By Greg Bluestein, Jim Galloway, Daniel Malloy
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton is scheduled to appear in Atlanta next Tuesday to make a high-dollar address at a gathering of the National Association of Convenience Stores.
That’s an unusual, small-business venue for a specialist in foreign affairs, but a natural for anyone considering a presidential run in 2016. So far, there’s no word of any activities outside the Georgia World Congress Center event.
The appearance was confirmed by Erin Pressley, a vice president with the association. But she also told us that Clinton's speech will not be open to the media -- at least not to any part of the press that might be reading tea leaves about a White House bid. The note we received from her yesterday, after initially being cleared to attend:
"Since you are listed online as a political reporter with the Atlanta Journal Constitution and since Hillary Rodham Clinton's session is off limits to media, we are unable to admit you entrance to our Show as a media registrant. I apologize for the sudden change and appreciate your understanding."
A surprising number of Republicans argue that a default on the U.S. government’s debt isn’t the economic bombshell that was once taken as a given. Gov. Nathan Deal is not one of them.
As Washington’s drop-dead deadline of Oct. 17 looms, the governor worries that the impact on Georgia may be much broader than the government shutdown that is now stretching into its second week.
“The most long-term consequences we’re looking at is from the debt ceiling itself,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. “The debt ceiling could affect things such as the federal funding for our state Medicaid program. Since the majority of money is federal money, if they begin to ratchet that down – and hopefully not eliminate it completely – the state of Georgia does not have the resources to make that up.”
As to whether state funds may be used to prop up federal programs impacted by the shutdown, Deal said budget planners are considering the possibility but “hopefully we will not be required to do it.”
One reason: State officials worry that paying for federal programs during the shutdown, even if temporarily, could threaten long-term funding from Washington down the road. Another: Even though revenue numbers are up, the state’s budget is stretched pretty thin as it is.
We told you on Wednesday of concerns among tea party enthusiasts that a brewing deal to reopen the federal government wouldn’t include any attempt to dismantle the new health care law. Evidence that those fears might be justified can be found in these three paragraphs from today’s Washington Post:
The chief lobbyist for Koch Industries sent a letter to Capitol Hill offices saying the company’s owners — heavyweight conservative donors Charles and David Koch — have never publicly supported the defund strategy, despite assertions by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and other Democrats to the contrary.
“Koch believes that Obamacare will increase deficits, lead to an overall lowering of the standard of health care in America, and raise taxes,” Koch lobbyist Philip Ellender wrote. “However, Koch has not taken a position on the legislative tactic of tying the [spending bill needed to keep the government open] to defunding Obamacare nor have we lobbied on legislative provisions defunding Obamacare.”
One major Koch-funded organization, Americans for Prosperity, has emphasized potential problems with the law but has kept its distance from efforts to defund it and from the shutdown strategy.
Karen Handel, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, got a lot of mileage out of last month's radio spot on her opposition to a military strike of Syria. Now she's rolled out a new Internet ad, promoting her pledge to serve only two terms if she wins. See it above, or click here.
It’s the same term-limit that businessman David Perdue, another GOP contender, has vowed to adhere if he’s elected.
The ad hews to the argument she’s been making on the campaign trail: That “career politicians” (the former Georgia secretary of state is running against three sitting congressmen, among other opponents) are contributing to the political rot in Washington.
Today's Marietta Daily Journal has an op-ed by Nancy Jester, a former Republican member of the DeKalb County Board of Education, on the topic of Common Core. Her piece includes these two paragraphs:
In the early 2000s, the Georgia Department of Education adopted a social studies curriculum that is almost completely devoid of education on The Bill of Rights in elementary school. Yet, in third grade, we teach our children about the nine important people who “expanded rights.” Those nine people are: Paul Revere, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Mary McLeod Bethune, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Lyndon B. Johnson, and César Chávez.
The same Georgia Department of Education asks us to trust them on adopting Common Core standards. The Georgia DOE that has been at the helm as we performed so poorly as a state on most education metrics. When some of our elected officials say they are being informed about Common Core by the experts from our DOE, I’m concerned about the advice they are receiving.
Consider the above to be evidence that she'll be part of the GOP field in next year's race for state school superintendent.
The Georgia Supreme Court has cities and county governments scratching their heads today, ruling that courts are no place to settle local sales tax disputes. From Dave Williams and the Atlanta Business Chronicle:
In a unanimous opinion issued Monday, the justices declared unconstitutional an amendment to the 1975 Local Option Sales Tax Act approved by the General Assembly in 2010 allowing cities and counties that can’t agree on how to split the revenue to appeal to the courts.
The Supreme Court declared that having a judge decide how to allocate tax revenue puts what should be a legislative decision into the hands of the judicial branch of government.
So how to settle future inter-governmental disputes over a penny tax? It's not specifically mentioned in the opinion written by Justice Robert Benham, but clearly the answer is trial by combat.
The sight of several dozen bipartisan members of Congress standing together was odd enough to bring out a good number of cameras this morning on Capitol Hill.
The No Labels group, formed in 2010 and boasting former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman as its brightest star, was gathering to boldly urge their respective parties to start talking about solving the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis.
It’s an easy talking point and a nice photo op for the group that included Georgia Democrats John Barrow and Sanford Bishop, but no one was offering specifics.
And when Bishop was asked after the meeting how to solve the problems that have Washington hanging on a precipice, he offered the exact same proposal as President Barack Obama: a clean short-term spending bill and debt ceiling increase, followed by budget talks.
When asked if all those Republicans – who so far have not forced their leadership to take a different course – would agree with him, Bishop said he thought so:
“I believe that there are a number of Republicans that would like to have a debt ceiling [increase] and then let us get together and resolve these other issues that we are supposed to be able to resolve through the democratic process. And I expect at the end of the day that’s what will happen.”