Bearing the inscription “An Unknown American who gave his life in the World War,” the chosen casket traveled to Paris and then to Le Havre, France, where it would board the cruiser Olympia for the voyage across the Atlantic. Once back in the United States, the Unknown Soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.
I have a surprising cure for you if you’re looking for a more inspiring example of American statesmanship — the moment in 1995 when House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt gave the speaker’s gavel to Newt Gingrich after the GOP won control of the chamber for the first time in 40 years.
If you haven’t watched the video of the handoff lately, you should. There in the grainy C-SPAN footage, you’ll see two adversaries rising together to a level of great leadership after a bitter campaign. Gephardt, magnanimous in defeat, told Gingrich, “with faith and with friendship and the deepest respect, you are now my speaker.”
Gingrich, who some remember only for his bareknuckled partisan brawls, was equally gracious in victory. He thanked Gephardt and outgoing Speaker Tom Foley for their hard work in the House before him and gently scolded his own caucus for cheering the Democrats’ defeat on the House floor moments earlier.
The two men went on to spar with each other as leaders for the next four years, but they had a mutual respect for each other then and remain friends today. At an event that they headlined together in Atlanta last week, Gephardt remembered his thoughts on the morning he prepared to lead the same peaceful transition of power that had defined American democracy for more than 200 years before that day.
Gingrich remembered walking from his apartment in the Methodist Building that morning to the Capitol, choking up as he described the moment he looked from the Speakers balcony toward the Lincoln Monument.
“I thinking, ‘I’m a lieutenant colonel’s son, who has been awarded by the people of Georgia 16 years representing them and selected by his colleagues, and I’m not about to have this burden,’” Gingrich said. “‘And my job is to represent the country for as long as the country wants me to.’”
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Early Voting Numbers
From the latest early voting file from the Secretary of State’s office:
In Person votes: 490,412
Mail-in ballots requested: 186,725
Mail-in ballots returned: 88,697 [Note this has been corrected from earlier.]
After the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder weakened a core provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the U.S. Department of Justice could deploy special election observers from the Office of Personnel Management only where authorized by a court order.
Because of that requirement, the department will send a smaller number of its own staff attorneys and other personnel to monitor elections next month in roughly half the states. Unlike the special observers, the department staffers won’t have the authority to view activity inside polling places and locations where votes are tallied unless they get approval from local officials.
That potential loss of access to real-time voting operations is causing concern among civil- and voting-rights activists about the integrity of Georgia’s vote process.
The Voting Rights Act allowed the attorney general to send observers to Georgia and eight other states with persistent histories of widespread voting discrimination if there were “meritorious complaints from residents, elected officials or civic participation organizations” that efforts to deny or hinder the right to vote “on account of race or color or (membership in a minority language group) are likely to occur.”
A total of 153 counties in 11 states have been certified for federal observers since 1965. Mississippi’s 51 certified counties lead all states. Georgia is next, with 29 of its 159 counties – about 18 percent – authorized for federal monitors at least once since 1965.
Howard spent the first year or more of his life on a chain. He had very little human interaction. When we found him, we were trying to catch some puppies that had been dumped behind his house. The puppy was curled up with Howard sleeping.
Howard has matured a lot since we got him several years ago. Howard used to love to play but now it is in short spurts. He has a male pit friend who hangs out with him all day in his pen. We have finally graduated to being able to let Howard run free to the house each night to get into his crate. Each morning we do the same. he runs free to the water bowl then outside to his pen. He bounces through about 6 dogs trying ot get him to play but he just wants to get to his place and go potty.
He spends all day hanging out with his buddy, watching squirrels and the other dogs. At night he gets to come inside after we have put all the dogs away and spend some one on one human time. He loves to be petted and give kisses. He loves to go for walks. He is so smart and easy I just can’t believe no one has given him a chance. It is b/c we just don’t know what dog he will like and which one he won’t.
Howie is working on his “fear” issues with grown men. He does well with “almost-grown” men, as he has a college-aged foster brother (human) who spends lots of time walking him and spoiling him. Howie, known as “Roger” in his foster home, has made significant improvement since coming to his foster home but will need some patience acclimating to men – preferring women and older kids. Roger is a GREAT leash walker and enjoys his fine Designer collar and dog beds (which are his for keeps).
