Editor's note: Buddy Carter was sworn in Nov. 22 as the state senator for District 1 by the Judge Charles Mikell at Wesley Monumental Methodist Church in Savannah. The following is Carter's acceptance speech.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers in a rampage at Fort Hood, is a most unlikely victim of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you've ever wondered what members of Congress do to earn their keep, the current health-care debate on Capitol Hill should give you a good idea. This complex legislation, placed on the congressional agenda by President Obama but shaped by the intense give-and-take of the legislative process, is a perfect window into our democracy.
Imagine my surprise to read recent news reports that Georgia is among the least healthy states in the nation because of, among other things, our "poor diet." Obviously, the experts who put the report together have never heard of sweet tea, Vidalia onions, barbecue sandwiches or grits with butter.
Thinking about my kids, I really have been fortunate. I divorced my first wife when my two older kids were 5 and 3, and I was able to get custody of them. That wasn't the norm back in 1988, so I was fortunate to not be a "weekend dad." Throw in the fact that I married a wonderful woman, who raised Michael and Shannon as her own kids, and who they regard as their "mom," and you see how lucky I am.
As the holidays approach each year, we prepare for family visits, big feasts, gift exchanges and begin to reflect on the past year. Georgia has seen a tough year with the fallen financial and housing markets, job reductions and flooding that destroyed many homes, businesses and land. The affects have left many Georgians preparing a little differently this year.
This is going to be a special Thanksgiving. My great-grandson Cameron Yarbrough and I are going to begin a new family tradition this week by sharing a birthday celebration. He will hit the ripe old age of 1 tomorrow and two days later I will become slightly older than Kennesaw Mountain.
"Hey, Barack. It's me, your heart. It might be all the White House pickup basketball games or the imminent prospect of nationalizing American health insurance, but I'm feeling better than ever.
Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Dallas, tried to kill himself Nov. 8. A few days later, the former Paulding County attorney issued a news release acknowledging the suicide attempt.
Attention, National Board Certified teachers in Georgia who got hosed by the state in the last legislative session: I think I have found the guy in the white hat who plans to ride to the rescue. And he is a good one to have on the horse.
My water utility recently increased rates with tiered pricing: if you use more, you pay more. In so doing, San Francisco joined nearly 200 municipalities across the country.
Years ago, when I was still in Congress, I pulled up one day to address a public meeting in a remote and very rural part of Indiana. The sheriff, a friend of mine, met me outside the small volunteer firehouse where I was to speak. "The Ku Klux Klan is here in full regalia," he told me. "If you'd like, I'll keep them out of your meeting."
Thursday was a day I believe most educators are eager to recognize. Nov. 19 was National Parent Involvement Day, a time set aside each year to say an extra-special thank you to parents.
As the painful economic downturn forces businesses to become more efficient and refocus on their mission, state government should be no different. Across-the-board budget cuts are reaching diminishing returns. It's time to look seriously at eliminating programs that no longer serve a core government function.
On Nov. 3, the fairy tale died. The election results in Virginia and New Jersey dismantled the self-satisfied, just-so story that Democrats have been telling themselves about last year's election.
There will be a public hearing Tuesday in Richmond Hill held by the Georgia Department of Transportation in reference to the proposed pipeline Kinder Morgan wants to install along the entire coast of Georgia. It is important that Coastal Georgia residents attend.
Lawmakers passed a nearly $22 billion spending plan that includes about $900 million in new revenues, consumed for the most part by school-enrollment growth, increasing retirement benefit-plan expenses for state employees and about $288 million to reduce an austerity cut for public schools. The 2016 budget also increases the local school-district cost of insurance for bus drivers and other non-certified school workers by more than $100 million, so it remains to be seen how much of the $288 million is used for teacher raises and undoing recession-era cuts.
Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of good people on this Earth doing good things. I was reminded of that by my friend, Jack Cookston, who recently had some medical issues that required him to cart around an oxygen tank wherever he went. (Happily, his health has improved and the oxygen tank is history.)
As expected, transportation funding and the governor's proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia's legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.
Carrie called the other day, and I grabbed the phone just as I was coming in from the garage. I dropped my purse at the foot of the stairs and sat down on a step to talk. No conversation with Carrie is ever short. Even her voicemails run three to four minutes.
I would love a good, old-fashioned rain - or, as we used to call it, gully washer - this week.
I just finished reading an article written by Valerie Tarico on Yahoo. The story was titled "Right-wing Christianity teaches bigotry: The ugly roots of Indiana's new anti-gay law."
Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World's Greatest Leaders for 2015, and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?
The Georgia General Assembly adjourned last week, and much was accomplished during a very busy session. The following are some of the bills that were agreed upon by both the House and Senate and have been sent to the governor for his approval.
With the 2015 General Assembly session ending last week, here's a list of the health-care winners and losers during the 40 days of the Legislature.
"The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations, whose words of thanks will not be heard." - Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day
Editor, I want to address the front-page, above-the-fold news story by Randy C. Murray, "Is there racial profiling in Liberty County?" (Wednesday, April 1).
Before Thanksgiving, as I "juned" - a mountain word Mama used to mean "moved faster" - around the kitchen preparing for company, it occurred to me that I should invite Jerry.
Many are aware that Faith Baptist Christian Academy of Ludowici recently experienced an investigation by the U.S. Homeland Security Department. We wish to express, first of all, our deep regret that such a situation has occurred. It has never been our desire to bring any undue attention or embarrassment to our ministry, our church or our city. We would, however, like to set the record straight on a few items.
Congress has developed a fondness for open letters when it comes to Iran. First came the warning shot signed by 47 Republican senators that touched off a storm of criticism. Not to be outdone, the House checked in with its own bipartisan and more diplomatically stated letter to the president, warning that its members must be satisfied with any agreement before they'll vote to reduce sanctions.