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First session finishes with a flourish

The last day of my first session was thrilling and exhausting. I worked from 7 in the morning to midnight to get "Kelsey's Law" over the finish line. Only 13 minutes remained before the official "Sine Die" when all work must cease until next year. But I am incredibly grateful that my work, and the work of Newton Representatives Pam Dickerson and Doug Holt before me, finally came to fruition after four long years. More importantly, I am humbled to be just a small part of courageous Kelsey's fight to protect fellow teenage girls.

April 12, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Columnist no ‘Playtoe,’ but irked by lack of respect

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?

April 12, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Gay rights movement is totalitarian

The gay rights movement has tended to be a well-choreographed stage production over the last number of decades. Over time, behind the scenes, they pushed hard for gay characters in film and television. They pushed gay actors out of the closet and encouraged celebrations of diversity.

April 12, 2015 | Erick Erickson | Columnists


Technology will trump ‘Bootleggers’ mentality

In recent weeks, I've written about how the "Bootleggers and Baptists" dynamic corrupts regulatory politics. Bruce Yandle developed this concept decades ago. He observed that Prohibition became reality because Baptists wanted people to stop drinking while the ban on legal alcohol put money in the Bootlegger's pockets. The do-gooders succeeded only because the money-grubbers joined their effort.

April 12, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Living through the times

It seems every day now some famous personality or former friend has passed away and at 68 it makes me think sometimes of my own mortality.

April 05, 2015 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


GE and America’s corporate bootleggers

I recently highlighted an important book that describes how politics really works. "Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics," by Adam Smith and Bruce Yandle, showed that prohibition became reality because it appeared to satisfy both Baptists and Bootleggers.

April 05, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


The weekend that changed the world

Approximately 1,982 years ago, a man died. In fact, many men died that day. We know for sure of three men. Two were tied to crosses and crucified. One was nailed to the cross. Had that been the end of it, it would have just been like so many other Roman crucifixions. But, unbeknownst to most anyone at the time, the first Easter weekend would become the most important weekend in the history of the world.

April 05, 2015 | Erick Erickson | Columnists


Newton Co. legislators busy with successful legislation

It was a great week for Newton County! I am ecstatic to tell you that "Haleigh's Law," the medical cannabis oil bill, passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor this week. Also my bill, "Kelsey's Law," passed unanimously in the Senate near midnight on the last night. I was also very excited that Newton County Representative Pam Dickerson's cyber-bullying law passed both the House and the Senate.

April 05, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Growing jobs, investing in the community and trading squirrel pelts

Dear Editor,

March 29, 2015 | Ronnie Johnston | Columnists


If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out

The headline to this story is an adage taught by journalism schools throughout the country. News is supposed to be based on facts and reported without bias. But alas, reporters are human and have biases, acknowledged or not. If they are blatant and obvious, then we can dismiss them out of hand, (example: Chris Matthews saying, "I felt this thrill going up my leg," when listening to a speech given by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama).

March 29, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


President Spock?

The death of Leonard Nimoy saddened millions of Trekkies around the world (including me). But it wasn't just Trekkies who mourned. In the past month, it has become clear that Mr. Spock - the character Nimoy brought to life - had become a cultural icon extending far beyond the Trek universe.

March 29, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Thankful for a new generation of committed Methodist ministers

I spent last week helping to assess a group of people for a job I couldn't do if my life depended on it. Actually, what they were seeking is not a job; it is a calling. And my life here and in the hereafter depends on how well they do it.

March 22, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Baptists and Bootleggers:

It's apparent to anyone willing to look that a wide gap has grown between a Washington/Wall Street political class and the nation they want to rule. Less clear to many is the reason why.

March 22, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


‘A great week for the children’

It was a great week for the children of Georgia. Not only did my bill to protect teenage girls from having their phone number put on a pornographic website ("Kelsey's Law") pass unanimously, but a Cyber Bullying measure by my fellow Newton delegate Rep. Pam Dickerson also passed. Overall, there were many bills to protect children including the "Hidden Predator Act" which lengthens the amount of time a victim may bring a sexual abuse perpetrator to civil court. This bill moves Georgia from the fourth worst in the nation to where most states are now. There was also a ...

March 22, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Our thoughts: Election smearing

There has begun a stirring of potential political candidates for the 2016 election, we know this because already there is already a sense of mud being mixed in order to smear folks.

March 22, 2015 | Staff Report | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


A federal budget on auto-pilot

President Obama's proposed federal budget for 2016 envisions never-ending growth of federal spending.

