Immigration reform advocates call for congressional action at Atlanta rally |

ATLANTA — Congress is about to enter its fall recess, and Georgia immigration reform organizations are calling for action.

At a press conference in the state capitol on Wednesday, immigration advocacy groups, state representatives and members of the community called for comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.

“We are here to uplift the injustice our brothers and sisters are facing,” said Yvonne Robinson, secretary-treasurer of Georgia’s AFL-CIO. “We stand for a humane, practical path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants (and) rational operational control of the border. And the keyword here is rational.”

Voicing their concerns with current immigration law, many speakers emphasized its effect on families. When some members enter this country legally or were born here and others enter without documentation, the family is broken up as a result of deportation.

Because Congress will not be in session in August, Rep. Pedro Marin, D-Duluth, said President Barack Obama should work toward changes in immigration law.

via Immigration reform advocates call for congressional action at Atlanta rally |

GOP-led House approves congressional plan to sue president |

WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided the effort as a stunt aimed at tossing political red meat to conservative voters.

Just a day before lawmakers were to begin a five-week summer recess, debate over the proposed lawsuit underscored the harshly partisan tone that has dominated the current Congress almost from its start in January 2013.

The vote to sue Obama was 225 to 201. Five conservative Republicans voted with Democrats in opposing the lawsuit. No Democrats voted for it.

Republicans said the legal action, focusing on Obama’s implementation of his prized health care overhaul, was designed to prevent a further presidential power grab and his deciding unilaterally how to enforce laws.

via GOP-led House approves congressional plan to sue president |

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 31, 2014

Georgia and American History

On July 31, 1777, the Marquis de LaFayette was commissioned a Major General in the Continental Army, serving without pay.

The cornerstone for the first United States Mint was laid in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 31, 1792, becoming the first building constructed by the federal government under the Constitution.

Former President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded President Lincoln upon his assassination and oversaw much of the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, died of a stroke in Tennessee on July 31, 1875.

On July 31, 1906, a bill to create place a Constitutional Amendment on the November election for voters to decide whether to create an intermediate-level Georgia Court of Appeals was approved by the Georgia General Assembly.

On July 31, 1962, the one-millionth immigrant was welcomed into Israel.

Nolan Ryan, the greatest pitcher in major league baseball history, won his 300th career game on July 31, 1990. During eight innings, Ryan threw 146 pitches, while today, many pitchers are pulled at around the 100-pitch count.

“In the old days throwing that many pitches was a normal game,” said Nolan Ryan, who tossed a record seven no-hitters and is the all-time leader in strikeouts, fifth in innings pitched.

Ryan, currently the Rangers’ team president, is an outspoken detractor of the recent trend toward monitoring pitch counts. In a recent Sports Illustrated article, Ryan expressed his belief that today’s pitchers are “pampered” and that there is no reason why today’s pitchers cannot pitch as much as he and his colleagues did back in the day. As a result, Ryan is pushing his team’s pitchers to throw deeper into games and extend their arms further, emphasizing conditioning over what some would call coddling.

As Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux told SI: “This generation of players has become a creature of the pitch count. Their ceiling has been lowered. It’s up to us to jack it back up.”


The search for a new Savannah police chief has settled on eight finalist candidates – Savannah Morning News.

A new poll shows Republican David Perdue with a 49-40 lead over Democrat Michelle Nunn.

Tax-free savings this weekend include: clothing and footwear under $100, school supplies under $20 and computers/computer equipment under $1,000 – Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

If you know a school teacher, consider giving them cash or a gift card to help them pay for school supplies they have to pay for out of their pockets.

Georgia DOT will take a break from road construction for the sales tax holiday – Athens Banner-Herald.

The funeral procession for the last surviving member of the Enola Gay aircrew began in Snellville to the Atlanta airport, from where he willl be taken to Northumberland, Pennsylvania for burial – Gwinnett Daily Post.

Augusta Commissioners voted unanimously to raise property taxes by 1.75 mills – Augusta Chronicle.

