Political Insider

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

Confederate stained glass to be removed from Washington National Cathedral

Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have lost their place in D.C.’s most prominent house of worship.

The governing body of the Washington National Cathedral sent a note out on Wednesday, announcing that stained glass representations of the two Confederate generals would be removed immediately. From the notice:

After considerable prayer and deliberation, the Cathedral Chapter voted Tuesday to immediately remove the windows. The Chapter believes that these windows are not only inconsistent with our current mission to serve as a house of prayer for all people, but also a barrier to our important work on racial justice and racial reconciliation.

These windows will be deconsecrated, removed, conserved and stored until we can determine a more appropriate future for them. The window openings and stone work in the Lee-Jackson Bay will be covered over until we determine what will go in their place…

Whatever their origins, we recognize that these windows are more than benign historical markers. For many of God’s children, they are an obstacle to worship in a sacred space; for some, these and other Confederate memorials serve as lampposts along a path that leads back to racial subjugation and oppression.


President Donald Trump’s ex-strategist is blasting White House aides who publicly distanced themselves from the president’s response to Charlottesville — yet stick it out in the West Wing, according to the Associated Press. Steve Bannon singles out Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn. In Bannon’s words, “if don’t like what he’s doing and you don’t agree with it, you have an obligation to resign.”


To gauge the true impact of Keith Parker's decision to leave the helm of MARTA, you have to go back to the time when its relationship with Republicans in the state Capitol resembled a waterfront knife fight.


President Donald Trump's oldest son is scheduled to make his first appearance on Capitol Hill today as part of a Senate investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election. The focus is likely to be on a meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with Russians during his father's campaign last year.

Emails show he took the meeting expecting that he would receive damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton as part of what was described to him as a Russian government effort to aid the Trump presidential campaign.

Representatives of Facebook told congressional investigators Wednesday that the social network has discovered that it sold ads during the U.S. presidential campaign to a shadowy Russian company seeking to target voters, according to the Washington Post.


President Donald Trump’s decision to cut a deal with congressional Democrats for a three-month extension of the federal debt ceiling has landed with a thud among the GOP base. The New York Times quotes Jenny Beth Martin, a founder of the Woodstock-based Tea Party Patriots: [G]rass-roots conservatives “did not work so hard last year to elect majorities in the House and the Senate and get Trump elected in the White House to enact liberal policy priorities.”


Even so, both of Georgia’s senators suggested they would back Trump’s deal to  keep the government open for three months without any spending cuts. Both David Perdue and Johnny Isakson said it would be unwise to let the government default on its debts.

“If you default you raise the prices of everything: interest, mortgage, loans, everything else,” Isakson said yesterday. “Any good business person will tell you defaulting on your debt is not a good idea.” Both Republicans said they were frustrated by the debtload the country has amassed in recent years and suggested Congress change its spending habits and budget process.

“We’ve got to get serious about this long-term crisis that we’ve got relative to the debt,” Perdue said. “Every dollar that we’re going to allocate toward Harvey, as an example, every dime of that is borrowed money.”


Isakson and Perdue’s comments on the debt ceiling followed weekly lunch attended by Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill. Also there on Wednesday was one Saxby Chambliss. The former Republican senator, who now works for the law firm DLA Piper, said he was checking in on his onetime colleagues at the invitation of North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr.

Chambliss predicted September would be a “brutal month” on Capitol Hill. "But they’ve got some things in the works that I think is going to make sense and ease things up,” he said. “I’m just glad they’re having to vote on it and not me.”


All 14 of Georgia's U.S House members voted to spend $7.9 billion on Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts on Tuesday.

Compare that to Hurricane Sandy in 2013, one of the last weather events after which Congress had to approve emergency spending. That much larger bill -- with a $50 billion price tag -- ended up dividing the Georgia delegation along party lines. Many Republicans criticized the legislation at the time for being filled with pork, an assessment lawmakers from affected areas in New York and New Jersey disputed.

The final vote on the Harvey bill was 419-3, compared to Sandy's 241-180.


Tuesday was supposed to be the day that the Atlanta City Council took up the annexation of Emory University and some surrounding property into the city limits. It didn’t happen. The AJC’s Mark Niesse says the petition has been delayed until at least late October to allow for arbitration with DeKalb County.

Think about this: The most important expansion of Atlanta's city limits in generations could fall to a lame duck mayor and city council.


Over at the Huffington Post, GOP consultant Eric Tanenblatt has collaborated with Rick Jackson, who heads up Jackson Healthcare, on an op-ed salute to the small-means heroes of Hurricane Harvey.


It's about time Georgia candidates for lieutenant governors have the same term limits that governors have long been subject to. At least that's according to state Sen. Rick Jeffares, a candidate for the No. 2 job. On Wednesday, he called for a constitutional amendment to limit occupants of the post to two four-year terms.

“I believe that term limits are good for politicians, their constituents, and democracy itself,” Jeffares said. “Citizens should serve, contribute their ideas and passion, then return to the private sector to live under the laws they pass.”

As an office, the lieutenant governor was a post-World War II addition to the structure of state government. Zell Miller holds the record for longevity, serving four four-year terms as president of the Senate before running for governor in 1990. Casey Cagle, the current occupant, was first elected in 2006 and is likewise running for governor.

Jeffares, a McDonough Republican, said he'll make the passage of the amendment a central part of his platform for higher office. He said he's certain that any legislator not planning to run for the job would support it --  joking that he expects "only a couple of 'no' votes."

He's not far off. Senate President pro tem David Shafer, R-Duluth, and former state Rep. Geoff Duncan, R-Cumming, are both in the hunt with Jeffares to succeed Cagle.

Reader Comments ...

About the Author

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