The Georgia House of Representatives has passed an ethics-reform bill and has sent it on its way to the state Senate for its consideration and action. But don't get out the confetti just yet.
With what could be an endless series of fiscal crises facing the federal government during the next few months, now is a good time to check where Congress stands in its deficit-reduction efforts. After two years, here's the scorecard: middle-class families and the military, $1.5 trillion in budget cuts and reduced public investments over 10 years; wealthy households, $620 billion in fairer taxes; corporate America, nothing.
Imagine a business that oversees massive construction projects but doesn't have to worry about completing them on time or within budget. Hard to believe a company like that could stay in business, right?
Why not shut the federal government down? Congress has been shut down for decades now, accomplishing nothing of any real significance in Washington for a very long time, so what would be the big deal? Would anyone really notice?
I was in my mid-40s, attending one of my daughter's T-ball games, when the gentleman sitting next to me asked, "Which one is your grandkid?"
I understand babies are adorable, and it's hard to overcome the compulsion to pinch their chubby, pink cheeks and grab their tiny fingers. But for the sake of germ-fearing parents everywhere, I certainly wish people would learn to keep their hands to themselves.
A pile of automatic spending cuts, commonly known as the sequester, kicked in Friday, and while the impact of the $85 billion in cuts slated for this year won't immediately be felt, the potential for damage to our fragile economy has been done.
The Ogeechee Riverkeeper organization held its annual gala over the weekend with a fete at Fort McAllister State Historic Park - a fitting location along the banks of the river itself. Despite the evening's less-than-desirable weather, the event was a hit by all accounts. Good food, good music, good company and a worthy cause seemed to help turn the soggy conditions into just another part of the fun.
My recent observations on the lack of respect given public-school teachers in Georgia engendered a lot of responses, but none better than this story sent to me by my friend, David Egan, co-director of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island and a former educator himself.
Tuesday, Feb. 19: After a long weekend at home, we're back in business this morning and our first action is to pass the 2013 amended budget out of the Appropriations Committee. The state's budget runs on a fiscal year from July 1-June 30 and has to be amended midyear primarily to account for revenue adjustments and K-12 student population growth.
The Georgia General Assembly saw the completion of the 22nd day of the 2013 legislative session, officially crossing through the mid-way point.
I can remember writing an article almost five years ago titled, "The Long-Term Care Cruise." Wow, how time flies. The article was a comparison of living in a senior community to living on the high seas using a cruise ship as a permanent retirement abode.
Having a baby is costly in ways I did not foresee. Of course, I knew there would be added expenses in medical bills, childcare, diapers, formula and clothing. But I'm surprised at the amount of money my family wastes on things that don't seem to be to my baby's liking.
An intriguing piece of legislation dropped into the hopper in Atlanta this week has, so far, exactly one signature on it - that of its sponsor, Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus). It deserves at least a close look. The essence of the bill, S.B. 175, is that state legislators who run for federal office must either vacate their legislative seats within 30 days after officially declaring their candidacy, or officially end that bid for higher office by notice to the Federal Election Commission before that 30-day period ends.
Earlier this year, it seemed there might be some hope for Capitol Hill when Congress dealt easily with raising the debt ceiling. But don't let that single episode fool you. As President Obama and House Republicans circle each other over the forthcoming budget cuts known as the "sequester," it's a reminder that Congress and the White House have a complicated legislative agenda ahead - and that none of the items on it will come easily.
We did it for four years while I was a member of the planning and zoning board of the city of Pooler. We did it for 11 years while I was serving as either Pooler mayor pro tem or mayor. And we've done it for the past nine years while I've served in the state Legislature.
Welcome to the first of many military-life columns. Whether it is among civilian friends or military colleagues, military life presents its own unique challenges and opportunities. Your neighbors, children's friends and strangers in the grocery store all have been affected in different ways by the military. In our community especially, we live, work and play next to military families without realizing it.
Each Nov. 11, America takes time to honor and remember those who have put their lives on the line in the defense of this great nation.
Dear Dr. Morehead:
It happened in Memphis. A lot of history and interesting things occur in that magical city that sits grandly on the Mississippi River. Elvis held court there, the blues grew up there, and barbecue is queen. Elvis, of course, is still king.
I'm an apologetic person. Maybe it's Catholic guilt. Maybe it's just in my nature. But I do love to apologize - mostly for things that aren't my fault. My mother has always said I'd apologize for World War II if given the opportunity. She's right; I am sorry for that horrible global conflict, but not because I think I had anything to do with it. In general, I'm just sorry it happened. It's an empathetic type of apology.
Sydney, our youngest daughter, is a member of the local Cheer Savannah competitive cheerleading team. Last week our family attended our first ever cheerleading exhibition to watch Sydney, along with the several hundred girls that are involved in this wonderful program, demonstrate all the skills and techniques they have learned over this past summer.
As Congress moves forward on budget negotiations, the word out of Washington is to expect nothing major: no grand bargain, just more stopgap, short-term fixes.
During the recent government shutdown, many numbers were thrown around. But there is one number that stands out, and it has nothing to do with the debate over the federal budget.
Last Friday morning, dozens of local golfers will take to the greens at Sterling Links Golf Course in Richmond Hill ready for a day of friendly competition and, of course, golf. But these golfers aren't playing just for the sport of it - they'll be participating in the Good Ol' Boys' 14th annual John Stevens Santa Scramble and helping raise funds for the Bryan County Children's Fund.
We often hear how pets are wonderful companions for older adults. Pets provide much-needed comfort, friendship and love to our seniors.
The waitress set down my cup of coffee, and I poured cream into the hot, black liquid while silently reflecting on and pondering something.
Funny thing happened the other day to our local newspaper on the way to obscurity: My teenage daughter asked for a printed copy.
Every phase of "babyhood" has its merits, and I've loved them all so far. In fact, every time my daughter Reese enters a new stage of development, I swear that it's the best one yet. I honestly can't pick my favorite.
Some say the adage about pigs flying originated with Washington politicians who have an uncanny ability to get nothing accomplished. If they did accomplish something - the politicians we mean - then said swine would take to the air. The horror.