Sunday, January 31, 2010

Foxx Gets Obama's Autograph

Let's review, shall we?

When Republican Minority Leader John Boehner announced to his Republican House troops on January 20th that President Barack Obama had accepted an invitation to appear before Republican members of Congress during their Baltimore retreat this past week, Madam Virginia Foxx was nonplussed (that's Latin for "pissed off"):
North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx asked Boehner whose idea it was and was told it was "the leadership." When Foxx pressed him on precisely who among the leadership came up with the idea, Boehner demurred.

If you haven't seen the now widely viewed video of President Obama's appearance before the Republican Conference, it's definitely what you should watch (it's available practically everywhere, but here's a quick link). Just how amazing was it? Well, for a true gauge, consider that Fox News, CNN, and MS-NBC all covered it live, but Fox broke away 20 minutes in. Mustn't let Fox viewers see Obama putting one over on the Republican Caucus!)

Watching Obama handle the brat-boys of the Republican caucus made me proud of him again, an emotion I haven't felt in, well, months. Doesn't mean all is forgiven for the way he's mishandled health-insurance reform and a bunch of other stuff. Just means I felt better about him for approximately one hour and 20 minutes. (And, incidentally, we learned that it was that deeply dim Mike Pence of Indiana, chair of the Republican Conference, who was responsible for the Obama invitation, and after what happened on Friday, we suspect Mr. Pence's powers for invitin' might be rescinded.)

Maureen Dowd in today's NYTimes said that the "newly warmblooded Barack Obama" got his groove back in the Republican lion's den: "He may lapse back into his Camus coma at any moment. But on Friday he dropped the diffident debutante act and offered, as he did at the State of the Union, some welcome gumption."

(Dowd has something of "a thing" for Albert Camus, the French philosopher of the absurd. According to Dowd, Camus understood the "eternal frustration of moral order in human affairs." Whatever.)

Anyway, enter Madam Virginia Foxx, who was very much present in that hotel room in Baltimore when the President mowed down every Republican bright-boy who attempted to trip him up or embarrass him. And she tweeted about it:
Pres gave us another lecture. Our guys asked great questions. Need independent fact checker for his comments. Got autograph 11:13 AM Jan 29th from txt

Got autograph?

The man may be a socialist trying to rob Americans of their liberty, but goddamn it, he's a celebrity too, and Madam Foxx turned into a teeny bopper in bobbie sox and a poodle skirt just that rapidly.

Is there any Congressperson more pathetic than this woman?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Virginia Foxx as Cruella de Ville (Again)

The number of people living in poverty has jumped by nearly 2,600,000 to 39,800,000, the highest number since 1960. Check!

The number of children who live in poverty increased by 744,000 to 14,000,000. Check!

According to a resolution passed in the U.S. House on Wednesday of this week, "The next Census report on poverty will likely illustrate higher levels of poverty as the report will reflect data from 2009, a year in which the economy experienced substantial job loss and historic levels of long-term unemployment, leading some experts to project that the overall poverty rate may increase by 1.5 percentage points and the percentage of children living in poverty may increase by 6 percentage points in the next report."

Madam Virginia Foxx was one of only 18 in the U.S. House to vote against the resolution. Why? Take your pick:
a. The resolution was introduced by a Democrat, and she doesn't vote for anything with Democratic cooties

b. She's following Zippy the Pinhead's New Testament, the one that says, "Eff the poor, and do not feed the hungry, because it just encourages them to breed"

c. She despises the poor and the hungry because she's full of self-loathing. Anyone who brags about how poor she was growing up, and votes like this on a harmless resolution, is possessed of something dark and twisted and demon-inspired.

Republicans Choosing Their Favorite Color

Showing that they continue to be in touch with regular working-class Americans, the Republican National Committee is meeting right now on the beautiful sandy beaches of Hawaii and deciding, incidentally, to impose a litmus test (lite) on all their candidates.

The Republican National Committee's resolutions panel "strongly backed a proposal that would require party officials to determine whether GOP candidates 'wholeheartedly' adhere to the party platform before they can win financial support."

This "lite" version of a loyalty test was a substitute for a heavier version "that would have forced GOP candidates to agree to a litmus test of 10 conservative principles before receiving party campaign dollars." Wouldn't you love to see the details in that 10-point list?

The best part of the article about this struggle over conservative purity is the pressure being exerted by a certain unruly insurgent mob: "...a leader of the Tea Party movement called on the RNC to accept [the more rigid litmus test] as a signal that the GOP really is interested in gaining support from the movement's members. Dick Armey, chairman of FreedomWorks and a former House Republican leader from Texas, said the party's failure to establish a standard by which to measure candidate positions would hurt the GOP."

