Got this from The State, ’cause the South Carolina runoff primary election (the what?) is today.
Runoffs on ballot: “Today is a big day for S.C. Republicans, who are choosing nominees for four statewide races and three congressional races. Most eyes will be on the race for governor, as Republicans will choose between U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett and Lexington Rep. Nikki Haley, who is attempting to become the party’s first female and minority nominee.
1 story that will make national headlines
Republican diversity: If Republicans nominate Indian-American Nikki Haley for governor and African-American Tim Scott in the 1st Congressional District, South Carolina will have given the often diversity-challenged GOP two minorities who will likely be favorites in the fall.
2 things you should know
No party switching: Voters who cast ballots two weeks ago can’t switch parties. For example, if you voted in the Democratic primary then you can only vote in the Democratic runoff.”
OK. Here’s the deal. If you’d rather watch American Idol, then do so and please sit this election out. If you totally lack any clue about government functions, stay home.
If you need someone to tell you who to vote for, don’t waste space in the polling booth. And if you don’t know why this runoff is even necessary, then don’t vote. There are worse things than not voting.
So who is this Alvin Greene character, and why is he an actual nominee for a U.A. Senate seat from South Carolina?
It’s still a mystery. But he will run against Jim DeMint this year. That noise you hear is the sound of Democrats circling the wagons.
Understand, Demint is probably near the top of the Dems’ take-em-out list. DeMint shows strong conservative chops, and he’s become a favorite of red-state folks everywhere. He was considered vulnerable until last week’s primary.
Greene won the primary with slightly less than 60 percent of the vote, beating out former judge and legislator Vic Rawl in the process. No one is real sure why; Greene has no money. He has no name recognition. He has no job. He’s a former military guy who was “involuntarily discharged” from the service six months before his hitch was to end. He faces obscenity charges; something about allegedly showing pornographic pictures to a college girl. None of this stuff came out until after the primaries.
And if you listen to this guy talk, well, you know he’s out of his league. He can barely string a coherent thought together. First few sound clips I heard of him, I thought, man, that’s some pretty strong medication he’s on.
In the days following the primary election, Rob Groce of The Examiner visited Greene at his Manning home in an attempt to get a handle on this guy. Groce, a rock-solid Democrat who was chosen as national delegate from his home district in 2008, came away with an uneasy feeling:
That eerie feeling of being stuck in a still shot from “The Last Picture Show” came upon me once again as I turned my head to look around.When I later saw the photos, I noticed that Greene’s appearance and expression seems unchanged in each one. Frozen. Blank. Distant.Lost.Before I walked into Greene’s home, I was still incensed from the dreadful results of the primary election.When I walked out, though, I felt despondent, and not because of the election results that somehow got him the nomination. I felt so sad because it was obvious that Greene … well … isn’t quite all there. In my layman’s opinion, and which might not mean much to some, I think there may be some medical reason.And I don’t think he was always like this, either. After all, media confirmed that he majored in political science at the Univ. of South Carolina, graduating in 2000. In the military, he worked in intelligence. But he wound being involuntarily discharged from service six months early, and while in a much lower role than his first field of military intelligence.That could indicate that something happened to Greene. An injury, maybe? A medical problem that’s affected his behavior and response? PTSD? I’ll never know the cause, I guess. And don’t really care to know, since it’s none of my business to begin with.As a voting citizen of South Carolina, though, the elections here are my business. And Alvin Greene is clearly unable to hold office …
I don’t think this Greene drama is over yet. Rawl is challenging the results, and filed a formal protest earlier this week. The national media is laughing — again — at South Carolina, and voters in the Palmetto State are just plain bumfuddled.
Although he is the party’s nominee, Greene’s probably not going to count on getting a lot of support from there. According to House Majority Whip James Clyburn:
No, I don’t see myself getting behind Mr. Greene. The fact of the matter is, of course, I never said he was a Republican plant. I said he was someone’s plant. And it turned up after the elections, we found out, as I said earlier, something untoward was going on … now all of a sudden, we see that Congressman Joe Wilson — his campaign manager, was, in fact, managing the campaign of my primary opponent. I saw the patterns in this. I know a Democratic pattern, I know a Republican pattern, and I saw in the Democratic primary elephant dung all over the place … and so I knew something was wrong in that primary. And this result tells us that. People intentionally circumvented the law, the rules and regulations, did not file any disclosures, did not file any of their campaign finances, yet they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars running this campaign and broke every law.
