Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rem ipsam dic, mitte male loqui.

Translation:
Speak out the whole truth boldly, but use no bad language. -- John Adams, 1775

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Ancient History

|Political Prudence

Why Mark Sanford Is the Right Choice for #SC1

All right. Let’s just jump straight to the main—seemingly only—argument against electing Mark Sanford: his affair. I’m not going to rehash all the details or make excuses for him. I was devastated. But the statehouse press conference where he stepped up to the plate and poured his heart out and out and out planted a kernel of forgiveness in my heart, because unlike other politicians that give a made-for-camera bite-the-lip-and-give-a-sniffle apology, I knew Mark Sanford was completely sincere and extremely humbled. No one could possibly have given that presser and been acting. It wasn’t typical politician.

I was willing to wait and see if his words of sincerity would translate into action—and what I saw was Sanford try to ease out of the limelight as much as possible, letting everyone take potshots at him unanswered, letting everyone vent their venom, anger and disappointment, as he went about what was important to him: trying to repair and resolve the relationships in his life out of public view. When he would emerge into the spotlight, however briefly, he would be asked the inevitable question about the affair, how could he have done it, and every time, he would answer anew with deep reflection, sincerity and humility—never lashing out at others or trying to make excuses, never acting like “c’mon, I’ve already answered this.” Time and again, his actions matched his words. Over time, I fully forgave him.

Here is a man that has had a very public fall from grace, such a spectacular fall and with such circumstances that I believe it was a once-in-a-lifetime screw-up. I actually trust that he has worked to put his life back together in a way that assures me it won’t happen again. He is ready to move on, and so am I along with a multitude of #SC1 voters.

While he has been a big enough man to bear all the slings and arrows hurled at him, he hasn’t been too big to still humble himself before us and ask for a second chance, in an extremely personal way. Mark Sanford needs us. He needs us to give him the chance to fully redeem himself, and I think that makes him even more beholden to us in a deep, almost spiritual way. I believe he has something to prove to us now, to make things as right as he can possibly make them in this lifetime. We could be vindictive and withhold redemption from him, make it so that no amount of effort to regain our trust would ever be good enough, but I don’t think his sin comes anywhere close to deserving that punishment. I’m willing to give him the chance to go the next step and make amends to us, because South Carolina’s 1st district needs him. America needs him.

Now let me tell you why.

The Sanford Record

Mark Sanford is the fiscal conservative’s fiscal conservative. He was Tea Party before there was a Tea Party. Outside of his fall from grace, Sanford had a stellar record of public service.

When he was in Congress from 1995 to 2001, he actually returned a quarter of a million dollars to the US Treasury every year, which he had personally slashed out of his Congressional office’s operating budget. This was money allocated to him, approved by voters to spend, but he took it upon himself to protect the voters further, pinching every penny and looking after voter wallets.

This attitude was also reflected in his Congressional voting record, making him ranked as the most fiscally conservative member of Congress by both Citizens Against Government Waste and the National Taxpayers Union.

Then, as a two-term Governor of South Carolina, when Obama came to office and was shoveling our money out of the doors of the White House, Sanford was the first governor to reject the stimulus money–$700 million of it. This is important not only because he was standing on his fiscal conservatism principles (and withstanding the onslaught of leftist and media howling), but by his very act of stepping forward and having the courage to lead on it, other governors around the country were emboldened to follow his lead, to compete to see who could be declared the most fiscally conservative of the fiscal conservatives.

Wouldn’t it be a great thing to have that repeated over and again in Washington–contests to see who can spend less instead of the quest, even by Republicans, to spend more? It takes bold leadership, someone that can withstand the pressure to cave, to do this. It’s something Bostic has no record of doing, and no record of even claiming to be interested in doing it. (His campaign mantra has become “Sometimes you just have to say yes” as they jeeringly call Sanford “Mr. No.” When it comes to the insatiable appetite that Congress has for spending our grandchildren’s tax dollars and Chinese loans, I want Mr. No casting my vote any day.)

And Sanford is not afraid to take on his own party. While Boehner and the House leadership keep telling us that they’ll get us a better deal next time every time they cave, Sanford is one that won’t cave. The Republican-dominated South Carolina legislature and he had some mighty famous battles, with Sanford constantly vetoing their spending bills and forcing them to override them to pry the money out of the SC coffers. (Understand that and you’ll understand the background of the trumped-up “ethics charges” his opponents love to tout.)

He made the GOP majority squeal with indignation when he brought two little piglets, Pork and Barrel, into the statehouse to bring attention to their spending spree. We NEED more politicians with the guts to stop the spending in opposition to their party’s good old boy backscratching system.