He’s also VERY snuggly, loves to be rubbed on his shoulders and we find him so sweet. He only seems to have an “accident” if he is startled by something or confused or fearful.
During the War of 1812, the Constitution won its enduring nickname “Old Ironsides” after defeating the British warship Guerriére in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia. Witnesses claimed that the British shots merely bounced off the Constitution‘s sides, as if the ship were made of iron rather than wood. The success of the Constitution against the supposedly invincible Royal Navy provided a tremendous morale boost for the young American republic.
Harding was a progressive Republican politician who advocated full civil rights for African Americans and suffrage for women. He supported the Dyer Anti-lynching Bill in 1920. As a presidential candidate that year, he gained support for his views on women’s suffrage, but faced intense opposition on civil rights for blacks. The 1920s was a period of intense racism in the American South, characterized by frequent lynchings. In fact, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) reported that, in 1920, lynching claimed, on average, the lives of two African Americans every week.
“Two more weeks to go. . . . First, let me say this: this old hat, a lot of you people have seen it before. It’s the same hat. But I don’t think it is going to last much longer after the 8th of November. I have a superstition about hats in campaigns, and I am going to wear it until midnight of the 8th of November. . . . Well, it’s fine to see, and I’m looking forward to coming down here for the usual Thanksgiving party at Warm Springs, and having a real old-fashioned Thanksgiving with my neighbors again. I thank you!”
On his brother Jimmy’s drinking habits, Billy said, “Jimmy used to drink liquor. Now he’s running for president he drinks Scotch, and I’ve never trusted a Scotch drinker.” Billy preferred the alcohol choice of his brother’s running mate, Walter Mondale – “I liked him the best of all the ones who came to Plains. He’s from a small town and he’s a beer drinker.”
Yolanda’s best friend at the shelter was adopted and now she is alone. A very sweet dog she could get along with another dog but it would depend on the dog. She was attached to the dog she was turned into the shelter with who got adopted. A cute lovable girl who just wants to be loved. A gentle girl.
Meet your new best friend! Corky is loyal, lovable, and laid back. He is gentle and loves everyone he meets. What a gem! His demeanor just makes you want to hug him! Corky will be your perfect indoor companion. No yard living for this guy…he wants to be with his people as part of the family. He loves to play and gets along well with other dogs. In fact, we think he’d appreciate living in a pack rather than as a single dog, so if you have one or two dogs now, Corky would be interested in meeting you! DOB 4/1/09
He is not good with chickens or cats so if you have those at your home, you should pass this guy by. He does make that beautiful hound sound for all of you hound lovers out there!
The incident occurred on Grayson Highway early Tuesday, while the vehicle promoting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic Party was between campaign stops, CBS 46 News said.
CBS 46 News reported that a Lawrenceville businessman took several photos of the “Forward Together” tour bus dumping waste into a storm drain. The man’s pictures showed liquid seeping out from underneath the vehicle.
Gwinnett County hazmat units have since cleaned up the mess, and CBS 46 News reported that the Gwinnett County Stormwater Management and the State Environment Protection Department are now involved in the investigation.
The DNC apologized for the incident on Tuesday.
“This was an honest mistake and we apologize to the Lawrenceville community for any harm we may have caused,” a DNC spokesperson told WSB-TV 2 News.
Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile then stepped in it and tracked it all through the living room.
The DNC has officially apologized to the town of Gwinnett, Georgia.
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA — Long lines formed for the second straight day at early voting sites. Tens-of-thousands of people in Georgia have already voted – and there are three more weeks until election day.
Long lines formed outside the Gwinnett County Board of Elections office. For now, it’s the only location in Gwinnett offering early voting. But those locations will multiply and the hours will expand for the week prior to the election.
Yet with all those hours and locations available, folks still opted to stand in in line here.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued Georgia to compel the state to extend the voter registration deadline by six days past Oct. 11 in five coastal counties because offices were closed during and after Hurricane Matthew.
