Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What you talkin' about Congressman Clyburn?

One of my favorite sitcoms of all time was the program “Different Strokes.” The main character was a little boy named Arnold, who was famous for looking at people who said or did something puzzling and saying, “What you talkin’ about?”

I thought about little Arnold today when I learned that House Majority Whip and United States Congressman from South Carolina, Jim Clyburn basically said that good news from Iraq was not good news because it hurt Democrats’ chances of winning the White House next year.

It is hard to believe, but appears our own Jim Clyburn, also a House leader, seems to be pulling for the bad guys against our troops so his party can score some political points.

In the Congressman’s defense, sort of, I will grant that he has to tow a party line that has become one of failure in Iraq and the war on terror. It seems, for better or worse, the Democratic Party is counting on the failure of American troops to gain the coveted White House. Yes, folks, politics in America have become this cynical and this crass. There are those who want us to fail so they can have a chance at power. The Congressman, in his leadership position, has to tow the party line. But, that does not excuse him or his party.

It is disgusting to the core. While our men and women fight and die in Iraq and other places fighting the War on Terror, the likes of Jim Clyburn seem to be quietly cheering for their opponents so that political power can be at hand. No world class fish fry can cover up the stench that comes out of the Congressman’s office with such comments.

The Congressman needs to apologize to the troops, the people of South Carolina and the people of the United States. His all but pulling for the bad guys is an offense that no politician should get away with.

I realize his seat is safe, fish fries and all. However, people at least should attempt to hold the Congressman accountable for his words and acts.

So, to quote Arnold, “What you talkin’ about Congressman?”

Monday, July 30, 2007

Who know stands up for the workig folk?

The working man has an increasing diminishing role in politics, especially presidential politics. Let’s take a look at the situation.

First, working men and women want better health care coverage and they want a higher minimum wage for people they work with that make the lowest wage.

Health insurance costs are out of sync with inflation and far too many average working folk do not even have health insurance coverage. Even those with coverage have sympathy for their friends without such coverage

It would seem on the health insurance issue that working folk would side with Democrats. But, let us be not so quick.

Democrats might offer health care solutions working class folk like, but they also bring with that some baggage working class folk just can not go along with.

First is the gay union/gay marriage debate. Many working class folk just can not bring themselves to supporting gay unions or marriage. They think it is immoral. Second, there is the war in Iraq, far too many working class folk know someone personally who is serving in Iraq, and thus can not accept that the war there is a waste.

It brings up quite a quandary for working folk. On one hand, they have the Republicans, who promise them little on the issue that matters most to them, health care. On the other hand the Democrats might offer what sounds good on health care for the price of their souls on gay rights and the war on terror. Democrats also seem to want illegal immigrant workers to get a free pass, thus giving the illegals a leg up on own working folk,.

Such begs the question, who really stands up for the working man in today’s politics?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Drugs and our small towns

Last week I had the privilege of talking to a group of concerned citizens in Ninety Six, SC about the growing drug problem facing our small towns in South Carolina. I was invited there by my grandmother, who helped to organize the meeting. As I addressed the crowd in Cambridge United Methodist Church, I thought about how our family and so many other families are affected by the growing drug abuse in this state.

As I thought about the problem, I folded up my prepared remarks and put them in my pocket, and spoke from the heart. I can not remember all that I said that evening but I know the things I feel about drug use in South Carolina.

First, we sort of live in denial in this state. Drugs used to be a big city problem, now they are a small town problem. Drugs such as crystal meth and even crack cocaine are now available in small towns all over South Carolina. We have to face that, not bury our heads in the sand.

Also, we need to face that our political leaders need to be held accountable. I encouraged everyone at the meeting to find out who their leaders were and contact them. We have to demand that our political leaders do things like fund first things first, thus giving law enforcement the tools that they need to combat the drug problem. After all, law enforcement is up against a multi million dollar cash based business. That is hard to combat. It is, unfortunately, even enticing to a few law enforcement officers to work with. But, the vast majority of our law enforcement people are good and want to fight the drug problem, they are just out gunned and out manned by the other side. We have to, within constitutional boundaries, give law enforcement every tool they need.

