“Yes. I was supposed to pilot a plane to hit the White House.”

Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, testifying last week that he was supposed to hijack another jetliner on 9/11/2001 with would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid. Source: Associated Press

Columbia Week in Review ·
A new House budget package was approved on Wednesday, pushed through by Speaker Bobby Harrell (R-Charleston) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Cooper (R-Anderson). The $6.3-billion package focuses on some of the state’s critical priorities, with nearly $1 billion used to repay the state’s rainy day accounts and trust funds. Now the package will be sent to the state Senate for an uncertain fate. A Republican Caucus agenda item provides more funding to the Commerce Department in hopes of bringing more jobs to the state. The budget would also fully fund the Education Finance Act, the main source of funding for the state’s schools, would put 142 new law enforcement officials on the streets. Since taking control of the House in 1994, Republicans have kept spending average increases below personal income growth and inflation combined. “Over the past decade, the General Assembly has held government spending to 3.9 percent,” said Speaker Harrell. “While holding the line on spending this year, we have provided the people of our state with a budget that returns money to the taxpayers, encourages economic development, and stresses the importance of education.” —Anna Claire Hodge

400 K

That’s how many Lowcountry residents saw their water pressure drop down to almost zero Friday night after a 48-inch water main crossing Turkey Creek buckled under a surge in water pressure. Thank the goddess there weren’t tens of thousands of thirsty runners in town … crap.

Busting Robin’s Chops ·
Last week, a bevy of local Republicans flocked to the front of CCSD’s headquarters at 75 Calhoun St. for the last member of “Cousin” Arthur Ravenel Jr.’s “A-Team” to announce his candidacy for School Board elections in the fall, Robin Beard. Beard, a telegenic former U.S. Congressmen from Middle Tennessee and former head of Raytheon who now lives East of the Cooper, welcomed support from Ravenel and other distinguished local GOPers, like former Gov. Jim Edwards. And everything went swimmingly until the press started asking questions. Beard, who railed about the need for accountability in the school district, couldn’t answer questions about an accountability measure voted into the district’s last budget. Nor did he know what the district’s total appropriations for the current year were, or how big the district’s general operating fund was, or even how much of this year’s budget came from local taxes. And he admitted he couldn’t name the district’s number-one problem. We don’t want to be mean, but, really, the next School Board candidate this paper interviews who presents himself as being part of the “answer” ought to at least know some of the questions. —Bill Davis


That’s how many participants finished this year’s Cooper River Bridge Run. Source: www.bridgerun.com

$120 million

That’s how much the CCSD School Board added to its existing building program last week so it can build three new schools, buy land for other schools, and make additional renovations at existing schools. The Board hopes revised (read: higher) growth outlooks for the county will cover the added costs instead of increased property tax millage rates.

“I also want the Iraqi people to hear — it’s about time you get a unity government going. In other words, Americans understand you’re newcomers to the political arena. But pretty soon it’s time to shut her down and get governing.”

President George W. Bush, last week, blaming the current instability in Iraq on Saddam Hussein. Source: Associated Press


That’s how much the Charleston County School District spent on a 16-page advertisement in last Friday’s edition of The Post and Courier.

Hot Air, Good Cause ·
Leave it to a Brit to bring Charleston’s disparate political ideologies together for a civil debate. On Tuesday, April 11, at 6 p.m., local expatriate Fletcher Crossman will host a debate in the auditorium of the St. Andrew’s branch of the county library system that will pit members of Drinking Liberally, a “lefty” social club that meets at local bars, versus Charlie Thompson, a local talk radio host, who will represent a local conservative Christian reading group. The topic will be, “Has President Bush Been Good for America?” The event is free and open to the public. The library is located at 1735 N. Woodmere Drive, right behind Village Square Shopping Center off of Sam Rittenberg Boulevard. —BD