David Vitter (Sen. R-La.): After watching the President’s address on the oil spill, I’m very disappointed he continued to dig his heels in & reiterated his support for the blanket moratorium – this is already impacting our coastal economy. I’m also offended that the president is using this tragedy as a political mechanism to pass cap & tax. These types of policies aren’t helping the disaster in the Gulf, they only guarantee more job loss.
(Sen. D-Colo.): Let's make @BarackObama's speech the historical
turning point that ushered in the #cleanenergy revolution.
RepKevinBrady (Rep. R-Tex.):
I’ll go the President one better and call for a truly independent
commission to investigate the government’s role in the spill.
Thompson (former GOP presidential candidate): Obama wants to change
the law and punish BP retroactively for the oil spill. Come on, Mr.
President. Don't you think BP should at least have the same rights under
the law as Khalid Sheik Mohammed?
Mike Prendergast for Congress (State Rep. R-Fla.): The President addressed the nation to let those directly affected in the Gulf know what they really need now is Cap and Trade legislation passed by the U.S. House. What they actually need is for the President to stop considering and act to....
First, before you watch this short but remarkable video, a little background on Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson.
He's from Georgia's Fourth District. A Washington, D.C. native, he's the fellow who took office in 2007 after knocking off former five-term Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney.
A former county judge, the 55-year-old is an attorney, a standard liberal Democrat, receiving 100 ratings from the ADA and ACLU.
In this House Armed Services Committee hearing last Friday (no, it wasn't April Fool's Day), Johnson was questioning Admiral Robert Willard, head of the U.S. Pacific fleet, about the stationing of 5,000 additional U.S. Marines and their families on the western Pacific island of Guam, a 212-square-mile American territory that is 30 miles long and from four to 12 miles wide.
President Obama will visit there this summer.
Of course, since Johnson is one of 535 members of the United States Congress, everything he says is important. But pay particular attention to the congressman's comments starting at the 1:16 mark and the pregnant pause after his stated concern and hand gestures.
Followed by the admiral's admirably measured military response.
Also, remember you are paying Congressman Johnson's salary this year -- $174,000.
After a dramatically tense mayoral race, Kasim Reed, an attorney and former Georgia state senator, will continue the Atlanta status quo of African American mayors, after a recount Wednesday clinched Reed’s victory.
Reed was neck and neck with Mary Norwood, who was vying to become the first white mayor in the majority-black city in 35 years. She requested a recount after falling 715 votes short in the Dec. 1 balloting.
Atlanta will swear in a new mayor Jan. 4, and although it's not exactly clear yet who that will be, it looks as though the likely winner of Tuesday night’s dramatically tight runoff race will be Kasim Reed, 40, a former state senator and African American who had the support of many of the city’s black establishment leaders.
Reed faced a strong challenge from Councilwoman Mary Norwood, who was hoping to become the first white mayor in the majority-black city in 35 years. In preliminary returns posted Tuesday night, Norwood came within 758 votes of victory in Fulton County, which covers the vast majority of the city.
About 600 provisional ballots have yet to be counted, and, of course, it is the nature of provisional ballots that some of them may be thrown out by election officials.
Norwood, 57, has said she will ask for a recount if she is able to. Under state law, she may request a recount if she is losing by less than 1% in the final tally.
If Reed is indeed declared the winner, it will be a victory for the status quo in Atlanta politics: Reed served as campaign manager for current Mayor Shirley Franklin, who is leaving office because of term limits.
Norwood’s loss also would show the continued political clout of black Atlanta, despite a gentrification trend that has led to a significant increase in white residents in recent years.
Both Norwood and Reed courted and gained the support of voters who were not of their race. But this map of precinct-by-precint returns shows that many voters stayed with their own, for whatever reason. The red dots are precincts that Norwood won; the blue are those Reed won. Note that the whiter, more affluent north is almost all red, and the African American south side is almost all blue.
-- Richard Fausset
For updates on every new Ticket item, follow us on Twitter.
Photos: Atlanta mayoral candidates Kasim Reed, top, and Mary Norwood ,bottom, at their respective election night parties on Tuesday. Credit: Associated Press
Could a sort of Reverse Bradley Effect have an influence on Atlanta’s potentially historic mayoral runoff election Tuesday?
The Bradley Effect, of course, refers to the idea that white voters will tell pollsters that they support a black candidate then fail to vote for that black candidate on election day. (To nerd out on whether the Bradley Effect — named for the failed 1982 California gubernatorial candidacy of then-L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley — even exists, start here.)
