The Jolt: Re-electing Donald Trump will keep Christians at ‘the top of our political system,’ says Ralph Reed

Religion appears to be the driving topic for the morning.

Last week, Evangelicals for Trump, an all-important arm of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, held a rally in Alpharetta. Paula White, the television preacher who is now Trump’s adviser on religious affairs, was the keynote speaker.

Among those who preceded White was Ralph Reed, the long-time link between white conservative evangelicals and the GOP. Reed emphasized the judicial appointments that would come Trump's way in another four years. From the C-SPAN video:

“For better or for worse, every issue that you and I care about, every value that beats in the heart and gives meaning to your soul, is ultimately decided by those courts. And whoever is elected president is going to appoint at least two and maybe three more Supreme Court justices."

But it was Reed’s closing thought that is raising eyebrows:

“We've got a big job to do in the next 100 days. Let's go out and do it, and not just to reelect [Trump], but to glorify God and make sure that Christians are the head and not the tail, and the top and not the bottom of our political system."


Then we had the Monday evening fury over a digital ad put out by the U.S. Senate campaign of incumbent David Perdue, which enlarged the nose of Jon Ossoff, triggering accusations that the Republican was evoking anti-Semitic tropes against his Jewish opponent.

In a statement, Perdue’s aides blamed an “unintentional error” by an outside vendor when a filter was applied. Critics saw something more malicious, noting that Ossoff was featured along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish.


Some related news: Jon Ossoff said via Twitter that his wife Alisha was faring better in her battle against coronavirus and that he had tested negative for the disease.


On Monday evening, a spokesman for Brian Kemp announced that the governor’s attorneys had canceled a request for an emergency court hearing scheduled Tuesday for his lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The action was framed as a reward for the mayor’s good behavior:

Kemp spokesman Cody Hall said late Monday that the governor was heartened by a recent concession from Bottoms, and that the hearing would be nixed to give more time for “productive, good faith negotiations with city officials."

But it also may be true that the governor and his team were pushed in that direction by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jane Barwick -- who ordered the Tuesday hearing delayed to allow for more negotiation. From her Monday order:

The Court previously ordered the parties to this case to attend mediation with the Honorable Cynthia D. Wright. Mediation was conducted on today's date.

The Court hereby orders that the parties and counsel resume mediation on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. under the guidelines previously ordered by this Court. Accordingly, the court will delay the beginning of the hearing previously scheduled for 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on July 28, 2020.

The judge’s order was issued about 9:30 p.m. last night, we’re told.


Already posted: The Democratic presidential campaign of Joe Biden has named his Georgia team. You'll recognize most of the names.


U.S. Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville has launched his first TV attack on incumbent U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler -- on the topic of stock trades she and her husband made as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the U.S. this spring. It’s a small cable buy of roughly $25,000. A Monopoly board is involved.


Democrat Raphael Warnock made a stir Monday when his campaign against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler set aside roughly $2.6 million for a fleet of ads to begin running in August.

“Our campaign outraised all other candidates in this race, and will make sure those resources are used to communicate with voters across the state about Reverend Warnock’s record and commitment to putting Georgians first,” said his spokesman Terrence Clark.


The abbreviated campaign for the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ seat may draw a long list of contenders to fill a seat for just a few weeks. Gov. Brian Kemp set the election for Sept. 29, clearing the way for a Dec. 1 runoff if no one wins outright.

But come January, whoever wins the November race for a full two-year term will take over. That’s likely to be state Sen. Nikema Williams, who won a party vote last week to replace Lewis’ name on the ballot. She faces a longshot Republican in November.

It’s not yet clear whether she’ll also run in the September special election to combat criticism about the speedy process required by state law to appoint Lewis’ replacement. A loss, however, could set her on shaky footing heading into a full term in Congress.

Two other names we have heard who are likely to qualify beginning Wednesday: State Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas and Barrington Martin, who was handily defeated in a primary challenge to Lewis in June.


Vice President Mike Pence and Former Vice President Joe Biden were among the dignitaries who ventured to the U.S. Capitol on Monday to pay their respects to the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

Lewis became the first African-American to lie in state in the Capitol’s Rotunda, his casket resting on the same platform built for Abraham Lincoln’s coffin after his 1865 assassination. After dozens of lawmakers and political officials visited Lewis’ casket in the Rotunda, it was moved outdoors to the East Plaza Steps for a public viewing.

Prior to the ceremony, U.S. House Democrats made good on their promise to introduce a measure to name a new voting rights bill after Lewis. It was approved by unanimous consent.

Also Monday, John Lewis’ alma mater, Fisk University in Nashville, announced it will name its new social justice institute after him.


U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter is being accused of introducing an amendment to a federal transportation bill that critics believe would have sped up review of the spaceport, the Savannah Morning News reports:

It doesn't mention the proposed Spaceport Camden near Woodbine by name, but critics of that effort — which has already cost Camden County taxpayers $8 million — say the amendment seems tailored to solve issues it's encountered.

Those issues are tied to a new environmental review made necessary by the spaceport's decision to shift its focus to smaller rockets.

Attorney Kevin Lang, whose family owns property on nearby Little Cumberland Island, called the amendment an “incredibly sneaky way" to address the issues.


A new poll by Morning Consult of 1,300 likely Georgia voters, has Democrat Joe Biden in a statistical tie with President Donald Trump.

The results indicate that 47% of Georgia respondents said they plan to vote for Biden compared to 45.8% with Trump; 2.7% said they would vote for someone else and 4.4% are undecided. The margin of error is 2.7 percentage points.

Trump won the state in 2016 by five percentage points.


U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler joined Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma for a roundtable discussion Monday with health care leaders about the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. WABE reported that representatives of Atlanta area hospitals said they need more financial assistance from the federal government:

Jonathan Lewin, CEO of Emory Healthcare, said that his system has racked up $15 million in charges for uninsured COVID-19 care that they've only seen “a little bit" of which reimbursed.

“Anything we can get is important because the financial burden, especially in hot spots, has been really tremendous on health care systems and hospitals," he said.

Grady Health System Chief Executive John Haupert said that while hospitals have already received federal relief, they do need more to weather this financially, particularly as numbers have risen. He pointed out that the area's biggest hospitals have seen a more than 300% increase in COVID-19 patients than a month ago.


Back when Ebola was the looming health crisis, Republicans U.S. senators attacked President Barack Obama in a way that now brings attention to their tacit approval of President Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, CNN reports. Analysis of how Georgia Sen. David Perdue handled both crises leads off the article:

In the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections, Republican David Perdue excoriated President Barack Obama over his handling of the Ebola outbreak -- contending that Obama had "failed to lead" and "took a serious threat far too lightly."

...But Perdue has praised Donald Trump, even as the President has repeatedly downplayed the coronavirus, contended it would disappear, called on states to be “liberated" as they were trying to isolate from the virus, was late to embrace mask wearing and has falsely claimed that more testing is the lone reason for more cases.

“It's a totally different situation," Perdue told CNN last week when asked about his criticism of Obama in 2014.