Domino's employees flunk IQ test with YouTube video

People are often warned to be careful what they post online. Yesterday, news coverage examined how two now-former Domino's employees from Conover, NC learned this lesson the hard way:

As cooking videos go, this one was a recipe for trouble.

Two employees of a Catawba County pizza restaurant have been fired and face possible legal action after the pair produced a YouTube video that ... well, wasn't exactly appetizing.

The two, whose identities have not been released but go by the names of Kristy and Michael in the video, said they were employees at a Domino's Pizza establishment in Conover -- until the video surfaced on the Internet, that is.

Now they have been fired, the company says.

The video, which is getting heavy attention by YouTube regulars, is designed as a description of how Domino's pizzas are made. Of course, there's a twist. The video shows the workers picking their noses and sneezing on the food.

This YouTube video shows some moments from the original video, which was pulled from YouTube:

(Thanks to Adam Fogle at the Palmetto Scoop for providing a link to the actual video.

Teaching at UNC Greensboro

I'll be at UNC-Greensboro as a guest lecturer to teach classes today and tomorrow, talking about the effects of new media upon contemporary political culture, so the Blogland is going to take a couple of days off. I've gotten to know some of their faculty through the regional academic association, they invited me to come up, and much to the delight of my students at CofC - who get the week off from class - I accepted their invitation.

I'll be back in town Friday and then heading down to Bluffton on Saturday to teach classes for their local Red Cross chapter. Until I'm back, please feel free to talk amonst yourselves, but please, no wild parties while I'm gone.

Blogland to back Supreme Court candidate?

The Blogland has begun speaking with members of the state Bar to solicit their thoughts regarding the three candidates for the state Supreme Court. This information may be used to publish an endorsement of a particular candidate.

Those with opinions and insights regarding the candidates are asked to drop an email to While input from attorneys is important, information will also be accepted from other interested parties, such as law enforcement, victims' advocates and those who have appeared in front of the judges.

The three candidates are also invited to do the standard Q&A that the Blogland regularly does for judicial candidates.

As per standard Blogland policy, all information provided, as well as the identities of those who contact us, will be kept confidential.

Lame Duck Sanford's Last Stand

Governor Sanford's latest stand over accepting federal bailout dollars has mired him in considerable controversy. While state and national Democrats have gone to great lengths to pummel him publicly over his position, the silence from Republican ranks over his position has been nearly unanimous.

While we're sure some of the silence can be attributed to those Republicans of more moderate fiscal outlooks who want the money to continue inflating the state's budget, a lot of the silence and indifference can likely be attributed to the hurt feelings caused by many unethical and abusive acts that Sanford has directed towards many Republican legislators.

Just ask Treasurer Converse Chellis, who was subjected to misleading and hurtful personal attacks as a last-ditch tactic to keep him from being elected Treasurer.

Just ask John Kuhn, who supported more of the Governor's budget veto overrides than any other Senator, only to find a long-time Sanford buddy recruited and supported openly by the Sanford team, including Jenny Sanford herself.

Just ask GOP legislators who were asked to insert Sanford's requests into state budgets, only to watch him line-item veto those items.

Sanford has shown no willingness to work with legislators, but has gone to almost any length to get anyone he disagrees with - even to allowing his political thugs to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed money in a manner reminiscent of the video poker barons Sanford once loudly criticized. This dishonest modus operandi has given more liberal Republicans political cover to ignore the long-overdue need for more budget restraint in Columbia. In the current showdown over the Obama money, it gives Republicans every reason to leave Sanford to fend for himself and no reason whatsoever to go out of their way to help him.

Contrasted to the leadership of the late great Governor Carroll Campbell, who earned bipartisan support for reform initiatives and had Democrats rally to defend him against personal attacks, Sanford's leadership has led him to a dead end where he has few friends and little to show for two terms as Governor. This is far from the standard of reform-minded leadership that he once promised the voters of the state.

VUI & the Anderson storm

The Blogland was informed that fellow blogger Brian McCarty - the Voting Under The Influence dude - was under the weather last night - quite literally. It seems as if the storms that swept the Upstate hammered his part of Anderson County pretty bad. He reported that a couple of family members had damage to their cars and his computer was fried.

He may be offline for a few days. We're sure the Governor's office ain't complaining.