Don’t you just love politics? Isn’t it better than daytime TV?
Just when you thought a little sanity had finally entered South Carolina politics, well, forget it!
Welcome to the political world, South Carolina style.
On Tuesday, some guy named Alvin Greene won the Democratic primary for United States Senate, to go against conservative Jim Demint.
That’s what the Democrats are wondering. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn called for an investigation into the campaign. Party leaders are calling for Greene to step aside and let a real candidate run. Some party officials have even questioned his mental state. Greene, however, is saying he’ll continue his run.
By all accounts the 32-year-old Greene is an unemployed veteran, and no one is sure where he was able to pony up the $10,400 filing fee.
On top of that, Greene was arrested last November for felony obscenity, which he chooses not to comment on. But none of this stuff came up until after his nomination.
He beat out former legislator Victor Rawl for the nomination, with 59 percent of the vote. Besides his background, Rawl has a campaign war chest of $186,000 while Greene doesn’t have a pot to pee in.
“60 percent (of the vote) is not luck,” Greene told MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann. “It’s a decisive win.”
Interesting, considering he really didn’t campaign. No one knew who he was. There was no indication he did any traveling. there is an “unofficial” website for him, which he says is not an authoritative campaign site. There was also a Twitter account for him, but he said that was not his either. It has since been taken down; a wise move considering he has far fewer followers than even my modest 635.
And Democrats are saying Greene is nothing but a Republican plant, a tomato can set up to run against top target DeMint. But Greene says that isn’t so.
“I have always been a Democrat, and I will always be a Democrat.”
His chief campaign pitch is the need for jobs. That’s a natural one for Greene, as he also needs a job.
You absolutely must check out this interview with Olbermann. It’s a real hoot. Folks on Twitter are calling it “the most WTF interview ever” (I’m not gonna explain what that means). Greene sounds out of it, uncomfortable, inarticulate in the interview, even with Olbermann’s softball questions.
According to Mother Jones Magazine, Greene is on intimate terms with these WTF moments:
“Greene insists that he paid the $10,400 filing fee and all other campaign expenses from his own personal funds. ‘It was 100 percent out of my pocket. I’m self-managed. It’s hard work, and just getting my message to supporters. I funded my campaign 100 percent out of my pocket and self-managed,’ said Greene, who sounded anxious and unprepared to speak to the public. But despite his lack of election funds, Greene claims to have criss-crossed the state during his campaign—though he declined to specify any of the towns or places he visited or say how much money he spent while on the road. ‘It wasn’t much, I mean, just, it was—it wasn’t much. Not much, I mean, it wasn’t much, he said, when asked how much of his own money he spent in the primary. Greene frequently spoke in rapid-fire, fragmentary sentences, repeating certain phrases or interrupting himself multiple times during the same sentence while he searched for the right words. But he was emphatic about certain aspects of his candidacy, insisting that details about his campaign organization, for instance, weren’t relevant. ‘I’m not concentrating on how I was elected — it’s history. I’m the Democratic nominee — we need to get talking about America back to work, what’s going on, in America.’
Has anybody figured out what he said yet? If so, please email me a translation.
Imagine how he’d do in a real debate, or in a conversation with a real reporter, providing there are any of those left. He’d be chopped up into cat food.
Not that this seems to make any difference with South Carolina Democrats. They voted for a name and a face, with no other information.
Shoot, if voters are that stupid, they deserve whatever candidate they get.
Meanwhile, it looks like it’s gonna be fun times in good ol’ South Kackilacky this November.
Yeah, yeah, so people may be wondering what it is about South Carolina. First, Gov. Mark Sanford didn’t hike the Appalachian Trail. Now, some blogger is saying he had something going on with guberatorial candidate (and Republican frontrunner) Nikki Haley.
