School funds not courts’ job

Not bad to have a book published one week and be cited by the U.S. Supreme Court the next.

That is the case for veteran Atlanta lawyer Alfred A. Lindseth, co-author with economist Eric A. Hanushek of a valuable new book that should be required reading for judges tempted to substitute their opinions for legislators’ in school-funding cases. Hanushek is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Their book, “Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses,” published last week, was cited Thursday in an Arizona education-funding case.

This book is relevant here, though Georgia is barely mentioned, because officials of mostly rural systems have sued for more state money. They pulled the suit in a bit of Fulton County judge-shopping, but it is certain to be back. Their complaint seeks “adequate” funding.

Thereupon they stand, on the slippery slope that inevitably propels activist judges into the separation-of-powers conflict and education policy quagmire.

The slippery slope begins in Georgia’s Constitution. “An adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State,” it declares. As Lindseth and Hanushek note, however, “‘adequacy’” is both a legal and a factual concept, and one that has been difficult for courts, litigants, educators, legislators and the public to grasp.”

They cite New York litigation. That state constitution language is even weaker than Georgia’s. It calls for “free common schools.” Yet, after two trials and five appellate decisions, “it is still difficult for someone reading the court’s various opinions to decide whether New York’s constitution requires a basic education, a world-class education, or something in between.” How much systems spend may have little to do with outcomes, nor do spending levels provide a clue as to which states are likely to be sued. Lindseth and Hanushek point to suits in high-spending states. None of the lowest spenders has been ordered to increase K-12 spending, they write.

States and districts that have done the best job of turning students at risk into high achievers — Texas and North Carolina through the 90s — didn’t approach the national average in per-pupil spending. Schools in general are limited in their ability to overcome “the harmful influences of the home or communities,” they say. Promoting jobs and stronger families — marriage, I argue, a mother and father in the home — may be the wiser use of extra money.

Policy and priority issues, in any event, belong in the Legislature, not in the courts.

Editor’s note:

After writing columns for more than 25 years, Jim Wooten is retiring — sort of. This is his last Sunday column, but he will continue to write “Thinking Right” every Friday and will blog regularly on ajc.com. Since Jim joined the Journal in 1971, he has been an important part of this newspaper. He is most proud of the work he did on corrupt government pensions, which saved the state tens of millions of dollars. “Newspapers are great instruments to change the world. I’m going to miss that,” he said.

Jim grew up in McRae and is a graduate of the University of Georgia. A Vietnam veteran, Wooten served in the Georgia Army National Guard for more than 20 years. He was chosen in 1996 as the Outstanding Alumnus of the UGA College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Georgia Trend magazine has named him one of the year’s 100 most influential Georgians for most of the past decade. We thank him for all of his work, and we’re so glad he’ll still be contributing to the AJC.

— Julia Wallace
Editor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and ajc.com

68 comments Add your comment

Mid-South Philosopher

June 26th, 2009
9:44 pm

Well, Jim, my friend, I am not going to argue with you on this your last Sunday column. I have enjoyed bantering with you via both private emails and on this blog over the past few years. We haven’t always seen eye to eye, but we are closer than a lot of folks think.

We have debated education and I still think if you spent a week, on your on, in an eighth grade English class, in rural Georgia, you might view things differently.

At any extent, if the North Koreans and the Iranians have their way, education in America isn’t going to matter anyway, and given “Barry’s” approach to defense, I doubt our opinions are going to make very much difference.

Best wishes on your “semi” retirement, and I hope to cross literary swords with you again on down the line.

Shar

June 26th, 2009
9:56 pm

Congratulations, good fortune in all you take on and Godspeed.

Michael H. Smith

June 26th, 2009
10:53 pm

Like I really sort of believed that nefarious rumor of Wooten retiring?

Lemme know he no longer has a pulse, then I’ll believe Wooten has retired from writing.

Alton E. Drew

June 27th, 2009
7:39 am

Mr. Wooten proceeds from the premise that the courts initiate these actions. He quickly disposes of the fact that as in all cases it is the litigants that start a judiciary’s inquiry into questions of law or fact. Should a trial court just brush off a complaint that was filed pursuant to language in a state’s constitution simply because a court may want to avoid being labeled as “activist”? I don’t think so. For one thing, if that were the case, Mr. Wooten’s grandchildren and my son would not be sharing the same classroom today. In addition, just the very notion of labeling a court as activist for fear of a bunch of left-leaning results is illogical. One could easily make the same arguments about conservative judges but because left-leaning courts are perceived to make rulings that have a notable social impact, and because the right has done a better job of dominating the debate, courts get labeled as activist. Quite frankly, there is no such thing as judicial activism and to perpetuate this notion and create a stigma on the courts may lead to too many legal decisions made with blinders on.

Alton E. Drew
http://www.altondrew.com

jconservative

June 27th, 2009
8:18 am

“An adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State,”

Constitutionally the questions are what does “adequate” mean and what does “primary obligation” mean? (what the meaning of is is…)
The school systems that want to litigate the issue may also have problems of funding the case as well as funding education in their districts. This will be a Georgia Supreme Court case.

