"Operation Chaos" taking toll on Democratic Prez race?

In the past, all you needed to fight the forces of Kaos were Agents 86 and 99. One call on the shoe phone, and your problems would be solved by the end of the hour.

This time, the forces of Chaos are on the loose, and the Agents 86 (Hillary Clinton) and 99 (Barack Obama) seem hard-pressed to stop their latest conspiracy - to help the Democrats nominate the most-vulnerable candidate for President.

Reportedly a growing wave of GOP crossover voting in Democratic Presidential primaries is being egged on by conservative talk show hosts hoping to see the weakest Democrat win the nomination. This effort has jokingly been dubbed "Operation Chaos" by Rush Limbaugh:

As if Democrats didn't have enough problems deciding upon their presidential nominee this year, now they must contend with the possibility that Republicans are deliberately crossing party lines to prolong the bitterly contested race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In recent weeks, conservative talk radio stars Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham have urged loyal listeners to vote for the much-despised Clinton in open Democratic primaries so as to prevent Obama from sealing the nomination, and there are some indications that their calls have already been heeded in states like Texas and Mississippi.

According to this story on the Time website...

The first clue that Republicans might be making this kind of mischief came in the crucial Texas primary on March 4, a contest that most observers claimed Clinton had to win - along with Ohio - to keep alive her hopes for the nomination. Dave Mann, a political writer for the progressive Texas Observer, was driving to Fort Worth on that primary day when he heard various callers to the Laura Ingraham radio show claiming they had followed her and Limbaugh's call. One even admitted he would now have to go to confession and repent his sins.

In both Ohio and Texas, Republicans and independents were a higher percentage of the votes than in other states ... in Texas and Ohio the two Democrats split the Republican/independent vote. "The Hillary Republicans cost Obama Texas," Mann said. The Mississippi results a week later confirmed the trend. "There was a complete reversal," Mann said, and Obama was now losing Republicans and independents two to one to Clinton.

We're not sure how much of an impact these crossover efforts are having, but if Barack Obama's post-Wright polling plunge continues, a lot of Republicans might have to start switching their support from Clinton to Obama. If these efforts are real and widespread, today's Republicans might make Pennsylvania as costly and bloody a fight for today's Democrats as a past generation of Republicans made it for Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy.

In any event, it's an interesting theory to mull over. At least if you're a Republican. If you're a Democrat, the ramifications may not be very funny at all.

Conspiracy or not a conspiracy? That is the question that we present to you, our Blogland readers this evening ... so sound off and let us know what YOU think.

Barack Obama: A question of candor, not of race

It’s no secret that my first wife was black. From that, I’ve become keenly aware of issues related to race. I’ve become hyper-sensitive to people’s attitudes regarding race, both through what they say and how they behave. But I’ve also seen how much progress we’ve made on those issues.

For some time, I’ve picked up on the coded language used by the Barack Obama campaign that has sought to drag the issue of race back into our political discourse, to use it as a tool to divide, with the hopes of conquering. The race-baiting that is very much a part of the tactics and messages of the Obama campaign hit me when an Obama supporter challenged me with “I know your Republican friends can’t stand the idea of a black President”.

I don’t know what shocked me more: the way she casually wielded the lie that Republicans are racists, or her poor attempt to insinuate that I would, as the parent of a daughter whose mother is black, swallow my pride and condescend to keep company with bigots who would hate my daughter.

The feeling was the same sort of disgusted and sickened feeling as I’ve felt when someone would ask me “how could you go to bed with one of those …” after seeing my oldest daughter or learning that my first wife’s ancestors came from Africa.

As shocking as that statement was, it wasn’t the last time I’ve heard it from an Obama supporter. Others have heard it too. That’s scary.

When I hear people making comments which are, in Senator Obama’s words, “divisive, wrong, and distorted”, I distance myself from them and anything they’re involved with – and quickly. I do this out of respect for my daughter, my friends, my neighbors, my co-workers, and for myself. I do this because if we want to root out intolerance in our society, we can have no tolerance for those who express hate and divisiveness.

