Tuesday, October 31, 2006

She Thinks We're Stupid Hicks

In today's W-S Journal, Madam Foxx's campaign manager Todd Poole publishes a letter (page 23 in the Karl Rove Playbook) that sets up the election between the Madam and Roger Sharpe as a series of "choices" that no right-thinking citizen in the NC-5 could fumble.

One of those "choices":
We have a choice between confirming judges to the federal bench who strictly interpret the Constitution and our laws or the liberals who support activist judges who will legislate their liberal policies from the bench.

Surely Madam Foxx knows, even if her campaign manager doesn't, that members of the U.S. House do NOT vote on judges.

Apparently, they're counting on our ignorance. As usual.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Odor of Wet Fur

Foxx refuses to tape debate unless reporters are barred

Today's W-S Journal

The Low Road

We opened our morning papers to headlines trumpeting Karl Rove's "genius." Whatever afflicts Rove, though, appears not to be catching.

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.
N.C. House Dist. 93 incumbent, Republican Gene Wilson, has mailed out an over-size postcard screaming "It's Time For a Change!" Wilson is a 16-year incumbent. And we couldn't agree more. Whatever, you do, Sleepy Gene, don't stop campaigning. We needed the belly laugh.

Messaging: Don't Think of an Elephant.
Since local Hardee's franchise-holder and convicted tax evader Jim Hastings took charge of the local Republican message, he's put up six radio spots that scream "librul librul librul" and "beware of OUTSIDERS!"

Where was Jim Hastings born? (dunno, but not in Watauga County)

Where was Virginia Foxx born? (New Yawk City)

Where was David Blust born? (Ohio)

We could go on. Of course, it's not about outsiders and it's not about "libruls." It's about stirring up the prejudices of rural people, the prime audience for local radio. Or, rather, it's about TRYING to stir up the prejudices of rural people ... in a year when the usual Republican base is turning deaf ears to the people they generally listen to.

The Hastings' message plan is to distract people with fear of outsiders -- gays, vegetarians, college students, llama-breeders. His party has led us down a rat-hole and into hopeless foreign entanglements, but he wants his rural listeners to fear their neighbors.

Of course, that's classic Karl Rove. And we fully expect their negative, divisive feces to coat every available surface during this last week before the election. We look especially for Madam Foxx to begin unloading a nasty dumptruck-load on Roger Sharpe, now that an independent poll shows her with less than 50% support and Sharpe within six points of overtaking her. (More on that poll later.)

They can't do ANYTHING honestly. Locally in Watauga County, the GOP was going to run against the new high school and even wrote their platform to incorporate that idea. But their own candidates wouldn't toe that line consistently. Then they decided to blow Boone's steep-slope development regs up into a big commie-pinko-socialist plot and discovered that the people in the county aren't, after all, as dumb as doorknobs, and that message has failed miserably. Now they're down to the scraps of tired old formulas that worked pretty well when Jesse Helms roamed the earth ... "librul outsiders are poisoning your vital bodily fluids!"

How pathetic. We agree with Gene Wilson.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Phony Baloney

Missed this (after all) small news yesterday: Madam Foxx has agreed to debate Roger Sharpe (wow! She must be worried!) but it will only be broadcast at 10:30 p.m. next Sunday (two days before the election, natch!) on WMYV-TV, Channel 48 ... which no one in Watauga County gets. Wonder if anyone in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Davie, Iredell, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes, or Yadkin county gets that channel?

Oh, we've figgered this out. Now she can brag that she had balls enough to actually face her challenger in a debate ... without running the risk that any of us peons might actually see her mean little knotted-up soul in action.

Domino Theory

Buried in an article in today's W-S Journal is this analysis by Duke University political scientist Mike Munger:
"In any election, there is a moment, perhaps a trivial one, that focuses things in voters' minds. It can either make them choose a candidate, or make them lose enthusiasm for a candidate or party and stay home .... The question in North Carolina is this: Is the Mark Foley affair going to be that moment?"

If so, Munger said, [Robin] Hayes could lose, [Charlie] Taylor's 16-year House career will likely come to an end, and even [Madam Virginia] Foxx could be in danger.

Munger also reminds us that Hayes, Taylor and Foxx were the only GOP representatives to win with less than 60 percent of the vote in 2004.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ole Virginia Had a Farm (Emphasis on Had)

A new bipartisan poll conducted for the Center for Rural Strategies shows the formerly solid Republican rural voter growing decidedly "pekkid."
Five hundred likely rural voters were surveyed in 41 heavily contested congressional districts and six states with close Senate races. Most of the House districts surveyed have Republican incumbents. Fifty-two per cent of the respondents indicate they'll vote for Democratic congressional candidates; 39 percent say they'll support Republicans.

No wonder Madam Foxx is feeling some constricture in the throat.

The Foxx campaign is polling rural Republicans in Watauga County (at least) with the following set of questions:

1. Are you planning to vote for V. Foxx?
2. Do you approve or disapprove of George Bush's presidency?
3. Do you feel the country is moving in the right or wrong direction?
4. Do you plan to vote in this election? Plan not to vote? Or are you unsure?

That polling, to be sure, isn't so much designed to get honest opinion as it is designed to identify the remaining 39 percent of rural Republicans who would still vote for Foxx. Those people will likely be dragged to the polls whether they want to go or not.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Foxx Hunt, Cont.

We're hearing from Republican friends that they're receiving live phone calls urging them to get out to vote early for Madam Foxx. Apparently, the Foxx campaign is seeing the same numbers we're seeing from early voting ... which don't look so good for the Madam (just based on the number of Republicans showing up to vote early vs. the number of Democrats).

She might have been tempted to use robo-calling, since there's no way a handful of College Republicans being paid minimum wage can ever make all the calls she needs. But she can't use robo-calling without once again revealing the utter hypocrisy of her politics. Why? She came out early in 2005 signing on to legislation to greatly limit the use of robo-calling. (But if anyone gets a robo-call from her, we hope you'll let us know!)

The Winston-Salem Journal is not the only 5th Dist. newspaper to go after her. She's "cashing in" like Boss Hogg, according to the Statesville Record & Landmark. She's "Representative Clueless" to the Elkin Tribune. Foxx is "a sycophant," according to the Tribune editorialist. Also "tone deaf." She's spent two years "throwing good votes after bad policy" in her slavish attempt to rubberstamp whatever El Presidente wanted and to suck up to more powerful lawmakers by spreading her money around like barnyard manure.

