Thursday, March 29, 2012

$500 Million .....

The Chance at a Half-Billion Jackpot Leaves Us Dreaming About What We'd Do With the Loot - Probably Run for Office and Blow It All.


    Yep, there once again wasn't a winner in the latest MegaMillions drawing on Tuesday.. So, with all the extra tickets sold, the jackpot Friday exploded to $500 Million - or roughly 1/31,000th of our National Debt.... We usually will drop a couple bucks when it cracks $100 million, because anything less would just screw up the tax ramifications of our trust fund.. Kidding!


     Of course, playing the lottery is not a sound retirement planning strategy.  The odds of winning is 1 in 176 million!  In comparison, the odds of being President are only 1 in 10 million, which is why Barack Obama chose to run for office instead of buying Powerball tickets... Taking that money and putting it in an interest earning account would be much sounder.  That being said, we'll be off to the Kangaroo to buy a couple tickets anyway.... hey, you can't win it unless you're in it, right?   Someone's gonna win - why not you or I?


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So, Who Is the New 7th Congressional District Candidate ??

There He/She Is.... Lurking In the Shadows, Ready to Strike.  One Thing We Know - It's Not Coach Bennett.


     Yes, we let the cat out of the bag a day early on the Florence GOP about Steve Powers.  Hey, they knew we'd do it. It's our job. Besides, we rarely get first dibs on official news, so we gotta take it when we can.  Knowing that, Bill Pickle is keeping his lips sealed about his webcast airing tonight from In the Pickle Barrel.   He is promising a big announcement during the show concerning a new candidate for the already crowded 7th District field...


     Are we a bit jaded about this? Oh yeah..  For starters, if this person hasn't even announced yet, he/she is WAAAAAAAAYYYYY late for getting into the race.  It's already got too many people in it, so they are starting at a major disadvantage.  Most people have a favorite or two, so whoever this person is, they 1) better have HUGE name recognition, and 2) have a ton of cash to burn, because it's almost too late to got from zero to fundraising and the inevitable runoff in 2 1/2 months..  Our guess is, whoever it is, they likely lack one or both of them.


    Why do we think so? First off, a major candidate doesn't go on Bill's internet show to make their announcement.  The radio show would get more viewers.  Big names generally have an official speech at a major location for these things - ex., Steve Powers announcement yesterday.  Those are the things the newspapers and TV stations attend, and get the word out.  A webcast isn't the big cannon shot that a last-minute candidate needs to make a big splash - it's a cork pop.   But hey, no one asks us how to do these things.  What do we know about it? 


    Bill does like to see his name in the paper, and to be important.  This might get a few extra viewers to The Pickle Barrel, but as far as whoever Mr./Mrs. Candidate is, they're not doing themselves any favors, which gives us our first doubts on how well-prepared this person is for this race - but we'll see...   If they have $3480 and a Dream, go for it.  But we think they'd have a better chance at winning tomorrow's MegaMillions...


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Today's Founders Quote: The Full Enjoyment of Her Rights


"It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights."

- Benjamin Franklin.


   The important thing Franklin is talking about that may require clarification is that by 'America', he is speaking of it's citizens - not it's government. Citizens need to be free and less restricted, and too much government gets in the way of that. Power to the people,baby!


   Personally, we find full enjoyment by looking at Isla Fisher... We might have been the only attracted by her psycho character in Wedding Crashers , but that's fine with us...


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Octavia Decides City Council Ain't So Bad After All ...

Hey, It's a Woman's Prerogative to Change Her Mind, Right ???


     Like we say, once these dominoes start falling into place, it gets pretty interesting...  Just a few hours after City Councilman Steve Powers jumped parties and announced he will run for Mayor of Florence as a Republican, his fellow member of council, Octavia Williams-Blake, spun 180 degrees and decided that she will once again run for a second term...  Months earlier, she announced that one term was enough for her, due to the constant petty arguing among council members.


    The big question, of course, is what change her mind?  There are a couple possibilities: a sense of civic duty, personal life/family issues, or the fact that there were no Democrats on the ballot for Council, which essentially gave two at-large seats back to the GOP.  However, we're doubtful about any of these as the main reason.  Why? Because all of these reasons have been around for months. What changed yesterday? Steve Powers decided to run for Mayor...


    Yep, it appears that Octavia, a close ally of Stephen Wukela, decided that she could tolerate having Ed Robinson a few feet away - but that both Robinson and Powers were too much.  With Powers giving up his council seat to run for Mayor, Blake seems pretty sure that Wukela will beat Powers - and with good reason.  But, there is always a chance Powers could upset Mayor Hickory Head, thus leaving her on Council for another four years - but this time Powers as Mayor.  Blake is risking four years of what she considers to be absolute Hell for the chance of four years of blissful splendor.  Yes, they apparently don't get along THAT much...


     It's a gamble, but a very calculated one.  Both Octavia and Wukela have solid Democrat support, but with enough crossover appeal to hold off Republican challengers... Both Blake and Powers are typical fuzzy Florentine politicians: both of them have been to GOP events in the past at varying times. The difference is Octavia has managed to work with Wukela, and Powers didn't.  Barack Obama still has long enough coattails here to get out the minority vote, and Wukela and Blake have established themselves to carry each other as well....


    This is not good news for newcomers Robby Hill and Ron Moore.  Williams-Blake will once again lead the pack in November, so there is only room for one candidate from the GOP.  Our guess is it will be Hill, who has a ton of contacts and name recognition, but you never know. It almost pits the two GOP candidates against each other.  The field may not be set yet, so if another Democrat gets in, then we go back to a game of 2-on-2... We'll see.



    Yeah, as much of a rumble as Powers switch/candidacy announcement left yesterday afternoon, Williams-Blake's re-entry was just as interesting.  No, they're not running against each other this time, but that shadow hangs over the race all the same.  All I know is P-Luv is as giddy as a schoolgirl today.... Stephen Wukela has his best ally back - one that can work with him, Buddy Brand and Glynn Willis.  Nothing is for sure yet, but I wouldn't bet against them... Steve Powers and the GOP's work is definitely cut our for them.


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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The 7th District Field Gets Smaller .....

Mande Wilkes Drops Out of the Race for Congress, Endorses Bauer..


     We are almost all through with Filing Season, when candidates decide if they are ACTUALLY going to run or not.. So while it's always interesting to see who does run, it's more interesting at this time to see who isn't.  The funny thing about having to write that $3400 check - it gives a lot of people second thoughts...


    Yesterday, 7th Congressional District hopeful Mande Wilkes decided to pull out of the race, and put her support behind former Lt. Governor and current leader, Andre Bauer...  While some have trouble writing that check, and others get the poll numbers and decide to stay home, Wilkes cited her current pregnancy as the main thing she needs to focus on.  It's exactly what we said a couple months ago - and it's absolutely the right thing to do.  Wilkes is 27, and this is her first child. She's going to have plenty of chances to run for office, but one one chance at a first baby..


   While her choice of Bauer is raising eyebrows, it's not too strange to us.  There isn't a clear candidate that shares Wilkes' stark liberatarian-leaning views, so Bauer comes close, with his experience and history of blocking spending..  How much that will push Bauer is up for debate, but Wilkes wasn't polling too great, so we guess not much. Then again, neither were 7 of the 10 candidates....


