My apologies to Doug for not posting this interview last year (last week), but I am afraid my mind took the holiday break more seriously than usual. (When is the next long weekend!) I hope everyone had a safe and great time during the holidays, both Christmas and New Year’s.
Even though Doug has moved to the Big Apple, he is still a fifth generation Atlantan and keeps in touch on Georgia issues. After all, Sonny praying for water made the The Times.
In this end of the year conversation we cover Atlanta, New York, Iowa, the nation and the world. All in less than 30 minutes!
Looking to the issues the Georgia legislature will have to deal with in 2008, Doug bemoans the failure of leadership to deal with some of the serioius problems now facing the state, water and transportation being close to the top of the list. He notes that Roy Barnes and Tom Murphy made an effort (but not enough of one) to address water issues several years ago. And then, there was Zell who put a developer in charge of transportation in the state. Not a good move for the future of public mass transit.
Unfortunately, Doug did not get a dime of the billion dollar bonuses they gave out on Wall Street in December. He is as amazed, as am I, that anyone can “earn” a billion dollar bonus, particularly when their companies, in many cases, lost billions on the subprime mortgage market. This isn’t the American Dream we grew up with.
As might be expected, Doug is still disappointed in Democratic leadership and candidates. He wonders if they aren’t already dead in Georgia elections for 2008.
In the national contest for president, he favors John Edwards, who is the only Democratic candidate even attempting to talk about the issues that concern most Americans: wages in particular, the economy in general and the growing divide between the wealthy and the rest of us. (As you know by now, Edwards came in second. Not bad for a lawyer who is publically financed, not by lobbyists!)
On the Republican side, Doug thinks Rudy is on the slippery downhill slope to irrelevancy. I hope so. He is the one Republican candidate that I simply do not trust. According to Doug, people in New York don’t trust him either. Many think he is rather sleazy, even misrepresenting his role in 9-11. While he is still leading in NY, Doug thinks he is vulnerable.
By the way, Doug’s teacher’s union endorsed Hillary. I wonder if Iowa will change that.
Doug notes, with some seriousness, that a lot of people in New York are convinced that Bush and Cheney were responsible for 9-11. While you may think otherwise, New Yorkers point to the fact that the Twin Towers were heavily insured and apparently sold just before the attack. They wonder if the destroyed video tapes of the interrogation of the terrorists contain any information that would shed light on who was responsible for 9-11. You may not want to hear this, but will someone look at the video of the collapse of Building #7 (not the Towers) and tell me it was not the result of a controlled demolition! (There go my syndication chances.)
As for Saxby Chambliss’ re-election, Doug doesn’t think he has much competition. He wasn’t impressed with any of the candidates based on what he followed in “Drifting Through the Grift” about the recent senatorial debate. Doug sees the Iraq War as a big issue in the 2008 election and doesn’t understand Dale Cardwell’s position on the war. Doug thinks it sounds more like a Republican. (The problem is that it may be the position it takes to get elected in this state.)
And then we get into the news media, its’ faults and shortcomings, its failure to do what it should do: investigate and tell us the truth. On the whole, American has lost faith in the media. Doug relates some of the problem to the consolidation of media under the control of a few corporations. For example, the Cox organization owns the AJC and WSB in Atlanta, in addition to other local radio stations. The AJC lost 9% of its circulation in 6 months to become the fasting shrinking major American newspaper.
Doug points out that small, independent newspapers are doing fine, while the giants are having trouble making a profit. The problem seems to be that more and more people are turning to the internet for their news and no one has discovered a way to make money with news online.
It is always good to talk with Doug.