Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Ah, the memories. To truly appreciate Charlie Brown, you can't fake it, you gotta live it. I am still thinking rocks are better than fruit cake. Have fun.



If you are looking for fear, well, here is a video of Tennessee fans taking on some innocent folks out taking a canoe ride. Yee-haw...Tennessee fans, they are an inbreed all their own. This is what the Vols call fun. Just another Tennessee fan afternoon.

High School Friday Night: Ware Shoals wins 5th straight region title

You know a program expects more when after winning a conference title, the players and coaches are concerned about the playoffs. Since 2005, the Ware Shoals Hornets have owned their regional conference in Class A football. But, the players and coaches want more.

Still, winning five straight conference titles is nothing to dismiss. There is a commitment to excellence at Ware Shoals and their run is to be congratulated. To get that fifth straight title, Ware Shoals had to beat a solid Ninety Six team that was playing at home. Ninety Six has one of the best home venues in Class A football, and with their speed and talent, Ninety Six has the capability to make their own run in the playoffs.

But, don’t look for a rematch of Friday night’s game. It will not happen. Class A football is divided into two divisions for playoff purposes. Ninety Six is in Division I, and though they competed with Ware Shoals for a conference title, they will compete for a different state title, as Ware Shoals is in Class A Division II.

Congratulations to Ware Shoals Head Coach Jeff Murdock and his staff. VUI wishes both Ware Shoals and Ninety Six the best in the upcoming playoffs.

Also, VUI wishes the folks up at Wren all the best. Most people know about the tragic accident a week ago that took the life of a pedestrian, teaching assistant Gretchen Randall, after a Wren home game. Wren pulled off a great win by beating the Greenwood Eagles, 28-3, in Greenwood, to wrap up its own region championship. It was a great victory to help the morale of the Wren nation. That school community has been through so much recently, and it was good to see something good happen to them. Congratulations to Coach Jeff Tate and his staff and players. VUI is rooting for Wren and praying for God’s comfort for the friends and family of Ms. Randall and the Wren school community.

All that said, the playoffs begin for Classes A through AAA next week, while Class AAAA wraps up the regular season with traditional rivalry games. It is that time of year when High School Friday night gets really interesting. If you want to see some good football action, for an affordable price, and be comfortable that your money is helping out the kids, go out next Friday night and catch a game. There are so many stories of accomplishment and the like to be found. There are no great political discussions. There are no high powered football coaches earning their country club dues. It is just good old fashioned competition, with all the human stories that go with true competition and sportsmanship, and where the little guy has a real chance at accomplishment.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Top 9 things not to give out to trick or treaters


It is Halloween time again. Some folks just don't understand what is appropriate to hand out to the little kids that "trick or treat" them at their doorsteps. Here are 9 things to not give out.

9) Last's year's leftover Valentine's Day candy. Giving out little hearts to kids that say "be mine" is just creepy.

8) A piece of fruit cake wrapped in a napkin. It actually happened to me once as a kid. If that is the best you can do, leave the porch light off and don't answer the door. If you insist on giving out slices of year old fruit cake, don't complain about the eggs and toilet paper later on.

7) Any homemade popcorn balls, smores, etc. Trust me, parents are going to throw that stuff out. Who knows what you put in that crap?

6) Candy circus peanuts. Whomever created such candy should be a victim of a horror movie. We ain't ever seen an orange peanut made of sugar.

5) Your phone number. Sure, the kid's mom might be hot in her little witch outfit, but trick or treat is not the time or place to go after your trick and treat.

4) Your political stickers. Nothing is sadder than seeing little kids with stickers on that say "Dumbass for Governor" when they have no idea what they are promoting.

3) Did we mention fruit cake?

2) Any little cheap toy that makes noise with your business name on it. Trust me, about an hour into Halloween night parents will swear to the Almighty never to do business with you.

1) Condoms. I have seen it done. When some middle aged man hands out condoms to the kiddies it is scarier than any horror movie. It also makes parents take down the address and give it to police. Get over it molester, the kiddies ain't coming back.

Happy Halloween. Be Safe. Go Gamecocks!

Sex in the Cemetery: I just don't understand

It has been widely reported that now former South Carolina Assistant Attorney General Roland Corning, 66, was caught by Columbia police at the Elmwood Cemetery Monday afternoon with an 18 year old female Platinum Plus employee. For whatever reason, the investigating officer found reason to note that Corning had Viagra and sex toys in his car with him. Political bloggers have had a field day with the incident, as have people commenting on various news websites. In all fairness, it should be made clear that no charges were filed against Corning or the young woman.

While others are drooling with delight over the political aspects of the incident, the thing that stands out to VUI is that law enforcement said there is a problem with people doing drugs and having sex in the cemetery. From conversations with others, it appears that drug use and sex in cemeteries is not limited to Columbia. It is a growing problem around the state.

It makes one wonder just what in the Hell are people thinking these days? For years now, rest stops and public parks have become the venues of select parts of our society’s fulfillment of sexual gratifications. It was bad enough that you could not stop and use the rest stop bathroom without wondering if someone would be enjoying themselves in the stall next to you after they shared a foot tap. It was bad enough that one could not take a walk in the park without wondering if more intimate sounds of nature would be heard. Now, going to visit grandpa’s grave could make you the unwilling participant in a peep show or have a confrontation with a crack head.

The pure inconsideration and indecency of it all is an outrage. While VUI does not judge folks on their sexual lives, nor really cares about such, when people bring their sex lives to a cemetery, we have a big problem with that. People’s mamas are buried in those cemeteries. Fallen soldiers are buried there. It is the ultimate disrespect to the dead and to their families for people to use their resting places as a personal playground.

I learned how the respect a cemetery early in life. Maybe it is old fashioned to some, but when I was a child and my family visited some relative’s grave, we were respectful. No shouting or carrying on was allowed. No walking on a grave just to walk over it was allowed. If a flower was knocked over, you sat it up. It was instilled in me that the buried were people who lived once and that I someday would join them and I would want people to respect my resting place or remembrance.

I guess that is why I have thought that people who vandalize graves are depraved. But, that depravity can be understood on some level, if someone robs the grave for money or has a grudge against the deceased. Such is not acceptable, but it is understood better than people going to a graveyard to get their freak on. Even most convicts have more respect for a cemetery than that.

Time moves on and old cultural norms pass. I have learned that comes with getting older. It is frankly good and well that some Southern culture has passed on, but I always hoped we could hold on to better parts of it. I know that I grew up in a small southern town and those things like respect for the dead and their families are quaint to some. But, I just cannot understand how anyone with any sense of self respect and decency can be turned on by getting it on in a cemetery where somebody’s mama or grandma is buried, or where fallen soldiers are honored.

