The Ride of the Four Horsemen

It was a week of revolution in America, five months into the Obama administration and the week of the first TEA parties. The winds of change were beginning to blow across America and throughout South Carolina. 

That was when four very different types teamed up and became known as "The Four Horsemen of the Political Apocalypse" : 6th District GOP Chair Tommy Grimes, Clarendon GOP Chair Moye Graham and bloggers Mike Reino and Earl Capps. Sharing their love for politics, BBQ, and beer, they teamed up to declare war on Democrats, bad BBQ and boring political websites, while often meeting at a secretive location on the shores of Lake Marion.

While some say South Carolina politics would be forever changed by what happened next, others called them riff-raff and said they were doomed to failure and eventual obscurity.

Mick Mulvaney goes on the air

We're the Blogland and we approve this message - Mick Mulvaney's first TV ad.

Meet Mick Mulvaney from Mick Mulvaney on Vimeo.

Chip Campsen surfs

Like his long-time friend and political associate Mark Sanford, State Senator Chip Campsen (R-Mount Pleasant) can surf.

But what we want to know is if he holds up a bank, would he rather wear the Ronald Reagan or Richard Nixon mask?

Mark your calendar: Lowcountry GOP breakfast club to hold annual 9/11 tribute on Sept. 11

On Saturday, Sept. 11, Lowcountry Republicans will remember 9/11 with a memorial tribute to those lost and those who are serving their country in public safety and the armed services, followed by a Homeland Security presentation featuring Alan Wilson, GOP nominee for Attorney General and Adjutant General-elect (and Major General) Bob Livingston.

As part of the tribute, the Color Guard will be provided by the Washington Light Infantry.

The group meets every second Saturday of the month (except July) at Kelly's BBQ restaurant at 9am. They're located at 10475 Hwy. 78, which is located between Summerville and the Ladson fairgrounds.

More on religious "tolerance" in Islamic nations

Last weekend, the Blogland discussed one recent example of the inequitable treatment of Christians in Turkey, a nation which is attempting to convince the West that, like those who want to build an Islamic mosque near Ground Zero in New York City, that all they want is tolerance and equality.

While Turkey, which seeks to join the European Union, has talked a big game about wanting to co-exist with the Christian West, it's real record on religious tolerance is rather appalling in that regard, and is certainly far less than the efforts by which President Obama has made on behalf of the Ground Zero mosque initative.

The "mosque of conquest"

Muslim groups are proposing a 13-story $100 million mosque in the most prominent spot in America – the heart of downtown New York City near the World Trade Center site.

Is this mosque a sign of America's tolerance, or is it a sign of Muslim conquest?

The past may hold answers.

Overcoming speech anxiety

It's time for fall semester to begin in the Blogland. That's when yours truly goes back in front of college students. While my writing volume will drop off a little for a few days, I do want my readers to have some good food for thought. 

In teaching public speaking, one of the toughest challenges is addressing speech anxiety. Fear of facing audiences is one of the biggest fears known to man.

To help you figure out where you stand, try the online version of the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension. It's quick, confidential and can give you some pretty good feedback.

Mark your calendar: Connor debt retirement party, 9/7

Running for statewide office or serving in Afghanistan ... we're not sure which of the two is more dangerous and thankless a task, but Bill Connor's done both.

If you want to thank him for taking the time to run for office and help him pay down his campaign debt, please join the Blogland his upcoming debt retirement party:

September 7 from 6:00 to 8:00pm at
Rosalia's Mexican Restaurant
2347 Chestnut Street in Orangeburg

We understand he'll be signing copies of his book at the event, so if you haven't gotten your copy, this could be a great chance to do that.

John Spratt: The Cover-up continues

It seems these rules don't just apply to joint appearances with State Senator Mick Mulvaney, Spratt's challenger.  According to FITSNews, it is a standard policy that Spratt will not allow anything he says to be documented:

Mark your calendar: Charleston GOP Labor Day picnic

Charleston County Republicans are having a Labor Day picnic that you don't want to miss.

For those of you who are as bad at keeping up with holidays and special occasions as I am, Labor Day is Monday, September 6. The event starts at 4:00 PM, and it's located at1155 Eaglewood Trail on James Island, which is off Ft. Johnson Road near James Island High School.

