Thursday, May 31, 2007
Oral dissents are quite rare on the court, and quite dramatic in their import. Ginsburg has now given TWO this term, the first one over the partial birth abortion case. Clearly, Ginsburg sees the Roberts/Alito/Scalia/Thomas/Whatisname majority as attempting to impose their politics on the law, especially the law regarding equal rights for women.
Somebody better be listening.
Soon -- but not soon enough -- we shall be free of the neocons in the White House, but we'll not be free of the neocons on the Bush court for decades possibly. Ginsburg is now shouting it from the rooftops ... BE AWARE OF WHAT THEY'RE UP TO!
We like open meetings. Even more, we like newspaper publishers willing to go to jail to challenge the secretness of some government officials.
Boney is already well known for forcing the light of day onto elected servants of the people. In 2002, Boney was preemptively sued by the Burlington City Council in an attempt to prevent him from challenging one of their closed meetings. Boney eventually won that case in the North Carolina Supreme Court.
He also has incurable non-Hodgkin lymphoma, an "indolent" form of the cancer that so far has been treatable with Rituxan.
He used to be a crusader against governmental corruption. Back in the late 1970s he helped bring down Tennessee Gov. Ray Blanton for selling prison pardons, and of course he's the dude that got to ask Alexander Butterfield, "Are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?"
Conservatives want to make him over as an arch-conservative, and Mr. Thompson seems quite willing to assist in the renovation. It's the great thing about actors: they're malleable molds into which one can pour the character one wishes to see.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
DeLay criticizes Gingrich for, among other things, conducting an affair with a Capitol Hill employee during the 1998 impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. (The woman later became Gingrich's third wife.) "Yes, I don't think that Newt could set a high moral standard, a high moral tone, during that moment," DeLay said. "You can't do that if you're keeping secrets about your own adulterous affairs." He added that the impeachment trial was another of his "proudest moments." The difference between his own adultery and Gingrich's, he said, "is that I was no longer committing adultery by that time, the impeachment trial. There's a big difference." He added, "Also, I had returned to Christ and repented my sins by that time."Proving, we suppose, that pompous self-righteousness eventually becomes its own best parody.
El Presidente said in Georgia yesterday:
"I'm sure you've heard some of the talk out there about people defining the bill. It's clear they hadn't read the bill. They're speculating about what the bill says, and they're trying to rile up people's emotions"--Imagine that! Riling up people's emotions for crass political purposes!
"If you want to kill the bill," the president continued, "if you don't want to do what's right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it, you can use it to frighten people. Or you can show leadership and solve this problem once and for all.""Solving this problem once and for all" means guaranteeing a cheap labor source for eternity.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Expediency, thy name is Christian conservative!
You gonna proclaim pretty soon, we guess, that thrice-married Rudy's ordained by God, right?
Some 27 schools have received "green certification" from the U.S. Green Building Council. About 300 more are awaiting that certification. One of the first certified green schools in the U.S. was the Third Creek Elementary School in Statesville.
We look forward to the day that Watauga High School is on that certified list. It'll be one more thing to be proud of about the new school.
Mickey Edwards, a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma .... is helping to lead an effort among some conservatives to curtail the President's power in such areas as warrantless wiretapping. "This Administration is beyond the pale in terms of arrogance and incompetence," he said. "This guy thinks he's a monarch, and that's scary as hell."The picture that emerges is of an imploding Republican Party, looking for guilty parties to blame. Among the "saviors" waiting to resurrect it ... Newt Gingrich, who, though he doesn't exactly claim God is speaking to him, obviously DOES hear voices and who pronounces Karl Rove's 2004 wedge campaign "maniacally dumb" for setting the GOP up for the ultimate failures of 2006.
"God has spoken to me," [Tom DeLay] said. "I listen to God, and what I've heard is that I'm supposed to devote myself to rebuilding the conservative base of the Republican Party, and I think we shouldn't be underestimated."
Friday, May 25, 2007
At one point in the discussion Brian Lamb asked the most pertinent question: Wonder what Bush thinks is about to happen that he would take such extraordinary steps? What are they getting ready for? Or more importantly, what steps are they prepared to take to "protect" us?
The mainstream press has hardly noticed these executive orders. It made page 13 in the Washington Post.
Corsi's article, however, is generating interest, particularly on right-wing talk radio. Corsi, in case you've forgotten, is a conservative activist who co-authored the hatchet job on John Kerry, "Unfit for Command," and was deeply involved with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. No liberal bleeding heart, he!
And WorldNetDaily is itself a conservative organ funded in part by Richard Mellon Scaife.
Can we take some heart from conservatives like Corsi and WND (and Ron Paul) that even they are alarmed by the megalomania of this bantam president and his handlers?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
...inside the museum the Earth is barely 6,000 years old, dinosaurs were created on the sixth day, and Jesus is the savior who will one day repair the trauma of man's fall.And turns out, according to the people who put together this museum, dinosaurs were on Noah's ark! Had their own stateroom.
Fossils are actually relics of Noah's flood.
The "history" this museum celebrates may be ancient, but the pitch is distinctly post-modern: lots of jazzy videos, seats that vibrate to simulate an earthquake, animatronic dinosaurs. No wonder: the place was designed by Patrick Marsh, the man who also designed the "Jaws" and "King Kong" attractions at Universal Studios in Florida.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Progressive Democrats insisted on reforming NC House rules, thusly:
"The House should adopt rules such that any bill may be brought forth for a vote in a committee upon a majority vote of that committee, and any bill having passed a committee vote, may be brought forth to the floor upon a majority vote of the House."Basic democratic process, right? Right. And we still believe in it.