This week, we’ve heard much about Barack Obama’s pastor – a man we’ve come to know as Reverend Wright. We’ve become all too familiar with the hatred, the anger, and the divisiveness that he embraces and shares with those who look to him for moral and spiritual guidance. We’ve also become aware that Barack Obama can and will tolerate and respect such points of view.

If my pastor said those sorts of things, you can bet I’d walk out, and not come back. Most of you, regardless of color, creed and political affiliation, would do the same.

But not Barack Obama.

Instead of issuing an explanation, or better yet an apology for tolerating such views, we are given a speech about the problem of racism in America. In this speech, Obama’s rhetorical tactics are the same as always – create a problem, drive a wedge, stir up animosities, and then proclaim that only his snake oil can cure what ails us – while denying the very real problems that he has failed to address. If we are willing to buy into his view of a society that is divided into rich and poor, black and white, elite and all the rest – views which are espoused by both Obama and the good Reverend Wright – only then does Obama’s campaign rhetoric make sense.

But if we look beyond the soaring words and see his blatant record of partisanship in the Senate, his shallow political resume, and yes, who he keeps close company with, we are presented with many unanswered questions about who Barack Obama really is, and what he really has to offer.

That we should be left with so many crucial questions and so few answers about someone so close to the Presidency should be troubling.

Seeing Obama refuse to disown the beliefs expressed by his pastor, while embracing the man who expressed them and the church which serves as a platform for such divisive language, suggests either a lack of honesty and candor, or worse yet, a lack of courage.

Whether you find him dishonest or cowardly in how he has handled Reverend Wright, such a man is not fit to be President of the United States.

Don't tell me words don't matter

NHale Video has an interesting take on Barack Obama, in his words and those of his wife and pastor. We think this video pretty much speaks for itself, so we're just going to present it without additional commentary.

Well ... ok ... dammit. Ever since we heard Obama's pastor spit out the "ridin' dirty" remark, the song "Dirty Weapons" by the Killer Dwarves has been stuck in our freakin' heads:

Aahhhhhh ... much better now.

The thugs of Tibet

Two generations ago, China's revolutionary goons stormed into Tibet and took it over, ironically renaming it an "autonomous region". Back in 1989, Chinese thugs swarmed into Tianenmen Square to crush democratic protests.

With the Beijing Olympics soon to begin in their nation, the Chinese government is trying to put on a kinder, gentler facade for the world to see, hoping the world will forget their past record. But those pesky troublemakers in Tibet had to rise up and start protesting. When pushed by the government, who declared a "People's War" against the protestors, they started rioting.

We support restoring independence to Tibet, so of course, we support those standing up to the government thugs who've taken over their nation.

Fight the power. We're with you all the way.

Tornadoes in the Lowcountry

Taking an evening off with the little one to chase BBQ, we ended up chasing something very different - tornadoes.

After getting BBQ in Moncks Corner and waiting the storms out, we decided to head back towards Goose Creek down the old Highway 52. The weather news broadcasts had warned that the worst of the storm line had just moved across Berkeley County, and they were right.

As we reached the railroad overpass in the Strawberry area, several trees were in the road. Donning reflective safety gear and putting on flashers and strobes, I left the little one in the car as I worked to get most of the trees out of the road, and wrapped the one I couldn't in bright yellow Caution tape so it would stand out better for oncoming traffic.

While standing there on the embankment, it was easy to see the effects of the tornado which had crossed through the Strawberry trailer park. Several trailers were clearly destroyed, and emergency vehicles were scattered throughout the park.

While pulling down the trees, county Coroner Glenn Rhoad passed through, already on the scene to help if needed. A quick call to Senator Paul Campbell to apprise him of what we'd seen was met with promises to help out however he could.

