Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

CDC cancels next month's 'climate and health' summit in Atlanta

According to Climatewire, an E&E News publication, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control “quietly and abruptly” canceled a major climate-change gathering scheduled for next month. The action was taken shortly after Donald Trump's election as president in November, but is only now coming to light. From the newsletter:

The Climate and Health Summit was scheduled to be held in Atlanta, where the CDC is headquartered, in February. Agency leaders did not directly address why the summit was canceled and instead forwarded an email sent to participants indicating it may be rescheduled….



The summit involved months of preparation and had solicited research papers. The theme would have been on the "state of the science on climate and health, adaptation efforts through interagency collaboration, and communication and stakeholder engagement strategies," according to a flier….It would have positioned climate change as a central issue for CDC, with a political rival of Trump as a keynote speaker.

The speaker wasn’t identified. Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the CDC, resigned effective last Friday. He had been appointed by President Barack Obama eight years ago.


We told you yesterday that state Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, was taking some heat from tea partyer and Trump supporter Debbie Dooley because his wife and daughter participated in a Saturday women's march in Augusta. We pointed out that Stone had recently replaced state Sen. Josh McKoon as Senate Judiciary Chairman -- and that Dooley and McKoon were often allies in the state Capitol. Which prompted this response from McKoon on his Facebook page this morning:

Since Jim Galloway mentioned my name, I want to be clear that Jesse Stone is a principled conservative and a great leader who I have been proud to work with over the last six years. As a newly married guy, I certainly wouldn't expect to be able to tell Jacqueline Byrd McKoon what to think...about anything! # gapol


The Daily Globe, a Minnesota-based news site, has another hint of the worry that President Donald Trump’s nomination of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has provoked in the country’s grain belt:

The concern some in the Midwest have is that federal farm programs often treat southern cotton, peanuts and other warm-weather crops different than those grown up north. There often are more agriculture differences among geographic areas than between political parties, and Midwest farmers remember many a skirmish with southerners.


While Midwesterners decide how a southern governor can do as ag secretary, assuming he wins Senate approval, there are signs that [Trump] will hear Midwestern concerns.


Politico, which covers the federal government, reports that Sam Clovis stepped in to head the Agriculture Department for now. Clovis, a member of the Trump inner circle, is an Iowan whose job is to hire key staffers while Perdue awaits Senate confirmation.


Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, one of the highest-profile Bernie Sanders supporters in Georgia last year, has given his endorsement to another supporter of the Vermont senator. The video may be grainy, but it's enthusiastic. Says the rapper:

"Vincent Fort, you were brave for what you did, the DNC tried to punish you. And I wish you the best of luck on your mayoral run."


Yes, that was former President Jimmy Carter taking in the Falcons NFC Championship victory, looking far more happy than he did at President Donald Trump's inauguration:



Over at the Atlanta Daily World, Ahmad Greene-Hayes has an opinion piece on the need to come to grips with the less-savory aspects of the legacy charted by the late Bishop Eddie Long. A taste:

[I]t is not uncommon for child abusers in the church—sexual and otherwise—to be protected by the incessant valorization of the Black male preacher. Long represented much of what the church prizes: fame, fortune and prominence.

To see him in any other light than as a “man of God” would mean compromising conservative, prosperity gospel theologies, many of which excuse the church from enacting justice. “God” is characterized as the supreme judge who determines the outcome of all individuals. Long’s followers left him to God for judgment, even as God, like most adults, is regularly a passive bystander when children are sexually abused.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.