Don’t taze me, bro! – Lincoln County has received two new tazers donated by the Deputy J.D. Paugh Foundation – Augusta Chronicle.

Richmond County Board of Elections is predicting 40 to 50 percent voter turnout in November for the General Election – Augusta Chronicle.

Congressman Paul Broun is cosponsoring legislation to legalize marijuana-derived medications at the federal level – Athens Banner-Herald.

The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., and cosponsored by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., in addition to Broun, would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act “to exclude therapeutic hemp and cannabidiol from the definition of marijuana.” The proposal has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary committees.

Euthanasia rates are falling at the Fulton and DeKalb animal shelters – WABE.

A Doraville businessman was sentenced under federal charges of attempting to bribe city officials – Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Augusta, Georgia native Virginia Dent, who starts a new job working for Georgia’s senior United States Senator Saxby Chambliss next month, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful in DC by The Hill.

Still not convinced that the media is out to get Gov. Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens? Then why is this a story that includes mention of subpoenas when the AG has shown pretty conclusively that it had no connection?

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kelly Amanda Lee wants Secretary of State Brian Kemp to make a decision already on the Macon-Bibb border dispute – Macon Telegraph.

A Fulton County judge has moved to limit the remaining options for settling the disputed border between Bibb and Monroe counties, but Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Macon-Bibb County plan to appeal.

Superior Court Judge Kelly Lee has ruled that Kemp can’t accept more evidence, from a surveyor or from the counties, before making a decision.

“I very much disagree with the latest ruling issued regarding the Monroe-Bibb county line dispute,” Kemp said Wednesday via email through spokesman Jared Thomas. “It is very important that the Secretary of State be able to examine all evidence and speak with all relevant parties in order to reach the proper decision, and this ruling makes that more difficult. I am working with our legal counsel to determine the best option going forward to achieve a fair and just result for the citizens of Monroe and Bibb counties.”

Irony Department – Part One

That time the federal Environmental Protection Agency came to Atlanta to talk about fighting global warming and this happened:

Atlanta Weather Irony Department

Common Core Committee Convened

A state legislative committee has convened to discuss Common Core and the role of the federal government in education – Savannah Morning News.

With armed officers outside the door and a packed audience of representatives of education organizations and tea party groups, the committee spent most of its first meeting hearing about federal funding through grants and entitlement programs and about the evolution of the Common Core. State Superintendent of Schools John Barge explained that while individual schools may get less than 10 percent of their funding from the federal government, about 60 percent of the state Department of Education’s budget depends on money from Washington.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for July 31, 2014

Gwinnett County Animal Shelter is full to the rafters and may have to start euthanizing just to have space for more intakes. All the following dogs are urgent. Any dog adopted or fostered out today helps save a life by freeing up space for another.

Adoption fees this month and in August are $30 for a dog or $20 for a cat and include spay/neuter, vaccinations, and microchipping.

Don’t adopt a dog or cat just because it’s cheap, but if you’re thinking about adopting, why not make it today?

Gwinnett 40921

40921 is a young adult female Yellow Lab mix.

Gwinnett 40631

40631 is a young adult male Yellow Lab mix.

Gwinnett 40884

40884 is an adult male Black Lab or Lab mix. Sometimes black dogs show gray around the muzzle when they’re middle-age. He’s friendly and needs a new home.

Gwinnett 40488

40488 is a young male Yellow Lab mix.


40833 is an adult female Dachshund.

Rescue 2v2

Ed is a senior Yellow Lab who was found running stray in Dunwoody. Some nice folks took him to the vet, where he needs surgery and some inexpensive skin treatment. His medical bills are expected to run about $1000 and Ed lost his wallet.

He will be at Dunwoody Animal Medical Center until a foster is located and currently a neighbor and myself are incurring the costs. If anyone is able to help provide funds so that he may go ahead and have the surgery to remove the wart and be neutered, please call Dunwoody Animal Medical Center directly to donate (770-698-9227). If anyone is interested in fostering or adopting, please provide my email or Erica at [email protected].

