Archive for December, 2011

HOPE for Georgians Seeking Work?

December 7, 2011

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler

  There is a labor shortage in Georgia. Really. There is. But, what about the more than 9 percent unemployment rate?  Georgia has that, too.  You see, the problem is a lot of people could have good jobs if they had the skills in demand.  And if Georgia doesn’t get off the pot and start re-training workers for the skills in demand, the state will fall behind those that are doing that.  That was the picture painted by Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark  Butler, who spoke to the Rotary Club of Columbus today. One solution is to change the HOPE scholarship program to make tuition available  to Georgia laborers who need to retrain. He plans to try to get the Georgia Legislature to do just that.

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Cain’s Fifteen Minutes are Over, but Not Newt’s

December 3, 2011

State Sen. Josh McKoon on C-SPAN

After Columbus State Senator Josh McKoon made his rousing speech for Cain on C-Span at the Cain political rally in Atlanta,  Herman Cain suspended his campaign.  No, I’m sure it  had nothing to do with Josh’s remarks. More about Josh in a moment.

Herman Cain on C-SPAN

Cain dropped out, he said,  because of the distractions  and pain to him, his wife and his family that were caused by what he called false statements about him.  He blamed the media and politcians for his troubles.  

He didn’t say the statements were about his alleged sexual adventures with some women other than his wife, but everyone knew what he was talking about when he said he was at peace with himself, that his wife and family were also at peace.

As I watched Cain’s rally-turned-rout, I had to reflect how much Georgia has played a lead role in national politics since Jimmy Carter was elected president. In the Republican presidential primary we had two Georgians making national headlines as their poll numbers put them on top. One of them, Newt Gingrich, had already reached a pinnacle of national power when he became Georgia’s first Speaker of the U.S. House.

Newt wasn’t born in Georgia, and he doesn’t live in the state now. He was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; he and his third wife live in McLean, Virginia, though he comes back to Georgia. He has spoken in Columbus a couple of times in recent years. I read where he gets $60,000 per speech. Wonder if he got that much when he spoke in Columbus. And,  he did graduate from Baker High School in Columbus, and Emory in Atlanta, and was elected as a Georgia Representative to the U.S. House six times, and was a Georgian when he was Speaker of the House.

Cain was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but grew up in Atlanta where he was educated, married, and still resides.  He and I have something in common. We both worked at WSB in Atlanta. He had his talk show until recently. I did the morning newscasts and some DJ work a very long time ago.

How do I  feel about the suspension of his campaign?  I don’t think could have handled the office of president.  999 is not enough. You have to have a clue about places like Libya where the U.S. military is involved.  And leading the free world isn’t exactly the same as running Godfather’s Pizza.  No, he doesn’t, in my view, have the intellect or grasp of foreign affairs that President Obama does.  As far as the sex mess, he certainly isn’t alone in that area.  It just happened to come out before, not after he was elected. Works better for the candidate when it’s after.

Newt? Well, he is quite intelligent and an adept politician, and definitely has a way with words.  He had his sex scandals, too, but he isn’t letting that stop him. And, he can really be nasty when he wants to, which is a lot of the time.  Nasty, though, seems to appeal to a lot of voters. But, would he really be good for the country? Can he rise above partisan politics and do what’s best for the common good?  He is credited with starting the egregious partisanship that has been gridlocking Congress for a number of years now.

Is he electable?  With his personal and political baggage I don’t see how, but as H.L Mencken said, “No one in this world … has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office hereby.” (Thanks to Mike Nichols for that quote.) 

Now, about my good Republican friend Josh McKoon.  Knowing that Cain was probably going to pull out, I was really somewhat surprised when I heard him make his stem-winder speech  about  everyone getting on the Cain train, that he is the man to get the country out of the economic mess it is in.  I would have thought Josh would have been more likely to support Newt.  Wonder if he will now.

Cain says he is out of the race, but not out of the fight. He will continue to air his views on his website, he says. Welcome to the club. There are millions of us bloggers.