Archive for May, 2009

Obama the fiscal conservative. Got it?

“These savings, large and small, add up,” says President Barack Obama today.  Yes, but…

They don’t add up to much. In his $3.5 trillion budget, he’s proposing about 120 budget cuts, the largest share of them from the military, that amount to about $17 billion.  That’s one-half of one percent.  Meanwhile, domestic spending gets generous increases.

One of his proposals is to eliminate funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to states to help defray the cost of jailing illegals who commit crimes.  That’s a popular program that former President Bush also tried to kill — and couldn’t.  Others he proposes for elimination have already been rejected by his party in Congress.

These cuts are the equivalent of Cabinet secretaries proposing to reduce the budget by buying office supplies in bulk.

It is a game, of course. The deficit’s likely to surpass $1.5 trillion this year.  But you do have to hand it to the President.  He is …

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Rush Limbaugh, Colin Powell and the GOP

He  also took aim at Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, arguing that neither …

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Deal’s entry fills out GOP field

With the entry of U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) in the governor’s race, the boat is full.  On the GOP side, anyway. The boat’s taking water.

Except for the party’s Arlen Specter wing, the addition of Deal and state Sen. Eric Johnson of Savannah to a field that included Secretary of State Karen Handel, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, state Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton and Ray McBerry of Atlanta sufficiently serves the factions.

Congress is ordinarily not on the route to the governor’s mansion. Except for a Cynthia McKinney or a Newt Gingrich, they’re not widely known outside their districts. The last real congressional contender was Bo Ginn of Millen,  who lost in the 1982 Democratic primary to state Rep. Joe Frank Harris .

Despite that history, Deal’s entry does realistically complete the field. His 9th Congressional District, stretching across the top of northwest Georgia into metro Atlanta’s Forsyth and Hall counties, is one of the state’s most conservative.

Former …

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Lifetime job guarantees?

Efforts to save The Boston Globe newspaper appear to have come down to this question:  Should any employee have a lifetime job guarantee?

At The Globe, about 470 employees who belong to six unions, including about 190 represented by the largest of the unions, the Boston Newspaper Guild, have lifetime job guarantees.  They can be fired for cause. Representatives of two of the unions, but not the Guild, said early Monday they had reached agreeement with the company.   The Guild president called elimination of lifetime guarantees a “non-starter.” 

The New York Times, which has troubles of its own, is the parent company of The Globe.  It has threatened to close the Boston newspaper unless unions agree to $20 million in concessions, half to come from the newsroom employees’ union.  The deadline for a deal fell over the weekend, but talks continued into Monday.  Times’ negotiators were prepared to file the 60-day notice that The Globe is being closed.

The Globe lost $50 million …

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In Olens’ run, will religion matter?

More than 20 years ago, Cathey Steinberg set out on a journey that Cobb County Commissioner Sam Olens now launches.

Had she won her 1988 race for the Public Service Commission, Steinberg would have been the first woman and the first Jew to win partisan statewide office. The first woman, former state School Superintendent Linda Schrenko, came six years later.

Olens, a Republican, toyed briefly with running for governor, but opted for attorney general.

Whether her religion was a factor in her loss 21 years ago is conjecture — though it can be. Mitt Romney, a Mormon, lost Georgia last year to both Mike Huckabee and John McCain. Huckabee got clobbered in Atlanta; Romney got clobbered in much of rural Georgia, where his vote dropped by 10 percentage points or more. Religion — or something else?

Steinberg, a 10-year state representative from DeKalb County in 1988, still has harsh feelings about her runoff loss to former state Sen. Bobby Rowan of Enigma, a longtime Georgia …

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