As a notoriously pure airhead from Alaska would say, "You betcha!"

Cold-Blooded Murder

Scott Roeder, the man charged with murder in the shooting of Kansas abortion doctor George R. Tiller, sat in the witness chair yesterday at his trial and said that, yes, he did it. "Yes, he bought a gun. Yes, he took target practice. Yes, he had learned about Dr. Tiller's habits, his home address, his security precautions. And, yes, he shot Dr. Tiller last May 31 as Dr. Tiller stood inside his church. 'That is correct, yes,' Mr. Roeder told the jurors, in a calm, matter-of-fact voice."

His only defense: a higher morality. Believing that any woman shouldn't have any right to any abortion, not no how, Roeder's defense lawyers are arguing that the murder of Dr. Tiller was justified homicide.

In a nation where a Republican Supreme Court can decide that the poor put-upon corporations are not getting all the "free speech" they can buy, we reckon this kind of legal reasoning might have a fair shot of winning the day.

Turd Blossom Does Raleigh

That monument to bad judgment, Karl Rove, was in Raleigh yesterday raising money for Sen. Dick Burr, who apparently needs help in the worst way.

Rove gave an interview to the News&Observer in which he opined that Republicans need "to address the kitchen-table issues that people talk about at home that affect their lives: jobs, the economy, health care, access of their children to college, how to pay for college, quality of life, the environment."

Look at that laundry list closely. When have the Republicans offered any substantive help on any of those topics? Why, Madam Virginia Foxx alone is a study in NOT helping. She votes against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, she votes against raising the minimum wage, she votes against extending unemployment benefits, she votes against college loans, hell, she votes against the School Lunch program! And "the environment"? Don't make us laugh out loud and choke on our tongues!

So we don't know which Republican Party Karl Rove is talking about, but it isn't the one currently sending Madam Virginia Foxx to Congress.

Oh Shut Up

Democratic Senators are shocked -- shocked! -- that they were misled by Justices Roberts and Alito in their Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Which tells you everything you need to know for understanding why the Democratic Senate is such a sump of ineptitude.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oregon Takes a Stand

A state-wide voter referendum in Oregon has passed "handily" a tax increase on the wealthy and on corporations.

Oregon has not raised taxes on corporations since 1929. And this is the "first voter-approved statewide income tax increase since the 1930s."

In other words, in this traditionally anti-tax state, the people decided that the super-rich ought to pay a fair (or at least fairer) share of the burden.

We consider this a first rebellious shot by the squeezed middle class.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Attacking P. McHenry as a Closet ... Lib-rul?

The 10th District website, Republicans Against Patrick McHenry, went live in May 2008. The anonymous writer rehashed several McHenry scandals that month (example: he was "photographed grabbing the breasts of known Lesbian activists whilst drunk" -- love the Victorian whiff of lace and lavender contained in that word "whilst"!).

The thrust seems to be that Patrick McHenry is really a liberal in Republican silk panties.

We do not believe there are enough Republican voters in the 10th District dumb enough to believe that to elect either of McHenry's two primary challengers on May 4th. Though, apparently there are enough of them dumb enough to peddle that particular line on a blog.

The way to defeat McHenry is as a do-nothing incumbent: "A lot of talk, a lot of TV camera time. No action. What has Patrick McHenry done for you?"

South Carolina Republicans: This Is Your Party on Drugs

South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer, who is running for governor in the steps of disgraced Appalachian Trail hiker Mark Sanford, said in public that the school lunch program in his state is just like feeding stray dogs: those kids are just gonna hang around and breed more dogs:
"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply.

"They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is, you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better....

"I can show you a bar graph where free and reduced lunch has the worst test scores in the state of South Carolina. You show me the school that has the highest free and reduced lunch, and I'll show you the worst test scores, folks. It's there, period."

In South Carolina, 58 percent of students participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program.

While Mr. Bauer is worried about giving curs "ample food supply," we're wondering what cut off the oxygen supply to his brain.

Pity the Corporations!

Thank Gawd SCOTUS came to the rescue of corporate America! In re Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission the all-powerful Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn a 1990 decision that upheld restrictions on corporate spending to support or oppose political candidates and a 2003 decision that upheld the part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 that restricted campaign spending by corporations and unions.