   So, Wilkes is out.  Kuds for doing the smart thing.. We now wait on some of the others to make up their minds.  We read that Dick Withington somehow filed for the 7th, the 34th Senate and 110th House district, but who knows if that's true.. He did leave another odd comment on Wilkes' endorsement of Bauer, but that's par for the course.  BTW Dick, government can cut spending and NOT ruin an economy because the government's budget is extremely small compared to the size of the US Economy.  That piece of knowledge is free, but we may ahve to start charging you from here on out...   The question is who else's pen suddenly will run out of ink ??

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Today's Kooky Facebook Pic......



      This is one I found on my friend Meagan's Facebook page that she pulled from someone else's page...   Yeah, I guess there are other Wall Street's, but that's not stopping this guy!  Wonder if there's a Goldman-Sachs office there. If not, he's probably trying to occupy someone's house....


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Newt's Running Out of Cash...

Back in February, the Bus Just Needed a Tire... Now, It Looks Like Newt Gingrich's 'Bus' Has Run Out of Gas.


     And the end and reality comes a bit closer for Newt Gingrich. Yesterday, Gingrich's campaign manager disclosed that their staff had to be cut by 1/3 in order to continue the campaign..  And the noose gets a little tighter.



    Not that it's a big deal at this point.. Campaigns die long before they actually quit, and Newt is dead.  Even Sheldon Adelson can be bankrupted by this campaign, and he appears to have reached the max on Newt's credit card limit.  Not that it's really a big deal anyway.. Newt's goal is not to win, but to NOT let Mitt Romney win - perhaps the worst reason in the world to stay in ever.  But many campaigns are campaigns of ideas, and ideas are cheap.  Sometimes they catch fire, and then the money comes in.  It happened to Rick Santorum, but Gingrich had more of a brief flame-up, before dying out pretty quickly.  But, we did get the answer to the question of how many times can a souffle rise, politically, that is.  The answer is twice - and that's all...


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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Forget the Passengers....Save Us From the Crew !!



Compared to What's Been Going On Lately With Unbalanced Flight Crews, We'd Prefer Having a Captain Ask Us If We've Ever Been In a Turkish Prison...


Ever since 9/11, we've been told to always be wary of dangerous people on mass transportation... While we meet our share of kooks on trains, buses and on the highway, when we're in the air, the biggest threat seems to be not from an Al-Qaeda operative - it's from the crew themselves.  Once again, we had an incident involving a plane's flight crew going frigging berserk, except this time it was in mid-flight.... Oh - and it was the Captain!



Just a few weeks after a flight attendant apparently forgot to take her bi-polar meds, a Captain on a Jet Blue flight from JFK to Las Vegas lost it.. He went so nuts, the co-pilot physically threw him out of the cockpit, and he had to be subdued by two attendants, and eventually bigger passengers.  Now you know why we drive everywhere...


No one knows what set him off, but he was yelling and screaming about Al-Qaeda, Iran, Afghanistan and a bomb.  Once he got tossed from the cockpit, he ran up and down the aisles, telling the passengers it was all over, before he ran back and started banging on the cockpit.  Two flight attendants tried to restrain him, but he then broke loose and tried to open the side door of the plane. Finally, a passenger who was a prison guard eventually got him under control.  Thank God for big guys with no regard fr their own safety...


The flight was diverted from Las Vegas to Amarillo, Texas to drop Captain Kooky off for observation, and then they continued onto Vegas, where they just landed.  No, it doesn't happen often, but lately it's been Unruly Crew 2, Unruly Passengers 0.... Guess Naomi Campbell hasn't been on a plane lately - but we hear they're trying to book her. Cross your fingers....


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Breaking News: Steve Powers WILL Run For Mayor of Florence ....

We Don't Know About the Guy In the Middle, But There Will Be Nothing Separating Steve Powers From Running Against Stephen Wukela By Tomorrow..


     Like we said on Facebook last night, there were plenty of juicy details going around the Floyd Conference Center.  Some are very interesting but extremely speculative involving the 7th District officers race and some related items, but we'll hold off on that for now. Nothing is certain on that, and besides - why shoot all our ammo on one post?  However, we do have one item that seems pretty certain - City Councilman Steve Powers will run against incumbent Stephen Wukela... and he's running as a Republican.


    County Chair Bill Pickle let the cat out of the bag last night... It was bit funny, because he asked if any media were there, and I motioned my hand in the 'eh, maybe' way.. But he said bloggers like him and me don't count as media, so he gave us all the news.  So, that clears things up a bit as the filing deadline nears.  According to Pickle, Powers will file tomorrow at 1000 am, at a downtown Florence location not quite determined yet.  At this point, the only piece of the puzzle not in place is whether Ed Robinson will try to take on Wukela in the Democratic Primary. So far, the answer is no, and this my be the first and only time we'll compliment Ed Robinson.. Politically, Ed may be smarter than Powers is....


    We analyzed this last week, so we won't rehash it too much, but to us, Powers just gave up his seat for nothing... i spoke with an insider of the Wukela camp, and they were pretty sure this would be what happened. Apparently, Powers called the Florence Dems to say he wouldn't be attending an event this week, due to a sick relative.  That ill relative might have been his future in the Democratic Party, but who knows..


   In or out, Powers has the political wind in his face right now... Mayor Wukela seems to have an easy road to re-election in November. Financially, he has the backing of all the people who supported his rival in the 2008 General Election, and he will be on the ballot under Barack Obama, so the wave that rode both he and Powers into office will further push Wukela  - and undercut Powers at the kneecaps.  Kenney Boone managed to win the Sheriff's race by 10 pts with Obama on the other side of he ballot, but that was a countywide race - and Boone is a little more popular than Powers...


    Powers has long mentioned his frustration with the Mayor's office.  Often this causes people to do either of two things - they either quit, or they take on the other guy.  Some do nothing, like it appears Robinson will...If Powers felt that this was his only course, then we'll give him credit for a gutsy call.  But, he's losing his seat to take on Mayor Hickory Head, and we hope he doesn't regret it next year.  If he got some bad advice that he has a real good shot at winning this race from people that haven't run a winner yet, we feel sorry for him.  Yeah, funnier things have happened.... As Gust Avrakatos says, 'We'll See'.......

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Winning The Future ....

WARNING: You Must Be 40 Or Under to Get In This Picture... The Florence County GOP Has Their Young Republican Appreciation Day


    It was back on the road last night, but luckily for us, it was in the neighborhood. Good thing too, because we had a total brain fart on the way.  I went to pick up Tom Grimes from work , but I got stuck listening to this real interesting POTUS debate on Health Care - and I accidentally drove all the way across Florence to Tom's house!  It's pretty embarrassing to be there, knocking on his door and asking his dog to get him, when the thought that you messed up suddenly crosses your mind...


   Anyway, it was one of those nights that kind of unites everyone in the party, and reminds us that we are all on the same team - the kids!  Last night, the Florence County Republican Party held it's Young Republican Appreciation Night at the Floyd Conference Center at Carolinas Hospital.  Being young and involved and it politics is not an easy job. Very often, you don't get listened to, and you have to 'pay your dues'.  Young people are very important in politics, and the GOP is beginning to realize that more and more as time goes on...



