Archive for Chris Lamb

What Happens if There's a "Fiscal Cliff"?: "Human Sacrifice, Dogs and Cats Living Together ... Mass Hysteria!"

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Christopher Lamb has graciously permitted us to cross-post his latest op-ed, What Happens if There's a Fiscal Cliff?: "Human Sacrifice, Dogs and Cats Living Together ... Mass Hysteria!"

If no budget deal is reached between Congress and President Barack Obama by the end of the year, the United States will face what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke described as "a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases."

We know the seriousness of this situation because no news program goes more than 10 minutes without telling us the seriousness of the situation.

The closest historical precedence for anything like the "fiscal cliff" is found in the 1984 movie, "Ghostbusters" -- when the ghostbusters inform the mayor of New York that the city is threatened by a disaster of biblical proportions:

Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?

Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.

Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!

Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes . . .

Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!

Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

The news media have told us that the failure to avoid the fiscal cliff will result in--and make no mistake about it--a serious situation. They've reported that there will be an immediate tax increase on most earners and massive cuts to government programs, the defense budget, and Medicare.

But this is just the stuff they're telling us. Could it mean the end of the world? It might just be worse than that.

Here is a partial list of what will happen if Congress and the president don't agree to a budget deal before January 1, 2013.

-- The United States will convert to the metric system.

-- Replacement refs will return to the National Football League.

-- Congress will repeal the laws of gravity, leaving thousands of other bills up in the air.

-- The National Anthem will change from the "Star-Spangled Banner" to "Everybody Wang Chung Tonight."

-- Hours will have 61 - minutes.

-- All prime-time television programs will be required to include at least one appearance by a member of the Kardashian family.

-- Cell phones will only work in South Dakota.

-- Supreme Court justices will exchange their traditional robes for hoodies, low-rider jeans, tank tops, and doo rags and write their decisions in rap.

-- The letter "e" will be removed from the alphabt.

-- You will only be able to buy shoes for left feet and socks for right feet.

-- Olivia Newton-John will marry former major league pitcher Tommy John, divorce him, marry singer Wayne Newton, divorce him and then marry chef Jamie Oliver. She will become Olivia Newton-John-John-Newton-Oliver.

-- Texting will end, forcing millions of Americans to talk to each other.

-- Texas and Arizona will be returned to Mexico, which will then pass repressive anti-immigrant legislation.

-- "Human Sacrifice, Dogs and Cats Living Together . . . Mass Hysteria."

Chris Lamb is a professor of journalism at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. His last book was The Sound and Fury of Sarah Palin (Frontline Press).

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VIDEO ADDED: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s approval rating should be even lower

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Yesterday I posted about how South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley dictated conclusions of a health panel finding before it ever held a meeting.  (And she refuses to answer questions about a public documents request... see video below) I also included a link to a report about her abysmal approval numbers.

Video ADDED, Via

With that in mind, here is a cross-post of why Haley's approvals should be even lower than they are.

The author of the post, Chris Lamb, has graciously invited me to share his entire piece from The State with you (bolding is mine):

The State reported Sunday on a Winthrop University poll that revealed only 34 percent of registered voters approve of the job Nikki Haley is doing as governor.

Upon reviewing Haley’s first year in office, one is left wondering not why her approval rating is so low but rather why it is so high.

Jan. 13: The Associated Press reports that Haley will pay her chief of staff, Tim Pearson, $125,000 per year — $27,500 more than Gov. Mark Sanford paid his chief of staff the preceding year.

March 3: Haley appoints a campaign contributor, attorney Tommy Cofield, to the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees, replacing Darla Moore, the largest benefactor in the school’s history.

March 15: The State, drawing on documents received through a Freedom of Information Act request, reports that Haley’s 2008 application for a job as a fundraiser for the Lexington Medical Center listed her previous salary at $125,000 a year — $100,000 more than what she really earned at her parents’ clothing store.

April 21: The State newspaper, citing documents from another FOIA request, reveals that Haley’s office tried to convince news organizations to report that Darla Moore was replaced because she ignored multiple requests to meet with the governor. The documents provide no evidence that Haley tried to contact Moore prior to March 3.

June 18: Haley and a delegation of 26 others go to Paris to recruit business to the state. North Carolina sends seven people to the air show. Georgia sends two.

Sept. 5: Post and Courier reporter Renee Dudley writes that the governor’s June trip to Paris cost the state an estimated $127,000. The costs include airfare, five-star hotels, a soiree for foreign business leaders and a chalet at the International Paris Air Show.

Sept. 8: Haley calls Dudley a “little girl” during a nationally syndicated radio interview.

Sept. 8: Haley tells the Lexington Rotary Club that half of applicants for jobs at the Energy Department’s Savannah River Site failed drug tests and half of the remaining applicants couldn’t pass reading and writing tests.

Sept. 12: The Post and Courier reports that Haley and her staff stayed overnight at luxury beach cottages at Kiawah Island, at a cost of $3,641. By comparison, Gov. Mark Sanford held his staff retreats at his family farm in Beaufort, where they cooked hamburgers on a fire pit and slept in sleeping bags.

Sept. 20: Haley acknowledges she can’t support the claim she made at the Lexington Rotary Club, adding, “I never felt like I had to back up what people tell me.”

Nov. 8: The Post and Courier reports that Haley is in California again to speak to conservative groups, expand her national image and raise money for her 2014 re-election campaign. The newspaper reports that Haley has flown more than 50 times and has spent a month and a half outside South Carolina since becoming governor. It says the governor has accepted 20 flights from people with potential business with the state, including three who were appointed to important government positions.

Nov. 10: The board that oversees the Department of Health and Environmental Control overrules an initial staff decision and approves a water-quality permit for the Georgia Ports Authority to dredge the Savannah port. The decision is made without public hearings or feedback from political, business or environmental leaders. Critics charge that Haley and the board, comprised of the governor’s appointees, betrayed the state’s interests by giving Savannah a competitive advantage over Charleston.

Nov. 18: The Post and Courier reports that the governor’s trip to Europe cost the state $158,000, not the $127,000 earlier reported.

Nov. 20 : The State discovers from an FOIA request that Haley’s staff has deleted emails between staffers, possibly in violation of state public records laws.

Dec. 8: Lawmakers, business groups, and environmentalists publically challenge DHEC’s decision. Says GOP Rep. Chip Limehouse: “I don’t think this issue is going away any time soon.”

Dr. Lamb is a communication professor at the College of Charleston. His book, “The Sound and Fury of Sarah Palin,” will be published in January. He can be reached at lambc@cofc.edu.

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