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 […]

Mar. 27, 2006: Liberal Readers Say My Column Has Gone To The Dogs

A few weeks ago I wondered aloud what liberals think about a number of issues — and why — and asked them to let me know. A lot of them did, although I got more mail pooh-poohing liberal-think, which makes me wonder if liberals may be a vanishing species — kind of like the snail […]

Mar. 20, 2006: UGA and Yale Share a Common History, But Not Much Else

You may not know this, but the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, enjoys a common bond with Yale University. Abraham Baldwin, a Yale graduate, helped establish Franklin College (today’s University of Georgia), and served as the institution’s first president. The North […]

Mar. 13, 2006: BellSouth Has Gone and Taken My Loyalty With It

Well, knock me over with a rotary-dial telephone! My alma mater, BellSouth, has been purchased by “The New AT&T,” aka SBC, aka Southwestern Bell, one of the seven original Regional Holding Companies, created at the divestiture of “The Old AT&T” back in 1984. Plans are to move the headquarters of the company to San Antonio, […]

Mar. 6, 2006: Trying To Understand My Liberal Friends

Okay, I am going to give most of you the day off. The rest of you need to pay close attention. You have some work to do. A lot of you I know like a book. That comes from almost a decade of responding to your letters and emails on a variety of subjects. You’ve […]

Feb. 27, 2006: Advice to Legislators: Don’t Insult Our Intelligence

I had planned to write a column this week on the bizarre decision by the Bush administration to turn over management of six of our major ports to the wonderful folks at the United Arab Emirates. You remember the UAE, don’t you? This country was one of only three to recognize the Taliban as the […]

Feb. 20, 2006: It Is The Media That Can’t Seem to Shoot Straight

Have you ever seen anything to match the White House press corps’ dither over the recent hunting accident involving Vice President Dick Cheney? Cheney accidentally put some birdshot in a lawyer buddy instead of a defenseless quail, and the media didn’t find out about it until the next day. To observe their reaction, you would […]

Feb. 13, 2006: Nothing Jimmy Carter Says Will Change The Facts

Jimmy Carter was arguably one of the least effective presidents of the 20th century. Historians say Warren Harding was nothing to write home about, but he couldn’t have been as mean-spirited and petty as President Peanut has turned out to be. I found Carter’s conduct at Coretta Scott King’s funeral reprehensible and hypocritical to the […]

Feb. 6, 2006: A “Thank You” To Readers From Georgia General Rodeheaver

Here is a message especially for you from Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver, commanding general of Georgia’s 48th Brigade Combat Team in Iraq: “Hello from Baghdad, Iraq. Dick Yarbrough was kind enough to ask you to write the soldiers of the 48th Brigade. You responded with true Southern style and caring. We received hundreds of cards, […]

Jan. 30, 2006: Freshman Republican Gives Behind-The-Scenes Look at Congress

Why would anybody want to run for Congress? Most Americans view the institution with about as much regard as they do mule skinners and telephone marketers. You spend every waking hour raising money, making nice to cranky voters, running from meeting to meeting, getting your arm twisted by more special-interest groups than you can count […]

Jan. 23, 2006: Georgia Encyclopedia Reveals A Lot About Our Great State

As I’ve said before, one of the finest resources available to learn about the Great State of Georgia is the New Georgia Encyclopedia, a project of the Georgia Humanities Council, the Office of the Governor, the University of Georgia Press and the University System of Georgia. You can find all kinds of information at www.georgiaencyclopedia.org. […]

Jan. 16, 2006: Random Thoughts on (Mostly Political) Random Subjects

If nobody else is going to mention it, then I will: How can Ted Kennedy lecture Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito about issues of morality? Kennedy got his jumbo-sized boxer shorts in a wad over the fact that Alito once belonged to a club at Princeton University that lobbied to keep the school all-male. This […]

Jan. 8, 2006: Georgians Have Lost Their Best Friend in State Government

Teddy Lee just got fired as executive secretary of the State Ethics Commission. It is your loss — and a big one. He was sacked by a bunch of politicians who couldn’t bend him, fold him or intimidate him from representing your interests above theirs. It is not an overstatement to say that many in […]

Jan. 1, 2006: Annual Letter To My Grandsons

To My Grandsons: Cool Isn’t Cool. God, Country And Family Are To Zachary and Nicholas Wansley, Brian and Thomas Yarbrough: It has become tradition to write you guys at the first of the year and lay a little unsolicited advice on you. I’ve never asked what, if anything, you do with these pearls of wisdom. […]

Aug. 21, 2006: Grandsons at Tech and UGA Make For Some Hard Choices

I’ve been a grandfather for more than 19 years, and until now it has been a slam-dunk. Grandparenting is great revenge for those fortunate enough to have survived raising their own kids. Now you get to listen to your children complain about how temperamental their kids are, conveniently forgetting that they were a king-sized horse’s […]