Monday, November 29, 2010

RIP, Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen passed away yesterday. Nielsen appeared in over a hundred films and 1500 television shows. Originally a leading man in dramatic roles, Nielsen gained fame late in his career for his brilliant comedic timing in the Airplane and Naked Gun series of films.

RIP, Enrico Pallazzo...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

CBS hits emotional gold with Thanksgiving Chris Henry story

Thanksgiving Day, during their NFL coverage, CBS aired an incredibly touching feature on Chris Henry's mother, Carolyn Henry Glasby, and her decision to donate Chris' organs upon his sudden death in December of 2009. In the picture to the left, Glasby is surrounded by four individuals who obtained life-saving transplants as a result of her decision to donate her son's organs.

Here's a link to the full video. We dare you to watch it without tearing up. Even a pro like CBS NFL Today host, James Brown, was overcome after the feature aired to the point of simply stating, "Wow," and being unable to speak any further. Boomer Esiason, who's son suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, took over for his overwhelmed colleague to remind viewers that they too could become organ donors and give the gift of life. Boomer also stated, "I just want to say to Carolyn, as the father of a Cystic Fibrosis patient who may some day have to go through a lung transplant: you have touched millions today with your story and thank you so very much for being a hero today."

Very compelling television. Kudos to CBS.

Taibbi versus Gergen

The most recent issue of Rolling Stone has an interesting post-election roundtable between Matt Taibbi, Peter Hart and David Gergen. Nice for them to include Hart, but it's Taibbi versus Gergen that makes the whole thing interesting. Taibbi is one of our favorite writers. He's sharp, funny, knows his shit and isn't afraid to tell it like it is. That leads to exchanges like this:

Taibbi: To me, the main thing about the Tea Party is that they're just crazy. If somebody is able to bridge the gap with those voters, it seems to me they will have to be a little bit crazy too. That's part of the Tea Party's litmus test: "How far will you go?"

Gergen: I flatly reject the idea that Tea Partiers are crazy. They had some eccentric candidates, there's no question about that. But I think they represent a broad swath of the American electorate that elites dismiss to their peril.

Hart: I agree with David. When two out of five people who voted last night say they consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party, we make a huge mistake to suggest that they are some sort of small fringe group and do not represent anybody else.

Taibbi: I'm not saying that they're small or a fringe group.

Gergen: You just think they're all crazy.

Taibbi: I do.

Gergen: So you're arguing, Matt, that 40 percent of those who voted last night are crazy?

Taibbi: I interview these people. They're not basing their positions on the facts — they're completely uninterested in the facts. They're voting completely on what they see and hear on Fox News and afternoon talk radio, and that's enough for them.

Gergen: The great unwashed are uneducated, so therefore their views are really beneath serious conversation?

Taibbi: I'm not saying they're beneath serious conversation. I'm saying that these people vote without acting on the evidence.


Gergen: I don't think his problem is he hasn't put enough people in jail. I agree that when people commit fraud, they ought to spend some time in the slammer. But there's a tendency in today's Democratic Party to turn away from someone like Bob Rubin because of his time at Citigroup. I served with him during the Clinton administration, when the country added 22 million new jobs, and Bob Rubin was right at the center of that. He was an invaluable adviser to the president, and he is now arguing that one of the reasons this economy is not coming back is that the business community is sitting on money because of the hostility they feel coming from Washington.

Taibbi: I'm sorry, but Bob Rubin is exactly what I'm talking about. Under Clinton, he pushed this enormous remaking of the rules for Wall Street specifically so the Citigroup merger could go through, then he went to work for Citigroup and made $120 million over the next 10 years. He helped push through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which deregulated the derivatives market and created the mortgage bubble. Then Obama brings him back into the government during the transition and surrounds himself with people who are close to Bob Rubin. That's exactly the wrong message to be sending to ordinary voters: that we're bringing back this same crew of Wall Street-friendly guys who screwed up and got us in this mess in the first place.

