Politics

Patrick Swanson / April 08,2021

Georgia site is fourth in US to pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine

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A coronavirus vaccine site in Georgia became the fourth US location this week to pause its administration of the Johnson & Johnson jab after concerns over possible adverse reactions, a report said.
Eight people experienced lightheadedness after getting the shot Wednesday at the Cumming Fairgrounds, though health officials believe that could have simply been caused by the hot weather, WSB-TV reported.
MLB COMMISSION DECIDED TO MOVE ALL-STAR GAME AFTER PRESSURE FROM STACEY ABRAMS ON VOTING ISSUES: SOURCE
“It was a fainting issue,” Dave Palmer, North Georgia Health District spokesperson, told the outlet.
“We don’t think it’s anything to do with the vaccine. It’s probably more environmental factors,” Palmer said.
Adverse reactions were incurred by less than 2% of the 435 people who received the vaccine at the site, the report said.
“That facility is hard to cool, and we do have fans there, but it was a warmer day,” Palmer told the station. “I think the heat may have had some bearing on it. We’re not sure.”
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The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was also halted in the past week at sites in Colorado, North Carolina and Iowa.

Patrick Swanson / April 04,2021

Georgia Lawmakers Kick Out Coke

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Republican state lawmakers in Georgia want Coca-cola to remove all of its products from all congressional offices following the company slamming the state’s new election reforms.
On Saturday, Republican State House Reps. Victor Anderson, Clint Crowe, Matt Barton, Jason Ridley, Lauren McDonald III, Stan Gunter, Dewayne Hill, and Marcus Wiedower all signed a letter denouncing Coca-Cola for taking part in an “out of control cancel culture.”
“Upon the passage of the ‘Election Integrity Act of 2021,’ your company has made the conscious decision to perpetuate a national dialogue which seeks to intentionally mislead the citizens of Georgia and deepen a divide in our great State,” The group of lawmakers wrote. “We have the responsibility to all of Georgia to not engage in those misguided intentions nor continue to support corporations who choose to. SB 202 expands early voting opportunities, provides a pathway to ensure shorter voting lines, secures the use of drop boxes which otherwise would be illegal, as well as several other provisions allowing all Georgians greater access to fast, secure, and transparent elections.”
“Given Coke’s decision to cave to pressure from an out of control cancel culture, we respectfully request all Coca-Cola Company products be removed from our office suite immediately,” they continued. “Should Coke choose to read the bill, share its true intentions and accept their role in the dissemination of mistruths, we would welcome a conversation to rebuild a working relationship.”

Patrick Swanson / March 27,2021

The problem with the Asian hate crime narrative in Georgia spa killings

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Something seems really off about this Asian hate crime narrative being pushed regarding the Georgia spa killings. The facts don’t support the narrative.

Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators said the accused shooter was addicted to sex and saw the spas as a temptation in need of elimination. Atlanta police said the man was a customer at two of the spas he attacked. Someone told CNN the guy had been kicked out of his parents’ home the day before the killing spree for looking at pornography for hours. A former roommate told The New York Times the suspect had a serious porn issue, sought treatment for sex addiction, and asked those he lived with to keep him accountable including asking one to take his computer along with installing porn-blocking software on his Internet browser.

Yet, this hate crime narrative refuses to die, like some sort of kaiju.

“[I]t is clear evidence that this is a hate crime, but what we are concerned about is whether local law enforcement will indeed prosecute this as a hate crime,” California Congresswoman Judy Chu told NBC’s Meet the Press this morning before Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus members visit Georgia with emphasis mine. “That’s why we are calling upon the Department of Justice to ensure that there are the res necessary to provide the evidence to declare it a hate crime. And that includes interviewing witnesses in their own languages, looking at the media to see whether they are, for instance, reading the evidence in the Korean media, which apparently has some statements of that sort, and whether they are looking at the shooter’s social media and history.”

Patrick Swanson / March 26,2021

Black voters showed they matter in Georgia. Here’s how activists are trying to keep it that way

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Black voters showed they matter in Georgia. Here’s how activists are trying to keep it that way

 

On an unseasonably muggy February afternoon, a tour bus emblazoned with “We acquired energy” snaked by Warner Robins. Wrapped within the pan-African colours of pink, black and inexperienced, it was an exuberant ode to Black political clout.

