Voters here in South Carolina have had to put up with a contentious relationship between the General Assembly and the executive branch for the last eight years, an oddity considering that both are controlled by the Republican Party. But Gov. Mark Sanford and legislators have often crossed swords, with legislators blaming the governor for showboating (remember the pigs he brought to the state house to symbolize pork spending?) and the governor decrying "business as usual" by legislators.
• The political correctness police force is active in San Francisco, where an ordinance has been passed decreeing that McDonald's Happy Meals can't contain a toy unless the meal meets certain nutritional standards laid down by that city's authorities. We aren't sure what the city plans to ban next, but such actions are political correctness run amok.
Unlike 1994, when a Republican landslide was somewhat of a surprise, Tuesday's GOP tsunami had been widely predicted by pollsters, nearly all of whom had detected a wave of discontent among voters weary of partisanship and a stagnant economy. Kershaw County voters reacted as did their counterparts across the country, helping to toss out longtime 5th District Congressman John Spratt. Camden's Vincent Sheheen was one of the few Democrats to fare well here, along with county officials Harriett Pierce and Robin Watkins.
Most Kershaw County residents will breathe a sigh of relief this morning because they'll no longer be subjected to the constant bombardment of negative political ads which have dominated the airwaves for the past couple months. The so-called political operatives who run campaigns insist negative ads are used because they're effective. We challenge that; such commercials might have worked a few years ago, before they were used by nearly every candidate, but we'd wager that for most voters, they have lost their power.
• Politics is a cruel game. With Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, locked in a tight battle for re-election, there's already a lot of squirming going on in Washington about which senator will become the majority leader if the Democrats retain control and Reid is defeated. It's bad form, of course, for those interested in the position to be too overt, so Chuck Schumer of New York and Dick Durbin of Illinois, both of whom are said to be desirous of being majority leader, are quietly spreading around campaign funds to many different candidates and states, all ...
We suppose writing editorials about voting can be a recitation of clichés – "the most basic right of Americans," "the cornerstone of democracy," those kinds of things. But however hackneyed they might sound, they're true. Never was the power of the vote more evident than two years ago when Barack Obama energized the American electorate as it had not been energized in years. Obama rushed to a landslide win by exciting people about the prospects of changing America in a positive way. Now, if we are to believe polls showing a sizeable Republican win next Tuesday, Americans are saying ...
There's never a good time to raise taxes, and that might seem truer today than ever before. The economy is still struggling to recover and unemployment remains high. In the midst of such conditions, Kershaw County voters are facing a penny sales tax question which will be on the ballot next week. We hope it will be approved, though we say that with some reluctance because of economic conditions and the havoc they have wrought on families.
• 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 ...
It was another black eye for South Carolina last week when Rep. Bobby Harrell, speaker of the House of Representatives, was indicted by a Richland County grand jury on nine counts, including illegally using campaign money for personal expenses, filing false campaign disclosures and misconduct in office. Harrell suspended himself -- how's that for an oddity? -- and will now face his government accusers. South Carolina certainly doesn't have a monopoly on political malfeasance but the Palmetto State has had more than its share of governmental scandal. We say that fully recognizing that Harrell is innocent until proven guilty.
• What a boon the S.C. Equine Park has been for Camden and Kershaw County! And now, with word that a second, larger covered arena will be built -- possibly as soon as this winter -- the park should ultimately bring even more people to the area than it already does. Think on this: even with the arena already in place, the equine park has been booked an average of 30 weekends each year, with an economic impact of $4 million. Imagine if, with the second arena, the park could be booked 45 or even 50 weekends each year. How much would ...
Elgin is certainly not the same community that it was a few decades ago. The sleepy little crossroads that existed then has now become the primary growth area in Kershaw County, with housing developments having sprung up all over West Wateree. The area is populated not only with citizens who were born and raised in Kershaw County but many who have moved across the county line from neighboring Richland County, and others who have found their way there from throughout the United States.
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