Bomb theory, Scrambled porn, Maverick Sanford 

News Blips

"With two debates scheduled between now and Feb. 5, we expect John Edwards to continue to climb as he proudly represents the grown-up wing of the Democratic Party."

One campaign manager's upbeat assessment of Edwards' chances for the Democratic nomination after losing every race, including his home state of South Carolina. Two days later, Edwards proudly exited the race, saying that it was time to get out "so that history can blaze its path."

Trunk Bomb Theory Fizzles Out

Federal agents say the materials found in the trunk of a car traveling through Goose Creek last summer were actually low-grade fireworks and not the dangerous explosives that local law enforcement and federal prosecutors have alleged. Egyptian-born Ahmed Mohamed and Youssef Megahed were traveling between North Carolina and Tampa when they were pulled over for speeding. The two told officers that they had fireworks in the trunk, but one look from officers and a bomb crew was brought in to detonate the materials. The men have since been held in Florida and charged with transporting explosive devices across state lines. Defense attorneys filed the FBI report with the court to show the materials don't meet the legal definition of explosives, according to an Associated Press report.

Mohamed also received additional terrorism-related charges for an instructional video on how to create a bomb out of a remote-controlled toy that he posted on YouTube. —Greg Hambrick

Lowcountry Legislators Take On Scrambled Porn

Lowcountry senators have introduced a bill that would ban that age-old first experience with porn. The bill would require a cable company to block all video and audio on any channel a subscriber doesn't pay for. The bill was approved by the Senate last year and is working through the House. Considering many cable boxes already blue-out those channels and a kid can't go anywhere on the web without seeing some starlet's "business," it's safe to say South Carolina is once again a few decades behind reality. Also last week, immigration reform moved to conference committee after winning strong approval in the House, and Sen. Glenn McConnell has said there's progress on a sprinkler tax credit bill. —Greg Hambrick

"It will be in your face."

Peter MacNulty of Tourism Development International, a firm hired by Florence County to develop a tourism-inducing plan for Pee Dee county. The $35 million blueprint is centered around heavy branding of Francis Marion's "Swamp Fox" image. Source: Florence Morning News

8

That's how many attorneys general across the country wrote the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control a letter last week, asking them to deny Santee Cooper a permit for a new coal-fired power plant near Florence. The states are opposed because the millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the new plant would cancel out efforts to reduce emissions in other states. Source: The Post and Courier

121

That's the number of Army soldiers who killed themselves in 2007, a record number and up 20 percent from 2006. The number of attempted suicides is also six times higher than it was at the start of the Iraq war. Source: The Washington Post

18

That's the age when South Carolina military men could begin drinking under proposed legislation by Rep. Fletcher Smith, an Upstate Democrat.

"Your face is a dart board to me, you bobble-headed jackass."

A Folly Beach viewer during one of President Bush's long pauses to smirk and chuckle during his final State of the Union address.

Vice President Mark Sanford?

Forget all those horror stories you hear from Columbia about how hard the man is to work with — Gov. Mark Sanford has made the short list of potential running mates for either Sen. John McCain or former Gov. Mitt Romney, predicts Washington Post political reporter Chris Cillizza.

"Sanford is the ultimate maverick," Cillizza says. "Unafraid to step on toes even within his own party both during his time in Washington and as the Palmetto State's governor."

On McCain, he notes that Sanford endorsed the Arizona senator in 2000 and that the two share the role of Republican Party pooper. Because Sanford held off on endorsing this year, Cillizza likes his odds with Romney as well.

We'd pitch in the fact that Sanford's southern roots would be an asset to either of the two candidates from "off," and that there's simply no way you can get tired of hearing the story about the pigs crapping on the Statehouse carpet. We certainly know a few Lowcountry legislators who are ready to pack Sanford's bags. —Greg Hambrick


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