Archive for the ‘Sam Nunn’ Category

Sam Nunn on the millionaires who divide us

We have created a climate that rewards life on the extremes of the political spectrum.

Cable TV and the Internet favor the starkest of opinions, preferably compressed into a 12-second sound bite. Twitter allows 140 characters at a time. More than a bumper sticker — but not by much.

Greek choruses on left and right shout down those who stray into enemy territory. MoveOn.org can’t stand Blue Dog Democrats. Rush Limbaugh & Co. have redefined Republicanism into something that Ronald Reagan might not even recognize.

For a decade and more, the lack of applause coming from the middle ground, where deals happen, has been deafening — a situation that Georgia Tech wants to change.

Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr., talking with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy (left) and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966, openly supported King and the SCLC/New York Times

Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr., talking with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy (left) and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966, openly supported King and the SCLC/New York Times

This week, Tech bestowed on former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn its first Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage. The prize — which comes with …

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Your morning jolt: The one poor grade that Sam Nunn gives Barack Obama

As previously noted, former U.S. senator Sam Nunn was in Atlanta this week to become the first recipient of Georgia’ Tech’s Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage.

In a Q&A posted Tuesday, Nunn – now head of the Nuclear Threat Initiative near Washington — addressed the blooming revolutions in the Middle East, and the limits of U.S. capabilities. This morning, we’ll begin with the other side of the globe.

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn/Bloomberg

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn/Bloomberg

Insider: Is there a line to be drawn between the nuclear disasters in Japan and the proliferation of “loose nukes” in the world?

Nunn: “In the sense that this was an act of Mother Nature, probably not. But in the sense that the more nuclear plants you have around the globe, if we don’t have ways of securing the materials, you could find some analogy.

“….It appears at this stage that the reactors did not fail – that they basically withstood the earthquake. What did fail was the back-up water supply. And that’s because they vastly …

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Sam Nunn on ’social courage’ and the delicate line in Libya

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn was in Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday to receive the first Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage – intended to be an annual award by Georgia Tech.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library does something comparable each year with the Profile in Courage Award. The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation is underwriting the Atlanta effort – which includes a $100,000 prize.

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn/Bloomberg

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn/Bloomberg

Why Ivan Allen, the former mayor of Atlanta? Because Allen was the only elected Southern white politician to testify before Congress in favor of civil rights legislation in the early 1960s, at the request of President Kennedy.

Why Nunn? “It was more for his work since he left the Senate – where courage had been most necessary,” said William Todd, president of the Georgia Cancer Coalition. Nunn is the CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which applies itself to reducing the threat of “loose nukes.”

In the last few years, the 24-year senator …

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Your morning jolt: Port authority members paid for Sonny Perdue portrait

Money for Gov. Sonny Perdue’s portrait in the state Capitol was donated entirely by members the board of the Georgia Ports Authority.

So board chairman Alec Poitevint, former chairman of the state GOP, tells Tom Crawford of Georgia Reports:

The portrait of Gov. Sonny Perdue and his wife Mary that will hang in the state Capitol. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com

The portrait of Gov. Sonny Perdue and his wife Mary that will hang in the state Capitol. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com

Poitevint declined to disclose how much money the authority members donated for the artist’s commission. “It was very reasonable for the quality of the portrait,” he said.

Rossin’s portraits of the high and the mighty – he has painted both presidents Bush and Sen. Saxby Chambliss – reportedly bring him commissions in the range of $18,000 to $35,000.

The decision to raise the money from Ports Authority members is ironic, in light of recent media reports that representatives of Perdue’s trucking and grain businesses had met several times with port officials for tips on how to increase the amount of business the Perdue companies …

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The ‘retirement’ of a Sam Nunn Democrat

Tim Golden and I always had something in common. ‘Way back in 1977, within a few months of each other, both of us interned for U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn.

State Sen. Tim Golden, now R-Valdosta, in a 2006 photo. AP

State Sen. Tim Golden, now R-Valdosta, in a 2006 photo. AP

It was an academic internship, awarded by the University of Georgia, but Golden henceforth would always describe himself as a Sam Nunn Democrat. Until today.

On Monday, Golden became a Sam Nunn Republican.

Golden had served as chairman of the Senate Democratic caucus. Though unopposed in the November election, Golden dropped out of the caucus leadership two weeks ago. “I’m retiring,” the Valdosta lawmaker said at the time.

As a Democrat, it turns out. Not as a state senator.

“I am changing my party affiliation in order to better represent the views of the majority of my constituents and my own conservative, pro-business philosophy,” Golden announced this morning. “Our state continues to face great challenges. As a member of the majority caucus, I will be able to more …

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Your morning jolt: State cuts to unemployment benefits on the table in January?