In Atlanta, Councilwoman Mary Norwood is vying to become the first white mayor of the majority-black city since Sam Massell lost to MaynardJackson in 1973. Her runoff opponent, former state Sen. Kasim Reed, is black.
In the Nov. 3 general election, Norwood, who is running on a platform to run City Hall more efficiently, proved adept at winning black support: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution crunched some numbers and found she won 23% of the votes cast in black council districts – better than Reed’s performance in white ones. Since then, the Atlanta firm InsiderAdvantage ran a poll showing Norwood with 25.5% support among black voters.
An emerging theme among politics watchers here, however, is whether that support is real. Matt Towery, the InsiderAdvantage CEO, writes in his election-eve prediction piece today that he has a “hunch” that “Norwood will underperform the 25% of black votes” that show up in that poll and another conducted by SurveyUSA.
Towery doesn’t go too deep with the hunch, but in a Sunday analysis piece by Errin Haines, of the Associated Press, she quotes political strategist Tom Houck, who points to a sentiment that could give blacks pause in voting for a white candidate: the fact that Atlanta has emerged as an important political, cultural and economic symbol for African Americans. “Atlanta is a black city, a symbol to the world,” Houck said. “Putting Mary’s face on that picture would be hard for a lot of people to stomach.”
So how will Norwood fare in the city of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gucci Mane? Tune in Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Towery’s shop has the election at a dead heat, with both Norwood and Reed at 46%.
As a result, both candidates in recent days have been heavily courting gay voters, who are considered especially motivated to turn out Tuesday. Read the Los Angeles Times piece on that phenomenon, and marvel at the fact that Atlanta, by one measure, has the third-highest gay population among cities in the United States, behind San Francisco and Seattle.
Remember those hysterics who didn't want the president urging schoolchildren to study hard in a video address to kids right after Labor Day?
Now come the conspiratorialists, who believe that the massive government bailout of banks and auto companies is part of a deliberate ploy by the Obama administration to bankrupt the United States so that socialism is the only option. Of course the bailouts were started by the Bush administration but who's counting? Maybe he was in on it.
The Democracy Corps, a public polling outfit founded in 1999 by former Clintonites James Carville and Stanley Greenberg, recently conducted focus interviews among two groups -- self-identifying conservatives in Georgia and older independents in Cleveland.
While they are angry at the Republican Party for ineffectiveness in combating Obama, these core Republicans told the focus group interviewers that a successful Obama presidency would lead to "the destruction of this country’s founding principles." So, they said, they are "committed to seeing the president fail."
The one-time Marxist who had said a bad word about Republicans in February and signed a 9/11 conspiracy petition in 2001 resigned at midnight Saturday, in the middle of a holiday weekend. [Updated 2:30 p.m.: Jones was also a co-founder of Color of Change, which later launched an ad boycott of Glenn Beck's program. But Fox News insists that Beck's venom against Jones was not payback; the anchor had been ferreting out the more unsavory footnotes in Jones' vita before the boycott began, a publicist told us.]
Now Georgia Republican Jack Kingston, in one of those you-can't-make-this-stuff-up moments, is threatening to put all 34 Obama administration czars -- in every area from science to diversity -- under a microscope. In a recent op-ed on his website, Kingston argued:
To remedy the situation, Kingston has introduced H.R. 3226, the Czar Accountability and Reform Act, which would bar all funds to presidential envoys not confirmed by the Senate.
Other conservatives, smelling blood in the water, are sharpening their knives. Already, Fox's Beck has alerted his Twitter followers to "find everything you can on Cass Sunstein (the regulatory czar), Mark Lloyd (FCC diversity czar), and Carol Browner (energy czar)."
Sustein, a Harvard Law professor, is being castigated by the right for his support of animals. Lloyd is being portrayed as a disciple of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Browner, who served in the Clinton White House, is now seen as a socialist.
MSNBC's Keith Obermann, incensed by his Fox counterpart's efforts to root out scandal about the Obama czars, has responded by asking viewers to "send every bit of direct you can find" on Glenn Beck, his radio producer Stu Burguiere and Roger Ailes, the brainchild behind Fox News.
Maybe the czar wars will be good for cable television, but are they good for democracy?
