OK, class. Our word this week is Kakistocracy.
During the six years that I have served in the Georgia state legislature, this past session may have been the most productive yet.
President Barack Obama said at his BP press conference that when he was shaving the other day, his daughter Malia asked him, "Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?"
What a Paine!
It was the mistake heard round the world.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce was heartened to see our state's significant achievements in education reform recognized earlier this year with a strong finish in the initial round of Race to the Top (RT3) grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education. We believe RT3 represents an excellent opportunity to build on Georgia's success, and we commend the state on its submission of a second-round application.
Many in Liberty County were surprised last week when Liberty County Probate Court Judge Nancy Aspinwall appointed Polly Martin to succeed her late husband, J. Don Martin, as sheriff of Liberty County. The public outcry generally questioned whether Martin's wife was the most qualified person to manage and lead Liberty County's law enforcement.
Would somebody tell that guy that runs Mexico to buy a map?
There are 78 million baby boomers and a very large number of them have retirement on their minds. If the past is a guide, more than 80 percent of them will retire before they become eligible for Medicare (at age 65). Although about one-third of U.S. workers have a promise of post-retirement health care from an employer, almost none of these promises are funded and, as is the case of the automobile companies, are likely to be broken in whole or in part.
When schools close for the summer, safe and enriching learning environments are out of reach and replaced by boredom, lost opportunities and risk for too many children. New analysis of data from the America After 3PM study measures the extent of this problem, concluding that just 21 percent of Georgia's schoolchildren (an estimated 350,878 kids) participate in summer learning programs – safe, structured programs that provide a variety of activities designed to encourage learning and development in the summer months.
Former Hinesville City Councilman Alonzo Walden once said he decided who got his vote for sheriff based on trust.
Up until the final days of the 2010 legislative session, Georgia was about to become the only state in the union without an arts council. The Georgia House had dropped all funding for the arts and it wasn't until the State Senate, under the leadership of Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill (R-Reidsville), stepped in and restored $860,000 for the Georgia Council for the Arts. That money will allow the state agency to qualify for federal and state matching arts grants.
While I was in Iowa for my most recent visit, people said things like, "He's been gone quite a while. He'll be back anytime now, right?" or "Your husband should be getting home soon, isn't he?"
At town hall meetings, events in my district and even trips to the grocery store, it's clear that main street America is frustrated with an out of touch Washington. The people who come up to me aren't angry as much as they are worried about the future of our country.
The transportation bill received much attention this past legislative session, and rightfully so. It doesn't take long for one to drive anywhere in Georgia before noticing that our roads, interstates, and bridges are in terrible disrepair.
You may be surprised to learn that people sometimes disagree with me. You may be equally surprised that sometimes I see their point in the disagreement. Sometimes, I agree with that disagreement.
Many years ago, at the conclusion of the longest criminal jury trial in Liberty County's history, I overheard an attorney's son, who sat through several days of presentation of evidence during the trial, tell his father that, of all the jobs of court officials involved, he wanted my job as clerk of superior court.
Are you planning your summer vacation? I hope you don't think you have to toss out all your good green and sustainable habits when you travel!
Editor, The following is written in response to your article on June 10, 2015, discussing the indictment of Crystal Tilley. The Coastal Courier called the City of Walthourville earlier in the week seeking comments on the indictment. Then, as now, it would have been inappropriate for the city to officially comment on this matter. There is an ongoing criminal case, and current city officials and employees may be witnesses or called to give testimony.
Editor, Locked out!
You've got to give credit to U.S. Rep. Dr. Tom Price, R-Ga.: He introduced his first post-Obamacare bill as early as 2009 and has reintroduced an updated version in every Congress since then. The latest Empowering Patients First Act (House Resolution 2300), introduced this month, is the fourth iteration.
On June 19, a Vietnam veterans welcome-home ceremony will be held at Cottrell Field on Fort Stewart. Many local communities also have designated the day as a time to honor all veterans who served during this war. This ceremony is a great event and one that everyone in the community should make plans to attend.
Last week, Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed, legislation that will alter somewhat how federal law enforcement can monitor our phone calls in the future.