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 […]

Dec. 31, 2007: To My Grandsons: Work Hard and Have Passion

TO MY GRANDSONS: WORK HARD AND HAVE PASSION To Zachary and Nicholas Wansley, Brian and Thomas Yarbrough Thinking about what I wanted to share with you this year, I was struck at how much we — you and I — have changed since we began this annual correspondence back at the beginning of the new […]

Dec. 24, 2007: Businesses Run For Re-Election Every Day

BUSINESSES RUN FOR RE-ELECTION EVERY DAY It was not the way I wanted to end the year, but I have only myself to blame. One of my cardinal rules is to exercise care when doing business with friends. That is how friends can become ex-friends. I have adhered to that rule with a few notable […]

Dec. 17, 2007: Reflections On Christmases Past And Present

REFLECTIONS ON CHRISTMASES PAST AND PRESENT Oh boy! It’s Christmas time. My favorite time of the year. I love Christmas. I love giving presents. I love singing Christmas carols. I love the smell of cookies as they come to life in the oven. I love the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. I love the […]

Dec. 10, 2007: UGA Is A Winner On And Off The Football Field

UGA IS A WINNER ON AND OFF THE FOOTBALL FIELD Okay, Bulldog Nation, let’s all get a paper bag and breath into it very s-l-o-w-l-y. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Feel better? Good. Now turn off the whine machine, and let’s talk. We need to accept the fact that the University of Georgia is not playing […]

Dec. 3, 2007: Underdog Democrats Intend To Be Major Player In Next Legislative Session

UNDERDOG DEMOCRATS INTEND TO BE MAJOR PLAYER IN NEXT LEGISLATIVE SESSION A couple of weeks ago I visited with Georgia House Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R-St. Simons) to get his views on the upcoming legislative session. Last week, I stopped by to see what House Minority Leader DuBose Porter (D-Dublin) had to say about things. […]

Nov. 26, 2007: Reflections On Growing Another Year Older

REFLECTIONS ON GROWING ANOTHER YEAR OLDER I have survived another birthday and am happy to report that I am still on the right side of the grass. Don’t scoff. At my age, that is becoming a big deal. Getting old is not for sissies. Today, I have body parts that ache constantly that I wasn’t […]

Nov. 19, 2007: GOP Leader Says Water, Tax Reform To Dominate Busy Legislative Session

GOP LEADER SAYS WATER, TAX REFORM TO DOMINATE BUSY LEGISLATIVE SESSION Don’t look now, but the Legislature opens for business in about eight weeks. You might want to hide the silverware. To find out what we should be prepared for, I dropped by Jerry Keen’s offices for a chat recently. Keen (R-St. Simons) is the […]

Nov. 12, 2007: A Lost Friend Reminds Me Of What Is Important In Life

A LOST FRIEND REMINDS ME OF WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN LIFE Don’t look now, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s a good time to get things in perspective, to reflect on all the things for which we have to be thankful. In truth, we should never let the sun set without giving thanks […]

Nov. 5, 2007: Some Helpful Advice To The Governor Regarding The Water Crisis

SOME HELPFUL ADVICE TO THE GOVERNOR REGARDING THE WATER CRISIS DEAR GOV. PERDUE: When you decided to run for governor a few years ago, I’ll bet you never thought you had signed on to manage the worst water crisis in our state’s history. Usually, our governors just make a lot of speeches and issue proclamations […]

Oct. 29, 2007: Chambliss Talks About Peachcare, Water And Warts

CHAMBLISS TALKS ABOUT PEACHCARE, WATER AND WARTS Sen. Saxby Chambliss called the other date to update me — and you — on a number of issues currently ricocheting around Washington, including continued federal funding for the State Children’s Insurance Program, known in Georgia as PeachCare. The program authorizes states to provide healthcare coverage to “targeted […]

Oct. 22, 2007: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON RANDOM SUBJECTS Lordy, I upset some Georgia Tech fans a couple of weeks ago by poking fun at their all-night Welcoming Event and Brand Alignment hootenanny on November 1. One reader told me that students no longer use slide rules at Tech, as I had implied. I suppose that means they’ve also […]

Oct. 15, 2007: Say A Prayer For Little Abby Smith

SAY A PRAYER FOR LITTLE ABBY SMITH If you have tuned in to see who is going to get sledge-hammered this week, the answer is no one. Politicians of all types and persuasions are getting a pass. Hollywood draws a bye as well. You will find no barbs aimed at cat lovers, the blowhard City […]

