Opinion


Opinion: How to fuel economic trouble

Once upon a time, Georgia had politicians who were generally wise enough to not let election-season antics act against economic development. They understood that “wisdom” and “moderation” comprise two of three words in the state motto. That season of common sense is gone, it seems. Nothing proves this moreso than the recent boneheaded and corrosive actions to punish Delta Air...


Opinion: Smart investment in schools benefits us all

Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia lawmakers recently agreed to use a state budget surplus to increase our state’s investment in education by about $186 million for FY19. It’s the first time since 2002 the state has fully funded the Quality Basic Education formula. According to the latest Census Bureau data on nationwide student expenditures, Georgia ranked 38th in per-pupil spending. This move...

Opinion: Boosting prosperity through graduation

Four years ago, 148,520 teens began as freshmen at Georgia public high schools. The latest state enrollment data reveals 115,927 of them persisted and will earn their diplomas this week. So, where are the other 32,593? Likely on their phones or their parents’ couch. Unfortunately, they’re not on a path to success. Yes, some of the missing moved out of state. But most dropped out, as indicated...

Opinion: EPA’s Pruitt helping set the world right again

EPA head Scott Pruitt recently made a surprise trip to an elementary school in remote middle Georgia, and his pronouncement could have a profound impact on the energy portfolios of the future. Here’s how. By declaring biomass carbon-neutral, Administrator Pruitt returns the agency to its pre-2010 position and brings the United States in line with the European Union and California. After all...

Opinion: Two Georgias, but only one new governor

Georgia Republicans are obsessed with guns — guns guns guns guns guns — and they’re downright terrified of immigrants. Also, guns. That’s certainly the impression left by the campaign commercials being aired in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Those ads were created by political consultants paid to know their audience, on behalf of politicians competing to lead their party, and...

Opinion: Treating addiction makes for safer society

Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Second Chance Act, and President Trump recently memorialized the event by declaring Second Chance Month. This important change in public policy resulted from the efforts of courageous members of Congress and other like-minded justice reformers who believed that incarcerating certain offenders, again and again, was incredibly inefficient — both...

Opinion: Farm bill puts families, farmers, food banks at risk

The U.S. House of Representatives is planning to vote soon on a new Farm Bill that would add dramatically to the 42 million Americans currently living in households without consistent access to food. The bill takes a dull axe to SNAP, the nation’s food stamp program, making massive unfunded and unproven changes that will put Georgia children, families, seniors and veterans in harm’s way...

Opinion: Can’t you hear that ‘ka-ching?’

“Ka-ching!” That’s the sound made by coins pouring out of a slot machine that just paid off big time, and Sheldon Adelson knows it well. Las Vegas Sands, the casino company owned by Adelson, last month reported that its first-quarter net income jumped by a remarkable 179 percent. Most of that gain came as a direct result of last year’s huge corporate tax cut, touted by Republicans...

Opinion: Political pothole slows infrastructure drive

It’s a slogan whose pithiness is exceeded by its expressed truth: “The future won’t wait. Neither can we. It’s #TimeToBuild.” That’s a fitting message for National Infrastructure Week, and especially so given the precarious, if not dilapidated, state of too much of this nation’s public framework that all of us use daily. Roads, bridges and other transportation...

Opinion: Making America’s infrastructure great again

The circus that is today’s Washington is detracting from one thing that the president and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree on: America’s infrastructure is in disrepair and overdue for a tune-up, if not an overhaul. While the main priority for U.S. infrastructure is maintenance, there are 10 projects — from New York to Denver, Phoenix to Las Vegas — that deserve a...

Opinion: Ga. well-positioned for President’s infrastructure plan

This week is National Infrastructure Week. There will be events across the nation to bring awareness to the critical state of infrastructure conditions and the need for investment. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is focused on improving both the state of good repair of our infrastructure and investing in mobility enhancements to our transportation network in order to facilitate growth...

Opinion: Trump has no real Iran policy or knowledge of nuke deal

Back during the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump told an audience of conservative American Jews what they wanted to hear: If elected president, “My number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.” “I’ve studied this issue in great detail — I would say actually greater by far than anybody else,” Trump bragged, a claim that drew mocking laughter from...