Yep, that's the Foxx we know. Proud, we are, that others are also seeing through her.

For example, her supposed support for the armed forces. If you've got the stomach for it, scroll through all her accumulated press releases and see how many are pious protestations about support for the military ... like this one and this one and this one.

Empty, easy symbolic gestures, most of them. The Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) sees her ACTUAL performance on behalf of military men and women and grades her as barely passing ... a big ole fat "D."

Wouldn't it be something to get her outta that House after two insufferable years? And actually get some representation.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Foxx Hunt

The W-S Journal has published another editorial blasting Madam Virginia Foxx for "misrepresentation," which according to our lexicon means lying.

Also fleecing her supporters.

And general mendaciousness.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

You can see the heart-breaking TV ad Michael J. Fox did for Senate candidate Claire McCaskill here, along with the unbelieveable comment about it from Rush Limbaugh yesterday.

My wife came grumbling into the house yesterday afternoon. "You won't believe what I just heard Rush Limbaugh say on the radio," she announced. "That Michael J. Fox must have been acting, or else he was off his meds."

What do we get when Rush Limbaugh is off his meds? Illegal doctor-shopping.

What a despicable (alleged) human being.

Republican Candidate Slips a Big One Into Johnson City

We suppose the Republican candidate in Tenn-1, David Davis, is so unbeatable in the most Republican congressional district in the known universe that he could afford to be seen on the same platform with ... Denny Hastert. Hastert got his scintillating self down to Johnson City yesterday to testify on behalf of Mr. Davis, just hours before taking an oath in the capital today to testify in the Mark Foley page-wanking scandal.

This'll go down in the annals of Dumb Political Endorsements.

Both Hastert and candidate Davis appeared nonplussed that questions about the Foley affair came up even in Johnson City, where it was assumed no one read the papers or cared about the Speaker of the House's inaction.

Candidate Davis, with no apparent appreciation of irony, told his supporters that he's proud "to be a part of a party that can stand on its virtues of faith and family."


Monday, October 23, 2006

Ah, Those Superior Family Values!

We caught this appalling Republican ad attacking Harold Ford yesterday morning on Channel 11 out of Bristol. See how low the national Republican Party is willing to stoop. The ad even contains the tag-line "The Republican National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertisement." Indeed, they are.

Bob Corker is trying to distance his campaign from this smut. But he can't. Those are his fellow travelers peddling this crap.

And it's not the text of what the blonde bimbo says. It's the not-so-subtle appeal to racism that is most appalling.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

We Will Miss Herb Hyde

Rob Christensen's tribute to mountain Democrat Herb Hyde in today's N&O is good reading. Herb departed this life on October 15th, a day after he was honored in absentia at the Vance-Aycock Dinner in Asheville.

Herb Hyde was one of the last of that generation of Democrats who knew the best way to defeat extreme legislation was to laugh out loud at it. He made a famous speech against a bill to outlaw cussing that is still fondly remembered by aging political operatives. He also "spoke out against a '60s law banning communists from speaking on state-supported campuses, for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and for education."

We were fortunate to know Herb Hyde and his brother Luke, who still owns and runs an historic hotel in Bryson City. Herb enlivened and enlightened every gathering fortunate enough to have him, and he could quote Shakespeare by the buckets. In honor of him, and of that ability to remember great words, we offer this:

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.

The Marie Antoinette of NC-5

Bert Gutierrez's article today on Madam Foxx in the W-S Journal is revealing on any number of counts.

We wondered where all that money she reported she was spending was actually going. It's going to buy friends and influence other Republican lawmakers, some $116.000. It's the D.C. power game. She doesn't need it for her own reelection (that's the reasoning, anyway), so she gives it away to (mainly) incumbents who do have tough races, like Charlie Taylor in NC-11.

The second part of the story focuses on her arrogance, her refusal to debate her opponent Roger Sharpe, her failure to meet in any substantive way with ordinary citizens and to answer questions in an open forum.

"It's almost as if once she got elected, she felt there's some kind of ascension to royalty, Sharpe said. "It's as if she thinks she gets to be anointed to be the decision-maker...."

That pretty much sums it up.

And do the good people of the Fifth District appreciate that kind of royal behavior? Remains to be seen.

But a letter-writer in today's W-S Journal gives one possible response to the Madam's royal hautiness: "...Virginia Foxx has made it clear for these long two years that she wants absolutely nothing to do with us. Let's all turn out to vote and show her that the feeling is mutual!"

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

The new Karl Rove ad blitz: "Vote Democratic and you'll die. But first, your belly will be opened and your guts displayed. Then your chest cavity will be probed by sharp instruments, before your beating heart is cut out and held aloft for the derision of the Muslim world."

You can see what's being dubbed "the daisy ad" here.

Check out the response of this right-winger to the fear-mongering.

Locally, the Watauga GOP is peddling its best shot at scaring people by claiming, in a postcard mailing that went to 6,000 households, that if you vote for Democratic county commission candidates, you'll be voting to put in steep-slope regs EVERYWHERE. It's the local Republican version of jihadist-fear.

You're too young, we know, to remember WHY this is called "the daisy ad." Go here for an explanation.

Blust on YouTube

J.W. Randolph, an ASU student and environmental activist (among many other qualifications) has posted his video of N.C. Senate candidate David Blust saying he doesn't think college students should be voting in local elections ... like, duh, his race with Rev. Steve Goss.

The pattern of attempted voter suppression/voter intimidation aimed at local college students has been documented here and again in Randolph's post referenced above.

Maybe this is why the local GOP has sent its hired gun ("campaign manager" Lauren Cehula) to campus so much lately, trying to deal with some justifiable student anger toward the local Republican power elite.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Smorgasbord

Recumbent Republican N.C. House member Gene Wilson has contracted for $13,000 worth of radio advertising in Watauga County alone.

Watauga GOP has a mystery woman as hired gun in charge of its local campaign. On the Watauga Republican Party's website, Lauren Cehula is listed as "Campaign Manager," with a non-local phone number. Lauren Cehula is not a registered voter in the state of North Carolina. What? Is the local party now trucking in its help from out of state?