The many lineups of Rob Halford

We've had a lot of complaints about the declining share of Blogland content devoted to discussing music, so we've decided it's time to do something about that ...

There are few acts in the heavy metal scene who have been more enduring or had a greater influence than Judas Priest. Led by Rob Halford, they've been kicking ass and taking names since the mid-1970s. If you've caught them in their recent tours or listened to their two post-Halford reunion albums Angel of Retribution and Nostradamus, you'd agree.

If you don't agree, then you're hopeless.

In addition to being the all-around Metal God and vocalist for Judas Priest, Rob Halford has performed in guest appearances with a number of bands and lineups over the years:

Delivering the goods with Skid Row

Devil's child with Fight and Sebastian Bach (Skid Row)

Grinder with Pantera

NIB with Black Sabbath at Ozzfest 2004

Paranoid, again with Sabbath at Ozzfest

You've got another thing coming with Sum 41 & Tommy Lee

Payoffs in the SCGOP Chair race?

... nope, that's not what we're doing - but we bet that headline got your attention.

The winner of our recent reader appreciation contest where we rewarded our readers by offering them a chance to sound off about what they love - or hate - about the Blogland is none other than now-former SCGOP Chair candidate (and outgoing Spartanburg GOP Chair) Rick Beltram.

  • Rick wins two free nights of hotel accomodations courtesy of the Blogland.
  • Brian McCarty with Voting Under The Influence will have Anthrax mailed to his house.

This isn't the first time we've had contest to give our readers free stuff. Last summer, we gave away a free ticket to the Metal Masters tour, which featured Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Motorhead. In October 2007, we gave away free CDs and books to our readers.

As you can see, we love our readers and want to keep them happy. All the other blogs just talk - but here in the Blogland, we ROCK! For those of you who participated, THANK YOU. For those who didn't, your loss - be sure to play next time!

Ryggs wins Spartanburg GOP Chair in a landslide

Initial reports are that LaDonna Ryggs ousted incumbent Rick Beltram in the race for the Spartanburg GOP Chairmanship. Our sources report that she prevailed by a margin of nearly three to one.

Rick Beltram also withdrew from the SCGOP Chair race, according to this email we received tonight:

I have decided as of April 7th, to withdraw from the SCGOP race. For more information , please call my cell.

We wish to congratulate LaDonna and thank Rick for his years of service to Upstate Republicans.

Charleston Tea Party report

Long-time Berkeley County GOP activist Bryan Keelin is helping to organize what we've been told is a big-big Tea Party for the Lowcountry on April 15:

The Charleston Tea Party w/Jim DeMint
Also Keith Malinak from 94.3 WSC & Rocky D from WTMA 1250

Tax Day - April 15, 2009
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Old Customs House in Downtown Charleston
200 East Bay Street

You can find out more by visiting their website:

Wes Donehue & Internet phone banking

Since neither he, nor his boss, are running for the office of SCGOP Chair, Wes hits another valid point about how the SCGOP is NOT using technology:

The South Carolina Victory program has always centered on regional phone banks located in the most populated areas of the state. While traditional phone banking should continue, we must begin utilizing technology and connecting areas of the state without phone banks. We must also give volunteer opportunities to those who want to help but cannot while phone banks are open. The answer lies with new online phone banking technology.

Studies show that the majority of Americans have a computer in their home. We now have the technology to recruit, organize, and activate home volunteer phone bankers. It’s actually very simple. The SCGOP must create a new system that lets us upload lists and scripts. Volunteers would simply log on to the website and make calls while sitting in front of their computer. Results from the calls would be entered directly back into the computer and reported back to the SCGOP headquarters in real time.

Volunteers could have the option to call voters in their area, but they could also log on and help campaigns in other areas. For example, currently we are in an off-election year, but there is a special election for Statehouse going on in Cherokee County. A Democrat held the seat up until his recent passing, but now Republicans have a chance to pick up the seat. This technology would allow voters in Charleston, Columbia, and even Myrtle Beach to make volunteer calls into Cherokee County to help the party pick up a new seat.

His blog write-up makes an excellent point, which is why you should read it - especially if you are one of two people who are planning to be the next SCGOP Chair.