Gergen: That sentiment is exactly what the business community objects to.

Taibbi: Fuck the business community!

Gergen: Fuck the business community? That's what you said? That's the very attitude the business community feels is coming from many Democrats in Washington, including some in the White House. There's a good reason why they feel many Democrats are hostile — because they are.

Taibbi: It's hard to see how this administration is hostile to business when the guy it turns to for economic advice is the same guy who pushed through a merger and then went right off and made $120 million from a decision that helped wreck the entire economy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Some Thanksgiving tunage to enhance your turkey. Enjoy...

Ripped from Pop Candy reader Mike M's Pop five fav' Thanksgiving tunes...

The Strokes

Natalie Merchant and the Perkins Secondary School for the Blind Chorus

Andrew Gold

Pressed for time this Thanksgiving...

The BTPC reveals the secret to cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey in 30 seconds: Thermite.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Slapsgiving!

Tomorrow, as you sit down with your family, take some time to let them know you care...Slap the mess out of them.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Week 12 picks: Just a Game of Inches...

REDSKINS (-1) v. Vikings
We got exclusive footage of Leslie Frazier's speech to the team Tuesday. "Either we heal as a team...or we crumble." Here's to thinking the Vikes come out and claw with their fingernails for that inch. 'Cause they know that when you add up all those inches...that's gonna make the fucking difference between WINNING and LOSING...between LIVING and DYING!

BTPC pick = UPSET SPECIAL: Vikes...BIG, but we'll take the point.

Pats (-6.5) v. LIONS
The fact that Detroit gets a Thanksgiving game every year still is one of the strangest phenomenons in the NFL. It's like a Network continually putting on its worst show at 8pm Wednesday for years. Just silly. Seriously, how many of us would remember Wayne "I am a Teenage Mutant Ninja NFL Coach" Fontes if it wasn't for this inexplicable tradition?

BTPC pick = Pats laying the 7

Saints (-3.5) v. COWBOYS
16 years ago, current Dallas HC Jason Garrett, stepped in for an injured Rodney Peete, who had stepped in for an injured Troy Aikman and led the Cowboys to 36 second half points and a surprising win over the Green Bay Packers and some young QB named "Favor" or something. We hope Garrett has fond memories of that game, because Drew Brees is gonna pick his secondary apart.

And if you don't think Reggie Bush comes back for this game, then you must not realize he remembers when Kimmy K used to back that thing up on him, before letting Miles Austin push up on it. With John Madden being retired, Kim Kardashian's ass is the closest thing you're gonna find to a Turducken in Dallas Stadium today.

BTPC pick = Saints laying 3.5

JETS (-9) v. Bengals
In case you missed it, TO has been talking a little smack back at Revis Island this week. Back in January, Revis called TO and Randy Moss "slouches." This week, after blasting his own team as "terrible" (including himself) after the Bengals just tanked the second half, squandering a 28-7 lead to lose to the lowly Bills 49-31. The Jets may get caught looking towards their AFC showdown with the Pats next week. Plus, at some point you wonder if the horseshoe the Jets have had up their asses falls out. We think the Jets win this one, but 9 points a lot. Especially when Marvin Lewis, who's job is on the line, is going up against his old assistant

BTPC pick = Bengals getting 9.

BILLS (+6.5) v. Steelers
We thought the banged up Steelers would lose to the surprising Raiders last week in Oakland. They destroyed the Silver & Black. We're tempted to take the Bills here, we could see them keeping things closer than 6.5. They showed a lot of pluck last week coming back against the Bengals. What the guts, no glory.

BTPC pick = Bills getting 6.5

TEXANS (-6.5) v. Titans
Good game to see which is better: a more talented QB or a better Head Coach. Kubiak is once again floundering in Houston, despite the fact that he has the decent fantasy-performing Matt Schaub at QB. Jeff Fisher will be rolling into his owner's hometown with unheard of rookie QB Rusty Smith. No...that's not the Chairman of Florence County Council, that's former Florida Atlantic and 6th round draft pick. Good thing for Smith he's going against the horrible Texans secondary. We expect Fisher to show he's the boss.