Opinion: Stone Mtn.’s is a shared history, heritage

On April 23, 2016, the natural serenity of Stone Mountain Park was rudely disrupted by a racially charged confrontation between white supremacists and counterprotesters. Unbeknownst to those who gathered in the park that sunlit spring afternoon, Russian operatives were leveraging the divisive history of Stone Mountain to foment controversy and dissention. According to self-proclaimed Lost Cause adherents...

Opinion: Seeking opportunity in discordaround Confederate monuments

In an America where roiling anger is a new national pastime, it can seem that counterproductive confrontation has stomped into rubble old societal building blocks of civility, respect and collaboration. That’s certainly the case on a myriad of current issues that divide us into predictable camps that are often hostile to differing views. What’s more astounding, and indicative of the deep...

Opinion: Hamas is responsible for violence in Gaza

Palestinians have died in the violent riots instigated by Hamas every Friday since March 30 at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Israel laments the deaths of these and all Palestinians and seeks to avoid all conflict, including this last confrontation. However, to better understand these events, one needs to ask the who, what, where, when and why behind the riots. Who? The riots are preplanned...

Opinion: Trump revealed by those he picks

The best gauge of a leader’s character, competence and intelligence is the quality of people whom he chooses to surround him and act on his behalf. As proof of that assertion, I offer up the example of Donald J. Trump. Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, withdrew this week after uniformed, military subordinates told congressional investigators...

Opinion: GOP businessman sees benefits of bullet train

The Texas Bullet Train got a big boost recently with a federal environmental report that pushes forward the North Texas-to-Houston passenger line. This state-of-the-art, high-speed train will provide an eco-friendly option for traveling between two commercial powerhouses. The Federal Railroad Administration’s draft environmental impact study said the project is being designed to protect natural...

Opinion: Insights on improving our mobility

The Georgia General Assembly’s noteworthy passage this year of transit legislation has generated significant interest and discussion among metro Atlantans who’re either victimized regularly by our epic traffic congestion, are working to reduce it, or both. The reactions include a number of guest columns on transportation and transit. The AJC published some of them last Sunday, and we do...

Opinion: Tragedies Happen, but driverless cars can still save lives

An Arizona woman was killed after a self-driving Uber car struck her as she was crossing the street. Initial reports say that she crossed outside of a crosswalk, but that does not necessarily matter, as a human driver might very well have noticed her walking there and may have stopped in time. In light of the incident, Uber (at least temporarily) suspended the testing of its self-driving fleet. There...

Opinion: Studying what keeps democracy healthy

We all know a person who likes to say “trust me.” And the wise among us know that request can be the surest sign of someone who isn’t to be trusted. But we have that basic human need to know whom and what to trust – and it’s never been harder to do, according to a recent report. We live in “A World of Distrust,” which is the title of the annual Trust Barometer...

Opinion: Fresh thinking on mobility warrants appreciation

I prepare these remarks as a plea to my neighbors throughout our 13-county Atlanta Regional Commission to pause and express mutual thanks to those responsible for the majestic changes evolving in our myriad methods of mobility. I am referring, of course, to the city, county, state, and federal officials - - as well as members of MARTA’s Board - - who are reacting to growing public sentiment...
Opinion: Feds should make Ga. Power put more skin in game on Vogtle

Opinion: Feds should make Ga. Power put more skin in game on Vogtle

In late 2017, Georgia Power conditionally agreed to borrow a $1.67 billion-dollar loan from the federal government to complete construction at Plant Vogtle. The terms of this loan, which the Department of Energy released on April 11th to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy — a nonpartisan-nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to fostering sustainable energy development in the Southeast &mdash...

Opinion: Georgia’s diverse economy needs trade certainty

Continued uncertainty surrounding international trade agreements is needlessly hindering a U.S. economy that is otherwise strong, particularly in areas such as Georgia that are most deeply connected to global commerce. The state’s role in international trade is in plain sight across the state – a logistics epicenter – from UPS’s headquarters and operations to the growing traffic...

