Opinion


Opinion: Decision nears on Gulch plan

As this day’s overall package of editorials and opinion pieces shows, critical topics now rest before the Atlanta City Council. And Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is a key player in a pair of proposals being urged forward to quick action by entities, including one detailed on another page today by this newspaper’s Editorial board. In terms of dollars involved, the latest proposal to...


Opinion: The GOP shell game exposed

In an internal poll leaked to Bloomberg News, the Republican National Committee bemoans the fact that the GOP tax cut is nowhere near as popular as Republicans had hoped, concluding that “we’ve lost the messaging battle on the issue.

Opinion: Viewpoints on topics in the news

This week, we present the ideas of three Atlanta writers, offering their opinion on issues in the news that will impact metro Atlantans, Georgians and, if seen in a reasonably broad sense, Americans. It’s been two weeks now since the Georgia Department of Transportation opened the latest addition to the growing network of toll lanes around metro Atlanta.

Opinion: On Kavanaugh, testimony first; conclusions can follow

We have a closely divided country and a closely divided Senate fighting over a lifetime appointment to a closely divided Supreme Court, and the outcome now rides on decades-old allegations of sexual assault almost certain to defy definitive conclusion. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Opinion: Take time and work toward Gulch deal

Voting no on the proposed Gulch project is easy. It’s expensive. A lot of us feel that while it’s a good idea, it’s not urgent. And, there is a collective fatigue around publicly financed mega-projects.
Opinion: Nike and Obama playing the same game

Opinion: Nike and Obama playing the same game

Nike has crossed the Rubicon; so has Barack Obama. Now, both are at the point of no return. What’s compelling about this former president/shoe company juxtaposition is that they appear to be in pursuit of the same target. And that’s what we’ll call the “Protest Generation.
Opinion: Bringing transparency to City Hall

Opinion: Bringing transparency to City Hall

In a wide-ranging January inaugural address, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said “I believe that transparency enables good government.” Mayor Bottoms is spot-on in that belief, and the best opportunity toward cementing that goal firmly into place is now before her and the Atlanta City Council.

Opinion: Health care is a right

Even in these divisive times, we are sometimes more in agreement than we are allowed to understand. Take, for instance, the very basic question of whether all Americans, regardless of wealth or income, have a right to decent health care.

New express lanes will reshape driving on busy Atlanta highways

On September 8, Georgia took another major step forward in improving mobility with the opening of the new Northwest Corridor Express Lanes along Interstate 75 and Interstate 575 in Cobb and Cherokee Counties. The Northwest Corridor is the second new, tolled reversible express lanes project in the metro Atlanta region and is the third express lanes project in Georgia.

Opinion: Progress comes hard and slow, but it comes

The rats keep coming out of the woodwork. This time it’s Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS, who has resigned in shame — if shame can be said to exist anymore — after multiple women came forward to credibly accuse him of sexual harassment and assault and of professional retaliation against those who dared to rebuff him.
Opinion: Add to, not subtract from, history

Opinion: Add to, not subtract from, history

The skirmishes over brick, mortar and sculptures and the names, ideals, legend or fancy attached to them have descended upon two giants of the United States Senate. The latest volley began when Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer proposed renaming the Richard B. Russell Senate Office Building in honor of the late Sen. John McCain. That’s set off the predictable drawing of sides, even as Sen.

Opinion: It’s coming from inside the house

In an extraordinary op-ed published anonymously in the New York Times, a senior member of the Trump administration warns his or her fellow Americans that “the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.” The president is amoral, without principle and misguided, the author tells us.

Opinion: Was the Times right to hide name of official?

Every time we quote an anonymous source, a reader’s trust is strained. Seeing unattributed assertions makes readers question the motives and honesty of someone willing to attack but unwilling to attach a name.

Opinion: Russell’s name should not be on halls of justice

“It’s really unfair and really irrational to judge somebody’s career by one issue, pick one low point and ignore everything else.” Charles Campbell, U.S. Sen. Richard B. Russell’s last chief of staff, criticizing a proposal to replace Russell’s name with John McCain’s on a Senate building in Washington, D.C. (WABE interview, Aug. 28.

