Wednesday, October 31, 2007

MCCG to Suspend Issuing New Clinic Cards

As she approached the window in our front office, "Ann" said, "Can you give this to Mr. Morton, and ask him can he do anything?" She looked frail and scared. "Mr. Morton" is my husband, and he represents disabled people-people who cannot work, do not yet have Social Security income or the accompanying health benefits. Like many of his clients, Ann has few resources and relies on the Anderson Clinic of the Medical Center for medical care. There wasn't much Mr. Morton could do about the piece of paper Ann handed him. The Anderson Clinic, the Family Health Center and the Neighborhood Healthcare Center will suspend issuing new clinic cards this Friday.

According to the notice, these clinics provide primary care to 15,000 uninsured and under insured residents of Middle Georgia-approximately 40,000 clinic visits per year. The cost of providing this care has grown by 37% over the last two years-more than 1.3 million in new costs. Despite this, they have experienced significant reduction in funding from the state and federal government. Most recently, Bibb County reduced their funding by 2 million dollars.

So, Ann, who does not have a current clinic card, will have to get one before Friday, or she and others like her will simply not be getting primary care, and instead, they will be showing up at the emergency room for the most expensive and least effective health care available-and you and I, the taxpayers, will be footing the bill. What sense does that make? I'd rather pay a little to help provide preventative care than foot the big bill generated by people not having access to it. It's like not painting your house and then having to replace the wood siding. Dumb.

Now, according to this, the new Federally Qualified Health Clinic will open in Macon on November 1. I'm not sure that date still holds, but this clinic is a great idea, and thank God for those who made it happen. Is it actually opening tomorrow? Will it fill the gap for people like Ann? I'll be asking those questions.


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Driver's Licenses for Illegal Space Aliens?

After watching last night's debate, and hearing Kucinich claim to have seen a UFO, Richardson suggest (afterward) that perhaps the government is not coming clean on UFO's and Clinton say that she did and she did not think that illegal immigrants should get driver's licenses, I wonder whether the question for the next debate will be whether illegal space aliens should get driver's licenses for their UFO's? Perhaps we can use them as a defense against Iranian nukes?

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Show Some Love for Saxon

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This is Huge

Last night, the ten thousand member New Hampshire SEIU voted to endorse John Edwards for President. Not only does this key endorsement give him resources and "boots on the ground" in the first primary state, it keeps other SEIU state affiliates (read: New York) from working in the state, and Massachusetts members will be able to come in and assist Edwards in NH.

On the heels of a great debate performance last night, this is welcome news this morning!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Link to Mohler's Post

Earlier, I posted about Albert Mohler's comments on the marital habits of the Republican candidates for President. I failed to link the quotes to the source and can't edit the post from my BlackBerry. Bottom line? Here's the link:
http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=1032

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Oh, my God! I Agree With Albert Mohler

What a nightmare this election must be for "evangelical voters." More than once, I have written here about some ridiculous thing Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has said. Today, I find myself sort of agreeing with at least one of his statements:

If a candidate cannot keep and honor marital vows, why should voters believe that he or she would show greater fealty to an oath of office?

Perhaps Dr. Mohler will join me in supporting John Edwards, fellow Christian who has been married, happily, to the same women for 30 years.

In Mohler's further assessment of the field, he expresses what must be keeping the religious right up at night:

Will the 2008 presidential race change this landscape? The three leading Democratic contenders are all married to their first spouses (though the Clinton marriage must be considered a thing unto itself -- in any event the public is hardly unaware of the complications.)

On the Republican side, the picture is very different. John McCain has been married twice, as has Fred Thompson. Both divorced their first wives and married younger women. In McCain's case, the divorce and remarriage took place many years ago. Thompson's is more recent. Meanwhile, Rudolph Giuliani is on his third marriage and the circumstances of his second divorce are certain to raise particular concerns, as is the fact that he lived for at least some time with a gay couple while between marriages. Did he think New York was in France?

Add to this the fact that Mr. Giuliani's adult son is, or at least has been, ardently opposed to his candidacy and it becomes clear that Americans are waking up to a new political culture. Among the three leading Republican candidates, only Mitt Romney presents a picture of marital fidelity, with his wife and five adult sons all eagerly supportive of his candidacy. Evangelical voters, who in recent cycles have seen the Republican Party as the party of family values, are left wondering what happened to the family values of its leading candidates and why the only leading candidate that represents the right family and marriage profile is a Mormon.


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Monday, October 29, 2007

Road Warriors!

Say what you want about the Forest Hill Neighbors, this is a committed crew, and now they're flexing their political muscle by backing write-in candidate David Corr for a citywide seat on council. No, I'm not endorsing Corr, but in a low turnout, motivated voter election, he is going to do better than lots of folks think. Heck, the Road Warriors alone will make it interesting. Here's the email I got this morning:

David Corr is a Forest Hill Friend
Please! Write-in David Corr for Ward II Post 1

Early Voting Begins Today through Friday

General Election is on Tuesday November 6th

All residents of Macon who are registered to vote can vote for David Corr.

David writes "I stand with You in 100% opposition to the Forest Hill project. I vehemently oppose the project as the gross intrusion of private property rights it is." 

David is running for the at-large Ward II City Council seat held by James Timley.  Timley has consistently voted against the neighborhood desires at Forest Hill Road.  Timley wants to "supersize" Forest Hill Road.

Please! Write-in David Corr for Ward II Post 1.

http://davidcorr.org <http://davidcorr.org/> corrd@bellsouth.net

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Well-Deserved Tongue Lashing

I wonder if Jim Marshall's staff is going to claim that the staff editorial in today's Albany Herald is somehow the work of a sinister left-wing blogger from California? Last week, Rep. Jim Marshall once again voted "no" on SCHIP-and this time his vote was on a modified version of the bill that address at least some of his concerns with the original bill. This time, he stood alone. Completely alone, as the only Democrat in the whole Congress to vote "no." This is what the Albany Herald has to say today about his votes:

America where are you now? Don’t you care about your sons and daughters? Don’t you know we need you now? We can’t fight alone against the monster.
— Steppenwolf
Voters, it seems, have short memories when it comes to the actions of their elected officials. A little slick campaigning, a brief visit to press the flesh and kiss a few babies, a couple of TV ads, and re-election is all but assured.
That being the case, voters in Georgia’s 8th Congressional District need to remember Jim Marshall’s name whenever it appears on any future ballot. Like Zell Miller before him, Marshall is one of those “in- name-only” Democrats who used the party’s finances to win a narrow election and since has shown his true Republican colors.
Voting one’s conscience is one thing, but Marshall’s recent siding with Republicans that allowed President Bush’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that would have boosted the state’s PeachCare insurance program clearly illustrates the man’s politics comes before his responsibility to the people of his district.
And even as he was voting twice to deny more money for children whose working families could not afford insurance, Marshall was giving his support to Bush in the president’s efforts to keep pouring billions and billions of dollars into the ill-conceived wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Marshall’s vote to deny the so-called SCHIP funds was no more deplorable than the votes of his state Republican contemporaries (all of whom held ranks), but the fact that he chose to side with an elitist minority who seem hell-bent on using their votes as political pawns while needy children pay the price is beyond reprehensible.
Those of us who bother to follow the political actions of our elected officials admittedly do not have access to all of the information that surrounds the various issues that they vote on. But this vote was one of those let’s-take-care-of-the- children issues that politicians usually feed on.
It would have been relatively inexpensive (a $35 billion expansion over five years that would bring the total in the program up to $60 billion), it would have helped the children of working families (those who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private coverage) and it had overwhelming national support.
Marshall and many of his Republican pals said they did not support the SCHIP legislation primarily because funding was to come from an increase in cigarette taxes, a fact most consider a win-win. Not only would deserving children continue to get vital insurance coverage, the high cost of tobacco products might actually discourage people from developing the nasty, deadly habit and cut the number of cancer- related deaths.
The Georgia Republicrat claimed in the months leading up to the vote on the SCHIP measure, President Bush’s veto and the subsequent failed attempt to override the veto that the issue was among his “highest priorities.” But while he’s defended his vote by saying Democrats failed to clarify where future funding for the program would come from, he has yet to offer an alternative to his alleged party’s plan.
Marshall and his contemporaries who regularly ignore the needs of their constituents in an effort to curry favor with politicians who might further their careers are the most reprihensible of government figures. One understands that the Congressman was (narrowly) elected as a “conservative,” but the PeachCare issue in Georgia is one that transcends political affiliation.
It, simply, was the right thing to do. That Marshall and other elected officials chose to ignore that fact speaks volumes as to their representation of the people who elected them. Hopefully, those same people will remember such votes the next time they see Marshall’s and his pals’ names on a ballot.
E-mail Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@.at.albanyherald.com.

