News post, cut for length to avoid a fight later with whiny "This post is too long, please put this behind a cut... Waaa, waaa, my pussy hurts, waaa!!" type people. Georgia Senate pulls a DeLay They're doing that wacky mid-decade redistricting.Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution [Link]
Extending a national trend to Georgia, Senate Republicans on Monday approved a revised political map that dramatically reshapes the state's congressional districts -- and could enhance the GOP's chances on election day. Georgia high school to allow gay clubSource: Atlanta Journal-Constitution [Link]
The new map was approved by the Republican-led Senate, 32-21, having previously passed the GOP House. It's likely to go back before the House today on a largely procedural vote. Then it will head to the governor to be signed into law [...]
The new map brings potential peril for several Democratic incumbents.
It places freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Athens into a newly drawn 10th District with longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood of suburban Augusta. Barrow may choose to run in the now-vacant 12th District to the south.
U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, a Macon Democrat, will have a much different district whose black voting-age population -- a key measure of potential Democratic voting strength -- drops from 38 percent to 30 percent. Former Republican U.S. Rep. Mac Collins has expressed interest in running against Marshall.
Meanwhile, west Georgia's 11th District becomes safer for Republican U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey. The black voting-age population drops from 26 percent to 11 percent.
CLEVELAND, Ga. — A high school in northeast Georgia apparently will allow a club for gay students and supportive classmates.G.O.P. Right Is Splintered on Schiavo InterventionSource: New York Times [Link]Bush Role in Schiavo Case Bothers 'Right'Source: Yahoo! News [Link]
The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia released a statement Tuesday saying negotiations led to an agreement in which school officials will "drop their attempts to stop" the group.
The group called Peers Rising in Diversity Education — or PRIDE — has submitted bylaws. White County School Superintendent Paul Shaw says the group is "working toward becoming a recognized club." He maintains the administration never denied the group's right to form.
Controversy has dogged the county since some students asked in January to form what then was called the Gay-Straight Alliance. National organizations weighed in. About 250 people attended a White County Board of Education meeting Feb. 24.
The board delayed a decision on recognizing the club.
Club secretary Charlotte Hammerson says the group — which had six members as of early this month — praised the school's decision. But the 16-year-old students says she feels uneasy about the club's future in a conservative county.
Not all conservatives are happy with the decision by Congress and President Bush to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. Some leaders said Tuesday the new law allowing a federal court review of the case is an example of the big government they have always opposed.In Texas, Critics Question Bush's 'Life' CultureSource: Yahoo! News [Link]
"To simply say that the 'culture of life,' or whatever you call it means that we don't have to pay attention to the principles of federalism or separation of powers is certainly not a conservative viewpoint," said former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga.
"This is a clash between the social conservatives and the process conservatives, and I would count myself a process conservative," said David Davenport of the Hoover Institute, a conservative research organization. "When a case like this has been heard by 19 judges in six courts and it's been appealed to the Supreme Court three times, the process has worked - even if it hasn't given the result that the social conservatives want. For Congress to step in really is a violation of federalism."
Stephen Moore, a conservative advocate who is president of the Free Enterprise Fund, said: "I don't normally like to see the federal government intervening in a situation like this, which I think should be resolved ultimately by the family: I think states' rights should take precedence over federal intervention. A lot of conservatives are really struggling with this case."
Some more moderate Republicans are also uneasy. Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, the sole Republican to oppose the Schiavo bill in a voice vote in the Senate, said: "This senator has learned from many years you've got to separate your own emotions from the duty to support the Constitution of this country. These are fundamental principles of federalism."
"It looks as if it's a wholly Republican exercise," Mr. Warner said, "but in the ranks of the Republican Party, there is not a unanimous view that Congress should be taking this step."
President Bush's intervention for Terry Schiavo has opened old wounds in Texas where death penalty opponents say his words of support for a "culture of life" ring hollow after so many executions during his time as governor of the state.Republicans Respond to Evangelicals on SchiavoSource: Reuters [Link]
Bush said he stepped into the Schiavo case because the United States should have "a presumption in favor of life," but there were 152 executions in Texas during his administration, including some in which the convict's guilt was in doubt, critics said.
"It's hypocrisy at a thousand levels," said University of Houston law professor and death penalty defense attorney David Dow.
"I saw many, many cases where there was substantial doubt about whether someone was guilty or whether the death penalty was the appropriate sentence, but he never said anything," said David Atwood, head of the Texas Coalition Against the Death Penalty. "I really can't say he cares about life."
Christian evangelicals, a key component in President Bush's Republican Party, believe the case of brain-damaged Florida woman Terri Schiavo may help inject new life into their long campaign against abortion.DeLay at center of political stormSource: CNN [Link]
"The right-to-life issue has been with us for over 30 years but never has it dominated the news headlines day after day as it is doing now," said Louis Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition.
"This case has generated a kind of inspirational activism. It is giving revival and renewal to millions of people who feel strongly about the culture of life and the protection of life," he said.
Republican leaders and President Bush had little choice other than to respond to Christian evangelical demands on the Schiavo case or risk alienating a crucial part of their political base, political analysts said.