Opinion: Frat video exposes crumbling decency in society

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. — Courage isn’t required to condemn the Syracuse University chapter of the Theta Tau fraternity for simulating a sexual assault on a disabled student. Video of this ape-ish display, now in wide circulation, should horrify anyone with an ounce of decency. That is, assuming people still recall what decency is. After the clip was released Saturday, university Chancellor...

Opinion: What if Trump really did ‘shoot someone on 5th Avenue?”

By JESS KIDDEN WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and conservative leaders rallied around President Trump Friday, attempting to minimize political damage after Trump shot down a man in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York City. “I’m not going to put myself in the position of having to respond to every presidential shooting,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a hastily called...

Opinion: Pricing carbon would honor Earth Day, protect Georgia

I recently had the opportunity to visit some of Haiti’s little-known fishing islands, where fishermen build dense communities on tiny islets located in good fishing waters. Unfortunately, these islands are in trouble: sea level rise and severe hurricanes are wiping them off the map; some of the islands have even been rebuilt with conch, dirt, and garbage brought in from the mainland. These are...

Opinion: Barbara Bush’s legacy of humanity, decency

I met Barbara Bush for the first time after being revived from passing out as a teenager at a Rose Garden Ceremony. It must have been the heat or the standing, but my trip with mom to the White House to experience a welcome ceremony for a visiting foreign President, turned into a more unique adventure. I was roused by the Secret Service by smelling salts and awakened with my mother and Mrs. Bush staring...

Opinion: Reed’s legacy as mayor in real doubt

Kasim Reed was, in many ways, a good mayor for Atlanta. Maybe not great — certainly not Beyoncé-at-Coachella great, as he himself might see it — but nonetheless good. During Reed’s two terms in office, the city has prospered. The crime rate fell, transformative projects such as the Beltline moved forward, corporate America bought into the Atlanta story and thanks in part to...
Opinion: Moving forward on regional transit in metro Atlanta

Opinion: Moving forward on regional transit in metro Atlanta

A few weeks ago, the Georgia General Assembly passed landmark legislation creating a regional transit authority in metro Atlanta. Skeptics believed it couldn’t be done, saying the issue was too complicated, our state and region too divided. But I had faith that these obstacles could be overcome. Indeed, through the many months spent shepherding this bill through the state Legislature, I was...
Opinion: Enabling next-gen transportation fixes

Opinion: Enabling next-gen transportation fixes

In an age when histrionics — and not action — too-often hog the public spotlight, it’s most encouraging that the Georgia General Assembly has recently made significant headway toward improving the state’s transportation systems. That is a great victory for pragmatism and politics as the art of the possible at a time, nationally, when discordant sound seems to triumph too often...

Opinion: Metro Atlanta making great strides in improving mobility

The recent passage of legislation creating a regional transit authority in metro Atlanta is one of the most significant steps ever taken to improve transportation in our region. As a result, we’ll be able to better connect communities and employment centers, improve quality of life, and ensure our long-term economic competitiveness. As we mark this historic moment, it’s important to understand...

Opinion: We all have role in Earth Day

Today is the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, a movement launched in 1970 to raise our consciousness about environmental concerns regarding issues such as pollution and public health. For more than four decades it has been an opportunity for personal and corporate accountability – a time when we not simply reflect on our carbon footprint, but take action to do better for the sake of generations...

Opinion: Unwise to unleash dogs of war

As sabers rattle ever louder across fields, plains, oceans and deserts, President Trump’s words from earlier this year haunt the stable mind: “I would love to be able to bring back our country into a great form of unity,” he said. “Without a major event where people pull together, that’s hard to do. But I would like to do it without that major event because usually that...

Opinion: The fatal vanity of James Comey

James Comey loves the spotlight. The spotlight does not love him back. In the harsh glare of the spotlight, you begin to see that it has never been enough for Comey to strive to be honest and ethical. You begin to see that his Achilles heel, his Kryptonite, is that he needs to see that image of himself reflected back to him by others, that he needs to be recognized by others to be honest and ethical...
Opinion: Zell Miller, a great statesman and U.S. Marine

Opinion: Zell Miller, a great statesman and U.S. Marine

Because I was born at Ft. Benning, grew up in Columbus and graduated from the University of Georgia, I always had an affinity for the state of Georgia during my 18 years of service as a Senator from Texas. One of my dearest friends and strongest allies was Georgia Senator Paul Coverdell. His voice was squeaky but he had the heart of a lion and his memory will always be very close to my heart. When...

