Nathan Deal warns lawmakers to be 'very cautious' about lowering state income tax

Gov. Nathan Deal says he’s worried that the long-held goal of Republican lawmakers to end or shrink the income tax in Georgia could scare bond investors. From Walter Jones and Morris News Service:

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Atlanta producer Will Packer, the brains behind the hit film "Straight Outta Compton," is developing a TV show called “Buckhead” for NBC. According to Deadline:

Written and executive produced by David McMillan, Buckhead is described as a drama about ambition, sex, and revenge set in the extravagant, high-stakes world of Atlanta politics, entertainment, churches and strip clubs.

If he needs any consultants for the project, we have a few ideas for dramatic story-lines.

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Over the weekend, Confederate enthusiast John C. Hall Jr. posted on his encounter with an apparently uncomfortable U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, R-Augusta:

It was then picture time for the entire group so I went to the back of the group with my flag. Previously Congressman Allen had shook my hand. While standing behind I was asked by a member of his staff to move out of the picture. My response was NO....this is a free country. The picture was taken.

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The backlash against the new direction of watchdog group Common Cause landed in the AJC's opinion pages over the weekend, as three former board chairmen accused the nonprofit of losing its way.

The group ousted executive director William Perry earlier this month, shortly after purging itself of some of its conservative members. The three former board leaders - Bob Irvin, Terry Taylor and Lucius Morton - said new president Miles Rapoport "has turned the national organization hard to the left." Here's more from their AJC column:

Common Cause used to focus on campaign finance reform and honest elections. But according to the new Common Cause Mission and Vision Statement, the organization is now “committed to progress in the struggle for social, economic and environmental justice for all.” Today, for example, Common Cause regularly fires salvos on climate change, income “fairness,” gun control, student debt, policing and international trade treaties. Each position uses standard Democratic Party language.

Worse than this, and egged on by local Democratic attorney Emmet Bondurant, a national Common Cause board member, Mr. Rapoport has stripped all state chapters of their independence to do what made us and others successful — to pick our own local agenda within the broad purpose and motto of Common Cause: “Holding power accountable.” He has renamed the state governing boards mere “advisory boards” with no decision-making authority. He insists the state chapters rubber-stamp everything the national organization advocates, whether the local perspective supports it or not.

For example, last October, in the midst of the election campaign, he demanded that Common Cause Georgia parrot the New Georgia Project’s claim that the Republican secretary of state was holding up the processing of up to 80,000 new voter registration forms to suppress Democratic votes. That was despite zero evidence this was happening.

The group answered with a response from Clint Murphy, the former GOP operative tapped to chair the organization earlier this year. He didn't address the criticisms but wrote more broadly about the group's changing mission.  From his piece:

While the government watchdog role that made Common Cause famous is important, changing policies so our democracy can truly reflect our views is critical work. Talking about problems and blaming others is easy. Finding effective solutions and working with both parties to implement them is much harder, but it is what makes Common Cause unique in these politically polarized times.

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High-stakes testing doesn’t get any higher. Moody Air Force Base and the whole of Valdosta, where two squadrons of Warthogs are stationed, will be watching this one. From the Washington Post:

[A]fter months of debate over which aircraft is better suited for [close air support], the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester confirmed on Thursday that his office plans to pit the A-10 against the F-35 in a series of comparison evaluations starting in 2018.

The testing “will reveal how well the F-35 performs and whether there are gaps or improvements in capabilities compared to the A-10,” J. Michael Gilmore, the director of the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation Office, said in an interview with reporters at the Pentagon.

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On a similar topic, Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson is doing a military base fly-around this week, before he returns to Washington for what should be an eventful September debate on whether to keep "sequestration" military cuts in place.

On Thursday, Isakson will visit Robins Air Force Base and Fort Benning. On Friday, he hits Fort Gordon and Dobbins Air Reserve Base.

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U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, is bringing the House's fourth-ranking Republican to town on Tuesday to tour United States Penitentiary in Atlanta. Collins and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., will then have a news conference on criminal justice reform.

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The Dawson Advertiser reports that attorneys for a videographer arrested last year at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm for recording a public GOP rally have filed notice of their intent to sue the farm, organizers, the Dawson County sheriff’s office and several deputies for $550,000:

Nydia Tisdale, 52, was arrested last Aug. 23 and charged with criminal trespass and felony obstruction of an officer after she refused requests to turn off her video camera….

The notice also alleges Tisdale’s video recording, which was held as evidence by the sheriff’s office, was “digitally altered – and critical portions that captured Capt. Wooten’s use of excessive force and Ms. Tisdale’s screams for help had been deleted.”

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The New Yorker's George Packer has a century-old Georgia analogue for both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump: Sen. Tom Watson, who wrote this in 1910:

"The scum of creation has been dumped on us. Some of our principal cities are more foreign than American. The most dangerous and corrupting hordes of the Old World have invaded us. The vice and crime which they have planted in our midst are sickening and terrifying. What brought these Goths and Vandals to our shores? The manufacturers are mainly to blame. They wanted cheap labor: and they didn’t care a curse how much harm to our future might be the consequence of their heartless policy."

Packer continues:

The objects of Watson’s bile were the Italians, Poles, Jews, and other European immigrants then pouring into the United States. A century later, in the populist summer of 2015, some of their great-grandchildren have been cheering Donald Trump as he denounces the latest generation of immigrants, in remarkably similar terms.

American populism has a complicated history, and Watson embodied its paradoxes. He ended his career, as a U.S. senator, whipping up white-Protestant enmity against blacks, Catholics, and Jews; but at the outset, as a leader of the People’s Party in the eighteen-nineties, he urged poor whites and blacks to join together and upend an economic order dominated by “the money power.” Watson wound up as Trump, but he started out closer to Bernie Sanders, and his hostility to the one per cent of the Gilded Age would do Sanders proud. Some of Watson’s early ideas—rural free delivery of mail, for example—eventually came to fruition.

You may recall a statue of Watson was removed from the Georgia Capitol steps in 2013.

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Watch the Throne: Kanye West used the MTV Video Music Awards to announce a presidential run in 2020. Here's West, via The Verge:

"We're gonna teach our kids that they can stand up for themselves. We're gonna teach our kids to believe in themselves. If my grandfather was here right now he would not let me back down. I don't know what I'm finna lose after this, but don't matter though cause it's not about me. It's about ideas bro, new ideas bro. People with ideas. People who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president."

Perhaps this is just a Dark Twisted Fantasy, but we are in the Age of Trump.

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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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