     For starters, young people often have the time to work hard on a campaign, and usually , they are much more motivated than older sloths like you and I.  Yeah, sometimes you run into mistakes made by youthful exuberance, but if taught right, a Young Republican can be your best weapon.... Also, there is the obvious - investing in a young person is investing in the future of your party. I know my interest in politics goes back to elementary school, when I read a slew of books on various Presidents.  No, it's not the norm, but there are kids with a natural interest for the subject, and it's never too soon to harvest that...


   Technically, a Young Republican is anyone under 40 years old, and the guests ranged from candidates in their 20's and 30's to small kids around 5 or 6 years old... The old people left the night up to the younger folks, as Ethan Rivera ran last night's event. The guest speakers came from all over the state, and from all levels of group aimed at younger people interested in the GOP.  Cody Simpson from the Francis Marion GOP, Adam Cates of the SC Young Republicans and Adam Piper, Third Vice-Chair of the SCGOP all spoke for a few minutes, describing the differences in their jobs, and how people of all ages can get involved...




There were a few candidates at the event as well, and since the event actually moved AHEAD of schedule, they had time to allow a few of them to speak.  City Council candidates Robby Hill and Ron Moore both spoke to the attendees to give their qualifications and vision for the future of city council. They both were clear and concise, and so far, are the only two on the June ballot...



Also, 7th District candidate Jay Jordan made a hometown visit to the meeting... he wasn't scheduled to speak, but managed a quick talk that was pertinent to the event.  Very often, candidates will overwhelm an event, without focusing on the topic of it, but Jay managed to be brief, but kept his comments relevant to kids.  I meant to apologize to him for getting out talked at last week's meeting in Bennettsville, but we missed him afterwards...



And we finally got four 7th District leadership candidates together at the same time!  Only 3 1/2 weeks til Tommy Phillips, Elijah Jones, Tom Grimes and Brad Richardson finish their run...







    Overall, it was a good night... Kids have a habit of uniting people, and giving the older folks an opportunity to regain their focus on what is really important.. Kudos to the local crew on last night's event.


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Monday, March 26, 2012

If You Want to Cut Taxes, Just Cut Taxes...


We Get to Hear SC FairTax Straight From the Horse's Mouth... And We STILL Ain't Buying Into It...


      For those of you that have read us for a while, you know that we are not fans of the FairTax. To us, it's a nice title that doesn't live up to it's name... The reasons haven't changed why we don't like it, but sometimes the plan will change.  So, we keep in touch to see if the plan changes. We always are willing to listen to any and all plans, but if they don't really change, we still call the bullshit...


     Here's the base problem with the FairTax: it is based on consumption, not on income.  The only truly fair way to measure a person's ability to pay taxes is their INCOME, which is why we have an income tax on both the state and Federal levels.  Consumption taxes are inherently regressive.  FairTax has plans for both the Federal and State level, and as bad as the Federal plan may be, the state plan may be worse....


    I got to listen to John Steinberger, head of the SCFairTax group, and a candidate to replace Glenn McConnell in the Senate, on Bill Pickle's radio show.. Steinberger focused mainly on the state plan, because the Federal plan has been languishing in the House since when I was running for Congress... Currently, we all pay a flat 7% tax on income, in addition to sales taxes that are split on the state and local levels.  The plan would be to end the state income tax, and replace it with it a 6% sales tax on all retail goods and services...


   OK, where do we start?  We've already pointed out the worst part of it - the regressiveness.  It's a fact that lower income people spend a higher percentage of their incomes on what will be taxed by the FairTax... Say you make $20k a year.... Spending half of that on the basics wouldn't outrageous, so at $10k you'd pay $600 per year or 3%... If you make $100k, you sure aren't going to spend $50000 of it on food and shopping.  You might spend $20000, which is 2% - the actual effect rate is lower for higher income people.  So, they tried to fix that with another crappy idea - the Prebate.



    A "prebate" is a monthly check sent to South Carolinians from the state for their expected grocery taxes.  Nice try, but yet another inequity.  The amount of the check is based on the family size, so since I'm single, I get a smaller check than a family making the same income.  Yeah, maybe that is the way it should be, but I may be spending more on food than that whole family is.  The biggest problem with the Prebate is the idea of it.  For a party that espouses independence and freedom from government, I can't think of a bigger dependence on government than every citizen having to wait on a check every month!


     Lastly, Steinberger said the net effect of implementing the FairTax would be a 7% cut in taxes for citizens of South Carolina.  The tax is already a Flat Tax, so a 7% discount on that would be the same as moving the tax rate to 6.5%... So, why not save all the time, paperwork and aggravation of the impending foulup that will inevitably come when the checks don't come, and just cut the tax rate to 6.5% ????


   Sure, there are other problems with it on the state level, like what happens to car tax caps?  Watch car sales in SC drop and jump in NC and Georgia when buyers realize they have to pay another $1200-2400 in sales taxes on the lot... They say it would be good for businesses, but there bads for it as well.  This happens when people whose job it is to push a plan give most of the information... For a guy who says he's contraversial and tells it like it is, Bill Pickle does a bad job of cross examining his interviewees.. It IS a skill...There's a good reason why the FairTax hasn't gotten much support by voters or politicians - it's a bad idea. And it sure isn't Fair.....


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The Supreme Court Takes On Obamacare ...

You're Looking at the Man Who May Just Decide Everything ....


    Nearly two years to the day after it was first passed by the then-Democratic held Congress, the Supreme Court is hearing the case of 26 states against the Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare....  It is an almost unprecedented hearing, lasting three days and over 7 hours of time devoted to attorneys for both sides.  That's a part of all this that a lot of people didn't realize about SCOTUS hearings. Most cases are only about an hour or two at most...


   Today's issue was short and less exciting than Tues or Weds might be.... One the plate this AM was whether the states can sue for injury (mainly financial) for being forced to pay fines for not buying health insurance, when no one has had to pay it yet.  It's like a good martini: very dry, and you get a little heartburn when it's done.. The real fun starts tomorrow, but of course, we will not get a verdict until late June at the earliest..


   Now, how will all of this go?  We really have no idea, because it all is a bit more complicated than our field of expertise goes.  Law is all precedent and interpretation, which can often be viewed differently by two people - hence, that is why the appellate divisions conflicted each other.  The key seems to focus on the Commerce Clause, which has in the past given a lot of leeway for Federal agencies.  Now, I have heard people equate this issue like mandatory car insurance.  But, people who don't own a car have to have insurance...


   From what we see, the mandatory inclusion will likely be upheld.  We don't see it that way because of the Commerce Clause, but to more relevant cases - namely, every other Federal program preceeding Health Care.  Social Security and Medicare are both mandatory, and neither has been challenged in the Supreme Court.  Knocking down the mandate puts all other mandatory programs up for challenge by the states, and we're not sure the Court will open that can of worms..


    Most observers are seeing this as a 5-4 case, with most of the justices being pretty well entrenched on one side or the other.. The swing vote - and the hopes of both sides - seems to be on the shoulders of Justice Anthony Kennedy.  A Reagan appointee, Kennedy has been very much a moderate who is used to these close decisions falling on him.  There's a lot in the balance....


