I am far more pessimistic about our political system than most Americans. At the same time, I am very optimistic about the future of our nation. That may seem like an odd combination to some, but I am optimistic because I recognize that Washington, D.C., does not lead the nation.
Though Wal-Mart remains fixed in the American conscience as Sam Walton's business, it is less and less that. Walton was folksy and relatable to the Americans who shopped at Wal-Mart. Everyone could imagine Sam Walton shopping there, too. But over the years, Wal-Mart's management has passed out of the direct hands of Walton's family.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
The issue of ethics and tightening standards on what gifts and perks legislators can receive from friends and supporters is once again making its annual appearance in the Georgia General Assembly.
My first marathon was New York in 1992. I trained with a group for months but had never gone a full 26.2 miles before the start of the race. Turns out that's something you ought to do.
Columnist William Perugino in Friday's paper complained that the Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Kathleen Sibelius had announced that all health insurance must offer sterilization, contraception and abortion drugs with no regard for individual beliefs. He feels that the founding fathers who fled to America to find religious freedom would now believe that that religious freedom was taken from them.
In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, I am required to submit annually a State of the Column message. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please stand and applaud if you hear something that floats your boat or look bored if you don't. You may be on television.
Ten years ago as my family and I were making a list of pros and cons for moving to Georgia, we placed Georgia's abundance of state parks right up under the Atlanta Braves on the pro side. We've enjoyed so much about these protected spaces of green goodness and historic wonder since we've lived here. There's nothing quite as frugal and fabulous as a trip to a Georgia State Park, friends. One of our favorites is just a hop, skip and a jump from Covington and is rife with history and fun.
Transitional phases are never easy. Whether it's remodeling a kitchen, rearranging the furniture or cleaning out a closet, the transitional phase is always a bit messy. This past month, we had our children's bathroom remodeled. We put it off for as long as we could. The shower has leaked for years, so our two children have been using our master bathroom for showers. The water in the sink only ran out in a trickle, barely enough for brushing teeth, and always cold. When the toilet quit working in December, that was it. We had to press forward with ...
Just because the economy is bad doesn't mean your social life has to be.
The finest examples of beef cattle, hogs and breeding ewes in Newton County go head to head on Saturday, Feb. 11, as 4-H'ers and FFA members compete at the Newton Classic Livestock Show.
The very essences of the principles devoted to the founding of our country were steeped in the preservation of religious freedom. Our founding fathers fled their homes in Europe and England to find a land where they were free to worship God as they believed and pursue their lives as they wished in happiness and peace. They died to gain their freedom of religion.
"I'm not James Taylor," laughs Mansfield's singer/songwriter Johnny Roquemore, known more for his humorous, bluegrass-inspired compositions than the smooth ballads delivered by tweed-clad Taylor. Growing up in DeKalb County, Roquemore picked up an electric guitar at 14 and with a neighborhood band made some "big noise," he recalled. "All I ever wanted was an amp taller than me." In college, he played frat parties in another band, but at the same time, he got hooked on acting and enjoyed a memorable run in the Atlanta theater scene, including a lead in an Alliance Theater production.
On the rainy weekend a few weeks ago I indulged in some retail therapy - shopping. A rainy weekend with nothing to do seemed the perfect occasion to shop. I don't know many women who dislike shopping, especially if they can score a bargain.
Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned fun? I'm here to tell you, friends. Nothing happened. Good, old-fashioned fun is waiting for you and your family right outside your back door. Not only can you have hours of fun together, but you can do it for free while getting (dare I say it?) exercise, too! Like some cosmic added bonus, you'll all get to unplug from screen time - cell phones, television, computers, eReaders, iWhatevers. You can have a blast together no matter how old your kids are or how un-athletic you may be. Goodness knows, I'm as uncoordinated as ...
Whew! That was close! I almost became a Baptist the other day. Not just any Baptist, but a (gulp!) Southern Baptist.
The sweat somehow made the moment more real. There we were, standing on the stage at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Columbia, S.C., on Saturday night with my dad, Newt Gingrich, celebrating his primary victory. It was the sweat rolling down the faces and dripping off the noses of the television cameramen, photographers, audience members and even those on stage celebrating that transformed the almost surreal scene into reality.
In case you missed this, a scientist, Leonid Ksanfomaliti, at the Space Research Institute of Russia's Academy of Science, announced he analyzed photographs from a 1982 probe of Venus and thinks they may reveal life on the planet.