Kershaw County residents with long political memories might recall the 1980 Democratic presidential campaign, when Sen. Ted Kennedy challenged incumbent President Jimmy Carter for the party's nomination. On a television interview, Kennedy was asked why he wanted to be president, which should have been a political softball for him. Instead, he stumbled and bumbled, never really delivering a decent answer, and it was the beginning of the end for his campaign.
• Bad news seems to arrive in clumps when it comes to climate change, and the latest findings about sea ice in the Arctic are bleak; the ice level there has shrunk to its lowest level on record. A diminishing ice sheet has all sorts of unpleasant implications for the future, including exacerbating the warming of the atmosphere. Few people have answers, but no longer is there much question about whether global warming is taking place.
A KershawHealth accreditation survey that reflects "the most favorable results I have seen in my many years as a healthcare CEO," according to chief executive Donnie Weeks, is a positive sign for KershawHealth during a period of financial turmoil. The hospital's financial struggles (as have those of many hospitals) have been well documented over the last couple years as the economy has taken a toll on elective surgeries and other procedures, so KershawHealth was in need of some good news.
Community organizations come and go, often beginning vigorously and then sliding steadily downhill as the enthusiasm of members wanes. In many instances, they're formed for a specific purpose -- to advocate a cause or to oppose a particular proposal, or to generate community support for something viewed as especially beneficial. The Lake Wateree Association (LWA), in contrast, has not only survived but thrived for decades, driven by those who live on the lake or enjoy the many benefits it offers. Founded as the Lake Wateree Homeowners Association, the LWA continues to offer not only a way for lake lovers to ...
• We were intrigued by a recent study showing that baby boomer and older women generally earn less, have less money in retirement and are expected to live longer than men, yet they are much more likely to donate to charity and to give more generously then males. When factors such as education, income, race and other factors are figured in, boomer and older women give 89 percent more of their income to charity than their male counterparts. That figure rises as women's income goes up. That says something good about women's charitable inclinations and not so good about ...
By now, everyone is accustomed to being bombarded by different presidential polls that purport to indicate how the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney is going. Many of these focus on the so-called swing states -- those that are still up in the air and will probably decide the election. But political analyst Nate Silver, who's been extremely accurate in predicting political goings-on in the past, has a new measure, and South Carolina ranks at the very top.
Republican leaders from Mitt Romney on down are urging Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri to withdraw from his U. S. Senate race against Claire McCaskill; it's a seat the GOP hopes to win in its effort to control the Senate. Akin, of course, is the one who made ridiculous statements about rape during a campaign appearance. He's being urged by nearly every Republican bigwig from Romney to Karl Rove to Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the Senate Campaign Committee, to step down.
• The Kershaw County School District has made a good move in establishing a dress code for teachers; that's a subject that has been on the minds of school officials across the country. Teachers must be presentable, and in an age of increasing informality, it's important that students be able to look up to the person running the classroom. Inappropriate appearance detracts from the effectiveness of teachers.
Recent settlements of lawsuits filed against Sheriff Jim Matthews resulted in a payment by the county's insurance company of $110,000 to three different plaintiffs. There are a few observations to be made:
Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate will turn the presidential campaign into one centered around economic policy, though Democrats will certainly try to make it about social issues. We hope it will stimulate serious discussion about this country's spiraling deficit and the unsustainability of the economy if the United States doesn't get a handle on its debt. Of course, how to reduce that debt is framed in different ways by the two parties, and so far there has been little effort by either to try to come to compromise. Democrats insist that taxing ...
• It's a bit difficult to believe that President Obama believes he's not gotten a fair shake from the national media. The New York Times reports that Obama is critical of the press because he thinks news media have hindered his ability to advance his political and social agenda. In reality, national newspapers and television networks -- Fox excluded, of course -- have fawned over the president for years. It's hard to figure how Obama believes he's getting a raw deal.
It comes as no surprise to sweltering Kershaw County residents that July was the hottest month ever in the lower 48 states. Weather figures indicate, too, that the first seven months of 2012 have also set a record for heat. Compounding the situation is what weather scientists call "extremes" -- events such as radical high and low temperatures, droughts, downpours, vicious storms and the like. They are on the upswing, and they're no fun for the people involved where they occur.
If we tried to count the politicians who have played fast and loose with the truth, it would be an impossible task. The art of embellishment rises to high levels when some candidates and office-holders assess their own abilities and accomplishments. But Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate majority leader, has sunk to new levels with his completely unsubstantiated charges against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
• It's a bit absurd that the U.S. government taxes the medals that this country's Olympic athletes win. For those who take the top prize, the gold medal, they are expected to add $675 to their taxable income and fork federal taxes over on that amount. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will introduce a plan to abolish that tax, and it will be a miserly lawmaker, indeed, who doesn't support such legislation.
South Carolina Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell isn't accustomed to being a figurehead. For many years, in his position as president pro tem of the Senate, he was one of the state's most powerful men. His knowledge of Senate rules and the respect he commanded in the Senate lent him unusual clout, which he was not timid about using. Then, through an unusual set of circumstances, McConnell became lieutenant governor after the former person who held that post, Kenneth Ard, ran afoul of ethics legislation and resigned. McConnell believes voters will approve a measure in November that will allow ...
• 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."
Operating under the simple premise that citizens have a right to know as much as they can about how their government officials operate, and how that affects governmental agencies as a whole, we almost always favor laws and regulations which require transparency in government. Transparency, of course, is an overused word, but it basically means that government agencies must operate in a way that allows citizens to observe what's happening, and even to have input about what's taking place.
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