These two were definitely Johnnies-on-the-Spot for the people of Berkeley County, and so were a lot of rescue and emergency personnel. Such people were the silver lining to tonight's dark clouds, and they deserve the thanks of the people of Berkeley County.

Moye Graham for 6th District GOP delegate

Those of you who are planning to attend the upcoming 6th Congressional District GOP convention have something important to do: Vote for Moye Graham.

Moye is running for the National Convention Delegate seat from the 6th District, and we’re proud to support him.

Moye is a Blogland favorite. In his traveling work assignments, we can always count on him to visit the Blogland and add his thoughts and wits to the latest postings, no matter what continent he may be on.

He’s a Pee Dee native from Greeleyville in Williamsburg County, and he’s presently the 1st Vice-Chairman of the Clarendon County GOP. Moye has been a hard-core GOP trooper in a region where there are few Republicans, and even fewer GOP victories. But win or lose, Moye is the kind of trooper who will, come hell or high water, be there to fight the good fight. All the way down to putting up signs and walking precincts.

This is a guy you can always count on. In choosing a delegate, such reliability and loyalty is indispensible.

“I’m not in it for me,” he told us. “It’s often a cliché, but I mean it. I want to make sure we put our best possible foot forward this year and lay a foundation for my grandchildren.”

The Blogland is only as good as our audience, and Moye is one of the most outstanding members of that audience. In fact, we consider him, like all of our fans, family. If you enjoy reading what you see here, we recommend you “shop our advertisers”, so to speak.

Your vote for Moye Graham at the 6th District GOP convention is a great way to do it.

What would YOU do with $4300?

While we may not always know who the Governor of New York was sleeping with, we're willing to bet that after spending $4300 on a female other than his wife, he's probably sleeping in the doghouse these days.

We in the Blogland have to ask ourselves a couple of questions, such as ... "was it worth it?" ... and "I know what I can probably get for $50 or $100, but wow, what does four THOUSAND dollars get me?!?".

Since it's a good enough question for us to ponder, we figure it might be a good one to share with our readers. So we're going to ask our readers to put themselves in Elliot Spitzer's place (ok, well ... but not in his bed, even if he's paying those who get in it rather well) ... and answer today's Blogland Reader Quiz:

"What would YOU do

with $4,300?"

... because we'd rather not want to know what you'd do FOR the money!

"What you do for money honey" - AC/DC

My last exam

Today (Wednesday) is my final exam of graduate school - a two-hour oral comprehensive exam, with just me and three professors. No study guide, no review notes ... nothing but me, my scrambled wits and my big mouth.

Y'all wish me luck and say a prayer for me.

Ten years and four months (Re-elect Larry Grooms)

In the fall of 1997, we first met Larry Grooms when we were shuttling back and forth to Walterboro, spending several weeks to help him campaign in a special election against then-incumbent Democrat Dewitt Williams.

In a district that had a 42% black population, Larry proved everyone wrong when he toppled Williams.

Three years later, it was a hell of a ride when he decided to run for re-election in a Democratic district. The Senate, which had a two-vote Democratic majority, was headed for a GOP takeover, with Danny Verdin polling ahead to take a Democratic seat in Laurens County. That is if Larry could hold on.

By 10 p.m on Election Night, all but Larry’s seat had been called, and we were waiting. It was almost 2 am when the final votes were in, and Larry had won by 800 votes. Combined with GOP Lt. Governor Bob Peeler, six generations of Democratic rule was over.

Again, in the toughest of districts, Larry walked away tired, bruised, in debt in the worst way, but still a winner. Even more importantly – the man who put the GOP in charge in the Senate. Four years later, when Bush got 50% in Larry’s district, he got 64%. He later became Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.

Ten years and four months later, Larry Grooms has done quite well in the Senate.

In talking with him the other day, he seemed ready for a fight:

“I’ve got the best district ever, with ten or more new subdivisions since my last election. For the first time ever, I’ve got a positive balance in my campaign account, with over a $100,000 on hand.”

