Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● Newsweek’s cover photo of Sarah Palin is sexist, as she asserts. The magazine used a photo of Palin in running gear that she’d allowed to be taken for a sports magazine. The hostility of many of those in the media to Palin is breathtaking. Liberals fear her more than any other potential Republican presidential nominee, hence their desire to ridicule and diminish.
● Check the headlines. Yes, the economy’s lousy. And … That’s the cue for the pari-mutuel gambling crowd to make their periodic pitch for horse racing. It matters not whether Democrats or Republicans are in power under the Gold Dome. Some special interests never go away. State Rep. Harry Geisinger (R-Roswell), chairman of the Special Equine Study Committee, says his panel will propose a public referendum to legalize betting on the ponies.
● Atlanta’s largest police union, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, Local 623, endorses Kasim Reed over Mary Norwood for mayor. Norwood voted against a property tax increase. If public employees are able to elect their bosses, no politician will vote against giving them what they want, which explains in part why Atlanta is in such long-term financial trouble.
● Surprisingly often in national reporting about the legitimate conflict over health care provisions now being debated in the U.S. Congress, you read a version of this sentence, drawn from an Associated Press account of the version introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.): “Initial maneuvering on the Senate floor was expected later this week on the measure, bitterly opposed by Republicans eager to deny Obama a victory on his top domestic priority.” That’s it. The opposition is cast as purely political — evidence of too-long-on-the-beat cynicism or a failure to comprehend conservative opposition.
● Get ready. A federally appointed panel that makes health care policy recommendations thinks mammograms for most women should not be routine until 50, rather than 40, the current standard. “The additional benefit gained by starting screening at age 40 years rather than at age 50 years is small,” the panel said. The administration was quick to back off the recommendation. But there are only two ways to afford the trillion-dollar health care legislation: Increase taxes directly and indirectly, and when that is inadequate, decide who gets what care and when.
● One newspaper after another finds the Obama administration’s claims about jobs saved or created by the $787 billion pork-as-stimulus bill to be bogus. Bogus. Phony. Made up. The AJC’s Jeremy Redmon reported that the Central Savannah River Area Economic Authority in Augusta was recorded as having saved 317 jobs because officials took the “stimulus” and used it to give those 317 employees a 2.3 percent raise. The administration really should stop reporting national numbers. They’re junk.
● The Georgia Lottery board should be ashamed. Giving $2.75 million in bonuses to staffers — a total that is up 8 percent from last year — for enticing desperate people to fork over a portion of their unemployment checks and their scant earnings for an infinitesimal chance at riches is shameful. Lottery CEO Margaret DeFrancisco got a $204,034 bonus, up from $150,000 last year. Man, there’s a Depression on. Is the board oblivious to the world about us?
● In troubled times, take refuge in that which is good. Honoring the top men and women in the enlisted ranks of the Georgia Army National Guard and the Army Reserve, as the AJC has done for decades, comes at a military ceremony that always lifts the spirits. They do Georgia and the nation proud. This year’s honorees are, from the Guard, Sgt. Brandon R. Clark of Dallas, a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry, and Sgt. 1st Class Daniel P. Crump of Ellenwood, a member of Joint Force Headquarters. The Reserve group includes Spec. Brittiany L. Jordan of Marietta, 3rd Medical Command, and Sgt. Patrick K. Elrod of Gainesville, 3rd Battalion, 323rd Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. They are a reminder about what’s good in America.