Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Poison Ivy Bloc

A Duke University botanist has published research that shows that while much of the rest of organic life on this planet suffers from the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the breathable atmosphere ... poison ivy is doing quite well, displaying an almost irrational exuberance for polluted air.

"The noxious vine poison ivy not only grows much faster in a carbon dioxide-enriched atmosphere, it also produces more urushiol, the substance that causes most people to break out in a rash."

Okay then. Explains all those yard signs we've seen recently in noxious poison ivy patches ... "Vote Straight Republican ... The Urushiol You Save May Be Your Own!"

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Vernon Robinson, Playing the Queer Card

Vernon Robinson has intimated that his opponent in the NC-13 congressional race, incumbent Democrat Brad Miller, is probably homosexual because he has no children, though he's been married for almost 25 years. No, really. Check out the story in today's N&O.

He published that his Republican primary opponent in 2004, Ed Broyhill, was "limp-wristed."

Most bizarrely, of course, he claimed that Virginia Foxx was a liberal.

Yes, that's an impressive track record.

"Comparisons Are Odorous," said Dogberry

Nathan Tabor, bless his heart: "Dean Smith is a great basketball icon who is very liberal in his politics. He certainly has a winning record on the basketball court, however, having his political support is definitely the political kiss of death."

Gosh. Such sapience at such a young age. Nathan learned a thing or two about "the political kiss of death," having been thusly smooched twice at the polls himself. He's an authority on this stuff.

Monday, May 29, 2006

ASU Not the Only Bad College Neighbor

We've watched the administration of Appalachian State University do some scummy things -- hel-looo, Appalachian Cultural Museum, in whatever dark storage space thou art! -- including run roughshod over the Town of Boone's zoning regs. But lest we think this is the only bad neighbor among the constituent members of the University of North Carolina system, check out this posting on BlueNC about what's been happening in Chapel Hill, another small town even more swallowed up by academic arrogance than poor little Boone.

And while we're at it, remember that the ASU fantails promised they were actively searching for an alternative location for the Cultural Museum? We haven't forgotten. We suspect that this "search" will begin to appear like another famous "pro-active manhunt" on the West Coast, and pretty soon we'll be comparing Chancellor Ken Peacock to O.J. Simpson. Same modus operandi, if less blood.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Foxx: Keep Those Subsidies to Big Oil Flowing!

Regarding Big Oil's hooks in The Madam:

1. Virginia Foxx voted against stripping a fiscal 2007 energy appropriations bill of $50 million in direct federal subsidies to the oil industry.

2. Virginia Foxx voted for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.

Both votes detailed in today's W-S Journal "Roll Call" report.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Forward to the Police State

Raleigh Republican Sen. Neal Hunt has introduced a bill to require all 16 member institutions of the NC university system to fingerprint and do criminal background checks on ALL entering freshmen.

Now there's a step in keeping with the liberal arts!

What's next? Required fingerprinting before you apply for your Social Security number?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Landmarks in Hypocrisy, Friday Edition

What happened in the Enron corporation? "Arrogance gave way to recklessness, which in turn opened the door to criminality" (according to Kurt Eichenwald's analysis in the NYTimes).

So what does Ken ("Kenny Boy") Lay do when the jury comes in with a unanimous guilty verdict yesterday? He stages one of those Pharisee moments that we've come so to expect from the Higher Income reaches of the Republican Party: He gets his family and friends together in a circle prayer in the courtroom, in full view of the press and spectators, not because he's a pious believer as much as he's a showman in the face of overwhelming evidence of greed, corruption, lying, theft, and malfeasance. "God's got another plan right now," says Lay. "We'll all come through this stronger and more reliant on God."

It's become practically a fashion statement under the Bush II regime, to wrap oneself in the mantle of religiosity just ahead of the clanging of the iron bars.

If Lay were a sincere Christian, he would have conducted his praying in private, out of the glare of publicity.

