Joey Millwood struggles with the truth

Back before the June primary, we called it like we saw it about Joey Millwood, and now it looks like we were right. He IS a pompous ass.

Back in the spring, we called him out on his shameless backing of just tax credits for private school tuition, but not tuition vouchers. Tuition tax credits will likely accomplish very little other than keep those private schools rich and elite.

On Sunday, he basically admitted, via the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, that his idea of school choice would do little more than use your tax dollars to give kickbacks to that small percentage of the state’s population who can afford to get their kids out (and who largely have already bolted), while telling everyone in the middle and lower income brackets to kiss his ass:

Millwood, like Rich, said he favors a tax credit.

When asked how low-income students would benefit from a tax credit plan, Millwood said, "I'll have to get back to you." He said there were "a lot of student grant organizations out there," but when asked where they were he said he didn't know and that he'd never looked into it.

Talk about clueless. We bet the folks at SCRG are proud of this rocket scientist.

It's stupid moments like this that make us wonder if he didn't just play the Pied Piper for the Kool-Aid drinkers at SCRG and Club for Growth. Tell 'em what they want to hear so they'll fund his campaign - which they did by the truckload.

The problem with making big promises in order to get elected is that you’ll be expected to deliver what you promised once you win. Apparently in his rush to say or do anything to get elected, Mr. Millwood didn’t consider that anyone would take him at his word.

You almost have to feel sorry for the folks of his district. Given that district’s strong GOP lean, combined with the fact his Democratic opponent is at least as lousy as Millwood, this guy will probably be their State Representative for the next two years.

But democracy IS based upon the premise that people deserve to get what they vote for. Don't be surprised if Millwood delivers it - good and hard.

A shout-out to the folks at Vierdsonian Democracy for catching Millwood in the act.

Contested state judicial races

As we did in the last round of judicial elections, the Blogland is going to be watching our state’s judicial races, looking for the good, bad, and ugly among the candidates. As before, we’ve contacted judicial candidates, offering them opportunities to introduce themselves, and already heard from a couple who are interested. As the process moves forward, we’ll run the interviews of those who accepted our invitiations, so our readers can get to learn a little bit more about them.

Here are the judicial seats which had multiple candidates file for them:

First Judicial Circuit, Seat 1: Jeffrey P. Bloom, Sandy Run, James E. Chellis, Summerville, Edgar Warren Dickson, Orangeburg, D’Anne Haydel, Orangeburg, James Benjamin Jackson, Jr., Santee, The Honorable Pandora Jones-Glover, Orangeburg, Michael P. Horger, Orangeburg, Maite Murphy, Summerville

Eighth Judicial Circuit, Seat 2: Bryan C. Able, Laurens, Frank R. Addy, Jr., Greenwood, Eugene C. Griffith, Jr., Newberry, Donald Bruce Hocker, Laurens, Walter Rutledge Martin, Greenwood, and Joseph C. Smithdeal, Greenwood.

Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Seat 3: The Honorable Larry R. Patterson, Greenville, Patrick Cleburne Fant, III, Greenville, Benjamin Lester Shealy, Easley, and Robin B. Stillwell, Greer.

At-Large, Seat 1: David Craig Brown, Florence, Allen O. Fretwell, Greenville, Lisa C. Glover, Columbia, William B. von Herrmann, Conway, Andrew Michael Hodges, Greenwood, Ervin Jerome Maye, West Columbia, S.C. and The Honorable William Jeffrey Young, Sumter.

At-Large, Seat 6: Daniel Francis Blanchard, III, Charleston, Phillip S. Ferderigos, Charleston, Leland Bland Greeley, Rock Hill, Daniel Dewitt Hall, York, The Honorable Roger E. Henderson, Chesterfield, The Honorable Robert N. Jenkins, Sr., Travelers Rest, William Henry Seals, Jr., Marion, William J. Thrower, Hollywood, and Sarah Elizabeth Wetmore, Folly Beach.

Tenth Judicial Circuit, Seat 1: Edgar Henderson Long, Jr., Anderson, M. Scott McElhannon, Anderson, and David Earl Phillips, Williamston.

Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Seat 6: Catherine C. Christophillis, Greenville, W. Wallace Culp, III, Greenville, S.C., Catherine E. Fairey, Greenville, Alex Kinlaw, Jr., Greenville, William Marsh Robertson, Greenville, David Jamison Rutledge, Greenville, and Michael Don Stokes, Taylors.

Seat 4: Deborah Brooks Durden, Columbia, Christopher McGowan Holmes, Mount Pleasant, Melody L. James, Lexington, Carol Ann Isaac McMahan, Anderson, Leonard P. Odom, Chapin, Kelly Hunter Rainsford, Columbia, and Shirley Canty Robinson, Columbia

Please note that the fielding for these seats will likely narrow down considerably as the judicial screening process has yet to begin. As many three candidates which are found qualified will be referred to the General Assembly for each seat once the screening process is complete.

Most state judicial incumbents unopposed for new terms

While there’s a whole pack of judicial candidates seeking various seats, many of the state's judicial seats which are up for election will go unopposed. Here's who is getting a free ride to another term on the bench:

Court of Appeals, Seat 5: The Honorable Kaye G. Hearn, Conway
Fifth Judicial Circuit, Seat 3: The Honorable G. Thomas Cooper, Jr., Camden
Ninth Judicial Circuit, Seat 3: The Honorable Roger M. Young, Sr., North Charleston
Fourteenth Judicial Circuit, Seat 2: The Honorable Carmen Tevis Mullen, Hilton Head Island
Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Seat 2: The Honorable Benjamin H. Culbertson, Georgetown
At-Large, Seat 2: The Honorable Rupert Markley Dennis, Jr., Pinopolis
At-Large, Seat 3: The Honorable Clifton Newman, Columbia
At-Large, Seat 4: The Honorable Edward Walter Miller, Greenville
At-Large, Seat 5: The Honorable J. Mark Hayes, II, Spartanburg
At-Large, Seat 7: The Honorable Jesse Cordell Maddox, Jr., Anderson
At-Large, Seat 8: The Honorable Kenneth G. Goode, Winnsboro
At-Large, Seat 9: The Honorable J. Michelle Childs, Columbia
At-Large, Seat 10: The Honorable James Rezner Barber, III, Columbia
Administrative Law, Seat 1: The Honorable Marvin F. Kittrell, Columbia

We want to congratulate Judge Roger Young, who recently did an Inside Interview with the Blogland, on getting another term on the bench.