Tickets are $15.00 per person (children under 10 are free), which gets you BBQ chicken, and two sides with rolls and cookies! Free parking, music and entertainment provided, but be sure to bring some chairs!

Here are some of the candidates you'll find at this event:

Alvin Greene: Fighting for South Carolina?

First, Alvin Greene gets in trouble for hitting up a female USC student to get with him for a little action.

Now, Alvin Greene goes to a Democratic Party event in Seneca, and a female with him gets in trouble for wanting to hit someone and stir up a little action.

Talk about getting hosed: the $578 million high school

Especially if Jim Rex the Second (aka. Frank Holleman) is elected Education Superintendent this fall:

Next month's opening of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools will be auspicious for a reason other than its both storied and infamous history as the former Ambassador Hotel, where the Democratic presidential contender was assassinated in 1968.

With an eye-popping price tag of $578 million, it will mark the inauguration of the nation's most expensive public school ever.

The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has raised eyebrows across the country as the creme de la creme of "Taj Mahal" schools, $100 million-plus campuses boasting both architectural panache and deluxe amenities.

S.C. Issues Survey, Part Two: Response from Rep. Phillip Lowe

Following yesterday's Blogland article reporting on the survey sent out by Florence State Rep. Phillip Lowe and Beaufort State Rep. Shannon Erickson, Rep. Lowe shared with us the tabluated results of the surveys which were returned from registered voter households across his State House district, which includes parts of Florence and Sumter Counties.

We want to thank Lowe, who we've featured in the Blogland, for sharing these findings with us. According to his constituents, law enforcement, immigration, cutting government back to its core functions and setting higher standards for those on public assistance were among the top priorities among his constituents:

State Reps. Lowe & Erickson: South Carolina Issues Survey

We received an email from Beaufort State Rep. Shannon Erickson with a survey she has been circulating via email to get feedback for setting priorities for state government:

I hope that this email finds you well and prospering. As I hope you read in The Beaufort Gazette article yesterday, I am circulating a short questionnaire and would very much appreciate your input.

I have attached one in a “Word” document and pasted the contents below as well. I hope you will take a few minutes to mull over the questions, then please share your thoughts with me.

In talking with Erickson, we learned that she got the idea from State Rep. Phillip Lowe (R-Florence), who also circulated the survey amongst his constituents.  It seems like a pretty good idea, and we encourage our readers to fill one out and send it to their own legislators.

What do you get a future Congressman for his birthday?

We're not sure, so we'll just give Trey Gowdy, the Solicitor from Spartanburg, as well as the likely winner of this fall's race for the Fourth Congressional District, a little cake and our best wishes for his first term in the U.S. House.

If you know him, be sure to tell him to enjoy his birthday - and to take Monday off to enjoy life a little.

Lord knows he won't get much rest once he takes office next year!

A study of religious tolerance: Sumela Monastery vs. Ground Zero Mosque proposal

... then perhaps they should be just as willing to give Christians equal treatment in predominantly-Muslim nations, by allowing them to practice their faith with full legal recognition and protection. But it's no secret that Christians are tolerated in few of those nations, and subjected to censorship, harassment and outright violence, either by official sanction or unofficial tolerance by governmental and religious leaders in those countries.

As part of its efforts to gain entry into the European Union, one such nation, Turkey, has made very minimal concessions to Christians which fall far short of allowing them to worship freely, even in places of great significance to Christians. We're sure that Obama and others would consider it unacceptable to place similar restrictions on use of the mosque that some are seeking to build near Ground Zero in New York.

What does John Spratt have to hide?

Some may remember Congressman John Spratt's brutal 1994 campaign, in which he tired of hostile crowds and began to avoid debates. That year, he prevailed by a mere 2,000 votes.

As he's falling behind GOP challenger Mick Mulvaney in polls of likely voters, Spratt has decided to debate publicly, with the first scheduled event taking place in Lake Wylie before the Lions Club on September 7th.  Not surprisingly, the event filled up quickly.

