The Jolt: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s visit to Orthodox Jewish New York neighborhood

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 5, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 5, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s pre-Passover tour of an Orthodox neighborhood in New York brings new meaning to the Jewish holiday’s signature question: “Why is this night different from all other nights?”

The far-right Georgia Republican, who has a history of anti-Semitic statements and once embraced a demented conspiracy involving Jewish space lasers, toured Orthodox areas of Brooklyn and Long Island, the Forward reported.

Nachman Mostofsky of an Orthodox Republican group called Chovevei Zion told the Forward that Greene visited a Brooklyn yeshiva, matzah bakery, kosher supermarket and restaurant, and also some Orthodox areas of nearby suburbs.

Mostofsky declined to give more details about the visit besides calling it part of an educational tour, but you can find a picture of Greene at a kosher pizzeria right here.

The Forward noted that Mostofsky is the older brother of Aaron Mostofsky, who is facing federal charges for his role in the January 6 riots on the Capitol.

Along with visiting the New York borough that is home to thousands of immigrants, the Rome Republican has introduced a proposal to institute a four-year moratorium on all immigration to the United States, including a proposal to complete the construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and name it after Donald Trump.

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Chief Justice Harold D. Melton’s State of the Judiciary address Tuesday morning will be his last, since he announced his retirement from the bench earlier this year.

He has said the prospect of paying for three children to attend college at the same time next year has been an important factor in his decision to close out his 30 years in government service.

Melton recently lifted the statewide ban on jury trials. He instituted the emergency measure just over a year as a precaution against possible COVID-19 infections between jurors, lawyers and others in courtrooms, but it has led to a lengthy backlog in trials.

Melton’s latest order gives local jurisdictions the discretion to resume jury trials as local conditions allow.

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Under the Gold Dome (Legislative Day 33):

  • 7:30 am: House and Senate committee meetings begin;
  • 10:00 am: The House gavels in;
  • 10:00 am: The Senate convenes;
  • 11:00 am: The State of the Judiciary address from Georgia Chief Justice Harold D. Melton

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POSTED: Democrats in Georgia’s U.S. House delegation are embracing the return of earmarks, the congressionally directed spending that once gave members of Congress the power to bring federal funds back to their states and districts.

Earmarks were long an important tool for party leaders to win support for legislation, but pay-for-play scandals and wasteful spending led both Republican House Speaker John Boehner and former President Barack Obama to ban the practice in 2011.

Several of Georgia’s GOP members said they oppose the return of earmarks and cited concern about the national debt. Although it’s worth noting they didn’t have much to say on the topic during former President Donald Trump’s four years, when the national debt jumped by $7.8 trillion.

There is one exception: U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, who was noncommittal when we asked him whether he’ll request earmarks in the future. The Pooler Republican’s office told us he is waiting to learn more about the new process.

Carter’s district includes the Savannah harbor, where a $1 billion deepening project has benefitted from earmarks in the past. In recent years, as delegation members worked around the moratorium to ensure federal dollars continued to flow to the project, Carter mused whether it would just be better to bring earmarks back.

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Earlier this morning, we brought you word that former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is under serious consideration to be the next chancellor of the University System of Georgia.

Let’s speculate, then, about the political implications of the possibility that he gets the coveted job overseeing Georgia’s public colleges and universities.

The Board of Regents technically appoints the powerful position, but it’s hard to imagine a chancellor being appointed without Gov. Brian Kemp’s blessing.

First, the appointment could strengthen ties between Kemp and the powerful Perdue network — and presumably help assure Team Perdue doesn’t sanction a Republican primary rival to the governor next year.

Secondly, it would make it exceedingly more difficult for Democrats to push more liberal policies in the higher education realm in the short-term if Stacey Abrams or another Kemp opponent is elected governor in 2022.

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“I would (predict) that it’s going to go.”

That’s what Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan told 11Alive about a provision in his controversial Senate measure that would eliminate no-excuse absentee voting.

Dugan told the station that opposition from House Speaker David Ralston, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and other Republicans would likely kill efforts to severely limit who can cast ballots by mail.

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U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams inherited a revered legacy when she was sworn in to succeed the late Rep. John Lewis in the 5th Congressional District.

Williams invoked Lewis in an op-ed for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she speaks out against Sen. Mike Dugan’s bill and other controversial elections legislation moving through the state House and Senate.

Williams, along with Marissa McBride, of the Voter Participation Center and Center for Voter Information, hits out at her former colleagues in the state legislature:

“Rather than work for your vote, some Georgia state lawmakers are seeking to make participating in democracy even more difficult, including by diminishing the usage of ballot drop boxes, increasing photo ID requirements, limiting Sunday voting, reducing early voting periods and ending no-excuse absentee voting.

“This web of restrictions is designed to silence the voices of people in Georgia – especially Black, Brown and young voters – who sent history-makers to the Senate and the White House.”

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Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, a longtime Republican strategist, announced plans Monday to run for a third term as the suburban city’s leader.

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Our AJC colleagues continue to dig into the details of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package and its potential impact on Georgians. A few of the latest articles:

  • The cash payments and new child-tax credits for lower-income families could dramatically reduce Georgia’s child poverty rate, Michael E. Kannell reports.
  • Education policy reporter Ty Tagami reported on the money coming to Georgia schools: $4.25 billion for K-12, $1.6 billion for early childhood education and at least $1 billion for higher education.
  • Municipalities across Metro Atlanta are already deciding how they will dole out billions of dollars in rental assistance, J.D. Capelouto reports.

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The South Georgia city of Valdosta could lose its “metro” status under a possible federal rule change, the Valdosta Daily Times reports.

The change under consideration would raise the population of a metro area from 50,000, which includes Valdosta, to 100,000, which does not. It’s not exactly clear how a change in designation would affect the city. But the Times reports local hospitals in other small metro areas have raised concerns about losing grant funds.

Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., signed onto a letter to the Office of Management and Budget opposing the proposed change.

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Charlie Hayslett over at Trouble in God’s Country looks at the political and regional dynamics at play in both the government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the outcomes in states led by Democrats vs. Republicans.

Hayslett contrasts North Carolina and Georgia, as well as West Coast states and states in the Old South, with important conclusions.

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