Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Thrash’s questions about HB 87 are telling. In a Monday hearing, he questioned its purpose and suggested that it might not be enforced evenly across the state’s 159 counties. That’s because, he hypothesized, local law enforcement could choose to target illegals to get them out of schools, but ignore the illegal who cooks at the town’s popular Mexican restaurant. What he’s describing is what the business and media elite have already done with immigration law. And, too, once you stop trusting law enforcement to behave honorably, ethically and fairly, the rule of law is gone and all laws should be repealed.
● The problem with highway tolls set to alleviate highway congestion is the problem that exists with red-light camera traffic enforcement: There’s a real temptation to manipulate it to give politicians more money to spend for other purposes. An example is Ga. 400. Politicians, both Democrat and Republican, were deceitful about where the money would go and when the toll would end. In an act of political gamesmanship, the toll “ends” today — and resumes a week later, on July 1.
● My love affair with Wal-Mart, the Sam Walton example of free-market entrepreneurship at its finest, has waned since it fell into bed with the Service Employees International Union and the liberal Center for American Progress in support of Obamacare in 2009, but the U.S. Supreme Court got it right in declining to allow a sex-discrimination suit to proceed as a single class action. In that, it did something familiar: Overturned a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private-sector company, has long been a union target. Candidate Barack Obama said in a 2007 speech to the United Food and Commercial Workers union that Wal-Mart needed to “pay a decent wage and let folks organize.”
● I love Delta, too. It’s Atlanta’s child. I want it to succeed and would have given them the fuel sales-tax break worth an estimated $30 million over two years that the Legislature approved this year. But, dang, nobody should have to be told that giving and accepting perks and upgrades when flying are wrong. Delta gave Gov. Nathan Deal and his wife perks valued at $8,000 two weeks after he signed the tax break law. The governor’s spokesman says that henceforth the perks will be used only when on state business. Still … Republicans should not perpetuate the good ol’ boy culture they inherited.
● We were born into a world where people were hungry. Now the alarm is that we’re fat — prompting another opportunity to tax-punish a product because people abuse it. Two-thirds of us are overweight, according to a Harvard report. Potato chips are now described as the “biggest demon behind that pound-a-year weight creep.” Bring on the tax man.
● The real consequence of this president’s national security decisions won’t be evident until after he’s gone from office. Withdrawing forces from Afghanistan and from Iraq ought to come on success and without undue risk to those who remain to wind-down operations. That is properly a decision of generals and their commander in chief. Still, you do wish that decisions made there weren’t timed to the re-election campaign. Thirty-three thousand troops will come home before the next presidential election. Said the president: “We have spent $1 trillion on war at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home.” By that standard, he would have shut down the war on poverty.
● Yes, it’s been tough. But credit is due former Gov. Sonny Perdue, Gov. Nathan Deal and legislators for fiscal prudence. The state retains its AAA bond rating — one of only eight to do so.