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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


Getting your paper, rain or shine

The rain this past week certainly has been a blessing as a good rain always is, but for newspaper people in circulation, inclement weather has always been one big pain in the rear.

January 03, 2015 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


Japan looks back

Almost four decades ago, when I was in Mrs. Carmichael's Sunday School class, I memorized Luke Chapter 2, (the King James version of course). It took hours of practice and study, but the words still come when prompted by the line before.

December 27, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich-Cushman | Columnists


Friendships are truly the gift that KEEPS ON GIVING

Maybe it's the fact that I have more days in the rearview mirror than I have ahead of me, but at this special time of year I am more aware than ever of the gift of friendships. Friendships are always the correct size, the right color and don't require a set of instructions on how to operate them. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.

December 27, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Holidays and a mother's love

This is my second Christmas season without my mother, and so far it's been harder than the first. I had known that the first year would be hard, and all I really cared about was surviving it. Activity was my friend: My sister Kathy and I spent the fall wrapping up her estate, selling her house, and sharing her prized possessions with family and friends. We talked every day. Much of our connection was activity-based: Was her account closed? Were the papers signed? It was hard, but I had known that it was going to be hard -- so I ...

December 20, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


A lack of intelligence

Intelligence school in Denver, CO was thought-provoking, complicated, and opened enigmatic doors I never thought existed. We mastered the art of dissemination; gained knowledge of codes; planned and plotted and analyzed envisioned missions; studied Soviet military equipment to master photographic interpretation; and were privy to a few top secret particulars that are now prehistoric. As Sun Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago in his military masterpiece The Art of War, "Know your enemy better than you know yourself."

December 20, 2014 | Pete Mecca | Columnists


Japan looks back

Japan is working hard at forgetting. Its prime minister, Shinzo Abe, suggests in code-talk that Japan was the victim of World War II - no war criminals at all, thank you - and its influential conservative press, with a wink from the government, is determined to whitewash the country's use of sex slaves during the war. This sort of thing can be catching. Maybe others will forget why they consider Japan a friend.

December 13, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Commission director says progress being made in state’s charter school efforts

You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.

December 13, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


The joys of Christmas traditions

I have always loved Christmas and its traditions; even as I have grown older, I find that really deep in my heart I still believe in Santa Claus and the spirit of the whole season, and I just can't wait until I see the "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" re-runs at this time of year with the grandchildren.

December 13, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


The wrong route to reform

Last month, the police commissioner of New York, Bill Bratton, was quizzed at a conference by Jeffrey Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker. Bratton had been the police chief in Boston and Los Angeles, as well as New York's once before, and he is a well-known champion of what is known as the "broken windows" school of policing. Toobin asked him what could account for the precipitous drop in crime in New York City. Bratton responded in a flash: The cops.

December 06, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


If Bora-Bora doesn't care about the game, why should we?

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. (I have no idea how the editors got it from bottle to print. I assumed that if editors can figure out where commas go, they ought to be able to figure out how to print a column in a bottle.)

December 06, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Carl Sanders: A great man who did great things for Georgia

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.

November 29, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Real men don’t

Where are the men?

November 29, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Elite contempt for ordinary Americans

Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and paid architect of Obamacare, has shocked and disgusted many Americans. In 2013, he explained to a University of Pennsylvania audience: "This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure (the Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies." He added that the "lack of transparency is a huge political advantage." Most insulting were his previous statements that "the American voter is too stupid to understand" and his boast of Obamacare's "exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American ...

November 29, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


A reason to be thankful

I love the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as much as anyone. It's great to have family visit and take some time to talk and visit and just be together. There's the added bonus that comes from a warm glow of nostalgia lingering from long-ago Thanksgiving dinners at Nana and Grampa's.

November 29, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Thanks and giving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. A chance to be grateful instead of focusing on gift-giving and gift-receiving. Family, friends, bountiful feasts and football are at the forefront of our minds rather than cocktail parties and gifts. Think of it as a time to pause and give thanks before the whirlwind of December.

November 22, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


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