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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
February 7, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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February 7, 2018

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& EDITORIALS Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not; Jeremiah 50:2 2016 and 2017 winner:. Editorial Page excellence 2016 winner:, Sports Photography excellence 2016 winner:, News Photography exceUence 2016 winnen Front Page excellence 2017 wtnn~n, Best Humor Column - On the Porch ON THE PORCH by Will Davis Monroe Co. goes to town M~:lnroe County put its best foot forward at the te capitol last Thursday (see page 3A). Well some ofus did. I was walkingto the cap- entrance with county commissioners George mami and John Ambrose, feeling pretty spe- cial in my pinstripe suit, normally reserved only for funerals. Then I looked down and realized I wasn't as sharp as I mighfve hoped. On one foot, I spied a brown loafer. On the other foot, I spied a different brown loafer, this one with tas- sels. No, they did not match. So as we met the governor and other state leaders, I did not put my best foot forward. I did not put any foot forward. I merely tried to hide my size 13s behind the 30-something other Monroe CounW leaders there. Other than the editor, Monroe County showed well in Atlanta. l'm not sure how important that is. As was overl~eard at the capi- tol: Try to live you~, life in such a way that you never need a dime from the glad-handers who run state government. Someone else asked why state lawmakers spend $50,000 to run for a job ~~~ ~ that pays $18,000 per year. Thafs like the question about Bill and Hillary Clinton: How did they spend their entire lives in government and yet somehow came out as multi-millionaires? One member of our team said the state should either offer waders for visitors for all the bullcrap they have to plow though in the hallways, or perhap~ install showers at the exits for those stained while there. Politics is an oily business, and every state capitol is full of glad-handers, back-slappers and ladder-climbers. Ifs a great place to visit if you don't make your bed there. That said, Monroe County has a strong legislative delega- tion which put last weel~s event together, and they noted that the county's leadership is as strong perhaps as it's bee~ The pmo they said, will likely come in more jobs and growth in Monroe Coun One thing Forsyth has gotten from the state is a grant for streetscape improvements, more than a decade ago. Ifs finally been used. Crews finished installing light poles and painting lines on Johnston Street this week. It looks great. Go check it out by patronizing the businesses on Johnston Street like Jonah's Brick Oven and City Barber Shop that have been hurt by the work. Je. Another hmnorous moment while on the trip came when Ambrose's smart phone began ringing. ~relemarketer, sighed Ambrose, ~ atch this. He answered on speaker phone. The caller wanted to know if this was '~Ylr. Ambrose" and wanted to sell him something related to his 2017 Ford truck. ' Well, shoot, you're.not gonna believe this, but I was DUI last night and totalled that truck," deadpanned Ambrose. There was a pause on the other end. 'wen, rm sorry to hear " Before she could finish, Ambrose got going again. '~Do you think you could send me some bail money? Fm sit- ting here in the Monroe County JaiL" '~Ylr. Ambrose rm very sorry about that and I'll take you off our call list." Click. We were dying. I think I'll try this next time I get a telemarketing call Rebekah Storey wins a '~Vlade Mary Persons Great Again" T-shirt for correctly answering the trivia question that the working public pay phone with the On the Porch column last week was at Jackson's Country Store on Hwy. 74. Burnett Hull also answered that there's a public pay phone at Twyla Faye's Cafe in Bolingbroke. And Jane Newton reports that Forsyth's train depot has a working pay phone and so does the KOA Kampground. So maybe pay phones in Monroe County are not as pass~ as we thought? So here's my question this week= Nolen Howard reminds us that it was 45 years ago this week that Forsyth was hit with a major snowstorm, as seen on the front of the 1973 Reporter. How much snow did we after 12 get? First correct answer at noon gets a T-shirt. tbz Mom~ Cowry www. is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President. Robert M. Williams Jr Vice President Cheryl S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer OUR STAFF Will Davis Trellis Grant Publisher/Editor Business Manager --Oum~ a Oi ewe News Editor Community Editor Advertising Manager Creative Director Official Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsy~h 50 N. Jackson St: Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER P.O. Box 795, Forsyth, GA 31029 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County:, $35 Out of County:. $48 Single Copy: $1 Deadlines noon on Friday p~r to issue. Comments featured on opinion pages are the creaUon of the writes, the do not necessarily reflect the opinions oflhe P, eportu management. Publication No. USPS 997-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield lever like to start an argument and mal substantial changes assuming bad intentions