Posted: 5:23 pm Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Without Port of Savannah cash, bipartisanship turns to bi-paranoia 

By Jim Galloway

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, left, and Gov. Nathan Deal speak to reporters after meeting with members of Georgia’s congressional delegation on Capitol Hill to discuss deepening the Port of Savannah in 2011. AJC file

For four years, Republicans and Democrats in Georgia have politely held hands when it came to courting Washington and its money to help pay for the deepening the Port of Savannah.

Our efforts at kumbay’all were written up in international journals. Doctoral theses presented the Great Georgia Peace as an alternative to both Washington gridlock and the United Nations. Rumors abounded of a Savannah baby christened Nathan Kasim Smith.

It all seems so 2013 now.

Twenty-four hours after a White House decision to deny long-promised cash for Georgia’s effort to attract ever-bigger ships, bipartisan peace was swept aside by paranoia.

The state Capitol was beset by Republican fear that the port decision had been delayed until September, so that President Barack Obama could grant the boon with Michelle Nunn, his nominee for U.S. Senate, at his side.

On a morning talk radio show, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah, one of Nunn’s many Republican rivals, agreed with a questioner who suggested that the snub might be payback for Gov. Nathan Deal’s refusal to expand Medicaid as encouraged by the Affordable Care Act.

“I think there are some hardcore politics involved,” said Kingston, who has been a key player in the dredging push.

State Sen. Jason Carter, as he qualified as the Democratic candidate for governor, also drew a dotted line to the Republican incumbent. “You have a governor who has played Washington politics at every opportunity, and tried to put a stick in the eye of the administration,” Carter said. ”That clearly contributed to what happened. Absolutely.”

To which Deal responded with a heavy dose of sarcasm. “Surely to goodness, [Carter] wouldn’t say the head of his own party is stooping to partisan politics,” the governor said.

The White House has quietly pointed to congressional dithering over a water bill as a cause. Which may be the case. For if you believe this to be a premeditated slight, you also have to believe Obama sent Vice President Joe Biden to Georgia on Tuesday to serve as a rumble strip for MARTA buses – instead of raising cash for Sam Nunn’s daughter.

This is the same Joe Biden who said on his last trip to the state that the port funding would occur come “hell or high water.” And the same Joe Biden who, two weeks ago, told U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson that funding was a sure thing.

“That’s why we’re so upset about this,” Chambliss said.

Outright subterfuge would also mean Obama was willing to undercut Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed – whose access to the White House has served as the linchpin of his bipartisan partnership with Georgia’s Republican governor. On Tuesday, Reed just happened to be at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, run by Obama confidante David Axelrod.

Reed, caught flat-footed, on Tuesday issued a statement indicating his continued faith in the Obama administration’s good intentions toward Savannah, and characterizing the absence of federal funding as a temporary setback. But the mayor has said nothing else.

Political campaigns aren’t forensic crime units. They don’t need to solve the mystery of the Port of Savannah’s bad, awful week in order to react.

Our governor has announced a go-it-alone approach that will appeal to tea partyers and (some) business types alike – and will mesh neatly with his efforts to isolate Obamacare in Georgia.

Though she was slow to respond to the port brouhaha – perhaps an attempt to avoid embarrassing Biden as he helped her raise Atlanta cash – Michelle Nunn will use the debacle to put air between herself and Obama when she officially becomes a Senate candidate on Thursday.

“That’s the kind of inefficiency and obstructionism that we need to get rid of in Washington,” Nunn said in a statement issued Wednesday morning. “The president should immediately allow the Corps of Engineers to move forward with the deepening of the port.”

If not, Congress should do it, she said.

If the lack of federal funding for the Port of Savannah poses a political danger, the three Republican members of Congress in the race for U.S. Senate — Kingston, Paul Broun of Athens, and Phil Gingrey of Marietta – may be the most exposed.

The Great Georgia Peace initiative, which has kept Deal and Reed arm-in-arm, has been made necessary by the tea partyers who have gained so much influence within the Republican party.

In the old days, a Congress that didn’t agree with White House priorities simply loaded its own projects into the budget, in a bit of horse-trading.

But Republicans, particularly in the House, have placed such bargaining out of bounds – a self-imposed restriction on their own influence.

“Because, under the House rules, this is an earmark. And so for us to place something in the budget which is not in the budget already – it’s not allowed,” Kingston said in that radio interview.

Kingston and his colleagues will have to explain that, while the expansion of the Port of Savannah may be the most important economic development project in the state, it’s not crucial enough to break faith with the tea party.

111 comments
Carlos_Castillo
Carlos_Castillo

Since deepening of the port is at the center the states economic plans for the next 15 years, the decision by the Obama Administration to subject it to political games says much more about it than intended.


Pretty scuzzy behavior.

