Exposing American troops to Iraqi justice when they are accused of crimes unrelated to war, as proposed in a draft agreement, is a tolerable compromise. Never should troops under U.S. military command be subjected to prosecution by international courts or by other countries. But if you rape the barmaid at a downtown hangout or murder a shopkeeper in a dispute over the tab, it’s a crime unrelated to military service. Fair enough.Tolerable compromise? Be still my beating middle of the road heart. Prepare to roll out the fainting couch, cause later, we might all get the vapors. But not yet...
John McCain did make a good point when he said to Barack Obama in Wednesday’s debate: “I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.” Obama is a Monday morning quarterback, an expert on what the team should have done yesterday.Jim, you tell me which is more relevant to this election - the last eight years or the 60s?
The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute is a group dedicated to more spending on social programs. It’s concerned that, although Georgia has spent $90 million on anti-smoking programs since 2001, it’s less than the CDC-recommended amount of $116.5 million annually. Georgia, as is its option, chooses to spend the bulk of the $1.5 billion tobacco settlement riches on cancer-related research and treatment, as well as other health-care programs, and on OneGeorgia grants.Agreed. Pull out the fainting couch - it's about to get worse.
No surprise that children’s health improves as income rises, as discovered by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Solutions identified by one expert: better access to prenatal care, stopping smoking during pregnancy, requiring physical education in schools and providing “appropriate” school lunch programs.Yes, yes, yes, yes. But wait a minute...
One other suggestion: Encourage marriage.Jim, let's stick to the things where we agree - things like good nutrition and physical fitness instead of muddying the waters with the right's version of social engineering.
We now pause for intermission in today's lengthy entry. I am against the death penalty but probably not for the reasons you would guess. If someone ever convinced me my reasons were wrong I would probably switch to a support of the death penalty. And that's all I've got to say about that.
Now back to the show.
A third of recent Atlanta Police Academy graduates have been arrested or cited for a crime. More than a third had been rejected by other law enforcement agencies. And half admitted using marijuana. Holy Toledo! What a commentary on the state of the city’s recruiting efforts.Admittedly the city's vetting of recruits is sketchy. It's difficult to not make a snide comment about how the "war effort" has so badly wrecked the armed forces, they've also been forced to lower their recruiting standards. Instead, let's talk about pot. Wherever you are, stand up, look around. There is at least one person in the room with you right now that has smoked the weed. More likely at least a half dozen people you are looking at have burned one. If you work at Fellini's it's 100%.
It's time to admit as a society that marijuana is no more damaging than alcohol and unless someone is actually fried on the job, it shouldn't matter what natural medication they use in their private life.
The Atlanta Regional Commission is weighing whether to recommend to Congress that it end the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, perhaps replacing it with a tax on miles driven. Next suggestion, please? The better recommendation is to give that taxing capacity back to the states so that gas-tax revenues can be used to add capacity and reduce traffic gridlock in places like Metro Atlanta.Yep. Not only do I need my couch but perhaps my Turkish water pipe as well.
Look, I can spot a tax increase disguised as something else a mile away. And I assure you Alpharetta’s policy requiring reimbursement from cops who use their patrol cars on off-duty jobs is not, as one officer alleges in a complaint, a tax on public safety employees. Nobody anywhere should have a license to use public property for private gain.Yep. We may be breaking records today.
The last blurb is a voting rights issue that's far too complex for a simple counterpunch, so I'll leave that one for another day.
But one final comment. Jim and I agreed on a lot today. I'm not so filled with hubris to believe either of us in our little silos represent bigger pictures, but I think it is enlightening that when people stop the demonization of those with whom we disagree and start talking about how government can be made more effecient, generally better, we start to meet on common ground.
It's an idea John McCain used to understand.