The blog.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 2, 2015

Cole Pepper

Cole (male, right above) and Pepper (female, left above) are brother and sister from the same litter.

They belonged to a young man who went off to college and couldn’t take us with him. Long story short, no one else really wanted to or could take care of them, so they ended up in a crate in a driveway, waiting for someone to pick them up and take them to rescue.


Cole is a young male Rat Terrier and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from GA Jack Russell Rescue in Conyers, GA.

I am very sweet and want nothing but to love and be loved. I love to play and have fun, but I will stick my tongue out for kisses and ear rubs any time of any day.


Pepper is a young female Rat Terrier and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from GA Jack Russell Rescue in Conyers, GA.

I am sweet and submissive beyond words. I want nothing but to love and be loved. I don’t have an aggressive bone in my body and a life with a family would be absolutely fantastic!


Emory is an adult male Jack Russell Terrier who is available for adoption from GA Jack Russell Rescue in  Conyers, GA.

I’m an irresitable little man (about 12, maybe 13 lbs). I’m only about 6-7 years old, but my sight is a little compromised and my nose and mouth sometimes overcompensate when it comes to treats. I can follow you just fine, but I’ll need someone who knows how to deal with a dog who doesn’t see 100%. I certainly do not intend to bite.

We’re working on putting some meat on my little bones, but I really love treats and would love to be with someone who understands my challenges and wants to spoil me. They are trying to teach me.

Sweet Bella

Sweet Bella is a 7-year old Labrador Retriever and Boxer mix female who is available for adoption from Fantana Farms Rescue in Covington, GA.

I’ve been spayed, am current on all of my shots, and just had my teeth cleaned! I’m smart! I know sit, down, roll over, and shake! I love to run and play. I’m house trained. I grew up with children and I love other dogs.

My family had me since I was a puppy. Sadly, due to a new baby on the way and due to a neighbor complaining because I was running the neighborhood (no fenced in yard) my family needed to re-home me. I’m now staying at Fantana but I really want a family to love me again. You should come meet me!


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 2, 2015

Georgia and American History

John Wesley left Savannah on December 2, 1737.

John Wesley’s strict discipline as rector of Christ Church in Savannah irritated his parishioners. More trouble followed when he fell in love with Sophia Hopkey, the niece of Georgia’s chief magistrate. When she married another man, Wesley banned her from Holy Communion, damaging her reputation in the community.

His successful romantic rival sued him; but Wesley refused to recognize the authority of the court, and the man who would eventually found a major Protestant denomination in America left Georgia in disgrace on December 2, 1737

Touro Synagogue, the oldest existing synagogue in the United States, was dedicated on December 2, 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Skirmish at Rocky Creek Church took place near Waynesboro, Georgia on December 2, 1864.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Chatham County will host a Special Election for Sheriff on March 1, 2016 after the death of Sheriff Al St. Lawrence.

Roy Harris, the chief deputy in the Chatham County Sheriff’s office under St Lawrence, will continue as sheriff until March 1. Harris was recently sworn in as sheriff by Chief Superior Court Judge Michael Karpf.

St Lawrence, who had been sheriff since 1992, most recently won reelection in 2012 over Democratic challenger McArthur Holmes.

Overnight, Savannah politics has changed, with incumbent Mayor Edna Jackson ousted by businessman Eddie DeLoach.

Savannah will have a new mayor and three new city aldermen next year.

Eddie DeLoach defeated Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson in Tuesday’s municipal runoff after running a campaign centered largely on the rise in crime in the city during her administration.

DeLoach received 53 percent of the vote to unseat Jackson and earn his place as the head of the Savannah City Council, with all precincts reporting.

In addition, Bill Durrence defeated Savannah Alderwoman Mary Osborne to secure the District 2 seat with 63 percent of the vote. Brian Foster will also join the council after receiving 53 percent of the vote in his run against Alicia Blakely for the alderman at-large, post 2 seat.

About 38 percent of registered voters turned out for the runoff, which was about the same amount as the general election.

Following the general election and runoff, there will be four new members of the nine-member City Council next year.

Bill Dawers adds the following to our understanding of what happened in the election.

In the general election last month, there were 22,275 voters in the mayoral race. In the 2011 runoff, there were 19,702.

Tonight, there were 23,306 votes cast for mayor — an increase of over 1,000 from the general election (yes, voters can cast a ballot in the runoff even if they skipped the general).