What can one say in a thousand posts?

As we look back at 1000 posts, we have to ask ourselves just what in the world does one do to fill up 1000 postings? Believe us, we never thought it was possible, except with a ton of mind-numbed drivel.

With the occasional worthy and profound commentary mixed in, just so y'all wouldn't think we were total morons.

So here's some of the damage that we've done in 1000 postings:

... and that's just a light sampling of some of what we've had to say in the first thousand postings. Who knows where the next thousand will take us?

But the most important thing of all isn't what we've had to say (Lord knows we've had plenty ...), but rather that you took the time to read and share some thoughts when you felt inspired. We've made a lot of new friends, confirming that wherever one may go in the Palmetto State, there are some darn good folks everyone.

As always, thanks for tuning in. It's been a hell of a ride, and we're honored to have you join us. In the words of Axl Rose, all of you are one in a million. That's what you are.

1000 posts

We're almost to posting #1000 in the Blolgland.

That's a 1000 posts without getting shot, attacked in a parking lot, or sued. If you're amazed we've survived this far without a summons, shooting, or at least a good old fashioned butt kicking, believe us, we're even more surprised.

To celebrate, we're going to start off next week by letting some of our readers call it like they see it, as well as look back at some of what we've had to say in 1000 postings, so be sure to stay tuned.

Hey Mike

Dokken's got a couple of songs that should give you something to think about:

Kenneth ... Mike ... what's the frequency dude? How many times?

Bobby Harrell - wrong again

If you're the Mayor of Importantville (House Speaker Bobby Harrell), it's not a good week for you in the Blogland. First, we call him out for trying to use his position to help his family and friends out, and now we're gonna call him out again - this time for trying to hide what he does for his friends.

Does anyone notice a developing pattern by Harrell in all of this?

Yesterday, Lexington County State Representative Nikki Haley's battle for increased legislative accountability ramped up with a statewide press conference tour, calling for the passage of her initiative to increase the number of roll call votes from the present eight percent of votes cast in the State House and one percent in the State Senate, believing that:

You deserve the right to know how your legislator votes. Those votes belong to you. They are yours.

To help push this effort, Haley spent the day flying around the state with Rep. Nathan Ballentine, Governor Sanford and Ashley Landess of the S.C. Policy Council. Reports were that each event was well-attended by both legislators and private citizens. Earlier, Representative Haley explained her initiative to us:

My bill, 2009 Spending Accountability Act, stated at every press conference today will require a vote on the record for all of the following:
  • All second readings
  • All amended third readings
  • All conference committee reports
  • All sections of the budget

Exclusions, as stated at every press conference, are resolutions, recognitions, and congratulatory acts.

Not to be deterred by the facts, House Speaker Bobby Harrell was quick to strike back with a press release from his back room at the Boar's Nest, falsely claiming that Haley's initiative would require roll call votes on every bill and resolution:

Demanding that we should spend taxpayer money to take a roll call vote on a resolution congratulating a state championship high school team is not true transparency, it’s pandering.

Apparently Harrell doesn't want people to know the truth about this initiative, nor how their legislators are voting. That's not leadership - that's cowardice.

Speaking of pandering, we'd like to know when Harrell will quit pandering to the business-as-usual crowd and remember, at least once in a while, that there is an "R" next to his name which is supposed to mean something other than "R-un amok", "R-ape taxpayers" or "R-oll back progress".

Having the support of Glenn McConnell in the Senate will certainly be a strong help in moving this forward. When legislators are given the opportunity to vote for this bill, we'd encourage them to join Representatives Haley and Ballentine, as well as Senators McConnell and Massey, who are putting common sense and their constituents ahead of backroom politics by supporting this measure.

Rep. Nathan Ballentine blogged about the round-the-state press conference blitz. Go give it a read.

Thank You, Judge Few!

One of the Blogland's priorities has been to open up the state's judicial system and courts. We believe this part of state government has been one of the least transparent, making it hard to get to the bottom of concerns many people have - but also making it difficult to pick out the judges who are doing really good jobs.

One of the judges we've come to view as one of the good guys on the bench has been 13th Circuit Judge John Few, an Anderson native who usually holds court in Greenville, but has been traveling the state quite a bit hearing cases. We had a chance to meet him recently and had a really good conversation about new media and judicial issues. The guy knows his stuff.

But we're not the only new media blogger type he's been good to recently. He allowed Diane Gallagher, a reporter from Rock Hill's CN2 cable news program to blog live from his courtroom, giving readers running reports on the progress of the trial.

We've seen several recent cases where state judges have begun embrace new media, including Judges Harrington and Young from the 9th Circuit, who have graciously given us interviews and helped educate us about our state's courts. Those two, along with other judges we've talked with, have sincerely been interested in a judicial system that is open and transparent, while striving to meet high standards for fairness and professionalism.

This isn't the first time Judge Few has impressed us as one of the "good guys" on the bench, and we thank him for continuing to work with us new media types.

Sleep apnea update

Recently, I bent my usual practice of limiting personal disclosure in the Blogland to talk about how I dealt with my sleep apnea issues (I won't be taking calls tonight & The Sounds of Science).

Usually the only comments I get about my health are those that wish me ill, but this time around, some of my readers commented, emailed and even called to ask how that was going. For those of you who care to know more, read on. For those who are looking for something less personal, come back tomorrow.

First, allow me to thank those of y'all who checked in with me. My readers treat me better than I usually deserve to be treated.

The second study, done by the fine folks at South Carolina Sleep Medicine in Summerville, was done with the assistance of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. It's a face mask, connected to a device which pumps air. As sleep apnea is caused by throat and nasal tissues which relax during sleep in such a manner that they block one's ability to breathe, the additional air pressure helps keep things open.

The other option is surgery, which commonly involves removing the tonsils and adenoids, which is a common procedure for children. However, with adults, surgical approaches often entail a lengthy recovery time, so the docs like to try the non-surgical machine approach first.

According to the data from the second study, the CPAP machine did the trick. Blood oxygen levels were just under the 100% mark, snoring down to a 2 out of 5, a much quicker move into REM sleep and no notable periods of interrupted breathing. Best of all, when Friday afternoon rolled around, I didn't feel like I had to take a nap.
While it will likely take some time to see the long-term results, the initial results seem promising.

If this sounds like you, or someone you know, check out the links in this posting or contact me directly. The potential consequences to your health and lifestyle can be severe.