Due to Sanford’s storybook record of reigning in state spending, the CATO Institute ranked him as the most fiscally conservative governor in America. (Can Bostic come anywhere close to these prestigious accolades? No.)

And the Tea Party needs Sanford in their ranks. Not only because he would be a solid vote with them, if not a leader. They have had difficulty in getting leadership to go their way, mainly because so many are freshmen and sophomore backbenchers. Sanford, however, by virtue of his previous three terms in the US House of Representatives will immediately reenter Congress with seniority over nearly 60% of his colleagues. He will be hard to ignore, and in a position to press the Tea Party perspective.

The Bostic Record

Personal injury lawyer Bostic presents himself as a Christian family man. I believe him. Most of Bostic’s support is coming from the extreme-wing of the religious right, whose sole focus is on Sanford’s divorce with much less concern about spending reductions and liberty issues. In fact, their tactics have been cause for alarm by some, including the leader of a local Tea Party group. (As noted in today’s Morning Jolt from Jim Geraghty at National Review, Bostic describes himself as a creationist, but declines to elaborate on how he defines that. If some GOP are worried about Sanford being promoted to the general election because of the national media jokes about the Appalachian Trail, just wait till they sink their teeth in on creationism.)

As you can tell from the above, I’ll leave people’s faiths to themselves. My focus is on our country’s debt and spending, and it is in those areas that things give me pause with Bostic.

First, while Bostic served on Charleston County Council from 2000 to 2008, its spending increased 25%–significantly outpacing inflation and population increase. Bostic argues that Charleston County voters themselves voted for the increase. I reply, yes, but he went along with it and voted for every single big-spending budget. He championed no cost-cutting measures, and some complain that he even added in projects such as the long-running I-526 extension boondoggle without subjecting it to voter comment or diverted tax revenues to his own pet projects, such as the Greenbelt Plan.

Taking the spending thing further, Bostic refused to sign a pledge to reduce federal spending—even though most of the other candidates in the primary signed it. It was just him, the Democrat general election candidate Elizabeth Colbert-Busch and two other small percentage voter getters that spurned the pledge. Bostic and Sanford both signed Grover Norquist’s ATR pledge to not raise taxes, and that’s a good thing, but we are drowning in debt. We must reduce spending if we are to save America. Our spending is unsustainable, and it should have been an easy thing to pledge to do.

Bostic has also refused to timely file his FEC disclosure form indicating the amount and sources of his income. He has filed for an extension that will put this knowledge out of reach for the runoff Republican voters but will be laid bare for general election purposes. How do voters know what’s in it, especially since he deems it too complicated for his CPAs and law firm to be able to figure out? What kinds of nasty surprises await us? Both Sanford and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Colbert-Busch managed to get their forms in on time.

Finally, the most disturbing thing is that Bostic has repeatedly canceled or refused to appear in debates and forums before conservative, libertarian and Tea Party groups. It’s quite troubling that Bostic had to be dragged to have a one-on-one conversation with Sanford on the issues facing South Carolina’s 1st District and America.

During his eight years on Charleston County Council, Bostic also missed an average of 20% of its twice-monthly meetings. The Bostic campaign took great offense to Sanford’s noting this during their first one-on-one debate, with Bostic saying that his wife suffered from cancer twice during his tenure, implying he had to miss county business in order to tend to her needs. Quite understandable, of course.

However, the SC Patch looked into a sampling of Bostic’s attendance records and found:

Patch reviewed the minutes from 11 of the meetings during Bostic’s time on council. Those minutes are attached to this article. On nine occasions he was either was out of state, out of the country or out of town. On two occasions his absence was unexplained.

His attendance ranges from 67 percent in 2005 to 93 percent in 2001. Most years on council it ranged around 80 percent.

When another media outlet asked the Bostic campaign to confirm the absences were directly related to Mrs. Bostic’s illness, they declined to respond. The Huffington Post also notes that the indignant tweets that his son, actor Daniel Bostic, tweeted after the debate (and served as fodder for various right-wing blog attacks on Sanford) have since been deleted.

North Charleston Patch added that his son, Daniel Bostic, tweeted: “Not gonna lie – I’m still infuriated over Sanford attacking my dad for missing council when my mom was dying.” As of Friday afternoon, the tweet was no longer on Daniel Bostic’s account.

The broad picture here is that Bostic has left the #SC1 voters with many questions: on his finances, on the issues, his beliefs and principles, on whether he can withstand the withering attacks that would come his way should he advance to the general election. He’s asking us to just blindly trust him. Bostic’s record is full of secrets. With Sanford, we know all his secrets.

