Roads are less sexy … and still unloved
Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
- The economy’s hit bare bottom. Another beside-the-freeway restaurant advertising “We Bare All” closes. Lack of business. This one was on I-95 at Darien. Last year, one on I-85 at Lavonia was bought and closed by city officials, who held a bonfire in the parking lot with the Cafe Risqué signs. In both cases, officials thought they were snookered into issuing business licenses. Don’t know about truckers, but the risk I want to take when dining on the highway is that I’m seeing too much fatback in the pole beans, not a bare back toting them.
- Little did I expect that I’d live long enough to find those who use cloth diapers described as “smart, eco-responsible parents” who “make the world a better, safer place.” The Earth Day will come where we realize the real environmentalists and conservationists were those thrifty waste-not, want-not ancestors who were responsible stewards of their space because it would pass to their descendants.
- Terrell Starr, who died Sunday, was a good ’un. Gave politics a good name. One of the smartest things Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle did after he was elected was to surround himself with advisers with good sense. I’d put Starr, a 38-year state senator from Clayton County, at the top of that list.
- America was a rotten place before President Obama came along. Ask him. Not here. When he’s abroad.
- Asking those connected with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, a group that thinks Georgia spends too little on social programs, whether the state can “afford” any tax break is like asking Libertarians whether we’re undertaxed and under-regulated. Why bother? We know the answer.
- Headline: “Neighbors lukewarm about new expressway.” Neighbors are always lukewarm or downright opposed to anything that alters the status quo — one reason to put in roads and infrastructure before they get there in numbers.
- Said more in exasperation than condemnation: Dang, can’t Grady ever get its act together? It’s paid a consultant $785,000 since July 2007, at $1,600 a day .
- Grady, meanwhile, once again identifies a solution to its problems is to charge those from counties other than Fulton and DeKalb for non-emergency care. Do. Please. But the collections are likely to be less than the PR value of the claim that other counties are dumping their poor. Georgia Hospital Association analysis two years ago found that indigent and charity patients from Cobb, Gwinnett and Clayton account for less than 1 percent of Grady admissions.
- Dunwoody demonstrates why earmarked taxes are a bad idea. It has a 5 percent hotel-motel tax. Dunwoody keeps 3, but is required to spend the remaining 2 on tourism-related activities. Not being a tourist destination, Dunwoody funds a low-priority service — at the expense, surely, of something that matters. Never earmark public money.
- My band of right-wingers wants President Obama to hire former UGA basketball player Tony Cole in 2012. Cole demonstrated again in Chicago what he’d demonstrated in Athens: He’ll get the boss fired. In Chicago, where he worked a patronage job, his former boss, the county’s chief financial officer, was asked to resign after it was revealed that she’d twice bailed him out of jail for violating protective orders involving an ex-girlfriend he’d punched in the face. At UGA, he got the head basketball coach and his assistant-coach son gone.
- I’m a 100 percenter with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson on a new federal spending program for high-speed rail. “Projected ridership and fares have to be able to carry the costs of operation.” Love the idea, though, if as he says, it’s “operated privately and without subsidies.”