Janet Napolitano is impressed with Janet Napolitano's work. In an instantly notorious statement on CNN, the Homeland Security secretary said "the system worked" when a man boarded a Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with explosives in his underwear that he couldn't quite manage to ignite.
Lead-footed drivers may finally be forced to start slowing down. Georgia's new Super Speeder law took effect Friday, imposing an additional $200 fine on anyone convicted of driving faster than 75 on a two-lane road or 85 on a four-lane road anywhere in the state.
Here is a list of 10 reasons to be optimistic for 2010.
I am a rich man, a man of incalculable wealth.
In less than two weeks, the 2010 Georgia State Legislature will be in session.
You can stick a fork in 2009. It is done. I can't say I am sad to see it go except that it puts me one year closer to the ultimate conversation with my Maker, who can't wait to hear my excuses for a life not lived as well as He and I would have liked.
Despite the undisputed effects of a crushing recession, many Georgia banks big and small are making loans and helping customers every day. Businesses and families are being funded, jobs are being created and mortgages are being modified.
Barack Obama's vibe used to be a cross between JFK and Beatlemania. Now it's fading into "Oh, him again?"
In the news, we all hear about the gravity of the state budget situation, a brief review of the basic budget math illustrates why budget writers are so concerned.
I wish I had been there, in Bethlehem. I wish I had witnessed the birth of the baby Jesus in that humble setting in a lowly manger. Was it really as cold that night as it is sometimes depicted on our Christmas cards or was it a cool and comfortable evening as it was predicted to be this year in Bethlehem?
I recently watched the classic film, "It's a Wonderful Life," and thought of my good friend Irene Myers. The part that hit me most was when Clarence, the guardian angel, told George Bailey, "Every time you hear a bell ring, an angel gets his wings."
The White House didn't invite the firms that will create new jobs to its "job summit" - dominated by the CEOs of big firms, Ivy League economists and union officials - because they weren't available. Many of them don't even exist yet.
Maybe it's the recession. Or the perilous state of the war in Afghanistan. Or the growing sense that other nations - China, India, Brazil - are rising at a clip we can't match. Suddenly, though, doubts are surfacing about whether our system can handle the challenges that confront the United States.
In lauding Dale Russell of WAGA-TV in Atlanta, who broke the story about Speaker Glenn Richardson's dalliance with the Atlanta Gas Light lobbyist and created a San Andreas sized tremor of repentance in the House of Representatives, I misidentified a couple of members of Russell's investigative team. Michael Carlin is executive producer - the boss of the I-team - and Travis Shields is the photographer. They deserve to be properly recognized for their efforts. Without this group, it would still be business-as-usual under the Gold Dome these days. ...
On Tuesday of this week, the governors of Alabama, Florida and Georgia met to discuss a water-sharing agreement on the use of Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River system.
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.