Where Cynthia Tucker and Pete Randall are in lockstep agreement

Don’t worry, I’ve already fallen out of my chair, too. But she is 100% percent correct about the seriousness of the problem she describes. She even notes that plenty of money is already being spent on the problem, without success. And she notes that the destruction of the family is also to blame. Finally, if you can believe it, she seems to suggest that the solution does not rest within the hallowed halls of government but, instead, within the community.

Of course, now that she and I are in agreement about the severity and import of a problem, I’m sure a pink slip is being routed to her through inter-office mail. And on a Friday afternoon, no less. Sorry, babe.

With this news and the Hindenburg like explosion with Nathan Deal’s polling numbers this week, let’s call this an OPEN THREAD.


  1. USA1 says:

    Why would anyone be surprised, Pete?

    I don’t even have to read her article to know what it is you agree with her about. She’s said it before. I’ve also read numerous columns by Jim Wooten and George Will saying the same thing.

    You pundits are about as effective in actuating change as the government you deride.

  2. Spacey G says:

    No doubt Pete Randall will be the first one to volunteer his vast do-gooder, good-person expertise (write some checks too) when Tucker opens her Help The Little Children charity.

  3. Doug Grammer says:

    “the Hindenburg like explosion with Nathan Deal’s polling numbers this week,”



    A 7 point drop is the Hindenburg? Factor in the MOE and it might be a 1 point drop, or it could be a 14 point drop. A 14 point drop would look really bad, but the election isn’t tomorrow.

    Barnes moved up 4, Monds moved down 4, undecided went up 7. The number that counts will be announced on Nov 2.

  4. slyram says:

    Cynthia Tucker rocked that one. That’s the blueprint for what the political center should be saying. Oh, it’s said but no where near enough.

    • ZazaPachulia says:

      How about some solution ideas (other than more fiery sermons in black churches). Of course Pete agrees with successful Cynthia on this one. Both seem to think that money doesn’t help and the blame rests solely on the shoulders of school leadership.

      Cynthia’s column does nothing to fix the problem. She only worsens the situation by trying to simplify things. Bottom line: as long as we have increasingly segregated schools, things aren’t going to get any better. Look at the black male graduation rates where the demographics — both racial and economic — reflect the nation as a whole (a range of incomes, truly integrated schools, etc.). Black male students do far better in Cobb, Fayette, Rockdale and Forsyth than they do in Atlanta public schools. Yet, school systems like Fayette, Cobb and Rockdale are rare and fading fast.

      • B Balz says:

        “… Bottom line: as long as we have increasingly segregated schools, things aren’t going to get any better. Look at the black male graduation rates where the demographics — both racial and economic — reflect the nation as a whole (a range of incomes, truly integrated schools, etc.). Black male students do far better in Cobb, Fayette, Rockdale and Forsyth than they do in Atlanta public schools. …”

        IMHO the TRUE cause of poor graduation rates, high incidence of crime, drug and other adverse outcomes rests SQUARELY on the shoulders of the PARENTS. The counties mentioned have a socio-economic difference that translates into stable families that value education and eschew bad behavior.

        Kids who have smart, INVOLVED parents do BETTER in school. It’s that simple, and though school leadership, desegregation, are important, they are not going to get little Johnny to crack a book if parenting is lacking.

        I think we could save a ton of dough and improve the overall quality of education by requiring and enforcing supportive parental involvement in education. I am not sure how to get to that place, but the bus we call throwing more money at the current schema has left the station.

        • polisavvy says:

          Amen and you hit the nail on the head, B Balz. I definitely agree with you about parents. Apathetic parents are a HUGE problem with education and the failure of their children.

          • ZazaPachulia says:

            Poor parenting is a symptom of institutional poverty, not the cause. Just like poor graduation rates, high incarceration rates, etc. As long as you have pockets of institutionalized poverty and racial / economic segregation these problems will continue. “We just need Better parents” is a simplistic answer that stems from a lack of empathy.