And The New York Times, that stodgy newspaper from way back, is picking up on it. Here’s the skinny from NewsBusters:
Clay Waters of MRC’s Times Watch project noticed this week that the The New York Times was just as guilty as The Washington Post of jumping on the unsubstantiated adultery charges against female GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley in South Carolina:
[Reporter Shaila] Dewan used the sex scandal of former South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford as an excuse to suggest, without substance like emails or phone messages, that the claims by blogger Will Folks fit a pattern of sexual bad behavior in the Palmetto State: “Scandal Rattles Politics In South Carolina, Again.” The text box to Wednesday’s print story worked in the party identification: “A blogger says he had an affair with a G.O.P. candidate for governor.”
The treatment of a fairly obscure Republican politician stands in sharp contrast to the paper’s blackout of the amply documented affair of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. The Times totally ignored the Edwards affair until the candidate himself confessed on ABC News, then, when its own public editor criticized the paper’s lack of coverage, editors made hypocritical excuses.
Dewan certainly didn’t do much hedging around the claims of blogger Will Folks, relaying the accusation with a tone of near-giddiness:
Virginia may be for lovers, but sultry South Carolina is beginning to earn a reputation as the state for extramarital madness.
This state was just starting to shake off the embarrassing spectacle of Gov. Mark Sanford, who is limping out of office after admitting to an affair last year, giving late-night hosts a new laugh line with his initial cover-up: that he had been hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
But now, one of Mr. Sanford’s political allies — who is a top contender to succeed him — finds herself embroiled in a possible sex scandal of her own.
Only two weeks before a highly competitive Republican primary for governor, the candidate, State Representative Nikki Haley, has been hit by charges, leveled by one of her supporters, that she had an “inappropriate physical relationship” with him three years ago.
On Tuesday the supporter, Will Folks, a blogger and political consultant, promised to document claims that he had had a relationship with Ms. Haley.
Ms. Haley, who leapt to frontrunner status last week, days after an endorsement by Sarah Palin, issued a strong denial, saying, “I have been 100 percent faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage.”
A couple of thoughts here. Nothing’s proved yet, and the accuser, a Columbia-based blogger named Will Folks, who calls himself “Sic Willie,” is highly suspect. Check out his blog (which he bills as “unfair, imbalanced”) sometime. Folks himself — well, the word is he’s pretty sketchy. Don’t know whether it’s his 2005 guilty plea to a domestic violence charge or his “hot as hell” description of Haley in 2008 that feeds this.
According to Sic Willie:
“We’re frequently accused of showing a little too much love to S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley, to which we can only say “we wish” (ba doom ching) … but seriously, why wouldn’t we show love to Nikki? In addition to being one of the few fiscal conservatives in state government willing to stand up for what she believes in, Haley is hot as hell, people, and if showering her with our unceasing affection is wrong, we don’t wanna be right …”
Folks sounds like one of those NATO types to me:
No Action, Talk Only.
And it seems like a lot of voters are seeing right through him. Haley still holds a 10-point lead in the Republican primary; that has not budged. She’s picked up endorsements from the Republican Liberty Caucus and Myrtle Beach TEA Party just within the past couple of days.
If rumors of an affair are true, than Haley should probably step out of the race.
For having bad taste.
Now this is kind of interesting. Chris Dudley played 16 seasons in pro basketball, a backup center who could hold his position against the big guys, block shots, and grab rebounds like crazy.
Only thing that kept him out of the starting lineup was that he couldn’t score in an empty gym. Made Shaquille O’Neal look like an accurate free-throw shooter. He still holds the record for 13 consecutive misfires from the line in 1990, and once went 1-for-18 in a game.
But a solid guy nonetheless, recognized as a class act during his playing time, and intelligent — one of the few Yale grads to hit the NBA.
And now, he’s the GOP nominee for Governor of Oregon.
This is from the Huffington Post:
PORTLAND, Ore. — Former NBA player Chris Dudley has won his rookie political contest, grabbing the Republican nomination for governor of Oregon … Dudley defeated Allen Alley with 40 percent of the vote, with 70 percent of the expected vote counted. Alley had 32 percent.