On top of that, Bostic has a history of not showing up, and when he has shown up, he has voted for bigger budgets and said he would support background check gun legislation and a Constitutional amendment to make traditional marriage the law of the land (does he really believe that, with some states already approving gay marriage, an amendment could ever get ratified? or does he just think it sounds pretty to low-info voters?). Worst of all, he’s said he wants to be non-partisan and work across the aisle.

If he’s been so fearful to let the voters see how his positions contrast with Sanford’s, how will he stand up to politicians in Washington that are going to want him to just shut up, sit down and vote the way they tell him to?

We know Sanford will have the fortitude to stand up for us, against both Democrats and Republicans. He’s been there in the heat and glitz of Washington; he knows the games played and how not to get played. This is no time to be sending a rookie in during the middle of the game. We need someone that can be a strong voice, have some seniority and lead others to vote the right way.

The Closing Argument

There’s an old story about the 1884 presidential race between anti-corruption fiscal-conservative New York Governor Grover Cleveland and the Republican Senator from Maine, James G. Blaine. Blaine made his status as a devoted family man a centerpiece in his campaign, and his campaign had the dirt on Cleveland and an illegitimate child Grover had fathered out-of-wedlock years before but had supported financially.

The Blaine campaign taunted him with the slogan “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa? Gone to the White House. Ha, ha, ha.” The scandal was embarrassing indeed.

Yet, when it came to soberly assessing the race with logic instead of emotion, one observer noted (as related in Irving Copi’s classic text Introduction to Logic):

Since Cleveland has a terrific public record but a blemished private life, and Blaine has a storybook private life but a checkered public record, why not put them both where they perform best—return Blaine to private life and keep Cleveland in public life.

I couldn’t say it better myself. Put Sanford where we know he’ll do a stellar job. Return Sanford to Congress.

 

|Nostalgia | Prudence Potpourri

The Law-Breaking Former First Lady

Jenny Sanford, who divorced former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford when his affair with an Argentinian woman became public during his second term in office, has been fined $1,040 by the beach town of Sullivan’s Island because one of her dogs broke loose while she was away at a yoga class.

The Charleston Post and Courier reports:

Former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford says there’s no doubt her dog is guilty of running loose. But she plans to contest the $1,040 ticket the town’s police wrote, calling it way too steep.

“I’m not knocking the police,” she said Thursday. “But isn’t this being a bit over the top?”

Sanford has an April 3 court date for a ticket she received after her 8-year-old black Labrador, Julius, broke free the morning of Feb. 22.

The dog got out when she went to a yoga class. The property’s buried electronic fencing, meant to contain the animal’s movements to inside her Atlantic Avenue homesite, was broken. It was the first time he’d ever bolted, she said.

“He is guilty,” she said. “The dog wandered, and I know it is against the rules.”

The bigger issue, she contends, is whether Sullivan’s Island is being heavy-handed in its dog enforcement. “The punishment doesn’t fit the crime,” she said.

It turns out that Sanford and her pooches are repeat offenders, too.

Sanford conceded she’s had runaway dog issues before, including another pet Lab, Jeep, that got out twice before and finally was ticketed about $500.

For Julius, this was a first-time offense, she said. Her question remains: Is the town “putting (its) fines where they should be?”

Sanford does have a point. Sullivan’s Island seems to be hounding her. It’s not as if she hasn’t made a dogged effort to control her Labs. To fine someone a thousand dollars due to a temporary electronic fence malfunction is extremely excessive. So much for living in a small town where everyone knows your name.

|Media | Prudence Potpourri

Dear Media: Yes, He's Black and GOP. Get Over It.

I just finally got around to reading a Politico story (“S.C.’s Scott: Tea Party Talent Scout”) about Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) and how he’s a bridge between the Tea Party and the establishment GOP—and how he has become a kingmaker as the South Carolina GOP presidential primary approaches. Halfway through the article, it mentions that Scott is black, and then for the rest of the article, that’s all it is about.

Hello, Politico. Tim Scott was elected nearly a year ago. It’s not “news” anymore. Can the media please stop marveling over the fact that South Carolina Republicans elected a black man? Their obsessing over it is little more than an attempt to keep antiquated stereotypes alive and to dig around and see if they can’t get someone to say something mildly racist. It’s offensive.

Granted, at times it’s appropriate to mention a certain Republican is black, and I wish black media would give more coverage to black Republicans to provide more examples that it is possible—and preferable—to be both. But liberals, refusing to see blacks as anything other than subpar victims in need of Democrat handouts and control, take it as an affront that any black could be a Republican. When the liberal media attempts to probe the topic, their disbelief and even racism seeps through their words.

Let’s take a look at a few of the prime examples from the Politico piece. Here’s the first mention that Scott is black:

Scott, who served 13 years on the Charleston County Council as the first black Republican elected anywhere in the state since Reconstruction, consistently downplays the historical importance of his popularity in the state’s political scene.

