Originally created 01/24/04

Southern Democrats should reconsider

Do Democrats seriously think that if Howard Dean is their nominee, he will win a majority of the Southern states and be elected president?

Do they think a majority of Southerners will support a candidate who favors same-sex marriages, who doesn't think the world is safer because Saddam Hussein has been captured and who shoots from the hip faster than Wyatt Earp?

Or do Democrats think they can write off the South and win anyway?

If they do, they are smoking rope.

SPEAKING OF DEMOCRATS, several in the state are unhappy that Bobby Kahn has announced for the job of chairman of the state Democratic Party. Mr. Kahn was previously party chairman and was former Gov. Roy Barnes' top aide.

Some in the party hold him responsible for the election debacle in which Mr. Barnes became the first Democratic governor in modern Georgia history to lose to a Republican challenger, in spite of a $20 million war chest.

Democrats I have talked with want some fresh faces running the party, not Mr. Kahn. They say his election would be a step backward. More on this subject later.

PEOPLE WHO CLAIM that public school teachers in Georgia are angry because they are being manipulated by the teachers' unions are simply out to lunch.

Teachers are angry because they receive so little support from politicians, not to mention bureaucrats, boards of education, parents, and the general public.

I have more horror stories about what goes on in the classroom than you have time to listen.

IF YOU RUN a major business in Atlanta, guard your checkbook. Word is that Jesse Jackson is joining the board of trustees at Morris Brown College. Because of its own mismanagement, this historically black college is in deep financial doo-doo. We are all familiar with how Mr. Rhyme-Time raises money, so be prepared to see him with his bullhorn in front of your company, chanting, "Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Jesse Jackson wants your dough! Give me money for Morris Brown! Do it quick, or I'll close you down!"

Don't say you haven't been warned.

RECENTLY, I RAN into longtime Atlanta sports editor Furman Bisher and told him what I should have told him years ago: In my opinion, he is the single best writer walking the planet. The man can write rings around us one and all. I'm not sure what professors are teaching aspiring young writers in our universities these days, but a study of Mr. Bisher's columns should be required for students and professors alike.

Furman Bisher is the last of a breed. He is a word craftsman.

DELTA AIR LINES has posted a $327 million loss for last quarter and may lose even more this quarter. Financial analysts surmise that Delta's CEO Gerald Grinstein, who as chairman of the board approved the obscene executive bonuses and pension protections last year, may be considering Chapter 11 bankruptcy unless the pilots' union agrees to sharp cuts in wages. This ought to do wonders for employee morale.

DOES GOV. SONNY PERDUE or anyone connected with the Board of Regents - or anyone else in the media, for that matter - see any problem with one of the regents, who is married to someone else, living openly with a University of Georgia coach?

Doesn't that complicate matters for the Board of Regents as it deals with the acrimonious relationship between UGA President Michael Adams, who works for the Board of Regents, and Athletic Director Vince Dooley, who is the coach's supervisor?

One prominent UGA alumnus who is bothered by these circumstances wrote both the governor and Dr. Adams and asked those questions.

Neither responded. I guess he has his answer.

FINALLY, IF ANY of my colleagues at the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games have visited the Golden Isles recently, they must think it is 1994, not 2004. The G-8 Summit is coming to Sea Island in June, and now that the euphoria has worn off, the locals are fretting about traffic, security, terrorism and media coverage.

I have told them to cheer up. They are only dealing with world leaders. At ACOG, we had to deal with the International Olympic Committee.

This should be a lot easier.

Reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net, P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139, or www.dickyarbrough.com.


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