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.
If you read last Sunday's Covington News, you may have seen a diatribe about this paper in the form of a letter to the editor from a man named Felton Hudson of Stone Mountain. In it, he also took a harsh swipe at my personal opinion columns, calling them "pedantic gallimaufries." More on that in a minute.
I have a cat. His name is Earnest. He was a gift from a student in a senior English class spring semester of the last year I taught. The class voted to call him Shakespeare. But I declined. I couldn't see myself opening my back door and yelling Shakespeare into the neighborhood. So we settled on Earnest because as a class we were reading "The Importance of Being Earnest" when he came into my life.
"Members of the Legislature, my name is Figby and I have been asked by House Speaker Dennis Ralston - he is the gentleman over in the corner eating the Twinkie - along with Senators Tommie Williams and Chip Rogers to discuss some potential campaign issues this fall. They are, of course, your leaders and have helped make the General Assembly what it is today.
The local community will team up once again Saturday to help Covington stay beautiful through The Great American Cleanup.
I used to think people who dressed their dogs up in silly outfits or put bows in their hair needed professional counseling. That was back during my judgmental days when I thought my opinions mattered and always made it a point to make sure everyone around me knew what they were.
As a college student, I was always grubbing for a few extra dollars. I held part-time restaurant and retail jobs, and I even built hydraulic hoses for 18-wheelers. "Anything for a buck" was my motto. It was also my excuse for becoming a telephone solicitor - that unloved wage-slave who calls your home just as you sit down to dinner. So, instead of studying or attending school events, I was often renewing magazine subscriptions or selling aluminum siding. Yeah, you read that right: aluminum siding! I fell pretty low in the late '70s. I even listened to disco.
One of the fundamental gaps between the American people and their elected politicians can be found in perceptions of the relationship between economic growth, job creation and government spending.
The runaway train has again picked up speed fueled by government's out of control spending. You certainly won't read this in the major media this week.
Campaigning and courting have something in common, I've decided. Both are built on fevered promises made at the height of passion. You know the lingo: "I'll never (whatever)." Or: "I'll always (whatever)." Or: "I promise (whatever)." "You can (always) count on me." "You'll be my top priority (forever)." "You'll (always) come first." "(Your) wish is my command." "I will (never) compromise my pledges to you." "There will (never) be a day in your life when you will question my commitment to you."
At the risk of sounding like Johnny One-Note, let me go back over my concerns one more time about the charter school constitutional amendment bill in the State Senate that may or may not have been passed by the time this gets to you. (My deadlines and legislative deadlines don't always coincide.)
The Heartland Woman's Club will hold its 21st croquet tournament Saturday at Oxford College on the field behind the tennis courts. The tournament is for novices and anyone can learn to play in less than three minutes. Teams of two players usually play at least five matches which last around 20 minutes each, and team members are treated to breakfast, lunch and prizes. There will also be a silent auction.
"School stinks!" How many times have you heard that from a kid with too much homework and not enough weekend? I'm sure every student has said it at some point, and I'm beginning to think the kids may be right, but not in the way you might be thinking and certainly not in the way they intend it.
Listen, you and I both know that using profanity is an ugly and immature thing to do. However, a cuss word or two, when the situation calls for it, can be an unavoidable sin. Let's say you just dropped a 50 foot oak tree with your new chainsaw, and you watched in horror as the tree crushed your house, which was just 40 feet away. That would justify a pretty good blast of profanity and no one would reprimand you - at least, not until you turned the chainsaw off. So, I'm not unrealistic. I know there are times ...
Just in case you missed this, a study conducted by a psychologist at Cornell University determined incompetent people are too stupid to know they are incompetent.
The federal government in Washington has grown to the level where it is dominating all aspects of our lives. The answer is in our own backyards. The states have the power to stop "Obamacare" and all other forms of out-of-control federal government mandates and overregulation from all agencies. If states want nothing to do with National Healthcare as proposed by Barack Obama or Congress, then they should refuse it.