“The state’s failure to extend the voter registration deadline, despite the massive disruptions caused by Hurricane Matthew, means that thousands of Georgians will be prevented from participating in the November election. This is unethical and illegal,” Kathleen Burch, interim counsel for the ACLU of Georgia, said in a release.
The ACLU and other groups successfully sued Florida to have the voter registration deadline extended. The suit in Georgia names Gov. Nathan Deal and Secretary of State Brian Kemp as defendants.
The ACLU asserts that more than 1 million Georgia residents were under mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders and that government offices were closed and services disrupted by the storm.
The suit notes that U.S. District Judge William Moore on Friday ordered Deal and Kemp to extend the registration deadline in Chatham Camden for six days from Oct. 11 through Oct. 18.
Moore’s order removed the “undue burden” on Chatham County voters, the suit says.
The five other coastal counties in the mandatory evacuation area suffered the same injury as Chatham County, the inability to register to vote: The state’s refusal to extend the deadline in those counties is a violation of equal protection of the law, the suit says.
“There is no proof that it’s rigged, but elections officials have to proof that it’s not rigged,” said Merle King, executive director of the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University.
King and his colleagues are responsible for testing the state’s voting equipment. They prepare the ballots and the electronic poll book of registered voters.
He said Georgia has a rigorous and overlapping security process and rigid procedures elections officials have to follow. It’s a system that has worked ever since the state became the first in the country to implement electronic voting statewide 14 years ago.
“The likelihood of an anomaly or some conspiracy that would alter the outcome of the election in a way that’s undetectable is improbable to the point of impossible,” King said.
The computers that tally the votes are not networked, he said, and therefore can’t be hacked.
“I don’t want to set off any alarms, but it’s clear that our election process is susceptible to corruption of the results through a cyber attack. The specter of election contamination is definitely a possibility, and it has been highlighted by recent successful attempts to hack into state voter registration databases – at least two and perhaps as many as 20. These attempts have been attributed to the Russians. But we know that such attacks can come from external or internal forces. It should press upon us the need to protect the security of our election, which is why I introduced the Election Integrity and Infrastructure Act of 2016,” [said Johnson].
The two had varying opinions on the governor’s proposed Opportunity School District amendment.
“The school board would no longer have any control,” McGowan said. “The local tax payers would no longer have a local school board controlling there monies. These monies would be used by that superintendent in Atlanta.”
“You realize that that the opportunities your child has are limited,” Cheokas said. “That there is a ceiling that other children don’t have. They have the whole gambit of opportunities in front of them. How would you feel?”
He has a new book out, entitled “Education Unleashed,” that spells out what our public education system needs to do to ensure that Georgia builds a world-class workforce to attract new industries and ensure current businesses don’t have to import labor from outside the state, as well as helping students find a career path that utilizes their skillsets and interests.
“I wrote the book,” he told me in his office, “to paint a very clear vision of what education can become in Georgia and highlighting the two specific programs that have demonstrated remarkable successes.” Both programs are already up and running and Casey Cagle was the driving force behind their creation.
With evangelistic fervor, Casey Cagle believes charter systems and College and Career Academies are the answer to what ails public education in Georgia. In “Education Unleashed,” Cagle says, “Charter systems and College and Career Academies are proving every day that we can redesign our schools to provide high quality education to all our students.” In doing so, Cagle believes schools under local control with high accountability will create a better community.
There is a governor’s race coming up in 2018. It will be interesting to see if this lieutenant governor intends to carry his vision for improving public education into the governor’s office as did Zell Miller. If so, may he have equal success.
AJT: Does this rule out a future run for governor?
Olens: I frankly was not intending to run for governor before this.
AJT: Do you plan to continue any involvement in previous projects, such as campaigning for Amendment 2 (Penalties for Sex Crimes to Fund Services for Sexually Exploited Children)?