N.C. Raising Minimum Wage

North Carolina appears to be on the verge of raising the minimum wage a full buck over the federal level of $5.15 an hour. The vote yesterday in the N.C. House was 68 in favor, 39 opposed. All 39 in opposition were Republicans. The N.C. Senate also passed a separate measure, and it's up to the two houses to agree on when and exactly how to implement.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Church Organists Excepted?

The story is in this a.m.'s News & Observer: "Churches that welcome gays, or affiliate with groups that do, may no longer be eligible for membership in the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina."

Which just goes to show that I've been misreading Luke 17:11-19 all these years: "And as he entered a village, he was met by ten homosexuals, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.' When he saw them he said to them, 'Get the hell out of my sight, O ye of little pink doilies. Go and show yourselves to the priests." And they answered him, 'But the priests will not have us. They have set their teeth against us.' And Jesus answered, 'Well, they have every right to be exclusive. For as it is written, Few are called and even fewer are chosen.' "

The N&O story: "...the Baptist board's action signals that the convention is willing to take a hard line with churches that silently condone gay relationships among their members."

No mention of Baptist congregations that silently condone adultery, public & private deception and double-dealing, "social drinking," price gouging, or monumental hypocrisies of every other stripe.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Virginia Foxx ... Cheap, At Any Price

The words of Roger Sharpe, Democratic candidate against Virginia Foxx in the NC-5:

"...has there been a time in memory when those who govern in Washington have so strayed from what we have held dearest as a free people? Has there ever been an administration so corrupted ... so greedy ... so deceitful ... so bought and paid for ... so removed from the genuine needs and concerns of our people in the Fifth District of North Carolina? I have here the listing of 28 pages of political action committee money that Mrs. Foxx has received at last reporting. I do not see the people of the Fifth District listed among more than 500 contributions from so-called political action committees, including the ExxonMobil Corporation and the Petroleum Marketers Association. How can she represent our people in Washington when she is bought and paid for by these lobbyists?"

If he can raise the money to get that message out....

Sue Myrick Will Not Run for Governor

A credible Republican woman running for governor (not that we think Sue Myrick was that woman!) would be a formidable opponent for any Democrat man (maybe not so much for a Democrat woman, especially one with a hair-helmet every bit as impenetrable as Myrick's). So it IS a surprise that Myrick says she's not running.

BlueNC suggests that the decision might be linked to "really stinky poll numbers." Makes sense.

Monday, May 22, 2006

GEORGE WILL (bless his heart) DECONSTRUCTS the empty rhetoric of "values voters."

Good for him.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Foxx Hunt

Hasn't been too many years since some conservative Republicans were calling for an end to the Endangered Species List. Now they're on it.

An article in this a.m.'s WashPost quotes Amy Walter, of the highly respected Cook Political Report: "In a nationalized election, the typical laws of gravity get thrown out the window. Under-funded candidates beat better-funded candidates, and entrenched incumbents lose to first-time challengers."

Stuart Rothenberg, another highly touted numbers cruncher, had 26 Republican House races on his "competitive" or "endangered" list last September. He's now upped that number to 42. Wonder how extensive that list will be by the end of August?

One of those newly competitive districts offers some possibly instructive tips for N.C. Dems running against invincible-seeming Republican incumbents. In the Virginia district represented by first-term Republican Thelma Drake, her opponent, Democrat Phil Kellam "believes the most effective line of attack is to paint Drake as a loyal vote for the president at a time when Bush's popularity has declined even in red states he carried in 2004. 'She is grafted to this president,' Kellam said."

Drake can't be any more a rubberstamp for Bush than our own Madam Foxx.

The national Democratic Party is running radio ads attacking Drake for backing Bush's plan to revamp Social Security. We hope Foxx's opponent, Roger Sharpe, will especially note that: radio ads ... Bush's plan to revamp Social Security.

Madam Foxx is especially vulnerable in rural areas of the NC-5 for her bold statements dissing Social Security.

Just by pointing out the obvious, challenger Kellam already has incumbent Drake on the angry defensive.

