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.
The phrase "doomsday cult" entered our collective vocabulary after John Lofland published his 1966 study, "Doomsday Cult: A Study of Conversion, Proselytization, and Maintenance of Faith." Lofland wrote about the Unification Church. His subject could almost as easily have been the Church of Warmism.
Dale Russell is the best investigative reporter in Georgia, bar none. With a single interview, he has turned state politics on its head.
Leading congressional health insurance reform proposals include expanding Medicaid, which could not only bring coverage to nearly one million low-income, uninsured Georgians, but would provide at least 90 percent of the funding to do so.
Otto von Bismarck at one point called the prospect of Germany waging preventive war against other European powers "committing suicide out of fear of death."
Our veterans shouldn't need an act of Congress and a presidential signature to get the Veterans Affairs healthcare system up to speed. But that's just what it took.
Whistleblowers, often revered and feared by the Obama administration, have received a special place since the 2011 initiation of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global transparency campaign. Their prominence is justified. The OGP will become a magnet for cynicism unless there is safe cover for those who will make it work or fail - whistleblowers on the front lines of fraud, waste and abuse currently sustained through secrecy and enforced by repression.
According to the Federal Register, on Dec. 7, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency "found" that current and projected concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. Unfortunately, this finding and the EPA's subsequent action threaten the health and welfare of current and future generations of Georgians far more than greenhouse gases do.
Just when you thought Washington couldn't get any messier, our elected officials in the nation's capital prove it can.
Dear Georgia public-school teachers, It is new school year but, alas, the same old impediments: an out-of-touch federal bureaucracy, ideological state legislators who choose not to send their kids to public schools but intend to tell you how and what to teach, and a society that values reality television more than quality education. Sometimes, I wonder how you manage.
This week, school bells will ring and the 2014-15 academic year will begin. Some children welcome it, others don't. Parents also likely have mixed feelings about the start of another term.
How do you create positive community change? That is a good question. It is one that the national organization, Keep America Beautiful, has been fine-tuning a solution since the 1950s.
Some missing something or the other required me to prowl through closets at Mama's house. That's when I found it. I pulled it out and smiled broadly, warmed by the memories it evoked.
Editor, According to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, our water source is slowly being polluted with saltwater, and the coastal area of Georgia will have to reduce the amount of water that it pulls from the Floridan aquifer by 17 million gallons a day.
It's depressing to read poll after poll highlighting Americans' utter disdain for Congress. But it's my encounters with ordinary citizens at public meetings or in casual conversation that really bring me up short.
Area schools start classes back this week and next. For both students and educators, the new year brings many challenges.
Editor, I would like to personally thank Fort Stewart EFMP, Reaching Milestones and all the wonderful military and civilian volunteers who came out to support our annual Special Olympics Spring Games. The competition would not have been successful without such tremendous support from the Hinesville and Fort Stewart community.
The U.S. Senate race this November between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue will be one of the more unusual campaigns we have witnessed in Georgia. Neither has held public office, and both are anxious to portray themselves as the ultimate "outsider."
Editor, I would like to express my thanks and gratitude for the great job that Vicki Davis did when employed as the executive director of the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority. The seven years that she gave to our community opened many doors of opportunity to the Liberty County Community and Area Mass Choir.