Trouble is, of course, that the majority of Democrats in the Rules Committee that passed the gay-bashing amendment to the full House wouldn't stand up to the bigots. Shame on them. Their cowardice, however, doesn't disprove the rightness of democratic processes. It only proves that fear can make practically anyone give up his/her principles. If not fear, what was it? A sense of moral entitlement?
Here are the Democrats responsible:
Bill Owens, Elizabeth City
Rich Glazier, Fayetteville
Dewey L. Hill, Whiteville
Paul Luebke, Durham (Paul Luebke!)
Deborah Ross, Raleigh (!)
Larry Bell, Clinton
Dan Blue, Raleigh (!)
Nelson Cole, Reidsville
James Crawford, Oxford
Jim Harrill III, Elkin (!)
Hugh Holliman, Oxford
Verla Insko, Chapel Hill (!)
Maggie Jeffus, Greensboro
Jimmy Love, Sanford
Marian McLawhorn, Grifton
Henry M. Micheaux, Durham
Jennifer Weiss, Raleigh
Douglas Yongue, Laurinburg
Christianity Today (like, it's happening NOW, mon) understands that proximity is EVERYTHING. First we praise God, and then we race cars:
When the library opens free of charge to the public June 5, state tourism officials hope it and the planned NASCAR Hall of Fame nearby (scheduled to open in 2010) will draw visitors to the area.State tourism officials ain't the only ones hoping. The "library" (museum, with talking cow) cost $27 million. They're gonna need to sell a lot of snacks.
Moore's major campaign pledge was to expand access to health care to every North Carolinian. He said that emergency room visits by the uninsured and inadequate insurance for the working poor were a drag on the state's economy.
"You can't have a strong economy without affordable health care," he said.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The bill's a piece of political theater engineered by certain Republicans Who Would Be Governor ... to stir up the yahoos by symbolically throwing a few gays under the bus.
The N.C. House Rules Committee voted unanimously yesterday to send it to the full house. That was a majority of Democrats, folks, Democrats who are apparently scared to death that someone's going to accuse them of being light in the loafers and soft on deviance.
But today Speaker of the House Joe Hackney said he would use his power to assign the bill to another committee, where it will die a hacking death this session. Thank God there's one Democrat in that august body with the cojones to stand up to the b.s.
Monday, May 21, 2007
The Republican reaction is instructive. On the North Carolina Republican Roundtable, they're calling this the American Idol solution, i.e., the "popular uninformed vote." Which is to say, apparently, that informed, smart, well read, and prescient voters would only and always vote for the Republican. The great unwashed will vote for a Taylor Hicks every time.
The horror of the thought! That the person who actually receives the most votes would get the office! The Hicks taking over!
Which political party is it, again, that's "elitist" in its thinking?
"We're losing the Web right now," says Michael Turk, who was in charge of Internet strategy for President Bush in 2004.What's this!? The Democrats actually ahead of the Republicans?! Can it be? And all because we're so damned unmanagable??
"What was once seen as a liability for Democrats and progressives in the past -- they couldn't get 20 people to agree to the same thing, they could never finish anything, they couldn't stay on message -- is now an asset," [sez Peter Leyden, director of the New Politics Institute, a San Francisco-based think tank]. "All this talking and discussing and fighting energizes everyone, involves everyone, and gets people totally into it."Followed by this delicious comment offering one possible explanation for why Republicans are so behind on the 'Nets:
"...look at the short history of online politics," [said K. Daniel Glover, who edits National Journal's Technology Daily]. "For Republicans, the Internet is where bad things happen. Take George Allen and his 'macaca' moment .... You can kind of understand why Republicans have this almost instinctive fear of the Internet, where the mob rules."Yes, my children ... go forth and practice angry peasantry, with hayforks and laptops.
Friday, May 18, 2007
He didn't actually say that second sentence. But still.
Dobson called Giuliani an "unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand," when, actually, Giuliani apologized a lot and hedged and hemmed and ducked, until he began to look cowardly about it. Couldn't have that.
Meanwhile, the ineffable Newt Gingrich says he's embarrassed by the Republican field running for president and that he would personally NEVER take part in the quiz-show atmosphere of a presidential debate, like the one staged in South Carolina on Tuesday. He predicts September 30th as the projected date when he will throw aside his mantel of Senior Distinguished Philosopher and lumber into the contest himself, thus raising the intellectual level of political discourse to something he can bear to associate with.
Gosh. We're holding our breath and waiting for The Light.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Woody Allen (wasn't it?) said, "Marriage is the death of hope." Did we finally see that dark aphorism fulfilled on the debating stage of South Carolina?
From that holiest union of fundamentalism and Republicanism, many children issued. Some became good, productive citizens. Others joined gangs and stole. Such a horde of offspring! Children are supposed to hold a marriage together, but some of that progeny turned into megalomaniacs. And some were just bad seed.
What's not to enjoy about the resulting clamor?
This morning we read that the state GOP chair in Michigan is getting up a petition among members of the National Republican Committee to bar Ron Paul from future Republican debates.
The more negative the GOP establishment goes on Paul, the more his approval ratings jump up. Technorati is reporting huge popularity for the man among MySpace youngsters. (The libertarian streak among frequenters of the Tubes is both wide and deep.)
