On August 2, 1983, the United States House of Representatives voted to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federal holiday on the third monday in January.
President Barack Obama visited Georgia on August 2, 2010 – his first trip to Atlanta and second to Georgia after his election in November 2008. The occasion of his 2010 trip, like his trip to Atlanta yesterday, was to deliver a speech to the Disabled American Veterans Conference at the Hyatt Regency. From his 2010 speech:
As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end. Shortly after taking office, I announced our new strategy for Iraq and for a transition to full Iraqi responsibility. And I made it clear that by August 31st, 2010, America’s combat mission in Iraq would end. And that is exactly what we are doing — as promised and on schedule….
As agreed to with the Iraqi government, we will maintain a transitional force until we remove all our troops from Iraq by the end of next year.
At the same time, every American who has ever worn the uniform must also know this: Your country is going to take care of you when you come home. Our nation’s commitment to our veterans, to you and your families, is a sacred trust. And to me and my administration, upholding that trust is a moral obligation. It’s not just politics.
That’s why I’ve charged Secretary Shinseki with building a 21st century VA. And that includes one of the largest percentage increases to the VA budget in the past 30 years. We are going to cut this deficit that we’ve got, and I’ve proposed a freeze on discretionary domestic spending. But what I have not frozen is the spending we need to keep our military strong, our country safe and our veterans secure. So we’re going to keep on making historic commitments to our veterans.
Arthur, a 2012 Chestatee High graduate who will be competing in this summer’s Rio Olympics for Team USA in weightlifting, has five older sisters and a younger twin sister and brother, now ranging from ages 21-28.
Jenny, who mostly played softball and did track and field throughout school, began weightlifting as a way to get stronger for those sports. Those who saw her lift knew there was something special there.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections Today
As he did six years ago nearly to the day, President Obama came to Atlanta yesterday and delivered a speech to the Disabled American Veterans.
And we’ve come together to welcome our newest veterans into your ranks — from Desert Storm, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq — our proud 9/11 Generation. This is a time of transition. When I came into office, we had nearly 180,000 American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, that number is less than 15,000. Most of our troops have come home.
11Alive spoke with some veterans who attended the President’s speech.
[T]hey agree with the president’s assessment — too many disabled vets across the country are still waiting too long for medical care from the V.A.
“And it’s real tragic,” said Tony Daves, who is retired from the Air Force, lives in Louisiana, and sees it firsthand.
He works with veterans who are denied their medical benefits, can’t get care, and and can’t get their appeals heard for years.
“They’re starting to get old and die off,” Daves said. “The appeals are taking three to five years to get completed. It’s just jammed up and we need legislation from Congress to improve that.”
Joann Dickson-Smith said she still faces long waits for care.
While in Atlanta, President Obama also stopped by a $33,400 per person fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The Wall Street Journal notes it’s the President’s first fundraiser for Clinton.
The Atlanta event was hosted by Andy Prozes, the former chief executive of LexisNexis Group, and real-estate developer Laura Heery Prozes, according to a Clinton aide. Tickets to the event cost $33,400, and donors must give at least $66,800 to be listed as co-hosts and at least $100,000 to be co-chair. All funds will be directed to the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint committee of the Democratic National Committee and state parties.
WABE News spoke to William Boone, a Clark Atlanta University political scientist about the latest media
obsession burning question – whether Georgia will be in play at the Presidential level in November.
Watch to see if the campaigns buy ads here or send money to local groups, said William Boone, a political scientist at Clark Atlanta University.
It could indicate whether either side thinks the state is actually up for grabs.
He said to watch the campaigns, especially the Democrats, to see if they buy ads or send money here.
“If you see them begin to organize groups that say African-American youth for Hillary, or Latinos and Mexicans for Hillary, those are some indications that some money is coming in and that they’re trying to organize in some fashion,” Boone said.
But he cautions that Democrats could invest in Georgia as a way to bait Republicans into spreading out their resources.
