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Oglesby: Sizing up bin Laden, GOP field, immigration bill
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More stuff keeps coming out about the Osama bin Laden assassination, developments accelerate in the GOP presidential candidacies, our governor and economic staffers went on an industry-hunting European mission, and it seems none of the state and national level immigration problems are going to be solved, only made worse at all levels.

I last wrote the Navy SEALs had taken a body besides bin Laden’s with them but nothing about who or why. It turns out it was one of bin Laden’s sons, I guess to help confirm DNA. Intelligence analysts keep milking the treasure trove. Little is released, but that’s how it should be. An example was a warning about targeting trains. I think it possible a number of smaller scale simultaneous attacks spread across the country is being planned, designed. to show al-Qaida alive, well and functioning. 

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GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich made it official he’s running while Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump and Haley Barbour made it official they’re not. Huckabee would have drawn heavily against Gingrich in the South but languished elsewhere.

Gingrich is working hard on three fronts: fundraising, mending fences with tea partiers and trying to reduce such heavy baggage as marital infidelity and what many perceive is arrogance. His criticism of the GOP health care position was not in opposition it but pointing out the GOP shouldn’t try to mandate on all citizens as Obamacare does. He handled it clumsily.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is trying to shed his baggage of the health care plan he created in Massachusetts. At every opportunity, President Barack Obama reminds voters his own unpopular Obamacare was modeled after Romney’s. I think Romney’s explanation his plan was tailored for his state and might not be best for other states is on target. He would leave it to the states rather than the federal government’s one size fits all. He’s the clear GOP frontrunner at this time. 

Some potential GOP candidates are going to find it necessary to announce sooner than intended so as not to give either Romney or Gingrich the chance to shed much of their baggage and thus gain big momentums. Count among them Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels (whose family doesn’t want him to run) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who for now says no. Absent other entrants, the finalists seem to be Romney and Gingrich, neither generating much excitement.

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GOP legislators at state and national levels are playing into Obama’s hands on the immigration issue. Latino voters (not those who are illegal and can’t vote) buy Obama’s line he’s trying to do something the GOP is blocking it. Those legal Latino voters are numerous in several key toss-up states, and the GOP is shoving them into the Democratic fold.

My biggest state government disappointment so far is our local legislators supporting and Gov. Nathan Deal signing the immigration bill. It’s going to hurt the poultry industry, other agriculture and numerous other industries and businesses statewide. 

Meanwhile, Deal and key economic staffers were off to Europe on a trade mission to woo new job-creating plants here and to get more Georgia products sold there. Such investments usually prove to be sound and productive.

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Georgia House Speaker David Ralston speaks to the weekly Kiwanis Club meeting next Tuesday, May 31. The luncheon starts at noon, Ralston following. If you would like to hear his take on the legislature’s successes and failures and views on the upcoming special session for redistricting and a few other unfinished bills, ask some Kiwanis friend to invite you as a guest or simply pay the $11 buffet charge. 

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Raising Lake Lanier’s full pool level 2 feet would go a long way helping ensure adequate water supplies here and in our two neighboring states and in the most inexpensive way. While such proposals need thorough vetting, it shouldn’t take “forever.” 

Ted Oglesby is retired associate and opinion editor of The Times. His column appears biweekly on Tuesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. You can reach him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503.


 

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