Redneck Convert

June 27th, 2009
8:22 am

Well, I’m sure sorry to see Wooten retire. Even if he is going to be showing up on Fridays and blogging. Him and me agreed a whole lot but he was a little librul at times. But on the AJC he was the best friend a GA redneck ever had. I bet there ain’t another person at that rag that thinks like a redneck. It’s for sure this new guy ain’t no Wooten.

Anyhow, I wish somebody would sue and get a court to rule that this business of giving everybody a education is unconstitutional. It ain’t right to tax us so a bunch of teachers can turn good kids into libruls. Besides, all a kid needs is to know how to read a menu or set of directions and do some figuring so they won’t bounce a check. A suit could put a stop to all that. Anyhow, that’s the kind of Judicial Activism we need.

I wish Wooten a happy retirement. And I hope he don’t turn into one of the leeches that draws this Social Security and makes hard workers pay for Medicare for him. There’s always greeter jobs at WalMart and if Wooten runs a little short of cash he can always get one of them. Anyhow, it’s sad to see Wooten getting old. And I don’t feel so young myself.

catlady

June 27th, 2009
8:58 am

Jim, do I hear you clicking your heels together?

I think it would be great to use some of your “free” time to investigate some of the things you have written about, in person. You might change your thinking, or you might not.

There is a great deal of disparity among school systems and their offerings here in Georgia. Much of it can be traced to the leadership of the system and the county. You can tell what they value by where they put what money they have. Until the suing school systems put THEIR money where their mouths are (tax at 20 mils, which virtually none of them do) they should not be eligible for larger shares of the pot. It’s not right for Fulton to tax at the max and have to send money to Blahblah County, who taxes their more limited base at 14 mils.

We need some real leadership in this area from all levels of government. Sadly, the leadership we are getting tends along the lines of “saving money” while rewarding the consultants, cure du jours, and politically connected. IF we want kids to stay in school, we need some decisions made that will actually help achieve that. I don’t see it happening. Anyone who hasn’t been in school since they were in school needs to go and visit several schools for several days and SEE what is going on. It ain’t your mama’s first grade class anymore.

Churchill's MOM

June 27th, 2009
9:39 am

Jim maybe you can work on a tell all bio of your friend Mark Sanford complete with pictures, it will surely be a big seller. I’m sticking with Jenny. I have been reading the new guy’s stuff and he looks more like a Conservative than a republican like you.

*************Handel 2010**********Palin Sanford(Jenny) 2012************

clyde

June 27th, 2009
9:40 am

I just don’t understand why a person who wants to know when Jim no longer has a pulse keeps reading his columns.Must be something good there.And there is.

We won’t debate rural school funding today ,Jim,even if you did bring it up.We’ll discuss retirement.

When you finally reach that day when you don’t have to climb in the old Hudson and head to the daily grind remember that you no longer have weekends off to look forward to.No more paid holidays either.Life is not regimented any longer and you’re going to have to make decisions regarding just what to do with all this time that’s hanging heavy on your hands.

Not just you either Mr. Jim.You’re not the only one that has to make adjustments.There’s the lady of the house that’s not used to having you hanging around and cluttering up her day.Just think about that for a moment.

A little cheap advice for you Jim. Get up real early in the morning and go for a long walk every day.Those quiet times in the morning are the ones I’ve learned to treasure most.

Don’t join anything that’s even remotely organized.Your time needs to be flexible enough that you can grab at any opportunity that comes your way.

Try to do something every day that you’ve never done before.

Don’t read anyone’s blog or you’ll wind up like me.Stuck to a computer,wondering what some idiot is going to write about today or trying to decipher Redneck Convert’s ramblings.And enjoying it.

Best of luck on the best job you’ll ever have.

Dusty

June 27th, 2009
10:07 am

Dear Jim Wooten,

I shall miss your good thoughts very much. Won’t be as much fun without you. Have a fine time and I shall look forward to seeing your words on FRIDAYS and a bit of the usual blog fussing among us. Take care now!!

William Casey

June 27th, 2009
10:34 am

Though I seldom agreed with your opinions, I want to thank you for raising topics that needed discussing. Have a happy retirement!

Michael H. Smith

June 27th, 2009
11:13 am

clyde

June 27th, 2009
9:40 am

Because it should be very obviously that writing is more than just a job to Jim Wooten, it’s in his blood. Sort of like that “red dirt” he once wrote about.

If Jim Wooten ever retires completely from writing it will only be because his heart stopped beating, in my not so humble though thankful reader’s opinion.

EVIL REPUBLICANS TIME IS UP

June 27th, 2009
11:30 am

GOOD YOUR LEAVING JIMBO,EDUCATION IS LACKING BECAUSE OF REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP,WHO WANTS TO KEEP THE REDNECKS IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA STUPID SO THAT YOU HICKS IN RURAL JAWJAW WILL HAVE TO ONLY WORK AT CHICKEN PLANTS,HOW DOES IT FILL HICKS WITH NO VASELINE?

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 27th, 2009
11:47 am

Right Wingnut Julia Wallace will preside over the end of the AJC. It is sad to see it deteriorate so quickly, but maybe its demise will steer people to real newspapers who report the national and international news instead of using the superficial and erratic right wing AP almost exclusively.

