Bookman: Get ready for GOP calls to cut Medicare, other “socialism”

BY: - September 5, 2019

With two seats up for grabs next year, control of the U.S. Senate may be decided right here in Georgia. That condemns us to hearing the word “socialism” hurled at us repeatedly over the next 14 months in Republican campaign speeches and TV ads. In a speech earlier this summer in Washington, U.S. Sen. David […]

Georgia’s low-income college students deserve need-based aid

BY: - September 4, 2019

Georgia lawmakers should open up a new source of money to help college students from low-income families start and finish school. And limited online sports betting might be a better way to do that than today’s state-sponsored lottery and the other gambling options on the table. Some of the old gaming standbys like casinos and […]

Bookman: Isakson an honest man, too much of a legislator for modern D.C.

BY: - August 29, 2019

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson is an honest man, and he deserves honesty in return. So as he announces his reluctant retirement from public life, I offer honest admiration, an honest hope that he enjoys many years still to come in private life, and an honest and significant degree of disappointment. At 74, with a 40-year […]

Georgia’s poor, rural hospitals lose in lawmakers’ health care waiting game

BY: - August 27, 2019

Georgia lawmakers are again waiting, fingers crossed, for someone to provide an alternative to expanding Medicaid coverage to nearly 500,000 uninsured Georgians under the federal Affordable Care Act. The latest workaround, Georgia’s 2019 Patients First Act, is so much like a Utah plan the White House just rejected that it seems like it’s time to […]

Bookman: Courts forced to clean up Georgia’s elections mess

BY: - August 23, 2019

Back in 2017, when Gov. Brian Kemp was still Georgia’s secretary of state and responsible for running fair elections and protecting our right to vote, he haughtily dismissed criticism that the state’s elections systems were vulnerable to hacking and might bar legal residents from voting. Such questions, he wrote in USA Today, are “baseless and […]

Shine more sunlight on plans to mine near treasured Okefenokee

BY: - August 20, 2019

It’s not surprising that the Charlton County Commission late last week passed a non-binding resolution to endorse a mining company’s plan to dig little more than a couple of miles from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. But state and federal officials with oversight responsibility for protecting Georgia’s unique and precious natural areas should be more […]

Bookman: Insane approach to gun laws ripe for change

BY: - August 15, 2019

A black-clad man in full body armor, using an assault weapon equipped with a 100-round magazine, opened fire in a Dayton nightclub district and killed nine people, wounding another 17, in the 30 seconds before being gunned down himself by police. Another shooter, this one in El Paso, walked into a Walmart armed with an […]

A chisel is the right tool for a future-focused leader

BY: - August 13, 2019

You might remember this campaign commercial from last year. A small explosion detonates in a field behind then-gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp as he declares: “I’m so conservative, I blow up government spending.” Last week Gov. Kemp moved closer to fulfilling that pledge. His Office of Planning and Budget ordered most department heads to cut 4% […]

School achievement measures miss mark on student performance

BY: - August 9, 2019

As Georgia school districts kicked off the new school year this month, educators, parents and stakeholders are rejoicing over the recently-released Milestones scores. A press release from the Georgia Department of Education announced the results with a celebratory tone: “Students record strongest-ever overall gains on Georgia Milestones assessments.” Test improvements are worth celebrating, but unfortunately […]

Bookman: Georgia’s junior senator misplaces his outrage

BY: - August 8, 2019

That’s outrageous,” U.S. Sen. David Perdue said last month, responding to a controversy over tweets in which President Trump attacked four female members of Congress. To Perdue, it wasn’t outrageous that Trump told those four women of color to “go back” to the “crime-infested places from which they came,” as if they didn’t belong here, […]

Welcome to the Recorder: A fresh voice for Georgia news & commentary

BY: - August 6, 2019

When I told my longtime journalist friends my new job is to write a weekly opinion column and guide straight-up news coverage at the same time, it raised a few eyebrows. Their question: How do you oversee objective reporting when you’re also delivering opinions on what’s happening in the news? Since my days as a […]