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.
Do you collect things? For reasons known only to God and Alan Greenspan, we humans are the only species that collects things just for fun. Penguins don't knowingly collect sports memorabilia; turtles don't collect stamps; and I've yet to meet a dog who owned any artwork - not even an acrylic-on-velvet painting of a fire hydrant. Animals collect berries, nuts, twigs and other practical things, and except for the pack rat, random collecting is a human act, passion and obsession. I'm an admitted collector. I collect teapots, guitar amplifiers and English grammar books, but, I'm not ...
Once upon a time there was a silver-tongued president. His foreign policy must have been seen by enemies of the United States as weak and feckless, because these enemies became emboldened. Mideast terrorists staged a brutal, bloody attack in which innocent Americans were killed. The president's response could be seen as a display of shameful weakness rather than steely resolve.
A U.S. ambassador is the legal representative of the President of the United States to that foreign country and the land on which the U.S. Embassy resides is considered U.S. territory. The murder of U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and an armed attack on a U.S. Embassy are both unequivocal acts of war. I am bewildered and upset by the response from the President and the State Department. The president delivered a weak response with a reference to U.S. respect for other religious beliefs without taking a strong position of power to provide ...
A small drinking glass sits on a smooth, damp rock, filled to the midpoint with water. With a friend, you examine the glass and debate: is it half empty or half full?
Last week a friend and I were in Athens on business and decided to stay for dinner. We invited her nephew and friends to join us. We had no expectations other than a few students enjoying a free meal. We were impressed with a diverse group of young adults providing us with interesting conversation that turned into a delightful evening.
May the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate father and God of all comfort. He's the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble.
Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, majority whip of the Georgia House of Representatives asked me if I would talk to the proponents of the upcoming constitutional amendment on charter schools and get their side of the story. This was after Mr. Lindsey and I had publicly crossed swords over the issue.
When my sister and I travel, we go on our own in the U.S., but overseas, we like someone to meet us at the airport and give us a short half-day tour and then leave us alone to do our own thing.
I'm just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.
Judging by the party conventions, you'd wonder why this election is even close.
The question this fall is clear: Do we want a president who cares for others but is not competent or a president who might care, if he could just show it, but has proved his competence?
Mercifully, the political conventions have ended.
This year, as we know, is defined by the presidential campaign: the nomination battles of the Republican party; the relentless attack ads in which both sides writhe in the mud and facts are road kill; memory and attention spans are three beats long; the blustery political conventions; the carefully staged speeches; and finally the face-off on November 6th, after which pundits of both stripes predict the end of the world as we know it if their candidate loses. Not a few Republicans believe Obama, if re-elected, is going to turn this sovereign nation over to the control of the United ...
I got called a "liberal" the other day by a reader in Cherokee County who doesn't think much of my opinions and suggested "Someone should retire his word processor." My word processor Barney, was elated at the thought. Barney hates this job. When I brought Barney home, it was with the promise that he and I would create poetry. I was afraid to tell him the truth about writing snarky columns because I figured he might rip out his hard drive and die in a high-tech version of Hari-Kari. Instead, Barney shows his displeasure by going on strike about ...
I had a perfectly wonderful Labor Day. In fact, I told my husband's brother and his son as they were leaving that I believed Labor Day might be my favorite holiday.
We went to what I call my husband's cabin. It is a small place off the beaten path and on a pond. My husband loves it there. It's peaceful and quiet. All my children and grandchildren were there, and I got to enjoy being with just my family without the other distractions that often go with other holidays.