One day after enduring tirades from constituents in a town-hall meeting that erupted in vein-splitting anger directed at him, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania -- who just switched parties from Republican to Democrat in a state that can turn blue-to-red on a dime -- talked about the experience.
The Washington Post's Dan Balz agreed, calling the furor over healthcare reform"a proxy for an even larger fear" that the federal government is taking over the private-sector economy.
Some Democrats -- like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- accuse right-wing organizations of stirring up Tea Party activists with instructions to disrupt rather than debate, calling it "un-American." Texas Democrat Lloyd Doggett, who was peppered with angry questions last week, agrees. "This notion of a grass-roots campaign is totally and completely phony," he said. "The Republican Party has coordinated this apparent outrage and stirred it up."
But Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill said it was "a huge
mistake" for Democrats to call the protests "manufactured." True, she
said, "both sides are organizing, but that's what we do in a democracy."
And the organizers insist they only tapped a vein of genuine anger.
Whatever the reason, the town-hall meetings around the country on President Obama's healthcare reform are offering a vivid display of rage.
In Georgia, moderate Democrat David Scott,
an African American representing a majority-white district near Atlanta,
had a contentious
community meeting on healthcare recently. Tuesday, someone
marked up a sign directing constituents to his office, defacing it
with a swastika.
have got to make sure that the symbol of the swastika does not win,
that the racial hatred that's bubbling up does not win this debate,"
Scott said. "There's so much hatred out there for
As for McCaskill, at a town hall on Tuesday, voters shouted, frothed and stomped their feet at the centrist politician who is known as a common-sense moderate. At one point, constituents shouted down her explanations so completely that the senator asked if they wanted her to just go home.
"I don't understand this rudeness," McCaskill said. "I honestly don't get it." Later, when a man shouted over another person's question, the senator said, "This can't be about who's the loudest."
With 20 more town halls scheduled for today, the protests are likely to continue. And maybe that's just the pull of the American tradition of dissent, the right to disagree with your political leaders
without fear of retribution.
As Mary Ann Fieser of Hillsboro, Mo., who attended the McCaskill
town hall, explained, "If they don't let us vent our frustrations
out, they will have a
Last month's "tea party" protests have come and gone but are not forgotten. New protests are already brewing, some maybe this holiday weekend, others probably for July 4, with txt msgs and tweets flying back and forth.
The phenomenon in many ways is familiar in American political history -- a kind of eruption, an incoherent lashing out by people angry over taxes and spending and big government and bigger spending. And the uncertainty of their current lives.
Contrary to some cable news channels, we found "tea party" protesters often to be just as angry at Republicans in general and George W. Bush in particular as at the awe-inspiring size of the Obama Democratic administration's spending plans.
Historically, these protests have fizzled without some political personality to coalesce around -- a Gene McCarthy, a John Anderson, a George Wallace. A Ron Paul even.
Our Times colleague Richard Fausset spent a good deal of time recently with "tea party" participants. And we asked him to go through his notes and thoughts and share the experiences with us. Here's what he told us:
The people I talked with had a variety of targets. This doesn’t mean they went easy on Obama, however. One fake campaign sign showed a picture of the president and...
The Ticket is republishing some of our favorite items from the recent election season. This one originally appeared here on Dec. 2, 2008:
A quick postscript to our post earlier this evening on the Saxby Chambliss-Jim Martin U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia that the Republicans won handily:
As calculated by a loyal Ticket groupie and all-around good guy, Ben Welsh: What a difference four weeks, some cold rain and the absence of an African American presidential candidates makes. (See news video below.)
On the same day in the Senate race, Chambliss, the incumbent, came in first, but not by enough (49.8%) to win. He got 1.867 million votes to Martin's 1.757 million. Trouble is, Allen Buckley, the Libertarian, snatched 128,000 (3.4%), just denying Chambliss the 50%-+1 vote majority needed to avoid a runoff.
Fast-forward to today's two-man runoff: No Barack Obama on the Democratic side. No Bush baggage on the Republican side. No Libertarian Buckley.
With almost all precincts reporting late tonight, there were about 2.126 million total ballots. Chambliss raked in 1.221 million (57.4%) to Martin's 906,000 (42.6%).
Game over for the Democrats and Harry Reid. Not even close. Republican victory.
Lesson for Republicans and Democrats: Don't schedule your Senate reelection bid during a presidential election year ending eight years of White House control by your party.
Lesson for Democrats: Figure out some way to get the African American voters to come out a second time for the white guy.
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.