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.
For any Georgians still wondering about the need to see what government is up to with their tax dollars, it's highlighted by a Cobb County's special election on extending a Special Local Option Sales Tax this fall. How special? Scheduled on an "off" day, it cost taxpayers $500,000 or so, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.
Democrats see the road to economic recovery, and it has been bulldozed, flattened out by a road grader and covered with pavement.
The buzz is getting louder. Former Gov. Roy Barnes is said to be thinking of running again.
One of Barack Obama's acts of courage as a presidential candidate, his campaign maintained, was to give a speech in Detroit excoriating the auto industry for its carbon-emitting sins. Obama noted how the industry had long played "typical Washington politics" with an "army of lobbyists."
The past week has seen new revelations in the ongoing saga of Gena Evans, nee Abraham, the woman whom Gov. Sonny Perdue put in charge of the state Department of Transportation. Perdue pushed Evans for the job supposedly to clean up a deeply troubled agency, which is facing a staggering funding shortfall in excess of $7 billion over the next six years for needed road construction and improvements. According to DOT's own estimate, its expected funding shortfall over the next 25-30 years is an almost incomprehensible $51 billion.
Once he is sworn in on Jan. 20, our new president will command all eyes. After a long campaign during which he and his rival traded policy prescriptions and accusations about their respective flaws, the country will be anxious to see the White House's agenda. Congress, it seems safe to say, will be an afterthought, its views given weight only insofar as they might hinder or abet the president's plans.
All hail the end of the Reagan era! That's the cry going up throughout liberaldom as the financial crisis and the Democratic electoral sweep threaten the Reaganite troika of deregulation, low taxes and free trade.
Unintended consequences: Sen. Saxby Chambliss would have won re-election without a runoff if his fellow Republicans in the Legislature had not messed with election rules in a misguided effort to help the GOP.
This was written in a cave somewhere in greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper.
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.
I didn't cook Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. My husband, daughter and I went to a restaurant in Richmond Hill that offered all the traditional holiday fare at a reasonable price. It was the first time in my life I did not eat a home-cooked meal on Thanksgiving.
Editor, Supposedly, taxes are going up again because SPLOST was voted down. Don't you know that taxes are raised whether or not SPLOST is approved? Taxes also will be raised no matter how many concerned citizens attend the three public hearings on the proposed millage-rate hikes.
We believe that every day should be about recycling. It's one easy action that everyone can do to help our environment. But America Recycles Day, celebrated Nov. 15 this year, is designated to educate and motivate people on recycling.
Editor, To SPLOST or not to SPLOST - that was the question ... and SPLOST lost! The citizens of Liberty County finally got tired of unconstrained spending and spoke up the only way they could - through the ballot box.
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"