Andy123
Andy123

Turn I-16 into a toll road to raise funds.


uh...huh

foudkirk
foudkirk

If Georgia wants to deepen the Savannah harbor they should pay for it themselves. The federal government is broke and will have to borrow the money from China!

notagain
notagain

I suppose any voter could be considered a stepping stone.Either party of the monopoly...

notagain
notagain

Ports or bridges a block is a block.Let's make him a one termer.Make this  number one priority.What do you expect of this great president?Congress controls the purse strings.SC can handle the freight.

Andy123
Andy123

Kasim can afford to spend AT LEAST a few hundred million on a billionaire's new stadium so why can't he help fund the port or Medicaid for his poor black people in ATL?


uh..huh 

honested
honested

I wish I could fast forward 30 years and show the articles celebrating that we DID NOT waste over a billion dollars to destroy the Savannah River estuary and take on the 4 million dollars a year FOREVER to maintain Speece Cones for oxygenation.


If only the c-of-c types would take a moment to look at what is really at stake rather than pretend they will make a profit, this entire sideshow would die in a week.

Eustis
Eustis

"...head of his own party is stooping to partisan politics,” the governor said." 

How would you describe the attempt to prohibit any state entity from using federal money to hire navigators for Obamacare?

Is our state that determined to refuse help for its citizens?

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

If you offer your child $8 billion and he rejects it - you don't plead with him to take a few million.  You send him to school.  If he refuses to learn basic Common Core information and says the Common Core Tests are too hard, you decide he will always be in a low level occupation, maybe even unemployed.  You are disappointed, that you have failed to inspire this child to a higher aspiration, but you do not waste any more money on him.   You move on to the ones in college, medical school, law school, research professorships, etc.  Georgia, are we ready for the big leagues - or are we going to keep playing in the minors? 

honested
honested

@notagain  

Of course.

Boehner and co as well as the 'highly effective' Georgia gop delegation could make this their one signature accomplishment (as I can't find a previous signature accomplishment).

Of course, it might entail obeying Federal law in other aspects of daily life so it is probably out of the question.

honested
honested

@Andy123  

Why spend a penny to benefit nothing but 'perdue trucking'?

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 - what about the Poor White People? Becky and dem two kids are responsible for more than Half of the Foodstamp ,Welfare and Medicaid rolls here in Georgia. But the Goobers do not want to talk about Becky. Becky who is working for peanuts full time plus a part time job and still cannot pay the bills,feed the 2 kids and healthcare too. The GOOBERS are to busy worrying about Becky's WOMB!


No wonder she wants a good Vaccumn Cleaner...

uh..huh

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 - You know Kasim only cares about his Financial Contributors and only those who can help him to become Governor of Georgia. Everyone else can go Pound SAND! Kasim is all about Kasim and no one else. Black People are just a mere stepping stone to please GOBERS like you.

uh..huh

Kamchak
Kamchak

...black people in ATL?


And there's your sign.

uh..huh

honested
honested

@Eustis  

Shhhhhhh.!

The people who need those navigators are not campaign contributors.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Ralph-43 - Georgia has never wanted The Big League they are TOO STUPID and Backwards to know the Difference. Here is a STATE that has been last in Educating their Children since the Beginning of This Great Nation. There are only (3) three other States with Worst records but not by much. Alabama, Lousianna and Mississippi. All Part of the Fine Tradition of Southern Stupidity and Ignorance. So do not be surprised by any move made by these GOOBERS. They Love wallowing in the MUD and keeping their Citizenry in the dark like Mushrooms. This is how they continue to LEAD year after Year....

uh...huh.

Eustis
Eustis

Not so. The House has voted 50+ times to kill Obamacare.

Now, that is an achievement!

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31 @Andy123

Bernie Mack, you left out the part about 9 out of every 10 black children under the age of 18 will eat from food stamps at some point in their childhood.  

uh..huh 

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31 @Andy123

Bernie Mack, one day you and your people will figure out you're nothing but a stepping stone for Democrats of any color to get into office.  

Uh..huh 

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31 @Ralph-43

Guess what Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi all have in common along with ignorant school children?  The nation's highest concentration of poor blacks and illegals.   Poor school stats make sense now don't they Bernie Mack?


uh...huh

Kamchak
Kamchak

Surely, you aren't this stupid? 

Surely you can provide evidence of your assertion. You can either back up what comes out of that pie-hole of yours, or you can't.

It's not complicated.


Kamchak
Kamchak

And you forgot to state that this is a projected statement that could change.  It's not that 9 out of 10 have eaten from food stamps.


Also known as: moving the goalposts.


uh..huh

Charles50
Charles50

@Andy123 @Bernie31  And you forgot to state that this is a projected statement that could change.  It's not that 9 out of 10 have eaten from food stamps.


uh..huh

Kamchak
Kamchak

We will be greeted as liberators.

