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.
This was written in a cave somewhere in greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper.
One afternoon, I had a hankering - a primal-like craving - for a supper of pinto beans and cornbread with a tall glass of cold, rich buttermilk thrown in for good measure and extra filling.
I didn't cook Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. My husband, daughter and I went to a restaurant in Richmond Hill that offered all the traditional holiday fare at a reasonable price. It was the first time in my life I did not eat a home-cooked meal on Thanksgiving.
Editor, Supposedly, taxes are going up again because SPLOST was voted down. Don't you know that taxes are raised whether or not SPLOST is approved? Taxes also will be raised no matter how many concerned citizens attend the three public hearings on the proposed millage-rate hikes.
We believe that every day should be about recycling. It's one easy action that everyone can do to help our environment. But America Recycles Day, celebrated Nov. 15 this year, is designated to educate and motivate people on recycling.
Editor, To SPLOST or not to SPLOST - that was the question ... and SPLOST lost! The citizens of Liberty County finally got tired of unconstrained spending and spoke up the only way they could - through the ballot box.
Editor, An editorial cartoon by R. McKee serves as a modern take on the old Hans Christian Anderson tale about the emperor who was swindled by to weavers who promise to make him a suit of clothes that is invisible to people who are stupid and incompetent. When the emperor and his cabinet members cannot see the clothes, they pretend to be able to see them for fear of being deemed unfit for their positions. In reality, the swindlers only pretended to make the suit and clothe the emperor. He isn't wearing anything.
Editor, Today, I was nursing Gauge, my 2-month old son, at the Dunkin' Donuts in Hinesville. I have nursed in public like this numerous times. I sat in the corner and even had my friend stand in front of me to make sure nobody saw anything. As I was leaving and getting Gauge buckled into his car seat, an employee followed me to my car and told me that from now on when I nursed in the donut shop, I needed to cover up because customers complained.
Back in 1966, Bobby Fuller sang about, "Robbin' people with a six-gun, I fought the law and the law won." And rightfully so - robbery is a crime. But what happens when it's the law doing the robbing and the law wins?
On my "to-do" list last week was a reminder to call former Gov. Carl Sanders and see if he had any thoughts on how to get the field at Sanford Stadium named for UGA's former coach and athletic director Vince Dooley. I knew he would like the idea and perhaps could jerk a few chains I seem to have been unable to rattle thus far.
I love this time of year. All the lights and decorations really can make our community look pretty. It would be wonderful if we all made that kind of effort all year long.
It started accidentally. Some good ideas and memorable moments are like that. They aren't planned. They're born, bringing with them an ability to nudge a way naturally into our lives and become a tradition.
Moms want everything and nothing at all. We want to be everywhere at once and also nowhere to be found. We want to impress everyone, handle every chore imaginable and spend every waking second bonding with our children. We also want to totally escape from life. Failure to accomplish this leads to immense guilt and, occasionally, foul moods.
Editor, In my humble opinion, the failure of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was not a criticism of the tax, but rather of the excessive - and perhaps arrogant - spending of our tax dollars by our elected officials. The threat of the new Transportation SPLOST, another tax, was maybe another factor.
Editor, "it's gr8 dy.h.a mtg @ d mal l8r"