• I have struggled with how best to convey my regret in letting so many down, and in that regard I realize this op-ed does not do justice to the process of saying “I am sorry.” A handwritten note or phone call would ultimately be more appropriate, but given the number of people I need to apologize to I write this to begin the journey of trying to get things more right with you and others.

  • You meet a lot of people in this business.

    Newspaper reporters meet more new people in a week than most people meet in a year. Consequently, putting names to faces can be a bit of a challenge, which can be awkward. A few years ago I bumped into someone I allegedly went to high school with. I had to take her word for it, but had no memory of ever meeting her —let alone of having attended school with her for three years. Her place in my memory banks was probably replaced with any one of the thousands of people I’ve met since entering the newspaper world.

  •  I’d intended to write a column this week to calm the waters about a “Democrat Tax Hike!” which would offset the initial cost of health care reform with a public option; about the surtax on top marginal rates and why you and I have nothing to fear. (Hint: a) if you make less than $357,700 per year, your taxes will NOT increase, and b) President Obama proposes restoring the top marginal tax rates--on millionaires/billionaires only--to the 38% former President Ronald Reagan deemed fair and balanced in the ’80s. Dubya reduced taxes on the uber-rich to 35%.

  • Where does the Federal Government derive so much power and influence?  Constitutional Originalists like me think they either steal it or derive it from smoke and mirrors.  Those in power would point to two places in the Constitution, the “Commerce Clause” and the “Necessary and Proper Clause”.  Those in power would of course be wrong.

  • We are in need of foster homes for dogs and cats until we can place them in their forever home.  If you are able to care for an animal until it is placed in a permanent home please contact us at one of the above numbers.

     The following information was obtained from The Humane Society of Richmond County.

    “Did you know?  Each day 10,000 humans are born in the U.S., and each day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. 

    As long as these birth rates exist, there will never be enough homes for all the animals. 

  • I think it’s safe to say that nobody anticipated the impact that the Internet would have on society.

    As visionary an author as Arthur C. Clarke could be, even he failed to predict the flood that would be unleashed once we figured out how to instantly share technology around the world. In his novel of 2001: A Space Odyssey, he speculated the telephone companies would eventually abolish long-distance service charges, bringing the world much closer together. He wasn’t exactly correct, but he was in the right ballpark.

  • Now It’s Personal!

    Liberals are now wanting to tax fatty foods as well as sodas and other delicious items.  This is all in an effort to reduce the cost of healthcare.  Someone might say it’s to motivate me to be thin and healthy... but that is just a lie.  Here is one you might not see coming... I agree the obese are too expensive to publicly insure and something must be done! 

  • Last week, the “inbox” of my e-mail account was abused by South Carolina politicians trying to spin S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford’s indiscretions in their own favor. Among them was Sanford, himself.

    It became a case of dueling press conferences that resulted in political sniping across the state. I know this because lots of folks with an opinion (and a political campaign) sent me multiple e-mails on the subject.

  • It’s National Newspaper Week and a good time to set the record straight about South Carolina’s 115 daily and weekly newspapers.

    Your local newspaper is facing tight times, just like other businesses. But unlike some highly-publicized big city newspapers, your hometown paper isn’t going away.

    The newspaper in your hands now will keep coming to you next week and next year to tell you what’s going on in your community. And we should be thankful for that.

  • Every day another 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance.

    Every 12 minutes another American dies due to lack of coverage and medical care.

  • As the holidays approach, many of us will gather with family and friends. More often than not, these gatherings will include reminiscences about loved ones, re-telling of funny family stories, and the sharing of traditions honored year after year.

    This emphasis on remembrance, so welcomed during joyful times, also plays an important role in difficult times, especially at the end of life.

  • My name is Wallace McBride, and I’m football illiterate.

    I don’t know much about the sport. The basic structure of the game is pretty easy to grasp, but the smaller details have always eluded me.

  • After a week of debate until the wee hours of the night and morning, the House approved a budget for Fiscal Year 2010-11 that is an improvement over the version approved by the House Ways and Means Committee but is still far from adequate. The new version (H 4657)  would incorporate nearly $174  million in expected new federal Medicaid funds to help  restore funding to several agencies, including the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs and Department of Juvenile Justice. 

  • It was a fun - if exhausting - few hours.

    Saturday morning I packed a bag, applied some sunscreen and ventured out to 40 Acre Rock. Like Sugarloaf Mountain, 40 Acre Rock is one of those places I’ve heard people talk about but never actually visited.  There were a lot of images in my head about what a place called “40 Acre Rock” might look like, and I was a little surprised to see it looked nothing like the setting of an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel.

  • One of the main issues on our legislative plate this session is reforming the state Employment Security Commission (ESC), the agency responsible for providing unemployment benefits to the state’s jobless and for managing the state’s job placement programs.