When Larry’s opponents had all the advantages, they couldn’t beat him. Now, it's hard to imagine how they can beat him.

Ten years and four months later, he’s still our best friend in the Senate. We hope his voters look back on how far he’s come, as well as how much he’s accomplished, and give him a well-deserved fourth term in office.

He’s earned it.

Inside Interview: Nikki Haley

With grad school in its final six weeks, and the big oral comprehensive exam coming up on Wednesday, it's probably a good idea to step back a bit and focus on trying to get graduated.

Today's contribution to the Blogland is our Inside Interview with Lexington County State Rep. Nikki Haley.

Her political career got started in the most unusual of ways when she toppled former Rep. Larry Koon, who was then the longest-serving member of the State House with over thirty years' service. Nowadays, she is considered by many to be a rising star and one of the more outspoken conservatives in the House, where she is wrapping up her second term.

According to her bio on her website:

Born in Bamberg, S.C., Nikki graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. degree in accounting. She currently serves as Chief Financial Officer for her family’s clothing company, Exotica International, Inc. Nikki also currently serves on the board of directors for the Lexington Medical Foundation, Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church Medmission, and the Lexington County Meth Taskforce. She is a member of the Lexington County Chamber of Commerce, Lexington Rotary Club, National Association of Women Business Owners, West Metro Republican Women, Lexington County Republican Party and the NRA.

Not only that, but she's also a regular Blogland reader, which means she's pretty cool in our book.

Recently, she decided to sit down and take a few questions from us ... so let's see what she had to say for herself ...

Q - What have been your biggest accomplishments as a legislator?

1. My hope is that I have given a stronger voice to small businesses and working people across this state. I believe in the value of a dollar and consistently work to fight against wasteful spending in Columbia. We should stretch tax-dollars as much as we can. We live by a budget in our home, and it’s time we started doing the same in the State House. I have been a consistent voice on that front for the past three years.

2. Small business owners are unsung heroes in this state that we should appreciate for all that they contribute to our economy. I worked towards true workers comp reform in this state last year to level the playing field by allowing for more accountability and fairness in the system. The workers comp reform we passed lifts an unfair burden from small business owners and helps them create new jobs for our families.

3. We heard the cries from the coast as we watched families losing their homes due to the rising costs of insurance. I worked on coastal insurance reform. We were able to maintain a healthy market while allowing relief to coastal residents to protect their homes and their wallets.

I continue to believe those three issues alone helped improve the quality of life for residents across the state, and I was proud to participate on those fronts.

Q - Your first race was considered a long-shot against a long-time incumbent, but you prevailed anyway. To what would you attribute your win? What did you learn from that race?

That race will always serve as a reminder to me of the goodness of people. The residents of District 87 respected and appreciated the service of the incumbent who had been in office for thirty years; however they allowed me the opportunity to talk about what I would bring to the table that would be different. It was a long and hard race.

More than anything it taught me that even when races go negative, people are smart enough to see through that. My promise to the people of District 87 was that the work ethic that they saw from me in the 2004 race would be the same that I would show if given the opportunity to represent them at the Statehouse. I have worked to keep that promise, and hope that I have made them proud.

Q - Which issues are priorities for you and/or your District?

Priorities in spending and tax relief will always be important to me. Road funding is becoming more crucial given that our roads and bridges are among the worst in the country. Growing districts like mine struggle with traffic needs and maintaining the growth of the area without sacrificing quality of life.

Small business health care reform is also important. We need to work harder to allow business owners to offer employee benefits so that they can maintain their competitiveness with larger corporations.

Education reform is also important so that all children across this state have the same opportunities as the children who live in Lexington District 1.

Q - What do you see as issues which aren’t being addressed, but should be?

I don't think that enough emphasis is being put on our tax structure in this state. It has been piece-mealed for years and we are starting to pay the price. Tax reform on all levels will continue to be an issue I care about and work on. Small business issues are key to the economic strength of South Carolina. Whether it is allowing them to be competitive in benefits, to workers comp reform, to tax relief I think that government continues to take for granted small businesses that work so hard to be productive and contribute to our state's economy.