Congratulations and condolences to Jodi Lott, who won the Special Runoff Election in House District 122 last night by better than 3-to-1 over Mack Taylor.

“It was very much a grassroots efforts, me knowing people that knew other people,” Lott said. “It kept spreading and spreading.”

Lott won 76 percent of the votes, 2,812 votes more than Taylor. Turnout for the runoff election was low – just 5,642 of the district’s 35,460 registered voters cast ballots, a 15.9 percent turnout.

Taylor, 42, an attorney and a former Columbia County commissioner, said the campaign was fraught with distractions.

In his call to Lott, Taylor said he asked her to pass a religious freedom bill when she gets to Atlanta.

A squib in the AJC Political Insider suggested that Lott’s election had something to do with the Religious Liberty bill, writing that Jodi Lott’s victory

could matter in the January fight over S.B. 129, the “religious liberty” bill. Lott had the backing of local business groups.

Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) dismissed that notion, posting on Facebook,

Lott said that although she sought support from the Georgia chamber, among other organizations, it wasn’t until she made it into the runoff that the chamber showed any interest. She also supports the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, so she doesn’t think that is the reason for the ads attacking Taylor.

“I’ve never been against RFRA,” Lott said Monday. “In February of last year I was promoting RFRA.”

Sarah Harper Scott, who lives in the area, chimed in with this:

This race wasn’t about RFRA… it was about candidates and media. Taylor never recovered from the dirty fight in the general. Most constituents wanted someone who could work for them and wouldn’t quit if another opportunity came up.

Most local races are first and foremost about the candidates and about the voters in the district. But that’s hard to understand without being in the district day-in and day-out and makes writing about local races from Atlanta a difficult task.

In the Special Election for Senate District 20, I was frankly surprised to see it end without a runoff. But Larry Walker, III took 52 percent of the votes cast, winning without extra innings.

Walker got 52 percent of the votes across Senate District 20, which covers most of Houston plus all of Bleckley, Laurens and Pulaski counties.

He dispatched Vivian Childs, Brooks Keisler, Jon Martin, James Pettis and Mike Reece. None took more than 19 percent of the vote.

“I think people in the district recognized that I have the ability to be an effective leader in the Senate and liked my message of using some Middle Georgia common sense,” said Walker, as the last votes were being counted Tuesday night.

Walker campaigned on promises to cut red tape, trim taxes and protect Robins Air Force Base. He said the win was due to hard work from family, friends and supporters.

He dispatched Vivian Childs, Brooks Keisler, Jon Martin, James Pettis and Mike Reece. None took more than 19 percent of the vote.

“I think people in the district recognized that I have the ability to be an effective leader in the Senate and liked my message of using some Middle Georgia common sense,” said Walker, as the last votes were being counted Tuesday night.

Walker campaigned on promises to cut red tape, trim taxes and protect Robins Air Force Base. He said the win was due to hard work from family, friends and supporters.

This election wins the GaPundit award for ironic outcomes when combined with the District 146 race earlier this year, where Walker came in second. Most politicos would consider a Senate seat a higher attainment than a State House seat, but it could be that Walker, whose father served in the House for 32 years, would have preferred to serve in the lower chamber.

Senator McKoon also noted that Senator-elect Larry Walker has previously supported the Religious Liberty legislation, making both the Columbus Senator and his legislation winners on Tuesday night.

In Senate District 43, JaNice Van Ness won with what appears to be an 87-vote margin of victory over Democrat Tonya Anderson. The seat was previously held by a Democrat and generally votes at about 70% Democratic or higher. This is an epic bloody nose for Georgia Democrats, many of whom vented their frustration on Facebook last night.

A couple of things about that race are worth noting.

1. Republican Van Ness increased her vote total from 2995 in November to 3864 last night, a rise of nearly 30%. She also increased the number of votes she received in Rockdale, her home county, from 2180 to 2748.

2. Van Ness received 1617 early votes in the runoff, nearly 45% more than the 1119 early vote she received in November, despite an early voting period that was shortened two days by the Thanksgiving holiday.

3. Jack Kingston made a robocall last week promoting early voting and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle recorded a call that went out the day before the election. Both calls specifically targeted likely Republican voters in Rockdale and Newton counties.

4. Kingston also penned an email sent by the Georgia Republican Party about the importance of early voting and specifically noted the runoffs in both Savannah and SD 43. Kingston deserves a place on the list of last night’s winners for supporting candidates who legitimately were considered longshots going into the runoff.

