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South Carolina
  • Even Jim DeMint Doesn't Think Jim DeMint Should Be a Senator

    Jim DeMint

    South Carolina's Jim DeMint, the Tea Party's leading advocate in Washington, will be leaving the Senate come January, probably so he can spend less time with people like Jim DeMint. DeMint will take up the presidency of the Heritage foundation, while Governor Nikki Haley will name his Senate replacement. What does it all mean?

    1. Lindsey Graham no longer has to talk to DeMint. He'll also face much weaker primary competition in 2014, as South Carolina's battiest conservatives compete for DeMint's old seat in the 2014 special election.

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    Tags: Jim DeMint, Nikki Haley, Senate, South Carolina
  • One of a Kind Candidate: Kenneth Gist, Mayor, Woodruff, SC

    Woodruff, SC City Hall

    Hey poll-heads, stop hitting refresh on FiveThirtyEight. It's over. But if you're in need of that sweet, sweet election fix, we hear there's some action down in Woodruff, South Carolina.

    Mortician Kenneth Gist's win in the Woodruff mayoral race is under protest, and the county election commission invalidated the results. That means Gist is going to have to fire up his boiler room and run the whole race again.

    Gist probably isn't thrilled about this, but election addicts are–they get to scratch that itch a little longer. Everybody pile in the van, someone wind up Bob Schieffer and let's get Wolf Blitzer-ed!

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    Tags: One of a Kind Candidates, South Carolina
  • Racists Sure Love Totally Non-Racist Voter ID Laws

    Some of the wildest cheers during last night's Republican National Convention came during South Carolina Nikki Haley's remarks, comparing the state's voter identification law — currently blocked by the Department of Justice — with the purchase of Sudafed

    We said in South Carolina that if you have to show a picture ID to buy Sudafed and you have to show a picture ID to set foot on an airplane, then you should have to show a picture ID to protect one of the most valuable, most central, most sacred rights we are blessed with in America — the right to vote. And what happened? President Obama stopped us.

    Electing politicians and buying anti-decongestants do have something in common, in that both promise to make things better, but mostly leave you drowsy. On the other hand, I don't remember reading about the Sudafed marches of the 1960s. All the historical evidence must be in the very obscure Letter from a Birmingham Meth Lab that Dr. King wrote in one of his low moments…

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    Tags: Nikki Haley, Racism, Republican National Convention, South Carolina, Voter Suppression
  • One of a Kind Candidate: Bill Woolsey, Mayor, James Island, South Carolina

    Fort Sumter Civil WarBill Woolsey was the mayor of James Island, South Carolina, but it was ripped from his hands mid-term. Not his office, the town. Those uppity-ups in neighboring Charleston appealed James Island's attempt to become incorporated, making Woolsey a mayor without a town.

    But in May James Island succeeded in its fourth attempt for town-hood, and Woolsey is running again to become mayor. Four times the islanders have tried to separate themselves from Charleston. Four times! That’s real persistence, or a real dislike for Charleston. As Wikipedia says, "driving these [separation] efforts was a hatred for Charleston Mayor Joe Riley." No citation.  Nailed the landing on that one, Wikipedia.

    Doesn't feel so good to be seceded from, does it, Charleston? We're sorry to see you suffer, but at least now you can understand a little bit of the stress you caused us northerners–all those late nights of worrying, wondering how we could have come from the same Founding Fathers.

    Quick history lesson (with a citation, check it): the first shots of the Civil War came from James Island, when Confederate forces at Fort Johnson fired on the Union-occupied Fort Sumter. Now, like their ancestors, the citizens of James Island have cast off the shackles of oppression on their property, although their ancestors were trying to keep the shackles of oppression on their "property," but, you know. This has taken a turn.

    Anyway, now that James Islanders have prevailed with their stick-it-to-Joe-Riley plan, Bill Woolsey's campaign platform is a post-conquest agenda. Not content with mere independence, he's trying to add strategic territories to his rebel island with a bold plan to "organize and win annexation elections."

    Careful, Mr. Woolsey. The sweet taste of secession can be addictive. It's only a matter time before you personally secede from James Island. Next thing you know you're seceding from the living room to Woolsey Fort Blanket, and eventually ol' Joe Riley will come in from Charleston and start bagging-up the carpet. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to reheat it," as Abraham Lincoln never said. (Spoiler: he never fought vampires, either.)

    Also, Charleston, it would be super chill of you to let us use your police department. We can be grown-up about this, right?

    Image by Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images

    Previously: Goodspaceguy, "Close encounter of a 3rd party"

    Our friends at Dr Pepper are going to send Mr. Woolsey a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, and you get to choose its slogan:

    Want a custom t-shirt of your own? Of course you do! Head to and get started.

    Tags: Civil War, One of a Kind Candidates, South Carolina
  • S.C. Judge Sentences Defendant to Bible Study

    It's well known that hot and dry places filled with religious extremists often produce judicial rulings that sound anomalous to Western ears. We've seen the phenomenon from Saudi Arabia to Iran to Pakistan and Sudan.

    South Carolina is not going to buck that trend

    What would Jesus do?

    A South Carolina judge not only sentenced a woman to eight years behind bars for driving drunk, but he also ordered the woman to read the Bible.

    According to the Herald of Rock Hill, Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles wants Cassandra Tolley to read the Old Testament and write for him a summary about Job.

    I guess this is what creeping Sharia looks like. It's fun to substitute "Quran" for "Old Testament" and "Surat Al-Fatḥ" for the "Book of Job," and imagine whether people would be so sanguine about a civil official mandating that course of religious study, even if, as in this case, the defendant gave her consent.

    Though at the same time, this woman can learn some powerful lessons from the Book of Job. After all, it's a story about a powerful, unaccountable authority figure being a dick to people under his command in order to teach an obscure lesson.

    Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Crime, Judiciary, Religion, South Carolina