Olens: Clearly, I still have scheduled meetings; I have talks. You know, I’ve had three big initiatives as AG: the food bank program, the sex trafficking program and the prescription drug abuse program. When I leave office, I’m not going to leave these areas. I plan on continuing to support any and all efforts to reduce sex trafficking. I think Channel 2 is actually doing a series in about two weeks, and I previously was interviewed for that series. It is astounding to me how many young children are sold throughout our state every night. The biggest thing we can do, even more important than passing new legislation, is getting the point across that the buyers will spend many years in jail. When the middle-aged male finds out that his friend, his colleague at work or whatever, was given 10 years in jail for having sex with a 12-year-old, that sends the message. The old days where you disregarded the acts of the buyer and only went after the seller are long gone.
For instance, we had a training at Emory Law School for judges because the judges really need to understand that we can’t solve the problem without going after demand. That’s got to be an essential part of this scenario. The beauty of constitutional Amendment 2 is it gives the resources to assist the victims. So, for instance, now when I have a DA in South Georgia say, “I have a victim, there’s no place in South Georgia to assist the victim,” that’s unacceptable. If Amendment 2 is passed (Nov. 8), there will be institutions throughout the state to assist these victims. That’s paramount because too many of them are committing suicide or overdosing, and we’ve got to do what we can as a society for the most vulnerable to protect them.
Gwinnett County police believe they’ve cracked what could be a large human trafficking ring.
This week, a 13-year-old girl was rescued from a man she says was trying to get her to work the streets.
A detective told a judge that [Tyler] Summerour housed the girl at a motel and tried to recruit her into sexual servitude by “telling the 13-year-old victim that she should make him some money by engaging in sexual acts.”
“Detectives are still investigating the magnitude of this case,” Cpl. Deon Washington said.
Police say the victim’s own relatives are the ones who were able to track her down to the restaurant. They confronted Summerour, and the argument is what got officers to the location.
Nearly 70 people were arrested in the metro Atlanta area as part of an international sex trafficking and prostitution sting this week, the FBI announced on Tuesday.
The arrests were a part of a nationwide operation called Operation Cross Country X; it is the 10th FBI-led initiative of its type. According to the FBI, 82 minors were rescued and more than 239 alleged traffickers were arrested from Oct. 13 through Oct. 15.
The Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force (MATCH) executed two search warrants, rescued one juvenile and seized seven firearms in their operation.
Five people were arrested in Alpharetta. One person was arrested in DeKalb. Four people were arrested in Dunwoody. Two people were arrested in Gwinnett County. Two people were arrested in Marietta In the Athens area, five people were arrested. One person was arrested in Augusta.
In the Athens, Ga. operation, authorities said that the suspects, ranging in age from 22 to 66, traveled to the city with the intent to meet a child and pay for sex. Two of those arrested arrived with a gun; one had illegal drugs. One suspect had alcohol for the minor. At least one of those arrested in the Athens operation admitted to prior sexual contact with a minor.
Also part of this operation, two suspects who wanted in the death of a 14-year-old girl were arrested in Georgia.
Orlando Police say 20-year-old Karla Michelle Quiros Alsina and 26-year-old Arthur Lee Coleman III were taken into custody in the Atlanta area along with 19-year-old Avorice Jeno Holman, and 22-year-old Jose Ignacia Santiago Sotomayor. They face multiple charges, including first-degree murder, human trafficking of a child, prostitution, racketeering and transmission of child pornography after a 14-year-old overdosed. Read more here.
FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett said that it appeared that the two were beginning to operate another sex ring in Georgia at the time of their arrest.
The Gwinnett County Police Department used additional resources available through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s ‘Operation Cross Country X’ to help crack down on human trafficking this month.
The FBI credited partnering Georgia nonprofits and government agencies including Gwinnett police for assisting.
Although Gwinnett police work year round to combat human trafficking, they regularly set up stings with regional agencies. At times, Gwinnett police may receive a call from an out-of-state agency with information about someone with Georgia ties involved in the activity.
For about six years, Gwinnett police has been part of the FBI Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force — MATCH. Gwinnett officers with the special investigations section said pimps tend to be attracted to Atlanta because of its easy access, nightlife and special events that bring in money.
However, Gwinnett and its affluence have been an ideal place for pimps to hide their girls, said Cpl. J. Doherty.
But the federal operation provided Gwinnett police the opportunity to network with even more agencies and reach additional areas, Doherty said.