TV Stations including the one owned by Cox news have stupidly become Michael Jackson wall to wall promoting death by opiate abuse. Where are those billions squirrled away from doing command performances to royals who profit by American’s stupid oil addiction. Jackson thought he was immune from bills, including one for a hundred grand for opiates from a pharmacy.

Several Democatic victories last week, among them:

Harold Koh confirmed as State Dept. legal counsel 62-35. Elections have consequences. Energy Greenhouse Gas or Cap ‘n Trade bill pass House decisively. Dawn Johnsen is a comin’ along with Al Franken. Sanford goes nookie huntin’ and crys for Argentina using state funds; legislators hate him–he’ll be gone soon. Pubtard federal judge resigns from prison before he can be removed by Senate, and his replacement named by Obama.

Progressives have composed long lists of the contrast between candidate Obama and President Obusha such as trying to imprison people indefinitely without charges via Executive Order when Congress hasn’t done it and the Courts have forbidden it. Looks like Congress will have to partner with Dawn Johnsen to reign in Obusha.

Chris

June 27th, 2009
11:50 am

Jim, you will be missed. Let us hope and pray your successor is just as effective in a time that conservtism in this country is under assault to the point of total destruction.

Michael H. Smith

June 27th, 2009
11:59 am

jconservative

June 27th, 2009
8:18 am

What would the terms “adequate public education” and “a primary obligation” mean to the majority of average citizens in the State of Georgia?

That is the correct answer to the questions of what “adequate public education” should mean and what “a primary obligation” should mean.

Jackie

June 27th, 2009
12:13 pm

Jim

Congratulations on reaching your retirement. You have provided a forum for debate and argument that is needed in today’s heated political environment.

Look forward to your Friday blog.

Attending a family member’s basic training graduation at Ft. Jackson, SC, had occasion to speak with a fellow member of 1st Cav Div and current Iraq/Afghanistan vets. It is remarkable how similar things have been in the execution of the war and what expectations of young vets have been relative to those we had during our time. You could see the wandering of their thoughts in their eyes which reflected their soulful depth of thought. It made us appreciate our being lucky enough to be here to speak of our own experiences.

SALUTE!!!!

booger

June 27th, 2009
12:37 pm

Seems the judiciary is more and more getting involved in things they should not, and being shut out of things where they should be involved, such as restructuring bankrupt companies. I suppose Obama just restructured GM and Chrysler to save the courts the trouble.

booger

June 27th, 2009
12:39 pm

So long Jim…one more voice of reason gone. God, I miss “The Atlanta Journal”.

Churchill's MOM

June 27th, 2009
1:11 pm

"Charles", The Original

June 27th, 2009
1:14 pm

Jackie,

Do you have a phone number for Jim Wooten? We would like him to apply for membership in our organization. He is somewhat conservative and seems to have enough back-bone to face humiliation if not accepted.

Cynthia Tucker isn’t invited to apply. And it wouldn’t be an appropriate time for her anyway. She’s figuratively on the streets of California seeking incriminating evidence against a doctor who had been unsuccessful in preventing Michael Jackson from killing himself. And as we all know, several lawyers had been successful in the past.

In any event, our conservative organization hopes that Jim Wooten’s next career is as accomplished as the previous one.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 27th, 2009
1:39 pm

When you get the 4 years of med school, a few years of residency, and years of day to day and night to night experience, you will learn Uncle Charles, that no doctor can stop everyone who wants to kill themself from doing so, no matter how hard he or she tries to prevent it. Most of them, but not all can be prevented with the right treatment which is not available to the majority of suicidal depressed patients because of the prohibitive cost and profligate profiteering by insurance companies and mental health facilities.

Republican Moral Hypocrisy at All Time High

Meanwhile, another excellent columnist who would never work at AJC, NYT’s Charles Blow, has pointed out in an essay with graphical analysis this morning that the Pubtard red states lead the league in ignorance, unwanted pregnancy, the highest divorce rates, He brilliantly flays open the rampant hypocricy among Republicans portraying themselves as the standard bearers for moral values.

Pubs promoted abstinence only sex education and it brought them schtuping and unwanted babies like Palin’s grandkid whose teenage badly educated parents are family feuding in public like the Hatfields and McCoys. The baby is fatherless; and fathers and nuclear families seem to be one of Jim Wooten’s recurring themes.

The pubs make an ongoing issue of gay marriage which does not help them win elections, but their divorce rates in 8/10 red states are the highest in the country. Pubs can’t stay married to anatomical women without cheating on them in stupid ways. Their political leaders thrive on affairs–Gingrich while his wife is dying of cancer and he’s trying to impeach Clinton, Livingston, Vitter (porty potty affairs with hookers for money), Craig (affairs in airport restrooms when he could have afford a notel-motel), and Presidential Candidate-not and soon to be ex gov Sanford who had the money to fly his nookie to a discreet place but could not even lie competently and used the taxpayer’s money to get his schtup-on

He notes that as a Representative Argentina Nookie Sanford proclaimed loudly that Bill Clinton must be impeached. Said Nookie Sanford at the time:

From Charles Blow’s column this morning:

According to The Post and Courier of Charleston, Sanford called Clinton’s behavior “reprehensible” and said, “I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally” to resign. “I come from the business side. … If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he’d be gone.” Remember that Mr. Sanford?

