Davis case ‘evidence’ was a spin

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

● There’s a disconnect between the education-funding “crisis” and reality. Government jobs in Georgia grew by 7,000 last year, most of them military and federal bureaucracies. And while city and county governments did shrink by 3,300, school systems added 100 teachers. The AJC’s Dan Chapman reports that government jobs now account for 17.4 percent of nonfarm employment in Georgia, up from 15.5 percent as recently as four years ago. It’s nearly impossible to get an honest reading on anything related to public education funding, the result of decades of exaggeration.

● You rarely see ObamaCare or the ground zero mosque described as “controversial,” but Georgia’s voter ID verification system routinely is. The most polarizing issues in the country aren’t labeled as controversial, while a common-sense effort like voter ID is. Go figure. Point of view, I suppose.

● Barack Obama has been a dud as a post-partisan president, but there’s hope. My longtime colleague Jay Bookman and I bring the left and the right in complete agreement: Picking former Attorney General Mike Bowers and former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson to get to the bottom of the Atlanta school cheating scandal was one smart move and Gov. Sonny Perdue is one cool dude for doing it. Well, maybe; we’re not in full agreement, but you get the drift.

● The Troy Davis witness recantation was almost entirely hype. A Georgia Supreme Court decision written two years ago by Justice Harold Melton that evaluated the quality of the alleged witness recantations was perfectly consistent with this week’s ruling by U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr., who re-examined the claims and concluded: “smoke and mirrors.” Whatever the agendas of those who bought the “new evidence” spin, it wasn’t justice. Davis did murder Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail 21 years ago. Those who were so ready to be ushered to a race-based explanation for his conviction were duped.

● One clue that you have a reckless local government: Fulton County has identified $59 million in needed repairs to existing facilities — and yet its commission voted 5-2 to spend $26 million to build and at $300,000 per year to operate a museum and community center at the county airport near Six Flags Over Georgia. Most telling of all is this tidbit from AJC reporter Steve Visser’s story: “Some county officials had a difficult time after the vote explaining exactly what they wanted to build.”

● Praise be the DeKalb County Commission. They rejected a cockamamie proposal to give $36 million in public money to a private developer to build on a prize piece of real estate in metro Atlanta: the vacant GM tract in Doraville. With interest local taxpayers would be required to pay, the public tab would have been $54 million. In general, public officials are dangerous when they get the urge to play mover-and-shaker with other taxpayer money. Not this time, thankfully.

● The federal government — its debt threatening to bankrupt this country — borrows $3.5 billion to motivate 10 states to improve public education, something they need no incentive from Washington to do. Georgia gets $400 million. The feds have no expertise in running or improving public schools and no real role. You’ll not convince me that an administration that pushed aside Chrysler creditors to give ownership to the Democrats’ union supporters doesn’t have an agenda that advances the interests of its education workplace unions. True reform? Not likely. And it is telling that the National Education Association union’s Georgia affiliate, the Georgia Association of Educators, finds no Republican worth endorsing in a statewide race.

39 comments Add your comment

Mr. Dithers

August 26th, 2010
8:23 pm

Snooooooooooooooooozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Tom

August 26th, 2010
9:18 pm

My Google search using the terms “ground zero mosque” and “controversial” yielded 22,800,000 hits. I guess in Jim Wooten’s Nonsense Conservative-World that equals “rare.” Or perhaps Wootenesque conservatives are just none too strong on that whole secular progressive “math” business.

Drew S

August 26th, 2010
9:33 pm

Tom, I just ran the same search for “obamacare + controversial” and got 2,030,000, “obama + healthcare + controversial” got 16,300,000, and “georgia voter id + controversial” got 24,300. It’s not like I needed to run that search to know that, though. Wooten, why did you write that? My mind honestly can’t do the mental gymnastics required to make your comment make sense.

get out much?

August 26th, 2010
9:47 pm

Maybe if Georgia was not one of the states still requiring Preclearance until the 1965 Voting Rights Act (which was extended in 2006) there would not be a controversy. Maybe Georgia should spend a little more time and effort trying to get removed from that list before it starts tinkering with voting laws.

Slick Willie

August 26th, 2010
9:48 pm

My Google search using the terms “Tom” and “stupid” yielded 21,600,000 hits. Gotta try harder than that Buddy Boy.

Slick Willie

August 26th, 2010
9:50 pm

By the way, keep it up Fulton Co. You sorta lost Sandy Springs a few years ago and you’re about to lose everything ($$$) in north Fulton once Milton Co. is formed.

Jim got it half right

August 26th, 2010
11:17 pm

Kind of forgetting are you Jim that GAE the “teachers union” in Georgia actually opposed Race to the Top Funds aren’t you? But you’re right on the main point in that this is nothing more than the moral equivalent of a payday loan.

Streetracer

August 27th, 2010
3:59 am

Seems to me that two things are needed for success in school, student work ethic and parental involvement/expectation. I admit that I don’t have any good ideas about fixing either, but I am real sure that throwing money at schools won’t

Van Jones

August 27th, 2010
8:06 am

Shouldn’t the Tuskegee Airmen tribute community center be built in, umm, maybe Alabama?

