Thurbert Baker is not exactly a clone of Barack Obama, but neither is he another Vernon Jones.
So when Baker, Georgia's veteran attorney general, announced for governor on a dull day last week, Georgia's highest-ranking African-American constitutional officer made a few headlines around the state.
For decades I posited to my social studies classes that had it not occurred when it did, America could not have won World War II. Yes, America won it. Not the Brits or the Russians. Not the free French, the Aussies, nor the Poles. America.
America was a far simpler place then. Telling the bad guys from the good guys wasn't hard. The president and a few trusted men could mobilize the nation and get things done. There weren't a lot of hoops to jump through.
Sales of "Atlas Shrugged," Ayn Rand's vision of a utopia based on "rational self-interest" have been brisk during the recent economic downturn. The fictional nature of that vision was conceded by Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, when he testified before Congress that he was mistaken in thinking that "rational self-interest" would protect the markets.
That had to be a hard admission after 40 years as a disciple who touted faith in "rational self-interest."
Remember "The Rat" - a giant Godzilla-like creature that stalked the Georgia TV-scape nearly 10 years ago? The monster - a guy in a rat suit - starred in the darnedest political commercial Georgia had ever seen. The rat gobbled up everything in sight. He even ate the Capitol. The year was 2002.
Georgia Democrats were aghast. Depicting Georgia's then governor, Roy E. Barnes, as a marauding rodent seemed, well, somehow disrespectful. Perhaps it was, but it worked. Sonny Perdue won the governor's mansion and led the first Republican takeover of Georgia government since the end of Reconstruction.
The General Assembly is taking some heat in the media this year for having one of its least productive sessions ever, in terms of addressing issues that really affect the lives of Georgians. Legislators still have one last shot at redeeming themselves in the closing days, however.
As last week came to a close, there was actually some progress made on two of those vital issues: the state's traffic congestion dilemma and the upgrading of Georgia's woeful network of trauma care facilities.
April 01, 2009|
By Tom Crawford
Last Friday one of our local icons of science education, a fellow by the name of Jim Honeycutt, dropped in on classes at Eastside High School. Jim's columns on astronomy occasionally grace the pages of this paper, as he follows a – no pun intended – stellar career in the public schools by teaching astronomy at Oxford College of Emory University.
Georgia's lawmakers have always been willing to approve tax breaks for the state's business leaders and special interests, but they have really stepped on the gas since Republicans took control of the House and Senate four years ago.
In that first year of Republican control, legislators passed a huge break for corporations: a bill that would give them tax reductions totaling nearly $1 billion over a 10-year period.
March 25, 2009|
By Tom Crawford
A parent's worst nightmare came out of Africa last week with the news that a 24-year-old Peace Corps volunteer, Cathrine "Kate" Puzey, had been murdered. Formerly of Cumming, Kate received a sociology degree from William and Mary in 2006, joined the Peace Corps and had been teaching English in a small village in Benin since July 2007. Her two-year hitch in West Africa was almost up.
Last week saw our first crescendo of legislating, as we passed the crossover mark of the session. We worked through 112 bills and resolutions. For the next few weeks, we'll be reviewing bills sent over from the Senate as we approach the end of the session.
A number of the measures we considered are worth mention. HB 23 would prohibit provisional driver's license holders under 18 from using cell phones and similar electronic communications devices. Young drivers generally don't have sufficiently solid driving skills to handle a car at the same time as talking on a phone ...
March 20, 2009|
By Doug Holt