But what most attendees don't know should concern them.  According to inside sources, Spratt's "Chicken Rules", which were his pre-condition for participating in this event, will keep the event from being documented.

How I remember Rod Shealy

It must be an election year in heaven, because today they called one of the best players to help out: Rod Shealy.

I first met Rod when I was just starting to get active in politics in the early 90s. Since then, it seems as if the Shealy family has been a part of my life in a lot of ways: I supported his sister for Lt. Governor in 1990, attended CofC with his niece Mandy, worked with his son RJ on a couple of races, hung out with Ross at more than one Midlands place featuring food and drink, and depending on the race, worked with or against Rod.

While the Shealy clan is a big family, more than a few of whom had made their mark in state politics, for me and many others, Rod was the one who really defined the Shealy clan. He was confident, sometimes cocky, and always brimming with ideas and stories. While his shirts were colorful, his personality was even more so. If you worked with one of his candidates, you never knew what was going to pop out of his head, or when.

Mark your calendar: Charleston GOP Labor Day picnic, 9/6

Charleston County Republicans are having a Labor Day picnic that you don't want to miss.

For those of you who are as bad at keeping up with holidays and special occasions as I am, Labor Day is Monday, September 6. The event starts at 4:00 PM, and it's located at1155 Eaglewood Trail on James Island, which is off Ft. Johnson Road near James Island High School.

Tickets are $15.00 per person (children under 10 are free), which gets you BBQ chicken, and two sides with rolls and cookies! Free parking, music and entertainment provided, but be sure to bring some chairs!

Here are some of the candidates you'll find at this event:

What was Haley thinking?

The Democrats took their first swing at GOP gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley, calling her a "tax and spend" politician in an ad which aired on TV in the Midlands and with a website:

Haley's recent proposal to reinstate sales taxes on groceries as a trade-off for repealing the corporate income tax is the kind of stuff that Democratic strategists dream of. No matter how the macroeconomic analysis works out, taxing food during a recession in a state with double-digit unemployment in order to fund tax breaks for corporate business enterprises looks bad.

Not even the South Carolina Democratic Party, with all their recent fumbles, could miss this opportunity to go on the attack.  In a more competitive state, this kind of attack could do some serious damage to her candidacy, but Republicans have tremendous advantages with resources and a healthy lead among general voter preferences that can offset dumber moves - for now.

Humor and the Cold War: Ben Lewis' "Hammer and Tickle"

The use of satire and humor as forms of political critique is nothing new. In fact, they’re very much key means by which points are made right here in the Blogland, but they have a history that goes well beyond and before yours truly decided to curse the internet with his ramblings.

The book Satire TV, which was recently reviewed on this blogsite, followed the history of political satire on American television. Another good study of the use of political humor to critique and challenge political power can be found in “Hammer and Tickle: The story of Communism, a political system almost laughed out of existence”, by Ben Lewis, a writer for Prospect magazine in London.

Lewis’ book was based upon research conducted for a BBC documentary directed by Lewis in which he traveled the nations of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact, studying how private citizens used humor to mock the communist system and challenge the power and competence of ruling Communist figures from the early days of the Soviet Union until the communism imploded in the late 1980s. In this book, he argues that Communism was "the only political system to have created its own international brand of comedy".

If you’re like many Blogland readers who want to skip to the good stuff and move on to the next 3-4 paragraph blog article on the web, we’ll tell you this book was a great read. For those who want to learn a little more, keep reading.

Transparency: The Number One issue in Comptroller race

Usually a race like the Comptroller General race is pretty ho-hum, except for episodes of Saturday Night Live, and the differences between candidate are hard to spot and often fuzzy.

But not this year.

In this year's race, the issue of transparency in government spending presents a clear divide between incumbent Comptroller Richard Eckstrom, a CPA seeing his third term in the office, and challenger Robert Barber, a lobbyist seeking success after two failed bids for major offices.

While Barber is vague on his work as a paid lobbyist, including on his website, Eckstrom's approach to state government is crystal-clear in promoting something not found in Barber's bio: transparency for state and local governments.

Follow the Blogland on Twitter

The Blogland is finally on Twitter. Just look for "BloglandEC" on Twitter.

