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Legislative report cards

Surprise, surprise. Gov. Nikki Haley has handed out poor "report card" grades to Democratic legislators in Columbia, and they have responded by giving her a poor grade as chief executive of the Palmetto State. When Haley announced shortly after being elected that she planned to hand out grades to legislators, it sounded like a bad idea to us. First of all, it's arrogant. Second, it was reasonably easy to predict that members of her own party would get higher marks than Democrats. And third, it looked as if Haley had learned nothing from the contentious relationship that her predecessor ...

October 05, 2011 | | Editorials


Noted and passed for Oct. 3, 2011

• We've commented all along that a pending bill to require South Carolina voters to present a photo ID at the polls was no big deal, though some opponents claimed it would be unfair because some people don't have ready access to such identification cards. The state has offered the estimated 178,000 Palmetto State residents without a card free transportation to a DMV center to have one made at no cost. Only 600 people have taken the state up on the offer, indicating to us that the rest don't have much interest in voting, anyway.

October 03, 2011 | | Editorials


Braves out

The many thousands of Atlanta Braves fans here in Kershaw County are no doubt hanging their heads in despair after the team blew a 10-and-a-half game wild-card lead in little more than a month to end up missing the National League playoffs. Ironically, the Boston Red Sox had a similar run of futility, failing to hang on to a nine-game wild-card lead they held Sept. 4. The Braves and the Red Sox share one common thread: they're both regional franchises, with Atlanta commanding huge hoards of fans in the South and the Red Sox the favorite of nearly every ...

September 30, 2011 | | Editorials


Pension plans

Gov. Nikki Haley says something needs to be done to alter a pension system that gives South Carolina legislators wider benefits than other state workers. The subject has become controversial following a report in USA Today last week detailing ways in which lawmakers' pensions are more advantageous than those afforded other state workers. The president of the S.C. Retirees Association has entered the fray, criticizing the practice and calling for reforms.

September 28, 2011 | | Editorials


Noted and passed

• There are no doubt many Netflix users in Kershaw County; the video mail service grew over the years at an astonishing rate with its wide choice of flicks and excellent customer service. Then came a price increase that resulted in the loss of millions of customers, a move that CEO Reed Hastings recently acknowledged was "arrogant." The landscape is littered with companies that made brilliant moves, then followed them up with dunderheaded strategies that spelled death for them. It's too early to tell for Netflix.

September 26, 2011 | | Editorials


Romney/Perry: two-way race?

With the steady fade of Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, the Republican nomination for president appears to be narrowing into a two-way race between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. That doesn't mean, of course, that things couldn't turn suddenly; four years ago, John McCain appeared dead in the water but mounted a strong comeback to win the nomination. But in this instance, it looks like it might be hand-to-hand combat between Romney and Perry, with the rest of the candidates left on the outside, looking in.

September 23, 2011 | | Editorials


Voter requirements

South Carolina recently passed a law that requires voters to show a photo ID when they go to the polls, and we have said all along those who object to such a move are throwing a red herring into the equation. There's certainly nothing wrong with having people prove who they say they are when they go to exercise the basic right of democracy, and the photo ID law does nothing to prevent people from voting or making it more difficult for them to do so.

September 21, 2011 | | Editorials


Noted and passed

• The leaders of a bipartisan congressional committee charged with finding $1.2 trillion in savings apparently understand the importance of their mission, with Sen. Patty Murray saying, "I don't see this as a party issue. I see success as bringing some confidence back to the American people that despite our differences, we can find some ways to move forward." Indeed, about four in five Americans say they have no confidence in Congress. Committee members of both parties have an opportunity to make a difference; let's hope they will take their duties seriously rather than hewing to a rigid ...

September 19, 2011 | | Editorials


SNAP's direction

When the modern food stamp program began as a pilot project in 1961 -- it was authorized as a permanent program three years later -- those in charge probably never envisioned a day when people might walk into fast-food restaurants, order up a huge container of French fries and then pull out their food stamps to pay. But that's what's happening in some places today, and restaurant owners are pushing for a bigger share of the pie.

