In a new Gallup Poll asking who is the national leader of the Republican Party, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels didn't even rate an asterisk. That's unsurprising. The governor of the country's 16th most populous state won't normally garner much national attention, especially when he's an unassuming, old-school budget cutter.
A friend of mine, once a top official in state government, recently tried to get AT&T service to his farm in Middle Georgia. After talking to robots and not getting his calls returned by a human being, he decided he had no choice but to call the Public Service Commission and complain. The PSC never returned his call either. The "new" AT&T's indifferent customer service doesn't surprise me. Now it looks like the regulators have caught the disease as well. …
The best thing about Independence Day is it's a reason fill up the cooler and head to somewhere cooler than Pooler.
Where does Newt Gingrich go to get his apology? He proposed slowing the rate of growth of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1990s and was clobbered by Democrats and the press for waging war on the elderly and the indigent.
Hard to believe, but some people actually get their knickers in a wad over observations that emanate from this space. After a careful analysis of critical comments (insert joke here), I have decided that the vast number of complainants suffer from a serious case of humor deficiency. This is not unlike being deficient in your intake of omega-3 whatevers, except that eating fish doesn't improve the situation. It just makes your breath smell bad.
Four years ago, the Democratic minority on the Rules Committee of the U.S. House - the body that oversees legislative process for that side of the Capitol - issued a lengthy report excoriating the Republican majority for abandoning "procedural fairness" and "democratic accountability." The House leadership of the time, it charged, had essentially shut down debate and boxed the minority out of any meaningful participation in congressional life.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wasn't playing for yucks when he visited China recently. But when he told students at a Chinese university that China's assets in the U.S. are "very safe," the audience burst out in laughter.
Whoa! Whoa! Hold on a second. Yes, I know former Gov. Roy Barnes has announced that he is running again in 2010, but before all the political pundits, pollsters and press folk give him the job, there is the little matter of getting elected first.
Last week, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced that Georgia's revenue figures for May were down 14.4 percent from last year. With one month remaining in the current '09 fiscal year, collections are now well below 10 percent of last year's levels.
It was a historic day when President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. No president had ever nominated a Hispanic woman. Nor had a recent president - or his nominee - expressed less genuine interest in the traditional craft of judging.
Last week's decision by the Department of Defense to not locate a fifth brigade at Fort Stewart is deeply disappointing to our community, another lesson that decisions made in Washington, D.C. are not written in stone.
This is an open letter to Georgia's public school teachers.
Technology pundits may be debating whether we are in Web 2.0 or 3.0, but all too often, government is stuck in Web 1.0. Many governments are starting to pay lip service to "transparency" and some are reluctantly publicizing spending information on searchable government Web sites. Frequently, however, the data are more than 6 months to a year old, not interactive and difficult to analyze.
Put Barack Obama in front of a teleprompter and one thing is certain - he'll make himself appear the most reasonable person in the room.
If the last seven years of inaction on transportation, economic development, and health care have taught us anything, it's that state elections have serious consequences for ordinary Georgians.
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.