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Gov. Nathan Deal: State of the State Address – Great Challenges Require Great Cooperation

Your Georgia Desk

From Governor Nathan Deal

Deal state

Great Challenges Require Great Cooperation

Deal proposes plan to rescue failing schools, new transportation plan

Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston, President Pro Tem Shafer, Speaker Pro Tem Jones, members of the General Assembly, constitutional officers, members of the judiciary, members of the consular corps,  my fellow Georgians:

Today marks the fifth year that I have reported to you, the people’s representatives, on the state of our state. This is our annual checkup exam on the body politic, where we measure our vitals, celebrate areas of great health and seek cures for what ails us. In each succeeding year, we’ve seen the green shoots of our economy grow a little taller. Each year, we’ve seen more Georgians return to work or get their first job. Each year, we’ve seen hundreds of more businesses open or relocate here. Each year, steady revenue growth has allowed us to slowly mend the ravages wrought by the Great Recession. Now, our economy is seeing positive growth with thousands of new jobs added every month. We’re seeing the tell-tale signs of cranes and bulldozers humming on newly cleared land. We’re seeing home values recover and Georgia families rebuild their savings. And Georgia has been named the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business by several major rating agencies and has repeated that designation by one of them already. In short, I’m here to report to you today that the state of our state is strong, and getting stronger every day.

But for every milestone we reach, for every victory we attain, for every improvement we achieve, new challenges await. Certainly, there are those who focus only on the negative, zeroed in on areas where we should do better. They downplay any progress as “not good enough.” To them I say: Celebrating our progress puts our challenges in perspective and reminds us that together we can achieve greatness. Our shortcomings don’t go unacknowledged. They’re simply what we’re going to address next.

When focused only on the negative, the job before us can seem overwhelming. These feelings are not new to our generation. Atop President Kennedy’s desk sat a fisherman’s prayer: “Oh, God, Thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.” When confronting the challenges of 10 million people – challenges that can appear insurmountable – it’s easy to feel that the tools we’ve been given aren’t up to the task.

When it comes to our constituents’ needs in education, health care, transportation and public safety, the sea seems so great and our boat so small. We may have 10 million challenges, but we also have 10 million oars.

In the turbulent waters of recession and recovery, we have rowed steadily forward. The synchronized beat of unified oars has reset the rhythm of our economy. Georgians have spoken clearly that the conservative principles, which have guided our decisions, the very ones that have brought us out of the recession, must continue to guide our future growth. These include keeping our government small, prioritizing and balancing our budget, and emphasizing a strong business climate.Continue Reading..


RNC: Announces July 2016 Convention Dates

Your Washington Desk

From The Republican National Committee 


RNC Announces July 2016 Convention Dates

The Republican National Committee has selected July 18-21 as the official dates for the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

“I’m pleased to announce the 2016 Republican National Convention will kick off on July 18,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.  “A convention in July is a historic success for our party and future nominee.  The convention will be held significantly earlier than previous election cycles, allowing access to crucial general election funds earlier than ever before to give our nominee a strong advantage heading into Election Day.

“We’re excited to continue working with our partners in Cleveland and we look forward to showcasing everything the city has to offer to our delegates and the world in 2016.”

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 14, 2015

Representatives of three cities in Connecticut adopted the “Fundamental Orders,” the first written Constitution in an American colony and one of the first founding document to cite the authority of “the free consent of the people.”

On January 14, 1733, James Oglethorpe and the rest of the first colonists departed Charles Town harbor for what would become Savannah, and the State of Georgia.

The Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris to end the Revolutionary War on January 14, 1784. The Treaty was negotiated by John Adams, who would later serve as President, and the delegates voting to ratify it included future Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.

On January 14, 1835, James M. Wayne took the oath of office as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. A Savannah native, Wayne had previously served in the Georgia House of Represestatives, as Mayor of Savannah, on the Supreme Court of Georgia, and in Congress. His sister was the great-grandmother of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, and his home is now known as the Juliette Gordon Low house. When Georgia seceded from the Union, Wayne remained on the Supreme Court.

On January 14, 1860, the Committee of Thirty-Three introduced a proposed Constitutional Amendment to allow slavery in the areas it then existed.

Julian Bond was born on January 14, 1940 in Nashville, Tennessee, and was one of eleven African-American Georgians elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965. After his election, on January 10, 1966, the State House voted 184-12 not to seat him because of his publicly-stated opposition to the Vietnam War. After his federal lawsuit was rejected by a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the United States Supreme Court ordered Bond seated.

True story: Julian Bond was the first Georgia State Senator I ever met, when I was in ninth grade and visited the state Capitol.

