Good morning to you. May your water jugs be full and your batteries plenty.
No doubt you have seen/read/heard of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s epic defenses of himself, via his City Hall staff, against the likes of the AJC’s Bill Torpy.
Torpy has suggested that former mayor Shirley Franklin punches couch pillows when she hears her years in office belittled. Over the weekend, on her Blogging While Blue website, she denied that bit of hyperbole, but wrote a quiet take-down of the incumbent that includes this:
As I follow local politics now, I am amazed by the complete and utter dismissal of the contributions of others that I have seen recently in the press and other public announcements from the city’s communications office.
It is as if no one – not Hartsfield, not Allen, not Massell, not Jackson, not Young, not Campbell or I ever contributed to the significant growth of the city, ever made a smart and visionary public policy decision or ever solved a tough problem on behalf of Atlanta’s residents, businesses, or visitors.
Atlanta mayors for a very long time have made some darn good decisions to move Atlanta to the forefront of American cities. Each had unique skills and talents to apply in tackling the challenges of their day.
The best among us had an extra dose of humility and compassion for the people they served. Mayor Reed has his accomplishments, which will be judged by history and not by press releases, official pronouncements or political polls. All of us have that same fate.
On a similar topic, check out Sunday’s column on why Mary Norwood, the current frontrunner in the Atlanta mayoral race, may be in a weaker position than she was in 2009, when she lost a runoff to Kasim Reed.
Irma will put a damper on public ceremonies marking the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. Still, let your private observance at home include this live report from WSB Radio’s Jamie Dupree at 9:55 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, from an evacuating U.S. Capitol.
PBS’ “The Vietnam War,” a massive, 18-hour documentary by Ken Burns and longtime collaborator Lynn Novick, begins airing Sunday. One of the first voices you will hear will be that of former U.S. senator Max Cleland of Georgia, who lost two legs and a right arm in the conflict.
Cleland, who once headed up the Veterans Administration under Jimmy Carter, served as both a source and connection, according to this snippet from a Los Angeles Times Q&A:
Novick: Let me give you an example that’s pretty indicative of our process. Ken knew Max Cleland for many years, and one of the very first interviews in the series is with him and you see him in the introduction of the film. Max is always on the phone. We’ve had dinner with him and talk to him all the time and he’s always calling with random ideas.
About a year and a half after his interview, Max calls and says, “Tony McPeak, you’ve got to talk to him.”
…Turns out [General McPeak] knew all about the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and when we were going to Vietnam to talk to people who had worked on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, we asked him what he wanted to know from the people he had bombed.
But back to Irma: Much of this morning’s cable news attention will be on the Florida Keys and what is revealed with the new day. Meanwhile, residents of St. Martin and other Carribean islands report a general disintegration of law and order as survivors struggled in the face of severe food and water shortages, according to the New York Times. Governments of Britain, France and the Netherlands, which oversee the territories, have been criticized for a slow response. Both the French and Dutch governments said they were sending in extra troops to restore order along with aid.
For our friends on the Georgia coast, here’s the storm surge map issued by the National Hurricane Center in the wee hours:
You were probably watching the radar, but in a Sunday interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Stephen Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, accused congressional leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell of “trying to nullify the 2016 election” by thwarting the president. Here’s the Washington Post account.
Former Gov. Roy Barnes made some news as the weekend broke. Our AJC colleague Scott Trubey reports that Barnes and a team of lawyers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Equifax over the massive data breach that has compromised the personal information of more than 140 million U.S. consumers.
Doug Jones, the Democrat running for Jeff Sessions open U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, is not getting even a sliver of the love that Jon Ossoff got from national donors in his special election. Politico questions whether that’s because Ossoff positioned himself early as the face of the anti-Trump resistance, while Jones has declined to make the president a part of his campaign: “Jones would seem to be a perfect candidate for the post-Charlottesville moment — he’s a 63-year-old former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the pair behind the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham.”
We say many Democrats may be waiting until the Sept. 25 runoff to see whether Jones will face former state supreme court Justice Roy Moore or Republican incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in a Dec. 12 special general election.