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We won't stay quiet if GOP abuses power

A sad political truth: Parties in power may change, but politicians never do. After years of being on the outside and finally gaining the majority, what do Georgia Republicans do? Start acting like the arrogant Democrats they replaced. Gov. Sonny Perdue gets two sweet land deals that don't pass the smell test with ordinary Georgians and a $100,000 tax break to boot.

House Speaker Glenn Richardson seems hell-bent on taking economic development negotiations that involve our tax dollars behind closed doors, even though there is no reason to do so.

Newspapers in Georgia - and a modest and much-beloved columnist - will be on Republicans like white on rice if they try it.

What in the world is going on with these people? Do they think we won't throw them out like we did the Democrats?

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Casey Cagle gives me hope that all is not lost with the Republicans. The lieutenant governor-elect is proof that nice guys do finish first. In the primary, he beat the Republican's right-wing darling, Ralph Reed, like a drum, and then finished off Democrat Jim Martin in the general election.

Cagle has many attributes, including the fact that The Woman Who Shares My Name likes him a lot. She isn't big on politicians as a rule.

If Republicans have the brains of a yard dog, they will make Cagle the face of their party instead of Richardson, who shoots his mouth off too much.

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My church had better install seatbelts in the pews. Dr. Sam Coker recently joined the staff.

Not only do we have Gil Watson, the World's Greatest Preacher, but Sam Coker can knock your socks off in the pulpit, too. It's like having Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker in the same backfield.

Some of you may recall that Coker was one of the first ministers on television, back before the current crop of blow-dried televangelists who are always crying and begging for money. I assume he hired on to help Dr. Gil try and save my sorry soul. Good luck with that.

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Jimmy Carter may have the Nobel Peace Prize, but if my mail is any indication, he doesn't have anywhere near the respect and admiration from his fellow Georgians as does former Gov. Carl Sanders.

If they ran for governor today, I would be willing to be that Sanders would clean his clock.

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Former UGA athletic director and Hall of Fame football coach Vince Dooley is a remarkable man.

Whenever I talk to him, he always inquires about my son, Ken, a science teacher at Woodland High in Cartersville, who attended his football camps as a lad.

In a recent conversation, the coach told me to be sure and remind Ken of the tremendous influence teachers can have on young lives.

He knows whereof he speaks. Vince Dooley has probably touched more lives in a positive way than all the rest of us combined.

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Speaking of UGA, you may have heard that the University of Georgia, the nation's oldest state-chartered university, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, has retained its title as football champions of all the land from Rabun Gap to Tybee Light.

My sincere congratulations to the Georgia Institute of Technology, which managed to finish second. Again. And again. And again. And again. (Tee hee!).

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An employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta sent me a list that the CDC recently published highlighting the "diversity of holidays that may be celebrated around you" in December.

In addition to Christmas, there is Bodhi Day, "when Prince Gautama took his place under the Bodhi tree, vowing to remain there until he attained supreme enlightenment," and two Wiccan holidays, "Yule" and "Litha." Wiccans, in case you didn't know, are self-professed witches.

Obviously the CDC has too much free time on its hands and too many tax dollars it doesn't know what to do with.

I think we would all be more comfortable if they just stuck to fighting bird flu. Bodhi Day? Bah! Humbug!

E-mail columnist Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net. Have any thoughts about this column? Share them with us at letters@gwinnettdailypost.com. Letters should be no more than 200 words and are subject to approval by the publisher. Letters may be edited for style and space requirements. Please sign your name and provide an address and a daytime telephone number. Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046-0603. The fax number is 770-339-8081.