Now, I don’t drink alcohol, but I’ve been told that Democrat tears mixed with bourbon makes a fine cocktail.

Johns Creek City Council will have three new members.

Unofficial results show candidate Chris Coughlin has won the special election for the Johns Creek City Council Post 2 seat. Coughlin is leading fellow challenger Todd Burkhalter with 59.05 percent, or 1,661 votes. Burkhalter trails with 40.95 percent, or 1,152 votes.

Coughlin will serve out the unexpired term for the Post 2 seat that ends Dec. 31. The seat was vacated by Brad Raffensperger, who ran for state Senate.

Unofficials results show Lin was elected to serve a full, four-year term that will start in January for the Post 2 seat. Lin leads the race with 52.54 percent, or 1,676 votes.

For the Post 5 seat, unofficial results show Stephanie Endres defeated fellow challenger Dr. Nazeera Dawood. Endres is currently polling at 57.82 percent, or 1,741 votes to Dawood’s 42.18 percent, or 1,270 votes. The Post 5 seat was vacated last year by Kelly Stewart, who also resigned to run for the state Senate.

Also on the list of last night’s winners is Georgia Right to Life PAC, who endorsed the winning candidates in all three runoff elections for Johns Creek City Council.

Chris Hewitt won a runoff election to the Forsyth City Council last night.

Royce Fowler won the Soperton Mayoral runoff, in which the earlier vote resulted in a tie.


Jack Kingston: Show Up and Vote Today

Kingston Head Horizontal

via email from the Georgia Republican Party:

Winning competitors have one thing in common – they show up for the big game, match, or race, put on their uniform and take the field. Likewise, in politics, elections are won and lost based on who is able to excite their supporters and turn them out to the polls. Never is this more the case than special and runoff elections.

Despite all the talk over the last several election cycles about new technologies and new voters changing the landscape for elections, fundamentals still apply, every bit as much as the law of gravity. The most interesting political races this year are in some ways, a throwback to the 1990s, a time when the Republican party began building the infrastructure to turn the state red more than a decade later.

In 1991, Susan Weiner, a Republican and a transplant to Savannah, won that city’s mayoral election with 54% of the vote against John Rousakis, a five-term incumbent, shocking the political establishment. The election was won largely on the issue of violent crime, which was then at alarming levels.

Tom Barton recently wrote of this year’s Savannah Mayoral race, calling it “déjà vu all over again,” and harkening back to 1991, when “Weiner rode a tidal wave of voter disgust with the incumbent mayor over the city’s failure to address violent crime and the belief that the city’s leadership was complacent, arrogant and out-of-touch.”

In recent months, Savannah has been battered with headlines screaming about violent crime, as they did in 1991, and Mayor Edna Jackson was forced into a runoff against Businessman Eddie DeLoach, meaning that voters will return to the ballots on December 1, 2015 in a runoff election.

The next political lesson from that era comes from 1992, a breakthrough year in which Republican Paul Coverdell beat incumbent Democrat Wyche Fowler in a December runoff and Bobby Baker defeated John Frank Collins to become the first Republican elected state Constitutional officer since reconstruction.

Bill Clinton was elected that year, defeating incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush, but the runoff in Georgia would be won on the basis of discontent with the status quo in a state long dominated by Democrats. The lesson is that when voters are strongly motivated by discontent with the status quo, an embattled incumbent who is forced into a runoff is in a very precarious position.

That’s because voters who are tired of headlines about violent crime or excessive taxation and disenchanted with the incumbent are more likely to make the return trip to the polls in order to vote for new leadership.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 1, 2015


Champ used to be called Trump, but apparently changed problems with the FCC’s equal time provision. He’s a young male hound mix who is available for adoption from Caring4Creatures, Inc. in Lawrenceville, GA.

Champ is a sweet boy about a year and a half old. He needs a home with a fence or an active family (kid or two) as he loves to play and run!

Donald Moultrie

Donald is an adult male Labrador Retriever and American Bulldog mix who is available for adoption from Moultrie-Colquitt County Humane Society in Moultrie, GA.

Donald Albany

Donald is a young male Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Albany Humane Society in Albany, GA.

Sgt Bear

Sergeant Bear is a retired military working dog who now serves as an assistance dog, alerting his owner when his blood sugar crashes. They were at the Trump Macon event last night. DGD.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 1, 2015

General George Washington set up winter headquarters at Morristown, New Jersey on December 1, 1779.