  Of course, everyone would like to have Health Care... Most of us do, although I'm not one of them. In fact, the majority of the past ten years, I haven't had Health Insurance more than I have... We could pass a reasonable basic plan for all Americans if we wanted.  Look at Canada... All 30 million citizens have coverage, and their top tax rate is 15%.  The United States just seems more pressed to waste their tax dollars on bullshit, rather than the simpler things for the voters.  Perhaps overturning Obamacare would be a good thing.  It would almost force both parties to negotiate a bipartisan Health Care bill.  Most Americans think universal coverage is a good thing, but that Obamacare goes around to it in the wrong way.  We'll get an idea of what SCOTUS is basing their decisions on by the questions they ask, but..... it's gonna be a long, hot Summer til then!


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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Today's Founders Quote: Daring to Be Honest



"Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them."

- Joseph Story, 1833.


Pretty simple - and correct.  The people form a country, then they hand off running it to politicians... And eventually, it tends to hit the skids, because none of them have the guts to make the tough choices.  Take a look at Barack Obama's gutless budget versus Paul Ryan's budget that actually tries to address our debt.  Doing nothing and passing the buck to not upset anyone is the easy way out. True leadership takes guts - and being able to tell your voters no sometimes...


However, when it comes to Eva Green, we'd be pretty gutless too.. It's not too easy to tell her no if she asked.

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Cartoons of the Week ... Threefer Edition !



     The cartoonists certainly were on top of their games this week.  Really, we could have picked at least five, but we kept it to three... For once, we'll start with the non-political stuff.  We're not sure if you heard, but employers are beginning to ask prospective hires for their Facebook passwords as part of their background check.  We like this lady's reply - although we hope she enjoys further unemployment.....




Meanwhile, the warmer Winter is turning into a warm Spring as well....  We kinda miss the usual 70 degrees this time of year, and are not looking forward to Thursday's expected high of 88..








Lastly, even we couldn't pass up on an Etch a Sketch cartoon..









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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Is Here - Or Has Been for Two Months!




     It's time to take a minute off from politics to go out and smell the roses - literally... This is a picture I took of the first rose bloom from my garden today.  Everything is green, even the weeds where my lawn used to be.  We're still working on that, and eventually we'll get there.  We added some grass seed and fertilizer, and hopefully it will rain like they're saying it should.  We'll see....


   Enjoy the weekend, and we'll be back tomorrow, or later today if anything interesting happens...


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Santorum Will Win The Louisiana Primary... We Gar-On-Tee !!

We're Not Sure How the Gator People Will Vote, But There Are Plenty of Evangelicals in Cajun Country to Keep Rico In It...


    On to another primary today... This time, we finish off the last of the Deep South primaries in Louisiana.  No, Texas is not a Deep South state, it's a Southwestern state... After all of the goofiness going on the sidelines lately, it'll be nice to just get back to the race itself.


   The nice part is it seems the only people who were concerned about Etch A Sketchgate and Vote for Obama were reporters and party insiders - people who get paid to care about this stuff.  The rest don't seem to care. Ignorance surely is bliss sometimes...  The polls haven't seemed to move in any direction, so we may finally be in a position where the field is set, barring any dropouts.



    That being said, this will be one of the final good stops for Santorum, although with his home state of Pennsylvania being next, it may look like he gets on a streak - but there isn't much for him to get excited about after these two.   Newt Gingrich was the only one who didn't have a bad week, but it doesn't seem to have helped him.  It's pretty simple: Santorum wins with the conservatives and evangelicals, Mitt Romney takes the moderates, and Gingrich gets his last hurrah by finishing third, with Ron Paul circling the Earth somewhere in the stratosphere...

Santorum 41%, Romney 30%, Gingrich 23%, Paul 6%...


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Friday, March 23, 2012

Guys, It's Time to Take The Weekend Off ....

Etch-A-Sketchgate and Voting for Obama Comments Have Even Us Wishing These Guys Were Using Teleprompters Right Now...


    This is what happens when we go to Summerville for 20 hours... It's been a long hard run for all the candidates, and it's starting to take it's toll on the four remaining candidates.  We've already spoken a couple times about Newt Gingrich making no sense lately, and Ron Paul seems to have fallen off of Planet Earth.  Well, Team Romney and Rick Santorum have jumped into the crevice of stupidity since yesterday as well.  No one thought everyone would have to run this long, and we know why they try not to - everyone is getting stupid and punchy.....


    Not only are the candidates getting punchy, but their faithful minions are making mountains of molehills - and it's really starting to hurt the field.  First was Etch A Sketch Mania.... OK, let's try to explain something here - what Romney's communication director was saying was absolutely true.  Maybe it wasn't the right words.. We would have used something like 'Pivot'.. But, it happens after EVERY candidate wins the nomination - on BOTH sides.  Mitt Romney's problem is that he does pander a bit more than the others might. So even though each of the three main guys left have their own Less Than Conservative stances on various issues, Romney wiping away a screen looks a bit worse.


    But, it's a bit childish (pun intended) to see Santorum and Newt Gingrich holding Etch a Sketch's at campaign stops and using EAS references at every opportunity. There are good optics, and then there are bad optics, and middle aged guys holding up Etch A Sketch's is a bad optic.  All it is are signs that Santorum and Gingrich are getting sadly desperate....



    Now onto Stupidity, Part Deux.... Santorum's saying that the difference between Romney and Barack Obama are so small, you might as well re-elect Obama.  Do I think for a second he actually meant it? No.... But, when the window gets tighter and tighter, you get more desperate, and you start saying things you don't mean.  It's like when your girlfriend is breaking up with you, and you say dumber and dumber things - right before you ask her to marry you as she's walking out the door!


    Santorum's Step One was the right move - just say you misspoke, and get on with it. The problem is that this apparently was written by Santorum's staff, and Rick Santorum doesn't totally agree with his statement.  He was on Neil Cavuto's show, and at first he tried to say that he was misunderstood, but really couldn't explain WHAT he meant, except to eventually say that he wouldn't vote for Obama if he lost.  But he was mad, almost to the point of being unhinged like an Occupy Wall Street protestor who just had his sleeping bag confiscated...


    Yes, it's a long and winding road to the nomination, and it's taking it's toll on these guys... It is one of the negatives of dividing the delegate amounts in most of the states.  Most sports have period breaks or halftime, where they get to take a breath.  Perhaps the campaigns should have one as well - say a two week moratorium where no campaigning can be done, just organizing and fund raising.  Anything where the guys don't have to answer questions or talk at all.  Right now, we could all use the break...


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It Shows That If You're Right, And You Keep At It , Eventually They Will Admit You're At Least Half-Right ...

Obama Finally OK's Starting the Easy Half of the XL Pipeline....


     Well....... It's something, right?  After months and months of being pressured in a pretty obviously wrong stance, Barack Obama went to Cushing, Oklahoma to announce that he has finally decide to allow the Southern portion of the Keystone XL Pipeline to be built.  Unfortunately, building this section of the pipeline will not allow an additional barrel of oil to be brought in from Canada. In effect, he has not changed his stance of producing more oil locally...



    Nope, the new section to be built sometime in the next 100 years only goes from Cushing to the refineries in Port Arthur, Texas - where the crude oil is converted into gasoline.  So, any of you who thought this would give you major relief at the pump soon are in for a big surprise, and not the good kind.  The Northern portion - which delivers the oil from Canada - is still being scrapped. Of course, even if all of this were OK'd yesterday, it will be a while before gas prices might drop.


