Democrats still feeling election’s toll

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

● Here’s an idea for saving HOPE, a concern of Gov.-elect Nathan Deal. Make it a scholarship. A real one with standards sufficiently high to cover the money available. Don’t promise what we don’t have.

● Bless ’em, yet another group of Delta Air Lines workers has rejected the invitation to unionize. I love the diversity of the private sector, where companies like Chick-fil-A can buck the retail crowd and maintain the founder’s values — never open on Sunday — and where employees of a company like Delta in a heavily unionized industry say to unions “thanks, but that’s not our culture.”

● Oooh! The angry hard-core lefties who seethe that individual earners are keeping
too much of what they believe to be the government’s money are in full temper-tantrum. It’s because President Barack Obama has agreed with Republicans to trade off a two-year extension of all of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts in
return for a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits. If you encounter one at a
“holiday” party or what is
generally (or formerly for the politically correct) known
as a “Christmas” party, be kind. The Pelosi left, and the commentators who camp with them, have not forgiven us for November.

● This is serious. UPS stores and authorized shippers will now require proper photo ID. This means many children of Democrats will get no Christmas gifts from UPS Santas. As we’ve been told repeatedly, the requirement to present proper photo ID intimidates Democrats who are would-be voters. If fear keeps them cowering away from the voting booth, it’ll surely keep them from the shipping stores.

● The No. 2 Democrat in the Georgia House, Rep. Doug McKillip of Athens, switches parties. Of the 65 Democrats in the 180-member House, only 20 represent districts that aren’t majority black in voter registration. Rural Georgia is down to five white Democrats. Some suggestions are surfacing that it’s time to go to nonpartisan legislative elections. As with judicial, school board and some local races, the call for the “nonpartisan” switch is an effort to avoid something like November’s disaster.

● The AJC’s website ran a photo of the part-time accounting instructor at Kennesaw State University who is accused of taking off his clothes in front of students he was teaching. I’d have filed charges against the elderly gentleman, too. Clothing can be very becoming on the elderly, the heavily tattooed and those whose unhealthy diet is visually evident.

● The problem for conservatives with an absurd regulatory policy like Obama’s seven-year ban on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is that when
balance in public policy necessarily returns, much of the media will report modifying or lifting the ban as “gutting” or “weakening environmental protections,” or invoke some other prejudicial word or phrase. There’s no such turn of phrase when a Republican administration’s energy, environmental or labor regulations are revisited.

● Hospital deals like the one with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, the biggie on the block, that prohibits them from offering cheaper rates to others, are anti-competitive. They amount to an industry fixing a price floor. Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine pegs it perfectly: “To have contracts that legally prevent someone for lowering their health care costs … that’s pretty unconscionable.” A federal lawsuit in Michigan could and should lead to deep-sixing the practice. Blue Cross has 2.5 million members in Georgia; the No. 2, United Healthcare, has 1.3 million. Once Blue Cross signs, nobody else has any reason to negotiate.

Jim Wooten, an Opinion columnist, writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Reach him at wooten.jim@gmail.com

- By Jim Wooten, Thinking Right blog

98 comments Add your comment

Rafe Hollister

December 9th, 2010
8:41 pm

With the USA suffering from lack of jobs, high oil prices, and lack of tax revenues, Obama’s decision to limit offshore oil drilling can only be labeled one way, idiotic.

midtownguy

December 9th, 2010
9:00 pm

There is a simple solution to the “HOPE” mess. If you take state scholarship money, and you have not completed your course of study (college or other) within six years, the scholarship converts to a loan and you owe it back. A partially completed degree has no value in the workplace so the money was wasted. Pay it back.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 9th, 2010
9:07 pm

Good evening all. By all means, let’s do whatever is necessary to preserve the wealth transfer program, that shifts the income of the inner city poor to the suburban yuppies. I may go buy my first lottery ticket, just to show solidarity with the financially frivolous among us.

I have no inside knowledge of Delta, but I have heard they pay better than the other airlines, and that they can afford to do so because the union does not create the work rules. The company that avoids waste is most likely to prosper.

On the leftist temper-tantrum, I’ll say a positive word for the President: he deserves a pat on the back for his first effort at compromise, even if he says loyal conservatives are “hostage-takers.” Leftists always use epithets to justify themselves with conservatives.

Silly Jim, democrats don’t send things through UPS. They re-gift.

