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.
In order to win next month, Republican nominee Mitt Romney will have to articulate the reason why the choice for him is right. The choice has to be about more than Mitt Romney, and really about more than President Barack Obama. The compelling choice should contrast the very different futures each man would seek to create. The ability to describe and contrast two potential visions of the future -- one under Obama and the other under Romney -- will likely prove key to who wins.
Ronald Reagan had this linguistic ability, which he honed over decades of work.
If one were trying to prove in court that MSNBC is crazily biased, you could do worse than submitting Rachel Maddow's Tuesday night show.
As a kid, I was a sucker for machines. I couldn't pass a gumball rack without turning all the handles; I took apart my toys just to get at the electric motors; and I was simply mad for anything with batteries, gears or knobs.
I would have given away all my Superman comic books for a robot, even if it was missing a dozen transistors. Well, times have changed, and now I'm surrounded by more machines than I ever wanted. And I'd give them all away, if I could.
I would be careful about declaring the presidential contest "a whole new race" following Wednesday's debate. Polls show that most voters have made up their minds, and some, due to early voting, have already cast their ballots. One good night for Mitt Romney does not turn the world upside down.
But make no mistake, it was a very good night for Romney - and a bad one for President Obama. This election wasn't a done deal before the debate, and it certainly isn't now.
My job seldom takes me to the big city these days, unless I'm traveling. But, in college and later working downtown in the 80s and 90s, I was a regular on the streets of Atlanta. Encounters with panhandlers were part of the daily routine. You got used to it, but I was never comfortable.
If you have any heart at all, it's hard to turn away from need. And, yet, there could be no end. Each small gift only attracted more asks. Sometimes, I'd give spare change or a few small bills; other times, I'd avert ...
Most of the discussion on taxes was spent on Romney's tax plan. Romney's plan, like most tax reform plans, would lower tax rates and make other changes to the tax code to encourage growth. The economy will not recover fully until we have tax reform.
"Biscuits," he said. "Biscuits?" I asked. "Yeah, biscuits," he said. "I want to learn how to make biscuits, the kind my grandmother made." My jaw dropped a bit. This bachelor friend of ours sitting across the lunch table was revealing a side that caught me off guard. He's regularly decked out in crisp, starched shirts that fit the rather starchy business he's in. The idea of a guy up to his elbows in flour and shortening was hard to imagine. (Actually, it's impossible to imagine the woman in my own household up to her elbows in flour ...
Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company in Greater Garfield, Ga., just called me with what he said was an exciting development.
My husband and I have very different TV viewing habits. He watches most sporting events, especially football, golf and NASCAR. If there is an old western movie being televised, he will find it. He will also watch endless reruns of any murder-mystery series. I think his all-time favorite is "Lonesome Dove."
Conservative activist circles are abuzz with a new conspiracy theory: Polls showing President Obama with a growing lead over Mitt Romney are deliberately being skewed by the Liberal Mainstream Media so that Republicans will be disheartened and stay home on Election Day.
I'm glad to be home, in my office, typing on a real computer - not fumbling around on a tablet in the dark, late at night, in a far away B&B. But in many ways, I'm still not back from my Pittsburgh to DC bike ride. I'm happy to be with family and friends, sleeping in my own bed, eating what and where I want, but other aspects of reentry since arriving home Monday morning have been less easy to handle.
The Obama administration's policies are bad. Bad in the sense that the policies are morally corrupting. They take money and control away from people and give them to government bureaucrats, who then decide what should be done. The policies encourage people to be less responsible personally and to rely more on the government.
Apparently, Monday, Aug. 27, was opening day for Hysterical Liberal Sanctimony About Imagined Republican Racism. During this first round, The New York Times, The Atlantic and the TV networks each put in a splendid showing.
To cope with the insanity of modern U.S. presidential elections, I've adopted a jaded strategy that I'll share with you. My opinion is harsh, but I'm calling it as I see it.
The summer dragged by, and my walking shoes didn't even get their first outing. It was just too hot, and I questioned the sanity of those who kept up regular walking and running, sometimes with gasping dogs in tow. Now that it's fall, I've got no excuses. Besides, Covington is a great little town for walking: broad thoroughfares with bicycle lanes, beautiful residential streets wending their way past carefully tended yards, plenty of trees for shade along some routes, a charming square and enough hilly rises to give a workout to anyone who wants to max the ...