Of course Scott would “downplay the historical importance of his popularity.” For one, Scott is a rather modest man, not given to braggadocio, so he downplays much of his qualities and achievements, especially “popularity.” He prefers instead to praise others that have contributed to his success, such as his mother.

But what in the world is the writer, Marin Cogan, trying to say: “historical importance…of popularity”? How is it historically important to have a black man be popular? Important for what?

It subtly, insidiously implies: “Scott downplays that long-time racist whites now like him”? Forget the vast majority that ignored his color and liked his positions. We’re all slimed with the racist taint.

Perhaps that’s one reason Scott “downplays” her framing of his popularity. Maybe Scott knows that there’s a goodly more people in the room that care more about the content of his character than the color of his skin.

Scott won a primary in a massively large field of heavy-hitting establishment GOP names and hardcore Tea Party newcomers. This, in an election year in which the Republicans in this neck of the woods were practically foaming at the mouth to not just halt but reverse every bit of damage inflicted by Barack Obama and the Democrats. There was no way in hell anyone was going to do something so stupid as to turn our congressional seat over to someone because of the color of his skin.

But it is undeniable that a part of his success is rooted in his seemingly preternatural comfort operating in the most conservative of South Carolina’s political circles, ones that were until recently seen as largely exclusive to whites.

That quote angers me: “[conservative political circles] that were until recently seen as largely exclusive to whites.” As if the South Carolina GOP has had a sign on the door saying “No blacks allowed.” Anyone, regardless of their skin color, has been welcome to enter the door. No one has been excluded in many decades, from either party.

Scott’s skin color does make him visually stand out at GOP functions—but with about as much import as a redhead standing out. It’s not as if people are whispering, “oh look, a black man is here!” Cogan would not have been incorrect to say the conservative SC circles have been “largely white,” leaving out the “exclusive to.” The GOP still is significantly white, but not because whites want it to be. The only time I think about Scott’s race is when thinking of ways we conservatives can make inroads into the black community, fight against the abhorrent liberal taunts of “Uncle Tom.”

Yet, that’s exactly what Cogan has subtly done. It is true that Scott has great comfort operating in conservative circles. Of course he does. He is a conservative. But it is offensive to say he’s “preternaturally comfortable” mingling with conservatives. That’s calling Scott an Uncle Tom. Translation: “That black man is unnaturally comfortable hanging out with whites, joining their exclusive club, acting like he’s one of them.”

It lingers on the tips of the tongues of most everyone who searches for an explanation for his popularity.

First Cogan says Scott downplays his being black in a predominantly white group. Now she says all the whites aren’t eager to mention it either, though “it lingers on the tips of the tongues,” as if we racists are just one second away from blurting some racist statement about Scott.

If she felt she detected any interviewee reservation to discuss Scott’s skin color, it was probably because color is not a foremost factor in our support of him. It surely crossed their minds that she might attempt to paint them as a racist no matter what they said.

It’s hard to know for sure what Cogan encountered, but I would be mightily disappointed in my fellow conservatives if “most” of them felt Scott’s race was the reason for his popularity.

Let’s see those “tip of the tongue” quotes:

“Obviously, having an African-American representative elected from the South, it’s unique, it’s an oddity, because the South is criticized for being so anti-black and anti-African American. It’s refreshing,” said Tommy Hartnett, who formerly held Scott’s seat.

I can see that response being given to a reporter who asks something along the lines of “how does Scott’s race affect his popularity.” However, I doubt that would be the answer to the question of “why is Scott so popular” without being prompted about race. If asked why Scott, Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Joe Wilson are popular, a conservative would not rave about the latter two’s conservative principles but attribute Scott’s to race.

Plus, Barack Obama’s election showed there are some people stupid or gullible or liberal-guilt-ridden enough to vote for someone because of their race. As a pure political calculation, therefore, race can play a factor in selecting a candidate. I’m sure some GOP politicos take that into consideration in putting together a slate. But in a place that’s supposedly such a hotbed of racism, wouldn’t you run the risk of losing just as many votes as you gain? Especially if it’s the Republicans that are supposed to be the racists? Isn’t that risky for them to run a black man?

No. It’s about character and principles and fortitude.

“We have a not-so-pretty history with regard to race. For conservative and Republican activists who unfairly get deemed with the stereotype of being racist, to have a guy who is incredibly conservative and just so happens to be black, it’s part of the appeal,” said a South Carolina Republican activist.

That quote just infuriates me. Quite interesting the “activist” was embarrassed enough by it that he or she didn’t even want to have his or her name attached. The second sentence of the quote is true enough if you clarify it. “[Scott's color] is part of the appeal” if you are looking for accolades and approval from liberals or the media. They’re the ones continually trying to hold us down and foist the rancid stereotype on us, even if it belongs in the era of black-and-white news footage.