I would prefer to abolish political jobs entirely rather than allow thieves to take their position without prior disclosure of philosophy. “Party” is a semi-reliable proxy for “philosophy.”

Have you never sat in an accounting class? There is almost no way to keep people awake.

Now that Chauncey has locked up the oil beds of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, prices will rise. The economic illiterates among us will aver the fault is with speculators. Nobody ever lost a dollar betting against a government’s effort to control price and quantity simultaneously. Even OPEC collapsed when the US ceased supporting it with American price controls. In the instant case, government restricting supply suggests higher prices, unless there is a simultaneous government effort to diminish demand. Such as with higher unemployment.

I’m shocked. I have not been much of a fan of Mr. Oxendine – thought he was a big-government republicrat – but the quote is sound for any conservative.

Glenn

December 9th, 2010
9:20 pm

Same with public education standards. Set the floor as new, deeper sub-basement of pecuniary accomplishment and let the union pronounce it an academic accomplishment for all, children included. Oh, how subtle. “Standards”, indeed. To whose standards? Who? Which?

Pull my finger…

Question Man

December 9th, 2010
10:15 pm

Why won’t the free market address the abusive practices of Blue Cross that you condemn? While Blue Cross is enormous, isn’t there competition from other big insurance companies? Why wouldn’t the competitive marketplace adequately control the insurance companies and why does the issue need to be sent to a judge?

old-timer

December 9th, 2010
11:16 pm

blue Cross sukes in TN…BCBS of Ga’s best doctor in TN is in Chattanooga..I live near Nashville..not good enough….

Cutty

December 9th, 2010
11:44 pm

How about eliminating merit, and basing HOPE on need. Sure some kid from N. Fulton or Cherokee, whose parents bought them a new car at age 16, may qualify for HOPE on merit but do they really need it?

You character, or lack thereof, shines through brightly. You threw a temper tantrum for the last six months screaming about the deficit, and how your grandkids would be paying for all this debt. The minute republicans propose tax cuts that will add to the debt, you shut up. You should do that permanently!

Glenn

December 9th, 2010
11:54 pm

Couldn’t possibly do it, could you? Couldn’t stomach the financial hit from FAILING TO EXTINQUISH BOLD CLAIMS TO TRUTH.

How painful. What a pill. Or pill bug.

Lee

December 10th, 2010
6:56 am

It’s very simple, really. Make HOPE a reimbursement program where the student pays their tuition up front, attends class, and THEN receives HOPE based on whether or not they passed the class. This would effectively eliminate grade inflation pressure at the high school level and eliminate wasted money on those who go for a year, lose HOPE, and drop out.

The Democrats abandoned white America fifty years ago when they discovered blacks tend to vote as a block. The trend continues today as they are pandering to the hispanics. BTW, we really don’t like Republicans either, but what other choice do we have?

Scootter

December 10th, 2010
7:06 am

How about eliminating merit, and basing HOPE on need. Sure some kid from N. Fulton or Cherokee, whose parents bought them a new car at age 16, may qualify for HOPE on merit but do they really need it?

Just like a leftist who wants to give something to someone that has not earned it. Absurd!

Producer

December 10th, 2010
7:31 am

Cuddy, you’re a socialist idiot. Life should be based on merit not communist/Marxist drivel. We already have too much of the federal pig doled out to those who haven’t earned a damn nickel of it and quite frankly don’t deserve one single cent.

Van Jones

December 10th, 2010
7:38 am

Cutty must need it but can’t earn it.

LIberal Pariah

December 10th, 2010
7:39 am

Cutty, tax cuts don’t add to the debt…..spending does.

Not left, not right

December 10th, 2010
7:47 am

How about not left, not right, but people who actually care for the greater good of the nation? Democrats aren’t the greatest with their methodologies, but I’m hard pressed to see what exactly Republicans are bringing to the table outside of tax cuts. It has to be a better plan, and I’m not seeing it. Tax cuts alone won’t get it done. I’m for cutting spending, but do we really believe they are seriously going to cut spending?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 10th, 2010
7:47 am

Dear Question @ 10:15, I think you misread the market problem. Ever try to get heart surgery in Gwinnett? Georgia will not allow free entry into the hospital market. The few healthcare providers have effective regional monopolies, and can dictate prices, and terms of agreement with insurors. The market solution is to allow everyone who wishes to open a hospital.

