Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rep. McIntyre Crossed the Line

This is Congressman Mike McIntyre of the NC 7th District. He's one of the bluer blue dogs in the U.S. House.

He's a strong opponent of abortion rights, a strong supporter of teacher-led prayer in public schools, an opponent of more progressive taxing policies, and he voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the recently passed health-insurance reform bill. (A complete run-down of his legislative voting history can be reviewed here.)

Yesterday, Mr. McIntyre said that, if given the opportunity, he would vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


That puts Mr. McIntyre slightly to the right of Virginia Foxx, who now sez she only wants to repeal "the most egregious parts of this bill" (Foxx was quoted in a W-S Journal editorial).

What do you say about a supposed Democrat who is more radical than Virginia Foxx? A supposed Democrat who would willingly knee-cap his own party and president?

The Rewards of Hating Government

Over at BlueNC, sydfynch is digging into the curious case of Virginia Foxx's wealth and how it's multiplied exponentially while she's been in Congress. For someone with a professed hatred of government at all levels, she's been doing pretty well living off its bounty.

The BlueNC blogger also provides a "property list" for Foxx, but it's very limited in scope, listing only the stuff she and her husband are on record owning in Watauga County. Doesn't list the several houses we know about in other counties of the 5th District (and out of state), including the one that the Foxxes recently put up for sale in the gated community in Davie County.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Billy Kennedy Live-Chat at dKos

Right now!

Here's the direct link.

Elaine Marshall Takes Note

U.S. Senate candidate Elaine Marshall did a live chat on Crooks & Liars last Thursday, and during it she had a question about the 5th District:
Q: Have you met Billy Kennedy, the Democrat running against Virginia Foxx, in the northwestern part of the state? And if so, what do you think of his chances? Will your race against Burr help him?

Marshall's response: I met Billy right before last Christmas. I am very impressed with him and I understand he is doing a lot of great online organizing. If Virginia Foxx keeps doing what she does, he might not need much help. But aside from Virginia, I believe I can energize our base to get out and vote and help attract unaffiliated voters that want to get things done in Washington.

Depending on the outcome of the May 4 primary in the Senate race, these two may be leading the ballot in the 12 counties of the 5th District.

Which is just fine with us.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Buncombe GOP Gets Even Wiggier

The Buncombe County GOP at its convention yesterday elected Chad Nesbitt as its new chair. Nesbitt is a well known conservative (we would write "conservative extremist," but why get redundant?) who started The Carolina Stompers to exterminate Democrats and "soft" Republicans willy nilly and who also happens to be the step-son of Democratic state Senator Martin Nesbitt, the Democratic Majority Leader of the NC upper house (Thanksgiving at the Nesbitt house must be tons of fun!). That's Chad, wearing the boxing gloves, in the center of the Carolina Stompers group photo (other members of this sterling group identified here).

Anyhoo ... those posting comments over at Scrutiny Hooligans about this rise of Chad Nesbitt are gleeful about the Buncombe Republicans' evident resolve to become even more marginalized, while The Bugg Blog runs through some of Chad Nesbitt's greatest moments. And you can see Chad himself in action, giving his nomination speech, on the Buncombe GOP site.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Dangerously Fanning the Flames"

"I have deep concerns that some ... are dangerously fanning the flames...."
--Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), speaking in Washington today, graciously blaming the victims, following a rash of threats of violence and vandalism by unhinged conservatives, tea-partiers, racists, and bigots

So ... who among us has fanned those flames?

"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."
--Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, November 2, 2009, on the floor of the U.S. House

"All the promises [President Obama] has kept have endangered our lives."
--Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, on the Bill Lumaye Show, NewsRadio 680 WPTF, Jan. 5, 2010

"We're talking about four years. If we don't take this country back from the leftists who are running it now, we will lose our country."
--Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, to the Iredell County Republican Party's Reagan Day Dinner, Feb. 6, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chorusing in the Party of No

Republican congressional incumbents in the NC-5 and NC-10, along with most of their primary opponents, are all singing from the same hymnbook of We Ain't Got No Plan, at least in this article in the Statesville Record & Landmark.

"We've got no ideas of our own. All we're focused on is tearing down the ideas of others."

