NEW ORLEANS — “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson on Thursday urged his fellow Republicans to bring their party back to God as it seeks its way forward.
Speaking to the Republican Leadership Conference here, the bearded Louisianan said the party and the country have moved too far away from the founding fathers’ vision of religion’s role in American government — and that the current version of the separation of church and state is a “lie.”
“GOP, you can’t be right for America if you’re wrong with God,” Robertson said. “You want to turn the Republican Party around? Get Godly.”
A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that just one in five Americans are confident the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with the Big Bang. Scientists were despondent, blaming religion and politics for a lagging adoption of what they believe to be a settled debate.
But, the poll also revealed a dynamic that has larger implications for political debates: Democrats, Republicans and independents are each more confident that “the universe is so complex, there must be a supreme being guiding its creation.” Among Democrats — who are more apt to trust scientists in general – 45 percent were very confident in a supreme being’s role, compared with 27 percent who expressed confidence in the Big Bang, an 18-percentage-point gap. The gaps were larger among independents (25 points) and Republicans (62 points).
The widespread belief in a divine evolutionary role is nothing new, and it should not be terribly surprising given that the vast majority of Americans profess some religious faith and that even more believe in God. But the AP poll showcases in stark terms why politicians of all parties walk on eggshells when talking about the intersection of science and faith. Taking a hard line on creationism or evolution risks either being labeled a science denier or alienating the majority of Americans who believe God (or a “supreme being”) played some major role in the Earth’s creation.
Cobb Commission chairman Tim Lee said he had heard enough debate on the county’s plan to build the Atlanta Braves a new stadium — so much that he didn’t feel obligated to prolong the decision any longer when it came time to cement nearly $400 million in public financing Tuesday night.
Lee told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that he made the right call in deciding to have police physically remove vocal critics of the deal, denying them a chance to speak before the commission’s votes.
A couple of his fellow commissioners disagree, although they did not act on their opinion during the meeting.
The spectacle Tuesday night has brought unwanted national attention and rained criticism down on the commission. It was the culmination of a seven-month stadium approval process, during which the commission has been repeatedly criticized for a lack of transparency and failure to include the public at key points along the way.
“We have rules,” Lee said after the meeting. “We follow those rules. Consistency is very important in the way we manage our meetings. Not only tonight, but night to night.”
But Lee had already veered from commission rules that night by allowing all 12 pro-stadium speakers to address the commission at the beginning of the meeting. The rules call for up to six speakers at the beginning, and up to six at the end of meetings.
The legal fight between a well-known strip club and the city of Brookhaven is heading to Georgia’s top court.
The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday will weigh a lawsuit filed by the Pink Pony that challenges the new north DeKalb city’s attempt to restrict nude dancing.
Pink Pony, which has been in business for 22 years, is no stranger to fighting in court for the right to exist. The strip club struck an agreement with DeKalb County in 2007 after a similar legal fight. Court records show that the club’s operators agreed to pay an increased fee of about $100,000 a year in exchange for dropping the legal fight.
That all changed when the city of Brookhaven incorporated in December 2012. Less than a month later, the new city’s councilmembers passed an ordinance that banned consumption of alcohol combined with nude dancing that was similar to DeKalb’s restrictions. The council declared that sexually-oriented businesses were linked to “adverse secondary effects” like crime and drugs.
Pink Pony sued the city in May 2013….
Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee bobbled what should have been an easy grounder at Tuesday’s meeting at which several crucial votes were taken regarding the pending move to the county by the Atlanta Braves.
The result? He played right into the hands of his critics and unnecessarily reignited controversy surrounding what had been seen by most as a done deal. In sports lingo, he put the other team “back in the game.”
And by so doing has he also put passage of the upcoming county road SPLOST at risk?
ATHENS — Despite the fact its top three sections had shifted slightly askew from the marble section inscribed with the names of Athens’ Civil War dead, the Confederate monument on East Broad Street in downtown Athens is “not in bad condition,” according to Michael Trinkley, director of the Chicora Foundation, a nonprofit South Carolina-based historic and archaeological preservation organization.
Trinkley and Debi Hacker, the Chicora Foundation’s laboratory supervisor, spent more than five hours with the monument May 24, cleaning it from its granite base to the short marble spire at its top. They also reassembled and secured the top sections in the wake of local concerns about the slight shifting of the structure, attributed to vibration and other disturbances from years of traffic on East Broad Street.
Trinkley and Hacker, with assistance from a county facilities management crew and private local crane operator Toby Hines, began their work at the base of the monument at about 9 a.m. on May 24. Trinkley and Hacker used brushes and a special cleaning solution to remove biological materials that had discolored the structure over the years. According to Trinkley, the monument will, over the next few days, take on lighter colors as the cleaning solution does its work.
Shortly after 2 p.m., after spending a few minutes adjusting the topmost spire to stand straight, Trinkley and county facilities management staff member Richard Fraysher descended in their bucket cranes to mark completion of the May 24 work. As part of his contract with the county, Trinkley is providing the local government with a report outlining other work that might be needed to keep the monument in good repair.
MARIETTA — A federal law dubbed the “Smart Snack Law” goes into effect July 1, bringing with it bans on any snacks or drinks considered unhealthy by the federal government.
Gone will be non-diet soft drinks, cookies, fried potato chips and any other snack foods not meeting the new requirements. Also on the way out are products such as Chick-fil-A biscuits and doughnuts used as fundraisers, if they are sold during school hours.
The decision comes from Washington and can’t be changed by local leaders, but that doesn’t mean Cobb school board members can’t express their opinion.
“The government can’t stop obesity,” said Randy Scamihorn, vice chair of the Cobb Board of Education. “The kids are going to eat what they’re going to eat, and they’re not going to eat what they’re not going to eat. I’m against government intervention where it’s not needed, and I’m against kids made to go hungry by the government. If they’re hungry, they won’t learn to their optimum level.”
Chicago, Illinois - The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has officially confirmed what many people thought all along: taking ‘selfies’ is a mental disorder.
The APA made this classification during its annual board of directors meeting in Chicago. The disorder is called selfitis, and is defined as the obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy.
APA said there are three levels of the disorder:
Borderline selfitis : taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media
Acute selfitis: taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media
Chronic selfitis: Uncontrollable urge to take photos of one’s self round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day
KENNESAW — Population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau show Cobb and each of its six cities are growing faster than the state average, but lag behind other metro counties.
From 2010 to 2013, the new population estimates released in May show the county went from 688,078 residents to 717,190, a 4.2 percent increase.
That is a slightly faster rate of growth than the average for the entire state. Georgia expanded from 9,687,653 residents to 9,992,167, a 3.1 percent increase.
Tom Scott, a retired Kennesaw State University history professor who has lived in Cobb since 1968, said he remembers when the county saw double-digit growth for decades, especially during a boom in the 1990s when the net gain was more than 30 percent.
Then, Scott said, from 2000 to 2010, the growth slowed down. Now, the numbers are ticking back up.
NEW ORLEANS — Herman Cain, who ended his 2012 presidential campaign amid allegations of multiple affairs, said Saturday that he might run for president again in 2016.
Cain, in a speech at the Republican Leadership Conference here, brought up the prospect of another run toward the end of his speech. He then suggested he would do it if he were called by God.
“I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future,” the Georgia businessman said. “And I trust in God.”