Note: 40 percent? That’s pretty close to his free-throw shooting record. Here’s a comment from an ESPN reader:
“By far the ugliest, most awkward looking guy you ever want to see on the free throw line. 45% career FT….and for a center 41% career from the field. He was the definition of a stiff.”
This has to be the biggest “Bite Me!” message served up from the voters in a long time.
I mean, Rand Paul? Ron Paul’s boy? You know Ron Paul, don’t you? Many liberals — and mainstream voters — frequently accuse Ron (and Rand) of talking through their tinfoil hats. Ahh, now does all this ring a bell?
Here’s what the Huffington Post has to say about this:
Kentucky Tea Party hero Rand Paul scores a knockout victory over Republican Trey Grayson. Before that, Utah Senator Robert Bennett loses to a Tea Party-fueled Republican insurgent. Is the lesson here the rise once again of the Republican right?
Not so fast. Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln is also in a tough fight — threatened from the left by Lt. Governor Bill Halter. In Pennsylvania, newly-minted Democrat Arlen Specter is in a heated battle with an opponent on his left. Meanwhile, thirteen-term Democratic representative Paul Kanjorski is challenged by 36-year-old Corey O’Brien — who’s waged a spirited campaign from his RV, accusing Kanjorski of being too tied to Wall Street … okay, so maybe all this signals increasing strength on both political extremes? … Not really. To the extent these races represent anything at all (and it’s easy to read too much into early races), it’s a swing against the establishment …
Admittedly, that’s part of it. It’s also a slap at overgrown government, against a political regime that took a wrong turn somewhere along the line, a few more wrong turns here and there, and we now wake up to PrezBo, Pelosi, and Reid.
Tim Kaine, head of the Democratic National Committee, has this to say, as quoted in CNN’s Political Ticker:
“Jack Conway will be a strong Democratic candidate who represents the best of Kentucky leadership and values. While the Republican nominee will focus on extreme ideas like abolishing the Department Education and disbanding the Federal Reserve, Jack Conway will work to create good jobs for Kentuckians, improve educational opportunities for young people, fight the special interests in Washington and help families and small businesses prosper. He is a dedicated public servant who will fight for the needs of Kentucky’s working families, and I look forward to working with him to achieve a Democratic victory over Republican Rand Paul this fall.”
OK, so where are the extreme ideas? Oh … the Department of Education and the Federal Reserve. Both have been ineffective for years, and both are more interested in their own growth and their own turf battles than in getting a job done. Just sayin’.
Again from HuffPo:
It’s the economy, stupid. American politics is turning anti-establishment because so many Americans feel screwed by the economy and they blame the establishment. If there’s a trend here, it’s not left-wing Democrats versus right-wing Republicans. It’s the ‘Mad-As-Hell’ Party against both … unemployment continues to haunt the middle class — the anxious class of America. There are still more than five jobless workers for every job opening … but it’s also low wages. The much-vaulted first quarter of this year produced zilch in terms of wage growth. Private-sector hourly earnings rose at a .4 annual rate while prices climbed at about a 1 percent — leaving most workers with less purchasing power than they had when the quarter began. The only reason weekly earnings showed any growth at all is because some workers put in more hours …
Voters may be slow and dumb sometimes, but take their bread out of their mouths and see how quickly they can move.
Here’s Rand, in his victory speech:
It’s going to be an interesting time in ol’ Kentucky this year. And watch some of the other primaries around the country, will you? I guarantee you’re going to see more “Bite Me” messages.
Another Obama-ism, at a recent Nuclear Security Summit:
That key sentence again:
“Whether we like it or not, we remain a military superpower.”
Whether we like it or not? Pray tell, what does our alleged president mean here?
Personal footnote: I used to think he was just overmatched, in over his head, just a community organizer thrown into a job he is not qualified for. But with statements like this, it looks more and more like he has an agenda. A plan. And it’s one that turns us into one of those European nations that’s going down the drain. The more I think about it, the more it looks like he wants to castrate America.
Enough of that. With that off my chest, here’s the deal:
If you happen to be one of those folks who doesn’t like it, I just have one thing to say:
“Delta is ready when you are.”
Please. Go away. Get your slack butt out of this country and quit bugging me. OK?
(Gee, what’s so hard about that?)