We'll be tweeting about what's going on in the Blogland so you'll get the latest news, opinions and attitudes - and probably some extra behind-the-scenes chatter that doesn't make it into blog articles as well.

We're still learning how this stuff works, so please be patient with us.

Wilson charges ahead to re-election with "Cut The Fat" tour

While his fall challenger has been hard to find on the ground, 2nd District Congressman Joe Wilson has been charging full-steam ahead in his re-election bid, leaving nothing to chance.

On the heels of his "Joe Means Jobs" tour, he's kicked off a series of campaign BBQ events, where Wilson serves up the pork to audiences and talks about the issues that matter across the Second District.

On Saturday, the Blogland caught up with Wilson at an event next to the flea market in Neeses, a well-known gathering place situated in a rural town in Democratic Orangeburg County, where a full house of enthusiastic supporters greeted Wilson, including a number of local politicos.

Friday the 13th: Bad day for South Carolina Democrats?

Any way you look at it, Friday the 13th was not a good day for South Carolina Democrats, with bad news dropping in several key races:

Alvin Green gets indicted: While some may say Greene didn't offer to do anything other elected Senators don't offer their interns, he should have waited until getting elected. Nobody was really surprised by this news, but being under indictment is not grounds for him to be removed from the ballot, so the Democrats remain stuck with this albatross around their neck, probably until he loses in November.

Double Trouble in House Races ... news in two Democratic-held GOP-leaning districts broke Friday as well:

12th Circuit Solicitor Clements cutting deals with defense attorneys on murder trials?

Clair Chaffin was one of the "Greatest Generation".  He was a Marine who fought at Iwo Jima, living in Florida and enjoying his retirement, traveling on vacation.

While the death penalty seems the appropriate course of action, the Solicitor, Ed Clements, has chosen not to pursue it. But since Robert Lee, who we've been informed is his campaign manager, (pictured with Clements at a campaign event to the right), is the defense counsel for one of the accused killers, it seems like another example of deals are being cut - and justice denied once more in the 12th Circuit.

Aug 26: Charleston League of Women Voters 90th anniversary dinner

The League of Women Voters of the Charleston Area present:
"Women's Equality Day Dinner": A Celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the League and the 19th Amendment

August 26, 2010 6:00 p.m.
Town & Country Inn & Conference Center
2008 Savannah Highway, Charleston


Inez Tenenbaum  Chairman, US Consumer Products Safety Commission

Colleen T. Condon - Kristi Lea Harrington
Jacquelyn S. Heyward - Deadra L. Jefferson - Wilhelmina Moore
Thomasena Stokes-Marshall -  Scarlett A. Wilson - Annette D.Young

Purchase tickets ($60) by August 20th at
or by check to LWV Charleston Area, P.O. Box 20173, Charleston, SC 29413.

Please include entrée choice of prime rib or crab-stuffed flounder.

This Saturday in Summerville: Grits, Eggs and the Contract From America

This Saturday morning in Summerville, the Lowcountry GOP Breakfast club event will feature a Contract FROM America forum, featuring 1st District GOP congressional candidate Tim Scott and 6th District GOP candidate Jim Pratt.

The group meets every Second Saturday (except July) at Kelly's BBQ restaurant on U.S. Highway 78, about two miles south of U.S. 17-Alternate in Summerville. Meetings start at 9am and a breakfast buffet is served for $6.50.  A big turnout is expected for this event, so be sure to arrive early for the best seating. 

Visit to find out more about the Contract From America.

If you'd like to get on the group's mailing list and keep informed about their upcoming events, hit their Facebook page to sign up via

One is the loneliest number

If this was intended to shift attention from those criticisms, we're not sure it worked as intended, as just one protestor turning out, reminding us that "One is the loneliest number".

With this one-man show as an indication of how ineffective their efforts to rally in-district opposition to Wilson, it's easy to see why they would feel the need to drop a total of $370,965.10 from outside of the district to help Rob Miller's struggling candidacy.

Calling 811 in South Carolina: It's a good idea, but it could be better

Today is national Call 811 day. This is the day intended to promote the usage of the national Call-Before-You-Dig number - 811 - which is intended to put callers in touch with utility companies to ensure that any underground utility facilities are marked before they dig.