You can find many links to related Ron Paul potter-ricking here.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
When I ran for Congress in 2004, he [Falwell] publicly endorsed me as "a young Jesse Helms." As a newcomer to the political scene, his public support was more than I could have hoped for. During the campaign, Jerry Falwell took me under his wing, introducing me to potential supporters and speaking on my behalf to fellow pastors. Far more valuable, however, was the friendship Dr. Falwell offered me. His wisdom and insight lent some sanity in the midst of the turbulent campaign. I vividly recall sitting in his office, as he placed his hands on my shoulders and those of my wife, praying that God would let His will be done in our lives.Maybe we needed to know that. Maybe we needed to know that the reverend who blamed 9/11 on homos, who outed Tinky Winky, who tried to put voting for Republicans into the Sermon on the Mount, that this same reverend laid hands on Nathan Tabor as the last best hope for Jesse Helms-ism in North Carolina.
But what did Jerry Falwell know? "His will be done" gave us rather the manifest blessings of Madam Foxx.
Make that eight candidates itching to emulate Keifer Sutherland, since there were two notable hold-outs ... John McCain, who forthrightly called El Presidente's "enhanced interrogation techniques" what they are -- "torture" -- and libertarian Ron Paul, who was alone in talking actual historic sense about the foundational reality of 9/11.
The "traditional values" party went all gaga for a bit of the old ultra-violence in the last 30 minutes of a 90-minute-long broadcast when Britt Hume gave the ten presidential candidates a "fictional but plausible" terrorist scenario to react to. Because this was, after all, FOX, it went something like this: "Terrorists are holding your granny and threatening to shove a nuke up her alimentary canal, once they've finished roasting her slowly on a spit over a fire fueled by hundreds of Bibles and copies of our Constitution. The terrorists have already set off neutron bombs in six U.S. cities, killing approximately a zillion innocent, God-lovin', National Anthem-singin' Americans, but American troops have captured several of the terrorists and are holding them at Guantanamo. What would you do to them?"
The question went first to John McCain, who to his credit resisted the soft plum of that fictional scenario and delivered a patient if unappreciated lecture on why torture was more about our lack of morality than it was about getting useful information out of enemy combatants.
Everyone else (except Ron Paul) bit into that juicy fruit Britt Hume dangled. Rudy Giuliani said he would want his guys at Guantanamo to use "every method they could think of" -- and he repeated that line -- "every method they could think of" to stop a nuke from being shoved up his granny's ass.
This is what the Republican Party has come to ... picking their guy the way the medieval Catholic Church picked its Grand Inquisitors: "Which one of you can stare most steadfastly at the severed limbs of our American reputations and not flinch?"
The other refusenik of this bunch was Ron Paul, who stood out so much as a voice of reason that there were calls to oust him from future debates. I quote him here at length for the necessary context he provided for the attacks of 9/11:
The reason they attack us is because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for ten years. We need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if someone else did it to us. I'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it, and they are delighted we're over there. Osama bin Laden has said, "I am glad you're over on our sand, because we can target you so much easier."To which Rudy Giuliani, who (don't you know?) OWNS 9/11, went all Jack Bauer on Ron Paul. (Truth to tell, Paul should not have used our bombing of Iraq as the main source of Muslim resentment against us, but rather our military presence in Saudi Arabia and our slavish support of Israel. But never mind.)
Paul stood his ground against Giuliani. Paul said:
I believe very sincerely that the CIA is correct when it talks about "blowback." When we went into Iran in 1953 and installed the Shah, yes, there was blowback. The reaction to that was the taking of our hostages. If we think we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem. They don't come here to attack us because we're rich and free. They attack us because we're over there. What would we think if other foreign countries were doing that to us?It either takes incredible guts or incredible stupidity to thus pull the cloak off El Presidente's talking points since 9/11 ... to wit, "They hate us for our freedom." To suggest that the emperor is naked, and that Giuliani's main claim to the presidency is a mess of delusional lies, made last night's exercise worth watching. We've begun rooting for Ron Paul.
If Giuliani's candidacy is purely the product of a delusional foreign policy, his position on abortion gave us the other main contrast of the evening -- the delusional nature of the GOP's platform on "values."
This excellent question was posed to Giuliani:
You have said that you personally hate abortion but support a woman's right to choose. Governor Huckabee says that's like saying, "I hate slavery, but people can go ahead and practice it." Tell us why Huckabee's wrong.Giuliani replied quite sensibly: "There are no circumstances under which I can imagine anyone choosing slavery or supporting slavery. There are people, millions and millions of Americans, who are of as good conscience as we are, who make a different choice about abortion. If you want to keep government out of people's lives, from the point of view of coercion, you have to respect that."
That was a good answer, especially the last sentence. But turns out that most of the Republican candidates on that stage would be as Jack Baueresque about women seeking to end their pregnancies as they are about hypothetical terrorists. Huckabee: "I believe we should do everything possible to protect the life that begins at conception."
Everything possible? Well, at a minimum, that would have to include "fugitive women" laws and the death penalty for any woman who successfully aborted. How exactly is doing "everything possible" to prevent abortion different from using "every method we could think of" on suspected terrorists? The logic is inescapable: women who abort are terrorists, and Republicans are into torturing terrorists.
I'm telling you, O my brethren, it's a brave new world that has such politicians in it!
Stigmata Award ... goes to FOX News, which felt a need to label all the candidates as they were introduced with on-screen box scores toting up their "religion" and their "family." Under the family stats, I was disappointed that Fox didn't go ahead and tally "1st wife, 2nd wife, and 3rd wife," as that would have been genuinely helpful too. Under the "religion" labels, we had three Catholics, one Episcopalian, two Baptists, one Presbyterian, THE MORMON, and one (Ron Paul) curiously labeled "Protestant," which I took to mean he's really agnostic.