   For now, Obama has decided to put the best spin on his energy record, and hoping that will do the trick.  It's kind of an 'all of the above' strategy, but some of the 'above's have more of a priority. Unfortunately for our country, our leaders generally are puppets for either the oil industry, or the environmentalists.  It's pretty obvious Obama leans a bit left on that, becuase anything involving oil and natural gas exploration is done with him kicking and screaming... Still, for today, it all has little effect on gas prices today. But , we do have a small, real solution for a partly responsible reason for rising gas prices...


   Speculation plays a very big part of oil going up.  We explained it before: the dollar goes down, and the first reaction is to invest in commodities - like oil. So the price goes up.  The thing to remember about investments and commodities is that most of it is done weighted. That is, they don't put up all of their investment in cash, but only a small portion of it. So, they bet the farm with no collateral.  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has put up a bill to require that investors in oil futures be required to put up a higher percentage up to invest.  Basically, it's a 'put your money where your balls are' bill.  Not a bad idea, in that it will stabilize the price of oil, so the speculators will not be leveraged so easily...


    Hey, it's a start, right?  Time will tell if he caves in on the other half of it, but we're not holding our breath.  It's a small victory, but you have to take whatever you can get..


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Facebook Picture of the Day..


     I got this one from the FB page of a friend from High School... The more that comes out from Trayvon Martin's shooting last month, the more it sounds like justice has not been done.  Both the shooter and the local police have a lot to answer for: why did he follow Trayvon after 911 dispatch told him specifically not to? How do you mistaken Skittles and a can of Iced Tea for a weapon? Why did he call 911 approximately 50 TIMES in the past year?  Certainly, it appears that we have a neighborhood watch person taking the job too far.  Neighborhood watch is supposed to be the eyes and ears of the community - not the defense of it....


    Another sad part is that Trayvon had no ID, so he remained in the morgue for three days before his parents got him.  No one used the media to find a relative?  The police seemed to be taking the sole word of the only person alive in the conflict between the two.  The Fed's and local police seem to have gotten their act together on this, but it will take a little time.  At this point, police need to make a solid case, and make sure what the shooter did was a violation of a really strange state law - and the worst case scenario of it.



     Little immediate good will come of it. Trayvon Martin is dead, and for no good reason.  Sad to say as well, it will probably happen again somewhere else - the tragedies seem to pop up every once in a while.  Luckily, this wasn't a cop.  Police are trained to deal with these things - how to confront and defuse situations like this.  People are not cops.  The saying is 'If You See Something, Say Something', not do something.. Why? Because things like this happen because of it.  We don't have an answer here, because it depends on individual responsibility, and some people just don't do it...


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Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's March - Why Are We Talking About Football ??

Drew's Gonna Have to Do It Without Sean Payton This Year, and Peyton Hopefully Will Get Tim Tebow In Touch With His Brother About Living in New York.. OH - And Nothing Personal, It's Just Business !


    We don't know about you, but our biological calendar is all screwed up right now.. We swear, if we were in a coma and woke up today, we'd swear it was late August or September. Why? Well, first off, it's pretty warm for March. Secondly, all the talk this week seems to be about football..


     Hey, you can hardly blame us and everyone for being more preoccupied with the NFL this week than you would normally be in Springtime.  After close to a year of speculating what would happen with Peyton Manning, we got our answer, and the subsequent reaction was almost as big.  Manning went from the Colts to the other hoofed team, the Denver Broncos.  Of course, the Broncos had Tim Tebow, so they traded him to the New York Jets.  Basically, John Elway did what we thought: he didn't want Tebow, and he got his man.  What will Tebow do in New York? Well, we guess he's going to ride the bench since Mark Sanchez just got a big contract extension. But, if and when Sanchez struggles - and he will - look for Gang Green to call for Tebow, until he tosses a couple picks.  Tebow will likely be used in the goal line option at times, which they missed last year with the loss of Brad Smith.


    How will Peyton do? We have no idea, but next year, we'll be upping Demaryius Thomas on our fantasy list.... With their tough D and good running game, Denver just became legitimate Super Bowl contenders.  Maybe Peyton will catch his brother Eli in championships after all...That is, of course, if Manning is healthy....


   The big stunner was the suspension of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton for an entire season for setting up a bounty program for their defense by giving bonuses for taking out particular players in games.  While one year may sound harsh, you have to take things in perspective.  Often, these injuries aren't just taking a guy out for a game - often, it ends their season or a career.  The NFL is drawing a clear line here: play hard, but the intent to injure will be dealt with harshly.  Payton is gone, the D coordinator is out indefinitely, and the GM is out for half the year. We're not sure what the GM has to do with it, but we'll assume he was aware it was out there, but did nothing...



    While this is a lot more drama than the NFL would like to have, there are benefits to it.  Football is usually a six month sport, but all this has turned it into 8 or nine months.  Baseball starts in less than 2 weeks, and no one seems to be talking about it.  That kind of confirms which is the most popular sport in America...  Only 5 1/2 months left!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Romney Gets Another 44 Delegates Closer to the Nomination...

Guy Smiley Takes Illinois Pretty Convincingly....


      So, Mitt Romney took Illinois, and by a lot more than we thought he would... At this point, it's becoming clearer to voters that Mitt Romney appears to be the most electable versus Barack Obama, and that is what's most important to them.  Over 71% of those who felt the most important trait in a candidate was electability voted for Romney...


     Mitt took 44 of the 54 available delegates, which puts him right at the halfway point of the 1144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination . Next, it's onto Louisiana, which should help Rick Santorum - and from there, who knows?  Santorum will likely win his home state of Pennsylvania, but at this point, with Romney's rising sense of inevitability, even that might not happen.


    Newt Gingrich is in total denial mode currently.  It takes a huge pair of brass balls to accuse the guy who got 34% of the vote of not being electable, when you finish dead last at 8% - even behind Ron Paul.  Gingrich was running at about 15-17% in the area a few weeks ago. Since he lost half, we'll assume he will finish a distant 3rd in Louisiana. He still is talking about no one getting to 1144 - where they'll have a 'discussion' on who is best to run against Obama. And he's supposed to be the choice?  I want whatever drugs he's taking...


    As this goes along, it's getting harder and harder for even us to add anything new to this race... But we'll keep slugging along til it ends - but it's getting there.

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So, Will Anyone Run Against Steve Wukela Or Not?

Mayor Hickory Head Is Checking His Back For Knives, But It's Still Clear - At Least For Now It Is!


     We're going to stick our nose into unfamiliar territory here for a minute, and discuss something we rarely talk about - Democratic Politics.  Particularly, Florence City Democratic politics..  Now of course, if you want the real skinny on what's going on in Florence Proper, you need to read P-Luv's blog.. However, we'll give it a little shot here, and we're sure he will add his two cents here...


     Florence City Council is a lot different than it was 4 years ago at this time... Frank Willis was Mayor, and council had 4 different members than it has today.  We had heard rumblings about finding someone to run against Willis (mainly from the Dem side), and it finally happened in the form of Stephen Wukela.  We all know about his stunning 1 vote win, and the subsequent legal battles which upheld them (no surprise, after all, Wukela IS an attorney)..


    Council changed again in 2010, with Glynn Willis joining council after a close loss in 2008, and Teresa Ervin beating Billy D. Williams... To us, it seemed like City Council had a group of people that could really work together to fix Florence' problems, with the noteable exception of Ed Robinson.. In December, Robinson decided to take on Wukela for the Mayor's spot... and that's kind of where he's been since.


    We're in that magic two week period where we wait for these candidacies to become official - and apparently, we're not the only ones!  We're about midway through the filing period, and no one has officially entered the battle for Wukela's seat, and for good reason.  Wukela has amassed a pretty tight grip both financially and supportwise.  Last year's fundraiser that featured a slew of normally GOP-leaning boosters set the bar, and he's pretty much gone from there. So, if in the end, no one runs against Wukela, we would not be surprised.  But, they're out there waiting....


     Now we all know Ed Robinson is out there... But, saying you will run, then forking over the cash and running are two different things.  From what we remember, Robinson's seat is not up this year, but he really has no shot at winning.  Robinson wins his seat with the same 400-500 voters who follow him blindly, but the rest of the city gives him little to no support.  A 75-80% win by Wukela would not surprise us in the least.. Now for the real wild card: Steve Powers.


   For a while now, Powers has hemmed and hawed a bit about running for Mayor.  A first termer who was swept into the seat with Barack Obama's election in 2008, Powers had whispers that he might be 100% blue, and it certainly is repeating this year.  He has not announced anything, but has to in the next week, right?  The first question is will Powers run at all, and the second is will he run as a Democrat or Republican? 


   The first seems to be dependent on whether Robinson runs.  If Ed Robinson decides to take on Wukela, the guess is that Powers will enter the race as a Republican. The theory is that Robinson might beat Wukela in the Primary, and then Powers could take on Robinson in an easy general election in November...  If Robinson stays out, so will Powers.  Basically, Powers is saying he wants no part of Stephen Wukela - but he would likely get him anyway.


   If this is Powers' strategy, he better hope Robinson stays out. Like we said, Wukela will pound Robinson handily in June, thus leaving the Powers-Wukela race in November.  Then Wukela will be the incumbent Democrat with bi-partisan support, with Powers playing the underfunded challenger who no longer has a party.  Changing parties is like ripping off a Band-Aid: if you're gonna pull it, pull it off quick, and shorten the pain... Powers has been doing the dance for months now, and if he switches at this point, he will be a man without a party - and without a base... He'll be a Dem traitor, and a GOP user.


    Yeah, we've talked plenty of times about the blurry political lines in Flotown.  The Dem is really a Republican who can't win in that party, and the Republican was a Democrat since 1965 - til his district turned red... It happens on occasion, but there was only one guy I ever saw at a GOP event before he changed parties, and that was Kenney Boone.  It's a bit of a hypocracy within the local party in that they attack candidates they don't like for it, then do it themselves.  Once a Democrat, always a Dem, I thought...


   If we were Steve Powers, we would focus less on the chatter telling him he can beat Stephen Wukela this year, and focus more on being more of a team player in City Council if he makes a second term.  The fact is Mayor Hickory Head looks pretty unstoppable this year. He came in with a limited agenda, and did what he said he would do, without taxes going through the roof.  Hence, the bipartisan support from the Flotown Money Machine... If a true Republican wants to run, fine with me, but it doesn't appear to be coming. 2008 was the year we should have had a candidate, but we passed.  This isn't our year to throw anyone on the ballot...


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Give Paul Ryan Credit ... At Least He Does Take Chances

GOP Congressman Unveils His Party's 2013 Budget... It's a Start.


    After Barack Obama's almost laughable and pretty gutless 2013 Budget proposal, we waited to see what the GOP would come up with - as Cousin Vinny would call it, 'a counteroffer'... Well, that finally happened yesterday.  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), without a doubt the smartest and most knowledgable man in the GOP on the budget, put out the party's plan for next year - and before anyone could read it, Democrats seemed to be pumping the propaganda fear machine up.. That's how it goes....


   Give Ryan credit for a couple things: first, he is not afraid to say what actually needs to be done.  This is probably why Ryan will NEVER be a name at the top of the ticket, but maybe he should.  In many aspects, it is similar to the budget he put out last year, but there are parts that are different.  The main change being in Medicare.. That tells us that at least Ryan listens to his critics.  Obama's 2013 budget changes literally nothing, while keeping the same $1 billion budget gap...


    That's the rare thing in DC now - the ability to make the hard choices.  Watching Fox News this am, it was great to watch Bill Hemmer pound Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) into the dirt during her interview.  Schakowsky is a pure powerhungry bullshitting Liberal.  First, she critiqued Ryan's plan with the same lines as last year - taking money away from Seniors, giving it to the Rich and the Oil Companies - blah, blah, blah.. Then she mentioned the Progressive Caucus will be introducing a plan next week. Then Hemmer asked how long it takes to balance the budget, which is 20 YEARS... And how much additional debt will add up til then.  Schakowsky requested they stop discussing her plan, and get back to Ryan's plan - literally.  She started the discussion, couldn't debate it, then asked to get out of it.  The lady is a damned Moron... Illinois could do better than her.


    The sad part is the budget is so out of whack, that even Ryan's plan takes ten years to balance the budget.  Seriously, we could do it one administration if we tried.  But, no one in DC seems willing to do it.  Balancing the budget is pretty simple - it's not like it hasn't been done before.  All we have to do is go back to the balanced budget days, and duplicate it.  Tax reform needs to be done and simplified, and the super rich may have to pay a bit more, but the main problem is we spend too much.  We need to get out Afghanistan as soon as possible.  With the economy picking up, social programs can drop, but mostly we need to slash all the BS spending caused by every issue and group having a DC lobbyist... It is possible.


    No, Ryan's plan will not be passed by anyone this year. It's more so setting a plan for next year - if the Republicans win the White House and the Senate.  Maybe then, it will be passed, but we imagine there will be some changes.  It's a starting point... Still, compared to four presidential candidates whose plans aren't very realistic, it's a better point to start.


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Those Darned Ungrateful Occupy Wall Street Protestors !!!


     You better sit down for this one, because we're about to do something that even we never thought we'd do.  We're going to feel bad for Michael Moore..... OK, not THAT bad, but from the news we got last night, it's pretty obvious that the Occupy Wall Street people flat-out just hate rich people - even the ones that support them...


   Support them? Hell, we've said it from the very beginning - Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story was the impetus for the OWS movement.  Yes, he's made a lot of money by not always being right, but that is America.  If we penalized people for making money by ripping off the people, then we'd have executed the guy who invented the Ab-Tronic, right?  No, I didn't buy one...  But, some of us measure their hatred for others by the amount of cash they have in the bank..


  The proof came out this week, when Moore went to New York to visit the OWS protestors - we assume in support - but a couple of the protestors heckled Moore, repeatedly shouting 'Michael Moore - $50 million!!' over and over again....  Moore didn't respond, but he had to hear the guys.  It's pretty sad when the movement devolves into members hating the guy who pretty much started the movement.  Really, is Michael Moore expected to sit in with these guys forever?  He can do much more good for their cause by doing what he does...


    Granted, we don't think Moore or the OWS protestors are right, but they're allowed to do as they wish - as long as it's legal.  It does make us laugh a bit to see Moore get bit by the ones he helped create.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Fastest Review Ever of the Illinois Primary....

Looks Like None of the Four GOP Candidates Made Wayne and Garth's Top Ten... SCHAAAAAA-WING !!!


    OK, we're marking the Illinois Primary at the last minute here, but we figured we better. After last week's blowing the Mississippi and Alabama polls, we felt the need to redeem ourselves.... The funny part is while Wayne and Garth very likely will not be voting, their are a major part of key demographics for some of the candidates...


   This one should be pretty easy to call. We'll help you out a bit. Take a picture of Illinois, and draw a line across it about 1/3 of the way down, going east and west.  Above the line is Romney's, below it is Santorum's.  Sounds good for Rick, right? Nope.  You see 70% of voters live North of that line, including Wayne and Garth in Aurora...  It'll look on a map like Santorum dominated the state, but it's all in the rural South. 


   Romney will edge out Santorum statewide, and for all the usual reasons: Illinois is more moderate, and they see Mitt Romney as having the best chance of winning the nomination.  Worse for Santorum, he didn't register in 5 congressional districts, so he is starting out with a 10 delegate disadvantage. So, even though he likely won't get 50% of the vote, Romney will take more than half of the delegates..


    If Rick Santorum wants a piece of good news, it's that Newt Gingrich may not pull a single delegate from him here.  We see no demographic for Gingrich here, and the calls might come back up for him to quit - but Newt's not leaving til after Texas.. In fact, we're more concerned that Ron Paul may actually beat him here.  There's lots of colleges here, and they're still brainwashed that he'll pull a miracle, like ten more delegates nationally...

Romney 40%, Santorum 35%, Gingrich 14%, Paul 11%..

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Riding With the Marlboro Men ... And Women !

The Road Takes Us to Bennetts-Vegas , With the Marlboro County GOP and Congressional Candidate Jay Jordan....


     Well, it was off to another County GOP meeting in a new territory for us last night... With the new district, we're learning about new places - and meeting a lot of new people.  We've made plenty of friends along the years working in the 6th District, but it's always nice to earn new friendships with people that haven't been tainted by others feelings.  Every new county is an open book, and I get to write new chapters with each one...


    Last night, it was off to Bennettsville, South Cackilacky for the Marlboro County GOP meeting.  Like you might expect, Marlboro County doesn't have a ton of Republicans - or at least those willing to meet.  Usually, meetings like these disappoint a bit... People don't ask questions, you chat a little, take a few pics - and not much changes.  Marlboro was one of the more interesting meetings I've been to in a while, especially if you take out the ones where there's an argument going on!


    The main speaker last night was 7th District candidate Jay Jordan of Florence, but from the way things went, you might not know that.  I got an idea of that when they asked questions to Tom Grimes and Tommy Phillips. No one ever asks questions of the intra-party candidates, but Marlboro is an open book, kind of....  It's a group that has a long way to go be a force locally, and many of them aren't quite sure how to get there.  In all honesty, the Tommy's talked way more than Jordan did, and I felt pretty bad for him.  But, these people have basic questions about where to go from here, and the Tommy's have the experience to guide them in the right direction.  That is where their value is: experience....


   It went on for a solid hour and a half, and it went all over the political field, both locally, statewide and national.  Jay Jordan was more than patient with the discussions going on, but the discourse didn't lend itself an opportunity to really let him stretch his legs.  The GOP turf is weak and spotty. These people need to learn how to take nothing, and make something out of it, and they're not very sure on how to do it.  Last night, they got some ideas. If I were them, I'd sit down with Moye Graham and he can point them in the right direction.  With a little work, the grass can grow, and a nice green, fertile field will be there - but it isn't easy...


    Marlboro isn't the easiest place to turn around, but there is room for improvement.  Hwy 38 is a four lane straight shot off of I-95, so a coordinated effort to bring industry there is possible, if the area is set up for it sewer and powerwise... It also has a downtown area much prettier than Florence. It still stuns me how Florence can't revovate a 3 block area, but Hartsville, Sumter, Marion and Bennettsville all have..





It was a nice surprise to see a small county filled with people that interested in every aspect of their county. Thanks to Patrick Coxe, County Chair, and everyone else who came out...





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Monday, March 19, 2012

And Some have More Money Than They Know What To Do With... But They'll Figure Out Some Way To Spend It..




Apple and Obama Are Flush With Cash Right Now.....



     Ahhh, to be doing well!  It's a good thing.  No, we don't begrudge people doing better than us. It's what makes America great.. And in that vein, we recognize two entities doing well - for now.  Apple, Inc and the Obama Campaign.


    Apple announced today that they have about $100 Billion in cash on hand, just sitting in the bank, and so they have decided to give their first dividends since 1995.  Funny, 17 years seems and awful long time, and $100 Billion a lot of money, to wait to pay your investors. But, when the stock is shooting like a rocket, you really don't care if you get a paltry $2.65 per share...


    While this seems like the best of all news, I've got a different take on this.  I'll mark this comment for today, and we'll see who's right.  Here it is: for the time being, Apple has peaked.  The sudden giving of dividends signals to us that for now, Apple has no new tricks in it's magic bag - at least for now.  Not to the extent that they have under Steve Jobs.  When you cannot keep stockholders by continuing to be more innovative than anyone else, you do it by giving them money.. Apple stock is about $412 per share - let's go back a year or two from now, and see where it is.



    The Obama camp had a nice day today as well... They reported raising over $45 million in February, twice as much as in January. Clearly, the money machine is picking up speed, and they've raised over $300 million this election cycle.  Yeah, they're doing fine, but not as well as they planned....


   The bad news is if the goal was to raise $1 billion, they appear to be falling short. They would need to raise $700 million in 8 months, or almost $90 a month - twice what they did in February.  Not impossible, but in this crappy economy, we don't see ordinary people giving as much as they did in 2008.  the good news is they won't need it to outspend whoever wins the GOP nomination.  The people who are crying for Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to drop out aren't doing it because the party is getting split.... It's all about the money.  Every dollar spent is one less left to fight Barack Obama - and Obama knows it too...


    Yes, these are the salad days for Apple and Obama.. The Good Times!  But, nothing lasts forever.  Hopefully, both of them will recognize that maybe they have peaked, and today is a highwater mark for them... Few realize that moment in time when they rule the world.. Possibly only movie stars and baseball players - getting a trophy is usually a sure sign that you've maxed out... Politicians and businessmen rarely realize it.  Some pull rabbits out of hats, and do it again, and even better than the first time - but it happens rarely....

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Hugh Leatherman Sends His Message To The Competition Early - Get In, And I Will Destroy You

Yes, We Find Any Excuse to Use Ivan Drago From Rocky IV ...


     It's that time folks - Filing Period!  That magical two weeks where all the bluster ends, and we find out who REALLY is running, who isn't, and who just threw away $3480.... Yes, a lot of people are wasting their own money - and so much for being fiscally conservative.


     Now, it's not just an opportunity to sign up and say you're in. For many incumbents, the goal is not only just to say that you running again....it's to tell anyone who is thinking of running to not bother.  The Florence delegation had a nicely coordinated showing of their candidates and incumbents filing.  While most are doing pretty much that and not much else for now, Senator Hugh Leatherman is going way past that...