The smoking gun is the mushroom cloud.

Yellow cake uranium from Niger.

Thousands and thousands and thousands of high strength aluminum tubes.


uh..huh

Andy123
Andy123

@Kamchak

And Obama promised change you can believe in.

uh...huh 

Kamchak
Kamchak

Rank and Cornell University sociologist Thomas Hirschl studied data and concluded that following my date with Catrinel Menghia, I will have late drinks with Candice Swanepoel.
 

uh..huh

Andy123
Andy123

@Kamchak

Rank and Cornell University sociologist Thomas Hirschl studied data from a nationally representative survey of 4,800 American households interviewed annually from 1968 through 1997 by the University of Michigan. About 18,000 adults and children were involved.

Overall, about 49 percent of all children were on food stamps at some point by the age of 20, the analysis found. That includes 90 percent of black children and 37 percent of whites. The analysis didn't include other ethnic groups.

The time span included typical economic ups and downs, including the early 1980s recession. That means similar portions of children now and in the future will live in families receiving food stamps, although ongoing economic turmoil may increase the numbers, Rank said.

uh..huh


Kamchak
Kamchak

Researchers say that I will have a date with Catrinel Menghia and we'll spend the night at The Holiday Inn Express tonight.


uh..huh

Andy123
Andy123

@Kamchak

CHICAGO — Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood, and fallout from the current recession could push those numbers even higher, researchers say.

uh..huh

Andy123
Andy123

@Kamchak

\

Google news is your friend!  Chances are the liberal Huffington Post is the first result to sport!   

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31- There are at least 30 Million Becky's right now all over America, who look just like your wife and kids who are hungry now for food and have no healthcare. about a third of them at this very moment are in need of medical care. But do you think the GOP cares? 

They have names like Sarah, lisa, billy, johnny, seth, crystal, Ben, Ariel, Karen, susan, skip,ernie,Ann even Andy and JIM.  They too will join Us in showing all who think like you the door with a swift kick in the rear. what about those Blond and Blue eyed Babies?


uh..huh


Kamchak
Kamchak

...9 out of every 10 black children under the age of 18 will eat from food stamps at some point in their childhood.

Got proof, sport?

And please, show your work.

Thanks in advance.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Andy123

I could give two flips about skin color.


Not intended to be a factual statement.

Charles50
Charles50

@Bernie31 @Andy123  Don't try explaining things to the likes of Andy.  He's one of those folks who will whine and complain for the next two years because he just can't get past the fact that a black man won two presidential elections.  


Oh and ask for considering him a black man.  1.  Like you said, it's their rules.  2.  The President considers himself a black man.  

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31- can you say OBAMACARE and for Seniors of Color there have bee a Lot of benefits added to Medicare under Obamacare. But telling the Truth is not someting you ascribe too on a regular basis. For you LYING is a Better choice!

uh.huh

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31 @Andy123

I'm surprised folks of color still claim him after 5 years.  He's done nothing for them and he's friendly to brown and the pillow biters and we know the black churches don't like brown or the sodomites!   Can I get an  Amen Bernie Mack?


uh...huh

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31- Obviously you do not know the definition of an UNCLE TOM. call up Herman and he will show his big toothy grin and do a little jig that you all love for us to do for you. You think we are being Happy! what we really want to do is RIP your Heart out and show it to you with a smile. Then we are Happy!


President Obama does not Roll like that...You hate and Fear this Black Man because he is too smart and always out smart the GOOBERS at every turn. Herman cannot out smart himself much less you.

uh..huh

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31 @Andy123

You left Obama out of your Uncle Tom boot licker rant or did you do this because he's not even black?

uh...huh 

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31- You are not telling US anything we have not known for Centuries. But we sure as HELL cannot Vote for the GOOBER Party no matter which one they switch to. What is worse is the Republican Party and we have got to Vote for someone. If not ALL of you will have us in chains again working for FREE while Goobers like you RAPE and ABUSE women of color from the very young to the very old. then you all got to Church and praise Jaysus and swear you are a God Fearing Christian people. We  need to RID ourselves of BOOTLICKERS like Kasim, Herman and Ben Carson who Bow and Grin and tell you everything you want to hear.

uh..huh

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31@Ralph-43- Guess who MADE them that way...Poor and Ignorant? If you find a Mirror you will have your answer. for the culprit looks  just like you. But not to worry Jesus has always promised Those who are Last will be first..and those who are First will be Last! 

I Believe his word, many of us are just waiting for your trip to the Back of the Line. If you LOOK around the change is already in place and working toward that end. Your Great Grandchildren will pay for your many sins. Trust me on that one!

Kamchak
Kamchak

The nation's highest concentration of poor blacks and illegals.

And there's your sign.