Atlantic Beach is in trouble

For some time now, VUI has pointed out the troubles in tiny Atlantic Beach, SC. The small beach town has historic significance because it once was the only place on the Grand Strand in which African Americans could enjoy the beach.

However that proud history is turning into a chaotic present and questionable future. There is a growing sentiment that the Atlantic Beach town charter should be revoked because the town seems so inept.

Atlantic Beach has financial problems. It went a period of time as the town with no Mayor. When it got a Mayor, trouble came with the new mayor. Mayor Retha Pierce has had several arrests, including one arrest for trespassing at the Town Hall. She was arrested by Atlantic Beach Police Chief Randy Rizzo that day for refusing to leave Town Hall when asked to.

Now, Rizzo has his own legal trouble. Chief Rizzo was arrested early Wednesday morning by the Horry County Police outside a bar for drunk and disorderly conduct. To his credit, Rizzo admitted he had too much to drink and did not fault the arresting officer according to a report in the Myrtle Beach Sun News.

The Mayor's troubles could be coming to a head, as rumors are she will be indicted by a Horry County Grand Jury today for a hit and run arrest made last year. If the indictment comes through, Governor Mark Sanford would be able to suspend the Mayor from office.

The Atlantic Beach troubles bring up valid and ugly arguments. It is valid to question the ineptness of the town government and its officials and their run ins with the law. But, some of the racially based remarks being made about the situation are ugly and troublesome. However, fear of being portrayed as racist should not chill legitimate criticism of Atlantic Beach and even jokes about it.

Frankly, African Americans and the town's residents should be outraged by the embarrassing antics of Atlantic Beach's leaders. Those antics are creating an atmosphere in which the town could lose its right to exist. If that happens, new zoning by the county or North Myrtle Beach could hamper property owners rights to keep their property as it is. Frankly antics like those in Atlantic Beach make it hard for those of us who support local government rights and property owners rights to defend them.

It is serious business when surrounding communities and the state tell people who live in a small town that they can not have that town anymore. Regardless of how comical or embarrassing the acts of a town's officials are, efforts to abolish that town should give anyone who believes in local control pause.

But, unless the Mayor and the Police Chief resign and go away quietly, and the town replaces them with leaders who grab less news headlines, Atlantic Beach is in real trouble. Financial interests, well intentioned folks looking for good government, and racially motivated folks will keep pushing for the town of Atlantic Beach to exist no more.

UPDATE: The Mayor was indicted on felony hit and run charges. Governor Mark Sanford suspended the Mayor, pending the outcome of her trial.

Reagan lays out the blueprint for the return of the Republican Party

With the most liberal Administration in American history in place, perhaps it is time to remember the words of Reagan. Forget the RINO versus Rich bull manure in this state, and all the litmus tests. If Republicans want to return to power, Reagan lays it out. Watch and learn.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jim Rex is in trouble and does not even know it

The Jim Rex campaign pushed its most recent polling efforts and got coverage in The State newspaper. What is hard to understand is why they are pushing the internal poll numbers reported in The State.

According to that article, Rex has 60 percent name ID among Democratic voters. It is better than the others running against him, but still pretty weak for the only statewide Democratic office holder. Further, despite Democratic voters knowing him, only 41 percent have a favorable opinion of him and only about 25% would vote for Rex in the Democratic Primary for Governor. That would make Rex competitive for a runoff spot, but does not make him the clear front runner he should be at this point. Simply put, Rex is in trouble.

VUI contends he does not know he is in trouble because Rex and his people touted such numbers. No true front runner has such numbers. Further, if someone is a current statewide office holder and has favorable numbers in the low forties, they are done. It happens in both parties. If the better known candidate cannot get out of the forties on favorable ratings, chances are that candidate will plateau in the forties. It gets that candidate a runoff loss.

Take a look at history. It happened to former Governor David Beasley in the 2004 Republican Senate Primary. Beasley was well known, but stayed in the 40s. When the runoff was held, he stayed there, losing the runoff to Jim DeMint On the Democratic side, Nick Theodore staved off an upset bid by Joe Riley in the 1994 Gubernatorial runoff by a handful of votes after going into the primary as the one of the most well known political figures in South Carolina. The wounded Theodore campaign limped to a loss to David Beasley in the fall. Countless other examples have happened at all levels of elected office. In other words, history shows that if the better known guy hovers in the low 40s in favorables and the mid 20s in who would vote for him, his campaign is in real trouble.

Further, the trouble is compounded when Rex and his handlers tout such numbers. Such shows they do not understand the position that they are really in. A campaign that was aware of its true position would not tout such numbers, but keep them quiet and work to find a way to improve upon them. Add to those numbers the finance woes of the Rex campaign, and well, it seems Rex and his handlers do not see the reality of the Rex situation. Thus, it seems Jim Rex is in trouble and does not even know it. One would think a man in Rex's profession would be better educated about his own standing.

This weeks VUI video: the dead terrorist from Jeff Dunham

It is Halloween week and one has to have skeletons and the like to enjoy the holiday. Jeff Dunham had a routine about a year or so ago that was hilarious. Check it out. Happy Halloween. The only thing that brings out more fear: Obama Health Care!. Laugh and enjoy.

Sanford considered for Nobel Economic Prize

In one of the most remarkable turnarounds in South Carolina political history, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is being considered for the Nobel Prize in Economics in wake of the announcement that Boeing is going to build a plant in North Charleston.

Sanford spokesman Benn Foxfart remarked, "The Governor has just as much to do with Boeing building the plant in SC as President Obama had in promoting world peace. It is fitting that the Governor be rewarded for his equal effort of the President. The Governor can not comment at this time, as we can not reach him. You can understand that the Governor needs to do some hiking right now."

Former President Bill Clinton weighed in on the matter. Clinton stated, "sometimes a little down time with a hot latina focuses your mind."

Foxfart made clear how things really are. "If you impeach the Governor, you lose thousands of jobs, your kids will go hungry, and your mama will die. Make that last point clear. Stand against the Governor and your mama dies. You get that House members?"

Sanford's key ally, the SC Policy Council, had another idea. Their spokesman, Ms. Ima Baughtenpaidfer, reacted angrily. "These are not good jobs. The General Assembly gave those liberals who claim to want to invest money in South Carolina a sweetheart deal. I did not get my cut. I am pissed. No job really counts unless I get paid."

