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Columns

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Get out of your comfort zone

    If you are reading this and the world hasn’t come to a fiery end (as per Mayan calendar hoopla), then I can safely say 2012 has been a great year.


    I have been touched by the many people who have told me they enjoy reading this column, and who “travel” with me on my adventures.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Recollections of our past Christmas parties

    Gentle reader, as we wrote a few weeks ago we are increasingly grateful for the gift of friendship, but all too often we are reminded of the meaningfulness of our friendships most strongly when one or more of those friends is called from us by their death.

    Thus it was this past week when we lost one of our old South Harriman High School friends, Bill Gibson: and almost simultaneously came the news of the death of Mary Lou Bradford.

  • New TVA chief is tested and proven

    By BILL SANSOM
    TVA board chairman
    The leadership transition at TVA is well under way.

    With the new year, the second CEO for the Tennessee Valley Authority will be in charge and continue the shift from over six decades of management by a three-member board to a more traditional corporate structure and part-time board.

    As the first CEO, Tom Kilgore set TVA on a clearer path tied to low rates, cleaner air and a diverse energy mix.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: The waiting room – an emotional rollercoaster

    Thanks to a tennis accident, a massive blood clot in my leg,  a bout with cancer, a bum gall bladder and a few other health issues, I’ve spent more time than I care to recall in and around hospitals.
    So when my mother went in last week for surgery to relieve compression on her spine, I jokingly told her, “Better you than me.”
    Later, as I sat alone for hours in the surgery waiting room, I decided she had the easier role.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Bravely done, Liz Holiway, we’re proud of you

    We have several topics we wish to touch on briefly today, but it is most orderly to address the long running topic, or soap opera, of Dr. Scott DesJarlais.

    We have in the past called attention to the fact that this man’s conduct while bearing the official designation of Republican Representative in the Congress serves to besmirch the reputation of the Grand Old Party almost as much as that of the doctor himself.

    It has been plain that he presents himself as the duly elected Republican from the 4th district.

  • Congress needs to read, think, collaborate

    By LEE HAMILTON
    Center of Congress
    An intriguing conversation about the next step in the fiscal drama is taking place among our elected leaders.

    At this early point it is mostly at an exploratory level, but it’s no less real for that.

    A day after an election in which a changing electorate essentially cemented the status quo in place — re-electing the president and keeping Congress split between the two parties — the stock market swooned.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: We are thankful for the blessings of friendship

    Inasmuch as the elections are over, we feel free to look to other matters besides politics for a time, brief though it may be.

    One thing we have meant to write about for some time is the matter of the Harriman Hospital being converted to a V.A. hospital.

    We are highly favourable to this idea, and, despite the recent rejection, we think that it just might work, if the proponents of the idea will try to look at it from the viewpoint of the government officials who must ultimately make the final decision.

  • You can change the tone of politics

    By LEE HAMILTON
    Center of Congress
    The election of 2012 has called attention to how difficult it is for Americans to talk reasonably with one another about public policy challenges.

    Our civic dialogue — how we sort through issues and reason with one another — is too often lamentable.

    We live in a politically divided country. Congress, which ought to serve as the forum where politicians of diverse views find common ground, is instead driven by ideological disagreements.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Elections not as tasty now

    I’ll never forget the first election I covered.
    I was a poor reporter, barely making more than minimum wage and trying to get by on it.
    Ground zero for election coverage was the courthouse in Pineville, Ky., and Election Day was the highlight of my professional calendar.
    The county clerk’s office — and many other contributors — brought in a feast of casseroles, meats, side dishes, snacks and desserts and shared willingly with all.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Whither the divided house of Republicans?

    Well, Gentle Reader, the old curmudgeon need not feel embarrassed by his prognostications that Barack Obama would be re-elected, inasmuch as he has been.

    Possibly even more impressive than the President’s win, is the fact that the Senate is firmly in control of the Democrats.

    The most perilous aspect of the election results is probably the retention of control of the House of Representatives by the Republicans.

    How did the Republican losses come about?