February 08, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


'Don't Shoot' t-shirt aimed at wrong target

Let's get off the backs of law enforcement, shall we? Most of us couldn't do their job or wouldn't do it if we had the chance.

February 08, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Bill protecting minors gaining support

This week, the House passed the 2015 supplementary budget, but still has to work on the 2016 budget. As I said before, revenues were up by $276 million, and we directed most of that increase to education, as well as Medicaid growth and mandatory compliance with Obamacare. The vote was bipartisan and unanimous.

February 08, 2015 | Dave Benton | Columnists


The power of personality

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain's prime minister during World War II. Churchill took up painting as a hobby in 1915, after the Gallipoli debacle, where 46,000 allied lives were lost over nine months of the campaign. He went on to paint more than 500 paintings during his lifetime. As wartime prime minister, he took a break from painting, focusing instead on the task at hand - winning the war, no matter the cost.

February 01, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Federal budget deceit

On Monday, President Obama will unveil his proposed federal budget for 2016. Voters should be warned that virtually all the numbers reported in news coverage of the federal budget will be misleading at best.

February 01, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Defense against demagogues

When gasoline sold at record prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said, "I think it's time to say to these people, 'Stop ripping off the American people.'" When the average price of regular gas was close to $4 a gallon, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for Congress to look into breaking up giant oil companies. The claim was that "Wall Street greed (was) fueling high gas prices."

February 01, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Belton: Weighing the major issues

This week budget committees in the General Assembly have been working on a balanced budget. Believe it or not a balanced budget is the only Constitutional requirement of Georgia's General Assembly.

February 01, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


A Speech, a President, Unbounded by Reality

Enthusiastic, entertaining, energized and eminent, President Obama's demeanor and delivery at the State of the Union belied his political reality. Unbowed, unbroken and possibly unaffected by the recent midterm Republican wave, Obama displayed his great skill by delivering an emotional teleprompter-driven speech that was a throwback to his first election. Varying tempo, pitch, passion and inflection, his speech was more a theatrical performance than a delivery of a prewritten, pre-released text.

January 25, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Belton: Wading through the first week

My first week of legislative "work" is complete, and it has been a whirlwind. It is hard to imagine how any person can meet so many people and deal with so many issues so quickly. Luckily, I have a very good mentor in former Representative Doug Holt who is helping me wade through the distractions.

January 18, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Dreaming of a 39-21-46

Our 18-year-old granddaughter is living with us again as she goes to school, and I love having her. It reminds me of the time she was a baby living with us, and she was the love of my life - besides Molly, of course - and I took her everywhere. I packed her on my back as I covered meetings, we visited Disneyland every week, I decked her out in Disney clothes, we rode every mall merry-go-round in Southern California, we watched some of the most God-awful movies together - the adventures of Lava Boy being the worst - we enjoyed our evening walks ...

January 18, 2015 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


Liberals’ use of black people, part II

Last week's column focused on the ways liberals use blacks in pursuit of their leftist agenda, plus their demeaning attitudes toward black people. Most demeaning are their double standards. It was recently reported that Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House majority whip, spoke at a 2002 gathering hosted by white supremacist leaders when he was a Louisiana state representative. Some are calling on Scalise to step down or for House Speaker John Boehner to fire him. There's no claim that Scalise made racist statements.

January 10, 2015 | Walter Williams | Columnists


The Do-Something Congress

As members of the 114th Congress were sworn into office on Tuesday, their party affiliations described what happened last November: 246 of the 435 representatives and 54 of the 100 senators are Republican.

January 10, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Obamacare and the Irritation Factor

As we enter 2015, the politics of the president's health care law are little changed from last year or the year before, or any year since it was passed. The details change with the calendar, but year after year, the law remains a major drag on President Obama's popularity and legacy.

January 10, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


New Year joy

New Year's is the almost-perfect holiday (Christmas takes the blue ribbon). It's a combination of reflecting, celebrating or possibly just being glad of getting rid of the old year - while at the same time looking forward to the potential and possibilities of the year to come. It's the bridge between the past and present, where what has been done is over - but the future still looks bright, if a bit hazy.

January 03, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Potato Bowl already looking like the highmark for 2015

I had just returned from the local toxic waste site where I had disposed of my holiday fruit cakes and was busy cramming my Christmas tree down the garbage disposal (don't ask), when I heard a knock at the door. I figured it was the Environmental Protection Agency coming to talk to me about polluting the toxic waste site with fruit cakes.

January 03, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


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