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Oglesby: Ideas on local discord, high court pick
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First an update on next month's car show in the Days Inn parking lot. More local cars have entered. More importantly for our community is the sponsors have decided to donate all net proceeds to the Hall County Humane Society. The number to call to enter your classic or antique vehicle is 678-316-6108.

Now down to business. Gainesville and Hall County seem to be growing further apart rather than cooperating as local governments should. Each blames the other for various things, and each claim credit for other various things. "Things" range from water to zoning to law enforcement.

No policies seem to exist for project priority shifting for true public emergencies. If they can't reach an accord themselves, maybe they need some kind of semi-official mediating body. Or maybe the voters need to think hard come election time.

Republican senators have a duty to try to discern Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's judicial philosophy and put the findings on record. Of less importance should be her philosophical leaning. Sure, it's liberal, else she wouldn't have been nominated. We knew when we voted that the most lasting and perhaps important legacy George W. Bush's successor would leave would be lifetime judicial appointments. Many journalists on both sides, including this one, continually pounded that theme.

Courts should rule solely on the issues presented them and shouldn't create some to fit personal philosophies. On many cases that draw considerable public attention, most of us know the outcome but are blissfully unaware of the specific issues brought before the court.

President Barack Obama won the right to nominate judges of his choosing. If judicially qualified, they should be confirmed. I wrote that when Republicans had the White House adding I'd take the same position when Democrats did.

Barring something that hasn't yet come to light, I think Judge Sotomayor should be confirmed. She alone won't change the current philosophical balance of the court and actually could be the best available choice from the GOP perspective.

Here's a good one from a column in the Jan. 24 issue of The New York Post (top right corner of page 17). Its writer obviously isn't an Obama fan. It was well-publicized during the campaign that Michelle Obama was hired in 2002 by the University of Chicago to run "programs for community relations, neighborhood outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff diversity and minority contracting" at a salary of $120,000.

What I'd missed was that column's note that this was a 20-hour a week job. She did such a good job that in 2005, right after her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate, her salary for the half-time job was nearly tripled to $317,000. This was nearly twice his senatorial salary. He promptly requested a $1 million earmark for the University's Medical Center.

The puzzling part is that when she resigned that job as Barack was sworn in as president, the university announced her position would remain unfilled. The question: If the half-time job was vital and productive enough to be worth $317,000, why abolish it?

Ted Oglesby is retired associate and opinion page editor. Reach him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503. His column appears biweekly and on gainesvilletimes.com.

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