"I wondered how much I had changed. I had gone to Washington a hero, described by many in the media as a 'genius.' I was returning to Georgia a loser. The green bird turned west toward Plains, lifted quickly into the dark sky, and was gone."
Everybody knows about the two speeches Barack Obama needed to get past, or at least try to get past, his pastor problem.
Raving against the shortcomings of government is as easy as eating ice cream. Governing itself is as painful as walking on hot nails.
Last Sunday morning my weather radio went crazy. It's supposed to warn me if the nuclear plant I live near melts down, so I pay close attention when it sounds its siren inside my house.
Liberty County's and other school systems across the state have not received results from this year's Criteria-Referenced Competency Tests yet. But they apparently are going to be bad news when they are released next month.
Over the last five years, I have visited more than 500 schools, including at least one in every Georgia school district. I've discovered that each of our schools is unique and has its own character and its own challenges.
In challenging and divided times, it is imperative to find consensus-builders. Americans want results from Washington on the important issues before the country. Making progress on these issues means hammering out solutions that command broad support, and we need the politicians who can do it.
COULD SAM HELP OBAMA?
In my 15 years of advocating for gun violence prevention, I have never witnessed such an intense public debate about firearms policy. It is a crucial conversation that impacts all Georgians.
Every time I see the Rev. Jeremiah P. Wright holding forth on TV, I think of Jimmy Carter and Zell Miller.
Sometimes it takes someone from the outside making noise to draw our attention to necessary changes. And that's just what a national child advocacy organization did last week when it issued a report critiquing all 50 states' laws on the release of information about deaths and serious injuries from child abuse.
My friend, Elizabeth Johnson, is a boat captain on Tybee Island. For a living she takes anglers 50 to 75 miles off the coast and tells them how to bait up and where to cast and how to reel in.
I can predict the winner of the presidential election even now; the government. In a one-party system, that's how things work.
With their promise of new energy on Capitol Hill, congressional elections are always a time for hope. This year's contests will be especially significant, for Congress is listing and the nation desperately needs it to right itself.
Bill Shipp column for April 27, 2008
This coming Friday, we will celebrate Georgia Arbor Day. If you love and appreciate trees like I do, then please join us in celebration of trees this week by planting a tree and increasing our community tree canopy.
Editor, There is a new House bill going through the state at a very fast pace, and it's not even being discussed like any local gossip would. This is a very important issue for the entire state of Georgia. This bill proposes to take fuel tax off of your local SPLOST, ESPLOST and LOST revenue, which means a significant change in the operations of the county.
Twelve years ago, I made a decision to follow my head, not my heart, and put my career first. I'd just completed my first post-college internship at the Abilene Reporter-News in Texas and, having impressed my supervisor, was offered full-time employment at the end of my three-month stint.
Editor, On Dec. 16, 1773, demonstrators destroyed an entire shipment of tea in the Boston Harbor in protest of taxation without representation. Today, we have ultra-taxation with representation. At the rate that we are going, we will just sign over our employment checks and accept the spending money that our government gives us.
If you watched the Super Bowl a couple of weeks ago - and reports say that 114 million of us did - perhaps you saw a portion of the reprehensible behavior of Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin who, after scoring a touchdown, proceeded to mime pulling down his pants and squatting as if on a commode, before dropping the ball to the ground as if using the restroom. The NFL fined Baldwin $11,000, which has to be chump change to this boor. Astonishingly, the incident has gotten very little mention in the media. You can bet this kind of obscene showboating ...
The Georgia Senate had a busy week. We held numerous committee meetings to review legislation and listen to testimony either opposing or supporting bills being considered. The committee process is where the bills are vetted before being considered by the Senate, and it is a crucial part of the legislative process.