Monday, July 31, 2006

Blogs Come and Go, But SC6 Trudges On!!

After nine days off, which for me is an eternity, we're ready to get back to business online again.. I've moved to a new hut, and Time Warner Cable has finally got me back online - after 45 minutes on hold! Most of the distractions are gone, or will be removed or resolved soon.

I'm sad to see of few of my fellow bloggers close up shop..... SC Barbeque and Politics and Mystery Men, thanks for playing in our little neighborhood - you'll be missed, and I hope you change your minds... There's been a lot of press about we bloggers lately in the mainstream press - SC6 doesn't usually make the bigtime lists, but we always seem to be a favorite of the bloggers themselves - we are THE BLOGGERS' BLOG !!

I can't promise that we'll be posting as often as before....The campaign is starting ( or is it?), and there's lots of work to do. As usual, we'll try to give you an insiders view of local politics. To keep myself out of trouble, I'll try to keep from naming names!!

Enjoy what's left of the summer, and we'll chat soon.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Say Goodbye to the Rolling Ball Bar - My First Victim!

I forgot to comment on this from a few weeks ago, but the Rolling Ball Nightlife Bar in Florence closed recently. Don't worry, I'm not crying over this one..... The Rolling Ball was part of me getting into community affairs, then running for Congress, then my current campaign.

The Rolling Ball was a delightfully tacky redneck bar in a strip mall behind my house. That strip mall was my first foray into being active in the community. Twice, I beat the builder at rezoning the property, only to have them sue the county and rezone it without notifying the neighborhood... We were told it was "none of our business" by the county (F.U.).

Soon afterwards, the application came in, and somehow, my petition to the ABC Board in Columbia was lost - surprise, surprise.. The Rolling Ball was a redneck's dream , complete with camouflage plastic tables, icicle lights, and a toothy Hank Williams Jr Doll on the bar. Their favorite way of advertising was spray painting it on plywood!!

To be fair to them, I never heard a peep out of the bar, and they stayed open longer than I thought they would... But, bars don't belong 70 feet from my or anyone's backyard, so their unfortunate loss is a win for the neighborhood. Florence has a bad track record of putting things where they shouldn't be, all at a cost to the community. It is improving, but I still have doubts about some of them.

Anyway, Au Revoir Rolling Ball Nightlife !! Better luck elsewhere. By the way, there is a unit available in Third Loop Plaza.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

President Bush Speaks to the NAACP, and All He Got Was a Milton....

Newk - U- lar ..

After 6 years as president, Georgthere was no hope e Bush finally spoke to the NAACP today. Some ask what took him so long, while others wonder why he'd ever speak to them. Either way, Bushie came out and tried to bridge the gap, and make some friends - but it fell pretty flat.

It was nice press, but trying to attract support from the NAACP is an exercise in futility. They try to say otherwise, but the NAACP is mostly an extension of the Democratic Party. Maybe on a smaller or more local level, the GOP can attract the African-American vote, but nationally, a lot of people make their living on the guarantee that they can deliver votes to the Dems. The best long-term hope for the GOP is to slowly attract African-Americans as they move upward and reach the American Dream.

The best part of Bush's speech was how he tried to almost preach - to the choir. I don't know what it is , but get a politician in front of a group of African-Americans, and they suddenly get the funk out! It was a lot like a Gary McLeod speech - lots of history - but Gary doesn't apologize like Bush did.

It was a nice effort, but I doubt anything will come of it. As a consolation, President Bush will receive his Red Swingline stapler - if the Secret Service lets him have it...

Writers Block, Or I Just Don't Give a Crap This Week....

Sometimes, politics seems like the most important thing going on- and then there are times like right now... maybe it's post-Primary, pre-Fall boredom, maybe it's the heat. All I can say is adding posts seemed like the furthest thing from my mind this week.

All I'll say is that there are major challenges from everywhere this week. It's wearing me out , but my focus is still sharp, and you guys will be stunned with all the BS I've endured lately. The campaign is a small speck of poop in the dungpile dumped on me, and major shakeups are in order the next couple weeks.

Till then, it will probably be boring around these parts...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

New Blog: Hockey and Ecuador......

I'm going to start a new blog soon..... I'm calling it Hockey in Ecuador, and it'll be all about the Great Sport on Ice, and those who play it in Ecuador. We'll probably also include skiing and Curling...

