• One of the greatest singing voices I ever heard and one of the most talented people I ever knew died last week and, yes, he was a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket through and through. Josh Powell lost his battle with multiple myeloma at the age of 70. He was an outstanding basketball player — a part of Tech’s first NCAA tournament team in 1960 and captain in 1962. He was an Emory law graduate who spurned the profession to work with kids through the Josh Powell Summer Day Camp, which he began in 1972 and still is in operation today. But most of all, Josh Powell could sing. Lord, that man could sing! The heavenly chorus just got a whole lot better and we are a whole lot poorer. We won’t see his likes anytime soon.
• Dumb and dumber. That is the only way to describe the decision to ban Atlanta’s Fox 5 TV from Gov. Nathan Deal’s signing of immigration-reform legislation because of a story investigative reporter Dale Russell had done regarding $90,000 in campaign payments to Deal’s daughter-in-law, Denise Deal. I spent a lifetime — actually a couple of weeks that seemed like a lifetime — with Russell in Iraq. He is a solid reporter and a helluva lot more professional than the smirky little guy who came to the door and announced the station would be admitted, “As soon as FOX 5 apologizes for the lies you all told about us.” Good grief. Are we getting a little hysterical here? Somebody who has the governor’s ear needs to tell him his communications people are making him look thin-skinned and defensive and making the rest of us wonder about the hyper reaction. Plus, picking a fight with the media is — well — dumb.
• When the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, gave the coveted “Rodney Dangerfield I-get-no-respect award” to Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, for his extraordinary lack of success in the education neighborhood during the past legislative session, I heard nary a word of appreciation from him. Then James Magazine named him its legislator of the year. His staff — using our tax dollars, I assume — fogged a press release around the state making note of that fact but they forgot to send me a copy. I am so hurt. (Hey, columnists have feelings, too.)
Speaking of Mr. Chips, after the State Supreme Court knocked down the charter-school law last week, Rogers grumped, “The legislature has fought tirelessly to see that each and every student in Georgia has the opportunity of a superior education.” Other than encouraging parents and kids to abandon public schools instead of fixing what ails the system, I’m not quite sure what they have done that is so great and tireless. Maybe his staff will send me a press release and tell me.
• What a pair. Jimmy Carter and Cynthia McKinney. President Peanut told Georgia State University graduates recently that “Our government should be known as opposed to war, championing peace, dedicated to the resolution of disputes by peaceful means. At this time, many see us as the most war-like of nations.” He failed to mention that at this time, many of us also see Jimmy Carter as a failed president and a sad, self-delusional individual trying in vain to burnish his image.
Meanwhile, McKinney, our ambassador to outer space, showed up in Iran at a “peace conference” wearing a black veil over her face and dissing her country, too. “As an American, I am upset with the policies of my country, but the measures adopted by the first Afro-American president of the United States have ashamed us all,” she said. “If there is no truth, there won’t be any justice, and today the U.S. policies are rooted in lies, injustice and war.” Yada. Yada. I understand that she was well-received by the conferees. They couldn’t see who was behind the veil and thought it was Glenn Beck in drag.
• Finally, a note to my liberal weenie friends: Rejoice. I am now one of you. A reader alerted me to a blog in the Marietta Daily Journal from “Anonymous Sue” that referred to me as a “left-wing writer.” I believe this qualifies me for an honorary membership in the ACLU and dinner with George Soros. Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off to hug a tree.
You can reach Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Ga., 31139.