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New acronym

Glenn
Richardson’s
Exceptionally
Awful
Tax plan

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Friday, October 26, 2007

David Lucas Doesn't Think Corr Qualified in Time

Rep. David Lucas dropped by my office this afternoon. Because our municipal elections in Macon are partisan, Lucas says he believes David Corr did not qualify in time to run as a write-in campaign against James Timley. Rep. Lucas says he bases his objection on state law. Lucas has made his case to election officials and called the press.

This is going to be interesting to watch. Anyone who thinks Corr can't win a write-in campaign wasn't in Macon when he got about 25 % of the vote in the mayor's race-as a write-in candidate. Now, he has greater name ID, and, frankly, he's been working to win. He has signs out, and Corr is making the political rounds. Plus, this is an opt-in election, so motivated voters in favor of change may carry the day.

Bottom line: Democrats need to plan to vote in the general election.

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I Don't Know About This Telegraph Ad


This ad appeared in the Telegraph this week. To look at it, you would think that Maconites get to vote on who will be the next city council president. They don't. City Council members elect Council President. You could argue that voters could tell their council member who they hope they'll vote for, but otherwise, this ad is, at best, poorly worded.



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Tom Crawford: Supreme Court Sides With Wilson

From Tom Crawford:

State Supreme Court overturns Genarlow Wilson freed from prison --
Rules that the 10-year sentence for having consensual sex as a teenager was 'cruel and unusual punishment' . . .
As posted on Capitol Impact's Georgia Report at
www.gareport.com

Thank God.

Perhaps Glenn and Eric will try to impeach the Supreme Court judges, too. I mean, after all, who needs three branches of government?

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Last Call for Carter

Jason Carter will be our speaker for Politics and Lunch tomorrow at noon, and the reservation door will close soon. If you want to come, email me tonight: amymorton@aol.com .The info is below:


Jason Carter to Speak at Politics and Lunch
You're Invited!!
Please note that the location for Politics and Lunch has changed. We will be meeting on Friday, October 26th at Macon's hottest new lunch spot, The Market City Cafe located at 502 Cherry Street. There is nothing to join and this event is open to the public. The cost is the same ($10.00), but you will need to make your reservation and lunch selection by Thursday, October 25th. Your lunch choices are at the end of this email. Please indicate your selection when you make your reservation by phone at (478) 741-1138, email, AmyMorton@aol.com or fax at (478) 741-1225. I think that you will enjoy the change of venue and our great guest speaker!
Jason Carter, attorney with the Atlanta firm of Bondurant, Mixon and Elmore and grandson of President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, will be our guest speaker for Politics and Lunch on Friday, October 26th at noon. Jason has joined with others to launch "Democrats Work", an organization that will undoubtedly change the way we think about political action by challenging us to put our values into action. Jason will speak about this program and tell us how we can participate. This event is open to the public, but reservations are requested.We will meet at noon at a new location, The Market City Cafe, at the corner of Cherry and 3rd in Macon. The luncheon is open to the public, but you must RSVP by Thursday, October 25th to Amy Morton at (478) 741-1138 or AmyMorton@aol.com. The cost is $10.00 and includes your lunch.
Below is a brief and impressive bio for Jason: Duke University (B.A. 1997); University of Georgia (J.D. Summa Cum Laude 2004); Articles Editor, Georgia Law Review; Order of the Coif; West Award for Academic Excellence; Law Clerk to Honorable Frank Mays Hull, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 2004-2005; Author, Power Lines: Two Years on South Africa's Borders, National Geographic Books (2002); United States Peace Corps Volunteer, Lochiel, South Africa, 1998-2000.

LUNCH MENU
Please indicate your selection. This form may be emailed or faxed to AmyMorton@aol.com or (478) 741-1225. Or , simply leave a phone message with your name and selection at (478) 741-1138.
Chinese Chicken Salad: Sliced Chicken Breast, Rice Noodles, Mixed Greens, Green Onions, Almonds, Crisp Wontons, Mandarin Oranges, Cilantro, Tossed in our Special Chinese Sesame Dressing.
or
Market Cobb Salad: Chicken Breast, Avocado, Blue Cheese, Bacon, Scallions, Chopped Egg, Tomato, over Mixed Greens. Served with your choice of dressing. (Blue Cheese, Market Italian, Honey Dijon, Buttermilk Ranch, Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil-please indicated which dressing you would like.)
or
The Bibb Burger: Quarter Pound Burger, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion and Your Choice of Cheese (Provolone, American or Cheddar) on a Kaiser Roll.
or
Smoked Turkey: Smoked Turkey Breast, Brie Cheese, Sliced Ripe Tomato, Honey Dijon Dressing. Served on a Fresh Baguette.
Name: ________________________________
THANKS for returning this by Thursday, October 25th to AmyMorton@aol.com or faxing to (478) 741-1225.

Amy Morton, LMFT315 College Street Ste. 150Macon, Georgia 31201(478) 741-1138 (o)(478) 747-7450 (cell)amymorton@aol.com

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Bobby Kahn Weighs in on Water

Great post from Kahn on the history of the water crisis.

You, know, Bobby, us girls would let you post over here, too.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Politics of Sprawl

Have short-sighted policies that blindly fuel suburban growth helped created both the water crisis and Republican majorities in Georgia? Programs intended to spur rural growth have instead provided jet fuel for massive suburban growth, and, coincidentally, in these "fringe city communities like...the outer reaches of the Atlanta region," Republicans have a nearly 2 to 1 advantage. Consequently, in BLUEPRINT, May 2004, Mark Gersh notes that in Georgia's 2002 vote, suburban growth was "the single biggest factor in the Republican victory." No doubt, the same is a factor in the current drought as Atlanta is increasingly viewed as the city that just can't take "no" for an answer when it comes to growth.

In April of this year, The Washington Post article Rural Aid Goes to Urban Areas, showed that the USDA's Rural Development program has pumped more than three times as much money into metropolitan areas as to poor rural counties. In Georgia, this Rural development money has helped to fuel "massive suburban growth."


According to the Post, since 2001, more than $400 million in Rural Development money has supported three utility companies (Jackson Electric Membership Corp., GreyStone Power and Sawnee Electric Membership Corp.) serving the fast-growing Atlanta suburbs. GreyStone serves eight metro counties including Cobb and Fulton, while Sawnee's service area includes Forsyth County, the fastest growing county in the nation.

How can this happen? Under the USDA's "once a borrower, always a borrower" policy, utility companies like GreyStone are allowed to keep coming back to the USDA for the low-cost capitol meant to support rural growth, even if the once-rural area they serve is now a booming suburb.
That makes zero sense.

I would never suggest that Republicans intentionally ignored the risks of unbridled sprawl for political gain, but they might've been distracted by the glint of gold and the Dome. I would suggest that while our current leadership ignored a looming water crisis, the Republican-rich Atlanta suburbs grew, and grew, and grew. The sprawl that contributed to the water crisis also contributed to Republican victories in Georgia. Of course, when those suburbanites realize that Perdue shelved a Barnes plan to address a potential drought, their loyalty to the GOP may diminish along with their tap water.