Opinion: Russell Senate Office Building doesn’t need new name

The range of history in the dates of Richard Brevard Russell (1897-1971) indicates that he lived, as he said, “during the most thrilling 50 years in the life of the human family.” That “fifty” encompasses his years of public service, begun when he was 23 years old.
Opinion: American workers getting jobbed

Opinion: American workers getting jobbed

Soaring income inequality, with wealth and income concentrating at the top, is not healthy for a consumer-driven economy nor for a country built on notions of basic human equality. It undermines the foundations of both. It is also not some naturally occurring phenomenon that we are helpless to address and must simply learn to accept.
Opinion: Ingenuity’s likely to solve future’s problems

Opinion: Ingenuity’s likely to solve future’s problems

A provocative new study projects more car wrecks and worse food safety in the future because of climate change. According to the authors, higher temperatures are more hospitable to food-borne pathogens (like salmonella) and lead to poor driving.
Opinion: An historic opportunity to repair Atlanta’s heart

Opinion: An historic opportunity to repair Atlanta’s heart

As the Atlanta City Council considers supporting the proposed redevelopment of the Gulch, it’s important to consider a few perspectives on why this particular project deserves our attention. First and foremost, downtown is the center of the Atlanta region, and thus is the most visible and prominent geographic area in the entire Southeast.
Opinion: Big Gulch public subsidy not in taxpayers’ best interest

Opinion: Big Gulch public subsidy not in taxpayers’ best interest

How much would a mini-city in the Gulch be worth to Atlanta residents? Not much, judging by last year’s election debates. Though Mayor Kasim Reed had announced that the billionaire Ressler brothers, fresh off receiving a $143 million public subsidy for Philips Arena, had plans for downtown, he didn’t mention that they expected Atlantans to subsidize that investment.
Opinion: Taking fair measure of Gulch proposal

Opinion: Taking fair measure of Gulch proposal

It’s a tantalizing prospect — a mega-construction project that would fill in the century-old gap in downtown Atlanta known as the Gulch. And the project floated by developer CIM Group is also being discussed, separately, as a possible site for a second headquarters for Amazon.
Opinion: We can’t fall down that rabbit hole

Opinion: We can’t fall down that rabbit hole

The conservative movement is at war against reality, and if reality does not conform to their ideology and narrative, then it is reality that must be altered. According to President Trump, the nuclear threat from North Korea is gone, except it isn’t. China hacked into the emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, except it didn’t.
Opinion: Think about where things stand

Opinion: Think about where things stand

Let’s take a moment to assess where we stand, because it truly is extraordinary: The president of the United States has been accused by his longtime personal attorney — in court and under oath — of directing the attorney to commit felonies to which the attorney has himself pleaded guilty.
Opinion: There were two victims in Leo Frank’s lynching

Opinion: There were two victims in Leo Frank’s lynching

Last Thursday, I helped lead the memorial service for Leo Frank, the victim of a lynching here in Marietta on August 17, 1915. At that memorial service held at the new site of the Frank memorial, political figures and members of the judiciary, clergymen and congregants, took a few moments to bow our heads in memory of the grotesque legacy of the Frank lynching.
Opinion: A political body-snatching

Opinion: A political body-snatching

On average, 45 people are murdered each day in this country. And although each and every one of those murders is in its own way a tragedy, most don’t draw much attention beyond the communities in which they take place. Some draw almost no notice at all. Of course, there are exceptions.
Opinion: Historic heat, historic rain, historic drought, historic fires

Opinion: Historic heat, historic rain, historic drought, historic fires

Some forms of damage can be undone. Strained alliances can be repaired. Broken trade agreements can be restored. Wedges driven between races for purposes of political gain can be removed, even if healing those cleavages may take decades if not generations.
Opinion: Should algorithm decide who gets criminal bail?

Opinion: Should algorithm decide who gets criminal bail?

Civil rights groups signed a statement in late July calling for states to ditch pretrial risk assessment tools as a means of evaluating whether an individual accused of a crime should be detained pretrial, contending such data-driven tools do little to remedy racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Opinion: Free press matters close to home

Opinion: Free press matters close to home

On Thursday, the day that hundreds of American newspapers editorialized about the importance of a free press, I had a conversation with one of our reporters that perfectly illustrated the point. I’ll get back to the bigger issue in a minute, but first follow me on a short journey with Tia Mitchell, our reporter who covers DeKalb County.
Opinion: A fearful America loses its soul

Opinion: A fearful America loses its soul

Not that long ago, the anti-immigrant movement still tried to claim that it supported legal immigration and immigrants, that their anger was focused only on those who came here illegally. That pretense has now been abandoned, and legal immigration has now come under concerted attack as some kind of threat to national integrity.
Opinion: Ideas on enhancing our mobility

Opinion: Ideas on enhancing our mobility

We can all understand why the matter of how freely people can travel around this great metro is important. Atlanta has the positive, pleasant challenge of remaining in growth mode as people continue to move here to live and work. That’s put world-class stress on the transportation infrastructure that’s supposed to ease our mobility.
Opinion: Reconciling human behavior with autonomous vehicles

