I am very grateful to the Chronicle-Independent for giving me an opportunity each month to discuss education in our community and beyond. One of the topics I feel compelled to keep talking about is how our state funds K-12 education. As I've said on several other occasions in this space, it's an understatement to say that the way our state funds K-12 education is dysfunctional, complicated, disorganized, ineffective and contradictory, and that's on a good day. When I think about this system, imagery involving duct tape and baling wire comes to mind.
The city of Camden was in the spotlight Thursday when local elected leaders from around the region met at TenEleven Galleria. These regional leaders, along with Camden city officials, met to discuss important legislative issues at a Municipal Association of South Carolina's Regional Advocacy Meeting. The Municipal Association is a statewide organization that provides support to the state's cities and towns with their efforts to be hubs for job growth and economic development.
Let's be fair to Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Contrary to a widespread impression, the libertarian-minded Texas Republican did not say during a recent Republican debate that people without health insurance should be left to die. It is only his idea of "freedom" that might cause you to think so.
Call me a hypocrite, and you'll be pretty darned accurate if you're talking about big-time college athletics.
Troy Davis died Wednesday night.
NEW YORK -- Are Republicans stupid?
In presidential politics, endorsements are a prize candidates seem to covet, but don't necessarily need. On the rare occasion, however, a presidential backer can give a candidate that extra boost required to finish off the competition or a killer blow that eventually stymies a campaign.
Quite a few people were shocked to hear the audience burst into applause at Rick Perry's first Republican presidential debate after they heard that the Texas governor leads the nation in executions. That's why we have debates. They teach you things, not only about the candidates but also about their voters.
Declaring your independence is risky, but it's relatively simple. Figuring out how to function as an actual nation is more complex.
It's been a long road/Gettin' from there to here.
As it turns out, I will be an aunt by the end of the year -- not once, but twice.
If there are "moderate" Muslims, I still hear critics ask since the Sept. 11 attacks, why don't they condemn Islamic terrorism? In fact, most Muslims do condemn such barbaric acts but their critics aren't always listening.
The late comedian George Carlin made people laugh for decades, oftentimes with his own brand of off-color humor. You wouldn't ordinarily think of him writing a piece that would be appropriate for Christmas reflection, but I ran across this recently. Written shortly after his wife died, it's worth sharing:
COPD, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., having recently passed stroke. COPD is a lung disease usually caused by years of cigarette smoking, often 10 years or more. The latest information on tobacco use in S.C. shows that about 720,000 adults are smokers and each year more than 6,000 persons die from smoking. Almost 50 percent of S.C. adults are current or ex-smokers, thus are at risk for COPD. The good news is that smoking rates are much lower than in the 1960s ...
We're used to hearing bad news from the education front -- poor test scores, falling literacy, slipping standards. But the new academic year brings a welcome change: school-choice programs have expanded significantly in recent months. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal has already dubbed 2011 "The Year of School Choice."
"Hey," said the guy next to me at the blackjack table, "you know what they call people who hang around casinos?"
WASHINGTON -- President Obama got it two-thirds right when he said the delayed confirmation of his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, is owing to Senate dysfunction and Republican stubbornness.
Here in the Chronicle-Independent newsroom, we're kind of shaking our collective head about the news which broke Tuesday about the early-morning heist of a complete automatic teller machine (ATM) from Mid Carolina Credit Union in Lugoff. The thief or thieves apparently used a large, stolen piece of equipment to rip the ATM from its concrete base and load it into or onto some sort of vehicle, almost surely a truck, given an ATM's size and weight.
Spring is here in the City and the Bradford pears look so pretty.
If I had to list the drivers people have asked me about over the years, Kurt Busch wouldn't be in the top 10.
WASHINGTON -- I'm standing in the Starbucks line behind 10 other sleepyheads waiting to order my tall skinny cappuccino, otherwise known as a shot of coffee described as I wish it to be.
Today's reflection is about things I just don't do anymore.
Every day, in every area of our state, hardworking South Carolina taxpayers are being robbed. They are not held up at gunpoint and their homes are not burglarized. But, they are the victims of theft just the same. Criminals are stealing federal funds and using that money for their personal benefit. They are committing fraud against the food stamp program. In fact, they pocket more than $2 million of your tax dollars every year in South Carolina alone.
From 1999 to 2006, I tuned in to every episode of "The West Wing" starring Martin Sheen. It was one of the smartest shows I've ever watched with a superb cast and excellent writing. Like every television show, it had its ups and downs. Its detractors felt it was too idyllic and -- being an Aaron Sorkin product, like "The Newsroom" in more recent years -- too preachy.
You may be surprised to learn people sometimes disagree with me. You may be equally surprised I sometimes see their point in the disagreement. Sometimes I agree with the disagreement.
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