General Tackiness Award ... also goes to Fox News, which felt compelled to build two commercial breaks into the architecture of the debates, so that between rhetoric on fiscal responsibility and dealing with terrorism, we saw ads for acid reflux in babies, Smart Balance buttery spread, Days Inn, Bayer Crabgrass killer (how appropriate was that!), Plavix (since more old white guys prone to stroke watch these debates?), AARP (yep! a plethora of old white guys!), Franklin Templeton Investments (old rich white guys), DoubleTree hotels, E-Loan, Mercedes-Benz, and in North Carolina at least, an ad for the asphalt king Fred Smith, who's a Republican running for governor
Mr. Disagreeable ... Tommy Thompson, who always wants to brag about the "nineteen hundred vetoes I used when I was governor of Wisconsin"
Whiny Baby ... Mitt Romney, who, being cornered for his liberal record as governor of Massachusetts, starts talking about how haaaard it was to run the bluest of the blue states. It was, like, sooo blue it looked black to me. Oops! I mean...
Best Biblical Allusion ... Tom Tancredo: "I see so many conversions around me in this room tonight on a lot of things ... conversions on guns, conversions on abortion, conversions on immigration. It's beginning to sound like a Baptist tent revival. I'm glad to see conversions, I'm glad they happen, but I must tell you, I trust those conversions when they happen on the road to Damascus and not on the road to Des Moines"
Putting Mitt in His Place ... John McCain: "I've kept consistent positions on reforming immigration, on right to life, and I haven't changed my positions in even-numbered years or haven't changed because of the different offices that I may be running for"
Bizarre Braggadocio ... Duncan Hunter: "I built the border fence in San Diego!" (We half-expected him to throw down his tool belt and post-hole diggers right there on the stage)
Best Lawyer Joke ... Mitt Romney, who said he was glad that Brit Hume's fictional terrorists were being kept at Guantanamo, "to keep them away from lawyers"
Best John Edwards Joke ... Mike Huckabee, who said the Republican Congress had spent money "faster than John Edwards in a beauty parlor"
George Orwell Memorial Award ... Ron Paul, for his allusion to "1984" in describing the phrase "enhanced interrogation techniques" as "Newspeak"
Going Down in Flames ... John McCain: "I'll be the last man standing in Iraq if necessary"
Women as Unwilling Vessels Award ... Sam Brownback, on why he would prohibit abortion to the victim of violent rape: "We must look at it as it really is ... the beautiful child of a loving God"
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
...if leaders of the antiabortion movement don't oppose [Rudy] Giuliani during the primaries with the same passion they summoned against [John] Kerry, it will become clear that abortion is more an excuse to vote Republican than the foundational issue they claim it to be.Dionne points out that Catholic bishops called down the wrath of heaven on John Kerry for being pro-choice, and ordered good Catholics not to vote for him. Will they call down the same righteousness on Catholic Rudy Giuliani?
How will our good Baptist brethren rationalize their cooptation by the Republican Party, if Giuliani is the party's nominee?
Unfortunately, Sen. Ted Kennedy is also listed as not only taking drug money but working, along with Burr and others, to weaken a new drug-safety law.
Bottomline: our federal reps have made it easier for drug companies to experiment on us at great profit to themselves and with limited liability should they accidentally kill us. Way to go, fellas!
Monday, May 14, 2007
He told Diane Sawyer this a.m. on Good Morning, America that there's a strong possibility he'll run. As though we couldn't see that a-comin' months ago!
Favorite quote: "We're in this virtually irrational process," he said. "It's exactly wrong as a way of choosing a national leader."
Apparently, by getting into the race, he can make the process completely irrational. Sees himself as the savior of the GOP, which is nutty enough for us.
Time magazine says Giuliani has calculated that "the reign of social conservatives is coming to an end," that the crazies who've run that party pretty much into the stone-hard ground will not be able to veto his candidacy because of the re-jiggered primary season that will allow big, liberal states like California, New York, and possibly Florida to become major power brokers early in 2008.
And wouldn't it be something if just that suddenly the reign of the mullahs, and their mean, single-minded pursuit of federal control over women's bodies, came to a political deadend?
If we end up with Giuliani running against Hillary Clinton, what WILL the South do?
Dunno. But you can bet we'll be taping the Fox News debate Tuesday night to see how the moral absolutists beat up on Giuliani and especially how the newly anti-abortion Mitt Romney begins to rue his flip-floppery on the abortion issue.
Hard work, a visionary conservation non-profit, and a big-time developer with a conscience helped seal this deal.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Lay was 2004 "field coordinator" for wet-behind-the-ears and wannabe right-wing attack dog Congressman Patrick McHenry (pictured left) of our neighbor district, the NC-10. Lay listed McHenry's home address as his home address and voted in both primaries in 2004, when McHenry eked out very narrow wins.
Raw Story has the rest of the gossip, about all the other young single men who listed McHenry's Cherryville address on their voter registration forms.
McHenry is saying that the indictment of Lay is politically motivated. The engineer of the indictment is Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell, who is a registered Republican but of a faction perhaps at odds with McHenry.
Friday, May 11, 2007
The Sermon on the Mount took a hike last night at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Matthews, N.C., while Ann Coulter told 400 "Christians" who'd paid $55 apiece for the privilege that it's perfectly okay to hate liberals since they're the devil. Among the other nasty things she said, she played footsie with inciting violence against doctors who perform abortions.
Southern Evangelical Seminary, which was founded in Charlotte in 1992 for the defense of Christianity (which, God knows, is a puny runt in need of well-armored bigots) is now run by a graduate of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University who is putting his education to its proper use: the complete conflation of "Christianity" with Republican right-wing politics. Hence the ministry of Ann Coulter last night.