Opinion: GOP speakers have short lifespan

“You all know that I did not seek this job,” House Speaker Paul Ryan reminded the country in announcing his retirement. “I took it reluctantly.” Three years ago, Ryan had indeed been adamant, refusing to drink from the poisoned chalice of becoming a GOP speaker. He relented, but only after being begged to do so by fellow Republicans, who told him that party loyalty and patriotism...
Opinion: Israel’s 70th anniversary worth world’s reflection

Opinion: Israel’s 70th anniversary worth world’s reflection

My mother’s first glimpse of Israel was on an early spring day in 1950 as the ship that took her from Italy got closer to the Promised Land. Her eyes teared as she viewed for the first time Mount Carmel and the port city of Haifa below, with an Israeli Star Of David flag wavering in the light breeze. Years later, she relived that moment as she held my father’s hand and said in Hungarian...
Opinion: 100 days of progress, and some challenges

Opinion: 100 days of progress, and some challenges

As the 60th Mayor of Atlanta, I am committed to enhancing our international status as a global city whose diversity is its biggest asset. In my first 100 days in office, my administration has moved with urgency to fulfill campaign pledges around critical issues that matter the most to our residents: affordability, education, equity, public safety, mobility and transparency. We agreed to transfer 51...
Opinion: 2018 is a big political year. Count on us to guide you through it.

Opinion: 2018 is a big political year. Count on us to guide you through it.

If you follow politics, then you know that 2018 is a pivotal, potentially historic election cycle in Georgia. Consider the stakes. We will elect a new governor to replace the term-limited Nathan Deal, along with seven other statewide executive offices. Every seat in the Georgia General Assembly is on the ballot. That means 56 state Senate seats and 180 seats in the Georgia House will be up for grabs...
Opinion: Religious freedom law would be good for Amazon and Ga.

Opinion: Religious freedom law would be good for Amazon and Ga.

As Amazon continues to deliberate on its new HQ2 location, it’s worth reflecting on the disingenuous argument coming from many on the left that a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is bad for business. While making their claim, critics fail to mention that Bill Clinton signed the federal RFRA into law in 1993. They also ignore the success of dozens of other RFRA states - including...

Opinion: The Founding Fathers v. Donald J. Trump

“It’s an attack on our country, in a true sense,” President Trump said Monday, sitting in the White House Cabinet room surrounded by generals and admirals. “It’s an attack on what we all stand for.” The president was not describing the well-documented attempt by Russia to interfere with our 2016 elections — he has never used words anywhere near that strong...

Opinion: Does Ga. want a Ten Commandments governor?

In 2001, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore arranged for a 5,500-pound Ten Commandments monument to be installed in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court building. The monument – on state land, in a state building – sent a clear message to anyone entering the building that having the right kind of religion might affect justice. It also sent a message to many people that they were not welcome...
Micro schools bring new approach to educational needs

Micro schools bring new approach to educational needs

Like many parents today, I have mixed feelings about the future and how my children will adapt to the continuous changes. Technology is certainly leading the way, and high-tech companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google are considering bringing thousands of jobs to metro Atlanta. A traditional education, however, may not necessarily prepare our children for new careers in today’s society. My...

Opinion: MLK, ideals should not remain ‘safely dead’

On April 9th, we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the funeral of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., famed co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church and the greatest civil rights leader of the 2oth century. That day, throngs of people from across the country and around the world packed into the small sanctuary of Ebenezer church and into the streets, as the 39-year-old preacher, who transformed the whole...

Opinion: MLK’s legacy of changed hearts, minds

People know you are a major historical figure when you are identified with just the letters representing your name. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of those historical personalities known simply as MLK. MLK is a benchmark in our history because he led a movement that changed hearts and minds about the promise of our Founders. Namely, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are...