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Is it Over? NH Poll

MyDD's Devastating Zogby NH Poll Released Today is a must read. Just remember, things are not always as they appear-especially in presidential primary politics. Here's a tease. Read the WHOLE post:

Ok, I think I'm about ready to give up. My candidate has dropped to 17%. John Edwards is at 6%:
A new Zogby poll released today, October 24th, of 500 likely voters in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire shows a remarkable lead developing for the frontrunner, who not only currently leads by 23 points --- but careful study of the tabs shows a lead not only in every demographic group but among Independents as well as Democrats.
I think it's about time that we realized that this primary is essentially over. None of the other candidates have managed to gain any momentum. Critical demographic groups are all breaking one way. Endorsement after endorsement is falling into place. Maybe it just isn't worth our energy anymore.
I mean, there are a lot of other races that we could be concentrating our efforts on. The Virginia state senate races that Jerome blogged about for example.
As John Zogby notes in his analysis,
This is stunning. [The frontrunner] leads 43-20 among Democrats and 35 to 11 among Independents. He hits 40 among all age groups, union and non-union voters. His lead is 57-17 among self-described progressives, 50-20 among liberals, and 34-14 among moderates. Married voters give him a 38-13 edge and singles a 45-21 point lead. He holds huge leads among all education groups, among investors and non-investors, men and women. This qualifies as juggernaut status. Can he be stopped?

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Unless You've Just Memorized the GOP Talking Points...

...or just arrived from Mars, you know that water is not the only thing in short supply in Georgia. Georgia may once again have to ration PeachCare dollars. Today, writing for the AJC, Mike King says:

Unless Congress moves quickly to enact an emergency spending plan for the State Children's Health Insurance Program, Georgia will once again have to bar uninsured children from enrolling in its highly successful PeachCare plan.
That emergency plan is needed because earlier this month, President Bush vetoed a bill that would have funded and expanded PeachCare and other state programs for uninsured children. And thanks to a hard-core group of conservatives —- including all the Republican members from Georgia, as well as Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Macon) —- the U.S. House of Representatives last week fell just short of the two-thirds vote needed to override that veto.
As a result, PeachCare is slated to run out of money for new enrollees sometime next month. Without an emergency appropriation, Georgia and other states won't be able to get through 2008 with at least current spending and enrollment levels.

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Not Exactly the Kind of Courage I'm Looking For...

CNN is reporting that Rudy Giuliani is backing the Red Sox in the World Series and promises the people of Boston that he will have enough "courage" to tell the people of Colorado, too.

Okay....

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Let the Sunshine Shine

When it comes to government, even in a drought, sunshine is a necessity.

Over the years, I've noticed that even very good people who seek office for all the right reasons can, once elected, begin to view their constituents as irritants to be pacified, discounted or intimidated and Sunshine Laws a barrier to getting business done. Public hearings, too, are often viewed as a boring exercise for experts (them) whose minds are already made up.

It's true that elected officials, especially those at the local level, spend quite a bit of their time responding to unrealistic demands of their too often ill-informed constituents. Phones ring at all hours of the day and night. Emails are not always civil. Serving on local boards of education, county commission and city council can be downright tiresome, thankless, unpleasant jobs. As a result, sometimes elected officials become most loyal, not to their constituents, but, instead to their fellow elected officials. After all, those are the relationships they must maintain if they hope "to get anything done." It's understandable, sure. But it's not okay.

Dictatorships are nice, neat governments where decisions can be made quickly without the lens of public scrutiny. But, our form of government, born when colonists rose up, shed their blood and demanded a government by the people, is messy. Running for public office means accepting that, and, if elected, remaining responsive to the public.


When it comes to openness in government, the law defines the least that is expected of public bodies, not the most. Sure, it can be tempting for public officials to skirt the spirit, if not the letter, of the Sunshine Laws by doing things like calling together groups of electeds small enough to skirt the quorum threshold, by having "retreats" at remote locations, by failing to maintain records of meetings or by minimizing the content of minutes. It's understandable. Public involvement is messy. It's understandable, but it's not okay.
When elected officials do business this way, they miss the point of the Sunshine Laws-these laws do not exist merely to make sure the public has access to government but because the only way our government can work is if the public is actively involved. In the shadows, the good ol' boy network of politics and business too often collides with human nature and, without the sunshine, corruption grows. Citizens are not just allowed to be informed and involved; it is our duty.

For more on the importance of openness in government, check out The Georgia First Amendment Foundation.

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Take the "Select-a-Candidate" Quiz

So, which Presidential candidate most closely reflects your on views? Take the quiz. You may be surprised by the answer!

Also, here, from The Heat is On, you will find a chart comparing the positions of the candidates (dem and repub) on the environment.

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Now, That's Bold

Guess what happened at our downtown Macon office today? In broad daylight, someone stole the air conditioners. Stealing air conditioners (not window units, mind you, I'm talking about the big ones outside your home or office) in broad daylight is awfully bold. I'd wager that that someone took them for the copper. I'd wager drugs are involved somewhere down the line.

We've had two murders in the last two weeks.

I think it's time for some elected officials to roll out their "Make Macon Safe" agenda. Seriously.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Giuliani Says No to Jesus: Baptist President Prays and Tells

"No, Frank, I'm not ready to do that. My daddy knows Jesus like that, but I'm not ready for that," said Republican presidential front runner Rudy Giuliani, rejecting the invitation of Rev. Frank Page to accept Jesus as his savior. Not to worry, Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page-who obviously knew about Giuliani's cell phone prowess-gave him his mobile number and invited the presidential candidate, a Roman Catholic, to call him when he was ready to talk about Jesus.

And how do we know this? According to Robert Parham over at Ethics Daily, we know because Page thought it was appropriate to "pray and tell." He bragged about his quest when he was addressing a group of Southern Baptist pastors in Oklahoma, failing to maintain pastoral confidentiality.

But Giuliani shouldn't be feeling too bad. According to Parham, Page also told his colleagues about his conversation with John McCain, an episcopalian who now attends a baptist church. Page says he asked, "Who owns your soul, John McCain?"

I can't wait to hear how Page's conversation with Romney goes. (I'm sure he'll tell us.) After all, Southern Baptists think Mormonism is a cult.

I sort of feel sorry for right-wing fundamentalists like Page, though. It's tough moving to the political bench when you've become accustomed to calling plays. Perhaps he, like Bush, is just trying to find a way to stay relevant.

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Guest Post By Elyce Brown: Macon Steps it Up

Many thanks to Elyce Brown for sending a post on this critical issue!

Macon Steps It Up on Global Warming

By Elyce Brown

On November 3rd, Macon will join with hundreds of other cities from coast to coast in a “National Day of Climate Action”. Concerned citizens will gather and call on their elected representatives to take leadership on global warming. In Macon, the event will have special significance: the nation’s single largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, Plant Scherer, is located just north of the city.

The event will also provide an opportunity for citizens to become better informed on global warming, answering the big questions that still linger in the minds of many.

Is the earth warming? In scientific circles, there is no debate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that in the past century, the surface temperature has risen by 0.6°C. Think that’s nothing? Even this seemingly modest amount has been accompanied by widespread glacial retreat, a major decrease in snow cover and ice that feeds lakes and rivers, a rise in sea level, a warmer ocean and immense coral die-offs. And that’s just to name a few of the effects.

Is the warming caused by human activity? This is a question for science, not politics or personal beliefs. The IPCC’s technical reports reflect international scientific consensus and are created under an extensive and transparent peer review process that far outdoes that of scientific journals. The process welcomes and incorporates dissenting opinions, as long as they are supported by empirical evidence. The most recent IPCC report, released in February 2007 includes the input of more than 1,200 authors and 2,500 scientific expert reviewers from more than 130 countries, chosen by the governments of those countries. The report finds that it is “very likely” (90-95%) that emissions of heat-trapping gases from human activities have caused “most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century” (my italics).

We have the facts. Now we need leaders. On November 3rd, citizens will ask their representatives how they plan to take leadership on global warming to promote the 1Sky priorities: (1) no new coal plants, (2) 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, and (3) 5 million new green jobs.