Looking at 2010 AG race prospects

  • Trey Gowdy from Spartanburg County, 7th Circuit Solicitor,
  • Jim Harrison from Richland County, current House Judiciary Chair,
  • Ken Wingate from Richland County, former Interim State Treasurer and '02 Guv candidate,
  • Alan Wilson from Lexington County, former 11th Circuit prosecutor and son of Congressman Joe Wilson,
  • Walt Wilkins from Greenville County, current US Attorney for South Carolina, and
  • David Pascoe, from Calhoun County, current 1st Circuit Solicitor and the only Democrat on this list (though he enjoys close relations with many Republicans in his circuit).
All in all, this is a pretty impressive list of potential candidates. A number of them have experience in the political arena, which would help them wage candidacies.

One name that we've heard speculation over is one of our favorites - Rock Hill Republican Tommy Pope. Pope was elected 16th Circuit Solicitor in 1992 and stepped down mid-term in 2006. Best known for his prosecution of Susan Smith, he has one of the most aggressive prosecution records, rivaling his former mentor Midlands Solicitor Donnie "Doctor Death" Meyers, as well as a high-energy, hands-on approach to campaigning in past races.

Tommy Pope would, like the others mentioned on VUI, be a strong contender and we'd encourage him to look at entering the race.

If some or all of these candidates enter the race, look for it to be a non-stop race from start to finish in November of next year.

James Island High School, Class of 89 reunion event

Those of you who know me know that I didn't finish high school twenty years ago. For a lot of reasons which don't need to be rehashed here - or anywhere else - I didn't finish high school, instead opting for the sometimes-painful "long road" of a GED and college as a non-traditional student.

If I had done stayed in school (which I wish I would have done), I would have graduated with James Island High School's Class of 1989. While I'm not sure I'd be remembered - or liked - by many, I had at least a few friends among this bunch back in the day, and I hope they all have a good time at the event.

As a lot of Blogland readers are in, or from, the Lowcountry, if you are one of these people, or know someone who might be, have them visit the 20th reunion website:

If this is of interest to you or someone you know, then mark the calendar for their upcoming reunion event:

DATE: Saturday, July 11, 2009
Place: Sheraton Hotel North Charleston Convention Center,
4770 Goer Drive, Charleston, SC 29406
Time: 6-11 PM (6-7 PM Check-in & cocktail hour
7-7:15 Short program, 7:15-8 PM Dinner then dancing
Dress: Casual Cocktail

... it's almost enough to justify a trip down to James Island to check out my old locker:

Yeah ... welllllll ... don't ask. There were a lot of reasons I didn't finish high school and leave it at that.

Calling on the Jolly Green Giant

We'll reiterate our call from earlier this week (Obama money flap overlooks the real problem), where we asked those concerned about the state budget to demand the Legislature and Governor work together to develop a better long-range approach to budgeting:

It's time for an honest look at the root causes of the state budget shortfall. The revenues which fund the state budget are cyclical: when the economy goes up, revenues grow at a rate often faster than growth, and when the economy slips, revenues tend to sink faster than the rate of contraction. The reckless spending and budget growth of recent years spent billions of dollars of surplus money that could have been banked away for a rainy day.

State budgets under Governor Campbell and Hodges suffered greatly during recessions, and a lot of the legislative players around now were around then. They should not be surprised at the current turn of events, nor should they be attempting to pin all the blame on Sanford. While it's important to find a resolution to the current situation, it is also time for all concerned to make a solid effort to rein in spending growth and plan ahead for future downturns. Anything less is inexcusable.

Those who are concerned about the current budget crisis, whether they support or oppose Sanford's actions, should demand that steps be taken to follow a more fiscally responsible course in the future, and that everyone in the legislative process work together to chart that course.

This is so important that we think our readers should be sure to impress upon all sorts of legislators the importance of this effort.

And if you're passing through Florence, you might want to get Senator Leatherman to get on board with this effort as well. After all, we're sure he stands for goodness.

Inside Interview: Rep. Anton Gunn

One of the least low-key of the large pack of House freshmen is Richland County Representative Anton Gunn. Winning his second bid for House District 79, formerly held by Blogland favorite Bill Cotty, he has made a bit of a splash in Midlands politics. Holding a Master’s in Social Work from USC, where he played football (and looks very much like a football player), Representative Gunn makes his living as the President of Top Gunn Associates (but doesn’t look like Tom Cruise), a public affairs consulting firm.