And the people were well fed, for their money.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Watching Giuliani bob and weave on the issue of abortion rights brings one word to mind ... COWARD. At the big debate in Simi Valley, when asked what he'd think about the Supreme Court's reversing of Rowe v. Wade, Giuliani equivocated: "It would be okay."
That was brave. That was definitive. That was the weakest PANDERING we've ever witnessed.
Now, according to this a.m.'s NYTimes, he's screwed up his courage to the sticking point and is prepared to NAIL abortion rights once and for all. "Giuliani To Support Abortion Rights," the headline reads.
Yeah, right. We'll believe that when it actually happens.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Guest blogging: Craig Dudley
About 3:30 yesterday (5-8-07), I was sitting in the sauna. All the rocks I have moved sometimes get to me, and this was a day without having to go out to work. The dogs started telling me I had visitors.
My sauna is outside. I saw four men walking my way, so I went into the house and wrapped a towel around myself.
The first one showed me his Secret Service i.d. and introduced my inquisitors -- two Secret Service and two local sheriff’s deputies. The deputies wore black bullet-proof vests and stood to the side while the skinny white SS boy asked most of the questions. He was the bad cop. The bald-headed black man was the good cop and pleasant.
Turns out someone had accused me of threatening The Decider. This, and, "By the way, have you ever threatened to shoot any four-wheelers riding through here?"
They repeatedly asked if I had made any threats against The Decider. Did I have any firearms and such? I told them I was tenth-generation Quaker, if that meant anything to them. I also made mention that this was the sort of stuff we were taught in school back in the fifties and sixties happened exclusively in
The good cop told me that times were different now.
The bad cop asked me how I would feel should The Decider be assassinated. In essence I said I thought it would be time to buy a six-pack, but murder wasn't something I was interested in doing.
They probably asked me at least four or five times if I had any intention of doing in their boss. I finally asked them how many times and ways they needed to hear my answer.
I said that if it would help them sleep any better, I would sign a paper saying I had never made any threats against their boy. They gave me a sort of Miranda form where I wrote, "I never made any violent treats against anyone." I haven't. I don't. I wouldn't.
I suggested that the allegation and this visit must have happened because of my letter-writing to the local newspapers.
They asked me what I thought of The Decider. I said I thought him a fool and would rather see Barry Goldwater as president. The good cop asked me what problem I have with The Decider. "Everything he does," I replied.
I asked who had made allegations against me, but they refused to tell me. I reminded them of the Bill of Rights, and their response was that I would only have access to my accuser in a trial. I told them again that this is the sort of stuff that happened in the
That was the gist of their visit. They made mention of how nice my house was. That was nice of them. I asked for a card, which curiously none of them had. The skinny SS boy said that two of them were named Jason in case that helped. They said goodbye and left. I went back to the sauna.
This morning I attempted to contact both Jasons. The local deputy was pleasant but had no info other than he had just been the native guide for the federales. I have tried several times to contact the SS boys but keep getting voice mail.
I am curious to discover two things I forgot to ask yesterday: (1) Why would they take seriously an allegation which combined threats against The Decider and a bunch of four-wheelers? (2) As I am unable to face my accuser myself, will these investigators also be investigating the pretender who lied about me?
Despite what you might assume, I think yesterday's visit was proper and fair police work. The authorities receive many tips and must check them out. It's been going on for a long time, not just with this administration. I suspect that almost all such reports are false, but if there is one in a hundred that's real, it's worth the effort. The four men were polite and did not come barging in with guns drawn (which happened, with terrible consequences, under Nixon's "no knock" anti-drug busts, some at wrong addresses, leading to shooting deaths and woundings, as well as deep trauma to kids and others waking up to guns at their heads and some agent in scruffy street clothes shouting at them).
These sorts of things are happening these days, though, as the good cop told me. Times have changed. Our protectors have removed our protections in order to save them.
BUNCOMBE COUNTY GOP, RED IN TOOTH AND CLAW
Thanks to Screwy Hoolie in Asheville, there's a crack of light shining on the blood-letting inside the Buncombe County Republican Party, which elected a new libertarian-leaning party chair in March, who has now been ousted by the "theocrats." (The "theocrat" label is being applied, incidentally, by a GOP insider in the comments to the post linked above, which you'll want to read as well.)
We know none of the personalities involved, except the screeds some of them have occasionally published on NC Conservative, and we're not pausing over this because we have a deep interest in Buncombe County politics. No, it's INTENSELY interesting because of the evidence it gives that the non-religious right (for lack of a better term) is finally getting fed up with the mullahs in the Republican Party and are struggling to take back control. As a leader of the liberterian wing of the Buncombe Co. GOP put it in one of the comments to the post linked above, "Some say that the Republican Party should become more conservative. As a libertarian, I think that the party should become more Republican."
He also says, "The theocrats are dismissive and intolerant." Duh.
This sort of thing bears watching, especially as various local Republican parties seem perfectly willing to make a blood-sport spectacle of themselves.
The org that brought us heightened national alertness to pedophilia and that preaches against contraception now wants to dictate its sense of morality in the way North Carolinians chose end-of-life treatment.
A bill in the state legislature, which the N&O says has been developed over three years with the help of the N.C. Medical Society, would give terminal patients more control over their lives, but this doesn't sit well with the Catholic Bishop of Raleigh, who after all comes out of an ecclesiastical tradition that is used to pushing everyone around, including kings and queens and potentates.
But to their credit, the NC Senate committee considering the "advanced directives" bill passed the law out of committee anyway, despite the pursing of the bishop's lips.
