Heard in the Echo Chamber - A Store For SC, Finally
We've got to hand it to FITS' girl Amy H., she not only sends us the best pictures, but she's also a living, breathing human being (and a damn fine one to boot) as opposed to being part of Will Folks' universally diagnosed yet still untreated schizophrenia.
So while former Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry made the headlines this week with his health care-themed visit to the Palmetto State, we think our girl Amy appropriately captured the pernicious realities confronting the Massachusetts Senator and his fellow 2008 Presidential hopefuls in South Carolina with just one photograph.
Kerry's idea is pretty simple - repeal a portion of the Bush tax cuts so that the top 1% of income earners in America can finance a massive expansion of federal health care to poor people, thus freeing up historically low-income states like South Carolina to expand coverage further up the ladder.
Kerry is the second 2008 contender to hitch his wagon on a big health care idea - fellow Bay Stater Mitt Romney having recently rolled out a slightly left-of-center "Hillary-care lite" universal health care plan for his home state that he hopes will evolve into a national model.
What these good folks from Taxachusetts don't seem to get is that South Carolina's problem has as much to do with a government structure that's wasteful and inefficient (we have 8, count 'em 8, state agencies currently providing health care) as it does with a lack of resources given our lowly, non-competitive economic status.
As it turns out Gov. Mark Sanford - in addition to championing pro-growth economic policies and pushing for a massive streamlining of the current health care delivery system - is well ahead of the curve when it comes to advancing a more user-based cost structure, one that would finally open the door to personal health savings accounts.
Of course to hear the bozos in the S.C. General Assembly talk, what the hell does he know? he's just a damn libertarian, right?
And besides, like all of South Carolina's centuries-old problems, why dam up the creek and actually solve the problem when we can keep buying increasingly expensive paddles with other people's money?
WALLACE, TEXAS RANGER GETS OFF
Like those damn Earps, who never met a problem that couldn't be solved with cold steel, Lowcountry Rep. Wallace "Cool Hand" Scarborough will not be prosecuted for a July 15 incident in which he is alleged to have shot at (or near) two SCE&G utility employees working on his parents' property in a Charleston suburb.
Scarborough, who famously told the Charleston Post and Courier that if he had wanted to shoot the two employees "they'd be dead," appears to have now dodged a bullet himself with Solicitor Ralph Hoisington's announcement that he will not prosecute the case. Laurin Manning recently pointed out Hoisington's cozy relationship with Scarborough attorney Bart Daniel, and even hinted not-so-subtly that a Wallace walk was what was in the works. (Damn, that's good alliteration if we do say so ourselves).
Well, while Wallace walks (sorry, we did it again), the incident remains yet another reminder to the rest of the nation that yes, we'z still be a buncha' dumass gun-totin' reyyud-necks down hee-yure.
WE CAN'T TIE OUR OWN SHOELACES BUT ...
... South Carolina will nonetheless remain the "First in the South" Presidential Primary for both the Democratic and Republican parties, according to news reports published today.
In other words, we will continue to have the opportunity every four years to showcase for the rest of the nation our unwavering pride in the Confederate Flag (not to mention our very own $100 million Confederate submarine), our worst-in-the-nation school system, our third-highest-in-the-nation unemployment rate, our 1895 system of government, our Marxist port management philosophy and our militant hatred of homosexuals and anything that remotely resembles economic, educational or social progress.
Of course, political observers like us will continue to laugh all the way to the bank, but ...
PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SADNESS
He hates us, and to be fair, we probably hate him a little bit, too.
But that doesn't change the fact that Ross Shealy's "Barbecue and Politics" website was one of the funniest, best-written blogs South Carolina will ever see - just as anything that devotes so much original content to our very own Sic Willie must be.
Ross' decision to hang up the mouse and keyboard is a sad one, and as his longtime antagonists we stand humbly and reverently in awe of his talent, his humor and his creativity.
We wish Mr. Shealy Godspeed in all of his future endeavors, and hope to have the opportunity to sample more of his "exquisitely-smoked witticisms" in some form or fashion in the very near future.
Thanks for the laughs (particularly those at our expense) and best wishes, Ross.
Until next week ... be heard.