BTPC pick = Titans getting 6.5.

Jags (+7) v. GIANTS
The Giants got embarrassed by Michael Vick and the Eagles last week. They get revenge on the Jags this week.

BTPC pick = Giants laying 7.

BROWNS (-10) v. Panthers
The Panthers continue to suck. Browns bounce back from a bad showing against the Ravens, making the Panthers wonder why they took Jimmy Claussen instead of Colt McCoy. If ever there was a name destined to be an NFL QB, it was Colt McCoy. If ever there was a name meant to bust as a NFL QB, it was any Claussen.

BTPC pick = Browns laying 10.

RAVENS (-7.5) v. Bucs
The Bucs and the Josh Freeman bandwagons lose a few riders this week. Flacco targets Mason 20 times after their sideline brouhaha.

BTPC pick = Ravens laying the 7.5

Eagles (-3.5) v. BEARS
The most freakishly-gifted offensive player in the league (Vick), meets the most freakishly-gifted defensive player (Peppers). Vick won't escape Peppers every time and, to paraphrase Joe Louis, all he's got to do is touch him once...

BTPC pick = Bears getting 3.5.

FALCONS (-2) v. Packers
Can you say the Pack is coming on? Atlanta is really good in the Dome, but after driving a stake into the heart of his nemesis, Aaron Rogers will be carving up some bird of his on for Thanksgiving.

BTPC pick = Pack getting 2.

Dolphins (+3) v. RAIDERS
Sparano said Monday's practice was the best day of practice the Dolphins have had all year. Over the break, he and GM Jeff Ireland went through the film of the last 3 games and graded every player. Then Sparano called them in and went through the grades. Miami's offensive line is decimated. But Sparano has proven if anything, his teams are resilient and grind it out, no matter how many things are going against them. This has the makings of a low-scoring, defensive game. Our prediction? Miami is a shootout.

BTPC pick = Dolphins getting 3.

Chiefs (-2) v. SEAHAWKS
In the battle of the two best homefield advantage teams in the league, we're gonna go with...the visitor.

BTPC pick = Chiefs laying 2.

BRONCOS (-4) v. Rams
Two teams that choked in games last week they were both underdogs in, but that a lot of folks thought they would be more competitive.

BTPC pick = Broncos laying 4.

COLTS (-3) v. Chargers
We hope our fantasy team, Sexual Napalm, gets Antonia Gates back this week. We sure could use him in our attempt to wrap up a fantasy playoff bye. But Peyton Manning is coming off an embarrassing pick that lost his team a chance to tie the game and send it to OT. And he's playing at night.

BTPC pick = Colts laying 3.

CARDS (+1) v. 49ers
God...what a stinker of a Monday night game. The two best players on the field are Fitzgerald and Willis. One depends on other players to get him the ball, the other just roams around looking for people to hit. We're gonna go with that guy...

BTPC pick = 49ers laying 1.

Last Week: 8-8 Upset Special: 0-1
Season to date: 82-70-8 Upset specials 6-2-1
Career to date: 208-192-16

Monday, November 22, 2010

Clemson v. Carolina Week: Get. It. On.

Well...after throttling Troy this past Saturday at the Billy-Brice, the Gamecocks have a brief layover in Clemson before fulfilling their destiny in Atlanta on December 4th at the SEC Championship game.

This Saturday night at 7pm on ESPN 2, the Gamecocks will look to beat Clemson for the first time in a long time in back-to-back years. Last year, the Gamecocks shocked the #15 Tigers 34-17, holding once-in-a-lifetime Clemson RB C.J. Spiller to just 18 yards. The Tigers were wrapping up a successful season and headed to the ACC Championship game when Carolina poked a pin in their balloon. Can Clemson return the favor, salvaging what has arguably been a disappointing season for Tiger Nation?

