Archive for April, 2010

Atlanta mayor needs iron will on benefits

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

● Wal-Mart lost me by its Stockholm-syndrome support of “Obamacare” legislation. But the company is, nevertheless, a reminder that the left will destroy any successful business it can’t control. In fact, President Barack Obama’s profession of belief in a free market in New York was followed by this interpretation of how it really works: “A free market,” he said a week ago, “was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it.” He was referring to Wall Street, but that’s the left’s view of Wal-Mart, too. The company this week was exposed to billions of dollars by the left-leaning 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco over allegations of pay discrimination. The suit, now a class action headed to trial, was filed by six women in 2001.

● The National Association of Business Economics polled 68 of its members who have economics-related jobs in the private sector and asked whether …

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Preston Smith: A refreshing voice

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

● On marriage: After seven marriages, a pending or possible divorce is not news anymore. And, two, what happens in Massachusetts stays in Massachusetts. Texas and Georgia, states that don’t recognize a “marriage” there, can’t grant a divorce, an issue Texas is litigating.

● Yes, lobbyists shouldn’t serve on state boards and commissions affecting a client’s interests. But the ban should extend to individuals representing groups or organizations with a financial or regulatory interest in board decisions. No advocate for growing government, for using its regulatory powers to stifle competition, or for affecting any group’s agenda, should be on any oversight board. State boards are filled with such people.

● Atlantans — in fact, all Georgians — should be chilled by the specter of Atlanta firefighters’ union picketing the Fulton County Taxpayer Association because of its court challenge to a pension fund change that allows them …

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How about a Southern Baptist?

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

● Absolutely Republicans in the U.S. Senate should filibuster against a hard-left ideologue to replace Justice John Paul Stevens. That is not, however, Leah Ward Sears. I’d confirm her.

● Diversity on the U.S. Supreme Court? I don’t have a candidate in mind, but for diversity’s sake, how about a Southern Baptist who’s served in the military and didn’t law-up at Harvard, Yale or Columbia? The retiring John Paul Stevens is a World War II vet, a Protestant and a graduate of Northwestern law school.

● Woe is me. Having acquired a taste for sardines in the military, I now discover that we are entirely dependent on foreign sources for the delicacies. The last U.S. packing house in Maine and in the U.S., this one owned by Bumble Bee, closed Thursday. In 1900 Maine had 75 canneries. Now I’m at the mercy of a cannery in Poland.

● Changing times, changing tastes, part 2: The University of Georgia, with 34,000 students, has sold fewer …

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We’re getting to be two Americas

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● The owners of Government Motors propose to fine competitor Toyota $16.4 million for allegedly failing to act quickly enough to notify the feds of potential acceleration problems. The government and the United Auto Workers union need to be out of the car manufacturing business. They’re in conflicts of interest.
● Headline: “Americans overtreated?” Of course. When somebody else is paying the bills, as they are with medical care, abuse is inevitable. Unless — as may be the case in the future — services are rationed as demand grows far faster than the supply of nurses and physicians. Georgia is ninth in population and 39th in physician supply, the president and executive director of the Physicians Foundation write in an AJC op-ed. Some 76 percent of primary care physicians responding to a 2008 survey say they were at full capacity or overextended. A 100,000-physician shortage is projected over the next 10 years to 15 years.
● …

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Bill for health care is coming due

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

● Caterpillar may have been first to announce that funds that might have gone to create jobs will instead go to finance ObamaCare, but others are ‘fessing up, too. AT&T takes a $1 billion charge, Deere & Co. $150 million, 3M $90 million, and officials of a host of other companies declare that they’ll be transferring tens of millions from the private to the public sector to finance ObamaCare. As the Obama administration would reassure us, nobody earning less than $250,000 will be affected. Unless, of course, they eat or purchase goods and services in America. The end result may be that some companies stop funding drug benefits for retirees, thereby shifting them to Medicare Part D.

● Marietta is wisely developing guidelines on naming the new parks and recreation facilities to be financed by $25 million in bonds approved by the city’s voters last November. The first rule should be this: Name nothing for living politicians or …

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