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Darryl Fears reports:

Giant urban sprawl could pave over thousands of acres of forest and agriculture, connecting Raleigh to Atlanta by 2060, if growth continues at its current pace, according to a newly released research paper from the U.S. Geological Survey.

“We could be looking at a seamless corridor of urban development,” said Adam Terando, a research ecologist with the USGS and an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University who was the study’s lead author.

The development will engulf land from North Carolina to Georgia, and possibly spread to Birmingham, Ala., “if we continue to develop urban areas in the Southeast the way we have for the past 60 years,” he said.

What can you say, except congratulations? Gov. Nathan Deal, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, Attorney General Sam Olens and the Georgia Legislature have approached the implementation of ObamaCare with one overriding goal: Deny access to health-care coverage to as many uninsured Georgians as possible.

In fact, it was a year ago this month that Hudgens made it explicit: “Let me tell you what we’re doing (about ObamaCare),” he bragged to a crowd of fellow Republicans: “Everything in our power to be an obstructionist.”

Their effort has been wildly successful. In fact, if our leaders had been half as successful at, say, improving education, growing the economy or solving transportation as they have been at denying health coverage to their own citizens, Georgia would be in high cotton instead of in long-term decline relative to the rest of the country.

This week, we got a peek at the true scale of their success with the release of state-by-state data compiled by Gallup. The numbers tell us that a year ago, before implementation of ObamaCare, Georgia had the nation’s 7th highest rate of citizens without health insurance. Today, we have the 3rd highest rate of uninsured. Well done, gentlemen.

Political families — from the Roosevelts to the Kennedys, Bushes and Clintons — have long been a part of American politics. And they are not new in Georgia, where Michelle Nunn, the Democratic nominee for Senate, is running for a seat her father, Sam, once held against a Republican, David Perdue, whose cousin was governor. Mr. Carter’s bid to unseat Gov. Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent, is testing the strength and durability of the Carter name in Georgia, a red state that Democrats hope to turn blue.

But it is also a test of something more: a deep bond between a 38-year-old grandson and an 89-year-old grandfather who, in the words of Roy E. Barnes, Georgia’s last Democratic governor, “would walk on fire to help get Jason elected.”

In 2005 and 2006, two moderate Democratic candidates, Jim Webb and Tim Kaine, won in Virginia with large margins in the Washington suburbs. Their victories demonstrated that there was a new path to victory for Democrats, one that did not depend on winning Southern conservative Democrats, the way Mark Warner did in 2001.

Georgia might well be moving down the same road as Virginia. No other plausibly competitive state — not Nevada or Virginia, not Colorado or North Carolina — has had a change in the racial composition of the electorate that’s as favorable for Democrats. That’s giving Georgia Democrats hope that they might win a race that they almost certainly would have viewed as a lost cause only a few years ago.

After more than two months of intraparty fighting, David Perdue, a former chief executive of Dollar General, won Tuesday’s Republican runoff in Georgia to become his party’s Senate nominee, setting up one of the few contests where Democrats have hopes of taking a Republican-controlled seat in the midterm elections.

Mr. Perdue’s victory over Jack Kingston, an 11-term Georgia congressman, with just under 51 percent of the vote on Tuesday evening upset both public polling predictions and conventional wisdom, which had Mr. Kingston slightly ahead, despite having finished second to Mr. Perdue in the May primary. In the general election, Mr. Perdue will face Michelle Nunn, a Democrat, former chief executive of the Points of Light volunteer group and the daughter of Sam Nunn, the former Georgia senator.

coastalconguero:

This was the view of the Atlantic Ocean during happy hour today from the patio bar at the historic King and Prince Hotel on St. Simons Island, Georgia. The place was recently renovated and it’s become popular with locals as well as tourists.

coastalconguero:

Very talented older — and probably wiser — performers sing gospel music at the annual Georgia Sea Islands Festival on St. Simons Island, Georgia, on Sunday afternoon. The event — regularly held under Spanish moss-draped oaks at the waterside Gascoigne Bluff park — celebrates the rich African-American history of the string of islands off the Georgia coast.

Chris Joyner reports:

The top contributors to Rep. Jack Kingston’s Senate campaign come from two companies linked to a felon the U.S. government has been trying to deport for the past six years, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has found.

In late 2013, Kingston, an 11-term Republican congressman from Savannah, took in $80,052 in contributions from employees, their family members, consultants and contractors of two virtually unknown Gwinnett County companies: Confirmatrix Laboratories, a 2-year-old firm that performs urine and drug testing, and Nue Medical Consulting, a medical billing company founded last September.

Both companies are linked to Khalid A. Satary, a Palestinian also known as DJ Rock, who served more than three years in federal prison for running a large-scale counterfeit CD operation in the metro Atlanta area. Satary was released from prison in 2008.

“Since that time, ICE has sought to secure travel documents from Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in order to return Mr. Satary to the Gaza Strip,” said Vincent Picard, spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

coastalconguero:

Former Georgia state representative Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (above photo, second from right) and long-time coastal environmentalist and bookstore owner Nancy Thomason (photo below) were among the people speaking out at a Save the Spit benefit on St. Simons Island, Georgia, Friday night. The group is fighting what is perhaps one of the most ill-considered coastal development plans of all time, an attempt by hedge funds and venture capitalists to sell million-dollar property on an extremely fragile spit of land in the Atlantic Ocean off of Sea Island, Georgia. Just want to give a shout-out to people everywhere who try to stop ill-considered coastal development. Sadly, there’s a lot of it, motivated by greed and in total denial of the laws of nature.

Like the Dew adds: To keep up with this issue, which is worth following, stay tuned at this website: http://savethespitga.org/

Democrats’ hopes of holding the Senate this fall rest significantly on the political equivalent of that “brand capital.” In four states that usually lean Republican, Democrats will be running candidates from families with multigenerational records of political success — the Pryors of Arkansas, the Landrieus of Louisiana, the Begiches of Alaska and the Nunns of Georgia. If at least two of the four legacy candidates can eke out victories, the Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate will be better than even.