Purse those pouty lips, Madam Foxx, and admit that you're planning to throw 30 million Americans back off medical insurance, including some 53,000 of your own constituents and that you're planning to NOT close the prescription drug "donut hole" for 119,000 of your constituents on Medicaid. Go ahead: run on that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


So Mike McIntyre, one of North Carolina's most notorious blue dogs, votes with the Republicans Sunday night and casts a 'no' vote against H.R.3590, perhaps thinking the vote would make him popular, or less unpopular with Republicans in his neck of the woods, but today one of his Republican challengers, Will Breazeale, says that McIntyre's vote was "part of political gamesmanship in Washington, not an expression of his genuine disagreements with the bill."

That's the way one of the 40 dozen John Locke machine sites characterize Breazeale's complaint. Here are Breazeale's actual words (or some of them):
Casting a vote just to boost your re-election chances, while being unable to influence other members of your party to join you, shows a total lack of leadership.

Blue dogs just don't get any respect, in or out of their party.

Fellow blue dog Heath Shuler in the NC-11 gets some of that same Republican medicine.

Losing Ugly

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx has an interview with GoBlueRidge up this a.m. She utters the words "leftist" and "very radical leftist" and then pivots immediately to point with alarm at Mexican people: "I believe the next thing that will be done will be to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants."

If you can't win on the facts, pound the table and yell, eh Madam Foxx?

This from the fine and upstanding human being who said the following things:
"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

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

"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

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

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hypocrisy Watch

NYTimes quoted a certain local Congresswoman late last night RE the health insurance reform bill:
Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, said it was "one of the most offensive pieces of social engineering legislation in the history of the United States."

Let's see now: the interference of the Republican Congress in the Terri Schiavo case in March 2005 was not, then, the most obnoxious "social engineering legislation in the history of the United States"? We watched Bobblehead Foxx cheerleading in the U.S. House through that particular debate.

She's against "social engineering legislation," except when she's for it.

North Carolina's Blue Dogs

On passage of H.R.3590 (219-212), North Carolina Democrats Mike McIntyre, Heath Shuler, and Larry Kissell all voted with the Republicans. Those no votes won't earn them any support from Republicans come November, while driving away their own base.

Kissell, particularly, can ill afford losing his base ... unless, of course, the Republicans actually nominate Machine Gun Tim D'Annunzio to run against him.

Shuler ... who knows? Haven't seen any Republican challenger among those running in the primary who looks like a winner.

McIntyre ... he's been voting with the Republicans so long he's barely indistinguishable from ... Howard Coble.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

David Frum: Republicans' "Waterloo"

Worth reading: Conservative columnist and former speech-writer for George W. Bush, David Frum's slashing attack on Fox News and the yak-masters of talk radio for making it impossible for Republicans in Congress to compromise with this president and save themselves from their "Waterloo" moment ... which is happening right now, tonight, in the health insurance reform vote.

Frum thinks Republicans are waaay over-optimistic about taking back Congress come November.

Frum points out that the bill being passed tonight is really very "Republican" in basic outline (and, gee, thanks for reminding me about why I secretly hate it!):
...the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney's Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

Frum sez to his tea-partying confreres: Get over yourself! This bill will never be repealed.

And he sez this: "We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat."

unCivil Rights

Foot soldiers for the Republican minority in Congress -- a devil's sabbath of tea partiers, birthers, racists, bigots -- invaded the Capitol yesterday. They chanted "faggot" at Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). They chanted "nigger" at Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.), both members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Someone spit on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), another black legislator, and House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said, "I have heard things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to get off the back of the bus."

That's just the slime that's gotten reported.

Yup. We shore do hope these fine specimens of humanity are the people who get control of our government!

At least one Republican member of Congress on the Sunday Morning Gasbag shows tried to excuse the behavior -- "Well, people are just so angry" -- without bothering to acknowledge that the misplaced rage has been artificially ginned up by a wealth of misinformation and outright lies spewed by leading Republicans and going back at least a year. Sarah Palin had her tongue all wrapped up in that. And Michele Bachmann. So did our own Rep. Virginia A. Foxx ("at least we Republicans won't be putting people to death like the Democrats!"). The gullible, the naive, the under-informed either fell for that bilge or find it convenient to hang their racism from those particular hat racks.

Haven't been personally enthusiastic about the Senate bill about to be passed, but I confess to being driven to root now for its passage, witnessing the desperation of Karl Rove on ABC this a.m. Rove was either severely over-caffeinated or showing the true panic of realizing a Democratic victory in this matter will damage his own ... shall we be generous and call it "his own legacy"? (His credibility was already as damaged as a Pinto in a roll-over.)