            • polisavvy says:

              Zaza, I have empathy, I really do. I just don’t believe that a parent can’t be a supportive parent just because of their economic situation. I guess I think too simplistically — I think that a poor parent can love and support their children with encouragement just as good as a parent who is not poor. To me, love, encouragement and involvement can be interchangeable. There have been many children in Newton County who have come from poor families who have accomplished a lot because their parent(s) supported every thing they did and were involved. These kids were friends of my sons so I knew about the families’ situations. These kids came from parent(s) who wanted better for their children than what they had.

            • B Balz says:

              Institutional poverty is a terrible cycle and one that won’t be broken by better school leadership or desegregation, alone. Until the parents of those kids, who are often almost children themselves, begin to control their offspring, the problem is intractable.

              Taking ownership is the key. It is not a government program or a service that will change the problem, though they can help.

              We have all seen children of a poor single mom learning to overcome their poverty and do good. Without exception, I can say that parent put the fear of the LORD in that child and made the little one understand UP is the only way OUT.

              Having a great Principal and sitting next to my irreverent white butt in High School probably did not positively influence one at-risk kid one iota.

              Empathy, mine or anyone else’s, has ZERO to do with a solution. Though I am quite concerned about the problem, but I cannot change it. I can pray, volunteer, and/or donate, but only a Mommy and Daddy (hopefully) can make a difference.

              But, only if they are inclined and more importantly, ABLE to do so. Many parents don’t have a CLUE, and that distinction reaches across every socio-economic boundary. It is why little, white, rich kids can be such a bother.

              Drop outs and jail/prison are poor outcomes that follow poor parenting. These outcomes are society’s burden, but not its’ fault. The so-called pockets of institutionalized poverty are being eradicated. Yet, the bad outcomes follow to ‘affordable housing’ (Section 8).

              Blame falls SQUARELY on little Iggy’s 16 year-old mom and no-where-to-be-found sperm donor.

              Rinse Wash Repeat.

              • polisavvy says:

                Wow. You certainly told it like I see it, too. I don’t buy the whole poverty is the reason that kids are running around without supervision. As far as Section 8 goes, well, we are living proof of the type of crap that moves into Section 8 housing. We have not had a moment’s peace in our neighborhood since ’03 when the first Section 8 went in. A constant bother, a constant nuisance, a constant reason to call the police, and a constant turnover so it continues to perpetuate itself.

                A little off topic, but still relevant — I heard on the news this morning that there is still a tremendously high number of high school age kids who still don’t know about proper birth control. Does this tell us that sex ed is really a wasted cause? We wonder why children are having children? I guess it’s too much to ask parents to actually tell their kids about the “birds and the bees.” I guess it’s too much to ask parents (even poor ones) to advise their children that birth control is free and given out at the local health departments. I guess it’s too much to ask that our tax dollars actually prove their worth. Sorry, I digressed; but, sometimes I get sick and tired of this “oh, woe is me” debate.

    • Doug Grammer says:


      Are you really Chris Strickland? What is your definition of “supporting?” Do you have any proof?

      Even it’s true, which I am not convinced, it might better to back a former/current LP member over a RINO. I don’t know Chris and I am not saying he’s a RINO. I am wanting more info out of you.

  5. bluedogdemocrat says:

    Sorry Doug

    I’m not Chris Strickland.

    I don’t think Chris is a RINO. I think he is fedup with the establishment in both parties. Surely you agree that elections should be determine by the issues and not party affiliation.

    The proof of their support can be found on Fetterman’s facebook page and in Lutz’s public appearances with Ms. Swafford

    • Doug Grammer says:

      I went to Fetterman’s FB page and found this.

      “Christopher R. Strickland: Sorry to hear that you are supporting the pro-tax, pro-prostitution candidate. ” Sounds a lot like something bluedogdemocrat just said.

      I saw where he had some complaints about Com. Banks, but nothing where he was campaigning for Swafford. They are FB friends, but I saw no overt support. I am FB friends with Ralph Reed. That doesn’t mean I voted for him over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who I am also friends with. I think you are seeing things that aren’t there.

      Full disclosure: I don’t ever remember meeting Lutz, Swafford, Fetterman, or Strickland. I don’t have a dog in the fight, I just find your post a little odd.