Oct. 8, 2007: Get Ready To Rap At Tech’s “Welcoming Experience”

GET READY TO RAP AT TECH’S “WELCOMING EXPERIENCE” On Thursday evening, Nov. 1, Georgia Tech, my third favorite team in the whole wide world (UGA is first, anybody playing Tech is second, you can figure out the rest) meets Virginia Tech at Grant Field in Atlanta. To those of us unsophisticated in such matters, we […]

Oct. 1, 2007: Reflections On Iraq Two Years Later

REFLECTIONS ON IRAQ TWO YEARS LATER It has been two years since my trip to Iraq to see the war through the eyes of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team located in the aptly named “Triangle of Death”, south of Baghdad. The longer I am away, the scarier it seems. Would I do it again? In […]

Sep 24, 2007: Cynthia McKinney Has Returned, And I’m Ecstatic

CYNTHIA MCKINNEY HAS RETURNED, AND I’M ECSTATIC The Lord works in mysterious ways. After enduring the unending righteous indignation of Al, a former television network correspondent, and Barney (not his real name) who is a “charter coordinator” of something or other (he won’t tell me) in the Atlanta area, I was about ready to insert […]

Sep. 17, 2007: Governor Shares Lessons Learned From Athletics

GOVERNOR SHARES LESSONS LEARNED FROM ATHLETICS Watching Gov. Sonny Perdue on television at the Little League World Series, where his hometown Warner Robins team defeated Japan for the world championship, reminded me that he was a pretty good athlete in his day. How good? “I was small,” he said when I dropped by his office […]

Sept. 10, 2007: From Gator Jibes To Diatribes: Readers Respond

FROM GATOR JIBES TO DIATRIBES: READERS RESPOND If you know any shrimp personally, you might tell them to get out of town. As soon as I finish writing this, I am off to the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill on St. Simons Island to stuff my face with copious amounts of the corn-fried variety. Before […]

Sept. 3, 2007: Some Reflections On 9/11 Six Years Later

SOME REFLECTIONS ON 9/11 SIX YEARS LATER It has been six years since a group of madmen carried out a series of unprovoked attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon killing more than 3,000 innocent people. I can still see a group of frightened U.S. senators standing on the steps of the Capitol […]

Aug. 27, 2007: My First And Last Words On Lowlife Michael Vick

MY FIRST AND LAST WORDS ON LOWLIFE MICHAEL VICK A number of readers have asked why I haven’t written about the Michael Vick saga. I have tried to ignore the subject since everyone else feels compelled to blather about it ad nauseum. What is there left to say? Frankly, Vick isn’t worth the precious space […]

Aug. 20, 2007: Georgia License Plates For Florida Gators Is A “Dum-Dum” Idea

GEORGIA LICENSE PLATES FOR FLORIDA GATORS IS A “DUM-DUM” IDEA Georgia Department of Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, who probably sings “Rocky Top” in the shower each morning, said recently he will approve a specialty automobile license tag for the University of Florida. In a state wherein is found […]

Aug. 13, 2007: Odds Long For Nunn And Gingrich Presidential Chances

ODDS LONG FOR NUNN AND GINGRICH PRESIDENTIAL CHANCES How ironic that two Georgians, Sam Nunn and Newt Gingrich, are being mentioned as possible presidential candidates. Talk about your political yin and yang. As managing director of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games with responsibilities for coordinating state and federal government support for the Games, my staff […]

Aug. 6, 2007: State Bar Suing Ethics Advocate Is Bad Lawyer Joke

STATE BAR SUING ETHICS ADVOCATE IS BAD LAWYER JOKE Many of my friends are lawyers. It is not that I seek them out but since there are more lawyers in the world than fleas on a dog, the law of averages says some of them are bound to become friends. Therefore, I hope my legal […]

Jul. 30, 2007: Painting Reminds Me Of What Is Important — And What Isn’t

PAINTING REMINDS ME OF WHAT IS IMPORTANT — AND WHAT ISN’T People ask how I come up with ideas for this space. It’s easy. I look for the thinnest skin I can find and make a beeline for it, like a sand flea finding an ankle. Certainly, there is no shortage of thin-skinned targets to […]

Jul. 16, 2007: A Modern Day Miracle: Baptist Appoint Female Minister!