But what’s outraging is the first part: the “we” have a “not-so-pretty” race history. I am sick and tired of being forced to wear the hair shirt of dead and dying generations. My peers and younger generations aren’t living in the past. We’ve long moved on and aren’t stuck living in the flickering images of 50 years ago. Our part of history may not be perfect, but it’s getting things done, without being consumed by race.

Leave me out of your smears about your ugly history. Talk to me about something I’m responsible for. Something I created or advanced. Don’t play the reporter’s game and wring your hands and affirm her stereotypes. If it’s all about race for you, say so, but put your name on it so we’ll know who to avoid.

The quote that most disappointed me, however, was from Rep. Trey Gowdy, a solid freshman GOP congressman from upstate SC:

“Although he doesn’t talk in those terms, he is historically significant,” said Gowdy, who noted that he dreams of taking his children to visit Scott in the governor’s mansion some day. “I’m proud of the fact that Tim Scott’s the face of our congressional delegation and, in many respects, the future of the conservative movement in South Carolina.”

There is indeed a historical fact of note about Scott: it’s not that he’s popular among conservative whites, but that he was the first GOP black elected since Reconstruction in SC.

The rest of the quote I’m hoping dearly is taken out of context. That Gowdy wants to have his kids visit a Gov. Scott not because he’s black, but because he is a politically principled conservative. Likewise about being the “face” and the future. I hope more blacks do join the GOP, do join the fight. I think the Tea Party movement has been a wonderful way to bring in more faces of color. The more diversity of color, the less insulting coverage of “oh, look there’s a black or brown person in that conservative [racist] group. why in the world are they there? do they need help?”

Out of everyone quoted in the racist fishing expedition, the one that most agrees with me—the one who knows better than anyone else exactly how Tim Scott feels about and experiences the race versus character issue—was Tim Scott himself:

“At the end of the day, it’s what you do that matters to my voters, not what you look like,” Scott said. “I’ve seen the ugliness that comes with a racially divisive world, but I’ve experienced very consistently that if you represent what you are more than what you look like, people respond to it.”

It is some small salve that the quote most able to be deemed racist came from the sleazy South Carolina Democratic Party chairman, Dick Harpootlian:

Of course, not everyone is enamored with Scott’s brand of post-racial politics. “He’s popular among Republicans, absolutely. He’s someone they can roll out who is a tea party African American. How rare are they?” said Dick Harpootlian, chairman of the state’s Democratic Party. “If you are willing to forgo any sense of conscience, or right or wrong, you can be a superstar in the Republican Party.”

Interesting how that quote brings us back to the original story, long since abandoned. What started as a story about a congressman rising in statewide power ends up interviewing all the white folk about what they think about him being black. Seems to me that Politico really wanted to do a story about “lookee here at all these southern white conservatives (i.e., racists) having a black man tell them who to vote for,” but they just didn’t have the courage to so blatantly frame it that way.

From the paragraph that mentions Scott is black to the ugly Harpootlian quote, the whole racial half of the story, the non sequitur into 2010 breaking news that SC elected a black GOP congressman, could be removed from the article without losing any context or information in the original story.

It would have addressed Scott respectfully as a principled man in his own right, capable of being powerful and successful solely because of his ideology, behavior and character. To inject the odd racial aspect revealed more about Politico and the writer than it did about South Carolina politics.

|Prudence Potpourri | Tea Party

Giving New Meaning to State Control (Updated: WI Joins In)

As the Federal government continues to career down the road, crashing over and through everything we’ve held sacred and essential to America, the states have stepped up and continue to make efforts to end the federal marauding within their borders.

A few bills of note this past week occurred in Texas and South Carolina.

VOTER PHOTO ID
We can’t expect our government to be free of corruption if our electoral system is rife with it. In an effort to not only prevent voter fraud, but to also increase voter confidence in the integrity of the system, South Carolina passed legislation that will require voters to present photo identification to vote.

The bill requires voters show a S.C. drivers license, S.C.-issued ID card, federal military ID or a passport at polling places. The bill would not allow use of college, expired or other government-issue forms of ID.

If a voter arrives at the polls without proper identification, he can cast a provisional ballot and show a valid ID at the board of elections within a couple of days to have the vote counted. The State also reported the inevitable:

Sen. Brad Hutto, an Orangeburg Democrat, said the legislation is destined for court challenges.

“What this bill does is institutionalizes voter suppression,” Hutto said.

He said a list of 178,000 voters that don’t have photo identification will create problems, because it is an invasion of privacy and creates the potential for identity theft.