You're probably wondering, "Isn't a Blog like that limited in scope?" Well, sure it is, but not much less than blogging on Democrats in South Carolina.... Perhaps we could chat about other endangered species such as Loggerheads or Condors. Okay, Democrats are not an endangered species!!

A quick tip. If all you really want to do is rag on Joe Wilson, maybe your title should be "Joe Wilson Sucks" or "Joe Wilson: Pinocchio to GOP's Gipetto". Use them with my compliments. I don't claim to be an authority on blogging, but there is a good reason fishermen stopped using spears a few centuries ago, and started using nets. If all you have to say is "Joe Wilson is a puppet without a brain" WE'RE gonna get bored real fast......

I've made a small name harassing Jim Clyburn, but if that's all I did, my one-trick pony show would've died a while back. Sure, Joe isn't a great public speaker (neither is Clyburn - the word is BREAKFAST, Jimmy), but there are more important things. Maybe if you had 11 people who went to your school die on 9/11, you'd appreciate why we are there a little more.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Greenville Loses the Grrrowl, but They Can Add a Red Swingline Stapler to the Trophy Cabinet....

Our Milton Waddams Award goes to Hockey fans in Greenville - both of them. It seems that the Grrrowl franchise is no more, after 8 seasons. It's a common story... Florence lost the Pee Dee Pride after about the same amount of time. The parallels between the two franchises are startling. Early success, followed by championships (Greenville won the Kelly Cup, Florence won the Palmetto Cup). Then eventually fatigue set in, along with high expectations, and worst of all, not much of an understanding of the game.

When the Pride came from Knoxville back in 1997, I had to explain literally all the rules to my friends - offsides, two line passes, icing, etc. Then a fight broke out, and everyone loved it. However, a couple things happened on the way to Hockey Heaven... The NHL went on strike, fighting was almost eliminated from the game, and towns found out that they didn't have enough Yankees to sustain attendance when the locals stopped being interested.

That leaves us with two teams in the ECHL - Charleston and Columbia. Will they both survive? I hope so. I always thought it was pretty arrogant of the Stingrays to call themselves the South Carolina Stingrays , instead of Charleston- but they may end up proving me wrong.

My condolences to the fans - may the Grrowl Rest in Peace... But at least you have a new trophy for the cabinet- a Milton.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Time to Celebrate and Reflect... It's Our 200th Post Retrospective !!!!

It seems just like yesterday that I decided to start this blog to keep myself from driving the Brad Warthen's of South Carolina crazy... I gotta admit, I really have been surprised and thrilled with the credit the blog has gotten. I'll try to keep up the pace sustained so far. We do work on quantity here, not quality folks!!

Like anything SC6 has had it's highs and lows, so let's take a moment and catch up with what we've seen here in the last 6 months.........

Best Post: Hotties of the Hill 1/14/06

Runner Up: Primary Voters Guide

Worst Post: Review of "Click".

Proof I have My Hand on the Pulse of SC: High Comment totals using a Cow, Behind the Music, and Sgt. Hartman from "Full Metal Jacket".

Proof That I Have No Idea: The total silence on Refugee Day.

Best Recurring Post: The Milton Waddams Award , every Friday.

Worst Recurring Post: Fuzzy Thoughts , RIP..

Favorite Punching Bag: Surprise! Jim Clyburn.

Runner Up : Hugh Leatherman

Honorable Mention: SCGOP Early on.

Softball Winner: Mark Sanford.... $4.2 Million in the bank will do that to you.

Best Milton Waddams Winner: Lake City. The only two time winner.

Worst Milton Waddams Winner: Beth Twitty.

Other Highlights:

The Tree Finger: Making splash early, a tree giving the finger to Clyburn told readers early that SC6 would be irreverent and relevant.... Only to be outed by Rod Shealy, Jr.. And I'm out of the closet like THAT!!

International Angry Comments: I get comments from ticked off people from Aruba and supporters of Benedict Shogaolu. One of them banished me to hell for a lack of Christian forgiveness.

Jim Clyburn, U2 Fan: Jim gets a photo-op with Bono, so I list his favorite U2 songs. My favorite? 'Bad".

Pictures Make for a Better Blog: March 13th, 2006. I get a new laptop without viruses, and I discover Google Images. The blog starts to take off, proving again that humans are visual animals.