How big a hint do we need for how to go after The Madam? On the morning following the May 2nd primary, and just by revealing the truth that Foxx is bought off by big oil, Roger Sharpe induced her to go defensively ballistic in the W-S Journal. Since then she's been scrambling to appear sensitive about gas prices.

And appearance is ALL we're get out of her.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Congress Is Such an Embarrassment

Some days we're just too exhausted to be outraged.

Some days we're more than a little embarrassed to be Americans.

Instead of showing even a smidgen of curiosity about, oh, the instigation of war and the no-bid-contract way of waging it, about torture and "extreme rendition," about spending us into a ditch while giving more and more away to the rich ... instead of doing anything remotely USEFUL, Congress gets all bungy over English as the official language of the United States.

And I thought my incredulity couldn't soar any higher!

Let's knock immigrants around a little more. Let's make them kneel and walk across the border on their knees. Let's have a national "Humiliate an Accent Day." Let's divide, segregate, stigmatize, label, ban, and restrict. Let's limit marriage to English-speaking heteros only, since otherwise how would anybody know he/she's being screwed?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pat Robertson Does a Cold Reading of God

The Rev. Pat Robertson is beginning to resemble "psychic" John Edwards of "Crossing Over" fame, pulling out of the hollow silence what he needs to hear to make a profit. Robertson has predicted at least four times over the last few weeks that "storms and possibly a tsunami" will hit the American coastline in 2006. He said the revelations came to him during his "personal prayer retreat" with God in January (catered by Howard Johnson's).

"If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms," Robertson said.

"If I heard the Lord right..."?

It's always safe when "cold-reading" Jehovah (using the phony techniques perfected on TV by showman John Edwards) to suggest "natural disaster" to the Higher Being and then hide behind "I may not have heard Him right," just to CYA.

What we want to know, however, is which of our multitude of sins has prompted the coming Death by Water? Shouldn't we be told? Even Noah got the Word, in a far less complicated time.

It's always a fun day when Pat Robertson decides to share his private conversations with God.

Republican Purge in Pennsylvania

Tuesday's Republican primary in Pennsylvania saw the ouster of at least 13 veteran state Republican lawmakers, including the two top state senate leaders (with 56 years of combined service between them). Several other contests were too close to call as of late last night, according to the NYTimes. Mostly the winners of these primary contests were the more conservative candidates.

North Carolina careens right. Pennsylvania follows. At a time when the American electorate is waking up (theoretically?) to the extremism of this ruling regime, it gets more extreme.

As Montgomery Burns on "The Simpsons" used to say, making his fingertips into a spidery tent, "Eggs-salent!"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

SOME VERY COOL MAPS and "cartograms" here of the red/blue 2004 election results that deconstruct a lot of the b.s. about how "red" the interior of the country might be. Thanks to Don for passing them on.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Credit to Her Species

Madam Virginia Foxx (Republicana conservatissimus) is out in this a.m.'s W-S Journal panning El Presidente's speech for not going far enough. Well how far would YOU go, Madam? "I would like to have had the president say English should be the official language," Foxx said. "Then when someone -- an illegal -- was overheard speaking Spanish, we could deport him. Case closed. Language is the clearest and the quickest way to identify an undesirable."

Well, okay, she didn't actually utter the second part of that, but in her zeal to play to the lowest common denominator, she certainly thought it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

How dare Wonkette! She's making fun of Virginia Foxx, and that's soooo OUR job!

"Virginia FOXX (R-NC): She's like your grandma, if your grandma was a pissed off militant paper wasp of a Republican. Also she wears these dumbass sweaters on the floor (like home-knit and have snowmen on them and stuff). Also, she's Jamie Foxx's great aunt."

"Militant paper wasp" ... gotta remember that one!

Go To Bed With Wolverines, Get Up With Flea Bites

Mullah James Dobson, and many of the lesser mullahs of the Christian Right, are warning El Presidente that unless he gets busy and forces Congress to pass the ban on gay marriage, and puts it into our Constitution, he will be hearing the pulpits of the Righteous withholding their support in this fall's congressional elections.