Residents, virtually all of them Black, greeted the Black Voters Matter coach like an outdated good friend because it blared its horn, main a caravan previous low-slung bungalows and pink brick ranch homes. Males, girls and youngsters broke from their Sunday socializing to wave, run alongside it and lift clenched fists of Black energy.

The bus had been by these leafy streets earlier than, within the frenetic run-up to the 2020 presidential and Senate races in Georgia. Its presence right here made nationwide, even worldwide information.

Weeks later it was again, not on a victory lap for Democratic wins in these nationwide races however to gin up curiosity in a far sleepier marketing campaign: a particular election for a Metropolis Council seat on this small city 100 miles south of Atlanta.

The competition could seem low-stakes. However for the organizers who flipped Georgia blue, that’s precisely the purpose.

Patrick Swanson / March 24,2021

Hurricane Outbreak Alabama, Georgia; At least 5 dead | Alabama news

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By Kevin McGill, associated Press

Tornado Tornado Sirens and Howling Winds Roar in Parts of Western Georgia There was a severe thunderstorm in the southern states early Friday, which included Alabama Where at least five people died, which are scattered in houses, scattered trees and uprooted businesses.

Meteorologists said a large, dangerous tornado swept through Metro Atlanta’s Couta County around midnight Friday, sparking a tornado emergency for Newnan City and surrounding communities. Several reported trees and power lines were downed.

Newnan police asked residents to “take to the streets” in a Facebook post, stating that emergency officials were surveying the area. Newton Utilities said the storm overcame their phone and Internet services, but they were “fully aware of the down line, gas leaks and numerous inaccessible roads.”

Couta County said its public schools would remain closed on Friday due to extensive damage.

Newnan Mayor Keith Brady said no fatal incidents were immediately reported.

Officials said the storm followed a series of bursts in Alabama on Thursday, which an official said traveled about 100 miles (160 kilometers) across the state.

In eastern Alabama, Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade said a twister killed five people who cut a diagonal route across the county, mostly striking rural areas – something that likely outnumbered those who died. Prevents this from happening.

At an evening briefing, Wade said, “Our hearts, our thoughts, and our prayers go out to the families, and we’re going to do our best to love them.”

John D. Block, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham, said a “super sale” of storms led to several twisters.

Patrick Swanson / February 28,2021

Republicans in Georgia House pass new restrictions in backward step for voting rights

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They say that no good deed goes unpunished.
So it’s not surprising that the citizens of Georgia, having had unprecedented access to the ballot box in the last election due to the expansion of mail-in votings options set up deal with the dangers of the COVID pandemic (and resulting in a record turnout), are now being penalized for delivering a massive defeat to the party that controls their state government.
Of course, that state government — currently controlled across the board by GOP officials — was elected under much more stringent voting regulations that previously had purged voter roles and restricted polling places to intentionally suppress voting by minorities, as many critics of Georgia’s Republican politicians have alleged.
Now those GOP lawmakers are facing a future where they will lose the levers of power due to the newly emboldened Democratic-leaning voters who turned the state blue in both the presidential and U.S. senatorial races.
And, rather than change their policies and adjust their platforms to appeal to a wider range of the state’s voters, Georgia Republicans have decided that the easiest way to keep their jobs is to change the rules for elections to make it harder for those who don’t share their political views to vote.

Patrick Swanson / February 26,2021

4 children and 2 adults were rescued from a sinking boat off the Georgia coast

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Two adults and four children were rescued Friday by the US Coast Guard off the Georgia coast after their boat struck an object and started sinking.

The 17-foot boat was near the entrance to the St. Marys River on the Florida-Georgia border when it hit something and started taking on water, the Nassau County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

The US Coast Guard cutter Sea Dragon was returning from offshore and launched a small boat crew to rescue the six people from the boat, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

A marine unit from the sheriff’s office used a pump to remove the water from the boat before towing it to the Amelia Island boat ramp in Florida.

The marine unit then returned to the Sea Dragon to pick up the six people and ferried the group to the town of St. Marys in Georgia, the sheriff’s office said.

No injuries were reported.

The Georgia Department of Natural Res is investigating the boat accident, according to the sheriff’s office.