We know that the earth’s temperature is rising at an alarming rate. We know with 90-95% certainty that “most of the observed increase” is caused by human activity. We also know that by making the switch now to green energies we could be creating millions of badly needed, high-paying jobs for Americans. Now all we need to know is who will step up and lead.

Help make the event a big success by visiting the Step It Up website today and take two quick actions: 1) Sign up to attend the event, and 2) Send Rep. Sanford Bishop an invitation to attend (click on the “Invite Leaders” tab).

Sources:
Union of Concerned Scientists
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Southern Dis-Comfort: Georgia Turns a Cold Shoulder to Global Warming, The Macon Telegraph, 9/30/2007
Step It Up home

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Photographing History

Every now and then, you happen on history, and happen to have a camera. Below are some photographs of Thursday's press conference at the Capitol.

Barnes stood in the rotunda of the building where he once governed and endorsed fellow southerner, John Edwards for President. He was joined at the podium by a number of elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, Sen. Seay, Sen. Fort and our own Lauren Benedict. I can't remember the last time Taylor and Barnes appeared together at at press conference at the capitol, but this was Taylor's first press conference since the 2006 election. In the audience and at the podium, there were individuals who represented key constituencies of our Party: elected officials, party establishment, young democrats, civil right leaders, fundraisers-all together, at the place where Democrats once held the reigns of power. The moment was rich with symbolism that was lost on no one.

Here are some pictures:


A reporter asked Barnes why he thought that Edwards could win the Georgia primary in 2008, when he did not win in 2004. Barnes replied, "Sometimes, you learn more from defeat than from victory."

Barnes' sense of humor was intact, too. At one point in the conference, we heard a sneeze from somewhere upstairs, prompting Barnes to quip, "Sonny, is that you?"


Lauren Benedict and Melita Easters Endorse John Edwards



Barnes and Taylor Appear Together at Capitol Press Conference to Endorse Edwards

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Jason Carter Makes the News

In two ways. First, Jason wrote a great piece, Putting the Can in Candidate for Huffington Post. Check it out.

And, Jason made today's Telegraph.

CARTER'S GRANDSON TO SPEAK IN MACON


Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, will speak Friday to the monthly Politics and Lunch Group in downtown Macon.
Carter, an Atlanta attorney, will be discussing a new program called Democrats Work. Lunch starts at noon at the Market City Cafe downtown. Attendees must R.S.V.P. by Thursday by calling organizer Amy Morton at (478) 741-1138 or e-mailing amymorton@aol.com. Lunch costs $10. For more information, visit www.democratswork.org.

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Bill Maher: Edwards a "Sure Winner"

If you saw "Real Time With Bill Maher last night, then you know that the show had some, uhm, remarkable moments. Sure, there were protesters in the crowd who disrupted the live show, and Maher himself left the stage prepared to kick some...I mean, to assist security. But the really remarkable moment was when Maher acknowledged that Edwards was the Democrat most likely to get elected and offered him a campaign contribution. See the whole interview, below:


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Friday, October 19, 2007

Manuel's. Tonight. Be There!


Some of Georgia's most prominent men are sponsoring an event tonight at Manuel's Tavern in support of Georgia's WIN List and some of Georgia's most electable women. It is. The place. To be. Tonight. And, you're invited. Contributions to WIN help support great, pro-choice, Democratic women who are running for state level office in Georgia. Info below:



MEN for WIN!
Charles Huddleston to be Honored



Event Chair: Mark Dehler



When: Friday, October 19, 2007 6 - 8 pm



Where: Manuel's Tavern

602 North Highland Avenue

Atlanta, Georgia 30316



Contribution (at the door) $100*



WIN must report contributions greater than $100 per year as required by law. Contributions to Georgia's WIN List are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

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Massachusetts

The endorsements keep rolling in for John Edwards! Massachusetts SEIU has just endorsed John Edwards. The endorsements of state councils provide critical resources for the Edwards campaign and underscore Edwards' commitment to labor.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Georgia Leaders: Edwards Helps Us WIN

Today, democratic leaders from across the state gathered in Atlanta in support of John Edwards. Governor Roy Barnes kicked off the 3 p.m. press conference and drew a chuckle from supporters and reporters alike by saying that he wants a President who talks like he does and who he can understand without an interpretor. His point? Edwards can campaign and win in critical swing states, and in Georgia, John Edwards helps democrats win down the ballot.

Others who spoke included Lt Gov. Mark Taylor. Taylor endorsed Edwards and cited his commitment to campaigning in critical rural areas.

Sen. Vincent Fort and Sen. Valencia Seay both spoke in support of Edwards, and Seay had her grandson John John with her. Seay said that one of the key reasons she was supporting John Edwards is because she he is the best choice for John John's future, and the candidate best positioned to win in November.

From Middle Georgia, Lauren Benedict spoke, endorsing Edwards. Benedict said that democrats running for state house, senate, county commission and city council would be more likely to be elected if Edwards is the nominee.

The event was covered by the AJC, Insider Advantage, Capitol Impact and two Atlanta television stations.

I have pictures and will post them later today.

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Guest Post: Prominent Feminist Leader Endorses John Edwards

Melita Easters, a nationally known leader in the women's movement and in democratic circles, has announced her endorsement of Sen. John Edwards for President. Easters has devoted much time and energy to helping pro-choice democratic women get elected in Georgia and nationally. For President, her choice is John Edwards. Today, we are proud to feature a guest post from Melita Easters:

I am happy to support John Edwards because we share a similar heritage – he is the son of a mill worker and I am the daughter of a school teacher and a USDA worker who was street smart but reported to men with college degrees. We share the small town values of our childhood and the experience of leaving those small towns for life in more metropolitan areas. His daughter Kate and my two daughters are about the same age. John and Elizabeth Edwards are articulate advocates for the vision we share of what the America we pass off to our grand children to come can and should be.

It is hard for someone who grew up in a “Yellow Dog Democrat” household like me to see what has happened to Georgia under Republican control: a blatant disregard for children’s health care, ethical responsibility, open government and our precious natural and environmental resources. For Democrats to undo the damage of a Republican Governor and a House, Senate and PSC controlled by more Republicans, the down ballot races are critically important in 2008. The Democratic presidential candidate must be someone who appeals to all parts of Georgia – rural, urban and suburban.

John Edwards is that candidate. He understands the problems of rural towns who have lost industry to overseas competition. He understands the need for all children to have access to health care and a college education. He and Elizabeth are the epitome of integrity and ethics, true family values and a passion to make the world a better place so that others may have the opportunity to achieve as they have. It is important to have Edwards at the top of the ticket so that the candidates for state house or senate seats and local races have a candidate who will generate excitement and voter turnout. John and Elizabeth have already demonstrated a commitment to campaign in Georgia.

It is time for a presidential candidate who will not “write off” Georgia and the rest of the south coming in only to fundraise and then spend those dollars in other states. John is that candidate and his commitment to not just his own race, but to rebuilding the Democratic party in the south from the grassroots up is important to me and the women I and others are talking to about taking on and challenging Republican incumbents in 2008.

Melita Easters
Long-time activist in women’s and Democratic party circles

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Peake's Perks

Travis Fain has a very interesting piece in today's Telegraph, Analysis: Many fear large property owners will win big under GOP tax plan. He begins by pointing out that if the Speaker's plan passes, my Representative, " ...Allen Peake and his business partners can stop writing checks to Bibb County for more than $70,600 a year." At the end, Fain provides a very interesting breakdown of who owns what property, how much tax they now pay and what they would have to spend in services to break even with regard to their tax obligation. This is an excellent, well-researched piece.

Peake, in the article, actually had the nerve to compare what he will save with the savings of homeowners and car owners. I assume that he owns at least one each of those, too. When you want to know "why," just follow the money. The return of the landed gentry, indeed.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pro-Birth But Not Pro-Life

Tomorrow is crunch time for SCHIP, and surely, the streets will be filled with Georgians who are pro-life and advocating for an expansion to SCHIP. No strangers to public demonstrations, these advocates normally carry signs depicting aborted fetuses, meant to shock, but tomorrow, surely their signs will be depicting the older children who need access to the health care, equally shocking. I bet they've been burning up the phone lines of Georgia's "pro-life" congressmen, too, telling them to vote override the President's veto. Surely they will, because if you're don't care about children as they grow, you're not pro-life. You're just pro-birth.

