With the job losses and Georgia's unemployment rate hovering at 7.5 percent, a 25-year high, it is difficult to be positive. But we should not lose sight of the positives that exist and the underpinnings of our state and nation that will help us out of the current economic condition.
When Franklin Roosevelt was pounding on the evils of business at the height of the New Deal, the great economist John Maynard Keynes tried to pull him back: "It is a mistake to think businessmen are more immoral than politicians."
Unless you were under a rock, flying on a space shuttle or in a coma, you witnessed last week the bombshell that exploded across the nation's political landscape. FBI agents arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich at his home Tuesday morning, having heard him via wiretaps and listening devices allegedly engaging in a conspiracy to sell his appointment to fill President-elect Barack Obama's seat in the U.S. Senate. With the White House press corps decamped to Chicago to cover the Obama transition, they have given breathless coverage of the scandal.
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a small business open up in my community and say to myself, "Oh, that's great, I'll have to get in there," and then drive by months later and realize that I have yet to make that first stop to see what this new venture is all about.
The three most prominent Democrats in national politics during the past two years - Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton - are all ascending from the U.S. Senate to the executive branch, creating open Senate seats for Democratic governors to fill.
Here's an idea to ponder. How does even our death affect the environment?
Barack Obama has succeeded where Hillary Clinton failed. She hoped to win a third Clinton term, but it is her vanquisher who is reconstituting the Clinton administration.
If you accept the predictions that huge growth is on its way to the eastern part of Liberty County the plan to build a sewage plant in the Tradeport East Business Center should be welcomed.
Georgia reporters, pundits, bloggers and political junkies are all trying to assess the meaning of the result of Tuesday's U.S. Senate runoff, which Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss won by an unexpectedly large margin. Chambliss, who fell just short of 50 percent on Nov. 4, bested Democrat Jim Martin by 14 points.
My friend Cody Laird is so passionate about longleaf pine forests that his wife sometimes wishes she were a longleaf pine.
I'm as interested as the next person in how Washington will work with Barack Obama in the White House, but there's an important question that's been missing. It has to do not so much with the new president as with the new Congress, and it should be high on every citizen's list of concerns: Will Congress live up to its responsibility to exercise robust oversight over the new administration?
Barack Obama promised the end of the era of lobbying as we know it during the campaign, but the National Marine Manufacturers Association didn't get the message. Nor did the National Automobile Dealers Association. Nor did anyone else who can make a case for getting any precious drops of the bailout money sloshing around Washington.
"I hope you have a lonely Thanksgiving," Ken no-last-name e-mailed me last week. He said he was a supporter of Sen. Saxby Chambliss. He was really mad at me for suggesting that old Sax might not be another Daniel Webster or Sam Nunn. I suppose Ken didn't read that I am betting a wad ($50) on his guy Saxby to win the runoff election against Democratic iron man "Boss Jim" Martin.
It was not Webvan or Pets.com this time. It was Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG and Wachovia. Gone or sold for pennies on the dollar. It was $700 billion - taxpayer dollars - rushed through Congress to avert the "greatest crisis of our time." What actually happened, and what can we learn from it?
December 1 is a special day on my calendar. It's the birthday of one of my heroes, a man I've admired since we met exactly a decade ago. He's a champion of rivers, conqueror of polluters and destroyers, defender of wild things, campaigner for justice.
Editor, An editorial cartoon by R. McKee serves as a modern take on the old Hans Christian Anderson tale about the emperor who was swindled by to weavers who promise to make him a suit of clothes that is invisible to people who are stupid and incompetent. When the emperor and his cabinet members cannot see the clothes, they pretend to be able to see them for fear of being deemed unfit for their positions. In reality, the swindlers only pretended to make the suit and clothe the emperor. He isn't wearing anything.
Editor, Today, I was nursing Gauge, my 2-month old son, at the Dunkin' Donuts in Hinesville. I have nursed in public like this numerous times. I sat in the corner and even had my friend stand in front of me to make sure nobody saw anything. As I was leaving and getting Gauge buckled into his car seat, an employee followed me to my car and told me that from now on when I nursed in the donut shop, I needed to cover up because customers complained.
Back in 1966, Bobby Fuller sang about, "Robbin' people with a six-gun, I fought the law and the law won." And rightfully so - robbery is a crime. But what happens when it's the law doing the robbing and the law wins?
On my "to-do" list last week was a reminder to call former Gov. Carl Sanders and see if he had any thoughts on how to get the field at Sanford Stadium named for UGA's former coach and athletic director Vince Dooley. I knew he would like the idea and perhaps could jerk a few chains I seem to have been unable to rattle thus far.
I love this time of year. All the lights and decorations really can make our community look pretty. It would be wonderful if we all made that kind of effort all year long.
It started accidentally. Some good ideas and memorable moments are like that. They aren't planned. They're born, bringing with them an ability to nudge a way naturally into our lives and become a tradition.
Moms want everything and nothing at all. We want to be everywhere at once and also nowhere to be found. We want to impress everyone, handle every chore imaginable and spend every waking second bonding with our children. We also want to totally escape from life. Failure to accomplish this leads to immense guilt and, occasionally, foul moods.
Editor, In my humble opinion, the failure of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was not a criticism of the tax, but rather of the excessive - and perhaps arrogant - spending of our tax dollars by our elected officials. The threat of the new Transportation SPLOST, another tax, was maybe another factor.
Editor, "it's gr8 dy.h.a mtg @ d mal l8r"
Editor's note: U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Georgia, and other area elected officials will contribute periodic columns during the upcoming legislative sessions. This is a report about orientation that he went through last week.
I was on St. Simons Island last week, scarfing down massive amounts of corn-fried shrimp at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill, when someone came to the table to inquire if Junior E. Lee had finished his analysis of the recent election. That really puffed up Junior when I told him.
Editor, Why did SPLOST fail? Just take a look at the article in Sunday's Coastal Courier: "City council looks at property-tax increase."
One afternoon, I had a hankering, a primal-like craving, for a supper of pinto beans and cornbread with a tall glass of cold, rich buttermilk thrown in for good measure and extra filling.
Typically, I use this weekly column to address parenting issues, reflect on challenges faced by (fairly) new moms and provide what I hope are amusing anecdotes that stem from daily life encounters with a toddler. This Sunday, though, I'm going to explore a topic that's more indirectly related to - but still very much a part of - child-rearing.
I really do love the holidays - but I cringe as we also approach the trashiest season of the year.