Georgia is still the center of the political universe and legislation taken by its senate this week may be remembered as the Ft. Sumpter in the voting rights war. The Georgia Senate voted to eliminate no-excuse absentee balloting and for other restrictions. The best synopsis of it that you will read is Mother Jones journalist and author of “Give Us The Ballot,” Ari Berman on Twitter.

Jimmy Carter wasted no time getting in his two cents worth. And you will see Stacey Abrams is fighting the good fight, nothing new about that.

This is the state of play, as we get ready to hear Joe Biden do an FDR-esque address, which he is expected to do with respect to the American Rescue Plan and as we see — finally — a government that is functioning again, and addressing the global pandemic.

Biden has done wonders and after his victory lap, this issue of voting rights is the next hurdle for his administration  — unfortunately, it’s a hurdle the size of the Rock of Gibraltor.



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  1. The last few years have been rough without a doubt. But one of the few bright spots is watching Jimmy Carter live long enough to be vindicated.

    • Official Washington including Democrats never accepted Carter. Our country and the world has paid a terrible price for their snootiness. Having served on active duty during the Reagan years, it always galled me (as a Marine I was quite familiar with then SecNav John Lehman’s “500 ship Navy or bust” mantra) that Reagan took all the credit for rebuilding a depleted Navy. All that was planned and got started under Carter. Reagan of course took ALL the credit for the release of the hostages from Iran even though it was Carter’s quick thinking in freezing their assets in U.S. Banks and convincing our western allies to do the same (very early in the crisis) that did the trick. Reagan also took ALL the credit for bringing the crippling inflation of the 1970s under control by putting Paul Volcker on the job. Except it was CARTER who had appointed Volcker as Chair of the Federal Reserve with that very mandate!

      History will be much kinder to Carter than it was for far too long. And it will not look kindly on those who so willfully and sometimes fervently fought his attempts to move us towards a real and comprehensive sustainable energy policy.

      Sadly, President Carter’s age and health are such we will likely be saying farewell to him in the foreseeable future. At least with the flaming orange human shaped rectrum (aka Donald Trump) banished to FL and Joe Biden in the WH Carter will get the kind of national recognition and farewell he earned, both via his service in the Navy, then as President and THEN as I believe the finest former President this country has been blessed to have.

      • Hey, no one remembers the critics, Denis. Or, if they are remembered, it’s rarely in a good light. Jimmy outlived damn near all of them. Whenever he goes, he’ll go with nothing to prove and no regrets. Who could ask for better, as you pointed out?

        • I think of all the people (including big name journalists and virtually everyone with political power) in “official” DC who thought of him as some rube, a country bumpkin from Georgia. And the peanut farmer image they were only too happy to promote about him became how he was perceived. The reality was somewhat different and he was smarter than almost all of them and harder working too. His being a graduate of the Naval Academy was always glossed over, and even during the Three Mile Island nuclear accident top journalists didn’t want to acknowledge something rather significant. Carter was a bono fide nuclear engineer and had played a significant role on Rickover’s team in developing nuclear propulsion for Navy ships. He was going to take the XO role on a nuke sub and was destined for command of his own ship soon after that tour would have been completed but his father died. He had been planning on a career in the Navy and early command of a boat (subs are called boats instead of ships – the Navy is flat-out weird on some things!) meaning he was headed for flag (Admiral) rank someday. He gave all that up to go home and keep the family business afloat, and he not only saved it but it prospered.

          However, my point is that while they were “the” top engineering schools West Point and Annapolis turned out excellent engineers. Still do for those who choose that path although a wider selection of fields of study would become available later on. Not only mastering nuclear engineering but figuring out how to fit a plant into the limited space aboard a naval vessel was no small intellectual achievement for Carter and the others back then. It was after all a brand new field and formal degree programs weren’t even offered at major universities back then!

          However, it was knowing some of this that led me to take Carter as seriously as I did when he pushed for creating renewable energy technology. He’d already been part of creating a new type of technology and had he been taken seriously and given a fighting chance it’s sad to think of all the decades lost when we could have transformed the world by leading it into an age of renewable energy and at the same time mitigating the effects of the climate change that had already been unleashed.

          But in the end I agree wholeheartedly with you. Carter’s life has been one well spent and he’s got nothing to prove. However, time and history will prove just how much good he did, and how much more he would have done had he been taken as seriously as he should have been. It will not be at all kind to those who stood in his way or ignored his leadership. That will I believe be the case with this last foray into politics and the hateful, un-American voter suppression crap going on in his home state. Someday Carter will be viewed with honor and even reverence, and the current crop of GA legislators and their Governor (no chance in hell he will veto the legislation) will be held in contempt if not vilified.

          While I never got to meet him, I was lucky enough to be in the crowd when he spoke at SIU Carbondale during the 76 campaign. Despite the asshole way up in the tree mocking him with calls to “repent sinner” and similar nonsense (the whole Playboy interview and “lust in my heart” comment) Carter was dignified and gave a good speech. And as I’ve noted I hadn’t turned 18 yet during the primary so my very first time in the polling booth was in November, 1976. Since the national races are first on ballots and the Presidential race is the very first among those I have the distinct honor of having cast my very first vote in my life for James Earl Carter for President of these United States.

          I will always be grateful for that and I am damned proud that Carter was the recipient of the very first vote I ever cast for any public office.

  2. They’re bringing back Jim Crow, because otherwise they can’t win. (They could, but it would require admitting that they’ve been wrong about everything for the last 50 years.

  3. I love Jimmy Carter. When I lose patience and want to snap at others online and pull out the ad hominem four letter words, lol, I often think of him and the example he sets through empathy, love and tolerance over anger.

    On voting, We’re just gonna have to reform that wily old filibuster. Senate rules that aren’t ironclad in the constitution cannot be a suicide pact.


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