Catholics United and others are asking a valid question. How can members of Congress who claim to be pro-life fail to vote for greater access to health care for the children of the working poor? Are they pro-life, or just pro-birth? Or maybe they're just pro-republican. That sounds about right. (Check this summary on Kos, and below you can read more about the efforts of Catholics United to press "pro-life" congressmen to vote to override the President's veto. You can listen to the ads, too.)

In Georgia, Sadie Fields, Chair of the Georgia Christian Alliance, hasn't just been quiet-she's been vocal in her opposition to this bill, claiming it "destroyed the core mission of the plan." Well, I don't know about you, but I thought that the core mission of SCHIP was making sure working parents can take their kids to the doctor. The call to "stand in the gap" is a powerful biblical principle. We are called to stand in the gap-to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. We are to stand in the gap-not stand in the way. Right now, we need to stand in the gap for the 100,000 Georgia children who can be added to the PeachCare rolls if enough members of Congress will stand up to the President.

Do I have to ask you again to call Jim Marshall?

clipped from bravenewfilms.org

Catholics United has announced they will launch an advertising campaign on the radio next week, urging certain Congressional representatives to support the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, SCHIP. The ads target the ten members of Congress whose opposition to SCHIP stands in stark contrast to their pro-life voting records.

Listen to these ads expose these supposedly "pro-life" politicians as the disgusting hypocrites they are.

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida (listen)
Rep. Joseph Knollenberg, Michigan (listen)
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan (listen)
Rep. Tim Walberg, Michigan (listen)
Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio (listen)
Rep. Gene Taylor, Mississippi (listen)
Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota (listen)
Rep. Sam Graves, Missouri (listen)
Rep. Thelma Drake, Virginia (listen)
Rep. John Peterson, Peterson (listen)

blog it

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Bloggers Are Invited

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2007

CONTACT:Colleen Murray919-636-3203


***MEDIA ADVISORY***

GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADERS TO
ENDORSE JOHN EDWARDS FOR PRESIDENT

Leaders to discuss why Edwards is the best candidate to lead Democrats to victory in 2008, both in Georgia and across the nation

Atlanta, Georgia – On Thursday, October 18th at 3:00 p.m. ET, Democratic Party leaders from all levels of state and local government will gather on the steps of the State Capitol to discuss their endorsement of John Edwards for president. The leaders will also take questions from the media, following their remarks.

“John Edwards is the only candidate with the vision and leadership needed to win both the primary and the general election,” said former Governor Roy Barnes, who will host the endorsement event. “In states like Georgia, having Edwards at the top of the ticket will motivate swing voters, ensuring Democrats maintain and expand our majorities in Congress and leading Democrats to victory in races at the state and local level as well.”

WHO:
Former Governor Roy Barnes
Former Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor
State Senator Vincent Fort
State Senator Valencia Seay
Macon City Councilwomen-Elect Lauren Benedict
WHAT: Press conference to discuss endorsement of John Edwards for president
WHEN:3:00 p.m. ET, October 18th, 2007
WHERE:Steps of the Georgia State Capitol(Rain location: Capitol Rotunda)
-30-
Paid for by John Edwards for President.

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Cheney's Law

Thanks for the link, Rachel. If you missed the PBS special, Cheney's Law, tonight, you can, and you should, watch it here. The special is about how Cheney systematically move forward his agenda of enhancing the powers of the executive branch of government. If you care at all about the balance of powers, this is a must-see.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Standing My Ground on SCHIP

I'm thinking we need some theme music...



You know what? If I (we) have to take hits fighting for greater access to health care for the children of the working poor, then we just do. Check the facts, and look at this summary of today's developments from Down With Tyranny. Last week, I had a conversation with Doug Moore, Marshall's spokesman (who called me). As I told Doug, if I were in Marshall's seat and thought that voting for SCHIP meant that I would not get re-elected, then I would just have to come home. At some point, you just have to stand your ground. And, I am. Are you?

Have you called Jim Marshall yet? Have you signed the petition? Have you faxed (202-225-3013) or emailed him (jim.marshall@mail.house.gov)? Play the theme music, and then, please, contact Marshall and ask him to, please, vote to override. Tell him that it is not a sign of weakness to change his mind and do the right thing for children.

And, by the way, thanks to Flack, BfD, DWT, and scores of others who have been helping us get the word out about this important opportunity to stand up for health care for children.

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So, Since When is Children's Health a Far Left Agenda?

The Blue America/BlogPAC ad ran in the Macon Telegraph, and while I might not have used the same language as the ad sponsors, I agree that Marshall should support this largely bi-partisan legislation to help the children of the working poor gain greater access to health care. The pushback here-the claim that those of us who dare to suggest that Marshall support this legislation are just short of being socialists-is a classic Roverian technique, and in this instance has strong overtones of race-baiting. It's not working.

Do the right thing, Jim. Vote to override.

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Mayor Ellis Has Signed the Hotel Documents

After much bluster, I'm hearing that Mayor Ellis has signed the hotel documents.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Breeding the Kingdom?

Be very careful when taking a specious argument to its logical conclusion. Albert Mohler, who is the President of Southern Seminary, is fixated on the idea that, in order to keep the denomination's pews, and presumably coffers, full, Southern Baptists need to get busy and breed. Mohler uses this as an argument against choice and for women being pregnant, submissive homemakers. I've always thought Mohler's argument was creepy, insulting and demeaning to women, but today I came across a new wrinkle that is just plain scary.

I was reading a post by Bob Allen over at Ethics Daily about Mohler's argument that Christians (like his fellow Baptist Al Gore) should be more concerned about saving souls than saving the Earth. The planet was given to humans to dominate and is destined to be destroyed by fire any old way, so why bother?

I was going to post on that nonsense and went over to Mohler's blog to read the post Allen referenced, and I came across this shocking entry: Falling Birthrates, Empty Cribs and Collapsing World Views. Holy cow. Mohler reflects on the work of Steve Ozment who has written about the growth of the Muslim population in Germany. Ozment opines:

In Germany's large Muslim communities, speaking German and mastering the German Basic Law are proving to be effective tools not only for immigrant assimilation to German culture, but also for the ascendancy of immigrant culture over German. With the continuing growth of these communities, and the construction of mammoth mosques within them, will come increasing demands by the inhabitants to govern by sharia law rather than by German Basic Law.
And, Mohler elaborates:

This leads to two related developments. First, these secular worldviews do not encourage large families. Second, this weakening of the family among non-Muslims comes as immigrant Muslims re-assert their commitment to the traditional family and multiple children. An Islamic domination of the culture is just a matter of time.


"Immigrant assimilation" - "Ascendancy of immigrant culture" - "Encourage large families" What????? Where have I heard this argument before?


I half-expected Mohler to end his piece with a proposal to bring back the Mother's Cross.
Mohler seems to be making the dangerous argument that Christians need to out-breed Muslims. The inference is that Christian babies are more desirable than Muslim babies. And that is some scary theology. I, for one, don't think that we can breed our way into the Kingdom.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

SCHIP Could Come Down to Marshall's Vote

I know you're probably sick of hearing about SCHIP, Jim Marshall and the vote to override next week, but you're just going to have to bear with me for a few more days. The vote to override is expected to be on October 18th-this Thursday. In the senate, we have the necessary votes to override Bush's veto, and in the House the margin is expected to be razor thin-maybe just one vote. Marshall's vote.

So, if you haven't, and even if you have, please, sign the petition, send him an email, call him and toss in some coins to help BlogPAC run the ad.

As Flack has said:

People from all across the country will be focused on Rep. Marshall and the choice he makes. We need to be focused on changing his mind. There are many ways you can choose to be heard.

