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Hometown Heroes

Everyday Mother Memories

Earlier this week, my sister Kathy called me, “Am I correct in thinking that Mom used to send us little kid Valentine’s like the ones school children use?”

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Updated: feb. 22, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Belton: 1/3 of the way through and little passed

We are more than a third of the way through the legislative session, and it seems like we’ve passed very little legislation. Some might say that is a good thing … the less laws we pass, the less trouble we can make for the people of Georgia. In any case, we have 25 days left, with the session scheduled to end on the April 2.

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Posted: feb. 21, 2015 2:24 p.m. | Updated: feb. 22, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Scott Walker's secret weapon: lack of college degree

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has emerged as a serious contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. In response, the Washington Post researched and published a lengthy article on the “mystery” of why Walker dropped out of college.

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Posted: feb. 21, 2015 3:02 p.m. | Updated: feb. 22, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Fairness and Justice

Oxfam reports that the richest 1 percent of people in the world own 48 percent of the world’s wealth. Many claim that we should be alarmed by income inequality because it hampers upward mobility. Others argue that because income is distributed so unevenly, justice and fairness require income redistribution. Let’s look at fairness and justice.

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Posted: feb. 14, 2015 4:32 p.m. | Updated: feb. 15, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Belton: Education Committee getting busy

The Education Committee will be the busiest it has been in 22 years. I’ll take some of these bills in turn.

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Posted: feb. 14, 2015 4:28 p.m. | Updated: feb. 15, 2015 7:00 a.m.

President Obama’s jaw-dropping perspective

Recently, while responding to a question about how to get young people involved in politics, President Obama expressed fears that they see politics as a “sideshow in Washington” and should be taught that “government is not something separate from you — it is you.”

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Posted: feb. 14, 2015 4:38 p.m. | Updated: feb. 15, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Heart-shaped Love

In grammar school, Valentine’s Day meant wrapping a shoe box with brown craft paper, cutting a slot in the top for cards to drop in and decorating the outside of the box with hearts and cupids. Store-bought Valentines were labeled the night before and carefully taken to school to be given away. When the big day came, it wasn’t only if you received Valentines that counted, it was from whom, and if they gave you your card first that mattered.

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Posted: feb. 14, 2015 4:39 p.m. | Updated: feb. 15, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Bill protecting minors gaining support

This week, the House passed the 2015 supplementary budget, but still has to work on the 2016 budget. As I said before, revenues were up by $276 million, and we directed most of that increase to education, as well as Medicaid growth and mandatory compliance with Obamacare. The vote was bipartisan and unanimous.

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Posted: feb. 07, 2015 6:12 p.m. | Updated: feb. 08, 2015 7:00 a.m.

'Don't Shoot' t-shirt aimed at wrong target

Let’s get off the backs of law enforcement, shall we? Most of us couldn’t do their job or wouldn’t do it if we had the chance.

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Posted: feb. 07, 2015 6:21 p.m. | Updated: feb. 08, 2015 7:00 a.m.

A federal budget on auto-pilot

President Obama’s proposed federal budget for 2016 envisions never-ending growth of federal spending.

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Posted: feb. 07, 2015 6:40 p.m. | Updated: feb. 08, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Belton: Weighing the major issues

This week budget committees in the General Assembly have been working on a balanced budget. Believe it or not a balanced budget is the only Constitutional requirement of Georgia’s General Assembly.

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Posted: jan. 31, 2015 4:16 p.m. | Updated: feb. 01, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Defense against demagogues

When gasoline sold at record prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said, “I think it’s time to say to these people, ‘Stop ripping off the American people.’” When the average price of regular gas was close to $4 a gallon, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for Congress to look into breaking up giant oil companies. The claim was that “Wall Street greed (was) fueling high gas prices.”

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Posted: jan. 31, 2015 4:17 p.m. | Updated: feb. 01, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Federal budget deceit

On Monday, President Obama will unveil his proposed federal budget for 2016. Voters should be warned that virtually all the numbers reported in news coverage of the federal budget will be misleading at best.

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Posted: jan. 31, 2015 4:20 p.m. | Updated: feb. 01, 2015 7:00 a.m.

