• With Southern Democratic members of Congress facing a backlash from voters who are fed up with what's happening in Washington, many of them are trying to distance themselves from the policies of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Perhaps Rep. Roy Herron, a Democrat from the Sixth District of Tennessee, has come up with the best verbiage for that. Herron calls himself a "truck-driving, shotgun-shooting, Bible-reading, gospel-preaching, crime-fighting, family-loving country boy." Now that's what we'd call plain southern talk.
The last major economic report before the November elections is not good news for the Obama administration and Democratic candidates campaigning for seats in Congress.
• Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky is locked in a close race with Democrat Jack Conway. Paul, a free-market advocate, wants to do away with the Internal Revenue Service and simplify the tax code. He wants to replace the income tax with a national sales tax, an idea that's not bad but will have a hard time getting traction. But he is exactly right in saying the federal tax code is impossibly complex and onerous.
Military voting has not always been a satisfying or successful experience.
It's no wonder that President Obama could watch his party suffer one of the biggest flameouts in political history next month. There's massive dissatisfaction with politics in Washington, and it starts at the top -- in the White House. On the campaign trail, Obama promised a new way of doing things, an openness and transparency that would allow Americans of all persuasions to look deeply into the government process. Yet he's adopted the same closed-door stance that has led so many Americans to mistrust their elected officials in the nation's capital.
* In nominating Supreme Court justices, many lawmakers and advocacy groups emphasize the importance of diversity on the high court, of having the court "look like" the country at large. We agree with that concept. We do, however, find it interesting that 52 percent of Americans are Protestants but there isn't a single Protestant on the Supreme Court, and we haven't heard a hue and cry over that. We're merely pointing out a statistic, and there's one more we'll throw out: every single member of the high court is a graduate of an Ivy League university ...
We've gone back and forth in our views on the case heard Wednesday by the U.S. Supreme Court involving a Kansas church which has protested at the funerals of dead American soldiers with such distasteful signs as "Thank God For Dead Soldiers." The issue is whether or not First Amendment free speech rights carry over to disrupting private funerals. Church members say that because the deceased soldier's father was interviewed by a local newspaper that he became a public figure and was thus targetable by a protest. The father's supporters contend that a protest that intentionally ...
The full effects of the Obama health care plan are yet to be seen; indeed, most lawmakers in Washington couldn't possibly have read the entire bill in its voluminous form when they voted to pass it, so we'll be discovering things as we go forward -- and as one publication pointed out recently, some of those things will be completely counterproductive to good government and will, during the administration of possibly the most anti-business president in history, throw huge and expensive amounts of paperwork on small businesses.
* We were pleased to see former Camden resident Claire Bryant receive the prestigious Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach, presented recently in New York City by McGraw-Hill Publishing Companies. Bryant, a skilled cellist, has long been involved in teaching others and in spreading the glories of music. Her recognition was appropriate.
When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke earlier this week to reporters, he unknowingly commented on one of the reasons Americans are fed up with Washington and what elected officials there are doing. "We may not agree on much, but I think with rare exception all 100 senators want to get out of here and get back to their states," Reid said. Translation: we're not going to address the massive budget problems this nation has because we need to go campaign so we don't lose our cushy jobs."
Every time test results are released from public schools in South Carolina, including those here in Kershaw County, there is either celebration or hand-wringing. Some years scores spike upwards, and in others years they disappoint. And here, as across the United States, various theories are advanced about what measures can be taken to improve school performance. Smaller schools and class sizes are often favorite subjects when it comes to "here's what we need to do." And of course, that involves pushing more taxpayer dollars towards education.
* Sometimes politicians become so accustomed to hearing what they want to hear, they can't comprehend reality. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska lost in the recent Republican primary to Joe Miller, a Tea Party-backed candidate. Murkowski conceded, then announced she'll run as a write-in Republican in the general election. This is a different circumstance than when Joe Lieberman ran as an independent after losing a primary, and we aren't even sure what a "write-in Republican" is. We hope, however, she'll hear the voters loud and clear when they reject her for a second time.
This week's refusal by the U. S. Senate to repeal the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which prohibits gays from openly serving in the military, was just one more example of the partisan bickering that has paralyzed the lawmaking process in this country. Republicans and Democrats couldn't come to an agreement on procedure, and the loser was again the American people. Top military officials, including the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, favor rescinding the policy, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insisted on attaching a number of other ...
One of those doctored photographs is making the round on the Internet these days – circulated by Republicans, no doubt – in which former President Jimmy Carter is shown in a happy mood, saying, "I'm no longer the worse president!" It's a slam at President Obama, of course, but it brings up what is certainly a sore point with the former Georgia governor and president: that many regard him as one of the worst chief executives in history. When many people think of Carter's administration, they remember high interest rates, soaring inflation and the embarrassment of the Iranian hostage ...
• Friday's report that Amtrak is going to spend the next several months refurbishing Camden's passenger rail station off West DeKalb Street is welcome news. Built in 1937, it has shown its age for decades and never more so than now with holes in the platform's canopy, rotting timbers and other problems that make it a less than desirable place to stop. Amtrak says their No. 1 priority is making the facility Americans with Disabilities Act compliant -- and that's a very good thing -- from the parking lot to the station and onto the platform and train. But ...
We're glad to see that the city of Camden is exploring alternatives for aging Rhame Arena. The building is becoming more dilapidated with each passing year, and something needs to be done, whether it's razing it or restoring it. Of course, money is a factor, just as it is in all government decisions these days. We will say that city officials have overworked the bureaucratic jargon in their appraisal of the situation, saying an "adaptive reuse" could be a possible alternative. We are assuming "adaptive reuse" means repairing the building and making it feasible for some type of ...
We wrote recently of the disturbing trend in the White House of spinning every issue through press spokesmen rather than engaging in open questioning about issues of interest to Americans. A lack of transparency isn't limited to the federal government, as the S.C. Supreme Court has recently issued two troubling rulings which limit public access in the Palmetto State.
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