Opinion: Reconciling human behavior with autonomous vehicles

You’re crossing the street wrong. That is essentially the argument some self-driving car boosters have fallen back on in the months after the first pedestrian death attributed to an autonomous vehicle and amid growing concerns that artificial intelligence capable of real-world driving is further away than many predicted just a few years ago.
Opinion: Creating transit on Beltline is moral imperative

Opinion: Creating transit on Beltline is moral imperative

We’re at a crossroads. The origin story of the Atlanta Beltline is well known – a grassroots movement of people and ideas fueled an audacious vision for land we didn’t own, to be built with money we didn’t have, in a regional context that at the time was almost hostile to the things we were proposing.
Opinion: Make back to school business-focused, not business as usual

Opinion: Make back to school business-focused, not business as usual

It’s that time of year again, when families across America are living back-to-school season. Most families and schools will approach the new school year in much the same way as they have in years prior – and that may be a mistake that could have far-reaching implications for our students and our communities.
Opinion: Trump and Omarosa, two peas in a pod

Opinion: Trump and Omarosa, two peas in a pod

Condemn Donald Trump as harshly as you want for bringing an unstable reality-TV star like Omarosa onto the White House staff — he has earned every bit of that criticism and more. Call her hiring irresponsible, because it was. Call it deeply disrespectful, because it’s that as well. Trump knew long ago — all of America knew — who and what Omarosa is.
Opinion: Yes, Donald Trump is the most pro-black president

Opinion: Yes, Donald Trump is the most pro-black president

Mark my words: Donald J. Trump will be the most pro-black president in our lifetime. Democrats have spent decades paying lip service to the black community while doing absolutely nothing to lift us up. It’s been all pandering with no progress.
Opinion: Trump fears the truth and Bob Mueller

Opinion: Trump fears the truth and Bob Mueller

When Donald Trump is scared, all the bluster in the world can’t disguise his fright. And it has become pretty clear that the three things that scare Trump the most are Robert Mueller, Vladimir Putin and telling the truth.
Opinion: Buckle up, we may be in for a bumpy ride

Opinion: Buckle up, we may be in for a bumpy ride

One day, we may all remember Nathan Deal’s time in the Governor’s Mansion as halcyon days of easy political comity (certainly not comedy) and civility. That day may come next January when the Legislature returns to Atlanta to confront or collaborate with a new governor sitting down the hall.

Opinion: Viewpoints on important topics

Today, we present a selection of opinion pieces by local voices on important topics that have been in the news. A pair of Atlantans point out that criminal justice reform efforts in Georgia championed by Gov. Nathan Deal have begun to achieve positive results. The authors take issue with a recent Georgia speech by U.S.

READERS WRITE: AUG. 10

Seeing through liberal scribe’s faux praise of GOP pols As I began to read Jay Bookman’s column, “As primary runoffs showed, GOP tends to eat its own” (Opinion, Aug. 1), I had to check the byline to see if it really was “From the Left.

READERS WRITE: AUG. 9

Parents should stress fleeing police has consequences I have to ask myself, how stupid can some people be? I constantly see stories about people being confronted by police and often running from them. In some cases, the perpetrators get shot. And the person shot, or their families, act like the perpetrator has done no wrong.

READERS WRITE: AUG. 8

Collegians need to know there’s no free lunch I am amused at students who demand a free college education but fail to understand that free isn’t really free.
Opinion: This is on us, America

Opinion: This is on us, America

The Bible tells us the story about two women who both claimed to be mothers of a single child, with King Solomon asked to decide custody. In his wisdom, Solomon demands a sword, announcing that out of fairness he will have to slice the baby in two and give each woman half. One woman then begs him to stop, telling Solomon that she would rather give up the child than see him killed.

Opinion: Ari Fleischer asks if we’re being fair to Brett Kavanaugh

Ari Fleischer wants to know if we’re being fair. “How much in society should any of us be held liable today when we’ve lived a good life, an upstanding life by all accounts, and then something that maybe is an arguable issue, took place in high school? Should that deny us chances later in life?” Fleischer, a former spokesman for President George W.

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 23

Late Senator wrong to disdain Confederate ancestor’s service I certainly respect the late U.S. Sen. John McCain for his service to the U.S. Navy and our nation, but I also have a certain level of disgust for him.

Opinion: Fear-based parenting

Police came to Kim Brooks’ parents’ door in suburban Richmond, Virginia, demanding that her mother say where her daughter was or be arrested for obstructing justice. So began a Kafkaesque two-year ordeal that plunged Brooks into reflections about current parenting practices.

