2,300 ‘jobs’ lost never were for real

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.

66 comments Add your comment

Yosemite Sam

September 30th, 2010
6:36 pm

Cutty

September 30th, 2010
7:25 pm

Don’t say “self-proclaimed or presumed” republicans. Just say the republican establishment. The Governor and head man of the state GOP is NOT self-proclaimed. Just like these same republicans in Congress have found their fiscal sanity after all their spending. IF they regain the majority in either house of Congress, I bet we can count how many times we hear the words debt and deficit. You suck Wooten.

Rafe Hollister

September 30th, 2010
7:50 pm

Why in a state desperate for jobs, we do not legalize horse racing is beyond me. Think of all the jobs to be created.

As for the morality, how can you have the State running a Keno game everyday and not allow horse racing.

The toll continuance should convince people to never believe any politician, no matter how sincere. Why do the people who live in N Fulton have to fund road projects all over metro Atlanta?

Lawrence

September 30th, 2010
8:08 pm

Jim…

As usual, I agree with your blog. Keep up the good work.

Glenn

September 30th, 2010
8:17 pm

What a good column, Jim! Really smart thinking. Thanks.

BRW

September 30th, 2010
8:49 pm

I had something smarta$$ to say about this column but most of what is written is so lame, I forgot what it was. Jim has truely retired, his brain.

BravoJim

September 30th, 2010
9:11 pm

Bravo Jim for a great column. Glad to see you can still get it up if it involves the four proven Republican winners: DONT, STOP, WAIT, QUIT. Keep it up. Hope you can.

Jim Jr

September 30th, 2010
9:31 pm

Reagan Insider: ‘GOP Destroyed U.S. Economy’

“How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy.” Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, “Four Deformations of the Apocalypse.”

Get it? Not “destroying.” The GOP has already “destroyed” the U.S. economy, setting up an “American Apocalypse.”

But why focus on Stockman’s message? It’s already lost in the 24/7 news cycle. Why? We need some introspection. Ask yourself: How did the great nation of America lose its moral compass and drift so far off course, to where our very survival is threatened?
We’ve arrived at a historic turning point as a nation that no longer needs outside enemies to destroy us, we are committing suicide. Democracy. Capitalism. The American dream. All dying. Why? Because of the economic decisions of the GOP the past 40 years, says this leading Reagan Republican.

Please listen with an open mind, no matter your party affiliation: This makes for a powerful history lesson, because it exposes how both parties are responsible for destroying the U.S. economy. Listen closely:

Reagan Republican: the GOP should file for bankruptcy
Stockman rushes into the ring swinging like a boxer: “If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt … will soon reach $18 trillion.” It screams “out for austerity and sacrifice.” But instead, the GOP insists “that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase.”
In the past 40 years Republican ideology has gone from solid principles to hype and slogans.

Stockman says: “Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts — in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses too.”
No more. Today there’s a “new catechism” that’s “little more than money printing and deficit finance, vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes” making a mockery of GOP ideals. Worse, it has resulted in “serial financial bubbles and Wall Street depredations that have crippled our economy.” Yes, GOP ideals backfired, crippling our economy.
Stockman’s indictment warns that the Republican party’s “new policy doctrines have caused four great deformations of the national economy, and modern Republicans have turned a blind eye to each one:”

Stage 1. Nixon irresponsible, dumps gold, U.S starts spending binge
Richard Nixon’s gold policies get Stockman’s first assault, for defaulting “on American obligations under the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement to balance our accounts with the world.” So for the past 40 years, America’s been living “beyond our means as a nation” on “borrowed prosperity on an epic scale … an outcome that Milton Friedman said could never happen when, in 1971, he persuaded President Nixon to unleash on the world paper dollars no longer redeemable in gold or other fixed monetary reserves.”
Remember Friedman: “Just let the free market set currency exchange rates, he said, and trade deficits will self-correct.” Friedman was wrong by trillions. And unfortunately “once relieved of the discipline of defending a fixed value for their currencies, politicians the world over were free to cheapen their money and disregard their neighbors.”
And without discipline America was also encouraging “global monetary chaos as foreign central banks run their own printing presses at ever faster speeds to sop up the tidal wave of dollars coming from the Federal Reserve.” Yes, the road to the coming apocalypse began with a Republican president listening to a misguided Nobel economist’s advice.