A MODERN DAY MIRACLE: BAPTIST APPOINT FEMALE MINISTER! Don’t look now, but the First Baptist Church of Decatur has just appointed a (gasp!) female, Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell, as its senior minister. Grab an umbrella. The sky may be falling. Naturally, this appointment hasn’t gone over well with some of the poobahs in the Southern Baptist […]

Jul. 9, 2007: Sifting Through The Ashes Of Immigration Reform

SIFTING THROUGH THE ASHES OF IMMIGRATION REFORM Sifting through the ashes of the recent failed immigration reform effort in Congress, one can learn a lot of helpful lessons. The most important, of course, is that We the People are still in charge. I cannot remember when the American public has been as angry as they […]

Jun. 26, 2007: Jack Kingston Sets The Record Straight On Congressional Workweek

JACK KINGSTON SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON CONGRESSIONAL WORKWEEK If he had it to do over again, I suspect he would do it differently. Georgia’s Republican 1st District Congressman Jack Kingston created a firestorm a few months ago when he complained publicly about the new Democratic majority’s decision to go to five-day workweeks, instead of […]

Jun. 18, 2007: An Old Man Remembers That Fishing Is A Great Way To Spend A Day

AN OLD MAN REMEMBERS THAT FISHING IS A GREAT WAY TO SPEND A DAY I owe Gov. Sonny Perdue an apology. I thought his pet program, “Go Fish, Georgia,” was a bunch of hooey. Thanks to my young friend Carter, I don’t feel that way anymore. Carter was my partner recently at a little fishing […]

Jun. 11, 2007: A Lot Of Things Have Changed In This World, But Not Vince Dooley

A LOT OF THINGS HAVE CHANGED IN THIS WORLD, BUT NOT VINCE DOOLEY The first time I met Vince Dooley was at a restaurant at St. Simons Island. It was early 1965, and he was sitting alone in the near-empty eatery having dinner. I walked over and introduced myself and congratulated him on the winning […]

Jun. 4, 2007: Proposed Immigration Reform Is A Hot Topic In Georgia

PROPOSED IMMIGRATION REFORM IS A HOT TOPIC IN GEORGIA This is a first. I am getting inundated with angry mail, and for once, I am innocent. Usually, my broadsides at politically irrelevant flaggers or loud-talking, know-it-all Yankees or President Peanut’s pontifications will have folks snorting like a cranky bull with postnasal drip. But, alas, the […]

Jul. 2, 2007: Run Zell, Run. Your Nation Needs You

RUN ZELL, RUN. YOUR NATION NEEDS YOU I wish to say a word about the current crop of people running for president of the United States. The word is “ugh!” There’s not a pony in the pile. Maybe it doesn’t matter who is president. After all, we have survived one of the most inarticulate presidents […]

May 28, 2007: Jimmy Carter Can’t See Himself As Others See Him

JIMMY CARTER CAN’T SEE HIMSELF AS OTHERS SEE HIM I had planned to ignore Jimmy Carter’s latest blather about the Bush administration being the worst in history. For one thing, President Peanut is Exhibit A when it comes to bad presidential administrations, and he doesn’t need my help in reminding you of that. Instead, it […]

May 21, 2007: Georgia’s Public School Teachers Need Support, Not Meddling

GEORGIA’S PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS NEED SUPPORT, NOT MEDDLING As another school year comes to a close in Georgia, hats off to those heroes who labor in the trenches underpaid, underappreciated and under pressure — our teachers. I have two public school teachers in my family, Dr. Ted Wansley and Ken Yarbrough. Both are high school […]

May 14, 2007: House Speaker Goes From Political Penthouse To Outhouse

HOUSE SPEAKER GOES FROM POLITICAL PENTHOUSE TO OUTHOUSE You live by the sword, you die by the sword. In my not-so-humble opinion, House Speaker Glenn Richardson got badly gored during the recent budget fight in the General Assembly. He had it coming. He may be King Kong in the House of Representatives, but to a […]

May 7, 2007: ‘Victims’ Should Understand That Actions Have Consequences

‘VICTIMS’ SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES I am sick of people who get into trouble of their own making and then are portrayed as victims. Take the case of Genarlow Wilson, a former Douglas County student who is doing ten years in prison for having oral sex with an underage girl in a hotel […]