Opinion: Just saying yes to drug companies

Last week we learned that Novartis, the Swiss drug company, had paid Michael Cohen — Donald Trump’s personal lawyer — $1.2 million for what ended up being a single meeting. Then, on Friday, Trump announced a “plan” to reduce drug prices. Why the scare quotes? Because the “plan” was mostly free of substance, controlled or otherwise. During the 2016 campaign...

Opinion: Trump breaks bread, glasses and party at lunch

POTUS coming to Tuesday lunch. Translated, the president of the United States is joining 50 Republican senators in the Capitol to crash their private Tuesday lunch. Nobody is glad to hear this on the Senate side. We love the constitutional separation of powers. The Senate is the last citadel of democracy, they say. We in the press are free as birds here on the Hill, compared to the cramped Dickensian...

READERS WRITE: MAY 20

Current pols’ mixing of church and state’s unseemly The flurry of so-called conservative candidates for state offices are now blatantly touting their “Christianity” on their TV commercials. We also have a Democrat candidate mentioning her preacher parents as one of her qualifications for office. There are all kinds of “Christians”, just as there are all kinds of...

Opinion: Anything is possible in latest round of outrageous events

Once I would have rolled my eyes at a “Homeland” season in which the Russians deftly maneuvered to control whether a Democratic woman, an increasingly paranoid former junior senator from New York, would occupy the Oval Office. Last year, I shook my head at the “Billions” plotline showing a top New York law enforcement official fighting corruption by day and engaging in sadomasochism...

Opinion: A grisly tale that should never be forgotten

Fair warning: this story will disgust you. But this week — Saturday, to be exact — marks 100 years since a singular act of barbarism in tiny Valdosta, Ga. And the tale of what happened there demands to be recalled. It began when somebody killed Hampton Smith, a white plantation owner. Suspicion fell on Sidney Johnson, an African-American worker said to have had a wage dispute with Smith...

Opinion: Prohibition has been lifted at last on sports wagering

Repeal of Prohibition in 1933 instantly reduced crime by reducing the number of criminalized activities, including some that millions of Americans considered victimless activities and none of the government’s business. Now, America is going to become more law abiding, the Supreme Court having said that the federal government cannot prohibit states from legalizing what Americans have been doing...

Opinion: To understand why Trump won, look at Democratic hysteria

WASHINGTON — If you want to understand why Donald Trump is president today (and why he could very well win a second term), look to the Democrats’ hysterical response to two of Trump’s major foreign policy achievements over the past week. Last Thursday, the president traveled to Joint Base Andrews to greet three American hostages whose release he had secured from North Korea. Unlike...

Opinion: Women win; men take a powder

As a public service, today we are going to discuss the latest primary elections. And I promise there will be some sex scandals. But first — wow, women are on the move. The big election story on Tuesday was in Pennsylvania, whose 18-member delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives is currently composed of 18 men. (Well, OK, 16 men and two vacancies due to men who abruptly left town. As...

READERS WRITE: MAY 18

Pitts’ asinine liberal bias is the real problem, not Trump In “Dear Senator: Equating you with Trump not a large leap” (Opinion, May 6), Leonard Pitts Jr. paints every Trump voter as a bigot with the query: “What’s the functional difference between being a bigot and just voting for one?” Borrowing from Pitts, such an argument is “asinine,” as his not-too-clever...

Opinion: Israel at 70 — Bibi’s Troubled Hour of Power

For Bibi Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister save only founding father David Ben-Gurion, it has been a week of triumph. Last Tuesday, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal as Bibi had demanded. On Thursday, after Iran launched 20 missiles at the Golan Heights, Bibi answered with a 70-missile attack on Iran in Syria. “If it rains on...

Opinion: Thinking about America after Trump

PITTSBURGH — In the imaginations of his hopeful defenders, Donald Trump was supposed to transcend left and right. He’d break the Republican Party from the shibboleths of the Reagan Era and create a new ideology mindful of the interests of the party’s working-class supporters. Trump signaled this regularly. He touted a big infrastructure program. He insisted he would never cut Medicare...

READERS WRITE: MAY 17

U.S., other Western nations headed for fiscal default Numbers released by the Congressional Budget Office in April in its 10-year projection, coupled with the Government Accountability Office’s prior analysis and the current status of politics in our country, show the U.S. is headed for a financial default. It may take the form of large-scale printing of money, or it may be more akin to a corporate...