Q - Do you have any thoughts about bloggers and other “new media” outlets?

I think that bloggers have become an interesting dynamic in the world of politics. They have the ability to be unfiltered in a way that the mainstream media can't. Dialogue in a way that allows people to get involved and express themselves is a great way to encourage people to realize their voice as it pertains to government. I think the most valuable part of the blogosphere is the fact that they are showing people the power of their voice and how they can influence those that represent them in government.

Q - What are your plans for 2008?

My hope each year is to be a better person. I want to be a better wife, mom, daughter, friend, business person and legislator. I try to learn from my mistakes and make each year better than the one before it. I have a need to feel that I am contributing to the quality of life of those around me in some way. My goal continues to be to let the people of South Carolina know that I am here for them and that hopefully I can make their lives a little better for it through my service.

Q - As you know, music is a big part of what we talk about in the Blogland. What’s your favorite album and/or artist?

My musical tastes are all across the board. Music is an outlet for me so I am always listening to something different. Currently in my disc changer I have cds by John Mayer, the Killers, Snow Patrol, Hinder, Plain White T's and Lenny Kravitz. I love the 80s and will listen to an 80s station every chance I get. I can't say that I have a favorite at the moment. My music reflects my mood, so often it depends on the day!

... wonder what we might get on a bad day? Black Sabbath?

Seriously folks, this is a great interview and we appreciate Nikki taking the time to share it with us.

Going to Rock Hill?

If you're going to Rock Hill or York from Columbia, you probably use State Route 901 after exiting from Interstate 77. If so, look for U.S. Group to begin work on it's first York County project: the widening of 901 from Interstate 77 to Heckle Boulevard.

This project, funded by York County's Pennies for Progress program, will complete a long-overdue full four-lane southern bypass around Rock Hill, allowing travelers heading to York and points west of Rock Hill without having to fight city traffic or two-lane roads.

If you'd like to keep up with this project's progress ... yep, I'm running the project website at www.901Construction.com.

February 2008: The Month in Review

Here in the Blogland, February 2008 will be remembered as the month we had order in the courtroom and feudin' over breakfast.

We congratulated our state's newest judges, including three who were endorsed by the Blogland, and then stood by fellow Republicans in Berkeley County who resisted an attempt by that county's Party chair to take the club over and muzzle his critics.

The Chairman in question later hinted at a libel lawsuit, complaining that the Blogland was "putting this out all over the state", once he found we were pumping out steady updates on the situation. But that's the amazing thing about new media - it can reach far and wide ... and fast too.

We'll be waiting to hear from his attorneys.

On February 5th, we celebrated turning 37 (and worked an 11 hour day), but for the Presidential candidates, it was Stupor Tuesday. John McCain got the best present anyone could have asked for that day - all but wrapping up his bid for the GOP Presidential nomination. All Obama and Hillary got to open that day was cans of whoop-ass - and they've been opening them up on each other ever since.

With Lent approaching, we talked a little religion and told the story of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and our priest decided to speak up as well. But to be balanced, we had to give an old Rush album a plug as well.

As the month came to a close, it was off to Washington, D.C. for the annual National Association of Workforce Boards conference. We met Newt Gingrich there, and did a little bit of sightseeing as well.

State Representative Phil Shoopman decided to run for the Senate and Rep. Carl Gullick was our first endorsee of the 2008 election cycle.

All in all, it was a busy month. In fact, it was our busiest, as the first month with 40 postings. I guess we had a lot to say, but no matter what - if y'all weren't out there making the news, we wouldn't be here talking about it.

But now, let's talk about the most important people in the Blogland: OUR READERS.