But, even if we give law enforcement the tools they need, and make tougher laws, nothing is as influential as telling the truth to children and others about the real consequences of illegal drug use. Such drugs as crack and crystal meth not only destroy the body, but they destroy the mind and the soul. Addicts soon become liars, thieves and deadbeats. They become people who do not know where their fantasies end and reality begins. They don't even come close to the "moment of clarity" that some alcoholics are reported to have.

On some level is understandable how drugs have become a way of life in small town South Carolina, especially the upstate. There was a time, not so long ago, when the local textile mill was the economic engine that drove the community. Those days are gone. Filling that vacuum is drugs in so many places.

We have to stand up and say, with complete frankness, that illegal drugs are not an escape from poverty or reality. What they are instead is an evil that destroys human beings one by one and thus destroys the communities we live in. I am not talking about the guy down the street that occasionally smokes grass. I am talking about the dealer who lives large, so to speak, selling the crystal meth or the crack. I am talking about the people who give up their souls to have their fix. They are also usually only two ways out for a dealer: death or jail. There is usually only one way for an addict who does to turn around soon: death.

I commend the folk in Ninety Six. They are standing up and saying "no more of this in our backyards." Other communities should follow suit. It is far past time for us to come together and work to put an end to this cancer upon our society. A large part of an entire generation is at stake.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Deomocrats Debate

The scene was The Citadel, in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina. The event was the CNN/ You Tube Presidential debate. The questions that CNN selected from You Tube users was sophmoric at best, and down right biased at worst. While some questions were funny, the overall quality of questions was lacking. Yes, there were the typical Democratic issues touted, such as gay marraige, the hatred of the Bush policy in Iraq, and the healthcare issue, but no point blank policy question was really asked.

No one stood up and said, "While you oppose the President in his war on terror, what is your specific policy in dealing with such?"

As an American first, I have to say that Joe Biden and Bill Richardson were the two candidates that looked the most likely to be able to handle the job of President of the United States. Hillary seemed too polished. Edwards seemed to far over the top, and Obama seemed too niave. Indeed, it was Hillary Clinton and Obama who struck me the most as disconnected from reality. That should insure their front runner status in the Democratic party. The guys with some sense, Biden and Richardson, do not really have a chance to win their party's nomination.

It was a forum in which the candidates took every chance they could to criticize President Bush, but offered no real detailed alterratives to the policies the President is pursuing. I give Biden credit for being honest. He said point blank that pulling out of Iraq would be difficult and that we should fully fund out troops there.

Such is the norm for the Democrats seeking the 2008 Presidential nomination. They seem ready to criticize President Bush and his politicies but they offer no real alternative solutions to the problems we face. They seem be ready to run their campaigns on not being Bush. However, they offer no real answers to the problems we face.

The debate at the Citadel was interesting to watch and cover, as is a race between two mules. The truth is we all learned little we did not already know. The Democratic candidates hate the President and CNN is a left wing outfit bent on promoting far left issues. What a shock.

Fred Thompson, Rudy, Mitt Romney, or even the lackluster John McCain would offer a far better Presidency than the clowns on stage in Chareston last night.

Also, as a side note, why were the Demcrats there? I thought the emergency session of the NAACP banned such events from South Carolina. Juxt another thing to think upon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Who has the guts to run against Lindsey Graham

While there is considerable agnst among Republicans about Senator Lindsey Graham's stance on illegal amnesty, the incumbent Senator has millions in the bank and that might scare off some would be opponents.

As of now, only state representative Jeff Duncan is openly considering taking on the Senator. The Senator has millions in the bank. But, with his recent stand for amnesty, any candiditate who dares to stand against the senator would likely rake in the money from in and out of state folk who are disgusted with South Carolina's Senior Senator.

The problem seems to be that no one wants to risk the challenge. That is good news for the Senator. Almost like 2002, the so called major players in state politics seem more interested in the Governor's office. In 2002 Senator Graham faced no GOP opposition and faced tired old judge Alex Sanders in the general election. Would be challengers for the Senate wasted their time and money running for Governor.

Will the same pattern hold true in 2008? Will the Senator, whom so many seem to disagree with be renominated without a fight because he has so much money in his campaign reserves? Or will some top tier politco step forward and run against Graham for the nomination?

