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Have you noticed that people often don’t say what they really mean? Maybe that’s a good thing. We’ve seen the consequences. Many TV shows and movies have featured characters who have no edit switch between their mouth and their brain. They were either “struck by lighting,” or were born with the condition, like Dr. Sheldon Cooper, the brutally honest scientist in “The Big Bang Theory.”

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In the pantheon of great lines suitable for induction into Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 2010 comment about Obamacare: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

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For much of my adult life, I have tried to return to my alma mater, the University of Georgia, a portion of what the institution has given me. I say “a portion” because I can never totally repay the debt I owe UGA for the honor of being a Georgia Bulldog. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try. After all, to whom much is given, much will be required. (Luke 12:48).

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OK, I will admit it. I am from the typewriter generation. Those were the days when you had to use some gunk called whiteout to cover your typos, except it didn’t work on the carbon copies hidden beneath the originals. Enough smudges on the carbons and you had to start over. It was usually at this time the typewriter ribbon would jump the traces and get all snarled up, requiring you replace it. That is where the term “ink-stained wretch” originated. My hands would be stained with ink and I would feel wretched about it.

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The choice before us seems to be no choice at all: Stay inside and have no human contact with another soul, keep businesses closed, denying a livelihood to millions, or step outside and risk death. Though I believe the risk is small when comparing the number of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have recovered with the number who have died, fear may be the greater threat.

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For three years former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was put through a legal and financial wringer by top officials within the FBI, including its then-director James Comey. 

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Two decades ago, when I was trying to sell my first book from a 30-page outline, my New York agent called and announced, “I have absolutely splendid news.”

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High school graduations have gotten a lot of attention lately, because if not for the pandemic, another group of 18-year-olds would finally get to “walk,” and accept their diploma and the accompanying cheers.

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The Wall Street Journal, which is generally considered conservative when it comes to economic issues, published a front-page story last Monday with this headline: "Coronavirus Means the Era of Big Government Is Back."

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Even if the sexual assault allegations by former Joe Biden staff member Tara Reade turn out to be false there are still problems the former vice president faces.

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It seems to take a pandemic for us to get our priorities in order. With the death toll in the country having passed 60,000 and with over a thousand of those here in Georgia, suddenly we realize that those who entertain us — like actors and ballplayers — are nothing more than diversions. They are paid obscene amounts of money to make us forget the vicissitudes of our daily lives. In fact, they are as irrelevant as a bump on an elephant’s rump.

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I usually write a “thankful” column around Thanksgiving, as do many writers. It’s an easy way to give thanks, while also clearing our pockets of all sorts of little notes we save throughout the year.

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Getting my parents and grandparents to talk about their experiences during the Great Depression and World War II was always difficult. They lived in the pre-Dr. Phil generation before people went public with their deepest thoughts.

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I am going to get some blowback on this but that’s OK. Trouble is my middle name. (Actually, Richard is my middle name but that is a story for another day.) I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that while I did not envy Gov. Brian Kemp having to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, I disapproved of his chief of staff running off at the mouth and acting like he is, in fact, the governor. I also said I didn’t like the Georgia State Patrol having to babysit beachgoers when we could use them on our highways trying to slow down idiot drivers and that local authorities didn’t want the beaches opened in the first place.

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Conservatives are mostly a passive lot, expressing their frustrations and anger over ideas they oppose by listening to or watching Fox News, talk radio, or attending Trump rallies when that was possible.

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Among the many down-home philosophies of Mama’s was her proclamation that “Somethin’ good always comes out of somethin’ bad. Always. You just watch and see.”

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced public schools will be closed for the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus. More mayors and governors will likely make similar announcements, if they have not already done so.

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Since the COVID-19 emergency began, FDIC-insured banks across Georgia have been proactively working with their consumer and business clients to help get them through this emergency. Bankers have been developing customized solutions as there is no one-size-fits-all answer as each person or business has a specific need.

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I wouldn’t have Gov. Brian Kemp’s job. That’s a good thing because, to my knowledge, no one has offered the job to me. I have had readers in the past who suggested I run for public office, but I politely declined because the Woman Who Shares My Name would take a skillet to my head if I decided to do so. She isn’t crazy about politics, except she loved our recently retired senior senator, Johnny Isakson. That is because he made a big fuss over her and pretty much ignored me. Smart man.

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Now, we all knew that wasn’t going to work. Not for one cotton-picking minute did we think that those two could say “I do” and keep that vow until one of ‘em stopped breathing.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced public schools will be closed for the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus. More mayors and governors will likely make similar announcements, if they have not already done so.

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After weeks of criticizing President Trump for not "doing enough" in the fight against the Covid-19 virus and suggesting the president take actions he had already taken, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden picked up the phone and called the White House. Given his confusion about so many things, perhaps he thought he was ordering a takeout meal and dialed the wrong number.

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I wonder what life is going to look like on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, whenever we finally get there. How long before we feel comfortable shaking hands? Being in crowds? Flying on an airplane? Scratching our nose? Meantime, we deal with the great unknown. (Please stand six feet away as you read this.)

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COVID-19 is the focus around the world. As finite individuals with the propensity to ask “Why?” may we attune our spiritual ears to the wisdom that God’s Spirit provides through His Word. When Jesus taught us to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” (Mark 12:31) He surely meant for us to think h…

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In 1984 when former Vice President Walter Mondale was running for president, he said something during the campaign he wished he had not said and later tried to correct his mistake. I don’t remember the details, but I do remember ABC’s Peter Jennings discussing the matter with political pundit George Will one evening.

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One of my favorite psalms is psalm 46. The person who wrote it is not naive. He knows that there is nothing easy about life, and in the psalm he speaks of the world falling apart. Consequently, he has every reason to be fearful and anxious.

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It is not cognitive dissonance -- the impossibility of holding two or more contradictory beliefs simultaneously -- to favor the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump while at the same time worrying about what the increasing national debt (nearing $24 trillion and counting) will do to the country.

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I don’t think I’ve seen the world, or my little corner of it, in such widespread panic my entire life — not even during the Cuban Missile Crisis when we were crawling under our school desks every day in fear of the “Big One” being launched from Havana, apparently right toward the Osprey Mill in Porterdale.

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He was the 44th vice president of the United States in the George H.W. Bush administration, but for the last 20 years, Dan Quayle has stayed mostly away from the unfriendly glare of political life.

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In the 17 years that this column has existed, I have never written a special one to address a current situation that was either tumultuous or triumphant.

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