Georgia’s GOP owns the culture it inherited

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● Had the Obama administration delivered on swine flu vaccine, it could claim credit for success in halting the spread of the illness. Across the nation, and in Georgia, it’s fading away, even though the vaccine never arrived for most. Democrats in Congress and the administration porked-out $789 billion in “stimulus,” and while the jobs saved or created are pure fiction, the administration will claim credit when the economy recovers, as it eventually will. Economic recovery, swine flu. Same-same.

● Linking Ga. 400 north of Atlanta to I-675 on the south by tunneling, and making it a toll road, is a cracker-jack idea. It’s one of the top toll projects the state Department of Transportation is pitching to private investors and road-construction companies. But watch how quickly opponents will inject race, a staple of Atlanta policy-making. Already, it’s cast that way because the tunnel would go under old, established neighborhoods and then surface south of I-20 “where demographic data show the population is less wealthy and less white.” Ah, Atlanta. What might we have achieved had every public policy decision not devolved into race?

● The state DOT reverses course and lifts the ban on tolls for existing lanes. The Downtown Connector is a potential candidate for higher taxes, which is what tolls are when the money’s not buying added capacity, and therefore traffic congestion relief, on the tolled road.

● Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was considered a shoo-in for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Until he endorsed the $789 billion pork-a-rama. Since then, his support has plummeted, and in the latest Rasmussen poll, he’s now tied with Marco Rubio, a conservative 38-year-old Cuban American lawyer from Miami and former Florida House speaker who has attracted support from conservatives across the country. Some have taken shots at Rubio because he would have taken the money while opposing the bill. Me, too. The money is being taken from Floridians and should go back, even if the spending was lousy public policy.

● Within the decade, liberals in the Georgia General Assembly were working to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits because the fund was flush with cash. They failed. Good thing, too. Now the state’s forced to borrow money from the feds to pay next week’s benefits, says Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond.

● The White House wants DeKalb residents to forward ideas on job creation. OK. Send this: Stop spreading uncertainty in taxation and employee benefit and regulatory costs. As an employer, I’d have to be pushed to the wall before I’d hire permanent full-time workers. Temps, yes. Part-timers, yes. Contractors, yes. All workers I could dump when Congress kills markets and profits. Which largely explains these two recent stories from one day’s AJC business pages: “More CEOs plan to cut staff than to hire more” and “Layoffs are shrinking, but hiring isn’t growing.”

● Iran tests a missile capable of reaching Europe or, more likely, Israel. That provoked what was described as “immediate rebukes from the White House.” Those immediate rebukes were in the form of rhetoric that such provocative acts “increase the seriousness and resolve of the international community to hold Iran accountable.” One day while the dreamers mumble emptiness, Israel will have to act. Alone or with the “international community,” it can’t allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

● The worst mistake Republicans made when they came to power in Georgia was their failure to make themselves the party of ethics and open government. Now they own the culture they inherited. Plus, they did their part. Many of those new-to-power partied like school boys on spring break. I long for legislators like, among others, former state Sen. Clay Land of Columbus, now a federal judge, who drove 100 miles home to be with his family at night. One more thing: Stop treating lobbyists like daddy’s ATM for party boys.

66 comments Add your comment

lenny

December 21st, 2009
2:47 pm

a cracker-jack idea? c’mon man, that term hanstr been used since reconstruction. you must be a dork republican.

Mike Fairbanks

December 21st, 2009
4:19 pm

Why are so many gay men Republicans? What’s up with that?

John Miller

December 21st, 2009
8:15 pm

The ignorance from Jim Wooten in this article regarding road building is astounding. He obviously hasn’t realised that wealthy white people in Atlanta also aren’t too keen on seeing thier tax dollars go to currupt GOP politicians and their friends in the concrete industry so rednecks and suburbanites in their SUV’s can pollute the city even more.
What idiots actually buy this GOP crap these days?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 22nd, 2009
4:02 pm

Dear Michael Smith @ 12/19 9:13, I had not caught, much less contemplated, the Darwinian paradox before your note. Thanks, great thought.

Chris Broe

December 23rd, 2009
8:54 am

“I don’t look for any serious debate where arguments of substance verse differing arguments of substance to ensue, as personal attacks rather than opposing substantive arguments have made their way to the fore.

That’s easy 4U2 say.

K_Chub

December 23rd, 2009
7:19 pm

Damn Jim – I thought you retired. You just keep spewing out this garbage. At some point you will look back on your pathetic existence and realize everything you believe has been a complete sham, but until then you get to be the mouthpiece for all the redneck idiots in this state. Thanks for doing your part to keep Georgia a backwoods state and contributing to the dumbing down of the masses.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 23rd, 2009
9:14 pm

Clear thinkers on Jim’s blog will enjoy Ray Stevens’s latest song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc_-L4fyLUo

Chris Broe

December 24th, 2009
6:59 am

An Open Christmas Card to the Tea Party

The Baby Jesus is One Birther Movement
with whom I’d side
Today we can forego science improvement
and have a bipartisan yuletide

Merry Christmas, Born-again Birther Flat-earthers!

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 24th, 2009
10:18 am

The news just said that the bureaucrats who head FNMA and FHLMC had multi-million dollar salaries in the year of the corporate bankruptcies. Why are taxpayers still guaranteeing the obligations of these companies?

Michael H. Smith

December 24th, 2009
4:58 pm

Chris Broe

December 23rd, 2009
8:54 am

That’s easy 4U2 say.

And, thanks to you (and your ilk) it makes the saying thereof so much easier.

SFM

Michael H. Smith

December 24th, 2009
5:08 pm

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 24th, 2009
10:18 am

Why are taxpayers still guaranteeing the obligations of these companies?

Why ask why, until (we) taxpayers decide to fire the present corrupt Congress that makes all these guarantees possible while the country is broke and placing many future generations of unborn Americans into debt?

Had enough of the corrupt “hope and change” Democrats yet?

Michael

December 26th, 2009
4:41 pm

I like the way when “race is injected” it is always the blacks’ fault, not the whites. If only them blacks would know their place!

trevor

December 31st, 2009
12:02 am

spoken just like one of the many undereducated, ignorant, overly entitled and ‘right’ thinking mouth breathers you speak on behalf of.

West Atlanta

January 3rd, 2010
10:06 am

Any news about who may run for Glenn Richardson’s old seat? I heard the name Mason Rountree being floated but not sure if it is true.

varun

January 13th, 2010
9:46 pm

Georgia is like Afganisthan and our Judges in Cobb County are like the Taliban . If you lie to a judge it is ok in Georgia , the judge will grant u a judgement based on lies if you want check it out for ur self . Do a google on cobb county superior court and enter this case number 07103365 – 28 . Pravin Thakkar VS ISMAT HABIB . This lawsuit is based on no facts but since Mr Pravin D Thakkar( who is known in the state of Indiana for rape , murder , extortion , tax evasion and currently driving on a SUSPENDED DRIVERS LICENSE) got a judgement . His attorney never even served any notice about a court date .

Ismat is like Mother Teressa and she just wants to save as many women from the evil of Pravin D Thakkar , please support her .

WE NEED TO SAVE ISMAT , ISMAT IS TRYING TO SAVE AMERICA. AMERICA IS UNDER ATTACT FROM PRAVIN D THAKKAR ( Commonly Called as Mark operating a company discount blinds shutters and more )

96 SC

February 11th, 2010
12:09 am

No Citizenry deserves the likes of Georgia Governor Elmer Fudd who has set the state backi 60 years in all areas. Gov. Fudd is dishonest, inept, and self serving, hopefully in November we will do better.