Imagine my surprise to read recent news reports that Georgia is among the least healthy states in the nation because of, among other things, our "poor diet." Obviously, the experts who put the report together have never heard of sweet tea, Vidalia onions, barbecue sandwiches or grits with butter.
Thinking about my kids, I really have been fortunate. I divorced my first wife when my two older kids were 5 and 3, and I was able to get custody of them. That wasn't the norm back in 1988, so I was fortunate to not be a "weekend dad." Throw in the fact that I married a wonderful woman, who raised Michael and Shannon as her own kids, and who they regard as their "mom," and you see how lucky I am.
As the holidays approach each year, we prepare for family visits, big feasts, gift exchanges and begin to reflect on the past year. Georgia has seen a tough year with the fallen financial and housing markets, job reductions and flooding that destroyed many homes, businesses and land. The affects have left many Georgians preparing a little differently this year.
This is going to be a special Thanksgiving. My great-grandson Cameron Yarbrough and I are going to begin a new family tradition this week by sharing a birthday celebration. He will hit the ripe old age of 1 tomorrow and two days later I will become slightly older than Kennesaw Mountain.
"Hey, Barack. It's me, your heart. It might be all the White House pickup basketball games or the imminent prospect of nationalizing American health insurance, but I'm feeling better than ever.
Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Dallas, tried to kill himself Nov. 8. A few days later, the former Paulding County attorney issued a news release acknowledging the suicide attempt.
Attention, National Board Certified teachers in Georgia who got hosed by the state in the last legislative session: I think I have found the guy in the white hat who plans to ride to the rescue. And he is a good one to have on the horse.
My water utility recently increased rates with tiered pricing: if you use more, you pay more. In so doing, San Francisco joined nearly 200 municipalities across the country.
Years ago, when I was still in Congress, I pulled up one day to address a public meeting in a remote and very rural part of Indiana. The sheriff, a friend of mine, met me outside the small volunteer firehouse where I was to speak. "The Ku Klux Klan is here in full regalia," he told me. "If you'd like, I'll keep them out of your meeting."
Thursday was a day I believe most educators are eager to recognize. Nov. 19 was National Parent Involvement Day, a time set aside each year to say an extra-special thank you to parents.
As the painful economic downturn forces businesses to become more efficient and refocus on their mission, state government should be no different. Across-the-board budget cuts are reaching diminishing returns. It's time to look seriously at eliminating programs that no longer serve a core government function.
On Nov. 3, the fairy tale died. The election results in Virginia and New Jersey dismantled the self-satisfied, just-so story that Democrats have been telling themselves about last year's election.
There are just a few things you can count on in this world: The sun will rise in the east; nobody will ever sing better than Ray Charles and somebody will try to make a martyr out of that piece of camel dung that killed 13 innocent men and women at Fort Hood, Texas.
The tragedy at Fort Hood last week is almost beyond comprehension. Other than the 9/11 attack or maybe the Oklahoma City bombing, I can't think of a tragedy in my lifetime that just takes your breath away.
Members of AIG's financial-products unit should take heart. Yes, Obama administration pay czar Kenneth Feinberg is coming down on them with the awesome power of his czardom, dictating that their pay not exceed $200,000 a year. In Wall Street terms, this is so draconian, they might as well be forced to earn whatever they can get by begging on street corners and finding leftover change in pay phones.
Last week, the second of two Americans infected with the Ebola virus arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
I just learned of a book called, "Say Goodbye to Your Southern Accent."
It's time to talk trash for a few minutes.
This is the end, my friends. After writing this column for more than three years, it is time for me to move on. I also write for three magazines and the commitment to the magazines is starting to demand a lot of my time. I have enjoyed bringing you the latest information on Midway and hope that you will attend the monthly meetings to keep the mayor and city-council members on their toes.
It has become somewhat of an art for me, that of studying Southern culture and deciphering what makes us different from others, as well as downright peculiar among ourselves.
I recently enjoyed a week in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, with my family. Usually, when I visit the best city in the country (my own personal opinion there), I only have a few days in which to squeeze in trips to my favorite restaurants, a little rest and relaxation, outings with relatives and an evening or two with old friends. So it was wonderful to have a little more time.
MOULTRIE - The first item in my emails today was: "How to get thin quickly."
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.