While all the figures aren't in and almost certainly never will be, the Center for Responsive Politics has estimated that roughly $6 billion was spent on the 2012 election, including $2 billion on the presidential contest and something on the order of $4 billion on congressional and state races. This gives us, I suppose, the best government money can buy -- which is certainly not the best we could have.
I'm looking forward to the year 2040, because that is when we won't be debating anymore whether birth control belongs in a basic health plan.
Rush Limbaugh thinks John Lewis should have been armed.
Thursday afternoon, Main Street Columbus sent out a press release announcing that its director, Nickie Nicholson, had been removed from her role, effective immediately. It was hardly a shocking development to anyone who has any connection to the organization. There have been rumblings about Nicholson almost from the start.
A recent Boy Scout camping trip took me to the Sipsey Wilderness Area in north Alabama. It is beautiful. A hidden gem.
After weeks of negative national press thanks to Messrs. Bryant, Palazzo, Smith, Chism et al., it's nice to have something to be cheery about. Our politicians, who have of late, been imitating barnyard roosters, have provided abundant fodder for late-night television.
Noted 20th Century essayist G.K. Chesterton once wrote that the whole modern world is made up of Conservatives and Progressives. "The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes," he wrote in a 1924 newspaper column. "The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."
Even law enforcement will admit Mississippi's concealed-carry gun law is a joke. Citizens already can legally possess a firearm anywhere in their house, car or business without a permit. The average citizen does not want to carry a weapon on his side and walk down the street - although we technically possess that right under the Constitution.
Barack Obama was inaugurated for his second term last week. I mention that only because there's a good chance you missed it. That news, after all, was overshadowed by an apparently more important story out of Washington.
Ultimately, it is a matter of accountability. On two separate occasions over the past week, officials have bitterly complained about news stories we published. While The Dispatch stands firmly behind each of the stories in question, we readily admit that each story would have benefited from the insights of those same officials.
The Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau held its regular meeting Monday and, as almost always seems to be the case, it created more questions than it answered. The big issue before the board was the propriety of allowing the elected officials who appoint the board members to solicit funds for festivals they operate.
Slim Smith got a couple of things right in his column 01-25-13, "What were they thinking?" For one thing, no state needs a commission or committee to determine if an act of Congress or the president or anybody else is unconstitutional. Anybody with half a brain and no political bias can determine that for themselves. Our governor and state attorney general should be able to handle that little chore, if they just would.
Happy days are not here again, but they are coming for conservatives. Barack Obama -- with the lowest approval rating (according to Gallup, 50 percent, four points lower than that of the National Rifle Association) of any reelected president when inaugurated since World War II -- has a contradictory agenda certain to stimulate a conservative revival.
Well, he put it out there. Since the time of Roosevelt's New Deal and Johnson's Great Society, a debate has rumbled over whether government aid programs kill private initiative. Conservatives say it does. Liberals either don't care or insist it doesn't.
I often wonder how different life would be in the city. I wonder if city dwellers contend with coyotes, fox, armadillos, owls, raccoons and beaver; possibly a snake or two.
The story of a skirmish between a hawk and a duck shouldn't be all that difficult to tell. Now consider the duck belongs to a Thai man who speaks broken English and lives in east Columbus, that almost everyone in the story has two names, and the tale begins with a bet on a golf game where the loser will cook duck for the victor.
Deeply ingrained in both the history and culture of Northeast Mississippi is the Black Prairie. The prairie takes its name from the dark, almost black soil that typifies its range. From the time of the earliest European-American traders and settlers, the region has attracted attention.
The English language is alive and evolving. The word "friend" has been considered a noun for a very long time. These days it is also a verb, as in "to friend" someone, such as on Facebook.
It must be true what they say about women -- that they are smarter, stronger, wiser and wilier than your average Joe. How else could one explain the magical thinking that apparently has prompted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to abandon all reason and lift the ban on women in direct combat?
1. Voice of the people: Raymond Gross LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
2. Patrick Buchanan: Killer cops or malicious prosecutor? NATIONAL COLUMNS
3. Our View: City's refusal to follow law cannot be tolerated DISPATCH EDITORIALS
4. Voice of the people: D. Presley Hutchens LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
5. Slimantics: A janitor, a dog and dreams fulfilled LOCAL COLUMNS