The election for President of the United States, in which no candidate received a majority of electoral votes, went to the United States House of Representatives on December 1, 1824.

Andrew Jackson of Tennessee won 99 electoral and 153,544 popular votes; John Quincy Adams–the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States–received 84 electoral and 108,740 popular votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, who had suffered a stroke before the election, received 41 electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia won 37 electoral votes.

As dictated by the Constitution, the election was then turned over to the House of Representatives. The 12th Amendment states that if no electoral majority is won, only the three candidates who receive the most popular votes will be considered in the House. Representative Henry Clay, who was disqualified from the House vote as a fourth-place candidate, agreed to use his influence to have John Quincy Adams elected.

The City of Sandy Springs began operations at one second after midnight on December 1, 2005. Three years later, Dunwoody became a new city, on December 1, 2008.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Election day is today in many cities, some counties, and three state legislative districts today. If you are able to vote, please take the time today to do so.

Tonight I’ll mainly be watching three elections. First isvSenate District 43 in DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale Counties, where Republican JaNice Van Ness has as good a chance as anyone GOPer has had to take a Democratic-majority seat against Democrat Tonya Anderson.

The second race I’ll be watching is the Runoff for Mayor of Savannah, where challenger Eddie DeLoach forced incumbent Mayor Edna Jackson into a runoff. I’m pretty sure former Congressman Jack Kingston will have an eye on this race too:

In recent months, Savannah has been battered with headlines screaming about violent crime, as they did in 1991, and Mayor Edna Jackson was forced into a runoff against Businessman Eddie DeLoach, meaning that voters will return to the ballots on December 1, 2015 in a runoff election.

[W]hen voters are strongly motivated by discontent with the status quo, an embattled incumbent who is forced into a runoff is in a very precarious position.

That’s because voters who are tired of headlines about violent crime or excessive taxation and disenchanted with the incumbent are more likely to make the return trip to the polls in order to vote for new leadership.

While many of us showed up early on Black Friday for bargain-shopping, too few will show up on Tuesday, when we shop for our next Mayor, City Council Member, or state legislator.

So today, I’m asking you as a personal favor, to check the Secretary of State’s website or call your local board of elections and find out if your area has an election on Tuesday, and take the time on Tuesday to show up and vote.

In fact, voter turnout in Savannah was up for the runoff in early voting.

Voter interest does not appear to have died down since then. More voters turned out for early and advance voting for the runoff than during the general election, according to the Chatham County Board of Registrars office.

Sandra Williams, Chatham County’s voter registration director, said there were 4,586 early voters ahead of the runoff election. That’s 182 more than during early voting for the general election on Nov. 3. In addition, there were 1,187 absentee ballots submitted — up by 261.

“Any time you have a contested election and that community is aware of an election that’s going to keep the interest,” Williams said.

Whether the increase in early and advance voting means higher turnout overall has yet to be determined.

The third race I’m watching is in Senate District 20, where six Republican candidates will almost ensure a runoff election next year.

In House District 122, Jodi Lott and Mack Taylor’s runoff will result in a Republican retaining the seat vacated by former State Rep. Ben Harbin.

Last night, the Donald J. Trump show rolled into Macon, Georgia for a capacity crowd at the Macon Coliseum.

Here’s what the crowd looked like: I’d call it a capacity crowd, and I agree with those who have estimated the crowd size at 6000. Here’s the single quote that best sums up last night’s message, from WMAZ-TV.

“You can’t be a loser and be a leader,” he said to cheers. “I win. Just like now. We’re driving the Republican establishment crazy.”

Few were spared insults. Trump referred to current U.S. leaders and his opponents several times as, “not very smart.”

“China is killing us on trade. Japan is killing us on trade. Mexico is killing us because their leaders are smarter than ours,” Trump said.

Here’s a great photo of the crowd via Joe Kovac Jr. over Twitter.

Joe Kovac Twitter

And here’s a pan of the crowd from about the floor about 10 rows back from the stage.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for November 30, 2014

After news got out that some area shelters were vastly over capacity, two things happened. Zappos sponsored free pet adoptions, a promotion that continues through today. And then hundreds of people showed up to take home their new best friends.

Elly is a 7-year old, 59-pound female English Bulldog mix who is available for adoption (no fee today) from Fulton County Animal Shelter in Atlanta.

Elly is a senior old Old English Bulldog mix, who does well with people, other dogs and cats.

