A little while back Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour refused to discuss a Magnolia State license plate honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, a noted Confederate general and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
At the time, Barbour took a beating in the press and rightfully so. Regardless of Forrest's merits and achievements, it's impossible to overlook his affiliation with the KKK.
As a man considering entering the race for the GOP presidential nomination, Barbour should have been aware of how his silent support would play across the country.
Apparently, Barbour recently realized that he cast himself as a racist douche bag and he has since corrected matters by making the strange admission that slavery was in fact the cause of the Civil War. Politico reports:
But [Barbour] has now made a forthright declaration about the events swirling around what some Southerners still call the War of Northern Aggression. “Slavery was the primary, central, cause of secession,” Barbour told me Friday. “The Civil War was necessary to bring about the abolition of slavery,” he continued. “Abolishing slavery was morally imperative and necessary, and it’s regrettable that it took the Civil War to do it. But it did.”
Unfortunately, Barbour's declaration may have the opposite effect of what he intended. While his admission that slavery was the primary cause of the Civil War will make him somewhat more appealing to those who bristled at his silence during the license plate controversy, it will surely hurt Barbour's chances among those who firmly attest that slavery was not the primary cause of the War Between the States. And believe you me, there are plenty of those guys and gals right here in South Carolina.
They are the folks who tell you that nowhere in the S.C. Ordinance of Secession do the signers mention slavery, while overlooking the fact that the Declaration of Immediate Causes for Secession, the document detailing the reasons for secession, mentions with considerable enthusiasm that protecting slavery in the South and elsewhere is the signers' one true cause. (You can also check out newspaper clippings from the time to learn just how important maintaining slavery in the South and forcing it on the new states forming out west was for these gentlemen.)
Now, are there enough of these types in the Palmetto State to cost Barbour a victory in the South Carolina GOP primary in 2012? Well, that remains to be seen. If you ask me, I think Barbour's a tainted candidate because of his silence on the Forrest plate and this admission does little to help. I mean, what other candidate has to proclaim what the majority of America already knows: Slavery was the central issue that led to the Civil War?
And I think most SCGOPers will see it this way as well. They desperately want to win in 2012, and so they'll go with the candidate they feel stands the best chance against Barack Obama (read: Mitt Romney).
As any listener of The Morning Buzz with Richard Todd knows, there's only way surefire way to protect identity, and that's Lifelock.
Evidently, Gov. Nikki Haley has never heard the ad. Heck, judging by her pass-the-buck performance at Wednesday night's town hall at CofC, we're guessing she rarely, if ever, listens to anybody. Be sure to Greg Hambrick's excellent post on the matter.
So we're sure that Haley will completely ignore the fact that the leader of the S.C. Democratic Party wants to help the good governor out in her time of need.
As you know, The State has reported that Haley most likely lied about her income in 2007, income that she earned working for the family biz, Exotica International.
On federal tax forms, Haley indicated that she only earned $22,000 in 2007, while on her application with the Lexington Medical Center, she noted that her income was $125,000.
Some of Haley's critics — both those on the left and the right — have wondered if the governor inflated her salary on the application in order to justify the $100,000-plus salary she ultimately received from Lexington as a lobbyist ... sorry, I mean, fundraiser.
However, what if this isn't the case at all? What if Haley was actually lying to Uncle Sam? What if she actually received far more than a paltry $22,000 from Exotica, you know, off the books?
Of course, that's neither here nor there. Haley did not fill out the application in question, and she did not erroneously list her income as $125,000 when it was actually $22,000.
How do we know this? Well, Haley said so. More importantly, she didn't sign the online application.
Now, I don't know about you, but the internets can do a lot of neat stuff. You can stream the NCAA tournament during the workday when you should've been editing copy. You can download bootleg copies of the new Simon Pegg-Nick Frost comedy Paul when you should be listening to the publisher during the monthly manager's meeting. And you could be on the City Paper site debating the merits of Gaga Day when you should be, well, doing something other than be on the City Paper site debating the merits of Gaga Day.
But, as far as we know, you cannot pick up a ballpoint pen and scribble your name on your laptop screen.
That bit of idiocy aside, Haley has claimed that someone else — who we don't know — must have filled out that application, despite the fact that the folks at the Lexington Medical Center have more or less said that was an impossibility. The P&C reports:
Mark Shelley, director of marketing and public relations at the medical center, told The Post and Courier Wednesday that the medical center did not make changes to Haley's application.
"We didn’t alter an application," he said. "That’s not something we do."
Nor did the hospital fill out the application on Haley's behalf, Shelley said. Shelley said in theory it is possible that a person other than Haley filled out the application, but that person would have had to have access to Haley's Social Security number, her user name and password created for the application process, the answer to a security question and the details of Haley's job history.
"Is it unlikely, highly unlikely," that any person other than Haley herself filled out any part of her online application. By pressing send on the application, and providing an electronic signature, the person verifies that the information in it is "accurate and truthful," Shelley said.
And still Haley insists that a boogeyman filled out her application.
