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.
Kim Degonia has a pretty full plate as it is. She's a part-time magistrate judge for Newton County and a municipal judge in Porterdale. She and her husband have three boys, ages 5, 9 and 11, whom she calls "trouble," and she teaches yoga on the side "to preserve my sanity," she laughs.
Believe it or not, I have written a column for one year and this one marks the beginning of a second year. I have yet to understand why you find the trivia of my life interesting, but I am glad you enjoy it.
In my hometown, everyone is required to have a landline telephone so local officials can reach us with a reverse 911 call.
The age of the drones has arrived. It's not possible to uninvent these Orwellian devices, but we can - and must - restrain their use.
From Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, commercial aircraft were diverted from airspace over the southeastern U.S. when pilots reported hearing loud, persistent beeping in the area. Flights returned to normal once FAA investigators confirmed the beeps were coming from a backup alarm sounding as the State of Georgia shifted into reverse. However, they warn the noise may continue for at least a decade.
As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. It means the devil will have his way with you if you don't pay attention to the finer points in the big plans or schemes that you might devise. He's a crafty fellow and lies in wait in the most innocuous spots to trip you up.
Our fascination with the Olympics goes beyond the near-perfect performances of the athletes. It also includes their stories. We watch and experience the trials and triumphs of people who fail, who get up and who triumph once again. Possibly through watching how Olympians perform under pressure, we can learn how to perform under pressure, as well.
Two examples stand out in my mind from this week, in women's gymnastics and men's swimming.
Hard to believe, but it has been 16 years since the Olympic Games were held in our state. As I watch the festivities in London, I remembered the phone calls I had received over the past year from media members in Great Britain, asking me if I had any thoughts on what was going to happen when the Games began in London. Here is what I told them:
My sister and her daughter and granddaughter came to visit me last week. My niece is researching our family history and wanted to pick our brains and copy whatever pictures we had of our parents and grandparents.
I'm ready for the Olympic Games, ready to watch the best athletes in the world giving it all they have. I'm ready to be inspired.
After a long Republican presidential primary soap opera, continuing mediocre economic news, ongoing information on the Greek crisis, the current silliness of the presidential campaign quips of the day, and last week's tragedy in Aurora, Colo., Americans are in desperate need of inspiration.
This is a moment for all Americans to be proud of the single best thing George W. Bush did as president: launching
Consumer confidence fell to the lowest levels of 2012 this past week. Most Americans believe that both the economy and their own personal finances are getting worse. Just 25 percent believe the economy is getting better, and only 22 percent said the same about their personal finances.
Still, the lows of 2012 aren't nearly as bad as they were in the previous three years. But the trend is discouraging. It looks like yet another year starting with improved outlooks for the economy that fade by summer, and it's clearly taking a toll on the American people.
I fully understand why President Barack Obama, candidate Mitt Romney, Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid don't want to talk about gun control in the wake of the Aurora, Colo. shootings. I don't want to talk about it either.
Not because I don't think it needs to be discussed, but because we've become inept as a nation talking about anything that stirs emotions. Politicians are concerned with losing votes; I'm concerned about losing the goodwill of friends, neighbors and even family. I'm reluctant to throw more fuel on ...
I have just returned from a memorable trip to Valdosta. I went there to speak to the Rotary Club. The members laughed in all the right places, which not only was memorable, but downright remarkable. What made the trip even more special were two visits I made while there. I dropped by to see my beloved college professor Dr. Raymond Cook on his 93rd birthday. My detractors will find little comfort in this but I would not be where I am today had I not been assigned Dr. Cook's English Literature course in the spring term of my freshman ...
The bitterness evident in today's national politics is nothing new in the history of this country. It is tempting to say it's never been worse, but that's not true if you look back at the partisan rancor of early pamphleteers in the nascent days of this republic. Dueling opponents often picked up dueling pistols and had it out. Even Thomas Jefferson wasn't above it, this despite the fact that as the principal author of our Declaration of Independence, he chose succinct and timeless words that are beautiful to recall even today. In the pages of his ...