Elly Dog Bed

Elly loves to ride in the car (especially for a hamburger) and is very low maintenance. She sleeps most of the day. When she is awake, she moves at a snails pace. She would be perfectly content to to lie around on her dog bed all day. . She is already house trained, crate trained and leash trained. She would do best in a low key home, who respects her slow paced, laid back lifestyle. Elly enjoys sitting on patios, going for short walks and snuggling on the couch.

Elly”s foster mom wrote a wonderful blog post about her and the Huff Post featured it!

Sweetie is a 3-year old female Shepherd mix who is available for adoption (no fee today) from DeKalb County Animal Services in Decatur, GA.

Sweetie’s name rings true in every since of the word. This lovable Shepherd mix is calm, friendly, and great with other dogs. She can’t wait to meet you here at Lifeline’s DeKalb Animal Services! Her adoption includes her spay, microchip, vaccinations, and more! For more information email [email protected]


Boss is a 4-year old male Boxer who needs to find a foster or forever home soon. He is available for adoption from SAFE Adoption Center in Macon, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 30, 2015

On November 30, 1782, British and American signed a preliminary treaty in Paris to end the American Revolution, which included withdrawal of British troops and recognition of American independence.

Georgia ratified the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 29, 1794, which reads,

The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations passed a resolution to partition Palestine and allow the creation of a Jewish state of Israel.

The Tawana Brawley case began on November 28, 1987; the greatest lasting impact would be the rise to celebrity of community activist the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

For those who are involved in elections in the coming year, I’ve created a Google Calendar with the important election and ethics filing dates for the 2016 Elections. Click here for the online version. If you know what you’re doing, you can add this to your personal calendar on your iPhone or whatever other device you use. When you open that page, you won’t initially see any events, as they’re far enough in the future to not show up in Agenda view, but just click “Look for More” until it shows you the time range you’re interested in.

Today, the Donald Trump show rolls into Macon for a rally at 7:30 PM at the Macon Centreplex.

The campaign is distributing free tickets online for the event. Brandon Phillips, the Georgia director of Trump’s campaign, deferred questions about the number of tickets distributed as of Friday to Hope Hicks, Trump’s national media spokeswoman. Hicks did not respond to an email, however.

David Higdon, the coliseum’s event manager, said he didn’t know how many tickets had been distributed, but he’s expecting a big crowd. Based on the numbers Trump has drawn at similar events — and the buzz he’s been hearing about the Macon rally — Higdon said he looking for a capacity crowd of 8,000.

“I’m anticipating a full house,” he said. “I think a lot of people are going to come.”

[Bibb County Sheriff David] Davis said deputies will help escort Trump to and from the event and with directing traffic. He did not expect there would be reimbursement for the cost, but Davis said that is standard practice for such events.

Suzanne Wood, a former chairwoman of the Bibb County Republican Party, said the local group’s involvement with the event has primarily been to round up volunteers to help with the crowd and seating. She said she expects people to come from a wide area of the state, and she has even had people from Florida contact her about coming.

Wood said she has heard many people say they are coming — even though they don’t necessarily support Trump.

One of those is Mary Huffstetler, who is going with her husband and their two children. She called herself a conservative and said she is undecided on which candidate she will vote for in the primary.

“I am very excited to hear what he has to say,” she said. “I think he is unconventional and people are always looking for something that is not predictable.”

I’ll be checking in from Macon on Twitter using the hashtag #TrumpMacon.

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy of the AJC puts Trump’s visit in the context of the mounting competition for votes in the SEC Primary.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 25, 2015

The first Day of Thanksgiving in what is now the United States was celebrated on December 4, 1619 at Berkeley Plantation on the banks of the James River in Virginia.

On December 4, 1619, a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred, about 8,000 acres on the north bank of the James River near Herring Creek in an area then known as Charles Cittie (sic). It was named for one of the original founders, Richard Berkeley,a member of the Berkeley family of Gloucestershire, England. It was about 20 miles upstream from Jamestown, where the first permanent settlement of the Colony of Virginia was established on May 14, 1607.

The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a “day of thanksgiving” to God. On that first day, Captain John Woodleaf held the service of thanksgiving. The Charter of Berkeley Plantation specified the thanksgiving service: “Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”.

President George Washington declared November 26, 1789 the first “public day of thanksgiving and prayer.”

