Archive for the ‘Ralph Reed’ Category

Tom Graves: Women in combat ‘on par with reality’

For the second time this week, U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, has surprised us with a move that seems downright, well, centrist.

On Wednesday, Graves, one of Georgia’s most conservative members of Congress, voted with House Republican leadership to put off another confrontation with the White House over the federal debt ceiling. It was something that many of his colleagues – Democrats John Barrow and Hank Johnson, Republicans Paul Broun, Doug Collins and Phil Gingrey – couldn’t bring themselves to do.

Then we have the lifting of the Pentagon ban on women in combat, signed by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta this morning.

Some Republican reaction has been predictable. “Putting women in combat situations is the latest in a series of moves where political correctness and liberal social policy have trumped sound military practice,” GOP strategist Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said in a Newsmax interview.

Former Florida congressman Allen …

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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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Your daily jolt: Fiscal cliff talks begin – between Saxby Chambliss and Grover Norquist

Crucial negotiations over the fiscal cliff are finally underway in Washington. So far, they only include Republicans.

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss told my AJC colleague Daniel Malloy that he and anti-tax maven Grover Norquist had a long chat on Monday and that they are still buddies, despite continuing differences over what constitutes a tax hike.

“Grover and I are friends, and as we said we were friends before last weekend and we’re going to be friends after my comments because he understands we have a disagreement on this issue of what you do with revenue generated from the elimination of loopholes and tax credits,” Chambliss said this morning. “We’re going to continue to dialogue with him, and if we have issues we’ll work through them. We had a very good conversation.”

At issue is Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which has been signed by Chambliss and nearly every Republican in Congress, promising not to increase tax revenue to the federal government …

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Your daily jolt: Nathan Deal goes after ‘political arsonists’

Tomorrow will mean the end of the road for either President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. For others, including Gov. Nathan Deal, it’s the starting pistol for the 2014 campaign.

Over weekend, Deal addressed Republicans in Cobb County. One day after an AJC article poked at his decision to give a plum position to the wife of a top aide and six days after a tea party leader dissed his ballot issue on charter schools, the governor had an assessment of his critics. From Jon Gillooly and the Marietta Daily Journal:

Deal said he has a new term for bloggers who have lately been blasting him.

Gov. Nathan Deal, giving a recent speech in Gwinnett County. Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com

Gov. Nathan Deal, giving a recent speech in Gwinnett County. Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com

“You know what I call those folks that do that kind of thing? I’ve come up with my own term. They are political arsonists,” Deal said. “They go out and say these things. They start a little fire over here, they go over here and start another little fire over here, and when the fire goes out on its own …

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Your daily jolt: Saxby Chambliss, former critic, writes Todd Akin a $5k check

Two months ago, shortly after Todd Akin had declared his belief that victims of “legitimate rape” had built-in, biological barriers to conception, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss didn’t mince his words.

Missouri’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate needed to “go home,” he said.

“He needs to withdraw, period,” Chambliss said.”That’s a seat that should be our seat. Todd’s a nice guy. But in politics, you can say the wrong thing – and he said the wrong thing. I don’t care how hard he attempts to put the genie back in the bottle, you just can’t do it.”

Chambliss has apparently had a change of heart. From Politico.com:

Akin raised $1.6 million in the third quarter, including $5,000 in September from the Republican Majority Fund, Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s (R-Ga.) leadership PAC, according to campaign finance reports filed this week with the Senate Office of Public Records.

Many things might have changed Chambliss’ mind. One of them might have been the fact …

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Your morning jolt: Blowing the lid off Libya – but not in a good way

Out of Wednesday’s hearings in Washington on an attack on a U.S. compound in Libya last month, the Associated Press chose this straight approach:

Four weeks before the election, Republicans used a politically charged House hearing to confront State Department officials about security at the U.S. Consulate in Libya and assail the Obama administration’s early response to the killing of the ambassador and three other Americans there.