Which postings got you talking the most?
1) Chicago '68 or Goose Creek '08?
2) Arnette's search for "Mo Money" finds just pocket change
3) Just desserts for the "Mount Pleasant Ten"
4) Berkeley GOP chair a sore loser?
5) Another attempt to hijack breakfast club?
6) Obama Comedown Syndrome
7) RSVP: Earl's Graduation Party & Roast
8) It's my birthday
9) Berkeley coup attempt fails
10) Congrats to our newest state judges

Which postings did you read the most?
1) We deliver the shocking truth about Carl Gullick
2) Congrats to our newest state judges
3) Just desserts for the "Mount Pleasant Ten"
4) Berkeley coup attempt fails
5) Chicago '68 or Goose Creek '08?
6) Parole Alert: Brian Nelson
7) Sometimes they don't get away with it
8) Arnette's search for "Mo Money" finds just pocket change
It's my birthday
10) Stupor Tuesday is over

... another interesting month gone by. Let's see how much fun March is gonna be around here!

Stupor Tuesday 2: Homey don't play that

The first Stupor Tuesday came and went. What did we get? A prolonged Democratic Presidential race.

A month later comes Stupor Tuesday 2 ... and we don't have a Democratic nominee. Once again, Clinton pulled a last-minute reversal and stalled Obama's momentum, giving us yet another continuance on the Democratic race.

That's what happened last night, when Clinton finally found her footing, turned to fight and locked her claws into Obama's mushy, substance-free candidacy, winning Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas, leaving the first-term Senator with just one insignificant win in just the bluest-of-the-blue state of Vermont.

Obama's latest setbacks have much to do with the fact that Hillary and the news media finally realized that Obama's candidacy, chock full of hype and bumper-sticker feel-good quotes that had hidden his lack of a political record, was long overdue for some critical examination. So they decided to ask some tough questions, and in doing so, caught Obama's campaign off-guard in the last few days before the primaries, just as it was making critical headway in both Ohio and Texas.

In addition to polling which had shown that Obama's momentum had stalled in the final week, exit polling of Ohio voters has indicated that late-deciders, those who make up their minds in the closing days of a race, broke for Clinton with a 20 point lead, while those who had been decided for a week or more only gave her a 10 point lead.

While Clinton's eleventh-hour stand allowed her to live to fight another day, we've seen these last minute reversals before, both in New Hampshire and in the mixed showings of Stupor Tuesday 1. In neither situation did her campaign take advantage of those moments to reverse the momentum of the overall race. So far, we've seen nothing to suggest that what happened last night was any different.

The results from her wins on Stupor Tuesday 2, not counting the outcome of the Texas caucuses, gave Clinton a net gain of about 36 delegates, making Obama's razor-thin lead of several dozen delegates even smaller.

With Indiana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania left as the only sizable Democratic primaries, it is hard to see how either Clinton or Obama can win the overwhelming share of the remaining delegates needed to win a majority of delegates. Therefore, the race may well continue to devolve into an expensive, bloody, and divisive slugfest that may not be settled until the Democratic convention ... or until the last lawsuit over Florida and Michigan delegates is settled. Whichever comes last.

The lesson to be learned from Stupor Tuesday 2 is this: There are still some voters who won't be fooled with some slick song-and-dance routines ... just like our friend Homey the Clown. Homey don't play that, and on Stupor Tuesday 2, neither did a lot of Democratic voters in Ohio, Rhode Island, and Texas.

Which brings us to today's question: "Is Michelle Obama still proud of her country?" ... or will she not love us any more after her husband got his tail kicked?

Conflicts of interest?

Recently, we've seen some discussion about bloggers who cross their work with their blogging.

Rest assured, it's not the first time some blogger has accused another of mixing blogging as a form of news media with blogging as a form of paid advertising. Inevitably, such situations risk creating the appearance of conflicts of interest ... but even worse, they confuse the heck out of people, making them wonder who is backing who, who is paying who, and what is the real agenda of a given blogsite.

All we want to know about Columbia is who will pick up our bar tab when we're in town?