The Hon. Commish of Insurance is using the guns of government to give Blue Cross a bit more negotiating power with the hospitals.

carlosgvv

December 10th, 2010
8:02 am

Angry hard-core lefties seethe because Republicans are being totaly subservient to their wealthy sponsors while throwing crumbs to the rest of us.

Glenn

December 10th, 2010
8:03 am

Frankly I believe there is no HOPE–or sorely needed immigration reform–without a viable guest worker program, a nationwide copping to the plea of generational exploitation. If the country as a whole would just come clean and recognize the realities of the street then history might smile upon us. No back-doors, subterfuges or euphemisms. Just let’s get real, and proceed.

Gosh, I sure hope this isn’t too Integrationist One World Order, or whatever.

P.S. @Scootter: I like it! Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress generally resist means-testing, though, probably because all but a few are either persons of means or else persons on the make. (God pity the rest; the Speaker won’t). The concept of means-testing is interesting, isn’t it? Fer One, it potentially could seriously dent the federal (or any state’s) deficit. Fer Two, the very concept of means-testing bespeaks both conservative ideas and socialist ideals. That’s just bloody interesting. You could tweak the exercise counterproductively to either extreme but there’s fertile soil overlapping the two ideologies. Promising? I wonder what Ragnar’s aforementioned economists, Williams and Sowell, would make of means-testing, specifically as a discrete concept decontextualized. It occurs to me that the first problem lies with the test. Whose? Which? Whom? Those are quintessentially Marxian questions. Still worth asking.

Right is Wrong

December 10th, 2010
8:24 am

Remove all emotion. Stop thinking of politics as a football game between democrats and republicans. Start thinking about what is best for America and her people. Start looking at what HAPPENS instead of just listening to political talk.

Case in point: Republicans claim to want to help the average American. They want America to be free and fair to all. With respect to taxes, even the most wealthy clearly state that they do not pay their fair share. Even Warren Buffet has stated at least twice over the last year that he personally could and should be paying more in federal taxes to be fair with everyone else. However, the republicans are stubborn enough and have their pockets lined with their “friends” enough to prevent all legislation from passing unless the democrats agree to cut taxes for the most wealthy.

For those SAYING that the most wealthy supply the jobs…. there is not one shred of evidence EVER that coorelates low taxes on the most wealthy with creating even a single job. Not one shred. Nada. Nothing. This is just the right speak from FOX news. Giving Paris Hilton more money doesn’t create a job.

So the WORDS from republicans does not match their ACTIONS. They SAY that they are for the American people but their ACTIONS are for the most wealthy. In fact, they are willing to throw under the bus the middle class folks that have lost their job during this recession – they don’t want to extend the unemployment benefits.

Come on people – it is fine to listen to political speak, but only really consider the ACTIONS that are taken.

tar and feathers party

December 10th, 2010
8:25 am

You forgot the State of Womens Health report: American women are Fat, Drunk, with Questionable Personal Hygiene Standards (no pap tests, no vd testing), and they suffer from high blood pressure. Of course the State and the system are blamed for all this, per the talking head woman on NBC news last night. Well, at least this time they did not drag out that tired old excuse, Low Self Esteem. Hey Fat Women, the rest of us hold you in low esteem too!

Producer

December 10th, 2010
8:26 am

Throwing crumbs at the rest of us? Why don’t you earn the crumbs you want? Then you’ll have nothing to complain about.

Producer

December 10th, 2010
8:28 am

If Buffet want to “pay” more, he’s free to donate however much of his money he wishes to the federal treasury.

Producer

December 10th, 2010
8:32 am

Right is Wrong, you’re just plain ignorant. The no evidence you say exists is bogus. What about all of the money the rich have in their portfolio? Let’s say it’s invested in Ford stock or Johnson and Johnson. The fact that he does put his money there helps those companies employ people. Mr. Fatcats may not go down to the corner to get construction workers to help him build a house but his investment money is still directly helping employ folks.

Glenn

December 10th, 2010
8:32 am

As for our actual HOPE scholarships, the whole scheme is dispiriting in that, at best, it gambles some young people’s fates on euphemisms built upon euphemisms. Did I say “gambles”? I meant to say that the good people of Georgia meant to prosper the young.

Did I perhaps imply that seat-time equates to competency, or a sheepskin to solvency?