Or take the true creepy mendacity of the fake memo trotted out on the House floor by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) yesterday. Unfortunately for Garrett, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) also happened to be present, and he don't take no shit. Weiner called out Republicans for the lie, while our own Virginia Foxx tried futilely to come to Garrett's aid. Watch it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The World Tomorrow

A foretaste of what North Carolina politics are going to look like, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has unleashed the power of corporations and other business interests to buy elections (in Citizens United v. FEC).

The end of land-use planning in this state, because real estate developers don't like it. Just for starters.

Talk to the Hand

Congressman Heath Shuler (NC-11) sez he isn't influenced by who's giving him money.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that on March 4 Congressman Shuler was the beneficiary of a breakfast fundraiser at the offices of Patton Boggs, a super powerful Washington law firm that shills for the health care industry. "Patton Boggs represents ... Fortune 500 companies, major trade associations, insurers, physician and care providers, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies." They invited all their powerful lobbyist buddies to come on down for a bagel and cream cheese with Congressman Shuler. Don't you know they all whipped out those check books.

"We don't vote based on who's made contributions, never have," said Shuler's chief of staff, Hayden Rogers.

No, hanging out with those well groomed, expensively heeled "suits" would never sway the likes of Congressman Shuler. We're supposed to believe that (having not only fallen off the turnip truck yesterday but also having landed on our heads).

Footnote: There was some oo-ing and ah-ing last week among North Carolina organizers for OFA that Shuler had budged slightly, going from definitely against President Obama's (Senate) plan for health-insurance "reform" to "undecided." If we could discover within us any enthusiasm whatsoever for that Senate bill, we might be mildly inclined to cluck over that tiny morsel. It's not how Shuler ultimately votes that bothers us so much as his bland denial of the wholesale theft of democracy going on under his buttered toast.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Always a Liar

Madam Foxx held her townhall in Statesville on Monday and then went to Congress on Tuesday and lied about it:
Yesterday I had a town hall in Statesville, North Carolina, with about 175 people there. They are very upset about this proposed health care reform bill.

The estimate of 175 people is off by 50-75, but worse is her complete failure to admit that at least 40% of that crowd supported the president and not her. Until her staff started screening the questions, they were running 2-1 against her position. Then suddenly, the only people called on were fawning sycophants.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Foxx's Epic Fail as Economist

PolitiFact, a project of the St. Petersburg Times "to help you find the truth in American politics," has done a detailed and point-by-point fact-check on a statement by Congresswoman Virginia Foxx which she made on the floor of the U.S. House on March 9, 2010:
"The economy began its nose dive when Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007."

Among the many factual problems with such a partisan and self-serving statement (which you can read for yourself at the link above), PolitiFact included a comment from an economist with the conservative Heritage Foundation that "the economy did not technically begin a nose dive when the Democrats took over" and that Madam Foxx had established "no statistical causation between political party in power and economic growth."

She should stick to what she knows, or to what Republican spin-meister Frank Luntz tells her to say, or to those reliable stand-bys of blaming poor people for getting hungry and Matthew Shepherd for having money enough to get robbed and murdered.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Foxx's Secret Plan to Privatize Social Security

Among the several small nuggets embedded in Congresswoman Virginia Foxx's performance yesterday at the Statesville town hall event was her sweeping endorsement of privatization: "I don't know anything the government can do better than the private sector."

"I don't know anything" covers a lot of real estate. Blackwater-style mercenaries are to be preferred to U.S. soldiers? Certainly, we now realize her preference that poor school children should eat chalk dust rather than government-sponsored free lunches. Poor sick people, heal yourselves! And then there's the biggest prize of all for Foxx and her fellow travelers ... Social Security.

Foxx's main squeeze, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, published his "Roadmap for America" recently, which called for the phasing out of Social Security and the further shift of wealth upward. We note that Ryan and the rest of the Republican Caucus have dropped the word "privatization" from their vocabulary, preferring now the word "choice" in its place, but Foxx yesterday in Statesville was pretty naked in her advocacy for throwing all Americans onto the tender mercies of the corporations.

Why would Foxx go through the motions of pretending to "listen" to her constituents when she's already signed on to the most radical of political philosophies? Oh, right. She's running for reelection against three different competitors and needs to pretend that she actually cares what voters think. And that she's not a radical extremist with political views that would seem perfectly at home in the court of King Louis XIV.

