Tom Baxter has written about politics and the South for more than four decades. He was national editor and chief political correspondent at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and later edited The Southern Political Report, an online publication, for four years. Tom was the consultant for the 2008 election night coverage sponsored jointly by Current TV, Digg and Twitter, and a 2011 fellow at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. He has written about the impact of Georgia’s and Alabama's immigration laws in reports for the Center for American Progress. Tom and his wife, Lili, have three adult children and seven grandchildren.
“Our country is full,” President Trump said last week, prompting a spirited response from demographers who warn that much of America is instead hollowing out, losing working-age residents at a particularly alarming rate. But from different perspectives, the same place can look full or empty.
As she ponders which of a buffet line of races to jump into next, Abrams has been making the national media circuit, the hottest name on the bill at progressive conferences and a guest on talks shows, morning and night. Events promoting the reissue of her book, “Lead From the Outside,” are sold out around the country. It’d be nice if it could last forever, but sooner or later the current Democratic star has to make up her mind.
In little more than a year, electric scooters have made a mark on America’s urban landscape. Just as impressive, in its way, is the speed with which this freebooting young industry has taken on the governmental trappings of more established businesses, complete with lobbyists and competing legislation.
Earlier this month Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced, in so many words, that his company is moving on from Facebook. Given the outsized importance Facebook and other social media have assumed in our public life, that news has not received as much attention as it deserves.
Crossover Day, the last day for a bill to pass one chamber of the General Assembly in order to be considered for final passage that year, always comes with a dollop of drama. More than in most years, this one seems to have marked a real passage.
When I worked as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal back the mid-‘70s, I would rise before dawn to catch a MARTA bus at the corner of North Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard, along with a crowd of commuters who drove every day from Lilburn and Lawrenceville, parked in the North DeKalb Mall lot and made the second leg of their commute by public transit. I recall those days to make the point that however the referendum turns out March 19, commuters from Gwinnett County have been riding MARTA for a long time, and over the years, forking over a share of the sales taxes that support it at Atlanta lunch counters and stores.
Even when it seems the border wall, the Mueller probe and the Korean summit have overshadowed the healthcare debate, it remains a constant, driving force in American politics. The battle rages on, in venues outside Washington.
The media is seldom so circumspect as when it covers itself. Thus it was that the biggest Atlanta media story in many a year landed Saturday morning in a modest one-column hole on Page A10 of the Journal-Constitution.
U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall’s announcement last week that he won’t run again for the 7th Congressional District seat which he won by a hair in the last election doesn’t guarantee that this former Republican stronghold will swing to the Democrats in 2020. But it does bring to a close an era of Republican history.
We live in an age when people want to play the same old games, but they can’t agree on the same set of rules. It’s a world where blurred boundaries and shifting alliances make it hard to tell at times who’s won or lost, instead producing dual, asymmetrical victors. Pepsi and Coke, Brian and Stacey, Donald and Nancy, Maroon 5 and Big Boi, AOL and Mitch: winners all, depending who you ask.
Over little more than two years, the wrong contestant has been announced as the winner of the Miss Universe Pageant, the Oscar for best picture has been awarded to the wrong movie, and a missed call so egregious it has prompted a lawsuit has played a key role in deciding who’s in Atlanta for the Super Bowl this week. Things like this just didn’t happen back in the good old days, but that isn’t because there haven’t always been foul-ups of similar magnitude.
The shutdown, which entered its 31st day Monday, overshadows every other news story in the United States right now. As the decades roll on, however, this month will be much more likely to be remembered for a spectacular scientific and technical milestone: the landing, on the far side of the moon, of a lunar lander and rover named after a Chinese moon goddess and her pet rabbit.
The Georgia governors of another day would have been confounded if told that in the future, people would watch an inauguration speech on their phones. The technology would puzzle them, of course, but also the idea that many people would be interested enough to do such a thing. Streaming has become commonplace, however, and after the closest and most divisive governor’s race of modern times, Brian Kemp’s first speech as governor Monday at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion was watched more closely than most.
If and when the government’s 25-percent shutdown reaches a pain level high enough to spur real action to end it, Georgia, starting at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and radiating outward, will be one of the states feeling it most.
Candidates still are making the trek to Iowa and New Hampshire to make their presidential intentions known. But early voting and a supercharged calendar with California and Texas near the front will change the presidential primaries in 2020.
As much as any court statement filed or House Democratic Caucus press release, Nick Ayers’ departure from Washington is a sign of darkening prospects for the Trump administration. When the president can no longer attract raw ambition, he loses the reality show dynamic of “The Apprentice” which has worked so well for him. You can’t say “you’re fired” if nobody wants to be hired.
After all the talk of voter fraud and ballot integrity before this election, the race for the last seat in Congress has indeed come down to charges of election tampering. The figures at the center of of this controversy are not shadowy illegals, but a Baptist preacher and the vice-chair of the Bladen County, N.C., Soil and Water Conservation District board.
The market’s having a lousy year, but politically, the nation seems not to have noticed. Opinions about the economy, always subject to political leanings, seem increasingly less tethered to objective data.