First, if you’re inclined to donate toward Ed’s care, call Dunwoody Animal Medical Center directly to donate (770-698-9227) to make a credit card donation by phone or drop a check by or mail a check to Dunwoody Animal Medical Center, 2458 Jett Ferry Rd, Dunwoody, GA 30338. Put “For stray senior dog” in the memo line and I’ll touch base with them to make sure the money is applied correctly.

Second, consider fostering or adopting him, then you can name him whatever you want. Senior dogs are great because they’re usually calm, but playful and affectionate. You may not have as long with him as you would a puppy, but you’ll treasure every moment.

Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie is seeking donations to help the county obtain two new canine officers.

With a tight budget, Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie is asking the public to donate $35,000 to purchase, train and equip two new dogs.

“The benefits of a K-9 unit to our community vary from searching for missing persons, public relations, educating our children, arrest, searching for drugs and officer safety and protection,” McDuffie said in a letter asking for help.

Sheriff’s spokesman David Ehsanipoor said McDuffie knows funding from property taxes is tight so he didn’t ask the county for the money for the dogs.

Donations for the dogs for the Sheriff’s Office can be made to the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit at P.O. Box 1015, Springfield, Ga. 31329.

Or cash can be brought in person to the Sheriff’s Office, which temporarily is housed in the old tag office on Ga. 119, or to the new jail on Ga. 21. Donors will be given a receipt and a tax ID number so they can deduct the donations on their taxes.

Vox Populi Polling: Perdue Rising

Georgia Poll: Perdue Rising

Post-Primary Results Show Perdue in Command of U.S. Senate Race

Alexandria, VA – Vox Populi Polling released a new survey today that found Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue holds a commanding 49 to 40 percent lead over his Democrat opponent Michelle Nunn, with 10 percent undecided. These results come in the midst of the accidental leak of an internal Nunn strategy memo, which will likely be used against her in television and radio ads. (more…)

Irony Department: EPA Holds First Of Two Hearings In Atlanta On Proposed Carbon Rule | WABE 90.1 FM

That time you held a public hearing about carbon rules to slow global warming in Atlanta in the summer and this happened:

Atlanta Weather Irony Department

Hundreds of advocates from across the Southeast descended on Atlanta Tuesday. They came for the first of two hearings on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to dramatically cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.

Multiple rallies and marches were held near the Omni Hotel in downtown Atlanta where the hearing took place. The day took on a convention-like feel, with stakeholders from all sides of the debate ready to make their case.

A food truck rented by the Climate Reality Project, a group founded by Al Gore, set up outside the hotel along Centennial Olympic Park and served free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream while advertising the proposal’s benefits.

“We’re seeing hotter summers and more extreme weather so we thought with the hot summer we wanted to offer people a cool treat to cool down,” said Tammy Hui.

via EPA Holds First Of Two Hearings In Atlanta On Proposed Carbon Rule | WABE 90.1 FM.

Irony Department: Michelle Nunn team launches pushback on ‘old news’ memo | Political Insider blog

That time the strategic memo laid out exactly how you would respond to the leaking of that strategic memo.

From the report in question, page 12:

“All surrogates will be provided with appropriate talking points, background materials and information concerning the event.”

Page 38:

“Of special concern is clergy….”

Page 57:

“We will identify key leaders in the community – validators — outside the campaign who can be deployed in the event we come under criticism. Ideally, these individuals would be quoted by name in the press and be willing to contact members of the press in concert with our message.”

From the AJC Political Insider:

A flurry of calls from Michelle Nunn’s supporters came a day after the 144-page series of memos outlining her campaign strategy was exposed, and they used phrases like “routine” and “old news” and “a lot about nothing.”

Some spoke on record and other spoke on background. But all calls were arranged by the Democrat’s campaign as an effort to push back on further stories about the leak.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC’s Political Insider BlogOne caller was the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the leader of Ebenezer Baptist Church and one of Nunn’s most prominent black supporters. He said he wasn’t surprised that “people are trying to make hay out of it.”