Word is that Congresswoman Virginia Foxx praised this SCOTUS decision in Rural Hall yesterday, saying it was a freedom of speech issue. Makes perfect bent sense. Freedom of speech is now a commodity open for bids. What Congress person would be such a dope as to vote against the interests of the corporations ... big banks, big insurance, big drug companies, big everything under the sun, when those Big Boys can buy unlimited TV time to trash your ass?

Incidentally, Foxx's attempt to co-opt the tea party movement in Rural Hall yesterday did not exactly bring out the masses. The meeting was held in a building at the end of a dead-end road, as if the purpose of holding the meeting was to discourage as many people getting there as possible. That creepy secrecy aside, Foxx is trying to ride a tiger that could just as easily turn and devour her.

The attempt of the Republican Party to take over the tea party movement for their own benefit is both clumsy and dangerous. The National Tea Party convention, now scheduled for Feb. 4-6 at a swanky Nashville venue, has been denounced as both a high-dollar event being put on for profit and an attempt by the National Republican Party to grab the anti-government movement for themselves. Said disgusted tea-partier Kevin Smith,
"What began as cries for true liberty and a public showing of frustration with the big government policies of both Democrats and Republicans has now been co-opted by mainstream Republican demagogues determined to use this as their 2010 election platform."

That explains perfectly Madam Foxx's attendance yesterday in Rural Hall.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sharp Knives Everywhere

Ad devised by "American Future Fund."
"...Among the group's leaders are two media consultants who played key roles in the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads in 2004 and the Willie Horton ad in 1988, both of which helped defeat Democratic presidential candidates.

"The American Future fund has been tied to the 1988 'Willie Horton' ad and the 2004 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' ads. (Sources:, Wikipedia,

"The American Future Fund (AFF), operating out of Des Moines, is sponsoring advocacy advertisements in closely contested congressional races from New York to Louisiana to Minnesota and Colorado. It is one of the most ambitious conservative independent expenditure groups to emerge in 2008...."

The Iowa Independent, 8/19/08

Friday, January 22, 2010

In the Face of Conventional Wisdom

Nate Silver, the Numbers Nerd at, the man who has called more races right than anyone else we know, crunches the math for North Carolina and declares that the U.S. Senate race against Dick Burr "winnable with a tip-top campaign" and that -- surprise! -- "Elaine Marshall looks like the best candidate."

There are gonna be some NC politicos and young turks howling over that one.

The Bull's Eye on Patrick McHenry

A tea-party-allied group calling itself Change the Congress is targeting NC-10 Congressman Patrick McHenry.

Change the Congress was founded and is run by Catherine Welborn, an anti-tax South Carolinian. The Charleston Post & Courier did a lengthy profile on her last August. What's clear is that she's "non-partisan," insofar as she's willing to organize against Republican incumbents if they're deemed impure on the question of taxes and spending.

She has a Facebook fan page, "small-r republicans," which has grown to over 600. Yesterday Welborn posted this attack on Patrick McHenry and endorsed one of McHenry's primary challengers, Salisbury dentist Scott Keadle.

Attacking Patrick McHenry from his right is mildly amusing. But this attack is fueled by the throw-all-the-bums-out adrenalin now pumping in the context of Scott Brown's Massachusetts Senate victory. Which, if I were Patrick McHenry (and trust me: I thank Gawd every day that I'm not), I might spend at least 15 minutes of my week worrying ... especially given my dismal recent fundraising.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Cleptocracy Rules

Oh, just go read any national news source for yourself, about this Supreme Court 5-4 decision unleashing corporations to out-and-out finish buying our government for themselves.

They were pretty much there already, but still.

Hell, we weren't using our democracy anyway.

And the corps were maybe getting a little nervous that we might make them stop giving us cancer and shit.

Oh Great

First thing our eyes alight on this a.m., this headline in the NYTimes: "Obama Trying to Turn Around His Presidency."

Good idea, me thinks.

But, then, this, in the second graph: "...he may scale back."

I'm about to sweep everything on my desk into a swirling mass on my office floor, and then turn to breaking crockery, but I'd like first to ask a simple question: How does one "scale back" from zero?

He's going to turn around his presidency by turning tail and running?

Hell, maybe he'll even give a speech.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

NC-10 Congressman Patrick McHenry, named by Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny (albeit at Huffington Post) as one of five "closet cases" currently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The real reason McHenry keeps drawing multiple primary challengers in the 10th Congressional District.

