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Columns

  • Looseleaf laureate: Put down that cake and let’s dance

    Weddings have become anything-goes affairs these days. I guess that’s as it should be.

    I attended a fine outdoor ceremony at the Chattanooga Nature Center recently. Guests wore everything from dresses and coats and ties to blue jeans, hiking sandals and untucked shirts.

    And bug spray. Our hosts were thoughtful enough to provide plenty of DEET-infused repellants.

  • Congressional investigations must be done right

    By Lee H. Hamilton, Center on Congress
    By my count, 11 separate Washington investigations are looking into the three big issues besetting the Obama Administration right now: Benghazi, IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, and the Justice Department’s pursuit of national security leaks to Associated Press reporters.

    That’s a lot of scrutinizing by any measure.

     Don’t get me wrong.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: We are all subject to the standards of our times

    Jon Meacham, a nationally known journalist with deep-rooted ties to Chattanooga, who has turned to the role of biographer, notably a widely praised life of fellow Tennessean Andrew Jackson, has just recently released his latest effort which is about our third president, Thomas Jefferson.

    John Seigenthaler, long-time editor of the Nashville Tennessean, had Meacham as a guest on his PBS programme, A Word on Words, this past weekend to discuss this new book.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Early rising better than slow to sleep

    At this point in my life, sleep usually comes easily.
    I’ve not always been so lucky.
    During much of the 1990s, I worked at The Associated Press in Chicago, a busy, 24-7 news bureau.
    There, employees with families tended to get regular, daytime schedules.
    I was one of a handful of single employees who was tossed about the schedule to fill in around them.
    My shift, if it could be called that, changed dramatically from week to week. I worked overnights, weekends, started shifts at 6 a.m. and then, later in the week, 5 p.m.

  • Trouble with Congress includes constituents

    By LEE H. HAMILTON
    Center on Congress
    When two senators recently got into a spat over whether the Boston Marathon bombings were being politicized, the news was everywhere within minutes.
    Reams of commentary quickly followed. In the maneuvering over gun-control legislation, every twist and turn was instantly reported and then endlessly debated.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Spring bling not to be taken for granted

    Look outside.
    Chances are, you’ll see plenty of green. Delicate greens, deep mossy greens, even yellow-green chartreuses.
    No other color is as easy on the eye and calming to the spirit.
    The spring transformation never ceases to amaze me.
    Spring got a late start this year, but now we are fully into the richness of the season. We should pause to appreciate it.
    Some of us take for granted the emerald paradise spring provides for us every year.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: It’s time to protect and defend America

    There is said to be an ancient Chinese curse that says: “May you live in interesting times!”

    You may well think that that ancient Chinaman had our times in mind, for interesting they are, and many would think that enduring them qualifies as a curse

    There is one aspect which we think curse-like, and that is that they are highly disputatious times, in which almost nothing in public life exists which is not vehemently disputed.

    You say a thing is good; I say that thing is bad. And so it goes, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

  • State road maintenance must be priority

    By KEVIN W. BAKEWELL
    AAA’s Auto Club Group
    Many of the roads and bridges we travel on every day in Tennessee are crumbling because of insufficient maintenance and old age.

    Unless policymakers act soon to increase funding, motorists can expect more potholes longer commutes, and dangerous safety problems.

    Construction of the federal Interstate Highway System began in the 1950s and many roads have since outlived their effective lifespan.

  • A View from Lick Skillet

    Before we get to the chief thrust of this column, we would be remiss if we did not remind the readers that we are now entering that special time of the year for loyal East Tennesseans, to-wit poke-picking time.

  • Tired of budget shenanigans? Here’s the answer

    By LEE HAMILTON
    Center on Congress
    With the formal release of President Obama’s budget, the pieces are finally in place for a reprise of the Washington drama we’ve all come to know.

    There will be high-stakes negotiations, lines in the sand, and enough intrigue to keep Beltway insiders riveted by every piece of breaking news.

    The rest of us, though, are already worn out. In repeated conversations with ordinary people, I’ve been struck by the immense frustration I’ve encountered.