Day 7 (Jan. 31): In my seven years of serving in the state legislature, this session has started off slower than any other. Compared to other sessions, very few bills have been introduced and, with most of our focus on the budget and saving HOPE, many issues have been put on hold.
Oh, what to write about this week? I have two great American topics from which to choose: last weekend's Super Bowl or next week's Valentine's Day. After due consideration, and in the great British spirit of compromise, I have decided to cover both.
The Georgia General Assembly is sprinting to complete the work that is essential to our state within the 40-day legislative session, as required by our Constitution.
In 2011, after years of debate and after the resignation of a Georgia House speaker, members of the state General Assembly still don't know how to say "no" to gifts from the companies and special interest groups they regulate on behalf of all Georgians. They are still accepting gifts, and they're accepting them by the bucketful.
Every revolution against autocracy is initially stirring. Who wouldn't have cheered when Louis XVI was forced to convene the Estates General, or when a liberal provisional government took over from Czar Nicholas, or when the rank and file of the Shah's army refused to fire on protesters in the streets?
People seldom approve of increases. Increases in the cost of gas, increases in the number of passengers squeezed into a plane, increases in pant size – all of these things are typically frowned upon.
Sunday is what would have been President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. This milestone will be observed by many, especially the Young Republicans of Richmond Hill High School. But why do millions see Reagan as such a great president? What made him so successful, and why is this occasion worth celebrating?
One thousand, seven hundred and forty-four. That's roughly the population of the lovely town of Darien on Georgia's coast; or of Richland in Stewart County – home of the annual Pig Fest Barbecue Festival.
Robert E. Lee, general of all the Confederate forces during the Civil War, was born Jan. 19, 1807. I have been researching Lee's history and have found many fascinating bits of information about him. I shared some of my findings in my column last week and I will do the same now. I have read many articles, books and some letters that Lee and his family wrote to each other. One tiny book - perhaps it should be called a pamphlet - was written by the Rev. William Mack Lee, who served as Gen. Lee's slave, bodyguard and cook during ...
The Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness took a swing at fixing Georgia's outdated tax system and hit a triple.
It detains almost 200 people at Guantanamo Bay, the facility that Amnesty International calls "a global symbol for injustice and abuse."
Dear Editor: This letter is in response to the op-ed column written by Jennifer Jeffers in the Saturday, Jan. 29, issue.
House Majority Whip Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta, and I decided to quit lobbing mortars at each other and do what we should have done earlier – talk about his proposed legislation to evaluate teachers.
The 2011 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly has officially begun. Although we were forced to take a couple of days off for the snow and ice storm that many across the state experienced, we began session Jan. 10.
Day 3 (Jan. 24): According to our state's constitution, we start our legislative session on the second Monday of every January. The governor gives his State of the State address during the first week and at that time presents his budget proposal to the full legislature.
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.
When thinking about the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last month, one might ask, "What does Congress have against conservation?"
Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: For the past 15 years, I have taken the opportunity at the beginning of the New Year to share some advice - first with your dad and his cousins and now with you, my great-grandson. I hope you don't mind and will bear with me. You probably would rather be playing with your Legos and I understand that but maybe something in this letter might make a difference in your life in years to come. I pray that will be so.
Editor, I've been seeing a lot more commercials for the Wounded Warrior Project on television recently, requesting that I send in my $19 per month.
A few years ago, the magazine I have long loved - Southern Living - changed. Like most Southerners, I have an aversion to change, which is why our traditions have such stranglehold. We never let go.
There's nothing like a good, old-fashioned road trip to ensure that good parenting habits and ground rules are not only broken, but stomped to smithereens and tossed out of a (moving car) window.
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