Guessing Who the Person Posting Is: Chip and West Rhino.... The same guy? I don't know. And who are the Pee Dee Pundit and Pee Dee Stuff? I have my ideas, but who knows.

Well, for the regulars who visit often, my sincerest thanks for taking part in my blog, and for keeping it clean and respectful. If you're new, join in on the fun.... after all, It's free. Looking forward to discussing issues, to the Fall elections, and to poking fun at those who need it. See ya!

I Knew Ronald Reagan, I Grew Up Under Ronald Reagan, and You are NO RONALD REAGAN....

I don't mean to pick on Henry Brown.... I've met him a few times, and he seems like a nice guy. He even gave me a couple tips on battling Clyburn - not that he thought I'd have a shot against him. He could have dropped a couple duckets my way - not that he needs it against the lackeys he runs against every two years.

I just find it a little ironic that he won an award after Ronald Reagan for fighting to reform Social Security. I don't remember hearing much from him on the topic last year, but maybe I was asleep.

For someone who represents the largest city in the state, Henry doesn't seem to take the lead very often in DC. He's been there for awhile now, but he doesn't appear to have fund his niche yet - it's more like he's just a team member. Joe Wilson is Pro-Military, Gresham Barrett is a staunch conservative, Bob Inglis focuses on Hydrogen Energy, John Spratt knows a lot about the budget, and Clyburn focuses on Social Issues - when he's not telling stories.

If Rep. Brown wants to have any kind of legacy in Congress, he better hurry... Time is running out.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sirius Satellite: The Cure for Stinky Florence Radio........

I got to enjoy one of my birthday gifts today - my Sirius Satellite radio. If you live in a major city, or even Charleston or Columbia you may not need it. However, in the musical wasteland of Florence, Sirius is a Godsend.....

Let's review the local stations: WJMX 103.3 is your soulless Top 40 station - with too much Rap. Then you have about 5 Classic Rock stations - 102.1 Fox, 102.9 The Point(less), Wave 104.1, Bad Dog 94.7, etc. ....

All I ever listened to were 101.7 KZQ in Myrtle Beach, and 970 JMX-AM for Limbaugh and Hannity. Too many commercials, and I can only hear Gnarlz Barkley so many times!! But now, I am FREE!!

I'm not kidding.... I can't go more than 30 seconds without finding something worth listening to. My favorites are Hair Nation, Octane, 80's hits, and of course, Howard 100 and 101 - although he has commercials on his show - thumbs down.

If you live anywhere in rural South Carolina, get Sirius. You'll be glad you spent the 12.95, and $6.00 more for each additional unit. I'll get back to politics soon, but keep an eye out for my 200th Post Super Retrospective Edition!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

All of South Carolina, Now Bow Before The Pee Dee........ Ms. Florence Wins the Ms. SC Beauty Pageant !!

Congrats to Ms. Shelley Benthall of Florence - the new Miss South Carolina !! The 20 year-old student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. blew away all comers and took the crown. Sure, we don't have any beaches , attractions and strong economy that other areas in SC have, but we still can produce some good, talented kids!

Shelley is now able to represent the Palmetto State in the Miss America Pageant in September. Good Luck, Shelley, and make us proud!

Today, I Hit the Big 3-8 !!

Yes, today is my birthday!! On July 9th, 1968, Mom's water broke, my father jumped the divider of the Saw Mill River and at 12:08 AM, out I came !! Well part of that is from City Slickers, but the date and time are authentic...

Not much on the agenda today....I almost spent my birthday in a way I wouldn't wish anyone to have, but i'll get to that soon...Thirty Eight isn't one of those landmark birthdays, so no parachuting or trips to a strip joint are planned. Just steaks on the barbie and cake with some friends.

Today's tidbit of info is a list of people with the same birthday as me. I can't say there are any world leaders, but it's pretty interesting.....

James Hampton ( the dad in Teen Wolf).
Brian Dennehy ( First Blood)
Richard Roundtree (Shaft)
Author Dean Koontz
O.J. Simpson
Chris Cooper (Col. Fitts in American Beauty).
John Tesh
Jimmy Smits
Tom Hanks
Kelly McGillis
Jim Kerr (Simple Minds Singer)
Courtney Love
Frank Bello ( Bassist from Anthrax)
Fred Savage.

