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Dick Yarbrough

Stories by Dick

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YARBROUGH: Ticket ban doesn't stop need for more ethics reform

As for ethics reform, giving up football tickets is no big deal. There are still plenty of ways to influence politicians. All it takes is money. If our legislators think the clock has run out on our interest in stronger ethical behavior, they are badly mistaken. They had better strap on their helmets because We the Unwashed are still in this game.

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YARBROUGH: Why we won’t help either side in Syria

Then there is the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made our president, Barack Obama, look like a Chicago community organizer way out of his league. That doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, does it? Putin even called John Kerry, our Secretary of State, a liar. I would like to have seen him say that if Ronald Reagan was still around.

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YARBROUGH: When it comes to politics and broccoli, I'll pass

While I appreciate the encouragement I have received to enter into politics, it is with a heavy heart that I tell you I must pass on the opportunity. I just don’t think I could make those critical decisions that impact the daily lives of my fellow citizens with broccoli stuffed up my nose.

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YARBROUGH: State school superintendent weighing run for governor

If the superintendent runs — and I believe he will — “uphill” doesn’t begin to describe the challenge Barge has ahead of him. He is going to have to develop a grassroots organization of the first magnitude because big-money contributors always bet on the incumbent. Deal already has a war chest estimated at $1.1 million.

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YARBROUGH: A soggy reminder to be careful what you pray for

I’m not sure how the Supreme Court will rule on the matter, but I do hope that Gov. Nathan Deal doesn’t find himself ankle-deep in water at the Governor’s Mansion one day and order Dr. Gil Watson to come to the Capitol and ask God to make it quit raining so much.

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YARBROUGH: Teachers are grasshoppers in an elephant fight

Hold your head high, teachers. There are a lot of us who appreciate you. I’m one of them and I’m not going away.

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YARBROUGH: Why wasn't Skeeter Skates included on Azerbaijan junket?

Despite a self-congratulatory swipe at ethics reform in the last session, there seems to be nothing stopping the boys and girls of the General Assembly and assorted state bureaucrats from continuing to zip around the globe, courtesy of foreign governments and big corporations like BP and Chevron

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YARBROUGH: Looking back on 15 years of an accidental career

It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for 15 years. I didn’t know I would make it this far. But as long as there are clowns walking the earth, there will always be the need for someone to point them out to you. Thank you for allowing me that opportunity.

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YARBROUGH: Random thoughts on random subjects

Yarbrough touches base on lobbyists, Georgia Tech and more.

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YARBROUGH: Columnist commandos get inside info on Rogers radio gig

There is no way I could produce such pithy and thought-provoking essays each week without the help of my columnist commandos.

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YARBROUGH: A salute to a smart man who walked a fine line

I try to make it a habit to hang around with smart people. Given that my IQ is not much larger than my waist line, this isn't difficult to do.. One person who fits that bill -- and is a nice guy.

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YARBROUGH: Visit with Carl Sanders recalls tumultous time in Georgia

When Jimmy Carter ran for the state Senate in 1961 and was defeated, he claimed voter fraud. Carl Sanders, president pro tem of the state senate, supported Carter's claim and provided legal counsel from the Democratic Party. Carter prevailed.. Fast forward to 1970. After serving as Georgia's governor from 1963

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YARBROUGH: The story of friends, strangers and a baseball

This is a story about heroes -- good people doing good things. The cast of characters in this performance shares one thing in common: They are strangers to one another. They will meet for the first time via this column. That is what makes this such a good story.. Hero

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YARBROUGH: State charter school commission in good hands

I have said it before, but let me repeat: I have no problem with charter schools. I did have a big problem with the ham-handed way last November's charter school referendum was rammed through by proponents.