Patrick McHenry of the NC-10 ... most recently seen on CNN as the party's hit-pooch defending the national GOP against the revelations in the Foley scandal ... a closeted gay? So sayeth Matt Hill.

A Rolling Tide?

A few stats from the first day of early voting:

1,400 voted yesterday in Buncombe County
344 voted in Haywood County
338 voted in Watauga County

More reports as they come in.

Doesn't look like a "dismal turn-out" year to us, as many party operatives and even state Board of Elections officials were predicting.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pornography of the Day

Foxx sucks up:
...[NC-5 Congresswoman Virginia Foxx] rearranged her schedule to make sure she spent time with the president in the state [yesterday].

"I certainly did not want there to be any doubts about my running away from the president," she said.

--N&O, today
"I don't think there's any member of the Republican delegation that would want to distance themselves from the president," Foxx said.

--W-S Journal, today

NOTE: NOWHERE in physical proximity of El Presidente: Charlie Taylor (NC-11), Vernon Robinson (Planet Queer Fear). Also Patrick McHenry, Sue Myrick, and Walter Jones.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Getting Sober with the Truth

Tuesday night ASU students and other county residents had the opportunity to hear Col. Larry Wilkerson speak. Wilkerson was until January 26, 2005 chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson was much in the nation's news back in February 2005, shortly after his boss was shown the door by the Bush administration. Wilkerson famously went public about the Feb. 3, 2005 appearance of Colin Powell before the United Nations, when Powell laid out "evidence" that Iraq was actively developing WMD. Wilkerson spilled these beans that the evidence was deliberately cooked: "My participation in that presentation at the UN constitutes the lowest point in my professional life. I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council."

Tuesday night Wilkerson looked out at a standing-room-only audience in I.G. Green auditorium and said, "I know the real reason you're here this evening. You're here because you want to hear someone tell the truth." The crowd erupted with thunderous applause.

It wasn't just Wilkerson's depth of experience that made his talk incredibly compelling. (But, okay, just so you know, Wilkerson's history of employment includes service in Vietnam, Director for Strategy and Policy for USCINCPAC, a faculty position at the U.S. Naval War College, special assistant to Colin Powell when Powell was Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College, and holder of two advanced degrees, one in International Relations and the other in National Security Studies ... before he followed Powell to the State Department.)

The other part of Wilkerson's biography that gave his talk an unusual center of gravity was contained in the last phrase used to introduce him to the audience: "...soldier, public servant, a true patriot, and a conservative Republican."

Later, during the Q&A session that followed his speech, someone sitting next to me muttered under her breath, "It's one thing to hear Al Gore talk about these things, but to hear a conservative Republican say it is terrifying."

Truly terrifying.

But then all Col. Wilkerson warned us was hanging in the balance is our form of government, encapsulated in the Constitution: "We have allowed our country to become something our Founders never dreamed of. 'Eternal vigilance' is not about external forces coming in and taking away our freedoms. It's about internal forces robbing us of our liberty."

He told the ASU students that they had to learn how to think critically, to "look at things hard," and then to go vote. Stop being so goddamn smug that Bush's wars aren't impacting you, because of the all-volunteer Army. "Less than one percent of us is bleeding and dying for the other 99 percent," Wilkerson said, "and that is not America." A draft is waiting in the wings, he warned, and when it comes, as it will, women will be included, which is only just and proper, he said. I could hear students all around me audibly gulping.

We've got to build back an opposition, he said, a political opposition, even if it's a stupid opposition. "Please don't ever again put the same people in charge of both Congress and the White House, ever again," this conservative Republican said.

We've allowed the military-industrial complex (yes, he used that term), with its government servants, to militarize everything, especially our foreign policy. There is no accountability because everyone in charge of all the mechanisms represents the same political party and the same political interests. The first solution to every problem is now military force, or the threat of military force. That's why I'm supporting Jim Webb for senator in Virginia, Wilkerson said, another military guy with combat experience who opposed this war from the beginning for precisely the reasons Wilkerson opposes it now: it's destroying this country.

He confessed: "Colin Powell and I lied to the United Nations and to the American people. We didn't know we were lying, but that's no excuse." When's the last time you heard ANY American talk like that?

When someone in the audience finally asked the obvious question, "Why do you continue to be a Republican," Wilkerson replied, again to thunderous applause, "I want my party back."

Everything Wilkerson said amounted to as dire a warning as I've ever heard from a public speaker with anything approaching his knowledge of the inner workings of the Bush administration.

And he said a lot more that I can't begin to summarize adequately.
Yours truly and WataugaWatch has evidently arrived. We were the topic of conversation -- scorn, rather -- this a.m. on WATA's "The Right Thang." The host said "Jerry Williamson's blog is pornographic." Well, he could hope. We know how you guys revel in smut.

For pornography, the closest purveyor we know is Republican congressional candidate Vernon Robinson. In his debate last night with incumbent Democrat Brad Miller, Robinson "tried to tie ... Miller to French homosexuals, a study of how college women respond physically to pornography and bilingual ballots for Hispanics." Etc. Read about it here.

If there were anything of substance said about us on "The Right Thang," we would consider responding. But we'll not hold our breath. We do, however, appreciate the publicity.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Proud Day in the Republic

El Presidente signed "The Unlimited Powers of the Bush White House" bill this morning, a.k.a., "The Law Allowing Our Government to Beat the Shit Out of Anyone It Damn Well Pleases."

The American Civil Liberties Union said the new law is "one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history."
The president can now, with the approval of Congress, indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. (ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero).

We have some g.d. Democratic senators to thank for voting for this abomination:
Carper of Deleware
Johnson of South Dakota
Landrieu of Louisiana
Lautenberg of New Jersey (Jay-sus!)
Lieberman of Connecticut
Menendez of New Jersey (what's wrong with New Jersey?)
Nelson of Florida
Nelson of Nebraska
Pryor of Arkansas
Rockefeller of West Virginia
Salazar of Colorado
Stabenow of Michigan

Roll-call of shame, the Dirty Dozen. Remember their names, as Garrison Keillor suggested in this blistering essay. These Democrats -- and ALL the Republicans in the Senate -- were willing to turn our Constitution into a toilet wipe.

