Democrats go duck hunting

On Tuesday, the State Senate Democratic Caucus holds their annual duck hunt at an undisclosed location in rural South Carolina.

While we understand that conditions will be absolutely miserable for such an occasion - cold, damp, and dreary - we wish them good luck and safe hunting.

GOP on verge of legislative clean sweep in the South?

The 2010 elections and their aftermath saw much of the remaining state-level power of Southern Democrats evaporate. Prior to this, they held roughly half of the Southern legislative chambers, but the GOP took control of nearly half of those chambers : the Houses and Senates in Alabama and North Carolina on election night, and the Louisiana House shortly afterwards, leaving the Democrats in charge of just seven out of 26 legislative chambers from Austin to Richmond.

Republicans made considerable gains in every Southern state which held legislative elections this fall, gaining 163 seats.  By contrast, in the seven Southern legislative chambers which the Democrats still hold, their collective majority is just 37 seats, with the GOP cutting those majorities nearly in half by gaining a total of 30 seats in those chambers in last month's elections:

"F**k the President"? F**K everyone!

Apparently there are Democrats who didn't get the message from last month's elections. 

The first group is comprised of House Democrats, who recently voted to keep Nancy Pelosi as their leader. In a meeting where they rejected the compromise tax deal stricken between President Obama and House Republicans, one House Democrat eloquently described the new go-it-alone approach:

An unidentified Democratic lawmaker let slip his frustration at President Obama’s proposed tax compromise, apparently muttering “f**k the president,” during a heated debate this morning.

But that unidentified Democrat wasn't alone in the efforts by the budding Suicide Caucus to ignore the message from last month's elections, where votes cast nationwide resulted in a historic top-to-bottom rout for Democrats. Their activist base has gone from grumbling on the sidelines to taking their fight public:

Democratic defections continue through South

Similar to the months following the 1994 elections, where a GOP electoral wave was followed by numerous defections by Democrats, more Democratic officials in Southern states announced their decisions to join the Republican Party since our last post on this subject.

Many of these recent defections have shifted political power across the South, most notably in three states: Alabama (House GOP super-majority), Georgia (five seats shy of super-majority), and Louisiana (GOP leads in the House, and Democrat lead in Senate down to two seats).

Here are the latest Southern Democrats to cross over to the GOP:

2011 Inaugural event info & tix online

The 2011 State Inaugural - so hot an event that even Strom Thurmond's gonna be there!

You can get info about events, both free and paid, online and even buy tickets to the Family Fun night (I'll be there) and the Inaugural ball by going online to

Here's a listing of inaugural events (so far, we expect many of the constitutional officers will be having their own events, and we'll inform you of those as we become aware of them):

You AND the moped you rode in on

It's no secret that in South Carolina, mopeds are a common transportation choice for many on the lower socio-economic rungs who've lost their driver's licenses. The problem is that many of them aren't any more responsible on two small wheels than with four, especially taking up an entire lane of a road while they putter along at maybe 20 m.p.h.

And you'll certainly never see any of them looking as safe or responsible as the two in that photo.

Yours truly had a moped when I was about 14. It never occurred to me that I had equal standing in traffic, so I always rode to the right and tried my best to stay out of the way of motor vehicles.

A couple of state Reps from Spartanburg County - Derham Cole and Eddie Tallon - don't like what they've seen either and are working to fix the problem:

South Carolina's House freshmen back committee leadership term limits

The Wall Street Journal is reporting House GOP freshmen standing their ground on limiting the terms which a House Republican can be a Chair or ranking member.

The two of South Carolina's four House freshmen that we were able to reach indicated they were standing their ground on this position.

According to the WSJ:

Newly elected Republican lawmakers say they don’t like the idea of granting waivers to GOP term-limit rules that bar members from serving more than six years as a chairman or ranking member of top committees.

That’s a bad sign for Rep. Jerry Lewis, who is seeking the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Joe Barton, who wants the gavel for the Energy and Commerce Committee.

What Have I Done? WisDOT Work Zone Safety Ad

As the holiday season puts many of us on the roads a lot more, along with increased incidence of drinking and driving, your friends at the Blogland would like to present a public service message about driving safely in construction zones.

If you know any Lowcountry lawyers named Anne, ask her to watch this video with you, in case she finds herself with more free time on her hands these days.

Guest Op-Ed: Charlie Lybrand supports Sarah Palin

In recent months, the Blogland has begun accepting guest op-ed submissions for publication, allowing our readers to have their moment in the spotlight and share their news, opinions, and attitudes with our readers.

