WASHINGTON -- Discretionary spending, the part of the federal budget that is not on autopilot and is subject to annual appropriations, generally constitutes less than 40 percent of federal spending. Take out defense spending and that share drops to well under 20 percent. So if your goal is to slash government spending and your approach is to go after discretionary spending without touching the military, it will require punishing, drastic cuts to make any serious dent in the deficit.
In my column last week, I said that it's not enough to simply honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday. We should make a conscious effort to also recognize the nameless, faceless and countless numbers of Americans who fought beside King for racial equality.
At this midpoint of his first term, it is too early to say what President Barack Obama's legacy will be. We don't even know whether he will get a second term. But we're beginning to see more clearly the outlines of what that legacy might be: In a contentious age of left-versus-right, he's a center-left pragmatist -- and he's beginning to make it pay off.
WASHINGTON -- I come from a family where the "joke," if you came home with a 97 on a math test, was to ask what happened to the other three points. The punch line, if you scored 100, was to ask whether there was any extra credit.
NEW YORK -- As a longtime champion of greater civility in public discourse and one who has led the charge for dialed-back rhetoric, may I respectfully take most of it back?
What inspires you? It's an important question -- one that can tell you a lot about yourself.
I recently posted a blog entry in the C-I website's Community section about the music I was listening to during the winter season. I followed that up with a "Note" connected to my personal Facebook page about music from the 1980s I've downloaded to or copied from my collection in recent years.
With the passage of Act 81 of 2009, the General Assembly took an important step to confront the antiquated and faulty tax structure that has been cobbled together over the decades, and that is now breaking down in the modern economy. The legislature created the South Carolina Taxation Realignment Commission to conduct a "thorough assessment of the State's current tax structure to determine its 'adequacy, fairness, and efficiency' and to ensure that our State remains an 'optimum competitor in its efforts to attract business and individuals to locate, live, work, and invest' in South Carolina."
CBS anchor Katie Couric startled some listeners when she suggested a Muslim "Cosby Show," but the idea has merit. It's hard for us to be afraid of the people we see on TV sitcoms every week.
As we move into a new year, I'm proud to reflect back on 2010 as a successful year for the City of Camden despite great and obvious challenges.
I've never been forced to sit in the back of the bus.
We tend to respond in one of two ways to the news that a deranged gunman has fatally shot a group of people with an extraordinarily lethal weapon. Some people are simply horrified. Others wonder where they can buy one, too.
NEW YORK -- It is bracing, not to mention annoying, laughable and obnoxious, to hear a White House press secretary lectured by a Russian journalist about the parameters of free expression American-style.
WASHINGTON -- Sarah Palin feels victimized by critics who accuse her of helping create an angry political climate that led to the Tucson shootings, and she has a point. She chose a truly unfortunate way to make it, using the phrase "blood libel."
I became somewhat nostalgic two weekends back. No, I wasn't flipping through photos of past loves or my travels in Europe. Or hitting up the Five Points bars stockpiled with sorority gals.
WASHINGTON -- If politicians preying upon your attentions this season fail to inspire, you might seek common cause with the beasts -- the four-legged variety rather than those running for office.
The wild world of sports seems these days to be filled with thugs and hooligans. I really don't mean to paint such a large group of people with such a wide brush, so I'll say there are plenty of athletes, the majority in fact, who are honest, decent citizens who abide by the accepted rules of humanity in all or most of what they do. But, like in most groups, it's the bad apples who get the most attention.
It's said that Bear Bryant, the legendary football coach at Alabama, once remarked, "Every man thinks he knows how to do two things perfectly: grill a steak and coach a football team."
Trees are fascinating biological wonders. From ancient bristle cone pines and towering redwoods out west to our widely diverse Southern forests, the life cycle of a tree provides us with year-round interest. One of the most intriguing and beautiful results of a tree's life cycle is autumn color.
WASHINGTON -- So unpopular is President Obama these days that the (D) following Democratic candidates' names might stand for Denial.
Growing up, I had a hand full of career goals. My parents signed me up for basketball in 3rd grade, which put the idea of playing for the WNBA in my head.
Ah, Prince, how we've missed you. Prince Rogers Nelson has finally "Kiss"-ed and made up with Warner Bros. Records, regaining control of his original catalog of music and put out not one, but two albums worth of new music on the same day.
It's a funny thing. That's what Mama used to say when something baffled her. Like Mama, I prefer that things make common sense. Otherwise, I'll ponder, figure, study, and try to decipher that funny thing until it's somewhat sensible.
In early September, I attended a meeting of superintendents in Greenville. A major area of discussion was the development of a workforce that would attract sustainable industry to South Carolina and how K-12 education fits into this puzzle. To underscore this discussion, the meeting included a tour of the BMW plant in Spartanburg. Wow! This facility absolutely reflects what a 21st century workplace looks like and what many of our students will need to be prepared to enter. I talk a lot about preparing students for their future and not our past. The BMW tour reminded me why this is ...
On Nov. 4, Kershaw County citizens will have the opportunity to vote on the Kershaw County School District facilities referendum. Because of legislation passed by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2014, voters will be able to decide whether or not a penny sales tax that would be collected for 15 years could be imposed in the county and used by the school district to fund the projects in the referendum.
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