As if we need more proof that the impeachment cacophony is Inside-the-Beltway blather between Republicans and Democrats, cheered on by wingnuts and navel-gazing pundits, consider how important that issue is to families whose loved ones may have been abused in some of Georgia’s senior care facilities. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has done one of the finest jobs of investigative reporting I can recall in documenting cases of suspicious deaths and mistreatment in senior care facilities in the state. What’s more, local prosecutors are not always made aware of potential crimes and neither is law enforcement. Why? Georgia’s Department of Community Health, which has oversight of the facilities (insert joke here), says it is the obligation of the senior care facilities, not the agency, to report suspected crimes. So, if a facility allows this stuff to happen, we can assume they will have a flash of contrition and self-report? Yeah, right. And where are our public officials? This one falls in the lap of State Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, who chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee. She says she is “saddened” and “appalled” at the news. Now, let’s see if she and her colleagues under the Gold Dome do anything about it or if the lizard-loafered lobbyists prevail. In the meantime, ask someone whose loved one has experienced this nightmare if they know who the president of Ukraine is. Or, if they give a d***.
Noted defense attorney David Ralston, who moonlights as Georgia’s Speaker of the House, has a new state representative coming to the next legislative session, not exactly good news for the speaker. Republican Philip Singleton, an Army veteran and an outspoken critic of Ralston, easily defeated Marcy Westmoreland Sakrison in a special election in Newnan. Sakrison outraised Singleton almost two-to-one ($118,000 to $68,000) with Mr. Speaker kicking in $2,800 and suck-up legislators contributing another $10,500. All to no avail. Singleton will join a cadre of young bucks in the General Assembly who think Ralston should retire permanently to Blue Ridge, affirming my earlier observations that he either is or soon will be toast.
If you have been keeping up with the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong against the autocratic government in China, perhaps you read about the protesters waving American flags and singing the “Star-Spangled Banner.” My first thought, of course, was of Colick Kaperdoodle and his multi-millionaire pals who play an irrelevant kid’s game and yet feel the need to publicly disrespect their country. Is there any chance we could ship them off to Hong Kong and let the local police beat on them while the protesters come here and play football on Sundays? If so, I might just watch the NFL again. ...
I respond to all my mail, whether you agree with my opinions or not. At least I know you are reading them. However, my column chronicling my bride’s recent hospitalization and my sudden sense of my own mortality, engendered so much mail I have not been able to get to all of it yet. But I promise I will. Many of you tell of similar experiences, of losing loved ones or of going through your own self-assessment of what is important in this world and what isn’t. Update: The Woman Who Shares My Name is recovering slowly but, hopefully, surely. It’s a long, winding road.
I watched the recent and excellent Ken Burns series on PBS about country music and marveled at how many great stars like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash came from impoverished backgrounds. But I had to chuckle when I saw Whispering Bill Anderson talking about “we country folks.” The guy is from Avondale Estates, an Atlanta suburb about as country as a Prada handbag. I know. We sat together in class at the Grady School of Journalism at UGA before he learned to whisper. ...
Finally, Cameron Charles Yarbrough, who gives meaning to the term “great” as in great-grandson, offered to take me shopping for a “smart watch,” which is all the rage these days. I am nothing if not a trend setter. Alas, the mission was aborted after he confided to a family member that the trip would be a waste of his time since I can’t even figure out how to operate my cellphone. I didn’t have the heart to tell Mr. Know-It-All there is an app for that.
•Dick Yarbrough is a four-time winner of the Best Humor Column by the Georgia Press Association. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.