If you've got something to say, send it. We don't promise it will get published, but if it's well-written and has the potential to stir discussion, it might just get published.

Today's guest op-ed comes from long-time Charleston politico Charlie Lybrand. He has served as Charleston County's Register of Deeds since 1994, and served on Charleston County Council for several years before that.

Selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2010 may be the most important thing John McCain has done for his country since serving so honorably in the Navy and then as a POW in Vietnam. The Keating Four, or the McCain Fiendgold Bill or his insistence on securing Amnesty for all of this country’s illegals certainly aren’t highlights in his career. But giving us Sarah Palin, may make up for these missteps.

You shouldn't believe everything you hear about Alan Clemmons

You hear a lot of big talk and hot air in Columbia.  The Blogland has to sort through it all the time, as part of our ongoing missing to try to get to the truth of the matters to help inform and influence our readers.

It would be easier to just buy them off, but we didn't have the budget for that, and a lot of them are too honest anyway.

As part of our ongoing fact-checking mission, we're going to discuss some things we've heard that Alan Clemmons may try to tell you today:
  • When he tells you he's just 37, he's probably handing you a line.
  • When he tells you today's his birthday, he's telling you the truth.
So be sure to wish him a Happy Birthday!

Dirty Harry and the Bootleg Merchandise

Last week, Secretary of State Mark "Dirty Harry" Hammond's office did a sting at the Metro Flea Market on Highway 1 in West Columbia, snagging three people selling just under $200 grand worth of counterfeit merchandise:

The Secretary of State’s Office partnered with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department to conduct a sting in West Columbia on December 1, 2010, that resulted in the confiscation of nearly $188,000 in pirated DVDs and CDs and counterfeit merchandise.

What we're trying to figure out is how many items they seized. It had to be a lot.

But it looks like two of the three were given fair warning previously about this, thus they can't complain about Hammond dropping the proverbial axe on them. Maybe they just felt lucky:

Rep. Cathy Harvin

The thoughts and prayers are with the family of Clarendon County State Representative Cathy Harvin, who died today following years of courageous fighting against cancer.

Harvin (second from the left in the photo) was a devoted neighbor of Clarendon County, following her late husband in serving in the State House. Well known for her gracious hospitality and high energy, she was involved in numerous community efforts. She donated far more than the amount of her legislative salary to fund numerous community activities and awards.

Agree or disagree with her on issues, one could respect her enthusiasm and drive to make her time on this Earth count.

Representative Harvin should be appreciated for her legislative efforts, courage in battling cancer and her strong sense of community spirit. She was a very uncommon and remarkable figure who touched the lives of those around her and will be missed by many.

Tea Party groups' "10 point" pledge long on talk, short on homework

Our pals down at the Columbia Tea Party are working on this project; thought I’d share it with you. I’ll bring you updates when there are any, they plan to finalize this 10 point pledge and present it to all representatives now serving in SC House of representatives and senate.
Before they go protesting government, it might help if they actually knew what they were talking about, because two of the ten items they're demanding are already required by state law.

Getting personal: Why the Blogland won't go there

The Blogland's mission is simple: to engage in thoughtful discussion, sharing information that we think readers will want to read to inform, advocate and sometimes entertain. To keep the pot stirred with a growing audience and increased level of influence, it's not easy. One of the most important challenges for the Blogland is to keep it factual, fair, and respectful.

Part of this effort means avoiding engaging in the ongoing personal slimefest that seems to be all the rage in South Carolina media circles. In recent weeks, news media - both new and traditional - have focused on personal missteps by family members of South Carolina politicos. Over the last two years, what's personal has become the stuff of headlines all too often.

My opinion of the approach can be expressed in a comment which I shared with a so-called reporter last summer: "What part of my life is nobody's business don't you understand?"

Tim Scott challenges racial identity in politics

The Congressional Black Caucus sent an invitation to Congressman Tim Scott to join their ranks.

The Congressional Black Caucus got a response from Congressman Tim Scott:

While I recognize the efforts of the CBC and appreciate their invitation for me to caucus with them, I will not be joining at this time. My campaign was never about race.

S.C. Republicans working for transparency at home and in Congress

While it seems as if every new Speaker makes substantial promises to use technology and transparency in new ways, House Republicans can already point to ways they've done just that, including asking for feedback on the America Speaking Out platform and YouCut, where users can suggest and vote for government programs they wish to be cut from the federal budget. The agenda that's been put forward to date by leading Republicans like incoming Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has the potential to increase the use of technology in enforcing congressional transparency.

When it comes to transparency issues, South Carolina Republicans may turn out to be ahead of the pack.