Apr. 30, 2007: Just What the World Needs — A Kinder, Gentler Column

It is not easy being married to the fearsome Woman Who Shares My Name. She makes me eat broccoli all the time, which I believe to be hazardous to my health, except she says things will be more hazardous if I don’t eat it.  Even though we have dual heating and air-conditioning controls in the […]

Apr. 23, 2007: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON RANDOM SUBJECTS Here is a suggestion for all the self-important talking heads on television and newspaper editorial writers across the country: Take the time and space that have been devoted to harrumphing about Don Imus and blabbering over Anna Nicole Smith and spend it on Professor Liviu Librescu, the 76-year-old Virginia Tech […]

Apr. 16, 2007: Rumor Of UGA VI’s Retirement ‘Greatly Exaggerated’

RUMOR OF UGA VI’S RETIREMENT ‘GREATLY EXAGGERATED’ Dear Uga: I am just back from a trip with my grandson to the Normandy battlefields in France. To tell you the truth, I was reluctant to go because (a) the Legislature was still in session at the time and there was no telling what kind of mischief […]

Apr. 9, 2007: Home And Humble From Our Trip To Normandy

HOME AND HUMBLE FROM OUR TRIP TO NORMANDY The weather was miserable. The trip was magnificent. Grandson Thomas and I are back from Normandy, trying to absorb what we saw, heard and felt as we walked the same beaches, bridges and killing fields where long ago ordinary men did extraordinary things. It was known officially […]

Apr. 2, 2007: Taking My Grandson To Normandy To Learn About Real Heroes

TAKING MY GRANDSON TO NORMANDY TO LEARN ABOUT REAL HEROES For one who hates to travel, I have long awaited this trip — taking 16-year-old grandson Thomas Yarbrough to Normandy, the site of Operation Overlord — most of us refer to it as D-Day — the largest military invasion from the sea in history and […]

Mar. 26, 2007: Why Do House Republicans Want To Pick a Fight With Media?

It looks as though the boys and girls of the Legislature — more specifically the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives — are at it again, acting like a bunch of petulant, thumb-sucking five-year-olds. The source of their snit fit? The state’s media, of course. Most of my career has involved dealing with the […]

Mar. 19, 2007: I’m Sorry, But I Don’t Understand All The Apologies

IMaybe it’s because the vernal equinox is near its ecliptic intersect, or then again it could be the pine pollen, but it seems that all of a sudden people are apologizing for the darnedest things, or are wanting folks to apologize to them. The new chairman of Atlanta-based Home Depot, Frank Blake, has apologized publicly […]

Mar. 12, 2007: Brian Nichols Case Is a Perversion of Justice

William Gladstone, British prime minister in the late 1800s, said, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” He could have been talking about the American judicial system today. More specifically, he could have been talking about the Brian Nichols case. You may recall that two years ago, in March 2005, Nichols was on trial for rape in […]

Mar. 5, 2007: Politicos Are Dead Wrong About This Mountain Man

The last thing Zell Miller needs is to have me springing to his defense. Zell can take care of himself, thank you very much. But he has taken a couple of gratuitous shots recently that I feel need further commentary. First, state Sen. Regina Thomas (D-Savannah) was quoted in news reports as saying that while […]

Feb. 26, 2007: This Proud Georgian Thinks Pledge of Allegiance to State is a Great Idea

I must confess that there have been days when I wasn’t sure if Rep. Bobby Franklin’s elevator stopped on every floor. The Cobb County Republican can think up some pretty goofy stuff — even for a member of the Georgia General Assembly — that makes you wonder if he needs a day job or if […]

Feb. 19, 2007: My Mailbox Says It Is Going To Be a Very Interesting Year

If the first two months are any indication, it is going to be a very interesting year. I haven’t really hit my stride yet, and already my mailbox is overflowing. Either I have been remarkably adept at pushing hot buttons or it is just too cold to go outside and play Cowpersons and Native Americans. […]

Feb. 12, 2007: Snagging “Super Speeders” in Georgia Is a Super Idea

Well, they finally got something right under the Gold Dome. After enduring a spate of proposals in this legislative session that range from silly (the governor’s “Go Fishing” program), to scary (deciding how the state will redevelop Jekyll Island), to serious (rescuing PeachCare insurance), to just plain dumb (cutting the school-year calendar), here comes “Super […]