Paul Krugman's column today details the dishonest motives behind Ryan's attempt to hide "privatization" from public view. Yesterday in Statesville, Foxx let that door swing open a crack.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Billy Kennedy Responds to Virginia Foxx's Town Hall Event in Statesville

Guest blogging: Billy Kennedy, candidate for Congress:

After Rep. Foxx's health care town hall today, I searched the Constitution to see where it says we taxpayers are supposed to be subsidizing her personal health care insurance. I couldn't find it.

You see, Rep. Foxx says unless something is expressly written in the Constitution, then we the people have no right to want or expect it. In fact, that was the exact question I had for her today (had I been called on). I wanted to know, since she's been a politician for the last 27 years, when was the last time the taxpayers weren't paying for her insurance?

It's fine for Ms. Foxx to stand up there today and tell folks that the people need to handle their own health care costs, that the government can't do anything right (so why even try?) and that our current system is the best in the world, when she lets the government handle her health needs and expects us to hand over our hard-earned dollars not just for our health needs, but for hers too.

Our health system is indeed the greatest in the world. For her. For those of us who aren't on government programs like Medicare or Medicaid, or Tri-Care or the Federal Health Care plan, not so great.

The saddest moment of the day came when a gentleman stood up to talk about how his son had tried for seven years to get government disability due to his cystic fibrosis. This nice man choked up when he recounted how his son had died shortly after he received disability benefits he'd fought so hard for. Ms. Foxx's reply was, "Government shouldn't have been handling this."

Now I thought to myself: if government shouldn't have been handling it, just who does Rep. Foxx thinks should have? Does she honestly believe private insurance was an option? But then, I checked. Indeed, there is nothing in the Constitution about helping out people who have a disability from the coughing, fatigue, pneumonia and pain of cystic fibrosis. In fact, I couldn't find a single one of those words, so I guess, by her view, she's right.

Ms. Foxx says she is all about health care reform. She says we need to do something, and that her idea is to lower health costs by expanding Health Savings Accounts, limiting the ability of people to sue if they have been physically injured through the actions of a hospital or their doctor, and allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines.

Of course all of us know that Health Savings Accounts are mostly just an option for healthy and wealthy families, since a lot of us just don't have the money to pay into one in the first place and, even if we did, we could never be able to save enough to pay for cancer treatments out of pocket.

When someone asked how it would work if we let health care companies sell their policies across state lines since the states regulated the companies, Rep. Foxx replied that working people might not really want "all those restrictions on the health care corporations" anyhow. Of course, as a wealthy politician who's covered by a taxpayer-subsidized insurance plan regulated by the federal government, she has nothing to lose from letting the rest of us fend for ourselves in an unregulated insurance free-for-all.

As for tort reform, the Congressional Budget Office says that wouldn't reduce total U.S. health care spending by more than about 0.5 percent.

...But I'd be willing to talk that one out with Rep. Foxx -- if she'd agree to give up her government health care in return for it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Does Madam Foxx Have Listening Ears?

All of our shaming of Virginia Foxx for being afraid to face the people in an open setting has finally paid off: The representative is holding a "Health Care Solutions Town Hall" in Statesville tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. (Statesville Civic Center, Room B, 300 South Center Street).

11:30 a.m.?

Doesn't seem like a time that might optimize attendance by working people. Just sayin'.

It's also physically about as far away from Watauga County as you can get in the 5th District, but the roads are paved from here to there, so distance can be overcome.

What probably can't be overcome is the Madam's inability to actually hear any opinions that differ materially from her own. So we'll see.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Virginia Foxx & Paul Ryan: A Love Story

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx has made a spectacle of herself slobbering all over certain men in Washington. There was the famous lip assault on George W. Bush, the fawning failure to detect any illegal drug use from a perusal of Roger Clemens' blown-up photographs, and now it's Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan that Foxx has fixated on with unhealthy affection.


Because Ryan has written a Republican "budget plan," "A Roadmap for America's Future Act of 2010," that aims to zero out Social Security and Medicare. The Madam, like most of her fellow conservatives, hates Social Security and Medicare and itches with an itch she can't quite scratch to get rid of all such safety nets.

Congressman Ryan allows her and her fellow Republicans in Congress to scratch that itch.

The non-partisan Tax Policy Center, in a detailed analysis of Mr. Ryan's numbers, sez that Congressman Ryan's budget numbers would actually continue and accelerate the disastrous economic policies that got us into this current mess ... policies that ensure that the rich get richer. According to the Tax Policy Center, "The Roadmap's tax provisions would be highly regressive compared with the current tax system," benefiting the people who don't need social safety nets and resent like all holy hell having to pay any taxes whatsoever for the "undeserving poor."

