Archive for February, 2012

Indy offers a note of caution for Atlanta’s new stadium dreams

Last Super Bowl-related item (probably) … this one very much relevant to metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia. From an editorial by Bloomberg:

As you watch the Super Bowl Feb. 5, spare a thought for the taxpayers in the host city of Indianapolis. The stadium in which the game will be played has been financed largely at their expense and, like so many sports venues built with public money, the cost just keeps growing.

Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts play eight regular season games per year, has every amenity: a retractable roof, state-of-the-art turf, seven locker rooms, 137 luxury suites, 1,000 flat-screen televisions. And well it should: It cost $720 million to build.

Of this, the Colts paid only $100 million. To cover the rest, local officials raised taxes on hotels, restaurants and rental cars, and issued bonds that soon led to ballooning financing costs.

The editorial refers to a Bloomberg news story about the specific financing mistake Indianapolis made — one that’s …

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I hope your like your Super Bowl with a side of politics

It’s bad enough to watch bailed-out company after bailed-out company spend millions and millions of dollars for the most expensive TV advertising slots of the year. There were all those Chevy (GM) slots, as well as at least two for General Electric, whose financial arm survived 2008 in part because it received a federal guarantee of its debt valued at some $139 billion. At least GE didn’t cash in on that guarantee; GM is still part-owned by Uncle Sam and owes taxpayers some $25 billion according to a recent inspector general’s report. GM’s former financing arm, now known as Ally Financial, remains majority-owned by the federal government and owes about $12 billion.

But the halftime Chrysler commercial starring Clint Eastwood, describing America as being in its own “halftime,” was just overtly politicized. After all, what else could “halftime” have meant, in the year 2012, than halfway through the eight years Barack Obama would be president if re-elected this fall? I’m fairly …

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Parents show they know best about their kids’ education

It’s one thing to argue that parents know what’s best for their children’s education. It’s another thing — a refreshing, affirming, wonderful thing — to watch them prove it.

For the past week, moms and dads have been doing just that at redistricting hearings for Atlanta Public Schools. I’d heard friends from other neighborhoods talk about their meetings and, Wednesday night, dropped by North Atlanta High School to see it myself. I wasn’t disappointed.

First, “dropped by” is the wrong way to put it. After seeing cars stream out of one parking lot that was already full, I reversed course and turned down a side street … only to find the curbs lined and another parking lot packed. I finally joined others in a parking deck at the church across the road. Suffice it to say, anyone who thinks folks in Buckhead don’t care about public schools is sorely mistaken.

I found one of the last empty seats in the auditorium — eventually, there was a line of parents waiting …

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Programming note

I’ll be on CNN’s Saturday morning show around 6:30 should you want to hear what I — and DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May — have to say about the GOP race in Nevada and elsewhere, the unemployment numbers and the Obama administration’s decision not to grant religious-based employers an exemption on Obamacare coverage mandates.

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

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Poll Position: What’s your rooting interest in the Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl is almost here once again, and the Falcons … well, they’ve long since packed up their lockers until next fall. Atlanta has plenty of transplants, so there may be plenty of New Yorkers or New Englanders for whom that’s no big deal. (For those non-football fans among us: The game will be between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.) But it leaves those of us who live here with a dilemma: which team to root for?

What’s your rooting interest in the Super Bowl?

  • Who cares? (12 Votes)
  • I just want a good game. Or commercials. (11 Votes)
  • I’m a Giants or Patriots fan (9 Votes)
  • The team with my favorite player (5 Votes)
  • My team’s conference champ (4 Votes)
  • AFC because I’m a Republican, or NFC because I’m a Democrat (4 Votes)
  • The team with a player from my college team (0 Votes)

Total Voters: 45

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Go for the champion from your team’s conference? (For Falcons fans, that would be the Giants.) Root for a favorite player? Maybe it’s …

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Was Komen’s decision ‘political’? Only because Planned Parenthood can’t have it any other way (Updated)

UPDATE at 11:25 a.m.: Well, the pro-abortion rights folks’ politicization of this decision had its intended effect: The Komen organization is, at least in part, backing off its earlier decision. Congratulations, Planned Parenthood: You’ve officially turned a leader in breast cancer research into another of your subordinates.

Let this be a warning to any group thinking of teaming up with Planned Parenthood in the future: You can check in any time you like, but you can never leave.


The founder and head of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure did an interview with the Washington Post that casts the cancer-fighting organization’s highly charged decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood in a different light. For starters, Komen isn’t really stopping its funding of Planned Parenthood, just sharply curtailing it: Komen will give grants to just three Planned Parenthood clinics rather than the previous 19. CEO Nancy Brinker explained the change this way: “We have decided …

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T-SPLOST transit projects don’t address real problems of congestion — or even of MARTA

The chief argument for approving the T-SPLOST in a referendum this year boils down to this: If it fails, what kind of signal will that send to businesses wary of Atlanta’s notorious traffic congestion?

Instead of worrying about a negative message for a couple of years — until Plan B emerged, as it inevitably would — voters ought to be more concerned by what it will mean for the next couple of decades if we spend billions of dollars on projects that don’t improve matters much.

It’s true that some worthy projects would receive funding from the 1 percent sales tax lawmakers are putting to a public vote. To wit: Improved interchanges of major interstates, such as the top end of I-285 with I-85 and Ga. 400, should ease bottlenecks that now back up rush-hour commuters for miles.

But the list is too compromised by other big-ticket items that will tie up tax dollars for far more than 10 years without lessening traffic. Transit projects, which consume more than half of the $6.14 …

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Romney’s win in Florida sets up last gasp for the not-Romneys

It was a big night in Florida for Mitt Romney, who, for the first time since actual voting began, is a clear front-runner with clear skies ahead. Not totally clear, but clearer than any of the candidates has seen so far.

Forty-six percent of the vote is better than just about all the polls were showing, as was his 14-point win over Newt Gingrich. Gingrich’s 32 points plus Rick Santorum’s 13 came up just short of Romney, pouring water on the theory that the former Massachusetts governor was merely the beneficiary of conservative agonistes about which candidate to his right was best to gather behind. From here, Romney is well-positioned to build some momentum in Nevada and three other caucus states, where his vast organization should serve him well (as should Ron Paul’s). Then come primaries in Michigan, his onetime home state, and in Arizona, where he’ll try to capitalize on his endorsement by John McCain. A series of quick victories, albeit without a ton of delegates behind …

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