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Articles by Section - Columnists


Questions of character

Beverly Gage, a Yale historian, was researching a biography of J. Edgar Hoover in the National Archives when she came across the infamous letter the FBI had written to Martin Luther King Jr., outlining in the crudest form his extramarital escapades and suggesting, King concluded, that he kill himself: "There is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is." King did nothing, but the FBI acted. It leaked its dirt to the press.

November 22, 2014 | Richard Cohen | 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


The audacity of arrogance

In the week following the shellacking of his party in the midterm elections, one might think that President Barack Obama would be conciliatory and humble. Instead, he has continued to be audacious - but with arrogance rather than hope.

November 15, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich-Cushman | Columnists


Politics from the bottom up drives reform

In the wake of the midterm elections, many are now speculating about what will happen to President Obama's health care law with a Republican Senate. However, all the partisan talk misses the point. In America, change does not come from politicians. It comes from the American people and the popular culture.

November 15, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Republican gains deep and wide

Little noticed by the Washington press corps is the extent of the Republican State legislative gains in Election 2014. A quick trip to the enormously informative Ballotpedia.org website provides the numbers that the DC reporters overlooked.

November 08, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Now, it's about governing not politics

Part of the allure and fascination of politics is that you don't know what's going to happen until election night is over and all the votes have been counted. It is real-life, high-stakes drama. In the 1970s, it was volunteers who would call in the vote tallies from the precincts. They would be written on the blackboard and the totals calculated as the votes were called in.

November 08, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Scholar-athlete charade

Last year's column "Dishonest Educators" (1/9/2013) reported on the largest school cheating scandal in U.S. history. In more than three-quarters of the 56 Atlanta schools investigated, teachers changed student answers on academic achievement tests. Cheating orders came directly from school administrators. The cheating was brazen. One teacher told a colleague, "I had to give your kids, or your students, the answers because they're dumb as hell." Atlanta's not alone. Teacher cheating has been discovered in other cities, such as Philadelphia, Houston, New York, Detroit, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Washington.

November 08, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Peace before sunset

Last week a neighbor friend passed on to his own personal sunset.

November 08, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


Cushman: Getting stuff done

Prognosticators are predicting a Republican takeover of the United States Senate, and a pickup of a few seats in the House of Representatives. Driven in large part by the unpopularity of President Barack Obama (latest Gallup poll 42 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove of Obama), this potential change in control provides both an opportunity and a risk for Republicans.

November 01, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Rasmussen: Election 2014 in context

Political pundits often miss the forest for the trees, and it's amazing how things look when you pause for a moment to look at the broader context of the 2014 midterm elections. The short-term discussion among political junkies is all about whether Republicans can win control of the Senate and just how many seats they will win.

November 01, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Williams: Africa, A Tragic Continent

Here's how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: "Anyone who believes President Bush's Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it's overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people." More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.

November 01, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Yarbrough: A salute to one trying to make this a better world

A wise man once said that our only reason for occupying space on this earth is to leave things better than we found them. Unfortunately, not enough of us will. Len Pagano is an exception.

November 01, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Africa: A tragic continent

Here's how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: "Anyone who believes President Bush's Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it's overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people." More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.

October 27, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


The power of positive beliefs

My mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer in the mid-1970s, when I was in grammar school. Her goal, at that time, was to stay alive to see my older sister Kathy and me graduate from high school. She neither dwelled on the disease, nor on why she was stricken with it, but instead focused on getting rid of the cancer and living for her two daughters.

October 25, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich-Cushman | Columnists


Ben Bradlee was a leader and a friend

Ben Bradlee would not have liked me to say so, but he was the living refutation of the Declaration of Independence: All men are not created equal. Certainly, he was not. He was born rich and well-connected, a member of the WASP tribe that once ran much of America and nearly all of its prestigious institutions. He was compellingly handsome and so smart that no crossword puzzle could really challenge him. It's not that he didn't have a weakness. He did. He was a sucker for the underdog.

October 25, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Legislature doesn’t always do what it says

Do you really think if the state takes control away from local school boards to establish charter schools as the upcoming constitutional amendment proposes, they will do it better? If so, you are smoking rope. Once our legislators get control of the process, there is no guarantee that they will do what they say.

As evidence, look at how the Legislature has gone back on its word regarding special fees that were to be collected and spent for such things as environmental cleanup, drivers' education and other purposes.

April 03, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Legislature doesn’t always do what it says

Do you really think if the state takes control away from local school boards to establish charter schools as the upcoming constitutional amendment proposes, they will do it better? If so, you are smoking rope. Once our legislators get control of the process, there is no guarantee that they will do what they say.

As evidence, look at how the Legislature has gone back on its word regarding special fees that were to be collected and spent for such things as environmental cleanup, drivers' education and other purposes.

April 03, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Men do more around the house now

I have been musing lately about the different responsibilities that men assume or assist with in the running of a household. There is a large gap between men of my husband's age and men of my daughters' ages.

