Friday Facts: May 24, 2024

On the last Monday of May, America falls silent for Memorial Day. 

Gone are the usual barbecues, replaced by a sea of flags at cemeteries, each a silent tribute to a fallen hero. Families gather, sharing memories and laying wreaths to honor their loved ones. Parades weave through towns, a display of respect for veterans and a reminder of the sacrifices made that unite us, despite any political differences.

Memorial Day ceremonies take center stage, filled with heartfelt speeches, solemn prayers and moments of quiet reflection. The haunting call of Taps pierces the stillness, a final farewell to those who gave their all. Beyond these formal tributes, the spirit of the day resonates in everyday acts. Red poppies, a symbol of remembrance, bloom, and the American flag flies at half-staff, a visible sign of mourning.

This day isn’t just about remembering; it’s about carrying forward the legacy of these brave men and women. We reflect on the cost of freedom and the debt owed to its defenders. It’s a call to embody their courage, unwavering service and love for the nation they protected. Memorial Day ensures their sacrifice is forever etched in our memory, a constant reminder of the values they fought for.

As we honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, I hope you will check out this week’s commentary that I originally wrote in 2010 about a visit to the U.S. military cemetery at Henri-Chapelle in Belgium, along with the latest news and analysis from the past week.

– Kyle Wingfield

Friday’s Freshest

How does government policy increase the cost of housing?

If you’ve been following the housing market, you’ve certainly noticed a recent surge in prices. Or a continued surge. Much of this increase is not due to market forces, but rather dictated by a complex system of regulatory factors that increase costs. It is just another instance of government over-governing. We break down the various fees and regulations that add more than 25% to the cost of a new home. 

America needs a sane regulatory environment

Nuclear Unit 4 at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle entered commercial operation at the end of April. It was a huge, important milestone for the people and businesses of our state, but considering new EPA rules, it may be decades before we see any new nuclear reactors constructed. 

A ritzy Mercedes, a busted mayor, and the worst Chief Financial Officer you ever saw made April a month for waste, fraud and abuse

Pineview Mayor Brandon Holt was removed from office last month after officials indicted him for allegedly stealing taxpayer money from the city. As reported by WSB Radio, authorities arrested Holt in January and charged him with 75 counts of theft by taking. That story, and more, is in our monthly waste, fraud and abuse recap. 

A day of reckoning for higher education?

Many regular Americans are paying tens of thousands of dollars per year to send their children to college campuses, only to watch as they are either obstructed from attending class or, worse, are radicalized themselves. Mountains of student debt – and the taxpayer-funded forgiveness of said debt – did not produce sufficient will to reform today’s radical campuses. But their moral inversion just might do it.

Georgia brewers say they’d have more success…in North Carolina

Georgia has slightly more than 11 million residents and, according to Georgia Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Joseph Cortes, about 170 breweries. North Carolina has slightly fewer residents, 10.8 million, but has more than twice as many breweries, around 420. So why does North Carolina have so many more breweries?

The Latest


Port of Brunswick sets record for auto volumes

The Port of Brunswick handled a record 80,600 units of Roll-on/Roll-off cargo last month, an increase of more than 44% over April of last year, the Georgia Ports Authority reported. While diversions from the Port of Baltimore after a cargo ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge drove some of the growth at Brunswick, several other factors were involved.

Economists offer grim prediction on inflation this year

Inflation is likely to stick around at higher-than-desired levels for the rest of the year, according to a new survey by America’s top economists. The National Association of Business Economics’ May survey now pegs inflation to stall at 2.6%.While down from April’s consumer price index reading of 3.4%, it remains above the Fed’s preferred 2% target, a level expected to green-light interest rate cuts. 

Government accountability

Northeast Gwinnett voters approve Mulberry cityhood

It’s official. There are now 17 cities in Gwinnett County. Voters in northeast Gwinnett said “Yes” to a proposal to create the city of Mulberry on Tuesday. Cityhood was approved by a margin of 57% to 43% on Tuesday, according to unofficial results. With all six affected precincts reporting, there were 4,549 votes cast in favor of incorporating the proposed city while there were 3,437 votes cast against it.

Georgia committee poised to deliver Fulton Jail recommendations

As Fulton County officials reportedly consider a sales tax to fund a $1.7 billion Fulton County Jail replacement, the Georgia Senate Public Safety Subcommittee on Fulton County Jail is preparing to file a report with recommendations that could guide legislative action when lawmakers return to Atlanta next year.


Proposed subdivision would add more than 28,000 daily traffic trips in Pembroke

A hotel, a drive-in bank, fast food joints and a whopping 2,000 homes are part of a massive, proposed development that could one day become reality in the historic railroad town of Pembroke in Bryan County. Located on Highway 67 and Sims Road, the Warnell Tract would see 2,000 homes in a mix of single-family detached houses, townhomes and apartments.

Flirting with the last ‘no’ in housing

Since the Great Recession, fewer smaller homes have been built, and the inability of cities across America to permit other forms of housing has been laid bare. To truly solve America’s housing crisis, we need to build more abundant and affordable homes—and right now, despite pleas from many to “get Wall Street out of housing,” private equity firms are in the best position to do that.


MARTA opens updated Airport Station, advances $1B rehabilitation initiative

MARTA re-opened its Airport Station on Monday following a six-week closure as part of a multi-million-dollar station update. The $55 million upgrade to the station connected to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is part of a systemwide, roughly $1 billion multi-year Station Rehabilitation Program initiative to overhaul all 38 stations.

Georgia to receive millions for airport upgrades

Georgia is poised to receive $120 million for airport infrastructure upgrades across the state as part of the fiscal 2024 Airport Infrastructure Grant program, a federal lawmaker from Georgia said. Under the grants, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will receive more than $88.8 million. The feds are sending the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport more than $5.9 million and Augusta Regional Airport more than $2.6 million.


White House released 1M barrels of gasoline, attempting to bring prices down

The White House is announcing the release of over 1 million barrels of gasoline from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve in an attempt to lower prices, as inflation weighs on voters ahead of the November election. President Biden’s administration said it was conscious of average Americans’ struggles with food costs, especially ahead of vacation season.

TV networks embrace their aging audience with a new mantra

When executives at Warner Bros. Discovery took the stage at Madison Square Garden last week to give their annual pitch to advertisers, they boasted about who watches their cable TV channels. With many viewers in their 60s, networks aren’t pretending to have youth appeal. Instead, they’re touting the virtues of older audiences.

Cicada noise can ‘overwhelm’ people with sensory issues. When will they leave Georgia?

Billions of cicadas left their underground homes to surface and fly across the southern U.S. last month. The periodical brood XIX emerges every 13 to 17 years, but this particular brood or species of cicadas hasn’t been seen together since 1803. While it is an “extremely rare, once-in-a-lifetime event,” many are wondering when the little bugs will be on their way out. Unfortunately, it may be a while.

Quotes of the Week

“Duty, honor, country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” – Gen. Douglas MacArthur

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” – Lee Greenwood

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