on to two elements of the adoption bill meone else's part. So I take itself. te senators at their word On Thursday, the House respond- en they say they'worry ed. The chamber tweaked the lan- allowing more adoptive parents to cover certain living expenses for birth mothers will drive up the cost of adoptions. I just think they're wrong. The bill that has loomed over this es- sion so far- and was destined to do so since legislators gaveled out and left town last year without resolving the issue -- re-emerged Thursday. rm about House Bill 159, which would update Georgia's adoption laws. Having taken the weekend to consider their position, sena- tors returned to the Gold Dome on Monday and appreved the bill, send- ing it to Gov. Nathan Deal, who says he l sign it. But it's worth recounting the history here since legislators are expected to continue studying the issue of living expenses for birth mothers. A brief recap since last March: The House was reyally ticked HB 159 didn't-make it across the finish line in the Senate last year. Speaker David Ralston insisted his chamber wouldn't be inclined to take up many other bills until senators rectified the situation. The Senate's idea of rectifi- cation was tacking on a separate bill GOv. Nathan Deal vetoed last spring, guage of the previously vetoed bill, which concerned temporary, private foster-care arrangements made via power of attorney, with Deal's blessing. And it basically " moved to the Senate's position on one other item, which concerns how long a birth mother has to change her mind after surrendering her parental rights to the child she's given up for adoption. That leaves the ques- tion of o i,W expenses such as rent, groceries or maternity clothes. Thafs already allowed for adbptions arranged by agencies, just not in so-called private adoptions handled by an attorney. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, said he's just trying to level the playing field between the two types of adoptions. This is important because agency adoptions are generally more expen- sive, often by tens of thousands of dollars. If a birth mother experiences complications during her pregnancy, such as needing bed rest that pre- vents her from working, adoptive parents working through an attor- ney have no choice today but to con- vert to a higher-cost agency adoption if they want to help. You would think, then, that allow- ing more parents to stick with the less expensive, private reute if pos- sible would help more people keep their adoption expenses down. But some state senators, led by David Shafer, R-Duluth, say the reverse is true. They argue that merely allowing for living expenses will create an expectation of such payments among all birth mothers, not just those who truly need them. And that, in turn, will make private adoptions more expensive. That would be more likely if there weren't a chock in place: In agency adoptions, any living expenses must be approved by a judge for both rationale and amount. HB 159 places the same safeguard on private adoptions. More to the point, allowing living expenses for some birth mothers in agency adoptions hasn't led to an expectation of payments by all of them. It's unclear why that would suddenly be the case for private adoptions, especially when the cost of adopting is the main obstacle for many couples and should keep downward press, ure on expenses. But back to intentions. Shafer tells a moving story about his own expe- rience, having been adopted when he was 11 days old. One may give him the benefit of the doubt that he genuinely cares about the welfare of s'm larly situated children. It's just hard to believe his fears will come true. Kyle Wingfield writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Monroe County Reporter and other newspapers. Reach him and read more at /KyleW ngfield. JUST THE WAY IT IS by Sloan Oliver America Great Again (MAGA) was Donald Trump's 2016 campaign slogan. his MAGA agenda took two giant leaps forward. The first leap was President Trumps State of the Union (SOTU) speech. The second leap was the release of a Republican memo that fully debunked the Trump- Russia collusion nat- ,:,: rative that the media and the Democrats (I repeat myseL0 have been peddling for over a year. TRUMP'S SOTU address was spectacu- lar. Newt Gingrich, historian and former Speaker of the House, called Trump's speech %isionary, optimistic, emotionally powerful, and inclusive." Gingrich likened the speech to those delivered by Ronald Reagan. Mr. Trump clearly articu- lated the country's achievements in the first year of his presidency. The achievements have been wide ranging from domestic to economic to international. The great news of Trump's first year includes an expanding and growing economy; increasing levels of employment due to job growth; increasing wages and salaries; historically low unemploy- ment among blacks and Hispanics; and increasing world-wide optimism as proven by advancing stock mar- kets around the globe. Markets move forward with stability; and America and the world recognize President Trumps policies for what they're accomplishing - establishing a climate of economic growth based on America's economic and political strength. THE FOREIGN policy aspect of President Trump's SOTU speech, and b is first year in office was in sharp