Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● Admittedly I’m OD’d on people who buy in a floodplain, forgo flood insurance, and then expect taxpayers to bail them out. Same for people who buy overpriced homes they can’t afford and then expect lenders to write down their mortgages or taxpayers to subsidize their irresponsibility. Same with politicians who “take responsibility” for some disaster, but never resign or accept other punishment. This is to say Republican gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal just went up a notch in my book. He has serious financial troubles as a result of a bad investment in his child’s business, but he mans up to his debt and vows to make the sacrifices necessary — which may include the loss of his home — to make good his debt. I respect and admire a man who’ll accept responsibility when the consequences are painful. Those are the values this culture craves.
● The Tea Party’s right. Defunding Obamacare should be conservatives’ — and Republicans’ — top priority. Dismantle it the same way Big Government is built: One regulation, one program at a time. Incidentally, the amount of ink and air time that liberals devote to trashing the movement, and the feigned delight they take in seeing a tea party-supported candidate prevail in a Republican primary, are evidence of how much they fear something they can’t understand.
● Credit Tim Turner, spokesman for Georgia congressman Sanford Bishop’s re-election campaign, for winning first place in the Campaign Chutzpah Contest. Bishop awarded his stepdaughter, niece, and an aide’s future wife college scholarships through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. When his opponent, Mike Keown, pointed it out, an “outraged” Turner bowed up, accusing the messenger of “scoring cheap political points by attacking Rep. Bishop and his family.”
● The riddle of Barack Obama may be solved. Dinesh D’Souza, one of the country’s premier conservatives, offers his analysis of “How Obama Thinks” as the cover story in Forbes’ Sept. 27 edition. He may have solved the mystery. He opines that the U.S. is being ruled by “the dreams of” the father, “an African socialist who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions.”
● Yes, MARTA’s lost track of 57 laptops valued at $55,000. Granted, as an AJC investigation reveals, the “transit authority appears to have trouble keeping tabs on its stuff,” as a headline summarizes. MARTA, as a transit operator, is likely no worse than any other in the public sector. MARTA does have one flaw that should scare the daylights out of any county debating whether to link up. At conception, MARTA was forced to accept a union contract that requires arbitration of wage disputes, a guarantee that labor costs are fundamentally uncontrollable. Politicians proposing “partnerships” had better erect firewalls, or else risk MARTA’s union deal becoming theirs.
● Georgia’s SAT scores are said to have taken a “tumble,” which translates into an average seven-point drop on a test with a 2,400 maximum. Georgia had high participation rates and a sharp rise in minorities taking the test. Adult advice: Don’t freak out about minor fluctuations in test scores. Stick to the plan. (It’s off subject, but one thing that appeals about the new airport czar appointed by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is that he has a history of job stability — and no contract.) Give us stable people and predictable public policies.
● For a mere $2.9 million to change signs, the Medical College of Georgia will become the Georgia Health Sciences University on Feb. 1. This culture is infected with title and brand flapdoodlery, most of which comes with greater obfuscation about who does what where.