Friday Facts: August 16, 2013

It’s Friday!

Quotes of Note

“There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.” – Calvin Coolidge

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.’” – Henry Ford

“I come from a background where responsible science and technology are the difference between life and death. The Apollo Program relied on quality data and objective interpretation to advance knowledge in areas of science and technology that had never before been explored. All of us had complete trust in the competence, integrity and accountability of those we worked with to create the systems and hardware we depended on in the most extreme environment. We did not allow the media to affect our conclusions; our conclusions influenced the media.” – Walt Cunningham, Apollo 7 astronaut


August 28: Register now for “Georgia Transportation: The Next Frontier,” a noon Policy Briefing Luncheon at the Georgian Club with Senior Fellow Baruch Feigenbaum, who is a Reason Foundation transportation analyst. $30. Information: Registration:

September 16: The focus will be on Georgia’s Digital Economy at a half-day event at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and Google. There is no charge for admission. Details to follow.

October 11: Register now for the fourth annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum, which takes place Friday, October 11, at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta. Last year, hundreds of Georgia’s legislators, businesspeople and interested citizens attended to hear national policy experts discuss free-market solutions to Georgia’s challenges. Information:

August 25: Will you volunteer for Liberty? Volunteers needed to help staff a booth at the Peachtree Latino Festival in Piedmont Park on Sunday, August 25, for the LIBRE Initiative, a non-profit grassroots organization that advances the principles and values of economic freedom among the Hispanic community. To offer your time for this worthy effort, please e-mail .


Confused about Common Core? Take a look at our review of the facts and the arguments: “Background and Analysis of the Common Core State Standards As They Relate to Georgia


HOT lanes: Atlanta’s converted HOV lanes on I-85 got off to a rough start in late 2011, thanks in part to initial pricing mistakes and one-sidedly negative media coverage. Georgia Tech transportation engineering professor Randy Guensler reports that the tolled express lanes are handling more hourly throughput than the HOV lanes they replaced, but the vehicle mix has changed. In addition to attracting numerous paying vehicles from the general-purpose (GP) lanes, the faster and more reliable express lanes are seeing 20 percent more buses and 20 percent more vanpools, offsetting a decline in carpools. Better traffic flow overall means that the express lanes now operate at 51 mph (up from 30 mph when they were HOV lanes) and the GP lanes are also faster, at 44 mph compared with 36 mph formerly. Source: Reason Foundation

Criminal justice reform

Reform needed: Civil asset forfeiture can lead to corruption, hurt innocent people and violate civil liberties. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation teamed up with the Institute for Justice to seek reform in Georgia. Unfortunately, legislation to reform the process did not pass in the General Assembly. The New Yorker magazine details some horrifying incidents in an article the use and abuse of asset seizure by law enforcement departments around the nation.

Minimum mandatory sentences: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation teamed up with the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Pew Center on the States for a successful “get smart on crime” campaign in Georgia. The policies we proposed were adopted unanimously by the state Legislature, including reforms in sentencing guidelines for adult and juvenile offenders. Now the federal Department of Justice is proposing to ease mandatory minimum sentences on some drug offenders. Announcing his plan this week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said long mandatory terms have flooded the nation’s prisons with low-level drug offenders and diverted crime-fighting dollars that could be far better spent.

Health Care

Changing face of medicine: Technological advances continue to change the way medicine is practices, pediatric resident Dr. Valerie Gribben writes in The Wall Street Journal. She raves about how smartphones and their cameras are helping physicians and patients in diagnosing. “In medical school, OLD CARTS is a popular mnemonic for helping students remember all the pertinent questions in a patient interview: Onset, Location, Duration, Character, Aggravating/Alleviating factors, Relieving factors, Timing and Severity. It might be time to make it GOLD CARTS, adding a ‘G’ for ‘Got a photo?'” Read Atlanta physician Jeffrey Grossman’s commentary, “What Farmers Can Teach Physicians.” “It’s time to revisit the issue of physician supply. The answer is not simply more physicians and/or medical schools. At its core is a need to better leverage physicians,” Grossman wrote.

Not so subtle outcome: In his recent commentary on the problems with the Affordable Care Act, Foundation Senior Fellow Ron Bachman warned, “As the saying goes, ‘Every system is perfectly designed for the outcomes achieved.’ If the outcome was designed to be failure, the Affordable Care Act is well on its way to achieving that outcome. Perhaps it’s time to start worrying what ‘solution’ government will propose then.” Perhaps the solution is obvious in August 9 comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who said, “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes,” the country will eventually scrap an insurance-based health system. “What we’ve done with ObamaCare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” he said. “Don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system.”

Media and social media

The Atlanta Business Chronicle quoted Benita Dodd in an article on public-private partnerships this week and The Marietta Daily Journal published her commentary on road diets.

YouTube: View the meeting of the Governor’s Digital Learning Task Force at Kennesaw State University. Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd shared details about the Foundation at a packed Marietta Rotary Club meeting on Wednesday and participated in an energy panel on the Heartland Institute’s Emerging Issues Forum in Atlanta on Thursday. Find these and more videos on the Foundation’s YouTube channel at

Facebook: More than 2,100 friends “like” on the Foundation’s Facebook page; join us at view daily policy news, views, updates, Quotes of Note and event photos.

More than 1,000 Twitter followers get their Foundation news at

Ask your high school or college student to like the Foundation’s Student Outreach Scholarship page on Facebook at

The Forum: One of this fall’s anticipated biggest stories will be recommendations from the Governor’s Digital Learning Task Force. Foundation Editor Mike Klein writes about the Governor’s Digital Learning Task Force meeting at Kennesaw State University, where the focus was on better preparation for teachers. Clayton Christensen Institute co-founder Michael Horn takes a different look at how to train teachers. Benita Dodd’s “Checking Up On Health” discusses how auto wreck fatalities are down but patients’ bills up; another ObamaCare delay has been uncovered, and why you should know Henrietta Lacks. These and other recent posts in The Forum, the Foundation’s blog, are at

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Health Insurance Expansion: ‘Yes, If,’ Versus ‘No, Because,‘” by Kelly McCutchen.

Have a great weekend.

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd 

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