Huge changes in unemployment benefits could be in the works when the General Assembly convenes in January. The state owes $418 million – and ranks 17th among a list of 32 debtor states – for money borrowed from Uncle Sam to cover payments to the jobless.

State Sen.-elect Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, was interviewed by Lori Geary with Channel 2 Action News:

Millar said that total grows to $1.1 billion by the end of 2013 if the state does not make changes to taxes or how it pays benefits.

“Most of your elected officials, certainly in the General Assembly, I don’t think have a clue about the magnitude of this obligation,” said Millar.

“We need to be talking about fixing it; we need to be talking about fixing it right now.”

The fixes aren’t easy. If Georgia’s current 10 percent unemployment rate doesn’t improve then tax hikes for employers and benefit cuts for the unemployed must be on the table, according to Millar.

The video:

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Kennesaw State University’s most famous student, …

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Your morning jolt: Let’s kill that talk of a Nathan Deal withdrawal

You can look for Nathan Deal – and perhaps even the Republican Governors Association – to do everything in their power today to shift the topic away from the GOP nominee for governor’s awkward finances.

Most especially, they’ll want to stifle talk like this from Kenny Burgamy in Sunday’s Macon Telegraph:

It is time to request the Executive Committee of the Republican State Party to do what they’re designed to do. The group should show abundant leadership and convene an emergency conference.

GOP nominee for governor Nathan Deal

GOP nominee for governor Nathan Deal

The titular head of the state party, Gov. Sonny Perdue, ought to gather State Chair person, Sue Everhart, Executive Director Toby Carr and the former long serving chairman, Alec Poitevent, into executive session. It behooves them to discuss how the GOP will proceed. There are three key elements that should be included in this historic agenda.

First, the politicos should consider the message they’ll send to their party faithful announcing that they are …

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Guess who won’t be coming to lunch with Obama?

Updated on Monday: Although a staffer said he didn’t plan to show, U.S. Rep. John Lewis was present for President Barack Obama’s visit to Atlanta, we’re told.

President Barack Obama’s second visit to Georgia this year may be one of those parties best remembered for the guests who failed to show.

The president will spend the better part of Monday in Atlanta — first speaking to a convention of disabled veterans. Then the president will be the featured guest at a Democratic National Committee luncheon and fundraiser.

President Barack Obama last week addressed the National Urban League. Associated Press

President Barack Obama last week addressed the National Urban League. Associated Press

Many Democrats will flock to the downtown events. Michael Thurmond, the labor commissioner and U.S. Senate candidate, will be there. U.S. Rep. David Scott of Atlanta will greet Obama as he steps off Air Force One, as will Gov. Sonny Perdue — a Republican.

Mayor Kasim Reed will give the first African-American president an effusive introduction at the DNC fundraiser. A spokesman for …

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Sam Nunn lands a spot on tonight’s ‘Colbert Report’

Ever dour while in office, Sam Nunn didn’t permit a wicked sense of humor to show itself in public until he left the U.S. Senate in 1996.

In fact, the first time I caught Nunn’s stand-up act was at Herman Talmadge’s funeral in 2002.

Nunn recounted how, when he was first in Washington, he’d mentioned to Talmadge that he was getting a considerable amount of correspondence from constituents who claimed to have seen flying saucers.

Should he answer them? Talmadge hawked into a spittoon before replying. “Sam, ” he said, “answer every one of those letters. If you don’t carry the nut vote, you won’t carry a county in Georgia.”

All of this to say that Nunn, drumming up attention for the documentary “Nuclear Tipping Point,” has been booked for an appearance tonight on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” You’ll have to prop your eyes open until 11:30 p.m., though.

For instant updates, follow me on …

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Sam Nunn and the nuclear hair-trigger

Over at Foreign Policy magazine, David Hoffman has what is essentially a review of “Nuclear Tipping Point,” a documentary that lays out the argument for a slow walk away from nuclear weaponry.

The film is a project coordinated by the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit agency co-chaired by former Georgia senator Sam Nunn and CNN founder Ted Turner.

“Nuclear Tipping Point” is, in fact, the video version of an argument that a bipartisan quartet – Nunn, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, and William Perry – have made in a series of op-ed pieces for the Wall Street Journal.

Nuclear weaponry is an outdated feature of the Cold War, the era’s former architects argue. Here’s the trailer:

Hoffman’s piece is worth reading in its entirety, but it includes this:

In the film, Nunn returns to a topic that has concerned him for years — the danger of accidental launch or miscalculation. At the peak of the Cold War, a president would have only minutes to decide on a course …

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