You know we almost had Bernie Kerik as Secretary of Homeland Security in 2004 ... Bernie Kerik, who was N.Y.C. police commissioner under Rudy Giuliani and before that Giuliani's driver. Kerik had impressed El Presidente with his "swaggering confidence." Until someone also noticed, almost too late, Kerik's alleged ties to two New York crime families, including the Gambinos, his multiple alleged felonies including tax evasion and conspiracy to commit wiretapping.
According to Jonathan Chait, "The Kerik episode displayed many of the pathologies of modern Republican governance: incompetence, corruption, an obsession with loyalty over traditional qualifications. But it shows with particular clarity Bush's most distinct contribution: the mistaking of macho bluster for strategic acumen."
In Texas parlance, "All hat and no cattle."
Chait's larger point is that Bush's swooning hard-on for Kerik's macho exactly mirrors the American public's choice of Bush for the presidency, the failure of voters to ask whether the tough-talking bantum from Texas actually had a CLUE what he was talking tough about.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
The bullying of the Yadkin County Commission by Christians who claim they're the victims of outrageous prejudice hit a stone wall last night as commissioners maintained their position that sectarian Jesus-invoking prayers would be discontinued at commission meetings in the interests of Constitutional government.
Mind you, the Commission will continue to open its meetings with prayer. That isn't even the issue. The bullies with the Bibles at last night's meeting want more than "just prayer." They want specific prayers to "Our Lord Jesus Christ," their chins jutting out in defiance against anyone who would dare deny them the right to shanghai local government for the advancement of their particular doctrinal ambitions, which are evidently too large and too aggressive for mere churches, homes, and hearts.
The Coiffed One did not raise his hand with Huckabee, Tancredo, and Brownback last Thursday night, to signify that he doesn't believe in evolution.
Since then he's evolved. Now he apparently believes in BOTH. (Or neither. Really depends on who's asking.)
Here's a guy who wants to be president who picks his beliefs like he picks his ties ... whatever will go best with the audience he's trying to convince (and, of course, reflect the love light in his eyes).
Monday, May 07, 2007
Not only does Madam Foxx use the welcome-home ceremony for the 1451st yesterday as a flimsy excuse to duck out of answering questions in Winston-Salem about her legislative record, she chokes up -- twice! -- during her own short remarks in front of the soldiers.
How do you know when Virginia Foxx is being insincere? When she chokes up. It's a dead giveaway. She's famous for fake crying when she feels threatened.
For the record, the ceremony at the high school gymnasium was over before 4 p.m. yesterday. Madam Foxx left the premises soon after 4. She was due in W-S for a 7 p.m. public forum with fellow congressman Mel Watt. She could have gotten there. She chose not to.
What makes this irresponsibility and arrogance all the more galling? She had agreed to appear at the forum at the request of Amy Barnhart, a Salem College senior, who was fulfilling a class project in setting up the town hall program. But what's a student's hard work and expectation to this Foxx woman?
Among the onlookers apparently unimpressed with the Foxx fake emotion yesterday, as well as the Foxx "logic" about this war, was the editorialist for the Watauga Democrat: "Americans are being put into harm's way every day in a war that has yet to yield any real connection with the fight against world terrorism."
Say it again: There's no real connection between our losses in Iraq and the fight against world terrorism. There's rather ego, arrogance, and lies. Virginia Foxx OWNS all of it, no matter how much she chokes up.
Karl Rove ... atheist? Check it out.
Among the unexpected pleasures in such a story ... that Christopher Hitchens, the often repellent cheerleader for holy Western jihad against Muslims, should be the one to throw open that closet door.
1. Bad news: Jobs in the western North Carolina furniture industry fell from an estimated 7,411 in 2000 to 2,463 in the third quarter of 2006, according to state figures. Hardest hit are the high volume, mass production furniture factories. Doing better and showing signs for future growth are the hand-made boutique producers who sell on the high end to wealthy homeowners.
2. Good news: A team of students from Appalachian State University's Department of Technology has won a $75,000 award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the development of an affordable solar greenhouse. Inventiveness and innovation from the grassroots!
3. Bad news: According to this, North Carolina is competing to host near Raleigh a 520,000-square-foot storage locker for anthrax, avian flu, and dozens of other designer bio-hazards. That is to say, some state and private officials actively want this stuff, and they are fighting to get it from the Homeland Security Department, offering (guess what!) tax incentives, roads, public services, you name it. First Dell, then Google, now hoof and mouth disease.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Yep. Once again, chooses not to face her constituents.
And apparently gives as her excuse the need to attend the welcome home celebration in Boone for the 1451st. But who's she trying to kid? The welcome home event was at 3 p.m. today. The town hall in W-S was at 7. It takes how long now to drive from Boone to W-S?
Lame, Madam Foxx. Very damn lame.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Proving at least that they're cut out to lead the nation into the 19th century, the ten (declared) Republican candidates running to be our president took the stage in Simi Valley Thursday night and gave us some precious reminders that no number of Bush presidencies can make up for one Reagan.
(BTW: Who hangs hundreds of tons of jet plane immediately over the heads of seated people? Since, obviously, there's no precedent for EARTHQUAKES in those environs.)
