Across South Carolina, Democrats have had a tough go of it during the past decade. The party holds only one congressional seat and has no constitutional officers. Republicans control both houses of the General Assembly. It's a different story here in Kershaw County, as Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk and Sen. Vincent Sheheen have both proven popular with voters though the GOP generally carries the county in other races. Now, former Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian has announced he'll run for the party's top party post later this month, and if nothing else, his candidacy will add a ...
• If you listened to President Obama's speech last week, you probably got the idea that the United States imposes an unfairly high tax burden on citizens who make the least money. In reality, the bottom 50 percent of all earners pay only 2.7 percent of all taxes. That's hardly confiscatory.
The city of Camden's idea to have a free concert April 23 to observe the opening of the new Town Green is a great idea, and it will indeed be a festive event that will show off the new facility and its attractions. Unfortunately, planning for the event didn't go as smoothly as it should have, and local food merchants ended up both hurt and aggrieved over the way things were initially planned. They had a right to be disgruntled.
With the city of Camden having such a distinguished historical heritage, and with so many residents acutely and proudly aware of that heritage and the value of keeping it alive, we are delighted to see the news that statues of Bernard Baruch and Larry Doby will be commissioned and will be placed on the grounds of the Camden Archives and Museum. The work comes through the generosity of Camden resident John Rainey, who's funding the statues, and sculptor Maria J. Kirby-Smith, who will perform the artwork. Those familiar with Kirby-Smith's exquisite sculpture at the Kershaw County Library will ...
Multiple sources are saying Katie Couric will leave her post as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," with the show mired in third place far behind rivals NBC and ABC. Couric was lured away from a long and successful tenure at NBC's "Today" show, and she is said to be eying a syndicated TV talk show. What works on a feature-type show such as "Today" doesn't always translate to success in the anchor chair. But we hope Couric finds success in whatever she does as she seems like a pleasant sort.
Rep. Paul Ryan has issued a plan for returning this country to fiscal sanity, and it includes cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. The Wisconsin lawmaker's proposal would slash about $5 trillion in spending over the next decade, making it by far the most intensive plan presented to date to try to deal with the country's unsustainable spending practices. But predictably, potential presidential candidates have had little to say, recognizing the political volatility of cutting entitlement programs that people have come to rely on. Some have praised Ryan for coming forward with a package and acknowledge that it could ...
• Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who never met a television camera he didn't like, didn't realize a microphone was turned on when he started dispensing advice to his Democratic colleagues on how to picture Republican policies as "extreme." Schumer's pointers give one indication of why everything is endlessly "spun" in Washington. Of course, it's not only Democrats who do this, as Republicans are just as guilty. But Schumer's the one who got caught; perhaps he'll check next time to make sure there's not a live microphone around.
Many years ago, there was a Carolina Cup race director who insisted that every person in attendance was there to watch the horses run and that none of them were interested in the social aspects of the day -- or in taking a drink. That, of course, wasn't close to true, and there's a reason that the Cup has often been called the largest outdoor cocktail party in South Carolina. It is indeed a social occasion, and the consumption of alcoholic beverages has always played a part in its success. And yes, there always have been people who have ...
The word "transparency" has become a popular one for politicians to use. After all, how many citizens are there here in Kershaw County -- or across South Carolina and the United States, for that matter -- who aren't in favor of a more open government? Not many. Indeed, transparency was one of the key platforms of Gov. Nikki Haley's campaign, and the issue no doubt contributed to her victory. A little squabble is now kicking up between her and State Treasurer Curtis Loftis over which is more committed to transparency and openness. Along with being amusing, it's also interesting.
• If ever a college coach deserved firing, it was Bruce Pearl, the Tennessee basketball head man who lied to NCAA investigators about recruiting violations he'd committed, and then committed additional illegal acts after denying he had done anything wrong in the first place. Pearl was a flamboyant coach who took the Volunteers to basketball heights they'd seldom attained, but his cheating was too flagrant to ignore.
We commented last week on the puzzling decision that Gov. Nikki Haley made in not re-appointing Darla Moore to the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees. We still aren't clear why Haley chose to pick a fight with Moore and so many university alumni who are grateful for the $70 million pledge Moore has made to USC. But Sen. Jake Knott's intention to pass a new law opening another seat on the board, and then to have Moore run for it, isn't the proper way for legislators to express their disapproval.
Even the most casual sports fan in Kershaw County can get caught up in the hoopla of March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament that is arguably the best sporting event in the country. It's difficult to understand how college sports officials can continue to resist a football play-off system when you consider the interest drawn by the hoops tourney each year. And in this year's games, there have been lots of down-to-the-wire contests, generating more excitement than ever before.
• Kershaw County residents have a special reason to pull for Wofford's basketball team, as the Terriers are coached by Mike Young, who's married to the former Margaret Green, daughter of Davis and Gege Green of Camden. Young led Wofford to their second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance this year after winning the Southern Conference championship, with the Terriers making the "Big Dance" field despite being one of the smallest schools in the country to play Division I basketball. In the first round, Wofford played BYU valiantly before falling; nevertheless, it was another great season for Wofford and we offer ...
Say what you will about Gov. Nikki Haley, but don't say one thing: that she's bashful.
In a perfect world -- in a political system that functioned more as our forefathers intended rather than how it actually does -- elected officials in Washington would take on issues based on the importance of those matters rather than how the politicians would be affected at the ballot box in their next re-election campaign. But, of course, it's not a perfect world, and sometimes lawmakers can be most productive when they can plow ahead without having to worry about repercussions at the voting booth.
• We are comforted when justice is served, and we believe that happened Thursday afternoon when a jury found 33-year-old Willie Thomas Starnes, of Bethune, guilty of armed robbery and murder. The jury found Starnes guilty of deliberately using his vehicle a year ago to knock Alan Thomas Robinson, 67, also of Bethune, off his moped, stealing and loading that moped onto his vehicle and then turning around and running Robinson over. Robinson died the next day. Starnes is then accused of selling the moped for money he used to buy drugs. In fact, Starnes was under the influence of drugs ...
Whenever the subject of guns is brought up, it engenders strong opinion on both sides -- from those who believe in absolute Second Amendment rights, and from those who believe that nobody should be allowed to own a gun in any circumstances. Like most people, we fall somewhere in the middle, solidly on the side of Americans to own firearms but a bit dubious about why it makes sense for people to own Uzis and other automatic weapons that are made with the express purpose of killing people.
We comment on sports issues in this space on a regular basis, because athletics are so ingrained into the culture of Kershaw County and South Carolina. This week marks the kick-off of college football season in the Palmetto State, and several developments highlight the changing culture of the pigskin pastime here.
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