On January 14, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring Japanese-Americans, including American-born citizens of Japanese ancestry, as well as Italians and Germans to register with the federal Department of Justice. The next month, Roosevelt would have Japanese-Americans, including my grandfather, Joe Yamamoto, interned in concentration camps in the western United States.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Avondale Estates will hold a Special Election for Mayor on March 17, 2015 following the resignation of former Mayor Ed Rieker. The next Mayor will serve the balance of the term, which ends December 31, with an election to a full term to be held in November. Architect Paul Brown was the first candidate to qualify and more candidates may qualify between now and Friday. From,

We’re a very small city and with the development of the multi-use project and the issue of annexation, it’s going to change the perception of our city,” Brown said. “It will certainly set a standard.”

Brown said if he is elected he will work to enhance the city’s quality of life.

“My first priority is learning what the city’s priorities are as far as what the residents are concerned about, and adding to the quality of life,” he said.

Rieker, the dynamic and sometimes controversial former mayor, resigned in October with about one year left on his term to take a university teaching job. The former mayor is credited with bringing development into city’s downtown, but his style of leadership also brought him into conflict with some longtime residents wary of change.

Mayor Pro Tem Terry Giager will not run for Mayor, retaining his Council seat instead. Disclaimer: I’m working for Paul Brown’s campaign.

Johns Creek will hold Special Elections in November to fill the remaining terms of former City Council Members Brad Raffensperger and Kelly Stewart, who are in a runoff election for the House District 50 seat vacated by former State Rep. Lynne Riley. With Council Districts 2,4, and 6 up in the regular rotation, that will mean that four of six Council seats will be up in November.

State of the State

Governor Nathan Deal will deliver the State of the State address today at 11 AM. The speech will be carried live online by Georgia Public Broadcasting or you may watch it tonight at 7 PM on Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Click here to find your local GPB TV station.


At 7:30 PM, I’ll be on GPB with Bill Nigut, Democratic consultant Liz Flowers, Leo Smith of the Georgia Republican Party, and Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Kardashian Constitution. The show will also be live online at 7:30 PM today.

I’ll be at the State of the State and will be tweeting from my personal account @toddmr and you can also check-out the @gapundit account.

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Adoptable Georgia Dogs for January 14, 2015


Thomas is about one year old and appears to be nearly full breed black lab. A last minute save from a Georgia kill shelter, Thomas is ready for his second chance and promises to make his new family very happy! Thomas is available for adoption from The Pixel Fund in Macon, GA, who is now accepting applications at


James is a young Hound who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA.


Johnny is an adult male Boxer who is available for adoption from Paulding County Animal Control in Dallas,GA.

June is an English Bulldog who appears to have come in with Johnny and to be bonded to him; June is also available for adoption from Paulding County Animal Control in Dallas, GA.



The Senate Press Office: Day Two – Senate in a Minute: President Pro Tem David Shafer

Your Georgia Desk

From Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer

via The Georgia Senate Press Office 

Day Two - Senate in a Minute: President Pro Tem David Shafer


VIDEO – Senators Isakson & Shaheen: Introduce Biennial Budgeting Legislation to Reform Congress’ Broken Budgeting Process

Your Washington Desk

From Senator Johnny Isakson 

Isakson, Shaheen Introduce Biennial Budgeting Legislation to Reform Congress’ Broken Budgeting Process

U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., today reintroduced the bipartisan Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act in an effort to reform Congress’ broken budgeting process. The legislation would convert Congress’ annual appropriations process to a two-year budget cycle.

This commonsense reform would require Congress to become better stewards of the taxpayers’ money by placing Congress on a two-year budget cycle, with one year for appropriating federal dollars and the other year devoted to oversight of federal programs.

“I’m proud to join Sen. Shaheen in reintroducing this bipartisan, commonsense legislation that would change the paradigm of Washington’s broken budget system,” said Isakson. “With our national debt surpassing $18 trillion and growing, it is imperative that we rethink the way that we do things in Congress. I have pushed biennial budgeting every year I’ve been in the Senate since 2005 because this new system would increase oversight and reduce spending, making our federal government more efficient and more accountable to taxpayers.”

Isakson is making S.150, the biennial budget legislation, his first bill of the new Congress in an attempt to tackle one of the biggest problems facing our country – our unsustainable debt.Continue Reading..


Senators Perdue & Isakson: Introduce Fair Tax Act of 2015

Your Washington Desk

From Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson

Fair Tax

Perdue, Isakson Introduce Fair Tax Act of 2015

Would repeal federal income tax, abolish IRS; replace with national sales tax

U.S. Senators David Perdue, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today introduced the Fair Tax Act of 2015 to promote freedom, fairness and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax.

