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Oglesby: A framing champ at home; a pile of pork in Capitol
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Were a Hall County Olympic athlete to bring home two national gold medals and an international silver in three years, we'd be hoarse from bragging about it. Nonathletic accomplishments get less attention.

Well, folks, we have just that. Malia Bolt, owner of the Purple House gallery-shop on Thompson Bridge Road, just got back from Las Vegas with her second national goal medal in three years. She picked up her international silver two years ago and now as the American champ is in international competition again later this year.

Competition in what? Framing pictures, paintings and other artwork. Entrants from all over the nation and world are given a print of the same artwork to frame imaginatively. The awards are sponsored by the international Professional Picture Framers Association with the American competition sponsored by the national association.

She entered the first time just to see what it was all about and, to her own surprise, won. Even Tiger Woods didn't win his first PGA appearance.

Many Hall Countians have never heard of this unassuming lady, but her services are in big demand in such places as Atlanta's Buckhead and North Forsyth. When we moved last summer, I didn't want to be hanging and rehanging artwork and mirrors all over the house until all were in the right place and straight, and without the walls full of wrong place holes.

Malia and husband Paul are longtime friends and fellow church members. The furniture moved in, we laid out all our artwork in one room, explained the significance of each piece, and she went about the house recommending hanging spots, explaining why.

Once Betty agreed, up it went quickly and perfectly. I'm here to tell you, she's flat out good, as a number of discriminating Hall Countians who I know use her would attest.

Let's change gears: I don't know whose idea it was, but I applaud the Georgia General Assembly's plan to split this year's session, the second half to come in June when we should have a better grip on what the economy will be doing. It also gives Georgians the opportunity to let their legislators know what they like and dislike.

I wish I could be as complimentary toward Congress. President Barack Obama seems to have gotten most of his wish on the bailout and stimulus packages. I agree with him that we need some short-term stimulus and must unfreeze credit markets. What we're getting has that, but it is bloated by the proverbial Christmas tree. That's not good.

Few weren't warned; most were. I and many others wrote repeatedly during last year's campaign of his lack of experience and accomplishment and of his "big government knows and does best" basic philosophy. One columnist wrote last week in effect that the first weeks of his presidency has been a showcase of costly amateurism.

While I didn't support him, he is our president and I want him to succeed, for if he fails, our country does. Much of the enamored national media are scorching Republicans for almost total lack of support.

Friends, they were very supportive of filling our need, but not of the socialistic method of doing so and the political goodies bloating what should be a narrowly targeted package of basics with ample taxpayer protection.

Perhaps unnoticed by many, on the purely political side, the GOP may be setting up a resurgence with the kind of little political risk Democrats so effectively used with the Iraq war. They knew George Bush would do the necessary things regardless of political consequences and could safely gain points bombarding him.

Republicans know a stimulus was needed and the Democrats would use their majorities to pass most of what Obama wanted, including the pork. They could afford to let just enough moderate senators in usually safe GOP seats vote with the Democrats for it to pass while demonstrating a supposed recommitment to traditional Republican values of lower taxes, less government, less pork.

Ted Oglesby is retired opinion page editor. Reach him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503. His column appears biweekly and on

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