Wonder how Dobson et al. feel about First Lady Laura Bush's statement on Fox News yesterday morning that a ban on gay marriage should not be used as a campaign tool ... when it's the BIGGEST TOOL the Christian Right has to get people's panties in a bunch.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Madame Foxx, XXXing Out Your Concerns

One of Virginia Foxx's constituents wrote her an e-mail about the federal budget moving through the Republican House, and this is the reply he got (and I promise I'm not making up any of this, including all those Xs):

"Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about XXXXXXX funding in the FY 2007 Budget. Each year the President submits his budget recommendations to Congress, which maintains 'the power of the purse' and sets final funding levels for the federal government. The recommendations made by the President are not automatically accepted by Congress and both the House and Senate must agree on final funding levels before they are enacted .... It is important to explain the predicament we are in because like XXXXXXXX, there are many popular programs that Congress must meticulously examine when setting responsible funding priorities."

Meaning? Any funding YOU'RE interested in, Dearest Voter, is just XXXXX to The Madam. You name it ... XXXXX. "I couldn't care less, meticulously."

Our favorite paragraph, which rings the gong of The Madam's metal heart:

"The federal government currently has a deficit resulting from overspending that must be dealt with promptly. If prompt action is not taken, the federal government will have to raise your taxes to meet promises made through the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs; just meeting the costs of those programs will consume 70% of federal dollars by 2040, leaving only 30% for national defense and all other programs now receiving federal dollars. For that reason, I support the Republican Study Committee's (RSC) budget proposal which eliminates or reduces spending on programs that are not federal priorities and addresses our budget deficit. Enclosed you will find an article from the Heritage Foundation about the RSC budget and the effects of spending irresponsibly."

No XXXXXXXs there, but plenty of unanswered questions and unexamined assumptions:

1. No mention of where that whopping deficit came from.
2. Notice the snide swipe at gol-darn "promises made through Social Security"! She can't wait to phase THOSE out.
3. "Federal priorities"? According to whom? The Republican Study Committee, the Star Chamber of the House's most conservative members, people who are always afraid that feeding the poor will only spoil their character, while they personally look for every route around the law for themselves and their rich friends.

Friday, May 12, 2006

N.C. GOP Election Year Issues

Republican state Sen. Eddie Goodall (District 35 Union-Mecklenburg) is on NC Conservative, laying out the issues as he sees them for this election year:

"We Republicans have several strong issues to run on in November. One is the Democrats' lack of addressing our state's magnetism to illegal aliens. The governor's office phone even requires one to select a number if he/she wants 'English.' Our nation's language should be the default, not a selection, to make every time a government agency is dialed. Other Democratic Party failures are the avoidance of a Marriage Amendment, misuse of transportation dollars, especially in neglected counties like Union, where we desperately need and deserve an expressway. Majority party leadership has taken medical liability reform off the operating table. A doctor told me the other day that practicing medicine 30 years ago versus today was as different as Marcus Welby and Grey's Anatomy. State spending and our tax burden may be the prime issues in the fall campaigns. Especially so, now that revenue projections cited above show even the most myopic 'tax and spenders' that an opportunity exists to help families all across our state."

By "help families all across our state," Sen. Goodall means, primarily, "cut the highest personal marginal tax rate by one half percent, and eliminate the Inheritance and Gift Tax." Exactly the tax brackets where you'll find sooo many North Carolina families.

And don't fergit to stir up the Queer Fear, fellers! Plus the little brown illegal immigrant fear. O what a lush garden to play in, with all that low-hanging fruit (he-he)!

WATA Radio Reverses Course

Amazing what can happen in 24 hours, ain't it?

WATA has now offered the local Democrats their own 1-hour weekly show, to compete with Mr. Hastings' bloviation.

Gulp. Can the Democrats pull off something that people will listen to? Remains to be seen, or ... heard.

