Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● Yuk. Yuk. Yuk. The left’s delight in depicting conservative leaders as their intellectual inferiors — Sarah Palin’s key word notes on her hand at the Tea Party convention being their latest evidence — prompts the question: What have those of superior intellect in Washington done to pull America out of its economic slump, to make us more secure, to establish trust or to connect with us?
● Toyota’s troubles — and the fact that it is a competitor to the car companies owned by the U.S. government and the auto workers’ union — present a real conflict of interest. The government has the power to destroy Toyota in America, and the unions have the power to destroy their competitor, Ford Motor Co. There oughta be a law that neither government nor the union can own more than 5 percent of a company whose fortunes are affected by their actions or marketplace-affecting decisions.
● The proper reaction to MARTA’s decision to identify its train line to Doraville with the color yellow is to put it aside for worry until America solves the more pressing problem of whether toenail fungus is getting sufficient research dollars.
● Douglas County is using the bulk of its $350,000 in federal “stimulus” money to fund two new positions. I’m not arguing here that they’re not legit or needed — but I do get the impression from these stimulus job-creation tidbits that the $862 billion will be used primarily to grow state and local governments. Nationally, that’s no surprise since 7.2 percent of the private sector is represented by unions, compared to 37.2 percent of the public sector. Unions are a key Democratic Party constituency.
● Gov. Sonny Perdue, a lad of fanciful dreams, proposes to ask voters to make four constitutional offices appointive. Voters now elect them, including the state school superintendent and the Labor, Insurance and Agriculture commissioners. Sooner expect Barack Obama to genuinely accept fault. Neither will happen. Georgians won’t. Obama won’t. (A strong argument could be made to appoint the Labor Commissioner. The department is essentially a federal money pass-through.)
● The U.S. House just upped the federal debt limit by $1.9 trillion, or $6,000 per citizen. More than 40 percent of every dollar Congress spends is borrowed from future generations. So how is it spent? DeKalb County schools just spent $380,000 in federal money to send about 185 employees to a conference in Hollywood. That’d be Hollywood, Calif., not Hollywood, Fla., or Hollywood, Ga. Free money has no value.
● Mr. President, with respect to Iran and its nuclear threat, how’s groveling working as an approach to civilizing/appeasing/befriending President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Iran’s now a nuclear state and is capable of producing weapons-grade uranium, says he. Taken at his word, Israel is in peril. Saddam Hussein may not have had weapons of mass destruction, but world leaders have no choice but to take them at their word.
● Georgia got $750,000 in federal money to conduct feasibility studies on an Atlanta-to-Birmingham rail line, an Atlanta-to-Chicago line and a Macon-to-Jacksonville line. Some lament that it wasn’t more. Frankly, it’s about right. Rail supporters insist that Georgia’s being punished by the Obama administration for failing to spend $80 million previously earmarked for Atlanta-to-Lovejoy commuter rail. But … it came as an earmark, meaning that nobody ever conducted a cost-benefit analysis of whether demand exists. An earmark. One of those items a congressman inserts in the budget without scrutiny.
● MARTA wants to charge riders by time of day and distance. No problem. Anything that reduces the needed subsidies.