1) You can throw a few dollars to
Blue America, who will be running a powerful ad in the Telegraph next week.
2) Sign the
petition
3) Write him an email -
jim.marshall@mail.house.gov
4) Call his office, and tell him to vote to override the veto.
Phone: (202) 225-6531Fax: (202) 225-3013Phone: (478) 464-0255Fax: (478) 464-0277

The final call will rest with Jim, but next week is your chance to make one too.

I'm not sure this vote is what Marshall wanted to become famous for, but, so be it. I can't remember the last time so many different 'forces' have acted in concert in an effort to convince members of Congress to do the right thing. I don't know what will happen, but I bet if there were a national ballot on this legislation it would win the overwhelming support of the American people. I know Jim Marshall believes that providing access to health care to the children of the working poor is the right thing to do, a fact that makes his vote harder to stomach. I'm hoping that Marshall will ignore his consultants and listen to his head, his heart, his constituents-and do the right thing.

Marshall's failure to support this bipartisan legislation designed to continue and expand access to health care for children of the working poor (how controversial can that really be?) has drawn attention from Georgia and national blogs as well as the msm. Nationally, democrats now see Marshall as the guy who failed to support children's health care, but he has an opportunity to be the hero instead of the goat. A vote to override from Marshall would undoubtedly take the cover from others who would then follow his lead.

This can so be his moment. Come on, Jim. Do the right thing.

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Let America Speak!

Yesterday, John Edwards announced that he favors the creation of a "Citizen Congress" that would use technology to give the President the counsel of a million Americans. Pay attention. This is a BIG idea. Edwards is talking about a basic, fundamental change in the government works. He said:

“These Citizen Congresses will combine old-fashioned town halls with 21st century technology,” Edwards said in his speech. “They will give regular Americans a chance to speak to each other, and to their elected officials in Washington, without the filters of interest groups and the media.”
To my knowledge, this is the first time that an American leader in the national spotlight has called for an institutional reform like this.

Thanks to Mattice for sending me a note this morning pointing out that this strategy is straight out the the America Speaks Million Voices strategy. When I first read about his proposal, I thought that the technology sounded awfully familiar. In Macon, Community Partnership hoped to use this to facilitate a community discussion about needs and goals of our community and brought representatives of American Speaks to Macon to make a presentation to community leaders. In the end, we just couldn't afford it, but the technology and the process is an innovative way to engage and empower citizens.

Edwards really is talking about fundamentally reforming how government works and returning control to the people-where it belongs.

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Iowa SEIU Set to Endorse Edwards

Today, John Edwards was endorsed by the environmental group, Friends of Earth, and multiple sources are reporting that, tomorrow, the Iowa chapter of SEIU, along with other state affiliates, will endorse him. This is great news for the Edwards' campaign, providing important "boots on the ground" and other resources in key early states.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Stick a Fork in Glenn's Tax

Over the vehement opposition of almost everyone except a few colleagues to whom he can toss plumb committee assignments-or not, Speaker Richardson continues to push his not-so-great tax on everything-a plan that's changing faster than Richardson's moods. But, his latest desperate addition is the death knell for this hair-brained proposal. Stick a fork in it. It's all over but the shouting.

On Thursday, Georgia State released a report on the plan that showing what Alan Essig with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute told us in January: the plan simply won't produce enough revenue. It's way short-like billions short, unless Richardson includes sales tax on business-to-business services, which he now, predictably says he will do.

The problem is, the experts, like the folks at Georgia State or Georgia Budget and Policy, never even considered that Richardson would propose taxing business-to-business transactions because doing so makes zero economic sense. Essig said that taxing business-to-business transactions would hurt the state's economy and that taxes should be charged only when a product is sold to a consumer. This new wrinkle will add cost at every step of the production process-cost that will ultimately be passed on to consumers (read: "you and me").

So, not only will we be paying increased sales tax, including a brand spankin' new tax on services, the goods we purchase will cost more because of increased cost to business to produce the products. In short, the cost of everything goes up, even before the new sales tax is applied.

Don't spend too much time thinking about it. I'm sure that Richardson will continue his dog and pony show, but the Glenntax is D.O.A.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Jim Marshall Must Be Feeling the Heat

Thirteen votes. That's what Democrats now need to override the President's SCHIP veto. With the vote scheduled for October 18th, just thirteen votes stand between Georgia's children and greater access to the health care they need. Thirteen votes stand between Georgia's working families and the ability to make sure that their children get preventative and primary care at their pediatrician's office, instead of expensive and often ineffective treatment at the emergency room. Georgia Democrat, Jim Marshall is one of those thirteen votes. He must be feeling the heat because he's catching it from the left-and the right. He shouldn't be surprised. (Read the comments on this online petition, and sign it while you're there.)

From the right, MyDD reports that Catholics United is launching radio ads calling on pro-life republicans to support this legislation. Marshall, who is Catholic, is not one of their targets, but he should be. The ads make the point that opposing this legislation is "inconsistent with their pro-life values." No kidding. You can listen to the ads here.

From the left, today, Blue America and Blogpac, organizations that have already sent robocalls into Marshall's district, posted a page on ActBlue, raising money to run this ad:


There's more than halfway to their goal of raising $10,000 to run the ad, so go there, toss in a few coins, and help keep the pressure on Congressman Marshall. He has an opportunity to lead on this issue. This is not about Ellis telling him to do it, and not about getting re-elected. This is about doing what's right for our children. Come on, Jim, we're counting on you to do the right thing.

And, I'm counting on all of you to keep emailing and calling Marshall. Tell Marshall to be one of the thirteen votes we need. Tell him it's time to lead. Tell him to vote to override!

What do you say?

You can sign an online petition here.

Or, drop him an email here:

E-mail: jim.marshall@mail.house.gov

Or, call or fax him here:

Phone: (202) 225-6531

Fax: (202) 225-3013

Phone: (478) 464-0255

Fax: (478) 464-0277

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

God's In Trouble

That’s right. You heard it here first. God, in fact, is in trouble. Due to a recent and seemingly benign development, God is experiencing serious competition for his worship attention.

You see signs of God’s new competition every day, on vehicles and in yards. In fact, many adults are spending as much if not more of their time, not worshipping God, but worshipping, that’s right, THEIR CHILDREN!!

It seems you cannot pass a car, van, or whatever, without some display of the parent’s acclimation of their child’s accomplishments. You see the child’s name, a symbol of the activity, usually sports, that they are involved in, and if their activity is a team sport, their number.

I just don’t get the big deal about proclaiming to the world how great your child is. It may be an outgrowth of the “Baby on Board” sign phenomenon. I guess the parent’s thinking is “my kid not a baby anymore, I’ve got to keep the world posted on what he or she has been up to”. I mean, just because your kid makes it on a team, or takes dance class, does not mean that they are something special. When I was a kid doing those sorts of things was just standard procedure, not the basis for a front page headline.

Imagine the pressure being put on parents of children who are not athletic or interested in ballet. What will those parents put on their vehicles? “My child attends school”; “At least Junior’s not in jail”; “My kid’s O.K., I guess”. You can see the dilemma.

No doubt children are special to their parents, and on occasion, to a few others. However, their mere existence, or occasional participation in group activities, does not merit the moving accomplishment billboard that is your vehicle.

If children get this kind of attention for doing relatively ordinary things, what are parents going to do when Junior does something really special like, say, graduate from high school? I know, they will commission an MTV special.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ignorance on Display

As I was driving to work today, I was passed by a rather large truck for whom safety did not appear to be a concern. As the truck went by, I discovered that the reason for the unsafe passing maneuver what that he was from out state. Our Georgia drivers are of course excellent.

What caught my eye was the bumper sticker on the truck which read as follows:
"Life's a B*tch: Don't Vote for One!" This quote was followed by a picture of Hillary Clinton.

Regardless of whom you support, I find the sentiment expressed on the bumper sticker to be utterly offensive. Imagine a commensurate display referring to the ethnic backgrounds of candidates such as Obama or Richardson or the religious background of other candidates.