So if any budding local partisans out there would like the chance to break into media stardom, send your particulars (with two boxtops from any whole foods product) directly to me (you'll find my contact link over there on the right somewhere), and I'll pass your name along to the Powers That Be. They may want to set up auditions.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Unfair and Unbalanced

WATA radio has decided to give a weekly radio show, "The Right Thing," to Mr. James Hastings, former Republican state party chair, local Republican operative, and owner of every Hardee's between here and outposts on the moon.

Those of us familiar with Mr. Hastings' tactics and his checkered past were somewhat amazed by this development.

This is the James Hastings who alleged in 2002 that Dave Robertson, a candidate for county commission, was somehow advancing the homosexual agenda by working at ASU.

The station manager of WATA apparently sees no problem with giving free air time to this particular character. On the suggestion that he balance Mr. Hastings' show with a Democratic show, the station manager thought that might seem "too contrived."

Apparently it's not contrived at all to give a weekly platform on the public airwaves to a man who was prosecuted for tax evasion in 1997. Over several years, Mr. Hastings failed to pay income taxes on some $7,000,000 of earned income. When he was charged, he claimed it was purely a politically motivated prosecution. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals strongly disagreed. You can read the 4th Circuit's unanimous decision in the case here and incidentally learn a great deal else about the wholly uncontrived man WATA has decided to give a radio show to.

And not that the tax evasion charges were any fluke. Corruption sprouts on a fairly regular basis in his vicinity. For example, recall this. And true to form, Mr. Hastings always blames the bad news on political persecution. Everything's the Democrats' fault.

So much for all that "personal responsibility" the GOP preaches over and over and over and over and over.

"Personal responsibility" is for people making waaay less than $7,000,000.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ananias in a Skirt

U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx (NC-5) issued a statement on the economy. Which means ... back by popular demand ... we read it, so you don't have to:


What She Said
The positive economic news continues to pour in...

I got so much money, it's backin' up on me. My deck might collapse.


What She Said
...proving that the Republican-led House's pro-growth economic policies are working.

First you know the answer. Then you get the proof. Which is to say, all my friends are rich too.


What She Said
Our country is creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs each month and has undergone its strongest growth spurt in years.

My beloved president, George W. Bush, said, "So let it be written, so let it be done." Ever notice how his eyes sparkle in the light?


What She Said
In addition, the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.7 percent, which is lower than the average of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Addition. I learned addition in grade school, when I was so poor I scraped the cafeteria floor for snacks. But I've personally added since then, added a lot. Now the rest of you sorry S.O.B.s can scrape the floor. See how you like it!


What She Said
This remarkable economic news is proof that lower taxes plus restrained federal spending equals a strong economy.

Are you as turned on right now as I am?


Footnote on Ananias: According to Crosswalk and Acts, chapters 4 & 5, Ananias was a sanctimonious liar: "The offence of Ananias ... showed contempt of God, vanity and ambition..., and utter disregard of the corruption which [he and his wife] were bringing into the society. Such sin, committed in despite of the light which they possessed, called for a special mark of divine indignation."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Welcome to a New Democrat; Goodbye to an Old One

John Ross Hendrix, one of two Republican candidates who ran against Vernon Robinson, and lost, in the NC 13th Congressional Dist. primary, has changed his affiliation to Democrat and denounced his former party as stoopid for choosing an extremist to run against incumbent Democratic congressman Brad Miller. "Republicans are still voting for extremist candidates," Hendrix writes on his website (, "even worse than those who turned off 13th district voters in the past. Vision, moderation, and a common sense approach to the difficulties facing North Carolina and this nation are not what they want. A sane, rational conservative does not exist in their book."

Prior to the primary, at the Republican Convention on April 29th, Hendrix blistered Robinson: "Throughout this primary campaign, I have tried to concentrate on the important issues that concern the people of the 13th district and have spoken of my solutions to pressing concerns. This course of action has gained me very little while all around me, an atmosphere of 'queer fear' and xenophobia prevails, thanks to my opponent Vernon Robinson .... After the 5th district voters turned him away, after his own home town booted him out of the city council, after he chickened out of a duel with Mel Watt in the 12th district, Vernon Robinson set his sights on the 13th as a target of opportunity .... Vernon Robinson is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, that not so shining beacon of religious intolerance and disrespect for women, investigated by the Congress and Department of defense. We know where you are coming from, Vernon." There's more here, and it's about time that sensible conservative voices in the Republican Party started repudiating the extremism and hypocrisy of candidates like Vernon Robinson ... and David Blust ... and Virginia Foxx. But we won't hold our breath. In the meantime, we welcome Mr. Hendrix.

