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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


Drawing a new battle line

Forget conservatism versus liberalism, capitalism against socialism, or even Democrats fighting Republicans. In picking Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, Mitt Romney has drawn a new battle line. Throughout his political career, Paul Ryan has been an outspoken crusader in what he calls the "fight between individualism and collectivism."

August 18, 2012 | Maurice Carter | Columnists


The rules of a good argument

It's a fact: If you have an opinion, you can be sure someone will have an argument to match it. And a good argument is nothing to be afraid of. A good argument is a logical analysis of differing opinions. It's called a debate.

August 18, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


The final quarter

We are less than three months out from the presidential election. Yes, I know that it seems as if it has already lasted forever, but so far, it's simply been the warm-up.

August 18, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Travis: Fire hydrant hijinks

I have a fire hydrant in my yard. Not a working one next to the street, but a non-working one about 20 feet from the street next to my drive way. It is a real fire hydrant, just not a working one. It is the outside of a fire hydrant.

The metal, rather utilitarian, hulk that you see dogs eyeing in comic strips. But it has no insides and is not hooked up to any water.

August 14, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


On patrol with the color coordination police

We all have embarrassing social flaws, don't we? Well, maybe you don't have any, but I'm loaded with them. I'm cursed with an inability to dance; I don't enjoy professional sports; I have no interest in going to Vegas to gamble away my paycheck; and I'm a total bore at political fundraisers. The list could go on and on, but I want to complain a bit about the one social flaw that seems to bite me in the tail every day of the week: when it comes to dressing myself, apparently I have no ...

August 11, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Government has no business dabbling in business affairs

Just 16 percent of voters nationwide believe it was a good idea for the government to provide Solyndra with loan guarantees. The solar power company went bankrupt and stuck taxpayers with the tab for a half-billion dollars.

August 11, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


7 minutes of triumph

Here's my first admission: I'm a geek. In school, I was the bookish girl who kept her head down during class and barely talked with other students. A bit of a nerd, geek or whatever other slang word would fit at the time. A voracious reader, I spent most lunch hours during my eighth-grade year reading in the library. It was easier to go there than it was to endure the process of trying to find someone to sit with in the cafeteria.

August 11, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


A need for alternative energy sources

Excuse me, folks, but the weather is trying to tell us something. Listen carefully, and you can almost hear a parched, raspy voice whispering, "What part of 'hottest month ever' do you people not understand?"

August 11, 2012 | Eugene Robinson | Columnists


Not talking with my mouth full

I wasn't at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, Aug. 1. For the record, I haven't eaten there in at least 60 days. That's not a political statement or a reflection of my food preferences; it's a necessity while trying (with some success) to get my clothes to fit again.

August 11, 2012 | Maurice Carter | Columnists


Finally a positive energy bill

What with all the terrible tragedies happening around the country and the wash of divisive and negative news on all fronts, it is indeed refreshing to see that we are making progress in one area: a good energy bill was proposed in the Senate that would begin to move us forward towards energy independence. This is a good but not perfect bill and goes a long way to moving us off our current energy policy failure.

Senator John Hoeven, R-ND, recently introduced the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, which would greatly expand access to energy and simplify burdensome regulations that ...

August 09, 2012 | William Peruguino | Columnists


Literacy starts early

Kim Degonia has a pretty full plate as it is. She's a part-time magistrate judge for Newton County and a municipal judge in Porterdale. She and her husband have three boys, ages 5, 9 and 11, whom she calls "trouble," and she teaches yoga on the side "to preserve my sanity," she laughs.

August 09, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Saluting teachers

Believe it or not, I have written a column for one year and this one marks the beginning of a second year. I have yet to understand why you find the trivia of my life interesting, but I am glad you enjoy it.

August 07, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


The heavy burden of government

In my hometown, everyone is required to have a landline telephone so local officials can reach us with a reverse 911 call.

August 04, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


The emerging ‘drone’ culture

The age of the drones has arrived. It's not possible to uninvent these Orwellian devices, but we can - and must ­- restrain their use.

August 04, 2012 | Eugene Robinson | Columnists


Stuck in beeping reverse

From Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, commercial aircraft were diverted from airspace over the southeastern U.S. when pilots reported hearing loud, persistent beeping in the area. Flights returned to normal once FAA investigators confirmed the beeps were coming from a backup alarm sounding as the State of Georgia shifted into reverse. However, they warn the noise may continue for at least a decade.

August 04, 2012 | Maurice Carter | Columnists


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