And this kind of hypocrisy isn’t confined to the politicians. It permeates the electorate. While conservatives fight to “defend” marriage from gays, they can’t keep theirs together. According to the Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract, states that went Republican in November accounted for eight of the 10 states with the highest divorce rates in 2006.

"Charles", The Original

June 27th, 2009
2:03 pm

Alright, alright, alright Pubby tards lose everything they try. Take a deep breath, in and Out. On second thought, will invite Cynthia Tucker to apply for membership in our conservative organization. But let’s give her some time to reflect on the Michael Jackson mishap, doctor and all. But I must be honest with you. Cynthia Tucker’s application for membership is going to be summarily rejected because of her liberal views. I hope she has a backbone.

I’m not sure that Jim Wooten’s application will be accepted because he is somewhat conservative.

Jackie

June 27th, 2009
2:08 pm

@Charles

I do not have Jim telephone number, I would like to have your telephone number and the name of your exalted organization.

Jackie

June 27th, 2009
2:10 pm

@1984

It is better to be thought of as an idiot than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt, idiot!

Do you still think you are going to heaven through St. Peter? Go ahead, make another joke, clown!!!!!!!!!!

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 27th, 2009
2:13 pm

It always amuses me that amatuer court watchers, who wouldn’t know a Federal Reporter, Westlaw, or LexisNexis or using the worn out cliche of “judicial activism” or “activist judge” for opinions they don’t like that aren’t what they want but constitutional adherence for opinions that happen to go their way.

None of them can interpret the Constitution, and the commentariat about the case whose opinion will be delivered at 10AM Monday about the time Uncle Bernie Madoff breezes in are a great example.

Madoff is a metaphor for the stupidity of the feds, who have not lifted a finger to find the millions or billions Ruthie, the brother, the sons, and the neice and many feeder fund principals have squirrled away. The SEC was corrupt in allowing Bernie to continue when they knew they had the dots connected for the last 15 years for his Ponzie scheme, and some of the former SEC and current SEC attorneys should be indicted and convicted. That money is the money that belongs to the people who have lost their fortunes, as well as to the rich that have a number of other tax havens who will continue to live a life of luxury even after Bernie and his posse screwed them.

A perfect example of a corrupt Madoff feeder dynasties are Ezra Merkin’s feeder, Cohmad Securities Corp., and Fairfield Greenwhich whose principals continue to live a Dynasty jet set life. The feds are always great at pouncing on the little guy with no resources, but lack the cojones to ever go after people with resources and Le Affair Bernie Madoff is a quintissential example of this.

The deal struck with Ruthie Madoff that Judge Denny Chin signed off on Friday is an example of allowing a criminal family to squirrel away billions off shore that don’t belong to them.

1984

June 27th, 2009
2:18 pm

Jackie, stupid? You bring a whole new meaning to the word stupid. You are the one who brings up a topic only to deny you ever brought it up. I thought EVIL REPUBLICAN was a retard but even she does not deny what she wrote.

Remember, stupid is as stupid does and you’ve proven Forest right.

"Charles", The Original

June 27th, 2009
2:26 pm

Well Jackie, if we are lucky, Jim will read some of the responses today and e-mail me. Then Jim and I will be able to exchange information.

If you are a white woman, I can’t give you my number. Just look at all of these black athletes walking around with white women under their arms. Maybe all of that started out with the exchange of phone numbers.

As you know Jackie, the sexually perverted demons are on the prow today.

"Charles", The Original

June 27th, 2009
3:07 pm

Pubby tards lose everything they try is tripping. He knows that criminal activity is overt in every business, company, and corporation in the United States. And the honest employees aren’t going to blow the whistle because they want a job. As a matter of fact, many Americans are hired based on the likeliness of fail proof obedience at any cost.

And many homeless people in Atlanta and elsewhere took a stand against corruption. And they were overcome by the influential criminals in the system resulting in retribution, homelessness. That’s why the influential criminals who caused people to become homeless are very slow to assist homeless people. And yes, after a while on the streets facing the elements, you become mentally ill.

Get real man. Even Charles the Original had to keep quiet in the face of corruption earlier in his career.

You know what the deal is pertaining to Bernie Madoff.

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 27th, 2009
3:12 pm

"Charles", The Original

June 27th, 2009
5:44 pm

I wonder how people balance Michael Jackson’s extraordinary musical gift with his extraordinary hatred of his dark complexion. It’s no secret that the overwhelming majority of black people in America hate themselves and other black people. But undoubtedly Michael Jackson is the classic example. I mean the man surgically removed every trace of black skin and features from his body.

I remember an occasion when young black children were looking at earlier pictures of Michael Jackson. To me he was a nice looking young black boy. And out of the blue, some of our black children said, that’s not Michael Jackson.

