Rats. It looks as though I have not been selected to be a member of Gov.-elect Nathan Deal's transition team. Frankly, this is getting old. I am told that both Roy Barnes and George E. Perdue didn't pick me when forming their administrations because they both thought my advice wasn't worth a jar of warm spit. That may be the only thing the two men ever agreed on.
There may be no more deadly force in politics than hubris. It sneaks up on politicians at their weakest moments - the height of their success - and destroys them, sometimes slowly, sometimes spectacularly.
Monday will mark the beginning of open enrollment for the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Public officials have already taken steps to streamline the program, otherwise known as Medicare Part D, making it that much easier for seniors to sign up and customize coverage to best fit their medical needs.
Now, understand before I get started that I'm not trying to ram anything down your throat and I'm not one of those kinda guys who wants to convert you to my way of thinking. The one thing that drives me up the wall is some guy trying to convince me that his way of thinking is the only way.
What happens when a life-or-death issue is raised and put on the ballot but fails? Does the issue go away? Do we continue to look for answers or just accept the failure and retain the status quo?
"There came a smell off the shore like the smell of a garden." - John Winthrop, off the New England coast, 1630
Dear editor: I was shocked, and greatly saddened, to read in Wednesday's edition (Nov. 3) that Beef 'O' Brady's was closing. This was my favorite "hometown" restaurant, and I had lunch there as often as I could on the weekends. The food was always good, and the staff friendly. Doug and his wife were always constantly checking to see if everything was to the patron's liking, as did the waitstaff. And they were both well-known for supporting the local high school teams – that was obvious from the time anyone walked in the front door!
It was noticed several years ago that there was a connection between boxers getting beat in the head and later having brain damage.
On Election Day, Georgians rejected Amendment 2, which proposed an annual $10 car tag fee to help fund a statewide trauma care system. $10 per year - the cost of a pizza.
By Dick Yarbrough
Does the state of the economy or election-season mudslinging have you down? Cheer up, there really is good news out there.
It's easy to think pink in October. During National Breast Cancer awareness month, business and shop owners haul out the pink decor, athletes sport pink uniforms, people everywhere pin pink ribbons to their shirts.
We should have known about Juan Williams long ago. The signs of a simmering bigotry were always there. The political commentator wrote the book "Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965." He followed that up with an admiring biography of Thurgood Marshall. Then, more books on the African-American religious experience, historically black colleges and black farmers.
In my house, the contest for state school superintendent is as important as the governor's race. I have a son, son-in-law and now a grandson who are public school teachers and they – and all the other teachers – deserve a draw-a-line-in-the-sand advocate.
Folks!! Voting is a right given to you by this great country of ours. Shame on you if you have excuses not to vote.
A little time has passed since Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, which means we're far enough removed from the festivities that I can pen this opinion piece without letting those warm and fuzzy "holiday feelings" bias my sentiment. It has become clear to me that Americans are doing all they can to take God out of the holiday season, and it's disturbing.
Editor, There are a multitude of ads on TV these days from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals concerning homeless, injured, abused animals.
It happened a few months back. My father-in-law celebrated, to our great joy, his 88th birthday. There was no pomp or circumstance involved. He abhors that. Because he is among the most beautifully well-mannered people I have ever encountered, he politely took all the calls though he really wished we would just treat it as another day and leave him alone to watch the news channel.
The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and a member of the House's Ways and Means Committee, last week was a busy one for me. We gathered for four days of hearings at Gov. Nathan Deal's office, where the budget was presented. We also listened as state agencies offered input about budget needs and then asked questions regarding which programs worked well or were under- or over-funded.
In politics, you must take advantage of windows of opportunity. Sometimes good ideas are sidetracked by unfortunate events, a bad economy or even personality conflicts among political leaders. Given the risk of delaying decisions, Georgia needs to address its transportation shortfall quickly and practically.
My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today. For one thing, this will be a lot shorter and less boring than the State of the Union address (Boooo!) and, also, we don't have to endure a bunch of fawning politicians trying to be seen on national television. (Yay! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
Editor, Since Georgia's own Sen. Johnny Isakson voted for discriminating against pre-9/11 veterans and later against ending this discrimination, I've penned and sent the following to then-Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-VT, who introduced the Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2013:
It happened the other day. It's funny how things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful, of those sweets that are tucked inside our hearts and unknowingly treasured.
Two weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I struggled to come up with a fun way to pass a Sunday afternoon. My mother-in-law had just been staying with us, and she left that morning to head back to Florida. Since I'd given our house a good, thorough "pre-mother-in-law-visit" cleaning before she arrived, I was completely caught up on chores and housework.
With major policy decisions on transportation, education, health care and tax reform on the legislative agenda, Georgia should think beyond the traditional approach of spending more money as the solution for every problem. Focusing on ways to enhance economic opportunity and empower individuals beats doubling down on the status quo.
Editor, On behalf of Bryan County Children's Fund, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to everyone who helped to support the program this year. We were able to provide Christmas gifts to over 400 disadvantaged children in our county. This would not have been possible without collaboration and assistance from local churches, businesses, schools, social-service agencies and many others. The communitywide response was overwhelming. We are exceptionally thankful to The Good Ol' Boys, who raised funds through the annual Santa Scramble Golf Tournament and to Pembroke Advanced Communication for use of their space ...
Editor, I read Mr. Bruce McCartney's letter to the editor regarding the Wounded Warrior Project. He is totally correct. The project is top-heavy with a greedy group of executives. The top 10 officers have a compensation package from $150,000 to $333,000 a year. The remaining funds are disbursed to over 40 distribution organizations with similar management configurations.
Allen Peake is a man on a mission. The five-term Republican state representative from Macon is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia. He may succeed this year after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute and failed to pass his bill, which had sailed through the House with only four negative votes.
My parents, according to the world's definition of "cool," were not. Neither drank, nor did either ever possess a credit card. Groceries and clothing were paid for in cash, utilities paid by check, and the only monthly payments they ever allowed themselves were a mortgage for a house, a short-term loan for another farm, and a couple of cars bought, over time, and paid for quickly.
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