Felon unimpressed with presidential pardon

Barack Obama hasn’t handed out a lot of presidential pardons – just 17 so far during his two-plus years in the Oval Office. Yet one of the individual’s fortunate enough to have had a pardon bestowed upon him isn’t showing a whole lot of gratitude.

Bobby Gerald Wilson of Summerton was granted clemency by the president for his 1985 felony conviction of having sold alligator hides to undercover federal agents just over the Georgia border from Beaufort County.

Wilson, 61, said he applied for the pardon six years ago under President George W. Bush and had given up hope it would ever be granted, according a story by McClatchy newspapers.

“I waited and waited and waited,” Wilson told McClatchy. “Mine should have been done a whole lot sooner. The crime that I committed was no major crime.”

Translation: Don’t sit up waiting for a thank you note, Mr. President.

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Times eyes claim that 1918 Series was fixed

The fixing of the 1919 World Series by gamblers and the Chicago White Sox – known as the Black Sox Scandal – has special meaning in South Carolina.

One of the eight members of the White Sox banned for life from baseball for purportedly throwing the Series was Shoeless Joe Jackson, an Upstate native who was among the most talented men to ever play the game.

To this day, Jackson’s role in the scandal continues to be debated, with many arguing he was innocent of helping to throw games.

Recently, there has been new scrutiny of the Series held the year prior to the Black Sox Scandal and questions about whether it too was rigged. That championship matchup involved another Chicago club, the Cubs, and the Boston Red Sox.

No documented proof exists, but there are suspicions, largely because the conditions were ripe for a bribe, according to a recent story by The New York Times.

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State’s ignorance on SCRA stunning, sad

Those who adhere to the adage that “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt,” were likely dumbfounded by the following item that appeared in The State newspaper’s Sunday politics column, known as The Buzz:

This week’s secret? No one knows what the Research Authority does.

Buzz will be the first to admit we’re not sure what the S.C. Research Authority does. (Something to do with taking prototypes out of science labs and getting them turned into products and out in the marketplace … blah, blah, blah.) But the Buzz had hoped our esteemed lawmakers understood the authority’s role.

Wrong!

During a House Ways and Means Committee meeting last week, more than a dozen lawmakers were so confused about a Research Authority bill that they had to adjourn debate on it until later in the day. Thank goodness the authority’s chief executive, Bill Mahoney, was on hand to walk lawmakers through the authority’s mission and explain the bill’s intent.

Remember now, this is the paper of record, the paper that for more than a century has prided itself on its coverage of state government. And it’s stating openly it doesn’t know what a state agency does.

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Ginners appear set to handle cotton capacity

With cotton production booming, one wonders whether there is enough ginning infrastructure to handle anticipated capacity?

Cotton acreage increases are expected nationwide, with a total of more than 12.5 million acres expected to planted, 15 percent above last year, according to Southeast Farm Press.

The largest increase, at 548,000 acres, is expected in Texas, and acreage increases of more than 100,000 acres are expected in North Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi. Acreage has boomed with the jump in cotton prices over the past year to record levels.

Experts in some of the largest cotton-growing states say they anticipate no problems in terms of gins meeting the capacity needs of farmers.

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InnoVenture praise could use discerning eye

Unsurprisingly, The Greenville News was effusive in its praise for InnoVenture, the annual conference which seeks to support the growth of high-impact companies in the so-called Southeastern Innovation Corridor.

Here’s how the paper began a May 17 editorial:

In an op-ed earlier this month in The Greenville News, John Warner aptly summarized how to promote innovation: Get out of the way and let smart people do what smart people do.

Warner, founder of the annual InnoVenture conference in Greenville, speaks with authority. He’s the one who created the conference to bring those smart people together so the rest of us can get out of their way.

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Paraguay vs. US: two very different paths

Consider what the United States’ bicentennial celebration would have been like 35 years ago if George Washington had been a despot.

Image Washington running the US for a quarter century as a ruthless dictator, suppressing opposition through random terror and isolating the country from the rest of the world while referring to himself as “The Supreme One.”

It probably would have taken just a little of the luster off the festivities surrounding the nation’s founding, not to mention having irrevocably altered US history, and not for the better.

That’s a little of what Paraguay is dealing with this week as the South American nation celebrates the 200th anniversary of its independence from Spain.

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