Virginia Foxx's Greatest Hits (Updated Daily)

Let's give credit where credit is due. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx has gone from obscure N.C. state senator with a celebrated penchant for stealing buffet food to a national sensation, known for smearing a wealth of lipstick on or near her mouth and using it to torture the last Republican president and for uttering some of the most devastatingly stupid, tone-deaf lines in the interest of partisan hatefulness:

1. "I'm misunderstood in the same way Jesse Helms was." 2003, in an interview with GOPUSA while still a NC state Senator

2. "The worst thing we can do is to get government involved in solving problems." September 16, 2003, in the NC state Senate's special session on medical malpractice lawsuit reform

3. "I thought Mr. [Roger] Clemens made a very credible presentation here today. I have no reason to doubt him." February 13, 2008, in a hearing before the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, looking into illegal "juicing" by professional athletes

4. "I think the 16th Amendment is unconstitutional." April 15, 2008, in an interview with Kathleen McFadden with the High Country Press. Foxx did not explain how a duly ratified addition to the Constitution could be "unconstitutional"

5. "Governmental attempts to regulate and tax tobacco are no different than if the government were to regulate and tax Mountain Dew." April 8, 2009. A close paraphrase of what she said to teenagers at North Surry High School, according to the editor of the Mt. Airy News

6. "I also would like to point out that there was a bill -- the hate crimes bill that's called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay. This -- the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills." April 29, 2009, on the floor of the U.S. Congress, with Matthew Shepherd's mother sitting in the visitor's gallery

7. "There are no Americans who don't have healthcare. Everybody in this country has access to healthcare." July 24, 2009, in a Capitol Hill press conference

8. A Republican health care plan would "make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government." July 28, 2009, on the floor of the U.S. Congress

9. "I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that [health reform] bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country." November 2, 2009, on the floor of the U.S. House

10. Refusing to hold predatory credit card companies accountable for raising interest rates and adding new fees, Foxx said, "People who take out credit cards don't have a gun to their head. If you don't like the rate, get another credit card." November 4, 2009, on the floor of the U.S. House

11. "...we [Republican members of Congress] were the people who passed the civil rights bills back in the '60s without very much help from our colleagues across the aisle." November 19, 2009, on the floor of the U.S. House

12. "I don't see raising the minimum wage as helping American workers." Quoted in an article in Roll Call, Dec. 10, 2009

13. "All the promises [President Obama] has kept have endangered our lives." On the Bill Lumaye Show, NewsRadio 680 WPTF, Jan. 5, 2010

14. "Most of the things that have been done by the federal government which are unconstitutional have been done for good reasons. They're not malevolent reasons, but they're wrong. We should not be funding education, for example." On the floor of the U.S. House, Feb. 19, 2010

Fault Finding

Wouldn't it be great if the president we elected now actually showed up?

Wouldn't it be great if the president who promised "change we can believe in" now actually started believing in it himself?

Wouldn't it be great if the lessons of Massachusetts did indeed put a stop to that awful Insurance Entitlement Act that the Senate passed and which our president has clearly preferred over the much better House bill?

Wouldn't it be great if our president stopped trying to cuddle up with Wall Street and Big Pharma and all the other bigs and started leading for the people, to take our government back from the Cleptocracy?

Wouldn't it be great if Barack Obama fired Rahm Emanuel? And the entire Treasury Department?

Whatever lessons they're learning this a.m. in Mugstomp-on-the-Potomac, we very seriously doubt that any of the above is included.

This is President Obama's fault.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

McHenry's Other Republican Primary Challenger

Scott Keadle, a dentist and first-term Iredell County Commissioner, is the other major Republican challenger to incumbent Republican Congressman Patty McHenry (at least, so far as we've heard).

Keadle gave an interview to Larry Clark in the Hickory Daily Record (published this a.m.), and he's positioning himself as critical of both major parties:
"Neither [Democrats nor Republicans] did anything about the budget. Neither group did anything to stop subprime lending that wrecked banking and hurt the economy. Neither party has done anything about illegal immigration. And neither one has lived up to the ethical and moral standards of the people. They're a perpetual embarrassment. All I've heard is talk, no matter which party is in control."

The issue is McHenry's incumbency: "I'm tired of hearing bad ideas from Democrats and excuses from Republicans. We don't need career politicians who care more about themselves than the people they are supposed to serve."

If incumbency is a negative for Patrick McHenry, it's also a negative for Virginia Foxx. A partisan hack who loves the limelight thrown off by the likes of Michele Bachmann ain't no bargain for the unemployed and uninsured people of the 5th District. What Keadle says about McHenry applies just as much to our own Bobblehead.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Kissell's Vote Against Health Care

Myron Pitts writes in the Fayetteville Observer under the headline "Kissell's no on health care reform hasn't hurt him." Pitts is basing that take on Public Policy Polling results that show Kissell ahead by double digits of all his potential Republican opponents.