And on the flip side, a defeated and disgruntled Democratic candidate for Sheriff in Catawba has endorsed the Republican Huffman for election, in a display of sour grapes that will curdle milk two counties over. The Hickory Daily Record quotes the defeated Dem, Al Hoover, as saying, "The Democrats are not growing here. They're getting smaller and you'll see that in the November election. This party is going nowhere. I don't see any Democrats getting elected. I think it's going to be a clean sweep for the Republicans." Hoover says he'll change his registration either to unaffiliated or to Republican. We'll bet money on the latter.

Whether it's true that the party in Catawba is getting smaller, certainly some of the candidates are.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Granny Kick-Butt

Several hundred senior citizens showed up yesterday in the front yard of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, to protest the Bush administration's prescription drug plan. The protesters are upset about the May 15th deadline to sign up for a plan that many find incomprehensible. Leavitt has said he's opposed to extending the deadline.

"An estimated 5 million senior citizens don't have prescription drug coverage, authorities said. If seniors sign up after next week's deadline, they could face penalties. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 allows Leavitt to extend the deadline without legislative action, the group said."

"We'll be back if we don't get what we want," said one of the organizers.

Massa Want His Julep Now

We shake our heads ruefully at the consolidation of power in the N.C. legislature in the hands of two mortals (who happen in this case to be Democrats), described here. We consider the inevitable nexus of money and influence that goes with such power, and we meditate on how such arrogance almost always fuels revolution. Most frightening in this instance is what revolution might bring ... a whole different set of arrogant men with absolute power to shove a right-wing agenda down our throats. Which, for the time being, keeps us on the plantation.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Catawba County GOP "Unity Day" Postponed for Lack of Unity

You can read about the acrimonious split in the Catawba GOP here, which had apparently hoped to stage a "Unity Day" dinner to bring all factions together but had to postpone it because the source of much of the acrimony, Sheriff David Huffman, appears to have won his primary against challenger Mike Ledford.

The split goes back to the close second-primary loss in 2004 of Sheriff Huffman to wet-behind-the-ears Patrick McHenry, running for the 10th Dist. congressional seat vacated by Cass Ballenger. McHenry went on to join Virginia Foxx as a fellow freshman in Congress.

McHenry, bless his heart, couldn't stay out of Catawba County party politics and unwisely backed Ledford against Huffman in the primary just concluded. It's a move similar to Virginia Foxx's backing of David Blust against John Garwood in the N.C. Senate primary, though Foxx's man won. Foxx refused to back Watauga Sheriff Mark Shook, however, which is ... interesting.

They used to preach that elected officials of either party were dumb beyond words to get involved in primary elections involving other members of their own party. We can see how McHenry has hurt himself. What damage has Foxx done is another question.

Some Numbers on Foxx

Roger Sharpe (see two entries down-column) was right on target, saying U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx is bought & paid for. Thanks to NCBlue for putting us onto these figures compiled on the DCCC site:

*Foxx has been given $28,850 by big oil & gas.
*Foxx voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries price gouging (HR 3402, Vote #500, 9/28/2005).
*Foxx voted for the GOP energy bill that gave billions to oil, gas and nuclear industries (HR 6, Vote #445, 7/28/2005).
*Foxx has been given $6,500 by big drug companies.
*Foxx received $15,000 from (indicted) Tom DeLay's ARMPAC.
*Foxx received $5,000 from Bob Ney, the first congressman to be implicated based on the Jack Abramoff guilty plea.

