Here's how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: "Anyone who believes President Bush's Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it's overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people." More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.
My mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer in the mid-1970s, when I was in grammar school. Her goal, at that time, was to stay alive to see my older sister Kathy and me graduate from high school. She neither dwelled on the disease, nor on why she was stricken with it, but instead focused on getting rid of the cancer and living for her two daughters.
Ben Bradlee would not have liked me to say so, but he was the living refutation of the Declaration of Independence: All men are not created equal. Certainly, he was not. He was born rich and well-connected, a member of the WASP tribe that once ran much of America and nearly all of its prestigious institutions. He was compellingly handsome and so smart that no crossword puzzle could really challenge him. It's not that he didn't have a weakness. He did. He was a sucker for the underdog.
So as to give some perspective, I'm going to ask readers for their guesses about human behavior before explaining my embarrassment by some of my fellow economists.
Last week Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.
To understand the lack of enthusiasm most Americans feel about the midterm elections, it's important to recognize a vital distinction between government and community.
While new and novel might be exciting, routine and habit can help create a structure and framework for success. From eating breakfast, brushing our teeth or exercising every day, much of our lives are driven by routine. This reliance on routine behavior can startle us when we are driving and find ourselves not at our planned destination, but at our routine destination.
Tell me something: What do you think would happen if the United States concludes that Iran has been cheating and delaying and is about to pop a fully functional nuclear weapons program? Would President Obama respond by joining Israel to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities to smithereens - or would he stall and equivocate? My bet is the latter and so, just to double down, is what I bet the Iranians are betting. They have taken the measure of Obama. He lacks menace.
The Food and Drug Administration can make two types of errors. It can approve a drug that has dangerous unanticipated side effects, or it can reject or delay approval of a drug that is safe and effective. Let's look at these errors, because to err on the side of under- or over-caution is costly.
It's a little thing, but it bugs me a lot.
If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.
Ever since the 1976 election, I've understood the importance of voter turnout. My father was running for United States Congress in rural Georgia, having lost in 1974. He realized in early 1976 that running as a republican in Georgia, while Jimmy Carter was topping the democratic ticket, was going to be a hard feat to pull off, but confident of his ability to work hard, he trudged forward.
This past summer I travelled back home to attend the 50th year reunion of the class of 1964 of St Mary's High in Annapolis Maryland.
In 1913, an entrepreneur "said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years." For that accurate assessment of reality, he was prosecuted for stock fraud. A U.S. District Attorney claimed that, "based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public ... has been persuaded to buy stock in his company."
The director of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, was questioned this past Tuesday by members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding lapses in Secret Service Performance. The hearing focused primarily on an incident that took place on September 19. Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, allegedly jumped the White House fence, ran across the White House lawn, ran up a flight of stairs and through the North Portico door. He then allegedly entered the entrance hall, turned left and headed into the East Room, where he was tackled and subdued. A knife was allegedly found in his possession.
As we celebrate this Fourth of July and the brash announcement to the world of a Declaration of Independence by a ragtag colony in a frontier continent, how can an American today separate this singularly unique occasion of history and heritage from the obligation as a citizen to select the representatives of the people who are sworn to carry out their will?
As we celebrate this Fourth of July and the brash announcement to the world of a Declaration of Independence by a ragtag colony in a frontier continent, How can an American today separate this singularly unique occasion of history and heritage from the obligation as a citizen to select the representatives of the people who are sworn to carry out their will.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts has garnered more than his share of attention recently as the court handed down decisions in high profile cases. Only last week, he cast the deciding vote and wrote the majority opinion finding that President Obama's healthcare reform act was not unconstitutional with its mandate for individual health insurance policies. History was made when the measure passed the Congress, and was made all over again with that decision.
It would be stretching things to say that Covington has a serious tie to the history of the U.S. Supreme Court, but even ...
I was in Athens on Sunday, dining at one of my favorite places and mulling over a cup of coffee and my little slice of life, when I saw something that intrigued me. I watched my waitress stand on a stool and erase a big chalkboard they use for a menu. As she wrote up the new entree item - a tasty sounding omelette - I thought: "I wonder if she ever imagined she'd have a job that required her to erase a chalkboard?" We all erased chalkboards in school, but who knew it could be a good career move?
I was contemplating beginning my spring cleaning, even though the first day of summer has come and gone. I kept trying to remember a poem about a housewife who spent all her life cleaning dirt from her home and then was rewarded by being buried in dirt. Wonderful irony.
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.