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Thoughts on grinches, values, sweet tea

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POSTED: August 31, 2009 1:36 p.m.
Sometimes you just can’t  help but feel sorry for Malfunction Junction, aka, the city of Atlanta.
Admittedly, it is hard to do because it is such a blowhard town and not half as hip as it thinks it is. But if I was a city booster, I’d be embarrassed to tell people that my hometown newspaper has decided to pick up stakes and move. The Atlanta newspapers have announced they are leaving town and headed for the greener pastures of suburban Dunwoody, some 20 miles north of the city.
One former staffer says some of the liberal journalists at the paper have been calling the CDC to find out what kind of shots they will need to work in such an alien environment.
Who will be next to leave? The Chamber of Commerce? …

The Grinch is alive and well. After State School Superintendent Kathy Cox won $1 million on the FOX game show “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” last August, she promised the money to three Georgia schools for the deaf and blind. Three months later she and her husband, a home builder, filed for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy trustee Gary W. Brown says the money shouldn’t go to the schools. He says it is the property of the bankruptcy estate and the creditors.
From what I read, many experts don’t agree with him. When this one gets to court, I hope Brown loses as big there as he is losing in the court of public opinion.
Something tells me he isn’t as smart as a fifth grader. …

Belated best wishes to my UGA classmate, columnist, UGA football sideline reporter and undisputed leader of the Bulldog Nation, Loran Smith. He had a close call last month in France when the car in which he was riding left the road and flipped. Loran ended up with two broken ribs, 12 stitches and a concussion. The man has battled leukemia for a large part of his adult life. He’ll bounce back from this, too. I look forward to hearing him on the UGA football broadcasts this fall. …

My son and son-in-law, both of whom teach in Georgia’s public schools (the latter with a Ph.D.), would have to work between 450 and 500 years to earn what Los Angeles outfielder Manny Ramirez — he of the flunked drug test and lackadaisical play — will make this year alone,  $22.5 million.
Said another way, Ramirez will surpass their yearly wages in one at-bat. But my boys are lucky. They could be police officers who run the risk of losing their life every time they make a traffic stop. It would take them close to 700 years to equal Ramirez’s salary.
This tells you how much value our society places on those who educate and protect us and how much we value those who entertain us. …

National pollster Matt Towery has an interesting observation on President Obama. He calls him the “Jimmy Carter of this generation.” Towery says Carter tried to impose a semi-rural style of politics on Congress and failed. Obama, on the other hand, is from the Chicago-style, brute-force school of politics.
Towery says those tactics aren’t going to work, either, as the president is quickly learning in the health care debate. He goes on to note, “Like Carter’s toothy grin grew weary on the general public, Obama’s stylish forays and endless press conferences are quickly growing old with Americans” and his popularity is “dropping like granite.”
He is right as rain. . …

Finally: After reading about my Sweet Tea Summit with Gov. Sonny Perdue’s communications chief Bert Brantley, reader Clinton Bastion chided me for not pointing out one of our state’s greatest deficiencies — the need for a law to heavily fine restaurants that do not serve sweet tea.
I couldn’t agree more. Not having sweet tea readily available in an eatery is not only a crime; it is a sin somewhere in the category of envy and bearing false witness. Incidentally, Carver’s Country Kitchen has nothing to worry about. Their sweet tea is almost as good as my momma used to make.
That is high praise indeed.
 

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