Thomasville Battles the Pink Brigades

The Thomasville City Council voted 5-1 last night in favor of ask the N.C. General Assembly to allow the citizens to vote on amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The Davidson County Commission had previously considered (and defeated) a similar resolution. But the Thomasville city muthas just couldn't help themselves. Apparently someone had spotted a pink-shirted platoon of gay guerillas coming up Rte 109, some of 'em in wedding dresses!

There's a good write-up of the action in the public hearing before the vote here on NCBlue. Particularly worth lingering over are the words of citizen Barney Hill, a self-described "heterosexual Baptist," who spoke strongly AGAINST the resolution:
I hope it's legal for a heterosexual Baptist to be against this because I am ... I speak in opposition of [the resolution] ... Miss [Marie] Culbreth [City Council, Ward 2] had this one nailed: It is nothing more than a scheme to hijack the North Carolina Constitution to make a political statement about sexual preferences. I already sat through this movie one time. The resolution in front of you tonight differs in two ways from the one the County Commissioners rejected: number one, it's more long winded and number two, it doesn't say what it really means. I can excuse verbosity, but not dishonesty. I'm 56 years old and single for all that time. I don't want to marry a man and I don't want to marry a woman, I'm already married to a leaky roof the size of Texas ... and I'd like to be married to enough money to get it fixed, but I don't look to government for my salvation. I recommend for marriage ... that it be divorced from government and that it be taken out of politics ... If the secular were separated from the sacred, the demagogues would have to find a new hobby horse.

Bake that man a pie and fix his roof!

Madam Foxx Cements Her Reputation

"Virginia Foxx ... Not Conservative Enough!"

Well, to remove any doubt just how far off the globe she can go, she's to be keynote speaker at a John Birch Society meeting in Raleigh the end of this month.

Gosh, and I had no idea that pillowcase full of doorknobs was still an active organization, once the Commonist Menace disappeared.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Blust Continues Batting Zero

Hand it to N.C. Senate candidate and sitting (!) county commissioner David Blust ... he's stuck to his guns on ASU student voting (not!) and a new high school for Watauga County (no!). At tonight's County Commission meeting he was the lone dissenting vote against a plan to finance the $7 million needed to purchase 89+ acres of prime Boone real estate for the project. "No!" he said in a clear, almost overly loud voice. The words of Mr. Emerson came to mind: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Earlier in the year, Mr. Blust decided that opposition to a new school was going to be as popular as opposition to zoning was in 2002, so he hitched his wagon to Deborah Greene's star. Hasn't worked out the way that either Mr. Blust or Ms. Greene envisioned.

Of the 21 people who spoke at the public hearing tonight, only three were opposed to the high school project. Among the 18 in favor were some leading Republicans on the school board and in the business community. Are they going to turn around and vote to put Mr. Blust in the state senate? Why would they do that? So that he can fail to rise to the demands of public office at a higher pay grade?

In the extemporaneous speech County Commission Chair Jim Deal delivered after the public comments and prior to the vote, Deal displayed again the rhetorical power that good lawyers are paid for. Very few people can stand up to his strength of conviction, his clarity of vision, his command of facts. His riff on building a "green" school was itself worth the price of admission, a clarion call for sustainable environmental practices long overdue in Watauga County. There sat ex-commissioner chair James Coffey in the audience, wisps of hot steam visibly lifting off his ear lobes. If Mr. Coffey were still chair of the board, nary a step forward would have occurred.

No one knows that better than fellow Republican Commissioner Keith Honeycutt. Honeycutt was fully off the Republican reservation tonight, repudiating the local GOP platform so recently published in the press. He now thinks a referendum is a very dumb idea. And we bet he wishes he'd shown up for that budget vote months ago, when he skipped out rather than cross the grandees of his own party. He seems to think it's safe now to defy them in his race to get reelected. But he's got a formidible opponent in ex-teacher Mary Moretz. The thing about Mary Moretz is that she doesn't have to run against her own party to run on what she believes.

It was a good night for Watauga County education. And for the future.

Kuo Vadis?

We only caught the tail-end of David Kuo's appearance last night on 60 Minutes, but is he ever in for a rude awakening about the viciousness of the mullahs! He's naive enough to think that because he's told the truth in "Tempting Faith" about the inner hypocrisy of the Bush administration, and because he's a sincere Christian and not a fake one, that an angel of the Lord will bear him up in the adversity to come. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy.

FaithfulDemocrats.com has posted a statement about Kuo and his book:
The sad truth is that our country's leaders, especially those in the White House, appear to use faith almost solely as a political weapon. They don't respect it. They don't care about its capacity to improve people's lives. They want power, period. And apparently, they are willing to manipulate religious voters and break the law in order to gain that power.

As Mr. Kuo said last night on 60 Minutes: "You're taking the sacred and you're making it profane. You're taking Jesus and reducing him to some precinct captain, to some get-out-the-vote guy." We would hope for more from a political party that has won election after election by claiming to be the party of faith.

Think Virginia Foxx, masquerading as a Baptist.

Melt-Down at Foxx HDQs?

We've heard from two sources now that the Madam's husband Tom was in the local Republican HDQs pitching a fit that the Watauga GOP wasn't doing enough to get his wife reelected to Congress. Behind Mr. Foxx's back, some loyal workers were suggesting that the Madam could unpack that fat million she's got squirreled away and get herself reelected. Or maybe go to hell, whichever was closer.

Today's W-S Journal contains a profile article about both Foxx and her challenger Roger Sharpe. Call it an attempted profile, since the Madam refused to cooperate. She had her spokesman curtly refer the Journal reporter to her various websites, rather than answer the newspaper's questionnaire: "Many of the questions you are asking Rep. Foxx cannot be asked of Mr. Sharpe, and due to recent dealings with the Winston-Salem Journal, we believe that these are geared toward an attack."

That whiff of Foxx arrogance wafts through the room. But we now detect the slight odor of flop sweat mixing in.

Get some dress shields, woman!

Also Out of the Closet ... Tim McGraw

9 albums, 25 # 1 singles, 33 million copies sold, 2 Grammys, 2004 People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Musical Performer

married to Faith Hill

closet Democrat:
It's innate in me to be a Democrat -- a true Southern populist kind of Democrat. There's not a lot of those anymore .... The issues that matter to me are the social safety nets for people, health care, middle-class concerns. We need to take care of the middle class and the poor in our country. The chasm is getting larger between haves and have-nots, and that's something we need to close down a little bit.

