The other morning I woke up early, splashed awake by a wave of sadness. At first I couldn't identify where the feeling originated.
It would be difficult to have missed the story last week about the sensational confession from John Edwards that he had an extramarital affair a couple of years ago.
When Gov. Sonny Perdue called in reporters a few weeks ago to discuss the revenue numbers at the end of the state's fiscal year, he tried to be as calm and reassuring as possible.
Of all the political phenomena in Georgia over the last several years, perhaps nothing has been more surprising than the return of our politicians' open disregard for public education and our electorate's acceptance of their attitude and actions.
Potpourri: Today is primary runoff day. Tonight, we'll know Hall County's next clerk of the court and which Democrat will take on U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
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 the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and the paper wanted to know how I thought the city had changed after hosting the world. Or had it changed at all? The offer was too good to resist.
The sudden death of Tim Russert has caused many people to think about the reality of death. Recently, I have been to several funerals and the one common thread in all of them was that everyone is terminal. It is ultimate equality that everybody dies, rich or poor, black or white. After death, there is no chance to listen to a person for any comment that should have been expressed before the person left us behind.
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 we can eat.
There's only one statewide race on the Aug. 5 runoff election ballot, the Democratic battle for the Senate between Vernon Jones and Jim Martin. But if you asked me to predict the winner of this one, I'd have to confess I have no clue.
Whenever I talk to a friend or acquaintance who keeps up with the activities of the legislature, I'm amazed at how often the same question comes up: Is anybody going to run against the speaker?
Were it not for the legions of Democrats who recognized their party had left them, Republicans here wouldn't have the majority they now enjoy. That's partly why a lot of people are disgusted with the GOP county executive committee publicly denouncing clerk of court candidate Bob Vass for voting in the Democratic presidential preference primary.
Sometimes I pick up the newspaper, turn to the opinion page, and read the last line of a column or letter to the editor first, just to figure out where the writer wants to take me. The last sentence of a recent column in the Atlanta papers certainly got my attention.
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 you received from the senator's office. To call the response a "form letter" would demean form letters.
When I announced to my friends, associates and relatives that I was going to spend two weeks in Mongolia to be present when my grandson, Mark, marries a beautiful Mongolian named Miigaa, about half of them asked where Mongolia was.
Americans are the most generous people on the earth.
There were some important political lessons that should have been learned from last week's runoff election.
The criteria for a failed state are pretty specific: Loss of authority over the use of force, loss of the authority to make collective decisions, inability to provide public services, and the inability to interact with the international community.
In 1997, Gov. Zell Miller appointed me to fill a vacant seat on the five-member State Ethics Commission and then reappointed me to a full term where I served until 2002. It was a rewarding experience and I am proud of the good things we accomplished at the commission.
In less than two weeks I'll celebrate my 60th birthday. Just for giggles, I perused some 60th birthday cards and, well, the outlook suddenly seems sort of grim. The creepiest of all pictured an empty deck chair on an emptier beach and contained these heartwarming words: "A sunrise is beautiful but so is a sunset. /For turning 60 today don't harbor any regret. / The autumn of your life will be so serene./ You will be the happiest that you have ever been."
In less than a month, students will be reporting for fall semester classes at the public colleges that make up the state's University System.
"I have gotten bad news and am much the worse for it.
For those who have endured Georgia's longest runoff election ever, the July 22 finish line is finally coming into view.
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