It's hard to say when Michael's Ultimate Mission started.
It's hard to believe it's happening in 2011. In Georgia, of all places. And that the Georgia Supreme Court is just fine with
In all fairness, Gov. Nathan Deal – and, in fact, any new Georgia governor – faces a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" conundrum in connection with marking their inauguration as the state's chief executive, and the issue of whether public or private resources are used to fund any festivities associated with their taking the oath of office.
Rats. I thought I could get out of writing a column this week.
It looks like Porsche has no problems with the new Georgia law that mandates that all companies with more than 10 employees use the free, federal E-Verify system to determine whether those people are in the country legally.
The 2011 General Assembly marked my seventh year as a legislator. Every year, I learn something new or am reminded of something along the way. This year certainly was no different. Here are a few things I either learned or was reminded of:
We invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban was harboring Al-Qaeda members and allowing them to train fighters who were willing to kill Americans. Now, 10 years later, we are still there but I don't think Al-Qaeda is. We now are fighting the Taliban, which, I admit, is a bad group, but not the correct target. We appear to be fighting the Taliban because the Afghans are unable to put together a sufficiently trained army to defend themselves. It is time for us to leave.
Gov. Nathan Deal recently signed into law SB 36, the Patient Safety Act of 2011, making Georgia one of the last states in the nation to implement a prescription drug monitoring program to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.
For at least a week now, it's been a barrage of commercials and sale flyers for Memorial Day. I don't have a problem with any merchant or business capitalizing on holidays or anyone getting a good deal on a new car or mattress, but I'm concerned that we lose the real meaning of Memorial Day every May.
Almost all military spouses can be divided up into two categories: passive and active. Recently I've experienced some confusion about which category I belong in. I've always considered myself rather passive when it comes to my position as the soldier's other half. I'm not much into Family Readiness Group meetings - although I probably should be - and I rarely find myself worrying about my husband's upcoming promotions.
For many of us, the observance of the fourth Monday in May has taken on special significance during our lifetimes. The long-term conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, in particular, have affected so many families and individuals right here in our community. Memorial Day also rekindles memories of our past, not only the aftermath of more dated conflicts, but also of customs observed during our childhood and beyond.
All over Liberty County - and most of the country, for that matter - folks are striking up grills for backyard barbecues, hitting stores for holiday sales and reveling in the fact that they don't have to go to work Monday.
• One of the greatest singing voices I ever heard and one of the most talented people I ever knew died last week and, yes, he was a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket through and through. Josh Powell lost his battle with multiple myeloma at the age of 70. He was an outstanding basketball player - a part of Tech's first NCAA tournament team in 1960 and captain in 1962. He was an Emory law graduate who spurned the profession to work with kids through the Josh Powell Summer Day Camp, which he began in 1972 and still is in operation today ...
I checked my pocket this morning and the only change that I could count on was two dimes and three pennies. Forget looking in my wallet. All that I have there are two $1 bills and family photos.
For years, the charter-school movement was thwarted in Georgia by local school districts that turned down application after application. Many of those denials were for cause. Other charter school applications, however, were turned down for myriad other reasons.
Editor, There are a multitude of ads on TV these days from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals concerning homeless, injured, abused animals.
It happened a few months back. My father-in-law celebrated, to our great joy, his 88th birthday. There was no pomp or circumstance involved. He abhors that. Because he is among the most beautifully well-mannered people I have ever encountered, he politely took all the calls though he really wished we would just treat it as another day and leave him alone to watch the news channel.
The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and a member of the House's Ways and Means Committee, last week was a busy one for me. We gathered for four days of hearings at Gov. Nathan Deal's office, where the budget was presented. We also listened as state agencies offered input about budget needs and then asked questions regarding which programs worked well or were under- or over-funded.
In politics, you must take advantage of windows of opportunity. Sometimes good ideas are sidetracked by unfortunate events, a bad economy or even personality conflicts among political leaders. Given the risk of delaying decisions, Georgia needs to address its transportation shortfall quickly and practically.
My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today. For one thing, this will be a lot shorter and less boring than the State of the Union address (Boooo!) and, also, we don't have to endure a bunch of fawning politicians trying to be seen on national television. (Yay! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
Editor, Since Georgia's own Sen. Johnny Isakson voted for discriminating against pre-9/11 veterans and later against ending this discrimination, I've penned and sent the following to then-Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-VT, who introduced the Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2013:
It happened the other day. It's funny how things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful, of those sweets that are tucked inside our hearts and unknowingly treasured.
Two weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I struggled to come up with a fun way to pass a Sunday afternoon. My mother-in-law had just been staying with us, and she left that morning to head back to Florida. Since I'd given our house a good, thorough "pre-mother-in-law-visit" cleaning before she arrived, I was completely caught up on chores and housework.
With major policy decisions on transportation, education, health care and tax reform on the legislative agenda, Georgia should think beyond the traditional approach of spending more money as the solution for every problem. Focusing on ways to enhance economic opportunity and empower individuals beats doubling down on the status quo.
Editor, On behalf of Bryan County Children's Fund, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to everyone who helped to support the program this year. We were able to provide Christmas gifts to over 400 disadvantaged children in our county. This would not have been possible without collaboration and assistance from local churches, businesses, schools, social-service agencies and many others. The communitywide response was overwhelming. We are exceptionally thankful to The Good Ol' Boys, who raised funds through the annual Santa Scramble Golf Tournament and to Pembroke Advanced Communication for use of their space ...
Editor, I read Mr. Bruce McCartney's letter to the editor regarding the Wounded Warrior Project. He is totally correct. The project is top-heavy with a greedy group of executives. The top 10 officers have a compensation package from $150,000 to $333,000 a year. The remaining funds are disbursed to over 40 distribution organizations with similar management configurations.
Allen Peake is a man on a mission. The five-term Republican state representative from Macon is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia. He may succeed this year after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute and failed to pass his bill, which had sailed through the House with only four negative votes.
My parents, according to the world's definition of "cool," were not. Neither drank, nor did either ever possess a credit card. Groceries and clothing were paid for in cash, utilities paid by check, and the only monthly payments they ever allowed themselves were a mortgage for a house, a short-term loan for another farm, and a couple of cars bought, over time, and paid for quickly.
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