Entries by Tom Baxter

From tariffs to school lunches, Perdue toes to the Trump line as farmers' worries grow


Agriculture secretaries just don’t get the attention they deserve. A recent cover of the magazine caricatured Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Bob Barr shining the president’s shoes. No member of the Trump team has shined those shoes more enthusiastically, however, than the former Georgia governor, nor under tougher circumstances.

Stalled disaster relief bill a portent of how climate change becomes political


When you look at it short range, the failure to pass the disaster relief bill South Georgia farmers have been told was on the way is just another maddening example of Congress’s inability to do anything useful anymore. Looked at from a larger perspective, it is uncomfortably consistent with the direction the country is taking on climate change.

Scandal stalks organizations revered by the left and the right


What do the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Rifle Association have in common? More, it turns out, than these groups’ leaders and supporters would care to admit. In recent months, scandal has threatened the survival of both organizations, and in both, women with deep Atlanta connections have been thrust unexpectedly into key leadership roles.

Abrams gets a gentle reminder the buzz can't last forever


As she ponders which of a buffet line of races to jump into next, Abrams has been making the national media circuit, the hottest name on the bill at progressive conferences and a guest on talks shows, morning and night. Events promoting the reissue of her book, “Lead From the Outside,” are sold out around the country. It’d be nice if it could last forever, but sooner or later the current Democratic star has to make up her mind.

Officially or not, MARTA and Gwinnett have a long history


When I worked as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal back the mid-‘70s, I would rise before dawn to catch a MARTA bus at the corner of North Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard, along with a crowd of commuters who drove every day from Lilburn and Lawrenceville, parked in the North DeKalb Mall lot and made the second leg of their commute by public transit. I recall those days to make the point that however the referendum turns out March 19, commuters from Gwinnett County have been riding MARTA for a long time, and over the years, forking over a share of the sales taxes that support it at Atlanta lunch counters and stores.

When no one agrees what "winning" is, victory becomes a matter of opinion


We live in an age when people want to play the same old games, but they can’t agree on the same set of rules. It’s a world where blurred boundaries and shifting alliances make it hard to tell at times who’s won or lost, instead producing dual, asymmetrical victors. Pepsi and Coke, Brian and Stacey, Donald and Nancy, Maroon 5 and Big Boi, AOL and Mitch: winners all, depending who you ask.

Blown calls and botched announcements reflect an age of uncertainty


Over little more than two years, the wrong contestant has been announced as the winner of the Miss Universe Pageant, the Oscar for best picture has been awarded to the wrong movie, and a missed call so egregious it has prompted a lawsuit has played a key role in deciding who’s in Atlanta for the Super Bowl this week. Things like this just didn’t happen back in the good old days, but that isn’t because there haven’t always been foul-ups of similar magnitude.