Oops.

larry jones

December 10th, 2010
8:36 am

O’bummer supporting GW’s tax cuts doesn’t pass the smell test, would a socialist Kenyan really go for this, be very careful Republicans, I smell a puddy-cat.

Warren Buffet - Watch His Actions

December 10th, 2010
8:43 am

While Buffet says he wants to pay more taxes, please consider his actions. He employs the highest-priced tax lawyers in the country. He could pay more by simply forgoing the advantages of the arcane rules he currently uses to minimize his tax burden.

Look at his estate. He could provide literally billions to the public coffers by dying intestate (no will). But that’s not his plan. He wants to direct how his money will be spent by leaving most of it to the Gates Foundation. This is no different than any other individual saying, “I want to spend my own money rather than letting the government spend it.”

There is an important difference between Buffet’s actions and his desire to be thought of as “progressive.”

Modern Day Parable.

December 10th, 2010
8:49 am

Healthcare 4 the sick. Democratic Party for the blacks. Photo ID’s for Secret Santas. Oil for the fish. Sabbath for the Obese. Grants but no pants for the students.

Moderate

December 10th, 2010
8:53 am

For Right is Wrong, you are unfortunately falling victim to the Dem’s efforts to define “rich” to the masses as the Warren Buffets and Paris Hiltons of the world and “millionaires and billionaires”, Barack’s words and your words, and then define it legally as individuals with over $250,000 in income. Those are very different groups…..take an extra hundred thousand dollars out of Buffet or Hilton or Gates and that’s a day’s worth of income. Take a bite out of a successful, hard working business person, and you will make a dent in their and their employees’ lives.

I’m a millionaire. I’ve only earned over $100,000 about years in my career. My wife and I are now retired and have saved about $1.7 million over 40 years of continuous work including military service, never collected unemployment. No pension, no retiree health care, etc. By Barack’s definition, we’re the Buffet’s and the Hilton’s. Show me people who have expended the same level of effort and I’ll entertain the notion of higher taxes. For now, keep your grubby socialist hands off what we have built!

Cutty

December 10th, 2010
9:03 am

You repubs crack me up. You claim life is about merit until YOU need a hand. All u legacies that get ur kids in UGA because u went there or got a job because of a friend or family member, yeah thats ur kinda merit. Whatever. Taj cuts don’t add to the deficit? How ignorant. Where do u think the money from those refund checks come from? Ga education at its finest.

You’re all hypocrites. Sit in the pews in Sunday and pray about helping ur fellow man, then prey on those same people during the week. You heartless SOBs are impossible, but judgement day is coming for us all. And for the record I put myself through college w a job and student loans. But that doesn’t mean I can have compassion for my fellow citizen who needs HOPE more than my kid. You twits should try it sometime.

Lawrence

December 10th, 2010
9:03 am

Good Column, but will have to think about the Blue Cross comment.

carlosgvv

December 10th, 2010
9:05 am

Producer

You sound exactly like all those corporate managers who worked me into the ground for so many years.

Us vs Us

December 10th, 2010
9:07 am

To all those on this thread and others that refer to the Democrats as “the party of blacks.”

Forget left / right, Dem / Rep … you’re not even Americans. You hold your fellow man, Georgians and Americans in low regard based on your own prejudices and failings. It is disgusting, ignorant and vile. Your smug and seething hatred shows you for what you are, traitorous, villainous, scum.

Producer

December 10th, 2010
9:08 am

How are people being “preyed upon” during the week? Enlighten me…

Haywood Jablome

December 10th, 2010
9:09 am

Bless ’em, yet another group of Delta Air Lines workers has rejected the invitation to unionize.

Wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that Delta is the crappiest airline in the country? They’re too busy being shills for management instead of actually doing their jobs!

Stuck in a Red State

December 10th, 2010
9:14 am

Right is Wrong

You see it like it is…and tell it like it is, Read Kyle’s article in yesterdays AJC. He is positively giddy over the GOP’s outfoxing Obama on these tax cuts. No mention of the GOP promise to reduce the deficit…then we have Wooten here gleefully reliving the GOP’s big victory in the recent election…but not one word about the 7 hundred billion tax break…do you think for one minute, had this been a Dems only bill, that good old Wooten would not be ranting and raving to the top of his typing ability.
This is not a game….it is time to DO WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR COUNTRY….not just for your PARTY!!!