South Carolina's Fields of Green

What's the biggest contributor to South Carolina's economy? Manufacturing? Tourism? Trade and distribution? Nope.

According to a new report out from the friendly folks at the S.C. Agribusiness Council and the S.C. Forestry Association, the state's agri-business sectors farming and forestry is responsible for nearly 200,000 of South Carolina's jobs, with a combined payroll in excess of $7 billion annually, doing well over $30 billion in business:

Farming and forestry constitute the leading economic cluster in South Carolina today, larger than manufacturing and tourism combined, according to a new study released by the S.C. Agribusiness Council and the S.C. Forestry Association.

The study was conducted during nine months by Harry Miley of Miley Gallo & Associates of Columbia. The research indicates that all commodities and services in modern agribusiness, taken together, make a $33.9 billion impact on the state’s economy, larger than any other sector.

As employment in other parts of the economy has declined, agribusiness is growing and now provides jobs for nearly 200,000 South Carolinians.

That means there's more green stuff produced in our state's fields and forests ain't the plants and trees than we thought.

It also means that our state's Commissioner of Agriculture oversees the biggest chunk of South Carolina's economy, making Hugh Weathers a very important guy with a lot of economic power.

Which brings us to our Question of the Day: If Mark Hammond is South Carolina's Dirty Harry, does that make Hugh Weathers our state's Al Capone?

Welcome to the weekend. Let's celebrate!

Since I'm going to be spending my Thursday night and Friday morning all wired-up, we won't be posting anything for Friday. Instead, we'll share with you a little Friday fun and wish all of you a great weekend.

RNC photos: Lots of fun ... and balloons too!

Jim DeMint and South Carolina delegates gather to celebrate Jim's birthday:

Moye Graham and Mark Hammond, two big Clemson fans,
take a minute to wave a Clemson flag in Minnesota:

... and with the weekend coming, it's time for balloons galore!

To everyone, Republicans and not-Republicans alike - have a GREAT weekend!

The Sounds of Science

... in Summerville will sound a lot like snoring tonight. Very loud snoring. Let me explain ...

A couple of weeks ago, I had a sleep study to try to assess the degree to which I was dealing with sleep apnea issues ("
I won't be taking calls tonight"). The results scared the crap me - it took four hours of sleep to reach even the first bit of deep REM sleep, periods of breathing which stopped for up to a minute and half, snoring on a five on a scale of five, and oxygen content down to 70%.

About as scary as those moments every few weeks when I wake up in the middle of the night, gasping for air. Gasping for air because I'd stopped breathing in my sleep. With time on my hands in my post-graduation life, I decided it was time to start addressing health issues. For most people, stopping breathing definitely stands out as a major health problem.

For the first time in my adult life, I went to a doctor before I was deathly ill. Those who know me were all surprised I did that, including myself. I got looked at, we discussed my observed symptoms, and got scheduled for a sleep study.

For those of you unfamiliar with the sleep study process, they put a bunch of wires all over your head, chest, leg and one of those glowing ET-like lights on a finger to measure oxygen content. Then you try to find a comfortable position in which to fall asleep, and during the course of the night, all the sensors I'm wearing will tell them what's going on.

It sounds rather difficult, but actually it's not so bad, except for the wire on my leg. But that's the scientific process at work - make someone a test subject, collect the data for the study of the human subject, and let the findings point to possible solutions.

In my case, it was decided a scond night's study was in order, so that's where I'll be tonight.

Thanks for indulging this little bit of self-disclosure. It's not usually my style, but I felt I'd share this for the benefit of those in my audience who may be dealing with these issues.

RNC photos: Convention moments

Scoping the crowd, Mark Hammond spots sometime suspicious,
asking himself "do I move in and make a bust?"

Anyone remember the Wierd Al parody song "Another One Rides the Bus"?

There's something about guys in cowboy hats
that makes Congressman Bob Inglis laugh.

It looks like the Mayor of Importantville is
busy checking out the action on that guy's Treo.

Cousin Charm Altman thinks Alan Clemmons
is a fun guy to hang around (and so do we) ...

... but first he's gotta wake her up!

Busy today

Nothing new to say today, or rather no time to write anything.

We'll be at a US Department of Labor EEO class at the Thurmond Building in Columbia all day today. But while you're here, scroll down to check out today's installment of GOP convention photos, or hop down one more to check out my list of the Worst Presidents Ever.

See everyone tomorrow. Have a great Wednesday!

RNC photos: Signing the pole

It looks like a number of South Carolina's delegates had to make their mark, including Dorchester County Treasurer Mary Pearson, Secretary of State Mark Hammond and Robert Ryggs, a colleague and Blogland fan from Spartanburg County:

The Worst President Ever?

American political culture is full of angry and hateful people these days, many of whom signify themselves by their hatred of President Bush, who they derisively call the “Worst President Ever”.

Sure, we all know Bush doesn’t win opinion polls, and there have been plenty of mistakes, but does he qualify as the Worst President Ever? Not hardly.

It has been our experience that most of the shit-for-brains lefties rabidly raging about the performance of the Bush administration have little or no background with American history upon which they base their judgments.

Look at how the Bush-hating crowd excitedly embraces Barack Obama, whose “Change” mantra is based upon a shallow political resume and a tendency to duck important issues, dodge critical questions about his associations and change his positions. They don’t worry about a history because history means nothing to them. Who was President in 1918 means as little as the content of the America-hating sermons to which Obama cheered or the numerous issues he has flipped on, or has been silent about.

We see the Bush-haters are spoiled brats who aren’t happy with what they have, don’t appreciate the freedom others sacrificed for, and just want to pound the table, squalling like babies for more, more, MORE!!!