Stage 2. Crushing debts from domestic excesses, war mongering
Stockman says “the second unhappy change in the American economy has been the extraordinary growth of our public debt. In 1970 it was just 40% of gross domestic product, or about $425 billion. When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970.” Who’s to blame? Not big-spending Dems, says Stockman, but “from the Republican Party’s embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts.”
Back “in 1981, traditional Republicans supported tax cuts,” but Stockman makes clear, they had to be “matched by spending cuts, to offset the way inflation was pushing many taxpayers into higher brackets and to spur investment. The Reagan administration’s hastily prepared fiscal blueprint, however, was no match for the primordial forces — the welfare state and the warfare state — that drive the federal spending machine.”
OK, stop a minute. As you absorb Stockman’s indictment of how his Republican party has “destroyed the U.S. economy,” you’re probably asking yourself why anyone should believe a traitor to the Reagan legacy. I believe party affiliation is irrelevant here. This is a crucial subject that must be explored because it further exposes a dangerous historical trend where politics is so partisan it’s having huge negative consequences.
Yes, the GOP does have a welfare-warfare state: Stockman says “the neocons were pushing the military budget skyward. And the Republicans on Capitol Hill who were supposed to cut spending, exempted from the knife most of the domestic budget — entitlements, farm subsidies, education, water projects. But in the end it was a new cadre of ideological tax-cutters who killed the Republicans’ fiscal religion.”

When Fed chief Paul Volcker “crushed inflation” in the ’80s we got a “solid economic rebound.” But then “the new tax-cutters not only claimed victory for their supply-side strategy but hooked Republicans for good on the delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts.” By 2009, they “reduced federal revenues to 15% of gross domestic product,” lowest since the 1940s. Still today they’re irrationally demanding an extension of those “unaffordable Bush tax cuts [that] would amount to a bankruptcy filing.”
Recently Bush made matters far worse by “rarely vetoing a budget bill and engaging in two unfinanced foreign military adventures.” Bush also gave in “on domestic spending cuts, signing into law $420 billion in nondefense appropriations, a 65% percent gain from the $260 billion he had inherited eight years earlier. Republicans thus joined the Democrats in a shameless embrace of a free-lunch fiscal policy.” Takes two to tango.

Tall

September 30th, 2010
10:31 pm

Jim Jr.: “Reagan Insider: ‘GOP Destroyed U.S. Economy”. If this is coming from David Stockman, it won’t disturb my sleep. Mismanaged yes…destroyed no. Remember…Congress sets the fiscal policy, not the President. If the President doesn’t veto anything, than he is complicit – like Obama.
I’d love to debate…but it’s too late.

The Cynical White Boy

September 30th, 2010
11:04 pm

A 14 year old passes on due to inoperable cancer. In the midst of this crazy, dysfunctional world, it’s a reminder that every single day we have with someone we care about is a gift.

A gift!

old-timer

September 30th, 2010
11:11 pm

Good column…Interesting and thought provoving…

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uno

October 1st, 2010
6:42 am

The 2,300 “jobs” were real to the real people who depended upon the paycheck for their support.

Bitter EX democrackkk

October 1st, 2010
6:51 am

Jim, Libertarians seem to bother you. Hopefully. Karl Rove does too. NO MORE demopublican STATUS QUO! The clueless masses are waking up…

STRIVE to be SMARTER than the TWO MOST EVIL Controlling FORCES WANT you to BE!

Churchill's MOM

October 1st, 2010
6:56 am

Corrupt Washington Politician..Deal
Failed Governor.. Barnes
NONE OF THE ABOVE…Monds

I’ll be voting NONE OF THE ABOVE, JOHN MONDS

Grumpy

October 1st, 2010
7:03 am

Gotta love the right wing slippery slope complaints any time someone brings up horse racing, casino gambling and weed. Georgia has a lottery = OK gambling. But horse racing and blackjack = OMG NO WAY.

Beer and cigs = OK to sell and tax. But weed, which is no worse than either of the aforementioned vices = OMG NO WAY.

Pure foolishness Mr. Wooten.

Grumpy

October 1st, 2010
7:04 am

uno, that’s all well and good, but it wasn’t a job. It was welfare.

PinkoNeoConLibertarian

October 1st, 2010
7:39 am

You see, here’s why we SHOULD 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.

Fixed your typo Mr. Wooten.

