Cooking the Georgia results of a 'fast-track' trade poll

A pro-trade group called the "Main Street Growth and Opportunity Coalition" put out a Wednesday poll, claiming it captures Georgia's view of Trade Promotion Authority, the legislation that would "fast-track" the Obama administration's ability to seal a Pacific Rim trade deal.

“The Senate recently voted to approve TPA, and this poll shows that residents of the state want the Georgia congressional delegation to vote for the bill also,” said Cory Brown, Cygnal’s Vice President of Data & Strategy, “There is deep support for the trade bill among Republicans and Democrats here, because good trade policy transcends party lines.”

The poll finds support for TPA, sure. But let's take a look at how they asked the question, shall we?

"Q 4: Do you believe Congress should renew Trade Promotion Authority if it would help create Georgia jobs and support the U.S. economy?"

A full 59.7 percent of Georgians say yes, they like employment. Strangely, 24.5 percent don't like creating Georgia jobs. But wait til you see how much they like exports:

"Q 5: Do you support the Trade Promotion Authority legislation that could potentially increase trade exports and create more Georgia jobs?"

This question gets a "yes" from 76 percent of respondents. Only 15 percent said they opposed creating more jobs.

So that settles it: Georgians like bills when you tell them they create jobs. You're welcome, politicians.

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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced a second bid for the White House on Thursday, joining a crowded GOP field that is about to become even more so. The Associated Press reports that Jeb Bush has settled on June 15 as the day for his announcement:

The former Florida governor, widely expected to run for the Republican nomination, wrote "coming soon" on Twitter with a link to the website jebannouncement.com. On that page, the date 06.15.15 was listed, followed by the tease, "BE THE FIRST TO KNOW. RSVP NOW!" Bush also tweeted it in Spanish, "Próximamente 6.15.15.

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We told you Wednesday about the Alabama Senate moving to rename Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge the "Journey to Freedom Bridge," in light of Pettus' history as a Ku Klux Klan leader.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta -- who led the "Bloody Sunday" march and remains the living face of the voting rights campaign there -- did not take a side on the bill in a statement he sent us last night. He's leaving the decision to Alabamans.

Said Lewis, via a spokeswoman:

“I understand why the people of Alabama might want to change the name of the bridge. To me, the Edmund Pettus name represents the truth of the American story. You can change the name of the bridge but you cannot change the facts of history. As Americans, we need to learn the unvarnished truth about what happened in Selma during the struggle for voting rights and put all the facts on the table. That is the top priority, whether the name is changed or not. In the end, however, this is not my decision.  It is a decision the people of Alabama must make. I accept whatever they decide.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post took a fascinating look at the process of writing President Barack Obama's speech at the Pettus Bridge in March, and how Obama developed his notion of "American exceptionalism." From Greg Jaffe's story:

The criticism reflects, in part, Obama’s effort in the seventh year of his presidency to articulate a new and radical form of American exceptionalism. While American exceptionalism in recent decades has centered around the exercise of American power and influence in the world, Obama’s conception is more inwardly focused. It’s a patriotism that embraces the darker moments in American history and celebrates the ability of the unsung and the outsiders to challenge the country’s elite and force change.

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More than 412,000 Georgians who receive federal tax subsidies to cover their health insurance coverage costs could lose those benefits if the Supreme Court strikes down the credits this month.

That's according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation that also found more than $110 million in monthly tax credit funds for Georgians would be at risk. Other studies have pegged the number of Georgians who could be at risk by the ruling at 430,000.

The case, King v. Burwell, will decide whether tax credits should be given to people in states where the federal government — not the state — runs the online marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act. Some states may adjust to a ruling against the government by creating their own state-run marketplaces, but Georgia passed a law last year forbidding the creation of an exchange and Gov. Nathan Deal has ruled out the option.

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If you're a close follower of Twitter, you may vaguely remember the frenetic tweets in December claiming two different crises in Atlanta: A deadly Ebola outbreak and a shocking police-involved shooting death.

Both were hoaxes and largely forgotten within days. But New York Times reporter Adrian Chen thought they resembled an earlier cascade of false tweets and phony videos purporting an explosion at a Louisiana chemical plant.

From his piece in this weekend's Times Magazine:

Who was behind all of this? When I stumbled on it last fall, I had an idea. I was already investigating a shadowy organization in St. Petersburg, Russia, that spreads false information on the Internet. It has gone by a few names, but I will refer to it by its best known: the Internet Research Agency. The agency had become known for employing hundreds of Russians to post pro-Kremlin propaganda online under fake identities, including on Twitter, in order to create the illusion of a massive army of supporters; it has often been called a “troll farm.” The more I investigated this group, the more links I discovered between it and the hoaxes. In April, I went to St. Petersburg to learn more about the agency and its brand of information warfare, which it has aggressively deployed against political opponents at home, Russia’s perceived enemies abroad and, more recently, me.

His journey was eye-opening - and worth your time.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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