One of the worst developments of the Bush-Cheney-Rove regime has been the legitimation as a political tactic of attacks based on personal characteristics of candidates or individuals. As a result, private citizens who previously had been driven underground by public condemnation of racism, sexism or homophobia have been given a voice once again.

I just wonder how the significant other or mother of the person driving the truck today feels when she sees such a hateful term for women proudly on display on this man's vehicle. It just makes you wonder what other attitudes the driver of that truck has.

I would be curious if any of you have seen similar types of expressed ignorance. Please let me know by your comments with appropriate editorial changes.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Forest Hill Road Saga Continues...

I have heard from several sources that Bibb County Commission Chair, Charlie Bishop, is in the process of scheduling meetings with small groups of City Council members regarding the Forest Hill Road Project. I wonder what the Chairman intends to accomplish at these meetings and whether they are open to the public. I am hopeful that this signals a willingness on the Chairman's part to consider altering the plans.

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Poll: Bush Alliance Drag on Marshall?

From the war in Iraq to SCHIP, Jim Marshall has often "stood with the President" and against his Democratic base. Now, based on some of the information in a new poll, I'm wondering whether Marshall's loyalty to the President may actually hurt him in his district.

A recent poll, conducted by Frederick Polls and Paid for by Altria Corporate Services, Inc., (read push poll from the tobacco industry) indicates that Marshall is very popular in the district-more popular than Bush. Of 400 polled, 49% of respondents thought that Bush was doing an "excellent" or "good" job, while a full 70% said that they had either a very positive or somewhat positive view of Marshall. Add to that the fact that Georgians overwhelmingly favor PeachCare and SCHIP-programs that are more popular than either Bush or Marshall, and it becomes clear that Marshall may just have hitched his wagon to the wrong pony in this fight.

I was actually one of the 400 people in the 8th congressional district who got this push (shove) poll, paid for by the tobacco industry and focused on the plan to increase the cigarette tax in order to pay for the SCHIP. The tobacco industry has spent millions of dollars opposing the SCHIP legislation. We need to tell Marshall to side with Georgia's children in the battle-not with the President, not with Big Insurance and not with Big Tobacco.

So, once more, let's tell Marshall: Vote to Override.

You can sign an online petition here.

Or, drop him an email here:E-mail: jim.marshall@mail.house.gov

Or, call or fax him here:

Phone: (202) 225-6531

Fax: (202) 225-3013

Phone: (478) 464-0255

Fax: (478) 464-0277


If he won't, then tell him to explain it to the children

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Is Ellis Using City Resources for Ramadan Event?

The Macon Telegraph is reporting that tomorrow, Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis will help lead a Ramadan forum and feast, and the event will be held at City Hall in Council Chambers. After an informational session, the community is invited to participate in a "feast."

What???

I have no issue with Ellis converting to Islam, but I would have issues with him converting City resources for personal or religious use. This is a religious ceremony, so unless the City intends to make this public property available to other faiths that wish to use the facilities, then this crosses the boundary between the necessary separation of church and state-and maybe this incident makes it a little more clear why such separation is needed.

Here are my questions:

1) Has the Mayor used City resources to advertise this event? Someone obviously sent out a press release, and I know from several sources that council members got an email invitation. Apparently other clergy were also invited. Was this done through his office, during work hours, using city equipment, and done by an employee who was on the city's payroll at the time?

2) Who will be paying for the "feast?" I assume that it is the Macon Islamic Center, but I think it's a question worth asking.

3) Will city employees have to work late to provide security or otherwise "cover" the event? If so, who foots the bill?

It costs something to keep the building open after hours.

The problem here is that this is a slippery slope. I don't know what the current city policy is about groups using City Hall for religious events, but the Mayor may be setting a precedent that Macon will have to live with long after he leaves office.

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Jason Carter to Speak in Macon: Save the Date!

Jason Carter, attorney with the Atlanta firm of Bondurant, Mixon and Elmore and grandson of President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, will be our guest speaker for Politics and Lunch on Friday, October 26th at noon. Jason has joined with others to launch "Democrats Work", an organization that will undoubtedly change the way we think about political action by challenging us to put our values into action. Jason will speak about this program and tell us how we can participate. This event is open to the public, but reservations are requested.

We will meet at noon at The Power Station at 1015 Riverside Drive in Macon, Georgia. The luncheon is open to the public, and the cost, $10.00, includes your lunch. Please RSVP to Amy Morton at (478) 741-1138 or AmyMorton@aol.com.

Below is a brief and impressive bio for Jason: Duke University (B.A. 1997); University of Georgia (J.D. Summa Cum Laude 2004); Articles Editor, Georgia Law Review; Order of the Coif; West Award for Academic Excellence; Law Clerk to Honorable Frank Mays Hull, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 2004-2005; Author, Power Lines: Two Years on South Africa's Borders, National Geographic Books (2002); United States Peace Corps Volunteer, Lochiel, South Africa, 1998-2000.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

"Breathtaking, Fundamental Dishonesty"

Here's what the DLC had to say about Bush's veto of SCHIP:


Though it was hardly a surprise, President Bush's veto of bipartisan legislation reauthorizing and improving the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) was still breathtaking in the fundamental dishonesty of the case he made for his action.

Read more here, and then call or email Rep. Jim Marshall, the only Georgia Democrat to vote against this critical legislation, to ask him why he is standing with President Bush instead of standing for Georgia's children. Tell, Rep. Marshall that this can be his moment. Tell him to vote to override the President's veto. If he will lead, others will follow.

Let's fill his email box. What do you say?

You can sign an online petition here.

Or, drop him an email here:E-mail: jim.marshall@mail.house.gov

Or, call or fax him here:

Phone: (202) 225-6531
Fax: (202) 225-3013
Phone: (478) 464-0255
Fax: (478) 464-0277

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"The Courage to Think Anew"

Political history doesn't turn on the amount of money you spend, but the courage to think anew. (The Argument, Matt Bai)

A year ago tonight-about right now-Daryl and I were at the Ritz Carlton in Montego Bay-an idyllic, perfectly calm setting for some badly needed rest. Little did we know, that was all about to change. About the time we were having dinner, my brother-in-law, Larry walked into his living room to find my sister, Ava, who had been just fine moments before, slumped over, unresponsive. I didn't find out until the next morning, but a large aneurysm had ruptured in Ava's brain. She was in ICU, on a respirator, clinging to life, against the odds.

In the days that followed, I traded a hammock by the beach in Jamaica for a chair in the ICU waiting room in Charlotte where I learned about things like "grade five bleeds" and "vasospasms." After three weeks in ICU, two surgeries (one that caught the aneurysm just before it "blew" again), weeks on the neuro floor, a month in the rehab hospital and months more of recovery at home, she didn't just survive an event that most do not-she survived with little residual impairment. She still plays the organ at her church and still serves on the planning and zoning board in her community. Amazing really. People, including her doctor, readily use the word "miracle" when they talk about her. She believes that it just wasn't her time to die. God's hand was with us, but there were other more earthly things at work as well.

For, example, Ava was close to a major medical center (Charlotte) with a specialized neuro ICU. She had excellent doctors. And, because Larry is one of those now-rare individuals who has worked for the same large company most of his adult life, she had excellent health insurance, and he had the leave he needed to be with her-especially after she came home.

Anyone can be just fine one moment and in need of state of the art medical care the next. When I talk about access to health care being a fundamental, civil right, it's because I believe everyone deserves the same shot at life that she had. To make that happen, in this new economy will certainly require that we have the courage to "think anew."

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Some bumper stickers say it all !!


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Al Williams is Right

If Rep. Al Williams is looking for the presidential candidate who best understands that Georgia does not end at the perimeter, then John Edwards is definitely the guy for him. Yesterday, as Gov. Bill Richardson addressed the Black Caucus in Atlanta, caucus chair, Rep. Al Williams (D-Hinesville) opined:


(Williams) decried the pattern of candidates coming only for the day to attend a fundraiser before leaving.
"Unfortunately, Georgia ain't nothing but a cash box," Mr. Williams said. "Most of them don't know there's anything but Atlanta."