But history is important here. It’s hard to assess the Bush administration without finding a comparative measure to hold it next to, so we’re going to give you our list of the Worst Presidents Ever:

  • President Buchanan (1857-1861): This one-term Democratic President not only failed to resolve the continual controversy over slavery, he allowed these issues to reach a point to where the first and only secession of states took place. The war that resulted from these failed policies left many cities in ruins and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.
  • President Grant (1869-1877): This two-term Republican President presided over an administration rife with corruption and numerous scandals. Known for being a drunk, Grant’s administration bungled the Reconstruction of the former Confederate states, with Reconstruction officials often viewed as corrupt, inept, and heavy-handed. Reconstruction failed to rebuild the South economically, prepare freed slaves for full participation in society or integrate the former Confederate states into the rapidly-industrializing nation. As a result, the South largely mired in poverty, ignorance, corruption, voter disenfranchisement and racial hatred for over a century. Elsewhere in the nation, the social problems stemming from industrialization went largely ignored during Grant’s watch.
  • President Wilson (1913-1921): President Wilson kept the United States out of a costly war in Europe until his failure to convince Germany to leave American interests resulted in numerous attacks against American shipping and citizens. Abroad, he failed to convince the victorious Allies to not punish Germany in their surrender, and at home, he failed to convince the United States Senate to allow the United States to join the League of Nations. His inability to lead effectively not only help get the US of A into the First World War, his leadership failures helped to fuel the second. (Thanks, Waldo, for correcting me on the dates.).
  • President Hoover (1929-1933). This one-term Republican President failed to take the Depression seriously, which did much to end the natural majority the GOP had enjoyed for most of the post-Civil War period. He stood back and did nothing as an unregulated stock market destroyed the savings of millions of families, putting millions out of work and on the streets. This depression became a global economic crisis during which many of the world’s democracies were toppled by dictators, many of whom played roles in instigating the Second World War.
  • President Johnson (1963-1969): President Johnson’s administration saw the nation begin to tear itself apart, with the assassinations of several prominent public figures and riots which burned in many of America’s inner cities. The Vietnam War, which Johnson pursued, became a no-win conflict in which half-a-million American troops were fighting a war in which generals were operating under tightly-controlled conditions that left over fifty thousand Americans dead. Johnson did nothing to challenge South Vietnam’s corrupt regime or force it to hold elections, which did much to help the nation fall shortly after American forces gave up and went home, unable to achieve a decisive military victory. The conflict also severely undermined it’s security obligations elsewhere in the world.
  • President Nixon (1969-1974): This administration inherited a mess and somehow found a way to make it even worse. The Nixon administration promised to conclude the Vietnam War, bring stability back to the country, and renew confidence in the government, but ended with the nation’s first energy crisis and Watergate. Enough said.
  • President Carter (1977-1981): Promising “change”, this former Georgia Governor swept from nowhere in the polls to securing the Democratic nomination, and on to win a close victory over GOP President Gerald Ford. In spite of a heavy Democratic majority with which to push a domestic agenda, the country facoed double-digit inflation and unemployment. His efforts to meet and placate the world’s dictators were just as much a failure, as the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, threatening the Middle East, Iranian Islamic militants took the American embassy and kept its staff hostage for over a year, and Carter meekly handed the Panama Canal over to a regime headed up by a corrupt general well-known for drug trafficking.

What do we find when we actually look at our history, instead of just throwing out more hate? Other Presidents who tried to play nice with dictators and failed, others who had corrupt administrations, failed to promote domestic tranquility, started depressions, and got tens and hundreds of thousands killed in wars. Those who would argue that this administration is the worst ever would be hard-pressed to show how this administration compares to any of these prior administrations.

RNC photos: Out and about

Mark Hammond and Moye Graham with a couple of the McCain boys:

Jon Voight, one of the star convention attendees:
Party on the river with a boat full of statewide GOP office-holders,
watching the patrol boats with machine guns go by:

Moye, Mark Hammond and Andre Bauer:

Time to ride (again)

Back in high school, yours truly was a sort-of legend on James Island as a bad-ass cyclist. My training regimen was 30-50 miles a day, and once-a-month 500 mile weekend road trips (12 hours of riding both Saturday and Sunday). In the pre-James Island Expressway days, when there was 5-plus mile line off the Island and through South Windemere, I was that one nut who was all over the lanes - right shouler, center median, and between the lanes too.

Years later, kids, school, and stuff like that got in the way of my riding, not to mention the wear it put on my knees. But now that grad school is done, it's time for some changes ... and here's one of them:

Yep, the days of hard rockin' and hard ridin' are back ... see you on the road.

In the words of Rob Halford, the Metal God:

... I'm heading out to the highway
I got nothin' to lose at all
I'm gonna do it my way
Take a chance before I fall
Yes, I'm heading out to the highway,
I got nothing to lose at all.
I got nothing to lose at all!

RNC photos: Thanks Moye!

As promised, the Blogland brings you photos from this year's Republican National Convention, courtesy of Moye Graham. Moye is a major Blogland fan from Clarendon County, who we supported in his successful bid for a Sixth District delegate slot.

We're proud of those we supported for delegate slots. Each of them won either delegate or alternate slots to the convention, and we were excited to help them get a once (or in the case of some, twice or more) a lifetime opportunity.

Thanks again to Moye for all the pictures, as well as his regular convention reports. Looks for some of his photos here on the Blogland each morning this week.

Coming soon

Photos from the 2008 Republican National Convention, via one of the Blogland's delegates - Moye Graham from Clarendon County. Coming next week ...

"That government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth"

Today's 9/11 will include the dedication of Pentagon 9/11 Memorial. In light of this, we felt we could best commemorate this September Eleventh by sharing the challenge once presented by President Lincoln as he stood on a field in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to dedicate another memorial to another moment in American history:

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war ... testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated ... can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate ... we cannot consecrate ... we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us ... that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion ... that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain ... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people ... by the people ... for the people ... shall not perish from the earth.

Lincoln's challenge to his time reflects the greatest challenge we face today: Ensuring this nation and the freedom it represents shall long endure. For the sake of all humanity, let us hope and pray that it will.

For more information about the Pentagon Memorial, please visit these websites:

What's BMW worth?

Tomorrow, we'll get to find out how much BMW is worth to South Carolina (we think it'll be a lot), when the USC School of Business releases the findings of an economic impact study of the automaker's Greer facility:

It is the second time the Moore School has done such a study. In 2002, the BMW impact was estimated to be about $4.1 billion, producing 16,691 jobs with wages and salaries of $691 million annually in South Carolina.

Since then, BMW has continued to expand its operations near Greer. Last March, BMW said it would invest an additional $750 million in its Spartanburg County factory to add 1.5 million square feet and 500 new jobs on site to produce three models and to increase production capacity to 240,000 units by 2012.

BMW latest investment would be the largest ever announced for the factory, increasing BMW investments in South Carolina to $4.2 billion, the company said.

Obama Three Dollar Bills

This is the funniest thing we've seen all week. For those who remember the Bill Clinton three dollar bills, now there is Obama three dollar bills.