I don’t rightly remember what I was doing when I heard about the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. I was probably on my way to work. But the bombing, which for the next six years was called “the worst terrorist attack on American soil,” became part of my life over the next few weeks. Now, 15 years after the attack, memories come back in a flood.
It’s one of those things that you can’t forget unless you’re lobotomized. Nor is it something that should be forgotten. Maybe if we Americans had a lot more memory and a lot less wishful thinking, we’d be much better off as a nation. But I digress.
I do remember a rather strange incident a few weeks earlier. A bomb went off in a vacant lot near where I worked, and being the dutiful reporter I went to check it out. As far as the cops were concerned, evidence was pretty thin. It didn’t merit a lot of attention at the time, and the story didn’t get more than a paragraph or two. I could have ended the story with that horrendous news cliche, “the investigation is continuing, police said,” and I wouldn’t have been far off.
Oh. A little footnote about work. I was editor/reporter/photographer/layout man for The Mohave County Standard, based in Kingman, Arizona.
As news of the Oklahoma City bombing became public and a suspect was named, I knew I was going to live with this story for a while. The prime suspect, Timothy McVeagh, lived in Kingman.
There was more. He worked at a hardware store in town with another Kingman resident named Michael Fortier. He kept a mailbox at a local mail-drop business. He rented his movies at a local video store. He was all over Kingman, and soon the FBI was also all over Kingman. For a while the FBI worked with the theory that the vacant-lot explosion was a test run; if I remember straight, evidence suggested fuel oil and fertilizer was the explosive agent — same stuff that was used to destroy the Alfred Murrah Federal Building.
I don’t know if Mac McCarty is still around. Mac was in his early 70s at the time, and I knew him quite well. Mac was the one who reminded me it is grammatically incorrect to refer to someone as an ex-Marine. Mac always carried a gun — in Arizona you could carry one openly back then — and he was upset that he had to check his weapon in at the door whenever he went into the county courthouse. He’d staged one-man protests defending his Second Amendment rights in front of the courthouse, with a sign in his hands and his weapon on his hip.
Mac had a little side business when Arizona revamped its weapon-carry laws. To legally carry a concealed weapon, you needed to take a class in handgun safety, and Mac was accredited as a teacher. For a time, he had two students in one of his classes — Timothy McVeagh and Michael Fortier.
Mac wasn’t sure why these two were in his class. They both knew their way around a firearm, he told me. The closest he could figure was that maybe they were involved in militia activity and they were looking for interested people. Mac said he would have been interested in hanging out with the two if that was the case.
While the FBI staked out Kingman, the national and international media also swarmed my town. And many of the foreign reporters — from the Sydney Herald in Australia, and the L.A. Times in California — thought the town was a real hoot. Militia types everywhere, they reported. Strong anti-government sentiment all around. Most people lived in mobile home parks, flush toilets had just arrived, and FAX machines had yet to be installed. Or something.
It’s true the folks in northern Arizona are a little different from the rest of the country. We Southwesterners (and I freely use “we” because I lived out there for a long time and these roots still show) don’t usually recognize foreign powers, and Washington, DC is about as foreign as it gets. We tend to take matters in our own hands and go to the government later, if we think
But in the weeks and months after that bombing that killed 168 people — many of them children at a day-care center — my memories come out in chunks:
- Spending an evening on a press stakeout in front of Michael Fortier’s house while the FBI executed a search warrant. His was easy to pick out; it had the Gadsden flag (“Don’t Tread On Me”) flying proudly in the front yard. I talked my way into his next-door neighbor’s living room for a chat; she was in her 80s and rather thrilled at all this drama in her neighborhood. The FBI sprung for about a dozen large pizzas for the press, so they got on my good side for at least a few minutes.
- Stopping in at a military surplus place, Archie’s Bunker, to pick up a gas mask bag — which is great for carrying cameras and film. The place was across the street from the National Guard Armory, which served as the FBI staging area. I know they were monitoring the doors of Archie’s Bunker; I’m probably on some federal film archive somewhere.
- Talking to a man who was bicycling from Kingman to Oklahoma City. He wanted to raise funds and awareness, and to let the people in Oklahoma City know we’re not all bad in Arizona.