The most interesting factoid from that poll, however, is that some 44 percent of those polled, a plurality, "believe Kissell did indeed vote for the [House] bill."

Now that's a wrinkle! What does it mean that Kissell is winning among people who think he voted for insurance reform? What happens when they find out he didn't vote for the only bill that actually offers some reform?


Republican Trouble in Patrick McHenry's House

Vance Patterson of Morganton, who announced back last October that he would challenge incumbent 10th Dist. Republican Patty McHenry in the 2010 primary, has now opened an office in Morganton and hired staff.

The saving grace for the perennially embattled McHenry is that there's yet a third Republican who says he's running in the primary, a Salisbury dentist named Scott Keadle. In other words, all the anti-McHenry Republican votes get divided between two challengers, and McHenry sails through the primary.

Patterson's candidacy may be more entertaining than the dentist's, since he defines himself as a "serial entrepreneur" and has hired the reigning Miss Greater Wilmington as his fundraiser.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wilkes County Republican Announces Against Goss

Jeffrey Elmore, a North Wilkesboro town commissioner, has announced that he'll enter the Republican primary in May to take on incumbent Democratic state Senator Steve Goss.

Elmore comes in to the race a couple of months behind Dan Soucek. That primary will bear watching.

Soucek has been groomed for this race by Virginia Foxx, but apparently Mr. Elmore didn't get that memo.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Foxx Moving Farther Right

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx draws a Glenn-Beck-inspired challenger on the right, and the next thing you know, Virginia Foxx is planning on showing up at a Forsyth County "meetup" of the Glenn-Beck-inspired "912 group."

That's called cause and effect.

Anyone got an iPhone to go record her remarks in Rural Hall? Our guess is that V. Foxx is going to be moving even farther right than she already is, which means she may fall off the map of the known world. She will, however, want to keep those extreme opinions secret from the general public, or more specifically from moderate Republicans and independent voters in Forsyth county and elsewhere.

This a.m. the NYTimes has a long article up about the tea-party movement -- many diverse fringe and splinter groups, including Glenn Beck's 912 org and the guys who show up at presidential appearances packing guns. Some of that movement's savvier leaders are moving to take over the Republican Party from the precinct level up. We think this is a splendid idea. If they did that in Watauga County, however, they'd be essentially throwing out Virginia Foxx, since she runs the local party through her paid staff member who is also chair. We forget his name.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Virginia Foxx: Bad for Business?

Republican political analyst John Davis sez that North Carolina business interests have shied away from recent Republican politicians because most business-oriented voters do not regard a "preoccupation with a right-wing religious and/or socially conservative agenda" as the main business of government, let alone the main business of business.

Jack Betts quotes Davis:
If I am out of work, living on unemployment, can't afford health insurance, can't afford to keep my kids in college, can't afford to buy my family Christmas gifts ... don't come to my door asking for my vote based on your position on abortion. If my wife is sick and I can't afford to take her to a doctor, and my daughter lost her job and I can't afford to help her pay her rent ... don't come to my door asking for my vote based on your position on same-sex marriage.

In the photograph here reproduced, that's Congresswoman Virginia Foxx endorsing Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Renato Calabria in 2005. He evidently thought Foxx was good for his business.

Another Tea Partier to Challenge an NC Republican Incumbent

Howard Coble, who has been in the U.S. Congress since 1984, currently representing the NC-6, is going to be challenged in the Republican primary by Cathy Brewer Hinson, who, according to Mark Binker, does not self-identify with the tea party movement but who by all other appearances is very much a part of the tea party movement. Her great qualification appears to be that she's prayed about it.

That makes two Republican conservative incumbents in North Carolina (that we know of) who've attracted tea party oppo.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Signs of More Trouble in the Watauga GOP

Names are emerging of who will be on the Republican ballot in Watauga County in 2010, and more particularly, of who will be on the Republican ballot without the Republican Party's/Virginia Foxx's blessing.

We hear that Mark Shook will not be running for sheriff again after all. There's an open question about whether the Republicans will field anybody against Democratic Sheriff Len Hagaman.

Former County Commissioner David Blust, who had wanted to run for Clerk of Superior Court (which provides a big salary), is apparently going to run instead for his old seat on the Watauga County Commission (which provides practically no salary).