You can order yours from

Inside Interview: Senator Joel Lourie

Considered by many to be a rising star in the state Democratic Party, State Senator Joel Lourie is a man to watch. To paraphrase Shakespeare, such men may be considered dangerous, but here in the Blogland, they’re considered darn good subject material.

If he is considered dangerous, there’s good reason for that belief: his political career started by ousting the brother of Attorney General Henry McMaster from what was considered a safe GOP seat, and went to a second level by taking an open Senate seat considered almost as safe for the GOP. Some see him running for statewide office in the not-too-distant future.

When we met Senator Lourie, we found him to be thoughtful, articulate, and darn likeable. He had a solid grasp of the issues of the day, and a clear vision of where he wanted to see the state headed. It’s easy to see how someone like this can win over normally Republican voters, as well as how hard it might be to recruit a viable Republican challenger to his re-election bid.

His family has long ties to the Midlands and the Lowcountry.
His father, Isadore Lourie, spent about two decades in the Senate from Richland County and was a major backer of CofC’s Jewish Studies Center. Not only that, but his family has a broad presence in the history of Charleston, including the Rittenberg family, for whom Sam Rittenberg Boulevard (SC Route 7) was named.

Senator Lourie has the rare honor of being the first Democratic legislator we’ve interviewed, as well as the first member of the Senate from either party, and we’re grateful he was willing to take the time to meet with us and answer a few questions:

1) Your father was a legend in state politics. What are some similar approaches you’ve taken to being a Senator, as well as some different ones?

My mom and dad taught me from an early age that politics should be about bringing people together to solve problems. Both have had tremendous influence on who I am as a person and legislator. My dad taught me through example the importance of working with members of both parties to get things done. I remember in 1984, two of his close friends and Democratic colleagues from Richland County lost their Senate seats to Republicans. Shortly after the election, Dad invited the victors, Senators Warren Giese and John Courson, to his office. He wanted them to know that although they had just defeated his good friends, they all had a responsibility to work together for the betterment of our community and state. He said he would help them in any way possible.

He displayed this same practice of bi-partisanship years later when he went from having an adversarial relationship with Governor Carroll Campbell to one of friendship and mutual respect. This left quite an impression on me as today I enjoy close alliances with members of both parties at the Statehouse.

Regarding our differences, others could speak to this better than me. He was the “real Senator Lourie” and if I accomplish half of what he did, I will have served my state well.

2) Your district, as well as the House seat you previously held, favors Republicans over Democrats in most races. How does holding such a district affect your approach to politics, compared to how those who represent heavily-Democratic or Republican districts might handle legislative affairs?

One thing I have learned while serving in the legislature is that we are all microcosms of our districts. I represent a mostly suburban area where people are informed about what is happening at the Statehouse, understand the importance of supporting public schools and want their tax dollars spent efficiently. My constituents are very moderate and independent in their political thinking. This also describes my approach and hopefully people know that I think through and research issues very carefully. I understand that neither party has a monopoly on good ideas, and I have little tolerance for partisan bickering.

3) What issues do you see as priorities for yourself and your district?

I have the honor of representing some of the finest school districts in the state. A major priority in the next legislative session will be to make sure that public education funding doesn’t suffer in this unstable economy. Also, growth has caused incredible road and infrastructure challenges and our state must deal with this issue sooner than later.

Other priorities for me in the legislature will be to rein in or ban payday lending and get an agreement on the cigarette tax. I will also continue to push for access to healthcare options like the bill I authored which requires insurance companies to keep young adults on their parent’s policies until age 25. This legislation passed the Senate last year but not the House.

4) What issues would you like to see receive greater attention?

I think we have both a moral and legal responsibility to address the needs of the poor rural school districts. I have personally visited many of these schools and the conditions in some are deplorable. This crisis needs to be more of a priority. We need a coalition of legislators from across the state that can see beyond the boundaries of their own districts and think about the future of our state as a whole. People sometimes wonder why we have high dropout, unemployment and incarceration rates, and why a high percentage of our states’ population is on Medicaid. I believe that providing a quality education to all students in South Carolina will result in a significant reduction in these areas.

Also, as I referenced earlier, access to healthcare is perhaps the greatest domestic challenge we face in this state and country today. In South Carolina, close to 15% of our citizens have no health insurance and given current economic conditions, it is likely this figure will increase in years to come. We must come together and look at more ways to close this gap.

And, I want to see greater collaboration between our business community, the Legislature, the Commerce Department and our education system. When we pursue economic development opportunities, we need to have a better understanding of how workforce education and training relates to job creation. I question if we are meeting the needs of new and existing businesses. I know we have made progress on this front but I think we can do more.

5) There’s a lot of discussion about what may lie ahead for you in the next two years. Is there anything you’d like to discuss with us about what might be?

My priorities right now include raising two teenagers with my wife Becky, serving in the Senate to the best of my ability and running a small business. Two years is a long way off and there is plenty of time to speculate on the future later.

Mike Campbell ... again ... is this a joke?

Palmetto Scoop reports that Mike Campbell, the "Junior" of South Carolina politics, is considering another run for Lite Governor. It being another Monday around here, the thought of Mikey running again brought some much-needed humor to our day.

After sulking in a corner after he blew a race that was all but given to him two years ago, refusing to support the party's nominee, and then trying to single-handedly take credit for Mike Huckabee's campaign ... we wish he'd stay gone and stop trying so hard to sully the Campbell name.

Seriously, we just spent the last five minutes laughing our asses off over the idea.

We suspect that Campbell's first pledge will be to put the "Lite" into that office.

Mike, if you're reading this, please don't bother. Your father didn't become a great man just by running for office, so it won't do you much good either. Try helping people other than yourself - that's what made him a great man.

Fire and damnation

... and the new AC/DC album, "Black Ice", is set for release late next month. It's available for early order via their website.

Would it surprise anyone if the Blogland's got an order in already?

It was not a mistake

This Iraq veteran tells Barack Obama the Iraq war "was not a mistake".

Republicans rally in Goose Creek tomorrow - BE THERE!

Lowcountry Republicans have decided that while the RNC convention attendees had a great time, they deserved a chance to party back home, so that's what they're gonna do.

Tomorrow morning at the American Legion on Howe Hall Road, beginning at 9am, Lowcountry Republicans will have their 3rd Lowcountry Republican Unity Rally. The last two had over 300 turn out, with party leaders and candidates from across the state. Even with Hanna on the way, it should be a good time for all.

Breakfast is just five bucks, so why not attend?

