• 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.
While not surprising anyone with stupendous announcements or shocking proposals, Gov. Nikki Haley was solid in Wednesday's inaugural address, and she appears determined to avoid the contentious relationship that existed between the General Assembly and the governor's office for the last eight years. Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so that remains to be determined, but the governor has certainly laid down a carpet of cooperation that could lead to smoother relations in the future. She has gone out of her way to signal to legislators that she won't be following the ...
The tragic and senseless shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is just another in a long line of such incidents that occur with too much regularity. The Giffords shooting generated a great deal of publicity because she is a United States representative, but such mass violence has become so common that it's hardly shocking anymore. That's a shame and a sad commentary. When Richard Speck broke into a Chicago apartment in 1966 and murdered eight nurses, this country was shocked and incredulous, just as it was when Charles Whitman climbed a University of Texas tower that same year ...
This country has, in many instances, gone overboard in enforcing the first amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The founding fathers never intended to remove all semblances of religion from public life, yet we have moved in that direction. But a recent attempt by one South Carolina lawmaker to question potential judges about religious matters went far beyond reason and was properly squelched by state agency staffers.
About an hour north of Camden, nine civil rights protestors from the 1960s are scheduled today to receive a measure of justice after being jailed for staging a lunch counter protest in Rock Hill more than a half-century ago. Known as the Friendship Nine because they attended the now-defunct Friendship Junior College, the men protested a segregated lunch counter at a McCrory's store in 1961; they had decided prior to their actions that after being arrested, they would refuse bail and instead serve jail sentences as a way to spotlight their actions and the injustice leading to the sit-in.
• We hope you had as much fun reading our recent front page story on the 2015 Junior Leadership Kershaw County's etiquette class as we did putting it together. The entire Junior Leadership program -- taking some of Kershaw County's brightest and most promising students and giving them the opportunity to interact with a variety of leaders from across the county -- is one we're lucky to have in our community. The etiquette class, held at Boykin's Mill Pond Steakhouse, taught these already well-mannered teens the finer points of moving through society, especially at a fancy restaurant. Parents often ...
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