Talk like that just makes Madam Foxx feel sexy all over.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Jack Hawke Legacy Tour

Jack Hawke, the infamous NC Republican operative, has bragged that he's the one who "recruited" Virginia Foxx to run for the NC Senate in 1994. He apparently has, in other words, a fatal attraction for the extreme and the unstable, because he also signed on for the Tim D'Annunzio primary campaign down in the NC-8. D'Annunzio went from zero to 60 on the nut-job scale in just under three seconds, being outed by Laura Leslie as the author of the I-heart-Armageddon blog and then holding a well publicized "machine-gun social" fundraiser.

Anyhoo, Hawke, by his own words, told D'Annunzio that his blog was a very bad idea. No candidate "should get up at 3 or 4 in the morning, sit down in front of a computer and pour your heart out. It's just not a smart thing to do." Like, never let the voters see your true self, eh, Mr. Hawke? Supposedly, D'Annunzio promised Hawke that he had sworn off blogging, but just couldn't quite do it. So Hawke has resigned from the D'Annunzio campaign, and in a very public way.

Okay okay, bloggers are like alcoholics, only without the charming party tricks. We get that.

But, now, about this Jack-Hawke-recruited-the-Foxx-gnome factoid ... don't we need to chew on that for ... oh, spit that out! It tastes like gun metal and old hairnets.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"The Sow Is Mine"

National Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele was in Greensboro yesterday and announced that North Carolina will be his come fall -- "Mine, MINE, I tell you!" -- and forever after. Apparently, come November 3, we North Carolinians will awake from our frightful nightmare to find ourselves wrapped in the sweet embrace of reactionary right-wingism, breathing in the miasma of obstructionism that has so far served the working class so well in this state and elsewhere.

Oh, goody.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

And the Acting Award Goes to...

...Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, who for years has made "choking up" in public a regular feature of her political persona.

Another bravura performance on Saturday at the Watauga County Republican Convention. You'll have to read all the way to the end to get it.

"She's a Professional Politician"

Keith Gardner, the hapless Republican primary challenger to Virginia Foxx, is a walking example of cognitive dissonance. He said on GoBlueRidge about Foxx, "She's well known, she's well liked in most of the district. In fact, I like her. However, she's a professional politician. I do not like the idea of a professional politician."

I like her, but I do not like what she is.

Well, it's a start.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Let Them Eat Chalk!

Mr. Bumble's philosophy in "Oliver Twist" is to keep the boys and girls in the workhouse hungry. He thinks they work more efficiently on empty stomachs.

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx's philosophy is that the School Lunch Program is a shocking expenditure and has no place in America. Yesterday Foxx was one of only 13 Republican members of the U.S. Congress to vote against H Res 362. Foxx was alone even among the North Carolina Republican delegation. Patrick McHenry voted for the resolution. Sue Myrick voted for the resolution. Every Republican voted for it except Foxx and her dozen fellow Mr. Bumbles.

Foxx's ideology has no heart, just as corporations have no birth certificate.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

McHenry's McGuffin

We got an e-mailed press release last night from one of Congressman Patrick McHenry's three primary challengers that apparently agreed with our characterization of the congressman's tone-deafness for introducing a bill to put Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill. Here 'tis in its entirety:
Morganton, NC -- Vance Patterson, 10th District Republican candidate for Congress, says incumbent Patrick McHenry is up to the old tricks "professional politicians" play in election years. McHenry has recently proposed legislation to put Ronald Reagan's picture on the $50 bill.

"To use a great American like Ronald Reagan to get votes in an economically devastated district is nothing short of shameful," Patterson said. "13.6% of our neighbors don't have a $50 bill to look at because they are unemployed."

Patterson prides himself for running a grassroots campaign focused on jobs and term limits. "This proves my point about professional politicians and imposing term limits," Patterson said. "At election time, they suddenly descend on the voters with emotional appeals and irrational actions. Well, 10th district voters know when a politician is grandstanding rather than leading to improve the district and the country."

A successful businessman, Patterson insists that he is running on a platform of "Real World Leadership" and can make a difference.

"It's time to restore core principles to America, and our district voters know that," he said. "I've been busy meeting fellow citizens and they are ready for real leadership in developing a better economy, outstanding education, and affordable health care."