Puts his money where his mouth is too: McGraw's behind Neighbor's Keeper Foundation, funding community charities.

First we get Bruce Willis: "I'm a baldheaded Democrat." Then Dean Smith: "I'm a Baptist Democrat." Now Tim McGraw: "I'm a Live Like You're Dyin' Democrat!"

Who's next? Randy Savage?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Winston-Salem Journal Endorses Sharpe

"An impediment to change." That's how the endorsement of Roger Sharpe in today's W-S Journal describes Madam Virginia Foxx.

Coulda, shoulda, woulda: "...Foxx could have moved toward the moderate center and reached out to her Democratic and independent constituents .... She could have been a representative with a mind of her own, one who was willing to do what was in the best interests of her district. She could have abandoned the shrillness that poisons our politics and could have tried to build consensus."

But that ain't what happened, says the editorial board of the Journal:
Foxx has not only swallowed the party line uncritically; she has also helped to spread it. She spouted the Bush administration's rosy talking points on Iraq even as military commanders were painting a grimmer picture. Given the opportunity to speak out against the House leadership for its woefully inadequate response to the Mark Foley e-mails to House pages, she declined. She has exploited fears and prejudices against immigrants. She has played fast and loose with the truth, including sending letters and e-mail messages misrepresenting this newspaper's editorial policies in a ploy to raise more money.

The Journal didn't quite get around to the undeniable conclusion that she's an embarrassment to the good people of the NC-5. But we'll take what we got.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bush to Be in Guilford Co. Wednesday

...and Virginia Foxx will be sucking up. Read all about it here.

Weenies on a Stick

Long article in this a.m.'s N&O says North Carolina's clout in the U.S. House ranks 44th ... that's with a majority of seven N.C. Republicans (to six Dems) representing the state in a legislative body dominated by their own party, where every rule, every piece of legislation, every slab of pork is controlled by REPUBLICANS.

Way to go, Madam Foxx!

Friday, October 13, 2006

TKO at the Candidate Forum

The winner of both the county commissioner and the school board debates last night?

Jim Deal, who wasn't even in the room.

As chair of the county commission since December 2004, Mr. Deal has been masterful in bringing a majority with him in his drive to reform education in the county. Without him, we would not be on the brink of a whole new era.

Every candidate for county commissioner, except one, agreed that Mr. Deal's plan to put a new high school on a new location and sell the old wreck. Only Mr. Coffey, who signed the petition to block a new school with a referendum, could not agree, but he also couldn't come right out and say so. Rather, he wandered off into the high weeds, mumbling about building TWO new high schools. Make sense? Well, no. Mr. Coffey spouts off constantly about keeping the tax-rate low, but he had to say something about the high school, so he tried to confuse the issue and throw a political bone to the western end. You need a new school out there, too, he said, and we could probably build TWO schools for the price we're going to pay for ONE ... a demonstrably false claim.

Fellow Republican David Triplett followed Mr. Coffey. Mr. Triplett said, "The commissioners are to be commended for the work they've done on this, and I wish it had been done two or three years ago." Of course, two or three years ago, we were all living under the administration of Mr. Coffey's county commission, and we all know how THAT was going. If the Republicans were still in charge in this county, there would be no progress forward, and Mr. Triplett was generously acknowledging that.

The school board candidates were likewise in unanimous support of a new high school, except for Allen Trivette, who like Mr. Coffey, couldn't quite bring himself to come right out and say what everyone knows. Instead, he mentioned "waste" a couple of times, which evidently triggered a thought about Boone's waste-water treatment plant. Mr. Trivette professed great concern about children with allergies.

There are many good candidates on the ballot this year, and a couple who seem to have arrived straight from 1920.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

When Good Republicans Get Better

Isn't it news when a past chair of the Watauga County Republican Party attacks the most visible Republican activist of the day? It's GOT to be news when that GOP leader takes out his light saber against a fellow Republican partisan in order to defend a Democratic candidate from scurrilous accusations.

Unfortunately, you'll have to go out and find a copy of the High Country News to read Rob Holton's long letter addressed primarily to Deborah Greene, calling her to task for her attacks on County Commission candidate John Cooper. HCN does not put its letters-to-the-editor up on-line. Alas.

But it's must reading: "Ms. Greene, I don't understand the negative tone and anti everything that seems to be the gist of most of your letters and comments at public hearings."

We thank the gentleman.

Look for Ms. Greene's answer next week. It will no doubt run slightly shorter than the book of Isaiah, and be as saturated with a fierce spirit of (self) righteousness.

How Rove Duped the Christians

I've been sent links to Keith Obermann's report last evening (numerous times this a.m.) about David Kuo's new book, "Tempting Faith: The Inside Story of Political Seduction." Kuo's Christian credentials have been thoroughly checked by the border guards and found to be in perfect order. Plus he was second-in-command of President Bush's Office on Faith-Based Initiatives and knows the people he's spilling the beans about. (Here's Think Progress on the book, which contains an internal link to the Obermann's video.)

The beans Kuo's spilling make a big gloppy mess. "Just get me a f***ing faith-based thing. Got it?" Rove said to Kuo early in the Bush II administration, and Rove's disdain for the Christian mullahs ("the nuts") gets plenty of coverage.

We've said all along that those big-head Christian ministers -- James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Richand Land, Pat Robertson -- were being manipulated by some of the most ruthless political operatives in the history of the Republic, and Kuo's book proves it. Furthermore, the mullahs were EASY to manipulate because of their own towering egos (the pride that goeth), and El Presidente was perfectly willing to play along in making them think they were important to him, beyond the votes they could deliver.

Mark Warner to Dems: "I Want a Real Life!"

Ouch. Just now catching up with the Mark Warner announcement that he will NOT be seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. He actually said, "I want to have a real life." (His complete "don't call me, I'll call you" statement is here.)

This bowing out gives the clearest boost to John Edwards as the Not-Hillary candidate.

But ouch.

