These are extraordinary political and economic times, and even from a distance you can sense the animation on Capitol Hill as Congress watches President Obama distribute the stimulus package, weighs his executive-branch appointments and responds to his various initiatives.
The Governator: What a sad artifact of a bygone era that moniker is. Arnold Schwarzenegger circa the 2003 "total recall" election was going to sweep all before him as California governor, bringing the same elan and toughness he had on the big screen to fighting special interests and restoring his beloved state to competitiveness.
As the sixth week (24th legislative day) of Georgia's legislative session wraps up, many necessary items on the agenda were accomplished. The House passed out the mid-year budget this week, which is a relief for some. Overall, the bills that were passed covered a wide variety of issues.
If I were advising the national Republican Party on how to regain its footing, I would begin with a simple statement: "Take the money."
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of hosting Army Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, commanding officer of the 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart, in a formal visit to the Georgia House.
There's nothing like the feeling of independence that comes with getting one's first set of wheels. I got mine when I was 6 years old. Santa brought me a shiny red 20" Murray bike that Christmas, and I was so excited.
Computer hackers managed to hijack a digital road sign in Austin, Texas, a few weeks ago and change its message to "Zombies Ahead."
As the fifth week of Georgia's legislative session ended, numerous pieces of legislation were discussed. Activity has picked up as the budget requirements were made clearer with the addition of $465 million in federal funding for Medicaid. This additional funding has taken some of the pressure off the Medicaid funding parts of the budget which have federally-mandated requirements.
Last week, the House of Representatives approved HB 326, which I co-sponsored as a member of the House Game, Fish & Parks Committee.
What a waste! Johnny Isakson has announced for a second term in the U.S. Senate. He should be re-elected without much trouble. Instead of going for the Senate again, however, he ought to run for governor.
At its halfway mark, the legislature this week took steps in the areas of homeowner tax relief, job creation, economic development and food safety.
I've always been of the mind that new stuff is cool, and it never seems to bother me that the new stuff isn't always better.
Regarding the cash infusions that Congress approved last fall to shore up the U.S. banking industry, one thing is important to remember. That is that it will take time for those cash infusions to work their way through the lending system and get "into the streets."
The House of Representatives voted Thursday on two pieces of legislation that would take revenue decisions out of the hands of local government by freezing or limiting annual property assessment valuations.
Republicans fought an inspired battle against the stimulus bill, holding all but three of their 219 senators and congressmen. And they still lost.
The talking heads and politicians love to use the term, "boots on the ground." It sounds macho.
Editor, Perhaps Liberty County Commissioners Lovette, Stevens, Frasier and Gilliard need to pause and reflect some before they cast any future votes. I'm referring, of course, to their recent votes to open the polls on Sunday.
I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public-school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week, the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal's turn.
A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily that she was learning to let things roll right off her back.
You drink it. You clean with it. You shower in it. You swim in it. You fish in it. You have fun in it.
Letting a child watch too much TV may be as bad for parents as it is for little ones. In fact, depending on which shows a child is allowed to watch, it may be worse for parents.
On Dec. 16, 1773, a group of demonstrators boarded ships in Boston Harbor. They threw chests of tea overboard to protest the British parliament's unfair tax on tea. It's time for the citizens of Midway and Liberty County to borrow a page from Boston's history book.
Last week, the Georgia Ports Authority approved allocating up to $3 million for maintenance of the shipping channel to the Port of Brunswick, marking the second-straight year the GPA has had to supplement federal funds for this project.
Over the next three years, as many as 60,000 military members are expected to return to Georgia. Already, 770,000 veterans call Georgia home. In fact, the Peach State is home to the fourth-largest population of veterans nationwide. In addition to those returning to Georgia, more than 10,000 service members will be transitioning from the state's Army installations - 4,000 from Fort Stewart alone.
If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.
"It's a funny thing." That's what Mama used to say when something baffled her. Like Mama, I prefer that things make sense. Otherwise, I'll ponder, figure, study and try to decipher that funny thing until it's somewhat sensible.
Are you ready to make a difference this fall? Then consider volunteering this month for our ninth annual Rivers Alive in Liberty County.
I imagine, from time to time, you all get tired of reading about my adventures in toddler town and would like to hear from other parents. So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled when Hinesville Public Relations Manager Krystal Britton Hart took me up on my offer to guest write this week's column. Krystal has two daughters herself, one of whom is the same age as my daughter, Reese. I enjoy comparing notes and talking with her, and I'm sure our readers will be as interested in hearing what she has to say as I am. Enjoy!
President Barack Obama's recent move to allow seismic exploration of oil and gas reserves off the shores of Georgia and the Atlantic Coast has left many hopeful that the offshore drilling moratorium currently in place may soon be lifted. A new study by University of Wyoming energy economist Dr. Tim Considine indicates the degree to which such a move would benefit Georgians and our Mid-Atlantic counterparts.
Last Saturday, while the Bulldog nation sweated out a 35-32 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers that should not have been as hard as our scholar-athletes made it, former head football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley's first team at UGA was recognized on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. As nice as that was, more - much more - needs to be done to honor the legendary Hall of Fame coach.