“In the Florida/southeast Georgia area, we remind boaters that during this time of year, the possibility of hypothermia still exists,” said Boatswain’s Mate Kristian Sova, the Sea Dragon’s commanding officer. “If you can, remain with your boat and try to remain together as a group, this greatly increases the likelihood of first responders finding you if you’re ever in the need of assistance; this was a very fortunate outcome, special thanks to those involved in this rescue.”

Patrick Swanson / February 24,2021

Georgia Student Health Insurance Options | Health Care Coverage and Plans

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What Are Health Insurance Options for Georgia Students?

Georgia college students aren’t required by state law to have insurance. But if you’re attending school as an undergraduate or graduate student, your school may have requirements. You can stay on your parent’s plan until the age of 26.
It may seem like a no-brainer to stay on it for students who have health insurance through their parents. But there are reasons why you may want to get your policy. Or perhaps you don’t have healthcare coverage through your parents and want to know your options. If you need coverage, for whatever reason, we can help you find a student health plan in the Peach State. 

What You Need To KnowGeorgia students who need health insurance have a variety of options.If you’re staying on your parent’s plan, it’s important to make sure you’ll have the coverage you need.You can get an affordable plan by going through the ACA or your school-sponsored healthcare plan.

Why Georgia Students Need Health Insurance
The first reason to shop for an insurance policy is simple: your college may require it. For example, healthcare coverage is mandatory for some students in the University System of Georgia1. Even if it’s not required, think twice about skipping it. You may head off to school without a health problem in sight, but it just takes one surprise illness to run up a huge medical bill. By having health insurance, you’ll be covered for the medical care you need.

A Word of AdviceChoosing a plan with a low monthly premium usually means you’ll have higher out-of-pocket costs if you need care.

Patrick Swanson / February 24,2021

Former Georgia Legislators Say Chamber of Commerce ‘No Friend’ to Average Peach State Residents

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Two former state legislators said Georgia Chamber of Commerce members, not unexpectedly, have tremendous influence at the State Capitol, but those two men also said Chambers’ members sometimes work against political conservatives’ best interests.
Former State Rep. Jeff Jones, who represented District 167 from 2015 until last month, told The Georgia Star News this week that he never hesitates to speak freely, and he didn’t even when he held office. And he said he won’t hold back now.
“The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is not the friend of the average Georgia citizen. They don’t sponsor legislation. They don’t undertake initiatives that benefit anybody other than the large corporate members. You can look at the corporate membership structure and figure that out,” Jones said.
“The influencers of the Georgia Chamber are the large corporate entities in this state. Anybody else that is a member of the Georgia Chamber pays their dues, but the Georgia Chamber is responsive to large corporate entities in this state.”
The second former state legislator, Ken Pullin, who represented District 131 from 2019 until last month, said Thursday that members of the Georgia Chamber want the state’s economy to flourish. And Chamber members, he went on to say, think economic development sometimes means going against conservative politics.
“The Chamber pushes a lot of policies in regard to tax benefits, and they try to push the Georgia legislature to that kind of stuff. Tax benefits for the movie industry,” Pullin said.
“The Chamber also pushes hard around social type issues. They don’t necessarily want Georgia being socially conservative, for example.”
Jones and Pullin are both Republicans.

Patrick Swanson / January 21,2021

Mutiny at Justice Dept. halted Trump scheme to overturn Georgia

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WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s top leaders listened in stunned silence this month: One of their peers, they were told, had devised a plan with President Donald Trump to oust Jeffrey Rosen as acting attorney general and wield the department’s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn its presidential election results.
The unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Trump was about to decide whether to fire Rosen and replace him with Clark.
The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked one another: What will you do if Rosen is dismissed?
The answer was unanimous. They would resign.
Their informal pact ultimately helped persuade Trump to keep Rosen in place, calculating that a furor over mass resignations at the top of the Justice Department would eclipse any attention on his baseless accusations of voter fraud. Trump’s decision came only after Rosen and Clark made their competing cases to him in a bizarre White House meeting that two officials compared with an episode of Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice,” albeit one that could prompt a constitutional crisis.
The previously unknown chapter was the culmination of the president’s long-running effort to batter the Justice Department into advancing his personal agenda. He also pressed Rosen to appoint special counsels, including one who would look into Dominion Voting Systems, a maker of election equipment that Trump’s allies had falsely said was working with Venezuela to flip votes from Trump to Joe Biden.

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