He’s a regular Blogland reader and has been named one of the “Twitter Caucus”, regularly firing away tweets. From that, we seem to know what he’s doing on a daily basis – so much so, that sometimes we feel like a stalker. A rather outgoing guy, he’s always quick to greet whenever yours truly runs into him around Columbia, so it makes sense that he’d gladly accept an offer to do an Inside Interview.

1) You’ve been active in politics for a while as a policy advocate, and now you’re one of those who makes decisions. What are some of the more notable differences?

Making decisions? I would not call what I do in the House as decision-making. To me decision-making implies that you have definitive control over the agenda. In the House of Representatives, I am not privileged enough to dictate what happens or what issues get put on the agenda. However, I do get the opportunity to vote on issues that are put up by the leadership in the House of Representatives. So, I take my voting responsibility very seriously.

Your second question is about what’s different on this side of the policy table? I think the most notable difference between being a policy advocate and an elected member of the General Assembly is how we reach solutions. As a policy advocate I developed my position on issues by thoughtful discussion with everyone involved and I tried to develop a comprehensive solution that people on all sides could live with. In the House, I don’t get the chance to do that very much. We don’t spend much time discussing comprehensive bi-partisan solutions to common problems. Instead we develop Republican solutions or Democratic solutions, but not South Carolina Solutions. As an advocate, I didn’t get caught up in “the party’s agenda” or sticking together just because “we are in the same party”. Advocates discuss the merits of ideas and policies, it doesn’t matter which party it came from. Ideas aren’t democratic or republican, they are just ideas. They should be debated and supported as such, but in the House it’s not like that most times. There have been good ideas that have been voted down because it came from a member who was in the wrong party. Likewise there were bad ideas that were passed because they came from members who were in the right party.

I am annoyed by all the hyper-partisanship. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t think it was this bad. I think this is the main reason why we are not having success as a state. I thought we all would have understood that South Carolinians are fed up with the extreme partisanship. They want us to solve our problems together, but we don’t ever take off our “team’s jersey” and talk about issues together. We don’t sit down in meetings and break bread together to discuss the merits and ideas of our political philosophies, to come up with some consensus and principles that we can agree upon. This is what needs to be done to move forward. From there we should then strive to make good public policy. Instead, what happens is we make public policy based upon what the party or the think tank tells us to do.

2) What are some issues that aren’t getting the attention in the State House?

Wow, where do I begin? Let me start with the obvious--Job Creation. We have to address our 2nd in the nation unemployment. I don’t understand why it isn’t a top priority to pursue policy changes that would offer more incentives for small businesses to create new jobs. We also aren’t talking about our woefully inadequate infrastructure (roads, water, sewer and broadband). This infrastructure would help stimulate economic development (attracting large businesses that will bring in new jobs). I think being focused on getting our economy working again is the most important thing we can do for the citizens of our state.

Also, there is some discussion about restructuring government to make it more effective, efficient and accountable, but it’s not nearly at the level it should be. To address the long standing problems of education, health care, economic development we need to change the way our government does business. If there is any time to change how we do business in South Carolina, now is the time. Government restructuring should be higher on our agenda. I could go on and on with other issues that aren’t getting much attention, like the cost of health care, green energy, tax policies, and education reform, but I won’t go there. I could write a dissertation on the subject.

3) We were told that your family and faith are important to you. How do they influence how you approach politics?

My faith and family are what grounds me in my politics. First, my faith is the reason why I am involved in politics. God gives us all a purpose in life, that purpose is to be of service to Him. We execute that service to God through life ministries. Some people have the ministry to preach, teach, write, sing, minister, evangelize or even volunteer. I believe that my purpose in ministry is to serve in government. I believe that we need men and women of God involved our government, not to press our personal religious beliefs on others but to use our faith to be thoughtful and deliberate in our decisions because those decisions will impact His people.

We all should be willing to serve in government, just as we are willing to serve in churches, charities, even the military. So that’s my approach to politics. I take it just as seriously as I would volunteering in church, serving in the armed forces or helping in a nonprofit charitable organization. I see them as equally important. We should be mindful of how important it is for us to do the right things for people in where ever we work.