But Blust evidently will have a primary. Former County Commissioner David Triplett may run for what was also his old seat, without the blessing of the local GOP. Which demands a little (ancient) history:

David Triplett had been a multiple-term County Commissioner back in the day, but he got crossways with the local GOP, which doesn't much tolerate anyone they can't control. They ran Linda Craig against him in the primary of 1994 and ousted him. (Craig was herself ousted in 1998 after one term, but that's another tale of woe.) Triplett sat out of electoral politics until 2006, when he ran again against John Cooper, who ended up winning. Cooper is not running for reelection.

So ... that District 4 seat on the Watauga County Commission mimics the turn-over in the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Dick Burr:
1990 David Triplett elected to 4-year term
1994 Triplett ousted by Linda Craig
1998 Craig ousted by Sue Sweeting
2002 Sweeting ousted by David Blust
2006 Blust quits to run for NC Senate (and loses); Cooper takes the seat
2010 Cooper vacates the seat and ??? takes it

The May Republican primary may get very interesting.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Comment on Commenting

We've received many protests, complaints, heated accusations, and whining supplications about the disappearance of comments from WataugaWatch (and, yes, Virginia, we were quite aware that they disappeared!).

Call it growing pains. Or call it corporate stretching. But we've been forced to move to another comment-hosting platform which is going to take a little longer to load up and become operational.

Be patient. Our hope is that all past comments -- which are not lost -- will reappear in the new format.

Or ... this has all been a giant hoax, and we are royally screwed. I'd hope for the first possibility.

Foxx: Friend-of-the-Court But No Friend of Gays

Virginia Foxx is one of 30-some Republican members of Congress who are sticking their noses into governmental decisions in the District of Columbia. Foxx, little Patty McHenry, and Walter Jones from N.C., along with 36 others, have signed a friend-of-the-court brief demanding a voter referendum on gay marriage.

The Foxx loves her some WEDGE issues, don't she now?

The D.C. City Council recently voted overwhelmingly to allow same-sex marriage. A local church leader, Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church, sued in D.C. Superior Court to force a referendum, which most people figger would fail, especially once the fundies and other right-wing fringe groups saturated the atmosphere with smears, fears, and queers.

Madam Foxx, who once upon a time was a good deal more accommodating to gay Americans, having supported decades ago the right of gay couples to adopt children, ought to be ashamed of herself now, but isn't, nor is she embarrassed to be pursuing this kind of politics.

Beware the person who can't be embarrassed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


In western North Carolina since 1990, six people have died, five have been injured, and 40 homes and buildings have been destroyed in 534 landslides and debris flows on our mountain slopes.

In Watauga County alone, almost 1,000 homes and 300 undeveloped lots are in the path of potential landslides mapped by the North Carolina Geological Survey. Bulldozing new roads on steep slopes is one of the leading causes of slope failure.

Those maps of Watauga County landslide hazards are technically "available" for review, but no county government action has been taken on disclosure of known hazardous slopes to new buyers, for example, or requirements for additional engineering for new construction on slopes deemed unstable or likely to fail. (The Town of Boone did pass new steep slope regs, along with Asheville and the counties of Jackson, Haywood, and Buncombe.)

A bill to regulate steep slope construction in the state's General Assembly was squelched by big developer and real estate lobbies. Some additional mountain counties (like Macon) are moving in the direction of regulating steep-slope construction, and at least one primary campaign in the Democratic Party is making it a political issue in 2010.

Insurgent Patsy Keever, a former Buncombe Co. commissioner, is running a Democratic primary against incumbent Democratic NC House member Bruce Goforth (representing the 115th House district). Goforth is a general contractor.

Keever is well known and well respected in Buncombe. Goforth is a 4-term incumbent, well entrenched. We'll be watching this race on May 4.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Never a Good Idea

It's Politics 101: Never appear to waffle.

So we experienced one of those head-slapping moments just now, brought on by too much waffle ingestion. NC-8 Congressman Larry Kissell, he who voted against the House health-insurance reform bill in November (one of 39 Democrats who did so), is quoted today in the Charlotte Observer as liking the House reform bill much better than the Senate "reform" bill, which is especially galling now that the Obama White House has signaled very clearly that it wants the Senate bill and not the House bill, so what difference does Kissell's inconsistent druthers and his voting record make anyway?

"I happen to think the House bill is better," sez Kissell.

Whattya gonna do with hind-sight like that?
Being a well-dunked Southern Baptist, and a graduate of a West Texas Baptist college to boot, my ears always vibrate a little when the Southern Baptists make the news (HT: James at BlueNC).