There's much more here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Junk Food Nation

People are shocked -- SHOCKED -- that a comparative study of government health statistics in both England and the U.S. shows that we're considerably LESS healthy than the Brits: "White, middle-aged Americans -- even those who are rich -- are far less healthy than their peers in England .... Americans had higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, strokes, lung disease and cancer -- findings that held true no matter what income or education level." Oh, go read the whole depressing story for yourself (and thanks to Stumpy for brightening up the day!).

It's not just the soul-destroying junk food. It's got to be the rest of our capitalist system that allows our industries to spew out stuff that will, inevitably, give us all rare, untreatable cancers ... the fine stuff that gets written off the corporate books as "externalities" -- costs of doing business that are other people's problems.

Our economists tell us it's good for us. Republican administrations absolutely BATHE in that tasty soup.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sharpe on Foxx

Winner of the Democratic primary yesterday in the 5th Dist. congressional race, Roger Sharpe, wasted no time going after Virginia Foxx: "Mrs. Foxx does not represent fairly and equitably the people of this district," Sharpe said. "She is completely out of line with the situation with the gasoline. She is so far removed with that reality because she represents the oil companies. She's bought and paid for."

Foxx replied, "Moi?"

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

RICHARD MORGAN OUSTED ... Richard Morgan, leader of the "moderate" N.C. House Republicans, was defeated in his primary. N&O story here. Plus at least one of Morgan's allies, Rick Eddins in Wake County, also lost his primary.

The N.C. GOP is swinging farther Right ... and you hardly thought that was possible, I bet.
ROGER SHARPE LEADING IN 5TH DIST. DEMS RACE ... Some were predicting that none of the four Democrats running in the 5th Dist. primary would get the necessary 40 percent to avoid a run-off, but if his numbers continue to hold, looks like Roger Sharpe might win outright. That's with 61 precincts in Forsyth not yet reporting, where Kirkman's strength is presumed to reside. But all evening Sharpe's percentage of the vote total has gone steadily upward.
LOOKS LIKE IT'S OVER FOR JOHN GARWOOD ... even his home county of Wilkes went for Blust. Over-all, Blust got some 60 percent of the vote. But 60 percent of such very low turn-out is ... what it is ... a Republican primary!
FINAL NUMBERS, WATAUGA (these are raw numbers, naturally):

Garwood 900
Blust 2,695

Shook 2,966
Moody 710

Sharpe 929
Kirkman 200
Holmes 315
Glen 187

Moretz 1,675
McGuinn 300

Younce 3,150
Warren 2,539
Wheeler 1,635
Utter 1,767
Trivette 1,664
Smalling 1,499
Henries 2,583

So ... Blust wins Watauga in the GOP State Senate primary.

Shook beats Moody all to pieces in the GOP Sheriff primary.

Moretz beats McGuinn in the Dems County Commissioner primary, Dist. 1.

Sharpe easily beats the other three Dems in the 5th Congressional race.

Smalling is knocked out of the Board of Education race. Allen Trivette is next lowest vote-getter.
NO RESULTS YET from Watauga County, and it's nine o'clock! What's the hold-up? Also no results reported yet from Wilkes County and several other counties in both the 5th Congressional Dist. and in the State Senate Dist. 45 (Blust/Garwood).
NO RESULTS YET ... but looks like low turn-out in Watauga ... about 3,500 total votes cast in both Republican and Democratic primaries, including votes cast in early voting.

First results promised soon.
PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS will be blogged here as soon as we know them this evening. Polls close at 7:30 p.m.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Republican Civil War

If you've heard something, but nothing clear or specific, about the in-fighting in the state Republican Party, particularly over the highest-ranking R in the State House, Richard Morgan, the N&O published a pretty good primer this a.m. on the whole brawl.

Blog Readers, Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

The WashPost reports this a.m.:

"In an unscientific Web survey of 36,000 people, Blogads reported that political blog readers tend to be age 41 to 50, male (72 percent), and earn $60,000 to $90,000 per year. Two in five have college degrees, while just a tad less have graduate degrees."

You well-educated tribe, you!

Plugged in, engaged, informed ... with the possible exception of Watauga Democrat Staffer.