“To at least give the appearance that they are here in Georgia and other states like Georgia to force the Republicans to fight a wider campaign and to place resources where they wouldn’t ordinarily,” Boone said.
On Sunday, Georgia’s senior United States Senator Johnny Isakson held a Q&A with the DAV and Veterans Administration Secretary Bob McDonald.
The pair also announced that the VA will be opening a new Veterans Crisis Line call center in Atlanta, Ga., bringing more than 200 jobs to the Atlanta area and contributing over $25 million to the local economy in its first year.
“There’s got to be reform at the VA,” said Isakson during Sunday’s panel discussion. “Veterans’ services have to be more accessible and seamless, and the Veterans First Act does that. One of the problems that VA leadership has had is the inability to affect change at the agency and have the type of accountability of the agency’s management that they really need. Under the Veterans First Act, senior management will be held accountable for the leadership that they give to the more than 300,000 other employees at the VA.”
The Veterans First Act expands the VA’s caregivers program, which allows veterans to receive care in their own homes from loved ones. It creates a pilot program to help veterans get a more expeditious answer on disability claims appeals. It also includes a number of measures to increase access to mental health care for veterans.
“The Veterans First Act is a major bill that contains 144 provisions, including many that were introduced in Congress by Republicans and Democrats,” Isakson continued. “It gives the secretary what he needs in terms of the hiring and firing authority of senior management; it gives veterans who served in wars prior to 9/11 to get the same caregiver benefits that post-9/11 veterans have had; it gives whistleblowers the protection they need to tell when something’s going wrong; and it gives the VA the clout to make a difference. We’re going to see to it that veterans get the services they need.”
“One of my top priorities as chairman has been to see to it that those in need of help for mental health services, particularly those at risk for taking their own lives by suicide, have instant access to the VA and the type of services they need to save their lives,” said Isakson. “They gave us everything when we needed it, and we owe the same thing to them. The call center that will be established in Atlanta later this year will see to it that every veteran, when they dial the phone, they get someone on the other end who knows what to tell them and how to advise them.”
Isakson spoke to his hometown newspaper, the Marietta Daily Journal, about his reelection campaign. It appears he answered three questions about Donald Trump without saying the words “Donald” or “Trump,” though that might be because of editing.
Q: Are you embracing the (Donald) Trump ticket, or worried what it could do to your race?
A: The most important thing Johnny Isakson can do is get Johnny Isakson re-elected to the United States Senate. That’s the first and foremost thing on my mind, and that’s why we’re out there today. I’m going to work hard for my ticket, I’m a loyal Republican, and I appreciate that, but my job is to remind the people of Georgia what I’ve done over the past years and what we’re going to do in the future.
Q: Worried about turnout or anything because of Trump?
A: I think this is going to be the largest turnout in the history of American politics this year. There is a palpable anger in the American public, both with Democrats and Republicans, against what some have called the ‘establishment,’ I think it’s the status quo. I think people are looking for change and someone who’s a change agent. I’ve demonstrated since my days in Cobb County, in the state Legislature, that I can be a change agent and I’ll continue to do that in the Senate.
Q: Have you endorsed Donald Trump?
A: I think it’s important to be for your ticket. If you’re an elected Republican, I think you have an obligation to be for your ticket. That doesn’t mean you’re blindly for your ticket, but it means you’re supportive of your ticket and you’re supportive of your party. (Trump is) a pro-business representative, he doesn’t like over-regulation, he wants a better tax policy — those are all things you’ve heard me say I believe in.
Dozens of prospective Georgia Supreme Court Justices are busy filling out applications for an appointment by Gov. Deal, according to the Fulton Daily Report.
With [just under] one week until the [July 8, 2016] deadline, more than 70 lawyers and judges have been nominated for two vacancies on the Georgia Supreme Court.
Among those nominated are several superior court judges from around the state and many members of the Georgia Court of Appeals.