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Republicans Can't Resist Extremism

Though we've ground our teeth down to nubs over President Obama's lack of real leadership and Rahm Emanuel's backroom deal-making and Congressional Democrats' wussiness, we have not bought into the cable news chatter that 2010 will put Republicans back in charge of everything legislative, including the state of North Carolina. Finally, we find another NC analyst who seems to agree with us, Gary Pearce:
So what could keep 2010 from being a Republican year? The answer: Republicans....

Republicans' stridency, negativity and hypocrisy today stun me. But they don't bother me. I hope they keep it up. It's the Democrats' best hope.

We doubt seriously that Mr. Pearce had Virginia Foxx specifically in mind when he wrote those sentences, but she certainly comes to mind when we read them.

More Primary Rumors for Foxx

Scott Sexton's column in today's Winston-Salem Journal is about rumors of a Republican primary challenger against Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.

One of those rumors has centered on former Forsyth County District Attorney Tom Keith (pictured left), whose retirement last November some 11 months before the end of his elected term (after 19 years in the job) apparently fueled some speculation that he was getting ready to run for some office up the food chain. According to Sexton's column, quoting a well-connected Forsyth County Republican under condition of anonymity, "Tom's got the name recognition, and the Rolodex to pull it off."

The other potential primary challenger is Donny Lambeth, president of Wake Forest Baptist Hospital and the chairman of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board. When asked about it, Lambeth laughed: "I heard that rumor, too," he said. "There was a Web site in Watauga County that had my picture in it. But the rumor is incorrect. I called Virginia as soon as I heard to tell her it wasn't true. The school board is good for me."

Wonder what web site in Watauga had his picture? That's almost as funny as his nervous, fumbling call to The Madam once the rumor surfaced: "Please please please don't turn your evil eye in my direction!"

Two observations to make about this: (1) At least there's widespread acknowledgement among 5th District Republicans that they need to do something about this Foxx, who is an embarrassment to the whole state and bad for business, though it appears unlikely that any of these potential candidates have the balls to challenge her; and (2) the greatest current myth about Foxx is that she's good at "constituent services." Sexton mentions it twice in his short column. The fact is that she checks your party affiliation before responding to requests, and she absolutely, positively will not meet personally with anyone who does not genuflect deeply and kiss her ass ... or give her cash. It's an open secret (from members of her own staff and others close to her) that she's increasingly "phoning it in" and that she has an open terror of actual interaction with voters. Her personal meanness and irrationality are best kept under close wraps.

The Queen of Crapola

A double-whammy of dumb lies from Congresswoman Virginia Foxx this week:

1. On Tuesday, Foxx did an on-air interview with right-wing talk radio host Bill LuMaye in which she essentially bragged about being a gold-plated bee-yotch ("I wouldn't last five minutes in the State Department"), declared (once again) that the Federal government doesn't "need to be in health care. We don't need to be in education," and claimed that President Obama is colluding with terrorists: "All the promises he's kept have endangered our lives."

2. Mailed at our expense another glossy mailer to every household in the 5th District in which she said she was for giving Americans access to the same health insurance plans that she enjoys as a member of Congress, among other liberal-sounding talking points. Flip the mailer over and you see a handy chart for comparing "the Majority's Health Care Plan" and "the Minority's" competing plan (if a total public relations mirage could be construed as "a plan"), with all the "NO" boxes checked for the Majority's plan and all the "YES" boxes checked for the Minority's.

She's a pip.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

At Least His Staff Were Democrats

Parker Griffith, the first-term Democrat elected last fall in the Alabama 5th Dist., turned his coat, so to speak, and became a Republican shortly before Christmas. It was in all the newspapers and was the cuttlebone-du-jour for all the cable-news parrots. Parker Griffith was a blue dog. He was so blue, he turned black.

Funny thing: Go to Mr. Griffith's official Capitol website and you won't find a word about it. There's political conviction for you.

Some of the (long-time) Republicans in Alabama also weren't buying Mr. Griffith's "conversion" to Republicanism. Said Republican State Treasurer Kay Ivey, who also happens to be running for governor this year, "I can't help but regard this 'Road to Damascus' conversion of Parker Griffith's as solely a ploy to cling to his seat in 2010. We're all well-aware of the increasingly negative poll results for Democrats in Alabama and around the nation. Political self-preservation isn't a virtue. In fact, political expediency is an insult to every grassroots activist who commits untold hours in devotion to getting candidates elected."

True dat.

