Dec. 29, 2008: Is Something Fishy At The State D.O.T.?

IS SOMETHING FISHY AT THE STATE D.O.T.? American humorist Will Rogers once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Could he have been talking about Georgia? No question that Department of Transportation Commissioner Gena Evans is a laugh a minute. Just for grins, can you top charges of sending via a government computer sexually […]

Dec. 22, 2008: Looking Back At 2008 Reminds Me How Lucky I Am

LOOKING BACK AT 2008 REMINDS ME HOW LUCKY I AM Don’t tell me it is almost 2009. Good grief! I haven’t finished getting ready for Y2K yet, and here we are already on the brink of a new decade. As has been my custom for many years, I plan to spend New Year’s Eve with […]

Dec. 15, 2008: Gov. Perdue Doesn’t Make Waves — Just Concrete Fishponds And Satisfied Elephants

GOV. PERDUE DOESN’T MAKE WAVES — JUST CONCRETE FISHPONDS AND SATISFIED ELEPHANTS It doesn’t take much to get me bragging about Georgia, if for no other reason than it irritates the hell out of loud-talking Yankees who move here and look down their noses at us even though you couldn’t get them to move back […]

Dec. 8, 2008: Saxby And Bubba Are Back. So Is Georgia Tech

SAXBY AND BUBBA ARE BACK. SO IS GEORGIA TECH I know you have been awaiting my observations on the recent political runoffs in Georgia. Sorry to be late, but I was afraid anything I said would encourage Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin to start running those abominable ads again. I would just as soon have […]

Dec. 1, 2008: Jimmy Carter Gets Left Holding The Bag

JIMMY CARTER GETS LEFT HOLDING THE BAG “Mr. President, I understand you wanted to see me? And why are you holding a garbage bag?” “Yes, I did. I need to get out of the country for a few weeks. Rosalynn is getting on my nerves. She’s always making me take out the garbage. I am […]

Nov. 24, 2008: To My Great-Grandson: I Am Glad You Are Here

TO MY GREAT-GRANDSON: I AM GLAD YOU ARE HERE Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: Welcome to the world! You are our first great-grandson, and you could not have come at a better time. Our family has experienced the loss of a life much too young and with too much potential, and our grief has at times […]

Nov. 17, 2008: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON RANDOM SUBJECTS My feelings are hurt. An astute political observer named Larry wrote me, gloating over Barack Obama’s election and pointing out what a racist I am. He cited as proof the column in which I stated gasoline would rise to $6 a gallon before this country would elect a black man […]

Nov. 10, 2008: Ten Things You Need To Know About The Presidential Election

TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States of America. Here are 10 things you need to know about the election. 1. Obama won fair and square. More Americans voted for him than voted for Republican Sen. John […]

Nov. 3, 2008: Kudzu-Eating Goats Offer Great Potential For Georgia

KUDZU-EATING GOATS OFFER GREAT POTENTIAL FOR GEORGIA First, an explanation as to why I am not talking about the elections this week. It is called a deadline. This column runs in a number of major markets around the state, from Rocky Face to Rincon to Sugar Hill. To ensure that all my loyal readers are […]

Oct. 27, 2008: Being Governor Of Georgia Is Not Easy And That’s No Bull

BEING GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA IS NOT EASY AND THAT’S NO BULL Where in the world is George? I’m not talking about George W. I know where that George is. He has donned his flight suit and is preparing to jet to Wall Street where he will land in front of the empty Merrill Lynch building […]

Oct. 20, 2008: Vive La France! My New Best Friends!

VIVE LA FRANCE! MY NEW BEST FRIENDS! I haven’t cared much for the French since some weenie named Jean-Paul Monchau came to Atlanta a few years ago as France’s consul general. He’d barely unpacked his bags before he announced that he intended to have the state of Georgia declare a moratorium on capital punishment and […]

Oct. 13, 2008: Skeeter Skates Dispenses Some Much-Needed Advice

SKEETER SKATES DISPENSES SOME MUCH-NEEDED ADVICE Leave it to my friend and counselor, Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter’s Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler, to shake me out of my doldrums. “Hoss, glad to see you back in the paper,” he growled over the phone. “You are about the only one […]

Oct. 6, 2008: Back In The Saddle, But Still A Little Shaky

BACK IN THE SADDLE, BUT STILL A LITTLE SHAKY After the unexpected death of my beloved grandson Zack Wansley, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this anymore. Twitting inept politicians, know-it-all media, smug entertainers, greedy CEOs and the terminally humorless seemed absurdly irrelevant. Then I began to hear from friends and strangers telling me […]