When Foxfart was told of the above comments he paused and then stated, "Governor Sanford will address the matter once we find him." Efforts to find Speaker Harrell failed. One of his staff stated the Speaker was out writing mobile home flood insurance. Efforts were made to get a quote from Andre Bauer and State Senate President Glenn McConnell, but a so called "bear" of a guy named "Adrian" would not let the VUI staff into the establishment the two were in.

Laugh people.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Governor to be out of town when special session convenes

The General Assembly is to convene in a special session today. As VUI addressed before, the stated purpose of the special session is to fix a glitch in the state’s unemployment system. However, as the special session approaches, lawmakers are hinting in an article in The State newspaper that a big economic development deal might be addressed as well. Republican Greg Dellenny of Chester plans to introduce a bill of impeachment against Governor Sanford in the House of Representatives. Other legislators are hinting that other impeachment plans could be dealt with.

With such important issues to be addressed in the special session, one would expect Mark Sanford to spend the entire day in Columbia at the State House, working with what allies he has left for support and working to have input on the employment security system fix and whatever the secret economic development issue is. Instead, the Governor will be in Sumter when the General Assembly is meeting. According to the Governor’s public schedule released by his press office, Governor Sanford will be at Palmetto Gas in Sumter when the General Assembly convenes at noon. Afterwards, Governor Sanford will go to the Sumter Rotary Club meeting. The Governor does plan to be back in Columbia this evening to attend the University of South Carolina College Republicans meeting.

For nearly seven years, Governor Sanford has had a difficult time working with the General Assembly the people of South Carolina elected. Perhaps Sanford is heading to Sumter as an act of defiance. Perhaps the Governor is in denial about his situation. Perhaps the Governor realizes he is ineffective as Governor working with the General Assembly and all he has left to do is cut ribbons and make press appearances.

Regardless of the reason, Sanford is disengaged from the process that makes a difference. Even if one removes Sanford’s impeachment problem from the equation, Sanford’s lack of presence during a special session of the General Assembly sums up his time as Governor. While the General Assembly will be working on an important problem, the Governor will be out in Sumter speaking to the Rotary Club.

Chances are, after the General Assembly does whatever work it needs to, the Governor will criticize their efforts. Such has angered lawmakers for seven years. The Governor does not “work” the capitol when important issues are being addressed and then criticizes the General Assembly for its work.

Think about it. Suppose one of your co-workers just could not find the time to meet with others to give his input on big decisions. When the decisions are made, he criticizes you and others. Suppose a meeting was going to be held to determine that co-worker’s future employment, and that co-worker made it a point to not even be in town during that meeting. It would be hard to believe that co-worker really cared about the business or keeping his job. Add to that the fact that co-worker tries to get you fired every chance he gets. Would that co-worker be someone you would stand up for or want to keep around?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Top 9 things not to say at a wedding


9) Here’s my card. I handle divorces at discount rates.

8) Oh my God! She is in a white dress!

7) This wedding is going to be a youtube classic.

6) I have never been at a wedding before in which the wedding party had more shotguns than teeth.

5) The last thing I heard the groom to be was hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

4) You know getting married is going to hurt your welfare benefits, don’t you?

3) Are you sure that divorce you got in Honduras was legal?

2) Just wait until you see that tattoo. It rocks. You are in for a real treat.

1) Hey, the fifth time is a charm.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Do the Obama people know they won?

No one with a political brain can disagree with the political gifts President Obama has. He and his staff ran a masterful campaign in 2008. Howevever, it seems the President and his staff do not realize that they have the power. The President and his people are still in campaign mode and have missed somehow how being the President of the United States is different from running for the job.

A candidate for President of the United States can throw around all sorts of political jabs. So can his staff. But, once the election is over, and one becomes the President of the United States, things change. There is a difference between running for President and being President.

First, the President of the United States is President of all the people. As such, he should find tolerance for voices that disagree and dissent from him. Further, as President of the United States, the President and his staff have to focus on things that matter and real solutions to things like Afghanistan, the economy, health care and the like. There is no time on the agenda of sucessful Presidents of the United States for the petty or the trivial.

That is why the Obama Administration's recent moves against Fox News and even against some bloggers is puzzling. Not since the paranoid days of Richard Nixon has a sitting President of the United States had his staff so fixated on a news outlet. Nixon was after the New York Times and the Washington Post. Obama is after Fox News, some radio commenatators and blogs.

Some might contend that President Obama and his team go after such media outlets because the President can not get anything of substance done and has to campaign against some sort of boogie men. Fair enough. However, VUI sees it simply as stupid politics.

That is right, stupid politics. The people around the President just do not get that they are in power. They do not realize the asset that they have in the President. Instead, they flounder around and try to portray some news channel as out to get them.

People who seemed so smart a year ago look boneheaded, and the numbers prove it, as polls have President Obama hovering at or below 50 percent. By most conventional accounts, the Obama Presidency is in trouble.

Here is some unwanted advice on how to fix that. First, Obama needs to actually lead on the big issues. The notion of letting Congress work out health care is a bust. People are looking for Presidential leadership on that issue and other major issues. Whether they agree or disagree with the President's point of view, people are not going to support a guy who defers to Congressional members that they have never heard of.

Further, Obama has to let the petty things like the Fox News spat go. The President of the United States should be strong enough to endure dissenting voices he sees. Afterall, George W. Bush did not attack MSNBC on a daily basis. There is something beneath the office when a President and his team pick fights with members of the media. That old Nixon paranoia comes to mind.

Right now, the President of the United States is at an important political crossroads. People still like him and his family personally. Yet, people are tiring of his lack of leadership and dignity in picking his political fights. Barack Obama is the President of the United States. With that comes an obligation to lead to be above some things. With the actions of the Obama Administration over the past few weeks, do the Obama people know that they won and that their guy has the power and that with that power comes responsibility to represent all the people? Who among them dares to say to the President, "act like the President of the United States."

Sanford and forgiveness and so forth

Governor Mark Sanford gave a recent interview with the Florence Morning News in which he droned on about moving on and about how South Carolinians have a large capacity to forgive. Fair enough. South Carolinians can be a forgiving people. That is a good trait. We all have our moments.

A couple of things come to mind when someone so embraces a people's forgiveness. Cynically, the first is that the person who wronged the people counts on their forgiving nature to get away with a transgression. It is sort of the "suckers" will keep me anyway approach. The second thing that comes to mind is that most people, who sincerely want forgiveness, make some of sort of sacrifice. Some call that sacrifice repentance. In other words, to be truly forgiven, you have to repent, and repenting often involves giving up something, or at least admitting the true wrongdoing.

