Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● Always looking for an opening to expand ways to take the milk-and-egg money of the poor and the pipe-dreamers, promoters are quick to grasp the down economy and over-promised HOPE scholarship to call for video gambling. If you ever lived in a poor neighborhood you know: There’s always somebody knocking on misery’s door promising salvation or riches — and asking for just a little of your money.
● Those who have paid attention over the past quarter century to the sleazing of daytime TV have to acknowledge the extraordinary feat of Oprah Winfrey. As the competing offerings descended into non-stop trash-talk, she remained plugged-in to the concerns, interests and values of mainstream America and, in the process, elevated book-reading to a family priority. She is one of the remarkable figures of our time.
● In an age of deep partisanship, it’s rare to find any policy or any public figure that pulls them together across the political spectrum. That was, in fact, the case though at the investiture ceremony for U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, most recently of the Superior Court bench in Athens. The group included UGA President Michael Adams, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, State Sen. Bill Cowsert, and enough others from the area and from the state’s legal community to fill three courtrooms. It included all members of the Georgia Supreme Court and some from the 11th Circuit and from the Georgia Court of Appeals. Imagine the shock, though, to see the name of one of my judicial heroes on the program. I assumed he’d appear by video from D.C. But no, up pops U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He came specifically to honor Jones and to present him his commission. I’m rarely wowed. I was at his presence and at the affection of so many for Jones.
● Tell me why the Cobb school board would pick a new school superintendent who, as recently as September, would agree to honor a contract that the Dallas, Texas, district just extended to 2015? A contract is the board’s word of honor that it will keep you employed and your word of honor that you will not abandon your commitment to a community and its kids. Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa may be attractive, but it’s dishonorable of the school board to employ him.
● A headline you really hope is true: “Clayton schools get back on track.” The headline tops the news that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools had restored full accreditation to the county’s school system. Parents and their children have endured a years-long ordeal brought about by the county’s rapid transition that briefly permitted bad actors to get elected to the school board. If that’s over, it’s great news for parents.
● A tea party candidate in a Republican-heavy New York congressional district pulls a Ross Perot and swings the district to a Democrat in this week’s special election. The resulting story? It was a “referendum on the party’s controversial plan to transform Medicare.” Splintering the conservative and/or Republican vote to make statements almost always leads to undesirable consequences.
● Check the documentation of illegals? Maybe. But be sure to include Californians. The U.S. Supreme Court has just ordered California to release up to 40,000 prisoners. The 5-4 decision is “perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation’s history” dissented Justice Antonin Scalia.