Sep. 16, 2008: Ken Yarbrough Steps In

My name is Ken Yarbrough. I’m writing this week because my father, the wordsmith that you’ve come to expect in this space, is taking a sabbatical. You see, his oldest grandson died recently, and as you might expect, he’s taking it hard. Please forgive me for presuming that I can capably fill in for him, […]

Sep. 2, 2008: Exclusive: Political Pros Ponder Palin Pick

EXCLUSIVE: POLITICAL PROS PONDER PALIN PICK Want to know how Democratic strategists reacted to John McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate? Let’s listen in and hear for ourselves: “Okay, folks, let’s get the meeting underway. We have a lot of issues to cover and Sen. Obama is anxious to […]

Aug. 25, 2008: If It Is The ‘New’ AT&T, It Must Be Tuesday

IF IT IS THE ‘NEW’ AT&T, IT MUST BE TUESDAY When my alma mater, BellSouth, was absorbed by Southwestern Bell, aka the “new” AT&T in 2006, then-BellSouth CEO F. Duane Ackerman said, “Technology changes and convergence are shaping a new competitive dynamic and creating tremendous opportunity.” Even my friend, the omniscient Skeeter Skates, owner of […]

Aug. 18, 2008: Trip To Scotland Reminds Me Why I Should Eat My Broccoli

TRIP TO SCOTLAND REMINDS ME WHY I SHOULD EAT MY BROCCOLI I have just returned from taking grandson Nicholas Wansley to Scotland with his grandma to visit the land of her ancestors. I would have taken him to visit my ancestors except I don’t have any idea where they are. The first thing we heard […]

Aug. 11, 2008: The Amazing Skeeter Skates Tells It Like It Is

THE AMAZING SKEETER SKATES TELLS IT LIKE IT IS It never fails. Just let me say one nice thing about the Great State of Georgia and I get letters from people who (a) live in the state, but (b) are originally from a state north of the Mason-Dixon Line that (c) they think is better […]

Aug. 4, 2008: Georgia Native A Key Player In Ford’s Turn-Around Efforts

GEORGIA NATIVE A KEY PLAYER IN FORD’S TURN-AROUND EFFORTS Benny Fowler represents everything that is good about this country, so it is not surprising that American-headquartered Ford Motor Company has him in a key position to help the company in its turn-around efforts. Fowler is group vice president for global quality at Ford Motor Company […]

Jul. 28, 2008: Ten Years Of Making Folks Laugh And Cry Or Rant And Sputter

TEN YEARS OF MAKING FOLKS LAUGH AND CRY OR RANT AND SPUTTER It was 10 years ago this month that the Atlanta Business Chronicle asked me to write a column giving my view of Atlanta two years after the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. I had been the managing director of communications and government relations for […]

Jul. 21, 2008: Georgia At The Epicenter Of The Political World

GEORGIA AT THE EPICENTER OF THE POLITICAL WORLD Are we Georgians a privileged group or what? Here we sit in the greatest state in the union with its majestic mountains; beautiful beaches; the oldest state-chartered university in the nation located in Athens, the Classic City of the South; sweet Vidalia onions and more barbecue than […]

Jul. 14, 2008: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON RANDOM SUBJECT No good deed goes unpunished. Recently I mentioned that Sen. Saxby Chambliss wanted to hear from you regarding your thoughts on the current energy crisis. A lot of you wrote him, and many of you sent me a copy. I found your letters a lot more thoughtful than the reply […]

Jul. 7, 2008: A Salute To Two Good Men

A SALUTE TO TWO GOOD MEN This is a story of two good men. Separated in age by several decades and in geography by several thousand miles, but with much in common: Successful careers, devoted family men, veterans, athletes, men of high character. Both with a love for the University of Georgia. Both my friends. […]

Jun. 30, 2008: There Are Some Questions Even This Columnist Can’t Answer

THERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS EVEN THIS COLUMNIST CAN’T ANSWER You’d better sit down for this one. I must confess that I, your modest and much-beloved columnist, don’t have all the answers. (I can hear the gasps from Adel to Zebulon.) True, I have most of the answers, but occasionally something just doesn’t compute. This is […]

Jun. 23, 2008: Your Troops Need To Believe We Are Worth The Effort

YOUR TROOPS NEED TO BELIEVE WE ARE WORTH THE EFFORT I will have more to say on the subject in a few weeks, but your response to my request for supplies for Marine Lt. Frank Wilson and his Light Armored Reconnaissance unit in Afghanistan has been nothing short of spectacular. I talked recently to Lt. […]