PinkoNeoConLibertarian

October 1st, 2010
7:43 am

What the Libertarian Party really wants is to let The People directly decide on social issues, rather than let the politician tell us what they think is best, which we all know is whatever they think will get them reelected. If The People want to allow the activities, then the state will profit from taxing them.

interested observer

October 1st, 2010
8:02 am

Hard to find anyone working harder to dig up dirt than the pundits, politicians and others who continue to insist Obama was born in Kenya. Digging up a candidate’s past is fair game, even due diligence. It’s something else to spin a legitimate name change into some kind of sin, yet still worse to perpetuate an urban legend you know is false. Go ahead and criticize the Democrats, because they deserve it, but the Republican legacy of outright lies, rumor and innuendo is unsurpassed. Your blog is devoted to damnation of moderates and liberals, but those on the right are just as deserving – sometimes more deserving – of your criticism. It’s hardly “thinking right” to be absolutely partisan. When you’re blind to the faults of your own kind because you’re so keen on exposing the others, you lose all credibility.

School Teacher

October 1st, 2010
8:04 am

Democrats smearing a candidate whose race is far removed from Congress and Washington politics puzzles you? What about all the commercials funded by the RGA smearing Barnes? His race has nothing to do with Congress or Washington but they sure are trying to tie him to Washington and Obama.
Hypocrisy at its best.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 1st, 2010
8:05 am

interesting take on why “good people avoid public service”. no basis in reality, as it would appear public (self) service is far more appealing to bad people.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 1st, 2010
8:10 am

Re: Monds and the libertarian (rational) position on your draconian values; marijuana, Sunday liquor sales and gambling are “vices” not crimes. forget about the additional tax revenue, think of the savings (court, prison, law enforcement) in allowing Georgia citizens to control their own lives. your “crack houses” comment is laughable. “Crack” has been illegal since day one, and yet, there are hundreds of crack houses all over the city (and meth labs outside the perimeter). I’s say “I expect better of you” but sadly, you’re the same old same old.

Klondike Bob

October 1st, 2010
8:46 am

Man, a clown shoe. If a party has power then they get their turn at trying to run things, but now it’s whiny baby republicans like Wooten who have abandoned even the pretense at logic and sanity in pursuit of greed and power.

AmVet

October 1st, 2010
9:01 am

Mr. Wooten, are you still fighting the Reagan/Meese War on Pornography too?

Wake up, there was a time when you Puritans, prudes and fake conservatives could successfully legislate morality.

No more. Those damn hippies, liberals, progressives, moderates, independents and greens emasculated your stranglehold on American society.

Party on Wayne.

And vote Libertarian…

MrLiberty

October 1st, 2010
9:03 am

In addition to whatever revenue the state will of course demand from newly re-legalized activities (personally, I prefer unencumbered freedom, but I know that I am a fringe type), the state will also save massive amounts of money because police, courts, and other services will no longer need to be WASTED in trying to dictate morality to others.

Freedom and small government are always the reason to vote for Libertarian candidates. John Monds is no exception. People are finally starting to understand the negative consequences that big government has had on their lives and our economy, and our freedom. They realize that ONLY the Democrats and the Republicans are to blame and that another choice must be made if change is ever going to happen.

Thank goodness the Libertarian Party is around and is working so hard to give everyone a choice despite all of the barriers the republicans and the democrats put up to eliminate any competition.

Harm Reduction

October 1st, 2010
9:15 am

paleo-neo-Carlinist @ 8:10am

Top of the mornin’ to ya lad! I whole-heartedly agree with your comment. Have a nice day chum!

Edwin Meese

October 1st, 2010
9:34 am

AmVet

are you going to continue to spew your uneducated vitriole today?

Sick of the trolling

October 1st, 2010
10:22 am

If you are sick of people ‘trolling’ these boards with juvenile comments, please send the AJC a suggestion to require a user name and password log-in to post comments. I think that this will dissuade this behavior as they will lose the ability to use multiple user names. Also, only people who really are motivated to comment will take the 5 minutes to register through email. Personally, I’d like to see some civility and intelligence return to these boards. You can send your suggestion/request through this link: http://projects.ajc.com/customercare/contactus-form/

Sick of the trolling

October 1st, 2010
10:45 am

…and don’t forget, if you disagree with my opinion I will do my best to become uncivil and act like a hypocrite…

bob evans

October 1st, 2010
10:46 am

Yeah, I’m tired of the trolling too. Do something!

HELP me Rhonda

October 1st, 2010
10:47 am

I’m very tired of the name jacking trolls on here. Geesh get a life!

