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 have four granddaughters ranging from first grade to fourth grade. Stair steps. Last weekend, the first grader, my youngest, read to me a book about Red Riding Hood. When she got to the part of the story where the wolf was in grandmother's bed, she stopped to show me the picture. I asked her if Red Riding Hood knew it was the wolf and not her grandmother.
Dear Valued Reader:
Curiosity is up and gone.
The other day, I met a nice older couple who had about 200 coupons in their possession, and they were using a good portion of them at the checkout counter. I paid for my few purchases, and when I finished, they were still presenting coupons. I was really impressed with their organizational skills and moxie! They had "couponing" down to a fine art, and this made me wonder: What would happen if coupons were used in all walks of life?
Last month, I wrote a column providing a midterm life update based on a question by David Brooks.
Bill Clinton successfully used the phrase "It's the economy, Stupid!" in his campaign for the presidency in 1992. Today, with the burgeoning deficit and economic disaster facing all Americans, the clarion call should be "It's the spending, Stupid!" It's not a case of insufficient tax revenue. We are over taxed, over regulated and drowning in mandatory entitlements. The task of finding fiscal responsibility to salvage our country from disaster begins at home on the local, county and state level. If we do not secure fiscal conservancy, less government intrusion and reduced spending on the local level, we ...
One of the joys of my position as chairman is getting to attend and participate in community events that bring out the best in Newton County. Meeting the people who volunteer their time, money and energy to make this county a wonderful place warms my heart, especially at Christmas.
When we were much younger, girls might have thought perfection resided in the right bottle of shampoo that promised just the right shine or swing of their long supple hair. Or the right make of hair product, in the case of a guy intent on the most stand-up crew cut. The just right shade of bubblegum pink lipstick might have cemented the impression we sought as the perfect teenage girl with just the look to win an appreciative glance from the football player two years ahead of us in school. Or in the case of a guy, the teasing look ...
We believe that the future development and growth of the Covington airport is essential to economic recovery of both Covington and Newton County.
My older daughter has hosted my family for Thanksgiving for the last several years, an arrangement which I greatly appreciate. I get to see my children, grandchildren, my sister and her son, and while I contribute, I don't have to cook the whole meal. This year, when we arrived, my husband discovered my son-in-law had recently bought one of those huge TVs that hang on the wall. My husband settled on the sofa in front of that large TV and stayed there the whole time we were at my daughter's house except for the time he was at ...
In case you have been vacationing on the moon, you may have missed the news that the student-athletes from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, came up a wee bit short in attaining the football championship of the Southeastern Conference. That honor went to the young men of Louisiana State University who, having observed them in post-game interviews, are destined to become either, you know, great orators or, you know, quantum physicists.
Every morning in December, I enjoy a laugh as I look out my front window and see our eight-foot-tall inflatable Santa flattened on the ground. It's just so funny to see the jolly old man face-planted in the dirt, quite realistically reflecting the way I feel at the end of every December day - totally, utterly deflated.
Over the years, a group of local men have met every Friday to pray and read the Bible; from one of those meetings, the annual legislative breakfast was born.
I wish I had a cup of coffee for every time someone has advised me to drive in the right-hand lane on the interstate. Actually, that would be too many coffee cups to wash, so I'll settle for a few pounds of coffee beans, and I'll brew it myself. The fact is, I've heard this comment over and over: "Stay right! It's safer!" I'm sure there are safety advantages to consider, and - as my wife reminded me - traffic laws often require you to drive in the right-hand lane. So, I'm not about to offer ...
I heard a modern version of the Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael story this week. You may remember Abraham, who turned Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert, with bread and a skin of water. (The Abraham of Ishmael and Issac.) Both of which were soon exhausted.