Since the Sanford scandal broke, VUI has not cared about the personal indiscretions of the Governor. That is between the Governor and his wife and the other woman involved. Frankly, it does not matter in the grand scheme of things how sorry he is for cheating on his wife. If someone knows the Governor personally, it might help him in remaining as his friend, but for the rest of us, it comes to down to his job.

And, that, Governor Sanford has not truly repented for. The Governor was AWOL, incommunicado, gone, however one wants to put it. It was a dereliction of duty that embarrassed the state in the eyes of the nation. That is the crux of the issue regarding him. A Governor went missing. The legislature and the pundits have lost the focus on that, and for that Governor Sanford gets a pass and talks about how sorry he is for his personal problems.

But, the Governor seems not one bit sorry for going AWOL. He has not offered to refund the state for the pay he got while missing. He has not offered any concrete plans on how he would never let that happen again and how he would communicate with SLED and the Lt. Governor on such occasions. Instead, he blows smoke about his personal life.

Think of it on your own terms. Suppose you were AWOL from your job for about a week. Could you come back to your job? Would your employer keep you on if you apologized for cheating on your wife?

Of course not, but politicians do not live in the real business world, even those like Sanford who claim to understand business.

Sanford's acts also defy political logic. The Sanford machine was once outstanding at politics. But, the Governor's choice not to make any real sacrifice in the wake of his act of disappearance has all but destroyed his political career and wiped away any hope of the Governor accomplishing anything but late night talk show jokes for the rest of his term.

While VUI holds no personal hard feelings against the Governor, the Governor is bigger than the rest of us, be we teachers, doctors, lawyers, legislators or garbage collectors. The Governor of South Carolina represents South Carolina, right or wrong. As such, we give the Governor a car, a security detail, servants, staff, and respect. In return the Governor owes us a sense of responsibility that gives the people true sacrifice and repentance before public forgiveness for transgressions against the public can be given.

Governor Sanford and the people around him missed that. A simple resignation or an act of dignified contrition could have prevented the past few months and could prevent what it likely to come in January. This is not about a Governor cheating on his wife. This about a Governor letting his personal life interfere with his duties, and then showing absolutely no remorse about that interference. It is about a Governor not realizing that has caused him to be politically inept, costing South Carolina time, jobs, and investment money.

To put it plainly, if Governor Sanford had written bad checks, ran up bad debts, drank himself to sleep, cursed out staff, and cheated on his wife, we could forgive him for all that, as long as his personal indiscretions did not interfere with him carrying out his duties. People mess up. The Good Lord knows the staff of VUI has from time to time. But, when people's mess ups keep them for doing their jobs, their employers might not judge them, but they often fire them. Customers walk away. That is how the real world works.

Mark Sanford had an affair that consumed him. It led him to be derelict of his duties as Governor. It continues to hamstring his effectiveness as Governor.

The sad and ironic thing is that Mark Sanford could have received the forgiveness he speaks of had he knew his own power to either resign or be sincere in his repentance for his public transgression. Instead, the Governor limps out the rest of his term, dogged by impeachment rumors and seeking forgiveness from the public in personal matters that only his wife and loved ones can truly give him.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This weeks VUI video: an ad from the past

If you wonder how much the United States has changed over the years, check out this ad where doctors are promoting smoking Camel cigarettes. Now, to the video, from a much different America:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The General Assembly's October session

South Carolina is going to have its General Assembly reconvene next week, but not for the reason most thought it would. The impeachment of Governor Mark Sanford will not be addressed. Instead, the General Assembly will be meeting next week to solve a glitch in South Carolina law that prevents South Carolina from getting further stimulus money to extend unemployment benefits.

There is some major finger pointing going on about why the General Assembly has to return to fix such a glitch. Legislative leaders are blaming the Employment Security Commission. But, should not legislators and their staff members know what is in federal bills and be able to address any problems while the General Assembly is in session? The ESC is not blameless. There should have been someone working there who could ring an alarm bell about the situation.

What is really interesting is that the leadership of the General Assembly is pushing a one day October meeting and making clear it will not address the issue that is on the mind of their constituents: the Mark Sanford question. In other words, perhaps the biggest political question of our lifetimes will be ignored while the General Assembly fixes what can only be called a screw up, a dropped ball, whatever phrase one wants to use for a boneheaded mistake. It is telling that South Carolina is the only state that did not address whatever indexing problem it had in regards to unemployment statistics and the federal stimulus extension in its legislature’s regular session.

Next week the General Assembly will meet to address an important problem it missed in its regular session. That is fitting. Further, here is hoping while they gather that some members will buck the leadership, so to speak, and address the Sanford issue. It is far past time for someone to have the courage to stand up and call for the General Assembly, and we as a state, to deal with the Sanford issue, one way or another, once and for all. What better time than next week? Next week could be a great cleanup session. Fix the unemployment goof, and address Sanford. But, that is rational and logical and is perhaps asking a bit too much.

Top 9 reasons the General Assembly will not address Sanford next week

9) Who has time for that, we got to get ready for our big Halloween bash.

8) Andre Bauer scares the Hell out of us.

7) Glenn McConnell assures us he would just die if had to wear purple in public again.

6) Well, the Governor did say he was sorry.

5) Hey, people we will be working for free that week. You get what you pay for.

4) How are we Democrats going to have a chance if Sanford ain't around for us to kick around?

3) Argentina mistress, Hispanic nanny, after a few drinks who can judge?

2) Again, you people really expect us to work for nothing during football season?

1) Those photos from the Riverside Inn might be grainy, but they are still troublesome. How did Mark get those?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wilson v. Miller: more money, same results

When Joe Wilson uttered the words "You lie!" during President Obama's address to the United States Congress, fundraisers went into high gear. Wilson's opponent, Rob Miller of Beaufort, raked in the money. Then, Wilson did the same. Millions poured into both candidates, setting the media into a frenzy about what a race the Second Congressional District is going to be.

There will certainly be more ads and mail and things like that, but in the end, the race is where it was in 2008, Wilson's to lose. Do not let the hype fool you, the Second District is a Republican District and Joe Wilson is still well liked by the people of that district by and large.