Churchill's MOM

October 1st, 2010
10:47 am

Jimbo don’t forget that both of our RINO senators voted for TARP. Johnny Isakson wrote the no child left behind legislation as well as the $34,000,000,000. Housing Bailout/Give away. Our only CONSERVATIVE party is the LIBERTARIAN Party. I hope all of you will be voting for Chuck Donovan in November.

http://www.donovanforsenate.com/

MrLiberty

October 1st, 2010
10:59 am

Agreed, Johnny RINO must go. Chuck Donovan all the way!

Glenn

October 1st, 2010
11:34 am

Look,

El Troll is the catalyst. When Mr. Wooten posts as solidly crafted piece as this present one, and we all go Echo Chamber with our kudos for Jim, it sucks the air out of a blog like this one.

In the days of Print, you ustacud live in towns where you’d meet people during the day–bootblacks, board members, bartenders–who’d say, in the course of a day, “Hey, did you see [Herb, or Red, or Jimmy] today? Man, he really hit it, didn’t he?” It meant, Did you read today’s column? And a kind of shorthand discourse would ensue. I’ve lived in those towns, and Atlanta’s the last town I’ll ever remember where neighbors and coworkers &tc. happened to ask–as it might be, a reference to last night’s ballgame scores–”Did y’all get a load of Wooten this morning’? Man’s on a roll!”

dave

October 1st, 2010
11:39 am

Thank You Jim for the note about Ms. Joel, I needed the pick-up and the reminder of what really is important. I think I will leave work early and go give my two granddaughters hugs.

Jess

October 1st, 2010
12:44 pm

I read the article on the 2300 jobs. Apparently the money for these jobs was to be spent only on public service or non profit jobs, and only on low income employees. So effectively this was just an income redistribution program. I’m not saying the entire stimulus program was like this. Of course the vast majority went to pork projects, and for political payback.

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AmVet

October 1st, 2010
1:56 pm

“…uneducated…”

Coming from a clown so gutless he hides behind that moniker.

Oh yeah, you are the ideal candidate to have an reasoned, civil and adult conversation with.

Hysterical…

Ragnar Danneskjöld

October 1st, 2010
2:18 pm

Good afternoon all. With all due respect Jim, your suggestion, that sleazy and deceptive allegations spewed by democrats are a ‘new” strategy for them, requires a remarkable willful amnesia of the past campaigns. There has never been a democrat campaign that did not employ sleaze and deception. That’s all they have.

I voted against the “trauma tax.” I believe in market solutions, not government subsidy.

Re: establishment republicans and the GA 400 tolls, this is bottom of the news. Nothing to see here. Same old, same old.

Hard to describe any government-funded position, outside the military, as a “job.” “Jobs” imply work that needs to be, and ought to be, done.

Guy Incognito

October 1st, 2010
2:57 pm

PNCL,

You nailed it! Put the issues to a vote and let the poeple decide. If you don’t like it, move to a state that fits your lifestyle. That’s the beauty of a free society (while we still have one)

Guy Incognito

October 1st, 2010
2:58 pm

oops, “people”

Tray

October 1st, 2010
3:50 pm

I just love that people are starting to see Obama for who he really is. His lack of experience is blatant, he could not do anything he promised without making things worse. The man blew sunshine up everyone’s butt, and a lot of people bought it, truly sad. All his promises of making things better…all smoke and mirrors. Jobs ‘created or saved’, ‘cash for clunkers’, hell, Obamacare is already causing problems and isn’t even in full effect yet! I just hope it’s not too late to recover from the messes of 2 stupid presidents…

Glenn

October 1st, 2010
6:04 pm

Greetings, Ragnar!

Interesting that you zeroed in on the matter of the 2,300 jobs. It’s been troubling me too, as I’m at a loss as to how to depict the banality of political accounting to the blessedly uninitiated. I mean, is is fair to count a job “saved” as a job created, as though a bird in hand were worth twice? What of Jim’s earlier point of Georgia schools getting bribed by the Feds to rehire instructional “deadwood”, a setback to state school reform but a boon for Federales seeking to claim job “growth” just in time for the Census? And what does it mean, anyway, for the federal arm to “save” a job?