In their young mind, they couldn’t envision the evolution from black African to the likeness of a white European.

clyde

June 27th, 2009
6:13 pm

Monday when I log on and punch in the AJC,there will be no one there “thinking right”.That will make a hell of a hole in my morning.

Michael H Smith.
I was remiss in not actually giving your first comment the attention it deserved.My apologies ,sir.

Billy Bob

June 27th, 2009
6:27 pm

Jim, Jim, Jim, do you really think you’ll be happy just pecking out a column or two or three a month? Blogging here and there on the AJC forum when PoliticalForeskin gets outta hand?

I’ve admired your thoughts and literary style for approximately two years now. From all those editorials it’s clear you understand conservatism and Georgia – rural and urban. Your insight will be missed.

Good health and good friends as you move to the next “act” in your life. You deserve both.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 27th, 2009
6:32 pm

The deal pertaining to Bernie’s scam was that his family all were guilty, that the feeder funds were very guilty criminally not just civilly, and that many of his employees were complicit absolutely although Bernie’s wasn’t the only place they could have worked, and when this unravels a little more, it will be seen they got their money out long ago.

There is a long raiders of the lost arc chain that leads to every off shore haven imaginable for the money.

Every single person who was invested in Bernie was colossaly stupid, including the ones who didn’t know their pensions were in feeder funds to Bernie. They could have found out but they showed good ole USA indifference and it bit them in the butt clear through their pelvis. They were all over 21. The ones with investment sophistication including people like Ezra Merkin and feeders like Fairfield (the principal and his son-in-laws in S.A. and Europe are guilty as hell as well as many of their employees. The ones with investment sophistication knew damn well those kinds of returns were impossible, and the ones with no investment sophistication should have demanded to know exactly where there money was being shipped. No one did that, and now some very wealthy people as well as people with nest eggs will never see a significant amount of return no matter what Picard, the District Courts, the Second Circuit or the hapless DOJ in SDNY/and DC does.

It will make some big fat books up in front at Borders and Barnes and Noble, and on Amazon though for the next few years.

And Bernie’s favorite escorts probably aren’t doing outcalls to the Metro Correction Center for Bernie, although they are to the SDNY judges, Bob Morganthau’s boys @ SDNY, as well as the AUSAs @ SDNY.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 27th, 2009
6:37 pm

Larry King, Kevin Bacon, and Kyra Sedgwick who make multiple millions a year, could have uncovered the scam with their money with a few phone calls. All chose drooling indifference instead.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 27th, 2009
9:20 pm

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 27th, 2009
10:11 pm

The bottom line is not that Mark Sanford went for sex from someone besides his wife, or even that the hypocritical liar demanded Clinton resign the presidency after the Monica episode, but he’s a theif misappropriating and stealing state funds, and a liar and should be immediately indicted by the US Attorney in Columbia, South Carolina on federal charges of stealing tax payer money. Believe me, the code sections are there in 18USC and are used every day.

Jackie

June 27th, 2009
10:36 pm

@Charles

I sexually perverted ones that you speak of must be invisible. Would you be speaking of yourself?

Jackie

June 27th, 2009
10:37 pm

@1984

When the word stupid was defined, they had no idea that you existed!

oldtimer

June 27th, 2009
10:56 pm

Been reading your ideas since I was a McGovern campaign leader in Middle Ga and I still read you as I am a Democrat…left by the party… and find myself agreeing with the Republicans…..kind of like ole Zell. Given much more time I may be a Liberatarian as my dad was… an old time Iowa boy. Best wishes on the future. Keep praying for our schools and our country.

"Charles", The Original

June 27th, 2009
11:30 pm

Jackie,

The sexually perverted demons are invisible like all spiritual things. You have heard it said of eyes that can’t see, ears that can’t hear, and a heart without understanding. That’s spiritual my friend. You didn’t see sexually perverted demons attacking Bishop Earl Paulk. But they plagued the man for much of his life. And people should be careful how they address Mark Sanford. Unbeknownst to them, they are inadvertently sending out an invitation. And Sanford may have sent out an invitation to the perverted demon that menaced Bill Clinton. When people are being attacked by evil spirits, they must be addressed appropriately.

When God revealed the power of the spiritual world to me, I almost wanted to apologize for believing but not in the power thereof. A person can believe in God but not in his power in heaven and earth. But once you have that revelation, God gives you power over unclean spirits. And they obey your commands. And then comes the rejoicing because our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, heaven.

Goodnight everyone. We will talk to you tomorrow; God willing.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 27th, 2009
11:44 pm

Criminal Mark Sanford Tries to Wiggle Out Like a Woman

Mark was the self-righteous, Bible-thumping prig who pressed for Bill Clinton’s impeachment; Marco was the un-self-conscious Lothario, canoodling with Maria in Buenos Aires, throwing caution to the e-wind about their “soul-mate feel,” her tan lines, her curves, “the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of night’s light.”

Mark is a conservative railing against sinners; Marco sins liberally. Mark opposes gay marriage as a threat to traditional marriage. Marco thinks nothing of risking his own traditional marriage, and celebrates transgressive relationships. He frets to Maria in e-mail that he sounds “like the Thornbirds — wherein I was always upset with Richard Chamberlain for not dropping his ambitions and running into Maggie’s arms.”

