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BRACK:  Election systems are safe, but hearts and minds may not be

BRACK:  Election systems are safe, but hearts and minds may not be

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | The Russians will only be successful in meddling with the 2018 elections if we let them do it to us.

The nation’s spy chiefs last week said they expected foreign governments to try to fiddle with election outcomes in 2018, just like the Russians did in 2016. But that doesn’t mean foreign governments will necessarily try to hack into voting systems, change names on voting rolls or disrupt the internal mechanics of voting.

“What they are trying to do is inject themselves [into our election process] and cause confusion in another way – using social media and other means,” said state Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg. “They are creating fake news.”

by · 02/19/2018 · 0 comments · Andy Brack, Views
MY TURN, Palm:  Let’s focus on the common good

MY TURN, Palm:  Let’s focus on the common good

By Fred Palm, contributing columnist  |  The recent eighth government shutdown since 1980 provides an opportunity to consider the “common good” in America and why we need to embrace it.

After our Revolutionary War the winners set about to invent a way to govern a nation that was not available. The founders gathered in Philadelphia to specify a model of governance to provide the people with the opportunity for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that was expressed in Declaration of Independence in the prior decade.

The common good is central in the construction of our constitutional institutions.  The executive, legislative and judicial powers expressed in the Constitution of the United States are divided at the federal level and similarly divided among the three elements in the states in a federalism structure. For good measure, the “bill of rights” amendments are carved out to specify what was out of reach of governance and belonged to the people, as opposed to those holding authority.

FOCUS, Money:  Making sense of what’s happening with the stock market

FOCUS, Money:  Making sense of what’s happening with the stock market

By Kyra Morris, contributing editor  |  Snap!  Thus ended the S&P 500’s longest streak in history without a pullback of at least 3 percent.  The major U.S. stock indexes capped off their worst weekly performance in two years on Feb. 2 following a steep sell-off. The Dow and S&P 500 pulled back 4.1 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. The Nasdaq lost 3.53 percent.   It happened quickly.  What changed?

January began the year with gains in every major index, catapulting investors into record highs.  The DOW and the S&P 500 had their best monthly gains since March 2016, and the Nasdaq experienced its biggest one month gain since October 2015.  The news was good. 

Equities benefited from strong economic data and solid corporate earnings growth at the start of the year. The American economy added 200,000 more jobs. 

by · 02/12/2018 · 0 comments · Money, Views
BRACK:  Put an end to gerrymandering

BRACK:  Put an end to gerrymandering

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Perhaps it was naivete, youth or idealism. Maybe all three. But I never felt trapped by gerrymandering during a run for Congress in 2000. I believed people from Seabrook Island to Little River in the First Congressional District were ready for someone different.

Today, of course, I know different. I could have been George Washington himself and not won a seat in Congress that year because of the way the district lines favored Republicans thanks to gerrymandering. After two years of work and more than $500,000 raised, I got 36 percent of the vote – the percentage a Democrat typically got in that seat.

by · 02/12/2018 · 0 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: It’s the Year of the Panda in S.C. politics

BRACK: It’s the Year of the Panda in S.C. politics

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | If the 2018 gubernatorial race in South Carolina were a sound, it probably would be the chilling screech of fingernails dragged across a blackboard.

Folks, it’s the Year of the Panda, a season already with some of the worst political pandering in recent memory. The nonsense coming out of gubernatorial campaigns is more painful than bamboo shoots being stuck under those screeching fingernails – shoots that should nourish pandas, not irritate voters.

Winner of the week’s pandering award is Gov. Henry McMaster for the blatant ploy to suck up to voters by proclaiming Feb. 4 to be “Stand For The Flag Super Bowl Sunday.”

by · 02/05/2018 · 0 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: What really needs to happen with General Assembly’s nuclear mess

BRACK: What really needs to happen with General Assembly’s nuclear mess

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Until state legislators go through the five stages of grief over the $9 billion failure of building two nuclear reactors, they might just screw up things worse.

It’s easy to see where they are, so far, six months after the announcement by Santee Cooper and SCANA that the project in Fairfield County wouldn’t get off the ground, despite ratepayers paying more for power over the last 10 years.

First is the denial stage – that it couldn’t happen here. Evidence of this is the prodigious finger-pointing as everybody and his brother look for scapegoats.

by · 01/29/2018 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
At a corner in Selma, Ala., near the National Park Service's Selma Interpretative Center.  The youths on the trip can be seen in the background.

BRACK: Teaching more about civil rights era will bring us together

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  A teenager almost started to cry Jan. 14 as she read a passage from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”  Her white peers, normally boisterous, were markedly subdued as they witnessed stark museum displays of what life was like for black Southerners during civil rights struggles.

One thing was clear for more than two dozen Charleston youths on a church trip to learn about the South’s special kind of past apartheid:  They had no real understanding about what it was like to live in the Jim Crow South of 60 years ago.  They didn’t learn it from textbooks and lessons in school.  They had no real concept of the flashes of vitriol, hate and anger that rocked many Southern communities as they wrestled with civil rights and big cultural changes following World War II.

by · 01/22/2018 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
FOCUS: How Martin Luther King can inspire your career

FOCUS: How Martin Luther King can inspire your career

By Ben Fanning, contributing editor  |  Did you know that Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was originally titled, “Normalcy, Never Again.”?  In fact, the first drafts of his speech never included the phrase “I have a dream”?

Turns out the entire “I have a dream” part of the speech was improvised.  That’s right…improvised in front of 200,000 people when a supporter yelled out:  “Tell them about the dream, Martin!”

He was inspired in that moment and just shared with them what he’d be dreaming about for his generation and generations yet to come.  It was a beautiful demonstration of how powerful a dream can be.

by · 01/16/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Careers, Focus, Views
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering a speech.

BRACK:  How South Carolina influenced King

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  With the Martin Luther King holiday still fresh in our minds, it’s a good time to look at how South Carolina influenced King – and how he influenced the Palmetto State.

Many people don’t realize South Carolina provided sanctuary for King and his supporters.  He used Penn Center on St. Helena Island as a retreat to think and compose.  While state officials in many parts of the South interfered with King, his South Carolina base for reflection helped usher in the civil rights movement.

by · 01/16/2018 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  Cartoonist Ariail loves doodling, drawing about S.C. politics

BRACK:  Cartoonist Ariail loves doodling, drawing about S.C. politics

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  Award-winning South Carolina political cartoonist Robert Ariail has been having a jolly old time lampooning politicians for more than three decades.

As state legislators prepare to get back into the policy swing of things next week, we thought you might enjoy learning more about Ariail’s craft of illustrating an editorial comment, often with a little humor added for good measure.

Q:  Describe what makes a good political cartoon?

ARIAIL:  I think a good political cartoon should be topical and easily understood while imparting a valid message or opinion using good drawing style and, when possible, humor.

by · 01/08/2018 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views