One would think Barack Obama would have learned something about the limits of his personal charm at the G-20 summit in London. Even with the hated George W. Bush back in Texas, the anarchists still rage in the streets, the French and Germans still hate "Anglo-Saxon-style" capitalism, and the nations of the world still won't take dictation - on the need for a coordinated, global stimulus - from Washington.
Unless the Easter bunny leaves Georgia's government a bushel of golden eggs, the Peach State is in a heck of a mess.
The 2009 Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly officially adjourned sine die on April 3.
PITTSBURGH - Does the name Byran Uyesugi ring a bell? Odds are not. What about Robert A. Hawkins? Or Mark Barton? Terry Ratzmann? Robert Stewart?
The 2009 Legislative Session has come to an end and was one of the toughest yet. State revenues declined, unemployment rose and the danger of increased foreclosures loomed as the Legislature worked toward stimulating the economy and balancing the state budget.
When first elected, George W. Bush aspired to be the "CEO president." The label referred only to his (overhyped) business sensibility. President Barack Obama has become the CEO president in fact, responsible for a swath of American industry and finance.
Thurbert Baker is not exactly a clone of Barack Obama, but neither is he another Vernon Jones.
Wrapping up the final legislative day 40 on Friday, we had a full week. Due to the Georgia Constitution, the session must end on day 40.
At this time of year, when the skies are blue, the weather warm and the bugs not too bad, I love to hike trails. There are a lot of places to hike in the area - state parks, national parks private nature preserves, etc.
Now, that's cost efficiency. It took a mere $165 million to discredit the entire $11.6 trillion edifice of bailouts, capital infusions and guarantees that have accompanied the financial meltdown.
I arrived in Congress in 1965, as President Lyndon Johnson's transformation of government was getting under way. It was an extraordinary time, as LBJ sent to Capitol Hill proposals for Medicare, Medicaid, aid to education, the Voting Rights Act and a host of other bills that reshaped the nation's life. The United States was a different country by the time Congress finished.
Sam Olens might be hard to beat for governor next year, if he had a $10 million-plus campaign war chest and established statewide fame.
Here in Georgia, we're making tremendous strides to improve education, provide better access to scholarship opportunities, and the hiring and retention of quality teachers. The Senate has also been focused on ensuring that no other school board loses accreditation.
As the 37th legislative day comes to an end on Thursday, we are now officially one week away from the end of the 40 day session.
April is National Volunteer Month. The LeConte-Woodmanston Foundation, like most nonprofit organizations, is able to exist because of good people who give of their time and talents for something they believe in and want to be a part of.
Editor, Thanks a lot for printing most of my letters over the years and withholding the ones that would have gotten me arrested. I am preparing to move north to New York City and will sorely miss all the reasons I chose to write those letters while I lived here. I'm not sure the New York Times is going to print my thoughts, but I'll still send them my ramblings when I feel it is needed.
Liberty County is our home. Just as we take care of the homes we live in with our families, we need to take care of our community. Keep Liberty Beautiful sincerely appreciates the nearly 4,000 volunteers each year who help to make our county cleaner and more attractive through neighborhood projects and area litter cleanups, but those who are interested in going to the next level should consider "adopting" Liberty.
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!)
Ready to start this new year right?
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.
Editor, In an attempt to somewhat clarify and somewhat respond to the recent letters to the editor, the online opinion poll question in the Coastal Courier and subsequent results of said poll, I want to say that the protests (locally and nationally) are not anti-police, as some have and continue to misinterpret them to be.
Editor, In recent weeks, more than 20 police officers have been killed or wounded by fanatics and/or terrorists on this planet. This would be a great time for Rep. Al Williams, Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier, Commissioner Gary Gilliard, Councilwoman Luciria Luckey Lovette, et al., to make a statement of recognition and support for police officers - wherever they serve. This exercise of their rights would go a long way to heal the wound of what was interpreted by many to be anti-police sentiment last month.
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, 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.