Sen. Chip Campsen, an Isle of Palms Republican, said Democrats created that problem by insisting on the creation of the list to help identify people who don’t have the credentials needed to vote.

It will be interesting to learn how many of those 178,000 are actual qualified voters. State photo IDs will be offered free of charge to anyone over 17 years of age. SC Governor Nikki Haley has supported the legislation and is expected to sign the bill.

With this action, SC joins ten other states (Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, South Dakota, and Texas) that require a photo ID to vote.

ANTI GOVERNMENTAL GROPING
As noted above, Texas has also passed a voter ID bill to prevent the molestation of their electoral system, and they have moved on to prevent government-sanctioned molesting of their citizens at Texas airports by the US’s Transportation Security Administration. According to the AP:

Approved late Thursday night, the measure makes it illegal for anyone conducting searches to touch “the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person” including through clothing.

It also prohibits searches “that would be offensive to a reasonable person.”

The bill’s chief sponsor is Republican Rep. David Simpson, who said, “this has to do with dignity and travel, and prohibiting indecent, groping searches.”

He believes it will keep Transportation Security Administration officials from treating travelers like criminals, though the measure may be superseded by federal law.

Because the Obama administration doesn’t blink an eye when it tramples on state laws or ignores court orders, Texas would be within its rights in pressing the issue. If individuals have no power in combating the unconstitutional procedure, perhaps a state government will.

LIGHT BULB FREEDOM
Also in SC, while still battling with the Obama administration over its right to invite whatever company it wishes to do business in the right-to-work state, the state has legislation in the works that will promote manufacturing in the state, save or create jobs lost due to federal government extremism and give consumers a quality product they want: the incandescent light bulb.

An excellent look by the Heritage Foundation at the questionable savings to be had by CFL bulbs said:

The Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act, which unanimously passed South Carolina’s Senate panel, would allow South Carolina manufacturers to continue to sell incandescent bulbs so long as they have “Made in South Carolina” on them and are sold only within the state. Other states have floated the idea, and last year Arizona passed a bill that would have done the same thing, but Governor Jan Brewer (R) vetoed the legislation.

The measure is sure to face a legal challenge if the SC legislature passes it. It was for that reason that Brewer issued her veto, not because she was afraid to battle the US on another front, but that a similar bill for manufacturing and selling guns solely within the confines of Arizona has already passed. Brewer believes that lawsuit will settle the light bulb manufacturing issue as well. The Arizona Capitol Times wrote:

Brewer wrote in her veto letter that the guns bill is a better way for Arizona to assert its 10th Amendment rights because the state would need to begin mining and processing tungsten, a critical component of incandescent light bulbs.

“I believe that the Firearms Freedom Act is the more immediate and practical vehicle for achieving this objective,” Brewer wrote in her veto letter. “HB2337 would take many more years to achieve its goal.”

The South Carolina light bulb freedom measure goes beyond just merely providing SC citizens the freedom to escape government coercion into buying inferior toxic products. The ban will ultimately produce no savings—despite Heritage’s report giving leeway for some costs to be possibly saved. It’s well known to anyone but lefties and government bureaucrats that when consumers reduce their consumption, the utility company makes less money. As a result, the utility raises the cost per unit rate in order to maintain its revenue flow. Thus, the consumer now pays more for consuming less.

More importantly, however, this is just one more example of the federal government’s actions destroying American manufacturing and American jobs, for a bunch of do-gooderism. [Note: The banning of incandescent bulbs was enacted under President Bush in 2007.] As reported by the AP:

If the South Carolina bill passes, it could boost hiring at American Light Bulb Manufacturing Inc., which has a factory in Mullins, in an impoverished, rural part of the state, president Ray Schlosser said from the company’s headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. The plant is in Marion County, the state’s capital for unemployment, with one-fifth of the work force jobless.

“The federal government was just trying to shove this down Americans’ throats too quickly,” Schlosser said.

Before the 2007 law, he had three production lines with 50 workers making the bulbs. But Schlosser said he is down to a single line with 15 workers and a single U.S. competitor, Sylvania. Most of the incandescent bulb business is now overseas. GE made its last incandescent bulb in the U.S. last fall.

It’s not too late to save this American industry. It’s not too late to save these American jobs. If America doesn’t want them, South Carolina does.

GOLD AND SILVER CURRENCY
Also, fearing the recklessness of the US Congress in their continued spending spree and the quantitative easing of the Federal Reserve, SC legislators have introduced a bill in both the SC House and Senate to permit gold and silver to be recognized as legal tender within the state. Legislators say it would not replace the dollar, but instead would be a ready emergency backup should people lose faith in the dollar due to hyperinflation. Columbia’s WACH reports :

“I’m no financial expert but am I smart enough to know that you can’t keep printing money when it has no backing,” says SC Republican Representative Mac Toole.