We'll see this Saturday. As with most rivalry games, you can throw out the records when these two schools meet. But for our money, we ain't going against the L-train and the Gas Attendant.

A little music to get our Carolina fans ready for Saturday night:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week 11 picks

We took Miami laying 1 versus Chicago. Opps...

Packers (-3) over VIKINGS

CHIEFS (-7) over Cardinals

Ravens (-10.5) over PANTHERS

JETS (-7) over Texans

TITANS (-7) over Redskins

COWBOYS (-6.5) over Lions

Bills (+5.5) over BENGALS

Raiders (+7) over STEELERS

Browns (+1.5) over JAGS

RAMS (+3) over Falcons UPSET SPECIAL

Bucs (+3.5) over NINERS

SAINTS (-11.5) over Seahawks

PATS (-4) over Colts

EAGLES (-3) over Giants

Broncos (+10) over CHARGERS

Last Week: 7-7 Upset Special: forgot to pick one
Season to date: 74-62-8 Upset specials 6-1-1
Career to date: 200-184-16

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bristol and The Situation: DTF...

Apparently the folks behind this PSA don't think the kids care about hypocrisy or Fakey McFakersons. guys realize Bristol could have starred on MTV's Teen Moms or 16 and Pregnant, right? In all reality, she has a lot in common with The Situation. They have both, apparently, been DTF...

BTW, check out how huge Bristol's head is compared to the Sitch's. That thing's like Sputnik...

For Reino: Best Political Cartoon in a while

If you frequent Mike Reino's SC6, and you should, you would know that once a week, Reino posts a political cartoon from the week that catches his eye (along with a little T&A picture/political quote, but that's beside the point). Well...the cartoon above is about as dead on as any we've seen in a while. It's called "Negotiation" and is the work of Clay Bennett with The Washington Post, via Kaiser Health News.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rep. Eric "Douchebag" Cantor is an Israeli Anchor Baby...

Wonder where all those people who question President Obama's patriotic bona fides are on Eric Cantor's vow to side with Israel over the President?

Seriously, this asshole publicly told the Israeli PM, "we're with you fellas."

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday during a meeting in New York that the new GOP majority in the House will "serve as a check" on the Obama administration, a statement unusual for its blunt disagreement with U.S. policy delivered directly to a foreign leader.

"Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington," read a statement from Cantor's office on the one-on-one meeting. "He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other."

Uh...that's not some misquote, that's a press release from Cantor. Ladies and Gentlemen, your 112th Congress majority, brought to you by the "Country First" Republican Party. Such a statement being made publicly is unprecedented. And some wonder why we question if, as a general matter, this President's race has something to do with the vitriolic hatred we've seen against him. BTW, by Cantor's own thinking, he should now turn himself in for committing a felony (at least that's what he said about Nancy Pelosi, just for taking a strip to Syria).

Stay Classy, Eric Cantor, you incredible douchebag....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gamecocks dream the impossible dream...

The South Carolina Gamecocks are SEC East champions. Let's say that again...The South Carolina Gamecocks are SEC East champions.

In the immortal drunken rambling of one of our tailgating brethren: Hell Damn Yeah.

Spurred on by Freshman sensation Marcus Lattimore's 44 carries for 217 yards and 3 TDs. Stephen Garcia pitched in his own Eff you TD, bowling over a Florida DB from the 3 to take it in and then woof a little letting him know.

An incredible game. Like Kevin Garnet once said: Anything is possible...

Week 10 Picks

FALCONS (-1) v. Ravens
This is the game, in the past, where everyone would buy into Atlanta and pick them to win at home, only to watch the Ravens D destroy Matt Ryan. That ain't happening this year.
BTPC pick = Atlanta giving 1.

Texans (+1.5) v. JAGUARS
Remember back to week one, when the Texans dismantled Peyton Manning's Colts and this was gonna be the year the Texans finally delivered on everyone's expectations? Yeah...we do too.
BTPC pick = Jaguars getting 1.5

Lions (+3) v. BILLS
Yes...the Bills are favored in a game. Weird, right? What's even weirder, is that we like the Bills in this game because we like Ryan Fitzpatrick over Shaun Hill.
BTPC pick = Bills *gulp* giving 3.

