Enthusiastic, entertaining, energized and eminent, President Obama's demeanor and delivery at the State of the Union belied his political reality. Unbowed, unbroken and possibly unaffected by the recent midterm Republican wave, Obama displayed his great skill by delivering an emotional teleprompter-driven speech that was a throwback to his first election. Varying tempo, pitch, passion and inflection, his speech was more a theatrical performance than a delivery of a prewritten, pre-released text.
Our 18-year-old granddaughter is living with us again as she goes to school, and I love having her. It reminds me of the time she was a baby living with us, and she was the love of my life - besides Molly, of course - and I took her everywhere. I packed her on my back as I covered meetings, we visited Disneyland every week, I decked her out in Disney clothes, we rode every mall merry-go-round in Southern California, we watched some of the most God-awful movies together - the adventures of Lava Boy being the worst - we enjoyed our evening walks ...
My first week of legislative "work" is complete, and it has been a whirlwind. It is hard to imagine how any person can meet so many people and deal with so many issues so quickly. Luckily, I have a very good mentor in former Representative Doug Holt who is helping me wade through the distractions.
Last week's column focused on the ways liberals use blacks in pursuit of their leftist agenda, plus their demeaning attitudes toward black people. Most demeaning are their double standards. It was recently reported that Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House majority whip, spoke at a 2002 gathering hosted by white supremacist leaders when he was a Louisiana state representative. Some are calling on Scalise to step down or for House Speaker John Boehner to fire him. There's no claim that Scalise made racist statements.
As members of the 114th Congress were sworn into office on Tuesday, their party affiliations described what happened last November: 246 of the 435 representatives and 54 of the 100 senators are Republican.
As we enter 2015, the politics of the president's health care law are little changed from last year or the year before, or any year since it was passed. The details change with the calendar, but year after year, the law remains a major drag on President Obama's popularity and legacy.
New Year's is the almost-perfect holiday (Christmas takes the blue ribbon). It's a combination of reflecting, celebrating or possibly just being glad of getting rid of the old year - while at the same time looking forward to the potential and possibilities of the year to come. It's the bridge between the past and present, where what has been done is over - but the future still looks bright, if a bit hazy.
I had just returned from the local toxic waste site where I had disposed of my holiday fruit cakes and was busy cramming my Christmas tree down the garbage disposal (don't ask), when I heard a knock at the door. I figured it was the Environmental Protection Agency coming to talk to me about polluting the toxic waste site with fruit cakes.
The rain this past week certainly has been a blessing as a good rain always is, but for newspaper people in circulation, inclement weather has always been one big pain in the rear.
Almost four decades ago, when I was in Mrs. Carmichael's Sunday School class, I memorized Luke Chapter 2, (the King James version of course). It took hours of practice and study, but the words still come when prompted by the line before.
Maybe it's the fact that I have more days in the rearview mirror than I have ahead of me, but at this special time of year I am more aware than ever of the gift of friendships. Friendships are always the correct size, the right color and don't require a set of instructions on how to operate them. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Intelligence school in Denver, CO was thought-provoking, complicated, and opened enigmatic doors I never thought existed. We mastered the art of dissemination; gained knowledge of codes; planned and plotted and analyzed envisioned missions; studied Soviet military equipment to master photographic interpretation; and were privy to a few top secret particulars that are now prehistoric. As Sun Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago in his military masterpiece The Art of War, "Know your enemy better than you know yourself."
This is my second Christmas season without my mother, and so far it's been harder than the first. I had known that the first year would be hard, and all I really cared about was surviving it. Activity was my friend: My sister Kathy and I spent the fall wrapping up her estate, selling her house, and sharing her prized possessions with family and friends. We talked every day. Much of our connection was activity-based: Was her account closed? Were the papers signed? It was hard, but I had known that it was going to be hard -- so I ...
Japan is working hard at forgetting. Its prime minister, Shinzo Abe, suggests in code-talk that Japan was the victim of World War II - no war criminals at all, thank you - and its influential conservative press, with a wink from the government, is determined to whitewash the country's use of sex slaves during the war. This sort of thing can be catching. Maybe others will forget why they consider Japan a friend.
You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.
Back in 1980, an Israeli diplomat met with Ronald Reagan as he was running for president. Reagan was furious over the hostages being held in the American embassy in Iran and told the diplomat he could not understand why the U.S. didn't do what Israel would have done: land troops on the embassy roof and take the Americans out. The dismayed diplomat nodded disingenuously. Yes, that's exactly what Israel would do.
Rap! Rap! Rap!
As I get older unfortunately death rears its ugly head more than I would like to see.
Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera accused Matt Drudge's website of "the worst kind of jingoistic rhetoric ever" for carrying news stories about the dangers of illegal immigration. He said Drudge "is doing his best to stir up a civil war. I mean, shame on Matt Drudge." Republican Rep. Todd Rokita and his Indiana delegation have been criticized for suggesting the possibility that Latin American children pouring across our southern border are carrying deadly diseases. Some of them have already been discovered to be carrying lice and suffering from disease. We've yet to find out what kind of communicable ...
Maybe it's the fact that both my parents were teachers when I was growing up, or that I was a studious, serious child, but I've always loved going back to school in the fall.
Two "leading national security organizations" - that's their own designation, in case you're wondering - have condemned President Obama's "return to the battlefield in Iraq." Their names are a mouthful - the Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation - but their statement is worth reading, not for what it says but for what it doesn't. It offers no hint of how anything other than military intervention was going to save those poor people stuck on a mountain in Iraqi Kurdistan, some of them dying of dehydration, some of them already dead and the ...
I just learned of a book called, "Say Goodbye to your Southern Accent." Gosh dang. What is wrong with a Southern accent?
Stories are the soul of human memory. Ancient people listened to lengthy narratives about the legendary exploits of heroes like Beowulf. When literacy came, the stories were written down on animal hides and papyrus plants. Sometimes, they were carved into brick and bronze memorials.
The beginning of school is just around the corner. William Jennings Bryan may not have been able to keep the "monkeys" out of public schools, but Edmund Schemmp (from Abington) and Madalyn Murray O'Hair were successful in getting God out, and the ACLU has been successful in keeping him out.
The tech industry will have a more lasting impact on America's future than Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama combined.
About the time of the Mansfield public hearing the chairman came by to see me. He had heard the strong concerns expressed by the public regarding the 2050 Plan Baseline Ordinance, and I think sincerely realized that those concerns had to be addressed. His idea at the time was to pick a small group of people who would represent the position of the landowners in eastern Newton County and a group who were in favor of the plan, lock them in a room and let them come up with a compromise position which preserve the basics of the plan while ...
August has been a challenging month for my family the last few years. Two years ago, while my children, Maggie and Robert, and I were visiting my sister, Kathy, and her husband, Paul, in Key Biscayne, Florida, our mother ended up in the hospital in critical condition. While she recovered temporarily, she ultimately suffered a stroke right when school started in the fall of 2012.
Richard Nixon is not having an easy time of late. The Washington Post alone has run at least three opinion pieces reminding us all that Nixon was a skunk who 40 years ago this month resigned the presidency and flew off to a short-lived exile in California. There the story of Nixon's nefariousness supposedly ends. But it does not. He remains to this day a major political figure.
Dear Georgia Public School Teachers: