... IRREVERENCE, INSTITUTIONALIZED ...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bauer's Brain Judged "Minimally Adequate"


In a side ruling to the long-awaited "equity funding" lawsuit decision released last night, Judge Thomas W. Cooper, Jr., has determined that Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's brain is "minimally adequate" for the limited responsibilities that go with being the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.

"The Court concludes that the mental faculties in (Bauer's) brain are sufficent to provide the opportunity for South Carolinians to have a minimally adequate Lieutenant Governor," Judge Cooper wrote in his side ruling. "The fact that a highly-trained chimpanzee could also discharge the duties of this office as it is currently configured is beside the point."

Elected in 2003, Bauer has worn a purple robe, banged a gavel, been pulled over at gunpoint by cops for reckless driving and been involved in a shady land deal. His only real success has been "transforming" the State Office on Aging into his own political re-election campaign. In fact, Cooper's ruling would likely have sent shock waves through retirement homes all across South Carolina had it been issued prior to "lights out."

"I'm obviously disappointed in the timing of the ruling," Bauer told FITS. "My people are difficult to mobilize at any hour, let alone after they've taken their post-dinner Jell-O."

Bauer was pleasantly surprised, however, to hear that the ruling in fact found him to be "minimally adequate."

"We weren't takin' nothin' for granted on that one," Bauer said. "I figgured it was a fifty percent chance they'd rule in my favor, probably a fifty-five or sixty percent chance they wouldn't."

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

FITS' 2006 New Year's Resolutions


It's that time of year again, when all the presents have been opened, the last leftover Holiday turkey or ham sandwich has been eaten, the Christmas decorations are headed back to the attic and the daily grind beckons our return to reality with all the shrillness and impertinence of a State Newspaper editorial.

So without further adieu, FITS is proud to unveil its inaugural "2006 New Year's Resolutions," a complete listing of how our favorite South Carolina politicos will be changing their ways in the coming year:

-Rep. John Graham Altman resolves to take WIS-TV reporter Kara Gormley to a candlelit dinner for two at Garibaldi's and wax eloquent and extensive about how smart she is.

-Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer resolves to stop for blue lights, refrain from hitting on purple hat ladies at the S&S Cafeteria and accept fair market value for any land he sells back to the state.

-Gervais S. Bridges resolves to stop blogging about Will Folks ... and actually stick with it this time.

-Clemson University resolves to raise tuition by double digits and add "Gardening for Dummies," "So You Want to Grow a Tiger Lily?" and "What Local 4-H Clubs Have to Do With State Government" to its list of PSA-sponsored publications.

-Rep. Jim Clyburn resolves to never, never, never (ever) have his picture taken in shorts again.

-Lake City Philanthropist Darla Moore resolves to button her lip, enjoy all her money and stop trying to run the state into the ground through Palmetto Institute-sponsored tax increases.

-Democratic Party operatives resolve to master the art of hiding their IP addresses.

-Democratic Party Chairman Joe Erwin resolves to field a full slate of statewide candidates.

-Department of Transportation officials resolve not to record any offensive songs about the Governor and First Lady.

-(Sic Willie) Folks resolves to stop interviewing himself.

-Post and Courier reporter John Frank resolves to get a haircut.

-Speaker Bobby Harrell resolves to read FITS' "Twas the Nite Before Christmas" at the gaveling of every session of the House of Representatives.

-Senate aide John Hazzard resolves to spend as much time focusing on state business as he does playing "11-Ball" at the Back Porch restaurant.

-Rep. Ken Kennedy resolves to start reading legislation before it gets to the House floor where he has to ask a million elementary questions about it.

-Sen. Jakie Knotts resolves to stop visiting Kermit LaForce's "Gentleman's" Club ... at least during the Legislative session.

-Sen. John Land resolves to speak only when he's spoken to.

-All State Legislators resolve to stop asking each other a bunch of infuriatingly leading, mind-numbing "Representative So-and-So, Did you know that ..." questions during debate in the upcoming session.

-Sen. Phil Leventis resolves to stop filibustering.

-Queen of the SC Blogosphere Laurin Manning resolves to run for the SC House, get elected and change the color of the State Flag from blue to turquoise.

-Queer as Folks blogger Paul Adams resolves to learn how to spellcheck and take a punctuation class.

-Treasurer Grady Patterson resolves to do something that five minutes ago he remembered but now has all of a sudden forgotten.

-Sen. Luke Rankin resolves to introduce a bill asking you for your permission first before he starts cutting vital organs out of your body.

-Treasurer Trav Robertson resolves to run his office more efficiently and get a higher rate of return on our state's investments.

-Treasurer wanna-be Sen. Greg Ryberg resolves to campaign on something other than how well he can brown-nose the governor.

-First Lady Jenny Sanford resolves to single-handedly restore South Carolina's AAA Credit rating - and get your lazy butt in shape with some Pilates-approved calisthenics will she does it!

-Governor Mark Sanford resolves to add some all-natural nut extract to his tanning regimen.

-Sanford Spokesman Joel Sawyer resolves to actually call the The Andy Thomas Show back. In return, Andy Thomas resolves to start taking his adult ADD medication.

-Veteran "GOP" political consultant Rod Shealy resolves to only play the race card if his opponent is down by more than thirty points, which given his recent electoral track record is likely.

-Rod Shealy, Jr. resolves to bring his cholesterol level somewhere below Ted Williams' lifetime batting average.

-State Newspaper reporter Aaron Gould Sheinin resolves to keep his sideburns at a reasonable length during the legislative session.

-SC Small Business Chamber President Frank Knapp resolves to count the SC Trial Lawyers Association as ONE member of his organization, and refrain from counting all of its members as his own.

-SC State Ports Authority resolves to stop acting like a bunch of communists and let private companies help pay for long-overdue port expansion in Charleston and Jasper Counties.

-Florence Mayor Frank Willis and Sen. Tommy Moore resolve to jointly offer one idea in their respective campaigns for governor and spend their debates arguing over who came up with it.

GOOD LUCK to all you guys and gals!!! Here's hoping you can keep your New Year's resolutions!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Semper Moronas?


Another day, another wannabe blogger.

The latest addition to the SC political blogosphere goes by the moniker Semper Libertas (Always Free), fancies him (or her) self as a 21st Century Captain America and ... get ready for a shocker ... HATES him (or her) some Will Folks.

You can check out Semper's work by visiting www.freecarolina.blogspot.com , or you could save yourself some time by just scrolling down here and reading his (or her) enlightening comments on FITS' recent "Stiletto Mafia" post.

"As long as Daytime talk shows, like Jerry Springer, exist, there will be women with little to no self-respect who will flock to Mr. Folks," our Red, White and Blue jumpsuit-wearing superhero wrote to FITS.

Ouch!!! You just gotta love it when libertarians throw down!!!

So much for peace on earth and goodwill toward men ...

While rumor has it that Semper Libertas is in actuality nothing more than a pimple on Andre Bauer's left butt cheek, count on our crack staff to keep you up to speed in case he (or she) writes anything worth reading.

Oh and Semper, you're welcome. In all likelihood more than six people will pay a visit to your website today.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

"For unto us ..."


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And the government shall be upon His shoulders. And His name shall be wonderful, counsellor, mighty God, everlasting Father, prince of peace."

-Isaiah 9:6

"The Adoration of the Kings" (pictured right), oil on canvas by Peter Brueghel the Elder, circa 1564.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

FITS 'Twas the Night Before Christmas


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the State House
Not a creature was stirring, not even Gov. Sanford’s piglets;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Harrell soon would be there;

The Democratic Caucus Members were all snug in their beds;
While visions of non-essential, discretionary pork spending danced in their heads;

And James Smith in his ‘kerchief, and Bill Cotty in his cap;
Had settled down with Ken Kennedy for a long winter’s nap,

When in the House Chambers there arose such a clatter,
The State House reporters grabbed their microphones and cameras to see what was the matter.

Away to the lobby they flew in a flash,
To ask pointed questions that the politicians didn’t want asked.

The boondoggle spending items all laid out on the new-fallen snow
Gave taxpayers a bigger headache than they’d never known,

When, what to all’s wandering eyes did appear
But the Mayor of Importantville’s sleigh, and eight pork-laden reindeer,

With a calculating driver, so powerful and virile,
I knew it a minute in must be St. Harrell.

More rapid than Liquid plumber your tax dollars drained,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Cooper! Now, Altman! now, Annette Young and Hinson!
On, Merrill! On Clemmons! on Vida Miller and Gene Pinson!

To the top of the State House! To the top of the Dome!
Now dash away! Dash away! Let’s spend other people's money until it’s all gone!

As dry leaves that before the wild spending spree fly,
When they meet with fiscal conservatism, they kiss it goodbye,

So up to the State House Dome St. Harrell’s coursers they flew,
With presents for lobbyists and deferred maintenance for Universities, too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawning of each not-so-little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Harrell came with a bound.

He was dressed like a businessman, from his head to his foot.
Covered in his brother’s lobbying firm brochures instead of ashes and soot;

A bundle of goodies he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
And he handed out treats to get help in Newberry,

and Orangeburg and York, and in Williamsburg, too.
But not so much for Lexington, he said, “there’s no pork here for you.”

The tax dollar sizzling started, the feast had begun,
When from the back of the room Harry Ott yelled out, “hey, can’t I get some?”

“I’m sorry Ott," said St. Harrell. "I’m fresh out of goodies,
But would you like a seat on my old Ways & Means Committee?”

And so it was the Mayor held forth on that day,
to receive his own presents - a purple robe, and a gavel to bang,

He was slick and well-spoken, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
He soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread
(if I move my bank accounts to N.C., that is);

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him explain, as he drove out of sight,
“Happy Spending to all, and to all a good-night!”

Friday, December 23, 2005

Confessions of the Stiletto Mafia


So Will Folks writes for FITS ... REALLY!!! What else is news??? If the pre-filed bills, Top Ten lists and that story about Sanford selling a dozen counties in his budget didn't give it away, then somebody needs a proper introduction to our good friend, Captain Obvious.

Sadly, whatever prodigiousness our boy sic Willie obviously possesses in the eloquence category, the rest of FITS' Stiletto crew can promise you he most assuredly lacks in terms of technical proficiency. Picture a hamster running in circles in your sixth-grade science class and that's our hero attempting to grasp the complexities of the world wide web.

Keep in mind this is the same moron who once upon a time in the Governor's Office called the State CIO to complain that his computer "wasn't working" only to find he had over 200 documents running and had failed to re-boot his machine ... once ... in the previous six months.

FITS is (thankfully) a team effort, and our growing fan base will be pleased to know that the artist currently known as Will Folks is not responsible in the least for keeping us up and running. As a matter of fact, we have a hard enough time getting him to send us his two promised posts a week (must be tough on our boy, running an imaginary consulting firm and all).

In reality, Will (like most men) is good for fewer things than can be counted on one hand. Specifically, as far as FITS is concerned, he is good for not much beyond the following four, operationally-defined, mutually-exclusive tasks - 1) taking the political rap for whatever gets posted on this website, 2) dispensing with enough "celebrity" drama to fill a year's worth of US magazine, 3) providing amazing, multiple-O, lesbian-quality female oral and 4) sporadically sending us some of the funniest political satire available anywhere in the SC blogosphere.

Just remember, behind every good man there's a good woman ... or two ... or three.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Courson Wins FITS 2005 "Good Sport" Award


Too often people involved in the political process take themselves way too seriously. In the South Carolina political blogosphere, this is especially true ... and it often leads to numerous petty and acrimonious exchanges.

That's why the FITS home office was genuinely (and pleasantly) surprised to receive a call this morning from the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, who had evidently been doing a little bit of blogging up in heaven.

Turns out the late distinguished senior Senator from South Carolina, after offering a few jokes and telling FITS that all the cute female angels up in heaven "just love my red hair," was calling to correct the record about one of his dear friends, State Sen. John Courson (pictured above). According to Thurmond, Courson's current dog is named Reagan, not Goldwater (see FITS "All I Want for Christmas Is ..." post). Apparently the dog named for the former Arizona Senator and 1964 GOP Presidential Nominee passed away a few years ago. Thurmond also made sure to point out that Goldwater's predecessor in the Courson Trinity of Conservative Pooches (CTCP) was named after none other than Thurmond himself.

Having set the record straight to FITS' satisfaction, Thurmond then patched us back down to earth, where we chatted for awhile with Sen. Courson. Already sufficiently impressed by his ability to channel deceased political luminaries (and find their phone numbers, no less), we were equally impressed by his benevolent statesmanship and - get this - his ability to laugh at himself. In fact, not since our hero Sic Willie himself gave his personal seal of approval to the www.queerasfolks.com blog have we seen such good political sportsmanship.

That's why we here at FITS are proud to present to State Sen. John Courson from Richland County our Inaugural 2005 "Good Sport" Award. His prize? A purebred show-poodle named "Hillary" and our promise to stop calling him a tool of the liberal, wasteful, inefficient, monopolistic and ineffective status quo S.C. education bureaucracy ... well, for the next fifteen minutes, at least.

Major kudos, though, to State Sen. John Courson. If all the rest were like him, this town might actually break a smile, share a laugh and get something done every once in awhile.

Pimpin' Ain't Easy, is it Joel Sawyer?


FITS received a stern rebuke yesterday from the upper echelons of political power in South Carolina (or at least from the Governor's Office) after momentarily posting a rare high school picture of new Sanford Press Secretary Joel Sawyer (seen right).

While we abhor this government-imposed censorship of our heretofore uninhibited content, FITS is nonetheless intent on having the last laugh.

So with all apologies to Huggy Bear, Tone Loc, Big E. Smalls and Bill Cosby, we proudly present Sic Willie's successor in all his Royal Pimpified Greatness ...

Let's hope Sawyer will refrain from "laying the smack down" on FITS long enough for you to enjoy it this time!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Oscar Grouchy, Shealy Blames Sic Willie for Sign Flap


FITS has learned that "Republican" gubernatorial candidate Dr. Oscar Lovelace has run into a little trouble delivering his message of increased taxes, no choices for parents and sworn allegiance to our state's 1895 system of government to the people.

According to this morning's (Myrtle Beach) Sun News, Dr. Loveless, the most recent inept manifestation of has-been political consultant Rod Shealy, Sr.'s impotent rage against Governor Mark Sanford, had nearly two dozen of his "Lo(insert Palmetto State cutout)elace - A New Governor" signs plucked off the highways in Horry County. Local officials told the Sun News that Dr. Zhivago's signs were illegally placed in public rights of way well in advance of 45 days before the June Republican primary.

Dr. Strangelove reportedly ran into similar problems with illegal sign postings in Sumter County.

When contacted for a response, Dr. Feelgood's campaign manager Rod Shealy, Sr., also known as Dr. Evil, laid the blame squarely on our hero sic Willie.

"About thirty of our signs were stolen from a Prosperity warehouse last week and given that a door had been kicked in, we recognized immediately that we were dealing with Will Folks," Shealy said. "He obviously stole these signs, placed them illegally along the roadside and tipped off the local media."

It's not the first time Shealy, Sr. has taken sic Wilie to task. The King of Slime once went on record with a Charleston television station during the 2004 Chip Campsen-John Kuhn Senate primary attempting to claim that a press release written by the governor himself criticizing his candidate was actually not from the governor, but rather from Folks.

"This is nothing more than the work of an overzealous staffer," Shealy, Sr. told Charleston WCSC-TV 5 at the time.

Sanford later confirmed dictating the release verbatim over the phone to Folks and Campsen ended up thrashing Kuhn at the ballot box, 57% to 43%.

Shealy Sr.'s last gubernatorial candidate, then-sitting Secretary of State Jim Miles, finished in fifth place in a seven-way GOP primary vote in 2002, collecting less than 5% of the vote.

Of course Shealy, Sr. is supremely confident in Dr. Moon River's ability to knock off the governor.

"On June 13, you'll see the biggest upset this state has ever seen," Shealy, Sr., told The (Columbia) State Newspaper yesterday.

Maybe these geniuses should figure out how to put up a sign properly first.

All I Want for Christmas is ...


FITS is proud to release our inaugural installment of "All I Want for Christmas is ..." an extensive list of what South Carolina's legislators, lobbyists, bloggers, State House staffers, candidates and other political animals are looking for under their Christmas trees this holiday season:

Paul Adams, "Queer as Folks" blogger ... his anonymity back.

Rep. John Graham Altman ... 10 rolls of duct tape for his mouth. Wait a second, better make that 100.

Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer ... additional opportunities to exploit old people for his own personal, political gain and plenty of teeth-whitener and hair gel so he can look good doing it.

Ways & Means Chairman Dan Cooper ... a shiny new red fire truck for every House district and some shaving cream and a razor for his totalitarian moustache.

Sen. John Courson ... a monument on the State House grounds to his dog, Goldwater.

(Sic Willie) Folks ... a website with enough bandwidth to house his enormous ego.

John Frank, Reporter, Post and Courier ... for people to stop playing with his hair after appearing on the "Who's Hot at the State House" Top 10 list.

"Goldwater (Sen. Courson's dog)" ... lots of Milkbones and a name more consistent with his pappy's political ideology, like "Carter" or "Clinton."

Secretary of State Mark Hammond ... lots of really stupid tax cheats.

Speaker Bobby Harrell ... nothing, he's already Santa Claus (just ask the House Democratic Caucus).

Sen. Brad Hutto ... stock in 'Just for Men' and a national championship for his beloved Georgetown Hoyas.

SC Small Business Chamber President Frank Knapp ... membership roles that aren't inflated.

Sen. Jakie Knotts ... Lexington County pork and Ultra ultra ultra ultra Slim-Fast.

Sen. John Land ... SC's unemployment rate reaching 8% and him in front of a bank of TV cameras.

Sen. Hugh Leatherman ... a reversal of political trends in South Carolina enabling him to return to his rightful place of prominence in the Democratic Party.

Dr. Oscar Lovelace, GOP candidate for governor ... a campaign based on something other than raising taxes and a once-potent political consultant's transparent personal vendetta.

Queen of SC Blogosphere Laurin Manning ... a press agent to handle her newfound celebrity.

Rep. Harry Ott ... a seat on the powerful Ways & Means committee (wait a minute ... looks like Santa Barrel came early!!!)

State Treasurer Grady Patterson ... the ability to manage all of South Carolina's finances and investments from the "Gentle Oaks" retirement home.

State Treasurer Trav Roberston ... for people to stop coming up to him, nodding their heads vigorously and saying, "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

Gov. Mark Sanford ... a communications shop.

Joel Sawyer, Press Secretary, Governor's Office ... a sense of humor.

SC Democratic Party ... anonymous web servers.

SC Republican Party ... Legislative candidates that actually resemble Republicans.

Rod Shealy, Sr. ... a soul.

Rod Shealy, Jr. ... a brain.

Clara Smith, Lobbyist ... black fishnets and Billy Idol's "Rob the Cradle" video to practice her dance moves.

Sen. Verne Smith ... an air-conditioned golf cart with running boards, hydraulics and sirens and a BPS escort to the State House each legislative day.

The State Newspaper editorial board ... for everyone to stop thinking independently and just do whatever they say.

Former Rep. Harry Stille ... a year's supply of "Soul-Glo."

Ryberg for Treasurer Campaign Manager Terry Sullivan ... a filter.

Rep. Michael Thompson ... a lifetime subscription to Maxim magazine.

U.S. Ambassador to Canada David H. Wilkins ... a return airplane ticket to someplace where it's warm, he's someone important and nobody speaks French.

Wives, husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends of FITS' "Who's Hot at the State House?" honorees ... no more "Who's Hot at the State House?" lists.

Rep. Annette Young ... Dewar's White Label from everyone on her Christmas list!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!!!

Friday, December 16, 2005

LaurinLine Goes Big Time (Again)


She is the undisputed Queen of the SC Blogosphere, and now it would appear that Her Royal Highness is finally taking some guff commensurate with her title. Well good for you, Miss Manning. We at FITS can tell you that when you're at the top of any food chain it's only Darwinian that rabid packs of lesser species will try and knock you off your block (picture multiple hyenas attempting to ambush a strong, proud lionness). Just take it from FITS, girlfriend, keep your head held high and remember that all these anonymous cretins talking smack to you are really jealous that no one is talking about them!!!

So why is it that Laurin (www.laurinmanning.com) currently finds herself under the gun?

Apparently, because she told the truth when reporters called her and asked her to confirm rumors they had heard regarding a SC Democratic operative who makes frequent anonymous comments on her website. This operative, according to stories published in yesterday's State Newspaper and Charleston Post and Courier, visited the LaurinLine several times in recent weeks, posting disparaging comments about Florence Mayor Frank Willis' gubernatorial campaign and attempting to post disparaging comments about former governor Carroll Campbell (the day after Campbell passed away, no less).

While the vast majority of South Carolinians were rightfully disgusted by the utter insensitivity and callousness of the comments themselves, a few (mostly anonymous) attackers came after Laurin for "selling out a source" and preoccupied themselves with ascertaining the identity of a mysterious "X," who allegedly leaked the story to the news media against Queen Manning's wishes. With hyena-teeth bared, these lesser intellects and diversionary panderers of blame-shifting scorn assailed Laurin's decision to simply confirm what she knew to be true to the newspapers.

Help us out here, but since when did telling the truth become a dishonorable thing? Seriously, Laurin wasn't telling Hitler's minions to come inside and have a cup of coffee while she herded Anne Frank and her family out of the attic. She wasn't keeping Donnie Brasco's identity from the mob to keep him from "sleeping with the fishes." Hell, she wasn't even obscuring the status of Tom Brady's leg injury heading into this weekend's game against the Jets just to screw with fantasy football owners.

The truth is that our Queen did the right thing based on the situation in which she found herself. Whether circumstances have backed you into an uncomfortable corner or not, you just don't lie to cops, judges or reporters. Fact is, Miss Manning is probably the closest thing to authentic purity of motive to currently call the increasingly nebulous (and increasingly public) world of the SC blogosphere "home." Like George Washington, who inadvertently chopped down his father's favorite cherry tree searching for wood, she could not tell a lie when asked for the truth.

"That you should not be afraid to tell the truth is more precious to me than a thousand trees!" Washington's father told the future father of our nation when he admitted his so-called indiscretion. "Yes - though they were blossomed with silver and had leaves of the purest gold!"

Or as Tee Pee, brother of the fictitious Arizona Cardinals' wide receiver Rod Tidwell, more succinctly says in the film Jerry McGuire - "I got a commitment to the truth. I'm just keepin' it real."

Congrats to Miss Manning for "keeping it real," and beware to morons who would attempt to smear others anonymously.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bad Day for Sic Willie on the Blogs


Our hero took a blogosphere beating today - see below:

First, the ever-saucy Gervais S. Bridges (winner of multiple "Bloggies") has a hilarious "Will Folks' jokes" section over at www.scbarbecue.blogspot.com.

Then our friends at www.queerasfolks.blogspot.com poke some additional fun at sic Willie's "imaginary consulting firm."

Of course, you can count on FITS and Rod Shealy, Jr. over at www.waggingtheblog.blogspot.com to keep you up to speed on the latest news surrounding His Royal Slickness.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Folks Gives Small Business Chamber "Just A Little Poke"


FITS received its latest copy of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCoC) newsletter yesterday morning and just about choked on our Flutie Flakes and 2% milk. There, nestled deep within a bunch of mind-numbing jibber-jabber 'bout this or that legislative fleecing, was a so-called "news" item on our hero Sic Willie.

It seems His Royal Slickness had a run-in with the good folks at the SCSBCoC over on the Laurin Line, and the SCSBCoC's Frank Knapp decided to inform his members of the exchange in the organization's newsletter. Headlined "Ex-Sanford Aid (we assume they meant 'Aide') Attacks Small Business Chamber," Knapp went on to quote Sic Willie as saying the SCSBCoC was a "fraud" and "a partisan sham," and that Knapp himself was "a penny-ante legislative observer."

Of course, having read the "offending" documents on the LaurinLine ourselves, we at FITS were disappointed that the SCSBCoC newsletter left out the best part our favorite bad boy's comments, specifically that Knapp was "skulking in the back of the lower lobby checking out Barbara Melvin's heels" while the SCSBCoC's rival, the local National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), was getting beaucoup love from Governor Sanford at the podium during the small business income tax relief bill signing ceremony. Yaaaooowza! Now that's the Willie we know and love!!!

The SCSBCoC - founded by former Democratic Rep. Tim Wilkes - claims that small business income tax relief, regulatory relief and lawsuit relief (all passed since January 2003) were their ideas back in 2000, but the organization has been curiously silent on these ideas since Sanford took office. Knapp himself even went after the Guv-nah publicly earlier this month saying his administration lacked a "strategy" for helping South Carolina's small businesses. Wait a minute, he gets all the things these guys claim to support throught the legislature (with no help from the SCSBCoC), and then the same people attack him for not having a strategy? It don't take Sherlock Holmes' logic to call bull#%&* on that.

Now Sanford is certainly lacking for any number of things (communications staff, spare change, business suits, a backbone on the school choice issue, just to name a few) but it's pretty tough to say he hasn't gone to bat for small businesses in a big way.

The SCSBCoC also took some pretty substantial liberties with the truth in its newsletter, claiming that our hero sic Willie "resigned his government job after being arrested for criminal domestic violence." As most are aware, the Slick One publicly announced his resignation four days before said arrest (and many maintain that the cause-effect relationship of that whole she-bang - whoops, bad word choice there - is really the other way around).

Worse still, the newsletter then goes on to say that incoming Sanford Co-Chief-of-Staff Tom Davis "sent Mr. Knapp an e-mail in response to the blog criticisms" while praising the SCSBCoC.

FITS has learned that Davis did indeed send Knapp a private e-mail on December 6 in response to two anonymous posts on the LaurinLine, but what the SCSBCoC newsletter fails to mention is that this e-mail could not have possibly been in response to Folks' criticisms - because they hadn't even been made yet! Sic Willie's first post about the SCSBCoC was made on December 7, the following day.

Why the hell the SCSBCoC would include an item like this in its newsletter - and then go to such lengths to misrepresent or recklessly falsify facts surrounding the incident - is completely beyond us. What the hell do the SCSBCoC's members care what Sic Willie said on a blog??? Jesus, people. Is that news??? Go protest a BellSouth rate hike or something.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The 2005 "Bloggie" Awards


Forget the Oscars, Tonys, Emmys or Grammys, FITS has an exclusive sneak peek at the winners of what is truly Western Civilization's most prestigious honor - the "Bloggies." And instead of boring old dust-collecting, phallic-looking trophies, "Bloggie" winners not only get an all-expense paid trip to Upper Conway Lower Aynor to receive their honors, but their own blue-ribbon winning Alpaca (pictured left with State Sen. Linda Short) as well. So without further adieu, the envelopes, please (get your Alpaca pooper-scoopers ready, kids):

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
www.schotline.com

KING AND QUEEN OF THE SC BLOGOSPHERE
King - Gervais S. Bridges (www.scbarbeque.blogspot.com)
Queen - Laurin P. Manning (www.laurinmanning.com)

BEST BLOG (OVERALL CONTENT) AWARD
www.laurinmanning.com

BEST BLOG (HUMOR) AWARD
www.scbarbeque.blogspot.com

BEST BLOG (ACCURACY AND FAIRNESS) AWARD
www.palmettoneocon.blogspot.com
www.devinelysouthern.blogspot.com

MOST HILARIOUS BLOG POST OF THE YEAR AWARD
Gervais S. Bridges - Gov. Mark Sanford's Zipper

MOST SUBSTANTIVE BLOG POST OF THE YEAR AWARD
Laurin Manning - Rep. Joe Wilson's $50 billion "That Ain't Nuthin" post

MOST TALKED ABOUT BLOG POST OF THE YEAR AWARD
Faithinthesound - Who's Hot at the State House?

ANTI-CORPORATE RANT OF THE YEAR AWARD
Tim Kelly - Crack the Bell

TERRY SULLIVAN "BLOG BOOB" OF THE YEAR AWARD
Terry Sullivan

LUTHER F. CARTER "KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE" POST OF THE YEAR AWARD
Capital Cafe - "Lay Off Will and Ashley"

ROD SHEALY, SR. AWARD FOR PETTY, VINDICTIVE BLOGGING
Rod Shealy, Jr. - www.waggingtheblog.blogspot.com

OLIVER STONE AWARD FOR WORST BLOG CONSPIRACY THEORY
Rod Shealy, Jr. - www.waggingtheblog.blogspot.com

BEST NEW BLOGGER AWARD
www.thecapitalcafe.blogspot.com

MOST OFFENSIVE NEW BLOGGER AWARD
www.queerasfolks.blogspot.com

BEST BLOG "LOCATION" DESCRIPTION AWARD
www.maskedmedia.blogspot.com (Site claims to be located in Dawndy Mercer's lap)

BEST BLOG "PROFILE" DESCRIPTION AWARD
Gervais S. Bridges

MOST-VIEWED BLOG "PROFILE" DESCRIPTION AWARD
Faithinthesound

BEST BLOG-O-MATOGRAPHY AWARD
www.laurinmanning.com

WORST ATTEMPT AT SPITEFUL, ANONYMOUS COMMENT POSTING ON A BLOG AWARD
South Carolina Democratic Party

MOST INTELLIGENT GUEST COMMENTING ON A BLOG AWARD
Daniel J. Layfield

2005 "PROFILES IN BLOGGING" GUEST BLOGGER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Will Folks - www.laurinmanning.com

2005 "AMBASSADOR OF KWAN" GUEST BLOG POST OF THE YEAR AWARD
Tom Davis - "Brackish Waters"

POLITICIAN MOST LIKELY TO GET ANGRY ENOUGH TO POST AN ANONYMOUS RESPONSE ON A BLOG AWARD
House - Rep. Dan Cooper
Senate - Sen. Scott Richardson

POLITICIAN MOST LIKELY TO READ SOMETHING ON A BLOG AND GET ANGRY BUT BE TOO COOL TO RESPOND AWARD
House - Mayor of Importantville, Bobby Harrell
Senate - Sen. Hugh Leatherman

POLITICIAN MOST LIKELY TO REQUIRE A STAFFER TO SHOW HIM OR HER HOW TO PULL A BLOG UP ON THE INTERNET, THEN EXPLAIN WHAT A BLOG IS, THEN EXPLAIN WHAT THE INTERNET IS ... THEN, GOOD GRIEF, NEVERMIND AWARD
House - Rep. Ken "Mr. Speaker, I'm a bit confused" Kennedy
Senate - Sen. Verne "All the Leeel Cheeeldren" Smith

GOVERNOR'S OFFICE STAFFER MOST LIKELY TO POST ANONYMOUS COMMENTS ON A BLOG AWARD
Jenny Sanford

INANIMATE OBJECTS AS THE SUBJECT OF TOO MUCH DISCUSSION ON BLOGS AWARD
State House Flags

KUDOS AND CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS. BE SURE TO POST YOUR AWARD IDEAS AND SUGGESTED RECIPIENTS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Just Wingin' It


With three-fourths of the FITS crack staff in attendance at yesterday's grand opening of the Northeast Columbia Wild Wing Cafe (myself being the lone exception - no fun!!!), you can bet that the political gossip was flowing as liberally as the free beer and chicken wings. Here's a recap of some of last night's high points as compiled by our industrious team of investigative journalists:

1) Rep. Murrell Smith knows how to throw a great party (Smith is one of the owners of the Northeast Wild Wing). Borrowing the eloquence of the two African-American gentleman sitting outside Eddie Murphy's infamous party in the film "Trading Places," this event was "a stone cold groove, my man."

2) Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" can be played on the accoustic guitar as well as the piano? You're kidding. We've all heard the string quartet adaptation from "The Wedding Singer," but last night's single guitar version was a real treat. The guitarist also performed an impressive, down-tempo version of the Killers' "Mr. Brightside," along with standard accoustic Dave Matthews and John Mayer fare. John Mayer fare ... did we really just say that?

3) Rick Quinn, Republican candidate for Treasurer, magnanimously shook hands with the current occupant of that office, Trav Robertson, who demonstrated his Budget & Control Board "nodding" technique to the great amusement of everyone in attendance. Robertson later broke some bad news to FITS, however, telling us that the Treasurer's Office will be switching to a "one tap for yes, two taps for no" communication system in 2006.

4) FITS has discovered that Laurin Manning, queen of the SC Blogosphere, either knows or is related to every single person in South Carolina.

5) Nobody cruises for chicks better than Mark Sweatman. Yo Sweat-dawg, the boys at FITS will be your wingmen anytime!

6) Our hero sic Willie accidentally transported a tumbler glass from Wild Wing back downtown to the Clubhouse (Sorry, Murrell ... FITS will reimburse you for that!!!)

7) John Hazzard and J.J. Darby were briefly given access to their testacles for the purpose of attending the party, and promptly used said testosterone to engage in a spirited debate over whether or not their wives had given them a "hall pass" or a "yard pass" for the evening. FITS is pleased to report that both were back home before 8:30, lovingly massaging the feet of their respective wives.

8) David Haskins, son of State Rep. Gloria Haskins, consumed 2,321 wings, 812 breaded chicken nuggets and 401 barbeque chicken nuggets - all in just under 14 minutes. He then belched with sufficient force to register a 2.3 on the Richter Scale, according to Clemson PSA researchers.

9) FITS may have been correct in its assumption that there resides inside State House Top Ten Vixen Clara Smith just a little bit of the girl from the Billy Idol video. FITS also learned that the most efficient method of beverage transfer in a crowded bar is to simply pass full glasses over Clara's head to their respective destinations.

10) Speaking of State House Top Ten Girls, no fewer than three were in attendance at last night's gig. In addition to the always-voluptuous Mrs. Smith, No. 5 Lindsey Bonds and No. 7 Sara Hopper were also present, much to the satisfaction of the assembled gentlemen. Hopper, whom FITS' staff noted was looking most curvaceous in tight blue jeans and an even tighter sweater, made quite an impression on our staff. Any babe that can intelligently discuss the dangers inherent in excessive objectification of her babe status is SOLID in our book. Aye Cabana Boy!

Stay tuned ... the FITS 2005 Ultimate Christmas Wishlist, 2006 State House Fashion Preview and much more side-splitting hilarity is coming your way soon! Post your "All this legislator wants for Christmas is ..." comments below and we'll consider them for inclusion the Ultimate Christmas Wishlist!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Carolina Statesman: 1940-2005


Strong. Proud. Tough. Visionary. Uncompromising.

Carroll A. Campbell, Jr., was all of these things - and so much more.

Much will be said and written in the days, weeks and years to come about this remarkable statesman, and rightly so. It is entirely appropriate that we as South Carolinians do this. But nothing we say or do, no tribute or lowered flag, no testimonial or heart-warming anecdote, will ever speak to the full weight of his accomplishments any clearer or more succinctly than the South Carolina economic and political landscape that he so fundamentally transformed.

Many politicians can lay claim to being actors on the stage. But it was Campbell, perhaps more than any other South Carolinian, who can lay claim to building that stage.

The prayers of all South Carolinians go out to Iris and the entire Campbell family, trusting that they will take comfort not only in their own cherished memories of a beloved family member, or the sincere, profound gratitude of a grateful state, but in the knowledge that God has taken him to a place where he is whole again in mind, body and spirit.

Economic development and the fight for efficient government in heaven just got a huge helping hand ... and God help any angels not ready to roll up their sleeves and get down to business.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

FITS Exclusive: Sanford Budget to Sell 12 S.C. Counties


In a pre-session budget bombshell, FITS has learned that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's 2006-2007 Executive Budget (due out the first week of January) will include the sale of twelve underperforming counties to our neighboring states of Georgia and North Carolina. Calling the proposal "consistent with where we've been coming from from day one when it comes to market principles," the governor (pictured) likened the sale to dumping a bad stock.

"You don't hang onto equity investments that historically underperform, I don't know why you'd want to hang onto counties that historically underperform, either," Sanford told FITS. "I've got a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of South Carolina, except of course the ones we're selling to Georgia and North Carolina."

Under the governor's proposal, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Lee, Marion and Marlboro Counties would be sold to the State of North Carolina for $3.99. Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell and Hampton Counties would be sold to the State of Georgia for $1.99. The twelfth county, Anderson, is also headed to Georgia, but Gov. Sonny Perdue insisted his state receive compensation in the amount of $500 million.

"Yeah, we had actually had to pay them half a billion to take Anderson County," Sanford budget advisor Kevin Kibler said. "But I think most people would agree that was a good move."

If the governor's proposal is approved by the General Assembly, South Carolina would move overnight from 50th to 15th in the nation in SAT scores, from 42nd to 13th in personal income levels and from 1st to 43rd in the number of manufactured homes per capita.

"And then there's the best part," Sanford added. "No more friggin' Leatherman."

Sanford's proposal was welcomed by legislators in Greenville, the Midlands and the Lowcountry.


"I think it's a great idea," said House Majority Leader Jimmy Merrill (R-Charleston). "We keep BMW, we keep the port, we keep the Grand Strand - I mean what's not to like?"

"It's the first damn sensible thing he's done since he got there," said Rep. Bob Leach (R-Greenville), raising his tapioca pudding spoon in a toast to the governor. "Boy oh boy, this puddin' sure is good."

"If it's more dollar bills for my peeps, I can dig it," said Rep. Todd Rutherford (D-Columbia). "My Beyonce will be pleased."

Democratic Rep. Harry Ott criticized the plan, however, saying it would dramatically reduce Democratic representation in the House and Senate as well as give up on some of South Carolina's most at-risk children.

"They are just trying to shuffle the minority party out of existence in South Carolina," Ott said. "The governor should be ashamed of throwing in the towel with respect to these low-income areas of our state."

"Rep. Ott can take his 'Corridor of Shame' and stick it where the sun don't shine as far as we're concerned," Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said.

Mayor of Importantville Bobby Harrell said he was pleased with the governor's proposal because it would limit the number of political favors he has to dish out the next time he runs for Speaker of the House.

"I think the governor is finally showing the kind of leadership we need from him," Harrell said. "I feel confident this proposal will be received warmly by the majority in the House."

Monday, December 05, 2005

Second Food Fetish Blog Joins the Fray


First there was the juicy Gervais' "Barbeque and Politics" website. Now we have another culinary-inclined addition to the ever-expanding (and ever-addictive) South Carolina blogosphere. The site is called "Capital Cafe," www.thecapitalcafe.blogspot.com, and at first glance it certainly would appear to have some staying power.

Owned and operated under the nom de plume of one of our state's most prestigious public servants, Sol Blott, FITS' first sampling of the Cafe's menu gave us considerable pause for reflection. Entitled "Lay Off Ashley and Will," the author encourages those who claim to be "Southern gentleman" to start acting like it by avoiding overly-personal attacks against our bad boy sic Willie and his former flame.

We at FITS (Southern ladies and gentlemen all), concerned that we may have overstepped this bound a time or two (or three), would like to thank ole Solomon for his post. He's right, and as wise as his Biblical namesake. There's a fine line between having some fun (Gervais S. Bridges' Mark Sanford as sic Willie Halloween post, for example) and being downright mean (Wagging the Blog), and we at FITS will certainly do our best to keep satire in its proper perspective as we continue chronicling the exploits of our favorite bad boy and other players on the SC political scene.

Sic Willie himself has told us that he personally has no problem with FITS (Hell, we'll admit it, he wrote the hilarious pre-filed bills post for us) or any of the other blogs - including the new "Queer as Folks," whose title itself suggests our boy is a tad light in the loafers.

Capital Cafe is on target, though, and any blog that makes you think (as well as laugh) is doing its job. Now if we can just figure out to get "Barbeque and Politics" and "Capital Cafe" to accept our take-out orders we'll be in business ... we're hungry!! Girls and boys gotta eat!!!

Speaking of sic Willie, 'twas just another day at the office for him on the name ID front. His recent pasting of the General Assembly appeared in its fourth daily newspaper (Greenwood Index-Journal) and over on the Laurin Line (www.laurinmanning.com) there's a new slick Willie original - this time bashing the Representatives in Washington D.C. as opposed to those closer to home.

In other news, FITS' editors are hard-at-work preparing a 2006 Legislative Fashion Preview, to be compiled within the next few weeks by a brand-new addition to our staff. Look for it on e-newstands soon!!!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

SC Blogs Hit the Big Time


South Carolina's burgeoning community of political blogs got some long-overdue love this morning from the mainstream news media, or the "dead tree" media as Queen Laurin over at www.laurinmanning.com affectionately calls them. In case you missed it, The State newspaper's Aaron Gould Sheinin has penned a Sunday feature story on Gervais S. Bridges' "Barbeque and Politics" website, highlighting some of the purple-martin raised blogger's greatest hits along with a sidebar story listing other SC Blogs of note.

How big-time have blogs gotten?

Reached for comment at his palacial embassy north of the border, former S.C. Speaker of the House and U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins was even compelled to comment.

"Ya'll keep writin', we'll keep celebratin'," Wilkins guffawed between cognac sips.

Expect the "blogstock" to continue rising as current Legislators return to town a month from now and as primary and general elections approach next June and November. Heck, maybe Gervais can convene an inaugural "SC Blog Summit" to figure out how we can all get together and make a little money on these things. After all, FITS doesn't want to have to pose nude for Playboy to pay off our Christmas credit card bills!!!

Double kudos to Gervais, though - not only for the good press, but for acquitting himself remarkably well in his interview with Sheinin. You may recall that FITS' inaugural post was dedicated to the "saucy" S. Bridges, and even sic Willie himself (an occasional target of the BBQ master) praised Gervais for his "exquisitely-smoked and tender-roasted witticisms" in a recent column on the Laurin Line.

Finally, a well-deserved shout out to our friends at the Laurin Line, Devinely Southern, Crack the Bell, I Don't Believe the State, The Body Politic and the various palmettos (Neocon, Pundit, Observer and Habberplab).

Ya'll keep writin', we'll keep celebratin' indeed!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Another Blog About Will Folks? Jeez ...


FITS thought we had him all to ourselves but no, South Carolina's preeminent bad boy is the subject of yet another political blog, www.queerasfolks.blogspot.com.

Really people, can we give it a rest?

Sic Willie wasn't governor, wasn't a Constitutional Officer, a Senator, a Representative, a Cabinet member, a State House janitor or anything important like that ... hell, he wasn't even Lt. Governor for crying out loud! Why all the fuss???

"Queer as Folks" does at least have a funny story about Sen. Glenn McConnell playing around with some toy Confederate soldiers, but the author stoops a bit in a post about the governor's communications director position being advertised on Monster.com. According to the site, one of the qualifications for the job involves using "human bodies to rearrange furniture."

Ouch, indeed.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Who's Hot Part II - Electric Boogaloo


FITS' crack staff was literally under siege from every direction yesterday as the buzz surrounding our now infamous "Who's Hot at the State House" list spread through the South Carolina political community faster than John Graham Altman's chronic psoriasis on a particularly hot and humid summer afternoon. A furious Rep. Dan Cooper (pictured, above) joined fellow Ways & Means Committee Members (pictured, background) in angrily denouncing the list, and Governor Mark Sanford - in rare synchronicity with the Legislature - also intimated that the list was "entirely inappropriate." The governor said something or the other about his and Jenny's "four little boys" and that FITS' list (see post below) did nothing to "keep South Carolina home to them, or frankly a lot of other kids and grandkids that are out there."

"More importantly, I am definitely hotter than Larry Marchant," the governor added once his wife was out of earshot. "What kind of bull#%&* is that?"

Reaction was understandably strong given the unexpected swarm of publicity accompanying the release of the FITS' lists, which were read aloud on the Andy Thomas Radio Show yesterday afternoon prior to an appearance on the program by the Queen of the SC Blogosphere herself, Laurin P. Manning.

"What are FMN shoes?" a befuddled Thomas asked his listeners.

Oops.

Prevailing sentiment is that Sen. Vince Sheheen should have gotten a nod on the guys side (what can we say, Vince, sorry!) and that Jennifer Sparks, an aide to veteran GOP strategist Warren Tompkins, should have been included w/ the girls. We're hoping to devote today's comments section to additional entries for consideration, so hop on and tell us who you think we missed!

Speaking of which, a quick note to all you commenters out there. While FITS gets cracking on its sure-to-blow-the-thang-up-again "Who's NOT Hot at the State House" list, please remember that commenting anonymously is permitted (and encouraged) on this website. Commenting while pretending to be someone else, however, is bush league and will not be tolerated. Yesterday Mark Plowden, a friend of two FITS' staffers, and "Record Keeper," a frequent poster on www.laurinmanning.com, had their identities hijacked by fraudulent posters on this website.

This is supposed to be fun kids! Let's keep it that way and not steal people's names or online identities.