- Meeting a delegation of visitors from Somalia. I’m not sure why they visited Kingman, but they sure had some preconceived notions about the place. In broken English, one told me he’d heard about “these people who did bad things and now they’re …” That’s when, searching for the right word, he held his wrists together in that international gesture. In handcuffs.
- Hearing from a magazine called Media Bypass, an alternative publication that was self-described as somewhere to the right of Attila The Hun. They were particularly interested in my editorials, where I suggested the bombing took a lot more financing and organization than what two clowns making minimum wage at a hardware store could muster.
I’m no conspiracy nut, but I still think McVeagh took a lot of secrets with him when he was executed; secrets that the federal government wanted to stay hidden. But then, I don’t recognize foreign powers.
Talk that the federal government may not afford paying out more unemployment benefits may leave me in a financial pickle, but more importantly it leaves me with one of those thorny moral dilemmas.
Sen. Jim Bunning (R, KY) is staging a one-man blockade to shut down any expansion of unemployment benefits. Later, Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) joined him on this, saying the federal government needs to figure out a way to pay for additional benefits first.
“Congress just passed the so-called pay-go legislation which is supposed to require that we find offsets or other savings if we are going to spend money,” Kyl said. “So what’s the first thing we do? We exempt this bill from it.”
Bunning, the baseball Hall Of Famer, laid what older military veterans may call a “T.S. card” on a $10 billion Senate plan to extend unemployment benefits. (Those who didn’t hear Bunning’s actual comments will probably still get the drift without a lot of explanation.)
While the Senate bill stalls, there’s the spectre that benefits may terminate this month for more than 1.1 million former workers. At least, that’s what the Democrats are saying, and most of those cats in the halls of Congress are real good at dealing out the exaggerated numbers and scare tactics.
Meanwhile, I will find out fairly quickly what happens next. I get inside information on this kind of news in my mailbox every week. See, with the exception of whatever writing income I scratch out, I’ve been living on unemployment. And hating it.
While some folks can carve a whole lifestyle out of waiting for that gummint check, I’m not one of those. It goes against everything I believe, everything that’s important to me. Plus, it doesn’t mesh with my personal style. I’m an action type, and not having a regular job leaves me all jacked up and no place to go. In short, it turns me into Beelzebub.
To be honest, I’m not sure where this unemployment compensation comes from. Well, I kind of do. It’s funny money, surgically removed from working people and business owners or, failing that, printed up as needed by the federal government.
OK, here’s the moral dilemma. Those who know me through this space have probably figured by now that I’m not big on government assistance. Shoot, I’m not big on government anything. I’d rather have a battery acid enema than deal with all these civil service types. A friend suggested I might consider trying for food stamps. I politely told her no, and the politeness was only because she’s such a dear friend. But I’m not hurting. I can do great things with beans, rice, and hamburger. Even with my most expensive grocery item (premium coffee) my food bill is practically zip.
But you see what’s going on. I’m writing about these conservative/libertarian principles, and I try to live in a manner that’s at least somewhat consistent with what I write. My views have not changed, and don’t expect me to start pounding a share-the-wealth message any time soon. I don’t roll that way.
See the dilemma here? While some may suggest I just get what I can, shut up, and hang my convictions, I’m just not that type of person.
Strategy time, from my personal notes: I’m still looking for work, but have widened my options. Part time would be wonderful; in fact that’s the best scenario I can think of. It was less than two months ago that I started freelance writing in earnest, so I’m just scratching the surface there. Right now, as long as it’s legal I don’t really care what the part time job is; it’s not like I’m going to be married to it or anything. I have three (or four, depending on how you count them) paid writing gigs going on right now, and already at this early stage they amount to half a paycheck. A part-time gig, paying about what I’m making now in unemployment, would be gravy.
Entrepreneurs and high-level economists are smart enough to know that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. But with this economy being what it is, that truth has filtered down to the average folks, those who punch a clock every day. The economy is so uncertain that if you’re depending on just one income source for your daily bread, you’re inviting trouble.
While some do quite nicely for themselves while waiting for that gummint cheese, I don’t see how they do it.