Well, here we are more than halfway through the 17-week NFL season and my husband's quest to school me in the ways of the gridiron has not produced favorable results. I like to think of myself as an opportunist, though, so I'll take the scraps of knowledge I have retained thanks to my football fanatic spouse's three-hour tutorials and put them to good use. Hey, I may not know the difference between a running back and a quarterback, but I have learned enough to avoid embarrassing myself - or so I'd like to think.
Rats. It looks as though I have not been selected to be a member of Gov.-elect Nathan Deal's transition team. Frankly, this is getting old. I am told that both Roy Barnes and George E. Perdue didn't pick me when forming their administrations because they both thought my advice wasn't worth a jar of warm spit. That may be the only thing the two men ever agreed on.
There may be no more deadly force in politics than hubris. It sneaks up on politicians at their weakest moments - the height of their success - and destroys them, sometimes slowly, sometimes spectacularly.
Monday will mark the beginning of open enrollment for the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Public officials have already taken steps to streamline the program, otherwise known as Medicare Part D, making it that much easier for seniors to sign up and customize coverage to best fit their medical needs.
The next time the illegal immigration advocates start whining about the poor Mexican workers coming into the United States to "do jobs we won't do" and to "make a better life for their families," please inform them that the porous borders between lawless Mexico and the U.S. are also letting in drugs at a scale almost beyond description and that Atlanta is a major distribution hub for the hombres.
Now, understand before I get started that I'm not trying to ram anything down your throat and I'm not one of those kinda guys who wants to convert you to my way of thinking. The one thing that drives me up the wall is some guy trying to convince me that his way of thinking is the only way.
What happens when a life-or-death issue is raised and put on the ballot but fails? Does the issue go away? Do we continue to look for answers or just accept the failure and retain the status quo?
"There came a smell off the shore like the smell of a garden." - John Winthrop, off the New England coast, 1630
Let's hold off on dissecting the general elections until the political pundits have had their say. They don't know any more than you and I do - after all, we are the voters - but they think they do, and telling them otherwise might offend them. Political pundits can be very sensitive ...
On Election Day, Georgians rejected Amendment 2, which proposed an annual $10 car tag fee to help fund a statewide trauma care system. $10 per year - the cost of a pizza.
We should have known about Juan Williams long ago. The signs of a simmering bigotry were always there. The political commentator wrote the book "Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965." He followed that up with an admiring biography of Thurgood Marshall. Then, more books on the African-American religious experience, historically black colleges and black farmers.
It's easy to think pink in October. During National Breast Cancer awareness month, business and shop owners haul out the pink decor, athletes sport pink uniforms, people everywhere pin pink ribbons to their shirts.
In my house, the contest for state school superintendent is as important as the governor's race. I have a son, son-in-law and now a grandson who are public school teachers and they - and all the other teachers - deserve a draw-a-line-in-the-sand advocate.
Editor, Thanks a lot for printing most of my letters over the years and withholding the ones that would have gotten me arrested. I am preparing to move north to New York City and will sorely miss all the reasons I chose to write those letters while I lived here. I'm not sure the New York Times is going to print my thoughts, but I'll still send them my ramblings when I feel it is needed.
Liberty County is our home. Just as we take care of the homes we live in with our families, we need to take care of our community. Keep Liberty Beautiful sincerely appreciates the nearly 4,000 volunteers each year who help to make our county cleaner and more attractive through neighborhood projects and area litter cleanups, but those who are interested in going to the next level should consider "adopting" Liberty.
It happened a few months back. My father-in-law celebrated, to our great joy, his 88th birthday. There was no pomp or circumstance involved. He abhors that. Because he is among the most beautifully well-mannered people I have ever encountered, he politely took all the calls though he really wished we would just treat it as another day and leave him alone to watch the news channel.
The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and a member of the House's Ways and Means Committee, last week was a busy one for me. We gathered for four days of hearings at Gov. Nathan Deal's office, where the budget was presented. We also listened as state agencies offered input about budget needs and then asked questions regarding which programs worked well or were under- or over-funded.
In politics, you must take advantage of windows of opportunity. Sometimes good ideas are sidetracked by unfortunate events, a bad economy or even personality conflicts among political leaders. Given the risk of delaying decisions, Georgia needs to address its transportation shortfall quickly and practically.
My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today. For one thing, this will be a lot shorter and less boring than the State of the Union address (Boooo!) and, also, we don't have to endure a bunch of fawning politicians trying to be seen on national television. (Yay! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
Ready to start this new year right?
Editor, Since Georgia's own Sen. Johnny Isakson voted for discriminating against pre-9/11 veterans and later against ending this discrimination, I've penned and sent the following to then-Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-VT, who introduced the Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2013:
It happened the other day. It's funny how things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful, of those sweets that are tucked inside our hearts and unknowingly treasured.
Two weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I struggled to come up with a fun way to pass a Sunday afternoon. My mother-in-law had just been staying with us, and she left that morning to head back to Florida. Since I'd given our house a good, thorough "pre-mother-in-law-visit" cleaning before she arrived, I was completely caught up on chores and housework.
Editor, In an attempt to somewhat clarify and somewhat respond to the recent letters to the editor, the online opinion poll question in the Coastal Courier and subsequent results of said poll, I want to say that the protests (locally and nationally) are not anti-police, as some have and continue to misinterpret them to be.
Editor, In recent weeks, more than 20 police officers have been killed or wounded by fanatics and/or terrorists on this planet. This would be a great time for Rep. Al Williams, Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier, Commissioner Gary Gilliard, Councilwoman Luciria Luckey Lovette, et al., to make a statement of recognition and support for police officers - wherever they serve. This exercise of their rights would go a long way to heal the wound of what was interpreted by many to be anti-police sentiment last month.
With major policy decisions on transportation, education, health care and tax reform on the legislative agenda, Georgia should think beyond the traditional approach of spending more money as the solution for every problem. Focusing on ways to enhance economic opportunity and empower individuals beats doubling down on the status quo.
Editor, I read Mr. Bruce McCartney's letter to the editor regarding the Wounded Warrior Project. He is totally correct. The project is top-heavy with a greedy group of executives. The top 10 officers have a compensation package from $150,000 to $333,000 a year. The remaining funds are disbursed to over 40 distribution organizations with similar management configurations.