Not surprisingly, that's not quite how it works in South Carolina, as well as just five other states in these United States where utility companies are NOT required by law to be members of the state's "One Call Center".

South Carolina is also one of just 18 states which do NOT require all utilitlies to respond to the caller, a widely-used industry practice known as "Positive Response", either by marks on the ground or an "all clear" notice. So if you call and there are no marks on the ground, that may not mean it's safe to go digging. We've heard from more than one Blogland reader who called, saw no marks, thought it was all clear after three days' wait, and hit unmarked lines.

These are the dangerous realities of the state's outdated laws on underground utility safety and damage prevention which were enacted in 1978, laws which may be so far outdated as to prompt federal intervention to force the state act in the interests of public and worker safety.

The sad truth is that in many states, reforms only take place after tragedies occur, such as what took place in Minnesota:

Democratic House District 60 candidate a "Bad Cop"?

While Alvin Greene stands out as a gross failure of Democrats to screen their candidates for the 2010 South Carolina ballot, it seems that Greene is not the only shady character to have crawled out of the Pee Dee swamps to seek office.

Another example is the Benny Webb, who is challenging GOP Rep. Phillip Lowe in District 60 (Florence and Sumter Counties). Among Webb's close associates is indicted former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin, who was joined by Webb at his recent arraignment on drug charges:

Melvin appeared about 10 pounds slimmer than when he was arrested and was joined by Benny Webb, a former SLED agent and current Democratic candidate for the state House District 60 seat, currently held by Rep. Phillip Lowe, R-Florence, who is seeking re-election. Webb sat next to Melvin and chatted with the former sheriff.

"Yes, ma'am," were the only words Melvin uttered in his court appearance, confirming to U.S. Magistrate Judge Paige Jones Gossett that he understood the charges and attendant penalties.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Webb's shady record.

Rob Miller: The Truth is Top Secret has long been known as a group which picks ideological agendas to suit its political agendas. In their efforts to bash former President George W. Bush and elect Congressional Democrats, the organization, which was founded to defend former President Bill Clinton, decided to jump on the anti-Iraq bandwagon, in the best of the hypocritical "born again" tradition of political converts who claim to have seen the light.

But in reality, they have just seen the polling numbers and want to win.

MoveOn, not really caring about supporting the troops or telling the truth, engaged in a high-dollar attack campaign against General David Petraeus as he was being put in charge of military operations in Iraq, accusing him of being involved in a cover-up for a military operation that was doomed to failure.

In his effort to say anything and do anything to get elected to Congress, it makes perfect sense that Democratic 2nd District congressional candidate Rob Miller and MoveOn would prove to be a match made in heaven - judging by the nearly $400,000 they've put towards supporting his efforts to win the congressional seat.

When confronted about this unholy alliance by retired Marine General James Livingston, a Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, Rob Miller seems to think he's back in the military, which may explain why he seems to have classified his relationship with MoveOn as "top secret":

Pub Politics comes to the Lowcountry

With the legislature out of session, the Vista isn't always a hotbed of political insight this time of the year, so Phil Bailey and Wes Donehue are hitting the road with their must-see program, taking Pub Politics to the Lowcountry, and teaming up with the Conservation Voters of South Carolina for a banging beach throw down.

This Thursday's episode will be at the restaurant at Bowen's Island. That's one of those islands on Folly Road (S.C. 171) between James Island and Folly Beach. It's also home to perennial Democratic candidate Robert Barber, who's challenging incumbent GOP Comptroller Richard Eckstrom.

The event will be sponsored by the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, Shady Umbrella and Bowens Island Restaurant, and the broadcast begins at 6pm.  Democrat Tyler Jones will join Wesley as host while Phil is on vacation. Charleston area State Representatives Mike Sottile (R) and Anne Peterson Hutto (D) will be the guests.

We'll be there - and so should you!

Dem hopes to offset GOP House seat surge coming up short?

Democrats admit that they're going to lose a lot of House seats this fall, while a lot of polling suggests that the balance of power in the House could come down to just a few seats.  The Democrats hope to hold onto the House by mounting a strong defense of their seats to cut losses, and then aiming to pick up 4-6 GOP held districts where Democrats have favorable numbers.