Vikings (-1) v. BEARS
If the Vikes keep winning, at what point do we all recognize the genius in Brad Childress pulling a Bud Kilmer to inspire his team?
BTPC pick = Vikes giving 1.

BROWNS (+3) v. Jets
Mangenius gets his revenge on Gotham. And to all you Jets fans, when you're sitting back this offseason wondering what went wrong, you can look back at Head Coach being a buffoon who plays dress up and to joke around at press conferences during the season for why things went badly.
BTPC pick = Browns getting 3.

Bengals (+7) v. COLTS
The Bengals playing the Colts means the Bengals are going to get behind and have to score to keep up. What's the over/under on Carson Palmer's dropped INTs this week? 3?
BTPC pick = Colts giving 7.

Titans (-2) v. DOLPHINS
How can you not go with the team that has benched their QB of the future to go with Rabbit?
BTPC pick = Dolphins getting 2.

BUCCANEERS (-6.5) v. Panthers
Nothing to see here...move along.
BTPC pick = Bucs giving 6.5

CARDINALS (-3) v. Seahawks
In the battle of Charlie Whitehurst versus Max Hall, we're gonna go with Goldilocks
BTPC pick = Cards giving 3.

Rams (+6) v. 49ERS
We really like Troy Smith as Singletary's QB, but WTF was up with Troy going home and getting his fax machine blowed up with the gameplan instead of staying in SF to load up for his first home start?
BTPC pick = Rams getting 6.

Chiefs (-1) v. BRONCOS
The Broncos...they, they're not good.
BTPC pick = Chiefs giving 1.

Cowboys (+13.5) v. GIANTS
Wow...13.5...that's a lot of points. Plus, there's no Wade Phillips to drag this team down.
BTPC pick = Giants giving 13.5

Patriots (+4.5) v. STEELERS
The Steel Curtain has some serious chinks thanks to injuries.
BTPC pick = Pats getting 4.5

Eagles (-3) v. REDSKINS
That whole McNabb trade isn't looking so bad for Andy Reid right now, is it?
BTPC pick = Eagles giving 3.

Last Week: 8-4-1 Upset Special: 1-0-0
Season to date: 67-55-8 Upset specials 6-1-1
Career to date: 193-177-16

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to Talking Points Memo

One of our first favorite blogs was Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo. Tomorrow, TPM turns 10 years old. For the occasion, The Atlantic's Joshua Green has a "how it happened" article worth a read.

Our gift will be linking to the story that probably really put TPM on the map, the firing scandal at the Department of Justice under George W. Bush's administration. TPM was so integral in uncovering this story, that it earned them a Polk Award for legal reporting. Here's Marshall on Bill Moyers' program talking about the scandal. The citation for Marshall's award:

His site,, led the news media coverage of the politically motivated dismissals of United States attorneys across the country. Noting a similarity between firings in Arkansas and California, Marshall (with staff reporter-bloggers Paul Kiel and Justin Rood) connected the dots and found a pattern of federal prosecutors being forced from office for failing to do the Bush Administration's bidding
So...happy birthday, Mr. Marshall and TPM. Here's to many more...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The lake it is said never gives up her dead, When the skies of November turn gloomy...

Tomorrow will mark the 35-year anniversary of the mysterious sinking of one of the largest ships to ever sail the Great Lakes. On November 10, 1975, the 729-foot behemoth ore ship the Edmund Fitzgerald sank on Lake Superior without putting out a distress call. All 29 hands on board were lost, presumably drowned.

The event is memorialized in Gordon Lightfoot's hit "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

Apparently, riding Lake Superior ain't no joke:

Lake Superior's water is so cold year round that people who fall off boats and ships often die before rescuers can reach them, even in midsummer, Jacobs said, so storms are not to be trifled with.