Are we talking about a discrete paycheck with an actual payee? Are we presuming that the federal treasury underwrites this paycheck whole? Or do the Feddies feel free to depict a “job” as “saved”–and, more creatively, “created”–because they kicked in enough cash (minus exorbitant administrative overhead) to backfill just enough in salary or benefits to make the position pencil out once the locals had banked their cut of the transaction? I imagine you see the legerdemain in the blink of an eye, but as I say, I’m darned if I can put it into American English, nor any other English variant, for that matter.

That aside, have friends of the court yet found a case sufficiently similar to Kelo that it could be run up the flagpole for a second look, or has the complexion of the high court so changed as to moot the effort? The issues involved in the original case are still more topical now.

My best to you and yours.

Glenn

October 1st, 2010
9:00 pm

Twitter. Coup de tete. Twitter. Code-switch. Mock. Mimmic. Hide. Strike and sting. Tickle the beard. But lobotomize American to idiot Haiku. Those bunch of goddam prattlers yet unreduced to twitterers.

How smart, El Troll. How really smart.

How Georia.

Mike

October 1st, 2010
9:54 pm

Listen up folks! The uber rich fat cat executives at Coke are about to destroy about 1500 family’s lives here in Atlanta. Mass layoffs will occur in the next 4-6 weeks at Coke and what used to be CCE. This company is no longer a US company; it is a company located in the US but run by Indians overseas. Oh the drivers all look American, but go to HQ. It looks like a train station in Mumbai at rush hour. These folks KNOW that anyone they lay off, has NO…ZERO…chance of getting another job locally…EVER. It is a generational affect; Dad no longer works, they lose their house; ‘Sis can’t go to college, there’s no retirement money…..Who do you think ultimately will end up paying for this tragedy? We’re way past the folks who lost their homes because of “no interest” loan stupidity. Now we’re into solid long term homeowners with 20 years in their mortgage; the true middle class. The super rich will eventually reap what they sow. Look at Mexico.

Glenn

October 1st, 2010
11:23 pm

Understood, within the context of a team of AJC operatives who would dog a decent and briefly heroic man, Richard Jewell–in whose honor Atlanta hasn’t yet itself even to contemplate a monument–unto relishing the poverty and hopelessness that mighty press organizations, when they lawyer up, can impose. The modern AJC must partake of a modern snuff film, in that it secretly prides itself on being so powerful as to destroy a good man, whilst it promotes whatever and whomever it will.

Cox never will be square until it squares on that disgusting Constitutional damage done by the Jewell cases.

Mike

October 2nd, 2010
5:09 am

Wow Glenn. I’m smart enough to know Mr. Jewell was railroaded. But I’m not seeing your point, unless it is an overall one about how idiots with a lot of money ruin people’s lives. Common sense and what’s right almost never rule the day. Kinda makes one wonder about the “founding fathers”, doesn’t it?

Churchill's MOM

October 2nd, 2010
7:24 am

Kyle Wingfield Monds makes the case for voting your ‘conscience’
7:00 pm October 1, 2010, by Kyle Wingfield

Let’s say you’re a Georgia voter, and you’re unimpressed by or downright discouraged about the Republican and Democratic choices for governor, Nathan Deal and Roy Barnes.

Let’s say you dislike one of them, but you super-dislike the other one. Let’s say your dislike and super-dislike are so great that you don’t want to vote for either one — but that you also think voting for a third-party candidate, even in protest, amounts to wasting your vote. And so, you think you may as well buck up and vote against one of them.

John Monds wants you to know that you can have your vote and like it, too.

Monds is the Libertarian running for governor. That role, for as long as it’s existed in this state, has been seen as little more than a spoiler: Think of national candidates (but not Libertarians) like Ross Perot in 1992, or Ralph Nader in 2000.

But this year in Georgia, Monds told me Wednesday, “people are pretty much resigned [to the fact] that there’s going to be a runoff. …

“So, if they believe eventually they may be saddled with one of the two [other] parties, they can save that vote for the runoff. But the first go-around, they should definitely vote their conscience, or vote for the candidate that they want or against the candidates that they don’t want.”

Of course, Monds’ talk of an inevitable runoff will prove correct only if enough people buy into it. Should Monds receive just 4 percent of the vote — more than any of his predecessors have won in Georgia — he might be nothing but a spoiler. It may take 9 percent or 10 percent to prompt a runoff.

Monds’ real magic number, however, is 20. Georgia election law holds that a political party isn’t a major party — able to hold a primary and put candidates on the ballot in any race without gathering signatures — until it’s won at least 20 percent of the vote in a presidential or gubernatorial election.

