Camden City Council made the wise move some time ago to prohibit people from sending text messages while they're driving, a practice that is unquestionably dangerous but is common, especially among teenagers. Now it appears that the General Assembly might pass a statewide ban on texting despite the fact that there are still several senators who feel such a prohibition would be an infringement on drivers' rights. But making that argument makes no more sense than saying that speed limits pose a similar danger on the rights of individuals.
With President Obama having come forth with a proposed budget that's big on tax increases and small on spending cuts, political eyes will be turning toward Republicans to see which GOP hopeful will step out and establish a position as a frontrunner. Incumbent presidents have a terrific advantage, but the 2010 Democratic debacle is full indication that Obama won't be a shoo-in for another term in the White House. Kershaw County voters will be keeping their eyes on the race, just as voters across the country will.
• Fie on those who are criticizing First Lady Michelle Obama because she served pizza, sausages and Buffalo wings at the White House Super Bowl viewing. Mrs. Obama has been spearheading an effort to get Americans to eat more healthful fare, but she's right in saying that it isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. People can adopt better diets without completely eliminating those "fun" foods that almost everyone likes. Carping critics need to pipe down.
Republicans gained a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in last November's elections, but the GOP is finding that binding all its members together to produce clear policy isn't an easy task. House Republicans earlier this week proposed cutting about $35 billion in spending, slashing such programs as Americorps, family planning assistance and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. But many newly elected members say that's not enough, stressing they were sent to Washington to make even deeper cuts. Complicating the situation is that spending legislation must also pass the Senate, where Democrats still maintain a ...
Recent legislation allowing Sunday alcohol sales in Camden is just one example of how lifestyles are changing across the United States. For many years, alcohol could not be sold in any form on Sunday in South Carolina -- except, of course, in Charleston, which for decades winked slyly not only at state bans on Sunday sales but also at the state's prohibition on mixed drinks, which were officially prohibited across the Palmetto State but readily available in nearly every restaurant in the The Holy City.
• We're glad to see that the Camden Police Department and Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk are both taking part in trying to get alcohol energy drinks outlawed in South Carolina. The beverages, which come in large cans, have high alcohol content along with a significant amount of caffeine, which can be a deadly combination, especially for young drinkers who have had little experience with alcohol. The dangers of these drinks are widely known, and Funderburk is one of several legislators who introduced a bill in the General Assembly. It is now wending its way through the legislative process.
Social Security has been a political football for more years than we care to remember, but there's another institution that will just as quickly engender "don't mess with mine" comments from voters: the post office. More times than we can remember we've watched the U.S. Postal Service (USPO) announce that a small, rural post office would be closed, only to have it kept open under intense political pressure.
First Lady Michelle Obama was in Columbia last week to highlight the problem of childhood obesity and the effect of decreased physical activity on military recruitment; the lack of physical fitness is making it more difficult for the Army and other service branches to fill their ranks at a time when the country needs good soldiers. Her visit was coincidental with a conversation this newspaper's primary editorial writer had with an Army veteran who recently received word that he'll soon be promoted to E-9, the highest enlisted rank in the service, only 18 years after joining.
• President Obama, despite his love of government spending, is making an attempt to drift toward the political center since his party got battered in last November's election, a pragmatic approach yet one some doubted the president would be able to do given his philosophy. His latest appeal to the middle came with his naming of General Electric chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt as chairman of Obama's outside panel of economic advisers. Immelt will give the administration an establishment figure that will signal more openness to business. We do, however, hope Immelt will do a better job of advising ...
There are lots of Kershaw County residents who no doubt are wondering exactly when "investing" became a synonym for "spending." Politicians -- especially free-spending ones -- no longer want to talk about increasing spending, couching it instead in the "investing" light. President Obama took that tack Tuesday night during his State of the Union speech, advocating a series of spending measures on education, research, transportation and technology.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is one of the few lawmakers in Washington who's willing to forge compromises, and that sometimes lands him in hot water with hard-right conservatives in the Palmetto State. Now, with Graham realistically saying that in order to stem the horrific budget deficits the country is running that we must look at the possibility of changing the Social Security retirement age, he's also catching heat from the left.
• We're glad to see Davis Love III picked as the captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team for the 2012 matches. Love, who grew up the son of a highly regarded teaching pro in Charlotte, is one of the best-liked players on the PGA tour and has won 20 tournaments, including the PGA Championship. The 2012 matches will be played at Medinah Country Club near Chicago, and Love will be trying to stem a tide that has resulted in the Americans losing six of the last eight matches to the Europeans, including last fall's defeat in Wales.
Professional athletes often seem to make as many headlines for their off-the-field shenanigans as they do for their skill in the playing arena. Sports fans have come to expect that extracurricular news about athletes generally is going to be bad rather than good. That's why it's so refreshing to watch Camden native Vonnie Holliday go about his good works. When you read about Holliday, it's not about a DUI arrest or a nightclub brawl or a dog-fighting incident, but rather about one of his charitable initiatives. All Kershaw County citizens can share in the good news that ...
While we don't believe the give-and-take of political campaigns is a major factor in tragedies such as the recent shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords -- it was the work of a deranged man -- we certainly concur with those who say that more political civility would be useful in this country. One small step in that direction will be taken during next week's State of the Union address when some members of opposing parties have decided they'll sit together.
• If you think the Kennedy family no longer has clout, consider: Caroline Kennedy is said to be the driving force behind the cancellation of the History Channel's series on the family, though the executive producer insists the script was meticulously researched and historically accurate. He said the aim was to produce a story that showed the family's difficulties as well as triumphs, and JFK's romantic trysts were included. Of course it's not only Democrats who can pull such rank; several years ago, a series on Ronald Reagan was cancelled after Nancy Reagan voiced objections.
On Sept. 28, 1789, according to a government website, the First Federal Congress passed a resolution asking President George Washington recommend to the nation a day of thanksgiving. The site goes on to describe what happened: a few days later, Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, Nov. 26, 1789, as a "day of public thanksgiving" -- the first time the holiday was celebrated by our fledgling country.
• Property rights vs. community pride is a conflict as old as civilization itself. In recent months, we've reported on two attempts to regulate the appearance of properties in an effort to clean up our communities. Back in October, Kershaw County Council rejected, 3-4, third reading of an ordinance which would have given the county authority to demolish uninhabitable dwellings deemed a nuisance to neighbors or the community at large. More recently, Bethune Town Councilman John Fulmer proposed an ordinance which, if passed in December, would fine owners of blighted properties if they don't clean them up after being ...
Lawyers of every political persuasion are lining up in Washington to have their say on the legality or illegality of the plan President Obama intends to implement regarding amnesty for illegal aliens who are in the United States without proper authorization, with one major network saying the president's plan to take the immigration system into his own hands "is a daring test of the limits of presidential power."
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