#1 Foxy Lady

December 10th, 2010
9:19 am

The HOPE scholarships should be targeted toward the black community because we have suffered through more misfortune than whites.

Back when I has a kid they wouldn’t let you in UGA or the southern schools just because you were black. We have never had the advantages and favoritism of legacy.

Blacks should be favored in admission to UGA and given all of the HOPE scholarships!

Liberal Pariah

December 10th, 2010
9:23 am

What in the world is wrong with a tax break for those of us who earn money? The government has plenty of money and too much of mine to begin with. They should try not spending so much. This legislation is not about tax cuts but merely maintaining the current tax structure. The government adjusted to these tax cuts 7 years ago. The pols in Washington need to get real like us everyday Americans and tighten the belt with what is currently coming in. And I mean BOTH PARTIES!

Cutty

December 10th, 2010
9:27 am

No Foxy Lady, they should be based on merit but need should also play a factor. U all think everything is about race. Look at the census when u get a chance. There are a lot more poor whites than any other ethnicity. But folks like Wooten will tell u otherwise.

Stuck in a Red State

December 10th, 2010
9:31 am

Moderate

Where did you go to school…The “rich” have ANNUAL earning in excess of $250,000… not your total life time retirement savings. BTW, This just goes back to the rates during the Clinton years… when we had a surplus which Bush promptly spent on these same tax cuts which has resulted in the huge ANNUAL deficits. I am for removing these cuts on everybody..rich and poor… we cannot AFFORD them. Please get it right people…Our country depends on it.

Sandy

December 10th, 2010
9:32 am

I thought you retired Jim?

#1 Foxy Lady

December 10th, 2010
9:34 am

Cutty, you are so stupid. They are a lot more poor whites, because whites make up the vast majority of the population, you moron.

And at UGA, prior to 1964, when your moms, dads and grandparents were at UGA, it was about race. No blacks were allowed – by law. Next time a legacy admission is favored, there is no possibility the legacy was before 1964.

This injustice needs to be corrected by making the HOPE scholarship exclusively for blacks.

tar and feathers party

December 10th, 2010
9:35 am

For every extra dollar in taxes Uncle Stupid collects, the politicians spend $1.17. Hey, I have a solution to the deficit problem: Eliminate all taxes, simple math, zero times 1.17 equals ZERO. Problem solved, next problem.

Liberal Pariah

December 10th, 2010
9:40 am

Stuck, it wasn’t the tax cuts that produced the deficit, it was spending, spending, spending. Bush spent like a Liberal. Obama has kept it going and we now have a big mess.

tar and feathers party

December 10th, 2010
9:41 am

Dear #1 Foxy Lady: If the Hope Scholarship were exclusively for Blacks (ignore the contradiction of terms in “scholarship” and “Black” for the sake of argument) it would need to be called the “Hopeless Scholarship.” Have you noticed how high school and college courses and degree requirements have been “dumbed down?” There is a reason for that, and Black is a big part of it.

#1 Foxy Lady

December 10th, 2010
9:46 am

Like the racist “tar and feathers” is happy to assert, with absolutely no evidence, it’s the African-Americans’ fault.

Producer

December 10th, 2010
9:55 am

Enter your comments here

Producer

December 10th, 2010
9:56 am

Foxy,
What has happened since 1964? Hasn’t the law been changed for the last 40+ years?

StJ

December 10th, 2010
9:57 am

We have too many so-called “college graduates” who can’t read, write, spell, punctuate, or use the correct word in a sentence. And don’t ask them to calculate a percentage of something or balance a checkbook…that’s way over their heads!

HOPE needs to be awarded on a combination of merit-based and needs-based criteria. There is no reason to spend the money on students whose families can easily afford college tuition…and there is also no reason to spend the money on students who barely passed high school. The money is best spent on students who are capable of earning a degree, but would otherwise be unable to attend college.

Donny Corleone

December 10th, 2010
9:59 am

Foxy, Why do Blacks commit most of the crime? I thought that they were a minority in this country. Oh, I get it. They don’t receive all of the scholarship money. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Cutty

December 10th, 2010
10:04 am

Liberal Pariah and his Ga education. At least we know who didn’t qualify for HOPE based on merit.

Bravissimo

December 10th, 2010
10:17 am

Foxy…if u couldnt get into school Where did you learn html text formatting? :-)