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Go. Washington

On November 25, 1864, Sherman’s 14th and 20th Corps moved toward Sandersville while the 17th Corps fought briefly against a mix of Kentucky Militia, Georgia Military Institute cadets, and Georgia convicts.

On November 25, 1867, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel filed a patent for dynamite. On November 25, 1895, Nobel wrote his will, leaving the equivalent of roughly $186 million (2008 dollars) to endow the Nobel prizes.

On November 25, 1920, the first play-by-play broadcast of a college football game took place at College Station as Texas A&M (then Mechanical College of Texas) took the field against Texas University.

On November 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Fourth Thursday in November as the modern Thanksgiving celebration.

[I]t was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated nationally.

With a few deviations, Lincoln’s precedent was followed annually by every subsequent president–until 1939. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt departed from tradition by declaring November 23, the next to last Thursday that year, as Thanksgiving Day. Considerable controversy surrounded this deviation, and some Americans refused to honor Roosevelt’s declaration. For the next two years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation, but on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

On the same day, a Japanese navy fleet left port headed toward Pearl Harbor.

President John F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 25, 1963.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience played its first show at the Bag O’Nails Club in London on November 25, 1966.

Chatham County Sheriff Al St. Lawrence has died following a battle with cancer.

St Lawrence, 81, had been battling cancer since at least July when he disclosed his condition to the department’s command staff.

St Lawrence was elected sheriff in 1992. He had said this would be his last term.

The sheriff’s office released a statement around 8:30 a.m. today expressing its “profound sadness that the family and this Office announce the passing of our beloved Sheriff, Al St Lawrence to cancer on November 24, 2015.”

St Lawrence, a five-year veteran of the United States Air Force, was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield and decided to make Savannah his home. He began a career in law enforcement in 1959 with the Chatham County Police Department. In 1971, he was appoint chief, a position he held for 21 years unit his retirement in April 1992 to pursue the office of sheriff, according to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.


Reagan said it well indeed, in his 1985 Thanksgiving Address to the nation.

Good morning, everyone. You know, the Statue of Liberty and this wonderful holiday called Thanksgiving go together naturally because although as Americans we have many things for which to be thankful, none is more important than our liberty. Liberty: that quality of government, that brightness of mind and spirit for which the Pilgrim Fathers braved the seas and Americans for two centuries have laid down their lives.

“Today, while religion is suppressed in perhaps one third of the world, we Americans are free to worship the Almighty as we choose. While entire nations must endure the yoke of tyranny, we are free to speak our minds, to enjoy an unfettered and vigorous press, and to make government abide by the limits we deem just. While millions live behind walls, we remain free to travel throughout the land to share this precious day with those we love most deeply – the members of our families.

“My fellow Americans, let us keep this Thanksgiving Day sacred. Let us thank God for the bounty and goodness of our nation. And as a measure of our gratitude, let us rededicate ourselves to the preservation of this: the land of the free and the home of the brave.

“From the Reagan family to your family: happy Thanksgiving and God bless you all.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Trump Atlanta 1

Yesterday, we wrote about a rumor that Donald J. Trump would return to Georgia with an event in Macon on November 30th. And later in the day, it was confirmed by the Macon Telegraph.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is coming to Macon on Monday night.

Trump is set to speak at the Macon Coliseum during a campaign rally that begins at 7:30 p.m., said Brandon Phillips, the Georgia director for the Trump campaign. Doors will open at 5 p.m.

The event will be free to attend — it will cost $5 to park — but those who want to go must have a ticket, Phillips said.

The event will last about an hour, until 8:30 p.m. or so, Phillips said, “but I’ve seen him speak in Iowa for 90 minutes.”

For those who follow politics, Macon would seem to be a contrary destination for a Republican presidential hopeful.

Nearly 60 percent of Bibb County’s registered voters cast ballots for Barack Obama in the 2012 election. Mitt Romney drew just under 40 percent. Statewide, voters gave Romney more than 53 percent of the vote, to about 45 percent for Obama.

In Houston County, meanwhile, Romney drew nearly 60 percent of the ballots, and GOP tallies were even better in Monroe County, with about 68 percent for Romney, and in Jones County, where about 64 percent of men and women voted for Romney.

Click here for your free tickets.

Whether Macon is a “contrary” location for a presidential event or not, it’s great to see Presidential candidates all across Georgia.

Speaking of Georgia, the Peach State also figures prominently in the electoral strategy of Ted Cruz. And there is a strategy, no question about it.

