Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● What a difference a week makes. The Massachusetts uprising against Congress and this administration lifts the spirits of those, like me, who are concerned that we’re weakening America and stealing from future generations to fund current consumption. And then a conservative Republican wins the “Kennedy seat” in ultra-liberal Massachusetts. Blow me down. The health-care cram down is over. Over-reaching Democrats are in shock.
● The nation wants jobs, economic recovery and national security. The Left wants control of energy, autos, financial and the health care and insurance industries. They win. We lose. Example: The Environmental Protection Agency proposes stricter standards for ground-level ozone — stricter than standards just imposed in 2008. There’s a cost, certainly, that industry and utilities pay that they pass on in the form of higher consumer prices. But the real value of the stricter standards is that it gives federal bureaucrats power to veto new roads, slow regional growth, and force industry to spend more for new technology. It’s all about power and control.
● President Barack Obama is proposing a new tax, allegedly to be levied for no more than 10 years, of 0.15 percent on the liabilities of big financial institutions. Said tax would generate an estimated $117 billion. The justification is recovery of the $700 billion allocated to the Troubled Asset Relief Program, though it’s levied on firms that may not have gotten any federal help. The politicians are calling it a “financial crisis responsibility fee” and say it could come from the executive bonuses. Sure. It’ll be built into the cost of doing business, which means consumers will pay. It is so dishonest to say that this administration’s new taxes fall on the rich. They fall on all of us.
● Where do their senses go when they start spending other people’s money? DeKalb County is facing possible layoffs to close a projected $50 million deficit. So commissioners approve a $101,000 contract to wallpaper and paint county buildings. In these difficult times, you fix holes in the roof; cosmetics can wait.
● An era ends. Central State Hospital in Milledgeville is ending mental health services, which state officials started doing 40 years ago in de-institutionalizing the mentally ill. Time was that the phrase “they took her to Milledgeville” or they sent him to Reidsville” were all-conveying conversation-stoppers. Place-names identified the mission, along with the illness or the offense.
● An invitation to go hunting with the John Oxendine party? Thanks, but I’ve been delaying getting my shoe-lace drawer straightened out and that’s the day I’ve set aside to do it.
● The Obama administration’s decision to lawyer-up would-be terrorist bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and try him in civilian courts is made dumber by the revelation that he was not properly questioned by intelligence officers before the civilian-court decision was made.
● Times are so bad that robbers are bypassing banks and robbing the Dollar General store, as they did this week in Macon.
● No brainer: Pass the ban on text messaging while driving before the Georgia House of Representatives now. State Rep. Allen Peake of Macon, one of the sponsors, is a former offender. “I can remember driving three or four miles and having no idea what I had just done because of texting.”
● Officials at Chattanooga’s Memorial Hospital say they’ll stop hiring people who smoke. What about fat people? No. They’re not yet a despised class. Discrimination is OK if the middle class, politicians and opinion leaders agree on whose undesirable. You don’t ever want to get on the wrong side of the stampeding herd.
● A state jobs summit is just collective hand-wringing for PR purposes. The problem’s not in Atlanta. It’s in Washington. Tax-and-regulatory uncertainty and the unpredictability of Congress are the real jobs killers.Health care cram down is over