Perdue, a member of the Senate Budget Committee and an original co-sponsor of the bill, said: “In order for America’s economy to thrive in today’s international economy, we must remain competitive. Instituting the FairTax will level the playing field and make America the best place in the world to do business. The FairTax is smart policy that will help protect hardworking Georgians and all American taxpayers.”

“Our tax code is a burden on families and a drain on small businesses,” said Isakson, a member of the Senate Finance Committee who has co-sponsored legislation to repeal the tax code and to establish a national sales tax during every session of Congress since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2005. “Our current tax code punishes hard work and productivity, and the recent scandals surrounding the Internal Revenue Service’s politically motivated targeting of grassroots citizen groups is even more proof that no federal government agency should be trusted with this much power. Moving to the kind of system outlined in the Fair Tax of 2015 is a no-brainer. It’s time that we simplify our tax code, abolish the IRS, and create a more simple way to pay your fair share.”Continue Reading..


VIDEO – Rep. Tom Graves: Words Matter

Your Georgia – GA 14 – Desk

From Congressman Tom Graves 

Words Matter

Today, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) spoke on the House floor in support of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill and the amendments that prohibit any funds from being used to carry out the president’s unlawful executive actions.

A full transcript of Rep. Graves’ remarks is below.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to read to you a few quotes.

First, “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed… Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws.”

“The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 13, 2015

Georgia History

On January 13, 1733, the ship Ann (sometimes spelled “Anne”) sailed into Charles Town harbor and was met by South Carolina Governor Robert Johnson and the Speaker of the Commons House of Assembly. Aboard the ship were James Oglethorpe and the first 114 colonists of what would become Georgia. Later that year they would land at a high bluff on the Savannah River and found the city of Savannah.

On January 13, 1959, Ernest Vandiver was inaugurated as Governor of Georgia.

On January 13, 1966, President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed Robert C. Weaver head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), making Weaver the first African-American cabinet secretary in U.S. History.

On January 13, 1982, Hank Aaron was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

This day in 1987 saw the inauguration of Governor Joe Frank Harris to his second term in office.

On January 13, 1998, Governor Zell Miller presented his $12.5 billion FY1999 budget to the Georgia General Assembly, including $105,000 to provide CDs of classical music for every baby born in the state. According to the New York Times,

“No one questions that listening to music at a very early age affects the spatial, temporal reasoning that underlies math and engineering and even chess,” the Governor said[]. “Having that infant listen to soothing music helps those trillions of brain connections to develop.”

Mr. Miller said he became intrigued by the connection between music and child development at a series of recent seminars sponsored by the Education Commission of the States. As a great-grandfather and the author of “They Hear Georgia Singing” (Mercer University Press, 1983), an encyclopedia of the state’s musical history, Mr. Miller said his fascination came naturally.

He said that he had a stack of research on the subject, but also that his experiences growing up in the mountains of north Georgia had proved convincing.

“Musicians were folks that not only could play a fiddle but they also were good mechanics,” he said. “They could fix your car.”

Legislators, as is their wont, have ideas of their own.

“I asked about the possibility of some Charlie Daniels or something like that,” said Representative Homer M. (Buddy) DeLoach, a Republican from Hinesville, “but they said they thought the classical music has a greater positive impact.”

“Having never studied those impacts too much,” Mr. DeLoach added, “I guess I’ll just have to take their word for that at the moment.”

In 2003, on January 13 at the Georgia Dome, Sonny Perdue took the oath of office as Georgia’s second Republican Governor, the first since Reconstruction.

A little over a year ago, on January 10, 2013, the Atlanta Journal-Consistution released a poll of the Georgia Governor’s race that showed Nathan Deal with 47 percent to 38 percent for Jason Carter. The nine-point Deal advantage was as close as the AJC polling firm would come all year to correctly predicting the point spread in the General Election.

This is neither History nor Politics, but it’s cool nonetheless: Berry College announced that their Bald Eagle pair has two eggs in the nest.

Berry College Eagle Eggs

Click here to check out the Berry College Eagle Cams and learn more about this pair of majestic birds.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Gov Deal Inauguration

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Adoptable Georgia Dogs for January 13, 2014

Female Black Lab

This sweet little female Black Lab mix puppy is in desperate need of an adoptive of foster home; she is currently at Floyd County Animal Control in Rome, GA.


Duke is a very light cream or white colored Golden Retriever or Lab mix, not big enough to be a Great Pyrenees. Duke is available for adoption from Floyd County Animal Control in Rome, GA.

Shep Pups

These three Shepherd-mix puppies are part of a large litter, each is available for adoption from Floyd County Animal Control in Rome, GA. Also part of the same litter are the following puppies.

15D-0056 15D-0051