    • CobbGOPer says:

      He’s FB friends with RALPH REED? That says it all. No wonder Deal doesn’t seem like a crook to him. All you 9th District guys really hang together, don’t you? Backbone of the good ole boy network…

      • Doug Grammer says:

        I like to keep up with what former state party chairs are doing. They may decide to run for congress or start a new 501-c3. That doesn’t mean we go bowling every Tuesday.

  6. center5 says:

    Note to the campaigns: When you are up…always (and I do mean, ALWAYS) resist the temptation to hang your hat on polls.

    Case in pont: Just last week the Deal campaign responded to Barnes by using the ‘ol he’s-down-in-the-polls line.

    And, so, here we are this week.

    I wonder how long before the Deal campaign tells us that the polls now no longer count?!?!?!?

  7. To sum it up, if Blacks would cease in freely throwing around the term racism….and if Whites would stop being so worried about being called racist….then maybe we could have the dialogue that would produce the solutions we need. But as long as our politics remains an exercise in ‘Personality Worship” and both Whites and Blacks remain cowardly regarding race and personal responsibility, then this article will be reprinted over and over again….although the name of the author will change year after year….

    • AubieTurtle says:

      Having lived in many other parts of the country but the majority of my time spent in the South, I have to say that we’re much more open to discussing racial issues than just about anywhere else. We might not end up resolving much of anything and things can get heated and many of the arguments irrational but the discussions do take place. If nothing else, at least everyone gets a sense of the level of frustration that exists in racial matters instead of it being completely swept under the rug. We’re not producing that much in the way of solutions but at least the issues are being acknowledged. It’s a first step… one that isn’t being taken in many other areas, most of which either try to pretend the issues don’t exist or actually from a micro level don’t have to deal with it because they’ve become so racially homogeneous that in their small corner of the world, the issues actually don’t exist. As long as they ignore the rest of the world, it actually works for a while. But eventually the world around them changes and blends into their corner, causing change to happen in what seems like the blink of an eye.

      I much prefer what we have going on here. It’s far from ideal but at least we know racial issues exist and can discuss them. In many places the article simply would have never been written by anyone!

      • analogkid says:

        This is a truly enlightened comment. People in cities that don’t have but one race (I’m looking at you, Boston) need to be careful about who they call racist. We at least acknowledge that there is a problem, and we talk about it. Endlessly at times.

        • Aubie, I have lived several different places and travel quite a bit also. You are right, this type of dialogue doesn’t take place in many areas. But, there are many areas where they do take place. We have been on this first step for decades….and the civil rights activists are not even interested in taking it to the next step (economically). As you say, the world around us has continued to change….which is why the article has merit. But, this is the same article that has been written for decades and that will remain the case for several more. The problem is not just race! The problem lies within the ‘Race’….shifting the argument and doing what it takes to drive strategy that works….not just begging for more attention to civil rights.

  8. John Konop says:

    My wife and I were in shock we had to sign a permission slip for my daughter to hear President Obama education speech. Students have heard this speech from many Presidents in school for years and only our first black President the kids need a note? Ironically I have been very public about my disagreements with President Obama over continuing to push the failed No Child Left Behind policy. I do think healthy disagreement is good for the country. But the above behavior demonstrates a lack of respect for the office and or the person holding the office.

    Pete Randall has a chance to demonstrate he is not a racist by speaking out against this issue!

    • AubieTurtle says:

      You’re assuming that Pete Randall doesn’t want to be considered a racist.

      Some wear that label like a badge of honor. Others like to hide it behind their coat in certain company but polish it up and show it off in other company.

      As for the article, the interesting part to me is the achievement gap between males and females. It’s hard to argue that the problems in average educational achievement by black males is completely due to economic factors when black females come from the same background. Too bad we’re going to forever engage in finger pointing instead of tackling the issues involved. There are too many on ALL SIDES of this issue with much to gain from the status quo. Of course the losers in the end are those who end up poorly educated and all of the members of society who have to deal with the consequences of this situation.

