At the age of 91, Henry Kissinger has published yet another book - his 17th in 60 years, according to his biographer Walter Isaacson. In that sense, "World Order" is something of a miracle, but it is also a swell read. So, I initially thought, was a review of it in The New York Times by John Micklethwait, the editor-in-chief of the admirable Economist magazine - and I praised it to him in an email. A bit later, I did a double-take. I still like the book, but Micklethwait's review is a different matter.
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
At a July fundraising event in Chicago, Mrs. Michelle Obama remarked, "So, yeah, there's too much money in politics. There's (sic) special interests that have too much influence." Sen. John McCain has been complaining for years that "there is too much money washing around political campaigns today." According to a 2012 Reuters poll, "Seventy-five percent of Americans feel there is too much money in politics." Let's think about money in politics, but first a few facts.
President Obama's health care law is the gift that keeps on giving to the GOP.
According to a Gallup Poll released this week, "Americans' trust in the federal government to handle international problems has fallen to a record-low 43 percent, ... Separately, 40 percent of Americans say they have a 'great deal' or 'fair amount' of trust in the federal government to handle domestic problems, also the lowest Gallup has measured to date." (Poll conducted September 4-7, 2014, with 1,017 adults, 95 percent confidence level, +/- 4 points).
What is it that makes so many blacks so angry? What is it that makes so many of them blame the realities of life that beset everyone, e.g., debt, disappointment, etc., a result of their being black?
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could?" That could very well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of Northwest Georgia, not far from the Tennessee line.
"All politics is local," the late Speaker of the House Tip O' Neill famously said. How right he was. The world today is suffering from the failure of President Obama to apply a school of law enforcement that happened to originate in O'Neill's hometown, Boston, and goes by the moniker "broken windows." The problem, simply stated, is that Obama was deaf to the sound of tinkling glass.
The lovable legend of Robin Hood with his band of Merry Men making life difficult for the Sheriff of Nottingham offers a great way to understand the politics of 21st century America.
What a difference a year makes. Last September, the Obama administration and the media were cheering happenstance as victory. A quick review of last year's events: the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians, tough talk by President Barack Obama, an administration push for a congressional vote for use of force, Secretary of State John Kerry's off-the-cuff remark regarding Syria giving up chemical weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin leveraging the remark into action, the Obama administration claiming a great solution.
A recent column on Vox.com may have inadvertently highlighted the gap between the nation's political elites and the rest of the nation. Vox is an "explanatory journalism" site founded by former Washington Post columnist and blogger Ezra Klein.
Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, "September Song," was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called "Knickerbocker Holiday. The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia - "For it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September."
America rarely does time capsules anymore, but the ones it does should include videos from February 2011 of American TV reporters exulting in the triumph of the Arab Spring. "This is the sound of a people rising," ABC's Terry Moran told us from Cairo. For Egyptians, it was a day "when a people rose and made themselves a new country, a new world, a new life."
Though racial discrimination exists, it is nowhere near the barrier it once was. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by racial discrimination? This is an important question because if we conclude that racial discrimination is the major cause of black problems when it isn't, then effective solutions will be elusive forever. To begin to get a handle on the answer, let's pull up a few historical facts about black Americans.
As the character Cecily said to Miss Fairfax in a play written by Oscar Wilde entitled "The Importance of being Earnest": "When I see a spade I call it a spade."
Everyone seems comfortable with the relationship between lawmakers and lizard-loafered lobbyists except We the Unwashed. But, then, what do we know? Rep. Don Parsons, R-Cobb County, a seven-term member of the House, views the fuss over trying to curb unlimited lobbying expenditures as "silly." Parsons has some serious competition in the Republican primary. I would have suggested he employ a more appropriate term. Most of us don't find this matter to be silly.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision that President Obama's health care law is constitutional keeps it alive for now.
But it's important to remember that the law has already lost in the court of public opinion. The Supreme Court ruling is a temporary reprieve more than anything else.
The political impact of Thursday's stunning Supreme Court decision on health care reform is clear - good for President Obama and the Democrats, bad for Mitt Romney and the Republicans - but fleeting, and thus secondary. Much more important is what the ruling means in the long term for the physical and moral health of the nation.
We declared our independence from Great Britain 236 years ago next week. It was a declaration long in coming, brought about by the overreaching rule of King George III and Britain's insistence on taxation without representation.
If you've spent many summers in the southern U.S., chances are you've seen them. I'm referring to those huge, wasp-like insects that show up this time of year. They have colors, markings and a body shape kind of like a hornet, only closer in size to a 747 than a Cessna.
I read several news reports recently about a study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and the Imperial College in London that said while women are still expected to live longer than men, the gap is closing. The study concludes that life expectancy for women in Georgia increased by a little less than three years while men increased more than five-and-a-half years.
At some point some ancestor of my husband installed bathrooms in my house. If that ancestor inspected the back bathroom today, he would not find much different.
Much like Mark Twain, reports of the death of friendship in our society are greatly exaggerated. It's fashionable to lament the demise of real relationships and paint the age of social networking as a sad and lonely time. Well, my personal journey these past two weeks, dealing with the death of my father, has taught me many things. And, chief among them is that friendship, caring, and compassion are alive and well in our time.
John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, crossed the ocean from England to New England aboard the Arabella in early 1630. While aboard, he penned a directive that he read to those traveling with him either while they were still on board the ship or shortly after they had disembarked that June in Salem. Most of them were Puritans, who were leaving England for religious freedom as well as to start afresh in a New World, as directed by God.
In 2006, when George W. Bush was president, federal law enforcement officials came up with a spectacularly dumb idea: Allow powerful firearms purchased in the United States to "walk" across the Mexico border, where authorities would trace the weapons and eventually nab the big-time criminals who supply guns to the ultra-violent Mexican drug cartels.
Every summer, millions of Americans enjoy baseball, summer camps and vacation plans. But for the nation's political junkies, every fourth summer is filled with guessing games about the vice presidential nomination.
It's hard enough having one columnist in the house, but imagine the situation over here in McCoy-land. I'm in my fourth year with my humor column - Pecan Pie for the Mind - and my wife - Jan McCoy - is on her second year with her religion column. Our kids duck and cover when they see us, for fear of becoming next week's humorous anecdote or sermon topic. And consider the residents of Covington, where both our columns run in The Covington News. Imagine the trauma that ensues when some devout little lady is looking for "that sweet McCoy's ...
On the night of December 15, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed by an untraceable assault weapon that was deliberately handed to Mexican drug lords by U.S. officials through Operation Fast and Furious. Ever since, the Terry family and Americans across the nation have asked how this could have happened.
And ever since, Attorney General Eric Holder has stonewalled Congress in its attempts to find these answers. Yesterday, President Obama joined this stonewalling effort, asserting executive privilege over many of the documents about the operation that Congress had subpoenaed but still had not ...
My husband may laugh at what I'm about to say, but I'm going to say it anyway. It's my column. He somewhat regularly observes frantic behavior on my part, but at my core, I can say with some confidence that I am a calm person with a solid spiritual foundation. I know what's important and what's not. I try to practice love and forgiveness, understanding that one must "practice" everyday. Despite my efforts at regular practice - oh, some people and situations do try me - I'll never be perfect and not even when I reach ...
As I write my columns, I often wonder if any of my students are reading them and making mental corrections. I hope there is nothing that needs correcting, but if there is, I hope they find the problems.