"Navigation on the lakes is a real different animal," she said. "We have captains that come up from the oceans and say they would rather be on the Atlantic than deal with the storms here. They're talking about storms in the North Atlantic, and ours up here are worse.

To Pelosi or not to Pelosi...

We're torn on whether or not Pelosi should be Minority Leader or not. Part of us remember how well she did in the job last time. Remember President Bush flush with power after finally getting the last Republican "mandate" (in W's case, that simply meant an election in which he actually garnered the most votes) and eager to spend his "political capital?" What was it gonna be? Privatization of Social Security.

It was the key domestic policy initiative of W's second term and it was thankfully shut down by a Democratic minority. Just imagine the financial catastrophe that would have occurred for a majority of seniors if privatization had been allowed, with what happened with the markets by the end of that same second W term. On top of that, by all accounts, it was Pelosi who refused to give up on Healthcare, even spurring President Obama on when he was ready to give up. The fact of the matter is that Pelosi has proven her chops as both majority and minority leader.

But, there is something to the thought that one has to pay the price for the carnage that happened last Tuesday, the largest one party pickup since 1948. And Pelosi is not without fault there. She could have forced the issue on voting for the middle class tax cuts before the election and she did not. That was a huge boneheaded move. The Democrats should have forced the Republicans hand on that before the election and given Democrats a great example to show the public the Republicans really don't care about cutting taxes unless its the taxes they want cut and they get to take sole credit for it.

We're not really sure how to come out on this. The decision is not made any easier by the fact that Eric "Douchebag" Cantor has decided to weigh in, saying, in his effeminate, condescending manner that if Dems elect Pelosi back into leadership, they're not getting the message the voters sent. You know...kinda like how Cantor and the rest of the GOP didn't get the message the American people sent them when they elected Obama, who campaigned on one major domestic policy item: healthcare reform.

We think, Cantor is gonna push us the other way on this one...

For all the haters...

A new website devoted to the President Obama haters. Recognize...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 9 picks

Buccaneers (+8.5) v. FALCONS
I guess Vegas does not agree with Coach Raheem Morris that his team is the best. We agree with Vegas, but come on...8.5 points? Really? That's an UPSET SPECIAL kind of diss.
BTPC Pick: UPSET SPECIAL! Bucs getting 8.5

BILLS (+3) v. Bears
How sad is it for Bills fans that they're gonna get their win in Toronto and not Ralph Wilson Stadium?
BTPC pick: Bills getting 3

Patriots (-4.5) v. BROWNS
The Pats have been on an absolute roll since that Miami game.
BTPC pick: Pats giving 4.5

LIONS (+4) v. Jets
One of these stud QBs drafted in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft is being fined for "bad body language" and had his big WR say he a QB making that many mistakes shouldn't be pointing out WRs' mistakes. Guess which one.
BTPC pick: Lions getting 4.

VIKINGS (-8) v. Cardinals
Brad Childress may not make it out the Metrodome if they lose this game. That would be fun.
BTPC pick: Cardinals getting 8.

Saints (-6.5) v. PANTHERS
The Panthers continue their battle with the Bills and Cowboys for the #1 draft pick.
BTPC pick: Saints giving 6.5

Dolphins (+5) v. RAVENS
Our heart wants us to pick the Dolphins as our upset special. Our head is wary after watching our Gamecocks turn in a stinker last night. We're gonna split the baby: taking Miami, but not as the upset special.
BTPC pick: Miami getting 5.

Chargers (-3) v. TEXANS
At this point, there is just as good a chance that you could be on the field catching passes from Phillip Rivers, that's how bad their injury situation is.
BTPC pick: Texans getting 3.

