Here is a list of 10 reasons to be optimistic for 2010.
I am a rich man, a man of incalculable wealth.
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.
The activity surrounding each legislative session is always a combination of fast action with periods of slow-moving, tedious meetings as legislation is researched, deliberated and reconciled before the actual vote. This session was no different, and each day was used to the fullest as we set our sights on tackling some tough issues for the betterment of our state. The following is a summary of some of the major accomplishments and most-significant legislation passed this session.
On Wednesday, Liberty County residents will join millions of people around the world in celebrating the Earth on Earth Day.
There will be a public hearing Tuesday in Richmond Hill held by the Georgia Department of Transportation in reference to the proposed pipeline Kinder Morgan wants to install along the entire coast of Georgia. It is important that Coastal Georgia residents attend.
Lawmakers passed a nearly $22 billion spending plan that includes about $900 million in new revenues, consumed for the most part by school-enrollment growth, increasing retirement benefit-plan expenses for state employees and about $288 million to reduce an austerity cut for public schools. The 2016 budget also increases the local school-district cost of insurance for bus drivers and other non-certified school workers by more than $100 million, so it remains to be seen how much of the $288 million is used for teacher raises and undoing recession-era cuts.
Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of good people on this Earth doing good things. I was reminded of that by my friend, Jack Cookston, who recently had some medical issues that required him to cart around an oxygen tank wherever he went. (Happily, his health has improved and the oxygen tank is history.)
As expected, transportation funding and the governor's proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia's legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.
Carrie called the other day, and I grabbed the phone just as I was coming in from the garage. I dropped my purse at the foot of the stairs and sat down on a step to talk. No conversation with Carrie is ever short. Even her voicemails run three to four minutes.
I would love a good, old-fashioned rain - or, as we used to call it, gully washer - this week.
I just finished reading an article written by Valerie Tarico on Yahoo. The story was titled "Right-wing Christianity teaches bigotry: The ugly roots of Indiana's new anti-gay law."