September 16, 2011 | | Editorials


New revelations from 'Camelot'

Nearly a half-century after the death of President John F. Kennedy, there remains a fascination with him and his family. The young Massachusetts senator won a narrow victory over Richard Nixon in 1960, and his brief administration has become known to many as "Camelot," a reference to the verve, idealism and sense of idyllic happiness that surrounded his time in office and the mood of the country at that time.

September 14, 2011 | | Editorials


Noted and passed

• This month's award for poor taste goes to the Pima County (Arizona) Republican Party, which is planning to raffle off a gun like the one used to shoot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Our dim view of this has nothing to do with second amendment rights, but rather spotlights an exercise in poor judgment, given the tragedy that occurred in Rep. Giffords' district in January, in which a gunman killed six people and wounded 13 others.

September 12, 2011 | | Editorials


Four lawsuits and counting

The late comedian Lewis Grizzard, whose column appeared in this newspaper, was an oft-married guy who used to joke that there was a bumper sticker reading "Honk If You've Been Married To Lewis Grizzard." Taking a new tack on an old theme, we're going to start looking for stickers announcing, "Honk If You've Sued Sheriff Jim Matthews."

September 09, 2011 | | Editorials


Meeting minutes

We're glad to see that work sessions of Camden City Council will be recorded from this point on; the change was made after council member Willard Polk requested clarification on the state's Freedom of Information Act. Jay Bender, the pre-eminent FOI expert in South Carolina, said work sessions, even though official votes aren't taken, constitute a meeting under the statute's provisions and that such sessions should be subject to the law. City Attorney Charles Cushman had earlier opined that work sessions didn't fall under the purview of the state's FOI Act because they were ...

September 07, 2011 | | Editorials


Noted and passed

• Actress Daryl Hannah and others were arrested last week in front of the White House during a sit-in to protest a new oil pipeline from Canada. The activists called for clean energy investments, instead. We doubt there's a single American who's not in favor of cleaner energy, but the clear reality is that the country can't meet its needs with high-tech energy. In fact, one recipient of a recent government loan guarantee of half a billion dollars, solar energy company Solyndra, declared bankruptcy last week. We can't object to the idealism of those who would like ...

September 05, 2011 | | Editorials


Hope on the Hill?

At last there's a hint of hope from Washington -- a tiny but palpable sign that just maybe, lawmakers are getting the message that people are weary of the logjam which prevents decent legislation from being passed. Democratic and Republican members of the Joint Select Committee On Deficit Reduction have agreed to name a longtime Senate staffer to assume the job of running the panel. The man they've chosen is Mark Prater, chief counsel for Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee. We're glad to see him named not because he's a member of the GOP but because ...

September 02, 2011 | | Editorials


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Articles by Section - Editorials


Rhame Arena

The feeling of excitement at last week's Camden City Council meeting was palpable when architectural and engineering firms revealed their sketches for the renovation of Rhame Arena in the south end of town. The drawings were indeed startling -- perhaps because the aging structure has been deteriorating and decaying for decades now, and there has been doubt among some that a rehabilitation of the crumbling building was even possible. But possible it is, and not just to produce a humdrum building, but one that is attractive and will be a beckoning welcome to visitors driving into town from I-20 and ...

October 01, 2014 | | Editorials


Noted and passed - Sept. 29, 2014

• Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Fine Arts Center's (FAC) "Dancing With the Stars" event. We think we can place it firmly in the "fun(d)raising" category, in that it not only raises money for the FAC, but raises the fun quotient with folks getting to see some of Kershaw County's notable residents doing their best to shimmy and shake or tango across the stage. Extra congratulations to Tyke Redfearn and Ginny Marshall for winning the technical award for best dance routine, and to Eric Boland and Amanda Smith for earning the People's Choice Award ...

September 29, 2014 | | Editorials


Term limits

The concept of term limits became popular a number of years ago, but has since waned. Limits were enacted in many states across the country and in many of those, were repealed either through legal challenges or political considerations. Of course, it's not a new idea; the 22nd amendment to the constitution, ratified in 1951, prescribes that no person can serve more than two terms as president. It was passed largely because Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected four times and much of this country felt such longevity wasn't good for the country -- too much power invested in one ...

September 26, 2014 | | Editorials


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