Kamchak

August 27th, 2010
8:32 am

Enter your comments here

Kamchak

August 27th, 2010
8:33 am

Everybody knows white people are racist

Barry

August 27th, 2010
9:04 am

Mr. Wooten writes, “While city and county governments did shrink by 3,300, school systems added 100 teachers.” These numbers are meaningless without context: How many additional pupils entered those school systems? The greatest factor in school system employment is student population. If you want to make the case that adding those teachers was fiscally wrong, you’ll need to demonstrate that those numbers rose at a faster rate than the student population. Without that context, your number is not only meaningless, it’s misleading.

sandra

August 27th, 2010
9:07 am

The person who said what kids need for success are involved parents and a work ethic is right. He didn’t mention that they also need incentives to work hard to be successful. In today’s world however, people who have worked hard, made their own money, and been successful are demonized as being “fortunate rich” who must be penalized in the form of ever higher taxes. As a kid I had a dream and I have fulfilled it, only to understand that goal isn’t available anymore to our children. One doesn’t wonder that they don’t seem to care. Heck, they can all live on the government, until it runs out of money. Oh, forgot, it already is $13.4 trillion in debt–I would call that having run out of money.

MiltonMan

August 27th, 2010
9:08 am

Nice job Fulton County. I guess the clowns have forgotten about fanplex that closed after just 2 years of being opened by the county. Milton County cannot get here soon enough.

Disgusted

August 27th, 2010
9:27 am

Don’t get too excited about the “increase” in government jobs, especially at the federal level. All that’s happening there is a replacement of contracting employees who don’t count as government employees with regular Civil Service employees. See, for a dozen years, the taxpayer was scammed. Presidents all the way back to Clinton could boast of “reducing” federal employees. In fact, as Civil Service employees retired or otherwise left, they were replaced by people hired by Lockheed, Perot Systems, and other big campaign contributors; they didn’t count against the personnel budget, so naturally agency heads were actually encouraged to add employees.

Eventually, agencies like CDC had 45% of their staff as contracting employees. People with yellow stripes at the bottom of their badges were all over the place. Meantime, administrations could boast of “cutting” government.

Now there’s a more honest approach to staffing. Either existing contracting employees are being converted to Civil Service employees or else new employees are being hired as Civil Service.

Bottom line: the voting public has been duped for a dozen years. If you don’t believe me, Google is your friend.

joe

August 27th, 2010
9:35 am

Jim, here is how your final item should read:
The federal government under George Bush— its debt threatening to bankrupt this country — borrows $5 Trillion to give to Rich people, who just put in the bank to draw interest. Instead if these rich folk had paid there fair share we could have a better economy, more schools and better roads.

Lee

August 27th, 2010
9:45 am

Regarding education funding in GA:
1. When I see football coaches given pink slips, I’ll start to believe schools have a funding “crisis”.
2. A few years ago, the AJC ran an article about teachers salaries. It gave an example of a PE teacher with a PHD making over $90,000 per year. The salary structure is out of touch with reality.

It saddens me when I drive by GM’s Doraville and Ford’s Hapeville plants. Then I think about the hundreds of millions (maybe billions) of dollars given to foreign car manufacturers to relocate here and compete against American manufacturers. Connection? Maybe. Maybe not.

So, Camp Creek Parkway is called Tuskegee Airmen Parkway and now they want to built a tribute museum???? I don’t get the connection between Fulton Co and Tuskegee Airmen. Wish someone would explain that one for me.

joe

August 27th, 2010
9:58 am

Jim, here is how your final item should read:
The federal government under Barrack Obama–its uncontrollable spending threatening to bankrupt this country–borrows trillions to give to people who have no drive, self worth or inclination to do anything for themselves. If morons like joe would take the hand that he holds out for another entitlement and put it to work, he could help our country by supplying labor for schools and roads.

joe

August 27th, 2010
9:59 am

Oh wait, I’m a complete tool…I just contradicted myself…

tar and feathers party

August 27th, 2010
10:06 am

Lee – Both Fulton Co and Tuskegee Airmen were related to the jungle. A thousand years ago, Fulton county was a jungle, and the Tuskegee Airmen’s great**10 power grandparents were running through a jungle somewhere far to the South East of Fulton Co.

oldpunk23

August 27th, 2010
10:07 am

Hey Jimmy, where was your concern about deficits during the Bush years? All of those tax cuts will be paid by future generation. They’ll also be paying for the needless Iraq war. Don’t forget that the deficit in Obama’s first year of office would have been over $1 trillion before a single bill was passed. Jeez… grow up, willya?

And controversial… no proven cases of voter fraud that the voter ID law would catch. And you can get an ID card…. by providing the same documentation that used to be valid at the polls. So what is prevented? Plus it doesn’t apply to mail-in ballots anyway, That compared to better health care, and the freedom of religion that is one of the tenets the US is based on.

Again, jeez, grow up, willya?

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 27th, 2010
10:16 am

I’m not sure Mike Bowers is the person to pass judgement on somebody for cheating.