Fortunately, S.C. Democratic Party Carol Fowler is on the case. She wants that mysterious application-filling-out phantom to pay for his crimes. In a press release out this morning, Fowler says:
“If the governor doesn’t know who filled out the application that lied about her income, and only someone with all that personal information could have done it, it’s time for law enforcement to step in. Identity theft is a serious crime and shouldn’t be ignored just because Governor Haley doesn’t seem to want to discuss it. Someone has committed a crime and should be punished.”
Godspeed, Carol. Godspeed.
During one of my first newspaper gigs, my editor at the time had a unique solution to America's drug problem. Drugs should be legal. Even better, they should be free.
But there was a catch. If you wanted to do drugs, you had to go to Crack Island. And once on Crack Island, there was no return.
I think this is great idea. Partially because I think this would lead to a bold new era in Bum Fight-style videos and the return of the much beloved Afterschool Special.
Well, Senate Majority Leader and milkman Harvey Peeler (R-Gaffney) has a radical solution of his own when it comes to South Carolina's illegal immigration problem. Here's what Harvey said on Facebook today:
Our state cannot afford to house illegal immigrants in our prisons. The federal government won't do it's job.
What do you think about an amendment to the illegal immigration bill that allows us to arrest illegal immigrants, bus them to Washington DC and drop them off on the Capitol steps?
Hmm. As long as the buses don't hit the Beltway during rush hour, we could probably save a buck or two down the road. But with gas prices going up, even that little bit of savings might be lost.
Look, I know these are tough economic times. Really tough.
In fact, some of you I'm sure are having a hard time paying your mortgages. Hell, you may have even missed a few payments.
Fortunately, the great state of South Carolina is doing something about this problem. They're itching to provide free housing to a whole host of Sandlappers.
Just check out this list from the state Budget and Control Board:
That the following may be permitted to occupy residences owned by the respective departments without charge: the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, the Director of the Department of Mental Health, the Farm Director, Farm Managers, and Specialists employed at the Wateree River Correctional Institution, Walden Correctional Institution, MacDougall Youth Correctional Center, and Givens Youth Correctional Center; the S. C. State Commission of Forestry fire tower operators, forestry aides, and caretaker at central headquarters; the Department of Natural Resources’ Game Management Personnel, Fish Hatchery Superintendents, Lake Superintendent, and Fort Johnson Superintendent; the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism field personnel in the State Parks Division; Director of Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School; President of the School for the Deaf and the Blind; houseparents for the Commission for the Blind; S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control personnel at the State Park Health Facility and Camp Burnt Gin; Residence Life Coordinators at Lander University; Residence Life Directors, temporary and transition employees, student interns, and emergency personnel at Winthrop University; Farm Superintendent at Winthrop University; Residence Hall Directors and Resident Assistants at the College of Charleston; Clemson University’s Head Football Coach; the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs’ physicians and other professionals at Whitten Center, Clemson University Off-Campus Agricultural Staff and Housing Area Coordinators; and University of South Carolina’s Manager of Bell Camp Facility, Housing Maintenance Night Supervisors, Residence Life Directors, temporary and transition employees, and emergency medical personnel; TriCounty Technical College’s Bridge to Clemson Resident and Area Directors. Except in the case of elected officials, the fair market rental value of any residence furnished to a state employee shall be reported by the state agency furnishing the residence to the Agency Head Salary Commission, and the Division of Budget and Analyses by October first, of each fiscal year.
Were you on there? Bummer. Neither was I.
Maybe next year.
Surprisingly, the Nikki Haley-WACH Fox 57 story appears to have some legs.
Not only has a Charlotte Fox affiliate picked up on the report — you know how our neighbors to the north like point their fingers at us and laugh — but the Process Story's Wesley Donehue, a SCGOP staffer, has felt compelled to weigh in on the matter.
In a recent video rant, Donehue, one of the noteworthy players in the whole Nikki Haley-Will Folks scandal, attempts to argue that the press is upset with Haley because she has cut them out of the loop. Instead of talking to the press, Haley is talking directly to the people.
And as a result, Donehue says, the traditional press — newspapers and TV — has a vendetta against Haley because she has eliminated its role as an informational middleman.
Now, I'm not going to argue that far too many in the press — in particular the state's Columbia press corps — believe their duty is to communicate what the governor and her compadres in the legislature want communicated to the masses.
However, Donehue fails to understand that while Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of new media have given Haley and others a direct line to the people to spread her views, the governor apparently only believes in one-way communication. And Donehue, apparently, doesn't have a problem with that.
Here's the thing: Donehue thinks it's perfectly fine for Haley to tweet her feelings about WACH Fox 57 at 12:33 am the night of the Super Bowl, proclaiming that the news organization is tabloid news, but he doesn't believe that Haley has to answer questions from the press about her childish comments — and believe you me, I know all too well about childish comments. They are my stock and trade.
Of course, I would expect as much from Donehue. After all, Donehue played a major role in prompting Will Folks to go public with claims that he had an inappropriate physical relationship with Haley. In fact, Donehue has admitted that, at the time, he believed the allegations to be true — back when there was absolutely no evidence that any such relationship took place. Now — after the text messages, phone records, and Haley's refusal to release her legislative emails during that time — he does not.
And now, he continues to stand by his gal.
Way to sell your soul, Wesley.
Is it hot in here or am I just angry?