Their hopes mostly focus upon winning four GOP-held House seats in Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois and Louisiana. But news suggests that some of these pickups may be tougher than projected, with HipHop Republican reporting that the incumbent Republicans in two of those seats leading for re-election:

If Democratic efforts to turn these traditionally-Democratic seats come up short, the key races like the ongoing battle between Mick Mulvaney and John Spratt will become even more crucial to the battle for control of the House in November.

Congrats to Wes Donehue!

When Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted at President Obama during an address to a joint session of Congress, a beefed up online presence became an overnight necessity for Wilson. In the aftermath of “You lie,” Wesley Donehue helped Wilson raise more than $2 million in just two weeks as Democratic activists led by and ActBlue started successfully raising money online for Wilson’s challenger. Despite facing an initial fundraising deficit, the Republican caught up, surpassing the online haul Democrats were able to generate. “I really have grown to love the tech stuff,” says Donehue, who also helped build Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) online presence into one of the largest for a sitting Republican Senator.

Donehue says fellow Republican new media consultant David All introduced him to the emerging technical side of politics while working on Republican Mike Bouchard’s 2006 Senate campaign.

At 30, Donehue just opened Donehue Direct, his own consulting firm with a focus on new media and technology. “You tend to see a lot of Internet guys with just Internet backgrounds,” says Donehue. “But I come from the grassroots and campaign side, so I like to think we offer something more comprehensive.” Based in his home state, Donehue says he’s already had some discussions with potential GOP presidential candidates about that all-important South Carolina primary.

Happy Birthday Chip Limehouse!

Chip Limehouse never seems to get his fair share of time on the blogs, so for his birthday, we're going to give him a little exposure by wishing the Chipster a Happy Birthday!

If you know the guy, be sure to take a moment and wish him a Happy Birthday.

Chip, in case you're reading this, here's some cake for ya!

Smells like team spirit

It's always nice when your friends have your back in difficult times:

I think a lot of the House seats we’re going to lose are those who have been the toughest for the Democrats to pull into line — the Democrats that have been the most difficult.

- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Chair, Energy and Commerce Committee

Al Gore comes out of the metal closet?

Finally unhindered by his wife Tipper's 25-year-long household ban on violent and sexually explicit music, former vice president Al Gore, 62, reportedly embraced his newfound independence this week by listening to the albums of the heavy metal band W.A.S.P.

"For the first time in decades, I get to play the kind of music I like without someone nagging me about what a bad influence it is," said Gore, sitting on the floor of his living room as he cued up the song "Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)" on his stereo. "And I get to crank it up as loud as I want."

"These guys are kicking some serious ass," added the two-term U.S. Senator. "Check out this guitar break coming up—it's nasty."

Gore, who was prohibited from hearing music with graphic sex, violence, or drug references since Tipper founded the Parents Music Resource Center in 1985, confirmed yesterday that her crusade was "total bullcrap." In addition, Gore said that listening to the forbidden W.A.S.P. albums over and over again had not turned him into a satanic dope fiend as his wife and her associates had warned.

Happy Birthday & Happy Birthday

Today, the Blogland is going to celebrate two special occasions: the fifth anniversary of the Blogland and my daughter Bonnie's twelfth birthday.

Of course, yours truly acts younger and less mature than either of the two.

We'll be celebrating at the Sly Fox, hanging out with two of South Carolina's sharpest and coolest politicos - Democrat Phil Bailey and Republican Wes Donehue - for another episode of Pub Politics, which is the most happening and informative program about South Carolina politics.

You should be there, and if you want additional exposure for your candidate or business, talk with Phil and Wes about sponsoring an episode of the program. The equipment and expertise to air this program isn't cheap - but it is cheaper than picking up my bar tab.

Tomorrow: Pub Politics and two Birthdays

Tomorrow, the Blogland will be celebrating two birthdays when the Blogland turns five and my daughter Bonnie turns twelve.

To mark the occasion, we'll be hanging out at the Sly Fox to watch a live broadcast of Pub Politics, THE place to go to find out what's going on in South Carolina politics.