GOP lawmakers refused to accept the department’s explanation Wednesday that protection judged adequate for the threat was overwhelmed by an unprecedented assault in Benghazi on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.


But over at the Washington Post,
Dana Milbanks has this version:

The purpose of Wednesday’s hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee was to examine security lapses that led to the killing in Benghazi last month of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others. But in doing so, the lawmakers reminded us …

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Your morning jolt: Before the vote, a Democrat says he’ll turn GOP

No matter what happens on Nov. 6, Democrats will be at least one seat down in the state House.

State Rep. Rick Crawford of Cedartown, one of the few remaining conservative Democrats in the Legislature, says he intends to switch to the GOP – if he survives the general election.

House Speaker David Ralston doesn’t think he will. Crawford faces a tough race in a newly redrawn west Georgia district that has a Democratic performance rating of 27 percent. Crawford’s Republican opponent is Trey Kelley, a 25-year-old manufacturer’s rep.

“I am fully committed to making sure Trey Kelley is elected to the House. He is an outstanding candidate who is working hard and is consistent,” Ralston said this morning. “While I respect Rick Crawford and appreciate his dilemma, the truth is that the [Democratic] Party didn’t just suddenly become liberal. It has been, is, and will continue to be a party that is far to the left of the great majority of Georgians.”

Jim Walls and …

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When Ralph Reed met General Butt Naked

Tom Freston of Vanity Fair has a startling piece on a Liberian encounter that he and Ralph Reed had with cannibal-warlord-turned-Christian-evangelist Joshua Blahyi, who once went by the name of General Butt Naked.

Clearly, you need to read the entire article, but here’s a taste:

Because of Mr. Blahyi’s new evangelical status, I asked Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition, who was in our delegation, if he wanted to come and meet this self-styled warlord turned evangelist. He was curious and agreed. “I’ve never met a warlord before,” he said. So Ralph and I headed out one hot, humid afternoon in search of the former General Butt Naked, living now in a rundown suburb of Monrovia called the Chocolate City, as in the P-Funk album. George Clinton, like President Monroe, is on the Liberian map.

We were told to look for the general along the side of the road, just after the gritty port area, so he could guide us to his current headquarters. We drove through …

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Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal to sign bill to require drug tests for welfare recipients

Georgia Public Broadcasting quotes state Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, as saying that Gov. Nathan Deal today will sign into law his bill to require drug tests for welfare applicants.

A lawsuit to block enforcement – which recently happened in Florida – is likely.

Most, but not all, district meetings of the Georgia GOP came off smoothly on Saturday. GOP activist Vikki McReynolds posted this account of deliberations in the 13th congressional district (David Scott, D) on Facebook:

”I just got kicked out of the 13th District convention because I called for a point of order because they did not seat our delegates and were seating alternates instead. … Police tried to carry me out and I laid on the floor !”

The meetings chose the bulk of Georgia delegates who will attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa. We’ll try to assemble a complete list this afternoon.

***
Speaking of the gentleman from the 13th: U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, on Saturday accused …

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Your morning jolt: Final fed studies on Port of Savannah deepening to be released today

Yes, we finally have a Republican presidential nominee, but look for this to dominate the news cycle in Georgia today. From the Associated Press –but the italics are mine:

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Plans to deepen the shipping channel to the Port of Savannah are moving a big step forward with the release of key federal government studies that took 16 years and $41 million to complete.

The Army Corps of Engineers planned to release its final studies on the economic and environmental impacts of the harbor expansion project Wednesday. The massive report’s arrival marks the beginning of the endgame for the $600 million project, which requires approval from four federal agencies before construction can begin.

The Georgia Ports Authority wants to deepen 38 miles of the Savannah River between the port and the Atlantic Ocean by 6 feet to accommodate supersized cargo ships. Gov. Nathan Deal has made the project a top priority, but it’s met staunch resistance from neighboring South …

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