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YARBROUGH: No one can question answer man

Well, boys and girls, I see by the old clock on the wall that it is June already. We know what that means. It is time for Answer Man to dig into the Question Box and see what is on your hearts and

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YARBROUGH: Waiting for atheists to create a sunset or a duck-billed platypus

Dear God:. I apologize for contacting you in such a public manner but there is an issue here in Georgia I need to discuss with You pronto. I thought about bringing it up in my prayers but, frankly, I have so many sins teed up to apologize for that my

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YARBROUGH: Education expert says students aren't blueberries

Dear Public School Teachers in Georgia:. It looks as if you have survived another year of underwhelming support from state legislators, many of whom would kiss a tree toad if so instructed by the anti-public education crowd. I know it is frustrating

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YARBROUGH: Dalton mayor mulls primary run against Gov. Deal

David Pennington, the mayor of Dalton, is making noises about challenging incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal in the 2014 Republican primary. Say what?. I visited the mayor a couple of weeks ago at his office to see if he was truly serious. He tells me he is and that he will

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YARBROUGH: LaGrange College senior triumphs over life-altering experience

This is the story of courage. This is a story of tenacity. This is the story of Hill Daniel.. Daniel, a 21-year-old senior at LaGrange College, will be graduating next week with a degree in psychology after a distinguished college career in which he served as president of

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YARBROUGH: GPB deals with an unhappy big bird and talking frogs

RING! RING!. "Hello, this is Teya Ryan, president of Georgia Public Broadcasting. I am calling to ask you to consider a donation to GPB. If you donate $250, we will send you a talking frog.". KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!. "Please excuse me a moment. Yes, Wanda? What is it?"

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YARBROUGH: Boston attack brings back memories of Atlanta bombing

When the terrorist attacks occurred in Boston during the running of the Boston Marathon, memories came flooding back of our own dark days in Atlanta.

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YARBROUGH: Random thoughts on random subjects

It turns out that you can go home again.

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YARBROUGH: Outstanding equestrian team is UGA's best-kept secret

They are the best University of Georgia athletic team you have likely never heard of. They have won five national titles and go into next week's national championships one of the favorites to win it all again. Their home record is 44-1.

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YARBROUGH: Skeeter Skates not impressed with ethics reform legislation

When the phone rang, I knew who was on the other end: Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter's Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler. I can't tell you exactly why but the phone always sounds more urgent when Skeeter calls.. One thing about Skeeter Skates. He gets

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YARBROUGH: Going into the lion's den for a worthy cause

I have a good idea what Daniel felt like when he was tossed into the lion's den way back yonder. I found myself last week on the floor of the State House and the State Senate, looking eyeball-to-eyeball with

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YARBROUGH: If not for our natural resources, we could be Iran or Detroit

It is a theological fact that God really likes Georgia. That is why He put mountains in north Georgia and the Golden Isles smack up against the Atlantic Ocean and added a bunch of lakes and parks and historical sites in

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YARBROUGH: This judge has earned his place at the head of the table

Let's face it. Judges can be pretty scary folks to We the Unwashed. But m intent today is to let a good man know that he has made a positive difference in more lives than he can imagine.

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YARBROUGH: For ethics reform, the party isn't over yet

The Georgia House of Representatives has passed an ethics reform bill and has sent it on its way to the state Senate for its consideration and action. But don't get out the confetti just yet.

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YARBROUGH: Thanks to humor-impaired, the state of this column has never been stronger

My fellow Americans: (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I come to you today to report on the state of your column.

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YARBROUGH: Speaker Ralston discusses proposed ethics legislation

Are you sitting down? I had a meeting with House Speaker David Ralston last week at the Capitol. Got your breath yet? There's more. It was a good meeting.

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YARBROUGH: Walking away from public schools is not a solution

As many of you recall, I opposed the recent charter school amendment, not because I oppose charter schools -- I don't -- but because I thought the wording of the amendment was duplicitous. But the voters have spoken and I am ready to move on.

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YARBROUGH: Chip Rogers gets started at his new job

Yarbrough takes a look at Chip Rogers' new job with GPB.

