I don't know about you but I was pretty much ready to pull the plug on this year along about July. One more self-serving political candidate in one more boring debate intoning a platform of lower taxes, better schools, smaller government, peace on earth and a partridge in every pear tree and I would have been ready to vote for a bullfrog just to get rid of them.
Just think: We get to do this all over again in 2012. This time it is a presidential election. Be still my beating heart.
We threw a bunch of the bums out this past year in Washington - mostly Democrats - but whether or not the new crowd can avoid catching Potomac Fever is problematic. Politicians can get quickly insulated from the real world by all the bowing and scraping of the moneyed special interest groups in Washington. It's pretty heady stuff. Same thing is true in the Legislature.
In a few weeks, former Congressman Nathan Deal, of Gainesville, will be sworn in as our 82nd governor. We can then say adios to Gov. George E. Perdue, who seemed more interested in feathering his own nest with land deals, tax breaks and lobbying state agencies on behalf of his business ventures while still in office than he did working for us.
Even legislative leaders in his own party tell me they can't wait for him to leave. One Republican committee chairman told me he has already talked to Nathan Deal more in two months than he did to Perdue in two terms.
I wish the new governor well. He has a bucket load of issues confronting him. Fortunately, our expectations of state government are so low that anything positive will be a nice surprise. Maybe Mr. Deal can start by persuading members of the Legislature to put the ban on micro-chipping our body parts somewhere down the list of priorities behind education, the water wars, transportation and tax relief.
The new governor needs to tell them also to cease fire on their plans to allow preachers to have guns in church. I love Dr. Gil Watson, the World's Greatest Preacher, but I'm not anxious to see him locked and loaded in the pulpit. As previously stated, he is liable to get excited during one of his sermons and shoot a hole in our pipe organ.
The University of Georgia, the nation's oldest state-chartered university located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, had a banner year in 2010. We had more student-athletes who did not get arrested than ones who did. We got our 19th Rhodes Scholar. I got my portrait hung at my beloved Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Dawgs remain reigning state football champions. Lord, it's hard to humble when you are perfect in every way. Woof! Woof!
2011 will mark the tenth anniversary of the attacks of Islamic radicals on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in which thousands of innocent people were killed for no good reason. Nothing surprises me anymore but in the past decade, our country has adopted an astonishing double-standard toward Muslims. If you listen to the mainstream media and their liberal weenie friends, the Muslim people are the victims, not us. Sorry, I'm not buying that nonsense. They started it. We didn't. They are going to have to earn my trust and friendship in the year to come.
Okay, that's enough ranting for one day. There will be plenty of time for that in 2011. As is the tradition, New Year's Eve is a time to be shared with good friends stuffing our faces full of corn-fried shrimp and other assorted delicacies at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill on St. Simons Island.
We are a diverse crowd. Our numbers include a judge, two ministers, CEOs, retailers, teachers, developers and spouses. Most of us are retired. We all have worked hard at our chosen professions and survived. Now it is time to enjoy the fruits of our hard-earned labors. We laugh a lot and tease a lot and thoroughly take pleasure in each other's company. If our children should see us and admonish us for our lack of decorum, we will threaten to spend their inheritance. That should keep them quiet while we party down.
Happy New Year to one and all.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.