     Maybe you haven't seen them, but we have.  Leatherman is airing commercials - nearly 8 months before the election.  Why? Simple.. Leatherman is sending a clear message to fellow Republicans and Democrats: You don't have a chance. I have so much cash on hand, that I can waste thousands in March to advertise. I will break you like I'm snapping twigs over my knee..


    It's a smart move, and while it looks like he's wasting cash, in the long run he may actually save money.  It's an easy plan: make it clear that this is your seat, mark your territory, and keep everyone else out.  Then, you don't have to spend ANY money on the campaign.. Though we haven't heard of anyone planning on facing Leatherman from either side, you never leave things to chance. Besides, the cash he's spending on the ads is the equivalent of you and I going to Applebee's for a burger instead of McDonald's...


     It's far from the worst idea ever, even if it's wasting money.  There's no doubt that Leatherman does not want to campaign at 81 years old... This would be a good way to avoid it, but it's not foolproof.  Anyone who runs already knows they will be outspent, or they're crazy enough to run with nothing.  There are a few in the 7th District seat going that route, and there might be one for Leatherman. If so, good luck with that, for Uncle Hugh will have no mercy them... If he/she dies , he/she dies.


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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Today's Founders Quote: Lodged In Human Hands


"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."

James Madison, 1829.


   Pretty easy to understand this one, isn't it?  Funny thing.. We have all these agencies to watch and regulate the American people, but it seems the most abuses of power come from inside DC itself. Who is watching them - us?  Who has time to do that?  One thing we don't mind overseeing is Kelly Kelly... We remember there being a character on some TV show named Kelly Kelly, but it's not coming to us. If you know, please leave a comment, so the headache we're getting from it will go away...


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Cartoons of the Week .....



      Sorry for the delay in getting posts out today... Allergy Season has gotten a pretty nice hold on us the last few days.  One minute, we feel fine, the next minute not so much.  We went to Manning to meet up with a couple Horsemen and decide how to rule the Universe for the next year, then flopped on the couch and popped a Benadryl.  Too bad I got a text from Ms. X saying she was around the corner - so we went out... and got a little tipsy.  Needless to say, we're behind schedule today. No big deal, there isn't much to discuss today anyway....


     The cartoons were a little better than the news was this week.. It's March Madness week, and we liked the bracketology analogy used for who will win the GOP nomination... How does that work anyway? We bet Duke would love a bracket that worked this way....



And in non-political news, Apple unveiled it's New I-Pad.. We don't know about you, but it sure seems like they're missing Steve Jobs already... NEW I-PAD ???!!!!  Nice job , marketing wizards.   Yeah, the upgraded versions of their products are always minimal improvements (like an I-Phone 4S is much different from Numero Uno).   We'll just wait til they make an actual new product, then decide if Apple has peaked....


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Friday, March 16, 2012

We Ask- And Answer - Our Own Presidential Question ...


     So, here's a little useless SC6-Presidential campaign trivia question: What do Rick Santorum and I have in common?  Both of our grandfathers were Pennsylvania coal miners!  It certainly isn't a mutual love of sweatervests, that's for sure...


   Now, does that qualify us as a presidential contender?  Uhh, no. Not yet at least.  What we can tell you is that two generations from a coal miner is a long way.  I can assure you, I never thought of going in there. Hell, my dad left at 13 years old to get away from it.  Our guess is Santo's never been in a mine either, but that is the story of America: one generation works hard, so his/her child won't have to work as hard... A couple generations later, Skip blows his trust fund or has to sell the family business because he's run it into the ground. We're still waiting on that trust fund....

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We're Back On the Campaign Trail... This Time in Marion.

We Go On a Smokey and the Bandit-Like Trek From New York to South Carolina With Three Candidates in 16 Hrs - And No Coors Beer!


    It's funny.. Some people complain that we're lazy, and not involved enough in politics to hold an office.  Maybe there are some that spend more time at events than we do, but that's because most people don't bother letting us know what is going on.  Our friends back in New York think we are crazy to spend so much time on a no-paying endeavor, so they're both probably right.  Sometimes, however, we work pretty hard.  Yesterday was one of those days..


   After prepping for the trip most of the day, we got a short catnap, and then we left New York at 1100pm Weds night, bound back for South Carolina.  We made into the area by 900 - just in time to listen to Mande Wilkes' interview on Bill Pickle's radio show.  We have to admit that we tried to watch her TV info show twice, and couldn't make it past five minutes - it was THAT bad.  However, she is a much better interviewee than a TV host.  Give her credit - we might not agree with her 100%, but she was by far the best guest Bill's had on her show..


   So, we got home, and found the cable was messed up, so we got a whole hour's sleep, then we went with The Tommy's up to Marion County for the monthly GOP meeting.  There, we got to meet two more 7th District candidates.. Tom Rice and Jim Mader.  It's been pretty tough going into this whole thing not really knowing many of the candidates, only to be kind of disappointed when I did hear them. Last night was much better...




Tom Rice with one of his famous 'Rice Krispy Treats'..... Yummy!






    National politics are a different game, with big complex rules that determine why things are the way they are, and how hard it actually is to change them. Most politicians are too simplistic and unrealistic for us to consider them.  Tom Rice and Jim Mader both have the background and experiences, though slightly varying, to understand how to be a decent Congressman..


   Both Rice and Mader are business owners, but Rice is a tax accountant and Mader's background is in Economics.  Owning a business is nice, but that is why knowing the difference between Macroeconomics and Microeconomics - and how to apply one to affect the other- is key for a Congressman.  We like numbers guys, and both Rice and Mader fit the bill for us.



As usual, Tom Grimes is talking, and someone is listening. This time, it was Jim Mader..






      County Chair Eric Fry let Mader speak first, and he made a good impression.  Aside from the big and small business experience, Mader said the two words that we have been waiting for someone to say - Flat Tax.. God forbid we have an equitable tax system!  He was much more versed in DC lingo than the others with no political experience.. In a tough field like this one, Mader has an uphill battle. If he loses, we would hope that somewhere on the coast, they will find a job for him...


      Next up, it was Horry County Chair Tom Rice.  Since it was not a huge crowd, Rice did a nice move - he sat in a chair.  He went over his resume in business and government, and the role government can play in helping them.  DC can work hand in hand with business, if it wants to.  On paper, Rice clearly has the chops to be a good Congressman. The only thing he needs to work on is his passion. Last week or so ago, we talked about Renee Culler's frantic delivery.  A candidate has to show that he/she has control over things , but there does need to be an amount of passion.  Voters go with emotion at least a little, and Rice would do himself well to kick it up a notch or so. Not much, but a little would help.


     It wasn't the biggest crowd I've ever been to, but Marion County didn't even have a GOP when I ran, so Eric seems to be moving the ball forward, both at meeting  and at the voting booth.  Every polling place in the county had high poll numbers than in 2008.  Marion's getting Redder.. Or is that more red?  Anyway, everyone there was very nice, and they took a lot of time to get to know me, the candidates and Tommy Grimes and Tommy Phillips.  


    The only thing that we liked more was finally getting in our bed!  Be back on the road soon...

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