Jun. 16, 2008: Bill Curry Scores One For The Geriatric Gang

BILL CURRY SCORES ONE FOR THE GERIATRIC GANG Hooray for Bill Curry! He is the new football coach of the Georgia State University Panthers. Yes, I know he is a Georgia Tech man, but that is beside the point. The point is that at the ripe young age of 65 Curry is about to jump-start […]

June. 2, 2008: The Killer B’s Of Georgia Politics: Barr, Bubba, Barnes And Bowers

THE KILLER B’S OF GEORGIA POLITICS: BARR, BUBBA, BARNES AND BOWERS When roaming the political jungles of Georgia, beware of the Killer B’s: Barr (Bob) is running for president; Bubba (aka Lauren McDonald) is running for the Georgia Public Service Commission; Barnes (former Democratic Gov. Roy) is being encouraged to run for anything, as is […]

May 26, 2008: Jekyll Island Authority Says Revitalization Plans Still A Work in Progress

JEKYLL ISLAND AUTHORITY SAYS REVITALIZATION PLANS STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS Since I had talked recently to David Egan — whose group, the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island, has great concerns about the island’s proposed revitalization — I thought it only fair to see what the Jekyll Island Authority has to say. (Besides, it affords […]

May 19, 2008: An Evening With The Real Forrest Gump And Other Heroes

AN EVENING WITH THE REAL FORREST GUMP AND OTHER HEROES I have met the real Forrest Gump. Not the ninny sitting on a Savannah park bench, prattling about a box of chocolates. His name is Sammy L. Davis and he is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, this nation’s highest award for military heroism. […]

May 12, 2008: Baseball Trip with Grandson Was a Home Run

BASEBALL TRIP WITH GRANDSON WAS A HOMERUN There are no two ways about it: Being a grandfather is better than a plateful of hot buttered biscuits. Nothing compares to it. Nothing comes close. After deciding that President Peanut would be home long enough to wash his socks before taking off for Timbuktu to mediate a […]

May 5, 2008: Do A Good Deed For Our Troops In Afghanistan

DO A GOOD DEED FOR OUR TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN Okay, listen up. I have a job for you. Actually, it’s not a job. It’s a good deed. Lt. Frank Wilson, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, is deployed in Afghanistan, helping root out the Taliban bad guys. He and his unit are out in […]

Apr. 28, 2008: Jekyll Grassroots Group A Formidable Factor In Redevelopment Plans

JEKYLL GRASSROOTS GROUP A FORMIDABLE FACTOR IN REDEVELOPMENT PLANS I learned the hard way in my corporate life never to underestimate the power of grassroots organizations. They are always the last to blink in a fight. I have the scars to prove it. One such group is the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island, which claims […]

Apr. 21, 2008: Jimmy Carter Has No Right To Undermine Our Nation’s Foreign Policy

JIMMY CARTER HAS NO RIGHT TO UNDERMINE OUR NATION’S FOREIGN POLICY What are we going to do with Jimmy Carter? The man has gone from being a joke to someone who is suddenly very unfunny. Some folks I know think he is senile. Others believe he is bitter about his failed presidency and is trying […]

Apr. 14, 2008: Atlanta Doctor Gives Back To A Country That Has Given Him Much

ATLANTA DOCTOR GIVES BACK TO A COUNTRY THAT HAS GIVEN HIM MUCH What did you do on Sept. 11, 2001 when you realized Islamic terrorists had slammed airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing thousands of innocent people? Most of us walked around in a stupor. The U.S. Senate gathered on the […]

Apr. 7, 2008: Recent Legislative Session Like A Dysfunctional Family Reunion

RECENT LEGISLATIVE SESSION LIKE A DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY REUNION When Republicans first took control of the Georgia House and Senate and the governor’s office, I was concerned. Too buttoned-down and serious, I said. They will go to the Capitol, cut taxes, make government smaller and more responsive, jerk their Democrat colleagues around a little and then […]

Mar. 31, 2008: Don’t Blame Hillary And Me: We Just Need Our Sleep

DON’T BLAME HILLARY AND ME: WE JUST NEED OUR SLEEP Okay everybody, give me a break. If I have done something wrong, it is not my fault. I’m not trying to make excuses for irritating the bejeezus out of you, but I just can help myself. If you must know, I am sleep-deprived. Me and […]