Look at 2008, with Obama on the ticket turning out huge numbers of Democratic voters, Miller lost by around 26,000 votes. In doing so, Miller "maxed" out every possible Democratic voting area according to analysts. As such, Miller would have been elected to Congress but for the fact Lexington County is in the district. Wilson beat Miller by 33,000 votes in Lexington County. To win in 2010, Miller, without Obama on the ticket, will have to cut Wilson's victory in Lexington in half, and then carry Beaufort, which he lost by 10,000 votes. Barring a complete meltdown by Wilson, such does not seem realistic.

There are several factors into an upset in a Republican district. Wilson had the first one with a controversial moment. However, Wilson is not the type to sit and look out his office window as the campaign goes by, and that is part of an upset as well. Wilson is an astute campaigner and he will work hard for every vote.

Indeed, the focus by Democrats to fund and aid Rob Miller against Joe Wilson tends to help Republican House strategy. Every dollar spent against Joe Wilson and every moment spent working against Joe Wilson is one less dollar and one less moment spent on protecting vulnerable Democratic House incumbents. Miller's acceptance of such help is understandable, the man wants to be in Congress. However, the national Democrats are making a blunder in the attention they are paying to the Second Congressional District Race.

But, of course, Democrats are used to spending more money for the same results and believing it is a victory.

Huckabee looks like the early front runner

We have a little over three years until the next Presidential election, and about two years and three months from the first primary. Yet, polling has begun.

Ramussen Reports came out with a poll this week and the results were interesting. The poll had Mike Huckabee leading the potential Republican field with 29%, followed by Mitt Romney at 24%, Sarah Palin at 18%, Newt Gingrich at 14% and Tim Pawlenty at 4%.

What does this tell us about 2012? It good be good news for Huckabee if he can build his lead up a bit. Front runners in the GOP, even this far out, have won the nomination since 1956. In 1952, Robert Taft was the early favorite but General Dwight Eisenhower declared himself a Republican and won the GOP nomination. Here is the list:

1956 Dwight Eisenhower (President)
1960 Richard Nixon (VP-favored)
1964 Barry Goldwater (slightly favored in early polling over Nelson Rockefeller.)
1968 Richard Nixon (former VP, favored early on)
1972 Richard Nixon (President)
1976 Gerald Ford (President, slightly favored early over Ronald Reagan)
1980 Ronald Reagan (favored early)
1984 Ronald Reagan (inc. President)
1988 George H.W. Bush (favored over Bob Dole early)
1992 George H.W. Bush (President)
1996 Bob Dole (favored early, since election of Clinton)
2000 George W. Bush (favored early over McCain)
2004 George W. Bush (President)
2008 John McCain (favored early, floundered a bit, then won nomination)

There is also an interesting factor in the GOP involving candidates who finish second in a competitive primary gaining the nomination in the next competitive primary. In 1976, Ronald Reagan lost a tough primary fight to President Gerald Ford, and then won the nomination in 1980, defeating George H.W. Bush, who won the nomination in 1988. Bush defeated Bob Dole, who won the nomination in 1996.

George W. Bush's nomination in 2000 broke the trend, but the trend returned when John McCain, who lost to Bush, won the 2008 nomination. As Huckabee finished second to McCain in 2008, the trend could benefit him in 2012.

Huckabee has also stayed in the public eye and not had to get involved in the Washington politics that are disenchanting so many Republicans. Huckabee has kept an organization intact and has a television show and other media venues offering his commentary. Through those venues, Huckabee has showed a more personable and positive side to the Republican side of things.

But, can Huckabee's strengths and history lead him to the nomination in 2012? That is hard to determine. If the current candidates thought to be running run, Huckabee will be hard to beat in the South. Romney could win elsewhere. Thus, among the candidates above, the race would come down to Huckabee and Romney. Palin and Gingrich are interesting candidates who simply will not get the nomination. Despite his 4% showing, Tim Pawlenty is a wild card candidate. Pawlenty has been running a state and has not stretched his national political legs yet.

Of course, there is always someone out there the national media has not picked up on yet that could rock the political world. After all, the current President of the United States was a freshman Senator from Illinois in 2005, trying to get better office space. Sarah Palin was a former small town mayor. Frankly who knows who is waiting out there to be the next political force.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Frankness about the GOP (Part 1)

Politics is not all that hard to figure out. Like any other choice made in life, the political choice is often made based on who people are more comfortable with and trust. All sorts of things factor into such a choice. Some contend sexual attractiveness is paramount. Recently I listened to a frustrated Republican tell me his theory that the candidate who people think is more attractive always wins. He listed out names and results.

While I do not see that, how comfortable people are with candidates and a party does matter. People, especially the middle ground voters who decide elections, like people who are optimistic and sincere. As people become more educated on politics in the new media, less of them are likely to be scared into voting for or against a candidate.

The Democrats and especially the Obama people, got that change in culture and comfortableness. The Obama Campaign coupled an uplifting message on the internet with a great ground game. They shifted the game so to speak. While Republicans were playing the old game of some charged mail pieces to certain groups and a hard hitting ad on during the evening news, the Democrats beat them to the punch in hitting them on the internet with words like change and hope and the like. Obama even had a tool where people could use his web assets to form groups to blog for him, giving people a since that they mattered and that they were involved in the process more. Like in sports and business, not realizing that the opponent found a way to whip you is just plain dumb.

But, the Republican Party is not in trouble just because of the methods of the last election. Republicans seem angry and bitter and just well, pissed off. That will work in a flash moment, but long term, people tire of such and move back to where they feel comfortable. One might cheer the hothead on in his moment of glory, but giving the hothead the political pilot’s seat becomes another thing all together.

That is why the Republican Party must make changes in its approach. First, we Republicans must admit that we are at times too angry and too upset. It is understandable, but it will not restore the Republicans to power nationally and it jeopardizes the Republican cause within South Carolina. One can never convince people to change their views if one yells at them how wrong they are. It is simple human nature.

Consider this situation. Suppose you are in a position to decide who among two co-workers is to lead a major project. The first guy comes in, yelling about how bad the other guy and his ideas are. You have worked with this guy for years. Often you agree with him, but he goes on and on, so much that you don’t even have a chance to ask a question. During his rant, he reminds you that you too have some ideas that you agree with the other guy on and that you will ruin the company. He leaves the room with a couple of clever lines about the sex life of the other guy. There you sit, almost stunned. You have been called disloyal and the last thing the guy you want to pick had to say was irrelevant to the project.

The other guy then comes in. You have always thought he was a little “out there,” but he has a couple of good ideas here and there you agree with. He is calm, pleasant, asks you what you think and gives you a thumb drive with documents detailing why his approach to the project is right. He does not bring up the fact that you agree with the other guy on other issues. He asks about your spouse and children and keeps the conversation on what you agree on. He does not even mention the other guy.