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YARBROUGH: Legislators may finally be getting the message on lobbying limits

Voters' voice on lobbyist gift limits sticking. Don't look now, but I think you are beginning to have some impact on the issue of unlimited lobbying expenditures in the Legislature.. Our politicians seem none too happy about having to derail their gravy train. They have tried to ignore you (and

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YARBROUGH: Local newspapers provide information that empowers us

I have the privilege of being with a group of newspaper publishers at the Georgia Press Association's winter gathering in Atlanta this week. It is one of those times I wish my momma and daddy were still around to see the crowd their little boy is hanging out with these

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YARBROUGH: To Cameron: Thank you for reminding us what really matters

Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough:. Over the years it has been a tradition at the first of the year to impart some words of wisdom in this space to your father, uncle and cousins, who double as my grandsons. Perhaps some of my observations were useful to them. Maybe some fell

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YARBROUGH: Goats could be the answer to Georgia's economic issues

My work never ends. Not only do I have to deal with compound verb forms each and every week, the editors insist I throw in some commas along the way for reasons I don't fully understand. I think commas are a nuisance and only serve to get in the way

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YARBROUGH: Sorry Mayans, but there is a new year coming

I was hoping that for once the Mayans would be right about something and that the world would have ended on Dec. 21 as they had said it would. That would have taken care of the fiscal cliff and all the politicians that caused it. A little fire and brimstone

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YARBROUGH: Vince Dooley talks about football, family and UGA history

I called Hall of Fame football coach Vince Dooley this week to get his perspective on UGA's heart-breaking loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game.. There are few people more qualified to comment than Vince Dooley. Let's start with the fact that he won 201 football games, six

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YARBROUGH: Some random thoughts on some random subjects

Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss is catching heat from right-wingnuts for doing exactly what he should be doing -- trying to help the federal government find a way out of the financial morass the country is in. The wingnuts want him to honor a 20-year-old no-tax pledge

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YARBROUGH: If at first you don't secede, why try, try again?

In case you have been busy doing mundane stuff like eking out a living, you may have missed the news that there is a petition going around that would allow Georgia to secede from the union. As of this writing, there have been 24,579 signatures to the petition.. The impetus

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YARBROUGH: We are all to blame for church membership decline

A recent study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Life reveals that for the first time in our history, fewer than half of American adults say they are Protestant (48 percent). This marks the first time in Pew Research Center surveys that the Protestant share of the population has

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YARBROUGH: Junior E. Lee discusses recent election results

I have just received Junior E. Lee's analysis of the recent elections.

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YARBROUGH: A salute to the hero that made it home and to those that did not

Because of the timing of my column deadline, I will have to defer comment on the elections until next week. I can say this much, however. We cast our votes freely and with no tanks in the street.

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YARBROUGH: Ten reasons to vote 'no' on the charter school amendment

The charter school amendment will be decided Tuesday. If it doesn't pass, it will be the greatest upset since David conked Goliath with a rock.

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YARBROUGH: Pro-charter amendment forces try to bully opponents

If the pro-charter amendment people are trying to win friends and influence voters to pass the measure in November, they have picked a bad way to do it.

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YARBROUGH: Junior E. Lee says UGA tops on his bugs list

Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company in Greater Garfield, Georgia, just called me with what he said was an exciting development.

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YARBROUGH: Charter amendment advocates present their case

Rep. Edward Lindsey, (R-Atlanta) majority whip of the Georgia House of Representatives asked me if I would talk to the proponents of the upcoming constitutional amendment on charter schools and get their side of the story.

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YARBROUGH: Thanks to you, speaker might be ready to unload gravy train

Are you sitting down, dear reader? House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) has announced that he will propose a full ban on gifts from lizard-loafered lobbyists in the next session. Before you fall over in a dead faint, let me remind you that politicians are crafty sorts.

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YARBROUGH: School superintendent's endorsement of Chip Rogers raises questions

What in the world was State School Superintendent John Barge thinking when he endorsed the re-election campaign of State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock? Chip Rogers, in case you are not aware, is not exactly public education's best friend.

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YARBROUGH: Recent trip a reminder to take nothing for granted

I have just returned from a memorable trip to Valdosta. I went there to speak to the Rotary Club. The members laughed in all the right places, which not only was memorable, but downright remarkable. What made the trip even more special were two visits I made while there.