I am far more pessimistic about our political system than most Americans. At the same time, I am very optimistic about the future of our nation. That may seem like an odd combination to some, but I am optimistic because I recognize that Washington, D.C., does not lead the nation.
Though Wal-Mart remains fixed in the American conscience as Sam Walton's business, it is less and less that. Walton was folksy and relatable to the Americans who shopped at Wal-Mart. Everyone could imagine Sam Walton shopping there, too. But over the years, Wal-Mart's management has passed out of the direct hands of Walton's family.
The last day of my first session was thrilling and exhausting. I worked from 7 in the morning to midnight to get "Kelsey's Law" over the finish line. Only 13 minutes remained before the official "Sine Die" when all work must cease until next year. But I am incredibly grateful that my work, and the work of Newton Representatives Pam Dickerson and Doug Holt before me, finally came to fruition after four long years. More importantly, I am humbled to be just a small part of courageous Kelsey's fight to protect fellow teenage girls.
Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World's Greatest Leaders for 2015 and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?
The gay rights movement has tended to be a well-choreographed stage production over the last number of decades. Over time, behind the scenes, they pushed hard for gay characters in film and television. They pushed gay actors out of the closet and encouraged celebrations of diversity.
In recent weeks, I've written about how the "Bootleggers and Baptists" dynamic corrupts regulatory politics. Bruce Yandle developed this concept decades ago. He observed that Prohibition became reality because Baptists wanted people to stop drinking while the ban on legal alcohol put money in the Bootlegger's pockets. The do-gooders succeeded only because the money-grubbers joined their effort.
It seems every day now some famous personality or former friend has passed away and at 68 it makes me think sometimes of my own mortality.
I recently highlighted an important book that describes how politics really works. "Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics," by Adam Smith and Bruce Yandle, showed that prohibition became reality because it appeared to satisfy both Baptists and Bootleggers.
Approximately 1,982 years ago, a man died. In fact, many men died that day. We know for sure of three men. Two were tied to crosses and crucified. One was nailed to the cross. Had that been the end of it, it would have just been like so many other Roman crucifixions. But, unbeknownst to most anyone at the time, the first Easter weekend would become the most important weekend in the history of the world.
It was a great week for Newton County! I am ecstatic to tell you that "Haleigh's Law," the medical cannabis oil bill, passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor this week. Also my bill, "Kelsey's Law," passed unanimously in the Senate near midnight on the last night. I was also very excited that Newton County Representative Pam Dickerson's cyber-bullying law passed both the House and the Senate.
The headline to this story is an adage taught by journalism schools throughout the country. News is supposed to be based on facts and reported without bias. But alas, reporters are human and have biases, acknowledged or not. If they are blatant and obvious, then we can dismiss them out of hand, (example: Chris Matthews saying, "I felt this thrill going up my leg," when listening to a speech given by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama).
The death of Leonard Nimoy saddened millions of Trekkies around the world (including me). But it wasn't just Trekkies who mourned. In the past month, it has become clear that Mr. Spock - the character Nimoy brought to life - had become a cultural icon extending far beyond the Trek universe.
I spent last week helping to assess a group of people for a job I couldn't do if my life depended on it. Actually, what they were seeking is not a job; it is a calling. And my life here and in the hereafter depends on how well they do it.
It's apparent to anyone willing to look that a wide gap has grown between a Washington/Wall Street political class and the nation they want to rule. Less clear to many is the reason why.
I lived next door to my mother-in-law for over 25 years. From the top of her blonde, blue-eyed head to the bottom of her pointy-toed high heels, she was a true Southern belle and a steel magnolia. All five foot two inches of her. Actually I think that she exaggerated her height an inch or two; she was a petite woman.
Dear Public School Teachers: The "school choice" crowd in the General Assembly is after you again. I am beginning to think this is all your fault.
Lent began this week on Feb. 22. It ends April 8 with the celebration of Easter. In the Christian tradition, the Lenten period is a time of fasting and prayer, preparation and reflection in anticipation of Easter, which commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Winter is waning and baseball season is upon us.
So there we were last Sunday evening, huddled in PJ's on the couch, jockeying for space with a dog that thinks the couch belongs to him alone. We were waiting eagerly, even breathlessly, for the trumpets that would announce the beginning of the last episode of the season for "Downton Abbey" on PBS. No doubt about it, we've joined the millions of Downton devotees who find themselves completely hooked - addicted, even - to the upstairs/downstairs fortunes of the aristocratic Grantham family and its household staff residing in a magnificent Yorkshire mansion in a period of time that began ...
I am constantly astounded by the insight and vision displayed by our Founding Fathers for the controlled governing and protection of the country.
I seem to have an innate ability to make folks mad. Usually, it is the humor-impaired and special interest twits. Today, I hope to make everybody mad, no matter your race, creed, color or university affiliation. This diatribe is for all.
Recently my car reached a milestone; it's 10 years old. Clark Howard would be proud of me. He says everyone should keep a car 10 years. In fact, I read somewhere that people are keeping their cars longer because of the prolonged economic downturn and because cars are now built to last longer. I'm in no hurry to get rid of it. When I bought it, my husband said, as he has said with every car I have gotten, "Now, this car will last you until you die." The sentiment makes me wonder if he is referring to ...
The fifth week of the legislative session continued at a steady pace, with 12 bills and resolutions reaching the floor of the House for a vote.
This year for Presidents Day, instead of buying a new appliance, I'm urging all of us to mark the holiday by reading George Washington's Farewell Address and Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural. I know. Focusing on two great presidents on Presidents Day. It's radical, but at least you won't be stuck in traffic on the way to the mall.
Just in case you missed this, Alabama and Florida have petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review a ruling by an appellate court that will allow Georgia-that is mostly metro-Atlanta-to take water from Lake Lanier.
We have enough to worry about right now, so why do some people add to our woes by predicting that the end of the world is just around the corner? "Oh, the world's gonna end this year! I'm sure of it. Those old Mayans and their stone calendars must be right!" Really? We've got a political quagmire, our economy is in the toilet, and you want to add Doomsday to the mix? Well, I'm not having any of it. I'm too busy for the world to stop turning, and I know for a fact that ...
What if you were given 120 seconds to put your life story onto a DVD? I say 120 seconds - two full minutes maximum - because communication professionals say a DVD that attempts to tell a story should be no longer so an audience won't fall asleep or miss the point. But maybe, just maybe, having so little time in which to encapsulate one's life could be seen as a good thing. There would only be room for the high points vs. the low points, the happiness vs. the sadness, the successes vs. the failures.
Is it going to shock you that I didn't watch the Super Bowl this year? Maybe? Just a little? No, probably not. While the civilized world was watching the most sacred game of the football season, I was doing other things, like writing this column. You might be thinking, "Wow! That's dedication!" but it's not. I skipped the game, because that's how I approach all professional sports. I don't have the desire to watch the games. There are too many tattoos, hairstyles, attitudes, and mega-dollars on the field for me to care. So, I do ...
The fourth week of the legislative session saw a pickup of the pace, with 12 bills and resolutions reaching the floor of the House for a vote.