Thomas also wants a special joint committee to study the need and process for establishing an alternate currency. Read the entire bill here.

“For those of you who think this is a way to re-establish secession, the bill was passed in Utah and it’s currently law there,” SC Republican Representative Mike Pitts.

A group called Sound Money has been pushing the legislation and has videos at their website explaining the concept. Both bills have been referred to committee, and new legislators signed on to the House bill last week.

****
Some may shake their heads and say, “Hoo boy, those Southerners sure are a wacky bunch.” We may be headstrong and independent. Hopefully we will also end up with a trustworthy electoral system, filamented soft-light bulbs, money to buy them and the government’s hands out of our pants (and skirts).

Update (5/27/11)
Wisconsin has joined the Voter Photo ID ranks, as Governor Scott Walker signed the bill on Wednesday—a bill that WI’s last two legislatures had passed but the Democratic governor had vetoed.

According to an AP report:

But opponents say Wisconsin’s law differs significantly from Indiana’s, pointing in particular to the requirement that Wisconsin absentee voters must include a photocopy of their ID when mailing in their ballots. They argue that will present an additional burden on poor voters and the elderly who may have a hard time getting copies made.

Opponents also say Wisconsin has much less access to Department of Motor Vehicle offices to get allowable IDs than Indiana, which also creates a burden.

Only eight states have a photo ID law, with one in Kansas to take effect next year. South Carolina passed a photo ID law earlier this month, but it is under review by the U.S. Justice Department. Eighteen other states, with Oklahoma to join in July, require identification at the polls but it doesn’t have to be with a photo.

Wisconsin’s requirement to show photo identification takes effect for elections in 2012, but other changes such as requiring voters to sign poll books and to have lived at their current address for 28 days instead of just 10, take effect immediately.

That means those changes will be in place before up to nine recall elections affecting six Republican and three Democratic state senators. The earliest those elections could take place is July 12.

Under the new law, voters will have to present a driver’s license, state ID, passport, military ID, naturalization papers or tribal ID in order to vote. College students could vote with an ID from their school as long as it has their signature and an expiration date that falls within two years of the card’s issuance.

University of Wisconsin IDs currently don’t meet that criteria and would have to updated to comply before students could use them to vote.

Voters who have a photo ID but forget to bring it to the polls can cast a provisional ballot that would only be counted if the voter presents a photo ID to the local election clerk by the Friday after the election.

People living in nursing homes, retirement homes and institutions are exempt, as are victims of stalking and anyone who objects to having their photos taken for religious grounds.

Taking effect for elections this year is a new limitation on how long voters can cast absentee ballots in person at the clerk’s office. That window is reduced from 30 days to just two weeks and it would end the Friday before the election, rather than the day after.

The new law also does away with party-line voting, except for military and overseas voters.

While the law will prevent someone from voting using another person’s name, it will do nothing to prevent felons from voting while on state supervision.

The wall preventing election integrity continues to crumble.

|Prudence Potpourri | Tea Party | Updated

$50 Light Bulbs? Not If SC Has Its Way

The AP reported that two US companies think they have figured out how to make a 100-watt LED light bulb to replace the incandescent ones that will be banned in seven short months because of impossible standards set by the Congress and Bush administration.

Only problem: It will cost $50 a bulb. Oh, the price may come down in five or so years and there are still big product design issues before they will be widely functional, but no worries. According to the optimistic report:

To encourage energy efficiency, Congress passed a law in 2007 mandating that bulbs producing 100 watts worth of light meet certain efficiency goals, starting in 2012. Conventional light bulbs don’t meet those goals, so the law will prohibit making or importing them. The same rule will start apply to remaining bulbs 40 watts and above in 2014. Since January, California has already banned stores from restocking 100-watt incandescent bulbs.

Creating good alternatives to the light bulb has been more difficult than expected, especially for the very bright 100-watt bulbs. Part of the problem is that these new bulbs have to fit into lamps and ceiling fixtures designed for older technology.

Compact fluorescents are the most obvious replacement, but they have drawbacks. They contain a small amount of toxic mercury vapor, which is released if they break or are improperly thrown away. They last longer than traditional bulbs but not as long as LEDs. Brighter models are bulky and may not fit in existing fixtures.

So far, Congress doesn’t seem to be batting an eye about the impending crisis in home lighting. They created this problem; they can easily stop it. It’s pure insanity to think that the American household can withstand any further bludgeoning of its wallet, especially as the recession drags on and on due to such foolish legislation. Does any Congress member buy his own light bulbs? Have they noticed what the AP report outlined:

Philips has been selling a 60-watt-equivalent bulb at Home Depot since December that’s quite similar to the one submitted to the contest. But it’s slightly dimmer, consumes 2 watts too much power and costs $40, whereas the L Prize target is $22. Sylvania sells a similar LED bulb at Lowe’s, also for $40.