Opinions: Of time, tides and Trump

OK, I know you’re obsessed about sex and the Supreme Court. But the hurricane flooding in North Carolina has been terrible. Let’s give it some serious thought right now. Particularly when it comes to ways the government screwed up. First lesson is easy. Coastal flooding is getting way, way worse because of global warming.

Opinion: Trump is racking up record of foreign policy success

WASHINGTON — In his new book “Fear,” Bob Woodward recounts that in April 2017, after President Trump saw images of dead Syrian children with their mouths foaming from a sarin attack, he called Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and issued an order: Get me a plan for a military strike to take out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 21

Climate-change advocates ignore facts, history Regarding Steve Breen’s “Stronger hurricanes and climate change” cartoon (Opinion, Sept. 13) – this is worse than Mike Luckovich’s inaccurate, no-facts cartoon barrages. Some of the worst U.S.

Opinion: Why the haste with Kavanaugh?

WASHINGTON — For those insisting that Republican senators take Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh seriously, one aspect of the conversation is particularly infuriating: the notion that the timeline established by the GOP for completing this process is quasi-sacred.

Opinion: The late hit on Judge Kavanaugh

Upon the memory and truthfulness of Christine Blasey Ford hangs the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, his reputation, and possibly his career on the nation’s second highest court. And much more.

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 20

Unvaccinated immigrants help increase disease rate The story “Why whooping cough is making a comeback” (News, Sept. 1) focuses primarily on the reduction of the effectiveness of the new vaccine introduced in the 1990s. The article failed to also address several other key factors.

Opinion: Three big lessons we didn’t learn from economic crisis

Ten years ago, after making piles of money gambling with other people’s money, Wall Street nearly imploded, and the outgoing George W. Bush and incoming Obama administrations bailed out the bankers. America should have learned three big lessons from the crisis. We didn’t, to our continuing peril.

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 19

Trump was elected, anonymous writer was not If the senior government official who anonymously penned an op-ed in The New York Times was attempting to reassure me, he failed. President Trump has one thing going for him that this nameless author doesn’t: He was elected.

Opinion: Reasoning about race

So much of our reasoning about race is both emotional and faulty. In ordinary, as well as professional, conversation, we use terms such as discrimination, prejudice, racial preferences and racism interchangeably, as if they referred to the same behavior.

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 18

Preacher was right about black-on-black crime The Rev. Jasper Williams, pastor emeritus of Salem Baptist Church, is in deep trouble for decrying the amount of black-on-black crime in Atlanta and the breakup of the black family. Many folks are upset his statement was part of his eulogy for Aretha Franklin, rather than, sadly, that it is true.

Opinion: Conservatism after Christianity

One of the many paradoxes of the Trump era is that our unusual president couldn’t have been elected, and couldn’t survive politically today, without the support of religious conservatives … but at the same time his ascent was intimately connected to the secularization of conservatism, and his style gives us a taste of what to expect from a post-religious right.

Opinion: Trump’s detention policy fiscally exorbitant

President Trump’s callous disregard for his fellow citizens is well known to people of a certain hue, shall we say. It was in full display this week in his insistence that only a few dozen Puerto Ricans died as a result of Hurricane Maria, whereas nearly 3,000 who actually did. He made this claim while congratulating himself on the federal response to the catastrophe. That was bad enough.

Opinion: The unpardonable heresy of Tucker Carlson

Our diversity is our greatest strength. After playing clips of Democratic politicians reciting that truth of modern liberalism, Tucker Carlson asked, “How, precisely, is diversity our strength? Since you’ve made this our new national motto, please be specific.

Opinion: Democrats are credible on health care

Last week, Ted Cruz, the unexpectedly endangered Republican senator from Texas, warned that Beto O’Rourke, his Democratic opponent, would turn the state into California, with “tofu and silicone and dyed hair.” Does Cruz really think every blonde in Texas — and every middle-age man with remarkably little gray — is natural, and nobody has had work done? Meanwhile, Sen....

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 16

Freezing fed worker pay a fiscal necessity, given deficit What if you worked for a company whose CEO was constantly telling the employees that the company is doing great, he was the best CEO the company ever had and gave himself an A-plus grade? Then the CEO said that the employees would not get a raise this year because the company could not afford it.

Opinion: The college campus’s cult of fragility

The beginning of another academic year brings the certainty of campus episodes illustrating what Daniel Patrick Moynihan, distinguished professor and venerated politician, called “the leakage of reality from American life.