SEAHAWKS (+7) v. Giants
Charlie Whitehurst, the "future" of the Seahawks may be getting the start. Giants licking their chops.
BTPC pick: Giants giving 7

RAIDERS (-2.5) v. Chiefs
The "Which one turns into a pumpkin" game of the week.
BTPC pick: Raiders giving 2.5

EAGLES (-3) v. Colts
Coach Shannahan, Coach Reid is on line 2...Laughing. Really hard...
BTPC pick: Eagles giving 3

Cowboys (+7.5) v. PACKERS
Aaron Rodgers or Jon Kitna. In Lambeau. In November? Uh...really?
BTPC pick: Pack giving 7.5

Steelers (-4.5) v. BENGALS
Unfortunately for Carson Palmer, the Steelers, as part of their deal with Lucifer, do not drop interceptions that hit them in their hands. Palmer may throw 5 picks in this game.
BTPC pick: Steelers giving 4.5.

Last Week: 8-4-1 Upset Special: 1-0-0
Season to date: 59-51-7 Upset specials 5-1-1
Career to date: 185-173-15

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election Post-Mortem: Florence under the knife...'s November 3, which means as far as the 2010 mid-term elections go, it's all over but the shoutin'. Now it's time to cut open the carcass of this election and see what we have...

Nationally, we have not really even had a chance to look at anything. From what we have seen, it certainly looks like the national stuff went as expected. If there was any surprise other than the occasional races that surprisingly went the other way, it was probably that the GOP appears to have picked up a higher amount of seats in the House than some expected.

As we mentioned in the predictions post, there were some who felt like the Dems may have a shot at keeping the House. They were obviously wrong. We were saddened to see a great public servant in Congressman John Spratt be defeated, and quite handedly we might add (55% to 45%). We're glad to see our Congressman go back to Washington, but hate to see Congressman Clyburn lose his position as Majority Whip. Florence had a brief tenure there of having two representatives in great positions of power: Clyburn as Whip and State Sen. Hugh Leatherman who still serves as Chairman of the Budget and Control Board. Clyburn is now relegated to a minority leadership status, while it remains to be seen what Nikki Haley's election will mean for the future of the Budget and Control Board.

According to the SC State Election Commission's website, 1,343,311 South Carolinians voted out of a 2,631,459 registered voters. That's about 51%. (Their numbers reflect that Sumter County is not yet in. Why that is, we don't know. Computers...)

How did we do with our predictions? The big one we missed was Sheheen. We really thought he had a chance to take it. The final spread wound up being 59,906 votes or just 4%. About 2 months ago, we were told by the Sheheen camp that they felt the race was going to be a 3 point race either way. Last week, we heard some poll numbers from another race that had it a 4-pt spread exactly. They hit it pretty close. Best of luck to Mrs. Haley. She and our State need it. BTW, Mrs. Jenny Sanford, please put a sock in it. No one thinks this election was a validation of your former husband's policies. Would have been interesting to see how this one went if redistricting was not on the table.

We, along with just about everyone else, were right on the Lt. Governor's, Attorney General's, Secretary of State's and Commissioner of Agriculture's races. We were wrong in picking Barber, but admitted we were simply taking a shot with that one. Zais win over Holleman surprised us. We thought Holleman would pull it out, but it wasn't even really close. Zais won by about 8% which did surprise us. Holleman really was not able to pull as well in the Upstate as we thought he would.

Local races, both Rep. Lowe and Rep. Crawford cruised to victory as we thought they would. (59% and 64% respectively). We also predicted Glynn Willis and Russell Cullberson would both win their respective City & Council races and both did by about 10%.

We told you that the numbers suggested Ed Clements would win re-election as the 12th Circuit Solicitor by about 10 points. We knocked that number down to about 6 points due to a number of factors we thought would influence the race (national political climate, lots of local attention, Rose Mary Parham's hard work during her challenge run, etc). We were wrong on that. Clements won re-election by 12 points.

So all in all we're gonna say we went 11-4. Hey...that would be enough to make us a wise guy in Vegas.