Now, be honest. Who would you choose for the project?

That is the choice the He-Man RINO Hater’s Club is presenting to far too many once Republican middle of the road voters. People are not stupid. The vast majority of voters work in jobs where they work out differences to get things done. That is the American way. Even if they agree on policy points more with the angry guy, they are going to be uncomfortable with him. They are certainly going to question working for or voting for a candidate whose minions tell them that they are not real Republicans.

Reagan and Goldwater are the best examples of how such things play out. Barry Goldwater was a great man, and is a hero of mine. His clarity on the logic of freedom alone makes him one. But, Goldwater was gruff, seemed angry and got whipped in a landslide. Reagan took the same ideas, talked about how they would make things better, used humor to attack his opponents, and won two landslides. Reagan’s famous “11th Commandment,” “Thou shall not speak ill of another Republican,” is long gone in South Carolina and the United States.

More will be posted in the coming days about what to talk about how to approach it for the GOP to rebound and thrive. But, for now, let’s admit the anger, and especially the tactics of the He-Man RINO Hater’s Club, are a problem.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Birthday US Navy


Today is the birthday of the United States Navy. For all those sailors who served, thank you. God Bless the United States of America and the United States Navy.

This weeks VUI video: wedding drama

Blame it on the fact that I officiated a wedding a couple of weeks ago and that I and two members of the VUI staff are in a wedding coming up soon. Wedding drama got on my mind. Thank God I have not known any people like this. Drama, some people just have to have it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It is time for the General Assembley to act like men and women of honor

It seems both parties in the General Assembly have leaders falling over themselves to ask Governor Mark Sanford to resign. Fair enough. Yet, no leader in the General Assembly seems to have the courage to stand up and call for the General Assembly to meet and get this matter resolved.

Instead what we get is the before mentioned Sanford Silly Season. Members of the General Assembly, puffed up with self righteous indignation, demand the Governor's resignation, then act like helpless little ninnies in ending the Sanford saga.

It seems the matter is simple. It should have been handled already. For the good of the state, the members of the General Assembly should meet as soon as possible for a couple of days. A House member can offer an article of impeachment as to the Governor being absent without leave back in June. The Judiciary Committee could ask the simple question, "could someone reach him or not?" Then, they could vote to refer the matter to the full House. The vote would take no more than a hour in the full House, and the Governor would be impeached or not.

If impeached, the Senate could conduct a trial that would take no longer than a day if it worked like other courts. Then, it would vote and the matter would be concluded.

Frankly, if leaders on both sides of the aisle so believe that Governor Sanford should resign, then why don't they have the gumption to press the matter with the demand of resign or be impeached now?

Real leaders deal with problems. Unfortunately, it appears we do not have that in South Carolina. What we have are political gamesmen. One faction is plotting how Sanford staying or going will help it. Another wants to just embarrass Sanford as much as it can. Yet another is worried that if Sanford is dealt with upfront and directly, the press might snoop around them.

But, the losers of the games being played by the political leaders on both sides of the General Assembly are the people of South Carolina. It is time we resolved the Sanford matter, one way or another. It does not take a special report from some panel. It does not take all that makes up the now Sanford Silly Season. Either the Governor had an inexcusable dereliction of duty when he was incommunicado with the state for days on end or not. It is that simple.

It is the opinion of VUI that the Governor is guilty of dereliction of duty for his absence in June. However, the General Assembly will be derelict of its duty if it does not stop playing political games. It is time for them to act like men and women of honor and get the Sanford issue behind us. South Carolinians deserve that. Pointing fingers at Governor Sanford and talking about how he should resign and has no honor loses its weight when the leaders of the General Assembly do not stand in their own honor and do their duty to resolve the Sanford matter now.

Christopher Columbus

There is some controversy in American schools today in how to celebrate or mark Columbus Day. Teachers with politically correct inclinations will spend this day telling their students to all but hate the white man from Italy who oppressed minorities so.

So be it. Was Columbus a great racial equality leader? No. So, if your view of the world has to be through that prism, Columbus is not someone who you want to celebrate.

However, if you want to celebrate someone who had guts and a vision, well, it is hard to argue against Columbus. In Italy, his political leadership laughed at him for his planned trip to the so called "New World." So, Columbus went to Spain's royal court and got his ships to explore.

Let's take a moment to think about those ships he sailed. They were wooden, and were not tested against great seas. Think on it. Columbus took three rickety ships, loaded with what supplies he could, and set sail on a dream. Columbus dared to go in waters and to lands uncharted. While so many, even today, talk and talk about what they want to do, Columbus went out and lived his vision.

As such, Columbus was one of those human beings who had a spirit that went beyond the boundaries set by society. Columbus dared to achieve and dared to face the great human fear of the unknown and the untested.

As such, it is fitting that the United States honors Columbus with a holiday. While it is not politically correct to some, Columbus was the first of those who dared to dream in this New World. Columbus was followed with the likes of Edison, with his light bulb, Ford with his car, and Gates with his personal computer. And, yes, even the likes of Jefferson and Lincoln with their political ideals.

When those who claim to be politically correct tear down a man like Columbus, they miss the genius of the man to go beyond the horizons set by people of his time. Those narrow minded souls look only to their narrow agendas and miss out on celebrating the spirit of human beings to be better and go beyond expectations.

It is perhaps a blessing and a curse that some human beings are born with the drive and determination to make their visions come true. But, it is that drive and vision that makes us progress and achieve. That is why VUI says, without apology, "Happy Columbus Day," and honors the drive and vision of the man whose human spirit to achieve forever changed history.

In all fun, calling ole Earl out

Forget about the rankings. Forget about the politics. Sometimes you gotta fire a friendly shot at a blogging friend. Mr. Earl Capps is called out. I gave him his praise with citing his local government entry. Now, it is time to have some fun with the Blogland. For Earl Capps and his readers, an alternative country song that Earl might know all to well. Thanks to Junior Brown again. Now, Earl, what kind of shat can you come up with?

Local government messes

From crazy mayors to corruption charges in various county courthouses, local government in South Carolina is out of control. VUI was all set to write about it when we found fellow blogger Earl Capps's remarks on the situation. Earl pretty much summed it up. Check out his remarks. We have a mess right now.

The Blogland of Earl Capps: Recent county courthouse financial abuses call for greater transparency

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Top 9 Reasons Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize..(not) straight from the Nobel Committee

9) Some guys from Chicago reminded us that a boss like Obama should be given the proper respect.