I gotta admit, knowing that I share a birthday with OJ and Courtney Love explains a lot..... Have a nice weekend!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

We Go International for This Week's Milton Winner......

This week, we go to Berlin , Germany for our two Milton Waddams Award winners.... While Germany is caught up in World Cup fever ( and the rest of us refer to it as "that soccer thingy in Europe"), two fans probably lost their love for the sport....

Apparently, there was a soccer ball chained to a pole , with a sign next to it, stating "Can you Kick Me?". Well just like Charlie Brown, these two dummies decided they could kick it, only to find out after they broke their foot that the ball was filled with cement!! Ouch! Two people were later arrested for the prank.

Does anyone the German translation for "Fat, Drunk and Stupid is no way to go through life, Son"?.....

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Clyburn's Own Culture of Corruption and Cronyism Strikes Again......

Joshua Gross is gonna love this one....... Well, another one of Jim Clyburn's buddies got caught with his hand in the cookie jar this past week. I'll just refer to the Times and Democrat (Jim's hometown paper) for the scoop.

Rickenbacker faces federal corruption charges
Council leader accused of taking $50,000 bribe to push sale of hospital

By GENE CRIDER T&D City EditorThursday, June 29, 2006
John Rickenbacker has been indicted by a federal grand jury and suspended from public office following allegations the longtime leader of Orangeburg County Council was caught in bribery sting.An indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges Rickenbacker took $50,000 from an FBI officer posing as a consultant for a company wanting to buy The Regional Medical Center.In exchange for the money, he gave the agent an advance copy of a study of hospital finances, along with a promise to use his influence in getting Orangeburg and Calhoun counties to agree to sell the publicly owned hospital, according to the indictment.He allegedly asked for the bribes even as Orangeburg County Council was trying to decide whether to spend $75,000 for a private consultant to study the financial health of the hospital.

Rickenbacker pleaded not guilty to the charges in U.S. District Court in Columbia Wednesday afternoon. He was released on $100,000 unsecured bond, meaning he did not have to put up any money to be released.Rickenbacker refused to talk to reporters as he left the courthouse, but released a statement saying, "I am genuinely grieved at the embarrassment and pain these accusations will cause my family and constituents. I have attempted in my lifetime to faithfully perform my duties as a public official."I have served this state and my beloved Orangeburg County with a strong commitment to improving the quality of life for all of its citizens. I recognize these charges are a blight on my record of accomplishments."

Rickenbacker was charged with bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds and with extortion under color of official right, both stemming from the allegation that he took money to influence the sale of the hospital. If he's convicted on the bribery count, he could face a fine of $250,000 and 10 years in prison. The extortion charge carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and 20 years in prison.

Gov. Mark Sanford suspended Rickenbacker from his County Council seat Wednesday after receiving word of the indictment. The suspension will remain in effect until it is decided whether he is guilty or innocent of the charges.Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5, which employs Rickenbacker as an assistant principal at Bethune-Bowman High School, had not received official word of the indictment Wednesday afternoon, spokesman Greg Carson said. The issue will be handled as a personnel matter.

The federal grand jury indicted Rickenbacker on June 21. U.S. Attorney Reginald I. Lloyd said the indictment remained sealed, in part, so as not to influence ongoing election primaries by injecting cynicism in the process, although Rickenbacker was not on the ballot.The indictment was announced during a morning press conference at the Columbia FBI office held by state and federal law enforcement officials announcing the creation of a Public Corruption Task Force. The release followed a week of rumors and speculation about whether Rickenbacker, who was elected County Council chairman in January 1995, would be facing federal charges.

The series of events leading to the indictment began just before County Council's final decision to hire Chicago-based Ponder & Co. to do an analysis of the hospital's finances and operations. Council members said the study was not designed to prepare for the sale of the hospital.As late a June 6, Rickenbacker said the study was not a prelude to sale or lease of the hospital.A consultant working for an unnamed hospital company met with Rickenbacker on Nov. 3 to discuss the company's possible purchase of TRMC, according to the indictment. It alleges Rickenbacker solicited cash payments from the consultant for his assistance and eventual support for the company's purchase or lease of the hospital.For $5,000 a month, he allegedly agreed to provide the consultant - and no other company bidding for the hospital - a copy of the confidential evaluation of the hospital once it was complete to give it an advantage in the bidding process for the hospital.On Nov. 7, Orangeburg County Council agreed to hire Ponder & Co. to conduct the study.