Marco, the libertine, wonders how they will ever “put the Genie back in the bottle.” And in the sort of Freudian slip that any solipsistic pol like Mark would adore, Maria protests in Spanglish: “I don’t want to put the genius back in the bottle.”

Mark is so frugal for the taxpayers that he made his staffers use both sides of Post-it notes and index cards, and once brought two (defecating) pigs named “Pork” and “Barrel” into the statehouse to express his disgust with lawmakers’ pet spending projects.

Marco is a sly scamp who found a sneaky way to make South Carolina taxpayers pay for a south-of-the-border romp with his mistress.

Mark is so selfish he tried to enhance his presidential chances by resisting South Carolina’s share of President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package, callously giving the back of his hand to the suffering state’s most vulnerable — the jobless and poor and black students.

Marco is generous, promising to send a memento of affection that Maria wants to keep by her bed.

Mark hates lying. As he said of Bill’s dalliance with Monica, “If you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything.”

Marco lies with brio, misleading his family, his lieutenant governor, his staff and his state about his whereabouts, even packing camping equipment to throw off the scent from South America. He told whoppers to his wife, a former investment banker who managed his campaigns and raises his four sons (solo on Father’s Day). She put out a statement quoting Psalm 127 to snidely remind her besotted husband “that sons are a gift from the Lord.”

Shameless

June 28th, 2009
6:31 am

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 28th, 2009
10:00 am

Pubtards have lost all the moderates because they have become the party of the irrelevant whack job ignorant poorly read bigot. They displayed that when they got their butts kicked in November 2008 after Wooten, always consistently out of touch politically crowed in September that Obama was slipping and everybody knew it. What everybody knew was that Wooten has remained a child politically all his life and always will.,

It’s Sunday so all you pubs do your self-righteous bible thumping Christy Christ the Christ Christ act.

Next week time to indict Mark Sanford on federal theft charges which have been lodged against many politicians. Paying it back is part of the sentencing phase.

The insurance industry who helps cause as many deaths as physical diseases, contrtibuted $90 million to the Democratic party and $65 million to the Republican party in the last election. They will spend more in the disinformation campaign they have lodged, praying on ignorance,. particularly that promulgated by Blue Dog Dems and Republitards.

Goldman Sachs contributed $1 million to the Obama campaign. Those numbers mean that you who read this are anorgasmically screwed, continually.

Anyone who has been involved in medicine all their adult life knows that nothing close to socialized medicine has been proposed.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 28th, 2009
10:55 am

Time to say screw the Blue Dog Spineless Dems and the Obstructive Pubtards with no ideas of their own and drive that locomotive over them and crush them on health care and every other bill. The votes will be there.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 28th, 2009
11:36 am

Peggy Noonan takes the definition of a pure bred moron to a new level. Sanford has violated federal law; prison is the place for him.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 28th, 2009
11:46 am

The more Peggy Noonan airheads, the more you will lose pubbytards.

Jenny S

June 28th, 2009
12:36 pm

It’s a love story worthy of a treacly Nicholas Sparks novel. A high-ranking politician sneaks away from the pressures of political life to meet his secret lover — a beautiful, intelligent brunette from Argentina. He’s willing to risk anything, even a potential shot at the presidency, to be with her. In the meantime, he plies her with hopelessly romantic love letters.

In today’s Twitter- and text-obsessed world, passionate letters — even long e-mails — are rare. Washington hasn’t had a good love letter since the release of some of the 1,300 letters between President Harry Truman’s and his wife Bess during their nearly 60-year romance, and the more recent private-turned-public expressions of amour have been significantly less emotional. Consider the phone conversations between President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, or Rep. Mark Foley’s salacious instant messages sent to a young congressional page.

So the e-mailed letters between South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and his lover, Maria Belen Shapur, are captivating — to hopeless romantics and serious politicos alike. They’re colorful, descriptive, and unabashedly romantic, at times to the point of being schmaltzy and embarrassing. As with all letters that should have been kept private, the lines that may sound sweet to the intended recipient turn into purple prose when splashed out in public. The swooning, over-the-top style makes Sanford an easy target for ridicule – even if his letters came straight from the (cheating) heart.

He writes: “Do you really comprehend how beautiful your smile is? Have you been told lately how warm your eyes are and how they softly glow with the special nature of your soul.”

Not only does her soul glow, so does his tractor, of which he writes the following: “To me, and I suspect no one else on earth, there is something wonderful about listening to country music playing in the cab, air conditioner running, the hum of a huge diesel engine in the background, the tranquility that comes with being in a virtual wilderness of trees and marsh, the day breaking and vibrant pink coming alive in the morning clouds — and getting to build something with each scoop of dirt.”

In between the mushy parts, the lovers tell each other about everyday events. She writes of taking a lazy day trip and reading an Alan Greenspan book. He writes about meetings in New York, the National Governor’s Conference and an invitational with then-presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.

What emerges is that — regardless of the moral ambiguities of Sanford’s character — the man was a real romantic with a knack for writing.

