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.
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.
I received a press release last week from the Secular Coalition for America, a group of "atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers and other nontheistic Americans" announcing plans to establish a chapter in Georgia to lobby state lawmakers.
Among the things they don't like in our state are the annual Clergy Day at the state capitol and a law that "requires" that "In God We Trust" be printed on license plates. They need to do their homework on this one. There is no law that requires "In God We Trust." That is an option available to anyone who wishes to have ...
Just in case you missed this, there is a move afoot - there is actually legislation being introduced in Congress - to make the American Bison the official national mammal of the United States.
The main problem about naming the bison as the official mammal is that the next thing would probably be someone wanting an official reptile. I don't know what creature that may be but you figure Charlie Sheen would be in the running for the honor but he has no chance as long as John Edwards is still around.
My sweet father's life ended just seven days short of this Father's Day. I'll have many opportunities to remember the goodness of his life, and even his passing. But, first I must share an unpublished piece I wrote four years ago.
In January 1995, I made a list of 18 attributes that described the type of man I wanted to marry. The list included "wants children," "high family ties - loves his mother," "secure in himself" and "social."
Three years later, I married such a man. A man who more than met the list, Jimmy Cushman.
I hate mirrors. There's one in each of our bathrooms, and there's a mirror in the hall, and there's supposed to be one in our bedroom, but I haven't put it up since we moved in last year. Why would I want another mirror? The ones I already have hate me as much as I hate them. It's like they are all saying, "Hey, David...look over here!" and when I do, I see an old man staring back at me. And that old man is me. And I don't like what I see ...