Georgia is blessed with all of the elements to become a leader in 21st-century job creation and economic development. Schools in its University System and other colleges and universities within the state are among the finest in the country. Dynamic pockets of entrepreneurial activity exist throughout the state. Entrepreneurial activity is at an all-time high. But Georgia has a problem.
As we start of a new year and another legislative session, it is time for us as legislators to focus on setting our agenda for the 2010 session. The budget will be our priority during the session. Other areas we will focus on include transportation funding, water concerns, and ethics reform.
Not long ago, I was speaking to a group of high-school students when one raised his hand, declared he wanted to run for Congress, and asked what he should study to prepare. I suspect my answer surprised him. I told him to study English.
Janet Napolitano is impressed with Janet Napolitano's work. In an instantly notorious statement on CNN, the Homeland Security secretary said "the system worked" when a man boarded a Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with explosives in his underwear that he couldn't quite manage to ignite.
Lead-footed drivers may finally be forced to start slowing down. Georgia's new Super Speeder law took effect Friday, imposing an additional $200 fine on anyone convicted of driving faster than 75 on a two-lane road or 85 on a four-lane road anywhere in the state.
Here is a list of 10 reasons to be optimistic for 2010.
I am a rich man, a man of incalculable wealth.
In less than two weeks, the 2010 Georgia State Legislature will be in session.
You can stick a fork in 2009. It is done. I can't say I am sad to see it go except that it puts me one year closer to the ultimate conversation with my Maker, who can't wait to hear my excuses for a life not lived as well as He and I would have liked.
Despite the undisputed effects of a crushing recession, many Georgia banks big and small are making loans and helping customers every day. Businesses and families are being funded, jobs are being created and mortgages are being modified.
Barack Obama's vibe used to be a cross between JFK and Beatlemania. Now it's fading into "Oh, him again?"
In the news, we all hear about the gravity of the state budget situation, a brief review of the basic budget math illustrates why budget writers are so concerned.
I wish I had been there, in Bethlehem. I wish I had witnessed the birth of the baby Jesus in that humble setting in a lowly manger. Was it really as cold that night as it is sometimes depicted on our Christmas cards or was it a cool and comfortable evening as it was predicted to be this year in Bethlehem?
I recently watched the classic film, "It's a Wonderful Life," and thought of my good friend Irene Myers. The part that hit me most was when Clarence, the guardian angel, told George Bailey, "Every time you hear a bell ring, an angel gets his wings."
The White House didn't invite the firms that will create new jobs to its "job summit" - dominated by the CEOs of big firms, Ivy League economists and union officials - because they weren't available. Many of them don't even exist yet.
Maybe it's the fact that I have more days in the rearview mirror than I have ahead of me, but at this special time of year I am more aware than ever of the gift of friendships. Friendships are always the correct size, the right color and don't require a set of instructions on how to operate them. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Georgia has one of the more popular K-12 tuition tax-credit programs in America, which is funded by the private contributions of approximately 18,000 individual taxpayers and 200 corporate taxpayers, who receive a state income-tax credit for their contributions.
Editor, It was so pathetic to see my elected officials sprawled on the sidewalk in front of the historic courthouse in the photo published in Sunday's Courier.
I know we are all rushing around right now for the holidays with parties, shopping, tree lightings, shopping, church, etc., etc., etc.
Several weeks ago, I wrote about moonshine runner turned stock-car champion, Lloyd Seay, who was murdered in a dispute over sugar purchased to make illegal whiskey.
Editor, Common Core has curriculum mandates plus tests. The reason that this educational system is designed this way is so that special-interest groups can mine data from Common Core. Common Core is, in reality, a system of data classification. The tests enable our children's data be turned over to private organizations. No one oversees these companies nor does anyone - especially the government - know how this information will be used. Actually, this information will be accessible to the federal government. Now, Big Brother will be watching our children's progress throughout his or her school years.
You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.
In a recent speech at the National Press Club, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY, explained that improving economic opportunities for middle-class Americans is the key issue on which Democrats and Republicans should be focusing leading up to the 2016 presidential election and beyond.
Editor, Stop the presses and call Walter Cronkite - these stats just in:
There are few who cannot say truthfully that they miss their parents after death has laid claim to those loved ones. The parents who taught us, scolded us and, at times, annoyed us are never forgotten, never put away on a shelf to be remembered no more.
This "Santa Claus is coming soon, so you better be good" thing is working out great for me so far.
'Tis the holiday season, and Christmas is rushing across the calendar like a runaway freight train. It is a time when families and cherished friends gather around the hearth to drink in all the good cheer. It's a time of peace on Earth and good will toward men. And yet, Christmas has a sinister side - one we often exile to the extreme depths of our consciousness. I'm referring, of course, to home break-ins, thefts and frauds.
It has been another record year for Liberty County's annual Rivers Alive events, held annually in October and into November.
Orientation for freshman-elect members of the 114th Congress took place in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 12-19. This is the second of two reports detailing events of that orientation.
Editor, Referring to the headline in the Sunday Courier, let me, too, say that my concerns are aroused by the proposed millage-rate increases.