Tuesday, February 3, 2009

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Editor's note: Hello, Georgia! Lyle Harris, one of the most savvy journalists in the state, has a question for Georgians: Would they be willing to buy a car unseen and as-yet not even built – and pay for it in advance? Probably not. But that's exactly how Georgia Power plans to finance its expensive new plans for nuclear plants. Harris' story leads off today's articles from the Georgia Online News Service – and it's a message vital to the pocketbooks of every citizen in this state.

Also, Paul Kaplan takes a look at the awful state of Major League Baseball – awful for everyone but the grossly overpaid players and the team owners. They demand massive subsidies for their stadiums – or they threaten to leave town. Kaplan says the best thing that could happen for fans would be for the Yankees to dominate the season with all of their high-priced talent – and for owner George Steinbrenner to go bust because all of the corporations that typically buy luxury suites and seats have become victims of the economic downturn.

Our "Soapbox" today is occupied by Sam Olens, who takes a shot at Gov. Sonny Perdue for wanting to drive up the prices of housing and health care.

And, if you're not mad as hell at that, I'll heat things up with my column on the foibles of "bipartisanship" and how some folks hate "socialism" when it's for you – but not when it's for them.

As always, send your comments and suggestions to john.sugg@georgiaonlinenews.org or call 800-891-3459.

John F. Sugg, Executive Editor


Today's GONSO

When business has failed so utterly, it isn't "socialism" for government to set things right

by John Sugg
It's easy to make jokes about government. For example, there's a popular fable that when the federales in the 1990s took over a famed Nevada brothel called the Mustang Ranch, the bureaucrats so, um, screwed up the business that not even Viagra could save it from dysfunction. The only part that's true is that the government did end up owning the assets of the Mustang Ranch, some of which were auctioned on eBay. What's not true is that the government is so lousy at running things in a businesslike way, it couldn't even make a success of selling sex and booze.
Full Story

Economic downturn could produce a level playing field for baseball

by Paul Kaplan
The economic crisis is crippling the nation's most important financial institutions, but it may actually save one of the most frivolous ones.

Baseball.

The grand sport has been losing its relevance ever since George Steinbrenner figured out that baseball in New York defies the laws of economics.

Full Story

Perdue should not hike the cost of home ownership or medical care

by Sam Olens
Raising taxes during a recession is almost never a good idea.

But that is exactly what Gov. Sonny Perdue is proposing in two crucial state budget areas: housing and health care.

The governor wants to eliminate state grants that save many homeowners $200 to $300 per year on their annual property taxes. At a time when Georgia is leading the nation in home foreclosures, this is clearly not the time to make housing more expensive.

Full Story

Georgia Power's Nuke-Sized Nightmare

by Lyle Harris
Every so often our lawmakers need to be reminded that what's good for the Georgia Power Co. isn't always best for Georgians. Now is one of those times.

With a platoon of lobbyists at its disposal, the state's largest utility is in the process of bulldogging Senate Bill 31 through the Legislature on the broad hips of Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville), who also chairs the Senate Rules Committee.

To be blunt, this bill is bad news that could result in costly, nuke-sized nightmare. Just ask state officials in Florida.

Full Story

Tomorrow's Budget
New book chronicles Civil War from viewpoint of ordinary soldiers
by Bill Hendrick
Only those who hate schools would vouch for vouchers
by John Sugg
Georgia Power's pay-in-advance funding tops consumer issues at Legislature
by Maggie Lee
Georgia's chief justice: Because of bad economy, 'people will need access to justice now more than ever'
by

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