contrast to Obama's. For eight years, Obama bragged how he was 'leading from behind." Pathetic and embarrassing because leaders lead from the front - not from behind. Observe the aggressive actions of Iran and North Korea, over the past few years, to confirm the failure of Obama's foreign policy, and how his foreign policy encouraged aggressors rather than deterred them. So, upon inauguration, Trump faced HUGE foreign policy challenges. Urilike Obama, Trump refuses to "kick the can" down the read. And unlike Europeans, who failed to confront Hitler in the 1930's, Trump clearly informed potential adversaries that he will confront them head on. Syria, Russia, Iran, ISIS, Cuba, and North Korea all know that the United States once again has a president who puts America first and will not allow them to intimidate or threaten their neighbors. Trumps foreign policy is exactly what our allies want from our president and from America. OLIVER AS INSPIRING as Trump's speech was, the Democrats opposed everything he said. Trump touted the record low black unemployment; he touted the 2.4 million jobs created in 2017; and he touted rising wages among all workers. All of this is great news for America. You would think that Democrats would celebrate those accom- plishments. They didn't. They sat absolutely "stone faced" and applauded absolutely nothing. Dems are furious that Trump's MAGA agenda is succeed- ing. Nothing highlighted their anger more than when President Trump praised the capitol building, calling it a "monument to the American people." Applause broke out as did shouts of' OSA, USA." That 'love of country" was more than Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) could handle. He bolted from his seat, seeking a "safe space" where only anti-American rhetoric from fellow Democrats would be heard. Sad. THEN, LAST Friday, the House InteMgence Committee released their highly anticipated memo. (Read the Memo: https'J/inteMgence. and white house letter.pd0 The Memo highlighted fa ,cts gathered durin the Committees 12-month investi- gation into possible Trump-Russia collusion in the last election. The Memo's biggest ' tke awa3P' was that the Trump-Russian collusion narra- tive was completely debunked. The Memo confirmed that there was no Trump campaign collusion. It didn't happen. If someone still thinks any Trump-Russian collusion occurred, they are intentionally misinformed. However, the most troubling finding of the Memo was that the FBI and DOJ abused their powers by politi- cally targeting those with whom they disagreed. Equally troubling is the complicity of the media with the abuses by federal agencies. PER memo, Carter Page, a former Trump campaign staffer, was the subject of four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillances beginning in October 2016. In order to obtain any war- rant, including a FISA warrant, factual evidence must be presented to a judge. The Steele dossier was the factual evidence presented to the FISA court to obtain the surveillance warrants against Page. SO, WHAT was the ' Steele dos- sieF and where did it originate? The dossier was funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC to dig up "dirt" on Donald Trump. The dossier was opposition research containing fraudulent information about Donald Trump. The dossier was compiled by Christopher Steele- a former British spy with ties to Russia. Proof of the dossier's fake information is that over the past 18 months nothing in it has been corroborated by any other sources, and that which can be preven false, has been proven false. The FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) knew that the dossier contained fraudulent information, and they knew that it was funded by Hillary. However, they presented it as factual to the FISAjudge to obtain the FISA surveillance war- rant against Page. That was illegal. SIMPLY PUT, several upper level directors of the FBI and DOJ want- ed Hillary to be elected president. Everyone thought she would but, just in case, they needed an. ' mur- ance policy" against Trump should he So, Hillary, the DNC, upper FBI, and upper Obama DOJ mem- bers concocted a plan; they came up with the Steele dossier as their insurance policy. The fraudulent dossier allowed the FISA surveil- lance. Then, the FISA surveillance became the basis for the Mueller special investigation into Russian collusion. The FBI and DOJ commit- ted a crime to obtain the warrants. This abuse is very frightening. Such abuse is a danger to our democracy. We have senior members of govern- ment who attempted a coup against a duly elated president. THERE WAS a time, not so long ago, when major media outlets such as NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, NPI the NY Times, and the Washington Post would have been "all ove ' every aspect of this corruption. Not now. The media is complicit. They did everything possible to insure that the Memo was never released. Now, the same media is doing everything possible to discredit the facts within. For a year, the media has knowingly overlooked and disregarded abuses by Democrats and federal agencies. Scary. WEEKLY Quote: ' Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." Justice Louis Brandeis Sloan Oliver is a retired Army offi- cer. He lives irr Bolingbroke with his wife Sandra. Email at sloanoliver@