The blog.

22
Dec

Sen.-elect David Perdue: Statement On Sally Yates Nomination

Your Washington Desk

From Senator-Elect David Perdue

Perdue Senate Logo

Senator-elect David Perdue Statement On Sally Yates Nomination

U.S. Senator-elect David Perdue released the following statement regarding the nomination of Atlanta U.S. Attorney Sally Yates to be Deputy Attorney General:

“Sally Yates has dedicated her life to serving the people of the United States and Georgia. I am pleased that the President looked to Georgia when choosing someone to serve in this important position at the Justice Department.

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22
Dec

Bob Barr: Statement on Sally Yates

Your Georgia Desk

From Bob Barr

BB 2

 

Bob Barr: Statement on Sally Yates 

Congratulations to US Attorney Sally Yates on her well-deserved promotion to Deputy AG.  I knew when I hired her back in 1989 she would truly excel.

22
Dec

Sen. Johnny Isakson: Newsletter

Your Washington Desk

From Senator Johnny Isakson 

Isakson 2016

The Isakson Newsletter

December 19, 2014

Dear Friends,
 
The Senate adjourned on Tuesday, ending the 113th Congress. The 114th Congress will convene at noon on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. 
 
Prior to the adjournment, the Senate voted on a number of pending nominations, as well as a bill to retroactively extend a number of tax deductions. 
 
As we move into 2015 with a Republican majority, I will work with Republican leadership to advance comprehensive changes to our tax system that are long overdue. 
 
I look forward to continuing my work on the Senate Committee on Finance in the 115th Congress, and I welcome your suggestions on how to simplify, make fairer and lower the current tax burden borne by taxpayers. Together, we can make a difference to craft a tax code for the 21st century.
 
Government Funding and Amnesty 
On December 13, 2014, the Senate passed H.R.83, the appropriations legislation to fund the government for nine months that was previously passed by the U.S. House on December 11, 2014. 
 
Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of confusion regarding this legislation and its impact on immigration funding and policy, as well as on Obamacare. While this is not the bill I would have written, I supported it because it included several key victories for conservative principles and for the state of Georgia, while also setting up the opportunity for the new Republican majority in the Senate to make more progress next year.
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22
Dec

As Jeb Bush gears up for 2016, South Carolina is a case study in GOP’s shift right – The Washington Post

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina has been good to the Bushes.

This is where George W. Bush vanquished John McCain on his way to clinching the 2000 Republican presidential nomination. Once in the White House, Bush nurtured his family’s strong ties to the state by making frequent visits here and tapping local supporters for ambassadorships.

But as Jeb Bush considers his own presidential campaign, deep-red South Carolina — which he visited on Monday — offers a case study in how dramatically the political waters have shifted since his older brother and father entered the White House.

When the Bush network was at its zenith here, this state’s current Republican power players were relative nobodies. Gov. Nikki Haley was balancing the books at her mother’s clothing and jewelry boutique, Sen. Tim Scott was sitting on the Charleston County Council and state GOP chairman Matt Moore was finishing high school.

The Republican Party here and elsewhere has become more strident and restless, with new power centers and less certainty, presenting a candidate like Bush with fresh challenges in navigating the Republican primaries. Some of South Carolina’s leading GOP strategists and elected officials said the former Florida governor will have to nimbly adapt.

via As Jeb Bush gears up for 2016, South Carolina is a case study in GOP’s shift right – The Washington Post.

22
Dec

Local attorneys combat sex trafficking with new tactics | www.wsbtv.com

A new non-profit group, made up of prominent Buckhead attorneys, and other activists, is hoping to curb sex trafficking by suing the venues, and the customers that are part of the problem.

The founders of Civil Lawyers Against World Sex-Slavery, or CLAWS, noticed that there was a void.

“Nothing that was bringing, civil lawsuits aggressively against the customers, against the venues, against the boyfriends and handlers in order to try to eradicate the problem,” said David Boone, a longtime Buckhead attorney.

“There is a gap, there is a whole aspect of the courthouse that we can use for social change,” Boone said.

via Local attorneys combat sex trafficking with new tactics | www.wsbtv.com.

22
Dec

Poll: Obama’s Standing Rebounds With Hispanics – Washington Wire – WSJ

President Barack Obama’s standing with Hispanic Americans has rebounded in the wake of his decision to act unilaterally to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Telemundo survey.

The survey also shows Hillary Clinton would begin a presidential race with a strong advantage over her potential rivals in both parties among this fast-growing set of voters, should she decide to run.

Hispanic voters were among Mr. Obama’s strongest supporters in 2012, but they grew dissatisfied with his presidency in the two years since. Their drop-off in support mirrored falling approval among white voters, but also may have reflected particular frustration with the stalemate over immigration in Washington.

The new survey shows the president rebounding. Fifty-seven percent of Latinos said they approved of the job he is doing as president, up from 47% in September though still shy of the 62% mark in April 2013. Fifty-six percent said they approved of the job he was doing handling immigration, up from 45% in May 2010.

Additionally, 66% said the president was doing “very” or “somewhat” well addressing the concerns of the Hispanic and Latino community, compared to just 30% who said the same when asked about “Republican elected officials.”

That support may be helpful as the president and his administration work to sign up undocumented immigrants for his new deferred action program, which offers a shield from deportation for those who qualify. The program is under withering attack from Republicans and supporters believe it needs robust enrollment to assure it survives.

via Poll: Obama’s Standing Rebounds With Hispanics – Washington Wire – WSJ.