REPEATING RIFLE AWARD To John McCain, for saying twice, in rapid succession, "The Iraq war was terribly mismanaged. The Iraq war was terribly mismanaged"
QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY Mike Huckabee, who singled out for opprobrium Iraq war decisions made by too many "guys in suits and silk ties," while simultaneously wearing a resplendently red silk tie
IN YOUR FACE, JOHN McCAIN Ron Paul: "Don't pretend the Iraqis were a national threat to us"
MAKING UP HISTORY OUT OF WHOLE CLOTH Rudy Giuliani: "The Iranians looked in Ronald Reagan's eyes and in two minutes they released the hostages"
BLOODY-MINDEDNESS AWARD A tie between John McCain ("I will follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell!") and Sam Brownback ("The current tax system should be taken behind the barn and killed with a dull axe")
INAPPROPRIATE GRINNING Points deducted from McCain for following his "gates of hell" proclamation with a silly, shit-eating grin
BEST ENVIRONMENTAL FAKE-OUT Mike Huckabee, on global warming: "Our responsibility to God means we have to be good stewards of the earth"
WHAT A BUNCH OF STAND-UP GUYS! On how they'd feel if Rowe v. Wade were repealed, nine out of ten squealed with pleasure. Sam Brownback: "It will be a glorious day of human liberty and freedom, so long as you're not a woman" (he didn't say the second part of that, being blessed by God with a penis).
BIGGUS DICKUS AWARD Mitt Romney: "I'm now very comfortable with the idea that government can intervene in a woman's decisions"
LITTLEST DICKUS Rudy Giuliani, responding to the thought of repealing Rowe v. Wade: "It would be okay"
QUEER-FEAR AWARD Tommy Thompson, who said he believes employers should be able to fire you because you're gay
STRICT CONSTRUCTIONIST Duncan Hunter, who's very big on border fences and wants more miles of 'em, and not those little puny fences, either, the ones that Mexicans can climb over, but big honking WALLS. And machine gun nests. Maybe some land mines too
POLITICAL SUICIDE WATCH Ton Tancredo: "Karl Rove would not be in my White House"
SOFT-SHELL CRAB AWARD Rudy Giuliani: "Neither party has a monopoly on virtue or vice. That's a fallacy we fall into. I'd certainly bring Democrats into my administration"
DAMNING WITH PRAISE John McCain, naming Joe Lieberman as the only "Democrat" he could think of who'd find a place in his administration
DAMNING WITH FAINT PRAISE Mitt Romney: "I respect the president's character," and his emphasis on the last word was unmistakable, as were the implications about George W.
SCARED TO DEATH OF SCIENCE Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, and Mike Huckabee, all of whom raised their hands to say they don't believe in evolution
BEST BONE THROWN TO LIBERTY Ron Paul: "I'm absolutely opposed to a national I.D. card." Runner-up ... Mike Huckabee: "Centralizing government power has been a huge mistake"
THE GHOST OF SCHIAVO PAST Mitt Romney: "It was a mistake for Congress to get involved in that case." John McCain: "In retrospect, we acted too hastily." Rudy Giuliani: "A court of law, not Congress, was the appropriate place to decide it." Duncan Hunter: "Congress did the right thing"
Jerry Falwell has generously decided that he can forgive any number of sins committed by Republican presidential candidates ... particularly adultery via serial marriage ... but for Democrats, it's hell-fire all the way, baby!
You can't buy this kind of hypocrisy cheap. You gotta tithe every week to be worthy of this wisdom.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Gosh. Seems like The Madam will hold a town hall meeting practically anywhere but in Watauga County, and with practically anyone but with Watauga County citizens, at least any who are older than 5th graders or who haven't been pre-screened for cooties.
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx will appear at a "town hall" (which means, in our lexicon, that ordinary people get to ask questions) alongside Congressman Mel Watt at 7 p.m. this Sunday at Bryant Hall, Salem College, in Winston-Salem. The two reps will discuss Iraq, which in The Madam's case, we think, will mean going from zero to 9/11 in five seconds! But people in W-S might be a harder sell on that piece of legerdemain, since some of them will possibly actually know that neither Iraq, nor Iraqis, ever attacked us.
There's supposed to be a full 45 minutes of Q&A with the audience, once Congresswoman Foxx has finished putting lipstick on the Bush administration's corpse.
The North Carolina Geological Survey's landslide risk analysis for all of Watauga County is due to be completed this summer. Apparently, the NCGS has amassed an impressive array of evidence, both historical and geomorphological, that is going to put Watauga's considerable risk for life-threatening landslides on full display.
The study was paid for and mandated by the state legislature after five people died in a landslide in Macon County in 2004 and many homes in several counties slid off their foundations, including several in Watauga ... all following back-to-back hurricane events named Ivan and Frances.
Furthermore, House Bill 1754, the "Safe Artificial Slope Construction Act of 2007," has been introduced in the NC legislature. If passed, the act will force local governments to deal with slope development. Many of those governments won't, unless forced to. Which, we guess, is the point of the law, minimal and weak as it is.
Discussion of HB1754 has begun to seep into the public press. We'll look for much more, especially after NCGS releases its hazardous slope report on Watauga County.
Justin Guillory, at Public Policy Polling, worries about what Hillary Clinton will mean for North Carolina, should she end up being the Democratic nominee for president, based on a WashPost profile of her chief strategist Mark Penn, who like a lot of political hot-shots these days ("arrogant and controlling") seems quite willing to write off the South as not worth the bother.
Worse to some are three words that sum up Mr. Penn's philosophical moorings: Democratic Leadership Council.
We're gonna need a stronger brand of antacid before this is over.
Guest blogging: Matthew Robinson
I have been highly critical of Rep. Foxx for her votes in Congress and for not responding to my open letters published in the local press and sent to her office. Recently, I did receive a response directly from her, and I wanted to publicly thank her for answering.
In my letters (see them here: http://www.justiceblind.com/lettertofoxx.html and http://www.justiceblind.com/lettertofoxx2.html) to Rep. Foxx, I asked for an explanation for why she keeps voting for funding for the Iraq war, even though it is not accountable to the American people (especially after voting against spending for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction). I quoted from the Iraq Study Group Report which read: "The public interest is not well served by the government's preparation, presentation, and review of the budget for the war in
And I quoted from David Walker, head of the auditing arm of Congress, who said: "There is no accountability. Organizations charged with overseeing contracts are not held accountable. Contractors are not held accountable. The individuals responsible are not held accountable."
