Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● In the spirit of bipartisanship: For a generous contribution from the Roy Barnes campaign to my favorite charity, my band of right-wingers will hold him hostage on a farm in South Georgia until the urge passes to rush home to have an endorsement photo taken with President Obama, who comes to town next week. For a more generous contribution from either the Karen Handel or the Nathan Deal campaigns, we’ll provide him first-class limo service to the Obama photo op.
● Billy Corey is just the kind of don’t-push-me businessman that every corrupt government should run into. He and his Corey Airport Services were just awarded $17.5 million for being denied a fair opportunity to win an indoor advertising contract at Atlanta airport.
● Nobody respects federal money. Still, in the spirit of Arizona’s effort to help the feds enforce immigration laws they’d prefer to ignore, Georgia should pass a state law making it a crime to split purchases from federal, state and local grants so as to evade financial accountability triggers. An AJC examination of $9,680 in purchases of a self-published book by DeKalb schools’ assistant superintendent Ralph Simpson, by his replacement as principal of a Lithonia high school, Selina Carol Thedford, reveal them to have been made on the same day in 2007. The purchases of the 70-page large-print paperback was split into two $4,800 buys using federal grant money. Free money, splurge money, unearned no-respect money.
● East Point is becoming one of the more interesting local governments around metro Atlanta. A strong-willed City Council told Fulton County to take its $13 million intended to rehab a burned-out apartment complex and spend it elsewhere. “We have tons of affordable housing in East Point,” insisted Councilwoman Sharonda Hubbard. “We need to get people into single-family homes.” It’s a rare government that can keep its bearings when tempted with “free” money from a higher-level government.
● It’s no wonder 58 percent of Americans want ObamaCare repealed. The adverse consequences have started and will continue for years to come. Example: Some major insurers have stopped writing policies for individual children, anticipating the coming day when they’ll be required to issue policies for children, regardless of condition. With incentive to be irresponsible, parents will wait until children are sick to buy insurance. They can’t be denied. So the prudent corporate decision is to get out of that business altogether.
● The heirloom-hybrid seed dispute has mostly passed me by. But it rages, extending even to the AJC’s op-ed page, where George Ball, chairman of W. Atlee Burpee &Co. gets right agitated at the “Luddite fundamentalism” of the “greener-than-thou gardeners.” One sentence in his op-ed captures with marvelous clarity the modern political liberal. “Increasingly,” he writes, “nongovernmental organizations and activists are encouraging Third World farmers, in Haiti and elsewhere, to grow heirlooms in lieu of hybrids. By so doing, they are putting their sophisticated personal tastes and aesthetics before the life and death needs of the farmers” who risk crop failure with seeds that may be low yield and susceptible to pests and disease. “This is noveau imperialism at its most pernicious,” Ball writes. Sock it to ’em, brother.
● Ford, ah, Ford. Champion of free enterprise. Four years ago it mortgaged all at enormous risk to reshape itself. Now without government assistance it’s profitable — $2.6 billion April-June, its fifth straight quarterly profit. It took risks and is succeeding. I can’t vote Big Labor and its government partner out of the car business, but I can vote in the marketplace.