WASHINGTON -- The great thing about Iowa is that no matter whom the voters selected in their neighborhood huddles, it doesn't really matter. Placing in Iowa might land one a talk show (see Mike Huckabee), but the preferences of a handful of Americans belonging to a committed, ideological subset of a committed, ideological party do not a national trend suggest. The presumptive candidate proceeds apace.
For some reason, I had a very hard time coming up with a single topic to write about this week. So, I'll pull a "Noted and passed" and mention a little bit of a whole lotta that.
Voters are a tough bunch to satisfy these days. The number of people who are registered to vote as Democrat or Republican has plunged by 2.5 million since 2008, according to a new tally. Independent ranks have grown. Nonetheless, studies show, most independents still vote overwhelmingly for one party or the other, even if they don't want to admit that in public.
Mrs. Margaret, our accountant, and I were discussing where the year had gone last week and we agreed that things just move so fast these days that we don't take the time to appreciate what matters anymore.
Having the opportunity each month to write on an array of topics continues to deliver to me absolute satisfaction. Chosen subject matter usually encompasses certain resolute thoughts that have incited my interest or stirred my conscience in some manner. This month has proven to be no different except for, perhaps, the degree in which my awareness and inference of a fastidious topic has been kindled; the painstaking topic of war. Last week, we took in the Stephen Spielberg movie, "War Horse." The story has a universal message; one that portrays to its viewers the horror of war in which men ...
OK, OK. I confess:
When John McCain wrapped up the Republican nomination four years ago, one person was reportedly at the top of his vice presidential list -- Sen. Joe Liebermann.
(Columnist Kathleen Parker is in vacation, In her absence, Ruth Marcus, a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, is featured today.)
If you pay attention to the news -- and if you're reading this community newspaper it's likely that you do -- you're probably aware that the federal government just rejected South Carolina's recently-passed "Voter ID" law, which would require voters to present photo identification before casting a ballot in an election.
When I was a little kid, I loved imagining what things would be like when I grew up. I've kept right on imagining through today, whether it be through fiction I've written or some of these columns of mine you've read in years past.
In response to a November 2011 column in which railroad artifacts were discussed and pictured, Eugene Carl Griggs of Lugoff called to say he enjoyed it very much. Gene is a retired former employee of the Seaboard Railway. Little did this columnist know our conversation would lead into some very interesting and little known areas of World War II history.
(Columnist Clarence Page is on vacation. In his absence, Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer, is featured today.)
Let's start with some good news:
Unless you've been holed up in a basement somewhere for the past few years -- if you seldom read a newspaper or watch a news broadcast on television -- you are aware of global warming and the catastrophic effects it could have upon our planet.
Even without knowing the intricate details of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), many have come across a teacher or two who says that their creativity and long-term effectiveness in the classroom has become limited since the implementation of NCLB. Consequently, it is honorable that the state of South Carolina has been motivated to submit a request for flexibility in NCLB requirements early next year and requests the input of the "community" of South Carolina.
Everyone who's sick of winter, raise your hands.
WASHINGTON -- In matters cultural, California has always been America's petri dish. Whatever happened in California usually infiltrated the rest of the country.
"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon
We often hear politicians and government officials say that running a government, at any level, is the same as running a business. There obviously is some truth in that. Governments have expenses for personnel, equipment and supplies. They receive funds from their clients (taxpayers) to pay for the services the citizens hopefully receive. Government officials have to budget that money and decide how and where to allocate it to be used.
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's new outreach initiative to help at-risk boys of color -- "My Brother's Keeper" -- is cause for cheer.
This weekend I'm going to a bachelorette party. Actually, it's a combined bachelor/bachelorette party where both the bride and groom-to-be and their closest friends will be in attendance. I'm looking forward to it, but there's always a little bit of anxiety before taking part in an event such as that. I'm sure that's partly due to the Hangover movies and partly due to my own experiences in the past with bachelorette parties.
This is a simple question, and the answer is not simple, but there is something that we can all do to help, and we can do it right now -- today.
Mama had great stories. My favorite was the only one I asked often for her to repeat. It has become something of an anthem in my life.
I have said before -- in fact, not that long ago -- that covering tragedies is no fun. This is especially true when the tragedy takes place where you live, or at least close by. When you can say that you either know the people involved, or are friends of their friends, it hits you even harder.
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