Feb. 5, 2007: Legislative Effort To Cut School Calendar Deserves An “F”

Before this session of the Legislature began, State School Superintendent Kathy Cox told me she hoped legislators would work with her and her staff to get the department’s views on proposed legislation affecting public education in Georgia. That seems fair. Lawmakers know to talk with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources, […]

Dec. 18, 2006: Dear Congressman Kingston: We The People Don’t Care About Your Problems

I’m not quite sure what Jack Kingston was trying to achieve, but if it was to give the rest of us a serious case of eye-roll, then mission accomplished. Kingston is an eight-term Republican congressman from Georgia’s 1st District, an area extending south from Savannah and Brunswick to the Florida border and northwest to Warner […]

Dec. 11, 2006: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

A sad political truth: Parties in power may change, but politicians never do. After years of being on the outside and finally gaining the majority, what do Georgia Republicans do? Start acting like the arrogant Democrats they replaced. Gov. Sonny Perdue gets two sweet land deals that don’t pass the smell test with ordinary Georgians, […]

Dec. 5, 2006: From Obituaries To Art To Apologies, It Was A Very Good Year

To quote one of my all-time favorite singers — Frank Sinatra — crooning one of my all-time favorite songs, “It Was a Very Good Year.” Indeed, it was. The first thing I did every morning this past year was to check the obituaries and see if my name was listed. I am happy to report […]

Dec. 4, 2006: It Is Time To Say “Thank You” To Those Who Have Helped You

I lost a hero last week, and learned a hard lesson in the process. Dr. Bill Inman died at the age of 82. Bill was a physician in Brunswick. To be as prominent and as respected as he was in the community, he had as little ego as any doctor I’ve ever known. If you […]

Nov. 27, 2006: More Conversation With Carl Sanders: His Race With Carter And His Legacy

Two significant developments came out of Carl Sanders’ race for governor in 1970 against Jimmy Carter. First, unlike Carter, Sanders refused to compromise his principles in order to get elected. Second, once the election was over, the former governor decided to leave the political arena and devote himself to building his law practice. Today, Troutman-Sanders, […]

Nov. 20, 2006: A Privileged Conversation: Carl Sanders Reflects On His Career And The Current State Of Politics

Sometimes you get to do something for free that you would pay for the privilege of doing — like having a two-hour conversation with one of your political heroes, former Georgia Gov. Carl Sanders. He even bought lunch. It doesn’t get much better than that. I got to know Gov. Sanders while he was a […]

Nov. 13, 2006: Atlanta Politicians Show That Racism Is Alive And Well

Congratulations to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, U.S. Congressman John Lewis and former UN Ambassador Andy Young. Just when I thought political advertising couldn’t get any sleazier and the truth any looser, they proved me wrong. In an environment where standards are lower than low, they set a new record. Lee Morris, a former member of […]

Nov. 6, 2006: In America, The Little Guys Can Still Take On The Big Guys — And Win

I will share my opinions on the recent elections with you when all the media pundits have stopped to catch their breath and I can be sure the political consultants have crawled back into the mud holes from whence they came. It’s just too noisy right now. In the meantime, let me relate to you […]

Oct. 30, 2006: A Vote For Perdue (Mary, That Is)

Dear Ms. Perdue: We haven’t met, but I feel like I know you because I have seen you on television a lot recently. I’m not sure who convinced you to do commercials for your husband’s re-election campaign, but they deserve a gold star. I have been around the advertising business for 40 years, and have […]

Oct. 23, 2006: Some Astute Political Observations From Your Resident Genius

And now, some astute political observations from the genius who predicted four years ago that Gov. Roy Barnes would win a second term in a landslide. Please have your pencil and paper ready. I don’t do this often because it makes my brain hurt. Astute political observation #1: There is a possibility that Republicans will […]

Oct. 16, 2006: Athletic Tail Still Wags The Academic Dawg At UGA

Terrific. I spend all my waking hours defending the academic integrity of my beloved alma mater, the University of Georgia — the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South — and now this: The NCAA has issued its yearly report on how many athletes earned their degree […]

Oct. 9, 2006: A Georgia Soldier Tries To Get Back To Business

It has been one year since I was in Iraq with Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team in the infamous Triangle of Death. Unlike any experience I have had before or since, this one gets more vivid with each day that passes. I got eyeball-to-eyeball with the war when an IED — Improvised Explosive Device — […]