8) The other guy we were considering had this thing once with a chubby girl.

7) That Joe Wilson thing really pissed us off.

6) Hans has a brother in law in GITMO his wife wants home for Christmas.

5) W. never invited any of us to his ranch, so take that, Mr. Ex-President.

4) We had to be fair. Gorbachev won the prize after losing a war in Afghanistan.

3) Obama promised us the United States will be on the metric system and embrace soccer and warm beer.

2) We denied him the Olympics. We are dissing the American Dollar. We got to do something to keep Obama happy. After all, that brother still has the nukes.

1) China told us to reward Obama for his good behavior.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Alternative Country Tribute Song

VUI had a comment and several emails about posting the video of alternative country singer Junior Brown in our Sanford v. SCHP post. Well, there is more of that to come.

The late Porter Wagner was a legend. In one of his last videos, he covered the Highway Men's "Committed to Parkview."

VUI offers it now as a tribute in humor to Governor Sanford, some of the disturbed who comment on this blog, and more seriously, as a thought for us all. Some folks just short circuit. They lose it. Laugh at some of their comments, but don't laugh too much. Have pity for those poor souls. They are lost and are angry at the rest of us for it.

Now, to the alternative country classic, for you nutcases, for us all:

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. President Obama becomes the third sitting President of the United States to win the storied prize. Presidents Theordore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson claimed the prize during their administrations.

What is curious about the selection of President Obama is that nominations for the prize were closed just days after President Obama took office. It appears that the Nobel committee selected President Obama for what he might do, instead of what he has actually accomplished. That is uncprecedented.

That precedence tempers American pride in its President claiming the Nobel Peace Prize. The politics of the prize evidently selected Obama, not Obama's real accomplishments for peace. After snubbing President Obama in the Olympic bid, it seems the European community especially wants to make amends with President Obama.

Think on it for a moment. The man recieiving the Nobel Peace Prize has led the United States through the most violent time in Afghanistan. The President's call for reaching out to the Islamic world was met with increased violence. Indeed, after seven months of Obama as President, the world is just as violent, if not more violent, then it was when he took office. The President has not negoitiated a great peace deal, as Roosevelt and Wilson did. The President has had no great iniative to stop genocide in places like Darfur. For that matter, the President has not moved to feed the hungry, or shelter the homeless in such regions.

So, why is President Obama honored with the Nobel Peace Prize? It is simple, his liberal rhetoric appeals to those who decide such. They gave the President the prize for what he says, not what he does.

As such, the Nobel Peace Prize is cheapened. What was once a prize given for true humantarian accomplishment has turned into a political statement. That tempers the pride of Americans in their President winning it.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

More from the Sanford Silly Season

Mark Sanford is making state and national headlines again. This time for having his car pulled for speeding on Interstate 385. Further, news is now that the SLED agent driving will be issued a speeding ticket.

Frankly, and to the surprise of some, VUI disagrees with that decision. The SLED agent was driving the Governor of South Carolina, in a car that, from the video, had flashing police lights in the rear. If the Governor is in the back and says "step on it," and you work for him as a SLED agent, how do you go about telling the Governor "no."

Further, this is just more of what VUI dubs now as the Sanford Silly Season in politics. VUI wrote back in the summer that if Mark Sanford did not resign for his dereliction of duty, all sorts of things would pop up and dog him; things that diminish the office of Governor.

Well, those things have popped up. The Governor's first class air travel is under investigation. Frankly, the Governor of South Carolina should fly first class, or at least business class. The idea that the representative of the state of South Carolina to the world should be riding with the baggage is just plain silly.

And, it is just as silly that a SLED agent be ticketed for speeding while driving the Governor. Spare VUI the populist stuff about what regular people get charged with and the like. I have been stopped and got a warning because I was courteous and had a clean driving record. If a trained SLED agent driving the Governor gets the same treatment, I do not have a problem with that at all.

The difference is when I got pulled and warned, I was a private citizen with no media calling for my scalp. The media is right to call for Sanford's resignation, but not because of his speeding car or airplane tickets. The media and Sanford critics are grasping at anything to attack the man with, and clouding the issue. The issue is his dereliction of duty.

Ever since Governors, or United States Senators such as Thurmond and Hollings for that matter, could travel in automobiles, they have been sped from place to place by trained SLED drivers. Chances are if any other Governor other than Mark Sanford had been pulled, we would have never known about it.

But, Governor Sanford, in his weakened state, is a different political creature than his predecessors. By choosing to stay in office after his dereliction of duty back in June, Governor Sanford invited unprecedented and even silly scrutiny. Self righteous media members, bloggers and politicians are going to hee and haw over every little detail Sanford does until the office of Governor is as powerful as the office of dog catcher in Aynor.

The Sanford Silly Season in politics is now full blown. Sanford will not suffer from it. But, a hard working SLED agent will via a traffic ticket and the next Governor of South Carolina will via the weakened institution of the office of Governor the Sanford Silly Season leaves.

Mark Sanford can end all of this. Resigning will stop the political bleeding, so to speak, and keep any more public servants from being caught up in the Sanford Silly Season. The longer Mark Sanford stays in office, the sillier the news about the Governor's office will get. Watch for things like his food bill to come up next. Wait and see. The irony is those around Sanford and Sanford himself, seem to think that resigning damages the institution of the office of Governor. They are oblivious to what is in store if Sanford stays.

Of course, since we at VUI have some friends in the Highway Patrol, well, the guy was just doing his job, too. Take it away, Junior Brown:

More from the Obama Youth

Last week, there was a video about children in New Jersey singing a song praising our Great Leader, Obama. Now, from the set of CNN come more school children singing for Obama health care reform.

No one blames the kids. Their teachers give them the program to run with and the students perform for approval and grades. That said, can you imagine the outcray on the left if school kids sung praises of Bush or the War in Iraq, or Bush's tax cuts? Michael Moore would make two movies about such at least.

Add to all of this the Obama Administration's idea that students need more time in schools and how it wants to control private education and stamp out home schooling.

Anytime children are encouraged to sing about a politician's agenda, it is disturbing. That is not what America is about. The schoolhouse is a place were children should be tought the basics and how to to think, not what to think. The teachers' political agendas should be kept to themselves.

Here is the video.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The mechanics of impeachment and Sanford's gamble

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and the members of the South Carolina General Assembly are in a rare circumstance as the General Assembly weighs impeaching the embattled Governor.

Trysts with a South American woman, dereliction of duty, and even abuse of office for travel have been covered ad nauseam by the media and the blogs. What has not been addressed is how the mechanics of impeachment work.