Time and politics will tell. The political fortunes of Senator Graham seem to be like proverbial hanging fruit. HIs defeat within the GOP seems ripe for the picking But, will anyone have the guts to take that pick?

Right now, we all just have to wait and see. But what a primary race it would be if Governor Sanford, or Lt. Governor Bauer or anyone of their stature actually challenged the Senator who seems to have disapppointed so many since taking office.

If no one steps up, it must be noted that no Senator, so unliked, has had such an easy ride to renomination and reelection. Perhaps there is something to be said for that. But, here is hoping someone at least makes it a race bncause of the amnesty stand our Senator took.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Put the Poliical Fork in McCain, He is Done

It is time to get out the political fork and put it in the McCain for President campaign. Senator McCain, right or wrong, is done. As the Romney campaign goes to the airwaves, the McCain camp is full of firings and the like. McCain's stand on immigration simply will not stand.
South Carolina Republicans are rejecting McCain's stand with a vengeance.

There are other factors. Senator McCain, who lost the 2000 primary here to then Texas Governor George W. Bush, has never been a South Carolina favorite. But, his stand on immigration distanced the Senior Senator from Arizona from his conservative base in South Carolina. The Senator seems to have no place o go.

Big time South Carolina politicians, such as Attorney General Henry McMaster have endorsed McCain, but rumors persist that many of those who have endorsed Senator McCain are looking for a way out after the debacle that was the Immigration Amnesty bill. South Carolina Republicans simply do not want to stand with a leader who lets in so many illegals without consequences. Even Senator Lindsey Graham, political war chest and all, is facing serious political heat over the amnesty bill.

Add that post amnesty bill debacle watch to the funding problems McCain is having, along with the solid showings of Rudy and Thompson and the now presence of Romney ads on television, and it appears McCain is ready for the political fork. McCain's South Carolina supporters might deny that right now, but they are among the first who wish that political fork could be put in their hands so they could declare the McCain Presidential campaign dead and move on to other campaigns. So many of the early McCain supporters are looking for a way to support Fred Thompson, or anyone, who does not support amnesty.

McCain is the political albatross on their political necks, as political debts are repaid to Quinn and Associates. But, time is quickly passing on those debts. As the McCain for President campaign falters, those debts get smaller. Rank ad file Republican leaders are looking for a way out, a way to support someone else. That is bad news for McCain and shows why it is ready to put the political fork in his presidential campaign.

McCain is done. He should do the honorable thing and drop out. McCain has no real chance of winning South Carolina and beyond.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A bunch of crazy white guys

As I gave him the money for my cheese coneys last Wednesday, the young man at the drive thru window was quick to say, "Have a good Fourth of July." The young man meant well, but he got me to thinking.
So many of us seem to forget that the Fourth of July is actually Independence Day. That Independence Day is not a celebration of barbecues and cheese covered chili dogs, but a celebration of liberty. It is a celebration of some crazy white guys, who were the elite of their time sticking a collective thumb in the eye to the government that oppressed them.
Those men, who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, pledged their lives, liberties and properties to the cause of American independence. History tells us that the vast majority of those who signed the document would lose their fortunes and some their lives. Those crazy white guys had a notion about freedom and liberty and were willing to and did give up so much to have it.
Those men were ridiculed. A cursory examination of papers of the time showed that world opinion was against those men in America who dared such things as democracy and liberty. After all, those men were taking on the strongest empire in the world. Barbecues, vacations, and hot dogs were not on their minds.
So many of those men lost their lives and their livelihoods. They lost such in the name of freedom and liberty. Now, to politically correct academics, they were just a group of white guys.
As we enjoyed our barbecues and time off this past week, it is easy to forget what the holiday is all about. It is about some men, deemed insane by their contemporaries standing for freedom and liberty.
It is little wonder that such is not remembered. The mainstream media and the popular culture seem to categorize Independence Day as some sort of celebration of summer, not a remembrance of heroes of freedom and liberty.
Perhaps that is why so many young people, including the young man I encountered speak of the "Fourth of July," and not of "Independence Day."
As we come back to reality from the now pop culture break regarding the holiday, I encourage you to remember the men, those crazy white guys, who dared to take on an empire for freedom. Without them we would likely have to say, "God save the Queen" before we started our baseball games and barbecues, or would it be cricket and tea?