Oct. 1, 2006: Urging Gubernatorial Candidates To Accentuate The Positive

There are two questions most frequently posed to me by my loyal readers. The first one is that it is amazing that anyone with half the sense of a nanny goat would take anything I say seriously. (Wait. That’s not a question. Sorry.) Let’s try the one about “Why are political campaigns always so negative.” […]

Sep. 25, 2006: Looking At Georgia Through The Eyes Of Visitors

The Scottish bard Robert Burns once opined, “O would some Power the gift to give us: To see ourselves as others see us.” Bobby Burns may be a little difficult to decipher, but his point is a good one. In the past couple of weeks, I have seen Georgia anew through the eyes of Peter […]

Sep. 18, 2006: Some Final Thoughts On Muslim Interviews Before I Make A Corn-Fried Shrimp Visit

It is time for my annual migration to the Georgia coast, commonly known as God’s Country. Admittedly, this event doesn’t compare in magnitude to the swallows returning yearly to the mission at San Juan Capistrano, but then the birds don’t get to fill their tummies with corn-fried shrimp from the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill […]

Sep. 11, 2006: Mr. Bureaucrat, May I Please Have Some Catfish And Hushpuppies?

There is a report out saying that Southerners are fatter than most folks. The Trust for America’s Health claims that eight of the 10 states with the porkiest people are located in the South. Jeff Levi, the group’s executive director, is quoted as saying that he is stumped as to why Southerners get fatter than […]

Sep. 4, 2006: Muslim Panelists Respond To Your Questions: Part Two

Trying to condense my three-hour meeting with a group of Muslims into this space is like trying to drink water from a fire hose: It’s not easy. A lot of your questions concerned the Muslim view of women. M. J. O’Rourke of Savannah asked: “What do Muslims believe about the rights of women?” Soumaya Khalifa, […]

Aug. 28, 2006: Muslim Panelists Respond To Your Questions: Part One

As promised, I met recently with a group of Muslims and asked them your questions. To their credit, they were not shy, reticent or unwilling to answer. They said they were eager to set the record straight. You may not be satisfied with some of the answers — I wasn’t, either — but I am […]

Aug. 14, 2006: Your Chance To Participate In An Interview With Muslims

Before we get started on today’s topic, let me first say a word about the voters of Georgia’s 4th Congressional District flushing our Ambassador to Outer Space and her blabber mouth down the political toilet: Good riddance! (Oops! That’s two words.) Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about your participation […]

Aug. 7, 2006: A Stroll Down Memory Lane With Some Outstanding Georgians

Please forgive me while I take a short stroll down Memory Lane. I’ll be back to my usual cranky self next week, I promise, but today I wax nostalgic. Nobody loves gigging politicians more than I do, but occasionally I need to be reminded that Georgia has been blessed with some outstanding leaders over the […]

Jul, 31, 2006: Speaking Southern A Great Advantage In Dealing With Iran’s Leader, Bless His Heart

According to recent news reports, that little weasel who runs Iran — the one who looks like he ought to be ironing shirts in a dry-cleaning plant — has decreed that foreign words can no longer be used in his country, as if that is the biggest thing on his mind these days. If I […]

Jul. 24, 2006: Primary Results Indicate November Elections May Be Going To The Dogs

The state primary elections are history — with the exception of a few runoffs — and that means we get a brief respite from all the mud-slinging political ads on television. Now it’s back to screaming car dealers and commercials about medical problems that shouldn’t be mentioned in a family newspaper. Better enjoy it while […]

Jul, 16, 2006: Why I Passed Up The Olympic Festivities For A Picnic

It was a typically hot, steamy summer day in Middle Georgia, and one I will never forget. The occasion was a parade and picnic for the citizen-soldiers of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team and their families, courtesy of the good people of Dublin and Laurens County. It was America at its very best. I was […]

Jul. 11, 2006: Reminiscing About The 10th Anniversary Of The Centennial Olympic Games

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Hard to believe. I blinked my eyes, and a decade had passed since I was part of the management team at the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. I served as managing director — communications and government relations. To call the Centennial Games […]

Jul. 4, 2006: Who Put The Media In Charge Of Our Security?