Barring a special session this fall, the General Assembly will convene as usual early in January 2010. According to House rules, a single member of the House of Representatives can present an article of impeachment against Governor Sanford. That article of impeachment would then be sent to the House Judiciary Committee. If the House Judiciary Committee decides to send the article of impeachment to the full House, Section XV of the South Carolina State Constitution takes precedence.

Under that part of the state constitution, two thirds of the elected members of House of Representatives, (83 members), are required to impeach the Governor. If the Governor is impeached by the House, the Governor is immediately suspended from office,making Lt. Governor Andre Bauer Acting Governor of South Carolina.

The procedure then moves to a trial in the South Carolina Senate. Chief Justice Jean Toal will preside over the South Carolina Senate during the proceedings. If two thirds of the state senate, (31 votes), vote to convict the Governor, the Governor is removed and then Acting Governor Bauer becomes Governor. If fewer votes to convict are cast, Sanford is acquitted and restored to office.

Despite calls from his own party and so many others, and public approval poll numbers that are dismal, Governor Mark Sanford makes it clear that he is not going to resign. Most accounts have the votes in the House for impeachment in place, providing the Democrats do not balk at the last minute to keep Sanford to punch around politically. (Frankly, it is curious that members of both houses who call for Sanford to resign are silent on impeachment.)

The strategy for Sanford to remain is found in the State Senate. If the Governor can find 18 state senators to vote nay or present, he stays. Considering that the Governor's political machine worked hard to elect their own in the State Senate to thwart veto overrides, it seems that the Governor might have the ability to get those 18 votes and hold on to office, especially if Democrats make the strategic decision that Sanford in office helps in November 2010. Further, will Senate President Pro Tempore Glen McConnell give up his powerful seat for an abbreviated term as Lt. Governor?

When one looks at the mechanics of impeachment and the South Carolina State Senate, Sanford's gamble to stay in office makes some political sense. While he might not care about the reputation of South Carolina and hangs on for his own ego, he and his staff appear to know the nature of the beast that they are dealing with when it comes to impeachment, and they are gambling on the self interests of a minority of state senators will let them keep their jobs until January 2011.

This weeks VUI video

Chris Rock put this out a few years ago. It is old, but it is good,funny, and frankly good advice. Enjoy a classic.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Obama's China Appeasement continues


According to the British newspapers, which are better than the American ones at reporting hard hitting stories on the Obama Administration, President Obama is going to snub the Dalai Lama during the exiled Tibetan’s upcoming visit to Washington.

Such appeasement to the Chinese government is par for the course for the Obama Administration. From relaxing demands on human rights, to recognizing and celebrating the 60th anniversary of Communist tyranny in China, President Obama has been, so far, the weakest American President in the history of the relations of the United States with the People’s Republic of China. Obama will be the first American President to snub the Dalai Lama.

Why does such a thing matter? For decades the Dalai Lama has been a symbol of the Tibetan people’s struggle against the Chinese government’s oppression of religious faith. Their cause has been championed by those on the right and the left around the world. Further, for decades, they had a symbolic champion in the sitting President of the United States.

President Obama has changed that. It seems that President Obama would rather forego principles on human rights if he can get along with the oppressive Chinese government better. Perhaps the President sees such as opening a new dialogue. However, the Chinese will see it as weakness and they will move to take advantage of that weakness in the coming months and years.

The President’s Chinese policy is na├»ve and dangerous. It emboldens those who oppress and discourages those who cling to the hope of freedom. No matter how well intentioned the President might be, his China policy has left the United States, and those who cling to the hope of freedom, in a weakened position.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Is Ted Pitts serious about being Lt. Governor

Lexington County State Representative Ted Pitts entered a crowded field for the GOP nomination for Lt. Governor last May. When he entered, there were rumors that Pitts might have the resume and the money to capture the nomination.

However, five months into his campaign and some Republican activists are now asking "Is Ted Pitts serious about being Lt. Governor?" Those activists point to the absence of Pitts at events, such as the recent Lowcountry Republican Breakfast and the fact Pitts's website still has "coming soon" blaring across the top of it when it is searched.

Perhaps Pitts is taking the course that his money and his resume will be enough to win the nomination without having to get out and mingle with the "little people." With the Governor's race stealing the major media attention, such a course has proven to not be wise.

In 1994, Howell Clyburn took that course, only to finish third to Henry Jordan and eventual Lt. Governor Bob Peeler. In 2002, State Senator David Thomas took that course to lose to eventual Lt. Governor Andre Bauer. Indeed, in Bauer's dramatic primary runoff win over Mike Campbell in 2006, it was Andre Bauer's years of working the grassroots and mingling with the "little people" that made the difference.

If Ted Pitts is merely testing the waters for Lt. Governor and is going to run for re-election to his House seat instead, then his course is fine. However, if Pitts is serious about being the next Lt. Governor of South Carolina, he needs to stop heeding the advice of those who tell him to sit back and let the media buys win the race. Such might work in US Senate or Governor's races. But, in down ballot races, with so much political air being sucked out of the room by the bigger races, people tend to vote for a candidate that they met and talked to or a candidate that their neighbors talk up.

Historically, down ballot constitutional office races in South Carolina tend to go to the candidate who works the hardest, and tend to be races in which favorites on paper who do not work hard to organize find themselves defeated on primary day.

UPDATE: PITTS IS LEAVING THE LT. GOVERNOR'S RACE AND NOT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION TO HIS SEAT IN THE SC HOUSE. INSTEAD, PITTS IS GOING TO DEPLOY WITH THE SC NATIONAL GUARD TO AFGHANISTAN. GOOD LUCK AND GOD SPEED, MR. PITTS.

Top 9 reasons Chicago did not get the 2016 Summer Olympics

9) Chicago culture can be summed up in two words: “Da Bears.”

8) Rumors were crying on Oprah was going to be a new Olympic sport.

7)Rio drug lords wanted a smaller piece than Chicago bosses.

6) Cubs fans are used to losing this time of year anyway.

5) Ever been to Chicago in August?

4) ACORN could not get the International Olympic Committee vote “organized” in time for President Obama.

3) Forget Obama. Where the Hell was Michael Jordan and Ditka?

2) Rio: hot girls in thongs shaking what God gave ‘em. Chicago: Three hundred pound drunk men in the bleachers with their shirts off belching take me out to the ball game.

1) After dining on Chicago bratwurst, cheese and beer, the IOC misunderstood the meaning of Chicago’s nickname, “The Windy City.”