Media criticisms of Palin backfiring?

According to polling data from Rasmussen, the media's over-scrutiny of Sarah Palin may be generating sympathy, and that many voters are forming generally favorable opinions of the GOP veep candidate:

Over half of U.S. voters (51%) think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage, and 24% say those stories make them more likely to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in November.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) also believe the GOP vice presidential nominee has better experience to be president of the United States than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

But 49% give Obama the edge on experience, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken before Palin's historic speech Wednesday night to the Republican National Convention.

When one VP candidate is losing to the other party's Presidential candidate by just ten points, it's not a good sign for Barack Obama's candidacy, but great news for McCain, who took what was considered by many to be a risky gamble by selecting her as his running mate.

I won't be taking calls tonight

While I will be watching our next President accept the GOP nomination tonight, I won't be available to talk with anyone about that or much of anything else.

For the last few years I've been dealing with a very difficult health issue - sleep apnea. Most of those who have it notice major snoring and find we don't dream much at night or feel very rested the next day - but we often don't realize there's more going on. We don't have dreams because we never reach deep sleep, because our body stops breathing, typically because our breathing passages become obstructed.

End result - we stay tired. We start getting drowsy at the office by lunchtime, or if we've been driving a couple of hours. Some days we have a hard time keeping focus at our jobs, because we feel like we're in a fog from lack of rest. We sleep all weekend to catch up on rest we didn't get during the week - but it never really catches us up on our rest.

Over the last year, it's gotten much worse, and tonight, I'm going in for a sleep study to find out what is going on and what can be done with it. There is a history of it, as my daughters Bonnie and Cecilia both were diagnosed with this problem and ultimately had their tonsils and adenoids taken out. That's the most radical step, but it seemed to do the trick for them.

Fortunately, once they have the data, it's an easy thing to figure out what to do and treatments options are able to deal with the problem.

So tonight, I'll be wired from head to fingers to ankle with all sorts of sensors, trying to enjoy the RNC show. I hope you enjoy the McCain show as well, and we'll talk about it tomorrow.

And if this sounds like you, have it checked out.

RNC Report: Moye Graham on Day Three

As you are aware almost 300 people were arrested the first day of rioting in St Paul at the convention center outside. We have had a couple of Delegates hurt and hospitalized from protesters. They also uncovered a plan to take some hostages.

Just think I spent good money to be elected one just joking I am proud to be a Delegate from SC.

You can not walk the streets with out seeing someone protesting something In St. Paul but Minneapolis is not quite as bad but still has its share but it is not as bad as the news reports let on. Last night during the convention Sarah Palin speech a couple of people were pulled from the floor with stolen ID passes they were trying to disrupt what I believe was one of the best political speech I have ever heard. Our next VP was great she is at our hotel with the McCains also.

When we finally got back to the hotel last night, Governor Palin joined us in the bottom of the hotel near the lobby. Her parents joined us at about 1 AM and we all stayed until about 230 AM except Ms. Palin who left early. I got to bed at 4.

On the way back to hotel last night from convention I was on one of the last shuttles. We had to detour a few blocks from our hotel due to a group getting out of hand. You could see the tear gas dozens of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances believe me it still aint as bad as the media maybe putting out. Most of these protesters are anarchist and are here to make the GOP look bad. Also the Ron Paul people are not helping either. Over 10000 of his supporters met Tuesday night.

When we leave the convention compound the delegates are harrased slightly. The people on the streets are against the war mostly but also they believe we are going to outlaw abortion. They have their right and I certainly hope America will always allow people to voice their opinions. That is the reason so many Americans have died in wars for the freedom to express yourself and free speech.

I was a young person once like most of the protesters are and maybe back in the sixties and seventies I may had been out on the street with them given the chance. I know I would have, but we grow up.

Senator Graham told me this morning he is going to rock the house tonight. He speaks at 935 PM maybe CST not sure could be Eastern Time. He is planning he said to speak mostly about the war. Cindy McCain may come out at the end of his speech to introduce her husband John McCain.

McCain speaks at 10 PM. Y'all should watch it if you can and if you missed the Palin speech last night try to find it and watch it. I cannot say enough good about it. The SC Delegation is sitting to the right of the podium in front of us is Kentucky we are about 8 rows from the stage to the speakers right. Look for the SC sign.

RNC Report: Glenn McCall checks in

Our latest addition to our roster of convention attendees to check in is none other than Glenn McCall, the Republican National Committee representative from South Carolina. The Blogland was proud to endorse his recent bid for this post, which he won handily.

Glenn called today to check in, let us know he was having a great time, and had a few things to say to us about the convention:

There is tremendous excitement here. It's my second convention, and I'm glad to have been able to come back to help represent South Carolina. The folks of Minneapolis have been great hosts and done a great job so far.

My favorite moment so far was Fred Thompson's speech. His speech was on the money on the issues. You could feel the energy and excitement among the audience.

Many of us are looking forward to Sarah Palin's speech tonight.

RNC Report: Mary Pearson on Day Two

Another day at the GOP Convention in beautiful Minneapolis and that weather I wished for yesterday is here, well almost.

A lot of people from the Gulf States flew home yesterday. The day starts early as usual and with a flurry of activities, but the mood for the Lowcountry SC delegation is changing and turns to tropical storm, Hanna. As soon as possible I check in at the Treasurer’s Office to make sure that our emergency preparedness plan is ready to implement if necessary. All is ready.

During breakfast, I saw the reporters and secret service all hovering around so I know somebody was about to enter the room. It was a petite lady in a pale yellow dress with an up hairdo. It only took a couple of glimpses through the small openings to discover who was. It was none other than Cindy McCain. Mrs. McCain speaks with such sincerity about how much she and Senator McCain appreciates SC and she knows the importance of his victory in South Carolina in the Presidential Primary.

Next up to speak is a fellow POW who was in the Hanoi Hilton with McCain and what a story he has to tell about the strength, leadership, and the resolve of John McCain. How John is beaten and promised release before other prisoners if he will give his captors information. John had rather take the abuse than give up on his county and his fellow prisoners is constantly woven into his comments.

One thing that is really powerful for me is that John McCain always gave a thumbs up when he returned from solitude or hours of beating signaling to his fellow POWs all was OK. Your life is never threatened unless you give up it is said. John McCain never gave up in five and half years. Now that is a strong man. Rudy Giuliani is on the program too. Rudy takes a seat with First Lady Jenny Sanford and State Attorney General Henry McMaster. Also, I spot Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, Secretary of State Mark Hammond, Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, and Speaker Bobby Harrell in attendance.