But suddenly it seems that Cruz is running what even Dan Pfeiffer, a former top aide to President Obama, concedes is “the best campaign on the other side.” He has raised more money than any Republican other than Jeb Bush and more non-PAC money than any other Republican, period; he also has more cash on hand than any of his GOP rivals. He was the first candidate to recruit chairmen in all 171 counties in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

He is only candidate who for months has been consistently calling and sending surrogates to all five U.S. territories — Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands — in order to secure extra delegates who could prove decisive down the road. (More on that later.)

He is doing more than any other Republican to prepare for the so-called “SEC primary,” a new Southern voting blitz set to take place on March 1; he has already enlisted more than 100 countywide campaign directors and 1,500 volunteers in Georgia alone.

Noting that the RNC has sped up the 2016 primary schedule — almost two-thirds of Republican delegates will be allocated by March 22 — Cruz spent August traveling across the South and strengthening his a regional turnout operation rather than camping out in Iowa or New Hampshire like everyone else. Having since secured key endorsements in the Hawkeye State, where he is rising in the polls, Cruz is now poised to head into the March 1 “SEC primary,” and the rest of the race, with stronger support among conservatives than most pundits predicted.

“In past election years, a candidate could essentially move to Iowa or move to New Hampshire, live there for a year, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle and surprise everyone,” Cruz recently explained. “I don’t think that’s possible this cycle.”

Likewise, Team Cruz noticed early on that the RNC’s obscure rule No. 40 (b), which was rewritten in 2012, currently stipulates that a candidate cannot receive the nomination without first winning a majority of the delegates in eight separate states or territories. The territory part is crucial.

It’s conceivable, even likely, that none of the Republican candidates will get more than 50 percent of the vote in the crowded Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada contests, which means that none of those states will count toward fulfilling the requirements of rule No. 40 (b).

But competition for delegates is much less heated in Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands than it is on the mainland — even though, for the purposes of winning the nomination, each territory still counts just as much as a state. And so Cruz has been calling the governor of Guam, dispatching an emissary to American Samoa, sending his father, Rafael, to the Virgin Islands and so on. The more delegates he can pick up overseas, the thinking goes, the better his chances of reaching the RNC’s magic number of majorities — regardless of what happens in the early states.

That story is a lengthy but fascinating read about Cruz’s career and his 2016 electoral strategy. Worth reading in its entirety for political professionals and hobbyists alike.

Finally, we’ll wrap up with a piece from the Washington Post on presidential strategies and the SEC Primary.

While the February states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — are expected to set the tone and winnow the field, Super Tuesday will arrive like a thunderclap, probably determining which candidates will survive for what could be a protracted battle for the nomination.

“It’s a huge delegate haul, and it’s either going to change the momentum coming out of the early states or reaffirm it,” said John Weaver, chief strategist for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is building an Alabama coalition led by the state’s governor.

For centrist Republicans such as Kasich, the aim may not be so much sweeping Super Tuesday as surviving it. After March 1, the calendar turns more to their liking, with a number of winner-take-all states in less-conservative regions where suburban, business-friendly Republicans may matter more than evangelicals and tea party activists.

For Trump and Carson, the political outsiders who have dominated the race for months, Super Tuesday has long been seen by party operatives as the turning point when one of them could surge.

For Cruz, who has sought to appeal to many of the same voters as Trump and Carson, the Southern states are essential. He sees them as his best chance to leap ahead of his rivals after what could be a muddled field by late February. In Georgia, for instance, he has enlisted more than 100 county organizers and has volunteer chairmen in all 14 congressional districts. His wife, Heidi, visited the Atlanta suburbs last week to talk up her husband’s candidacy to Republican women.

Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe said: “Our approach is to have neighbors call neighbors, pro-lifer to pro-lifer, gun owner to gun owner. That philosophy is painted on our wall — to personalize each contact so that it’s not somebody calling from a remote-access phone bank in another state with a neutral dialect.”

Securing the nomination is a matter of accumulating delegates, and exponentially more are up for grabs on March 1 — 595 total — than in the four early-voting states, which together have 133 delegates, according to figures provided by the Republican National Committee.

Super Tuesday delegates will be awarded proportionally, many of them by congressional district. This gives lower-tier candidates opportunities to pick up delegates without winning the states outright, so long as their vote totals meet the minimum thresholds, which vary by state from 5 percent to 20 percent.