My husband assumes responsibility for mowing the lawn, at least the middle of the lawn or what can be reached by a riding lawn mower. But most other yard chores belong to me. I prune, weed and water. He does, however, maintain a vegetable garden and is justifiably proud of its produce. My husband is in charge of the car and ...

April 03, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


That's a wrap: Session is out for the year

Last week saw the conclusion of the 2012 legislative session. The House finished voting on most of the remaining Senate bills, and then worked through the many situations where differing versions of bills had passed in the House versus the Senate. These are resolved by either agreeing with the other chamber's version of the bill, or by standing firm and appointing legislators to what is called a "conference committee." The conference committees try to reach a compromise version of a bill, which must then be approved by both chambers. However such differences are resolved, the final few days of ...

March 31, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Exploring the deep blue

James Cameron - filmmaker and Hollywood superstar - just took a trip to the bottom of the ocean.

March 31, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


America through foreign eyes

I've been in Europe for going on three weeks now, and I'm ready to come home. I miss my family, my bed, my friends and my guitars. I miss big steaks, cold sodas, twisted Southern English and rock and roll. I even miss our stupid American electoral circus, the lame tabloid-like coverage of our party-hardy political parties and the inert populace that thinks "insightful news analysis" is a reporter droning on about which politician said which "bad word" in which public forum. I miss all of this - warts and all - and I want it back. Europe is lovely ...

March 31, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Whatever happens next, the health care law is doomed

Media coverage now implies that the U.S. Supreme Court will determine the fate of President Obama's health care law. But nothing the court decides will keep the law alive for more than a brief period of time.

There are three ways the health care law could meet its end. The first, obviously, is the Supreme Court could declare some or all of it unconstitutional in June.

March 31, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Negative campaigning

It seems the Republican presidential primary is wending to a close with the stars aligning behind the ultimate candidacy of Mitt Romney to take on President Obama in the general election. Don't you think it's time for a nice, deep breath? All together, now: Inhale the pure, fresh air of these cool mornings and exhale all the polluted air filled for these many months with bitterness, rancor, ugliness, pettiness and deadly dares more befitting a prison yard brawl than a contest leading to the door of the White House.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, a veteran of presidential campaigning ...

March 29, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Latarski: All the pollen isn't such a bad thing

Spring is now officially upon us, although the weather we have had lately makes it feel like spring came and went around 2:47 a.m. Tuesday morning, and we headed straight into summer.

Normally we accept this with good grace because we know that our Northern friends are still digging out of snow, but that has not been the case this year.

March 24, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


McCoy: Breaking the sound barrier

How many of you grew up reading about a superhero who had amazing powers and who flew around town fighting crime while looking snazzy in a form-fitting costume? Come on; you know you read about Superman or Wonder Woman or other comic book heroes, and you wanted to be just like them. You wanted superpowers, and if you had any fashion sense, you wanted a snazzy cape with your initials on the back. Maybe you haven't given up hope. Maybe you still want superpowers, even if you're willing to compromise on the costume. I know which superpower I ...

March 24, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Burgess: Social Circle's best kept secret - Fire explorers and fire volunteers

Wanting to learn about our Fire Explorers and fire volunteers in Social Circle, I met two young ladies at the fire station who made me realize that there's a lot about firefighting that most folks, especially me, don't know. Shannon Patterson and Ashley Yantis are both experienced firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians. Both are enthusiastic and totally committed to their work in insuring the safety of our citizens. Patterson is tall and pretty. Yantis is short (they call her "half-pint") and cute.

Unlike most jurisdictions, Public Safety Officers in Social Circle are cross trained as firemen and as ...

March 24, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Apted: Are you a facebragger or facedowner?

Are you a "Facebragger?" Urban Dictionary.com defines Facebragging as "the act of using a social networking site in order to show off or impress others with material items and/or fun activities and may include status updates, comments, or most often, pictures."

The opposite is referred to as being a "Facedowner"- someone who only posts the most dismal and depressing updates, presumably to garner sympathy from their friends.

March 24, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Gallimaufries to green grass

If you read last Sunday's Covington News, you may have seen a diatribe about this paper in the form of a letter to the editor from a man named Felton Hudson of Stone Mountain. In it, he also took a harsh swipe at my personal opinion columns, calling them "pedantic gallimaufries." More on that in a minute.

March 23, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Long live my crazy cat

I have a cat. His name is Earnest. He was a gift from a student in a senior English class spring semester of the last year I taught. The class voted to call him Shakespeare. But I declined. I couldn't see myself opening my back door and yelling Shakespeare into the neighborhood. So we settled on Earnest because as a class we were reading "The Importance of Being Earnest" when he came into my life.

March 20, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


The role Twinkies play in law

"Members of the Legislature, my name is Figby and I have been asked by House Speaker Dennis Ralston - he is the gentleman over in the corner eating the Twinkie - along with Senators Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers to discuss some potential campaign issues this fall. They are, of course, your leaders and have helped make the General Assembly what it is today.

March 20, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


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