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Georgia editorial roundup

August 8, 2018

Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

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Aug. 2

The Savannah Morning News says Georgians are counting on former Governor Sonny Perdue to manage farm-related tariffs:

Sonny Perdue knows agriculture, understands the machinations of global trade and possesses political savvy.

Georgia’s former governor will need to draw on his lifetime of experience in all those areas to manage what promises to be one of the most turbulent times for American farmers since the Dust Bowl days.

Perdue now works as President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture. Recently, he outlined the administration’s plan to protect our crop growers and livestock raisers from retaliatory tariffs imposed by China. The approach involves cash subsidies, a surplus purchase pledge, and assistance in developing new markets. The federal government is committing as much as $12 billion to the effort.

Since then, the president has ordered his trade representatives to explore increasing tariffs on Chinese goods. If the bump from 10 to 25 percent is enacted, the Chinese will no doubt counter tit for tat, changing the math.

And leave the farmers of Perdue’s home state — and all Georgia citizens — praying for political rain.

...The state’s farmers are among the nation’s top producers of broiler chickens, eggs, blueberries, peanuts, pecans, cotton and peaches. The state’s soil is also fertile ground to grow corn, sorghum, soybeans and onions, among other crops.

To this point, the Chinese have pledged tariffs on fruit, nuts, cotton, corn sorghum and soybeans. Again, that’s the list to this point.

...

China buys more Georgia cotton than any other nation, and approximately half of Georgia-grown pecans go to China, making up 50 to 70 percent of the Asian nation’s purchases.

The harvest for both crops is still months away, but the situation has the state’s agriculture leaders ill at ease. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black applauded the planned aid package, although he qualified his praise by calling subsidies a “good short-term solution.” And the head of the Georgia Cotton Commission acknowledged the uncertainty put his industry in “a state of flux.”

Several pecan growers, meanwhile, have echoed the sentiments of Congressman David Scott, a Democrat from Middle Georgia, who said, “What farmers and I want is an open market” and not “a government check.”

Perdue is busy minding those details, even as they evolve with each passing tweet. He has promised to provide “all necessary information” regarding farm aid to affected producers by Labor Day — a month from today.

Patience is as much a part of farming as early mornings and dirty fingernails. Still, this wait is as maddening as the one for the cows to come home.

Georgia’s farmers should take solace in Perdue’s presence at Trump’s cabinet table.

Perdue grew up on a farm. He studied agriculture and veterinary science at the University of Georgia. (...)

As Georgia’s governor, he led several international trade missions, including two to China. He courted Kia, an Asian automaker, to build a factory in West Georgia. When the state’s term limit law ended his governorship, Perdue became a managing partner is an agribusiness and founded an economic firm specializing in the global commodities trade.

He has the background and the experience to steer the farm tractor through a trade war.

But does he — or anyone — have the ability to influence the president when it comes to tariffs remains in question.

Congress seems unwilling to challenge Trump on trade policy even as the legislative branch has the power to limit the president’s ability to unilaterally impose tariffs.

...

The farmers, along with the taxpayers funding the agriculture subsidies, have little choice at this point. We will trust Perdue to be a good advocate.

Online: http://www.savannahnow.com/

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Aug. 2

Dalton Daily Citizen advocates for focusing on the issues and not the insults as Election Day approaches:

The political advertisements this summer have been nearly inescapable.

Whether bombarded on television, radio, by mail, online or through social media, we’ve been subjected to seemingly never-ending rancor from people seeking office.

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While some of those races were essentially decided during the primaries, we will still be subjected to a volley of verbal insults accusing candidates of being “shady,” ″crooked” or a “liar” until our general election on Nov. 6.

We are quite aware that politics is a dirty game. Attack ads aren’t new. We don’t think most candidates will abandon negative ads after a eureka moment.

So as the campaign season heats up (again), we urge you to rise above the negativity. Stay on the issues. Ignoring the personal attacks while focusing on what each candidate seeks to accomplish will be paramount. Especially as we select the next governor of Georgia.

We expect the race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp to be heated. With Abrams seeking to become the first black woman elected governor in the U.S., race will unfortunately be brought into the governor’s race.

Supporters of each candidate will trade barbs online and in person. There will be a slew of negative ads. While those barbs may sting, they do little to advance us as a state.

Issues facing the state abound — gun rights, health care, illegal immigration, job creation, Medicaid expansion, the ongoing water wars, social issues, unemployment, etc. We must focus on what each candidate believes he or she can accomplish while in office for the next four years.

We certainly believe the character of a candidate must be scrutinized. There are more productive ways to do so than branding someone a socialist or a redneck, a liar or a crook. Vet the candidates in a fair, even-keeled manner.

Abrams thinks she is the best option to lead Georgia. Kemp thinks he is the best option to lead Georgia.

Let’s listen to what they say — and ignore the negative noise around them.

Online: http://www.dailycitizen.news/

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Aug. 6

Lagrange Daily News on commuting while school buses are on roadways:

(...) We thought it would be a good idea to remind everyone of driving alongside school bus safety tips as we all get back into the swing of the school year.

According to the National Safety Council’s website, drivers need to slow down and pay attention when children are present. Students can be unpredictable and take risks.

According to Stanford Children’s Health, 19 fatalities occur every year when getting on and off the bus and most of those children are 5 to 7-years-old.

Follow school buses at a greater distance than you would allow a car since it will give you more time to stop when it slows. The areas 10 feet in front, behind and beside the bus are considered a danger zone, according to Stanford Children’s Health.

Additionally, always watch for children playing or waiting near bus stops. When a bus is stopped and loading, be alert for children who are hurrying to make it and may not be checking traffic, according to Stanford Children’s Health.

Always stop when the bus stops. It is illegal to pass a bus that is stopped to load or unload students.

It can be frustrating to constantly stop, but you should always take extra caution when children’s safety is at stake. If you are worried about getting to work on time with the added traffic, leave home a few minutes early before the buses pick up at their stops.

With a little caution and awareness, you can prevent major accidents.

Online: https://www.lagrangenews.com/

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