"Bush and the Republicans can't do all that much on many of the things the religious right cares about. They can't end abortion rights and they can only ban gay marriage so many times," said American University political scientist David Lublin, who has studied the evangelical community.
"Here's a way they can tell their supporters, 'Look, we're acting on your agenda,"' Lublin said.
Tom DeLay, who has wielded political power with uncommon efficiency, looks into the mirror and sees a victim of politics.Someone PLEASE maim Jeff GannonYou are without question the BIGGEST moronic attention whore [insert pun here] to ever lie your way into a no-win situation. You are the living embodiment of what I hate most about avowed Republicans, especially Republican faggots. Please to be dying, Jeff Gannon.Source: Interview, New York Times [Link]
Others are less charitable.
With allegations of questionable ethics swirling around him, the House majority leader finds himself a target of a great Washington sport: tearing down the titans.
In Washington, though, there's always an alternative spin. DeLay is no victim, his detractors say, but the latest in string of leaders who climbed to the top and arrogantly abused the power that awaited them.
Either way, the man known as the Hammer is taking a pounding.
His troubles began last fall, when three political fund-raisers with ties to him were indicted in his home state of Texas. Then the House ethics committee admonished him, not once but three times. Since then, questions have been raised about whether he knew about the dubious sources of money behind trips he took to Britain and South Korea.
He blames politics.
Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON
Published: March 20, 2005
Should I call you Jim Guckert or Jeff Gannon?
My Amex card still comes in the name of James Guckert, but I want to be called Jeff Gannon. That is who I am.
Or rather it is the pseudonym under which you gained access to White House press briefings for two years, until your identity was revealed. Why do you think they let you in?
I don't know the answer to that. I don't know the criteria they use. I asked to be let in, and they allowed me to come. I was very fond of all the people in the press office. They treated me well. They probably treated me better than I deserved.
Are you suggesting that Bobby Eberle, the Republican operative who hired you to shill for his Gopusa under the guise of his Talon News service, has special access at the White House?
I just don't know the answer to that question.
Scott McClellan, the press secretary to President Bush, called on you and allowed you to ask questions on a nearly daily basis. What, exactly, is your relationship with him?
I was just another guy in the press room. Did I try to curry favor with him? Sure. When he got married, I left a wedding card for him in the press office. People are saying this proves there is some link. But as Einstein said, "Sometimes a wedding card is just a wedding card.''
You mean like "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar''? That wasn't Einstein. That was Freud.
Oh, Freud. O.K. I got my old Jewish men confused.
You should learn the difference between them if you want to work in journalism.
I'd like to get back into journalism. I'm hoping someone will offer me a job as a commentator or one of those political analysts that you see on the news shows all the time.
What are we supposed to make of the fact that before reporting for Talon News, you had never had a job in journalism and apparently earned your living running a gay escort service?
Don't let that confuse the issue. We have driven so many good people from public service through the politics of personal destruction. People on the left who disagreed with me decided that I needed to be punished by any means necessary.
How did you get your job at Talon News?
I had submitted some opinion pieces to Gopusa. I believe they were picking up wire feeds, and Bobby Eberle wanted to supplement that with original reporting. He came to Washington for some business, and he called me. It was a breakfast meeting.
Were you paid for your pieces?
Yes. I received a kind of stipend.
I assume Eberle fired you after you asked that now-famous question of President Bush at a press conference in January, suggesting that Democrats had "divorced themselves from reality.''
I wasn't fired. I resigned. I made the decision by myself after I learned that my family had received threatening phone calls. I decided this is what had to be done to try to make that stop.
What do you mean by your family?
My mother. She is 72. I am a big boy. I can take this. But it's so hard on my mother. She has to reconcile all of these things, and it's difficult.
Do you find it hard to be a gay conservative in this country in light of the right-wing hostility to gay rights?
I prefer that to be a private issue. I am more interested in national defense, taxation and immigration than in personal issues. I would like people's personal lives to be behind the barrier once again, like they used to be.
Still, it seems fair to ask about your position on gay marriage.
My position is that I can't imagine that gay marriage would be something that I would be interested in in the first place. I actually like being alone. I have decided that is how I want to live. I have a dog named Winston. I am still the same to Winston, no matter what, and there is comfort in that. Winston doesn't watch the news.
But for those of us who do watch the news, are you interested in defending one's right to pose in the buff, as photographs on the Internet indicate you have done?
We do have tremendous freedoms in this country, and one of the drawbacks of that is that people are free to take images of me and manipulate them however they want. At some point in the future, everyone is going to have a picture on the Internet that they are unhappy about.
Fuck off, you unimaginable bastard. Then again, you're doing your own part by ensuring they will have nothing to do with you, no matter how much you're licking their collective spleens through the giant GOP anus.U.S. Consumer Prices Jump, Spark Inflation WorrySource: Reuters [Link]
A big jump in energy costs pushed U.S. consumer prices up 0.4 percent in February and the pace of underlying inflation also quickened, the government said on Wednesday in a report that stoked inflation worries.
The Labor Department said the core consumer price index, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.3 percent. It was the biggest rise since September and broke a string of four straight gains of 0.2 percent.