Opinion: Both-sideism not just a journalistic problem

A prediction. When the history of this era is written, when future generations wonder how a mostly educated and largely literate nation became mired in “truthiness,” when they ask how we became so mentally muddled that we lost the ability to identify facts and the capacity to care, they’ll find many culprits.

Opinion: Age before beauty, but not politics

And now, the politics of age. Hey, this is important. Grow up and pay attention. Young, left-leaning candidates are revolting against older, traditional Democrats in primary elections around the country. Meanwhile, the best-known, most talked-about potential presidential candidates are Bernie Sanders, 77; Joe Biden, 75; and Elizabeth Warren, 69.

Opinion: Trump should protect Americans from Criminal Court

WASHINGTON — Should an unaccountable United Nations court, created by a treaty to which the United States is not a signatory, and that the Senate has not ratified, be allowed to investigate, try and imprison American citizens? Unfortunately, this is no longer a theoretical question.

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 14

Trump right to spike deficit-raising pay hikes for feds Columnist Jay Bookman isn’t really talking about all American workers or the rich in his column on worker pay, “American workers getting jobbed while rich get richer” (Opinion, Sept. 5). He is talking about federal employees and Trump’s refusal to give them a 2.1 percent wage increase.

Opinion: Is Trump going neocon in Syria?

Is President Donald Trump about to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war? For that is what he and his advisers seem to be signaling. Last week, Trump said of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s campaign to recapture the last stronghold of the rebellion, Idlib province: “If it’s a slaughter, the world is going to get very, very angry.

Opinion: The grassroots revolt against Kavanaugh

PORTLAND, Maine — Exceptional dangers require exceptional and sometimes unusual responses. This was the spirit animating the volunteers at a phone bank Tuesday night in Portland. They were asking citizens to urge their state’s popular Republican senator, Susan Collins, to oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 13

Democrats, media schemed to disrupt Kavanaugh hearings How embarrassing. The Democrats got together the day before the Kavanaugh hearings and plotted to disrupt the hearings. They actually had protesters in the audience with planned outbursts to disrupt the hearings. The liberals are acting like little children who don’t get their way.

Opinion: ‘Anonymous’ is hiding in plain sight

More and more, I wonder if the disgruntled senior Trump administration official who wrote the anonymous Op-Ed in The New York Times was actually representing a group — like a “Murder on the Orient Express” plotline where every senior Trump adviser was in on it.

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 12

Parker’s not conservative, despite AJC’s ‘Right’ descriptor I’m not sure why the AJC insists on representing Kathleen Parker (“Onward Christian soldiers, marching to Trump’s beat,” Opinion, Sept. 6) as a voice on the right. She has a right to express her opinion on perceived presidential failings as well decisions from our executive branch.

Opinion: It’s Our Constitution — Not Kavanaugh

One of the best statements of how the Framers saw the role of the federal government is found in Federalist Paper 45, written by James Madison, who is known as the “Father of the Constitution:” “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 11

Bipartisanship far from evident at McCain services Not only has Hollywood used the death of Sen. John McCain to cast aspersions on Donald Trump, but his funeral has been politicized. Speakers at the memorial service are using his death to promote globalism, open borders and socialist policies, as well as to make personal attacks on our commander-in-chief.

Opinion: The impotent executive

Amid the Resistance-y funeral rites of John McCain, the president’s latest Twitter rants against his attorney general and the wild White House stories being circulated by Bob Woodward’s latest book, it’s a good time to revisit a familiar and crucial subject.

Opinion: Get sick, go bankrupt and die

Let’s be honest: Despite his reputation as a maverick, John McCain spent most of his last decade being a very orthodox Republican, toeing the party line no matter how irresponsible it became. Think of the way he abandoned his onetime advocacy of action to limit climate change.

Opinion: Memo to Dems — Upholding norms Is a two-way street

Many of the current president’s critics on the left insist that they are standing up for norms of democratic conduct and for democracy itself. Some are sincere. Neal Katyal, for example, who served as principal deputy solicitor general in the Obama administration, endorsed Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

Opinion: Mississippi election tells an American story

OXFORD, Miss. — Time was, there was no other American place quite like it. Fifty-six years ago — a long time in adaptable America’s adjustment of its behavior to its creed — this university town was a few weeks from the U.S. Army’s arrival to assist the matriculation of James Meredith.

READERS WRITE: SEPT. 9

McCain’s services stir memory of traitorous behavior The services last weekend for the heroic Sen. John McCain can’t help but stir memories, for those of us who served in the military in the 1960s, of Hanoi Jane Fonda. It’s ironic the heroic patriot is now dead, while the treacherous and seditious Ms. Fonda stumbles along her self-aggrandizing path in freedom.
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