Opinion: #MeToo goes global

She was an 8-year-old girl with thick brown hair, large brown eyes, a purple dress and a fondness for running through the fields in northern India where she tended horses. Then a man called her into the nearby forest, grabbed her by the neck and forced her to take sleeping pills, according to police accounts. The man dragged the girl, Asifa Bano, to a Hindu temple, where he and other men raped her...

READERS WRITE: MAY 16

So-called conservative wrong about frat house behavior Kathleen Parker’s opinion that outrageously behaving Theta Tau boys at Syracuse University ought to be expelled (“Fraternity video exposes our crumbling decency,” Opinion, April 26), is neither correct nor “from the right.” No person was harmed and no property was taken or damaged. The activity apparently occurred...

Opinion: Kanye and Democrats

In the aftermath of the Kanye West dust-up, my heart goes out to the white people who control the Democratic Party. My pity stems from the hip-hop megastar’s November announcement to his packed concert audience that he did not vote in the presidential election but if he had, he would have voted for Donald Trump. Then, on April 21, West took to his Twitter account, which has 28 million followers...

READERS WRITE: MAY 15

GOP should learn from Dems how to support Trump Republican congresspersons claim the media is their greatest enemy. It is possible, however, that an equal or more important foe is their unwillingness to defend themselves and President Trump. It seems the only times Republicans do interviews or appear on Sunday morning talk shows is when they are attacking the president or party policies. Throughout...

Opinion: How Trump is winning

As Donald Trump entered his second year in office, he seemed determined to destabilize his administration’s fragile status quo. He pushed out a cluster of advisers, replacing them with people he liked watching on TV. He forged ahead on his long-promised policy of trade war. He decided to take the starring, summit-organizing role in his own North Korean brinkmanship. And he stepped up &mdash...

Opinion: Mullahs or MAGA — pick a side, say GOP candidates

For what possible reason would a United States senator defend the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action? That was the agreement between Iran and the U.S., China, France, Russia, Britain and Germany that established this: “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.” According to Sen. Claire McCaskill’s Republican opponent in...

Opinion: GOP gnawing away at health care

At the beginning of 2017, Republicans promised to release the kraken on Obamacare — to destroy the program with one devastating blow. But a funny thing happened: Voters realized that repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean taking health insurance away from tens of millions of Americans. They didn’t like that prospect — and enough Republicans balked at the backlash that Obamacare...

READERS WRITE: MAY 13

Primary season hosts GOP’s pandering to its base It’s primary time, setting up for the 2018 general election. Primaries are when candidates are falling over each other to appeal to the gun-toting base. A recent example was Casey Cagle campaigning against a fuel tax break for Delta Air Lines, which meant other GOP lawmakers followed in lockstep to amend the sweeping tax bill. All this was...

Opinion: If reality is altered, what can we believe in?

“If Reality Is Altered, What Can We Believe In?” In 1994, that was the headline of the first column I ever wrote about the manipulation of images and words — digital lies that made it difficult to know what was really real. Small wonder, I said, we were a nation “paralyzed by cynicism.” Twenty-four years later, the technology has improved while social media have made...

Opinion: Pence is a model of governing by groveling

Donald Trump, with his feral cunning, knew. Mike Pence, with his talent for toadyism and appetite for obsequiousness, could, Trump knew, become America’s most repulsive public figure. And Pence, who has reached this pinnacle by dethroning his benefactor, is augmenting the public stock of useful knowledge. Because his is the authentic voice of today’s Republican Party, he clarifies this...

Opinion: Gina Haspel is too qualified to pass up

WASHINGTON — It was one of the Clinton administration’s biggest counterterrorism successes. Just weeks after al-Qaida terrorists trained by Iran blew up U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, Gina Haspel’s phone rang in the middle of the night. She was in her final weeks as station chief in what the CIA describes as an “exotic and tumultuous capital” in central...