“The most cherished gift a lover can give and receive is a love letter from the heart,” says romance coach Leslie Karsner, who sells prewritten love letters through a website called “Love Letters Now.” “It’s very romantic, especially with forbidden love,” Karsner says. “If you take the politics out of it, it’s the story of a man whose heart was captured and he was willing to run the risk of being caught.”

What makes Sanford’s letters so effective? POLITICO asked relationship experts to examine the missives and comment on what works — and what doesn’t.

Their take:

Love letters typically open with an adoring and tender greeting. This couple used “Dearest,” “My love” and “Sweetest.” The sign-off should hint that there’s more to come, as the governor did with “to be continued.”

“He’s good at keeping her on the edge,” said Karsner. “He’s good at encouraging future discussions. He’s a busy governor, so the moments they have together are fleeting, and these letters become that much more valuable.”

Also of importance is that the correspondents feel a lift when they are writing. Both Sanford and his mistress note how happy they are while composing their letters. He enjoys “another glorious day outside” and details the joy of an early-morning tractor ride on his farm. She writes him while sitting on a seaside island near Sao Paulo.

Michael H. Smith

June 28th, 2009
12:50 pm

Turning from the tabloid section of today’s blog compliments of The Washington Post:

The Debt Tsunami

The CBO’s latest warning on the long-term deficit is scarier than ever.

….Now comes the CBO with yet more news of the sort that neither Capitol Hill nor the White House is likely to welcome: its freshly released report on the federal government’s long-term financial situation. To put it bluntly, the fiscal policy of the United States is unsustainable. Debt is growing faster than gross domestic product. Under the CBO’s most realistic scenario, the publicly held debt of the U.S. government will reach 82 percent of GDP by 2019 — roughly double what it was in 2008. By 2026, spiraling interest payments would push the debt above its all-time peak (set just after World War II) of 113 percent of GDP. It would reach 200 percent of GDP in 2038.

…Like his predecessors, Mr. Obama O’samer is aware of this issue. Like them, he has promised a plan to deal with it. And like them, he has not come up with anything credible yet. It’s time for that to CHANGE.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/27/AR2009062701979.html?wpisrc=newsletter

“Debt is growing faster than gross domestic product.”

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 28th, 2009
4:31 pm

The emailed letters which a child could have written from Sanford and his nookie are subject to FRE (Federal Rules of Evidence) in Sanford’s coming trial for misappropriating the funds of the state of South Carolina with a 10 year sentencing guideline along the lines of convicted Georgia State Senator Charles Walerk pure and simple.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 28th, 2009
4:37 pm

The federal government’s long term financial debacle was created by Raegan, Greenspan, Gingrich, Phil Graham, Bush, and the Republican Congress in control for years along with Blue Dog Democrats and only a fiscal, economic moron would expect it to be resolved within the first 7 months of a presidency. It is going to take Obama’s entire first term to begin to turn around and as Krugman saidon ABC, the picture of potential Repubtardican candidates is the weakest clown show in history. None of them could begin to get elected with their 10% of the electorate base. Mr. Wooten’s remaining years will witness Publitard defeat after defeat after defat. They dug one hell of a fiscal hole with their stupid 4 trillion and growing Iraq fiasco that is now yielding a major explosion with casualties in doble digits per day as the Americans pull back come Tuesday.

AmVet

June 28th, 2009
6:22 pm

Mr. Wooten, I have excoriated many of the positions and ideas you advocated.

But I have no doubt you are a fine man and a good American.

All the best…

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 28th, 2009
6:58 pm

As Wooten leaves, the AJC takes a strong swing to a right wing newspaper kicking Tucker, Bookman, and Downey off the editorial board, shrinking into a corner and afraid to take on any controversial issues, cutting Bookman to just one more column per week than Wooten has to push his political naiviety that believes A dimwit like Palin is viable LOL this makes me grin every time I think about it for POTUS. Downney who used to love to dive into controversy has been handcuffed and muzzled by right wingnut Julia Wallace and sent to what amounts to Antartica–school issues in Georgia. Tucker seems to be reduced to one column per week, and they kicked her out of Georgia. She’s in DC and they don’t have a Washington bureau. They took Tucker’s place with a right wingnut installed by Cox and Cox aparichicks with little news experience now populate the AJC board.

A solid PhD thesis on the disintegrtation of a newspaper could be done by studying the demise of the AJC and the dilution of it by Wallace who now publishes a high school paper. All international or national coverage is pilfered from the air brained right wing Associated Press.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 28th, 2009
8:09 pm

Sanford is following a familiar criminal pattern. When caught with his hand in the nookie jar having stolen many thousands from the state of S.C., Sanford is running to whatever real or not Christ is. The Pubtard crooks always hide in the skirts of “Christ” and just get nauseatingly “christier.”

Michael H. Smith

June 28th, 2009
11:00 pm

Speaking of political morons, what political neophyte applauds a dummy that screams CHANGE entering the White House without an economic plan to fix the deficit, rather than using the excuse of wallowing in the red ink of his predecessor for his own lack of doing nothing but to speed more.