Seriously, folks ... it's one thing to have an opinion, support a candidate or an issue and use your blogsite to express that support. It's another to use your blog as paid advertising for candidates and issues. But either way, it's a free country, and we figure most people are smart enough to take what they read with a grain of salt.

Either way, as long as people know where the bottom line is, there's no harm done.

To help cut down on potential conflicts, we made it an early point to avoid discussion of SCDOT-related issues. Why? Because our employer is a construction general contractor who does a lot of business with the state. We could share our opinions about issues related to the SCDOT, or even local sales tax referenda over county-funded road programs, but we're pretty sure what we said would come across as biased and insincere.

In the case of issues such as requiring that bituminous curbing be used under guardrails on elevated shoulders or the benefits of using cement stabilization with full-depth reclamation of rural dirt roads ... such discussion would come across as biased, insincere ... as well as really darned boring.

We understand that some political bloggers also work in the political realm for a living, and as such, may have a vested interest in speaking out in favor of issues and candidates. While we disagree with those who believe their employment disqualifies them from being able to speak (and blog), we do believe that it's fair that you know who we are and where we're coming from.

This should go for those who work in politics and government, as well as those (like the Blogland) who are private citizens who enjoy sounding off about those subjects.

Remembering #161253

Number 161253 was the number given to Pincus Kolender when he was in Auschwitz. It was the number he carried with him for the rest of his life, tattooed on his arm.

Tomorrow, he will be buried with that number. His funeral will be tomorrow at 11 a.m. (Sunday) in Brith Sholom Beth Israel's Maryville cemetery.

When World War II came to Poland, Pincus Kolender was a teenager. He watched his mother shot by German soliders and survived captivity in Auschwitz. When the war ended, his entire family - parents and siblings - were dead, victims of Nazi atrocities.

Having escaped while en route to another death camp, he escaped and was liberated by American soldiers. Five years later, as an American citizen, he was in uniform as a solider serving in the United States Army.

While many survivors were content to put the past behind and attempt to resume some degree of normalcy, Kolender spoke about his experiences whenever he could around the Lowcountry.

Thanks to Pincus Kolender, thousands bore personal witness to the reality of the Holocaust. The light of his life, which he shared with us, shone far brighter than the darkness of the atrocities of the Nazi regime.

We are forever grateful that he had the courage to bear witness of what he endured, to remind us of the evil that men can do. Let us hope that these lessons are not forgotten.

Witherspoon, 9th Circuit Solicitor candidates visit Berkeley GOP breakfast club

Today's meeting of the Berkeley County Republican Breakfast Club was far more quiet than last month's meeting.

In spite of reports that Berkeley GOP Chairman Wade Arnette might come to apologize for his attempted takeover, as well as false allegations of financial mishandling by the breakfast club's chair, Arnette did not show up at the meeting. Other Arnette close allies who had been breakfast club regulars, including Wayland Moody, Bill Fennell and Bob Ashby, were not at the meeting.

Even without their presence, the turnout was one of the group's largest in years, with over 100 attendees turning out for a heapin' helping of grits, eggs, and political rhetoric.

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Buddy Witherspoon addressed the audience, calling the incumbent Republican Senator "too liberal for South Carolina".

Republican Solicitor candidates
Blair Jennings and Scarlett Wilson addressed the audience. Jennings discussed the record of the Berkeley County Solicitor's Office, where he reduced the backlog of cases to much lower than Charleston County, which Wilson managed before being appointed Solicitor by Governor Sanford.

Many of their answers to other questions produced little tension and considerable agreement between the candidates, including the handling of the "Mount Pleasant Ten" and the recent firing of an assistant solicitor accused with waving a gun at a motorists.

There was brief discussion from the three GOP candidates running for House District 117, being vacated by Rep. Thomas Dantzler - Bill Crosby, Tim Scott, and Wheeler Tillman, as well as long-time GOP activist Zonda Powell, who announced her candidacy for the Berkeley County School Board.