Mar. 24, 2008: The More Water We Have, The More Our Ungrateful Neighbors Want

THE MORE WATER WE HAVE, THE MORE OUR UNGRATEFUL NEIGHBORS WANT No good deed goes unpunished. When Gov. Sonny Perdue convened a meeting at the state Capitol last November to pray for rain, a lot of snooty-noses scoffed. Not me. I told my friends they had better find their umbrellas because the governor had asked […]

Mar. 17, 2008: We All Lose When Politicians And Media Get Cozy

WE ALL LOSE WHEN POLITICIANS AND MEDIA GET COZY Isn’t it strange that disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer got away with his trysts as long as he did? Spitzer, a mean-spirited bully, resigned following revelations he had been saying one thing and doing another. As New York’s attorney general, he stayed busy impugning […]

Mar. 10, 2008: Where Have All The Reliable Targets Gone?

WHERE HAVE ALL THE RELIABLE TARGETS GONE? I am getting concerned. A lot of my most reliable targets have dried up and gone away. Kind of like the drought, except annexing Tennessee won’t help me any. Our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney has disappeared into the cesspool of the free world, Berkeley, Calif. I […]

Mar. 3, 2008: Jekyll Redevelopment Should Be Of Interest To All Georgians

JEKYLL REDEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE OF INTEREST TO ALL GEORGIANS Depending on who you talk to, Jekyll Island is about to be taken over by greedy real estate developers and turned into a fancy vacation resort with prices out of reach to ordinary Georgians, or it is a seedy, financially-strapped rundown shell of its former self. […]

Feb. 25, 2008: Some Politicians Think Rules Don’t Apply to Them

SOME POLITICIANS THINK RULES DON’T APPLY TO THEM It grieves me to hear people complain about all the “crooked politicians” in our government. I have spent much of my adult life around the political arena and, popular though it may be, the perception that our public officials are generally a bad lot is incorrect. In […]

Feb. 18, 2008: Wood Storks Not A Concern At Beijing Olympics

WOOD STORKS NOT A CONCERN AT BEIJING OLYMPICS If there are any wood storks in China, they are in a heap of trouble. The XXIX Olympiad, as the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing are so grandly known are just months away and I am willing to bet all the tea in — well, you […]

Feb. 11, 2008: GOP Rebels Lose Battle; Speaker Loses War

GOP REBELS LOSE BATTLE; SPEAKER LOSES WAR I called Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, the other day to see how he likes living in the political doghouse. Graves was one of several House members who defied the wishes of Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, wishes and voted for the re-election of Mike Evans to the State Transportation […]

Feb. 4, 2008: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON RANDOM SUBJECTS A recent column on HB 905, legislation proposed by Rep. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, that would establish a technical education track in Georgia high schools, got a huge response. Readers across the state expressed strong approval of his efforts. Several sent me copies of notes they had written him in support. […]

Jan. 28, 2008: Delta, Northwest Employees And Customers Should Be Leery Of Proposed Merger

DELTA, NORTHWEST EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS SHOULD BE LEERY OF PROPOSED MERGER According to news reports, one of the biggest issues in the current merger talks between Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and Northwest is who would run the new company — the Delta guy or the nabob from Northwest. I’ll try to keep this simple, but […]

Jan. 21, 2008: Rep. Fran Millar Deserves An ‘A’ For His Education Efforts

REP. FRAN MILLAR DESERVES AN ‘A’ FOR HIS EDUCATION EFFORTS The HOPE scholarship has kept a number of Georgia’s brightest kids at home and has vastly improved the academic quality of our state’s universities and colleges. If a college education isn’t your bag, the state of Georgia also offers one of the best technical education […]

Jan. 14, 2008: After Three Years, Nichols Case Goes Nowhere

AFTER THREE YEARS, NICHOLS CASE GOES NOWHERE Excuse me for bringing up a sore subject again, but it has been almost three years since someone who looked an awful lot like Brian Nichols overpowered a deputy at the Fulton County courthouse in March 2005, took her gun and the lives of four innocent people — […]

Jan. 7, 2008: New Year Will Likely Strain My Much-Admired Tolerance And Patience

NEW YEAR WILL LIKELY STRAIN MY MUCH-ADMIRED TOLERANCE AND PATIENCE The year 2008 has begun very much like 2007 ended — still populated with too many humorless liberal weenies, narrow-minded Bible thumpers, state flaggers who couldn’t find the 21st century with a calendar, rude cell phone yakkers, poor service in two languages — depending on […]