Leads the political savvy to believe Obumer-O’samer’s plan, is to have no plan and to rely solely on his predecessor’s budget failures as “a timeless excuse” for his own economic incompetence to address the deficit in hopes no one will notice the absence of CHANGE, leaving his pitiful supporters disarmed and defenseless, with only the DNC tabloids to thumb through and the GOP past to chide while in denial of their own.


“Debt is growing faster than gross domestic product.”

1984

June 28th, 2009
11:20 pm

Jackie, let’s be pals.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 29th, 2009
3:46 am

It has emerged that McClatchy newspapers, everything the AJC has never been and will certainly never be, has uncovered two other nookie sources that Sanford may well have used state funds to visit, wine, and dine.

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 29th, 2009
3:50 am

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 29th, 2009
3:56 am

@ Michael Smith–your lack of reading and understanding of economics dynamics is how and why you lose every election and vote in Congress.

7 months isn’t enough time to cleanup the mess that took years for mostly Pubtards in control, but some dems to be sure to cause the near depression we have. You need to start from scratch by reading Krugman’s latest book and the best seller House of Cards or stay ignorant. Obama couldn’t have been more prepared to hit the ground running in cleaning up the clusterfook your party made, and he’s not going far enough. The strategy of saying he’s no good without offering your own plans for economic recoverygetting you and your party nowhere and we will continue to crush you in every election with the exception of a few ignorant Southern states until the old white redneck bigots are dead and Hispanics and African Americans as well as educated whites take their places.

sharecropper

June 29th, 2009
8:02 am

You know, Jim Wooten is another one of those bobbleheads — some wingnut says something really stupid and Wooten starts nodding his head — who cry on the one hand about “activist” judges and judges “making policy”, then immediately demands the Supreme Court overturn Roe v Wade. Hello? The lights are on, but nobody’s home. I wish him well, and hope he gets far enough from the madding crowd to get his head straight and realize that the Bush-Cheney insane asylum is gone.

GTOMan

June 29th, 2009
9:20 am

I stand by my previous statement, you are all idiots!

Where is John Galt when we really need him?

Jim, Thanks for your many years of service to our country and for the courage to stand by your convictions.

Hooah!

[...] Jim Wooten says its not the courts job to monitor school system spending. [...]

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 29th, 2009
10:34 am

Cass Sunstein, one of the most brilliant constitutional lawyers in the country, who could be on the faculty of any law school vs. Saxby Chambliss, a country bumpkin, who knows as much about constitutional law as a 3rd grader. Saxbut is just pissed because Obama has told him he’s going to veto the Lockheed F22 so we can use that 1.5 billion for health care.

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 29th, 2009
10:37 am

Jim Wooten wouldn’t know a court from his butt and it shows. Anything a pubtard doesn’t want is “activist judging” and they’ve lost most of the federal cases even with the courts stacked heavily in their favor. Further, Obama’s filings have been to the right of Bush which is completely unappreciated by the pubtard commentariat because they don’t read much of anything, and they sure aren’t able to read law reviews, briefs, and opinions. To date, the Obusha DOJ has lost most of their right wing bids in opinions.

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 29th, 2009
10:50 am

Justice Kennedy’s 5-4 Opinion in Ricci v. DeStefano

A couple notes for the legally ignorant pubtards. The 2nd Circuit opinion was issued by the 3 judge panel per curiam. Contrary to popular pubtard belief, while Sotomayor was on the panel, you really get no extrapolation of her t’hought process in that the opinion which of course you didn’t read but neither did your nutbag attorneys in the Senate, was eight (8) sentences long which is the trouble when a judge and their law clerk won’t take ownership of an opinion that actually costs many thousands of dollars to litigate. The 2nd circuit refused to take the opinion en banc saying they thought it didn’t merit more than 8 sentences.

What the opinion has told the city, is that they can promote the white firefighters without fear of legal retribution in the form of discrimination law suits. Read the opinion (but of course you won’t even though I served it up to you).

Kennedy delivered the majority. Scalia and Alito filed separate concurrences (no surprise there) and Thomas and Scalia joined Alito’s concurrence. Ginsburg filed a dissent in which Stevens, Souter and Breyer joined.

Bottom line–Sotomayor was one of 3 at the Second Circuit who issued an 8 sentence opinion signed by none of them, and the Supremes decided it by the usual narrow party line split 5-4.

Value for stopping Sotomayor–the same chance that you, Wooten, and soon to be defrocked and probably indicted Sanford who was rotating 3 ectopic nookies at once will party tonight with Megan Fox.

Pubtards Continue to Lose

June 29th, 2009
11:03 am

Gingrich vs. Carvell on media bias now C-Span 3.

Michael H. Smith

June 30th, 2009
3:58 pm

Pubby tards lose everything they try

June 29th, 2009
3:56 am

Stick to something you know, like the tabloids.

Go back a bit further to where the real mess began. Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, those names should ring a bell in conjunction with Greenspan but only for those in the know that were watching the last two years during the Clinton administration.

Now go flatter yourself with the national inquire.

getalife

July 3rd, 2009
7:34 pm

The loony tune drama queen Palin has left the stage.

Next stop, false news.