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BRACK: Being proud to be Southern ain’t going away anytime soon

BRACK: Being proud to be Southern ain’t going away anytime soon

In “The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of its People” [UNC Press, $29.95], the authors argue the notion of being “Southern” is alive and well, despite years of massive changes in society from the end of institutionalized segregation and increasing urbanization to the influx of millions of people not born in the South, now the nation’s largest region with 121 million people.

Many argue, the authors write, the region’s identity is becoming less important because of years of these changes. Yet they found the opposite in a 134-page study that includes reviews of academic literature, polling data and discussions with focus groups.

by · 02/20/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
FANNING:  How I learned the power of delegation from making coffee

FANNING: How I learned the power of delegation from making coffee

By Ben Fanning, contributing editor | I’d just turned 16 years old, and I took on the big responsibility of making coffee for my church.

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. every Sunday to head into church to make five massive pots of coffee so that when churchgoers rolled in, they had the required caffeine fix. My responsibility also involved unlocking 14 doors, turning on 37 lights and turning the air conditioner to 67 degrees because all those bodies in one space generated a lot of heat.

by · 02/20/2017 · 0 comments · Careers, Views
BRACK: Where’s the saber-rattling over the ask for a federal bailout?

BRACK: Where’s the saber-rattling over the ask for a federal bailout?

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Two questions:

1. What is the state that was offered $11 billion from the federal government to provide better health care for the poorest of its citizens and said no?

2. What is the state that now wants the federal government to provide a $5 billion bailout for roads after not doing enough over the last 30 years to meet their infrastructure obligations?

Answer: South Carolina, also now known as the Hypocrisy State.

by · 02/13/2017 · 0 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  Gentrification is putting crimp on Charleston’s style

BRACK: Gentrification is putting crimp on Charleston’s style

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | The new Charleston: Too many cranes. Too many hotels. Too much hustle. Too much bustle.

The Holy City’s very success in attracting tourists and newcomers to enjoy its sleepy charm and lifestyle is rubbing off Charleston’s shine. If we don’t watch it, our success in attracting three dozen new people to move into the metro area every day will cause us to become just one more vanilla, metropolitan city filled with a homogenized population of gawkers who happen to live where there’s some interesting stuff to see.

by · 02/06/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
Then Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster during a nomination speech of President-elect Donald Trump at the 2016 GOP convention.

BRACK: McMaster can learn lessons from past governors

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | South Carolina’s new governor, Henry McMaster, has boatloads of political and governmental experience. But that doesn’t mean he can’t learn a little, especially from people who have occupied the same seat that he took over this week.

by · 01/30/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  State needs to break grip of death spiral on governing

BRACK: State needs to break grip of death spiral on governing

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Over the last 14 years, two South Carolina governors pounded a philosophy on the stump and at the Statehouse that there was little government could do to be good or worthwhile.

This drumbeat against government, a child of Washington think tanks from the 1990s, seeped into South Carolina under Gov. Mark Sanford, who was obsessed against government borrowing to finance long-term needs. Then it found an erstwhile acolyte in his successor, Gov. Nikki Haley, now headed to the national stage. Using the bully pulpit of the governor’s office, they railed against big government, preached a gospel against taxes and proselytized for treating government like a business.

by · 01/23/2017 · 3 comments · Andy Brack, Views
Gov. Nikki Haley, center, flanked by Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Gaffney, on left, and Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster.

BRACK: Haley reflects on accomplishments, but downplays flag

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Gov. Nikki Haley took a victory lap around a legislature Wednesday with which she didn’t always get along.

“When I was first elected, I heard over and again from governors around the country that this would be the best job I would ever have,” she said in her final State of the State address prior to expected confirmation soon as the new ambassador to the United Nations. “I didn’t understand what they meant back then – and if I’m honest, some days, especially during the legislative session, I didn’t agree with them.”

by · 01/16/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
FANNING:  How you can always be confident even without the answers

FANNING: How you can always be confident even without the answers

By Ben Fanning, contributing editor | I was so confident my shirt was about to bust open. My chest was out with head held high.

Then I boldly marched to the front of the room and grabbed the laser pointer. In the moment, I was cloaked in so much confidence I swatted down arguments with ease and led the group to an excellent outcome. People even thanked me afterwards for stepping up. Why was I so confident?

I had the answers.

by · 01/16/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Careers, Views
In this White House photo taken in July 2016, President Barack Obama hugged Eliana Pinckney and her younger sister Malana Pinckney, daughters of the late Rev. and Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was one of nine slain in murders at Emanuel AME Church. The girls’ mother, Jennifer Pinckney, looks on. She testified this week in the trial of the man convicted of the murders.

BRACK: Obama deserves more credit than he gets

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | I’m going to miss President Barack Obama in the White House. There. I’ve said it. Before half of you spit out your coffee or explode into a hysterical frenzy, consider that you still have your guns. He didn’t take them away, as many misled by the gun lobby feared.

Despite doom and gloom prophecies, Obama didn’t ruin America’s economy. Rather, after inheriting the worst recession in 75 years, Obama steered Congress to take measured, decisive actions to shore up the faltering automobile sector, deal with some of the power of the big banks and use $800 billion in a stimulus package for tax relief, education initiatives and much-needed investments in research and infrastructure. The strategy worked and kept a real depression at bay.

by · 01/09/2017 · 4 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  Tips for how elected officials can be better, more effective

BRACK: Tips for how elected officials can be better, more effective

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | It’s no surprise that politicians in our state have credibility problems thanks to distant and recent scandals that continue to tar the whole Statehouse. Confidence in government, to put it mildly, ain’t all that strong.

In the 1990s, several South Carolina legislators went to jail after a Statehouse sting. A generation later despite ethics reforms, corruption allegations led to resignations of a lieutenant governor and powerful House speaker. And then December brought a 30-count corruption indictment for one House member and a felony domestic assault charge against another.

by · 01/02/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views