/Ed Reinke

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul and his family during his victory rally in Bowling Green, Ky., on Tuesday. AP/Ed Reinke

Note: This is Thursday’s print column, drawn in part from previous posts.

Tuesday’s lessons for Georgia aren’t exact.

We have no party-switcher like Pennsylvania’s elderly Arlen Specter, whose 30-year grip on a U.S. Senate seat slipped after he discovered that his inner child was a Democrat.

And Georgia Republicans will avoid an intra-party revolt like the one that afflicts Blanche Lincoln, the U.S. senator from Arkansas forced into a Democratic runoff by unhappy unions.

Kathy Cox, this state’s Republican school superintendent and its most vulnerable incumbent, pulled the ripcord Monday on a comfortable job in Washington, D.C. She will float to a graceful landing, away from a primary challenge and the summer anger of thousands of unemployed teachers.

But there are things to be learned:

Lesson No. 1: The victory of tea-party favorite Rand …

Continue reading Tuesday’s lessons for Georgia for Republicans — and Democrats »

Your morning jolt: WWE founder Linda McMahon puts Connecticut AG in an embarrassing full nelson

On its front page today, the New York Times has this:

At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008….

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

In 1970, with his last deferment in jeopardy, he landed a coveted spot in the Marine Reserve, which virtually guaranteed that he would not be sent to Vietnam. He joined a unit in Washington that conducted drills and other exercises and focused on local projects, like fixing a campground and organizing a Toys for Tots …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: WWE founder Linda McMahon puts Connecticut AG in an embarrassing full nelson »

Republicans settle on Tampa for 2012 convention

The Associated Press has moved a bulletin announcing that the Republican National Committee has settled on Tampa, Fla., for the party’s 2012 convention.

Obviously it offers opportunities for a U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio with White House fever. Here’s a first draft from the RNC meeting in Maryland:

Republicans choose Tampa as the site of their 2012 presidential convention, hoping the swing state of Florida will help them defeat President Barack Obama.

A Republican National Committee panel recommended the Gulf Coast city during a closed-door meeting, rejecting Salt Lake City and Phoenix. The decision came amid calls from Hispanic groups and others to boycott Arizona after it adopted a law to crack down on illegal immigrants.

Florida, with its hefty 27 electoral votes, decided the 2000 election for George W. Bush. Obama won the state in 2008.

“The host committee’s hard work and dedication resulted in a tremendous bid that we are confident will produce a successful event,” said RNC …

Continue reading Republicans settle on Tampa for 2012 convention »

Your morning jolt: A tea party test moves to June 8 runoff

The race to replace U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal in Congress now moves to a June 8 runoff between front-runner Tom Graves, a former state House member with tea party backing, and former state senator Lee Hawkins of Gainesville.

The winner will finish out the final six months of Deal’s term. The big question now is how many of the other four Republican candidates will declare themselves out of the July 20 Republican primary for the full term that begins in January. And how quickly.

In the Tuesday special election vote, Hawkins won 49 percent of his home Hall County, population anchor for the district, but Graves built his lead by winning strong pluralities in three of the next four most populous caches of votes: 48 percent in Forsyth County; 39 percent in Whitfield County; and 52 percent in Pickens County.

The contest was formally nonpartisan, but both Graves and Hawkins are Republicans. Graves was backed by the Washington-based group Club for Growth, and FreedomWorks — a major …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: A tea party test moves to June 8 runoff »

The political downside of heterosexuality

Tom Crawford of the Georgia Report has found an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer that uncovers the political burdens of heterosexuality.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” Crawford notes. To wit:

Veteran Rep. Babette Josephs (D., Phila.) last Thursday accused her primary opponent, Gregg Kravitz, of pretending to be bisexual in order to pander to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender voters, a powerful bloc in the district.

“I outed him as a straight person,” Josephs said during a fund-raiser at the Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant, as some in the audience gasped or laughed, “and now he goes around telling people, quote, ‘I swing both ways.’ That’s quite a respectful way to talk about sexuality. This guy’s a gem.”

Kravitz, 29, said that he is sexually attracted to both men and women and called Josephs’ comments offensive.

“That kind of taunting is going to make it more difficult for closeted members of the LGBT community to be comfortable with themselves,” Kravitz …

Continue reading The political downside of heterosexuality »

Wife intends to replace still-breathing husband in Congress

Husband: Dear, I’m resigning my seat in Congress to spend more time with my family.

Wife: I’m leaving for Washington.

The details, from the Kansas City Star:

Democrat Stephene Moore is attempting to do what, apparently, no spouse has ever done before — succeed her still-living husband in Congress.

Her husband, U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election from Kansas’ 3rd District, which includes Kansas City, Kan., and much of Kansas City’s Kansas suburbs.

Which makes Stephene Moore’s announcement that she would seek to replace him unusual. Records show that while 46 wives have won seats after the deaths of their husbands who held the posts before, no one has won the seat after her husband retired.

“There’s not a situation exactly like it,” said Anthony Wallis, a researcher for the U.S. House historian.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading Wife intends to replace still-breathing husband in Congress »

Overthrow the government for only $5 — but no checks

This posted on the political blog run by CBS News:

Since 1951, South Carolina has had a law on its books requiring anyone looking to overthrow the government to, well, register with the government.

No one had actually registered until February, when news of the law’s existence spread on the internet and talk radio. Now State Sen. Larry Martin, a Republican, has introduced legislation to repeal the law, known as the “subversive activities registration act.”

The post includes a link to the form all subversives are required to fill out. In addition to a $5 fee, applicants are asked to supply the name of their chief agent, and all cell members.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading Overthrow the government for only $5 — but no checks »