Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● Assuming Gov. Nathan Deal gets to appoint — or voters elect — one more Supreme Court justice in the mold of the two former Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed, Georgia will have a majority whose interpretation of law is more pleasing to conservatives — and decisions like this week’s 4-3 ruling on charter schools will go the other way. While that one was not strictly left-right, the majority bought the arguments of the old-line education establishment that has bitterly resisted parental choice — and effectively gutted charter school competition. For those who favor choice, the task now is to fight for vouchers and for the principle that public money follows the child to the education provider parents deem most suitable.
● The dissenters in the charter school decision were Presiding Justice George H. Carley, a 1993 Zell Miller appointee, and Justices Harold Melton and David E. Nahmias, both Perdue appointees. You have to read the dissent by Justice Nahmias, accessible through the Georgia Supreme Court’s website. (First read the majority opinion.) If Nahmias does not wind up on the federal bench at least at the circuit court level, if not the U.S. Supreme Court, I’ll be surprised. If you read one opinion this year, it ought to be Nahmias’ superbly researched, reasoned and argued dissent. Give the veteran Justice Carley another conservative of the Melton-Nahmias mold, let them play off each other’s intellect, and this court will be smoking.
● In commenting last week on the poor performance of HOPE recipients, I noted that at some colleges fewer than 20 percent of freshmen kept the stipend until graduation — and that at the University of West Georgia the rate is 8.3 percent. Because of a dropped digit, that number reflects more poorly than warranted on the preparedness of West Georgia students. The actual rate is 18.3 percent.
● Of 204 Obamacare waivers approved by the administration in April, almost 20 percent of them were to businesses in one California congressional district, reports The Daily Caller. You had to ask which district? Nancy Pelosi’s, of course. Do as I say. Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Sun reports that Nevada, home state of Pelosi’s Senate counterpart Harry Reid during the Obamacare cram-down, “had secured a statewide waiver from certain implementation requirements of the Obama administration’s health care law, because forcing them through, the department [Health and Humans Services] found, ‘may lead to the destabilization of the individual market.’” Waive the whole country, as Mitt Romney suggests.
● What do Newt Gingrich and a student belonging to a group calling itself Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance have in common? On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Newt referred to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform as “right wing social engineering,” prompting Ryan to declare, “With allies like that, who needs the left?” Newt apologized and called Ryan to explain himself. Said the student, speaking for illegals, upon Deal’s signing of House Bill 87: “We have a right to remain in this state … We will not obey a law that is unjust, that is meant to drive out our families and criminalize our community.” Knowing when to shut up is a real virtue.
● I listened to a low-key Gingrich at last weekend’s state Republican convention — the result, perhaps, of a battle with allergies — and thought: This guy could be president, despite the fact that lefties hate him as much as they do Sarah Palin and did George W. Bush. Then came “Meet the Press” and the alienation of the Republican Right. What seemed possible Friday night became distant and probably unattainable by the weekend’s close.