“This governor has displayed a fondness for elevating sitting judges,” said appellate lawyer Darren Summerville. “There’s a likelihood he’ll look toward the Court of Appeals.”
Though not a judge, Patrise Perkins-Hooker, the Fulton County attorney and former general counsel of Atlanta Beltline Inc., is also in the mix. Perkins-Hooker was the first African-American lawyer to serve as president of the State Bar of Georgia. The high court currently has one woman and two African-American members, and the governor has taken considerable heat from those pressing for more diversity in his appointments.
Other notable figures on the list-in-progress include Court of Appeals Judges M. Yvette Miller and Nels Peterson; personal injury lawyer and mediator M. Gino Brogdon Sr., and DeKalb County State Court Judge Dax Lopez, whose nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia was blocked.
Court of Appeals Judge Nels Peterson’s writing style has garnered some attention from the Daily Report.
Consider these dramatic first lines from a decision Judge Nels Peterson wrote in July, reviving a lawsuit over a shooting in a Macon night spot:
“It is often said that ‘nothing good happens after midnight.’ …. As further support for this proposition, it was well after midnight when a masked man burst into the Shamrock bar and shot John Harrison in the arm. The masked man was never found.”
Such flourishes have become a trademark of Peterson’s decisions in his first months on the bench, and the state’s appellate bar is starting to take note. “It’s a different judicial style of writing,” said appellate lawyer J. Darren Summerville.
Asked about his writing style, Peterson said his goal is not to be entertaining but simply to be clear. He said he tries to avoid legal jargon, which can be “shorthand for things that you don’t fully understand.”
The exercise of putting legal concepts into “more normal language” creates clarity, he said. He uses “this case” instead of “the instant case,” for example. “The simpler the language you use, the more you have to understand what you’re doing,” he said.
He acknowledged that using simpler language is somewhat of a cultural departure in judicial writing. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was famous for his writing, but his style was much more formal. Peterson added: “Part of being clear is being interesting so that people can pay attention. I do try in my writing not to hide the ball—not to take folks on a 12-page journey of discovery.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp will Co-Chair the National Association of Secretaries of State’s Standing Committee on Elections.
The Feds are auditing Augusta’s compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Lawrenceville City Council approved a $171 million budget for FY2017.
Robin Brown is the first candidate to qualify for the Special Election for Clermont Town Council.
Others interested in the seat can qualify at Town Hall, 109 King St., from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Candidates are required to live in Ward 1.
The fee is $43.20.
The winner will serve the rest of Thomas’ four-year term, or from Nov. 14 of this year through Dec. 31, 2019.
State Representative and founding member of the
Nerd Technology Caucus Buzz Brockway (R-Gwinnett) has successfully integrated his campaign into the Pokemon Go smartphone game that all the nerds cool kids are playing. There is a pokemon called “Electabuzz” and I’m totally not kidding about that.
On a serious note, consider how awesome it would be if someone could integrate Pokemon Go with one of the door-to-door apps that all the
nerdy cool campaigns are using.
The Alpharetta Department of Public Safety has released an awesome video on safety while chasing Pokemon.
Savannah will host its first Pokemon Go Pub Crawl on Saturday.
While the event will get Pokémon enthusiasts together to combine the game with adult beverages, there’s also a charity aspect to the night.
“We will have 150 wristbands for sale and with the wristbands come with many drink specials at each establishment,” Anderson says. “We are as well donating $2 of the sale of each wristband and it will go to the Humane Society.”
Wristbands can be purchased at the beginning of the event or in advance at White Bluff Tattoo Company, 8110 White Bluff Road.
The pub crawl host offered a few tips to make for a successful night.
“Bring comfortable shoes and your phones fully charged,” Anderson says. “Get ready to drink, walk and have lots of fun. Don’t litter and respect landmarks, and did I say make sure your phones are fully charged?”
Those wishing to participate should meet at 9 PM at Ellis Square.