Red-light cameras, leftist victors and scary lawmakers
Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
- Red-light cameras, properly regulated, fail. And they should. Nobody in the justice system, from the cop on the beat to the judge on the bench, should have a shred of interest in ginning up revenue. Levy fines at the minimum necessary to alter undesirable behavior, not because police need new cars, judges and clerks want better retirement systems, or some politician has a pet program in need of dollars.
- Here’s what happens with education “reform” — or any change from the status quo, for that matter — when you turn your back. No matter how dangerous, no school in Georgia is officially classified as unsafe. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, children attending those found to be “persistently dangerous” would be entitled to transfer to a safe school. Nobody in the public education hierarchy wants to attach that label. Therefore, finds AJC reporter Heather Vogell: “Even a school where fights, robberies and non-disfiguring attacks took place every day wouldn’t make the list.”
- Be honest. When John Thompson was hired as school superintendent in Clayton County, did anybody expect a different outcome? He was canned Saturday, less than a year into the job. The board that arranged the mismatch is a seriously bad memory.
- Headline: “Nuclear waste — where to now?” Where now that the Obama administration has effectively killed Yucca Mountain as a permanent repository for nuclear waste? The lesson here is that “science” rules — unless, of course, the U.S. Senate Majority Leader (Harry Reid) is from Nevada and opposes waste storage there. Obamatalk is dime-store cheap in Washington.
- Continuing a trend in the Americas of electing leftists to the presidency — Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela and the U.S. — El Salvador chooses Mauricio Funes as president, the first candidate from the old Marxist rebel army to win the presidency. One difference, however: In South America, most run left, but tone it down when governing. Here, Obama toned it down when running.
- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, a definite contender for the Republican nomination for president in 2012, asks the Obama Administration to allow his state to use $700 million in federal “stimulus” cash to pay down state debt. Good and worthy try. But no-go from D.C.
- Good news! Georgia’s in the Top 5 nationally. Bad news. It’s in mortgage fraud. There, we’re No. 4. The showing is not all that surprising. We’ve been in the Top 10 for the past five years.
- Mexico, unsurprisingly, retaliates with tariffs when Big Labor coerced Democrats to plant language in the $410 billion spending bill that ends a pilot program that allowed some Mexican trucks to operate beyond the border region into the U.S. Mexico retaliated, and properly so, with higher tariffs on 90 U.S. products. Starting these silly trade wars is another step in turning the recession into a depression. Mexico is one of Georgia’s major trading partners.
- No surprise that an advocacy group, the National Center on Family Homelessness, identifies 19 proposed areas of government spending to combat homelessness among children. Example: “Capitalize the new National Housing Trust Fund at $10 billion for two years to rehabilitate or build 100,000 rental homes for the lowest income households using green standards.” Missing from the recommendations: Marriage.
- Remember. What Congress does to rewrite contracts and what it does in levying confiscatory tax laws targeting those who got bonuses at AIG, it can do to you. And to me. My freedom from government tyranny is worth more than $165 million. This is politicians at their worst.
- Classy guy, George Bush. “I’m not going to spend my time criticizing” Barack Obama. “He deserves my silence.” Yes. Republicans, too, should return to the once time-honored principle that no person of standing criticizes an incumbent president while standing on foreign soil.