But what does it all mean? During this autopsy, we're gonna focus on what it means locally more than anything else. Why? Because as we said above, we haven't really dove in to examining what happened nationally yet. Plus, we think the national results are similar to what we've seen before. Yes, yes...we know that everyone will want to paint this as a referendum on President Obama, but the truth of the matter is that referendum will come and it's called the 2012 election. We've heard all this song and dance before, remember the Republican Revolution? Add in the fact that we really don't want to talk about it since we think it sucks and there you have it. Since we've all heard that all politics is local, lets perform our autopsy with that in mind, shall we?

So what important thing can we take from this election about our area? Florence is more moderate than the rest of the state. With the exception of Clyburn, all the Democrats in this race did better in Florence than they did overall. 4-5 points better in some. Sheheen actually won Florence 51-48 compared to losing overall 51-47. Matthew Richardson was just 1 point behind here 50-49 as opposed to 10 everywhere else, 54-44. Sen. DeMint was a good 5 points lower here in Florence than he was overall (56 here compared to 61 overall). Congressman Spratt actually won the small sliver of Florence he has in his district, 57-43.

Of course, the City of Florence swings more left, as Sheheen took city precincts 54% to 46% over Haley (compare to 51-48 in Florence County and 47-51 overall).

So what does that mean? Well there is no clear cut answer. Obviously what seat/office one is running for makes a huge difference. Certain seats like Rep. Crawford's or Sen. Leatherman's are simply extremely Republican leaning. Redistricting is about to come up and it will be interesting to see what happens (especially with talk of a 7th Congressional district being created).

But we would like to think it means that maybe bitter partisan races aren't the best option when running here in the Florence area. Blogger Earl Capps did a post back in March of this year that centered on Rose Mary Parham's challenge as a Republican for the 12th Circuit Solicitor's office. We disagreed with the numbers analysis that was offered in that post (you can't compare Presidential election year numbers with midterms and comparing a race challenging an incumbent in an office like Solicitor/Sheriff to any Governor's race is gonna be flawed, let alone an election that featured a still bubba-popular Mark Sanford versus a dull-as-paint Tommy Moore), but did find some of his other analysis interesting.

We thought Earl was right about the challenge for Democrats to secure the AG's spot as they continue to lose Solicitors, although we would have loved to see what had happened in the AG race that just concluded if Richardson had gotten into the race sooner.

More interesting was Capps' take on the significance of the race for the local Florence County Republican Party:

There's a lot at stake for the Pee Dee Republican team as well. They swamped the Florence GOP convention last year, but have yet to show they can win elections. Parham's candidacy is one of their first chances to play in the political big leagues and prove they're more than simply a club of political enthusiasts. Big stakes in the battle for influence in a region which is expected to have its own Congressional district in two years' time.

For those who are not familiar with the background of what Capps was referencing, check here and here. So, why do we find the bit above interesting? Is it because they lost? No. The numbers never lie and the numbers always said Clements would hold on to the office. No, the intriguing aspect of the Solicitor's race and what it shows us about our local politics is visible when combined with another local race: Glynn Willis' election to the Florence City Council at-large seat.

All you have to do is ask yourself how Willis was able to win a city council seat by 10 points when that same city typically produces better numbers for Democrats (see Sheheen's city numbers versus county). It's because you can not run a strictly partisan campaign and expect to win. Willis did get creamed in the staunch city democratic strongholds, but you have to at least hold the line in the other precincts. Fryer was not able to do that and got killed in the Edisto-over precincts. Clements was able to hold the line in many of those, keeping things close with a lot of 5-4, 4-3, 5-3, 6-3 type precincts. Clements was able to do this because he appealed to both sides. And he did this in what many are terming a "historic" Republican wave.

There are reasons why both particular winners were able to win and why both particular losers lost. Those reason are all in the numbers. But in both cases, we think you had two unsuccessful campaigns that both focused too much on their bases and not enough on the actual numbers. It's like a code and you got to crack it. In Parham and Elijah Jones, you had two candidates that decided to direct their efforts towards the hard right, we suppose in efforts to capitalize on the tea party wave. In Glynn Willis, you had a candidate who did not. Only one of those three was successful. We don't think that is a coincidence.