Opinion: Trump and the mosquito wars

Our question for today is: What do Tuesday night’s primary results mean to you? A) Really going to miss that exploding-mine guy in West Virginia. B) Should be exciting matchups this fall! C) Primary what? Hey, I know you’re concerned citizens who are worried about who controls the House and Senate next year. Even so, it’s possible you did not feel compelled to follow every single...

Opinion: READERS WRITE: MAY 11

North Fulton residents, businesses ready for transit vote Regarding “Fulton pushing for transit vote, but time is short” (Metro, April 24), as a person who lived 24 years in Johns Creek, owns an Alpharetta business and has always paid her taxes for unutilized MARTA services, I am ready to vote “hell yes” for transit on Ga. 400 that will bring North Fulton into the 21st century...

Opinion: Jesuitgate, Trumpian hypocrisy and the flight from religion

WASHINGTON — Do you wonder why the proportion of Americans declaring themselves unaffiliated with organized religion has skyrocketed in recent decades? This trend is especially pronounced among adults under 30, roughly 40 percent of whom claim no connection to a religious congregation or tradition and have joined the ranks of those the pollsters call the “nones.” To understand how...

Are casinos worth a gamble for education?

Other than my daily commute on I-285, I’m not fond of gambling. Or am I? I buy a lottery ticket every week. For $2, it’s a cheap source of hope. The Georgia Lottery provides a more practical type of HOPE to high school students — the hope they can afford to go to college. When the lottery-funded scholarship debuted in 1993 it paid 100 percent of tuition at public Georgia universities...

Opinion: Memo to Trump — Defy Mueller

If Donald Trump does not wish to collaborate in the destruction of his presidency, he will refuse to be questioned by the FBI, or by a grand jury, or by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his malevolent minions. Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena, and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower. If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for...

READERS WRITE: MAY 10

Cosby accusers shouldn’t profit from their assertions First and foremost, absolutely none of the “ladies” who have suddenly remembered being “assaulted” by Bill Cosby should realize any monetary gain whatsoever from this fiasco. They have simply jumped aboard the “#MeToo” bandwagon in hopes of profiting from it. It is unbelievable that a man with the small...

Opinion: Our addiction to Trump

We in the commentariat complain about President Donald Trump, but we’re locked in a symbiotic relationship with him. News organizations, especially cable television channels, feed off Trump — like oxpeckers on a rhino’s back — for he is part of our business model in 2018. As long as our focus is on Trump, audiences follow. It’s not optimal to have as president an authoritarian...

READERS WRITE: MAY 9

Constitution shouldn’t prevent gun-carry in all states Before Roe v. Wade, abortion was a state law issue. Then, the Supreme Court found a previously hidden right to privacy in the “penumbra” of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, and abortion became a nationwide right. Conversely, the right to bear arms appears in the Constitution’s actual text, yet that right is disjointedly...

Opinion: Before and after welfare handouts

Before the massive growth of our welfare state, private charity was the sole option for an individual or family facing insurmountable financial difficulties or other challenges. How do we know that? There is no history of Americans dying on the streets because they could not find food or basic medical assistance. Respecting the biblical commandment to honor thy father and mother, children took care...

Opinion: Kobach, the ‘it’ boy of xenophobia

The terrorist act that birthed the Department of Homeland Security also brought forth an immigrant’s nightmare: Kansas secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach. Gee, thanks, Osama bin Laden. Kobach, a self-described “full-throttled conservative,” emerged in subsequent years as a bullhorn for the view of immigrants as terrorists, drug smugglers, fraudulent voters...

READERS WRITE: MAY 8

States’ rights would be eroded by farm amendment Legislation to override local control (Senate Bill 418, House Bill 948) was recently defeated in Georgia. It is clear that Georgia legislators and their constituents do not support pre-emption measures. Now, U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa is working hard at the federal level to undermine states’ rights. His measure, known as the King Amendment...

Opinion: The redistribution of sex

One lesson to be drawn from recent Western history might be this: Sometimes the extremists and radicals and weirdos see the world more clearly than the respectable and moderate and sane. All kinds of phenomena, starting as far back as the Iraq War and the crisis of the euro, have made more sense in the light of analysis by reactionaries than as portrayed in the organs of establishment opinion. This...
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