I’m sure Monds wants to win his race. But it would be truly transformative for him to break that 20 percent barrier.

For one thing, there surely would not be more than 100 legislators running unopposed, as there are this year. In fact, seats in the Legislature may be the best illustration of the two edges to Georgia’s ballot-access laws.

Unless a gubernatorial candidate receives 20 percent of the vote, it’s very hard for legislative candidates from his party to get on the ballot, much less win. But that gubernatorial candidate has a hard getting traction when voters consider that, even if elected, he wouldn’t have any natural allies in the General Assembly.

“I think that’s the true intent of the law,” said Daniel Adams, chairman of the state Libertarian Party.

I’m not endorsing Monds here. I appreciate his faith in free markets and desire to reform our tax code, but I’m not convinced that he’s sufficiently steeped in the workings of our state government to implement his beliefs effectively.

And you may agree or disagree with Monds about legalizing casino gambling, horse racing or the growing of industrial hemp, but I think you’ll agree with me that it’s a limited list of industries for Georgia to focus its recruiting efforts on.

Yet, you may also agree with me that Georgians today are faced with a rump of a Democratic Party and a Republican Party that acts too much like the deeply flawed national party of the 2000s.

If so, consider voting for Monds Nov. 2, and waiting for a runoff to hold your nose.

Glenn

October 2nd, 2010
7:54 am

Well, “Mike”, you’re more than “smart enough to know Mr. Jewell was railroaded”. Your mastery of American idiom and idiocy often saves the day here, and that mastery must’ve come dear. Sorry I wasn’t equal to that in my assertions about Jewell and the soul of this paper. I flatly lack your ability to tweak prose with poesy.

So, flatly, my point is that the three Jewell decisions by the courts not only spelled the undoing of Mr. Jewell but also presaged the funeral of daily print journalism because they created an effective opt-out clause in codicil of the First Amendment: the newspapers can kill anybody they choose so long as the mark was subject to a death warrant issued by the newspapers themselves. A perfect tautology. Also, for the lawyers, definitive turpitude they can all take to the bank and the saloon rather than the Bar.

The AJC and Cox jointly and severally taxed the highest courts to get clemency for destroying Jewell on the grounds that you can publish anything you like about anybody so long as he’s a public figure and Jewell was, after all, a public figure by virtue of the Paper’s very public destruction of that otherwise obscure fellow. Bad enough that the Court should render a circular argument as opinion; far worse that Cox [and consequently the NYT] paid to tie the courts into First Amendment knots in perpetuity. Enshrined in law: permission for the remaining great Press outlets to bypass Code Yellow and descend to to Code World Globe Midnight Tattler. And–this is quite the point–to do so in foreknowledge of license, as in “held harmless”, as in “no consequences”. Now put yourself in the position of Richard Jewell and family, or of the next notional Jewell and family.

All that rigamarole occurred on the cusp of journalism’s grudging transition electronic. This medium that we employ instant is a dirty Bowery, you must admit, full of hazards and garish enticements punctuated by the occasional street preacher, and make of this low district what you will, because “The Press”, in the matter of Richard Jewell, sought relief from its Constitutional responsibilities, now it no longer answers to the Founders’ description of it’s “freedom”. Now, it ain’t nothin’ but license. Ain’t no “Press”, just media. To each her own, a hundred times a day.

“Good authors too who once knew better words/Now only use four letter words/Writing prose/Anything goes”.

I wasn’t kidding about erecting a monument–I guess it now would have to be in our beloved Atlantic Station–to the humble Jewell. Seriously, the guy must’ve had some serious inheritance in the jewel department because, as it happened, he reacted “to save”. I personally question whether I’d have met Jewell’s standard. The multiplying school shootings and the horrid event at VA Tech and this week’s spectacle of lone/lonely shooters returning to UT Austin–it makes me wonder whether I’d shelter or even shield those nearest or whether I’d just bag out, just bail. The cool thing about Jewell (as even Chubby Checker might wish to say) is that he didn’t bail.

So then let’s look at somehow honoring that fellow. Why, exactly, precisely, cynically and politically and otherwise whorishly hasn’t that happened? Hmmmn…there’s a story there.

Maybe the Florida papers will cover it…maybe Chicago, or Philly or Des Moines or San Jose…

P.S. The shelf life of a rule of law handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court is 20 years. Stare decisis, my deers in headlights…