Not So Casual Observer

August 27th, 2010
11:02 am

OP23,

Do you understand the Congress is responsible for spending? The Congress for the last 2 years of the Bush administration was under Democrat control. Investigate the deficits under W Bush and I think you will see the increase once Democrats won the Congress.

Tax cuts increase revenues – this was proved under Reagan. The problem is always Congress when initiating their own spending or ratifying the administration spending. Under Reagan the Democrat Congress simply continued to outspend revenues regardless of the increases generated by the tax cuts.

The Members of Congress simply spend, spend, spend attempting to buy votes for their re-election.

Jack

August 27th, 2010
11:37 am

Bowers & Wilson will cost the taxpayers money and the cheating will still be here. Who are we going to replace the cheating teachers with? More cheaters?

dave

August 27th, 2010
11:38 am

Dead on the mark Streetracer

Bob

August 28th, 2010
9:03 am

Joe, I guess you think it all belongs to uncle sam and if we get any of our own paycheck it means we are getting something given to us ?

Bob

August 28th, 2010
9:05 am

OP23, last year under Bush, 400 Billion debt. Last two years under obo and pelosi, 1.4 Trillion in debt, per year.

Jess

August 28th, 2010
1:00 pm

I for one am happy the GM plant project was voted down. Atlanta area has yet to digest it’s last large upscale ghetto at Atlantic Station. We do not need another.

uno

August 28th, 2010
11:06 pm

“Thinking Half-right” would be a more appropriate title for your column. Help me with this: what exactly are conservatists conserving?

AmVet

August 29th, 2010
9:32 am

Jim, is it really necessary to proffer outright lies to support your opinion?

You rarely see…the ground zero mosque described as “controversial,” …

Of course, YOU don’t see it. But that is only because your hyper-partisan myopia makes it damn near impossible to see the truth, if you don’t want to agree with it

Countless dozens of news sources including CBN, Fox News, the NY Times and the UK’s Telegraph refer to it as:

google.com/search?q=controversial+mosque&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Shameless…

J.B. STONER

August 29th, 2010
11:01 am

Hope yall got a glimpse of Washington yesterday.

Great job by Mr. Glenn Beck and a more realistic figure of a million people.

And yes, the people HAVE spoken….

The party is OVER for the marxist’s and socialists..

GOOD BICYCLE !!

And to poor Al Sharp-less…

Your diversion only bolsters your ignorance…
Good try, but sadly a waste of time.

AmVet

August 29th, 2010
12:37 pm

Hope yall got a glimpse of Washington yesterday.

What, an entertainer and serial prevaricator/charlatan talking about honor?

Yep. Very newsworthy…

J.B. STONER

August 29th, 2010
1:05 pm

Am Vet– wait till your ‘boy’ takes away all your veteran rights.

Then , get back to me.

Turn up the volume on your friggin tv, son. Oh, I forgot, they don’t report TRUE news on NBC.

Go away.

Mike

August 29th, 2010
4:32 pm

If someone tells you that Georgia’s teachers are unionized they are either 1. Ignorant or 2. Lying.

Georgia’s teachers have never been unionized. GAE and PAGE are simply associations that provide insurance to teachers and lobby for this and that, but GAE and PAGE have absolutely no bargaining power. There has never been collective bargaining in Georgia’s public schools.

There are no public school teachers in Georgia that are members of a union.

Why is this so hard for conservatives like Wooten and Neil Boortz to understand?

Saying that Georgia’s teachers are in a union are akin to saying that a mosque is being built at Ground Zero. Just ignorance all around.

AmVet

August 29th, 2010
8:33 pm

Am Vet– wait till your ‘boy’ takes away all your veteran rights. Then , get back to me.

J. B. Stoned, you’re living up to your name, son. I voted against the Uppity Muslim.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the old adage, “Better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

But do you have to live it?

As for your moronic assertion, BHO has been pretty damn good to veterans, and if you weren’t so hopeless you could actually look it up.

MUCH better than YOUR boy Bush…

ATLNative

September 1st, 2010
4:06 pm

I still laugh at all of the posters (SlickWillie & MiltonMan) who believe we’re on the verge of forming Milton Co. again. Milton Co. was annexed to Fulton in order to SAVE IT!! It and Campbell Co. were FLAT BROKE! Now it’s a cash cow and you think Atlanta/Fulton will let it go? It will require a Consitutional Amendment, which requires 2/3 of each house and 1/2 of the STATE VOTERS to allow it. Campbell Co. doesn’t want to be autonomous again… they LOVE YOUR MONEY!! Do yourself a favor and move to Forsyth.

Sam

September 2nd, 2010
3:07 pm

There is still no evidence linking Troy Davis to the crime. You, sir, are wrong in your baseless judgment of this case, and quite probably a racist yourself.

LawDawg

September 2nd, 2010
6:43 pm

“You rarely see ObamaCare or the ground zero mosque described as “controversial”

REALLY?????

oh my…you lost ALL credibility there

SouthernHarmony

September 2nd, 2010
8:19 pm

Seems to me that two things are needed for success in school, student work ethic and parental involvement/expectation. I admit that I don’t have any good ideas about fixing either, but I am real sure that throwing money at schools won’t
streetracer your so right
were the problem /solution