Voters are a tough bunch to satisfy these days. The number of people who are registered to vote as Democrat or Republican has plunged by 2.5 million since 2008, according to a new tally. Independent ranks have grown. Nonetheless, studies show, most independents still vote overwhelmingly for one party or the other, even if they don't want to admit that in public.
WASHINGTON -- The great thing about Iowa is that no matter whom the voters selected in their neighborhood huddles, it doesn't really matter. Placing in Iowa might land one a talk show (see Mike Huckabee), but the preferences of a handful of Americans belonging to a committed, ideological subset of a committed, ideological party do not a national trend suggest. The presumptive candidate proceeds apace.
Mrs. Margaret, our accountant, and I were discussing where the year had gone last week and we agreed that things just move so fast these days that we don't take the time to appreciate what matters anymore.
Having the opportunity each month to write on an array of topics continues to deliver to me absolute satisfaction. Chosen subject matter usually encompasses certain resolute thoughts that have incited my interest or stirred my conscience in some manner. This month has proven to be no different except for, perhaps, the degree in which my awareness and inference of a fastidious topic has been kindled; the painstaking topic of war. Last week, we took in the Stephen Spielberg movie, "War Horse." The story has a universal message; one that portrays to its viewers the horror of war in which men ...
OK, OK. I confess:
When John McCain wrapped up the Republican nomination four years ago, one person was reportedly at the top of his vice presidential list -- Sen. Joe Liebermann.
(Columnist Kathleen Parker is in vacation, In her absence, Ruth Marcus, a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, is featured today.)
If you pay attention to the news -- and if you're reading this community newspaper it's likely that you do -- you're probably aware that the federal government just rejected South Carolina's recently-passed "Voter ID" law, which would require voters to present photo identification before casting a ballot in an election.
When I was a little kid, I loved imagining what things would be like when I grew up. I've kept right on imagining through today, whether it be through fiction I've written or some of these columns of mine you've read in years past.
In response to a November 2011 column in which railroad artifacts were discussed and pictured, Eugene Carl Griggs of Lugoff called to say he enjoyed it very much. Gene is a retired former employee of the Seaboard Railway. Little did this columnist know our conversation would lead into some very interesting and little known areas of World War II history.
(Columnist Clarence Page is on vacation. In his absence, Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer, is featured today.)
Let's start with some good news:
Unless you've been holed up in a basement somewhere for the past few years -- if you seldom read a newspaper or watch a news broadcast on television -- you are aware of global warming and the catastrophic effects it could have upon our planet.
Even without knowing the intricate details of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), many have come across a teacher or two who says that their creativity and long-term effectiveness in the classroom has become limited since the implementation of NCLB. Consequently, it is honorable that the state of South Carolina has been motivated to submit a request for flexibility in NCLB requirements early next year and requests the input of the "community" of South Carolina.
Ah, a New Year.
WASHINGTON -- Monica Lewinsky is trying to make lemonade out of 16-year-old lemons. Good for her, and good, ultimately, for us.
July 27 marked the beginning of the most stressful week of my life. It began with the surprising news of my aunt's passing, and on top of having to deal with that, I also had to get through my last week of two summer classes and do work for two other classes that would end the following week.
Ben Bradlee became editor of The Washington Post the year I was born, 1965. He stepped down when I was 26, in 1991, the year after I moved to the Midlands of South Carolina.
A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily that she was learning to "let things roll right off my back."
Ebola is scary. It has scared the bejesus out of us here in South Carolina, nationally and literally all over the world.
The issue of road funding -- or, to put it slightly differently, the question of how South Carolina should fix its broken road system -- is now a constant topic in politics and the media. A fair number of state lawmakers have therefore begun to advocate what politicians always advocate when they don't want to make tough decisions about the budget: raising taxes, specifically the fuel tax.
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.
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