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.
Editor, While visiting my sister who lives in Richmond Hill Village, she pointed out to me the historical marker placed in her neighborhood state it to be "the 'Bottom' Village," which, she says, is just a decades-old nickname for the area.
No one likes to hear "I told you so…"
If New Year's is a time to regroup and look toward the upcoming year, then Thanksgiving is a time to gather and reflect on the year that has passed. In our family, it is a time when we thank the good Lord for both the heartaches and the blessings.
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.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Somehow I ran across an out-of-print book called "The Last Lap." Now 15 years old, it tells an intriguing, timeless tale of the early days of America's first stock-car racers.
The holidays are upon us and many people will be traveling to visit friends and family over the next few weeks.
Before I had a child, there were a few things I noticed parents doing that really annoyed me, and I swore I would never do those things if and when I became a mother. For the most part, I've been diligent about sticking to my guns.
Homecomings are the stuff of sweet dreams and dessert for breakfast - so perfect and delicious, but often followed by either a rude awakening or a few extra pounds. As a military family member who has experienced distances because of deployment and training, I can tell you it doesn't necessarily get any easier. The families who recently have or are welcoming home loved ones this week have a few battles ahead as they work together to find a new family life balance.
Editor, Remember the great Henry Ford City controversy? A brainchild of former mayor Richard Davis and some others, a major effort was launched to brand many aspects of the Richmond Hill as a "Henry Ford City." Signs proclaiming this appeared and a host of other publicity measures supported the drive, a stated purpose of which was to bring hoards of Ford-worshipping, free-spending visitors to the fair city.
While campaigning for his health care law - and in the years since its passage - President Obama repeatedly assured the American people that, "if you like your health-care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan."
Last week, family and friends gathered in the small town of Chattahoochee Hills, south of Atlanta, to celebrate a life well-lived.
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.
Around the corner, out in the country where we live, is a hardware store owned by a guy I have known since the day I was born. Our bassinets were next to each other in the hospital nursery.
The Internet is bad for me. I'm an obsessive worrier, and I've only gotten worse since the advent of search engines. I often think that if someone got a hold of my web-search queries, I'd end up an international laughing stock. Among the best last week: "Can you become addicted to nasal spray?" "Affects of eating slightly brown guacamole," "Can Tums cause kidney stones?" and "My cat ate cellophane."