Other than the I-worship-the-false-god-Reagan meme, this could have been written by the Democratic candidate in the NC-10 ... the emphasis on working-class struggles, education, and "affordable health care," none of which Ronald Reagan would ever have moved as policy. (Incidentally, medical science has proven there is no antidote to doting on Reagan in his dotage. Massive injections of fish oil won't do it. Hot Coke enemas have proven ineffective too. Once visited by the Reagan incubus, the victim is rendered incapable of critical thinking.)

We also note in Mr. Patterson's attack on McHenry the use (twice) of the term "professional politicians." Anti-incumbent fever, anyone?

How many years has Virginia Foxx been in elected office? (Answer: 27)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Babe in the Woods

Congressman Heath Shuler's Democratic primary opponent, Aixa Woods, is hobbled by more than a first name nobody wants to take a stab at pronouncing out loud and in public: he's a total political neophyte who confesses, "I don't know much about the Democratic Party. I'm sure I will find out. I don't know what resistance I will get from the powers that be."

Allow me to enlighten you: Familiar with the term "nuclear winter"?

Perhaps it's a good thing that Aixa "does not plan to raise any money," yet "he expects to win the race and believes his message will resonate with Western North Carolina voters."

There was a time -- say, 1802 -- when such charming American innocence might have swayed your average voter. But I'm afraid it ain't 1802 any longer. Or even 1952.


In These Economic Times, What a Helpful Suggestion!

Congressman Patty McHenry (R), from nearby Tiny Town, has finally noticed the economic collapse happening all around him -- actually, the economic collapse has been happening in his Congressional district for several years now -- and has found the magic bullet: put Ronald Reagan's mug on the $50 bill.

That will involve, of course, booting Ulysses S. Grant off the $50 bill, but we're down with that. Grant was a ruthless and successful military general, an accomplished autobiographer, and a wholly incompetent president.

In other words, an even trade. McHenry wants the Father of Banking Deregulation on the $50, the Father of Trickle-Down, the Dim Tool of the Kleptocrats.

Git 'er done, so Little Patty will have something to brag about to the home folks, especially those who worship at the altar of St. Ronny without wondering why their economic prospects have so contracted since 1981 and why Wall Street is running everything.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Democratic Candidates in the NC-10

We've had some coverage here (a tad) about Congressman Patty McHenry in the NC-10 and about his two (D'OH! now three) primary challengers, but perhaps we should do a little catching up with the two Democrats in the May 4 primary, vying to take on McHenry come November.

One is Anne N. Fischer of Morganton. She has an active website up and running, is described as a social worker and community activist, and actually ran against McHenry in 2004 in his first campaign.

Her primary opponent is Jeff Gregory, a former Shelby postmaster, who does not yet appear to have a website. But he's speaking out in this a.m.'s Hickory Daily Record about how the 10th Congressional District has suffered under McHenry, who doesn't believe in government and who therefore gets nothing much for his district. "It's time for the people of the 10th District to be heard and seriously represented," he said. "I think that we need to take a 'Big Dog' approach for our district. I'm not afraid of getting on the front porch of Congress and barking loud for our people."

The Patty McHenry/Virginia Foxx philosophy of "service" = "We don't get anything for anybody because of our ideology," and perhaps these hard economic times might actually begin to spotlight the hard, dried fruits of such a philosophy. Having been laughed at over the Sparta Teapot Museum, Foxx has now retreated into a do-nothing crouch and actually brags on her Twitter account about her constipated economic policy: "NO RELIEF for my district, NO NEVER!"

Kentucky Sen. Bunning is also helping at this moment to throw The Wages of Obstructionism into some stark human context.

Monday, March 01, 2010

South Dakota Legislature, Go to the Corner and Stay There!

The South Dakota legislature, dominated by a lot of elected people with an "R" after their names, want to stick a finger in science's eye, so they pass a joint resolution calling for "balanced teaching of global warming," which in their particular language includes a warning that "the significance and interrelativity" of "astrological" (and other) data can be interpreted in a number of ways. We are NOT making this up. (Hat tip: the ineffable Ed Cone)

Lord knows, I had my doubts about my horoscope for today: "You don't have to worry about getting every little fact right today -- but your competition does! That gives you a serious advantage, as long as you are willing to move forward quickly into the darkness."

The South Dakota legislature has actually given me hope that they are the "darkness" I'm supposed to move forward quickly into.