Friday, June 08, 2007

Couple of things

- I think it's good that Georgia Square Mall is getting a facelift, but I think there are several other factors at work here which have kept its profits and success down. One is the fact that the newer, larger malls in Gwinnett County offer more options and better products. Another is the recent rise of stand-alone shopping centers (such as the renovations at Alps) which are taking the place of enclosed malls. Another is location as more people move closer in-town. Another is the fact that the stores in the Georgia Square Mall, quite frankly, are below average. Even the more popular ones feature smaller inventories and less selection than their Gwinnett County counterparts. So a facelift is good, but unless the actual product can offer more, I think it will continue to struggle.

- Kudos to Lewis Holloway, but that whole abrubtly leaving after the vote and refusing to speak to anyone is kinda odd. Makes you wonder how everything transpired.

- We're kinda beating a dead horse here, but I agree that it's poor of Jim Whitehead to not attend this debate either. It does make you question his abilities in some regard, particularly since his TV and online ads are fluff pieces devoid of substance and his radio campaign features an audience-insulting one featuring Larry Munson. One has to wonder how he would fair when he's confronted from the left by a strong debater like James Marlow or questioned from the right by any of the other candidates, particularly Nate Pulliam.

- As I updated in my blog links, I added the new blog by longtime reader James Garland called The Other Athens. Those who come here know that James is a strong conservative/libertarian, but he's thoughtful, sharp and kind even if I disagree with him and his ideology. But, hey, that's what makes the world great, right? I also added a couple of other links over there, including finally adding Blake.

- The Democratic challengers are lining up to take on Saxby Chambliss as we now have three in notoriously ineffective DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, former investigative reporter Dale Cardwell and, joining this shindig yesterday, Rand Knight. As I try to resist banging my head on the table, I suppose I'll give them time to get their legs before I take a closer look.

- A plague on your houses Shannon Stewart! Still, Tim sent me a text message saying he jinxed Curt Schilling ... I'll continue to assess the situation and see who to blame for him losing his no-hitter on the final out.

- I agree with Bull Moose at Peach Pundit regarding the immigration bill.

- Through, oddly enough, a book sample that was sent to my office, I came across some works from Relevant Books, which is a progressive Christian book publisher. In particular, I was drawn to a collection of photo essays called Hope In The Dark which focuses on poverty and the AIDS epidemic in Africa. It also features a list of resources to help you get involved.


Anonymous james garland said...

Thanks for the plug.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Rusty said...

One small point I'd quibble with: "notoriously ineffective DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones."

Vernon Jones is an enigma precisely because he actually has been pretty effective running DeKalb County government while at the same time demonstrating many sociopathic/self-destructive tendencies that constantly get him the news for the wrong reasons.

DeKalb has a form of government that's practically unique in the entire country. The county operates like a large city with its own water dept., fire dept, police dept, EMS, etc. It is bigger and has more unincorporated parts than just about any county in the state, and has disparate populations in the northern and southern halves, with different interests.

The CEO position works like a combination of a big city mayor and a city council president. To be effective, it almost requires a strong-arm personality like Jones to run well (Manuel Maloof, the county's first CEO, was also known for a having a ferocious temper), otherwise the northern and southern halves of the counties would be at each other's throats constantly.

Vernon's sin is that he has taken his megalomania past a point that's acceptable even by DeKalb standards. You have to pretty nuts to get to that point.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

I think that I must take the blame for jinxing Shilling. I went to to check the baseball scores. They flashed on the screen that Shilling had a no-hitter through eight so I ran and turned on the tv because I don't think I've ever seen the end of a no-hitter live (I'm a lifelong Cubs fan and it's been almost 40 years since our last no-hitter). By the time that I turned the tv on, Shilling had two outs in the ninth and the first pitch that I saw was the single to right. My bad on this one!

10:17 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

That's a fair assessment Rusty, so perhaps 'ineffective' was wrong. I'm no fan of Jones or his governing style, but the situation in DeKalb County government would mean you'd need a strong authority figure in that role.

Whether or not those personality traits translate to being an effective Senator are another thing, and one would they wouldn't since the U.S. Senate - considerably more so than the House of Representatives - requires on compromise and working with differing viewpoints.

There's also the fact that, quite frankly, don't really care for Jones.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Xon said...

What study "shows" that socialized medicine is more efficient?

4:06 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

That's from an earlier discussion, and not what I said.

I said that recent studies have shown that the U.S. health care system lags behind the models of other countries which feature some form of universal health care - some driven by market incentives and others through government subsidies, regulation or management - in terms of efficiency, cost, some elements of quality, etc.

One such study that I recently cited was one done by The Commonwealth Fund.

This, of course, doesn't include statistics such as infant mortality which the U.S. consistently struggles with in comparison with industrialized countries that offer some aspect of universal coverage.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

US does a lot better with infant mortality when you take crack babies out of picture.

But whatever. Why not ask Andrew Speaker about the respective merits of the health systems in Europe and the US. He seems to have a preference for one over the other.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Whitehead likely feels like the whole thing is locked up. i bet there is some serious organization on his part. I voted for Marlow last week, I was only the 20th to vote in my precinct, usually by now there are a couple of 100.

6:59 AM  

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