Now we pass the donation bucket and receive a hurricane relief report. I am so happy to report that the GOP raised $1.5 for hurricane relief on Monday and we are still collecting. The plans are to do several blood drives and assemble care packages within the next few days.

The mood today at the convention is much more spirited than yesterday. Lively music is being played, we get signs to wave, and delegates are in their usual convention clothes with buttons, pins, and red, white and blue. Now, this is how I remember my previous two conventions. Chuck and I are on different seating levels, but some nice lady from Greenville reeking with Southern hospitality gives him her credentials so he can come sit with me for awhile. It is our policy to let all of the SC folks who attend to have an opportunity to sit on the floor.

We have a great list of speakers including First Lady Laura Bush, Senators Fred Thompson and Senator Joe Lieberman. The First Lady Laura in her power reddish suit introduces her husband, President George W. Bush. President Bush comes to us via video and speaks of his strong support for John McCain and how the county needs John. Senator Thompson elaborates about John McCain’s life from childhood, to POW, to his leadership in the Senate emphasing his character of doing what is right regardless of the consequences. Senator Liberman starts off by saying he is a Democrat and he supports John McCain because the McCain-Pallin ticket is the real ticket for change. “John has risen above politics to get things done and he has demonstrated that this week by putting the country first,” Lieberman says.

RNC Report: Midday with Moye

Going on lunch cruise on the Mississippi river with Mark Hammond as his guest to the Republican State Leadership Committee, which is made up of GOP elected officials for all states such as the Sec. of State, Lt. Gov. etc. It's quite an honor to be the one person from SC on board not an elected statewide official.

The breakfast this morning with T Boone Pickens on the fifty floor at Windows of Minnesota was great. He is quite a speaker. My table consisted of me and Mark Hammond, Congressman Joe Wilson and his wife, Celestine Parker, Drew Johnson and parents. Going to miss some but we had Jenny Sanford, Mark Hammond, Richard Eckstrom, his daughter, Congressman Inglis, Andre Bauer, several members of parliament from Great Britain. Mr. Pickens wife. Katon Dawson and just so many more man. Jim DeMint also.

Carolina Last?

Shares of stock in The South Financial Group Inc., the holding company that owns Carolina First, are reportedly down 31 percent in the last year:

In August, TSFG reported $16.8 million in losses for its second quarter and announced the reorganization of its executive management team from 11 to five.

Publicly traded on Nasdaq, TSFG’s stock closed at $7 on Tuesday, down 31 percent from a year ago. TSFG has a $100 million headquarters under construction along Interstate 85 in Greenville.

They're cutting positions, losing money, but somehow need a new mega-office building. For such a stellar performance at the helm, their CEO gets to retire at the end of the year.

Lucky guy.

Is the Hard Rock Park on a Highway to Hell?

According to a story in the MB Sun News, the overhyped expectations and sky-high ticket prices have turned a Stairway to Heaven into a Highway to Hell for Myrtle Beach's Hard Rock Park:

An Israeli company that is a major investor in Hard Rock Park wrote off its investment in the park last quarter because of problems stemming from poor attendance, a company official said Tuesday.

Africa Israel Investments, an international conglomerate with holdings mostly in real estate, wrote off its $10 million investment in the Myrtle Beach theme park "due to liquidity difficulties the park is experiencing due to low attendance compared to its business plan," Chief Financial Officer Ron Fainaro said on a conference call Tuesday morning.

The company attributed part of its $25 million net loss in the second quarter to the Hard Rock Park writeoff.

We think the idea of a hard rockin' theme park is cool stuff, so we're hoping that this venture can fly like an eagle, and not get shot down in flames.

Cool new website for the S.C. Secretary of State

The Secretary of State's office just rolled out a revamped website, offering a cleaner look, more information and new online services as part of Secretary of State Mark Hammond's ongoing efforts to make the office more customer-friendly.

In a telephone interview, Hammond (who some believe carries a .44 magnum) told us the website overhaul will lay the groundwork for even more electronic services that will be coming in the near future.

Want to see the website for yourself? Go to

Great work, Mark!

Happy Birthday Jim DeMint!

Last night, they threw a big party in Minneapolis to celebrate Jim DeMint's birthday ... and back home, we're not forgetting the occasion either.

We also wanted to let everyone back home know that yesterday was his 35th wedding anniversary.

From the Blogland to Jim DeMint, we just wanted to say:


RNC Report: Mark Hammond

We were extremely grateful to get a convention report from one of the state's better known delegates: Secretary of State Mark Hammond. Hammond was impressed by tonight's speech from Fred Thompson, who he believed:

Made the case why we need John McCain. One part I really liked was when he said we already have 2 very important questions answered – who is this man and can we trust him to be our President.

A lot of my fellow SC delegation members are excited about the fall campaign and responded to Thompson's speech. They know why we need John McCain.

When asked what his favorite part of the convention was, Hammond said the contacts he made were the best part:

I always enjoy meeting delegates from across the country. Meeting fellow Secretaries of State that I’ve gotten to know over the years. We’re all ready to get back home with new ideas to serve our constituents - and to get John McCain elected.

Hammond said he was most impressed with three people who he'd seen speak thus far:

I was really impressed with the speeches from Fred Thompson and Laura Bush. Cindy McCain did a wonderful job speaking to the NH/SC delegation breakfast, talked about their family and what kind of person John McCain.

Thanks Mark!!!

RNC Report: Moye checks in

6:04 p.m. Mark Hammond and I are at the GOP State Leadership Committee RNC in St Paul reckon the rest are wondering where we are.

7:48 p.m.:On convention floor the Governor has arrived.

8:01 p.m.: Just swapped out credentials to get Sandra Bryant on floor did Joshua Gross last night.

9:32 p.m.: Joe Wilson is here beside me on floor.

RNC Report: Moye Graham, Morning of Day Three

Moye Graham stops for lunch and to check in with the Blogland:

Today has been tough. Need to make a lunch engagement in an hour.

Spent from 8 am until 1030 am at breakfast. Our speakers were none other than Cindy McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Dan Coates, POW with McCain named Lee Ellis, Sec. of Com. Carlos Gutierrez, Gov. Tim Roemer, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rick Davis who is the McCain campaign head, Katon Dawson also the New Hampshire GOP Chairman. It was a joint gathering with New Hampshire and McCains group.

