Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● National Democrats, frightened by the prospect that voters will throw them out of power in Congress, launch a new strategy, according to The New York Times. It’s to scour the public records and other sources to find trash on Republican challengers. This is “an effort to plant doubts about them and avoid having races become a national referendum on the performance of President Barack Obama and his party,” the newspaper reports. Once the sleaze starts, there’s no stopping. Democrats here even targeted a smear job at Jason Shepherd, who’s running for the Georgia House against incumbent Democrat Rep. Terry Johnson of Marietta. It all centers on Shepherd’s decision to abandon his father’s surname following his parents’ divorce — but, of course, the smut-searchers found something sinister in it. For goodness sakes, trashing a 34-year-old in a race far removed from Congress and national politics. It’s why good people avoid public service.
● Never, ever, under any circumstances should voters agree to enshrine in Georgia’s Constitution a proposal that sets forth a specific-sum tax (which is labeled as “an annual $10 trauma charge” on “certain vehicles”) to begin funding a proposed network of trauma centers — a tax that is, furthermore, sanctified as forever untouchable by those elected to run Georgia. Once more: Elected officials should set priorities and impose taxes to fund those most deserving, spreading the revenue where it will do the most good. If we don’t trust them to do that, we should elect new ones. This proposal, Amendment 2, should be the last of its kind to come out of a Republican-controlled Legislature.
● How could they? Self-declared and presumed Republicans, recognizing the country’s complete disgust with, and alienation from, Washington politicians who deceived them on Obamacare and other legislation, find a clever little game to continue the toll on Ga. 400 for another decade. A broken promise is a broken promise, as President George H.W. Bush discovered. The next governor should clean house.
● You see, here’s why we can never quite embrace Libertarian Party candidates: Gubernatorial nominee John Monds, speaking with the AJC editorial board, looks to horse racing, casino gambling, Sunday liquor sales and decriminalized marijuana (up to 4 ounces) as state revenue sources. So what “sins” do we tax when these prove insufficient to fund the spending appetite of vote-buying politicians? Prostitution? Crack houses? (This political season is a victory for Libertarians. They are getting noticed and their positions are getting discussed. That’s not usually the case.)
● Thursday’s front-page headline — “2,300 stimulus jobs may be lost” — prompts a search for a new word to describe “jobs” that were never actually created. Some people were kept or put on the payroll briefly because of “free” government money. But there was no “job” important enough to the employer to pay real money, so you can’t say there as a “job” that was lost.
● When cynicism threatens, read the paper. Not the slime-ball or the human depravity stuff. Read about the remarkable 14-year-old Daniela Joel of Lilburn, a freshman at Parkview High School, who died this week after being diagnosed just shy of her 12th birthday with an inoperable tumor in the middle of her brain stem. She’d done more at 14 to give direction and purpose to her life than most do in far more advanced age. Reporter Rick Badie endeared me to this girl I’d never met by adding this touch: On “the night before she died, she had completed her homework” in advanced placement classes at Parkview. Live life like there is a tomorrow.
Jim Wooten, an Opinion columnist, writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.