• 2008 Legislative session underway

    It’s an exciting time to convene the General Assembly. We have much to concern us and a new administration with which to work. Primary among our concerns is drafting a responsible budget. You might recall that our constitution calls for us to remain in session until the middle of April. We have a responsibility to pass a budget in the allotted time; this has not been the case since we added a “short” session in the odd years. Compromises failed, requiring us to dedicate short or special sessions to passing a budget.

  • Written letters should not be a thing of the past

    There is something about receiving a letter via post that is completely magical. Can you remember as a child running to the mailbox to retrieve the mail in hopes of a crisp envelope addressed directly to you? It was like a daily present, anticipation and excitement mounted. The closer you got to the box, the sooner you might find that someone somewhere was thinking of you.

  • Resolutions for the new year include a gassy demon

    Happy New Year.

    I just wanted to throw that out there for my first column of 2008 to all my faithful readers. And I mean it, too.

  • Being second is great, but most don't remember

    Do the best, no matter the cost. Work hard to get ahead. Quitters never win. Stop crying, I didn’t mean to hit you in the eye with a baseball. These are things my father said to me as a kid. They’re as true now as back then.

    But one thing he never said that I learned on my own is when you’re first or best, everything else doesn’t matter. He used to call those who weren’t on top a “second-place winner.” I now look at it as being the first-place loser.

  • Take a step outside for a realistic view

    I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: People in Washington really should get out more.

  • When do we stop being excited about our age?

    “It’s my birthday and I’m 5!”

    My niece, Elizabeth, proclaimed this statement as she stretched out her left hand with all five of her fingers spread out in pronounced fashion as we walked through the door to her house last week.

  • Iowa caucus is eye-opening for first-time voter

    While the nation is relieved to be stepping out from the political cow patties and cornfields of Iowa, shifting attention to the Granite State, here’s a final, inside look at a Thursday night caucus in the western part of the state:

    It’s 6:25 and already cold enough to freeze the ears off a sow. The sidewalks have been cleared, but with 6 to 7 inches of snow on the ground, there are a few slick spots here and there.

  • Does Hollywood make you feel better?

    When Samuel Goldwyn led MGM studios, he reportedly told one of his producers, “If you want to send a message, use Western Union.”

    That’s all the explanation that is necessary for the poor box-office showing of a number of Iraq War films. When people go to the movies, they want to be entertained, not depressed or lectured. Goldwyn understood that; many in Hollywood today do not.

  • Mind power isn't just science fiction, it's reality

    All of us have heard the saying “mind over matter.” It is the idea that the mind is more powerful than the body. The power of suggestion rules the mind whether it is external suggestion or a change in the tidal forces of the brain by one’s own power.

  • First trip abroad should be eye-opening event

    By the time you read this, I’ll be in Europe.

    Yes, as you read this, I am enjoying my first-ever trip outside the United States. I like to think I’ll be strolling the Champs-Elysees or gaping at the masterpieces in the Louvre, but I could be gagging while my friend tries escargot — he swears he’s going to — or trying to keep the peace between my two travel companions, one a loner and one a socialite.