Ninth District Rep. Nathan Deal has spent 16 years as Georgia's mountain district congressman. During that time, we've barely heard a peep from him. Deal's low profile may account for the ease with which he has slipped back into office every two years.
Compared to what it looked like a couple of decades ago, Congress today is a far more representative body. It's true that, as Congressional Quarterly recently pointed out, the House and Senate are still "populated mainly by wealthy white men with advanced degrees and backgrounds in law and business." Yet Capitol Hill undeniably looks more like the American people than in the past.
To social theorists predicting the collapse of newspapers, we've become more than an endangered species, we're prime evidence of the fading way the public consumes information.
With a few strokes of his pen, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue recently signed into law a pair of measures aimed at making life a little easier - and fairer - for military families.
The calendar says President Barack Obama took office in 2009, although that's only a technicality. In his own mind, Obama ascended in Year Zero, a time of ritualistic cleansing in preparation for the relaunching of an America free from its past sins.
Gary Horlacher has hit upon an idea that every Democratic and Republican political candidate ought to applaud. Let every statewide candidate submit to a lie-detector test to prove he or she is morally ready for public service. OK, so I didn't hear a single clap or cheer; it's still a worthwhile notion.
The debate over the just-released Justice Department memorandums on interrogation techniques ended as soon as they were dubbed the "torture memos." Forevermore, they will be remembered as the legal lowlights of a "dark and painful chapter in our history," as President Barack Obama put it.
We think of Congress as immutable, a steadfast presence in American life since its first session in 1789. The inspiration we draw from the dome of the Capitol, the pull of a congressional hearing we know will change the course of history, the lofty statements on the floor of the House or Senate - these were as much a part of our grandparents' time as they are of ours.
You have to hand it to those folks in Austin, Texas. They know a good campaign issue when they see one. Just the other day, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas mentioned "secession" - resigning from the United States - as a way to escape the odious government in Washington.
Georgia clearly could use an extra $206 million a year to fix its roads and bridges. And it could get that much - without increasing taxes, without cutting other government programs and without borrowing.
Across the country, Americans have begun to voice their anger and frustration with the federal government's tax, borrow and spend policy.
President Barack Obama went to Mexico and, unlike many of his presidential predecessors, didn't stay in a remote resort, but in the midst of Mexico City, the sprawling metropolis of 20 million.
We can all learn a lesson from Susan Boyle.
After losing last year's presidential election, the national Republican Party seems to have lost its way.
They weren't playing nice at the Capitol this year, and when legislators grabbed their toys and went home, neither chamber had won the transportation legislation tug-of-war. Just because no agreement on funding was reached, however, doesn't put the brakes on Georgia transportation policy.
Nostalgia is popular these days: Retro fashions, disco and '80s pop, "Throwback Thursdays" on social media. What's old is new again, what used to be hip turned square and then back to cool.
For many environmental organizations in Georgia, Earth Day will never be the same.
Editor, My hat goes off to the Tri County RC Flyers for their recent airshow and the thousands of dollars they raised for wounded veterans. Unfortunately, the Courier's story contained a description of the Wounded Warrior Project organization that was misleading and is inaccurate. It read "… which helps veterans wounded in conflict…"
Editor, My wife went grocery shopping the morning of Aug. 21 with our 2-year-old son. While shopping, she bumped into another shopper along the way several times and made small talk. My son started to get bored and upset, so my wife cut her trip short and headed to the checkout.
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
I am fascinated by how other countries approach recycling. I recently visited a website called Recycle More from Ireland. Their approach, like so many European countries, is detailed. They expect their citizens to make the effort to recycle as many items as possible. And they certainly don't limit their recycling to plastic bottles and aluminum cans. There is no one-stop drop-off for many items. If you are Irish, you take electronics back to electronic shops, batteries to shops that sell them, etc.
As an unusually mild, rainy summer was melting away - or rather, frosting its way into autumn - I took to noticing signs that our mountain people always have used to judge the forthcoming severity of winter.
Football season is upon us. I'm sure some of you are thrilled about its arrival. I am not.
We are constantly reminded that the world is a very deadly place - not just for our military personnel - but also for members of the Fourth Estate. Some journalists working in dangerous regions in a globe full of conflict will not return home. The latest: 40-year-old James Foley. His gruesome death at the hands of ISIS has been available for all to see.
The regional transportation sales-tax referendum failed two years ago across most of Georgia. So it's encouraging to see movement again, in the form of a joint study committee on transportation funding that met Aug. 5 for the first of seven meetings around the state before the legislative session.
Editor, I would like to respond to the Long County audit for the year ending June 30, 2013, which is - needless to say - a joke.
Rap! Rap! Rap: "The special called meeting of the Loyal Order of Liberals will come to order. Let's begin the meeting as we always do - with the Liberal Pledge of Allegiance:
Editor, I lost a friend last week. I lost a longtime coworker. I lost an Army comrade, though we never served together nor did we share "war stories." And Liberty County lost someone who was a loyal, extremely dedicated and tireless worker until his "untriumphant" retirement last year.
A while back, a messy problem loomed ahead. I don't like confrontation. If that makes me less than a person then consider me to be itty bitty. Life, I figure, is too short for squabbling. My motto is "whenever possible, step out of the way."
My 2-year-old daughter, Reese, adores the Disney movie, "Frozen." I admit, it's a cute flick with plenty of catchy tunes and even a few good one-liners. There's one part, however, that I'm having trouble explaining to Reese, and I fear I'll have even more difficulty with it as she gets older.