22
Dec

How Normalizing Relations With Cuba Could Reshape Florida Politics – NationalJournal.com

“Over a third of Cubans that live in Miami right now came after 1995,” Guillermo Grenier, a Florida International University sociology professor who surveys Cuban-American attitudes, told National Journal. “These are the folks that have direct and lasting contacts with the island, and with people on the island. They’re not in any way exiles in the typical sense of the word. They’ve come for a variety of reasons; sometimes they don’t like the politics, but most times they don’t like the economic situation. They don’t have much in common with the earlier group of Cubans.”

According to a FIU Cuban Research Institute poll this year, 88 percent of Cuban-Americans aged 18-29 in Miami-Dade County favor diplomatic relations with Cuba. That number declines with age, with only 41 percent of those 65 and older favoring relations.

In Florida, the Cuban-American vote is vital for politicians’ hopes, both within the state and nationwide. Older Cubans who came to the U.S. in the years immediately after the country’s 1959 revolution tend to stick to a harder line, Grenier said—and on the whole, they’re the ones who go to the polls. But as the younger generation gets older, it’ll make more of a difference in elections. Democrats are counting on that, Grenier said, as an opportunity for the party to capitalize on the younger generation’s different beliefs.

More than half of younger Cuban-Americans already lean Democrat, according to Pew Research Center data. Only 39 percent of those over 50 lean Democrat, though that number has increased in the last 10 years. Among a community that already supports normalizing relations, Democrats could use Wednesday’s historic announcement as a way to rally the younger generation of Cubans, who don’t currently vote in high numbers, to the polls.

via How Normalizing Relations With Cuba Could Reshape Florida Politics – NationalJournal.com.

22
Dec

In Paul-Rubio feud over Cuba, a preview of GOP’s 2016 foreign policy debate – The Washington Post

Two of the Republican Party’s top White House hopefuls clashed sharply Friday over President Obama’s new Cuba policy, evidence of a growing GOP rift over foreign affairs that could shape the party’s 2016 presidential primaries.

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), who backs Obama’s move to normalize relations with communist Cuba, accused Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) of being an “isolationist” with his hard-line opposition to opening up trade and diplomatic engagement with the island nation. Paul suggested that Rubio “wants to retreat to our borders and perhaps build a moat.”

Paul’s comments came after Rubio — the son of Cuban exiles who has stepped forward as a leading voice of resistance to Obama’s policy — told Fox News that Paul had “no idea what he’s talking about” when it comes to Cuba.

The feud is the loudest public dispute so far between potential GOP 2016 candidates and lays bare the divergent world views of traditional hawks — including Rubio and past Republican presidents and nominees — and the emerging, younger libertarian wing represented by Paul.

For decades, Rubio’s position has been the GOP’s natural default. But Paul is testing that convention.

via In Paul-Rubio feud over Cuba, a preview of GOP’s 2016 foreign policy debate – The Washington Post.

22
Dec

The Marietta Daily Journal – Independent physicians under attack says doctor

MARIETTA — Marietta anesthesiologist Dr. Mark Huffman sounded the alarm in a talk to state lawmakers this week, warning that independent physicians are under attack.

“We are being swallowed up by large national groups, we are being swallowed up by hospital systems, and it’s not good for patients, it’s not good for the state, it’s not good for anybody,” Huffman said.

Huffman said while his anesthesiologist group is aligned with WellStar Health System as well as it can be, “at this point, we’ve drawn the line.”

“We have to remain independent,” he said. “We have to remain independent from insurance trying to make a dollar. We have to remain independent from the hospitals trying to expand their income area, their geographical area.”

Huffman said with studies indicating that only a few hospital systems will be left in the next few decades, hospitals feel threatened.

He shared his thoughts with members of the Cobb Legislative Delegation at the YWCA of Northwest Georgia on Tuesday with Joann Thurston, executive director of the Cobb Medical Society, standing at his side.

“So you see large systems gathering in Atlanta,” Huffman said. “WellStar on the west side, Northside and then Piedmont. These hospital systems are trying to capture everything that they can.”

Huffman explained why he believes this is not good for patients, referencing WellStar and Piedmont’s union to form an insurance company.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Independent physicians under attack says doctor.

22
Dec

The Marietta Daily Journal | That’s not fair

MARIETTA — Ron Sifen, president of the Cobb County Civic Coalition, asked the county’s legislators last week to create legislation that would tighten the terms under which development authorities in the state give tax breaks to developers.

Sifen said taxpayers in the CCCC are not opposed to tax abatements, but they do not like the way development authorities have discretion over who receives a tax break. Sifen told members of the Cobb Legislative Delegation at the YWCA of Northwest Georgia on Tuesday that development authorities don’t always have criteria to follow in giving tax breaks.

“What we are asking the legislature to do is basically to require development authorities to adhere to the established criteria, and not just open the door to we’re going to give tax abatements to for no reason to whoever we want to give them to,” Sifen said.

The Development Authority of Cobb County has the ability to allow a developer to skip out on paying its full share of taxes by agreeing to a schedule, which usually lasts 10 years, during which the developer can pay only a portion, sometimes as low as 10 percent, of the property taxes it would owe to the county and the school system.

via The Marietta Daily Journal.