Politicians are often accused of "putting the fox in charge of the hen house" - of giving someone with a vested interest in an issue control over how that issue is resolved.
A good example is a president (such as Barack Obama) who appoints people from Wall Street to enforce federal regulations intended to crack down on illegal behavior by Wall Street's investment community. Needless to say, you're not likely to get vigorous enforcement in that situation.
You would think people would be fired up about the congressional races on tap for next year, considering that Republicans will be trying to reverse their election losses of 2006 and 2008 while Democrats will be trying to protect their majority status.
Starting now and for years to come, many Georgians are going to see increases every month in their electricity and natural gas bills.
A few dollars here, a few dollars there, these little increases will add up to very impressive totals for the state's two largest utility firms: $175 million for Atlanta Gas Light and $1.6 billion for the Georgia Power Co.
The telephone book was once a familiar part of everyone's household. Some of the directories were big enough and heavy enough to be used as doorstoppers, but everybody would use them at some point to look up a neighbor's number or just check to make sure the phone company had listed their own name and address correctly.
But the white pages directory of residential telephone numbers is another cultural artifact that will soon become obsolete, just as the buggy whip became unnecessary when Americans shifted from horses to automobiles as their favored form of transportation.
Georgia State University seems to have everything going for it: the second-largest enrollment of any state college, a campus that is revitalizing downtown Atlanta with all the new buildings going up, and a sterling reputation as one of the University System's four research institutions (a status it shares with UGA, Georgia Tech and the Medical College of Georgia).
Even with all the academic acclaim, one thing Georgia State never had was that staple of southern college life: a football team.
The federal court ruling that set a three-year clock ticking on water withdrawals from Lake Lanier won't just affect Metro Atlanta and North Georgia - its impact will be felt in every corner of the state.
Even with the most optimistic outcome where a settlement is worked out between Georgia, Alabama, and Florida over the use of Lanier, the amount of water available to Metro Atlanta governments will likely be reduced to a level that cannot support the current trends of development and growth. What then?
Everybody loves charter schools. Republicans and Democrats alike say that charter schools are a great idea that can solve all the problems of our public education system.
"We're looking for innovation, we're looking for creativity," said Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue as he signed a bill that lets school systems apply for charter status. "This legislation will allow innovative local systems to apply the same techniques that charter schools have used to generate academic success."
Georgia's recession has put state government in the same position as a penny-pinching old geezer, the kind who searches under the sofa cushions for lost dimes and quarters or cashes in that jar of pennies he's been hoarding.
The state's search for loose change has intensified in recent weeks because the end of the fiscal year is approaching and Gov. Sonny Perdue is constitutionally required to make sure that the books balance on June 30.
The State Transportation Board has elected yet another commissioner for that troubled agency: state Rep. Vance Smith (R-Pine Mountain), a person who has some expertise in highway construction because his family-owned business did a lot of road grading back in Harris County.
Smith will be the fourth person in two years to serve as DOT commissioner, which typically budgets more than $2 billion a year to build our highways. If you think the continuing turnover in the top job is an indication of turmoil at DOT, you're right.