The ASU Candidate Forum

The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce could take a lesson from ASU students about how to structure a candidate forum. The students actually allowed for 1-minute rebuttals (definition: give-and-take), so contrasts between candidates for the N.C. House & Senate actually emerged. The Chamber of Commerce-hosted events by comparison seem deliberately engineered for blandness.

The forum last night was NOT bland. Republican Senate candidate David Blust came ALL the way out of the closet in telling the large number of students sitting in the audience that he didn't think they had any business voting in Watauga County. When Democratic candidate Steve Goss strongly disagreed with that, the students applauded Goss.

On the subject of global warming, Blust said he felt there's "just as much evidence" that it doesn't exist. Goss again strongly disagreed. "Global warming's a fact," Goss said, and the only so-called scientists who cast doubt on it are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry.

The subject of global warming also gave Mr. Goss an opportunity to talk about Mr. Blust's vote on the county commission against a resolution calling for clean air emissions from adjoining states. Blust said he hadn't seen the resolution prior to the meeting, that it was "one-sided." What he didn't admit was that all the county commissioners were given the resolution and accompanying documentation on air pollution two weeks before that meeting, but Mr. Blust had not done his homework (which is typical).

Blust also came out against gay marriage and gay adoption (and we would certainly urge gay couples NOT to adopt Mr. Blust).

Blust got totally tangled up in the immigration section of the debate and accidentally came out for giving in-state college tuition status to the children of illegals. Surely he didn't mean to do that, because he went right on bashing immigrants as the central cause of great harm to this state. Once in a while, the robot programming gets a virus in a sub-routine.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Here's what was cut out of Charter Communications' screwed up broadcast of the candidate forum Monday night between NC House & Senate candidates: Republican Senate candidate David Blust wants to deprive ASU students of the right to vote in local elections. Will someone PLEASE get the man a copy of the U.S. Constitution (or at least the Supreme Court decision in Symm v. U.S., 1979).

Here's the quote from Scott Nicholson's Watauga Democrat coverage:
[Democratic candidate Steve] Goss said he worked while a student, and said they have an inherent constitutional right to vote. [Democratic House candidate Cullie] Tarleton said anyone who has established residency should have the same rights as anyone else. Blust said students shouldn't be allowed to vote in local elections, but only statewide elections.

The bookkeeping on THAT idea ought to be REAL easy!
Madam Foxx gets called out by the W-S Salem today for her partisan rubber-stamping of the Hastert stonewalling of the Foley scandal:
Unfortunately, Rep. Virginia Foxx of Watauga County can't view the situation outside of partisan politics...

Foxx, playing the role of loyal soldier, has said she's sticking with Hastert because she doesn't know all the facts. But what else does she need to know?

It's clear that Hastert didn't do his job adequately. Almost every other member of the Republican leadership has pointed a finger at Hastert and said he was at fault. Foxx is frozen in partisan denial that there is a problem that goes beyond one deviant congressman's behavior.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Shook & Hagaman Profiled

W-S Journal has extensive coverage today on the Shook v. Hagaman race for Watauga County Sheriff ... including the baggage.

Mr. Blust Plays Peekaboo

Charter Communications screwed up the broadcast of the N.C. House & Senate candidate forum last night (how are you LATE to an event like this, when your job is broadcasting?), so the first several minutes were not taped. We feel certain that many would-be viewers tuned in to Channel 2 at 6 p.m., and when nothing resembling a candidate forum flashed on the screen for five, six, ten minutes, they justifiably gave up and started watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" reruns.

Pity, since both Cullie Tarleton and Steve Goss made strong showings.

Incumbent Republican House member Gene Wilson, Tarleton's opponent, made no showing at all. He wasn't there. Any explanation for that was lost, obviously, in the missing opening minutes of the forum.

David Blust, the Republican candidate against Steve Goss for the senate seat, was there, and his was a super-cagey performance, some parts of which will be highlighted here. Blust has behaved as though the seat were already his by divine right. Once he beat incumbent Republican John Garwood in the primary, in a low-down nasty campaign that blamed Garwood not only for the N.C. lottery but for drunk-driving deaths and general moral decay, he essentially rested on his laurels. According to his campaign finance reports, he was out of money after the primary, especially after paying his own business $7,000 for "advertising," and he didn't seem particularly concerned about November. That sense of self-satisfaction may have taken a dent or two recently -- we don't know -- but Blust is always a fascinating player on a public stage where he has to address ALL the citizenry and not just those he knows agrees with him.

So he went substantially underground.

He praised the North Carolina wine industry.

He professed himself a big BIG supporter of alternative energy.

He bashed CAFTA and NAFTA.

He agreed with the Democrats. He agreed with them a lot. "Ditto," he said. "I agree with both of you fellows," he said. That's just what I was going to say, he said. Answering a question second or third was the cat-bird seat for Blust, since he could play off what the Democrats said. Having to answer a question first, however, was far more uncomfortable.

For example, one of the questions that went to Blust first:
Q: What would you do to support public education and the facilities needed by our schools?
Blust: You mean locally or statewide?

After the moderator suggested that "locally" was probably the thrust of the question, Blust the-private-school-promoter said (verbatim):
Blust: Well, I think we've done that for years with bond referendums and also looking at needs through the legislature and, you know, if you have, you know, facilities that need to be built -- I look at Northern Guilford High School down in Guilford County, look at Charlotte, they are adding a new high school every couple of years with population growth, so, you know, certainly the answer is, you know, you've got to, got to provide high schools for those people when the population is exploding like that.

Now that requires some unpacking. You would expect the great local opponent of a new public high school to bring up referendums immediately, but what did he mean, changing the subject so radically to Guilford and Meckenburg counties? Did you miss the implied emphasis? "You've got to, got to provide high schools for those people." But not necessarily for your own people.

Yes, Blust came out bravely in favor of referendums, which as we know is the weapon of choice locally to first delay and then derail a new high school. In response to another question about the wisdom of referendums, Blust pointed to California as the fount of wisdom: "California ... has initiatives all the time that they throw out there." California should be our bright and shining beacon of good government?

Blust has been told, evidently, that immigration is the best button to push, revealed in the following exchange:
Q: What will be the number one priority of your term in office?
Blust: Will you repeat the question.
Q: What will be the number one priority of your term in office?
Blust: It's hard to say just one ... but illegal immigration....

