The fiscal year '09 figures for Georgia's state budget are in and the news is concerning.
When Barack Obama pilfered Martin Luther King Jr.'s line about the "fierce urgency of now," he wasn't kidding. The line has come to define his presidency. His legislative strategy moves in two gears - heedlessly fast and recklessly faster.
This is my first column since my rotator cuff surgery and it hasn't been easy getting the words to come out the way I intended them to. My left hand is slower than a Georgia Income Tax return and my right hand is totally unsympathetic and hops across the keyboard like a bunny rabbit. What results are some newly-minted words that would feel at home in your basic Kazakhstani dictionary. My computer's spell-check has quit, saying life is too short to be looking up words like "jgoflnib" and "dopwrogz."
As happens every so often, we have recently been through a spate of embarrassing reports about the lives of prominent public officials. Adulterous affairs by Nevada Sen. John Ensign, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, and former presidential candidate John Edwards, entanglements in prostitution by Louisiana Sen. David Vitter and former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer - these are just the latest in a long line of revelations about people in whom the American voters once put their trust.
Barack Obama spent all of 2008 running against the sputtering economy, and warned earlier this year of a crisis "we may not be able to reverse." Yet, as the unemployment rate climbs beyond the administration's projections, Vice President Joe Biden informs us that the administration "misread how bad the economy was."
OK, you Neal Boortz Kool-Aid drinkers (including those who wrote to defend your boy and couldn't even spell his name correctly), I have a few questions for you:
To buy and sell goods, make money and interface with others, humans relied on the horse and buggy back in the 18th Century.
Athlete McNair remembered for good, bad reasons
Many folks plan summer vacations that involve a lot of driving. For those sticking close to home, gas and maintenance are usually the biggest car-related expenses. But if you're planning to rent a car at your destination, many other factors can influence the overall impact on your travel budget.
Since I was about 12 years old, I've been trying to figure out how to make a grand living without having to get a job.
There is a saying in politics that "perception is reality" and my perception of Gov. Sonny Perdue is that he hasn't exactly shot the lights out in his two terms as Georgia's chief executive. There are the publicity stunts too numerous - and too embarrassing - to recount, touting his "Go Fish, Georgia" program in the middle of one of the worst economic periods in decades and some eyebrow-raising land deals which the governor still might be trying to explain if our state's media had an aggressive bone in its investigative body.
Giving a tax incentive to a business to encourage economic development sounds like a great idea. But tax breaks for businesses are little more than corporate welfare at the expense of hard-working Georgians. They amount to subsidies favoring a select few businesses over Georgia's residents and existing businesses.
Independence Day is one of the most celebrated and important holidays we observe as Americans. Nestled in the beginning of summer and conjuring up memories of fireworks, watermelon and cookouts with friends and family, all to the sound track of Lee Greenwood's "I'm proud to be an American," July 4th is traditionally a joyous and happy time in America and rightly so. Independence Day should also be a time when we make an intentional effort to reflect and remember the story of America and what it means to be citizens of this great country.
Only Hinesville has voted in recent weeks to put up money to build and support a downtown campus that Armstrong Atlantic State University could occupy, along with a new public library.
Not long ago, the national philosophy behind criminal-justice policy was to lock offenders away and teach them a lesson. This was popular with politicians who found that it played well before crowds, and it was popular in communities where prisons and jails created jobs. Some folks even seemed to celebrate the idea that prisons were real hellholes.
Seven or eight years ago, as our nest became empty, my wife and I began taking short road trips to destinations as far as three hours from home.
Editor, In the recent Courier article announcing Sen. Isakson's visit to Hinesville on Sept. 5, Isakson was quotes as saying, "As you may know, it takes the VA an average 478 days to make a determination on a VA claim. That's more than a year. Although there are signs of improvement, it's still taking too long."
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
I've always been one of those persons who won't hire someone to do something for me if I can do it myself, such as painting my house, building a deck, building a utility barn, caring for my own lawn, installing new flooring, etc. It was just the way I was raised. And it stuck.
When I think back on the days of my youth, that time when I had the privilege of traveling on the NASCAR circuit, it would be hard to pick a lesson learned that was more important than another.
Most mornings, I spend about five minutes pulling my freshly washed hair into a ponytail. It's easy, it's efficient, and, I like to tell myself, it's even chic. When I know I'll be meeting important people or attending special events, however (like, say, the United Way annual campaign kick-off party or a chamber of commerce breakfast), I break out the products and utensils and spend an extra 20 minutes or so coaxing my locks into what I hope is a more professional-looking style.
I am superficial. I know that looks matter - when it comes to our community's appearance, that is.
Editor, I'm appalled - to say the least - at the extravagant salary paid to Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee.
I'm not sure how many wilderness survival shows there are on television right now, but it appears there is some kind of obsession going on with this type of programming. And they are running the gamut from being naked in the wild to being fat in the wild. That's right, there's a show now titled "Fat Guys in The Woods." Fortunately, they keep their britches on.
• President Ronald Reagan, Jan. 30, 1984: "Exports create and sustain jobs for millions of American workers and contribute to the growth and strength of the United States economy. The Export-Import Bank contributes in a significant way to our nation's export sales."
Editor, The following is an open letter on sequestration to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, from retired U.S. Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, head of the Association of the United States Army:
Some of my favorite Norman Rockwell prints all have something to do with eating, but not for the reasons you might think.
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could"? That could well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of northwest Georgia, not far from the Tennessee line.