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.
It was slightly more than six weeks after my second child had been born by way of emergency C-section. Sleep-deprived and tired, I had left my two under the age of two at home with a sitter to get out and get some exercise.
Etiquette is a hard word to spell. It's French, and I'm pretty lousy with their language, even though I love their cheese, and I almost bought a new Peugeot back in 1987, right before they pulled out of the US car market. That was close. Anyway, I've reviewed a few etiquette columns, and I think I'll try my hand at one. A guy's perspective is just what we need to balance all those dainty responses I've read. Here goes.
As we leave the Labor Day weekend behind we are greeted with the grand news Congress is returning to work.
A few weeks ago, I had what seemed to me a small medical problem, so I phoned my primary physician. However, after we discussed the problem, he directed me to a specialist.
We make a mistake whenever we believe weather forecasters, don't we? At least that's my opinion. Most of them lost credibility with me a long time ago. The promise of a deluge of rainfall here over the long weekend evaporated like a drop of water on a hot stove. The beloved columnist Lewis Grizzard famously discounted meteorologists and wrote that he knew more about the day's weather just by holding his finger in the air.
Bill White, the Big Canoe Tree Czar - he is the guy you had better talk to before you pluck a pine cone in the place - told me about a bumper sticker he saw recently that sums up the frustration many of us are feeling these days.
I never watched his TV show, "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader," but I've always liked Jeff Foxworthy, especially since he's a Georgia Tech man. We Tech guys think we're pretty smart, but tonight I wasn't so sure how I'd stack up against one of those 5th graders. You see, I was driving home, and I drove right past my house. I suppose -on one hand - I'm smarter than a 5th grader, because I can drive a car. Let's see a little kid do that. But, a 5th grader would be smart ...
The General Assembly spent Aug. 15 through Aug. 31 in what is called a special session. It is referred to as "special" because it is outside of the normal 40 legislative day period, specified in the state constitution, that starts in January. Special sessions can only be convened by a formal proclamation of the governor, referred to as "the call." These sessions are also restricted to legislating only on the topics the governor specifically includes in his call. Governor Deal's call for this session included three topics. First and primary was legislative and congressional redistricting. The second topic was ...
In my hands was a small, multicolored clay turtle that I had made and painted at elementary school. I carefully walked up the steps to the front of our home, excited to show my mother what I had made and give it to her. As I opened the screen door, I dropped my handcrafted treasure, and it broke into pieces. I sat down and cried.
Sensational stories about the application of Sharia (Islamic) law are easy to find. The vast majority of the stories aren't really about Sharia but about abuse of Islamic law. Every time I read one of those stories, I am glad the Sharia isn't being enforced in the United States.
Many in the media are saying how unusual it is for our economy to be so sluggish for so long, after we have officially emerged from a recession. In a sense, they are right. But, in another sense, they are profoundly wrong.
Ronald Reagan was always good for a funny, dry, wry or totally off-base comment. Even if he got facts or history wrong, he kept on smiling. "Politics," he said, "is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book." Take that, Dick Cheney, who's self-aggrandizing new book may do little to rehabilitate his image as a cold-hearted, vengeful warmonger, among other things. Reagan would seem to have been remarkably prescient.
I know students don't like tests. But sometimes teachers don't either. First you have to make them up, that means deciding what content you want to cover and what format you want to use. Essay - hard to grade but easy to create. Short answer or multiple choice - easy to grade but hard to create. Though it's a lot easier now with computers. We had to type them on a stencil and run them off on the mimeograph machine. And as soon as you handed them out, the students would smell them. Apparently, the fumes are somewhat toxic.
A man of the cloth by the name of Markel Hutchins is suing the estate of the late Kathryn Johnston for a half-million dollars.
It takes a lot of guts or a lot of stupidity to bring up the topic of women's panty hose; but I'm going to do it anyway and address a simple wardrobe question to the ladies. "Women, how do you feel after you buy a brand new pair of panty hose and get a ruinous run in them before they're even a day old?" Has that happened to you, before? I hear that's a common experience you ladies face. You spend five or six bucks, you go about your daily business, you snag something, you look ...