Second, my family is the lens that I can measure the effectiveness of my service in government. I have a beautiful wife who is a consummate businesswoman, mother and wife. She works very hard handling the day-to-day struggles of the real world; she doesn’t have time for politics or policy issues. She is the average Jane Q. She serves as a good sounding board on issues. I can talk with her about policy issues and she will give me “straight-talk” about how things would play out in her world. Tiffany helps me to see if things make common-sense or are they non-sense. Also, my daughter Ashley is a major influence. She is 4 years old. Every morning I get up, I think about what am I going to do today to make the world better for Ashley when she is my age? What kind of South Carolina do I want Ashley to grow up in? That’s what I think about. Then I think about, what I can do now to make our state better in her future, for all of our children’s future?

Lastly, my parents and my brother’s story influence my politics. My mother was an educator for 30 years. My father was a Naval Officer and is now a veterans’ counselor. One of my brothers, Cherone Gunn was in the United States Navy until he was killed 9 years ago in an Al-Qaeda terror attack aboard the USS Cole. Through his death and my parent’s example I have mastered the qualities of service, sacrifice and leadership. I live these qualities in my personal life. These are qualities that I bring with me into politics. These are the most important qualities, outside of faith in God, that I believe all leaders should have. So my faith and family are essential to my politics. I just think it’s so important.

4) You’re on Twitter, you read blogs – you’re very much a “new media” person. What are some of the big impacts that these technologies have had on how you do politics?

New Media is changing the way politics is being done all over America. These new mediums allow voters and others to see different sides of politics and politicians. In the past, all you learned from politicians were their stances on the issues. And you only learned it from their brochure or their media talking points. Now with New Media like Twitter and Facebook, you can see what are their interests outside of politics. Learning what people do for a living, what kind of music they like, where they shop or eat dinner gives voters and the public a 3-dementional view of the people who represent them. I think it also helps to hold people more accountable because it makes their role in government more transparent. It also allows the public to become active participants in politics. The more people actively get involved in politics the better government we will get. The more inclusive politics becomes the more effective government will be. I appreciate these new mediums because it not only has changed campaign operations, it is changing the governing process. New Media is moving politics from a process of exclusion and seclusion to a process of inclusion, transparency and accountability. That is what I love about New Media.

Time for the SCGOP Chair race to end (this is not an April Fool's joke)

The withdrawal of Kevin Hall from the race for the Chairmanship of the South Carolina Republican Party marks a turning point in the race for this important office.

Hall's withdrawal was the right thing to do for his family. No office is worth risking ones life over. It was also the right decision for the South Carolina GOP, as a Chair in poor health would have a difficult time rallying the party for what is expected to be a hotly contested election year in 2010.

While some Hall supporters will no doubt shift their support to Beltram, it is highly unlikely that he has the ability to wage a competitive campaign in the remaining weeks. Therefore the facts on the ground, like them or not, suggest that Karen Floyd will win the race for SCGOP Chair, and probably by a comfortable margin.

As the Blogland was always far more concerned with who wins in November 2010 than May 2009, it is our position that if the chairman's race is essentially over, then South Carolina Republicans can begin the preparations needed to face aggressive efforts by the Democrats to score upsets in statewide and congressional races next year.

The initial intent of the Blogland was to maintain an interested neutrality, serving as a watchdog to help keep more aggressive agents in check, and trying to contribute to keeping the race focused on being positive and constructive. Given this turn of events, we believe that this role will serve little or no constructive purpose. Thus it is time to make a decision, and in the interests of full disclosure, make that position known to our readers.

To help begin building that team, the Blogland endorses Karen Floyd for the Chairmanship of the South Carolina Republican Party.

There are many concerns about her ability to lead the party and serve as a unifying voice. As payback for not supporting Floyd in the Education race two years ago, the Blogland's Minister of Propaganda was labeled a RINO by a number of her more vocal supporters and the target of more than one cheap shot attack by those supporters. If Floyd wishes to be the leader of all Republicans, this kind of divisive conduct should be repudiated early in her tenure.

In her campaign for the Chairmanship, Karen Floyd has asked Republicans to put their trust and their hopes in her hands. We hope that she is ready to live up to her promises and lead the party to victory next year. By endorsing her, she has our full support towards that lofty goal.

Congress goes You Tube

Today being April Fool's Day (and you know what - the General Assembly is in session), we thought it was a terrible day to be serious. So we'll share this Comedy Central clip where Lewis Black offers his unique perspective on Congress going to YouTube: