"So what's new?" the reporter asked. "Haven't we heard this all before?" His inquiry was striking in its simplicity, yet it was a harsh wake-up call to reality.
I feel like a failure. For years, I have told you what a privilege it is to live in the great state of Georgia. We have beautiful mountains; pristine beaches; the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South; as well as Vidalia onions and more concrete fishponds than you can count. And we are unhappy. Where have I gone wrong?
It was a successful 2011 legislative session for my colleagues and me at the Georgia General Assembly. We accomplished many items on our agenda for this year, and some will be worked on and tackled during the next legislative session.
About the best possible outcome from the latest session of the Georgia General Assembly was that lawmakers would, for another year, find ways to keep the state treading water until better times take firm root.
Under the laws governing the federal highway program, the federal fuel taxes paid into the trust fund by motorists (18.3 cents per gallon) and truckers are returned to the states by a series of mathematical formulas that attempt to match the scope and usage of each state's surface-transportation system with payments received from the trust fund. These formulas, however, embody a number of serious flaws that cause many states (called donors) to consistently receive shares that are less than they pay in, while others (called donees) consistently receive more.
San Olens, Georgia's new attorney general, has hit the ground running and he's making great strides in the matter of transparency in government.
The size of government threatens the American way of life as we know it. The solution is straightforward - cut government. A vibrant grass-roots movement insists that it happen, and Washington is lousy with rival plans for how to go about it.
I was sitting in the backseat of my car with a lifelong friend, waiting for my husband to finish his quick trip inside the store. My small Iowa hometown looked just like it always had, no stoplights and no traffic.
As its unanimous vote tends to reflect, the state school board was right in deciding to phase out administration of the Georgia High School Graduation Test, a battery of exams in English, math, science and social studies that includes a writing assessment.
Last week U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a long-anticipated round of funding, designed to spur economic development in rural areas while providing a much needed upgrade to dated electric transmission infrastructure.
That's just like the federal government – instead of assigning blame, instead of acknowledging that there is really such a thing as intentionally underperforming individuals, it overlooks the obvious. These slackers, people who don't do their jobs because they don't want to and feel they don't have to, are often fodder for deep analysis that often has citizens of this nation wondering if they and their government are from the same planet.
Sine die! It is now official, the Georgia General Assembly has completed the 2011 legislative session. The session began on Jan. 10 with an icy snow storm that blanketed much of our state, including the Capitol. However, that did not deter the members of the legislature from doing their job and serving on your behalf. Forty legislative session days later, the adjournment of the 2011 session ended at around 11:40 p.m. April 14.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company in Greater Garfield is pleased to recognize members of the 2011 General Assembly who gave so much so that we could get so little. Please hold your applause until all our honorees have been recognized. Otherwise, we could be here until the Legislature returns in August. Nobody wants that.
That's just like the federal government - instead of assigning blame, instead of acknowledging that there really is such a thing as intentionally underperforming individuals, it overlooks the obvious. These slackers, people who don't do their jobs because they don't want to and feel they don't have to, often are fodder for analysis that has citizens of this nation wondering if they and their government are from the same planet.
• Day 38 (Monday, April 11): After a week off for spring break, we returned to work this morning knowing full well that these final days of the session would be a sprint to the finish line. We didn't go in until 1 p.m. this afternoon, which is normal for Mondays but especially was necessary today because all bills had to be approved through committees before the start of the 38th day.
"It's a funny thing." That's what Mama used to say when something baffled her. Like Mama, I prefer that things make sense. Otherwise, I'll ponder, figure, study and try to decipher that funny thing until it's somewhat sensible.