However, LED prices are coming down quickly. The DoE expects a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb to cost $10 by 2015, putting them within striking range of the price of a compact fluorescent bulb.

Note that’s “striking range”—a generous phrase that means “still more expensive than the awful toxic CFL bulbs, and nearly 20 times the cost of an incandescent bulb.” [At present, the Home Depot website shows a 6-pack of GE Double Life (i.e. more expensive) Soft White 100-watt bulbs for $3.47. That’s six bulbs for one-third of the expected cost of one bulb in four years, maybe if everything goes as the government says it will.]

But don’t worry about how expensive those bulbs will be, because the genius behind the plan is that like Obama wanted us to go out and buy more efficient cars if we couldn’t afford the high gas prices, it seems we’re going to be expected to replace all the light fixtures in our ceilings and walls and on our tables:

Bob Karlicek, the director of the Smart Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., thinks that price is achievable.

But, he said, “it’s not necessarily clear to people in the lighting industry that LED chips were ever meant to go into a bulb.”

What’s really needed, he said, is a new approach to lighting — new fixtures and lamps that spread out the LEDs, avoiding the heat problem.

Instead of waiting for future news reports about grannies having to choose between having light in the evenings or their medicine, the South Carolina legislature is poised to do something about it.

As I reported previously:

LIGHT BULB FREEDOM
Also in SC, while still battling with the Obama administration over its right to invite whatever company it wishes to do business in the right-to-work state, the state has legislation in the works that will promote manufacturing in the state, save or create jobs lost due to federal government extremism and give consumers a quality product they want: the incandescent light bulb.

An excellent look by the Heritage Foundation at the questionable savings to be had by CFL bulbs said:

The Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act, which unanimously passed South Carolina’s Senate panel, would allow South Carolina manufacturers to continue to sell incandescent bulbs so long as they have “Made in South Carolina” on them and are sold only within the state. Other states have floated the idea, and last year Arizona passed a bill that would have done the same thing, but Governor Jan Brewer (R) vetoed the legislation.

The measure is sure to face a legal challenge if the SC legislature passes it. It was for that reason that Brewer issued her veto, not because she was afraid to battle the US on another front, but that a similar bill for manufacturing and selling guns solely within the confines of Arizona has already passed. Brewer believes that lawsuit will settle the light bulb manufacturing issue as well. The Arizona Capitol Times wrote:

Brewer wrote in her veto letter that the guns bill is a better way for Arizona to assert its 10th Amendment rights because the state would need to begin mining and processing tungsten, a critical component of incandescent light bulbs.

“I believe that the Firearms Freedom Act is the more immediate and practical vehicle for achieving this objective,” Brewer wrote in her veto letter. “HB2337 would take many more years to achieve its goal.”

The South Carolina light bulb freedom measure goes beyond just merely providing SC citizens the freedom to escape government coercion into buying inferior toxic products. The ban will ultimately produce no savings—despite Heritage’s report giving leeway for some costs to be possibly saved. It’s well known to anyone but lefties and government bureaucrats that when consumers reduce their consumption, the utility company makes less money. As a result, the utility raises the cost per unit rate in order to maintain its revenue flow. Thus, the consumer now pays more for consuming less.

More importantly, however, this is just one more example of the federal government’s actions destroying American manufacturing and American jobs, for a bunch of do-gooderism. [Note: The banning of incandescent bulbs was enacted under President Bush in 2007.] As reported by the AP:

If the South Carolina bill passes, it could boost hiring at American Light Bulb Manufacturing Inc., which has a factory in Mullins, in an impoverished, rural part of the state, president Ray Schlosser said from the company’s headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. The plant is in Marion County, the state’s capital for unemployment, with one-fifth of the work force jobless.

“The federal government was just trying to shove this down Americans’ throats too quickly,” Schlosser said.

Before the 2007 law, he had three production lines with 50 workers making the bulbs. But Schlosser said he is down to a single line with 15 workers and a single U.S. competitor, Sylvania. Most of the incandescent bulb business is now overseas. GE made its last incandescent bulb in the U.S. last fall.

It’s not too late to save this American industry. It’s not too late to save these American jobs. If America doesn’t want them, South Carolina does.

The only problem with the South Carolina plan? Only SC citizens can benefit from it. The rest of the 49 states will have to just suck it up and get used to a non-incandescent life.

It’s time that everyone contacted their Senators and Congressmen and tell them to make it a priority to repeal the light bulb legislation. Tell them it’s time to see the light.