It was clear from the unclear ramble that followed that Mr. Blust has no PLANS for dealing with immigration, which is a federal issue anyway, but only wanted to wave it in people's faces, in case we should forget that he shares our prejudices. Those particular prejudices were on more ample display a little later in the forum when Mr. Blust said (again verbatim):
Blust: We've got a problem. And when illegal immigrants can come here -- you know, years ago our forefathers came here and they learned the language and they learned the culture and they became legal. Yes, our Christmas tree growers do hire a lot of these folks and there's a worker program out there that certainly needs to be tweaked, out of Washington, but we've got a problem we need to deal with. They shouldn't be able to get drivers' licenses. Here we have money problems with education in our schools. We're having to hire people to come in and, you know, decipher what they're saying. I just think that's a problem.

In some amazement at that response, Steve Goss said illegal immigration was partly a matter of national security, but it was also partly a matter of "compassion."

Compassion was just not on Mr. Blust's mind last night. Jesus would have been so proud!

FOOTNOTE ON REFERENDUMS: Wonder what Mr. Blust says to Ashe Countians on the subject? A referendum for a new Ashe County high school failed -- what? -- twice before the County Commission decided to build one anyway. It took bravery. And the county is justifiably proud now of what it would never have gotten through a referendum. "Referendum" is just another way of saying "We don't want no stinking public education."

Monday, October 09, 2006

Candidate Forums, Live Tonight & Thursday

You can tune in to local Channel 2 tonight at 6 p.m. and again Thursday (same channel, same time) for Boone Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored candidate forums.

Tonight: N.C. House & Senate candidates (Cullie Tarleton v. Gene Wilson and Rev. Steve Goss v. David Blust).

Thursday night: School Board candidates, County Commission candidates, and Sheriff candidates.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

McHenry Gets the Talking Points

Next door in the NC-10 district, wet-behind-the-ears Republican congressman Patrick McHenry has become the attack dog for the GOP's campaign to confuse the electorate and blame Democrats for the cover-up in Congress of Mark Foley's activities. ThinkProgress has the video here of McHenry's getting lockjaw on CNN when Wolf Blitzer wants to know where's the evidence of Democratic involvement. (Thanks to Duncan for the tip.)

Elizabeth Dole and the Cheap Shot

We've been following the Harold Ford v. Bob Corker senate race in Tennessee because

a. It's happening next door, and shouldn't we take an interest in whether our neighbor puts in a garden or a weed patch?
b. If Ford wins, he'll be the first African-American elected to the Senate from the South (which would have been Harvey Gantt's distinction in 1990, if he'd beaten Jesse Helms). And
c. Because Ford's early TV spots, in which he was defining himself before Corker's attacks had time to stick, are textbook examples of how Democrats ought to run ... aggressively.

We watched the debate between Ford & Corker live last night on C-SPAN, and though I'm pulling for Ford despite many of his troubling votes in the House of Perps, I thought he didn't come off that well. He acted like he might jump out of his skin at any moment. He was a cathedral of twitches and other nervous mannerisms, including a mile-a-minute vocal delivery that contrasted poorly to Corker's slow, steady, seemingly straight-forward manner of speaking. I thought Ford seemed shifty and evasive by comparison.

I don't think he's going to beat Corker, despite his towering physical height.

I know the polls say Ford is slightly ahead right now. But I learned in the 1990 Gantt race against Helms that in the South, when a black man's in the race, people don't tell the truth. Gantt was AHEAD of Helms in the polls going into election day in 1990, and he lost by -- what? -- six percentage points, is my memory. If Ford were ahead by double digits right now, I'd take some comfort. But a two-point lead? It ain't big enough.

And if Elizabeth Dole and the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee continue those nasty nasty personal attacks against Ford -- which they will, because they've got more money than God and absolutely no scruples -- then Ford is going to be beaten to a pulp. They're already reminding those white Reagan Democrats in Tennessee that Ford's a black man, which we knew they would ... with the less-than-sly "he parties like a dawg" ads they've got running approximately every six minutes on Channel 11 out of Bristol. "Ain't it awful?" the ad suggests: "A BLACK MAN partying with Playboy bunnies!"

"New South" my Aunt Fanny!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

It's a Plot. It's ALL a Plot

...there are signs that the [Congressional page] furor is sapping the enthusiasm of a group essential to Republican victories in 2002 and 2004: religious conservatives.

--Adam Nagourney, "In House Races, More G.O.P. Seats Seen at Risk," NYTimes, 7 Oct. 2006
Republicans and their allies, including conservative talk radio hosts, have responded by rallying around Mr. Hastert and blaming Democrats and the news media for the frenzy.

--Adam Nagourney, ibid.

...war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

--Gen. Jack D. Ripper, in Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb

Dean Smith Comes Out of the Closet

A new TV commercial that will be airing in the NC-11 district (at least) features former UNC basketball icon Dean Smith identified as "American Baptist ... Devout Democrat."

According to the N&O, the ad is part of a new statewide campaign by a group calling itself Devout Democrats, a newly formed political-action committee based in Chapel Hill.

Wait a minute! Chapel Hill? Who's mayor down there? Could it be ... SATAN?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Honeycutt Fesses Up

It's buried in the fourth paragraph, but Watauga County Commissioner Keith Honeycutt announces in tonight's Watauga Democrat that he WOULD HAVE voted for the county budget that contained provisions for a new high school. It's also conveyed in a paraphrase, rather than a direct quote, but we'll take it in the affirmative: "He also said he ... supported the budget as adopted."

We're glad, and we salute him...

...while pointing out that it only took several months of goading and a reporter from the Watauga Democrat to pry that out of him.

Meanwhile, we're trying to assess his candidacy anew and in light of the local party platform that he is so clearly in opposition to. Waiting, too, for his first actual vote on future school funding.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What Madam Foxx's Propaganda Costs Us

From the Charlotte Observer yesterday (and thanks to a dozen people for sending this link):
Last year U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican from Watauga County, ranked among the top 10 of 435 House members in the number of taxpayer-funded constituent mailings.

In her district of 476,000 voters, she sent out 846,000 mailings. That cost taxpayers $167,000.

Remind us again, Madam Foxx, how conservative you are with money.