“Everyone feels like they can come in and leave with a few delegates, so we see an uptick in campaigning and organizing over the past few cycles,” said Brent Leatherwood, executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party.

Consider former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who is struggling nationally but hopes to win delegates by overperforming in the March 1 Southern states, many of which he carried in 2008.

“We’re focused on where we can get the most delegates, the biggest bang for the buck,” strategist Chip Saltsman said. “For example, in Texas, there are some rural congressional districts where if you go do a visit, you might pick up more voters than if you were up on Dallas TV for a week.”

Carson’s playbook in Texas is similar to that in other Southern states — targeting majority-African-American congressional districts to win delegates.

“Dr. Carson is already a legend in these communities,” said Barry Bennett, Carson’s campaign manager. “So we’re going to churches, to community centers where, frankly, most of the others don’t go.”

Jeb Bush’s allied super PAC, Right to Rise, has booked $14.5 million in television advertising in March 1 states and plans to spend at least $2 million more. The ad reservations offer clues about the former Florida governor’s strategy.

Right to Rise is spending heavily in Texas, home to former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, as well as Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, where there are suburban districts with relatively moderate Republican electorates. But it has not reserved any time in Alabama or Arkansas, which are ruby-red conservative bastions.

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston will headline a fundraiser for the Georgia Republican Party on Thursday, December 3d.

Ralston GAGOP Found Invite


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for November 25, 2015

Turkey Dogs

After learning that hundreds of Golden Retrievers in Turkey have been abandoned by their owners, Adopt-A-Golden Atlanta began bringing them to Atlanta to find permanent homes. In May 2015, 36 Golden Retrievers were brought in by AGA. In December, the fifth Turkey Dog flight will arrive with more big fluffy yellow dogs.

Mrs. GaPundit and I have adopted from AGA and volunteered with them, and in my opinion, they are the finest rescue organization around.  You can donate online to help them, or put in your adoption application for your new best friend.

If you’re interested in one of the Turkey Dogs, AGA asks that you meet the following requirements:

• no kids under 8 years
• fence, not an invisible fence
• someone home during part of the day

You may still be able to meet the requirements for adoption of a domestic Golden Retriever, even if you don’t meet the Turkey Dog enhanced security requirements.

Click here to Like the AGA Turkey Dogs on Facebook.


Casper is a 3-year old adult male Golden Retriever from Turkey who is available for adoption from Adopt-A-Golden Atlanta.

My foster gave me a good report card. I love people and I can get along with most dogs but I’ll pass on the cats, please. I’m a laid back, happy boy who likes to take walks or ride in the car or play with my toys. I always like to please the people around me because then I get a big pat on the head! Foster says I have a a true golden personality!

Cosmos TD4

Cosmos is a 3-year old male Golden Retriever who was in a shelter in Istanbul and is available for adoption from Adopt-A-Golden Atlanta.

My foster says I am so handsome I could be a movie star. (How about that for a compliment?) I like being the only dog in the house but am a generally happy, all around good guy. I am totally in love with people, playing ball and I am learning to walk on the leash thing. I think I could live with kids OK but maybe the best ones would be a little older -they could help me with lessons. Cosmos is sponsored by the Bireley Family Foundation thanks to Aimee and Roger Bireley.


Karloff is a 5-year old male Yellow Labrador Retriever who was in a shelter in Istanbul and is available for adoption from Adopt-A-Golden Atlanta.

I’m looking for some easy going folks to hang out with. I’m not too interested in running around and playing but I am the best kind of dog for taking things easy and living the quiet life. I have a little stiffness in my hips so I don’t want a home with a lot of steps to climb but a few are OK. I haven’t tried out other dogs or cats so far so just stay tuned and I’ll get back to you. Love, Karloff Karloff is sponsored by Gabriella Stuart who has made Karloff very happy. He knows without people like her, he would not have had a second chance in life.


Trump campaign stopping in Macon on Monday night | The Telegraph

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is coming to Macon on Monday night.

Trump will speak at the Macon Coliseum during a campaign rally that begins at 7 p.m. Monday, said Brandon Phillips, the Georgia director for the Trump campaign.

The event will be free to attend, but those who want to do so must have a ticket, Phillips said. Tickets will be available online, on the Trump website, perhaps later Tuesday.

The event will last about an hour, Phillips said, “but I’ve seen him speak in Iowa for 90 minutes.”

via Trump campaign stopping in Macon on Monday night | The Telegraph.