There are some days — a lot, actually — when I wonder who put the media in charge of my family’s security. I didn’t, and I doubt you did either. If we had, we would have already fired them for doing an absolutely lousy job and for being unpatriotic to boot. The New York Times, […]

Jun. 26, 2006: Political Analyst Extraordinaire Releases Predictions On Georgia Primaries

Being a modest and much-beloved columnist sure isn’t as easy as I make it look. The pressure is excruciating, particularly these days. With Georgia’s party primaries only weeks away, thousands of you are eagerly awaiting my world-famous political predictions before you step into the voting booth July 18. My recognition as a political analyst extraordinaire […]

Jun. 19, 2006: Former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell Gets What He Deserves: Jail Time

Let me go straight to the bottom line. I don’t like former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell. I found him to be a racist of the worst ilk, arrogant (Trust me. I know something about arrogance, being the modest and much-beloved columnist that I am), mean-spirited, intemperate and a bully. And those are his better sides. […]

Jun. 12, 2006: Random Thoughts On Random Subjects

What has happened to Georgia-based Home Depot? It is not close to being the great enterprise it was when founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank were running it. The stock price is going down, while Robert Nardelli’s compensation is going up. Home Depot’s annual meeting was a disaster that anybody — including Nardelli — should […]

Jun. 5, 2006: “Penalty Points” Abound For Georgia In Abortion-Gay Rights Survey

For once, I am at a loss for words. (Listen to the cheers. You people really know how to hurt a guy.) I have just read a state ranking in which Georgia doesn’t finish last for a change. A coalition of gay rights and abortion rights activists have analyzed all the states on 25 laws […]

May 29, 2006: Warning To Georgia Motorists: Click It Or Ticket

It was like a scene out of the TV show “COPS,” only it was real. At the invitation of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, I witnessed the kickoff of the state’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign on the Friday preceding the Memorial Day weekend in the North Georgia mountains. Lest you be reading this […]

May 22, 2006: Maybe Rudy Giuliani Needs To Bone Up On His Georgia Politics

The longer I hang around politics, the less I know. For example, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, one of the heroes in the aftermath of the 9/11 disaster, recently came to Atlanta to endorse Ralph Reed for lieutenant governor. That’s akin to Sam Nunn going to Dubuque to endorse the local school board chair. […]

May 15, 2006: Do Republicans Really Want The Woman Who Shares My Name Running For Office?

I’m not sure how Republicans go about identifying potential candidates, but they might want to rethink their strategy. A few weeks ago, the Woman Who Shares My Name received an automated call from the GOP, asking if she would be interested in running for public office. That this call got through at all was nothing […]

May 8, 2006: Illegal Alien Demonstrations Causing More Harm Than Good

Congratulations to the geniuses responsible for the recent illegal alien demonstrations. You have created a backlash that is going to do much more harm than good to your efforts to win amnesty for the illegals or sympathy for their cause. In short, you have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Had you […]

May 1, 2006: Flaggers, Yankees And Other Signs Of Hostility

Okay boys and girls, let’s dip into the ol’ mailbag and see what readers have to say regarding my recent opinions on anything and everything. My column suggesting that flaggers have no chance of getting a public referendum on the old state flag drew an unusually muted response from a crowd that has been anything […]

Apr. 24, 2006: Welcome Home To Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team

That giant “WHEW” you hear is a collective sigh of relief that the 4,400 members of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team are coming home after more than a year of active duty in Iraq. Even as we speak, planeloads of our fellow Georgians are safely on the ground, and more are en route. Back home […]

Apr. 17, 2006: Flaggers Are Waging A Losing Battle On Referendum

Flaggers have never been hesitant to state their displeasure with me when I wrote something they didn’t like (a fairly frequent occurrence.) Now, for the past several months I have been trying to get them to tell me about their political strategy for the upcoming elections and their silence has been deafening. In the past, […]

Apr. 10: 2006: Yankee Transplant Doesn’t Think Much of Our History

Sometimes when you cast this bread out on the waters, you never know what is going to come back. I recently heard from an Ohio transplant who resides in one of the garden spots in Georgia. He is a Viet Nam veteran (bless him) who doesn’t like George W. Bush (Neither do a lot of […]

Apr. 3, 2006: McKinney Returns To Earth With a Bang — And a Slap

Our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney has made a brief landing on earth, and now there is hell to pay. Usually the Ambassador is with us mortals only during the State of the Union address, where she parks herself on the aisle in the House of Representatives in order to plant a wet kiss […]