Williams is, of course, correct. While Georgia is a major source of cash for presidential candidates, most just pop in and out of Atlanta for a day-or a few hours-of fundraising and maybe a public event. It is as if the rest of the state simply does not exist.

Not John Edwards. Edwards is the candidate who has an actual plan for the revitalization of rural America, and both he and Elizabeth have visited rural Georgia on multiple occasions throughout the campaign. John and Elizabeth Edwards have each visited Macon, Elizabeth has visited Savannah, and most recently, both John and Elizabeth Edwards were the guests of President and Mrs. Carter for a public event in Americus, Georgia that drew nearly 2,000 people.

Edwards' appeal to rural America is also reflected in his fundraising. While the other candidates have simply concentrated on Atlanta, John Edwards' fundraising in Georgia "below the gnat line" blows all the other candidates-Democrats or Republicans-out of the water.

This trend is reflected all around the country, and that's significant. John Edwards has strong appeal to rural voters, perhaps because his own roots are in rural America. This ability to appeal to rural voters is just one of the reasons why Edwards is the strongest candidate is general election match-ups. Check recent polling numbers here.

So, Rep. Williams, John Edwards is your guy. In fact, if we want to win, and want at the same time to elect the most progressive president in memory, then John Edwards is the best choice for all of us.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Marshall/Bush Voters

If you have not already done so, this will surely provide the incentive you need to contact Jim Marshall about his 'no' vote on SCHIP. Yesterday, I blogged about Doug Moore, Marshall's spokesperson, making the statement that Marshall supported Bush in this debate. Some have said that could not be so. Well, here's the whole quote from the 13 WMAZ website:

Marshall couldn't be reached for comment. But his spokesman Doug Moore said Marshall and the President were on the same side on the health-care bill. Moore also noted that Bush won 62 percent of the vote in the 8th District in 2004."Does anyone know any Ellis-Bush voters?" Moore said.


Marshall is more concerned about the Marshall/Bush voters than voting to support this critical SCHIP legislation. Tell Marshall that's just not right-tell him to vote to override! Just do it. It won't take but a minute, and Georgia's children will thank you.

This does matter. If you have a blog please post this. If you have not done so yet, please let Marshall hear from you.

Here, again, is the contact information:

Let's fill his email box. What do you say?

You can sign an online petition here.


Or, drop him an email here:E-mail: jim.marshall@mail.house.gov

Or, call or fax him here:

Phone: (202) 225-6531
Fax: (202) 225-3013
Phone: (478) 464-0255
Fax: (478) 464-0277

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Women Blogging Politics

Catherine Morgan at Informed Voter has a great list of over 100 political blogs that are written by women. (I especially think it's a great list since she included GWV.) Catherine was responding to this New York Times article that asked, in a year when a Hillary is running for President, why are the political blogs dominated by men? But, seriously, as she points out, these blogs are tremendously diverse. Check out her list here.

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This is Why

Today in the tiny town of Columbus, Kentucky, John Edwards drew a crowd of about 2000 people. This crowd reminds me very much of the crowds I saw him drawing in August in Iowa and the crowd I saw him draw in Americus, Georgia. See the video below, toss a few coins in the jar and look at these numbers to see why Edwards, not Clinton, is the Democrats best hope.

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Marshall: "Supporting the President's Position on SCHIP"

Doug Moore, Marshall's spokesperson, was quoted tonight on 13 WMAZ regarding Marshall's SCHIP vote. Moore said that Congressman Marshall supports the President's position on SCHIP. That's the money quote.

Thanks for clarifying the reason for Jim's vote, Doug.

Kos, and other sources are saying that four of the eight Democrats who voted 'no' on the bill will vote to override and there is a hope that as many as four Republicans are ready to join them.
Forget about Jack, Jim. We already have. Do the right thing-vote to override. Help send Jim Marshall a message: support Georgia's children, not George Bush.

This does matter. If you have a blog please post this. If you have not done so yet, please let Marshall hear from you.

Here, again, is the contact information:

Let's fill his email box. What do you say?

You can sign an online petition here.

Or, drop him an email here:E-mail: jim.marshall@mail.house.gov

Or, call or fax him here:

Phone: (202) 225-6531
Fax: (202) 225-3013
Phone: (478) 464-0255
Fax: (478) 464-0277

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Gillespie to announce for First Congressional Dist.

Who: Democrat and retired Lt. Colonel Bill Gillespie of Chatham County
What: Press Conferences
Where: Tybee Island, 1110 Laurel Avenue and Valdosta, 108 East Central Avenue
When: Oct. 7 at 2:00 p.m. (Tybee Island) and Oct. 8 at 1:00 p.m. (Valdosta)
Why: Announcing candidacy for Georgia’s First Congressional District

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It Just Occurred to Me....

Being the shrewd politician that he is, is it possible Jim Marshall paid Jack Ellis to announce this today to take the heat off of him for the SCHIP vote? :) If he didn't, he should have.

Kidding

The sentiment among Democrats seems to be "how can Jack Ellis possibly think that he can win this race?"

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Jack Ellis to Challenge Jim Marshall

Oh, boy. Randall Savage with 13 WMAZ just called me and said that Mayor Ellis has made it official-he will be challenging Jim Marshall in the Democratic Primary for the 8th congressional district. This will create interesting dynamics in the primary, but Marshall really has nothing to worry about. In fact, Ellis' entry into the race may drive some mad Democrats (think SCHIP) to Marshall side. I'm about to do an interview for WMAZ and will be saying that I would strongly support Marshall in that contest-but Jim, don't you think for one second that this let's you off the SCHIP hook. Keep those emails coming, folks. Tell Marshall to vote to override.

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I'd Like a Little Leadership With My Coffee, Please...

This could be Jim Marshall's moment-if he will step up to the plate and stand up to the President. Before I got out of bed this morning, I picked up my blackberry to read the headlines. (Yes, I really am that addicted.) The first two, taken together, pretty much sums up how many Georgians are feeling about Bush's veto of SCHIP:

1) Bush veto threatens PeachCare funding (AJC) 2. Ga. plans execution this month (AJC)

Further down the list, there was this:

Marshall could feel heat to override Bush veto (Macon Telegraph)

Marshall has been getting a good bit of pressure via Georgia's progressive blogs this morning, and now the AJC has noticed. Galloway and company opine that Marshall is unlikely to switch his vote, and that pushing Kucinich is a better option. That's probably true, but unfortunately, a vote from Kucinich get us one vote, but Marshall could bring others along with him. If Jim Marshall can vote against the President, in his district, so can others of of the 29 needed to override the veto. That's why Marshall's vote is vital.

This does matter. If you have a blog please post this. If you have not done so yet, please let Marshall hear from you. Here, again, is the contact information:

Let's fill his email box. What do you say?

You can sign an online petition here.
Or, drop him an email here:E-mail: jim.marshall@mail.house.gov
Or, call or fax him here:Phone: (202) 225-6531
Fax: (202) 225-3013
Phone: (478) 464-0255Fax: (478) 464-0277

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tell Marshall: Vote to Override!!

So, are you ready put your clicker and keyboard where your mouth is?

There's been a lot of chatter on the blogs about Jim Marshall's vote on SCHIP. Unfortunately, I don't think Marshall actually reads the blogs. Hard to believe, I know. (Where else can you find ideas like "Glenn Richardson is the Tax Jesus"?) Anyway, I digress.

How about we work together to make sure Jim Marshall hears from Georgia Democrats asking him to vote to override President Bush's veto? Let's fill his email box. What do you say?

You can sign an online petition here.

Or, drop him an email here:

E-mail: jim.marshall@mail.house.gov

Or, call or fax him here:

Phone: (202) 225-6531
Fax: (202) 225-3013
Phone: (478) 464-0255
Fax: (478) 464-0277

Tell Jim Marshall: Vote to Override!!

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