Rep. Foxx responded to my concerns with this (taken directly from her letter to me): "We are in agreement that there should be accountability for all spending by our government, including the military. The number one role of the federal government is the defense of this nation. However, there are differences in the funding for our military and the Hurricane Katrina funding. There are plans for the military funding and there was no plan for the Katrina funding. I have never stated that every dollar spent by the Department of Defense or other department is spent as wisely as it can be spent. However, while I would like to see better accountability, I cannot vote against funding for the volunteers who are fighting every day to allow you and me to live in freedom in this country. One of my main reasons for running for Congress was to use my time and talents to reduce federal spending in all areas. I will continue those efforts as opportunities arise."
In fairness to Rep. Foxx, I wanted others to know that she has responded to my letters. At the same time, I would like to reiterate that I disagree with her stance on
They are fighting in a country that never attacked us, never threatened our freedom, and was led by a dictator long supported by the
Our presence in
If Rep. Foxx wants to use her "time and talents to reduce federal spending in all areas," a place to start is
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Guest blogger: Matthew Robinson:
In reaction to the interview with Rep. Foxx in today's Watauga Democrat ("Foxx opposes troop withdrawal, spending plan"), I have some reactions and questions for Rep. Foxx.
She thinks the Democratic bill to start bringing home troops is "reckless" and said it was politically motivated. No, Mrs. Foxx, invading
Foxx thinks the bill takes decision-making authority away from military leaders and contains billions in spending that isn't related to the war. No, Mrs. Foxx, the invasion went against the advice of military leaders and almost all of the funding for the war has been wasteful. How is reconstruction of the country going? Have you read any reports about war spending and how ineffective and non-accountable it has been?
Foxx says Democrats have "forgotten how much these people are bent on destroying the
Foxx says, "I want us to maintain our freedom and want other countries to become free." Really? So what are we doing in
Foxx says that
Foxx said it is difficult to predict the future course of the war or any timetables for a
Foxx asks, "Has there ever been another war where we said, 'If we haven't won by such-and-such a date, we'll pull out?' " Mrs. Foxx, it was President Bush himself who said -- while standing in front of a banner that read, "Mission Accomplished" -- "Major combat operations in
Foxx says, "I grieve for each and every person who dies. We're fortunate to have an all-volunteer army. Every soldier there has volunteered." Do you think they would have volunteered if they knew they were being lied to by their leaders?
Foxx says, "Something lost in all this is this is a war for our freedom. Terrorism is only one aspect of this. The Democrats have never taken it seriously. They've forgotten 9/11."
To this I say SHAME ON YOU!
Mrs. Foxx, I'd like to invite you to start paying attention any time now. Please join us in the real world.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
In a short profile of Congresswoman Virginia Foxx's polling outfit, Tel Opinion Research, Public Policy Polling reports this interesting flippy-floppiness:
Tel Opinion played an interesting role in the 2006 Wake County School Bond campaign. In April of 2006 they conducted a poll for the John Locke Foundation that found that a $994 million school bond would fail 32% to 63%. In September of 2006, they were hired by the pro-bond campaign, Friends of Wake County, and that poll found that the bond would pass 56% to 37%.The bond actually did pass.
Our sullen and sour Congresswoman Virginia Foxx will be keynote speaker at a fundraiser for West Wins, a new front org for western Republicans still smarting from their losses in the NC-11, NC-5, and NC-10 districts in 2006. You can read their mission statement here. But their "Action Plan" is even more interesting, since they're obviously "tracking" li'l ole sites like WataugaWatch -- smile! you're on camera! Clearly, it's pretty standard "opposition research" and rumor-mongering that'll be on tap for 2008. It'll get dirty.
Meanwhile, Foxx has a voting record, which ain't rumor but has its own peculiar stench.
Of particular note is the targeting for defeat of Heath Shuler in NC-11, but also the eternal vigilance these cats are prepared to lavish on any viable candidates who might arise to challenge Foxx in the 5th and wet-behind-the-ears Patrick McHenry in the 10th districts.
They're also clearly planning to go aggressively after our new NC House and Senate reps.
But the wind ain't exactly at their backs. Ordinary people are SICK of the bozos who've been in charge of our "national direction" for the last six+ years, so how likely are they to toss out Democrats who've only just begun to work on the mess the GOP has created?
Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory said what? Said he wouldn't sign on to an anti-global warming campaign led by the nation's mayors because it doesn't recommend nuclear power as an alternative energy source.
When you hear "alternative energy," do you think NUKE?
McCrory chairs the U.S. Conference of Mayors environmental committee, the very group that drafted the agreement which McCrory now refuses to sign onto. The mayors of Boone, Asheville, Durham, Wilmington, Winston-Salem, Brevard, Canton, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Clyde, Flat Rock, Gastonia, Highlands, and Salisbury have all endorsed the initiative.
Hmmm. We'll have ring-side seats to watch a McCrory reelection campaign in which he recommends that Charlotte go nuclear as an "alternative" to air pollution.
But the real reason McCrory choked is because he's a giant REPUBLICAN, and the "U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement" actually has the gall to point out that the current administration has done nothing about protecting the environment, including even recognizing that there might be a problem with global warming. Apparently McCrory might have partisan ambitions for higher office and doesn't want to offend the big boys in his party.
Oh, plus he's a giant tool of Duke Energy, which pays his salary.