The power of personality

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s prime minister during World War II. Churchill took up painting as a hobby in 1915, after the Gallipoli debacle, where 46,000 allied lives were lost over nine months of the campaign. He went on to paint more than 500 paintings during his lifetime. As wartime prime minister, he took a break from painting, focusing instead on the task at hand — winning the war, no matter the cost.

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Posted: jan. 31, 2015 4:22 p.m. | Updated: feb. 01, 2015 7:00 a.m.

A Speech, a President, Unbounded by Reality

Enthusiastic, entertaining, energized and eminent, President Obama’s demeanor and delivery at the State of the Union belied his political reality. Unbowed, unbroken and possibly unaffected by the recent midterm Republican wave, Obama displayed his great skill by delivering an emotional teleprompter-driven speech that was a throwback to his first election. Varying tempo, pitch, passion and inflection, his speech was more a theatrical performance than a delivery of a prewritten, pre-released text.

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Posted: jan. 24, 2015 2:12 p.m. | Updated: jan. 25, 2015 1:30 a.m.

Dreaming of a 39-21-46

Our 18-year-old granddaughter is living with us again as she goes to school, and I love having her. It reminds me of the time she was a baby living with us, and she was the love of my life — besides Molly, of course — and I took her everywhere. I packed her on my back as I covered meetings, we visited Disneyland every week, I decked her out in Disney clothes, we rode every mall merry-go-round in Southern California, we watched some of the most God-awful movies together — the adventures of Lava Boy being the worst — we enjoyed our evening walks ...

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Posted: jan. 17, 2015 4:58 p.m. | Updated: jan. 18, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Belton: Wading through the first week

My first week of legislative “work” is complete, and it has been a whirlwind. It is hard to imagine how any person can meet so many people and deal with so many issues so quickly. Luckily, I have a very good mentor in former Representative Doug Holt who is helping me wade through the distractions.

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Posted: jan. 17, 2015 5:04 p.m. | Updated: jan. 18, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Liberals’ use of black people, part II

Last week’s column focused on the ways liberals use blacks in pursuit of their leftist agenda, plus their demeaning attitudes toward black people. Most demeaning are their double standards. It was recently reported that Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House majority whip, spoke at a 2002 gathering hosted by white supremacist leaders when he was a Louisiana state representative. Some are calling on Scalise to step down or for House Speaker John Boehner to fire him. There’s no claim that Scalise made racist statements.

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Posted: jan. 10, 2015 5:57 p.m. | Updated: jan. 10, 2015 5:59 p.m.

The Do-Something Congress

As members of the 114th Congress were sworn into office on Tuesday, their party affiliations described what happened last November: 246 of the 435 representatives and 54 of the 100 senators are Republican.

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Posted: jan. 10, 2015 6:01 p.m.

Obamacare and the Irritation Factor

As we enter 2015, the politics of the president’s health care law are little changed from last year or the year before, or any year since it was passed. The details change with the calendar, but year after year, the law remains a major drag on President Obama’s popularity and legacy.

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Posted: jan. 10, 2015 5:55 p.m.

New Year joy

New Year’s is the almost-perfect holiday (Christmas takes the blue ribbon). It’s a combination of reflecting, celebrating or possibly just being glad of getting rid of the old year — while at the same time looking forward to the potential and possibilities of the year to come. It’s the bridge between the past and present, where what has been done is over — but the future still looks bright, if a bit hazy.

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Posted: jan. 03, 2015 2:56 p.m.

Potato Bowl already looking like the highmark for 2015

I had just returned from the local toxic waste site where I had disposed of my holiday fruit cakes and was busy cramming my Christmas tree down the garbage disposal (don’t ask), when I heard a knock at the door. I figured it was the Environmental Protection Agency coming to talk to me about polluting the toxic waste site with fruit cakes.

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Posted: jan. 03, 2015 2:57 p.m.

Getting your paper, rain or shine

The rain this past week certainly has been a blessing as a good rain always is, but for newspaper people in circulation, inclement weather has always been one big pain in the rear.

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Posted: jan. 03, 2015 2:50 p.m. | Updated: jan. 03, 2015 2:52 p.m.

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