      • ZazaPachulia says:

        “It’s hard to argue that the problems in average educational achievement by black males is completely due to economic factors when black females come from the same background.”

        No it’s not. It’s much more natural for a daughter to emulate a strong single mother role model than it is for a son to do so.

        • John Konop says:

          A little known fact are Appalachian whites having the highest usage of welfare and drop-out rate in schools. This is a classic example that demonstrates it is environment not race.

          ……Appalachians have low educational attainments, high poverty rates and poor health standards; they are under-represented in politics, are subject to many negative stereotypes; and face language and dialect problems when communicating with others. This essay argues that Appalachians are a distinct cultural group, who have experienced oppression and marginalisation similar to that endured by racial and ethnic minorities such as the African, Native and Mexican Americans. The major concern raised is that, while it is no longer considered socially acceptable in mainstream America to make racial slurs or attribute a lack of intelligence to ethnic minorities, use of terms such as: ‘hillbilly,’ ‘redneck,’ ‘white trash,’ and ‘trailer trash,’ and their connotations of ignorance, incest, inferior genetics, poor hygiene and more, is common in American academic circles, politics and especially the media (Mahaney, 2003; Bauer & Growick, 2003; Heilman, 2004). The inclusion of Appalachians in multicultural texts, research and academic discussion is imperative for this group to escape the cycles of poverty, ignorance , racism, and poor health so pervasive in the hills of Appalachia and the ‘urban hollers’ many have migrated to…..


          • polisavvy says:

            You are so correct, John. For some reason, people choose to forget about the Appalachian whites. It’s terrible, but true.

            • ZazaPachulia says:

              As I’ve said on here before, Appalachian whites are one example of segregated institutionalized in America. While their plight surely must not be ignored, it is repeated in far greater numbers and far greater scope in hundreds, if not thousands of minority-majority enclaves throughout the nation. For every Harlan County Kentucky, there are a dozen West Ends, Hancock Counties, Indian reservations, poor Texas border towns, inner city Oaklands, downtown Columbuses… etc.

              Multi-generational institutionalized poverty is the common theme. More often than not, it affects minority communities, but it affects some white communities as well. And we as a country have not figured out how to stop it.

              • B Balz says:

                Oh we could stop it, nobody has the guts to go for it.

                1.) If I have to pee in a cup to get a job, you have to pee in a cup to get governmental assistance.

                2.) Unless there is mental/physical illness there is no permanent public housing. It is all transitional.

                3.) If you drop out, you are conscripted into public service. You won’t like it, but you will learn a trade.

                4.) Police corruption comes with a mandatory 10 year sentence w/o the possibility of parole.

                5.) Community gardens, gyms, fields, and access to clean water is not optional.

                6.) Kids who excel in school and come from poverty get a easy path to college. Either military or public service is required upon graduation.

                7.) Business gets tax credits for hiring single parents and providing day care.

                I could go on, but you get the picture.

                • polisavvy says:

                  Those are some really valid, great points. I agree with you on them all. I particularly liked number one. As for number six, that’s a winner, too.

                  I’d like to add one, if I may: If any residents of Section 8 housing cause a disturbance in a neighborhood while residing in Section 8 housing that they are no longer eligible for Section 8 housing on a permanent basis (i.e., uncontrollable, unsupervised children, selling drugs out of the home), plus that the owner of the Section 8 housing is permanently barred from receiving compensation from the Government (this would make the owner of the property responsible for the tenants).

    • polisavvy says:

      I agree with you, John. Although I don’t particularly care for President Obama’s agenda, I still respect the position the man holds. We should never lose respect for the position. I truly don’t see the big deal.

      Many years ago, when Jack Watson was running for Governor, I worked on his campaign (back when I was a democrat, of course). I had to get his helicopter to land in Covington at the fair ground and had to make a big W with lime on the field so the copter could find the location. The gates were locked, I went to the Mayor for the key and was told no. (He was supporting some other candidate). I quickly reminded him that although he did not want to support Jack Watson that he should at least respect the position he once held, White House Chief of Staff. It wasn’t until I said that he actually turned over the key (the bonehead).

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