Apparently, no one felt more insulted by Mr. Griffith's lack of virtue ("political expediency") than members of his Washington staff. They've all resigned, en masse, save one lone scheduler. Even the interns quit him.

Said Griffith's former chief of staff, Sharon Wheeler, "We cannot in good conscience continue working for him."

It's the rarest of traits in contemporary politics, good conscience.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Bad Boy!

The National Atmospheric Oceanic Administration's Climate Prediction Center in Asheville is fingering a new El Nino in the Pacific as the proximate cause of our wild winter roller coaster thus far. And they're saying this could go on strong right into March.

I was wondering how El Nino got that name, "The Boy" (as opposed to La Nina, "The Girl"). The Boy is named for the Christ child, according to the article linked above, because of the warming of the Pacific currents around Christmastide. South American fishermen, who knew nothing of Southern Appalachia, took that warming as a blessed sign. We take it as a wallop to the solar plexus.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

In God They Trust. All Others Pay Cash

There's a prophet in California, Harold Camping, who is teaching that the world will end on May 21, 2011.

He previously predicted that the world would end on Sept. 6, 1994, and he gathered a sizable group of fellow believers in the Veterans Memorial Building in Alameda, California, to celebrate The End.

Maybe you heard? It didn't end.

Camping now says his math was off, but he's got that corrected ... and it goes like this: (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500. "Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared."

Math was not our strong subject in school, though we guess the arbitrariness of that "squared" function makes as much sense as pawing through the innards of doves to divine The End of Times. Camping's wigginess, though, is just plain entertaining:
"Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.," he began. "Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that's 1,978 years."

Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days -- the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.

Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500....

"Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story," Camping said. "It's the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you're completely saved.

"I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that," Camping said.

There's a good chance he actually did fall off that chair. And landed on his head.

People who keep track of these things say there have been at least 220 predictions of The End of the World. Recently, there were two predictions for 2004 and three for 2007. Some prophets, like Jerry Falwell, took the wise dodge of vagueness: "Soon," saith these brethren. "Soon," it turns out, is completely relative. It proved so during the very first prediction of The End in 44 A.D., when a cat named Theudas took 400 people into the desert to await divine transport. Instead, Theudas received transfer via Roman soldiers, who took his head off.

Prophets of The End get so little respect! But among Mr. Camping's followers in the Bay Area of California, along about May 20, 2010, I betcha there'll be some fabulous yard sales.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Virginia Foxx Speaks Via Twitter

"Very distressed"
If not for this 140-character limit on Twitter updates, I would have said "I'm massively full of my adopted Baptist disgust, mixed with a healthy dose of true Catholic fascination with hell fire and the innovations of the Inquisition." But "very distressed" will have to do, unless you think it's a trifle limp-wristed. Maybe "sick on my stomach" would be better? Or "Puking up righteous bile"?

"about Obama"
There. I said his name. Are you satisfied? But notice the subtle dis. No first name. Ain't that cool? And I acknowledged no title for him. No "President." Hell no. Eff Obama.

"treating terrorist as criminal."
Damn this Twitter character limit! What I mean is, Obama (eff Obama) wants to put terrorist(s) behind iron bars instead of standing him (them) up against a wall and blowing their brains all over the stucco, or burning them in baths of phosphorus, or ... or ... see "the innovations of the Inquisition" above, or see for reference any bloody-minded echo of our heritage.

"Another example of Dems 'being soft on crime' "
Because it's not JUST that Obama (eff Obama) is black and Muslim and probably a foreigner with a faked Honolulu birth certificate. He's a Dem. Damn the Dems. Dem bones, Dem bones, Dem dry bones! Dem bones ain't gonna rise again! And thank Gawd for ancient slogans, like "soft on crime." That one comes from back when we used it ALWAYS to refer to black people, especially when they were agitating and marching in the streets for their so-called "rights." Animals! Our blessed forefathers knew how to deal, how to use the fire and the noose and the meat cleaver. Obama is a pussy. End of story.

"but now terrorists."
Got the "s" on there this time! America, are you paying attention? Booga, booga, booga ... TERRORISTS! The TERRORISTS are coming to get you! Hear that? It's TERRORISTS creeping up on you, and all Obama (eff Obama) and the effing Dems want to do is treat them as criminal. Not like us Republicans. We want to treat them the way you treated baby kittens when you were a poor sadistic kid with no social skills and what they called "lack of emotional connection" and with too much time on your hands. We want to open up a fountain of cruelty, those feelings you're sooo repressing right now. And we can do it, we believe, when we scream in your face, "TERRORISTS!"

Your believe-it-or-not reference to source.