The Schizo Watauga GOP

Trying to figure out where the local Republican Party stands on the high school issue was considerably clarified by the (admittedly less than clear) "party platform" published last week in the Watauga Democrat (see "So Many Contradictions, So Little Time," down-column).

The party leaders are OPPOSED to a new school. Some of their candidates are kissing that ring, most notably James Coffey (commission candidate), David Blust (N.C. Senate candidate), and of course Allen Trivette (school board candidate). Mr. Coffey reportedly signed the petition aimed at derailing the school through a referendum. Blust bragged way back that opposition to this school would be BIG, "another zoning issue" in Watauga. He was brave enough to actually vote against the budget based on his opposition.

But two commission candidates now say they support a new school -- Triplett and Honeycutt -- though Honeycutt wasn't nearly as publicly brave as Blust and skipped the meeting when he could have voted funding for the new school up or down. All the Republican school board candidates too, save Mr. Trivette, seem to be falling into line in favor of a new school.

Why can't Honeycutt stand up? It's an odd position to be in ... to buck your party (quietly) on the one hand, telling people privately you support the new school, while publicly refusing to take any official action that would help achieve the goal. Honeycutt, we hear, would NOT sign the petition for the referendum. One wonders what he'll do when the decision on whether to grant a referendum lands in the county commissioners' laps? Will he vote to allow a referendum or not? Or maybe he'll find he has pressing business out of town that day.

Meanwhile, riddle us this: Let's say for the sake of argument that the Republicans sweep the County Commission seats this year, much as the Democrats swept them in 2004. As we count it, the outcome will still be pro-new school. Triplett will vote for a new school. Deal & Kinsey will vote for a new school. That's a majority of three votes. Honeycutt will have kept SAYING he was for a new school but probably won't ever end up voting for anything that actually costs money, because he's afraid of a handful of old lizards who run his party.

The point is, if you're opposed to the new school ON PRINCIPLE, why would you bother to vote Republican?

FOOTNOTE TO LEAKERS: For those on both sides of the split in the local GOP who've been trying to feed me dirt about the other side ... you DO have to have more than the blurry picture you sent us. And assertions are not the same as evidence (though I understand from recent GOP history why the two are so often confused).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Understatement of the Hour

When a party holds itself out as the guardian of values, this is not helpful.

--Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, on the Foley-Hastert-Never-Too-Tired-to-Spank-It Scandal and Accompanying Cover-Up, quoted in this a.m.'s WashPost.

Thank You, Arianna

...for putting into well-chosen words what we've been thinking about this Bob Woodward fellow and his attempt to redeem his own reputation after his fawning service to El Presidente in two previous books.

I'm reminded of what the Duke of Gloucester said upon being presented with the 2nd volume of Edward Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire": "Another damned, thick, square, book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh, Mr. Gibbon?"

Bob Woodward can take the direct route into the nearest lake.

Madam Foxx Tries to Stomp ASU Student Writer

A student writer for the ASU college newspaper, "The Appalachian," did a piece on Virginia Foxx's racist tactics, which you can read here.

According to the author of that piece, he called the Congresswoman's office for quotes on "another, unrelated story," and in the process managed to draw her baleful eye. Foxx's chief of staff Todd Poole subsequently phoned the student editor of "The Appalachian" and insisted that the writer of the racism piece be fired, or reassigned, or -- I don't know -- waterboarded. Then Mr. Poole bragged to a former staff person for the Roger Sharpe campaign that the student editorialist "had been taken care of."

Well, evidently not. The editor of "The Appalachian" has decided to stand behind his columnist's right to offer an opinion critical of The Madam.

This sort of attempted intimidation of the denizens of The Academy is nothing new to Foxx. In 2000 (wasn't it?) she induced the local District Attorney to open an investigation of ASU's Freshman Seminar program because of the voter registration drive they were conducting that year. Her reputation as president of Mayland Technical College is that she ruled by terror and was vindictive to anyone who resisted her. Certainly her stint as associate dean of the ASU College of Arts & Sciences way back in the '70s was marked by dyspepsia and periodic nausea.

Why doesn't the Faculty Senate over there look into the attempted intimidation of a student writer by our U.S. Congresswoman?

Monday, October 02, 2006

W-S Journal Smacks Foxx for Lying

Okay, we missed it Saturday, 'cause we were on the road in S.C., but this W-S Journal editorial lays it all out for your delectation.
The Mason-Dixon polling outfit, well respected because of a solid track record, shows a trend in battleground Senate races that does not look good for Republican incumbents. Here's a long write-up.

We're talking SENATE here, folks, not just House of Perps.

So Many Contradictions, So Little Time

The Watauga County "Republican Party Platform," written principally by Jerry & Karen Wilson (according to party members in the know), was published in last Friday's Watauga Democrat (and in other papers?) and cries out for textual analysis.

1. "...we believe in the minimal intrusion of government into our private lives." Unless, of course, you're a woman seeking an abortion. Or a gay couple seeking a marriage license.

2. "We believe that unfunded Federal and State mandates to local governments must cease." Including No Child Left Behind?

3. "...local property taxes can be decreased." Ah! It's indirect, but there's the shot at the county's set-aside for the new high school.

4. "...we believe our elected officials must adhere to the highest ethical standards." A slap at the sheriff? How droll.

5. The clanging contradictions in "every landowner gets to do what he damn well pleases," jammed together with the greenwash of "environmental stewardship" is just so much let's-sound-environmental-while-acting-selfish. Pigs will have taken flight when we believe the local GOP has any environmental concern.

6. "...the people's wisdom should be sought through referendum..." Another shot at the new high school. "We don't want a new high school, but we can't exactly come out and say it, because at least two of our candidates say they support a new school, though a referendum would be our one shot to derail it." Followed by:

7. "...adequate funding of our educational system." As long as you don't raise any taxes. Or build a new school. Or make any decisions without a referendum.

8. "...provide jobs with a 'living wage' for our citizens..." But don't you dare raise the minimum wage! 'Cause a low-paid workforce is the divine inheritance that rich people have been promised!

9. "...government is to provide for the people ONLY those critical functions..." See # 8 above. You sorry, lazy bunch of scum-sucking welfare cheats! We're gonna cut you off, even if it takes a million years, coupled with a zillion pious declarations that we support "a living wage"! You'll never get it from us. You should pray instead!