“But the notion that somebody who is trying to run for the Senate actually has a plan to run for the Senate is not interesting or news to me. It’s not news – and it’s old news at best.”

Of course, this isn’t just any memo. It lays out Nunn’s campaign strategy, as of December at least, in clinical terms – certainly not the type of details you’d expect to see in the heat of a campaign.

via Michelle Nunn team launches pushback on ‘old news’ memo | Political Insider blog.

Cherokee Tribune – Ethics committee again dismisses Cummins complaint

CANTON — The Canton Ethics Committee met again Wednesday to review a citizen’s complaint against present city manager and former Council member Glen Cummins. Mayor Gene Hobgood asked the committee to meet again after the initial meeting was not properly advertised.

The committee, which is made up of City Attorney Bobby Dyer and Council members Sandy McGrew and Jack Goodwin, dismissed the complaint unanimously, saying it was “moot” at the July 15 meeting made known to the public and media about an hour before it began.

On Wednesday, McGrew changed her decision and asked the complaint to be moved forward to the Ethics Board, which would have needed to be formed. Dyer said once again that since Cummins resigned from the council, the ethics board would no longer have jurisdiction over him and “the complaint should be dismissed as moot.”

“It would be the same as receiving an ethics complaint against anyone who is not on the council,” Dyer said. “And asking the ethics committee for an advisory opinion, which it has no authority to give.”

via Cherokee Tribune – Ethics committee again dismisses Cummins complaint.

Cherokee Tribune – BoE adopts $530 million budget, swears in interim member

The Cherokee County Board of Education unanimously approved the district’s $530 million budget Wednesday for the 2014-15 fiscal year, after swearing in an interim District 1 school board member.

Kyla Cromer was sworn in as an interim school board member by Cherokee County Probate Court Judge Keith Wood, before the Board of Education meeting began Wednesday. Cromer replaced former member Kelly Trim, who resigned following a felony conviction in April.

One of Cromer’s first actions as a school board member was to vote with other board members in favor of the district’s new budget, which passed with a unanimous vote.

Although the school district’s millage rate fell slightly from 19.84 to 19.45 mills, the lowest rate since 2009, the rise in property values in the county would mean an increase in tax revenue for the district.

The school board’s adopted budget calls for a 6.89 percent increase in taxes. For a home with a fair market value of $150,000, the increase would mean an extra $70 in taxes, documents show.

via Cherokee Tribune – BoE adopts.

Why the best data in the world won’t win you an election | Campaigns & Elections

Nowadays we talk about data as a solution to the problem of winning elections. It isn’t. Data is an object, not a technology, and objects by themselves do not solve complex problems. Technology does.

What do you think would happen if Tiger Woods gave me his personal set of custom golf clubs to try to qualify for the U.S. Open? I wouldn’t even come close.

What if I tried to qualify for the tournament with a 30-year-old set of clubs that was just run over in the parking lot? It would be the same exact result. No matter the caliber, golf clubs are still just objects. The golfer, though, isn’t.

The best data in the world won’t win you any elections just sitting on a hard drive, the same way that Tiger Woods’ golf clubs won’t help me win the U.S. Open. Thinking data is a perfect tool is a common misconception in the campaign world. Moreover, big data can in fact put a smaller campaign on a fast track to diminishing returns.

At a certain level, data can just become noise. From what we’ve seen, the available volume of cheap data impacts smaller campaigns in a few different ways. When these campaigns get their hands on it, they believe they have an advantage because they feel their opponent may not have the same data. Based on this perceived advantage, they’ll spend lots of time building strategy around it, often too much time.

Learning that there are seven non-primary voters in Omaha’s 7th Congressional District who read Field and Stream is not going to help a candidate get elected. If you have the resources to execute a programmatic microtargeting strategy at this level,  then reaching out to those voters might just make sense. If you’re the other 99.9 percent of campaigns out there, it doesn’t.

via Why the best data in the world won’t win you an election | Campaigns & Elections.