• We voters here in Kershaw County and across the country can get ready for another debt-limit controversy in October. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is already warning of rattled financial markets if the vote to call the government to borrow more money doesn't pass smoothly, and there will be Republicans who say they won't go along. This is becoming a tiresome exercise and it would be nice if Congress would adopt reasonable fiscal policies that would help avoid this kind of mess.
For years we've bemoaned on these pages the lack of initiative of automobile manufacturers in bringing the same diesel-engine efficiency to the United States that exists in Europe, where mid-size cars often get close to 50 miles to the gallon while getting more than adequate power and a lack of the bothersome noise that the first generation of American auto diesels produced.
Of course we're not naive enough to believe that the United States is still caught in a 1950s time warp when it comes to the entertainment business -- or anything else, for that matter. Times change, and so do values and mores. It's been a long time since married couples on television were forced to sleep in twin beds lest an audience get the idea that they actually might be intimate. The innocence of Leave It To Beaver and Ozzie and Harriett are long gone. Yet the continual pushing of the limits of good taste troubles some people, and ...
• The U.S. Congress is a picture of inefficiency, and as we all know, members seem to bear little inclination to compromise. But lawmakers in Washington look like the model of decorum when compared to the Thai Parliament, which descended into chaos last week, with a brawl erupting between police and some members of that body after Parliament debated controversial proposals to amend the country's constitution. Perhaps an old-fashioned fistfight is what we need on Capitol Hill; our elected officials could perhaps beat some sense into each other.
Chris Paul, the former Wake Forest basketball star who is now regarded by many as the best point guard in the NBA, has taken over the presidency of the troubled NBA Players' Association. Many people have more than a little trouble understanding why athletes who are paid millions of dollars a year for playing a game even need a union. We won't open a debate on that, but one issue on which Paul could have a positive influence is the ridiculous "one and done" rule which affects college basketball.
• Within a month, Camdenites will no longer have to look at the rotting Maxway building at the corner of Broad and Rutledge streets, as the city plans to tear it down soon. The city purchased the building, which has been vacant for about a decade, earlier this year, and there's some chance a small park will be built on the site. But even vacant, it will look better without the old building, and everybody will be glad to see it go.
The KershawHealth Board of Trustees' decision authorizing Chairman Paul Napper to negotiate a contract with Mike Bunch to become the healthcare organization's new CEO is the right call.
Kershaw County residents were no doubt surprised when the U.S. Justice Department earlier this week threw a giant roadblock in the all-but-completed merger between US Airways and American Airlines. The feds hadn't thrown up similar obstacles in previous airline mergers, and this one looked as if it was ready to be finalized. Joined by attorneys general from six states, the Justice Department said the merger would lessen competition and raise fares for passengers. The two airlines say the merger would give passengers more options and better service. Many Kershaw County travelers who use the Charlotte airport rather than ...
As baby boomers move towards their latter years -- here in Kershaw County and across the country -- many are concerned with end-of-life issues and the fact that they want to be able to leave the world with dignity. Living wills, which were created decades ago, have served a useful purpose in letting people lay out their wishes for their last years and moments, but many people today are looking at a more specific document called The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm. It goes beyond previous instruments by creating medical orders signed by a doctor, based on a patient's ...
• Former president George W. Bush, one of the most active chief executives the country's ever had, was diagnosed recently with a blocked artery and had a stent inserted to correct the problem. We've stated before that Bush might not have been a great president but is a fine man, and he has never said critical things about President Obama despite Obama's constant blaming of Bush for the country's ongoing economic problems. We found it interesting that when a reporter asked Obama spokesman Jay Carney if the president had contacted Bush to wish him well after his ...
One of the oldest political tricks in the book is for a candidate to make a statement that goes like this: "I'm running an honorable campaign and I will never repeat the accusations I've heard that my opponent is an embezzler." There are other variations: "Some refer to my opponent as a rotten scoundrel, but you'll never hear me say anything like that."
In a rapidly changing world, perhaps nothing has been altered more radically in the last decade than the way people in Kershaw County and across the country receive their information. A generation ago, many families here subscribed to two or three different newspapers -- a local one, a morning "national and world" newspaper and an afternoon one to update them. They tuned in to one of three network television stations that would deliver clear reception if the antenna was pointed in the right direction and the weather was clear.
• Misconduct among airport screeners employed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has risen dramatically during the last three years, including many incidents of theft, groping and other abnormal behavior. Also, some screeners are often late for work or don't show up at all, delaying the travel process for many passengers. Going through security is trying enough under perfect circumstances and can become nearly unbearable when screeners are unprofessional. The TSA needs to deal with this situation and get rid of the bad apples as soon as possible.
Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Dave Camp, a Republican who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, are trying to overcome partisan rancor to begin structuring a long-needed new platform for the U.S. tax code. As it is, the code is impossibly complex and cumbersome.
Largely ignored by the mainstream media has been the comment made last week by President Obama that former Vietnamese dictator and mass murderer Ho Chi Minh was inspired by Thomas Jefferson and the ideals of independence as espoused by the Founding Fathers of the United States in the Declaration of Independence. While it is true that back in 1945, Ho did frame the Vietnamese constitution on some of the same principles -- or claimed to -- that concept was left by the wayside as he killed hundreds of thousands of people in his successful quest for power.
• We were very glad to see Kershaw County Council recognize ALPHA Center Executive Director Paul Napper recently. Napper has served as The ALPHA Center's director for three decades. In all that time, he has also managed to find the time to serve on numerous local, state and even federal boards and commissions. Most recently, he stepped down from a seat on the KershawHealth Board of Trustees only to fill an open seat on the Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC) Area Commission two days later. As always, Napper was humble in receiving council's resolution honoring him, saying it really ...
The ever-present cable news shows are already fixated on the 2016 presidential campaign, with the Republican race a wide-open affair and the Democratic nomination said to be Hillary Clinton's for the asking. Of course, we'll point out Clinton was also the overwhelming favorite in 2008 until Barack Obama came along and stole her candy. But one thing's for sure, no matter whom the parties nominate: massive amounts of money will be spent.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who's never been accused of being circumspect, went over the top last week when he accused President Obama of not loving his country. Giuliani has refused to back down from his comments, and some in the GOP have defended him while others have said they wouldn't have made the same statement. Politics, of course, is involved, as both Democrats and Republicans are already jockeying for position for 2016.
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