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 guess I'm just a Luddite, trapped in a world-gone-by, but I prefer old movies to most of the ones coming out now. While there are some really good movies - the Harry Potter series comes to mind - most of the new stuff is just too trashy for me. There's too much cussin', too much sex, and way too much irreverence being shown to the things I care about. But those old movies are different. There's something comforting about watching a movie that celebrates goodness and honesty and doesn't glorify evil. That might seem so old fashioned ...
The aging process is a strange thing.
A special work session of the Board of Commissioners of Newton County was held Monday night to determine the continuing status of the Administrative Assistant position and how that position would function and report. Up to this time the position held by Mr. Middleton reported directly to the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Kathy Morgan. Chairman Morgan had full administrative power and singular control of the daily operations of Newton County.
I am still not quite sure whether it is the result of the open-heart surgery I had 13 years ago or the fact I have gotten older, but it seems that I can well up with uncontrolled tears these days due to the strangest things.
If only I could turn my thoughts to all that's pleasant this time of year. Aren't the trees just gorgeous? And what about these perfect, blue-sky days we've enjoyed?
Gov. Nathan Deal has once again overlooked my immense talents when making his governmental appointments. Seven former legislators have recently been appointed to high posts in the Deal administration. Why legislators? One observer told the Atlanta Newspapers that it helps to have had the experience of serving in the Legislature to understand the inner workings of government. I already understand the inner workings of government: Free "working trips" to Germany, eating off lizard-loafered lobbyists, never paying to see a ballgame and furloughing school teachers. I guess I'll stick to being a modest and much-beloved columnist where my inner working ...
I direct a duplicate bridge game once a week. To make me sound important, I am an American Contract Bridge League certified director. That fancy name doesn't mean much. Last week, however, the other directors were out of town, and I had to direct three games.
It's one of those things that makes you go, huh?
Gents, we're often accused of being unable to do anything culinary other than burning steaks on a charcoal grill or making peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. I don't think this reputation is fair, but the ladies may have a point or two in their favor. For instance, I've yet to meet a man who owns a recipe box - one of those wooden dust-gatherers where you keep index cards with step-by-step instructions for making pies, cakes and casseroles. I don't know too many men who wear floral aprons either, but let's stick to the recipe problem. Go out in ...
It will take more than a generic Republican candidate to defeat President Obama next year. Repubicans will need a leader that can inspire millions to get involved and take action. Enthusiasm, optimism and passion are called for to make the movement work.
It is fitting that President Obama is ending the war in Iraq. President Kennedy (D) got us into Vietnam and President Nixon (R) got us out. President Bush (R) got us into Iraq, and President Obama (D) will get us out.
If you think you elected a commission chair three years ago as the county Chief Executive Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, think again. By all accounts, three district commissioners plan to strip the administrative duties from the duly elected commission chair and vest them in a hired, unelected administrative position more than a year before the chair's first term ends.
November might just be this tired mom's favorite month of the year. I used to think it was October, what with the arrival of autumn and all the fun family events surrounding Halloween. And my October was truly delightful - I finally made good on a two-year promise to my kids that we'd host a Halloween party, and we all had an awesome time enjoying friends, food and fellowship.
The Rev. Bryan Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced recently that he has appointed a task force to explore the possibility of changing the name of the organization. It seems that the name "Southern" may soon be gone with the wind. That doesn't sit well with a number of my Baptist friends, who think this is nothing more than political correctness and a denigration of our beloved South.
I got a call from my sister last week. She lives on a farm southwest of Atlanta. She has to obey a burn ban until Oct. 1 (for which she blames me because all of Atlanta's pollution comes to Newton County) and gathers limbs and other such debris all summer into what she calls her burn pile.