The consultant later introduced Rickenbacker to an FBI agent posing as another consultant for the hospital company. Rickenbacker would later meet the agent a total of six times between December 2005 and May 2006. The FBI agent said he gave Rickenbacker a total of $50,000 in cash payments during that time.The indictment claims Rickenbacker gave the agent a copy of the Ponder and Co. report on May 17. The study was presented to Orangeburg and Calhoun county councils during a closed door meeting on June 15. A copy with portions blacked-out was provided to The Times and Democrat on June 16.

Lloyd would not provide information beyond what was listed in the indictment, including the name of the company that sought to purchase or lease the hospital except "this is a company that operates nationally and had an interest in purchasing the hospital."The case "came to us through a tip, so to speak, and it was followed up on," Lloyd said. The case was investigated by the FBI and the State Law Enforcement Division.

Let's take inventory here for a moment: First we had Benedict Shogaolu, who was a business partner of Jim's and on the Committee at SC State that bears his name..... Then we had William Jefferson, who sits with Jim on the House Appropriations Committee ,as well as the Congressional Black Caucus. This however, is probably the closest relationship of them all as it relates to Clyburn.

Like most Regional development groups in our area, Orangeburg County's is made up of essentially three people - Clyburn, John Rickenbacker , and Gregg Robinson, who heads the Regional Development Corp. for Orangeburg. I'll clear up any questions right now. I don't know of any wrongdoings by Robinson, and I couldn't tell you if he is Black or White. These three men have almost total control of the future of Orangeburg/SC State. From what I've seen, Robinson thinks it up, Rickenbacker gets the local cash, and Clyburn gets Washington to kick in.

I'll say one thing on this case: This is a slam dunk. Rickenbacker's only hope is that Reggie Lloyd cuts him a break, and that is possible.. Why? Because Lloyd is Clyburn's nephew. If I were Reggie, I'd pass this case onto someone else unless he is going to nail Rickenbacker. All of the subplots aside, we have yet another close friend of Jim caught ripping off the taxpayers' money. Either Jim is a bastion of goodness surrounded by crooks, which means he's asleep at the wheel, or....................

Sure, I'll get some hate e-mail from his supporters , some of whom will probably call me a racist. But all I do is call it like it is - I said the same for Bob Ney and Tom DeLay and Duke Cunningham - if they're guilty, nail 'em. I might be condescending, but I haven't been busted with 90k in my fridge, nor will I.

US , North Korea Have Dueling Fireworks for 4th of July......

Forget about sparklers and M-80's ! The real fireworks were the launching of the Space Shuttle, and North Korea uncorking their own warheads on the 4th of July (any coincidence there?).

Although Kim Jong-Il's bottlerocket only made it into the Sea of Japan, and lasted only 30 seconds, it is enough to scare the beezebub out of our allies, especially Japan and South Korea. Successful or not, Kim has definitely taken the juice away from Iran in the Nuclear Race - and isn't that all they REALLY want? Like Fredo in "The Godfather, Part II" here is what Kim is really saying...

Kim: Bush, you're gonna take care of me? You're my kid brother. Did you ever think about that? I'm not dumb, not like everyone says.... I'm SMART, and I want RESPECT!!"

That's all there really is to this. Kim got passed over in who is the thorn in America's side, and now he got it back. It was interesting to see Van Hipp on Fox News, getting some SC views on the affair ( Go Van!!).

Oh, and we had another Space Shuttle launch... Before we scrap the program in 2010. Too bad Fredo doesn't work for NASA...

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Horse Sense Solution to Immigration... Or Is It Cow Sense ?

Here's an E-Mail I got from a friend recently. .....

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington and then track her calves to their stalls? But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give them all a cow.

Just a little hay for Washington to chew on...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, America !!

Most of you are probably out of town, and won't see this after the 4th, but who cares?? Drive safe, have fun, don't hold a Roman Candle while it explodes, and remember why we have Tuesday off.. A group of farmers and small businessmen decided that they were tired of having their rights and their voices squelched, and they put their lives and their futures at risk to affect change.

THAT is what makes America great , my friends.. Have a great holiday.