Former President Jimmy Carter says the melanoma that doctors found on his liver has spread to his brain, causing the 90-year-old humanitarian to drastically curtail his philanthropic work. But Carter seems less worried about the cancer than about the prospect of missing a Habitat for Humanity build in Nepal due to his treatment schedule.
“I’m perfectly at ease with whatever comes,” he said at a press conference at The Carter Center on Thursday morning, saying his future is in the hands of God and he will follow doctors’ recommendations.
Doctors removed cancerous melanoma from the former president’s liver earlier this month. Carter will undergo radiation treatment for four spots of melanoma on his brain this afternoon.
Each of the spots is very small, “about two millimeters,” Carter said. It could show up in other places he said.
The problem is, a weeks-long drug treatment may coincide with a trip he had planned.
“I really wanted to go to Nepal to build houses,” said Carter, for what would be his 33rd annual build in the Himalayan nation. Carter said he can't anticipate how he will be feeling. It is likely he will be represented by his family instead.
The former president found out about the cancer only in the last few months, when he came back from an election-monitoring trip in Guyana with a bad cold. He ended up getting a whole physical. An MRI exam revealed a growth on his liver. The day it was removed, a subsequent scan showed spots on his brain.
One by one, men and women signed up to volunteer, pick up literature, and snag a free button reading “Bernie, y’all” and “Bernie 2016.” Surrounded by signs saying “people and planet before profit,” the supporters ate, traded names, and discussed the 2016 election before co-organizer Daniel Hanley, a local activist, led a call-and-response chant to kick off the event.
Isakson this morning revealed that doctors two years ago diagnosed him with the degenerative central nervous system disorder. In a statement, the U.S. senator says the disease, which is still in its early stages, has caused symptoms of stiffness in his left arm and a "slowed, shuffling" gait. He since has started physical therapy and has taken two kinds of medicine on a daily basis.
“While I am facing this health challenge head on, I have wrestled with whether to disclose it publicly," Isakson said in a staetment. "I recently shared the news with my three grown children and my senior staff a couple of months ago. Their support, along with the steadfast support of my wife Dianne, helped me to take this step today. In the end, I decided I should handle my personal health challenge with the same transparency that I have championed throughout my career."
According to Isakson, Parkinson's disease has not affected his abilities to serve as a lawmaker, citing his work on five different Senate committees, two of which he chairs. His neurologist, Dr. Thomas Holmes, says Isakson is "fully capable of running for re-election and serving for another term." Gov. Nathan Deal, who received a personal call from Isakson about the diagnosis, said "there's not a doubt" in his mind the senator will be able to hold his post.
“Anybody that follows me around for a week in Washington will recognize it’s not a debilitating situation," Isakson said on a conference call. "It’s a matter of me being in charge and I’m in charge."
Isakson's re-election bid will continue as planned. He's spent much of the last seven months already on the campaign trail, including a major event at the Capital City Club this month. Isakson, one of the state's most respected Georgia lawmakers on all sides of the aisle, has so far scared off a Democratic challenger. Only one Republican candidate, MARTA Sr. Network Engineer and former U.S. Senate candidate Derrick Grayson, has decided to mount a challenge in the primary.
In a letter issued yesterday, Eaves asks Attorney General Sam Olens to “investigate whether any ethical or legal provisions have been or may be violated by such an appointment.”
Bottoms was appointed executive director of the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority last month in a surprise move that apparently involved no job posting or application. Bottoms, slated to start the job June 1, has said she will remain a City Council member as well. She told CL after the announcement that the thought she could not perform both duties with integrity was "insulting." The City’s Ethics Office said there is no “per se conflict of interest” in such double-duty.
Eaves is far from convinced that’s the final word. In his letter to Olens, he notes that the Ethics Office opinion also said the situation might warrant a deeper review of all ethical implications.
Eaves also raises another Code of Ethics provision that has not been addressed. That provision prevents officials from representing private interests before government agencies in exchange for pay. And he notes that AFCRA has its own “Standard of Conduct” code that similarly could prevent Bottoms from appearing before City agencies in her role as AFCRA’s chief.
“To the extent that Councilmember Bottoms would be lobbying or seeking funding on behalf of the Authority from the City of Atlanta, her dual roles could present at the very least the appearance of an ethical conflict,” Eaves writes.
We reached out to Olens for comment yesterday and did not hear back. Bottoms was not immediately available for comment. We will update if we hear back. Eaves’s full letter appears below.
Since the legislative session ended in early April, Gov. Nathan Deal has taken several victory laps across the state to sign pieces of legislation approved by the Georgia General Assembly.
He's signed into law measures dealing with medical marijuana, public-school takeovers, and roads and bridge funding, among others. And don't forget the tax break benefiting Mercedes Benz that passed minutes after the legislative session (technically) ended! Earlier this week, he made several stops from Dalton to Albany to hold ceremonial signings of the state's $21.8 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Deal, who has 40 days to take action on bills approved by the General Assembly, this year decided to veto 11 different bills. Taking a page from the ol' Golden Sleaze Awards, the governor struck down a controversial bill that sought to increase economic development in low-income and rural parts of the state with $110 million in tax credits. If you recall, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle made a few minor last-minute tweaks by re-directing $55 million toward his pet venture capital project, Invest Georgia. The bill was panned for directing cash into what critics claimed could become a slush fund.
The governor nixed measures to create a state Adult and Aging Services Agency, let motorcyclists and bicyclists run through red lights after stopping if their vehicles failed to trigger sensors, and other measures.
We've included Deal's list veto, plus his explanations for taking such actions, after the jump.
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