I cannot say enough about where the RNC and SCGOP has done to get us in this Hotel again it is the place to be. In attendance and I will miss someone was Mark Hammond, Jenny Sanford, Andre Bauer, Congressman Inglis, Henry McMaster, Ron Thomas of the SCGOP, Cindy Costas, Drew Mckissick, Glenn McCall and so many other RNC and SCGOP, New Hampshire GOP and NH and SC elected officials. We even had two of the McCain sons one is in the Naval Accademy the other the Marines. Most are staying here also here is Joe Lieberman, Fred Thompson have Mike Huckabee on way. Mitt Romney is here all of the McCain party.

Yesterday they set up a phone bank at hotel with 120 lines and raised $1.5 million dollars for hurrican relief. Several of our members are packing supplies to be sent for relief.

Last night at Senator Graham's low key milk and cookie gathering. The Senator gave a short speech and then introduced John McCain's sons. I actually got to meet them - one just got home from Iraq.

RNC Report: Mary Pearson on Day Two

Mary Pearson, Dorchester County Treasurer and long-time Lowcountry GOP activist, reports in on Day Two:

Rays of sunshine and greetings from the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Yes, we are having a GOP Convention. However, it has been scaled way back due to the pending arrival of Hurricane Gustav somewhere in the Gulf and the atmosphere is quite subdued. We have been told that we will conduct only the official business to nominate our Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates for the 2008 General Election. Our focus will be on helping those in Gustav’s path and in their support for hurricane relief. I will update you as soon as those activities are scheduled. Senator McCain issued the following statement, “We must redirect our attentions and efforts. We will act as Americans - not Republicans - to help our fellow citizens in need.” It brings back first hand memories of Hugo and reports of Katrina and New Orleans. This is my third convention, but I do suspect this one will be the most remembered because of these unusual circumstances.

In June I told my husband that we would be vacationing in Minneapolis for the GOP convention in September. He was not nearly as excited as I was, but being the great husband he is, he said, “Yes, dear if that is what you want.” We arrived in the City of Friendly People Sunday afternoon to hot humid weather. Just what we had hoped to leave behind back at home.

Now maybe we could rest for a little while, but we hardly had time to get up to the room when I was summoned to be in the lobby for a delegation picture. Little did I know it was not going to be taken in the lobby of the hotel. We all lined up like good soldiers and marched off four blocks to the Minneapolis Convention Center for the picture. Now imagine getting all those people settled down with smiles and grinning faces for the group picture, but if anybody could do it our SC GOP Chairman, Katon Dawson could. We were so tired, but it was early, still more to do. Now it was time for our first delegation event. We had been invited to the 2008 Delegation Welcome Party. We mingled for awhile, standing, sifting, eating, and looking for someplace to sit. I know my eyes were trying to shut, but something took my eye some distance across the room. I could see a stovepipe hat towering above the crowd moving around. Chuck and made our way in that direction and to my belief there stood a gentleman in a long black top coated suit, black stovepipe hat, thin, and dark beard and yes it was none other than Abraham Lincoln. Well, why not, of course, Abe would be here after all the GOP is the Party of Lincoln. One more event tonight hosted by Speaker Bobby Harrell and we called it a day.

Monday morning arrived very quickly and time to pick up my credentials for the convention. I took my time surveying the great buffet which was hosted by one of our SC corporate sponsors. I continued my networking, one of my favorite things that I learned from the late Senator Strom Thurmond. Finally when I settled down at my table I turned and who did I see but General George Washington. First Abe and now President Washington all within a 12 hours span. President Washington delivered our invocation.

The official business of the convention began this afternoon lasting for about two and half hours. We had two surprise guests, First Lady Laura Bush and Senator McCain’s wife Cindy. The convention had been very quiet up until this time, but it erupted when they came in. They brought messages from their husbands for the people in the Gulf States reminding us that we are all Americans first and must come together to help all those in need.

One more event tonight. It was Senator Graham’s famous Milk and Cookies get together. I was very excited to meet Senator McCain’s sons and found them very warm and compassionate like their Dad. One is already in the Marine Corps taking after his Dad.

RNC Report: Mary McAbee on Day Two

Mary McAbee reports in on Day Two of the convention:

I did not attend today's session since I attended the NFRW Fall Board meeting being held at same time. However I did make other activities during the day and evening. The excitement is beginning to build as we head into day two of the convention.

The highlight of my day was meeting Senator McCain's two sons: Jack and Jimmy at Lindsey Graham's Cookies and Milk event. Both sons do their father and mother proud. Both are clean cut well spoken young men who are serving their country. I would vote for John McCain just for rearing two such fine young gentlemen. They are a real credit to their parents as I am sure are McCain's other five children.

My highlight at breakfast this morning was sitting beside Roxanne Wilson and Ed Rumsey. A special guest for this morning's meal was His Excellency George Washington (actually a Mr. Collins enacting the First President) He was really quite good. He gave the opening prayer, one actually prayed by George Washington. I hope some of the groups in South Carolina will get together and invite the General to our state.

I watched the protesters on the news. LaDonna Ryggs had her picture taken on the floor with Karl Rove. We hope to have pictures posted on the SCFRW website.

Many delegates, alternates, and guests were atwitter about the news of Sara Palin's daughter. The consensus seems to be that such an event as a new grandchild does not hurt the McCain-Palin event. And as Obama himself has said, families should not be fair game. So I guess it's back to who has more/less experience: our VP candidate or the Democrats Presidential candidate.

RNC Report: Moye's Monday

Moye Graham, the globe-trotting Blogland reader and RNC delegate from Clarendon County, sent us a number of reports which we condensed into one convention update:

Sitting behind Charm altman and beside Mark Hammond right under the SC sign. SC has great seats all of us.

Whit Ayres (a major GOP pollster out of Atlanta) is with us. He spoke at our breakfast.

This could get interesting watching helicopters out my hotel window - security is very tight.

They are barricading the hotel off. Police are starting to monitor traffic and blocking street around hotel. No cabs allowed or other non-convention vehicles allowed. You should be here man. They are expecting by local news 50000 protesters.

This is the hotel to be at. We have Lieberman. Steele. Graham. Bauer. Eckstrom. Hammond. McMaster. Cindy McCain on the way Joe Wilson. Gov Roemer. Rudy on the way. Sen Coates. Sec Gutierrez a lot of SC elected officials as guest and New Hampshire officials.