If you're in the Midlands tomorrow evening, you really should go check out what he's doing. The Phil and Wes show starts at 6pm.

What's with the Blue Moon? Thanks to sitting in on the show and hanging out at the Sly Fox, we've gotten hooked on Blue Moon, the new unofficial offical beer of the Blogland.

New allegations surface about House Majority Leader?

We're trying to confirm some reports we've received about Rep. Kenny Bingham (R-Lexington), the House Majority Leader.  However, it's tough getting sources to go on record with us.

However, we do want to let you know that the sources we've spoken with have reported to us that today is his 38th birthday.

Since we can't confirm the details, it may be best to just wish the guy a Happy Birthday today.

J.C. Hammer plays the race card - again

Looks like J.C. Hammer ... ummm ... Congressman Jim Clyburn ... can't help but inject race into ongoing ethics investigations at Capitol Hill:

Two long-time African American U.S. House members, Charlie Rangel of New York and Maxine Waters of California, are facing pending ethics trials. In total eight African American members of Congress have been targeted for investigation since 2009. Appearing on MSNBC Monday, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina was asked if he thought black congressmen were being unfairly targeted. Leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus has suggested that they were.
Seriously, we think a real ethics investigation would likely snag dozens of Congressmen faster than Clyburn could say "you can't touch this". But before Clyburn wants to talk high-and-mighty about the ethics of public officials, maybe he should ask one of his employees who he hired right out of federal prison:

Ed Clements campaign disclosures: Mo' problems, no money

Looks like Ed Clements, the Democratic 12th Circuit Solicitor, is having all sorts of problems with his campaign finance reports.

On Monday, we talked about how he's listing his office as his campaign address on his disclosure reports, but like the TV commericals likes to say: "But wait! There's more!"

Not only did we find his campaign finance reports for 2010 filed with 2007 reports, but we found another big problem with his finance reports - his opponent, former federal prosecutor Rose Mary Parham, is outright smoking him in the money race in the race.

Which might explain why those reports were uploaded to where nobody could find them. As many a veteran trial lawyer will tell you, hide the facts you don't want uncovered and hope nobody asks questions.

But in the Blogland, we LOVE to ask questions.

Robert Barber HAD a posse?

Last week saw the results of a massive cockfighting sting operation as three people were sentenced to prison for their roles in organizing the fights. A husband and wife in Lexington County were sent to prison for their roles in leading major cockfighting rings. Pelion natives, Wayne and Sheri Hutto, were sentenced to a year in prison and given a $3,000 fine for running one operation.

One day later, Buster Moore of Andrews was given a 21-month sentence for leading a ring in Williamsburg County that was tracked by undercover agents for almost a year. Twenty other people received either probation, fines or both for their parts in the illegal sport. Most of those sentenced were referees or money collectors. The existence of the two rings was revealed by Attorney General Henry McMaster in December.

What we want to know is how many of these people knew Robert Barber, who was once hired to lobby for cockfighting interests?

If Robert has - or had - a posse in the cockfighting world, odds are it's a little smaller now.

Ed Clements: More Hazzard County-style politics on the job

12th Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements just doesn't seem to know where to draw the line between his job and politics. The way we see it, he's starting to look like the Pee Dee's own version of Boss Hogg.

Though we're sure that the folks of Florence and Marion Counties wouldn't be too pleased to see how he does campaign business on the clock.

A while back, FITSNews busted him using his county-issued vehicle for blatant campaign purposes. Then we find that he's even using his office for campaign activities.

What is the proper way to do CPR?

As a Red Cross instructor who teaches CPR and First Aid for my employees, as well as community safety classes, I've been asked quite a few times about my opinion about the "Compression Only" approach to performing CPR upon those in cardiac arrest.

Current Red Cross CPR instruction calls for those rendering aid to give repeating cycles of two breaths, followed by thirty chest compressions. This is intended to force oxygen into the body, then circulate it by working the heart, and should be performed until either an AED device can be deployed or professional rescue personnel can be arrived.

In a memo sent out this week, the Red Cross advised that it could not endorse the use of no-breathing CPR in the place of standard CPR, based upon a lack of sufficient research to validate this new approach: